The Matrix

The Matrix

Sara from Detroit wrote in to inquire why The Matrix, the Dharma Flick par excellence, or Mahadharmaflick, if you will, was not on the list. Thanks Sara for writing. The Matrix would certainly rank for many as the most identifiable Implicit Dharma Flick of all times. Much has been said about the ways that The Matrix portrays certain tenants of “eastern thought”. Indeed, entire academic conferences have been convened around the topic. For this reviewer though, the two most important elements of The Matrix qua Dharma Flick are that, “reality” is a constructed phenomenon and that the hero is one who uses this fact to serve others. In the film, the analogy between the reality created by “the machines” and the one created by us vis-à-vis our Karma is drawn beautifully. The film makes extremely clear that this deceptive reality (of either sort) will do us no real good and that it is our duty to get underneath it so that we may see how things “really” are. What is even more significant though is what the film suggests we do with the knowledge that there is, in fact, an ultimate reality. With the hope that the film places on Neo (Keanu Reeves) to free all other humans from the tyranny of the machines the expectation is set for us, in our own lives, to act appropriately once we have accumulated wisdom. The Matrix is indeed an excellent portrait of Bodhisattva as action hero. Enjoy!