Your grandparents used to bring home less pay. Yet they had more leisure time and lived fairly comfortable lives by world standards. More importantly, they raised an entire family with hardly a glitch.
We’ve gotten amazing technology. The entire planet is starting to boom financially. How has mankind gotten worse off in the midst of the most spectacular growth-period in history?
This is the picture your life is made of, and you know something’s terribly wrong with it. But like most other folks, you accepted it even while having that vague, unsettling suspicion all this isn’t quite right. And it’s not just the picture of your life either…it’s the entire frickin’ canvas everyone’s life is woven into. It’s big and you feel it’s staring you straight in the face but you still can’t put a single finger on it.
Well! So let’s try and figure it out. Right now, right here. It’s time for a month-long visit to that part of TLP’s manifesto.
The Matrix is real
OK so maybe my friends are right. Maybe I think the Matrix trilogy was one of the best movie series of all time because I like indulging myself in its delicious mind-masturbation.
To me, it’s that too. But mostly it’s because I seriously believe that the concept behind The Matrix is only an extreme dramatization of real-world phenomena. The Matrix, in many respects, IS real.
Like Neo, seeing the entire world accept the treadmill still didn’t fully convince you it’s your destiny, did it? That “splinter in your mind” wouldn’t leave you alone.
Morpheus: “Do you believe in faith, Neo?”
Morpheus: “Why not?”
Neo: “Because I don’t like the idea that I’m not in control of my life.”
Morpheus: “I know exactly what you mean… [The Matrix] is a world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.”
Neo: “What truth?”
Morpheus: “that you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, born into a prison that you cannot smell nor taste nor touch……a prison for your mind…
Have you ever had a dream Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream and the real world?
Mind masturbation to the extreme.
I don’t know about you. This so resonates with me, I’ve looked at the original Matrix movie a gazillion times just to hear Fishburne deliver that mystical probe.
It’s as real to life as any movie can get though. What if the entire human race has been duped into thinking the way of the treadmill was always man’s great design? What if the industrial Revolution started off a chain of events that have us now in a dream world serving the Corporation instead of the other way around? When and why did we buy into the idea that this human invention is worthy of being put on one of the world’s biggest pedestals?
A couple hundred years ago, the treadmill took fathers away from their homes. We marched forward through time…doing more, making more. Before long, some of the same people championing the cause of the family kept pushing in board-rooms across the globe in high places for corporate productivity at all human cost.
Then it came to pass that half-century ago, the treadmill took mothers away from their families all day long as well. We kept marching as if to some silent drumbeat…demanding more and more from the family.
And the family kept giving…more and more, and faster and faster. We spent less and less time with our children, leaving technology and other people to raise them.
So here you are… still marching like a zombie to that silent beat echoing through the ages. Get up-work-commute-sleep. Get up-work-commute-sleep. Get up-work-commute-sleep…
How would you know the difference?
If you stop and get silent long enough, you might allow yourself to put your finger on what eludes you. It feels un-natural to tear yourself away from the kids Click To Tweet every day like that. Splinter in your mind.
But everyone else is doing it. It’s the way of the world just as if a veil has been pulled over the entire globe… keeping your eyes wide-shut inside a nightmare; making you resign yourself to the fact that your entire life exists to serve the world of commerce and industry. Whatever little reprieve you’re carving out for yourself is just the carrot on the stick they orchestrate to keep you mindlessly running…endlessly…
We’re in a dream-world too, aren’t we?
How deep does the rabbit-hole go?
The dream-world doesn’t just control what you spend your time doing on the planet.
It has also slowly taken control of what you eat. It mass-produces food in ways that have very little to do with nourishing bodies and sustaining life. It has more to do with making the dream-world more efficient.
It hoards our children into educational spaces where they learn a lot of cool things, but mostly in a way that keeps the veil over their eyes as they prepare to take their places serving the dream-world one day.
It takes ownership of our houses and arranges for us to spend our lives paying far more than they’re worth.
Let me tell you why all this is so unsettling. It’s because the dream-world disconnects you from your true self. It dehumanizes…hinges you to the thread-mill…makes itself your master while staying obscure in the background far away from your consciousness. Your challenge is to ween yourself off.
That starts with awareness. But you have to choose freedom. So what will it be? The blue pill…or the red pill? The only promise is the truth…not an easy path.
For a while there before the turn of the century, it seemed like the dream-world was a runaway express train no one could stop. I like what Anthony Giddens called it…”the juggernaut of modernity.”
But I think there’s strong evidence the dream-world may be imploding into itself. And the clincher is that we can help it along and shake ourselves free of it to a large extent. How is that possible, you ask?
First, taking stock of your emotions is your red pill…if you learn to fully acknowledge it. Give yourself permission. Stop, take a look at your life and how distant it has become from what you know to your very core is your true self. You will experience a dissonance…a distance in the form of how the treadmill makes you feel. Linger with those feelings that you just walked past and tried to ignore so many times. Pay attention and don’t gloss over it this time.
Close your eyes and listen to your soul!
It’s your true self trying to wake you up just as surely as Morpheus’ “knock-knock” when he first reached out to Neo.
You may have nothing against the treadmill. I don’t either. But as a life-parent I want you to set an intention to get off… at some point and on your own terms. It may take one or five, ten or even twenty years. Just make it one of your major goals. Don’t bother yet with how you’re going to make it happen. It’s funny how things show up in your life once you set a goal and allow yourself to experience the emotions that go along with achieving that goal.
Truth is that once you start the journey, you’re already in success mode and it starts making a difference right away. So why not start now…this minute? I promise you this won’t be one of those goals you set and then forget about it. That splinter in your mind will prick you and you won’t be able to go back and completely forget about it.
So now I think you can jump off the treadmill for a bit. Stop and close your eyes. Breathe and be with your true self. Contemplate your power to take back control and give yourself back to you and your family.
Life without the treadmill
By now I guess you can tell I’ve been thinking deeply about this for years. Long before the movie, Sociology 101 introduced me to the human project. We wondered where globalization was leading us, and it was too scary to think what was going to happen as some greedy fools in high places kept turning the speed up on the treadmill from behind the scenes.
Now…thankfully, there’s a light shining somewhere in the distance. It turns out that one of modernity’s tools for keeping us in the dream world accidentally gave us the means to turn that treadmill into so much scrap. How ironic.
I’m going to be talking a lot more about this in future posts. But in a nutshell, the internet is the beginning of the end of the relentless attack on the family. The world that is emerging at break-neck speed is one that rewards extreme individualism while championing community. It’s no longer one or the other…its both or nothing! You must make your true self shine for the benefit of community. As online tools give you the power to be your own publisher, thousands of communities spanning geographical boundaries are putting the power of the Corporation in check.
And these communities are saying, “you can keep up your march for ever-increasing efficiency, but not at the expense of the individual and his family. You can find a way to use your unique set of God-given talents to serve a steady flow of fellow-humans. You can do so with or without the Corporation’s involvement. You can thus earn a healthy, affluent life on your own terms. If you can serve enough people, the treadmill is history. You will be free.
Yes. I think that’s air you’re breathing now!
If you’re seriously interested in getting off the treadmill, read this post from my personal blog and subscribe to it. I’m only just beginning.
Take several really long, deep ones. Then do it again. Then let’s go wake everybody else up out of the dream-world. You get to add your two-cents to how we can go about it. What say you? Come on…drown out the crickets and express yourself below.
Or you can start a discussion on my Facebook page.