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Points: Oscar-winning film ‘The Matrix’ and Religion connection |Religion & Spirituality

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The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction film written and directed by The Wachowskis. The Matrix was first released in the United States on March 31, 1999, and grossed over $460 million worldwide. It was generally well-received by critics and won four Academy Awards. The film made its indelible mark in the history of modern cinema on for its innovative visual effects, cinematography and entertainment value.

 

1.The Çhosen ‘One’

Similar to the reincarnation of God Vishnu in Hindu mythology who walks the earth to liberate the living creatures from the dystopian world, Neo is referred to throughout the Matrix trilogy as the One, that is, the chosen one, which also describes a messiah, sent to deliver salvation. Often movies and inspirational books use a plot where the protagonist recognises his ‘self’ and later transpires to become an unconquerable hero. In The Matrix, Neo, under Morpheus’ influence and self-ruminations is able to realise his real potential.

 

  1. Maya [The Matrix]

Finding its references in eastern religions and philosophy, The Matrix itself parallels ‘samsara’, an illusory state of reality that is not what it appears. Samsara refers to revolving worlds that develop, reach heights, collapse, are eliminated, and then ultimately are replaced by other worlds. The goal of Buddhists and Manav as stated in religious texts is to escape from this cyclical pattern of Karma, which they believe is possible. Many of the freed humans choose to accept the Buddhist state of karma, which suggests that whatever state they are in, it is the result of their own doing. Their condition is self-created, and this idea emphasises the importance of choice. Karma allows people to shape their next life. If they choose actions that are virtuous in this world, they’ll be more contented now and in the next life. But if they choose non-virtuous acts, they get what they deserve.

3.Good versus Evil

 

A very common theme in any of the religious studies revolves around Good versus Evil, Truth versus Falsity. Among Hindus, Holi, Dusshera are important festivals that mark the triumph of ‘good’ over évil’. The humans who are plugged into the Matrix have no idea that their sensations are false, created artificially instead of arising from actual experiences. It is the ‘Ágents’ who sustain the system by adding newer, more deceitful code to the matrix and feed on the humans who are engulfed in the consumerism to satisfy their insatiable deeds.  Until Neo is yanked from the Matrix, he, too, has no idea that his life is a virtual reality. But then, he realises the nature of the world and the ‘Ágents’ whom he has to destroy if the world, has to sustain.

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