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After Neo learned kung fu, Neo and Morpheus connected to Matrix for a sparring program similar to the programmed reality of the Matrix. After the training, there was a conversation between them;

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  • Morpheus: How did I beat you?
  • Neo: You... you're too fast.
  • Morpheus: Do you believe that my being stronger or faster has anything to do with my muscles in this place? Do you think that's air you're breathing now?

Are they really breathing air when they in the Matrix? Or it was also just an another control system? Is there any information about that?

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Comments purged due to off-topicness. –  TylerShads Dec 18 '12 at 13:33
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2 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

When they're having that conversation, they're still in the Simulation Program. I think Morpheus meant (more bluntly):

Look, I didn't beat you because I have more muscles. This is simulation, you can hack it and break its laws unlike reality where you must submit to them.

He says "Do you think that's air you're breathing now?" meaning "There is no air." That is a simulation, they're in a virtual world which obviously implies they don't need to obey reality laws.

Think about videogames, you do things you won't ever do in real life.

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I'd rephrase that slightly. I wouldn't agree that Morpheus means "there is no air", unless he qualified it with something that differentiates it from the air he was breathing before he entered the simulation. When thinking about video games, for example, I wouldn't say to a cinematic sequence where a character is breathing heavily: 'this character isn't breathing air'--the character IS breathing air... he simply is a simulated character with simulated need for simulated air, much like Neo is breathing simulated air in the simulator. –  hexparrot Dec 19 '12 at 20:05
    
@hexparrot Do you know Magritte's Ceci n'est pas une pipe? I think that explains what I meant in the answer more than any explanation I can think of. :P –  Alenanno Dec 19 '12 at 20:15
    
I greatly appreciate that image--that might belong in your answer, as I found it to be very purposefully supportive of how you described the absence of air. Perhaps "this isn't air" might even bridge the gap of ambiguity, in my mind. –  hexparrot Dec 19 '12 at 20:27
    
@hexparrot Great! I'm glad it helped to clarify what I meant. :) –  Alenanno Dec 19 '12 at 20:35
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The Sparring Program that Morpheus and Neo fight in is a simulated reality along the same lines as the Matrix, but much smaller and presumably hosted by the Nebuchadnezzar computers.

When they are 'plugged into' these simulated realities, clearly their physical bodies are breathing air, but the reality they are experiencing is simulated. Hence there is no air that they are breathing in that simulated reality. Morpheus is trying to make Neo realize he is not bound by the same physical realities as the real world, that it is his mind that is fighting him, not any physical body.

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