*Editors Note* WB Lahners originally sent this to me in one post. I thought it best to split this up into a few pieces. Deciding where to break it apart was difficult, however I feel that we accomplished this so that one can read a part and contiue the next one without a refresher. Just the same, there will be links to each previous piece as the come out. I hope you enjoy!
The next scene reveals the Agents, led by the sinister Agent Smith, torturing Morpheus. Agent Smith reveals that they attempted to make the first version of the Matrix as a perfect world for humans, but that we wouldn’t accept it. He goes on to call humanity a virus and a disease and that the machines are the cure. Neo, realizes that he has to go back into the Matrix in order to save Morpheus, instead of killing him to protect Zion. Trinity pulls rank on Neo and says she’s going with him. Meanwhile, Smith is alone with Morpheus. He states his desire to get out of the Matrix because of how much he abhors humanity.
Trinity and Neo break into a secure building in order to steal a helicopter. After some out of this world gymnastic tricks and gun play in the building’s lobby, they make it to the elevator which they take to the roof. Trinity gets to the helicopter and downloads the program to teach her how to fly it, while Neo dodges all of the bullets of an agent that shows up. As an aside, this bullet dodging scene is now repeated in some form as an homage in many movies that follow it. Trinity and Neo board the helicopter, and rescue Morpheus. They then make it to an exit in a subway, where Morpheus and Trinity are able to escape. Agent Smith shows up, and he and Neo battle. Neo defeats Smith, but Smith is able to change his form into another person nearby before getting killed. Smith then re-appears and Neo runs for his life.
Neo makes it to room ‘303’ at the ‘Heart o’ the City’ Motel, where he is ambushed and killed by Agent Smith. In the meantime, the machines have located the Nebuchadnezzar and have sent their Sentinels to destroy it. The Sentinels are cutting into the hull of the ship, and Trinity confesses that Neo can’t be dead. She was told by the Oracle that she would fall in love with the ‘One’, and that she loves Neo. With her confession, Neo arises from death. He now sees the Matrix in code, and he’s able to manipulate it at will. He stops bullets in midair, and dives into Agent Smith. Smith then starts to overload, and explodes with a scream. The other agents flee, and Neo escapes the Matrix, allowing the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar to employ the EMP device. The movie ends with Neo issuing a warning to the machines from a phone booth. He flies up into the camera which is placed overhead, and the movie ends.
Neo in essence becomes a Fellowcraft upon his second foray into the Matrix to rescue Morpheus. Fellowcraft masons during their degree are shown a representation of the Middle Chamber of the Temple of Solomon. They are taught about the liberal arts and sciences. They are given more responsibility. This is mimicked by Neo, who upon his second entry in the Matrix, is able to better manipulate his surroundings. He is still lead by a true and trusty guide in the form of Trinity, but he is able to perform superhuman feats like dodging bullets.
The end of the movie shows Neo as taking the place of Hiram Abiff. Like Hiram, Neo is confronted by 3 agents (ruffians). Agent Smith, who plays the role of Jubelum as the head agent, kills him. Like the phoenix however, Neo is reborn. Neo is raised from the grave by the utterance of a specific word or phrase, and he is now a Master of the Matrix. A brother who portrays Hiram Abiff in the 3rd Degree is raised as a Master Mason and given a specific word or phrase. Much like the newly raised Neo is able to go on to have further adventures inside the Matrix, the new Master Mason is now able to go on to have further Masonic opportunities by joining the York Rite, Scottish Rite, or any of the other appendant bodies.
There are many themes in the Matrix that are worth observing from an esoteric perspective, the movie is steeped in Gnostic themes. There is also philosophical theme regarding the nature of reality which is alluded to by the inclusion of Baudrillard’s Treatise, Simulacra & Simulation, in the movie. The work, which is best known for its discussion of symbols, signs and how they relate to simultaneous existences. There are also some odd coincidences like Neo’s passport expiring on 9/11/2001, even though the movie opened in theaters in 1999, and was filmed in 1998. I tried only to capture what I felt were some of the Masonic themes in the movie. I’m sure I may have missed some. I’d welcome other’s opinions on the movie as well. What did I miss? What do you think I misinterpreted? Let me know.
WB Darin A. Lahners is the Worshipful Master of St. Joseph Lodge No.970 in St. Joseph and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), and Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL). He’s a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, a charter member of the new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D. and is the current Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club No. 768 in Champaign – Urbana (IL). He is also a member of the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. When he’s not busy enjoying Masonic fellowship, Darin spends his time as a DM for his children’s D&D campaign, reading, golfing, watching movies and listening to music. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.