The Seven Pillars of the Matrix

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”

― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
baptized, corporatized and sanitized man rarely has the occasion to
question his identity, and when he does a typical response might be, “I am product
manager for a large retail chain, married to Betty, father of Johnny, a Democrat, Steelers fan and a Lutheran.”
His answers
imply not only his beliefs but the many responsibilities,
rules and restrictions he is subjected to.  Few if any of these were
ever negotiated-  they were imposed on him yet he still considers himself free.
But is free the
right adjective for him, or would modern domesticated simian be more apt?  He has been told what to do, believe, think and
feel since he can remember.  A very clever rancher has bred billions of
these creatures around the globe and created the most profitable livestock
imaginable.  They work for him, fight for him, die for him, believe his
wildest tales, laugh at his jokes and rarely get out of line.  When domesticated
man does break one of the rules there are armies, jailers, psychiatrists and bureaucrats
prepared to kill, incarcerate, drug or hound the transgressor into submission.

methodology for creating this exceptionally loyal and obedient modern breed,
homo domesticus, can be described as having seven pillars from which an immense
matrix captures the talking simians and their conscious minds and hooks them
into a complex mesh from which few ever escape.  The system is so advanced
that those who do untangle themselves and cut their way out of the net are
immediately branded as mentally ill, anti-social, or simply losers who can’t
accept the ‘complexity of modern life’, i.e. conspiracy nuts.
described this brilliantly in his Allegory of the Cave, where people only see
man made shadows of objects, institutions, Gods and ideas:
 “–Behold! human beings living in an underground cave…here they have been from their childhood…necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them. Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance…the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets… and they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall…”
It began
with the word, which forever changed the ability of men to manipulate each
other.  Before language, every sensation was directly felt through the
senses without the filter of words.  But somewhere around 
50,000 years ago language began to replace reality and the first pieces of code were put in place for
the creation of the Matrix.  As soon as the words began to flow the world
was split, and from that fracturing was
born man’s angst and slavery.  The words separated us from who we really
were, creating the first screen onto which the images from Plato’s cave were
cast.  Gurdjieff said it well, “Identifying is the chief obstacle to
self-remembering. A man who identifies with anything is unable to
remember himself.”
It’s no
accident that in Hesiod’s ages of man the Golden Age knew no agriculture,
which appeared in the Silver age, and by the time we reach the Bronze age the
dominant theme is toil and strife.  
The two key elements to the
enslavement of man were clearly language and agriculture.  In the hunter
gatherer society, taking out the boss was no more complicated than landing a well placed fastball to the head.  Only since the advent of farming was the
possibility of creating full time enforcers and propagandists made possible,
and hence enslavement inevitable.
The search
for enlightenment rarely if ever bears fruits in those temples of words, our
schools and universities.
 Almost all traditions point to isolation and silence as the only
paths to awakening;  they are the true antidotes to modern slavery. As Aristotle wrote, “Whosoever is delighted
in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.”
So from the
institution from which we are mercilessly bombarded with words and enslaved to
time, we begin our descent through the seven layers of the Matrix.


There are
things we are born able to do like eating, laughing and crying and others we
pick up without much of an effort such as walking, speaking and fighting, but
without strict institutional education there is no way that we can ever become
a functioning member of the Matrix. We must be indoctrinated, sent to Matrix
boot camp, which of course is school.  How else could you take a hunter
and turn him into a corporate slave, submissive to clocks, countless bosses,
monotony and uniformity?

naturally know who they are, they have no existential angst, but schools
immediately begin driving home the point of schedules, rules, lists and grades which inevitably lead the students
to the concept of who they aren’t.  We drill the little ones until they
learn to count money, tell time, measure progress, stand in line,
keep silent and endure submission.  They learn they aren’t free and they
are separated from everyone else and the world itself by a myriad of divides,
names and languages.

It can’t be
stressed enough how much education is simply inculcating people with the clock
and the idea of a forced identity.  What child when she first goes to school
isn’t taken back to hear herself referred to by her full name?

It’s not as
if language itself isn’t sufficiently abstract- nothing must be left without
a category.  Suzy can’t just be
Suzy-  she is a citizen of a country and a state, a member of a religion and a product of a
civilization, many of which have flags, mascots, armies, uniforms, currencies
and languages.  Once all the mascots, tag lines and corporate creeds are
learned, then history can begin to be taught.  The great epic myths
invented and conveniently woven into the archetypes which have come down
through the ages cement this matrix into the child’s mind.

Even the
language that she speaks without effort must be deconstructed for her.  An
apple will never again be just an apple-  it will become a noun, a subject, or
an object.  Nothing will be left untouched, all must be ripped apart and
explained back to the child in Matrixese.

We are
taught almost nothing useful during the twelve or so years that we are institutionalized and conditioned for slavery- not how to cook, farm, hunt,
build, gather, laugh or play.  We are only taught how to live by a clock and conform to institutionalized behaviors that make for solid careers as slaveocrats. 


In the
countries that claim to be democratic the concept of a government created
to serve the people is often espoused.  Government, and the laws they create and enforce are institutionalized
social control for the benefit of those who have seized power.  This has
always been the case and always will be.  In the pre-democratic era it was much
clearer to recognize who had power, but the genius of massive democratic states are the
layers upon layers of corporatocracy and special interests which so brilliantly
conceal the identify of those who really manage the massive apparatus of control.

functions of the state are so well ensconced in dogmatic versions of history
taught in schools that almost no one questions why we need anything beyond the
bare essentials of government to maintain order in the post-industrial age.  The
history classes never point the finger at the governments themselves
as the propagators and instigators of war, genocide, starvation and corruption.  In Hollywood’s version of history, the one most people absorb, ‘good’ governments are always portrayed as fighting ‘bad’ ones.  We have yet to see a film where all the people on both sides simply disengage from their governments and ignore the calls to violence.

state apparatus is based on law, which
is a contract between the people and an organism created to administer common
necessities- an exchange of sovereignty
between the people and the state. This sounds
reasonable, but when one looks at the mass slaughters of the 20th century, almost without
exception, the perpetrators are the states themselves.
The loss of
human freedom is the only birthright offered to the citizens of the modern
nation.  There is never a choice.  It is spun as a freedom and a privilege when it is in fact indentured servitude to the state apparatus and the corporatocracy that controls it.

is pure abstraction, a completely artificial mechanism of social control.  People are taught to value their
compatriots above and beyond those of their own ethnic background, race or
religion.  The organic bonds are to be shed in favor of the great
corporate state.  From infancy children are indoctrinated like Pavlov’s
dogs to worship the paraphernalia of the state and see it as a mystical demigod.

What is a
country? Using the United States as
example, what actually is this entity? Is
it the USPS, the FDA, or the CIA?  Does loving one’s country mean one should love
the IRS and the NSA?  Should we feel differently
about someone if they are from Vancouver instead of Seattle? Loving a state is the same as loving a
corporation, except with the corporations there is still no stigma attached to
not showing overt sentimental devotion to their brands and fortunately, at least for the
moment, we are not obligated at birth to pay them for a lifetime of services,
most of which we neither need nor want.
Flags, the Hollywood version of history and presidential worship are drilled into us to maintain the illusion of the ‘other’ and force the ‘foreigner/terrorist/extremist’ to wear the stigma of our projections.  The archaic tribal energy
that united small bands and helped them to fend off wild beasts and hungry hoards
has been converted into a magic wand for
the masters of the matrix. Flags are waved, and we respond like hungry Labradors jumping at a juicy prime rib swinging before our noses.  Sentimental statist propaganda is simply the mouthguard used to soften the
jolt of our collective electroshock therapy. 


As powerful as the patriotic sects are, there has always been a need for something higher. Religion comes from the Latin ‘re-ligare’ and it means to reconnect.  But reconnect to what?  The question before all religions is, what have we been disconnected from?  The indoctrination and alienation of becoming a card carrying slave has a cost;  the level of abstraction and the disconnect from any semblance of humanity converts people into nihilistic robots.  No amount of patriotic fervor can replace having a soul.  The flags and history lessons can only give a momentary reprieve to the emptiness of the Matrix and that’s why the priests are needed.

The original spiritual connection man had with the universe began to dissolve into duality with the onset of language, and by the time cities and standing armies arrived he was in need of a reconnection, and thus we get our faith based religions.  Faith in the religious experiences of sages, or as William James put it, faith in someone else’s ability to connect.  Of course the liturgies of our mainstream religions offer some solace and connection, but in general they simply provide the glue for the Matrix.  A brief perusal of the news will clearly show that their ‘God’ seems most comfortable amidst the killing fields. 
If we focus on the Abrahamic religions, we have a god much like the state, one who needs to be loved.  He is also jealous of the other supposedly non-existent gods and is as sociopathic as the governments who adore him.  He wipes out his enemies with floods and angels of death just as the governments who pander to him annihilate us with cultural revolutions, atom bombs, television and napalm.  Their anthem is, “Love your country, it’s flag, its history, and the God who created it all”-  an ethos force fed to each new generation. 


The sad
thing about circus is that it’s generally not even entertaining.  The
slaves are told it’s time for some fun and they move in hordes to fill stadiums, clubs, cinemas or simply to stare into their
electrical devices believing that they are are being entertained by vulgar propaganda. 

As long as
homo domesticus goes into the appropriate corral, jumps when she is told to and agrees wholeheartedly that she is having fun, than she is a good slave worthy
of her two days off a week and fifteen days vacation at the designated farm
where she is milked of any excess gold she might have accumulated during the year.
 Once she is too old to work and put to pasture, holes are 
strategically placed in her vicinity so she and her husband can spend their last few dollars trying to get a small white ball
into them.

On a daily
basis, after the caffeinated maximum effort has been squeezed out of her, she is placed in front of a screen, given the
Matrix approved beverage (alcohol), and re-indoctrinated for several hours
before starting the whole cycle over again. God forbid anyone ever took a
hallucinogen and had an original thought.  We are, thankfully, protected from any substances that might actually
wake us up and are encouraged stick to the booze.  
The matrix loves coffee in the morning, alcohol in the evening and
never an authentic thought in between.
On a more
primal level we are entranced with the contours of the perfect body and dream
of ‘perfect love’, where our days will be filled with soft caresses, sweet words
and Hollywood drama.  This is maybe the
most sublime of the Matrix’s snares, as Venus’s charms can be so convincing one
willingly abandons all for her devious promise. Romantic love is dangled like bait, selling us down the path of sentimentally coated lies and mindless consumerism. 


Money is
their most brilliant accomplishment.  Billions of people spend most of their waking lives either acquiring it or spending it without ever understanding what it actually is.  In this hologram of a world, the only thing
one can do without money is breath.  For almost every other human activity
they want currency, from eating and drinking to clothing oneself and finding a partner. Religion
came from innate spirituality and patriotism from the tribe, but money they invented
themselves-  the most fantastic and effective of all their tools of

They have
convinced the slaves that money actually has some intrinsic value, since at some
point in the past it actually did.  Once they were finally able to
disconnect money completely from anything other than their computers, they finally
took complete control, locked the last gate and electrified all the fences.  They ingeniously print it up out of the
nothing and loan it with interest in order for 18-year-olds to spend four years
drinking and memorizing propaganda as they begin a financial indebtedness that 
will most likely never end.  
By the time
the typical American is thirty the debt is mounted so high that they abandon any
hope of ever being free of it and embrace their mortgages, credit cards, student
loans and car loans as gifts from a sugar daddy.  What they rarely asks themselves is why they must
work to make money while banks can simply create it with a few key strokes.  If they printed out notes on their HP’s and loaned
them with interest to their neighbors, they would wind up in a penitentiary, but
not our friends on Wall Street-  they do just that and wind up pulling the strings in the White House.  The genius of the money scam is how obvious it
is.  When people are told that banks
create money out of nothing and are paid interest for it the good folks are left incredulous.  “It can’t be that simple!”  And therein lies the rub- no one wants to believe that they have been 
enslaved so easily .

“Culture is
the effort to hold back the mystery, and replace it with a mythology.”

As Terence
loved to say, “Culture is not your friend.”  It exists as a buffer to
authentic experience.  As they created larger and larger communities, they
replaced the direct spiritual experience of the shaman with priestly
religion. Drum beats and sweat were exchanged for digitized, corporatized noise. 
Local tales got replaced by Hollywood blockbusters, critical thinking
with academic dogma.
If money is
the shackles of the matrix, culture is its operating system.  Filtered,
centralized, incredibly manipulative, it glues all their myths together into
one massive narrative of social control from which only the bravest of souls
ever try to escape. It’s relatively
simple to see the manipulation when one looks at patriotism, religion or
money. But when taken as a whole, our culture seems as natural and timeless as the air we breathe, so intertwined with our
self conception it is often hard to see where we individually finish and our culture begins.

Escaping the Grip of Control

Some might
ask why this all-pervasive network of control isn’t talked about or discussed
by our ‘great minds’.  Pre-Socratic scholar Peter Kingsley explains it

becomes clear once we accept the fact that scholarship as a whole is not
concerned with finding, or even looking for, the truth. That’s just a
decorative appearance.  It’s simply concerned with protecting us from
truths that might endanger our security; and it does so by perpetuating our
collective illusions on a much deeper level than individual scholars are aware

discovered water, it certainly wasn’t a fish.  To leave the ‘water’, or Plato’s cave takes courage and the knowledge that there is something beyond the web of control.  
Over 2,300 hundred years ago Plato described the process of leaving the Matrix in the Allegory of the Cave as a slow, excruciating process akin to walking out onto a sunny beach after spending years in a basement watching Kabuki.

How can this awakening be explained?  How do you describe the feeling of swimming in the ocean at dusk to someone who has never even seen the sea?  You can’t, but what you can do is crack open a window for them and if enough windows are opened, the illusion begins to lose its luster.