May 12, 2023·edited May 12, 2023

Thank you, Caitlin, that's an excellent reminder that our world, our solar system, our galaxy, our universe, is still an amazing, beautiful, mysterious, baffling place. And we are some of the most amazing, beautiful, mysterious, and baffling things in it. There's a lot of suffering we don't need to buy into.

Expand full comment

Masterpiece! Beautiful sentiment to start the weekend. Doesn’t hurt to find humor in everything too. Sportsball is the bread and circuses of our clown world: https://yuribezmenov.substack.com/p/how-to-root-for-pro-sportsball

Expand full comment

Thank you, thank you. An excellent antidote for those of us who feel the alienation that comes when we radically split from the fake world around us. I am so grateful to have a beautiful garden out back which is full of experiences of Being you remind us of. The question in the novel 1984 was “Do you want to be happy or free, politically and intellectually?” Your essay is a glorious reminder that choosing freedom need not be grim but joyous.

Expand full comment

I woke up this morning feeling sad and disappointed by the state of the World and especially by what's going on in my home. A home I was once proud of as being related to the 1st Peoples. And btw We believe we come from there. We did not come over the Bering Straight via Africa. This is a made-up story by Invaders & Colonizers to justify taking over and commiting genocide. I had YouTube set on continuous play while I was washing my face. It morphed into a Frontline piece on Clarence & Ginny Thomas. Yikes! Then I checked my Twitter feed and I was once again trolled by Pro-Ukraine Nafo Nazis. Yikes again! Then I checked my email and found this article by Caitlin Johnson. No Yikes here! It certainly took me to a much better place. Thank you Caitlin. You saved my day from infinite despair.

Expand full comment

Holy Crap! I’m not saying this is plagiarism, but reading this was like coming across something a secret, undetected mind reading scribe extracted from my brain a few years ago. Feels good to know y’all are out there... Tough to find those who get this in everyday life here in North Carolina. Thank You So Much Caitlin! You’re keeping me very nearly sane!

Expand full comment

Thank you, Caitlin. What a beautiful reminder that this physical experience is such a gift. When you appreciate it, you treat it with more reverence. You live with more sacred purpose.

Expand full comment

"looking for happiness in all the wrong places" , yup , that's for sure

Expand full comment

I just love your ability to express so beautifully how we all think, Caitlin. Thank you.

Expand full comment
May 12, 2023·edited May 12, 2023

That there is something rather than nothing is truly boggling, and which there currently is no real scientific explanation. I also believe there is more going on in reality than just the mechanical clock system that deterministic materialists insist we believe (many of the same people who tell us we must kill more Russians, and start a war with China.) I think the mystery of consciousness remains a clue to the meaning of it all - in the dark period we now are living through. But you're right, even in the midst of these darkest times - like living in a Francisco Goya painting - one can find light, even light connections with consciousness - for example, the death-bed visions of people who are about to die. So I think there is a strong basis for hope this isn't all some kind of existential joke and accident of existence. I live my life assuming it isn't. I could be wrong though.

Expand full comment

To feel sane, you can of course also find solidarity with the few fellow humans out there who do also think like you. Appreciating the universe and nature are one thing, but you also for the best mental health need to find some peers and community. They are out there!

Expand full comment

Thanks, it's good to remember that this false and phony paradigm we're living in is ephemeral, while we are surrounded by a natural beauty that transcends and outlasts Man's world, and we are capable of contemplating and sometimes tasting the eternal.

Expand full comment

"It feels like what it probably felt like to be a lucid thinker back in much less enlightened times when civilization was dominated by religion and superstition."

The problem is that we live in an age of obscurantism and a real obscurantism, not the one invented by the propaganda of the Enlightenment, which, to be luminous, absolutely had to succeed the darkness. To associate religion and superstition is of an imbecility without name. Religion is the exact opposite of superstition. And as far as lucid thinkers are concerned, the "obscurantist" times saw the birth and expression of Saint Augustine, Thomas More, Blaise Pascal, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Montaigne or Descartes (to name but a few), who cannot be qualified as superstitious or obscure, even though they were all animated by a Catholic faith.

When I read Voltaire or Diderot, I have the impression of reading the first propagandists who use sophisms and lies to extinguish any critical spirit in his reader. And the patent liars who run the American empire and its lackey countries are indeed Voltaire's bastards, as John Saul brilliantly wrote.

Expand full comment

Crack, it’s all the way in the air and.... it’s gone. Another home run of an article.

Expand full comment

Another excellent post, Caitlin. I feel this one could be/should be the central plot and theme to a movie that has no political or propagandist agenda attached to it, only hope and salvation from the nightmare we are all currently living.

Expand full comment

I too have penned a lot of musings on the evils of this world, but I share Caitlin's amazement at the wonders of this our celestial home. Sometimes, I express that appreciation by observing a simple creature, plant or rock. Here is one such piece.

The Ant and Her Man

You seem to think the paths I clear are tracts

designed for you as you move your mound

out of the grass and right into the middle of my good work.

Well, that suits me well enough.

I can walk around you while marveling at your homestead.

You know your place and you keep it well.

Not like your tiny little cousins, who like

to set up the daily migration into kitchen

and closet through invisible passageways.

No, you do your good work out in the open—

looking for whatever might be useful. And

any of those pesky grasshoppers you

can haul back to the mound for your winter

stores, you have my blessing to sting with your

deadly sting and have for yours alone.

(I wish we had more of you and fewer of them).

It gives me some joy to think that the cleared path

has given you

the unobstructed morning view of the beautiful

desert plateau you call home with your several thousand kin.

You outnumber us, outwork us,

and will no doubt out-survive us.

Harvest on, quiet laborer.

Harvest on.

Expand full comment

I will pass on your words to my young son who patiently bears with my anger, sadness and anxiety about the state of the world. The bad news consumes me; I keep going back for more endings to the awful stories and of course am exposed to new atrocities and I know I am only seeing the tip of the iceberg . . . perspective is desperately needed so thank you.

Expand full comment