Rather predictably, maybe inevitably, I come onto the subject of rebellion against the system. Rebellion against the game players, against red tape, and against stupidity and mindless rule followers.
I have just been reading 1984 for the first time, and I had an overwhelming feeling that it is a story that i know already, that the principle character Winston Smith is not a new character in my world. I have not goten half way through the book but i already know what happens to him, not because i know the ending of this book, not because i have seen the film, and not because anyone has told me, but because of the realisation of the role he has in his world.
His character pops up in liturature, film, and music many times over and most notably in my experience in the film "Brazil" by Terry Gilliam. If you are not aware of this film, its basically the same story as 1984 and the main character is the same as Winston; Sam Lowry. Sam has a perdetermined path to walk, it is a path with a known ending like Winstons, both men are aware of their ultimate demise and rather than change direction, they accelerate toward it. The Matrix is another example of this same path, with Neo's character being a variance on a theme. The detail between the three is different and across each story; the end is either metaphorical or real, but the path is always the same.
The character that is consciously aware of what is going on around him, who sees how other people are mindless zombies who are not aware of anything beyond their nose, is a well definied character. While this character does not occur in society very often, when he does people know how to treat such an individual. Because he hates all that he sees, because he wishes for a time long since gone, because he doesn't play the games that they do, because he thinks for himself, because he knows right from wrong; he is their enemy, an enemy of the state.
Am I on this same path? Am I a Winston, Sam, or Neo?
I don't think so, I don't feel that i will walk that path. I think i could do so easily, and if i was to stay in the game i certainly would walk it. However it is just a path within a game, I have an extra piece of information that they didn't have, i know that it's all a game, I have a choice to not play. I have been given a philosophy associated with not playing any of the games that are put before me.
I feel that while Castaneda's Don Juan may be real or fictional, he represents a very similar character to those already mentioned. However he has the choice, he is able to stop playing. I think it was in the Matrix that Morpheus says to Neo:
"There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path"
There is indeed a very big difference. For the Matrix, Walking the Path was necessary, for Neo to become the One he had to walk. For my life it is not necessary, I can take another path, one that may yield more than Neo saw.
In 1984; Julia almost had the right philosophy when she showed no sign of interest in what was the past, what was the present, or what the future should be, she got along by ducking the system. Only caring about it when it directly touched her life. The system/Big Brother/The Matrix has aways existed, will always exist, will always be corrupt and unjust.
This system is the backdrop to my story, it is not the content, nor is it the end of the story.