Thursday, July 1, 2021

How to Overcome the Matrix: What is the Matrix? How do we Escape the Matrix?

Do you want to know what it is? The matrix? It seems like you do. Something brought you here. Something within you that longs for something more. 

So what exactly is the matrix? The matrix is the grid of thoughts, ideas, beliefs, customs, philosophies, and unspoken codes that manipulate us into following a road that leads nowhere.

The goal of the system around us is to successfully lead us to our own enslavement.  

It functions from birth to condition us toward a certain secular modernist mindset. It functions in the entertainment realm. It functions in the public school system. It functions in the norms shared and developed by our friends and neighbors. It guides us k-12 toward a certain set of beliefs about the world around us. The process continues into college and/or the business world. It solidifies in the drive to attain wealth, status, power, possessions, and influence in society.  

Yet we can all sense that something fundamental is missing in our lives. There is a fundamental emptiness in each of us that can't quite be contained.  It can't quite be filled by any experience or substance. It can be temporarily drowned out. But it is never quite satisfied. It is a gaping maw within each of us that can't be filled. It is a bottomless pit that is never filled.

This bottomless pit urges many, many of us to ask the question: "What is the matrix?" 

It urges us after the busy day of work and play to ponder and walk into empty places trying to understand what the emptiness within us means. 

This is the beginning of the journey in which we escape the matrix. I call it the process of the night train. We begin to walk into empty places, leaving behind the busy world, at least mentally, and we begin to sonder into another world.  We walk into emptiness. Why? I'm not exactly sure. Maybe because emptiness is quiet. And beautiful. 

We can spend weeks, months, and even years in the emptiness, pondering, yearning, and dreaming.  But eventually something magnificent happens.  In the night, a train appears, and we board the train, and it takes us away.

Of course I don't mean a literal train appears, and takes us away. Instead, it is a metaphorical train. This is the moment when in the emptiness, the truth finds us. And the truth will find us.  Of course there are other ways to come to know the truth and escape the matrix.  Many, many routes lead out of the matrix.  But for me, I went by way of the night train.  I'm sure some of you have done so as well.

The night train is what some might call prevenient grace. It's the guiding force that leads us toward the truth.  And in a very real way it "takes us." We would otherwise wander in emptiness forever and never come to any knowledge of the truth. Without the train we would be lost.  And we don't really deserve the train either.

And boarding the train I don't think we even know what it is. But we can feel what it is.  It's something very sacred.  So we board the train and we realize we have a ticket in our pocket with great surprise. We've been invited. The darkness and emptiness was the train station. But if you never wander, you'll never find the train.  But as I said, there are other routes out of the matrix. This is just the one I experienced.

The train takes us away into the night, chugging along through dark valleys, and mysterious meadows, through mountains and across rivers, through the night. Eventually the train brings us to our destination. An underground cavern.  And we climb into the underground cavern and in the cavern we find the truth.

The truth is in some ways like a pair of glasses we put on. Like that movie "They Live" we begin to understand what the matrix is. We see that entertainment conditions us. We see the propaganda of the public school system. We see the extremism of the university system. We see the corruption of the political and business realms. We begin to see the spiritual battle that is being waged all around us. 

You've been thoroughly indoctrinated to believe that the material universe is all that exists. This is false. There is a spiritual realm that exists all around us, and in this spiritual realm is where the battle for our souls is fought. 

That is the real, fundamental truth of reality: You have a choice to make.  The choice is hidden from you by the system, as much as possible. The goal of the system is to build a false reality around you that is so complete and seamless that you make the wrong choice without even realizing there is another option.

You have a choice to make. That is the key function of this universe. Your choice, and what preceeds from your choice. And it's repeated each day, until you die. Choice, choice, choice... free will. And how you will use it as a free agent.

You are being graded based on your decisions. Which means the fundamental reality of the universe is moral and ethical in nature.

The choice is wide-ranging, expressing itself in infinite ways. But each choice can be broken down to two choices. There are two basic choices we can make. Choice 1, rebellion. This is the state the system around you guides you toward. Through ignorance, through deception, an argument, philosophy, through ideology, through the appeal of pleasure, whatever the scheme is, it's all designed to deceive or manipulate you into embracing rebellion. Rebellion against God. Rebellion against the moral nature of the universe. Rebellion to that which is actual. Rebellion through redefining reality to suite our own desires.

The second choice, the more difficult choice is loving the truth. Faithful trust in the moral imperative of the universe. Embracing reality as it truly is. Obedience to the truth. Faith in the truth. Allowing the intelligent designer of the universe to reshape you into a new being, declared morally perfect, guided toward moral perfection, remade to be what humanity was originally meant to be, perfect, beautiful, creative agents in a flawless, sublime universe.

We have our lives to make the choice. And the default mode of each human is toward rebellion. That is the natural reaction of our minds, our emotions, and all that we are. We prefer rebellion, in various forms. It even seems heroic to us. It seems right to us. 

But we only have our lives to make the choice. Eventually time runs out. And the choice we make in this life, whether it's rebellion or the truth, is stamped for eternity, beyond the veil of this life. 

If rebellion is chosen, hell is the result. Destruction is the result. Quarantine, away from paradise, for eternity. Why? I don't know. That's above my pay grade. It's real though. 100% real. 

If the truth is chosen, paradise is the result. Rapture is the result. Joy is the result. Perfection is the result.  And this paradise seems to be without end, just as much as the other option is without end. Apparently each human soul is fundamentally eternal in nature, it can't simply be discarded or destroyed at the completion of life on this present Earth. 

That is the choice before every human right now at this moment in history. And we all make the choice every day. We either choose truth or we choose lies. We either slide closer to God, or slide further from God.  Each day it repeats. And we make our choices. 

Even as a Christian myself, I must admit that many days, more than I'd like, I don't live out what I believe to the fullest extent that I could. Given how much is at stake, why would I do that?

The Christian lives in a tension. A tension between the new nature in Christ and the old fallen nature that still clings to the soul until death do us part. If we choose God, the old nature will eventually be removed completely and the new self can get on with a whole new adventure in the next life.  What that adventure looks like exactly is once again beyond my pay grade, though I wouldn't even hazard the slightest guess, I can only imagine it will be an incredible adventure beyond what we could comprehend now. If we choose death, then the fallen nature becomes our permanent reality. The new man fades away, and we embrace the fallenness for all time in a place called "hell" "hades" "outer darkness" and so on.  Some Christians will no doubt through continual sin or apostasy (recanting trust in Christ) will attend to hell for all time.  All non-believers will attend to hell. Those of other religions will also attend to hell. It's quite shocking when we fully realize the stakes that exist right now.  I'm shocked by it.  But there it is.  

The tension is why we often don't fully live out who we are in Christ.  That's one side of it.  Our fallen nature. The other side of it is the matrix.  Even as Christians, we can be continue to be deceived by the matrix. Particularly in our present day babylon, the United States, we are constantly bombarded with propaganda straight from the pit of hell. 

It is increasingly complete, from birth to death, it is everywhere, more so than ever in history I imagine.  Television, internet, news media slant, social media censorship, commercials, billboards, Hollywood, celebrity culture, public education, universities, late night talk shows, government agencies, businesses, consumerism, luxury, entertainment, pleasure, on and on the list goes.  It's a stifling all encompassing Vanity fair that calls us day and night to compromise what we believe in Christ.  It's a political agenda that urges us toward darkness. It's a constant cry to live for self-pleasure instead of for God. It's a constant drum beat of lies, half-truths, deceptions, social pressures, agendas, and scientisms that all attempt to drive away from faith in Christ.  We all know so many Christians that live compromised lives, and seem to have more in common with popular culture and talk show rhetoric than they do with the Bible and Jesus Christ. 

The matrix has always existed to a certain extent in every culture and society in the world. It has existed since the moment of the fall when the kingdom of darkness gained control of the world we live on. It's always been here to some extent.  Abram faced it outside of Sodom and Gomorrah. Moses faced it when he led the people out of slavery in Egypt. Joshua faced it in his battles to take the promised land. Solomon faced it in his marriage to many foreign wives.  Daniel faced it in exile in Babylon. The Jews faced it under the oppression of the Romans. Perpetua faced it when her father insisted she give up the faith and evade the arena. The early church faced it time and again in the persecutions. Martin Luther faced it in his battle against the sale of indulgences. John Wesley faced it as he fought to rally the dead churches of his day to revival. William Booth faced it in his campaigns against the evils of darkest England.  Mother Teresa faced it in Calcutta, gathering the abandoned children to safety. Richard Wurmbrand faced it in Romania when the communists took over the church and imprisoned him. Today Christianity is the number one most persecuted religion in the world.  But no one seems to care too much.  It doesn't fit the news media's narrative of colonial imperialist oppression by Christians.  

It’s important to remember that we reside in enemy territory. There is a great tension between us and the world.

The battle we face in the west is not yet at the stage of dying for Christ. It is a battle of social pressure. It's a battle of political ideologies. It's a battle of Christians being lost to deception and worldliness. The battle is within ourselves though.  Someday soon it will be against forces outside ourselves that want us dead. Today it's a battle within.  The battle between rebellion and truth. I fight it everyday. We're all our own worst enemy. He who can conquer himself is greater than he who can conquer a city. Remember that. 

How do we escape the matrix? The escape is found in Jesus Christ of Nazareth. No one wants to hear that, but it's the truth.  It was the last option I wanted. But here we are. And I've accepted the truth.  We are our own worst enemy.  I needed Jesus to come within and change me from the inside. Because the truth is I can't do much of anything at all without Christ inside me guiding me on the right path.  That is where the night train leads. It leads to Jesus. No one said we would like where the train takes us. But I've found it's quite more beautiful than I had thought. 

I realized I had propagandized not only about everything else in the world, but about Jesus and Christianity as well. I had been plastered with false ideas about these things, no doubt to keep me away from exploring them. Such a clever enemy we face. The lies of the matrix try to paper over Christianity with lies, darkness, evil, and sin. It tries to drag Jesus down into the muck, at least from our perspective, so we see it as just another dead end. But when we toss out the old false ideas projected by the matrix, what we realize, what I came to realize was, Jesus is really the truth.  When everything else fades away, Jesus is really real. 

That is the only escape from the matrix. That's how we board the hovership and begin our battle against the darkness, and begin winning minds to Christ.  But there is a second escape to be made. We can be brainwashed as Christians, turned into cancer cells to the body of Christ, I see this all the time, progressive Christians, Christians living in sin, lukewarm Christians, they turn and attack the body, instead of fighting to win souls and defeat the darkness, they turn and attack their own, they are brainwashed cancer cell Christians, who actually fight against their own brethren in Christ, because they've been successfully propagandized by the world. The second escape is effected by the Holy Spirit. Christ has delivered us from the matrix's total control of our internal world.  The Holy Spirit delivers us from the external stimuli that would threaten to shipwreck our walk with Christ. The Holy Spirit reveals the truth about the world to us, and helps us to have our final victory over the matrix. The final victory over the matrix is when we overcome the world, when we overcome the darkness, and when we overcome ourselves.  It is the victory talked about in Revelation, the final victory over ourselves, evil, and the world.  That is the final victory over the matrix, when we look like Neo did, and we see the code, instead of the lies. We see the code itself, how people are propagandized, how people are deceived, the schemes of the forces of Satan as they manipulate the masses to do their bidding. That is the moment when we become deadly, dangerous Christians who pose a serious threat to the kingdom of darkness. That is what you must become. You must become a follower of Jesus yes, but you must overcome the world, the darkness, and yourself. Only then will you have victory over the matrix and escape the matrix forever. 

To go more in depth along these lines consider taking a look at the book: Escaping the Matrix by Larson & Boyd