The Matrix

vinny

The Living Force
Yeah, we've all heard of the matrix. Great metaphor for the world we live in. we're all oblivious slaves living in an artificially constructed reality, etc. marvelous. wonderful.

And in some sense, yes. It's a GREAT conceptual tool to use, and has introduced some ideas into the public mass consciousness. And there are SO many quotes from the film that are easily identifed, like the bit about "there's something wrong with the world, but you don't know what it is - it's like a splinter in your mind" (something like that, anyway), and all the other classic lines.

Well, I watched the first two of the trilogy on TV recently, and I saw it in a bit of a different light. Rather than it being a ray of sunshiny truth in an otherwise lie-infested smog, THIS time it struck me as rather more... sneaky? ...twisted? like there were some extra layers of subliminal message in there (ok, I'm a bit slow, so maybe its all blindingly obvious to some, but I never noticed before)

Let me try to illustrate:

I started getting a disagreeable taste when I considered that there is a lot of violence. And more, that this violence is justified (glorified, even!) and partly because it is against 'machines' (though, note: machines that look like people). Now, rather than this being some clever allusion to our mechanical selves, or anything 4-th way or OP related, I think that is just what they WANT me to think, and actually I think (too many thinks, I must work on my prose!) it is more of a 'dehumanising' justification that our enemies "don't really matter - their suffering is unimportant", that is hmmm... rather to close to the bone in the current conflicts going on around the world, and comes straight from the pathocratic rule book, where: its perfectly ok to bomb and shoot people, because "they're not really import anyway, barely people really, practically subhuman". I think you see what I'm getting at? Rather like the ethnic cleansing (nasty phrase) that is going on in the middle east and other parts, but also in the nasty impersonal way that the population is treated in GENERAL by its ruling elite. So, then that turns the whole thing on its head, into 'army propaganda' - you know, the first thing the armed forces have to do with new recruits is traumatise them, and persuade them that "the enemy aren't real people", merely in order to persuade normal human beings to do something that is completely in violation of their nature, ie to shoot someone dead.

Another theme was developed in the second film, which is the fanatical following of a single person, who is believe to be the 'one', the only solution, the one and only source of every answer to 'all our problems' (does that sound familiar to some recent forum discussions?!). not only does that have some quite obvious monotheistic overtones, but it reminded me of Laura's discussion about a 'metaphysical scarcity' concept being used to lure people. [edit: ok I'm sort of repeating myself here - they are the same thing.]

Hmm.

And I think there was more, but I wasn't taking notes or anything, so that's all I can recall for the moment.

A thread I read earlier today talked about the salesman concept of: say 9 things you agree with, and then hit 'em with the 10th and chances are everyone will agree with that too, regardless. Plus there is all the recent discussion of the workings of the pathocracy through the manipulation and degradation of our attitudes and interactions, which just seems to make connections here.

Could it be, that this film is being used as a highly sophisticated ponerogenic tool?
 

foofighter

Jedi Master
Well... have you seen Animatrix? If you've seen the Second Renaissance episodes I think you may get a different perspective on the violence thing. Yes, it is part of a dehumanization process, and yes that is part of the problem, and yes, that is pointed out quite clearly in the SR episodes. So you are right, only it seems to be the intent of the brothers to point out precisely what problems this "us vs them" mentality leads to, which is something that Neo finally resolves as in the end all he wants is peace. The problem of inter-dependency is also pointed out in the dialogue between Neo and the chancellor quite well I think.

About the monotheistic part, again, they are pointing out that this IS how most people think: they WANT a "one" with mystical powers that can somehow save them, instead of doing their own work. But Neo tries to get individuals to be responsible for their own actions. Take, for example, the Animatrix episode "The Kid". The kid thanks Neo for "saving him", but Neo points out that he did it all on his own. He got out by using his own talents, and even so he tried to project his feat on Neo instead of taking credit for it himself.

So yes, there are many "problems" in there, but IMO they are there because they have to be pointed out. But if you only see half of it, the "glorification" part, then it becomes troubling, sure. I think it is vital to see it in entirety, and in particular to see Animatrix as it puts many of the aspects of the movies into its proper perspective.
 

Johnno

The Living Force
I can't believe this hasn't been put up already! I re-hired this last week.

What I find interesting is that people have their own particular quote or two that they seem to pick up on which in some way may present their version of "the world". Mine is a small quote by Morpheus

"What is REAL?"

As for the violence, I find the movie caters for different crowds. The violence IMHO appeals to the "motion" crowd, with underlying more esoteric aspects will whiz right past them. Much like the story of David and Goliath, a violent story with fundamental esoteric truths.

Haven't really thought much about the "one saviour" aspect of it, so thanks for that.
 

Nathan

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
The concept of cycles (as explained by the Architect in The Matrix Reloaded) and how Neo (rearrange the letters N E O and you spell ONE) was the 6th (or 7th?) "One" reminded me of the sixth extinction.

Neo's ability to fight the agents appeared to be an example of "a level playing field".

The Keymaker and the hallways seemed like a visual allegory for space/time travel available to those of 4D.

Also, in the original script of The Matrix, in the scene where Neo notices the white rabbit tattoo, the term "New World Order" is mentioned.

Never quite worked out the meaning behind Agent Smith's takeover of the Matrix though as rogue STS element. Any ideas?
 

Beau

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Nathan said:
Never quite worked out the meaning behind Agent Smith's takeover of the Matrix though as rogue STS element. Any ideas?
I think that the pathocratic "ideals" can be represented by Smith and they spread through the machine society(our reality) infecting the sleeping populace. It was shown to be quite difficult to stop this replication, even Morpheus could not withstand it, having to be saved by Neo.
 
G

Guest

Guest
I think the movie was never intended by those funding it at least, to inspire anybody. I think it was meant to present a terrifying inevitability, and allude that this inevitability is already in progress. The fact that so many were illuminated by a movie that dramatized their deepest thoughts, IMO was not expected.

A friend of mine read some interviews regarding the trilogy, and told me they changed the script of the second and third parts, partly because the singer Aliyaa was supposted to play a major role, and died in a plane crash in the middle of filming.

However, I noticed that the first movie presented the machines as the enemy, and then in Animatrix this began to change. The role of evil was shifted to the Mr. Smiths, and in the second movie to the one, multiplying "rogue" Mr. Smith. I think when the PTB saw that people were gaining courage from the movie instead of being paralyzed by its presented inevitability, the authority of the machines had to be justified somehow, because that authority already corresponded to an identification with the PTB.

So in the end we have a compromise instead of an overthrow, and emphasis that you can't beat the system, but that the system is ultimately reasonable save for those rogue elements where one should focus their outrage, and work with the system in elliminating them. And so a new day dawneth for all, sheep and shepherds alike.
 
H

Hildegarda

Guest
Johnno said:
As for the violence, I find the movie caters for different crowds. The violence IMHO appeals to the "motion" crowd, with underlying more esoteric aspects will whiz right past them. Much like the story of David and Goliath, a violent story with fundamental esoteric truths.
I personally felt distate from the implied violence and the character's techno/gothic garb, back when I saw the ads for the first movie. I saw it on video, long after it was out of theaters, and my husband had to practically BEG me to watch it. Of course when I did, I changed my mind :)
 

Johnno

The Living Force
freetrinity said:
Johnno said:
As for the violence, I find the movie caters for different crowds. The violence IMHO appeals to the "motion" crowd, with underlying more esoteric aspects will whiz right past them. Much like the story of David and Goliath, a violent story with fundamental esoteric truths.
I personally felt distate from the implied violence and the character's techno/gothic garb, back when I saw the ads for the first movie. I saw it on video, long after it was out of theaters, and my husband had to practically BEG me to watch it. Of course when I did, I changed my mind :)
Much the same for me for Fight Club. I had no real desire to see it and when I did, promptly went out and bought a copy.
 

kenlee

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Johnno said:
freetrinity said:
Johnno said:
As for the violence, I find the movie caters for different crowds. The violence IMHO appeals to the "motion" crowd, with underlying more esoteric aspects will whiz right past them. Much like the story of David and Goliath, a violent story with fundamental esoteric truths.
I personally felt distate from the implied violence and the character's techno/gothic garb, back when I saw the ads for the first movie. I saw it on video, long after it was out of theaters, and my husband had to practically BEG me to watch it. Of course when I did, I changed my mind :)
Much the same for me for Fight Club. I had no real desire to see it and when I did, promptly went out and bought a copy.
Interesting you should say that since I had rented Fight Club a few days ago but haven't watched it yet. Thanks for the recommendation. I'll watch it tonight. Also, a while ago I was at the video store looking for a movie but I was somewhat frustrated because all the new releases were too violent and I really don't like violent movies. So I decided to seek out a comedy. Well, all of a sudden, out of the blue, the clerk comes up to me and suggests I see this movie called '"Kung Pow." It surprised me because I did not even let the clerk know that I was having trouble finding a movie and I was not even in the comedy section when he came up to me. On top of that the movie was an old release and I was standing in the new release section. Anyway I saw the movie and thought it was real funny (notice the groundhog nunchucks in the picture http://www.kungpowmovie.com/ ). The clerks advice what just what the Dr. ordered. I had a good laugh!

Concerning the violence in the matrix movies, I personally see the battles as metaphors
for the 'inner combat' one experiences in esoteric work. Also, I have found fighters such as boxers, martial arts people, judoka, and so on to not be violent people at all. It's not like in the scenes of the movie Rocky where his sparring partners in the gym were portrayed as mean and heartless. I found it to be just the opposite from my own experiences. Some of those fighters who I met were the nicest people you would ever want to meet.
 

Ryan

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
EsoQuest said:
So in the end we have a compromise instead of an overthrow, and emphasis that you can't beat the system, but that the system is ultimately reasonable save for those rogue elements where one should focus their outrage, and work with the system in elliminating them. And so a new day dawneth for all, sheep and shepherds alike.
This is an interesting take on the series, however my own perspective is that the second and third movies in particular do not really express the esoteric path of the "initiate" in any kind of precisely analogous way to the "Ascension Tradition" as described by Laura, Mouravieff, Fulcanelli et al (which, at best we understand so far, is the only way to become "free" of the Matrix). There are many similarities (even eye-poppingly obvious ones) but I think the Watchowski's were using different background philosophies in their construction of the script - Plato, Socrates, Egyptian and Greek elements, Buddhism, "typical" Christianity, the Arthurian mythos etc... thus they end up "in the ballpark", but not exactly scoring a "home run".

It's probably more likely that any correspondance to an objective esoteric tradition is "synchronous", however this "synchronicity" may have been "inspired" by a higher source ("Thor's Pantheon", 4D, 6D etc). The Watchowski's may have combined many elements in a way that they were not consciously aware of; indeed, in their written introduction to the commentaries on the Matrix box set, they mention that they won't talk about what the movie means to them, because they want other people to make an interpretation of their own, uncoloured by any "authoritative" source such as the directors. This to me indicates a certain "unknown" or "variable" element of raw creativity that they themselves are as curious about as their audience.

I'm don't think the film (and indeed, the series) has ponerogenic qualities because of the multiple ways it can be interpreted - I think a ponerogenic film would tend toward the "propagandistic" and "preaching" type. Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" is a far better example of a ponerogenic film IMO - especially given the pornographic violence depicted in it. The violence in the "Matrix" is quite stylized and graceful in comparison.

Good topic Vin - thanks for bringing it up.
 

Nathan

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Ryan said:
Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" is a far better example of a ponerogenic film IMO - especially given the pornographic violence depicted in it. The violence in the "Matrix" is quite stylized and graceful in comparison.
I agree. Notice how in all of the fight scenes there is rarely any blood? Even in a scene where characters are armed to the teeth with bladed weapons, there is barely a drop of blood to be seen. Although not exactly realistic, the martial arts choreography has a clean, artistic feel to it.
 

knowledge_of_self

The Living Force
EsoQuest said:
A friend of mine read some interviews regarding the trilogy, and told me they changed the script of the second and third parts, partly because the singer Aliyaa was supposted to play a major role, and died in a plane crash in the middle of filming.
It should also be mentioned for anyone who might not have known that, Gloria Foster, the woman who played the role of the Oracle also died in September of 2001, while in the final stages of the Matrix Reloaded.

Foofighter said:
About the monotheistic part, again, they are pointing out that this IS how most people think: they WANT a "one" with mystical powers that can somehow save them, instead of doing their own work. But Neo tries to get individuals to be responsible for their own actions. Take, for example, the Animatrix episode "The Kid". The kid thanks Neo for "saving him", but Neo points out that he did it all on his own. He got out by using his own talents, and even so he tried to project his feat on Neo instead of taking credit for it himself.
This is pretty much what I also picked up as being portrayed in the movies. What I saw in the Matrix Revolutions as being portrayed was not the "saviour" aspect, although I can see how some people can pick that up. I saw how the Kid managed to do what he did, and the girl that was playing the character of Zee (Link's girlfriend) who because of her choice to help 'the cause' managed to be there at the right 'time' to help the kid to get the door open for the Ship to come in. Also, the character of Naiobe who also made some decisions. The story of the Matrix was also told through her eyes in the game Enter the Matrix, which also showed the choices she made to help 'the cause'. Even Trinity chose to help Neo to go the machine city. And in the last bit of the movie when the Oracle is speaking with Seraph. He asks, "Oracle, did you always know?" And she says, "No. But I believed." Which portrays to me that she knew the future as being 'open', but she "believed" in the possibility that all those people will do their part and contribute to 'the cause' in their own way, and thus help 'the One' which was Neo. But in this case, I thought they were trying to say that all are 'the One' if they choose to contribute in their own way, because really what could "the One" have done without the help of all those people?

Also in the Matrix Reloaded, from what I understood the character of the One was a program. He was a program that was designed to be "the saviour" for the people of the Matrix, for the people who wake up (Zion). And Neo, being the One was given the same choices, in Matrix Reloaded by the Architect, and he chose to make his own choice and thus not to go with the 'black and 'white' approach, osit.

Another thing that I picked up, Morpheus said to Naiobe in the Matrix Revolutions, at the end when the war was over, "I have dreamt about this day for so long, is this real??"which really sparked a thought in me, that they are all still trapped within a matrix, and therefore not even Morpheus knew if what they were experiencing then was "real".

Just some thoughts I thought to share in light of the discussion.
Nina
 

Cyre2067

The Living Force
Honestly i watched the films over and over again in college. It was sort of my own intitiation to alot of these deeper truths, the first time i was exposed to them. And I'll never forget how i felt when i saw the first film in the theater, Morpheus' speech regarding the matrix, it totally slapped me across the face. I identified exactly with what he was saying, and took it as another "sign" (at that point in time my knowledge of synchronicity was still belief in coincidence) that something was "coming".

The film itself however was ingenius. It buried these messages in a film that literally changed the action genre forever. I believe it was the first in many "triggers" that i experienced growing up that was designed to alert me to the truly sinister nature of our reality. I dont see any ponerogenic quality to the film. The presentation of Neo as a christ figure was designed to appeal to our individualistic nature, here in the states everything is aimed at the individual, so the brilliant marketting that took place was designed to get people to realize they have that potential. We are all Neo.

This idea is further elaborated in V for Vendetta where the idea of a "group soul" or "collective consciousness" is made quite plain by having different characters do the same things. There's one scene in which an egg is made in the same fashion, another where the detective investigating V has a profound realization that everything is connected and we're all playing a "part". The end where all the individuals where the Guy Fawkes mask and remove it to reveal all the characters, alive and dead, showing solidatity with one another. Both films definately shout "MESSAGE!" in this forumite's humble opinion.
 

foofighter

Jedi Master
Cyre2067 said:
Honestly i watched the films over and over again in college. It was sort of my own intitiation to alot of these deeper truths, the first time i was exposed to them. And I'll never forget how i felt when i saw the first film in the theater, Morpheus' speech regarding the matrix, it totally slapped me across the face.
Heh, I'll never forget either... it was in the Metreon in San Fransisco, and I had just arrived after an overseas flight. I was pretty exhausted. When the scene came where Neo wakes up and is ejected from the system I passed out. Right there in the theater! The irony is quite hilarious. When I woke up again I thought I had missed five minutes or so, but a second viewing showed me that I had been "gone" for 45 minutes... pretty weird.

Lesson thus learned: never go see a movie about waking up while in a state of passing out.
 
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