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Lean Into the Matrix: Part 1

Myths are the stories of our collective consciousness. Throughout history, myths have been a means to communicate on multiple levels simultaneously: 1) they provide an interesting story, 2) they speak to the psychological transformation of the hero/heroine, and 3) they also capture the essence of the collective subconscious for a given culture and time. The Matrix movies are one of our modern-day myths. With the fourth Matrix movie coming out soon, it’s been on my mind. Of specific fascination for me are the are multiple parallels between the Matrix story and the process of lean transformation (individually and organizationally).

The first element is the hero’s invitation/the call to action – some unsuspecting goof stumbles into an adventure that will forever change him/her and subsequently the world. In the beginning of the first movie, Neo is confronted by Morpheus and asked to choose between a blue pill and a red pill. The red pill leads to awareness of potentially life-changing profound truths, whereas the blue pill perpetuates the existing ignorance. Whether consciously or unconsciously, every single person makes this decision repeatedly in their life. Do we keep perpetuating the unconscious, habituated ways of being that seem to work but somehow lack the challenge and excitement of life, or do we seek out knowledge of what is really going on and boldly embark on the hero’s journey? The latter takes courage and faith in some greater potential because it always ends in death - death of our old, outdated notions. But it also enables our resurrection into some new, more enlightened, more fulfilling means of engaging with life.

Those of us on the path of continuous improvement repeatedly choose the red pill. We chose to know rather than to now know. We choose to try, fall short, and try again. We choose to embrace the notion that there is potential for something greater, that our work matters, and that our work in this world can be transformative for ourselves and others. There is no special certification needed for this. It is open to anyone – anyone with the willingness to see, the courage to try, and the discipline to keep trying.

It is worth noting that the hero, Neo (meaning “new” in Greek), is an anagram for “one” (not “The One” as they call him in the movie), but just “one” - as in anyone – like each of us. This potential to see the world more clearly, to act more intentionally and with greater potency, and to see every action as an opportunity to transform ourselves, our relationships to others, and our relationship to the world – this potential lies in each of us.

To be continued….


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