The environment is promoted everywhere as the great ‘Save the World’ issue, BUT the truth is we have only been focusing on the symptoms of the destruction of our world and the disintegration of society that is happening everywhere we look, not the cause, which is us humans—our egocentric, competitive, selfish and aggressive behaviour. And the deeper truth is, to change that behaviour and, by so doing, truly save the world, we needed to find the reconciling, redeeming and thus rehabilitating biological explanation of our seemingly-highly-imperfect so-called HUMAN CONDITION! As the author Richard Neville so accurately summarised our species’ plight: ‘we humans are locked in a race between self destruction and self discovery’ (Sydney Morning Herald, 14/10/86).
The reality has been that until we found the restoring, compensating and thus healing truthful explanation of the human condition we could hardly afford to admit that the issue even existed, let alone acknowledge that it is THE underlying, core, real question in all human life that we needed to solve if we were to save the world. Yes, are humans good or are we possibly the terrible mistake that all the evidence seems to unequivocally indicate we might be? While it’s undeniable that humans are capable of great love, we also have an unspeakable history of greed, environmental indifference, brutality, rape, torture, murder and war.
Despite all our marvellous accomplishments, we humans have been the most savage and destructive force that has ever lived on Earth—and the eternal question that we needed to answer if we were to actually save the world has been ‘why?’ Even in our everyday behaviour, why have we humans been so competitive, selfish and aggressive when clearly the ideals of life are to be the complete opposite, namely cooperative, selfless and loving? In fact, why are we so ruthlessly competitive, selfish and brutal that human life has become all but unbearable and we have nearly destroyed our own planet?!
Environmental problems are certainly real enough but the fact is, to save the world we had to resolve the issue of our less-than-ideally-behaved human condition that has been causing all the environmental issues and social problems that plague our world. Carl Jung was forever saying that
‘wholeness for humans depends on the ability to own their own shadow’
because he recognised that only finding understanding of our dark side could end our underlying insecurity about our fundamental goodness and worth as humans and, in so doing, make us ‘whole’. The finest philosopher Sir Laurens van der Post was making the same point when he said,
‘True love is love of the difficult and unlovable’ (Journey Into Russia, 1964, p.145)
and ‘Only by understanding how we were all a part of the same contemporary pattern [of wars, cruelty, greed and indifference] could we defeat those dark forces with a true understanding of their nature and origin’ (Jung and the Story of Our Time, 1976, p.24).
Our ability to truly save the world depended on finding compensating and thus psychologically improve, truthful, real understanding of ourselves. So if you want to save the snow leopard, or the Amazon, or those you love, or yourself, the only way to do so is through understanding the human condition. To quote Professor Harry Prosen, a former president of the Canadian Psychiatric Association, on this dreamed-of, greatest of all breakthroughs in science:
‘I have no doubt this biological explanation of the human condition is the eagerly pursued of insight we have sought for the psychological rehabilitation of the human race’ (FREEDOM, 2016, Introduction).