The Winter Solstice of Civilization

By Jonathan Roseland

It's Christmas - the winter solstice.

A holiday that pre-dates Christianity celebrated in Europe for thousands of years to mark the halfway point of the winter season. In modernity, winter is merely an inconvenience, thanks to our well-insulated homes and central heating, but for thousands of years, winter was a different animal. A deadly animal. The cold was an ever-present existential threat. Food was scarce. A winter injury or illness could be a death sentence. And winter was boring, there wasn't much farming or labor that could be done. It was a lot of downtime isolated with one's thoughts, hopes, anxieties, and regrets. The winter solstice holiday was a much-needed, heartening, reminder that they were half-way through the cold, dark winter.

Last year I read this very thoroughly researched book, At Our Wits' End, about the troubling decline of general intelligence across the western world; which explains why we never went back to the moon and why you can't fly at supersonic speeds on the Concorde across the Atlantic.

This is something that people might debate about but it's become especially apparent in the current year that civilization is in decline. We keep getting smarter phones but people are getting dumber. Politics are getting dumber. The news is getting dumber. Entertainment is getting dumber. Culture is getting dumber. The rules are getting dumber; during the COVID lockdowns you were not allowed to go to the gym but you’re allowed to go to Walmart.

At Our Wits' End concludes, citing historical examples - Rome, Classical Greece, etc - that this decline of intelligence is the harbinger of an impending new dark age - a brutish bad time. There’s a chance that, like in the movie The Matrix, 1999 was the true high-water mark for humanity and that we are damned to decline, devolve, and ultimately be enslaved by our own technology and hubris in the age of Aquarius.

But NOT if I have anything to do about it - not if we have anything to do about it...

You were born at a special time, you weren’t born in a time and place where freedom or tyranny was guaranteed to you. If you were born in the United States in the 1950’s you had freedom practically guaranteed your entire life, but if you were born in the Soviet Union, in 1930, you had tyranny guaranteed from cradle to grave.

A dark, dystopian technocratic world of neoliberal fascism beckons, certainly, but I believe that arch of history bends toward something approximating Utopia. The collective human spirit has breathed free too much to put back on the face mask of tyranny. Civilization is in decline but I'll suggest to you that this year is the winter solstice - that we could be halfway through the new dark age.

You were born at a time when you get to choose tyranny or freedom! Perhaps it’s all just random, perhaps there’s nothing magical about the universe, but I like to think that there’s some master plan at work. If you find life to be pregnant with drama, suspense, adventure, coincidence, irony, and climatic conclusions, perhaps your life is something like a novel penned by an unseen author. You were born at this remarkable time of accelerating freedom and accelerating tyranny because you were meant to make a difference.

In another 50 years (and we’re all going to still be alive in 50 years if we do the Biohacking and anti-aging stuff) we all want to be able to look out at a world better than the one we inherited. We can look back and say that 2020 was the Winter Solstice of civilization and that we played our part to build a better, freer world. Instead of just saying, "I sat on the sidelines, and just watched the left, the corrupt government, and giant corporations strangle freedom."

What might it mean to fight for freedom? It’s different for every one of us, you have to figure that out for yourself.

But what's universal is that...
In modernity, the main way that we are enslaved is with comfort. In the current year they are really doing their damndest to seduce us with comfort; “just stay home,” watch Netflix, here’s free money in the form of a government stimulus check, your fast-food (or marijuana) delivery is just a few swipes away, and enjoy some free, streaming 4K porn! The siren song of comfort has never been louder. Before we fight "the system" for our freedom, we first fight comfort - the hardest victory is over self.

Being a holiday, before you are a couple of days of downtime. Devote some of that time to meditation and contemplation. Ask yourself, in 2023 how can you choose discomfort? It might be fasting, cold showers, having hard conversations, abstaining from things that make you weak, or turning off the TV and reading difficult books - you'll have to figure that out on your own. If you don't choose your problems and sources of discomfort, this entropic world will choose them for you. 

I wish you antifragility in 2024!

This was a speech that I first made off-the-cuff in a one-on-one coaching call with a client, I refined it a little more for the Limitless Mindset Year-End hangout, and now see fit to release it to the world. If you're skeptical of the civilizational intelligence decline I mentioned, check out this book review...

At Our Wits’ End: Why We’re Becoming Less Intelligent and What it Means for the Future
Category: Book

Please share this video with someone who might need a little reason for hope at this time.

Filmed at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Sofia, Bulgaria

Music featured
Two Steps from Hell - Victory
Ivan Torrent - Rêverie

Join the Limitless Mindset Substack to...

Get frequent free edifying content about Biohacking, Lifehacking, and my holistic pragmatic antifragility philosophy. This informative (and often entertaining!) Substack is about how to take advantage of the latest anti-aging and Biohacking science and where I dispense timely mindset nuggets, lifehacking tips, and my own musings.

Watch this recent video...

Affiliate Links?

As you may have noticed this website contains affiliate links to products, supplements, and software programs. The small commissions we receive from sales of these products allow us to commit the time necessary to thoroughly researching which products are credible and will give you the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to upgrading your mind.

We have a strict philosophy of only endorsing or recommending products that we've found really work to help you upgrade your mind.

Thank you, sincerely, for your support!

Review or Affiliate Inquiries

We're eager to hear about new biohacking products, technologies, and quality supplements. I do review, write, and vlog about products that I think are worth the consideration of the 15,000 - 20,000 savvy health consumers that visit my site monthly and my 2000 newsletter subscribers.

I have some standards and specific things that I look for in the products I'd like to use myself and might recommend here on Please submit this form with a little more information about your offering.

Contact Us

+1 720 924 1872

Community Login

Content Copyright 2011 - 2024 All Rights Reserved.

  • All trademarks, logos, and service marks displayed are registered and/or unregistered Trademarks of their respective owners.
  • Reproduction in whole or in any form without express written permission is prohibited.
  • This is not medical advice.
  • The content on this website is for entertainment purposes.
  • These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • These products are not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease.

Website by Roseland Digital