"Why, oh why didn't I take the Blue Pill?"
This tongue-in-cheek lament can be seen on the Facebook walls of a number of people involved one way or another in the R3volution and in the various (dis) organizations that make up the patriot movement. It is a metaphor refering to the first of The Matrix movies. In the Matrix universe, the reality that most of humanity perceives as ordinary is contrived by the machine world; it is a dream that is occuring while humanity is enslaved to provide energy to the machines who rule the earth. The movie begins with the character Neo living inside this reality, unaware. He is recruited by Morpheus, a rebel leader, because he has found clues to the Matrix reality. He is confronted with a choice:
Morpheus: The Matrix . . .is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you to the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Morpheus: That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you know, you were born into bondage . . . A prison for you mind. Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.
You take the blue pill, you wake up in your bed and the story ends. You believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep this rabbit hole goes.
--The Matrix, 1999
The plot requires that Neo take the Red Pill, he stays in Wonderland, and he finds out what the Matrix is. But the movie is not only about what happens when Neo takes the red pill. It also asks the question: Is it better to know the truth, or does it make us happier to live in the dream? Do we really want to know how deep the rabbit hole goes, or are we better off staying on our exercise wheel like a gerbil in a cage?
But with respect to what is happening to our country--what has been done to enslave our minds, to convince us that we have no rights, and to take our liberty, there is no unitary truth. Our enslavement has not been carried out by a unitary evil that cannot be understood fully by us. To some extent, what has happened to us has been done to us; our enslavement has been planned and executed over a very long period of time by those who believe that human freedom gets in the way of the collective progress of humanity. But to another extent, what has happened to us has been done by us; it is far easier to not be responsible for ourselves and for what we do, but to let others, portrayed as those who are wiser and better, and who are willing to sacrificially shoulder responsibility, to live for us.
And unlike Neo in the Matrix, taking the red pill and learning the truth is not a once and for all awakening. Rather, it seems, we take the red pill in stages, deciding whether to swallow, whether to retch, and then we live straddling two realities: the everyday reality of work and bills and taxes, and the reality that as we live this way, our politicians and so-called world leaders are every so surely, and somewhat blindly, leading us into the narrow places with the comcommitant loss of liberty and personal responsibility.
Lately, there has been some consternation among those who have been at this fight for liberty for a while.
Last year, we had patriots boiling out into the streets, protesting. They were forming a myriad of committees, groups and organizations. There was a great deal of energy. But the number of such groups, each focused on a different part of the problem, while broad, was not very deep. Now the recent sleepers seem to be focused on the upcoming election alone, and firmly denying the reality that both major parties, and nearly all of the politicians, remain uninterested in liberty and are far more focused on their own power and prestige. Elections are about money and lies and winning. They are not about hope and change and liberty. No matter how convincing the ads on TV may be.
And those who have been trying to educate the nascent awakeners, those who have been working at developing in the Tea Party and other patriot groups a depth of understanding about the nature of Liberty, are seeing our efforts rebuffed. "Why spend the time and money to learn about the Constitution?" the newly-awakened ones seem to be saying. "Why do the hard work, when we can enjoy the bread and circuses of elections, and perhaps we can go back to sleep when the easy way works, and we can go back to our dream?"
To put it bluntly, at this point they don't want to know how deep the rabbit hole goes. It is a lot easier to think it is a matter of who sits in Congress and in the White House.
And so it becomes easy to imagine that the time has come to admit defeat, to dissolve our groups and committees and Tea Parties. To acquiesce to the loss of our liberty. It is a dangerous moment, for the freedom and liberty endowed to us and to our children is at stake. And at the risk of sounding like the conspiracists that I have critiqued: That's what the ubiquitous "they" want us to believe.
Today I wrote to someone discouraged and angry that NMPA had to cancel a Constitution class with a national speaker. A class that would have brought some depth to the shallow awakenings that need nuturing. "We know," one of the NMPA leaders said, "That the people need this knowledge to sustain their passion. But they don't seem to know it."
And that is so discouraging that one of our members suggested that we are talking about dismantling the NMPA altogether.
And I have my moments like that, too.
But I think there are real enemies of liberty who have control of our government. And they have a dream of a great collective of humanity marching in lockstep into the bright and conformist future. And there will be no room for the outliers and the misfits that love liberty in that world. And in the meantime, those who have taken the red pill, and put it in their mouths, and swallowed enough reality to understand what we face, and what it will take to return America to the path of liberty and individual rights, really wonder whether we should have taken the blue pill instead.
This is a natural part of letting go of a dream, of a way of life that was easy and good and fun. It is grief that we are dealing with, as we realize that we are now living in a country that is far different than the one into which we were born, and we are confronting a future that is far different from that which we were promised. And now the work is becoming harder, and we have disappointments as the people that we have been counting on to finally join us and make the return to liberty real turn their backs on what we know is needed to bring depth and principle to the awakening passion.
At this point we find ourselves saying: "Why, oh why didn't I take the blue pill?
But we know that there are a number of reasons for these disappointing setbacks: lack of organization and publicity efforts on our part, the focus most people have on the
upcoming election and their belief that the Pols on the R side will save us,
and the economic situation that has people scared enough to jump from one
thing to another in search of the easy answers that don't exist. We forget,
those of us who have been at this for a while and/or those of us who have
taken the red pill and can't go back, that the majority of the people who
have woken up don't have a coherent picture of what the problem is, how
intractable it is, and what it is actually going to take to restore the
Constitution and rebuild our government based on that document.
One example: The situation with our monetary system and the economy is so
bad, and the United States is in the muck so deep, that the whole thing is
going to have collapse and be rebuilt. It is hard to imagine this for those
of us who have been thinking about it for a while, and it is nigh unto
impossible to get even a reasonable minority of the people who are certain
that there is something wrong to understand that the only way to liberty is
through the storm that is coming, and that this storm is going to crush the
hopes and dreams of several generations who's focus has been on keeping things the
way they are. The thing is not sustainable. It violates the laws of
thermodynamics by which energy operates. Most people do not get that money
is like a form of energy--the money is man-made, but what it represents is
But think of this again: this crisis is going to crush the hopes and dreams
of several generations who's focus has been on keeping things the way they are. To
come out the other side with our liberty intact--or actually
reconstructed--will require a great deal of courage to face the pain of
letting go of those old hopes and dreams and creating new ones in their
places. The people who are waking up must go through the process of letting
go, just as we all are doing to one extent or another as reality keeps
hitting us like waves of cold water.
The stages of mourning are relevant here: we come out Denial, the first
stage, when we wake up and take the red pill. Then comes the second stage,
Anger, which is incredibly energizing. The wakened sleepers spent last
summer and fall in Anger, I think, believing that if they let their
government know their feelings, everything would change. The transition to
stage three happened when Obamacare was passed. At that time, the wind was
taken out of the sails of the nascent patriot anger. I think most of the Tea
Party people and the 9-12 movement have moved into stage three, Bargaining.
They believe that if only we elect more people with R's next to their name
in November, then we can just skip this Crisis. That all will be well, and we
can then hit the snooze button, pick up the remote and roll over for a well
deserved nap after all that hard work of calling Congress and protesting and
expressing righteous indignation.
But after the bargaining does not work, what then? That is when the
transition to the most dangerous stage of grief happens. Depression. The
more attached people have been to what they are losing, the longer and
deeper this stage becomes. And this is where NMPA, Libertarians, the
Constitution Party, and other people who have been through the grief that
comes in the aftermath of swallowing the red pill are so important.
Depression is so dangerous, because that is when people give up. They have
tried by force of Denial, Anger and Bargaining to change reality. And they
couldn't. Depression is when the knowledge that going back to before is
impossible. But during this stage it is also easy to allow others to begin
to control one's destiny. In our case, to be very blunt, it is easy to
acquiesce to slavery. And in some important way that I cannot yet
articulate, I believe that NMPA, among others, was created for the work of
bringing all of us to the Acceptance of what must happen and what hard work
we must take on in order to come through this Crisis as a free people.
It is going to take a hard labor to bring forth a new birth of freedom for
ourselves and our children. Through organizations, NMPA and others, we have the opportunity to be midwives for that renewal of our liberty.
But this we know for sure, after taking the red pill, it is impossible to see the world the same again. We cannot go back. We cannot unknow what we have learned. We are no longer innocent. And this is not necessarily bad news. For each day brings new promise, especially in the midst of a great Crisis.
"Sleepers, awake! Unpack your dreams and carry them forth! This is the day the Lord has made! My soul rejoices in the sun's slanted rays!"--Rabbi Shefa Gold