L. Michael Hall, Ph.D.
In the first movie, The Matrix, Thomas Anderson woke up to the Matrix that had him, took the red pill, and exited that computer-generated world. From there he began to re-enter other matrices to be trainedNeo, the “new” one and began to learn how to master the matrix. in how to master the matrix. Morpheus coached him through many programs, the jumping program, detecting Agents program, etc. In the process, he became Neo, the “new” one and began to learn how to master the matrix.
When the second movie opens, the Matrix had been reloaded—the sentient machines had upgraded their agents and sentinels to make them more powerful. From their point of view, the “matrix reloaded” meant that they had a stronger and more robust Matrix in which to live. But from the point of view of Neo, Morpheus, Trinity, Link, the hover craft captains and the entire counsel of Zion, it meant having to face a nastier and more determined dragon state. It meant facing a matrix designed to imprison them, pull down the world over their eyes, and more powerfully stop them from hacking in and freeing others.
In the sequel movie, Matrix Reloaded, the machines (or programs) and their agents view and talk of Neo as “the anomaly.” He is the one who is a deviation, an irregularity, one who doesn’t follow the conventions. He is the one who has risen above his programming and the programming of the Matrix. He is the law breaker, the one who doesn’t follow the rules, the one who doesn’t play the Matrix games as he’s suppose to. From our point of view, he is the one who was learning to mastered the Matrix and to read the structure of that experience in code.
When the upgraded Agents break into the building where Zion’s captains held a secret meeting on their strategy against the machines, the first line they utter when they encounter Neo is, “The anomaly is here.” Then together in unison they say, “He’s only human.” as if to reassure themselves that he’s no threat to them. It’s comparable to the way we discount when we say, “It’s only an animal.” Or, “It’s only a machine program.” But the anomaly kicked their butts anyway. Count that as one for the human!
Do you need your Matrix of frames of mind-emotion reloaded?
Would you like to operate from a more robust Matrix—one that gives you the kind of frames of mind that get you up in the morning with energy and vitality, that increases your effectiveness and focus?
“CONTROL” — IT’S ALL ABOUT CONTROL
In Matrix Reloaded, control continues to be a central theme. Who is in control? Who controls who? Is it man or machine? Can we take control of our lives apart from the machines? If so, how? How can we master the Matrix which is “a system of control?”
When the Zion counselor took Neo for a walk in the engineering level of Zion, he said he had no “point” to make because he’s too old to make “points,” yet he made a higher level awareness point about the subject of control. He posed a question, “What is control?” Neo said that the humans were in control because we could turn off the machines that ran the Zion, that purified the water, that provided clean air and electricity. Yet to turn them off and gain that kind of “control” would also cause the ultimate loss of control—death. Yet that kind of linear thinking about control really provides no solution.
Yet there was a solution. The rogue program called “The Oracle” had made an “intuitive” leap. She stumbled upon that solution which the Architect found so unacceptable and frustrating to his “harmony of mathematical perfection.” He said it took a lesser mind or at least one that would tolerate imperfection (read, “embrace ambiguity”) to stumble upon the solution, namely, “We need each other.” Perhaps the issue is not one of control, but cooperation—of respectful collaboration.
CHOICE — IT’S ALL ABOUT CHOICE
So the theme was not really control, as it is about choice. When Neo met the Oracle in Matrix Reloaded, she suggested he sit, so he declined. His mis-matching meta-program made that almost inevitable. But then he decided to sit. “I felt like sitting,” he said in explanation.
When she “predicted” his response, he asked, “If you already knew what I would choose, where’s the choice?” Her comment was as insightful as an enigmatic riddle, “You already made the choice, you are here to figure out why.”
Choice also explained why there are other programs like her, programs “not doing what they’re supposed to do.” Rogue programs. We find that the even the former Agent, Mr. Smith, would soon appear as a rogue program bruising for a fight with Neo. He would appear to pay back Neo for setting him free. About these rogue programs, the Oracle explained that some programs rather than choose deletion when they go wrong, they hide in the Matrix or return to the Source. Then with that, she said, “You have the sight now, Neo.” And then quickly added, “We can’t see beyond the choice we don’t understand.”
UNDERSTANDING — IT’S ALL ABOUT UNDERSTANDING THE “WHY”
With the statement, “We can’t see beyond the choice we don’t understand,” we shift to realizing that the Matrix Reloaded is about understanding. Actually, that’s how the movie opens. Neo sits in the over craft, the Nebuchadnezzar, with Trinity and says, “I wish I knew what I am supposed to do.” Ah, the meaning question, the question of significance and purpose.
Apparently, to master the matrix, we need to understand, we need to understand why. Former agent Smith, now just “Mr. Smith” explains that he saw Neo die. But then the impossible happened. He returned and destroy him. That was not possible. Yet it happened. So when Neo destroyed him, he said,
“I was compelled to stay, to disobey. It happened for a reason. Why we are here is for a reason. Purpose creates us, defines us, binds us.”
Back in Zion, when the counselors call for two of the captains to go to the rescue, one of the counselors acknowledged, “It’s hard for any man to risk his life if he doesn’t understand the reason.” That’s when one of the female captains took up to the challenge, Niboe.
So with the conversation with the Trafficker of Information who loved to curse in French greeted Neo, Morpheus, and Trinity, he asked, “Do you know why you are here?”
They replied to find the Key-Master. But he rejected that as a reason.
“That’s not a reason, that’s not a why. That’s a means to an end, an end to do what? To what end?”
He then taunted them as he threw it in their face, “You were sent, you were told to come, so you obeyed.” He taunted them with causality, with cause-effect, he said, “Choice is an illusion. Choice is an illusion created by those in power for those without power.”
If there’s only causality, then it does not matter. Then “the why” is gone. Then there is only the feeling, the feeling that makes us “completely out of control.” “Causality, we are slaves to it. To understand the why, the only real source of power, yet you come to me without power. I see no reason to give up the key-maker” and with that he dismissed them.
Later, the Key-Maker told about the special Building wherein there was “the door of light” which lead to the Source. “How do you know that?” Neo asks. “It’s my purpose. The reason I’m here. The reason we are all here.”
When they finally meet the Architect who created the Matrix, he knew that Neo had a question on his mind. He said that it was the most pertinent question, yet the one least important. Neo said, “Why am I here?” The Architect explained that the anomaly is systemic. That’s when Neo got it, “Choice —is the problem.”
So we also seek to understand. The unconscious of animals is not sufficient for us. Our self-reflexive consciousness will not allow it. We reflect on our reflections. We want to know “why.”
SYSTEMIC — IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MATRIX AS A SYSTEM
What we discover in Matrix Reloaded is that in a system of multiple interactive parts, the desire for mathematical precision is the problem, and it is impossible. Why? Because properties emerge in the system, things that cannot be controlled, that cannot be managed by rules. “The anomaly is systemic,” said the Architect. This gives rise to all kinds of rogue programs, not only Neo and Trinity, but Morpheus, the Trafficker of Information and then his wife, the Oracle, and even Mr. Smith.
This holds true for our matrices as well. We build our frames within frames within frames up from the ground level of our neurological “sense” of the world, represent it in the Movies of our mind, then build conceptual frame upon frame. So from our grounding state, we meta-state ourselves level upon level until we create a whole Matrix of frames of conceptual or semantic states. And it works systemically.
Information continually enters the system as feedback and we then feedback to ourselves at multiple “logical” or meta-levels to create our Matrix. Then we feed forward through that system information that becomes meta-emotions (meta-states), perceptions (meta-programs), language (meta-model) and the framing of our movies (“sub-modalities” or the cinematic features of our movies). This feed forward process also creates primary emotions and behaviors.
All of the most significant scenes of Matrix Reloaded of the ones that the characters enter with questions. (Well, “significant” unless you count the action scenes as significant!) That is, everywhere in this sequel, Matrix Reloaded, Neo is faced with questions—the why question about intention and purpose, the relevant and significant questions of choice and causation and destiny and identity. Questions provide the most critical variable for moving and transforming a Matrix. And in terms of our matrices, it is questions that empower us to become the Key-Master in our inner world.
If you want to enter into your own mind-body-emotion Matrix or that of another, then you will need questions for precision (the meta-model) and questions for Matrix exploration (the series of meta-questions). That’s why we put find them front and center in our Meta-Coaching and Matrix Games trainings. These are the questions that enable us to enter a Matrix, detect, and explore a Matrix. These are also the questions that empower us to re-wire, re-load, and re-organize a Matrix with new attractor frames. What question could you ask today that would begin a much desired transformation in your Matrix?
How do you trust anyone in such a system? “That’s the bad news,” said the Oracle, “there’s no way to prove it.” You just have to trust, just have to love. Love, in the end, is what creates miracles in the Matrix. It did in the first two episodes. Ready to reload your Matrix so that you have a more resourceful and robust Universe to live within? That’s what managing the levels of our mind is all about!
L. Michael Hall, Ph.D. is a modeler and international trainer, along with Dr. Bodenhamer, he co-founded Neuro-Semantics.
Hall, L. Michael. (2003, 2nd ed). The Matric model: The 7 matrices of Neuro-Semantics. Clifton, CO: Neuro-Semantic Publications.
Hall, L. Michael. (2000, 2nd ed). Meta-States: Mastering your higher states of mind. Grand Jct. CO: Neuro-Semantics.