Theology of The Matrix
Reality, it is a concept that many struggle with. What is reality? What is real?
No one really knows. The nature of life is the greatest mystery of all time. For
centuries, the question of purpose and meaning has been one of humanity’s
driving forces. Why are we here? What are we meant to do? We live our lives,
day after day, in what we call the real world. But, what if, as in The Matrix, reality
In The Matrix, reality is a world of the future, when our greatest
accomplishments, are our greatest failures. Computers evolve to a state beyond
artificial intelligence, they become life forms themselves. In a vain attempt to
stop the solar powered machines, humanity covers the earth in darkness. In
order to maintain themselves, humanity becomes the machine’s power source,
and the Matrix is created to control their minds.
Strangely enough, the film contains ideas both of orthodox and Gnostic
Christian tradition. On the side of orthodoxy, there is one main point: choice.
Although not a large part of the film, all of it is based on one thing, the choice.
The blue pill, or the red one. Much of the remainder of the film reflects gnostic
ideas. The least and most obvious connection is creation and redemption.
In gnostic thought, the world was created by an imperfect, misguided
entity. This entity created life, although flawed. In The Matrix, machines, and
the Matrix itself, are created by humans (imperfect creatures). The only main
deviation is that, in gnostic thought, the creator had nothing to do with the divine
world. But in the film, the creator could alter the matrix, and after his death, hid
return was prophesied.
As in gnostic thought, Neo comes from the ‘real’ world, goes into the
‘shadow’ world in order to free the saved. In this one of the reasons the gnostics
were an outlawed group: a dualistic world. In gnosticism God and his angels are
in heaven, the real world. The Demurrage, the creator, is in the shadow land,
the world he created, his own personal matrix. In the gnostic tradition, the savior
comes from the real world, into the darkness, then returns to it. This is the
largest gnostic idea in the film: two worlds, one being a mear reflection of the
One other major gnostic theme is mentioned, though briefly:
predestination, or at least an altered form of it. In the film, only those who had
the desire to know more about their ‘home.’ Not everyone was ready or able to
be saved. Gnostics say that only the descendants of Seth may be saved, while
the descendants of Cain, could not be saved.
The truth can be a frightening thing, especially dedendingon the nature of
the truth. When comes to our perception of everyday activities, it seems to be so
real. The truth is, we don’t know what’s out there, but how things will turn out, or
how that began.
Theology of The Matrix