• The Writer

    Hello! My name is Laura, welcome to my blog! I write weird stories, collect dragon plushies and stay up too late with my nose in a book. I am a wife, mom and child saved by grace. My hope is that you find encouragement here or at least a smile or too.
    God bless!

  • “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book that it may be for the time to come forever and ever.”
    ~Isaiah 30:8.

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    We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "The only just literary critic," he concluded, "is Christ, who admires more than does any man the gifts He Himself has bestowed."
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    “Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

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    Christians have sometimes been suspicious of stories, because they really can influence you. If you read the Twilight novels once a month for a year, I think you'd be a different human afterward—and not a sparkly one.
    ~Nate Wilson

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What is the Matrix?

poster for The Matrix

Image via Wikipedia

Here is my final essay for my English 101 class.  My teacher chose the film The Matrix, for us to write about, but we got to choose our own topic.  Mine was reality.  I had never seen The Matrix before this class.  I can’t say I liked it, but it was definatly a movie experance. (Note: I’m not recommending this movie.) 

Enjoy, and PLEASE comment!  I want to know what you think!


 In the movie The Matrix, the Wachowski brothers use the idea that there is a different reality to hook the audience and pull them into the world of the Matrix.  The idea that perhaps the world we know, as we know it, isn’t really all there is has been around for centuries.  People are searching for the truth about the world we live in and have been since time began.  Scientists search for proof of how the world was brought into being; scholars dig deep into history and literature to discover what the people who came before us believed; astronomers endeavor to explore the hidden reaches of space in hopes of finding other worlds that hold life.  Though they may come from different backgrounds and study different aspect of science or philosophy, they are each searching for the meaning of it all: of the world, of reality, of humanity.  Each and every one of us, deep down inside, wants to know where we came from, and why we are here.   We instinctively know that there has to be more to this reality than what we fully understand.  All of us are searching, even though we may not know what we are searching for. 

You might call this “the question”, like the question Neo asked, “What is the Matrix?”  It is the idea that we are all asking ourselves the question, “What is the Matrix” aka “What is life”, that the movie uses to communicate that maybe, what we believe about life is a lie.  Just as Neo wanted to know the truth about his world, so we want to know the true about ours.  But just as Neo learned, sometimes the truth is not always what we expect.  The reality of the truth can be so colossal that it either changes our lives, (as Neo’s changed) or it eats at us until all we want is to be rid of it (Cypher’s betrayal). 

When we first meet Neo he has already asked himself the question, “What is the Matrix?”  When Trinity comes into the picture she tells him, “I know why you’re here, Neo… You’re looking for him. I know because I was once looking for the same thing. And when he found me, he told me I wasn’t really looking for him. I was looking for an answer. It’s the question that drives us, Neo. It’s the question that brought you here. You know the question, just as I did.”   “He” of course is Morpheus and the question is, “What is the Matrix?”

Before Neo can discover what the Matrix is he has to make a choice.  Morpheus gives him two options in the form of two pills; a red pill and a blue pill.  The choice to discover what the Matrix is, and learn the truth, is in the red pill.  The other choice, the blue pill, is to forget, go home and believe whatever he wants.  Neo chooses the red pill, to see reality for what it was, a lie.  Cypher was given the same choice, and just as Neo did, he chose the red pill.  But unlike Neo, once he knew the truth about reality, Cypher decided he’d rather have the lie.  He wanted the comforts the Matrix could offer, instead of the hardships and toil of the real world.  For him it was better to live in ignorance than to live in the truth.  Why?  As Cypher put it as he takes a juicy bite of steak inside the Matrix, “Ignorance is bliss.”

But is ignorance really bliss?  Even though Cypher’s steak tasted real, felt real, smelled real, and altogether seemed real, it wasn’t.  It was just electrical signals sent to his brain by the computer programmed Matrix.  So what is real? When Morpheus explains to Neo regarding the Matrix, he defines real as something we can see, touch and smell.  Real is something we can recognize with our senses.  The unreal is just electrical signals in your brain, (Cypher’s steak). 

Is this really all there is to defining reality?  What if we are wrong about true reality and what it consists of?  What if there is far more to the world we live in then what we can see, feel, hear and touch?  “The worry that our idea about the world might be mistaken only makes sense on the assumption that we share with Morpheus that reality is independent of our ideas about it and thus that there’s something outside themselves by reference to which our ideas may go wrong.”  Says Christopher Grau in Philosophers Explore The Matrix (28).  If reality could be “independent of our ideas,” then the next question would be; what is independent?

In a Podcast on the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries website (RZIM.com), reviewing The Matrix, RZIM itinerant speaker Stuart McAlister commented, “Reality is bigger than that which we live in.  There’s something out there calling to us.  We need to investigate the nature of reality.”  McAlister implying that something is calling to us might very well be the answer to that question.  It also asks another; what is calling?  But what is “the nature of reality?”

If we look back through history we see various people groups, scattered throughout time, all endeavoring to discover the meaning of reality and its nature.  Their methods of searching have changed as the ages have passed, but the mission remains the same.  We want to know, we have to know, what this life and this world, our reality, is all about.  We’ve looked to evolution to provide us with the answer, but that has only left us with more questions and unsolved problems.  We’ve looked towards the stars, hoping to catch a glimpse of life beyond our own planet.  Though we’ve found planets that appear to be able to support life, there is no life on them.  The things that offer an answer to the question about reality are limitless, but which one is the truth?

When we asked the question “What is calling us,” it might inspire a more precise answer if we ask, “Who is calling us.”  Each of us has felt the tug on our hearts, that voice whispering to come closer and discover the mystery to the reality in which we live. Morpheus tells Neo, “…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 your mind, driving you mad.”  Deep down, we all know what it is we seek, for we came into this world with a longing to know what and who brought us here.  From the moment we understand the concept, we begin asking ourselves what is the point to life?  What is our purpose?    

For some the answer is that we are here to simply exist.  We exist in this life for a little while, and then we die.  Others believe we have a destiny that fate has woven into the fabric of time.  We are here for a reason; we’re not just simply existing in our own little spheres of reality, but why we are here, the nature of that reality consist of something much more personal than fate.    In our own versions of reality, we are held captive by the lie that we are free.  Just as the people in the Matrix, there is The One who can free us, The One sent to save all of mankind.  But we are too involved in our own little worlds to truly want to be set free and to most, his very name causes discomfort.   

Unlike in the movie The Matrix, we are our own captors, bound by deceits of our own creation, but like Cypher, we would rather live in the lies we’ve created because it’s comfortable and familiar.  Each of us has filled our own reality with the things we believe can give us what we need to survive.  Like the machines that created the Matrix, we’ve invented prisons for our minds, thinking that somehow by building them, we can actually liberate our thinking.  As human beings we are bound by the restrictions that come with being human, (for instance, we can’t defy gravity on our own or bend spoons with our minds), but what we don’t take into consideration are the false mental restrictions we put on ourselves.  Most of these restrictions are formed by fear; fear of change, fear that our secure little worlds may fall apart.  When Neo chose to take the red pill, he did so knowing he could never go back to his old life.  Once his mind and body were free, he was stuck in the real world whether he liked it or not.  When we decide to discover the truth about our own reality, our world will be changed forever.  There is no going back once we know the truth.  We either except it, or ignore it, pretending it isn’t truth.         

In The Matrix, the truth about their reality was that it was a lie; it wasn’t real.  All that they knew was nothing but signals being sent to their brains through tubes hooked to their nervous system while they floated in a pod of goopy liquid.  Their purpose was to supply energy to the machines that had enslaved them.  The Matrix is the false reality that Morpheus, Neo, Trinity and the rest of the gang hope to rescue the other humans from who are still trapped inside.  In our reality, life is real and the world we live in is real.  There are no machines or other beings stronger than us holding the human race captive, but we still are not truly free.  As humans we have limitations, but the biggest limitations we have are the ones we invent in our heads and convince ourselves are real.  It’s time we find The One and start asking the question, “What is the Matrix; what is holding us captive?”   

Works Cited

  1. Wachowski, Andy, Larry, dir.  The Matrix

                        Warner Bro. Pictures. 1999.  DVD

2.   Grau, Christopher, ed. Philosophers Explore The Matrix.

                    Oxford University Press, USA, 2005. Print

3.   “Movie Review: Batman and The Matrix.” Just Thinking.  Host Stuart McAlister and Bob Ditmer. 

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries Podcast.  MP3 file. 21 May 2010. 

Leave a comment


  1. Daniel

     /  March 21, 2011

    I think you already have my thoughts on this. 😛

  2. Love it. 🙂 You did a great job.

  3. storygirl308

     /  March 22, 2011

    @Daniel: Yes I do. 🙂

    @Sarah: Thanks! 😀


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