1. ABOUT THE HUMAN CONDITION
AND ITS RESOLUTION
WTM FAQ 1.33 Jeremy Griffith writes that “the world is in crisis” and that we’re facing “end game for the human race”, but isn’t our situation getting better not worse? / Aren’t we less violent than we ever were?
Jeremy Griffith writes that “the world is in crisis” and that we’re facing “end game for the human race”, but isn’t our situation getting better not worse? As the political scientist Bjorn Lomborg has pointed out, ‘We are wealthier, healthier, wiser and seldom have seen such peace…The fact is that the world is mostly getting better…average global life expectancy has more than doubled since 1900…among the poor, health inequality has declined massively…the world is more literate, child labour is decreasing and we are living in one of the most peaceful times in history…During the past 30 years, average global per capita income has almost doubled…rich countries are increasingly preserving forests and reforesting’ (‘The forecast: yet another sunny day for the planet’, The Australian, 23 Aug. 2019).
Jeremy Griffith’s response:
As the fully accountable, true instinct vs intellect explanation of the human condition reveals, the human race started out in a cooperative and loving innocent state and then when we became conscious we became increasingly psychologically angry, egocentric and alienated as we searched for the redeeming knowledge that would explain why we corrupted our innocent soul.
However, until we found that redeeming instinct vs intellect explanation, we couldn’t afford to admit that the human race has been progressing from innocence to upset. Any admission that our species once lived in a cooperative and loving state of innocence while we were searching for that explanation of our present corrupted condition only left us unbearably condemned as evil, worthless beings. So to avoid such suicidally depressing thoughts we had no choice but to deny that the human race did once live in an innocent state, which is where the patently dishonest, ‘our distant ancestors were selfish, competitive and aggressive savages having to try to reproduce their genes like other animals’ excuse came to our rescue. The ‘savage instincts’ excuse was a reverse-of-the-truth lie but it made living with our corrupted condition while we were searching for understanding of it bearable. (See for the explanation of how our ape ancestors overcame the genetic need to reproduce their genes and acquired our all-loving, unconditionally selfless instincts.)
Throughout our 2 million year journey to find the truthful redeeming understanding of our corrupted condition, defensive denial—along with defensively attacking any criticism of our corrupted condition, and defensively finding ways to artificially make ourselves feel good about ourselves—is what made that journey possible.
We have been a species that has had to live in denial, a species practising extreme dishonesty. As Plato so accurately metaphorically described our situation, we have been living deep inside a dark cave where no exposing truthful light could reach us.
What this means is that every increasingly upsetting step along the way to understanding of our corrupted condition depended on us finding ways to deny our corrupted condition. We always had to, as we say, put on a brave face, keep up appearances, stay positive, keep pretending that everything was basically fine about our lives and deny that we were massively, 2-million-years corrupted. So the more we searched for knowledge and became more corrupted, the more we had to find more dishonest ways to deny we were corrupted.
Basically we would talk about all manner of positive achievements without ever mentioning the negative of how horrendously corrupted and horrendously practising of denial of that truth and thus how horrendously alienated/psychotic/split from our true all-loving and all-sensitive instinctive self or soul we actually were. There was this massive metaphorical elephant in the room, our extremely alienated condition, that no one was confronting or admitting.
And all this denial is apparent in the argument that supposed reduction in violence and war since the end of the Second World War demonstrates that we are now more peaceful and thus better off than we ever were. Deaths as a result of war have presumably dropped since the end of WWII because more effective communication technology and the development of more lethal weapons such as nuclear weapons may have stopped world wars occurring, but the level of violence and destruction has not really abated. Overall, as upset increased it eventually reached a level where we had no choice but to civilise or restrain it. However, being more civilised does not indicate that levels of psychological upset are now falling. As I explain in THE Interview, ‘While we have learnt to significantly restrain and conceal—‘civilise’ as we refer to it—the phenomenal amount of upset within us, under the surface we all must be boiling with rage, and sometimes, when our restraint can no longer find a way to contain it, that anger must express itself—hence our capacity for shocking acts of cruelty, sadism, hate, murder and war.’
So when people such as the cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker and the biologist E.O. Wilson cite statistics of violence in order to ‘prove’ that we come from a violent ‘savage instincts’ past and are getting better, they are not taking into account the deterrent created by more lethal weapons, or that so-called ‘primitive’ societies do not restrain or ‘civilise’ their upset like more upset-adapted modern races. As I explain in , ‘while there is violence in primitive peoples, the true explanation for the aggression apparent in their societies is that while they are undoubtedly more innocent than the majority of humans in the world today, they are, as mentioned above, still members of the extremely upset stage of humanity, H. sapiens sapiens, and are, therefore, nowhere near as innocent as humans were some 2 million years ago when the battle of the human condition first emerged. Moreover, while basic levels of restraint are instinctive in primitive hunter-forager people such as the Bushmen, as will be explained in ch. 8:16E, they do not possess the more sophisticated levels of self-discipline that more upset ‘races’ adopted following the advent of agriculture and herding some 11,000 years ago, and which has subsequently become, to a degree, instinctive. As a result, to draw upon data on homicide rates, as E.O. Wilson was shown to do in par. 206, where he equated Bushmen homicide rates to those present in the more upset-populated cities of Detroit and Houston, and use that comparison to argue that more primitive peoples are not more innocent than more alienated ‘races’, is to totally ignore the effect increasing levels of restraint have on upset behaviour. As any mother will attest, a nine-year-old child is more innocent than an adult and yet, as was described in ch. 8:7, during the ‘naughty nines’ phase they will lash out at the world in a way that a more restrained or ‘civilised’ adult would not.’
So, no, the truth is that primitive peoples such as the San Bushmen (of the Kalahari) and Indigenous Australians are far more innocent and sensitive than modern races, as anthropologists such as Elizabeth Marshall Thomas and Sir Laurens van der Post have recorded (you can read more in of FREEDOM), however, until we could solve the human condition that truth was too confronting, and so we have sought to portray them as inherently aggressive savages.
The real truth of our worse-not-better, massively corrupted condition is apparent in the graph I present in which shows that the amount of angry, egocentric and alienated upset in the human race now has reached terminal, death-of-our-species levels!
This is what I said in THE Interview, and this is the graph that accompanied it:
“While we’ve had to live in denial of our corrupted, psychologically upset condition while we couldn’t explain it, the truth is that on a graph showing the ever-increasing levels of upset in humans, those levels, especially of psychosis and alienation, have been increasing so rapidly lately that the line tracking their rise is near vertical with the amount of upset virtually doubling now in each new generation! & on our World Transformation Movement’s website describes this terrifying end play threat of terminal levels of psychosis. Basically, we had virtually lost the race between self-destruction and self-understanding.”
As well as the descriptions of our species’ end game situation that is truthfully described in the just referred to & , provides a very powerful truthful description of the progression of increasingly dishonest and thus increasingly ineffective, worse-not-better forms of pseudo therapy the human race has been practising to try to cope with the now terminal levels of psychosis in the human race (F. Essay 35 is such a significant essay it has also been produced as the standalone booklet titled , which is freely available on our homepage as one of the WTM’s four key books).
So that is how precious and timely the arrival of the reconciling, redeeming and rehabilitating explanation of the human condition is, and how precious the transformation of every human life from a human-condition-afflicted state to a human-condition-free state that it makes possible is!