Im writing a Thesis about Evangelion

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chopinsop35
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Im writing a Thesis about Evangelion

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Postby chopinsop35 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:46 am

*Forgive my english*
Im form Costa Rica. and right now im writing a thesis about Evangelion.
Thaths because i wanna start to talk about "90's kids subjects" in the little academy of my country.

Ok. Anybody Knows about the link between Psychoanalysis (I mean, specifically the Imaginaire Lacanian) and the narrative of Neon Genesis Evangelion?
Im walking in that way... I think that Evangelion has a strong crtical view of modernity and the "technological progress " of the nations, that gonna came a "falic fantasy of a new life, a new death(apocalypse) and a new humanity" that ¿¿¿"can?? destroy god

What do you think about that? Anybody Knows another work? Any book?
I know it is a vague idea, but the fact is... that i want to talk about it , with other people

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Re: Im writing a Thesis about Evangelion

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Postby TheCarkolum » Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:17 am

One of the most evident Lacanian influences in Evangelion has to do with identity, and how the Other conforms the almost broken "ego" (according to Lacan, the "ego" is broken, because it sustains itself around the self-delusion of the subject). I am not going into detail because I like to give reference and quotes when I'm researching something properly, so I just give some highlights. When Rei talks about why she IS Rei Ayanami and why she identifies with that name she says that the others give her the identity she needs to identify herself, because her ego is almost non-existent, she doesn't have any pulsions or desires, so it's like she is in debt with the people and that's because she pilots the EVA.

Talking about the Imaginaire, it usually corresponds to the dimension of the ego (although that's definitely more complex, in fact it's like a knot, a Moebius strip). The imaginaire has to do with visual words, it's like the "symptom" you experience when a significant hits you. That defines you since you see yourself in the mirror, so it's like the Other conforms you. The thing is, Shinji in ep.16 talks about there's many Shinjis (Misato's Shinji, Asuka's Shinji, Rei's Shinji, Gendo's Shinji...). That encompasses all the "imaginaires" in the not-Shinji subjects. Shinji is afraid of that, so that makes a hiancé between him and the others.
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Re: Im writing a Thesis about Evangelion

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Postby robersora » Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:23 am

Could you explain a bit, what the term "visual words" means? And could you define 'significant'?
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Re: Im writing a Thesis about Evangelion

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Postby TheCarkolum » Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:31 pm

View Original Postrobersora wrote:Could you explain a bit, what the term "visual words" means? And could you define 'significant'?


Visual words, or "acoustic images", are the main basis of the Lacanian notion of significant. Visual words are just a synthesis of two mediums which a "concept" or meaning is "aprehended" (this is not entirely true, it's never fully aprehended because there's always a gap between the word you say and what you mean with that word) in the psyche -words and images-. These two media go together. For example, when someone says the word "Water".The word identifies the concept and an image is projected in your psyche. That's called an acoustic image, and it's what defines the Lacanian significant.
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Re: Im writing a Thesis about Evangelion

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Postby robersora » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:42 pm

^
Oh, now that makes a lot more sense to me. Definitely very intriguing, so thanks for expounding. tbh, I've never heard about that concept before...
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Re: Im writing a Thesis about Evangelion

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Postby StrokeMeGoat » Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:11 pm

View Original PostTheCarkolum wrote:Visual words, or "acoustic images", are the main basis of the Lacanian notion of significant. Visual words are just a synthesis of two mediums which a "concept" or meaning is "aprehended" (this is not entirely true, it's never fully aprehended because there's always a gap between the word you say and what you mean with that word) in the psyche -words and images-. These two media go together. For example, when someone says the word "Water".The word identifies the concept and an image is projected in your psyche. That's called an acoustic image, and it's what defines the Lacanian significant.


I only just looked up Lacan last night and read some stuff, I'm really only familiar with Freud and Jung, so I have a question. Are visual words related to what he was meaning when he was saying that the visual system incorporates the auditory one to form an integrated understanding because that which is recognized visually has to be processed and understood first through language, and therefore the auditory system, to be understood or meaningful consciously?

I mean, it sounds like that's basically what you just said, but the bit about the conceptual understanding of hearing water and having a concept of it visually is backwards from what I just described (although I'm sure it works both ways, so were probably just describing the second conclusion you'd naturally come to about it).

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Re: Im writing a Thesis about Evangelion

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Postby TheCarkolum » Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:32 pm

View Original PostStrokeMeGoat wrote:Are visual words related to what he was meaning when he was saying that the visual system incorporates the auditory one to form an integrated understanding because that which is recognized visually has to be processed and understood first through language, and therefore the auditory system, to be understood or meaningful consciously?


If I'm getting your question correctly, you're asking if words come first and visuals next, right? Well, it's difficult to say, but I'm going with no. These two media go together. A word has to be spelled or read in order to be transmitted, because we can't transmit a material thought of a concept (yet), and that's what the words are for. At the same time, the words "contain" the concept, and when they are heard they turn into what really represent, that is, a mental concept. So, the significant encompasses the medium(words) and the "message" (again, not true, the truly message is what the emisor means). However, as far my understanding of Lacan goes, it's not like: 1.Medium -> 2.Message, you know, a casual relation. In a certain way, the medium contorts and contains the message, not only in the sense of moving it away from the meaning, but also it's more like a fetishization (it's getting more complex :D :D ) of the mental images in favour of the words. When someone tells you something (like me talking to you right now), you don't mentally visualize every single word I'm saying (in a "concious" level), but you are following the language (if you understand the text of course) because you already have internalize the language when you learnt to speak English.
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Re: Im writing a Thesis about Evangelion

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Postby StrokeMeGoat » Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:20 pm

Okay, after reading more about Lacanian psychology, I've identified a number of things represented in NGE that fit in with his theories.

First things first, the AT-Field. The ATF is a representation of the alienation that one's mirror image imposes as a result of having separated the self from "I", allowing for identification. This separation in the mirror phase is what leads to feelings of imperfection, inferiority, hollowness, and being incomplete. In the series, AT-Fields are described as doing the same thing and are what separates all of humanity from becoming a perfect, whole, unified being. It is what separates individual hearts from one another (although I'm not sure of the Japanese word they use here, but if it's "kokoro" then it can be translated to mean the heart, soul, or even the mind/individual itself, so I think most specifically in NGE it's more than likely referring to the soul--although, honestly the distinction isn't all that important to changing the meaning of what the ATF represents).

The differences between the signifier and the signified, while not explicitly labeled as such, is explored in great detail in the series' trippy metaphysical exploration sequences. When Rei talks about how the word Rei, all the different signified Reis that exist in everyone else's minds, etc., and that they are all things identified as Rei and so are all equally her yet distinctly separate from her "self" is a good example. When Shinji does something similar with all the different Shinji Ikaris exist in others' minds and all the symbolic representations of him being that which is identified as him is another good example. In both of these examples, the imago being a gestalt perception of the self, the concept of which creates the separation of the perfect whole image of the person and the fragmented desires and unconscious processing that ultimately form the whole of the self as a natural consequence its formation and understanding.

This separation creates perceptions and deep rooted feelings of inherent inferiority and imperfection, making their lives feel vain and useless as a result. The imago is viewed as the first Other that someone experiences (although some people who subscribe to Lacan's ideas still refer to the first other as the mother, fitting more with Freud's ideas), and through it comes the separation of "me" and "I", with the "I" representing the imago (stated otherwise as the ideal ego). Whether you want to say the mother or the imago is the first Other, from what I understand, the child still forms its initial desires by interacting with its mother, which rather confusingly he winds up referring to as literally being the Mother's desires (capitalizing it so that when I talk about the gestalt perception of the mother you'll know because I said" Mother") rather than the person's perception of its mother's desires. This led to a bit of confusion for me at first, but after understanding what was being said it made sense. The Father(gestalt perception of the father) seems to be associated with Law and also language, which I take to mean the imposition of limits and rules of things in general. Language is required to impose the Law; therefore, when Lacan says the Father prohibits the desire of the Mother, it subverts that desire to language and thus the limitations imposed by language (which leads to all kinds of misunderstanding, miscommunication, and misrecognition). In the case of NGE, it can almost be said that this is represented almost literally because Gendo subjects Shinji to all sorts of rules and forces him to play a role that makes him miserable when all Yui wanted for Shinji was to live life and to find happiness while doing it.

Interestingly enough, Shinji is also most afraid of his father. Given the Father imposes the Law and does so through language, between the self/"me" and the imago/ideal ego/"I", the "I" is most related and similar to the Father. Shinji being afraid of his father abandoning him makes it seem natural, therefore, that it also represents his fear and the terror induced by his Gestalt perceptions of others (perfect and whole idealized images) and communicating with others (because he does not want to be misunderstood which makes others hate him and abandon him just like his father did). Shinji shrinks from contact with all Others to avoid rejection and ultimately the pain it causes as a result of it emphasizing the flaws and imperfections of the "me" from the "I".

Part of Lacan's theory is that the self is formed as a result of interactions with the Other, especially their desires. It is directly stated in NGE during the trippy sequences that it's other people and Shinji's interaction with them that form his identity. To reiterate what TheCarkolum said, in ep 25 when Rei talks about her identity explores this too, and she's also literally staring into the mirror during one shot (and she asks "Are you also Ayanami Rei?"). She also denies that she is just an object whose fake body is just a hollow shell and false soul and that she is simply herself, yet all the other Rei's cannot possibly be her, insisting she is her. The Other Rei also asks if she can sense the intangible presence that lurks below the surface of her conscious self in her darkest dreams and desires (which in Jungian psychology would be referring to the Shadow) because that's where her true identity lies, to which Rei responds in a way that can actually be taken literally if listened to through a Lacanian lens. She responds, "No I am me, I become my self through my connections with others". So if taken literally, she's saying her gestalt perception ("I") of the whole her becomes her true self ("me") by interactions with the Other, reflecting Lacan's belief about formation of identity and a person's drive to realize themselves as the imaginary individual they've made of themselves (ideal ego).

Lacan states that when the concept of the self forms as a result of understanding one's mirror image, the self becomes aware of the feeling of connected wholeness it just lost as a result of its comparison of its feelings as a being against the perfect unity its mirror image presents to it. Encountering that perfect unity of the mirror image and the misrecognition of it as the self created a great sense of wholeness, but also instills a great fear of falling back into the fragmentary existence they'd had up until forming a concept of themselves and therefore disintegrating into nothing. The contrast of the self's feelings of existence and the mirror images perfectly whole existence creates a lifelong psychological drive to realize that mirror image, and so the desire to both feel perfectly whole again and the drive towards individual perfection are essentially two opposing desires toward non-identity and identity. During the latter part of the Rei scene, the idea comes back up that there is another Rei that exists that is her true identity that she does not know, and that she actively attempts to deny that reality because she's afraid it might not be human in form, and if that's true her present self might cease to be and become nothing. In her case you can take her scene literally as part of the story, but it fits with normal human psychology and Lacanian psychology as well. This true identity of hers is her "self", and she doesn't recognize or accept that because she wishes to identify with her whole, gestalt self. Individual human beings can only exist as a gestalt perceptual concept and so she fears her "self" below the surface may not be human because it is not whole like her gestalt mirror image self is. Humans are understood as whole and so require one's self to be whole as well to be identified or defined as human. If she can't be identified as something she is then she might lose her identity completely and become nothing. She then goes on to say she both wants to die and return to nothing, but now she's afraid of the day that it's going to happen too, mirroring what Lacan said about having two opposing drives toward identity and non-identity.

That's all for now (lol, "that's all"). I might add more after rewatching ep 16, eps 25 and 26, and EOE again.

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Re: Im writing a Thesis about Evangelion

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Postby ThatOneEvaPoster » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:33 am

View Original Postchopinsop35 wrote:Ok. Anybody Knows about the link between Psychoanalysis (I mean, specifically the Imaginaire Lacanian) and the narrative of Neon Genesis Evangelion?
Im walking in that way... I think that Evangelion has a strong crtical view of modernity and the "technological progress " of the nations

What do you think about that? Anybody Knows another work? Any book?


Pause and select touches upon the idea of lacainian psychology in Evangelion in his video on the world apocalypse https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCKZQphDyLY

You should probably try contacting him if his exploration of Lacanian psychology isn't enough,
I know that the guy who runs the channel is open to discussion and is currently based at the University of Waterloo, He'd also be the best bet at finding further books and articles.


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