So, I recently re-watched the Matrix and I couldn’t believe how profound and relevant the story is in relation to today’s society; and this is probably why a fourth film is in production now.
The concept follows a common and growing condition, whereby individuals are blinded from the idea that they possess free will and choice because of cultural indoctrination.
The protagonist Neo is living in a computer simulation, which imitates the corporate modern world that a lot of us live in today, and it is in this startlingly accurate comparison that we as the viewer can start to draw parallels to our own lives.
We go through this process of awakening in which, through our unhappiness and discontent for the world, we begin to question our reality. We begin to question the 9-5 office job, we begin to question the system and we begin to question who we are.
This leads to the revelation and the truth that many of are slaves; and that we are not free. This can be exemplified in a plethora of concepts today. First and fundamentally the identity with our mind, character and ego.
Most people would not admit this, and yet the same people spend every waking moment seeking objects to validate their character: new phones, big watches, fancy cars, social status and so on.
The matrix has tricked many of us into believing we are the sum of our minds and character; and that true wealth is achieved through superficial means.
The movie is suggesting that culture fundamentally raises us to be a cog in a machine; and it keeps us compliant through false concepts of fulfilment that are culturally agreed upon. Things like money, status and social media following are purely distractions from the truth.
These things are empty and devoid of meaning if they are your primary pursuit, they will not produce the results you wish to see, they will not fulfil us.
What is most scary about this truth is that individuals will continue to protect the mirage that is the matrix in pursuit of these shiny objects and distractions. Ego, identity, social conformity and the system are such strong influences on our behaviour that we will literally jeopardise our happiness.
The Red Pill
Now, i’m going to introduce to concept of the red pill.
In the movie a choice is given to our hero. Neo is given a choice between the red and blue pill. These are symbolic of consciousness and unconsciousness.
In this respect, the blue pill is ignorance. The blue pill is being aware of suffering but choosing to turn a blind eye – ignorance is bliss.
The red pill is the truth, ugly as it might be, Neo chooses to wake up from the illusion that is the matrix and come home to his body in the real world.
The reason I bring light to this unique moment is because it is one that is prevalent in all of our lives.
We’ve all experienced situations whereby we seem to be fragmented and torn between two choices.
One in which we tell the ugly truth and potentially hurt someones feelings, or we lie and spare them of pain in the present moment.
The reality behind this choice is this:
You can either take no responsibility and descend into subjugation and hedonism.
Or take responsibility, uphold the truth, free will and choice.
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