How do you know what’s real? Whatever lies outside of an individual’s personal experience could possibly be nothing more than a simulation, right? Reality has always been something that many people can’t help but think might be suspect at times, but in 1999, a movie made its way into the theaters that was confusing at first but inspired a lot of people to start asking questions. The reality we’re born into and the reality that we accept can be two very different things based on the selected perspective of the individual. The trouble with this is that perception can be a trick that convinces others that their world is a simulation because it conforms to their thoughts at times, and yet doesn’t feel entirely real. The Matrix managed to show people a very interesting idea and in the process, a lot of people took to this to heart in a way that made it possible for them to take the idea of the Matrix way too seriously. That might sound a bit unfair since reality and our perception of it does tend to slip every now and then and calling out people for what are considered to be ‘false beliefs’ isn’t entirely kind.
But the fact is this: the reality we’re given is the reality that we have to deal with, whether it’s a simulation or the real world that we choose to accept. One thing that can be said about this documentary is that the belief that we are in a simulation is strong with some people, but that way lies paranoia. To be fair, a person can be paranoid about the real world we’re born into as well since plenty of folks don’t want to admit that the reality we perceive is all there is. But people choose the uncertainty when moving in either direction on this debate, meaning that some folks will cling to the reality that they can perceive with their given senses, while others will lean in the other direction and believe that their senses are being manipulated every second of the day by something that is predictive and does its best to anticipate humanity.
Amazingly, both sides of this debate are usually in a state of confusion regarding one another and their beliefs, and not a lot of understanding is ever given from one side or the other. But if one is being entirely honest, those that still believe in the reality we’re born into have been solid in their belief for a very long time, while those that believe that we’re in a simulated existence haven’t held onto their beliefs nearly as long. Many of them might want to believe that something has always been off, that something has always been wrong with the world, and they’re not entirely off the mark. The world is a messy and disordered place that is constantly attempting to right itself and make up for one imbalance or another. But the conspiracy theories and ideas that the simulation they believe in is attempting to get better and better tend to blanket their beliefs in a very effective way since claiming that life is only a simulation takes care of a great number of iniquities and inaccuracies in life. In short, this theory gaslights humanity in a big way.
That’s not quite enough to say that ‘they’re wrong, they’re crazy, etc.’ since it would appear that they’re attempting to do what they can to understand the world from their own perspective, and if it works for them, one can’t help but think that it’s harmless enough to let them believe as they will. The Matrix was a fun action movie that opened the eyes of a lot of people to a different way of thinking that was innovative and even addictive in some regards, but the fact is that some folks took it way too far since their grip on reality was tenuous at best anyway. Once that link was made in their mind that yes, reality is a simulation, their need to express themselves might have surged forward a bit more, as the idea that they could do what they wanted with fewer consequences might have been far too tempting to resist. In one case it was, and the Matrix was nearly used as a court defense in the same way that the insanity plea is.
It’s great to believe in that which we can’t see and to imagine other worlds beyond this one. At the moment there’s no definitive way to say that said worlds don’t exist, especially considering that the only thing lacking is our means of reaching said worlds. But to take things to such an extreme with one’s belief is a tricky situation since the desire is to let people think as they will. When thoughts become action, however, there is a need to be concerned as to how far people will take their beliefs.