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Machines keep humans in the Matrix as they are a source of energy. Why did they make it so that when a human is hurt in the Matrix, their bodies hurt themselves in real life (in the tank)? If a human dies in the Matrix, do they die in the real world? Or just get flushed out of their tank? Isn't it kind of a waste?

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    Notably, there's some feedback between the body's activities in the Matrix (running and so forth) and their body in the tank, twitching and smiling are mentioned. One assumes this is to keep the physical body healthy
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 19, 2015 at 14:04

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The body cannot live without the mind. The machines can't get around that. But nothing is wasted. They liquefy the dead so that they can be fed intravenously to the living.

Jump to 45 seconds for Morpheus' first hand explanation.

[Morpheus] ... I saw the fields with my own eyes. Watched them liquify the dead so they could be fed intravenously to the living. And standing there facing the pure horrifying precision I came the realize the obviousness of the truth...

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