Near the beginning of The Matrix at Neo’s apartment, Neo is dialoguing with Choi. Choi asks, “Something wrong, man…?” Neo replies, “… You ever have that feeling where you’re not sure if you’re awake or still dreaming?”
Chuang-tzu had a dream, in which he was a yellow butterfly. As a butterfly, he flitted here and there, completely oblivious to actually being Chuang-tzu. And then he woke, to discover that he was a man. But then he wondered: now am I a man who just dreamt he was a butterfly; or a butterfly who is now dreaming that he is a man?
This paragraph and the next paragraph are from the article “Butterflies, Great Sages & Valid Cognition: Zhuangzi for Spiritual Transformation” by Elizabeth Reninger. In the next paragraph, Reninger quotes Robert E. Allison from his book Chuang-tzu for Spiritual Transformation: An Analysis of the Inner Chapters.
… Mr. Allison sees Chuang-tzu’s story of the Butterfly Dream as an analogy of the Enlightenment experience – as pointing to a change in our level of consciousness, which – incidentally – has important implications for anyone engaged in philosophical exploration: “The physical act of awakening from a dream is a metaphor for awakening to a higher level of consciousness, which is the level of correct philosophical understanding.”
Awakening into a Deeper Dream
Certainly, awakening from a dream can be like awakening to higher consciousness; however, what if you awaken from a superficial dream into a deeper dream? Chuang-tzu’s dream-image of a butterfly is the key to understanding this question. The butterfly is a symbol for the Self. If a person identifies totally with the Self, this could lead to psychosis or megalomania. However, if he or she identifies with the Self’s perspective, he or she could be considered wise.
The superficial dream is what I call the life matrix. The deeper dream is what I call the dream of the Self that includes objective reality but not consensus reality.
The Trading Matrix
The trading matrix is a subset of the life matrix. What is the first step in becoming aware of the trading matrix? Just like Neo in The Matrix or Taoist philosopher, Chuang-tzu, you have to wonder if consensus reality is a dream that you need to wake up from.
What is trading consensus reality? Part of it is all the trading theory that is supposed to work but somehow doesn’t. If 90% of traders’ lose, does this mean that 90% of all trading books, DVDs, seminars, courses, and mentoring teach traders to lose? And if some or most of the winning traders don’t write books, give seminars, make DVDs, design courses, or mentor students, then a higher percentage than 90% of teaching trading is teaching traders to lose.