Listen to a reading of this article: “We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities; we are eaten up by nothing.” ~ Charles Bukowski A jet airliner opens up and sends its passengers falling to earth. You'd expect them to scream, to cry, to cling to each other in fear, to prepare for the end, to pray, to think about their loved ones, but they don't. Instead, they turn on each other and start fighting.
The things you describe are not a bug in humanity they are a prominent feature and inherent in our species. Bless your heart but you want us to be something we never were and never can be. We can never be what is not inherent in us, history has proven that: from the time humans were dwelling in caves to becoming sedentary and then building entire civilizations what you describe: hate, combativeness, killing one another over resources, land, food, water, wealth, vanity, power... have been part of the human condition. And all throughout it people have known mortality. This is nothing new. In many ways feudalism never ended, it has just been renamed with ever more colorful terms. There has never been a time in history where humans not waged war against one another, where they did not pillage and destroy and starve their neighbor's kids. Nothing has changed and nothing will change. Humans won't stop until they have burned it all - the planet and everything on it - to the ground. That is part of our programming, the rest is wishful thinking at best, denial at worst. And I get it, who wants to believe they are part of a species programmed to destroy, pillage, murder and set on fire everything it gets its hands on? Speak of accepting that which cannot be changed: accept that this is who we are. All we can do is be kind to ourselves, those around us and the creatures that walk this Earth with us. But the trajectory is the same for our species and the planet we are inhabiting no matter what. All we can do is make it a little less painful on an individual, micro scale but the outcome for us a species will always be the same.
Hmm, well actually, our humanity should unite us. And does sometimes. Unfortunately humans are a tribal species. In my (humble) opinion efforts might best be directed at minimising this instinct to defend against those we perceive as outsiders. Instead, of course our "leaders" in the West try to emphasise and encourage this in us. (It's more profitable for the MIC).
I do have an issue with the apparently obvious assertion that "we're all going to die." Yes and no.
Your body dies. For sure. Once you reach a certain age you come to recognise this. However, fearing this is due to identification with your body. Saying you die is actually as much a delusion as saying you don't die.
Now I'm confusing you. It's not easy to explain this, especially to a cynical audience (such as it is). I'm not really an expert communicator. There's nothing airy-fairy or "spiritual" about this though.
Maybe the best I can do is ask you maybe to realise that although your conscious, thinking self is carried by and within your body it is not really actually your body. So you can say your body dies (and ages) but "you" don't.
This is powerful, Caitlin. Thank you.💕
"One of the best means for arousing the wish to work on yourself is to realize that you may die at any moment. But first you must learn how to keep it in mind."
—G.I. Gurdjieff – teacher of "inner work" on one's self, known as the Gurdjieff Work, intended to help people awaken and come to self-realization.
Gurdjieff asserted that people live in a state of "waking sleep" in a world of illusion. There is much truth to this. Most people prefer to ignore the Truth and choose to instead devote their time and attention to entertainment.
Life may well be "an intimate dance with death," but it is not a conscious dance, because people don't really live. They only imagine and dream that they are alive, all the while remaining unaware of what being fully alive really means.
Absolutely Superb. Made me think of Dicken's line in A Christmas Carol describing the Christmastide as being that all too brief time of the year when we remember that we are all just passengers on a voyage to the grave. Caitlin at her very best-Thank You.
My comment no way exonerates , cruel, mean petty people. But what they do is not remediable by law. So there is nothing you can do but avoid them and /or ignore them: retaliation in kind justifies them in some way. There is no point in coming down to their level, is there? I am no saint, but I try to refrain from personal remarks. I'm not always successful.
This is truly profound, Caitlin. I'm almost 70, and from this perspective, what you are describing sure rings true. When we lose someone who has been with us our whole life (parents, siblings, . . .) it sure alerts us to how much each loved one means to us and to our own sense of self. Even losing celebrities who were integrated into our culture (John Lennon), can stop our "rat race" perspective and help us clarify what is truly important to us and how fragile our existence is. Our best lives can be lived with this awareness as a constant. Thank you.
No truer statement: "A whole lot of perception management goes into keeping us from seeing clearly what's going on here, and what they're taking from us, and how much better this world could be."
As the old saying goes, "You're not getting out of this alive." We would do better if we kept that always in the forefront our minds as we treated our neighbors in the way we wished to be treated.
Brilliant, as always. My two cents: There is more to "this place" than we are generally aware of. Article speaks for itself: https://www.opednews.com/articles/Dropping-Out-the-Backdoor-by-Daniel-Geery-Biology_Conflict_Consciousness_Eternity-190418-424.html
Although I don't look at death darkly through the lens of a fanatical materialist i.e. I do think there is a good chance death is just a kind of transition for consciousness, which leaves the body - like someone stepping out of a spacesuit; I also, like Caitlin here find it curious how so many go about their business with little care about their own mortality or the mortality of others. I guess the usual answer I've heard is, well there is nothing you can do about it, so why worry about it?
But that's just it - even though personally, I lean toward consciousness as something more fundamental to reality than just a random product of electrons and chemicals - and if that makes me "spiritual" then so be it. But do I or any of us really know, 100% know for certain? Maybe death really is the annihilation of who we are forever, in a cold, random reality, that we desperately attempt to make some kind of human meaning out of, but as Emerson once wrote - is just a collection of nested boxes - chinese boxes, and when one opens the last box, it is empty - as death and reality are empty in the end. Although it does seem to be the dominant intellectual paradigm these days i.e. rationalism, existentialism - and the strong belief that there is nothing more awaiting one except the final merciless splat after falling from the jet airline, as Caitlin writes - but even that is just a *belief* that remains pretty much unproven right now - that is, the mind/body problem does remain an open question in human philosophy and our sciences, despite what others might insist is the case.
But why the rush to that unknown? It seems remarkable to me that so many have already been willing to lose their lives in Ukraine. Apparently, from what I have heard, 10s of thousands have already died in a war that could have been easily diplomatically resolved - and still can be diplomatically resolved. So many people - willing to lose their lives - maybe some could care less, a kind of suicide - but if one loves life, or loves other people - why would one be in such a rush to lose the only life you got? It is puzzling to me. Caitlin is right - we keep our mortality at a distance, and perhaps this is a mistake.
Right spot on as always! I just happen to be at this very point in life having lost all of my family in the past 3 years and 2 of them just 2 months ago. Broken heart doesn't come close. I am very aware of the Reaper at the door!
Great! Mortality is definitely a key question when it comes to breaking through the illusions.
The propaganda and dog-training we get in modern education is all about getting us to forget what we actually are, or were. For some, it’s just a faint glimmer from childhood, of that love, and awe, and joy, not being afraid to experiment, or be curious.
Real education is about remembering, and having the experience of the “light turning on” in one’s head. How much effort has gone into suppressing that, and instead convincing people that “No, forget whatever was in your head, or what the deeper voice inside you says; this is what you need if you want to pass the test.”
Imagine what will be happening when there will be possibility of immortality?
Bukowksi now there was an entity who spouted poetry, sprouted brains per glass, per bottle and had the bottle to throttle stupidity by evisceration with a few slicing semantics not waiting for the romantics with their antics to arrive. I'm just reading fragments from the 12th Dynasty ancient Egypt and in one, how apt how modern, how indifferent people were when chaos overwhelmed them during invasions from the eastern hordes coming to pay a visit. This sage laments at the his incomprehensibility to understand them. Concludes if he could he would and blames himself because he can't but does in the end. Pulls his finger out as they say. Six thousand years later, what can one say. Good people are being misused by our politicians. Whom they suddenly accept that they re Covid Dictatorshit - ditto my neighbour: since when have politicians told the truth? Because they believed all that. Worse was trying lightheartedly to tell them its all crap and their eyes glazed over. Too much television. Not called the idiot box for nothing. Keep it up, keep ripping into stupidity, and we can pick over the metaphysical gore you favour us with.
Best line = "The whole game depends on everyone spending long expanses of time forgetting that none of us get out of this alive." This to me re-enforces the notion that self delusion is a natural act - the Propaganda machine knows this as well and uses our own "defenses" against us.