Shamshel's Gender

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Re: Shamshel's Gender

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Postby Reichu » Wed May 09, 2018 3:34 pm

View Original PostStrokeMeGoat wrote:Kaworu refers to both as being "mothers", but that's a classical way of defining just about anything symbolically as being the source of a given progeny. The Earth can hardly be said to have a biological sex, yet it is referred to as Mother Earth. The same can be said about Mother Nature.

Earth is a planet. Nature is a figurative concept. Adam and Lilith are human beings in a work about human beings. Poor analogy.

Now, I'm very open to the idea of Adam and Lilith indeed being female, but they are also both progenitors whose form of reproduction appears rather plainly to work outside of what we define as sexual. If there isn't a male of their species, why would we even consider them to be female?

First of all, male and female are not defined as simplistically as whether or not there is an obvious counterpart used for reproductive purposes. So for example, there's the well-known example of whip-tailed lizards that have lost their males and now reproduce exclusively via parthenogenesis. The females haven't suddenly stopped being female just because the males are gone. They're still 100% female; they just get by without males, is all. We continue to make the distinction because these lizards don't exist in a vacuum; they're part of a lineage where sexual reproduction was very recently the ancestral condition.

Second of all, Adam and Lilith are not their own species. Seeds of Life are engineered beings that exist outside the species paradigm. Since no such beings exist in real life, there isn't an established protocol for sexing them. However, given the previous example, where sex is treated as a biological trait with a long evolutionary history that persists beyond immediate environmental conditions (that is, whether or not two complementary sexes are combining their gametes to make more of themselves), it is entirely possible for the Seeds to maintain the quality of being female. It depends mostly on your view of how they were created. The argument can be made that the Seeds are engineered using the mostly-unmodified form of the FAR as a template. If it was specifically female FAR that were used, and the structures distinctive to female FAR are still present in Seeds of Life, then the Seeds would still be considered female. Between Lilith's "menstrual bleeding" (implies the presence of a birth canal) and the Angels hatching from eggs (ova = female gamete), an argument, again, could be made for this view.

This doesn't even get into the matter of Adam and Lilith being similar to Evas and having "pre-owned souls", so ultimately overanalysis of their reproductive parts is going to be beside the point (because of course it is). Odds are they're treated as mothers because they're not just mothers in some vague symbolic way -- rather, they actually WERE mothers, in the way we understand it, at one point; and as with Yui or Kyoko, this aspect of identity doesn't simply vanish. Given the Jungian goddess archetypes that NGE taps into, it would actually make sense for the original humans (the beginning of the collective unconscious) to consider their mothers uniquely gifted for the role of propagating their race into the future; hence their souls are placed into engineered bodies, resulting in the creation of the ultimate mothers. In a story about humanity, it seems rather fitting for the figurative concepts of Mother Earth and Mother Nature to be fused with an actual human mother, through the power of science fiction.

Incidentally, I'm sure if Adam and (pre-GNR) Lilith had big heaving tits then nobody would even contest the idea that the Seeds are women, but they're non-mammalian humanoid aliens, so here we are.

[Appropos of nothing, the Seeds actually DO have a masculine counterpart, though how functionally male the Spears are depends entirely on one's head canon. They are shaped like DNA, though, and we see the total failure of the "pull out" method in episode 22' where Lilith develops a nice round belly anyway...]

View Original PostDarkBluePhoenix wrote:Well, in all likelihood the Angels are in fact genderless and unable to reproduce

In analytical contexts like this, "gender" is frequently used to mean something separate from "sex". (I use them exclusively to refer to separate concepts, as I find it more precise.) Something to keep in mind.

otherwise there would probably have been way more angels to contend with after 15 years of no contact.

The Angels received their souls at Second Impact and were incubating for fifteen years. They hatch serially, as per Monster of the Week norms, so they never get to meet one another either. There's simply no data, so no assumptions can be made.

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Re: Shamshel's Gender

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Postby imprimatur13 » Wed May 09, 2018 6:39 pm

:bigeyes:

Well these were interesting replies. Can't say this is what I had in mind when I started the thread... To be perfectly honest, I am of the opinion that the Angels ('cept #17 and #18) do not have sex organs as such. However, in a way, the Angels can be understood to represent one or both sexes, in a purely symbolic way, as we perceive them. So the fact that Sham-chan may look like a phallus, or like female genitalia, is something only intended to make us think about masculinity or femininity within that context. (I'm not exactly sure if that makes sense, but... hopefully it does.)

Now, I'm not sure Anno or anyone else intended any deep meaning here. Maybe they did. I just thought it was interesting, and provided an alternate way of looking at Shamshel's symbolism, besides for just a giant penis.

(Now the rest of you can go about your business. Just wanted to interject.)
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Re: Shamshel's Gender

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Postby DarkBluePhoenix » Wed May 09, 2018 7:25 pm

I'll admit the list I posted but more about avoiding calling the Angels "it" while I was writing my fic, because that seemed disrespectful. As it stands, I never thought about their sex until going through this thread.

View Original PostReichu wrote:Second of all, Adam and Lilith are not their own species. Seeds of Life are engineered beings that exist outside the species paradigm. Since no such beings exist in real life, there isn't an established protocol for sexing them. However, given the previous example, where sex is treated as a biological trait with a long evolutionary history that persists beyond immediate environmental conditions (that is, whether or not two complementary sexes are combining their gametes to make more of themselves), it is entirely possible for the Seeds to maintain the quality of being female. It depends mostly on your view of how they were created. The argument can be made that the Seeds are engineered using the mostly-unmodified form of the FAR as a template. If it was specifically female FAR that were used, and the structures distinctive to female FAR are still present in Seeds of Life, then the Seeds would still be considered female. Between Lilith's "menstrual bleeding" (implies the presence of a birth canal) and the Angels hatching from eggs (ova = female gamete), an argument, again, could be made for this view.

That first sentence seems paradoxical in nature. An engineered species is by definition its own, separate species. Whether they were designed to reproduce hermaphroditicly, which is the most likely case considering a single Seed is sent to each planet to be seeded, they would need to be able to create a race on their own. Being hermaphroditic in nature, they would have no assigned reproductive sex.

View Original PostReichu wrote:This doesn't even get into the matter of Adam and Lilith being similar to Evas and having "pre-owned souls", so ultimately overanalysis of their reproductive parts is going to be beside the point (because of course it is). Odds are they're treated as mothers because they're not just mothers in some vague symbolic way -- rather, they actually WERE mothers, in the way we understand it, at one point; and as with Yui or Kyoko, this aspect of identity doesn't simply vanish. Given the Jungian goddess archetypes that NGE taps into, it would actually make sense for the original humans (the beginning of the collective unconscious) to consider their mothers uniquely gifted for the role of propagating their race into the future; hence their souls are placed into engineered bodies, resulting in the creation of the ultimate mothers. In a story about humanity, it seems rather fitting for the figurative concepts of Mother Earth and Mother Nature to be fused with an actual human mother, through the power of science fiction.

Incidentally, I'm sure if Adam and (pre-GNR) Lilith had big heaving tits then nobody would even contest the idea that the Seeds are women, but they're non-mammalian humanoid aliens, so here we are.

As you mentioned in your post, over analysis seem to be our downfall when it comes to the wild theories we cook up in our noggins. Even using the moniker "mother" for the Seeds seems is colloquial at best, and is not indicating that the Seeds are in fact female, but that we as humans view the mother as the creator of life, because that is how our species, and many species on our planet have evolved to reproduce. For all we know, males of the FAR species had the childbearing sex be the males. Not to mention that having tits does not make someone a woman. All mammals have mammaries, which obviously are usable in females, but in certain cases males can also have functioning mammary glands. It's the reproductive organs themselves that assign the sex, not the "big heaving tits" as you put it.

View Original PostReichu wrote:In analytical contexts like this, "gender" is frequently used to mean something separate from "sex". (I use them exclusively to refer to separate concepts, as I find it more precise.) Something to keep in mind.

The Angels received their souls at Second Impact and were incubating for fifteen years. They hatch serially, as per Monster of the Week norms, so they never get to meet one another either. There's simply no data, so no assumptions can be made.

I'll be more specific... the Angels have no concept of gender, and may not have any determined sex. The Seeds on the other hand may be assigned the gender of mother because they can create life, but are hermaphroditic in nature which makes fitting our understanding of gender binaries on the being difficult at best.
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Re: Shamshel's Gender

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Postby Reichu » Wed May 09, 2018 8:33 pm

View Original PostDarkBluePhoenix wrote:That first sentence seems paradoxical in nature. An engineered species is by definition its own, separate species. Whether they were designed to reproduce hermaphroditicly, which is the most likely case (snip)

It's not paradoxical. I was quite specific: they exist outside that paradigm because they've been engineered for a specific purpose. A species is a poorly defined and highly arbitrary biological concept, but in tetrapods, it generally refers to a pool of individuals with compatible gametes, who also tend to reproduce with one another "naturally" (that is, without human interference). An artificial god created to terraform and populate planets does not factor into the concept; it's not applicable.

"Likely hermaphroditic" assumes the Seeds rely upon having both female and male reproductive parts in order to achieve their goals. The female reproductive system is inherently useful here since it can produce new bodies, as Adam seems to have done; but in the context of whole species creation, just adding on some testes and internal tubing would... not really work well at all. This is because all testes really do is randomly halve your genome, generally under the assumption that the resultant spermatozoa will be going into an egg that's genetically distinct enough from you to avoid a suite of problems. You can say, "well, they're engineered, so...", but by the same token, an engineered being doesn't have to bother with a system as limited as spermatozoa production in the first place. Kaworu's creation implies that Adam got impregnated using just raw genetic material -- which would mean the Seeds can get pregnant without sperm, simply through the use of any DNA (i.e., meiosis not required). The Seeds have a "male" counterpart that's shaped like a double helix, perhaps not coincidentally.

As you mentioned in your post, over analysis seem to be our downfall when it comes to the wild theories we cook up in our noggins. (snip)

Is it really overanalysis to work with a detail provided explicitly by the show? We're told that Adam and Lilith are human beings. Treating them as completely alien for [insert reason here] could just as easily be treated as a form of overanalysis. It's always felt that way to me, certainly. If told something is human, presumably you should assume similarity unless there is information to the contrary.

Not to mention that having tits does not make someone a woman. All mammals have mammaries, which obviously are usable in females, but in certain cases males can also have functioning mammary glands. It's the reproductive organs themselves that assign the sex, not the "big heaving tits" as you put it.

The point there was that because these beings are not explicitly coded "female" using human norms, they get overcorrected into sexless (at best) by the majority of viewers.* It's nice to believe that humans DON'T make snap judgments based on whether or not something has tits, but they absolutely do. You can see this psychology at work everywhere from uninspired character design -- where a male can look like anything, but anything coded female has to be pink or purple, have real or faux breasts, wear a ribbon even if it has no hair, have long eyelashes even though human males regularly have longer eyelashes than females, etc. -- to the daily bullshit some of us get to live through. On account of not wearing form-fitting clothing and being fairly tall, broad-shouldered, and deep-voiced for a woman, I regularly get thrown into the "sir" and "bro" bin by random strangers. This would, of course, never happen if I was a petite thing who flaunted her assets.

* (I've noticed this habit as being fairly consistent across media with "near-human" and "god-like" characters, where any gendering, ESPECIALLY of "female-aligned" ones, gets fiercely questioned and symbolic "spaying" liberally applied. Not at all surprisingly, maleness is NEVER questioned to the same extent, because "male is default" and this is just taken for granted. But in those cases where it is questioned, overcorrection to something being sexless or hermaphroditic rapidly proceeds. This is incredibly bizarre considering the gods of yore were explicitly gendered, even when they engaged in gender-bender antics. I wish I knew what weird quirk of modern psychology was responsible for this rejection of our memetic roots.)

the Angels have no concept of gender

Gender would be something that the Angels "feel", and with them being so secretive and much about Angel mechanics being a black box, there's no information to make a declaration one way or another.

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Re: Shamshel's Gender

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Postby DarkBluePhoenix » Wed May 09, 2018 9:47 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:It's not paradoxical. I was quite specific: they exist outside that paradigm because they've been engineered for a specific purpose. A species is a poorly defined biological concept, but in tetrapods, a species generally refers to a pool of individuals with compatible gametes, who also tend to reproduce with one another "naturally" (that is, without human interference). An artificial god created to terraform and populate planets does not factor into the concept; it's not applicable.

Well, then perhaps they use asexual reproduction, which would still render the "are they males or females" paradigm moot, but also allow for greater genetic diversity in the first generation of produced offspring, allowing the species to propagate normally through sexual reproduction. Also, if it is such a poorly defined biological concept that even experts have trouble fully defining, then how can you omit the Seeds from your argument? Species and their definition are constantly changing, so even generalities would leave too narrow a space to fill with such a broad spectral definition. Asexual or hermaphroditic species do exist in our world, so if the Seeds fit into one of those categories, then it would go to support they are species made for the sole purpose of seeding worlds with life, but are a species none the less.

Testies and ovaries both half our genomes and combine them... and the internal tubing issue would be avoided with asexual reproduction, which as we see the little feet coming off of Lilith's stumps, and how Unit-01 was grown directly from her, this could have been how the Lillin themselves were created in the beginning.

Also, many almost all weapons are phallic objects, so the spears being the Seed's male counterpart seems more coincidental or symbolic than anything specific related to the Seed's sex. I also saw Kaworu as an accident caused by Second Impact, because as we see in the show Adam's body was separated from its soul, which inhabited the vessel we knew as Kaworu. Kaowru could have been created as an aftereffect of all the energy released from Second Impact, or was an experiment to bring someone back that went wrong, similar to how Rei was created "by accident"

View Original PostReichu wrote:Is it really overanalysis to work with a detail provided explicitly by the show? We're told that Adam and Lilith are human beings. Treating them as completely alien for [insert reason here] could just as easily be treated as a form of overanalysis. It's always felt that way to me, certainly.

When was this stated? What I recall from the show is the 99.89% figure that the Angels were similar to the EVAs, which was the same genetic similarity the EVAs had to humans. Could you please post the appropriate quote(s)? A

View Original PostReichu wrote:I've noticed this habit as being fairly consistent across media with "near-human" and "god-like" characters, where any gendering, ESPECIALLY of "female-aligned" ones, gets fiercely questioned and symbolic "spaying" liberally applied. Not at all surprisingly, maleness is NEVER questioned to the same extent, because "male is default" and this is just taken for granted. But in those cases where it is questioned, overcorrection to something being sexless or hermaphroditic rapidly proceeds. This is incredibly bizarre considering the gods of yore were explicitly gendered, even when they engaged in gender-bender antics. I wish I knew what weird quirk of modern psychology was responsible for this rejection of our memetic roots

I would personally avoid specifically assigning the Seeds to being either female or male unless its explicietly stated. Sure, the way things are portryed in media aren't ideal, but what is? And I won't deny that many others only question the female-like deities because they see it as, well whatever the hell they see it as. A true god exhibits the qualities of both men and women. The female side being one of creation and nurturing, and the male side being one of punishment and destruction. demi-gods exhibits only the qualities of one or the other, striking an external balance amongst a pantheon rather than an internal balance. And this comes form the kids who went to Catholic school and asked the wrong questions such as "Is God a woman?" or "Can God be wrong about anything?" or my favorite "what happened to Jesus during the time in his life we don't know about" Needless to say, no one liked those questions being asked.
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Re: Shamshel's Gender

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Postby Reichu » Wed May 09, 2018 10:44 pm

Adam is referred to as a human in episode 8. Lilith is called a human in episode 26'. The Angels and Evas are explicitly called "human" as well on more than one occasion. The "what's a human?" topic has come up several times before, so if it's something that interests you, the search function will serve you far better than a mere list of quotes would.

Our level of disagreement here is pretty fundamental, so between that and this being a tangent anyway (which any further response would begin to magnify exponentially) I'm gonna bow out.

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Re: Shamshel's Gender

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Postby StrokeMeGoat » Thu May 10, 2018 7:45 am

View Original PostReichu wrote:Earth is a planet. Nature is a figurative concept. Adam and Lilith are human beings in a work about human beings. Poor analogy.


Second of all, Adam and Lilith are not their own species. Seeds of Life are engineered beings that exist outside the species paradigm.


In analytical contexts like this, "gender" is frequently used to mean something separate from "sex". (I use them exclusively to refer to separate concepts, as I find it more precise.) Something to keep in mind.

I acknowledge the truthfulness of a lot of what I left out in your quote, but I have to wonder how you reconcile what you said about them being human and that they also exist entirely out of the species paradigm as engineered beings... both in the sense that they are actually human and somehow exist outside the species paradigm and that they should be considered female either biologically or in the concept of gender because as you said, they're engineered for a specific purpose and exist outside the species paradigm. The latter would suggest that we shouldn't be assigning them a sex or gender, wouldn't it? I'm also really iffy on how much I really feel comfortable accepting a lot of NGE2s supposed officially recognized canon backstory as actually being canonical, especially given how much of it appears retconned as fuck. Also, I know you said we can search for past discussions on the question of what "human", especially in NGE, actually is or means, but I think your dismissal of it in your consideration of the SoLs gender/sex is a bit baffling and maybe even kind of concerning because it seems entirely central to both your personal interpretation of things and indeed, anybody's interpretation of them on this matter. It's absolutely central and paramount as to whether or not you should or even can consider them to be female.

Regarding gender being different than sex, I agree, but considering gender is more of a personal self-identification and neither Adam nor Lilith's concepts of self-identity are explicitly mentioned, that just seems like another reason why we shouldn't be assigning them a gender. I also believe the allusion to LCL coming out of Llilith being menstrual blood more or less falls in line with my argument about character design and the symbolism involved in said designs. I mean, for half the show, Lilith doesn't even have a lower torso and presumably any of what we might consider the biological sex organs that she would allegedly still have as being a genetically engineered "female" FAR (which I still find to be too retconned and/or head canony despite apparently being stated in NGE2) for over half of the show. The LCL coming out of here is more or less implied to be exiting her back from her wound of being impaled by the Lance/Spear of Longinus, throwing the idea of it being menstrual blood in particular into question.

Honestly, LCL, given that it is draining from Lilith's wound of being impaled by the spear seems more to simply be her actual blood itself. The fact her being impaled in the ribs by the Spear of Longinus itself on a cross is entirely in line with the same way Jesus was in the actual canonical Biblical account of his crucifixion (with water first coming out and hitting the soil, followed by blood, which in itself is said to be a miracle and is speculated to possibly be a requirement or the impetus for man's reconciliation with God/spiritual salvation... which is why the Spear is considered by many to be holy and the reason for it's referral as the Holy Spear/Spear of Destiny) makes the interpretation that LCL is simply Lilith's blood a valid and legitimate possible interpretation of what LCL as a substance actually is. LCL is acknowledged by Shinji to smell like blood, but beyond that, the way it drips out of Lilith in Terminal Dogma down the cross being somewhat visually reminiscent and suggestive of menstruation and the other symbolic references to and significance given to a more female, gender/sex-reversed reference to Christian canon and symbolism of God is all that makes assuming it to actually be menstrual even viable a an interpretation at all.

I'm not saying one way or another whether LCL is simply Llith's blood or it's actually "her" menstrual blood (and for the record I actually prefer to think of Lilith and Adam as female rather than entirely genderless, although I do prefer to consider the other Angels themselves with the exception of Kaworu's physical sex as a Lilin being male as being otherwise genderless/sexless), and again, that Adam and Lilith to be without gender or female one way or another either. All I'm doing is asking what I consider to be rather basic and prudent questions about them and challenging in particular anybody who finds themselves rather certain in their particular opinion/determination regarding these to garner an honest and fruitful discussion about said certainty... along with stating what we know specifically to be the facts alone to help going forward in future considerations and discussion about this subject. I'm specifically avoiding asserting my own opinions on the matter when asking these questions and stating these facts and what all we actually know for certain to be true to help keep what I'm bringing up more objective so I don't accidentally start including any personal assumptions or my preferred head canon in this pursuit.

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Re: Shamshel's Gender

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Postby VUX » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:41 pm

I thought they were all hermaphrodites, but the regular angels are just sterile
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Re: Shamshel's Gender

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Postby felineki » Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:38 pm

View Original PostACGT-Samael wrote:On a related note, how did people besides Reichu decide Ramiel was female?
The singing in her debut scene was what did it for me.

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Re: Shamshel's Gender

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Postby StrokeMeGoat » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:00 am

View Original PostReichu wrote:Earth is a planet. Nature is a figurative concept. Adam and Lilith are human beings in a work about human beings. Poor analogy.

I know this post is old, but after rereading the thread, I rather confidently feel you're incorrect regarding my analogy being poor, in the implication that nature being a figurative concept at all negates or casts any legitimate doubts or aspersions (other than as the result of personal bias) anything I said in that specific quote you're responding to, and that your insistence regarding Adam and Lilith's humanity and NGE being a work about human beings actually says much of honestly anything as a statement.

Let's address Adam and Lilith being human beings in a work about human beings. To begin with, the work being specifically about the humanity of human beings itself is and serves as the primary thematic element throughout the entire story is debatable. For one, using your own (imo, flawed) logic in response to my idea about Kaworu's mother statements quite possibly being more figurative than literal, the terms humanity, human being, and what actually being a human being actually even means or entails are all figurative concepts. Perhaps you already see the meaninglessness of your obvious statement about nature being a figurative concept when used to serve as some sort of counter argument or evidence against the validity of my own? To go further, both what the Earth actually is (and where you place the boundaries on where the stuff that makes the Earth up actually ends or begins, even in a more literal sense when you consider there is no hard border to the atmosphere and the Earth's magnetic field, where exactly does the Earth turn to space and vice versa?) and planets are figurative concepts, just like nature. The nature of their existence as concepts doesn't make them totally imaginary or non-applicable to arguments like the one's I made.

Indeed, what exactly that we comprehend as existing can you correctly say aren't figurative concepts with imperfect, ambiguous, at times confusing, and don't possess variable, ephemeral, ever evolving boundaries defining what a thing is and is not? The definitions of all concepts, objects, things, and knowledge we posses are entirely relative--they're wholly dependent on the consideration of any given thing with it's surroundings and with respect in reference to other things you've experienced that you choose to compare it with and the duality that emerges as a natural consequence of a concept's inception. What's tall depends on what short is, what's skinny on what's fat, what's cold on what's hot, what's alive on what's dead. What is a sun possesses a specific range of mass, produces new elements via nuclear fusion reactions taking place in its core, and produces electromagnetic radiation, and what a sun isn't is a moon or a planet. Outside of ourselves and our psyches, the mostly arbitrary boundaries we've placed between things do not exist in any tangible sense, as they rely on perceptions and the ability to perceive (and might i add, to perceive an inherent limited scope of the available existence out there in reality because we only sense and interpret energetic vibrations and their interactions with each other at a certain range of wave frequencies) in order for them to exist as we know them. Outside of us they exist differently than we perceive, because there is necessarily more than we are capable of comprehending and experiencing ourselves consciously.

Continuing on, what humans actually "are", what being a human being actually means for one, and the concept of humanity that exist outside of the concept of Evangelion, a science fictional introspection into the psyche and various philosophies that blurs the lines between what it means to be human, be an alien, being a beast, be consciously aware, the nature of reality, and to be alive, likely don't represent their respective concepts all that identically. Fictional works, especially the introspective, contemplative, and reflective kind, often play to our expectations and beliefs on the central ideas and concepts deconstructed and discussed in the narrative and perform reversals and or present situations and events that outright challenge, if not attack the way we already think about and conceptualize these beliefs so central and pertinent to our daily lives, the struggles inherent to them, and drive serious conflict or controversy among ourselves as a result of our perspectives on them being so rigid and set in stone that we don't even realize we'd been taking for what we thought before was correct/the correct way to think about a thing.

NGE, a show about the characters and the human race experiencing mental and a physical existential crisis that threatens their very survival, as they are under attack by a number of "alien" beings called angels/apostles whose origins happen to technically emerge from the same essential source (the FAR) so that they may render the Lilin extinct and reclaim the planet their progenitor arrived on first. then it's revealed the Evas and the Angels can all be considered human, but what is meant by that? Humanity as a species, as we define it, all share the same organs, only grow to be within a certain range of height and weight, and aren't capable of things like surviving without food, indefinite life span, or the ability to regenerate one's self so long as a particular organ responsible for that effect remains in tact. Obviously, the most literal, common, and common sense definition of what a human being can't be the definition that NGE is using because that definition excludes the Angels as it is. Clearly, a more general, possibly even pseudo-scientific sci-fi kind of bullshittery could be what's meant by the Lilin, the Angels, along with Adam and Lilith all in fact being human beings. Either way, a pseudo-science sci-fi definition might as well mean nothing at all, especially when used to determine the actual nature of any of these beings in a discussion like this, or what you define human as is meant to be questioned by the events of the story and is up for debate.

So all in all, why would interpreting what Kaworu said to be metaphorical be at all absurd as a possibly being true? The show itself focuses heavily on the mind, consciousness, psychology, and the psyche. The idea and concept of The Mother, be it in reference to nature in general, the Earth, or that which we were born from (literally and figuratively). Why should such a critical and significant concept in the landscape of the unconscious and the Psyche be ignored in its figurative sense? I don't get it. Also, what Rei experiences during HIP during the TV ending illustrates rather clearly the concept of what being human actually means being questioned by one of the most important characters herself in quite literally one of the most thematically relevant and appropriate roles as being a mere clone of another person altogether with the soul of a a god-like Angelic entity with backed up memories of hers from time in the tank being given to her again any time she dies making her one of the most absolutely synthetic creations in the entirety of the series. She winds up saying she's afraid that what lies beneath the surface doesn't have human form, and she's got a crisis of being capable of truly possessing any real identity whatsoever. Rei Ayanami is one of the single best examples of a character and their backstory being a challenge of what it means to be alive, conscious, and human I'm to date aware of.


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