'You know something. What you know, you can't explain. But you feel it. You felt it your entire life. Something's wrong with the world. You don't know what, but it's there. Like a splinter in your mind... driving you mad.
It is all around us... It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes... to blind you from the truth... That you are a slave... Born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison... for your mind.
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. '
The Matrix, the idea that the world we live in is not quite what we think it is, is a deeply powerful metaphor.
The 'red pill' meme that came out of this film has permeated our culture for years but never so much as in the last several years in the online world.
The red pill journey
It is now common to hear people talk about 'taking the red pill' or being 'red pilled'. So what does it mean to be red pilled?
Being red pilled means coming to the realization that what one was taught about the world and how it works by the culture and mainstream institutions is not entirely true or even outright false. Through a process of critical thinking and exploration of alternative viewpoints one begins to wake up from the Matrix or 'blue pill conditioning'.
For many young people growing up in a liberal progressive age this has meant discovering that often traditional and conservative ideas that have been dismissed as being outdated or even harmful actually have much value, truth and beauty.
The new counter-culture
In some ways the burgeoning counter-culture the red pill is creating is similar to the counter-culture of the 1960s. In the same way, disillusionment with the culture is creating an unprecedented search for truth and meaning. Ironically today's counter-culture is a rebellion against the legacy created by the 1960s rebellion!
What they have in common though is a sense that modern society is shallow, consumeristic and deeply broken. Many can feel that there is something artificial about the values that Hollywood, the media, the education system and corporate advertising are selling them.
Realizing that the modern zeitgeist offers little more than self loathing, post-modern relativism, cultural destruction and empty consumerism for young white people the red pill journey is leading them to look for a sense of who they are in the past in their ancestry and heritage.
Western Christian heritage and the God pill
As I have observed the development of this movement over the last several years I have felt that it will inevitably begin to find its way to Christianity, the heart and soul of western heritage.
And this is what is starting to happen now. As the counter-culture moves from superficial critique of social justice warriors to exploring deeper philosophical and spiritual terrain more and more the question of faith in God is on the table.
The red pill terminology has taken on some evolution over the years. As the culture goes in a more destructive direction every day the term 'black pilled' has come about to describe the sense of hopelessness that things seem beyond repair and the decadence and decay cannot be turned around.
Rejecting the black pill, some commentators have recently started to use the term the 'God pill' to describe the realization that a rediscovery of faith in God is the only thing that will save western civilization.
It is only natural that a movement centered around a longing for connection with its ancestors, in the midst of a society that is rootless and seemingly terminally ill, would eventually make the connection with the faith of its ancestors.
One example is a You Tuber called Blonde in the Belly of the Beast who recently posted a powerful video about the Notre Dame fire in Paris. She gives voice to what many have felt, that the fire of Notre Dame is deeply symbolic of the modern west. The symbol of western Christendom burning has given her a powerful revelation that Christianity is the heart of the west and must be rediscovered if the west is to survive. This has inspired her to seek a spiritual connection with God.
Signs of the times
The dissident right is marginalized from mainstream culture and mainstream Christianity but it is a place where God is clearly at work.
The West is in a similar time of cultural upheaval as was experienced in the 1960s. In the same way that the 1960s and 1970s spiritual search was an incredible opportunity to engage with people about the Christian faith, it is the same now.
The moment opening up before us is similar to the days of the Jesus people movement. The hunger for spiritual truth and meaning led to an openness to the gospel among the counter-culture. Many Christians at the time missed it but there were those like Calvary Chapel in California that understood the times and were very fruitful as they reached out to them with the gospel.
In those days many hippies came to Christ in the Jesus People revival that swept the world.
The question for us today is will we also recognize the signs of the times and respond with faith, prayer and engagement?
Conor is from Adelaide South Australia. He is a gardener and is involved in ministry. He loves God, music, reading and thinking deeply about philosophy and current events in the world.
Conor Ryan’s previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/conor-ryan.html