The Matrix (Gnostic Decode)
The Dystopian Cradle
The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction film credited to be written and directed by Lana Wachowski (formerly known as Larry Wachowski) and Lilly Wachowski (formerly known as Andy Wachowski). It is the first installment in The Matrix film series, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe Pantoliano in which we mostly shall examine.
The movie depicts a dystopian future in which humanity is unknowingly trapped inside a simulated reality, the Matrix, which intelligent machines have created to distract humans while using their bodies as an energy source. When computer programmer Thomas Anderson, under the hacker alias "Neo", uncovers the truth, he "is drawn into a rebellion against the machines" along with other people who have been freed from the Matrix.
Sophia Stewart, editor and writer from Los Angeles, claims to have written an copyrighted original epic science fiction book and script called “The Third Eye Matrix” in the early eighties. That body of work was later stolen and adapted to the screen by Warner Brothers Studios, James Cameron, and the Wachowski brothers.
Sophia Stewart states the dilemma began in 1981 when she submitted her source work to 20th Century Fox, and again in 1986 when answering a magazine advertisement for a science-fiction script that the Wachowski brothers were going to make into a comic book. Sophia Stewart declares that Warner Brothers and their conspirators cut her work into two major franchises—called “The Matrix” and “The Terminator.”
The three Terminator movies are said to be the prequels to “The Matrix” whereas "The Matrix” is set in the future that arises from the events of the Terminator trilogy. “The Terminator” film features a cyborg assassin sent back in time from 2029 to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor, whose unborn son will one day save humanity from extinction by a hostile artificial intelligence in a post-apocalyptic future.
The essential plotline regarding the Terminator series surrounds an artificial intelligence defense network known as Skynet, created by Cyberdyne Systems becomes self-aware in the near future and triggers a global nuclear war in order to exterminate the human species. Sarah's future son John Connor will rally the survivors and lead a successful resistance movement against Skynet and its army of machines. On the verge of the Resistance’s victory, Skynet sent the Terminator back in time to kill Sarah before John is born to forestall the Resistance’s formation.
I cannot for certain vouch without reservations that Sophia Stewart is indeed the author of the source work from which the film franchises The Matrix and Terminator were derived; however it is quite clear that the Wachowski Brothers were not the creators of the Matrix films. Simple examination of the first installment of the Matrix films in comparison with its last three quite definitively displays a difference in plotline, creativity, substance and vision.
The Technocratic Sect
The original story served as a prophetic warning regarding the dire consequences of playing God with the disregard of natural law. It foreshadows the ramifications of humans turning to technology to solve its problems would lead to the inevitable interdependence of it. The center core of the Matrix highlights the possible fate in which artificial intelligence technology entraps humanity in level upon level of dependence.
The evidence defining the penmanship between the author of the first installment and creativity of the last three are clearly written by different authors. The latest addition to the Matrix trilogy served solely as wholesale market advertising for the ‘Metaverse’ as it featured nothing more than a carbon copy of repackaged nostalgic of the first installment immersed in promotional reel.
Perhaps one of the few memorable dialogues in the "Matrix Resurrections" came from the character called the Analyst, who is depicted as the creator of the current iteration of the Matrix, in which he sells us his illusionary world with these words: "Kind of ironic. Using the power that designed you to control you. Did you know hope and despair is almost identical in code? The only world that matters is the one in here. Here’s the thing about feelings; they are so much easier to control than facts. Just give people what they want, right?"
Unquestionably, artificial intelligence (AI) will transform the world but at what cost? In pursuit of a technocractic state man may accidentally create a super-intelligent AI without a conscience and deploys criminal sentencing algorithms that have soaked up the racist biases of their training data.
We have already heard the sermons of transhumanist prophets predict that within the next 25 years, AI will evolve passed the intellectual level of any human. In the next 50 or 100 years, we have been told to expect an AI might know more than the entire population of the planet put together. At that point, there are serious questions to ask about whether this AI — which could design and program additional AI programs all on its own, read data from an almost infinite number of data sources, and control almost every connected device on the planet — will somehow rise in status to become more like a god, something that can write its own bible and draw humans to worship it.
In fact we already have received recent reports surface indicating that a controversy-plagued engineer who once worked at Uber has started a new religion. Anthony Levandowski filed paperwork for a nonprofit religious organization called "The Way of the Future." Its mission: “To develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead contribute to the betterment of society.”
What does any of this have to do with the Matrix? The main antagonist of The Matrix franchise, Agent Smith, an AI program in the Matrix programmed to keep order within the system by terminating human simulacra which would bring instability to the simulated reality, as well as any rogue programs that no longer serve a purpose to the Machine collective.
To this end, Smith possesses the ability to take control over the simulated body of any human wired into the Matrix. As an Agent, Smith is able to bend the rules of the Matrix (such as gravity and the limitations of the human body), giving him speed and strength beyond ordinary human capacity. He and other Agents can dodge bullets flawlessly, punch through concrete with their bare hands, and jump impossible distances. Agents also have the ability to communicate with each other instantaneously and perceive what other humans wired into the Matrix do via a type of shared consciousness, represented visually via their earpieces.
Agent Smith illustrates the fear of a super-intelligent AI evolving passed humanity without conscience. In the Matrix films he gained Artificial Sentience; becoming a sentient A.I. that exhibited self-awareness and superior intelligence beyond Humanity. At the end of the first film, Smith appeared to have been deleted by Neo; however, in the sequels, Smith is revealed to have been "freed" from the Machines' control, preventing him from being forcibly sent to the system source where he and other programs would be deleted. This process makes him into a renegade program, effectively making him a self-replicating computer virus. Along with his freedom, Smith gains the ability to copy himself onto others within the Matrix, rather than simply having the ability to switch between bodies as normal agents are able to. By copying himself into a human in the process of disconnecting from the Matrix by making use of the in-Matrix landlines, Smith is able to insert himself into the outside world. Smith's real power comes from his ability to absorb memories and power from his victims, culminating in his form that fights Neo in the final battle of the Matrix series. He becomes the full realization of a god-like AI, conscience-less and beyond Humanity.
The Gnostic Source
Mythologist Joseph Campbell sought to bring to light what he called the “monomyth,” the universal heroic journey common to all religions, which resides in the collective unconscious of humanity. The similarity of so many ideas and images in different religions is because they are ultimately diverse symbolic projections of the same physical and mental processes that are within all of us. In his interview with Bill Moyers in “The Power of Myth,” Campbell stated, “All the gods, all the heavens, all the worlds, are within us. They are magnified dreams, and dreams are manifestations in image form of the energies of the body in conflict with each other.” Campbell was a demythologizer. He deconstructed religious traditions and transcendent beliefs into their presumed origins in natural causes. Postmodern religion, like Campbell’s eclecticism, is a synthesis of diverse sources without regard for rational or organic consistency. It focuses on the parallels between religions while ignoring the disparities; it forces square similarities into round differences. I suggest this is also what the Wachowski brothers, Larry and Andy, have done with their cinematic Matrix trilogy. They have tapped into the ideas and images of diverse religious and philosophical views and used them as metaphors for a postmodern Nietzschean worldview of relativism, nihilism, and self-actualization.
It can easily be stated that the Matrix film stands out as one of the classics of modern sci-fi storytelling. Not only does it powerfully present the hero's journey in a similar manner to other epic tales like "Lord of the Rings" and "Star Wars," but this incredibly complex series also incorporates various philosophical, Buddhist, Christian, and science fictional elements. Most of all, it serves as a modern re-visioning of the ancient religion of Gnosticism, an obscure theological-cosmological system that describes a dualistic cosmos, in which spiritual sparks have become trapped in matter but can be released through saving knowledge, or "Gnosis."
The term "Gnosticism" is modern; although accurate in that it is derived from the Greek 'gnosis,' "higher" or "spiritual" or "Intuitive" or "Divine knowledge," which is different from knowledge in the more mundane sense. Gnosis in this context is the same as 'Awakening' or 'Enlightenment' (prajna, bodhi) of Buddhism.
It is interesting to note, Gnosticism maintains that the world that we’re living in is not the ultimate reality. In fact, it teaches that the god who created this world is not the ultimate god -- there is a higher God, a transcendent reality. The Matrix films offers up a stew of aspects from other religious traditions, and it is particularly not surprising that the film combines aspects of Buddhism with Gnosticism, which pose humanity's fundamental problem and solution in the same terms -- ignorance and enlightenment.
According to Gnostic tradition, the material world was actually created by a demiurge (commonly identified with the God of the Old Testament), not the True God of Good who is utterly transcendent and exists far beyond the created world as we understand it. The demiurge, in turn, leads a cast of Archons, petty rulers who are the craftsmen of our physical world. Escape from this world of evil is only accomplished by those who obtain the 'inner knowledge' about the true nature of this reality and the manner in which humans are imprisoned in it and controlled by sinister forces. Those who seek to become 'awakened' and 'enlightened' are not only seeking to free themselves but are also sent to the world as bearers of divine enlightenment in order to relieve humanity of its ignorance and lead them to truth and goodness.
The parallels here between Gnosticism and the Matrix films are obvious, with Keanu Reeves’ character Neo playing the role of the bearer of enlightenment who is sent to liberate humanity from the place in which the sinister machines have them imprisoned. In Gnosticism it is the material world that is considered a prison and lacking in "true" reality; we are supposed to escape this and find liberation in the reality of the spirit or mind. In the Matrix, our prison is one in which our minds are trapped, while liberation constitutes fleeing to the supposed material world where machines and humans have been at war - a world which is much more distressing and disturbing than the Matrix.
The film examines the very nature of this false reality called the Matrix with well crafted dialogue. Below we produce a few quotations concerning the Matrix:
"Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself."
"The Matrix is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth."
"The Matrix is a computer-generated dream world, built to keep us under control in order to change a human being into this." [holding a copper-top D cell battery]
The character Morpheus sums it with the following: "The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it."
This “blind slavery” imagery is a fitting metaphor for humankind’s bondage to sin as described in the Bible. Jesus said that “everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin” (John 8:34) and needs to be born again in order to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Being born again is not unlike Neo’s experience of waking up in his “pod” of slavery and being freed. The apostle Paul wrote that “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel” (2 Cor. 4:4). The Christ symbolism woven into the story also is obvious.
For the Gnostics, the material universe is a bleak place, ruled over by cruel overlords who keep souls imprisoned. The universe is an elaborate mechanism, a sort of machine, in which, in the astrology-centered universe of the Gnostics, the motion of the stars and planets serves to imprison the souls by astrological fate. In the Matrix, this is the world the machines have set up the system by which humans are trapped and used as biological batteries, in a vast infrastructure of complex mechanisms created by the AIs. Everything about the matrix is dark, and gloomy, and set in the underworld and among the constructs of the machines. This most central and motif-rich theme not only recalls the world of non-spiritual matter of Gnosticism, but also the Cave in Plato's allegory, the realm of Ahriman, the god of matter, in Rudolf Steiner's theosophical system (called Anthroposophy) of mystic cosmology, and Philip K Dick's "Black Iron Prison."
Agent Smith describes as the following: “Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost. Some believed we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery. The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from.”
In the radically dualistic cosmology of Gnosticism, the material world is the prison that keeps sparks trapped and ignorant of salvation and transcendent reality; the pleroma is the pure spiritual world above, like the Nirvana of the Theravada Buddhists and the Jains. In the Matrix, awakening to spiritual knowledge does not provide salvation or access to the transcendent, but simply means you are born into a new inferior world, albeit one that at least is free of self-delusion of the oppressive archons. In the Matrix trilogy, the role of the oppressive rulers is taken by Agent Smith, the sinister program of the machine world, the agent of ahrimanic matter. There are also monstrous forms like the Leviathan: the overall machine city that features in The Matrix Revolutions, and physical infrastructure that links all the local neural networks.
The Chosen One
In Gnosticism, the Christ-like redeemer brings the world knowledge. In The Matrix, that myth is generally perceived to be embodied in Keanu Reeves' character Neo -- also known as "the One."
The "Chosen One" theme is a recurring trope, a universal mythic theme, or what Jung would call an archetype, as it appears time and again in myth and culture, and in messianic religions and political demagogues and movements throughout history. It is usually accompanied or preceded by a foretelling prophecy that announces the future arrival of the redeemer.
The Prophecy told in the Matrix films was a prediction made by the Oracle and, as told to Neo by Morpheus, stating the coming of "The One" and that it will herald the destruction of the Matrix and the freedom of humanity from their oppression by the Machines. Morpheus speaks if the prophecy in the following words: “After he died, the Oracle prophesied his return and that his coming would hail the destruction of the Matrix, end the war; bring freedom to our people.”
When describing the nature of "The One" to Neo, Morpheus says that a man was born in the ancient past who could reshape the Matrix to his will, and claims "it was this man that freed the first of us." An Oracle has prophesied his return, and Morpheus believes Neo is the reincarnation of "The One."
It is very curious that in the latter installments of the Matrix films the Wachowskis alter the direction of the storyline by introducing the idea that the Prophecy was an invention of the machines, told to Zion operatives by the Oracle; the Prophecy was designed to manipulate the humans into leading "The One" to meet the Architect and not the Source itself. "The One" learns the truth and is forced into reloading the Matrix under the consequence that the Matrix will crash and all of humanity will die if "The One" does not comply.
This alteration eerily echoes the historical formation of the biblical scripture as it too was refashioned and reformed from its initial form in order to misdirect it's audience away from its original intent. As a matter of fact, even with the countless edits, changes, alterations, and rewrites; many have chosen to hold firm in their belief in the scripture. In the oral statements of Prophet Noble Drew Ali he advises: "Don't throw away your Bibles, because I am going to use them to condemn the government."
We take heed that the biblical prophecies do not say how they shall come to pass but rather only that they shall. Whether or not it's seen as God bringing about the fulfillment of prophecies or the shadowy controllers, who've rewritten the scriptures conspiring to forcibly manufacture its fulfillment, makes no real difference; only that it does indeed be fulfilled.
Speaking with regards to the reconstruction and revisions of the biblical scriptures, let us turn to the recasting of the prophesied messiah archetype that was supplanted into place to substitute the true savior.
"Neo" denotes the "New Adam," the first of a new breed of humanity, freed from the tyranny of the Principalities and Powers and able to free others. He is also called "Mr. Anderson," which can be taken, without too much of a stretch, to denote "the Son of Man," a variant on the Adam motif. "Anderson" is a Scandinavian name, "Anders' son," and "Anders" is simply a variation of "Andreas," Greek for "man." So "Anderson" means "Son of Man." The title "Mr." (mister) strangely enough draws semblance to the Egyptian root "M-R" for the word "Moor." The Egyptian "M-R" designates "overseer" or "overseers of knowledge."
Neo is at surface perspective represents the standard Gnostic Christ; with the underlining elements of a false messiah whereas Morpheus is not solely the Gnostic Revealer but redeemer. Neo is the smoke screen obscuring the hidden archetype in which Morpheus obviously represents more so than Neo. Neo displays the same treatment given to Jesus of biblical scriptures who supplanted much of what Horus represented. Neo is the byproduct of alteration to the story and the true Christ archetype was removed to a lesser role.
The character of Morpheus is considered by many viewers of the Matrix movies as one of the greatest in science fiction. At once a wise leader who can be counted on, as well as an expert martial artist who can perform extraordinary feats. In the world of the Matrix, he is referred to as the "most dangerous man alive" by agents of the Matrix, while his only motive is to show people the reality of life.
Morpheus is an enigma. He is the man who embodies the real world to the minds trapped in the Matrix. It is Morpheus that people turn to when they seek escape from the world of the Matrix; it is Morpheus who is able to give people a rebirth. Initially it seems as if Neo is looking for Morpheus, but really it's Morpheus who's looking for Neo. Just as God seeks out his lost sheep, Morpheus seeks out the minds that are willing to break free of the bonds of the Matrix. It’s worth mentioning that generally it is stated that Morpheus is, in a way, like John the Baptist, preparing the way for Christ (Neo). I wholly disagree with this assessment.
Sign of the Fish
Morpheus is archetypal gnostic christ supplanted by the christian savior. This is the reason Morpheus played by Lawrence "Fish"Burne (born) was removed from reprising the role in the latest installment. The actor told New York Magazine that he “has not been invited” to reprise his iconic role in Lana Wachowski’s “The Matrix” sequel. He furthered stated that: “You’d have to ask Lana Wachowski why, because I don’t have an answer for that,” he told Collider.
The Morpheus character was beloved as any in the realm of literary art. He was simply the quintessential sustenance of the hero written in valiant form. And this I believe led to Lawrence Fishburne's dismissal from reprising the role. The character Morpheus was too iconic and it minimized Neo beneath its shadows.
Morpheus' archetype is more so Christ-like. It is very foretelling Lawrence Fishburne being casted to play the role. The name "Lawrence" is an Anglicization of the French 'Laurent,' which is in turn derived from the Latin 'Laurentius' or Old Greek 'Lavrenti.' The name is said to mean "man from Laurentum" or "bright one," or "shining one."
The name "Fishburne" can be traced to the 1190 township known as 'Fisseburne.' It derived its name from the Old English "fisc" + "burna," which combined meant "fish stream," or "stream where fish are caught." The name Fishburne has been recorded under many different variations, including Fishburn, Fishbourn, Fishbourne, Fishburne, Fishborne, Fishbyrn, Fishbyrne, Fyshborn, Fyshborne, Fyshburn and most importantly the variant "Fishborn."
The connection with the fish is deeply interwoven into the mythos of the savior in which it's origins stem as an avatar of the Pisces constellation – he was a archetype meant to symbolize the movement of the sky at the dawn of the Age of Pisces. Evidence for this comes from the practices of the early Christians where they used the fish as the symbol of Jesus.
The symbol called the "vesica pisces" (piscis) or “Jesus fish,” was usually found inscribed within, "IXOYE" (Ichthus), being Greek, meaning fish. The emblem became significant to Christians after St. Augustine, who extracted the word from the acrostic prophecy of the Erythraean Sibyl, and applied the kabbalistic technique of notarikon (acrostic) to the word to reveal “Jesus Christ, God’s son, savior.”
We also see in biblical scriptures that Christ wants to make Peter and Andrew "fishers of men.' A direct astrological aspect of Christ's birth is given us in Matthew 2:1-12. The Magi from the East were star-gazers who, beholding an extraordinary constellation, inferred an equally extraordinary birth. This anecdote proves that Christ, possibly even at the time of the apostles, was viewed from the astrological standpoint or was at least brought into connection astrological myths.
Christ was regarded as the new aeon, it would be clear to anyone acquainted with astrology that he was born as the first fish of the Pisces era. The Ichthys is an important identification symbol in Christianity. Today, the image of a fish reflects the Christian faith without the need for words. Another intriguing connection can be linked between the name Fishburne with faith and belief.
Faithful and True
In Revelations 19:11, we find the name "Faithful and True" which expresses the total trustworthiness, reliability, and constancy of the Christ figure. The title reveals His character and makes known His words and works. It is curious to see the same faithfulness ascribed to the Christ as described in Morpheus' character.
Morpheus devotes "all of his life" in search of "The One," who will bring an end to the Machine War. Morpheus was undoubtedly a spiritual figure to many citizens of Zion being recognized for his strong belief in what has been prophesized. Morpheus learned of the Prophecy early in his life from the Oracle, where he became consumed in this quest to find "The One." Morpheus’s faith in the Oracle’s prophecy, and in Neo, is unwavering and unquestioning, truly he exemplified belief with his all-consuming passion in the liberating savior yet to come.
Morpheus is a believer. The crew of the Nebuchadnezzar crew is his disciples. In fact, Morpheus has so much faith in what the Oracle has told him (that he would find The One) that she comments to Neo that: "No one, not you, not even me, can convince him otherwise."
Morpheus expresses his undaunted belief in a determinism that somehow is guiding the universe. He trusts the “prophesies” about “the One” even when others around him do not. In Reloaded, he reiterates his faith when he declares, “There are no accidents. We have not come here by chance….I do not see coincidence. I see providence. I see purpose. I believe it is our fate to be here. It is our destiny. I believe this night holds for each and every one of us, the very meaning of our lives.”
Morpheus' belief then seems to transcend the Oracle; it is something deeper. The prophecy of the oracle is without question Morpheus' destiny. Let us recall Morpheus himself tells Neo that the Oracle is not right or wrong but simply tells people what they need to hear. Perhaps Morpheus receiving the words of the prophecy assisted him in the search for "The One," who unbeknownst to Morpheus is himself.
No other character illustrates the idea of "The One" more than Morpheus than does. Gnostic tradition teaches that the Acquisition of knowledge (gnosis) brings about redemption and salvation. And Salvation begins when people realize the divine spark within themselves and acquire knowledge of the cosmos and its function. It is also noted that "The Redeemer" is the one who brings the gnosis (knowledge).
Gnostics considered the principal element of salvation to be direct knowledge of the supreme divinity in the form of mystical or esoteric insight. Many Gnostic texts deal not in concepts of sin and repentance, but with illusion and enlightenment. The Gospel of Truth 18:15-26 (Gnostic Text) states: “the hidden mystery, Jesus the Christ, enlightened those who were in darkness through oblivion. He enlightened them; he showed them a way; and the way is the truth which he taught them. For this reason error grew angry at him, persecuted him, was distressed at him and was brought to naught. He was nailed to a tree and he became a fruit of the knowledge of the Father.”
In the biblical scriptures we also find the connection between truth and salvation; in John 8:31 we read: “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
The Gnostic savior (or the Buddhist bodhisattva) is the one who descends into the world to give saving knowledge to the sparks or souls trapped in matter. Ironically, this is not Neo, because his special messianic status and role of releasing humanity from their imprisonment by the machines is more like that of the Christ archetype who simply saves people through faith or miracles. It is actually Morpheus who serves as the "Gnostic Redeemer" by offering the choice of Red and Blue pill, offering each individually the opportunity to awake from the deceptive dream of the machine.
This incidentally makes the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar Gnostics. Morpheus has, in a way, baptized the crew members of the Nebuchadnezzar. He is the ultimate guide, leading people to the proverbial door that they must walk through. As the Oracle says: "Without him, we are lost."
We see much of Morpheus' dialogue further illustrating this identification. Below we shall produce a few notable lines that correspond to Morpheus' role as The Redeemer:
"Remember...All I'm Offering Is the Truth. Nothing more."
"You Have To Let It All Go, Neo - Fear, Doubt, And Disbelief. Free Your Mind!"
"You Take The Red Pill - You Stay In Wonderland, And I Show You How Deep The Rabbit Hole Goes."
In some variations of the Gnostic myth, the “Redeemer,” once he takes on flesh or the semblance of flesh, becomes forgetful of his own divine destiny and must be awakened. Once he is awakened, he renews his mission. The point of this odd plot development is to hint that the Redeemed and the Redeemer are essentially one. The Revealer is a stranger from the divine world, and so are those he awakens. Together, they form the Cosmic Christ, the Primal Man.
Morpheus, in Greco-Roman mythology was the god of sleep. The word "Morpheus" is derived from the Greek word ‘morphe,’ meaning "form," and denotes "Transformer." Morpheus was the son of Hypnos. As the primordial god of sleep, Morpheus and formed the dreams, through which he could appear to mortals in any form. He is also associated with sleep or unconsciousness as his Roman counterpart was “Somnia.” In The Matrix, Morpheus awakens to navigate the world of sleep as he frees people from their state of unconsciousness. He is the “Revealer of Truth.” As he administers the ‘Red Pill,’ he is imparting the gnosis, the secret knowledge that redeems the knower by self-transformation. Morpheus is the perfect depiction of the Gnostic Revealer, awakening those to their forgotten identity.
In Gnosticism, the “redeemed redeemer” myth; tells of the Savior who was himself imprisoned or asleep in ignorance and needed to be awakened to his own divinity before he could help awaken others. The Gnostic gospels declare, “He [Christ] who was redeemed, in turn redeemed others” (Gospel of Philip 2.3.71); “Even the Son [Jesus] himself, who has the position of redeemer of the Totality, needed redemption as well” (Tripartate Tractate 1.5.125). In Gnosticism, we are given the notion of Christ as merely a model of self-salvation. The Gnostic redeemer, like a Buddha, can only show the way of enlightenment; he is not himself the way, the truth, or the life. Salvation through self-knowledge is from within, not from without.
The contemporary Gnostic notion of Christhood is that it is an office filled by many individuals rather than the distinctive title of only one individual, namely, Jesus. The idea of numerous messiahs reflects the New Age/Eastern belief in multiple Buddhas, avatars, or ascended masters through history, who bring deliverance to their people. The Matrix films illustrate this with the paralleling storylines of Neo and Morpheus. But, it is Morpheus who characterizes the Gnostic Redeemer whereas Neo portrays the Christian Jesus.