The mystery of the green pill
between destiny and free will
One of my G.O.A.T. movie series – The Matrix – has marked a before & after on cinema history in a similar way that its underlying pattern has marked a before & after in human history. When I combined my attachment to the “hero’s journey” with the skeptic researcher in me, I found a pattern, a code, in Neo’s story that solves the duality: destiny <> freedom. It is elegant, clever and above all, applicable to every day life.
Much and awesome theories have been said about The Matrix, still this is a new perspective based on the old code of consciousness that is documented in the Mandukya Upanishad: one of the reference texts in self development and the documented source for the OM or AUM syllable. Yes! that same sound made while meditating, yoga, focusing, being in the zone, calling forth willpower… What I admire about The Matrix movie series is that Neo’s story is a complete application of the AUM (OM) code.
Before we dive into it, here’s the one minute theory. AUM (OM) consists of four sequential phases: wakening, dreaming, sleep & consciousness.
- Wakening: an outward-looking state, the day to day activities, what is common to everyone and the A in AUM
- Dreaming: an inward-looking state, what we recognize in the domain of the mind and the U in AUM
- Sleep: a state with no distractions, no defined focus on dreaming nor wakening and therefore the state that experiments all and the M in AUM
- Consciousness: the union of the three states working together, produced by self knowledge and the silence in AUM (OM)
That’s the summarized version of the theory, which is enough to prove its application in Neo’s journey. With this summary we’ll analyze the key scenes of each movie and each movie in itself. Aaaaaaand yes, the first movie dwells on Neo’s wakening state; the second movie taps into Neo’s dreaming state; the third movie presents Neo’s unified (sleep) phase; and in the fourth one Neo achieves Consciousness. What makes this worth the time is that it is applicable to my story, your story and anyone’s life story.
// Crossing the limit //
Thomas Anderson is a programmer by profession and hacker by self interest. He is searching for The Matrix: that which is beyond his day to day life. When exploring the limit of his automated life, he enables a connection between his skeptic self (hacker) and his unconscious self. Enters Morpheus: God of the dreaming state and Thomas’ unconscious mind.
Note that the purpose of the unconscious mind is to automate every day activity towards fulfilling a destiny believed by the unconscious mind. From Morpheus perspective, Thomas Anderson’s destiny is to be the One who frees humanity from the machines. Morpheus being super smart, as the unconscious mind usually is, goes about making a first connection with Thomas Anderson indirectly by presenting him with his unconscious mind’s desire: Trinity, who is powerful hacker that Thomas admires. Trinity represents the desire of Thomas Anderson’s unconscious mind. The thread to their connection is embedded in their names:
- Thomas Anderson — with Thomas meaning twin and Anderson meaning son of men, we infer that Thomas is the common person living the same (twin or repeat) life of his predecessors.
- Morpheus — the unconscious mind of Thomas Anderson and the owner of the dreaming state of the mind (The “U” in AUM). With Morpheus desire (dream) being that Neo (Th. A.) liberates humans from the machines.
- Trinity — meaning the number three, which is beyond two and therefore representing the desire of Neo to travel beyond the duality of the common person’s life: destiny <> freedom (Destiny as in living the same life of his predecessors).
This first Matrix movie is the story of each one’s wakening state (The “A” in AUM). The waking state is the default state in which anyone comes into being, which is defined in the present participle tense because it is a continuous state. In other words, a state always in progress, always repeating, always automated. That automation is carried on by the unconscious mind. Yes, the same mind that automates my breathing, digestion and daily habits. But, with efficient automation comes restrictive limit setting. Limits that Thomas Andersons wants to cross. By the way, this way of acting of the unconscious is not good or bad, it is the way life is. It is how you’re able to unconsciously breath while reading this post.
// Between two pills //
This most iconic scene when Morpheus presents the two pill choice to Thomas Anderson elegantly hints that there’s truly three pills, and that connects the movie with anyone’s day-to-day life.
Morpheus says “You take the blue pill… the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill… you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
With this scene being as iconic as it is and myself as skeptic as I am, I used my superpower to ask myself: Why red and blue? Why not orange and pink? Here’s my take on it. This is a story told in a visual format and visual images are produced by the combination of the three primary colors of light: Red, Green & Blue. Graham Cox explains it well in this Quora post: The reason these are considered ‘primary’ colors is that they correspond to the peak sensitivities of the color receptor cells in the retina of our eyes. This matters because it is the connection between the viewer of the story, you and me, with the story’s characters:
- Blue is the color of the pill that one takes to go back into The Matrix. It’s what happens when someone reaches a limit in their life and decides to go back, to not cross the limit. Of the three primary colors, this is the one with the shortest wavelength, meaning it has more cycles or repetitions within the same space or time. In the context of the movie, there is small space/time for change when all of it is occupied with activity. Thanks to Reddit user sportelloforgot for helping me out with this.
- Red is the color of the pill that one takes to continue in wonderland, to continue the journey beyond the limit of one’s life. The wonder or surprise for Thomas Anderson is being aware of the real world. Of the three primary colors, this is the one with the longest wavelength, meaning it achieves less activity within the same space or time. In the context of the movie, in this wavelength there is space/time for change as not all is occupied with activity.
- Green is in between both blue and red when it comes to wavelength. It is also the color of the Matrix’s code and the tone of the camera’s lense by which the story is told. In the logic of the story, green is the default pill everyone starts with. The middle primary color between two colors, two choices (destiny <> liberty).
Curious note: the RGB model is an additive model: requiring the addition of colors to produce an image. Very much like the OM-AUM code where each subsequent stage adds upon the previous one.
// Reflecting a deepest meaning //
Many things happen after Thomas Anderson meets Morpheus: the story of the real world, training in the construct, learning kung fu… All quite amazing yes, but the next scene that’s key to the Consciousness pattern is when Thomas Anderson meets the Oracle. Why key? Because it is the next part of the movie when a decision is made in relation to Thomas Anderson’s journey towards consciousness (OM-AUM).
- Oracle — who understands the deepest meaning of anyone’s words, revealing their meaning in an indirect way, much like a reflection.
When the Oracle very cleverly asks Thomas Anderson: Do you think you’re the one? She is being a reflection of his indecisiveness. Which is what a true Oracle does: read the deepest meaning in someone’s words (from the etymology of Orare = to say and -culo = little). Her strategy is confirmed later in the same conversation when the Oracle says: Sorry Kid, you’ve got the gift, but looks like you’re waiting for something.
// Betraying the AUM method //
I decided to analyze Cypher meaning in the story because some character names reveal more than what is evident in the film. Even though he had little screen time in the movie, it turns out that that the etymology of Cypher is zero! This makes Cypher very interesting because Zero is the complement/opposite of no one else than our precious One. With Zero representing the “A” in AUM and One representing the “U” in AUM.
- Cypher — means zero. That in this story is the complement/opposite to the one. Reason why Cypher has decided to go back into the Matrix while Thomas Anderson (Neo) wants to be free from the Matrix.
It is not enough to just decode the name’s etymology. We then see that Cypher betraying Morpheus is the representation of someone betraying their unconscious mind’s desire. We know from the movie’s dialogue that at one point in time Cypher was believed to be the One, and we can only assume that some time after crossing those limits (taking the red pill…) he decided to go back to the life within those limits and blaming it on Morpheus (his unconscious mind). What Cypher ignores is that he is not taking Morpheus (his unconscious) out of the picture, he is just allowing his unconscious follow the desire of the Matrix’s programming.
// Enters The Inevitable //
Cypher’s strategy was to betray Morpheus as a way to cut himself loose from Morpheus plan. That presents an opportunity for one crucial character to come in contact with Neo’s path towards consciousness = Agent Smith.
- Smith — means “to cut”. His function is to cut, and as a Matrix agent that means to cut from The Matrix all of the individuals that have taken the red pill.
The reason Smith is inevitable in this story is that when ever someone crosses a limit, a cut is made between what’s before and after that limit. To cut can have different results, depending on where the cut is made from. Every individual that has taken the red pill has made a cut between their simulated life and their real life. In Cypher’s story, while he has the option to connect with this unconscious mind’s desire, he decides to cut himself loose of his unconscious desire. To cut is not good or bad, what makes it a good or bad decision depends on the logic from where the cut is made from.
… Enters Smith, and the humans are at a disadvantage because within the Matrix agents are programmed to be more powerful than humans. Morpheus decides to do whatever it takes to keep Neo alive, so he fights Smith. He does this because in Morpheus’ dream Neo is supposed to beat the machines. Mental note: for Morpheus the duality in conflict is: humans | machines.
// “My name is Neo” //
When Thomas Anderson finds out why Smith is beating up Morpheus, he builds enough guilt on him that he decides to save Morpheus (his unconscious desire) from Smith (from being cut). At this moment in time, he still hasn’t believed he is the one. His strategy: to fight his way through it, and Trinity comes along…
… In fighting an agent on the rooftop Thomas Anderson faces a close to death moment when the agent that dodged the bullets he just shot starts shooting back. In this near-death moment, Thomas Anderson’s unconscious self takes the steering wheel for a moment and WOW, he’s dodging bullets too. He doesn’t know how he did that, hint hint: his unconscious self does.
Mental note – This is possibly the moment when Trinity starts admiring Neo: for achieving something impossible.
A few minutes later, Neo ends up facing the inevitable situation of anyone who crosses a limit: he faces Smith (to cut)… This is the limit-crossing moment that distinguishes the hero from the zero, and this is the moment when Thomas Anderson responds to Smith “My name is Neo”. Saying in other words, I’ll use the energy of my unconscious mind and win this. This acknowledgement allows Neo to consciously tap into his unconscious self and be powerful enough to give Smith a tough fight. This is the beginning of the connection between the Wakening state (A) and the Dreaming state (U). Because a cut between states also allows for a connection between states. Although this extra energy makes him extra-ordinary, Smith seems to be winning the fight.
// Do you hear me? //
After Smith shoots Neo and the machines think they’ve killed the One, something unexpected happens. Trinity, who is in the real world, tells Neo that she loves him, and asks “Do you hear me?” <– Hint, Hint. And he does hear her. From which state? From both! The reason why Neo continues is that his Waking self (real world) connects with his Dreaming self (dream world). It is the equivalent of when one makes a decision within a dream that changes the pattern of the dream.
At this moment of the story Neo has crossed a limit while using both sides of the limit. That unlocks his ability to alter the dreaming state, that is to interact with his unconscious mind. Amazing.
// Morpheus’ vision //
After stopping the bullets being shot at him by the three agents, Neo makes a decision. He decides to kinda-cut through Smith. Why cut through? Well, because Neo is a hacker himself (hack meaning to cut roughly) and that’s how he’ll act when altering the Matrix.
If this would’ve been the right move, there wouldn’t been more Matrix movies… But it’s not entirely correct. The reason why it’s not the correct move is that Neo made a rough cut (hack) to the Cut itself and in doing so he shows Smith how to hack. Remember that “to cut” itself is not bad, example: cutting loose a bad habit from one’s life.
After Neo hacks Smit, he threatens the machines “… I’m going to show them a world without you, without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries, a world where everything is possible, where we go from there is a choice I leave to you”. Neo is fulfilling Morpheus’ vision.
// A recurring dream //
In the end of the first movie, Neo unlocked his ability to connect his Waking & Dreaming states, being able now to interact with his unconscious and therefore modify some things within the Matrix. Well guess what! That connection, like any connection, works both ways, which is exactly why The Matrix Reloaded movie starts with the scene of Neo’s dream that wakes him up.
By the way, a recurring dream is a perfect first scene that connects with the movie’s title: Reloaded. Even more to it, the recurring/reloading theme is present all along some key stories: Smith, Oracle, The Merovingian, the sixth recurrence of the Matrix program.
Quick theory recap: The default mode is for both states (Waking – Dreaming) to work separately. The unconscious mind going about itself automating what needs to be automated in order for someone to live and the conscious mind exploring the new.
// Interrogating the Oracle //
This is a different Neo than when he first met the Oracle, because nowadays Neo is fighting back. In this second visit to the Oracle he starts questioning her, when it is usually the other way around. That is another proof that Neo’s being aware that he is in a dream.
On Neo’s path to consciousness, there’s three key moments of his second conversation with the Oracle:
Neo asks “Can I trust you?”
The Oracle responds “There’s no way you can really know if I’m here to really help you or not, it is up to you”.
Perfect response from someone who is an Oracle. Because as an Oracle her purpose is to listen to the deepest meaning of Neo’s words and reflect their deepest meaning indirectly. She’s not telling Neo what to do, she’s telling him where his unconscious is leading him. The second key moment is when:
The Oracle says: “You have the sight now, you are looking at the world without time…”
In other words, she’s saying that Neo is looking from the Waking state at the Dreaming state <– The world without time, where the unconscious mind can process past, present, future all the same. The third key moment is when:
Neo asks: “Are you saying I have to decide if Trinity lives or dies?”
The Oracle says: “… You’ve already made the choice, now you have to understand it”
What the Oracle is showing Neo is the desire of his unconscious mind: to go back to the automated life. Because Trinity is what’s driving Neo to move beyond limits, a way to go back would be for Trinity (his desire) to die. Very cleverly, the Oracle tell’s Neo “You have to understand it”, or in other words to understand what his unconscious mind wants, and find a solution. The Oracle even gave Neo a clue at the start of their conversation when she says “… You didn’t come here to make the choice… You came here to try to understand why you made that choice. I thought you’d have figured that out by now”. It is not that Neo is without an opportunity to make a choice, she is telling him that the Oracle will not make a choice for him, she will only help him understand why he (or better said, his unconscious mind) made that choice. Neo’s still not getting it because he’s in “fighting back mode”, interrogating the Oracle instead of interrogating his Waking & Dreaming self.
// Karma is a Smith //
What was Smith’s purpose while being an agent of The Matrix? To cut loose all the individuals who have taken the red pill. What is Smith’s purpose now that he no longer controlled by The Matrix: to cut away in-distinctively. That’s why he copies himself into other persons using a cut-like motion.
Why does Smith act in this way now? Smith mentions in this scene that there is a connection between them, which is true. But that connection is not based on complements/opposites (yin-yang). It is based on the fact that Neo and Smith have learned to hack-cut within the Matrix from when Neo hacked Smith. But each one does it from a different position: Neo hacks the Matrix to fulfill the vision of him liberating humans and Smith hacks anyone to make sure he is not taken back (plugged back) by the machines. For Smith, the duality is purpose – control, and the way he’s solving for it is by controlling (hacking) others so that other (the machines) don’t control him again.
// The Architect needs Neo //
Upon meeting the Architect, Neo finds out he has also been fulfilling the machines vision: for him to save humanity by reinserting (reloading) his code to the source.
The Architect says “Your life is the sum of the remainders of an unbalanced equation…”
The machines expected that as the number of humans that rejected the Matrix reaches more than 1% of the total population, the One will arise. The One represents the group of humans that rejected the Matrix and therefore has in him the code needed for the Matrix to evolve by reinserting the One’s code into the source code. The One would do that because he experiences everything in a general way meaning he does not unite his Waking (automation) and Dreaming (desire) minds, and acts only from his Waking state.
What changed? This sixth version of Neo united his Waking and Dreaming states when he heard Trinity while within the Matrix. That made his experience a particular one. That was not supposed to happen according to the machines programming.
There are two curious clues during the conversation. It is interesting to see that the discussion with the architect is not presented via a green lense, probably because that discussion took place outside the Matrix code. Also, it is interesting to notice that the screens in the walls of the room present the alternate responses that Neo can take, very much like how a quantum computer would analyze the situation. In the beginning of the conversation, the screens show different versions of Neo, while towards the end of the conversation, the screens show an aligned version.
// Trinity in “U” of AUM //
On one side, the Architect wants Neo to reinsert himself into the Matrix in order to save humanity. On the other side, Neo’s desire to save Trinity from dying… Because in this story Neo experiences his journey in a particular way, he choses to save Trinity.
In saving Trinity within the Matrix by removing the bullets from her body, Neo returns the favor: he shows Trinity how she can connect her Waking state with her Dreaming state. He does this by speaking to her from within the Matrix and she listens! This is the moment when Trinity connects her Waking and Dreaming states, when she crosses the limit of her automated life.
// Living the dream //
The movie was already at an all time high when Neo saved Trinity. But we all were surprised with something more: Neo controlled the machines in the real world. He says “Something’s different, I can feel them”, and then destroys the sentinels that were about to attack him, using the same stance as he used when he stopped the bullets from the agents at the end of the first movie.
What’s different? Neo is now living the dream, experimenting both states (Waking & Dreaming) without distractions. Being the One not only within the Matrix but everywhere. He’s accessed the Sleep state of the mind.
// Going away from Mindfulness //
When Neo meets Sati in the train station it is interesting to see that he is horizontal and Sati is vertical, representing two lines going in different directions. This is intriguing because Sati means mindfulness and also means consciousness. Right! That fourth stage in the OM-AUM method. Turns out our hero Neo has been moving forward yes but going in the wrong direction of Consciousness, and he’ll later understand why in the fight with Smith.
// The Oracle, Round 3 //
This is the 3rd time Neo visits the Oracle. In his first visit Neo was indecisive. In his second one he was demanding. In this visit he is inquisitive, Neo is making better questions.
What we learn from the Oracle’s words is that the power of the One extends from the Matrix to the Source (Machine world), but that Neo isn’t ready to connect to the Source, which is other pole of this duality. Why isn’t Neo ready? Because he’s been fighting that pole. How can you use the power of something you are against? This is why Neo is going in the wrong direction from Sati (mindfulness). This is what happens when you only use one side of any situation, in Neo’s story so far, the duality between humans – machines.
// Second warning //
Moving forward a few scenes, we see Neo fight Bane (Smith) on the Logos ship and loose his sight. Neo’s created this karma when he “hacked” Smith in the first movie. In this scene, Smith who has gone rogue now cuts back, specifically Neo’s sight. The symbolism of this makes sense if we consider that this movie is about the Sleep state of AUM, where the mind doesn’t differentiate, where all is experienced at the same time. That is why Neo starts seeing that everything is light. Using that logic it then it applies that if in the Matrix one doesn’t need one’s eyes (thus why the sunglasses), then in reality one could go about without eyes too.
Even with Neo winning this fight, this is the second signal Neo gets that fighting Smith is not the solution… In case you need to remember, the first one is when he fights Smith’s clones.
// Bye bye Trinity (desire) //
This is not an easy scene to talk about. I mean: Why did Trinity die? So I’ll go straight to the point. In the path from Waking to Consciousness Trinity still believes that someone other than herself will save her from the duality of destiny <> freedom. This is why she doubts that they will make it when they are flying over the barricade of machine sentinels, and that doubt is why the division inside her connected with a division outside of her.
// 1 & 0 //
If you haven’t lost track about this story’s purpose to solve the duality between destiny <> freedom, then this scene is where Neo’s solution begins… When the two poles of the duality meet: the One and the Machines, destiny and free will. By the way, notice that the machines are represented by a big levitating zero “0”. It can’t be clearer than that! The 1 and the 0 meet.
The conversation is brief and profound. It changes from confrontation when the Machines say “We don’t need you, we need nothing”, to collaboration when the Machines ask “What do you want?” and Neo responds “Peace”. The union of the 1 & the 0, of the needs and the wants, of destiny & freedom.
// The value of the Cut //
Aside from the incredible fight scene between Neo and Smith, the dialogue throughout it reveals where the true battle occurs.
- “The purpose of all life is to end…”
- “… You can’t win, it is impossible for you to keep fighting…”
- “This is my world, my world!”
- “What are you afraid of?”
- “You are right Smith, you were always right, it was inevitable”
// A reset re-volution //
In the following scene it seems like the Matrix has been “reset”, but if that were true, everything would be the same, which is what a reset is… Instead, two signs show there are differences. One is that the Architect mentions that there is peace. The second one is that the sky (that Sati made) has the three additive colors – Red, Green, Blue – working together. All states working together: Waking, Dreaming, Sleep. Total congruence with the movie’s name “Revolution”, meaning a turn, a change moving forward.
While this is the start of the solution towards Consciousness, Neo’s path is not yet complete.
// Not the real world //
In this movie we are in Neo’s journey through the Consciousness state: the union of all states working together, and the result of self-knowledge. Noteworthy to say that the etymology of consciousness comes from: con (with) + scindere (to cut, divide). Which is why from the beginning of the movie we notice that there is no green-lense on the camera and that whenever there are hints of any of the additive colors, these are shown in specific places, like with Bug’s hair or the Analyst’s glasses.
Also, we meet a new character: Bugs. She introduces herself as Bugs Bunny and as the “Tech that listens”. It is quite relevant that she mentioned “… tech that listens” because if there’s one pattern across all movies and therefore across all states of the AUM/OM code is: to listen. Neo listened to Trinity to free himself from the waking state while within the Matrix; Neo listened to the Architect and chose to save Trinity; Neo listened to the Oracle within Smith to save the Matrix and reach the Consciousness state; Trinity listened to Neo to connect with her Dreaming state. The reason listening has been so useful is that it can connect both worlds: the real world and the Matrix world. It was listening that probably led Bugs to find the modal code, which led her to Morpheus who knows where Neo is.
// Still trapped? Again? //
By the way, if you were asking why is Neo trapped in a simulation again… You gotta listen to his conversation with Tiffany (Trinity) when she asks “How do you know if you want something yourself or if your your upbringing programmed you to want it” to what Neo responds “I pay my analyst a lot of money to answer those questions for me”. Trinity’s question perfectly aimed at the underlying theme of the Matrix, which is a story about Consciousness, or the working together of the three previous states: Waking (upbringing), Dreaming (wanting), Sleep (indifference). The challenge Neo still has is not that he has an analyst, it is that he doesn’t come up with an answer himself.
This explains why he rejected Morpheus. While Neo still has a question hidden deep within him, which has allowed him to journey beyond normal limits, he hasn’t produced his own answer. It is this lack of a self-response from Neo why every time he experiments a conflict, the next scene has him at his analyst’s office.
// No more fighting //
Neo’s unresolved tension between his question (What is the Matrix) & coming up with his own answer is also why Neo’s vitals don’t look good when he is being woken up in the Mnemosyne ship (the real world). He’s not only rejecting Morpheus, but also anything that’s not the Matrix… He is then plugged to the construct (simulator) program where Morpheus fights him to let loose that tension. It is in this scene when the first signal that Neo is “getting it” comes up.
Neo says “I’m done fighting”, Morpheus responds “Are you?”
Morpheus then digs deeper by saying “You gotta fight for your goddam life if you want to see her (Trinity) again”, and in that moment is when Neo’s super power boom comes forth. The power of all three previous states working together, thus the white light (RGB combined) blast we see Neo produce.
What is the signal? That Neo is fighting for his desire: Trinity, and not just for Morpheus’ desire.
// Not all is the same //
From Z-io-n to IO the most structural difference on the way of life is that some humans and some machines have decided to coexist. No one had proven this to be true, until Neo convinced himself and then the machines to work together. Neo’s achievement so far has been to unite the I (human) and the O (machine) in him, or in other words the Waking and Dreaming states in him. And he united both states from a third position = the Sleep state.
Neo proved that not all humans are against machines and that not all machines are against humans. Because of this, not everything is the same. Also, not everyone has reached their own consciousness state.
// Tiffany’s dream //
Remember when Neo had his dream-vision in the Matrix Reloaded? In that movie Neo accessed his dreaming state, and that is what Tiffany (Trinity) is experiencing when she dreams about her and Neo being surrounded. She is accessing her dreaming state.
And here is where you ask: But when did Trinity cross over the Waking state? For Neo this happened when he heard Trinity talking to him from the real world while he was plugged into the Matrix. For Trinity, this happened when she was revived by Neo from within the Matrix. Her dream is her unconscious mind talking back.
// The Analyst //
If Smith represents the challenge of crossing between states (Waking, Dreaming, Sleep, Consciousness), the Analyst represents the challenge one faces when integrating the three states. Integration is the way Consciousness is achieved. When the Analyst reveals himself to Neo he confesses that he saw an opportunity when Neo died because he saw him as “the anomaly of anomalies”. It is so revealing that the Analyst used those words because that is exactly what the analysis function does: dissolves/divides until finding the indivisible elements. In analyzing the “universe of humans” the Analyst found that the pair Neo-Trinity is different than the other humans. With that same mindset (of dividing/dissolving) the Analyst discovers that by “keeping Neo & Trinity close but separated” he was able to produce more energy.
Note to self: dividing & dissolving is not wrong by itself, what is wrong with the Analyst is his purpose: to use Neo-Trinity against their own will.
Even though there is significant power in crossing the limits/states of: Waking, Dreaming & Sleep, the ultimate goal is the synthesis of these stages into Consciousness. The Analyst can’t see this because he is blinded by his own automatism: to divide/dissolve. Thats why he makes a concluding statement that “hope and despair are nearly identical in code”. He doesn’t research beyond the division/dissolution of each emotion to explore the possibilities of their synergy.
// Recognizing Sati //
This is the second time Neo meets Sati (Mindfulness/Consciousness). Sati confesses she has kept an eye on Neo and also decided to not share the existence of the Anomaleum to Niobe. Why so? Well, we are in the movie that deals with the Consciousness state and we can assume that from Sati’s perspective Neo and Niobe have not reached their individual Consciousness state (integrate all states). As a matter of fact, Sati cleverly puts Neo to the test when she tells Neo “… Face returning to your pod or face Trinity’s death all over again: What will you chose?” She is cleverly really asking Neo: will you go back to the Waking state only (pod) or will you go back to the Dreaming state only (Trinity’s death). In either scenario Neo doesn’t achieve his desire to be with Trinity. It is in this scene where Neo proves he has achieved Consciousness, when he says “I’ll go back” – or in other words “I’ll go back for Trinity” which integrates all states but from his own desire to be with Trinity instead of someone else desire like “fighting the machines”.
What has changed? Neo has made an individual choice from his own desire, that also considers what some humans and machines want: peace, and a choice that also considers the Analysts strategy. Neo is not deleting the Waking state (there is a Matrix), he is also not eliminating his Dreaming state (be with Trinity), and he recognizes the common ground between humans & machines. Neo has reached the Consciousness state! Now he’ll have to constantly prove in every decision that he is Consciousness.
Mental note: it brilliant that in this scene there is a well between Neo, Naiobe & Sati, because the etymology of well is: to turn, to r-evolve.
// Recognizing Neo //
This is a superb ending to the story because Trinity also reaches Consciousness! In a different process than Neo, which is beautiful because Consciousness it reached at the individual level and the movie went to the lengths of realizing that.
We know that Trinity has reached the Dreaming state, meaning she has identified both poles: the real world & simulation (Matrix). She still has to achieve the Sleep state to experiment all states without distractions. For Neo this was achieved when he worked together with the machines, experimenting the two sides that were in conflict within him: machine – human.
Trinity faces the music when Neo tells her in the Simulatte coffee shop: “It is not a game”. Her thinking was something like “Ok, there’s my day to day life and then there is this game that seems familiar, but each one is a different reality”, to which Neo says “It is the same reality”. Interestingly, when Trinity sends a signal that she might not be who Neo thinks she is, the Analyst throws a low punch by bringing her simulation-family into the scene to pull her out of the coffee shop, and interestingly it is that action which allowed Trinity to reach/cross a limit when she says “I wish you’d fucking stop calling me that… my name is Trinity… Neo!”, and in this moment the movie shows us the outside world Trinity clenching her fist. She recognized Neo from both worlds, without differentiating one world from the other. She’s in the Sleep state! One more step to go.
… Trinity and Neo reach the rooftop. Trinity says “I remember this I remember us… My dream ended here, we can’t go back”. They jump and Trinity unlocks her ability to fly! What changed? Trinity made an individual choice which integrated all states in her. She recognizes there is a Matrix where she wants to reshape some things (not everything). She embraces her Dreaming state desire to fall in love with Neo. And she recognizes that she, as well as anyone, can achieve the result of both states in her own terms (not the Analyst’s). This is so true that when they both visit the Analyst, she doesn’t eliminate him, demonstrating that she does not consider herself above anyones own terms and doesn’t accept anyone acting in that way, and all of this because she has found her own response.
Trinity and Neo each reached Consciousness, and as for anyone, they are to maintain that integration in every moment of their lives. It’s not a badge one gets once and for all, but one that is achieved in every moment.