Michael Eriksson
A Swede in Germany
Home » Humans | About me Impressum Contact Sitemap

Can you see the Matrix?

I assume that most of you have seen the movie The Matrixw. Looking back at my own development, I see the dichotomy between the “real world” and the Matrix as a very good metaphor: Most people live in an analogy of the Matrix, while being entirely unaware of it; some have nagging doubts; a minority have woken up into the real world. (Differences, at least for me, include the lack of super-powers when visiting the Matrix, that the real world is a much better place than in the movie, and that the sudden birth into the real world was replaced by a long and drawn-out process.)


The concept of knurdw, likely known to all fans of Terry Pratchett, is another interesting analogy; as is the biblical story about Adam, Eve, and the apple.

Right now, for instance, I am in the real world: In my room, in my head, on my computer, reading, thinking, writing, whatnot. (The terminology of the analogy is a little ironic, but entirely beside the point.) Here things are, at least to some approximation, what they seem; here the Matrix can be observed, but it does not pervade the world; here no-one lives the lie; ...

In many other instances, e.g. in the office, I am in the Matrix: A world very different from what it appears, where most people stumble around in a haze of ignorance, and where happiness (or at least the hope for happiness) is found by embracing illusions.

The latter is something that I cannot currently do. Consider e.g. marriage: Because I understand how love, the wish for children and marriage, etc., works, understand the arbitrariness of choice, the egoistic motivations, and the illusion that marriage often is, I have no strong urge for a marriage, I am far from certain that I currently could fall in love—and a woman on the street might just as well be a moving pattern of green to me. (At least from that particular perspective: A young woman in a slutty, red dress, e.g., may well catch my attention; although the one in the movie was not quite my type.)

Similarly, I am much more keenly aware than most others of how humans are better described as apes with delusions of grandeur than as truly intelligent and worth-while beings, how small we are in comparison to the Universe, how “reality” can be seen as just a series of layers of abstraction on the interaction of quantum phenomena (or similar, depending on the exact model used).

This brings both advantages and disadvantages—often a blessing; sometimes a curse. While I think that I am, overall, happier than most others, there are many occasions where I, like Cypher, wish that I could just go back into the Matrix, forget the real world, and live a “normal” life (and like him, I could only do so by using extremest, near indefensible, measures). The grass sometimes does seem greener on the other side.

Possibly, I will on some later stage of my development be interested in and able to partially embrace such parts of the Matrix that today are unattractive to me, perhaps with someone else who choose the red pill. If I do, however, it will be in a very different way from the blind and ignorant embrace of most others: It will be in a deliberate attempt to accommodate the human weaknesses that I necessarily have and/or as a means to reach another, more primary goal (most likely reproduction).


I would argue that many of the problems (e.g. with relationships, mental health, level of happiness) that most people have can be explained by a conflict between what the world is and what they think that it is (respectively, what they are adapted for)—even for those unaware of the true character of the Matrix, the difference between reality and appearance causes problems. This in at least three regards: Firstly, by a massive internal dissonance and conflict between the animal that a human is, and only slowly evolves away from, and the rational higher being that he is often depicted as and “should” be. Secondly, by a growing discrepancy between human skills and adaptions, still suited for the neolithic, and the requirements to handle the modern world. Thirdly, by a stream of misjudgments and disappointments when the world, society, family, whatnot, does not behave as it “should” according to the naive model that most humans use.

More: I would even go as far as to say that this problem also afflicts society as a whole—to the point were it would make sense to view it as a patient in a state of unilevel disintegrationw. The absurdity that is modern day feminism, e.g., could be seen as a symptom of this—and, indeed, feminists artificially and with disastrous results try to ignore the biological restrictions of humans.