The Reach (part 1)

Posted: October 14, 2013 in Atheism, LGBT


Our personal belief systems are hammered into us at a very early age.  The thoughts of having to go beyond our own intellect and the great strides of a working civilization are just not enough, or though it seems.

My mind goes back to 1999 to the movie, The Matrix (written and directed by the Wachowski brothers).  Anyone who has seen the work was totally blown away with the whole idea that the world they knew was really a view that humans NEEDED to see.  The machine world had dominated humanity for hundreds of years, following a war that blackened the skies, and forced a segment of humanity underground, while the machines took over the world.  The machines needed a source of energy, and because the sky was blackened. Solar power was not an option, so they harnessed the human bodies’ energy to run on.  The humans were mere batteries for the machine ‘system’ and in order to keep them plugged into the machine system, they created ‘The Matrix’.  A world completely made up of circuits, programs and simulations that kept the harnessed human bodies at bay.  They plugged directly into the human brains, to fool them to thinking that the life they were living was actually REAL. In REALITY, their bodies were laying in vat of sustainable goo, just using them for the power their bodies actually generated. But occasionally, various humans within the matrix had that urge…that feeling of knowing there was MORE.  Something was missing, something askew, and they were not sure just what.

This writing will hopefully address the REALITY or another view of that drive.

Chapter one:  The Machine.

The Machine

Plugged in:

I was born in a small central CT town and was fortunate to be born into a family that would eventually be a family of 10.  As I aged, I was astonished by the total diversity of this wonderful family I was part of.  None of us like the other…all unique, physically, mentally, and socially.

By the time I reached 12 years of age, hormones were ravaging my body and mind, causing unrest.  The great unrest (for everyone in the house, mind you) called puberty that was waking many primal urges and emotions, not really knowing who or what I was to become.

We have all been there, but this time for me was critical, as I was introduced to the idea of a man named Jesus Christ.  I swiftly realized that this social club called Christianity was a good thing for me, or so I thought.  The words spoken by the preacher brought comfort, direction, and a feeling of belonging to a social network that I had never experienced there-to-fore. Sunday school, religious studies, prayer meetings, singing and worship, brought a feeling of wholeness.  “This is how it’s supposed to be” I thought, and I was in total love and admiration of the effect this Jesus had on me.

I was finally “Plugged In”.

I eventually married, had a son, and went on to bible college…seeking the ‘will of the Lord’ with every turn in my life.  I loved and studied music at the college, hoping to one day to be a Minister of Music at a church that I would feel again, was ‘God’s will’.  Our lives seemed to be really coming together.  I had a great position at a loving church, as Minister of Music.  It was my heart!!! Music would be the balm that created an atmosphere of joy, peace, and excitement in my life!  We soon had 2 more beautiful children, but just as everything seemed so ‘peachy keen’, that nagging voice of reason continued to beat on the walls of the fortress my mind had so artfully and skillfully created.  I was in love with what this idea was, and was losing my spouse and family, right out from under me.

Soon after, we divorced…something you don’t just DO in my religion, as it would affect my leadership role and effectiveness.  My world was crashing, and the thoughts of starting over with nothing but loss, or so it seemed, scared me greatly.  I would work as a music director at another church for the next four years, a different denomination, with that continual tapping still in my brain…SCREAMING at me “why are you doing this?  Why?”  I have always had an affinity to science, the stars, the majesty of our planet, solar system, and the universe.  I had been taught for years in Sunday school and bible studies, just where it all came from.  Without real study of science, it all made sense.  But the whole idea of creation just didn’t compute to science and reality.  I KNEW IT, but would never express it as to hurt the feeling of a supposed god that I had this relationship with.  After all, we are not to question the ‘almighty’…right?  WRONG!!!  I finally opened the door to find that questioning entity, called ‘my intelligence’.  I began to court my new-found friend that had always been there, incessantly knocking at the door to the kingdom I had built for so many years, but under the construction of another entity…delusion!

Something was wrong. I had received a wake-up call from my own intelligence.  Like the character Neo in the Matrix, the question burned “what IS the Matrix”?  Realizing that science had proven and continues to study, things that baffled primitive man and early civilizations, my intellect started finding a new solace, a new comfort level in the facts of science, not script that seemed so ignorantly penned by desert nomads just a few thousand years ago.

But why was that balm of religion so satisfying?  It was a very real experience, so real as to change my whole life, negating my intellect and stunting my creative growth.  Being stifled by an idea that had been sold to me in a beautiful package, keeping me ‘plugged in’ to the machine.

The Awakening:

Like Neo, there came a time where he would make a choice to either stay plugged into the Matrix, or choose another life.  He would soon know this to be a place called “reality”.

There are protective defensive programs within the Matrix that keep those plugged in, in check.  They are called Agents.  They could use anyone who was plugged into the Matrix, manipulating them to do their bidding to keep those questioning souls in line, thus keeping the machine fed by their unknowing demise.

Religions were created by men, to keep humanity ‘in check’ with the machine.  It drives it’s minions with intricate, predictable movements.  A smooth running machine, along with its Agents, otherwise known as preachers, prophets, and teachers.  To waken from this plugged in state is to alert concern by the Agents, and that could mean a very dangerous, aggressive attempt to stop the carnage that one could create by awakening.

Once awakened, that person could finally begin his/her journey down the yellow brick road, to a wonderful kingdom called “Reality”.  The road is not without peril, but many surprises and exciting experiences are to be had!   Once unplugged, the machine does its best to purge you from the system like a virus.  They no longer can use you to fuel their machine, and mark you a threat to future encounters.  Some religions label you the prodigal, some label you an apostate, some ostracize you, and others threaten your very life.  After all, the machine has been in power for thousands of years, and continues to run on the lives of millions, but at a great human cost.

I understand the benefits of being ‘plugged in’.  You belong to the machine, and you have access to all its benefits.  You are a citizen of an organized safe house, keeping you entertained, mobilized, in sync with the world..seemingly.

Now awake, I began to experience the empty hole once filled by the things the machine provided.  The bare nerves now exposed the loneliness and loss of my now ruined foundation that had kept me stable for all those years.  But could I ever go back?  Could I go back and beg them to plug me in once more, knowing the mirage of the life I knew in the machine?  It would be so easy to do, but so empty once inside.  The smells, the tastes, the aroma, the experiences and relationships, all framed by and for the machine.  After all, reality sucks initially.  It seems to steal who you were.  Your kingdom, your self-image, now laid in ruin, a stranger in a new land. I began to rebuild my life.  Scarred by the struggle and experience of being awakened, I immediately began searching for others that had awakened. After all, I needed companionship and the wisdom of those who had had a similar experience.  I found them on social media, in new-found friendships, and lot’s and lot’s of reading and putting meaning to my new-found freedom.  Haunted by the loss of family and the comforts the machine provided, only strengthened my resolve to build a new foundation…a new home.

“Without the gods, how would I sing?’ I asked. ‘ With your own voice,’ he said.”   – Erica Jong


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