“Unfortunately no one can be told what the Matrix is.
You have to see it for yourself.” – Morpheus
Neo would have been happy to be told about the Matrix. But Morpheus couldn’t tell him.
It’s a question of complexity. Some things are difficult to explain in words. Words sometimes fail us. They are often inadequate to express totally new ideas. Then again, we may not have the vocabulary to understand some of the words that would be needed to describe something as complex as the Matrix.
And people are at different stages, too. Some people are not ready to understand some kinds of information. If Neo had not been fully familiar with computer science he would not have been ready for some of the treatment he was about to get. If he was not familiar with some of the ideas Morpheus expressed, “a splinter in your mind”, for instance, he would not have been ready to understand the need for the choice. Morpheus told him after all, that the choice was his entirely: he could either forget the whole thing, or go down the rabbit hole. Only a person who has thought deeply about life and has asked certain unanswerable questions would be willing to explore further.
The idea of complexity also involves the question of human limitations. We don’t have the capacity to hold a string of invisible abstract ideas in our minds for very long. So to explain something as complex as the Matrix and expect Neo to understand would have been impossible.
But deeper than this are two additional thoughts.
One: for Neo to understand the Matrix he had to be disconnected from the Matrix. His mind was under the control of the Matrix,. How could he have been able to comprehend his situation if he was manipulated by the Matrix not to comprehend it?
Worse still, how could he have been able to discuss the idea of the Matrix at all, without the Matrix knowing? The minute Morpheus and Neo started talking, Neo’s thoughts registered instantly on the monitors of the Matrix. From that moment on the Matrix knew that Neo was poised on the brink of escape. So there was no time for long explanations.
That’s why we’re so concerned about The Big Picture. We want you to see the Big Picture as quickly as possible, before processes are set in motion which will thwart our attempts to help you, and thwart your attempts to escape.
That’s why you’ve got to press on. Go as far as you can, as quickly as you are able to understand it. Now that the process has begun, you’ve got to help by getting as much information as you can.