How The Matrix Shows Us The Value of Seeing the World As It Is
The moral case for making sure you see things the way they are and everyone else can as well.
Author’s Note: This was in part a response to a fellow Substacker’s interest in discussing this type of thinking. Check out her Substack piece on The Matrix Resurrections here.
All of us think we see the world the way it is.
We build this idea of the way the world is from a very early age. Our experiences and what we learn from them shape what we think the world is. Unfortunately, this idea is only our way of seeing it. What we come to understand as we grow older is that other people have other experiences. They don't see the world the same way. It's difficult to resolve these multiple ideas of the world and make them into a coherent whole. There's very little way to see who has it right and who has it wrong. If it were, we wouldn't have so much conflict over what makes the most sense for the most people.
There are things we can do to create a common experience though. Regardless of the person, there are universal experiences people can't dispute. Fire is hot, water is wet, pain is something we all experience. It's only a question of degree for such ideas. Through such experience, we can establish what is and isn't true. See ourselves for what we are. Even if it's not necessarily something we want to know about ourselves. Creating this common experience is something we can build on in order to move forward towards a common goal.
Not everyone however will want to see this common goal. They prefer their own perspective on the world. After all, it is theirs and it's not something that can be taken away from them. It's a comforting thing. In remaining isolated, you have to live with the consequences of that. You never move forward and grow beyond your own constraints. You remain fixed in place. And that can be remarkably frustrating in and of itself. Since so many of the people around you are probably working towards that common experience.
The Matrix at its core is about seeing the world through the common experience. Understanding that the world you live in is bigger and more complex than you can imagine. It's part of the process Neo, as played by Keanu Reeves goes through. His view of the world is very narrow. Limited to what he can see and understand. Gradually he finds out that the world isn't as simple as he wants it to be. It's a lot more complex.
But in meeting Morpheus, Trinity and the others in the human resistance, he learns that they've all gone through the same process. They all understand the difficulty he's feeling. Which is what ultimately bonds them together so that they can achieve the liberation they're after. Not just for themselves, but for all of humanity. Without this common experience, the problem would be a lot harder to achieve and they might end up failing.
If you haven't already, I encourage you to check out the Matrix movies and consider the value of seeing the world the way it is and building a common experience.
In addition, I would love it if you’d subscribe, whether it’s the free version or the paid version doesn’t matter, it’s going to mean a lot.