Before he was released by Morpheus, Neo believed that the Matrix was real life. In reality, the Matrix was a simulation program that Neo was plugged into. All his five senses were being fed sensations by the matrix – the food he ate wasn’t real.
The matrix is kind of a metaphor for our lives on earth. Earth is an illusion or a teaching simulation program.
We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Earth is a school for us souls. Souls need to come to earth in the physical state to learn. In spiritual form we cannot feel pain – there is only happiness and a sense of well being. But we can’t really appreciate light unless we have also seen darkness – we need to see the contrast. So we choose to come to earth in the physical state to experience death, pain, fear, loss, hatred, cruelty, etc and thus learn the value and wisdom of love, compassion, kindness, faith, justice, freedom, health, hope, patience, tolerance, etc.
We choose our study program on earth – what learning situations and events we will face in life. In every situation, we have FREE WILL to choose to do good or bad - but with this consciousness also comes RESPONSIBILITY (karma) - we have to pay for our misdeeds (reincarnation) - no one gets away with it. We also have to put up with free will of others – these things are not chosen beforehand. Since earth is a school, god cannot interfere and give us the answers to our exams.
We are NOT permitted to remember our spirit state because then we won’t be able to take earth seriously. It will be like playing a video game – you don’t really care if your game character dies. We won’t be able to experience the actual fear of death and pain of loss.
Like Neo we just know what sensations our five senses feed to us - plugged into the “earth teaching program”
Source: Books by Dr Brian Weiss, Michael Newton, Dolores Cannon