How to Break Free of the Matrix
Society is crumbling apart. Many people are struggling physically, mentally and emotionally as we have created a society that rewards the vain, the loud and the manipulative. Modern society promotes a way of life that abandons what we don’t immediately need for the next big thing. This has spread from material goods to humanity itself in the form of homelessness and the rise of quiet loneliness. Social media is technology holding a mirror up to the civilization we have created. The internet and our busy lives has destroyed our physical sense of community for many of us. We are striving to reconnect with little breadcrumbs of dopamine through online validation. So how can we strive to better ourselves and society or is it too late for humanity?
For thousands of years, humanity lived in small tribes of about 150 people and everyone knew each other. Hunter gathers and eventually farmers lived in close contact and worked harmoniously to survive. Farming was the greatest advancement in the history of mankind as it laid the groundwork for civilization to rise. Farming allowed humanity to stay in one place and provided more free time. As technology improved, at some point the quality of our lives stopped improving with each advancement. Small groups of people got rich, but the society at large began to splinter. One of the issues with these advancements is the rise of specialization. Henry T Ford created the assembly line which made the automobile affordable to the average factory worker. In 1925, a typical factory worker could buy the Model T he helped produce for less than $300. At about $1,300 a year, the factory worker had a sufficient income. As of 2017, the average new car price in the United States was $36,113. The median income for an auto worker is about $43,000 so the purchasing power for the working class has been decimated over the last 90 years. Despite the advancement in technology for a product that is 100 years old, the automobile is more expensive as far as percentage of income. The American worker is being overtaxed and overworked as the dollar depreciates due to the cost of war and corruption in government.
Many of us will play this game of chasing the American Dream, but one day you’ll wake up and realize how it was all just a big lie. Something will happen, something tragic or unfair. Despite doing the right things (most of the time) you’ll get the raw end of the deal. For me it was the family court system which in my experience is all just a scheme to siphon money off the American people. I didn’t experience a great deal of justice and the only winners in these games are the lawyers. It can be a bitter pill to swallow. Or, if you look at it with the right perspective, it can shake you out of this dream state and let you wake up to what life is truly about. Once you get through the darkness and emerge on the other side, you’ll never be the same. You’ll have ascended to a higher consciousness and the world will look foreign. Yet you’ll find peace. Not all the time, but with a newfound perspective on life, you’ll forgive the world for all its many faults and appreciate all the beauty in nature, in humanity and even in yourself. The truth is the world is whatever you make it. You can’t control the world, but you can control your reaction to it.
There are so many ways to gain a better appreciation for the beauty this world has to offer. No matter what is going on with the outside world, even if it is falling apart, we can remain calm and still through meditation. Minimize outside stimulus and sit still and straight. Breathe slowly and focus on the breath. Stay calm and ignore the outside world. If your mind wanders, acknowledge that thought and return to your state of calm and quiet. Meditation has been truly life changing for me and I can’t endorse it enough. For five minutes of your time, this is the most positive way to affect your life. Keep a meditation journal and record what the universe has to share with you. Track your progress and maintain this habit. It takes time but writing has been truly cathartic to me. It helps me organize my chaotic thoughts and get frustrations and anger off my mind in a calm and controlled manner. It will also help you track your progress which at times will be very slow. By reflecting over a written piece from months ago, you are better able to recognize the changes that you have made. Be mindful of your thoughts for they become your actions, and your actions become who you are.
The trick is to want for less than we have. To not let consumerism consume our time, money and energy. Find what makes you truly happy and solely focus on that. Focus on spiritual growth over aspirations of wealth. Maintain the body, mind and spirit in good health. Yoga connects the body to the mind. Meditation connects the mind to spirit. Exercise shapes the body. Mindfulness shapes the mind. An open mind and shared experiences shape the spirit. In a world so full of high speed connections, we have never been more disconnected from each other and our spiritual paths. We have lost connection with the natural world. We have artificial friends, artificial characters in video games, artificial flavors and artificial plants. What happened to living in the real world? We used to worship nature and respect our relationship with the natural world, yet now we conquer and plunder it for resources. Get outside and surround yourself with the beauty of this green world as often as possible. The peace and quiet found in nature reduces stress and can remind you that as ugly as the world may seem, it still has plenty of beauty to offer.
Stop making celebrities famous. Don’t mindlessly consume what you don’t need or love. Freedom comes from avoiding debt. Inner peace comes from abstaining from worldly possessions, and instead seeking the truth. Be conscious of the environment and your footprint upon it. Do not be wasteful. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Buy secondhand and local to support your community. Look for an alternative source of income so that you are not a slave to your job. Lower your cost of living expenses and avoid debt. Paying interest on loans is ensuring your slavery to the Matrix. This system has an expectation of you. They want you to consume copious amounts of beer and food, then to sit on the couch and watch sports or TV all day or glued to your phone perusing social media in lust and envy. It wants your eyeballs so that it can continue selling you the lies of the American dream, and to keep you fat, dumb and uninvolved. Say no to a life of mediocrity and get off the couch, turn off the television so that you can go find your life’s true purpose. Every day you should be exercising, getting out in nature and reading. If you say you don’t have time for this, you are lying to yourself and preventing yourself from attaining the life you deserve. Take a real hard look at your priorities and see what is truly important to you. Do you really need to watch 15 hours of Netflix every week? That is time that could be spent reading all those books sitting on your shelf. How many baseball games do you want to watch before you want to exercise yourself? Are video games providing you an escape and faux sense of accomplishment when you really should be out creating something or exploring the real world?
Spend too much time watching TV and engaging in mindless internet comments and the system will suck you in. The news is basically just propaganda at this point and they know that hate and anger sells. Both sides are bought and paid for by giant corporations that just want a dumb, angry and overfed population. If they can keep their viewers fat and angry, they’ll continue poisoning their mind with this mindless infotainment. The world is not as negative or divided as they would have you believe. While they focus on our differences, I challenge you to focus on our similarities. Stop hate debating people online and find common ground. Get out of your echo chamber and look at the other side’s point of view. You don’t have to agree with everyone or everything, but you should be able to have a conversation without getting angry or muting the opposition. Keep an open mind as strong minds know that over time, opinions change. Even Obama flip flopped on gay marriage when the polling numbers changed. It is OK to grow as a person, and we shouldn’t have to feel ashamed of our pasts, so stop looking for tweets that someone wrote 4 years ago. Years ago, I would make fun of someone for suggesting yoga, but today it has helped me evolve as a person. It helped me foster a new outlook on life and be a much more uplifting and positive person. It encourages me to be a more mindful consumer and to eat better. Food is fuel and we so often forget that. Giant corporations have us lusting after artificial food that has left us overfed and malnourished. We should be eating a cleaner and more natural diet. Our culture encourages sloth and gluttony. There is so much more to this life than binging on Netflix and alcohol.
Don’t get seduced by capitalism.
Love conquers all.
You are the fabric and structure of existence itself. The universe is a fireworks show to celebrate existence. Be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. Paraphrasing a bit here but credit goes to Alan Watts for his enlightened state.