“This is your last chance. After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.” – Morpheus
Neo has decided to choose the blue pill. What now?
He wakes up in his bed. He doesn’t remember anything. He doesn’t remember meeting Trinity, or Morpheus.
The last thing he can remember is having a terrible nightmare in which he is arrested at work by the police. Or did that really happen? The police, in his dream or in real life, have finally caught up to him. He remembers the huge file they have compiled documenting his activities. “ As you can see, we have had our eye on you for some time now, Mr. Anderson.
“It seems that you’ve been living two lives. In one life you’re Thomas A. Anderson, program writer for a respectable software company. You have a social security number, you pay your taxes and you…help your landlady carry out her garbage.
“Your other life is with the computer, where you go by the hacker alias Neo …and are guilty of virtually every computer crime we have a law for.”
He remembers his interrogator’s warning: “one of these lives has a future.”
Did this actually happen? He doesn’t remember.
He lays in his bed, sweating. What now? Go to work? Maybe it was all a dream. What if the arrest was real? Everybody at work would question him about it, especially the boss. What if his private life really were public knowledge? What if it were true, that the police were on to him?
No! It couldn’t be! He was here, lying here in bed. If the police had really nabbed him, he’d be in the slammer. So it was a dream, after all.
He was safe.
Is this true? In connection to what you know now about the Matrix, could this be true? Would Neo be safe, having taken the blue pill, with his memory erased, back in his old life?
“Believing what you want to believe?” isn’t that what Morpheus said?
Can Neo really believe what he wants to believe: that his arrest was a dream, and that there’s really no problem, and that he can just pick up his life where he left off?
Sure it’s true. We can all believe whatever we want to believe. Fact is, we all do it: we have inside ourselves a view of the world, a sort of a personal model of what we think the world is all about, and where we fit in, its called our World View. Our World View is the sum total of all we believe about the world.
But what if we believe wrong? Take Neo, for instance. This morning, he gets up, shakes himself off, and goes back into the real world¾ back to his job…both jobs, really. And he determines to keep his nose clean, to lie low for a while…just in case the dream about the police wasn’t a dream (maybe it was a premonition, a vision of what could have happened?). After a while, everything would go back to normal again.
Where is the Matrix in all this? Well, while Neo is believing what he wants to believe, what is actually happening is that his body is lying encased in a capsule in a horrendous, bottomless underground vault, being fed computer-generated virtual reality simulations.
You see, you can believe anything you want to believe, but believing doesn’t make it so.
More importantly, you can believe what someone else wants you to believe…if they can somehow pump their beliefs into you, and make you think you thought of them yourself.
In Neo’s case, the Matrix has him believing that he is a totally free man. Remember his conversation with Morpheus?
“Do you believe in fate, Neo?”
“Because I don’t like the idea that I’m not in control of my life.”
The Matrix has even allowed him to believe that he is in control of his life. After all, he believes that he has total freedom of choice.
He did pick the blue pill, after all! He chose to forget!
But could he really choose freedom? No! Because he has been made to believe that he has it. He doesn’t know he’s a prisoner. He’s a prisoner of the Matrix and the Matrix isn’t about to give him the real choice: do you want to be attached to the Matrix or do you want to be free of it?
He wants to live in ignorance.
That is Neo’s choice. What’s yours?
“I’ve made my choice, I chose the blue pill.”