The fighting consciousness IV
A BRIEF HISTORY OF CONSCIOUSNESS
1. In the beginning
You go to black and then you have to have a moment of Big Bang and that's the origin of everything the origin of thought the origin of consciousness, whatever it is. In that moment it's like 'from that nothing to everything' is everything.
As a reaction to the increasing materialism, the philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Shelling presented the concept of an evolutionary idealism at the beginning of the 19th Century. He believed that consciousness, not matter, was the last foundation of reality. Schelling combined idealism with the scientific understanding of evolution, thus creating an evolutionary spirituality. He did not deny that nature is subjected to an evolutionary process, but interpreted the point and purpose of this development not exclusively as a survival strategy, rather as a development of a consciousness, aware of its immaterial parts.
Schelling presented the beginning of the being as an epic process of cosmic evolution:
Before the creation of time and space, the only form in existence was a non-manifested realm of the absolute spirit.
This pure spirit becomes active and develops in a cosmic act of creation
... the one - existing in itself - divides itself ...
... it explodes ...
... and manifests itself in an evolutionary process in a multitude of more and more complex ...
... and increasingly conscious forms of existence.
"God does not remain fossilised or dead, for even stones summon and raise themselves to the spirit."
Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel
"Man and rock are of a comparable spirit, but only man can appreciate this fact consciously and between the rock and man lies evolution."
Ken Wilber can be described as the modern representative of an evolutionary spirituality. For him, evolution is the spirit in action: Since the inception of time, the spirit has developed, producing forms, structures, thoughts, consciousness and matter. This process of creation is not a isolated event, rather one that is continually occurring. The spirit is the origin of this existence. The conscious recognition of this constant process and the building up of a connection to it is the goal of evolution. In the human conscious, spirit and matter are united. We possess - in contrast to the stone - the potential and the ability to recognise ourselves as part of this process.
The Wachowskis place themselves within the tradition of idealistic philosophy (which in turn is based on an ancient concept of countless faiths) with their history of creation, which the pictures in the opening sequence of Revolutions show. The pictures which they use - expanding, exploding light and outward spiralling forms - provide it with an appropriate meaning. By creating variations, they produce connections to these meanings in other places. They create both dependencies through similar pictures as well as rejections through reversed picture sequences.
2. The alienation from the spirit
A singular consciousness that spawned an entire race of machines.
Welcome to the desert of the real.
The consciousness symbolised in the Matrix interprets the cosmos purely materialistically. The trilogy interprets this as a consciousness that has alienated itself from the spirit and chronicles this alienation in "The Second Renaissance":
Man detaches his own existence from that of the spirit
... and separates his conscious Self from the creation process that is constantly occurring.
The apocalypse begins ...
... man reduces himself to an automaton, producing stimuli from reactions ...
... and changes into such a machine ...
... which mutates into an object of his adoration ...
... he turns himself into a slave-like captive of a mechanistic cosmos.
The rejected spirit appears from its horrible
and destructive side ...
... the inside of the consciousness changes into a "desert of the real."
3. Imploding Creation
"The beginnings, the little tiny introductions to each film has a reflection of what each movie is about. We say, we sort of, in those little tiny prefaces to each film, we kind of tell the audience where we are in the journey of development. The Matrix is an exploration of consciousness, those little tiny bits and pieces at the beginning of each of the films sort of, tries to help you map it out a little bit.
In the 17th Century, the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes compared the cosmos as a whole and people in particular with clockwork. Thereby he created a defining picture for the beginning process of the mechanisation of the world view: the clock with its interlocking wheels, in which motion is carried over from one element to another and a ticking is produced - as regular as a human heartbeat - seemed a fitting image for how mankind works. Hobbes described not only the bodily functions as mechanical, but he also saw the consciousness as a consequence of moving bodies: stimulation of the individual sensory organs triggers a sensory perception, ...
... which in turn evoke "imaginings" and lead into the familiar activities of the mind. Since all movements follow mechanical laws and the consciousness is a function of movements, man has no free will. All his thoughts, decisions and feelings are determined by the influences on his conscious. Man is a link in a chain of perpetual motion, he is a prisoner of interdependently moving cogs, ...
he is clockwork!
The opening sequence from Reloaded assumes this image of clockwork in order to show which stage of development the consciousness symbolised is in. The process of creation runs backwards.
The free development of the spirit is lost. It does not expand into space
the forms created turn inwards on themselves
the spirit vanishes.
In Reloaded, the world is clockwork. In all its aspects, the cosmos is determined by the mechanical processes of matter. From the perspective of Revolutions, this is simply considered an interpretation, which buries part of perceivable reality among itself: the spirit implodes into the clockwork.
The opening sequences of Reloaded and Revolutions are conceived as negative reflections. Revolutions shows a movement from inwards out or from nothing to all encompassing. Reloaded shows a movement inwards, the spirit does not disseminate, it vanishes into nothing.
There is no corresponding introduction preceding the first Matrix film and, indeed, if also reduced to a minimum, all the symbolism is already contained within the short lighting up of the flash light
4. The future
The spirit has disappeared. In the Matrix conscious there now reigns a rational construct of reality. Some of the inhabitants of the Matrix cosmos want to maintain this state, others fight for change. Through the opening sequences of the sequels, the Wachowskis have provided various sequences of pictures with different meanings and thereby created a visual vocabulary of meaning. This is used to characterise and reveal the actors of the struggling conscious, whether they are a reflection of the creation process or are opposed to it.
The Machine City
Deus Ex Machina
5. The new creation
"What do you want Smith?"
"I want exactly what you want, I want everything."
Neo & Smith
The decision about the future of consciousness in the end comes down to the battle between Neo and Smith. Neo, the One, succeeds in leaving the self-contained cosmos of the Matrix conscious and separating black heaven,
at least overcoming it for a short while.
As Neo finally begins to understand and allows Smith to penetrate him,
... a door opens; through Neo, there exists a connection between the mind and the spirit ...
... the confrontation with the light destroys the darkness.
The end of Smith is portrayed as a recreation. The self-development of the spirit produced the different levels of existence in one creation process. Now the process repeats itself in the within the consciousness.
The mind and its material basis, the body, are united again with the spirit. The three dimensions of the human conscious are united again.
The "prophecy" of the Architect ...
The function of the One is now to return to the Source, allowing a temporary dissemination of the code you carry, reinserting the prime program.
... has come true.
In Reloaded terminology, "the source" is solely the main frame of the machines. In Revolutions, the inception and goal of evolution is the developing spirit itself.