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, I-Tunes 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 470 ***** out of ***** ratings on U.S. I-Tunes.

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.

Jesus

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)

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