28

When Neo sees the Oracle, this is part of the conversation:

Oracle: But you already know what I'm going to tell you.
Neo: I'm not The One.....
Oracle: Sorry, kid. You got the gift, but it looks like you're waiting for something...
Neo: What?
Oracle: Your next life maybe, who knows? That's the way these things go.
Neo: Morpheus...he, he almost had me convinced...
Oracle: Poor Morpheus...without him...we're lost.
Neo: What do you mean, without him?
Oracle: Are you sure you want to hear this?
Neo nods.
Oracle: Morpheus believes in you, Neo. And no one, not even you, not even me, can convince him otherwise. He believes it so blindly, that he's going to sacrifice his life, to save yours.
Neo: What??!
Oracle: You're going to have to make a choice. In one hand, you'll have Morpheus' life..and in the other hand, you'll have your own. One of you is going to die..which one...will be up to you.

If he had believed he was the one, his attitude would have been different and he would have valued himself more than Morpheus, perhaps taking the attitude that they have to push forward, with or without Morpheus, as opposed to trying to save him - and it's a result of his trying to save Morpheus that he finally finds out he is The One.

Thinking he's not The One leads to a level of humility that we didn't see in Neo as "Mr. Anderson," before he knew about the Matrix, where he was cocky enough to give the agents, whom he thought was law enforcement, the "bird" by flipping them off with his middle finger.

If he did think he was The One, would that have changed his attitudes or behaviors enough that he could not do what he needed to do and would not have been The One?

37

It's a classic self-fulfilling prophecy, with a slight twist; the prophecy is making itself self-fulfilling specifically by not being believed.

Nevertheless, it causes Neo to end up in the situation required to become 'The One', which would not have happened if he had not heard it. Think of it as a self-fulfilling prophecy being created by a very genre savvy oracle.

Neo was, in fact, not 'The One' at that time; that's a status he rose to, having the potential that she saw. Look at what the oracle says:

Oracle: Sorry, kid. You got the gift, but it looks like you're waiting for something...
Neo: What?
Oracle: Your next life maybe, who knows? That's the way these things go.

That's exactly what ended up happening; he was shot and 'killed', and that served as the final step to elevate him to being the one, by forcing a final change in his perceptions.

  • 9
    Note that the oracle's words are open to some interpretation; Morpheus, for example, seems to imply she simply lied to Neo ("told you exactly what you needed to hear"). – KutuluMike Oct 7 '13 at 7:57
  • 7
    @Mike Neo was killed, and the man who was Neo became The One. When that happened, Neo was destroyed. So, what I told you was true, from a certain point of view. -- Oracle-Wan-Kenobi. – user12183 Feb 25 '16 at 19:54
21

Remember that, as Morpheus said, the Oracle told Neo "exactly what he needed to hear" in order to realize his full potential and become The One. "There's a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path." The Oracle is essentially giving him subtle (and not so subtle) pushes in the direction she sees that he needs to go.

Regardless of what Neo may have "known" his path to be (i.e. whether he believed he was or was not The One), his responses to what the Oracle told him (i.e. "walking the path") are what actually helped him to become The One. Had his attitude been different, she would have likely just told him something different to get the necessary response out of him so as to achieve the same end result.

  • 7
    +1 You're dead on! The Oracle is not about telling people facts, it's a manipulation device of The Matrix. – bitmask Feb 21 '12 at 23:20
8

I think the reality is different: Neo did NOT go after Morpheus because he believed he was not the One, and Morpheus was more valuable. He went there because he started to believe he may actually be The One:

Neo: I know that's what it looks like, but it's not. I can't explain to you why it's not. Morpheus believes in something and he was ready to give his life, I understand that now. That's why I have to go.
Tank: Why?
Neo: Because I believe in something.
Trinity: What?
Neo: I believe I can bring him back.

6

This was specifically answered by the Wachowskis in a rare 2001 webchat. In short, Neo does not become The One until he begins to believe in himself (we assume, somewhere toward the end of the film).

Enigma: The character Neo: Is Neo his real self and Thomas Anderson who he is “required” to be?

WachowskiBros: Neo is Thomas Anderson’s potential self.

0

If he did think he was The One, would that have changed his attitudes or behaviors enough that he could not do what he needed to do and would not have been The One?

There are this cases for the Neo (the name neo = one).

  1. belive that is The One
  2. belive that is not the one
  3. Know that is The One
  4. Know that is not The One
  5. not know what it is

All happens in stage, and Neo must follow this steps - stages to reach the upper level.

In the early stage a person, here the Neo lives in the Matrix, but believe that is real.

In the second stage Neo get out of the Matrix and come back that knowing now that is in a Matrix and all that is not real.

In the next stage must find out what is not the real goal of his life, from the moment that realize that inside the matrix the world is not real and must stop believe.

So come the knowledge... so here Neo is in a face that he did not know who is and have some choices here. The correct path is to accept that he dont know yet how it is, so eventually be that one.

If in that stage start to belive that is the One with out first discover the power of the One and be able to use it, then it was going to fail as you say also in your question.

So knowing our self by stating to face that : we do not know our self and we need to discover it.

Morpheas make his choice by knowing or believing in something - the other persons can guide us and help us.

  • Neo != 1; Neo=="new" – The Nate Feb 26 '16 at 0:16
  • @TheNate Yes is very possible because now that you say it, "neo" is the "new" in greek language – Aristos Feb 26 '16 at 9:21
  • 1
    @TheNate Neo is one with letters rearranged. – Yakk May 17 '16 at 19:22
  • Eno, too. That's almost "Enoch" so Q.E.D.. – The Nate May 18 '16 at 20:43

protected by Community Feb 22 at 14:55

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