Saturday, July 13, 2013

psyche and the matrix

The section of psyche talks about inner space and every human’s need to explore the inner recesses of his or her own mind.  Monks use meditation, others look inward through deep trace and others try to go with in through the use of herbs, fermented drink, or chemical drugs.  I have been going through my own search for inner space.  I was married for 13 years to a man whose, it seemed, took it as his mission in life to erase me.  Oh not in any violent sort of way, but in a much more insidious sort of way, by invalidating everything I believed in and stood for.  I was never allowed to offer my own opinion on anything, everything went according to his program, and at no time was I allowed to make a decision or have a goal or do anything in the way of any personal improvement.  The kids were raised with his values and morals, and taught that mom was on the bottom of the food chain of the house.  I turned from this brilliant vibrant artist/intellectual type, to this mousy, scared, “anything for you, oh lord and master” housewife.   Ugh.   You might wonder how it is that something like that could happen, or you might think that consent was given, in the fact that I did not leave.  I not only did not leave, I was incapable of leaving.  I actively worked to save the marriage that was the direct cause of my spiritual and moral destruction.  No matter that all my friends tried to save me, no matter that through the years they all fell away .They could not stand to watch me allow him to destroy me.  And allow it I did.  I yearned for the debasement.  I wanted to “fix” him, not realizing that he was breaking me. What does this have to do with psyche, you might ask?    I have darkness in me, something that sees me as not valid, not worthy, not equal or even close to being equal.  Somewhere deep down in the recesses of my brain or soul or where ever the sub-consciousness is I am flawed.   So when the great man finally decided that he no longer liked the person he had made me, he left.  For my best girlfriend.  So that he could turn that brilliant woman into a carbon copy of me.  It was the changing that he got off on, not the finished project.  So now I am left with this person, this husk that I did not recognize as myself.  And there was no one to guide me, as I clearly needed guidance.  I NEEDED someone to tell me what to do. And one night, on the verge of cutting my wrists, I had an epiphany.    Philosophy
An Introduction to the Art of Wondering says
One state of consciousness sought by the Zen Buddhist is called satori, usually
Translated as flash of enlightenment.And that is what happened to me. I had a moment of clarity that my whole life had been a search for some man to tell me what to do.  Why Should I not be able to tell myself what to do?  What was there lacking in me that I could not guide my own life?  So I started searching.  And I found painting.  Bob Ross oil painting as a matter of fact.  I went on line and I downloaded all 31 season of Bob Ross from the PBS.  And I watched, and my mind wandered to all the things I had been or had wanted before marriage. It may have been some form of self hypnosis brought on by Bob’s voice, which is peaceful and calm, similar to someone using a white noise machine or nature tapes, to silence their mental chatter.  I signed up for school and after my books were bought, I blew my whole grant on oil paints and canvas and supplies, and I painted.  For the next year, I painted and I cried. And then I stopped crying and I painted and thought about stuff.   And I thought about stuff while I painted.  And then I thought about nothing and used the painting as way to exorcise the great man from my mind.
 And then one day,  like Aldous Huxley, who could withdraw into a state of Deep Reflection  ( a highly meditative yet completely present state ) I realized I was standing from of a finished painting, with no idea of how much time had passed, and no recollection of having painted what I was looking at...And I was free…free from the great man (who in reality was a narcissistic abuser, and a compulsive meth addict)  , free of the mental chains that told me I needed a man to live( that came from how my step- dad treated my mom) and free of the doubt that had plagued me most of my life( of course I was worthy, the goddess did not create trash or make mistakes).  Some cultures have religious ecstasy, in which a person uses faith to transport them to a place where they are all with one and nothing and everything and they call that God.  Eastern practitioners of yoga learn to “let go” of the outer senses and reach for that which is within, and so find nirvana.  Others look within to examine the nature of space and time and the relation of the human mind to those concepts, and so look to place themselves firmly within themselves. I used painting…which in my mind is like yoga or meditation in that the smells of the paint and canvas and thinners is enough to put me into that mind set, and the repetitive motions of dab and stroke and the sound of the whish and burr of the brush hitting the canvas are like the positions of yoga, or the motions of the ecstatic Christian about to speak in tongues, who is filled with the other…to me the other is that which is in ourselves buried under all the lies and masks and mental chatter.  And when I paint I am able to go away and at the same time look within.  Time stops, psychological time as opposed to chronological time and all within me is still and quiet, and something, the gods or goddesses or my true inner voice speaks to me and I find both peace and truth.

The story of the Matrix is of one man’s awakening.  If you wake from the dream you will find that the reality that you thought was real was no more real than the dream you just woke from.  Matrix is the story of a man who must find the way from the unreal to the real.  Neo wakes from what he thinks is real is real to a halfway point where he finds out that nothing is real and everything he has been taught to believe is a lie and an illusion. To find that humans are slaved enmeshed in a dream world, raised as slaves to be batteries to power a city of robots and a mechanical society.  Humans are giving up their very life force to keep going a society that oppresses them.  This movie is an allegory of the Cave on a massive scale.  He was at first content to be discontented.  The he became an active searcher for reality.  As he because more aware, he was more in danger.  There are those who are trying to kill him for fear that he will rock the boat, scare the sheep, and shake up the status quo.  Morpheus says (paraphrase) that “Most of these people are not ready to be unplugged, and most will fight you to the death to keep the illusion going”.  His enemies are not only the great deceiver, the evil genius, but also those that are still deceived, those that have no wish to be awakened, who prefer the dream to the hardships and cares of reality.  Neo’s story is the ancestral mythology that the mind is on a journey, and that each person must go through trials and ordeals to find the ultimate truth.  The movies play with the philosophical question of perceived reality vs. actual reality vs. truth. Vs. perceived truth.  What is really perceived as opposed to what is really occurring?  The Matrix movies draw heavily on Descartes’  “I think therefore I am”   and his theory of the Problem of the External world, and his theory of the Evil Genius.  These theories raise the point that if there is a being that can control all that you see or perceive, and that being can manipulate and deceive, then the only input that a person can actually know to be true, is what comes directly from the inner mind, as all external parameters and criterion can be misleading.   The story is essentially a parable for the soul’s search for the ultimate truth.  The Matrix can also be used as a parable for the working of the human mind.  On the surface there is one plane, which for the movie is the standard,  savior action plot, and for the mind is the everyday mental chatter and BS that occurs with everyone daily.  And then maybe you watch the movie again and pick up all these threads and thoughts, that maybe there is a meaning behind the action.  So too with the mind; there are thoughts and motives that go deeper than the surface things like job and house and partner and kids and walking the dog.  And then the more you watch the movie the more things you can pick out, symbolism and philosophical thought and other threads of subplots yet to be worked on.  Again this corresponds with the mind, and learning to think critically, picking out thoughts that lead to deeper thought and analyzing motive and subconscious drives and wants and feeling and desires.  And the more you watch the movie the more things you think of and see, and the more you use your mind and learn to think objectively and critically and they both are like onions layer over layer and meaning over symbol, and then one day, you wake up, and have reached what was for Neo, the end of the dream and the beginning of the revolution, and what is for the mind the end of the dream and the beginning of evolution.

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