Robert Kern Curtis

EDUCATION and The Matrix. What is education?

The word "education" is from Latin and means "the leading out" (from "e" or "ex" =out and "duco" =lead). It seems to go back to the Greek and particularly to Plato's Allegory of the Cave in the seventh book of The Republic from which the word "enlightened" meaning "educated" also seems to come. The idea is that education is the leading out of a cave of darkness and shadows of a man into the light of day and truth, so that he can see what is real. Rene Descartes is the philosopher who addresses the matter of what is real and how we know that what we see is not illusion. What the man in Plato's cave saw were shadows which he thought were reality but which were in fact illusion! Descartes asks us to doubt everything so we can find out what is real: of what can we be sure. There is one thing about which Descartes can be sure; that he exists. Cogito ergo sum. This is his great insight: since he is thinking, he knows he exists.

In Plato's cave, people took the shadows to be reality as in The Matrix people take the matrix to be reality and Morpheus leads them out of this ignorance to the truth.

There is a richness to the Allegory of the Cave in Plato's Republic Book VII which is important to our whole tradition of education and this is once again brought to life in The Matrix with two sequels to come.... [You take the red pill to come out of the cave, or the blue pill to remain (where ignorance is bliss).]

Yes, we should also consider how Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass come to play in this matter. "Drink Me" brings Alice into a very different world too! There is much symbolism in The Matrix.

Matrix Reloaded
Google Directory for The Matrix

Return to Robert Kern Curtis home page
Return to Reflections Page
Return to Hackensack High School page

This page was most recently changed: Monday, 26-Oct-2015 00:24:00 EDT