Wikipedia says that the term "red pill," and its opposite, "blue pill," are pop culture terms that symbolize the choice between living in the blissful ignorance of illusion (blue) and embracing the sometimes painful truth of reality (red):
The terms were popularized in science fiction culture via the 1999 film The Matrix. In the movie, the main character ... is offered the choice between a red pill and a blue pill. The blue pill would allow him to remain in the Matrix, a fictional computer-generated world. The red pill will lead to his escape out of the Matrix and into the "real world."As I remember the movie, the world of illusion is definitely human-created. In my way of thinking, it would always be an illusion to believe that the world in which we most immediately live is truly the "real" world. Our world, the matrix upon which our histories are constructed, is real enough, but not ultimately "real," real with a capital "R." Our world, call it a world of illusion, the world that we create and most immediately inhabit, is ultimately dependent on the world we didn't create, the world of nature, a world that is, indeed, where painful truths are often resident.
Now that I am reaqcquainted with the metaphor, I'm taking the red pill.