By: Ranilo Abando (Manila, October 16, 2020) ***
The movie The Matrix, starring Keanu Reeves, was a big hit when it was released in 1999 because it was a novel idea in movie-making at that time. The writers behind the movie had great insights about the nature of reality. The sequels they produced, however, are not as impressive as the first and original The Matrix movie.
The writers of the movie were apparently influenced by the puzzling findings in quantum physics. Due to these findings, some brave physicists are forced to put on the table the idea that this apparently material world that we see and experience is merely our own mental construct. According to Prof. R.C. Henry, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University:
“A fundamental conclusion of the new physics acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a ‘mental’ construction.”
Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote: “The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.”
Based on these conclusions, that boy in The Matrix movie is right – there is no spoon.
Boy to Neo (Keanu Reeves) who holds a spoon: “Do not try and bend the spoon, that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth… there is no spoon. Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.”
My take: The spoon actually exists only as information in the mind of Neo. The form of the spoon is built by his mind, based on the design provided by that information. If his mind has enough computing power, he could manipulate that information to make the spoon bend – inside his mind only. If he wants to make other people see that the spoon is bending, then he would certainly need much more mind computing power to enable him to essentially hack the interactive information system that runs our physical reality. He would have to manipulate the information being sent to everybody in the room by that system to make it appear to everybody that the spoon is bending.
There are major differences between the real world in The Matrix movie and the real world in the non-movie: In the movie, the characters in the real world still have physical bodies of the hominid type that was evolved in the jungles and savannas of Africa over millions of years. They shouldn’t have that because in the real world, there are supposed to be no jungles or savannas to shape the human body forms. For example, our hands look like what they are now because their forms were a long-term adaptation to the climbing of trees and to the strength of gravity on this planet, which we now presume to be a virtual construct of the mind. So, in the movie, the real world there is actually still not real.
Secondly, in the movie, skills and knowledge can be downloaded to an avatar in the Matrix reality world. In this virtual physical world, skills and knowledge cannot be acquired simply by downloading information to your mind during the time they are needed. Rather, we have to work long and hard to acquire skills and knowledge here. There is no shortcut for us.
Here is a question asked by Morpheus to Neo in the movie: Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real. What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?
One probable answer to that question goes like this: When a person’s physical body dies, his mind which is non-physical does not necessarily die with him. The “builder” aspect of his mind is simply shut down because it’s Game Over and it has to follow the rules. As such, the “builder” no longer processes any incoming information to build this virtual physical reality. In such a case, the “thinker” aspect of the mind is also turned off because it cannot operate without the rules-based reality that the “builder” constructs. In this situation, the seat of consciousness no longer receives any information – meaning, there is a black out. But because it does not stop generating consciousness, it remains aware but watches only in darkness. While normally the “dreamweaver” and “beast” aspects of the mind remain inactive in this situation, in some cases for some reason they awaken. Thus, in that situation, some persons start dreaming a dream they are unable to wake from. That is the scenario that Morpheus has been speculating about. In that scenario, those persons indeed would never know the difference between the dream world and the “real” physical world.
The virtual nature of this physical reality indeed has many wide-ranging implications. I love exploring the possibilities.
P.S. : To assure people about the concerning second to last paragraph above, the black out in information I mentioned there normally does not last very long. According to the results of my research, the seat of consciousness of an ordinary person will eventually rise up his own mind column, cross a perilous intermediate zone, and settle at the lower portion of his higher mind, where he will experience a different kind of reality.
(Thanks to pexels.com – Markus Spiske for the Matrix-style illustration of information flow above)