Agent Smith: Do we have a deal, Mr. Reagan?
Cypher: You know, I know this steak doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize? Ignorance is bliss.
Agent Smith: Then we have a deal?
Cypher: I don't want to remember nothing. Nothing. You understand? And I want to be rich. You know, someone important, like an actor.
Agent Smith: Whatever you want, Mr. Reagan.
Remember that scene in The Matrix? It’s the perfect analogy for what I suggested in the last post when I told you that the actual role of collective consciousness is to keep people unconscious. That’s because what we call “society” is just a collection of people. And when you assemble a large collection of people, you can be certain that a vast majority of them are unhappy, unhealthy, deeply in debt, and even deeper in denial and delusion.
You want to feel loved and accepted. The advertising agencies that peddle soda, beer, and snack foods know exactly how to emotionally manipulate you to feel that way. And if they can emotionally manipulate you into that first purchase, then their products are designed to cause physical addiction afterwards. Salt and lime-flavored tortilla chips taste better than eggplant because they are genetically engineered to.
You can be a powerless failure, living in your mom’s basement. But the social media networks allow you to create a psychological avatar for yourself, where you can insult, avenge, troll and irritate people until they notice you. Every retweet, share, and reply will feed your false sense of power and purpose.
Ultimately, this is a game you can only lose…
You sacrifice and go into debt to get a status brand car, but your neighbor buys a higher status one. You haven’t paid the credit card debt from your last iPhone and Apple releases the next model. You’re confident you’ve found the next trendy merlot, and then your hipster neighbor announces the new IPA he’s discovered.
All of this pursuit of status and superficial acceptance leaves you feeling lonely, directionless and empty. You seek something bigger than yourself to be a part of. Then the Moonies, Christianity, Scientology, and other religious cults will offer you a place and a process to conceal that feeling of emptiness.
You will always be a slave to that which you’re not aware of. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about people, institutions, customs, habits, programming, or emotions. The only real freedom comes from awareness.
The magic that makes self-awareness work is you become a participant observer.
So as a graphic example, let’s look at the experience you’re having at this moment, reading this blog. As you read these words, mentally listening to my thoughts, you must also be listening to yourself. And that part – listening to yourself – is more important than listening to me. Because if you’re not listening to yourself – “Surely he’s not suggesting I’m addicted to Diet Coke!” “Did he just call Christianity a cult?” – then you won’t hear anything I’m saying.
You’ll just mindlessly react, based on the conditioning, insecurities, and memes you have. Instead of actually hearing what I’ve written here, you will distort it by simply downloading the preconceptions you need to keep all your delusions intact.
When you possess self-awareness, you’re not easily manipulated because you’re always in that dual role of participant and observer.
When you’re both, you’re woke. And when you’re woke, you’re free.