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Monday, September 25, 2017

Freedom: The End of the Human Condition

Thank goodness I didn't have to
pay the $16 for this monster.

This book comes off like a pseudo-scientific version of a David Koresh sermon - one of those all-nighters where the cult leader harangues his followers spending hours telling him he's going to tell them some great and magnificent "truth" and that all these other so-called experts are against him because they can't handle the truth, but if they'll just listen to him, the truth will be explained. Then he never quite gets to the truth and tells you that you'll have to come back tomorrow night and he'll explain the rest of it. Griffiths spends the first two chapters of his book telling you what he's going to tell you and why you won't like it and probably won't understand it unless you read the book two or three more times, but he promises that that in chapter 4 paragraph 7 or something, the truth of the human condition will be explained and will set you free from guilt. Of course if you go to chapter 4, paragraph 7 you'll be treated to another repetitive, name-dropping, collection of confident assertions that the "human condition" is clearly explained or will be in Chapter 8 or was in Chapter 3. And then Griffith sets sail on another of those boundless oceanic sentences from which my college grammar instructor would be hard pressed to extract a subject and predicate from somewhere within the tangle of hyphens (Griffith loves his hyphenated words), semi-colons and parentheticals.

I got the impression that he was leading up to the idea that our natural state was running around naked and not having much sex and living as a cooperative member of the collective. He mangles up a mish-mash of academic sounding references to Plato, Darwin, Moses and a panoply of religious and scientific characters, flinging them at you so quickly and in such a disorganized way, it's like stepping into the mind of someone with severe bipolar experiencing an almost psychotic manic episode. Having two bipolar family members, I recognize the pressured speech and the skirting along the edges of word salad that characterizes the prose in this book, pretending to be academic brilliance. 

This gets my lowest rating for
poor writing, muddled logic
and creepifying content.
Hey, Mom, look at all the citations! This must be brilliant because I can hardly read it. Of course, Griffith dodges that problem by starting out claiming that people are so resistant to knowing the truth about the mystical "human condition" which is the root of all our problems, that we may find that we cannot understand what we are reading. (see David Koresh, Reverend Moon, the Mahareshi Mahesh Yogi, Charles Manson, Ervil LeBaron, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Jim Jones and Marshall Applewhite)

I'm not saying Griffith is going to go off and commit human sacrifices, but the style of the book has and website, his array of followers who shout his praises and who actually vow that Griffith's brilliant work is going to "save the world", give me pause. Of course, as a Christian I follow someone who claimed he would save the world (at least the bit that wanted to be saved). I suppose a fairer comparison between Griffith and a similar leader would be to compare him to L. Ron Hubbard. He started out with claims that he could save the world and a scientific sounding book. I tried once to read "Dianetics", Hubbard's book and Scientology's "bible". Hubbard's reminds me a lot of Griffith's work.

Will understanding the "human condition" save the world from war and stuff? I don't think so. Okay, confuse the world maybe, but save it? I'm not sure letting our reasoning mind assent to our stumbling around naked, merging with the collective and following our instincts is going to solve any world problems. Of course, I suppose if the enlightened folk who belong to Griffith's gang of acolytes are put in charge, we won't have to actually think about such things anymore.

This book has a creepy sort of vibe to it. Griffith would say it's because I am in denial and cannot deal with the truth. Jack Nicholson should play Griffith in the movie. Sorry guys, I don't think this awkward and oppressive book solves anything. I just don't.

© 2017 by Tom King

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