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Enter the Real Matrix
An Interview with Jake Horsley

conducted by Sandy Auden

© Mike La
Jake Horsley
Jake Horsley
Jake Horsley is a digital filmmaker, who has written three books on film. His latest, Matrix Warrior: Being the One, was published in 2003.

Jake Horsley Website

Ever wanted to be like Neo in The Matrix movie? Ever wished you could unplug from reality after the constant, often pointless, striving of this life? Want to free your mind and Believe?

Well, you too could become a Matrix Warrior by following the step-by-step guide to Being The One in Jake Horsley's new book. Taking the single premise that the Matrix does indeed exist, Horsley has expanded the philosophy from the film and applied it to current cultural standards.

So, to become more like Neo, what do you need to do? 'Generally, the first step to unplugging is an overwhelming sense of disgust, despair, and contempt with life, the world, and everything,' Horsley says. 'For many it begins at the home, with family members, possibly via "romantic" relationships, in which we begin to feel the terrible suffocating influence of other people's thoughts and expectations.

'The first step is to start distrusting our own thoughts, habits, and assumptions about the way things are. We need to become aware of the manner in which everyday social constructs, norms, rules, and conventions are basically set against us, that is, against the freedom of the individual. But be warned: these steps to lucidity are indistinguishable from the onset of schizophrenia, which is perhaps why "schizophrenia" is so prevalent in modern day society.'

Once you've started to unplug, you'll have to face the dangers. 'You'll be leaving the collective and striking out alone in a fierce and hostile universe. But the primary danger is really imaginary, the fear of being rejected by the collective. Since this danger is also the objective of the warrior on his path to unplugging, his fear, though admittedly daunting, is unfounded.

'Humatons (plugged in humans) basically cannot exist, or feel secure, unless the social consensus accepts and approves their actions. The only way to be sure of this, however, is to do, say and think only that which the social consensus tells us to. In other words, security is found only in complete slavery. Freedom, even partial freedom, means to lay one's life and sanity on the line. Since one is no longer shielded by the "womb" of matrix life, one is vulnerable to all manner of onslaughts from without. Yet such onslaughts are merely the stimuli of real life, without which we cannot ever grow into adults. To emerge from the matrix means to leave the comfort and security therein and face unimaginable dangers without; but it is also an awesome new stage of existence that cannot be avoided indefinitely, so it may as well be embraced.'

But you won't be entirely defenceless, as Horsley points out: 'Fearlessness is the primary requirement of being a warrior within the matrix. The matrix feeds on our fears and uses them to keep us enslaved to it. Once we cease to fear what others think of us, we become free to act accordingly, to fulfil our true wills, to follow our passions, and let the chips fall where they may. The warrior's primary weapon is his mood. This mood is a mixture of control and abandon, and centers around an awareness of the inevitability of death. Once we accept that our death is completely inevitable, and really but moments away, we are free to live life to the full.'

So is it worth risking the dangers of unplugging? 'The benefits are incalculable,' Horsley says. 'But a warrior is not a merchant, and the essence of the path to freedom is in ceasing to act for personal gain. Therefore, to detail the benefits of the warrior's path is to turn it into just one more new age self-realization sham, designed to flatter the ego with a sense of its own specialness. However, to become a matrix sorcerer on the path to lucidity means the power to shape one's reality according to one's most heartfelt desires. To experience overwhelming bliss, happiness, ecstasy in every single moment of one's life. To understand and answer the deeper purpose of one's being here in the first place. To scratch the itch of existence once and for all, and disappear into Infinity. There is, quite simply, no substitute for Freedom. Anyone who says otherwise is working for the matrix.'

(This interview first appeared on Sci Fi Channel Europe.)

Copyright © 2005 by Sandy Auden

Sandy Auden is currently working as an enthusiastic reviewer for SFX magazine; a tireless news hound for Starburst magazine; a diligent interviewer/reviewer for The Third Alternative and Interzone magazines and a combination of all the above for The Alien Online. She spends her spare time lying down with a cold flannel on her forehead. Visit her site at The Auden Interviews.

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