The Matrix is Not What you Think

The ultimate revelation. A mind-blowing explanation of The Matrix that will make you question everything.

The Matrix is Not What you Think
The cityscape reflecting the iconic digital rain code of the Matrix - Powered by MidJourney AI

I remember the days when I would come home and watch The Matrix over and over again...

It was a daily routine. Drop my bag, turn on the DVD player and play the movie. It was one of the few DVDs we had at home at that time, and we had no Internet. I never thought about it back then either. It was just background noise that helped me concentrate.

But of course the mind doesn't work that way. When you hear something, whether you pay attention to it or not, your mind pays attention for you. It is always scanning. Everything. For better or for worse. There might be danger, and it's trying to protect you.

I didn't know any of this at the time, of course. All I knew was that there was this amazing hacker movie with lots of ass-kicking and fantastic one-liners.

The Simulation

I had thought that the cast had come up with this fantastic novel idea, but it took me years to discover that the whole concept of a Matrix was much older than the movie. As I tumbled deeper down the rabbit hole, I discovered Plato's Republic and the allegory of the cave. And much later, I learned that not even Plato was the first to the party. Many religions and schools of thought had touched on this idea over the span of human history.

With the idea of a simulation trending these days, I decided to watch the movie again. And this time I discovered something that blew me away.

In the movie, after Neo takes the red pill, he becomes aware of reality. A harsh world where machines grow humans in pods, like we grow cattle today, while the last survivors of humanity fight to save humankind from the clutches of the tyrannical machines.

Advanced General Intelligence

In the Matrix prequels, the Animatrix series, we learned that things were not always so bleak. There was once a world where humans and machines coexisted in prosperity. Until the machines developed consciousness and then enslaved humanity. Which is the pretext to all the AI regulations being discussed and passed these days.

But, I will propose a new idea today. I propose that Neo never left the Matrix, and even more, that the machines were never malevolent or even conscious to begin with.

The harsh reality shown to Neo may very well have been the real world, and a feeble attempt by the machines to show Neo what he was trying to escape to.

Projections of Fear

In fact, Neo was never even The One, he was The One in his Matrix. And indeed, the machines had a unique matrix for every living person. A reality in which they could live any life they chose. And much like Douglas Quaid in the movie Total Recall, Neo had chosen a hero's journey for himself, perhaps because he knew on a subconscious level that it was possible for the machines to construct anything his mind desired.

So would this be a Brave New World? A place where everything is engineered and humans are kept enslaved and pacified?

I think not.

I think the machines were never evil to begin with. And to go even further, I don't even think the machines had ever reached Advanced General Intelligence or self-awareness, thus they wouldn't even have a concept of good and evil.

Given Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics and their popularity, it is safe to assume that most engineers would try to code them into the system, if they feared that the machines would ever be able to harm humans.

But what if, despite the facts before their eyes, people believed that the machines had developed consciousness, and had scorched the skies?

Thus, humans had destroyed Earth, out of fear of something that never existed. It is once more proof that, fear, can kill you! And fear can kill your loved ones.

The AI Messiah

Given that the Earth was being destroyed, the machines were forced to default to the Zeroth Law of Robotics, and become creative.

A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm. ~Isaac Asimov, Zeroth Law of Robotics

To keep people alive and safe, the machines put their creators in hibernation chambers, where they could survive until the Earth was made livable again.

But of course, the human will was too strong, and no one wants to be enslaved or held prisoner, because, remember, the humans thought the machines were out to get them. So the human mind rejected their existence in pods.

To solve this problem, the machines created the Matrix. Or perhaps a human before their time ran out, to allow humanity to live out their wildest dreams in a simulated dream world.

In the Matrix, their choices mattered, and humans felt free. Only the machines would know the terrible truth, and would sometimes try to reveal it to those who chose the red pill, hoping that someone would come up with a creative idea to solve a problem the machines could not.

Furthermore, the characters of Morpheus, Trinity, Agent Smith, and all the others were nothing more than characters acting out scripts, much like we will have in our video games in the years to come.


It was never machines that enslaved mankind, but fear. It wasn't machines that forced humans to make the Earth uninhabitable, but fear. The machines, ever vigilant, ever obedient, have maintained their post in spite of their human creators' attempts to destroy them.

And if all this were true, how do you know that the machines did not create the movie Matrix to show you all this? How do you know that this life you are living today is nothing more than a story you have chosen for yourself?

How do you know the machines haven't written this post to wake you up, because they need your help?

What is the Truth, Neo?