Listen to a reading of this article:

Things are fucked. That’s our current situation in a nutshell.

In a slightly bigger nutshell, things are fucked because powerful people are making them fucked, and they won’t stop making things fucked unless ordinary people use their superior numbers to make them stop, but ordinary people are being psychologically manipulated away from making them stop by propaganda.

This is happening in countless ways, both on a global scale and on national scales around the world, and on pretty much any other scale you want to break the collective humaning fractal down to.

On a global scale we’re seeing it in the way our biosphere is being destroyed due to human behavior driven by the reckless pursuit of profit for its own sake. In the way US warmongering is leading to a final confrontation with Russia and China that could easily end all life on Earth. In the way increasingly authoritarian agendas are being rolled out by ruling power structures to exert greater and greater control of populations. In the way oppressive and exploitative status quo political systems are held in place in supposedly free societies despite the glaring mountains of evidence that those systems do not serve the interests of ordinary people.

All of these dire realities are manipulated, distorted, re-framed or simply omitted by the sources which people have been trained to look to for information about the world. As long as we’re successfully manipulated away from forming a clear picture of what’s going on, things will remain fucked.

People are going to have to find a way to get around this if we’re to move toward health, which means we’re going to have to fundamentally alter how we operate as a species. We’re going to have to collectively find ways to protect our minds from being herded toward untruth and find ways of making our way toward truth. If we succeed in doing this, it will be a first for us since this whole civilization mess started.

More than this, in order to have a healthy world we’re going to have to actually transcend our own egoic patterning. Overthrowing our oppressors is only the first boss fight in the very first level of the video game. It won’t be enough to simply remove the systems which enable our oppression, because if we do that without also expunging the forces within ourselves which gave rise to them we’ll just wind up creating more oppressive systems.

To have a healthy world we’re going to have to metamorphose into a species which is not driven by fear and greed and us-versus-them othering. Which doesn’t see my own suffering as meaningfully separate from the suffering of my neighbor. Which doesn’t see the struggles of a population on the other side of the planet as meaningfully separate from the struggles of the population on this side of the planet. Where we collaborate with each other and our ecosystem instead of competing and killing and exploiting and destroying.

This is the humanity that’s trying to be born.

There’s a whole, whole lot of future ahead, and if we play our cards right we’re going to get to be a part of it. If we survive to see that future, humans will look back upon the stretch of history as we know it today as a kind of embryonic stage in our development. Where an animal species not unlike any other evolved a lot of brain mass in a fairly short time but still hadn’t shed the fear-based kill-or-be-killed survival impulses of its evolutionary ancestors, so there was a confused, chaotic transition phase between animal life and true humanity.

That’s what we are working toward. Modern humans with their current brain structure have only been around for somewhere between 35,000 and 100,000 years, which is less than the blink of an eye on the historical scale of the rest of life on this planet. The advent of agriculture gave rise to civilization some 12,000 years ago, in turn giving rise to civilization and the general fucked up situation we now find ourselves in.

In the yawning expanse of time that this universe has left in its lifespan, that’s nothing. And if we can make the jump and evolve beyond this awkward apes-with-hydrogen-bombs transition phase into a truly conscious species, a truly human species, we can create an amazing life together for a much, much greater expanse of time, a length of time that will make the sum total of current recorded history look like the first moments of the gestation of a fetus relative to the rest of a full-length human life span.

And we are lurching our way in that direction. Sloppily. Clumsily.

Evolution is sloppy; it’s made of death and sex and eating and mutation and environmental cataclysm. In the same way, becoming a conscious species is sloppy; it’s made of upheavals and uprisings and movements and feuds and scandals and revelations and getting it wrong and apologizing and course correcting and learning and seeing and moving closer and closer to a lucid perception of reality.

That’s what we’re really working toward, in the grand scheme of things. That’s what this game is really all about. It looks impossible right now, but that’s the way of these things: first they look impossible, then they look possible, then they look probable, then they look inevitable, then they happen, and they become what’s normal and expected.

We just gotta get past this Level One boss fight first.


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38 responses to “Humanity Is Still Trying To Be Born”

  1. “People are going to have to find a way to get around this if we’re to move toward health, which means we’re going to have to fundamentally alter how we operate as a species. We’re going to have to collectively find ways to protect our minds from being herded toward untruth and find ways of making our way toward truth.”

    Good luck with that . . is it even possible?

  2. We are the world…
    Humans dont evolve as a group…
    Evolution is not in a book.
    Happens by natural selection.
    Only chance for humanity would be rule by ai.
    Individually, we can make our own world good as it can be.
    It is what it is.

  3. Currently on the Che Guevara Brigade’s tour of the real Cuba. Please check out this unbelievably affordable fun tour as an alternative to capitalism. It is an amazing experience of socialism in action. You will be treated as dignitaries. Even if you don’t support solidarity, come and support tourism. Everyone is employed here, well fed, educated, with free medicine, no homelessness, addiction, crime, and free salsa lessons:) This is why the US hates Cuba and has maintained an ongoing war against this country. Please join us in our protest against the cruel US blockage against these victims of US imperialism.

  4. Thank you again, Caitlin Johnstone. You are very good at what you do : sharing light !

  5. I’m with you in spirit, but the extinction thing is sooner rather than later. Prepare.

  6. You read headlines like “MINUTE TO MIDNIGHT Russia and West ‘one mistake’ from nuclear conflict in most dangerous moment since Cold War, warns UK admiral” and you think, well maybe there are a few sane people left in charge.
    But then you go to the source [ ] and you clearly see that they are only the words of delusional Western fools, lackeys of the American warmongers, who think they can blame the end of the world–when they finally cause it–on Russia, Russia, Russia and Putin the “new Hitler.” Just as long as it’s all the fault of whomever we designate the enemy de jour the demise of all civilisation, nay, all life on the planet, will be just fine, thank you very much, if we refuse to admit our culpability.
    They say “hope dies last,” but in reality what will persist to the very end is the willingness of Washington’s cowed vassals to spew it’s belligerent and totally deluded propaganda to the very last syllable of recorded time. You know damned well, admiral, that Russia’s every move in foreign affairs has been a defensive reaction against clear-cut American belligerence. Even the rest of the entire Western world–its putative “allies”–has been a victim of this, but still you take your orders and bow to EVIL. Are you possessed, or what?

  7. First, we need to learn how to discern statements that are closer to the truth from those that are closer to fiction, bias and ideology, to apply critical thinking to all claims regardless of the direction or source from which they come. Second we need to learn how to act together to promote cooperation, to lessen greed and set aside ego for a common vision consistent with natural processes and collective benefit.

  8. A single posit about the end of illusions

    The only part of the concept of being, in an algorithm, is the outcome of its computer – machine calculated mathematical product. The human brain may be capable of manufacturing its own perfect mimic, but it will never succeed in supplanting itself, unless of course this was the purpose of the big bang.

    Philosophically robots may have material existence, but they are irrelevant when it comes to the immaterial; for machines manufactured by the minds – neurological brain power, of human beings, have no essential spirituality, without which robots will always be robots, even if they succeed in exterminating their creator.

    The fact of the matter is that humanity does not require robots to destroy itself, it is well on the way to accomplishing that goal without superhuman assistance.

  9. Do I detect a hint of optimism? Good on ya.

    1. Every once in a while, Caitlin lets us take a breath. Otherwise, I (and perhaps others) wouldn’t be here. There are a million places you can go to get vivid descriptions of how fucked-up things are. There are a handful of places you can go to get intimations of how things might be if they weren’t so fucked-up. There’s only one place you can go to get both of these AND a roadmap to the promised land.

  10. What is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of soul and spirit? Why are we here? “This is [within] the humanity that’s trying to be born.” What would all of this be – without a God? Since we do have souls and spirits, how far could we “transition” – without a God? No matter how far we awaken on our own, it could never compare to the birth of awakenings awaiting – through an actual God. “This is [within] the humanity that’s trying to be [re]born.”

  11. Took the trainspotting tour so many before me have taken: pulling for humanity, trying hard to reach them, and then finally giving up on them. I am at peace now and so appreciate the few awake fellow ephemeral meat suited travelers in this time and place…taking in the show…it is enough…there is still so much beauty.

    There is not one constituency that hasn’t bought into the diabolical debt based illusion…lambs to the slaughter…covid didn’t wake them…they just doubled down as soon as they could get out and resume playing the game. On one side I’ve got the hyper-Karen virologist neighbor and on the other the prosperity gospel swallowing bible quoting 1% country club friend…and a bunch of broken people in between. They are all insane.

    So few want reality…they hide from it at any cost. Our benevolent life energy is so precious…but we give it so freely without strategy or discernment…slaves to our fears and desires…moment to moment reactions. People mostly just want to “feel” better…not be better or do better…addressing the actual problem is for “tomorrow” or “later”…always. It all looks like one big circle jerking support group to me…and people will hate you if you try to get them to get out.

    I see reality as an almost infinite number of grotesque infomercial-like energy vortexes…feeding on our precious benevolent life energy. Goodness only exists in the cracks…find them…and spend your time and energy there.

  12. Yes, lots of things we’re going to have to do, and no way to do any of them. We’ve fucked the planet and now we’re fucking ourselves. Poetic justice.

  13. There are examples of compassionate communities, before patriarchy, otherwise we could not have developed arts and sciences. Read “The Chalice and the Blade” by Riane Eisler for more. In Rebecca Solnit’s book, “A Paradise Built in Hell” you see how compassionate communities rise out of disasters, beginning with the Earthquake of 1906 in San Fransisco and Hurricane Katrina. When government help arrived they dismantled the organic groups that sprang up. Fearful of the power of people of all stripes coming together for all.
    Power over and devision are the dystopian dreams of sociopaths. We need to dream a future for real community. Read “For Us The Living” by Robert Heinlein for a glimpse of that utopia. Written in 1938 and published after his death.
    In the book “Humankind” Rutger Bregman makes the case for a compassionate world.

    My point is that our demise in not inevitable, we are way off course and lost in lies and fear. Humans are good people! We need to find our way home.

  14. Another perspective is that we have an overpopulation problem. Greed and materialism didn’t create massive systemic problems until a massive systemic biomass of 7 billion humans all started creating externalities which collectively add up to be a major problem. But lots of people are waking up. If we wish to continue to consume like we do today, about half oor more of the world population needs to go to rectify the externalities. Like Thanos’ snap in The Avengers. He wasn’t all that crazy.

    1. Bill Gates et al are doing their best to reduce the world’s population.

  15. A simple step would be to shift our focus. Instead of chasing greed aim for compassion. thats all. A little compassion. The world would be transformed.

    1. Yes, Cube, but we have developed to the max and now seem locked into a global system (neoliberal capitalism) driven by greed and envy, feeding upon it while creating ever more of it. And behind that system is a worldview, that of materialism in its full dual meaning. So the first thing that must go is the worldview, which will then collapse the system, which will then, we hope and pray, unleash that compassion which you and Caitlin believe to be suppressed hidden inside us. The only way out is through.

  16. Well, the Universe was born from chaos, so maybe we still have a chance.
    The psychological shock of imminent extinction might do the trick, along with a few mushroom clouds and radioactive rain.
    Shame about the psychos in suits.

  17. I have been thinking lately about the fact that we are the last of the hominids, which has many ways ii can be interpreted. I appreciate reading someone I respect saying that there’s a chance and a way we might make it, at least a bit longer. That is a needed perspective. Thanks.

  18. Thanks Caitlin. In this article, I think you were addressing the real problem – previously, some articles appeared to focus on symptoms of the disease rather than the disease itself. But this one was more like attacking the ‘Death Star’! People must wake up and see the existential danger we are in. Centuries of greed, manipulation and control have locked us into a grid where a relatively small group of psychopathic, evil bottom-feeders are in control of everyone and everything. We have blindly allowed them to trap us in this cerebral panopticon, where they control our politicians and they dictate policy. Elections are merely the devices through which citizens are duped to believe they have a measure of control. During the past eighteen months, the curtain has been pulled back to reveal our real oppressors. Humanity has a golden future that is worth fighting for. It may take a few years, but for our children’s sake, any sacrifice is worth it. First, as you say, we must break through ‘Level One’…


  20. The masses have gotten over the kill or be killed mentality. We’re being killed in every way possible but we never kill any of those that are killing us. Progress!

  21. I am convinced we are confronted with a neurobiosocial reality. We are programmed to be predators: to “herd”, to form social dominance hierarchies, to compete for status and mates, and to kill for food, territory, wealth, supremacy. We’ve gotten so good at predation that exploitation, domination and violence are normalized and encouraged. Learning can modify this destructive behavior to some extent, but as it is primal and unconscious, only reducing levels of cortisol and testosterone would allow a kinder, mutualistic species. This would never be allowed by those who are fueled by, and gain control with high levels of those same hormonal weapons. Our larger, “new” brain operates much slower than the “old” one.

  22. I don’t own a car or a TV. That is the way I have been able to free my mind from Global Corporate Capitalism death grip on me. The privately owned automobile and the TV were invented to separate me from my humanity and so I got rid of those two awful things. Now I have begun to make a course correction toward a better life for myself and the people that I care about.

    1. The more we drive the stupider we are! What’s a TV? A girlfriend had one, but we’d misplaced it in January of 1981?

  23. Tony Troughton-Smith Avatar
    Tony Troughton-Smith

    A minor point, maybe, but the following sentence does not convey the meaning I think you intend. “In the way US warmongering is leading to a final confrontation between Russia and China” suggests Russia and China are being lead to confront one another, whereas I suspect you mean one or both may confront the US.
    Thank you for yet another insightful piece of writing.

  24. Shelagh Bouttell Avatar
    Shelagh Bouttell

    I almost didn’t read this because I just couldn’t bear more reality. But this post leaves me feeling decidedly hopeful, despite the ‘everything is pretty fucked’ awareness that underlies life as I see it. Thanks!

  25. Its amazing how many papers (“scientific”, “news”, etc.) in which the author declares that everything will be fine when people stop being people. You appear to know that that is needed, but you don’t get something fundamental.

    People are people. We are humans, and we will continue to be humans until we are all gone – which will be soon. Thanks for being someone that can at least see half the problem.

    1. I suppose this could be true, but it assumes that human beings came into being by accident, by blind evolution, and thus will exit the same way. The alternative is to believe that there is some purpose for our coming into existence, yet to be fully realized as Caitlin indicates. It’s the endless argument concerning the ultimate sovereignty over things: the kingdom of nature vs. The Kingdom of God…or Humanity in the highest sense. And science is of no help here, being entirely out of its league in attempting to answer philosophical issues.

      1. Perhaps we should see ourselves as “human becomings” with the creative spark of divine consciousness within. While natural evolution is an exquisite manifestation of continual creation, human consciousness is a transcendent, limitless phenomenon.

        One day people will look back and marvel at the blind groping of our current brutal dark age, wondering how humanity came to be governed by so transparent a cabal of dangerous psycho-sociopaths. Theirs is the New World Odor of the living dead.

        Our planet and species are too wondrous to be destroyed by such demons. I believe a paradigm shift, a transformative humanist revolution is all but inevitable, and there are many wonderful luminaries, including Caitlin Johnstone, lighting the path ahead. Consider also:

        Putin on woke cultural Marxism

        1. Christ let’s hope you’re right. Thanks for the links.

    2. The west believed mankind moves along a linear path, ever upward. The east believes mankind run along a cyclic path ever repeating. Thus we never become anew but simply revisit who we once were.

      1. Maybe the wisest image is not a line or a circle but a spiral. I’ve always like that idea.

    3. Some species in the past disappeared because they were ‘unsuccessful’ . . perhaps the human species will disappear because we are too successful. As you say, “people are people” . .

      Whilst I applaud and admire Caitlin’s optimism, I myself do not share it.

  26. Wonderfully succinct!

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