2012-02-27

The Matrix teaches us why the five skandhas are unreal

What does this Woman in Red Dress represent?

(http://youtu.be/rosl8W73hus)

“Have you ever stood and stared at it, marveled at it's beauty, it's genius? Billions of people just living out their lives, oblivious. ”

“What is real? How do you define real? If you're talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain. (…) It exists now only as part of a neural-interactive simulation that we call the Matrix. You've been living in a dream world, Neo.”

“Your mind makes it real. The body cannot live without the mind.”


TK. comments:
The Matrix 1999 is not only a fiction film. It happens to be an excellent Buddhist lecture. It teaches the audience what we see, hear, smell, taste und feel are not real which the Buddha Shakyamuni has taught us. All what our minds recognize are electrical signals interpreted by our brain. If we see Jeremy Lin on TV, we will not say that we have really seen him. It means also we do not really see our mother, father, brothers and sisters. Further more, we do not really touch our wife/husband by kissing. (part translated from: http://www.a202.idv.tw/Discuz/vi ... 3800&extra=page%3D2)

Before 2500 years, Buddha Shakyamuni teaches his followers to observe their body and minds (five skandhas) how unreal they are. If they can ensure this with their observations and believe in the teaching of Buddha that there is a real mind (Alayavijnana) in themselves, they can free themselves, can not be the slave of their five skandhas anymore and break the cycle of rebirth. That’s why it is important to ovserve and ensure the receiving minds are unreal. This is the most important basement of Buddhist practice.

The Tibetan Buddhism makes this controvert. The Lamas and Yogis deny the real mind (Alayavijnana) and believe that the receiving minds are real. They can not obtain the orgasm within tantric sex without the receiving minds. It shows the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism derive from Hinduism and Bön. It is in contradiction to Buddha’s teachings. It is never Buddhism.




(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKQSOCc9_5I&feature=related)


Storyline
(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0133093/)

Thomas A. Anderson is a man living two lives. By day he is an average computer programmer and by night a hacker known as Neo. Neo has always questioned his reality, but the truth is far beyond his imagination. Neo finds himself targeted by the police when he is contacted by Morpheus, a legendary computer hacker branded a terrorist by the government. Morpheus awakens Neo to the real world, a ravaged wasteland where most of humanity have been captured by a race of machines that live off of the humans' body heat and electrochemical energy and who imprison their minds within an artificial reality known as the Matrix. As a rebel against the machines, Neo must return to the Matrix and confront the agents: super-powerful computer programs devoted to snuffing out Neo and the entire human rebellion.


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
(http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:_aV8kjOq0twJ:www.philfilms.utm.edu/1/matrix.htm+Morpheus:+What+is+%22real%22%3F+How+do+you+define+%22real%22%3F&cd=4&hl=zh-TW&ct=clnk&gl=tw)

1. What’s the deal with the blue and red pills? In terms of literary composition, according to the DVD commentary, the pills are an allusion to Alice in Wonderland: eat this, drink this. In the movie the pills serve as a mechanism by which one can either remain in the illusory world of the matrix (the blue pill) or exit it to the realworld (red pill). The problem is that Neo is presented with the pills while he is still in the illusory world of the Matrix and, thus, the pills themselves are an illusion. How could taking an illusory pill yank someone out of the Matrix fantasy into reality? Morpheus offers this explanation “The pill you took is part of a trace program. It's designed to disrupt your input/output carrier signal so we can pinpoint your location.” Does this make any sense?

2. After Neo is expelled from the Matrix, Morpheus gives him the following lecture on appearance/reality:
“What is real. How do you define real? If you're talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain. This is the world that you know. The world as it was at the end of the twentieth century. It exists now only as part of a neural-interactive simulation that we call the Matrix. You've been living in a dream world, Neo. This is the world as it exists today.... Welcome to the Desert of the Real. We have only bits and pieces of information but what we know for certain is that at some point in the early twenty-first century all of mankind was united in celebration. We marveled at our own magnificence as we gave birth to AI.”
The Matrix is just one thought experiment to convey the problem that everything that we perceive might be an illusion. What are some others? Do you think there are endless possibilities for such thought experiments, or will they all fall into a few basic categories?

3. In a meeting with Agent Smith, Cypher makes the following remark while eating a steak:
“You know, I know this steak doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize? Ignorance is bliss.” Do you agree with Cypher that ignorance is bliss in the context of the Matrix?

4. During breakfast, Mouse makes the following comment about the appearance/reality regarding tastes:
“How did the machines know what Tasty Wheat tasted like. huh? Maybe they got it wrong. Maybe what I think Tasty Wheat tasted like actually tasted like oatmeal or tuna fish. That makes you wonder about a lot of things. You take chicken for example, maybe they couldn't figure out what to make chicken taste like, which is why chicken tastes like everything.”
Is there something in the human brain that would limit the kinds of tastes that we could experience or enjoy, and, if so, does this force the Matrix to model the fantasy world after some kind of reality?

5. Quite coincidentally, Neo in the simulated world of the Matrix, looks exactly like Neo in reality. If the Matrix felt like it, though, it could have made the simulated Neo look like an elephant. Are there limits to the ways in which the Matrix might have created the visual simulation of the world and its people (e.g., only two dimensional, no gravity). That is, would the Matrix have more creative freedom with visual images than with tastes as described in the previous question?

6. Agent Smith offers the following explanation of human happiness:
“Have you ever stood and stared at it, marveled at it's beauty, it's genius? Billions of people just living out their lives, oblivious. Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world. Where none suffered. Where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost. Some believed that we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that as a species, human beings define their reality through misery and suffering. The perfect world would dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from. Which is why the Matrix was redesigned to this, the peak of your civilization. I say your civilization because as soon as we started thinking for you it really became our civilization which is of course what this is all about. Evolution, Morpheus, evolution, like the dinosaur. Look out that window. You had your time. The future is our world, Morpheus. The future is our time.”
Is there some element of truth to Agent Smith’s depiction of the limits of human happiness?


Memorable quotes for The Matrix
(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0133093/quotes)

Morpheus: I imagine that right now, you're feeling a bit like Alice. Hmm? Tumbling down the rabbit hole?
Neo: You could say that.
Morpheus: I see it in your eyes. You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he is expecting to wake up. Ironically, that's not far from the truth. Do you believe in fate, Neo?
Neo: No.
Morpheus: Why not?
Neo: Because I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my life.
Morpheus: I know *exactly* what you mean. Let me tell you why you're here. You're here because you know something. What you know you can't explain, but you feel it. You've felt it your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I'm talking about?
Neo: The Matrix.
Morpheus: Do you want to know what it is?
Neo: Yes.
Morpheus: The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work... when you go to church... when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Morpheus: That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind.


Morpheus: I'm trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You're the one that has to walk through it.


Morpheus: Free your mind.
[Morpheus jumps from one building to another a long distance away]
Neo: Whoa.

Neo: Why do my eyes hurt?
Morpheus: You've never used them before.


Morpheus: Neo, sooner or later you're going to realize just as I did that there's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.


Morpheus: Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?


Cypher: All I do is what he tells me to do. If I had to choose between that and the Matrix, I'd choose the Matrix.
Trinity: The Matrix isn't real.
Cypher: I disagree, Trinity. I think that the Matrix can be more real than this world. All I do is pull a plug here, but there... you have to watch Apoc die.


Neo: I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid... you're afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin. I'm going to hang up this phone, and then I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.


Morpheus: The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.
[Neo's eyes suddenly wander towards a woman in a red dress]
Morpheus: Were you listening to me, Neo? Or were you looking at the woman in the red dress?
Neo: I was...
Morpheus: [gestures with one hand] Look again.
[the woman in the red dress is now Agent Smith, pointing a gun at Neo's head; Neo ducks]
Morpheus: Freeze it.
[Everybody and everything besides Neo and Morpheus freezes in time]
Neo: This... this isn't the Matrix?
Morpheus: No. It is another training program designed to teach you one thing: if you are not one of us, you are one of them.


Morpheus: What is the Matrix? Control. The Matrix is a computer-generated dream world built to keep us under control in order to change a human being into this.
[holds up a Duracell battery]
Neo: No, I don't believe it. It's not possible.
Morpheus: I didn't say it would be easy, Neo. I just said it would be the truth.


Morpheus: What is "real"? How do you define "real"?


Tank: Here you go, buddy; "Breakfast of Champions."
Mouse: If you close your eyes, it almost feels like you're eating runny eggs.
Apoc: Yeah, or a bowl of snot.
Mouse: Do you know what it really reminds me of? Tasty Wheat. Did you ever eat Tasty Wheat?
Switch: No, but technically, neither did you.
Mouse: That's exactly my point. Exactly. Because you have to wonder: how do the machines know what Tasty Wheat tasted like? Maybe they got it wrong. Maybe what I think Tasty Wheat tasted like actually tasted like oatmeal, or tuna fish. That makes you wonder about a lot of things. You take chicken, for example: maybe they couldn't figure out what to make chicken taste like, which is why chicken tastes like everything.
Apoc: Shut up, Mouse.


Mouse: To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human.


Cypher: You know, I know this steak doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize?
[Takes a bite of steak]
Cypher: Ignorance is bliss.


Morpheus: You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind.


Cypher: I'm tired, Trinity. Tired of this war, tired of fighting... I'm tired of the ship, being cold, eating the same goddamn goop everyday...


Morpheus: This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. 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.

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