Maya and Matrix are the same concepts
Many people might believe that the basic idea of a Matrix has first emerged in this modern age. You may think, that the concept that we could live in virtual reality has been established within the collective consciousness by the eponymous Hollywood films. This is not the case at all! The notion that we are embedded in a form of simulation is very old. Already the ancient Indian civilization had this fundamental concept in its Vedic scriptures, which they called “Maya”. Maya means the cosmic illusion, that deceives us from our true reality.
However, there should be no doubt, that the Matrix trilogy has massively contributed to the fact that this idea of a virtual reality world has recently gained certain publicity. These Hollywood films have basically initiated a renaissance of this ancient philosophical perspective. At least they reintroduced this concept into the pop-culture.
The philosophical origins of the Matrix
The western philosophical origins to this profound question, whether we live in an artificial, virtual reality does not date as far back as the ancient Indian philosophy and their concept of “Maya”. At least as much as we know. It emanates from the controversy between Platon vs. Democritus, or between two ideologies: idealism versus materialism. Platon assumed that the material world emerges from a higher principle. He was referring to a collective consciousness or a complex metaphysical realm behind space-time.
Materialism, however, assumes that the mind or consciousness is an outcome of physiological and chemical processes inside matter. In essence, it is a result of mechanistic interactions between material structures, which generates a sense of self. If you want to put it in more simple words: the materialistic doctrine sees our brains as mini-computers, which somehow produce consciousness. This view is still reflected today in the current scientific paradigm, as it is taught to us in school.
Chasing the Matrix with new scientific methods
Over the centuries, this dispute has not ceased. Simply because we did not have the scientific means to present evidence to the argument in one direction or another. Thus, this debate is far from over. But that might have changed with the invention of new scientific methods.
Along with quantum physics and the various phenomena associated with the entanglement of elementary particles, the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen-Paradox, and the various double-slit experiments, however, the status quo fundamentally shifted. All these modern findings can no longer be explained inside a mere materialistic worldview. That allowed us to take a peek behind the curtain of illusion. We start to see the Matrix so to say.
A new paradigm of Virtual Reality
These scientific findings push the probability of the conclusion that we live in virtual reality – a Matrix. The various phenomena of the quantum world can be much better explained in such a VR context than it is possible in a purely materialistic paradigm.
Now with modern technology, it became very easy to abstract, what the ancient Indian culture tried to convey with the concept of “Maya”. Technological achievements, such as virtual reality or quantum computing are still far from reaching their full potential, however, it becomes obvious where these developments could lead us: “True Reality” will be impossible to distinguish from “VR Reality”.
If it will be soon possible to create a Matrix then we might already be inside one!
Already the theoretical possibility that in close future we might simulate everyday experiences in such complexity, that we no longer could differentiate those virtual realities from “real” life, has to lead us into a whole new paradigm of thinking. From a purely materialistic conception, the string of “coincidences”, that had to take place, so that life on earth could manifest as we know it, seems statistically very unlikely. In comparison, the likelihood or chances, that we soon will be able to simulate life in all its complexity with modern quantum computing systems, is overwhelmingly bigger.
Conclusion: It is statistically much more probable, that we are already existing in a simulation. This simple evaluation of the odds has lead Nick Bostrom to argue in a similar direction which sparked a lot of discussions. He approached this phenomenon with scientific methods and developed his Simulation Hypothesis.
Matrix Conclusion and Elon Musk
From my point of view, I am pretty sure we are living in a kind of super-sophisticated computer game or virtual reality environment. I am surely not alone with that conclusion. Just recently Elon Musk, the entrepreneur behind SpaceX and Tesla Motors, also stated that he is also leaning towards this interpretation of reality.
Furthermore, all kinds of esoteric or spiritual concepts could derive from the metaphysics of the simulation. Also, the hidden power structure which is mostly referred to as the Illuminati, fall into a different perspective. They might be the secret “server administrators” for earth simulation that control the framework for human experience as we know it.
So, if this is true – what does that mean for our everyday life? Well, that is a big topic and I would like to share my ideas about this in another article. Anyhow, to dig deeper, I would like to suggest the following documentary, which I like to include in this article. Get inspired!