Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Matrix has you, Neo

A certain someone who's shaped me the way I am once told me that the best lessons in life come when they're least expected. Maybe I'd dismissed that back then as another one of the "The best things in life come free" kind of statement. Today, I very certainly agree. Not often does the philosophy of The Matrix become clear to you at 3 am, whilst returning from the ground floor bathroom after a rare late-night bath.

“Free your mind, Neo”, said Morpheus, famously. Whatever Mr. Director intended to say then, it just means one thing to me right now. Quite literally, free yourself from whatever you’ve been programmed to do. For being programmed is probably the worst state you’re ever in.

Indian ethics. One of the more passionately debated topics of today, with the debates not restricting themselves to be purely verbal. Sex, lust, greed, and all that jazz which being uttered in Indian homes today might lead to controversy. It is these very ethics that caused me to realize what we’ve been taught every time someone tells us to “free our mind”. The night saw me having arguably my best phone conversation. Never before had my thoughts been so clear, so smooth and so easily transferrable into words. The friend and I spoke about things which would not just bond us closer than ever, but would make me come to the realization that more people in the world are programmed than we’d ever imagine.

How would one define “programmed”? A simple example – Making out when one is not “going out” with the girl. Even though the guy has intense emotional and physical attachment to the girl, making out is specially reserved for after they start “going out”. Are a simple question and the affirmative answer the key to establish trust between two individuals? Or is it the constant building up of trust in a slow yet sure way, which makes the two people, eventually, quite unable to live without each other? I mean, this is as preposterous as little kids believing that the exchange in garlands changes everything for the woman, and she ends up having kids. That’s programming for you. Something fixed with such a brilliantly tested algorithm, that it refuses to fail, howmuchever you try finding a loophole in it. Something embedded so deep in a system, that to alter that piece of coding, the whole system needs to be altered.

And crashing down upon me came the realization of how important it is to “free your mind”. To see the truth, to see the world as it is. The Matrix might have shown us the literal version of it, with the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar very literally “pulling a plug” out of Neo’s “programmed” mind, but not too many realize the vast applications of this. I don’t attribute the realization to myself; it is wholly the credit of the friend who got me to this junction. We need to start questioning. We need to start thinking beyond the realms of the physics and the chemistry we’re taught, and start thinking right from our fundamentals. For the programming starts ever since we’re born. Building your fundamentals on your own will never be done, they will be “taught” to you as empirical relations. So many people try to tell us to study and study more, but does anybody bother explaining why when we’re kids? As we grow, the nature of this programming changes. So many people keep trying to drill us with the fact that sex before marriage is a bad, bad thing, but does anybody explain why? How is it that so many people live inside the Matrix, but never figure out they’re there? Brilliant, Morpheus, just plain brilliant!

Does anybody bother explaining whether emotional and physical relationships are best when they’re same, or best when they’re different, or whether their nature depends from person to person? How come we’re never taught in schools and colleges how to handle our emotions, when the teacher-folk very well know we’re gonna encounter it someday? Why are “relationships” randomly given a bad name, without any explanations? Why do mothers, without any justification, tell their daughters never to get too involved with boys, knowing all too well that someday, the daughter’s gonna end up asking questions and most probably be a rebel?

Why are purely physical relationships considered bad, always? I am not questioning the fundamental, just wondering why we aren’t given an explanation as to WHY they’re bad. Maybe learning out of pure experience is the way it’s meant to be. Maybe it’s the journey, not the destination that matters. Maybe it lies in the simple fact, that the best lessons in life come when you’re least expecting them.

Maybe next time when I need an answer, I should just scroll up!


Nikita said...

i hav so much to say(specially about being "programmed")... that i dont know what to write...


Reems said...

Nice concept,as always.Looks like you've mastered the art of putting up your random thoughts in a "programmed" way.
'Indian Ethics'->Something embedded so deep in a system, that to alter that piece of coding, the whole system needs to be altered.
^the debate usually ends at this point.

adnahar said...
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adnahar said...

These very same ideas or thoughts have been going through my head for the last six months.
The very rebellious side in me is slowly but surely coming out.

It is always about the process and not the product.I have learned so many invaluable lessons when I have least expected them.

You have this ability to relate movies, songs and books to your writing extremely well. You fuse these references into your writing. This is what makes reading what you have written, an absolute pleasure.

anu said...

Classic. :)

Just one point.
Is simple freedom sweeter, or freedom after rebellion ?

Think about it.

JD said...

@ Nikita... U know how I feel about your comment :)

@ Reems, thanks. I usually used to end the debate there too, but decided to carry it forward for once.

@ AD, dude, I think all us 19-20 year olds have this nagging feeling, I just put it in words, that's it :)

@ Anu.. Freedom is ALWAYS earned. There is nothing like simple freedom. Just because ur born in a free country doesn't mean ur free. That's not true freedom!

anu said...

Bull's eye! That's precisely WHAT i meant!

Will U ever be satisfied if u got that freedom on a platter?? Wud u
be curious enough to get that "experience" if U aint threatened to stay away from it?? :P

The restrictions, the bans, the net around us makes us strive more! The fact that the topic["pre-'in-the-phase-where-sex-is-considered-bad' sex" in this case] is curfewed upon drives us to dig out every bit of info bout it. MAkes us find out reasons as to WHY tis banned. Makes us find loopholes. MAKES US DO IT. ULTIMATELY.[in fact,Thats wat i tried to touch upon in my 1st ever blogpost!]

So, actually speakin, the purpose serves quite the opposite. The grills beckon the prisoner. MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE.The very purpose for which we are held in by our superiors falls through.Rules don't define one's limits. In fact, they lure em away like nothing else CAN.

I kno the point I'm holdin onto is very very vague...and against popular opinion...uhmm..u've heard of "the grass on the other side is always greener."..

Maybe rules HAVE TO BE MADE just so we are able to break em.
Maybe the foremost thing we'll do if rules WEREN't MADE in the first place is : MAKE THEM.

And then effing break em.

anu said...

P.S. and I'm an 18-year-old :D

JD said...

@ Anu: When you trap a monster, it wants to break free, doesn't it? ;)

And as for the 18 year old part - It's okay. We're all of the same normal category :D

Saniya said...

interesting...and very true..kinda bold too.i dnt knw if i cud write about it myself tho' i feel strongly about it..nice work..

and btw purely physical relationships are considered bad because its like goin to a whorehouse and sleeping wit one whore.relationships can be purely emotional but not purely physical because the physicality cannot keep people together..but then ur right, its plainly my opinion and every1 shud decide wat they want from their share of experinces even if they are mistakes.

Varun said...

hey JD...
nice article.....n yes we are programmed....but its also a good thing....if we werent told to study we would not push our intelligence to the point where we say "wtf, we are programmed".....its good tht our elders or as u said our teacer folk never said as to "why" do this n do tht....we were kids then n too small to understand the reason behind it. Our elders just wanna pass down thier experience by programming us. We dont have to be a rebel to chuck out what does not make sense. Its up to us. If it makes sense use it....if it doesnt we kno what not to do.Its our choice if we let us get programmed.two sides to a coin.

Shreyas said...

found myself thinking.. well yeah.. makes sense kaa.. thn i thot over again... wht u profess is more a recipe for anachronism... i dont trust 6 billion +free liberated " i know what is right for me" kinda ppl walking around to function as nature has designed it for us to be...

BadaBing said...

Somethin tells me you're not gettin any :|

hehe...all apart, nice one. Definitely the best in a while

BadaBing said...

Seems to me like you aint gettin any..... :|

But nice one, definitely the best in quite a while....

Maddy said...

A mature take on a bold topic (or the other way round :)) A couple of things the post made me think of :
>>Sometimes u don't need 2 b programmed by others(read-family, society).. sometimes u do it to yourself..mostly 2 ensure that at a later date when you'll probably question what makes perfect sense at this point, u don't give yourself the opportunity to go against your former good sense.. Again, can work as a disadvantage at times..but you can see why people do it..
>>Ethics- they are(or should be)more what you lay down for yourself and not what anyone else dictates..
>>About why parents/wellwishers prefer 'programming' us- It's their effort at ensuring we *don't* learn from experiences, especially ones that may leave us changed for the rest of our lives.. True, experiences would probably teach a more convincing lesson, but try reasoning that out with a mother..It's impossible :)

Enjoyed reading this post and love your clarity of thought.. Looking forward to loads more!


Nikita said...

Clarity of thought (Maddy Said)..

Hi 5!!


Gaurs said...

Well written.. And I'm glad you still believe 'making out' should be reserved for after 'going out' :-)
Rebellion is great but only with good cause.. And yes I feel too old here!!

imperfect said...
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imperfect said...

There is nothing wrong about pure physical relationships, there is everything wrong about lying to our partner about loving them knowing its purely physical attraction and nothing else.

Clear thoughts!