My own personal Matrix
I kinda hate postmodernism. It makes me feel like... I am stupid? Like I don't know enough? Oh, well, most philosophy makes me feel stupid. Except for Engels, he is my boi. Or Fromm. Or Lenin. Oh, well.
The vague thoughts of concepts similar to the one of a Matrix used to circulate in my bedraggled brain way before I have seen the movie, or ever heard of Baudrillard, however you pronounce his name. It is a universal truth, banal and simple: to see oneself as a part of a bigger whole, to feel connected to an omnipotent and all-consuming entity; this is why and how many religions were born. To not feel the self, to continuously doubt oneself, to feel like only when mirrored, when vindicated, one can live – to me, this seemed a default, a way to operate that corresponded with my desires and drives. Yet, the doubt once became unbearable when in the eyes of those I was supposed to trust the most, I saw no reassurance, no acceptance, no... love? Into the vast ocean of the unknown, my little unadapted self has been immersed and, underwater, it had to learn to breathe. The unplugging didn't go smoothly – it was a violent act that felt like a betrayal, like a death, or something worse than death. Like descending into the hell of water, it felt to be separated from the imaginary warmth of the whole, of the pretend embrace of the universe. It did not feel liberating. It did not feel like a revelation of a bigger truth. It felt like a ruthless hand of a prison guard chopping at your umbilical cord.
In this real-world, that to me, felt like suffocating chaos of too many sounds and smells, and textures, and everything, it felt... what they describe hell like? And in this real world, nowhere appeared a mission, or vision clear enough to strive for. What was I supposed to suffer for? To live?..
Aside from this existential nihilistic nonsense, a Matrix, one way or the other, has always been and always will be a representation of our collective intuitions, fears, and desires – we fear so, yet long so to be together, no, actually, together, dissolved in the primordial steaming hot ocean of death!.. Or maybe not, and it's just a bunch of weirdo commies on the internet? Just me?..
No, but the collective unconscious! The hive mind! I'll stop being facetious. Let's get back to the story. My own personal Matrix. I've always felt this peculiar mix of a Truman show delusion and a Freudian inferiority complex – when one feels like he is being watched, yet knows that one is too insignificant of a scum to actually be watched. Not a paranoia, but a conviction that people can understand me, I am an “open book” to them, because they can see the circumstances just like me, right? And when they didn't understand, I'd feel endangered, like we had all of a sudden been unplugged from the common source of knowledge and understanding, and I made some malfunction of a system surface. Therefore, conflict of any sort flashed a big scary alert in my mind – error, error, miscommunication, no full information, unplugged, unplugged, you have been unplugged! To feel yet again to be separated was unbearable, I experienced all hues of sadness and rage from simple, everyday misalignments: an acquaintance not returning a hello felt like a slap in the face; a stranger giving me a side-eye felt like an absolute intrusion; the most minor conflict would send me into endless loops and loops of despairingly looking for the right answer – where did I make a mistake, where?!
It felt like I was slowly molten into the boiling waters of the orange ocean of bodies and slime and magma of this hellscape – and isolation instead of the warmth would chill me even upon touching the burning surface of that nightmarish waters of my unconscious.
Run! My mind would scream over and over and over again, and I would run from everything: I didn’t want the hivemind, and the bees seemed stupid; I needed to be alone, because alone was safe, alone was familiar, even though, I couldn’t stand it, somehow, alone on the island of silence I forced myself to feel safe.
And only through the painstaking process of the return home – the banal and the zen – the proletarian awakening, my journey took a sharp turn left into the cooling embrace of the materialist analysis. Dialectics! Finally, the spiral of knowledge claimed me back – and I could rejoice being alone surrounded by people, and in the gross hot ocean of bodies I started seeing, more and more often, faces that resembled my own – the fear and uncertainty in their eyes I remembered vividly, and my heart would fill with compassion, and I would want to run to them and scream – “I know! I know!.. You are not alone!.. You and I, we are together in this loneliness?”
I am not yet insane and brave enough to dare to run to a fellow human in distress; but this day is right around the corner. I plugged myself back in, and the Matrix responded differently. This time, I heard a dull buzzing, an echo of a sound, a song, perhaps, on a vintage radio. It sang The International, I would like to think, but in the noises of the hivemind, reentering my solitude, I could not honestly tell.
And I have trashed your brain with my pseudo postmodernist analogies and I have wasted a few minutes of your time – but, traveler, I see your reflection, and the hellscape in your eyes is still burning bright. Turn this agony within, with me, with us, into the agony of rebirth, the loud and strong tread of the united human, enter the giant primordial monster of a human movement, the one that is unstoppable and the one that is coming.