Even if it is one of the most overused clichés in the so-called “Truth Movement”, it is of course only so because it so aptly ‘encapsulates’ the whole concept of the choosing to believe the truth, no matter how difficult, vs. choosing to believe simply whatever is most appealing.
“Why oh why didn’t I take the blue pill” Cypher cynically pondered…
Why indeed. Why does this loop persist. This regular pattern of questioning whether everything somehow came together in my life under some kind of cosmic, providential plan which allowed me to be able to finally look out from underneath the matrix of meaningless noise, to peak my head above the canopy of trees in hopes of getting a glimpse of what the real sunlight looks like, or whether it’s all just the total reverse, and the reason I finally turned towards embracing such a view of the world is simply because the trajectory of my own personal life has been so less than what I may have desired it to be.
Maybe all this nonsense about apocalyptic notions and eschatological musings is just my own blue pill. The one that eventually replaced all the other ones. The one that seemed to suffice in place of facing up to my own feelings of being a poor husband, or a poor father, or just a piss-poor disciple of Jesus in general. Even if it is all true, it can still be a way of escape, can it not? Another “layer of control”, one that I chose, one that I continue to build around myself with every word I come back and write in this silly blog…
Last night I watched the Scorsese film “Shutter Island” starring Leonardo Dicaprio, a chilling portrayal of how a man who lost his mind and wound up in a mental institution after enduring a horrific episode involving his wife and children, and the entire movie weaves it’s way through the “mystery” of the island, which is really nothing but an intensely elaborate conspiracy hallucination which he has conjured in his own mind, in order to not be faced with the nightmarish reality of what really happened in his own, real, life. A chilling portrayal of how blue pills don’t always have to be “uppers”, that rely on releases of chemicals in the brain that make you feel positive feelings, like ice cream, or zoning out to an afternoon of football on a Sunday, or buying that new something, anything, just purchasing for the sake of the buzz of having something new, only to throw it in your trunk and drive home and never touch it again. Blue pills can be dark rides themselves, their own prerequisite for success is that they replace something you want to experience even less.
I have spent so much of my life judging other people, not for the typical stuff like their stance on abortion or homosexuality or whatever, but essentially for being blue pill poppers. What a joke. I am surely a hypocrite, as my own blue pills are only different in the dispensers they happen to come out of. As it is, I barely speak to anyone in my extended family, and it was that way long before my perspectives on something like 9/11 or global politics or the spiritual realm veered in a radically different direction than theirs. My wife and kids need someone who can inspire and encourage them, and my fallback position has always been to resort to some rambling, semi-coherent diatribe about why this alleged historical account is inaccurate, or why that system is wrong, or why the institutional church is corrupt, or why everything and everyone is somehow stupid in their own special way. Sure, the joy of the Lord just pours out of me… I don’t want this crap anymore God, do You hear me? Plug me back in, stick me back in the power plant, fix me somehow, make me “normal” again, if I ever was in the first place. I am so tired. The bitterness always starts to seep back in, finding some crack, somewhere, and infecting everything. Why can’t I just be a semi-regular person, and let stuff go, and just eat the juicy, delicious steak, and stop asking if it matters whether or not I know it’s not even really there.
There are those who believe that the God Himself is the ultimate blue pill. The conjured escape. The chosen delusion. The matrix supreme.
I think I am quite tired of trying to convince such people to the contrary. I am probably as equally tired of trying to convince those who do believe in God, but then have a total fantasy-level amount of faith in the world around them, as if God really does “bless” the rest of the world through bombing campaigns, and piles of paper money, and Monday Night Football, and Elvis.
When I was sailing around the Caribbean as a younger, thinner person, we once stopped at some island in the eastern edge somewhere, can’t remember if it was St. Vincent or St. Lucia, or where exactly. There was a cliff, not far from where the boat was moored, which curved around part of the island, that I liked walking to, and climbing up onto the tall, smooth, sentinel-like stones which lined the bottom of the cliff. I remember sitting there and watching the sunset, and thinking about how far away everything else I knew to be going on in the world felt in that moment. Thinking about how that picturesque spot had always been there my whole life, and I would’ve never imagined it in a million years, and it was like somehow that place just stuck in my mind as this moment, this place, where for a brief moment I stepped outside of my mindless running, and just sat, and listened, and looked, and saw the world without looking at anything through the eyes of man. Every so often I will think of that place, and wonder if some day I’ll ever just say to heck with it and buy a ticket to the Caribbean in order to go search for that place, but of course I know I never will. Perhaps, one day, I will instead sit on those tall rocks overlooking the calm of the warm ocean waters, and Jesus will sit next to me, and the sunset will last as long as it needs to, as He explains all that my heart has ever wondered about, ever wrestled with, and all the blue pills will have washed away with the tide, and nothing will scream inside again.