After asking about how Neo could use his powers outside the Matrix, it left me thinking about this from another point of view.

While there is a question about how Neo could use his powers outside the Matrix, there is another question that comes with that: How did Neo know his power would work on the weapons the Machines were launching at him and the ship?

Neo knew the difference between inside and outside the Matrix, and knew the difference between reality and the fantasy world in the Matrix. On the surface, he had no reason to expect his powers to work outside the Matrix. Something must have given Neo a reason to believe his powers worked in the real world.

What make him think his powers would work against the Machines outside the Matrix?

5 Answers 5


Remember his line:

Something's different. I can feel them.

He feels that "the real world" is different than before and it reminds him of The Matrix. Additionally: At that point, there was really nothing to lose; the sentinels were about to kill them. Wouldn't you give it a shot if you had a hunch?

  • "He feels that "the real world" is different than before and it reminds him of The Matrix" I always assumed he did something in the matrix that allows him to give commands to the machines in the real world. Where does this info come from? 3 hours ago
  • @Parrotmaster Literally the quote preceding that sentence.
    – bitmask
    2 hours ago

Given that the machines were outside agents of the Matrix, perhaps he was simply able to exploit their connection to it. This might also be how he could sense their presence.


Based on this quote:

That you are a slave, Neo.
Like everyone else you were born into bondage.
Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch.
A prison for your mind.

that Neo's mind has been freed by this point in the story means the question is actually: "why would Neo NOT think this" and if the movie is a metaphor for the nature of reality, and the Matrix within the story is a metaphor of reality, then why would Neo freeing his mind not affect reality?

  • I don't understand the relevance between your point here and Neo thinking his powers would work outside the matrix.
    – Edlothiad
    Aug 26, 2017 at 15:07
  • @Edlothiad if Neo comes to the real world without his mind, then it might make sense for having previously freed his mind having no effect in the real world. since all evidence suggests that Neo had a mind, freed it, and brought it to the real world: his mind should be freed in the real world.
    – lpt
    Aug 27, 2017 at 21:09
  • @Edlothiad is there a strong argument for the mind being imprisoned by discreet, world-specific prisons that must be individually escaped? or can the operating assumption be that freeing one's mind is context-independent?
    – lpt
    Aug 27, 2017 at 21:11

My beliefs on this are that the first Matrix is superimposed by another Matrix. That's how he could use his powers. He can do more than that but just doesn't know it yet. Oracle, "Know thyself."

  • 3
    Fan theories are fun but it's better to back them up with actual facts
    – Valorum
    Mar 29, 2014 at 21:38
  • 3
    Welcome to Stack Exchange, Luke. The intent on this site is not to speculate or discuss fan fiction, but to provide hard answers based on knowledge or research.
    – Tango
    Mar 31, 2014 at 8:22

I completely agree with Luke on this point and can provide proof that this is the truth in the movie that most people ignored.

The "real world" was not the real world, but simply another layer of Matrix that allowed the people who were not happy with the original Matrix to escape and believe they were free without actually posing a real threat to the machines. The war they were fighting against the machines was a virtual one and none of them had actually ever left a pod. They were all still connected to the Matrix.

The reason that Neo could control the machines is that the "real world" was just another simulated layer. This is also the reason that Smith could transfer into a human. The way the movie confirmed this truth is that when Neo lost his vision he could see the Matrix, but this time the code was yellow instead of green. The "real world" was simply another Matrix, but this different reality was yellow code instead of green.

If Neo was truly in reality he would not have any magical ability to control the machines. Smith would not be able transfer his consciousness into a real person. The real world is not based on computer code so Neo would not see the world as such if he were truly in reality. The "real world", the Matrix with the yellow code was created so that disenfranchised people could escape the green Matrix and yet not be a real threat to the machines as the war they were waging was a virtual one and had no effect on the real machines in the true reality. It also kept them enslaved even though they thought they were free.

  • I disagree with this. Please see the bullet points at the end of my answer to a related question. These are facts which are inconsistent with the theory that the real world is just another Matrix.
    – Null
    Jan 7, 2016 at 22:29
  • Furthermore, this doesn't answer the question unless you are also claiming that Neo knew or thought that the real world was just another Matrix. But you would need to prove that.
    – Null
    Jan 7, 2016 at 22:30
  • 1
    The point of this site is not, "This is what I think," but to provide answers that can be supported and authoritative. We're glad to have you and welcome you to the site. It can be a bit confusing at first, since most of us are used to discussion sites, but our focus is on supportable answers. If you have questions, stop by our chat room and ask or click "Help" on the bar at the top of the page.
    – Tango
    Jan 8, 2016 at 2:02
  • This could actually be proof. Note the use of color. We use a stoplight, green, yellow, red in many things. They could have chosen any color. But to go from green, to yellow points to the final layer of red. This would be logical to a machine.
    – Jammin4CO
    May 24, 2016 at 16:21
  • I did provide proof, the proof is the yellow code. Watch it for yourself and explain to me why Neo would see reality as computer code, just like he does inside the Matrix. May 26, 2016 at 18:37

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