Lilith and Adam parallel Cain and Abel

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Lilith and Adam parallel Cain and Abel

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Postby AdamMalkovitch » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:19 pm

I noticed this a while back but never got around to making a post. The biblical tale of Cain and Abel goes like this: Adam and Eve, the first two humans God made on Earth, had three children, the first two of which were named Cain and Abel. Cain was the first human ever born, and obviously was older than Abel. The two worked in the fields, Cain as a farmer and Abel as a shepherd. They both would regularly offer up sacrifices of their own work to God, but for seemingly no reason, the younger brother Abel's sacrifices were more favored by God (later prints and revisions state that Cain had poor quality sacrifices but Abel's were the best he could provide. The original Dead Sea Scrolls never said this). Cain gets fed up by his brother's better treatment, and has him go out in a field with him. Cain kills Abel, and becomes the first murderer. God knows, and sends him out in the wilderness to wander, and tells him that anyone who kills him will "suffer sevenfold vengeance".

The First Ancestral Race, a species of aliens or parallel dimension humans or something, sent out 7 vessels called Seeds or Moons, each containing a being created by them to spread themselves across the universe. Two of these Moons, containing Adam and Lilith respectively, landed on Earth. Adam's White Moon was the first to land on the planet, but Lilith's Black Moon was the one to fulfil it's purpose, with Lilith's children prospering as Adam remained dormant. Lilith's children attempted to reach out to Adam, to experiment on her, but this caused the Second Impact, releasing billions of years of built up energy and hatred toward her younger sister Lilith as the winged Radiant Giant. Adam sent out her children to fuse with Lilith, in an attempt to cause a Third Impact, killing Lilith and all her children.

The major differences here are Adam and Eve's three children and the FAR's seven Moons, and how each story ends. However, both three and seven are important numbers in the Bible (seven days of creation, Jesus Christ was dead for three days), so I believe this lines up. The endings are different. In the world of Neon Genesis, the conflict ended when Adam and Lilith fused willingly, creating Lilith taking on the form of Rei Ayanami, causing Third Impact, Instrumentality, and essentially resetting Earth without the original Adam or Lilith. When it comes to the ending of the story of Cain and Abel, it depends on where the audience determines it's ending. The end of the story could be when Cain murders Abel, or when he's sent out to wander, or when he dies, or even when Jesus Christ is crucified, cleansing the world of the sin represented by Cain. Unsurprisingly, another Evangelion detail is left up to the interpretation of the audience.
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Re: Lilith and Adam parallel Cain and Abel

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Postby DarkBluePhoenix » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:04 pm

So who is the "Jesus Christ" being crucified in your example? Is it an obvious choice like Yui-sama, or would it be Rei who willingly sacrifices herself?
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Re: Lilith and Adam parallel Cain and Abel

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Postby AdamMalkovitch » Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:52 am

View Original PostDarkBluePhoenix wrote:So who is the "Jesus Christ" being crucified in your example? Is it an obvious choice like Yui-sama, or would it be Rei who willingly sacrifices herself?

I didn't actually think of this, I just meant that the story of Cain and Abel could end at this point. However, this brings up an interesting dynamic in both narratives, a trinity. The biblical trinity is formed of God the Father (God), God the Son (Jesus Christ) and God the Spirit (The Holy Spirit). I think these match up almost perfectly to Yui (Father), Kaworu (Son), and Rei (Holy Spirit).

Yui started all of this, had she not become interested in biotechnology and gene science as a young adult, she wouldn't have researched the massive object at the South Pole and connected these two interests, Second Impact would likely have never even happened.

Kaworu is sort of a son to Adam, inheriting her soul but with a different body. He loves humanity, and willingly gives his life to save them at the hands of humans.

Rei is the Holy Spirit for obvious reasons- she appears and vanishes at will, influencing others, and collecting their souls when they die, even before Instrumentality.

This was a super interesting question, and I thoroughly enjoyed thinking over and analyzing this possible answer. What are your thoughts?
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Re: Lilith and Adam parallel Cain and Abel

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Postby DarkBluePhoenix » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:42 am

I agree that Yui is God in this trinity, but I would say that Rei is the Jesus, and the Angels (not just Kaowru) are the holy spirit. Rei gives herself up to help "save" humanity by allowing Shinji to make the choice to begin instrumentality or not, becoming of in the process, who merges with Yui (god) and the MPEs power (Tabris). The Angels on the other hand are sent as "messengers of god" who have direct contact and influence over the pilots. This fits well with Arael, Armisael, and Tabris, as they have direct contact with each of the pilots and interact with them in some form or another, and form thier own trinity that's been discussed elsewhere on the forum (the wings, halo, and body of an angel).
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Re: Lilith and Adam parallel Cain and Abel

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Postby StrokeMeGoat » Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:49 am

I think there are multiple different combinations of people and beings in NGE that form the Holy Trinity, I've mentioned so a few times in other posts. I'll try finding and linking them sometime when I've got more time to/I'm less lazy.

In any case, I could see how Adam and Lilith parallel Cain and Abel. I think Anno purposefully made several layered parallels to Biblical figures and stories. At the same time, I the Bible itself repeats many of its narratives and is full of layered up parallels. The Bible, like NGE (at least as Anno put it, regarding the latter), is a story that repeats--and it does so on many levels.

Really, you can think of a majority of the Christian Bible's most famous/well known stories as different narrative versions of the same basic story (with the same basic morals), whose lessons and results for the characters involved are simply a way that more fully fleshes them out by giving multiple differing examples, allowing you to view it all from slightly different perspectives.

The moral of the Cain and Abel story is that performing and accepting great sacrifice is required in life despite the suffering inherent with it, and that refusing to make that sacrifice leads to one's own personal unhappiness, misfortune, and basically makes one's life like hell on earth. God can be taken as a literal being here or be a symbolic representation. Either way, earning God's favor by accepting and performing this personal sacrifice results in prosperity, growth, and happiness, where as questioning or not accepting it and performing as little sacrifice as is possible results in the opposite.

Jesus winds up sacrificing his life and tells others to give up their belongings, etc., and being tortured to death, but in doing becomes the salvation of humanity by reconciling mankind with God through that torture and death--the act of which allows him to transcend the flesh and become reborn in a perfect body that never dies. Jesus Christ is essentially Abel, and the unsaved sinners that are mankind up until that point are all Abel. Christ represents the acceptance of the suffering he had to endure in life and the kind of sacrifice one has to be willing to make in order to transcend Original Sin (which is just the sinful aspect of human nature that we are all guilty of) and become more than just himself as an individual, but something great in the hearts and minds of men that they all aspire to be and inspires them to also become more than just (the, at times, but still quite often, sad, pathetic, lonely, depressed, disgusting, depraved, sinful human beings they are) themselves.

The same goes for the other "good" main characters of the Bible, like John the Baptist, Abraham, Noah, etc. I truly believe it's possible to draw parallels to all such characters and the stories they're involved in to various (and often multiple) characters in NGE. A good example of a parallel is Kaworu with John the Baptist. John the Baptist winds up being beheaded as the result of Herodias (Herod's daugher) demanding Herod bring her his head, so he's then executed and beheaded--his head then is brought to her on a platter/large plate, just as Kaworu winds up being beheaded by Shinji in ep. 24. Afterwards his disciples take his body and bury it in a tomb. He is also known as "the forerunner" of the Messiah, in large part because the foreshadowing of Jesus' fate the parallels of his own provides (along with him being conceived and born just a bit before Jesus, famously having jumped for joy in the womb when his mother met Mary after she had become pregnant with Jesus).

Despite Rei having many parallels with Jesus herself, humanity as a whole as the 18th Angel or maybe perhaps Shinji as an individual (depending on your perspective) seems more to represent Jesus in the context of viewing Kaworu as John the Baptist. JtB baptized people in the River Jordan (a bit like the pool of LCL below Lilith), including Jesus, and when he did so, many of the Gospels say that he saw the clouds part and witnessed the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus like a dove. Rei III, and "Quantum Rei" fit the role of the Holy Spirit at the moment just before Shinji kills Kaworu in Terminal Dogma and Kaworu looks up and sees her, having descended into Terminal Dogma, smiles, and then tells Shinji that humanity is the existence who should live on. The Holy Spirit is described by the Bible as the third person of God who, upon Jesus' death and resurrection, comes to reside within the heart and mind (which is the manner in which Christ's reborn body becomes perfect and immortal, by existing within man) of any Christian after their acceptance of Christ as their lord God and their only path of salvation. Quantum Rei is immortal, yet immaterial/metaphysical in that very same way, and it isn't clear whether the Rei we see in Terminal Dogma is Quantum Rei or just Rei III (although without there being a direct example of Q. Rei having an AT field being detected, it's more likely Rei III after realizing what and who exactly she is after Kaworu's exclamation of "Adam" in fact being Lilith). Corroborating humanity as being the 18th Angel and representing Jesus here is the fact they all die before being reborn again with Rei (and Kaworu) existing within their hearts and minds as the hope that one day they will understand one another and what the words "I love you" represent/mean.

Of course though, like I said, the parallels in NGE with specific Bible stories and the parallels with characters in NGE with prominent figures in the Bible are densely layered and exist on multiple levels. NGE Characters wind up representing multiple figures from the Bible in different ways depending on the context and perspective you consider them in.

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Re: Lilith and Adam parallel Cain and Abel

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Postby ElKaizerX » Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:40 pm

Awesome insights all around. After multiple viewings and some internal musings I also noticed NGE's interesting relationship to the Christian Trinity concept. I know it's been quoted that the creators used Abrahamic symbolism for purely aesthetic reasons, but whether it was intentional or not I think by making such a human story Anno et al managed to touch on something about the power and archetypal essence of storytelling that the Abrahamic religions also do if seen from less a mystical perspective and more human one.

Given the nature of NGE as a story about the never ending cycle of growing the fuck up, living life, and connecting with others despite being aware of the monstrous uncertainty of the universe you exist in, I think the show got pretty meta about the role storytelling plays in the consciousness of us humans.

One of the more interesting Trinity paralles I noticed was that of:

- the creators (father) - Anno et al's imagination (which is influenced by their experiences and inspirations) or, better, the setting/universe of NGE

- the creation (son) - the characters/vessels of empathy (Lilin, CoA, SoL, Pen-Pen, etc.) of NGE, which might help explain why every seemingly sentient being in the show is referred to as human

- the message (holy spirit) - the story of NGE, the "only through effort and facing the world and not running away can you truly find the meaning of 'I love you'"

I don't think Anno et al were bullshitting when they've been quoted as saying the judeo-christian symbolism has any deeper meaning beyond aesthetics, but I do believe the show has a deeper message and using judeo-christian symbolism as pure aesthetics and coolness plays into that message. The message being that all stories play out the same sequence, the sequence of a human overcoming adversity and growing up through conscious effort. That sequence isn't linear and is very much cyclical in nature similar to how the Abrahamic stories we're described above and how Anno describes NGE.

I guess I'm saying that actually using Abrahamic symbolism such as the Trinity storytelling device for aesthetic purposes can be seen to show that the inherent cyclical nature of storytelling is much much older than any world religion and more deeply connected to Humanity's evolution into an beast with consciousness than being the cause of a metaphysical gift. This stands in contrast to mainstream interpretstions of religious texts our world over in that these texts are seen as divine words of a deity instead of human works of artistic interpretations in trying to understand our selves.

I may have gone have the rails there. I've held the belief Adam and Lilith paralleled the Jungian Animus/Anima, but then again Cain and Abel could just be the same artistic interpretation of that psychology concept in the genre of Judeo-Christianity instead of Big Robots.


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