The Holistic Experience of Watching the Matrix
The difference between thinking holistically and holistically thinking.
Everyone understands what it means to think holistically. In today's hyper-connected world, we can't help but think of both sides and work to balance out what used to be an either/or world. But only half of us truly appreciate what it means to employ holistic means as a method for understanding the balance of life.
The rest of us are stuck with cause and effect as our baseline.
In response to my recent articles and exploration of The Holistic Premise within the Dramatica theory of story, writer/producer Jil Hardin recently shared her experience of watching The Matrix with me. Astounded by the honesty and the insight into a process of thinking that, for the most part, is utterly alien to me, I asked if I could share her thoughts with everyone.
Just so you know I just watched the Matrix trilogy to analyze two weeks ago, and saw each film through an entirely new lens that made every line, act and character super metaphorical for ego and self doubt, negate thoughts and being awake or asleep to our personal truth. So dope.
She graciously answered, yes.
As a holistic thinker, when I see "stop doubting yourself", I think yeah, right… good thought, but how do I do that all the time, and what do I do when doubt creeps in, because to a holistic thinker, the possibility of having to face a self doubting moment could be triggered, even if I feel confident now or become more confident overall. So the linear statement says to me, if I doubt I'll fail, game over, and that resolves nothing for those moments when doubt comes back after I've shown that there is something to my personal truth that is greater than my limiting thoughts.
The above paragraph is everything when it comes to an understanding of the difference between Linear and Holistic thinking, and really should be read over and over again until it becomes second nature.
What Jil refers to is the original Linear-Premise of The Matrix that appeared in earlier versions of Subtext:
Give up doubting yourself, and you can defeat a corrupt system.
Wholly insufficient when it comes to describing the Holistic experience of the film.
To the Holistic thinker, there is no Solution because there never was a "Problem" in the first place—just an inequity that can be balanced out and looked after as life progresses.
Based on input from Jil and others, the Premise for The Matrix now reads:
Address doing right by others by balancing your self-doubts with your personal truth.
If none of that makes sense to you, then the following response from Jil will help you understand, and appreciate what it is like to think that way.
What follows is a fantastic eye-witness account of what it feels like to resolve inequities from a baseline of holism. For everyone who thinks they're writing about holistic thinking, this is a giant wake-up call to what it is like to think holistically.
Here is Jil's account:
Jil's Experience of Holistic Thinking
But with the 2nd premise, balancing "self doubts" with your "personal truth” shows me an alternative way. A process to help me in a world where both doubt and personal truth can exist, but I have the option to choose. Having the option or the process grounds a solution for me, makes the fact that I’m unable to stop the self doubting ALL of the time ok.
- for a Holistic thinker, the solution is found in the balance, not going one way or another for ever and ever, because who’s ideal ALL the time. Outside forces can throw you off of your firm ground.
But is the author saying balance or is he saying just flat out stop. I propose STOP for the linear thinkers as shown (Inside the Matrix, which is the outer mask), but the story continues, so I say the final word for those who need more is BALANCE, and here’s my long ass argument to support that.
The Matrix is divided into two worlds which I see as our Public Selves (the mask we wear on the outside = Inside the Matrix) and our Private Selves (what’s really going on in our thoughts= Outside the Matrix)
INSIDE The Matrix: slick front, a world of your creation without limitation (IF YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR PERSONAL TRUTH and are not plugged in and still asleep) Public Self, the mask, plugged in and asleep or unplugged and the world is expansive and you can physically demonstrate your super powers
OUTSIDE The Matrix: a dystopian world: drab, a constrained world of limitations (but only physically, the fight continues for a better personal truth, but the super powers become unseen energy forces like our real earth, you can’t fly or dodge bullets no matter how much you believe in yourself)
I also see Trinity, Morpheus, and the other crew members as aspect of selves through the mind’s eye or to get technical, the soul/higher self, the ego, the trader, etc. They represent the different aspect of self based on the stories we tell ourselves about about who we are and what we’re capable of, beliefs based on our experience. Similar to movie “Inside Out” where Sadness, Anger, Joy, etc become characters, but they’re really just the emotions of one person.
Morpheus the faithful, leader (Neo's higher self) who believes (in his soul without proof) without a doubt that Neo is The One (I.E: his personal truth).
Trinity, the skeptical passionate disbeliever (I.E: the ego who logically needs signs or physical proof in order to truly believe). Trinity keeps wavering until and even at the very end (in self doubt), until she feels the fear of loosing the love of her life (as well as her life), then shifts to a believer which translates into Neo loosing doubt, even if she still has some in the end that he will be able to save them.
The final act is a complete balancing act between Morpheus (higher self/persona truth) saying Neo can do it, and Trinity (ego/self doubt) worrying and freaking out that Neo is not powerful enough to face his attackers and win.
The bullets and Sentinels represent NEGATIVE THOUGHTS. Physical manifestations that can cause one to waiver to self doubt and away from personal truth.
FINAL ACT: TC: 1:51:49 on Neo just saves Trinity and Morpheus and they’re at a phone booth about to return to the ship.
INSIDE THE MATRIX: Morpheus: "There’s a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path."
- knowing that you have to stop doubting, and actually stop doubting to accept your personal truth when the negative throughs (bullets or centanals come for you)
Trinity: “Neo, I want to tell you something, but I’m afraid of what It could mean if I do” Trinity returns to the ship and screams Neo, “what happened?" “An agent, you have to send me back,” (Subtext-DOUBT CREEPING UP AGAIN), she thinks she has to go back and help protect him) just like a negative thought would creep into someones mind to undermine their true capabilities) “Run Neo Run) - Subtext (U can’t win- the ego)
OUTSIDE THE MATRIX: Morpheus: “He’s beginning to believe” (higher sell, personal truth)
Balancing ACT Btwn Morpheus as the higher self standing in the power of person truth vs. Trinity feeling Neo can’t win.
Trinity: sees blood, “Jesus he’s killing him” (more doubt, which translates to self doubt)
INSIDE THE MATRIX: Neo gets up, pushes that self doubt out of the way, fights back, but gets a beat down. (Self doubt creeping in as seen in his actions and Charity’s egoic, faithless reactions, super worried, she doesn’t have full proof he’s the one and can’t believe)
Train comes: also representing negative thoughts, the sound of his death coming for him. (Wavering to Doubt because he’s being held/weighed down on the tracks by these limiting beliefs in the form of an agent)
INSIDE THE MATRIX: Neo: “My name is Neo”. (Wavering out of doubt) - (here comes the power from the higher self- Neo seems to be winning inside the Matrix)
Balancing ACT Neo seems to be winning inside the Matrix, but Sentinels are coming to attack outside the Matrix, so even though he’s growing in confidence on the outside, attacks are coming on the inside to keep him down (in self doubt)
OUTSIDE THE MATRIX: Sentinels come: (more doubts coming your way)
INSIDE THE MATRIX: Neo flees, runs to the next Locatin to escape, he calls for help. He continues to run so he still doubts he can stand his ground and defeat. He calls the ship (logical brain ) for guidance.
OUTSIDE THE MATRIX: Red Alert: Sentinels (negative thoughts) attaching the ship, agents (negative people) chasing Neo.
Trinity: “oh no” (self doubt)
Morpheus: “He’s going to make it” (personal truth)
INSIDE THE MATRIX: Neo running away in doubt runs straight into a bullet. He tries to fight the bullets, and doesn’t go down immediately, but then finally the bullets (negative thoughts) take him down. He dies.
OUTSIDE THE MATRIX: Trinity sees him die.
Morpheus: “It can’t be” (oh sh*t, was I wrong? The higher self now has doubts because
Balancing ACT sometimes your higher self gets so attack you may begin to waiver in your personal truth.
Trinity was afraid to love Neo (representing not loving the self love because you haven’t shown your ego yet that you can be more/greater/better than you have been). When Neo dies, her ego (i.e. his ego fades), and she realizes her true love for him. And with that proof that he MUST be The One feels true now. Because she feels love when she thinks Neo has died, which is the proof she needed to believe that he was The One, she and he are able to move from self doubt to personal truth. Trinity as the ego puts trust in things outside of herself (like the ego would), so if the Oracle says she will love The One, and suddenly she loves Neo, then he must be The One and she can now move away from self doubt and believe.
Balancing ACT When both exist, how do you do right by others, you find the balance between the never ending doubts and your personal truth.
OUTSIDE THE MATRIX: Trinity: "Neo, I’m not afraid anymore. You can’t be dead, because I love you. (The ego (Trinity) comes around to the personal truth that was in the higher self (Morpheus) all along.)
INSIDE THE MATRIX: Trinity's kiss transmits to the energetic understanding (I no longer doubt/self-doubt) to the physical body that the lack of doubt is gone, and it brings Neo back to life outside of the matrix, balancing him back to his personal truth.
It’s the process of finding balance between his higher self and the ego that makes allows Neo to find and demonstrate his super powers.
OUTSIDE THE MATRIX: Morpheus: "He is the one!" (almost surprised with relief that he was correct) (the higher self momentarily feeling doubt in the face of the ultimate battle)
INSIDE THE MATRIX: Neo STOPS the bullets by saying “Stop” = Stop doubting yourself and you can achieve anything. Linear premise achieved. Fighting the agents, winning the battle inside the Matrix, easy, done. Inside the Matrix, enemies conquered.
But OUTSIDE THE MATRIX: on the ship the Sentinels (negative thoughts or attacks) keep coming. Despite Neo’s power inside the matrix, attacks that can threaten to kill him are still present. Neo’s consciousness is inside the Matrix, so who actually saves his physical body and Trinity? It’s Morpheus, his higher self who has blind faith in the personal truth, hits the button and saves them all. It wasn’t the inside the Matrix Neo who stood completely in his personal truth. This illustrates that the Balancing ACT continues. Problem solved on the inside (meaning the slick outer appearance), but the battle wages on outside the matrix (meaning inside your head). Trinity after proclaiming her love and her knowledge that he is the one and brining his heart beat back, all she can do is scream his name for help and pray.
Balancing ACT Morpheus who still stands in personal truth faith presses the button to kill the Centinal and save them, and it was the act of balancing back to the higher self that stands in personal truth that saves them all.
VERY LAST SCENE IS NEO’s VO: The Author’s final message Neo: “I know that you’re afraid of us (US= higher self/personal truth and ego/self-doubt, now that they have blended in him), you’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future, I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin. I going to hang up this phone and I’m going to show these people what you don’t want the to see. I’m going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, a world without boarders or boundaries, a world where anything is possible. Where we go from there (WE = higher self/personal truth and ego/self-doubt) , is a CHOICE I leave for you.”
Boom. Scene on my holistic argument.
Notice the constant back and forth. To a Linear thinker, this process is entirely exhausting. Yet, to the Holistic, this is life. Inside and out. And even reaching a temporary Balancing Act that works for the time being—
—until that delicate balance is once again disrupted.
Jil ended her letter with this:
I'm down to talk ever if it's easier than typing. Curious what you think or if I just argued a bunch of nonsense and didn't fully answer your question.
Not even close to a "bunch of nonsense."
If anything, she just made something that was nonsensical in the past apparent and utterly understandable for those of us saddled with a Linear baseline.
Thank you, Jil.