Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Happiness and the Matrix

I am reading a book called The Steps of Essence, by Hanns-Oskar Porr, that describes the first call to becoming who you truly are with this analogy: In the movie, The Matrix, Neo can take a blue pill that allows him to live every day in bliss, but the trade off is that he gives up his autonomy and control to an unknown force that renders him a mindless slave - happy, but mindless. OR he can take the red pill which will afford him to learn the truth about himself. He will understand the forces that control him and learn to gain freedom from them, but at a steep price. The road will be hard; he will enter into dark places of His weakness: shame, guilt, neediness, greed, jealousy, fear. But he will learn to sculpt away these castings, these disguises of the true divine Self and realize that they must be held in paradoxical tension with all that is good and pure and true. The journey will reveal the truth and the truth will guide the journey. He will discover the essence of who he is. He will become his most authentic self. Happiness will look more like self-acceptance and deep joy, and Neo will be the Hero of his own life.

I was intrigued with this because I think I missed this point in the movie. Or maybe not, it has been awhile since I saw The Matrix, but I am familiar with the choices that the pills afford. So, the first step is to say, ok I am willing to take the hard road. But here’s the catch: everyday you get the pill choice again...Will you choose to wait for happiness to present itself to you, to be a victim of life, a sort of bystander to your own existence? Or will you choose to to be the Hero of your life, to confront your fear, put aside some of those things you think you "need," and ride the wonderful experience of your true Self? The choice to hold the tension between what should and should not be is the demand of truly living YOUR [authentic] life.

At my niece’s graduation, the priest gave a sermon on "The Road Ahead" for the grads. He said that Jesus would ask them at every turn, “Do you love me?” To answer to this question, we must make the choice of pills. If we answer yes, we take the red pill. We agree to be Christ-like in love which is to love ferociously, and, yes, to suffer for it. To love is to be vulnerable. It is to bear all the sweet goodness of your divine Self to the other, with no defense; to be completely compassionate. The red pill requires us to be loyal to truth, above all else. And the truth is, Love is who we are! Every day we are faced with the choice to be either authentic or robotic. Every day we choose to take the high road or the low. Everyday we can allow the circumstances of life to control us, or we can choose our destiny. To know ourselves as love requires incredible courage and strength. To remain positive, optimistic, “happy” requires us to be a warrior for love and kindness, even at those times when we would rather not be. To truly live into love, which is our authentic nature, is to encounter hurt, absorb it and love harder.

We can run from the demands of life and relationship and never know who we are, or we can meet life head on with the Wisdom (yes, this choice is a wisdom choice) that happiness means more that just getting what I want. Which pill will you take?

I "see" the beautiful Real (the Spirit) in you! I hope you will choose to "see" also!
Namaste, Peggy

© Peggy Beatty 2011


  1. I love it, love it, love it..... thank you for this essay. And maybe the answer is - both. I thought this movie was stunning when I first saw it and have gone back to it time and time again. Truth. Freedom. Choice. That is living.

  2. I read this quote yesterday, "The problem is not that there are problems - the problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem." - Theodore Rubin

    Choosing the Red Road is saying "Yes" to freedom and no to enslavement, knowing full well that by making this choice one is compelled to take responsibility for the world they see. This choice is not only day by day but it is moment to moment.

    The autonomic choice is so much easier, that even after agreeing to the Red choice we tend to fall back into our habitual patterns time and time again until we finally tire of the roller coaster and the longing for freedom exceeds the longing for an easy life.

    The paradox of course is that the autonomic life only appears to offer the easy life, which can only be discovered by saying yes to the red road and allowing each moment to teach us.

    Thanks for this post. It was fun to consider.