Would you let me tell you my story of unplugging from The Matrix because I think it will help with discovering what feels like it is wrong inside of us? This is a short story of the world many of us are raised in and then a waking up to the real world which matches more closely with what we can see. I call this journey unplugging from The Matrix because that movie does an amazing job with the analogy. To begin, would you join us in taking a quick look at the story of the world we are programmed with? Let’s call it the story of victory and progress on the outside which leaves us feeling defeated and stuck on the inside.
The World - The Lie - The Machine - The Matrix!
Growing up I was fascinated with the nazis. How could such evil exist on the planet? How fortunate we defeated that evil and were making progress? In this world, I saw myself a citizen of a utopian earth maybe with a few problems like poverty and global warming but mostly doing better every day. The problem was inside I did not feel this to be the truth. Inside I felt the truth about me was that of a disgusting piece of shit which was only made more painful by a world appearing great around me. I thought if I just got more education, money, and a family my view of myself would change to match the world. Nope. With all those things, the feeling persisted because the story was backwards.
Where is the way out?
As far back as a toddler I often felt the greatest service I could do for this world was to kill this body. My parents used to have to sit on me because I would try to smash my head apart on the floor as young as two or three years old. After enough punishment, I became afraid to rebel anymore at home. As soon as I went to college, the crazy started coming out. Many nights during my twenties found me drunk, alone, and contemplating either ending my own life or that of a few others first. I felt like the way I could really be a hero and escape would be to stop me before someone else had to. This view persisted no matter what good or bad happened in my life until I could see I was very close to finally making my escape. Fortunately, my fear of death was great and motivated me to desperately pray to God and anyone that would listen for help. A few people that had already walked down my path showed me the way out of what caused not only my drinking but my entire rebellion towards life. They showed me how to unplug from The Matrix, the story, and the lie.
Why do so many of us feel like something is wrong?
Have you ever wondered what you would do and how you would feel if you were nazi or a communist or whatever you think of as a great evil? What would you do if there were concentration camps next door where people were being killed every day? I really like this Martin Luther King Jr quote which sums up what most of us would probably do.
"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” — Martin Luther King Jr
Enter The Uncomfortable Truth.
How do we feel on the inside about life when we stand by quietly in the midst of atrocity out of self-centered fear? We feel like something is wrong. Here is an analogy that I hope shows a story of the world that is more accurate and explains why many of us feel like something is wrong even when we struggle to see what exactly it is. When we wake up from the dream of being the victors and the saviors, the truth seems to be closer to the opposite. We are the nazis that Hitler dreamed of having a thousand year domination of the world. Not just us but everyone around us has their own armband and serving the most evil machine this earth may have ever seen.
Really we are the nazis?
Practically yes. We are all collectively working on the most unimaginable holocaust in all of our observable history. Our propaganda is so good that anyone saying anything outside of the party lines is an idiot, lunatic, or just doesn’t get it. We believe our own lies. It is so effective that the most common form of protest is people killing themselves or using alcohol and drugs or food to do it slowly in record numbers. I know because that is what I did from 2003 to 2014.
Different methods same results.
While the nazis used gas chambers and more direct methods of murder, our progress has allowed us to rationalize what we do today as different because it works slowly rather than quickly. If you had a choice, would you rather be tortured to death for 30 years or take a couple of deep breaths and die fast? I personally would prefer the gas chamber to what most of us are getting instead which is ...
Our holocaust is eating, drinking, prison, drugs, and corporate slavery.
How many of us today are so fat we can barely do basic life tasks like walk? How many millions of us today are sitting in prison? How many of us cannot be talked out of poising ourselves with alcohol and drugs? How many animals are we slaughtering and species are we making extinct every day in the name of progress? This is what our holocaust looks like today. We are so used to it we take it for granted the same way a German or Russian civilian in the 1900s might have taken for granted neighbors being hauled off by the secret police and never seen again. We are so understandably afraid to do anything about it because we would rather not be the next one taken away.
But Jerry we do not actually get taken away ... do we?
The master in The Matrix is money leading back to the saying that money is the root of all evil AND also therefore the way out. What usually happens to those of us causing a minor disturbance is that we get our money taken away if we do not participate in the system. If we fight back, we lose our jobs or face litigation If taking away our money does not work to silence us or if we pose a greater threat, then we will be taken away more directly with an alleged crime which almost no one actually ever sees proof of. In the most extreme cases, a car accident or murder made to look like a suicide shuts us up for good. These methods are the results of great progress in public relations with managing rebellion.
The rebellion is not sexy like Star Wars but ugly.
Almost all of us know an alcoholic, drug addict, inmate, and suicide victim. Some of us are almost completely surrounded by what one might see as a rebels fighting against serving The Matrix by simply refusing to live or show up fit for duty. With being an alcoholic myself sober but for the grace of God and other courageous souls for three years now, I see the front lines every day. What I see are people doing the best they can to put up a fight against the greatest evil on the planet. The Matrix which is consists of US. Our story of the world. Many rebels will not give up the tools of rebellion such as alcohol and drugs because the idea of living with the world as it is creates an unbearable pain. Most of us work full time on hiding from it every day.
How are we hiding?
We hide at our doctor’s office where we manage to get ourselves into such real or imagined pain that we get medication just to get through a normal day. We hide with anger by going around and complaining about everything while doing nothing about it. We hide with work where we try to push our way to the top in a struggle against our coworkers for prestige and the corner office. We hide with relationships expecting one person in the same situation as us to somehow save us from the rest of the world only to discard them when they fail to do the job. We hide in TV shows making us feel better about our relative position by showing how bad it could be through epic violence or drama. We hide with plates so stuffed with food that we are morbidly obese and always trying to diet but somehow end up worse off than before. We work hard to hide from the truth about what we contribute to build The Matrix every day. We hide at all levels from the president to the CEO to the janitor to the unemployed to the corporate slave to the self-employed online teacher.
It is time to stop hiding and face what we are doing.
Honesty is the first step. Are we really living lives we feel good about today? How are our actions impacting those around us and our greater community? Why is a world that appears full of everything we need so unsatisfactory? Where can we see what we are doing more clearly? Which choices are we making today individually that have a high impact? The most challenging part about admitting my own role as an alcoholic was getting honest with the fact that my life sober was unmanageable. I drank less because I liked what alcohol did and more because the world was easier to face after being poisoned just the right amount. While I poisoned myself so much I spent often ten to twenty hours a week in bed with hangovers after epic binges, most of us poison ourselves just the right amount to get through the day without making any real changes or having to stop to look. Thank God for listening to self-help books like this during hangovers or I might be dead by now.
We are like a disease on this planet.
Why do we hate diseases in our bodies much? We hate them because they grow without respect to what is good for our whole body. When the bacteria, virus, or cancer we have starts trying to multiply as fast as it can, we take offense to it ignoring the rest of our body. We don’t mind a little bacteria here or a tiny bit of cancer there or a virus over here so long as it does not disrupt the functioning of the whole. When the cancer becomes big enough to start hurting or our infection becomes so bad it threatens to kills us, then we get upset. Why cannot the cancer just be reasonable and not grow without respect to the rest of our body? Why does it have to spread into every organ and kill us? These are questions worth asking ourselves about our own species. Why do we need to conquer every corner of the planet? Why do we need to keep cutting down trees and digging up the earth and taking fish out of the ocean when we easily could just farm the land around us and live happily ever after? What is causing us to grow and grow without respecting our position as a part of the whole?
See The Matrix - The Machine.
When I used to see construction workers working on new skyscrapers, I used to be proud because that was a symbol of progress. As I was watching a new building being erected in the center of downtown Saint Petersburg last week, it seemed insane because most of the buildings we have already built are empty most of the day. How many square feet of corporate office buildings are almost completely empty 16 hours a day? How many homes are empty during the way while people work? Do we really need a separate building for work and a separate building for living? I do all of my work and living from one building as does my wife. Why do we need separate buildings to go shopping at and relax at and play at? Don’t we have enough to do all of this from home? Why are we living around people that we do not even interact with most of the day? Why are most of us working on things we have no passion for which add no value to the world? Do we really need to send our children off to other buildings to learn during the day? Sending children that do not know each other to learn from teachers we do not know seems insane. Why cannot we just teach our children how to live at home? Probably because we are too busy serving The Matrix ourselves to have time to spend with our children. Maybe because we need them to understand us better by being conditioned into The Matrix at school. Why are we blindly serving the machine and trying to hide from the pain of having forgotten the real reason we came here?
The Matrix always demands more and is never good enough.
Build taller buildings. Stay in school longer. Work more hours. Eat tastier food. Drink endless soda. Exercise harder. Play crazier. Nothing is ever good enough in the machine where there is always the next best thing. Found a food you love? Here is a new improved version with more salt and sugar that we will pitch as having low fat! Enjoyed that last 12 hour endurance race? This new one is 24 hours in the mud! Drink our soda today because life is not good enough without it. Have a beer and maybe the guy or girl across the bar will like you. Work harder and you might get an office with a beautiful view. Borrow more money for graduate school and guarantee a successful career. At what point do we get to just relax and enjoy our lives? When are we good enough to just enjoy what is around us? What does it take for us to see that often the biggest scams are the ones we are more sure of?
We don’t need to fight the machine.
The Matrix has total victory already meaning we cannot win by fighting any more than an alcoholic can win by drinking themselves to death or a nazi speaking out against the leader could win by joining their victims. There is no "they" that are the enemy because they are a part of us. The government agents arresting people for fake crimes and the lawyers filing law suits to shut down bloggers telling the truth are our fellow friends and family members showing up trying to do their jobs and get out of the same trap we are in. We cannot win by fighting but by realizing we already are beaten so bad that we have forgotten when it happened like a kidnapping victim that falls in love with the kidnapper.
There better be some good news this far in.
The good news is that the machine is unconscious like a driver asleep at the wheel. It is moving on its own without any intelligent force greater than us driving it. We are the ones serving it and if we stop, it stops just like in the movie The Matrix. If we adjust what we are doing, the machine will die the way a plant dies without water and sunlight. In its place will make room for a peaceful coexistance with the universe instead of a brutal fight for survival. Welcome to the real world.
This is life's work.
I consciously plug into the machine to be of service in helping as many of us unplug from The Matrix because this is my life’s work … or am I just telling myself that to keep feeding the machine more? Until everyone is freed, there is work for everyone to do. When everyone is freed, then there would be no need to do anything besides farm enough food to eat from the land around us and enjoy life with our families and friends next door. Many of the great buildings we made might fall down from neglect rather than disaster. Many of the things we find essential today would seem unnecessary or uninteresting. Who would need Facebook when we saw everyone we loved every day face to face? Who would need money when everyone had enough to eat? Who would need a car when everything was within walking distance? The world unplugged from The Matrix is a lot like being a child and a lot like “primitive” civilizations we see in history which seemed to live in perfect harmony with the rest of earth.
At two years old, my daughter is not serving The Matrix yet.
She runs around and plays and enjoys every day of her life. She has every reward a company CEO is hoping to get by selling their company and retiring. She has everything any of us are hoping for in salvation. She has all of the simple joys of a life lived in balance with the whole. She teaches me as much as I teach her. I hope to teach her to consciously plug into the machine and be of service and then to unplug to recharge. I hope to keep learning from her how to remember the unplugged eternal life available now. Staying plugged in too long leaves us at risk of falling into unconscious service to The Matrix again. Fortunately for me, I cannot take serving the machine full time anymore. I know I can only stay sober if I have enough time out of The Matrix because getting drunk again is too likely to be a final act of rebellion. Thus, I am grateful I cannot handle serving the machine full time anymore and faced the despair of unplugging into the scary unknown universe outside of the “real world” which is where my daughter spends most of her day happy, joyous, and free.
Am I serving the machine today?
I woke up with the need to share this at 4:30 am and have been writing for three hours. I wonder as I write this who I am serving today. Is this really useful for you in unplugging or am I just trying to keep you plugged in? I hope I am serving you in showing the path that I have walked into a life I enjoy often much like a child. Jesus said we must learn to live like little children and this is what I try to practice today. Plugging into the machine is painful and yet I do it consciously today because like in The Matrix I was helped out by others who did the same. Until every one of us has the choice to stay or go, our work continues. Reading and listening to things like this saved not only my life but my soul which is why I share this here today to pay it forward.
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