Chokmah/Wisdom in kabbalistic literature (and thus in much of Torah) has less to do with experience and intelligence as it does with the idea of the single point from where everything comes into existence. This is the idea of Yesh me-ayin (being from nothingness) which is comparable to the idea of the ‘big bang’ in physical science.

Job 28:12 – Wisdom comes into being from nothingness (ayin).

Terms that Chokmah is associated with are: Revelation, the Primordial Torah (the Torah that existed before creation), Abba/Father, “beginning,” “the past,” and the names YAH & YHWH.

Whereas the Sefirah of Keter is more closely associated with the infinite Eyn Sof and divine Will of God, and is unknowable, we can somewhat relate to Chokhmah, at least in terms of it representing the totality of all things to later come into creation.

Chokhmah is associated with the Eternal Torah, that was the “blueprint” of all that would come into existence, therefore it is said that “by Chokhmah” all things exist.

Proverbs 8:22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

As stated in a commentary on the Zohar:

The Zohar (3:235b, Raya Mehemna), breaks up the word chochmah itself into two words, koach, and mah. Koach means “potential,” and “mah” means “what is.” Thus chochmah means, “the potential of what is,” or, “the potential to be.” (1)


Because Chokhmah is an active force that causes ideas to come into reality, it is associated with the concept of Abba (“Father”). The Architect is the primary single source program for the design of the Matrix. Subsequent to his (failed) efforts at creating a functional Matrix, he was successful with the help of the Oracle program which had correct “understanding” (Binah) that he lacked:

The Architect: I have since come to understand that the answer eluded me because it required a lesser mind, or perhaps a mind less bound by the parameters of perfection. Thus, the answer was stumbled upon by another, an intuitive program, initially created to investigate certain aspects of the human psyche. If I am the father of the Matrix, she would undoubtedly be its mother.

This follows the kabbalistic model of Chokmah/Binah functioning together as found here:

Proverbs 9:1 – Wisdom (Architect) has built her (Oracle) house; she has set up its seven pillars (the lower 7 Sefirot)

The Architect’s shortcoming is that although he sees the ‘big picture’ and is very “goal oriented,” he cannot understand when things don’t quite work out due to “changes in the plan.” Perhaps the greatest fault of the Architect is his assumption that the past will continue to repeat itself – hence the limited “choice” he offers Neo – of destroying all or part of Zion.

Note his singular view (a characteristic of Chokmah) as he speaks with Neo, it is a static one based solely on his concept of predictability based on patterns of the past (also associated with Chokmah, just as the future is associated with Binah/Understanding and the Oracle):

The Architect: The first matrix I designed was quite naturally perfect. It was a work of art. Flawless. Sublime. A triumph only equaled by its monumental failure. … You are here because Zion is about to be destroyed. Its every living inhabitant terminated, its entire existence eradicated. … Denial is the most predictable of all human responses. But, rest assured, this will be the sixth time we have destroyed it, and we have become exceedingly efficient at it … There are two doors. The door to your right leads to the Source and the salvation of Zion. The door to your left leads back to the Matrix, to her… and to the end of your species. As you adequately put, the problem is choice. But we already know what you are going to do, don’t we? Already I can see the chain reaction: the chemical precursors that signal the onset of an emotion, designed specifically to overwhelm logic and reason. An emotion that is already blinding you to the simple and obvious truth: she is going to die and there is nothing you can do to stop it. … It is interesting reading your reactions. Your five predecessors were, by design, based on a similar predication: a contingent affirmation that was meant to create a profound attachment to the rest of your species, facilitating the function of the One.

The Oracle explains the “deficiency” of the Architect’s ‘singular thinking’ as follows:

Neo: The Architect told me that if I didn’t return to the Source, Zion would be destroyed by midnight tonight.
Oracle: Please… You and I may not be able to see beyond our own choices, but that man can’t see past any choices.
Neo: Why not?
Oracle: He doesn’t understand them – he can’t. To him they are variables in an equation. One at a time each variable must be solved and countered. That’s his purpose: to balance the equation.

Although the single-mindedness of the Architect may be seen negatively, it is still the positive force for change, one that is highlighted in the viewpoint and actions of Morpheus.

From the perspective of ‘ascending spiritually,’ Wisdom requires a great deal of work as one has several ‘gates’ to pass through. These are represented by doors and keys in the Matrix movie as well as characters such as Seraph and the Keymaker.


  1. Zohar, Selections translated and annotated by Moshe Miller, Rabbi Moshe L. Miller, Fiftieth Gate Publications and Seminars, Morristown NJ, 2000, p.45.


Ayin: The Concept of Nothingness in Jewish Mysticism, by Daniel Matt:

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