The essence of the world of concealment – A stroll with Mr. Joseph-Morpheus
Eyes wide open – Exodus
* Laws, rules and what's in between
* The formation of the worlds
* Speech (the telephone) as a connection instrument between worlds.
* About time and space
Sub chapter a – Eyes wide open – Exodus
As we have seen in the previous chapter, our perception is made through our limited five senses. Every part perceived gives us only a small angle of the big picture of truth.
The difference between a spiritual person and one who is asleep is that the spiritual person takes the partial picture and tries to somehow locate it in the general picture which he cannot perceive through his senses. The person asleep takes that same partial picture and decides that "this is all there is", as he cannot see anything except it. To this sleeping person the world perceived through the five senses becomes a veil hiding his eyes from seeing the true world – the big picture. His physical sight and hearing imprison him into becoming a slave to materialism and the finality of the physical world. "They have eyes but cannot see, ears but cannot hear". The Ramchal (Rabbi Moshe Haim Luzzatto) in his book 'Mesilat Yesharim' gives a description of the essence of such a world. This explanation was probably known to the creators of the film when writing the script. He writes that this world is characterized by darkness. Darkness caused by materialism and physical desires blinding the mind from seeing the truth. This darkness can hide obstacles standing right before someone's eyes and on top of it plant him with the desire to come close to these obstacles and be fallen by them.
There is a parable told by Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov's grandson -The Degel Machane Efraim. In this parable, remarkably resembling our trilogy, there is a story about a king who built a trial path for whoever wanted to come close to him. This path was built by trickery of the eye and featured several high walls, each wall resembling a scary reality of some sort. Most people, paralyzed by fear, gave up on the first walls, but the king's son did not give up. He fought each wall and the reality it bore with all his might. Slowly he came to realize that it is all trickery and so he shouted to his father from the path while standing in almost impossible trials "father, I know you are there, beyond the wall, let me through". His father, who heard him, dropped all the illusion of the walls in an instant, but still he did not come to greet his son. He told his helpers – give him everything he wishes. But his son knew this also is a trial. He asked for only one thing – to see his father's face. To see the king and sit next by his throne.
In another story from Rabbi Nachman of Bresslev tells of a king's adviser telling the king that he has information that this year the yield will be bad and anyone who will eat from it will go mad. He tells the king that there is enough good produce for himself and the king to eat and so they will remain the only sane people in the kingdom. The King refuses for if they will be the only sane individuals – they will in fact be the abnormals, and decides they will eat with all the rest, but they will make a sign on their foreheads and whenever they will look at each other they will remember their own insanity.
From these 2 stories we can learn about the attempt of these teachers to pass us fragments of the understanding that our perception of the world is distorted. The reality we live in is an illusion, a designed obstacle on the way to knowing the consciousness beyond.
In the film, the eye opening eventually ends in a physical exit from the matrix. In our world the eye opening is made in the world and remains there. Just like in the King's story, even those who wake up do not have true constant awareness. we constantly move on the road between the remembering and recognition of truth, to the insanity of the world of illusion, narrowing our sight and consciousness to see only the muggy little swamp we live in. All that is left is to try and leave as many reminders on our way "Remember you were a slave in the land of Egypt".
Sages call our world the world of lies – "Alma Deshikra" (עלמא דשקרא) He who dies and leaves the world is told to have gone to the world of truth. It is amazing to discover how we know this understanding well in speech and how far it is from our feeling. There is a sentence saying "how real this passing world is to all and how they see not how it passes". In Kabala they teach that every root of every word has meaning. The meaning in Hebrew of the word world (עולם) is concealment. Therefore, the meaning of this world is to hide. What is it hiding? The truth. The "Whole". Infinity. That which lies beyond the finite, that which has no boundaries. Why hide it? Why limit and narrow it down? So that we, out of a world of limitations can perceive it. This is one of the beautiful paradoxes of the "Whole". Connection between contrasts. In order that we can perceive him, he hides himself, so that we will not be blinded by his light. Just as when you want to look at the sun you must wear sunglasses, there must be a filter to screen, To narrow down his light – brighter than any sun…
This illusionary reality has different levels. Similarly, man has different levels of consciousness fitting the different levels of reality. Man's spiritual work can lie on several planes of reality simultaneously. In the film we see how reality and dream mix together. Neo moves from dream to reality in a continuity as if they are connected together. Morpheus tries to challenge Neo in his question: "How do you know that the reality you are used to live in is not also a dream?" and then states: "you lived in a world of dreams Neo, this is the real world". In Chasidut books it is said that there are really different levels of consciousness, depending on the strength of the mind, and each level is a dream compared to the level above it. The Sages tell us that when a new power of understanding will come to the world (soon), we will all suddenly rise to a new level and discover our lives so far to have been a dream. "When God brought back those that returned to Zion, we were like them that dream". (בשוב ה' את שיבת ציון היינו כחולמים)
Sub chapter b – Laws, rules and what's in between – The tearing of The Red Sea
After Morpheus reveals to Neo that reality is in fact a kind of dream, a giant virtual simulation programmed by a super consciousness lying "beyond", he moves to the next stage. This stage is meant to build in him the understanding that all laws and rules we know as part of the world are in fact just part of the program. The "One" and each and everyone, has in its core a part of the source. Through this part he can, by connecting to it, transcend everything forced by nature, everything the law abides. The Stipulation is belief. Strong belief, in the insignificance/ futility of the illusionary world and everything arising from it and recognition that the "Source" is the only thing that really exists. It is the root of all beings. We see a collection of details and think that each one is a reality in itself. The truth is that all the leaves we see, spring from branches we don't see, and all branches are connected to one big tree trunk . "Know this day and take it into your heart that I am God, there is no other" means – to know that all forces existing in the world originate in one force. Other than him there is nothing. The programmer behind the back doors of reality. The way to reach this understanding is to overcome and transcend the nature we are born with. As much as man subdues his nature, so he discovers the miraculous reality beyond the rules of nature. A symbol of that is Joseph's coffin, that thanks to his overcoming the seduction of the wife of Potifar, The Red Sea tore apart.
When the people of Israel stood abashed before the sea, God reprimanded them and said to Moses – what are you standing for? Speak to the people of Israel and they shall go! The people of Israel saw before them a sea but they understood that if God tells them to go, what difference does it make what stands before them? Nachshon, son of Aminadav, jumped forward and started walking devotedly into the water, with the belief that this is no sea, no water, all is illusion. When the water reached his chin, the sea tore and the people of Israel passed in land inside the sea.
Another story demonstrating this is the one about Rabbi Hanina Ben Dosa who asked his daughter to put oil in the candles for Shabbat. An instant before Shabbat she realized she had used vinegar instead of oil. Rabbi Hanina calmed her and said: "do not worry my child, for he who tells the oil to burn will tell the vinegar to burn". And so it was, the candles burned from Shabbat evening until the evening after.
We see that whoever is in this level, transcending his material nature, looks at the world and sees that the only thing that exists is the "Root of will" out of which all beings spreads. The connection to this will breaks all other rules and nothing will stand in his way. "Nothing stands in the way of will".
Sub chapter c – The descending of the worlds
After Neo passes his training and proves himself, the Oracle begins to tell him aboutthe descending of the Matrix – the formation of the worlds. We discover that the illusion, the Matrix, the world are not one program but a collection of programs built in a hierarchal formation, each program being programmed by the program above it. Every physical thing in the world has a spiritual program operating it. That program was written by a higher program and so on until the source of all programs – The "Source". The Sages call these programs by the word "Angel". An angel is an unseen spiritual force aiming the operation or physical object it is guarding.
“Each and every weed has an Angel standing above him, striking him and saying “Grow!”
Every Angel accepts/ borrows from the Angel above him until all borrow from the "Source".
This Hierarchal structure is described in Kabala as the Chain of the worlds. There are four main stages in the creation of the worlds from the root of the source and they are called by the names: אצילות, בריאה, יצירה ועשייה. In man's mind there is a similar structure to these four worlds, though most of us are mostly present in the lower world – the world of "doing".
The root of the word fortune in Hebrew (Mazal) originates in the word "spill" (Nazal) which describes the spilling of abundance from the source passing through the different worlds until reaching the world of phenomena and the individual man. People who know the art of seeing this flow can tell a man what lies in his future as they see his fortune flowing towards him. This is the Oracle's power of sight. One of the landmarks is the stars to which we say a prayer each Shabbat: “Good are the lights created by God… power and might he gave them to rule over the world”.
In the Talmud, the people of the world are often mentioned as stars and fortune worshipers. Why? Because they are constantly under the influence of this flow of fortune, spilling through the stars and worlds.
The people of Israel were given another access. A high speed connection, bypassing all suppliers.
"There is no fortune for Israel". One of the meanings of the word Israel in Hebrew is "my mind" (Li Rosh) represents the ability and even duty to reach the top of the pyramid – the "Source", and from there directly receive the abundance without needing mediators on the way. Abraham was told: "Go and count the stars". Count means also limit (sfar) – go and put a limit on the stars' influence on you. "Thus shall be your descendants" – all of your descendants will have this privilege – the right to connect directly to the "Source". Paganism turns to other forces in the pyramid instead of turning to the maker of the pyramid and bypassing all the 'agents' trying to gain a mediation fee. .
In her meeting with Neo, the Oracle reveals to him what the Ramchal writes in the beginning of his book "Derech Hashem" (God's Way); that there are different types of beings in creation. Some have a physical body while other do not. Those without body like Angels or Demons are not supposed to be seen. Haarizal, one of the Zohar's prominent interpreters writes that if man was to see all beings surrounding him at every moment, he would immediately go mad.
Sub Chapter d – Telephone – the secret of prayer.
The phone motif in the film is so predominant that many cellular phone companies based their campaigns on the Matrix. The Telephone in the film is not only a means of communication, the Weshowsky brothers chose it as a means of transportation between the two worlds. They made this choice for a reason.
What is the main characteristic of the phone? The power of speech!
In chapter E (the language of programming) we will find out that the Matrix (reality) is like any program, written in a certain language. This language is what determines and creates the reality we perceive. Man's ability to operate in this reality greatly depends on his control of this language. The mouth is our keyboard. A right use of the power of speech is what enables man to overcome or enhance the illusion he lives in – "life and death in the hand of the tongue".
Sages often refer to the people of Israel as "Jacob's worm". This name derives from the form of the worm whose main strength is the mouth, and with this Sages insinuate that the power of speech is a mighty one and it should be greatly revered.
In many spiritual methods around the world this power was discovered and like the warriors of Zion they use different names (mantras) that can alter states of consciousness or in the Matrix's format, transport man from one world to another.
We have seen that the man of Israel, a Zion warrior, has not only the ability to communicate with spiritual forces and beings located somewhere on the angelic hierarchy, but also from him, like Neo, the gate can open to lead to the "Source" itself. For this purpose he was given a special elevator, connecting him in a port-to-port connection. This connection, drawing material burning oil and turning it into spiritual light, is based on letters and words who, when pronounced can activate emotional and mental powers enabling the passage between worlds – prayer.
A correct use of this power can bring to two directions of action:
1.It enables man to connect with the consciousness beyond, and even pass
beyond the illusionary screen of reality.
2. It enables things needed to fulfill one's destiny in this world, filter through
to his reality.
Sub chapter e – of time and space
Two of the main characteristics of the material world are the concepts of time and space. Although space can be easily related to matter, time too depends on matter and as matter, it disintegrates. Time is a measurement of matter movement in comparison with other matter. Between earth and the sun or between the two dials of a clock. Outside the material world, time has no meaning. Sages tell us that the concept of time depends on the powers of consciousness – the "mind". As the mind grows, time contracts in a direct ratio. An example from the world of sleep: when a man falls asleep, his consciousness contracts and then he dreams a dream. In the dream, because the "mind" is contracted, there is much less reason and so many things happen in a dream which are not possible in reality.
In a dream, one can pass through a whole lifetime, and when he awakens he discovers it has only been 15 minutes! In the same way, as mind grows, time contracts, until, in the truly infinite mind time does not exist at all. In the same way, Sages say that when we will get new levels of mind, we will understand how our lives so far have been like 15 minutes in the new reality, and it will seem like a dream. "When God will bring back those that returned to Zion, we were like them that dream".
Sages also tell us that reality is made of 3 main layers – world/ year/ mind. 3 octaves of the same sound – Space/ time/ man's mind. Out of this standpoint we realize that time's reality is a living reality with ups and downs just like in space (topography). The whole subject of Jewish holidays year round is based on this concept that time changes in its qualities and form as it goes and man must fit his mental state to these changes in order to grow.
Those who have already transcended the material world can see this world beyond time.
Sages call this light "Or Haganuz" – the light which was concealed in the creation of the world so that only the worthy can use it. A light which can be seen reaching from one end of the world to the other It enables to see the end cause of every single thing and by this understand processes who often seem wondrous to those who see only their relative earthly segment. We may understand this better if we describe it as the difference between people sitting in a movie theater, watching a film as it builds and the one playing the film, who possesses the whole film and knows its end before the movie even started (we will discuss the issue of free choice later on).
One of the film's special effects, cinematically as well as Substance wise is what the Weshowsky Brothers call Bullet Time. It is Neo's ability (and the camera's) to stop time and enter it. Just as moving beyond the Matrix is made with a camera passing through matter (space) and then we discover ourselves in another world, so the Bullet Time technique shows that time is yet another part of the fragile laws of the illusionary reality which can be bended by those who believe…
The ability to stop time, the rush of life, and observe, is an important part of many spiritual methods. Most people in this world are so busy madly running that they often forget where it is they are running to. Society progresses in a crazy pace but only few ask themselves where are we going? Technological tools become so tremendously powerful, but they become more and more dangerous because the ones using them have no spiritual guidelines and are morally empty.
The spiritual man is one who can stop and observe .
"It is better to loose a moment in life than life in a moment".
As the Merovingian puts it: if we won't take the time, how will we ever have time?