NERV HQ - The Hierarchy of Needs

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NERV HQ - The Hierarchy of Needs

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Postby AdamMalkovitch » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:48 pm

For years, it's troubled me as to just why NERV HQ's surface building is a pyramid. At first, I believed it was just an a e s t h e t i c choice, but now I've come to think that it represents Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. The Hierarchy of Needs is a pyramid-shaped graphic thought up by psychologist Abraham Maslow, and is a visual aid to show the basic levels of human need, with each layer being something the human mind needs. After a layer's needs are met, the mind is able to move up to the next layer, starting with biological needs for food and water, and ending with self-actualization, being all one can be. Here's a link to an image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... _Needs.svg

Notice how nothing much really ever happens in the surface building of NERV HQ, most of the events at NERV in Neon Genesis take place underground. Even Gendo's office isn't at the top. The building itself may even just be an artificial landmark, just there so people know that's where NERV HQ is. The symbolism of the building, however, may be deeper than was previously thought.

All the characters in Neon Genesis have serious psychological issues, it's no wonder this building is all but abandoned. Sure, needs are met up to about the second level, but not a single character (except maybe Maya during Third Impact, reaching the love and acceptance level) surpasses it. During End of Evangelion, NERV HQ's surface buildings, which are straight up referred to as surface -layers- by Hyuga when the Geofront is returned to it's original form. I believe this symbolizes the destruction of the human psyche, the loss of these needs. If all are one, perfect being, all needs will constantly be met.

In New Theatrical, however, these surface layers are utilized much more. In Break, we actually see Misato in the cafeteria partway up doing something on her laptop before Kaji brings her a coffee and sits with her. The cafeteria is clearly not at the top, but not at the bottom either, and Kaji joining her represents Misato reaching the third level. Later on in Break, after the brutal reimagining of the 9th Angel encounter, Shinji drives Unit 01 to the top of NERV HQ, and threatens to destroy it. This may be foreshadowing to Shinji reaching his vision of self-actualization at the end of the film. I mean, he straight up becomes a godlike being as the Radiant Giant for a few minutes. After being shown the remains of the Geofront by Mari in what's left of Unit 02, he books it to NERV. Either his feelings or his footsteps attract the attention of the 10th Angel-Rei fusion, and it fires intensely hot lasers at NERV HQ, completely decimating the surface building. This may go along with the foreshadowing of Shinji's self-actualization, showing that even though he reaches his full potential, it's all for nothing, and doing so partially causes the proper Third Impact during the time skip, since the only intact Evangelion Unit NERV Japan has left is frozen and surrounded by Angel-sealing hex runes, so SEELE and Gendo can do whatever the hell they want.
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Re: NERV HQ - The Hierarchy of Needs

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Postby ErgoProxy » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:12 pm

Oh... I always thought the pyramid is rather a reference to Ancient Egyptians, whose Pharaohs were notorious for incest marriages. :D

It should be noted that Maslov's hierarchy has been so far thoroughly criticized on the ground of empirical surveys. It's been discovered that order of needs can change due to age or circumstance and that several needs are ranked differently by different people from different communities, or that even number of levels of needs can vary from one culture to another. It should be especially noted that in collectivist societies of the Orient the need of being accepted by the community ranks higher than the individualistic need to self-improvment. Thus some scholars conclude that the whole concept is ethnocentric and not globally universal, or even egocentric in the sense that it accurately describes only those minds which are similar to the mind of Maslov.

Basically this would mean that NERV HQ symbolizes not what was discovered about human psyche, but what is imposed to it using the authority people have over people. Perhaps this citation would fit:
pl.wikipedia.org wrote:In particular the full circle of reification may occur – the introduced rule or social norm is originally treated as artificial and imposed, and even appears unjustified at all, but as time passes it becomes permanent element of social reality, so that even persons who took part in the process of its creation begin to treat it as if it was the law of nature.

What in my opinion applies to most of psychological theories (we can cure you, if we teach you first how to become ill).

Anyway, an interesting approach. But then, how to interpret the inverted pyramid from Q?
In my spirit lies my faith
Stronger than love and with me it will be
For always

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Re: NERV HQ - The Hierarchy of Needs

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Postby Sachi » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:26 pm

Nerv HQ is protecting the black moon, a universal womb of humanity from which all souls originate. The aesthetic design of the headquarters appropriately evokes the abstract image of a vulva. The Angels are attempting to infiltrate the headquarters and reach the "mother" within (more Freudian mother/sex attraction which is heavily prevalent later in the series and especially in EoE).

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