Do we have enough time? This is the question I keep coming back to.
There are many existential threats to our species looming on the horizon, and our current trajectory has us hurtling straight into all of them fairly soon. We’re flirting with an ever-increasing threat of nuclear holocaust if climate chaos doesn’t collapse industrial agriculture and cause an extinction-level famine event first, and if we dodge those we’ve still got the automation crisisand impending AI explosion to deal with, as well as the possibly permanent worldwide lockdown of human consciousness as oligarchic propaganda and censorship become too sophisticated to circumvent.
Do we have enough time to pull up and away from disaster? Current facts in evidence say no. Not enough humans are getting sane enough quickly enough for us to make the drastic changes necessary to pull up and out of this insane trajectory before one of the many impending disasters takes us out for good. 7.6 billion humans and counting is too many unpredictable moving parts to hope that everyone collaborates to keep us from going the way of the dinosaurs, and judging from our overall behavior we’re all more than happy to keep skating right into the abyss as fast as our legs can carry us.
From what I’m seeing, it will take not just a miracle to turn this thing around, but a whole stack of miracles. Luckily, in my experience one of the brightest secrets about this world is that miracles are not in short supply.
I’m not going to share my experiences here, or probably ever, because people won’t believe me and it will be used to attack the credibility of my work elsewhere. But I will say I have learned that humans are capable of transcending their old patterns by leaps and bounds with great spontaneity, and we are capable of amazing and inexplicable transformations from an unwholesome way of functioning to a wholesome way of functioning. Believe me or don’t, I don’t care; I will swear to this fact on everything I hold dear. Miraculous transformations in human consciousness can and do happen.
It is this fact and this fact alone which keeps me writing. It doesn’t make sense for our species to have such capabilities if we’re just going to keep marching along the same old conditioning patterns right into extinction. It just wouldn’t add up for the curtain to be drawn on us just as we begin to figure out what we’re capable of. If an individual is capable of a radical transformation from an unhealthy way of functioning to a healthy way of functioning, our whole species is capable of doing so as well.
If a future humanity exists on the other side of the major shifts and upheavals that are coming, it exists as a species which functions in a very different way from what we think of as normal now. We will have woken up from the egocentric consciousness which kept us locked in old conditioning patterns and moved into a natural and healthy operating system.
This means that when you get right down to the brass tacks of the matter, the real revolution is an inside job. If you want to help humanity pull itself up from its destructive trajectory, the most useful thing you can do toward that end is bring as much clarity as possible to your own internal processes.
This is something I always want to say to commenters on my work who read what I have to say about oligarchy and propaganda and all that junk and then ask “Okay, but what do we do?” I always want to say “Well, the most useful thing you can do is to get super clear on how your field of consciousness operates, find out what your sense of self really is at its core, question your basic assumptions about separation and the world, and effect some shifts so that your life ceases to be dictated and dominated by habitual thinking patterns,” but of course I don’t because I’d sound like an asshole. The last thing people want to hear when they ask how to defeat the sociopaths who are killing our species is “Try some rigorous and relentlessly honest self-enquiry!”
I don’t mind saying here that that is really the key, though. Bringing clarity to your inner processes with uncompromisingly honest self-examination serves two major functions: first, it takes that much insanity out of our species and turns our trajectory around by that much. Second, it gives you the clarity to see the obstacles and manipulations with clean lenses, free from the obfuscations of your own inner bullshit, and the wisdom to help navigate your fellow humans past them. The more clarity you bring to your own inner world the more clarity you can bring to the outer world as well, for the benefit of everyone.
It doesn’t take decades in the Himalayas or dozens of psychedelic trips to come to this clarity. All it takes is intense, burning honesty and an innocent curiosity about all your old assumptions about yourself and your world. You don’t need to be special or extraordinary in any way to make this shift happen.
So that’s my real answer to the “What should we do?” question. I’m not going to recommend any practices, teachers or paths in particular toward this end, because none of them have the key to the other side of this door. Some of them might be useful tools along the way, and they’ll come up as you require them. The only thing that will ultimately lead you to inner clarity is your own self-honesty and curiosity, and no practice, teacher or path can give that to you. You can only give that to yourself.
Place political ideologies and activism on the back burner a bit and invest your attention instead in figuring out your own true nature, and in my opinion your energy will be far more efficiently spent toward the same ends you currently seek. That way when the real changes start happening, you’ll be like a living portal through which all our much-needed miracles can flood into the world.
If you want revolution, be it.
About the author: Caitlin Johnstone is an independent journalist that is 100 percent reader-funded. Please consider helping her by sharing her content, liking her on Facebook, following her on Twitter, bookmarking her website, throwing some money into Patreon or Paypal, or buying her new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.