Rick and Morty True Level Explained

So you want to have Rick and Morty true level explained?  To me, it’s pretty clear.

The Rick and Morty true level scene from season 3 episode 8 “Morty’s Mind Blowers” is an essentialist analogy.   Essentialism assumes that the being of particulate reality corresponds to an impermeable perfect reality.  

The story goes like this. Morty is building a shelf for Rick. Rick walks up to Morty just as Morty is in the middle of using a level to fit a precise measurement to the shelf. Upon seeing this Rick quickly snatches up the leveler and snaps it in half.  He points a finger at Morty and says, “If you want to put up a shelf, put up a shelf. Do you want to experience  true level…do you?”  

Here Rick is making his essentialist assertion. His claim is that there exists a perfect form of level. He calls it “true level.” One can really call it whatever one wants though.

What Rick basically means is that Morty’s imperfect level (which is truly worthy of ridicule) is only particulate.  That naturally, there must first be a perfect everlasting form of level  (better than Morty’s level) that is essential. This is Ricks “True level.”  But it is beyond that. It is the level that shapes the very conceptual framework of all dimensions and mutable conceptions of Morty’s stupid “level.”   

On Rick Building a “True Level” platform?

In the following montage, we then see Rick precisely and scientifically crafting out this ideally true level. I mean at this point we have to kind of lend ourselves to the hyperbole of cartoons. Absolute reality shapes our conditional reality however it is apprehended purely in the abstract.  For Rick, though,  in the cartoon world, it’s possible to experience this absolute.  All it takes for him are sorts of special gadgets and machinery.

The way that Philosophers experience Rick’s immaculate level, however, is through inference rather than direct epistemology.  Plato believed that the material world was only a shadow of a higher reality.   In this higher reality, all things, forms, and concepts existed in this unalterable unalienable impermeable state. That is, they exist in their “true” forms. True forms are not subject to decay or likewise cannot be reduced to Morty’s inferior and imperfect particulate notions of level.

Philosophy of the Rick and Morty Death Crystal Episode

Objects in the material  (conditional) world, on the other hand, are subject to permeability.  Morty’s shelf can never be perfect because it is always reducible. It is not absolute. Not only that though. It can also be subject to change. It’s like the Buddhist wheel of reality.  Constantly in flux, never in an essential state. A shelf that is always subject to the winds of chaos and mutability can never be perfectly true level. Morty’s dumb shelf is at the center of the change of Samsara

Image of Buddhist Wheel of Life Public Domain via wikicommons

Morty Experiences True Level Explained

So Rick finally finishes building his platform as to his “true level” specifications.  He then goes to retrieve Morty.  Reluctantly Morty follows his grandfather to the garage. After a very sarcastic sigh, Morty steps onto the platform. A few moments seem to pass normally.  Then suddenly Morty’s demeanor changes. He is overtaken by some divine orgasmic ecstasy. Upon experiencing true level he starts convulsing in pure bliss. You’d think Morty’s first experience was some divine Epiphone.  As a matter of fact, that is exactly what is happening to him.

You see Morty is in a state of what the Upanishads call “Satchitanada.”  Satchidananda describes the subjective experience of the absolute and unchanging reality (aka Brahma). It quite simply means “Bliss, consciousness, and truth.”   So Morty in his divine throws of ecstasy is having a completely appropriate response.  Transcendental ideas have the power to move us. Consciousness comes into the presence of Morty’s level only through contacting Ricks’s ideal “true level.”  Plotinus knew that coming to divine truth was ecstasy.  Imminent reality coming into the particulate would elicit and excite a sort of bliss.  All humans strive for some sort of truth in the ever-changing.  It’s no question that finding it would elicit the exact levels of joy that Morty felt.

According to the Chandogya Upanishad:  “Brahma is the joy residing at the depths of the heart and also the imminent reality from which all things subsists.”

When his sister Summer finally comes over and pulls him off of the absolute reality of “true level”. Instantly Morty is back into the conditional world. “Everything is crooked,” He exclaims.  Reality is poison. I want to go back. We are all lambs to the cosmic slaughter.” 


Learn More About Rick & Morty Philosophy?


Consciousness founds reality based on these concrete absolutes like Rick’s “true level.” These sorts of values, however, are nowhere within the physical order of things. We’ll never be able to step onto Ricks’ platform like Morty. Our minds are instead relegated to contact “true level” from higher reality in order to extract as much knowledge out of our experience of anything that categorically can be seen as “level.” I.E. the experience becomes intelligible only through a priori categories that are not impressed upon the mind by physically preceded empirical experience. All our particulate generalized notions of level align to some imminent unchanging “true level.”  We can experience true level as much as we can experience true roundness or true green or true square.  The problem with our phenomenological experience of reality is that it is always contingent on permeability.  Thus we will never be able to directly experience “true level” like Morty.

David Ex Machina

David Ex Machina


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