I was taken with the Matrix. It was my first visit to the United States when we went to a cinema with friends to watch a movie, without knowing which movie it would be, and then we were blown away by the Matrix. For someone who was not exposed to the United States (directly) or the ideas in the Matrix, it was an eye-opening experience. I even got the soundtrack CD a few days later.
The Matrix has inspired much of the exchange on what machines can do, the possibility of them overpowering humankind, and the concept that we live in some form of machine-managed world already. However, in time, I came to think of the Matrix in a different light, seeing concerns there that are directly relevant to our daily lives.
Matrix as the daily routine
To me, the Matrix can be interpreted as signifying the “routine of our daily lives”. Modern societies are so automatized that in order to function properly they need people to behave like machines. No wonder AI and machines (would) do so well in our societies.
Think about it. Every day we wake up in the morning, we get ready, we go to work. We sit and do our work. We come back home and the cycle recommences the next day. Aside from minor modifications, our schedules are roughly the same every single day. And this is not applicable to working adults only. Kids have to go to kindergarten, school and then university. Then they work and then they retire and die. There is no time to just be. You can only be when you retire. At least I would think so, but I have met some retired people who are busier than I am. They have no time. 5 yearolds have no time.
If we are not in the matrix, we might as well be, as we automate our lives so much that we don’t have time for ourselves. And if we are not employed or working, we seek to be. These thoughts came to me as I was working from home. Suddenly, I had more time to adjust my routine and be able to take some time for myself. When I am in the office, it is fully on, task after task, my day has no stopping. The funny (or sad) thing is that these tasks and their accomplishment give me satisfaction. I feel like I’ve achieved “something”. But every day is the same. I get my tasks and the related satisfactions of completing them.
These tasks are not “real” in the sense of contributing anything to me or my life. It feels like they are there to fill my time so I can say that I have worked and achieved many great things when at the end of the working day I feel empty. So, in this sense, this working life is empty, it doesn’t contribute to our inner being or enlightenment. In this sense, this kind of social arrangement can represent the matrix, that is to say, the curtain that has been pulled before our eyes to blind us from the truth.
Finding your truth
What is the truth then? I am not yet sure. I think it has something to do with following your own intuition, listening to your heart and mind and seeing where the road takes you. For this, we need to break out of the “matrix”, out of the daily routine and make time to listen to ourselves and take the road less travelled.
I am trying to pay attention to anything that is not part of the daily routine, call it a “deja-vu” if you wish. Maybe this is bordering lunacy, but I’m trying to experiment and see what happens when I notice the unexpected and engage with it. The other day I was in the supermarket buying some food. As I was standing, two packets of bread fell down about 20m away. Initially I ignored that, but then I thought of it as the unexpected so I went and put them back. Maybe your unexpected is more enticing than mine, but you never know what can come out from this 🙂
They say that in this world everything is connected, hence I think that those things that appear in our lives but are not part of our daily routine need to be analyzed, discovered and followed in the same manner that Alice followed the busy rabbit down the rabbit whole. She could have remained just Alice with her book under her tree, and yet, look how much more she has become.