The Next Matrix
For a little context, listen to our recent podcast where we introduced the subject of the next matrix, the matrix that the machines would need to create after the events that we see in The Matrix movies (http://bit.do/matrixpodcasts).
A good question to ask is this: why wonder about what would happen after The Matrix movies ended? It’s over, right? Well, the movies didn’t show much of an ending. There was only a slight indication of what might happen afterward. One thing that is certain, the matrix was going to continue. Watch The Matrix: Revolutions. This is exactly what we learn at the end of the movie.
The value that comes with thinking about what would come after the end of The Matrix movies has to do with the fact that matrix exists in the real world. It must change and adapt, just like the matrix system we saw in the movies. New programs are always being released. There will be upgrades and new operations. Maybe the illusion of reality will get a new shine, a new luster, something like the world of Dark City that changed every night.
Regardless of what changes come, the goal is always the same. So while the “machines” are always working to improve the illusion and tighten the control, people who mind their p’s and q’s can always recognize the matrix.
Discovery is Dead
People lament that everything from romance to Hip Hop is dead. Crazy. If romance, Hip Hop, radio, or any other thing like these were ever alive, we’d be worried. They are all just tools of the matrix, though. So, we’re not.
There are dead elements that we should strongly consider. When did anyone stop to think about the fact that discovery is dead? We’re not suggesting that you pay a million dollars to blast off and pretend to be an astronaut. We’re weren’t thinking that there are still territories in desperate need of someone to bring it into the global market. We mean true discovery—simple and personal.
Have you ever discovered something? Anything from a shop that you didn’t know was there to a well-disguised bird’s nest in a tree. Discovery refers to a person or group of people finding a thing, even if that person isn’t looking for it.
A type of discovery is going on all the time. This discovery is simulated. It is the search engine that ranks results in the order that best suits the search engine’s creator, not you. The idea that few people ever see the full list of results reveals something. It is the online shop where you landed after Internet influencers, brand ambassadors, SEO experts, and bloggers-for-hire nudged you along a carefully laid path of virtual bread crumbs.
Discovery today largely takes the form of a few things: recommendations, reviews, advertisements (no matter how subtle), and blatant manipulation or seduction. The writer, singer, artist, inventor, and businessperson who has something truly useful for you is nowhere on your radar. They simply ranked too low, if they ranked at all.
Simulated discovery is ideal in the real world matrix. It keeps you from ever finding anything that might empower you and make you something more than a slave. It keeps you from feeling real pleasure in life. Part of the joy of living in the real world is discovering what exists there—really exist, not the fake things that mimic them.
How can you recognize the difference between simulated discovery and actual discovery?
The first thing is that you must look for it. There may be hints and clues, but the entire game is to fool you. Don’t expect any admissions. No one who is unconcerned about real vs. fake is going to accidentally figure it out.
The next thing is to know what is real in the first place. If you have no standard to compare the fake against, it will be hard, if not impossible, to sort out.
Lastly, even if you have no idea what real is, fake breaks down where real does not. Real is always logical, sensible. This can be tricky when people rely on bad logical or faulty reasoning. Real is consistent, whereas fake can change. Fake can change on a whim and it can change when challenged. When things start to look iffy or strange, and you investigate further, fake might try to change to throw you off.
Finally, real is not complicated. It doesn’t require years of education to understand real, and it needs no validation. Real is real whether a panel approved it, a study proved it, or whether an expert supports it or not.
Responding to Threats Changes Brain Waves
In the real world, it is not uncommon for people to come up against threats. We see this in movies and other fiction all the time, but threats aren’t a work of fiction. We are threatened with all kinds of consequences from employment termination to loss of life in some extreme circumstances. What can we learn from The Matrix movies about how to respond to threats?
Actually, this situation shows up in nearly every action movie. “Stop or I’ll shoot.” “Give me the money or the girl gets it.” “You have 24 hours to meet my demands or else.” Frankly, we can’t think of a single movie the offers a different ending in any of these situations. Any time a threat is made, the person making the threats either has the power to make it happen or is bluffing. If the person is bluffing, the threat is empty. If not, the person will carry out the threat no matter what happens.
An example from The Matrix is the Architect, the creator of the matrix. He, with his Mont Blanc pen and grandfatherly appearance, threatens Neo to either sacrifice the majority of the humans living outside of the matrix in Zion, or face total extinction at the hands of the machines. As an added scenario, Trinity if about to fall to her death and the Architect plainly tells Neo that Trinity is going to die no matter what. Neo decides that he can save the world or something—he leaves, basically rejecting “the offer” to save some.
Neo’s rejection is still a response. He allows the Architect to have an effect on him and his actions. This is a scripted movie, so we can only imagine how things might have turned out if Neo had just ignored the entire thing. And what if he had done exactly as the Architect demanded and sacrificed Zion?
By responding with either an affirmative or a negative, Neo made a choice based on a threat that was either empty or inevitable. All that did was put him in the position of accepting the blame for whatever went wrong. Then, as the Oracle told him in an earlier scene, he would have to come to some understanding about the choice that he made.
Making a choice based on something outside of yourself, like a threat, changes brain waves. Why? The only possible way to understand a decision that wasn’t entirely yours (made under duress, made using false information, made based upon illusions or manipulation) is to change your mind.
In the first Matrix movie, Neo tells Morpheus that he doesn’t believe in fate because he doesn’t like the idea that he is not in control of his life. By the end of the trilogy, if he was to watch it like the rest of us, he would have to have admitted that he was a victim of fate in that he proved that he had zero control over his life. At the very end, however, he stopped responding to false stimuli around him and he made his own decision within himself for himself. That was the game-changer.
The lesson here? When you respond to threats, you choose to change. You get swayed like a leaf in the wind. Then, chances are, you will justify your actions by changing your mind in exactly the way the matrix desires. Remember to know thyself.
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Customize Your Prison Cell
Never forget that the matrix exists in the real world. Unfortunately, it is even harder to detect, it is way harder to escape, and it is crawling with agents.
If you want to see the matrix, don’t look for it directly. Look for the tools of the matrix that keep it working. One of those tools is customization.
You can get your car in whatever color and whatever features you want, you order clothes online according to your measurements with whatever trim, cut,and fit you want, you can even order your baby with blonde hair and blue eyes.
Get it your way.
Customization seems like a good thing. If I am going to buy something, I might as well get what I want, right? The problem is the expectation set up by the perception that you can always get everything according to your preferences. You quickly become impatient or frustrated when your options are narrowed, you won’t waste time with businesses that don’t allow you to customize, and you overlook good options because you’d rather have the perfect one.
This kind of insatiable person is the perfect candidate for the matrix, where your needs are never met but the illusions make it seem that way.
When people are not satisfied with real life, where things sometimes go your way, where you sometimes you can get what you want, and where you rarely find the perfect solution, the only thing that can possibly satisfy them is a fantasy world and the illusion that they are the center of their own universe. Look out, because when you are ready for that, you are ready for a nice little bungalow in the matrix.