A Course in Miracles and the Matrix

A Course in Miracles and the Matrix: A philosophical and theological comparison

The Matrix: Mind-blowing visual effects. Sunglasses. Bullet-time. Carrie Anne-Moss in skin-tight black leather.

A Course in Miracles: A big blue book full of indecipherable text.

A Course in Miracles and the Matrix? What’s the connection?

Most readers will no doubt be familiar with the ground-breaking Matrix Trilogy and the smorgasbord of religious and philosophical themes it presents. All at once, we are reminded of the seeker’s quest for inner knowledge in Gnosticism, the awakening of the bodhisattava in Buddhism, and the ‘brain in a vat’ hypothesis à la Descartes.

Like the Matrix, A Course in Miracles is also a unique synthesis of religious and philosophical ideas, many of them Buddhist and Platonic. It comes as no surprise then, that ACIM has much in common with the Matrix – to the point that there are some ACIM students who are convinced that the Wachowski brothers are students of the Course! (I highly doubt it :))

So, is it a Gnostic film, a Buddhist film, a philosophical film, or an ACIM film? My opinion – it is all of them and none of them. It is first and foremost, a hollywood blockbuster designed to sell. Don’t get me wrong – as a sci-fi fan, I love the Matrix, and I think it is a brilliant movie. But as Abraham Maslow wisely says, ‘It is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.’ Let us be careful about putting on labels – indeed, why bother categorising? Appreciate the film for what it is, and let it speak for itself.

A disclaimer – if you are looking for an ‘objective’ point of view, you will be disappointed. Some would say that I am biased and opinionated. It is true – I have already made most of my conclusions. I don’t think pure objectivity exists – life itself is subjective. I don’t write to lay out facts. I write as an ACIM student. I write to educate and to inspire. I write because the Holy Spirit tells me to.

Definitions

Let us begin by reviewing some of the terms used in the film:

The Matrix: The virtual-reality construct in which humans experience their ‘life’. It is the reference in which the vast majority of humans think is reality. From Latin mātrīx (‘dam’, ‘womb’), from māter (‘mother’).

Morpheus: In Greek mythology, Morpheus is the god of sleep. He has the ability to take any human’s form and appear in dreams.

Neo: The protagonist, Neo is the alter-ego and hacker pseudonym of Thomas Anderson. He has the ability to manipulate the Matrix at will, and is the chosen one to save mankind. An anagram of Neo is One. From Greek naus – to float.

Thomas Anderson: In the biblical context, the last name means ‘Son of Man’ – the Messiah. ‘Doubting’ Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples did not believe the Jesus had been resurrected until he touched Jesus’ wounds. (In the late part of the first movie, Thomas/Neo is shot by Smith. Shocked, he touches his wounds and sees the blood. He dies, only to come back to life again – this time as ‘The One’)

Are you ready? Here we go… Logging in… *cue warbly sound effects*

Meeting with Morpheus

Neo wakes up in a cold sweat. His last memory is being in the interrogation room, trying but unable to scream, as he is held down by Agents while a spindly electronic insectoid burrows into his bellybutton.

Thank goodness it was a nightmare. Or was it? It was so real….

The phone rings.

Neo : Hello?
Morpheus : This line is tapped, so I must be brief. They got to you first, but they’ve underestimated how important you are… If they knew what I know, you would probably be dead.
Neo : What are you talking about? What is happening to me?
Morpheus : You are The One, Neo. You see, you may have spent the last few years of your life looking for me, but I’ve spent my entire life looking for you. Now do you still want tomeet?
Neo : Yes…

Neo has been seeking. He knows that there is something wrong with this seeming reality. He is questioning and asking. He searches for answers on the internet, making contact with those who seem to know something.

Well, guess what?

You are Neo.

So am I. All of us are, individually. Neo represents the distinct personality, the dreamer, the ‘body’, the ‘Hero of the Dream’.

The body is the central figure in the dreaming of the world. There is no dream without it, nor does it exist without the dream in which it acts as if it were a person to be seen and be believed. It takes the central place in every dream, which tells the story of how it was made by other bodies, born into the world outside the body, lives a little while and dies, to be united in the dust with other bodies dying like itself. In the brief time allotted it to live, it seeks for other bodies as its friends and enemies. Its safety is its main concern. Its comfort is its guiding rule. It tries to look for pleasure, and avoid the things that would be hurtful. Above all, it tries to teach itself its pains and joys are different and can be told apart. ACIM, T-27.VIII.1

We may appear to be separate in the dream but we are One in true reality. There is no messiah, no special chosen one to save the world, to magically whisk us off to heaven. You have to do it. You have to do the heavy lifting. Jesus tells us in the Course:

There is nothing about me that you cannot attain. I have nothing that does not come from God. The difference between us now is that I have nothing else. This leaves me in a state which is only potential in you. ACIM, T-1.II.3

Like Neo, chances are that you too have been looking for answers. What is ‘Truth’? Why do we suffer? What is God? Why is life so unfair?

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is always answering our questioning and our calling. It is a continuous process that extends throughout each of our lives, and indeed, for all of eternity. The only reason why we do not hear him is because we do not listen. The Holy Spirit operates everywhere. She is your intuition. He is your higher self. It is that sense of deep, inner knowing.

Amongst all of the characters, Morpheus best represents the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the memory of our true nature, our unity in heaven. Like Morpheus guides Neo, the Holy Spirit guides us to discover Truth.

‘you may have spent the last few years of your life looking for me, but I’ve spent my entire life looking for you’ – Morpheus

The Holy Spirit has spent the whole of eternity looking for us. It does not waver, does not falter. It seeks to guide us, because that is its singular purpose. The Holy Spirit is the return cord back to Source, our memory of God.

The ego

Running counter to the guidance of the Holy Spirit are the efforts of the ego. The ego tries to confuse us. It seeks to maintain the maya, the illusion, the matrix.

Its [the ego] dictates, then, can be summed up simply as “Seek and do not find.” T-12.IV.1

Like the Agent Smiths, it is afraid of love and truth, and tries to control and coerce by fear – for in the unravelling of the matrix therein lies its self-destruction, its deletion. The Agent Smiths in our lives are our insecurities, our doubts, and the people who knowingly play on them to hold us back.

The behaviour of the ego is also highlighted in a later scene where the Oracle wisely says:

The Oracle: What do all men with power want? More power.

This is the path of the ego. It always wants more. This is the thirst that cannot be quenched, the bottomless pit that can never be filled. It is easy to find this in our world. We are a global society that has been driven mad by consumerism and greed. We want more of everything, now. We are obsessed with accumulating things we don’t have, never taking time to appreciate the things we do have. We run faster and faster, until we completely exhaust ourselves.

Debugging

Neo agrees to meet and is picked up by Morpheus’s aides – Switch and Trinity. Almost immediately after getting into the car, Switch points a gun at Neo.

Switch : Take off your shirt.
Neo : What?
Switch : Stop the car. Listen to me, Coppertop. We don’t have time for twenty questions. Right now, there’s only one rule : Our way – or the highway.
Neo : Fine…
Neo starts to get out of the car. Trinity stops him.
Trinity : Please Neo, you have to trust me.
Trinity : Because you have been down there, Neo. You know that road. You know exactly where it ends. And I know that’s not where you want to be…..

All of us have been down that road – the world of duality. We are happy when we go on holiday and are depressed when we go back to work on Monday. We are happy when our partner is happy with us, and are sad when our partner is angry at us. Life has its ups and downs. We cycle endlessly between pain and pleasure, lifetime after lifetime. Like Neo, some of us have had enough – there must be a better way.

Neo slowly gets back into the car.
Trinity looks at the man in the passenger seat.
Trinity : Apoc, lights.
She turns to Neo again.
Trinity : Lie back, lift up your shirt.
Neo looks at the device in her hand.
Neo : What *is* that thing?
Trinity : We think you’re bugged….Try and relax…
Trinity looks at the display on the device she’s holding and presses it against Neo’s abdomen, talking to herself as she attempts to remove the bug from him.
Trinity : Come on…come on…
Switch : It’s on the move….you’re going to loose it…
Trinity : No I’m not… Clear!
The bug appears in the jar attached to the device she was using, and she empties it out of the window into the street. It turns back into a mechanical object and it’s red ‘eyes’ fade and then go out.
Neo : Jesus Christ, that thing’s real??!!

Debugging is not always an enjoyable process. Neither is going to the doctor or the dentist. (For most of us anyway, masochists please sit down). Discovering our true nature is not a simple, easy process. We have to face and let go of our fears and neuroses, our delusions, our deeply ingrained pre-conceptions. But we have to – we know it is for our own good, for our own liberation.

Red Pill, Blue Pill

They arrive at a building, and Trinity leads Neo in for his meeting with Morpheus. This is probably the most important dialogue in the entire trilogy. (You can watch the scene here.)

Morpheus : At last. Welcome, Neo. As you no doubt have guessed, I am Morpheus.
Neo : It’s an honour to meet you.
Morpheus : No, the honour is mine. Please, come, sit.
Neo sits down in the armchair.
Morpheus : I imagine that right now you’re feeling a bit like Alice…
Morpheus : Tumbling down the rabbit hole? Hmm?
Neo : You could say that.
Morpheus : I can see it in your eyes. You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees, because he is expecting to wake up. Ironically, this is not far from the truth.. Morpheus sits down in the armchair opposite from Neo
Morpheus : Do you believe in fate, Neo?
Neo : No.
Morpheus : Why?
Neo : Because I don’t like the idea that I’m not in control of my own life.
Morpheus : I know… *exactly* what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know, you can’t explain. But you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life. That there’s something *wrong* with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there… like a splinter in you’re mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I’m talking about?
Neo : The Matrix?
Morpheus : Do you want to know.. what it is..?
Neo nods
Morpheus : The Matrix is everywhere. It’s all around us, even in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to work, when you pay your taxes. The Matrix is the world that has been pulled over your eyes, to blind you from the truth.
Neo : What truth?
Morpheus : That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison…for your mind. Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is you have to see it for yourself.
Morpheus opens a container which holds two pills : a blue one, and a red one. He puts one in each hand, and holds them out to Neo.

Morpheus : This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back…..You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up and believe…whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland… and I show you just how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Neo pauses for an instant, then reaches for the red pill. He swallows it down with a glass of water, and looks at Morpheus.

Morpheus presents Neo with 2 choices – does he want to take the blue pill, to forget everything and go back to his old life? Or the red pill, to see what truly lies beyond? It doesn’t seem like much of a choice in the movie (it wouldn’t be terribly exciting if he took the blue pill ;)), but we have this choice every single moment.

We have to make the choice between the Holy Spirit and the ego. We are the Decision Maker – we have to make the choice whether to stay in the dream or to return to God. Do we want to perpetuate the sense of separation, anger, and fear that drives our world? Or are we willing to forgive and find inner peace? Do we want to be right or do we want to be happy?

Also, let us consider the question as to why does Morpheus awakens Neo from within the Matrix. Why don’t they just fly to Neo’s pod and unplug him? Why doesn’t God just wake us up? Here, the parallels between ACIM and the Matrix are slightly different – mainly because true reality in both paradigms are different. However, one reason is similarly clear – it’s traumatic! Disappearance of the Universe explains this clearly:

Yet God would not react to events in a dream any more than you would react to events in a bad dream your wife was having in bed next to you. In the first place, you can’t even see the events because they are not really happening. Second, even if you could see them there would still be no need for you to react to them because, being untrue, they could not possibly affect you. The only logical thing would be to awaken your wife from her bad dream, but you would do it slowly and gently, so you wouldn’t scare her even more. You wouldn’t grab her and shake the hell out of her. Similarly, the Holy Spirit will gently awaken you. He is not a separate God reacting to your dream, but is actually the Voice for God that you still have with you in your illusory journey to this far country. Disappearance of the Universe, Pg. 110.

This brings us to the central point of the Matrix and ACIM, and also the key concept the vast majority of people will have no lack of trouble accepting: The world is a prison for who we really are. It is a construct designed to keep us unaware of our true nature. It is an illusion. ACIM is unflinchingly, brutally, unrelentingly honest about this – there are no two ways about it. There is no compromising, no bargaining with Truth. It is what it is, regardless of what you believe in. This is core of non-dualism – only God is Real. Everything else is illusion.

Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
ACIM, T-in.2

Lesson 1: Nothing I see in this room means anything
Lesson 2: I have given everything I see in this room all the meaning that it has for me
Lesson 3: I do not understand anything I see in this room
Lesson 32: I have invented the world I see
ACIM, Workbook lessons

Q: Whatever Ken. Hypothetically speaking though, what’s waking up like?

Thankfully, waking up in our world is a nicer experience than Neo’s.

Pursah: Well, imagine the very peak of a perfect sexual orgasm, except that this orgasm never stops. It keeps going on forever with no decrease in its powerful and flawless intensity.
Gary: You have my attention.
Pursah: The physical act of sex doesn’t even come close to the incredible bliss of Heaven. It’s just a poor, made-up imitation of union with God. It’s a false idol made to fix your attention on the body and the world with just enough of a payoff to keep you coming back for more. It’s very similar to a narcotic. Heaven, on the other hand, is a perfect, indescribable ecstasy that never ceases.

DU, Pg. 7

This is enlightenment. The finale. The ending of space and time. The Disappearance of the Universe. Are you still reading? :)

Illusions and Projections

Neo is flushed out of his pod, scooped up and has his muscles regenerated onboard the ship. He is plugged into the virtual reality loading construct for the first time, together with Morpheus.

Your appearance now is what we call residual self image. It is the mental projection of your digital self – Morpheus

Well, guess what – again, this has an uncanny parallel to the ACIM framework:

You think bodies make other bodies and then brains do the thinking, but nothing can think except the mind. The brain is just a part of the body. It’s the mind that projects every body, including yours. I’m not talking about that tiny little mind you identify with. I’m referring to the entire mind that is outside of time, space and form. Pursah, DU, Pg. 21

This ‘big’ mind creates / projects the universe of space and form and creates separate bodies (ie. us) to participate in the environment. We believe and think whatever we perceive with our 5 senses is real, for it is the only way by which we have known the world. We determine our place in the universe only in relation to other people and things. Consciousness can only exist in relation to other objects – for ‘I’ to exist, ‘I’ have to perceive things which are ‘not-I’. The ego is a master illusionist – it has created an illusory playground where illusions play with illusions, where the interaction is necessary in order to maintain the sense of realism – thus propping up the entire illusion.

I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it. – Morpheus

Like Neo, we have to undertake this spiritual awakening on our own. The Holy Spirit cannot liberate us without our permission – it can lead us to the oasis, but it cannot drink for us. We can be well-versed in all manner of spiritual and religious theory, but if we do not practice, we will never make progress. If we read ACIM a hundred times over but never actually do the lessons in the workbook, we will never pass through the door.

Being Superman

Morpheus proceeds to tell Neo that he has the ability to manipulate the Matrix at will – it is the power of The One.

Neo : What are you trying to tell me? That I can…dodge bullets?
Morpheus : No, Neo. I’m trying to tell you, that when you’re ready… You won’t have to…

Here, Morpheus is illuminating yet another Truth – the most supernatural of feats performed within the dream are still illusions. Jesus demonstrated this by raising the dead and walking on water. Mind-blowing, yes, but frankly (sorry J-man ;)), who cares? Doing anything in the dream is irrelevant, because it’s still in the dream. Only waking up is relevant.

The Tao warns us to beware of flowery trappings of the path, or words to that effect. There are many things to see and do on the path of awakening. It’s all new and magical. There are points, for instance, where you can stop and develop what you might consider special powers; prophecy, telepathy, mediumship, magical arts, plate spinning, whatever. During Zen meditation – zazen – the student might merge into timeless unity consciousness. He might unravel all the complexities of his life a single glorious sitting. He might feel that he has vomited a gigantic ball of molten lead that has resided in his chest for years. He might descent into the pits of hell and slay all his demons. After such experiences, he might run to his master to share his victories and experiences, thinking he’s well on road to enlightenment, only to have the master splash him with cold water by calling it makyo.

When a Zen master uses the term makyo, he’s telling his students that the precious gems they’re stopping to pick up or the pretty flowers they’re pausing to collect only have value and beauty in the world they’ve chosen to leave behind. The Tao says ‘beware the flower trappings’ because, in order to possess them or benefit from them, you must cease your journey, stay in dream. Ultimately, they’re just distraction from the tricky business of waking up. Breaking free of delusion takes everything you have. The price of truth is everything. Everything. That’s the rule and it’s inviolable.

Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing by Jed McKenna, Pg. 52

As his awareness increases, he may well develop abilities that seem startling to him. Yet nothing he can do can compare even in the slightest with the glorious surprise of remembering Who he is. Let all his learning and all his efforts be directed toward this one great final surprise, and he will not be content to be delayed by the little ones that may come to him on the way.

ACIM, M-25.1: ‘Are Psychic Powers desirable?’

We are reminded of this again when Neo meets Spoon-Bending Boy while waiting to see the Oracle.

Boy: Do not try to bend the spoon, it is impossible, instead just try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Boy: There is no spoon.. Then you will find it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself…

 

There is no spoon! What we think is a spoon is our projection.

From here, I will lose the running story narrative format and just fast forward to the remaining parts that are relevant – the latter two films raise questions which are largely ACIM irrelevant – eg. can machines have feelings? What is the symbolism of the Oracle vs the Architect?

Free Will, and what is it?

There are a number of scenes in The Matrix Reloaded pertaining to the concept of Free Will.

1. Neo meets the Oracle as the humans prepare for a machine onslaught on Zion.

Oracle: I know you’re not sleeping. We’ll get to that. Why don’t you come and have a sit this time?
Neo: Maybe I’ll stand.
Oracle: Well, suit yourself.
Neo hesitates, has a mildly puzzled expression, and sits down.
Neo: I felt like sitting.
Oracle: I know.
[…]
Oracle: Candy?
Neo: You already know if I am going to take it.
Oracle: I wouldn’t be much of an oracle if I didn’t.
Neo: But if you already know how, how can I make a choice?
Oracle: Because you didn’t come here to make the choice, you already made it. You came here to understand why you made the choice. I thought you’d have figured it out by now.
Neo: Why are you here?
Oracle: Same reason. I love candy.
Neo: But why help us?
Oracle: We’re all here to do what we’re all here to do…

The Oracle tells Neo that he must rescue the keymaker from the Merovingian, and leaves.

2. Smith, now unplugged from rigid rules of the Matrix, walks into the scene.

Smith: But as you well know, appearances can be deceiving, which brings me back to the reason why we’re here. We’re not here because we’re free, we’re here because we’re not free. There’s no escaping reason, no denying purpose – because as we both know, without purpose, we would not exist.

3. Later, as we meet the evil Merovingian, he gives us this speech:

 

 

Merovingian: No. Wrong. Choice is an illusion, created between those with power, and those without. Look there, at that woman. My God, just look at her. Affecting everyone around her, so obvious, so bourgeois, so boring. But wait… Watch – you see, I have sent her dessert, a very special dessert. I wrote it myself. It starts so simply, each line of the program creating a new effect, just like poetry. First, a rush… heat… her heart flutters. You can see it, Neo, yes?

She does not understand why – is it the wine? No. What is it then, what is the reason? And soon it does not matter, soon the why and the reason are gone, and all that matters is the feeling itself. This is the nature of the universe. We struggle against it, we fight to deny it, but it is of course pretense, it is a lie. Beneath our poised appearance, the truth is we are completely out of control. Causality. There is no escape from it, we are forever slaves to it.

Our only hope, our only peace is to understand it, to understand the ‘why’. ‘Why’ is what separates us from them, you from me. `Why’ is the only real social power, without it you are powerless. And this is how you come to me, without `why,’ without power. Another link in the chain. But fear not, since I have seen how good you are at following orders, I will tell you what to do next. Run back, and give the fortune teller this message: Her time is almost up. Now I have some real business to do, I will say adieu and goodbye.

4. Finally, on the freeway, as one of the Agents is about to delete/kill the Keymaker, he says

Keymaker: We do only what we’re meant to do.

On the topic of free will, Pursah (from Disappearance of the Universe) says:

You may think you have free will here and that you can determine what’s going to happen to you, but the truth is it’s all happened already. You’re just playing the tape, watching and listening – thinking it’s all real and a result of your own volition or chance on this level, rather than a set-up from another level. (DU. Pg 186)

The important thing is that your decisions are not really made by you here. They were made on a totally different level when you agreed to the ego’s plan, and the only way out of the whole can of worms is to return to your right mind and choose the Holy Spirit’s alternative interpretation of what you see instead of your ego’s interpretation, which keeps you trapped in the script. It might help if you try to remember that the whole business is just a recording playing itself out. (Disappearance of the Universe, Pg. 185)

Time is a track, a sleight of hand, a vast illusion in which figures come and go as if by magic. Yet there is a plan behind appearances that does not change. The script is written. When experience will come to end your doubting has been set. For we but see the journey from the point at which it ended, looking back on it, imagining we make it once again; reviewing mentally what has gone by. ACIM, Lesson 158: Today I learn to give as I receive

OK. You probably know where I am going with this. But before we jump in, what is Free will exactly? Merriam-Websters offers this definition:

the freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes

Wikipedia offers:

the purported ability of agents to make choices free from certain kinds of constraints

If there are a number of possibilities, all branching out from each point in time, and we happen to choose one, is that freedom? We think we can choose to influence our future, but how do we know if that perception of choice, the very act of us choosing, hasn’t been pre-determined already?

Or is free will the way we choose to feel at every given moment, ie. the way we choose to interpret the external world? Is it the ability to remain calm and happy even when the ship is sinking? Here, ACIM is clear: we do have this choice. Kenneth Wapnick explains this on two levels:

In Heaven there can be no free will, for how can the Son of God be free to choose when there is literally nothing to choose from? In a non-dualistic reality, which is the state of Heaven, there is only perfect Oneness. That is why A Course in Miracles states that the Will of God and the will of His Son are one and the same.

Within the dream, however, which is the realm of perception and illusion, the concept of free will becomes extremely important and meaningful for it is the mechanism of salvation. In his dream, the Son believed that he had chosen against God, and this set into motion the whole drama of the unholy trinity – sin, guilt and fear – culminating in the making of the physical universe as a defense against the perceived wrathful vengeance of the ego’s made-up God. Thus, within the dream, the same power of the Son’s mind to choose against God, now must be free to choose for Him.

Excerpts from Q36: Is there such a thing as free will, and what is it anyway? The Most Commonly Asked Questions about A Course in Miracles, Gloria and Kenneth Wapnick

Another dimension to this scene is the fact that our unconscious minds have incredible influence over our actions. Why do we act in ways even though we have consciously chosen otherwise? Why do we persist in over-eating, over-spending, and toxic relationships, even though we consciously choose not? Why did Neo sit even though he said he would stand? We don’t understand what goes on underneath the surface. It is that vast block of our mental icebergs that is hidden under the water that largely determines our actions.

 

We are, quite literally, on auto-pilot for most of the time. And when we think we are actively creating our destiny, we ‘choose’ paths which have already been marked out for us.

Trust and Faith

In the first meeting with the Oracle in Matrix Reloaded, Neo now know realises that the Oracle has an agenda and a unique way of giving advice. He says:

Neo: I suppose the most obvious question is, how can I trust you?
Oracle: Bingo! It is a pickle, no doubt about it. The bad news is there’s no way if you can really know whether I’m here to help you or not. So it’s really up to you. You just have to make up your own damn mind to either accept what I’m going to tell you, or reject it. Candy?

Jesus says about trust:

You have very little trust in me as yet, but it will increase as you turn more and more often to me instead of to your ego for guidance. The results will convince you increasingly that this choice is the only sane one you can make. No one who learns from experience that one choice brings peace and joy while another brings chaos and disaster needs additional convincing. Learning through rewards is more effective than learning through pain, because pain is an ego illusion, and can never induce more than a temporary effect. ACIM, T-4.VI.3.

How do we know if someone is giving us good or bad advice? How do we trust someone without proof? Indeed, how do we trust a concept so intangible as the ‘Holy Spirit’? This is an excellent question – we should and must be discerning and inquisitive in our spiritual journey. The adage goes: trust is earned, not given. Likewise, don’t trust me on what I am saying – read it and decide for yourself!

The results of forgiveness will speak for themselves. All we need do is to stop rowing against the current for a moment. All we need to do is to leave our judgements for a little while and trust in the process. We need but give a little willingness, a tiny step, and he will take the big strides for us. When we have better peace of mind, you are happy for no reason, and you sail through life calmly no matter the weather conditions – we will need no further convincing.

Neo: Trinity… There’s something I have to say. Something you need to understand. I know I’m supposed to go. But beyond that – I don’t know..

There will be times when we will be led to places where we cannot see beyond. We sometimes drive on dark roads where the headlights only allow us to see a few meters ahead. But we go on because we know we have to. We know from the very core of our being, we know from our choices in our most lucid moments. We know because we know. Sometimes, following the guidance of the Holy Spirit defies logic and explanation, but we emerge from situations realising that things worked out perfectly in the end.

From thematrix101.com:

Q: Why doesn’t the Oracle tell Neo he’s the One?
A: As Morpheus later says: she tells Neo what he needs to hear. What path would he have followed if she’d said he was the One? Would he have been cockier, more arrogant, less careful? Would things have ended the same way? She apparently knows the future, so she knows what she needs to tell him to get him where he needs to go.

The Holy Spirit tells us exactly what we need to know. More information isn’t always good. She guides us with perfect precision – the Holy Spirit knows everything and sees everything. She is the perfect arranger for our salvation.

Conclusion

To finish, just like in the film (what, another parallel!?), I would like to close with the song, Navras, which plays over the closing credits of Matrix Revolutions, at the end of the trilogy.

The words of the main chant are taken from the Upanishads:

Asato ma sad gamaya,
tamaso ma jyotir gamaya,
mrtyor mamrtam gamaya.
Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

Which translates to:

Lead us from darkness to the light,
Lead us from knowledge of the unreal to the real,
Lead us from fear of death to knowledge of our immortality.
Peace, peace, peace.

I know it’s been a long article, but I hope you got as much out of reading this article as I did writing it. If you’ve made it all the way down here without skimming, well done! Please click on the Facebook Like button if you like this article, and please share it with your friends! I am happy to hear any feedback – positive or negative – email me at ken(at)conscious-enterprises.com

Acknowledgements and References

The Disappearance of the Universe
Gary Renard

Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing
Jed McKenna

The Most Commonly Asked Questions About A Course in Miracles
Gloria Wapnick and Kenneth Wapnick, Ph. D.

There Is No Spoon: The Matrix
Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D.

http://www.friesian.com/matrix.htm

Idealism, The Philosophy of the Matrix and the True Nature of Matter
Harun Yahya International

http://www.harunyahya.com/matrix.php

Wake up! Gnosticism and Buddhism in The Matrix
Frances Flannery-Dailey & Rachel Wagner

http://www.unomaha.edu/jrf/gnostic.htm

The Matrix
Written by Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Distributed by Warner Bros
Script: http://dc-rg.english.ucsb.edu/WarnerTeach/E192/matrix/Matrix.script.html

The Matrix Reloaded
Written by Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Distributed by Warner Bros
Script: http://www.thematrixfr.com/m2_script_vo.shtml

The Matrix Revolutions
Written by Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Distributed by Warner Bros
Script: http://www.thematrixfr.com/m3_script_vo.shtml

Navras
Juno Reactor Vs. Don Davis
The Matrix Revolutions: The Motion Picture Soundtrack

 

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§ 9 Responses to A Course in Miracles and the Matrix"

  • Luis Henry says:

    Amazing!! Thanks Buddy ! We're outta here !

  • Guest says:

    Wow! That was incredibly helpful. Thank you so much for your insights!

  • Kenneth Bok says:

    You are welcome! Thank you for telling me. :)

  • […] I wrote comparing A Course in Miracles and the Matrix – it might be helpful for your search. A Course in Miracles and the Matrix – A philosophical and theological comparison | A Course in Mirac… Peace Ken __________________ A Course in Miracles Explained: An Intelligent Guide for the […]

  • Cristo Jesús says:

    Congratulations for your analisis of the film and the course. I think Matrix uses ideas from the course but the whole script is far from the Truth. According to the course the human body is unreal and therefore does not exist and Life goes far beyond body because death does not exist. In Matrix all changes, the course says “if something changes it is not real”. Therefore this peace whose duration The Architect questions at the end of the third film is not real. The Architect seems to be the light and the Oracle the darkness (look at her yin/yang earrings). They are a man and a woman, the masculine and the feminine, i.e. duality, first division, separation, the gap that the Son of God believed that he had created but it is just a dream. Neo (Latin neofitus, the “Initiated” in the truth) seems to die crucified but where is his resurrection?, which is the fundamental lesson of the course.
    What rises in contrast is a new Matrix. The Peace of God is eternal and ineffable.

    And I think all the characters in the film are part of the Oracle including Neo; and what sustains all visible things and all characters is the Arquitect, the other part of duality. But, where is the real dreamer or the Creator of the whole Dream?.

    Who is the one who must awake? Temet Nosce

  • Thanks for a brilliant article. What a task it is to stay awake in a world of the sleeping. I make an effort to find sites and information like this one to continually remind me not to go back to sleep. Sometimes I wonder whether it would be easier to not know. At times it is a very lonely path .. Like talking to myself in a cupboard.

  • Alfonso Martinez says:

    Thanks, you could do a similar article on the movie Inception?

  • Joseph says:

    This is an extraordinary breakdown of the philosophy of the Matrix trilogy and how it fits with the Course. Well done, and thank you!

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