This book is a Get Out of Jail Free card and a passport back into the playground.

The aim of this book is to set you free. But free from what? Free from neurosis. Free from the feeling that you have to obey authority. Free from emotional intimidation. Free from addiction. Free from inhibition.

The key to happiness, mental health and being the most that we can be is absolute and unconditional self-acceptance. The paradox is that many of our problems are caused by trying to improve ourselves, censor our thinking, make up for past misdeeds and struggling with our negative feelings whether of depression or aggression.

But if we consider ourselves in our entirety in this very moment, we know these things :

1. Anything we have done is in the past and cannot be changed, thus it is pointless to do anything else but accept it. No regrets or guilt.

2. While our actions can harm others, our thoughts and emotions, in and of themselves, never can. So we should accept them and allow them to be and go where they will. While emotions sometimes drive actions, those who completely accept their emotions and allow themselves to feel them fully, have more choice over how they act in the light of them.

Self-criticism never made anyone a better person. Anyone who does a “good deed” under pressure from their conscience or to gain the approval of others takes out the frustration involved in some other way. The basis for loving behaviour towards others is the ability to love ourselves. And loving ourselves unconditionally, means loving ourselves exactly as we are at this moment.

This might seem to be complacency, but in fact the natural activity of the individual is healthy growth, and what holds us back from it is fighting with those things we can’t change and the free thought and emotional experience which is the very substance of that growth.

How to Be Free is available as a free ebook from Smashwords, iBooks in some countries, Kobo and Barnes & Noble

It is also available in paperback from Lulu or Amazon for $10 US, plus postage.

The ebook version currently has received 593 ***** out of ***** ratings on U.S. iBooks.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Thoughts on Jeremy Griffith's "Freedom : The End of the Human Condition" - Part 19

“Non-Religious Pseudo-Idealistic Causes”

Because he feels that our whole human history has been driven by guilt - i.e. driven by our need to battle against, and eventually find liberation from, the guilt produced in our insecure minds by the condemnation of our genetic programming for selflessness, Griffith grades the level of alienation (departure from responsible truthfulness) involved in any movements which run counter (or try to run counter) to our destructive or anti-social tendencies according to how little emphasis they place on guilt (how “guilt-free” they are). This is faulty reasoning. If we understand that how truthful we are capable of being is dependent on how self-accepting, and thus free of dogmatic armouring we are, we can see that less guilt can tend to lead to more truthfulness in our thinking. This is not to deny that we may achieve unawareness of feelings of guilt by blocking them out or transcending them, and thus being less truthful in our thinking. But we can’t assume that that is always the case. Guilt-inducing forms of idealism, such as religion, are, in and of themselves, corrupting of self-acceptance and thus of our ability to think truthfully. This explains the spectacular levels of irrationality we often see exhibited by religious fundamentalists.

As I have said above, each of the causes he discusses have been pursued with varying degrees of idealism vs. pragmatism, dogmatism vs. free thinking. Each addresses itself to a serious problem. Sometimes the cure may be worse than the disease, but the successes have also to be acknowledged. Communism under Stalin was monstrously oppressive, but the socialists in Britain after the Second World War established a welfare state which greatly improved the lot of the poor and thus the health of that society as a whole. Having a healthy impact on society is less a case of being left wing or right wing and more a case of how self-accepting the individual is and thus how generous and open and non-oppressively they can pursue their ends. Stalin had very seriously compromised self-acceptance. He was a psychopath. That had nothing to do with his politics.

The New Age Movement

The New Age Movement actually tries to address the key problem for we humans, which is our psychological state. It has provided useful techniques for healing, but it has also often been given to high levels of irrationality and the cult of personality. It does have one major advantage over religion (apart from the absence of guilt) and that is that it is not authoritarian or dogmatic. It may be largely self-directed, but that means that it is relatively free of the sickness of trying to force one’s idealism on others.


Griffith says : “Yes, the Feminist Movement maintained that there was no real difference between people - and especially not between the sexes.”

This seems a gross generalisation to me. There has been great diversity amongst feminists. I think some feel that there really is a major difference between men and women. Others feel that the difference in roles is more based on socialisation. But Griffith himself admits that women can perform very masculine roles, e.g. Margaret Thatcher.

What seems to bother him about the feminist movement is a lack of compassion for men, an inability to understand why we have been patriarchal. This is understandable when we consider the issue of armouring. Patriarchy is an armoured state. Armouring exists as a defence. To criticise the armoured individual is to increase their need for their armour. So, while feminism has been a shot in the arm for women, who have been oppressed by the patriarchal order for so long - while it gave them a strong sense of sisterhood - it didn’t make it easier for men to abandon patriarchal behaviour.


Griffith says : “…the Environmental or Green Movement … removed all need to confront and think about the human state because all focus was diverted from self onto the environment — as the aforementioned quote acknowledged, ‘The environment became the last best cause, the ultimate guilt-free issue.’”

I was involved with the environment movement for a while, and I wouldn’t say that it was entirely “guilt-free” for me. The concept of “sinfulness” in religion can seem abstract, but there is nothing abstract about considering one’s carbon footprint, i.e. contribution to global warming. The degree to which people in the environment movement realistically address the problems which confront us varies. Sure you have people who just want to hug trees and put themselves in front of a bull dozer, but you have others who are trying to find practical pragmatic solutions to real problems.

Griffith is right that the root cause of our environmental problems is our own life style and thus our own psychology. I’m sure many, if not most, environmentalists would agree with that statement. But Griffith’s bullshit theory is not the answer to that problem.

A sign of how uncritically Griffth will use a quote which seems to support something he is trying to say is that he uses this quote from Ray Evans, whom he refers to as “an Australian business leader and political activist” : “‘Environmentalism has largely superseded Christianity as the religion of the upper classes in Europe and to a lesser extent in the United States. It is a form of religious belief which fosters a sense of moral superiority in the believer, but which places no importance on telling the truth.” As usual he insists on putting words in other people’s mouths by making it “…telling the truth [about the real issue of our corrupted condition]” Whether Ray Evans actually believes we have a “corrupted condition” we don’t know.

So who is this Ray Evans who thinks that telling the truth is so important? According to Source Watch : “Evans was Executive Officer at Western Mining Corporation (WMC) from 1982 until 2001, during which time he was a close associate of WMC CEO Hugh Morgan. "My role was to engage in the culture wars and provide him with feedback," Evans says of his work for Morgan.”

So he has been a representative of the mining industry which is threatened by the arguments of environmentalists.

Does he have a commitment to telling the truth?

The quote Griffith uses comes from a document Evans wrote in 2006 called Nine Facts About Climate Change (The Lavoisier Group).

I’m not a climate scientist. Neither is Evans. But if you want to decide for yourself how good Evans is at telling the truth, you might want to read that document and then read a critique of it which seems to fairly convincingly expose it as composed mostly of, often ludicrous, misinformation. I’ve only read a little of Green Scientist’s critique, but enough to decide who I think has the most respect for the truth :

In his youth Griffith was himself a member of the environmentalist movement. His search for the Tasmanian Tiger was an example of the more escapist form of environmentalism in which the real issues of human behaviour are left behind.

Political Correctness

There is good reason to criticise political correctness. It is a censorship of the ability to express anything other than positive feelings in many situations, and the negative feelings which are not expressed or acknowledged will tend to build up. The sickness festers below the surface when what is needed is for it to be drained off through healthy forms of expression and thus be able to heal. Politically incorrect humour provides an important safety valve here. 

But Griffith goes overboard in his tirade : “This is not to say that in a critical battle, such as the one humanity has been involved in, showing care and compassion towards those who were suffering from the effects of the battle was not important. It was very important, because although we have all been involved in the upsetting battle, selflessness is still, as has been repeatedly emphasised, what binds wholes together; it is the glue within humanity’s army. However, while caring for those struggling to keep up was important, it was obviously more essential to support those on the frontline who were still carrying on the battle to ensure the war was ultimately won.”

This makes sense if humanity was actually engaged in a collective battle, as Griffith’s central thesis says, but I don’t believe this is true. Each of us has been engaged in our own private battle, while giving and receiving support from others. That battle has been the battle to maintain our self-acceptance, and we don our armour to fight that battle. In Griffith’s conception, the more combative right-wing members of society have been bravely fighting for us all. But, in truth, this combativeness has been a particular approach to dealing with the insecurity which comes from criticism, especially from idealism. How much we contributed to society was dependent on how generous or creative we were. Combativeness has always been an insecurity-based sickness which has drained energy from society. But we couldn’t help but become combative when criticism, often in the form of idealism, undermined our self-acceptance. Griffith is right that the combative need our concern as well, but not as loyal attendants and supporters of their campaign. We need, rather, to recognise that they are victims of their own insecurity and need healing and liberation as much as anyone else.

We can see so clearly in statements like the following that what Griffith is seeing in “pseudo-idealists” is a projection of his own denied self. Deep down he knows what he is and what he has been engaged in, but unable to face the truth he sees it as a paranoid projection on the world around him : “Their conduct was completely selfish and not at all the selfless, idealistic behaviour they made it out to be and deluded themselves it was.” How many socialists, feminists, environmentalists etc. do you know who believe themselves to be “selfless”? But we do know someone who believes himself to be selfless.

Postmodernist Deconstructionist Movement

I don’t know a lot about this, so I’ll try to wing it.

Griffith says : “While language is artificial it nevertheless models a real world, so to say that just because language is artificial there can be no universal truths is ridiculous, but again, when the need to escape the truth becomes desperate, any excuse will do; just baffle the world, and yourself, with intellectual baloney, such as this from Jacques Derrida, one of the high priests of deconstructionism, who gave this highly intellectual (instinct/soul/truth-less) description of why truth supposedly doesn’t exist: ‘Every sign, linguistic or nonlinguistic, spoken or written, as a small or large unity, can be cited, put between quotation marks; thereby it can break with every given context, and engender infinitely new contexts in an absolutely nonsaturable fashion. This does not suppose that the mark is valid outside its context, but on the contrary that there are only contexts without any center of absolute anchoring’”

The way I understand what Derrida is saying is this : If you take any idea out of its context it loses its meaning. Therefore context is all that really matters.

This is the essence of holism. Nothing can be understood except within the context of a greater whole. Contrary to his claims, Griffith isn’t a holist and doesn’t understand holism.

But doesn’t what Derrida says sound like a critique of Griffith’s method, i.e. to take quotes out of context and try to build his own picture of the truth with them?

This is the way I understand post-modernism or deconstructionism. Imagine there is a murder. The police are investigating. There are ten witnesses, but no video footage of what happened. As usually happens, everyone’s story is markedly different. How are the police going to come to the most accurate understanding of what happened? They first record everybody’s narrative. Then they find out more about the lives and characters of the witnesses. By understanding the context in which their narrative fits - what their biases are - they try to detect what factors might be causing each person’s narrative to be distorted in a particular way. And so they deconstruct their narratives in order to be able to deduce from them a more objective account of what actually happened.

In a way, by trying to interpret the things people say in the context of how innocent or upset he feels they are, Griffith is himself practicing a crude form of deconstructionism.

Griffith makes the complaint we so often hear about right-wing conservatives being underrepresented in the national public broadcasting networks of the UK and Australia. I think this is because their tendency to cling in a reactionary manner to outdated dogmas makes them less capable of commentating in a meaningful way about the changing realities of the world. (Just look at right-wing American commentators like Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter, who are not capable of any kind of coherent analysis and can only give in to their insecure need to spew venom.) They are part of the old world which is dying, not the newer, healthier world which is being born. Which is not to say that more left leaning journalists can’t sometimes be superficial.

Griffith says : “…finally, the totally dishonest, completely alienated, definitely autistic postmodernist movement; again, ‘autism’ is ‘a complex mental structure insuring against recurrence of…unthinkable anxiety’ — in this case, ‘anxiety’ about being extremely corrupted/upset/hurt/soul-damaged in your infancy and childhood.” Again we can see Griffith’s projection of his own situation onto the world, here in a particularly suggestive form.

Why would he feel that post-modernism, i.e deconstructionism, poses such a terrible threat to the world? Because his “liberating understanding of humanity” might be deconstructed. It is his “autistic” “complex mental structure” which is the only thing standing between himself and some terrible anxiety he experienced in his infancy or childhood. What that was we can only guess, but his tendency to see so many things as “an attack on innocence” is suggestive.

Death by Dogma

Griffith has been blind to the subtleties of these social phenomena, and has lumped them altogether as a “death by dogma” which would “crush the human face forever”, because he is seeing himself reflected in the mirror of the world. Those of us who are not blinded by our own delusions can see that, while there are some within these movements who dogmatically insist on restricting freedoms in favour of an idealist conception of how the world should be, this is the exception rather than the rule. It is Griffith who is promoting a rigidly idealism-demanding dogma, which, were we to fall for it, would indeed “crush the human face forever”. While I’m sure he believes in it himself, his “defence for humanity” is a fraud.

“The Abomination That Causes Desolation”

Griffith believes that “the abomination that causes desolation”  which the prophet Daniel warned about, and which was also referred to by Jesus, is a reference to what he terms “pseudo-idealism”, i.e. socialism, feminism, environmentalism, political correctness, post-modernism, etc.

I won’t deal with the Daniel version as that is pretty long and complicated.

Here is the passage where he cuts and pastes together bits from Matthew 24 & Mark 13, with his own extrapolations :

“Referring to ‘the sign…of the end of the age’, Christ said that ‘At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other [a great deal of upset will develop], and may false prophets [pseudo idealists claiming to be leading the way to peace and a new age of goodness and happiness for humans] will appear and deceive many people…even the elect [even those less alienated, still relatively sound and strong in soul, will begin to be seduced by pseudo idealism] — if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time…Wherever there is a carcass [the extremely upset], there the vultures [false prophet  promoters of delusion and denial to artificially make the extremely upset feel good] will gather. Because of the increase in wickedness [upset], the love of most will grow cold. So when you see the “abomination that causes desolation” spoken of through the prophet Daniel, standing where it does not belong [throwing out real religion and falsely claiming to be presenting the way to the human-condition free, good-versus-evil-deconstructed, post-human-condition, better, correct world] — let the reader understand — then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no-one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no-one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days of great distress [mindless dogma and its consequences] unequalled from the beginning of the world until now — and never to be equalled again. If those days had not been cut short [by the arrival of the liberating understanding of the human condition], no-one would survive’.

Griffith here uses this bit from Mark : “…So when you see the “abomination that causes desolation” spoken of through the prophet Daniel, standing where it does not belong…” But the equivalent passage in Matthew 24:15, says “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel…”

We’ve seen how Griffith is projecting his situation onto the world. We have also seen that idealism has been a thought virus which has been the source of all of humanity’s problems. It is thus “the abomination that causes desolation”. How is it “in the holy place”? Griffith identifies idealism with holism. The word “holy” means “whole” or “of the whole” and holism is the acknowledgement of wholes. But idealism and holism are incompatible. Idealism is dualistic - it is founded in the division of behaviour into “good” and “bad”. Holism is necessarily pragmatic, inclusive rather than exclusive.

So why would this be such a problem? If we were to be convinced by Griffith’s argument that idealism is in our genes, then we would have no defence against it and its corrosion of our self-acceptance, and thus our capacity for love. Destroy our capacity for love and you destroy the human race. To speak metaphorically we would have been branded by Satan for eternal damnation.

The Transformed Lifeforce Way of Living

Griffith’s answer to the question “where to from here” is what he calls “The Transformed Lifeforce Way of Living” - basically an appeal to repression and transcendence of our “upset” in deference to his view of what an ideal world should be like. He insists that this is not a new religion, because it is not deference to a deity but to “knowledge”, i.e. his crackpot theory.

When I became a “life member” of Griffith’s organisation it was called The Centre for Humanity’s Adulthood. Then it became The Foundation for Humanity’s Adulthood. At that time they were the subject of a current affairs program which, by implication, presented them as a cult. They fought a long legal battle to defend themselves against “defamation”. They won, at least on some key points. Later they changed their name again to The World Transformation Movement.

Ironically, in 1987, Stuart A. Wright, in his book Leaving Cults: The Dynamics of Defection, used the the term “World-Transforming Movements” to describe certain kinds of cults, including The Children of God, The Unification Church, and Hare Krishna.

This summary of some of the defining features of such organisations is worth thinking about :

Griffith says : “Regarding the degree to which we should each investigate these explanations, obviously it is necessarily to sufficiently verify to our own satisfaction that they are the liberating understandings of the human condition that the whole human race has been tirelessly working its way towards for some 2 million years — but we shouldn’t risk investigating them to the extent that we start to become overly exposed and confronted by the truths they reveal… The more intelligent and/or the more educated in the human-condition-avoiding, denial-based, mechanistic, reductionist paradigm, who pride themselves on being able to think and study and grasp new ideas, will initially be especially tempted to study these understandings beyond what their varying levels of security of self can cope with, but it won’t be long before everyone learns that such an approach is both psychologically dangerous and irresponsible and, in any case, unnecessary.”

As you can tell from my analysis here, I have looked deeply into these ideas. Griffith is not wrong about the psychological danger involved in doing so. I ended up in a mental hospital strapped down to a hospital bed after a suicide attempt. I was begging the doctors and nurses to kill me because I felt that the whole history of humanity was going to come to nothing entirely because of a failure on my part. Griffith’s ideas are incredibly toxic if you truly absorb them and take them on board. The combination of extreme idealism and the false frame of reference created by his attempt at explaining our psychology can easily put a person in a sanity-destroying double bind situation. The good news is that I gradually picked up the pieces of my shattered self, came to understand what was wrong with Griffith’s theory, and in so doing found security, happiness, freedom from depression (which had plagued me since my teens) and the creative inspiration to pursue my writing.

I highly recommend reading praising reviews of Griffith’s books and also watching the videos on his website in which members of the WTM talk about what his ideas mean to them. I think you will see evidence of a general tendency to praise his “understandings” to the roof, but with little evidence of a fluent understanding of them. I don’t blame them. Don’t go to hell if you can avoid it. For me it is fine. I can now study Griffith’s work all day with no problems, because I know which bits are truthful and which bits are not. In fact I understand Griffith’s work better than he does himself, because I am on the outside of his psychosis looking in. He has to be evasive of things which I don’t.

A Summing Up

What makes Griffith’s writing hard to dismiss is that there is so much truth in it.

He says : “Similarly, the Bible states that ‘the truth will set you free’ (John 8:32), and while we know this statement to be truth, the problem has been that all the partial truths — such as that humans are the most brutal and destructive animals to ever walk the earth — condemned our upset state, fuelling it further, which means that, ultimately, for the truth to genuinely set us free, it had to be the full truth that explains why humans are all good and not bad.”

The central problem with Griffith’s work is that his “defence for humanity” is not true. This means that he is bombarding us with what he calls “partial truths” which “condemn” us without having made it safe to do so. It may feel safe to him, because he doesn’t see himself as being in the category of any of those who might be “condemned”. He is not aggressive. He is not a materialist. He doesn’t recognise himself as being alienated. And he is certainly not a mother whose inability to love her child has rendered that child autistic. He is not being “condemned”, at least on a conscious level, by these grim facts. He feels that it is now safe for him to confront us with these hard to face facts and also idealistic expectations, because he has provided us with a compassionate dignifying understanding of why we are so fucked up, an explanation which “proves”  that we are all immensely heroic.

What he is trying to do is to provide a collective character armour for all of humanity. Even if it were not a bullshit explanation for our behaviour, what we need is not more armour. What we need is that our enemy be killed so that it is safe to leave our armour behind. And the enemy we have to kill is idealism. What we need is to liberate our capacity for love (including forgiveness). Idealism - such as the expectation that we should be “selfless” - is corrosive to our self-acceptance, our love of ourselves, and thus of our ability to love others. It is love (unconditional self-acceptance and acceptance of others) which will give us the ability to face all of those grim facts. Once a mother realises that her child doesn’t expect her to be perfect and that the cultivation of self-acceptance can heal any psychological damage she might inadvertently do to her child’s emotional make-up, she will be able to relax and open up to a fuller and more joyful loving relationship with that child. We have been too loaded down with grim facts while having the nourishment we need to face them sapped by idealistic expectations.

It is true that “the truth will set you free”, because it is our lies which imprison us and separate us from each other, but before we can become truthful we have to become unconditionally self-accepting, so that we are invulnerable to criticism or feelings of shame about those aspects of ourselves or our situation we have been trying to hide with those lies. And an accepting and forgiving attitude towards others also makes it easier for them to put aside their defences and be set free.

Photo from World Transformation Movement Facebook page

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Thoughts on Jeremy Griffith's "Freedom : The End of the Human Condition" - Part 18

“Born Again” “Pseudo-Idealism”

Let’s first look at the limited situation in which there is some truth to Griffith’s concept of “born again" “pseudo-idealism”.

What he is saying is that we have a genetic orientation to selflessness, but our developing mind has to defy its oppression and seek self-understanding which leads to anger, egocentricity and alienation. But if we become too corrupted by these qualities we transcend them (except alienation since to transcend alienation is to become more alienated) and adopt some form of “good” behaviour and convince ourselves that we are now an uncorrupted individual.

We have to look at this in terms of armouring. Many people whose initial form of character armour involves trying to compensate for their compromised self-acceptance by “proving” themselves in an aggressive, materialistic or combative way will eventually find that they can’t maintain it in the face of idealistic criticism, both from others and from the conscience they learned in childhood. So they will either shift their “proving myself” strategy to one of demonstrating their worth with good deeds or verbal support for a good cause. This may be a very dramatic change in which the whole basis of someone’s life reverses, or it may be only a superficial coating which coexists with much of the same aggressive, materialistic or combative characteristics which were there before. To really be healed and returned to our capacity for unconditional love we would have to abandon the battle to prove ourselves altogether in favour of unconditional-self acceptance. This is what Jesus meant when he talked about the need to be “born again”, but this is not what is happening in the situations Griffith is referring to.

In Griffith’s view of the world pretty much all of us are a bottomless pit of rage and corruption and therefore any attempts we make to do something positive about the problems we see around us are just signs of how “false/dishonest/‘phoney’/‘fake’/deluded” we are. Now there is some truth that doing what we feel to be right sometimes involves transcending selfish impulses or feelings of anger for a while. This is after all what Griffith himself has to do when he transcends his angry feelings about our non-ideal behaviour and expresses sympathy for our position.

But since I see no reason to believe we have a genetic orientation to selflessness, I see no reason to believe we have 2 million years of accumulated rage to transcend. We do accumulate rage to the extent that we have to repress it within our character armour, but anyone who does not undermine their self-acceptance by exposing themselves to too much corrupting idealism and provides themselves with plenty of outlets for their frustration, will find they don’t have all that much to transcend. Certainly not as much as Griffith himself who has been both exposing himself to extreme levels of corrupting idealism but also avoiding many of the normal healthy outlets for the frustration that must engender.

The most dramatic evidence of projection in Griffith’s writings is his views on the “pseudo-idealistic” movements.

First of all it is important to consider what we mean by “idealism”. Griffith emphasises the ideal of “selflessness”, but an ideal is any human concept of perfection. For the Nazis racial purity was an ideal. The Nazis were extremely idealistic especially in their worshipping of the beautiful body. Machismo is an ideal - the ideal of the perfect patriarchal male. And the conflict between the left wing and the right wing is not one between idealism and the need for freedom from the oppression of idealism. It is a conflict between two kinds of idealism which can be equally oppressive - the communal ideals of the left and the individualistic ideals of the right.

To really understand the social phenomena Griffith identifies as “pseudo-idealism” we need to recognise that the opposite of idealism is pragmatism. Pragmatism is an approach which puts aside all idealistic expectations in favour of a “whatever works” attitude.

Within each of these social phenomena - religion, socialism, feminism, the New Age movement, environmentalism, etc. - there are differing degrees and varieties of idealism and dogmatism, often conflicting with each other, existing alongside pragmatic approaches.

That Griffith can look at this complex chaotic diversity and see in it simply a dogmatic insistence on ideal behaviour and oppression of expression of contrary feelings or ideas, shows how he is seeing himself reflected in the mirror of the world. He is the dogmatist. He is the one insisting on us deferring to his personal conception of ideal behaviour (now that he has provided a bullshit “defence” for our having departed from it in the first place). His is the boot that would crush the human face forever if we were, en masse, to adopt his “Transformed Lifeforce Way of Living” rather than liberating ourselves by learning to cultivate unconditional self-acceptance.

It is true that all of these social movements have been missing a key ingredient for their success, but that key ingredient is not Griffith’s extreme idealism and bullshit “defence”, it is the cultivation of unconditional self-acceptance so that we can melt away our particular armours and thus be reconciled with those against whom our particular armours dictated that we be in conflict.

Keeping in mind that Griffith’s “defence for humanity” is bullshit that allows him, in his mind, to justify expressing his extremely idealistic criticism or all aspects of human behaviour, doesn’t it sound like he is really talking about himself when he says : “And since the lie they were maintaining was so great, they had to work very hard at convincing both themselves and others of it, which meant they were typically a strident, extremely intolerant, belligerent even fanatical advocate of their position.” You never know, they might even be intolerant of women wearing tights!

Selfishness is the natural self-directedness of the suffering individual. Griffith is probably the most selfish person in the world. While there are problems and insufficiencies in the way in which we are trying to address social and environmental problems, Griffth has come to see all of this as despicable because we are addressing ourselves to the world as a whole and not to his personal psychotic problem, which he feels should come first. (Of course that is not how he sees it because he is trapped within that psychosis.) But once we see the way that he is projecting his own situation onto the world, we can see that he is like Oscar Wilde’s selfish giant, not wanting the children to play in his personal garden. Essentially he is saying : “You can’t come into Paradise unless you are selfless.” He wants it all for himself. And that is a sign of how much he must be suffering. No wonder he has been through ten years of chronic fatigue syndrome! By clinging onto the poison of idealism he must have turned himself from William Blake’s Albion Rose to Crouched in Fear. To really understand his world view you have to recognise that he thinks we are all even more fucked up than he is, whereas, in truth, than can be no more fucked up person on the face of the planet than him.

Griffith's second book illustrated with William Blake's paintings - Crouched in Fear and Albion Rose

Burning in Hell

Griffith says : “Moses himself described how ‘The Lord spoke to you [the Israelite nation] face to face out of the fire […fire is a metaphor for the searing truth of Integrative Meaning] on the mountain. [This was only possible because] At that time I stood between the Lord and you to declare to you the word of the Lord, because you were afraid of the fire.’”

And in Genesis 3:24 : “After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”

Doesn’t this fit with my interpretation of Satan as being a personification of idealism? God (the personification of love and forgiveness) would not be represented by something which burns and destroys, like fire. The fires of Hell belong to the devil.

It would take someone fairly secure in self - fairly self-accepting - to confront the condemning ideals and thus be Satan’s mouthpiece as Moses was. But idealism is both the source of corruption and the flame in which we burn for the “sin” of having been corrupted by it. It is the ultimate negative feedback loop.

Jesus on the other hand was not a worshipper of the Devil like Moses. He was not an idealist. When the idealists tried to stone the woman caught in adultery, Jesus stopped them. He said, “Judge not that thou be no judged.” To judge others is to be an idealist - to hold them up to an ideal standard and find them wanting. Jesus message was a Godly one of love and forgiveness. Love is the opposite of idealism. It is all-accepting. It is the water that puts out Satan’s fire and rescues us from the Hell of idealistic condemnation. Unfortunately, after his death Jesus’ followers turned his healing philosophy into the largely Satanic church known as “Christianity”.

There is controversy now about the Bible’s attitude to homosexuality. Jesus said nothing about homosexuality positive or negative. Condemnation of homosexuality comes from the Satanic (i.e. idealistic) parts of the Bible - Leviticus and the letters of the Apostles. These parts of the Bible preach repression rather than love. Since God is love, those parts of the Bible are anti-God.

Abandoning the Battle to Find Understanding

Griffith says : “Yes, the born-again, pseudo idealistic strategy was both treacherous and extremely dishonest — traits that totally undermined humanity’s search for knowledge — because in campaigning against the battle to find knowledge you were leading humanity towards an extreme state of denial/alienation/separation from the truth/knowledge, when, in fact, humanity had to continue the battle to try to get closer to and ultimately reach the ultimate truth/knowledge/understanding of the human condition.”

Keeping in mind the principle of projection, we can see here that, on some deeper level, Griffith is aware that his theory is not the full truth needed to liberate him from his condition, but that, by dogmatically clinging to it anyway, and shutting down his search for a more accountable understanding, he is taking himself into an ever deeper state of alienation, both from truthfulness and from the world the rest of us inhabit.


Griffith says : That Jesus “realise[d] that he had to create a religion around his soundness; he had to suggest to people that through supporting and living through his soundness they could be ‘resurrected[ed]’ ‘from death to life.’”

This is the lie created and  perpetuated by the so-called Christian church. Jesus did not want to create a religion. He wanted to liberate the world from the obscene lie that was religion, i.e. deference to idealism, i.e. deference to Satan. His God was not the Satanic “God” of the old testament. Idealism is hatred. The God he preached was love. But the idealists of his day crucified him. He didn’t love the “ideals”. He loved those whom the idealists oppressed and called “sinners”. “Sin” is just another word for “selfishness” and selfishness is just the self-directedness of the suffering individual. It was the condemnation of idealism which made us sinners. So he recognised that the way to help us was to show that God is love, which forgives all, and thus expose the religion of his day as nothing but Satanism. The Satanists couldn’t stand to have their hypocrisy exposed, so they killed Jesus and, eventually, began preaching a new brand of Satanism in his name.

Of course, Jesus words were passed down, so a few rare individuals, such as William Blake, were able to see his true meaning.

Mental Illness

Griffith talks about the increase in mental illnesses in the world, e.g. depression, ADHD, autism… These are a product of a shortage of love, love from parents and self-love, etc. Love is acceptance. What we need is the unconditional acceptance of others, such as our parents if we are children, and unconditional acceptance of ourselves. What has always undermined our capacity for this kind of love, however, has been the conditions imposed by the kind of idealism that Griffith is dishonestly promoting. While we can’t blame our situation entirely on him, he has, for over 25 years, been pumping out his toxic sludge, and now he is looking around and crying about the fact that children are increasingly suffering from a sickness that comes from exposure to just that sludge. Children are not getting the love they deserve from their parents because their parents are not unconditionally self-accepting. And why are they not unconditionally self-accepting? Because they are weighed down with all this guilt about not being perfect parents. Griffith, with his obscene lie that children are born expecting an ideal world and a mother who is as close to the Virgin Mary as possible, is robbing children of love.

On some level does Griffith resent the innocence of children? It is as if he worshipped “innocence”. But when we worship something we split ourselves in two. The conscious part of us clings to that which is worshipped, but to maintain this state we have to push all contrary feelings about what we worship into our subconscious. The subconscious then grows more and more resentful of that which is consciously worshipped. The Catholic Church worships innocence in the form of the “virgin” Mary and the infant Jesus. So is it any wonder that it has generated so much sexual abuse of children?

The Return of the Repressed

So much that Griffth sees as signs that we are headed toward “terminal alienation” are things I see as positives - tattoos, violent video games, pornography, etc.

We have been repressing so much within our armouring. All of these cultural phenomena are healthy ways of letting it out, of opening up to honest free expression. Sure they can have their negatives, like anything. But those who are most frightened by them are those who are most armoured/repressed. They don’t want to admit that they have even more sickness inside them than is on display in these forms of expression.

But what is buried beneath all of this sickness, the seed of which was sowed in us by idealism’s attack on love, is our capacity for unconditional self-acceptance, i.e. love of ourselves, and thus love for all others.

Theatrical improvisation teacher Keith Johnstone says : Grotesque and frightening things are released as soon as people begin to work with spontaneity. Even if a class works on improvisation every day for only a week or so, then they start producing very ‘sick' scenes : they become cannibals pretending to eat each other, and so on. But when you give the student permission to explore this material he very soon uncovers layers of unsuspected gentleness and tenderness. It is no longer sexual feelings and violence that are deeply repressed in this culture now, whatever it may have been like in fin-de-siecle Vienna. We repress our benevolence and tenderness.

I talk about this subject in more detail in my post Sucked Into Paradise.

It is the censorious spirit of the idealist which would ask us to be dishonest about expressing the non-ideal side of our nature and thus remain forever alienated from our capacity for love.

Read Part 19 (The Final Part)

Thoughts on Jeremy Griffith's "Freedom : The End of the Human Condition" - Part 17

The Sex Object

I think Griffith is right about our species becoming neotenous - having childlike features - because of a selection for such features by males based on our association of those features with the neurosis-free loving child. But I disagree with his idea that this mutated into a selection of women with such features based on their appeal to some desire in us to destroy innocence.

He believes that men now use sex to attack innocence. A youthful appearance in a woman gives the appearance of innocence, so this attracts us to want to “fuck” her, i.e. destroy her innocence. But women are not really innocent. It is only the appearance of innocence which attracts us. And women, being in need of ego-reinforcement, cultivate this appearance of innocence - the sex object - in order to be able to feel good about their ability to attract such attention. And they come to believe the illusion and think they actually are innocent. And the more alienated we become the younger the sex object has to look, hence the skinny adolescent look in fashion-models which young women then try to emulate and become anorexic or bulimic.

I don’t think it works like that.

Armouring is the key to understanding the sex object. While some men become so insecure that they become violently misogynistic and rape women (and I don’t know that this has anything to with whether they look innocent or not), I don’t think that most men are attracted to women by a desire to destroy something in them. What we want is love. The neotenous features may be one thing which triggers in us a primal sense that a woman is unusually loving. This is a pre-rational response. I’m sure that most of us, if we thought about it, would admit that there is no guarantee that a pretty woman will be more loving, in fact some of them are egotistical because of their beauty. The aim though is to be loved. The problem is that armoured individuals have a strong need of love but an inability to return it because of the inflexibility of their armouring. Since men are often more armoured than women, the situation of men leaving a string of broken hearts behind them, is perhaps more common, though there are plenty of promiscuous women as well.

And the armouring is essentially conditions for feeling good about ourselves, so for some men the way of proving themselves is to sleep with lots of women, and the more beautiful they are the more impressed they can feel with themselves and the more impressed other men will be with them. So “conquest” can be a factor in armoured sexual behaviour, either in men or in women. And the cultivated sex object self can be a major part of the armouring of women for the same reason.

But, since there is no innocent genetic orientation to selflessness to be attacked, nothing very terrible is happening in human sexual behaviour except that we are experiencing great distress at times because of our inability to drop the armouring and love each other.

In an armour free world there would be nothing wrong with living the free love philosophy advocated by the hippies, because it is not the sharing of tender erotic pleasure which is damaging (quite the opposite, it is powerfully healing). What has always been the problem with our sexual lives is that we couldn’t come together without being bruised and battered by collision with each other’s armour.

It should also be said that an intense fixation on a particular standard of beauty is a symptom of neurosis. The less neurotic we are the more we open up to seeing beauty and erotic appeal in other body types. Fashion models may mostly be very skinny and neotenous, but the world of fashion is dominated by uptight neurotic individuals. In real life most of us have a far wider range of body-types and ages which we can find attractive. I think that, as we become less neurotically armoured, the range of individuals to whom we might feel sexually attracted opens up. What focuses and restricts our sexuality is our fixations and inhibitions. For instance I consider that the only reason I’m heterosexual rather than bisexual is that I retain an inhibition against sexual desire for another man. It is not because heterosexuality is a natural state.

As for eating disorders, I have a theory about how they may sometimes come about. A young girl is growing up. Her father’s mode of interaction with her has been fairly steady. But then she begins to develop sexually. This is liable to make her sexually desirable to her father. This makes him uncomfortable, so he avoids looking at her body. The girl, not understanding why her father now seems repulsed by her body, thinks there is something wrong with it - that she is getting fat. She starves herself. She desperately wants to feel good about herself. But the more she starves herself, the more everyone is repulsed by her, the more she thinks she is fat. It’s a negative feedback loop. I think this would be greatly helped by a more sex positive attitude. Encouraging masturbation as a way of showing direct appreciation for the body itself might take the emphasis away from an obsession with its appearance.


It is in his ideas on homosexuality that Griffith really goes off the deep end. First he has to explain why young women are less innocent than young boys. “Incidentally, since women are now highly adapted to sex it mean a virgin is not truly a virgin, she is not truly an innocent girl and thus completely ‘attractive’, because all women are now instinctively aware of ‘sex’.” So I suppose that is why women like sex, because they are born corrupted, after 2 million years of their ancestors having to put up with being fucked until they liked it! Then he says : “…if a man is extremely hurt and corrupted in his infancy and childhood, when he becomes sexually mature he will not be naive enough to believe that women are still innocent and will not, therefore, find them sexually attractive. The last bastion of ‘attractive’ innocence for such men is younger men, because they are not as exposed to sexual destruction as women have historically been. To explain the effeminate mannerisms particular to male homosexuality, if you have had your soul, which is your core strength, destroyed in childhood, then taking on the extremely difficult male role of having to fight against the ignorance of the soulful, idealistic world would be an untenable position that would make the female position of not having to fight a much more preferential option.”

First of all, what is this about women not being sexually attractive to us if we know they aren’t innocent? Why do so many of us guys like jacking off while watching women act like total whores, if a belief in their innocence is necessary for us to be sexually attracted to them?

Secondly, who says that homosexual desire acts only in the direction of youth? Many older homosexuals have plenty of lust for each other.

Many homosexuals are effeminate (as are some heterosexuals), but is being effeminate really an easier path? Quentin Crisp was a very effeminate homosexual who was repeatedly bashed for this behaviour, yet he proudly continued with it. And Francis Bacon had to take the horse whip. Often, far from being a cowardly behaviour, effeminacy has been a brave defiance of the pressure to play the macho patriarchal game. The cowardice (insecurity) lies with the armoured males who are so threatened by this behaviour that they feel the need to violently punish it.

My view is that we have an inborn potential for bisexuality. The bonobos practice bisexuality. It makes sense. We are motivated by the pleasure principle. Rubbing genitals with either gender can produce such pleasurable feelings. Some of us do grow up to be bisexual. Others adapt to the social expectation to be heterosexual. And others fixate on homosexuality because of an encounter with homophobia in our society. Because our society is less tolerant of same-sex desires, someone who feels such desires, perhaps, initially, as well as heterosexual desires, may fixate on those desires because they are something about which they are in need of finding acceptance. In the same way, a little boy who is punished for dressing up in his sister’s dress may grow up to be a transvestite, because his psyche has fixated on an instance of withheld acceptance.

I may be heterosexual myself, but I love homosexuality. I love homosexual culture and even homosexual pornography. Seeing people sharing their own particular kind of pleasure and expressing themselves freely in their own unique way fills me with joy.

Snuff Movies

He says : “However, because there has been no honesty about the existence of the different levels of upset and alienation amongst humans, they [relatively innocent girls] can be deceived by men who are much more upset and, therefore, much more sexually advanced down ‘the rungs of the perversion ladder’ (where one is holding hands, two is kissing, three is touching her breast, etc, etc, etc, to the extent that some people became so horribly psychologically sick and perverted that they derived excitement from watching ‘snuff movies’ of people being killed — yes, sexual depravity is an accurate measure of alienation).”

Oh, dear. Better not hold hands with anyone or the next thing you know the pair of you will be watching snuff movies together!

By the way, nobody has ever actually found a real snuff movie. It was a myth created by reactionary anti-pornography campaigners.

Remember Titus 1:15 :

“To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.”

How corrupted must somebody be if even holding hands is not pure to them?

Women in Tights

He says : “…it’s not commonly acknowledged that suits were invented for men so they could hide their big guts, while dresses were invented for women so they could accentuate their waists and breasts and conceal their big bottoms and thighs, but, while men still wear coats, everywhere in Western society now women have forsaken skirts for trousers, and even tights, as if their role of inspiring men with their beauty no longer matters. This is, in truth, yet another illustration of women’s lack of awareness of the nature of the struggle that the human race has been involved in — and of the irresponsibility of feminism, which encouraged women not to ‘march with her regiment.’ Women’s role has understandably become unbearable for them but the battle to find understanding still had to be won.”

Well, I don’t know. I get a lot of inspiration out of the sight of a nice juicy female bottom clad in tights. Thank you feminists!

The Ultimate Thought

He quotes George Seaver : “The ultimate thought, the thought which holds the clue to the riddle of life’s meaning and mystery, must be the simplest thought conceivable, the most natural, the most elemental, and therefore also the most profound.”

He says of himself : “Basically, I learnt to trust in and take guidance from my truthful instinctive self or soul. I learnt to think honestly, free of alienated, intellectual bullshit, and all the answers, all the insights that I have found, and there are many hundreds of them, a breakthrough insight in almost every paragraph, were found this way. I have so perfected the art of thinking truthfully and thus effectively that you can put any problem or question in front of me to do with human behaviour and I can get to the bottom of it, answer and solve it.”

If this is true, why is his writing so convoluted and his “explanations” of human behaviour so reliant on crude stereotypes, which just happen to conform to the norms of the society in which he grew up? I think he is too afraid to really look at modern social culture in detail for fear that his precious “innocence” will be contaminated. That isn’t strength. That is weakness. That isn’t security. That is insecurity.

I’m not a biologist, but is not my writing about psychology simpler and more illuminating of the world than his?

If I were going to take the challenge set by Seaver I would express the simplest thought this way - Criticism makes us worse. Acceptance makes us better.

Griffth takes a whole unwieldy book to provide his solution to the problem of the human condition. Mine only takes 8 words. Who has the better ability to think simply, clearly and insightfully?

I have no genetic program for selflessness in me. I don’t feel the suffering of the people of the world. I don’t feel the suffering of the animals. I don’t feel any of that. My interest is entirely in my own well-being. But my well-being, my capacity to experience all of life’s pleasures, is dependent on the psychological healing of the world. I don’t feel others suffering, but it would make me very happy to see that suffering healed. To see the depressed smile again. To see the lonely find love. To see the animals and plants coming back. To see the sickness of shame lifted from the bliss of the erotic. I want to live in a world free from from all condemning idealism. A world where everyone is free to be as they want to be.

Am I being honest? I leave it for you to decide. Do I hide my shortcomings? Do I hide those things about myself that another person might criticise?

Things become very complicated when you begin to use words to hide behind instead of to reveal yourself.

Thoughts on Jeremy Griffith's "Freedom : The End of the Human Condition" - Part 16

Mistaking Satan for God

God and Satan are two mythological figures. God is our personification of the creative principle of the universe, which in our own species is manifested as love. Satan is seen as the originator of evil behaviour, and yet he is recognised as having come from God, as having been one of God’s “fallen angels”.

Our capacity for reason is clearly a product of the creative principle of the universe (God), but it brought with it the distinction between “good” and “evil” which led to the destructive mind virus we call “idealism”. Love requires unconditional acceptance, but idealism made our acceptance conditional and thus gradually eroded our capacity for love and sowed the seeds of conflict.

If idealism is what brought evil into the world, then Satan is a mythological way of referring to idealism.

In our increasingly insecure state we recognised that we were out of harmony with the theme of life - i.e. love, but by feeling guilty about that, by giving in to Satan’s whispered suggestion that embracing idealism was the way back to harmony with God, rather than recognising that God works precisely by refusing to judge or to expect perfection, we went down a dark path, one in which we would quickly come to adopt Satan as our God.

People often wonder why there is such a difference between the judgemental, jealous, condemning God of the Old Testament, and the forgiving God spoken of by Jesus and of which it is said : “God is love.”

This is because the God which cast Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, who drowned the world in a flood, etc., was really Satan. Of course these are mythological events, but the point is that they are stories about a harsh judger of humanity, and that judger of humanity has been what William Blake referred to as “the accuser”, i.e. the originator of destructive behaviour, the enemy of the real God (love). And to the degree that we have worshipped that God we have been Satan worshippers.

Blake expressed this in the Epilogue to his poem Gates of Paradise :

"To The Accuser Who is The God of This World
Truly My Satan thou art but a Dunce
And dost not know the Garment from the Man
Every Harlot was a Virgin once
Nor canst thou ever change Kate into Nan
Tho thou art Worshipd by the Names Divine 
Of Jesus & Jehovah thou art still
The Son of Morn in weary Nights decline
The lost Travellers Dream under the Hill."

If we can throw off idealism (the habit of standing in judgement of ourselves or others) then there is no need to worship God. We can be God, we can be love personified.


Griffith’s view that we have a genetic instinct towards selflessness which criticised our attempts to self-manage, means that he sees the attempt to find understanding of the world and ourselves as “a battle against the ignorance of our instinctive self”. Because this was “a battle” he feels that it naturally fell to men, and because women are biologically nurturers, and thus aligned with “our instinctive self”, it brought about a rift between the sexes which required the institution of patriarchy, so that the men could pursue the battle to find understanding with support rather than interference by the women.

I don’t think this is at all what happened. I see no evidence that we have a genetic instinct for selflessness which criticises us. However, as I’ve outlined previously, conflict arising from the requirements of the nurturing role provided by the women and the group protector role provided by the men, would have led to the distinction being made between “good” and “bad” behaviour - aggressive vs. nurturing - and thus the thought virus of idealism came into being.

Armouring is our defence against criticism. Since the men would have been more vulnerable to criticism because theirs was the aggressive role, they had to become more armoured. And it was a negative feedback loop. The more armoured they became the more criticism they were subjected to because of their relative lack of responsiveness and generosity to others.

This situation progressed until society became patriarchal. The armour is a form of control - it protects us against threats from without and within. A lot of repression is involved. A lot is bottled up within the armour. And since we project our inner battles onto the outside world, the more desperately embattled an individual is in their armour, and thus the more self-control they need to keep it from breaking down, the more they also feel the need to control the behaviour of those around them which resonates with that internal threat. And so the most armoured individuals came to exercise control over society. The more embattled the men in charge of a society the more oppressed the women in that society will be. It takes a secure, i.e. relatively armour-free, man to not feel threatened by a woman’s freedom.

I don’t think the need to find understanding, in general, comes into it. Clearly an understanding of our psychology, particularly the relationship between idealistic criticism and armouring, was needed. But I don’t know that men were necessarily in any better position to find that understanding then women. And the search for general understanding is something which can be pursued by anyone with a functioning brain irrespective of their gender.

So I see patriarchy not as a retrospectively justified strategy in the journey toward self-knowledge, rather I see it as a symptom of an unavoidable mental illness which occurred along the way.

Feminism’s critique of patriarchy and defence of a woman’s right to perform any role in society is fundamentally sound. The only problem is that, since the role of patriarchy was as a form of armouring, and armouring is a defence against criticism, feminism didn’t exactly make it easier for men to become less patriarchal. It is the practice of unconditional acceptance (except of destructive behaviour towards others) that makes a world of equality possible.

By contrast, Griffith’s approach to healing is to try to demonstrate that the patriarchal role has been a heroic one, necessary to the salvation of the human race from the human condition, but one which can now disappear because understanding of the human condition has been achieved. But to tell someone they are a hero is surely a reinforcement of their armouring. What heals is to be made to know that one is simply acceptable. It is the difference between trying to repair someone’s self-esteem, which needs always to be maintained, and encouraging them to leave the self-esteem economy altogether.


According to Griffith : “Unable to explain their behaviour to women, men were left in an untenable situation: they couldn’t just stand there and accept women’s unjust criticism of their behaviour — they had to do something to defend themselves — but because women reproduced the species, men couldn’t kill women the way they destroyed animals, and so instead men violated women’s innocence or ‘honour’  through rape. Men perverted sex, as in ‘fucking’ or destroying, making it discrete from the act of procreation. What was being fucked, violated, destroyed, ruined, degraded or sullied was women’s innocence. The feminist Andrea Dworkin recognised this underlying truth when she wrote that ‘All sex is abuse’.”

Here we see the real irrationality coming out in Griffith’s thinking. Because his own sexual desires are a threat to his “innocent good little boy” persona, he views sex as essentially an “attack on innocence.” Now it is true that women don’t like to have sex, or anything else, forced upon them. That is an attack. But he is assuming here that recreational sex could only occur if it were forced onto women. He is saying that an innocent woman has no desire for erotic pleasure. He talks about ‘honour”, but surely the concept of sexual honour is a product of a sexually repressive society. “A good and proper woman doesn’t want to do those beastly things. She just lays back and thinks of England.” I can imagine that many women will find this attitude insulting. And when he quotes from Andrea Dworkin he fails to point out that she was a lesbian who was molested by a man in a movie theatre at the age of nine.

He says : “Well, sex as humans have been practising it has similarly been extremely offensive to our instinctive self or soul, and has caused the same ‘emotion-induced’ shock to our soul and thus temporary ‘blackout’ in our mind, as this study found : ‘Research suggests that when shown erotic or gory images, the brain fails to process images seen immediately afterward. This phenomenon is known as “emotion-induced blindness.’”

That doesn’t seem terribly significant to me. If we see something which induces a strong emotional reaction in us then our mind remains focussed on that for a while before being able to focus on something else. I’m sure that the degree of this response would be lessened in individuals like myself who are very desensitised to erotic and gory imagery. I don’t think it has anything to do with some sensitive innocent instinctive self. I’m sure that, if you met up with an old friend in the street, it would take you a while, as you walked away after talking to them, to really open up to concentrating on the world around you, because your emotion had drawn your attention away from your environment.

And the degree of disturbance which erotic or gory imagery has on the individual is generally based on how repressed that individual is. If we are repressing a lot of sexual desires within us, then erotic images are liable to be disturbing to us as they resonate with what we are repressing. On the other hand, a child watching the same image would probably view it with untroubled curiosity or amusement, because he or she does not yet have the desires required to resonate with what is seen. And gory footage will be most disturbing to someone who is repressing a lot of anger, as the violence resonates with their repressed feelings of hostility.

He says : Humans don’t remember sexual episodes very well and the reason we don’t is because sex, as currently practised, is a violation of our soul and we don’t want to remember such violation.

I don’t know what evidence he is basing this on. I haven’t had much sex in my life, but I think I remember those episodes better than a lot of other things. My view of the soul and Griffith’s seem quite opposed. I feel that masturbating to pornography is one of the things which nurtures my soul, providing some healing from the soul-crushing repression of the erotic which is the norm in our society.

He goes on : “The main point being made here, however, is that sex became a way of attacking the innocence of women, the result of which was that women’s innocence was oppressed and, to a degree, they tragically came to share men’s upset.”

I think that it is true that women became armoured as a result of macho retaliations to their criticism of men, but I don’t think sex was a driving force in this. As we become armoured, free erotic sex becomes channelled, egotistical and sometimes aggressive sex, but the development of the armouring as a response to criticism is the driving factor, not the sex. In fact, orgasms have a tendency to temporarily release us from our armouring, hence the expression “the little death”, i.e. death of the ego.

Griffith’s attempts to describe and explain human sexual behaviour and psychology are spectacularly off-base, but unfortunately they have the ability to seem credible to some people because they fit with the sexually repressive ideas, often religiously based, which have historically warped our society.