Friday, August 28, 2009

The Matrix and Jedi

There is no spoon.

Early in the movie The Matrix, the character Neo meets with a number of "potentials" in the sitting room of an apartment of a being known as 'The Oracle'. I'm not going to go too far into that film, so no worries if you have not seen The Matrix, but I recommend the movie because it helps illustrate something of how the Jedi mindset works. There is something of the Zen in both cultures, even if the movie is fictional and the origin of Jedi as well. That is, a valid source is valid regardless of its cause and development. Also, just as in The Matrix the character Neo discovers that his world is illusory and his potential exceeds far beyond the apparent boundaries imposed by his perception, so too do the Jedi discover abilities which transcend beyond their own apparent limits. While some people may regard this observation as a naïve claim to supernatural abilities, in reality this discovery reminds the Jedi to doubt his senses, trust intution and find his core essence. When attained, this ability not only improve physical limits to some degree, but also perception, critical thinking and meditation.

In The Matrix, Neo meets a young boy who appears to be bending and unbending a spoon with his mind. The boy explains that this can only be done when you realize that there is no spoon. Later, Neo ralizes that because the Matrix is a world that does not exist in reality but is merely virtual, he can manipulate the Matrix to change the world as he sees fit, provided he focuses on the underlying reality instead of superficial perceptions. That is a valid lesson for the Jedi as well, as expressed in Yoda’s maxim “Do … or do not. There is no ‘try’.”

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