In this article, we go further into the character of Agent Smith, the main antagonist in all four movies. We reveal just how powerful he is and why. What he represents enables us to understand the deepest aspects of The Matrix Resurrections, the Matrix in general, and our own reality.
There’s a surprising scene in the Matrix Resurrections where the Analyst is about to shoot Trinity. Smith suddenly appears and we have this exchange:
Smith: Lies, lies and more lies.
Smith: What has the world come to when you can’t even trust a program?
Smith: Tom and I have more in common than you know. Once he got out, let’s just say, I was free to be me.
At this point, Smith is able to slap the gun out of the Analyst’s hands and subsequently send him across the room with a tremendous right hook to the chin.
This leads to a very logical question.
How can Smith, a program within the Matrix, have the advantage over the Analyst, who, as the new version of the Architect, is the ‘creator’ of the Matrix?
After all, in the scene just before this (and earlier in the barn with Neo and Trinity) we saw that the Analyst could effectively control time and space. You would think that he would have an edge over Smith’s ability to throw a punch.
Isn’t the Analyst/Architect the numero uno power in and outside of the Matrix?
As you may have guessed, we’re including our now-famous ‘reality’ chart here for reference. With each article in this Matrix Resurrections series, we show a new concept and how it relates to this.
Constriction is Power
We’ve brought up the concept of tsimtsum (also ‘tzimtzum’) in previous articles. The basic definition for this term is a ‘constriction’ or ‘contraction’ that has the purpose of limiting something in order for something new to enter.
There’s a ‘twist’ to this however:
What is unique to the concept of tzimtzum is that although its energy represents constriction, it is that same energy that allows for creativity to burst forth into actuality.
“Hidden Treasures, How to Realize Your Potential,” Chaim Kramer
As such, in the Matrix story, tsimtsum is seen in these two ways:
- How everything was created, from the Source down to the Matrix (see chart above)
- The path of return for humans, from the Matrix back to the Source
Regarding the latter, including the Path of the One and levels of the soul that we’ve discussed, this involves a constriction of the false view of reality that we hold, in order for the ‘truth’ to enter. This is the force enabling the upward path for Neo and all the humans. We introduced this idea in our article on the Red Pill.
Tsimtsum should be understood as a mechanism for the interface between levels of restriction and advancement.
Check out this very ‘matrixy’ quote from a modern kabbalistic text:
The tzimtzum serves to snap us out of our dream world and wake us up to real life. It alerts us to the task at hand, making us cognizant of what is available to us. Its true purpose is to create an atmosphere of tranquility within us. to quiet and control the flow of activity around us. and to bring us to an awareness of how much we can achieve when we get down to work.
“Hidden Treasures, How to Realize Your Potential,” Chaim Kramer
As to how things were created, we showed in the previous article, Unification of Feminine and Masculine, each of the Worlds of Existence, was formed via a contraction of the previous one, taking us from the world of the Architect, to the ‘lesser’ one of the Oracle, then the programs and finally down to the Matrix. This is the downward path of emanation/creation.
So, what does this mean regarding Smith?
One of These Things is Not Like the Other
There was one tsimtsum/contraction that was different and far more profound than the rest. That was the original, where “something emerged out of nothing.” This is where, out of the singularity (pre-existence, nothingness, etc.) came existence (a separate consciousness, etc.) This is known as the ‘mystery’ of how “finite can be added to infinite.”
There is a connection between this primordial force of tsimtsum and the emanation of Gevurah within existence. Gevurah is often defined as ‘judgment,’ but the essence of this is the power to differentiate.
This is the restrictive same “power of the left side” that gives the Oracle her analytical ability to understand humans, as the Architect had told Neo. It is also behind Smith’s judgment and accusations against the humans.
This is where we find the connection to tsimtsum. The “left side” of restriction, especially Gevurah, is the power to effect tsimtsum within existence.
Putting Two and Two Together
As we showed on his profile page, Smith is a manifestation of Gevurah/judgment within the Matrix/program worlds.
It’s important to recall here that none of the sefirot/emanations are “good or bad.” As in our own reality, their purpose, including how they manifest in the story’s characters, relates to that of the humans being in the Matrix world of concealment — and getting out of it.
As we have stated through our materials, this is the deepest understanding of the Matrix story — Any barriers faced, internal or external, work toward the purpose of getting people “back to the Source.”
The constrictions — the anger and the frustrations that we experience — are what gives us the energy to move towards our goals and learn how to separate between the potential and the actual.
“Hidden Treasures, How to Realize Your Potential,” Chaim Kramer
This includes actions by any “blue pill” humans who remain lost in the concealment of the Matrix, as well as the programs, including nemesis #1 – Agent Smith.
In The Matrix Revolutions, the Oracle revealed several critical pieces of information to Neo. As we’ve noted, the third film is at this higher level of Oracle. (See chart above.)
Two things she said, when put together, give us deeper insight into the nature of Smith’s power:
- He is you. Your opposite. Your negative.
- The power of the One extends beyond this world. It reaches from here all the way back to where it came from … The Source.
The concept of Neo and Smith being opposites goes back to the Biblical story of Jacob and his evil brother Esau. We’ve discussed the Neo-Jacob connection elsewhere on this website, but there is a hidden “Smith dimension” (as he relates to the emanation/sefirah of Gevurah) to this.
As a reminder, the term “Ze’ir Anpin” is associated with the six emanations of the divine ‘son’ or ‘groom.’ Tiferet is the ‘central’ emanation among the six and also “stands in” for all six. Each relates to “the One” himself:
Know that the root of Esau was first in holiness. He was in the Gevurah of Tiferet of Ze’ir Anpin. For behold, Tiferet is the balance between Chesed and Gevurah. From out of the right side is where Jacob emerged (Chesed), and from out of the left side is where Esau emerged (Gevurah) and so they were twins. For this is the secret of “Esau is Jacob’s brother” in Malachi 1:2. For in truth, they were on one level in the beginning which is not what happened with Isaac and Ishmael.
Kinat Hashem Tzva’ot, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato (Ramchal)
As Smith is intimately connected to Neo, and as “the One” connects back to the Source (which is outside of existence), we can begin to understand why Smith is so powerful.
What this amounts to, is that although the Analyst/Architect is arguably the greatest power within existence, the root of Smith’s power goes further back – to the primordial force of tsimtsum – that preceded existence.
Even at the “higher level” that we find ourselves at in this fourth film, which is that of the Analyst/Architect (see chart above), the Analyst can never go beyond his own limitations. He is no match for Smith, whose power goes back further than his.
All I Ever Wanted Was To Be Like You
This is not to say, however, that Smith is “entirely equal” to “the One.” Though his strength emanates from the original act of tsimtsum that “made room” for existence, as the Oracle stated, the power of the One is from the Source itself, which as we have shown, is the idea of perfect ‘love.’
This was expressed indirectly by the original Architect, to Neo, in The Matrix Revolutions:
While the others experienced this in a very general way, your experience is far more specific – vis a vis love.
Combine that with the Matrix prophecy, that states the One would be the force that leads the humans out of their Matrix existence, and you arrive at this:
The One was first and will be last.
The Architect had this ‘almost’ right, as he did with everything else:
“Which brings us at last to the moment of truth, wherein the fundamental flaw is ultimately expressed, and the anomaly revealed as both beginning and end.”
As Neo is both “beginning and end,” this would be reflected in Smith’s own understanding and desire. He made clear of this in The Matrix Reloaded.
Neo: What do you want, Smith?
Smith: Oh you haven’t figured that out? Still using all the muscles except the one that matters. I want exactly what you want. I want everything.
This relationship Smith has with Neo is expressed in a clear way in a cut scene from The Matrix Revolutions. Here we see him calling himself the “alpha and omega” and “beginning and end.”
Check out this amazing exchange that was left out of the third movie:
The ‘Why?’ and Choice
Going back to The Matrix Reloaded, these concepts were introduced:
Our only hope, our only peace is to understand it, to understand the ‘why.’ `Why’ is what separates us from them, you from me. `Why’ is the only real social power, without it you are powerless.
As you adequately put, the problem is choice.
The ‘why’ and ‘choice’ are found intersecting in The Matrix Revolutions:
“Why, Mr. Anderson, why? Why, why do you do it? Why, why get up? Why keep fighting? Do you believe you’re fighting for something, for more than your survival? … You must be able to see it, Mr. Anderson, you must know it by now! You can’t win, it’s pointless to keep fighting! Why, Mr. Anderson, why, why do you persist?”
To all of this, Neo (Mr. Anderson) simply replies:
“Because I choose to.”
This response has been mocked by critics in Matrix forums as being simplistic. (“That’s it? He just ‘chooses’ to? No explanation? So lame!”)
From a kabbalistic view, it is indeed ‘simple’ in that it relates to the simplicity of the singularity of the Source, which Neo is drawing closer to.
Regarding Smith, we can go as far as saying that he was ‘right,’ but not “in the right way.” Neo did indeed ‘see’ and ‘know’ something – but it was beyond the mere ‘survival’ that Smith thought all humans were focused on. (Go back to the first movie (transcript), when he gave his rant on humans being like viruses, to the captured Morpheus.)
Recall the Oracle’s famous quote, “We can never see past the choices we don’t understand.” At this point of the movie, we find that Neo has indeed reached a new level of understanding – again, just enough ahead of his adversary.
This isn’t to say that Neo always has dominance over Smith. The agent is the greater power through most of each level along the Path of the One.
By the end of The Matrix Revolutions, Smith had taken over the entire Matrix and program worlds, as well as that of the Oracle, thus giving him dominion over all three worlds of Creation.
Everything was connected through Smith through the primordial power of constriction:
“I see the end coming. I see the darkness spreading.”
The Oracle to Neo
The fascinating point here is that neither the people on their own, nor Neo himself, were able to connect everything in order to bring the light from the Source into their existence.
It required the power of tsimtsum through Smith to do this. Only he, as this interface, could package the energies of all of the disparate elements of creation and brings them together for a purpose. It is Smith/Gevurah that brings about their definition and “what they are here to do.”
Everything within creation is potentially at the mercy of Smith as his power is that of the tsimtsum/interface. This extends even to the level of the Deus ex Machina (the outer aspect of the Source) that Neo connects with at the end of third movie:
“The program ‘Smith’ has grown beyond your control. Soon he will spread through this city as he spread through the Matrix.”
Neo to the Deus ex Machina
As we pointed out in our article, Irreconcilable Differences, this is all part of the first stage of the “master plan” of human redemption in kabbalah and The Matrix. Neo had a job to do that will enable a future, arousal from below, (on the part of a greater number of humans) necessary to bring about the end of the Matrix.
After waiting 17 years for this fourth film, we might now be able to say, that everything in the Matrix story continues to happen exactly as it should … and could not happen any other way.