In Remembrance of the Matrix
"For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, 'See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.'"
- Hebrews 8:3-5
We previously considered how Time, as meaningful duration, is subconsciously spatialized by the rational intellect for narrowed purposes of science and technology; for measurement and analysis of phenomenal appearances. When we forget that Time has been 'eliminated' in this manner, we reify the abstract spatial dimensions from 'shadows of heavenly things' into idols. A property becomes an idol when it no longer points to qualities of meaning beyond itself, but instead it is considered functionally independent of our thinking experience and it only points our intention and attention back towards itself. Most people feel that the spatial dimensions are a pre-existing 'area' in which we experience and act. This idolatry then discourages any further thinking through the dimensions to mine their deeper layers of meaning. Although theoretical physics, psychology, and cognitive science of the 20th century has made the 'pre-existing area' concept untenable, abstract space is still naively idolized in this manner. Another name for the abstract spatial world is the "physical" world and for the world of durational meaning, the "spiritual".
"The new mutation of consciousness, on the other hand, as a consequence of arationality, receives its decisive stamp from the manifest perceptual emergence of the spiritual... Two apocryphal statements of Christian doctrine clarify in their way what is meant here: “This world is a bridge, cross it but do not make of it your dwelling place,” and “I have chosen you before the earth began.” They point to the spiritual origin prior to all spatio-temporal materialization. We may regard such materialization as a bridge that makes possible the merging or coalescence, the concrescere of origin and the present. The great church father Irenaeus presumably had these sayings in mind when he stated: “Blessed is he who was before the coming of man.” We have seen him; he revealed himself in space and time. In his departure he was beheld by his disciples in his transparency, a transparency appropriate only to the spiritual origin (if anything can be appropriated to it), the transparency which a time-free and ego-free person can presentiate in the most fortunate certainty of life. The grand and painful path of consciousness emergence, or, more appropriately, the unfolding and intensification of consciousness, manifests itself as an increasingly intense luminescence of the spiritual in man."
- Jean Gebser, The Ever-Present Origin This relation of physical to spiritual is a polar One, meaning both aspects are inseparable relational expressions of an underlying Idea. The polarity of physical-spiritual, quantity-quality, visible-invisible, i.e. Space-Time, has been expressed throughout ancient mythology and philosophy in manifold ways. Some common images for it which are drawn from the sense-world are that of Darkness-Brightness, Shadows-Light, Ice-Fire, Moon-Sun, Lunar-Solar, and many similar images. These physical objects point to the underlying relation between subconscious activity and the conscious individuated ego; the newborn infant and the matured adult; the state of sleeping and dreaming and that of awakening. In more recent decades, many popular stories have also framed this relation in terms of the past and the future; the time of gods and the time of men; the dominion of man over Earth and that of machines. This polarity has developed into a very ambivalent relation in our modern culture. We are not exactly sure whether to applaud or recoil in horror when contemplating a near future of humanoid 'artificial intelligence', for example.
It is sensed by most, however dimly, that the dynamic of this relationship is evolving in some way; that the two poles appear to be converging and/or reversing their roles, somewhat like the North and South poles of Earth's magnetic field have periodically reversed over an average duration of 7,000 years. That duration of Time-experience would actually take us back quite close to the dawn of self-conscious and individuated humanity living in ancient India, Persia, and Egypt around 5,000 B.C. The realm of the gods, communities, nations, races, etc. is now perceived as belonging to the past and the era of digital humanity as belonging to the future, perhaps approaching a 'singularity' in which the two are fully merged together. There is no shortage of these images in popular entertainment as well - practically every fantasy, horror, or science-fiction movie directly portrays this relationship within individuals, families, communities, nations, and humanity at large. They unfold according to a very predictable threefold narrative structure of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. It is of utmost importance for us to remember these physical and spatial images in Nature and Culture are pointing us towards a spiritual reality of meaningful and durational qualities. The spiritual is now manifesting within the physical with increasing intensity, but if we conflate the symbols for some purely physical state of affairs in the world around us, then we have lapsed back into the idolatry of space. Those who speak of a "simulation hypothesis" to explain the existence of our sense-world, constructed by many layers of higher-order machine intelligences, have done exactly that. Idolatry of this sort represents a gap in our knowledge which we fill with our own abstract creations, according to our likes and our dislikes; our attractions and our repulsions; our unexamined hopes and our fears. A deep sense of tension and uncertainty has always accompanied major transformations of human consciousness over the epochs of our existence, yet our current transfiguration from space-consciousness to TIme-consciousness is unparalleled in that regard.
"What is to come? ... As in any crisis there are two possible answers to the question of its outcome: demise or transition... Anyone who takes to heart the solution to our problems, and who has not forgotten that we partake every moment of our lives in the originary powers of an ultimately spiritual nature, will be willing to participate in this task."
- Jean Gebser, The Ever-Present Origin
"We might say that the whole Omega Point of life lies in that verb (to see)... union increases only through an increase in consciousness, that is to say in vision. And that, doubtless, is why the history of the living world can be summarized as the elaboration of ever more perfect eyes within a cosmos in which there is always something more to be seen. After all, do we not judge the perfection of an animal, or the supremacy of a thinking being, by the penetration and synthetic power of their gaze? ... To see or to perish is the very condition laid upon everything that makes up the universe, by reason of the mysterious gift of existence."
- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man
The unfolding 'apocalypse' (revelation) of our current epoch partakes in an integration of the abstract spatial dimensions through the irruption of Time-experience into our consciousness. We can perceive that integration as it continues to manifest in various philosophical and scientific fields of inquiry, along with aesthetics and culture, but we can also develop our individual vision to perceive how spatial dimension is the phenomenal appearance of relativistic (relational) Time-experience. What does this development mean to us and for us, practically? For one, it means that our Thinking activity can penetrate into deeper layers of meaning which encompass more qualities of the 'past' and the 'future'. We can transcend the abstraction of the Newtonian clock, i.e. linear time, by becoming conscious that these higher layers of meaning structure our current layer by functioning at different temporal wavelengths. That is the deeper spiritual meaning of the phrases, "end of days" or "end of time", which are frequently mentioned in relation to the 'apocalypse'. We are, hopefully, living with our thinking Spirit in that more integrated domain of Time-consciousness right this moment, as we write, read, and contemplate this essay, and therefore experiencing, to some extent, the end of [linear] time.
“At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, ... Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever. But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
- Daniel 12:1-4 This 'book' is now being unsealed for all those who seek an active interest in awakening to read its pages. We simply need to open our spiritual eyes and take a spiritual breath as we are reborn into the higher worlds. When we internalize the spiritual nature of our participation in the process of World-Evolution, the phenomena we are most familiar with are seen in a new and higher Light. They are transfigured from mere whims, fancies, and curiosities, into the integral spiritual tools we can use to adapt and evolve. The remainder of this essay will focus on one such cultural phenomena which illustrated our unique situation by speaking to our spiritual organism with aesthetic bluntness. The original Matrix movie, released in the last year of the 20th century, was cinematically unparalleled in this regard. It was crafted to convey a very precise message about the modern abstracted soul in the most vivid, thrilling, and thoughtful way. Images of the unfolding clash between the physical and spiritual were seared into many young and impressionable minds. Awakening from mechanized sleep and dreams into the higher worlds of spiritual duration was henceforth known as taking the "red pill".
"There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just eat the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted."
- Psalm 46:4-6 Taking the red pill is the act of choosing a healthy transition into a Time-liberated life over a terrible demise by way of mechanized routine. The most important aspect of the red pill was not the Truth revealed to those who chose it, but the opportunity it presented to the chooser; the opportunity to consciously participate in a single realization which carries the potential of cascading our souls into the very heart of Zion, the City of God. This opportunity manifests for us because we are conscious of, not only the choice we are presented with, but also our act of perceiving the choice and perceiving the act of choosing. Unlike our ancestors in their respective apocalyptic phases, we are now choosing in full clarity of consciousness. Therefore, we are also perceiving ourselves participate in this decisive battle of the awakening Light against the darkened forces of slumber. We can perceive how our courage, daring, and ambition, previously sensed only as vague memories of bygone heroes, is now reborn through our thoughtful consideration into our immanent living experience.
"But Father Sleep, out of the multitude of his thousand sons, raises Morpheus, a skilful artist, and an imitator of any human shape. No one more dexterous than he mimics the gait, and the countenance, and the mode of speaking; he adds the dress, too, and the words most commonly used by anyone."
- Ovid, Metamorphoses The red pill initiates the Neo-phyte into higher knowledge of the spiritual. He then enters the imaginal realm of the pure white, dimensionless 'Construct'. We are told that this same 'anomalous' initiation had occurred with 'chosen' humans in five previous incarnational cycles, and the current Neo is the sixth incarnation of the One. Unlike the previous chosen ones, he is the One who is motivated by his sacrificial Love for Trinity, i.e. the Godhead who lives eternally in Goodness, Beauty, and Wisdom. Neo is led there by Morpheus, the ancient Greek god who appears within our dreams in human form. Since the time of the Greco-Roman civilization, the dream world was recognized explicitly as the threshold between the physical and the spiritual; between dreamless sleeping and awakening. Our current dream-experience is a dim remnant of this threshold of spiritual consciousness. It can serve as a reminder to us of just how much of our rich and meaningful experience is forgotten each and every day.
However, these ancient memories of how the Matrix was formed do not simply disappear from existence after they are experienced. Mnemosyne (Memory), as the ship who chariots souls across the threshold, is still patiently waiting for us to board her vessel. Memory unites the chasm between the past and the future; between the physical and the spiritual; between Space and Time. In the words of Nietzsche, she is "a bridge to the highest hope, and a rainbow after long storms". Once we board her vessel safely, we are reunited with long lost friends and family members; our spiritual companions. We are not cut off from the Matrix, but rather we can observe it, and sometimes influence it, from a higher vantage point of four-dimensional meaning. Now, we can make sense of what occurs within the Matrix and what was otherwise opaque to our thinking consciousness, such as experiences of deja vu or 'synchronicities' between our 'subjective' experience and the 'objective' world. All of these events suddenly take on a new significance and naturally fill the voids in our Cosmic puzzle.
“Well! I’ve often seen a cat without a grin, but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing I ever saw in all my life!"
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland The story of Cosmic awakening becomes the story of our own daily lives as we embark on a journey into higher worlds of Soul and Spirit. Like Alice in her journey down through the rabbit hole, we can be led to the red pill of awakening in the most diverse, and perhaps bizarrely curious, ways. We then find ourselves in a Wonderland filled with meaning and unencumbered by routine physical constraints - a world of grins without the cats. What the recently released fourth installment in the series - "The Matrix Resurrections" - highlights, however, is a caution for those who are fortunate enough to behold this spiritual Truth. It highlights how, even after the Truth is revealed to us in its transparency - awakening and kindling a fire within us - we are still at risk of falling back asleep. Truth always remains on the precipice of half-truths, in danger of being reduced into yet another deception by way of abstraction and incompletion. Many times we will bend over backwards to convince ourselves that the once-revealed Truth is now only illusion and deceit. This relapse into the idolatry of space is especially likely when we are only motivated into the awakening by pleasure, greed, or other purely selfish desires. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."
- John 3:16 While some reject the red pill altogether, fixing themselves in an abstract spatial prison, others will take the red pill and grasp only for the purely temporal, as a means of bypassing the gradual stages of spiritual evolution; as a means of 'escaping' the physical sense-world and leaving many others behind. We will forget or disregard the fact that there are still those who are in need of salvation. There are those humans who remain fast asleep, but there are also those 'evil' machines and digital agents who created and maintain the Matrix deception. The latter are no less deserving of spiritual redemption from Karmic debt than anyone else. They are no less deserving of our sacrificial Love. That is the deeper spiritual meaning of gratefully "loving our enemies"; of sheltering, clothing, feeding, and visiting one of the "least of these" brethren; We should not judge and condemn, for vengeance does not belong to us. It is neither our right nor our duty to dispense spiritual justice to others. All-being is our brothers and sisters; All is responsible for All. In our remembrance of the eternal Wisdom of Cosmic evolution within and through the Matrix of our physical birth and spiritual rebirth, not One single spiritual being shall be left behind.