"You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes."―Morpheus to Neo
I wish I would have written that, it is awesome. If you saw The Matrix, I’m sure you remember that blue pill - red pill scene. Swallowing the blue pill represents the choice to remain the same. To continue to be blinded from the truth in the pursuit of comfort. Very much like taking an anti-inflammatory to allow us to avoid confronting the real cause of the inflammation. We can apply that analogy to the endless number of allopathic remedies designed to suppress symptoms. The bedrock of our medical system of health care is based on the blue pill.
Most people are complicit in that paradigm, and don’t know it. Because that is part of what the blue pill does. Makes us comfortable in exchange for lack of awareness. Are you currently taking a pill and do not really know what underlying metabolic process is being circumvented? Of course it does not have to be metabolic. There are blue pills for changing our physical, mental, and spiritual process as well. We all have our reasons for altering our reality, and I do not judge that choice. “Whatever gets you thru the night.”
-- John Lennon.
What I do advocate is our awareness of that choice. Taking a blue pill to get you through another few days of a stressful situation or certainly a crisis maybe appropriate. But lack of awareness of that continued choice has dire consequences. So again the question, stated a little differently. Are you fully aware of the overall net effect of the remedy you currently take? At least the Matrix character Cypher knew what he was doing when he intentionally took the blue pill. It was his choice...still a bad one. For what it’s worth, he died early on in the Matrix movie trilogy.
Choosing the red pill signifies our willingness to accept the truth of reality. The road less traveled, sure to be more harsh and difficult. For example, discovering that your inflammation is being caused by eating gluten and the harsh reality that you have to stop eating wheat. Just ponder on how many different blue pill remedies can be bought over the counter to avoid discovering such a harsh reality? More importantly, consider the negative effect of not knowing you are sabotaging your vital health. This is the pathway of chronic disease.
The red pill is a metaphor for choice. To my knowledge, there is no red pill we can take that will open our eyes to reality. Unless you want to consider the work of Timothy Leary and the use of psychedelics to expand consciousness. I question the value of using drugs to expand our level of awareness beyond our ability to handle the new information. Maybe for entertainment purposes, but for me, that led to a few bad trips I would like to forget.
The internet has made available to us endless information. But acquired information without life experience to apply the content makes for just more to think about. For example, I encounter more and more people with more and more information to worry about. It takes application of the information through the course of time to acquire wisdom. And I see very little wisdom, except in the elderly. I can give you a bunch of neurological pathways to explain it, but how about this: Overloading your circuits can cause a nervous breakdown.
So far I have limited the discussion of this awareness - consequence - continuum to our healthcare choices. Particularly pills, lotions, and potions, from pharmaceutical or nutraceutical origins. But my goal is to convey a deeper reflection. A concept to be applied in order to make more informed decisions. To better effectively do that, I am using a graph. The x-axis represents your ability to receive new information. I like to use the term flexibility because this is how I view your spine. The degree of flexibility and proper function of your spine and associated structures determines your capability to process information. Here is an analogy. Consider outdated computer hardware, or an older operating system on your computer or smart phone and it’s inability to operate a newer App.
The y-axis represents information or your awareness. This could be accumulated by reading a self help book, attending a trans-personal seminar, feedback in a counseling session, or even spiritual insight. It can also be an out spring of generally getting healthy. In my experience, it is better to increase flexibility first and then let the awareness emerge in it’s own time. For example, it is common to hear a patient say they know they need to change their diet, but just can’t seem to get it done. But after receiving health care to increase the flexibility of their spine and balance their metabolism, they say they want to change their diet. An upgraded body supports an ungraded mind. An intellectual idea becomes an inspired desire. Below this graph you will find a description of each quadrant.
Quadrant A is the desired place to be. Here we are increasing our flexibility and awareness. This is where stress in our life provides growth. We have the flexibility and awareness to turn a chaotic situation into a learning experience. For this person, every cloud has a silver lining. I hope you are thinking, “How do I get into quadrant A, and stay there?” The answer, by receiving wholistic health care that increases your capability to receive and integrate information into your bodymind. I’m sure I do not say it enough, but that is exactly the intent of the chiropractic and metabolic care we provide in our office.
Quadrant B has increasing flexibility with decreasing awareness. You will see this with the use of drugs. Drugs to reduce the awareness of pain by chemically reducing nerve function. Drugs to reduce spasm (increase flexibility) but at the expense of being checked out (reduced awareness). There is a good reason to NOT operate heavy machinery while taking muscle relaxers. Quadrant B person will use alcohol to relax everything. This person seeks their comfort zone. This is the person that has a bad back, but is doing much better since they reduced all the physical demands on their body. Which includes their favorite sport. This is the athlete that appears to have the perfect body, but actually has poor health. Are marathons healthy?
Quadrant C is experiencing decreasing awareness and decreasing flexibility. This person's life is in crisis. A state of unconsciousness or a coma. Chronic disease, cancer, or any number of catabolic-type processes. They are losing physiologic flexibility and the awareness necessary to turn the tide.
Quadrant D is the person with increasing awareness coupled with decreasing flexibility. This is the person that goes to lots of trans-personal seminars and learns about all the things they should do, but cannot do it. Where does the information to go? I can feel the tension (information) in their para-spinal muscles. It locks up the spine and reduces flexibility and possibilities. They cannot utilize the information to make the change necessary in order to create a better life. So they go to another seminar, again and again, and again. Another example might be the individual that receives counseling and discovers abuse in their history. But due to lack of flexibility, they cannot move this intense awareness through their physiology. Where does this information go? It’s goes into their head where it can be safely stored. But it needs to go into their heart where authentic emotional healing will occur. What this person needs to do is to stop working on their issues and instead work on their tissues. Get adjusted, eat better, exercise, get metabolically balanced, and trust the process. Otherwise they are inviting some type of event that will increase their flexibility for them. Usually uninvited and unplanned. That’s all I am going to say about that.
Where are you? Apply the question in areas beyond your health care choices. For example, there are people operating in quadrant A with regards to their business. Very successful, making lots of money, but as a consequence, their relationship is moving into quadrant C.
I would say the most common patterns I see in our office is the quadrant B to A dance. A patient comes into the office seeking comfort. My intent is to direct health care to restore neuro-spinal flexibility and metabolic adaptability. The hope of course is that the patient experiences the comfort they desire. But my greater desire is that we restore wellness and wholeness. There is a huge difference between comfort acquired in quadrant B compared to quadrant A. Quadrant B makes you feel better by feeling less. Quadrant A makes you feel better by better feeling.
They both make you feel better, but only one truly changes your life.