Keymaker: Entry to Wisdom and Beyond
The purpose of the Keymaker (played by Randall Duk Kim) as the name implies, is to open doors – specifically to enable connection to the higher worlds. These are the increasingly ‘loftier’ worlds of the Oracle, the Architect, and the Source.
The Oracle presented this reality to Neo, as his new ‘condition‘ to fulfill in The Matrix Reloaded:
The Oracle: Listen to me, Neo. You can save Zion if you reach The Source, but to do that you will need the Keymaker.
Neo: The Keymaker?
The Oracle: Yes, he disappeared some time ago. We did not know what happened to him until now. He’s being held prisoner by a very dangerous program, one of the oldest of us. He is called the Merovingian, and he will not let him go willingly.
It is interesting that the Oracle mentions Neo’s next step as reaching the Source. There is nothing said of the Architect. In The Matrix Revolutions, she reveals to Neo that this was something he had to discover on his own – but only when he was read for it.
If you recall from our introductory articles, the Source is the idea of the transcendent creator, where the Architect is that of the immanent creator. More on this in a bit.
Mysteries of the Keymaker
If you thought the Oracle spoke mysteriously to Neo and others, the Keymaker goes well beyond.
“There’s a building. Inside this building, there’s a level where no elevator can go, and no stair can reach. … This level is filled with doors. These doors lead to many places, hidden places, but one door is special. One door leads to the Source.”
You have to wonder if he designs puzzles for a living. At least we’re getting a hint as to all those keys he has.
The reality is, the higher one ascends, the less there is in common with our world (i.e., The Matrix) and general terminology, metaphors, etc., help minimize errors.
Amidst the Keymaker’s cryptic language about doors and hidden places, he repeats what the Oracle said:
Keymaker: One door leads to the Source.
Note that the Keymaker also does not mention the Architect. And if that’s not enough, we find this interesting exchange after Neo met the Architect:
Morpheus: I don’t understand it. Everything was done as it was supposed to be done. Once The One reaches the Source, the war should be over.
Neo: In 24 hours it will be.
Neo: If we don’t do something in 24 hours, Zion will be destroyed.
Trinity: How do you know that?
Neo: I was told it would happen.
Morpheus: By whom?
Neo: It doesn’t matter. I believed him
“Straight Outta Zohar”
The concept of ‘doors’ in the spiritual worlds is well established in kabbalistic literature. The following passage (which we help explain below it) especially relates well to the Matrix scene where Neo, Morpheus, and the Keymaker are in the hallway of doors fighting all of the many Smiths. Before he dies, the Keymaker hands Neo a very special key for the one door that Neo knows is the right one.
Note the underlined parts which we focus on:
What is the meaning of ‘Bereshith?’ (The term for “In the beginning” from Genesis 1:1) It means “with Wisdom,” the Wisdom on which the world is based, and through this, it introduces us to deep and recondite mysteries. … The Holy and Mysterious One graved in a hidden recess one point. In that He enclosed the whole of Creation as one who locks up all his treasures in a palace, under one key, which is therefore as valuable as all that is stored up in that palace; for it is the key which shuts and opens. In that palace, there are hidden treasures, one greater than the other. The palace is provided with fifty mystic gates. They are inserted in its four sides to the number of forty-nine. The one remaining gate is on none of its sides and it is unknown whether it is on high or below: It is hence called the mysterious gate. All these gates have one lock, and there is one tiny spot for the insertion of the key, which is only marked by the impress of the key. It is this mystery that is implied in the words. “In the beginning created God.”
This is a bit trickier but important:
- The alternative interpretation of the first word (Bereshith) as, “with Wisdom,” points to something that was ‘used’ to make the creation. Wisdom is associated with the Architect – the ‘creator of the Matrix’ – as he calls himself. The Source ‘used’ the Architect program to create the Matrix the same way the Creator uses ‘wisdom.’
- The “one point” mentioned in the text is that of Wisdom. As mentioned in our Introductory articles and the article on the Architect, ‘wisdom’ is singular but contains all there is to come within it. The mind of the Architect is like the ‘point’ preceding the “Big Bang” in science. The “whole of Creation” (i.e., the program and Matrix worlds) is within this singular point.
- The “fifty mystic gates” is a reference to Understanding/Binah, which correlates to the Oracle as previously explained. These are called the “Fifty Gates of Understanding” in kabbalah (“Nun Sha’arei Binah”).
- The “one remaining gate” is the door Neo enters. Compare the Keymaker’s description of how it is hidden, to the same gate in the Zohar text being hidden.
- The final sentence contains, “In the beginning created God,” which is the concept of the Architect himself being created. (If you missed it earlier, watch this 4-minute video by Professor Daniel Matt regarding this interesting concept.)
Back to Our Question
Earlier, we raised the question as to why no one was bringing up the Architect as an entity Neo would encounter on the “Path of the One.”
As mentioned, the Architect, at the point of Chokmah/Wisdom on the Tree of Life diagram, is ‘above’ all the other emanations, other than Keter (the Source).
This relates to why Morpheus and Trinity don’t mention him as they have a limited view of that which is above them – only the level of the Oracle and below.
Even Neo is surprised when he meets the Architect:
Architect: Hello, Neo.
Neo: Who are you?
Architect: I am the Architect. I created the Matrix. I’ve been waiting for you.
As for the Oracle, we know from her conversation with Neo in The Matrix Revolutions, that she was aware of the Architect. They’re ‘partners’ in the creation and functioning of the Matrix.
Her ‘issue’ was not a matter of awareness like the others, but rather that of Neo himself not being at the level he needed to be, to properly ‘grasp’ the idea:
Neo: Then why didn’t you tell me about the Architect? Why didn’t you tell me about Zion, the Ones before me – why didn’t you tell me the truth?
Oracle: Because it wasn’t time for you to know.
Neo: Who decided it wasn’t time?
Here the Oracle points at the Temet Nosce (“Know Thyself”) sign above the door.
Neo: I did … Then I think it’s time for me to know a few more things.
Oracle: So do I.
As with Trinity expressing her love to Neo and kissing him, in the first Matrix movie, there is a precise time for everything according to kabbalah, often requiring certain conditions to be met.