Institutional Thinking: The Matrix of 1984 And The Allegory of The Cave

In the dystopian world of The Matrix, the same futuristic Allegory of The Cave is again explored. Neo is freed and seeks to free the others, and encounters the same archetypes and challenges.

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Related: 7 Inner Archetypes That Cripple Your Confidence and Self-Respect

Moreover, the return of the freed prisoner can also be related to the ‘return of the prophet’ described in many theological constructs.

 

The Freed and the Scorned

The experience of the freed prisoner who returns to the Cave to free his fellow captors is depicted in all three narratives; the Allegory of the Cave, 1984, and The Matrix.

In 1984 Emmanuel Goldstein (Emmanuel = God is with us, Goldstein = gold rock) is a character who figuratively left the cave, or understood the Inner Party’s images were lies and attempted to get others to understand the institutional lies. Emmanuel is the supposed leader of the elusive Brotherhood in 1984 and is scorned, even hated by society. His attempt to enlighten his community to its captivity is met with disbelief, resistance and scorn.

On the walls of the cave, only the shadows are the Truth - Plato s The Allergory of The Cave

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The character of Winston Smith in 1984 is that of a person who attempts to leave the cave. He is privy to certain Inner Party lies and begins to question the Inner Party line and seek alternate facts and perceptions. Winston’s end is not a happy one; akin to the return of the prisoner hypothesized in The Allegory of The Cave, he attempts to leave the cave only to be shut in and beaten down – made to hold the party line by both prisoners and captors alike.

Similarly, today, individuals can transmute from dull repetitive ‘thought’ into ascended golden thinking, but as our minds are freed, one at a time, we ultimately find that our broader society is embedded with a series of norms and structures – of Matrices and Caves – that perpetuate false imagery, preserving the status quo from the ‘threat’ of individual thinking.

Related: 7 Toxic Thoughts To Get Rid Of As You Get Older and What To Think Instead

Individuals and Institutions

Some fictional literature is so profound as to be relevant for decades (and centuries) and serves to expand humanity’s language and thought; its understanding of itself. George Orwell’s 1984 is one such literary work. It is a post-WWII interpretation of the relationship between individuals and institutions, using the archetypal Allegory of the Cave.

The Allegory of the Cave, 1984 and The Matrix contain corresponding layers. Each explores a diabolical form of societal control; the control of thought through the presentation of selective information and images, in combination with physical constraints of strict surveillance and imprisonment.

Sound familiar? In fact, the original title of 1984 was proposed as The Last Man in Europe. Certainly, that is the way many of us feel – as if we are the last lone person – when we first become aware of lies and partial truths that are presented as reality by those in control and accepted in totality by seemingly everyone else.

George Orwell quote - In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act

George Orwell’s 1984 spawned new language for age-old structures of manipulation presented in the Allegory of the cave – the word “Orwellian” being one among many. This all-encompassing term is reflective of lies made to be truths, unlimited institutional surveillance, and logic so distorted as to not only convince the masses that two plus two equal five, but that war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength; and also to deny the very basic elements of nature… Just as we do today.

In reality, individual ignorance is strength to institutions. Everyone has their own personal caves and we are all figuratively held in larger societal caverns. Coming up with your own questions is the way get out of the cave and gain enlightenment. Questioning what seems like a lie, or an illusion in the cave is the first step outside the cave.

The solid world exists, its laws do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported fall toward the earth’s center. With the feeling that he was speaking to… and setting forth an important axiom, he wrote: “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows”. ~George Orwell’s 1984

 

Ethan Discusses ‘The Allegory of The Cave’ on Aquarian Radio

Click here to listen to Ethan discussing the Allegory of the Cave, and much more, with Janet and Sasha on the Planetary Oligarchy series (presented by Aquarian Radio).

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Thanks for the great article.

Destiny

“Equilibrium” was left out.

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Ethan Indigo Smithhttps://ethanindigosmith.weebly.com/
Activist, author and Tai Chi teacher Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. Guided by a keen sense of integrity and humanity, Ethan’s work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation and a unique sense of humour. Ethan’s most popular publications include “108 Steps to Be in The Zone”, a set of 108 meditative practices for self discovery and individual betterment, and “The Little Green Book of Revolution” an inspirational book based on ideas of peaceful revolution, historical activism and caring for the Earth like Native Americans. His latest book, “The Geometry Of Energy”, explores meditation and meditative energies through the sacred dimensions of geometry. You can follow Ethan at www.facebook.com/108Zone
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