Listen to a reading of this article:

Humanity’s collective awakening will unfold in ways that nobody is anticipating, for the same reasons an individual’s awakening always unfolds in ways they can’t anticipate.

An individual’s journey into greater consciousness is rife with plot twists and M. Night Shyamalan surprise endings, because it is always by necessity a journey into the unknown. Success on the quest to become a more conscious human will necessarily come with surprises, because you’re bringing the light of consciousness to things that weren’t previously seen. The things you discover surprise you because there’s no way you can really anticipate something you haven’t yet seen for yourself.

When inner work and therapy begin yielding insights into the underlying sources of one’s unhappiness or self-destructive behavior, those insights are often accompanied by a sense of surprise as one realizes for example that a parent whose actions they’d always believed were normal was in fact abusive and traumatizing, or that an early sexual encounter they’d previously believed was innocent was in fact rape. Things that have been kept hidden in unconsciousness due to our inability to grapple with them earlier in life are seen clearly as we coax them into consciousness, and the realization that they weren’t what we’d previously assumed can shift our entire experience of life.

When you get it into your head that you need to “find yourself”, the Sixth Sense surprise ending of that hero’s journey is that there has never been any self to find. People mistake thoughts and the apparent existence of a physical body for a “self”, the identification with which they weave into their psychological functioning and energetic experience of life in early childhood. But through careful investigation it’s possible to come to the jarring insight that no aspect of our experience actually contains an inherent “me” in it; that it was an unquestioned assumption which got woven into our habits of cognition and perception early on, and that we can consciously un-pick those habits from our way of functioning by bringing awareness to the way life is really happening.

The surprise twist at the end of the quest for liberation is the realization that true freedom comes from setting life free. That freedom from slavery to one’s conditioning and the ability to experience life in its natural boundlessness is only possible with a letting go of all effort to control things; to control outcomes, to control our experience, to control others, to control life. All egoic patterning is ultimately born of a desire to control, and freedom from that patterning can only come when there’s a letting go of that desire.

The surprise ending of the search for inner peace is the realization that peace has always been here, closer to you than your own heartbeat. That our experience of life in all its sloppy tumultuousness is painted upon a canvass of infinite peace, and that this canvass is your true nature. It was simply overlooked for a time.

The surprise ending in search for unconditional love is the realization that unconditional love is already the case for the entire universe; that everything which appears is utterly beloved exactly as it is without any desire to change it in the slightest. And that change is also utterly beloved. And that even confusion and unconsciousness is utterly beloved. Even in its most painful manifestations.

Every positive change in human behavior is always preceded by an expansion of consciousness, whether you’re talking about an individual or an entire world. But you can never truly know ahead of time what’s on the other side of that expansion until it happens, because you’re not yet conscious of it. A dream character can’t know what’s happening in the bed of the dreamer. A confused individual can’t know what it’s like to be a buddha. A confused humanity can’t know what it’s like to be a conscious humanity. Because they’re not conscious of it yet. The lights haven’t yet switched on.

And I point this out because I see a lot of people giving up hope for our future; based on what they can perceive and understand about our situation they see no reason to believe humanity will avoid being locked in an Orwellian dystopia if armageddon and extinction doesn’t end us altogether. But that’s just it: there’s so very much we can’t yet see and understand about our situation, because we’re simply not conscious of it yet.

We are a young species. So much is still hidden in our collective unconsciousness. There are so many lights that can yet be switched on. So many potential doors currently hidden in darkness creating the illusion that there is no exit.

I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m just as incapable of seeing what’s behind all the curtains of our collective unconsciousness as everyone else. Maybe we’ll make it, and maybe we won’t. But there’s one bet I’d definitely lay down good money on, and it’s this: by the time we know for sure how this thing turns out, we’ll have surprised ourselves many times.


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43 responses to “The Surprise Ending”

  1. Humankind is not only a very young species, it is also a species that completely overestimates itself compared to all the other wonderful beings on earth, what they are and what they are capable of, as well as compared to the almost infinite size and vastness of the cosmos with all that it contains.

    But hey, I mentioned it here before. Give humankind some time to get out of diapers. Measured at the past existence of the solar system and the earth the humankind is only one blink of an eye old and again measured at the presumably still remaining existence of the solar system, the humankind still has a lot of time to take off the diapers – if it does not destroy itself before.

    However, this view from the holistic level will only be understood and accepted by those who have their ego under control.

  2. Just beginning this journey in ninth decade. My prejudice is against ‘”consciousness” and the search will be in vain for that reason. Naive thought is of consciousness as a result of our limited senses. You need a circuit to remind you someone is watching when you only have a 180 degree visual field. Every other sense is similarly limited and needs a meta-circuit.

    “Love” like “god” is meaningless word. If it is “got your back” it is powerful but limited. If it is the Universe it is invisible and meaningless. But Ultimate respect for our host and look forward to the search.

  3. …..k-dog…you turned another page for me in my ever evolving understanding of our society of the spectacle…i was not aware of the overton window….i am now…thanx…

  4. I feel a strong rhyme with most of what Catlin wrote. I thank the stars I am someone who grows with time. Not everyone does. I agree: ” Every positive change in human behavior is always preceded by an expansion of consciousness.” Preceding yes, but it is interactive. Consciousness -> behavior-> consciousness -> behavior.

    While I resonate with the vibe I sadly do not agree that a more conscious society is in our future.

    We are a society of ‘all about me’. Connection with the collective is dead. A village could evolve. The connections in a village are there to make it happen. But life as we know it does not have these connections. Isolation by smartphone along with the surveillance it brings, both from the government and by corporations after your money, means freedom is replaced by fear.

    What’s going to happen is forces of decay are going to be stronger than a desire to grow. A society that has lost connection can’t grow. As misery intensifies a stifling middle class morality will evolve to prevent the number of growing poor to be helped. We will become a society of the last man standing. Look down on the poor and hate the rich. That is what most of us will become. Conservative values are the new Overton window.

  5. …..getting to empathy…
    … conquering the apathy…..
    …..that’s spreading neuropathy….
    …..of the will…..

    ……the psychology…..
    ……of the pathology….
    ……of the sociology….
    ……of humanity….

    ……is the chronology
    ……of the atrophy…
    ……of the transitory…
    ……of the spirit…..

    ……so is the archeology….
    ……of the anthropology….
    ……and the zoology….
    ……in the present…..

    ……looking for the sympathy
    ……or the epiphany….
    ……or the eulogy…..
    ……for we………?

  6. Hey everyone, A good selection of comments. Many of the comments are expressing a fractal of that experience that we find ourselves in. The whole of our experience here includes, but is not limited to, religions(and your response to them), New Age Belief systems, your physical, emotional, and mental bodies and the indwelling spirit that accompanies them, all politics, military endeavors, plans and actions of those that hate humanity, pollution, Earths desire for movement, abuse of children, and on and on. Many folks zero in on whatever has captured their attention. So what does Wholeness include? What does it exclude? Years ago I travelled to Sedona and spent a bit of time over the years hiking and exploring the consciousnesses I found there. Part of what I discovered was that a great many people had no clue as to what was going on in the planet around them. At that time I came to FEEL that many of these folks were “Holding Space” at a elevated vibration as their part in service to Humanity. That felt good but didnt come close to fulfillment for me. And ultimately doesnt necessarily work for others unless your version of the whole leaves out all the “other experiences that Humanity is going thru. Our greatest gift as Humans is EMPATHY, and the greater your connection to your Human Spirit, the broader and more inclusive your sense of Empathy becomes. So in the end you cannot ignore what is happening to the rest of humanity. Thats Wholeness. Humanity is Not a young race. Not by any standard our minds conceive of. You cannot ignore that Humanity on this planet was conquered, that you are living in the moment of a Great Turning and everyone must choose actively their understanding of the whole. What I have noticed over the last decade, is that even some of the best centered teachers I have witnessed, have developed a type of anxiety that is building because its not quite as simple as everyone thought, those that hate and conquered humanity much more devious than imagined, and dont want to give up their food quite that easily. It is definitely a profound time to be here. God Bless

  7. thorsjackhammer Avatar

    New age spirituality? That’s a state sponsored psyop in itself. I went down the Eckhart Toll rabbit hole when I thought I was going through a ‘psychic crisis’, but it turned out it was just a shitty diet and resultant pre-diabetes and hypoglycemia. Cured by a strict meat and green veg diet. Bye bye processed foods, sugars and starches, hello clear and stable mind and body. The thing is, reality IS the sociopaths megalomaniacal drive to rule the roost. Traditionally the only way to periodically cure these pathogens is to mass revolt. Guess what, NOTHING will change unless enough disenfranchised angry and energetic people make the change. The cognitive dissonance of ‘love conquers all’, ‘pay it forward’, ‘Krishna consciousness’, ‘Christ consciousness’, ‘insert new age garbage here’ is what the sociopaths rely on to keep control. Cognitive dissonance will not conquer sociopathic megalomaniacs, only total elimination will.

  8. Our bodies are not separate from the Earth.
    Our bodies are made of the Earth.
    Our bodies are sustained by the Earth.
    Our hearts are nourished by the Earth. And by Love.
    There is only one Earth in the Universe.
    The Earth has endured many upheavals.
    Our bodies perish, as all bodies must, but the Love we feel does not. Love is immutable.

  9. tl,dr: No idea, what will happen, but i want to be optimistic.

    On that individualism idea – You have of course every right to state, that you disagree with René Descartes, but i find it below your own standards to not deliver any reasoning, merely belief.

  10. When I was about six
    I would do a contemplation
    but I had no such word for that process
    no teacher.
    Born to parents that had experienced WWII
    I wondered, “where was I when all these major experiences were taking place?”
    Those experiences were happening while I was less than a dream.
    Then I considered, “all those WWII experiences were less that a dream
    to those that lived before them”.
    Then I drew from my limited concept of history and pictured the time
    of Hercules who I had seen on television. To the people during those glorious times the people
    of WWII were less than a dream, “where was WWII and all the people experiencing it
    during the time of Hercules?”. Those people and the major activities of WWII were like a dream.
    I would do this contemplation as I paced along border rocks. The border of rocks
    was a single rock high, one rock placed beside the next in a single file. I would
    pace from one end of the border and then turn around and repeat.
    Before Hercules I knew there were dinosaurs and I would picture them and muse that
    now Hercules and his era were a distant dream. Considering the time before the dinosaurs I ran short of
    history so I would just imagine Earths history as a cloudy, fuzzy ball floating
    in space. This ball floating in space was now all of Earth’s history, all the dreams together yet to come.
    And the dinosaurs were as a dream now.
    Then I would muse about what was before the Earth – only the stars would remain.
    Back and forth I would continue to pace, as I created images in my mind. Then before the stars there was
    only darkness and God. God to me was a presence, an awareness. Before the darkness there
    was only a presence.
    What was before this Presence?
    And sometimes. Rarely. I grasped a concept of *before God* and I would experience a
    feeling that cannot be described. The feeling was the same each time I got the
    concept just so. It was fleeting and lasted no longer than a spark.
    I was able to do this contemplation for a couple of years or more, then I couldn’t.
    Have always wondered whether that six year old originated that contemplation or if it came from a dream.

    1. Thank you for that. I had similar experiences that I have never been able to put words to. Mine involved the concept of infinity, arrived at by wondering what was before and before and before, then after and after and after, and seeing there was no beginning or end, and that must be God. I’ve saved your description, it touches a tender place.

      1. Thank you for your feedback and for connecting.

  11. When the caterpillar becomes the butterfly

  12. In other words…

    1. Funny, i also thought of that song ^^

  13. We should treat humanity with contempt until they prove they aren’t just complete wankers, as with any abusive relationship. Otherwise they have no incentive to change.
    Look at Inna here, I imagine everyone she ever met (said they) believed in her potential and she’s convinced that she only needs to love Dick Cheney’s inner child and read ‘self help’ tripe to fix the world. If only the plebs could get it. Opposing war is for people who don’t receive the divine messages hidden in old newspapers apparently. Shouldn’t we be calling out this bullshit in the strongest possible terms? I know I do. Class war is key. Harder to see when they are your biggest patreons. There is a them and alot of them are right here disarming us with their vacuous pleasantries. A couple of weeks without lattes, Ubers and gourmet takeaway ought to shift the mindset somewhat.

    1. The way I see it, if you aren’t living a precarious existence, struggling to survive and dont put your comfortable existence on the line attempting to support those that are, then you deserve every ‘negative thought’ and depressive episode you suffer. Those that usually for cash incentive attempt to help you paper over your cracked psyche with positivity and ways to avoid thinking those thoughts are the liberal faschist version of Goebbles. Who’s grankid’s are billionares by the by.

    2. Rumsfeld and Powell recently died. That means, I do not have to waste the rest of my life hating Dick Cheney, because I know how this story ends. Besides his politics is now represented by his daughter Liz Cheney.

    3. You may enjoy reading the paragraph how a White House aide stopped Cheney from convincing Bush to start another war.
      “Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley feared that Cheney might indeed persuade Bush to intervene. To ward off this possibility Hadley ordered his NSC aide Fiona Hill to station herself outside Cheney’s office and monitor his movements. If he emerged and appeared to be heading to the Oval Office, she was to call her boss and Rice immediately, so that they could sprint to Bush’s side and dissuade him from any dangerous notions dripped in his ear by the vice-president. ”

  14. Another deep and powerful post, Caitlin, thank you. Now it is up to me, eh? Damn. <3

  15. ….always good analysis in these posts….however i don’t think any consciences are going to be raised to the level where….voila!…we have liftoff to a better world…..the woke bullshit is already being stomped on by much of the media….just wait until opra gets a hold of it and repackages it….to many agendas coming from celebrity politicians, celebrity athletes, and just about everyone who is or claims to be a celebrity…..the ones who do have voices that speak truth(s)are ignored…….
    the majority of the human race doesn’t have the standard of living that the “developed” world “enjoys”…….the spectacular illusion presented prevents anything counter to that narrative….survival is a different concept to those not blessed with a starbucks or micky d’s nearby…..the changes needed are not even on their minds….how do billions come together to have some sort of “revolution”?……honestly…i don’t know…..but pollyannish, kumbayesque soft talk will not cut it……organize….it takes time….and that is running out…….

  16. Wow. I think you did it! : a difficult concept well done.

  17. What a beautiful and true rendering this is! I know this to be so “personally”, but It does my heart good to see it put collectively, which I sometimes can forget. And to be reminded that what’s going on now is actually consciousness expansion, painful though it may feel, and that the result is not knowable (which of course doesn’t preclude my advocating for what I think is right, but without attachment to result). Thank you for this article, may all who read it be inspired!

  18. In 1993 while in college using the school’s Digital Equipment VAX mainframe computer system, I sent a message to a global university group. This was before the World Wide Web burst onto the scene. I simply said, “the moment is the cambium layer.
    Cutting trough all the religious and philosophical dogma surrounding the meaning of life, the metaphor of the moment allows us to drop all of our imagined pathways to salvation and simply be. If we can forever stay in the moment, we will then know our heart. You will find, however, that our chatty minds will thwart our efforts to stay in the moment.
    Sometimes reading books to help us understand our reality actually calms the mind and allows us to more fully be in the moment. Seeking the truth is the beginning of the journey to now. A good book to read that describes how our world is currently managed is Collusion – How Central Bankers Rigged the World, by Nomi Prins.

  19. 15 years after retiring I discovered that anyone can and will lie to us and to trust nobody. Am I close?

    1. Yes anyone can lie, etc. but we can only trust ourselves and shouldn’t need rules (w their inherent gray areas/ exemptions) for defenses.

    2. No, Brad. You’re going in the wrong direction, 180 degrees, in desiring to change (if I read you right) our lying society. You see, “unconditional love is already the case for the entire universe; that everything which appears is utterly beloved exactly as it is without any desire to change it in the slightest.” No, Brad, you’re WAY off in getting worked up about all the lying, in wanting to change what only appears to your “non-self” to be evil, including our winding up “locked in an Orwellian dystopia if armageddon and extinction doesn’t end us altogether.” And you’re sure as hell wrong to be reading this blog, which relentlessly calls out and fights against evil…except in strange, intermittent posts like this one.

      1. you read me wrong
        “And you’re sure as hell wrong to be reading this blog”
        f off!

    3. I use a mini ‘scientific method’ that I work-out in my own head, on everyone, to prove to myself whether they are full of shit, or not. The ruling class want division and lack of trust, they encourage it in the mass media, it empowers the sociopathic c****.

  20. From the perspective of conditioning and trauma, let us see how a meeting between a US Congressman and a lobbyist might go.
    Raytheon Lobbyist: I think you can be bought by a promise of more dark money, even if it is a little bit.
    Congressman: I have heard this same thing yesterday from the Lockheed Martin Lobbyist! And many many more times – it must be true.
    R.L.: We want to sell more bombs to Saudi Arabia; the collateral damage being done to civilians (likein Yemen) does not matter because they are worthless.
    Congressman: That sounds familiar. Since I grew up in the US, I equate my self-worth with not just money, but ever increasing income to account for inflation. Also, the British Empire has done this in Yemen before us to make money, so it must be OK.
    So you can see how they can literally exploit person’s conditioning, and how the justifying of the status quo happens.
    And really, the MIC essentially abuses our Congressmen, and they take it in stride because of their personal histories.

  21. E Ma Ho! Very good piece. Buddha should be capitalized though.

  22. Hi Caitlan, just want to express gratitude for the perspective you share with us all. Narrative can be a tool for good too. In telling our own stories we equally have the opportunity to shape perception and transform the world into an opening hand rather than a closed fist. Dream-weaving, the reality behind perception becomes a part of our dreaming just as we are waking up. Thank you for your stories.

    1. Who is Me?
      Most of us put around in our body vehicles, imagining ourselves a mini-me sitting in the pilot seat up in the brain box. We make decisions and resolves and find we can’t always keep them, or find that we self sabotage, or do stuff where unaware we are doing. There must be more to me, but it’s still me.
      Then there are the extreme cases where another fragment pushes their way in to the pilot seat and takes over for a while. But it’s still me.
      Or what about when we run on autopilot, and there is no-one in the pilot seat for a short or long time. But it’s still me.
      Then those who are fortunate enough – or unfortunate enough – to have a trans-personal experience where shared thoughts and feelings come without words and the surrounding space becomes alive. But it’s still me.
      Or when… but it’s still me.

  23. I’ll stick to my nihilism and see no hope in people. When you aren’t saying anything new, you’re just repeating what they want to hear. Duck, duck, goose. I’m so tired of playing with these infantile fools. You left out the part of their trauma that has them believing they’re full of wit, charm and insight. Nothing to fix there!

  24. It being Groundhog Day yet again, I’ll once again play my necessary part.
    Here’s the most obvious, most important question of all. Just exactly WHAT, and I do mean WHAT, WHAT, WHAT should people do AFTER they’re all woke up? Should they pick up a gun? Should they guillotine some VIPs? Should they march hand in hand down Penn. Ave. forever and demand, demand, demand that the Elite behave better, or else? (“or else” just exactly WHAT?!)
    Here’s what you and tens of millions of other fully-informed, fully formed, fully tuned-into-what’s-wrong-with-the -present-arrangment people are eventually going to HAVE TO DO because
    there. is. no. other. way. to remove 536 Rs and Ds from the federal government’s elected seats of power. (If you know of another way, please spell it out, right here, right now and, BTW, wishing upon a star, dream, dream, dreaming; hoping and praying and deep, deep, deep self-study and drug-trips are not going to do that job.)
    If you do not want More Of The Same that you’ve gotten after every election in the past, do not vote for another R or D, ever, no matter what an R or D promises! Jimmy Dore explains EXACTLY why. (If you want MOTS, just voter for another R or D, makes absolutely no difference which.)

    1. Once you wake up you love everything and everybody. It is hard to stay that way, but that’s what the Work is about (I am referring to Byron Katie’s book “Loving What Is”)
      Although I support holding politicians accountable, so far it is not working.

  25. It is a nice thought but if humanities collective awakening has not happened yet, I doubt it will happen on its own. I think it can be forced upon mankind but will take a proverbial winnowing of the field removing the wheat from the chaff so to speak. However if you could miraculously achieve this awakening, it would be short lived. Future generations would infect the awakening and dilute its progress until chaos reigned once again.
    Like the universe mankind is dissipating and constantly rushing towards chaos instead of order.

  26. Beautiful piece, thank you!

  27. Nice thoughts…. You can’t really believe this current Psy-Op will end well for a large portion of the World’s population…. All is in place for the “War on Virus” to transition into the “War on Climate” as Universal Basic Income, Universal Digital Currency/Tracking/Chips, and some form of Martial Law becomes commonplace… “Optimism of Spirit” is healthy, but, “Pessimism of Intellect” is also needed to be an actual Adult…

    1. Well if giving up doesn’t work, we could always try collectivism.

    2. thorsjackhammer Avatar

      Predominantly, realism is needed to be a balanced adult. And, yeah, things def will not end well for most of humanity. The remaining will be social credit sheep kept in check by the thought police. Orwell was largely right, I was hoping it was all fantasy. “If you want peace [liberty], prepare for war”, there’s some realism for you.

  28. I love it. I am reading book “Loving What Is”, and it teaches you how to question your thoughts and to find peace. Ironically, it arrived (second hand) with a 2004 newspaper in it detailing how President Bush’s extended family profited from him starting a war in Iraq.
    Which I am going to surmise is a divine message that instead of opposing war, or asking for peace, we have to know peace ourselves.
    It also means that our government is trapped in their stories about other “bad” governments. And possibly were abused themselves as kids (and maybe all their lives). We have to love these poor confused children in them!

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