Matrix - A Cyberpunk Parable?
B. THE PARABLE
TRANSFORMATION: Conversion, Conception, and Construction
|M = The Matrix Story
|S = Spiritual Parallels
|M. Neo peers into a fractured mirror. He appears to be
without a face. As he adjusts, he sees his face, and the fractures in the mirror heal. As
Morpheus speaks to him, Neo touches the liquid mirror, which coats his entire body,
finally pouring down his throat to fill him from within as well. During this process,
Trinity says Neo is going into 'replication' and 'arrest'.
|S. The symbolically rich mirror sequence may be
allegorized at least 4 ways!
1) Neo sees himself
'whole' for the first time, and then enters the real world through interacting with
the mirror. Salvation is not only spiritually seeing; it is also a becoming, as God
spiritually brings forth a new creation with a fresh spirit, heart, and mind. "Unless
one is born again, he cannot see
" and he also "cannot enter
the kingdom of God." (John 3:3,5). (Note: Although Neo has yet to be 'born' into
truth through his awakening in the womb-like Matrix pod and 'delivery' down the watery
tube, remember that in Christianity various effects of salvation are immediate. So, we may
consider Neo 'born again' the instant he took the red pill.)
Neo 'goes into arrest'
during this process, implying death by heart attack. Salvation is a death of the old self,
then a birth of the new. When a sinner trusts Christ for salvation, God considers him
'crucified [arrest] with Christ, buried with Christ, and risen/reborn anew with Christ
(Romans 6:4-8, Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 2:5-6, John 3:3-8, 16.). The infilling of the
mirror represents the internal aspects of that transformation.
2) Here is another
interesting way to view the mirror sequence:
"But we all, with
unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into
the same image
" (2 Corinthians 3:18). As a result of taking the red pill (blood
of Christ), Neo's face is 'unveiled' (a term for entering into a new covenant relationship
of Christ's grace) as he adjusts his position in the mirror. The fractures heal, and Neo
is made whole.
Continuing to look in the
mirror, he sees someone else in it
Morpheus. Morpheus (who can play the role of God
here) is not an illusionary Matrix persona; he is a real being who lives in the true world
outside the Matrix. As Neo 'beholds that image' of Morpheus, the mirror envelops him and
transforms / translates him into that 'same image' another real being who functions
in the Truth, just like Morpheus. Trinity says it is going into "replication",
meaning to 'reproduce something'. This wordplay echoes the idea of 'being made into the
same image' as Morpheus 'reproduced' into a like being existing in the truth.
As a nice touch, Morpheus
no longer wears mirrored glasses when he tells Neo, "welcome to the real world",
indicating that they are now united in the truth. Neo will also continue to become 'like'
Morpheus as he focuses on Morpheus training him into further truth and maturity.
3) Others may wish to
parallel the popular verse "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to
" (I Corinthians 13:12) to this event, or especially to when Neo sees
Morpheus without mirrored sunglasses for the first time in the
Nebuchadnezzar. (But to be
accurate, this verse applies to when a Christian finishes his stay on earth and eternally
sees God face to face.)
4) Some may wish to view
the mirror as the Word of God, based on James 1:23-25.
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|M. Neo wakes up alive in the real world.
|S. A Christian is no longer 'asleep' or 'dead'
|"we are not of night nor of darkness, so let us
not sleep as others do
" (1 Thessalonians 5:4-5)
|"you were formerly dead in your trespasses and
sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world
|M. Neo finds that he is connected to the Matrix by
cables in his mouth and body, and worst of all, directly into his brain. He had been
completely dependent on the Matrix, both physically and mentally. In addition, the Matrix
drains life from Neo as well (as explained later in the sequence detailing how machines
use humans for bioelectricity). The Matrix had controlled Neo, but now he is free and
|S. A new Christian discovers that he had formerly been
fully dependent on the fallen world system to live, both body and mind. The 'life' the
fallen world deceitfully offers is actually spiritual death (like the cables draining
power from Neo). Through Christ, a man is set free from his life-draining dependency on
the fallen world.
in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."
|"you have died with Christ to the elementary
principles of the world
" (Colossians 2:20)
|"the life that I now live in the flesh, I live
by faith in the Son of God
" (Galatians 2:20)
|M. Neo discovers that this is the real world, and that
the Matrix was a temporary illusion generated by the enemy.
|S. The Christian, having entered into eternal truth
through Christ, now sees the fallen world system as God sees it.
the form of this world is passing
" (I Corinthians 7:31)
for our citizenship is in
" (Philippians. 3:20) Christians are now "aliens" to this
fallen world (1 Peter 2:1)
|M. Neo looks around him. To his horror, nearly all of
humanity is either comatose - or dead - in the terrifying Matrix prison pod towers.
|S. A Christian learns that very few others have come to
Truth in Christ. The vast majority of mankind is deceived, asleep, enslaved, and headed
for eternal damnation.
the way is narrow that leads to life,
and there are few who find it
" ( Matthew 7:14)
|M. Neo finds that he is a new, different creature. He
is free but he is also hairless, weak, and pale. He has holes scars from
where the Matrix cables had gripped him.
|S. A Christian is also a new ("Neo" =
"New") creature. "If anyone be in Christ, he is a new creature; the old is
gone, the new is come" (2 Corinthians 5:17). However, unlike Neo in the film, the new
creation of God is a lovely thing, purified from sin and given a new nature that loves God
and wants to do right. Yet the new Christian is also a spiritual baby (hairless, atrophied
muscle); he is weak and needs God's help to mature in a vicious world. And like Neo's
scars, a Christian's earthly mind has been 'scarred' by the patterns and habits of the
fallen world in which he lived, and his old fallen body also remains. A Christian finds he
is new spiritually, but still lives in a fallen physical body (that will one day be
exchanged for a perfect body to match the new spirit within.) God puts his own Spirit in
the new Christian, to help that Christian overcome the deadly appetites of the fallen body
and the twisted patterns of the former mind. "If Christ is in you, though the body is
dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness." (Romans
8:10). Some Christians yield to God and mature quickly. Others grow weary or distracted
(like Mouse with the lady in red) and sin. The maturing process takes time as the
Christian learns to walk in the Truth of who he now is in God and this process is
the focus of the remainder of the film! As the quote goes, "Christianity is learning
to BE who you already are in Christ."
|M. In a bizarre simulation of birth, Neo is in a
'womb', complete with 'umbilical cords' that feed him. Neo's hairless body, covered in
fluids and weak like a baby, is then 'delivered' down a watery 'birth canal'.
|S. Neo is literally born again. Neo was old in the
Matrix, but like a baby in the real world. The Bible says that humanity is born
physically, but is spiritually dead. When a person trusts Christ for salvation, God gives
him a living spirit he is spiritually born. This is what it means to be 'born
again'. The first birth is physical, the second birth is spiritual (John 3:3-8). A
physically mature person (like Thomas in the Matrix world) still needs to be born
spiritually! And when this is done, he is a spiritual infant - clean, but weak in faith
and knowledge. He now needs to mature spiritually, not just physically.
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