|THINKING GATEWAY (AIR)|
|The first matrix film promised much, was highly original and laid the foundation for a possible postmodern mythology, unfortunately, the subsequent two films did not deliver. It is my contention that the original project can be salvaged and the beginnings of a mythology could be developed by introducing psychology, lots of psychology. Furthermore, I believe Jung and Nietzche are the two most important theorists necessary for understanding the Matrix. The Matrix is a metaphor for the Collective Conscious or the collective ego,(The Dreamtime), the Architect is symbolic of the Ego, while zion is symbolic of the Collective Unconscious, a shadow program, Neo is symbolic of the anti hero or the Shadow. His journey is symbolic of the journey into the inner life and follows an archetypal pattern of seperation, initiation and return. Neo's journey should be seen as a symbolic awakening of the real self and should not be taken literally, he awakens to unusual powers and to mind and body warping levels of reality which are an altered state of consciousness. This is similar to the Nietzchean Superman (Overman), who I conceptualize as a wholestic person who has seen thru the illusion by crucifing/deconstructing their ego (which is an all pervasive set of protective lingusitic illusions and controls based on one of the the eight personalties which I will explain below) and awakens to their deeper Self. This happens thru a Psycho-Spiritual Crisis in which one becomes aware of the shadow (the other 7 personality types) and the archetypes (more on this in the future) and incorporates them into one's personality. Consciousness is made up of 3 aspects: 1) Attitudes or Energies (Extroversion and Introversion), 2) Perceptions (Sensations and Imaginative Intutions) and 3) Judgements (Thinking based on ideas and Feeling based on values), we develop 3 of these and leave the remaining opposite parts of ourselves undeveloped. While there are 16 personality types that can be developed from this,they can be reduced to 8 here for explanatory purposes,I urge everyone to read Jung's personality theory Now the eight personality types are:
1) The Extroverted Sensation Type: This type is preoccupied with doing and not reflecting, they are down to earth, fact oriented and practical, they only really feel comfortable in the physical world and they are characterised by a super strong relationship to their bodies. The negative side and the biggest danger for this type is becoming a slave to or overpowered by the external object (sensations) which they so highly value.
2) The Extroverted Feeling Type: This type radiates fellowship, warmth and they have a personal approach to life based on social or shared values. They can develop strong attachments to people and things but these are often transitory. Without this type fashions and fads are impossible as this type uncritically just goes along with whatever is fashionable. The negative or shadow side of this type follows from this above fact as they show a remarkable lack of ctitical awareness and evaulation, they also find it difficult to face facts that are disagreeable and show a disturbing tendency to sweep their problems under the carpet rather than deal with them. They are often gushy, emotional and moody.
3) The Extroverted Thinking Type: This type values and elevates objectified thinking to the centre of their lives and makes it their ruiling passion. They have a high capacity for organizing facts/data and they also have a well developed ability on the one hand of defining objectives and goals and on the other hand of moving systematically toward the realization of those objectives and goals. Impersonal reason is the only thing that will sway their opinion, everything in their world must conform to a formula or equation (ie: the Architect). The negative side of this type stems from the fact that no obective intellectual formula exists, ever has and never will be developed as a guide in life and the adoption of such a formula leads this type to be autocratic, bigoted and vain.
4) The Extroverted Intution Type: This type is charactirized by instablity and flightiness, they jump from one situation to another allways seeking out new possiblities and new worlds to conquer even before they have conquered the old worlds, they can't maintain interest in anything for very long. They are innovative, enthusiastic, highly imaginative and they have an enormous amount of instinctive energy. If they could only stay put and reap the fruit of their hard work instead of always seeking out new possibilities, they thus fritter away their lives by spreading an abundance around themselves which others take advantage of.
5) The Introverted Sensation Type: This types energy is inwardly directed toward inner sensations, behaviourally they are not implusive and have a remarkable ability for systematic and painstaking attention to routine and detail. This type needs further explanation as it is a difficult one to explain: what they do is remove the sensual stimulus from the external object as it comes in to them and replace it with a subjective inner sensation which is not related to the external object's reality, thus for this type it is the subject's subjective sensation and not the stimulus excited by the external object that is all important. Such a type may well make one ask: why should anything exist at all?, they themselves often see the world as banal and live essentially in a archaic reality and this is the main danger for them.
6) The Introverted Feeling Type: This type, unlike extroverted feeling types, hides rather than expresses their feelings, their feelings are very deep, they come across as silent and inaccessible, often they have a sort of mysterious charisma around them. They use personal values to judge the world and this can make life difficult for them as these values are not shared and socially oriented. They are idealists and measure their achievements against personal internal criteria which can be perfectionist based and unrealistic.
7) The Introverted Thinking Type: This type uses their internal thinking to reflect on and to analyse the world but not to control it as extroverted thinking types do. They seek understanding and meaning of their being and they can develop incredible new creative ideas. Their negative side shows up in their relationships to people were they can be distant, emotionless and value ideas rather than people, they can also be stubborn, standoffish and unapproachable, their biggest danger is losing touch with the outside world, and
8) The Introverted Intuitive Type: This type is often characterised on the one hand as a visionary, an artist or a dreamer, while on the other hand they are often seen as an eccentric or as an enigma. Their strong point is that they often trust their visions and inner images (symbols) and are thus able to develop completely new and innovative imaginary intuitions and insights regardless of popular beliefs and conventions. They have no shortage of imagination but this strength is also their weakness, unless they can ground their intuitions within the moment and within "the times" their creative insights will go to waste as they are ahead of their time and remain uncomprehended (the prophet in the wilderness). It should also be noted that they have a poor relationship to their bodies.
Another important Nietzchean theme which occurs in the matrix is the eternal return, Neo in the course of his journey finds out that he is the 6th version of a shadow chaos equation, a type of christ or antichrist. The eternal return is not to be interpreted in a deterministic way, in the eternal return one can accept necessity or "amor fati" without illusions, (the fateful aspects of life), that is you see reality as it is rather than how you want it to be, this far from being depressing actually opens up new possibilities and options, in fact it gives you a context in which you can act freely both within and without yourself, we are given a glimpse of this at the end of the first fillm: "a world were all is possible." If one lived each moment as if it were eternal one is freed from a personal egoistic life, one would then be caught up in an eternal impersonal becoming and break the time barrier, that is see thru the cycle and create a new vision, unfortunately this and other themes in the eternal return are not explored in the films.
The final Nietzchen notion I want to look at is the will to power. Nietzche concieves of the will to power as an interplay of opposing forces in an endless flux, these organize and reorganize themselves in sucessive arrays of differing power relations. Art is very important link here as it prepares us for the emergence of an aesthetic sensibility to life or aesthetics revolution which reflects humankind's highest potential, art creatively transforms ourselves and the world and gives us a glimpse of a wholistic life that could be more fully lived. The Matrix conclusion is unsatisfactory because besides its inconsistencies it does not address key mythological questions, at the end we are assured that all those who want out of the Matrix will be allowed out, the rest will presumably sleep eternally, the ego and collective ego is pampered too rather than challenged, the Matrix still has you...The films would have been more mythologically satisfying if they explored the idea that the post nuclear world is just one more control, neo by transforming the sinister aspects of the matrix and zion goes post zion (symbolically intergrating the shadow to the ego), he thus is able to leave plato's cave and enter a real sunlit world outside. There is something larger than our ego and shadow and that is the real Self or what I call the pluralistic ANTIMATRIX, which brings the superman (superwomen), the eternal return and the will to power together in a new mythology, it is an altered state of consciousness in both metaphoric VR cyberspace and in the real world. One can stop living a pointless life, a slave to one's ego or a battery hen who can be easily manipulated by fear, one can instead deconstruct one's ego and realize one's true nature and potential. Break on thru to the other side!
|THE MISSING KEY: ENTER THE ANTIMATRIX|