The Matrix movie could easily be subtitled, “The Path of the One,” as it is as much about Neo’s journey through the worlds he ‘exists’ in as it is about the Matrix itself. Throughout the three movies, Neo encounters numerous people, places and things that correspond to Torah concepts and themes. These will be developed throughout this study. For now, here’s a framework of the major concepts.
THE MATRIX represents the world we (in real life) ‘primarily’ exist in since the sin of Adam and expulsion from the Garden of Eden. It corresponds to our ‘physical’ world of existence (Asiyah) which cloaks the reality of the spiritual worlds around us.
Note that there remains a connection between the Matrix world, the humans in the pods, the freed humans and the ‘machine world’ – just as there is connection between our physical word and the spiritual worlds.
A major theme to the movie is about bringing tikkun (repair) to the Matrix world and outside of it. As in real life, this can be accomplished in the lowest world as all the worlds are ‘connected’ in some manner, i.e., what happens in the Matrix affects things in the other worlds(s).
THE WORLDS beyond that of the people still “sleeping” in the Matrix, are the levels of;
- programs (including the agents)
- the Oracle
- the Architect
- the machine world outside the Matrix.
These correspond to the ascending spiritual worlds of;
- angels (Yetzirah)
- the heavens, including; forces, powers, archangels (Beriah)
- pre-creation (Atzilut)
- pre-existence (Adam Kadmon)
The RED PILL represents the concept of ‘restriction’ (tsimtsum) enabling elevation to knowledge of greater truth. This is the function of the emanation of G-d called Gevurah/Judgment – to restrict illusion so that truth may be seen. Throughout the Matrix movies, everyone’s growth is preceded by some type of tsimtsum. Some characters, especially Neo, go through many of these cycles, with some more confusing and difficult than others. Tsimtsum is an integral part of tikkun.
The FIGHT SCENES that Neo is involved in, from his training with Morpheus to battles with the agents, are the ways of engaging with the Matrix program and its ‘rules’ in order to ‘know’ them, that is to connect with them. The term for “knowledge” is “da’at,” and in Torah literature it carries the idea of connecting with something to acquire ‘knowledge’ of it. As we hear from Seraph in the second movie, “You do not know (connect with) someone until you fight them.”
The MATRIX CODE represents both the “light of G-d” (Ohr Ein Sof) that initially creates and subsequently sustains everything, as well as the manifestation of the emanation of Da’at/Knowledge.’ To learn about the Matrix – to see the code more clearly and be able to manipulate it, is make new connections and ‘draw closer’ to the ‘source,’ i.e., G-d.
The PATH OF THE ONE is the journey of connecting one of the above worlds to the next, or one level of the soul to the next. There are five levels of the soul in Torah literature, of which the first three are attained by Neo in the first movie. When Neo has knowledge/da’at of one world, he connects to the foundation/yesod of the next. He goes on to attain the highest two levels in the 2nd and 3rd movies. Ascent through the path brings tikkun (repair) to all the worlds.
The levels from the beginning of his path are:
- Nefesh (related to Trinity)
- Ruach (related to Morpheus)
- Neshama (related to the Oracle)
- Chaya (related to the Architect)
- Yehida (related to the Machine World)
NEO represents the person who has ‘fallen’ but then seeks and embarks on the path of Torah righteousness (a ‘ba’al teshuvah’). He makes his connections and ascends higher/deeper into the spiritual worlds with the help of other characters and his own efforts. He has the potential to become ‘the One’ (messiah) as Oracle hints to him upon their first meeting.
TRINITY represents the concepts of daughter/bride/shekinah (the ‘divine presence’ that connects with Neo in the Matrix, and is the bridge from the illusion of the Matrix World (our present reality) to the spiritual worlds beyond. She thus represents the idea of ‘the kingdom’ in this world. Neo first seeks this (Matthew 6:33) and then ‘all else’ is added to him.
MORPHEUS is a tzadik (righteous person) who has mastered the level of the Matrix and functions as a teacher for those on the path of righteousness. He represents the path/connection between earth and heaven(s) – the ladder in Jacob’s dream.
The ORACLE represents an entity from the spiritual world of what are called ‘forces’ or ‘powers’ or ‘archangels’ in Torah literature. This is the level of heaven (‘heavens’ – shamayim, of which there are seven in Torah literature.) This is the level of the “spirit of prophecy.”
The ARCHITECT, is the ‘creator’ of the Matrix, yet is himself a program. Thus he is ‘beyond creation,’ yet still part of existence.
AGENT SMITH represents the head of the Sitra Achra (“other side,” i.e., “evil realm”) who along with the other agents attempt to confound the efforts of teshuvah and tikkun. Their actions function as klippot – the things which cover the truth from those in the Matrix.
THE MEROVINGIAN represents several key concepts that will be reviewed later. One of these is the person who fails the test of making the jump from a non-spiritual ‘cause and effect’ mindset to the spiritual one of ‘belief.’
The MACHINE WORLD with relation to the Matrix represents ‘pre-existence’ and forms the models of the Matrix and its programs. This would relate to the idea of Adam Kadmon. (There is no escaping the irony of man creating the machines at this level.)
ZION represents an exiled state of the Garden of Eden and humanity, which one day will be restored (Tikkun Olam – ‘repairing of the world’). As Tank tells Neo; “If the war was over tomorrow, Zion is where the party would be.”