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 457 ***** 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 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.

Homosexuality

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.

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