Wee, another lengthy post! If it were an easy feat to make these shorter and still address everything, I definitely would, but that would require a lengthy rewrite process I feel is best to put off until I'm ready to start archiving this stuff on the Wiki. Right now, sketching, brainstorming, and sandboxing is much more important than polish and perfection. So, those of you with the patience, or simply the natural inclination, to sit down and read through everything, my deepest thanks to you!CommanderFish:
Mystical systems of thought definitely have a steep barrier to entry -- by design, I would expect, as there's nothing mystical or esoteric about something that's easy to grasp
-- so feeling overwhelmed is all part of the program. My own understanding of the concepts probably ranks at the lower levels at best: despite having first started reading about this stuff around 2003 or 2004, and continued to do so on an irregular basis ever since (i.e., whenever my participation in NGE fandom prompted me to do so)
, there's SO much stuff in the (pretty much entry-level) books I own that my eyes still
If you feel up to it, I would honestly recommend taking an afternoon to
casually stroll into a college library, then just sit down near the religion & spirituality stacks, pluck out whichever books look the most inviting, and cuddle up. If you've graduated from a college, even a 2-year one, you ought to have emeritus privilege access to the library anyway. My approach to the steep learning curve was to start small, by first seeking out familiar reference points that my brain could more easily latch onto -- so, anything I already had even the most vestigial knowledge about. In a lot of cases, this was the concepts most obviously and vividly referenced in NGE, heh. Gradually, the mystical framework permeating the texts became encoded in my own mind, and as that internal framework grew I found myself able to build more and more onto it. Just take things slow, don't get discouraged, and plain have fun with it.
You have a lot of very good questions in your "On this whole Adam Kadmon thing..." paragraph, some of which have occurred to me as well. I regret that I don't currently have any well-thought-out answers XD. I'll give it some time -- keep working on that mega-post / mega-response I promised yesterday, keep reading, and hopefully some of the pieces will gradually come together on their own. If any ideas come to you in the meantime, by all means share them.
One thing that I suspect would help a great deal is if I put some visualizations together. For one thing, these are an absolutely fundamental part of mysticism, to the point that Kabbalistic thought revolves around
a diagram; and further, NGE's mysticism-influenced cosmology is almost entirely relayed through visual storytelling -- so trying to get much accomplished with text alone is pretty much a fool's game! I hope to include a couple, however crude, in my planned mega-post, which will further explore cores, Moons/Eggs, the Guf(s); we'll see how it goes.
Regarding the status of the Tree of Souls / Adam Kadmon connection: I'm still 100% on board and very much interested in further refinement of the idea. (What gave you the impression that I wasn't, out of curiosity?) Whatever exactly caused Adam Kadmon to “fall” (...could it be something as simple as entropy?), my best guess is that the Tree is the means by which the souls crossed over into the lower world and might have even been the agent by which AK was split apart. This seems overall consistent with what we hashed out earlier regarding the role of the Tree in Third Impact. For a refresh and summary: 3I (= Genesis in Reverse)
: souls enter the tree via its downward-pointing branches in order to travel the path of the Sephiroth back up to a state of unified godliness, Adam Kadmon.Creation (Original Genesis)
: Adam Kadmon “falls” from Paradise (Sea of LCL / Red Space) and, entering(?) the Tree of Life at its roots, descends through the path of the Sepiroth, ultimately fragmenting into countless individual souls which bud from the Tree's branches.
How the Tree was created in the first place — like, just WHAT THE FUCK is it? — is a very salient question. Possibly unimportant, but I think it's worth playing around regardless. Perhaps the best way to start poking at this question is to look at what went into recreating the Tree: a Spear of Longinus, and an Evangelion who had consolidated both Fruits within her resident soul. (Plus there was Shinji's soul, but I'm going to ignore its significance to HIP right this moment because I want to finish this post before the sun comes up, heh.)
Now, if the Tree of Life is also the Tree of Souls, and if Adam Kadmon was originally the “souls” part of that
, then this means that the Tree of Life is an entity with two main components:
(A) The body of the tree
(B) The spirit(s) residing within the tree.
Though, wait... Both forms of Creation (the one going down and the one going back up) involve a “path of the Sepiroth”, don't they? So make that three components:
(C) The Path of the Sephiroth, which runs through the Tree and links the spiritual and physical realms, while transforming the souls that make the journey
So let's just take it as given that (B) is Adam Kadmon. This, intriguingly, means that Eva-01 is playing the role of Adam Kadmon when the Tree is recreated, since she is the ensouled entity contained within the body of the Tree. Does this make a lick of sense? Weeeeell…
Much ado is made of the fact that her acquisition of both Fruits has made her “equal to God” (alternatively, just “a god”). Does “God”, here, refer to the original Adam Kadmon — which is actually considered a god (albeit not THE God per se) in Kabbalah? Does acquiring both Fruits render a soul as near to Adam Kadmon as it can get, short of actually recreating
AK? It seems feasible enough. On top of that, we know that Eva-01 is acting as the vessel for humanity's souls, and thus is in the position of becoming Adam Kadmon Reborn.
Now, with that link between Adam Kadmon and Eva-01 in mind, let's backtrack a bit to my suggestion that this thing:
...is a visual representation of Adam Kadmon. Here
, you can find a visual summary of where this figure's features turn up throughout the show. Pointedly, Eva-01 is the only entity in NGE that manifests all
of the angelic being's features.
You can probably see where I'm going with this.
Tracking back: what about (C), the Path of the Sephiroth? (For a refresher on WTF this is, see here
; for the diagram by Kircher used throughout NGE, here
. Ask further questions if needed.) According to Kabbalah, Adam Kadmon itself actually contains
the ten Sephiroth. Logically, then, if AK is inside the Tree's body, then the ten Sephiroth are inside the Tree as well. What about the “path” specifically, though?
At this point, I have to concede that further reading is needed, as the mechanics of the path(s) between individual Sephirah is not something I've dived into yet. Until then, let's just work with what's in NGE alone. The body of the Tree, which is reconstructed by a Spear of Longinus, surely must be of some importance, otherwise why would the Spear be needed here at all? There must, therefore, be some function that it is furnishing. Perhaps, since the Spear is capable of satisfying the role of the Tree's body, we can look at the Spear and how it works for some leads.
The most fundamental nature of the Spears, as illuminated upon by NGE2, is that they are devices of control
. Namely, they are imbued with the power to control gods. Due to their A.T. Field penetrating ability, we can infer that the Spears' power is intrinsically metaphysical, capable of interfacing with the spiritual realm. Just how far do these capacities go? Given the Spear's role in the recreated Tree of Life, perhaps they go as far as the ability to transfigure souls from one form to another?
Here's an intriguing bit from the Classified Information that may tie into this:
Details of the Human Instrumentality Project
D. In-Depth Information
The first step [in the Way to God] is the completion of Eva — the body of a god and throne of a soul — via the installation of an S² Engine. The interfusion of souls follows. Afterward, our final natural enemy, the Spear of Longinus security device, is annihilated. Thus, that which is nearly divine, or perhaps a god in and of itself, is brought to completion, and, with the Spear gone, cannot be destroyed by anyone.
The Spear being described as a “final natural enemy” at first seems a bit odd, especially considering its necessary role in accomplishing Seele's goals. They can't accomplish HIP without some form of the Spear of Longinus, this much is clear in EoE. At the same time, this text indicates that Seele's Adam Kadmon could potentially be destroyed by the Spear, which makes it a dangerous thing to keep around even if it necessary to bring Adam Kadmon back.
How would the Spear go about destroying Adam Kadmon, exactly? I guess maybe it could just pierce Eva-01 in the core or something, but perhaps they're hinting at something a bit more … cosmological? If a Spear can assume the role of the body of the Tree of Life, this capacity might be telling us something about the Spears' fundamental nature. I'm not saying, necessarily, that the Spears are actually
the body of the original Tree of Life*, but they could have been designed by the FAR in order to reproduce, as best as their technology could, the ToL's substance and power. If the ToL's body is the very thing with the soul-transfiguring power to split Adam Kadmon into a myriad souls and also merge those shattered pieces back together again... and every Spear has the potential to become the body of a Tree of Life... * Though now that I've said that, I have to admit that there is something sort of alluring about this... The “wood” of the ToL being “carved” into seven “spears”... Though there is the problem that I have NO earthly idea how this would have worked. Treat it as whimsy for now, that could MAYBE be useful down the line.
We don't know how Adam Kadmon “fell” and became subject to the Tree's power in the first place. Whether or not Seele themselves know, they would, reasonably, want to ensure that the Fall, and the subsequent budding of the Tree, can never happen again. Destroying the Spear of Longinus after it has satisfied its role would, to their minds, do this. What about those other five Spears out there somewhere? Would Seele's Adam Kadmon, after destroying the Spear on Earth, have made it its mission to stalk across the galaxy hunting down all the others, just to be sure? Who knows...
It only now occurs to me that I never really looped back to the matter of how or why the original ToL (the one shown in the opening) was created. But my brain is spent, and I need to sleep... Someone else want to take a stab at it?