Here we have to tread cautiously, because we want to avoid the whole Gnostic-Manichaean thing about a divided world and about superior people being saved through knowledge.
Then again, the whole Gnostic-Manichaean thing has -- as do all heresies -- an element of truth to it, only exaggerated, or partial, or out of proportion with the totality.
You might say -- heh -- that there is a good and an evil Manichaeism, in the sense that of course there there are two worlds (light and dark, good and evil, slack and conspiracy, etc.) and of course the truth sets us free from the endarkened one. The principal difference, I suppose, is that the orthoparadoxical Christian insists all the same that there is just one world and that it's a good one, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding.
You could say that there is a world of appearances because there is a world of reality. They are not radically separate, because an appearance is still an appearance of something real, or it couldn't appear at all.
Which goes to the idea that evil is not only parasitic on the good, but even a more or less perverse expression of it. The sexual instinct in itself is still a good, despite what pedophiles and rapists do with it.
So yes, we are "trapped" in a false reality; or, we are always situated in a world with degrees of reality, and we fall when we become attached and devoted to a false one -- or when it attaches itself to us.
Interestingly, in response to a comment a couple of posts back, I linked to this piece by James Taranto on the phenomenon of oikophobia, which is "fear of the familiar." It is "the disposition, in any conflict, to side with 'them' against 'us', and the felt need to denigrate the customs, culture and institutions that are identifiably 'ours.'"
Having spent so much time among the tenured, I was once a Manichaean oik myself. If I try to think back on what that was all about, it was more than a little like a form of intellectual Gnosticism, through which tenured conformists are rendered superior owing to our possession of the Secret and Forbidden knowledge of real political reality. As such, I would have known exactly what Obama means with his evocation of bitter clingers and his general contempt for all things American.
One doesn't have to speculate about Obama being a secret Muslim and all that. Rather, he is a garden variety left wing oikophobe. He can't help himself from signaling his membership in that elite horde of clueless mediocretins.
Taranto raises an interesting irony, which is that the flyover country yahoos for whom the elites have so much contempt are the real cosmic universalists, because we actually believe, for example, that all men are created equal, whereas the left is obsessed with appearances and contingencies such as race, gender, class, etc. So in reality, our cognitive elites are in, of, and for the Matrix, and they do not hesitate to punish people who try to escape from it -- like "don't you dare call a thug a thug!" (These crazies literally want us to say nigger when, no, we really mean thug.)
This also goes to my own little idea about mind parasites through which you might say we import the matrix into our own heads. Now, "matrix" literally comes from mother and from womb. In short, it begins with concrete images and experiences, and only subsequently takes on the more abstract contemporary meaning of "something within or from which something else originates, develops, or takes form."
The matrix is always a container for a contained. Bion symbolized these two ♀ and ♂, respectively. So the a matrix is a ♀.
Obviously, man cannot live without various kinds of ♀. Think, for example, of your skin. Where would we be without it? Or, think of the boundaries of a sovereign nation. Where would we be without those? That's right, in a permanent liberal majority due to the ceaseless influx of low IQ Democrats.
Now, one of the important insights of interpersonal neurobiology is that we form boundaries of various kinds during our earliest development. One potential problem is that boundaries simultaneously permit thought but simultaneously limit it. If one is not conscious of this, one will inevitably confuse the container and content, which is a good way to take up residence in a false reality.
For example, scientism is a way to think about the world. But if one confuses it with the actual world, then one is trapped in a self-reinforcing matrix. It's the same with Darwinism, Marxism, feminism, or any other manmade container.
The only way to really be free is to escape human containment altogether. How do we do that? Well, for Christians it has already been done: thus the most radical idea possible, that the uncontainable absolute actually takes up residence in a human container -- including in a quite literal matrix-womb.
On the one hand, Christ liberates us from the containment of the Law, not to mention other containers such as slave vs. free, race, class, nation, etc. But to paraphrase Schuon, this new (un)container is at once less "burdensome" but all the more demanding, if you know what I mean. For example, now we go from merely avoiding concrete adultery to the impossible standard of complete purification of the interior heart. That's like the uncontainable within the uncontained.
For human beings, one thing that is contained by the container is "presence," and some containers allow us to be more present than others. Indeed, for the intuitive among us, this is quite experience-near, and can be felt in the... in the astral body, I guess. But we can all feel that dilation of space (or the painful opposite) that liberates us into a more expansive realm, like peeking through a hole in the wall and seeing the Grand Canyon. Wo, where have you been hiding?!
O, just a micron beyond that invisible wall you built.
As Cheetham describes, "The mode of presence is what situates us, what determines the quality of the space in which we live, and the nature of our relationship to the objects in our world, to what we can know. The mode of presence determines what can be understood..."
As we shall see, this very much goes to what we have recently written about personal idiom, for we recognize our idiom by virtue of the presence it evokes in us. And if God is really present in Jesus, well, that pretty much blows the ideological trains right off their existential tracks. And when Obama calls himself a "Christian," he actually means the opposite -- which is still a "form" of Christianity, only contained and perverted by ideology. In general, "liberal Christianity" is not so much an oxymoron as Christianity contained and more or less falsified by liberalism.