Thank God I Didn’t Take That Blue One!

The other night I was watching The Matrix for what was probably the 74th tyme. This is easily one of my top five favorites movies. Not just for the special effects! {well special back in 1999!} But in fact, after watching and studying this trilogy that I’d say The Matrix can be used as personal development resources. Really! Upon detailed examination, the movie provides us with countless personal development lessons and metaphors for life.

The image of the red pill and blue pill is key. This is what leads Neo to be “born-again.” There is really no choice for Neo to take the blue pill. He was destined to take the red pill, and it’s the key function in the narrative. Just as 1 Peter 1:20 states that Jesus “was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last tymes for your sake.” the same can be said about Neo in the film.

I’m not going to tell you what the matrix is because nobody can really do that. It’s something you have to experience for yourself. But I can hopefully make you somewhat aware of the fact that the matrix has you because awareness is the first step towards breaking free. –Morpheus The Matrix

In “The Matrix” movie, Keanu Reeves was able to shift reality with his mind, to use more than just his strength, more than just his intelligence and more than just his intuition to succeed. Likewise, with using the word of God. In the movie, The Matrix, the character ‘Neo’ wakes up to a world that is much different from the one he formerly knew. Prior to his awakening the world seemed to consist of individuals going about their daily lives – working, playing, and ‘paying their taxes’ in a manner essentially identical to the world that we live in. Now, after having been ‘woken up’ by the character Morpheus, Neo sees that what he formerly thought about reality has turned out to be a complete lie – an illusion foisted upon him by an inhuman race of beings (the machines) for there own ends.

But is Neo’s knowledge of this ‘new world’ any more certain to him than the ‘knowledge’ he thought himself to possess of his former world? If it is not, why is this  the case? And what light does this shed on the issue for us, as beings trying to find a satisfactory explanation the relation between ourselves and the world

To put it quite simply, Neo’s knowledge of his new found world – ‘outside’ the matrix – is no more certain than the knowledge of his previous world – ‘inside’ the matrix – because his experiences of the two worlds are qualitatively identical. Inside the matrix, he approaches an object, makes certain observations and forms judgments about it and so forth, and moves on to the next object. Whether this experience is based on a ‘real’ object or a computer generated stimulation of his nervous system he cannot know (although before his awakening, this was almost certainly his assumption). Now we examine Neo outside the matrix – how have his experiences of objects really changed? He again holds the same relationship to them – he remains absolutely external to objects which are merely ‘given’ to him. Again, Neo does not really know whether his experiences are based on ‘real’ objects or if these are not just simply more illusory (computer generated or otherwise) experiences – their illusory nature to be discovered at some later tyme. It’s sadly funny, Neo wakes up, discovers the world he lived in was not truly the one meant for him. But he still doubted & never really renewed his mind!* (well not till the third installment)

When you start this journey of personal development, it’s likely you are somewhat delusional and think that you’ll listen to a program once and then you’ll be an overnight success. You fail to realize that those who have achieved MASSIVE levels of success worked at it, often for many years.  Just as describe by Malcolm Gladwell on his  10,000 hour rule :

By dissecting my own journey a bit, I figured I could give some insights.

  1. You’ll believe it when you see it.
    If you operate from the idea that you’ll believe it when you see it, then you’re a long way from unplugging. A core lesson of this movie is that you’ll see exactly what you believe. In fact, if you only did one thing to advance your development, choosing empowering beliefs would be the most valuable thing you could do. 2 Corinthians 5:6-8
  2.  Your purchases are status symbols.
    If you purchase nice cars, designer labels, and other expensive items because you want to have other people complement you, think you are cool or anything along those lines, then you’re really not in control of your life. You’re letting the approval of others dictate your purchases. There’s nothing at all wrong with having these things but only if you genuinely enjoy them and want them for your own personal fulfillment. Leviticus 26:1
  3. Excessive concern with approval.
    While this is similar to the above it extends beyond what you purchase. Many people take actions in their personal lives solely based on the approval of others. Yet, the ultimate irony is that trying so hard to gain the approval of others is exactly what makes them think less of you.  John 3:33
  4. You follow the herd.
    Conformity is overrated. The most successful people in society have been willing to go out on a limb, go against the herd. In the end the herd ends up following them. Be a leader, not a follower. Romans 12:2
  5. You never want to rock the boat.
    Some people are so afraid of conflict that their opinion is never heard. I used to be completely afraid of conflict. The downside to holding it all in is that you eventually explode. Rock the boat every now and then and your ride through life will be much smoother.  Deuteronomy 31:6
  6. You’re a slave to your emotions.
    Emotions can be both empowering and detrimental. When you don’t learn to control your emotions then you tend to let them control you. It’s just one more area where you are not in control.  Galatians 5:22-23   
  7. You’re completely unaware of any of the above.
    Awareness is really the beginning of freeing yourself from the limitations of the matrix. The average person is living in a reality that is a reflection of the ideas and images in the world around them, rather than a reflection of what’s in God’s word.  1 Corinthians 7:5

When you decipher the Matrix it’s really nothing more than a system of beliefs, social constructs, and programs designed to actually hold you back from reaching your full potential. But even more powerful then the Matrix, is the word of God. The victory is for those who “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Every born-again believer needs to believe and appropriate that victory before they will experience the rewards of the victory. It is like someone telling you that a meal has been prepare for you. Unless you believe it and take steps to eat it, you will not receive the benefit of what has already been prepared.

Recognizing that the flesh wars against Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh, motivates each of us to appropriate by faith the victory over the flesh won by Christ, and to die daily to the flesh and walk in the Spirit. With that mindset we can fulfill the charge to “be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,” and experience the joy and peace of being able to “prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).

The renewing of your mind is not a one-tyme event.  Walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh is a daily, even a moment by moment, choice. It is life-long endeavor that begins afresh each day of your life, building upon the wisdom and understanding from the previous days. That is why the Apostle Paul commands us to “exhort one another daily” (Hebrew 3:13), to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might (Ephesians 6: 10), to reckon ourselves dead to sin but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:11), to put off the old man and put on the new man (Ephesians 4:22-24), and numerous other exhortations related to walking in “newness of life”(Romans 6:4). Choose what you watch, listen to, and read wisely. Hopefully the advice above will help you begin to unplug. Free your mind, be peaceful, be patient, and the rest will follow. Hebrews 6: 12 

Resources: Dumb little Man and Taxmanatx’s Journal
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