I have heard people say that they were disappointed by the 3rd movie. Well I did not experience that. I found my interest increasing through the entire series and did not feel unresolved at the end. I loved the whole thing and plan to watch all 3 several times. It really needs to be taken as a whole. The individual pieces do not mean as much when considered separately although they each have plenty in them to stimulate discussion.
So I want to discuss the fight scene near the end of the piece between Neo and Agent Smith. The entire scene is really rather surreal. The rain. The dark. The intensity of it all. At one point near the end of the confrontation, it appears that Agent Smith has gotten the upper hand. The exchange goes like this:
Agent Smith: Why, Mr. Anderson? Why do you do it? Why get up? Why keep fighting? Do you believe you’re fighting for something? For more that your survival? Can you tell me what it is? Do you even know? Is it freedom? Or truth? Perhaps peace? Yes? No? Could it be for love? Illusions, Mr. Anderson. Vagaries of perception. The temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without 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?
Neo: Because I choose to.
Or if you prefer to watch it, this:
Well there is so much in this I could probably write a book. But I want to deal most specifically with the idea of truth that Agent Smith suggests to maybe be that thing for which Neo is fighting. I think that truth is the very foundation on which Neo is fighting. Of course, if you know the story, on the surface he is fighting for love. But that love is founded in truth.
Neo existst in two worlds. The false “vagaries of perception” which is the Matrix is one. This is where the majority of humanity is living, content with just jumping through the hoops, not even realizing that what they see and believe to be truth is a lie. But Neo has been enlightened. The scales have been removed from his eyes. He mainly exists in the hard core reality, only entering the second world of The Matrix when necessary to serve the purposes for which he and his comrades are fighting.
Neo knows the truth because he was willing to challenge the mainstream. He was willing, way back at the beginning of the story, to question the Koolaid that everyone else was drinking. He was willing to do the work. He was willing to confront the lie. He was willing to take the risk. His pursuit of truth was not met with favor by most. His pursuit ticked a lot of people off and his enemies increased. But his trek for truth also led him, contrary to the words of Agent Smith, to that greatest of human emotions and experiences. Love. And when you’ve gotten to love, my friend, I believe you’ve gotten to God.
I will follow this up with a part 2 post on what was the nature of the truth which Neo sought. Sometimes it was empiric. But sometimes it was in his gut. Sometimes, truth was something he had to choose to believe in without a lot of empiric support.