Gnostic Doctrine

Friday, 19 July 2019

The Matrix films

The Matrix films

Have you seen the Matrix films?

They chart the attempts of one man, Neo, to overcome the present worldly system and find the Truth. In doing so, he gets into a position to be able to help others and lead them towards the city of Zion, where they can be truly free.

The film is full of imagery and symbolism, but where does it come from? And what does it point to? Could the films actually be pointing to a real situation?

Now for a Greek lesson. Neo means "new" and is also an anagram of "One". "Ander" means "Man". Therefore, Neo's surname "Anderson", means "Son of Man". This is a title of Jesus. Nebuchadnezzar, the name of Neo's ship was also the name of a Biblical king who had dreams concerning the "Last Days". So the imagery of the film borrows strongly from the Bible. Neo's girlfriend is called Trinity, which although not a Biblical term or concept, is nevertheless central to the beliefs of Christendom.

Jesus overcame his human nature to become the Saviour or Chosen One. Following his baptism (which symbolises the putting off of the old man and the putting on of the new) he was given extensive powers. Just as Neo dies and is brought back to life, Jesus died and was raised up by his Father, God.

The Bible teaches that this world is but a "shadow of things to come". The Bible also talks of the New Jerusalem (Zion) coming to the earth as the capital of the Kingdom of God.

"The LORD has established Zion, and in her his afflicted people will find refuge." (Isaiah 14:32)

Once Jesus has finished restoring the world, Yahweh God himself will dwell with Man.

Zechariah 8:3

This is what the LORD says: "I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain."

We all have a choice - to continue living in this shadow world or to find the Truth. Jesus taught:

"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:32)

Gnosticism, though, has perhaps been best represented in popular culture by the Wachowski brothers’ film The Matrix, which, again, seems to owe its world view at least in part to Philip K Dick and, by extension, to the Gnostics.The film tells the story of a computer
hacker known as Neo (Keanu Reeves), who comes into the knowledge that the world is in fact a giant computer simulation, designed to keep human beings in a state of slavery to the machines which designed it.We later learn that these machines were originally given artificial intelligence by humans, but then rebelled against their creators, imprisoning them and feeding off their energy.

Although the film contains elements drawn from mainstream Christian tradition – Neo is referred to repeatedly as ‘the One’ (a redeemer figure long prophesied), the rebels’ ship is called the Nebuchadnezzar and their stronghold Zion – the film seems to draw more on Gnostic sources. Indeed, near the beginning of the film, Neo falls asleep in front of his computer. He is woken by a mysterious message that appears on the screen, which reads ‘Wake up, Neo.’This is essentially the theme of the film, and needless to say, it is Gnostic. Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) are, as they instruct and aid Neo in waking up, playing aeonic roles as opposed to the archonic Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving), who attempts to keep Neo inside the Matrix and therefore asleep to ultimate reality.The film employs terms that are also found in Gnostic texts, such as blindness, sleep, ignorance, dreaming, darkness and night which stand in opposition to seeing,waking, knowing and light. It is these latter states to which Neo travels and ultimately attains

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