The Matrix, Freedom and The Human Condition
The Matrix is probably one of the greatest films of the 90’s. For anyone born in a cave, allow me to summarize. In the movie The Matrix, the world has been destroyed by nuclear war between humans and AI (artificial intelligence), and mankind has been enslaved by a race of intelligent machines who have basically learned to harvest humans for their energy (because nuclear winter has blocked out solar energy). So humans now live in a virtual world created by the machines called The Matrix; where they live out their entire lives…. in their minds, while their physical bodies exist only in pods used to harness their power.
In The Matrix, sight, touch, smell and taste and every physical sensation known to man has been boiled down to a series of synaptic responses in the brain. To those enslaved, it is every bit as real as it gets, because their experience tells them it’s real; but the truth is not the same as reality. The truth is, they are slaves and live out a counterfeit existence to their real one. A small remnant of humans have escaped bondage, and are in search of The One who has been foretold by The Oracle to free all of mankind.
The leader of the remnant (Morpheus) frees Neo from The Matrix, trains him, and tells him he’s “The One”. Neo does not believe he’s The One because when they go see The Oracle, she tells him that he’s got the gift but he’s waiting for something, that he’s not The One. But Morpheus so believes Neo IS The One, he’s willing to sacrifice himself so that Neo and the others can escape; and he does. Morpheus gets captured by the Agents, who exercise supernatural authority over The Matrix demonstrated by bending and defying laws of nature and gravity because they know it’s not real. Neo (and a woman named Trinity) go back in to The Matrix to save Morpheus; they rescue him and both Morpheus and Trinity get out, but Neo is trapped. He fights against the Agents; and at the end, the Agents gun him down. If you die in The Matrix, you die in real life, because your brain thinks it’s real.
Neo is dead; his vitals have stopped and the Agents walk away.
On the other end, Trinity is talking to Neo. She tells him that he has to be The One, because The Oracle told her the man she fell in love with would be The One, and that she was in love with him. She kisses him, and breath once again fills his body. In The Matrix, he is resurrected; he stands up to face the Agents who are leaving. They turn and shoot towards him. He holds out his hand and calmly says, “no”; the bullets slow down and stop in mid air in front of him. He reaches out and grabs one, looks at it curiously, and lets it fall from his fingertips; the other bullets frozen in mid-air fall to the ground. He defeats the Agents, escapes, and sets the stage for the next season — to ultimately bring about the end of the slavery of mankind.
The success of this movie is no surprise to me, as it arguably holds the keys to overcoming every situation we face in our lives. One of the things that deeply impresses me about God is that he has so encoded Himself within the creative DNA of mankind that even when we consciously reject Him, we can’t help but reveal Him in our creativity. Such as it is in The Matrix. Let’s break it down, shall we?
As in The Matrix, mankind has indeed been enslaved. Instead of being enslaved by machines powered by AI, we are rather born enslaved to an enemy (the devil) powered by sin.
As in The Matrix, humans live in a world that is not the full truth; if you believe that we are spiritual beings with a soul that operates within a body (as I do) then the truth is that what is in the spirit realm is more real than our physical earth and our existence here on it.
As in The Matrix, humans live out their lives within their minds; what they think, feel and believe to be real is made so through agreement with their mind, will and emotions. If you take into account Luke 6:45 “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” and also Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” and Proverbs 23:7 “for as a man thinks in his heart, so is he” — who we are, the lives we live are literally forged out of our thoughts, which become our words which then become our beliefs, as the cycle repeats itself.
Where did our first thoughts come from? Who told us who we were? My belief is that upon conception, we are spiritual beings who have been given a soul and a body which is forming. As we grow, we begin to receive information about ourselves from our parents. Being spirits, we are aware of what is said around us and I believe even aware of the emotional state of our parents or at the very least our mothers, with whom we are joined. Before this point, everything we knew about ourselves originated from God; but now, we are beginning to learn to read the words and emotions of our parents and relatives in order to know things about ourselves. Am I loved? Are they excited about me? Is there stress? Darkness?
Let’s move on to our childhood. What we are forming as belief systems related to who we are are now coming from several places; our parents (or lack of them), our sphere of relationships (friends, schoolmates), from the spiritual realm around us (to which we may or may not have awareness of) and from media, entertainment and so on. All of these words, including our own; creating our worlds, creating the truth of ourselves within our hearts. There’s a truth of who we are that was established by God and written about in His book of life. Then there’s the reality of what we hear spoken to us, around us, by us that begin to contradict that initial truth, which is still true and will always be True about us, waiting for us to discover.
The Matrix is our mind — it’s the battlefield where we fight to get back to the ultimate Truth of who we were created to be.
On this battlefield, there are weapons formed against us; some of those weapons are meant for us individually, some are meant for our families, some for our race and our gender. All of these weapons formed, which are at their very root, lies, require only one thing to become effective against us…. our agreement. These weapons are like darts thrown into us which weaken us, affect our ability to see and think clearly, confusing us. Racism is a dart. Prejudice, a dart. Sexism, abuse, neglect, poverty.. the list goes on. These darts produce in us reactions: hurt, envy, division, jealousy, rage, entitlement, bitterness, deceitfulness, immorality, lust, etc.
There are also weapons created for us. These weapons — or gifts — are from God; specifically we have gifts from the Spirit of God such as wisdom, faith, healing, miracles, prophesy, discerning of spirits, tongues, and so on. Then we have gifts bestowed upon the body by Jesus, which is the 5-Fold ministry — apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. And like Neo, we must be trained in them and believe we are empowered to use them to wag war and defeat the enemy of our souls.
There is nothing new under the sun. Change me, change the world. That’s the recipe. So what are we waiting for? Neo decides to think differently about who he is; he believes, he has faith that he must be The One. That holds true for us. When I believe I am The One; I am the one responsible for me, I am the one who controls my destiny, I am the one who decides to agree with God’s version of who I am versus the world’s. I am the one who sets me free and uses the keys given to me by the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. And so are you. And each of us are responsible for changing ourselves. We love each other, help each other or hurt each other; but in the end, we have the keys to our own ills.