The Elimination of Self

According to Hobbes, human beings live in a state of nature that operates under one rule: eat or be eaten. It is this law that governs all things. There is no justice or fairness, there is merely powerful and weak. There is the will to dominate and the will to submit. And in all people, even those who are closest to you, there is the urge to restrict your freedom, while increasing theirs.

And what about those who are disappointed by this brutish nature of man? They have only themselves to blame, for there are nothing but signs all around them, of the destructiveness of man, of his deceitfulness, devilishness, and his disdain for order. The forces of Apollo are manifest, but the Dionysian forces are too numerous to resist.

But the rebellion that man has against authority and structure is only one part of the story. Man also rebels against himself

He designs technology to externalize a part of his rational, orderly being –only to dominate others while expanding his own freedom. A product that enslaves millions to a screen is his golden goose, his favorite sanctuary. And yet, the technologist becomes a slave to his own contraption, unable to escape its demands.

In the same way, the matrix is not a fictional concept, but a playful description of our deepest subconscious desire – to externalize our minds completely. We wish to escape. As divine beings in animal bodies, we are haunted by a cruel joke that has been played on us by nature. And so, our revenge is contained in our own technological blueprints. By mastering nature and technology, we can expand our consciousness outside our own bodies. In line with our destructive instincts, we can use our tools to expand individually, while subjugating the individuality of others.

The pop cultural metaphor of the blue pill vs the red pill is a description of those who choose to ignore what is apparent for them to see, and those who want to go deeper. And yet, those who go deeper, who seek truth, are mere agents for those who have opted for the illusion. The more they try to illuminate others, the more they reinforce the cultural sub substructure that creates this dichotomy in the first place. And the more they worship reason, the more they are subject to misdirection and miscomprehension.

On a practical level, the answer becomes clear. Given the elusiveness of truth, and the inevitable degradation of all value structures under radical uncertainty, there will always be a powerful movement towards the Dionysian, towards destruction.

And then, there is a twist, a realization of delightful irony. Because of man’s destructiveness, he will, in the final event, of externalizing his consciousness, get rid of it. By seeking the infinite expansion of the self, he simultaneously eliminates it. Like the technologist, his plan backfires.

Not only does man rebel against himself, but he moves towards his own annihilation.

Be wary of building a contraption that will enslave you to it. It is one more form of self-deception.

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