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 bed and sleep, only to repeat the same routine the next day for almost their entire 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. Life can be immensely beautiful, yet instead of making the most out of it, we choose to waste it, and 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 who follow a predetermined path that was forced upon us by society. This programming, however, can be broken, if we realize that it’s in our hands to transform the way we’re living, and gather enough courage in our hearts to think and act differently. Then, life can be turned into a celebration filled with joy, creativity, love and play.
How to Deprogram Yourself
Here are eight tips to help you deprogram yourself and escape the matrix you’ve likely been trapped in since the day you were born:
1. Break free from the shackles of organized 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, organized religion prevents people from exercising their critical thinking, seeking the truth and reaching to their own conclusions based on their reasoning and life experiences. On the contrary, it teaches them to blindly follow a set of beliefs and rules.
The result? Tremendous emotional suppression and suffering.
To reclaim your freedom, express your authenticity and walk on the path of understanding, be sure to break the chains of organized religion by questioning it and starting your quest for the truth from scratch.
2. Stop giving your power away to authority
When we were children, most of us were taught to doubt ourselves and do pretty much only what authority commands us to. Now, as adults, we don’t trust ourselves, 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, yet we’re 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 almost exactly the same.
If you want to create true positive change in the world, stop giving a few others power over your life, and take responsibility in your own hands. In addition, join a community of like-minded individuals and work together in order to help build a better social system that serves all people, instead of just the 1%.
3. Question the dominant economic system
In our global economic system, money is created out of debt, for nearly all money is essentially loaned into existence with interest attached to it. What that means is that there’s always less money in the economy than debt, 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 endless growth, which means that people have to always consume stuff in order for money to keep on circulating in the economy, and hence for people to remain employed. This not only requires excessive extraction of natural resources, but also the production of incredible amounts of toxic waste that is poisoning the very planet we depend on and share with countless other beings.
If you agree that our economic system is obsolete and would like to help change it from its very foundations, I’d highly recommend you to do some research on the immense negative impacts of our economy, as well as to educate yourself on alternative, socially-just and environmentally-sustainable economic systems.
4. Detach yourself from consumerism
Being brought up in a consumer culture, we believe that money can buy everything we need, and that it will bring lasting happiness into our lives. As a result, we buy products and services without end, yet we always end up feeling dissatisfied and hungry for more.
The truth is that shopping can only provide us with temporary, superficial substitutes of what we truly need. And what we need is neither possessions nor services, but heart-opening experiences such as love, intimacy, and connection to the natural world.
Once you come upon this realization, you’ll not be concerned about which is the next best thing you can buy anymore, and instead invest your time and energy on things that actually matter to your happiness and well-being.
5. Beware of the media
Knowledge is power, yet we are drowning in an ocean of information.
Corporate media often presents us intentionally with carefully-crafted, false or misleading information in order to manipulate us and serve its vested interests or agenda. 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 reality by looking into as many sources of information as they can, even if those are opposing each other.
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 do enough research to expose yourself to plenty of different sources of information, and use critical thinking in order to evaluate it. Seeking the truth is an arduous path, but in the end it’s totally worth it.
6. Be mindful of what you put into your body
Is what you’re eating contributing to your health, or is it poisoning your physical organism? Is the production of the food you consume humane and environmentally-sustainable, or is it negatively impacting society, animals and the natural world?
These are some important questions that all people should ask themselves. Most of them, however, eat foods that are filled with processed sugar, preservatives and which are empty of nutrients or contain animal-derived products, unaware that their food choices are detrimental to their health, contribute to the suffering and death of tens of billions of animals, and have a tremendously negative effects on the environment.
If you don’t want to engage in such cruel and unhealthy behavior, be sure to choose carefully what you put into your body, and I assure you that this is one of the best things you can do for yourself and our planet.
7. Read eye-opening books
There have been plenty of wise individuals who’ve written books in which they share their thoughts on life’s problems and how they can be effectively dealt with. Many of them criticize the workings of society and offer insights on how we could create a more beautiful world.
Books, therefore, can be immensely helpful in opening our eyes and improving the quality of our lives. Unfortunately, most people spend little to none of their time reading thought-provoking books — hence, they can’t reap the amazing benefits they have to offer.
To get the most out of reading books, do not just pick any book and read it — read only those that touch your mind and heart, as well as provide you with new perspectives that enable you to better understand yourself and the world.
8. Develop mindfulness
Lastly, learning how to live in the present moment is a great way to break free from your conditioning. By being mindful of the here and now, you’ll be able to respond to what happens to you consciously and spontaneously, instead of unconsciously and out of habit.
How can you develop mindfulness? Through the use of meditation practices. There are plenty of meditation techniques out there that can help you to become more mindful, so do some research on them, pick the ones that you like the most and stick to them until you see positive results in your life.
Having said that, research has shown that some people are negatively affected by practicing meditation. This often seems to be related to underlying emotional trauma. So, if you happen to be one of them, it’s important that you first address that trauma through some form of psychotherapy.
“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