“Chaos is order yet undeciphered” – Enemy, Denis Villeneuve
As I am writing this and trying to break down the chain of associations, my mind keeps going back to the iconic scene from The Matrix where Cypher negotiates with Agent Smith and laments that “after 9 years, you know what I realize? Ignorance is bliss”. Cypher wants to de-Cypher himself, to return to a simulation of order where individual agency is not required, where he is no more than a line of code; where the system is relied upon to provide for everything.
This scene feels apt for the times, and a perfect analogy for the problem of the undeveloped psyche when faced with the revelation of a world that demands more from it than it is willing or able to give. No doubt, many have already found themselves at that same table, contemplating whether to bite into that steak, and many who haven’t will do so very soon.
At its core, the Matrix is a movie that depicts mankind’s two paths moving forward: The technological path and the spiritual path. The technological path wishes to disperse with personal identity whereas the spiritual path wishes to elevate it. At the tail end of 2020 we are witnessing the clash between these two conflicting paradigms take center stage.
As the individual psyche must go through times of chaos and destabilization in order to outgrow modes of being that are no longer useful or sufficient, so must the collective. We have now entered that phase, and as the conflict reaches its crescendo on the world stage, its equivalent is also playing out and mirrored on the individual level. We will all have to contend with it, and much sooner than expected, because the individual and the collective are communicating vessels; as water rises in one, so does in the other. Being a passive observer is no longer possible, we will be called to make a choice. Do you de-Cypher yourself, or remain undeciphered? Will you choose the artificial, or the real?
In the movie, humans are farmed for their energetic properties, while wasting away in mechanical shells whose only purpose is keeping their hearts beating and their minds engaged. This solitary shell is, in psychological terms, analogous to the ego: the functional, self-containing mechanism by which the psyche preserves itself against the uncertainty of existence.
To the subjective consciousness experiencing it, it appears distinct and unique, but zoom out and all you see is an endless array of identical pods. The technological world is being orchestrated in the same way, aiming to restrict and contain the individual to their most basic, functional psychological aspect—the ego. The reason for this is simple: control. They know that the ego is fragile and has no leg to stand on, and thus can be easily manipulated and controlled, so they target it exclusively, seeking to reduce the individual to an empty shell, a useful battery in the simulation but a powerless nothing in reality.
Because of its self-referential nature the ego is incomplete, and therefore always in a state of need and dependency. The power dynamic is never in the individual’s favor, for there is no real “individual” yet to speak of. What is perceived as identity through this superficial lens is merely an adaptation, a role, a simulation that can be arranged, as Agent Smith arranges for Cypher to have all he desires in exchange for betraying the truth. The latter is what those in favor of the technological path are banking on: make a simulation of everything, and in doing so, claim authority over every aspect of reality, including the very nature of human identity.
The ideological branch of the technological path is, of course, Liberalism and the modern Left and its executive branch is mass media and big tech. We are seeing all of the above occur to the point of neuroticism for the past four years in the US and elsewhere, and even more clearly as of the time of this writing. On the whole, theirs is a Faustian bargain, and the moral equivalent of Cypher’s assertion that “ignorance is bliss”, which betrays their desire to exist in a primordial state of the undeveloped, egoic self, where the boundaries (and rules) are at least known–even if externally prescribed, even if fictitious.
A lie is only chosen because it is convenient, and what is more convenient than absolving yourself of the responsibility of knowing (and therefore, being) who you are? Ignorance, in this sense, is false knowing; the illusion of self-knowledge above any true measure of self-awareness, and why Cypher insists he must not remember anything. Far too many are still ready to make this choice, wittingly or unwittingly signing themselves for the technological path. But as ignorance becomes less of a possibility every day, they will be given plenty of opportunity to reconsider. As more and more people wake up to the reality of our matrix, the technological establishment is feverishly scrambling for ways to preserve itself and its dominion over the collective consciousness. Unless they succeed in erasing history, the damage is already done. Agent Smith’s offer should only convince those with a vested interest in remaining willfully ignorant.
At the dawn of this new era of human consciousness, it is those aligned with the spiritual path who possess the inalienable means of navigating the chaos and uncertainty in this period of transition, and eventually come through to the other side. The courage to remain undeciphered, to abide as yourself in the midst of chaos, to shoulder the responsibility of unanswered questions and keep going regardless, is the spiritual path. This process alone is the sole crucible of claiming your true individuality. The transcendent element that emerges through this process is faith: Once Neo realizes that there is no spoon he returns to his own nature, and in that moment the boundaries between worlds collapse as he reclaims the full extent of his power. He is no longer affected or attached, no longer has to toil or question. He simply is, boundless. He has arrived.
I propose to you, then, this: We are not watching a movie. We are creating it. We are active participants, each and every one of us contributing or detracting to the totality of our collective consciousness. The choices you make in your own path, the courage or lack thereof you display, affect the story not just for you, but for everyone and everything around you. Your choices are no longer only about saving yourself. They may very well be tipping the scale and in doing so, saving the entire world. In the next part I will focus on the spiritual path in more detail and discuss more specific aspects as they relate to individual development and navigating chaos
To be continued…
Find Mircea on Twitter.