Sunday, March 03, 2019

Re-watching the Matrix

To get through the last day of February - the roughest day of the roughest month -I curled up on the couch and watched the entire Matrix trilogy. I've never binged the whole set of movies at one time and, I have to tell you, it kind of messed me up.

As a Christian, I am interested in how other people might think about life and death and eternity. I have no idea what religious persuasions the makers of the Matrix lean toward but... Wow.

I'm sure the movie has been analyzed to death by smarter and more articulate people, but I saw all kinds of Judeo-Christian themes mashed up with other philosophies. Obviously, with Neo being "The One" and being in love with "Trinity" ties in with both Christian themes and the heretical ideas of the Lord and Mary Magdelene. That always makes me cringe that people get into that idea. However, I am very fascinated with the idea of pre-existence eternity and post-human eternity and that right there is where this film messes with my head.

I think that the people behind the making of the Matrix are, like most humans, desperately trying to define God - both the God of the Bible and the generic "higher power" that others speak of. It's very entertaining and makes for extremely interesting thought exercises. But (and this is where I tend to want to get on my high horse and evangelize) humans trying to understand God is like a created masterpiece trying to understand the mind that created it. Because I do know that, as the Psalmist says,  we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Of course, I also always feel a little bit like an idiot trying to understand the movie. I really get lost at the very end of the trilogy. I mean, is the message that God recycles creation? Are we not the first, not to be the last of everything that is? That may be what the entire trilogy is about: recycling of life and everything that is; a continual re-birth of all that we humans think of as so unique and amazing.

No matter how ignorant I may be, I don't believe it matters - that whole recycling theory. To us, the created, living in whatever it is we live in - the mortally-viewed world or the Matrix - it doesn't matter. What matters to me is that I believe in the divine Creator and I believe in my place in the creation.

Still, that movie messes me up. For a little while, after having watched the entire set, I was kind of paralyzed by all the thoughts zinging around in my head. I literally could not move because I was afraid that, if I did, I would lose track of some of the connections I was trying to make. With grief and loss already topmost in my mind, I felt like I might slip away into hopelessness if I didn't find something to grab hold of.

What roused me back to my usual (and tenuous hold on) sanity was remembering what 1 Corinthians says about God not being the author of confusion but of peace.

Any philosophy - no matter what else it teaches - has no use to man, in my opinion, if the end result is no peace and joy. We create for ourselves enough confusion and pain and suffering. What we need in anything higher than ourselves is peace and joy and healing.