Movie Review – Unplugged from the Matrix

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Tell me, Mr. Anderson, what good is a phone call when you are unable to speak?
~ Agent Smith from the movie: The Matrix

Mr. Anderson was just going along and doing his thing—listening to his kind of music, watching Survivor and The Simpsons on TV, and putting in his time at the office. Having been educated in public schools, he had been dumbed-down along with everyone else. His mind had been filled with all of the usual politically-correct stuff: toleration, globalism, feminism, gay marriage, socialism, environmentalism, the goodness of international organizations, etc., etc. He learned to avoid controversy and to disregard ideas that did not seem to go along with the flow. Ignoring all of those “isms” he focused on the most important thing―himself. Lying in a warm bath in his pod with cables coming out of his head, he was plugged into the Matrix, on the sex and MTV channels.

Pods in the Matrix

Plugged into the Matrix

But then he saw a book floating by, a book on history, of all things, a subject which in school had bored him to tears; for some reason he plucked it out of the water and read it. It was hard going for him in many spots—the muscles of his brain had atrophied, and using them was difficult and stressful. But for the first time he began seriously thinking about the past—how people had lived, what they had thought about, what had happened to them, how they had struggled, and how all of that related to the present. The Matrix did not yet have total control over what people could read, and more books floated by. He began reading more and more on all sides of various issues trying to find the truth, and he realized that the desire for this had been troubling him for a long time, like a splinter in his mind. Was truth totally relative as he had been taught in school, different for everyone, and therefore meaningless and not truth at all; or was there an underlying absolute, real truth that applies to everyone?

The Matrix Visualized

He puzzled over Morpheus’ statement:

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. That you are a slave. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison for your mind.

Then a copy of the Bible floated by. He pulled that out of the water as well, and while reading it he was amazed to find a more direct and comprehensive explanation of the same concept in the words of Jesus:

Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain, but the son remains forever. So if the son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free (shall unplug you).

So he read more and sought deeper, and the cables slowly began snapping off his head. He sold his TV on eBay, the plugs disappeared, and he was eventually dumped out of the warm bath of his comfortable and unthinking prejudices, and into the cold, deep, and dangerous waters of having to think through and appreciate all sides of issues, and to admit that many times he had been wrong. It did not bring him wealth or power, but instead he gained something even more significant—purpose and destiny.

The painful process of unplugging from the Matrix

He discovered that there was indeed a set of underlying absolute truths without which we are hopeless to comprehend the most significant things in life—the things that go beyond this world and into eternity, and he learned that a knowledge of God was the foundation of all wisdom. To his amazement, he found that God had been hacking into the Matrix looking for him.

The Matrix cannot hold us

Having gained this new wisdom and insight, he was eager to share what he had learned with others. A few were moved and started their own spiritual journey, but most people ignored him, laughed at him, or were hostile. Many seemed to be like Cypher, who said,

I know that this steak doesn’t exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize? Ignorance is bliss!

Cypher from the Matrix

So many people seemed to be satisfied with ignorance. They had swallowed the blue political position pill in order to turn on, tune in, and drop out.

The Political Position Pills

This saddened him, but then he remembered something else Morpheus had said:

The Matrix is a system, and that system is our enemy. But when you’re inside and you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.

Again the Bible provided clarification for him on what Morpheus meant:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places… A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. He cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned. Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery—the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory. The wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

The demonic reality of Agent Smith - the ruler of the system that is the Matrix

Time went on and Mr. Anderson gained more understanding, but he still struggled with himself and with his problems. Even though he had gained a new identity and a new name (“Neo”) he did not turn into Superman. Why couldn’t he rise above all of his limitations and achieve total satisfaction? Even more frustrating was that the system didn’t have any answers for that type of question, because it only dealt with issues of the present world. What lay beyond it, if anything, was a complete mystery. But as he read more, he finally he saw that it was useless to expect total satisfaction in this life.

For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of God’s curse, But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay… For now we see in a glass darkly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. What we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory that will be revealed to us later.

He came to understand that the real purpose of this life was to help other people. It is intended as a preparation for the next life, the life after death which is beyond the control of the Matrix:

For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it… Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!

The mystery of heaven

And so he lived a happy, fulfilling life, lived to see his great-grand children, and eventually died in peace, an old man and full of days.

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