Do you remember the scene from The Matrix movie, where Neo was asked to choose between a red and a blue pill?
Which pill would you take?
Seriously, which pill would you take?
The blue one covers your life in a protective bubble, in a prison for your mind, as Morpheus describes.
With this pill, there is no need to set yourself for exploration, as the path ahead of you has more or less been carved by others.
There is no demand to be your true self either, after all, you are just a component of the herd. With this pill, there is no demand to decide anything, you don’t have to feel the anxiety of asking yourself the following questions:
- Who am I?
- How can I be happy?
- What should I do with my life?
- How do I make the right choices?
- Where do I belong?
Now, as I see it, taking the other pill, the red one, it’s not that you will find yourself waking up inside your private freezer, trying to disconnect the cables from the simulation machine, as in the movie. But it’s rather that you willingly throw yourself into the unknown. It’s that you are ready to face the answers of your existence. It’s that you dare to feel the discomfort and the anxiety that the questions above generate.
Well, these are some of the questions that I was always enjoying to contemplate on since I remember myself, and about a month ago I had the chance to explore them further through an Existential Coaching training (from Yannick Jacob).
The whole idea of existentialism is exactly these questions above. It’s about authenticity, about freedom and choice, it’s about belonging, it’s about our time here, about death. And yes, I understand that to some of you this may sound pessimistic, but quite the opposite is true if you think about it.
First of all, how can we explore the whole spectrum of life when we avoid the ‘negative’ parts of life? But also and most importantly, inquiring on matters of our impermanent lives, gives us greater perspective, fills us with the strength to actually be ourselves and go after our dreams, and brings back the forgotten meaning into our lives – what else is more positive than that?
So, to return back to the original question, me personally, I know which pill I would like to take.
But it feels scary —
Because the truth is that by taking the red pill, no one can guarantee to me that I will find the truth (whatever it means). The only guarantee I have is that I’m responsible for my choices.
And I also understand that a leap of faith is needed here, and perhaps the leap of faith is choosing the red pill even though I don’t know what it really means for me.
To be fair, there is a choice presented here, but the beauty of life is that there is not a right one! But I have to remind myself that not choosing, it’s a choice on its own, and actually, the most cowardly one.
So, I am asking you again —
Which pill would you take?