Friday, October 15, 2010

Sleepers, Awake!



"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
not.

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






16 comments:

Brianna said...

I actually like to say, "Why couldn't Rand have simply been a crazy Russian lady who wrote good novels." Probably because my first dose of the "red pill" was "Philosophy: Who Needs It."

"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."

This is very true. Not that I ever expected much from the world. Just that it would leave me alone. But now that I know of the coming Crisis, and that it will almost certainly hamper my ability to pursue the life I wanted... space travel is something that has only been possible for the last 50 years, and most of the industry is still deeply intertwined with government. My fear is that the Crisis will knock out some or all of society's ability to sustain this profession, which of course would seriously affect my life.

"We cannot unknow what we have learned. We are no longer innocent. And this is not necessarily bad news."

This is true. And really, if I had the choice to "take the blue pill," I would not choose it. Reality, however bad, is the only thing that is real. Knowing reality, however awful, is the only way one can begin to change it, to plan for the future and make it better. The blue pill might offer temporary surcease, but that surcease WOULD be temporary, and I would eventually have to pay for that surcease with interest once my delusions could no longer be sustained. Better to know the truth, no matter how ugly.

Tullia said...

Elisheva,

As always, I'm impressed by your thoughtful writing. It occurred to me after watching a local election turn, in part, on Tea Party affiliation (or lack thereof) among the candidates, and being disappointed by the timid response of the newly elected to a litany of requests by citizens for their "fair share" of public money that regaining liberty will be a long, difficult process. If one assumes that newly elected representatives either to state or national government will successfully change the direction of one or both of the major parties, the problem will remain of how those willing to try the red pill can effectively govern those who refuse to give up the blue. It will certainly be difficult, but I hope not impossible.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Brianna, when you wrote:

"This is true. And really, if I had the choice to "take the blue pill," I would not choose it. Reality, however bad, is the only thing that is real. Knowing reality, however awful, is the only way one can begin to change it, to plan for the future and make it better."

. . . you captured exactly what the sleepers, awake! verse means to me. Far better to be dealing with reality in all its drama, than it is to live in lotus land. The day we have is the day we have, and it may not be what we choose, but if we meet meet it with strength and energy, we are choosing our destiny rather than letting it choose us.

gadabout-blogalot.com said...

Well, I'm not sure that new ventures by those that work for change will result in large-scale satisfaction among Patriots of whatever shade. I'm not even sure that I have harvested your points in order to comment with any degree of good sense.

I do know at 70 years of age I am having great fun with my friends in the Tea Party and I'm sure there will be conservatives elected that would not have been if not for the work of Patriots of whatever stripe.

We won't be finished after the election on November 2, 2010. No, we should have seen these last two or so years, the terrible price of setting on our butts while progressives and fake conservatives bring our government to a standstill. The work of reasonable patriots will continue (I pray)and if we stay connected we'll get our nation back ... hopefully without lasting damage to it.

Meanwhile, folks are still having rousing Tea Party meetings in the East Mountains and elsewhere across the nation. We are still having Constitution classes, showing inspirational movies, passing out small and large political signs for our yards, streets and byways, knocking on doors, making phone calls, preparing to man voting polls to guard against fraud and waiting for the wins on November 2nd and the work thereafter.

I hope I haven't gone on like a dunce, but I wanted to say we (the collective patriots) have a hot poker that we can't put down -- we have to continue to victory and then place it back on the forge for future fire tending.

Narada said...

Bread and circuses, Indeed !
In reading through your latest and the comments that have been posted I'm driven to put my deflated (read "nearly worthless") two copper coins in the fray..

I have seen that generally people are lazy unless threatened and do not want to work very hard at finding personal truth in either politics or religion. The masses of people out there would like to belong and in belonging to a group or a club they feel safe in numbers. But they want their membership to be automatic and they do not want to have to expend any energy to maintain or understand membership they simply want the identity.
Unfortunately group rhetoric and the reality of a groups underlying direction are many times far different than what is promoted. Unscrupulous leaders are able to lead many astray from where sensibility and an individual consideration of a carefully studied subject may more likely lead.
The one thing that seems to be forgotten in our "feed it to me with a firehose" electronic information age - is reading! Thank the Almighty there are still a few who know how to research a topic, gather references from both sides of an issue, and read them....Then take the understanding from the material and make an individual judgment or form a personal opinion for themselves.
I only wish more individuals would drop the mass hysteria propagated from the circus and begin to think again for themselves. Take the red pill! Read the books, commentaries, reviews, opinions, and legal judgments, and biographies, bills to be passed and passed by congress..... There are over two centuries of information on our form of government. (Some of the best IMHO is from just after the Nation’s founding.) I would be willing to bet most people have not gone farther studying it than a passing grade in high school civics. Unfortunate for those who have taken the time to try to understand why we are here and how we came to this.. Fortunate for those fear mongering propagandists that are polluting the environment with nonsense.... I think it really is in the bread we've been fed or perhaps the blue pill that has dulled the minds of our country.
My skin begins to crawl when I see propaganda so overshadow political discussion that nobody has a clue what the government is really doing because the political discussion has gone so far afield. I recall that in each national election somewhere around 90% of incumbents are reelected, and that the average incumbency in the house and senate is over 10 years. If there were a reality that should be shouted from the highest peak it would be that WE DID THIS TO OURSELVES! Those who did not vote, those who do not vote, and even those who do, all contributed to the folly we have found ourselves in. Need we ask ourselves who elected these people to represent us, was it really you and I? Why do we keep doing the same old thing? Who do they really represent? Why do they point their fingers at each other and do nothing ….. The bottom line is as it always is Money! Where is the money? I think if you look at the record of congress over the last 20 or so years you may begin to get an answer. You may not like what you draw from your reading.
Ah but instead of knowing the written history of these elected officials it’s better to promote ignorance by holding "Constitution classes, showing inspirational movies, passing out small and large political signs for our yards, streets and byways, knocking on doors, making phone calls,..." Take the blue pill, Take the blue pill…..
This all slanted toward the ”new old guard” rather than aimed at enlightenment of the electorate that their Nation has been hijacked by an international gang of corporate interests and that the passion play every other year or so has more and more become window dressing , disguising the reality that we’ve almost sold ourselves out. Or have we done it already?

Narada said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Tullia, I had about six copies of your last comment, and seven copies of Naradas. I see that I have accidently deleted all of yours and posted two of Naradas.

I know neither of you did this on purpose--it is a Blogger weirdness that happens sometimes. In any case, I shall take your comment, Tullia, from my e-mail notice and make sure it posts that way., Narada, I will remove one copy of your comments. Then I shall comment on the comments! :)

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

This is Tullia's comment which was deleted among a plethora of Blogger-generated copies of the same:

Tullia wrote:

There is so much to think about, but this part of your post spoke to something that disturbs me. I'm referring to the scapegoating I've been hearing recently at political gatherings of all kinds:

"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."

The danger of turning over responsibility to others is not only that we're asking others to sacrifice in a way that we are not willing to do for ourselves, but also that we're reserving to ourselves the option of criticizing our leaders instead of our own bad judgment in having elected them in the first place.

A friend of mine recently commented that all tyrants, no matter what political ideology they subscribe to, have one thing in common. They are experts at setting up collective groups of "us"--the good guys who must oppose "them"--the bad guys. And, of course, the definition of who is good and who is bad can be changed with frightening speed.

I want to be clear that I think there is a mess in Washington D.C. and all the states too. It's a mess that will have to be dealt with. However, I believe that unless political corruption is dealt with at the local, individual level it's not likely that we'll see improvement. All those scoundrels in office today got there because people voted them into office. Too few people register; too few registered voters bother to vote; too few voters cast informed ballots. That must change.

Brianna wrote about a coming crisis. I agree that it is coming, but I hope that crisis does not necessarily mean disaster. A crisis offers opportunity to patriots, but I also believe that crises inevitably attract demagogues, opportunists, and other assorted scoundrels.

Elisheva and Brianna, I've truly enjoyed reading your thoughts on this. Brianna, I agree with your assessment; delusions are only temporary and the price too high.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...
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Elisheva Hannah Levin said...
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Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Gad-about: I am so glad that you are enjoying the election campaign with the Tea Party folks. You have picked up a hot poker, and now cannot put it down. However, I think after this election and its honeymoon we are going to see that the average Pol with an R after the name is no more interested in your liberty or your rights than is the average Pol with the D.

And that is when--perhaps--people will dig deeper to reclaim the values and principles that this country was founded upon. You know them. But many are still fooled by the panolpy of the elections these days. Bread and circuses indeed, as Narada said.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Narada--just two quick notes about your comment, with which I substantially agree:

1) I have been aware of the money interests for a very long time--ever since Nixon took us off the gold standard. It is the price I paid for being brought up libertarian.

2) I would not place Constitution Classes in the same category as phone calling and yard signs, and all of the "us" against "them" of the election. The Constitution of the United States belongs to each and every one of us, and indeed each and every one is responsible for making sure that it is protected. The Constitution, as Bob Schulz is fond of saying, cannot defend itself. Many of us ordinary folk--not members of the power and money elite(s)--have bought the notion that the Constitution is not understandable on the face of it, and that we need someone like the present POTUS to interpret it for us.
That is why Constitution classes are important. Not to support one party or another, but to support the people in defending our rights.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Tullia--you stated that you hope that Crisis does not mean disaster. And it does not have to mean so--in the end. But a Crisis--as Brianna and I are refering to it--is the inevitable season of winter that clears the playing field and sets up a new order of some kind of another. Or as Strauss and Howe put it (in their book The Fourth Turning, it is a great gate in history through which America must pass once in every Saeculum. How it will turn out is really up to us, and what we choose to make of the time to which we have been born. According to Strauss and how, twice out of three chances, the US has passed through a Crisis to be renewed, and the Crisis has gone well. These are the Revolution/War for Independence (1765 - 1791) and The Great Depression/WWII (1929 - 1945). But the Civil War Crisis was not so well resolved.

In any case, a Crisis is, as the old saw about the Chinese Character goes, both a danger and an opportunity.

Part of the reason that I want us to encourage the Tea Parties, and to remember that those who us who swallowed the Red Pill long ago have something to offer the "newbies" is that I believe that in that one way, we can encourage fellow patriots to think beyond elections to the deeper function of the crisis, which can bring a renewal of the Spirit of America. To weather the crisis well, I think we have to be prepared to take on the consequences of our errors so that our children do not have to.

Tullia said...

Ah,I overlooked the fact that you and Brianna were referring to a particular type of Crisis when I was thinking of crisis as a generic term. I'll put The Fourth Turning on my my reading list; thank you. I had seen mention of the book in an older post, but didn't pay enough attention because I was attracted to your blog primarily for the home school element.

One comment about Constitution classes, though. I've attended several and found they vary in quality depending on who is sponsoring the class. One my family attended used a religious overlay which, in my opinion, could not be supported by a fair reading of source documents. I do agree that it's important to encourage newbies and fellow patriots to think more deeply about the relevant issues.

Thank you, too, for deleting all the duplicate comments. I posted just before leaving for an appointment and had an uneasy feeling all evening about the ramifications of the error message.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Tullia, no worries. The durn thing even duplicated several of my comment-replies! And as far as The Fourth Turning I should have mentioned that we were talking about Strauss and Howe's definition of a crisis. I usually use the capitalized version, but how the heck would anybody know what I am talking about if it is undefined. I think I shall go ahead and create a sidebar feature of my blogs about it.

Narada said...

Elisheva,

Something was indeed up with the blogsphere yesterday..... really odd stuff....

My inclusion of classes in The Constitution were in specific because I have found that many times a teacher introduces a personal perspective in his or her teaching regardless of subject. Those personal perspectives have an influence which can be construed by the unwary to be absolute when the opposite is true. It may need to be explained to students of any subject that to have a desire for information, to learn to learn, and to be taught something, are two very different things. Very seldom is a truly Socratic method employed. I guess as usual I need to slow down the stream of consciousness and remember I need to describe where the thoughts originate more clearly. I hope that I was clear in stating the need for We the People - every single one - to read for themselves and to study and ask themselves then each other the important questions about our governance. To most importantly have a personal understanding of their own and decide accordingly on a personal truth rather than "mob think".