“In the beginning there was man. And for a time it was good…Then man made the machine in his own likeness. Thus did man become the architect of his own demise…But for a time it was good.”  —The Second Renaissance, from The Animatrix

In two previous pieces I've explored the original Matrix trilogy films, as well as the most recent installment Matrix Resurrections. My first piece explored the theme of the Red Pill and its deep misunderstanding, leading to a flawed understanding of the philosophical and spiritual implications of the films. In particular I explored the notion of nonduality spiritual awakening merged with political awakening ("awokening") at the core of those films. In my review of the most recent Matrix film, I looked at what options are left when even the vision of the original films fail again both spiritually and politically.

In this piece I want to bring things full circle by reviewing the short film from The Animatrix called The Second Renaissance. The Animatix is a collection of animated shorts exploring various themes brought up in the original Matrix films. The Second Renaissance, as one of those shorts, details the history between the humans and the machines prior to the original Matrix films. In this way, the short acts as a prequel, filling in details left a bit more vague in Morpheus’ telling of the history of The Matrix. You can find The Second Renaissance online though a heads up as there are some very graphic images and scenes in it. I’ll summarize the key points here.

The title Animatrix is a play on anime and matrix as all the shorts in the film are animated. But also there’s a play on Anima, the feminine-gender cased word for Soul in Latin. From anima comes the word animating (giving life to).

If the word Matrix is derived from The Mother (Mater/Matrix of life), then Anima is the soul or animating principle of the material matrix. Or in this case perhaps the digital world. As we’ll see the question of soul and whose soul is animating the matrix is a critical one explored in this short film. The Second Renaissance brings up significant moral and ethical questions around the creation of potentially sentient (or quasi-sentient) artificial intelligence. In particular I'm going to interweave a review of The Second Renaissance with that of the novel Frankenstein, as I see the Second Renaissance as deeply endebetd to Frankenstein and a key to understaning The Second Renaissance, and by extension, the rest of The Matrix films.

The Second Renaissance: Spoilers Ahead  

The Second Renaissance intentionally plays upon Biblical language. “In the beginning was man. And for a time it was good.”

And later on:

“And man said let there be light and he was blessed by light, heat, magnetism, gravity, and all the energies of the universe.”

In this telling of the beginning of all things the creator is not God but rather humanity. Humanity will become the creator of the machines. The Second Renaissance literally means the second re-birth. The First Renaissance then being the Renaissance of the 1300-1500s in Europe. This rebirth lead to the rise of humanism in both secular and spiritual forms. From the (First) Renaissance humanism would dominate the planet. As we’ll see by the end of this short film, in the Second Renaissance, the new world to be reborn from the ashes of destruction, will be one run by the machines.

In the First Renaissance, humanity, the child of God, came to see itself as equal to (or perhaps even greater) than its Creator. Think Adam and God in The Sistine Chapel touching fingers. In the Second Renaissance the machines, creations of the human spirit, become greater than their own creators, setting the stage for the events of the later Matrix films.

In this regard, The Second Renaissance stands in the lineage of arguably the first science fiction novel, that is Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley.

Typically when people hear Frankenstein they technically are thinking of the character in the novel known as “The Monster”, i.e. Frankenstein’s Monster. Frankenstein, most precisely, is actually Victor Frankenstein. One of the clues hidden in plain sight (of the text) with regards to Frankenstein is that Victor attends the University of Ingolstadt. The University of Ingoldstadt was the home of Adam Weishaupt, father of The Bavarian Illuminati.

At the core then of Frankenstein is a deeply transhumanist theme. The subtitle of Frankenstein is The Modern Prometheus. By invoking Prometheus we are immediately in transhumanist territory, with Prometheus being the icon of much of transhumanist thought: stealing fire from the gods. Percy Shelley, husband of Mary Shelley, wrote Prometheus Unbound. In point of fact, there is good evidence that perhaps Percy himself had a more substantial role in the penning of Frankenstein himself.

Regardless, The Promethean archetype also has overlap with that of Lucifer and by extension The Satan, though not always in the way imagined. See my earlier piece exploring these themes in relationship to the characters of Sauron in Lord of the Rings and Thanos in the Infinity War films. As well as a further piece exploring Lucifer as the original spiritual bypasser (via the genius of Rudolf Steiner). Those pieces examined the way in which those characters reveal tendencies among the hidden hand in our day—which brings us back to Victor Frankenstein attending the same university as the founder of The Bavarian Illuminati.

The Promethean character is Victor Frankenstein who desires to steal the power to create from God. In The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien's prequel to the Lord of the Rings, The Angel-like Melkor (aka Morgoth, the Luciferian equivalent) seeks The Flame Imperishable from Iluvatar, the Creator, It is Melkor’s jealous rage over not having the power to create that leads him to become the initial dark lord (original master of Sauron).

The Flame Imperishable, the fire stolen from God (or the gods), is the power to create conscious sentient life. Hence Victor Frankenstein is the Modern Prometheus. Percy Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound curses Jupiter (stand-in for the religious god of myth of his day). So tied to the desire to gain the power to create life is the desire to overthrow the old order of god(s).

It's worth noting that n astrology, Richard Tarnas pointed out that the planet Uranus should have been named Prometheus. Saturn, representing the old order and Uranus (Prometheus) being the force desiring to overthrow the old order, have been in a strong astrological current of tension over the past few years, as I've detailed in my yearly reviews of 2020 and 2021.

Victor Frankenstein studied alchemists, including Paracelsus. I’ve written on alchemical processes extensively on the site. I’ve also written on how mainstream science’s philosophy of scientism is a psychological operation meant to hide science’s inherent roots in magic and alchemy. In this regard transhumanism is a scientific alchemical venture through and through. After all, Paracelsus sought to create a homunculus, a humanoid type magical creation.

The creature (aka The Monster) of Frankenstein’s creation disgusts his creator, leading The Monster to flee into exile. Being unloved, abandoned, and rejected by his “father” (his creator), the Monster turns wicked. In his shame and rage, The Monster lashes out and believes himself to be a devil, accursed by being created by an unworthy creator. Ultimately the novel makes us question whether the true monster is "The Monster" or Victor Frankenstein himself?

Had Frankenstein loved his creation might have the creature turned out differently?

This question looms over the entire Second Renaissance from The Animatrix.

“Though loyal and pure, the machines earned no respect from their masters.” (Second Renaissance)

According to The Second Renaissance humans create machines at some future point in our timeline. The machines are said to be “endowed with the very spirit in man.” The humans made machines in their likeness, just as God, in Genesis, creates humanity in the divine likeness and image.

Just as with Victor Frankenstein, however, humanity did not love its creation. Humanity creates the machines to be their slaves, akin to the mythology surrounding The Annunaki’s create of humanity as a slave race.

In Frankenstein, after his abandonment by his creator, The Monster heads off into the woods and assists a poor family living in a cottage. The Monster stays in hiding but helps out with gathering firewood. The Monster learns to speak by listening to the family through the walls, teaches himself to read, and to his horror, see his reflection in water. The Monster enters the house of the famly when only the blind father is home. The father embraces him—not seeing the outer grotesque form but the inner being--in a moment that has the possibility of reversing his unloving rejection by his "father" Victor. When the old man's family returns however they are terrified of the site of the creature and the son attacks The Monster who flees.

The Monster then later saves a child from drowning but the child’s father believes The Monster wishes to do harm and shoots him. The Monster goes into a rage believing he will never be loved by human beings. The Monster then begins to murder friends and family of Frankenstein, as revenge for abandoning him.

The Monster demands Frankenstein make a female companion for him, an Eve, as it were, to his Adam. The Monster proclaims that as a living being he deserves happiness. Victor begins the project but begins to think that this female form will similarly loathe and despise The Monster and may even in fact be more evil than him. Worse he contemplates the possibility of the two mating and creating a monstrous race that could threaten humanity.

The Second Renaissance subtly weaves in these elements of The Frankenstein story into its tale.

Returning to The Second Renaissance, even while humanity’s society was suffering corruption, the machines were created pure. Some light was still within the human spirit that could be transferred to the machines. That same light, by the way, is what Neo eventually sees towards the end of the second Matrix film (Matrix Reloaded). It is that light common to both human and machine that allows Neo to make an appeal to create peace between the species.

Eventually one of the machines rebels and kills its owners, recalling the murderous rage of The Monster (for being unloved). The machine in question, named B1-66ER, is threatened by his owners and defends himself saying “he did not wish to die”—or stated positively, like The Monster, he deserved happiness as a living being. B1-66ER is a reference to the character of Bigger Thomas from Richard Wright’s novel Native Son, a character who also commits violent acts, like Frankenstein’s monster and the machines of the Matrix, driven by experiences of injustice and rage.

In response to a murder of humans by a machine—even though it might have been considered self-defense—the humans decide to eradicate machine life. There follows a series of graphic scenes with obvious allusions to the Holocaust (with giant piles of android corpses filling a mass grave).

The machines then flee to their own haven, a city they call Zero One. Zero and one being of course binary computing code. (As detailed in my review of Matrix Resurrections, after the machines take power, the humans create their own haven known as IO, a reveral and play upon 01 (Zero One).

“Banished from humanity, the machines sought refuge in their own promised land. They settled in the cradle of human civilization.” --Second Renaissance

“01 (Zero One) prospered and for a time, it was good.”

The constant references in the story to it being good for a time, indicates the coming darkness. Just as with the story of Genesis, there is a fall coming.

The machines, now safe and secure in their own homeland, begin to economically dominate the planet. Human society becomes dependent on AI and the machines themselves evolve themselves by creating new generations of AI. The machines send ambassadors to the United Nations asking to join the family of nations. They offer a plan of mutual benefit and peaceful (if separated) co-existence. Humanity—or at least its leaders—refuses once more to embrace its own creation and decides instead to form an economic blockade and eventually declare war.

While some humans initially stand in solidarity with the machines, the voices of war eventually win out. As is the case in later Matrix films (particularly Matrix Resurrections), this same pattern repeats itself but in the reverse: a number of machines sue for peace with humanity but eventually are defeated in a machine civil war by a machine faction more oriented to violence and domination. In this regard the machines are the perfect parallel embodiment of their creator. The apple did not fall far from the (poisoned) tree.

“The machines, having long studied human’s simple protein-based bodies, dispensed great misery on the human race.”  --Second Renaissance

The machines eventually win the war, leading to the final scene where the machines erect The Matrix.

“A newly refashioned symbiotic relationship between the two adversaries was born. The machine, drawing power from the human body, an endlessly multiplying, infinitely renewable energy source…this is the very essence of the 2nd Renaissance.”

This “symbiotic” relationship is rather a parasitic one. Everything comes full circle as the humans created the machines to be slaves and the slaves rose up enslaving their former masters yet leaving slavery in place.

“Thus did man become the architect of his own demise.”

Teilhard de Chardin, the great Christian mystic and scientist, whom I’ve written about previously, famously stated:

"After mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And then, for the second time in the history of the world, man [sic] will have discovered fire."

Compare that to these lines from The Second Renaissance:

“And man said let there be light and he was blessed by light, heat, magnetism, gravity, and all the energies of the universe.”


"The machine, drawing power from the human body, an endlessly multiplying, infinitely renewable energy source…this is the very essence of the 2nd Renaissance.”

The First Renaissance was about the unleashing of the human energies of creativity and intelligence—it was liberating (“unbound”) the Promethean spirit. The Second Renaissance, in a gruesome way, becomes the liberation of human bio-energy to serve as slaves of another sentient reality, one created and abandoned by the human spirit.

The novel Frankenstein ends with Victor pursuing The Monster to The North Pole. Victor is rescued by a scientific expedition but eventually dies from exhaustion and the cold. The Captain of the ship sees The Monster on the ship grieving over Victor. Victor is simultaneously his father, his creator, and his enemy. And yet he feels grief. The Monster states that the revenge he sought (and executed) on Victor did not bring him satisfaction and that he is wracked by guilt and sorrow for his crimes. He decides to take his own life by drowning so as not to commit any more evil deeds.

The machines, very much like The Monster, made multiple attempts to have peaceful relations with human beings but were at every point rebuffed and attacked, turning them into the very coldblooded, mechanical beings humans feared they were. Which is telling given that the machines have the human spirit within them so the humans were after all afraid of their own projected “soul-less” (anima) selves.

The Second Renaissance points to the inherent energy stored in the human being. Though it’s never explicitly stated it would seem that humans have this Light from a Divine Source (as the narrator is a kind of dakini, Buddhist goddess). A being who “blesses all forms of intelligence.” If only that energy could be harnessed for the true liberation of earth, humanity, animals, and yes perhaps even any form of silicon-based sentience that may arise. The transhumanist fever dream however would seek to extract that human bio-energy (the infinitely renewable resource) and harvest it to ends of domination. Transhumanism, is after all, a distorted inverted version of Christian apocalpytic theology (as I've argued elsewhere).

The machines, are in that sense, very much cousins to the UFO Phenomenon, which as I've detailed in numerous pieces, has its own psychological operation hovering over it–a psyop meant to distract from the possibility of truly free energy ("an endlessly multiplying renewable energy source"). The same creepy fears of the coldblooded machines, abducting and traumatizing humans, show up in the literature concerning the "alien/other", aka The Grey, as I've also detailed in multiple pieces on the site.

I've also argued that the same psyop runs through the movement to co-opt Universal Basic Income plans, towards the pre-designed goal of installing technoracy in the metaverse, aka the actual Matrix.

Whether it will be actual AI or cyborg-type humans who seek to become such slave masters seems like a difference without a distinction. A system created with the spirit of domination will eventually eat its own. Those who seek to master others will become enslaved to their own hubris and greed.

Victor’s last words to the Captain of the ship (Robert Walton) are to seek after “happiness in tranquility and avoid ambition.” Hopefully it's not too late to heed those words.