21 Apr What Made Neo THE One?
Neo was the One. Everyone knew it. So he was told. He knew it. But did he believe it? Perhaps. There is nothing to suggest that he actually did believe it. He was just another wanderer searching for meaning to his life. He pretty much stumbled upon (from his POV) Trinity and the rest, and discovered a whole new world, a whole new way of looking at things. A whole new reality. He had to ditch his previous life & lifestyle. He had to make a drastic change.
I can Only Show You the Door
But all the “you are The One” jazz was not something he was mentally prepared for. It is not what he bargained for. It is not even clear that he understood what being The One meant – and so Oracle says to him, “Being the one is just like being in love. No one can tell you you’re in love. You just know it…” It is worth noting that Oracle asks him what he thinks, and at that point of time, he answers, that he is not sure.
Wording used is very important. When Oracle examines him, she again asks him what he thinks, and he, perhaps out of fear & doubt, says “I’m not the one.” Oracle neither says that is so, nor does she say that is not so. She merely answers, “Sorry kid. You got the gift, but it looks like you’re waiting for something.” He was waiting for a confirmation from someone else on whether he is The One or not. And that is why he was not The One …yet.
When he fights Morpheus after his quick walk through into Kung Fu, he fails, just like all the rest – despite a promising start. He did not have early success. He just came close to it, and missed. Once again, perhaps because he was not entirely convinced till deep down that he was The One, and what that entailed, what did it even mean. When he had to take the high jump, and his own life was on line, he boggled, and failed.
Morpheus says to him,
“I’m trying to free your mind Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.”
These words were far more important in the movie than we at first realize. In these words, Morpheus already gives away what would make Neo The One.
Right before jumping, Morpheus gives a hint: “You have to let it all go Neo…fear, doubt, disbelief. Free…your…mind.”
At the end of The Matrix, there are not many words, but many things happen. We see Neo getting beaten left, right and center. Agent Smith empties his pistol into Neo. But then he gets up, as if as good as new, and is able to stop bullets in the air. He sees, processes everything as programs in the matrix. He is able to get inside Agent Smith and destroy him. He does Kung Fu effortlessly, as if he is operating in automated mode…and perhaps he is.
So, what happened?
Neo’s awakening is his realizing that he is not the matrix…he is something more than a mere program. He awakens to his real Self, and hence, he no longer sees the matrix as “real.” He sees it all as one program or another. Hence, even though by matrix calculations, he should have died, he doesn’t die, because he realizes he is not the matrix, and hence the rules and laws of the matrix don’t apply to him. Because he understands that everything – everything perceived by the senses – is not real, he goes beyond it all, is the Master of it all. He becomes The One.
Why, Mr Anderson?
But the answer is still remaining. We know what is the meaning of The One. But what made Neo The One? The answer is given by Neo himself in The Matrix Reloaded.
“Why, Mr. Anderson? Why, why, why? Why do you do it? Why, why get up? Why keep fighting? Do you believe you’re fighting for something, for more than your survival? Can you tell me what it is, do you even know? Is it freedom, or truth, perhaps peace, could it be for love? Illusions, Mr. Anderson, vagaries of perception. Temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without any meaning or purpose! And all of them as artificial as the Matrix itself. Although only a human mind could invent something as insipid as love. You must be able to see it Mr. Anderson, you must know it by now. You can’t win, it’s pointless to keep fighting! Why, Mr. Anderson, why? Why do you persist?”The Matrix Reloaded
Neo answers, “Because I choose to.”
Neo is The One because he chooses to. He has the potential, the gift, the powers, everything. But none of those make him The One. It is when he digs his heels in, decides to not let his doubts, fears & disbeliefs take over his life, and decides that he wants to be The One, no matter what that means, no matter what that entails, he becomes that. So far, it was his doubts and fears about his own abilities, his own self, his own capacity to fulfill his role that were holding him back. When he just chooses to do what is needed, by not giving up, and decides to just keep fighting for what he knows to be right, he automatically takes the responsibility of The One, and becomes The One.