Allusion In The Matrix

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The Matrix is packed full of interesting allusions. References to mind-altering literature and a variety of different beliefs and philosophies, both western, and eastern, are represented. One of these philosophies is Zen Buddhism. The Matrix, through the characters of Morpheus, Cypher and Neo, as well as their journeys, fully demonstrates and supports the Buddhist ideals of the pure vs the impure heart as well as separation of consciousness, and acts as an allegory for enlightenment through meditation.
The pure heart is not extremely well defined in Zen Buddhism. The text on Buddhism calls it “Our natural heart which is not a whit different from the Buddha heart” (141). This is the side of the heart that is not tainted by desire or materialism,
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As the texts say “if in the way described above one presses on with burning faith, throwing one’s whole power into the meditation, then it is absolutely certain that the time will come when he enters the living Samadhi of all the Buddhas”(143). As Neo goes on his suicide mission, putting everything he has into throwing off the false world, he eventually reaches enlightenment, finding power over the Matrix, the source of the impure heart, and manipulating it so that he may use his pure heart to help humanity. After becoming the One, Neo is stoic, he no longer feels bewilderment at the simulated world around him. Neo has cast off his discerning mind, and the doubt that it once brought him. The senses of the impure heart that the Matrix appeals to are broken, and Neo now sees the Matrix for the code it really is. Without any semblance of fear, Neo is able to bend the rules of the system, stopping bullets and destroying an agent from the inside (The Wachowskis). He has truly ascended. In this way, Neo acts as an allegory for meditation, and how its teachings can awaken one’s pure heart and grant ultimate
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