Reclaiming Life …
It’s a scary thought …
Here we are all trapped in an illusion, a matrix, designed to keep up caught up in its intricacies while we spin out the days of our lives. Yet the design is so clever, so well thought out that we perceive ourselves engaged with something “real” something “meaningful” nonetheless.
I’ve written about “The Matrix” before … calling it out as “language” … nothing more, nothing less …
Language traps us … and it frees us … when we use it, instead of letting it use us.
It couldn’t be simpler actually.
Our escape from the Matrix is what keeps us locked into it … language, or rather how we use and relate to it.
Maybe I’d be better off explaining it slightly differently …
It seems our lot as humans to “own” language, yet I am proposing that language “owns’ us instead.
Specifically, through the process of “labeling” things we interact with our labels, i.e.: the language we use for things … including people, activities, places, ideas … instead of the things themselves.
Language, as we typically use it, removes us from our experience. Yet, if/when we learn to use it, language can allow us to become one with our experience it.
In the MythoSelf Process work we move towards the experience of life as a singularity, a simultaneous compression and expansion of life as it is … NOT as we wish for it to be.
The MythoSelf Process is a uniquely non-magical, or even anti-magical model. There is no presumption of being able to manipulate the rules or laws of the Universe, nor is there any desire to do so. Residing outside or, or beyond, the mundane and ordinary is counter to what the model offers and proposes.
I have placed the MythoSelf Process model within the sphere of “Fourth Way” models … an homage to the wisdom seeker, Gurdjieff, and his model or “The Work.”
As I understand it the “Fourth Way” refers to a way of becoming “real” or present to the “truth” of the world or cosmos as it is … nothing more, nothing less … and doing so while you remain fully immersed in the swirl of life as it arises.
In my opinion a “Fourth Way” model, like the MythoSelf Process is the “Way of the Warrior,” confronting life and all it has to offer, as well as all it demands, whilst remaining in the midst of it … at the center of the cyclone that is life.
I say the “Fourth Way” is the “Way of the Warrior” because it demands courage … there is no desire or room to remove yourself from the daily interaction with life as it shows up in all of its fury and finesse … its horror and its beauty … the terror it provokes as well as the awe and wonder. Only a warrior could withstand the paradox, contradiction and chaos of the Universe as it is … without desiring or striving to make it other than it is … and the path of the warrior is NOT for everyone.
It seems some souls are better suited to another way … the way of the Monk, the Yogi or the Hermit as Gurdjieff proposed long before I.
However, in “The Matrix” film trilogy we see the Way of the Warrior, a Fourth Way exposed in full relief IMO.
Neo represents the warrior way …
He begins in an ordinary life, doing ordinary things, bored out of his mind. So he rebels, he resists.
He thinks there might be somewhere to go within the Matrix, something to be doing. Yet he is miserable and lost, a shell of what a human is capable of being
But at the start of the film he knows none of what he is truly capable of … so he resorts to small time crime in the pursuit of money, entertainment and escape
In time Morpheus gives him the option of learning the truth … nothing more, nothing less …. and it is not at all like what Neo expects.
Like all other seekers when he comes to know “the truth” beyond the illusion, he is shocked and wants to return to the comfort of the illusion.
As the film progresses, Neo becomes more aware, more present to what is possible. He begins to manipulate his perception … how he perceives the Matrix … and himself
As Neo lets go of the limitation of what he has believed to be “truth” … the way the world is … his worldview … he begins to shift … to become someone, something else.
In the end Neo learns to “see” the system for what it is … interactive patterns of swirling energy contained in the material of the world he inhabits … yet to all external evidence he is blind.
What Neo finds is his way … his destiny … and the cost is his life … he sacrifices himself so that life may go on … despite the predictions of the Architect he finds a way.
Neo escapes the Matrix, but not with his life.
The MythoSelf Process is a model for finding your way … a true Fourth Way … a way for warriors.
The MythoSelf Process depends on ‘tricks’ to unravel the puzzle and mystery that life is as we typically experience … while we are trapped in the Matrix.
The ‘tricks’ of the MythoSelf Process are the ‘tricks’ that warriors use to awaken themselves, to become aware of the world as it is … to uncover the”truth” … to become themselves.
Here’s the first ‘trick’ …
We are led to believe we are going somewhere from the moment of our birth … like life unfolds as a linear process … Point A leading to Point B … leading to Point C … the cause and effect paradigm.
Language supports the cause and effect paradigm because it is itself digital, linear and sequential, one distinct word following another, ad infinitum, giving the illusion that what is labeled, described and held in language is digital, distinct, linear and sequential.
Language also identifies things relationally, that this is like that, similar but different, part of a common framework. Language, and labeling things, forces a taxonomy to emerge … relating unrelated things as though by virtue of their similarities they belong together … ala a hydrax is like an elephant .
I call this the “X/Y Paradigm” comprised of two distinct parts:
Part one is where “X” leads to “Y” (cause and effect), establishing a causal, liner progression from one thing to another, moving sequentially forward in time.
Part two is where “X” can represent any given perception that we associate with “Y” … the “this is like that” consideration
Taken together there is no escape from the “X/Y Paradigm” – your destiny if fixed
Yet in the Matrix we are offered another alternative … choice.
Life may in fact be more like a spiral wrapped around a center point. than a line progressing away from the center
This is the paradigm of choice … recognizing the spiral emerging from and leading to the center, and closing the circle so that you reside at the center at all times.
Instead of getting caught up in getting somewhere … you begin seeking to experience where you are instead.
Let’s call this an non-magical, or anti-magical, framework designed simply to re-enchant life as it is … nothing more and nothing less.
Joseph Riggio, Ph.D