“It’s Just a Kiss”
Perhaps this was true with Persephone, who spoke these words in Matrix Reloaded. However, the kiss that Trinity gives Neo at the end of the first Matrix movie, certainly seems to have had a great impact. He “comes back to life,” after being shot dead.
This “resurrection” scene is one that has been greatly criticized for 20 years. All of the drama leads to this climactic moment … and we get some “magic kiss,” and Neo awakens and saves the day?
What is this – a Disney fairytale? Did the writers run out of good ideas?
Or is there more to this than the usual blue-pill level of movie critiquing?
What is somewhat lost in the drama of that scene is Trinity telling Neo, for the first time, that she loves him. When we look back through the movie, she had come close to saying this several times – but refrained.
That expression of love and the kiss have much more to them when understood in their kabbalistic framework. How this aligns with the Matrix story is quite amazing.
Four Stages of Love Leading to the Kiss
Trinity was told by the Oracle that she would fall in love with the man who would become “the One.” What we find in kabbalah is that there are specific stages of intimacy related to this, leading to a very special type of kiss.
This is expressed in a four-stage process of love in a relationship:
“The Zohar states that a kiss is the merging of one breath with another. Love begins with physical attraction. Then, as lovers begin communication, they begin to speak. As they get closer, they stop speaking and are merely aware of each other’s breath. Finally, they come still closer, and their communication becomes a kiss, at which point they are actually in physical contact. At this moment, in the kiss, they are aware of each other’s life force. Kissing is thus a natural consequence of increased intimacy in speech. The two mouths come closer and closer and progress from speech, to breath, to the kiss. Thus, “There are four levels in the intimacy of love: physical attraction, speech, breath, and the kiss.”
From ‘Jewish Meditation: A Practical Guide,’ Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan.
Recapping the above, the four levels of intimacy in ‘love’ are:
- Physical attraction
We will now examine how these four occur between Trinity and Neo in the first movie.
Stage 1: Physical Attraction
The first of these stages between Trinity and Neo, physical attraction, we learn of by way of a third party.
The Oracle sneaks in this bit of information to Neo at their first meeting:
“You’re cuter than I thought. I can see why she likes you.”
The Oracle lets on that Trinity has a physical attraction to the person Morpheus has said is “the One.”
Prior to this meeting, in the car ride over, Neo asked Trinity what the Oracle had told her. Despite being told she would fall in love with “the One,” it was too early for the latter to express her love to Neo. She remained silent.
Stage 2: A Special Kind of Speech
Though Neo and Trinity engage in some level of conversation early on, their first significant “back and forth” exchange occurs when he decides to go save Morpheus from the Agents who have him in custody.
The level of speech between Neo and Trinity at this moment was unique, as it was ‘confrontational’:
Neo: I believe I can bring him back…. What are you doing?
Trinity: I going with you.
Neo: No you’re not.
Trinity: No? Let me tell you what I believe. I believe Morpheus means more to me than he does to you. I believe if you’re really serious about saving him, you are going to need my help. And since I am the ranking officer on this ship, if you don’t like it, I believe you can go to hell. Because you aren’t going anywhere else. Tank? Load us up.
There are two points to make regarding the above.
- Just prior to this exchange, Trinity again stopped short of telling Neo she was in love with him:
Neo: I’m not the one, Trinity. The Oracle hit me with that too.
Trinity: No. You have to be.
Neo: I’m not, I’m sorry. I’m just another guy.
Trinity: No, Neo. That’s not true. It can’t be true.
To which she again fell silent. It still was not yet time.
- Trinity’s ‘confrontational’ dialogue, relates all the way back to the Garden of Eden story when Eve was formed.
“And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man is alone; I shall make him a helpmate opposite him.”
The Hebrew term for “helpmate” in that verse is “ezer kenegdow.” The meaning is one who takes a position of ‘opposition’ to the other. This is not meant in a ‘bad’ sense in any way Rather, it is beneficial, in terms of challenging assumptions, giving constructive criticism, etc.) This is the significance of the dialogue above. It bonded them together as only a conflict can.
(Note this is the essence of the feminine aspect in kabbalah. See our introductory article on these concepts.)
It is interesting, that the following verse from the Bible was presented shortly after Eve was ‘separated’ from Adam:
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Note that the verse indicates a separation leading to unification. This is another key kabbalistic concept: The point of the above separation is to come together to create something even greater than what was.
This is the power of the restrictive ‘feminine’ aspect of the “left side.” The “One” includes both sides, and the other ‘half’ for Neo is Trinity playing the above role.
The tenuous dialogue between Trinity and Neo was significant ‘speech’ in the path to the ‘kiss.’
Stage 3: The Breath Leading to the Kiss
This is a particularly subtle concept. Again, the clue is Trinity coming close to expressing her feelings to Neo but holding back.
After rescuing Morpheus and sending him back through the phone line, Neo and Trinity have a few moments alone in the train station.
She turns to him and says:
“Neo, I want to tell you something, but I’m afraid of what it could mean if I do. Everything the Oracle told me has come true. Everything but this.”
There is no more to the conversation. For the third time, she stops short.
They stand close to each other for a full twenty seconds – until she leaves and Smith appears. During that time they do not say a word. There is nothing but ‘breath’ between them. This is the third stage toward “the kiss.”
Stage 4: The Life-Force of a Kiss
Finally, we come to the scene depicted in the image at the top of the page. To understand why the kiss and verbalization of love occur now, we need to return to the introductory templates of worlds of existence and levels of the soul.
Each of the above stages of the kiss, relates to dimensions of the soul within the Nefesh level, corresponding to the first movie (as discussed in our article on the levels of the soul.)
Thus we have:
- The first stage of physical attraction in humans is associated with the lowest of the worlds and the level of “Nefesh of the Nefesh.”
- Speech, which is communication that goes “back and forth,” relates to the middle world of angels, which as mentioned are ‘messengers’ (malakim) and the corresponding level of the “Ruach of the Nefesh.”
- Breath relates here to the Neshama of the Nefesh, and actually means breath!
- Finally, the fourth level called “Chaya/Life,” (Chaya of Nefesh at this level) relates to the ‘life force’ of creation. Neo and Trinity become “aware of” this with the kiss (Neo can hear Trinity during this time) as mentioned in the Aryeh Kaplan quote above.’
(Note that these four stages also follow the “Four C’s” of condition, choice, connection, change.)
Neo, by virtue of his risking his own life for the sake of others (selflessness/bittul) reached this fourth soul level of Chaya within Nefesh. This corresponds to the World of Existence called ‘Atzilut’ that is “outside of creation,” on his Path of the One.
Atzilut, being the interface between all the (Matrix) worlds and the Source, has aspects of the infiniteness of the Source within it:
The parameters (sefirot) of Atzilut are not completely limited. Each of them can go on endlessly. Each of them has a level of abstract dimensions … that still has an element of Ain Sof within it. It’s love that can go on endlessly. That’s the beauty of interface of Atzilut, It allows us that bridge, It’s on our terms but is infinite vision. Infinite love.
Ayin Beis, Existence Unplugged, Chapter 5: Atzilus, Rabbi Simon Jacobson
The ‘connection’ Neo makes to this level of Atzilut HAD to happen before Trinity could express her love and kiss him. In effect, the ‘structure’ – connecting the levels of the soul within the Nefesh – had to be in place, for the ‘infinite love’ and ‘life force’ (resurrection power) of Chaya to descend into the Matrix world.
The kiss is an act of creation, the transmission of breath, vapor, and spirit that infuses life below. In these different instances, kisses serve to join individuals together, resurrecting the dead, giving life-support, and providing direct experience, even momentarily, of God in His manifestations on earth.
Kissing Kabbalists: Hierarchy, Reciprocity, and Equality, Joel Hecker
If this structure (as with any structure) was incomplete, attempting to bring that level of divine energy into the Matrix could have had a negative impact. Think of water coming from the city to your sink. If your house pipes are broken or cracked, the results would be terrible.
This is what lies behind this statement:
“Neo, I want to tell you something, but I’m afraid of what it could mean if I do.
All of this relates to the deeper meaning behind this verse:
“Awaken not love, before its time.”
Song of Solomon 8:4
It is no coincidence that this ‘4th soul level,’ equated with the life force and resurrection, aligns with the coming 4th movie, which will be named, The Matrix Resurrections.