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How do people in the matrix use their powers? Like for instance when Neo stops all the bullets, or Agent Smith moves super fast, or when Neo flies, or when Morpheus jumps really high. How do these people use their powers? Do they have to actively think about what they want to do (i.e. if they imagine it, it happens), do they have to move their body a certain way, etc. Basically, I am asking how to people in the Matrix use their powers. I am not asking why they have powers, or how they work. I am asking what it is like for them to use their powers; how they trigger their powers. Is there any official source for this?

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  • So, basically, how do they gauge their jump so they can go from one building to another without falling short or flying right over it?
    – DavidW
    Nov 7, 2022 at 21:38
  • @DavidW sort of. I was asking how they learn to actually apply their powers. Most of them never had any powers before they were red pilled, so they wouldn't know what it is like to do things like stop bullets with their mind. It is really hard for anyone to imagine how how they would use things like telekinesis.
    – Lymona
    Nov 7, 2022 at 21:40
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    The same way you get to Carnegie Hall
    – Valorum
    Nov 7, 2022 at 21:43
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    How do they use their powers? Very carefully. Interesting to ponder though. How do you use your powers? How do you walk? Nov 8, 2022 at 10:04
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    @PaulD.Waite - very good question; if you ever have a pressing need to appear to be very drunk when you are in fact completely sober, try walking while thinking very hard about exactly how you're doing it and what the mechanics are :-)
    – Spratty
    Nov 10, 2022 at 8:03

3 Answers 3

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"Powers" seem to be invoked by believing that one can do something, and then just deciding to do it.

Morpheus: Do you believe that my being stronger or faster has anything to do with my muscles in this place? You think that’s air you’re breathing now?… Again.

....

Morpheus: What are you waiting for? You’re faster than this. Don’t think you are, know you are…. Come on. Stop trying to hit me and HIT me.

....

Morpheus: I’m trying to free your mind, Neo, but I can only show you the door, you’re the one that has to walk through it. Tank, load the jump program…. You have to let it all go, Neo, fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind.

And later, when Neo starts coming into his power, and is moving faster than was believed possible:

Morpheus: He’s beginning to believe.

One might question why one can't simply believe six impossible things before breakfast and hit the win button, but the world does still have rules.

Morpheus: I’ve seen an agent punch through a concrete wall. Men have emptied entire clips at them and hit nothing but air. Yet their strength and their speed are still based in a world that is built on rules. Because of that, they will never be as strong or as fast as you can be.

Basically, to do something, you have to actually be able to do it within the rules of the code. Neo, due to his connection with the Source, gets to essentially reprogram the rules as he goes (although he does still seem to have some limitations preventing him from being able to push an "I win" button), has a slight edge, but it seems he is still limited by his mortal preconceptions as to what can happen.

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  • Honestly, a lot of it is a wuxia*/cultivation kind of deal where self-refinement and attaining arcane knowledge of how the world *really works gives you powers that essentially work intuitively. Within regular athletics, you see examplars who employ regular exercise to improve their body, knowledge of body mechanics to work most efficiently, and bypassing mental blocks that normally keep us from quite hitting our true potential. And then, they just run and jump, and they break a world record in the long jump.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Nov 7, 2022 at 22:34
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    Similarly, the humans in the Matrix gain understanding of programming (which underlies how this world works), refine their own bodies, and eliminate their mental blocks, and they can leap between buildings or even fly, same as we do in dreams, but just doing it.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Nov 7, 2022 at 22:36
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As The Architect explained: Neo is The Anomaly - the personification of the imbalance in the equation, which is the option of the choice for all enslaved humans. This imbalance comes from the need to create perfect Matrix, which by definition cannot be perfect as it's used to host fallible human consciousnesses.

In other words: Neo is Humanity's champion (The Choice Personified) and his power is the ability to rewrite code in a way he sees fit (but as he's still human being, he is limited by his own imagination still) and that power comes - indirectly - from all humans in the Matrix. He uses that power by simply changing locally the rules of the Matrix to suit his needs. It may be also called "a godmode" or "cheat codes" on the fly.

In yet another words - Neo is something of a system process with access to the core of the system and all it's resources, which cannot be terminated - as in termination will cause crash, and consequently (yay! Channelling the Architect ;-) the death of all humans in the Matrix - and system's credentials to control that Neo process are no longer valid...

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  • Largely agree. I'd speculate- The human "batteries" are a distributed computer that are collectively imaging the Matrix as roughly an operating system and doing whatever computations the machines want/need as the primary program. Anyone - like no spoon kid- strong enough should be able to alter the Matrix locally because they are the ones generating it. Nov 8, 2022 at 15:21
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    @lucasbachmann - And if we take Matrix: Resurrections as canon, then it stands to reason Machines use humans for creative work, as well. It's not just distributed computing, it's also solving complex problems that needs some OOB... As for The Spoon Kid - yep, he said as much.
    – AcePL
    Nov 9, 2022 at 8:12
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I believe that it is based off of code that already exists. The code of the one (the prime program) existed 5 times before Neo came along. The code also included a way for people to free their minds (Zion is part of the control scheme). So, they do not break any rules, since the breaking of the rules is enabled by the Matrix itself. As such, everyone who can potentially use the powers have the code/knowledge in their mind of how to use them. Also, one could simply download a program into their head in order to use their powers.

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  • They could download something like that, but do they?
    – DavidW
    Nov 7, 2022 at 23:03
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    the helicopter program for trinity I believe was such thing
    – Schuere
    Nov 9, 2022 at 14:27

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