Part 6. The Four Worlds of Neo

Thus far we’ve taken a brief look at how some of the characters and concepts of the Matrix are aligned with the “Sefirot” – the various emanations of G-d that we related to in our understanding of G-d and Creation and its purpose, and the "paths" formed by and between various Sefirot. Another key idea to introduce is that of the various “levels of existence” that the sages have grouped into what are called the “Four Worlds” (of existence).

The words are:

  • Atziltut (Nearness)

  • Beriah (Creation)

  • Yetzirah (Formation)

  • Asiyah (Making)

These four worlds are found together in Isaiah 43:7: Even every one that is called by My name; for I have created him for My Glory, I have formed him: yea I have made him.

These worlds correspond to; the Sefirot themselves, the levels of the soul, the four-letter name of G-d and many other things from Torah. It is important to note that all of the Sefirot exist in some “form” in each of the Four Worlds, though one or more are said to be the “dominant” Sefirah (or Partzufim) of each world.

Again, this study is not meant to be a primer on the basics of Kabbalah, so we defer to other traditional sources to learn the basics about concepts such as the four worlds. One source is: http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/361902/jewish/The-Four-Worlds.htm

A concept related to both the 10 Sefirot and the Four Worlds is that one can study them from “the top down” or from “the bottom up.” In general terms, when we consider these things “from G-d’s point of view” (i.e., from the beginning/Creation) we look them from the top down. This type of study is associated with the revelation from the book of Genesis.

When we consider either the Sefirot or the Four Worlds as a means for us to connect/return to G-d, we usually look at them from the “bottom up.” (See previous references to Neo/Trinity-Malkhut as the first gate.) This type of study is associated with the revelation from the book of Ezekiel. An “exception” to this would be during the Omer Count where we begin with Chesed and work down to Malkhut. There is a reason for each approach and the two may be considered/studied concurrently.

Back to the Matrix … As the movie is mostly concerned with the ascent of Neo to become “the One (tzadik) that saves Zion,” the action follows the “bottom up” approach, beginning with Neo’s meeting of Trinity, as discussed in an earlier section of the study.

However, the Wachowski brothers do give us a glimpse of the “top down” view. This can be seen at the very beginning of the second move, “The Matrix Reloaded.”

This chart shows the four worlds, along with the “dominant” Sefirah or Partzuf for each World, the primary character from the Matrix, the associated letter from the most holy 4-letter name of G-d and the associated concepts with regard to how G-d interacts with Creation. Note that the latter are very important for what the directors imbedded in the introduction to the second movie.
 

World Dominant Sefirah/Partzuf Primary Matrix Character(s) Letter of the Name Associated Concept in Kabbalah
Atzilut Chokmah/Wisdom Architect (Father) Yud Contraction of a single core idea which emanated out of "nothingness"
Beriah Binah/Understanding Oracle (Mother) Hey The “upper-level” expansion of the initial concept
Yetzirah Zeir Anpin Neo/Morpheus (Son/Tzadik) Vav The extension which “brings down” the concept(s)
Asiyah Malkhut Trinity (Daughter/Bride) Hey The expansion and dissemination of the idea into its final destination


NOW FOR THE VISUAL

Keeping in mind the four concepts shown in the last column of the chart above, take a look at the beginning of The Matrix Reloaded at this link, beginning around the 32-second mark: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1KXoXtACUk&feature=related

What you see first at about the 32/33-second mark is the single thread of code descends “out of nothingness.” (Symbolized by the letter "Yud.") This is the core idea emanating in Atzilut (the World of “Nearness”) in which Chokhma/Wisdom is the dominant Sefirah and carries with it the concept of “coming out of nothingness.” (re: Job 28:12)

Immediately after this, at about the 34-second mark, we see the expansion of this single thread into multiple ones. This is the world of Beriah, the World of “Creation,” with the dominant Sefirah of Binah/Understanding, symbolized by the letter "Hey." Note how closely associated Chokmah and Binah are. i.e. the latter all emanate from the former as there is no "separation" between “Father” and “Mother” in the upper worlds.

At about the 45-second mark the code begins to “take form” (like a blueprint of the actual things about to be made) and descend. These are both characteristics of the world of Yetzirah, the World of “Formation.” The six Sefirot of Zeir Anpin are key here. (See previous section of this study.) The letter Vav, with its numerical value of six and carrying with it the idea of a “hook” that connects above to below is another important concept associated with this world.

Finally, at about the 60-second mark, the descending code which has "formed the clock" according to its characteristics, becomes “made” into the working clock, marking the beginning of action in the move. This is the world of Asiyah, the world of “Making, associated with the second letter "Hey" – the actual world of the Matrix.

FROM THE BOTTOM UP ...

Returning to the idea of viewing the Four Worlds from “the bottom up,” this approach is connected to the idea of redemption. First, we look at the Torah where we see how G-d dealt with those coming out of Egypt with Moses:

Exodus 6:6-7 - Therefore, say to the B'nei Yisra'el: "I am YHVH, and I WILL BRING YOU OUT (v'hotzeiti et'khem) from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I WILL FREE YOU (vhitzalti et'khem) from being slaves to them, and I WILL REDEEM YOU (v'ga'alti et'khem) with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I WILL TAKE YOU AS MY OWN PEOPLE (v'lakachti et'khem li l'am), and I will be your G-d..."

Examining and expanding these verses in light of the Four Worlds and in light of Neo’s journey, we have:

 

World Redemptive Process in Exodus Associated Concept within Neo
Asiyah He made them "free" through His revelation. (Though they had the choice to accept or reject what Moshe had to tell them.) They stopped serving Egypt even though they physically remained a bit longer in the land Neo is given the message of truth (while in the confining non-reality of the Matrix), remains a while longer, and is offered the choice with the red pill and blue pill.
Yetzirah He physically took them out of Egypt, a false reality where they were “bound”
and unable to serve G-d. (Egypt = "Mitzrayim" = confined place)
He is removed, through no power of his own, from the Matrix – his own “Mitzrayim" where he was a slave.
Beriah He redeemed them by taking them through the waters and delivering the final crushing blow to the Egyptians when the waters annihilated them (thus giving them great confidence). He also put them through many tests and trials along the path (i,e., at Marah in Exodus 15:22-27). Neo learns to replace the error and fear of his previous ways, receiving instruction in truth, being granted teachers along his path and a number of tests to pass.
Atzilut He took them as His people to the promised land where they would be free to serve Him through His Torah and repair all of Creation. He becomes the “One” – returning to "The Source" and maximizing his potential which reaches through all the Worlds - even back to anyone held within the densest klippot of the Matrix.


THE "FIFTH WORLD"

Further, Neo goes beyond the Four Worlds, and at the end of the final movie, reaches the level of Adam Kadmon – the mysterious “Fifth World” of “pre-existence,” also called the B’tzelem Elohim, the “Image of G-d.” This is the “cause” that precedes the first and singular thread of code to emerge. It is the “source” he had to return to, as the Oracle called it.

Kabbalistically, this is also referred to as “Golgotha” – the skull – as represented by the giant image formed by the machines whom he negotiates with to stop Agent Smith and save Zion.

Adam Kadmon is also associated with the perfect unity of the Menorah. This is actually shown in the movie quite subliminally – something we will reveal in a later section of this study.

Finally, Neo is based on a “role model” we find in Torah – the young man named Bezaleell.

Exodus 35:30-31 – And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the LORD hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship.”

Taking these five characteristics of Bezaleel in reverse order (as Neo developed them) with their associated worlds, and the level of the soul that is affected, we see:
 

World Bezaleel Associated Concept within Neo Level of Soul
Asiyah All manner of workmanship Neo’s skills he learns prior to being extricated from the Matrix Nefesh
Yetzirah Knowledge The rules of the Matrix that he learns primarily from Morpheus, and subsequent decision he must make to continue on the path of the one Ruach
Beriah Understanding The guidance he receives from the Oracle Neshama
Atzilut Wisdom The insight he received from the Architect Chaya
Adam Kadmon Spirit of God His unification with the Computers to save Zion by making all One. Yechida

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