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  • Writer's pictureCadu Lemos

The red pill

Special edition of THE PSYCHONAUT



In the symbolic universe of cinema, the film The Matrix presents a profound metaphor about awakening to the true nature of consciousness. The concept of taking the red pill in the film can be compared to embarking on a journey towards understanding the non-dual nature of reality and realizing pure, limitless consciousness.


In this analogy, we will explore how this awakening resembles the choice to take the red pill and delve into the depths of consciousness, offering insight into the reality of awakened consciousness.


In The Matrix, the red pill means a choice between embracing a comfortable illusion or facing a challenging and uncomfortable truth. Neo, the protagonist, is offered this choice by Morpheus, a figure who symbolizes wisdom and enlightenment.


Similarly, in the context of awakening to the true nature of consciousness, people are faced with a choice. They can choose to remain ensnared by the illusions of the egoic mind or take the red pill, representing the willingness to explore the depths of their own consciousness and the fundamental nature of reality.


Imagine the mind as a vast matrix, a construct of beliefs, perceptions, and conditioned thought patterns that dictate how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. The blue pill, symbolizing the choice to remain in ignorance, allows one to stay within the confines of this matrix without awareness of its limitations. However, the red pill represents the abandonment of this limited perspective, provoking us to question illusions and seek a deeper understanding of reality.


When it comes to awakening from autopilot, most people live their lives within the confines of their ego identity, or ego, simply put.

This identity is constructed through the conditioning we are subjected to since birth, social influences and personal experiences, creating a matrix of beliefs and perceptions that define who we think we are. The awakening process begins when someone becomes dissatisfied with this limited perspective and chooses to explore beyond their limits.


Taking the red pill in the context of consciousness means choosing to investigate the nature of self and reality. This investigation involves delving into the depths of your own consciousness to uncover the illusions and constructs that hide the truth. It is a courageous step towards understanding the fundamental essence of our being, beyond the ego and its fabricated narratives.


Just as Neo experiences a complete change of references and paradigms when taking the red pill, people who embark on the path of awakening undergo a profound transformation. This transformation involves a shift in perception, a realization that the ego and its strategies are not the ultimate reality. The journey reveals that our true nature is beyond the limitations of the ego - an expanded, limitless consciousness that is interconnected with all of existence.


In the film, Morpheus guides Neo through this transformation, helping him navigate the challenges of awakening to the reality of the matrix. In a similar way, spiritual masters and guides assist those on the path of awakening. These guides offer teachings, practices and insights to assist in the process of self-investigation and realization.


To glimpse this reality of awakened consciousness, it is necessary to engage in practices that facilitate the dissolution of egoic identity and provide a direct taste of non-dual consciousness.


Meditation, for example, is a powerful tool for quieting the mind and allowing people to access a state of pure awareness beyond thoughts and concepts. But be careful, meditation in this case does not seek to fix attention on some point such as a mantra, breathing or a candle flame. It is not intended to seek enlightenment or transform us into better human beings.


During this type of meditation, practitioners are encouraged to observe their thoughts without attachment or judgment, seeking out the empty space between them. Imagine thoughts as white clouds (or dark storm clouds, as happens in negative thoughts). These pass. The firmament remains impassive.

This practice cultivates the understanding that thoughts and ego are not the core of our being.


Instead, there is a consciousness that transcends the fluctuations of the mind - an observant presence that remains unchanged amidst the ever-changing mental landscape.


Similarly, moments of deep understanding or connection with nature can provide glimpses of this awakened reality. In these moments, the mind can momentarily quiet, and a feeling of unity and interconnectedness becomes palpable.


These glimpses serve as reminders that waking consciousness is not distant and unattainable; it is an intrinsic aspect of our being, obscured only by the veils of the egoic mind.


The practice of self-inquiry is also a path toward awakened consciousness that involves deep analysis and questioning of our own nature and identity. In this process, we seek to transcend limited identifications with the ego and illusions of the mind, exploring who or what we are beyond superficial appearances. By turning attention inward and examining our thoughts, feelings, and perceptions, we gradually begin to discern the implicit, timeless consciousness that is the basis of our existence.


As one continues to delve into the depths of consciousness through consistent practice and introspection, glimpses of awakened consciousness turn into sustained realization. This realization encompasses a shift in identity, from the egoic self-image to the expansive, non-dual consciousness where all creation is contained.



Lawrence Fishburne, (Morpheus) in The Matrix (1999)


In conclusion, the film's analogy between taking the red pill and awakening to the true nature of consciousness is a powerful metaphor that emphasizes the choice to move beyond the illusions of ego and separation and explore the depths of our own being.


Just as Neo's journey leads him to question the reality presented to him, the journey of awakening invites us to question our perceived reality and discover the eternal truth of our true nature - awakened consciousness.


Through practices and experiences that offer glimpses of this reality, we can navigate the process of awakening, ultimately embracing the truth that frees us from the limitations of the ego and leads us into the limitless realm of non-dual, awakened consciousness. full.

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