The Philosophy of Liberation from the Lie


The Philosophy of Liberation from the Lie
Suffering, frustration, violence, and depression are a consequence of some (varying between people and situations) in our fundamental inadequacy, insufficiency, and unlovability.
This realization was founded on cross cultural studies in which hunting/gathering societies are compared with a variety of post-intensive agricultural and industrial civilizations (western, Asian, and others – see Morris Berman). Observation of HG societies made by explorers and anthropologists describe societies where sibling rivalry, temper tantrums, compulsion to achieve to impress self and others are, essentially absent. We see exactly the opposite in modern society. Temper tantrums, rivalry, and the compulsion to achieve (even negatively) are pervasive and perceived as normative.
This is a complex field and it is dealt with much greater detail in my book Liberation from the Lie. Meta-analyses of children rearing between cultures suggest compelling theories for these stark differences. In very brief summary, HG families are characterized between widely spaced births, direct physical contact through the first 3-4 years of life, relatively late weaning, and, perhaps most importantly, an understanding that each child is unique on his/her own terms – meaning that love is not earned through achievement designed to conform to the expectations of parents, but in the unique life force of the individual child.
In contrast, post intensive agricultural children are expected to yield to authority and become dutiful workers. Merit and love is earned and can be lost when authority is questioned and disabused. Competition is seen as essential for normative growth.
HG people see themselves as a part of nature. Their very existence is dependent on the harmony and balance of this relationship. Nature is trusted, utterly, to provide for their survival. In contrast, with the rise of intensive agricultural and city states, people are now separated from nature. Nature becomes as much an enemy as a friend. It is no longer trustworthy – instead it must be placated through ritual.
Religion offers post intensive agricultural people with a means to transcend one’s life through a trust in an after-life and an unseen and easily angered god. The concept of transcendence is absent in HG life, if only because nature (the tao) is perfect and trustworthy as it is.
Trust is the core element of HG society in contrast to modern life which is wedded to insecurity and the concomitant absence of trust.
In modern society, an identification with inadequacy is essential. Without this identification it would not be possible to motivate people through fear. The core identification supports the religious obsession with transcendence. It sustains acquiescence to authority structures. Perhaps most importantly, it fosters a reliance on external sources of authority, which results in one’s split with one’s own self.
Over time we lose our connection with our authentic selves and we live out our years sustaining the lie that made the whole process possible. The purpose of Liberation from the Lie is to see this process in our own lives and in seeing it become free of it.

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