Listen to a reading of this article:

Whenever I talk about the way our species is sliding toward annihilation via nuclear armageddon or environmental disaster I always get a few people saying something along the lines of, “Good, humans are horrible. The planet will be better off without us.”

This attitude generally seems to be born of frustration. People learn about what’s happening to our world and begin to see how easy it would be to change course if not for the greed and megalomania of our rulers, as well as the obedience of the rank-and-file public and its credulous acceptance of the propaganda that keeps them accepting status quo systems, and they get frustrated. Frustrated with a humanity that just won’t come to its senses, even with all the evidence right there to be seen.

That frustration often turns to disgust as people discover that not only do others fail to see what they see, but they actively avoid looking at it even if you point it out to them. You can lay out the evidence for the corruption and unsustainability of status quo politics and the omnicidal, ecocidal depravity of oligarchic imperialism — lay it out right under their noses — and they’ll make up excuses to turn away.

One way of dealing with the psychological discomfort of this situation is to try and distance yourself emotionally from the plight of humanity and say, “Fine, screw it. Let humanity plunge into dystopia and armageddon. The sooner it happens, the better. We deserve it.”

And I understand the sentiment, but to me saying humanity deserves destruction sounds a lot like saying a drug addict deserves to overdose.

A heroin addict isn’t fully in control of their actions; if they were they would simply quit, because they know from both public knowledge and firsthand observation that it’s a destructive habit. Addiction is described — at least by anyone whose mind is worth a damn — not as a personal choice, but as a disease. Just as would be the case with any other disease, addiction is a condition over which they do not have control, because it has taken over their operating system against their will in some way.

Humanity as a whole is on much the same boat. We have a condition which makes us behave in a self-destructive way, and on paper we could technically all just collectively change course, even if a few oligarchs and empire managers tried to stop us. But we don’t, because we’re not in control.

Those with a substance abuse problem use because they don’t know how to feel okay without the substance, and if they ever overcome their addiction they will eventually discover that this was because there were unconscious forces within them which made the experience of sober life intolerable. Forces like psychological tendencies born of trauma, deprivation or dysfunction earlier in life, tendencies which might manifest as experiences like depression, anxiety or self-loathing which can become too difficult to tolerate without their substance of preference.

Human behavior likewise is driven by unconscious forces on the collective level, but instead of early childhood trauma we’re talking about our entire evolutionary history, as well as the history of civilization.

It’s a ridiculous situation, if you think about it. The story of life on this planet has been about organisms trying to avoid being eaten long enough to reproduce, and our species stumbled out of that horrifying predicament with all the same fear responses and stress hormones and now all of a sudden you find yourself sitting in a cubicle with your heart racing as though you’re running from a saber-toothed tiger because you overhear Janice from accounting gossiping about you.

The eat-or-be-eaten dynamic came crashing headlong through the dawn of a new species with a rapidly-evolved cerebral cortex and the sudden capacity for abstract thought, and all that fear and stress kept marching forward from generation to generation entangling itself with this added new element of thought, language and storytelling. This gave rise to societal constructs like religion, government, hierarchy and family power structures, all largely born of the primitive, fear-based desire to control and dominate which we carried with us from our evolutionary ancestors who lived in trees to hide from predators.

Parents who were traumatized by their parents passed their trauma on to their own children because their trauma made them behave in a traumatized way, and those children passed their own trauma on to their children too. On top of this small-scale generational trauma we added things like wars, slavery, tyranny, colonization and genocides which traumatized entire populations, and that trauma would be passed on from generation to generation as well.

And then we showed up. We, the people who are currently alive. That’s what we were born into. That’s the wave we rode in on. And that wave is still going.

And we wonder why everyone’s so dysfunctional and self-destructive.

We never really had a chance to build a healthy world. Our ancestors went from running away from monsters with sharp fangs to burning witches and heretics to fighting world wars to giving birth to us, and that wave of fear and chaos carried forward right into our own psyches and into the psyches of everyone else on this planet without skipping a beat. If you look at where we came from and how we got here, it’s amazing we’re even as functional as we are.

And that’s what we’re dealing with here. A heritage of trauma stretching back into an unfathomably vast expanse of time, incarnating in the current form of some eight billion homo sapiens. If you zoom out and look at the big picture with this understanding, it’s difficult to find real guilt anywhere, in anyone. Even in the most abusive and traumatizing among us.

Certainly it is in our collective interest to immobilize anyone whose tendencies are dangerously destructive. And certainly establishing culpability and accountability for misdeeds is going to be an important part of expanding human consciousness and creating a healthy world, because we have to understand how and why things are going wrong before we can fix our problems. But even the most destructive among us are simply carrying forward the heritage of trauma which has been reverberating from generation to generation from the deepest recesses of prehistoric life.

Think about a mistake you’ve made in the past. A real bad one, one that makes you cringe whenever you think about it. You wouldn’t make that mistake in the same way again, would you? Of course not, because you now know things you didn’t know back then. You are conscious now of things you previously were not. Depending on how conscious you are now in relation to how conscious you were then you might repeat similar mistakes in similar ways, but you wouldn’t intentionally repeat the exact same error if you had a do-over. In that small way, your consciousness has expanded.

That’s all negative human behavior ultimately is: mistakes that were made due to a lack of consciousness. A lack of empathy, a lack of serenity, a lack of information, a lack of insight, a lack of knowledge that there are better choices, a lack of perception on what’s really going on in the world, a lack of clarity on the ways propaganda manipulates us into serving the interests of the powerful — these are all just different kinds of unconsciousness. Different ways that one can fail to accurately perceive reality.

In this churning, chaotic tidal wave of evolutionary trauma that we were all born into, the only thing we really have any amount of real control over is whether we mindlessly repeat our conditioning patterns or start bringing consciousness to them. But even that is greatly limited by how much consciousness we have access to at the time; many people are just barely treading water psychologically and don’t often have the space to pause and bring clarity to their own inner processes. A lot of people are just stumbling blindly along, and it’s not ultimately their fault any more than the blindness of an actual blind person.

So we’re all innocent, in the end. Again, we must of course push to bring consciousness to the parts of humanity that have taken a wrong turn — to the war criminals and plutocrats and managers of empire, and all other abusers and the abusive systems which elevate them. But underneath that fierce burst of light there can also be a deep compassion and understanding born of a lucid seeing of how we got here in the first place.

We’re all ultimately doing the best we can while riding the momentum of a chain of events far beyond our control which stretches backward through time all the way to the Big Bang. Everyone is playing with a lousy hand which was dealt to them by the churning tumult of evolution and history while grappling with the puzzle of mortality on a tiny blue world of unfathomable beauty that is hurtling through a universe that none of us understand.

Let’s be tender with each other.


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89 responses to “In This Disaster We Are All, Ultimately, Innocent”

  1. “Parents who were traumatized by their parents passed their trauma on to their own children”– via their genes! This is well known from adoption studies around the world — adopted children always resemble their biological parents, never their adoptive parents. But this goes against the “nurture assumption”.

    “How easy it would be to change course”– that’s what I thought, way back when, until I noticed: you may want to save the world, but the world doesn’t want to be saved. I finally understood why when I read “The Selfish Gene”. That’s where the corruption, ecocide, imperialism come from–not just the leaders. Until you discern the real villain, it will continue to manipulate things unchecked. Read some evolutionary biology. But I think you will actively avoid looking at the evidence. And I can’t blame you — reality sucks!

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  2. Twitter’s Octagon is hot. CJ put on her wrestling clothes and no bot is safe from her claws. Perhaps if someone get bored and mark one of her tweets she will get some hours of suspension. It is hard work when we are a little bucket in the middle of the ocean.

  3. I took my time to analyze the extension of the last Ukrainian offensive from Kharkiv down to the middle.
    It is just one battle won not the war but NATO now is certain about the fragility of the Russian positions up to the north till Kherson in the south. I can just summarize one sentence to describe the Russian strategy after 7 months – start with the wrong foot and you will end up on the edge of the cliff.
    Pro Russian people around the world might just consider to betray Russia fearing the arrogance and confidence showed up by Russia counting victory before the end of the last round will drag all of them back to the US empire dungeon.
    I thought greater things about the Russian strategy. I was wrong.

    1. And we totally believe you because Russians are always showing up here to call for their own defeat.

      1. I’m always here and I never saw such thing about Russians calling for their own defeat.
        Anyways, Azerbaijan starting a conflict with Armenia will force the Russian divisions from the south to drive resources to solve the conflict. The Ukrainian front will be weakened. There are the Siberian divisions but it will like spreading a small spoon of butter in a large slice of bread. There are the Russian brigades in Syria. Idlib is the headquarters of the Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations under CIA flag working for the US. Leave Syria to face their own doom? Putin will be on the bad side not deserving such thing but poor decisions and a shitty calm appearance to hide incompetence.

        1. It’s sarcasm, a way of saying one thing while implying the contrary. I know for a fact that it has been used in Eastern Europe.

          1. Thanks. Talking about Eastern Europe, if things go sour for the Russian troops in Ukraine and the Russian south divisions busy with Azerbaijan and Armenia, then the time for Poland and Baltic NATO troops are set up. I will not be surprised by the sinking of Russian ships in the Atlantic North, Black Sea and missiles targeting Russian territory to destroy logistic lines supplying troops. I’m a nobody and I can see it. It is really not possible the generals not be aware of this.

            1. Maybe they don’t really have nukes, but I prefer not to rely on assumptions.

      2. It is fair enough to not rely in assumptions. If we nobodies here can figure out this, what should be passing through the minds of the leaders in Chile, Solomon Islands, Argentina, Saudi Arabia and many others who are transitioning from one geopolitical scenario to another seeing Russia having a serious struggle escalated by MSM to shape perceptions? It is not like you can gain a vote of confidence overnight but it takes just a couple of minutes to lose one. That is the point now. A very delicate one.

        1. I think an international workers’ revolution will take care of those concerns once the food starts running out. I just hope there are more than a few of us left.

          1. I like your optimism. I’m afraid we are overdue about that. No food available and biting frost are no safe haven for democracy, revolution but social chaos in Europe. Regarding America under scarcity people are too pansy to act towards revolution. In the early stages of the lockdown a three years about people were in panic to buy food to be stocked. Americans today are not a material people for revolution. It is long gone those days.

            1. America’s part in the revolution might only be a small one in the global revolution, but we will do our share and be proud. Lots of people thought Cuba’s revolution wouldn’t succeed. Same with Vietnam.

    2. when is the last round? who counted victory?

  4. Take a short read from a few excerpts of Putin’s recent address; also, keep in mind the more recent US’ designed/stated “Global Power Competition.” You know…suddenly the “War on Terror” is supplanted by the “Great Power Competition.” Did Washington run out of terrorists to conquer? What about Nord Stream 2? Why did Washington coerce Germany to relinquish the Nord Stream 2 project? Was Germany’s ascending economic capacity a serious concern for Washington? Isn’t Germany an ally of the US (a member of NATO?) This might reveal Washington’s true intentions all along (e.g.- NATO is a mechanism to impose hegemony/imperialism and Washington won’t tolerate Germany as a peer-competitor.) What do you think? Read the following and make your own inference.
    (Putin Sees Future With Asia and Claims Western Economic Decline in New Speech-Eastern Economic Forum on Sept. 7 in Vladivostok-9/9/ Ramos)
    Excerpt: Despite all that, the Western countries are seeking to preserve yesterday’s world order that benefits them and force everyone to live according to the infamous “rules”, which they concocted themselves. They are also the ones who regularly violate these rules, changing them to suit their agenda depending on how things are going at any given moment. At the same time, other countries have not been forthcoming when it comes to subjecting themselves to this dictate and arbitrary rule, forcing the Western elites, to put it bluntly, to lose grip and take short-sighted, irrational decisions on global security, politics, as well as economics. All these decisions run counter to the interests of countries and their people, including, by the way, the people in those Western countries. The gap separating the Western elites from their own citizens is widening.
    Excerpt: The competitive ability of European companies is in decline, for the EU officials themselves are essentially cutting them off from affordable commodities and energy, as well as trade markets. It will come as no surprise if eventually the niches currently occupied by European businesses, both on the continent and on the global market in general, will be taken over by their American patrons who know no boundaries or hesitation when it comes to pursuing their interests and achieving their goals.

  5. This article in the online magazine, ‘Scientific American’, about predatory bacteria, perfectly describes the behavior of the predatory humans that live amongst us.

  6. Good analysis. We need to realize the world our species evolved in no longer exists and many of the behaviors we evolved for it are no longer necessary or even beneficial. We’re the latest hominids, and the fact that we can read any book, buy any food, set any temperature, drink clean water, and not get eaten should make us realize we live in a world our ancestors would literally consider paradise. We just have to not destroy it. And speaking of consciousness expansion I once got some surrounded by sharks trying to get back to the boat not knowing when my next kick would leave me a monoped. I can’t recommend genuinely dangerous situations but my advice to stressed out people is just be glad you’re not in immediate danger of dying, in particular being eaten. Get some perspective.

  7. @Pascal
    Very snarky and utterly stupid.
    You have no idea what Central (Federal) banks do and why they were created. Whilst you carp and be ‘smart’, the world has not had a depression such as 1929 since they took control of the Commercial banking licensing and operation.
    Now with the Governments spending like there is no tomorrow, the Fed and others have no chance of stopping the next depression, they can merely ‘put off’ the evil day when it all crashes down, and it will be far worse than ’29 as there are no societal safety nets in place.
    It is the Fiscal policies of the Governments that causes inflation not the monetary policies of the Fed. The Government decides how much they are going to spend and the Fed has to ‘Buy’ that debt, with the hope of reselling it. Lately, no one else is buying so the Fed has that debt on the books.
    The local banker can tell Johnny that ‘no, he can’t have a loan to buy a new car’, but who can tell the government that they cannot have $400 billion to give to Ukraine, or to pay Welfare this month? The Peepul just voted for it.
    The Fed is “Evil” in that it charges interest on the government debt. This should be outlawed, as all interest on all loans should be outlawed.
    There were countries that issued interest free loans. Russia in the late 1800s, Libya, Nazi Germany, Syria, Iran, Kuwait before the Iraq invasion and now Afghanistan will start again. Guess who are grouped as the Axis of “Evil” the Usurers or the others?

    “You see, a legitimate government can both spend and lend money into circulation, while banks can only lend significant amounts of their promissory bank notes, for they can neither give away nor spend but a tiny fraction of the money the people need. Thus, when your bankers here in England place money in circulation, there is always a debt principal to be returned and usury to be paid. The result is that you have always too little credit in circulation to give the workers full employment. You do not have too many workers, you have too little money in circulation, and that [money] which circulates all bears the endless burden of unpayable debt and usury…..In the Colonies, we issue our own money. It is called Colonial Scrip [interest-free, wealth-based money issued by The Colonies 1750-1764 before Bank of England crooks made it illegal]. We issue it in proper proportion to make the products pass easily from the producers to the consumers. In this manner, creating ourselves our own paper money, we control its purchasing power, and we have no interest to pay to no one….” –
    Benjamin Franklin (US statesman, political theorist, genius inventor), speaking at the London Parliament, 1763.

    “Under Czar Alexander III and his Finance Minister Nikolai Bunge, Russia established the Peasant Land Bank in the beginning of the 1880’s to give interest-free loans to the liberated peasantry that had been freed from serfdom in 1861 by his father, Alexander II and given land. The Land Bank invested in the modernisation of Russian agriculture with farmers only paying a small handling charge for credits. The result was such a spectacular rise in Russian wheat, and other cereals that Russia became the world “bread basket” up to outbreak of World War I, exceeding the combined production of the USA, Argentina and Canada by some 25%.”
    William Engdahl

    Some people, even when they are advisers to banks, do know what they are talking about. Others, who cannot be bothered to either learn or think, don’t.
    We know what needs to be done, but no-one is willing to take the bitter medicine.
    Well the outcome will be that much more painful.

    1. That’s where your arrogance gets the best of you: “Some people, even when they are advisers to banks, do know what they are talking about. Others, who cannot be bothered to either learn or think, don’t”.
      This simple comment makes you an idiot of the first order for assuming things that you don’t know anything about and happen to be untrue. I’ve been “bothered to learn and think” all my life and even did it for a living.
      Besides, it’s not the “Peepul” you despise so much as a self-appointed member of the elite who voted to send $400 billion to Ukraine. First it was not $400 billion but $40 billion and second, it was voted by Congress. And Congress is not the emanation of the people by any stretch of the imagination, not only because of the various election shenanigans I won’t get into and the high levels of abstention but more dramatically because only 17% of the latter approve of the way the former do their job while 79% disapprove according to the latest Gallup poll.
      Like all the aggressive dick swingers that we’ve seen come and go in this comment section, you have no fucking substance and are nothing but a bombastic oaf. Icing on the cake, your claims at expertise in banking are nothing to boast about if they’re no use to anybody because nobody listens to what you have to say. Perhaps because it’s irrelevant? But I’ll freely admit that’s just speculation.

      1. methinks the lady doth protest too much.
        I did not say that YOU could not be bothered to think, but you obviously counted yourself in that group.
        You did not make any cogent comment on what I said but went off the deep end with insults and nonsense.
        As far as the number, The US and NaTO has been providing money and arms to Ukraine since 1995. Nuland said that the US spent $5billion to create the Maidan revolution. Your $40 bn was just the latest, but billions has been provided before and outside that “vote”. Other countries under the US blackmail, have provided as much or more than the US (combined lists are available if you search)
        As far as banking and economics, you may well have studied but I doubt you could even name the departments of Central or even Commercial banks never mind describe their functions or tasks.
        Could you describe the problem of banking before 1920? Hint each bank printed their own currency and was worth whatever the correspondent was willing to pay. Could you begin to describe the process of clearing and settlement? No I didn’t think so.
        De Bono described the problem with people who are clever : 1) they think that their specific expertise applies to all fields of debate, so because they know a lot about metallurgy they think that that knowledge allows them to give opinions on biology. 2) they see a quick solution and immediately, the problem is solved. Not realising that better solutions may be the second or third or tenth but they never bother to continue thinking once they have “Solved” the problem.
        So your silly insults merely display your lack of manners, merely display the fact that you have nothing cogent or intelligent to say.
        If you did, you would have refuted the points but your ego and lack of knowledge on the subject moved you to be an oaf.

        1. It reminds me of kindergarten when a kid insulted another who then replied: “You too!”, which didn’t show a lot of creativity.
          Anyway, I ain’t gonna waste time answering your nonsensical blabber – including the alleged $400 billion which was a serious acknowledgement of ignorance on your part and casts a shadow of doubt on your self-proclaimed credentials. Just on a side note, I was thinking of the semantic irony in the fact that “devoid of substance” is synonymous with full of shit :o)

          1. Devex’s Funding Platform has recorded more than $100 billion in commitments for Ukraine between Feb. 24 and Aug. 16. However, a relatively small percentage of that funding is humanitarian-focused.
            Additionally, Devex’s analysis turned up $69.3 billion in loans and other repayable finance.
            It is difficult to get an accurate figure because “The problem has been compounded because some money appears to have been pledged or announced several times — domestically, at conferences, at G-7 meetings, and by both bilateral and multilateral donors.”
            However since feb 2022, $200bn and further promises of $5 bn per month to cover running expenses.
            Prior to 2022 Black ops, biological laboratories, fake oil deals (a la Biden et al) and $20 trillion missing from the DoD accounts.
            Zelensky alone has a bank account of over $500million.
            The fact that “some people” can type and actually use simple English does not mean that they can read a simple Cash Flow statement.
            50% of “some people” think that two small aeroplanes can knock over 3 buildings 1 million times their mass.
            The only things ‘devoid of substance’ in this thread are your comments.

  8. I liked to read this. I agree with it but I am not optimistic.

    We all make mistakes, some learn from mistakes and some do not. As individuals we learn. As groups we forget.

    So why the ‘F’ are so many leaders Ok with war. When will they get enough?

    Individuals learn, but not enough and some don’t. This being the case all history can do is rhyme.

  9. Today they compared the republicans participating in the capitol riot as terrorists who did something worst than the 9/11. An inside job made up by CIA, NSA, FBI and White House. Both are terrorists, actually.
    So, it seems now that just democrats are the good guys but not all democrats. Only those tuned with Joe Biden. It is strange but it is real, the big leader, the one pictured about in authoritarian regimes is on in America. A divided nation this Divided States of America.
    Big mistake.
    Another big mistake was to engage the companies delivering gas, oil and gasoline to low their profits all what they can. A political move to favor the democrats in the middle term elections. After the elections, will the companies be willing to deliver products at zero profits? It is a dead end. A ill-advised plan with no connection with the economy and the world. This event alone might just break down the remaining faith from the people with the White House.
    Nigeria is claiming the missing 700k barrels of crude oil. Someone is having it. I cannot think of such volume being transported without anyone seeing it.
    Yemen peace deal is about to thrown in the trash. The government in exile backed up by America, France, UK, Saudis want to go back to Yemen.
    Too many loose ends to deal and the nazi American government is under pressure to not let the curtain fall to show to the world the monster they are dealing.

  10. A few hours from now, the anniversary of the greatest most wonderful day in modern history of the world trade center was safely demolished with loss of life except for those who where supposed to die, collateral damage as they say, blamed it on a hermit living in a bat infested cave. Funny as all hell, and the president knew about it weeks in advance if not years. Just like his father knew all about J.F.Kennedy’s assassination weeks if not years in advance.

    1. “blamed it on a hermit living in a bat infested cave”.
      Lucky he didn’t get Covid! :o)

  11. I’m surprised there is no mention of psychopaths in this article, as you’ve done justice to that aspect of humanity in the past. I think psychopaths have a disproportionate impact on humanity and this needs to be specifically addressed if we are to overcome the challenges we face. I don’t think negative behaviour by psychopaths can be regarded as mistakes because they are well aware of what they are doing and that it is wrong. I don’t think they’re capable of being consistently or genuinely tender with anyone.

    1. Today, both Global Research and Veterans Today have published great articles on the Who’s Who of the psychopaths who are purposely destroying mankind, if anyone really cares. Caitlin’s website is great for idle chat, but for facts you have to go to websites that sponsor authors who risk their lives to gather them. For those in the US, they’d best be packing.

  12. Wow Caitlin. What a great article, even more wonderful than your usual wonderful articles. Bless you, bless you, bless you! And, thank you!

  13. I think this is about the only thing you get wrong. The ruling class gets away with it because we have sold out. They use the carrot _and_ the stick.

    If you have cosy internet access then you are relatively rich and have gained from the zero sum money cult game. There are degrees of blame, but to claim innocence is self deceptive.

  14. Rather lovely depiction of Dependent Arising, the Buddhist concept explaining the relationship between free will and conditioned will as they encounter objective context. We create our own reality but we’ve been doing it centuries longer than we’ve been alive, meaning a lot of that created reality is now unfamiliar, we having been asleep and then reborn into another body, and another and another.
    The value of Dependent Arising is primarily the constant gale force wind it puts into the sails of compassion for all sentient beings at all times in all places. When we consciously experience our own captivity of will and imagination, we expand our consciousness to encompass more and more fellow beings, because we feel empathy continuously whenever we continue to see our world in terms of Dependent Arising.

  15. the radical philosopher Istvan Meszaros noted in early 2001, “Many of the problems we have to confront – from chronic structural unemployment to major political/military conflicts…as well as the ever more widespread ecological destruction in evidence everywhere – required concerted action in the very near future…The uncomfortable truth of the matter is that if there is no future for a radical mass movement in our time, there can be no future for humanity itself.” 

  16. In the Silmarillion Morgoth was defeated and sent to the limbo. Sauron was there ready to face the same fate. He asked – What about me? The Maiar in charge said – We don’t have orders about you but you are welcome to come back with us to see what the Ainur will decide if you want to. Sauron just decided to stay and some millennia later he was ready to bring war overall Middle Earth. The last alliance between elves and men put an end to Sauron. However his essence and power were well safe guarded in the one ring. Some millennia later he came back and the fagot fellowship of the ring come out to put an end once and for all.
    When the nazis were defeated by Russia the nazi took refugee in America. They spread out like a cancer worldwide throughout CIA. It seems showing off our good side or turning the other cheek will not solve anything at all. It seems fire and steel are the ultimate answer to stop the nazis.

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    My question though is how many people died storming the Bastille? After many generations of nurturing psychopaths and the like to high positions, we no longer have a real government.

    1. The answer to the question is about 200.

  19. Beautiful essay, Cait. Your comment section has reacted with a philosophy argument of free will vs. determinism. BTW free will folks, Gabor Maté has done some great work with trauma. When we see calves frolick in a pasture, it can stir us because we recognize joy even in a source of food. The good news is neural plasticity, our brains change and consciousness can take the wheel rather than be a passenger to lizard brain. It’s difficult to see the evolution of consciousness, perhaps because if it bleeds, it leads, but we generally don’t burn witches or keep slaves anymore. Liberal identity politics may seem ridiculous, but wisdom traditions have long advocated acceptance of self and others, of self in others. We’ll get there in time if we have time.

    1. Taoism considers that we are naturally moved by nature. Whatever we do outside wuwei (non acting) is dictated by social conditioning. So it’s hard to find free will as we understand it one way or the other. Buddha, for his part, opines similarly that we’re all action-reaction.

  20. Can’t believe it’s only taken you a couple of days or so, since your last post, to write that, Caitlin. There’s enough content in there (about 1500 words) for an Honours essay. One to read, re-read and come back to every once in a while. Necessary reading. Great brain. Thanks.

  21. My heart goes out to the animal kingdom…and yes, we humans should go extinct and give the planet a chance to ‘rejuvenate’. Century after century we keep repeating the same mistakes, century after century we keep turning more and more destructive. We seem blind to the fact that ‘we’ are digging our own graves.

  22. While I enjoy most of your posts, this one reeks of ultimate understanding of the human condition. Combine that with a loose, often ugly tongue, there’s a lot you can improve on-Don’t write off those that see through this with a spiritual perspective.

  23. Funny, thinking back on the lynch mobs getting at poor old Lizzy tooth and nail as if she was personally responsible for all the ills visited upon mankind by Western civilization, I woke up thinking the exact contrary: we’re all guilty. Which ultimately amounts to the same thing.

    Two hundred Spaniards conquered the millions inhabiting Mexico in the early XVIth century. How is that possible? Because indigenous tribes allied with them to defeat the main rulers, the Aztecs, who were not loved. In India, rajahs and maharajahs allied with the operators of the East India Company against their rivals. Always the same story: divide and conquer. But it can only work if the victims’ warlords are susceptible to division and conquest.

    It’s also the story of the colonization of Africa. People were fighting one another long before any white man set foot on the continent and the Blacks sent to America were already slaves there bought from local chieftains, not captured by the Western buyers. In North America, the song was pretty much the same. Even Tecumseh couldn’t manage to unite the indigenous tribes against the Western invaders. Not for lack of trying.

    And it’s not by chance that martial arts were born in China. There’s always been warriors everywhere: Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Hebrews, Greeks, Persians, Romans, Celts, Vikings, Indians, Kazakhs, Mongols, Hans, Japanese shoguns and samurais, Turks, Arabs, you name them…

    The conquests of the West have been essentially led by Mammon and driven by resources: gold, silver, diamonds… It’s interesting to note that every time treaties with the Injuns were broken in the US, it was not because of the rulers who’d signed them, it was because Joe Sixpacks & pals had found gold on Injun lands, like in Dakota or Georgia, and mined it. Some got killed, the army was sent and the whole shebang degenerated into full-scale wars with no shortage of atrocities on both sides. Which ended up with the Trail of Tears and other mass exiles.

    Then we had wars for oil, essentially in the Middle East, exploitation of rubber in Congo and the Amazon in atrocious conditions described by Peruvian Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa’s Dream of the Celt, chronicling the life of Irish diplomat Roger Casement who was horrified by the treatment of the locals by mercenaries imported from Belgium, Peru and wherever… Plebs…

    Of course kings and queens, presidents, politicians, bankers and capitalists were responsible but what about us? Would we have renounced cars if we’d known that rubber and oil alone killed millions of people? Now it’s cobalt and lithium in Congo, essential to make i-phones that have killed millions over the years. Would we renounce i-phones to put an end to that? Would it even put an end to it or would the locals find something else to fight about like in Liberia and Rwanda in the 90s or in Ivory Coast in the 00s?
    What do more reasonable animals like elephants and chimps think of all this?

    1. Unfortunately, in the case of elephants and Chimpanzees I’m not aware of any news sources that are either printed or broadcasted in their language, but even if there was it’d probably be filled with disinformation, so they still couldn’t reach an informed opinion, not that it would matter, so the citizens of Europe for the most part will freeze and starve this winter because they have no say in their own democracies

  24. I love reading your writing. Your are very good at putting your thoughts into words. Are you looking for a “but”? Fear not, I hope you continue without being edited by the powers that be.

  25. “We’re all ultimately doing the best we can while riding the momentum of a chain of events far beyond our control…” And we delude ourselves we are in control, by pursuing power: but power is the greatest delusion of all, as history demonstrates. If we do not accept that we will never gain any control – and perish. But I do agree with your conclusion: “Let’s be tender with each other.”

  26. Whilst it is true that once addiction has taken hold it is very difficult to break, the only means of breaking it is by an act of will power. Regardless of whether the addiction was a choice of the individual, whether it was ‘prescribed’ by some expert, the result of ‘peer pressure’ or just stupidity, the only way out is choosing to get rid of it by the individual.
    Yes it can be quick ‘cold turkey’, gradual with substitutes, helped by outsiders, or forced by controllers, but in the end it has to be the individual.
    The problem is that once one leaves the fairyland of the drug you have to face stark reality. This in life is often far worse than the La-la land of whatever drug (including alcohol) one is using and when that stark reality hits you and you see no way of it ever improving then the logical and rational thing to do is to return to the drug-world where things are happy again.

    “There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.” —
    Aldous Huxley, Tavistock Group, California Medical School, 1961

    “One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them.” –
    Aldous Huxley – Brave New World

    “Under the relentless thrust of accelerating over-population and increasing over-organization, and by means of ever more effective methods of mind-manipulation, the democracies will change their nature; the quaint old forms—elections, parliaments, Supreme Courts and all the rest—will remain. The underlying substance will be a new kind of non-violent totalitarianism. All the traditional names, all the hallowed slogans will remain exactly what they were in the good old days. Democracy and freedom will be the theme of every broadcast and editorial—but Democracy and freedom in a strictly Pickwickian sense. Meanwhile the ruling oligarchy and its highly trained elite of soldiers, policemen, thought-manufacturers and mind-manipulators will quietly run the show as they see fit.”
    Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited

    Plato in his “Republic” described where we are and what to do about it, but the solution requires that one accepts the “We are NOT all equal” and that is anathema to the drones.
    “One of the humbling aspects of writing about philosophical issues is that, no matter how much you believe you’ve stumbled upon a fresh insight, it is virtually certain that someone who died 2000 years ago has already thought of your idea.”

    1. Plato was a horrible elitist. You know, what I call a “fancy monkey”.

      From the reality that we are all chemically-driven sacks of monkey-meat that will die and turn to dirt, yes, we are all equal. In the sense that none of us have a super-hero advantage over others which isn’t given them by external forces, yes, we are all equal. All other declarations of equality or inequality depend upon the speaker and they’re all just made-up anyhow. No one is ‘equal’. A great mathematician is usually a horrible sprinter. Which has more value? Well, escape a bear by baffling it with an equation and there might be a debate.

      But no, really, we’re all gonna die and we’re all temporal waves of energy so yeah, we’re all equal. Some moneys just take themselves far more seriously than others.

      1. The origin of this equality business is in fact a question of rights, not of strength or intelligence.
        Wikipedia: “The quotation “all men are created equal” is part of the sentence in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, which Thomas Jefferson penned in 1776 during the beginning of the American Revolution that reads, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.”
        Even if this is only an ideal borrowed from English philosopher John Locke and not legally binding since Jefferson himself was trampling those rights by being a slave-holder.

        1. He was an idiot. Men don’t have rights. They have wishes, things that they would like.You have no “right to life” if you are swimming in the middle of an ocean surrounded by sharks. Or if you happen to be sitting where a great big bomb is about to land.
          At most they have privileges granted by the man with the biggest gun. Mainly he grants those privileges because he is scared that you might go and get a bigger gun.
          Human rights is as ridiculous a concept as “democracy”, that an illiterate 18 year old who has no schooling or native intelligence can make as rational a decision on who is best to create economic and fiscal policy as I, who has spent 10 years advising Central Banks under contract, is preposterous. Yet that is what the Western world believes is the best way to decide such things.
          The only advantage of Democracy is that you voted for Bread and Circuses and that is what you get util the money runs out.

          1. If you’ve spent ten years advising central banks, yes, an illiterate 18 year old who has no schooling or native intelligence (whatever that means) can probably make a better decision on who is best to create economic and fiscal policy considering the financial mess we’re in. He just has to be honest.

            1. new thread created

              1. Actually, I suspect that better than 2/3’s of Caitlin’s followers are Nazi sympathizers just by the ideas that they express. The Catholic church also has Bishops who are obviously facsist and no doubt many other religious groups are infested with them as well. There’s an old saying that goes, “a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing”, especially true of humans and some breeds of sheep herding dogs

  27. Just great ! We are all ‘victims’, none of it is our fault, and the answer is to be nice.
    The earth is not dying, anytime you are in a plane, get a window seat. Apart from a very few areas, USA North East, Southern California, Southern England, Bombay or Delhi, the world is effectively empty. People can grow all the food they need, cow numbers are a fraction of the size of the Masai Mara herds of antelope, it is all just BS.
    The greatest manmade forest in the world stretches for 100 miles in each direction and contains 11 – 12 million trees, 60 years ago it was just grassland, now it generates more oxygen than the 4 million people living there can use. (Johannesburg metropolitan area)
    Climate Change, Global destruction, over population and Ozone Hole, CO2 and all that is just nonsense created by the “Green” movement under Gorbachev in the US to move the world to a single ‘government’ which was necessary because no one country could ‘save the planet’.
    It is a 400 year old plan for control of all resources and knowledge.
    If you were nobility and rich, you would want to move the world back to the days of the Plantation and post medieval Europe. They literally lived like Kings. Musk, Gates, Hollywood and all the other newly rich, have lots of toys but no concept of style or class. In spite of money their lives are brutish and grasping, “High Society” is beyond them forever.
    Depopulate, and return the peasants back to their ‘proper’ state of poverty and dependence and once again we, the elite, can live as it was intended.

    1. Especially if you look at the way kings and queens dressed in the Middle-Ages and Renaissance. Even lords and ladies, musketeers, soldiers jesters…
      Musk (without “eteers”) and Bezos?
      Henry Plantagenet or Elizabeth I wouldn’t even take a look at them beggars! Vogue’s Zelensky? Gotta be kidding!
      There’s no question that the number one appeal of movies set in the past are the costumes. Look at Barry Lyndon!
      Even the Romans in their togas had more style! Look at Gladiator!
      Even Adam and Eve… Look how a simple fig leaf enhances body curves better than anything worn by the Kardashians.
      We’re definitely a doomed species in terms of fashion! :o)

  28. Caitlin, clearly we are at opposing ends with your belief on ” A heroin addict isn’t fully in control of their actions; if they were they would simply quit, because they know from both public knowledge and firsthand observation that it’s a destructive habit. Addiction is described — at least by anyone whose mind is worth a damn — not as a personal choice, but as a disease.” In fact you seem to be undercutting your own point, by readily ADMITTING, “they know from both public knowledge and first hand observation that it’s a destructive habit.” So despite the above knowledge readily available anywhere you care to look, and the understanding that humans possess the FREE WILL of making their own decisions, these people decided themselves, to jump aboard the train of consuming these drugs, KNOWING FULL WELL, it’s a dead end street. No Ilness FORCED them to partake of these drugs, no one twisted their arms and forced these drugs down their throats. Each individual made the decision to swallow this stuff entirely on their own. To then claim it’s an illness, is simply to down grade the poor decision making of these individuals, and minimise their decision, implying it’s a sickness, when in fact it’s nothing of the kind. I’m a Vet, and have seen/witnessed things I try hard to forget these days. Many of my fellow soldiers made their decision whilst still in the war zone, to dull their minds with drugs because they couldn’t handle what the war was doing to their minds. Again, that decision was theirs to make, and theirs alone. They KNEW what they were doing at the time, and despite that, partook of the drugs which were readily, easily and cheaply available. Damn the consequences. Many of us resisted the easy way, and refused to go down that road, they could also, have done the same. Sorry, no sympathy for weak minded people who seek the easy way out then demand sympathy for their weakness.

    1. did you join the army out of ‘free will’?

    2. Adolf Hitler shared more or less the same philosophy: only the strong deserve to live, social Darwinism, master race, no prisoners, no mercy, no compassion… It’s an option. I wonder if it makes one happy…

    3. How long of living on the street would it take to make you “weak minded”?

  29. Maybe looking down on Earth, from some far away place, and seeing some dots/signals/whatever, sure we are all the same. No difference between those who keep concentration camps for children, who rip babies from mothers bodies, who chop off heads, who spread lies day after day, … and their victims. Be happy, not your fault, not really anyones fault.
    They probably deserved it.

    1. The Indians call it karma and… what do we know? What if what we call Heaven and Hell were really here on Earth and if people were rewarded or punished in this life for what they did in previous ones? What if the guy who gets beaten up on a street corner was in a previous life Ted Bundy or John Wayne Gacy or the guy who dropped “Little Boy” on Hiroshima? Seeing as some here felt about Queen Lizzy passing, I guess they wouldn’t lift a finger if they saw her gang-raped in a dark street in her next life. What do we know? Yet empathy, compassion, benefit of the doubt and innocent until proven guilty are always good traveling companions…

  30. Re: Extinction.
    It’s not that humans are horrible. It’s just the normal, fully expected end point for all organisms is extinction. Millions of species have come and gone. Each of us will reach our personal ending and, like all species, homo sap will reach our collective sell by date.

    There is nothing judgmental about this conclusion. To suppose that, of all the species that have lived on Earth we and only we will carry on forever is sheer narcissism. Our big brains will not save us from checking out of hotel Earth any more than the huge bodies of the dinosaurs saved them. “Deserve” has nothing to do with it.

    1. Concur totally with your post Moishe .

      1. “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it”

  31. it’s traditional to look around at devestation and mutter sadly: “man’s inhumanity to man”.
    .. but really, it’s “psycho leadership’s inhumanity to man”.

  32. So long as the vast majority of people act primarily in their own interest, with intent to do so, then we will compete to accumulate or simply to survive. Greed and self first destroy community.
    When the vast majority put the well being of others first then we just might be able to see what a true community is.
    As an indigenous Australian put it as his priorities, Country always comes first, Take only what is yours, and when in surplus – share. Apply this thinking to all situations, all possibilities.
    Works for me.

    1. I have a MAJOR issue with such claims. I live in W.A. and go bush every time I’m able to. Duringthese trips, I come across many indigenous enclaves in my travels, and the claim that “country comes first” is not, in any way, backed up by their actions. Every such site/location I’ve ever seen, is nothing but a rubbish dump, with destroyed car bodies, beds and junk of every description spread all over, and uncontrolled dogs, half starving, running rampant. The claim Country always comes first, might go down well with city folks, but get out in the bush and see how well it is practiced out there. But then, we are not allowed to mention suchthings are we, to do so is called racisim and unfair, yet the FACTS speak for themselves.

      1. i can show you that sort of disaster scene all over the world. It represents a collapsed culture where the social cohesion has broken down completely. That does not represent anything but what it is, a group of people or what they left behind who are at the edge of everything – essentially dysfunctional.
        If that is an example of a truly functional belief system what do you make of one of the top military forces in the world using latest model helicopter gunships firing laser guided missiles into a city state called Palestine in some bizarre claimed retaliation for a bunch of unguided homemade rockets randomly fired over the walls and razor wire fencing that confines them like fish in a barrel – in their own land? And it is meant to be two highly religious groups standing on ethical principals doing this.
        Most Australian indigenous people are whats left of a devastated culture with few left to represent what was.

        1. Couldn’t agree more Peter! Like the Injuns in the US reservations. It’s like you cut someone’s legs and act surprised he doesn’t run and keep his house in pristine order.

          1. Pascal, well put. Takes a major effort to shut off our cultural bias and see what is for what it is. I had a unique experience for near 24 years (more actually) visiting as many as 30 different countries each year all over the world from Europe. Repeated trips to each in a year (10 in one month in ’95). Comparisons were easy to make and I talk with the locals as much as possible,most of all the ;local people, not the chiefs.
            14 cities across the US and much in between gave me a perspective many Americans do not have. No rose coloured glasses and often a few trips into Cuba and elsewhere in between. Not a tourist by any means.
            And I read history, a lot, and not just stuff that makes me feel comfortable, the stuff I find hard or impossible to agree with until I dig deep into it. The world is not what we are taught in school indoctrination nor from the media. 43 years plus I am a traveller looking, talking and learning.

  33. That was a very insightful text. I would like to add only that the same impulses leading us to the destruction of others are present in every living being, driving us to pile up the greatest possible quantity of energy, by means of transformation (photosynthesis, nuclear power plants) or appropriation (from othe living beings).
    We are not only born with this drive but also intellectually conditioned to perfect it in every aspect of our lives, because, so we are “told”, there’s no other way.
    Fear, hate and delusions of violence are therefore multiplied and ingrained on us in such way that when we say “peace”, “understanding” and “love to all”, deep down we feel (when we’re being honest) that’s not really like that…
    It seems to me that only by exposing this impulses to ourselves we will be able to understand and check them, with a minimum of effectiveness.
    It’s pretty obvious that not many people will choose this path. Nevertheless, there is some rewarding sensation arising from the attainment of a little part of the human potential to transcend our animalistic urges. That may be our contribution to the Universe, in this present form.

  34. Sorry, do not share your views on drug addiction. To claim such addiction is not the fault of the individual, is making excuses for them, and totally ignores the fact humans are endowed with free will and self determination. Every addict today, has made the decision themselves to partake drugs, KNOWING the consequences of doing so, and ignoring the plethora of evidence easily at hand clearly and plainly describing the consequences of choosing to go down that road. I for one, do not share your views on this issue, such people freely made the choice to go down that road. To avoid such stupidity, all it takes is one word, NO !

    1. Recent research questions whether or not free will even exists. This they argue will take a long time to be accepted.

      1. Roy, my psychological studies concluded that rarely do we actually exercise what people call ‘free will’ because of psychological conditioning and environment so greatly impact on our decision making assuming that we actually have made a decision and not simply acted with no seeming conscious thought.

        1. I have to agree with that as it seems to happen to me often enough, one time, for no explicable reason I only gave myself a quarter dose of insulin realizing what I was doing as I was doing it, and a moment later I collapsed. Was it a premimnition that I never heard? I don’t know, but obviously someone had made an attempt on my life and if everything we do was freewill then I should have given myself the full dose, because it was my will to do so.

    2. You are not free EDDY, and neither are your “will “or your choices. To the limited extent you have to choices to make you don’t know what the consequences of those will be. You are not in control. The world is not your oyster. You are one flea in a swarm of 9 billion fleas

      1. Anger is an interesting emotion in that respect. Studies show that you don’t insult someone because of what he’s done or said. You are already angry and insulting someone is an outlet for your rage. In other circumstances, you might have laughed or said nothing. It’s typical with alcohol. Some people are more likely to find reasons to get angry after a few drinks. Where’s free will there? Of course it’s more difficult to admit without alcohol, which is a drug, but once again, studies have shown that the angry feeling precedes what apparently triggers the anger like the match only lights a fire if it falls on or is applied to inflammable stuff.

    3. I chose not to believe in free will.

  35. Technology and cheap energy has allowed us to grow a population the world can ill afford. This will rectify itself soon as some of us starve, some of us die by disease and some die by war. The remnant will find the world harder but more pleasant in the long run as the earth heals itself.

  36. Great stuff Caitlin….forgive them for they know not what they do?!


  38. We’ve been taught that we are only sentient agents in a mechanical world. And it is driving us crazy. We have banished the gods and we feel alone, so alone.

  39. Well-thought, and well-stated, Caitlin. To what you wrote, I will just add that the “elimination of humans on Earth” is an ‘abstraction’, and an ‘abstraction’ may be hard to grasp and appreciate by many — “personal death” is also an abstraction, which many say that they do NOT fear. Many people do NOT appreciate the implications, in ‘real terms’ of what human annihilation amounts to — huge amounts of lingering pain, suffering, and trauma, for a huge number of beings. Please, let us NOT wish this upon each other, and the world in general. If we could find ways to think and work together on these issues (with ‘consciousness’, of course), we ought to engage in these, as much as we are able. With knowledge, cooperation, consciousness, and good-will, we might have a chance to ‘turn this thing away from the excruciating, real abyss, and create a better world for all. Thanks

  40. Pretty much sums up my thinking too. I can only add that we do not blame children who clearly do not comprehend because we do not expect them to, and we allow them the freedom to learn as they must. At the same time though we do expect them to learn so they may become adult and therein lies crux of the the conundrum.

    When do we become independent thinking adults who answer for themselves in all that they are and do? We are both a child of our life and our experiences and yet must become the master of who and what we are and all that we do – and be accountable both to, and for ourselves. No blame for a past of innocent errors, just an expectation of future responsibility.

    We allow children their innocence until we do not. Perhaps it is time for the people on earth to put childhood innocence behind us now and be accountable as sentient entities. Each and every one.

  41. What we choose to see or not to see, has nothing to do with our awareness or consciousness but has everything to do with our own selfish nature. A society that is structured towards individual benefits and achievements will never achieve harmony as a whole.

  42. Well, I agree.

    I still say that many of us are monsters, perhaps all of us are to a degree, but some clearly more than others.

    In the gruesome greater reality of life we are definitely all victims and descendents of victims too.

    Even the most powerful of us are ultimately so helpless.

    Perhaps that cosmic consciousness, if it exists, is not all it is cracked up to be.

    Maybe Charles Fort was right to ask why we would necessarily assume it to be sane.

    Or benevolent.

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