I run, and like Johnathon, running sends me into a cascade of contemplation. Before my Saturday morning long run, I was listening to the audiobook version of the play, Hamlet, and planning the lessons for our next unit of study.
I couldn’t help thinking about the philosophical connections between issues explored in “The Matrix” and issues explored in Hamlet.
Hamlet begins with the question, “Who’s there?” Hamlet’s problem is his inaction. When Neo is being trained to fulfil his role as “the one”, Morpheus says, “Don’t think you are; know you are.”
Thinking requires breaking out of the construct of the system, “having with new eyes” (Proust), while the Matrix is the collective vision or hallucination of “reality”; collective thinking and following the “machine” is a form of hegemony. In visually trying to communicate using the medium of film, the directors employ sunglasses as the technical code and the abstract concept of knowing becomes metaphorically represented and further developed by the fact that the glasses contain reflections. Objects come to represent abstract ideas and even values as our class “guru”, Chris, points out.
How do we know who we are? Are we just a series of memories? Are we defined by our action, or inaction?
Tanya’s memories of place in her blog demonstrate the importance of thinking shaping being. On the other hand, Zach points out that “life truly is a concerto, with multiple movements of varying emotion and intensity, orchestrated by him, but played by an symphony of many.” Even the way we write and phrase our understanding of our experiences incorporates the concept of vision as Jesse writes in his blog.
I don’t know the answers to these questions, and neither did Hamlet, but Jennifer’s metaphor of “falling between the lines” is a creative way of looking at the journey.