Pop Culture From A Spiritual Point of View
May 20, 2003
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October 10, 2003
MATRIX RELOADED Review
1. The Matrix Reloaded Review
2. The Matrix Reloaded Contest
THE MATRIX RELOADED REVIEW
review with graphics here
Matrix film series is about a revolt against modernity, post
modernity and closed religious systems. The Matrix itself, is
the established norm that has been forced on present day culture
without its permission. The film series chronicles the journey
from bondage to liberation and freedom.
Boomer generation (b. 1946-64), literally owns and controls
everything! --From DreamWorks/Disney in Hollywood, to Bill Gates
at Microsoft, to the Clinton/Bush government, to "Boomer
entire generation yearns for new systems, new ways, new ideas,
and its voice! An entire generation longs to be born anew to
new realities. It wants to die to the old system, just as Trinity
and Neo did, and be resurrected into a new world/reality. Matrix
speaks to this need.
means womb! It is the journey or re-birthing from the 20th century
into the 21st. It is about a take over by an awakening giant
that can not be stopped. The fact that the first Matrix film
came out in 1999 and the second and third episodes come out
in the new millennium is no coincidence.
-the Modern age- has run its 500 year course. The Boomer's 50
year Post Modern Era has ended. The Bohemians are at the gate.
A new understanding is crying for birth from the Matrix of the
old order. The Creative Age -the new system- is upon us.
Modern Era (1450-1950) = Science, literature,
technology viewed as saviors of the world.
Post Modern Era (1900-1990) = Deconstruction,
everything shaken. "This is the world that existed at the
end of the twentieth century," -Morpheus.
Creative Age (1990-future) = An exciting time
of rebuilding through imagination, creativity, and new ideas.
War 2 generation connects to Modern Era (radio era,
lecture -non visual- types)
Boomers (1946-64) connect to Post Modern (Protest,
Eve of Destruction, Late Great Planet Earth, Left Behind, no
Gen X (1965-1983) and Y (post i983) are the
most creative generations that has ever existed on planet earth
(read Holes: Creating paradise out of desert).
Wars is about the Boomers deconstructing Modernity
is about Gen X rising out of the ashes of deconstruction.
is about the birthing of a new system. Matrix is about waking
up and refusing to go back to into the service of the old way.
Smith calls Morpheus (meaning change) the most dangerous
man in the world. Reason: Morpheus represents new ideas -change.
Neo (meaning new) is "the one" -a Christ
figure- who represents the New Humanity -fully born anew -new
is the female face/side of God. Together, Morpheus (father),
Neo (son), and Trinity (holy spirit) represent the new creative
spirituality. Morpheus is also a big bad John the Baptist type.
Trinity is also the non-virgin mother Mary type --a co-redeemer--
helping to give birth to a new humanity and a new spirituality.
Mr Smith (a common modern era name) is the devil himself. Cypher
is the betrayer Judas, Zion suggests the holy city of God. Welcome
to a very creative time for spirituality. They represent a new
spiritual understanding and the death of the old fixed non-creative
religious orders. Matrix spirituality evolves. Its complex yet
simple. The times they are a-changing!
are so many creative threads that come together in the Matrix
Reloaded. Nothing is exactly as it seems and everything is flexible.
All archetypes can be transformed into other archetypes. For
example, in this episode Neo becomes Superman and Morpheus becomes
Batman. And Mr Smith creatively clones himself -becoming both
the devil and all the demons of hell at the same time! Anime
(Japanese comics) lend Matrix its ultra-violence (which is comic
at the same time). In the Matrix, Blade Runner, Terminator,
Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop, Alice in Wonderland, the Wizard
of Oz--movies, television, literature and graphic novels all
come together in a highly creative way that knows no contradiction.
It is Christianity and Buddhism, new birth and reincarnation,
Gnostics and mystics interlaced. This creative blending of types,
stories and religions is a hallmark of Gen X (over 18) and Gen
Y (under 18).
is sexuality expressed in spiritual terms. The love making between
Trinity and Neo is a form of God's (trinity) romantic love with
the new (neo) humanity (see Bible: Song of Solomon, Hosea).
This scene is intercut with the celebration (worship service)
of the liberated humans. An unforgettable scene of celebration
and passion, of spirituality and liberation.
danced on a Friday when the sky turned black;
It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back.
They buried my body and they thought I’d gone;
But I am the dance and I still go on:
Dance, then, wherever you may be;
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be
And I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.
basic themes in The Matrix Reloaded are amazingly
resonate with a Biblical and mythical understanding of truth.
= the mythical Orpheus, who descended into the underworld to
be a savior. Clear Biblical connections here. Also the holy
name of God, YHWH (meaning: I Am The Becoming One) connects
to Morpheus -the changing one.
= in Buddhism this is a state of entering nirvana. In Jesus's
teaching this is spiritual new birth.
= the difference between strict Buddhism and the Matrix. Violence
is prohibited by Buddhists. Violence is part Jesus' understanding
of life: "The kingdom of heaven has been coming violently"
(Mat 11:12 NRSV footnote). The violence against the crucified
Jesus liberates the world. Also, spiritual warfare against powers
in Paul's writings. Etc. Life-as-isolation Thomas Kinkade type
Christians will not get it.
Life = Both Trinity and Neo have a death and resurrection to
new life. The idea of life through death is a clear biblical
= The holy city of God. The kingdom on earth. "On earth
as it is in heaven" (Mat 6:10). "And the gates of
hell shall not prevail against it" (Mat 16:18). Also, Isaiah
14:32 (MsgB): What does one say to outsiders who ask questions?
Tell them, "God has established Zion. Those in need and
in trouble find refuge in her."
Anderson = Neo's other name comes from The Gospel of Thomas
(about Jesus), and Son of Man (Ander + son) the title of Jesus
in the gospels.
destiny, choice = The Matrix series finds balance between choice
and destiny in the context of providence. This is a very Biblical
understanding of life. So many religions view life as set, and
fixed (as the machines represent). Life, however, is dynamic
with ebb and flow, reaping and sowing, choices and consequences.
Yet, all this within a specify destiny. Life is like its creator,
New Life comes through a leap of faith, through death to the
old self and re-birth into a new life. This is exactly the message
of Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, "...Take it from me: Unless a person is
born from above, it's not possible to see what I'm pointing
to—to God's kingdom."
-- John 3:3 (MsgB)
thought the best way to conclude this review was with some insights
from the forum, enjoy:
COMMENTS FROM POSTERS:
PROFANITY IN THE MATRIX RELOADED
From Post-Newtonian Pastor
The minute you start talking about what is profane and what
isn't remember the message of Tony Campollo as he spoke to a
group of baptists about profanity when he said.
want to know about what is profane? I will tell you. Right
now there is 500,000 children dying of starvation in Africa
each and everyday and you don't give a DAMN about it! And
the most profane thing I can think of is that right now you
are more concerned with the fact that I said a cuss word than
the fact that I just told you about the death of 500,000 innocent
get too caught up in self righteousness folks because only Christ
makes you righteous and only in his name does the grace and
love of God come to any of us.
Keep the Faith
Sempre Fi (Forever Faithful)
From: -Perry Onorio (email@example.com)
The premise of The Matrix bases itself in an existentialist
worldview, implying that we have individual control over the
world around us. The term itself suggests one major theme: the
stress on concrete individual existence and, consequently, on
subjectivity, individual freedom, and choice. In this worldview,
existence precedes essence; that is, the way you live, the beliefs
you have, and the actions you take determine your life's course.
The mind is a powerful enough tool of control such that what
one believes to be true about the world around, becomes true
for that person. Once this realization is ascertained, you can
begin to have more control, taking the power of your own mind
and harnessing it affect the path your life follows.
Matrix takes these age old ideas and throws them into a computer
world, an idea not at all original to the film, but for the
first time The Matrix sets out to create a definite answer through
the action instead of just posing a question inside the story.
its been often reinterpreted since, Kierkegaard was the first
to state the belief that one must choose one's own way without
the aid of universal, objective standards. Therefore the end
is determined already, yet Neo's choices must be his own in
order for that inevitable end to come to pass. In his specific
existence those decisions must be made apart from anything said
or done by anyone around, including Morpheus or the Oracle,
though their actions may affect his choice.
most prominent theme in existentialist writing is that of choice.
Humanity's primary distinction, in the view of most existentialists,
is the freedom to choose. Existentialists have always held that
human beings do not have a fixed nature, or essence, as other
animals and plants do; each human being makes choices that create
his or her own nature and destiny. Choice, as often described
in The Matrix, is central to human existence, and it is inescapable;
even the refusal to choose is a choice. How then the end already
be determined for us, and for Neo?
premise of 2 changes from the original, only in expounding on
the itself in a seemingly contradictory fashion. Why is the
control suddenly out of Neo's hand? If the "there is no
spoon" philosophy is true, why is the spoon now reverting
to having an affect on Neo instead of visa versa?
in a bit of a film twist is the question usually postulated
by religious scholars... how can we have free will if the choice
has already been made, if the end has already been determined.
It then, as an even larger aside, states that the choice has
been made, and our only response is to understand it, which
in our minds is interpreted as making the choice itself. I guess
this is kind of an enigma to me...
other thing i don't understand is the obviously intentional
tie in with religion. Morpheus' belief in something greater,
faith in the unknown and in a prophecy seems to be at odds with
the philosophy, though in this film the two instead work hand-in-hand
towards the same eventual goal.
guess everything puzzling me will be answered in the final film.
I'm trying to guess the authors point... do we determine our
future? is it decided for us? are we just on a constant eternal
cycle intentioned toward a specific unattainable goal whilst
we live in a constant bliss derived from ignorance and the safety
of the illusion of control?
From: Chris Utley (firstname.lastname@example.org)
It took me two showings in two days to figure this movie out
but I think I have it figured out.
of the Matrix films have a singular theme:
Matrix Reloaded: PURPOSE
Matrix Revolutions: DESTINY (If the filmmakers get it right,
this should be the final theme. If not, it'll ruin the whole
big question that everyone was trying to answer in this flick:
WHY? Neo was desperately seeking the answer to this question.
Why am I here? What is my purpose? Agent Smith was obsessed
with the question...especially in his first confrontation with
Neo: What is my purpose?
the Oracle to the Marovingian to the Keymaker, the overall theme
of this one is Purpose. I totally see this (again) as a parallel
with our walk with Jesus. He came to make us free. But the battle
wasn't over with the freedom given to us by the Cross and the
Resurrection. It's not enough for me to celebrate the fact that
He saved me and set me free. There's the next level...the next
did He save me?
Why did He set me free?
What is my purpose here on Earth?
also think that the Architect was a metaphor of Satan...who,
like the Architect, was given dominion over the world. Satan
is always trying to define our purpose for us just as the Architect
tried to define Neo's purpose. And every other incarnation of
"The One" who followed the Architect's directions
led to the destruction of Zion. But Neo didn't. Because of love.
Love was the one thing that the Architect didn't factor into
the equation...neither does Satan.
think that by Neo's choice to save Trinity and not to follow
the Architect, he ascended to the next level of power...the
power to control even the Sentinels themselves.
the deep part. Neo is The One just like Jesus is The One. But
Morpheous thought that Neo's purpose was to end the war and
free Zion...just like Israel thought that Jesus's purpose was
to free them. But I think Neo has a different purpose: reconciliation.
If I'm correct, then we shall find in the 3rd film that Neo
will indeed end the war between man and machine...but not through
violence. He shall create a balance in which the two can co-exist.
like Jesus. He came to bring reconciliation between Jews and
Gentiles, so we would all live in perfect harmony.
totally love this film. Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! November
7 will not come fast enough for me!
THEOLOGY OF RELOADED
From Bill (email@example.com)
the movie last night. Although the story went in a direction
I wasn't expecting, I still see a strong Christian metaphor
expressed in Reloaded.
dancing scene was a scene of worship, not blasphemous, pagan
worship, but rather a celebration to God (Zion is the people
of God) for being released from the Matrix (the world system)
and celebration of what makes them different from the machines
(i.e. Love and the ability to have intimacy). The love scene
between Neo and Trinity is a beautiful portrayal of the type
of intimacy that exists between God (Trinity) and those whom
he loves, those represented by Neo, the "New Man").
great topic of this movie centered around Choice-Fate, Destiny-Purpose.
Whenever I think about the fight between the machines and humans
in this movie I think about the fight for liberty and freedom.
God is interested in freeing us from the slavery of the system
in which we were enslaved, that is to say... the World. In the
Bible we are told to be in the World but not of the World. We
all have a destiny, but "Everything begins with a choice".
have expressed a great deal of trouble dealing with the changing
themes in this series and how it relates to the Christian worldview
of the film. But I see nothing in Reloaded to convince me that
the themes of this are being diluted in any way, after all it
is heavily shrouded in metaphor, just like Lord of the Rings
is shrouded in metaphor, and history has shown that Tolkien
was a great man of faith producing thought provoking christian
truths in a highly stylized way.
sounds like The Matrix to me.
A PHILOSOPHICAL NOTE
From Cam (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Some very interesting thoughts so far in this forum about the
Matrix:Reloaded! Keep up the good thinking guys!
since I am interested in philosophy, I tend to find more philosophical
references rather than theological ones - although there is
definitely that element in the movie as well. I guess my comments
will be along a philosophical-theological line.
of the biggest issues in the movie (and one that ties directly
to the Christian tradition) is that of free will and predestination.
Are we free to choose and guide our own existence, or are we
fundamentally guided by forces outside of ourselves? In the
Christian tradition, the debate arises over our free will and
God's sovereignty over the world and the outcomes within it.
Does God's foreknowledge of our choices, and His ability to
carry out His plans in spite of those choices, actually nullify
our choice? Are we free within certain parameters or are we
completely free? Or, are our lives fatalistically determined?
This means that we think we have choice, but we are hopelessly
at the mercy of fate (or, in the Christian worldview, God).
All of these questions are raised in the movie....
THE MATRIX CONTEST
Win 2 Movie Tickets and The Gospel Reloaded book
I wanted to give a heads up about a excellent book entitled
The Gospel Reloaded that explains the various
spiritual connections in the Matrix series. Currently there
is a contest running at Hollywood Jesus which gives you the
opportunity to win 2 movie tickets and the book. Click here
for details. Lots of winners.
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