A while back some ambitious apes figured out how to stand up straight and use abstract thought, and now deep fried Twinkies are a thing. It’s been a hell of a ride.

If you asked a human what the most amazing thing about humans is, they’d probably tell you something very humany, like “Our ability to think” or  “Our capacity for self-awareness” or “Our resemblance to the White-Bearded Paternal Deity Who created us in His own image.”

If you asked an alien who’d never seen a human before what the most amazing thing about humans is, it’d probably say something like “Holy shit! Get that weird toothy fingery skin monster away from me! Kill it! Kill it before it breeds!”

If you waited for that same alien to calm down a bit and asked it the same question again, it’d probably say something a little more rational, like “The way they process electromagnetic radiation with the ocular organs in their heads,” or “The way they literally eat the life force of other organisms, pass them through a series of slimy tubes to extract the nutrients, and excrete them from their anuses.”

Humans don’t think much about the things that make them really interesting, though. They don’t think about the fact that they’re riding a spinning orb through a universe none of them actually understand, and how they get to digest their particular slice of that ride through their sensory organs and think thoughts about it, forming a nonstop explosion of dazzling appearances in their field of consciousness every single day. They think what makes them special is the fact that they have pink hair and listen to obscure European punk music from the eighties, or the fact that they have read a lot of books, or their quirky personality, or the deal they’re trying to close in Tokyo that’s going to blow everybody’s mind back at the office.

Actual description of humans from actual Wikipedia

Humans have no idea how beautiful they really are. They make all different kinds of delicious foods that they’ll spend hours toiling over just to create a pleasurable experience in one another’s face holes. They build instruments with their fingery upper extremities and use them to create vibrations in the air which buzz the organs on either side of their heads in an enjoyable way. They fall in love and kiss each other’s flesh for a few years, then decide that they hate each other and never want to see each other ever again. They’ll spend their whole lives terrified of death even though they know it’s coming and they have no idea what it will be like.

Saline pours from their faces when they are experiencing intense emotions. Some of them plan their whole lives around the movements of the ancient light of stars that aren’t even there anymore, or around callous things their parents told them in brief moments of carelessness when they were very small, or around the ancient writings of long-dead men. Some of them experience life so fully and directly that they spontaneously create transcendent works of art for a few years before burning themselves out because they had to take drugs to cope with the intensity. Some of them dream and dream of doing things or going places but never do.

If humans could really, truly see each other, as if for the first time, they would fall down before one another in breathless awe and wonder at their beauty. The world would never again be the same. Never again would their thunderous majesty be obscured by irrelevant minutia. Never again would the illusion of mundaneness return.

Beauty is just another word for having truly seen something. Humans have not yet truly seen each other. We’re all walking around with our beauty hidden from each other in masks made of mental chatter and distraction, of schemes and agendas and ideologies and fears.

We can only hide from each other for so long, though. This game of hide-and-seek has a built-in ending. You are almost done counting. Come find me.


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19 responses to “Humans”

  1. your revolutionary spirit and imagination are a joy to behold
    revolutionary in that within the imagery that you put forth
    a hint of the world that could be
    would be
    will be
    once it’s up to us

  2. Caitlin, I love you yet I don’t know you.
    Or do I?
    I know your words with my mind.
    But I know your soul with my soul.
    I love that you see what so very few see.
    I love that you can talk about those things in ways that so very few can
    Thank you.

  3. Harry S. Nydick Avatar
    Harry S. Nydick

    Regarding hiding, here is a poem that I wrote 30 years ago. While I don’t see that it applies to you, on the whole, I don’t really see that much has changed:

    Halloween Everyday

    For such a long time now, you’ve made every effort,
    Worked hard and long at perfecting your craft.
    Concealed who you are, the things that you’re made of,
    Miles and miles beneath that old mask.

    Now others believe that you’re just what you show them,
    But see you far less than the little you know them
    And wouldn’t it shock them, and what a surprise,
    If they could just see who’s behind your two eyes.

    You’ve spent so much time, working so hard to fool them,
    Wearing that false-face, a burdensome task
    And missed the third person, whom you’ll never know
    Wearing a second beneath the first mask.

  4. I for one am ever grateful I found you. Your writings ‘happened’ to me almost randomly, appearing on my Facebook feed one day a while ago, and since then I have been moved by everything of yours that I read. One could almost believe it was predestined, if that wasn’t so much magical thinking! So thank you again for sharing your gift with the world.

    You inspire me and keep me motivated in my own writing and pursuit of truth and understanding. That is a gift in itself.

  5. Beautiful Cobber. ❤️

  6. Just a quick FYI on your really, really excellent work re: “Some of them plan their whole lives around the movements of the ancient light of stars..” I’m guessing that you may be referring to astrology but these days the ‘understanding’ of the ‘thinking’ people who do “look to the stars for answers” is that it is the neutrino bombardment of this planet which originates from, yes, those now disappeared stars, as well as from the planets and other so-called heavenly bodies, that causes certain effects and characteristics.
    They do, in fact, shower the earth constantly and penetrate everything and everyone on it hence “we are star stuff.”

  7. Great Caitlin! I wrote a story about “What’s Amazing About the Human Race” on my blog a couple years ago. http://davidsperorn.com/blog/?p=452 Hope you like it.

  8. Thanks, Caity! I am compelled to add that our beauty is invisible to ourselves — we’ve been programmed (by the lies of psy-op advertising and toxic shaming) to focus on our own faults and inadequacies instead of the natural gifts that are ours. If we cannot celebrate our own gorgeousness, how can we possibly appreciate it in others?

  9. Lawrence Bishop Avatar
    Lawrence Bishop

    Once again, I eagerly open the mail indicating you have offered up another delight for me to savor, smile at, and share. Once again, you have put down the thoughts that bring me to a tearful grin, as when I look up at the stars late at night, or feel the force of the dark Pacific waves after sunset, in a manner I genuinely admire. As I lack your talent and craft, I simply point as many others as I can to the beautiful clarity you describe. Thank you once again!

  10. Have you ever considered that God ( the One you constantly disparage) most likely appears to us in fashions of which, individually or as associated groups, we would relate – such as to Buddhists in a Buddha form, to Native Americans in their ancestral Indian form, and, correspondingly, also to Christians in a form constructed along lines of their expectations? Doubtful, because you don’t Believe. Have you ever sought to see that Spirit must exist for life itself to exist? Doubtful, because you don’t care to Understand (even this first level reality). “What is the most amazing thing about humans”? One answer: their spirits live forever. Without a living God, there would be no Spirit. And, since God is Spirit (shared), that is “beautiful” – to a level we can barely touch, in comprehension. This wondering, which can lead us to an acceptance of the Fact, is as natural as our need for water. If you think everything in existence (including aliens/life on other planets) just came together through an immeasurable happenstance of odds, without Spirit, it would equal a fomenting of attempting to explain our entire being (and infinite universe) as soulless science – void of any higher meaning, where we just live to die without any more purposes than weeds. Of course, you can continue your Atheistic promotions while locking out due diligence; it’s your blog. But, no matter how much you do this, it will never mean you are Right. Moreover, the continuance will only further and further reveal your lack of Vision: without those first steps toward a broader seeking of possibilities, you will never even begin to Understand, thus progress, to Belief. Until the latter and former is turned around, you will not fully “fall down before . . . another in breathless awe and wonder at their beauty.” How could you, when they are only “[ambitiously evolved] apes” – with no meaning?

    1. Meaning is something you contrive on the amalgam of all that you know

      God means something to you, sure, and you wish that others would share in that wonder; the need for acceptance and want to find common ground are only natural

      But God and this “meaning” you pursue only matter to you because you decided that they did, the same way that a scientist decides that their “soulless” medium for shared comprehension and analysis matters to them ― by perceiving the essential truths of the world modeled by their practiced discipline reflected in worlds beyond those in which they choose to live

      Everyone has a God; whether the same God is underlying what you identify as the One True common experience of worship or inspires the same awe as a result of its contrived relation to one’s heritage is not correlated to the “meaning” or its force of inspiration except in the sense that associations in your mind create the impression of great significance in the notion of a celestial cheerleader and common thread throughout creation

      Some people’s spirits just aren’t as readily compelled by Christian comprehension of these notions ― not even all those who call themselves Christian

      And if that’s what lets them do as they must to contribute to the journal of human knowledge and distill snippets of their experience into common lenses for understanding, then that’s okay, because in their own ways, their minds are all still putting forth something indispensable in the continuation and extension of their respective traditions of civilized life

      So it is widely recognized that we don’t all have to follow the Christian path to understanding in order to recognize and appreciate the more beautiful facets of human experience

      But I forgive your error and gratefully accept your invitation to worship in my chosen custom

    2. Save your bible thumping for people stupid enough to believe in it. We’ve evolved. Thanks!

    3. The Scientist: [plays organ music in church]

      Bubby: Jesus can see everything I do… and he’s going to beat me brainless!

      The Scientist: Come down.

      [Scene change; they are in a factory]

      The Scientist: You see, no one’s going to help you Bubby, because there isn’t anybody out there to do it. No one. We’re all just complicated arrangements of atoms and subatomic particles – we don’t live. But our atoms do move about in such a way as to give us identity and consciousness. We don’t die; our atoms just rearrange themselves. There is no God. There can be no God; it’s ridiculous to think in terms of a superior being. An inferior being, maybe, because we, we who don’t even exist, we arrange our lives with more order and harmony than God ever arranged the earth. We measure; we plot; we create wonderful new things. We are the architects of our own existence. What a lunatic concept to bow down before a God who slaughters millions of innocent children, slowly and agonizingly starves them to death, beats them, tortures them, rejects them. What folly to even think that we should not insult such a God, damn him, think him out of existence. It is our duty to think God out of existence. It is our duty to insult him. Fuck you, God! Strike me down if you dare, you tyrant, you non-existent fraud! It is the duty of all human beings to think God out of existence. Then we have a future. Because then – and only then – do we take full responsibility for who we are. And that’s what you must do, Bubby: think God out of existence; take responsibility for who you are.
      Bad Boy Bubby 1993

  11. Michael Major\\ Avatar
    Michael Major\\

    Hi Caitlin, it shouldn’t be a great surprise that what fascinates you, fascinates me. But it is a magical delight to open your email and anticipate pending shared fascination.

    Thank-you, michael\\

  12. Glorious.

  13. Your ability to create wonderful prose-poetry is extraordinary. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Thanks for allowing us to see ourselves as an othery thing might!

    Fascinating and sobering – both!

  15. A few years ago I had a lung cancer scare. When I saw the specialist, my X-ray was on the viewer behind him just out of range. He let me go & examine it. That was a life-changing experience for me as the [fractal] architecture of the human lungs way down to the bronchioles et al in my very own chest was so stunning that it utterly eclipsed for me any importance of the tiny suspicious specks at the base. Fortunately, the specks were of no lasting consequence but the sheer power of that image has remained with me. It’s easy to recall so I can remind myself of our shared humanity when I interact. Our bodies are truly temples.

  16. I may be on the opposite side of the spinning orb, but I’m glad to have found you.

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