Conversation Between Neo and Oracle (M2)

This conversation is packed with a lot more to explain, so I will be breaking this conversation down into smaller pieces than the conversation in the first movie.

Oracle: Well, come on. I ain't gonna bite ya.

Why is Neo hesitant to approach this time? Remember that Neo has not seen the Oracle since the conversation they had in M1. (Neo visited the Oracle's abandoned apartment at the beginning of M2, unable to find the Oracle - M1 was probably the last time he saw her). That means Neo only saw the Oracle's shell last time he saw her since Neo didn't yet believe he was the One. This time, Neo is looking at the Oracle's code the same way he saw Seraph's code, realizing she is probably not human, which is why she tells Neo she's not going to bite. He doesn't quite know what to think yet, because all of the other code in the Matrix is green - even the code of the Agents.

Oracle: Come around here, and let me have a look at ya. My goodness, look at you! You turned out all right, didn't you?

How Neo looks is no surprise to the Oracle. She already knew Neo is the One, and she already knew he'd fall in love with Trinity. In fact, Neo is the sixth One that the Oracle has seen in her lifetime. But in M1, she allowed Neo to believe that he is not the One, and it wouldn't look good if she told Neo she knew all along that he is the One and that she really just needed him to help her create the Smith virus.

Oracle: How do you feel?
Neo: I, uh...
Oracle: I know you're not sleeping. We'll get to that.

If you run through this conversation in your mind, you'll realize that the Oracle never does talk to Neo specifically about Neo's difficulty sleeping. But believe it or not, the Oracle actually does "get to that" later in the conversation. Likewise, we will also "get to that" later.

Oracle: Why don't you come and have a sit this time?
Neo: Maybe I'll stand.
Oracle: Well, suit yourself.
Neo: I felt like sitting.
Oracle: I know.

Here, we see a continuation of Neo's struggle with choice vs. fate. He doesn't like the idea that the Oracle was right about the choice he would have to make about Morpheus. He made that choice, not her. He also chooses to sit because he wants to, not because the Oracle invited him to; Neo doesn't believe in that "fate crap". The Oracle acknowledges Neo with, "I know". She is sincere - Neo is legitimately making certain choices, but she still knows what those choices will be, so again, from her perspective, Neo is "fated" to make certain choices.

Oracle: So. Let's get the obvious stuff out of the way.
Neo: You're not human, are you?
Oracle: Well it's tough to get any more obvious than that.

The reason it's "tough to get any more obvious than that" is because the Oracle's green code eminates bright green light (see Matrix System: Prime Program), while Seraph's code appears gold. Both appearances do not match that of humans in the Matrix. For more on the gold code of Seraph and the Oracle, see Seraph and Oracle.

Neo: If I had to guess, I'd say you're a program from the machine world. So is he.
Oracle: So far, so good.

It has been six months since Neo first saw the Matrix as code in M1. Neo knows very well what the code of humans look like, whether hackers or slaves of the Matrix. He also knows what agents look like. Given that the code of Seraph is gold and the Oracle's code gives off a bright light, this doesn't leave much room for doubt about where they come from.

Neo: But if that's true, that can mean you are a part of this system, another kind of control.
Oracle: Keep going.
Neo: I suppose the most obvious question is, how can I trust you?
Oracle: Bingo! It is a pickle, no doubt about it. The bad news is there's no way if you can really know whether I'm here to help you or not. So it's really up to you. You just have to make up your own damn mind to either accept what I'm going to tell you, or reject it.

Even though the Oracle is leaving it up to Neo, the Oracle knows exactly what needs to be said in order for him to actually trust her. Neo wants to feel in control of his own mind, and that's exactly what the Oracle is telling Neo to do: make up his own mind. If "diplomacy" is "letting others have your way", the Oracle would be the world's best diplomat.

Oracle: Candy?
Neo: Do you already know if I'm going to take it?
Oracle: Wouldn't be much of an Oracle if I didn't.
Neo: But if you already know, how can I make a choice?
Oracle: Because you didn't come here to make the choice, you've already made it. You're here to try to understand why you made it. I thought you'd have figured that out by now.

This is yet another continuation of Neo's ongoing struggle to understand choice vs. fate. The Oracle is trying to get Neo to understand that while Neo is legitimately making his own choices, every choice he makes is already made. She can already see them. All that is left is to understand the reasoning behind every choice, and that is the key to this conversation, as we will soon see.

As for the candy, I have a hard time buying into the idea that the candy (which resembles the red pill in M1, by the way) is just a piece of candy so we can connect better with the Oracle's "sweet old lady" personality. The candy has to be a program.

So again, the only real question for me is what the candy program did to Neo. For my theory about that, see Oracle: Baking Cookies.

Neo: Why are you here?
Oracle: Same reason.

"Same reason" as who? Same reason as Neo, and the reason Neo is here is to understand a choice he will have to make. This will become clearer as the conversation progresses.

Oracle: I love candy.

With my above candy theory in mind, this line carries quite a double meaning.

Oracle: We're all here to do what we're all here to do. I'm interested in one thing, Neo, the future.

I take her first sentence to mean that no machine or program - not even an exile - can deny its core purpose. "We programs are all just doing what we were created to do." Neo asked the Oracle why she's here, and she's beginning to tell him by first stating that she is, by her very created design, interested in the future (survival).

The Keymaker makes a similar statement later in the movie to an agent when he says, "We only do what we're meant to do." (In other words, he doesn't deserve to be killed by the system because he's only doing what the system created him for.) I will support this further on the Smith: Purpose page as well as on the Oracle page.

Oracle: And believe me, I know - the only way to get there [the future] is together.
Neo: Are there other programs like you?
Oracle: Oh, well, not like me. But... Look, see those birds? At some point a program was written to govern them. A program was written to watch over the trees, and the wind, the sunrise, and sunset. There are programs running all over the place. The ones doing their job, doing what they were meant to do, are invisible. You'd never even know they were here. But the other ones, well, we hear about them all the time.

You might think the Oracle's quote (specifically, the part in bold) contradicts the point I make above about the fact that programs cannot deny their core purpose. But think about what the Oracle is negating by saying "the other ones". There is a big difference between talking about programs that are "not doing what they were meant to do" and talking about programs that are "doing what they were not meant to do". The first scenario means that programs go against their core programming, and the second scenario means that programs fulfill their core programming but do other naughty things in addition to their core programming. I think the Oracle is speaking in the latter context, especially considering how similar the choice of words are between the Keymaker and the Oracle:

The Keymaker is free from the system but still continues to make keys, doing what he is meant to do. In addition, he is also doing what he is not meant to do by the mere fact that he chose exile. Even if he sits on his couch eating Cheetos while he watches football all day, he is still compelled to make keys, and yet he would still be doing what he is not supposed to be doing by avoiding deletion.

Neo: I've never heard of them.
Oracle: Of course you have. Every time you've heard someone say they saw a ghost, or an angel. Every story you've ever heard about vampires, werewolves, or aliens is the system assimilating some program that's doing something they're not supposed to be doing.

This is the strongest piece of evidence coming from the Oracle that supports my theory that programs cannot deny their core purpose. The Oracle is elaborating on what she previously said about the "other ones", and notice she is very clear about the negation this time: it's not about programs denying purpose, it's about programs doing things in addition to their purpose, mainly in terms of programs choosing exile.

I also believe this statement of the Oracle gives insight into what is actually going on in "Beyond" from the Animatrix, which I will go over in more detail on the Animatrix: Beyond page.

Neo: Programs hacking programs. Why?
Oracle: They have their reasons, but usually a program chooses exile when it faces deletion.
Neo: And why would a program be deleted?
Oracle: Maybe it breaks down. Maybe a better program is created to replace it - happens all the time, and when it does, a program can either choose to hide here, or return to The Source.

Finally, this is the last piece of evidence in this conversation that supports the theory that programs cannot deny their core purpose. Regarding the Oracle's use of the word "usually", it is probably programs' ability to continue carrying out their core purpose that actually motivates them to choose exile in the first place. For example, every time a particular kind of insect, bird or animal goes extinct, the program that governs that animal would have absolutely no reason to hang around and would probably choose deletion. But since the Source and backdoors still exist, the Keymaker can still fulfill his core purpose of making keys.

Oracle: "...or return to The Source."
Neo: The machine mainframe?
Oracle: Yes. Where you must go. Where the path of The One ends. You've seen it, in your dreams, haven't you? The door made of light?
Neo: [nods]

Remember when the Oracle said above, "We'll get to that", regarding Neo's trouble sleeping? Here is where the Oracle finally does. Of course, we actually already knew this dream is what keeps Neo from sleeping. The dream is what woke Neo up in the beginning of M2.

Oracle: What happens when you go through the door?
Neo: I see Trinity, and something happens, something bad. She starts to fall, and then I wake up.
Oracle: Do you see her die?
Neo: No.
Oracle: You have the sight now, Neo. You are looking at the world without time.

Note the Oracle's use of the word "now" when she says, "You have the sight now, Neo." I believe this confirms that Neo did not have the sight last time he saw her six months ago in M1. That tells me that Neo's sight is not merely a symptom of being the One. Neo is the summation of rejection in the Matrix, and there is no rejection whatsoever that would "cause" accurate visions of the future. If rejecting a rule in the Matrix produced vision of the future, what rule would that be, exactly? There is no rule for which rejecting it produces vision of the future.

So, apparently, Neo's sight did not happen as a result of the summation of rejection he carries. To read my theory about how Neo got his vision, see Oracle: Baking Cookies.

It may be confusing at first that Neo says he does not see Trinity die, because he does see someone smash into the roof of a car. The very first time we see Neo's dream, there is no reason for us to suspect that Neo will catch Trinity before she hits the ground, so we assume Trinity does crash into the car. But Neo does not assume this: Neo does not know at this point if it is Trinity or the Agent falling into the roof of the car.

Now, here's the key to why the Oracle gave Neo part of her eyes. Notice this is actually the first time that the Oracle has ever asked Neo a question she herself does not know the answer to. The Oracle does not know if Trinity dies, because she does not yet know if Neo is going to choose the right or the left door after talking to the Architect, which brings us to the the entire point of the Oracle's meeting with Neo:

Neo: Then why can't I see what happens to her?
Oracle: We can never see past the choices we don't understand.
Neo: Are you saying I have to choose whether Trinity lives or dies?
Oracle: No. You've already made the choice, now you have to understand it.
Neo: No, I can't do that. I won't.
Oracle: You have to.
Neo: Why?
Oracle: Because you're The One.
Neo: What if I can't? What happens if I fail?
Oracle: Then Zion will fall.

The key to this entire conversation is to realize that the Oracle cannot see past a certain choice Neo is going to make if Neo himself doesn't understand the choice. Nor can the Oracle see past a choice she makes herself if she doesn't understand it. To repeat her words, "We can never see past the choices we don't understand." This certainly makes sense. From a computational point of view, how would the Oracle handle certain input in order to see the future when the source of that input is confused? The Oracle needs Neo to understand why he chooses the left door so that the Oracle can see what happens after that.

This explains why Neo's "sight of the world without time" so conveniently focused on one single vision, namely the vision of Trinity dying. The Oracle wanted to burn that image into Neo's mind so that emotion would overcome him and cause him to choose the left door, despite the Architect's infallible argument of perfect logic. But the Oracle also needed Neo to think a lot about the vision so that maybe he would come to understand his decision before the conversation was over.

Oracle: Our time is up. Listen to me, Neo. You can save Zion if you reach The Source, but to do that you will need the Keymaker.
Neo: The Keymaker?
Oracle: Yes, he disappeared some time ago. We did not know what happened to him until now. He's being held prisoner by a very dangerous program, one of the oldest of us. He is called the Merovingian, and he will not let him go willingly.
Neo: What does he want?
Oracle: What do all men with power want? More power.
Oracle: Be there, at that exact time, and you will have a chance.

Referring to the bolded statement above, how in the world could the Oracle not know what happened to the Keymaker until recently? And why was the Keymaker scheduled for deletion? For my theory about this, see Keymaker.

Seraph: We must go.
Oracle: Seems like every time we meet I've got nothing but bad news. I'm sorry about that, I surely am. But for what it's worth, you've made a believer out of me. Good luck, kiddo.

And here we finally arrive at the moment of truth. Neo may or may not have come to understand his decision to walk through the left door to save Trinity, but no matter - he made a believer out of her. Because the Oracle still can't see past Neo's choice to come, it must mean that Neo is going to make an irrational choice, not a rational one! If Neo were to choose the right door, it would be rational, while a choice in favor of the left door is totally irrational since it seems to favor the life of his lover over the entire human race. So, even though the Oracle cannot see Neo's choice, she is still certain of what it will be. She just can't see past it since Neo doesn't understand the choice.

The Oracle is now off to devise plans for phase 2 of her grand scheme under the strong belief that Neo will choose the left door.

Back to Conversations