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HE MATRIX
(1999)


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easywriter.jpg (28134 bytes)A REVIEW FROM
THE EASY WRITER

Matrix' fun goes deeper than sleek surface

By John D. Banks
bud@easywriter.com

    "The Matrix" is a sleek, good-looking, fast-paced sci-fi film that can be easily enjoyed on its surface, thanks to great special and digital effects, rollicking kung fu action, a couple of fine performances, and a plot that doesn't get in the way of the rest of it. It was a definite crowd-pleaser over the Easter weekend, raking in record box office numbers for the holiday. There are some interesting reasons why this might be so.

     Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) works in a cubicle by day, but by night he's known as Neo, a hacker who programs virtual reality software that's vaguely illegal. He's contacted by Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and introduced to an underground faction led by Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne). Neo learns of the existence of the Matrix (Latin for 'womb'), operated by artifical intelligence that has enslaved humankind in a world composed entirely of virtual reality. Neo has been recruited because Morpheus believes he is The One who, it has been foretold, can bring down the Matrix.

     The ending is no big surprise, though there are some pleasant diversions along the way, including a wonderfully sinister performance by Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith, the virtual incarnation of the Matrix's AI, and a gun battle featuring more traditional firepower than you might expect from science fiction.

     "The Matrix" was written and directed by the Wachowski Brothers, Andy and Larry, whose previous feature, their debut, was "Bound," a cleverly-plotted noir thriller that featured an intimate relationship between its two female leads. Their latest, though, is sexually chaste by comparison (its R-rating is for violence and gore), and its characters and storyline yield unexpected riches after the least bit of exegesis.

     Neo is an obvious Christ figure (though a little more wooden than we'd like our saviours to be), Morpheus is a kind of John the Baptist, while Trinity admirably fills a role that's mostly Mary Magdalene. Agents Smith, Jones and Brown stand in for any number of Jewish and Roman bureaucrats. And there's a Judas, who prefers virtual steak and programmed forgetfulness to the struggle he no longer believes in.

     The biblical tradition is not the only one the Wachowski Brothers mined for this script. There are flashes of Buddhism and Hinduism, as well as nods to Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" and a numerous science fiction movie classics, including "Blade Runner," "Dark City," and the Terminator duo. But there are other intriguing clues that Larry and Andy's religious education has worked its way onto the screen. Neo's real name, for instance. In some ancient traditions, Thomas was considered the twin of Jesus. And Anderson can translate as "Son of Man" (from the Greek, 'andros').

     While the idea of humans connected to a matrix and used for their energy resources is creepy enough in the movie, something of the same is already occurring in our world. Whether that matrix is the internet or the television or something completely non-technological, people can become enslaved, addicted, to a version of reality that does not exist and precludes them from following a path to salvation.

    Serious interpretations are not necessary to enjoy this movie, as much critical and fan reaction has shown. It is possible to simply enjoy what's on the surface -- the effects, the action -- and go away satisfied. But there have also been those who have seen the deeper layers explored by "The Matrix" and appreciated them. This speaks to an awareness that the world we inhabit consists of more than flesh and blood and to a willingness to engage in a discussion of that deeper layer. That's pretty good for nothing more than a sci-fi movie.

The Matrix
Review by David Forsmark
Dforsmark@aol.com
Review from
"Credo, a Newspaper for Catholic and Other Christians"
which is owned by Tom Monaghan of Domino's Pizza fame.


"What is the Matrix?" That is the question. Well, if you're a movie buff, you might know that "The Matrix" was a  mini-phenomenon when it was released in the Spring in 1999, just before the  public's science fiction thirst was quenched by "Star Wars: The Phantom  Meanace." But after seeing the film, the question "What is The Matrix?" takes  on a more philosophical hue.  Is "The Matrix" a collection of hits and myths designed to strike a  cord with the biggest possible audience-- or, is it a specifically Christian  allegory about the snare of sin, and the provision of the means of salvation? "What is the Matrix?" is a question asked by a computer hacker who  goes by the handle of Neo (Keanu Reeves). He has been searching for the  answer for his whole life. It is about to be answered for him in a way that  goes beyond his wildest imagination.
     A beautiful black clad warrior named Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) leads  him to Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne) who shows Neo the awful truth that the   world he perceives is a computer construct, created by an evil force that   enslaves humans because it feeds off the energy of the human body. Morpheus is leading a small band of warriors from a hidden city  called Zion in revolt against the Matrix. He believes that Neon is the
prophesied Chosen One who will be able to defeat the power of the Matrix and,  in effect, beat the system at its own game. Neon undergoes training to become this super warrior who can defeat  the Matrix, though he is unconvinced that he is actually the Chosen One. Like last year's "Dark City," "The Matrix" presents a fascinating  alternate universe and explanation of reality. Unlike "Dark City," in which  the levels of the illusion are masterfully peeled back one by one like the  layers of an onion, in "The Matrix," they are simply given to Neo in the form
of lectures by Morpheus. But that does not mean the plot of "The Matrix" is moribund and  talky. There are several unique martial arts and shootout sequences that  result as agents of the Matrix try to hunt Neo down before he can fully   realize his power.
I won't say more about the plot of "The Matrix," since the element of
discovery is an important part of the fun here. The performances are first-rate. Keanu Reeves nicely handles both the  intellectual and the physical demands of the role, and Carrie-Anne Moss is a revelation as the mysterious Trinity. Lawrence Fishburne is perfectly cast  as the somber Morpheus. The writing/directing team known as The Wachowski Brothers, has  fashioned a compelling scenario with blatantly Christian allegorical elements  here. While no one is likely to confuse "The Matrix" with "Pilgrim's  Progress," or C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia, the parallels are too  specific to be accidental. While movies like the Star Wars trilogy employ the same heroic  structure and contain similar overtones, "The Matrix" has explicitly and  purposely Christian imagery like a sacrificial death that leads to a  transfiguring resurrection, fulfillment of prophecy, and the unknowing  toiling of most of humanity in a system that is in effect a living death. It would be easy to argue that Neo is not a perfect type of Christ -  Neo has to be convinced of his messianic status, and his warrior status makes him closer to King David than Jesus at times - but it should also be noted  that the Bible also uses imperfect human beings as types of Christ in the  Scripture.
     For an R-rated movie, the "objectionable content" of "The Matrix" is
actually pretty light. There are no uses of the infamous "F-word," (and in   some of the cases it is unclear whether the exclamations are in the form of
profanity or prayer); and while there are lots of shootouts and hand to hand   fighting, there is very little blood and gore. Personally, I thought a PG-13   rating would have been more appropriate, but I suppose the high "body" count  (even this is, of course questionable, since these warriors battle not with flesh and blood, but with a computer generated illusion) accounts for the  MPAA's judgment.
"The Matrix" is not appropriate for easily frightened children, but if you take older kids with the idea of spotting the ways the movies does and  does not parallel Scripture, it should be a fun and valuable exercise.

BULLETIN BOARD :

MY NOTES ON MATRIX
Subject: Matrix
Date: Fri, 29 Mar 2002
From: Dan King

I only first saw the movie a few months ago on the recommendation of a Christian friend. I was hesitant as it was rated "R" but went ahead. He told me to view it with the idea of breaking free from addiction in mind. Wow was I blown away. I have seen it 5 times now and took many notes on it. I just ran across your site and would like to add my notes to it.

Before we are set free and become Christians we only know of the physical world and we are completely controlled and bound by its laws. Once we are freed we do not have to be bound by it. Many of us choose to because we do not freely use the power of the Holy Spirit. Just as the people that go back into the matrix have different levels of ability and are able do things that defy the matrix laws (such as fly) so we have different levels of faith. We do not have to live in fear and in bondage to our surroundings with Gods power but we choose to. Jesus said that if we had the faith of a mustard seed we could move mountains, he also calmed and had power over the natural world. Jesus had complete power over the natural world just as Neo did at the end.

Those who went back were not able to directly fight against those in control of the matrix (ie demons) but were told not to mess with them and run away. Only Neo was able to directly take on the demons. We Christians are to stay away from demons and only with the power of Jesus can we deal with them. Can't fight the agents, except for Neo, we can not fight Satan on our own but Jesus can.

Some quotes:
"looking for an answer, the question that drives us, It will find you if you want it to"
We have a nagging question inside us as to our reason for existence and God will reveal himself to us if we want Him to
"you've been down that road and that's not where you want to be"
We have tried what the world has to offer and it does not satisfy "felt it all your life, do you want to know what it is"

"Don't like the idea that I'm not in control."
"A prison that you can't smell taste or touch"
When you are in an addiction a or in sin you are in prison that you can not feel or touch, you think you are in control and do not want to admit that in reality you are not the one in control.

"Can't be told what it is but must see it for yourself. After you see it there is no turning back. It is your choice to see the truth or not."

Wake up to see the hold that's on you and the predicament you are really in. Truth sets you free of it.

When Neo is told to climb out the window he can not believe what he is asked to do, and it makes no sense to him. We do not always understand Gods direction and must step out in faith.

They had scars from the bondage such as the connection on the neck and, muscles that have never been used had to be exercised and practiced. Though we become freed as Christians we still have scars from our time in bondage. When we wake up to the spiritual world we have abilities that we have never used and must learn to walk again as children and practice our faith and practice walking in the power of the spirit.

The Matrix is built to keep us under control.
If you go back would you want to stay?

"It is easier to free a younger mind that an older" just as it easier for a younger person to become a believer than an older one.

" Try to free your mind, I can show you the door but you have to walk through it."
We can show people the way of salvation but each one must choose for themselves.

Just as the matrix feels more real than the real world, the physical world feels more real than the spiritual.

Billions of people living out their lives oblivious to their predicament
Willing to give his life for the truth
There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.
The only way to communicate with those bound by the matrix is to go into it. Christ comming to the physical world as man.
Chosen to save them from the matrix
Just as Neo first died in the matrix before he was able to conquer it so Christ had to die in our physical world to conquer it.

Residual self image (what is real)

Look for imagery of stairs, water, reflections

Stairs- Hierarchy (Exists only in the Matrix) diffuse hierarchy to collective shared leadership Outside the matrix we can commune to the top spirit to spirit, within it we have no communion with God. Reflection- don't fool yourself when you pull out scripture, puling your own understanding and reflection out of it. You do not see another but a reflection of what you think they are or should be.

Water- Baptismal washing away
Neo was baptized right after he was freed from the bondage of the Matrix
Symbolic of new believers baptism.
Dan King

MATRIX MADNESS
Subject: Matrix
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002
From: Joseph Mitchell

 Neo is not a messiah figure, nor does he in any way represent one. Morpheus is not a John the Baptist nor does he represent one. Trinity is not a Holy Trinity, nor does she represent one. Cypher is not the Devil, nor does he represent one.

The Wachowski brothers are playing a game with all of you and not one of you understand, neither do they. Here are some helpful hints.

How deep does the rabbit hole go? As deep as the rabbit digs it.

Who holds all the keys? Not the Agents, but the one that knows only Jesus to be the Son of God.

Who guards all the doors? Not the Agents, but those that keep the commandments.

 Obviously, we are meant to think of the agents as being the bad guys. Why be obvious? Watch the movie again. This time think of the cops as being the good guys. The Agents as being good guys. And Neo, Morpheus and the rest of the gang as being the bad guys.

Oh and in case you have problems doing that, here is one for you.

 In the rescue of Morpheus, Trinity is flying the helicopter, Neo and Morpheus are hanging down beneath on the line. The helicopter is going down, Neo drops Morpheus onto the roof of the "MMI" building, Neo lands there also. What you see in the next few seconds is an aircraft(albeit a helicopter) crashing into a tall building with Neo looking on standing on top of a building which has the Roman numerals 2001 -- MMI on the top. Now I'm not saying the Wachowski brothers prophesied the 9/11 event. I'm just pointing out that the scene is there.

 "We are willing to cut you some slack, wipe the slate clean. All that we ask is your help in bringing a known terrorist to justice."

Response: Nice try, but Neo is a Jesus figure. And the bad guys are the bad guys, -David

THE ORALCE
Subject: Matrix
Date: Sun, 17 Mar 2002
From: christian traag

greetings,

just curious your take on the scene in the matrix where the oragle give neo the cookies.

the significance or the meaning?

thank you.

christian traag

Response: Good question. I'll have to view the film again. -David

MATRIX AS QUMRANIC TEXT
Subject: Matrix
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002
From: Samuel

This is late coming, I know. But I'm still dealing with the ramifications of The Matrix as a religous movie, and I've only recently found your site. (I thought I was a nut for seeing relgion in film!)

There has been an on-going debate concerning who, exactly, is the Christ figure in The Matrix. I'm currently working on a paper over exactly this subject. I'd like to point out an idea I working with for the paper, namely that both Neo AND Morpheus are the messiah figures in the film.

First let me designate a difference between ideas of messiah and Christ. Messianism, not matter how loosely borrowed by the Christian West, is a decidedly Jewish concept; the Greek translation Christos is not simply a rewording--it involves a transition of ideas from Jewish to Hellenistic Western thought. But I won't go into that in too great a detail. The point is, I am dealing with the messiah imagery in The Matrix; that is, I believe the savior figures in this film are not a redemptive Western Christ but a Jewish warrior king, a figure who will fight. The Jesus parallels are primarily for the comfort of the Christian-dominated Western audience the film was written for.

That said, I've been looking at Jewish concepts of the messiah through their history, and I've discovered an idea that works beautifully as a synthesis of the arguments over whether Neo or Morpheus was the true messiah figure in the film. In the Qumranic texts (i.e. the Dead Sea Scrolls) written just prior to Jesus's life, the concept of messiah is split between the ancient Davidic warrior (Neo) and the newer cry for spiritual guidance in the form of a priestly messiah (Morpheus). Both were necessary to the salvation/liberation of Zion, and so both are necessary to the defeat of and regaining of control over the Matrix. It is, perhaps, no accident that both Neo and Morpheus seem to represent the messiah; neither is it accident that Morpheus is the philosopher/spiritual guide for Neo while Neo is the one (the One?) who can take the beatings from and physically defeat the agents.

I'm still hashing out the details, of course, and this is all only interpretation. While the writers/directors of the film are certainly brilliant, I would never commit the intentional fallacy of assuming they planned all this in the contruction of their film. Still, the idea fascinates me, and I thought I's share my views with your audience.

Thanks for the web site. Incidentally, as much as you appear to know about other faiths, I wonder if you might open a posting like Hollywood Buddha, or Hollywood Taoist, or Hollywood Black Elk, something like that. I would love to explore the eastern metaphysical and Buddhist/Hindu concepts in The Matrix in more detail, because certainly they are there Peace...
Sam :)

CHRISTIAN BACKGROUND OF THE WACHOWSKI BROS?
Subject: Matrix
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002
From: aric

several of my friends have insisted that the Wachowski brothers "must be Christian" based on the allegorical nature of "The Matrix." judging by the subject of their previous film, i'm a little slower to jump to conclusions about their faith (or lack thereof). however, i'd like to know if anyone out there has found info in interviews or whatever regarding their level of encounter with Jesus or Christianity. thanks!
aric
postmortal_uprising@yahoo.com

EDEN -THE FIRST EDEN?
Subject: Eden - the first Matrix? Matrix
Date: Sat, 24 Nov 2001
From: Ken Meisen

It may have been mentioned before, but there's this scene where agent Smith tells Morpheus of the first version of the Matrix - kind of a "perfect" version where everybody was happy and didn't have to suffer. Smith goes on to say that this version of the Matrix wasn't accepted by the human brain, so they stopped it and created the present version. He says they thought it was because the programming language didn't fit the human brain, but he personally thinks it is because humans define their lives by suffering and misery. Btw, nice and intelligent site!
Regards, Ken Meisen

NOT JESUS
Subject: respones to Neo not being Jesus Matrix
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2001
From: Nick

Just a quick not someone said that Neo is not Jesus becuase he had to figure out that is is the one and i agree. Another inside info in the matrix 2 there is the truth saying Neo really is not 'the one' it's Neo's son because he is born knowing that he is 'the one'. Part of the matrix 2 will be about getting Neo's son out of the matrix and into the real world of something realted to that theme. anyways gota go -nick-

THE MATRIX SYMBOLISM
Subject: Matrix
Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2001
From: "Wes Butler"

I am thrilled to have found your site. I, too, have been deeply moved by watching "The Matrix". It literally changed my life, and my perception of life as a Christian. Immediately prior to seeing The Matrix i had been pondering deeper life questions like "my role as a christian" and the concept behind the following verses:

Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Luke 9:25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

While it is much more common for Mark 8:36 to be quoted by preachers and such, i think that the symbolism in The Matrix more closely aligns itself with Luke 9:25 in the movie, it is as though the essense (i use this word to mean "soul") of humankind is being deceived, yet the human physical body is being lost to the world, then cast away. at the risk of sounding like a nut, i can say that there is not a day that goes by that i do not think about this movie.
Signed, Wes
p.s. feel free to post my first name, but please do not post my email address.

NEO IS NOT JESUS?
Subject: Matrix
Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2001
From: "Gabbie Potts"

One thing came to mind when I read all the comments about how Neo couldn't be Jesus because he at first doubted that he was "the One" - the movie "Dogma" (i know this isn't necessarily the best example but hear me out). Well see, when whatsherface, the last Zion, doubts that she is in fact related to Jesus, Rufus (sp.) points out to her that in the Bible, like in the gospels, you don't see anything about the early years of Jesus' life, that he had to be told who he really was and he had to come to grips with that, and that's when all the stuff you read about started happening. I mean really, would it be that easy to just be like, "Oh! That makes sense! I'm the son of God sent to save the world from their sinful ways!" I think that the fact that Neo doubted does not make him any less likely to be a Christ figure in the movie. I really like all the work you're doing on this site, it's great! Thanks! --Gabbie

NEO IS NOT JESUS
Subject: NEO IS NOT JESUS - and other thoughts
Date: Tue, 8 May 2001
From: Brian

Hi David, Kudos on the entire site - awesome!

I first read your review not long after viewing the movie on the big screen around the 3rd time. I realize this response is a bit late... However, your response to "NEO IS NOT JESUS" was rather curt (maybe even bigoted) - don't you think????

You said, "Neo ... is the Christ figure."

After reading the 1996 version of the script several times and watching the movie a dozen or more times (many individual scenes more than that), I've changed my personal interpretation of the story almost as many times.

Don't get me wrong! With the death and resurrection scene along with the "ascension" at the end, I not only fully understand your view. But, I once held it myself. However, I see things a bit differently now. Just as when I was a young believer in Christ, I held much different views than I do now.

That said... let's set aside personal bias for a moment and look at some additional facts... First, besides the obvious meaning "son of Sleep, god of dreams", Morpheus can also etymologically mean "changed one".

Next, Morpheus says that the Oracle (the prophets) "has been with us since the beginning... she looks good for her age". (probably not an exact quote) My point is... what does this say about Morpheus' age???

The Oracle also tells Thomas (the doubter) Anderson that Morpheus' devotion to him is without limit. (I will NEVER leave you or forsake you.) In fact, "before the day is over" (Today being the only acceptable day of salvation) Morpheus will give up His own life to save "the One" and he (Thomas) will have to make the decision to do the same for Morpheus' sake (lose his life) or save himself (continue to live in carnality and selfishness).

Finally, as for the death and resurrection scene... it's so obvious! Jesus said, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me." Paul said, "For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection". And to the called-out in Philippi, "that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death". And to Timmy, "For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him." True, these all speak of a glorious future event. But, also of a daily event if we "walk in the Spirit and not according to the flesh."

But, it was Morpheus' love and "sacrifice" that caused Thomas to return the love and sacrifice and ultimately become Neo. "Greater things will you do than I have done." (Jesus)

A few asides...
Trinity (the Comforter)... have you noticed that in every scene, she is beside Neo? (That is... after his "rebirth".) He isn't always AWARE that she is there. Sometimes, she is only beside him in reality and invisible in the Matrix.

Matrix... The Greek word translated "world" in New Testament is kosmos but actually means "orderly arrangement" or, you guessed it, "matrix".

Agents... My first impression of these "bad" guys was that they represented Satan and his angels. However, after considering Jesus' antagonistic view of the religious leaders of his day ("You stand in the door not allowing anyone to enter [reality] neither will you enter yourselves."), I realized the lower "agents" or "gatekeepers" might also represent the pharisees of all time as well. Whether they be sadduccees, rabbis, popes, bishops, pastors, whatever.

One last item: In the 1996 script, there are several lines I REALLY wish they would've used in the movie...

As Neo walks into the kitchen and asks, "You're the Oracle?", she says, "Bingo. I got to say I love seeing you non-believers. It's really a relief. All that pomp and circumstances just plain tucker me out." Then, after Neo takes the cookie from the Oracle, she says, "Make a believer out of you yet." Oh, I love it!

David, I hope all this helps you to "free your mind" just a little. Keep up the good work! Brian

Response: You are right that Morpheus does have some Christ-like features. But, he is nonetheless, the father figure (instructing and guiding Neo). Neo's role is multilayered and does not fit perfectly into the historic Jesus story, but he is a Christ figure complete with virgin birth, wilderness experience, death, resurrection and conquest of the enemy. But beyond all this, stories speak differently to each person. How it speaks to you is different than to any body else. If Morpheus is Jesus to you -so be it. This is what's so powerful about story. So, thank you for bring your ideas to the table. -David

ANAGRAM
Date: Sat, 20 Jan 2001
From: Ruth

This may seem like a very unimportant point, but it is one that seems to have been neglected, it may be due to the fact that it doesn't have any religious implications. "Neo" is also an anagram of "one", as well as having other significance.
From Ruth

MY VIEW ON THE MATRIX
Date: Sat, 13 Jan 2001
From: adele

I saw the Matrix even before I knew about your site, but when I served into it and saw what you said I thought to myself that I never knew this was what it is about. My view on the Matrix is that people wants to escape from the reality they are in and that they don't know what to do. I also say that when you watch it you have to watch it two-three times before you can understand it and that it just what I did. I think that with that movie you can't destinguish between fantacy or reality. Thank you again for your site.
yours truly adele

BRILLIANT MOVIE
Date: Sat, 23 Dec 2000
From: Jeff Woollett

Hi I never saw "The Matrix" on the big screen, but after watching the video I'm hooked, what a brilliant movie.

Much has been said about all the Christian references, obvious and otherwise. The thing I saw was how the dude who sold everybody out so willingly embraced deception because he didn't want reality. He talked about the steak he was eating in the Matrix, he knew it wasn't real but he was willing to live with that because he was tired of fighting!!! There's a good warning in that for anyone who wants to live for God in todays world.

You certainly get some interesting emails. Some people are just a little to serious and narrow-minded. Of course the Matrix is flawed theologicially, that doesn't mean there's no good principles and truth illustrated in it. Good greif, I wonder if some of your email writers ever enjoy anything. I'm sure they go looking for stuff Christians write just so they can attack it. Hmmm, they probably have "had their eye on you for some time Mr. Bruce" Yikes, don't worry, the mobiles on it's way over via the courier (just don't go jumping out any windows!!) Knock knock

Thanks for a good site Jeff Woollett

MATRIX IS FULL OF NEW AGE
Subject: The Matrix is full of New Age
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 2000
From: Matthew

Bruce, I can appreciate some of your views into these films. I can't help to comment though that The Matrix is heavily laced with New Age. Do not get me wrong though, I loved the film. I like films with action and martial arts. I just have one problem with comments saying it is full of Jesus when it is not. This film clearly shows Neo being enlightened by the "guru" Morpheus so to speak. New Age clearly states this that to become godlike you must be enlightened. Neo is clearly enlightened to the fact that the world he is living in is not real. Reality is not what it seems. This is clearly a New Age belief. I believe that New Age beliefs are finding there way into movies today more than Christian. The reason being it is a major worldview today. At the end of the movie Neo clearly achieved 'god-hood.' He could stop bullets, he could rearrange everything if he wi! shed. I think the reason that he was the chosen on was because he was like how the New Agers view Jesus. As the ultimate guru, not glory wrapped in human flesh who came to save the world from their sins. Neo clearly became the ultimate. The others clearly were near god-like but not like Neo. They could dodge bullets, fight well, and even jump across vast spaces. The Matrix is not about putting Jesus into Hollywood, but the present worldview of New Age. Anyone who can't see New Age in the Matrix has clearly not studied the beliefs and doctrine of the New Age movement. My intentions are not to make anyone mad. These are just my opinions. I hope you will respect mine as I respect yours. May God help us to show people that New Age is alive and well and that we are to teach people to be on the look for it.
God Bless, Matthew Hinson
P.S.--You may post my comments.

Response: So, you are a Christian that can not see Jesus in the Matrix. Hmm, I feel sad for you somehow. You got Hinduism and Buddhism all mixed up with New Age. And you seem to think that Gurus and Enlightenment are against Jesus. A "Guru" is a personal spiritual teacher in Hinduism. You suggest that Enlightenment is reserved for New Agers? I think a Buddhist would disagree. To them Buddha means Enlightenment and Enlightenment brings Nirvana. What do you do with verses that say Jesus grew in wisdom (enlightenment)? -Luke 2:52. And what do you do with Jesus being a teacher (a Guru)? -John 20:16. Have you read 2 Cor. 3:18: "All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him." Is this Enlightenment or what?

You say, we are to teach people on the lookout for New Age? What? I for one love New Agers, Hindus, and Buddhists. God loves us all. Your words seem to strongly suggest that you are against (perhaps hate) such people. The dictionary defines Enlightenment as, "to be free of ignorance, prejudice, etc." These are fitting words for you to ponder. I think you need some Enlightenment!

Here is something else to ponder: Jesus is my Guru and I find Enlightenment in him and I look forward to the dawning of the New Age he will bring. -David

MARK 3 NO. 11
Subject: A clue often missed Matrix
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2000
From: Daniel D

Not only is the ship name, "Nebuchadnezzar" significant, but if you look closely at the plaque you will see the ship's classification is Mark 3 No. 11. Mark 3:11 And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.
Dan D.

KEANU IS ANTI-CHRIST
Subject: Matrix is Alister Crowley Buddhist Vedantism
Date: Sun, 1 Oct 2000
From: Jonathan

The Matrix (reality) is the creation of the computer (God) in order to keep people asleep but Keanu Reeves (the anti-christ) will remove our shackles for us. Keanu Reeves' telephone conversation with the computer at the end is exactly what Satan would say to God if he had the chance. The bald kid with the spoon was spouting sheer Buddhism or Vedantic Hinduism. The characters in this movie are typical hollywood archetypes patterned after pagan Greek ideals. They are loved for their strength, not their humility. Jesus said to the sons of darkness "If I were of this world, my servants would fight you." Watch out for Neo and his heliborne chain gun. The whole philosophy that reality can be altered by the human mind is best exemplified by the philosophies of the archsorcerer Aleister Crowley and they imply that reality is a creation subject to the will of the creatures within it, thereby making the creatures God, if they can wake up to their true potential (more eastern mysticism). Satan was thrown out of heaven for thinking he was God and that reality was his little dream to do what he wanted with. The matrix tells us what the Devil is looking for in an Anti-Christ.

Response: Oh good grief! I feel sorry for you some how. Your mind seems to see the devil under every rock. God is bigger than you think. Something vey powerful is going on. Your God is too small! -David

SEND FOR MATRIX VIEWER GUIDE
Subject: Sharing Jesus via The Matrix
Date: Sun, 1 Oct 2000
From: George

I have only just found your site, 1.5 years post Matrix. I really enjoyed all of the discussion. We have developed a sharing system (borrowed heavily from awesomehouse.com) for reaching others with the Good News. If you (anyone) would like to have a copy of our "Matrix Viewer Guide" issues and the plan we use, we'd be happy to give it to you. e-mail or write to: pathfinders@ctlnet.com George Machlan, 2121 St Joseph Blvd. Fort Wayne, IN 46805. We have been very succesfull in stimulating discussion with friends, family and even total strangers. Boomers to Xer's, it is a pleasant surprise who has been touched by this movie.
God Bless You, George

OBVIOUS CHRISTIAN PROPAGADA
Subject: Great Movie Riddled with Christianity
Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2000
From: "Stephen Wright"

From the first time that I saw this movie, I was in love. This movie has, perhaps, more in the way of obvious Christian propaganda than any other film that I've ever seen. There are the obvious character parralels between Neo and Jesus, Morpheous and John the Baptist, as well as Cypher and Judas, but I believe that most accurate parralel is that of the Matrix to Sin (capital "S"). The movie has given me an entirely new "reachable" concept of sin in the world, as well as the spiritual ramifications of it here. The scene where Neo first meets Morpheus gave me the first clue as to how true the movie is to sin. The way Morpheus describes the Matrix is so real for sin also: "the Matrix is everywhere, all around you. You can see it when you....do your taxes....go to church....It's the world that has been pulled over your eyes to keep you from the truth. (What truth?) That you are a slave, Neo. Just like everyone you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot see or smell or touch: a prison for your mind." Just as Sin keeps us from Seeing, Smelling, or Touching (or loving and feeling) God, The Matrix keeps humans from knowing truth. Jesus says the word truth 108 times in the NIV translation of the Bible, and we wouldn't be confused about it if it weren't for Sin (separation from God). Just like the Matrix, Many people don't even know that Sin affects everything that we do (say, hear, touch). Sin keeps us from knowing God, and perfection in His love. I love that at the end of the movie, Neo stops the Matrix-code. Just as Jesus conquers death and Sin's choke-hold on our spiritual lives for those of us who choose to trust in Him. This movie is as close a representation of the true meaning of the Gospel as I've seen in a secular movie. Praise God for Jesus' power over Sin, and Love for me!!
Stephen Wright

GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATRIX
Subject: The Gospel According to 'The Matrix'
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2000
From: "Artis"

The Gospel According to 'The Matrix' ? Perceived reality is not actual reality. There is much more to it, which can't be seen. ? Evil forces close the mind to actual reality to keep humans from experiencing the truth. ? The Evil forces cloud the mind to keep the humans under control for their own evil purposes. ? The Evil forces have created a variety of everyday occurrences and circumstances to maintain the illusion. They appear in many shapes and forms and can even be manifested or disguised as other humans. ? Humans who understand the nature of reality have supernatural abilities to overcome the perceived, false reality. ? When humans are distracted by the false, physical world, they can be hurt or killed by elements within it. ? If the Evil forces can defeat Zion they win forever. ? The coming of 'The Chosen One' is foretold. ? Other prophetic statements, given to humans about 'The Chosen One', all come true. ? The ultimate plan for both humans and 'The Chosen One' is revealed over time. ? Other false, potential saviors are always present. ? 'The Chosen One' will come to save humanity from the evil forces. ? Wise men seek this Savior. ? Small bands of believers fight the battle for truth, separately, but striving for the same goal. ? Belief in the Savior often takes time. ? The re-birth into true reality is often painful. ? Although reborn, some followers long to return to the sensual pleasures, comfort, and security of the false reality. ? Humans know they are destined to love the Savior. ? Often people are afraid to express their love for the Savior. ? The Evil forces lure the Savior to a place where they can kill Him, even though He goes willingly. ? One of the followers betrays the Savior. ? Humans suffer and die in the struggle against the Evil forces. They do not fear death, for they know of the ultimate reality. ? The Savior is asked to sacrifice his own life for lives of the human followers. ? The Evil forces celebrate the death of the Savior. ? Killing the Savior is not the end of the story. Death for the Savior is only temporary. ? The Evil forces fear greatly fear the new, stronger resurrected Savior. The resurrected Savior destroys the evil forces forever.
Rick Artis --~~--
Artistyle Productions artistyle.com

Response: Amen! -David

A BUDDHIST-GNOSTIC NOTION
Subject: The gnosticism of the Matrix
Date: Sat, 9 Sep 2000
From: Simon Galloway

My response in grey. -David

I have to aggree with the posting "throwing rocks at the matrix and David Bruce". The film is antithetical to Christian doctrine. It emphasizes the occult protocol of forcing ones way out of the carnal illusion of the material by ones own efforts. (What works? Did we see the same film?) A clear contradiction to salvation through faith. This old idea of taking control of ones hardware is nothing less than the rebirthing process sought by the alchymists and spermognostics of old. Uniting with the godhead no less. (Neo and Trinity are symbols of the Godhead, not humans trying to be rebirthed as God). A buddhist-gnostic notion. I am suprised the kabbalah isnt folded into this story as the means to descend into hades to be reborn by uniting with ones "higher will" played by the mindform archetypes of morpheus and Trinity.

Neos union with Trinity symbolises mans attempts to seduce the "feminine principle" of God to become as God. (What? Even Jesus feminized God -Luke 15:8-10) The tree of knowledge of good and evil [knowledge of thyself]. (What? Knowledge of our selves? Where does the good book say that? -Such knowledge is yet to come -1 Cor 13:12) That serpent "nechesh" up to his old tricks again. The matrix already has you seduced if you cant see that. [recursive] I aggree with the assertion made that this film has an esoteric backbone and is soley about the occult initiation of man. (Your language is male-centered, why?) I dont however aggree with this doctrine which is the precursor to the counterfeit version of Christianity we are warned of in Revelation. (Where?) The film the matrix is the microcosm of the macrosmic matrix which is worldliness. That I dont think is in debate.

Emancipation by lifting the veil of technology and hence dominator culture which ensnares our minds however has more sinister implications of overcoming the illusion of the senses and realising that the world doesnt produce the perception but the brain. The argument of all solipsists. This may well be true but by offering oneslf into the subconscious cup of babalon to be reborn is synonymous with the occult initiation of "crossing the abyss" and deconstructing the personality to allow ones pure genetic will to takeover in concert with the universe. The filmakers are thus riding the crest of the self-realization movement (really?) in order to condemn the flesh but skillfully provide us with the wrong exit disguised as a modern messianic parable. Conquering worldliness with godlessness. Sophistry at its most well oiled.

We were banished from Eden from trying to unite as and against god through the sexual act (What? Sex is of God! "Be fruitfull and multiply" was the command of God -Gen 1:27). The flaming sword of ego that divides one thing from another protects the way back to Eden and may be seen by those who would covet the role of God to be the stymie of the will. With this curse we are condemned to mortality. To try to force ones way back into Eden through rebirthing is damnation. (Rebirth is the way back to God! -John 3) It is correct to believe that we have no right to leave of our own will. The only way back to immortality is by recognising that only Jesus Christs ressurection and hence defeat of the original curse of death beats a path to God. (This was symbolized by Neo) We have already allowed our imaginations to become colonised by the simulacra of electronic media which is aptly refered to above as a prison for the mind. Perhaps the message here is if you cant wake up from the film you have not understood it. The way in is not the way out Caveat Emptor Christians
Simon Galloway

Response: Your God is too small and your thinking is very concrete. May God help you lighten up. I do question your understanding of orthodox Christianity. Something is somehow off here. "Sexual acts" against God in Eden?, "recognition" as a the way back to God?, "Flaming sword of ego" instead of "a flaming sword" of God?. I will agree that the Matrix is not the apex of biblical theology -that is not the intent. Yet, at the same time, it is not the gate way to hell. I do enjoy the film and I love the opportunities for discussion it provides. I see it as a portal to important conversations about a personal relationship with God through the Chosen One. -David

MARK III No 11
Subject: Mark 3:11
Date: Tue, 05 Sep 2000
From: Patrick

In answer to an earlier question; the plate on the Neb reads, "Mark III No. 11 / Nebuchadnezzar / Made in the USA / Year 2069." Mark 3:11 - "And the unclean spirits , when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God."

NEO IS NOT JESUS
Subject: Re: Neo isn't Jesus
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000
From: John D. "Bud" Banks jdbanks@azstarnet.com

We read your review on hollywoodjesus.com and found is inaccurate. Neo does not symbolize Jesus, Morpheus does. Neo represtents a someone being called by God. He didn't believe he was the one at first, as people are usually confused when they're witnessed to. Morpheus certain that Neo was the one, just as Jesus knows who his children are. Neo had to be lead into beliving he was the one but Jesus didn't need someone to tell him, He just knew. Morhpeus brought Neo to Zion, as Christ brings us to heaven and once Neo knew Morpheus he was in a different world just as when we get to know God, we understand the world in a different way. Trinity was kind of like the Holy Spirit, sent by Morpheus to guide Neo.

And there's always that line "Jesus! they're killing him!" said by Neo about Morpheus when they're trying to kill him sounds like an interjection, could also be "Jesus, they're killing Him" saying they were killing Jesus. We have more theories if you really want to hear them! I am pleased that you have found another way of interpreting the symbolism of The Matrix. But the fact that your interpretation of those symbols differs from mine does not make either of our interpretations inaccurate. Both can be right at the very same time. That is the beauty and the mystery of symbolism.
John D. "Bud" Banks jdbanks@azstarnet.com

Response: Neo is the one with the death and resurrection scene. He is the Christ figure.

NEW AGE CLARIFICATION
Subject: Applications to the Christian Life and clarification of New Age issues
Date: Sun, 23 Jul 2000
From: "Chris Priebe"

Thanks for the hard work Bruce, I really appreciated your comment " Did you know God loves you and God even loves sinful problematic people like me? " in response to criticism.

I am doing a College and Career study tonight on the Matrix and have been compiling the notes from here. I first got onto it when our apologetics teacher at Bible school sent people to the theatre to watch it and write a review of it. What makes that abnormal is - that was their final exam!! It has some strong Christian parallells for sure. I would not go so far as to say it is a "Christian" movie but it is certainly something we can use to relate the good news of Christ.

As a youth leader I encourage the young people to live for God. This is hard at times for them because they see their friends having a good time and they feel left out. But they have made a choice to take "the red pill". Their minds are stretched, the old way will never satisfy again. They know far more and having experienced true reality, the unreality of drugs, alchole and peer pressure just don't satisfy, it always leaves them empty because they know there is more. And so they strive to enter into genuine reality deeper and deeper each day where they find themself and the God who made them.

One more thing, several times it was mentioned the connections to New Age and making reality what you want to make it. I'm not sure this is an accurate interpretation but rather the opposite. Whereas the "Matrix" can be distorted and altered based upon our own thoughts and beliefs, genuine reality is something which cannot be changed in the movie. Also, the goal of new age is to enter a state of nothingness in order to connect to the Divine conciousness of nothingness. Matrix, one the other hand, is not about entering into a nothingness but finding true reality.
Chris Priebe,
Authentic Walk Ministries and Youth Director, Kamloops, Canada
http://www.authenticwalk.com

REAL FAITH
Subject: Bruce's anti-faith comment
Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2000
From: Andy

One of the letter-writers, identified only as Bruce (I wish he'd revealed his email addy), wrote in connection to THE MATRIX: "The devil whispers, 'You are sick.' If we choose to believe his reality, indeed we show symptoms of sickness. But if we respond with God's Word, as Jesus did when tempted by Satan... 'No evil shall befall me nor shall any plague come near my dwelling. God will give His angels charge over me...by His stripes I am healed...' " I wonder why Paul did not give Timothy the same advice in 1 Timothy 5:23, where the apostle wrote, "Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses." Bruce is actually promoting an ANTI-faith concept--the idea that unless God heals us of all our physical ailments, we must be somehow out of touch with Him.

Real faith would trust in God DESPITE SUFFERING. In the verses of Scripture that speak of us being "healed" by Jesus' death on the cross, that is actually speaking of SPIRITUAL healing, in which sin is our spiritual disease that we need to be cured of. The Bible does NOT teach that God will necessarily heal us of physical ailments, not until the glorious age to come when we have transformed bodies.
Regards, Andy Doerksen

VERSE ON THE SIDE?
Subject: Sci-Fi base for New Mythos.
Date: Wed, 03 May 2000
From: Mat

I love this movie! Not only does it tell a good story, but the religious and mythological overtones are wonderful. The movie may not be "Christian", but it clearly has Christian themes. I am looking forward to parts II and III. On another note, a friend of mine mentioned that there is a bible verse written on the side of the Nebecannzer (sp). I have only seen the movie once and have not had a chance to check this out, do you know anything about it? Thanks for the great page and the reviews.
From a Youth Worker Matt

WHAT IS REALITY? IS CENTRAL QUESTION
Subject: Religion, Philosophy, and Science.
Date: Tue, 02 May 2000
From: "Tiffany Halo"

I have read most of the rest of the comments on this page, each writer advocating their own opinion of what the Matrix really symbolizes. I am writing a very large paper on the Matrix, and have researched Christianity & Buddhism extensively. My conclusion is this. The Matrix is a parable dealing with the age-old question: What is reality? Religion, philosophy, and science are all bodies of knowledge that have attempted to answer this question, each in its own way. A modern misconception of these three bodies of knowledge is that each is independent of the other three. This, according to the implications made by the Watchowski brothers, is not true. They attempt to combine all three in their movie, showing that reality can not be truly determined from just one source or one perspective. Perhaps it cannot be determined at all. I will not go into detail about how Christianity and Buddhism are prevalent in the movie, but I will give one quick example of Buddhism. Neo can be compared to a Neo (or new) Buddha, rejecting reality and life as he knows it for self-sacrifice and a quest for the truth. Buddha's conclusion is that ignorance is the root of all suffering, and Neo realizes the same. This is why he returns to educate and free all the people in the Matrix at the end of the movie. Please feel free to respond with ideas! Tiffany366@hotmail.com+

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