This could be viewed as a metaphor; on the other side of fear, or the reward for facing fear, is enlightenment.
Black Mirror Series 4 Episode 3 scared me for a couple of days, but I still went back and watched Episode 4. I am so glad I did.
Episode 4 just blew my mind, again. How many times can a mind be blown and still go on functioning? I suppose I will find out…
My husband said, they don’t have any friends, it’s all about being in relationships. That is always something I’ve been against, the idea of being lost in a relationship; it’s also a big part of my conditioning from my mother to be independent and not to set great store by romantic relationships and men in general.
But it turned out that only the two of them were real, and everyone else was just programming.
For me to more fully commit to the idea of it being total, total trust, just us and purely us, would smash some sizeable holes in the matrix. You have to Believe-Act-Believe to keep on rising up through the levels of awareness. The feeling: no rush, infinite- we set it up to feel rushy and as if time is short because really time is infinite, that’s the trick! None of it is real. EVERYTHING we’ve been told is a lie: No wonder he’s never in a hurry… Mission: To help each other with things the other finds hard and we find easy to smooth the way. Deal with stuff calmly, as it arises.
The last time I felt like this, that night in a hotel room in London, I got scared (just us) (just me, even scarier!). Why would you be scared, you just would Be, that would be your reality. We’d have to make up stuff to stop being bored. No point other than that.
Why now? It would have been so hard to keep it up all those years- all through twenties, thirties, forties, without succumbing, and now- it’s better. We are middle aged. We are invisible, no need to be cool, no makeup, who cares, I will go out in any old thing, immune, low profile, not distracted by sex, except with husband. So why now, why so late? Everything before was training.
What about when you get old, what about savings, what about this what about that. What about your family what about your commitments. Well what if, like in Black Mirror, none of it is true, none of it is real. What if, in the immortal words of The Matrix, everything you’ve ever been told is a lie?
This spacey awareness is already dissipating, but no matter. It is action that is mainly needed anyway, rather than thoughts. I feel this was just to show me/us that we’d ‘levelled up’; that we’d passed the recent tests of fear, stress, vomiting bug and been rewarded with a new level of awareness. All we have to do is keep on smashing it down with a sledgehammer, keep on tearing it up by the roots. (I don’t know what this metaphor of mine looks like, but that’s the action required.) I’d already decided to burn all my certificates. I knew that it went against everything, that no one would think it was a good idea, and yet I knew it was needed. Tonight’s feeling validated that. No half measures. It’s no good watching stuff like The Matrix and Black Mirror and going, oh that’s interesting, that sounds true, and then not acting like it/on it. It gets more believable, becomes more true, the more you act on it. Like how a cat gets softer the more you stroke it. You have to take practical steps.
Tear Down the Matrix:
- Burn degree certificate, CPD folders, A level Certificate, registration card, membership card
- Share blog with everyone*, don’t care, no shame
- Be sure, be steadfast
- Use blog to document, to remind me, and to have fun!
*with the exception of family members
But please don’t think I’m some kind of cool beacon of awareness. Only a couple of days ago I was completely undone by a long, cranky work meeting that lasted from 09.30- 14.15. Despite my best intentions, I got totally involved in it: I had many urges to contribute, I felt disappointed when I wasn’t able to (there was no way of speaking without interrupting and then the Chair moved the agenda on). I felt hurt and annoyed when someone disagreed with me and said something that I knew wasn’t true. I had the allotted fifteen minute break for lunch taken up by my manager asking me to find and print health and safety policies. No stretching of legs, no sunshine, not even for five minutes, not even for two minutes.
I’ve noticed that as my leaving date has got closer, when people ask me what I’m doing I’ve begun to answer more openly and in less socially acceptable ways.
I’ve started saying things like, we’re selling our three bed house and buying a narrow boat to reduce overheads so we don’t have to work so much. I’ve done the career thing but now I can leave it. I don’t care about what to say if people ask me what I do. I’m going to burn my degree certificate and registration card. I’m going to do cleaning. It’s (travelling around SE Asia) the only solution I could think of that would enable me to stop doing this. I should never have done this job, it’s been too much for me. It’s either leave, or go mad, or kill myself.
Whereas, I’m going travelling, yes, isn’t it exciting, would probably have sufficed.
And I am sure it is definitely not socially acceptable to say, I am Escaping The Matrix. No really, this whole thing is about me pursuing in earnest the idea of Escaping The Matrix. You know, Freeing My Mind. I’m going to write a blog about it, in fact I already do, you can read it if you want.
I am very excited about leaving work and can barely keep up the ‘I’m a professional’ act. All that energy I use at work will be mine, all this preparation… like a coiled spring, I can already feel it, my personal creative energy source.
Other people are talking about things with me, one with a four year plan to extricate herself, others realising our workplace is untenable and looking for different jobs. People talking to me is nice. Me talking to them is nice. Realising no one is themselves at work, not really. This idea of professionalism, a made up concept; we dress and act at least somewhat not like our real selves, and it stops us connecting at a deeper level. (You can see why that and the constant feed of sensational, judgemental and scary news stories to witter about around the water cooler helps The Man…)
I just can’t do it anymore. All I want from any future work is the opportunity to be myself. I mean, I’m friendly, honest, kind and I don’t swear hardly at all, so surely it should be pretty easy for me to do something like house cleaning or home help and just be me?
I haven’t been me for so long- twenty years or more- that it’s going to take a bit of practice. I automatically go along with people. My step-grandma was a teacher here, shall we walk , shall we go through here, and me all yes, yes, all cheery. ‘You don’t have to say yes you know’, she said, but I thought about it and I did want to do it, I wanted a walk and anyway, she’s having the cats, it’s no big deal. But the ability to notice when I am doing something I don’t want to do and then deciding do I want to do it for some meta reason or not, and am I being myself. Do I start conversations about my own topics? When I disagree with what is being said do I say anything aloud? I have had twenty years of brainwashing, of not feeling like I was good enough, of feeling that I had to pretend, hide, and over-compensate: Twenty years of pretending, hiding and over-compensating. From wearing stretchy bandages over my tattoos at my very first job (we had a short sleeved uniform), to not knowing who I am anymore.
I mentioned to someone at work about having a blog and she said, ‘Let me know the details and I’ll follow you’.
‘It’s a personal journey type thing, about how I managed to do this,’ I said. She said, ‘I’ve got to keep going a bit longer, I’m still too conditioned.’ (She’d mentioned ‘conditioning’ to me before, the only person at work I have ever heard say that word).
‘Watch The Matrix, that will help,’ I said.
‘I did, I didn’t understand it.’
‘Nor did I when I first watched it, but then I watched it again and it blew my mind.’ (not for the first or the last time as I think I’ve already established).
So in a way, if this blog is for anyone, it’s for her. If it’s for anyone, it’s for people on the cusp of waking up. I’m not meant to try to wake people up, at least, I’m not meant to go around trying to wake up individuals in person. But just putting something out there, for people to find if they are looking, I feel like that’s okay.
And in a lovely demonstration of universal reciprocity, I had this email from my friend David Walker. It feels so good to have another person understand and validate our choices:
What you’re both about to do, I believe, in our consumer-stuff-mad western world, is one of the most difficult things that anyone can undertake.
Our whole society is now designed to keep people working and spending all their money on mortgages, loans, credit cards, utilities and lots and lots of stuff. It’s the actual foundation of our entire economic system and we are literally being brainwashed to believe that there is no other reality
It is really a fucking matrix. And it’s really difficult to escape from it.
You need a lot of strength to just be able to firstly make that mental leap, followed by the actual physical actions required to make it a reality.
Thank you for reading.