Monday, April 7, 2008

"Remember, there is no spoon..."

Last night, I was watching Matrix for the 5th or 6th time.

It’s one of my favorite movies of all time, along with "the Godfather" (parts I and III), "Before the sunrise / Before the sunset" and a couple of more weird choices to be all in the same category of "my-favorite-movies". But they are all parts of what makes me, me.
I guess if they have only one thing in common, it’s that I can watch them again and again, and not get tired at all. Still, each time, I see something new in them, which keeps me excited.

On "the Matrix", I don’t want to talk about the scary idea of "Machine vs Humans" or the philosophical idea of "What is real, what is not", or the power of mind, or the great dialogues, acting, the special effects, etc. Although each and every time I watch this movie (and not the sequels) these all fascinate me. There was something else last night that made me busy thinking, for quite some time.

When Morpheus first introduces the simulation of the Matrix to Neo (to train him), he refers to the "Residual self-image", which in definition is the figure that one thinks of his/herself as projecting a certain appearance. Now, let’s forget about the future, the machines, the simulation, the matrix… Isn’t it something that we all learn to build for ourselves since we are kids?

First, the family; later on, the friends; then the teachers at school; the society; our friends at work, our spouses, our bosses, our colleagues: all and all, the concept of being accepted. The social relations and rules make us to build a figure for ourselves, in which sometimes there is very little shown from our "real" self, and what appears on the shell, is what makes us more appealling, and more desirable, and more acceptable. Unconsiously, we build a statue from ourselves, which is ususally in the same boat as the society we are living in, partially for our fear of being left alone, partially to be obedient to the society rules, and partially because this is what we’ve learnt since we were little.
Sometimes it gets to the stage that even we cannot remember our true self, which is buried under tons of this residual-social-self-image. Even if there is the slightest signs of it every now and then, we either ignore them, or quench it… "Quite! It’s not a good time for you to show up.", and hence our poor true self, stays hidden, and sometimes forgotten.

It needs a lot of courage and braveness for one to know his/her true self, and show it without the fear of not being accepted, being alone and/or rejected. Never the less, if one is brave enough to live with the real true self of their own, then the people who will be attracted to them, will be for real, and the relationships will be true, strong and precious too.

I guess I will have more on this great movie later, After all, it’s one of my "movies for all seasons"…


Tameshk said...

Nava Joonam
Although Matrix is not one of my all season films, I totally am with you on the fact that there are some films, books, music pieces that may not be artistically praised but they are part of our character and they made us who we are today.

The importance of self-recognition is of course undeniable, but what I think sometimes we forget is that one's character, whether he/she wants it or not, is affected by the images that others (Family, Friends, Coworkers) have of that person; And so no matter what we think of our real-self or how hard we try to show our true-self, most of the time the image that others have of us or the character that they associate with us is not the same as our understanding of ourselves! Our character is very much like a creative piece of art or literature; the moment the creator, artist or author releases his/her piece to the audience/reader they can (and should I believe) interpret it in their own ways. Oh I already talked too much.

Anonymous said...

Roohe Ashena,
The image of self and where self starts /or being created...and where self does not exist....
To be honest with you I am always in a tog of war battling with the concept of "delusion / reality" and how all of this "image of our world" and hence ourselves is just a delusion....

I am sure you are very familiar with TED....
Watch this one from the TED series:


Hiva said...

Hi Nava,
Matrix is one my husband movie too. and I myself looooooove God Father specialy I and II. I agree with you it is brave to be yourself all the time and get rid of several "MUST" and "MUST NOT" that we adopted them during the years. I aso agree with you, that ther is a risk of rejection,etc but what that remain for you is real and precious...
Happy norouz to you too.. Take care

Nazy said...

Salam Nava Jan:

Matrix I touched my soul. I remember watching it with my older son who was 15 or 16 at the time, listening to him explaining the way the movie had touched his soul. That phrase: "There's no spoon," is one of the most philosophical things I ever heard in a movie, and to this day is a phrase I use when I am grappling with issues which need a "reality check." Thanks for your post which provoked thoughts and reminded me of memories bitter and sweet.