Friday, February 01, 2008

Escaping the Matrix

Well, I expected to fly through the next couple of books because they are all fairly small, but my 4 of spade's isn't the kind of book you can go through in a day or two; it's called Escaping the Matrix: Setting Your Mind Free to Experience Real Life in Christ by Greg Boyd and Al Larson.

I picked this up at the local bookstore's bargain table for a whopping $2.50 mainly because I'm intriuged by the idea of the 'Matrix' as a metaphor for how we are often trapped in systems without recognizing that we are trapped. From the title, I didn't know where the authors were going with this, but having read about half of the book so far, the are limiting the scope of the book to what you might call a psychological matrix. The book helps you to understand how your mind processes the information it recieves, how to explore the nature of thought, and the patterns that are impressed upon you from others. There are also some exercises that can help you to become a 'detective of your mind' if you wish; this is the big reason why the reading is going slower than expected. I decided to give thier little experiments a try, otherwise I wouldn't know if they were really talking about something useful.

One of the things that I never thought about before is how we 'do thought', and for this alone the book has been insightful to me. Here's a quote:
Most of us haven't paid attention to Aristotle's insight that 'the soul never thinks without images.' Most people assume that they think with conceptual information -- which perhaps explains why we tend to trust conceptual information so much to transform us, despite our uniform experience that this trust doesn't usually pay off. We just haven't known there was anything else to go on. Why have we missed this?

Escaping the Matrix, p. 58-59

They go on to explain how we re-present or re-experience the things we thinking of in our minds, but this usually happens so fast that we don't realize what's going on. The goal of this book is to find out, which re-presentations, or re-experiences are based on lies, and work to remove those faulty 'neurochip' as they authors call them. I'll probably write a few more times on this, and let anyone know if it's worth the read or just some more psycho-babble :-).

1 comment:

Kent said...

Rick, it is interesting what they say about images. Ellul in his book The Humiliation of the Word gets into this and if I understood him right speaks of it as a destructive thing. Images become a more powerful tool in shaping us than words are. Ultimately they work against the hearing of the only Word that is true....the words that proceed from God's mouth.

We end up attempting to live by what is seen and it becomes most difficult then to live by faith in that which is not seen.