7 Pieces Of Evidence That Prove The Matrix Is Really About Buddhism

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As an action/sci-fi flick, The Matrix is a total thrill-fest, combining badass Kung Fu fight scenes with the sole reason you wanted a black trench coat for a while. It was one of the most exciting films to come out in the 90’s and introduced mind-bending ways of making movies.

But as a work of art, it’s utterly ripe for insane amounts of analysis. Film students or just general enthusiasts can spend months, or even years focusing on aspects of it; dissecting it scene by scene and line by line, looking for cryptic clues and complex meanings. Even though most people just want to see a fast-paced film where Keanu Reeves wears sunglasses and has two hair styles, there are others who read so much in between the lines that they’ve gone cross eyed.

Of all the theories out there, there’s one which not many people are aware of. And that is that the Wachowskis – either by design or by accident – wrote and directed a film that’s actually about the teachings of Buddhism.

Wait, what?

Yep. You read that right. One of the most popular action films in recent cinema history has a deeper meaning that teaches peace and enlightenment. Don’t believe us? Here’s why we think so.

Comments (17)

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  1. amazing movie!!

  2. mineymoesays:

    Still love it to this day.

  3. Gregorsays:

    Well, I personally think the similarities to Jesus are way stronger, but that’s your point of view.. and here’s the first problem with the article (to me):

    “Of all the theories out there, there’s one which not many people are aware of. ”

    You do not make it clear it’s your interpretation. The first paragraph on the first page should be telling readers it is YOUR interpretation of the movie, not one of the theories out there and then just start telling people “Neo is clearly supposed to represent Buddha”. Without that simple sentence I for one read those pages rather pissed.

    As I’ve stated earlier the similarities to Jesus are more conclusive to me, even the reincarnation part, which you said was a clear indicator for Buddhism, is ALSO (not exclusively, maybe) a nod to Neo being Jesus.

    And learning martial arts is an evidence for buddhism, because a (buddhist) sect does so? Come on! You can do better… Maybe if you tried showing Morpheus as a guide to Neo’s path of enlightenment in that scene I’d buy it, but not because a sect (read: very small, probably below 1%, part of buddhists) does so… that’s like saying: All Christian’s won’t get blood transfusions, because Jehova’s Witnesses don’t! (Not trying to start a religious flame, just seemed like a fitting metaphor)

    All in all this could’ve been avoided by a few words, telling the reader this is just about a theory you’ve heard, liked and wanted to share, because you thought it is interesting. The way this article was written I feel like I am supposed to believe Neo is Buddha immediately after finishing it, which you might realize I do not. It is an interesting theory though.

    1. Abrahamsays:

      so as a good Christian, do you always make it a point to judge people? I’m guessing that had he compared it to your own theory it wouldn’t be an issue lol just like a good little christian to crap over anybody elses religious views! It’s just an opinion.

      It’s not like you read this in the WSJ or Time magazine, or whatever.. I’m kind of amazed that due to your clearly stated view you choose to click on the link after reading the headline. Next time do us all a favor when you read a headline you don’t like… bypass and move on.

      1. Gregorsays:

        I never said it’s from a Christian point of view, merely the resemblance to the religion is more obvious at points.

        I clicked on the link because I was intrigued by it’s headline, because I like a good theory. But I didn’t like the “Here’s the truth” kinda feeling I got from it.

      2. Gregor, if you red anything about buddhism you would understand more. The thing is you wrote only about Neo, there’s the whole Samsara thing about this movie, that does not exist in christianity.

      3. Gregorsays:

        Late reply, but didn’t check in here for a long time so sorry about that 😉
        I only wrote about Neo? I’ve had two points, one about Neo and one about the Martial Arts part (so you didn’t even bother to read 50% before making a comment on how ignorant I am.. nice). Also I did not write about every aspect since I just wrote about the ones that didn’t seem conclusive to me. As I’ve said it’s an interesting theory .
        Yeah rebirth is totally not a thing in the bible.. Nope.. never happened. And before you say “Na, man! That’s not the same as Samsara”. It is not about discussion Samsara, it is about Neo dying and coming back to life.

    2. Andrew Heatonsays:

      I admit exclusivity was not what I intended with the article. What I love about The Matrix is there are so many ways to interpret it and no one idea or theory is more correct than others.

      Sadly, during the editorial process, the piece was tweaked slightly to make it seem more authoritative rather than purely subjective, which wasn’t really how I wanted it to come across.

      1. Guestsays:

        Well it just felt wrong reading this article like this is the way it has to be seen (which is stupid since it’s a theory like any other). I’ve tried to read it like that afterwards, but still that martial arts part doesn’t really fit. I can agree to the other ones 😉

      2. Gregorsays:

        Well it just felt wrong reading this article like this is the way it has to be seen (which is stupid since it’s a theory like any other). I’ve tried to read it open minded afterwards, but still that martial arts part doesn’t really feel fitting. I can agree to the other ones 😉

  4. C-spotsays:

    HUGE stretch, huge.

  5. Steve Fragsays:

    The Matrix is about determinism, and uses symbolism from many different religions. It isn’t about any of them specifically however.

    1. Andrew Heatonsays:

      Agreed. I felt the Buddhism connection was the most interesting one though. But there are so many different ways to interpret the film. That’s why I love it so much.

  6. Ethersays:

    Keanu Reeves did play Siddhartha Gautama (aka Buddha) in the 1993 film Little Buddha, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci.

    1. Andrew Heatonsays:

      I honestly didn’t know that. Good stuff Ether.

  7. Tzu-chungsays:

    I’m from Taiwan. While reading the Diamond Sutra a few weeks ago, it struck me how amazingly similar the Matrix is with the Sutra in concept. The Diamond Sutra says: “All phenomena are like a dream, an illusion a bubble and shadow like dew and lightening.”, which looks like an apt description of the Matrix world to me. Another famous line from the Sutra reads:”Everything with form is unreal, if all forms are seen as unreal the Tathagata will be perceived.”. This perfectly fits with the dialogue in the bending spoon scene and the scene where Neo comes back to life, sees the Matrix in green code (sees forms as unreal) and becomes all-powerful (perceives Tathagata).

    After discovering the similarities I did a Google search and found many articles in Chinese discussing this film’s perceived connection with Buddhism, so I guess it could be more or less obvious to people who know something about Buddhism. And I wanted to know if there’s people in the English-speaking world having the same idea, so I did a search in English and found this article.

    Of course not everything in this film fits perfectly with the religion, but it does carry some very similar concepts. It’s interesting that a movie with many obvious Christian ideas can also have a Buddhism undertone.

  8. inthedeltasays:

    I suggest you go to Youtube and catch Bishop Robert Barron’s Parts 1 and 2, take on The Matrix.

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