In this article, we examine aspects of the Oracle as they relate to each of the films. Some of the concepts are new to Matrix4Humans.com and some develop previously mentioned ideas.
Let’s Get the Obvious (Old) Stuff Out of the Way
In our profile of the Oracle, we discussed how she represents the emanation of ‘Binah’ which means ‘understanding.’ The term derives from the root bein which means ‘between.’ The power of Binah is to distinguish and differentiate between ideas and elucidate concepts to others.
This is precisely what the Oracle does in her role of relating to the humans in the Matrix. We’re going to develop that a bit further here with examples. As the story goes, the Oracle’s multi-faceted ability was required, as it is something the “singular-minded” Architect cannot do.
Each of them has a specific function. He is the first proactive force in the creative process (=Wisdom/Chokhmah). She follows, giving the aspect of form. Together, they are the “divine parent figures’ in the forming of the program and Matrix worlds.
We are told of the ‘earliest’ aspect of the Oracle by the Architect who spoke of her relationship with him:
If I am the father of the matrix, she would undoubtedly be its mother.
The Oracle/Binah is associated with the power of conceptual analysis and reasoning. She takes that single point of information in the Architect/Chokhmah and ‘unpacks’ everything in it. (Think “Big Bang” theory where everything emanates out of a single point of “unknown origin.”)
As the Architect explained:
Thus the answer was stumbled upon by another – an intuitive program, initially created to investigate certain aspects of the human psyche.
It is clear that the Oracle had a major role working ‘with’ the Architect, in the creation of the Matrix, which of course ‘imprisons’ the humans.
We also know from Morpheus that the Oracle is the ‘connection’ between the ‘path’ for Neo and other humans in advancing toward their freedom.
As he told Neo early on:
She is a guide, Neo. She can help you to find the path.
The Oracle is thus the connection between the composite unity of the Architect and the complexity of the humans (through the program world).
Here is the visual as it relates to the emanations on the “Tree of Life” diagram.
Houston, We Have a Problem
The latter point made above means that the Oracle is a key component toward the humans attaining the goal of eliminating the Matrix – the very one she helped build!
Sounds like conflict. – Neo
It would seem a valid question to ask:
How can the Oracle be the force behind the confinement of the humans and also that need to be freed from it?
Of course, the answer lies with something we mentioned in our earliest article on the sefirot/emanations:
In and of itself, this emanation is ‘neutral,’ as are all of the others.
This principle is key to understanding what the Matrix story is really about. (See our article on ‘barriers.’)
But what are we to make of this mysterious Oracle figure? She would naturally tell us to, “make up our own mind.” Ironically, we can do this utilizing her own methods.
The Function of the (Other) One
To understand the Oracle properly, we need to first go deeper into her relationship with the Architect and how they deal with humans on a psychological level. What the two of them represent are the powers of inductive reasoning (the Architect) and deductive reasoning (the Oracle).
The main difference between inductive and deductive reasoning is that inductive reasoning aims at developing a theory while deductive reasoning aims at testing an existing theory.
Whereas inductive reasoning goes more from specific to general (from the monumental failure of the early Matrix to, “the imperfection inherent in every human being.”) the deductive method goes from general to specific (from humanity being the problem to, “What was said was for you and for you alone,” (Morpheus to Neo after meeting with the Oracle.)
Inductive reasoning moves from;
- Making specific observations, to
- Recognizing patterns, to
- Reaching general conclusions or a theory
This is how the Architect functions, as explained in his own words:
- OBSERVATION: The first Matrix I designed was … A triumph equaled only by its monumental failure.
- PATTERN RECOGNITION: I redesigned it based on your history to more accurately reflect the varying grotesqueries of your nature. However, I was again frustrated by failure.
- GENERAL CONCLUSION/THEORY: The inevitability of its doom is apparent to me now as a consequence of the imperfection inherent in every human being.
The Architect, in his efforts to build a Matrix “from scratch,” had little to go on. He relied on a “trial and error” approach, which could do no more than provide a theory about what did not work. That is the nature of inductive analysis.
To solve his problem required the deductive reasoning of the Oracle. This relates to what she called her ability to “unbalance the equation” – testing the theory of the Architect.
Deductive reasoning allows for certainty as long as certain rules are followed. It is more complex and involves some extra steps.
The Oracle’s ‘Dual’ Capacity
As Morpheus explained to Neo, the Oracle does not ‘predict’ things for people. That would contradict the aspect of ‘choice,’ which is central to people escaping their enslavement to the Matrix system.
The deductive research approach consists of these stages:
- Start with an existing theory or conclusion reached via inductive reasoning
- Formulate a falsifiable hypothesis based on the this
- Collect data to test the hypothesis
- Analyze and test the data
- Decide to accept, reject or modify the hypothesis
The clearest example we have from the Matrix is within the Oracle’s relationship with Neo. The ‘theory’ she began with was that he might be “the One.”
The initial meeting between them outlined the first and second parts of deductive reasoning:
1. EXISTING THEORY: So, what do you think? Do you think you’re The One?
2. FALSIFIABLE HYPOTHESIS: You got the gift, but it looks like you’re waiting for something.
The Oracle had the ability to track Neo’s escapades within the Matrix.* She was thus able to engage in the third and fourth steps of deductive reasoning, collecting data and analyzing it.
Analyzing data and drawing conclusions relates to the function of the (left) side of ‘restriction’ and led her to accept the hypothesis.
We see this in their next conversation on the park bench in The Matrix Reloaded:
3. COLLECT DATA: Come around here, and let me have a look at ya. My goodness, look at you! You turned out all right, didn’t you? How do you feel? … I know you’re not sleeping. We’ll get to that.
4. ANALYZE/TEST DATA: Because you didn’t come here to make the choice, you’ve already made it. You’re here to try to understand why you made it. I thought you’d have figured that out by now. … You’ve seen it, in your dreams, haven’t you? The door made of light? What happens when you go through the door? … You have the sight now, Neo. You are looking at the world without time.
5. DECIDE ON HYPOTHESIS: Because you’re The One.
What is key, however, is that the Oracle is not strictly relegated to deductive reasoning. As she emanated ‘from’ the Architect, the Oracle also integrates his capability of inductive reasoning.
Inductive reasoning is considered a “bottom-up” approach where you start from an observation, detect patterns, and formulate a hypothesis. The architect attempted to do this (the complexity of humanity being the ‘bottom’), but as he stated himself, this was beyond his own limitations.
The Mystery of Darkness-Light
You didn’t think you would get through this ‘psychology’ article without some kabbalistic connection, did you?
It is the Oracle’s ability to “investigate certain aspects of the human psyche,” that enables her to be successful where the Architect could not. This is a primary aspect of the emanation of Binah/Understanding which is associated with the power of conceptual analysis and reasoning.
Binah (the Oracle) is the connection between what came before her (the Architect and the Source) and the program world and Matrix itself. It/she unites everything, general and specific, in both directions — her ability to reason both deductively and inductively.
Refer back to the kabbalistic “Tree of Life” diagram at the top when reading the following text:
“This is the sefirah called Binah. You must be aware that this is the Name that connects all the sefirot with its powerful bonds of emanation and magnetism. For this is the third name of the three highest Names which are united and are intimate with Keter (the highest sefirah). From this name, the everflow of light, emanation and blessing, flows through all the channels until the lower seven sefirot are blessed from the three upper sefirot”
“Sha’are Orah” (Gates of Light), Yosef Gikatilla, 12th century
This is why she is THE critical character in the Matrix story and why “everyone knows (‘connects with’) the Oracle.” (Rama Kandra).
As we have discussed, with regard to the Architect and Oracle, comparisons are made to both the emanations of Chokmah/Wisdom & Binah/Understanding, as well as between the world of Existence/Emanation (Atzilut) and that of Creation (Beriah).
Further, these two aspects are also referred to by the divine personae of ‘Father’ and ‘Mother (as they are called in the movie). ‘Father’ is from the proactive/unrestricted side of ‘force,’ whereas ‘Mother’ is from the side of restriction and ‘form.’
Without the ‘restriction’ of the Oracle, there can be no functioning creation (Beriah) as nothing would have form/finiteness. (Again, what the Architect lacked.)
What is important to note here is that form (an aspect of Binah/Understanding) follows force (an aspect of Chokhmah/Wisdom). Thus it ‘understands’ what came before it, whereas force which precedes form, has no concept of the other.
This is the same idea mentioned above regarding the Oracle having both deductive and inductive reasoning capability, while the Architect was restricted to the latter. It is also why the deductive begins with the theory ‘provided’ by the inductive.
Keeping all that in mind, in discussing these two aspects, the Zohar points to ‘man’ (humankind) being a combination of the masculine-feminine “Image of God” found in Genesis chapter 1. (See Unification of Feminine and Masculine for more on this dynamic.)
The following passage shows how the original unrestricted ‘light’ of the world of Emanation (=Architect/Father), required the addition of what it calls “darkness-light” (the original light/force with the added restriction/form) of the world of Creation (=Oracle/Mother).
This requires careful reading:
Is there such a division between Father and Mother, that from the side of the Father, Man has been formed in the way of emanation, and from the side of the Mother in the way of creation?”… It is not so, since the Man of emanation was both male and female, from the side of both Father and Mother, and that is why it says, ‘And God said, Let there be light, and there was light’: let there be light from the side of the Father, and there was light from the side of the Mother, and this is the man of two faces. This ‘man’ has no ‘image and likeness’. Only the supernal Mother had a name combining light and darkness-light.
This ancient text gives the framework for the necessity of the Oracle’s power in the ‘creation’ of the Matrix.
* In the first movie, the Oracle says to Neo, “You’ll remember you don’t believe in any of this fate crap. You’re in control of your own life, remember?” This was something Neo had discussed privately with Morpheus before taking the red pill for the first time. This shows us that the Oracle (along with the Architect) had the ability to monitor things within the Matrix world.
This in turn raises the question, “If they could see and hear what the humans were up to, why didn’t they upset their plans more efficiently? Which of course, goes back to our premise that the Matrix is not simply a prison for the humans. It is a testing ground for them to change and “return to the Source.” Everything in the story, even the barriers, is there for this purpose.