What you are looking at in the image below is something unusual, but useful as food for thought when considering and/or explaining the matrix. Starting at the center, you are looking at (a) Google Chrome (pink edged) running on an inner Win XP; (b) The inner Win XP (with green hill/blue sky wallpaper) is then running inside of another Win XP (with plain blue background); (c) In turn, the plain blue background Win XP is running inside of a Windows Vista system (turquoise background); (d) Reality/Nature/real existence is outside of the Win Vista's (turquoise background) borders.
Note that these are not just separate (parallel) instance windows stacked/arranged on top of each other, but rather each piece of software is genuinely running completely inside of each other. Quite a technical feat really when you consider it - I was very chuffed to get it all running!
We will discuss the meaning by analogy of what we can observe, below.:)
First, it is useful to imagine being a 'consciousness' living completely within the innermost Win XP (with green hill/blue sky wallpaper). It is this consciousnesses whole world and nothing exists outside of its immediate 'borders'/walls as far as its awareness goes. You have internet access by the Google chrome browser to ask questions about your 'reality', but your route out has to pass through 3 separate layers of the matrix (i.e. each successive Windows which is containing each before, inside of it) and so your info both in and out can be completely controlled/manipulated at each layer independently.
Similar can be said for different consciousnesses living in the blue background Win XP and the outermost turquoise Win Vista. Except that each of these has less containing layers to break through to reach the outside - and also, that those in each might be aware of those 'less aware' consciousnesses trapped and bounded in inside of them. It seems not unexpected for humans to be able to observe others seemingly not as smart as they, while mistakenly assuming they are at the top level themselves.
So it can be said that The Matrix is all of the above realms together and also, that The Matrix is composed of quite distinct layers of awareness/'existence', with the least aware and most trapped consciousnesses in the center. Maybe over time some of the consciousnesses from the center manage to eventually break out of the outer Win Vista (turquoise) to the space beyond, in regard of certain limited pieces of knowledge - and thus discover what the actual reality of a certain phenomenon as it has been created by 'the source'. Though this in no way they escape in full in terms of them being 'imprisoned' in their minds by the matrix.
Restating the above with different phraseology and some examples, given it might need further clarification. As suggested above, typically we are the equivalent of consciousnesses living almost completely contained in the inner windows XP. Yet the actual 'true' reality of existence is on the outside of the Vista version. So we are in effect 'insulated' from reality by several quite distinct and 'tangible' layers. In many areas of life/living we are provided with quite different ideas about reality compared to how it actually is on the outside. However, in contrast, in some particular areas of life (for example medical surgery carried out by a surgeon), the inner reality does actually have to match the actual reality (for it to actually work for real, as in it can't be faked). Thus for certain things, there is always a defined but clear channel going all the way from the center to reality whereas for many other things, there is no channel at all and the inner concepts may be quite different to the reality beyond the matrix.
As an example, when it comes to the reality of the 'form' of the earth - in the inner windows XP (green hills and blue sky), we are 'educated'/programmed into believing it is a moving/rotating sphere, whereas on the outside, the reality is that it is actually a stationary plain (imo), and we can measure/test simply so as to evidence this, if we dare! See this article for details about this. Yet many in the inner Win XP (green hills and blue sky) can live a whole life without becoming aware of such a profound differential existing.
The programming of the inner windows XP is so profound and so deep, that even if a completely reasonable and scientific experiment which demonstrates 100% about the stationary nature of the earth is presented, the consciousness will almost certainly consider it as a crazy/insane by the inhabitants of the inner XP, because they can't 'see' it (or even dare to imagine it) given they are completely contained in the inner Windows XP (it's teachings, propaganda, conditioning, peer pressure and expectations, etc). What I mean is that such consciousnesses won't even be able to 'see' and/or take their own professed belief in the primacy of scientific experiment and measurement seriously. Really, the Matrix indeed causes and supports such a profound disconnect from one's core beliefs and principles as to what proves things real and true.
So the inner windows XP represents the full level of matrix programming. The middle XP (dark blue background) is a fall-back layer of the matrix, as in when the most inner level fails to contain a consciousness, the middle layer will aim to catch and prevent breakout to the next outer layer, by presenting a slightly more accurate version of reality (but still deformed/distorted). So one's mind generally has to make its way through multiple layers, to reach the outside true reality about any given thing/matter. Of course, the controllers of the inner XP (green hills and blue sky) live in the next outward XP layer (dark blue background).
Taking 9/11 as an example, the very inner Win XP mind programming might correspond to the 19 hijackers story level propagated by mainstream media, (and note this wasn't just a story, rather the Matrix made sure there was a relevant group going around trying to learn to fly, and that an appropriate passport was found in the wreckage to act as a 'witness'!). Then the middle 'catching layer' (Win XP with blue background) might represent an acknowledgement and cover that not all quite fits with the 'official narrative' and so might instead be construed as a possible 'inside job' (along with evidence/hints that none of the 19 could actually fly even a small Cessna single prop plane along with witness statements available about them having visited lap-dancing clubs and consumed alcohol, etc).
The outer turquoise Vista layer might make a final attempt at containing the consciousnesses by putting forth a yet more developed theory to explain events (along with more useful information jig-saw pieces for a 'truth seeker'). But this outer level still 'holds/traps' and thus prevents a final breakout. Maybe even, this layer raises more questions than it answers (so as to delay/slow down the consciousness). For example, information and dramatic reports from the inside of the building during collapse and/or other useful technical information about the aircraft and buildings. Maybe footage from the airports which raises questions about who was on the flights, etc. Maybe evidence to suggest that all those happening to be standing around near the towers on the day, were actors waiting to be prompted to deliver their lines.So many odd jig-saw pieces which take time to check and fit-together.
However if all the layers fail to hold/contain and a final breakout of consciousness into reality is successful, then imo, what we discover is that most of the aircraft footage (at least) of the second plane hitting the second tower which we saw on the day, was actually a preproduced CGI animation/creation, introjected realtime into the TV news feeds. And the footage of the buildings collapsing was either footage of a realtime controlled demolition of the towers on the day (or again and more likely, far more dramatic preproduced CGI footage shown realtime while the towers were being demolished by explosives, but behind a wall of smoke, due to their actual demolition being somewhat less dramatic and shocking compared to the CGI movie version).
Lastly, to note, the higher level Intel agencies have their point men/agents at all layers of the matrix, ready to provide explanations which contain more truth than already known by the consciousness at their previous layer. However each new set of disclosures/explanations are nevertheless still a partial truth, and thus containing/trapping. The agents job is also to inject excitement into the discovery of the new insights, so that in the beginning they seem like a full and complete explanation/discovery. Again, this provides for slowing down and pausing the consciousness.
To note that in reality, the matrix contains vastly more layers than this windows example allowed for. In each of our lives, there are probably hundreds if not thousands of profound things being obscured and hidden about reality by the matrix.
Russian dolls: The truth of the Matrix taught to children?