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#2981 - Friday, November 9, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz

Nondual Highlights -

One: Essential Writings on Nonduality: ( site)

Check availability of One: Essential Writings on Nonduality at your local Borders Store:



If you have never explored the themes of The Matrix Trilogy, here's an introduction contained in a review of The Ultimate Matrix Collection

There's a chapter in Essential Writings on Nonduality, on The Matrix, which is a good introduction to the nonduality of The Matrix.




The Ultimate Matrix Collection

(The Matrix/ The Matrix Reloaded/ The Matrix Revolutions/ The Animatrix) (2003)


This review focuses on the thematic richness of the Trilogy itself.
It is not a review of the complete product, nor does it compare
Matrix products. This review is intended for someone who has not yet
seen the Trilogy, or who wishes to more fully absorb the Trilogy. The
commentaries of Ken Wilber and Cornel West are quoted.


I've been watching the Matrix Trilogy DVD set the last few days, with
commentary by Ken Wilber and Cornel West. What you get from those
guys -- and which is clear watching the movies -- is the richness and
complexity of the themes, the cinematic originality and artistry, and
the different levels at which the trilogy can be appreciated.


They also emphasize watching the entire trilogy, although the first
movie, The Matrix, is significant in its own right. They talk about
the social and political levels of the movies, with Wilber
concentrating on the spiritual or "truth" aspect. Cornel West is a
philosophy professor at Princeton and appears in the Trilogy in a
small part.


Wilber and West agree that the Matrix trilogy stands alongside Moby
Dick as great American epic works. They compare the Nebuchadnezzar
(the "space" ship that houses and carries the main characters) to the
Pequod -- the boat -- in Moby Dick. If you read a description of the
Pequod and look at the Nebuchadnezzar, there's a lot of similarity,
as well as similarities in other ways.


Because of how characters are essentially intertwined, what appear to
be distinctly separate characters in the first Matrix movie, are seen
in the second and third movies to be not so separate. Moby Dick has
that intertwining too, between Ahab and Ishmael, Ahab and the whale,
the Pequod and its history/people/purpose. Are these intertwined
things the same? Separate? Both? Neither? Shiva, Shakti, heart sutra,
all those nonduality themes, possibilities, and teachings underlie
the trilogy.


Like any great work of art, you can see whatever you want. You see
yourself, basically. Cornel West, for example, says that many people
consider it a "black" movie. Significant scenes were filmed in the
Robert Taylor projects, southside Chicago, the Hood. Cornel, a black
man, says, "All this source of wisdom right there in the hood."


Wilber and West note that the Wachowski brothers -- Larry and Andy,
the writers and directors of the trilogy -- bear not only great
literary, spiritual, artistic consciousness, but social and
political. Here's something I transcribed from the commentary of West
and Wilber on The Matrix regarding the social/political and artistic


West: So many cities throughout the country actually thought Matrix
was a black film, when you look at all these black folk in positions
of authority. Unbelievable status, intelligence, creativity, grace,
it's quite rare, atypical for a cyber thriller.


Wilber: Well if you know Larry and Andy you know how deeply they
believe this. It's wonderful actually.


West: Absolutely. The humanity of persons right across the board.
Colors, hues, race, class, sexual orientation, right across the


West and Wilber get into the war in Iraq and how Americans love to
see things as dualistic, Manichean -- either good or bad, dark or
light -- and can't handle ambiguity, and that neither can Iraqis. The
Matrix trilogy starts out dualistic, but in movies two and three
becomes more Socratic than Manichean, to use the terminology of West
and Wilber. Cornel West says in his commentary, "Most of the American
public, they can't take it. They're banking on this Manichean
project. And yet I think as the years unravel and unfold you'll see,
especially after Iraq and some other political situations that make
it difficult for Americans to hold onto Manichean conceptions of
themselves, that they're gonna be forced to be Socratic, and lo and
behold we'll begin to see the Socratic energy of the film itself. So
there's a sense in which as you said before, we can't jump to two and
three but two and three are kind of waiting for America in the next
five to ten years as America has to confront itself for what it
really is."


The trilogy is rich and timeless. You'll see whatever you want.
You'll see yourself and your world on many levels.


--Jerry Katz, review writer


The Ultimate Matrix Collection

(The Matrix/ The Matrix Reloaded/ The Matrix Revolutions/ The Animatrix) (2003)


See also The Matrix Page at The commentaries on this web page were composed within the same year that The Matrix came out, and before the other two films of the trilogy were released. 

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