Context: J is my friend’s father, who works as a dentist. He claims this story happened to him a few years ago when he was in his mid 40s. The topic of living in the Matrix spurred this conversation.
Me: What if we were all living in the Matrix? What if none of this is real and we just respawn when we die?
J: I think you’re actually closer to the truth than you think.
Me: ?? What do you mean? You think we’re living in a matrix?
J: Well, I haven’t experienced anything disappearing or people “glitching”, but I have encountered a light with no source.
Me: Uhhhh what?
J: Ok story time. So I was driving on this highway in the Valley with a friend, right, and it was really late one night. Along the middle were these street lamps that made a pretty noticeable cone of light. Like, they did a good job of lighting up the streets.
Me: Mmhm, I see what you’re saying.
J: Anyways, they were pretty regular, and we didn’t really pay much attention to them. Then we saw a cone of light with no lamp to cast it. Looked EXACTLY like the light from the other street lamps, just being produced by empty air.
Me: That is sooo bizarre. Were you able to investigate it?
J: I wish we had. We easily could have, since there wasn’t anyone else on the road, but we just drove on. We still talk about it sometimes, but we’re still scratching our heads to this day.
Me: Noo I can’t believe you didn’t investigate! The curiosity would’ve killed me. Did you believe in the Matrix before this?
J: No, I didn’t really know that people actually believed in it. I just thought it was a movie. After seeing that, though, I looked into it more and was kind of surprised to find more stories like mine.
Me: Do you actually believe those stories now? That we could actually be living in a matrix?
J: Well, they’re certainly more believable now hahaa. If it wasn’t a “glitch”, I don’t know what it would be. Maybe our eyes were just tired but that was really quite strange.
Me: Wow, thank you so much for this story!
The concept of living in a simulation, or simulation hypothesis, is not new, with roots dating back to the ancient Greeks or Indian philosophers. However, the popularity of movies such as The Matrix and Inception brought the idea into the mainstream. Personally, I do not believe that we live in the Matrix, although stories like these are very intriguing, since they remind us that there are still so many things that we don’t understand about our universe. Though I have read stories about such “glitches” online, with the most popular ones being about surviving a supposedly fatal accident unscathed, this was my first time hearing about a glitch through someone that I know. It was definitely very confusing and left me with many questions about the world and what I have been taught. Although I have not experienced any glitches myself, hearing this story led me to become more open to other ways of interpreting the world.