“The Matrix is an exploration of consciousness.”
What is consciousness? And how can one study it?
Within our consciousness, external reality is reflected. But how clearly does this mirror image in our head reflect that reality outside? Does it distort or colour it, perhaps just a bit or beyond recognition? Do we recognise reality, do we see it as it is?
How does reality arise within our consciousness? How does our mind construct this inner mirror of the outside? What mechanisms, what internal and external influences are involved in this process? What forms of perception are taken into account, and to what extent, in the construction? How does truth arise within our head?
The construction process of consciousness leads to a stable and detailed image, an idea of the nature of reality out there, a subjective inner image, coloured in some way. But why did our mind decide on just this colouring, why not one of the other seemingly endless interpretations of the cosmos? Was a decision made at all? Does everything really begin with a decision? Do we influence the form of our own subjectivity through conscious decisions? Or is everything a product of conditioning, the construction of reality a completely biological process? What forms the subject?
If the subject has found a stable and safe form which satisfies all biological needs and ensures the survival of the genes, then what is the reason for it giving up this image of reality? Why do people exist who leave the tried and true and break off into the uncertainty of a completely new interpretation of the world? What wonderful event allows a consciousness to change its internal reflection of a constant external reality? What processes take place in this transitional phase and in the transformation? What conflicts are fought between the old and the new? And how does a consciousness resolve its inner conflicts?
“The Matrix is about the birth and evolution of consciousness.”
What then is consciousness and what evolutionary steps does it pass through in the development of its reality construct? To study these questions and to give its own subjective answer is the goal of the Matrix trilogy. It tells the story of a transforming consciousness, a consciousness in which the weighting of the conflicting forms of perception shift and thus cause a change in the internal reflection of external reality.
The films tell this story in a hidden manner, hidden beneath the surface of the film. Within the story of a conflict between man and machine is a second, hidden plot line, a subtext. How much machine is contained within man – and thus in us? This question leads to a conflict in the depths of consciousness which is eventually fought out in a battle of epic proportions ;-). This story, this subtext is told with the help of a substructure. Beyond the chronology, which details the man-machine conflict step by step, there is a further, also hidden, structure. This structural level varies patterns! In the Matrix trilogy, things are varied, contrasted, parallelised and reflected – from the microlevel of individual images to the macrolevel of complete films. This method of pattern variation connects the apparently unconnected and thus creates interpretational cross-references.The Matrix trilogy is pattern variation! The first goal of these pages is to prove this via the comparison of images, sequences, dialogs and motifs. The second is to show that the analysis and interpretation of this substructure leads to a subtext which is concerned with the questions mentioned above concerning the nature of reality and their interpretation by consciousness.
Structurally, the Matrix trilogy explores the possibilities of expression in film. Every scene is based on a combination of different patterns, is a synthesis of images, movements and events. Other scenes use the same pattern. Connections appear between them, they are parallelised. These pattern variations are only on the surface, but only the most obvious are recognisable from the moving images; they usually remain hidden. The apparently unobservable only becomes observable via placing individual images side by side and decomposing sequences into individual images.
In this part of the menu one can find – ordered by film – the corresponding parallels parallelised. Sometimes, the similarities are obvious, sometimes abstract and difficult to see even in a direct comparison. Nevertheless, parallels exist in all the pictures and they always convey contextual or conceptional cross-references.
The variation of patterns is not an end in itself, but rather follows a complex concept and can be understood as a cinematic realisation of Hegelian dialectic. The theory behind this concept of pattern variation and the contents of the resulting subtext can be found in the (still incomplete) chapter “Deep down the rabbit hole”.
One fine day when everything which should be on these pages is on these pages ;-) I will start to prepare the contents for download. Until then, only somewhat older trailers are to be found on the “Downloads” page. “Updates” informs about stages of completion.
Any kind of response? Email me!
Due to the to wide screen-shot comparisons, these pages are really not suited for a screen resolution of 1024 x 768; it works, but it is not very pretty. Whoever has a slow internet connection will curse the large number of images. I apologise for both.
These pages would never have become reality without the incredible help of:
Phillip Helbig – translation
Ute Damrath – correction
J.H. Gosign media. – web design
With regard to the contents, I thank:
The members of the forum “Stadt Zion” Nervousboy and Mayaku:
Nervousboy for his contributions to the Luhmannian form of constructivism which both with respect to the contents and with respect to the terminology used were very influential for the development of the theory.
Mayaku for a contribution in which she asked the question whether Revolutions was a repetition of Matrix and thus sent me on a long journey in search of an answer.
Georg Seesslen from whose book “Die Matrix Entschlüsselt” I stole a formulation here and there as well as the wonderful term “negative reflection”.
Ken Wilber without whose contribution to the audio commentary of the UMC these pages would never have come about.
And of course the Wachowski brothers – thanks for the puzzle!
A special thanks is due to my wife for her understanding and her tolerance. Who would like to have a husband at home who spends an eternity analysing a film project in which women in latex walk along walls?