The Path of the One
The concept of “the One” is found throughout the writings of kabbalah in its descriptions of the “tzaddik” – a truly righteous person whose life is dedicated to a higher cause and serving others. This relates to the “Path of the One” in connecting and rectifying all the worlds of existence, from the darkest place in the world of concealment (The Matrix) up to the Source itself.
A remarkable concept is that although there are many “righteous ones,” they are not at the same level – there is “the One” who is above all others. In kabbalah, this is the idea of the ‘messiah,’ who is seen as the ultimate tzaddik.
As with Neo, his willingness to do whatever it takes, even giving up his own life, causes a major correction in the world of concealment, for the benefit of others:
“There is a special, higher type of suffering that comes to a tzaddik who is even greater and more highly perfected than the ones discussed above. This suffering comes to provide the help necessary to bring about the chain of events leading to the ultimate perfection of mankind as a whole.”
“Derech Hashem” (The Path of God) Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (1707-1746)
This idea of a “chain of events” is highly relevant to the Matrix movies. Neo died in The Matrix Revolutions and this did bring about a level of change. However, the Matrix still exists, thus there is further to go, on this ‘timeline.’
The Path of the One Works in Two Directions
Below are excerpts from two kabbalistic texts that relate to the path of the One. The first text, a modern one, looks at the power and path of the One in terms of his ability to bring unification to all worlds of existence.
We see this at the end of The Matrix Revolutions. Neo worked his way from the concealment of the Matrix world, all the way to the Source.
Conversely, the power of the Source attached itself to him and passed through him, descending back down through the worlds of the Architect, Oracle, the lower programs and finally the Matrix.
Neo, by rectifying his attributes, becomes the path himself:
“This is the tzaddik who is able to join and bind together all worlds. As he himself is bound up with God on the one hand, and with the worlds on the other, he joins them all to Divinity. Thus he is the intermediary between them, the channel or funnel that serves as the passageway in both directions. … The stature of tzaddikim is thus seen to be extraordinarily sublime. They are on the highest level of perfection attainable to created entities, superior even to that of ministering angels – they sanctify themselves in the Divine Holiness and in turn Divine holiness attaches itself to them.”
“Chassidic Dimensions,” Jacob Immanuel Schochet (1935-2013)
Another interesting point from the above text is where it states that the tzaddik is:
“… on the highest level of perfection attainable to created entities, superior even to that of ministering angels.”
This directly relates to what Morpheus told Neo of his superiority to the agent programs, which corresponds to the angelic realm as mentioned in earlier articles:
“… their strength and their speed are still based in a world that is built on rules. Because of that, they will never be as strong or as fast as you can be.”
Hooked on The Path of the One
The following text is from the 13th century. Here, the Path of the One is understood in another manner. It is associated with the Hebrew letter ‘vav,’ in the four-letter name of God. This name is spelled Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey in the Hebrew. (Shortened to YHVH in the text below.) This name appears more than 6,000 times in the Bible.
This third letter in that name, the vav, has special mystical significance in kabbalah. Hebrew letters have multiple meanings that are often reflected in the shape of the letters. The vav is in the form of a hook as you can see in this image.
The idea is relatively simple. The hook connects things, from above and below. This corresponds to what was discussed above, with all worlds from the Matrix to the Source being connected by the One.
The following text associates the vav to something called the “middle line,” which we discussed in our introductory article on the sefirot.
This line is the “path of the One,” extending from our physical world all the way beyond existence, to the Source:
Behold, the letter vav of the special Name (YHVH) stands in place of the complete Name. This letter contains the secret of tying all the upper and lower Spheres (sefirot). It ascends to Keter and descends to Malchut and it suits all the Spheres, for all are united in it whether they be above or below, to the right or to the left, and it is called the center line. Know that this great Name YHVH is the attribute the Kabbalists call the Middle Line. The meaning of the term “the Middle Line” is the essence of the letter vav that is found in the Name YHVH, for it stands in the place where the Name is It is like an intermediary line, thus this name ascends ever upward until AYN SOF (the infinite).”
“Sha’are Orah,” (Gates of Light) Yosef Gikatilla (1248-1305)
The Sixth Sense
The vav is also the sixth letter in the Hebrew alphabet. It is connected to the idea of the six emanations on the Tree of Life that lie between Kingdom/Malkhut (the Matrix) below and Understanding/Binah (the Oracle) above.
As such, the vav also corresponds to the idea of “Jacob’s ladder” in the Biblical narrative, as mentioned in our Introductory files.
The kabbalistic text, the Zohar, takes this even deeper. It relates to the idea of six iterations of a particular soul before returning to its Source. (Exactly what the Architect told Neo.) This is further explored in our post on the subject of gematria in the Matrix stories.
Lastly, as mentioned earlier, the Tree of Life diagram of the Sefirot has three columns, extending from the world of concealment to “God above.”
It’s interesting that Neo’s vision, first experienced in the Train Station, was one of three power lines, leading from the Matrix to the Source.