Like so many of my friends, I have spent a lot of time focused on the world outside of my self and how to use my resources and, frankly, white male privilege, to contribute.
This started in the form of directing and writing around social justice issues that led me to eventually direct several feature films and write some books. The apex of that ‘life’ was a deep dive into the binary world of fundamentalism (through a journey into the millennial religious HolyWar with two hardcore believers), with a pretty mind-blowing outcome, which really made me question the dualist paradigm manifested through the political / religious / financial systems (left/right, right/wrong etc) that I had become so good at self- (and, other-) identifying with.
I left film and writing to start a tech company based on signaling complex data in a multi-dimensional, dynamic way that could create a new kind of identity. This (somewhat ahead-of-the-curve) tech is currently being applied to medical data and possibly a new platform our team has been developing around climate change.
But to be perfectly honest, I am long past believing these kinds of citizen-engagement initiatives are going to successfully and integrally solve the challenges we face. My core passion, and the thing that my life consistently seems to bring me back to, are the revelations contained in the mystical traditions.
Meaning the exposition of hidden truths about our world in the context which Plato put it so well over 2000 years ago:
“In consequence of this divine initiation we became spectators of single and blessed visions, resident in a pure light; and were ourselves made immaculate and liberated from this surrounding garment which we call the body and to which we are now bound like an oyster to its shell.”
I believe we are on the cusp of a Copernican moment, in which humans discover that the ‘reality’ we inhabit is nothing like we understand it to be. That we are atomic beings, not biological ones… and the 3D realm we inhabit is not a deterministic fixed space, but in fact one that is generative and responsive to us, based on our level of awareness of this truth.
This belief has very real applications and implications. It’s not philosophy to me, and I am actively working on new creations that might help others to pierce the veil in the way that I have. But it makes it very hard to engage with my great and beloved cadre of friends who really believe that we just need to get more people to vote in order to create the world we want to live in.
For me, this is absurd.
What we need is a vibrational shift at the genetic level of the species. Which is practical and achievable under the conditions of a global counter-cultural movement that inducts people into rituals that help them unearth the deep wound caused by the experience of being spiritual entities trapped in materialist shells on a 3D Earth.
I am sure this sounds (at best) escapist and (at worst) cray to most of you, but in my defense, I’ll just say that it’s coming from a guy who’s traveled or worked in over 80 countries, put most of my life and money into very concrete activistic pursuits… and is deeply invested (as a father of two young children)… in us actually evolving out of this situation instead of simply delaying it long enough to make our selves feel better about how much we did.
Let’s be very clear: this is a big, counter-intuitive shift that needs to happen. Especially for people who have spent their lives dedicated to changing their reality through the systems created from its misconception.
Again, think birth of the Axial Age or the Copernican revolution. It’s not about fucking voting. It’s about pausing for a moment, pulling our heads out of the spectacular distraction of the news cycle and actually having the self-discipline and intellectual and spiritual rigor to question the foundations that materialize our conception of reality.
Otherwise known as the paradigm. (Yes, they shift.)
To that end, I’ll leave you with a quote I sent to friends and posted on social media that really sums up where I am at in terms of getting to fundamental solutions and evolutionary movements.
It comes from Manly P. Hall, one of the greatest civilizational resources in the field of esoteric and mystical traditions, and says everything any one needs to understand about the true nature of SECURITY and how we are actually going to achieve it as an intra-causal and inter-connected species.
“If we dwell forever in the sphere of effects, content to endure without question the vicissitudes of outrageous fortune, we must suffer the consequences inevitable to this state… Nature has bestowed upon us the means by which we can rescue our lives from the delusion of materialism. If we use these means according to the laws governing them, we fulfill the purpose of our living.
There are eternal and unchangeable principles in the world of causes. We must learn to know them, love them, and obey them, for herein lies our hope of security.”
There is a genre of fiction in which humans are depicted as living in a reality that is not what it appears to be. In these stories, the heroes are captives in an elaborate prison that keeps them from realizing the true nature of reality, which is hidden behind the veil of a false world.
Done well, these tales go super-viral and connect with a deep part of the human consciousness that gives them a kind of mythological status. That is because they are profoundly subversive narratives that hint at the oldest conspiracy theories of our civilization: that we are living in some simultaneously ancient and high-tech illusion that keeps us disconnected from our true identity and its cosmic power.
The amazing thing about this category of fantasy is that it first appeared in 380 BCE; almost 2400 years ago. And that first episode remains one of the most precise and elegant renditions of a hero’s journey out of the programmed deception of our reality.
I’m talking about the Cave Allegory which appeared in the Greek philosopher Plato’s Republic. In his story a group of prisoners are shackled by their legs and necks in an underground cave. Projected on a wall in front of them are images in the shape animals and people and objects.
The 2-dimensional shapes are what they believe the world to be.
What the prisoners do not know is that behind them is a fire. The images they see are merely shadows created by puppets which are being paraded in front of the fire by some mysterious procession of people. The apparition is enough to keep the prisoners distracted and complacent in their bondage.
And then one of the prisoners breaks free from his chains. He is suddenly able to turn around and see the fire, which blinds him momentarily. It is confusing and frightening, so he turns back to the wall and the reality he understands.
But then someone drags him up the pathway, past the fire, and out of the mouth of the cave. Again, he is angry and disoriented, but soon his eyes adjust to the light and he is able to see the world in all it’s 3-dimensional beauty and complexity.
He has awakened.
Awakened by escaping from the conjured trick of his reality and discovering the multi-dimensional truth of the world beyond his cave. For the first time, he sees animals and trees and rivers and other human beings who are not prisoners. And, when his eyes have finally adjusted to the environment, he looks up and sees the sun, which is the source that illuminates it all.
Transformed by his journey and the revelation he has been given, the prisoner runs back down into the cave to tell the others. But it is so dark that his eyes cannot adjust. He stumbles around like a blind man, ranting about a world that the others cannot understand. When they tell him they want to stay, he tries to drag them up the hill toward the light.
Faced with the threat of being turned insane by whatever exists beyond their wall and its shadows, they conspire against him and he is murdered.
The Cave allegory is the blueprint for a journey that many have attempted with varying degrees of success. The most famous of these was featured in another blockbuster story that became the best-selling book of all time: the Bible. Whether you believe that Jesus Christ existed or not, his story is an object lesson in the harrowing trials of transcending consensual reality and then returning to help others do the same.
Look what happened to him.
Instead of enshrining his journey as a lesson in reality hacking, the imperial church hijacked and distorted Christ’s teachings. Emperors and kings, and the popes that served them, had zero incentive to revealing a system of liberation to the very people they required to build and die for their worldly imperium. So they turned his life into a system of spiritual deception that still exists today.
But that doesn’t mean others didn’t carry it forward. They did, but under the cover of secret societies that protected the knowledge at all costs.
The Mystical Underground
Plato was a profound mystic. Which means he believed in a process through which humans can interact with the non-material, or spiritual realm. Central to his mystical teachings was that this plane is a source of truths about our world that can not be attained with our intellect. Instead, there is a hidden path to reaching that kind of “enlightenment” that can only be known by those who learn the hidden forces which govern our reality.
For the rarified class who were initiated into this knowledge, there was not only the promise of a kind of inner peace. But also the freedom and power that comes with living outside of the limitations that rule the rest of humanity. It was, and continues to be, a highly guarded and subversive form of spiritual technology.
In the Cave, Plato is telling his students that without an understanding of our world’s dimensional infrastructure, they are operating in a kind of trance which prevents them from knowing the nature of their reality. It is also about the difficult and isolating journey that must be undertaken if one wants to escape the limited experience that confines most people to a life of servitude and minor gratification. In the mystical, or mystery, schools that were formed in the centuries and millennia after Plato, these were taught as a system of specific beliefs, actions, and processes that one must undertake in order to break out of the illusion.
But Plato does not reveal those liberationist mystical steps to the reader, relying instead on very simple metaphors that keep the story in the Cave. There are practical reasons for this, chief among them: the high level of secrecy that surrounds this mystical knowledge by the elite group who possess it.
In order to access this esoteric intelligence, one has to be initiated through rigorous tests to prove that they can be trusted. And that they understand the threat posed to the Earthly rulers by those who seek to master the art of escaping this plane.
So its no surprise there weren’t any viral hits in the Cave category for a long time. That’s not to say there weren’t mystics. They just stayed underground. Until the power of the church began to fade and science became the new religion, then the mystical heresies went from being outlawed to simply ridiculed. Though the effect was the same:
Humanity remained in its cage.
Any references to our self-imposed confinement in the modern epoch were now ‘poetic’ and metaphorical and thus, meaningless. Instead of mapping the way out of this dungeon, William Blake, the Romantic poet and visionary, distilled Plato’s Cave down to a two liner.
If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.
For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.
The only traceable impact of which was the inspiration behind the naming of two highly psychedelic products: Aldous Huxley’s book about a mescaline trip, and Jim Morrison’s legendary 60’s era rock band.
So it was that humanity had to wait two millennia for the next blockbuster installment of the reality jailbreak series to drop. But when it arrived, it was a fucking masterpiece.
Enter The Matrix
The Wachowski’s 1999 sci-fi cult masterpiece brought us a hacker named Neo who is dragged up the steep incline from his own 2D flat screen reality by a hyper-cool revolutionary named Morpheus, who offers an explanation of the illusion in words that Plato never could have conjured.
“The Matrix is everywhere. It’s all around us, even in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. The Matrix is the world that has been pulled over your eyes, to blind you from the truth.”
“What truth?” Neo asks.
“That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison…for your mind….Unfortunately, no one can be…told what the Matrix is…you have to see it for yourself.”
Then Morpheus opens a container which holds two pills : a blue one, and a red one. He puts one in each hand, and holds them out to Neo. The rest is tattooed to the consciousness of a whole generation of redpill neo-Neos.
How many of us watched that scene and felt something we had never experienced before? A celluloid-induced deja vu that removed us from our virtual reality and illuminated a higher system of truth about the nature of our earthly experience?
But it was fleeting. Because then we went back to school or work or whatever occupied our days and remembered only that we had seen The Matrix, not that we were living in it.
It’s no wonder. Because after Morpheus’ description of the hi-tech stockade we are living in, there was no explanation of how to get out. Neo mastered the Matrix by leveling up his combat and parkour skills in response to Morpheus’ monotone provocations to “let it all go, Neo. Fear…doubt…and disbelief. Free your mind…”
It became impractical nonsense. Necessarily.
Because that is precisely the engine that drives (successful) third acts of modern science fiction cinema. To be commercially viable, The Matrix had to be an action film, not a treatise on the mystical ladder out of terrestrial bondage.
So once again, humanity was shown their prison, but not given a key.
Two years later, planes smashed into the World Trade Center and we entered an entirely new paradigm that placed the enemy firmly within the terrestrial framework. In the vacuum created by the War on Terror, there simply was no bandwidth for adventurist mysticism which frames the struggle of humanity against an external force that uses violence and dualism to keep them divided and enslaved.
But now, two decades later, we are moving into a highly dangerous phase of our history and there is an urgency to engineer a civilizational paradigm shift that will break us out of this holographic cocoon.
One that integrates an ancient and secret system of rungs on a mystical ladder that provides a map and path out of what, in the eyes of the great (r)evolutionary mystics, is a highly developed illusion designed to keep us locked within this third dimension that is ruled by time and space.
What will be the next installment in the reality jailbreak series launched by Plato 2400 years ago?