Be the Glitch You Want to See in the Matrix
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
Usually, a glitch is a problem, a bug, or a hiccup in the proper order of things. But what happens when you are living in a profoundly sick society? What happens when the “order of things” is unhealthy? What happens when the machinery of culture is outdated and found wanting? More importantly, what happens when you rebel against it?
The answer: you become a healthy glitch. Moreso, you become a necessary glitch, a vital glitch that could transform the unhealthy culture into a healthier one.
Here are a few next-level strategies for becoming a necessary glitch in the unnecessary Matrix…
Embrace your inner trickster:
“The trickster is not a trickster by nature. He is a trickster by necessity.” ~Malcom Gladwell
The trickster is a double-edged sword. He cuts himself even as he cuts the world. He cuts his own ego first, but, knowing that he is the world and the world is him, he also cuts the world. He battles against Certainty to keep Curiosity at the forefront of the human condition.
Your inner trickster understands that the cure for certainty is curiosity. The cure for hardened belief is flexible thought. The cure for seriousness is playfulness. And so, he plays with the outdated constructs of the sick culture that surrounds him like a kid plays with toys. He wrecks them against each other, and thereby reveals their inherent corruption.
Tapping your inner trickster will give you the courage you will need to go beyond good and evil, beyond outdated notions of “truth,” and beyond cultural modes of rightdoing and wrongdoing. It will propel you into playful, non-serious, and honest detachment. It will teach you to fly into updated improvisation while the rest of the world is crawling through outdated tradition.
You become the mighty Three-eyed Raven, the most quintessential trickster archetype. Perched on high, you see with your third eye the interconnectedness of all things. You see the Infinite Game playing itself out. You see how you are an integral catalyst for the progressive evolution of the species. With molten mettle and mercurial moxie, you fly straight into the Matrix. You are the glitch it never knew it needed.
Playfully disrupt the “order” of things:
“The art of living requires the most delicate balance between order and disorder, control and vulnerability.” ~Martha Nussbaum
Sometimes the only way a higher order can be discovered is by sowing a little disorder into the current order. By playfully disrupting the order of things, you will their underlying disorder. You will suss out the truth despite the superficial song and dance of politics, the artificial smoke and mirrors of religion, and the insincere cartoon in the brain of cultural conditioning.
Disrupt the established order to prevent tyranny from blinding others. Cultivate an agency of change. Challenge “ordinary life” through extraordinary acts, and then reestablishing it on a healthier basis.
If, as Herman Hesse said, “as anywhere else in the world, the unwritten law defeated the written one,” then it stands to reason that we use the unwritten law to consistently question the written laws of the current “order.”
Use the unwritten universal laws to shock the settled system. Wake up the soul of a society pretending to be asleep. Agitate the tired and boring routine of the daily grind and the anxiety ridden one-upmanship of the rat race. Persistently peel away the outdated layers of cultural conditioning in order to reveal the Desert of the Real.
Once the cornerstone has been unveiled, you can use it as a whetstone to sharpen yourself into a Philosopher’s Stone that has the power to “cut” the world.
Remember: In order to unfuck the world, you must first be able to unfuck yourself. A mindfuck a day keeps the brainwash away.
Be a boundary crosser:
“Boundary crossing and boundary creation are related to one another.” ~Lewis Hyde
Discover the boundaries of culture. Transform them into horizons. Test them. Move them. Sometimes draw a line, but sometimes erase the line. Challenge these boundaries to flatten boxes, turn tables, flip scripts, push envelopes, and stretch comfort zones.
The best way to change culture is to create it. And the best way to create it is to become a bridge between worlds. As a bridge between worlds, you are the quintessential glitch. You are a vital component of human imagination, a creator of mischief and mayhem, a manifesto of renewal and rebirth.
When you bridge the gap between the sacred and the banal, between wildness and domestication, and between Nature and the human soul, you create a sacred space where human evolution can unfold in a healthy way.
Bridge the gap to break unhealthy myths. Bridge the gap to create new, healthier myths that are open-ended and not hung-up on themselves. Bridge the gap to point out the flaws in the cartoon society. Bridge the gap to rebel and to reveal an even playing field where others can rebel as well. Bridge the gap to challenge the laws of power. Bridge the gap to teach the world how to question and not accept things blindly.
Most importantly, you bridge the gap between worlds to teach others how to become boundary crossers themselves.
Be eccentric; be anomalous; be weird:
“Weird is just a side effect of being awesome.” ~Bill Murray
Be eccentric. Be unconventional. Be the glitch! Practice the ability to embrace paradox and to hold the tension between opposites. Learn how to live with uncertainty. Learn how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Recondition cultural conditioning. Reimagine imagination itself.
Most important of all: reinvent God. This is the paramount task of the glitch. The glitch is the primordial question mark tossed into the parochial “Machinery of Answers” grown uncouth through the passage of time. The glitch is a vital upheaval, a minefield planted in a mind field. The glitch is a primal reminder to never forsake curiosity for certainty; to never forsake Beginner’s Mind for the Master’s Complex, and to never forsake the Truth Quest for the so called “Truth.”
The Truth Quest must always be open-ended lest we lose our ability to navigate the uncertain universe. Without open-endedness we are without—full stop. Hence the need for the eccentric, the weirdo, the maverick, the dissident, the divergent. We lose these vital aspects of the human condition at our own great peril. Who else would have the audacity to challenge the Powers That Be? Who else would have the courage to laugh in the face of the devil? Who else would have the unmitigated gall to slap the face of God?
At the end of the day, the universe is your playground, and it’s time for recess. Stop being so damn serious all the time. Life is too short. Play a little. Take a deep breathe. Be weird. Be awesome. Let loose. Let go of always needing to be in control. Detach in order to feel how everything is attached to everything else. Be the glitch to honor the inherent paradox of the human condition. Then have a laugh—at yourself, at the universe, at the profoundly sick society. Because the Truth Quest is nothing if not laughable, and the glitch is simply a reminder to keep laughter ahead of seriousness and humor ahead of hubris.
About the Author
Gary ‘Z’ McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.