Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Philosophy of the Matrix and the True Nature of Matter

Many of the movies that have hit the big screen over the last few years share a common subject as part of their storyline. These films question reality—or the real world, as we know it—pointing out that artificially created dream worlds or worlds produced by simulations can actually be quite realistic.

Movies, sequels and TV series like The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, The Thirteenth Floor, Harsh Realm, Vanilla Sky, Total Recall, The Truman Show, Strange Days, Dark City, Open Your Eyes, The Frequency, Existenz , and The One all examine the theme of just how seriously wrong we might be about what is reality and what is imagination.

These films also deal with suggestions, thus far represented only as food for thought at scientific gatherings, of how these questions could affect our lives. In The Matrix, for instance, the following dialogue takes place:

What is real? How do you define "real"? If you're talking about your senses—what you feel, taste, smell, or see—then all you're talking about are electrical signals interpreted by your brain.

Doubtless one of the foremost reasons why these films, based on scientific explanations, captivate the attention of millions is the fact that people now question the reliability of the external world's assumptions and preconditions.

These movies' themes had been the focus of philosophical research in the past, though not until the end of the 20 th century did they receive the attention they deserved. But now, science has proven the subject this article discusses to be scientific fact, rather than a philosophical hypothesis.

This article deals with some of the concepts expressed in those films. In this way, we'll reveal once again that this article's explanations describe scientific facts, acknowledged around the globe. People's individual complaints or disapproval can't alter the reality of the true origins of matter.


Right now, the computer you believe you are touching, together with its text and illustrations in bright, vivid colors on its screen, is in reality a three-dimensional image in your brain. Similarly, the keys you feel when you touch the computer's keyboard is something you are "touching" only in your brain.

When you look at the screen, the light reflected from the screen is converted into electrical impulses by the cells of your eye's retina. These signals, carrying details of the computer's shape, color and thickness, are transmitted to your brain's visual center via the optic nerves, where they are interpreted into a concise whole. In this way, the computer's appearance is recreated inside the darkness of your brain. Therefore, statements like, "I'm seeing with my eyes," or, "This computer's in front of me" do not reflect true reality. Your eye only converts the light it receives into electrical impulses. The image of the computer you behold doesn't lie outside you, as you have always thought, but on the contrary, inside your skull. Furthermore, never can you know for certain whether the visualizations in your mind reflect the actual reality "outside," or even if there are material correlates for them.

You could be thinking that this computer lies outside you simply because you can feel the smoothness of its surface under your fingers. But this sensation of smoothness, just like the phenomenon of "seeing," is formed in your brain. When the touch-sensitive nerve cells on your fingertips are stimulated, they transmit stimuli to your brain in the form of electrical signals. Receiving these messages, your brain's touch center interprets them into such sensations as touch, pressure, softness or hardness, coldness or warmth. And you, inside your brain, come to sense the hardness of the computer, the smoothness of its surface or its keys when your hand touches them. In reality though, you never can touch the actual computer. When you think you're doing so, in reality you're only pressing its keys in your brain and—again, in your brain—feeling the hardness and smoothness of its surface

The same is true for all your other senses. In the air, the vibrating string of a guitar creates pressure waves, which then stimulate the hairlike structures in the inner ear. The vibrations thus created are converted into electrical signals, which are then transmitted to the relevant center in the brain and interpreted there—whereupon you experience the sensation of hearing the sounds of the guitar.

Likewise, your sense of smell is formed in the brain. Chemical molecules, escaping a lemon's peel stimulate receptors in the nose, are converted into electrical signals that are transmitted to the brain for interpretation.

In short, all that you can perceive—what you see, hear, taste, touch and smell—is all recreated specially for you in your brain. Therefore, when we speak of our perception of the surrounding environment, we are talking only about our inner "copies" of those same colors, shapes, sounds and smells.

We perceive the world in so perfect a way that we believe in an external reality. But that "reality" is not so very different from the dreams we experience at night, inside our heads. In dreams, we are aware of the external events, sounds and sights; even our own bodies. We think and ponder. We feel the emotions of fear and anger, pleasure and love. We speak with other people, whom we believe we are observing the same things as they are, and even discuss them with them. Even in our dreams, we are convinced that a material world exists around us. But upon awakening, suddenly we realize that everything we thought we experienced took place only in our minds.

When we wake up and say, "It was only a dream," we mean that our experiences were not physical or "real," but only the products of our minds. While awake, on the other hand, we believe that there's a one-to-one correspondence between our perception and the physical world. But in fact, the experiences in our wakeful state are lived out in our minds, just as our dreams are.

Why do you think that you are awake now? Probably because you feel this computer when you touch it with your hands. You can comment on what you see on the screen; and everything around you displays a consistent continuity. But these perceptions—the hand with which you hold this computer, the screen you're looking at, the furniture surrounding you and your location in the room— all these are only replicas observed within your brain. Were you asked, "Right now, are you awake or are you dreaming?" surely you would answer, "Of course I'm awake!"

Possibly you've asked yourself this question in your dreams, many times. Of course, the answer you gave then—"Of course I am!"—would be exactly the same as you'd give right now. But only now, when you're truly awake, do you realize that your answer then was wrong.

So could it be that you're making the same mistake now? Who can guarantee that you're not actually dreaming right now—or even that your entire life has not been a dream? How can you be at all certain of the reality of the world in which you live? No matter how realistic our perceptions, they are our minds' interpretations. Therefore, we can never be sure that the images we perceive are not created by artificial signals. In other words, we can never distinguish between reality and imagination. When we examine some movies that deal with the scientific facts revealing this "reality", we face the same truth that this certainty can never be possible.
No matter how realistic our perceptions, they are our minds' interpretations. Someone watching dolphins perform in the sea is, in reality, watching the vivid and colorful three-dimensional images in his brain.


With the examples from films and developments in science and technology, this reality deepens people's world view and exerts a positive influence on their spirituality. It demonstrates that we live without interacting with matter itself and that we live out our lives as if we were watching a film on tape. It also proves that we are the spectators as well as the actors of this film.

Matter, whether we see it or not, exists outside us, but we will never be able to reach it. For us, therefore, it exists only as an illusion. To believe that we deal with real matter external to us, despite clear facts to the contrary, is a situation comparable to a film's or computer game's virtual characters believing that they're living in the real physical world. That approach would have you believe that people and objects in your dreams have their material originals.

So, what do the facts about matter show us? First of all, they should make us reflect on the following:

Who is the one who can see in utter darkness, without requiring an iris, pupil, retina, optic nerve and enjoy electrical signals as a colorful garden?
Who is the one who can hear inside the soundproof brain, without requiring an ear, and enjoy electrical signals as a beloved melody?
Who in the brain, can feel velvet without the need for muscles, a hand, or fingers?
Who experiences the sense of touch and coolness, measure, shape, depth and distance?
Who is inside the brain, which no smell can penetrate, distinguishing between the scents of flowers and the smells of his favorite meal?

Who watches the visions forming inside of his brain, as on a TV screen, and feels happiness, sadness, excitement, pleasure, worry or curiosity about what he sees? Whose is the consciousness that interprets all that he sees or feels? Who is this being who thinks, concludes, and decides?

Obviously, the being who perceives all this and forms the consciousness, cannot be the brain, consisting only of molecules of water, fats and proteins formed by unconscious atoms. Every person of common sense and conscience will realize straightaway that the soul, inside the brain, watches everything that happens through life. Every human being possesses a soul that can see without requiring an eye, can hear without needing an ear, and can think without a brain. The world of perceptions with which the soul interacts has been created, and continues to be created, in every moment by Almighty God.