Monday, February 28, 2011

AstroGnostic: Agents/Angels/Archons/Aliens

These days it’s easy to forget what an astonishing feat of craftsmanship the first
Matrix film is, given how it over-exposed and over-discussed it was. The technical, thematic and visual force The Matrix packed has yet to be equaled, especially by its own utterly forgettable sequels. The film is so complete, that any sequel seems redundant (just like the first Star Wars).

It's also tempting not to write about the film at all. Maybe too much has been said about it already. But there are deeper strands of subtext in the film that might explain its incredible success, and more importantly its resonance. It has to be said that The Matrix is derivative in the extreme, and is certainly not the least bit subtle or sophisticated in its use of religious symbolism. But sometimes you have to be direct when trying to communicate ideas to an audience that is totally uninitiated in any esoteric type of thinking. In this, The Matrix had learned the lessons of the commercial failure of Dark City.

The Matrix is like most landmark sci-fi films in that it borrows (well, steals) motifs from a number of different sources. And it borrows from them promiscuously. The title itself, as well as the hip attitude and many of its essential concepts, is borrowed from William Gibson’s groundbreaking- and thoroughly Gnostic- "Sprawl Trilogy" of novels; Neuromancer (1984), Count Zero (1986) and Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988).

The Sprawl Trilogy posited a world of metastasizing corporations, samurai computer hackers, insidious designer drugs and lethal female assassins. ‘Trinity’ from the Matrix films is clearly modeled on Molly Millions (aka "Sally Shears"), the femme fatale of the Gibson novels.

Keanu Reeves, star of the Matrix films, also played the protagonist in a 1995 film based on one Gibson’s short stories Johnny Mnemonic (included in Gibson’s crucial collection of short stories, Burning Chrome), which The Matrix borrowed liberally from as well. Gibson presented his own Matrix, a so-called ‘consensual hallucination’ of endlessly streaming bits of data. But his Matrix was merely a dry run for the Gnostic slave state the Matrix films posited. And where the Sprawl novels posit a moral void, the first Matrix film offers a clear-cut dualist cosmology with good guys and bad guys.

The Wachowski Brothers also tapped heavily into the rich veins of America’s dream factory: comic books. The bullet-time and other freeze-frame effects of the film were inspired by the absolute control of time the reader experiences when reading a comic book. The Matrix was originally composed in a comic book-like volume of storyboards, and everything that was put on the screen was meticulously designed in illustrated form first.

Then there's the Gnosticism, which has been covered extensively by other writers. As most of you know, the word gnosis is greek for knowledge, specifically sacred knowledge and the term "Gnostic" has been used to describe a whole host of marginal, disparate and idiosyncratic groups who rose in late antiquity and gave the nascent Church a run for its money before being ground under Rome's boot-heel in the Fourth Century.

What did the Gnostics know? Well, according to certain texts, the Gnostics knew that the world was an illusion, created by an evil deity to trap and enslave the divine essence located in the human soul.

Gnostic cosmology is often incredibly confusing and inconsistent, but the basic gist of it is that there is an invisible and unknowable God who has split himself into a series of ‘Emanations’, expressed as lesser entities who interact with the knowable world. Fragments of these Emanations exist in the human soul.

Bowie does the Demiurge in 1999, with Christ as Serpent

Yaldabaoth, one of the lesser emanations from the Unknown God, created the known world as an inferior imitation of the Divine Order to imprison those fragments. The Apocryphon or Secret Book of John explains the nature of this impostor:
“Now the archon who is weak has three names. The first name is Yaltabaoth, the second is Saklas, and the third is Sammael. And he is impious in his arrogance which is in him. For he said, "I am God and there is no other God beside me," for he is ignorant of his strength, the place from which he had come.... “
It doesn’t take an Elaine Pagels to figure out who Yaldabaoth is. The more cultivated and learned practitioners of Gnosticism were horrified by the reductionist simplicity of the more conventional Christian sects. Another Gnostic text, the Hypostasis of the Archons (the Archons made an appearance in the original Star Trek series, which we discussed in an earlier AstroGnostic post) elaborates on the nature of this threefold god:
"Opening his eyes he saw a vast quantity of matter without limit; and he became arrogant, saying, `It is I who am God, and there is none other apart from me.'

"When he said this, he sinned against the entirety. And a voice came forth from above the realm of absolute power, saying, `You are mistaken, Samael' - which is, 'god of the blind.'”
The role of the Messiah or Christ in Gnostic theology is also somewhat different than that in orthodox Christianity. The condemned state of humanity is to live in ignorance of its divine essence, and the role of Christ is to awaken the human soul to its true nature. This is a more purely spiritual and speculative view of Christ, as opposed to the orthodox view which was primarily concerned with instilling obedience (‘faith’ in religious terminology is a synonym for "obedience") and offering hopes of the salvation of the human soul from the fires of Hell.

The Gnostics -- or rather certain Gnostic sects -- took a less dim view of the female than did their orthodox brethren, many of whom blissfully castrated themselves in order to resist the demonic wiles of the subhuman female. The Gnostic Gospel of Philip celebrated Mary Magdalene as the tef-hotre or ‘yoke partner’ of Christ, leading to a grand tradition of esoteric speculation that culminated in The Da Vinci Code. The Gnostics also recognized the divinity of Sophia, the feminine aspect of God.

Just as in the seminal Gnostic text of self-discovery, The Hymn of the Pearl, the plot of The Matrix concerns Thomas Anderson’s realization of his true and unique divine nature. The name “Thomas Anderson” has several layers of meaning. "Thomas Didymus" is the credited author of the most famous Gnostic text, The Gospel of Thomas. "Thomas Anderson" translates into ‘the Twin of the Son of Man’, referring to the Gnostic tenet that Thomas was Jesus’ twin brother. Some Bible scholars have speculated that the origin of the ‘Doubting Thomas’ in the Gospel stories was inserted as a critique of the Gnostics’ skepticism about a bodily resurrection.

Christ symbology is all over The Matrix. Morpheus is a John the Baptist figure, a "forerunner" preaching the coming of "the One." There's a Judas character in "Cypher," (read: Lu-cifer, a lift from Angel Heart) who betrays Morpheus and his troupe to the ‘Agents.’ Neo dies and is resurrected. But this Christ is an explicitly Gnostic one - his mission is to bring knowledge to the souls trapped in the Matrix. The identity of the Gnostic trinity is symbolized by the ever present threes. Trinity is either Mary Magdalene or Sophia (or Isis), depending on which Gnostic trinity you subscribe to.

Then there are the Agents, the AI components who act as the secret police of the Matrix. They have been identified as the archons of Yaldaboath, when they are more akin to the three personalities of the Demiurge: Yaldabaoth himself, Saklas and Samael. And the opaque Ray Charles-styled dark glasses the Agents wear recall the fact that Samael is ‘the god of the blind’. In this context the ever -present police SWAT teams stand in for the more anonymous archons of Gnostic mythology.

There's also a parallel sun god metatext to The Matrix as well. When Neo and Morpheus discuss the prophecy of the Oracle (herself a solar character, in that the oracles were servants of Apollo in ancient times and Apollo was identified as the sun god in late antiquity) at her apartment, between them is a clock in the shape of the sun. And when Neo rebounds in the subway station (subways, again) in his battle with Agent Smith the word “Sol” appears on the wall behind him. The Trinity of Morpheus, Trinity and Neo can also be seen as Osiris, Isis and Horus, since Neo plays a distinctly childlike, novitiate role to Morpheus and Trinity through most of the first film. Throw in Tank the communications man as Thoth and Cypher as Set, if you like. Cypher betrays his comrades at a dinner table, vaguely recalling Set's murder of Osiris at a dinner party.

But by and large, the symbology of the Matrix films is largely based in Gnosticism and similar esoteric traditions. The checkerboard floor of the building where Neo first meets Morpheus brings to mind Masonic iconography, signaling Neo’s ‘initiation’. And the sequels throw in a grab-bag of characters with names taken from mythology and esotericism like "Kali," "Persephone," "Seraph" and "Merovignian" (and let’s not forget that in the sequels, Neo most resembles that esoteric Messiah, Kal-El of Krypton).

The mirror(shades) of love

Lastly, The Matrix's vision of differs greatly from Dark City. In their real world incarnations, the heroes and heroines of The Matrix are androgynes. Males and females dress the same and act the same. When incarnated in the Matrix, their outfits and attitudes are decadent and fetishistic. There's a distinct air of gender transgression, whichis essentially shoved down your throat in the two sequels (Larry Wachowski himself skirts gender boundaries to such an extent that rumors had circulated he'd undergone gender reassignment surgery). Dark City, on the other hand, presents distinct gender signifiers. And the 1940’s setting of the film reveals an inherent conservatism vis a vis sexual identity. The women are lush and fertile and the men are stoic and aggressive.

And then there's the alien question. And therein lies the crux of the matter....



  1. I'm glad I stopped in. There aren't too many people I've met who are interested in gnosis. Happy that you are. I'm interested in all forms of knowledge metaphysical. And so...I think about it all alot.

    Yesterday late at night I needed to go buy more cigarettes so I went for a walk to the store. The sidewalks here are plowed through so that on each side is a 1 foot cliff of snow. As I walked through the path, to my right in the snow bank cliff I saw a picture of a lion's face, exACTly as the picture you have up of that worm body with the face circled by a sun. It was imposed upon the snow in that grey on white picture. And I thought of Yaldaboth the lion-faced one who Sophia created here in this universe.

    A little further and I crossed the street where on that corner was a drycleaning store with a picture of two rampant lions with some type of shield inbetween them. And I thought of twins. Which brought me to think of the two opposites, as you know one twin to be the good twin and the other the bad twin. Which reminded me of the stories David Icke in his The Biggest Secret was talking about..the two faced god Baal with many different names for the same being.

    At this point I was now thinking of alchemy, as I was earlier before I left for the store. You take the two opposites and you put in a mediator, which would be the balance, the neutral. There you would find that the two opposites now become one entire identity without the split. In other words, one has alchemized ones self into a new being by taking the two complete (appearing to be) opposites, and utilizing them for one's own purposes. Wherefore then that being is the controller of those two.

    So I came home and was thinking about Sophia and how all this started. The books say that she wanted to create something all by her ownsome, back when everyone was creating with a partner. No one had ever created without a other words, it would seem that two beings must go through much work and initiation then come together with another one before they could finally create.

    Which goes to show you that Sophia would seem to have been arrogant for going off in secret to a dark place with the thought of creating alone, all by her ownself. She not only didn't have the knowledge of many things, she had no partner to cushion her when she found that out. Which she did, because it says she became frightened just before she created, hence the creation came out deformed. They said it was like an abortion.

    She was more frightened...fear, you see...that she ran to MOTHER in secret to ask her for help. Well they didn't tell us what Mother did. And that's what I was thinking about last night. After the Mother blessed her creation by putting the spirit into this son Sophia had created, you can say that the higher orders were now within this creation of hers. And she went down to the pit, or the watery darkness with tears, as her son stole power from her for his own use.

    The thing I want to say is, it APPEARS that she was in torment. I had some visions that seem to say this was an illusion. The Mother makes it a complexion of energies so that it appears illusory. Sophia, her Lying son, and the Mother. Hm.

    Just yesterday before all of this I was at my sister's house we were celebrating my brother's birthday when the Matrix movie came up in our conversation. I'd say this is what they call a coincidence, and is an appropriate thing to bring up here.

    About Mercury. Alchemy. The last days say how very delicate the process is for man to become transformed...and it is now in which this is happening.

    Thanks for your interest in this type of knowledge.

  2. Weird dude, I was just skimming through my old Holy Mountain article and there's a link-back from your "AstroGnostic: The Power to Procreate with the Gods" article from March 25, 2010, so I clicked your banner to see what was new at The Sun and it was another freakin' "AstroGnostic" article! I had to triple check the date just to make sure I was on the most recent page. :D Anyhoo, love the gnostic themes in these and other films. I've been wanting to make a video on it too - I'll have to (re-)read these articles in preparation if I ever do. ;) Not sure about the aliens tho..

  3. Hi Christopher - Its been a while since posting though always reading. I just wanted to add: that in getting the key maker the hard to terminate guardians of the key maker in front of the vampire movie must be killed with silver bullets. Then- and this was my reason for commenting. . . . Key maker says 'one door leads to the source which is only open in a window of 314 seconds. The length and breadth. Acessed via the core network of the grid. It will knock out 27 blocks. The cube of 3. These movies are chock full of morsels and mountains. Thanks always for keeping this channel open , -sky-

  4. Very interesting stuff.

    Again, I really have to recommend Frank Herbert's short story
    "Looking for Something." Also, as a side note, has anyone read into Sophia "Mother of the Matrix" Stewart's claims that the Matrix was plagiarized from her unpublished novel and treatment "The Third Eye?" I believe she also claims that Grant Morrison must've somehow read her book as well (via remote viewing possibly??)

    Somewhat related, I was recently reading an interview with "Sucker Punch" and upcoming "Superman 3D" director Zack Snyder. He mentioned that he was raised Christian Scientist and his favorite book of all time is Illusions by Richard Bach (a former Christian Scientist as well). Both the religion and the book work from the basic idea that the material world is an illusion and that positive spiritual reality is fundamental.

    For me, Mary Baker Eddy's "scientific" approach to Christianity has some things in common with Aliester Crowley's viewpoints on the science of Magick.

    It is somewhat gnostic in the idea that the real world is really the real world, but I find much of it is closer to Buddhism (which Crowley also practiced) in that there is no malevolent entity responsible for the illusion. No Archon or Satanic figure like Sammael generating it. In Buddhist thought, there is Maya, but Maya is entirely an illusion itself. Its personality as a deity is a projection of the person duped by the illusion and, in practical terms, if you believe you are contending with something real creating this illusion, then you are just as trapped in Maya as if you believed in the illusion itself.

    Personally, I find the gnostic Christian writings appear very influence by the Zoroastrian Manicheanism which was one of the dominant religions in the Roman Empire and the region where Christianity emerged. It presents a twist on the Babylonian dualism with a God of Good and a God of Evil.

    In the Matrix, I think the three agents may also represent something like a group of Anti-Magi as well. It is interesting that the three wise men from the East in the Nativity Myth have long been considered to belong to the Zoroastrian religious order. Zoroastrianism is not related to Judaism except in the sense that it influenced Hebrew and later Christian ideas of Heaven and Hell, the afterlife, and Satan. Why would three Zoroastrians be on the inside track with the Hebrew God recognizing the future Jewish Messiah?

    Of course, the likelihood is that as Christianity went from a Jewish sect to a Roman Religion, it magnetized Manichean and Roman myths. There is strong evidence that the Nativity is actually a reenactment of the story of Zoroaster's birth (or possibly Mithras, but I find this less likely). paul kriwaczek's book In Search of Zarathustra is an excellent work tracking down the historical influence of this "first Prophet" on the region and as a result, the world we live in today.

  5. As far as the sequels go, though they are far inferior and miss every opportunity to follow up on the original, where they do make progress is in the way the machines stop being evil. We begin to understand that the demonic presence of the entities is as much a result of humanity's own evil committed in the war between man and machine (god and his children). By acknowledging the absence of pure evil on the behalf of his opponents, Neo makes a step toward, but does not truly achieve, a synthesis, an evolution, away from the conflict that drives the illusion of the Matrix in the first place.

    Naturally, I personally find these themes also central to Philip K Dick's acknowledged Gnostic Novels about his own experiences, Valis, The Divine Invasion and Radio Free Albemuth. In that, the archon is variously described as Belial, Zebra and Richard Nixon.

    Another interesting book that expresses the complex way illusion will change shape to always keep you deceived is Robert Anton Wilson's short novel, Masks of the Illuminati, in which the character of Aliester Crowley plays several different roles.

  6. "Just as in the seminal Gnostic text of self-discovery, The Hymn of the Pearl, the plot of The Matrix concerns Thomas Anderson’s realization of his true and unique divine nature. The name “Thomas Anderson” has several layers of meaning. "Thomas Didymus" is the credited author of the most famous Gnostic text, The Gospel of Thomas. "Thomas Anderson" translates into ‘the Twin of the Son of Man’, referring to the Gnostic tenet that Thomas was Jesus’ twin brother. Some Bible scholars have speculated that the origin of the ‘Doubting Thomas’ in the Gospel stories was inserted as a critique of the Gnostics’ skepticism about a bodily resurrection."

    Finally, and then I'll shut up - as far as Thomas, I'm sure you've looked into the Da Vinci Code-like conspiracy theories that put forth the idea that Jesus, knowing the "rules" for the Messiah, set out to perform the necessary acts to become the savior of the Jews, but the plan went wrong when he actually died on the cross. His followers were going to take him down before he died, but the Roman spear killed him. So, their plan B was to promote his brother Thomas as Jesus resurrected.

    Also, there is a myth that Thomas went to India where he was taken to be his brother Jesus and founded a sect of Hindu Christians who worship Jesus as the reincarnation of Krishna and an avatar of Vishnu.

  7. Let us not forget the September 11 reference, as well as this movie came out in 1999 at the turn of the "millenium".

  8. RE John Henning's following quote:

    "[...]there is no malevolent entity responsible for the illusion. No Archon or Satanic figure like Sammael generating it. In Buddhist thought, there is Maya, but Maya is entirely an illusion itself. Its personality as a deity is a projection of the person duped by the illusion and, in practical terms, if you believe you are contending with something real creating this illusion, then you are just as trapped in Maya as if you believed in the illusion itself."

    This is a very interesting and somewhat persuasive paragraph, and I can see the intelligence behind the words. It's tempting to look at the divergent Gnostic literature out there and draw paralells to the dualist cosmologies of mainstream religion, disregarding the demiurge/archons as satanic 'enemies' of spiritual freedom, much like the religious binary of the abrahamic faiths.

    While I am not suggesting that John's take on all this is so clear-cut, it does raise interesting questions that should be stared in the face.

    Is the wild collage of Gnosticism little more than a reaction to life's harsh insanities; deifying such insanities as a scapegoat 'demiurge' in order to make sense of the rage that results from living in such a harsh realm?

    I have no answers to these questions, but i look around me and see prisons everywhere - both literal and figurative. I see sinister architects of those prisons. I see planning, malign intent, and truth be told I see a dark genius that is constantly 'improving' the literal and figurative prisons around us.

    The transnationalism and cold-bloodedness of human exploitation is so extreme in our world that we often dare not see the orchestration behind it - such insight is often too much to bear.

    Rather we would view the explotation and domination as something that 'kinda just happened' without anyone being responsible or complicit in such horror - something that continues to 'kinda just happen' every day.

    But I say, 'As above, so below'.

    If there are prisons in the microcosm of human experience, perhaps there are prisons in the marcrocosm also. Perhpas putting a face/personality/agenda to such possibilities can seem just too terrifying.

    It's a hard thing to speculate that we might all be living in a cosmic P.O.W. Camp, but such a possibility isn't implausible to my way of thinking.

    We must allow the possibility, at the very least, to cultivate insight into the subtleties of the human experience.


    1. which begs the question, "why?"

      What is it about mankind that makes it so important to have altered the very fabric of our natural evolutionary development? Why make all societies naturally point us away from thinking of ourselves as worthy of equality to beings above or, as I am starting to see, merely older?

      And then there begs the follow-up, what do we do? It seems to again be a personal question, what can the individual do to change, alter or "fix" such a system?

  9. The trouble with dualism is it's so difficult to reconcile the pain and chronic dissatisfaction of our lives in this world, with the beauty and creative variety that is also apparent. It seems a little façile to say that everything good comes from Sophia and everything bad comes from Yaldabaoth. Maybe that's why Valentinian Gnosticism ends up with a redeemed Demiurge, rather than a condemned one.

  10. Raj's right … Awesomeness, Chris … as a longtime Gnostic my(s)elf, now ya Gno why I spell know Gno … also, Reverend Illuminatus Maximus (just Rev. Max to his fellow Gnostics) has a wonderful cartoon-y treatment of the whole Gnostic kit & kaboodle here. Don't overlook how Mr Reeves also later depicted the exorcist John Constantine in <a href='">Constantine</a>, a character whose appearance was initially imitated to resemble New Wave's premier bassist, Sting, at least in the pre-celluloid graphic novel treatment. In the film, though, the androgynous Scotstress, Tilda Swinton, portrayed a now insane Archangel Gabriel, the Angel of the Annunciation, whose mission is to now unleash Mammon, the son of Lucifer, upon the Earth to usher in a New Aeon under Mammon's reign. The Morning Star Himself is, funnily enough, played w/ much aplomb by Swedish actor, Peter Stormare, who's no stranger to outsider characters himself. Peace.

    Hoping for Gnosis for everyone,
    Anadæ Quenyan Effro

  11. Raj and Dammerung - yeah, there is plenty to recommend the idea of a malevolent force behind the prison reality and equally to propose that there is no such force only a projection of the negative internal experience every human being possesses. After all, in terms of Buddhism, good and evil are equally responsible for suffering since the good and apparently beautiful aspects of one's experience are the hooks that bind you to that experience. The only way to stop suffering - primarily an internal and active sensation - is to stop attaching yourself to the temporal illusion.

    In this sense, the prison guards are equally prisoners. The archon or demiurge really believes that it is doing what is best for its creation, but its imperfection ripples out throughout that creation.

    Reminds me of the apocryphal "African Folktale." There is supposedly a tribe of Africans converted to Christianity who believe that God is perfect and his creation is perfect... BUT he has an older brother who always thinks he can make things better. Since God is perfect, he is a perfect brother and must respect the interference even though he knows it will cause suffering.

    That's also a bit like Byelbog and Czernobog of the Eastern European myths (generally passed on a God and the Devil folktales).

  12. Hello Chris and all 'posters'.
    I can't beleive what I have just tried to absorb from the comments to your blog. I think I must be a University bleedin student to even begin to understand wot's being presented. Anyway, I'd just like to say that Wisconsin peeps are
    rebellin and that' Fab! I meanwhile would like to talk about the Bleedin StarGates that are takin over my MIND, but that is cause I am completely owff my trolley at the minute at of course, that's the time all really good and bad thoughts GET Ya!
    Speaketh when there is more O2 available.

    1. Theres one across the street from me, so I know what you are referring to, as each "piercing" of space/time hits some part of me to the core. I am trying to get convincing video of the craft as they appear, as the glow at night as they cloak their shape to appear like odd little jets (that dont fly like actual jets, do they). I got a friend to come over to watch the gate with me, and it freaked him out enough that he wont talk to me. Anyway, good luck to you. i just thought I'd say youre not the only one they affect so strongly...

  13. Yesssssssssssss!

    There can NEVER be too much discussion of The Matrix ;)

    And as I said in the previous thread, the reason I liked the film so much, is because I found a lot of correlations between it and the Castañeda books.

    To me Morpheus represents Don Juan, utilizing entheogenic drugs to show Neo the truth—because, just like Don Juan said to Carlos, the truth can never be explained, only shown.

  14. Hi Mr Christopher Knowles,
    Considering you have such Physical troubles, if you could apply the Brilliance you display in your thinking to your Corporal body as you do to your study of Mythological Pursuits, then I think you would have some understanding/control over your Corporal situationn.
    That's my 'Louise Hay understanding of the situation. Seems to me you are Bigger than your understanding of yourself, if you know wot I mean!. Power needs a bed of nettles or something like that.
    Floss with Lurve.x

  15. Interesting thoughts, John.

    We all have our perceptual filters - our subject/object thresholds. And mine are admittedly psychological.

    I always tend to look for movement of the psyche in extraordinary experiences, or when musing on exraordinary material. In that sense I think of myself as a 'realist'. Not because I'm searching for a materialist reason to explain the truly mysterious, but becuase I'm searching for a psychologically truthful one.

    This being the case, I can't help but suspect that some aspect of a demiurge-as-patholgy interpretation is true. Yet the opposite is not therefore by extension 'untrue'. Boundries and thresholds blur. I can see truth at both ends of the spectrum.

    I see interconnectedness and interdependancy everywhere, and I suspect that the limitations we place on the psyche are figurative at best. Therefore, I don't really see a complete seperation between my Self and the Dark Unkowable Other (be it Archons, Strangers, Agents or whatever).

    To me, Gnosis is often not about 'fact', it is about 'truth' -and truth is often simply the wisdom to admit that much of our knowledge is discerning speculation at best, and that shutting ourselves off from such fluidity of mind is a prison in and of itself.


  16. Neo was a designer drug multi market businessman when the Matrix movie started. Could the red pill just be a variation of the psychtropic drugs he was involved in? There is alot of people now-a-days using MDMA. When I went to Burning man the place was humming with it. Is it the argot of the rye that lets us monkeys see the world as it really is? The prison is the mind and the ethnogens open the prison gates to the other. The spider web of reality do trap our essence. The commenters of Chris's post are as Gods (imho) who see beyond the veil. Dennis

  17. "The Matrix was originally composed in a comic book-like volume of storyboards, and everything that was put on the screen was meticulously designed in illustrated form first"

    Aren't all (read: good) movies done like this?

  18. Another interesting example of westernized Buddhism appears in Dark City as well. The description of becoming new people every night is the same as reincarnation as far as being trapped in the illusion of existence. However in both Matrix and Dark City, they propose that the illusion would be preferable if the dark masters were eliminated. However from the Buddhist perspective only suffering results by living in illusion since in the end even pleasant falsehood do harm.

  19. This is from an OTO member:

    The Wachowski brothers, who created "The Matrix" films, are not Masons, but both are members of the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), a non-Masonic occult rite founded in 1899 in Germany. The Order became popular in the 1920's under the leadership of the controversial British author, poet, adventurer, and social critic Aleister Crowley. Today's O.T.O. is composed entirely of students of Crowley's voluminous work.

    The Matrix films contain much occult symbolism. The Free Zone is "Zion", symbolic language for a homeland for God's chosen. The ship is Osiris, the solar deity slain to secure salvation for his children, and resurrected in glory. In one of the films, the letters "OTO" can be seen inscribed on a truck during the motorcycle chase scene.

    Neo represents the illuminated man, the Initiate. He struggles in the first film to cast off his pre-conditioning in the profane world, which he begins to realize was illusionary. In the end, he has mastered his mind through self-discipline and virtue, and becomes an Adept, one who has proven himself worthy to direct the forces of nature.

  20. What ever happened to Smashing Pumpkins?

    Joy makes this passion play worth risking everything. Put it in and stir it around to the beat of mathology. We are real now and we are real then.

  21. "...Neo represents the illuminated man, the Initiate. He struggles in the first film to cast off his pre-conditioning in the profane world, which he begins to realize was illusionary. In the end, he has mastered his mind through self-discipline and virtue, and becomes an Adept, one who has proven himself worthy to direct the forces of nature."

    That certainly fits the story, but there is an inherent paradox in there. He's not directing the forces of nature, he's simply manipulating the illusion. The implication is that it's okay if life is an illusion as long as you're in charge of it. Of course, this is exactly the position of the demiurge.

    In Masks of the Illuminati, RA Wilson repeats a Buddhist fable where as soon as a monk realizes that life is an illusion by recognizing its temporal nature, Maya, the generator of the illusion, reincarnates him into a new life hoping to prevent that enlightenment. However, each time, as an elephant or a tree or whatever he becomes, the soul of the monk realizes that all life is an illusion. Finally, Maya reincarnates the monk as the Mahabrahma. The Brahma is the god whose dream is our reality - the creator god (demiurge?) and the Mahabrahma or Great Brahma is the God whose dream is all the many Brahmas of all the many universes. It is the ultimate entity, the Supreme Being(corresponding in some ways to the unknown God of Western Gnostic traditions). However, as the Mahabrahma watches the lesser brahmas and their universe come into and then go out of existence, the soul of the monk once again realizes that all is temporary, existence is an illusion.

    It's a progressive narrative that isn't seen often in mainstream films. Mostly, you see it in movies that deal with death. The Fountain and Jacob's Ladder are good examples. One of my favorite films with underlying and overt Buddhist themes is Temptation of a Monk from China. In these, it is the realization that the enemy is a projection of one's own desire to cling to life and control.

    In Dark City, it is Mr Hand who is the person John Murdoch was meant to be - the illusory personality, actually.

  22. Hey Chris,

    Man, I'm really getting a kick outta these posts and I can't wait for your Memento write-up.

    I find it interessting that there seems to be a sub-theme of colonisation in both The Matrix and Dark City. Colonisation of the human mind and the human imagination. I see the same theme in much modern sci-fi.

    Colonisation/appropriation under the guise of advancement, whilst somehow making the thing in question actually less than it was or should be. You find this theme in every sci-fi dystopia or questionable utopia narrative - and I think with good reason.

    Colonisation, to me, is primarily about reducing your target psychologically, spiritually and socially, thus making them more malleable and easily led. The conquistadors did this to the 'New World', America and Europe did it to Africa, and Globalist government is doing it to all of us right now.

    Conquering becomes colonisation becomes liberation. Bringing Demo-crazy to the poor, ignorant peoples of the Earth. When you can sell enslavement as liberation, and folks will do the impossible mental gymnastics to make this seems plausible to themselves, then you're really on to a winner.

    The Devil is in the details, as they say.

    One of the other commentators mentioned Constantine (another favourite comic/film of mine). In the film version I find it amusing that Peter Stormare plays Lucifer not as some suave, byronic vampire-like entity - but as a sick, banal asshole.

    It's also interesting in a demiurge kind of way that Constantine's devil is dressed in a white suit (the typical depiction of a good angel or God himself), and that his first appearence is of his feet coming from above and touching down on the floor. He doesn't rise up from the depths, he descends into shot from above the camera angle.

    In fact, one of my cousins didn't get it and asked me if Peter Stormare was playing some f*cked up version of God. I remember laughing at this.

    The whole white-suited demiugre/lucifer/God confusion can be seen again in the Matrix sequel with the 'Architect' character. A blatent ashole spouting gobbledygook and balderdash.

    Ok, gonna stop talking for now.


  23. I appreciate Constantine more each time I see it. At first, I was put off by how completely unlike the comic book it was, but then I got into its very Zoroastrian cosmology - again, depicted as a film noir mystery like Dark City.

    It's a neat solution to the presence of evil in the universe that obviously post-dates the book of Job where God is clearly the god of both good and evil and implies that there is a purpose to suffering in the world that mankind simply must accept. It is much easier to believe that there is a weaker evil god, Satan, tempting and tormenting you, than to accept that your own god has any culpability in your troubles.

    Obviously, some Christians certainly believe that it is their own actions that lead them down the wrong path, not anything demonic, but I'd say most devout and certainly fundamentalist Christians actually live in a world where there is a supernatural war between the forces of light and darkness like that depicted in Constantine.

    Like Philip K Dick once said, if you actually believe it's real, then religion is science fiction.

  24. Just wanted to riff a little more on these themes. I can't help myself.

    In The Matrix, Agent Smith is the primary Archon, an entity that develops a strange personal relationship with Neo. This theme is turbo-charged in the Matrix sequels when Smith becomes a self-replicating sentient intelligence with a curious hard-on for Neo.

    I find this theme echoed in Dark City in the relationship between Murdoch and Mr Hand - a mirroring, as John Henning suggests above. I could almost imagine a sequel of Dark City where Mr Hand is ressurected as some newer, more powerful version of himself - through his link to Murdoch.

    Agent Smith's role in The Matrix and more so in the sequels becomes like Metatron - the voice (or hand)of God, an angel of indeterminate origin and function. He's also a bit of a usurper and a threat to the stability of the Matrix itself.

    Hugo Weaving as Smith in this role has linguistic resonance too.

    The name Hugo is suggested to mean 'bright spirit, inspiration', or 'heart, mind, spirit'.

    So, Spirit Weaving playing the primary Archon of the Matrix - an illusion generated primarily for using human energy as a food source. Interesting, I think, in a creepy kinda way.

  25. "And then there's the alien question. And therein lies the crux of the matter...."

    the crux of the mother?

    Forget euphemisms, that's fertility at it's most essential. And Divine Mum would probably suggest that if we ignore AAT then we really know nothing about our conception.

    As a certain traveller once commented when staring into the vagina/crux/womb of the Divine Mother:

    "My God, it's full of stars."

  26. Raj, have you gotten into Neon Genesis Evangelion very much? It's a much more overt exploration of these themes cast as apparently standard boy and his robot anime. It treats the Kabbalah, Dead Sea Scrolls and Gnostic texts as guidebooks for a new science based on very real evidence of intelligent design.

  27. I wasn't aware of Neon Genesis Evangelion, John. But I'm not adverse to anime so I'll check it out. Thanks for the heads-up.

  28. I am completely speechless right now. Again, amazing blog.

  29. Awesome blog. The word "matrix" is derived from the Latin word "mater" or mother. I guess it would be safe to say our mothers are unwitting instruments in keeping us imprisoned or reincarnated in the material realm.

    I also read an interview with Andy Wachowski who was asked how humans were fed while being farmed by the machines. Turns out it was with the "liquified remains of the dead." That concept could've been influenced by Soylent Green where people were euthanized and their bodies were used to harvest food.

  30. read the Wormwood diaries. Archon 8th level.

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