Skip to main content

Choose My Own Adventure: Why Picking the Red Pill Is My Only Choice

When I first saw the film “The Matrix” something clicked inside me. I hadn’t been able to put my finger directly on it until somewhat recently. Now, as I’ve started this journey to wake up and be more present it feels more relevant than ever.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about why so many of us are struggling to wake up and be present in our own lives. Part (or all?) of the answer is that the Matrix is real. It functions across society in a manner that keeps us from achieving our goals and becoming our true selves. It’s a working theory anyway.

This “Matrix” conspires to fool us, and it tells us lies. It feeds us images and ideas that do not allow us to explore ourselves. It is built to drive us to buy more things, consume more stuff, and in today’s technology driven world, keep us tethered to our devices. After all, eyeballs and advertising = revenue right?

The “Matrix” tells us we aren’t creative. It told me I wasn’t good enough to be a writer, or a director, or an actor. It told me I am too fat, or too skinny. Too ugly. Not smart enough. It says stuff and I eat it all. I bought it. The “Matrix” is nefarious, tricky, and evil. The “Matrix” is us.

No one person is to blame – I can’t blame celebrities, or bad governments, or the media. I can’t blame my parents and I can’t blame my boss. All I can do is recognize what is going on and construct defenses against it. My very own tower defense game of life.

The system does everything but love us. It wants us to fail. And for many years as I said, I believed it. I accepted that I was too fat, or to skinny. I unwittingly gave up my dreams of being a writer. A creative director. A comedian. I was afraid of failing, and surprisingly, of succeeding.

“The Matrix is a system, Neo.”

The “Matrix” is our enemy. I know because I’m still inside, at least part of the time. When I’m inside, I look around and see things I don’t want to see. I see myself doing things I don’t want to be doing. I see and hear that there are others. Whispers and rumors of a rebellion.

“You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.” – Morpheus

But, I had to choose. I reached a point in my own life where I was given a choice. Choose the red or the blue pill.

Take the blue pill and go back to sleep. Accept that I am not, and never will be talented or smart. Take the blue pill and relax. Go back to sleep. Allow myself to be swept back into the current. It’s easier. The “Matrix” will reward me, life is easier when you are asleep.

If I take the red pill, I am rewarded with confusion, disorientation and it’s scary. I am finding out quickly if you have talent, or if I do not. I am finding out if I are smart, or if I am not. I took the red pill and so I’m now forced to figure it out. Opening my eyes and seeing the world as it is. It is not easy. I have resisted and been on a diet of blue pills for a very, very long time. I’ve been telling myself it’s ok. I’ve been numbed and fooled. The voice in my own head has been lying to me.

I call that obnoxious voice in my head “My Resistance.” Fucking liar.

Even as I write this post I can hear it saying “You are such a fool. You don’t even know any of this is true. You love movies and think you are some sort of thinker. You are an idiot. Better off just go back to bed, or watch a movie. You know what, you deserve a big breakfast, go for it, on me! Treat yourself. Numb yourself. Destroy yourself.”

Like Neo (errr Mr. Anderson), I am part of the system until I take action against it. But it’s nasty, like a bad computer virus. Right now, even in my own brain my subconscious is working away at me, eating against the progress I’ve made. I am fighting it. Right now.

I see you Mr. Resistance. I am learning your game, and your tricks.

When I look outside myself for answers and for validation I have only gotten back criticism. And judgement. I get back values that are not my own. I am told my writing is not good enough. Bad grammar they say. Or that my poem is not good. Poor structure. It didn’t rhyme. You can’t dance to it. Whatever. I’m told I am not good enough, smart enough or creative enough. And I believed it all.

But the thing is, none of that is true.

I refuse to believe it anymore. I don’t even care if I’m wrong.

Thoreau wrote “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.”

The games and amusements of mankind. Social media. Alcohol. Expensive toys and vacations. Living in the future, or in the past. Living under someone else’s judgements and assessments.

These are all things that are under my control and yet, I have allowed them to control me. When I think about taking control of these things and living the life I want to live, I get scared. It feels uncomfortable to think about deleting my social media accounts. Blasphemy, I might miss cute cats and what my friend is eating for lunch for fuck sake.

It is scary to sit and talk, really talk to a friend, with no pretense, no expectation of a return on my time. It’s odd to just sit and meditate in the middle of the day when I should be checking email, or jumping on a conference call.

It is scary to think about a world where I leave the comfort of a corporate career and actually do something on my own. Something that is my own, something I’m proud of. Something I can look back on and know deep down that I am talented, smart, funny, and creative.

Every single one of the reasons is “The Resistance” putting up it’s armor. Sending it’s dragons to kill me. Sentinels on loose.

My mission is to shred or ignore self-doubt and live life not in fear, but as a believer.

What’s your mission? Let me know.

Fake it til you make and why even fake Gurus sometimes have wisdom

There has to be a way. I will find a way. The way. My way.

I will find a way to be the person I am destined to become. The true me. I know he is in there somewhere.

I watched a movie recently called Kumaré about a filmmaker who impersonated a fake guru and built a following of real people. The filmmaker Vikram, pretends to be a guru who recruits followers into his entirely made up, fictional world. He invents chants that mean nothing and creates fictional yoga moves. He immerses himself inside the guru and what he comes to know, ironically is himself.

The lesson which after seeing the movie seems so obvious, hit me hard and I lost my breath for a moment. What the film reminded me of was that the answers are already within each of us. Our own path is there for us to discover if we only just listen and believe that it is waiting for us to discover it.

“The answers are already within us” feels like a cliche – but it isn’t. It’s true.”

People are searching for answers in the wrong place. We are numbed by social media, and by the toxic culture we’ve built around us. It’s everywhere and yet, we do nothing about it. We get caught up in “living” and forget to listen to our truth, to our inner voice. How to do that comes soon, but first, let’s start with the basics.

I’ve always been fascinated by how the mind works. If you haven’t seen this experiment before, watch this video now:

Ok… did you see it? Did you see the obvious?

No?

Watch it again. Look closely.

See it yet? It’s right there! If you were like me (and like most people) when I first saw this experiment years ago, you should be stunned. How is it possible to miss something so obvious. It’s the same thing for finding your own answers. You don’t need to be told, because the answers are already inside you. It’s that simple, and that obvious.

That should be a head slapper for you. If it isn’t, think about the video. The very first moment realized what you had missed – how did you feel? For me, it felt ashamed – I mean, the freaking thing is right there – hiding in plain sight! Not even hiding… not even trying to hide!

The mind sees what it wants to see. 

In Kumaré, Vikram (the filmmaker and the guru) quite literally tells everyone around him he is a fake, and yet the telling of that lie fortifies his appearance as a guru. He literally tells people he is not a real guru.

“I fake so much, I forget who I was before.” Vikram Gandhi

Vikram, and his alter ego Sri Kumaré show us this fundamental truth in a way that our egos do not like. I’ve seen comments on blogs about the film that it was cruel for him to make this film. That people aren’t mice and shouldn’t be experimented on. That he fooled his disciples into thinking he was someone he was not. Don’t we all fool each other about who we really are every day?

I still feel like I’m a kid, dressing up in adult clothes doing adult things.

This comment from ragnaROCKER on Reddit gets to the heart of the matter (unedited for grammar, spelling, content):

“I thought he was kind of a dick. I mean i get that he was trying to prove that gurus can be spewing bullshit and people will follow them, but when it got to the parts where people really opened up to him and asked him for advice on important life issues (like the lady with the marriage problems) i think he went to far in maintaining the charade. He should have at least pointed those people to places where they could get help.

Overall i think it was a good idea/ bad in practice kind of thing. You can even see how he is in over his head at the end and scared to reveal. It came across as “hey, these hippy people will believe anything! That’ll be a funny documentry!” But once he(and the audience) come to realize these are real people and not just carictures caught in the 60’s it takes on a meaner tone that i don’t think even vickram was ready for.

I came away thinking, these people are gullible, but kumare is an asshole.”

SPOILER ALERT, THERE IS A GORILLA IN THE VIDEO WALKING AROUND

Once you see the Gorilla in the video (you did watch it didn’t you!), you have glimpsed the first secret: “The mind sees what it wants to see.”

Each of who discover this secret must make a decision. You must decide to start to wake up to the world around you. This is is Neo in “The Matrix” deciding to take the red or the blue pill. It must be a conscious choice or it doesn’t count.

If you were surprised by the gorilla video, ask yourself “what else am I not seeing that is right in front of me?”

Are you in a broken marriage?
Are you unhappy at work?
Are you miserable with your life?

Your brain will lie to you – it will disguise the signal in the noise. You must find a way to turn the volume of the noise down, at least a little, and you need need to be honest with yourself.

Sri Kumaré did not give his followers a choice, there was no blue pill or red pill. Even as he literally told everyone he was a fake his followers simply feel deeper into the trap. Him “saying” he was a fake only served as further proof of his authenticity. Kumaré’s followers were so desperate for answers that they believed what he said, believed what he said because they were looking for answers outside themselves – they needed someone to tell them how to live.

They didn’t see the Gorilla.

When I started this blog I promised myself to never write trite, stupid top 10 lists. There are no shortcuts to waking up and living a fully conscious life. There is however, one thing that I started a few weeks ago in earnest that does seem to be helping me, bit by bit.

I invite you to try it with me now…

Breathe. It doesn’t matter how – through the nose, out the mouth or reverse. How you breathe is not important. Just breathe. Think to yourself, I am breathing as you breathe. You don’t have to say it out loud, just take a breath and think “I”m breathing.”

Breathe in and hold it for a long second or two. And blow it out. And all the while, think “I’m breathing.”

Do it a few times. 

Yes, you, sitting there at your computer or on your phone. No one is watching. You don’t even have to close your eyes. Just breath in, hold it, and breathe out. Slowly.

I just did it to try this for myself. For real. Just now as I was writing this. I’m on a commuter train. No one knew. No one noticed.

Did you do it? Do it. You know you want to.

So here’s what you just did. You just created a tiny crack in the universe. You allowed yourself to stop thinking for just a tiny second. And if you can do it for a second, you can do it for more. And the more you do, the more room you can make to think. And listen. To listen to yourself and to see the obvious. To glimpse the Gorilla. Congratulations

Also, you just meditated. Yea, I know, you don’t meditate. But you just did. That’s it. That’s the basics of meditation. Nothing else needed. No yoga pants or sweaty, smelly rooms fully of people. Congrats, small victories eh?

I need to hear from you, I need to you to share how you feel, and what you think. Tell me  in the comments, or email me at searchingforsumthin@gmail.com. Make up a name if it makes you feel better. Just tell me. I’m here and you are not alone. Thanks for reading.

The Matrix

Wake Up from the Matrix – your entire life depends on it!

Life should not feel dull. In order to live your life wide awake, you need to avoid becoming a zombie. You need to “Wake up from the Matrix.”

A note about this post: This post is the original spark for this blog. I posted it originally to Reddit (it’s been slightly altered and edited based on feedback I got). You can see the original post here. I also guest posted on High Existence where there is yet another slightly different version of the post called Stop Bullshitting Yourself If You Want To Wake Up (From The True Matrix).
Read More

Are You Sleeping Through Your Life?

Are you searching for something you can feel but not see? Does it feel like you are sleeping through your life? Do you feel lost or like you just aren’t on the right track in life? Are walking through life like a zombie?

You are not alone.

Have you ever asked yourself…

“Why am I so unhappy?”
“Who am I?”
“Why in the world am I here?

Your search has somehow led you here. There is a reason. You are in the right place. You are not alone.

Searching For Sumthin is our journey to waking up and finding our own personal truth. Our authentic self. The self that you know deep down inside is yelling, screaming and begging to get out. The authentic self who is afraid to show it’s true colors.

I am you. You are me.

Searching For Sumthin is not for everyone. Only those willing to honestly answer the questions and the truly brave will find their way to themselves. Only the truly curious can go on this journey.

In the movie the Matrix, John Anderson is given a choice to face the truth that the world around him is a not real, that he is not fully conscious.

The Matrix

Morpheus: I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I’m talking about? – “The Matrix”

I now believe that most people are asleep. Some will be brave enough to face the “splinter in our minds” and begin to wake up. Not all of us will succeed.

Searching For Sumthin is here to encourage you to take the leap. To try to answer those questions and to listen for the answers.

I have been asking and ignoring those questions for years. For far too long. I was running as fast as I could to build my career, my family, my finances. I was looking for validation from others, bending myself like a pretzel to fit into other people’s definitions of how I should be, where I should work, how much money I should make.

I’m still on that journey. I’m still learning. And I know that it will never end, this journey doesn’t have a finish line, there is no final destination. There is no ring to get to Mordor. No Death Star to destroy. But I’m starting to get the answers I’m looking for, more every day. And with every step I take, I discover something about myself. Something new, or something forgotten.

That’s what Searching For Sumthin is all about. It’s our journey to waking up. If you subscribe (it’s free), we can do it together. I’ll be your sidekick and you’ll be mine – we’ll be one person less alone and on the journey together.

Subscribe for info & updates

We will never, ever, never sell your information.

Like many of you, I did my research and “WOW” there is a lot of material out there on this topic. Everything from ancient philosophy to new age thinking. There are self-help gurus galore, as well as Deepak, Oprah, Tony Robbins and others who all are great in their own way. There is also a ton of advice out there from so called “experts” who barf out lists and shortcuts like “how to be happy in 5 easy steps.” Read it all, I’ll even provide links and share my thoughts on some of those materials and systems.

What’s great about Searching For Sumthing is that I’m right here with you. Maybe I’m one or two steps ahead of you, or a few steps behind, but if you are willing, we can do this together, all of us. You are not alone.

I will try my best to make you laugh, and to connect dots where you’ve never been able to connect dots before. My love of pop culture, science fiction and fantasy will thread through everything we talk about so that it remains fun and interesting.

Searching For Sumthin is where you’ll get encouragement, ideas, tips and tools you can use to kick start your journey. I’m no Bilbo Baggins and you’re no Frodo, but still, it’s sort of like that. Maybe it’s more like I’m Butch and you are Sundance. I’m not sure yet, but it’s something like that. You get the point.

I’ll be putting together free materials, worksheets and will point out the best books, movies, tools, apps and thinkers. I’ll dissect what I am learning, and share with you. And best of all, we can talk about it in the comments and via email.

At anytime, you can email me at searchingforsumthin@gmail.com and tell me what you’d like to see, what you’d like to talk about and what you are struggling with.