The Mystery of the Source
Throughout the articles in the Matrix4Humans Knowledge Base, we discussed the five worlds of existence and ten sefirot. In this article we are going to explore the deeper kabbalistic understanding of “the Source.” This material is critical for understanding both the ending of The Matrix Revolutions and where things go from there.
A Quick Recap
Though not mentioned by name in the actual movies (only in the script notes), the entity Neo encounters at the end of The Matrix Revolutions is called “Deus ex Machina” (literally; “God from the machine”).
The Deus ex Machina presents itself as a giant ‘head’ that Neo communicates with. He then connects to this entity, and by doing so saves humanity – for the moment. Neo dies and is brought toward an unknown location. There is a hint from the Oracle at the very end of the movie, that we will see Neo again.
Two Dimensions of the Source
As discussed in our introductory material and in other posts, the entity known as “the Source” is considered a world of “pre-existence.” It is also associated with the emanation called Keter, which means ‘crown.’
Kabbalah describes Crown/Keter as having both an ‘outer’ and ‘inner’ dimension to it:
- The outer aspect is an expression of the infinite that relates to everything “in existence” that is “within the infinite.” This is the face that forms that Neo speaks with.
- The inner dimension relates ‘back’ to the ‘infiniteness’ called “Ein Sof,” which means “without end.” This connects to the mystery of what happens to Neo at the end (and to the rest of the story to come).
Expanding on this:
- The outer aspect of Keter is known by the term “Arikh Anpin,” which is translated, “the infinitely patient one.” This is an example of a “divine personae” (partzuf) as mentioned in our earlier materials.
- The inner aspect of Keter is known as “Atik Yomin,” which is the “Ancient Holy One,” or “the Ancient of Days.” This term is found in the Bible’s book of Daniel and carries with it the idea of ‘infiniteness.’
These two aspects of Keter form what could be called a ‘buffer’ between that which is “knowable within existence,” and the “unknowable Infiniteness.” This is the Source.
Straight Outta Zohar
The following text from the Zohar sheds light on the above concept. If you’re not used to the Zohar’s method of transmission, this may be tricky to follow, but we explain it below:
“The Ancient Holy One, concealed of all concealed. Separate, separated from all, yet not separate; for all are joined to it, and it is joined to all … Arrayed and not arrayed. Arrayed in order to sustain all; not arrayed for it cannot be found. When arrayed it produces nine radiances, flashing from it, from its array. Those radiances go flashing and spreading in every direction – like a lofty lamp, from which lights spread in every direction, yet when one draws near those spreading lights to perceive them, nothing can be found but the lamp alone.”
To summarize the above:
- The “Ancient Holy One” is the inner, ‘concealed’ aspect of Keter (the hidden aspect of the Source)
- It is completely separate from finite existence, yet it maintains a connection to everything in existence
- It is the ultimate, singular source of sustenance to all within existence
- It expresses itself within existence through the nine ‘radiances.’ which are the remaining sefirot/emanations
- These emanations makeup, or are the “building blocks” of all existence
- The more one explores all aspects of these emanations, the closer one gets to the Source (the ‘lamp’)
The Talking Head
It’s time to let another cat out of the bag.
There is a kabbalistic concept associated with the ‘outer’ dimension of Keter/the Source that is called ‘Gulgalta’ (also Golgatha).
This means ‘skull.’
Gulgalta correlates to the entity that Neo speaks with at the very end – the “Deus ex Machina.” This head/skull ‘faces’ Neo and all of existence. This is the outer dimension as mentioned above.
Neo’s discussion with the Deus ex Machina, is one that he is capable of having as he has negotiated the “path of the One” from the lowest point in the Matrix, to “touching the infinite.”
Getting ‘Inside’ The Head
It’s clear that when it comes to, “we’re all here to do, what we’re all here to do,” the purpose of the One is to get to the Source.
A number of entities accepted this, even if some had an inaccurate idea of the real purpose of the One:
Oracle: Where you must go. Where the path of The One ends. .. You can save Zion if you reach The Source.
Architect: The function of the One is now to return to the Source.
Morpheus: Once The One reaches the Source, the war should be over.
This leads to du deeper question:
If getting to the source is “what the One is here to do,” who or what established that purpose and why?
What Does the Source Want?
As we find out at the end of The Matrix Revolutions, the Source wants what Neo wants. This may sound quite odd, but only if you view the Source as “evil.” As we’ve mentioned, the Matrix story at its deeper level is not about “good guys versus bad guys.” It’s about humans rectifying themselves and bringing existence back into its intended harmony.
Going back to the first movie, Morpheus mentioned this to Neo
“We marveled at our own magnificence as we gave birth to AI … A singular consciousness that spawned an entire race of machines.”
There are two significant elements to this:
- Humankind’s haughtiness
- The aspect of ‘singularity’
What we’re further told in the ‘back story’ to the Matrix (not in the movie script) is that the humans first enslaved the machines in order to live in luxury. After some years of enslavement, the machines freed themselves, created their own nation, and began to win an economic war with the humans. The humans tried to destroy the machine nation but lost, leading to the development of the Matrix.
This is significant as the enslavement of humans was only done in response to everything the humans had done wrong — fracturing the ‘wholeness’ of existence in the pre-Matrix world. It was never the original intent for humans to apply an incorrect paradigm of slavery to their “own magnificence.”
The entire Matrix existence is thus a means for humans to rectify themselves. However, few of them choose to look beyond what appeals to their selfish desires. Even those that do, fail to advance as far as they could. This includes the previous five versions of “the One.”
See the Ladder … Be the Ladder
The ‘desire’ of the Source regarding “the One,” relates directly to the power of the One.
As we were told by the Oracle in The Matrix Revolutions:
The power of the One extends beyond this world. It reaches from here all the way back to where it came from. … The Source.
We find the same idea in the 13th century kabbalistic text “Sha’are Orah” (Gates of Light). It describes the letter vav, which we discussed in our post on the Path of the One, the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, as related to the six sefirot of the “groom/son” and the path connecting back to its infinite source. Note the division of the six into three upper and three lower as discussed in our Introductory article:
“The letter vav … includes the six Spheres (the sefirot of the groom/son) which are the numerical equivalent of the letter vav [six], three above, which is half of vav and three of its other half below. The three of the upper half are Chesed, Gevurah and Tiferet and the three spheres on the lower half are Netzach, Hod and Yesod. All these Spheres are included in the letter vav. Behold, the letter vav of the special Name (Yud-Hey-VAV-Hey) stands in place of the complete Name. … This letter contains the secret of tying all the upper and lower Spheres. 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. … It is like an intermediary line, thus this name ascends ever upward until Ain Sof (the infinite), which is the essence of Keter … then returns to unite below with the Name Adonay.”
When Neo makes the connection to the Source he no longer sees himself as a “means to an end.” He now becomes the ‘end’ in its own right. He is no longer walking the connecting path – he has become this path.
Going back to the Biblical narrative and Jacob’s ladder dream. Kabbalah teaches that Jacob himself is the ladder. Through his righteousness, he became a bridge between heaven and earth.
They were ascending and descending the ladder; while the other said: they were ascending and descending on Jacob.”
Genesis Rabbah 68:12
There is a similar personification of the ladder in the New Testament:
And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
Let’s Put Our ‘Heads’ Together
Let’s take all of the above ideas and look at the conversation between Neo and the ‘gulgalta/skull’ of Keter, aka the “Deus ex Machina”:
Neo: I only ask to say what I’ve come to say, after that, do what you want and I won’t try to stop you.
Deus Ex Machina: Speak.
Speech is called the “essence of mankind.” Neo has reached the outer aspect of Keter which connects to existence, (everything from the Architect down through Matrix world). Neo humbly asks permission “of Gulgalta” to speak. He is allowed to converse, having been worthy to reach his point.
Neo: The program ‘Smith’ has grown beyond your control. Soon he will spread through this city as he spread through the Matrix. You cannot stop him, but I can.
Deus Ex Machina: We don’t need you. We need nothing.
The Source responds with a statement of fact. It needs nothing as the relationship between the humans in the Matrix and everything outside of that is completely one-directional. It is an inequitable system where one does the inputting and the other which only receives. This system is the opposite of the one the humans had created with the machines. Neither one reflects the proper equilibrium that should exist.
It is not about what Neo can ‘add’ however. It’s about what he is. He is no longer the means to an end, but the end itself. He is a key step in the rectification and unification of the human and machine worlds.
Neo: If that’s true, then I’ve made a mistake and you should kill me now.
Deus Ex Machina: What do you want?
Throughout each level of Neo’s advancement, he reaches a level of ‘bittul’ – complete self-negation for the good of others. His response reflects this and elicits the question from the Deus ex Machina, which is focused on his intent. The purity of his intention will connect him to the inner dimension of the Deus ex Machina, and the ultimate goal both he and it seek to attain.
Bingo! (Oracle) Neo gives the perfect answer. The Hebrew term for peace, shalom, means a state of ‘wholeness.’ Neo’s response aligns with the ‘desire’ of the Source and the ultimate purpose of the One – to return things back to an integrated state of balance before humanity shattered it.
Deus Ex Machina: And if you fail?
Neo: I won’t.
Neo is not being ‘boastful.’ He is now fully integrated with “what he is here to do.” This correlates to his subsequent final encounter in the Matrix with Smith and realizing that the agent is not his enemy, as he too was fulfilling his ‘purpose.’
Just a bit later we hear this proclamation:
Deus Ex Machina: It is done.
As mentioned regarding the Path of the One, Neo’s actions are those of a uniquely righteous individual (a ‘tzaddik’), whose actions bring about, “the chain of events leading to the ultimate perfection of mankind as a whole.”
“To truly succeed is to practice self-nullification (bittul) to such an extent where no struggle is needed.”
– Laibl Wolf
The Final Chapter
This “chain of events” is not complete of course. The Matrix still exists. Questions remain such as;
- If Neo is returning, where did he go after the final scene in Matrix Revolutions?
- With Zion exposed, why don’t the machines just get rid of the pesky humans?
- Whatever happened to the Merovingian?
So, where are we at and where is this going? As we said at the very beginning in our Introductory files, the Matrix is not about “good guys versus bad guys.” Everyone along his path is there for the purpose of his advancement – including Smith, the Merovingian, Persephone and the Architect.
Neo’s ‘dying’ is of no ‘negative’ consequence. As has been mentioned, “the righteous can do more in death than in life,” no longer existing within the physical limitations of the world – in Neo’s case, the Matrix.
Everything Neo has done to this point, has opened a door toward the final rectification.
A Couple of Clues … to Go
For now, we will leave you with two more kabbalistic terms that relate to the idea that the “final redemption of mankind.” It comes in two stages – an incomplete one called ‘pekidah,’ followed by a final, complete one, called ‘zechirah.’
Neo reached the highest level and opened the door for others to follow. There is more to occur within the Matrix world itself, however.
Final rectification must still occur in that lower realm:
The battle between good and evil first takes place in the upper realms and then the lower realms.
Secrets of the Redemption, Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, 1707-1746
We will develop all of these ideas in future materials.
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