Gilgul: To Live and Live Again
Before we get to the depth of meaning of “gilgul,’ let’s examine a peculiar dialogue that came early in The Matrix Reloaded.
It involved the first time we see that there is more than one Smith:
Smith 1: That went as expected.
Smith 2: Yes.
Smith 1: It’s happening exactly as before.
Smith 2: Well, not exactly.
At this point in the story, we have no idea what this could mean.
And there’s this odd statement spoken to Smith in The Matrix Revolutions:
Seraph: “I have beaten you before.”
Again with the ‘before’ business. What is going on here?
Watching Matrix Re-Runs
There were clues dropped through the movies saying there had been several versions of the Matrix prior to the current one.
Smith: “Which is why the Matrix was redesigned to this, the peak of your civilization.”
Architect: “The Matrix is older than you know. I prefer counting from the emergence of one integral anomaly to the emergence of the next, in which case this is the 6th version.”
So we have older Matrix versions and it seems Smith has been around before as well. But what was this about six ‘anomalies?’
If “the One” is the result of the anomaly (an agent actually calls Neo by that term in Reloaded) and this is the 6th time around, then Neo had five predecessors? That’s what Neo was contemplating when the Architect dumped that on him.
Gilgul: Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions
The Merovingian left no doubt that Neo was not the first of his ‘kind’:
Merovingian: “You know, your predecessors had much more respect.”
Neither did the Architect, who hinted that Neo was an “improved edition” of “the One”:
Architect: While the others experienced this in a very general way, your experience is far more specific – vis a vis love.
This seems like it’s starting to make sense, though it was odd that when the two Smith’s were chatting about things happening as they had before, they definitely gave a sense that they themselves had been around before.
Not to mention what the Oracle had mentioned about the Merovingian:
Oracle: He’s being held prisoner by a very dangerous program, one of the oldest of us. He is called the Merovingian …
So it seems the programs have come around again and again with each version of the Matrix. And there were previous humans who had reached the level of “the One” but not attained the level of success that Neo had.
It’s all a ‘tidy’ scenario … except for one early bombshell that may have gone unnoticed:
Morpheus: When the Matrix was first built, there was a man born inside who had the ability to change whatever he wanted, to remake the Matrix as he saw fit. It was he who freed the first of us, taught us the truth: ‘As long as the Matrix exists the human race will never be free.’ After he died the Oracle prophesized his return … That is why there are those of us who have spent our entire lives searching the Matrix looking for him. I did what I did because I believe that search is over.
This is interesting. Morpheus goes further, suggesting that Neo himself had existed before and had ‘returned’ – not just someone “like him.”
What Are the Implications?
First, it’s time to let another cat let out of the bag. The term ‘gilgul’ in Hebrew, though often spoken of as ‘reincarnation,’ is defined as ‘revolutions’ of the soul. There are specific concepts related to this in kabbalah that are not the same as in other “past life” traditions.
The ‘nefesh’ dimension of the soul is the one that is ‘reloaded’ into another physical body. This is done willfully, by the Creator, if that soul still had things to rectify that it had not accomplished in its life cycle.
Now you know. The terms ‘reloaded’ and ‘revolutions’ were deliberate choices for the titles of the second and third movies.
But What About Neo?
Was Neo’s soul ‘reloaded’ into his current body? Is this a soul that that was now on its sixth, and seemingly final ‘revolution?’ (We reveal that secret in our discussion on gematria in the movies.)
And what about the fact that Neo died at the end of The Matrix Revolutions, yet his character appears to be returning in a fourth Matrix movie? Will he “operate from beyond the grave,” as a truly righteous person (tzaddik) can, as mentioned in our introductory material?
If that is the case, won’t there still be a need for someone new to do the “actual work” required within the Matrix?
The latter is another aspect of gilgul. It’s called an ‘ibur.’ This is initiated when someone arrives to accomplish something in the grand cosmic scheme, and though their heart is in the right place, they don’t have all the ‘skills.’
An ibur is when such a person is able to connect with the soul of a departed tzaddik – actually ‘bonding with’ or ‘receiving a part of” that soul, enabling the former to succeed in the ‘merit’ of the other.
This opens up some interesting possibilities for the 4th movie.