The Mystical Underpinnings of The Matrix – An Essay

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Here’s why the Matrix has strong ties to mysticism:


I remember this moment when in India, concerned with many a thing I put my hands on Memories, Dreams, Reflections by Carl Jung. The very first sentence of the book goes like this: “My life is the story of the self-realization of the unconscious.”

At that point, I already knew that it would change me, as, since the humblest beginnings of my explorations of reality, I knew that my life too will be defined by my ability to integrate my subconscious into everyday existence.

Reading Jung was an eye-opening experience. I felt that I’ve finally found a friend that understood me. To me, the mundane reality always seemed a bit overrated. The true meaning and inspiration are found inside – wherever that may be. And this brings me to the mystical path of Neo.

Many people treat the Matrix-like another sci-fi action movie, but in reality, it also represents the symbolism of the mystics. I had this realization when I watched it for the third time, lying down stoned, in a student flat somewhere high up in the neighborhood of Ziverbey, on the Asian side of Istanbul.

There was a paper mustache stuck to the monitor, and every time the face of the actor fit perfectly to create a humorous effect, all members of the party had to drink away. We also had to drink when words Neo or Matrix were uttered, so you can imagine we’ve been up to no good.

In the midst of this hazy atmosphere, I realized there is something curious about the Matrix story that I haven’t noticed before. I realized that Neo is the true searcher of the ultimate meaning of reality.

He’s Thomas the Doubter and Jesus in one person. He feels there’s something wrong with the system that surrounds us. He feels that our view of the world is far from complete, and we really don’t know what’s going on.

It could mean that governments are intrinsically evil and try to control us. In that way, we could interpret the story as a call to a great anarchistic revolt. People have to free themselves from the shackles of mind control, and propaganda before it’s too late.

But the more interesting thing is that in order to see reality, Neo has to travel to a different world. He has to look within himself, be incessant in his pursuit of truth, courageous in his actions, and then, only after he dies and is being revived, at last, he is able to truly see for the very first time.

He’s also guided by Morpheus (the name comes from the Roman god of sleep and dreams) who, during one of the best sales presentations of all time offers him a choice between the blue pill and the red pill.

Matrix seems to represent the collective longing of humanity for some kind of secret. We feel we’ve been deprived of something that was very dear to us in the days long gone.

This is the longing for magic, for exploring other dimensions, and for primordial connection to our mother – The Planet Earth. That idea of exploration of the inner worlds was always appealing to me. Just like Jung and others, I’ve found amazing things there.

Rafal Reyzer

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