Jungian Psychoanalysis and Evangelion

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JFaulkner [ANF]
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Postby JFaulkner [ANF] » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:35 pm

Reply part 8

Aletheia wrote:Most likely we are, it will become much more obvious when I translate my idea of subjective/objective opposition using terminology typical for continental philosophy to a Same/Other opposition. There, now it is much more clear (I hope) that I meant exactly what you described as internal and external reality.
OK, thanks for the clarification Image. I think there is a strong "existentialist" theme in Eva myself.

Aletheia wrote:There is a subtle, yet important difference between the animus and the anima according to Jung. The anima is the unconscious feminine component of a man and contains the ?feminine traits? such as submissiveness, need for relatedness, emotionality and gentleness. The animus is the unconscious masculine component of a woman and contains the ?masculine traits? such as dominance, need for independence, rationality and aggressiveness.
Yes, I agree with this.

Aletheia wrote:Jung was confident that this is the only possible combination, in other words that there are no women who have dominant masculine traits as their ego and dominant feminine traits in their unconsciousness. Personally I, as well as many current day psychoanalysis theoreticians, believe that Jung?s anima/animus theory is particularly inept and does not adequately reflect reality. Still, since we are looking at NGE from Jungian perspective, I decided to stress the fact that Asuka strongly tries to underline her ?masculine? traits. Therefore Jung would probably have to interpret it a sort of ?overintegration? with her animus, probably as a result of trauma and negative experiences concerning her mother, Asuka chose to reject her more ?feminine? traits which she associates with her mother and ?become? her own animus figure. This is the best Jungian interpretation of Asuka I can come up with, but still I personally find it too far fetched.
You mention a "traumatic" experience, and Asuka did have that with her mother (e.g. Ep. 22 "Mama, Mama, Please, don't kill me! No ! I am not Mama's doll. I will think for myself, and I will live on my own."). This might have been repressed and activated her animus (i.e. unconscious processes pertaining to the animus impinge upon the conscious ego), resulting in "masculine traits" (like high intellect since she graduated from uni at 14). I don't think this is too far fetched.

Also, IMHO, I think it has to be remembered that the animus is just part of the unconscious of a female and not the totality. For example, there is the "mother archetype" (basically, it consists of characteristics of the mother and exists in both males and females; hence, Jung did not discount the possibility of a woman having feminine traits in the unconscious) which can form a mother-complex (I won't explain it here, but it is detailed in CW9(i), ChapterII). A "negative mother complex" means that a woman will resist aspects of the "mother" consciously; to quote from CW9(i), PG90:
The motto of this type is: Anything, so long as it is not like Mother!
And on PG91, my bold and italics:
Again, resistance to the mother can sometimes result in a spontaneous development of intellect for the purpose of creating a sphere of interest in which the mother has no place .... [b]Intellectual development is often accompanied by the emergence of masculine traits in general.
So another way for Asuka to show masculine traits is to have a negative mother complex (which also fits in with the Asuka quote mentioned). Also, a woman with a negative mother complex can have masculine traits in the ego, so Jung didn't discount that possibility either.

So I agree with you that the anima/animus concept has its limitations in reality, but I think it is entirely possible to give an explanation of Asuka's behaviour using Jung, without being too far-fetched. Also, with Jung, a woman can have masculine traits in their ego and/or feminine traits in the unconscious.

Aletheia wrote:I would rather describe her through a "will to power" Nitezshean perspective, an Adler's "need for superiority" or even Hegel's "master and slave dialectic".
I agree that you might be able describe her in these terms, but IMO, it might be harder to include factors such as Asuka's Evangelion having Kyouko's soul. Also, I believe Asuka had some "dreams" e.g. I think there was one where there was a crowd of people, and I think Jung can help to explain these - e.g. Jung found that crowds in dreams are a common sign of unconscious unrest.

Of course, feel free to come up with your own threads with your analyzes using these frameworks.

Originally posted on: 23-Apr-2007, 02:56 GMT

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Postby Tom Servo [ANF] » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:35 pm

JFaulkner wrote:I only brought up the analogy with Plato's soul to highlight that the unconscious is similar in that it seems to exhibit a sort of independence from our control. It wasn't a literal comparison, and in any case, it has been repeated many times by Jung that his conception of soul is not immortal and more an empirical concept rather than a metaphysical one,
In Eva it seems that souls are not merely the unconscious of each person, but are actual physical phenomena that can be measured using instruments and can be manipulated using electromagnetic fields (weaving a story). As we know Kozo worked previous to his employment at Gehirn in a "metabiology department" of a university (I assume) somewhere in Japan. It seems Nerv can also replicate souls to an extent and literally write them to either optical or magnetic disks, but they are only capable of replicating the animal part of the soul, or what Freud called the Id, or what in the qalabah is called the nepchesh, or what is called the 1st or 2nd circuit by tim leary - all this suggests that what are called souls in NGE are just patterns constrained into flowforms in the aura, AT field, soul, ego border, whatever you wish to name it. Standard sci-fi stuff really - and Eva is a sci-fi show.

How would you explain the Angel’s/Eva’s souls actually manifesting in physicality as the core/central Sun? (in the lilim it seems to be more energetic in nature as a point of red light).

Firstly, I wasn't claiming the physical Yui or Kyouko were animas, but that Yui and Kyouko's souls were the animas.
Oh, I thought you meant that Kyoko, for example, was only symbolic of Asuka's unconscious - which made sense to me as Kyoko exhibits all that Asuka tries to draw a curtain across, which I thought was a interesting thought. This simply does not work for Shinji (I ask again: How does Yui embody Shinji's unconscious?) however and isn't applicable to Rei as we don't know enough about All That Stuff.

Incidentally, Ramiel has the exact shape of one of Jung's constructions, which is the "Quaternio"
Yep, the octahedron is also one of the geometric shapes exhibited in the merkavah - and that ties into the positioning of the rooms in the pyramids in giza... but that's another story…

I'm not going to comment on the various other points here as I don't feel it's going to illuminate any paths worth walking down. You clarified a few things you said which I appreciate you for taking the time doing - but I'm not going to quote that and respond here.

Originally posted on: 25-Apr-2007, 08:28 GMT

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Postby Soluzar [ANF] » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:35 pm

Further to our delightful discussion in the thread which has since been locked, I feel that the time is right for me to explain the specific parts of JFaulkner's theory which I feel are erroneous or dubious at best. It is not without some hesitation that I undertake this task, for a number of reasons. First of all, I don't believe that anything good can come of this, since hostility is not easily forgotten or set aside. Second of all, I have not taken the slightest interest in Evangelion for probably over a year, and my familiarity with the material is lacking. I have no wish to involve myself in this topic.

All that said, I refuse to leave things as they are, because that would imply that I don't have any genuine objections to the theory and never did, which would make everything I have said merely empty rhetoric.

I'll just throw out some comments right here, and see what sort of response I get. Short of watching the whole series again, I simply cannot go into depth on all of these points at this time, but
JFaulkner wrote:The Evangelions represent the unconscious, LCL represents the Libido, the soul inside EVA-01 represents part of Shinji's anima, the soul inside EVA-02 represents Asuka's anima, Rei is part of Shinji's anima, Eva-00 has no resident soul and AT Field represents barrier between consciousness and unconscious.
I have any number of problems with this paragraph, which can be summed up by saying that I think that several of the symbolic representations have been assigned in a somewhat abitrary manner. Especially I would have to challenge the notion that Rei is part of Shinji's anima.

It seems quite readily apparent from the anime that Rei's soul is that of Lilith. The most notable piece of evidence for this conclusion is that she is recognised by Kaworu as being similar to him. There is of course, much more. In that case, I would say that she contains little that connects her to Shinji from a psychological point of view. Her physical form is somehow connected to Shinji's mother, which is the basis for their rather unusual connection, but that is a biological matter.

I'm assuming when you say that the Evangelions represent the unconcious, you are thinking of the "berserk" status of an uncontrolled Evangelion. I can't really accept that, since there is a consciousness at work even then, but it is a point that I feel inadequate to argue. I would have to say that regarding the matter of the souls of the Evangelions, I do not approve of the notion that they represent the anima of the pilot, but I do see where you're coming from.
Tom Servo wrote:Does Yui really embody Shinji's anima? Does Kyoko really embody Asuka's anima? It's more patent with Asuka as she seems to be caught between her animus of 'strong, confident girl' and her anima of 'suicidal, lonely girl' which her mother encapsulates perfectly, but Kyoko is still a person in the show - I don't believe it to be symbolic to the extent as you say - but it was enough to give me pause. It's harder to see with Shinji tho', you'll have to explain that (or maybe you have, I haven't read your second post yet) a bit more.
Quite so. Your second version of this is better, but...
the soul inside EVA-01 (Yui's soul) represents the mother image in Shinji's unconscious, the soul inside EVA-02 (Kyouko's soul) represents the mother image in Asuka's unconscious.
It can hardly be considered revolutionary, or even noteworthy that the soul of a character's mother represents the mother image in his unconscious. It falls into the realm of blindingly obvious. I see that you're trying to use it as support for your argument of Evangelions as representing the unconscious, but I renew my former objection to that notion, and support Aletheia in her objections to this particuar
I would further ask what led you the the conclusion that EVA-00 has noesident soul? It seems to me that EVA-00 should not be able to "go berserk" if this was the case. If the pilot is not in control, then who or what is? I would also draw your attention to the scene in which Shinji finds an image of Rei when he attempts to synchronise with EVA-00. Finally, I have to concede that within a Jungian framework, LCL would be ideally suited to represent Libedo. That is the one point from this paragraph where I will freely admit that you make an excellent case.

Now let me move on to your later remarks regarding Rei and EVA-00, since that is where we primarily disagree. I don't like your theories, nor do I find them convincing, but I can most easily argue with you when I believe we are discussing matters of fact.
JFaulkner wrote:Now why is Rei part of Shinji's anima - well we have Yui' s soul is Shinji's anima, but in this framework, this anima is incomplete. Rei is the missing part, and Rei resembles Yui and has the soul of Lilith (Red Cross Book - note that Jung also had a book called the "Red Book," whether this is of any relevance or not is another thing). Lilith is a generic life-source, from which we immediately see the resemblance to undifferentiated Libido, from which we see that Rei is a mixture of the conscious Yui and a generic unconscious part.
I fail to see how you can possibly draw the conclusion that Rei has anything of the "conscious Yui" in her makeup, especially when the "conscious Yui" is demonstrated to be elsewhere (EVA-01) for the whole of the series. Unless you have worded this in a way which I am unable to understand, this seems like an error to me.
This points to Rei being another mother-image, although representing contents which are slightly more conscious than the contents represented by Yui's soul, because of the conscious body. Also, having a generic unconscious part (or soul), Rei can synch with EVA-00 even if it has no resident soul (i.e. EVA-00 symbolizes an unconscious not designated to any particular person), and being part of Shinji's anima, she can synch with EVA-01 as well.
I'll give you points for a brave attempt, but you haven't demonstrated that Rei is part of Shinji's anima, you have merely stated it. You haven't actually offered anything that I recognise as a reason, and since the psychological makeup of Rei is entirely drawn from Lilith, I find it unlikely.
Ramifications: EVA-00 going berserk is due to the influence of Yui in Rei through the generic unconscious (i.e. Shinji's unconscious),
I'm willing to concede that this gives me pause for thought, but it still doesn't seem like the most reasonable explanation. It wouldn't be consistent with anything else in the anime, so I'm going to fall back on the notion that EVA-00 has a soul, just like every other Evangelion. Unless you can explain this notion better, that is.
This sounds convoluted, so I may think about EVA-00 having some sort of soul derived from Lillith or something in the future.
I suggest that you do. I still believe that this framework is irrelevant to Evangelion, and constitutes an extremely resistant reading, but if you're hell-bent on making it work, you need to incorporate this idea.


These are the foundational arguments of your theory. They appear to me not to mesh together, and in some cases, to contradict the observed facts. I await with baited breath your complete and total dismissal of my arguments. Let it not be said that I failed to make any effort at all. It may have been a poor attempt, but it was not non-existant.

Originally posted on: 26-Jul-2007, 00:24 GMT

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Postby JFaulkner [ANF] » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:35 pm

Now isn't this better than throwing cyber-**** at each other?

I will try to respond if I get time, but no guarantees. But for now, I'd like to point out that you're not the first to dislike my Jungian analysis, quite the opposite. Most have completely dismissed it. Either they don't like Jung, they don't like using external frameworks or they think I'm overanalysing.

Originally posted on: 26-Jul-2007, 00:33 GMT

Soluzar [ANF]
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Postby Soluzar [ANF] » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:35 pm

JFaulkner wrote:Now isn't this better than throwing cyber-**** at each other?
Only marginally. I'd like to clarify a few matters, if I may.

I still maintain that you misunderstood me in the other thread. As much as I'll admit to becoming hostile after your response, I take exception only to your dismissing anyone else's work as "pseudo-intellectual horseplay". I did not originally mean any offense when I said that your work is on the same level as anyone else's. That might be hard for you to believe, but I maintain that it is the truth. Zugzwang may be out there, but I genuinely believe he makes a good point every once in a while. His work deserves as much respect as your own, which is to say that at the least you should refute it on a point-for-point basis rather than labelling it "pseudo-intellectual horseplay".

As I have previously stated, I take no interest in discussions of Evangelion these days. It takes a lot to draw me out, partly because I'm aware of the limits of what I can contribute, and partly because I don't wish spend my time on this topic. In fact, I don't really have a lot of sympathy for the online fanbase. That you could draw me out on this is indicative of the degree to which I was irritated by the comment.

I have read many of your posts since you first came to this site, although I have not felt moved to respond until now. Whether it is intentional or not, I perceive you as being dismissive of the contributions of others. To judge from a comment I once saw you make in response to MDWigs, perhaps that is because you are of the "old guard" of online Eva fandom, but I won't pretend to like it.

I will try to respond if I get time, but no guarantees. But for now, I'd like to point out that you're not the first to dislike my Jungian analysis, quite the opposite. Most have completely dismissed it.
I'll be the first to say that I think there is a strong component of analytical psychology making up the subtext of Evangelion, and even making up the primary text at some points. I object to your specific assignations of symbolism, and to your reductive selection of Jung and only Jung as your framework more than to any of your ideas. I also find it frustrating the way you're apparently not willing to engage with ideas outside your own specific framework, or to use your ideas in conjunction with a more direct reading.

Please feel free to take your time. This topic is going nowhere, at least for another year.

Either they don't like Jung, they don't like using external frameworks or they think I'm overanalysing.
I'm pretty close to neutral on Jung. I haven't read him in enough depth to like or dislike. I think his ideas are fascinating in some cases, particular as they pertain to gender roles. I also think that some of his notions are so far out there as to be laughable, such as the collective unconscious. I don't like using external frameworks, that much is true. I believe in a direct reading, which may be informed by other fields of study, but which should remain focused on the text. The notion of overanlysis is so subjective as to be meaningless.

Originally posted on: 26-Jul-2007, 00:58 GMT

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Postby JFaulkner [ANF] » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:35 pm

Soluzar wrote:I still maintain that you misunderstood me in the other thread. As much as I'll admit to becoming hostile after your response, I take exception only to your dismissing anyone else's work as "pseudo-intellectual horseplay". I did not originally mean any offense when I said that your work is on the same level as anyone else's. That might be hard for you to believe, but I maintain that it is the truth. Zugzwang may be out there, but I genuinely believe he makes a good point every once in a while. His work deserves as much respect as your own, which is to say that at the least you should refute it on a point-for-point basis rather than labelling it "pseudo-intellectual horseplay".
I did my best to argue against Zugzwang's theories in the link I gave - I was hoping he would respond in that thread, but that never happened. Although I wasn't particularly pleased you labelled my analysis "pseudo-intellectual horseplay", it was more the continual trashing of my theories which got to me in the end, and comments such as "Assuming you have a college education, your professors should weep to see you stoop so low." Having said that, I hanged my dirty laundry in public, I accept that and would like to move on.

Soluzar wrote:As I have previously stated, I take no interest in discussions of Evangelion these days. It takes a lot to draw me out, partly because I'm aware of the limits of what I can contribute, and partly because I don't wish spend my time on this topic. In fact, I don't really have a lot of sympathy for the online fanbase. That you could draw me out on this is indicative of the degree to which I was irritated by the comment.
Funnily enough, I don't take much of an interest in Evangelion discussions either nowadays, and I also don't really have much sympathy for the online fanbase. I'm pretty much working on my own here: I don't want to associate myself with any fanbase.

Soluzar wrote:I have read many of your posts since you first came to this site, although I have not felt moved to respond until now. Whether it is intentional or not, I perceive you as being dismissive of the contributions of others. To judge from a comment I once saw you make in response to MDWigs, perhaps that is because you are of the "old guard" of online Eva fandom, but I won't pretend to like it.
I concede my initial posts were "very forceful". I've seen my theories trashed repeatedly and I tried a more heavy handed approach. This is just an observation and not an attempt to justify my approach, but MDWigs was pretty forceful when he first came to AnimeBoards when I was around.

Soluzar wrote:I'll be the first to say that I think there is a strong component of analytical psychology making up the subtext of Evangelion, and even making up the primary text at some points. I object to your specific assignations of symbolism, and to your reductive selection of Jung and only Jung as your framework more than to any of your ideas. I also find it frustrating the way you're apparently not willing to engage with ideas outside your own specific framework, or to use your ideas in conjunction with a more direct reading.
Well, this is the thread to put forward your criticisms and ideas. I think I've at least tried to engage in some other ideas in this thread, such as Aletheia's suggestion of using Nietzsche.

Soluzar wrote:Please feel free to take your time. This topic is going nowhere, at least for another year.
I was actually thinking of ditching my Jungian analysis until you brought it up.

Soluzar wrote:I'm pretty close to neutral on Jung. I haven't read him in enough depth to like or dislike. I think his ideas are fascinating in some cases, particular as they pertain to gender roles. I also think that some of his notions are so far out there as to be laughable, such as the collective unconscious. I don't like using external frameworks, that much is true. I believe in a direct reading, which may be informed by other fields of study, but which should remain focused on the text. The notion of overanlysis is so subjective as to be meaningless.
This thread probably makes me sound like a Jung fanatic, but as I mentioned to Leader Desslock (who appears decidedly anti-Jung), I think there are parts to Jung which are laughable.

Originally posted on: 26-Jul-2007, 01:32 GMT

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Postby Soluzar [ANF] » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:35 pm

JFaulkner wrote:Although I wasn't particularly pleased you labelled my analysis "pseudo-intellectual horseplay",
Turnabout is always fair play. I didn't expect you to be pleased, but you were the one throwing labels around to begin with, and I had noticed that you had recently criticised Shin-Seiki's work. Although I admit that sometime he could be described as long-winded, I have a lasting respect for his observations and conclusions. You say you only meant to criticise Zugzwang's old thread, but I didn't know that at the time, and even then I take issue with it.

it was more the continual trashing of my theories which got to me in the end, and comments such as "Assuming you have a college education, your professors should weep to see you stoop so low."
I'm inclined to apologise for wording that that remark in such an unpleasant way at this time. but I will note that the previous paragraph of criticism remains basically my opinion, which I have taken the time to expand upon to at least some degree here in this thread.

Having said that, I hanged my dirty laundry in public, I accept that and would like to move on.
As you wish. It was good to clear the air a little.

Funnily enough, I don't take much of an interest in Evangelion discussions either nowadays, and I also don't really have much sympathy for the online fanbase. I'm pretty much working on my own here: I don't want to associate myself with any fanbase.
Never has more been left unsaid, and yet still all too well understood. Image

Which comment would that be?
This post, from which I conclude you're one of the "old guard". I suppose it is to be expected that one who has been around the block will develop a certain... manner. Image

I concede my initial posts were "very forceful". I've seen my theories trashed repeatedly and I tried a more heavy handed approach. This is just an observation and not an attempt to justify my approach, but MDWigs was pretty forceful when he first came to AnimeBoards when I was around.
I never had any contact with MDWigs until he was already out of the game, but I'm sure he was. Who can say what manner of flamewar might have erupted had I been around in those days, should I have not agreed with him? I will admit that I have no objection to forcefulness in those with whom I agree, even though I am aware of the slight hypocrisy inherent in that.

Well, this is the thread to put forward your criticisms and ideas. I think I've at least tried to engage in some other ideas in this thread, such as Aletheia's suggestion of using Nietzsche.
I'd be interested to see if we have any common ground regarding the points I've brought up first, because I regard them as fundamental.

I was actually thinking of ditching my Jungian analysis until you brought it up.
Many of the ideas are probably still salvageable. As Reichu has said, Evangelion is too intrinsically eclectic in terms of influences to be viewed as a whole through a single lens. If I were to be in the position of examining the series as a whole once more, I would prefer to take it on a scene-by-scene basis, referring to whatever field of study will best inform each part. Of course, as arrogant as this may sound, I believe I have learned as much as I need to a long time ago, or at the very least, as much as I would wish to.

This thread probably makes me sound like a Jung fanatic, but as I mentioned to Leader Desslock (who appears decidedly anti-Jung), I think there are parts to Jung which are laughable.
Actually it makes you seem less like a Jung fanatic, and more like one who has extensively studied Jung, and is determined to apply his primary field of study to the task at hand. I hope I may say so without giving offense.

Originally posted on: 26-Jul-2007, 01:59 GMT

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Postby JFaulkner [ANF] » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:35 pm

Soluzar wrote:I'm inclined to apologise for wording that that remark in such an unpleasant way at this time. but I will note that the previous paragraph of criticism remains basically my opinion, which I have taken the time to expand upon to at least some degree here in this thread.
In which case, I am also inclined to apologise for all the profanities I hurled at you. I won't attempt to justify it and I've been around the Internet long enough to know not to engage in mud-slinging.

Soluzar wrote:This post, from which I conclude you're one of the "old guard". I suppose it is to be expected that one who has been around the block will develop a certain... manner.
Ironically, I would be the first to cry out against using external frameworks ~7yrs ago.

Originally posted on: 26-Jul-2007, 02:14 GMT


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