Annabelle West's Reviews > Freedom: The End of the Human Condition

Freedom by Jeremy Griffith
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it was amazing

You’ve struck gold! Buy this book ☺

This is a high quality read no doubt about it. Powerful and enduring; it answers every question you could ever ask about yourself or someone else. It is based on science but is not devoid of soul or art because in this book Art and Science are reconciled with wonderful well-known quotes and examples to bring home the truth of the explanation.
Essentially it as an explanation of the division and conflict between our soul and intellect that brings about upset in every human being BUT with an understanding of this battle we can bring about compassion for our upset and guilt, and realise that all is not what it seems. This really does explain how corrupted humans have become but it defends us and gives us the power back to fulfil real human potential!
Something amazing that this book Freedom will make you realise is that we are all enduring a heroic journey, there has been reason and purpose in the madness, there is reason for why we know it should be different, and that humans are the heroes in the journey to champion knowledge... of which knowledge is now found!
With understanding of the 'human condition' a new peaceful and transformed world can return as we once knew it… in the back recesses of the mind. However without honesty and compassion for our dark side there will never truly be the change we all want because there won’t be the reason and true defense for our madness. You think that is a big claim or a bit heavy? Well hell yes but this book delivers the answers and explanation to this claim that will leave you thinking and knowing; the human condition really has been solved. Holy %@#$”….we’re free. “Eureka” I’ve struck gold!
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
October 17, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read (Other Paperback Edition)
October 17, 2014 – Shelved (Other Paperback Edition)
August 6, 2020 – Shelved

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Aussiescribbler Aussiescribbler Are we a psychologically troubled species? Are we ego-embattled? Do we need to find a unifying conceptual framework where we can come together again from our increasingly polarised world views? Does a solid grounding for the individual and the society rely on the nurturing of the child? Does a healthy society within which this can take place require self-accepting individuals - i.e. those who feel free of the kind of criticism, including self-criticism, which makes us angry, ego-centric and unable to think truthfully?

I think the answer to these questions is “Yes”.

But all of that has to be separated from the question of whether Griffith’s theory about us having a dictatorial instinctive orientation toward selflessness which is the irritant that causes the embattlement of the ego is correct.

And, even if this theory were true - which I am unconvinced that it is - each and every extrapolation Griffith makes from that central concept has to be assessed on its own against evidence. Even if he were right about “love indoctrination”, he might be wrong about autism or sex or Jesus.

One of the defining features of pseudo-science is confirmation bias - having a theory and then looking for evidence to support it. It is very hard to resist this when you have a grand theory of human behaviour. When a theory is about a very limited phenomena, it is much easier to think of ways to attempt to prove it wrong, and it is in trying to do this and being unable to that the theory gains credibility.

Art and science can come together, but only by being true to themselves. Science is evidence based and testable. It can never be based on what simply feels right - “don’t we just know deep down that this is true” is not science. Really, art and science are not in conflict. Science is how we explore what is objectively real, while art is how we express how we feel about our situation. Science may help to explain some aspects of art, why the senses and the brain respond as they do to forms of representation. And art, involving the free play of the imagination, can be a source of hypotheses later tested by science.

On the subject of art, it is interesting that Griffith sees Francis Bacon’s paintings as being a particularly honest depiction of the human condition but fails to point out that Bacon’s father had him horsewhipped because of his effeminacy. Is it any wonder he expressed such self-disgust in his self-portraits? This doesn’t undermine Griffith’s identification of Bacon’s paintings with the human condition. Perhaps being born expecting an ideal world and finding something very different is the equivalent of being hated by one’s father and horse whipped by one of his employees, but it would be interesting to hear how Griffith would interpret this wider context. Too often it seems as if he is only interested in that aspect of a person’s life or work which he can use to illustrate his theory.

Another example of this comes in his discussion of religion. He talks a lot about Moses as if he were a real person, not discussing the fact that most Bible scholars recognise that he was a mythological figure who was most likely a composite of a number of historical figures whose identities are lost to us.

Science is very much under threat at the moment from the postmodernism-derived Social Justice Theory. We are told that “science is sexist” and “reason is a tool of white supremacy”. The attempt is to replace reason and evidence with dogma. Griffith warned about this, but it seems to me that he is doing the same thing. Accusing a fellow scientist who has a competing theory to your own of being “the anti-christ” is the behaviour of a dogmatist. A true scientist tries to win the debate with evidence, not personal abuse. The fight against the dogma of Social Justice Theory will be fought by others who are not hamstrung by their own dogma and can smoothly and flexibly use reason to defend reason

It is interesting how we often can see a problem in the world around us while failing to see that we are it’s mirror image. Griffith rightly points out the human norm at the moment is to be ego-embattled, but becomes embattled within his own dogmatic cul-de-sac.

What I would love to see is more open discussion of these ideas, rather than the echo chamber one finds on the WTM discussion boards. Free individuals walk boldly out into the world and engage with those who view the world differently from themselves. I could be a lot freer, a lot less insecure, but my assessment of the freedom of those who still adhere to Griffith’s worldview is based on your willingness to engage with critics. Dogmatists don’t want to do that. Social Justice Theory types don’t want to do that. But you guys are supposed to be free.

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