The major conflict is humans fighting against the machines, who personify evil — a not-so-original sci-fi plot. Deprived of solar power in post-apocalyptic world, the machines turn to cultivating humans in farms to supply their energy needs. A vast human population is kept docile in a holographic, computer-generated world. Only a few enlightened humans fight the machines in this world.
The balance of the fight will fall to Neo, the foretold savior. But Neo doesn’t believe in himself. Most of the movie then is dedicated to him overcoming his lack of belief and
accepting his fate as “the one.” The only evil is ignorance, a New Age philosophy with roots in Buddhism and Gnosticism, which is now embraced by humanists.
But a subplot undercuts the ignorance-is-evil myth. On the one hand, Cypher betrays the enlightened friends because he is tired of fighting and only wishes to return to the
software illusion world of blissful ignorance. But he also turns Judas because he loves Trinity, who is attracted to Neo. Thus, jealousy undoes this major thesis of the movie. The roots of evil lie in many desires.
I like The Matrix because it’s not mindless. But it also shows that the anti-God crowd cannot adequately grapple with evil. We Christians believe that evil lies in the human bosom. If a person follows the Spirit of God, he will conform more to God’s image and manifest compassion. But if a person unbridles his passions, he will fall into evil. Because evil lurks in all of us, we need a Savior, who forgives and transforms us daily. Achieving a higher consciousness, whether induced by occult or psychedelics, is not the answer.