Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lessons From The Matrix: ME, ME, ME

"We are not here because we are free, we are here because we are NOT free. There is no escaping reason, no denying purpose, because without purpose, we do not exist. It is purpose that created us. Purpose that connects us. Purpose that pulls us, that guides us, that drives us. It is purpose that defines, purpose that binds us."

- Agent Smith

Do ME a favor.

Not MY problem.

Give ME a break.

Why does this always happen to ME?

What about ME?

It's MY life!

I need more time for ME.

Agent Smith, after being 'killed' by Neo, is unplugged from The Matrix. Instead of using that opportunity as a chance to reset his sights on a new higher sense of purpose, he redoubles his efforts in a bezerker quest that can only end in isolation and doom. Smith has wrapped himself in his own psychopathic personal fable and is unable to see any way out of it.

Often in our lives and in our training, we become like Agent Smith. We get so wrapped up in the drama of our routines, thoughts, and emotions that we can't give them up, no matter how, addictive, hopeless, and self-defeating they become. We become victims to the "too-much-invested-to-quit-syndrome".

Attachment can be craving or pushing away; either way, it causes suffering. When we learn to stop attaching , we can be with life as it is in the moment and let it go when the time comes to do that. Clear seeing is a form of intelligence. It is unintelligent to try to hold on to things, to freeze them, when we can't.
The truth is that we don't own anything, not our bodies, not even the content of our minds. That's actually good news (though not for the ego: it immediately compensates by resolving to be a great practitioner, really to see through itself and become a famous meditator). Wisdom has helped us let go of the burden of attaching to things as me or mine. We are able to lay that burden down.
I remember an image I saw about this truth in Japan. It was a cartoon of a Zen monk walking along the beach carrying a huge sack. It was so heavy that his footsteps were like craters. On the sack it said ME. That's the burden we need to lay down. It will make our life incomparably lighter.

- Breath by Breath: The Liberating Practice of Insight Meditation (p. 127)

"Me & Mine" are heavy burdens to bear. Obsession with ME destroyed Agent Smith. Through closer observation of our thoughts, emotions, circumstances, and 'purpose', while identifying with them less, perhaps we can lighten that burden a bit.

Me, me, me.

Other "Lessons From The Matrix":
There Is No Spoon
Causality & Choice


Boris T said...

Nice post, I like it. We get to caught up in ourselves to see anything beyond.

Casey said...

Very nice. It reminds me that our self created, "me" burdens will hamper us as long as we let them.

Neghar said...

Another great lesson from the Matrix! Great thoughts, Boris. I really enjoyed it and it gave me something to think about today.

Boris said...

Thanks everyone.

More attention, less supression and distraction = reminder to self.