Book Revew Non-fiction Philosophy Self-help

Playing the Matrix by Mike Dooley

This is an interesting treatise on how the author perceives things. Mike Dooley has come up with a Chart detailing 5 areas of the Matrix, from “Thought & Emotion” which he recommends to attach to or to focus upon, which are dependent solely upon a person’s choices; to 4 areas of Illusions

Playing the Matrix by Mike Dooley reviewed by Celine

Publisher:  Hay House, USA

Date of publication:  2017

Genres:  Non-fiction, spiritual, philosophy, self-help


Please note this review is the personal opinion of the Reviewer.  Feel free to cross-check Reviews of this book with other reviews.

This is an interesting treatise on how the author perceives things.  Mike Dooley has come up with a Chart detailing 5 areas of the Matrix, from “Thought & Emotion” which he recommends to attach to or to focus upon, which are dependent solely upon a person’s choices; to 4 areas of Illusions – which are all physical illusions (including one’s body) divided into categories which are increasingly dependent upon others.

Mike calls these 5 areas the “Matrix” and describes his system of playing the matrix as a program for living deliberately and creating consciously.  Chapter 1 looks at the connection between thoughts and manifestations where he says miracles can happen if one only focuses on wanting a broad result or outcome and is not attached to the details or to the steps, while “physically moving in the direction of one’s goals.”

I found the rest of the Chapters a little repetitive and wanted some more clarification of some of his concepts.  Basically I think he is talking about positive thoughts and taking relevant action to work toward one’s goals, not stressing over how one’s goals are attained., and being aware that the more you are dependent upon a certain detail getting you what you want, the more you are restricting your options for getting what you want.

Chapter 3 on “Knowing What you (Really) Want” I feel could be more concise, because the author writes about his own personal experiences and how sometimes people do not identify what they want at the most fundamental or broadest level (for example, underlying I want to be a famous writer, is perhaps that I want a happy and easy and abundant livelihood).  Here is where I got a bit lost.  The author goes on quite a bit redundantly, about who wouldn’t want Happiness and Health, and advocates not getting into “micro-management” or NOT writing out / thinking about detailed steps and getting attached to them.

But he claims, if you focus on the general areas that you want, like Happiness and Health, and take some action, no matter what; these big areas are somehow more likely to be attained.

I think what he is trying to say is that if one goes with the “flow” trying out this and that, without getting agitated, angry or depressed about the steps one is taking toward one’s general goals; in the end (or at the end of your Life-time) you will find that you actually have largely achieved your broad end results – which he advocates should be Happiness and Good feelings (the Thoughts & Emotions area of the Matrix) and the first of four Physical groups of human endeavour, which encompasses the Fantastic Five – Good Livelihood (means of living) / Abundance / Health / Relationships / and Appearance.


Perhaps I just “missed the memo” and didn’t understand everything that Mike Dooley wrote in his book, in terms of conveying what I learned.  I do appreciate the hierarchy of results or realities that he has come up with, and see how one can work with his scheme.  The author does not really mention the word “preferences” but one can work out from his philosophy, that it is a good idea not to stick like glue to one’s preferences in terms of a distinct outcome, e.g. it is best for me not to demand that in order to have a good and happy livelihood, I must have a paid writing job.

Speaking for myself, I may love writing, but there are other ways in which I can have a satisfactory livelihood, not involving writing; yet I can still spend time on writing, which I enjoy doing.  I may only run into resentment and woes if I demand a paid writing job in order to be happy (through a happy livelihood).

Chapter 4 on “Getting into the Details” talks about options and not to try to force any one action or step into getting the results you want, which is logical.  The author talks about “Chaos Theory” and that there are so many possibilities that one or some of them are bound to be the ones that will help you out.

Throughout his book he speaks about the CURSED HOWS in terms of not getting attached to How you achieve your goals.  He likes to mention RECALC a lot talking about the brain’s capacity to weigh up options and to choose.  The point is that yes we can actually consider the options before us, and allow room for more or better options to surface.

Chapter 5 “Taking Action” says more of the same basically, that one should NOT limit oneself to just one or a few options, in stone, but be flexible and also enjoy and live a whole Life (not be fixated upon only 1 narrow aspect of Life, like winning the Lotto).   Once again, common sense, although perhaps some people do need to hear such advice.

Chapter 6Expedited Delivery” was a little more interesting to me as it summarised how one can use visualisations and mind maps and thought systems to get into a routine of being positive and up-beat and a routine of focusing on the things he advocates to focus on, while taking action to bring these into effect.

Altogether, I have to confess that once I finished reading this book, I could not remember much of what was in the book except for the general tenet – if one focuses on positive Emotions / Happiness / Health / Livelihood / Abundance / and Relationships and relaxes and does not become attached to the action or steps taken to bring these about, one will feel that one’s desired outcomes or results have been achieved, and they are more likely to come about tangibly, to the degree that one wants, than if one was fixated upon certain details (methods) to bring about an outcome, or fixated upon a specific result.

It is commendable to be imaginative and original in coming up with the “Matrix” and the book was worthwhile reading, however I did find it a little in-cohesive and rambling, and that it could have been a lot shorter (than 188 pages which take a while to read).


You can go to Amazon to read an excerpt from the book, and to see the Chapter titles.

Playing the Matrix


Copyright notice:  this article may not be used as someone else’s work, or reproduced without credit to the author.