HomeStoryI Don’t Know How To Live

I Don’t Know How To Live

“I don’t know how to live,” I sighed in despair, trying to sink into the cracks in my sofa.

“Aye,” said my heart. “And thanks be for that. If you were responsible for carrying out every one of my beats, we wouldn’t last an hour.”

“True,” said my gut. “Can you imagine if you had to know how to implement every stage of your digestion as it happens? What a disaster that would be!”

“You guys that isn’t really what I meant,” I said.

“And what if you had to keep track of all that and also deliberately orchestrate our replication?” said my cells. “You’d never manage!”

“You guys have no idea,” said my lungs. “She only has partial control over us and she still manages to screw up breathing whenever she gets anxious.”

“You think you’ve got it bad?” said my brain. “She believes she is the thoughts I think!”

“Wait, hold on now, what?” I said. “So I’m not responsible for any of you?”

“Nope,” they replied in unison. “In fact we operate a lot better when you get out of the way.”

“And none of you are me?” I asked.

“Of course not,” they said.

“Well what are you, then?” I asked.

“I am life,” life replied. “I am the beating of your heart. I am the replication of your cells. I am the voice which asks your questions, and the mind which forms them. I am the growth of grass. I am the spinning of your planet. I am the fusion of the stars and the rotation of the galaxies. I am the dance of the appearance of forms, and I am the field of consciousness upon which that dance is staged. I am the eternal beginningless endless verb. I am the thing that living is.”

“Oh,” I replied. “So, what am I, then?”

“You’re… along for the ride,” life said.

“You don’t need my help?” I asked.

“Oh please god no,” life replied.

“Well okay,” I said, hiding my butthurt. “What should I do, then?”

“What do you do when you’re on a rollercoaster?”

“I… put my hands in the air and scream and laugh and enjoy the ride until it’s over?”

“There you go,” life said.

“Whoo, okay,” I said. “Okay. You sure you got this?”

“You wanna try orchestrating the movement of every atom in the universe?” life asked.

“No thanks,” I said.

“Alright then! Relax, kid. Relax and enjoy. This is kinda my thing. This is literally all I do. Relax, and enjoy, and let me impress you.”

“Okay,” I said. “Okay.”

I raised my arms slowly into the air.

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Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemitthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Latest comments

  • I would like to sit here on my “communication device” and spread out the warning from the Economist Magazine: The Panopticon: For better or worse this IoT will bring the business models that run the Internet into the rest of the world…..(Idiot’s of Thinking {that they control this world}) “In July the Bank of England announced that it’s new “L”50 note would carry a picture of Alan Turing, a British mathematician widely regarded as the intellectual father of computer science. Along with excerpts from a seminal paper in 1936 and a binary representation of his date of birth , the new note contains a quotation from 1949, when only a handful of computer’s existed in the world. “This is only a foretaste of what is to come,” it begins.~~~~~Turing’s remark remains true today. Computers have already changed the world in ways that their inventors could never have imagined. Turing could never have predicted Instagram celebrities and high-frequency trading than Karl Benz, an automotive pioneer could have predicted suburbs and strip malls. And that is in a world with tens of billions of computers. If predictions about the IOT are correct, that number could rise a hundred-fold. Clues about what is to come can be glimpsed in changes that have already happened. In the quarter of a century since the internet became first became a consumer phenomenon, it has upended businesses. Data are the currency of the online world, gathered, analyzed, sold, and occasionally sold in a business model that has built some of the world’s most valuable companies–but which is attracting increasingly unfriendly scrutiny from governments and regulators, and which it’s critics decry as “Surveillance Capitalism.” [Note here, just get the issue of 09/14th, 2019 and Read it!] It is readily available to all, thanks to this INTERNET connection……

  • I do not know what you think, Ms. Caitlin, I would have to be in YOUR head to know that with any degree of certainly. Yet, we both, know what has to be done: We have to have a radical change of brain matter, Yet we seem to be incapable of this movement, what is it that prevents this from happening? I would say again that it is the disease of Greed and the Lust for Power and Profit, yet, I have yet to find a cure, I beg and implore people to begin thinking for them-selves, but it has no impact, so I would guess we are back to the beginning, Some people just do not “GAS” so that’s where we are at right now, so how are we going to wake them up when they are unable to read what you have to say?????

    • Here I am replying to myself, I have this wooden drum I paid $600. for on the word of the Drum-seller: Eddie Wood, so far, I have expended about $2,000.+ on his drums, I go to events with six drums and many drum-sticks so every-body who wants to can play along. We have an Artist here who every year, constructs a giant basket out of contributions made by local people, this year’s theme was “Radiate”. It was built on the Homer Spit, a giant Basket, and set Afire during a rain-storm, yet it all came together, drummer’s played, a fire dancer, danced, and it all went up in smoke, as Sirio Esteve said: Let us play, preferably grand Orchestra so every-body can play!…..When the ‘modern’ fisher-man hauls in 2,000 tons of herring, I wonder, if he stops to Thank Mother Earth for Her generosity? Probably not/It is mine, all mine, and then we have the Greed Monster, mining a ton of raw ore for 1/6th ounce of gold; and reducing a forest and living Earth to dust; the gold will sit for-ever in a vault built by humans in their short stay on a planet who Loved them, in spite of them-selves. The children tried to warn us, but, we failed to LISTEN! So tonight I will play my drums, just for ME. Nobody can be bothered to LISTEN!

  • I had decided not to read and object to these philosophical pieces any more, but I was stupid enough to click on this one and it bugged me so much that I just can’t help it. I don’t understand how anybody who ever does any work – which the author unquestionably does – could express such a philosophy of life. You *can’t* spend your time just relaxing and enjoying things. You just can’t. You *have* to delay gratification. You have to ‘orchestrate’ things. That’s ‘your thing’ as a human. Only by orchestrating things do you get anything done, including keeping the bloody rollercoaster rolling. Life doesn’t give you *shit* if you don’t bother to orchestrate stuff, for Pete’s sake. You’re not a plant, breathing and other automatic processes are not enough to even keep you alive, let alone provide you any enjoyment.
    .
    You are part of life, not ‘along with the ride’, but part of the machinery of the bloody rollercoaster. This ideal of total passivity and consumerism where ‘you’ do nothing and so-called ‘life’, separate from you, gives you stuff is just … horribly unhealthy. It sounds like nostalgia for infancy, when your only job was to suck when given a teat, and you didn’t even have to do that consciously. This sort of arrangement can’t last forever, and it shouldn’t.
    .
    And yes, you *are* your thoughts. And a bag of bones, meat and skin attached to them. There is nothing else to you, or to any of us. It may sound underwhelming, but it has the advantage of being true.

    • Wow !!!

      You really don’t have a clue what Caitlin is talking about.
      You completely and utterly miss understood every word she said.

      How strange language is.

      Same words, and to one it has great meaning and value and for another it is all gobbledygook.

      Oh how I Love both of them.

    • Tell me, friend, does any-one here on Earth mourn the passing of the Billionaire “Charles Koch? Did his wife (If he had one) place a check for his total net-worth in his coffin? Will it help him when he is reborn as one of ten children in a Somali village? How long will he survive? Does he have to do it over and over again? Does it ever end? Tell me, Friend, where does it all end. Is there ‘Retribution?’

    • You may know Kurt Vonnegut, he tried also to tell us that is just “All Right Now!.” A bag of bones, sure, meat and skin, sure, but this time with awareness, so we knew the stars existed, yet they were far away, like light years away, How are we going to get there? Do not get distracted, this is the road to peace and time travel; Get outside tonight and look up. The darkness is filled with Stars, It is not like you have to “Go” someplace, It is all “Right Now.” You are looking OUT not UP, we live on a space-ship. Who, may I ask, put that space-ship in it’ s orbit?

  • Thank god for the rain, which has helped wash away the garbage and the trash off the sidewalks. I’m working long hours now: six in the afternoon to six in the morning, sometimes even eight in the morning. Six days a week, sometimes seven days a week. It’s a long hustle, but it keeps me real busy. I can take in three, three-fifty a week, sometimes even more when I hide my tracking device in an RFID bag. All the animals come out at night: politicians, skunk-pundits, war-mongers, spies, cops, bankers, judges. Sick, venal. Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets. I go all over. I sleep in my car. I don’t care, don’t make no difference to me. It does to some; some won’t even take spooks. Don’t make no difference to me.
    Signed,
    Tragic Bicker, gig economy driver

    • Here I am replying to myself, I have this wooden drum I paid $600. for on the word of the Drum-seller: Eddie Wood, so far, I have expended about $2,000.+ on his drums, I go to events with six drums and many drum-sticks so every-body who wants to can play along. We have an Artist here who every year, constructs a giant basket out of contributions made by local people, this year’s theme was “Radiate”. It was built on the Homer Spit, a giant Basket, and set Afire during a rain-storm, yet it all came together, drummer’s played, a fire dancer, danced, and it all went up in smoke, as Sirio Esteve said: Let us play, preferably grand Orchestra so every-body can play!…..When the ‘modern’ fisher-man hauls in 2,000 tons of herring, I wonder, if he stops to Thank Mother Earth for Her generosity? Probably not/It is mine, all mine, and then we have the Greed Monster, mining a ton of raw ore for 1/6th ounce of gold; and reducing a forest and living Earth to dust; the gold will sit for-ever in a vault built by humans in their short stay on a planet who Loved them, in spite of them-selves. The children tried to warn us, but, we failed to LISTEN! So tonight I will play my drums, just for ME. Nobody can be bothered to LISTEN!/////So are you a Debt Wage Slave? Did you purchase a bunch of Crap that you could have lived perfectly well without? Why? Why? Why? are you doing this? Gig Man?

  • Dear Caitlin,

    This is terrific! Thankyou so much for sharing so much that is wonderful from you with us all.

    A big warm hug to everyone where you are, starting with you!

    John

  • The body, when sustained in a proper manner, will provide the physical platform for it’s intended purpose. Now, that is the question. What is our intended purpose? The brain is an organ like the rest of our functioning parts. The mind and spirit are different and don’t actually reside in the body as much as the whole exists. But they are as much a part of the whole experience in the physical world. The mind and spirit provide control of the body in accordance to our level of spiritual and mental development. Not everyone has accepted that the physical experience is but a place that we enter to continue our development on the path to enlightenment and leave either better or worse for it. I look around me at the world and understand that most of those in charge of world governments are deficient in this knowledge and fall prey to self-aggrandizement and fulfillment of the physical desires while ignoring the reasons behind the physical experience in total. I liked the piece that you wrote but total submission to happenstance can be dangerous. The allegory of the prodigal son comes to mind. God will appreciate your stepping off into the void, knowing that your experience can be a ‘wanton waste’ leading to ‘willful want’ or it can be a character building experience of coming to know “self”. From your writings, it seems you are on the path of knowing self. In the end, I have come to realize that God has time and he knows we will be back to make up any deficits that we incur. So, like I write on my calendar at the start of each month; Enjoy life, Be happy, Love everyone, And Pray for PEACE.

  • Lovely said life………

  • test

  • Please tell us the truth then,or what she said wrong

  • For those of us still hoping for the day ” the swamp ” implodes upon itself; a small glimmer of hope:
    https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/the-odor-of-desperation-2/

  • Caitlin! Please write an article about MOVEON.ORG. This organization was originally heavily anti-war (the bumper stuckers said ENDLESS WARS with LESS crossed out) but has morphed into another movement that spins its wheels on things like climate change “strikes” and other virtue-signalling gestures.

    Thank you for adding your insightful words to our lives!

    • Jeremy,

      The golden youth is really scared by climate change. In many countries they will march friday to force the governments of the world to fight climate change.

      We heard some 18-20 years old on tv saying that they are afraid for their future children and grand-children.

      Rest assured this golden youth would not march to force governments to give a decent home and a sufficient income to homeless people living on the street.

      They care only for themselves and their still-to-be-born children, not for others. And now they are afraid because climate change is affecting everybody including themselves.

      We have to pray the Rosary with much fervor. For sure, the Return of Jesus in very near.

  • They’re Murdering My Son – Julian Assange’s Father Tells of Pain and Anguish by Finian Cunningham
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/09/24/theyre-murdering-my-son-julian-assanges-father-tells-of-pain-and-anguish/

  • OMG! I laughed, and cried a little. Thank you!

  • Just as there are, in the observable world, winds from four different directions, maybe there are four inner winds from different life metaphors: amusement park, gift shop, purgatory, and penal colony.

  • Excellent!
    Life I AM. Life is Isvara. Therefore Isvara I AM. What I think I AM is nothing but shadow of my true self, which is Ego/Ahankaara. I am the Truth/Limitless Conciousness/fullness/Wholeness/Isvara
    Try to know what is Right. Try to follow what is Right. That’s all I can do. And enjoy the rollercoaster ride.
    Indeed!

  • yes, knowing your limitations makes you truly powerful.

    • Bernie just said the best thing he ever said: “the billionaires should not exist” as opposed to Liz Warren saying “the billionaires should pay more taxes”. there’s the difference between a socialist and a liberal capitalist. now, only if Bernie could find courage to oppose imperialism and its wars….

  • Brilliant!

    🙂

  • I always appreciate your writings but this is THE BEST ever 🙂

  • We are not in control of anything. Even our own bodies. Remrmber this and you will be much happier.

  • It is beautiful ! …and funny…

  • I loved this and gave it much thought. So this means I am not Queen of the Universe after all. I am now putting my hands up cause I am coming to an end of this ride. Thank you and the Universe for who you are.

  • http://www.johndayblog.com/2019/09/rich-people-naked.html
    This Jinni won’t go back into the bottle.
    Greta Thunberg was invited by global elites to speak as the honored guest within the UN holy-of-holys and she decreed that they are evil liars, but she just doesn’t want to believe it.
    She has taken the role of the kid in the crowd who says “The Emperor is Naked”.
    She just spoke to the world that the whole ruling class is lying, deceptive, and taking no necessary action, while knowing that is killing life on earth.
    They have put her in a position to be Grand Inquisitor, and she has judged them harshly.

    The elites are also common criminals. Look at Joe Biden and son (fruit-not-far-from-tree) Hunter.
    Fancy the overlay of broadening the application of legal statutes to apply to Air Force 2 fliers, then Air Force 1, Bibi Netantahu,the House of Saud, and so on, in the context of Greta Thunburg’s declaration that the whole class is evil, by definition.
    There has been massive commentary backlash against her UN speech by those elites who actually watched it, after thinking she was a nice sincere, mildly-autistic girl who they could use for their PR purposes.

    Here is the core of her speech Monday:
    “My message is that we’ll be watching you.” …
    “For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.
    “You say you hear us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that. Because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And that I refuse to believe.
    “The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5 degrees [Celsius], and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control.” …
    ​ ​”How dare you pretend that this can be solved with just ‘business as usual’ and some technical solutions? With today’s emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone within less than 8 1/2 years.
    ​ ​”There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures here today, because these numbers are too uncomfortable. And you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.
    ​ ​”You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you.
    ​ ​”We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.
    “Thank you.”
    https://www.npr.org/2019/09/23/763452863/transcript-greta-thunbergs-speech-at-the-u-n-climate-action-summit
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYqtXR8iPlE

    • Lol. What a deluded pompous know it all who knows nothing. She is so sure of herself she would not recognize the truth if it slapped her in the face. I am amazed anyo e listens to anything she says.

  • Great analogy, funnily enough this reminded me of the book of Job, an ancient wisdom story that is far older than it’s enshrinement in the Bible.

  • Along for the ride. Thanks for keeping us company. X

  • Brilliant writing! So glad I found your website!Thanks for the truth and philosophy.

    As the late, great, comic Bill Hicks so eloquently said: “The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly colored, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, ‘Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?’ And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, ‘Hey, don’t worry; don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.’ And we … kill those people.”

  • And Jeffry Epstein, Donald Trump, Ehud Barak, Jeff Bezos, Eric Schmidt and Mohammad bin Salman are all part of life as well. Yes life can be challenging.

  • I “heart” this!

  • Caitlin, you’re such a bad-ass writer. You inspire me.

  • Although the intrinsic foulness of the United States did not arrive with Donald Trump. He is a reflection of the racist, genocidal, perpetually exploitative, money-lusting, humanity-loathing construction of the United States – a hideousness that has been in play since the origin of the sham republic. Donald Trump simply reveals what exists at the rotten root and makes visible the murderous spores carried on the insidious winds of United States empire.-Phil Rockstroh

  • Hahahahahahahahaha!!!! What an excellent reminder! I needed that. Whew. xoxo

  • I hope you’ll record that one, Caitlin. I’d love to hear you reading it.

  • Beautiful!

  • Yes excellent.
    Play whatever role….but surrender. Very simple, but not necessarily easy. There’s an old Zen poem from Lu Yu :

    The clouds above us join and part.
    The breeze in the courtyard leaves and returns.
    Life, is like that.
    So relax.
    Who can stop us celebrating ?

  • We are our Glia that are, as astrocytes, the controllers of every body and neuronal synaptic event and the decision makers for the Salient network in our stupid brain. We are distributed beings with sensory nerves in every organ of our body.

    I try to live by what I was told are the 4 Hopi native American precepts

    1. Show up
    2. Be present
    3. Tell the truth
    4. Don’t own the outcome

  • The classic sign in an auto mechanic’s shop …..
    “Labor $50/hour. If you help $100/hour”
    🙂
    Weeeeeeee!

  • Only you can define your zen. Enjoy the ride.

  • Thank you Caitlin. As one being one with another, it appears to me that knowing “I am who I am” invites us to recognize and reflect the integrity of life as a shared attribute of one Supreme Being. RSVP ASAP — LOL

  • http://www.johndayblog.com/2019/09/over-cliff.html
    Google’s quantum Supercomputer is going to take over all forms of consciousness in the universe and re-format them into the total matrix. Hey, maybe we’re already in it and we’re just recreating reality” in it’s own image.
    https://www.rt.com/usa/469325-google-quantum-computer-reports/
    https://summit.news/2019/09/21/googles-quantum-supremacy-to-render-all-cryptocurrency-military-secrets-breakable/
    How quaint. Can I take both colored pills?

  • Oh waiter…I’ll have what she’s having! ;^)

  • I enjoyed that. It’s humbling to ponder on how little we are in control of anything. Trying to control everything makes us neurotic and anxious. Autonomic nervous system, autonomic universe – they rule, okay? Let’s go and play while everything is taken care of, one way or another.

  • Brilliant Cait!

    you are such a clear powerful force of good and wisdom…… 🙂

  • Thank you. Beautiful.

  • catilin, i love that your heart is a pirate.

  • That was brilliant. Thank you so much. We all need this!

  • OMG
    If only a small handful of humans really got what you just shared what an amazingly beautiful world we would be living in.
    Thank you Caitlin for You.

  • Wow.

    And YES.

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