Notes on the Journey

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Free Your Mind

I watched "The Matrix" last night.  I LOVE that film.  It's the most spiritual film dressed in the coolest clothes.  It's deep, it's visually captivating, it's kick ass, it's tender, and it's empowering.

At one point, when Morpheus is teaching Neo how to fight inside the martial arts training program, he says, "I'm trying to free your mind, Neo.  But, I can only show you the door.  You're the one that has to walk through it."  And, that's true for all of us.  No one can do it for us.  They can only point the way.  We each have to find our power within.  We each have to believe in ourselves.  We each have to find our own place of knowing.

After the martial arts training program, Morpheus loads the jump program.  He and Neo land on the roof of a skyscraper.  Morpheus says to Neo, "You have to let it all go, Neo.  Fear, doubt and disbelief.  Free.  Your.  Mind."  And then, Morpheus takes a flying leap from the top of one building over to the next.  Neo then tries it and falls down and smashes into the concrete below.  He wasn't able yet to fully let go and stay focused on the goal.  He looked down, and that's where he went.  How often are we able to stay focused on our goals without getting sidetracked, or looking down?  How often does self doubt come in and sabotage us before we reach the finish line?  How often are we really able to let it all go?  How often are we able to walk forward into the great unknown, knowing and believing in ourselves enough to face whatever comes with confidence?

At a certain point, Morpheus decides that Neo is ready to go see the Oracle.  When Neo walks into the apartment, there are a number of other "potentials" sitting there.  A couple of them are juggling wooden blocks in the air without touching them, and another boy is bending spoons.  Neo's attention is drawn to the boy who's bending spoons and he asks the boy how he does it.  The Boy answers:  "Do not try and bend the spoon.  That's impossible.  Instead, only try to realize the truth."  Neo:  "What truth?"  Boy:  "There is no spoon."  Neo:  "There is no spoon?"  Boy:  "Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself."  And, Neo bends the spoon.

I say "there is no spoon" to myself as a mantra sometimes.  And, there's a point later in the movie when Neo has to suspend his historical belief in what he's capable of in order to accomplish the task at hand and he says to himself, "There is no spoon."  To remind ourselves that it's all inside of us, that we're creating it all, and that there are no limits except the ones we place upon ourselves is a very powerful reminder.  Neo's experience breaks him out of the old thought patterns and shows him who he really is, and he runs with it.  We each have to utilize our own experiences to break ourselves out of our old thought patterns and allow ourselves to be who we really are.  We have to find ways to discover the truth in our daily experiences and see beyond the veils of illusion that convince us we're less rather than more.  It's not about the outside, although the outside can point us in the direction we need to go, but ultimately we have to see that it's all happening inside ourselves.

There's also a leap between knowing and doing.  We might intellectually understand a truth, but are we able to live it?  Are we able to make it real...to take it from being a mental idea into manifesting it into our physical way of being?  As the Oracle says to Neo at one point, "There's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path."  We might know it, but can we be it?  We might know what's possible, but can we bring it into being?

At the end of the movie, the fully-realized Neo is in the Matrix talking into a telephone about what he wants to show the world..."A world without rules and controls; without borders or boundaries; a world where anything is possible."  And then, he flies.  That world exists for all of us...inside.  It's when we're able to let go of all the rules and controls we've put on ourselves, and drop the border and boundaries we've set up, we open up to a world where anything is possible.  Freedom starts on the inside and then manifests itself on the outside, not the other way around.

If you haven't seen "The Matrix" in a while I recommend watching it again.  It's an amazing piece of work.  "Free your mind...There is no spoon...anything is possible."

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