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 611 ***** out of ***** ratings on U.S. iBooks.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Thoughts on Jeremy Griffith's "Freedom : The End of the Human Condition" - Part 2


Griffith claims that one reason for the rejection of his ideas by mainstream scientists is their opposition to teleological concepts in biology. Teleology is the idea that something has an inherent purpose or that a process is goal-orientated. The more popular view in biology is that evolution is essentially random.

This seems to me to be a false dichotomy. If the processes of nature were completely random we would see no order. Why are we functioning organisms rather than just a pile of assorted atoms or even just unstructured energy? Clearly there are orderly principles at the centre of how matter develops. These principles will express themselves were conditions allow. Life won’t form at the heart of the sun, but it will form on a planet which happens to have a suitable environment for it to do so.

But is this process “goal-oriented”? What do we mean by that term? Let’s use an everyday human example. Building a house is goal-oriented behaviour. You imagine the house you want, you get someone to draw up plans, you hire people to do the building, etc. and, all going well, you reach the goal you had in your head at the beginning of the process. But what if you want to throw a great party? You don’t imagine exactly what that party is going to be like, write a script, hand it out to your friends and ask them to perform it. That would be a terrible party. What you do is to provide the venue and necessary ingredients - such as alcohol and balloons - and then the success of the party depends on the degree to which the attendees are able to open up to their inherent capacity to be sociable. This could be considered loosely goal-orientated behaviour, in that there is an intention - to have a great party - but it is achieved not by focusing on the goal but rather forgetting the goal and surrendering to the potential of the present. Goals are always in the future, and to be goal-orientated we have to be thinking about the future.

When we say that something has a purpose we need to specify to whom or what it has that purpose. Words have a purpose to human beings. We use them to communicate. They have no purpose to rocks.

So if life itself has a purpose, to whom or what does it have that purpose? It may have a retrospective purpose to us as the process which led to our existence. And our own life, if nothing else, has the purpose of giving us something to do before we die. But can we say that life itself had a purpose prior to the appearance of purpose-acknowledging reasoning beings? Those who believe in a conscious purpose-acknowledging reasoning God have their own answer, but what about those of us who do not believe in such a creature?

Is it not possible that purpose-less activity leads to something which fills the products of that activity with wonder? Snowflakes are beautiful in their orderliness, but they long pre-existed we humans who are capable of appreciating that beauty. They meet our desire for beauty, but they did not come into being for that purpose.

My view is that the universe is an unpredictably chaotic deterministic system - an inevitable unfolding of an intrinsic potential for order. The more complex the forms of order the more limited are the conditions of their development, so highly developed forms of order such as ourselves are extremely rare. And movement from one level of order to the next higher level of order entails a period of disorder. Thus, for we humans, the period between our origin and the next stage, a unified humanity, has been a long period of disorder. This has been inevitable because the process of the development of order in the universe is a blind-process. It is an improvisation.

Regarding ourselves we can talk about purpose and goal-orientation as we have the ability to reason. We do have our individual or collective purposes and goals. But when we express our greatest creative potential is when we improvise, when we open ourselves up to other individuals, to our environment, to ideas or information, and let what happens happen without pre-suppositions. To me this is the real meaning of love and love is, within we humans, the expression of the principle of order-creation that brought into being all that we see in the universe. This is why we say “God is Love.”

This differentiation between improvisation and goal-orientation is central to the psychological healing of the human race. By practicing and encouraging unconditional self-acceptance we can cure the human condition at its source and liberate ourselves to open up to the collective improvisation through which a united humanity comes into existence. Our future self grows out of our current self, manifesting its unique potential when its impediments are melted away. The process by which this happens is not centralised in the leadership of any one individual, or even a group of individuals, it is an anarchic rather than hierarchical process, characterised by free expression rather than conformity.

By contrast, Griffith is like the individual who hands everyone a script for the perfect party. He believes we should transcend our “upset selves” and devote our lives to the dissemination of his “understandings” of our condition, so that future generations can grow up in a more psychologically healthy way by being born into a world where people are not living out their “upset” and can explain it to that new generation by handing them a copy of his book.

There is a passage from the Gospel According to Matthew which Griffith likes to quote. In this book he quotes only this much of it - “as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west…” and he provides this “explanation” “[it will be very frightening…].” He does this the middle of pulling together a bunch of quotes from Matthew 24.

Just out of curiosity, lets look at the context of that quote :

“‘So if anyone tells you, “There he is, out in the desert.” do not go out; or, “Here he is, in the inner rooms,” do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.” Matthew 24:26-28.

Griffith does also quote that last sentence, interpreting “a carcass” as “[the extremely upset]” and “the vultures” as “[false prophet promoters of ‘feel-good’ delusion, escapism and denial].”

If we look at the passage about the lightning it is clear that it is being used as an analogy for something which is highly visible and not concentrated in one place. If Jesus had wanted to let people know that this would be something frightening, surely he would have said something like : “Just as a loud clap of thunder scares the shit out of you, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

Regarding the passage about the vultures, I have a different interpretation. There are currently two worlds existing simultaneously, an old world which is dying and a new world which is being born. Love and free expression characterise the new world. These fresh green shoots grow out of unconditional self-acceptance. The unconditionally self-accepting individual feels no need to respect the authority of the old rigid dogmas and hierarchical social structures which characterise the love-repressing old world. This old world is the corpse, and those who continued to feed off of it are those whose lack of self-acceptance makes them too insecure to let go of old things and step into the new world.

I think what Jesus is saying is that we shouldn’t look for a particular individual who will be our liberator. If people say that a liberator has come we should not believe them. Because the liberation of the human race, when it occurs, will not have a centre, but will spread quickly like lightning across the sky. It will be a decentralised process. It won’t be characterised by people gathering around belief systems like vultures around a corpse, but through a break down of the dogmas which have previously divided us.

The new world is a secret revolution. Our attention tends to centre on egotists, so the unconditionally self-accepting individual is almost invisible. Immune to the world’s psychic poisons they spread a healing influence through their capacity for acceptance. There will come a time when the effects of this revolution will become visible to all. Because it has been spreading invisibly (helped no doubt by the internet), when it does become visible it will become visible all over the world simultaneously, like that lightning.

Read Part 3

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