Your World is a Construct
Keeping in mind this week’s Meaning Experiment, I ended up watching The Matrix and the Animatrix over the weekend. The world experienced by humans in the Matrix is a computer program, a construct of reality, a set of parameters within which humans experience an existence.
Is this so different from our world? Is our world a set of parameters? Do we live in a construct of reality? To me the answer is a resounding yes. But it doesn’t need to be this way.
If you aren’t sure whether the life you lead really is a construct, then stop and think about the nature of your existence.
Humans haven’t always lived this way, in fact the society that we live in today is a very recent construct, relatively speaking. Take for example a 7 day week. Assuming you don’t take the story in Genesis as a literal description of creation, then a 7 day week is not an inevitable reality. It has been constructed by humans as a way to organise time. Within that, there is the created notion that five of those seven days are to be used for work and two of those days are to be allowed for personal time. Does this seem strange to you? It sure does to me.
Of course it doesn’t take much to see why it might be that way. When you think back 700 years and you see the way society was structured, as serfdoms, it makes sense to keep your workers busy for as many days as possible, allowing one day, Sunday, for worship and family. If your workers weren’t busy, they weren’t under your control. If they weren’t under your control, they were effectively free to lead their own lives and to pursue their own interests. Not exactly a method for making oneself wealthy.
So here we are, 700 years later, and not much has changed. We may be “allowed” an extra day of personal time, but we are still very under the control of this self perpetuating system. Why? Because we allow it to be so.
Need another example? How about our inability to freely move around the globe? People talk about this notion of everyone being “citizens of the world”, but are we? Can you pick up right now and change your location to live elsewhere in the world? You can, but not without significant effort. I live in Australia, and luckily for me, because my father is Italian, I enjoy dual citizenship in Europe. I and my husband (well he has to wait until he has been married to me for 3 years) can pick up and move to Europe whenever we want. We can live and work there. Sure there’ll be plenty of paperwork to make this a reality, but at least we’re “allowed”.
Passports are a very recent phenomenon, a result of the World Wars and fears about security. Basically a group of men in authority decided that for their own security and safety (that is, to maintain their own power and wealth), countries needed to restrict access and who is allowed to live where. This may sound cynical, and it is cynical, but is it far from the truth? Is this not yet another construct in our world that restricts our experience of our own existence?
To be freed from the Matrix, Neo had only to become conscious that the constructs existed. He had to decide to see the world for what it really was, even if the new experience was unpleasant.
That is what is happening to many of us now. We see the world for what it is and what it is becoming. We see the cultural, economic and social constructs and we know they’re unnatural. We are conscious that this isn’t how things are “supposed to be”, rather this is how things have become.
It isn’t “natural” to have a seven day week, or twelve months in a year, or to work 48 weeks of the year. Sure, you can’t personally change the way the world organises time or suddenly prevent people from working 48 weeks of the year. But you can change your reality and construct your own world.
Once Neo had become conscious that the world of the Matrix existed, he could begin to alter his experiences within it. He could move and act in any way he imagined because he knew that “reality” was a construct.
Once you acknowledge that the “reality” of your life isn’t actually a reality at all, but rather just a construct, you are already well on your way to creating the life you want.
You can then begin to experiment with altering your world. Make your work life flexible and organise your time in a way that suits you. Re-envision a lifestyle that will be intensely meaningful and authentic to you.
And this is the only beginning. You can experiment with the reality of the physical universe next! (If you’re interested, you might want to begin by experimenting with Creative Visualisation).
You don’t have to live in a world created by others for their own gain. Even constructs that exist for mutual gain might not result in a world that you would consciously choose.
Begin to awaken your consciousness and enjoy your own version of this matrix.