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No movie in modern times captures the connections between gnostic thought and Buddhism more than The Matrix Trilogy. 

We see Neo as the Kristos archetype who also is the essence of the Buddha as he leaves everything behind to enter into the enlightened state of his new existence. We see Trinity signifying Sophia/Mary Magdalene in her relationship with her partner; we also see The Oracle as being symbolic of wisdom. We see Morpheus adamant that the world of the demiurge is a false construct designed to imprison you. 

There are, however, a few serious inversions of the truth within the films. The first one is that in gnostic thought it is Kristos and Sofia who created the Architect and The Matrix has it that the Architect created them–not true according to Gnosticism.

The second inversion is they make Zion the place of the protagonist under the earth but according to Gnostic mythology, Zionism is a chief machination of the Archons who live under the earth according to various Gnostic lores. Within modern E.T./alien mythology, it is said the Archon Reptilians (the Alpha-Draconians) are the hidden hand behind Zionism (there are also quite a few others serving the reptilian agenda depending on who one asks).

Here are 8-similarities listed on wiki by Edward Conze:

  • Liberation or salvation can be achieved by a liberating insight, namely gnosis or jnana
  • Ignorance, or a lack of insight, called agnosis or avidhya, is the root cause of entrapment in this world
  • Liberating insight can be achieved by interior revelation, not by external knowledge
  • Both systems give a hierarchical ordering of spiritual attainment, from blind materialism to complete spiritual attainment
  • Wisdom, as the feminine principle personified in Sophia and prajna, plays an important role in both religions
  • Myth is preferred over historical fact; the Christ and the Buddha are not mere historical figures, but archetypal primordial beings
  • Both systems have antinomianism tendencies, that is, a disregard for rules and social conventions in higher spiritual attainments
  • Both systems are intended for spiritual elites, not for the masses, and have hidden meanings and teachings
  • Both systems are monistic, aiming at a metaphysical oneness beyond the multiplicity of the phenomenal world.

The last one isn’t entirely accurate as far as my knowledge is concerned. There are some schools of Gnosticism that say this earth is irredeemable and the private property of the demiurge and it’s a boundary the real and true god respects.

For now, we’ll explore nondual Buddhist gnostic ideas which make the demiurge very similar to Mara in Buddhist ontology. Although not exact to Gnosticism as an agent of evil Mara is quite close and fulfills the same antagonisms of the demiurge.

What’s interesting in modern times are accusations that the Jews are controlling Buddhist narrative. Brian Ruhe, a fellow Vancouverite, and Theravadan Buddhist has been documenting this phenomenon. I would also observe that Integral Buddhist, Ken Wilber surrounded himself with Jewish influence, so there may be something to the accusation.

If Gnosticism were Non-dual then ideas like Tikkum Olum may be possible. Kristos and Sophia could, possibly, be partnered with the demiurge in ways dualistic thinking would find difficult to accept. If this were true, though, my preference would be to see more signs of virtue, truth, and honesty from those involved in real-time events on the ground. Implementing a worldwide Jubilee would be sufficient evidence of such good intentions. I remain skeptical…

Which brings us back to Judaism as an antagonism of the demiurge and its Archons…

To be continued…

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