I don't care how sad it makes me, I LOVE The Matrix. Yesterday my wife was at work, so I sat down and watched the trillogy throughout and then the animatrix in one sitting. I'm still studying the commentaries, but the Matrix Canon itself is absolutely FASCINATING.
But, like all great religions, there is some corruption. Did you know there is a group of people calling 'Matrixism' a religion, but I'm not at all happy with them, it's a corruption I tell you. Take, for example, their four 'tenets':
1) Belief in the prophecy of the One.
2) Use of psychedelics (mind expansion medicine) as sacrament.
3) Seeing the relative nature of the world.
4) Acting by the rules of one of the world's religion's.
Firstly, belief in "The prophecy of the One" generally shows that they've not understood the latter two films, but we won't get into existentialism here. Secondly, the use of drugs as sacrament?! At no point in the Matrix trillogy (or the Animatrix) are the use of drugs promoted. You never see Neo taking drugs. Where do they get this from?! Thirdly, seeing the relative nature of the world = they've not understood the meaning behind the trillogy. Too often I see people talking about the Matrix and referring to the "real world" and the "Matrix"... the point is that both realities are equally false, that neither is in any way more tangible than the other, it's a nested simulated reality, a reality within a reality within a reality (ad infinatum), so what's this "relative nature of the world"? Fourthly, acting by the rules of one of the world's religions? Why? What reason is there for this? The true message behind the Matrix is that of non-existence, of this illusion of 'self', that all these people within the matrix were under an illusion and those who rejected it were able to accept a more sinister illusion, but still another illusion. Only be abandoning 'self' was neo able to come to realise the true nature of reality... so why follow these religions?
So, yeah, I love the Matrix. Do I believe that the philosophies behind the Matrix are true? I don't know, and I don't know if I can know. I have confidence, however, that this 'religion' called Matrixism is a made-up joke by people who simply want to take drugs and be 'different' within an umbrella identity. Such a shame that a profound film like the Matrix is so little understand.
(Did you ever notice how each time you see the Oracle she is at a different stage in making cookies? Did you ever notice that each time she's a stage behind? Did you notice that when she gave Neo a cookie and said "when you've finished eating it, you'll be right as rain"? Did you notice that the Oracle perceives time backwards (hence why she can remember things from the future if she can understand those memories), so when she says "when you've finished eating it" she is referring to a time before hand, to the past (from our frame of reference)... to before he took the red pill? i.e. Neo was told by the Oracle that he'd be "right as rain" in blissful ignorance? But then, did you ever notice it rain in what's called the "real world"?)
(Did you ever notice that when the Architect says those who want to be freed will be (at the end of the trillogy), this is no different to before all this... those who rejected the Matrix were allowed to exist... after all this, there was no change to the system?)
(Did you notice in the first film tank says "he's a machine" when uploading fighting techniques into Neo? Or that Thomas Anderson's boss at the software company says "you believe the rules do not apply to you, obviously you are mistaken"? Did you put the clues together when you heard the programs discussing love in the train station... that the "humans" and the "programs" are equally as "real" in the matrix? Or when Agent Smith was able to leave the confines of the Matrix via a different body, that the human body and the machines are also equally as real?)
(Did you notice that neo was able to see the Matrix as code at the end of the first film, by the end of the third film he was able to see what was called the "real world" as code too, albiet a code without the abitrary characters of the Matrix, it was a code stored in binary fractals? To make it more obvious, the code of the "real world" was yellow and the code of the Matrix was green, but at one scene, the opening scene to the third film, you see that the green Matrix code was constructed from the yellow "real world" code? One illusion built on another?)
(If you ever watched the animatrix, the ninth short film "Matriculated" actually discusses the idea of the "real world" being no more real, and even that the machines have volition, just as humans do... there is no difference, all are the same, the only reality (and the problem) is choice)
Aaaanyway, I love the Matrix. Okay, so it's not a religion BUT it is an amazing study in existentialism. I imagine most people here would have picked up on those few points I mention above (they're not THAT subtle, but there are more subtle points. I could go on and on for hours
) but the majory of people I meet simply have no idea and think the film is just another little scifi film.
<sighs> I love the Matrix... I'm going to go and study the commentaries a bit more...