Listen to a reading of this article:

Did you know chimpanzees hunt smaller primates for food?

They do. They’re actually very skillful hunters due to their size, their strength, and especially their intelligence. They coordinate their attacks, working together to cut off the escape routes of their prey to greatly increase their success rate. Scientists have even frequently observed them using crude spears to kill a small primate species called the lesser bush baby for their meat.

One of the many interesting things about this behavior in our primate cousins is that they are so good at hunting they can become victims of their own success, wiping out entire populations of prey in their area. Red colobus monkeys have been hunted to the brink of local extinction in Uganda by chimpanzees hungry for a quick protein fix, solely because they’ve been gobbling up those delicious little guys faster than they can reproduce.

Sound familiar?

The tendency of homo sapiens to overburden our ecosystem with our consumption is not unique to us, and is not new. In fact, it looks like we’ve been on this trajectory toward ecocide since our ancient evolutionary ancestors began evolving extra brain matter.

And it is possible to just stop there and conclude that we are no different from our chimp relatives in this sense. That we will simply keep overhunting the red colobus monkey until there are none left, that we will keep depleting and destroying our biosphere until it can no longer sustain life. That the human brain differs from the chimpanzee’s only in intelligence, not in wisdom. That we are in essence no different from the cyanobacteria at the dawn of the Proterozoic Era, a new species showing up on the scene and causing a mass extinction event in an ecosystem overburdened by their rapid flourishing.

You do also however have the option of openness to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, our species is destined for greater things. That maybe, just maybe, we have within us the capacity to transcend the mindless patterning of our evolutionary ancestors and move into a mindful relationship with this planet and its life forms. That maybe, just maybe, this whole human adventure doesn’t need to end in disaster after all.

From what I can tell, the only people who find this idea outlandish are those who have never experienced a great unpatterning of their own. Who have never healed the wounds of their past and transcended the unwholesome mental habits which were given to them by their conditioning. To anyone who has experienced a dramatic transformation from dysfunction into health, it’s obvious that any human could potentially go through such transformations as well. Or even all humans.

It is possible that our descendents will look back on humanity’s existence on this planet from prehistoric times up until this crucial present moment as a kind of bridge between animal life and a new terrestrial expression that isn’t driven by the unconscious conditioning patterns that have driven the movements of every species on this planet from the very first single-celled organisms onward. That what we’re experiencing right now at this critical juncture is what it looks like before the emergence of the Earth’s first conscious species.

An unconscious human is one driven compulsively by deep-seated mental habits they don’t really see and can’t do much to control, so they’ll often find themselves engaged in unwholesome behavior patterns like addiction, unkindness, greed and neurosis, and making the same mistakes over and over for reasons they don’t quite understand.

A conscious human is one who doesn’t have unseen conditioning pulling the strings from behind the scenes in their subconscious mind, because they have done their work and drawn their inner demons into the light of consciousness where they can be healed. They are therefore able to move through life deliberately and in the interest of what’s best, rather than compulsively and in a way that spreads trauma to others.

A conscious humanity would mean that this way of functioning blossoms throughout the entire species.

Doesn’t it kind of look like that might be what’s happening? Like all the chaos and confusion of these strange times could simply be the birth pangs of a species whose relationship with consciousness is about to take a dramatic pivot? The increasingly shrill mass media narratives rapidly approaching white noise saturation? The increasingly widespread awareness that our society’s rules are made up and we can change them whenever we want? The mysterious increase in incidents of spiritual awakening as reported by teachers of enlightenment? Just how goddamn weird everything’s been getting these last few years?

I think it’s possible. I think it’s possible we are moving as a species toward an adaptation that will enable us to survive in a situation which is very different from the one we first emerged in, as every species eventually does if it doesn’t go extinct. If this is indeed what is happening, it stands to reason that it will be an adaptation that prevents us from wiping ourselves out via ecocide or nuclear war, and that a collective movement into consciousness is what that adaptation will look like.

A conscious species would be able to work in cooperation with its ecosystem, rather than compulsively consuming it due to primitive impulses to obtain and dominate and egoic impulses to be rich and have more. A conscious species would be able to convert civilization from competition-based models into collaboration-based models, where rather than trying to climb over each other to get ahead we all work together to make sure everyone has what they need to live. A conscious species would no longer see the sense in dividing itself up into separate competing nation-states which brandish armageddon weapons at each other out of fear and greed.

The more I learn about humanity, and the more I learn about myself, the more possible such a world appears to be. Sure the world’s a chaotic and distressing mess right now, but so is childbirth. However bad things get for us, as long as we’re still alive our problems are nothing that can’t be fixed with a collective movement into consciousness.

Anyway. That’s my pet theory right now. And the cool thing about my theory is that if you like it too, you don’t have to wait for it to come true. You can start becoming more conscious on your own right now and leading the charge for the rest of us. Investigate your true nature, heal your wounds, be responsible with your actions, and begin working to coax all your endarkened bits into the light.

And then hopefully the rest will follow. If they don’t, worst-case scenario is you wind up a lot more happy and functional than you otherwise would have been, because you brought so much more consciousness to your inner processes and your habits of perception and cognition.

This is where the real adventure is at, in my opinion. This is where the rubber meets the road.

I will meet you there.


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74 responses to “Our Challenge Is To Transcend Our Evolutionary Ape Heritage”

  1. Caitlin & Tim,

    I invite you both, and everyone else, to consider how a ‘new tech tool’ might help accelerate this ‘consciousness evolution’ process.

    Instead of relying on today’s infocomm control tools – created for profiteering with narrative control – imagine one new tool that shifts infocomm control to the infocomm consumer. Such a tool has been engineered in detail – though not built yet.

    It shifts the definition of good vs. bad and right vs. wrong from what’s best for me to what’s best for the future of humanity. It automatically finds and highlights the best understanding, decision and action – given ALL possibility with ‘positive creativity’ emphasized. It’s a signal in noise filter type tool that directly combats misunderstanding due to dis-misinfo.

    The info ‘better understanding’ seeker has 100% control of ‘who’ authors that which they will consume. Not just one author, but any number of co-authors – be it individual minds or group thought voices.

    This tool perfecting combines any number of individual voices. The key innovation comes from the discovery of a new form of infocomm data object. An object that is so logical and tightly controlled by its own design – that rogue humans cannot hack into it – to destroy it or bend it to their special-interest advantage.

    The tool is called TAPable. It’s the offshoot of a new model called TAP.

    TAP = Toward Alternative Possibility

    I invite you all to dig in and to find a better understanding of both – now that you have found TAP awareness.

  2. Yes Caitlin. Yes.

    If you are intellectualizing this piece and your impulse is “let me tell you why human history suggests otherwise”, that is your fear.

    your fear of change
    because in change is the risk that you will be different, unrecognizable
    (and if you are not you then who are you?)

    we hunger for continuity… spontaneous universal enlightenment is impossible driven by some single external event.
    the light filters thru each prism differently

    eventual universal enlightenment thru asynchronous awakenings

    isolated singularities

    stars exploding in the void to cast the fabric of energetic dust that is us

    that is the way

    and so it is up to you to prove Caitlin right… there is no wrong.

    you’ll get to the finish line (the eternal moment) one way or another, death is not the backstop

    so whenever you’re ready to join… we (some of us) are waiting to welcome you with love

  3. Never been on this side of the river in Shanghai. My China walking guides are always on the other side, the “postcard side,” looking across the river to the finincial district and it’s “iconic” skyline. Which is unfortunate, in my opinion, because that skyline, although China’s most famous, I consider a part of the tacky neo-liberal wannabe period of China’s development, a bygone era, and wouldn’t rank in my top 50 in China, in fact, it wouldn’t be one of my top 5 skylines in Shanghai.
    A fucking outstanding park. What else can I say. Yeah there’s a lot concrete, but it’s concrete poured by master crafstmen, and besides, you can only truck in so many trees when you’re a building a massive riverside park from scratch, and they did manage to truck in enough to give this one balance.
    If I was bookin’ it, what would I put the over/under on the cost of this park? One billion minimum (the bike lane alone looks like it put “the builders” back 50 million plus). One billion dollars spent to provide yet another public space devoted to the mental health of the citizenry, and maybe too, to also send a message to the financial crowd that you can build all the skycrapers you want, but only in the spaces we alot to you, and we will never ever allow you to dominate our waterfronts.
    Those are ours.
    We all know China bends 12 times more steel than the US does every year, and pours more concrete every two years that US has in its entire existence, but did you know, that China produces nearly three times more wheat every year than we do?
    The ex-pat China vloggers that I follow all have made top 10 lists of why they like China. Safety, cleanliness, ubiquitous and cheap public transportation, the beauty of the land, and freedom (yes freedom) are always vying for the second spot, but do you know what is number one for all them?
    Food. The quality, variety, availability, and cost they all find second to none, and certainly taken together, far beyond the capacities of their homelands, wherever the hail from.
    Interesting, no?

    1. Shanghai from a different angle. An ariel view right up the Huangpu. 8 minutes.Good tune-age. It almost doesn’t looks real, like it’s camera passby over a model, but it is.
      I see it everywhere I go in China, developers, finincial engineers, treasonous neo-liberals, don’t get the waterfronts. Those are reserved for the people.
      With caveats of course. Ocean coastlines can be a different story. Afterall, if you are a mostly self-sufficient nation-state that also likes to trade with folks, why not have 7 of the world’s 10 largest – and most modern – ocean going port facilities while you’re at it?
      No endless suburban sprawl. No strip malling of entire states, regions, continents. In fact, outside of litter and cops, the thing I encounter the least in China is parking lots.
      Parks are revered, obviously – if you take a wrong turn in China you will be in a park. But even more revered are their National Parks. I could go on and on about what I’ve seen, all the dozens of techno-marvel pedestrian suspension bridges in the clouds, traversing gorges and mountain passes just so the citizenry can better take in the beauty of the natural surroundings down below, but let’s just say China would never be so fucking stupid as to privatize their natural wonders.
      Note: I’m not even a parkman. Parks aren’t my thing. Unless it was a ballpark I never had much interest. But I always recognized their value. They are a huge net positive for any society, especially a modern one.
      But even the old days they had their benefits. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe it was in Charles C. Mann’s 1491 or 1493, can’t remember which, I learned that John Smith reported back to crown, that he could ride from one end of Virginia to other, under a tree canopy, at the full gallop.
      He was in a humungous manufactored easy kill zone, that also provided natural shade in the summer and shelter in the winter, along with nuts and berries and other good stuff.
      Hundreds of years in the making, thousands of controlled burns and lots of inter-tribe cooperation through the generations was required, and as long as you didn’t overhunt or overbreed, or war too much, who knows, it might have been sustainable living arrangement for who knows how long?
      Forever? Lmao … No, nothing lasts forever. Besides, the neo-liberals showed and that was the end of that.

  4. “You do also however have the option of openness to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, our species is destined for greater things”.

    We will, or we will not. There is no “destined”.

  5. BB Benderhaus Avatar
    BB Benderhaus

    I think we mistake knowledge and education for wisdom. For many facts often hide the truth when seeking wisdom. We all choose what we believe from the soup of facts called history. Believe as you wish but dont deny or deride another their beliefs.

    1. Truth and wisdom are for those dispossessed of real power and influence, who make up the class that the Power Elite rely on to keep The Show Boat of modern life afloat.

      Chimpanzees lie and deceive. So do humans. Humans self-deceive.
      I am unsure if chimpanzees self-deceive as they do not have laws against killing each other or others. That is, they cannot afford to lie to themselves.

      Now we live the present Big Lie, notably The US-NATO-UK Ukrainian War on Russia that is now set to expand, heading West. That is no lie.

      The Big Lie examined here . . .

  6. Laurie De Marco Avatar
    Laurie De Marco

    l will speak the truth and l believe l shall not be heard but l will speak for maybe l will be wrong but the fact above all else humanity despite the enlightened souls has a existential problem by 1970 the human population was 3 billion by the year 2022 it is 8 billion since 1970 half of the species on this planet have become extinct so l will say this the planet has finite resources that includes available rna and dna or genetic soup available for biological
    manifestation or the making of life on this planet whether it be flora or fauna now here comes the problem humanity has been monopolising the planetary genetic soup for its own egoic gain and has been hoarding the planetary genetic soap to the detriment of all else on this finite planet humanity by its continued desire to reproduce is destroying itself and all else on this planet and our beautiful planet despite all the other talks this single point is our most pressing problem and one that is not heard…..

    1. BB Benderhaus Avatar
      BB Benderhaus

      I hear you. Dont fret, mankind will find a way to restore balance.

  7. re: Fermi’s Paradox
    I believe Enrico answered his question at the same lunch in which he asked it? It is impossible to muster up enough speed to get anywhere, so everyone stays close to home.
    Not necessarily because they’re predisposed to so, some are undoubtedly adventurous, like us, and some are surely by nature homebodies, but for the simple reason they have no other choice.
    That said, I’m all for the “silent but benevolent aliens are among us” theory. I hope, I pray, I dreamily wish that it were so! Because it is our best chance, by far, to make beyond this first Great Filter test*.
    But I’ll say the same thing about them that I said about us, they better get crackin,’ those friendly visitors of ours, because time is running out Johnny Quick.
    That’s the twisted nature of the exponential. Time actually starts marching back on you at electrifying speeds. For many millenia everything is fine, and then out of the blue and in a matter of seconds, the situation becomes damn near irrepairable.
    *No parsing, please. I know there have been others, and not just for the homo-sappers, but for all life since The Spark. But this is the first one that we humans are cogizant of.
    Should be cogizant, anyway, if we truy are what we say we are.
    Special beings!!! Lmao …

  8. joshua bender Avatar
    joshua bender

    Real enough, yet positive. Thoughtfully refreshing. Thanks.

  9. What’s wrong with bonobos, then?

  10. Monkey brain in a human is not a good state of mind, yet I am sure real monkeys are more intelligent and kind than Biden and his cabinet.

  11. Oh dear, has Caitlin fallen for the New World Order, Build Back Better, World Economic Forum fantasy that they have a better way for us to inhabit the world? That their plan is a step up instead of a step off? That would make me very sad.
    Yes, we, like the chimps, are omnivores. So what. We farm our food, chimps are opportunists. There is absolutely no comparison.

    1. Still think this woman writes very well, but this is definitely new world order type thinking which I don’t entirely disagree with. It is dumb to have nations. We are all humans. Anyway just wanted to comment bc had the same thought that u posted about after reading this.

      Ps so what to do with the “non-conscious”? Just kill them? Not cool…

      1. Some people are so thunder struck by Jane Goodall’s observations of chimpanzees eating meat, hunting in packs and even making wars on neighboring troops that they impute too much “humanity” to the beasts, either individually or as a lineage in evolution. Others make a similar but opposite exaggeration of reality in embracing the hyper-sexed bonobos (another simian species related to chimps) as a model for human behavior and/or evolution.
        I’m sure many antiquarian humans (and our many related Hominin species) displayed behaviors similar to both chimps and bonobos on many occasions in many locations. Doesn’t mean they are hard-wired into us (or even into chimps) to be displayed everywhere always. Moreover, any behavior that is nearly reflexive (like ducking when someone throws a punch) is not likely to be amenable to elimination by profound introspection. This is assuming our supposed simian violent tendencies are reflexive or even close to it.
        Have any ethologists even tried to quantify some sort of “violence index” across the spectrum of human societies? I daresay, even if they tried such categorisation, they’d find enormous heterogeneity in every individual group they studied. People here are telling us today how “identical” human nature is across the globe, and across history and even geological eras. Well, that’s their BELIEF. I look and see enormous individual behavioral diversity.
        I suspect that today Caitlin is guilty of a little bit of dialectical over reach when she tells us to overcome our inner chimp with meditation and introspection. Sure, Carl Sagan was able to write a best seller by introducing us to our supposed “lizard brain” in his “The Dragons of Eden,” but his was a pop-culture tract in neural anatomy and physiology. He actually developed his arguments over 263 pages.
        As to Caitlin going all “new world order” on her followers, I don’t think so, at least not until she overtly says so in no uncertain terms. You’d be amazed at the interpretations some people put on verses from out of the Bible. Sometimes even I characterise policies emanating out of Washington as not merely evil but even Satanic or demonic just for effect, not because I actually believe in the reality of such entities. Others commonly refer to bullies, of which all our recent presidents have been, as gorillas to up the level of insult. This is, of course, a slander on those great apes, with no taxonomic implications to the human lineage whatsoever obtaining.

        1. Macaques are high divers.

          I’m surprised China hasn’t built a dedicated macaque diving arena. Put it into one their central parks.
          It’d be a big hit.
          China should pay me for all the ideas I’ve given them over the years. Thieves.

    2. There is a fairly wide gulf between being dissatisfied with the current divided into nation-states arrangement and advocating for a neo-liberal New World Order.
      Still, your point is valid.
      If you detest the idea of autarky, but also, don’t want to be ruled by a tiny cabal of evil global elite, then what exactly do you want?
      I’m all ears, but please, don’t make the argument we need to get local.
      If you can’t handle your business at even the nation-state level, then dreams of going local will be just that, dreams.
      But that’s pretty much all I’ve encountered in my 15 years of on-line extinction related discussion. Dreams.
      How do we beat the Great Filter? We must dream harder!

      1. The major problem is what do u replace it with a bunch of disorganized half conscious maniacs who want to fight over whether u were born with a penis or vagina when u can verify that without any external input.

        If u can’t put urself in their shoes u can’t understand the problem and it’s a major f’ing problem.

        We are witnessing the solution to the problem. But u can’t call urself human anymore if the solution is to kill off the non-conscious that makes u non-human. I’ll be happy to go out as a human and want no part of killing off a section of humanity.

  12. Karl Marx already gave us the solution. International workers’ revolution.

  13. Consciousness requires focus, and focus requires a selection. What we select or choose mainly depends on our nature and our very own nature is heavily influenced and dependant on this uncaring, unkind, competitive and selfish world. The only hope we have, is that we must change.

  14. It’s become my mantra, forced upon me, that humanity is mostly a bunch of hateful monkeys, but your analysis reminds me of an impromptu hunting party I once found myself leading while hiking with a group of children along a forest path, when a largish lizard indiscreetly happened into our view and I watched a group of suburban LA 8 year olds spontaneously transform into a cooperative pack of two legged wolves, with myself at the head. We, or at least I, had no ill designs on the beast, who in any event proved more capable of eluding than we of hunting, but anybody who thinks humans aren’t naturally predatory should have seen our pack in action.
    Also, if you’re ever in India, Do Not Feed The Monkeys. Take my word for that or learn it for yourself.

  15. Over consumption is not an innate genetic trait. Understanding human behavior as evolutionary conditioning is flawed. It is no more correct than thinking language is a conditioned response. It is not.

    You wish to place order on what appears to you as chaos and by saying mankind behaves this way due to evolution creates the order you seek. Because without this understanding you have a lack of clarity.

    You want to believe that mankind is evolving and growing into something more. That mankind is hindered by evolutionary impulses that prevents mankind from moving forward to that new being.

    What you fail to consider is that mankind is what mankind is. Nothing more nothing less. There is no perfect being. There is no force of evolution driving mankind to some new existence. Homo-sapiens, just are.

    There is no great awakening. People are awake, they choose not to act.

    1. We are just waiting for Bill and Ted to write that one perfect song that tranforms mankind.

  16. Stop with the knucle dragging.

    “Focusing on concepts impinges our ability to accurately envision solutions to the problems that we face. We need to be pointing fingers at individuals. We need to be publishing lists of names, not just of companies, but of the people running those companies and the connections that they have to governments!!

    Talk of chimps is masterbatory

    “There’s no place in this world where I’ll belong, when I’m gone
    And I won’t know the right from the wrong, when I’m gone
    And you won’t find me singin’ on this song, when I’m gone
    So I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here. – Phil Ochs

    So quit the monkey around!

  17. “Belief’ is a requirement for ‘Evolutionary Science’…Don’t ‘believe’ me?, scientists have been trying to breed a human from a simian…specifically, Chimpanzees, since the 1800s…it can’t be done, no matter HOW much time is given to ‘bake’. Dr Francis Crick, one of the 2 scientists who dicovered the DNA strand, was vociferous in his disagreement with Darwin-ism, even writing about ‘Panspermia’, because he didn’t accept that DNA could come from this planet.

    1. Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, according to a book famous in the 90s :o)

    2. Francis Crick was not skeptical of biological evolution and the origin of species, just that the physico-chemical principles of all life at the molecular level (the formation of all its essential macromolecular building blocks, including DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids and polysaccharides) from simple abiotic atoms and molecules could have taken place within the brief interval before their sudden appearance in the geological record on Planet Earth.
      The Earth is purportedly 4.5 billion years old. Evidence of primitive microbial forms appears within the first couple hundred million years of the planet’s existence. The rest of mostly >4 billion years of evolution has been spent remodeling and presumably optimizing the existing life forms until they brought forth its “crowning achievement” of humanity.
      Crick recognised that the more implausible sequence of steps in this long chain of evolution would have been the first ones that created complex molecules from simpler ones that could, nevertheless, function well together and serve as a workable base upon which to construct all future genuine cellular life forms.
      Why would the processes of DNA replication, RNA transcription and protein translation come into being without an appropriate context? And how could it happen so fast, again without a context and the pressure to do so? Evolution does NOT create anything based upon “future plans.” That’s not the way it works. It acts to limit what can be generated from existing forms. Any evolution is limited or entrained by its own history. The most difficult steps would be the appearance of “life” from simple inanimate molecules.
      Crick, and most molecular biologists/biochemists DO have theories, based upon the chemistry of the early Earth of how molecular evolution outside of living cells might have taken place, e.g., it’s thought that RNA evolved first, in close association with proteins, while concomitantly proteins and lipids were associating to produce membranes, but the required steps are monumental and the time so limited! To accomplish all this inside of 200-300 million years does not seem plausible. In fact, it could well take far longer than the evolution of life has enjoyed after the creation of bone fide cells.
      So, being the rigorously logical man that he was, Crick hypothesized that this long critical period of chemical evolution took place elsewhere, off the planet Earth and only the useful products (DNA and the other macromolecules plus their highly refined reproduction mechanisms, already mentioned) were brought to Earth, either deliberately or by accident, from elsewhere. He called this process of transference “panspermia” which may well have occurred billions of times in the history of the entire galaxy, not to say universe. Each such transference may produce a myriad of wondrous new life forms, none of which could be predicted from the first principles of chemistry and physics because, as I said above, evolution does not “plan” ahead, it only acts upon the life material existing in the here and now.
      After first making his bones in physics before teaming up with James Watson to elucidate the structure of DNA in 1953, Crick essentially created the discipline of molecular biology which has transformed the life sciences and biomedicine. Always being a true polymath, Crick spent the last 25 years of his life at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA, studying the human brain and searching to answer the “hard question,” i.e., the basis of consciousness. I was honored to meet and talk with Sir Francis during my tenure at a couple of UC campuses, including UCI and UCSD. Also interacted with other Nobel laureates including Jim Watson, Linus Pauling, Max Delbruck and some of the younger whipper snappers who defined your present today, using the molecular medicine they developed at that time, nearly 50 years ago.

  18. Sad to say, but the ‘Apes’ are never gonna let it happen. They are addicted to power, and their addiction will be the death of us all, one way or the other, and probably ALL life on planet Earth.

  19. Hi Caitlin – I’m 83 and gave up on religion over 60 years ago. I read all your essays via email and am very impressed by your widespread knowledge of the modern world, which includes your partner Tim Foley (who sounds Irish like me) and your views accord with mine. Keep up the good work!

    1. She doesn’t pussyfoot around in calling a spade a spade and calling out all the naked emperors prancing around this insane asylum called Earth. She reminds me a lot of the spunky American journalist from Texas named Molly Ivins who died far too young while attempting to out President Dubya Shrub (aka “the Decider,” but more like “Warmonger-in-Chief”) as, to that point in time, the worst chief executive in our country’s history. Somebody should establish a “Molly Ivins Award” and confer it upon Caitlin.

        1. I did not know that award existed. Perhaps Joe Lauria of Consortium News would wish to nominate Caitlin and spring for the entry fee.

          1. Worth a shot. If nothing else, surely some of those Texas Observers (if they don’t already) would like what Caitlin brings.
            Thanks for bringing up the comparison—it’s a good one.

  20. Sigh. Wrong. Chimpanzees sometimes behave, locally, in this manner because of human pressure on their habitat. While highly intelligent and mobile, they are not as adaptable as humans as to how they can survive as a species. If certain food sources become unavailable they will find others; they have no ability to determine the relative abundance of the prey species that remain to them.
    Humans and chimpanzees separated, in evolutionary terms, at least seven million years ago, and this is a very long time indeed for intelligent, mobile and adaptable species. Ape behavior is no indicator of human behavior, either in the past or now.
    Whatever is going on aboard this suffering, dying planet is exclusively down to us, our greed, stupidity and blindness.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to say this. Keep putting the science out there, some of us listen!

  21. According Putin, our true challenge is to replace this -“The model of the total dominance of the so-called ‘golden billion’ is unjust. Why should this ‘golden billion’ among the planet’s population dominate others, impose its own rules of conduct?” Putin asked, speaking at a forum in Moscow on Wednesday. “Of course, this ‘golden billion’ did not become ‘golden’ by accident. It has achieved a lot. But it did not only take up its positions thanks to the realization of some ideas, but to a large extent due to the robbery of other peoples – both in Asia and Africa. That’s what happened,” he said.
    “Based on the illusion of ‘exclusivity,’ this model divides people into first and second class status, and is therefore racist and neo-colonial in its essence. And the globalist, supposedly liberal ideology which underlies it is increasingly acquiring the features of totalitarianism, holding back creative pursuit, free historical creation,” Putin said.
    Characterizing the existing unipolar world order as a hindrance to global development, Putin stressed that the current model of development has been presented by countries which gained their dominant positions through the wholesale robbery of others.
    The West, Putin suggested, has no model of the future to offer the planet, and its elites are fearful that other world centers may present their own options for development.
    “No matter how much Western and so-called supranational elites strive to preserve the existing order of things, a new era is coming, a new stage in world history. And only truly sovereign states can ensure high dynamics for growth and become an example for others,” Putin said.
    Source –

    1. BB Benderhaus Avatar
      BB Benderhaus

      Society is continually morphing as cirumstances mold entire generations. It would be nice to know where we are heading before we get there.

      1. Better dust off your crystal ball then. The future is inherently unpredictable.

        1. Just remember, it is ESSENTIAL to cover your crystal ball every time you leave it. Not because the spirits of the other realm can use it to come through to ours but because if you don’t, your house will burn down!

  22. peter mcloughlin Avatar
    peter mcloughlin

    Events internationally – and the pattern of history – suggest the planet is moving rapidly towards WW III and our own destruction. All wars are about power. This is shown by the frequency with which people unite with those who do not share their values against those who do. Everyone who defends war claims it is about principle: it’s not, it’s about power. Unfortunately power is an illusion: that is why every empire in history has eventually faced the conflict it was trying to avoid – its own destruction.

  23. In central Europe, 10,000 years ago, two human animals give birth to two human animal children.
    In 1946, in the same place, two human animals give birth to two human animal children.
    Without anyone’s knowledge, one animal child from 1946 is swapped with one animal child from 10,000 years ago.
    All four animal children “grow up” in their separate times.
    Throughout their lives, the day to day behavior of the two animals living 10,000 years ago is remarkably similar.
    Throughout their lives, the day to day behavior of the two animals born in 1946 is remarkably similar.
    The day to day “environment” (The Matrix) in which the two human animals born 10,000 years ago lived their lives was very different than the environment in which the two human animals born in 1946 lived their lives.
    The human animals born 10,000 years ago and the animals born in 1946 had to eat, cover themselves, sleep, urinate and defecate. To accomplish the latter three “tasks” required little parental instruction.
    To obtain food and water and cover themselves every day of their lives required a great deal of training and fine-tuning throughout all four’s lives. The behavior required of the two human animals living 10,000 years ago to obtain food and water and cover themselves day-to-day was astronomically different than the behavior required of the two human animals born in 1946.
    What the two human animals living 10,000 years ago heard, spoke and thought about day-to-day was astronomically different than that of the two human animals born in 1946.
    Finally to my point. Just exactly WHAT accounts for the difference in the day-to-day minutiae of behavior, throughout their lives, of the two human animals that were swapped on the day that they were born, and just exactly WHY is the correct, accurate, precise answer to that question of utmost importance for solving the existential crisis that the human species of animal faces today?

    1. Because biologically humans are all the same. Always have been, always will be. It is human culture that varies. It has been much, much better than it is now.

      I get the idea you know that and that your questions were rhetorical.

      1. When has it been “much much better than it is now”? Was it during the Spanish Inq? The Mongol massacres? The thousands of years of slavery? The incredibly narrow viewpoints of classic religiosity?

        Right now ain’t that bad actually, if we can avoid killing each other with our fantastic technology and instead use it to reduce our footprint on the planet.

        1. Explain the 10’s of 1,000’s of years of human socio-economic abundance upon the Australian continent prior to its invasion by psychotic plunderers, rapists and expansionists in 1770?

          There’s is no point you searching within the historical records of the latter cultural framework for the answer. They are written to normalise, justify and extrapolate atrocity.

        2. You think now ‘ain’t that bad’ because you’re normalised to how things unfold around you. There is a familiar cadence to its daily routine. That is part of human adaptability. The down-side of that great advantage is to embrace horror as normality.
          If you’re in the ‘western world’ the familiar cadence of your current daily ‘ain’t that bad’ may soon be interrupted and replaced with a form of ‘ain’t that bad’ that others in the world are already engulfed in, largely as a part of delivering your familiar expectations. See how you feel about things then.

      2. That is merely your assertion, or hypothesis. You cannot assume that natural selection has not been acting upon the human race over the past 10,000 years, especially upon its nervous system and behavioral responses to stresses in the environment. These changes in the human genome and anatomy might be near imperceptable to the eye but perhaps profound on human-to-human interactions, longevity and breeding success of the lineage. I don’t think it’s ever really been proven, though many people obviously believe it to be true, that humans from anywhere on the globe are perfectly interchangeable with one another. Maybe they are not. Maybe they are in a general sense but not in minute detail. Maybe the career choices individuals make and succeed at doing (or not) are not just the product of cultural conditioning but represent some amount of genetic influence which is far from uniform across the planet, hence making mandatory quotas self-defeating in trying to organise and control society. So much is merely assumed about “humanity” by adherents to one group of humans or another, be they based on physical features (race, ethnicity, etc) or *learned* behavior such as religion, politics, and other group identities. Nobody yet knows enough about these things to justify any system of social engineering applied universally.

        1. Why then are European and Australian First Nation’s peoples biologically (including neurologically) the same, other than a few superficial metabolic differences, despite complete separation across way longer than 10,000 years?

          1. How many individual traits do you think any one person has? Undoubtedly quite MORE than you can even try to imagine. There is really no way you can quantify how similar or different any two people are. We mostly just imagine that people are the same everywhere. I’ll bet there are even plenty of days when YOU are not the same as you were or will be in the future. I’ll bet you can also think of things or experiences you used to love or hate and now feel exactly opposite about. Maybe one neuron in your brain died or was re-routed because of experience or nutrition and your responses to the same stimuli become permanently different.

            1. Your response is disingenuous. You previously challenged my view that humans per se hadn’t intrinsically changed over time; that they had only created vastly different cultural expressions of their innate humanity. You said that was ‘just my opinion’ and claimed the vastness of 10,000 years provided for many changes, which we’d not know as there are no baselines. You asserted this change state as being more likely than not, otherwise you’d not have so fully repudiated my view as ‘personal opinion’.

              I asked you to explain how your assertion stands in the face of the biological equivalence of two cohorts of humans kept apart for way longer than the 10,000 years you cited as sufficient for developmental change at the biological level.

              The question I posed considers categorical comparisons at the societal level. You dodged my question entirely by pointing to idiosyncracies identifiable at the individual level. Care to answer my actual question?

          2. No, Greg, despite all the blather you dispense, neither you nor anyone else has ever established that moderns and first people are absolutely the same (not physiologically, nor neurologically)–which of course cannot be done as your first people exist only in the past and you cannot extract one from 10,000 BC to do the experiment. Even all moderns are quite demonstrably NOT all identical. It’s called genetic variation, and although quite limited in our species compared to others, it is still quite real. This absurd reply system prevented me from directly following your argument, look up here for my response. You seem not to get the point. Actual fact is, many students of human evolution are thoroughly convinced (I wouldn’t say its proven) that natural selection has still been actively ongoing since “modern” Cromagnons first appeared in the fossil record, moreso on the neurological and behavioral levels, but, for goodness sake, even conspicuous traits like lactose intolerance have definitively changed relatively recently and in localised regions, not everywhere. I don’t claim to be an anthropologist, but YOU certainly are not! Not based on your disinformation and unfounded assertions.

          3. If your study means to compare EXTANT “first people” i.e., Australian aborigines to “moderns” i.e., European stock, I would say to you that BOTH are, in fact, “modern.” Both have been subjected to this hypothetical 10,000 year time leap during which natural selection impinged upon both, and both display plenty of variation both between these populations and WITHIN each population. The original stipulation in this chain of logic was that an archaic human could be extracted from the past, inserted into the present and that absolutely no differences would be noted because evolution stopped long before our time. That is what you will never prove and is a tacitly absurd proposition. Where this entry will appear in the replay chain, I have no idea.

        2. Firstly, before flinging about words like blather, check you own word count.
          What dynamic stimuli might generate the ‘modern’ human state you assert has equally evolved across two social cohorts with radically different existential backgrounds over 10,000 years, a period you assert is vast enough to compel this change from ‘ancient’ to ‘modern’? Simply time? If you’ve got nothing else, then your theory relies entirely and vacantly on that single premise and, evidently, your emotional need to believe it.

          Why are the ‘ancient’ beings and their progression to a ‘modern’ human state not identified within the First Nation’s songlines over this period? These oral histories account for precise astronomical patterns and dynamic change across vast time. Why then not also account for change in their own human ‘being’?

          I assume no change to the essential human state, but identify capacity for considerable variation in its cultural expression across time and space. I assume this because no evidence exists to support the premise of intrinsic change. You assert a realised radical change in humanity across a relatively tiny time-space of 10,000 years because you find insufficient evidence to prove this culturally-driven baseline view wrong.

          I’m completely comfortable standing on my side of that premise divide. Meanwhile, you continue to hold fast to the miracle of ‘progress’ as an essential article of faith, as imbued by immersion in western cultural expression.

  24. Are you sure, that you want to claim at one point, that our primate or ape heritage is (part of) the problem, when you want the goal to be to live in harmony with the planet?
    In harmony as, for example the apes currently do?
    Our common ancestors did hunt, but they did not stockpile, they did not trade and they did not give power to those who control the stored food.
    When the hunters bring their prey to extinction, the hunter population will drop and the prey population will regenerate, this is the brutal way of natural balance.
    But humanity is greedy and kills more than it can eat, then works even more than would have been neccessary for hunting, just to be able to keep their surplus edible.
    To my knowledge, this behaviour hasn’t been observed in wildlife yet.

    1. “When the hunters bring their prey to extinction, the hunter population will drop and the prey population will regenerate, this is the brutal way of natural balance”.
      Or the hunters will move. This is apparently how humans moved out of Africa toward the Middle East and then Europe while, on the other hand, it seems that the Injuns ended up in America from Siberia while pursuing preys across the Bering strait.
      Of course, with 8 billion inhabitants, things are different. There is no more new frontier but space and there’s nothing up there for man except dreams… and disenchantment.
      Of course for a bionic man evolving toward a pure bot, it might turn up different. But then again, that’s not man, the “ancient race” alluded to by Harmonica in Once Upon A Time In the West and that will be “killed off” by the Mortons of the world and their “civilization” brought along by their railroad to enslave it.

  25. They’ll evolve at some point between the flash and the shockwave if the thermal pulse doesn’t distract them with combustion.

  26. And so we revisit the old genetics vs environment debate. Do I say its just my nature or I will overcome. I am afraid it is a little of both no matter how badly we want to not admit it.

    1. No, we don’t, right wing guy. That’s what you can make of it. It’s an invitation to practice.

  27. Caitlin,
    I have long appreciated your writing, and wisdom , , , but this July 20, 2022 piece “Our Challenge Is To Transcend Our Evolutionary Ape Heritage” is pure brilliance.

    Not only have you articulated the issue that is in need of remedy, but at a human level you have revealed a correct approach for remedy.

    At a spiritual level is where a full resolution of our catastrophic ways is to be handled. This because it is as Spiritual Beings/Presences that we developed our stupid and erroneous ways of thinking and programmed them into what became our minds.

    It happens that our minds are simply a record of our existence and also of our unwanted experiences along with all of the solutions to problems we have put on automatic to react to what they have to solve.

    Hence the genesis of humanities’ “wrong answer solutions” and reactive, unthinking behavior.

    As Spiritual Beings, we have existed since long before the Physical Universe was brought into being (as a solution to the prior existence which had become untenable).

    However, my research group has been able to uncover this history and have also developed procedures for undoing the aberration of our true and positive spiritual existence that we inflicted on ourselves.

    Keep up the good work and marvelous writing, Caitlin.

    I read you every day, and today’s piece is a KEEPER!


  28. This collective awakening is a nice thing to look forward to. Unfortunately, it ain’t gonna happen.

    However, this is a bold statement on my part and I’ll put it to the test. I’ve just sent a fly drone (that’s a drone miniaturized as a fly) in orbit around John Bolton and will monitor it 24/7 to see if he shows any signs of being on his way to become the next Dalai Lama.

    In the end of the 60s, we (that is a fringe counterculture teenage group round the world who experimented with oriental meditation) shared that belief. And it was nice.

    Then we got jobs in the real world and all our energy went into becoming perfect slaves in the food chain. And this was nice too.

    And then we re-emerged in retirement to more essential thoughts and lo and behold! The bulk of the straights was more materialistic and submissive than ever and bought propaganda like it was ice cream cakes. And we had moved from a consumer society, which was bad enough, to a waste society. It’s called planned obsolescence:

    The industry makes stuff that lasts little so you buy new stuff that makes ding-ding in the cash register. And you throw the old one in the oceans’ garbage patches.

    In a place called Livermore, near San Francisco, they’ve got a lightbulb that has stayed lit since 1901.

    So it’s possible to make bulbs that last a lifetime and then some. And yet, what do we do? We make short-lived ones that end up in the garbage patch and make ding-ding as you buy new ones.

    And then you had the computer folks who wrapped their derivative products in enough plastic to wrap up the moon (to sell twenty bucks shit they bought twenty cents in China) and once your computer had a flaw (like the sound was fucked) after three or four years, no repair. You had to throw it in the garbage patch and replace it with a new one that made ding-ding.

    Same for cloths, mattresses (that used to last a lifetime), clocks, watches, a forever list of goods, not even starting on Monsanto’s impact on the environment…

    Talking of which, General Motors invented the electric car in the 90’s but it was dumped because they would have lost money on maintenance (oil, grease, filters…) and water-fuelled engines have existed for decades but hush… Oil giants ahead.—What-is-Truth-and-What-is-Myth&id=1533265

    Installing private solar panels has been for years akin to Hercules’ labours. Why?

    And then they threw us this bone to chew on: climate change. The waste society that makes billions of dollars for a few is what goes on while activists get incandescent about hypothetical (as opposed to undisputed) linear (as opposed to cyclical) man-made (as opposed to organic) climate change and start lighting fires to burn the heretics at the stake. It’s been “cultified”, which is propaganda’s ultimate masterpiece: it turns binary the stuff it wants to impress on the rabble, creating a tug-of-war with people yelling at each other on both sides, which perpetuates the status quo.

    The general precipitation on the experimental Covid vaccine for a disease affecting essentially very old obese folks with comorbidities (often itself as a comorbidity) at a mere concerted corporate scare op put the last nail in the coffin of my belief in any collective human awakening ever because a sucker is born every minute and the show is run by Mammon.

    Last I checked, John Bolton was still consciousness dead by the way. See if I get more encouraging results with Pom Pompeo…

    1. As Jesus is reported saying by a guy we called Matthew after tossing a coin since we haven’t got a clue who that might have been in the historical timeline, “the last shall be first and the first shall be last and many will be called but few chosen”.

      1. For all of your radical truth-speaking, which I love, you seem trapped in the TINA mindset that is killing us. Lack of hope for change leads to the same place as lack of desire for it. Didn’t that guy you quoted build his life and message upon the hope, indeed the expectation, that what he called the Kingdom of God would come on earth? As William James explained, such hope cannot arise from knowledge and observations and history, but only from an action of the will, a choice, a venture in the face of uncertainty. Do you really want to CHOOSE to believe “it ain’t gonna happen?”

        1. I don’t know what TINA means (unless it’s Turner). I looked it up but couldn’t find a satisfactory answer. But I’m sure no mindset is killing me. I don’t hope for change because I think each moment is perfect. Hope for change is the fruit of frustration and desire is the main obstacle to enlightenment according to Siddhartha Gautama. The “kingdom of God” in the Gospel is a metaphor for enlightenment – since there’s no God and therefore no kingdom. I quoted Jesus because I thought this phrase was relevant like many in the Sermon on the Mount but… and that’s a hell of a caveat… I don’t believe he actually said that because I don’t believe he actually existed because no historical person has ever seen or even heard of him. There’s a mythology, repeated by the believers, that Pontius Pilate mentioned him in writing and even that his wife was a fan but that’s bullshit that none of them checks. Even Flavius Josephus, who wrote extensively about Jewish history during the Ist century in Palestine doesn’t have a line for the guy who allegedly drew immense crowds, made miracles and was crucified because he was accused of pretending to be the king of Jews (INRI). Correction: there’s one line in Flavius Josephus. But it’s apocryphal and was added centuries later. And the texts of the evangelists, who never met their hero and wrote long after his alleged death, are a mythology (they copied on one another) based on a composite character borrowed from other religions and possibly also from a wise rabbi of that period called Hillel the Elder. Writing a gospel was a literary genre in the Ist and IInd century and dozens have been found from Syria to Egypt. The four we know were chosen as canons by Constantine the Great at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD because they suited him but there’s as much historical truth in them as in the testimonies of Amber Heard or Cassidy Hutchinson :o)

  29. I think it is also possible, but human history suggests that it may be more difficult than we would like to believe. Especially in the last hundred years (a tiny fraction of human history) there has been a major consolidation of conservative power accumulation, and in every case conservative power structures purge and kill the left leaning, more peaceful people. This skews human populations toward the more war-like segments of the populace. On top of that, you have massive psychological programming of the populace to favor war over cooperation. Think of how much further along we would be as a species if Europeans had cooperated with the people they encountered around the world, rather than exterminating them.

  30. I think the problem is that we have been brainwashed into thinking we need a leader to follow, or maybe there is a subset of people who need to be told what to do.

    One person killing another is not a war, its when we give a few people control over enormous wealth that they can declare war on another few people living somewhere else. Without that wealth they would be nothing.

    Sadly, those who need leading overwhelm any objections the rest of us have, leaving us no exit. Then we lost the idea that leaders shoud lead and be at the front of a battle, and now we’re cannon-fodder slaves.

  31. I’m less optimistic. The chaos of these past years has meant an intensification of anxiety, a collapse of civility, and a general increase in the level of precarity experienced by all of us. As neurologist Stephen Porges has demonstrated in his research of the autonomic nervous system (ANT), our ability to socially engage one another in any collaborative way is hampered by our sense of danger. If we feel safe in a social context, the ventral circuit of our ANT is activated and both our heart rate and highly evolved forms of social connection (e.g., muscles around the eyes, verbal prosody, inner ear processing of human voices) are in a pro-social register. However, if we do not feel safe, we are hard-wired for fight/flight/freeze responses, which prevent social engagement. As much as the “birth pangs” metaphor suggests hope, I think the likelihood is that things will get much worse before they get better, especially as our collective experience of isolation drives deeper into the addictive/ dissociative range of our nervous system.

    1. I agree and, I suspect, so does Caitlin, that things will likely have to get much worse before they get better. But the PTB are doing a remarkably effective job in bringing about this precondition, are they not? So shouldn’t this, In a strange and scary way, be considered a hopeful sign that fundamental change may be coming sooner than we thought, than we dared to imagine?

  32. Why do you keep peddling this ideological trope about the need for an evolutionary miracle?
    Humans have developed cultural frameworks that very successfully interrupt the entropic effect of excess success. How do you think people have lived in abundance upon the Australian content for tens of thousands of years?

    The problem is rampant culturecide in conjunction with the imperial expansionism of some particular and horribly psychotic strains of human development. The challenge is how to eradicate this rabid existential disease so that pre-existing frameworks of cultural knowledge can be re-asserted upon sovereign localities. It is not how we might magically rise to an unprecedented plane of consciousness.

    You’ve fallen for cultural propaganda on this one Caitlin. A bit of broader reflection might be in order.

  33. Good argument – albeit a bit wishfull to my way of thinking.
    Your are going to need a plan though. Humans can achieve all the global collective consciousness the could ever imagine, but if they can’t formulate a coherent a plan coming out the other end, they are not going to beat the Great Filter.
    Which is descending on we homo-saps at exponential speed, I would point out, so I would suggest, we better cracking.
    I’ve been at this a long time Ms. Johnstone. Do you know when I first met you? It’d be 7 or 8 years ago now, on a site called r/NearTermExtinction. The dude that did all posting there, who went by the moniker, Humans-Are-Scum (a link fucking master, if ever there was one. Better than Yves, better than Ricefarmer), kept linking to your pieces. Week after week, month after month, year after year, never missed one, for the simple reason, and we were in agreement on this, that you were one of the handful of people in this whole goddamn universe who seemed to grasp what stakes involve are.
    In other words, you were pure doom, which to us meant, you were rarest of finds, a sane and rational advanced being.
    The first requirement for fending off extinction, a mass human awakening of some kind, goes without saying.
    But there are practical issues that will need to be overcome. For instance, survival of life WILL require managed de-growth. And what does managed de-growth really mean?
    Well, the collapse of this global civilization, which is unavoidable, must be micro-managed. Every aspect of it.
    Does that sound doable? Or even, theoretically possible?
    Not to me is doesn’t. But, if I were to start somewhere, in the “hope” that I was wrong, I would start by throwing the current bankers out of the temple.
    If humans can’t get that done (this first, simple step! lmao …) then their fate will be to blow smoke up each other asses for the short time, that is left to them.

    1. It’s in the details. One of the reasons I keep linking to China. They alone of the so called modern nations, seem to get it. All of it.
      You’d better slow down to 60kph for the health of the fishies or you will be head-bagged and delivered to a Uyghur detention facility in Xianjing.
      And rightull so!
      At the same time, numerous studies (multiple, dozens, too many to count) are indicating that on current trajectories, the oceans will be dead zones by no later than 2050, due to overfishing or acidification, or both.
      What nation-state is playing the biggest part in this ocean killing process on both of these fronts?
      China, of course.
      The irony of the yin and the yang.
      Still, I would look to them, because unlike everybody else, they do have plan.
      And as they say in chess, even a bad plan is better than having, no plan at all.

  34. The Great Spirit Avatar
    The Great Spirit

    The really tough transformations involve recognising not so much your faults but your virtues. In this competitive world, everyone is ready and willing to assail you with the former, but tend to reserve the latter to their own purpose. Revisit Stuart Smalley’s affirmations skits from SNL back in the 80’s and learn how to discerningly objectify yourself… and have a laugh. By the time you get to my age, it should be totally obvious that free will is an illusion. “You” are just here for the ride. Of course, never abandon your good intentions. Why? Just because… Cultivating bitterness is to no avail. Shit will happen anyway. Now I’m sounding like Alan Watts.

    1. And he sounded quite good too if you ask me! :o)

  35. jeffrey erwin Avatar
    jeffrey erwin

    This is why our teachers have given us the laws of love for ones fellow man and forgiveness of those who have hurt us.

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