The Matrix was a global phenomenon, but it is my belief that the film actually sparks something in the heart of every man about his own masculinity. It excites it if only on a subconscious level. This take is to bring that spark to the conscious level.
The high-tech sci-fi idea of artificial intelligent, sentient machines growing and harvesting humanity as crops appeals to the geek in a guy, but I believe the scene that really gets a guy going into the journey of the movie is The Kung Fu Match between Morpheus and Neo. Fast paced kung fu moves are abundant and yet not every guy likes them even a little. Why then is this kung fu match universal? Because it’s not about skill level, strength level, speed level, it’s about belief…it’s about confidence. Morpheus level of belief that the Matrix doesn’t exist and that he is more powerful and more real than it is allows his mind to do things and interact with the Matrix in a way that Neo hasn’t reached yet. This sparks something in men because we acutely understand “knowing” something and experiencing it. It’s that sweet moment when you are totally sure of yourself and before you know it you are scoring that goal against a tougher opponent, at the bar and every girl just seems to be orbiting around you, that day you look at your bank account balance and see way more than you expected. It’s only a moment of greatness because, like Neo, we don’t fully believe yet…and we don’t even know what it is we don’t believe.
Which leads to the second important scene—jumping across the buildings. Neo simply cannot believe that he is capable of jumping from one building to another and so falls straight into the pavement. Trinity and Cipher look disappointed—Neo is supposed to be better than this, but they accept that everyone falls the first time. Yes, every man doubts what he is capable at some point in his life.
Not necessarily sequentially following the last scene, the scene where Neo wakes up from The Matrix he yells that he doesn’t believe it and vomits. This is similar to the experience after fully realizing that nothing—not money, not looks, not doing nice things, not doing intentionally cruel things can compare to the power of when you’re “fully on” when you have that full belief in yourself and everything suddenly starts works out exactly as you wanted and you have a crazy rock star level of success you never thought possible. The problem is…you go to that same house for a party that you just had a super “on” night where you were really feeling yourself and saying super funny stuff you couldn’t think up now if you wanted to…and you aren’t the same guy. You’re doubting yourself again. But, now, it’s worse because you know what it was that got everything you ever wanted out of an experience like going to a party—believing in yourself. The problem now is you…don’t? Why don’t you?! Oh my God you just did what happened?! Why can’t you feel it anymore?! Didn’t you solve it?! Nope, because even if you didn’t get that confident feeling from liquor but you decided hey why shouldn’t I believe on myself by some random fluke—your mind rejected it as too different and unrealistic to be true. Being the average guy is, to you, a stronger, safer reality. The girls seem to think you’re ok but don’t respond with nearly the same level of interest and you’re haunted as if they can feel it too. They can tell you can’t believe in yourself without you saying a word and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s a mind screw of a truth that confidence is the only thing you need to be good with girls or to reach your potential.
What the Characters of The Matrix Are Trying To Tell Man’s Spirit
Cipher is the guy who gets a whiff of confidence but was probably told when he didn’t ask or really want to know and so it’s done more to mess with his mind than to bring him an elevated sense of living. He’s afraid that he might just actually be as great as he’s started to believe and he tries to inspire the same fear in others. To men watching the film, he evokes the very real fear that it’s better to be blissfully average and forget that they are capable of more. He also doesn’t take responsibility for having “taken the red pill” and learned that he had potential past what he had thought and blames others (Morpheus) for apparently tricking him)—another foil to men who are trying to take responsibility and believe in themselves.
Pervy Programmer Guy
Forget his name but he’s that programmer who built the hot blonde woman in the red dress that he saw in some adult magazine. He represents the mistakes men make in getting lost in the distractions of the world instead of staying focused on their purpose. It’s very difficult to build confidence and become the man you were meant to be when you’re constantly watching girl’s asses as they walk by.
More of a mom figure than a mysterious prophet that we expected, in my opinion, The Oracle represented the fact that no one—not even a man’s mother—can replace his own sense of confidence in himself. She couldn’t simply tell him “you are The One” because doing so would not have caused Neo to believe it. She told him that he was not The One but that Neo would have to choose whether or not to save Morpheus because that is what was led him to come to that conclusion himself. Similarly, your mother or mother figure can’t give you the permanent sense of confidence in yourself. You have to do that for yourself.
Trinity is obviously the guy’s girlfriend or wife. She sees potential in him but she’s reserved judgment as to whether the guy will ever act upon it or simply waste it. Initially, she responds more to Morpheus strong sense of belief as Neo is not impressive and not capable of self belief. However, over time, Trinity begins to see that Neo is not only capable of the potential she saw in him but even more.
It’s often easier to believe in others than it to believe in yourself. Morpheus is the second strongest “human” character in the film and it because he can believe in something with absolute certainty even if it isn’t himself. He believes in Neo’s greatness and it is in this conviction that he bases his entire life, becomes the best fighter, and builds an entire team dedicated towards his purpose of rescuing and raising Neo to what he believes he should become. As a man, Morpheus is not only the guide towards believing fully in yourself but he’s also an example of how you must believe in something very strongly if it’s important to you and not half-ass things.
Agent Smith reminds men of their great fear that they are not only not great but rather being “tricked by the system.” Guys often feel like the dating game is stacked against us and Agent Smith solidifies this belief with the quote “the first Matrix…we gave the humans their perfect world, but the humans kept waking up, entire crops were lost…humans couldn’t believe that things could actually be that good…it’s actually by suffering and misery that people identify their realities.” While his hatred is wrong, his understanding of men’s illogical identification with pain is pretty accurate. We seem to identify more with failing than with winning as if the first is more real and lasting while the second is temporary. We can’t understand the idea of feeling confident all the time and actually being happy as if it’s not in our nature to do so. Until men can let go of the pain and believe they can win, they can never beat Agent Smith (the dating game/the system.)
To wrap it up, there is more to being confident than just knowing it’s what girls want. No it’s not faking it until you making it. Once you realize the truth about yourself there’s no more need to fake it. There’s no need to take her on an expensive date you can’t afford but you hope will impress her, there’s no need to memorize a list of interesting things to talk about, there’s no need to drink yourself into a stupor just to talk to a girl, there’s no need to kill yourself getting super muscular, there’s no need to “play the game” of calling and/or texting only at certain times or acting like you don’t like her when you do, there’s no need to every try to predict or analyze her behavior ever again. But, what truth could do so much? What truth that if fully accepted could give you everything you ever wanted including both feeling like the type of guy who can get and deserves any girl in the world and also the one who more often than not actually gets the girl? It’s more of realization than a discovery and it’s that
You are The One