Freedom: Expanded Book 1–The Nature and Role of Denial-Free Thinking
Part 10:5 Sir James Darling’s Vision of Fostering the Ability to Undertake the ‘Paramount’ Task of Solving the Human Condition in Order to ‘Save the World’
As has been mentioned, the online version of my second book, Beyond The Human Condition (1991), contains this Dedication:
To the vision of Sir James Darling for acknowledging that:
‘the future lies not with the predatory and the immune but with the sensitive who live dangerously…the truly sensitive mind is both susceptible and penetrating: it is open to new ideas, and it seeks truth at the bottom of the well. It is the development of this sort of mind which it should be the object of the educational process to cultivate’ James Darling, The Education of a Civilized Man, 1962, pp.63-64 of 223.
Sir James Darling’s work has been referred to throughout Freedom Book 1, in particular a brief analysis was included in Part 5:1 of his absolutely astonishing vision of deliberately setting out to foster the innocence needed to solve the human condition and by so doing save the world. What follows is an elaboration of that presentation. There is also a longer, even more in-depth essay I have written about Sir James’ vision which is available on the WTM’s website at <>.
Amazing as it may seem, it is apparent in the following material that the life of Sir James Darling–who was headmaster of Geelong Grammar School (GGS) for 32 years until 1961–was specifically dedicated to, as he described it, cultivating the innocent, sound, alienation-free ‘sensitivity’ needed to undertake the ‘paramount’ task of finding the ‘answer’ to the ‘all-important question’ of the human condition and by so doing ‘saving the world’.
What is perhaps even more amazing is that Sir James succeeded in his gigantic undertaking because, having greatly benefited from his extraordinarily courageous soul-rather-than-intellect-emphasising education, I have been able to confront the issue of the human condition and, by so doing, solve it–and not only solve it, but, with the help of some very special Australians, establish an organisation, the World Transformation Movement (WTM), to take that world-saving insight to the world.
And moreover, amongst those very special Australians supporting this breakthrough insight against the intense resistance–indeed, tirade of persecution–that opening up the subject of the human condition attracted, have been other Darling-inspired Geelong-Grammarians. Those key GGS-trained supporters include WTM Founding Directors Tim Macartney-Snape AM OAM, Simon Griffith (my brother) and Christopher Stephen. It is also not insignificant that in this great undertaking to create a place in the world where the soundness needed to solve the human condition might be cultivated that Tim Macartney-Snape’s great-great grandfather, Dean Macartney, was one of the founding fathers of GGS, and that my and Simon’s father, and Tim’s father, also attended GGS.
The point is that saving the human race through finding the reconciling, redeeming and rehabilitating understanding of the human condition has been very much a Sir James Darling/Geelong Grammar School/Australian-led undertaking.
Given the human-condition-confronting-not-avoiding, denial-free, truthful nature of this whole world-saving enterprise it should also be recorded that Sir James’ full-page obituary in The Australian newspaper on 3 November 1995 acknowledged his extraordinary capacity for denial-free, truthful and thus penetrating, prophetic thinking, describing him as ‘a prophet in the true biblical sense’ (see Sir James Darling’s obituary at <>).
As well as headmaster of GGS, Sir James Darling was also Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Commission (today’s Australian Broadcasting Corporation, or ABC) from 1961 to 1967 (and before that, from 1955, a member of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board). In 1953 Sir James was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and in 1968 he was knighted ‘for services to education and broadcasting’. In Australia’s bicentennial year, 1988, he was officially designated one of 200 ‘Great Australians’. Of the 200–22 then living–Sir James was the only headmaster, a public recognition of his exceptional, indeed unique, influence in Australia as an educator. In fact, by the end of Darling’s tenure GGS had become one of the most highly regarded schools in the world, with the current heir to the English throne, HRH The Prince of Wales, attending the school for part of his education.
Given Sir James Darling’s tenure as Chairman of the ABC, it should be noted that the ABC is the organisation that did all it could to misrepresent, vilify and destroy the all-important work being carried out by the WTM of bringing understanding to the human condition. From the following material, it can be imagined how deeply impressed, interested in and encouraging of the work of the WTM a Darling-led ABC would have been. That the very opposite response occurred shows how dangerously the ABC has lost its way; in fact, how bankrupt it has become as a meaningful influence in Australian society. If he were alive today, Sir James Darling would be appalled by the ABC’s treatment of the work of the WTM.
Born in England in 1899, Sir James Darling was the beneficiary of the very best education the world could then provide (just as Moses was growing up in the Pharaoh’s court in Egypt; and Plato was in Socrates’ school; and Christ was by the Old Testament; and I was through having attended the school Sir James established). England’s universities at Oxford (where Sir James read history) and Cambridge were the centres of learning in the world at the time. One of Sir James’ teachers and later mentor, William Temple, went on to become what many regard the Church of England’s greatest ever Archbishop of Canterbury.
When Sir James was selected at the young age of 30 to become headmaster of GGS at Corio in Victoria, Australia, there were only 330 pupils. By the time he retired as headmaster of the school 32 years later in 1961 GGS had become, as mentioned, one of the most highly regarded schools in the world, with the current heir to the British throne, HRH The Prince of Wales, being sent all the way there from England for part of his education. Penny Junor’s 1987 book about HRH The Prince of Wales, titled Charles, states that ‘Dr Darling had been a disciple of Kurt Hahn’ (p.54) who was the ‘founder’ of ‘Gordonstoun’, a school on the north-east coast of Scotland that the Prince also attended. Junor wrote that ‘Geelong [Grammar School]…was not unlike Gordonstoun’ (p.54) and, about the conception of Gordonstoun, that ‘Dr Kurt Hahn…was a German whose unconventional ideas about education had been prompted by his country’s defeat in the First World War…As a young man he had suffered a long period of illness, and while convalescing had read Plato’s Republic. Inspired by the ideals he discovered there, he had conceived the idea of starting an entirely new sort of school, broadly based on the Platonic view’ (p.35).
Plato’s view about education was that it should be concerned with cultivating ‘philosopher guardians’ or ‘philosopher rulers’, those who Plato said were ‘the true philosophers…those whose passion is to see the truth’ (Plato The Republic, c.360BC; tr. H.D.P. Lee, 1955, p.238 of 405). Plato explained, ‘But suppose…that such natures were cut loose [sheltered], when they were still children, from the dead weight of worldliness, fastened on them by sensual indulgences like gluttony, which distorts their minds’ vision to lower things, and suppose that when so freed [during their nurtured upbringing] they were turned towards the truth [during their education], then the same faculty in them would have as keen a vision of truth as it has of the objects on which it is at present turned’ (ibid. p.284). Basically Plato’s–and Hahn’s and Sir James’–idea was to cultivate and develop conscience, rather than emphasise consciousness, as most educators do today with IQ tests, competitive emphasis on achieving high academic grades, passing university entrance exams, etc, etc. It is all about intellectual excellence at most schools, with virtually no focus on preserving and developing the naturally inspired, enthralled, questioning, happy, imaginative, sound, conscience-infused instinctive souls of students. Focusing on and talking about our species inspired and loving natural, innocent, human-condition-free, original instinctive soulful state has been unbearably confronting for our species present human-condition-afflicted state and, as a result, it has been far easier to focus on and talk about our intellect: eulogise it, and make no mention of our instinctive soul. The end result is what we have today, a world that vastly overemphasises the intellect and vastly underemphasises our original natural instinctive moral self or soul and its truthful conscience. The problem is this near total emphasis on intellectual excellence was only ever going to perpetuate alienation. It was all about indulging life in Plato’s dark cave (where humans have been hiding in fear of the unbearably confronting issue of the human condition) when Plato, Hahn and Sir James saw that the objective in education should be to try to break free from that cave of alienating denial; fight to keep the ‘windows’ in students’ minds open and ‘let the sun/truth in’; preserve and develop the ‘passion’ ‘to see the truth’.
Defiant of all convention, visionary, immensely courageous and astonishing as it surely is given the alienated reality of our world today, if we look at a collection of quotes from Sir James’ speeches it becomes clear that his objective in education really was to not only preserve and cultivate the souls of students as a general, right-minded principle for education, but to actually cultivate the specific truth-confronting, soul-full, conscience-strong degree of innocent, sensitive soundness needed to undertake the specific task of solving the human condition for the human race.
Before presenting this evidence from his own words of Sir James’ deliberate intent to cultivate the soundness needed to save the world, the following is some enlightening commentary on the unfolding of Sir James’ amazing vision that he seemingly had from the time he was a small boy. On pages 104 and 105 of his 1978 autobiography Richly Rewarding, Sir James said that he found the question he had ‘often been asked’ of ‘why he had decided to come to Australia’ ‘not easy to answer succinctly’, that ‘sometimes I felt…that it was pre-ordained, that indeed God…had decided it all for me’. He went on to write that when he made the decision to apply for the job of headmaster of GGS ‘one very odd thing happened…when I was still a small boy at home, my father recounted a point from a speech…[that there] was a country, Australia, which was developing without any religion…[and this] came back into my mind with all the force of a prophetic utterance…[and that my decision was thus] concerned with religion in that…I felt that I had something to give in a comparatively new country’. As I have previously explained, when we are young we can know the form of our destiny in life that we then have to live out, never again seeing it quite so clearly as the battle and resulting alienations develop to cope with the struggle of life. The surfacing of Sir James’ childhood vision of how he could make a difference is apparent in what he has said here: Australia was a ‘new country’, a place where there would be enough innocence left that students could be ‘turned towards the truth’ during their education, as Plato described it, thus cultivating the ability to take on the world of denial and bring out the reconciling truth about the human condition, a vision that the following extracts from his speeches confirm. (The underlinings in the following quotes have been added for emphasis.)
In this first quote Sir James identifies the human condition as the ‘all-important question’ to which ‘there must be a complete answer’, otherwise ‘our existence’ is faced with becoming ‘fragmented into a rubbish-heap’. In an oration Sir James gave in Melbourne in 1954 to the College of Radiologists of Australasia, appropriately titled On Looking Beneath the Surface of Things, he said, ‘in seeking for such purpose [in all of existence and in our own lives] it will be necessary to seek below the surface…[for the] thoughts which do lie too deep for tears. (Cf. William Wordsworth, Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood, last line.) [The thoughts that lie too deep for tears are those that for most people are so depressing they can’t go near them, namely thoughts about our imperfect human condition]…Only so can we come to a better understanding of life, to answer even the all-important question: ‘What is man that thou art mindful of him [why is human behaviour so often less than ideal], and the son of man that thou visitest him?’ [when Christ’s behaviour by contrast was sound and ideal]. (Psalm 8, v.4; Hebrews 2.6.) [Sir James has clearly stated here that the ‘all-important question’ that we have ‘to answer’ is the issue of our species’ less-than-ideal human condition.] For to exclude that question from the study of evolution [for science to avoid that question] is indeed to play Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark (Sir Walter Scott, The Talisman, introduction)–an exclusion surely as futile as to talk theology and to forget evolution? [Sir James is saying that it is around this ‘question’ of the human condition and its biological ‘answer’ that the reconciliation of science and religion, reason and faith, occurs]. There must be a complete answer; there must be coherence and sense in the universe; and, until we find it, our thinking is degenerated into disintegration, and our existence fragmented into a rubbish-heap of shreds and patches, with coherence, significance, and growth impossible, our compass-bearings lost, and civilization foundering. [Healing amelioration of the human condition has to be found if the world is to be saved from terminal levels of alienation]’ (The Röntgen oration, 17 Nov. 1954, published in The Education of a Civilized Man, ed. Michael Persse, 1962, pp.74-75 of 223).
In these next quotes Sir James talks about the qualities that needed to be cultivated in his education program for the ‘paramount’, ‘all-important’ search to ‘find’ the ‘complete answer’ to the issue of the human condition that is needed to ‘save humanity’ and ‘the world’. In his On Looking Beneath the Surface of Things oration, part of which was quoted above, Sir James said, ‘It should be the prime object of education…to develop this sensitivity…the truly sensitive mind is both susceptible and penetrating: it is open to new ideas, and it seeks truth at the bottom of the well’ (ibid. pp.63-64). In his 1961 Anzac Day address at GGS he said, ‘What, then, is the issue? It is this. Do we wish to preserve…this country as a place in which…free men and women can live and seek Truth…It means that each of us should regard our lives as pledged to the one paramount purpose of saving the world…the sands of time are running out’ (The Education of a Civilized Man, 1962, pp.139-140). And in another presentation, while referring to ‘the kind of man needed to save Australia and humanity’, Sir James spoke about cultivating ‘men of conscience…men not afraid of facing unpleasant facts’ (Light Blue Down Under: The History of Geelong Grammar School, by Weston Bate, 1990, p.219 of 386). On another occasion he similarly said, ‘it is not for men to run away from the truth for fear of the consequences’ (Sermon at Rugby School Chapel on 10 July 1955, The Education of a Civilized Man, 1962, p.184), and likewise, ‘Lean towards danger like a good boxer’ (Sermon at GGS Chapel on 11 June 1950, The Education of a Civilized Man, p.155). In a Speech Day address given at GGS in 1960, he said, ‘It requires more toughness to resist the world [of denial] than to join in…It is the awakening and vivifying of the conscience of those who belong to it which ought to be the chief purpose of a Church school…because…conscience is the executive part of consciousness’ (The Education of a Civilized Man, pp.96-97). In an address to The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 1960 Sir James said: ‘It is wise sometimes to remember the all too frequent rejections of the prophets by the barbarians…The quality which, above all other, needs to be cultivated [in education] is sensitivity…[Education’s] objective is a development of the whole man, sensitive all round the circumference…the future, [Canon Raven] has said, lies not with the predatory [selfish] and the immune [alienated] but with the sensitive [innocent] who live dangerously [defy the world of denial]. There is a threefold choice for the free man…He may grasp for himself what he can get and trample the needs and feelings of others beneath his feet: or he may try to withdraw from the world to a monastery…: or he may “take up arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them”…[and so] There remains the sensitive, on one proviso: he must be sensitive and tough [to solve the human condition and ‘save humanity’ requires sufficient sensitivity/innocence to access the truth but also sufficient toughness to not ‘withdraw…to a monastery’, as my mother considered doing when she was a young woman, but instead to stand up to, defy, and ultimately overthrow the all-pervading false world of denial]. He must combine tenderness and awareness with fortitude, perseverance, and courage. The sensitivity is necessary because without it there is no life of the mind, no growing consciousness, no living conscience; nor is there any real communication one with another. It is necessary also if we accept Father Teilhard’s [Teilhard de Chardin] extension of the idea of evolution as illuminating the end of life. Only by a growth of sensitivity can man progress from the alpha of original chaos to the omega of God’s purpose for him [only through denial-free innocence can the reconciling biological understanding of the human condition be found]…Sensitivity is not enough. Without toughness it may be only a thin skin…[only from] an inner core of strength are [you] enabled to fight back…Can such men be? Of course they can: and they are the leaders whom others will follow. In the world of books there are, for me, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, or Laurens van der Post’ (ibid. pp.28-36). [Sir Laurens van der Post is also my favourite author, and is the most quoted author in my books. Sir Laurens was also so important a person to HRH The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, that he was chosen to be godfather to Prince Charles’ eldest son and the future king, Prince William, and there is ‘A bronze bust of van der Post…in Prince Charles’ garden at Highgrove’ (‘Post, Sir Laurens Jan van der (1906-1996)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Christopher Booker, 2004). A former British Prime Minister, Baroness Thatcher, no less, once described Sir Laurens as ‘the most perfect man I have ever met’ (ABC Radio, Late Night Live, 25 Feb. 2002). Sir Laurens was also immensely impressed with Jeremy’s writing, responding to his first book by asking, ‘Could you please send me an extra copy of your book. Yours to me is already out on loan because it was so appreciated.’ For daring to be honest about the human condition Sir Laurens was, like me, also viciously persecuted, and, like Sir James, he was also recognised as an exceptional denial-free, penetrating, honest, prophetic thinker, being described in his full-page obituary in the London Times as ‘a prophet out of Africa’ (20 Dec. 1996)–(view van der Post’s obituary that was reproduced in The Australian at <>). To illustrate Sir James’ point about the need for both innocence and toughness, the Bushmen of the Kalahari were all somewhat Christ-like in their relative innocence–for example being Christ-like they had no need of Christianity; as Sir Laurens van der Post recorded, ‘The pastor, Dominee Ferdie Weich, though much loved by the Bushmen, could report no permanent conversion to Christ in 21 years’ (Testament to the Bushmen, 1984, text accompanying photograph 91)–but they were not a race sufficiently toughened from thousands of years of encounter with the horror of the extremely psychologically upset and distressed state of the human condition to take on the world of denial–as was also illustrated by Sir Laurens when he pointed out the Bushman’s inability to cope with the extremely upset, human-condition-afflicted modern world, writing that ‘mere contact with twentieth-century life seemed lethal to the Bushman. He was essentially so innocent and natural a person that he had only to come near us for a sort of radioactive fall-out from our unnatural world to produce a fatal leukaemia in his spirit’ (The Heart of the Hunter, 1961, p.111 of 233). The English explorer and philosopher Bruce Chatwin acknowledged the innocent, alienation-free soundness of Christ and also of the innocent races when he wrote these extraordinarily honest words: ‘There is no contradiction between the Theory of Evolution and belief in God [Integrative Meaning] and His Son [the uncorrupted expression of our original instinctive orientation to Integrative Meaning] on earth. If Christ were the perfect instinctual specimen–and we have every reason to believe He was–He must be the Son of God. By the same token, the First Man was also Christ’ (What Am I Doing Here, 1989, p.65 of 367).] In a column Sir James regularly wrote for Melbourne’s leading newspaper, The Age, he observed that ‘The time is past for help which is only a Band-Aid. It is time for radical thinking and for a solution on the grand scale’ (Reflections for The Age, ed. J. Minchin & B. Porter, 1991, p.145 of 176); and in a renowned 1950 GGS Speech Day address he said, ‘We are not now that strength which in old days moved Heaven and Earth…but something ere the end, some work of noble note may yet be done’ (Light Blue Down Under: The History of Geelong Grammar School, Weston Bate, 1990, p.219). Yes, despite humanity approaching a state of near terminal levels of alienation, the human-race-saving, reconciling, redeeming and rehabilitating understanding of the human condition might still be found.
The references to ‘seeking’ ‘purpose’ and for biology not ‘to exclude that question [of the human condition] from the study of evolution’ in order that ‘Father Teilhard’s…idea of evolution as illuminating the end of life’ could be fulfilled, indicate that Sir James was not only concerned with cultivating and orientating the innocence needed to solve the human condition and save the human race, amazingly and courageously he was also sound enough in his own thinking to know precisely where that denial-free thinking would have to begin if it was to solve the human condition. As the following further extracts from his speeches reveal, Sir James recognised that acknowledgment of the ‘teleological’, holistic, integrative, negative-entropy-driven, Godly ‘purpose’ or meaning or theme of existence was the starting point to thinking truthfully and thus effectively about the human condition. Not only that, in these further extracts Sir James identified precisely where the stalling point was with the current very limited, narrow, reductionist, mechanistic approach of science and the lack of tolerance for reasoning in religious thought.
These further extracts come from Sir James’ 1954 speech On Looking Beneath the Surface of Things (all of his speech can be read in the in-depth essay about Sir James’ vision that was mentioned earlier): ‘It was the ancient Greek philosophers who…first…sought…for some single binding principle from which it might be said that all else sprang…Plato, coming near to monotheism…[in his] idea of the Good and the Beautiful’. But ‘A multiplicity of new facts…has tended to obscure all sight of principle…concentration upon the development of even the twigs upon the branches has resulted in our losing sight of the tree…[It is] most unsatisfactory…how difficult it is for modern man to see life clearly and to see it whole.’ ‘The difficulty is accentuated by the modern…divorce between theological and scientific thinking…The scientist can no more deny or devaluate the truths of spiritual experience than the theologian can neglect the truths of science: and the two truths must be reconcilable, and it must be of importance to each of us that they should be reconciled…truth is there to be revealed…and the seeing of the truth is a discovery, not an invention…a poet…Robert Bridges…first, as far as I know, and as long ago as 1927…tried to produce order out of chaos…in [his poem] The Testament of Beauty…that…Archbishop Temple…hailed…as one of the greatest works in the English language…[Bridges wrote of] “the creator’s Will that we call Law of Nature…the determin’d habit of electrons, the same with the determining instinct of unreasoning life, necessity [finally] become conscient in man…of ministry unto God, the Universal Mind”…This is the idea of [integrative, teleological, holistic] Purpose in…all things that we must return, if we are to discover unity in the midst of variety…it is high time that there should be some whys and some answers; only so will there be any chance of the required revision and synthesis…this binding idea of purpose…[The problem is] religion…[has become] an escape…[and] scientific thought…became dominated by the mathematicians and the physicists…with its consequent enhancement of economic and industrial values at the expense of aesthetic and moral…until, with Charles Darwin, man himself was deposed from the position of controller and graded as part of the machine…[but] by that time mechanism was…securely established…It is only recently that the physicist has abandoned his dogmatism [the denial of Integrative Meaning or teleology], and the biologist begun…to study the living creature…[At this point we pick up where Sir James described the need to solve the human condition that was included at the beginning of these extracts. His recognition of the need to solve the human condition is so significant that what he said is presented again here as the rightful conclusion to these extracts.] I should like…to come back to the possibility that the solution lies quite simply in what is known as the teleological conception of evolution…Only so can we come to a better understanding of life, to answer even the all-important question: ‘What is man that thou art mindful of him [why is human behaviour so often less than ideal], and the son of man that thou visitest him?’ [when Christ’s behaviour by contrast was sound and ideal]. (Psalm 8, v.4; Hebrews 2.6.) [Sir James has clearly stated here that the ‘all-important question’ that we have ‘to answer’ is the issue of our species’ less-than-ideal human condition.] For to exclude that question from the study of evolution is indeed to play Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark (Sir Walter Scott, The Talisman, introduction)–an exclusion surely as futile as to talk theology and to forget evolution? There must be a complete answer; there must be coherence and sense in the universe; and, until we find it, our thinking is degenerated into disintegration, and our existence fragmented into a rubbish-heap of shreds and patches, with coherence, significance, and growth impossible, our compass-bearings lost, and civilization foundering…It is God’s purpose that men should be like Christ…whole and healthy’.
I have been told that the despair Sir James felt after losing so many gifted contemporaries in the First World War, in which he served as an artillery officer, led him to decide that the only way that he could live with the fact that he survived when they hadn’t was to try to live the life of 10 men. This great commitment could not have produced his deeply clear-sighted vision of cultivating and orientating the innocence needed to save the human race–such clarity could only come from the purity of vision of a young child–but it certainly would have reinforced his vision, helped him to be even more determined to fulfil it. There is some oblique acknowledgment of this view in this quote about Sir James’ war years: ‘His war service toughened and filled him out and gave him a sense of having the right to put the world in order; indeed, like many of his contemporaries and especially those who went into teaching, he thought he should work twice as hard to make up for the loss of the finest spirits of the age’ (Light Blue Down Under, Weston Bate, 1990, p.179 of 386). I had a similar vision-focusing experience during my life, in my case caused by the loss of my father. My father died in an accident on a tractor on our sheep station in 1971 when I was 25 years old. In his obituary in the Geelong Grammar School magazine (The Corian, Sept. 1971, pp.251-252) he was described as ‘the salt of the earth’, and he was. He was renowned for his goodness, never saying a bad word about anyone, always being fair and never being manipulative of others. My brother Simon has a very similar personality. It is almost saintly how much our father and Simon are not retaliatory towards the world. Simon internalises his pain from life but he never expresses it outwardly. He absorbs it rather than takes it out on the world. This saintliness of my father was important because under the duress of the human condition there are very few men that do not externalise their ego’s frustration and as a result oppress their sons to some degree. This oppression of the spirit of boys by their fathers is so common that I’ll never forget my biology professor at Sydney University, Charles Birch, once saying to me, ‘haven’t you heard Jeremy, the best thing that can happen in a man’s life is that his father dies when he is born’! If that oppression had happened to me it would have seriously compromised my innocence that my mother was able to nurture and protect in me to an exceptional degree. I attribute my soundness above all to my mother’s soul strength and defiance of the false world of alienation and denial–a situation I described in Part 10:1 when I explained how Joseph acquired his soul strength–but my father’s saintliness was also very important. In all it was a very lucky combination of circumstances. So deeply loving of my father’s goodness was I that when he died the pain of his death turned my resolve to solve the human condition into steel. To cope with his loss I determined to never ever be broken, to never ever have my vision compromised and I never have despite absolutely incredible provocation to compromise my vision. It is with my mother’s strength that I have fought but for my father’s goodness that I fight. The dedication in my first book, Free: The End Of The Human Condition (1988) is ‘To my father and from my mother’. This acknowledges that the ability to write about the human condition comes ‘from’, is directly due to, the nurturing I received from my mother, but that since it is men’s role to take on the task of defying the ignorance of our soul and solve the human condition, my work is carried out for, or is dedicated ‘to’ my father, in particular to his extraordinary goodness as a man. So like Sir James had his war experiences to strengthen his resolve, so I also had the death of my father to strengthen mine.
As was explained earlier, when we were young and still thinking truthfully about our and the world’s plight we all knew the problem that had to be solved was the issue of the human condition. Why, when we knew humans had such a loving soul, were humans behaving so atrociously? From there we could reason and know that what was needed was a clarifying first principle based, scientific explanation of the human condition. Until we could explain and thus understand ourselves we would not be able to lift the siege of insecurity and guilt that was causing all our upset and resulting suffering of humans and all the devastation of our planet. Some very serious and profound thinking was needed and for that thinking we would need certain insights. In particular we would need to know what the meaning of life on Earth was: what was the overall purpose of our and our world’s existence. We knew instinctively that the theme of existence and the purpose of life was to love but what was the actual nature, significance and meaning of that love? Also we knew that any evidence about our human origins would be extremely valuable in working out what happened to cause us to stop being loving. It follows that the various visions that exceptionally sound people have had of being able to help solve the human condition have involved contributing to these keys insights into the meaning of life and into our human origins. Most people can’t look at early man truthfully any more than they can look at or acknowledge their past innocent state and current lack of it. Similarly most people can’t begin to acknowledge the truth of integrative meaning because it is so condemning of their existing competitive and selfish divisive state. It is only the exceptionally sound who can have a vision of seeking insight into these phenomena.
Sir Laurens van der Post’s vision was focused on studying the innocent nature of early man, which the Bushmen provided a living example of. Sir James Darling’s vision also recognised the significance, in terms of being able to think truthfully about the human condition, of different states of alienation in the human race and knowing that sought to identify and cultivate the soundness needed to solve the human condition. He also recognised the importance of the truth of the teleological, integrative purpose in all of existence that explained the significance of love, a truth that was fundamental to any honest thinking about what happened to us as a species. We will shortly see how Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s vision was focused on the need for humanity to resolve the human condition, reach an ‘omega point’ of reconciliation as he described it. As part of his vision he desperately sought clues about human origins by seeking out and studying fossils of early humans. We will see how Louis Leakey had an amazing vision guiding him to find fossil evidence of our ancestors and to learn about our human origins through studying the lives of other existing primates. We will see how Eugene Marais’ vision was also to find clues about what happened to our species through studying our primate relatives. We will see how Arthur Koestler’s vision involved recognising the teleological, integrative purpose of existence and from there trying to explain what caused the conflict between our species’ instinct and intellect. Basically the sounder the individual the stronger and better focused was their vision of throwing light on the nature and origins of our upset human condition. All these men recognised the elements of instinct and intellect as being involved in producing the human condition, some more clearly than others, but none were able to explain the human condition. Their visions came down to contributing insights towards the finding of that solution, rather than to actually finding it. Sir Laurens talked at length about the battle of our conscious self with our instinctive self. In the case of Sir James Darling, earlier in Part 4:6 a quote from Sir James was included where he talked of Plato’s two-horsed chariot. While Sir James’ interpretation of the roles of the two elements in Plato’s analogy of instinct and reason wasn’t quite right, he clearly recognised those elements as being the underlying elements in our distressed human predicament. It will be described later where the others have recognised the conflict between instinct and intellect.
To return to Sir James’ vision, as described earlier, his last year as headmaster of GGS was my first year there; which I suppose means I had the benefit of all of his years at GGS of developing his culture of orientating soundness. I described earlier the importance of the influence of GGS in my work of looking into the human condition in my Dedication to my second book, Beyond the Human Condition (1991). To describe it again here using an extract from a thank you letter I wrote Sir James on 14 February 1989, ‘Sir James I cannot begin to tell you how much I value what you did at GGS … Michael Collins Persse [the long-standing master at GGS who thankfully greatly helped in chronicling Sir James’ records and time at GGS] invited me to inscribe an edition [of Free: The End of The Human Condition] for the school archives and in the cover I wrote “ For Geelong Grammar School for looking after my soul”. In a world that treads all over our soul you looked after it. Along with Sir Laurens van der Post, and one or two other soul-preservers, you have been of the greatest importance to me. Thank you.’ In his gracious–and surely excessively humble where he says he is not a deep thinker–reply to me on 21 February 1989 Sir James wrote, ‘The main, perhaps the only thing, that a school can do is to create an atmosphere in which boys can grow up in such a way as to develop their own selves without having too much imposed upon them or destroyed in them. If they are lucky enough to find even one teacher who inspires them that is a bonus. A school also has, I think, to have a sort of conscience or soul of its own, which sets some standards of social behaviour, a liberal attitude to life, and a social conscience, but it must be very humble about this and make sure that it is not too dogmatic or intrusive. From reading what you have written it seems to have been successful with you. I particularly like the combination of furniture building and metaphysical thought. I fear that your book will be a bit above my head. I am not a very deep thinker, being empirical by nature, and having worked always on the basis of seeing something to be wrong and needs correcting, or something which leaves a gap and needs filling. This was very much the case with Timbertop [the wilderness-located part of GGS that all students spend a year in during their time at GGS], which seems to have been the most significant part of your time at school [I absolutely loved the outdoors/nature/innocence that Timbertop gave me access to and it showed because even though I didn’t do very well academically in my year there I was runner-up for Best Boy of The Year, won the Natural History Prize and two of the three cross-country races.]’.
It was mentioned earlier that Tim Macartney-Snape’s great-great grandfather, the Reverend H. B. Macartney, Dean of Melbourne, was one of the founding fathers of GGS. I think it is wonderful that the story comes full circle with Tim’s involvement as a founding director of the WORLD TRANSFORMATION MOVEMENT because what is even more astonishing about Darling’s vision of fostering the capacity to solve the human condition is that he succeeded. Some Old Geelong Grammarians in the WTM, assisted by a group of other exceptionally able and courageous young Australians in the WTM, are bringing enlightenment of the human condition to the world.
To conclude this description of Sir James’ vision, as with Sir Laurens van der Post, in Sir James’ full-page obituary in The Australian newspaper on 3 November 1995 he was appropriately described as ‘a prophet in the true biblical sense’ (view Darling’s obituary at <>).
Truly, the vision of Sir James Darling to save the human race by coming to Australia and cultivating the innocence there needed to explain and resolve the human condition was one of the greatest visions a human has had in recorded history!
What now needs to occur is for that human-race-saving, reconciling explanation of the human condition that Sir James dedicated his life to bringing about, and which has finally arrived, to be presented and promoted throughout the world–despite the human-condition-avoiding, mechanistic establishment’s resistance to it.
AN ANALYSIS OF OTHER DENIAL-FREE THINKERS WILL BE INCLUDED IN DUE COURSE.