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The Human Condition

The human condition is a universal experience broadly defined by as “the positive and negative aspects of existence as a human being.” [1] Such a superficial explanation doesn’t bring to life the gut-wrenching reality of the human condition. This dynamic drives the majority of our choices and actions in spirals of repetitive experiences…until we seek freedom.


Jeremy Griffith dives into the deeper psychological perspective of the human condition in his book, Freedom, which has 2 parts. In Expanded Book 2; Section 1:4. Griffith wrote:

The psychological problem in our species’ thinking minds that we have suffered from is the dilemma of our human condition, the issue of our species’ good-and-evil-afflicted, less-than-ideal, seemingly imperfect, even ‘fallen’ or corrupted state. We humans suffer from a consciousness-derived, psychological human condition, not an instinct-controlled animal condition; it is unique to us.[2]

Griffith touches on an important aspect of understanding the human condition: it is consciousness-derived. Individually, our personal consciousness is split from its Source, Pure Consciousness or Shen. Fragmented, divided and separate is how we feel, think and sense life, like we’re detached from everything or divorced from the whole, contrary to holism.


Derived from the Greek root “holos,” in the health and healing realm, holism takes into account the mental, emotional, physical and Spiritual aspects of self in one interconnected, hyper-networked system. This psyche-soma lens is how Shen Life approaches the human condition.


The Shen Life explanation of the human condition is, “an individual’s constant pursuit of pleasure in the hopes of avoiding the pain of the sense of separation.”


Feeling disconnected or divided from Source elicits an anxious, fearful mode that is quite opposite from our innate whole, content, natural state. This state of dualism is the crux of the human condition. This sense of separation stirs the reactionary mode that drives us to charge, push, and work to do just about anything to fix, improve or change life externally in hopes of alleviating the inner, restless, irritable discontent.

So what does this reactionary mode look and feel like?


Think about the last time you had nothing to do while sitting home alone. Everything was fine, until you realized, “oh, I am alone doing nothing.” Chances are you didn’t stay there long. Even if you challenged yourself to sit tight before finding something to do, likely you scratched your face, repositioned yourself on the couch, checked the clock, and kept on fidgeting. Meanwhile, a restless irritable discontent surfaced from within. That discomfort is the instigator of all sorts of dysfunctional, reactive behavior.


Granted, the reactionary mode can be flipped, and it should. For instance, to practice taking deep, measured, abdominal breaths when stressed or activated is helpful. Using all sorts of lifestyle practices can help, but they do not alleviate the disconnect completely.


There is an alternative approach to the human condition.


Ideally, the human condition and reactionary mode provoke a serious introspective, meditative, contemplative search. Such a quest reveals the sense of separation that is at the core of the human condition. The real work is to shift attention from duality into Source, Pure Consciousness, Shen or God. Learning to live from this perspective liberates us from reactionary dysfunction and allows us to live with real power, presence, and potential.


Getting free of the human condition and living your fullest potential is the work to be tackled. Fortunately, there is a process to do so. This process unravels all of the intertwined parts of you trapped and tied up in this pyche-soma conditioned state. It’s like a make-over from the inside-out.


Understanding how to shift gears and embody a whole new state of consciousness is the key. That’s when life begins to flow in an ideal way. Of course, learning how to do that takes practice. A great place to start is by sitting longer alone while doing nothing…just breathe. 
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Most can identify with the inspirational morsel called a “flow state.” This peak experience is the moment where everything just happens with ease.  Your choices are natural, your actions produce unforeseen, positive results, and, your life is clearly moving ideally forward and quickly. It’s when you look, feel and do anything and everything like a rockstar.

Have you experienced a flow state?


Unfortunately, most of us maintain this state for a only short time, hence the coomon refereance to it as a peak experience. The ideal is to make it permanent. This ideal, a perpetual state of embodied enlightenment, we refer to as Shenlightenment®.


Stephen spoke extensively about this practice of getting free of the human condition and reaching for Shenlightenment in a recent workshop. He outlines a simple way to shift the process from reactivity into permanent liberation. There are pitfalls to navigate, but the more aligned you are with Shen, then the faster and more profound the changes you’ll see in your life.


Ready to tackle your human condition?




  2. (Freedom: Expanded Book 2—Questions & Answers; Section 1:4 What exactly is the human condition?)

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Erica Rogers