Thursday, 11 October 2018
Life after the Red Pill - (More Matrix) - Cypher as representative modern Man
In The Matrix movie (1999) there is a character called Cypher who chooses to live a life of pleasant delusion plugged-into the Matrix, rather than to live in reality where there is considerable hardship, deprivation, constant threat. For Cypher, 'red pill' reality is wholly negative (bad food, sexual frustration - the only relief being intoxication), whereas 'blue pill' life in the Matrix simulation has at least some positive features.
Cypher is a representative modern Man - a normal member of Western society: which is to say he is a materialist and a hedonist: he lives to maximise here-and-now pleasure and minimise suffering. For him it is better to live a fake life than a miserable one; and if life isn't net pleasurable then it is better to be dead and oblivious ASAP.
Contrast Morpheus: he seems happy, is positive about real life, and feels no fear. Why the difference? Because Morpheus is not a materialist - he is religious, and because (therefore) he does not live for pleasure but for meaning and purpose in an ultimate sense.
Cypher's life is meaningless and purposeless - whether inside the Matrix or outside of it; therefore he prefers the most pleasurable option. Cypher is also a traitor, quite happy to sacrifice or actively kill his 'family' when that seems likely to brings him more pleasure... and, from his perspective, why not?
When life is material and evaluated by pleasure - as it surely is for most mainstream, modern, people in the West - then Cypher is normal, and Cyphers's morality the only that makes sense. The Cyphers of this world do not want reality, because the 'reality' they are prepared to acknowledge has zero meaning; and if they are forced to take a red pill and inhabit their version of real-reality then they will seek intoxication, to return to the fake work of delusions; or will kill themselves (since they believe that biological death means the end of consciousness).
The red pill is therefore only valuable to the religious; to those who acknowledge reality beyond materialism, life beyond biology. This is why most people prefer lives of mass media addiction, plugged-into the Matrix of the internet and social media 24/7 - and why they are purposively and by choice hedonic, immoral, intoxication-seeking, and prone to despair.
Yet, to be a materialist hedonist is itself a choice - a metaphysical choice; such people have decided to reject the possibility of meaning and purpose and real relationships. In a nutshell, they have decided that God is not and cannot be real - the consequence being that nothing is real (except current feelings- and these are transient). They have then closed their minds to having made this decision and claim it has been forced upon them by 'evidence'.
They claim that it is Morpheus who is deluded; that Morpheus is living a lie, that Morpheus is the one who indulges in wishful thinking that prophecies are true, and Neo is the saviour; claim that Morpheus is pretending because living a lie happens to be more pleasurable to him personally.
And no matter what actually happens, they will continue to believe that life is nothing more than materialistic, meaningless hedonism - and that anything which Neo does to save is just-a-coincidence... No possible evidence is ever going to be sufficient to persuade the Cyphers that they were wrong, are wrong, have made an error of assumption. No evidence will ever suffice because their primary (denied) choice to reject God is metaphysically-deep, and therefore that primary choice frames their interpretation of whatever happens-to-happen.
Cypher is the normal, majority, representative modern Man because he has chosen to make his actual life, and all possible lives he might ever lead in any circumstances, meaningless - and he is stuck in this situation, permanently; because he will never admit that this was in fact a choice that he actually made.