Do you want to know what...it...is? I've talked a lot about the Matrix over the last several blogs, so I figured it's time to explain what it is to me. The easiest way to begin peeling back the layers of the Matrix would probably be to start with what reality is and is not. God would inevitably come up, as would heaven and hell, consciousness, your soul or spirit, purpose, brainwashing, mind control, 1984, A Brave New World, the American Dream, MSM, The Corporations, energy, infinite growth on a finite planet, and the Zombie Apocalypse just for good measure. All of that would have to be talked about to explain what the Matrix is to me, but I'm not going to take that route. I've been down that road, and I know where it leads...just read the last 50 blogs. I don't want to rehash all of the things I have said in all of the previous blogs. If you really wanted to know what I think about the Matrix you will have found plenty of opinion up to this point here at Epiphany Now about the nature of reality and therefore the Matrix. Well then, how am I to proceed?
"That thing was real!!!?" Yes Neo, very much so. I still remember leaving the movie theater in 1998 after having viewed the Matrix for the first time. What an amazing movie! Cinematography, special effects, great writing, great story, symbolic on as many levels as you care to dig through. I left the theater with Rage Against the Machines "Wake Up" still permeating throughout my consciousness. Indeed, Wake up, for the love of all that is good, wake up now because the world needs you fully conscious. There is enough mindlessness free ranging throughout the supermegalo maketing maze of Walmart to keep the bull shit black hole supplied for eternity, and there are not many intentional wizards around to make much of a difference. I was 18 when I viewed the Matrix for the first time, and nothing had come close to blowing my mind on the level that the Matrix did. It woke me up...unconsciously. It planted a seed in my mind that germinated into my liberation. Up to that point in my life I had been concerned with typical teenage stuff, sex, beer, women, jumping from high platforms, and all other manner of adrenaline releasing activity (although I did start writing poetry as well as a journal when I was 16).
On the one hand the Matrix is a very real thing, and on the other it's all a product of mind and has no physical location and is not intentionally in existence. I think The Oracle is the most important character in the movie and in real life as well. The voice that speaks to you of your purpose...the mouthpiece of God. "What's really going to bake your noodle later on is, would you still have broken it if I hadn't said anything?" Now we are in the territory of a very real phenomenon. I have a coffee mug with a picture of the Buddha in meditation on it on one side, and on the other it says "mind is everything, what you think you become." This idea is the main difference between those of us laboring away in the Matrix and those of us who are following our bliss outside of it. The majority are more asleep when they are awake than they are when they are asleep. Wake up? Wake up from what? Wake up from the lies you've been told your entire life. The lies about what's required from you and what is and is not ethical and moral. Put shortly, wake up from your own unconsciousness. To live intentionally is to be liberated from the Matrix. You can't really live intentionally and still be trapped in it. Okay, so I've liberated myself from this mysterious metaphor that encompasses everything and nothing, so how am I different from those still stuck in it? Or has my liberation just been another illusion emanating from Samsara?
It's sort of like when I was baptized at 10 years old. Yes, it was intentional because I decided I wanted to get baptized. I did the couple months of repenting, stopped cussing, got my bad temper under wraps(no doubt a product from my father's abandonment), was nicer to people and so forth and so on, but was it really intentional? How much can a 10 year old understand about consciousness, religion, or spirituality? So to say that I intentionally selected Christianity as my truth is to leave out the overwhelming desire I had to please the adults in my life (who all went to church). I was just responding to the very real ques I was bombarded with by the adults in my life. "Get baptized...it's the only way to save yourself, you don't want to burn in hell for eternity do you?" Of course that message was sugared up with nice euphemisms surrounded by typical exoteric mindlessness. Consequently, shortly after viewing the Matrix for the first time, I had an epiphany that there is no God. I remember a penetrating sense of liberation at that moment...I was looking at a beautiful sunset. My journey to "know thyself" kicked off entirely on that day. All at once I realized that if the biggest truth I knew was a lie that I was told by everybody in my life, then what about everything else? Everything I knew was now subject to being false and had to be reexamined by myself. I was 18...why did it take another 14 years for me to wake up? What did I wake up from?
Just like when I was baptized, the miracle didn't show up and I was left wondering what the hype was all about. I remember thinking, while still under the water, "okay, come on Jesus, I'm ready to fully accept you into my 10 year old heart...where are you...oh no I didn't repent enough...Jesus isn't coming," and then I'm pulled back out of the water to be greeted by a clapping church. I was ready to be transformed by Jesus...I was ready to feel him enter into my heart like I was told I would feel...nothing. Waking up from the Matrix is very similar to that experience. When you wake up everything is the same as it was before and there is no grand transformation. Waking up from the Matrix is simply about taking control of your own mind. Mind is everything, and everything about society has the effect of keeping us all revolving around the status quo. This is no conspiracy, it's just the nature of man. We are social creatures who's greatest desire is to feel understood by our fellow man. Don't underestimate the strength that this one desire has on keeping you a slave to the Matrix. In order to see it for what it is you have to realize that nobody else is going to understand you once the transformation is complete (at least the probability of feeling understood in person will greatly diminish). What I'm saying is that society is not conscious about their bondage to one another. Society keeps chugging along amidst it's own dysfunction and disease because nobody wants to be alone. The ole "misery loves company" saying comes to mind.
My resignation from the Matrix was simply the last thread that was attached to my desire to be understood by society being severed....intentionally. It was a fully conscious and aware decision to live life in accordance with my thoroughly vetted, researched, and conscious lifestyle. The friction that was driving me mad was simply the lifestyle I was forced into living to live within the agreed upon normal. Job, health insurance, house payment and on and on the circle of dysfunctional living goes. My decision was a simple one...join society completely and therefore embrace my own insanity, or embrace sanity however insane it appeared to said society. I chose sane insanity rather than insane sanity. My escape from the Matrix was more about my complete embrace of the responsibility for being who I am. I am, am I? Escaping the Matrix is taking complete responsibility for who you are. You see, you have to follow your bliss actively or you will never see it. Misery, on the other hand, will find you freely and it will thoroughly hate your company. You will feel understood by all of those swimming in the same misery, and the price you will pay will be at best a low grade insanity. At worst, however, will be the fact that your bliss will remain right in front of your nose without your knowledge of it. At least you won't be alone though...right?
I still have to make money, or otherwise acquire it. I still have bills to pay as well as taxes, food, and materials. I still have an ego that must remain healthy to function in the Matrix. I still live in a ticky tacky box with a large heating and air unit and a need for petroleum to make the house liveable. I still go to Lowes and buy stuff that I can't make on my own or acquire any other way. I'm not able to sustain myself without society because society exists and I can't get around that fact. I still have a cell phone, computers, and the internet that I must pay for. I still have to concern myself with coming up with the money to pay for all of that stuff...just like before I liberated myself from the Matrix. So what does that liberation mean? It's actually quite simple...the liberation is real, but not too tangible. It doesn't exist anywhere in reality and can't be pointed to. It's like the Zen monks are so fond of pointing out...as soon as you talk about it you are already not talking about it because language cannot go there (and I'm not claiming any type of enlightenment by using that analogy). My liberation from the Matrix is nothing more than a conscious decision to be liberated. Mind is everthing...what you think you become. Therefore, think about your bliss and then become it. So the question you should be asking yourself is this one, what is the alternative to following your bliss? What are you waiting for?
Recently in the comments of WHD's blog "Off the Grid in Minneapolis" a reader said that they had had enough of Peak Oil and infinite growth on a finite planet talk. We all know the truth about the physical constraints the planet mandates. That commenter was expressing an emerging consciousness. While Epiphany Now will continue being about my musings surrounding the condition of things, cause I can't help myself...it's cathartic for me, I'm going to begin reporting more about the things I'm doing and thinking as applies to making a living in an intentional Post Petroleum Lifestyle