Red Pill or Blue Pill
By Tim Tron
In C.S. Lewis’ work, “The Weight of Glory,” he asks a very pertinent question that we seem to be facing more and more each day in that, “How do we decide what is good or evil? The usual answer is that we decide by conscience. But probably no one thinks now of conscience as a separate faculty, like one of the senses. Indeed, it cannot be so thought of. For an autonomous faculty like a sense cannot be argued with; you cannot argue a man into seeing green if he sees blue. But the conscience can be altered by argument; and if you did not think so, you would not have asked me to come and argue with you about the morality of obeying the civil law when it tells us to serve in the wars. Conscience, then, means the whole man engaged in a particular subject matter.
But even in this sense, conscience still has two meanings. It can mean (a) the pressure a man feels upon his will to do what he Thinks is right; (b) his judgment as to what the content of right and wrong are. In sense (a) conscience is always to be followed. It is the sovereign of the universe, which “if it had power as it has right, would absolutely rule the world.” It is not to be argued with but obeyed, and even to question it is to incur guilt. But in sense (b) it is a very different matter. People may be mistaken about wrong and right; most people to some degree are mistaken. By what means are mistakes in this field to be corrected?”
Then, when we contrast Lewis’ words to the account in the Gospel of John, when the Scribes and the Pharisees brought the woman caught in adultery and placed her before him, planning to accuse him of judging, we see how the conscious can be a powerful force. It is a crucial aspect that many overlook.
“So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.”
Why did they depart beginning at the eldest? Were there mistakes they realized that needed to be corrected? When we read this line of scripture we get the feeling that the older Pharisees immediately recognized their own sin and, in so doing, were shamed into dropping their figurative stones of accusation and leaving the temple.
But again, I ask, “Why did the old men leave first and not the young?”
When presentations to an audience are given, it is widely known that the younger the general age of the listeners, to a point, the quicker and more amplified is their reaction to what is being delivered. So, how was it that those who usually took longer to respond would leave first? Should they not have spent time trying to recall all those years of living in sin? Or were they deciding upon the options – fleeing would be dropping the charges on a slam-dunk case, essentially saying that this unlearned teacher was right? Saving face must have been another reason not to exit because doing so was only confirming the speaker’s own reversal of accusatorial questioning.
To answer these questions, we must look deeper into scriptures and understand what those Pharisees would have known and to consider that the power of the Holy Spirit was indeed at work.
We start at the beginning, when God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Up until that point, man’s consciousness was only aware that he was alive, awake, and able to tend to the garden of Eden. There was no need to understand beyond what God knew. This freedom of will, the ability to choose between obeying a simple command, was man’s gift – to do with it as he pleased. But when they partook of the tree, “Seeing that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise,” they suddenly became aware of their nakedness, “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.”
Not only had they now broken God’s commandment but they also became the cause of the first physical death. God made the first blood sacrifice to cover their sins when he provided them “coats of skins, and clothed them.” As the natural man develops, we can now see how one physically matures. In children or childlike nature, we see innocence. The desires of the flesh are not understood until the age of puberty. When the growth hormones kick in, and suddenly our childhood playmate, sweet little Susie, has curves we men never noticed before, and something inside us starts to smolder, like kindling that was dry and brittle, waiting for the spark to ignite. A beautiful body, free of cumbersome coverings God had made, and with it, a place of such beauty and profound richness that man could have literally lived forever. They were fully mature and with a knowledge probably far exceeding that of today’s man. They understood that God’s command came with a price, for he didn’t simply say “Do not eat of the tree,” but rather, he told them the consequence that would occur if they did, “You will die.” Yet, the disobedience, that choice to decide to go against God’s will, his one and only rule, brought forth retribution for all mankind.
It would take the Grace of God to save us from ourselves.
Those Pharisees who had cornered Jesus in the temple that morning were suddenly made aware of their own judgment of the flesh. The simple statement, “He that is without sin among you, let he first cast a stone at her,” reminded them of their mortal shortcoming. The adultery, the sin of the flesh, brought about an accusation based on the Mosaic law, yet those who judged were no better. A sudden conviction of their own conscious shook them to their core. Alone, a conviction of one’s conscious can be humbling, but when that sense is in the presence of God, it becomes enhanced, amplified to a level that must have been unbearable.
Now, let’s focus on the younger men who were with the accusers. Were they lingering longer because they had less sin to fear? Or were they following the lead of their elders? Or was it possible that the next generation doesn’t have enough consciousness to know when to leave or stay?
“What do you mean by that,” you might ask?
1 Cor.8:7-12 “Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.”
Think about how the world is trying to reshape consciousness. From the video game addictions to just how we are being controlled through social media, we are constantly being bombarded by the growing presence of AI. The movie “The Matrix” has an almost cult following among our youth. In it, humanity exists as a level of consciousness connected by a supercomputer, plugged into every human so that their collective consciousness is one. Our youth have already begun to question if the reality we see is really the real thing – red pill (reality) or blue pill (to live in the fabricated world of The Matrix)?
Which pill do we choose?
When left to the powers of their own natural instinct, men are carnally minded and think in linear terms. They follow their “gut” instincts, allowing the world to influence their decision-making. We can predict from their past behaviors what their future actions will become. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is based on this assumption. The Oxford Languages definition of AI is “the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.”
Does the next generation have enough consciousness to know when to leave or when to stay? Those in the temple that day tarried. Did they lack the same level of conviction? Are they representative of our youth today? What will be the driving consciousness to the next generation? Will they rely on AI to give them the answer?
Rosalind Picard of MIT warns, “The greater the freedom of a machine, the more it will need moral standards.” 
Left to our own devices, we will find comfort in those images, songs, and pages of information that AI will feed us. Unfortunately, the more we allow the input, the more we go down that path, being led to a destination that is less than desirable. We become like an opioid addict, requiring more of what the world has to offer until we diminish the very consciousness meant to govern our will.
We need to wake up and realize that we must make our own decisions and not be led as an animal is to slaughter. We’ve been given the means to know the truth, for it is by the Word of God that we can find comfort, hope, and truth. The Bible is one of the most precious gifts we have. We must not let the world change that.
God created man in his image so that being human is more than just having knowledge wisdom, but the conscious sets us apart from his other creations. Through our consciousness, we can do his will. Through this God-given capacity, we are capable of knowing right from wrong because each of us is a free moral agent.
Which pill will you choose, red or blue?
When those Pharisees turned and left the temple that day, had they experienced the power of the Holy Spirit, and were they suddenly and completely awakened to who Jesus really was, the Son of God?
“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,”
Someday, we shall know the answer.
Thanks be to God.
 The Weight of Glory: And Other Addresses. Copyright © 1949, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1976, revised 1980 C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Words to Live By: A Guide for the Merely Christian. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
 John 8:7-9 KJV
 Genesis 2:16-17 KJV
 Genesis 3:6 KJV
 Genesis 3:7 KJV
 Genesis 3:21
 Romans 9:1 KJV
Timothy W. Tron lives in Collettsville, NC. with his family. He is currently the Systems Administrator for the Computer Science Department at App. State. Timothy is the former Director of the Trail of Faith in Valdese, where he still volunteers and helps with tours. He is the author of a new Christian series, “Children of the Light”, with the first book being, “Bruecke to Heaven”, revised as “Bridge to Heaven”, and his recent book, being the second, “The Light in the Darkness”. He is an active blogger, artist, and musician. Timothy also has a BSEE from UF, and is a Lay Speaker. He is currently acting as the Faculty/Staff Liaison for the Ratio Christi campus ministry at App. State. He can be reached at email@example.com You can visit his website at //www.timothywtron.com/ or see more of his writings HERE