NGE as a metaphor for Revelation

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Postby Petrucio » Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:06 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:Turned out that I'd had my first-ever manic experience, and I got to start taking a new pill every morning and evening.
I was joking about that, sorry, the "Well, not really" was not enough to show it, I guess. I didn't come up with those theories at the same time yesterday and I'm not inventing them as I write these posts, they are the result of me thinking about the show and analysing it according to my experiences and little things I know. It's not like I've been obsessively doing research to specifically understand the show. I'm just "philosophizing"!
View Original PostReichu wrote:How do they confirm anything about NGE? (...) If NGE abuses Judeo-Christian references, NME rapes them in every orifice.
That's how. All I'm saying is that the references are not there just to make it look cool, neither to be abused; I'm saying that they actually make sense.

It's like "2001, a space odyssey". People can forever discuss IF it has any meaning, OR, you can just assume it does, and then try to understand it. The people on the second category (provided they are not crazy from the start) usually enjoy the movie more than the people in the first - the proff of this is that the second category is the only one still watching it. There will always be the skeptics who say it is just subjective delirium if you say you understand it, but that is the same as equating art to a subjective delirium. Art can be universal, it can point to universal meanings.
View Original PostReichu wrote:Enumerating the "theories" suggests that you're employing the term "theory" in a more formal sense than "speculation" or "hunch". In which case, "theory" means everything but.
Well, I am in no hurry to explain my neat little theories. I have evidence for them (in the form of speculations and arguments). If you think it's more appropriate, I'll stop saying "theories" and I'll say "ideas" or "conclusions". I am not trying to establish the "13 laws of NGE interpretation". And my adopted psychological theory is "There's definitely, definitely, definitely no logic to human behaviour"
View Original PostReichu wrote:One thing you need to keep in mind is that at least half of the people on this forum are atheist, agnostic, or otherwise not of Abrahamic persuasion.
Well, great, those usually are the smartest people around. Look: I am just pointing out my conclusions about the show (those theories are not the premises). I'm also not saying I'm right. And I never asked to discuss Anno's or the forum members religious views.
View Original PostReichu wrote:For my part, I have absolutely no idea what the significance of most of your claims is supposed to be, since you seem more interested in how the show "services" the Bible than how Biblical allusions enhance understanding of the show.
Anyone can always ask if they don't understand something, I can try to be more clear. I'm only interested in sharing my views, I don't understand what you mean with this dichotomy (trying to prove that the show "services" the Bible versus being interested in the enhancement of the understanding of the show).

If you can trust that Anno is not secretly a Christian, you can trust that I am not secretly intending to do something other than sharing my views.

**************** ONE DAY LATTER ****************

Ok, so I think I'll just share some basic insights before this goes to the limbo...

1. You don't start interpreting NGE by what the characters say, or by their revealed thoughts or even by their names. Analyzing these things is the last thing you should do. The more someone talks in EVA, and/or the more confidence the character has, the worst off he is, meaning he doesn't really know anything about what's really going on. And this rule has exceptions too, because you have a few characters that DO know what's going on, they ARE talkative and they ARE confident, BUT, when they talk, they purposefully say the opposite of what they mean.

2. You can only decide about who is being good and who is being evil at a certain context in NGE based on: (their actions)x(the level of information the character has at the time of the action). The level of information is twofold: about what's really going on and about himself. HOWEVER, there is one type of action that is only allowed by very few characters and only in certain contexts, and when the others try to do it, they are always wrong in doing it, and it is: trying to understand the other characters and/or trying to understand what's really going on, and then trying to use this limited "understanding" to justify their own actions.

3. The symbols look like they don't mean anything because they are not supposed to always mean what we usually think they mean, and they vary their meanings depending on the context they are used. And, also, you can't understand them in a completely rational way, but this doesn't mean they are completely irrational.

4. While it is true that all or most of the above can be extracted directly from the series itself (i.e., NGE interprets itself), and understanding the series with the above 3 is enough for a very pleasant experience of the show, sticking to those 3 has the natural and obvious limitation of the show itself. If, however, you subscribe to the view that symbols can carry universal meanings, follow your heart and try to understand them, and then come back to the show, you realize that the symbols were used in a fantastically harmonious way, like a symphony. So yeah, they are there "just to make it look cool", if by "look cool" you mean "awe inspiring on so many levels".

5. You can't walk out of the above 4 without being a better person, because those rules actually apply to life as a whole, and that's what makes EVA a very good mythology.

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Postby Jornophelanthas » Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:02 am

View Original PostReichu wrote:For my part, I have absolutely no idea what the significance of most of your claims is supposed to be, since you seem more interested in how the show "services" the Bible than how Biblical allusions enhance understanding of the show.

Being linked here from a different thread in order to understand Petrucio's position better, I believe the above quote voices my opinion quite accurately.

I also agree with Bagheera, who posted:
I think this is an interesting idea. It's fairly obvious that it's not the intent, but there's ample precedent for intentionally applying an unusual slant to a work for whatever reason even if it doesn't coincide with the intent of the author, the work's stated narrative, or the common audience understanding of either. It sounds like a fun undertaking so long as one doesn't get too carried away.


Combining two narratives (in this case, various passages of the Bible and Neon Genesis Evangelion) could yield interesting results that may carry their own significance to the reader. This shows the creative and (in the best case) visionary qualities of you as an author.

However, it is another thing entirely to perform such an analysis, and then to claim that this has been the actual intent of the creators of Evangelion all along. This is wrong for two reasons:
1. There is no evidence supporting this claim other than your own project. As such, it is a case of projecting your own beliefs onto others, and you're only fooling yourself in doing so.
2. There is no need to make such a move at all, since each story, narrative, work of art, religious doctrine or religious belief lends itself to free interpretation by any reader/viewer/listener, independently of its "originally intended meaning" by the author. (Take the myth of Oedipous written by Aischylos, for example. This can be seen as a literary experience of tragedy and catharsis meant to entertain the crowds of Hellenistic Athens in the 3rd Century BC, but Sigmund Freud has remade it into an allegorical account of the subconscious sexual urges of the male child in the early 20th Century.) Each of these interpretations should be valued by their own merits, not by any supposed approval by the original author (who may or may not be dead for centuries). Not the Bible, not Oedipous, and not Evangelion.

Therefore, this project of acquiring meaning from Neon Genesis Evangelion through the Book of Revelations is your own work, not Anno's. Please claim it as such.

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Postby Petrucio » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:03 am

View Original PostJornophelanthas wrote: ... in this case, various passages of the Bible...


You don't want me to quote the ENTIRE Bible to you, do you? Because I could just as well say that NGE is a "metaphor" for the book of Exodus (Nerv is Egypt, humanity is Israel, the slaves, Gendo is Moses, Seele is the burning bush, Shinji is Joshua, the series on TV represent the 40 years in the wilderness, the angels are all the plagues and strange things that happen in the wilderness, as well as the good things too, and EoE is the conquest of Canaan - Gendo can't set foot on the holly land).

This type of analysis is possible because NGE is some type of gnostic work, a type of an updated mythology. I'm never going to be able to explain everything I'm sure is behind this show or to be able to show you all the evidence, and that's the point of making a work of art like this. Make you curious so you will find meaning for yourself. Most mediocre artists fall on the category that you just described, their work is quite subjective, but Anno is on par with Stanley Kurbick.

A Cruel Angel's Thesis (It's cruel because you think it is meaningless, but deep down you know there is a meaning, and this doubt eats you up from inside, making you search high and low until you find it ... and it is not what you thought it was, otherwise he could have just told you from the start, and so you understand why he was so cruel). This is why I am doing this, the people who are Eva fans are among the most special people in the world, they deserve to know the truth. I'm trying to make you confident in your quest, you will understand the series if you follow your heart, and not your mind.

Young boy, like a cruel angel's thesis,
Live up to be a legend...

Even though clear blue winds
Beat on the door of my heart,
You just smile, looking straight at me
Too involved in yearning for
Something to hold on
The innocent eyes still no nothing of fate yet.

But someday you will notice
On those shoulders of your
There are strong wings
To guide you to the far future.

A cruel angel's thesis
Will someday fly high from the window
If memories are betrayed by
The overflowing, burning pathos (emotions).
Young boy, shine like a legend,
Holding the sky in your arms.

The cradle of love that sleeps within me
There will be a morining that
A servant of dreams will come for you.
The moonlight shines on your thin neckline.
I'd stop time in this world
And lock it away for myself, but...

If there is any meaning
In the fate that pulled us together,
Then I am, yes, the Bible
That teaches you of freedom.

A cruel angel's thesis
And then sorrow comes forth
When the shapes of the dreams you hold in your arms
Come to life within you.
Young boy, who shines brighter than anyone else,
Rise to become a legend.

People weave together love to create history
And so I live on,
Unable to become a goddess...

A cruel angel's thesis
Will someday fly high from the window
If memories are betrayed by
The overflowing, burning pathos (feelings).
Young boy, shine like a legend,
Holding the sky in your arms.

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Postby Azathoth » Sun Jul 31, 2011 12:26 pm

View Original PostPetrucio wrote:Most mediocre artists fall on the category that you just described, their work is quite subjective, but Anno is on par with Stanley Kurbick.


Someone needs to wait until Jimbo comes back and then tell him to put this in his sig.
Nothing is so valuable that it need not be started afresh, nothing is so rich that it need not be enriched constantly.

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Postby gwern » Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:35 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:I don't have to imagine. Back around the beginning of 2006, I sincerely believed that I had been blessed with the secret to understanding NGE, and I wrote vast oceans of text about the revelations I was experiencing.

Turned out that I'd had my first-ever manic experience, and I got to start taking a new pill every morning and evening.


I don't know whether this is fiction or real; either way, I find it hilarious and a good warning. (I hope that doesn't make me a bad person, but if it does, so be it.)

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Postby Reichu » Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:00 pm

View Original Postgwern wrote:I don't know whether this is fiction or real; either way, I find it hilarious and a good warning. (I hope that doesn't make me a bad person, but if it does, so be it.)

It really did happen. You can see some of the threads that I produced in my altered mind-state within the ANF Archive, most prefixed by "Reichu's Revelations".

After having been "there and back", one starts to see the tell-tale signs of madness and mania other places...

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Postby Petrucio » Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:29 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:After having been "there and back", one starts to see the tell-tale signs of madness and mania other places...


I know what it's like.

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Postby Varius » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:30 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:Anno has stated this about his religious preferences:


From where did you get the quote by Anno where he talks about his religious preferences?

I'm writing some stuff about NGE and Anno's philosophy at the moment and would be grateful if you could post a link to your source (if it's on the web).

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Re: 13 thesis on the symbolism of Evangelion

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Postby Ornette » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:50 pm

View Original PostVarius wrote:From where did you get the quote by Anno where he talks about his religious preferences?

I'm writing some stuff about NGE and Anno's philosophy at the moment and would be grateful if you could post a link to your source (if it's on the web).

http://wiki.evageeks.org/Statements_by_Evangelion_Staff#Hideaki_Anno.27s_Roundtable_Discussion

Originally from Animerica vol.4, no.9.
(Source: http://masterwork.animemedia.com/Evangelion/anno.html can use internet archive)

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Re: 13 thesis on the symbolism of Evangelion

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Postby Varius » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:28 am

View Original PostOrnette wrote:http://wiki.evageeks.org/Statements_by_Evangelion_Staff#Hideaki_Anno.27s_Roundtable_Discussion

Originally from Animerica vol.4, no.9.
(Source: http://masterwork.animemedia.com/Evangelion/anno.html can use internet archive)


A million thanks! :-)

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Postby 2Girls1Frankie » Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:35 pm

I think you're reading far too deep, lol.
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Postby palehorseXIII » Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:09 am

Only slightly in OP's defense with the four giants of light rather then the traditional Adam seen at the end of 2.22 I could see Rebuild maybe drawing from Revelation a bit with the four giants maybe representing the four horsemen. However I am not saying his theory at all holds water and as has been stated many times Rebuild =/= the original series.
. . .

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Postby Alaska Slim » Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:08 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:I sincerely believed that I had been blessed with the secret to understanding NGE

As did I, it was called "Bad Faith". :wink:

Now I look at some of my older posts, and I can't even wrap my own head around them.
"It's all fun and games till one of you gets my foot up your ass." - FofR, TrivialBeing.net Webmaster

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Re: NGE as a metaphor for Revelation

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Postby ElKaizerX » Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:52 pm

Apologies for posting on an old thread but I rather enjoyed this back and forth. While I'm in the camp that follows the idea that NGE is intend to be "about" or "endorsing" or "arguing for" a specific belief system, namely Judeo-Christianity, I would agree that "mindless cool" is also not the intent. The way the team weaves pretty consistent imagery and themes throughout shows quite a love for the concepts championed by the mythological genre.

In relation to the similarities between the "plot" of the Bible and NGE & NME I do think that's pretty intentional to weave a modern story for humanity. There's a lot of interesting themes and philosophical nuggets on the human condition within the story of the Bible if one looks beyond it as a literal depiction of the past and more of a poetic journey of humanity, a task I understand is well a little more than difficult and controversial given it's place in the lives of billions of people.

I'll put my name down on the the idea that Evangelion is Anno's attempt to make something more than just spectle entertainment, but instead a sort of "gospel" or, better, a modern myth like those found applenty amongst our ancestors but currently lacking in a era of corporate gatekeepers of story. A guide (Torah? Lol) for those potentially like him (us fans. Otaku in general?) to create their own joy (art), share it with others, and continue to choose life over escape (death).

And if I were to throw my hat into any overt connection to Judeo-Christianity other than quite beautifully cribbing that mythology to incorporate it into a new modern myth (an idea I find ironically funny given the evidence that the proto-jews did the same for their mythology by cribbing the other Mesopotamian myths around them) I'd say that Evangelion plays out like a post-revelation (post-apocalypse) tale as opposed to adapting the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse) hence the series "New Era/Beginning" wink wink.

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Re: NGE as a metaphor for Revelation

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Postby Reichu » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:50 am

View Original PostElKaizerX wrote:hence the series "New Era/Beginning" wink wink.

For whatever it's worth: the shinseiki (新世紀) in the title is a play on the Japanese title for Genesis, Souseiki (創世記) which is literally "original century" or "first era". (This explains the "Neon Genesis" in the alternate title.)

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Re: NGE as a metaphor for Revelation

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Postby ElKaizerX » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:05 am

View Original PostReichu wrote:For whatever it's worth: the shinseiki (新世紀) in the title is a play on the Japanese title for Genesis, Souseiki (創世記) which is literally "original century" or "first era". (This explains the "Neon Genesis" in the alternate title.)


So very cheeky of them! :devil:

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Re: 13 thesis on the symbolism of Evangelion

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Postby PenPen4life » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:18 pm

View Original PostPetrucio wrote:Maybe. It's not cool to be a Christian in most niches of the entertainment industry, so I guess most people just keep it to themselves, but it shows in their work.

Yes, I'm sure Anno was showing his closet christianhood when he had the protagonist reject a world state that Seele aspired to as heaven. It was the chirstianity showing when the protagonist rejected immortality and the end of suffering(which is the conceptual opposite of hell btw). the concept that "mortal life can be heaven", rendering heaven redundant is christian.

You can iterpret anything as anything, but strong interpretations that resonate with other people usually require a clear coherent line of reasoning. Your theory here makes two assumptions:

-> that instrumentality was a representation of christian hell
-> that the normal pain-filled life Shinji decided to come back to is a representation of christian heaven

I'm open to these ideas, but only if you can actually show me what specific details in the material led you to this conclusion and how they led you there.

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Re: 13 thesis on the symbolism of Evangelion

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Postby Mr. Tines » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:43 pm

View Original PostPenPen4life wrote:I'm open to these ideas, but only if you can actually show me what specific details in the material led you to this conclusion and how they led you there.
I hope this was slow enough ==> :slowpoke:

You're asking a question of someone who was banned from the forum 7½ years ago.

-> that instrumentality was a representation of christian hell
There have been many depictions of Hell over the centuries, but EoE-style Instrumentality can be interpreted along the lines of Sartre's famous quote "Hell is other people."
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Re: 13 thesis on the symbolism of Evangelion

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Postby PenPen4life » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:33 am

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:I hope this was slow enough ==> :slowpoke:

You're asking a question of someone who was banned from the forum 7½ years ago.
"


-__-
Sartre's famous quote "Hell is other people."

Didn't he make a play about that? i recall reading it in english class

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Re: 13 thesis on the symbolism of Evangelion

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Postby Mr. Tines » Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:46 pm

View Original PostPenPen4life wrote:Didn't he make a play about that? i recall reading it in english class
Yes; it's the punchline of the play Huis Clos ("No Exit").
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