To start off with, I never really made the connection of The Matrix and Ishmael being so similar in nature. In the same way Neo has to choose between the red pill and the blue pill, Daniel Quinn’s readers have to choose between taking action and not.
Morpheus says (like in the picture), “I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.” Morpheus showed Neo what the real world looks like, the same way Daniel Quinn showed his readers the negative (and very permanent) impact we’re having on the Earth.
Making a decision like this… choosing between the red or blue pill, is a very hard decision. I’m sure we’d all like to think that we’d choose the red pill and be opened up to the reality of what the world is, but the idea of the blue pill can be very tempting.
Going back to one of my previous posts, one girl (whom I quoted) wrote that she was surprised that Ishmael didn’t have as much of a profound affect on other’s lives as it did on hers (paraphrased). I guess this is true in some cases, but from what I’ve read, people either didn’t take it seriously, they hated it, or they thought it was a good read but not life-changing. What I may suspect (and I may be wrong) is that maybe some people are just too afraid to take the red pill.
I think that some people, after reading Ishmael, are inspired and want to make a change, but they feel like they are going to fail and fall back into the repeating cycle of obeying Mother Culture. This may just be a theory of mine (and may be completely wrong), but I read one post on Reddit (a while ago) by [Deleted] that read, “I find it hard to take anything that proselytizes and encourages a secular form of evangelism seriously. And like another post said, it is predictable.”
After reading this I was pretty blown away that someone thought it was predictable. If it was so predictable and people already know this, why aren’t we doing anything about it? That is a model example of Mother Culture’s cunning persuasion. Saying “Yes!” isn’t easy when someone is yelling “No!” in your ear.