Friday, May 25, 2007

Theology Of The Matrix Trilogy- Part 2

Here's the rest of the commentary I wrote for the Christian theology of the trilogy. Enjoy!

The Oracle and the Architect are the only two programs, outside of possibly "the Machine god" from the end of the third film, that are capable of orchestrating events to provide options for choice. The Architect will not do this, because it is not his purpose, but the Oracle's purpose is to "unbalance" things, as she mentions in the third film. She took it upon herself to subtly manipulate the life of Neo so that when he defeated Smith in the first film, he would also end up unconsciously or "by accident" imprinting part of himself on Smith, leading to the necessary peace treaty.

Smith tells Neo later in the second film that like Neo, he wants "everything".
And this is true. Neo still wants to have peace and a long life, without sacrificing anything. All the good, without the bad.

Neo avoids the truth of his purpose until the very end of the third film. Smith asks Neo why he persists in fighting, and Neo responds, "because I choose to". Despite this being a dramatic line, it shows that Neo STILL doesn't believe in destiny, and refuses to surrender himself to his ultimate purpose.

The Oracle knew, in the second film, that Neo would have to return to the source, as he finally does at the end of the third film. Neo did not want to return to the source then, because it would mean the end of Trinity's life. Neo's problem, as the Oracle always new, was that as long as he had Trinity in his life, he would never be willing to leave her and go to the source. The Oracle knew that Trinity was everything to him, and he would never fulfill his purpose if staying with her was still an option.

In the third film, he no longer had the option of staying with Trinity. He had nothing left but his purpose. Still, though, he entered the final fight with Smith out of revenge, without a full understanding of his purpose. The deal for the treaty was probably secondary in his mind. He just wanted the end of evil, and the beginning of peace.

Finally, with nothing left to live for, he was able to recognize the meaning of the Oracle's words. "Everything that has a beginning has an end, Neo." He knew that by definition, he had no reason to exist after fulfilling his purpose, and so gave himself over to his ultimate purpose and destiny.

Christian Theology

Although there are varying philosophical references that span a number of faiths in the Matrix Trilogy, for those enjoying the movie from a Christian perspective, there are several symbols and ideas to notice, some of which that were purposefully done, and others that were probably not, given there deep, specifically Christian theological references:

Names: Neo is an Anagram for "One" but also means "New". Christ was the second or "new" Adam, and also came to make all things "new".

Trinity: An obvious reference to the Godhead, but why? Neo is the Christ figure and Morpheus, in the first film, plays a duel role of John the Baptist, preparing the way for Neo, and God the father, a guiding mentor for Neo. The name Trinity makes us think of the Godhead, and tells us to put two and teo together. Trinity represents the Holy Spirit. She is sent as a representative force for Morpheus to work among men. Additionally, it was the Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead and it was Trinity that "talked" Neo back to life at the end of the first film.

The Nebachudnezzar: This is an old Testament king who was troubled by dreams, a central comparison to the world of the Matrix.

Types: As I mentioned, Neo is Christ, Morphesu is John the Baptist/God the Father, Trinity is the Holy Spirit. Cypher is Judas, who makes a deal with the enemy. Smith and his Agents are Pharisees, who want to maintain a legal "control" of things.

Smith is also Satan or Evil. We see this particularly in the second and third film as he spreads all over the earth(Evil) and during the final battle with Neo, where lightning flashes behind him, giving him momentary "wings of light"(Satan/Lucifer). Zion represents heaven, where men go after they have left the world they live in. The Oracle is also a type of God, orchestrating events that allow humans to make choices, but still all within the confines of her orchestrated plan.
Salvation: Christ took sin upon himself, and God poured out his wrath on him so that sin's power over humanity would be destroyed. Those that believe in this event are set free from this world and will go to heaven.

Neo let Smith possess him. The Deus Ex Machina(Literally: God in the Machine) saw Neo's connection to Smith(Sin) and killed him so that Smith's power over the Matrix would be ended. Now, those humans that believe are able to be set free from the Matrix because of what Neo did, and they can now go to the city of Zion.

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