Red Or Blue Pill?
It’s now 18 years ago (April 2017) that I first took the “Red Pill“. It was the spring of 1999. A friend of mine had gotten us tickets to a pre-show of a movie that looked really cool. The event was hosted by Maya, the 3D rendering program that was used to make some of the effects in the movie. We went to Grand on Sveavägen in Stockholm with 200 other nerds who thought this was going to be something extra. And boy was we right. This was for me the most accelerating experience in my life. I remember coming out of the theatre so excited that I jumped over every bench, wall and bush I could find. After collecting my thoughts half an hour later I called my geek brother. Then I told him. That he was going to have to wait for months for the real Swedish premier of the coolest movie ever made…
The Matrix .
Later that summer we of course went to get tickets to the real Swedish premier. We went for the biggest and best theater in Stockholm, Sergel 1. On the opening show, when we entered the theater, we where all handed a little plastic bag with a red and a blue pill. The 3 of us, who hade seen it before, immediately went bonkers of excitement again. We where some of the few people there, who already knew what the pills represented 🙂
This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. – Morpheus
Before the movie was about to start, the head of Warner Brother Sweden stepped up on the stage, to tell us we where about to witness the coolest movie premiere of all time and to honor that they started throwing out T-Shirts and Sunhats into the audience. Sadly I got none. It didn’t matter. Prior to the event I had entered every promo competition for the film I could find and had already won both a T-Shirt and some Matrix branded sunglasses. Mind blown. Again.
What is real? How do you define ‘real’? If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain. – Morpheus
Later I went to see it 2 more times that summer just to completely get into this new future. Finally there would be lots of cool movies. How could it not? How wrong I was…
I also have to mention that by that time I was already deep into Cyber-Philosophy. My favourite movie before this one was of course Ghost in the Shell that I had probably seen 20 times already by that time. I have read the comic and was completely in love with this philosophical cyber genre. My first official party I hosted as head of my party-section [Sexmästare] when I studied was a Cyber Party heavily inspired by Ghost in the Shell and Billy Idol’s Cyber Punk album. I even called my self Mikee Boy – CyberDemon of Joy then.
Dream Reality Party of 1999
Back to 1999. My brother was turning 25 and was coming up to Stockholm to have his party. I was hosting so I turned it into a heavily Matrix inspired party with live roleplaying called the Dream Party. A party where everyone had to come dressed as their cool Residual Self Image. So I had to go out and buy some cool sunglasses and get a cool haircut. The party was a blast. So from that day on, I now wear this Residual Self Image of mine. It’s my Matrix Haircut. If you want to know more about it you can listen to this podcast in Swedish: Gott Prat.
Later the fall I bought my first DVD player, Home theater system and of course The Matrix on DVD. With it and Fight Club as my only first movies, we continued to remind ourselves, what is really “real” and important in life.
The Dream World
The Matrix resonates with me on so many levels. I remember when was about 15. We used to stay up all night playing boardgames & roleplaying games. Afterwards we used to go outside and talk about games and other philosophical things for hours in the middle of the night just before going home. The neighbors weren’t so happy with us with our loud, long conversations. One occurring conversation was that there was no way of telling if we all lived inside a big collective dream. The Dream World.
Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world? – Morpheus
As I and many others now know more about the brain, it’s not far from the truth. What The Matrix opened our eyes in such a wide manner to. That we are responsible for our own experience of reality. The brain is literally a storytelling machine. It’s a pattern recognition machine that is so good that it can recognize it’s own thinking patterns. This consciousness became very useful for us. It’s an exceptional system for simulation of events. Past, present and future. It allowed us to become very effective at collaborating. Both our internal and shared stories made us into this amazing mammal we are today that has managed travel across 384,400 km of empty space to the moon and back. And we are just at the beginning of this epic tale of our story in the universe.
Your brain and all your sensory system are handling a staggering amount of data every second. Your conscious self take a very, very small part of this data and put together a thing that acts like a “Reality Feed”. Your story about you. Your own personal Matrix of the world around you. Now don’t be alarmed. You are still you, the whole you. Still in control of your thoughts, feelings and actions. You simply has an amazing way of experience the myriad och data and decisions that make up you. Without you going completely mad and bonkers on the way.
Morpheus: How did I beat you?
Neo: You… you’re too fast.
Morpheus: Do you believe that my being stronger or faster has anything to do with my muscles in this place? Do you think that’s air you’re breathing now?
We can’t fathom the difference of being real-real or dream-real. For all we know we could just be a simulation of big computer. A “Real” Matrix. So enjoy your story, as you yourself are writing it for you. I recommend taking part in the writing. Being the Architect of your own life and future. Doing this together with other like-minded Matrix Ninjas will elevate both you, the people in your tribe and the entire human race to new mind-boggling heights.
Do you want join on this epic quest of defining our own “reality”?