The Real-Life Matrix: How to ‘Deprogram’ from Old Conditioning that No Longer Serves You

By: Dan McLintock

There has been a lot of talk circulating lately about the possibility (or even likelihood) that we are all living in a simulation, or controlled reality, similar to that of the 1998 film “The Matrix”. Some prominent figures and physicists have even postulated that the odds we are actually existing in ‘base reality’ are one in a billion, along with proposed experiments to test this.

Science Fiction turned Science Reality aside, the ‘controlled’ piece feels to be pretty accurate given that the vast majority of folks alive today were born in the 20th century – a century that was, for the most part, dominated by the collective, dysfunctional, egoic human mind. It’s almost as if, by defining the very concept of ‘ego’, we began to give it sort of a ‘free reign’, like the last gasping breath of a dying power structure or paradigm. That structure is beginning to collapse.

I was born in 1980. The systems and structures that were in place are the very ones that are now falling apart. They are fighting hard to stay alive and relevant, but they are dying. This system was one in which people’s deep, core stories of deficiency and lack drove them to overcompensate and pretend. They pushed them to be go-getters, to strive for success no matter what the cost, to make and follow arbitrary rules. They also included a punitive energy that operated by means of discipline and control- an energy that rendered love conditional- and equated it with pressure, manipulation, and the imposition of the will of the ‘stronger’ over that of the ‘weaker’. These systems basically amounted to: “treat yourself and others as slaves or machines”.

There is a famous quote misattributed to Einstein:

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

It’s also been recounted as:

“The world will not evolve past its current state of crisis by using the same thinking that created the situation.”

What Einstein actually said was a little less widely applicable, but in a much more revelatory context:

“A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels.”

The context? A personal appeal issued by way of telegram to hundreds of prominent Americans, warning of the dangers of atomic weapons after his participation in the Manhattan Project.

So why do I relay these mis-quoted tidbits that spread like wildfire? Because the underlying message, the message that runs deeper than the words chosen to convey it, is so universal and so true it’s almost as if people can’t help reinventing it to reflect other, more familiar contexts. We WANT those to be the words of a prominent world-class genius because they just sound and feel so TRUE on a basic level.

Digging around in our intellect- our analytical cognition- may lead to grand (and terrifying) ideas and inventions and discoveries: the wheel, the steam engine, the telephone…. The atomic bomb….

It may help us soar to new heights and traverse a new frontier of innovation and a certain type of progress. But staying there won’t take us back into our bodies. Intellect might lead us to nuclear power- and nuclear arms. But it won’t lead us inward, to the core, basic awareness that can give us the power, the insight, and the awareness to truly heal what is hurting much deeper inside of us…

This whole mind-made false reality is something we (unconsciously and innocently) cooked up to keep us from feeling all of that pain.

Which brings us back to the Matrix…

It’s sort of empowering and exciting to discover that we may very well be in a sort of false mind-made reality Unfortunately it does zero good to merely “know” we are in this ‘matrix’ if we don’t dismantle the effects of it internally – if we don’t each tear out our own dysfunctional program (aka our “trauma”).

There are various ways to do this- read this concise breakdown of our mindfulness and inquiry approach here.

Remember… Neo had to go through all that shit once he woke up to reality right?

This whole shift out of “the matrix” is really the movement from the conceptual (mind/belief/past & future based) to the experiential (heart/reality/presence based). This is and will continue to be progressively disorienting and terrifying for those of us who’ve been conditioned by the old paradigm and as a result are living “in our heads”- some of us have been stuck up there for virtually our whole lives!

The truth is that more and more people are voluntarily (or some involuntarily) beginning to break that connection with our egoic minds. As this continues, and increases, the ones who cling to the old paradigm will feel more and more uncomfortable… like they are going insane.

Imagine having all of one’s trauma, false beliefs, past pain, and programming pushed up and out whether we want it or not – and all the while not knowing what’s happening to us.

Hell, one might just feel compelled to shoot some folks up…

Or burn down a rainforest…

Or make death threats in the name of God…

It’s time for radical, active compassion and love for those who are struggling with, or are seemingly trapped in their egoic programming. As ol’ JC said “Forgive them for they” (literally) “know not what they do.” I might add “…and give them some context if they’re open to it”.

Eventually we will all have to take full responsibility for our own trauma/pain/beliefs and get deprogrammed if we ever want to survive and know any kind of freedom. OR we can continue to try to cling to thought/belief as an anchor, be “right” about things and suffer our asses off – no one is gonna (or even can) take that away from us.

If any of this really jazzes or pulls you, and ONLY if it does – hit me, the Kiloby Center or any of the other folks who are talking about inquiry/deprogramming up and we can hash some stuff out.

"Working with Dan has been nothing short of transformational. His open heart, honesty about his personal experience and permission to be real and not hide have helped me unlock those qualities in myself. And that has been a total game changer. I've been truly blessed, not only to have him as my KI Facilitator, but also as my mentor. Without a doubt, working with him has helped me to show up authentically, helped sharpen my tools and made me a better facilitator than I would've been on my own. I can't recommend him enough."
Darby Totten
Certified KI Facilitator

Dan McLintock is a Certified Facilitator, Trainer and the Co-Developer of the Kiloby Inquiries method/approach the New Model of Recovery along w Scott Kiloby. 

A Jacksonville, Florida native, Dan graduated Flagler College in 2004 with B.A. in Theatre Arts and English Literature and has played music professionally in bands for over 20 years. But his true passion lies in sharing the context, possibility and practicality of healing, awakening and release. 

Dan has worked one-on-one with clients in and out of the Kiloby Center since 2017 and has an unconditionally loving and earnest approach to healing trauma, dissolving the drivers of addiction/suffering and unhooking long-held toxic beliefs about ourselves, others and the world at large. 

He’s also worked intensively, side-by-side with Scott Kiloby for the past three years to develop the transformative tools of the Kiloby Inquiries as well as the principles and approach of the “New Model of Recovery” rooted in unconditional love and non-judgment. Much of this approach was borne out of Scott and Dan’s work with each other on their own personal traumas as well as their work with clients at the Kiloby Center. 

Scott and Dan have simplified, demystified and condensed some of the principles and practices of eastern/non-dual spirituality into an easily accessible set of tools most anyone can understand, learn and utilize to free themselves from their own suffering. 

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Valerie Vinger is a thriving survivor of life’s painful challenges and growth opportunities. She has worked with 12-step programs and is currently a 13-year stage-III cancer survivor. Her cancer recovery journey started with the traditional “cut, poison, burn” approach but eventually led her down a natural path to healing her body, her pain and suffering, and her buried emotions.

Valerie first stumbled upon Scott Kiloby at a workshop of his in Boulder, Colorado in 2012, which she says is one of the most transformative experiences she’s ever had. She is filled with gratitude for the person she has become through her journey with cancer recovery and with the Inquiries, which she describes as “coming home to myself.” She loves working with people who are ready for relief from their pain and suffering.

Julianne Eanniello is a Certified Trainer and Facilitator of both the Kiloby Inquiries and the Unfindability Inquiries (formerly called the Living Inquiries). She is also a Certified TRE Practitioner, and the developer of the somatic movement process called Natural Flow Movement. She works with clients all over the world on virtually any topic, including spiritual seeking, stress, anxiety, depression, pain and health related issues, traumatic experiences, repression, relationship issues, and general unhappiness with ourselves and our lives. She does this through online sessions, deepening courses, workshops and facilitator certification training.

About Julianne:

For most of my life I’ve wondered who I am and why I am here. As I was growing up, no one else seemed to be talking about these things, or even thinking about them, so I buried it deep inside and tried my best to fit in the way I was “supposed” to, all the while feeling like there was something desperately wrong with me and that I needed to fix it.

In my early thirties, the death of a young relative left me feeling hopeless and helpless, wondering what is the point of life if we’re all just going to die anyway? This launched me on a search. I didn’t even know what I was looking for, I just knew that there was a longing – a desperate longing for something that actually made sense about life. I learned several alternative spiritual and healing techniques. I meditated. I read books and watched videos. I eventually learned of non-duality teachings, and I read more books, watched more videos, and even sat with several ‘awakened’ teachers. Yet I was still searching, something still felt missing. I was looking for the key that would unlock the mystery of me and of life.

In my early forties, I developed a chronic health condition that left me unable to work for several years, and most days barely able to get out of bed due to extreme fatigue, brain fog and pain. I lost my banking job, and eventually lost my home. I saw a multitude of doctors to try to find out what was wrong with me, and used every tool in my metaphysical and alternative medicine toolkit to try to heal myself. My seeking became even more intense, and I was looking for a way to escape my pain.

In 2009, I met Scott Kiloby. Since I started working with him and doing the Living Inquiries, the seeking for enlightenment has stopped, and the question of ‘who am I’ is no longer relevant. My victim stories around my health started falling away. Once I started looking at my experience through inquiry, everything changed. I stopped chasing something ‘out there.’ I no longer seek some future state of happiness or peace. This is not to say that I don’t have problems, or ever experience pain. Quite the contrary. I still use the inquiries regularly, and now there is much less avoidance or resistance to what I’m experiencing. I experience more and more freedom in the present moment, exactly as it appears.

Having trained with Scott, I was one of the first to be certified as a Senior Living Inquiries Facilitator and Trainer in early 2012. In 2014, I moved to CA and became a business partner with Scott at The Kiloby Center for Recovery, where we worked with people suffering from addiction, anxiety, depression and more for the next 8 years.

I can’t imagine my life without these inquiries. They saved me from myself. If you are still suffering, searching, longing… I encourage you to give this a try.

As a young child I saw a picture of Jesus gazing lovingly at some children around his feet. I immediately longed for the unconditional love I saw in his gaze. At the same time, I was being read fairy tales, like Cinderella, and came to believe that romantic love would satisfy that longing for love.

So, I married my handsome prince at age 19. But then, by age 29, I found myself alone, as a single mother, with four young children. I was devastated and convinced that something was terribly wrong with me, to have ended up in such a predicament. 

I had learned to love and please others, but not how to love and respect myself. I was a “good girl,” and repressed my urges to have my own needs acknowledged and met. A wise teacher later told me, “We need to love everyone, including ourselves.” This was an amazing revelation for me!

Learning to meditate helped immensely to bring moments of peace, while I was sitting still, though I was still being triggered regularly in my relationships. Finally, the Kiloby Inquiries taught me how to turn my attention inside in daily life – towards the trapped thoughts and emotions I’d been running from – so that I could face and release them. It was like some tender, lost children began coming home, to take their rightful place in my inner world. 

I am honored and excited to be able to facilitate these wonderful inquiries for others.

Sumitra lives on the Hawaiian island of Kauai with some of her family. She has four grown children and six grandchildren. For many years she lived and worked in a yoga retreat community in California, and has taught yoga, meditation and Compassionate Communication in addition to facilitating the tools of the Kiloby Inquiries (since 2013).

Sumitra also loves working with couples and others with relationship challenges in a simple (though not always easy) deep listening practice that allows each person to be truly heard and acknowledged.

Alina is a certified KI facilitator & a founder of Presence Alchemy – An advance mindfulness platform dedicated to liberating suffering & limiting core beliefs through Kiloby Inquiries & non-dual awareness. Presence Alchemy was born eight years into Alina’s embodiment journey of an inner shift from ego to wakefulness. Alina works one-on-one with clients, hosts online intensives and training, and organizes local retreats & workshops.
Alec Rodrigues has been certified to facilitate inquiry since 2015 and brings a keen sense of intuition to his work. He believes that in connection, the deepest healing takes place, that the mirror of relationship is the best crucible for transformation. Through rest and inquiry, Alec has found the empowerment to meet others authentically and stop running so damn fast from the seeming “ordinariness” of life.

He currently lives in Washington state with his girlfriend and works as a training assistant for the KI Personal Mentorship Program, where he empowers enrollees by teaching them the KI tools.