In the movie, The Matrix, one of my personal favourites, I am captivated with the scene where Neo meets Morpheus for a secret meeting. This is the first time that they have ever met, even though they seem to have been searching for each other for most of their lives. The dialogue is fascinating:
Morpheus: “I imagine that right now you’re feeling a bit like Alice, tumbling down the rabbit hole?”
Neo: “You could say that.”
Morpheus: “I can see it in your eyes. You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he’s expecting to wake up. Ironically, this is not far from the truth. Do you believe in fate, Neo?”
Neo: “Because I don’t like the idea that I’m not in control of my life.”
Morpheus: “I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain. You feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life. There’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is. But it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I am talking about?”
Neo: “The Matrix?”
Morpheus: “Do you want to know what it is?”
(Hesitantly, Neo nods his assent)
Morpheus: “The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window, or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
Neo: “What truth?”
Morpheus: “That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage, into a prison that you cannot taste or smell or touch. A prison for your mind. Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You must see it for yourself.”
(Morpheus offers Neo the choice of two capsules, one red and the other blue – offering the younger man the possibility of finding truth)
Morpheus: “This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and you believe … whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
Neo took the red pill – which one are you taking? I think that many people are dissatisfied with the blue pill, but they take it anyway and in their minds and hearts, remain in bondage – never challenge life, never challenge themselves, never push the boundaries, never do more than simply survive or at best, attempt to make life “work” as best as possible. These people are potentially “stuck”.
Perhaps there is more than “blue pill existence” though, an existence, at least in the mental, emotional and spiritual realms that could become possible if we would imbibe the red pill of exploration and discovery, of stretching ourselves beyond what we think is possible, of being part of the battle of life, but carrying our sword courageously, ready for war. The red pill suggests, no, demands, that we challenge old paradigms that hold us back, that we dismantle societal constructs that are limiting, even demeaning, and that we embrace life’s possibilities with focus and energy. What is really possible if we are willing and determined to find the truth, if we would allow ourselves to be stretched beyond the “accepted” comfort zones and paradigms and if we would apply our energy and creativity with focus?
The world, with all its problems, needs heroes – people who will not take ‘no, it’s not possible’ for an answer, but who go out of their way to be solution-providers and agents of hope. They realise that they are not in total control of their lives, but are willing to risk because they know there is more – they usually find it!