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Dharma Movie Review: The Matrix Reloaded

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  • NamoAmituofo
    Dharma Movie Review: The Matrix Reloaded ~Free Your Mind~ www.TheMatrix.com By Zeph@TheDailyEnlightenment.com & Zlyrica@netscape.net The Matrix Trilogy (of
    Message 1 of 1 , May 31, 2003
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      Dharma Movie Review: The Matrix Reloaded

      ~Free Your Mind~

      By Zeph@... & Zlyrica@...

      The Matrix Trilogy (of which "The Matrix Reloaded" is the second episode) is about questioning our existence, questioning what is reality, about the path the individual takes to realise the Truth and to help others do the same- for the purpose of attaining true freedom, through physical and mental liberation. The Matrix can be seen as a modern metaphor for Samsara (the world we are in, which we perceive inaccurately with our deluded minds). The idea of us being blinded in the Matrix is not far-fetched. For instance, even a man in this day and age without a proper education might not realise that the Earth is not flat, or that the sun never really rises or sets. How much more subtle delusions we must have about reality! There are obviously ideas from the Matrix Trilogy inspired from the Buddhist teachings. In the words of the filmmakers the Wachowski brothers, "There's something uniquely interesting about Buddhism and mathematics, particularly about quantum physics, and where they meet. That has fascinated us for a long time." Here are some reflections on how scenes from the movie appear to run parallel to the Buddhist teachings. Please note that these are loose associations and not technically accurate Dharma. If you wish to comment or have more to share, please email matrix@...

      Neo's Recurring Nightmare

      Though the recurring nightmare of Trinity being shot while falling to her "death" fills Neo with dread, "it ain't over till it's over"- for he did not see her actual death. This reminds us that though things have tendencies to happen in certain ways karmically, they need not- as long as we put in the right effort to salvage the situation. Near the end of the film, he manages to resurrect Trinity after the "fulfilment" of his vision of her near fatal fall.

      Neo's Lack of Wisdom

      Though Neo believes his potential to be the One capable of saving all from the Matrix, he remarks to Trinity, "I just wished I knew what to do." This is likened to one being filled with overwhelming Compassion, yet lacking in Wisdom and skillful means to save all beings from Samsara (the cycle of birth and death). This emphasizes the need to balance cultivation of Wisdom with Compassion, for they are the two wings of the same bird which needs both to take flight.

      Morpheus' Blind Faith

      We wonder why Morpheus so strongly believes in the Oracle's predictions (since the first Matrix episode) and confirms its "groundlessness" in Reloaded. His faith was so blind that it led him to command his ship crew to trust in his blind direction, to speak to the masses of Zion of the hope that turned hopeless by the end of the film. (Of course, we expect Neo to still be able to save them all in the third episode, The Matrix Revolutions.) His faith in the Oracle was a reflection of his attachment, his deepest desires and convictions, however (un)realistic they might be. It leads us to reflect what "Oracles" we consult in our lives. We believe what we want to- not what others want us to. We are victims of our own delusions or lack of wisdom- not of others' attempts to delude us. Do we really need oracles to tell us what we already, or want to believe? Not really. We can imagine Morpheus' will to be so strong (as we can see in his leadership and resistance of the Agents in The Matrix) that even if there was no Oracle, he would believe in the possibility of overthrowing the Matrix. Likewise, we should not need any Buddhas to bestow on us the prediction of Enlightenment before we strive towards it!

      Agent Smith as a Demon

      Agent Smith, who unrelentingly pursues Neo can be seen as his aggressive personal demon (Mara), whose very purpose of existence is to kill him, to disrupt him from his mission (of attaining Full Enlightenment). It turned out that Neo did not totally annihilate him in the first episode, which is why he is back. This reminds us of the importance of the total subduing of our demons of three poisons (Greed, Hatred and Ignorance). Smith personifies the three poisons as he craves to kill Neo out of hate, and is ignorant of any higher purpose for his existence. His ability to replicate himself can represent how quickly and easily we let external demons multiply within our weak minds and in the world when we are not strong enough in subduing our inner demons. Only the ones somewhat more awake like Neo and Morpheus find it easier to resist the "possession." Smith was unable to let go of the idea that he was "killed" by Neo, he returned, clinging like a hungry ghost and an angry asura who is so full of himself (literally, as he cloned many of himself). Smith and his minions are like our three poisons, which can manifest whereever and whenever they want, when it is actually us who let them manifest at will, or by force of habit, unmindfully.

      Agent Smith's Deja Vu

      Smith remarks the following when Neo escapes him again, "It's happening exactly as before." His replica replies, "Well, not exactly." This reminds us of the deja vu of the recurrence and experience of the cycle of life and death where we experience the similar time and again, yet each experience unique in its own way with something to learn.

      Neo's Superman Thing

      Neo's superhuman ability to fly is a reflection of the ability to do the amazing, that seemingly defies the laws of physics when one attains psychic abilities, with the mastery of the mind over matter. But note that these abilities were not enough for him to save himself totally from the Matrix, just as psychic powers do not bring Enlightenment, they being mere by-products in the process of mind mastery.

      Neo's Garb

      It is interesting to note that Neo's dressing is zennish, in a black robe-like style. He also carries himself in a calm and composed monk-like way most of the time. 

      Zion Citizens as Buddhists

      The citizens of Zion (likened to Buddhists) were only on the path to full liberation (realising the Dharma fully) but had yet successfully attained it. For total liberation (Nirvana of the Buddha) means total rest, with no need to struggle anymore. They were propagating whatever the truth of the Matrix (Dharma of Samsara) they know to other humans, in hope to awakening them to the path of liberation. However, because they lacked the understanding (Wisdom) of how Matrix operates (nature of Samsara), and with this lack of knowledge (Ignorance), they were still fighting the long battle (to free all from Samsara) and unable to attain freedom (end of life and death). The Zion citizens largely subscribed to blind faith in the Oracle, taken to be omniscient. They were dependent upon it for truth, clearly showing the incompleteness of self-enlightenment. As there are levels of awakening, Zion citizens are somewhat stream-winners (attaining only the first level of insight) only- not even Arahants. The ones active in saving others are likened to aspiring practising Bodhisattvas.

      End of Zion as Dharma-ending Age

      The threat of total annihiliation of Zion can represent the inpending approach of the climax of the Dharma ending age- as it means the only ones who know the truth (about the Matrix of Samsara) might be wiped out.

      Neo as Buddha who Brings Awakening

      Neo is sometimes featured as a Buddha-like character, one who is the "fully awakened" to the Matrix (Samsara) and able to return to it unaffected, to free or enlighten (awaken) more beings. But it turned out that Neo was less enlightened than we thought- more like a rebel bodhisattva with a cause and motivation (compassion) but without the know-how (wisdom) to save the world.

      Zion citizens expect Neo to help save their loved ones who were still ignorant of the Matrix ("reality" of Samsara). Neo, like the Buddha, can only guide us to awakening (show the Dharma) as there is no way to simply unplug people from the Matrix without the effort of the individual's mental will. The mind that is able to be free must want and try to be free. Even with the assistance of the "other power" of the Buddha, we must use "self-power" and choose to be free.

      Kid Who Saved Himself

      The kid (who has a "pre-cameo" in the Animatrix's "A Kid's Story") kept thanking Neo for "saving" him, who in turn reminds him that he saved himself. This reminds us of the teaching of self-reliance, that it is us ultimately who make the choice, who create the cause for our salvation or Enlightenment; others can only provide supporting conditions.

      Kid's Self-fulfilling Prophecy

      The kid remarks the following of his karmic affinity with Neo, "The more I think of it, the more it is meant to be. It's fate." However, Neo is uninterested. The kid does not play a significant role in the story, other than acccidentally saving Neo once from being stabbed. The truth is the more we look into what happened, the more it appears meant to be- in the sense of seeing clearly the causes, conditions and effects that lead to the happening of whatever happened. Yet there were choices made that led to the certain effects. In the moment, nothing in particular is meant to be- till something transpires from our choices in the moment.

      Counsellor on Interdependence of Man and Machine

      The Counsellor remarks that in Zion, man created machines to serve them, to generate power, just as the Martrix needs man as a source of electrical power. This is suggestive of interdependence in the big picture of the universe, even between the sentient and non-sentient. In this way, just as the Matrix is plugged into man, man is plugged into machines.

      Counsellor on Emptiness of Machines

      The Counsellor states the irony that while the citizens of Zion are sustained by machines which generate light, heat and air, there are other machines (sentinels) which target at destroying them. Machines are thus empty of any fixed nature, good or evil- it is the programming or intention behind their creation and control that differentiates their nature. Likewise, the mind is the power that chooses motivation and motive. In talking to Neo, he realises that the essential difference between Zion's use of machines and the Matrix's use of humans is that the master is the one in control. Likewise, we are masters of our destiny only when we actively control it. 

      Counsellor on Raison D'etre (Reason of Existence)

      The Counsellor remarks to Neo that he believes there is a reason for everything, including Neo's abilities. The reason for everything we experience is ignorance just as not knowing the reason for everything is ignorance. This is so as the "everything" we perceive is through our deluded (or ignorant) perception, and not knowing this fact is ignorance itself.

      Seraph's Need to Fight

      Seraph replies Neo after sparring with him to check his identity, "You don't really know someone until you fight them." The irony is we don't even know ourselves- thus we have to conquer ourselves- this is the "fight" for our liberation, enlightenment.

      Neo's Vision of the Matrix Elements

      Neo's ability to see the substance of things in the Matrix in terms of fluxing programming code is likened to the ability to see the insubstantiality (Anatta) of existence.

      Oracle's Fatalism

      The Oracle harps on fatalism to Neo, saying he already made his decisions before he actually does, and hints that she knows everything that is going to happen. This seems to be advocating fatalism, the pointlessness of any strife. She contradicts herself by saying Neo was making a believer (of him) out of her- for this indicates she does not know everything, that Neo has to power to alter any "fixed" destiny. Likewise, things only seem fated- they are never so.

      The Oracle tells Neo that his nightmarish vision of Trinity's fall is a result of his ability to see beyond time. This is possible as time is an illusion. But he does not see the end of Trinity's fall. While the above hinted again at fatalism, she adds that he cannot see pass the choices he does not understand. This hints that what he saw was the mere tendency of how things might happen, that he still has the power to choose and alter the outcome.

      Oracle on Programming

      The Oracle tells Neo that there is a program written for everything he sees in the Matrix (the "ordinary world"), and they are run by programs that are invisible. This is likened to everything in the universe being governed by its personal karma (law of cause and effect), which we can more readily observe, while being part of a larger collective karma, which we can see less readily.

      Oracle on Glitches

      The Oracle tells Neo that the unnatural or supernatural phenomena in the world, such as sightings of ghosts and aliens, are the results of anomalies or glitches in the Matrix, from programs in hidden exile hacking other programs, not returning to the source at the mainframe. In a sense, the supernatural in terms of restless spirits or wandering ghosts in our world are glitches in Samsara as they are "stuck" between death and rebirth, not functioning properly, ideally.

      Oracle on Power

      The Oracle tells Neo that all men with power only want more power. She was describing Merovingian, but it is ironical as Neo is a powerful person himself, who is more concerned with understanding the Matrix (realising Wisdom to save all humans) than gathering power. 

      Oracle on Raison D'etre

      The Oracle tells Neo that "Whatever happened happened for a reason." Whatever happened was due to causes and conditions present back then. In this sense, things indeed happened due to certain reasons. But they do not happen for a specific reason. Just as a Buddhist believes that the reason for his birth is to continue trying to break free of life and death and to help others do so, someone else can pick another arbitrary reason and believe in it. There is nothing to dictate the reason we should be living for. The question to ask ourselves is which is the wiser reason to subscribe to, to live our life by.

      Mainframe's Door of Light

      Though no one (not even Neo or the Architect) is representative of being fully enlightened yet, the mainframe's door of light can represent the door to the light of the truth, to Enlightenment.

      Morpheus on Raison D'etre

      Morpheus remarks that, "We are all here to do what we are all here to do." But the truth is, existentially, there is no particular thing for us to do, though we can always choose to do the kinder and wiser. 

      Agent Smith on Raison D'etre

      In the Matrix, Smith tells Neo they are here not because they are free from the Matrix, but because they are not free from it. This is true as they would not be fighting each other in the Matrix if they were both free from it- despite Neo and Smith both already being unplugged from the Matrix. This is suggestive that there are higher levels of awakening to be attained, to be truly free from the Matrix. He says that without purpose, they (we too) will not exist, that purpose unites, connects and binds them. This hints of dependent origination of all existence.

      Merovingian on Time

      Merovingian remarks to Neo, "Who has time? But if we do not take time, where will we have time?" This illustrates that time is an illusion, yet we might need to use illusion skillfully to attain our goals. This is the use of conventional truth despite it not being absolute truth.
      Merovingian on Raison D'etre

      Merovingian asks Neo and company, "Do you know why you are here?" He remarks that the Keymaker is just a means to an end they do not understand, though they think they do. This reminds us of the need to know our purpose in life. Many people think and feel they are purposeful but are actually lost.

      Merovingian on Casuality (Cause & Effect)

      Merovingian says that there is only one constant, one real truth- action and reaction, cause and effect. Buddhistically, this statement is correct (though vague) as it encompasses the Three Universal Characteristics of the constant change, dissatisfaction and insubstantiality of mind and matter.

      He paints a rather disheartening picture of how humans tend to let feelings (emotions) overwhelm our rationality. While this might be true for the majority, it is definitely not an absolute truth. The fact that most people in societies can live generally moral lives, with the absence of total chaos means they are much in control of their negative feelings.

      He mentioned cockily and fatalistically that "Choice is an illusion, invented by those with power for those without." It is obvious that he speaks while assuming he is one of those with power to puppet others. But ironically, he was betrayed by his wife Persephone by her choice, without him knowing it till too late. So it seems, his view itself was wrong. He remarked that "We are all victims of causality", and that because of cause and effect, we are completely out of control. This is a mechanistic deterministic view that is unpractical. Even if choice is an illusion, which it is not, it is pointless to dwell in passiveness and accept fate as it is- for you do not know what your fate (not that there is anything fixed at all) is anyway. One might as well live wisely with increasing Wisdom- just in case you really had free will all along!

      At a point, he uttered, "The real source of power is to know why we are here." This rings true as most humans are clueless as to their purpose of existence- Wisdom is the true power and it implies control.

      He also uttered, "Know that what happened happened and could not happen in any other way." This is obvious. The Matrix has no hint of time-travel (which is technically impossible for the "linear" law of cause and effect to operate universally without contradictions)- whatever transpired cannot be untranspired or happen in another way, given the causes, conditions and choices (made) at a point in time.

      Persephone, Trinity and Neo's Attachment

      The kiss Persephone wanted from Neo showed her clinging to the past, and it was her attachment to her husband which caused her to be envious and sad. It is interesting that the kiss not only questioned Trinity's attachment to Neo, but also Neo's wisdom to let go at the right moment for the bigger picture despite his reluctance.

      Keymaker as Guide

      When the Keymaker was asked where he was going while being chased, he replied "Another way- there is always another way." This reminds us that in any situation, we always have at least two choices. This is free will- even in constricted circumstances.

      Holding keys to many "worlds" in the matrix, he says that "The doors lead to many places. One door is special- it leads to the source (core of the Matrix)." This reminds us that the door to liberation is to realise the one "door" to the core truths of the universe- the Three Universal Characteristics.

      The Keymaker was like someone (or something) we believe to be important and thus chase after. Neo and company thought he was the very "key" to the very door of the end of their battle, someone worth risking to protect and persuade. Like the Oracle, other than giving some vague guidance, he was just another delusion as he was unable to provide any completely satisfactory answers. How can falseness comes from the Truth? Or how can the Truth delivers any falseness? His existence is the very reason you and I are here- we all hold on to our imperfect Keymakers, thinking they hold the key to True Happiness.

      Keymaker on Raison D'etre

      The Keymaker utters, "We all do what we are meant to do." But are we indeed meant to do anything in particular? No- or there would not be free-will. He was perhaps speaking as a program, not human. One of the key factors that differentiate a machine and a human is the ability to choose, to have mindful intention, to will.

      Portal Between Worlds

      Neo and company was shown twice to a portal-like corridor lined up with many doors. It is an inbetween zone or state. Each door represents a choice. In this sense, we are always in this portal from moment to moment, deciding where we want to go, what we want to do.

      Morpheus on Raison D'etre

      Morpheus' speech before the "showdown"- "All our lives we have fought this war. We have not come here by chance. I do not believe in chance. There is no accident... I believe it is our fate to be here. It is our destiny. I believe this night holds the very meaning of our existence. This is a war and we are soldiers. Death can come for us at any time, in any place. What if the prophecy is true? What if tomorrow the war could be over? Isn't that worth fighting for? Isn't that worth... dying for?"

      The essential war we are fighting is a spiritual one with our "selves". Yes, we are not here by chance, but by karma. In this sense, it is our "fate" to be here- though our future "fate" is in our hands. This very moment, not just day or night, holds the very meaning of our existence- to either accomplish what is truly worthy to us (eg. to work towards attaining Enlightenment, or to discover what is truly worthy of our accomplishing, along the path to Enlightenment.) There is only one true prophecy universally given to all of us by the Buddha- that will be fulfilled if we put in the right effort- the promise that since all beings have perfect Buddha-nature within, all can and will become Buddhas.

      Mind Over Matter

      Agent Smith sarcastically remarks to Neo, "Still using all the muscles except the one that matters?" [points to head]. He was reminding him that in the Matrix (or Samsara, this illusory world resulting from our delusions), mind is master as mind is over matter. 

      Architect as Ego

      The supposed truth behind the Matrix (Samsara) was the Architect (our ego), represented by a an egoistic and selfish perfectionist, someone who utterly could not accept failure, including of his own. However, he did not see it as his own failure to accept failure. Instead, he blames the imperfection of humans (others). It is amusing to note that his mockery of Neo's denial to accept the truth that Zion will be destroyed, was actually a reflection of his denial to accept his failure- up to five times! When he said that hope is the quintessential human's delusion, did he himself not hope that Neo would comply to what he wanted, to erase and restart the flawed system one more time? Just how perfect was he, when he, himself had yet perfected his own mind? He was an imperfect godlike figure (like our egocentric minds) who is only "human"- an unreal god.

      Architect as Our Craving

      The Architect professes to be be the designer of the Matrix. In Buddhism, our architect or "housebuilder" is our craving. It is interesting to note that in the film "Little Buddha", Keanu Reeves (acting as Neo in the Matrix trilogy and the Buddha in "Little Buddha") had a conversation with Mara just before his Enlightenment. He addresses Mara "Architect." In the sutras, Mara was sometimes alternately translated in that conversation to be "Housebuilder." Neo's meeting with the Architect helped him to realise his true nature. The Architect is equivalent to our Craving as it propels us to build the Matrix, to build and cling on to Samsara.

      The Buddha spoke thus,
      "'Thro' many a birth in existence wandered I, Seeking, but not finding, the builder of this house. Sorrowful is repeated birth. O housebuilder (Craving), thou art seen. Thou shalt build no house (Body) again. All thy rafters (Passions) are broken. Thy ridge-pole (Ignorance) is shattered. Mind attains the Unconditioned. Achieved is the End of Craving (Nirvana)."

      Architect on Original Nature

      The Arcitect tells Neo, "You have many questions, and although the process has altered your consciousness, you remain irrevocably human." This is reminiscent of our unchanging Buddha-nature despite countless rebirths and delusions.

      Architect on Neo's Raison D'etre

      Neo: Why am I here?
      The Architect: Your life is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent to the programming of the matrix. You are the eventuality of an anomaly, which despite my sincerest efforts I have been unable to eliminate from what is otherwise a harmony of mathematical precision. While it remains a burden to sedulously avoid it, it is not unexpected, and thus not beyond a measure of control. Which has led you, inexorably, here.

      We face the existential crisis of not knowing why we are here. This state of not knowing is our delusion- which is the very reason we are here, stuck in rebirth. We ourselves are the unbalanced equations in this otherwise perfect world- due to our delusions. Our delusions make us the anomalies of this world. Yes- it is however not beyond our own control. The moments we lose control, we are controlled by our personal Maras or Architects.
      Architect on Age of Matrix

      The Architect: The matrix is older than you know. I prefer counting from the emergence of one integral anomaly to the emergence of the next, in which case this is the sixth version.

      This is a parellel to the Buddhist view of the cyclic existence of our world, which undergoes continual creation, sustenance, destruction and re-creation.

      Architect on Imperfections of the Matrix

      The Architect: The inevitability of its (former versions of the Matrix) doom is as apparent to me now as a consequence of the imperfection inherent in every human being.

      The world is imperfect only because of our own imperfections.

      Architect on Power of the Minority

      The Architect: ...it was obviously fundamentally flawed, thus creating the otherwise contradictory systemic anomaly, that if left unchecked might threaten the system itself. Ergo, those that refused the program, while a minority, if unchecked, would constitute an escalating probability of disaster.

      As our existence is intricately interlinked in a web of interdependence and collective karma, one person can spell the doom of the world or save the world. 

      Architect on Responsibility

      The Architect: ...the relevant issue is whether or not you are ready to accept the responsibility for the death of every human being in this world.

      The Bodhisattvas (Neo is likened to one, who tries his best to save all beings) take upon the responsibility of doing their best to aid the spiritual "fate" of all beings.

      Architect on Compassion

      The Architect: Your five predecessors were by design based on a similar predication, a contingent affirmation that was meant to create a profound attachment to the rest of your species, facilitating the function of the One. While the others experienced this in a very general way, your experience is far more specific. Vis-a-vis, love.

      Neo's predecessors are likened to former Buddhas or Bodhisattvas, though they are intent to save the world out of overwhelming compassion instead of attachment. Though not machines, we are all "programmed" with Buddha-nature imbued with compassion for all beings.

      Architect on "Final" Choice

      The Architect: Which brings us at last to the moment of truth, wherein the fundamental flaw is ultimately expressed, and the anomaly revealed as both beginning, and end. There are two doors. The door to your right leads to the source, and the salvation of Zion. The door to the left leads back to the matrix, to her, and to the end of your species. As you adequately put, the problem is choice.

      Every point in time is the moment of truth for us- as we face choice in every moment- at least two choices, symbolised by the two doors. To be or not to be? To do or not to do? It is choice that renders us stuck in Samsara and choice that will liberate us.

      Architect on Chain Reaction

      The Architect: But we already know what you're going to do, don't we? Already I can see the chain reaction, the chemical precursors that signal the onset of emotion, designed specifically to overwhelm logic, and reason. An emotion that is already blinding you from the simple, and obvious truth: she is going to die, and there is nothing that you can do to stop it. (*Neo walks to the door on his left- opposite of that the Architect expects*)

      Neo breaks the Architect's fatalistic expectations by doing the opposite of what he wants him to. Though we might be caught in circular chains of chain reactions due to cause and effect, we can break these chains too. This is how Enlightenment is possible- by breaking free of the cycle of life and death.
      By choosing the door that led to save Trinity, Neo successfully broke the prefixed programme (birth and death). If he would to choose the door to save the human race as "programmed", he would be repeating what his predecessors did (likened to undergoing rebirth). Neo broke the chain, thus overwriting the system. It is unlikely that he gave up on the rest of humanity out of attachment to one person (Trinity)- he was instead choosing the alternative to truly free all humans. Neo realised the worthlessness of repeated rebooting (rebirth) of the Matrix- for it is just a bigger trap for all humans. Rebirth without progress or breaking free is pointless as it gets us nowhere closer to the attainment of True Happiness in liberation.

      Architect on Hope

      The Architect: Humph. Hope, it is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and your greatest weakness.

      This reminds us that hope can be blind faith if it lacks wisdom.

      Architect on Deja Vu

      Neo: If I were you, I would hope that we don't meet again.
      The Architect: We won't.

      This reminds that like Neo who forgot former versions of himself, most of us have clean forgotten our past lives.

      Full Dialogue of Neo and Architect


      Neo's Higher Awakening

      Neo's realisation of the lie of the prophecy is his second of higher awakening fron the Matrix. Before this second awakening, he had the illusion that he was already freed from the Matrix, when he was still part of it, in the Architect's plan. As he discovered his mastery over the sentinels, he uttered "Something's different, I can feel it." This is because freed himself to a higher level. This reminds us that there are varying levels of awakening towards Buddhahood.

      Why Choose Reality Over Illusion?

      When we watch the Matrix trilogy, we might ask ourselves, "Why should I choose to live a terrible 'real' life if I can live happily in an illusory world?" The answer is that because the illusory world is not real, the happiness in it is equally unreal. True Happiness comes from total control of our live, from the ability to see things clearly (Wisdom). Life in the Matrix (Samsara) is subjected to the mercy of the Matrix. True Happiness is not a state of life (eg. material comfort) but a state of mind (eg. contentment from having a free mind). In the Matrix, humans still have to grow old, get sick and die- it is no promise of "eternal heaven." This means they are subjected to the pointlessness of endless rebirths. How can there be True Happiness in going in circles that get nowhere? We will also question our existence from time to time in the Matrix (have existential crisises)- this is Dissatisfaction (Dukkha). As long as there is even subtle physical or mental dissatisfaction in the Matrix, one can never be truly happy. The choice of reality over illusion is thus always a choice wiser and kinder to yourself and others.  

      Into the Desert of the Real

      Was it a coincidence? I was watching the film "Little Buddha" yesterday. Prince Siddhartha (Keanu Reeves/ Neo) was saying "The whole world is dreaming", as he stepped out of the sleeping palace in renunciation. He was entering the "desert of the real" (the real world of "dukkha" or dissatisfaction). He was stepping out of the Matrix!

      What is Your Personal Matrix?

      We are pluggged in our personal Matrix. Maybe we all CHOSE to be plugged in; maybe we were not forced. it is the awakened who see the absurdity of being plugged in, who snap out of it, who help others to do the same. What binds you? Why is your mind not free now?

      Why Reloaded?

      While watching Reloaded the second time, to re-listen especially to some of the tricky philosophical dialogue, it occured to me why the title of the second instalment of the Matrix Trilogy is "Reloaded"- as its conclusion was the revelation that the entire Matrix was reset (reloaded or reborn) time and again. And as I watch it the now for the second time, I am myself reloading it, my experience of the Matrix! Like Neo in the story, we are "destined" to reload our experience of the samsaric Matrix as many times as necessary for us to realise its workings, to break free completely.

      Back Into the Matrix

      After watching Reloaded the second time, and being the last to leave the theatre, I found myself alone, after opening the exit door, in a silent squeaky clean white-walled walkway. It felt like the portal in the movie, where there were rows of white doors along a long corridor. To my surprise, I saw a large poster of many Agent Smiths on a wall. It felt scary for a while, as if it were an renactment of the fight scene in the corridor. As I pushed another door at the end of the walkway open, I returned to the "real" world. I was... back in the Matrix.

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