I’m not sure if the Wachowski brothers intended the religious and spiritual overtones of the Matrix movies, but they are there. I haven’t decided how I feel about Reloaded and Revolutions, but the Matrix is good either way. I wonder if as pastors/Christians should we impose these messages onto the media if it wasn’t originally intended. Does it demonstrate proper textual criticism to add intents that were not the intents of the artists? I don’t know. What I do know is that Paul took images, ideas and practices that were common to the people he ministered and used them to further the message of the Gospel. I will take Paul’s lead and if I’m out of line in my conclusions, at least I can be so in good company. I had breakfast with Eric Brown this weekend we confessed to each other a struggle that have: preferring the reality we create in our minds over ‘real’ reality. It is easier to live in the reality of our minds and not take the effort to live in the real world. As I thought on this idea, the more I began to realize how this concept has had somewhat of a crippling affect on me as I battle for my own mental/emotional stability. There is certainly a neuro-physio-chemical components that make it difficult… but I think there is also a spiritual and mindset component as well. What is my mind dwelling on? What am I thinking about? Do I dwell on the debilitating effects of mental/emotional instability on me and my family? Or do I focus on the good aspects of my life, looking and the joys I have in my life? Am I focused on God or things of the world? I want to quote from the Matrix:
Do you want to know what it is, Neo?
(Neo swallows and nods his head.)
It’s that feeling you have had all your life. That feeling that something was wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad, driving you to me. But what is it?
(The LEATHER CREAKS as he leans back.)
The Matrix is everywhere, it’s all around us, here even in this room. You can see it out your window, or on your television. You feel it when you go to work, or go to church or pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
That you are a slave, Neo. That you, like everyone else, was born into bondage… kept inside a prison that you cannot smell, taste, or touch. A prison for your mind.
I think too often we allow Satan to trap us in a prison for our minds, that we create for him… he just uses the prison we build. Jeremiah 17:10 says that God tests our minds, while Paul reminds us that in Romans 8:7 if our minds are focused on the things of the flesh we are opposed to God and therefore unable please him. Paul also comments in Philippians 2:5 to have the attitude, or mind, of Christ. The mind of Christ is humility and focused on God. Often times, it is easy for us to be focused on the external things of the world and focus on the things in our mind. This is not where our minds will be most effective, or allow us to live the most free life. Living in our own minds, living in the reality that we create within our minds causes us to live in prisons of our own making. We allow ourselves to be taken prisoner in the war of good versus evil. When we become prisoners of war, we are no longer able to fight in the battle.
I, for one, am tired of being a prisoner in my mind. I’m ready to get back into the battle. Where are you?