State of the world in 2020. A fifth of the 21st century almost gone. What have we got to show for it? The progress and regress of world society.
What’s the state of the world in 2020? Greta Thunberg is Time magazine’s person of the year. She epitomizes the agony of humankind. When a 16-year-old girl, barely wet behind the ears, has to fight for a global crisis; what a paradox. An adolescent who should mature and enjoy her teen years. Instead, she’s scrambling around the world, screaming at deaf governmental ears.
(Agony of Humankind, Preface)
The title of this book, the seventh in The Explanation series, sounds pessimistic, and indeed, it could be taken that way. The Explanation prefers to call it a realistic look at our world today. There’s lots of good going on daily. The last book, Origin of Humankind, ended in an extremely positive way. The first two humans formed one flesh and were naked and not ashamed, (Genesis 2:24-25). Recollect, this means they were in a harmonious marriage relationship and they were wise and not confused. They had been taught by God’s wisdom and were animated by proper thoughts and actions. Please refresh your understanding of these points, using the links, if need be.
The cover closed on the optimistic Origin of Woman, the sixth book, the curtain-raiser of human civilization. And suddenly we’re plunged, seemingly, into a nightmare scenario. It definitely warrants an explanation. This could appear gloomy or defeatist, and indeed agony is just that. What’s even worse is if you don’t know the CAUSE of that agony or you’ve got all sorts of confusion around its origin. Too many cooks spoil the broth. We’ve got conflicting concepts, divided solutions, we don’t know which to apply. We don’t know the root causes and are trying to patch major issues with band-aids.
The harmony, wisdom, and absence of confusion of Genesis 2 is replaced with a degrading scenario in Genesis 3. From a Garden of Eden bliss, we deep-dive into a murky abyss. Transpose this to the 21st century. The world has got serious problems and we’re doing our best to minimize them. Even if some are speaking about the gravity of the situation.
More than 11,000 scientists co-signed a new paper declaring a climate emergency, warning that climate change is leading us towards “untold human suffering.”
In yet another confirmation from the scientific community about the undeniable environmental threat we’re facing due to reckless human activity, 11,000 scientists from 153 different countries have “clearly and unequivocally” declared a climate emergency, warning the world of “untold human suffering” unless we radically change our currently-unsustainable way of life.
“Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any great existential threat,” they said in the paper, published in BioScience magazine on Tuesday. “To secure a sustainable future, we must change how we live … [This] entails major transformations in the ways our global society functions and interacts with natural ecosystems.”
Agony of Humankind will address key world problems head-on. It will explain what is right and what is wrong. And, more importantly, this book will reveal the cause of these problems. What is at the root, seemingly sapping humanity of the strength it’s trying to muster to overcome its agony? Every effect has a cause and motivation. Forensic police investigators are always trying to get to the psychological bottom of their criminal case this way. This sixth book investigates the underlying positive inspiration and negative provocation, the mental and spiritual stimulation at the bottom of the state of the world in 2020. This book is about real answers and solutions to pressing unanswered questions and situations.
Books don’t solve problems, people do. Books can explain, but only people can carry out solutions. The book, Agony of Humankind, is not a quickie remedy or the cure-all solution. It will be explicit and revealing. It will go to the crux of the problem and clearly explain the causes and reasons for the ills that assail civilization worldwide. It will offer solutions that are applicable. This book will show you similar situations that required drastic measures, that, when applied, turned disaster into triumph. The bottom line, however, is human awareness of the proper course of action. Get ready for some eye-openers.
There’s plenty of good, but currently, the bad outweighs the good
Some current trends, scientists note, are positive, such as a declining birth rate across the world, a rise in the use of renewables, and an increasing level of international awareness. Unfortunately, negative trends far outweigh the positive, including a rise in meat consumption, an accelerated rate of deforestation that’s rapidly and irreparably destroying crucial ecosystems for quick money-grabs, increasing air travel, and a dramatic rise in global carbon emissions.
And though public awareness regarding the state of the world is changing for the better, it’s not doing so quickly enough.
Headed by William Ripple and Christopher Wolf of Oregon State University, the immense group of researchers said in their statement that climate change is accelerating faster than most scientists had previously estimated, adding that, “despite 40 years of global climate negotiations, with few exceptions, we have generally conducted business as usual and have largely failed to address this predicament.
We could display positive and negative statistics all day long about Extreme Poverty, GDP per capita, Population Child Mortality, Fertility Rate, Life Expectancy, Hunger and Undernourishment, Education—years of schooling and literacy, Access to improved water sources and sanitation, Energy Access, Energy Use, CO2 emissions. But that doesn’t explain the basics.
Why has this state of the world come about? We could blame government, leadership, politics, greed, egoism and all sorts of other characteristics. But can someone please make sense out of all these conflicting conundrums the world and individuals find themselves facing? Agony of Humankind will get down to these basic, rock-bottom answers.
This book is built on all 6 former books. The previous books have already built the foundation. Theology, the sacred book, could it be the bible, God, the characters, the reason for humankind on Earth (rulership and relations). You know The Explanation does not consider the Bible a fairy tale. The Explanation is based on understanding Biblical Hebrew. Through the 7 keys to master the language and the free online tools, you can easily verify all I write.
The last book, Origin of Humankind; the story of humans on Earth is the introduction to Agony of Humankind. Why? Because it relates the creation of humankind in Genesis 2 just before we get into Genesis 3.
We are going to continue with the Biblical Hebrew. In fact, the very last verse of Genesis 2 and the very first verse of Genesis 3 contain the SAME Hebrew word that launched me on the Biblical Hebrew pathway. This ONE WORD, aram (עָרַם) in Hebrew, is the link between the two chapters and the main issue of humankind’s dilemma. Aram is translated naked in Gen. 2.25 and subtle in Genesis 3.1. Understanding this one point and the in-depth meaning and consequences will open up the comprehension of the state of the world in 2020,
Origin of the Agony
The question of the origin of the Agony or the origin of Evil which creates Agony has always intrigued thinkers. Possibly the most famous book to address this issue is Milton’s Paradise Lost. Well-known philosophers and especially psychologists, who consult with deranged minds on a daily basis have delved into these questions. One of the latest thinkers to do so is Jordan Peterson. A remarkable analyzer of prolific classic literature, a man of tremendous hands-on experience of some of the most depraved behavior of human beings. He possesses both the theoretical intellectual knowledge and analytics as well as the practical clinical experience to synthesize answers and solutions. One of his unusual but oh so precious specialties, some would say quirks, is his amalgamation of Biblical and religious instruction with scientific research.
His latest book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, is a marvel at synthesizing the basics for sane living. The title, possibly unbeknownst to him, contains a key element of Genesis 2:25 and Genesis 1:2. Chaos is an apt description of Tohu va Bohu – without form and void (Gen. 1:2), as well as ashamed (Gen. 2:25). Indeed, wrestling against the demons of chaos is the lot that has befallen humankind. And, as we shall see, there are practical combat steps we can take.
The introductory preface to Peterson’s book was written by Dr. Norman Doidge, author of The Brain that changes itself, to which I have often referred in both Inventory of the Universe and Audit of Humankind. It expounds on issues obviously to do with the human brain, but The Explanation draws mainly on the references to the human mind.
Between the conversations of these two men, fundamental subjects of prime significance, relating to the Agony of Humankind are broached with candor and simplicity. A few lengthy quotes from that introduction follow. They express the foundational questions for which we need real answers. You can read the Forward of Peterson’s book here, by opening the Look Inside.
Maps of Meaning was sparked by Jordan’s agonized awareness, as a teenager growing up in the midst of the Cold War, that much of mankind seemed on the verge of blowing up the planet to defend their various identities. He felt he had to understand how it could be that people would sacrifice everything for an “identity,” whatever that was. And he felt he had to understand the ideologies that drove totalitarian regimes to a variant of that same behaviour: killing their own citizens. In Maps of Meaning, and in this book (12 Rules for Life), one of the matters he cautions readers to be most wary of is ideology, no matter who is peddling it or to what end.
This one paragraph sums up all the contradictions that befuddle humankind. Their dual nature of digging out the soil from under their feet. it’s like digging one’s own grave or shooting yourself in the foot. Humankind seems to be its own worst enemy. We’re digging deeper and deeper and more and more holes to bury ourselves. And we don’t know why! As Doidge describes Peterson, it’s agonizing. There’s a lack of understanding of the depravity to which humankind lowers itself.
My (Dr. Doidge) own dissatisfaction with modern political science’s attempts to understand the rise of Nazism, totalitarianism and prejudice was a major factor in my decision to supplement my studies of political science with the study of the unconscious projection, psychoanalysis, the regressive potential of group psychology, psychiatry and the brain. … Jordan switched out of political science for similar reasons. … we didn’t always agree on “the answers” … but we almost always agreed on the questions.
Answers are elusive, there’s no doubt. But the questions are the same and, on top of it, universal. There’s much literature, but we’re short on answers. The goal of Agony of Humankind is to assemble the pieces in coherent completeness. A lofty quest. Join me for the voyage.
Above all, he alerted his students to topics rarely discussed in university, such as the simple fact that all the ancients, from Buddha to the biblical authors, knew what every slightly worn-out adult knows, that life is suffering. If you are suffering, or someone close to you is, that’s sad. But alas, it’s not particularly special. We don’t suffer …. reasons …. but because we are born human and we are guaranteed a good dose of suffering. And chances are, if you or someone you know is not suffering now, they will be within five years, unless you are … lucky. Rearing kids, aging, sickness, death are hard. Doing that on your own, without the benefit of a loving relationship, or wisdom, or the psychological insights of the greatest psychologists, only makes it harder.
The agony is the suffering. And again, like the questions we ask, this suffering is universal. The Bible refers to it as the groaning of Creation. Why, why, why is there so much groaning? We shall see.
When the ancient Greeks sailed to India and elsewhere, they too discovered that rules, morals and customs differed from place to place, and saw that the explanation for what was right and wrong was often rooted in some ancestral authority. The Greek response was not despair, but a new invention: philosophy.
Socrates, reacting to the uncertainty bred by awareness of these conflicting moral codes, decided that instead of becoming a nihilist, a relativist or an ideologue, he would devote his life to the search for wisdom that could reason about these differences, ie:, he helped invent philosophy. He spent his life asking perplexing, foundational questions, such as “What is virtue?” and “How can one live the good life?” and “What is justice?” and he looked at different approaches, asking which seemed most coherent and most in accord with human nature. These are the kinds of questions that I believe animate this book (12 Rules of Life).
Humanity has reached a crossroads. It has the possibility of Artificial Intelligence and Transhumanism which, according to science, can offer us a bright future. It also has the possibility for self-annihilation both instantly with nuclear weapons and slowly by asphyxiating our planetary resources. This dilemma is amplified by the inability to agree on a moral code for each of us individually coupled with how to govern our future world and upcoming generations globally.
Agony of Humankind, the sixth book of the series, The Explanation with Sam Kneller, will take you to the Source of both the questions and the answers. We can’t deny the bad and sweep it under the carpet. It’s there and we have to explain it and we have to give viable and workable solutions. Such is our journey.
This blog post is an excerpt from the Preface of the book, Agony of Humankind.
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