BY SOFO ARCHON
Think of the way most people live:
They force themselves to wake up early in the morning, dress up, drive straight to some workplace, spend 8 hours or so doing work they hate, drive back home, surf the Internet or watch TV, and then go to sleep, only to repeat the same routine the next day for almost the rest of their lives.
In our culture, we consider this kind of living as normal and even healthy, but if you stop and think about it, it’s not healthy at all. Rather, it’s sick.
Life can be immensely beautiful, yet instead of making the most out of it living in joy and peace, we waste it living in suffering and conflict. That’s because we’ve been programmed to believe that this is the only way to live. Habits, tradition and dogmatic beliefs have turned us into mindless automatons that follow a predetermined path that was forced upon us.
This programming, however, can be broken, if we realize that it’s in our hands to change the way we live, and gather enough courage in our hearts to rebel against the sickness of our culture. If you feel ready to embark on a journey of liberation and discovery, here are the eight most important things you can do right now to deprogram yourself and escape the matrix you’ve been trapped in since the very day you were born:
1. Break the shackles of dogmatic religion
Dogmatic, organized religion imposes on people what to think and what not to, what is good and what is bad, what is right and what is wrong.
Thus, dogmatic religion prevents people from living spontaneously, listening to their heart, seeking the truth and drawing their own conclusions based on critical thinking and experiential understanding. In addition, it divides people into opposing ideological groups and has them fight against each other in the name of God or Truth.
The result? Tremendous emotional suppression, conflict and pain.
To reclaim your freedom, express your authenticity and walk on the path of peace, joy and wisdom, break the chains of dogmatic religion by questioning it and starting your quest for the truth from scratch.
Further reading: 10 Reasons Why I Don’t Have a Religion
Recommended watch: How Religion Can Improve (or Ruin) Your Life
2. Stop giving your power away to external authority
As children, most of us were taught to doubt ourselves and do only what external authority commands us to. Now, as adults, we don’t trust ourselves anymore, and let others take responsibility for our lives.
For example, we support corrupted politicians who do nothing but lie to us in order to satisfy their hunger for power, being under the illusion that we’re choosing a brighter future for ourselves, when in reality the options we’re given in our pseudodemocratic system are extremely limited and in essence very much alike.
If you want to create true positive change in the world, stop obeying authority figures or waiting for someone to save you, and start taking responsibility in your own hands. In addition, consider joining a community of like-minded individuals and work together to help build a better political system that serves all people, not just the 1%.
Further reading: Breaking the Shackles of Social Conditioning
Recommended watch: Why Sociopaths Rule the World
3. Question the dominant economic system
In our global economic system, money is created out of debt, for it’s essentially loaned into existence by banks with interest attached to it. What that means is that there’s always more debt than money in the economy, which has people competing in the market for never enough, and results in economic inequality and social conflict.
In addition, our economic system is based on consumption, since people have to always buy and sell stuff in order for money to keep on circulating in the economy, and hence for people to remain employed. This not only requires the overextraction of natural resources, but also the production of insane amounts of toxic waste that is killing the very planet we depend on and share with countless other beings.
If you agree that our economic system is obsolete and inherently destructive, and would like to help change it from its very foundations, consider doing research on the negative impacts of our global economy, as well as educating yourself on alternative, socially-just and environmentally-sustainable economic systems.
Further reading: The Trap of Money (and How to Escape It)
Recommended watch: People are Slaves, and They Don’t Even Know It
4. Detach yourself from consumerism
Being brought up in a consumer culture, most of us have been conditioned to believe that money can buy everything we need, including happiness. As a result, we buy products and services without end, yet we always end up feeling dissatisfied and hungry for more of them.
The truth is that shopping can only provide us with temporary, superficial substitutes of what we truly need. And what we need is neither products nor services, but heart-opening experiences such as intimacy with other people and connection with the natural world.
Once you come upon this realization, you’ll stop being concerned about which is the next best thing you can buy, and instead start investing your time and energy on things that actually matter to your well-being.
Further reading: To Sell You Happiness, They First Make You Feel Like Shit
Recommended watch: Your Depression is Great for the Economy
5. Beware of the media
Knowledge is power, yet we are drowning in an ocean of information.
Corporate media often presents us with carefully-crafted, misleading information in order to manipulate how we think and behave. Sadly, most people rarely realize that, and end up becoming a cog in the wheel of a propaganda machine that’s filling their minds with lies and half-truths.
Truth seekers don’t accept anything on faith alone. Instead, they try to find evidence to support the information they’re presented with — and if there’s none, they don’t hold that information as true or valid. In addition, they do their best to develop a spherical understanding of any topic at hand by looking into as many different sources of information as they can.
If you don’t like being deceived, mislead and controlled, and sincerely want to better understand what’s going on in the world, be sure to expose yourself to plenty of information sources, and use critical thinking in order to draw your own conclusions. Seeking the truth is an arduous path, but in the end it’s totally worth it.
Further reading: How to Stop the Media from Controlling Your Mind
Recommended watch: How to Become Wiser
6. Choose your food carefully
Is what you eat contributing to your health, or is it poisoning your body and mind? Is the production of the food you consume humane and environmentally sustainable, or is it negatively impacting society, animals and the rest of the natural world?
These are some important questions that all people should ask themselves. Sadly, most of them eat foods that are filled with processed sugar and preservatives, and which are empty of nutrients or contain animal-derived products, unaware that their food choices are immensely detrimental to their health, contribute to the suffering and death of tens of billions of land animals and over a trillion marine animals every year, and have tremendously negative effects on our planetary ecosystem.
If you don’t want to engage in such cruel and unhealthy behavior, be sure to choose carefully what you eat, and I assure you that this is one of the best things you can do for yourself and the planet.
Further reading: The Animal Holocaust, and What You Can Do About It
Recommended article: The 15 Most Common Anti-Vegan Arguments
7. Read eye-opening books
Most people have associated books with school, and because of that they have developed a distaste or even hate for reading.
But here is an important truth they tend to ignore:
There have been plenty of wise individuals who’ve written books, in which they share their thoughts on life’s problems and how to effectively deal with them. Many of them criticize the workings of society and offer profound insights on how we could help create a more beautiful world.
Therefore, books can be immensely helpful in opening our eyes and improving the quality of our lives. But the vast majority of people spend little to none of their time reading thought-provoking books — hence, they can’t reap the amazing benefits those have to offer.
To get the most out of reading, don’t just pick any book and read it. Rather, read books that are challenging your opinions and beliefs, as well as provide you with new perspectives on life that enable you to better understand yourself and the world. And, beware of “speed reading” that so many “influencers” and self-help coaches mindlessly promote, for if not practiced selectively, it can absolutely ruin your reading — and hence learning — experience. (Watch the video below for more on that.)
Further reading: 8 Ways School is Making Children Stupid and Depressed
Recommended watch: How School Trains Us for a Shitty Life
8. Develop mindfulness
Last but not least, learning how to be mindful of the present moment is absolutely necessary for breaking free from your conditioning. Why? Simply because you’ll be able to consciously and spontaneously respond to what happens to you, instead of reacting unconsciously or out of habit.
So, how can you develop mindfulness?
Through the use of meditation practices. There are plenty of powerful meditation methods out there, so do some research on them, pick the ones you find to be the most useful and fitting to your liking, and stick to them until you see positive results in your life.
Other than helping you to develop mindfulness, a meditation practice will also help you to quiet your chattering mind, dive deep into your psyche and reconnect with your true Self. This will not only allow you to discover a sense of inner peace, but also to see that you are intrinsically connected with the rest of life, instead of a discrete and separate ego. As a result, you’ll start feeling love and compassion toward people and nature, which is the exact opposite of what our fiercely competitive and anti-environmental society has conditioned us to feel.
It’s important to note, however, that some people are negatively affected by practicing meditation. This often seems to be related to underlying emotional trauma. So, if you think you could be one of them, perhaps it would be better if you first addressed any serious psychological issues you might be suffering from through some form of therapy.
You’ve just made it to the end of this long article, which is a clear sign that you’re serious enough in your endeavor to understand the nature of the Matrix and find out how to escape it. So, from the depths of my heart, I wish you all the best in that hard yet immensely rewarding journey.
“The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system […] You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.” ~Morpheus, The Matrix