Our Own Private Matrix  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

There is a now iconic science-fiction movie that introduced the idea that mankind could end up living entirely inside the parameters of a computer mind, mere blobs of flesh and a brain jacked directly into the mother of all internets, with each and every one of us living a digital life, nothing more than a program run within and managed by an artificial intelligence. Sounds like fun, huh?

As The Matrix so aptly pointed out, it was anything BUT fun, as it was nothing more than a horrible kind of slavery, an exercise of control and power of one intelligence over another. Mankind did not invent this concept, slavery, but he certainly perfected it, evolving as it has from mere dominance of the strong over the weak, to the ownership of the disfavored and unlucky by the favored and fortunate. And even those of us who think we are free by those standards still suffer under the yoke of control by one entity or another. Those of us who refuse to accept that are also suffering form another syndrome known simply as delusion. Did you pay taxes, get up and go to work sometime this year, or showed somebody your driver's license? If you don't get my point, you might never.

It all boils down to tolerance, I suppose. Exactly what level of control you are willing to live under can dictate your happiness to some degree. If you are as miserable as a human being can be, chances are you are living as a literal slave under the control of some slave master, for it is rare you find the human being who gives over total acceptance to such a situation. He/she might struggle to get by shackled with chains, but it is rare that such a struggle is a happy one. If you are living a life of comfort and security and consider yourself to be a happy-go-lucky sort of individual, I doubt very seriously that you are wearing a collar around your neck. But, like I stated previously, somebody, someTHING is controlling at least SOME aspect of your life, and you have grown to accept that control; it has not exceeded your tolerance level. Even the super-rich and the super-powerful few amongst us chaff at the idea of having to pay taxes, of not being able to mold the entire world to their liking, or even being able to get it up if they suffer from sexual disfunction. Sometimes I believe that many people believe in and bow down before a God only because they themselves cannot dominate that God.

Of course, I must interject here that what I am discussing here rests within the realm of what is considered the "norm" of human existence. There is always the "abnormal" world in which slavery is considered a desired state of being for many people, for reasons grounded in psychological conditions I am not exactly expert in, if anybody really is. Even in this "desired" state, there is an "out" available to those practicing this "lifestyle" which in many ways negates the impact of this sort of "surrender" of control. The rumored sex-slaves in the palaces of Arabia do not have this escape clause to lend them comfort. The child prostitutes sold on the streets of Calcutta by their own parents are not aware of the alternatives available to them, either.

Choice is a relative thing. Yes, we as Americans think of ourselves as having the ultimate schmorgesborg of choices available to them as anyone on the planet, and in many ways we are right. AND, in many ways we do not wish to acknowledge, we are dead wrong. You can be anything you are EQUIPPED to be, but do not delude yourself into thinking that if you want to be a prima-donna ballerina, you can, just because you want to be and you work hard enough. If you are better suited to being a linebacker for the NFL, then trying for that will at least allow you that chance that is your due. I never chose to pursue a career in the NBA because I accepted the limitations I was born with. I am 5 feet, 3 inches tall and pale as they come, racially. There is no program written that is going to make it possible for me to take on Shaq. At least not yet.

No, I am not here to suggest to you that you do not follow your dreams. I am sure, as has happened time and time again, that when you put your nose to the grindstone, amazing things can be accomplished. AND, there WILL be a cost, a consequence, in return for whatever reward your achievement affords you. There are VERY successful people in this country, money-wise, whom I would never consider trading places with, so miserable or bankrupt of character they have become in their pursuit of their "dream". There are plenty of Hip-Hip "gangsta's" looking over their shoulders constantly waiting for someone who they disrespected on their way up to "cap their ass". So, you chase the American Dream. Be ready for the Nightmare.

I am going to die with a boatload of regrets. However, not one of those regrets are going to include the price I have seen so many people pay in their pursuit of shallow achievements, usually having to do with wealth, power, or spiritual conquest. If we were put on this Earth with a set of realistic goals to fulfill, with some idea of what to expect for achieving them, then life would be so much easier to live for all of us. However, life really IS a mystery, and perhaps it really is true that the journey is so much more fulfilling than any destination. That is why, I believe, that I soldier on. That is why I live as best I can within my tolerance level. That is why I accept my slavery of flesh until my true liberation with spirit. Even oblivion, should that be our fate, can be a far better existence then what SOME would wish for us.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at Wednesday, January 30, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

2 slick comments


Do you think there is a reason we are "put" on earth? Perhaps that question is the mother of most philosophical searches.

I once believed there was a reason. I once believed there might be a reason. Now ... now I'm not so sure.

January 30, 2008 at 5:02 PM

FIrst off, I don't believe anybody is "put" here. People have sex and babies are born. We happen to be those babies. No "reason" to it. However, all those ideas and philosophies might have added up to something, so I wouldn't despair that it's all for nothing.

January 30, 2008 at 5:23 PM

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