There Is No Spoon…
A young “buddah-ish” child sits in the middle of the floor staring at spoons and “bending” them with his mind as Neo walks in to see the Oracle. This scene comes in the middle of this version of a postmodern gospel, The Matrix. This turning point in the movie weaves together the movie’s two messages. Those messages, inextricably woven together, are that we are to question reality and embrace mystery. The Matrix requires the viewer to grapple with the known and seek out the unknown.
How do you bend the spoon? You can’t until you realize that “there is no spoon.” Reality is not really reality. All that you perceive is simply a construct of electric impulses to your brain. The world is a product of your perception, therefore changing your perception allows for the changing of your world. All of reality is, then, up for grabs. Once you become aware that your reality is not reality, you have the ability to control it. To control it, you must first question its very existence.
Isn’t that how we got in to this mess in the first place? We questioned. Neo begins with an unsettling feeling that the world is not complete. That something is askew. He begins questioning and seeking answers. The answers he finds only lead to more questions. His reality isn’t real and the real world is an abysmal place of struggle and pain. Question reality.
The second message is to embrace mystery. Rather than being the definer of his own destiny he must accept that destiny is discovered amidst the struggles of embracing mystery. Signs and symbols lead to actions. Metaphor and encrypted messages from a cookie-baking Oracle provide direction but not decision. Neo discovers that he is no longer living just for himself but is living beyond himself. To fully live his destiny he has to embrace what he cannot believe and live what cannot possibly be true. He has to believe and, perhaps more importantly, allow himself to be believed in. Embrace mystery.
How like the Christian walk? Reality is not formed by perception but by mystery. We have to question reality when viewed through the lens of the Eucharist. Our baptismal eyes, newly formed in light of our embracing of the mystery of Christ, allow us to realize that all that is, is simply perception and not Truth. That which is Truth is far deeper than our ability to perceive. When we begin our faith journey it is not simply the beginning of our life believing in God but beginning to realize that God believes in us. Our God-shaped destiny is out there but seems to be difficult to discern, much less, fulfill. It requires that we question reality and embrace mystery. This is the struggle that I continue as I remain:
Lost in Grace,