9 Interesting Things the Movie Matrix Teaches about the Human Mind
I am a huge fan of the movie matrix; needless to say, I have watched the matrix trilogy multiple times. The reason for my deep interest in it is that I love how the whole concept touches on some very real aspects of human psychology.
You can argue about a lot of flaws in the plot, but when you think about the possibility and basic premise on which the movie is created i.e. the illusory nature of our experiences, you will realize how it can make us see our whole life from a new perspective.
If you are someone with interests in spirituality, human psychology, personal development and the law of attraction like me, then you can easily make sense of the things I am going to share with you here.
These are some points that I found in the movie series that really made me think deeply and it also resonated with what I have learned so far about our mind.
1 – What Is Real?
In the scene of the first Matrix movie where Morpheus tells Neo the truth about how the machines have created a dream world to keep human mind in control, they are inside a training program where Neo says that the “program world” feels exactly like the real world to which Morpheus responds by asking him a question that we must also ask ourselves from time to time when we get too much caught up in the worldly issues – What is real?
He explains the very fact that if we define real by how we perceive the world using our 5 senses then “real” is simply electrical impulses interpreted by our brain.
This is what I often try explaining to people while talking about our ability to imagine, you can visualize anything you want as if it is real because your inner mind cannot differentiate between what you “see” and what you “imagine”, it interprets both in a similar way.
If you know about lucid dreaming or if you have been interested in your dream world, then you might already know that our dream experiences are very close to the real ones.
2 – Your Mind Makes It Real
Again, in the training program scene, Neo falls while trying to jump across the buildings inside their jump program and when he wakes up in the real world he sees blood coming from his mouth, so he says “I thought it was not real”.
To this Morpheus responds by saying “Your mind makes it real”.
The knowledge of the power of mind over body is widely popular these days, even science is discovering that the spiritual healing of body is possible, though for that you have a lot of inner work to do which can be done using energy block clearing methods.
You can get an idea about how the mind can make your body react according to what you think by observing how pessimistic people tend to have a weak immunity system.
On the other hand, spiritual philosophies have always tried to tell us that all our problems are created by our mind; the mind has a tendency to intensify and make real even irrelevant things, so at times when you think a problem is real and insurmountable, maybe it would be appropriate to say “the matrix has you.”
3 – They Are Part of the System
The concept of this movie gives us a very good example of how we operate in the real world. See, just like the program codes in the story are making people believe in the dream-like world created by the machines, our minds are also programmed to believe in certain things that are not true, but the very act of believing in it makes it as concrete as anything real.
Once our subconscious mind accepts something as true, it makes that belief “our reality”; the power of our inner mind is so magnificent that it makes us who we are based on the beliefs that were formed during our childhood.
Here’s something Morpheus says that really hit home for me “These are the minds of people we are trying to save, but until we do, they are our enemies. Many of them are so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it”.
Many times when I try to tell people that we are the creators of our reality and our own subconscious beliefs (the system) are responsible for why our lives are the way it is now, a lot of people try to argue and deny any such possibility because they have formed a victim mentality. Even-though Morpheus says this in a different context, it holds true for the real world as well “they are the part of the system and they will fight for it”.
4 – There Is No Spoon
Do you remember the scene when Neo went to the Oracle for the first time? In that scene, what the kid who bent the spoon using his mind power said is something we should write on a board and hang it on the wall.
“Do not try to bend the spoon, instead try to realize the truth!.. There is no spoon, and then you will see, it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself”
Can you see what is being said here? Whatever you see or feel in your world is a result of what happens in your inner mind, if you can change that, you can change your life.
There is an ancient Hawaiian Ho’oponoopono process which is a healing method based on forgiveness, the science behind it says that you are responsible for everything that happens in your world.
So, there is no spoon (no problems), it is not the spoon that bends (your problems don’t change because they are not real), it is only yourself.
5 – You Need to Believe
One has to believe in what they want if they really wants to achieve something.
In all the posts where I talk about the potential of human mind, I have focused on this one thing because when we believe in ourselves everything becomes possible for us.
Neo never believed that he is “The One” in the whole first part of the trilogy, but Morpheus’s faith in him and Trinity’s revelation in the last few minutes of the movie makes him believe, and we are well aware what happens when he starts believing.
I am not speaking philosophically here, our mind works that way, when we believe in something positive or negative, we can make it happen.
A feat that seems impossible is when achieved by one man; it becomes easy for everyone else because they start to believe it is possible. That’s how records are broken.
6 – You Have Already Made the Decision
In the matrix reloaded when Neo meets Oracle, she tells him “You have already made the decision; you are here to know why you have made it”.
This may seem a little contrary to what we have already been discussing, but we all make certain decisions even before we are consciously aware of it.
So, whenever you are in any particular situation, your decision is usually not that much predictable and random as it appears, if we ever get scientifically advanced enough to read one’s inner mind (all behavioral patterns) then based on a few calculations it can become possible to predict a person’s action in any given situation.
If this is true, then we are mere puppets of a perpetual cause and effect reaction that keeps on happening without our any control over what happens, so the “free will” we think we have is just an illusion like the matrix which keeps human mind in control.
Well, do you believe it? I don’t, as the architect said: “Denial is the most predictable responses of all human beings”. That’s true, but my response is knowledge-based and I have proper evidence to back up the argument that nothing is determined and we have control over our reality.
In fact, the conclusion at the end of the series also is in the favor of it, I will explain it all to you in the last point.
7 – Humans Are Imperfectly Perfect
I love the scene where Neo meets the architect because it tells us so much about our lives and why it is perfect the way it is right now.
According to the architect, his attempt to create a perfect matrix where people can live happily failed miserably because of the “grotesqueries inherent in human nature”, what he fails to see because of his condescendence toward imperfection is that perfection is the death of life.
I have been obsessed with this one thing for a long time, have you noticed the name of this site? – Zero to infinitude, two imperfect numbers that have no definite value, yet it is what gives existence to the number system based on which we have reached this far.
Perfection, on the other hand, is the dead end, saturation. Though we all aspire to be perfect, that’s the motivation that keeps us in motion. For a moment, imagine if you were having every damn thing in the world, a perfect life where you don’t want anything or need anything because you had it all.
The idea is good but if you will examine that life closely, you will find that it is the end of our journey and we know only one final destination i.e. “death”.
Life is about the journey, not the destination. Why do you think a video game starts to seem boring when you have used the cheat codes? Why don’t we enjoy a competition when the opponent is weaker than us? For a while, all that it can give is an ego boost, but later it ends in misery.
The truth is, we love the journey and we want a new goal when one goal is accomplished and this imperfection makes us perfect.
This very nature of humans was the biggest problem for the architect because being the “perfect” mind he failed to understand “imperfection”.
8 – The Purpose
Another widely discussed subject in both psychology and philosophy which is also very important from the perspective of understanding the basic human characteristics required for healthy functioning is “the purpose”.
In the movie, every computer program has a purpose and it returns to the source after its purpose is fulfilled, though some of them have the choice to stay (illegally) unlike we humans who don’t come back once we die, however, the question is, are we also here to fulfill a purpose like them?
If we look at Neo, he had a very strong purpose of saving humans from machines and on the other hand, agent Smith who is Neo’s own counterpart believes he has lost his purpose.
In the final scene of the matrix revolutions, agent Smith objectively denies the existence of the purpose for anything in the world when he says to Neo that whatever he believes as his purpose is an illusory thing used by humans to justify the existence of life. So why does Neo still believes in his purpose?
To this Neo’s answer makes a hell lot of sense to me – “Because I choose to”.
It is true that there is no purpose in one’s life when you view it objectively, just like in any sport if you will ask an unbiased person who knows nothing about the game about the purpose of a specific player, he will not see any purpose there because he holds a neutral perspective.
However, if we are someone who is participating in the game and we decide to deny the existence of a purpose then also we will still be fulfilling some other purpose i.e. the opposite of what we didn’t choose. So if a player decides to believe he has no particular purpose in the game, he is naturally making a choice to help the other team win.
Ergo, agent Smith was so sure that he does not have a purpose, yet he was on his way to destroy everything. That’s the paradox.
9 – Free Will
Back to our main discussion which is probably the main focus in the movie also, is everything predetermined? Do we have a control over what happens?
As discussed in the point number 6, everything that happens is a result of a cause and effect chain. At one point in my life, I got very convinced by the deterministic philosophy, because those ideas are backed up by some very factual and logical explanations.
There are some experiments which show that we make a decision even before we consciously become aware of it, which means that our body prepares to take an action before we even know we are going to do that.
In the whole movie, Neo is troubled by this, we can see oracle predicting things correctly and according to the architect it can all be calculated with precision but there’s an anomaly.
The anomaly is created by “the choice”, voila! We have the power to choose which falsifies the predictability factor.
Yes, it is true that we are programmed by the beliefs present in the environment in which our brain gets developed as a result of which our behavioral patterns are created, but we do have a choice to not act that way, we also have the choice to change the subconscious beliefs which decides our behavioral patterns.
I have had some very good debate over this subject with people who had some strong evidence to prove their point, but I have something at my disposal that shatters deterministic beliefs like a targeted missile, guess what??
Quantum physics! Yes, the discovery that human consciousness has an effect on the outcome of double slit experiment indicates that we hold the power to change the predictable outcome of any situation. I have discussed this in my post on determinism and predeterminism vs. quantum physics!
The end of the movie says it all when Seraph asks Oracle “Did you always know?” to which she replies “oh, no, no.. but I BELIEVED!”
I hope you enjoyed this post, to know a little more about our subconscious mind’s nature, you can read my post on – The Subconscious Mind Acts Like a Kid
Did I miss anything? What do you think about this post? Please share your views with me by commenting below, I would love to hear from you.
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