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Life Secrets

When it comes to the big questions, what life is all about and what’s really going on here, everyone else is exactly as clueless as you are. The only difference is that some people are better at feigning confidence than others.

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Anyone who thinks they’ve got life all figured out is suffering from a psychedelic drug deficiency.

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The three most overlooked and under-appreciated things in human experience are (1) consciousness itself, (2) the extent to which compulsive thinking habits dominate our lives, and (3) the extent to which mass media propaganda influences the way we think.

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There is a deep, abiding peace just beneath the shifting sensory input and flailing, babbling mental chatter. It isn’t something lofty or distant that you need to strive for to obtain; it is here presently, and you can recognize it right now. Inner turmoil is the result of our falling all over ourselves trying to obtain something we already have, but are overlooking. Sensory impressions, thoughts and feelings all appear upon the canvas of emptiness, and that emptiness is peace.

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Society is made entirely of narrative. By that I don’t mean there are no humans and no solid objects; I mean all the rules, laws, expectations, beliefs and protocols we have in place for how human beings are supposed to act are made entirely of mental constructs. The most powerful people in the world are the ones who understand that since society is made of narrative, then whoever controls the narratives controls society. The way to democratize power is for society to awaken to the fact that this is all made of stories, and we can change those stories whenever we want.

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Most of our experience is dictated by habits of thought and perception, most of which we formed in early childhood. How our attention moves, how we interpret events and the way we respond to them, the kinds of decisions we’ll make day to day, the kinds of thoughts we think from moment to moment and the way they translate to behavior, all arise from internal habits we set in motion long ago and then kind of forgot about and made subconscious. You can bring consciousness to all of these habits and un-do them, thus allowing you to live a life that isn’t dictated by ingrained unconscious patterns.

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We make vastly better and wiser choices when we can find a way of circumventing our habitual thought patterns and letting the decision arise from the emptiness.

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It is possible to be truly present in your life at all times instead of living with your mental energy and attention wrapped up in compulsive mental chatter. When you are present in this way, life becomes joyful and indescribably beautiful. Life delights in itself. You don’t have to do anything to enjoy this natural state, but there is a lot that you have to stop doing.

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We all have people in our lives who try to manipulate us in various ways, who habitually attempt to control the ways we think and act and how we see ourselves. Life gets much better when you spot those manipulation attempts and extract them from your life, either by insisting that these people honor your mental sovereignty, or by ceasing to involve yourself with those people. Anyone who keeps trying to tell you what you are is trying to cage you.

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You are far more powerful than you’ve ever imagined. I’m not blowing smoke up your ass, it’s just a fact.

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Since society is made of narrative, it is far more malleable than it appears at first glance. You can become an artist just by making that the narrative about you, and if you move in that direction in a confident and assertive way you will see doors begin to open up as people say “Oh it’s okay, he’s an artist, let him in.” You can escape from seemingly inescapable living situations and free yourself from seemingly insurmountable obstacles just by pushing in whatever direction you desire with full, confident intention. Since nobody really knows what’s going on and everyone’s making it up as they go along, we tend to take our cues from the most confident-looking people in the room, so people will say “Oh, she seems like she knows where she’s going. I’d better get out of her way.” Just hold the positive intention and move toward it like you’ve already gotten where you want to be.

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The self is an illusion; it’s a mental construct and linguistic convention with no solid object in the center. What most people think of as “me” is a bunch of habitual mental “I” noises swirling around in consciousness, with no hard, solid object that could be called a self anywhere to be found. Thoughts and feelings are happening and a body is moving around in the world, but no one’s doing any of it. Look within for the self and the search will turn up nothing but motes of stardust. Mental habits are much easier to undo when this is deeply grokked.

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You if you search for truth you won’t find any. If you search for lies you’ll find more than you can shake a stick at, just within your own operating system. Those lies can be excavated and discarded. All it’s really about is letting life be as it is, without all the lies you’ve innocently and unconsciously stacked on top of it throughout your lifetime. What remains is life as it is. And it’s really bloody gorgeous.

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Latest comments

  • Headless= thoughtlessness = awareness= Truth.
    It goes against our grain (brain) but it offers insight.

  • I am currently fighting State Level government corruption in California. I am David and CA is Goliath. Every time I start to doubt myself and whether or not I can keep up the fight, one of these types of posts about being confident in yourself comes along and reassures me that I really am doing the right thing. Thank you so much. I love you.

  • Beautifully written, Caitlin. You lay out, in clear and concise words, the nature of human BEING. There are other aspects I might add, but what you describe is accurate, even to the point of laying open the working fiction of the SELF.
    I also appreciate the lengthy comment by Wolf Mato, He is right in saying that “you fuse two ideas: One is skepticism and a critical approach to official narratives, the other is personal enlightenment.” These are two ideas you have emphasized in your writings for some time. My only criticism of Mr. Mato is he seems to regard the brain as the SOURCE, rather than the spiritual emptiness you emphasize.
    “There is a deep, abiding peace just beneath the shifting sensory input and flailing, babbling mental chatter.
    Sensory impressions, thoughts and feelings all appear upon the canvas of emptiness, and that emptiness is peace.
    We make vastly better and wiser choices when we can find a way of circumventing our habitual thought patterns and letting the decision arise from the emptiness.”

    If you help any significant number of people come to this realization, you will have touched the world and made a difference.

  • MDMA

  • “There’s someone in my head and it’s not me.”

  • MDMA

  • It appears to me, that your blog post is meant to provoke and therefore this comment is equally provocative.
    …………
    First, I consider myself not as clueless. I’m aware that our senses and cognition are limited (the epistemological issue), that any theories about the state of the world are speculative and temporary, that the quest for definite answers is futile.
    …………
    “Anyone who thinks they’ve got life all figured out is suffering from a psychedelic drug deficiency.”
    …………
    This includes you because your writings seem to be very self-assured. Which is not necessarily negative, because self-confidence helps to pursue a goal determined and forceful. It is not negative if one is ready to reconsider, adapt, correct, and change assumptions in the light of new developments.
    …………
    “The three most overlooked and under-appreciated things…”
    …………
    Consciousness: Assuming it to be a subset of working memory (mainly the episodic buffer) is sufficiently plausible. This also spares pondering about self, qualia, soul, and other metaphysical myths. The real battleground though is determinism and free will.
    …………
    Compulsive thinking habits: We do what we always do and do it like we always have done it. And with each repetition the habits become stronger. This is the way our brain works, as neural connections get stronger with each activation. For many, overwhelmed and confused by our complicated modern lives, this is the only way to get around.
    …………
    Mass media propaganda: When we are born, we are only partly programmed. Nurturing, education, experiences (poverty, hunger, injury, sickness, loss, violence), social climate, and propaganda will form us. Brain plasticity (hypothalamus, prefrontal cortex, amygdala, etc.) will allow us to change, it only takes time and undeviating systematic effort.
    …………
    Is that all? Aren’t there other important aspects of human experience? What about primal urges? What about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? Why do men wage wars? Has evolution programmed them to destroy their competitors for females? What about language (which you use to get yourself heard)? Susan Schaller’s book A Man Without Words shows how language fundamentally shapes human experience.
    …………
    “There is a deep, abiding peace just beneath….”
    …………
    Very poetic, very New Age. I agree completely with the conclusion: “…that emptiness is peace.” But how to achieve it? Silencing the “dancing apes” with meditation? Looking for 9 years at a stone wall, like Bodhidharma? Learning to activate inhibitory (GABA) neurons? Maybe a quiet walk in the woods, listening to the whispering of leaves and the twiddling of birds, could be a start.
    …………
    “Society is made entirely of narrative.”
    …………
    Really? What about the social contract, flawed as it may be, what about personal contacts, family, friends, and colleagues? What about tensions, injustice, suffering which no narrative can counterbalance? You are right that in Western consumer societies, where life is experienced predominately via screens, narrative and propaganda influence the social climate. Decisively, but not entirely!
    …………
    “We make vastly better and wiser choices when we can find a way of circumventing our habitual thought patterns and letting the decision arise from the emptiness.”
    …………
    Do you mean intuition? Decisions will never arise from emptiness, rather from emotions and from intuition, based on pattern correlations which we never would be able to consciously detect. The best decisions are the ones delayed and though over again and again.
    …………
    As I read the remaining paragraphs of your text, it becomes clear that you fuse two ideas: One is skepticism and a critical approach to official narratives, the other is personal enlightenment.
    …………
    The three last paragraphs resonated well with me, will your main audience be able to follow?
    …………
    Your text and my comment both represent only one of many possible points of views. Both are simplifying, both will maybe misunderstood, both will not reach the deepest deeps and only vaguely point to real wisdom, because:
    …………
    The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao; The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.
    …………
    That and “it’s just words on the screen” (the nihilistic approach).

  • A few things to agree with here but there are a few question points.

    “You if you search for truth you won’t find any. If you search for lies you’ll find more than you can shake a stick at…”

    Not sure what is meant by the first sentence but if you are saying Truth is something us humans cannot fully grasp I can sorta agree with that. But if you are saying Truth does not exist then I would firmly disagree. If Truth does not exist then there is also no such thing as lies.

    Also, “Anyone who keeps trying to tell you what you are is trying to cage you.”

    Agreed. So then the Left should stop trying to define others through identity politics?

  • Dear Caitlin,

    what is “grokked”?

    • Grokked means to understand at a solid, base level.

  • “California Fire caused by DEW Laser…” Evidence from various victims confirm Main Stream Media coverup? Watch this women’s honest story of what she saw!
    https://beforeitsnews.com/v3/alternative/2018/3647991.html

  • Beyond the Universe is the source of all we see,
    Where dwells the true Real, here only a hazy facsimile:
    A projected reality, an illusion, a hologram of Time and Space;
    Our sham 3D reality dreams from that distant place.

    “I think, therefore I am” is the greatest of delusions;
    All around us a massive, spinning confusion,
    And we dare not dwell on the true source of our being,
    Fearing we’ll cease to be, along with all we are seeing.__from my short story “Creation”

  • A course that I took, more than 5 years ago, touch much the same things as those touch on in this article. In fact, it went even further and said to stop looking for reasons, that there are no real reasons for existence, or anything else, except those constructed by narratives within our own value and belief systems. We are – and that’s really all we need to know.
    As Rene Descartes said, “I think therefore I am.” Anything beyond that is created by us. And as the creator and the only inhabitant of our individual universe, we are, each of us, god in our own universe and thus capable of creating any thoughts or values that we wish.

  • Lovely and poetic – which got me thinking of the utopia prepper book, which I love and realized I hadn’t run across for awhile and it’s the kind of book I like to open to a random spot and enjoy from time to time so I went looking for it and saw a slim book with a dark spine about four shelves up, not in my poetry section (but I’m not all that organized) and I grabbed it and it was ‘The Prince’ – the book that codified political douchebaggery for the ages. How’s THAT for irony? And I guess I’m gonna have to get another copy of the prepper book since I have no idea what I did with it.

  • Thanks, this is helpful.

  • So much of what Caitlin writes seems to have Buddhist philosophy at its core. I think if she ever went to a Kadampa half day class, she would be surprised at how well it resonated with her 🙂

    • I’ve been thinking the same thing after reading the last several posts! I think she must be into Buddhism because it seems like too much of a coincidence otherwise. I’m a Buddhist myself so i dig it.

  • Consciousness/Awareness is limitless and is the Real Self and the essence of the entire Universe and Intelligence which is the integral part of the Universe. There is no Independent existence for Emptiness. Basis/Essence of Emptiness is The Limitless Concsciousnee/Awareness which is also the Essence of “Myself”. I agree with everything else in the article. These things I understand as a long term student of “Vedanta”.

  • Beautifully put.

  • Wise words to all. Ridding or removing oneself from the “grand narrative” of western imperialism and creating you own narrative that’s more in line with ecological awareness and sublime mental health is job #1 in my book. It’s taken me a lifetime to have a semblance of contentment. Granted, I still fret and stew over the political and corporate nonsense that’s destroying Earth’s ecosystems. That’s why I have to write, to keep my sanity. I’ll write more on Medium as my coffee kicks in.

    • “Wise words to all. Ridding or removing oneself from the “grand narrative” of western imperialism and creating you own narrative that’s more in line with ecological awareness and sublime mental health is job #1 in my book” Your words speak wisdom too OL’HIPPY! I feel many here are doing exactly the same “to keep my sanity”! 🙂

  • BTW,

    Did you hear Alexander Mercouris give you a shout out on The Duran?

  • Your essays are a gift I am give thanks for (here in the USA).

    First you make me laugh,
    then smile,
    then wonder

    then think of a lot of things I’d like to write back about like baba yagas, the microbiome, and Marshall Rosenberg just for a few…

  • The way to do is to be.

  • It works for me! Makes since!

  • Anyone who thinks they’ve got life all figured out is suffering from a psychedelic drug deficiency.!

  • Society is driven by narrative. That is the truth, and the prevailing narrative in western society is the Myth of Redemptive Violence. When you get the chance, Caitlyn, I highly recommend the book The Powers That Be, by Walter Wink, which goes into depth on that subect.

  • Another insightful post.

    One “s” in “canvas,” unless you are running for election.

  • You could have stopped after the first 3.

    Happy T-day USA.

  • Thank you, Caity. “Life really is simple. We insist on making it complicated.” My best to you.

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