Welcome to the very first Crispy Chicken Wing Review!
The Matrix is now 20 years old and, man, it was advanced, not only because of the revolutionary technology (slow motion crisp(y) picture), but also because it does such an amazing job at describing the idea of a Great Transformation that happens within us (hopefully) during our lifetime...
... And when you awaken, because you decided to take the red pill and go far down the rabbit hole, you find that you cannot go back because there is no turning back ...
You are in a whole new world now. Things will never be the same. The old world fades further and further behind you and you enter this new, almost indescribable, realm.
I believe that there is sort of a formula to the Great Transformation and The Matrix lays it out in a similar manner as I do, as well as many other Eastern spiritual organizations. Here's my interpretation of the formula:
Living out your life, but wondering why you are unhappy.
For example, in the movie, the people still inserted in the Matrix are walking the streets of NYC, asleep, unaware of any other way of living.
You realize that there may be more out there but don't know where to start searching for answers.
Neo lives a 9-5 life with a corporate job that he hates. Every night he searches the internet for Morpheus and The Matrix, not even knowing who or what they are. But he feels the meaninglessness of life and knows that there has got to be something more ...
... But he is still lost.
3. The Call To Awaken
Something or someone calls upon you, shares the message of The Great Transformation, and points you in the right direction to induce your own transformation.
Neo gets a message on his computer from the Nebuchadnezzar ship. Then he follows the white rabbit, which gets him into this club, where Trinity find hims and tells him he is in trouble.
4. Inducing The Great Transformation
Neo meets Morpheus who explains what the Matrix really is and then offers Neo the red or the blue pill. The red pill will rip him out of the Matrix and hurl him into the real world, and the blue pill will make him fall asleep, and he will wake up in his bed, and things will go back to his normal status quo.
5. Going Through The Turbulent Stages Of Your Transformation
(Buckle your seat Belts)
It's time to be ripped out of your old life of dissatisfaction, emptiness, unhelpful thoughts and behaviors, and low self-worth. It's time to face your darkness. From my experience, this is a very tumultuous voyage of ups and downs, where I was thrown into deep, scary pits of depression, attacked by my demons, tangled and encased in fast and hot anxiety attacks, with intermittent phases of pure joy and bliss ... what??!
Neo went through a similar journey as me ... a crazy one ... as he woke up in a tub of pink slime with metal tubes stuck in his body and giant flying machines hovering around him that harvested humans. Then the tub emptied and he was sucked down a pipe out into the sewer.
Yep. That about sums up my experience ...
6. The New World/Waking Up (Still Not So Fun)
In this stage, you realize you were living in an unconscious, self-defeating realm, where you felt small and kept your head down, just getting by. But you start looking at your thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors that have served you in the past but no longer do so now. You realize that you need to take on some demons and shed some old layers in order to get to your transformed self, which could be free of all the crap you have been carrying around for all of these years.
Similarly, Neo is sucked down a sewer drain and dislodged into shit, floundering, and then is snatched up by the Nebuchadnezzar Ship. His dark and scary ride reminds me of my journey through The Dark Night Of The Soul, a spiritual process where you go through hellish emotional stages in order to transform into a new and more healed self ("go through the dark to get to the light," kind of thing).
7. The Final Battle
This is the stage where you make progress in healing yourself and transforming, little by little, with time. You make forward movements, do things differently, but still battle your demons. During this time, they put up a big fight to try and stay alive and control you (I think the agents represent our demons in the movie), but you are stronger now and know what you need to do.
There is a pivotal point in the movie where Neo makes a bold move and goes on a mission to save Morpheus, despite all of the danger. He starts to realize his own strength and importance in the world. He found his mission. But there are still many battles to be won. After every battle, Neo gets smarter and stronger and knows how to take on the agents better each time ... until he arrives at his final battle, where he successfully kills an agent in the subway, when no one else has ever killed one before.
Now, he has reached a new level of consciousness. He has some head space, and he finally sees his path.
8. Peace, But The Mission Is Not Done
After the tumultuous journey of the previous stages, you arrive at self-acceptance, clarity, and the much needed ... peace. You have entered this whole new realm where you feel light, you have more energy, you feel loved, and you love yourself.
But you have to keep going, because there is more around the bend. There is more to do, and you have a purpose and a mission to complete. You've been called upon by the Divine and it's your great honor to follow your destiny and live a transformed (Crispy) life.
"The answer is out there, Neo. It's looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to." - Trinity, The Matrix
I love the ending, where Neo realizes his powers and transforms into his new self. He sees the solutions, he anticipates problems, and he says "no" to the agents and he destroys them, once and for all. But there is still a war to be won, with many more battles to fight. It will be easier, in a way, because Neo has experience, but it will also be harder in that the agents will get stronger too. However, Neo is still awesome and will crush them with his new confidence and powers.
Isn't he just like us? When we've had enough of living in the Unconscious Realm, we realize that we're done listening to the negative voice in our head. It's time to say "no" to that voice and raise the volume on the positive voice (it's in there, trust me). It's time to see what life is like when we choose to love ourselves.
If a shy, lost, little Neo can transform, so can we.
What a journey this movie is, as it parallels the human experience of The Great Transformation to a "T" ... so I give The Matrix 5 out 5 Crispy Chicken Wings!
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*Make sure to tune into The Crispy Soul Podcast, where we go more into depth on this topic, available on all major streaming apps.