The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.
John Maynard Keynes
A few years ago, I was working my way through some popular books on genetics and other topics – Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters,1 Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body,2 The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time,3 Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid,4 On the Origin of Species,5 and I Am a Strange Loop.6 Two of these books won the Pulitzer Prize, and a third one would have if it had been published after 1917.
Somewhere in there, I re-watched the movie, The Matrix.
During the movie, I had an epiphany. If the latest demonstrable scientific evidence of biology, evolution, and genetics is correct, I concluded that each of us (and all living things) must then be made of and live in our own analogous, interlinked matrix (set of matrices). These individual and linked matrices are what constitute what I will now call the Real Matrix, which has been constructed over time by the chemicals making up our genome and cells, and is ubiquitous with no escape hatch. The Real Matrix determines our perception of reality and our motivations within it.
I decided to dig into all the interrelated topics to develop, validate, and enhance my position, using generally accepted science as the foundation. This book is the result.
To distinguish from related theories I have stumbled across, I am not proposing that we live in a simulated universe, nor do I believe there is a supreme/superior consciousness that created it. I believe, but cannot prove nor disprove, that those theories are just wishful thinking.
There is a Reality out there (i.e., the universe) that somehow came into existence. But the Real Matrix does (and must necessarily) stand between us and that Reality. I have no plans, nor need, to tackle where the universe came from, what it is (well, a little), or how it operates.
So, what is this Real Matrix I am proposing?
The Real Matrix is both the biological processes for all organisms and the biomass resulting from those processes. It includes each living organism’s (including each human’s) individual, unique, and interrelated perception of, and response to, Reality, which resides internally in the organism. This perception and response give the false appearance of being Reality when it is only the interpretation of the signals received by each organism’s sensory receptors. Furthermore, the Real Matrix emerged and continues to emerge in a non-directional way through the processes of abiogenesis (emergence of life) and evolution.
After some important disclaimers and challenges, I provide an overview of the movie The Matrix and introduce some basic terms that I will later use to compare to our analogous Real Matrix.
Then, about a half of the book is taken up with an introduction to abiogenesis (the initial emergence of life) that includes a necessary education on chemistry, biochemistry, and biology, plus a detailed discussion of sensory and response systems. Abiogenesis led to the emergence of biological organisms that then continued (and still continue) to change through evolutionary mechanics.
I then discuss the major implications of all these theories and experiments in the context of human perception and behavior within the Real Matrix. At this point, I go back and compare the Real Matrix to the movie’s Matrix to help you understand the similarities and differences.
I spend the rest of the book on life considerations given this newfound knowledge – how to live life, why to live life, and how we can further explore and share our interpretations of this knowledge.
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