Know Yourself

The Matrix Deconstructed

1 — Can you be afflicted by what you actually criticise in other people and as you genuinely say you are aware of it you actually are not?

They are called, unknowns unknown, things that you don’t know that you don’t know. You could say that you know them, but it is just at the wrong scope and knowing something at the wrong scope is not even knowing it partially, ergo, is not knowing it at all.

2 — Can you be aware of your errors, but not always be willing to rectify them when you fall back into the same ones.

They are called, unknowns known, things that you know, but you don’t know that you know because you know them at their surfaces, but you don’t know they have depths.

You can also be aware of getting things right, but not always be willing to forcefully express so when you get them right.

They are also called, unknowns knowns, things that your intuition knows, but that your rational thinking does not rush to confirm because you know them at heart, but you wait to confirm them with your actions.

3 — Can you have the facts in front of your eyes, right in your hands and be unable to see them nor feel them?

They are called, knowns unknown, things that you know that you don’t know because you know them on their surfaces and know them to have depths, but you have not yet access to such depths.

4 — Can you promise to yourself to be truthful to yourself to the best of your abilities?

They are called, knowns known, things that you know that you know because you know then in their surface and also in their depths.

Knowing yourself is the art of showing your blind spots. Those you can’t see, feel, touch nor think of, first to yourself and later to others.

The value of trust and intuition.

Is it cunning or is it true intuition when the value of your own truth come from the freedom to trust an Oracle in the shape of a women?

To gain access to intuition and be able to sponge its truth beyond its feminine cunning appearance one has to take a step away from the rational thinking she can’t help but already conditioned us into.

One ought to trust that which goes beyond the Oracle, that which goes beyond the feminine, of which she can only hint at as she is reaching out to help us in her own skilful incompetence.

The Architect’s speech in this scene of The Matrix can only make sense if we see the underlying message of its whole narrative.

Mathematical precision in the film is associated with something non human, with the purely ideal. Since such ideality lives in the realm of algorithms’ perfection where there is not randomness, such ideality is doomed to failure if intelligent machines are forced to give to humans the random caviar of choices in order to carry on using them as mere batteries.

Yet, the problem here is not about humans against Artificial Intelligence. At no point did I assume or implied that the Architect was a machine. Least of all, that he was intelligent enough to realise that you don’t have to be a machine to know that a purely mathematical ideal model is doomed to failure when dealing, no just with humans, but with high level of complexity in any Matrix system.

The idea of trusting too much ideal mathematical model is a human idea already recognised at the beginning of the 20 century by the mathematician David Hilbert.

What The Matrix presents us with the Architect is an old fashion pretentious thwart who doesn’t understand anything about Complexity Theory in mathematics.

The Architect merely represents a chauvinist pig of the mind denigrating the image of masculinity by considering the female Oracle as an inevitable lower mind who needs to be utilised in order to introduce free choice so that humans can still be used as batteries.

So, the “know yourself” in the film has a feminist twist in which all men, including Neo, have a perfectly aligned purpose to serve the manly dictum of the Architect’s search for endless power while Trinity and the Oracle represent the constant possibility of unbalancing this male power, including Neo’s.

It is with regret that this film really disappointed me at many level for his feminist agenda against men even when I still see it as a great film.

Knowing yourself, not by mathematical ideality, is not a failure of men’s mind, but a failure of humanity at some point of its history and it was a failure already surpassed by humanity with the invention of Topology in the fields of Computational Complexity.

Still, I do admire the role of the Oracle as a woman in the understanding of the true meaning of knowing yourself in the film.

Agent Smith by now is moving from being a sentient program and an agent protector of the Matrix to being a rebel, but a rogue rebel who has acquired some human traits and under the fear of facing deletion wanted to get free and exit the Matrix.

However, Mr. Smith is still and will remain with more traits of a program than that of the human traits that Neo will remain with. Agent Smith aims to be the ONE in a totalitarian way because that is the algorithmic side of humanity, while Neo, or any human from Zion for that matter is unknowingly assigned the role of the ONE as the non algorithmic side of humanity even when Neo has algorithmic tendencies as his own digital self is mixed with that of Smith.

By now Mr. Smith is unplugged. He has both, machine and human like traits, and yet, he by his own making leans more towards his algorithmic essence: He needs upgrade and he fears obsolescence. However, Smith is at this point as much the ONE as Neo is, but a different embodiment of the ONE.

Smith is the ONE who believes in purpose in a deterministic way. It is the ONE trapped by the riddles of multiplicity that instead of giving room to diversity HE finds the solution to such riddles by multiplying in sameness through cloning to erase the individual fear of obsolescence and face his own mortality.

Mr. Smith has kept calling Neo Mr. Anderson and there is a reason for that. Mr. Smith has aimed all along to be the ONE and has found Neo from the very beginning as the impostor who will stop him from achieving so.

Now Mr. Smith is the ONE, and feel like so and can’t comprehend how Neo battling Mr. Smith in his own world still persist.

Mr. Smith is not understanding that the Neo he is fighting in his own world is no longer Neo, but a version of himself fighting with himself, while the more human Neo is the one plugged to the Matrix mainframe.

Neo realised that the only way to defeat Mr. Smith is to let him win the battle with himself since Mr. Smith still see such battle as the battle with Neo.

Neo realised, not that he is not the ONE, but that he shouldn’t be the ONE since the ONE can only be embodied as a rogue totalitarian program that falls into overload by excess of cloning of itself.

Mr. Smith represents a kind of rogue rebel on the wrong side of individual freedom as he sought to exit a system because it failed to be algorithmically perfect to his own narrow self interest. Just the same as the Architect.

Now the whole story of the Matrix comes full circle. The Oracle somehow knew Neo was not the ONE, and she told him so in their first meeting.

Morpheus believed in Neo blindly, the Oracle believed in Neo cautiously and yet they both lead him to the path of the ONE just to realise that the ONE will embody that which Neo will induce to self-destruction, Mr. Smith.

Mr. Smith only purpose is to kill Neo, seemingly the ONE, but if everything has been planned as the Oracle predicted, Mr. Smith only purpose was to push him into a rogue version of the ONE to cause self-destruction.

Mr. Smith faced an end that felt human too human. As a program, he died in fear, self-loading and self-contradictions. Not quite what one would expect of a sentient being that is more of a program than a human. It tells us that the algorithmic is also a human too human quality of us, which when goes rogue can produce totalitarian and despotic system as we all know too well.

In reality the film is not about us human versus machines, but more about the struggle of two human faculties: the programatic and the carefree, the driven by pattern of idilic precise perfection and the driven by frailty of free random choices.

The Matrix ending with the Oracle and the Architect speech was rather pathetic. Giving the choice to humans to get out of the Matrix does not eliminate the fact that humans are being used as batteries from birth in the first place.

In any case, it is obvious that most humans born in the Matrix will choose to remain in the Matrix not because as Cypher said, “ignorance is bliss”, but because it would have become their natural place of existence and not the world that is blinding them from the truth as Morpheus believed.

The Matrix is very narcissistic. It doesn’t end revealing us an alien world of programs, digits and algorithms that speak to us of otherness or something valuable beyond humans as we know them.

The Matrix, under its undertones of liberal promises and freedom of choice, made part of such freedom to have wrecked the planet and allow humans to live in a virtual world, which is not that much different to the so called real world of humans in some parts of our existing current world.

Zion is just us going back to tribal communal living by our own choice. A world disappointed with technological progress and turned into the desert of the real: A destroyed planet by the very patterns of human progress and the introduction of intelligent machines.

So, the film narrative gives us human the free choice of living in the virtual world of the Matrix, which has been created as a result of the planet having been destroyed, or live in the real world of Zion, a world with dark sky on the brink of extinction.

No, that is not real freedom and neither free choice. To know yourself in the search for the human in you is not to peacefully coexist with those who keep wrecking the planet in inhumane ways while others have the choice not to wreck it.

Zion achieved peace, but at what cost? At the cost of allowing the few humans left to survive at their own peril in an already destroyed planet while the rest of humans are still left to the “free choice” of freeing themselves if they so which from the Matrix.

The Wachowski brothers got the concept of freedom and free choice wrong.

We don’t have to fight our “programmed” conditionings, but it is not a matter of free choice to accept a system that keeps being rigged from the birth of each generation.

The systemic problems of our current societies can’t be pacified by having the free choice of building your own tribal individual wealth and spirituality while letting other undercover Mr. Smiths rig the system.




Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong. They are conflicts between two rights. Friedrich Hegel.

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Ulysses Alvarez Laviada

Ulysses Alvarez Laviada

Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong. They are conflicts between two rights. Friedrich Hegel.

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