15 ways to abandon the Matrix

1 05 2015

I am inspired by the very definition of self-reliance: to be reliant on one’s own capabilities, judgment, or resources. Ultimately, it is the epitome of independence and lays the groundwork of what we are all striving for – to live a life based on our personal principles and beliefs.

It is a concept rooted in the groundwork  that made America great. Being dependent on our own capabilities and resources helped create a strong, plentiful country for so long. That said, the existing country as it is now is entirely different than when it began.

Why Are We So Dependent?

It is much too complicated to get into how the “system” was created. That said, the purpose is to enslave through debt and to create an interdependence that will force you and your family to never truly find the freedom you are seeking. It manipulates and convinces you to continue purchasing as a sort of status symbol to make you think you are living the good life; while all along, it has enslaved you further. Wonder why we have all of these holidays where you have to buy gifts? The system needs to be fed and forces you into further enslavement. If you don’t buy into this facilitated spending spree, you are socially shamed.

Collectively speaking, the contribution from our easy lifestyle and comfort level has created rampant complacency and a population of dependent, self-entitled mediocres. We no longer count on our sound judgement, capabilities and resources. The system keeps everything in working order so we don’t have to depend on ourselves, and furthermore, don’t want to.  I realize that many of the readers here do not fall into this collectivism, as you see through the ideological facade and know that the system is fragile and can crumble.

Breaking away from the system is the only way to avoid the destruction of when it comes crumbling down. When you don’t feed into the manipulation tactics of the system, or enslave yourself to debt, and possess the necessary skills to sustain yourself and your family when large-scale or personal emergencies arise, you will be far better off than those who were dependent on the system. Those who lived during the Great Depression grew up in a time when self-reliance was bred into them and were able to deal with the blow of an economic depression much easier. Which side of this would you want to be on? Those who had the patience to learn the necessary skills, ended up surviving more favorably compared to others who went through the trying times of the Depression.

Develop Personal Dependence

Now is the time to get your hands dirty, to practice a new mindset, skills, make mistakes and keep learning. Developing personal dependence is no easy feat and requires resolute will power to continue on this long and rambling path. To achieve this you have to begin to break away from the confines of the system. You don’t have to run off to the woods to be the lone wolf. Simply by asking yourself, “Will your choices and the way you spend your time lead to more independence down the road, or will it lead to greater dependence?”, will help you gain a greater perspective into being self-reliant. As well, consider ignoring the convenient system altogether. This will help you to detach yourself from complacency and stretch your abilities and your mindset.

Most of us can’t move to an off grid location. We have responsibilities that keep us from doing so. Therefore, live according to what is best for you and your family (common sense, I know) and do what you can. My family and I moved to the rural countryside four years ago to pursue a more self-reliant lifestyle. We learned many lessons along the way and are proud of where we are. Am I 100% self-reliant? No. But, I am venturing closer to living more self-reliantly with each skill I learn. Many of my little homesteading, off-grid ventures can be read about here.

Here’s What You Can Do:

1. Inform Yourself – Understand that there are events on the horizon, some large-scale and some personal that could wreak havoc on your quest toward a self-reliant lifestyle. Informing yourself and planning for them will be your best in staying ahead of the issue.

4 Things You Must Eat to Avoid Malnutrition

Most Likely Ways to Die in a SHTF Event

End of an Era: Prospects Look Bleak For Slowing the Coming Food Crisis

Collapse Survivor: “There Was Little Room For Error… Either You Learn Fast Or End Up Dead”

The Perfect Storm: Grow Local or Grow Hungry?

GMO Labeling: Will Congress Keep Us in the DARK?

2. Learn Skills – When you can depend on your skills to support you and your family’s life, then the outside world doesn’t affect you as much. When large groups of people in a general area possess self-reliant skills, it makes your community stronger.

Doing the Stuff Network

10 Skills Necessary For Survival

49 Outdoor Skills and Projects to Try

As well, look into these DIY projects found on Ready Nutrition

3. Get Out of Debt – It is paramount that each of us begin actively practicing economic self-discipline. Many believe that because of the ease in money confiscations from the banks, you shouldn’t have all of your money stashed there. Diversifying your money and investing in long-term ways to preserve your wealth will ensure you have multiple ways to pay the bills.

How To Break Up With Your Bank

Buy Commodities at Today’s Lower Prices, Consume at Tomorrow’s Higher Prices

Money and Wealth Preservation During Times of Uncertainty and Instability

How to Use Ebay to Find the Most Affordable Silver

Silver Bullion or Junk Silver for Long-term Bartering?

5 Reasons Why There Is Security In Seeds

4. Store food – Having a supply of food to subsist on in times of dire circumstances ensures that you are not dependent on having your basic needs met by someone else. This gives you the control of what food to put in your body and how you want to live.

25 Must Have Survival Foods: Put Them In Your Pantry Now

11 Emergency Food Items That Can Last a Lifetime

Best Practices For Long Term Food Storage

Meet Your Emergency Food’s Worst Enemies

Buy The Prepper’s Cookbook

Creating a Bug Out Meal Plan

 5. Start raising your own food – With the high prices of meat at the store these  days, many are turning to raising their own meat sources. Rabbits, chickens and fish can easily be started in backyard homesteads.

How Micro Livestock Can Be Used For Suburban and Rural Sustainability

What to Feed Your Livestock

Child-Friendly Livestock

Waste Not, Want Not: How To Use EVERY Single Part Of An Animal

 6. Prepare for emergencies – Preparing for the unlikely emergencies is a way to insulate yourself from the aftermath. The simplest way to begin preparing is to prepare for the most likely events that can affect you, and go from there.

FREE Emergency Preparedness Guide: 52-Weeks to Preparedness

Anatomy of a Breakdown

SHTF Survival: 10 Survival Tools That Should Be In Your Survival Pack

5 Reasons You Should be Preparing

Buy The Prepper’s Blueprint: A Step-By-Step Guide to Prepare You For Any Disaster

Six Ways You Can Keep Yourself Alive With Animal Bones

7. Repurpose – We must take steps to stop being a throw away society and get back to a population who makes do with what they have.

50 Things You Should Stop Buying and Start Making

5 Ways to Make Candles from Household Items

Survival Uses for Household Items

SHTF Planning: 7 Ways to Use The Items Around You To Adapt and Survive

Composting 101

8. Make Your Own Supplies – You have everything around you to survive, but many can’t look outside of the box to see how they can use what they have to survive. Having versatile preparedness supplies saves space and can serve multiple uses that can double up as ingredients to make soaps, medical supplies, etc.

Make soap

3 Ways to Naturally Make Yeast

10 Dehydrator Meals for Your Prepper Pantry

Make Your Own MREs

SHTF Survival: How to Prevent Infections

7 Kitchen Essentials That Deserve To Be On Your Preparedness Shelves

9. Use Up What You Already Have or Find Another Use – Being self-reliant means using up what already have. This is a crucial principle of being self-dependent. Saving leftover construction supplies, food, clothing, etc., can be reused for another day.

Why Everyone Should Have a Rag Bag

8 Slow Cooker Meals Made From Leftovers

10 Household Products You Never Have To Buy Again

Complementing Your Food Storage Pantry with Dehydrated Foods

Five Essential Tools for Fixing Your Clothes on the Cheap

10. Live More Naturally – Life is chaotic these days and many of us feel we have to keep up with everyone else. It’s time to forget that and start living more simply and naturally.

Simply Simplify

 7 Off Grid Projects for Survivalists

Self-Reliance in 4 Steps

Five Eco Friendly Alternatives For Emergency Preparedness

11. Grow Your Own Medicine – With the vast medical advancements in the Western world, we are turning our backs on the first medicine – natural medicine. It’s time we begun exploring a more mindful, natural existence.

30 Most Popular Herbs for Natural Medicine

Step-By-Step Guide to Making Colloidal Silver

Essential Oils for SHTF Medical Care

How to Make Dakin’s Solution for SHTF Medical Care

12. Grow Your Own Food – The cost of making healthy decisions about the food we put into our body is eating our budgets alive. We want the very best foods for our family, but buying solely organic products can be costly. All the while, you are questioning the legitimacy of this produce. Is it genetically modified? Where was this grown? Was it exposed to salmonella or another food-borne pathogens? What was the type of water used to grow it? There comes a time when you want to throw your hands up and shout, “That’s it, I’m doing this myself.”

7 Laws of Gardening

25 Survival Seeds You Need For Your Garden

10 Foods You Should Not Feed Your Chickens

Medicinal Plants for the Survival Garden

6 Essential Food Types To Grow Your Own Food Pantry

Make Your Own Herbal Tea Blends

13. Be Flexible – I often tell those who are preparing that the single most important thing you can do is continue to be flexible in your preparedness efforts. Doing so gives you leeway in your planning and backup planning, as well as helps you move more fluidly through the aftermath. This concept can be applied in non-emergencies, as well. Self-reliance can help us be more flexible in our life and our decisions.

 Survival of the Most Adaptable

8 Prepper Principles For a Prepared Mind

Blending In: The Secret to Keeping The Target Off Your Back

5 Survivor Traits That Make a Prepper Successful

5 Steps to Become the Smartest Person in the Woods

14. Barter Better – Bartering for goods and services was the first currency that went around. Let’s be honest, everyone is up for a good deal. Using self-reliant skills, you can use these as leverage in bartering. As well, having a surplus of survival/preparedness items can also help you make good bartering deals.

The Barter Value of Skills

A Free Falling Economy Makes Bartering Go Boom

100 Must Have Survival Items

15. Teach Your Kids – We must teach our children how to be more mindful and self-reliant. After all, we do not want to continue the cycle of having a dependent, self-entitled population. By informing them, we are setting them upon a self-sustaining path for life.

 How Farmers Markets Can Teach Your Kids the Values of Local Food and Community Building

*  *  *

We must come to the understanding that there is no true safety net for us to fall into; it’s up to ourselves to get us out trouble. How easily you land depends on how reliant you were to begin with. Adopting certain concepts as your new life’s code will help you on your path.

Many of us share a common goal: to be free from the shackles of the system. This goal doesn’t come over night. You have to work at it, invest in it and ultimately, change your way of thinking. The point is, we are all at different places in our preparedness efforts, so don’t get discouraged! Continue on the pace, keep learning and step-by-step, you inch closer and closer to that goal.



8 responses

1 05 2015
Joseph Ratliff

Reblogged this on The Ratliff Notepad.

1 05 2015
Joseph Ratliff

A very content – rich post indeed. Every person who draws air should read this post, and the posts linked from it.

And I’m not even close to completely sold on the “prepare for doom” idea either. The resources linked from here and also the post written have solid ideas for every person, catastrophe or “matrix,” or not.

1 05 2015
Chris Harries

This is all good, but it’s only half the story. The other question is: why are we so individualised?

This is not a contrary question it is complementary. Western individualism is arguably our biggest killer when it comes to the fostering of sustainable living and the building of thriving communities. Time and again when we look at behaviour change that’s needed for a more sane and resilient society we are confronted by a huge reluctance in the sharing of resources and personal space. Indeed, to be engaged at a community level still holds negative overtones of hippy culture and / or socialism.

We in the rich world live far too independently in our nuclear family homes, cocooned in our cars, our eyes even hidden behind shades. Our treasured consumer acquisitions we are reluctant to share in case they may be broken. Many shun public transport because we are too independent and would rather walk 5km than risk sitting next to a dishevelled drunk. (I am generalising here to illustrate a norm, even accepting that there is a desire in some quarters to break down these barriers.)

I liken this seemingly contrasting problem (of individualism and control) to that of building self esteem in school kids. Some desperately need it, whilst many others need to have their sense of self importance brought back to ground. In some school environments it is the latter group that is the more problematic and a greater headache or overburdened teachers.

It’s a salutary lesson for anyone from a rich country to spend some time in poorer village communities of the world, where virtually all possessions are shared and personal space barely exists. This experience can be very confronting if we had to live that way and we would shrink from emulating them, even though we know that those communities are many times much richer than us in their capacity to help each other, relate to each other and even though we know that their lifestyle has much lower ecological footprint.

1 05 2015
David Hamilton

Mike, I agree with Chris (not an unusual event). My list would have as number 1 – become part of a community, and by that I mean a physical community, not a virtual one. One of my great revelations after moving to Tassie myself is the importance of community, and how much easier it is to be part of a community when the human numbers and institutions around you are at a modest scale.

Yesterday in a bookstore I noticed Hugh McKay’s latest book, which is about human beings need for community, and how we are all happier and more effective when we are part of a strong community. I think there are three legs to a good future for humanity: the sustainability leg (population, resources, environment, energy,climate change, etc), a steady-state local economy leg (as per the New Economy movement), and a community leg (as per all the research on what makes people happy and fulfilled). We need all three areas if we are to come out of what is ahead of us in any kind of shape.

1 05 2015

Thanks everyone for all the comments which are so far excellent….. as usual!

I’m surprised that so many of you think this is ‘anti community’. I’m moving to Geeveston FOR the community, and I have already experienced how helpful and generous that community is…. but some, if not most of that community (probably those I do not know!) do not yet realise what predicaments they will soon face. Explaining the skills necessary to survive those predicaments are essential, I think, to the formation of even more resilient communities. I know stuff, you know stuff, your friend knows stuff, and between us all, we might never know everything, but we will know enough to be prepared. And I found many of the links in this article – and I haven’t come close to reading them all yet – fascinating and informative.

Furthermore, this article is American, and of course they are at the core of the selfish society with all the preppers and their individualistic culture……. I don’t think this mindset will really fire up in Australia. There is a big cultural gap, still, between Australians and Americans.

I posted this more as a source of information than a manual for surviving while your neighbours perish…. but thanks for the inputs, I am enjoying it and looking forward to moving to like minded people like you!

1 05 2015
Chris Harries

Hi Mike, my comment re individualism wasn’t being negative to the article, rather I was trying to say that the two themes are complementary. I’ve learned what I know about individualism partly by a professional focus on barriers to behavioural change. Being mindlessly subjugated to a system is, for sure, a huge barrier too.

2 05 2015

The Matrix has used the divide and conquer tactic to control the vast majority of us. It doesn’t want communities; it wants individuals that it can control as virtuous little consumers.

I am connected to quite a few people who understand our predicament but we are separated by many kilometres. All of my adjoining neighbours, the people who I should form part of a local community with, do not “get it”. They think I am a little weird because I produce most of my own food and drive an old car that is not computer controlled or the latest SUV. As far as food goes they say “why would anyone grow spuds when they are less then $1 a kg in the supermarket”. There is one though who realises that it is better for me to graze my sheep on the back half of his block rather than him having to mow it.

At this stage, unfortunately, I have more questions than answers.

2 05 2015
Anthony William O'brien

For a short time after tshtf cash will be king, but the banks will be closed. But it won’t be that long before money is valueless. You cannot eat cash or drink oil.

The links are amazing so very much information

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