Wednesday, December 21, 2022
In The Matrix, kung fu is what matters to me
The Matrix movies present many interesting themes, including red pill vs. blue pill; reality vs. illusion; and free will vs. fate. These are not the only themes present in the movies, and due to the complexity and density in terms of how they are presented in the movies, I tend to be drawn to the franchise's most distinctive theme in a science fiction film: martial art, or as Neo refers to it in The Matrix, "kung fu."
I have taken the symbolic red pill, so I consider myself to sense reality pretty well. While I acknowledge that fate does seem to influence my life, I ultimately make the choices most congruent with the vision and focus I have for my life.
I make my life's directional decisions fast and intuitively because it keeps me from going deep down a rabbit hole that would bog me down just to obtain overly specialized information. Unless absolutely necessary, it is something I avoid.
Instead, I invest most of my time doing things to empower myself or at least get one step closer to fulfilling my life's calling. For the purpose of this post, I shall coin this "practicing my figurative kung fu."
Life as a human is brutal. The human is the only animal that must grow food to eat. All other animals do not farm and they do just fine foraging food from nature. Humans require clothing, housing, and transporation, for which the the modern human significantly alters nature. Animals have clothing and transportation accompanying their natural form, and they provide housing for themselves with minimal modification to nature. Humans, to provide for such necessities if they can't do it themselves, need money, which has to be an utterly alien concept to animals. Let's not even get into technology such as computers or smartphones, which can be useful but often addict the user.
To get through this attritive human environment, I must not only make a living, but also spend much of my free time learning subjects as economics, nature, farming, open source technology, and sport, as well as studying a selection of movies, TV series, and anime to further my knowledge and wisdom. For it is my goal to eventually share what I know for the benefit of myself, my family, friends, and friendly strangers.
In other words, to keep myself from being completely swallowed by the ubiquitous matrix, without falling deep into a rabbit hole, and still have something left over to benefit a few who happen to value my method, I practice my figurative kung fu. The margin for error for time not spent empowering myself and spiritually progressing is small.
This is why the kung fu battles and training are ultimately what keep me returning to The Matrix movies. For each punch Neo throws, the technique has been internalized to be performed through his own body. Starting out, Neo may have fired a few guns, but ultimately, he needs only his body and wits to battle his way out of the control system. I love Megazone 23, the 1985 anime remarkably similar thematically to The Matrix. However, I love The Matrix more, because I would rather battle using my own body than by piloting a mecha. I love the pure kung fu of Drunken Master, but it doesn't show what it's like to scrap out of the ultimate control system.
So, in case you wish to apply my ideas in your own life, my personal method can be summarized as follows:
Aiming for personal empowerment, spiritual advancement, and hopefully benefitting a few people along the way, I...
1. Practice my figurative kung fu daily.
2. Quickly decide on the direction I want my life to take, while avoiding falling deep into rabbit holes.
3. Battle and persevere to implement my goals.
(Image credit: Screenshot from The Matrix, captured by the author)