There is no mind-body problem. There is no such thing as a brain in a vat. There is no solipsism. No Platonism. No such thing as an autonomous-transcendental “mind” that, a priori, distinctly supplies the final narrative of some-things it calls “objects” and their role in a larger story, i.e., “reality,” which it reads as a reflected image emanating from its “outside.” We do not live in an illusory realm. Metaphysics is a joke. Epistemology is laughable. Cartesian doubt is an outdated bore. It is time we discard this nonsense for good!
Thinking about the film “The Matrix” can be very exciting, fascinating, and illuminating if one does not contaminate it with the mind-body problem or with Cartesian dualism, which unfortunately, is precisely what is done by many philosophers since the film was released.
The Matrix is not about the mind-body problem, it is rather about the realization that there is in fact a reality that is certain, but one which is being covered up by something or someone. Morpheus himself tells us: “the Matrix is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth”. This “truth”of which he speaks is precisely how the World is; it is common sense reality, it is common sense certainty, and it is the social norm which permeates our existence.
The Matrix covers up this reality, this common-sensecertainty, and provides its alternative vision of the world which it passes for “truth”. Yet, this “vision” or “illusion” is merely a blindfold that is only possible precisely because there is in fact a real World in the first place; a real World that is somehow now a threat to it. The Matrix represents control and misinformation.
Today, I see a Matrix. I see the manipulation and control of the politically-correct machine. I see the exacerbated, sick—anti-norm and anti-common sense—individualism that is a threat to our very existence as the beings that we are: the individualist-politically-correct liberal machine is busy at work! And it never rests. Its “blindfold” is trying to cover up reality; trying to cover up who and how we are.
Being is forsaken. We are meant to see the norm which permeates our Being as a threat. The World is overlooked and obscured. The World: social and biological construction, the norm that structures our Being and which shapes our identity, and the socially meaningful organized referential-whole on the basis of which entities like us make our existence intelligible. The common-sense notion of the World and the importance of the social norm are being covered up.
The individualist-politically-correct machine attempts to make us resent the absurdity of existence and the paradoxically harsh, yet beautiful, reality of our everyday lives. The possibility of authenticity and the aesthetic expression by which we can create our individual essences is blocked from view. Instead, now we have a ridiculous individualist spectacle that somehowhas been presented as being more important than the vital influence of the social norm and more important than our biological construction that together shape our behavior and society itself. The individualist-politically-correct machine tells us: “you can do whatever the f*** you want, you can be whatever the f*** you want… challenge your oppressors!”
It does this while it itself is the very embodiment of control, oppression, misinformation, and ultimately…destruction, i.e. the destruction of Being!
Nonetheless, the resistance is here! Ready to overcome Cartesian dualism. Ready to fight the individualist-politically-correct machine. Ready to uphold Being and the art of existing as the beings which we are. Ready to defend reality!
We are not minds, we are not subjects, and we do not have a multiple self. Primarily, we are, and subsequently, we think! Cartesianism is flawed! Ontological pluralism is fundamentally wrong! We have a unified self which is unfolding through time: the past is our historical development, our present the undertaking of history, and the future what we cannot help but mutually create. We do not first start as individual subjects set apart from society as if society were somehow alien and a threat to us, but rather, we are society! The individualist-politically-correct machine wants to make us all feel like oppressed victims—but guess what?! We are all both victims and victimizers. We are all the oppressed and the oppressors! We are the norm. We are society. We are reality. Common sense beckons us…and we ought to heed the call.