Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Matrix: Reloaded

I think it's an understandable initial reaction to be let down by The Matrix: Reloaded. People want a continuation of the initial fantasy: you were meant to fly. They want to believe in that kind of magic, the kind that shows you that you can fly. But what Reloaded does is replay the same movie about learning the reality of one's life is a lie, except this time the movie isn't about Neo so much as Morpheus. Neo, we learn, isn't like us as a protagonist. He's a product of the machines. They made him. He's an artifice of their creation.

So is Morpheus. So is Trinity. They also have to learn their lives, everything they were fighting for, was a lie. Except, they have to trust Neo, this otherworldly figure, when he tells them that it was just another system of control, the entire prophecy about him.

If Neo is a stand-in for the audience, then what we the audience need to pass through in our story is seeing how we are an artifice created by those who oppress us and those who need us. This does not mean we are incapable of choice. It does mean that we have to understand how our programming fashions our choices, our desires, and our overall resilience and adaptation. Then still choose. Some of those choices will be hard, and all of them end up with you dying.

But it's Morpheus who has to understand what faith demands. He thought all he had to do was end the war. He did not realize that there was no war.

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