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Copyright © 1997, Jay Ligda.  All rights reserved.  Published by Humans in the Universe and Jay Ligda.

The Healing of the Human Condition

     One may ask: "Why is it that we are so willing to give up our humanity for security"? "Why is it that we blindly follow our often corrupt leaders causing a great deal of spiritual torment, when the solution lies in our individual freedom?"

     One answer is that we simply do not understand our humanity.  Instead of understanding, we create scapegoats to bear the burden of our suffering.  The Buddhists say that trying to teach the joy of humanity is similar to a frog trying to explain to the tadpole what land is like; the tadpole has no basis for the comparison because its reality is limited to the water and it can not see the fuller picture of reality that includes land.

      Another answer is that in order for us to expand our awareness, we would have to constantly face our insecurity and challenge our identity, which is a great deal of work and causes suffering.  It is much easier for us to follow the beaten path.  In his book The Road Less Traveled, Scott Peck talks about human laziness being equivalent to the force of entropy "pushing us down and holding us all back from our spiritual evolution" (273).  We will do almost anything to prevent from facing the fear involved with our growth.  This phenomena, Erich Fromm calls our "escape from freedom."  We will continue this escape from freedom until the suffering caused by not experiencing the freedom exceeds the suffering that growth may cause.  Just as in physics, an object under two opposing forces will move in the direction of the greater force, humans will move in the direction of the least amount of suffering.  The result, according to Erich Fromm is that man "remains a child when he should become an adult" (69).

      The opposing force to entropy, is syntropy, the force guiding us in evolution.  Peck calls this force "love," which he defines as: "The will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth" (81).       It can be understood that everybody on this planet is doing the best that they can with what they have.  If we as individuals want to see others act more humanely we must be able to understand what it is that they are missing and provide it for them.  The only way that can be done is through our understanding of our own selves.  Our often-corrupt leaders seem to be missing wisdom and/or courage.  No matter how angry or disillusioned we become with them, by attacking them, we just back them back up against a wall where they have no choice but to fight their way out.  They need to be provided with the understanding and support so they may develop this wisdom and courage.

      Only through love, support, and community will we lessen the suffering of growth, and thereby allow a greater chance of movement in that direction.  Without this love and support, we will be forced into short term solutions to our suffering resulting in greed, addictions, and hatred.

by Jay Ligda

(This work is a all or part of an original work first published/written for Humboldt State University, I.T. 492:  Senior Project., May1991.)


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References

  • Fromm, E. (1968).  The Revolution of Hope:  Toward a Humanized Technology.  New York, NY:  Harper & Row.
  • Peck, S. (1973).  The Road Less Traveled:  A New Psychology of Love Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth.  New York, NY:  Simon & Schuster.

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