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Morpheus the Righteous Teacher

Just as the Matrix world corresponds to our physical world, neither is totally void of ‘truth,’ though there is great concealment. As mentioned in our article on Trinity, she is the aspect of truth within the Matrix that Neo first finds. His next connection after entering through the first sefirah (Trinity/Malkhut) is Morpheus, who functions at the second emanation of Yesod (‘Foundation’).

Remember, we’re going from the bottom-up on the “Path of the One.

Just as a child is slowly transitioned from the mother’s care to learning from their father, in the same manner, Neo had to go through Trinity before being handed off to Morpheus. 

The Significance of Morpheus at Yesod

In kabbalah, the position of the attribute of Yesod above Malchut (our world/the Matrix) is significant in that it acts as the ‘connection’ between “us below” and all the higher realms above. Everything going up from Malchut, or back down to it from above, passes through Yesod.

This places Morpheus in a unique position. In some ways, he may be considered the most important figure in the Matrix storyline.

Without his influence, Neo does not take the red pill, “and the story ends.” as Morpheus said to him. He does a ‘u-turn’ and goes back to the world of concealment. Taking the red pill enables the ‘path’ from Malkhut upward.

The concept of the righteous person, called the ‘tzaddik,’ (tza-deek) relates to Yesod. The tzaddik has a great influence on providing what is needed to others in the world.

Simply stated, without “righteous people” the world would descend into chaos. Picture Yesod ‘missing’ in the diagram and Malkhut being isolated, cut off from all the above sources of sustenance.

As the Oracle mentioned to Neo:

Poor Morpheus. Without him we’re lost.”

Why does the Oracle make such a cryptic statement?

Another ancient text, called the Bahir, holds the answer:

“We learned: There is a single pillar extending from heaven to earth, and its name is Righteous (Tzaddik). This pillar is named after the righteous. When there are righteous people in the world, then it becomes strong, and when there are not, it becomes weak. It supports the entire world, as it is written, “And Righteousness is the foundation (Yesod) of the world.” If it becomes weak, then the world cannot endure. Therefore, even if there is only one righteous person in the world, it is he who supports the world. It is therefore written, ‘And a righteous one is the foundation of the world.’”
Bahir: 102, Nehunya ben HaKanah (2nd century CE)

A commentary on the Bahir, explains this in accordance with the Tree of Life diagram:

“One who wishes to ascend on high must always travel along the path from Malkhut-Kingship to Yesod-Foundation. Looking at the diagram of paths, it is evident that, while there are many paths interconneting the other Sefirot, there is only one path leading from Malkhut-Kingship, the lowest Sefirah, upward, and this is the path leading to Yesod-Foundation. This path is called Tzaddik, the Pillar of Righteousness…”
The Bahir: Translation, Introduction and Commentary, Aryeh Kaplan, p.183

What the above reveals, is that “path of the One” in the Matrix, is the same as the “path of the tzaddik” in kabbalah. It is the connection between the world of concealment we live in (the Matrix world in Malkhut) to and through Yesod (the righteous) then up to the Creator (“the Source”) above all.

Oh, Behave!

A person may be fortunate enough to make the connection at Malkhut (as Neo did with Trinity) but if you are not acting in a righteous manner, you will fail at Yesod and go no further up the path to the Source. The example of the latter that we find in the Matrix is in the character of the Merovingian.

Yesod is linked to the Biblical patriarch, Joseph for two reasons. The first is the impact he had on his family. He brought them back together (synergy) and reconnected them (and their children) to their purpose. Synergy and connection are the two main functions of Yesod.

The second reason has to do with sexual purity, a prerequisite for spiritual advancement. In the Biblical narrative, Joseph ran from his master’s wife who had seduced him. There’s an interesting connection made between Neo and the Merovingian with respect to this, as the Merovingian seems to have failed at this level:

The Merovingian’s wife, Persephone, reveals that the Merovingian used to be a “good guy.”

Speaking to and of  Neo, she says:

“He was like you, once” 

She also explains that part of the change in the Merovingian was becoming less “morally upright” …

He’s in the ladies’ room.”

Of course, that’s only part of the Merovingian’s problem. We explore the rest on his profile page.

Morpheus went to the other extreme. This is sometimes the case with a tzaddik. For instance, Moses sent his wife to live with her family so he could devote himself totally to his mission.

In his dedication to “finding the one,” he removed himself from intimate relationships:

Trinity: “She (Niobi) used to be with Morpheus. Now she’s with Lock.”
Neo: “What happened?”
Trinity: “Morpheus went to the Oracle. After that everything changed.”
Neo: “Yeah, she can do that.”

Look Back & Believe

Morpheus also strongly exhibits attributes from the “right side” of the Tree of Life. This is especially seen in how he speaks of and shows his ‘belief’ (faith, Hebrew: ’emunah’)

The ‘force’ of his actions, coming from the proactive quality of boundlessness of the right side, is based on ideas that do not require the “form” demanded of things from the restrictive side of the left. 

This puts him at odds with Commander Lock, who operates from the left:

Commander Lock: “Dammit, Morpheus. Not everyone believes what you believe.”
Morpheus: “My beliefs do not require them to.”

From the onset of the first movie, Morpheus speaks much of the past. For example, we hear this in his explanation to Neo about the creation of the Matrix, and his cave speech about the beginning of the man-machine conflict:

“When the Matrix was first built, there was a man born inside who had the ability to change whatever he wanted”

 “I remember that I am here not because of the path that lies before me, but because of the path that lies behind me!”

This aspect of the “past” is based in the upper emanation of Chokhmah/Wisdom which is above Chesed on the right side. We see this reflected in the Architect who is very ‘singular’ minded, reflecting that there is but one ‘past.’

Compare this to the Oracle, who reflects the opposite from the left side, as when she stated,

“I’m interested in one thing, Neo, the future.” 

There are many possible futures, each dependent on choice.

More aspects of Morpheus will be discussed in our thematic articles.

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Fernanda Klaus
Designer at Arbius

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Trinity kisses Neo in the Matrix