Was Seele Trying to Redo Genesis in 3.0?

Discussion of the new series of Evangelion movies ( "Evangelion Shin Gekijōban", meaning "Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition").
The third installment debuted in Japan on November 17, 2012.

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Was Seele Trying to Redo Genesis in 3.0?

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Postby BlueBasilisk » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:02 pm

Had this idea while drafting a post for the Eva subreddit today and need to get it out of my head. I noticed there are a lot of similarities between Genesis chapter 3 with the story of the fall and 3.0's plot structure.

You have the obvious with Seele proudly displaying the serpent and the apple in their logo. Kaworu acts as the serpent, tempting Shinji to pilot Eva and get the fruit of life when the Lilin told him not to on punishment of death. The 12th Angel is a large serpentine creature and Unit 13 crunching the giant Lilith core does kinda look like an apple or a fruit.

The subject of the "original sin" is brought up a few times. Gendo says Antarctica has been purified of that sin and mankind can no longer enter it. Seele and Kaworu also talk of Instrumentality as though it will purify and cleanse the souls of the Lilin of the FoK and bless them with the FoL instead. And we again see a glimpse of Seele's purified world in the ruins of Toyko 3: A world where Evas, Angels and the Children can go, but not the Lilin. And just as the forbidden tree was in the center of the Garden of Eden, Lilith's corpse is waiting in the epicenter of Third Impact, waiting for Unit 13 to take it.

At the end of Genesis chapter 2, after God puts Adam to sleep and creates Eve, the two of them cling to each other, becoming one body and it talks of man leaving his father and mother for his wife. That brings to mind images of Shinji and Rei as they slumber within the heart of Unit 01, but the same happens with Kaworu in a slightly different way. Shinji clings to Kaworu's promises of hope, and the two become one as they synchronize with Unit 13 using the double entry system.

When God throws Adam and Eve out of the Garden, he has the Cherubim guard the way to the Tree of Life so humanity can't eat from it. That sounds a lot like the Angels, who Gendo says are there to destroy those who "ate of the Fruit of Knowledge" and whose defeat is a prerequisite to Instrumentality and fulfilling the covenant. With the Angels gone and the godslaying Seele wanted (whatever it really was) the way to Eden, the Tree of Life and godhood are wide open.

But when Shinji and Kaworu actually go to take the two Spears, it isn't the Angels who block the way, it's Units 02 and 08, and Unit 02 is armed with swords. The Cherubim are described as bizarre many winged and faced things, but are also said to look like men. That could describe the Evas, but what about Mari and Asuka, who look human but identify as something else now?

As he re-enters the story after his long slumber, Shinji is full of ignorance, having no knowledge of which parties are good or evil or really much of anything going on in the world, which is how he is so easily played by Gendo, Seele and Kaworu. His ignorance is by design, not a flaw. After all is done, he is burdened by the consequences of his actions and is left wandering Tokyo-3 with Asuka and Rei so they can meet up with the others. Kaworu is cast down through some unknown means and killed. It's interesting that when God curses the serpent in Genesis, he warns that Eve's offspring will strike at the snake's head.

Phew, feels good to have that out of my head! :lol: Maybe I'm completely off base with this but there could be something here too. It seems like Seele might be trying to redo the whole thing to get rid of humanity's "sin" and trade up the FoK for the FoL, which they seem to view as superior for some reason. Different characters could represent multiple different parts of the story and it all gets kind of confusing. :???:

What do you guys think?
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Re: Was Seele Trying to Redo Genesis in 3.0?

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Postby Sachi » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:39 pm

I like the idea, and appreciate all the work you put into it! Can't offer much perspective on the validity of the comparison, but based on the parallels you bring up, I like the way it all fits together.
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Re: Was Seele Trying to Redo Genesis in 3.0?

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Postby BlueBasilisk » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:59 pm

Thanks! I'm not at all well-read when it comes to theology or biblical matters and I debated for a couple hours whether to bring it up. I was looking into that particular chapter to see how much Kaworu could be compared to the snake and thought that the material seemed awfully familiar. :lol:
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Re: Was Seele Trying to Redo Genesis in 3.0?

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Postby SoryuUberAlles » Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:09 pm

View Original PostBlueBasilisk wrote:Maybe I'm completely off base with this but there could be something here too. It seems like Seele might be trying to redo the whole thing to get rid of humanity's "sin" and trade up the FoK for the FoL, which they seem to view as superior for some reason.


Well if you want the WORD on that here goes:

Genesis 3:22-24 wrote: And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.


This closely parallels:

Fuyu-sensei wrote: "The Seed of Life...and the Seed of Wisdom [have been both acquired by Eva Unit 01.] It is [now] equal to God. Will it be an ark to save humanity from the nihil of the Third Impact...or become a demon to annihilate humanity? Our future is up to Ikari's son."


As you can see it's immediately adjacent to the 'flaming sword' verse you've already picked up on.

The idea that Seele want a do-over on Creation (or the felix culpa) is the way Kaworu seems to ratify it through a completely opposed ideology - progressive evolutionary scientism:
Mass extinctions are not unusual on this planet. In fact, they help drive evolution.
Life has always changed itself to adapt to the world around it.
However, Lilin change not themselves, but the world.
So they brought the rite of artificial evolution unto themselves.
Old life is offered in sacrifice, so that new beings blessed with the Fruit of Life may be created.
All this is an act of extinction that has been programmed since time immemorial.
Nerv call it the Human Instrumentality Project. (...)
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Lilin call it Near Third Impact. It was all initiated by you.


Like a lot of Christian sci-fi this tends to adapt the meaning from the more theologically precise "eating of the tree of life as well grants immortality" to "eating of both fruits produces genuine deificiation". Evangelion also adapts the meaning of Knowledge from 'sexual shame (this is the Bible after all) to the much-referred 'miracles of science' (air con, natch.) The gift of the Tree of Life is more 'appropiratley' implied to mean the gift of immortality which Evangelion manifests in cool Angel powers, but like immortality implicitly as well I guess, with the S2 engines being reffered to in the Classified Information as the "fruit of the tree of life" [/url] The problem with making a theological evangelion is that it takes 'becoming a god' as hand in hand with 'pseudo-evolution'. That's the inevitable price of theological sci fi I guess.

The worry is this just leads back to the usual round of related discussions like "Does Kaworu have an S2 engine", "Why didn't 3I happen in episode 19?" if it's just fantastic metaphysics. But you're reinforcing it with the Genesis 3 analogy with some of the plot of 3.0. There's a popular tumblr post that might help with this that goes a long way on equating Shinji with...Eve! It features:
1. Shinji, reaches for the fruit of knowledge, thereby introducing here boyfriend to death.
2. apparently there is a tradition that the serpent in Eden is the infamous Lilith.
http://sass-master-stevens.tumblr.com/p ... shinji-eve
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Re: Was Seele Trying to Redo Genesis in 3.0?

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Postby BlueBasilisk » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:22 pm

Nice post! I know some traditions do link Lilith with the serpent. It's therefore somewhat fitting that the 12th Angel emerges from inside her corpse.

I did a bit more thinking about this today and some interesting ideas came to me. Part of my puzzlement with Seele's attitude toward the Fruit of Knowledge is the way both they and Gendo act like mankind made the choice to take it as opposed to it being granted to us by Lilith. Strange to think of it as a sin when the system functions that way by design.

Then I realized that's just an assumption carried over from the old mythos. The movies never establish Lilith as having or being able to give the FoK, only that the Lilin somehow obtained it. But Seele also have it and they're implied to be aliens, and if the Adams are normally radiant giants like Ritsuko says, then they also have it and they certainly did not come from Lilith.

So it's possible that when Lilith originally created the Lilin, they were like Adam and Eve and hadn't eaten from either fruit and took it later. The non-Adam Evas exist in a state like this. They don't have the range of powers the Angels do, but they still seem immune to age and have regenerative abilities. If the FoK was an after-market modification that she didn't intend, then it makes a lot more sense for Lilith and Seele to have some kind of covenant to "fix" humanity.

You do have to wonder how the Lilin got their hands on it in the first place. Before he kills them, Gendo thanks Seele for giving humanity "the sophistication of civilization." Awfully convenient that manipulative FoK beings who wear the serpent and apple just happened to be around to give humanity a helping hand when they needed it, isn't it? :chinscratch:

Taking this into consideration, perhaps the Children have stopped aging because the Evas have scrubbed away the FoK, leaving the Children as "purified" humans without going to Seele's extremes and forcing the FoL on them instead. They're in neutral ground between the Angels and the Lilin. That might also explain why Rei Q hasn't aged despite being one of the first gen Ayanamis and why she can wander around the wastes as she likes despite being derived from Lilith in some form.

So who is the God who forbade the FoK in the Rebuild-verse? It could very well be the Adams. A lot of the headaches they create when you try to fit them into the existing mythology disappear if you put them at the very top as the godheads, roughly equivalent to the FAR. They seem to possess both of the Fruit, and as noted above, Ritsuko says that's their real form and not a result of tampering like NGE's Unit 01 was. Gendo orchestrates the situation and Misato provides the weapon, but it's Unit 13 (with some help from Mark.06) that curses Kaworu, casts him down and enables his death. The Adams being creator gods has some pretty heavy implications. :cringe:

I wanted to go so much more in-depth in this, but I forgot about half the points I wanted to make. Eva mythology is mentally exhausting! :lol:
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Re: Was Seele Trying to Redo Genesis in 3.0?

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Postby unitM » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:22 am

Good post. I am an absolute idiot for not identifying the parallel themes you drew here in Genesis and 3.0 but I think, is even though you're onto something, there won't be any direct answers anyways.

I personally would find Rei to be a better fit than Kaworu as Eve. Kaworu was a dramatic temptress but from 2.0 onwards, Rei was a driving force in Shinji's actions. It wasn't a dynamic temptation but rather a passive seduction, and although it was Kaworu that suggested for Shinji to have a closer look at the tree, who was it that cut the apple down when Shinji was unable to do it? Kaworu was at the tree but he was not confident enough to pick the fruit without questioning the scenario while Rei simply opened the apple as an order from satan.

I think Q is known for it's shadow elements. And this can be another good example of that. While it seems like the Adam-Eve dynamic is playing itself out, it's really another step up the hill. Rei is Eve, Satan's coordinator. Pre-Original Sin, there was unshakeable doubt between her actions. She slices the head off of an Eva unit "because she was ordered to" - no free choice to herself. After the the apple is produced and 4th impact is launched, she suddenly shows free will, ejecting from her Eva unit after Asuka asks what Rei wants to do(as a choice).

Kaworu is the illusion of satan or of the temptress, which is a large theme in Q, the illusions of roles. Rei is the one that shows immediate behavioural change after original sin occurs, when Eva 13 eats the apple(something she was powerfully and unquestionably seduced to commit).

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Re: Was Seele Trying to Redo Genesis in 3.0?

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Postby SoryuUberAlles » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:55 am

Merch-canon update

On literaryeagle's book review blog he finds the Neon Genesis Evangelion Photo File: Eve and Neon Genesis Evangelion Photo File: Adam books.
http://literaryeagle.tumblr.com/post/14 ... ew-here-is
http://literaryeagle.tumblr.com/post/14 ... ew-here-is
The cover art of Eve is Rei and the cover art of Adam is a combined Kaworu-Shinji! The other tumblr update I posted makes a lot of hay over the Kaworu-Shin combination - but that's trying to prove that Shinji is the Kaworu's Eve wife! -o-;

Moving on the evageeker's favorite resource - literary theology - a major part of Christian thinking is the idea that the Gospel's does 'redo' the Old Testament by finding 'types'. Jesus as the New Adam is maybe on of the better known ones. So maybe we should stop calling it New Theatrical Edition and call it New Testament edition!
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Re: Was Seele Trying to Redo Genesis in 3.0?

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Postby Reichu » Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:56 am

Those Adam and Eve covers have pretty much nothing of substance to do with NGE as it is. Why should anyone expect them to have anything to do with a version of the story coming out a decade later? Clawing at the bottom of the barrel, this is. (BTW, Literary Eagle is a lady.)

I may have something to say about this thread eventually, but my brain hasn't cooperated so far.
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Re: Was Seele Trying to Redo Genesis in 3.0?

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Postby ChaddyManPrime » Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:03 pm

You're a good thinker blue, you got the right idea. Have you ever heard of the serpent Seed doctrine, sometimes known as the dueling seeds?
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Re: Was Seele Trying to Redo Genesis in 3.0?

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Postby BlueBasilisk » Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:39 am

View Original PostReichu wrote:I may have something to say about this thread eventually, but my brain hasn't cooperated so far.

Your input is always appreciated. ^_^

Chaddy: Thanks! I had not but I just looked it up. The 12th Angel does appear to have merged with Lilith while in the guise of a man or an Eva. Interesting...

unitM: Thanks! ^_^ I hadn't thought about Rei Q there. Excellent point! I think "Eve" is actually a role within each of the scenarios, and changes depending on who the conductor is. Gendo obviously used Rei as seen in 2.0, and Seele tried to put Kaworu in that role in 3.0. But I think this ties into what you said about Rei Q. Before everything goes down, Gendo says they are going to rewrite Seele's scenario, so it may be the endgame of Gendo's machinations was to twist the roles just enough so that Kaworu became became the serpent and received due punishment while also pushing Rei back into the role of Eve again.
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Re: Was Seele Trying to Redo Genesis in 3.0?

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Postby SoryuUberAlles » Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:07 am

^I think that is how the serpent seed doctrine works. Rather, there is only one Eve, but the role of Adam can be changed. Which helps me go along with the Shinji-as-Eve idea. Just as Shinseiki's Adam is female, so is it's Eve - Shinji!

View Original PostReichu wrote:Those Adam and Eve covers have pretty much nothing of substance to do with NGE as it is. Why should anyone expect them to have anything to do with a version of the story coming out a decade later?


I saw the date on the cover and I thought it was the publication date :facepalm: I guess "2015" is the real curse of eva -o-;

Anyway I think the "New Creation" theme could go back a lot further than Rebuild. The idea of Gendo as mad scientist who resets the conditions of mankind according to a new agenda. 3I is the apocalypse but also a return to the beginning - that brings immortality at the price of a certain kind of virtue.
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Re: Was Seele Trying to Redo Genesis in 3.0?

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Postby Reichu » Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:38 am

View Original PostSoryuUberAlles wrote:Just as Shinseiki's Adam is female, so is it's Eve - Shinji!

But... Shinji isn't female.


Also, in case it wasn't apparent: Eva=Eve. I have to say I feel a certain degree of hesitancy, going and looking for Evas and Adams in these stories who are NOT the beings already clearly labeled as such.
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Re: Was Seele Trying to Redo Genesis in 3.0?

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Postby SoryuUberAlles » Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:02 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:But... Shinji isn't female.


^well it would be the reverse. A female entity in a male role and then the other way round.

Also, in case it wasn't apparent: Eva=Eve. I have to say I feel a certain degree of hesitancy, going and looking for Evas and Adams in these stories who are NOT the beings already clearly labeled as such.


The Christian theology I'm talking about is the idea of New Creation. The 'Neon Genesis' if you will. Basically, as human life was created with Adam and with the fall, the covenant of earthly life, the new covenant of Jesus is the beginning of the life everlasting, making Jesus is the Second Adam.

So Adam the giant light boy performs the role of the first Adam and Bishonen Space Jesus Kaworu is the second one and Shinji is his Nova Eva..

But Lillith is not Eve! Lilith is Lilith! The 'serpent seed' doctrine CMP is talking about is the idea that only some human beings descend from Adam and Eve - the rest are descended from a bastard child of Eve and the serpent. This mirrors the competition between the Adamic angels and Lilith collective angel of madkind. But as I say note that unlike Christian mythology in Jewish mythology Lilith is the serpent in Eden.
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Re: Was Seele Trying to Redo Genesis in 3.0?

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Postby Reichu » Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:16 pm

Ehh, you can't really generalize "Jewish mythology" like that. If you want to be picky, Lilith doesn't exist at all in the mythology proper. She's an apocryphal figure you find in folk tales and mysticism, and of course different sources will say different things because they aren't trying to reconcile.

The "Eve had sex with the serpent and that's where Cain came from" concept is old
news to me... but I understood the serpent to be Satan incognito or something. Your claim that the serpent is Lilith and she and Eve made lesbian sex babies seems a bit out there even by midrash standards.
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Re: Was Seele Trying to Redo Genesis in 3.0?

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Postby SoryuUberAlles » Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:53 pm

I don't whether to call it mythology or folklore or superstition or something else. But the claim that the serpent was Lilith is on the Lilith page right now even if the sources its from seem a little obscure.

And the Serpent, the Woman of Harlotry, incited and seduced Eve through the husks of Light which in itself is holiness. And the Serpent seduced Holy Eve, and enough said for him who understands. And all this ruination came about because Adam the first man coupled with Eve while she was in her menstrual impurity – this is the filth and the impure seed of the Serpent who mounted Eve before Adam mounted her. Behold, here it is before you: because of the sins of Adam the first man all the things mentioned came into being. For Evil Lilith, when she saw the greatness of his corruption, became strong in her husks, and came to Adam against his will, and became hot from him and bore him many demons and spirits and Lilin.


As for the 'lesbian dilemma' the commentary suggests something that the tumblr post I cited above also refers to. It is apparently a midrashic belief - strikingly similar to one taught by Plato - that Adam and Eve were created a unified being, and so likewise was this Satan/Lilith. This is represented by the four eyes and four arms.

It's something I've seen in the Eva fandom to understand the divine union of the FoK and FoL as the 'chemical wedding' of alchemy - the union of opposites.
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Re: Was Seele Trying to Redo Genesis in 3.0?

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Postby ChaddyManPrime » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:14 pm

I just popped in early just because I had too, this is too great not to talk about.

You know how Kaworu calls Gendo father in Rebuild? What if Gendo is his genetic donor? Like him and Shinji are half brothers kinda like Cain and Abel in the Serpent Seed doctrine. Shinji represents Lilith/Eve; because Unit 01/Yui is Lilith's shadow but is an Eva/Eve. Kaworu is of Adam's. The added twist is that the man is the linkage between the two instead of the woman, and causes the downfall as well.

The Cain, ie Kaworu, being of the serpent, constantly is having his head removed.
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Re: Was Seele Trying to Redo Genesis in 3.0?

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Postby Reichu » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:29 pm

Kaworu's genesis is a complete unknown in the films, so assuming the show's "donor + Adam" premise still holds is flawed right out the door. This, of course, has not kept the suggestion from being made again and again.

Far more likely is that "Hi, Dad" is simply building upon Kaworu's weird and unexplained familiarity with Shinji (introduced at the end of 1.0). It's been explained by those with Japanese cultural knowledge that referring to someone else's parent in familiar terms is not unknown; spouses will do it, for instance. (Making this moment in the film a ship tease, one could argue.) Kaworu confirms this explanation in 3.0 when he refers to Gendo quite specifically as "Shinji-kun's father".
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Postby SoryuUberAlles » Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:39 pm

^ OTOH, the cloniness of Rei is more emphatic and arguably the parallel nature of Rei and Kaworu (which I've always said must not be taken for granted).

The dad thing can be explained, like the New Creation gospel, as a literal example next to a metaphorical one. The Mad Scientist is the Father of the Shambling Horror. (i.e. Frankenstein is the name of the Scientist, not the Monster, but no one cares)

^^ Well it could work if you shift from just retelling (an increasingly esoteric) Genesis 3 but with a New Creation reading. Kaworu is a representation of the Biblical Adam, a direct creation, and Shinji is Jesus, the physical son. Just as in the Bible the Wife Eve becomes the Mother Mary, so it is with Rei.

OTOH you could say Kaworu is the serpent who gets his head bruised!
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Re: Was Seele Trying to Redo Genesis in 3.0?

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Postby ChaddyManPrime » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:01 pm

'
He could also be an analogue for the beast from Revelation that received a grievous wound to the head, if I remember correctly the Beast liked to lie too. But my Bible knowledge isn't up to snuff
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Re: Was Seele Trying to Redo Genesis in 3.0?

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Postby Reichu » Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:21 pm

They already did the Revelation reenactment in 2.0, complete with the Beast-o and the Whore of Babylon.

I feel at times as though this thread is "trying too hard". Namely, that there is an awful lot of trying to force Eva into the lore that inspired it here and there. That's working backwards. The lore is only useful where it helps inform what's going on in Eva. As it's been highly cherry-picked and reshaped for a new purpose, you're just going to mislead yourself by looking at Judeo-Xian literature and assuming Eva maps onto it. It won't.
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