The Thirteenth Floor is a 1999 movie directed by Josef Rusnak and a co-production of Germany and the United States. The story is based on the novel by Daniel Galouve, “Simulacron 3” (1964).
The old tradition in Oriental philosophy teaches a fundamental principle that says that everything in our world is “Maya”, a lie, an illusion. In Plato’s “The Republic”, the same principle is explained in the myth “The Allegory of the Cave”. It describes how human beings, unintentionally, can deceive themselves and live their own reality. In this case, man cannot see beyond his own eyes and live a false reality. The one who wants to perceive the true reality is that who is able to get rid of the obstacles that block his sight and wants to see, not only his world, but the rest of the world.
Man will never see the Truth because everything is veiled. One of the reasons that prevent man from getting closer to this Truth is that he is only capable to see very concrete dimensions, and has not developed other more subtle senses to go beyond those dimensions. Other tools are required.
On the other hand, contemporary science is closer to what we call “surprise” or “fear” to what is “out there” or “in there”, depending the point of view. One example is the relationship between the micro-cosmos and the macro-cosmos. Why is the atom function, including its nucleus and electrons, similarly to the solar system? Many questions arise with similar comparisons. What’s man’s purpose? What is he born for? Who created him? Who created God?
In the film, the answers come in a very unusual way and beyond the conventional religious norms we know as they are related to our times and technology. Every individual has limitation living imprisoned in a world surrounded by boundaries. These boundaries are determined by the creator.
In the movies, as in all myths, the Hero is the one who can cross those boundaries. When he crosses them and eats the fruit from the “Tree of Knowledge of good and evil”, he is amazed by the truth and is disappointed by his own insignificant existence. It is not a coincidence that the first words you hear in the movies are, “ignorance is happiness”. Surprisingly, the hero discovers that his existence is an illusion. The hero wonders why he had not understood this fact before and believed such a lie. His creator answers him: “because you were not programmed to know the truth”.
At the end, the message is optimistic. What will save this human being and will give him a real dimension of things is his own improvement. Consciously return to his source of creation, to Plato’s archetypes, and the identification with these archetypes. Our hero, like Hercules, the hero who ascended to the Olympus, makes people that “ignorance is happiness” until everyone begins to question if this is true.