As I walked out of the theater at the premier of The Matrix, while everyone else was talking about the game changing special effects and innovative fight scenes, I was obsessed with something else. The Red Pill and the Blue Pill. The nagging brain worm that something wasn’t right with the world, there was more underneath if you could just find it. The idea that we are asleep to reality most of our lives and it is possible to wake up and maybe even tap into some superpowers.
For the last three years I have been indulging this brain worm on a deep dive into waking up and becoming aware. Waking up is hard. Sleep walking through life is so much easier. I enjoy wandering and bumping into trees and having random experiences along the path, but sometimes I end up stuck in a traffic circle, or endlessly distracted by shiny things. At that point I need tools, catalysts, doors finders. Lately I have been digging into the science behind finding your path and am uncovering some helpful self assessment (wake up) and intervention (stay awake) tools. I hope to get a bunch of these into easily digestible forms for broad distribution. Why? To improve my own understanding and awareness. To maybe connect a couple of dots. Should you take the tests and investigate your own life also?. Not because I say so, but because you are searching too.
The two central elements of Eudiamonist philosophy are: (1) “know thyself” (inscription on the temple of Apollo at Delphi) and (2) “choose thyself”, or in the words of Pindar, “become who you are.” Eudiamonism calls on each person to live in accordance with his/her inner daimon, that is, to strive toward self-realization. However, before it is possible to make any notable progress toward self-realization, it is necessary to have recognized and decided what type of person one is now. The ancient Greeks could spend a whole life in this search. Who has time for that now? We need updated tools. We need to use technology and the accumulated wisdom of the ages to hack self-discovery. New tools should speed this process up and then we can get on to the doing and being part of life. It took me too long, I hope your journey helped with these tools.
I am not a therapist and don’t play one on TV. I am not an expert in any scientific or academic field. But I have connected a couple of dots along the way. These are examination tools and you are the patient and doctor. They are designed to be short and relatively dense allowing for Hopefully their use raises relevant questions, opens new paths on the journey, increases understanding and awareness. You are the one that has to take the steps, open the doors, decide on the direction and keep going. The Red Pill or the Blue Pill. Your decision.
For me this journey has little to do with today’s self help industry or positive psychology movement. I have had my fill of “you can do it” sloganeering, that is part of the dream world. I am wholly uninterested in platitudes and empty motivation. I want to know myself and understand what works and what is real and true. Sometimes the truth is you can’t get what you want. But everyone can examine their wants for authenticity. I have found that some prior wants were based on screwed up value systems and were inauthentic to my true self so they were put aside. This journey for me is about finding the red pill and putting aside the dream world.
Over 2,200 years before the Matrix, Marcus Aurelius wrote, “It’s the truth I’m after, and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance.” His “Meditations” were primarily for himself as my musings here are.
Not making a decision is making one.
Ignorance is not an excuse nor is it bliss.
Only you can figure out yourself.
I took the Red Pill.
Also published on Medium.