I have written about how the world of human-created systems collectively constitutes an all-consuming program that is, in many ways, analogous to the Matrix in the sense that it has conditioned our worldview from top down to the micro-granular details of our lives. The only way to avoid this conditioning is to initiate out of it, and the only way we can initiate out of it is to be initiated by someone who is outside of it (such as Morpheus) or to have a transcendent experience that rewires how our brain processes reality.
When I work with people, as a dreamworker or as a shamanic practitioner, at some point in the work I recommend that they watch the Youtube clip of the lady in the red dress, in the first Matrix installment. It is worth a million words for how it illustrates how hard it is to escape the Matrix, how easily it draws us back in, or seduces us back in and when it does we can kiss our autonomy good-bye.
It's a tough-love lesson, and few of us are any different than Neo in the video when he is distracted by the lady in red only to find that when he turns to keep her in sight, he is facing into the barrel of a gun that is aimed at his head point blank.
But it is only recently that I realized how progressives, left wingers, and even revolutionaries are just as vulnerable to being seduced by the Matrix as those who are not given to doing their own thinking. I am referring to how the Matrix convinces us or lulls us into believing that we are not in it, especially those of us who consider ourselves well-read and well-informed. Ideas, convictions, emotional truths, even many deep experiences that we might think qualify as initiatory, are just halfway houses of the Matrix where we can spend an entire lifetime fancying ourselves independent thinkers when in fact we are still in the Bardo of a massive and sinister program that no one controls.
Think of what I'm saying: Unless we are backed by a viable cultural alternative to the prevailing worldview that we are so critical of, we are unwitting prisoners of our illusions because our thinking is just another program that isn't grounded in any kind of sustainable reality.
(Article changed on Jul 26, 2022 at 8:02 AM EDT)