Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Review: Escaping the Matrix
Disclaimer: "Escaping the Matrix" by Gregory A. Boyd and Al Larson was given to me through Mind & Media as a gift from the Publisher who donated the books for reviewers.
Summary: The premise of this book is that it is not enough to know or to be able to recite true information, because it doesn't result in transformation, only experiencing the truth will lead to transformation.
The authors call the total package of lies that infiltrate our minds "the Matrix" in reference to the "Matrix" movies. After explaining in detail the nature of this Matrix in part one of the book, the second part deals with ways of escaping the Matrix. They propose a number of exercises that change the representations of some key events of your life.
There are a some passages of the book that I really liked. One example is the illustration they use about the "tree of knowledge of good and evil" as acting as though you knew ultimate good and evil. Another is their description of God's perfect love.
But the fact that the authors are trying to translate everything they say into Matrix lingo often makes the text cumbersome to read. This language of "Matrix", "neurochips", etc is hard to follow even if one is familiar with the Matrix movies.
The authors suggest exercises to fix things on your own instead of real experience in community with others. I'm not a psychologist, but to me it seems dangerous to try the suggested exercises on your own. Either you don't have a severe traumatic experience to work through. Then good information presented with conviction and the experience of a loving Christian community, worship, and real stories have a deeper and more wholesome effect. These can provide the experiences that lead to true transformation. Or you have a severe phobia, history of abuse, or other traumatic experience. Then you need an experienced counselor, not exercises to do on your own (Even the authors' own examples come from counseling sessions they did).
Read other people's reviews.