Monday, May 25, 2009

Stopping the Program “Smith”

SMITH: “Why, Mr. Anderson? Why, why, why? Why do you do it? Why, why get up? Why keep fighting? Do you believe you’re fighting for something, for more than your survival?

“Can you tell me what it is, do you even know? Is it freedom, or truth, perhaps peace, could it be for love? Illusions, Mr. Anderson, vagaries of perception. Temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without any meaning or purpose!

“And all of them as artificial as the Matrix itself. Although only a human mind could invent something as insipid as love. You must be able to see it Mr. Anderson, you must know it by now. You can’t win, it’s pointless to keep fighting! Why, Mr. Anderson, why? Why do you persist?”[1]

NEO: “Because I choose to.”[2]

The Matrix trilogy is a masterful compilation of gospel allusions. Good versus evil, and after a titanic struggle, Good triumphs--not because it’s good per se, but because it fought in the realism of faith and weakness; something that evil cannot conceive as a formidable, or even ‘relevant,’ defense.

Neo represents the will to continue, to endure. He fights for reasons Smith cannot comprehend despite his radical machine intelligence. And this is typical of evil. It’s incredibly intelligent, even perfect in its reasoning, but its very weakness is that it doesn’t account for strength in weakness. It thinks like it thinks and does what it does, never really able to quite conceive the twists and turns of God-thought.

There are so many errant programs in this world, giving testimony to this fact. As the Oracle suggests in The Matrix (the first movie) we only ever see things out of control as they hit the News; everything else supports life quietly, in the realm of its designated function.

Infamy or stealth? We choose each day. Like the couple who skipped off with their bank’s several million dollars thinking they’d get away with it, or the woman reportedly witnessing something remarkable and filmed as such--and to which later it was revealed she didn’t; ‘the program’ of our moral reasoning reveals us as an effective or errant. We gain the tranquil life by stealth to the ‘quiet enjoyment’ and benefit of all or we retrieve infamy for our fault--and our program i.e. our reputation, is seemingly forever tainted (until Christ steps in, if we allow him).

The Press media loves the juicy, worldly, distasteful tripe. It will conceal its inherent love for gossip, innuendo and sensationalisation in reporting a share of feel-good stories. It cooperates with both good and evil; it all depends on the price… a question of cost/benefit. But, equally, God uses good and evil in almost the very same way; for good eventually. Even in base evil, good can always gain ascendency.

The fight between good and evil in this world has occurred since the Fall, and it’ll continue to rage until the consummation of all things.

Smith, as mentioned, is a very smart, complex and awesome program. But the inevitability of his success is fraught with critical repose. It assumes that one hundred percent of all probabilities can account for all possibilities; and, mathematically, this would be correct. It’s an entirely reasonable assumption.

Yet Smith’s data is incomplete. His ‘intel’ has understated and not understood the actual inventory. He has not accounted for a realm of thought, a softer more moral intelligence, for he’s not got the ability of discernment to correctly encounter with it. There’s nothing to prompt doubt, so he cannot understand or reconcile faith. Rejection is beyond him, so love and acceptance are too.[3]

Certainly winning and losing are on Smith’s radar, and that is intrinsic to his purpose: to win at any cost. Cost too is irrelevant; it is simply to price of the ‘inevitable’ victory.

And what of Neo? One thing to surmise is he doesn’t fall for any of Smith’s rhetoric. Human beings experience doubt and rejection, yes, but they have the equal abilities to have faith beyond doubt, and to choose acceptance over rejection. We skate both above and below the lines of reason.

Note the difference that could be defined in the word, potential. Human beings have potential for rising above predicted, reasonable responses.

It’s a choice, and often an unreasonable one at that. It’s a moral choice that is not always traceable based on reason alone; not until it ‘informs’ reason. Unreasonableness separates us from the machine world. It is our critical weakness, but also our indomitable, unpredictable strength.

We can choose to go on even when it hurts and all seems lost. When the ‘inevitable’ is just about to sweep over us, if we keep sight of our purpose i.e. to stop the Smith programs of this world, we might just do it. Doubt and we lose. Submit to feelings of rejection and we lose--because the errant programs predict our response. But they don’t know the potential of our resilience of will.

The errant programs are so solidly Satanic and evil, yet most of the purveyors of these programs do not realise it until it’s too late. They do not see how they’re taken for a ride. They do not think holistically enough. They don’t account for the possibilities beyond their own impressive intelligences; possibilities that are no less there than their own.

The brightest light for the Neo’s of this world (the would-be saviours in Jesus’ name) is the light of hope beyond reason and rationality. Like lateral thinking, this hope beyond staid hope, whilst inexplicable before the event, is entirely reasonable and logical with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.

We cannot always tell the rub of things. But God--in all his love, wisdom, power and glory--not only can, but he also writes it. These transcendent qualities of love, wisdom, power and glory (if indeed they could be quantifiably described) are the most inestimatable qualities known--actually ever-present--to all Creation.

And this raises one single point to conclude with.

A question in fact...

Why is it that Neo endures?

Quite simply, his endurance is inspired by hope (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3). But there’s a precursor even to hope; he is buoyed by the thought of the collective human effort, no less, the team, and certainly, Trinity.[4] There is always something bigger than himself that impels him enduringly forward.

We impoverish ourselves when we lazily forget to consider the whole, and particularly when we forget to be thankful, for thankfulness drives hope longingly forward. Why would we not, for instance, be thankful in acknowledging the truth of God’s revelation, and his ‘inevitable’ victory, no less?

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
[1] “The Matrix Revolutions.” Wikiquote. Retrieved 25 May 2009.
[2] “The Matrix Revolutions.” Ibid.
[3] Yet, Smith seems capable of frustration and anger; could it be that Smith is capable of peace and contentment? Perhaps this is where the contrastive allusions, for the purposes of this discussion, have their limit?
[4] Certainly the allusion to Neo’s love of Trinity is a theological one. His love for Trinity is almost unreasonable, and by virtue of his moral reasoning (which seems unreasonable compared to the ‘logical’ choice to save humanity) his faithfulness is shown as complete, just as the Saviour’s faithfulness to the (rest of the) Holy Trinity is also complete at the cross.

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