In 1998, Truman Burbank tried to break out of his own life.
He had been born and raised inside a highly elaborate TV show. Truman’s life had been scripted. His love life, his family, his career, it had all been controlled for him.
The few things he truly wanted – that girl in high school, that trip across the sea – were all taken from him for the sake of TV show ratings.
When he gains inklings of the artifice [a studio lamp falls from the ‘sky’ – among other things] he seeks to escape the story.
As he punctures through the horizons of his own known existence, the audience of his show, are on the edge of their seats. The daring quest of this man to break free of the contraints of his world – sends ratings through the roof.
He is now becoming a ‘true man’.
In a parallel universe, Thomas Anderson, a lonely computer programmer known as “Neo” has inklings all was not well with the world.
Various clues indicate an alternative reality, and so Neo follows mysterious characters “down the rabbit” hole. He wakes to find that his previous reality, was in fact an elaborate computer program labelled the Matrix, in which all humans are bound as comatose units of bio-electricity.
In the Matrix, humans are wired to believe their lives are free but in fact they are litte more than battery cells fueling super-intelligent machines. Neo joins the army of rebels in their quest to “unplug” enslaved humans from the Matrix and to shut down the Matrix.
What these stories have in common is the question of ‘true freedom’ and thus the question ‘true humanity’.
They join the poems, songs and stories from ancient times that thread together inklings that all is not well with this life – and in fact a greater reality lies beyond.
But is it true? Are we characters in a play? Is there really a great reality lie outside this dusty cockpit stage, or TV sound studio, or augmented reality?
More importantly is there a ‘someone’ observing us, or scripting, our story?
Dare we believe there is an ultimate-narrative, and like Neo waking from a dream, that we can better understand our life there?
Does this greater truth yield greater freedom?
Or when we wake from our dream, to “escape our narrative” will we only we find ourselves in ever higher layers of dreams?
Moreover, if there is ultimate reality, how would we even know it if we found it?
Religions and faiths can be known as ‘meta-narratives’ or stories that simply explain the nature of reality, the nature of humanity and the nature of ‘true freedom’.
The Christian narrative makes daring claims on ulimate reality and so, to the nature of ultimate freedom:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life and that life was the light to all mankind.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. ~ John 1:1-4, 14.