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S1E1: Conspiracy Theories and the Awakening of Consciousness

Last updated on 2023-01-11

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Espiritualidad y Ciencia
Espiritualidad y Ciencia
S1E1: Conspiracy Theories and the Awakening of Consciousness
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One of the fundamental principles of the spiritual journey is what is known as the “awakening of consciousness.” This phrase, repeated with slight variations throughout history is always heard as a novel invitation, something that “is emerging in current times.” One of the modern popular references to this expression comes from the famous film: “The Matrix”, by Lana and Lilly Wachowski, which by the way, is 20 years old now. Well, as you will remember, there the protagonist whose name “Neo” is an anagram of “ONE” (Chosen) and “New”, embarks on the search for the answer to the question: “What is the matrix”. 

Later, of course, you come across your answer, and it turns out that “The Matrix” is nothing more and nothing less than a control system that machines have built to keep human beings asleep while using us as energy sources to feed themselves. 

The story ends then when Neo, after disconnecting from the matrix, learns to hack, so to speak, the code of the matrix and can reinsert himself into it to free humanity enslaved by machines. 

As many of you know, The Wachowski sisters are famous for their mystical and philosophical thinking. It is no coincidence that The Matrix is full of religious and esoteric symbols such as the names of the places and protagonists, in addition to the story. Well, the Wachowskis built much of this spectacular world of the Matrix based on spiritual knowledge of various origins, but above all, a philosophical text written by Jean Baudrillard called “Simulation and Simulacra.” They also studied evolutionary psychology and Hindu mysticism, but especially Baudrillard’s book which focuses on the issue of the authenticity of the physical world, questioning that what we see around us is the true reality. 

Because of this, many spiritual traditions, especially the so-called new age ones, have adopted the concept that the matrix explores and tell us that we live in a world of fantasy, of illusion: Maya, as the Hindu Vedas say. 

So, the wake-up call from a dream of the mind, created by ruling classes seems recent, but it is not, if we look further back, we realize that this concept is part of the basis of Marxism and Communism. In the language of the time, the proletariat was told that it had to realize its role as creators of wealth for society and regain the power that was in the hands of the bourgeoisie or the oligarchy, which dominated the means of production and the capital. 

But even these concepts that come from the mid-nineteenth century, are far from being the origin of the concern to awaken consciousness. The oldest recorded origin is the Allegory of the Cave, also known as the Myth of the Cave, written by Plato more than two thousand years ago. 

The Allegory of the Cave 

Plato described, in his allegory of the cave, a cavernous space in which a group of male prisoners has been found since birth, with chains that hold their necks and legs so that they can only look towards the back wall of the cave without ever being able to turn their head. Just behind them is a wall with a corridor and next, and in order of proximity to the men, a bonfire and the entrance to the cave that leads to the outside. Men carrying all kinds of objects circulate through the corridor of the wall whose shadows, thanks to the lighting of the bonfire, are projected on the wall that the prisoners can see. 

These chained men consider the shadows of objects to be the truth. Due to the circumstances of their prison, they are condemned to only take each one of the projected shadows as the truth since they cannot know anything that happens behind their backs. 

The narration continues by asking us what would happen if one of these men were freed and forced to turn towards the light of the bonfire, thus contemplating a new reality. A deeper and more complete reality since this is the cause and foundation of the first, which is composed only of sensible appearances. Once the man has assumed this new situation, he is forced again to head out of the cave through a rough and steep climb, appreciating a new external reality (men, trees, lakes, stars, etc. identified with the unintelligible world.), which is the foundation of the previous realities, so that later he will be forced to see directly “the Sun and all that is proper”, a metaphor that embodies the concept of good. 

The allegory ends by making the prisoner enter the cave again to “free” his former companions from chains, which would make them laugh at him. The reason for the mockery would be to affirm that his eyes have been damaged when he is now blinded by the passage from the light of the sun to the darkness of the cave. When this prisoner tries to untie and make his former companions rise to the light, Plato tells us that they would be able to kill him and that they will indeed do so when they have the opportunity, which is an allusion to Socrates’ effort to help men to reach the truth and due to his failure, his condemnation to death. 

Other visions of the Matrix 

We could think that the figure of the awakening of consciousness is exclusive to philosophers and mystics but it is not so, the idea that there is a hidden order that maintains power and control over society and that has us turned into its slaves can be seen today nowadays in the politics of the United States as a workhorse, not of the left but quite the opposite, of the most recalcitrant right that supports President Donald Trump. 

His version of the matrix or the cavern is called The Deep State. As it turns out, for a large part of Trump’s Republican base, the United States has been secretly controlled by the Washington “Establishment”, that is, the most powerful families like the Rockefellers, the Kocks, and now Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos. According to Infowars and other of Trump’s preferred news portals, the Clintons are the political allies of these billionaire families, and their goal is to remove Trump from the presidency to return to the “status quo” and “take away” power from working and honest Americans who, supposedly, won the presidency through Trump. 

I will mention another extreme example of the Matrix in the world, and it is the case of the Reptilian theory, disclosed by the British writer David Icke. Mr. Icke tells us that the world is under the control of an alien species of reptilians that can shape-shift to appear human, who feed on blood, eat babies and other more sordid things, and who, allegedly, dominate the Stock market, industry, and politics. According to Icke, the British royal family is made up of reptilians, and he claims to have testimonies from people who have seen them transform into lizards. 

Anyway, we could continue talking about dozens of conspiracy theories about those who are in control of the world and invite us to rebel against that evil order to be totally free. 

So, the question I ask myself is: why do human beings have such a fascination for these conspiracy theories? What makes us think that there is a nefarious elite that feeds on our blood, our energy, or our work and keeps us enslaved while they keep us distracted with the little shadows on the wall of the cavern? 

Well, some sociologists and psychologists have studied this phenomenon with much more competence than I have, but I am going to venture with two theories: the first is that part of our instinct as humans is to form elites and try to control and excel over groups weaker than us. Wise men say that what we see outside is a reflection of what we have inside, and it is very possible that deep down we all have that cheating and controlling chip in our minds, ready to activate as soon as we are in the right position. 

I’m not saying that humans are essentially bad, because it has been studied and shown that humans have an innate tendency to cooperate and form alliances too. However, Sean Caroll, the author of the book “The Big Picture”, says that there have been scientific studies showing that under certain conditions, people tend to Associate to outperform less favored groups. Let’s say that it is an evolutionary adaptation that we have developed in our brain that leads us to seek the greatest possible advantage for ourselves, which surely was particularly useful to survive in an environment where food was scarce, and we had to compete for it at all costs. 

You will hear me make constant references to the anthropology of our hunter-gatherer ancestors because in my research I have found that a substantial number of phenomena of consciousness find their origin in the hundreds of thousands of years of evolution that we lived when we ate carrion in the African savannas, and we made finger paintings in the caves… Well, it is no coincidence that it is precisely in a cavern where this archetype of human knowledge develops! 

In short, we believe that there is an elite that deceives us to dominate us because deep down there is a part of us that tells us that if we had the opportunity and the power to do so, we may choose to deceive to dominate others. 

The second theory is one that I have borrowed from Javier Santaolalla, a scientific communicator that I have followed for some time now, and that in a video that I will link in the comments, explains very clearly why conspiracy theories fascinate us. It is also one of the conclusions of Yuval Noah Harari in his magnificent work “Sapiens”: We humans are passionate about stories. 

Stories are much more than entertainment, it is the way we learned to understand the world, to relate, to define our environment, and finally to create our society. Religion is based on stories that we tell ourselves about the origin of life, the universe, and the purpose of existence. In short, the stories make us feel that we fit into a plan, in order and that we are not simply vanes carried by the wind or spinning tops that spin aimlessly. 

Statisticians and data analysts understand the world as flows of information that interact, correlate, and affect each other, but ordinary people like us cannot process data like a computer. Our brain needs a story that shapes this data, with an introduction, a middle, and an end. So, we create stories to explain what we understand but also what we can’t understand. 

We have an innate fear of corrupt elites who want to deceive and dominate us, and we create stories to try to fit the little evidence we have. We add characters, and a plot and we have our next conspiracy theory … Or our next version of The Matrix! 

Conclusion 

But then, do I mean that there is no matrix? That there is no need to awaken consciousness? Absolutely not! There is a world of illusions and deception, and we must try to observe and analyze to be able to discern and try to escape from it. What I do not believe is that there is a person, a family, or even an elite that has created this illusion, much less has control over it. 

You and I are co-authors of this Matrix. Our parents and grandparents contributed to creating it, but there is no evil in it. We have created a society with certain values, fears, structures, and taboos because it is the natural evolution of the values, fears, structures, and taboos that our ancestors of the African savannah and then the farmers of the fertile crescent created. 

Our current matrix is the frenetic pace of economic growth, debt, speculation, isolation, damage to the environment, anxiety, predation of natural resources, and consumption of information. It is the society that we have built for millennia and in which we go like a car without brakes. The conspiracy theories about reptilians, Illuminati, the deep state, Zionism, Bill Gates, Vaccines, 5G, etc., those are pure distractions that we invent so as not to take responsibility for our creation. To be able to say, “they are the culprits, not us”. 

Difficult to accept? Totally! The truth will always be harder to swallow and less entertaining than conspiracy stories, but I believe the truth will always be better. 

If I have not managed to convince you that the truth is in front of your eyes, then you can take the blue pill, not listen to me anymore and continue living the fantasy of the world we have created. If you are willing to accept your responsibility and accompany me to try and find the truth, take the red pill and I will show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. 

Where we are going is a choice that I leave to you. 

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