When the words ‘The Matrix’ are mentioned the first thing that comes to mind is probably the film by the same name. And this was a film that had a profound influence on many people. This was not only because of the quality of the film, but also because of the questions it made people ask and contemplate after they had watched it.
For many people it was nothing more than a very well made science fiction film and taken literally and to others it was seen as a metaphor for something much deeper and greater than the film alone could ever express.
One of the common expressions that were heard after people had watched 'The Matrix' was ‘To unplug from The Matrix’. However, although this saying and the word ‘The Matrix’ sounded good, it didn’t mean much to the average person.
What was one meant to unplug from? And what was one meant to do instead? Did one have to completely leave reality altogether in order to unplug from the matrix or was there another interpretation?
What is going to be read in the proceeding parts of this article is based on my own interpretation of what the Matrix means. It is of course neither the write interpretation and neither is it the only interpretation.
This interpretation has come about recently and is based on my current level of awareness.
I recently came into contact with something I had heard about a number of years ago. At the time it didn’t seem to mean much or have any real significance to my own life. Someone I knew was really into it and couldn’t speak highly enough of it. And What I heard this person talk about was ‘the tribal mind’. I thought it sounded good, but that’s as far as it went.
That was until now; where I have became aware of the same words again and this time they mean so much more. I then saw the connection between ‘The Matrix’ and the ‘Tribal Mind’.
The Tribal Mind
So what is the tribal mind? As I see it, the tribal mind, is, in the simplest of terms, the part of us that is conditioned by the environment that we are born into. And included in this environment is our family of origin, our society of origin and the perceptions that both of these create within us.
Another name for this could be the collective consciousness. This is something that we are all a part of. And yet there are certain individuals who have graced this earth, both in the past and in the present that are not bound by the tribal mind, the matrix or the collective consciousness. They have been able to break away from it.
This also means that the tribal mind is kept in place and supported by and through individuals. However, due to different reasons; the majority of people do not realise this and instead often feel controlled by the tribal mind.
The Consequences Of The Tribal Mind
So now that we have a description of what the tribal mind is made up of; the question is: how does this effect each one of us on an individual level and on what we can achieve?
When it comes to describing the consequences and the effects of the tribal mind, I would describe them as often being the result of unspoken rules and paradigms that are taken to be the absolute truth. That is to say; there is no question or doubt that these views are true.
These truths and paradigms can relate to every area of our individual life and to the society we live in and as an extension of that - the world. This can relate to what is somewhat significant and also to areas that are extremely significant.
Whether one is happy, healthy, successful, or wealthy can depend upon the views of the tribe that they belong to and to the larger tribe of society, that they are a part of. And whether something is seen as possible or impossible will also depend on the tribal perspectives that one has come to associate with.
Often many of the solutions that are required within individual tribes and larger tribes (societies) often exist on the outside of the tribe. And because of this are overlooked through fear or due to the tribe being unaware of these solutions. This could be a consequence of the ego mind that is programmed and only sees what it has been conditioned to see.
The Status Quo
This all leads to a general perception of what life is and what is possible to achieve. However, unless one is aware of the tribal mind and how it functions; one will conclude that this is how life is. It is unlikely that one will ever question or challenge the status quo.
And because one’s mind has been programmed from day one by the environment that there in; they will usually only see what they have been conditioned to see. If they are exposed to seeing anything else, it could easily be seen as an anomaly or as a consequence of the other person or people being different or lucky. One’s mind will hold onto this conditioning through the ego minds tendency of associating the same with what is safe.
Breaking Away From The Tribal Mind
This is, in my view, the biggest challenge in breaking away from the tribal mind. Through the minds associations of the same being safe and our early experiences of our own survival being based on pleasing others; we can sabotage our own happiness and truth to belong to the tribe.
Other people who are affected by the tribe mentality will, out of their own unawareness’, create obstacles for another. This is because they are trapped by the paradigms that the tribal mind has created, and as a result will often do what they can to keep another from breaking away.
This is one reason why the tribal mind is not something that is easy to break out of. And being rejected or not being accepted, taps into deep survival issues. Another explanation as to why this could hold such power is because of ancestral memories from way back; where if one were to be rejected from the tribe it would likely lead to death.
So even though in today’s society it is not as relevant as it was back then, the same associations have been passed from generation to generation. And unless one has looked at and processed these associations and traumas; one will still be affected.
The reason it is important for one to become conscious of these aspects and others, is so that one can be in their personal power. This power is what comes from within and is not based on external factors.
And what causes this power to be blocked is trauma and anything else that limits ones true expression. This can also be called self esteem or self worth. No matter what it is called; it is inherent in each one of us.
Until one has a certain level of personal power, it will be unlikely that one will be able to 'Unplug' from the ‘Tribal Mind’ or ‘The ‘Matrix’. And this is because the power of the tribe will be too strong for one to break away.
For each one of us power can mean something different. It can have both positive and negative connotations. On the positive side, there is the power to have an effect on one’s life and on the negative side it can mean being controlled. The meaning of power here is; the ability to have an influence over one’s life and to have the power of choice.
This is not to say that one has power over everything and yet it also doesn’t mean that one is powerless either. The mind likes to work in extremes, but we can all see that life is rarely black or white. And that what the mind projects onto the world does not always reflect reality.
Firstly, in order for one to recognise that they have the power of choice and influence over their life, there has to be a certain level of awareness. And this includes an awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, feelings, sensations and actions.
From here one will see that along with other factors; these three aspects are playing a large role in creating how their life is and on their perception of life
If one is not aware of what is going on for them, they will not know when they are regressing to an earlier stage in their life. And this could be when they were a child. Here one will behave, feel and think like they did all those years ago.
From this place it is likely that one will feel powerless and as having no choice. Here one will take on the role of the wounded inner child; that has to be healed. And this inner child only has power in relation to its caregivers; it does not possess a sense of individual empowerment.
The caregivers were the ones that were responsible and so for one to regress to this stage, it is only normal to blame another or others for what is going on. This can cause one to perceive others as the same authority figures and as having more power.
However, in order to recognise and own what one is feeling, thinking and the behaviour that one is carrying out; one needs to have functional boundaries as well as awareness. Because without boundaries one will not know where they begin and end or where another begins and ends. And without awareness one is unlikely to have boundaries.
This will cause great difficulty in knowing and being responsible for what is going on at an individual level. And to be able to own what is going on in ones reality.
This could also be called dissociation. Here the ego mind cuts off from what is going on inside, by using this defence mechanism. And this will cause one to be unaware of the fact that what going on inside, is often being mirrored externally.
How Does This Look?
When one has boundaries that are more or less nonexistent; it will be easier for other person or people to take advantage of them. And from here one is then likely to be compromised on a regular basis.
This of course will lead to feelings of anger, resentment, frustration, powerlessness and numerous other feelings, emotions, thoughts and sensations. And based on what has happened; these feelings and emotions are often justified.
Processing and Releasing
So although they need to be processed and released in the right way and in the time that one is ready; by holding onto these emotions and feelings one is giving their power away to the people or experiences that triggered them.
This is because ones attention is going into the experience and onto the other person and by doing this one is giving up their personal power and the power over one’s mind. Constantly putting their attention into the past and bypassing ones present point of power.
The mind will hold onto these experiences where one has been taken advantage of and compromised. So why does the mind hold onto what is disempowering and can only make one feel powerless?
To the mind there are only ever two options. On one side there is the experience of everything that has happened; which leads to feelings such as, revenge and wanting to ‘get even’. And on the other side there is the idea that by not getting even the other person will be let off and potential commit the same offence again.
When it comes to the identity of who one is; the mind has only the past to base itself on. And no matter whether the past is an inaccurate guide to who one is or not, it will be used to define ones perceptions of who one is and of one’s perception of the world.
But the mind exists through conditioning and is not the true self. It can appear to be the self, even though it is meant to be an assistant to the self; nothing more and nothing less.
It doesn’t have to be this way; there is another way. And this other way is to be the observer of the mind. This means that the experience is not ignored or denied; it is acknowledged and validated.
And along with this process, the lessons are learned. Where ones boundaries are weak and vulnerable; one creates healthy and more functional ones in their place.
To be able to move on from the prisons that the mind creates and to move out of the cycles of anger, dysfunctional behaviour and other emotions; one needs to forgive. This doesn’t mean that the other person is let off and that what has happened is being forgotten about. Because what one feels; is an individual experience and not truly known by another person.
By holding onto these destructive feelings and emotions, not only is ones state of mind affected; ones health will also be compromised. And although the other person or people might be influenced by the feelings that one feels, the real impact will be on one’s own mind and body.
The act of forgiveness is not a something the mind does; this is something the heart expresses.
When the Time Is Right
As I have mentioned above in regards to timing, this is a process that can’t be rushed or forced. It can only happen when one is ready to move on and forgive themselves for what has happened. To know that they did the best they could in the situation. And that the other person’s actions probably came about through their own lack of awareness and as a result of their own unprocessed pain.
It might not feel right to forgive another; one might not be ready to do so. What is important is one tune into what they are ready for and what they are not ready for. And at the right time, it will come into place.
When it comes to describing why some people cheat, it is certainly not a black and white answer. So based on my current level of awareness and intelligence; I will do my best to give some answers to this question.
I believe that in order to understand or at least try to understand why some people cheat; we need to look at three experiences. What I mean here is that there is the experience of the person who cheats, there is the experience of the person who has been cheated on and there is also the literal experience that is seen by others.
The literal experience
So let’s start off with the literal experience. Here judgments are made and one person is typically seen as a victim and the other is seen as the perpetrator. One person is classed as good and the other as bad.
There is usually questions asked, as to why the person has cheated, but these are rarely deep questions. It is also unlikely that any questions would be asked; as to why the other person has been cheated on.
The Person Who Cheats
This person has one of two options as to how they go about dealing with the conflict and pain that has been created by their actions.
They can feel a sense of regret and remorse within. Beating themselves up mentally and emotionally for the choice they have made. This will also cause incredible guilt and even shame.
It is also possible for the person to feel justified in their actions. Perhaps the person’s needs were not being met in the relationship or feel that it is not possible for the relationship to meet there needs. It could be that their partner cheated before and now they feel as though they are getting their own back.
Justification is usually a defence mechanism the ego mind uses to protect itself. It does not take much thought to see that one can justify pretty much anything.
The above options could also go in cycles and alternate; based on different internal and external factors. One could feel guilty for their actions one moment and justified for their actions in the next.
The Person Who Has Been Cheated On
Here the person is likely to feel betrayed and betrayal at the deepest level of their being. The term heartbroken comes to mind here, with a feeling that the heart has been ripped out and now all that resides there is emptiness.
One can feel as though their life is over and that they have nothing to live for any more. This can also create feelings of being powerless and of having no control.
The Two Experiences
As we look at the two main experiences it becomes clear to see that they are each having a subjective experience.
So now let’s look at this from a deeper level and see what might cause a person to cheat and also what might be going on for the other person who is being cheated on.
The Person Who Cheats
So what is going on in the mind of the person who cheats? There is of course general views on why women would cheat and why men cheat. These include mans need to procreate with as many women as possible for ‘evolutionary reasons’. And women are often viewed as being ‘emotional creatures’ that have no control.
The evolutionary answer is obviously legitimate and carries some truth. However, by using this as an answer; it says that men have no control of their actions and are therefore not responsible either. They are at the whim off there body because of evolution. And for someone who is a conscious human being and not an animal; this answer will not suffice.
What this answer does not take into account is that both men and women are usually motivated at an emotional level. And what causes this motivation is the desire to have ones needs fulfilled. And these needs that are calling out to be met are to do with the here and now or the past that has not been processed.
These needs could be classed as ‘higher’ and more evolved needs or ‘lower’ and less evolved needs. Depending on how conscious and evolved one is, will define what their primary needs are and whether their ‘lower’ needs have been met. They are classed as lower, not because they are less important than the higher needs but because they exist lower in the body and are to do with ones survival.
These lower needs typically create conflict when ones inner child carries trauma. And this causes these needs to be unmet. The needs that I am talking about consist of being: accepted, validated, nurtured, loved and approved. Although these needs are years old, they still need to be acknowledged and validated. If they are not looked, they will control one’s life. Ones behaviour is then likely to be reactive and unconscious as a result.
The reason for this is that unless the original trauma has been validated, observed and processed or at least observed; the inner child will take over and continue to create the same inner and outer conflict. One will lose their self of self. And from this place of merging with the inner child, these needs can never be met, they are insatiable. One will continue to play out the same patterns and stories of the past.
Playing Out The Past
By cheating on another person there might also be a sense of revenge, and revenge that is really meant for an original caregiver. Here the unprocessed past is now being projected onto the present person in one’s life
So whether someone will cheat will partly depend on how conscious they are and on their relationship to their inner child. Because if one is operating purely from the body, ones awareness will be extremely limited and one will be completely unaware of what consequences might occur from their actions. All that is on their mind is the fulfilment of their current needs or impulses. The ability of the heart to empathise is basically out of use or has been bypassed.
I believe that describing women as emotional creatures or as being from another planet just creates more confusion. When in reality, women just like men, have masculine and feminine traits within. If they are over emotional and act in irresponsible ways; it shows that they also have inner child work to do.
The Person Who Has Been Cheated On
It is natural for the person to feel like a victim and that all of the feelings that they are experiencing are being caused by the person who cheated on them. And all that happens during this time needs to be honoured, validated and grieved.
However, does another person really have the power to cause another person to feel rejected, abandoned, powerless and empty for example? Does ones wellbeing really rest upon another?
What I believe is actually occurring here is the past that has not been processed, is appearing once more. And that the reason these emotions and feelings are so intense is because old unprocessed wounds, relating to original caregivers, are being opened.
This will not be realised unless one has some kind of inner awareness. And all of the unprocessed feelings of rejection, abandonment, loss, betrayal, powerlessness, hopelessness and the emotions of anger, frustration and resentment that still exist from the original trauma in ones childhood; will now be projected onto the present partner.
It could also be said that if one has experienced intense abandonment and rejection as a child, it will make them vulnerable to experiencing them as an adult. There might even be an expectation that the partner will leave them, just like their caregivers/s did.
Feelings of low self worth are created through these early experiences of neglect and this can lead to self sabotage. Here one can unconsciously act in ways that will push the other person away and to go with another person. The reason for this that the ego mind came to associate the early experiences as being safe and now as a result of this; continues to create the same patterns in the present.
This shows how important it is for one to become conscious of their past and to process it. Because all that has not been looked at will influence ones present life. It will define what kind of people one will attract and on the quality of the relationships that one has.
A relationship can lead to the loss of one’s individual identity; however it does not remove the fact that one is having their own unique experience. And this experience is allowing one to become aware of all that needs to be processed for one to become a whole human being. The past that is unfinished and unprocessed is being brought up to the surface through the relationships that one has with others.
However, this involves looking at relationships symbolically, as opposed to literally. Observing what happens instead of getting emotionally trapped by what happens and the ‘drama’ of the experience.
Occurrences like enmeshment and dependency cause one to lose their sense of self. This is partly down to having boundaries that are nonexistent and this allows dysfunctional relationships to occur. This can lead to the illusion of being incomplete and empty and that one needs another to feel whole.
This is a common idea and belief in our society, but it is one that is both false and dysfunctional. And one that has the potential to create years of needless confusion and suffering. This shows that a new paradigm is required in our society, when it comes to the purpose of a relationship.
I believe that the journey one embarks on to understand who and what they are; is one that could be classed as an individual journey. There will of course be many people who one encounters during this journey. And the amount of time that these people will be around for will depend on various factors.
Some could be around for what seems like forever and others could be around for what seems like a moment. And with a blink of an eye they are gone and exist as a memory. Perhaps this is a pleasant memory or maybe it’s an unpleasant memory.
However, each relationship that one has will carry with it the opportunity to understand oneself a little better. The relationships will enable one to see parts that have yet to be realised and integrated or a part that needs to be processed and released. This will allow one to go to the next stage or their growth and development as a human being.
One begins to see life not only in a literal manner, but also symbolically. Here relationships will not merely be interpreted and understood by what has happened. They will begin to be understood in terms of what there deeper meaning could be.
Leading to Questions such as: what might his relationship be showing me? What am I holding onto that no longer serves me? Although some of the answers that one gets from these questions could be classed as negative; they each contain the seed for one’s personal growth.
People will often be seen as messengers or actors and as people that bring with them a gift. During the experience, it might seem to be more like a curse than a gift. Just as we have the potential to be messengers and actors to the people we come into contact with.
The Inner World
To see life this way requires the awareness of one’s inner world. And this inner world includes our feelings, thoughts, emotions, images, and sensations. By becoming conscious of all that resides here; one will be able to bridge the gap between the so called outer and inner world.
This awareness will allow one to see the symbolic nature of what happens in their life; matching it up with what they are experiencing inside. Conflict that exists within can then be seen as equally existing without and vice versa.
One will also begin to see how important it is to protect this space. The awareness of this space will enable one to know what their needs are; if they feel compromised and are going against their own truth.
It also leads one to being able to emotionally regulate themselves; instead of ones emotions taking over and looking for external means to deal with them.
Part of the journey of self realisation is in the forming healthy boundaries; this means one will achieve an understanding of where they start and end and where another starts and ends. By having healthy boundaries one will understand what is theirs and what is another’s. What one is responsible for and what is another’s responsibility.
And through owning what is coming up in ones inner world; one will begin to own what is going on there. This means that one no longer blindly projects their conflict onto other people and the outside world.
Having boundaries also allows one to be an individual. This means that one’s sense of self is no longer caught up in another person, place or thing. Or in looking for wholeness externally; where it cannot be found.
We are all born into a ‘tribe’. And the first tribe that one has is usually the family that they were born into. It then extends out into the world, and can include many different groups.
From the very beginning one will be conditioned by the other tribe members and as a result one will come to see the world as the tribe does. This has the potential to define who one should be, what is possible and who one is.
Ones whole sense of survival then becomes associated with the tribe. And because of this association, any experience of disapproval or rejection can create incredible amounts of fear and anxiety should one go against the tribe’s wishes.
This is where the importance of personal power (self esteem) comes in to the equation. For if one has no personal power and only has power based on the tribe, it is highly unlikely that one will ever go against the tribes views and beliefs about the world.
One has to develop a sufficient amount of their own power, in order to stand up for what they believe and to follow the path that only they can know. I would describe this as bringing the heart, mind and body together. This is the body’s power, the hearts vision and the minds planning abilities.
Choosing to follow one’s own path will inevitably lead to the rejection of certain people within the tribe or perhaps the whole tribe. This will test ones commitment and strength to what they hold true. It does not mean that one no longer has the support of a tribe and that they are now on their own.
What it means is that one will find other tribes and that the people in these other tribes will be able to show the support and validation that the previous tribes could not offer.
The path that one takes can only be known by the individual. Another will be able to offer inspiration, support and to be a catalyst. These people can act like a mirror; reflecting back what one is unaware off.
And the saying ‘everyone is a teacher and a student’ is applicable here. This shows that it is not just people with certain credentials and statuses that can make a difference to ones life.
So Is One Really Alone?
So does this mean that one is alone in this world? I don’t believe so, I think that what this actually means is one is connected to life itself. Instead of being constantly caught up in the ego minds ideas and perceptions of life and believing that these things are reality; one becomes the observer of these aspects.
One begins to understand that more and more of what they desire actually resides within and does not exist in the world. And that it is only through the identification to the negative or traumatised ego that causes one to see otherwise.
The word mask is described as: an object normally worn on the face, typically for protection, disguise, performance or entertainment.
However, the mask that I am talking about here is an emotional mask. This can effect: how one sees themselves in the mirror; how one believes other people see them and how one feels about themselves and their capabilities.
And this mask might have very little to do with who one actually is. This is a mask that has typically been formed through the interactions and experiences one has with other people. And based on these two aspects one then comes to the conclusion of who they are.
No Longer A Mask
If this mask has been worn all one’s life, it might not even seem like a mask any more. Like a real face; it could appear to be real and who one is.
A parasite has to rely on the sustenance of another to survive and this emotional mask is no different. However, what keeps the emotional mask in place is fear.
From The Very Beginning
One may have been born into an environment where they were forced to wear a mask. Having little to no choice; this mask allowed them to survive. Any sign or expression of their true nature was oppressed and denied.
In ones heart there may have been an awareness that this was not who they are. But due to the behaviour of the people around them it had to be hidden.
These people were probably operating from masks themselves. And as a result of living out their years behind a mask; couldn’t bear to see a person without a mask. So they carried out the same or similar behaviour to what they had experienced in their childhood.
This is not because they are inherently malicious; it is the result of being unaware and acting out their own anger and frustrations from their own childhood. And these dysfunctional patterns are waiting to be processed and healed.
It is here, that the fear of taking the emotional mask off is usually created. One might have been accepted for doing certain things and rejected for others. There might have also been spoken and unspoken rules for what emotions were acceptable and unacceptable.
These associations go deep into the cells of the body; creating what one feels comfortable showing and what one fears showing. Keeping the mask on then becomes associated with ones survival.
As Time Goes By
After years of enforcing and validating the emotional mask; one then goes on to express the behaviours that were safe to express all those years ago. Hiding all that was deemed inappropriate. One could then be described as an incomplete being; with part of the self being hidden and rejected.
Here one is also likely to attract people who also wear masks and who will only accept then for the mask that they wear.
It does not mean that it is only safe to wear a mask in the outside world; what it means is that people simply project their fears onto others. This is the fear of not being accepted for who they are. As the saying goes ‘like attracts like’.
There are also society’s rules and expectations as to how one should behave, who one should be and what emotions should be displayed in public.
These become part of the culture that a society stands for. This can create further dissociation and estrangement to one’s own self.
Although one might have worn this mask for many years, there could still be an inner voice or feeling that something is not right. That the person other people see and how one feels about who they are; is not actually who they are.
And along with this deeper understanding, will be the presence of fear. There might also be the expectations and ideas of others; about how one should be and how one should act.
Ones commitment to themselves will be tested and challenged. Will pleasing and gaining the approval of another come first or will one follow their heart?
There is always the possibility that one will know that something is not right, however there is also the chance that one will feel a sense of disconnection and dissociation from their true self.
From this perception of life, it is only normal to perceive life as meaningless and void of having any kind of purpose. One can then live from a place of mere survival. And this can create an incredible amount of suffering.
Once one has lost this connection to themselves, it is then only normal and natural to look outside for meaning and purpose. Of course one can be inspired and influenced by what one sees outside. But there will also be the feeling that something is not right and that one’s own expression is missing.
What is right for oneself and what ones purpose is can only come from within.
It could be said that there are two types of suffering. On one side there is suffering that is caused through the loss of a loved one or in the ending of a relationship for example.
And that there is also the experience of suffering that is caused by going against one’s own truth. By not following what is right for oneself and this can also cause incredible suffering.
Escapes and Releases
And to deal with or remedy the pain that is created through not doing what is right for oneself, society has a myriad of escapes. These escapes can only ever provide a temporary release. However, with the relief only ever being a short term solution; the original pain only increases.
And the ego mind through its dual nature only wants to look out what is pleasurable and will do everything it can to ignore and deny anything that is not. Here one of many defence mechanisms can be applied.
It is in our ‘darker’ nature that much of who we are resides. This is waiting to be integrated and embraced. For our wholeness as human beings depends upon the merging of this side.
Through the process of awareness one can become in tune with one’s own nature and the truth of who they are.
Another can offer their guidance and be a mirror, but the only person who knows what is right, is oneself.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant - With Over 2,000,000 Article Views Online.
That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.