Imagine having lived your life on a premise of a truth, then to find out that everything that you believed was wrong or a lie. This is exactly what occurs in the stories of Plato’s Cave and the Matrix. I will show why I believe that the story of Plato’s Cave and the Matrix are similar to each other on their outlook of illusion, reality, truth and religion. I will also give my thoughts on how their views are perceived in today’s world. I will give an explanation as to why I chose the Matrix trilogy to express Plato’s ideas and if the Matrix is valid or flawed in that expression.
Let’s take a look at how the story of Plato’s Cave and the Matrix views on illusion. The cave is the matrix. The people in the cave of Plato’s Cave are the people that walk through the computer of the Matrix. Why you ask, because they are living their lives as slaves, not knowing they’re bound to this illusion by force. The caves illusions by way of shadows and fire is the illusion the people living inside the matrix see instead of fire casting shadows, the computer casts their illusions directly to their brain.
Once freed, the people of the Matrix are blinded by the reality of their eyes face (since they had never used their eyes before, real light seems like a blinding brilliance). The people locked in the cave are blinded by the sun when they escape the cave. They are compelled to help the other people enslaved in the cave once their eyes are opened to the world of shadows and illusions inside the cave just as the people freed from the illusion of the Matrix did. In both, once they have escaped they realize the truth and reality of the real world.
This freeing opens the truth and reality of their existence. Looking at this history of images and their reception it becomes apparent that images have always been seen as having the power not merely to represent reality and truth but also to present them as what they represent in assuming for us the force of the real. In both Plato’s Cave and the Matrix, the attack upon images and upon the simulacrum in particular as a form to deceive as to its reality and truth and that such deception could only be evil and see the world as a place of confinement.
How does this knowledge of their reality and truth flow into their belief about religion? Religion plays a significant role in both the stories. In Plato’s Cave and in the Matrix the phrase “Know Thyself” is mentioned. Now from what I gather from that phrase, it is speaking of a greater being. Which suggest there are powers and forces beyond one self. In Plato’s Cave the ancient Greeks viewed Delphi to be a form of God and full of wisdom and where she resided to be a special sacred place. In the Matrix’s they mentioned a parallel between Neo and Christ and many times referred to Neo as the one.
Religion in several facets, were mention throughout the Matrix’s trilogy. Now that I have showed you how and why the Matrix compares to the story of Plato’s Cave, let’s view some of my personal opinions on how these two stories relates in today’s world. Occasionally, people from the real world will make an appearance around the thrown onto that same wall, creating a fascinating tapestry of shadows which derive all their experiences from what they see on the wall. The philosophy behind Plato’s Cave and the Matrix is not just relevant, but also evident.
They show us how a person brought up on a particular worldview will find it difficult to accept another contrasting outlook, thus resisting and rejecting possibility of change and self-discovery. It is unknown what we fear when we resist change. As compelling as change may be, we find reasons to justify our own existences counter to the facts that change has presented us with. We find ways to excuse discrepancies in our lives, rather than consider looking at things from a different point of view.
In our real world, we may very well be like the prisoners from Plato’s Cave and the people locked in a sleep in the Matrix, our minds chained and manacled to our own version of reality, while feasting our eyes on the shadows of enlightenment and that lie just behind us. It is a moral dilemma that faces us even mentally ill patients only to bring them the harsh realities of life? Or do we let them be in their own dreamy world much like the stories? In other words, there is a basis with which to connect to the real world, regardless of how small the worldview is.
Of course, the smaller it is, the bigger the shock when we step out of it. Nonetheless, it is how you arm yourself, and how you hold on to your perceptions, that will be crucial in your leap into the unknown. Now, with this all being said, is the Matrix application relevant to Plato’s cave? The answer is yes. Even though the stories are in different settings, the analogy are the same With all the above information that I have provided with the comparison of each of the stories I’m sure you came to the same conclusion as I did with the
Matrix being a valid application of Plato’s Cave. I chose this particular article because it is the best allegory of Plato’s Cave in today’s world and I was extremely familiar with the story of the Matrix. To end, remember this word of advice, rather than fixing our eyes on a blank wall, it is time to break the shackles in our mind and turn around momentarily blinded by the splendor of truth.
Sparknotes matrix. (n. d. ). Retrieved February 15, 2011, from http://www. sparknotes. com/film/matrix/section1. html