Conversation Between Neo and the Oracle (M3)

Oracle: That's it. That's the secret. You've got to use your hands.
Sati: Why?
Oracle: Cookies need love like everything does.
Sati: Neo!
Oracle: I was hoping to have these done before you got here. Oh well. Sati, honey, I think it's time for a tasting. Take the bowl to Seraph and find out if they're ready.
Sati: Okay.

While it's easy to assume the Oracle is just playing a grandmother role to Sati by showing her how to bake cookies, as I argue in Oracle: Baking Cookies, the Oracle uses cookies for a lot more than just pleasure. The Oracle is training her new apprentice. See Conversations: Neo & Rama-Kandra for further support on this.

Sati: [to Neo] I'm glad you got out.
Neo: Me too.

This cute exchange would be kind of like escaping Hell itself, and a child says to you, "I'm glad you got out." What an understatement! Neo very well could have spent years trapped in Mobil Avenue (provided his body in the real world was also taken care of, of course). See Matrix System: Backdoors for support of Mobil Avenue and its symbolism of Hell.

Oracle: So, do you recognize me?
Neo: A part of you.
Oracle: Yeah, that's how it works. Some bits you lose, some bits you keep. I don't yet recognize my face in the mirror, but... I still love candy. [offers Neo a piece of red candy]
Neo: No, thank you.

The Oracle allowed Rama-Kandra to provide the Merovingian with the deletion code to her outer shell in exchange for handing Sati over to the Oracle's protection (for more on this, see Conversations: Neo & Rama-Kandra. For the real life reason why the Oracle changed, see Merovingian: Oracle's Punishment.

Oracle: Remember what you were like when you first walked through my door, jittery as a junebug? And now just look at you. You sure did surprise me, Neo, and you still do.
Neo: You gave me a few surprises, too.

What? Neo surprised the Oracle? How can anyone surprise the Oracle if she already knows what will happen?

Remember, in the park, the Oracle asked Neo whether Trinity dies or not in his dream. The Oracle couldn't see past Neo's choice of the left door because Neo himself did not understand the choice yet. Neo must have surprised Oracle when he was able to prevent Trinity from dying, not only by catching her but also by jump-starting her heart.

Oracle: I hope I helped.
Neo: You helped me to get here, but my question is why? Where does this go? Where does it end?
Oracle: I don't know.
Neo: You don't know or you won't tell me?
Oracle: I told you before. No one can see beyond a choice they don't understand, and I mean no one.
Neo: What choice?
Oracle: It doesn't matter. It's my choice.

Because the Oracle does not understand her own choice that she must make (it is a choice that goes against all odds and therefore must be based on faith or hope, the "quintessential human delusion" according to the Architect), she does not know what will happen in the end. She sincerely cannot tell Neo what will happen.

So, what choice is the Oracle speaking of? My best guess is that the Oracle has to choose between giving Smith a virus that will conquer him vs. allowing Smith to take her over. Allowing Smith to take her over is one of the most "irrational" things she could possibly do since the odds are stacked against her to an overwhelming degree (remember, Neo has to get into Machine City for her plan to work), and there would be no way she could see past this "delusional hope", as the Architect would likely call it. Once she allows Smith to take her over, Smith would have the power to destroy not only the Matrix but Machine City as well. How could anyone understand such a crazy risk?

This is the biggest indication so far out of all three movies that the Oracle is a very highly evolved machine. She is speaking of making a choice that she herself does not understand. The Architect would see this as just being irrational, but remember, through this irrationality, the Oracle is able to accomplish unthinkably impossible things that the Architect could never have done himself.

Oracle: I have mine to make, same as you have yours.
Neo: Does that include what things to tell me and what not to tell me?
Oracle: Of course not.
Neo: Then why didn't you tell me about the Architect? Why didn't you tell me about Zion, the Ones before me - why didn't you tell me the truth?
Oracle: Because it wasn't time for you to know.
Neo: Who decided it wasn't time?
Oracle: You know who. [She points at the Temet Nosce sign above the door]
Neo: I did. [Oracle nods]

What is most brilliant about how the Oracle handles this situation is that she is able to convince Neo that he is ultimately responsible for the fact that she withheld information from him in the first movie. She could have very easily led Neo to believe he is the One, but then he probably wouldn't have risked himself to rescue Morpheus, and he wouldn't have been killed by Smith, leading to the formation of the Smith virus. The only reason Neo decided he wasn't the One is because the Oracle said all of the perfect things that would cause Neo to doubt himself.

Neo: Then I think it's time for me to know a few more things.
Oracle: So do I.
Neo: Tell me how I separated my mind from my body without jacking in. Tell me how I stopped four sentinels by thinking it. Tell me just what the hell is happening to me.
Oracle: The power of the One extends beyond this world. It reaches from here all the way back to where it came from.
Neo: Where?
Oracle: The Source.

When most people hear these lines, they assume the explanation for Neo's powers has left the realm of science fiction and entered the realm of fantasy and religious miracle. However, there is absolutely nothing about this explanation that asks the audience to suspend belief. This is probably the number one reason why so many people were disappointed by the third movie, and therefore clearing this issue up will probably help with enjoyment of the trilogy more than anything else. The Oracle always uses mysterious soothsayer language to describe things that can actually be boiled down to mathematics, computer science and technology. See Neo's Powers for a full explanation of Neo's powers.

Oracle: That's what you felt [the Source] when you touched those Sentinels. But you weren't ready for it. You should be dead, but apparently you weren't ready for that, either.

How did Neo touch the sentinels? Again, see the "Neo's Powers" section (or more specifically, Neo's Powers: Stop Sentinels). As for the rest of what the Oracle says ("You should be dead..."), see Neo: In Mobil Avenue for an explanation.

Neo: The Architect told me that if I didn't return to the Source, Zion would be destroyed by midnight tonight.
Oracle: [rolls eyes] Please... You and I may not be able to see beyond our own choices, but that man can't see past any choices.
Neo: Why not?
Oracle: He doesn't understand them - he can't. To him they are variables in an equation.

Here we get confirmation of what the Architect's TVs are all about. They show all most likely choices that his subject can make at any given time, and he's probably constantly looking at probabilities of each choice and branches of events that could happen based on each choice. Think of the Architect as a glorified computer chess game. He can never know what his opponent will do, so he can only plan ahead based on the most likely possibilities.

Oracle: One at a time each variable must be solved and countered. That's his purpose: to balance an equation.
Neo: What's your purpose?
Oracle: To unbalance it.

It is quite interesting to note that the Architect and Oracle would be considered opposites of each other in terms of their purpose within the system. In the original Matrix versions that failed, the Architect made sure that everything had an opposite or negative, and yet still his model didn't work. He kept a perfectly balanced equation, and still this wasn't enough. What the Architect had not realized, however, was that he himself needed an opposite before the system could be truly complete. Not only was there a need for the equation itself to be balanced, there needed to be a balance in forces manipulating the equation.

Neo: Why? What do you want?
Oracle: I want the same thing you want, Neo. And I am willing to go as far as you are to get it.
Neo: The end of the war. [Oracle nods] Is it going to end?
Oracle: One way, or another.

"One way, or another" means the war will definitely end, but the Oracle doesn't know if it will end by the defeat of Smith or by the victory of Smith and eradication of all machine and human life. This serves as further proof that the Oracle truly does not understand the choice she must make about how to deal with Smith: she cannot see past her choice. There are also other irrational choices that must be made in order for everything to work, such the choice Neo must make to travel to Machine City, and the need for Niobe to give up her ship for Neo to use. Since the Oracle cannot see past any of these choices, the Oracle truly is operating on faith/belief.

Neo: Can Zion be saved?
Oracle: I'm sorry, I don't have the answer to that question, but if there's an answer, there's only one place you're going to find it.
Neo: Where?
Oracle: You know where. And if you can't find the answer, then I'm afraid there may be no tomorow for any of us.

When the Oracle says, "You know where," how can she assume that Neo knows he must travel to Machine City? Remember that the Oracle is the one who planted in Neo visions of power lines going to Machine City. She gave Neo certain parts of her sight that she needed him to have. See Oracle: Baking Cookies for more on this.

Neo: What does that mean?
Oracle: Everything that has a beginning has an end. I see the end coming. I see the darkness spreading. I see death. And you are all that stands in his way.
Neo: Smith.
Oracle: [nods] Very soon he's going to have the power to destroy this world, but I believe he won't stop there; he can't. He won't stop until there's nothing left at all.

As you probably recall from M3, the Oracle's line "Everything that has a beginning has an end" is spoken by Oracle-Smith as a way for the Oracle to communicate to Neo one last time, prompting him to give himself up. This is the line she is referencing.

The Oracle talks about Smith not wanting to stop until there is "nothing left at all." When she speaks of Smith destroying "this world", she is probably referring to the world of the Matrix, and the Oracle also believes Smith would continue from there to destroy Machine City, until there is no life left on Earth. The Oracle's words could also be taken more literally, where "this world" refers to Earth. In that case, the Oracle would have to believe that Smith would somehow get himself into outer space and proceed to destroy the entire universe.

In either case, if this were to happen and Smith actually completed his mission of destroying all life on Earth (or in the universe), would he then commit suicide, since the purpose of all life is to end?

Neo: What is he?
Oracle: He is you. Your opposite, your negative, the result of the equation trying to balance itself out.
Neo: What if I can't stop him?
Oracle: One way or another, Neo, this war is going to end. Tonight, the future of both worlds will be in your hands... or in his.

Smith is apparently just a result of the equation trying to balance itself out. Many people take this to mean that the Smith virus happens with every iteration of the Matrix, making Smith the sixth Smith virus just like Neo is the sixth Neo. While it is true that some form of Smith probably existed in other Matrix versions, it is very unlikely that he had the ability to copy himself in previous versions, which means Neo would have been able to defeat Smith in every battle they fought. To read further support for this, see Debunked: Previous Smith Viruses.

Also, we know that both the Architect as well as the Oracle manipulate the equation in opposite directions. If Smith is a result of "the equation trying to balance itself out", that means he is a result of either the Architect's or the Oracle's efforts. Which of the two is it? See Smith: Mother Oracle.

And, for a more comprehensive analysis of Smith being Neo's opposite or negative, see Neo: Neo's Opposite.

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