Thursday, April 11, 2013

26 Books that Changed My Life: #10 Taking the Red Pill: Science, Philosophy and Religion in The Matrix

J: Journey of the Hero (Fate vs. Free Will)

I thought I would spend the month of April delving into the literature that has made me the person I am today.

1] In this list you will find some of my favorite books, but you will also find books that I appreciate and books that I would recommend although they may not be my favorite. These are books that changed my way of thinking or my way of looking the world. These are books that helped solidify the core of who I am.
2] These books are in order of the theme that I came away with not alphabetical by title or author.

About this book:
This thought-provoking examination of The Matrix explores the technological challenges, religious symbolism, and philosophical dilemmas the film presents. Essays by renowned scientists, technologists, philosophers, scholars, social commentators, and science fiction authors provide engaging and provocative perspectives. Explored in a highly accessible fashion are issues such as the future of artificial intelligence and virtual reality. The symbolism hidden throughoutThe Matrix and a few glitches in the film are revealed. Discussions include “Finding God in The Matrix,” “The Reality Paradox in The Matrix,” and “Was Cypher Right?: Why We Stay in Our Matrix.” The fascinating issues posed by the film are handled in an intelligent but nonacademic fashion.

Publication Date:  March 11, 2003

Why this book:

I love The Matrix Trilogy, comics and animated stories. They sing to the geek in me with their ideas of the future and technology and they sing to the nerd in me with their philosophical themes and characters. In my classes, Neo is one of the many heroes I go to to explain Joseph Campbell's hero traits as he exhibit these traits so perfectly. I think I like the Matrix so much because many of its concepts are concepts that are at the core of me.

  • Christian themes and ideas
  • The paradox of incorporating Christian ideals with anything else...a paradox that somtimes leads people to leave the church and turn their back on their faith
  • Love
  • Sacrifice
  • What it means to live right and do right
  • The fight for good and evil and the constant struggle to determine what is truly good and what is truly evil
  • Choice vs. Purpose
  • Fate vs. Free Will

When I first read this book I did loads of thinking tying these essays to my own interpretations of the Matrix and how all of these wonderful themes and ideas apply to my life and how I should live it.

This book comes in three parts: religion, science and philosophy and not all of the essays sing to my soul, but overall it really works well at tying in all three of those ideals.


  1. Interesting ... I'll have to check that out :)

  2. Wow! I didn't know they had a whole book on the subject. Very interesting reading your post on it.



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