“You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he’s expecting to wake up.”
“Do you believe in fate?”
“Because I don’t like the idea that I’m not in control of my life.”
“I know EXACTLY what you mean.”
This interplay between the characters Morpheus and Neo in the movie, THE MATRIX, may be deeper than it at first appears.
What is Morpheus asking about, here?
Is Morpheus talking about karma? Is he talking about the notion that what happens to us (even what choices we make) is simply the product of a long line of events that have gone before (many that we don’t know about)? Does Neo’s rejection of “fate” mirror our own?
Do we believe in fate? Do we believe we have “free will?” Does modern science support the idea of “free will?” If science tells us about how atoms interact to form this and that material, is this a description of ourselves as well? Are we more than a very complex series of chemical reactions happening in and around a leather-enclosed petri dish?
Is “life” fundamentally different than matter that is not alive? If science tells us that cause and effect determines the world of inanimate life are we, as something “alive,” exempt from this? Does our awareness of things change the rule of cause and effect in our life? Does our “free will” give us the possibility of experiencing something that is not a direct result of our and others’ actions?
The head starts to spin considering this issue and we have only just begun. Why is this issue so difficult to think clearly about?
Can we read even deeper into this dialogue between Morpheus and Neo and consider whether there is something that we don’t see, we don’t know about, that is blocking us from really knowing what’s going on?
Is there some part of our mind that is furious over the possibility that we might not be “in control” of our own life? Is there some part of our mind that refuses the very notion of fate and karma, insisting that we are more than that? That we are somehow many orders of magnitude greater than a rock, a cloud or even the sun?
The Matrix leads us to consider not only the question of fate/karma but also the deeper issue of illusion and delusion. Are we really aware of where and who we are?