The Matrix is a film which get better every time I watch it. It’s because I’ve learnt something new about the world each time, and can see something new the film is saying.
The first time I saw it, it was just a great spectacle, with the new bullet time effect. I took it at face value and liked that there was a hero hacker.
Later, when I had recently started travelling I had a moment where I felt like neo. I had been living outside the main society for the first time. I had learnt to live without money, rent, work, and had many new ideas about life and spirituality. I returned to a city after camping amongst sand dunes for a while, where I had been writing and meditating. I saw myself as neo at the end of the film, when he plugs back into the matrix and is walking down the street. I could see all these people stuck in their routines and jobs, and they didn’t even know there was another way. In time I saw more about how people are plugged into this system, controlled, indoctrinated, and used as workers, or batteries.
One specific thing I noticed in the film after taking psychedelics, is the way the silver fluid moves up neo’s arm and over his whole body after he has taken the red pill. I find that altered perception starts in my forearms and moves up like this. When you take the red pill, you hallucinate, then break out of the matrix. Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out.
I have also done vipassana meditation, the goal of which is to see the world as it really is, to see past the illusion. This is also a main idea in Hinduism - maya - that the world is an illusion, not as it seems.
I was listening to a talk by Terence McKenna recently, and wondered if the Wachowskis had been listening to this:
“The world is made of language.”
“Everything is code, in the sense that hackers mean when the say they write code.”
“If the world is code, it can be hacked… it permits magic”
The most recent revelation for me is considering the Matrix as a transgender story. This was written about well here. Apparently people thought this when the film came out, but much later, the Wachowski siblings came out as trans women. In this case, the red pill is for HRT, and shortly after that a new body is built.
“What you know, you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life—that there is something wrong. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me.”