Art Representing Minds
When explaining about play and reality in relation to a baby, Winnicot (2) explains that, “an essential feature of transitional phenomena and objects is a quality in our attitude when we observe [babies]”. This observation was made when a child encounters a symbol. Additionally, the child should not be challenged. It is significant to understand and ask whether one created the object in question or they found it lying around conveniently. In the movie the Matrix, which is directed Andy and Larry Wachowski, such concepts of the mind are evident. The movie is a clear representation that arts represent the mind in distinct ways.
In the movie, Thomas A. Anderson, a computer hacker who is also known as Neo becomes intrigued by the Matrix constantly appearing in his computer. As a child tries to associate the unknown objects around him to the known objects such as his mother, Neo tries to associate the Matrix with other people who might help him find the meaning of the Matrix. He contacts, trinity who is an infamous hacker. Trinity tells him that he can only contact Morpheus, if he wanted to know the whole truth. After going through many challenges, he secretly has a meeting with Morpheus. He swallows a red pill that makes him transit to the year 2199 where there is a war between intelligent machines and humanity. Morpheus feels that Neo is the chosen one who would save humanity from this captivity.
Morpheus belief and perception conveys the emotional/relational dimension of the mind. People’s perception of others allows them to react differently to them. In this particular case, Morpheus was willing to die for Neo. In the forth chapter on sensation and perception, the author states that a body’s ability to inhibit the perception of pain makes it possible for athletes to go through a vigorous aggressive activity enduring the pain (90). Similarly, Neo was able to “come back to life” after he heard the whispers of trinity’s love for him. This shows the connection of the sensory organs, the mind and the other parts of the body.
Aldous Huxley states that a person is always by him/herself even though he/she must react to or act on one another (2). One can only tell of other people’s experiences but it is not the same until one gets his or her own experience. This perception can be related to the cultural/historical context of the mind. In the movie, curiosity leads him to some experiences that lead him to near fatal eventualities. The encounters with the machine-operated agents could lead to fatal damages to his real body but his encouragement from Morpheus, Trinity and the Oracle made him feel that he could save humanity even though he did not believe that he was the chosen one in the first place.
The optimism in Morpheus is finally reflected in Neo’s actions. The oracle did not believe that Neo was the chosen one yet she had forecast that Morpheus would strongly believe that Neo was the chosen one. Although Neo did not believe in this mission, he believed in Morpheus. Morpheus took advantage of this and constantly told and showed Neo about his main mission. The constant seeing and hearing made Neo to believe it in the end. This depicts the sensory dimension. The movie further claims that the structure and processes of the mind may be portrayed in the physical world (Solso 56).
In a good example, Neo was able to dodge bullets from the weapons of the machine intelligent agents when he was attacked. His dodging of the bullets does not seem to be real in the real world but it was made possible in the movie. This was to show the power in the mind processes. Art can represent the mind enabling one to understand the power of the mind, which may seem impossible in the real world. The actions of the mind can also be imposed in the real mind if one believes in his actions. This makes Morpheus to be persistent on Neo’s course while Trinity plays her role by assuring Neo that she believes in him.
In this particular context, the movie depicts that our actions are our thoughts. It is how we perceive everything that is finally interpreted into our actions. Neo had to believe that he was the chosen one for him to conquer the agents in the manner that he did. Trinity’s love for Neo made him regain life. She perceived life in her mind, and then she transferred these thoughts to Neo by constantly telling him about her love for him, which finally registered in Neo’s mind thus his “resurrection”. It is significant to note that our minds may be a representation of our environment or our environment may also influence our minds.
Winnicot gives the relationship between an infant and the parent in the room as a very interesting one. Even though the infant might ignore the parent’s actions, at some point, they become influenced by them. Similarly, Neo’s actions have been influenced by the environment he has been placed. For example, he does not believe that Morpheus believes in him yet Morpheus acts as the parent in the room. Finally, Morpheus’ actions start influencing Neo. Although Trinity is on Neo’s side, her actions are not fully recognizable until she finally proclaims her love for Neo. In other words, the characters in the movie influence each other. Similarly, our actions are influenced by each other. The things we interact with from cultural perspectives tend to influence our ways of thinking and acting. It is therefore significant for us to be around a positive environment.
Bassett, M. “The Doors of Perception: by Aldous Huxley. Published by Chatto and Windus, London, 1954. Pp. 63. Price 6s.” The British Journal of Psychiatry. 101.423 (1955). Print.
Huffman, Karen. Psychology in Action. New York: Wiley, 1991. Print.
Solso, Robert L. The Psychology of Art and the Evolution of the Conscious Brain. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2003. Print.
Winnicot, D. W. “The Location of Cultural Experience”. Playing and Reality, 1971: 1-6.