Monday, September 01, 2003

Spoons and Spinoza

Thereís a lot of talk about the Ultimate Meaning of the Matrix movies, over at The Matrix Essays site and others. So I thought Iíd add my two cents:

The basic structure of the Matrix follows Gnostic Christian Eschatology. It begins with a war in heaven between the Seraphim, the Angelic host created by God as servants (the Machines) and the Elohim (humans). The Elohim were old Pagan Gods, downgraded to the status of Demons, (referred to also as the pre-Adamic people, which is how Cain, when he was expelled form Eden found a wife. She was not made in the image of the God of Eden but in the image of another god. The First commandment says you shall have no other God before Me, not that there arenít others. Anyway...) The result of this war was a schism in the cosmos. As punishment, the defeated Elohim (humans) are imprisoned in the Physical World (the Matrix), which is a construct created and controlled by a Blind Idiot Demiurge who, in his ignorance and greed for power and adoration, believes himself to be the creator of the whole universe (The Architect). The true Creator God Force, has a female counterpart (sometimes called his wife), Sophia. Sophia (Persephone) slips into the world (Matrix) in order to nudge the Elohim (humans) into evolving and rebellion, so that they will cause the imperfect physical world (Matrix) to collapse and thus rejoin the Seraphim (which I imagine resembles sort of like what happens to the Elders and the Skeksies at the end of The Dark Crystal). The way this happens is that enough humans are Illuminated and slip into the underworld (Zion), a part of the really real world where escaped they can gather to plot. Since they are basically out of control of the Blind Demiurge (The Architect) they have to be prevented from escaping or subdued once they return to the Matrix (as Enlightened beings, Saints, Bodhisattvas, etc.) by the Serephim (machines) lest they wake everyone up. This explains why the Architect has the elaborate plan at the end of Reloaded to try to convince Neo to reboot the Matrix and start Zion over with 23 individuals, to keep their numbers low and controllable. But Neo chooses not to. Heís more than just the One now (as the Architect tells him their were five other Oneís, similar to Buddhist cosmology where each aeon is ruled by a different Buddha) but he is more Christ-like, choosing to accept the consequences of his love for humanity. And since the humans are helped by Sophia (Persephone) they are destined to succeed, as any Oracle will tell you.

So in regards to the Matrix revolutions, I predict that Neo (Christ) will return to the Matrix and wake everyone up, including Smith and the Merovingian to the fact that humans and machines are both Intelligences, both being controlled by the Architect, that they are all basically slaves. Only programs like the Merovingian and Smith are Princes of Hell while the humans are simply fuel for the flames. The Revolution will be against the controls of the Architect. And in the end, the Machines and Humans will set about to rebuild the world together, to turn it into a paradise where they cooperate, which is the point of the Matrix all along: to teach understanding of the inherent divinity of all Intelligent creatures, to encourage them to work together to muddle through the deterministic parts and respect one another during the times when they have free will.

Thatís my theory anyway, extrapolating from what I know about the source material.

Now there are quite a few layers of symbolism in the movies, from the names of the characters to little details like license plates that refer to Bible passages and literary influences (most notably the reoccurring Alice in Wonderland references). At the Matrix Essays site they go into extensive detail, which means lots of fun for mythology and folklore geeks like me. I recommend it.

The Matrix movies arenít everyoneís cup of tea, of course. My friend Jason found the movies disappointing when held in comparison to books that deal with the same ideas, Like Philip K. Dickís Valis trilogy and Illuminatus!. But hay, itís a mainstream big budget movie, from the Warner Bros., No less. So in this regards itís something special that will maybe lead to a few people finding the works of Phil Dick and Robert Anton Wilson who otherwise wouldnít have.

Finding Enlightenment though is a whole other matter.

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