Specifically, in what I call the pseudo-spiritual space, many influencers and practitioners promote and sell the goal of “Escaping the Matrix”. This blog post will explore why this claim is flawed and arguably not a spiritual pursuit.
In many ways, I believe that most of it are anthesis, although not all, to the pursuit of spiritual growth, as you will read here.
Spirituality worldwide has become co-opted by egos, greed in people’s minds and spiritual materialism. My reference point is western spirituality, but I’m confident this is true for spirituality in other places.
I observe that some spiritual practitioners warp spiritual growth into a commercial, consumerist magic pill you can take with little work to obtain spiritual enlightenment. Anyone genuinely in the field knows that it is different from how it works, and it is a lot of work and often tedious.
Escaping the Matrix, what does it mean, and where does it originate?
To no surprise, the term was popularised by the movie The Matrix. Since then, many spiritual influencers and practitioners have used it to articulate the purpose of spiritual practice.
To them, it is to transcend any form of social conditioning and live a life of freedom without thinking about consequences.
Most recently, Andrew Tate used the phrase in his marketing material on Instagram, Tik Tok, YouTube and within his course material. He uses the Matrix to describe an evil force out to get him, and he is not alone in doing so. Even Elon Musk uses the term for the same reason.
To people like Andrew Tate and Elon Musk escaping the matrix means transcendence. To them, transcendence looks like fancy cars, big houses and the freedom to act outside the boundaries of the law without any consequences.
I have nothing against earning money and living a life of luxury and pleasure, but to communicate that this is explicitly spiritual or transcendence is where I think they are wrong and misleading.
In addition, I highly recommend reading The High Price of Materialism. In this book, Tim Kasser explains very well what focusing on constant consumption does to our mental health, and it is not a pretty sight.
Not all thinking behind the notion of “escaping the matrix” is entirely inaccurate per se; this blog post is not too far from what I agree with.
So, do I think what many people consider “the matrix” is to be true?
If you think about the matrix as the cultural and social conditioning we live within, in the sense that it guides our choices and who we are, then yes, that is mostly true.
If you think of the matrix as the earthly realm in its totality or some evil force out to get us, then I don’t think it is true.
My spiritual teacher has a saying which goes, “who were you before who society told you to be?” As Sofo suggests in his blog post, I believe there is an excellent benefit to unlearning much of the social conditioning society places upon us because it shackles our minds to live a certain way.
Here comes the point where I diverge from many others’ notions of the matrix.
I think our spirit is moving through a specific spiritual lesson for a reason this time. Although that does not mean we don’t have the agency to make decisions for ourselves. Free will and a sense of agency do not take away from the fact that we are born into a specific culture and place in time for a reason—these ideas are not mutually exclusive.
It could be that it is our lesson to live differently from most other people, “to escape the matrix”, or not. That is not really for anyone to say. Only as individuals can we find out how we want to live our lives. Each of our spiritual lessons during a lifetime is varied; one is not better than the other.
I can understand how using escaping the matrix as a framework is helpful, but I do think that it comes with too many connotations and in the long run, I don’t think it adds value to the notion of spiritual pursuit.
Moreover, how Andrew Tate uses it is not empowering, creating more misogyny and bigotry, not less.
What is a worthwhile spiritual pursuit, and why?
A worthwhile spiritual quest is, first and foremost, about nurturing a sense of acceptance and calm in your life.
Accept your life for what it is and the cards you have been given. If you are not pleased with where you are, act from a place of self-love instead of self-hatred to create the motivational spur you need to make the changes you want to see.
There are areas of our life we have control over, whilst there are many where we don’t. Instead of forcing, allow your life to unfold as you do your best to make good choices. Beyond that, there is not much you can do, and instead of feeling bad about it, accept it.
Instead of becoming caught up in a thunderstorm of narratives within your mind that is likely untrue, create a sense of calm to release them and perhaps see life from a different perspective.
Moving on from acceptance and calm, you can explore how the cosmos’ workings come together, but that should not be the starting point. The starting point should be on your earthly experience over what you can experience when you enter an altered state in your meditation.
In our Spiritual Healing sessions, we help our clients find their authentic truth via the practice of meditation.
What to do instead of focusing on escaping the matrix?
Instead of focusing on escaping the matrix, I’d like you to first begin by creating a sense of awareness of your strengths and weaknesses. If you focus on escaping the matrix, it creates us and them type of culture, and that is not helpful to anyone.
Further, to understand your upbringing and how your parents and overall culture conditioned you to become who you are today.
Afterwards, ask yourself whether this conditioning is helpful or if there are some areas you can improve.
Then, write down a list of three actions you will take to slowly begin that journey towards living a life of greater satisfaction.
So, you have created awareness and built a list of activities you will take.
What is next?
In my mind, the next step should be to start practising meditation, and I highly recommend a meditation that explicitly connects your mind to the spiritual realm. All types of meditation are brilliant. Even still, there is a profoundness behind practising a kind of meditation that enables you to converse with the cosmos directly.
The ideas behind escaping the matrix are complex and not all bad. It very much comes down to the outcomes you are promoting and the philosophy underpinning them.
We at esoteric institute do not think what Andrew Tate is suggesting is what anyone should aspire for, whilst Sofo Archon has the correct gist.
Life and why we are here are much more complex than anyone can imagine. So I suggest always entering the depths of your meditation and then seeing what you feel.