At some point in your life you’ve experienced at least one moment of clarity. Maybe it was just a little bit of clarity, maybe you got reamed up the third eye by The Whole Enchilada, but to a greater or lesser extent you caught a glimpse beyond the veil of mental bullshit that most of us tend to experience in our day to day living.

This is just a reminder of that moment of clarity, and an assurance that it’s just as real and true now as it was back then.

Maybe it happened when you were a child, before the grownups had fully managed to teach you how to be crazy like them. Maybe it happened while you were under the influence of psychedelics. Maybe it happened while you were seated in meditation. Maybe it happened after everything in your life went to hell all at once and it felt as though God Himself was taking time out of His busy schedule to urinate on you personally. Whatever the antecedent, and for whatever reason, the usual mechanisms of stress and confusion and mental perseveration just sort of fell asleep at the wheel one day, and you experienced a moment of clarity.

And then what happened? If you’re like most of us, it vanished from sight as “real life” came crashing back in.

How weird is that? You experience reality and truth to a greater extent than ever before, and you realize “Oh, this is what’s real actually, all that stuff I thought was so important a moment ago really doesn’t matter at all,” and then you have to set all that reality aside because “reality” comes knocking. Bills to pay, kids to feed, people with the wrong political beliefs to yell at on the internet. It all goes out the window, and in exchange for all that truth and reality you just traded in, you get a bucket of bullshit. It’s weird.

And then you just kind of set that moment of clarity on a shelf somewhere in the background of your daily mental clutter. Maybe you told yourself it was just youthful immaturity. Maybe you told yourself it was just the drugs. Maybe you almost managed to forget all about it but you never really could–not completely. Maybe you hadn’t thought about it directly in years until I brought it up just now. Maybe you’re still trying to convince yourself that it didn’t happen or it wasn’t real.

But it did happen. And it was real. It was the most real moment of your entire life.

All the stuff that fell away is what’s not real. All the mental chatter, all the sticky fixations on people and opinions and gossip and guilt and shame and insecurity and inadequacy and obligation and dread, that’s what’s imaginary. What’s real is what remains when all that stuff fades into the background. What’s real is the presence you experienced in your moment of clarity.

This isn’t an admonishment to try and get back there. You can never “get back there”, because presence doesn’t live “back there”; it lives here and now. You can also never hope to attain it in the future, for the exact same reason. If you reach into the past or the future for another moment of presence, you’re guaranteed to miss it.

Presence is closer even than the concepts of “here” and “now” can point you to. Presence, fundamentally, is you. Your moment of clarity came when you experienced yourself without the usual illusions about being something other than what you are added on top of that. You experienced yourself without all the extra imaginary stuff. Living free from extra imaginary stuff is a skill that you can learn if you want to.

Really, all it takes is wanting it. Set the intention to live in truth. Say to yourself right now, “I want to let all the bullshit fall away and only live with what’s real, even if what’s real hurts my feelings or dissolves my beliefs.” All you have to do is set that intention and then let it go. It’s a kind of set-and-forget thing. Let life deal with the path and the details.

If you try and “do” it yourself, you’ll fuck it up. It’s not a “doing” thing, because then your thinker-brain takes the wheel, and your thinker-brain has no idea about these things. As soon as you do that, you are attempting to use the same tool that is created by (and invested in) this bullshit to clear away the bullshit. It’s kind of like trying to use water to get dry, or asking your cult leader how to get out of his cult. You have to decide that this is what you want more than anything else, and also decide that you don’t care how or when it happens. It’s a tricky two-step. Trust yourself to let your greater consciousness take care of it. Let life take you by the hand and make it happen for you.

Or not. If you don’t want it you don’t want it. Not right now anyway. But maybe someday you’ll remember that moment of clarity you experienced that one time, and you’ll start getting curious about it.


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56 responses to “So, About That Moment Of Clarity You Experienced That One Time…”

  1. David Wayne Robidoux Avatar
    David Wayne Robidoux

    I was very fortunate when my eye opened, for what ever reason my moment of clarity was that I was not my thoughts but the watcher of my thoughts.The universe set forth without my consent thank GOD or more apropriatly thank the universe. Since then I have learned to seperate that spirit which I am from my thoughts by watching them on a screen as in a movie and I edit them to what I choose to be my truths. I choose what I want to believe on a conscious level. No good ,no bad , just conscious awake alive in this moment in this space in this galaxy in this perticular universe. Alas I am present !

  2. NotOnDrugsAnymore Avatar

    I know the feeling
    It is the real thing
    The essence of the truth
    The perfect moment
    That golden moment
    I know you feel it too
    I know the feeling
    It is the real thing
    You can’t refuse the embrace…
    It’s like the pattern below the skin
    You gotta reach out and pull it all in
    And you feel like you’re too close
    So you swallow another dose
    The pinnacle of happiness
    Filling up your soul
    You don’t think you can take any more
    You never wanna let go
    To touch the roots of experience
    The most basic ingredients
    To see the unseen glitter of life
    And feel the dirt, grief, anger and strife
    Cherish the certainly of now
    It kills you a bit at a time
    Cradle the inspiration
    It will leave you writhing on the floor…
    This is so unreal, what I feel
    This nourishment, life is bent
    Into a shape I can hold
    A twist of fate, all my own
    Just grit your teeth, make no sound
    Take a step away and look around
    Just clench your fist and close your eyes
    Look deep inside, hypnotize
    The whisper is but a shout
    That’s what it is all about
    Yes, the ecstasy, you can pray
    You will never let it slip away
    Like the sacred song that someone sings through you
    Like the flesh so warm that the thorn sticks into
    Like the dream you know one day will come to life
    Try to hold on just a little longer, stronger
    It’s the jewel of victory
    The chasm of misery
    And once you have bitten the core
    You will always know the flavor
    The split second of divinity
    You drink up the sky
    All of heaven is in your arms
    You know the reason why
    It’s right there, all by itself
    And what you are, there is nothing else
    You’re growing a life within a life
    The lips of wonder kiss you inside
    And when it’s over the feeling remains
    It all comes down to this
    The smoke clears, I see what it is
    That made me feel this way…
    This is so unreal, what I feel
    Flood, sell your soul, feel the blood
    Pump through your veins, can’t explain
    The element that’s everything
    Just clench your fist and close your eyes
    Look deep inside, hypnotize
    Yes, the ecstasy, you can pray
    You will never let it slip away
    Like the echoes of your childhood laughter, ever after
    Like the first time love urged you to take it’s guidance, in silence
    Like your heartbeat when you realize you’re dying, but you’re trying
    Like the way you cry for a happy ending, ending…
    I know

  3. Now an old man, you bring back to memory my moment of EXTREME clarity.
    In 1975, a truck loaded with steel slid off a frozen mountainside dirt road and crushed me against a bridge beam I was working on. Back broken and multiple rib fractures. No pulse. Pronounced dead on the scene.

    Now to what matters. I found myself in a dark and forbidding void, hurtling toward a distant star. As the star grew closer (and larger), I instinctively braced for the impact.

    There was none. Instead, I was enveloped in a golden glow of love and realized I was one with it, part of it, and inseparable from it. There was no need for questions as everything were answers. The indescribable tranquility and peace transcended anything mere language can convey.
    Then I awoke to agonizing pain, but that was the least of my concerns. More than anything I was Instantly homesick for the nirvana experienced.

    Thank you for bringing that wonderful experience back to mind.

    1. D. what an experience and glad you lived. I got into a truck for a new job one day and when I got out, said it had an exhaust leak. Boss said “we’ll take care of it later”, clueless person he was.

      Two months later, still driving that truck without a bit of repair, I got to the site one day, stepped/fell out and things were getting dim and I knew I was about to be on the ground. A young guy sitting in his pickup asked if I wanted to get in and get under the a/c. I got in and pretty much passed out. He hauled ass to an ER 45 miles away. It was a very surreal experience and I began to feel as if I was headed into the ether, floating away from Earth and everything physical. I wasn’t in pain and felt peaceful. Some hours later I came around enough to hear the conversation between a specialist and her assistant. The assistant asked if it was the real thing referring to my situation. The specialist said they’d never seen numbers(ppm)like that before.

      I find it fascinating the both of us perceived we were moving toward something. For me it wasn’t a point, it was more like a “time”. I guess both us old farts are lucky to be alive and probably fear death much less than we once did.

  4. Moments of clarity…
    “You have to start with the truth.”
    “If wars can be started by lies, peace can be started by truth.”
    “Truth, ultimately, is all we have.”
    — Julian Assange
    SAT 16 NOV
    – London
    Trafalgar SQ
    – NewYork
    Washington Pk SQ
    – Washington DC
    WhiteHouse 1pm
    – Wellington
    Civic SQ
    – Glasgow
    Freedom SQ
    – Toronto
    100 Queen ST
    – Sydney
    Manly WHARF 10.30am
    27 NOV
    – Brisbane
    Parliamt 7pm
    – Berlin
    Reischtag 6pm

    1. Next Julian’s hearing in front of a judge — with video link — is tomorrow Monday 18:
      > The case management dates were set as follows
      > 18 November 2018 Call-over hearing (administrative hearing necessary to bring a defendant before a judge every 28 days)
      > 18 December 2019 Deadline for evidence
      > 19 December 2019 Case management [hearing] (to review the progress of the case, including evidence submitted)
      > 7 February 2020 Deadlines for bundle submission by both sides
      > 11 February 2020 Deadline for defence skeleton argument
      > 18 February 2020 Deadline for prosecution skeleton argument
      > 25 February 2020 Extradition hearing begins.
      WikiLeaks — Press Release Regarding Julian Assange’s Case Management Hearing — 21 October 2019

  5. Experiencing clarity: simply hold the ‘witness’ position without judgement and reaction. Try doing this as an experiment, one day at a time. See if you can get through one day without judgement or reaction about anything, then redux on day 2…. accomplishing this over days, months, or years will bring you to ‘awakening’.

  6. I get moments of clarity when I read your writings. Magically you seem to put my thoughts into words.

  7. Thank you for that important reminder!

  8. Regarding our media system, I’ve found some clarity here:

  9. Stay curious about your moments of clarity. “The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” ~ Albert Einstein

  10. Excellent piece. But . . . can you imagine what it’s like to live your whole life in that clarity?
    It is not a good thing, to see things as they are. To spend your life fighting for principles nobody understands. To question everything and believe nothing. To be considered a harmless lunatic.

    1. Maybe it is good, just not easy…

    2. Another tragic loss: harmless lunatics? Not maniacal, Rasputin stereotypes, dharma bum Dudes, or wild eyed gurus. I’m guessing self-actualizing saints are now medicated, awaiting ECT? You’re too sensitive? My personal guru, was a 22yr old with the IQ of a tree frog, who’d bite my head and laugh. Last time I was aware of my surroundings, was a lovely spring day in a $15 blowjob motel in Fairfield, AL. right before an EF5 hit?

  11. Ironically, the closest I have been to true clarity was when my brother died unexpectedly at the age of 18. I realized that pain is unavoidable, there are no guarantees in life, but love is the most important thing. The rest is bullshit. Then I had to go back to my “real” life but I try to hold on to this gift my brother gave me.

  12. Years ago I was really stoned. Suddenly I understood that moment of clarity when life’s purpose is obvious. I smiled enjoyed the moment, took another hit and went back to my video game.

  13. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer but one has seen.
    – Che Guevara

    1. That is as concise as it gets. Everything said, nothing left out. Perfect.

  14. An alternative take about the moment of clarity.

    Alexander Maslow called it “peak experience” by a “self-actualizing individual.”

    A peak experience is a blissful mental state of complete calm. No urges remain unfulfilled, no dreams and hopes are pushing one forward.

    No, this is not an epiphany, not a moment of sudden and great revelation or realization. Don’t hope and wait for the mythical epiphany. There is no epiphany, because synaptic connections in the brain are only gradually built or strengthened. Which can take days or month or years.

    One has to prepare for moments of clarity, for the peak experiences over a long time — in fact over the whole life. And if one ever reaches this state of clarity, it may only be short. One also cannot force it and one has to be lucky. Various things have to fall into place accidentally.

    Only a chosen few are fortunate enough to make the moments of clarity, the peak experiences last permanently. The steady stream of sensory signals from both outside and inside one’s body, the challenges of daily life, urgencies, misfortunes, and ailments will make the feeling of clarity fade away. Clarity, peak experience will become a distant memory.

    But this is not an on-off switch, the experience will change your life, and if you are able to renew it, maybe feel it even more intensive, there will be more change. You will do what is necessary, what is prudent, reasonable, sensible, appropriate. You will live a life of discipline, virtue, modesty, and love.

    Some people may find it helpful to define the process of preparation for clarity in neurological or psychological terms:

    a. Constant conscious diaphragmatic breathing.
    b. Quieting the brain chatter (by control of inhibitory (GABA) neurons.
    c. Focusing (on parts of the body, on chakras, mantras, prayers, musical rhythms).
    d. Balancing neurotransmitters (serotonine, oxytocin, vasopressin, dopamine, noradrenaline, etc.)
    e. Activating the parasympathetic nervous system (relaxing, smiling, vagus nerve, guts).
    f. Living aware, inspired, disciplined, modest, purposeful, forever curious.

    These are only six aspects of one integrated process. It is just a descriptive tool to make it easier to grasp what’s going on. In the end understanding has to be intuitive. We will never be able to completely rationally define the networks of 86 billion neurons with a trillion or more synapses or the infinitesimal events, forces, vectors in the causal stream of life where everything is connected and influenced by everything.

    One could also name the process to gain clarity as body-mind intervention, mindfulness, meditation, or something completely different. One may find sacred traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Paganism, Voodoo, Druidism, or sacred rites of any other kind helpful. Whatever works…

    1. Thanks for that description Mato, very helpful.

  15. The first rule of the game is – you don’t talk about the game. 😉

  16. Yeah. I had such a sacred moment many years ago. I still practice randomly remembering it. Without hope. But like dropping a coin now and again into a fountain, and walking way. When it is ready and I am ready, it will come again — unexpectedly, as before. Or not. I don’t control these things. They are beyond me, even though always there within me like a very long term pregnancy waiting it’s time. Thanks for your beautiful remembrance Caitlin. You’re the best.

  17. 3 times for me, Caitlin, as a “grown-up”! All 3 made me know the same thing: people live forever. My “thinking brain” says that’s ridiculous, but I can’t UN-KNOW it.
    As a kid with dogs and a stream and woods and chickens for friends I had whole days of clarity.
    Thank you especialky for this article.

  18. The Moment of Clarity is ever Present, yet, we still have to haul in wood for the fire, water to drink and bathe in, before Nirvana, haul wood, carry water, after Nirvana, Haul Wood, carry Water……It is,, I admit, a wonderful place to be in! I do not let anything “GET” to me, it is like water off of a Duck’s Back, sliding back into the River; the Hard Knocks come, and then they go, and I am still alive, taking in oxygen, expelling carbon dioxide, when I awake in the morning, I just give Thanks; Thanks to the Sun, for deciding to Shine, and gift us all with another day of Life!, Thank’s to this wonderful, forgiving, Earth, for allowing Us to live on Her!…..I am going to Play on My Many Tongued Drums, & Play a Song in Honor of My Fire!

    1. Thanks George. Good one.

    2. I have to admit that it is difficult to read every one of your posts. I missed this one. But it is cathartic for me to write so I will catch up. Sometime in early 1969 I had my moment of clarity just before I turned 19. I was part of a unit that had deployed to Vietnam. We were tasked with patrolling the waters of the Mekong Delta and charged with (H&I) harassment and interdiction amongst many other duties. (my favorite was Search and Rescue) We inspected local vessels for contraband (Vietcong and weapons). We also provided the land forces with gunfire support when required. My moment of clarity or awakening came when we had a detail of Navy Seals aboard who used us as a platform to operate from. Sick Bay and Doc were busy as we supported them with supplies, replacement personnel and close up gunfire during the operation. The after action report was announced and our participation was recognized for it’s effectiveness with kudos for our CO. My good friend had been off watch and when I saw him I was all excited about the KIA count etc. When I told him about it, all he said to me was “how many churches and school buses did we hit?” That moment has always stayed in my mind. I woke up that day and have always worked against war. There was never a good war. NO war is good. Since that day my search for truth has been an ever present companion.

  19. For me it was a lucid dream where I was not only aware that I was dreaming but aware that everything, and I mean everything, was literally alive, even the couch and the walls. Everything in the environment emitted the vibrancy of life from within, and with more colors that I knew how to name. It was extraordinary! Admittedly, my words here are truly a pathetic and lame attempt at describing the wonder of that momentary awakening — you had to be there.

    1. Sounds like a Good Acid Trip, the problem is, once Experienced, one wants to stay there,or re-visit, can’t be done, it is a one time experience! That is the problem, one has a wonderful experience, and then one wants it to continue on For-Ever!, Yet Time and Love have no place for it……It is the Thinking of it that Creates the Desire for More! When one’s mind is still, there, there, is LOVE!

      1. It wasn’t an acid trip — I was more lucid than I’d ever been. The lucidity was so memorably significant that the importance of “carrying wood and hauling water” has since then held the same level of significance for me. That one priceless experience continues to live on-and-on in my day-to-day because I never lost touch with it’s message. I, personally, operate always from a good heart space and that, fundamentally, IS Love. As I see it, a person only need one life-altering experience to re-set the tone of their lives –that lucid dream was mine. Anyone who keeps wanting more of those kinds of experiences isn’t placing enough importance on the message being delivered, but on pleasuring their third density addiction to ego-self.

  20. No thought, no reflection, no analysis,
    No cultivation, no intention,
    Let it settle itself.
    Quoted by Alan Watts, The Way of Zen

  21. You know how some websites imbed videos, well I followed a video link and watched a short video, and when it was over several other video choices came up.
    So, I watched a program on quantum physics. The name quantum comes from Einsteins definition of a light particle. Anyway, they went into the feud between Einstein and Neils Bohr about the Schrodinger Principle, You know, Schrodinger’s Cat. At the end of the program, after they showed how Bell was able to prove Einstein was wrong, there was this narrative about what it means for our reality. If reality only exists by our observation, what does that say about what reality really is? I immediately thought, well, reality is what we’ve been taught it is. Furthermore, what we have been taught only separates us from what it truly is. That’s why in the show he showed reality as being behind a curtain, and that it reveals itself as we observe it.
    My premise is this. The garden of Eden story is about our loss of connectedness to the Universe. You see according to Quantum Physics everything is connected to everything else at the quantum level.
    My question is why would society want to prevent us from knowing about this connectedness? (even my spell check doesn’t like the word) What happened to society, that made it us vs. them, when them has been us all along?

    1. The reason for this illusion is that it makes the whole evolutionary adventure of consciousness discovering it’s Self possible. Without this prima error and the long journey of correcting it, what would there be left to do?

  22. Clarity can be very ugly sometimes, Ms Johnstone.

    1. So true.
      That’s why I always keep a bucket of raw sewage to hand in case I have to quickly stick my head in.

    2. Yes it can Ron. And it can be enlightening. It can be frightening.

      I have prescience, precognition, whatever you want to call it. It WOULD be wonderful but it’s totally random and almost always shows me something in excruciating detail I’d rather not know about. It would be so much easier dealing with it when it happened but living with the knowledge and not knowing WHEN the event will happen isn’t something I’d chose, in fact, it’s something I’d chose to lose.

      We all have a cross to bear and unless I’m mistaken, we didn’t chose it.

      1. Yeah, intuitive foresight sucks. If you can see what’s gonna happen you can’t change it; otherwise it’s not gonna happen and you’re a dud prophet. What you can do instead is play Cassandra, then everyone is even more stressed by the impending doom bearing down on them and they’re just as likely to blame you for causing it with your ‘negativity’.

        But I’d suggest that if you’re seeing stuff as ‘ugly’ or ‘enlightening’ then you’re not experiencing clarity about much other than your own judgementalism.

        1. Unfortunately, I’ve not found anything good about it and certainly not entertaining. If I had any control it could be a good thing.

          1. If I had any control it could be a good thing.

            Well that’s the rub, ain’t it?

            You can have clarity or you can have control. I don’t reckon you can have both. The clearer things become the less control you think you have or need. If you want control you don’t need clarity. Take a look at the people ‘in control’.

            Magic happens. It’s not something you do. That’s good enough for me.

            1. I was speaking of precognition. If I could control when it happens, it would be a wonderful thing. I almost never see anything positive and that makes it something I’d rather not have at all.

              1. I’ve long seen it as lose-lose.
                If you correctly predict something bad all you get is longer stress and anticipation about it.
                If you correctly predict something good you lose any pleasant surprise and might end up jaded before it even happens.

                Loved your reply to my surfing suggestion, but if you really can’t float you sure have my sympathy. I guess as well as clarity you’d get a reliable, if brief, picture of your future.

          2. Oh, and if you live near a beach could I recommend you take up surfing?

            It teaches the difference between clarity and control. As long as it’s not competitive that is.

            1. Since I can’t float whatever I might learn would be short-lived but replete with clarity.

              1. No one else calling bullshit on this guy seeing the future?
                I’ve known a few self proclaimed mediums. Never sought out their company.

            2. It hurts my feelings not a whit for someone to call bs on my precognition.

              Those who know me well certainly believe me.

              I don’t expect anyone to take it for fact.

              I’d gladly give it to those who don’t believe. As I said, there’s noting positive about it I have found.

  23. Many thanks for this, Caitlin. Job well done. I especially like the line “… it felt as though God Himself was taking time out of His busy schedule to urinate on you personally.” I laughed out loud.

  24. Caithlin, please watch this video. Those new fangled LED street lights are weapons. This guy has got hold of one of them and he’s examined the gubbins. Please can you help get the word out.


    1. A follow-up video on the gubbins of that system:

  25. We’re all experiencing moments of clarity all the time, but we can smear them away pretty quickly.

    If we’ve got a diagnosis we’ll take a pill and try to remember to talk to the therapist about it. If we’ve taken acid we’ll call it a flashback. If we recognise it and treasure it we’ll probably try to keep it. Try to catch it in words and weave it into our personal narrative. Oops, … it’s gone.

    I don’t think it helps to try to talk to each other about them, otherwise the New Age would be worth listening to. And it’s not like you can catch them in amber and mount them on your wall.

    Just try to pay attention to the one happening right now.

  26. Beautifully written. You weaved in between time and space, and displayed the human decision paradox so keenly. Follow clarity. The heart. Stillness. Thank you.

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