Thursday, June 13, 2024
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The Matrix

The other day I was watching TV when a commercial came on advertising a correspondence course on various professions like bookkeeping, paralegal work, and childcare. This got me thinking. I could imagine someone unemployed or dissatisfied with their job seeing that and thinking, “I could take this course, learn one of these skills, and find a better, higher-paying job!” 

What struck me is that most people don’t realize the infinite possibilities for how to live their life. We let society (The Matrix) define just a few sanctioned options for us, like doctor, teacher, or engineer. That TV commercial presented those careers as if they were the only choices available! How limiting and boring would that be? For some reason, having gone down that path, I’ve always resisted that notion. It just doesn’t feel right. But most people, if asked about their life options, would name only a handful of careers. 

In reality, devoid of the mental constructs society conditions us to accept, there are infinite choices for how to live our life. But at an early age, society tries to make us conform and forget that rich abundance of possibilities. It wants us to believe life offers just a few drab options, and that securing those options requires soulbreaking work. The idea that we could both enjoy our work and have abundance seems out of the question.  

I now see that we have been brainwashed into accepting this. If someone doesn’t change their situation, it’s not necessarily society’s fault. We allow ourselves to buy into these mental constructions that masquerade as reality. People talk about “facing reality” – but whose reality are they referring to? How do we know their version defines what’s real? The problem is that many of these so-called realities are actually just widely-held beliefs and assumptions – mental constructions that society accepts as truth. 

Blindly accepting these group beliefs as reality can be limiting and dangerous, as history shows. Just look at Nazi Germany, where many accepted and acted on Hitler’s warped ideology, believing it reflected truth and reality. Pre-Civil War America provides another example – many Southerners assumed as reality that society should be organized around slavery. 

My point is that these “truths” societies cling to may or may not reflect absolute reality. If enough people in a culture hold a belief for long enough, however, it can start to seem like reality. Take feudal Europe as an example. For centuries, the nobility convinced the peasants that rigid class strata represented the natural order – the reality of how society should be structured. 

This tendency starts young.As an example, most adults will obediently stay on the sidewalks and paved paths leading to a house. But kids will usually cut straight across the lawn! They haven’t yet internalized those mental constructions – to them, it’s just undifferentiated grass and ground. Similarly, layers upon layers of learned mental constructions in our society obscures our vision of the world’s abundance and variety. The social roles and rules we abide by have been so deeply ingrained that we no longer see reality as it truly is.

Have you ever stopped at an empty intersection in the dead of night, despite no other cars being around? Why exactly did you stop? Something in me realizes I’ve been programmed on some deeper level there – I follow the rules without questioning them. And it’s that same uncritical programming that stops many of us from remembering our full talents and potential. 

So how does this programming happen? Through our family, friends, community groups – and especially the media. If you want to loosen the grip of these limiting beliefs, try going on a media diet. Stop aimlessly scrolling through social media, watching mediocre TV shows, scanning irrelevant websites. Studies show that of all the media we’re bombarded with daily, only about 1% is truly useful or substantial. 

It’s largely through ads, news, movies, social media, and other media that we absorb limiting rules about life, such as:

“You have to have a degree to do that”  

“You need money first before you can follow your dreams”   

“You’re too old now to reinvent yourself”

This Media Matrix feeds us an endless stream of these discouraging mental constructions, keeping our horizons small and our spirits dim. Possibly by design. Unplugging from it allows our inner light of truth and capability to grow stronger. 

By becoming conscious of how our social conditioning shapes and distorts reality, we can start reconnecting to our birthright of freedom and infinite possibility. We can rediscover that we are all creative, talented beings tapped into a divine power that will allow us to transform not just our lives, but the world.

Escape the Matrix today and start living the life you were meant to live!