“Welcome to the matrix!” The idea arrives from nowhere. It is the first thought.
I open my eyes, and a white plane blurs into view. It fills the fuzzy oval of my gaze like an old movie screen.
“Oh, hello. I know you,” is my automatic response. Then awareness dawns. “Oh, crap! Again??”
In a single millisecond, a flood of sensory information arrives: the warmth under my head. . . the lightness pressing against my upper body and arms. . . a soft weight compressing my toes. . . a mild nausea which feels larger than my head. . . a single “clack” from somewhere outside my field of view.
All of this arrives with no premise.
There is a second “clack.” Wait. . . the sound is familiar.
A third “clack” arrives with the regularity of a heartbeat. Time?. . . I think vaguely. Ah, right! Things happen one after another here. Something nearby is marking out mileposts in my awareness. Once they pass, I can remember them. . . but the ones approaching, I cannot. The sound creates them.
There is an in breath. . . mine. Now the breath has duration. Muscles in my neck contract in a coherent way (how did I do that), causing my head to angle forward, pillowed by the warmth under my head. The movement brings new impressions into view: three lines, meeting. The white plane above meets two vertical planes in a junction. Identification arrives. It’s a room corner. . . I am in a room.
I can see the object which has been making the clacking noise. A quartz clock, hung barely in view, marks out its one-second intervals, creating a past and future.
A subtle movement catches my eye. . . there! Up in the corner, a small, gauzy thing gently wafts up and down on imperceptible currents. What the heck is it? For a few timeless seconds, it becomes the sole focus of my existence.
The motions seems so familiar. . . do I recall this from another morning? Or, have I awakened simultaneously in two universes, and in each, a tattered web floats ephemerally in one corner? The frayed memory feels like a signal, like something that does not belong. . . I need to focus.
But abruptly, the matrix knocks harder. I’m not ready.
A flood of identifying labels arrives: I have been asleep. . . I am awake. I have a life. . . a mate. . . a family. . . a car. . . a job. . . a bank account.Embed from Getty Images
Information, facts, premises. . . all come flooding in, grinning like impish demons who fasten themselves onto my psyche with ingenious hooks. Numbly and without thinking, I take ownership of them (have I a choice?). Part of me wishes I was still hanging like an unoccupied suit in a closet.
Idly, my gaze remains on the frayed web still moving in the corner. I’m forgetting why I was so interested in it.
A chemtrail haze begins to form in my mind. Mental habits are booting up. . . what things mean. . . who I think I am. . . what others think of me. . . the way I talk to myself. . . how I fit in. A vague unease steals over the moment like a shadow. Why?
“Oh, it’s nothing, really,” the matrix informs me. “You are simply inheriting the premises of Earth life. Everyone does.“
They do?? I’m not sure I like this. It feels like a deal that I – or someone very like me – made, but whose details I can’t remember. There is a gravitational pull to these premises. . . as though we’re in a courtroom and have just heard the sobering phrase: “Will the defendant please rise?” while a gavel-bearing judge prepares to pass sentence.
“Life is struggle, featuring dualism in all its glory: debt and freedom, pain and pleasure, luck and misfortune, empathy and hatred, love and fear, right and wrong. . .“
“You are here now, whether or not you had any choice in the matter. You are sentenced to toil for the right to exist.“
“You will develop attachments. . . sensual, emotional, intellectual; and by these you will be manipulated.”
“There may be a better world when you die. Check local listings for details. But you will surely doubt it, and you will wonder if you deserve it.“
“Meanwhile, nothing will stay the same. The world will speed up, and life will grow more chaotic.“
Have a nice day. . .
Doesn’t this sound like a total riot!? No wonder so many come to Earth. You just can’t find this level of immersion anywhere else. The attachments, the drama, the addictions, the linearity of cause and effect. . . how utterly unique! I’ve heard there’s quite a waiting line for this particular theater. And yet somehow, we’ve made it in! “Consider yourself lucky, mate.” That’s what they tell the newcomers.
Welcome to the ultimate in massively multiplayer open-world gaming. What will it be this time? Destitute? Serial killer? Wealthy princess? Entrepreneur? Savant? Just want to “help people?” Raise a family and experience love? Or just quietly “trying to get by?”
Tongue-in-cheek aside, the idea of a mostly oblivious humanity and those who look beyond the veil is a familiar trope and has been with us for millennia. You’ve seen The Matrix, and surely you recognize it by now as a dominant cultural metaphor for waking up. Plato developed the myth of the cave. Jesus spoke of being born again (not merely the shallow declaration of belief it is now).
Well, there is something to this waking up business, and it may run deeper than just “getting a clue” about who is or isn’t in charge of the globe. What if reality as we know it is analogous to being in a movie theater (Plato’s cave), a hologram (Michael Talbot and others), or some kind of computer-simulation (Elon Musk, et al)? Well. . .
Looked at your watch yet?
Glancing down at the time during a movie typically means the experience has worn thin. I remember the very first time I did that in a theater. The sense of being lost in the story had evaporated. And yet, those around me seemed immersed in the drama. Why wasn’t I still hypnotized? Eventually, something happened on-screen to drawn me back in. But there had been that moment.
Seeing the light, waking up, having a paradigm shift, getting red-pilled. . . these are commonplace memes now. Some say we are experiencing the most significant era in human history. Do you feel it? You don’t have to, you know. Keep your head down. Stay in the narrative. Smirk at the space cadets for being caught up in yet another “conspiracy theory,” and get back to your routine. Life will be exactly what you need it to be. It will appear to prove your point. No problem. No difference. . . No light.
But what does one awaken from? And awaken to? Perhaps to another dream – the one in which we dream that we have woken up. Now that’s an insidious plot device. All the hoopla about elites and mass arrests, pedophilia, weather modification, ‘Q,’ et al. . . what if all this is merely part of the dream?
It is, you know.
As long as we are here, as long as we inhabit bodies and walk around on this planet, we are still playing house. We are playing at hallucinating reality. . . a reality where things are concrete, where the rules of causality are sequential, where minds-in-isolation is the de facto experience. For now, I suppose the best we can hope for is to become lucid in this dream. What would you do then?
Have you ever dreamed that you had just awakened? And have you then tried to awaken those around you. . . even as you still dreamt yourself? How’d that work out for ya?
The path is lonely. Lately, I have found that the greatest challenge has been to live each day as if things are normal, usually for the sake of family, job, and friends. They all seem to require the commonality of the shared dream experience. To intentionally break that is to generate distance. That comes painfully as sarcasm, worry, anger, scorn, or avoidance. How much isolation is it all worth? This puts a different spin on “keeping up appearances.” We should talk about this more.
Or maybe we should all just shrug it all off and get back to sleep. We seem a long way off from meeting one another, Buddha to Buddha.