06 December 2010

You're afraid of us. You're afraid of change.

(reposted from elsewhere)

I was recently privileged to read Iain Banks' Walking on Glass. One of the major characters is a paranoid schizophrenic fellow, who believes himself to be a superior being who fell captive in some metagalactic conflict and has been exiled on Earth as a punishment. You find out later that he might actually be right, but that's not the point here - the point is that his beliefs, while they give some structure to his reality, actually totally get in the way of being able to function properly on planet Earth. Basically, since he interprets everyone he comes across as either perpetrators of a giant conspiracy to keep him trapped on Earth, or witless dupes of that conspiracy, he can't have any friends or any honest communication, and his life is in a downward spiral (which of course proves that he's a superior being victimised by a conspiracy).

Which brings me to a criticism of that otherwise impeccable Gnostic-revolutionary film, The Matrix. The one thing that always "got" me about that movie was that the people who'd been awakened from the Matrix were licensed to kill as many normal humans as they saw fit (because they might turn into Hugo Weaving at any moment, and really death would be better than their illusory reality while living as batteries). It is said that the nafs (the self-perpetuating ego which has evolved as a defence mechanism to keep you alive and safe in this world but will try to ensure you don't change or grow) will tell you any lie in order to keep you trapped, and "YOU HAVE BEEN ENLIGHTENED, THEREFORE YOU HAVE MORE RIGHTS THAN THE BLINKERED SHEEPLE, INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO UNLEASH VIOLENCE ON THOSE WHO GET IN YOUR WAY" is a pretty effective trap.

In contrast, the legitimately enlightened are known for their kindness, forbearance and wicked sense of humour, although occasionally their kindness manifests in being extremely rude to people to wake them up - giving them what they need rather than what they want, in other words.