I’m a huge fan of the sci-fi genre. I’m the girl you see with Star Wars figures on her desk and t-shirts depicting lines of Unix code. I think most people will probably agree that The Matrix was an achievement in cinematic vision and story that has yet to be surpassed. The story of The Matrix as well as Ghost in the Shell have to rank as two of my favorites, along with The Diamond Age.
I was thinking about how we can apply The Matrix‘ concept of “living in a dream” to our own lives. Think about every day you spend “going through the motions”. Did you really savor that cup of coffee and that muffin, or did you sorta choke them down while driving or reading an article about plummeting home values in the Sunday paper? Are you talking on the phone while taking your walk, arguing with your sibling about something, or do you choose to walk in meditative peace, taking in the birds, the breeze, the sun? Can you feel your heart beating, your legs moving, the breath you take in and out, appreciate this quiet time to yourself and your health? Finally, if you were feeling aggravated about something, can you sit quietly, focusing on your breath and literally change your psychology and physiology in a few minutes?
By becoming truly aware and in the moment, and recognizing that all the “obstacles” around us are just things that “happen” in this grand stage play we call “life”. We take on the Yogic Mind.
Now, I am not writing anything groundbreaking here. It’s simple enough to make these kinds of statements. But when you try to apply this deep mindfulness to everything you do in life, it is very challenging! Think about what a leap of faith the people in The Matrix had to take. Do you have the guts to do the same thing?
The compelling thing about The Matrix is the scene where the child bends the spoon. He somehow knows he has the ability to bend reality with his mind. He knows his true self is in a higher plane of existence. Unfortunately, that higher plane is trapped inside a pod in a huge human battery, from which the life force is fueling the world of the machines. We see time and time again, people who are able to alter their realities through consistent meditation, breath and yogic movement. People have been able to be kinder, freer souls, to attract success and to reverse medical problems. There are benefits you can reap from yoga–some are almost immediate, some take place over time in a more slow, surreal fashion. But the results cannot be denied and millions of people experience them, and have been…for thousands of years.
A similar scene from sci-fi cinema that comes to mind is in Contact, the movie based on the incredible book by Carl Sagan, famed host of the tv show Cosmos. Remember when the main character played by Jodie Foster, essentially has a “mind meld” with the aliens when they finally make contact? One alien (or maybe many collectively) assumes the form of her father in their “chat” to make it a more “calm experience” for her. Contact is another approach at melding together spirituality with science…”a religion based on experience, one that avoids dogmatism, absolutes and authoritative revelation.”
People like to think yoga is a “trend”, and yes there are “trendy” studios selling us “trendy gear” and “trendy concepts”. But people who practice yoga experience this shift in consciousness every single day. It is what brings them back to the mat, or the meditation altar, or back to that yogic state of mind that bends spoons, so to speak. Think about when you are asleep and dreaming…maybe you run off a cliff and start to fall. But you have that lucid moment where you take control and will yourself to float, then fly. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have those types of dreams often enough. They are wonderful when they happen, but somehow I always seem to forget to “give that power a try”. I always get caught up in the emotion of the dream and forget that it’s a dream that will soon fade away.
We often forget in real life, that things that “happen to us” and emotions are just fading dreams. The true constant is our soul, which lives on that higher plane somewhere, somehow. The little boy and Neo both had some natural gifts, but they both had to work very hard to focus their minds so that they could get past the manipulation and falsehoods of The Matrix. So do we!