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Sci-Fi Matrix And The Matrix Reloaded

Discussion in 'Movies' started by RonPrice, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. RonPrice

    RonPrice Mr. RonPrice

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Location:
    George Town Tasmania Australia
    MATRIX and The Matrix Reloaded

    Frances Flannery-Dailey and Rachel Wagner's groundbreaking article: "Wake Up! Gnosticism and Buddhism in The Matrix," published two years after the release of the film, convincingly argued that The Matrix draws on several religious traditions in its presentation of an unreal material world, a world which requires of the masses a mental liberation in order for them to participate in life’s true reality. This article has provided the impetus for much fruitful discussion of The Matrix both in the scholarly and popular press(1). The Matrix was released in Australia the very week I retired from my thirty year career as a teacher. It was in the first days of April 1999; 1999 was also some forty years after I had joined the Bahá'í Faith in Canada at the age of 15.

    The film's sequel, The Matrix Reloaded(2003), came out as I was ensconced in a town by the sea, the oldest town, George Town, on the oldest continent—Australia. I had taken a sea-change as they call it in the Antipodes. I had also taken an early retirement at the age of 55 and was on a disability pension by 2003. I was writing, editing and publishing full-time by the time the 3rd millennium turned its corner in 2001 and this sequel to The Matrix was released into cinemas around the world.

    The Matrix Reloaded critiques what many saw as the gnostic religious position that Flannery-Dailey and Wagner use to philosophically underpin their film The Matrix. The Wachowski brothers, the writers and directors of both films, reveal the limitations and inconsistencies of the gnostic approach to reality through their portrayal of a type of "realized eschatology" similar to that found in some outposts of the early Christian church. Eschatology is a word for the happenings when the world ends, the end times, when Jesus returns, inter alia. Gnosticism typically: (a) rejects the material world as malevolent and illusory, and (b) advocates a program of special intellectual training culminating in the possession of secret knowledge in order to escape both this world and its illusory nature. Gnosticism, of course, is quite a complex subject, far too complex to deal with in a prose-poem like this one.

    In The Matrix Reloaded, Zion, the underground outpost of the free humans, is, quite literally, thy kingdom come, the kingdom of God on Earth, that realized eschatology, the time of the end. Within it the enlightened and those who are saved enjoy a foretaste of what all civilization will some day be after the machines are defeated in a final and apocalyptic showdown at some future time. This model of the future not only accepts, but also embraces and celebrates, the material world as the embodiment of spiritual reality perhaps, for some viewers of this film, it is but the metaphorical nature of a deeper spiritual reality. The illusions of The Matrix are to be found in the non-material world of: ideas, computer programs, data and information. It is and was this world that gnosticism has always claimed as the dimension of true reality.

    In short, this cinematic sequel turns the first aspect of the gnostic system on its head. Flannery-Dailey and Wagner note that when we ask the question, 'To what do we awaken?', the film appears to diverge sharply from Gnosticism and Buddhism, two major religious paths. 'Waking up' in the film means a leaving behind the matrix and awakening to a dismal cyber-world which is our real material world. The Matrix leaves open the possibility that the "desert of the real," the one that Neo is shown on a computer screen, is not in fact real at all. While that reading may have been possible with the evidence of the first film alone, The Matrix Reloaded significantly alters the possibilities for a gnostic interpretation. A realm of true reality: a material, embodied, and historical realm of human existence--is the setting for much of the second film's action. -Ron Price with thanks to (1) Julien R. Fielding, "Reassessing The Matrix Reloaded," Journal of Religion and Film, Vol.7, No.2, October 2003.

    Neo is the Messiah of The Matrix films;
    Zion awaits the coming of a Paul & the
    revel that accompanies an awakening-an
    exodus, or a liberation which cannot be
    productively translated into an MO, a...
    modus vivendi or a modus operandi. Paul
    created a Christianity with stable religious
    institutions by identifying a third way that
    was between an asceticism and libertinism,
    a praxis of realism liberally salted with......
    regeneration, undergirded by Christian hope.

    This third way required the proponents of a
    realized eschatology to see some very real
    conditions of ongoing life in this our world
    including relationships of dependence and
    practicality. Salvation and enlightenment is
    not the end of the story....nor does the plot..
    continue only at the level of the great cosmic
    battle of God, of light and darkness. We may
    live authentically and mindfully or forget who
    we are and fall into new errors and illusions;
    both alternatives are possible for saved persons.

    Paul wanted to show that the category of Christian
    contains the possibility of grievous error, evil and
    deceit. Blinded by gnostic underpinnings they see
    that they have attained some transcendence over
    dangerous illusion. A Paul must emerge to teach
    them a sustainable and honest perspective on their
    lives, reconciling their belief system with their......
    many unstated assumptions in the practice of their
    daily existence &, if not Paul, perhaps, The Return.(1)

    (1) For a stimulating commentary on this film, a commentary from which I have drawn in the above prose-poem, see: Donna Bowman, “The Gnostic Illusion: Problematic Realized Eschatology in The Matrix Reloaded,” The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Volume 4, Summer 2003.

    Ron Price
    3 April 2010
     
  2. RonPrice

    RonPrice Mr. RonPrice

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Location:
    George Town Tasmania Australia
    Four years later, I have written 3 pieces on The Matrix Trilogy. I post the first, a revised second piece, and the most recent of my 3 pieces below. The following three prose-poems were each written after seeing one of the three films in The Matrix Trilogy. This sci-fi series is concerned with the nature of reality, a central concern in my studies of philosophy and religion, sociology and psychology, peoples' value-and-belief systems and my own.-Ron Price, Pioneering Over Five Epochs, 4 March 2014.

    MATRIX

    Part 1:

    The film The Matrix was released in Australia on 8 April 1999, the very week I taught my last classes as a full-time professional teacher. I had been in classrooms by then for half a century, thirty-two years as a teacher and another 18 as a student. I won't give you all the details of the plot, the characters, the money the film grossed, or the awards in won. You can Google all that information at Wikipedia among other sites. Some of the theme, though, is as follows: a fundamental discovery is made about the world: "that it doesn't exist".

    The world, as people experience it, is actually a form of Virtual Reality. It is designed to lull people into lives of blind obedience to the system. People obediently go to their jobs every day without knowing that Matrix is the wool that has been pulled over their eyes. The reality of life is that people are slaves. The rebels in the film want to crack the framework that holds this Matrix in place thus freeing humankind. Some believe a messianic One will lead a social uprising; this messianic One will possess both mind power and physical strength. -Ron Price, Pioneering Over Four Epochs, 4 November 2006 with thanks to Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, 31 March 1999.

    Part 2:

    The world has been in a great sleep
    from which it is only slowly waking
    thanks to that messianic One, and the
    uprising has begun silently......and so
    unobtrusively, for the revolution is a
    global one, and out of man's control.

    It is also spiritual--having begun
    within the Shaykhi school of the
    Ithna-Ashariyyih sect of a Shi'ah
    Islam. But don't tell anyone--it's
    the best kept secret-non-secret in
    the world...and it is slowly rising
    from the obscurity in which it has
    been shrouded for some 170 years.1

    1 This evening, 12/2/'14, I watched part of this same film with my wife, some 15 years after it was released. I had watched it before, but could not remember any of the details all those years ago.

    Ron Price
    4/11/'06 to 12/2/'14.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  3. RonPrice

    RonPrice Mr. RonPrice

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Location:
    George Town Tasmania Australia
    MATRIX and The Matrix Reloaded

    Part 1:

    Frances Flannery-Dailey and Rachel Wagner's groundbreaking article: "Wake Up! Gnosticism and Buddhism in The Matrix," was published two years after the release of the film. The article convincingly argues that The Matrix draws on several religious traditions in its presentation of an unreal material world, a world which requires of the masses a mental liberation in order for them to participate in life’s true reality.

    This article has provided the impetus for much fruitful discussion of The Matrix both in the scholarly and popular press(1). The Matrix was released in Australia the very week I retired after my thirty+ year career as a teacher. It was in the first days of April 1999; 1999 was also some forty years after I had joined the Bahá'í Faith in Canada at the age of 15 in Ontario's Golden Horseshoe.

    Part 2:

    The film's sequel, The Matrix Reloaded(2003), came out as I was ensconced in a town by the sea, the oldest town, George Town, on the oldest continent—Australia. I had taken a sea-change as they call it in the Antipodes. I had also taken an early retirement at the age of 55 and was on a disability pension by 2003. I was writing, editing and publishing full-time by the time the 3rd millennium turned its corner in 2001, and this sequel to The Matrix was released into cinemas around the world.

    The Matrix Reloaded critiques what many saw as the gnostic religious position that Flannery-Dailey and Wagner use to philosophically underpin their film The Matrix. The Wachowski brothers, the writers and directors of both films, reveal the limitations and inconsistencies of the gnostic approach to reality through their portrayal of a type of "realized eschatology" similar to that found in some outposts of the early Christian church.

    Eschatology is a word for the happenings when the world ends, the end times, when Jesus returns, inter alia. Gnosticism typically: (a) rejects the material world as malevolent and illusory, and (b) advocates a program of special intellectual training culminating in the possession of secret knowledge in order to escape both this world and its illusory nature. Gnosticism, of course, is quite a complex subject, far too complex to deal with in a prose-poem like this one.

    Part 2.1:

    In The Matrix Reloaded Zion, the underground outpost of the free humans, is, quite literally, thy kingdom come, the kingdom of God on Earth, that realized eschatology at the time of the end. Within it the enlightened, and those who are saved, enjoy a foretaste of what all civilization will someday be after the machines are defeated in a final and apocalyptic showdown at some unknown and future time. This model of the future not only accepts, but also embraces and celebrates, the material world as the embodiment of spiritual reality.

    Perhaps, for some viewers of this film, this material world is but the metaphorical nature of a deeper spiritual reality. The illusions of The Matrix are to be found in the non-material world of: ideas, computer programs, data and information. It is and was this world that gnosticism has always claimed as the dimension of true reality.

    Part 2.2:

    In short, this cinematic sequel turns the first aspect of the gnostic system on its head. Flannery-Dailey and Wagner note that when we ask the question, 'To what do we awaken?', the film appears to diverge sharply from both Gnosticism and Buddhism, two major religious paths. 'Waking up' in the film means a leaving behind the matrix and awakening to a dismal cyber-world which is our real material world.

    The Matrix leaves open the possibility that the "desert of the real," the one that Neo is shown on a computer screen, is not in fact real at all. While that reading may have been possible with the evidence of the first film alone, The Matrix Reloaded significantly alters the possibilities for a gnostic interpretation. A realm of true reality: a material, embodied, and historical realm of human existence--is the setting for much of the second film's action. -Ron Price with thanks to (1) Julien R. Fielding, "Reassessing The Matrix Reloaded," Journal of Religion and Film, Vol.7, No.2, October 2003.

    Part 3:

    Neo is the Messiah of The Matrix films;
    Zion awaits the coming of a Paul & the
    rebel that accompanies an awakening-an
    exodus, or a liberation which cannot be
    productively translated into a MO, modus
    vivendi
    or a modus operandi. It was Paul
    who created a Christianity with a set of
    stable religious institutions by identifying
    a third way that was between an asceticism
    and libertinism, a praxis of realism liberally
    salted with regeneration, and undergirded by
    Christian hope. And then, of course, there was
    Peter, and that was where the Petrine doctrine
    and Catholicism begins for that institutional
    church over 2000 years ago at another dawn.

    This third way required the proponents of a
    realized eschatology to see some very real
    conditions of ongoing life in this our world
    including relationships of dependence and
    practicality. Salvation and enlightenment is
    not the end of the story, the end of the plot.

    It continues at the level of the great cosmic
    battle of God, of light and darkness. We may
    live authentically and mindfully or forget who
    we are and fall into new errors and illusions.

    Both alternatives are possible for saved persons.
    Paul wanted to show that the category of Christian
    contains the possibility of grevous error, evil and
    deceit. Blinded by gnostic underpinnings they see
    that they have attained some transcendence over
    dangerous illusion. A Paul must emerge to teach
    them a sustainable and honest perspective on their
    lives, reconciling their belief system with many a
    set of unstated assumptions in the practice of their
    daily existence &, if not Paul, perhaps, The Return.(1)

    (1) For a stimulating commentary on this film, a commentary from which I have drawn in the above prose-poem, see: Donna Bowman, “The Gnostic Illusion: Problematic Realized Eschatology in The Matrix Reloaded,” The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Volume 4, Summer 2003. The theology and the inner interpretations of the film are complex. Readers with the interest are advised to follow-up this prose-poem with their own reading if they want to delve into the questions by means of the many interpretations of this film, and what has become a series of films.

    Ron Price
    3/4/'10 to 3/3/'14.
     
  4. RonPrice

    RonPrice Mr. RonPrice

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Location:
    George Town Tasmania Australia
    THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS

    Part 1:

    By the time I came to watch some of The Matrix Revolutions in 2014, the Matrix phenomenon had already come to an end for the last five years in the print and electronic media. This film was a 2003 American science-fiction action piece, and was the third installment of The Matrix Trilogy. The film was released six months following The Matrix Reloaded. The film was written and directed by those same Wachowski Brothers, and was released simultaneously in 60 countries on 5 November 2003. By 2003 I had been retired from all FT and PT paid employment, and had taken an early retirement.

    While this film was the final in the series, the Matrix story-line continued in The Matrix Online for the millions of Matrix enthusiasts with video-game proclivities. The Matrix Online was a multiplayer online game developed by Monolith Productions. It was the official continuation of the story-line of The Matrix Trilogy. The game ran continuously until it was shut down on 31 July 2009 by Sony Online Entertainment.

    I had lost contact with all that was associated with the Matrix until this evening, as I chanced-upon a TV rerun during my visit with my son, his wife and my grand-daughter who is now 3 and who has made me a fully-fledged grandfather after some 20 years of my step-grand-fatherhood. I still had, though, an interest in sci-fi and often wrote little pieces of analysis at various sites on the world-wifde-web.

    Part 1.1:

    Sony Online Entertainment unexpectedly decided to discontinue service to the The Matrix Online game due to low subscription numbers by June 2009. You can read all about "the final event" and "the game rankings" in relation to this online game at several sites in cyberspace, if you so desire. I leave that to readers here with the interest in a film phenomenon that captured the interests of millions in the last dozen years or so.

    By 2009, when all that was Matrix had ended, I was on two old-age pensions and had reinvented myself as a writer and author, poet and publisher, online blogger and journalist, editor and researcher, reader and scholar.

    Part 2:

    The game itself became the official continuation of the universe, story and characters established in The Matrix series of fictional works. Those works included the Movie Trilogy, The Animatrix short films, the Enter The Matrix video game and a series of officially written and producedMatrix comic books. This continuation was written by the award winning comic book writer Paul Chadwick, and later collaboratively with MxO lead game designer, Ben "Rarebit" Chamberlain.

    Again, I won't give you the details of the plot and the story-line, the characters and the cast, the production and sound systems, the budget and box-office revenues, the film's reception and the many references to the film in the media. You can read all about these aspects of this final film in the series, if you have the interest.

    Part 3:

    I'll put all this to bed
    now as I head into my
    70s in the next 5 months
    as old-age creeps-up on
    me in this 21st century.

    There are so many realities:
    virtual, secondary, primary,
    metaphorical, personal, and
    to each their own as we go on
    through this climacteric of our
    history, and as we head into our
    own futures toward death, into a
    hole from which no man returns,
    to the end of our days, & in these
    time-of-the-end days, eschatology
    as they say in theological circles.(1)

    (1) Eschatology is that part of theology concerned with what are believed to be the final events of history, or the ultimate destiny of humanity. This concept is commonly referred to as the "end of the world" or "end time".

    Ron Price
    4/3/'14.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014

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