Imaginary Audience and the AT Field

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AdamMalkovitch
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Imaginary Audience and the AT Field

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Postby AdamMalkovitch » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:12 pm

It's been constantly echoed that "AT Field" is a real term in psychology used to describe how autistic patients are shut off from the world around them, and echoed even more that this is definitely not the case. However, I'd like to present another thing It could allude to; the Imaginary Audience. During adolescence, the Imaginary Audience is the concept that you're being constantly observed by everyone around you- but you're clearly not, because other teens around you are wrapped up in their own Imaginary Audience. I believe this concept may have been an influence for Evangelion's AT Field, as both separate others from yourself because of a fear of others.
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Re: Imaginary Audience and the AT Field

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Postby Blockio » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:32 pm

View Original PostAdamMalkobitch wrote:It's been constantly echoed that "AT Field" is a real term in psychology used to describe how autistic patients are shut off from the world around them, and echoed even more that this is definitely not the case. However, I'd like to present another thing It could allude to; the Imaginary Audience. During adolescence, the Imaginary Audience is the concept that you're being constantly observed by everyone around you- but you're clearly not, because other teens around you are wrapped up in their own Imaginary Audience. I believe this concept may have been an influence for Evangelion's AT Field, as both separate others from yourself because of a fear of others.

The first theory I can most definitely confirm from my own experience, although I rather see it as a mechanism of mental self-defence through means of mental parallel worlds such as roleplay, reading or letting oneself be carried away by music. So basically the same way an in-universe AT field works.

And for the second, I can only say that it would definitely fit the tone of the series and add some interesting new points of view to some scenes in the later episodes.
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Re: Imaginary Audience and the AT Field

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Postby StrokeMeGoat » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:55 am

The meaning of the AT Field seems to be rather multi-faceted in the series. On the most fundamental level, the AT Field, to me, is merely that which separates an individual from their surrounding existence and their reality. The AT Field represents the boundaries we construct in an effort to contrast and more easily differentiate the distinctive features making separate things actually separate from one another, rather than just being a nondescript, amorphous blob of somethingness.

Ultimately these boundaries or categories that form in our psyche are what determine what specifically is and is not any given thing. The most pronounced effect of the formation of these boundaries, other than being able to understand various concepts and learn, is a feed-back loop that forces one's awareness of the "self" and all forms of "otherness" that are not the self to become more intense/potent and concrete. I believe that this awareness itself specifically is highly related, or at least correlated, to experiencing anxiety, terror, worry, and negative feelings in general. It kicks the amygdala into overdrive, basically. The reason I hypothesize this is recognizing that we feel greatest and most content in situations wherein we lose all sense of self, time/the passage of time accurately, our physical location, and even lots of things going on around us. When we get really into a song/music, or we focus in on something we're passionate about, we enter a mild euphoric dissociative state. Given the experience and the dissociative state are strong enough, it's even possible for the experience to take on a transcendental nature.

For the characters in the show, the AT Field was a literal tool and weapon that could physically prevent the intrusion of any external form of matter into the space/realm that is in fact the light of the soul itself. Considering the soul is a rather generic concept and often used interchangeably at times when referencing the mind or heart or consciousness and the psyche in general, I equate its usage in NGE with a meaning closer to the latter... only it serves a bonus function by fitting neatly into their usage of Christian symbolism in the show.

As part of a closing note, I wanted to say that the loss of Shinji's Ego Borders as a result of the anti-AT Field his destrudo going off the charts is what actually kicks off Human Instrumentality and leads to the unification of all human souls into a whole, single being. Everything about what happens reflects the process of Ego Death rather well, which is an experience that can lead to a state of being that isn't unlike what we see in the Sea of LCL. The differences between objects and more specifically, ourselves in relation to the outside world, begin to totally dissolve. Before Ego Death actually is achieved, the dissolution of meaning and defining characteristics of specific objects leads to more creative associations and connections made between concepts and thoughts one might have. This is a big reason why dreaming or tripping on hallucinogenic drugs leads you to come up with new ideas and how they relate to each other. Once Ego Death is achieved, where you end and where you begin loses all meaning. There is a connected oneness and wholeness between the raw experience you're merely observing and the universe itself. Naturally, in that process, you lose all self-hood or even existence as an individual human being. The lack of differentiation between yourself and everything else essentially creating an experience that isn't quite the same as death, but achieves basically the exact same result, effectively. If you are all that exists, aren't you then pretty much the same as being nothing?

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Re: Imaginary Audience and the AT Field

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Postby kuribo-04 » Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:23 pm

During adolescence, the Imaginary Audience is the concept that you're being constantly observed by everyone around you

Was this supposed to end with the end of adolescence?

But yeah, I see a similarity with the AT-Field.

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Re: Imaginary Audience and the AT Field

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Postby Cybermat47 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 6:38 am

View Original PostAdamMalkobitch wrote:During adolescence, the Imaginary Audience is the concept that you're being constantly observed by everyone around you-


Well, shit. I’m an adult, but my imaginary audience is still here.

I honestly have this crippling fear that everyone is observing the tiniest thing I do and judging me harshly for it, in real life and online. I really wish it would just stop.

But hey, maybe now that I know what it’s called, I can overcome it...
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Re: Imaginary Audience and the AT Field

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Postby Blockio » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:51 pm

View Original PostCybermat47 wrote:Well, shit. I’m an adult, but my imaginary audience is still here.

I honestly have this crippling fear that everyone is observing the tiniest thing I do and judging me harshly for it, in real life and online. I really wish it would just stop.

But hey, maybe now that I know what it’s called, I can overcome it...

At the risk of going too farr offtopic, from my own experience the best way to counter that is by strengthening your "other" AT field until you eventually just kinda stop caring... that kind of "spiritual armor" really does help, and it just kinda becomes natural at some point, at least for me.

Anyway, back to topic
Why don't you save the Princess next time instead of being such a baby? She would love it and maybe you could get a sweet kiss. ~ sadly not Mari in Q (Joseki)

What about titty-ten? ~ Reichu

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Re: Imaginary Audience and the AT Field

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Postby AdamMalkovitch » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:08 am

View Original PostCybermat47 wrote:Well, shit. I’m an adult, but my imaginary audience is still here.

I honestly have this crippling fear that everyone is observing the tiniest thing I do and judging me harshly for it, in real life and online. I really wish it would just stop.

But hey, maybe now that I know what it’s called, I can overcome it...

Gosh, sorry, I should've mentioned that it STARTS during adolescence, and is strongest then, but doesn't really completely go away for most people, unless they're sociopaths. I've found a way to decrease the strength of my IA by connecting with like-minded individuals and opening myself up for more interaction. It was difficult at first, but I've gotten a lot more social because of it.

Right, back to the topic- StrokeMeGoat's reply was super interesting. I had already known about Ego Death, and that it happens leading up to physical death, but I never thought about it in connection to Neon Genesis. This brings a whole new horrific outlook to Instrumentality, which I guess really is a planet-wide death in order for Lilith-based life to be reborn. The title Death and Rebirth finally makes sense now.
I've reached a point where I just generally don't give a fuck anymore. In a good way.

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Re: Imaginary Audience and the AT Field

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Postby Julius » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:52 pm

I always had this "Imaginary audiences" but not because of social ineptitude, in fact,it's always when i'm alone that i feel watched,and sometimes followed.

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Re: Imaginary Audience and the AT Field

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Postby traumalamb » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:51 pm

View Original PostStrokeMeGoat wrote:The meaning of the AT Field seems to be rather multi-faceted in the series. On the most fundamental level, the AT Field, to me, is merely that which separates an individual from their surrounding existence and their reality. The AT Field represents the boundaries we construct in an effort to contrast and more easily differentiate the distinctive features making separate things actually separate from one another, rather than just being a nondescript, amorphous blob of somethingness.

Ultimately these boundaries or categories that form in our psyche are what determine what specifically is and is not any given thing. The most pronounced effect of the formation of these boundaries, other than being able to understand various concepts and learn, is a feed-back loop that forces one's awareness of the "self" and all forms of "otherness" that are not the self to become more intense/potent and concrete. I believe that this awareness itself specifically is highly related, or at least correlated, to experiencing anxiety, terror, worry, and negative feelings in general. It kicks the amygdala into overdrive, basically. The reason I hypothesize this is recognizing that we feel greatest and most content in situations wherein we lose all sense of self, time/the passage of time accurately, our physical location, and even lots of things going on around us. When we get really into a song/music, or we focus in on something we're passionate about, we enter a mild euphoric dissociative state. Given the experience and the dissociative state are strong enough, it's even possible for the experience to take on a transcendental nature.

For the characters in the show, the AT Field was a literal tool and weapon that could physically prevent the intrusion of any external form of matter into the space/realm that is in fact the light of the soul itself. Considering the soul is a rather generic concept and often used interchangeably at times when referencing the mind or heart or consciousness and the psyche in general, I equate its usage in NGE with a meaning closer to the latter... only it serves a bonus function by fitting neatly into their usage of Christian symbolism in the show.

As part of a closing note, I wanted to say that the loss of Shinji's Ego Borders as a result of the anti-AT Field his destrudo going off the charts is what actually kicks off Human Instrumentality and leads to the unification of all human souls into a whole, single being. Everything about what happens reflects the process of Ego Death rather well, which is an experience that can lead to a state of being that isn't unlike what we see in the Sea of LCL. The differences between objects and more specifically, ourselves in relation to the outside world, begin to totally dissolve. Before Ego Death actually is achieved, the dissolution of meaning and defining characteristics of specific objects leads to more creative associations and connections made between concepts and thoughts one might have. This is a big reason why dreaming or tripping on hallucinogenic drugs leads you to come up with new ideas and how they relate to each other. Once Ego Death is achieved, where you end and where you begin loses all meaning. There is a connected oneness and wholeness between the raw experience you're merely observing and the universe itself. Naturally, in that process, you lose all self-hood or even existence as an individual human being. The lack of differentiation between yourself and everything else essentially creating an experience that isn't quite the same as death, but achieves basically the exact same result, effectively. If you are all that exists, aren't you then pretty much the same as being nothing?

Oddly enough, a common theory is that what causes ego death with hallucinogens is the inability to experience or retrieve memories. This means that the sense of identity you have created and experienced is forgotten.
https://psychonautwiki.org/w/index.php?title=Memory_suppression&_=#Ego_death
I wonder, if you were to experience multiple people's memories at once, would the same thing happen? An ego death, similar to that experienced in the Instrumentality?
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Re: Imaginary Audience and the AT Field

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Postby VUX » Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:26 pm

Are you talking about the live action theater scene in End of Evangelion?
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