Saturday, May 12, 2012

Taking the red pill

I was reminded one evening recently, through something someone said, of the premise of the movie called, "The Matrix."  Okay that was a REALLY freaky movie, but it has almost a mythic truth to it.  There are so many applications ... but they all have one thing in common: stepping from a life you thought was genuine, into a whole new world that represents reality the way it is, even though that might be something totally opposite to what you thought was the way things were.

For those who haven't seen the movie, our hero, Neo, is a computer hacker, and one day he is kidnapped by some really strange people who take him to see an even stranger individual.  This person tells him that the world he knows is not the real world.  He has suspected something was amiss, but he's given a chance to find out for himself.  His contact from the real world gives him a choice: take the blue pill and wake up in your bed and never remember any of this bizarre experience, or take the red pill and find out the true nature of existence.

Neo takes the red pill - and is instantly and literally plunged into reality - a very disturbing reality which is far beyond anything he could have envisioned.  

He learns that human beings are actually "farmed" by a master alien race who provide a virtual reality dream-state for them to experience (the Matrix) while all the while, the life is slowly sucked out of them; when they die, their bodies are converted to fuel to feed the other humans who in turn feed the aliens.  The whole concept is very disgusting; it goes against everything we hold dear.  

The moment that Neo wakes up in the real world and sees how incredibly helpless he and his fellow human beings are in those little pods of slime, he is totally confused and doesn't know who to trust.  Fortunately his link to the "collective" is severed ... and he is again rescued by the one who opened his eyes.  He is nurtured and re-educated, allowed to rebuild his atrophied muscles, and given the chance to join a resistance movement to free his fellow human beings, one at a time, from this unwitting bondage.  He has to learn a whole new way of living, a whole new mindset, to be able to re-enter the Matrix (knowing that it is only an illusion), and to overcome the aliens and their allies through a computer interface.  

That period of transition, which starts with a willingness to be shown the true nature of living (taking the red pill), is always confusing and usually painful ... at first.  The new way of living feels unnatural, uncomfortable.  It takes a while to get used to and we are constantly in the process of un-learning and re-learning things we thought we knew.  Things we thought were true, aren't. Things we thought were our imagination turn out to be real.  We need to learn new boundaries, venture out toward new frontiers. 

It's not easy.  There are bumps in the road, and there are those who have been on the path we are on, who may have been there so long that they have become bored with or tired of the struggle - and they sell out to the evil entities  who would blind us to their existence and lull us back into that dream-state.  These changing allegiances is also part of the experience, though it is a painful one; only a friend can betray a friend - a stranger has nothing to gain (as one songwriter said).  Learning to deal with and then let go of those things is part of the new reality.  

Finally, when we "take the red pill" - we learn three important truths which remain, no matter how our world changes around us in the new reality.  (1) We are born into a world at war. (2) Things are not what they seem.  And (3) we have a vital part to play in waging that war.  

It's scary.  But we are loved, we are treasured, and our Rescuer believes in us and will never abandon us.

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