The program smith

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The program smith

Postby vieome on Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:14 am

How does smith always know when Neo will be around?
" I have been expecting you" Is this because of their connection to the source or because he is programmed to be alerted?
Or is it intuition?
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Re: The program smith

Postby th3_p4th on Fri Nov 20, 2009 4:57 am

I think all of them are valid answers.
CaptPostMod wrote:Well, you have to remember that I don't even think Sophia Stewart exists at all. :roll: :lol:
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Re: The program smith

Postby dionysus on Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:59 pm

I think the answer to this question lies in understanding the roles of Neo and Agent Smith within the trilogy. As the trilogy progresses, we see that Smith is on an opposite path to Neo’s path. Whereas Neo moves towards enlightenment, Smith moves in the opposite direction towards, in lack of a better word, endarkenment. If we define the path of enlightenment as a path towards truth, light, and immortality, then the path of endarkenment would be a move towards increasing delusion, darkness, and death. In fact, this is exactly what we see happening in the trilogy.

Neo moves from delusion to truth, from darkness to light, and from death to immortality. At the end of part 1, Neo wakes up to the false reality of the Matrix and sets his first steps on the journey from delusion towards truth. In the end of part 3, we see Neo wake up to the reality of the machine world, which not only suggests that the machine world is a world of a higher truth, but also suggests that Neo is moving increasingly closer to discovering the ultimate truth of the Matrix universe. When Neo enters the machine world, he describes the machine world as a world of light, providing yet another symbolic reference to Neo’s path of enlightenment and his path from darkness towards light. Though the Matrix is not explicitly portrayed as a world of darkness, there are symbolic and philosophical references to the Matrix being a world of darkness. Neo’s path from death to immortality is also somewhat more symbolic than the more literal references of his path towards truth and light. As the trilogy progresses, we see several symbolic references to Neo’s death-and-resurrection. At the end of part 3, we see yet another symbolic death as he is carried off it what appears to be a golden lotus. Although this could be seen as Neo’s symbolic death, at the same time, it can also be viewed as Neo’s ultimate enlightenment. There are hints given towards Neo’s immortality in the final scene when the Oracle suggests that Neo might one day return. At the same time, there are symbolic interpretations of scenes that run throughout the trilogy to suggest that Neo is indeed on a path towards truth and enlightenment.

And since Smith is Neo’s opposite, Smith’s path would be an equal path to Neo’s, but in the in the opposite direction. If Smith’s path of endarkenment is interpreted as the opposite of Neo’s path of enlightenment, than Smith would need to be moving from truth towards delusion, from light towards darkness, and from immortality towards death. I believe the answer to your question lies in Smith’s (symbolic) path from truth towards delusion.

At the end of part 3, when Neo seems to be completely aware of his surroundings and completely aware of the truth of his world, Smith is at a complete loss. Smith, at that point, seems to be on the other end of the spectrum of truth. Smith is confused as to why Neo would deny his defeat and is confused about the action he is to take next. Smith seems to be caught in a world of delusion at the height of his endarkenment.

If we believe that Smith originates from the machine world, and if we interpret the machine world as the world of light, then we can start to see Smith’s path from truth towards delusion. There are several symbolic references to the machine world, or alternatively, the world of light being equal to the world of truth: Plato refers to the sun as the source of higher knowledge, and Neo’s path of enlightenment ends in a world of complete understanding. Since Smith originates from this world of truth, and he ends up in a state of complete confusion at the end of part 3, we can see Smith’s resurrection into the Matrix at the start of part 2 can be seen as Smith’s first steps towards increasing delusion.

The reason why I believe Smith seems to know exactly what’s going on at the beginning of part 2 is because Smith is just starting on his journey towards endarkenment. He seems to be expecting Neo and seems to be in complete understanding of his replicative ability. Of course, this is only the beginning of Smith’s journey, and only as the trilogy progresses into part 3, do we see Smith becoming increasingly further removed from the world of truth.

There is yet another answer to your question which lies in Smith role as a Agent. Smith’s resurrection into the matrix can also be part of a plan of the Architect. Since agents are designed to serve and protect the system from what the architect calls a cataclysmic system crash (by too many people waking up to the false reality of the Matrix; i.e. by agents not doing their jobs), agents can be seen as the Demiurge’s servants, and in particular Smith, who seems to be re-inserted into the Matrix to serve to defeat Neo.

If Smith is seen as the waster to destroy, it sets up yet another symbolic reference to Neo being the creator to preserve, which lies in Neo and Smith being each other’s opposites. Neo is still at a loss of his role for the One at the start of part 2, at the same time we see Smith being pretty aware of his surroundings and purpose. It is for this reason that I believe that Smith seems to know where Neo will be.

Your suggestions of Smith’s increased awareness being because of Smith’s connection to the Source, or because he is programmed to be alerted, I would say “yes”. :? :D
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Re: The program smith

Postby vieome on Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:52 am

dionysus great explaination about the path of smith, but I am still not sure how he always knows when Neo will be around.
Are you saying that Smith is aware that he is walking opposite paths to Neo and thus their paths will always meet.
And also do you think Neos journey to the source or enlightment means he is becoming more machine, while the program smith is becoming more human(thus traits of destrution, he is becoming the very virus that he said humams were in M1).
?
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Re: The program smith

Postby dionysus on Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:55 pm

I completely agree with your view of Smith becoming more human-like as the films progress. In fact, what is so interesting about Smith’s evolution throughout the trilogy is that he becomes the very thing he hates: human-like. In part 1, Smith describes humans as the cancer of the matrix world, yet in parts 2 and 3, he has some new-found ability to spread from one place to the next until every living resource is consumed, just like he said humans do. Smith therefore becomes a victim of his own hatred. This is an important symbolic point because in Neo overcoming Smith at the end of part 3, Neo essentially overcomes hatred and achieves a state of enlightenment as a result of it. Smith, being a symbol for hatred, indeed is an Agent, in the very sense of the word: an agent; a smith (= a catalyst) for Neo’s enlightenment. In achieving enlightenment according to Buddhism, among other deeds and virtues, one must overcome the three principal evils of Buddhism: hatred, greed, and delusion.

If we can see Smith as a symbol of each one of these three evils, Neo’s overcoming of Smith can then be seen as Neo’s overcoming of the three principal evils of Buddhism and Neo’s state after he overcomes Smith as Buddhist enlightenment. We have already seen how Smith becomes the symbol of hatred through his becoming of the very thing he hates: a ‘human’ virus with an ability to “spread from one place to the next until every living resource is consumed”. We also see Smith become the symbol of greed through his obsession with absolute power and avarice at the end of part 3: “This is my world, my world!” In fact, we see a first sign of Smith's newfound greed in the courtyard when he cries out for "more, more" smiths/agents.

The only thing left to seeing Smith as an agent for Neo’s enlightenment would be to set up Smith as being the symbol of delusion also. Delusion can alternatively be interpreted as ignorance and, indeed, we see Smith becoming increasingly ignorant as the films progress and reach its climax at the end of part 3. Smith seems completely ignorant of the virtues of human nature, such as surrender and sacrifice. At the height of events in part 3, Smith even states that human life is without meaning or purpose, yet we learn from the Architect at the end of part 2, that Neo’s life is full of purpose and meaning. Also, just before Neo he is about to overcome Smith, Neo seems completely clear of his purpose and of the meaning of his life. As mentioned in my previous post, I believe that Smith and Neo, at this point, are each on opposite ends of the spectrum of truth and understanding: Neo is on the clear side of it, Smith as at the darker side of it.

As far Smith being aware of Neo’s surroundings, I’m not so sure Smith is always aware in the sense of being completely knowledgeable. I believe that his spread throug the worlds of the Matrix universe only becomes ever more omnipresent as Neo also travels through these different worlds. Yet, at the same time, we don’t see Smith at the Merovingian’s chateau and club, and we don’t see Smith in Mobil Ave. I can only think of three places where Neo and Smith both meet face-to-face (after Smith's resurrection): in the courtyard, in the hallways just before entering the Architect’s Chamber, and in the Oracle’s apartment. Inasmuch as Smith being completely aware of Neo’s surroundings, it seems more likely that they ran into each other because of Smith’s omnipresence and not necessarily because he was deliberately expecting Neo to be there. We must remember that Smith only gains a real individual identity after he assimilates the Oracle in part 3. Although Smith speaks in the scenes prior to his assimilating the Oracle, he is no clear individual yet. It is true that Smith also has a presence in Zion through his assimilation of Bane, yet even here it seems when Bane runs into Neo, it seems a result of chance and not of deliberate intention -well, not until they meet on the Logos, that is.

The only thing that I can think of for explaining Smith’s seemingly increased awareness of his surroundings in the scene of the courtyard is that he is only just starting his journey down his path of increasing delusion/ignorance. Because it is only the beginning of his journey, I believe Smith is still pretty much aware of the meaning of his return (= his “connection” to Neo and Neo’s return) and of the meaning of his/their newfound purpose (= to destroy Neo/to bring balance to the system). It is only as the trilogy progresses that we see Smith becoming increasingly ignorant of the meaning and purpose of his (new) life.

As far as Smith knowing that he is on an opposite path to Neo’s, I believe he is pretty much ignorant of this also. I believe it is the hegemonity of the system of the Matrix that sets Neo and Smith on opposite ends and paths of each other. Remember when Neo opened up the book of Simulacrum and Simulation in part 1? Well, if you look closely, the chapter that Neo opens the book up at is called “On Nihilism”. In this chapter, philosopher Jean Baudrillard states that any hegemonic system will automatically nullify and balance itself out. He writes:

"Once the hope of balancing good and evil, true and false, indeed of confronting some values of the same order, once the more general hope of relation of forces and a stake has vanished, everywhere, always, the system is too strong: hegemonic."

There are many ways of seeing the Matrix world as a hegemonic system, but one of the clearest ways of seeing the flux and balancing-out of the system is through the interactions and evolving natures of Neo and Smith. We even hear hints from the Oracle that, through the workings of Architect, the Matrix system always seeks to balance itself out.

So, since the programming of the Matrix is of a hegemonic nature, and as Smith becomes increasingly ignorant, Neo becomes increasingly awakened and/or vice versa. I also believe that Neo is largely unaware of the system’s hegemonity until his epiphany at the end of part 3. Neo only learns the truth about Smith (= Neo’s opposite) through the words of the Oracle, and also only because the Oracle steered the conversation in this direction. Neo only truly understands who Smith really is when Oracle-Smith re-iterates the words of the Oracle at the end of part 3.

And since the system is always seeking to balance itself out, the confrontation between Neo and Smith, through which the system eventually re-achieves balance, indeed seems inevitable. Only through the annihilation of the system anomaly (Neo and Smith) by both forces dying into each other, can the system truly achieve balance. I believe it is this that we see happen at the end of the trilogy and it is this turn of events that the Architect refers to as the “dangerous game” played by the Oracle.
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Re: The program smith

Postby vieome on Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:44 am

Thanks for the response, while I would say I am more enlighted to the concept of smiths " I have been expecting you"
There are some very interesting points you put forward which in a rabbit hole sense of the matrix introduce a whole batch of new questions. I had not thought about how connected Neo and Smith are, on one hand they are like one person, a symbolic representation of the universal conciousness of man, a man(Neo) fighting his owner in demons(smith), and in a sense a universal conciousness journey to become a singular conciousness. Man programs machine to have the essential human spirit, the machine rebels and wins and then demands the programing of man to have the esssence of 01.

M1 Neos starts out as an agent of the matrix "if you are not one of us you are one of them" on his rebirth he becomes a matrix hacker freeing people from the matrix who become matrix hackers thus in a sense copying himself. M1 he starts off without purpose, and this just makes me see how how exactly alike their stories are just running in opposite directions. Very interesting. So I guess there is a time when smith is aware of Neo's presence in the matrix in the sense that Neo's journey contains a part where he " I know you out here I can you feel now" in blindness he says "we are over the feilds" .

So in they taking opposite journeys there must be a point where they are of equal levels of darkness and lightness, I guess that would be them in Zion, a place they are both without power.

Well for me at this point it seems that the purpose of the matrix is not soley for the changing of man into a battery but rather a way of controlling man from his own self distruction,.
01 creates the Program Archiect to create the matrix to contain the minds of men, Archie designs a perfect system which eventually fails. 01 then creates the Program Oracle to find the cause of the failure, her answer leads the Program Architect to create a new matrix which allows man his evil ways, with Zion as a control for any imbalance.
The Program Oracle then forsees that the machine understanding of man to be mostly evil is wrong and that an imbalance will be born that is without evil .

So there is no free will in the system all are programs.
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Re: The program smith

Postby dionysus on Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:49 pm

Thank you, as well, for your response. You’ve presented a lot of ideas, and each of them are perfectly valid. I totally agree with you in the Matrix programming being of a deterministic and nihilistic nature. Being a hegemonic and deterministic system, it seems that the programming of the Matrix allows no room for individual free will and volition since this, as the Architect states, would disrupt the programming.

An interesting stage is then set in which the desire for free will from humans conflicts with the deterministic nature of the programming that they are jacked into. Zion is indeed created as refuge for human jack-ins that quite simply ‘wake up’ to the idea that they are trapped in a deterministic world and that the reality of this world is nothing other than some sort of programming made up of digital code. In the Animatrix, there’s an episode that states that only those that possess a rare degree of intuition eventually become aware of the simulated reality in the Matrix. I guess these are the people that eventually allow escape to a world (= Zion) in which their questions about reality are soothed and answered.

If we look at Neo’s choices and actions, they all seem to be driven by determinism and/or prophecy. The deterministic programming of the Matrix itself and Neo’s acting upon the Oracle’s desired outcomes would indeed seem to leave very little room for any sense of individual free will and volition. We also learn, however, that humans, like Neo, need to have the illusion of free will and volition in order for them to accept the programming in the first place. I believe it is for this reason that the Oracle speaks in riddles and remains very vague on the desired and explicit action that Neo is to take. She tells Neo to go to the ‘door made of light’, yet we are not sure whether she means the entrance to the Architect’s Chamber or whether she means the portal that Neo travels through once he reaches the City of Light (= Machine City). She says Neo will become the (true) One in his next life, yet we’re not sure whether that happens at the end of part 1, or only at the end of part 3. At the end of part 2, even the Architect states that Neo was meant to arrive at the Architect’s Chamber and that he was meant to become the One. This suggests that all of parts 1 and 2 were all just part of some elaborate plan. It would even suggest that, despite the illusion of free will, the words of the Oracle was also some part of divine plan and that it would always eventually going to drive Neo to this very spot. This not only sets up the Architect and the Oracle as some sort of puppet masters, it also suggests that Neo’s idea of free volition was nothing but an illusion of fate.

The only time we really see Neo genuinely acting out of free will is in the final scene after Smith re-iterates the words of the Oracle: “Everything that has a beginning, has an end, Neo.” Neo’s choice to become assimilated by Smith is the only time we see Neo break out of the world of dichotic and deterministic choice of the Matrix universe. The choice Neo faced earlier in the Architect’s chamber was a choice of extremes: either self-mortification or self-indulgence. In fact, if you look closely, all of Neo’s choices are deterministic and dichotic: red pill blue pill; left door, right door, save Morpheus, do not save Morpheus; kiss Persephone, do not kiss Persephone; save Trinity, do not save Trinity, etc. Neo’s choice at the end of final battle, for the first time, is the choice of a middle-way; of a third choice; a choice free from any form of desire or reluctance. In choosing to become assimilated by Smith, Neo essentially completes the noble eightfold path to Buddhist enlightenment: right effort (know thyself), right mindfulness (there is no spoon), and right concentration (free your mind). In fact, in choosing to become assimilated by Smith, Neo also completes the Hindu threefold path to self-realization: knowledge of god (machines as the world of spirit), renunciation of action (Neo’s free-choiced surrender), and the path to devotion (Neo’s free willed-sacrifice).

With Neo overcoming the three principal evils of Buddhism, along with the three evils of Hinduism (delusion, greed, and pride; Smith), I believe it is for this reason that we see Neo becoming re-born as the True One (The Buddha) and that this is the unveiling of the true, unitary Self (Hinduism). With Neo receiving an influx of Source Code, I believe, symbolically speaking, Neo attains a state of Nirvana, symbolized by his breaking into white light. In Neo choosing to lay down his sword, Neo frees his mind from will and desire and achieves a release from the bonds of karma and attains a state of enlightenment as a result of it.

I believe Neo’s genuine free willed choice of surrender and sacrifice eventually also leads to the improved programming of the Matrix we have already learned that Neo is set in place for by the Architect. At the end of part 3, we see the (new) programming (of Neo) becoming disseminated through the Matrix and the Prophecy seems to be revealed as true after all: Neo remakes the Matrix as he sees fit, ends the war, and brings freedom to the people of Zion. I believe that by Neo’s free willed sacrifice and surrender, the machines finally learn that humans DO possess purity of heart (love and surrender) and purity of spirit (sacrifice). Humans, through Neo’s connection with Source (= machine) Code, also gain a renewed connection to the world of spirit through the symbolic portrayal as machines coming forth from the world of (pure) spirit (Animatrix). The programming of Matrix 4.0 (which we see at the end of part 3) therefore seems to have become, symbolically speaking, mutually compatible between humans and machines.

In the final scene we also see a combination of the three colors that have continuously been associated with the three different worlds of the Matrix universe: green, blue, and golden. In the final scene, we first see green grass and blue sky, symbolically suggesting that the world of humans (Zion; blue) and programs (The Matrix; green) have somehow become connected. Soon afterward, we also see a golden sunrise created by Sati (a machine; golden), suggesting that the worlds of the Matrix and Zion have both become blessed with the rays from the world of spirit. The integrated consciousness that you mentioned in your previous post, I believe, is symbolically portrayed by these three colors becoming closely associated with each other a singular, final shot.

The exponents of the interplay in the turn of events are, of course, Neo and Smith. There are ways of seeing Neo and Smith as Yin and Yang which work perfectly well. Yin and Yang, like Neo and Smith are in constant flux and moving in opposite directions of each other. If we can see Neo as an exponent of human nature (= the ‘free’ human), and Smith as an exponent of program nature (= the ‘free’ program), this sets up a nice dynamic between their interplay. As Smith moves towards control, deception, domination, and hatred (= Yin), Neo moves in the opposite direction towards freedom, truth, peace, and love (= Yang). With them making up the opposing forces of the Matrix universe, they can both be thought of the Yin and Yang sides of a singular anomaly. Neo and Smith are therefore both equally dependent upon each other to seek to get rid of the system anomaly and improve the programming. Like Yin and Yang should merge into one another, we see Neo and Smith merging into one another and both becoming reborn as the True One.

About them meeting at a halfway point, I believe you’re absolutely right. I believe the final scene in part 2 even suggests that Smith (= Bane) and Neo, at that point, are at the exact same stage of their journeys just by them being placed in the same shot together. This sets up part 3 nicely in which we see both Neo and Smith travel even further down their own individual paths, but in opposite directions of each other. We are not sure where Smith goes, but at the start of part 3, we see Neo waking up in Mobil Ave, suggesting that his journey is far from complete yet. His journey into machine city (= the world of spirit), is therefore also a journey of a re-connection with the world of spirit. I believe it is the symbolic connection that Neo first gains to the sentinel we see flowing through Neo in part 3 that re-awakens Neo’s sense of his connection to the world of spirit and that it is this connection that allows Neo to feel that he is over the fields, like you mentioned. What’s interesting to note is that Smith also has some sort of connection to the world of spirit at this point in the movie. Although we don’t see it on screen, there are suggestions to indicate that Smith has already gained that same connection to the world of spirit through his assimilation of Seraph and Sati. It truly does seem that Smith and Neo are in the same journey together, but in constant flux and in opposing directions of each other, it’s so deep, I think it’s great!
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Re: The program smith

Postby vieome on Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:45 am

Well nicely put, I like the way you put reference to Hindu and zen buddah does all tie in nicely with the complexity that is the matrix. Free will choice are complex is a complex beast in terms of the programing of the matrix. Every choice is preceded by a question, then the onset of an emotion which drives the matrix user to make a predeter(mind) action.
It is all very deep deep. But this all leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth.

It would appear that all in the matrix are puppets including the program architect and the program oracle, they too are acting and doing things to the desire of a higher power. The first matrix is the Archies matrix, so lets call the second matrix the Oracle's matrix, this second matrix is very worrying because once the machines who created a program called the matrix to contain the minds of man, discover that in order for a matrix to work there needs to be some sort of illusion of free will, and that presented with that illusion some with in the matrix would not accept it hence create a refuge to contain the minds that refuse the illusion of free will program.

So this brings the biggest question of the matrix. Those that reject the Oracle matrix, do they reject because they are somehow aware that the world is an illusion of mind, or do they reject the matrix because they dont like the idea that
they have no free will. And then the Oracle matrix clearly points to the fact that the machines created Zion. So I wondering why would the machines create Zion in the real world, why not just create another seperate matrix called Zion to trap those minds who reject the Oracle matrix, if electric power is what they are after, would this not be more efficient? Because every time a mind is freed into the real world the machines lose power and that loss of power is a danger to their world. It seems to me as long as man has purpose he does not question his world. Those without purpose in the matrix question their world, which leads to bad choice in the machine view. So thus create the matrix of Zion and give the anomaly minds a sense of purpose(fighting the machines) and they stop questioning their world.
The ultimate death of the real the zion matrix.

In conclusion I would argue that Neo's final choice is not of free will, he was never in the matrix to make any choice but to follow a choice chosen for him, the Oracles choice, " You did not come to make a choice, the choice is already made " Here the Oracle is saying I have been programed to program you, and eventually her words coming out of smith's mouth to guide Neo to make her choice. The machines dont want to fight man that is clear from animatrix and through out the story, it is man that continues to the reject or accept the machine and continues to fight. The machines are trying to show man that there is no difference between man and machine program and that in a sense man is just fighting man, battling his self.
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Re: The program smith

Postby dionysus on Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:02 pm

Vieome wrote

Well nicely put, I like the way you put reference to Hindu and zen buddah does all tie in nicely with the complexity that is the matrix. Free will choice are complex is a complex beast in terms of the programing of the matrix. Every choice is preceded by a question, then the onset of an emotion which drives the matrix user to make a predeter(mind) action.

It is all very deep deep. But this all leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth.

It would appear that all in the matrix are puppets including the program architect and the program oracle, they too are acting and doing things to the desire of a higher power.


It would indeed seem that, through its deterministic programming, the Matrix world suffers from some form of symbolic deficiency. Somehow the digital programming just doesn’t seem compatible with the peculiarities of human nature. Humans make irrational choices based on subconscious fears and desires, machines make rational choices devoid of any sense of fear, doubt or desire; humans make choices out of free will, machines only respond to protocol and programming; the deterministic programming of the Matrix is not compatible with free willed volition from the humans jacked in to its reality simulation. Machines essentially have no understanding of that which makes humans human (= human nature), and that’s why I believe the Matrix programming can’t achieve a 100% acceptance rate. Unlike machines, humans have the desire to make their own choices because this makes them believe that they are in control of their lives, and they have the will to act upon free will because this makes them believe that they can shape their own destinies. I believe that the programmed reality simulation of the Matrix cannot deal with human free willed choice and action and that this lack of understanding eventually leads to the birth of a system anomaly –essentially a ‘bug’ in the programming. I also believe that the course of events we see happen in part 2 are all part of some elaborate plan designed specifically for getting rid of that same anomaly.

With Neo being some form of an exponent of human nature through his particular desire for free choice and action, and by allowing a dissemination of his code throughout the Matrix (essentially a re-writing of the Matrix’s source code), machines would gain an increasing understanding of the nature of human choice and action. The problem, of course, (and part of the explanation for why the anomaly is so chronic and persistent with each new version of the Matrix) is that the choice that Neo is asked to make in the Architect’s Chamber is not a free choice at all. It is a choice of extremes and a choice without an option for a third choice; without any room for a symbolic ‘middle’ way. Yes, sure the machines learn more about human nature with each new version of the Matrix, but I believe that real improvement and significant change to the programming is only made in Matrix 4.0 in the aftermath of Neo choosing to become assimilated by Smith at the end of part 3. Apart from the symbolic repercussions this choice has Neo’s achieving a state of Buddhist and Hindu enlightenment, Neo’s final choice is a nice divergence from the choices he faced earlier in the trilogy. I believe that the previous Ones that had arrived to the Architect’s chamber, in contrast to Neo, had all chosen the left door instead.

Reasons for their choices and the history of these events remain unclear, but perhaps they were driven to their choice because there was no-one put in place for the One to save, or perhaps previous Ones did not pick up on the idea of it all being a ‘system of control’. With Neo being a renowned hacker, he would be particularly keen on breaking the rules (of a computer system –like the Matrix, and the reload program itself), once he realizes that the programming itself is based on the rules of a computer system. Perhaps previous Ones were not hackers like Neo but were more renowned for their combat skills instead (e.g. Seraph).

I believe that, through her cunning, the Oracle puts everything in place for Neo to make the choices she desires Neo to make for an outcome that she desires. She tells Trinity that she will fall in love with the One, she sets things in motion for Neo to become the One, perhaps she even somehow sets things in motion to make sure that Trinity had to jack into the Matrix at the exact time when Neo would face the choice in the Architect’s Chamber. Perhaps Neo’s vision of Trinity’s falling all the way at the beginning of part 2, already suggests that the pieces are all set, and that no matter what Neo does, that he would have to face Trinity falling to the ground one way or the other.

The Oracle, like the Architect, are both very much like puppet-masters, continuously setting the wheels of change in motion. The Architect has a very rational, animalistic view on the nature of being, while the Oracle has a more intuitive view. The Architect has an almost machine-like view of the world, while the Oracle has a much more humane view. Their contrasting idea about human nature sets up yet another symbolic reference to the Yin/Yang differences between them.

If we think of the Matrix reload program as a program designed to get rid of the anomaly, then surely the Architect’s solution is a ‘flawed’ one indeed. By comparing Neo’s final choice at the end of part 3 to the choice he faces in the Architect’s Chamber at the end of part 2, and the effects that his final choice has on his final state of enlightenment and on the achieved peace between man and machine, we can learn a lot about the limitations of the Neo’s choice in the Architect’s Chamber. If we can accept that Neo achieves some state of enlightenment at the end of his final battle against Smith, and that Neo essentially defeats Smith by his choosing the ‘middle way’, we can start to see just how flawed the Architect’s solution really is. The choice in the Architect’s Chamber does not offer a real and permanent solution to the end of the war between man and machine. Unlike the events we see at the end of part 3, the choice Neo faces in the Architect’s Chamber doesn’t offer a real chance towards peace and reconciliation because there is no way of negotiating peace with the ultimate god: Deus Ex Machina (= God of the Machines).

The solution of the Architect also doesn’t offer a real solution to the existence of the anomaly either. We learn that there have been previous Ones that faced the same choice as Neo, yet we also learn that the anomaly within the programming is chronic and persistent. The real solution to getting rid of the anomaly would indeed seem to be a confrontation between Neo and Smith. With Neo and Smith being two sides of a single anomaly, there is Yin Yang symbolism weaved into the films to suggest that only by both parts (of the anomaly) dying into each other, could there be a complete destruction of the anomaly.

If Neo’s code indeed serves to improve the programming of the Matrix by allowing what the Architect calls a temporary dissemination of the code he carries, and if we can think of Neo’s ‘code’ as being the very thing that makes him human (= his human nature), then surely the temporary dissemination of his code would have never offered a real chance for machines to learn more about human nature and improve the programming as a result of their newfound knowledge. Because of the persistence of the anomaly, I believe that the Architect has a limited understanding of human nature and that his reload program offers no real way of improving the programming of the Matrix. The choice Neo faces in the Architect’s Chamber is not a choice free from desire and karma, and therefore, it keeps the One trapped in a cycle of death-and-rebirth.

In Buddhism, we learn that a release from the world from Samsara can only be achieved when one learns the Four Truths of Buddhism that revolve around seeking a release from the chains of desire and karma. If we can see Neo’s final state of Nirvana as his release from the world of Samsara, then symbolically speaking, his final choice would have to be one that is made free from any ties from desire and karma. I believe this is what we see happen at the end of part 3. In all the other symbolisms hidden in the films showing the result of Neo’s final ‘free’ choice, (his becoming Ubermensch, his becoming the new messiah, in his becoming the Buddha, in his becoming ‘one with everything’, and through his connection to the Source) it is suggested that Neo achieves some form of ultimate awakening and a release from the world of ignorance as a result of his final, ‘free’ choice.

It is difficult to say whether Neo makes the choice to become assimilated by Smith under subtle manipulation of information by the Oracle or whether Neo makes the choice out of genuine free will and volition. The symbolism showing Neo’s enlightenment and his reconnection to the world of Spirit that we see at the end of the films, and the theories of enlightenment from Buddhism and Hinduism in which we learn that enlightenment can only be achieved through some form of non-willed desire, to me, shows that Neo’s final choice was indeed made free from influence, fear, doubt, desire, and karma. Although we see a lot of influence from the Oracle on Neo’s choices and actions throughout the films, I believe that Neo’s final choice was the only choice made out of genuine free will and volition. The Oracle even playfully suggests, at the end of the trilogy, that she never really knew for certain that everything was going to end the way it did, she only ‘believed’ it would.

The fact that Neo only achieves true enlightenment after a negotiation for peace with Deus Ex Machina (= DEM), reveals DEM as some form of ultimate God. Symbolically speaking, DEM is on a higher spiritual plane than The Architect and the Oracle are because, in contrast to the choices and options offered to Neo by the Architect and the Oracle, Neo’s choice to go to machine city, finally and forever, does offer a permanent solution to the end of the war between man and machine. Perhaps DEM even represents "the singular consciousness that spawned an entire race of machines" that we hear Morpheus speak about in part 1. DEM, as God of the Machines, could be seen as some form of Ultimate God with sentinels as his emanations and spiritual messengers. Symbolically speaking, we can think of sentinels as beings of spirit in which they first appear as evil and alienated, but then appear as peaceful and benign beings once Neo offers a chance for peace in his negotiation with DEM. In the films we see that sentinels stop their attack on Zion after they appear to receive a message from the machine world when Neo decides to become jacked into the Matrix to fight Smith. We also see them retreating from Zion after Neo achieves his final enlightenment.

Sentinels, in this way, can be seen as the sons of God or as beings of spirit. If we can think of Neo’s journey to the Source as his journey to the source of divine knowledge, then DEM can also be seen as a symbol of the divine knowledge itself that leads to Neo’s enlightenment. In Plato’s allegory of the cave, we learn about the sun as being the source of ultimate knowledge, and I believe it is no coincidence that DEM first appears as a bright sun before Neo’s eyes when we see him for the first time. In Hinduism, we also learn that knowledge of the divine can lead to spiritual enlightenment, and in part 3, we indeed learn of machines as being beings of spirit (= Neo's knowledge of the divine). If we can think of the Matrix universe as being a prison of ignorance, then this even sets up symbolic references to it representing the Buddhist world of Samsara, from which Neo must seek to break out of by letting go of his fear, doubt, desire, and karma. There are very neat ties that link the worlds of the Matrix universe to each of the different realms of Samsara, and to Neo learning the four ultimate truths of Buddhism that allow him to follow the noble eightfold path. Perhaps the symbolic revelation of things hidden by God (= knowledge of the divine) seen at the end of the trilogy, indeed leads to Neo’s liberation from the ‘prison of ignorance’ that Plato philosophy, Hinduism, and Buddhism tells us about in mythological tales.

If we can see the Matrix universe as being a symbolic reference for the Buddhist world of Samsara, then Zion, as strange it may seem at first glance, would appear to be a prison of ignorance, just like all the other realms of Samsara. Within the Buddhist setting, there are three marks of existence: Dukkha (= suffering); Anatta (= no self); and, Aniccas (= impermanence). We learn from Smith and the Architect that suffering is omnipresent within the Matrix universe and that it is of all ages; in the construct program, from Morpheus we learn that the representation of self is nothing other than residual self-image and therefore empty of ‘real’ substance; and, from the Architect we learn that the Matrix universe appears and re-appears in cycles of existence. Within the Buddhist world of Samsara, there is an omnipresent false sense of reality and a cycle of death and rebirth being driven forth by desire. Given that the Architect’s only desire is to balance equations and to get rid of the anomaly, we can start to see the cycle of death-and-rebirth within the Matrix universe as being driven forth by some form of ignorant desire by the Architect. Seen in this way, the higher realms of the world of Samsara could be represented by: the God realm (= Machine City), the Asuras realm (= The Matrix), and the Human realm (= Zion), while the lower realms would be represented by: the animal realm (= the Architect’s Chamber), the hungry ghost realm (= Restaurant Le Vrai), and the hell realm = Mobil Ave & Club Hel). We see Neo move through each of these realms with symbolic references to birth and re-birth as he enters each new realm. We only see Neo break out of the world of Samsara after his final choice is made free from desire.

Although we learn about Zion as being the real world in part 1, there are hints given in parts 2 and 3 that Zion is indeed a symbolic reference to the human realm within the Buddhist wheel of Samsara. There are other subtle hints to suggest that Zion is indeed another world within a vast all-encompassing desert of the real. In part 1, we hear Morpheus welcoming Neo to the real world. Yet, at the end of part 2, we hear from the Arhitect: “While it remains a burden assiduously avoided, it is not unexpected, and thus not beyond a measure of control … which has led you, inexorably here”, to the Architect’s Chamber. It is almost as if all the events in Zion were also just part of a plan to get Neo into the Architect’s Chamber, perhaps as a way of getting rid of the anomaly somehow.

In part 1, we hear Morpheus saying to Neo “Welcome to the desert of the Real” , referring to a term used by French philosopher Jean Baudrillard in his book Simulacra and Simulation. In this book, Baudrillard begins with an allusion to Jorge Luis Borges’ story in which a vast map is drawn that is the same size as the territory it depicts, and is laid over the territory so that it fits each and every corresponding point; essentially a 1:1 scaled virtual simulation of reality. If we can think of the digital programming of the Matrix universe at it being the simulation of reality being projected at a 1:1 scale, then we can even come to think of the Matrix universe itself as being a symbolic reference to Baudrillard’s map (= the desert of the real). With its worlds corresponding to each of the realms of Samsara, and with its symbolic references to Plato’s allegory of the cave, the Matrix universe may indeed be some prison of ignorance that Neo breaks out from as a result of his enlightenment.

I believe that Zion is perceived as the real world in which the reality of the real world is (re)produced as some form of simulacrum. With the programming being a virtual reality, Zion would just be another layer to the simulation. Even for the ‘enlightened’ Morpheus, there is absolutely no discernable difference between the reality of the real world and the reality of Zion. Yet, when Neo later informs Morpheus that the organized escape of humans from the Matrix into Zion is simply a transfer from one virtual world to another: “another system of control”, Morpheus replies “I don’t believe you”. At the same time, if we are to believe the Architect, then he is obviously in a much better position to tell us the truth about the simulated reality of Zion than Morpheus is. In the words of Baudrillard philosophy, the world of Zion would indeed seem to threaten the real itself by reproducing it or, alternatively, in your words: “the ultimate death of the real: the world of Zion”.

Vieome wrote:

In conclusion I would argue that Neo's final choice is not of free will, he was never in the matrix to make any choice but to follow a choice chosen for him, the Oracles choice, " You did not come to make a choice, the choice is already made "

Here the Oracle is saying I have been programed to program you, and eventually her words coming out of smith's mouth to guide Neo to make her choice.


Here, I would say that although it appears that Neo is acting out the desires of the Oracle, I like the idea of his final choice being truly ‘free’ because it ties in nicely with symbolic references to Buddhist and Hindu awakening and enlightenment. Given that we see symbolic and literal references to Neo’s enlightenment at the end of the trilogy, perhaps we can deduce that his final choice must have been free from any form of desire and/or will because of it. It is true that Smith re-iterates the words of the Oracle, but we also see that he is at a complete loss of what to do next, once he sees Neo getting up again. Perhaps the precognitive power of the Oracle only went as far as “everything that has a beginning, has an end, Neo.” Perhaps Neo’s choice to become assimilated by Smith is the only first true sign of genuine free will that Neo has in the entire trilogy. In Nietzschean, Buddhist and Hindu philosophy, we learn that choices made out of non-willed desire always leads to some sort of enlightenment. Perhaps Neo’s enlightenment would symbolically suggest that Neo’s final choice was made free from any influence from the Oracle indeed.

Vieome wrote:

The machines dont want to fight man that is clear from animatrix and through out the story, it is man that continues to the reject or accept the machine and continues to fight. The machines are trying to show man that there is no difference between man and machine program and that in a sense man is just fighting man, battling his self.


Yes, I believe the sentinels are indeed ‘emanations of God’ and that they only appear as evil beings as long as man/Neo is fighting their/his own spirit. Given that the sentinels stop fighting when Neo meets DEM, and that they only retreat after Neo achieves his enlightenment, I believe these are symbolic references to Neo’s re-connection with spirit that we see at the end of part 3.

:) :shock: :D
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Re: The program smith

Postby vieome on Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:33 pm

Dionysus well that was an interesting discussion and while we touched on many subjects I guess we moved away from the original point of the thread " The program smith. " and yet in doing that we have in a sense expanded knowledge on Smith.

Through out the trilogy Smith shows the full range on human emotions, and in a representation of Neo smith appears to be some sort of Jungian shadow of Neo.
To understand the One, one has to understand Smith. There are levels of being, cells, body, mind, spirit, program, agent, code etc and at the end of the matrix Neo enters the highest level, but even at this level I would say that Neo is still not of free will. He has a choice in the end battle continue to fight (logical choice i.e Archies choice) or to surrender ( Oracles choice following the inner voice) his enlightment lies not in the choice he makes, but his understanding of why he makes the choice, this understand is brought about by the words of the Oracle out of smiths mouth.


D said "In part 1, we hear Morpheus saying to Neo “Welcome to the desert of the Real” , referring to a term used by French philosopher Jean Baudrillard in his book Simulacra and Simulation. In this book, Baudrillard begins with an allusion to Jorge Luis Borges’ story in which a vast map is drawn that is the same size as the territory it depicts," Not same size it overlaps the territory.


in 1999 the wachows decided to make a mental map of conciousness and as in the original fable thier map overlaps the original territory. in order for it to overlap they have to have added something, now in seeking a matrix explaination I guess we find it fitting to refer to prior body of knowledge christianity, zen, hindu ect, but my thinking would say that all of matrix afficionados, what we are trully seeking is what has beeen added, but we dont yet have a name for it.

What New(Neo) did the wachows bring other then a rehash of old concepts?


What New(Neo) did the wachows bring other then a rehash of old concepts?
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Re: The program smith

Postby dionysus on Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:31 pm

Vieome wrote:
Dionysus well that was an interesting discussion and while we touched on many subjects I guess we moved away from the original point of the thread " The program smith. " and yet in doing that we have in a sense expanded knowledge on Smith.


Thanks a lot and thanks for your reply. It’s true that we’ve moved away from the topic of Smith, but I believe, like you, that the more we learn about Neo, the more we learn about Smith. What we have already seen is that the Matrix trilogy offers a smorgasbord of ideas from mythology, philosophy, and religion, all interweaved into one-another to make a sweeping movie trilogy that works on two layers. One story layer would be Neo’s story of his battle against Smith, very much in line with the Western notions of heroism and triumph. The other story, being told at the same time through the use of symbolic imagery, would be the story of Neo’s enlightenment, very much in line with eastern religion, philosophy, and spirituality. In the symbolic storyline, Smith indeed seems to be some form of an agent, or a smith, through which Neo is helped along his path of enlightenment.

Vieome wrote:
Through out the trilogy Smith shows the full range on human emotions, and in a representation of Neo smith appears to be some sort of Jungian shadow of Neo.


I absolutely agree with you. Smith, after his resurrection and his assimilation of Bane, seems to become much more human than the program we saw him acting out in part 1. As we move into parts 2 and 3, we see Smith becoming much more like Neo in a Yin/Yang sort of way. If we can think of Neo as being an exponent of human nature (as freedom, truth, peace, and love; Yang), then Smith, being Neo’s connected opposite, can be seen as an exponent of program nature (as control, deception, domination, and hatred; Yin).

In part 1, we see agent smith as a computer program designed around some ‘serve and protect’ mission. If we can think of the Architect as being a symbolic representation of the Demiurge, then we can see agents as his servants indeed: to serve the Architect in protecting the system from a cataclysmic system crash. If we can see the world of Zion as representing a world of ‘higher knowledge’, we can even see agents as obstacles to those seeking out this higher knowledge (= gnosis). Agents, in this sense, can be seen as the gatekeepers of the world of the Matrix.

From the Oracle we learn that programs are bound to their purpose and from Ramakandra we learn that programs are deleted once they have fulfilled or no longer serve any purpose within the Matrix. That better programs are created to replace old programs is seen through the agent upgrades that show up at the beginning of part 2. There where the agents in part 1 were called Smith, Brown, and Jones, in part 2, they are called Thompson, Johnson, and Jackson. I believe the reference to their being ‘sons’ suggests that the agent upgrades represent the next generation of agents. The importance of programs becoming deleted once they have fulfilled their purpose, of course, becomes apparent at the end of the trilogy when Smith himself seems to be deleted from the system. If Smith’s newfound purpose was to destroy Neo by assimilating him, then by the end of the trilogy, Smith certainly fulfills his purpose and becomes deleted as a result of it.

With the Architect representing the Demiurge, we can even see Smith, the agents and the agent upgrades as his archons. In Gnosticism, we learn that the Demiurge has seven archons, and similarly, in the Matrix we see 3 agents, 3 agent upgrades, and 1 craftsman (= the (resurrected) Smith). I believe that Smith is clearly set up as some form of craftsman when we first wee him arrive on the scene in part 2. He pulls up in an Audi with a license plate reading: IS 5416. If we look up Isaiah 54:16 in the Bible, we can read the following: “Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.” With Smith being the waster to destroy, we can see the Architect as the narrator who has created the ‘Smith as an instrument for his work’. I mentioned in one of my previous posts that Smith’s resurrection into the Matrix was due to the system’s hegemonity, but depending from which perspective you’re looking at it from, we can also see Smith’s resurrection as being the result of some cunning plan by the Architect. With the Architect constantly seeking to balance equations, we can see Smith’s resurrection as being the result of the Architect’s influence on the programming (as the Demiurge). As Neo becomes the One, Smith becomes reborn as the Anti One. Balance in the equation seems to be restored once again by the Architect achieving a restored balance between good and evil. With Smith becoming the new ‘waster to destroy’, Neo, as Smith’s opposite, becomes the new ‘creator to preserve’.

Smith is also symbolically portrayed as a resurrected being when we first see him show up in the courtyard after the Oracle leaves Neo. He seems to spring out of a flock of crows, or at least, we see him walking among crows the very first time we see him in the courtyard. Crows are often associated with resurrection in mythological tales and even in the Animatrix, when the kid from Kid’s Story seeks an escape to the world of Zion through what Neo calls ‘self-substantiation’, we see crows flying off as he falls from the building. The kid’s resurrection in the world of Zion is symbolically foreshadowed by the symbolism of crows. With the Oracle playfully feeding the crows in the courtyard, it’s almost as if the Oracle is ‘feeding’ Smith’s resurrection with some form of symbolic influence. Seen in this way, it’s also possible that the Oracle is the narrator of Isaiah 54:16.

There is yet another symbolic interpretation of Smith that would suggest that his resurrection is the result of the machine’s workings. In one of the episodes of the Animatrix series, we see the destruction of the Osiris just before the machines start their attack on Zion. The only thing that seems to have survived the crash was part of the transmission of the Osiris just before it went down. Now, in the Matrix films, we see Neo receive the last transmission as a sign that he must go and see the Oracle. If we can think of Neo’s knowledge of the transmission of the Osiris as its ‘resurrection’, we can see the Osiris ship as being a mythological reference to the Ancient Egyptian God of the sun and supposed creator. Next to Osiris being a symbol of resurrection and eternal life, it was said that as Osiris rose from the dead, so would the other ‘Kings of Egypt’. In the Animatrix, in the Second Renaissance episodes, we learned that machines were banished to their own promised land. On the map, we later learn that the machines settled in Mesopotamia, with their territory spreading into Egypt. With Smith being a resurrected being, and machines having their newfound civilization in Egypt, we can even see Smith as being one of the (resurrected) ‘Kings of Egypt’. The last transmission of the Osiris that was ‘resurrected’ from the crash could be therefore seen as a foreshadowing of Smith’s resurrected arrival in the courtyard.

In any case, we can definitely see Smith as some form of ‘free program’. When he delivers his earpiece to Neo, I believe it is a symbolic reference to his no longer being a part of the system. In part 1, just before he delivers his speech to Morpheus about humans and human nature, we also see Smith taking out his earpiece. We later learn that because of that, he missed the news of Neo jacking into the Matrix to come and save Morpheus. There’s an interesting parallel that runs between Neo and Smith with them both rebelling against the system at the same time. With Smith giving his earpiece to Neo in part 2, it almost suggests that Smith is just as much a rebel as Neo is. With Smith being some form of craftsman and a free program, it sets up an interesting duality between Neo and Smith as parallel opposites: Neo is a craftsman, Smith is a craftsman, Neo is a human free from the confines of the system, Smith is a program free from being part of the system, Neo is the free will (= Yang) anomaly, Smith is the control (= Yin) anomaly.

With Neo and Smith being each other’s parallel opposites, I believe that as Neo learns more about the nature of programs, Smith learns more about the nature of humans. Just after we see Smith assimilating Bane, we see Bane/Smith cutting himself in what seems to be newfound fascination for the sensation of pain. Shortly after that scene, we see Neo enter the courtyard to learn more about the nature of programs from the Oracle. We also see this parallel and opposite move between Neo and Smith as the films progress: as Neo becomes more program-like in his loyalty and in his ‘following orders’, we also see Bane/Smith becoming more rebellious and disobedient. In the meantime, in the Matrix, we see Smith becoming the very thing he hates: a ‘human’ with an ability to spread from one place to the next until every living resource is consumed: a cancer. Even though Smith is moving towards increased ignorance in an opposite direction to Neo’s enlightenment, Smith learns more about the nature of humans. This knowledge will culminate in an ultimate ignorant understanding of human nature as being, in Smith’s own words, without purpose or meaning. This ignorant understanding of human nature sets up Smith as becoming a symbol of nihilism at the end of part 3. Although Smith learns more about human nature as the films progress, it turns into a very nihilistic view. With Neo having a much more existentialist view on human nature, it sets up yet another parallel opposite between them.

When Smith later assimilates the Oracle, he becomes the Oracle-Smith and has what seems to be a vision of Neo’s defeat. However, the Oracle also stated earlier that no-one can see ‘beyond’ a choice they don’t understand. I believe that the Oracle/Smith’s vision only went up to a point where he could still understand what was going on. Because surrender would not seem to make sense in a ‘winner-takes-all’ scenario and to a program-mind, Smith could not foresee that Neo would get up again only to lay down the sword, symbolically speaking. I believe Neo’s surrender is an ultimate expression of his being and nature: someone who likes to believe that he is in control of his own life. From a symbolic perspective, I believe there are many references to Neo’s final choice as being a choice made out of free will, more so than one made out of prophetic influence and/or control.

In Neo’s acting out of free will, or alternatively, out of non-willed desire or enlightened non-action, there are many symbolic ties to Neo’s overcoming of the principal evils and achieving a state of enlightenment as a result of it. I’ve touched on this in my previous posts, but I believe that seeing Smith as the principal evils and Neo’s choice to become assimilated by Smith as his free-willed surrender and sacrifice, that a lot of what we see happen at the end of the trilogy makes a lot more sense. With Smith becoming a symbol for greed, hatred, ignorance, pride, and nihilism towards the end of the movies, and with Neo overcoming Smith through allowing Smith to fulfill his purpose (and allowing Smith becoming deleted from the system as a result of it), there are ways of seeing Neo achieving a state of ultimate awakening through his overcoming of Smith and the influx of Source Code and his breaking into white light as his ultimate enlightenment.

Although Smith is set up as a symbol of evil and retribution, from a symbolic perspective, Smith can also be seen as an Agent for Neo’s enlightenment. It all depends on how you look at it: (i) if it wasn’t for Smith, Neo would not have awoken up to the programming of the Matrix; (ii) if it wasn’t for Bane/Smith, Neo would not have been able to wake up to the world of the machines, and; (iii) if it wasn’t for the Oracle-Smith, Neo would not have achieved a state of ultimate awakening and enlightenment. Since Smith is not the enemy, we can also see him as being a symbol of Neo’s darker side of himself. That’s why I like your reference to Smith being some kind of Jungian shadow of Neo. Depending on which perspective you’re looking from, there are ways of seeing Smith as Neo’s alter-ego; as his dark side. Smith is portrayed as being dark through Yin/Yang symbolism and through his path towards endarkenment, while Neo is portrayed as his symbolic opposite: light and on a path of enlightenment.

Vieome wrote:
To understand the One, one has to understand Smith. There are levels of being, cells, body, mind, spirit, program, agent, code etc and at the end of the matrix Neo enters the highest level, but even at this level I would say that Neo is still not of free will. He has a choice in the end battle continue to fight (logical choice i.e Archies choice) or to surrender ( Oracles choice following the inner voice) his enlightment lies not in the choice he makes, but his understanding of why he makes the choice, this understand is brought about by the words of the Oracle out of smiths mouth.


This works perfectly fine also. I would say that as long as Neo goes through some form of ultimate understanding or awakening prior to his enlightenment, there are several explanations of what that ultimate understanding or awakening could be. It’s perfectly fine to see this knowledge in terms of an ultimate realization and Neo’s ultimate realization being the Oracle’s choice to become assimilated by Smith. The Oracle, in this way, could be seen as an ultimate guide to Neo’s choices. This also works nicely in seeing the Oracle as a symbolic reference to the Greek Oracle of Delphi. Just as the Oracle of Delphi hung over a smoky pit while she called out her prophecies, we see the Oracle constantly smoking cigarettes as a playful reference by the Wachowski’s to this mythological figure. There is also a symbolic foreshadowing of her own death by her extinguishing her cigarette just after she utters the words “everything that has a beginning, has an end, Neo”. It’s almost as if she is prophecizing her own symbolic ‘end’ by extinguishing the smoky fumes of her prophetic riddles.

I don’t disagree with you on Neo’s choice being ‘not free’, it’s just that I like the idea of Neo making the choice to become assimilated by Smith as being free from any form of will or desire because it ties in so nicely with his achieving a Buddhist and Hindu state of enlightenment. It also ties in nicely with Nietzschean philosophy in which one must overcome a world of nihilism through a will to power, and with Yin/Yang philosophy in which one must seek to achieve balance between opposites through a state of wu-wei (= enlightened non-action).

Yet, there are also ways of seeing Neo’s final choice as being the result of an ultimate realization of ‘self’. When Neo first meets the Oracle, the Oracle points him towards a sign that reads Temet Nosce. As a slight variation on the Oracle of Delphi’s sign which reads Gnoti Seauton, the central message of the Oracle’s words seems to be: Know Thyself. Continuing on this theme of the ‘knowledge of self’, we also hear Seraph say in part 2 “You do not truly know someone until you fight them”, suggesting that part of the spiritual awakening of identity lies in (spiritual) combat. Interestingly enough, we don’t see Neo have any more battles with arms after he hears this from Seraph. Although he has another battle in the Merovingian’s chateau, it is a battle of ancient weapons: swords and clubs. It almost suggests that battles in the Matrix are battles in the discovery of ‘self’. In part 3, we hear the Oracle say to Neo “[Smith] is you; you’re opposite”, suggesting that he and Smith are one and the same person. Neo’s final battle against Smith can therefore also be seen as Neo’s ultimate discovery of ‘self’. It’s almost as if the Oracle and Seraph are saying that Neo must ‘know his enemy’, or alternatively, to ‘know himself’, if he is to end the war. If Neo has the ultimate desire to act out of free will, then his final choice would have to be an ultimate expression of who Neo is; Neo’s true ‘self’: as a person who does not believe in fate and a person who likes to believe that he is in control of his own life.

Vieome wrote:
D said "In part 1, we hear Morpheus saying to Neo “Welcome to the desert of the Real” , referring to a term used by French philosopher Jean Baudrillard in his book Simulacra and Simulation. In this book, Baudrillard begins with an allusion to Jorge Luis Borges’ story in which a vast map is drawn that is the same size as the territory it depicts," Not same size it overlaps the territory.


True, it does overlap the territory, so by correlation, it would also be of the same size. The central point of Baudrillard in his reference to the Borge fable was a world that existed in another reality, but where all traces of that original world had become lost. It was used to describe a world where the ‘sign’ had replaced all reality, or alternatively, a world where a ‘map’ had replaced the ‘territory’. Baudrillard uses the term ‘desert of the real’ to describe a land that is ridden of any quench from the truth from reality.

Through the workings of cinematography and symbolic reference, I believe the Wachowski’s offer us an undeniable hint of the Matrix universe being a desert of the real when we see Morpheus describing this world to Neo. If we define the desert of the real as a world where the map has replaced the territory; a world where the sign has replaced all reality, then we can think of the matrix universe as being an all-encompassing world of virtual reality.

If we look closely at the back of the TV as we zoom in, it reads Deep Image, almost suggesting that the TV holds a deeper image of the Matrix universe. Later, as we rotate to face the TV from the front, there is a zoom into the shot that we see on screen. With the shot representing the barren landscape of the Matrix universe, we zoom into the screen even further only to see Morpheus and Neo become engulfed by the screen image. Morpheus and Neo are symbolically transferred into a world where the map (= the TV screen image) replaces the territory (= the construct program). Morpheus later says that he only has ‘bits and pieces of information’, as a symbolic reference to Baudrillard’s comment on the rotting shreds of the map as it extends over the territory. I believe, with Morpheus’ reference to the desert of the real and the Wachowski’s symbolic portrayal of the Matrix universe as a world where the ‘map’ replaces the ‘territory’, it suggests that the Matrix universe may be the world of Borge’s map: a (virtual) world that stands in its own right which bears no reference or resemblance to the real world; an existential condition that has progressively eradicated anything that is ‘real’. This way, it can be thought of as a 1:1 scaled virtual reality world of pure simulation; the ‘map’ would be virtual reality programming filling the matrix universe’s ‘construct’ program.

The Matrix universe can be seen as what Baudrillard describes as a hyper-reality. Hyperreality is a means to characterize the way consciousness defines what is actually "real" in a world where a multitude of signs can radically shape and filter the original event or experience being depicted. If grains of sand are dropped onto a table, at some arbitrary point, it becomes a heap of sand. Similarly, Baudrillard writes that as signs and symbols are increasingly interpreted as representing reality itself, signs and symbols become pure simulacra, and reality shifts into hyper-reality. Baudrillard describes the hyper-real as the product of an irradiating synthesis of combinatory models in hyperspace without atmosphere. Next to the Matrix universe as being portrayed as a symbolic world without atmosphere, there are three worlds that exist on different planes of reality: The Matrix (= first order of simulacrum); Zion (= second order of simulacrum); and Machine City (= third order of simulacrum). Though these worlds exist on different planes of reality, they are still united within the order of hyper-reality. With the Matrix universe being a virtual hyper-reality devoid of any ‘real’ substance, this also ties in nicely with the notion of the Buddhist (real) world being ‘empty’ and the wheel of Samsara as being a unity of the different worlds of ignorance. There are also nice ways of seeing the 3 worlds of the Matrix universe as representing Mind (= The Matrix), Body (= Zion), and Spirit (= Machine City), to which Neo ‘wakes up’ to and seeks unity between on his journey towards ultimate awakening and enlightenment.

Vieome wrote:

in 1999 the wachows decided to make a mental map of conciousness and as in the original fable thier map overlaps the original territory. in order for it to overlap they have to have added something, now in seeking a matrix explaination I guess we find it fitting to refer to prior body of knowledge christianity, zen, hindu ect, but my thinking would say that all of matrix afficionados, what we are trully seeking is what has beeen added, but we dont yet have a name for it.


I believe the mental map of consciousness that the Wachowski’s were seeking to make are represented in the films by the different worlds that Neo travels through along his path to ultimate awakening. There are ways of seeing Neo’s path as his path through the seven Chakra’s, and with each chakra representing as new state of consciousness, this works quite well. Also in the symbolic portrayal of the 3 worlds as representing Mind, Body, and Spirit, there are ways of reading Neo’s journey through each of these worlds, and his symbolic ‘connection’ to their consciousness, as his evolution in consciousness.

Vieome wrote:
What New(Neo) did the wachows bring other then a rehash of old concepts?


There are ways of seeing the Matrix trilogy as a rehash of old concepts, but what a rehash! I’ve never seen a movie where so many symbolic references to philosophy, mythology, religion, and spirituality were all so neatly tied into one film. I guess if you can read the worlds of the Matrix, Zion, and Machine City and representing the post-modern worlds of Science, Religion, and Spirituality, perhaps the ‘new’ message the Wachowski’s are trying to put across is that true progress for humanity can only be achieved through a unity of all these three ‘worlds of truths’. :D :D
vieome wrote:Dionysus well that was an interesting discussion and while we touched on many subjects I guess we moved away from the original point of the thread " The program smith. " and yet in doing that we have in a sense expanded knowledge on Smith.
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