Freewill, Fate, and Causality in The Matrix Reloaded
The Matrix Reloaded explores freewill, fate, and causality, three themes that may formulate the very basis of existence.
Causality is a phenomenon whereby one cause is the effect of another. This axiom or assumption forms the foundation of orthodox physics; if all causes are known, then theoretically all effects can be known and predicted with absolute certainty. Causality cannot begin or end itself because, by definition, in a purely linear system1 every cause is the effect of another preceding it, a “causal chain” that extends forever into the past.
In truth, a causal chain is finite; it begins and ends with choice. Freewill is the only true cause; all else is purely effect. Thus, freewill is both beginning and end; causality merely mitigates and facilitates freewill by creating consequence from choice. From a physics standpoint, choice arises when indeterminate quantum states are made definite by the wave-collapsing ability of consciousness.2 Nonlinear systems are sensitive enough to translate quantum causes into classical effects, thereby allowing consciousness to initiate linear causal chains extending into the macroscopic world.3
Without multiple choices, there is just causality. When you perceive only one choice or one effect, you become a passive link in a causal chain initiated by someone else. The more knowledge and understanding you have, the more genuine choices you see, and the greater your role becomes as cause rather than effect. It is lack of knowledge that places one under the influence of causality. You cannot change what you cannot see, because without seeing you cannot choose.
Fate is the causal consequence of choices made outside your realm of linear time. Because you do not see your fate, you cannot – or more accurately, you do not — change it. So you become a passive link in the chain of causality initiated by a hyperdimensional source. In the case of fate, that source is your Higher Self, a greater aspect of your being with whom you merge after physical death to review your recent incarnation and plan another. In this planning phase, while merged with the Higher Self you choose the key lessons and events that characterize your upcoming incarnation. Once incarnated, the original choice to learn those lessons has already been made. As the Oracle said in The Matrix Reloaded, the point is to understand why they were made and therefore learn the lessons prompted by fated events.
But freewill is not subordinate to fate; quite to the contrary, freewill is the ultimate of precondition of existence. Fate merely orchestrates, while causality executes. Freewill does seem subordinate when it is not applied, as in the case where one does not know one’s fate and therefore makes no choice to alter it. But fate can be changed if it is known.
In their proper places, fate decides what lessons must be learned and why, while freewill decides how they are learned and when. Alternate events can lead to the same lessons learned, so it is not the mundane details of events that are ruled by fate, but rather their core meanings. Because freewill decides the timing as well as the qualitative nature of how lessons are learned, neither timing nor quality of experiences is definite.
Things of a game are real only within the game. Like any game, our reality exists because we consensually create it by setting rules and limitations to define the nature of our mutual interactions. In abstract terms, we place infinity in a box, thus separating former inseparables into a structured reality composed of individual elements obeying definite rules; mathematics as we know it details our consensual restrictions upon infinity.4 All mathematical equations include a hidden variable representing the potential influence of freewill. Because freewill is absent in cases where rules are followed, this variable often remains silent. Nevertheless, it represents an exit from the game or program, a choice to break the rules and become an anomaly.
Because the mathematics of a game is accurate and real only within the game, those who take choices delineated by its rules become predictable and easily controlled by those who know the mathematics, the why of an effect. It is this knowledge that allows manipulators to see and therefore strategically deny others certain choices; when denied the multiplicity of choice, people become passive elements in the causal chain initiated by those with power. What you don’t see controls you via causality.
To make a choice beyond those given by the game, particularly the game of physical incarnation ruled by linear time, one must have a connection to something beyond its boundaries. This connection allows the introduction of nonlinear variables in the equation of one’s behavior. What cannot be predicted cannot be controlled; “to be predictable is to become hunted.”
Examples of such connection include higher knowledge and higher emotions, those originating from our Higher Self. Higher knowledge allows one to see transcendent choices, while higher emotion helps one intuitively feel their possible existence. Incidentally, both of these arise from one’s connection with the Higher Self, the same aspect that orchestrates fate. Because they share the same source, fate is often associated with higher knowledge and higher emotion. On rare occasions we accomplish the impossible or improbable because we were fated to do them, because we knew and felt that they must be regardless of the rules of the game.
Choosing to attempt the impossible arises from two processes: the rational knowing of what must not be, and the irrational emotional drive to risk accomplishing what might instead be.
Neo’s fated choice to save Trinity despite the impossible odds demonstrates this perfectly: 1) he rationally knew that choosing the door on the right would lead to the assured continued survival but enslavement of humanity, a choice his predecessors foolishly made which he knew must be avoided, and 2) he felt an irrational compulsion out of his love for Trinity to risk everything and choose the door on the left, an emotion that “opened him to unlimited possibilities” and allowed him to do what the Architect with all his calculative perfection could not predict.
The Architect is a character who demonstrates the limits and fallacies of deductive reasoning. Deductive reasoning starts with fundamental axioms and deduces conclusions from them, attempting to know what is from what ultimately is assumed. The problem is that these assumptions are rooted within the game itself, thus they allow no deduction of possibilities outside the game.
In contrast, reasoning via contradiction is superior because it is easier to see what is not than to accurately know what is. When choices within a game are eliminated as viable possibilities, finite mathematics declares none are left; but in an infinite universe where everything is possible, choices external to the game must remain. Every wall has at least two sides; what ends one domain begins another.
Truth is internally consistent, meaning it does not contradict itself, so while deductive reasoning can mistakenly eliminate the truth from its conclusions when one begins with false assumptions, reasoning via contradiction always leaves truth as an option among its set of non-contradicted possibilities. It is the irrational impulses of faith, hope, and love that beckon us to explore these possibilities.
If we take a choice based solely on reason, because calculations indicate it is the least risky path to take with the most favorable outcome, we will remain trapped within the game because we are automatically denying all possibilities beyond those delineated by the game’s rules. Like delusional mimes, we predict, pretend, and thus concretize our own limits. This works well if one wishes to advance within the game, but more is needed to evolve or expand in an orthogonal manner.5 True limits are to be tested, not manifested, though the weak are never willing to take that risk. But what is risk?
Risk is the chance for failure, the chance of encountering a limit. It is a relative quantity because it depends on which goals one is attempting to reach, what limits one is testing, and whether failure is even a possibility. Some only take mundane risks to receive mundane rewards such as social attention, an adrenaline rush, or professional promotion – rewards given because of the game or program. Although they may seem like courageous risk takers, these individuals tremble when faced with genuine risks that offer rewards given despite the game, rewards actually worth acquiring.
Mundane risks are distractions, while worthwhile risks offer learning lessons and expansion for the soul. One’s soul and its inventory of lessons learned are the only things that consistently survive physical death, therefore it is important to prioritize which risks are worth taking.
Ironically, risks that test the game’s limits are buffered by the influence of fate, thus they tend to be the least risky of all. We are fated to test the game’s limits, to make choices based on our knowledge of the past, objective awareness of the present, and faith in the future. We have entered this physical reality to learn how to eventually transcend it, to take risks by applying our freewill to learn fated lessons. When placed in proper context, such risks have no chance for failure because all paths potentially provide the needed lessons; on some chosen paths, we can learn the easy way, others the hard way, but either way the same lessons are ultimately learned; it is just a matter of time.
While failure is not an option, stagnation is nevertheless possible when one refuses to choose to learn; those preoccupied with the transitory distractions of the program are wasting away their finite lives. They encounter experiences meant to shake them loose from their hypnotic trances, but choose to ignore them and therefore redundantly repeat the same mistakes. As the Architect said, they are given the choice to refuse the program but keep choosing to accept it.
Due to the influence of fate, risks that the program deems most dangerous are actually the safest risks of all. They are only dangerous to the program itself because such risks allow individuals to escape its control. For example, the institution of public education deems dropping out to be the most dangerous risk to anyone wanting a successful career, and yet those with the most successful careers are often ones who did not follow that rule.
Those who trade liberty for security become enslaved; they are sold on the idea of security as defined by the program, a definition engineered to perpetuate control. To avoid the necessity of making genuine choices and therefore taking risks, many give their freewill to a surrogate “chooser”, thereby becoming a passive link in a causal chain initiated by the “chooser”. A causal chain is ruled by precise mathematics: one does “x” to effect “y”; there is no risk involved when the outcome is certain, hence the illusion of security. Because abdication of freewill is a precondition for participating in a causal chain, the price of resultant security is enslavement.
True security is found in taking worthwhile risks, ones that provide fated lessons. Fate fully supports our endeavors to take such risks because we have incarnated for that very purpose. While the program ensures “safety” via causality, fate ensures safety via synchronicity. The first is illusion while the second is tangible.
Synchronicity is normally defined as a meaningful coincidence, but its definition can be expanded. More generally, synchronicity arises from a chain of causality that originates outside the program. Because the program cannot see where the chain begins, where the original cause resides, it deems the phenomenon acausal. In context of fate, synchronicity is a causal chain that resides outside the program of linear time and space, a.k.a. “physical reality”.
Synchronicities are whole packets of cause and effect spanning past, present, and future that are instantly inserted into the timeline. Because every synchronicity includes a definite series of cause and effect, it may be easy to rationalize the phenomenon as mere coincidence by claiming that synchronicity is simply a mundane product of mundane causes. But this logical fallacy cannot explain away the sheer improbability and meaning behind the synchronicity, which arises from the fact that the synchronicity and all its causal components are inserted as a whole into the timeline.
Many think the future is variable due to freewill; until we have chosen our next move the future remains open. With a single application of freewill the distribution of possible futures shifts as some are prevented while others are created. But what most do not realize is that freewill doesn’t just affect the future, it can change the past and present as well. For example, a synchronicity can be created in direct response to a decision you make now, but tracing back the synchronicity reveals it to be the culmination of a series of cause and effect that may have started yesterday. Prior to making your present choice, yesterday may have been different.
Linear time as we know it is illusion. It is the finalized version of events recorded in the memory function of our brains and the environment. Real time is variable and selective, meaning causal chains from beginning to end can be instantly inserted and removed at the command of freewill. It is our cumulative recording of the “last” sequence of events that generates the illusion of continuity. The intervals of time between elements of a linear causal chain are imaginary; when the first domino is pushed, the last might as well have already fallen. Time only increments in intervals demarcated by freewill choices.
What you are reading now is the finalized version of an article, which up to the point of completion I am at liberty to edit. Between this sentence and the next, I might halt and choose to revise earlier sections of the article, possibly inserting or deleting entire paragraphs, but how would you possibly know? All you see is the final product with no record of the actual sequence involved in creating it. If you understand this, then you can understand the illusory nature of linear time.
The present is a fulcrum between past and future; a shift in the fulcrum will affect both. How we apply our freewill now has consequences that can span both ways on the timeline. Effects depend on the choice of cause, and individuals brainwashed by the program see only the choices that cause strictly future effects, choices whose consequences reinforce the illusion of linear time and the faux supremacy of causality.
Making choices that affect the entire timeline requires connections beyond the program, choices that comprise the aforementioned worthwhile risks. They are transcendental choices based on the rational knowledge that the program’s options are void, and the “irrational” hope that greater possibilities must exist. Fated choices are ones that seem right because they feel right and there is nothing clearly wrong with them. They are not choices made because of limits, but choices made in spite of them. They are not choices that obey the program, but ones that are open to unlimited possibilities.
Therefore, those who obey the program become prey to causality while others choosing to transcend it are aided by synchronicity. The acausal phenomenon of synchronicity ensures that the program never succeeds in preventing individuals from choosing to fulfill their destinies. The Higher Self can override any actions, laws, or limits endangering that fulfillment because the program is never to undermine its purpose, which is to indirectly assist and accelerate the spiritual evolution of physical incarnates. Consequently, those taking fated risks need not search for safety nets to catch them because failure is never a possibility in such cases. All that is needed is the knowledge of which choices to avoid and the desire to transcend the program’s limits. Life then falls into place synchronistically.
Freewill is the only universal constant — the rest is causality. Fate is simply a type of causality that originates beyond the limits of linear time, initiated by choices already made on a higher level of reality. As Morpheus said, “Everything begins with choice.”
1 Linear systems are straightforward in their behavior. The output is directly related to the input. If the inputs of a system are known, as well as the rules by which the system processes them, then the output can be known. There is no mystery about how they function or any quirkiness and unpredictability associated with them.
2 According to quantum mechanics, everything is made of waves. Particles are actually waves spread out among possible states of existence. Only when we measure or observe a particle does its wave “collapse” into one possibility and one observable manifestation. In truth, we are simply tuning into one slice of the probability wave, choosing to experience one manifestation of it. Which state a wave collapses into is entirely unpredictable by quantum mechanics because mathematics cannot predict the influence of freewill. If something is predictable, then it has no choice of being anything other than what is predicted, and therefore has no freewill.
3 Nonlinear systems are ones where output need not correspond to input in a simple or direct manner. Often there is feedback involved where part of the output gets fed into the input and creates amplifying loops. According to chaos theory, the smallest triggers can have the largest effects due to that amplifying characteristic. A well-known example is the butterfly effect, where something as small as a butterfly can trigger the formation of a hurricane due to the sensitive nature of the atmosphere. How small can the smallest trigger be? In some cases, it can be as small as a single quantum process. Whether the wave of the particle collapses into one state or the other is correspondingly amplified by the nonlinear system into a large and observable output. Because the collapse of a wave function is decided by consciousness, nonlinear systems are a means through which consciousness can influence the observable physical world. Our brains are an example of such a system; whether a neuron fires or not could ultimately depend on decisions made by the soul to think a certain thought.
4 According to quantum mechanics, everything is made of waves. Combining different waves in different proportions creates different types of objects. A wave existing in free space (one that is free from the influence of any external fields or forces) is not quantized, meaning it does not take on certain limited values. Such an amorphous wave consists of infinite possible values. But when the wave is placed in a box called a “potential well”, certain frequencies and probabilities are cut out. The wave then assumes a discrete number of possible values, thus creating a definite and distinguishable object. So “putting infinity in a box” means creating our reality by imposing restrictions upon what is possible. It is like forming a statue from a block of marble by chipping away the stone to leave only what one wants, or like creating a board game by setting up rules that determine what is not allowed within the game. These rules can be described by mathematical equations, but since such rules were ultimately agreed to or created by us, we are free to break them if we know how. Therefore, all mathematical equations are never absolute; because they are based on consensual rules, such equations have exceptions.
5 “Orthogonal” means “at right angles.” An orthogonal expansion implies expanding in a manner perpendicular to the old way of being. It signifies a fundamental motion that isn’t just a continuation or recombination of the old, but an entirely new way of doing things.