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Religious Aspects in the Matrix

The relationship between the Matrix and Religious Beliefs/Values
by

Michael Warren

on 3 December 2012

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Transcript of Religious Aspects in the Matrix

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli Matrix and Religion Thesis What is religion? Religion in the Matrix Points Against Religion in the Matrix Christianity Trinity and Mary
•Since Mary is Jesus’s mother she loves and cares for Jesus just like Trinity, she loves Neo
In Christianity Trinity name refers to the holy trinity, which is the father (God) the son (Jesus) and the holy Ghost

Cypher and Judas
Judas was one of the 12 follower of Jesus but Judas ended up betraying Jesus just like Cypher who also betrayed Morpheus and everyone else
They both ended up dead; Judas hung himself and Cypher got killed and they both died being named as traitor CONCLUSION The 1999 Film "The Matrix" uses religious
elements and several philosophical ideas
as a vehicle to explore fundamental questions about human existence, These fundamental questions touch upon the themes of religion, power, purpose, and morality. Buddhism - Neo is not a sinless person - He was not there to save people from sin, nor to bridge the gap between humans and God - Neo died by accident, not of a sacrificial death - He was there to release humans from ignorance and illusion - Ethics do not allow extreme violence - There is no battle between "good" and "evil" in Buddhism - The real "enemy" of Buddhism is our ignorance - It is not a universal belief our world is an illusion, some believe it is our understanding of the world that is illusory Summary and Connections
Of Articles - Zion, the underground city, is an old city important to Jewish and Christian beliefs The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or Gods. Considered to be a practice of a belief system with its own moral code. Religion connects to philosophy because philosophy is the discussion of the "big questions" and religion tries to answer them. Vol. 4, October 2000

The Dialectic Myth-Making in ContemBuddhism, Christianity, and The Matrixporary Cinema -->The article calls the Matrix ‘…a provocative example of modern-day myth-making’ (Buddhism, One)
--> Believes the use of the Matrix as a myth is to educate the ignorant views of the world
--> The Matrix has a Christian messianic theme (Example: Neo = Jesus) -----> Buddhist “idealism” (no desire for certainty) vs. Western “idealism” (desire for certainty)
--> Humanity’s fault for their imprisonment Morpheus - “…you (like everyone else) were born into bondage…kept inside a prison that you cannot smell, taste or touch. A prison for your mind.”
--> Reflection of society - social perception of violence, media and gender roles

The Matrix helps people identify fundamental questions or issues, it doesn’t matter if the smaller issues raised aren’t realized Article Summary: The Matrix, Religion and Buddhism:
Is The Matrix a Buddhism Film? Connections:
--> The Matrix vs. Reality = Maya (Illusion) Vs. Enlightenment --> Buddhist monk – Spoon bending
--> Mirrors and reflections- The world’s events (Illusion) reflect our inner selves
--> Mahayana Buddhists – Reality Vs. Human Perception

Contradictions:
--> Violence in movie vs. a bodhisattva individual (enlightened individual)
--> Enemies in movie vs. equality and understanding in the religionHarsh language
--> Desire to move from a disembodied existence (The Matrix) to a physical reality vs. Desire to move from a physical reality to a disembodied existence ( religion)

Therefore, The Matrix is not a Buddhist film, but it does utilize Buddhist themes and ideas. The Matrix as a Christian Film, Does it Work?:
Connections to the Matrix and Christianity Christian Symbols:
Pre-Matrix Thomas Anderson
Plate on the ship inscribed "Mark 3 Number 11
Neo: an anagram for One
He has to die, he is killed in room 303 and rises again after 72 seconds
superman thing is symbolic of his ascension to heaven
Neo is the sixth "One"
Trinity
The first film was released Easter 1999

Contradictions:
Neo is not sinless
Remains human
Neo is not in the Matrix to save anyone from sin but instead saves people from ignorance and illusion.
Does not bring anyone closer to god
Illusory reality idea is inconsistent with Christian belief in an Omnipotent and Truthful god
No sacrficial death
Neo loves Trinity

Though the Matrix uses multiple Christian symbols the contradictions to Neo being the Messiah of the Matrix outweigh the supporting evidence. Therefore the Matrix is not a Christian film. Christianity Buddhism Throughout the movie, it was easy to point out many Buddhist themes, whether it was a physical object or a quote from a character. The following are connections that were found: Neo and Jesus
In the move Matrix there are couple times where Neo was a represtantion of Jesus, such as;
•Jesus and Neo both were sacrificing their lives while helping other survive
•The only difference between Neo and Jesus is that Neo uses violence while Jesus does not. Jesus goes around Israel and tells his story

Morpheus and John the Baptist
Just like how Neo is a representation of Jesus, Morpheus was the representation of John the Baptis
•John’s duty was to make ways for the coming of Jesus, and Morpheus was sacrificing himself so that Neo will be able to fulfill his duty
•John also was the one who announced the coming savior which was Jesus. Morpheus was foreseeing finding Neo and had a strong belief that he is the one --> Maya - Illusion
--> "There is no Spoon"
--> Mirrors/Reflections
--> Violence in the movie(s)
--> Attempt to reveal to humanity its state of ignorance Religion And
Fundamental Themes Other Facts of Christianity in Matrix
•Morpheus can be viewed as “God of the Father”. In the bible it says that they God send Jesus down to save his people and Morpheus was the one who brought Neo into the world
•Morpheus’ ship, the “Nebuchadnezzar” is named after a biblical king who dream of the end times. Also there is ship that has “Mark III, No. 11” In the Bible that number is Mark 3:11, which is a biblical verse saying Jesus the Son of God.
•Agent Smith’s license plate reads IS5416, meaning Isaiah 54:16; it is verse in the Bible that states “See it is I who have created a smith who blows the fire of coals, and produces a weapon fit for its purpose; I have also created the ravager to destroy.” We believe that The Matrix is not a religious film, but simply a film with religious elements and philosophical aspects that can lead a viewer to believe that it is. In Conclusion... Other Facts of Christianity in Matrix • In the Bible it has stated; so then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. While in Matrix, at the end of the movie, Neo hangs up a telephone after telling the Artificial Intelligence that this is the beginning of a world with no boundaries and no borders; then he "ascends" into the sky.

A Greater Power After the Resurrection
In the Bible Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth,
and in Matrix after Neo's resurrection, agent Smith is completely powerless against him

Sacrifice
In the Bible it has stated “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
While in Matrix, Neo decided to rescue Morpheus and he knew that he was going to die, but he still went. Neo is sacrificing himself to save humanity

Foretelling and Death Resurrection
From the time that Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders,chief ,priests and scribes, and be killed, then be raised up on the third day.
In Matrix Neo's death and resurrection is predicted by the Oracle during Neo's visit. She tells Neo that he has "the gift", which the Oracle said is to be his next life
The purpose of human life is to live a life that pleases God, such as worshiping, also by having a religion you have hope that you will go to a heaven after you die. Power Has technology become more powerful in the eyes of society than god? Who has power in our society? Morality As our society has advanced, have humanity’s views regarding morality changed?

What kind of morals are presented in religion?

What kind of morals do the characters of the Matrix show? Purpose What is the purpose of life? Does humanity serves a larger role in life than you realize? Yes because morals are what separates us from savagery. Societal morals tell us that we should and should not do such as, being respectful, not murdering or steal ect. Without having these morals our behavior would have been like savages. Media Though there are no direct physical example of religious media in the film, there are dozens of spoken allusions to religious texts such as the Bible.

What influence does media have on spiritual beliefs?
Not all religions are equally represented in Canadian media
Media often uses stereotypes and disempowering statements when it comes to religion
Sikhs, Hindus, and Buddhists are almost non-existent in Canadian media
Media today is making attempts at representing a wider range of religious through outlets like television
CBC show "Little Mosque on the Prairie" is a prime example Who has power in the Matrix? Christianity Buddhism Christianity is based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in gospels and Testament writings. It also considers the Hebrew Bible, which is known as the Old Testament. Adherents of the Christian faith are known as Christians. Buddhism is a religion originating in the Indian subcontinent that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs, and practices largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, who is commonly known as the Buddha (meaning "the awakened one" in Sanskrit and Pāli). Connections:
--> The Matrix vs. Reality = Maya (Illusion) Vs. Enlightenment --> Buddhist monk – Spoon bending
--> Mirrors and reflections- The world’s events (Illusion) reflect our inner selves
--> Mahayana Buddhists – Reality Vs. Human Perception

Contradictions:
--> Violence in movie vs. a bodhisattva individual (enlightened individual)
--> Enemies in movie vs. equality and understanding in the religionHarsh language
--> Desire to move from a disembodied existence (The Matrix) to a physical reality vs. Desire to move from a physical reality to a disembodied existence ( religion)

Therefore, The Matrix is not a Buddhist film, but it does utilize Buddhist themes and ideas.
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