HomeArticleHow To Wake Up

How To Wake Up

I’ve been putting off writing this article all year, but readers keep asking for it, and since I’ve been writing about mass enlightenment a lot lately I figure I might as well slip it in now.

It is a well-documented fact that it is possible for the human organism to move into a far more healthy relationship with thought than the one which most people experience. This shift has been written about for as long as there has been written language, and scientists have been confirming its existence using modern studies now. Spiritual enlightenment is real, and it is possible. It is possible for thought to take on a role as a useful tool that one can pick up and use in a wholesome way when it’s needed and put down when it isn’t, rather than being the writer, director and star of the entire show as is typical in human experience. If this is possible for the individual, it is possible for the collective.

Our species is at an evolve-or-die crossroads. We will cease destroying our ecosystem and flirting with nuclear armageddon in the very near future, or we will go the way of the dinosaur. The reason we continue on our current trajectory is because a few sociopathic plutocrats have seized control of the dominant narratives we tell ourselves about what’s going on in the world by buying up the news media people use to keep themselves informed. The plutocrat-controlled media manipulate the ways we think and vote to ensure that we will continue supporting the ecocidal, omnicidal, Orwellian status quo upon which the oligarchs have built their empire, instead of rising up and demanding a system that prioritizes human thriving and peaceful coexistence with each other and our environment.

If enough of us can awaken from this narrative matrix in which the plutocrats have imprisoned us, this abusive dynamic will be unable to find any purchase. When your mental processes become enlightened (made conscious), belief in/identification with mental narrative falls away. This radically changes your perception of reality, since it turns out that concepts as fundamental as self, other, world and separateness are all made entirely of mental narrative. A deep and abiding peace comes to the forefront of experience, because almost all human suffering is caused by believed mental narrative. You gain the ability to decide what thought (if any) is useful to you in a given moment, and then let it go without attachment in the next instant. Obviously, thoughts which harm our species and benefit only the powerful are not useful to keep around, so the official authorized narratives of the elite class are swiftly dispensed with. As you become more conscious of your inner processes, you can move more and more gracefully in the world, in graceful alignment with what is in the world’s highest interest.

So we should all wake up. We can wake up, and we should.

I said this already recently but let me repeat myself: I have exactly zero interest in ever being anyone’s spiritual teacher or guru or anything like that. What follows is not me trying to pivot into becoming some kind of bogan Eckhart Tolle or any gig that involves siphoning money off of spiritual seekers, and if anyone sees me touring the satsang circuit in the future I give you my fully informed consent to stab me with an ice pick. The following is nothing more than a very incomplete list of things that have benefitted me personally on my own very imperfect journey. Please trust your own gut while reading this, take whatever’s useful to you, and reject everything that isn’t. Your path home is as unique as your personality, and you’re the only one who knows the way back. So be playful and try stuff out but if it’s not for you, ditch it. 

1. Get intensely curious about the nature of consciousness/experience.

Imagine if you’d been living your entire life in a strange sort of coma where you were cut off from senses and from thought, experiencing nothing other than your own empty consciousness. Imagine if you’d lived your entire life from birth until now in that state, and then you suddenly gained the ability to see, hear, touch, smell, taste, touch, think, form memories, and feel. How amazing would it be to have that field of experience suddenly explode into your awareness?

It’s really weird how there’s this nonstop explosion of sensory impressions, thoughts and feelings erupting onto our field of experience in each instant, yet we overlook it and take it for granted, and it almost never occurs to anyone to investigate its nature. When someone gets the itch to find the answer to Life’s Big Questions, they’ll typically read a bunch of books, they’ll look to religion, travel to India, search for answers within this field of experience instead of turning their attention to the field itself.

What is all this? How is this experience occurring? From where do these thoughts arise? To whom do they appear? What is it that this field of experience is arising to? What the hell am I, anyway?

If you follow this investigation all the way through, you’ll wake up. You will realize for yourself that you’ve been operating with some unquestioned assumptions about the nature of experience, and when those assumptions are seen through you’ll be able to experience life as it actually is, not as the mind says it is.

2. Get intensely curious about the nature of self.

This one is so closely related to #1 it only gets its own category due to difference in emphasis. When you investigate the nature of experience, it eventually becomes clear that you’re actually investigating the nature of the experiencer. You’re investigating the investigator. The appearances of sensory impressions, thoughts and feelings are clearly appearing, but what is it that they are appearing to? You can answer that question with a mental narrative (“I’m Alice and I was born in New Jersey and I’ve been divorced a couple times and that’s the me that they’re appearing to” or whatever), but if you try to find the self in your own non-conceptual experience, you can’t find anything solid to point to. There are thoughts, sensory impressions and feelings, but no tangible “me” to be found anywhere.

In spirituality there’s a lot of talk about losing the ego, killing the ego, transcending the ego, etc, but waking up actually brings the realization that there was never any hard, solid thing that could be called an ego to begin with. Some “I” narratives were imbued with the power of belief by the human organism in early childhood and held onto under the mistaken assumption that they would bring safety and security, and a bunch of mental habits were built on the back of those “I” narratives. This leads to the churning, babbling mental chatter that most people experience which causes them so much stress in their daily lives.

If there is anything that could be called a self in your non-narrative experience, it’s the subject to which appearances appear. But what is that? It is the experiencer of experience, so it itself cannot be experienced anymore than an eyeball can twist around and see itself. Experience can’t touch it. Thought can’t touch it. Narrative can’t touch it. When it becomes clear that that’s your true self and not the mental “me” character around which all the churning mental babble revolves, the mental chatter no longer has anything to build on, since it has lost its frame of reference. Internal chaos and confusion subsides, and life is seen clearly.

3. Bring consciousness to your unconscious conditioning patterns.

Gaining clear and abiding insight into the nature of self and experience will bring great clarity and peace, but until you start bringing that awakened consciousness into the world of form it doesn’t do anyone else a damn bit of good. Since we’re talking about enlightening our way out of our path toward extinction here and not mere spiritual escapism, this is where the rubber meets the road.

Enlightenment simply means bringing the unconscious into consciousness. Most people who use that term in spiritual circles use it strictly to refer to becoming fully conscious of the nature of self, thought, and experience, but it’s a lot more useful and accurate to think of it as shining the light of consciousness on any part of your operating system. In this sense someone who goes to therapy and does some courageous inner work on early childhood trauma they’d previously suppressed (made unconscious) or does some cognitive behavioral work on unhelpful mental habits is enlightening their operating system in a very real way.

Anyone who’s been involved in enlightenment-oriented communities has heard of (and probably encountered) individuals who have undergone profound shifts in consciousness as a result of powerful insights into the nature of self and experience, but who still act out deeply unconscious conditioning patterns which harm themselves and those around them. They’ve turned on the lights in the rooms upstairs, but the whole bottom floor and basement are still left in the dark. Because our mental habits are formed throughout our lives from the very beginning and mostly formed under severe confusion about the true nature of self and experience, and because it is the nature of habit to go on repeating itself unconsciously, it’s very possible to have any number of mind-popping kensho experiences, kundalini fireworks and abiding shifts in consciousness while still retaining a bunch of unhelpful habits of thought, behavior and perception.

So the process of waking up, of enlightening, necessarily includes bringing those habitual processes into consciousness. Like points #1 and #2, this means getting curious about how those processes are happening and investigating them. Why do I keep repeating that same behavior? Why do I keep having those hateful thoughts about myself/others? Why am I so deeply triggered by those words/ideas? Feel your way around your experience of what’s coming up for you, talk about it, write about it, experiment with different ways of thinking and behaving to make the unconscious conditioning pattern pop out against the background, until you gain some insight into why you probably formed that mental habit over the course of your life and what purpose it’s intended for. Once it’s fully seen, and when the time is right, you can look at the mental habit from root to flower, thank it for doing the job you set it up to do, and let it go.

4. Kinesiology

Another way to bring unconscious conditioning patterns into consciousness is with kinesiology. Muscles hold memories. You can access the unconscious traumatic memories that are the cause of pernicious mental habits through kinesiology practices such as body talk with a therapist, or using a pendulum or something similar on yourself, and although you won’t be able to recall the full story of what happened, you will be able to sense the trauma. If you feel safe enough, you’ll be able to release the suppressed emotions too.

Most of our defining traumas are from childhood. We are so small for so long, so even a seemingly insignificant event like a dog licking our face can have ongoing consequences into adulthood. In those moments, we forget that we are big grown adults and we act like a small child would, because we developed a coping mechanism in that traumatic moment and we’ve never thought to rethink it. It just happens. Often just feeling into the memory is enough to release the stuck emotions and bring our adult consciousness to the trauma, and then we no longer act out a pattern when that memory is triggered.

Kinesiology can also be a useful way of helping you to move gracefully in the world in a way that’s in alignment with the highest interest of humanity. Here’s an old video I made about my own practice for a Facebook group I was in a few years ago, if anyone’s curious:

5. Body Awareness

Eckhart Tolle talks a lot about “the energy body.” In his book A New Earth, he shows you how you can sense your energy body by closing your eyes, holding your hands out in front of you, and noticing how you can sense the energy of your hands even though they’re not touching anything. It’s a kind of buzzy, furry feeling that extends out a little way past the periphery of your hand.

He also says, and it’s quite true, that you can’t be sensing your body and caught up in your thoughts at the same time. Try it. Feel your feet on the floor right now while trying to keep your focus on your thoughts. It can’t be done.

In this way, spending time increasing awareness of your energy body is a handy meditation hack, because by simply finding your energy body fascinating, you can’t be transfixed by your mental chatter. I have spent many hours doing the same qi gong sequence over and over and over, enthralled by the subtle ways energy moves around my body. After some time, the mental chatter gives up altogether and everything gets very quiet.

Find a sequence of body movements that you find easy, one which moves your energy tangibly and efficiently, and after a while you’ll notice points of constriction that the energy has to flow around, like rocks in a river. You don’t have to do anything about that, just make it a practice to notice it, and eventually your body’s intelligence will help you dissolve it.

6. Energy expulsion

This one’s a weird one. When I first experienced this I went online to research it and couldn’t find anything, but I’ve noticed lately that it’s starting to spring up on forums and in blogs and so on, and therapists are noting the symptoms of it in their clients, so I think it’s worth mentioning. This unanticipated, scarcely mentioned ability which seems to be growing more common in our species is one of the many reasons I remain so hopeful about our ability to rise above our madness together.

After doing my body awareness meditation for a while, this thing started happening spontaneously. I would be noticing a contraction in my energy body, feeling around the edges of it, and I would start to feel queasy. I found that if I leaned in to the queasy feeling, I could expel the energy out through my mouth. If you know a little about qi gong, you’ll know that you tend to feel your energy go out through your feet and into the floor, but this was energy that wanted to come up. It comes up in a roar or dry heaves or a burp, a bit like the dude in the movie The Green Mile.

We constrict our animal bodies in various ways for social reasons, and it restricts our ability to process trauma at the time the trauma occurs. Often when something bad happens to a human, it’s not safe to curl up into a little ball and shake it off like any other animal would. These traumas stay in the energy field until they are released, but until then they cause problems, and not all of them can be found through examination of mental narratives. This expulsion practice bypasses narrative, and lets your body intelligence take out the trash.

We protect ourselves from revisiting trauma through hyper-vigilance, which can manifest as anything from an overreaction to a full-blown panic attack. Coming back in to the body and giving it permission to explore these old wounds can give you a lot of much needed relief in all aspects of your life. Most of us spend our days avoiding nonexistent trap doors and fighting invisible ghosts, and it’s exhausting. Giving ourselves the safety and time to heal even one of these wounds has multiple knock-on benefits which extend far beyond our own lives.

7. Bring consciousness to unseen societal dynamics.

This is generally what people refer to when they talk about “getting woke”, and that’s entirely appropriate, because it isn’t in any way separate from the awakening process we’re talking about here. We’re inseparable from the society in which we live; it’s responsible for everything from the language we speak to the thoughts in our heads to the laws we must obey (both written and unwritten) to the living situation in which we find ourselves. Societal dynamics inform all aspects of our experience, but there are many aspects which people find psychologically uncomfortable to look at, so they ignore, deny, and compartmentalize away from them. I’ll probably get more than a few comments from people objecting to what I’m writing here in this section due to that very psychological discomfort.

So get curious:

  • In what ways do I avoid looking at the horrific things my government does in my name? At the horrors of war, outsourced slavery, brutalization of indigenous populations, prison for profit, and Orwellian police state oppression? How can I become more conscious of those things?
  • In what ways do I avoid looking at the ways I personally have benefitted from my race, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, culture, and nationality? How can I become more conscious of those things?
  • In what ways do I avoid looking at how the dynamics of racial inequality, gender inequality, socioeconomic inequality, institutional white supremacy, institutional male supremacy, rape culture etc influence the society in which I live? How can I inform myself and become conscious of these dynamics?
  • In what ways have I been avoiding looking at the brutality of factory farming?
  • At the cruel destruction of our planet’s wildlife?
  • At any suffering or brutality in my community and my life?
  • At the ways my own actions or inactions hurt those around me?

One of the hallmarks of egoic thinking is its binary nature. The ego wants to be either victim or victor; it can’t accept that any one person is a mixture of both, and it will fight attempts to enquire into that. Getting humble with the ways I have personally benefited from my white skin and finding all the subtle ways I have enjoyed more privilege than most has been just as important as seeing clearly where my power is being stolen from me and where I am being duped out of my sovereign resources. Both those things have been happening at the same time, and being cognizant of those dynamics gives me a much clearer and more dynamic picture of the cultural landscape and how my presence affects and is affected by it.

Of course, this kind of enquiry brings up a lot of grief, guilt and shame, but that’s actually the point. Those feelings were always there, I was just unconsciously defensive of them, which resulted in harmful reactions and behavior. Better to become conscious of them and stop than to stuff them down and ignore them and unknowingly be the thing you want stopped in the world.

 8. Be gentle with yourself.

I say this all the time to people, because it’s really so important. We’re so hard on ourselves, so hyper-critical, so self-punitive and so resistant to self-soothing. Take a moment. The world won’t cave in. Have a nap why don’t ya! Draw yourself a big ass bath and sink into it for as long as possible. Take care of yourself like you would take care of someone you really loved who had been going through a rough time lately. Give your heart a little pat and say, “There, there, you’re safe, it’s okay, I got you bro, I love you and I got you. You can relax now.”

You can relax now. Feel how safe it is, right now, in this moment. It’s just you and me, the air filtering in and out of your lungs, the sounds of the room, the feeling of your skin connecting to whatever on this beautiful earth is currently bearing your body. Take all the time you need to feel in to how safe you are right now, how few bears are chasing you, how lacking your surroundings are in oncoming tsunamis or walls of flames. Nothing is going wrong right now. Put the future to one side for a blessed second and feel how safe and nourished by the world you are, everything working in concert to support your being, and decide for once that you want this, and you want to be here, and you choose life.

Okay so that’s enough of that from me, back to fighting oligarchs and making up mean names for empire loyalists. Love you.

_____________________

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Latest comments

  • Caitlin,
    Thank you so much for this post. This needs to be said over and over again.

    The Prince EA video is profound. We have already tried all the external “solutions” and they haven’t worked. It’s time to adress the underlying cause of all the problems of the world by seeking peace within. Once we have a critical mass of people seeking fulfillment in the only place it can be found, within, then the external problems will solve themselves.

    Most people won’t understand this, but we must continue saying it nevertheless.

  • 2007-2008: Unprecedented financial collapse occurs in the U.S. and spreads globally. Deep state apparatchiks do not solve problem but double-down on same money printing debt policies that led to it and lower the Federal Reserve fund interest rate to virtually 0%, kicking the can down the road: bubbles grow bigger, more numerous and debt explodes to inconceivable levels (a 21 trillion dollar national debt and over 200 trillion in unfunded liabilities according to U.S. senate testimony). The ongoing collapse cannot be averted since the faux economic driver: interest rate reduction inflation policy and reserve currency status of the dollar is at end stage. Multi-trillions of national and international IOU dollar debt can never be repaid.
     
    After the Vietnam war and 60s revolution, gold backed dollar discipline was eliminated in 1971 giving free reign to the fiat monetary system. Debt and basis point (interest rate) reduction and attending inflation (theft) underwrote artificial economic growth, replacing off-shored production and manufacturing with financial asset, speculative and confiscatory job sectors: big government, health care, pharmacy, social services, building/RE, equities; education, law, insurance, finance and spinoffs; presently well over half the entire full-time U.S. workforce according to the BLS (Bureau of labor statistics). Consequently, a 600 billion dollar trade deficit becomes far greater than any other country in history.

    As rates descended, ill-gotten windfalls from theft (inflation), deficit spending and redistribution hit families and the poor who took the brunt of the blow. After 08, acceleration of printing, debt, taxes, inflation and premiums exploded speculative/confiscatory sectors, sealing the fate of future generations upon whom bank-backed opportunist and deficit spending labor profits.
     
    Even after 9 years of ZIRP (zero percent interest rate policy) in place since the 08 financial earthquake, “real” GDP remained negative according to traditional accounting methods. In any other previous “bubble-blowing-cycle”, inflation growth would have soared from ZIRP.

    Real world economic indicators, debt, inflation and job stats are presently worse than those resulting from 08. The SGDS is well aware that fiat economics are short lived and that 08 signifies the death nail.
     
    To distract from ominous post 08 circumstances, the SGDS media complex diligently engineered obfuscation campaigns by upping the marketing ante, painting false rosy economic pictures and manipulating financial statistics: job, CPI (inflation), GDP, numbers, etc. to maintain “cradle-wreaking” confidence. Concomitantly, wars and threats of war were manufactured through color revolutions and propaganda with the following goals: protect the dollar by increased funding of the military industrial complex, expand “wealth” transfer policy from poor to rich and subsidized; overthrow foreign sovereigns and set up dollar friendly puppets to buy U.S. debt and exploit resources; open border doors to increase asset purchases, consumption-undermine nationalism . . . and trumpet so called security threats, causing citizens to relinquish liberty for safety.
     
    September 15, 2008 major banks collapse:  “Lehman brothers files bankruptcy, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, AIG, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, HBOS, Royal Bank of Scotland, Bradford & Bingley, Fortis, Hypo and Alliance & Leicester were all expected to follow. The illegal Federal Reserve bails out all except Lehman by printing money out of thin air (QE 1, 2, 3, operation twist and stealth QE)”. Trillions of dollars are swapped with foreign currencies to prevent European, and bond market collapse.
     
    Months before the 1998 financial calamity, project for the new American century (PNAC) was conceived and updated in 2000 with the goal of taking control of Middle East countries.  9 days after 9/11, NATO supreme commander, General Wesley Clark, announces on video that 7 Middle East countries are targeted for overthrow, but evidence points to U.S ally, Saudi Arabia, funding 9/11 hijackers according to US official documents and Senate intelligence head. Not a finger is lifted against this most oppressive human rights violator but Iraq and Libya are subsequently overthrown and ongoing attempts are made against Syria, Iran and Yemen. Russia was targeted when it foiled objectives.

    Millions of Christians, Muslims, and innocents are and continue being killed, maimed or displaced. In the meantime, president Trump signs the largest arms sales agreement in US history with terror training hub, SA.
     
    2003: US congress passes and president Bush signs the “Syria Accountability Act”.
    2005: After turning Iraq and Libya to ashes, the U.S. state department under Bush severs political ties with Syria. The SGDS begins funding groups and media campaigns to oppose the Syrian government.
    2008: Syria in transition conference held, stated intent is regime change.
    2009: “Path to Persia” book published by Brookings institute also explains how the “cradle of Christianity” is targeted for regime change.
    2009-10: The SGDS initiates a color revolution, another leg of objective to oust Syria’s elected president and take control of Damascus.
    2012: A Pentagon document classified “Secret” is declassified under legal pressure from Judicial Watch; It states: . . .“there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition [Assad-w.e.] want in order to isolate the Syrian regime”. Supporting powers are Israel, USA, Qatar, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.
     
    Spiritual Babylon falls, but she will not go down without a singular sleight of hand fight. In dire straights, Abbadon rises in the midst smoke and mirrors, knowing his window of opportunity to maintain control through printing power is narrow. Pressured by dying king dollar, he strives to establish global socio-economic hegemony at the point of a bayonet.

  • I enjoyed your piece very much. People like to criticize that which they don’t understand. I experienced a sudden awakening and suddenly understood things that I would have dismissed as psychobabble before. Keep up the goid work. The world needs your voice.

  • Thanks so much for that, Caitlin!

    Loved the whole article, esp loved “bogan Eckart Tolle”; so, you’re no Byron Caitlin? Whew!

    I loved the part about 6)Energy Expulsion. It’s interesting because when I was doing some of Douglas Harding’s work, I would often feel nausea (whilst pointing my direction of attention outward and inward simultaneously). But I didn’t know what to do about it, so I would just stop the practice. Now you’ve given me
    some things to try. Thank you.

    I also wanted to mention a practice that I have done for working with trauma. Have you heard of TRE? (Trauma Release Exercises) They try to simulate the shaking that animals do naturally after a traumatic event. One can work with a practitioner, but it is easy (pretty much) to do these exercises on their own.
    Here’s one video, but there are tons of them out there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27VgK0LrR3Q

    Thanks again!

  • Hi Caitlin. Guess what? Even the people who love you don’t want to really wake up. These people are little more than monkeys, and unhappily, they are a long long way from evolving much further. You know it’s true. Move on. On a brighter note, hard determinism or naturalism will set you free, or at the very least, you’ll find that it jibes very well with your thoughts above. They are philosophical and scientific ways of being. Best wishes! Naturalism: http://www.naturalism.org/

    • “By understanding consciousness, choice, and even our highest capacities as materially based, naturalism re-enchants the physical world, allowing us to be at home in the universe. Naturalism shows our full connection to the world and others, it leads to an ethics of compassion, and it gives us far greater control over our circumstances.”

      https://www.naturalism.org/worldview-naturalism

  • Thank you for your enlightening posts. In 2015 I graduated with an MA in Psychology from a Depth Psych program at SSU in California. The focus of that program was the unconscious, the self and basically what you have just described. However, with all the searching and researching I’ve done before and after, the struggle to tease out the tangles continues. Imagine trying to meditate while being continuosly poked with a stick… our survival within society is so entangled in the demands of the Matrix that every few weeks we are yanked back into the narrative to deal with its demands, and are never free. Taxes, license renewals, health care, bills… our financial demands have replaced physical threats of animals, famine, drought and lack of shelter because now these basic needs are provided by the social Matrix and government regulation keeps us from providing them for ourselves. So we live with the anxiety of wanting to physically provide these things for ourselves, but we can’t… survival requires being plugged in, it seems. Being aware of the situation is helpful, but I’m not sure humans can change the narrative since I believe it emanates from human nature. I feel this is demonstrated historically by every civilization that ever was. Jung tried to get people to recognize the ‘cultral shadow’ that he felt was the basis of war and ethnic purges. Well, this comment is too long already… thanks again.

  • Dear Caitlin:

    Well, this is depressing. I believe you are generally SO RIGHT about the history and politics of the United States, and so wrong about what you’re saying in this post. You’ve seen through the efforts of the corporate media and government’s lies, but I believe that you’ve been taken in by the sources you list in this post. I hope you’ll hear me out.

    Your second paragraph, which starts with “It is a well-documented fact that it is possible for the human organism to move into a far more healthy relationship with thought than the one which most people experience” has three links. But they all go to the same web site, an organization (Center for the Study of Non-Symbolic Consciousness) that is run by a couple of academics. This is a red flag, and very disappointing. You have one source here, not three, for your claims of scientific validity. The words you use are also troubling: “relationship with thought”? Weird and obscure.

    The further I read, the more depressed I got. Eckhard Tolle, really?

    So, as usual, I do a minimum of research: I check out “kinesiology” on Wikipedia. The article on “applied kinesiology” describes it as a pseudoscience, an outgrowth of chiropractic, another pseudoscience (as I’ve believed for about fifty years).

    I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this reply, especially because I doubt that you’ll be open to my point of view. Why should you be? You’ve spent years, I presume, finding out for yourself what to believe, what works for you, checking sources, and doing the hard thinking. So have I. And it seems that we have come to totally opposite conclusions. I’m all for science and philosophy–in other words, academics. You’re all for something rather different which I cannot characterize on the basis of a superficial reading of your post. Why superficial? Because it’s all too familiar: in this post you look to me like an enthusiast for some new age BS, yet another scam with which I am unacquainted.

    Clearly, you have excellent critical thinking skills. I hope you’ll apply these, or reapply them, to a critical examination of this “Center for the Study…” and the other methods and such that you are promoting here. Because I don’t believe that you’ve done this adequately. For your sake, try to refute these beliefs–this is applied “critical rationalism.” At this point–if you’re still reading, and why would you be?–you’re likely certain that I’m full of ****. After all, you’ve FOUND your truth. I think you’re wrong.

    Sincerely,

    Alan Carl Nicoll

  • Extremely disappointing article. Just more of the same old tired leftist PC social babble, really.

    Caitlin’s prescription for being “woke” seems to be defined as nothing more than one who agrees with and submits themselves to leftist ideals.

    I argue that the real definition of being “woke” is no more complicated than simply seeking Truth. All it takes to become awake is to consistently ask oneself one simple question: Is this True? Seek the Truth and throw aside all that is not. Doing this one simple thing will quickly reveal that we live in a world of lies.

    But I do strongly agree with Caitlin that humanity is at a serious crossroads. Humanity will either break itself free from this insane cycle of war and destruction (power based on lies) or it will become enslaved forever.

    • You are too dismissive, and incorrectly characterize the problems with this post. The problem has nothing to do with “leftist ideals” or “PC.” The way you speak of “Truth” indicates to me philosophical naivete. That you speak of “seeking Truth” as a “simple thing” reinforces my reaction.

      Alan Carl Nicoll

      • Alan, thank you for your response. Yes I am dismissive. Should one accept or dismiss ideas one finds to be incorrect?

        If the problem has nothing to do with “leftist ideals” and “PC” (redundant I know) then why did Caitlin list them? She brought them up and I responded to her. Is this not what is supposed to take place here in the comments section?

        Not being confrontational here but what exactly do you mean by “philosophical naivete” when I speak about Truth? Is the pursuit of Truth an irrational goal? The process for finding the Truth certainly can be complicated but the desire for it is indeed a very simple thing.
        And it has been my experience that Truth itself is very often a simple thing.

        The reason I come to this web site is because I think Caitlin is also on a pursuit for the Truth. I do not agree with some of her views but I am certain that she is honest and I respect her immensely for that. Honesty and Truth. Are these not the ultimate virtues?

        Based on the fact that you also come to this site I assume you too are an honest man. And for that I say “Glad to meet you, brother.”

        • Thank you for your reply.

          One can be dismissive without leaving “dismissive” comments, which is how I would characterize your expression, “same old tired leftist PC social babble,” an expression that I find unreasonable.

          As for “Truth” with a capital T, I don’t see how one can look at the history of science and still speak of “Truth” in the old absolutist terms. Certainly, in most senses of the word, it is “true” that I am sitting in a chair typing on my laptop. I find this difficult to argue with seriously, but then, when one speaks of “the quest for Truth,” one generally means something more ambitious than this.

          Anyone who has absorbed the lessons of Karl Popper and agrees with them, the use of the word “truth” becomes problematic. I single him out because it was his books that persuaded me. I cannot summarize his ideas here. But the “quest for Truth” has essentially been replaced by the “fallibilist” conception of rationalism. This is anything but fringe philosophy. The Wikipedia article, “Fallibilism,” states, “Nearly all philosophers today are fallibilists in some sense of the term.”

          Hope this helps, and I welcome further discussion, not necessarily on this forum.

          • Alan, appreciate your input. (BTW I pretty much agree with your post on 1 Sep to Caitlin.)

            I am 57 yo and have been down the path Caitlin is advocating and I found it to be a road to nowhere. If one is asking themselves the questions they already know the answer to then one is not asking the right questions.

            If Truth is not the most sacred of ideals then what is? If Truth is irrelevant then lying is also irrelevant. Thus only materialism and raw power matter. Not a good foundation for any individual or society to build on, says I.

            Now the great struggle for rational man is to discern the Truth from what is not True. People can have different thoughts about what is True and how/if Truth can be understood but the important thing is that Truth itself is held to be the ultimate authority/guiding principle.

            May I ask what do you think should be the highest principle if not Truth?

            FTR I am not being confrontational here. I often come across as such but it really is not my intent. I am a better conversationalist than I am a poster. Anyhoo, I appreciate the conversation.

        • Also, unless my search function is faulty, Caitlin’s article uses neither “leftist,” “PC,” “political correctness.”

          • Alan, from Caitlin’s post:
            “In what ways do I avoid looking at how the dynamics of racial inequality, gender inequality, socioeconomic inequality, institutional white supremacy, institutional male supremacy, rape culture etc influence the society in which I live? How can I inform myself and become conscious of these dynamics?”

            This is the tired old leftist PC I am referring to. I do not accept her premises to be True.

    • That is just so wrong. As soon as someone starts talking about -ists and -isms, you know they can’t see the real world for their own conceptions. I just kept waiting for you to start talking about “identity politics” or “SJWs”. As for simply asking ‘is this true?’, as Krishnamurti said, the truth is a pathless land. Understanding what is just a concept, and the difference between that and reality is an extremely demanding discipline.

      • Tom, “As soon as someone starts talking about -ists and -isms, you know they can’t see the real world for their own conceptions.”

        Fully agree – and that was exactly what Caitlin was doing, talking about leftist created “ists” and “isms”. That is what I am calling her out on.

        So asking if something is true is not part of waking up? If so then what is the most important question to ask? What does “woke” mean if not coming to understand the truth? If truth does not matter then neither does lying. And if lying does not matter then what the deuce is the point of any of our complaints against those who are doing the lying?

        Re Krishnamurti, how does he know it is pathless? How does he know that there are no paths to Truth? Is he suggesting not pursuing the Truth? If so then what should we be pursuing?

      • SJWism is a major problem, since it simply inverts traditional racism against white people, so it needs to be challenged. I don’t know why people don’t get the fact that tagging white people with group guilt is as racist as the traditional racism practiced in the U.S. The latest one is “colorblind racism” peddled by some academic SJWs.

    • Her only error in this otherwise excellent article.

  • You are a sweetheart…thanks for all you do.

  • Re: “We will cease destroying our ecosystem “, I am afraid it is already too late to stop climate change from roosting us all. The only hope is that the methane release from the arctic seafloor will hold off until the 2030s when the sun’s intensity will be cut in half by the cancellation of two competing sun systems

  • I’m nit sure if you’ve seen this video, but it was a game changer for me.

    https://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight/up-next

  • I love how you bring the personal and the political together Caitlin. I am the founder of Humanity, a political party I founded in the UK in 2010, and for which I have stood for Parliament on three occasions since then. I am also a therapist trained at the Humaniversity in Holland, and continuing to work in personal growth centred, at the moment tantric, “work”. I was a Tai Chi teacher for 15 years. Everything you write resonates with me. I was directed to you by Jenny James, founder of Atlantis therapeutic community. I’m really, really appreciative of what you write as it helps me realise that I am sane in my thinking and being after all! Best to you. Robin …

  • I always look forward to reading your pieces, but I feel you do yourself no credit with this article as it comes over like so much of the psycho-babble I heard in the seventies.
    The summary of get curious points was useful but the rest was couched in impenetrable language and concepts and made you sound like one of those gurus you reject, who hypnotise listeners. Get simpler with your narrative or you’ll find people will stop listening.

  • You have probably seen this video, but it’s been a game changer for me:

    https://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight/up-next

  • You need to repost this on a regular basis. Excellent.

  • Brilliant article. Nice to know people like you are out there somewhere. Your work fighting the good fight is appreciated, just wanted to let you know that.

  • We suffer from trauma programming. Trauma programming is a two-step process. Step one induces shock. Step two induces programming. When you freeze a mind in terror, its receptors become dilated like pupils. The programmer can insert the program like eye drops. Ingestion is automatic since it bypasses the reason. In trauma you are working directly with one’s reptilian brain… https://www.jtrue.com/blog/trauma-programming

    • Yes, I imagine that is why we are kept in a constant state of terror, which can only be done through media. The ‘public opinion’ program was developed by Freud’s nephew and is based in psychology. Why are new tools and discoveries so often converted to weapons for power acquisition?

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