The Matrix Has You Turns 1!

(Treat yourself to some cake and ice cream! . . . Yeah, yourself. What, you think a starving college student like me can afford to buy treats for all his readers?)

Today, September 23, is the first anniversary of my blog. (In case you’ve forgotten it, you can read my first post here). In honor of the occasion, I’d thought I’d grace you all with the post that I planned on doing early on but never actually wrote. So here it is.

“It’s the question that drives us, Neo. It’s the question that brought you here. You know the question, just as I did.”
“What is the Matrix?”

“The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us—even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window, or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.”

The Matrix is a computer-generated dreamworld, a digital construct, designed to enslave humans to the artificially intelligent machines who need them to survive. The Matrix allows them to feel as if they are truly living, when in the real world, their bodies are kept in tanks from which the machines draw energy. The Matrix is a world which seems real, which has connections to the real world (if you die in the Matrix, you die in the real world as well), but which is in itself an illusion which hides what is truly real.

The Matrix (the movie) has some of the most pervasive and powerful Christian symbolism that I’ve ever seen in a film. (The story I always like to tell is that when my father first watched the movie, at the end he realized how much symbolism it contained, and immediately watched it all the way through again and took notes.) If I went into all the detail I could, this post would start to rival the size of Mark’s posts; but I’ll content myself with the main point, from which I derive the title of this blog.

Trinity hacks Neo’s computer in the beginning of the movie, warning him, “The Matrix has you,” and drawing him to the party where they have the first dialogue exchange I quoted above. When Neo first meets Morpheus, the latter explains the Matrix in the second quote.

The premise of the movie is that what we see is not what we get. There is more to this life than what our five senses can experience. There is a reality, outside our normal everyday experience, which is more real than the world we see. In this true reality, there is an epic war being fought.

And this is, of course, entirely true.

Whether or not the Brothers Wachowski intended it this way, the Matrix functions as an analogy for the physical world we experience; the “real world” of the movie stands for the spiritual realm. Although we often lose sight of the fact, the spiritual world is indeed more real, and far more important, than the physical world we experience, and there is indeed an epic war being fought. The people who are unaware of the real world are kept harmlessly in their tanks where they are not even aware of the battle, much less able to choose sides and fight; in the same way, people who are unaware of the reality of the spiritual world are spiritually harmless and no threat to the enemy, and are in perilous danger. And thus it is the task of the freed ones to free as many others as possible, to spread the joy of the true life that they have found, and to gather warriors for the fight, although they know that it has already been won by One much stronger than they (John 16:33). “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4). We live in the world; but we are not of it.

It is of paramount importance that the Christian be at all times mindful of the “real world,” and be armed and prepared for the battle. Someone who has lost this not only has a dangerously narrow perspective, but is also neutralized—the enemy need not worry about him, for he is no threat. Our Lord calls us to take up the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20), fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 1:18, 6:12), and follow Him to victory (1 John 5:4-5; Revelation 19:11-16, 12:10-11). And in the meantime, we enjoy fellowship and unity with Him; we are called to abide in Him (John 15:1-11), for apart from Him we can do nothing.

Whenever you are burdened under the cares of the world, or get frustrated or caught up overmuch in difficult circumstances, remind yourself, “The Matrix has you.” Be reminded of the overarching reality of the spiritual world, which is actually the infrastructure that holds our physical world together. Be admonished once again to “seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1b-3). Remember that your eyes have been opened, and the veil has been lifted (2 Corinthians 4:3-6), and the truth has set you free (John 8:32).

“For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18).


Darth_Harbison said...

"The Matrix Has You" is also the name of a collection of hilarious Matrix parodies found on Legendary Frog. :-D

EC's mom said...

This is sooooo wierd....The Matrix, and Matrix Reloaded were on TV yesterday and today I read your blog.....The Matrix has me.
Is this real????????

Narisilme said...

Has it really been a year?!

Idhrendur said...

Well, you may remember the case with the lady who claimed to have written the matrix (actually "The Third Eye") suing the Wachowski Brothers. You inspired me to do a bit more research.

Apparently, Sophia Stewart, the alleged author, didn't respond to some court stuff fast enough to keep the case going. So the truth of her claims has not been established in court. On her web page, she's selling "The Third Eye," but it's $100, so it's not feasible to verify her claims personally.

However, assuming for a moment that her claims are true, I noted her bio on her webpage quoted her:

“I wrote The Third Eye to wake people up, to remind them why God put them here. There’s more to life than money,” said Stewart. “My whole message to the world is about God and good and about choice, about spirituality prevailing over ‘technocracy’.”

So, it seems that the symbology was intentional, if they really ripped off her story. If they didn't, who knows? Either way, it's pretty cool. And I need to rewatch those movies sometime...

David said...

But what about the Giant Bunnys on the tv screen??? what does it MEAN???

Rae said...

So it's not a phase then. ah well. since you don't have myspace I must invite you to an event personaly ..::Sigh::.. here is a link


mark it on your calendar!

David said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
David said...

David said...

. . .but what about the BUNNYS?????. . .

. . . oh, and I just noticed you made a link to my humble little xanga (which is more that your BROTHER has done. . .), so, many expressions of thanks and gratitude to ya for that : P

Ovation Leader said...

CONGRATS on your one year blogiversary!

THE MATRIX is a powerful film that could have stopped there for maximum impact. I found the sequels a bit rushed, as if they were forced out to meet the demand that the original film created. Still, The Matrix trilogy does make a fine rainy-day marathon viewed back to back.