RED PILL

 

“You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”  – Morpheus

 

Neo chooses the red pill.

The two men get up, go across the room, and open the door. Beyond is a room filled with computer equipment and strange faces.

“The pill you took is part of a trace program,” Morpheus explains, “ It’s designed to disrupt your input-output carrier signals so we can pinpoint your location.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means buckle your seat-belt, Dorothy,” says one of the strangers with a grin,  “Because Kansas is going bye-bye.”

Neo has chosen to find out what the Matrix really is. The pill is actually the means to begin the process. Later on in the film we discover that taking the pill was the necessary first choice to allow the others to rescue him. His body, you will remember, is hooked up to the Machine. The encounter with Morpheus, the pill, the strange room, the equipment, is all occurring only in Neo’s mind, and that’s where the choice is made to allow the process to begin.

Neo chose, and by analogy, so have you. But what have you chosen?

By choosing the red pill you have exercised your free will. You have said, in effect, “I want the truth.”

That’s what Morpheus said too: “Remember Neo, All I’m offering is the truth.”

Remember, THE MATRIX is an analogy of the Bible. What is the Bible offering? Let me quote the passage where the offer is made:

 

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. [JOHN 8:32]

 

What truth?

Well, the first truth is the truth about life. About reality. Now this is a hard subject to discuss. It can get too “abstract”. It can wind up all tangled up in philosophy. But when we remember THE MATRIX is an analogy we can visualize the situation better. What is the  first truth that NEO needs to hear? Does he need to discuss philosophy?

You may say, “He needs a lot of truth! But what he needs most is to be unplugged from the Matrix!”

That’s right. He needs to be unplugged first.

He needs to be unplugged from the Matrix  which is feeding him a dream. He is lying sleeping in a pod, being fed a virtual reality. He is being told exactly what to believe, and this belief is a lie. So really, he must be unplugged from the lie.

We can visualize how this works in THE MATRIX. But how does it work in real life?

You’ve got to trust someone to unplug you.

This is what Neo did. First he trusted Morpheus. Then he trusted Trinity: “ did you do all this?” he asks her as he is belted into his chair.

“Yes.”

You see how it’s all a matter of trust? “Do you trust me, Neo?” Morpheus is saying.

Do you know another word for trust that means the same thing?

Faith.

            Now that’s a Bible word. But it’s been so knocked around by so many people for such a long time that most people don’t know it means trust. People think faith means “a wild leap in the dark that religious people use instead of brains.” But that’s not faith, that’s foolishness. Some people think that faith is something you work up inside, some hopeful fantasy, some mythical daydream that you create in your mind, to help you cope with life. They point to all those religious people who believe all sorts of weird things and say, “If that’s faith, I don’t want it.”

Is that what Neo was doing?  Making a wild leap in the dark? Was he making all this up in his mind?

No! Neo was not making a leap in the dark. He was making a step out of the dark. What do I mean? Well, he had this splinter in his mind. He had this nagging thought, “there’s something wrong with the world”, and although he couldn’t put his finger on what it is, he felt it in his soul. Just like that song in the 60’s :

 

There’s something happening here…

What it is ain’t exactly clear

There’s a man with a gun over there

Telling me that I’ve got to beware!

Stop! Hey, what’s that sound!

Everybody look what’s goin’ down.

 

Back then the kids felt they were being lied to, but they couldn’t figure out what it was and why. Later on they discovered it was the politics behind the Vietnam War. This is an illustration of the fact that we can sense when something is wrong even when we don’t yet know what it is.

Neo had this nagging thought. Then one day he is tagged by his computer: “Hello Neo. The Matrix is after you….follow the white rabbit.” Then by one coincidence after another he meets Trinity, who tells him what it is he is looking for.

This is no mindless fantasy. Neo is in perfect control of his mind. He realizes the significance of Morpheus and Trinity: these can only be people who know more about what it is he has been searching for. How can he tell they know more? Because they make the first move without him asking!

Neo did not call up Morpheus and Trinity and say, “I need your help!”

They called him up, and said, “You need our help!” His unconscious thought must have been: “How did you know?” And his rational conclusion must have been, “If these people know enough to reach out to help me even before I ask, they must have something I need.”

So he began to trust them. He put some faith into them. He checked them out, to see if they were real. When he had his encounter with the police, and they injected him with that bug, it was Trinity who rescued him. Clearly these people had his welfare in mind. And clearly they understood something about the situation. Then when Morpheus talked to him so straightforwardly about the splinter in his mind he thought to himself “how does he know?” His reasonable, unconscious deduction was, “Morpheus has had a splinter too, but his splinter is gone…”

I’m saying that Neo had good reasons to trust Morpheus. So when Morpheus promised to show him the truth about the MATRIX, Neo was ready to trust that what Morpheus had promised he was going to deliver. He was encouraged in his moment of fear when Trinity basically said, “Yeah, I trusted Morpheus too, and he’s telling you the truth.”

So Neo put his faith in what Morpheus promised him: to show him the truth.

Faith always involves the element of trusting something or someone. But nobody can make you trust them.  That’s your part of the deal. You have got to reach out and trust someone. You’ve got to exercise faith.

Now suppose you said, “I don’t have faith. I wish I had.”

I’m here to tell you you’ve already got it.

After all, you took the red pill.

Now you just need to keep going by exercising some more of this faith. For instance, come sit here in this chair. Let me buckle you in. Now, let me take this probe.

“Oh, by the way, this is going to feel a little weird…” Click for Part 2!

 

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