Caitlin Johnstone

Teasers from selected writings

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Humanity Is Not Sleeping; It’s In An Induced Coma

If our society had simply been permitted to progress along its natural trajectory at a natural pace and to use the innovations that we’d discovered in a natural way, we would all be wide awake by now. The psychedelic revolution would have continued and matured and grown into adulthood instead of being murdered in its infancy, and our exponentially increasing ability to network and share information would have coupled with our mature consciousness to build a deeply awakened society that benefits every living creature on this planet. That would have happened, and it is only because of the unnatural interference of a very few deeply unwise people that we stayed locked in the matrix, now faced with the looming threat of near term human extinction…

…A woman once had an LSD trip in which she realized the illusory nature of the separate self, seeing clearly that she’d been living in a dream world her entire life up until that point. The effects of the entheogen wore off, and she convinced herself that it was just a pleasant drug high. She made herself forget it, plunged herself into her career, got a promotion, got a husband, got a nice two-story house in the suburbs at 4.5 percent interest, got some kids, and got plenty of stress but whatever there’s always wine.

Decades later, after finding nothing but suffering along her chosen life trajectory, she began thinking about that LSD trip she took way back when. She began wondering if maybe that strange, sacred experience had been real after all. If, maybe, it was the only real thing that had ever happened to her.

That’s kind of where our whole species is at right now. A door opened up in the sixties which was very quickly and violently slammed shut, and now there are independent flickerings all around the world of that strange, sacred light that still shines under the crack of that door. We still have the ability to open it up again. We’ve only got to want it enough.

Twenty-One Thoughts On Psychedelics

The first time I tried shrooms I remember being outraged that the law is keeping this experience from people. Everyone is searching for a direct experience of the divine all their lives, whether they realize that that’s what they’re seeking or not, and here it is in a harmless fungus and these bastards put a lock on it. They tell us “No, you can’t have this. Keep having imaginary interactions with God on a hard wooden pew while some douchebag in a costume waves his hands over some wine and a cracker.” Psychedelics should be legal for adults, and the fact that they aren’t is inexcusable.

How To Wake Up

It is a well-documented fact that it is possible for the human organism to move into a far more healthy relationship with thought than the one which most people experience. This shift has been written about for as long as there has been written language, and scientists have been confirming its existence using modern studies now. Spiritual enlightenment is real, and it is possible. It is possible for thought to take on a role as a useful tool that one can pick up and use in a wholesome way when it’s needed and put down when it isn’t, rather than being the writer, director and star of the entire show as is typical in human experience. If this is possible for the individual, it is possible for the collective.

Our species is at an evolve-or-die crossroads…

On Biology, Brains, And Human Suffering

This is why our species acts so nutty all the time. That’s why wars are fought when they don’t need to be and why we’re killing the very ecosystemic context we evolved in which we depend upon for survival instead of collaborating with each other and our environment to everyone’s benefit. We’ve thought up all kinds of convoluted explanations for why we act so crazy; it’s because people don’t agree with our political faction. It’s because of original sin. It’s because we’re just generally awful. It’s because of this or that minority group. But really the source of all our madness, when you boil it right down, is that we’re all trying to use mental strategies made of abstract concepts in order to feel okay, and it will never, ever work. We have an unexamined, ineffective coping strategy for dealing with our new, much safer world, and it keeps us in a state of stress and fear. This stress and fear is then used by clever humans to manipulate us into supporting political policies and behaviors which do not serve us.

True Revolution

The transformation in human consciousness is the plan of action. I really don’t know how to say it any clearer than that. And I will go so far as to say that that it is the only plan of action which will pull us out of our destructive patterns and into a healthy state of collaboration with each other and with our ecosystem. Unless we radically change the way we function above the neck, we will keep killing, consuming and destroying like a bunch of mindless automatons until everything is dead. I really don’t see any other way out of this…

So yes, true revolution means abandoning the insane strategy of endless economic expansion in a world made up of finite space and resources, but it also means seeing through the illusory nature of our sense of self and ceasing to believe the babbling mental narratives which are premised upon it. Yes, true revolution means ceasing the worldwide frantic, futile scramble to do what ever it takes in order to get the right kind of numbers in our bank account so we don’t starve to death in an arbitrary economic system based on imaginary bureaucratic fiat, but it also means bringing our unconscious coping mechanisms into consciousness and healing our childhood traumas. Yes, true revolution means organizing and engaging in politics and creating new systems together, but it also means learning to really love the most tender, guarded parts of ourselves which we used to leave unattended running on autopilot in our subconscious mental processes.

I firmly believe that we are capable of such a collective awakening, and there are experts in the field of inner transformation who claim to have observed signs that such an awakening may be underway…

Life Secrets

Since society is made of narrative, it is far more malleable than it appears at first glance. You can become an artist just by making that the narrative about you, and if you move in that direction in a confident and assertive way you will see doors begin to open up as people say “Oh it’s okay, he’s an artist, let him in.” You can escape from seemingly inescapable living situations and free yourself from seemingly insurmountable obstacles just by pushing in whatever direction you desire with full, confident intention. Since nobody really knows what’s going on and everyone’s making it up as they go along, we tend to take our cues from the most confident-looking people in the room, so people will say “Oh, she seems like she knows where she’s going. I’d better get out of her way.” Just hold the positive intention and move toward it like you’ve already gotten where you want to be.

He Will Show You His True Face

The only man who is worthy of woman’s magic
is one who wishes for her freedom,
one who wants to see the fruition of her vision,
one who longs to help manifest her creations,
one who wants to see the world
created in her third eye’s image,
uncaged by by the bars of slavery and servitude,
of religion and family obligation,
of societal demands and marital duties,
without twisting her soulcraft into breastmilk for his demons,
without a pinch and a punch and a “What about me?”
and some dead-eyed sex whenever he wants it.
A man who wants to see her fly,
to see her free,
to see her sorcery rain down on our sick world
and nourish the Garden of Eden back into existence.

How To Own Life Like A Fucking Wizard

Because here’s the thing: since society is made of narrative, and since nobody knows what the fuck is going on, you can pretty much arrange the narratives around you in a way that suits you just by declaring confidently, consistently and assertively what it is that’s happening. People will adjust their ideas about what’s going on to accommodate your ownership of the narrative, and before you know it you’re being uplifted by society and supported toward whatever goals you’ve got in mind. Decide you’re a leader, they’ll make you a leader. Decide you’re successful, they’ll make you successful. Decide you know what’s happening, they’ll believe you. Say what you want like it’s going to happen, and if it’s a want that society can fulfill, they will.

Take Chances

Follow your inspired desire. Not desire for the gratification of indulging an old conditioned pattern, not the desires you think you ought to have, not desires you may have had once but don’t anymore, not a mental image, but the deep, felt desire for a step in the direction of freedom, expansiveness, aliveness and exuberance. Let your inspired desire siren you into whatever new form you need to take to move through the next new door. Let it pull you out of your old patterns and into a humble, responsive relationship with a new way of being that you know you do not understand.


It is as simple as changing our minds about whether or not we believe the fairy tales that we are being read by the pundits and politicians on the various screens we encounter about what’s going on in the world and what’s in our best interest to consent to. It’s as simple as putting down the book of fairy tales, and as an incentive to do so we only have the threat of the extinction of our entire species forever.

And the people who say that that’s impossible are the “realists”? Really?

About Caitlin Johnstone