An Ark, a Tree, and a Big Red Room (Eva Cosmology)

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Re: An Ark, a Tree, and a Big Red Room

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Postby CommanderFish » Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:19 pm

I'm not sure what to think about this whole "Adam looking like Lilith" thing. I forgot about that picture of Adam impaled by the Spear (as I forget about a lot of things), but now that I'm looking at it again, taking Reichu's brilliant fanon into account.... it's pretty frustrating. Because the truth is: it does look more like Lilith than it does an Eva unit. And I know it's just a single picture--not even colored--amongst so much other evidence, but just... why would they choose to have it look like that? Was it an error? Was it just the ice that caused the body to be shaped like that? Was it drawn like this to give the viewer more of a surprise when Kaworu realizes his mistake?
For now, I'm just going to go with what Reichu said:
Reichu wrote:Body proportions being different from the Giant of Light is, IMO, being given FAR too much meaning. It might at first seem significant because there are so few depictions of Adam, but when you include all depictions of giant humanoids in the series, a tendency toward visual inconsistency becomes quickly apparent...

...so I don't think myself to death.

StrokeMeGoat wrote:...such as the subject of NGE's religious aspects--the name itself was chosen because it sounded complicated and cool, but the religious symbolism and parallels are quite real, albeit not as quite as deep as we like to think they are.

This is exactly what I've thought for a long time. Well said.

Also, on the topic of cloning and what not: Eva is still science fiction, no matter how much "real" science it contains. Despite this, your proposition was still quite interesting, StrokeMeGoat.
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Re: An Ark, a Tree, and a Big Red Room

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Postby Reichu » Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:37 pm

StrokeMeGoat: I can't recall any actual sourced statement on why the designs were changed for the movie. Rotoscoping is a possibility I remember suggesting some years back; there are points in the films where the technique is obviously being used (e.g. Giant Kaworu's hands wandering across the screen), so they might as well be using it less obviously, too. When you say, "The designs they use change quite a bit during scenes where there isn't much complex action and where there is a lot of fighting", it sounds like you're referring to the discrepancy between the animation where the Evas actually follow the settei, and the key frame animation where they don't; the latter is AFAIK all done by the same guy, Mitsuo Iwao. He did the animation of Eva-01 crawling around and eating in episode 19, as well. Come to think of it, Eva-01 looked incredibly mannish in those shots, too, so EoE isn't the sole guilty party here. You can find "man in suit" Evas in the original run of the show; you just have to look a bit harder.

Anyway, since we'll probably never know the exact reason(s) for all these visual discrepancies, resolving them comes down to deciding what you think the simplest/best solution is. The two main options seem to be:

A) All the giant humanoids start out having Lilin-like proportions and not much muscle tone. All of them except Lilith become, at some point, lanky muscular things for... some reason?

[N.B. Lilith momentarily gains a lot of muscular definition in episode 24, which is gone by EoE. Insert in-universe explanation here.]

or

B) Any depiction of the giant humanoids having man-in-suit proportions is just a visual inconsistency that should not be taken as an in-universe fact. (Compare: constantly fluctuating character designs that are never taken to mean that the characters' facial features, body proportions, or cup sizes are actually changing.)

Exempting the Reiquarium images from being beholden to the law of visual inconsistency in anime also does not, in any way, address the point about Lilith having weird physical properties (that no one else possesses until she assimilates the MP Evas).

CommanderFish: Eva-01 doesn't look as spindly as she should, either. Check out the "bluntness" of the hands, and, here, how close the arms lie along the body. (Evas typically have very wide shoulders.) Too weird.

(I wonder if I should split the latest stuff into one of the preexisting threads on this very topic?)
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Postby Reichu » Sun Sep 18, 2016 3:43 pm

View Original PostCommanderFish wrote:I think "embryo" in this case just means that it is the single entity that all forms of life (i.e. the Fruit of Knowledge and the Fruit of Wisdom) originate from. Sort of like how in actual embryological development, the cells of the zygote begin as totipotent--able to differentiate into any other type of cell--and then further along the line the cells will functionally specialize more and more until a specific organism is developed.

I've been thinking about this, and also about sephirotic's own thoughts in this thread. He had hit the pay dirt right there, but I needed time to ruminate and digest before I could see it. Some relevant quotes in the spoiler tags:

SPOILER: Show
View Original Postsephirotic wrote:I was further researching about the "Guf" and stumbled with a new take on the mythology involving the Tree of Life. Every time I searched about the tree of life, I ended up reading about the Sephiroticum system, and them assumed it was the same metaphysical entity with all the Sephiras, an "emotional" path to god, etc, etc. But now, in the page of Guf, I found a very interesting less abstract explanation of WHAT the Tree of Life really is, its importance and its relationship with "Guf":

[Wikipedia]According to Jewish mythology, in the Garden of Eden there is a Tree of life or the "Tree of Souls:[1] that blossoms and produces new souls, which fall into the Guf, the "Treasury of Souls". Gabriel reaches into the treasury and takes out the first soul that comes into his hand. Then Lailah, the Angel of Conception, watches over the embryo until it is born.

According to Rabbi Isaac Luria, the trees are resting places for souls and sparrows can see the soul's descent, explaining their joyous chirping. The Tree of Souls produces all the souls that have ever existed, or will ever exist. When the last soul descends, the world will come to an end.[2] According to the Talmud, Yevamot 62a, is that the Messiah will not come until the Guf is emptied of all its souls. [/Wikipedia]

Now it all makes sense, It became obvious that these terms extracted from Kabbalah were read by Anno in a similar way that was described in here.

There is MORE THAN A SINGLE TREE OF LIFE. I mistakenly always thought it was unique, because Fuyutsuki calls it "equivalent to god". I thought he was literally saying that the Tree of Life was actually the Far. No, he was just referring to the ability of creating life/SOULS from nothing. Now the translation of bochan_bird seems much more correct. He altered "life" to "souls" very intelligently. In this case, it was LITERALLY the souls which were created by the Tree of Life and thus stored on the Chamber of Guf. Fuyutsuki was explaining it, that the Tree of Life has the ability to create Souls. It also now makes sense as why it entered inside the GNR, it has a strictly relationship with the Black Moon, It gave the power for the GNR to OPEN the Chamber of Guf. I now believe, that the junction of GNR + Tree of Life, is now the direct equivalent to GOD, or the FAR. Not just the Tree of Life or Lilith + Adam.


View Original Postsephirotic wrote:Then comes that explanation of WHAT THE TREE OF LIFE ACTUALLY IS AND ITS FUNCTION in Judaic mythology, it makes some sense in understanding what do the Tree of life does: It creates souls and put/drop them into Guf, thus,it creates life, more specifically, HUMAN LIFE. So, now we can insert this idea on the concept of "embryo of life" without messing with the weird word "embryo" and only then, can we infer that it means "creates life", more specifically, human lives. (which planted the seeds for some of the newer turns in my ideas to show up while talking with you).

I feel especially stupid on account of the fact that I have a fat (like 4 inches thick) tome on my shelf called The Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism, a compilation of Judaic lore by Howard Schwartz. Really lovely book, don't regret impulse buying it at Borders at all. Let me quote some of the relevant tidbits, which will overlap a little with sephirotic's findings since the sources are often the same, but I like to be comprehensive:

The Tree of Souls wrote:
199. Tree of Souls

[Main Entry:] God has a tree of flowering souls in Paradise. The angel who sits beneath it is the Guardian of Paradise, and the tree is surrounded by the four winds of the world. From this tree blossom forth all souls, as it is said, "I am like a cypress tree in bloom; your fruit issues forth from Me." (Hos.14:9) And from the roots of this tree sprout the souls of all the righteous ones whose names are inscribed there. When the souls grow ripe, they descend into the Treasury of Souls, where they are stored until they are called upon to be born. From this we learn that all souls are the fruit of the Holy One, blessed be He.

This Tree of Souls produces all the souls that have ever existed, or will ever exist. And when the last soul descends, the world as we know it will come to an end.

[Commentary:] Rabbinic and kabbalistic texts speculate that the origin of souls is somewhere in heaven. This myth provides the heavenly origin of souls, and in itself fuses many traditions. First, it develops themes based on the biblical account of the Garden of Eden. It also builds on the tradition that just as there is an earthly Garden of Eden, so is there a heavenly one, as expressed in the principle, "as above, so below". Just as there is a Tree of Life in the earthly garden, so there is a Tree of Life in the heavenly one.

(…)

As for the Tree of Life in Paradise, its blossoms are souls. It produces new souls, which ripen, and then fall from the tree into the Guf, the Treasury of Souls in Paradise. (…) Thus the Tree of Life in Paradise is a Tree of Souls. (…)


It goes on to mention the legend of a rabbi (Isaac Luria of Safed) who believed that trees were resting places for souls, and performed a tree ritual in the month of Nisan (when trees where budding) to participate in the rescue of wandering spirits incarnated in lower lifeforms. In this tale, the trees are literally peopled with souls, waiting for the next life in which they might repent. I find this interesting, as my brain immediately tied it to one peculiar, poignant detail I recall from EoE's storyboards: when countless eyes open up on the Tree of Life, the accompanying sound is described as people praying.

Schwartz suggests that Moshe de Leon, the primary author of Zohar, might have symbolically identified the Tree of Souls with the Sephirotic Tree, and writes, “Tikkunei Zohar speaks of the ten sefirot blossoming and flying forth souls”. I wonder if this is related to the preexisting understanding I had collected from readings (of many years ago) that the Sephirotic Tree is a schematic representation of the Inverted Tree (that is, the Tree of Life that grows down from the heavens toward earth). I should do some back-tracking after I get some sleep, heh.

The next entry in the book is about the Treasury of Souls (Chamber of Guf) itself, but I can save that for another time. Let me try to condense everything here into an understanding that might be applied to NGE.

I think your suggestion about the way that “embryo” is being used to refer to the Tree is completely on point. That is, it is capable of generating any kind of soul, just as an embryo can generate any kind of cell. I still kind of feel like the metaphor is a bit sloppy, since an embryo dividing into countless new cells that remain part of the same organism, and a spirit-tree budding off countless souls that each breathe life into a different individual, are rather different concepts. Then again... perhaps the concept of Adam Kadmon is being rolled into the Tree?

Thinking about it for a moment, this... actually... makes a fucking boatload of sense.

I need to read about Adam Kadmon some more to cement this connection fully, but the gist of my understanding is that A.K. is a sort of cosmic soul / “primordial man”, emanated into the void by God early on in the process of Creation and containing God's ten emanations, the Sephiroth. So A.K. has a lot of overlap with the Tree of Life, manifest in the Sephirotica, the spiritual pathway between man/god, earth/heaven. Hopefully that makes some modicum of sense, heh.

If I'm understanding things correctly, and I'm not entirely sure I am, Adam Kadmon could, in NGE terms at least, be the “souls” part of the Tree of Souls. The cosmic Ur-seele, the “embryo” before there was any differentiation, budding, and release. If all souls could be considered to source from a primeval “entity”, this could handily explain the matter of how Eva-01 could “return” (as in, return to a prior state of being) to the Tree of Life. Both Yui and Shinji's souls were originally part of Adam Kadmon. By being enveloped in the Tree, their souls are being returned to that primitive state of being. (Something like that? My brain is still working all the details out...)

Incidentally, giving Adam Kadmon an actual presence in NGE's cosmology presents a very intriguing possibility for the identity of one of NGE's persistent mysteries:

Image

Consider its placement in the opening's story of creation:

Void → Cosmic Spark → Red Space → “Angel” appears → Transition to "Blue Space", Tree of Life → Water & Birth Imagery

Could this figure actually be a representation of Adam Kadmon...?
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Re: An Ark, a Tree, and a Big Red Room

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Postby Baz » Sun Sep 18, 2016 5:46 pm

Hmm... but I though that figure was already identified as a cherubim (what with the six wings with many eyes and all), which is classically associated with expulsion from the Garden? Identifying it as Adam Kadmon seems a stretch.

I'm tremendously enjoying reading this discussion but am too lazy to assist with the research.
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Re: An Ark, a Tree, and a Big Red Room

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Postby pwhodges » Sun Sep 18, 2016 6:21 pm

Depending where you look, seraphim have four or (more usually) six wings; cherubim have two or four. That figure has twelve.
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Re: An Ark, a Tree, and a Big Red Room

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Postby Reichu » Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:11 pm

View Original PostBaz wrote:Hmm... but I though that figure was already identified as a cherubim (what with the six wings with many eyes and all), which is classically associated with expulsion from the Garden? Identifying it as Adam Kadmon seems a stretch.

My research results from years ago are summarized here. I always felt like something was missing. Clearly a lot of angel-related iconography is being used in the figure, but far less lucid is exactly what the figure represents in the context of NGE itself.

Once I considered that Adam Kadmon might actually be a thing in NGE's cosmology, not just a concept playfully alluded to here and there (cf. GNR's brief appearance as a split androgynous being, frequently identified with A.K. by viewers), the angelic figure being a representation of such seemed to just organically line up. True, it doesn't look the way you might expect, but why should it have to? In visual terms, does it effectively convey the essence of a Primordial Mega-Soul? As we've determined, the figure is less a concrete angelological reference than a symbol constructed for the show itself to condense various supernatural visual motifs. All of its features are associated with entities that go beyond the finite and mortal. Adam Kadmon is the sum of God's ten emanations, in pure and brilliant form. How fitting would it be, then, for NGE's Adam Kadmon to be imagined as not merely some naked dude with ten spheres positioned within him chakra-like, but a composite of features only exhibited by the humans nearest to a god-like state?

Now, this possibility doesn't mean that the "expulsion from paradise" symbolism gets undone or anything. It still applies in full, as the fate of Adam Kadmon is to "fall" from Red Space to Blue via the Tree of Life, going from a supreme singular expression of spiritual entity to countless small, flawed souls wrapped in suits of flesh. Which... by gum, does this also take care of the elusive 12-winged Sammael symbolism?? Is it because NGE's Adam Kadmon went from a higher state to a lower one, expelled from the heavenly Paradise where "true God" resides, just like the Satan of Judeo-Christian lore?
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Re: An Ark, a Tree, and a Big Red Room

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Postby Reichu » Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:48 am

I did some further looking around and found something very yummy: the notion that the souls of humanity are like "cells" that once comprised the "body" of Adam Kadmon is a preexisting idea in some schools of Kabbalistic/Gnostic thought! Find the quotations in the tags:

SPOILER: Show
Before the Fall

According to Kabbalah, humankind is like a group of cells. Each person represents a cell or a unit in the body of Adamic Humanity, and the privation or darkness in which we dwell is a result of Human’s symbolic fall from an original state of glory and oneness with the Divine Being, for Man-God, known in Kabbalah as Adam Kadmon, was originally a unified being. Before the fall, this collective man had a glorious spiritual form and was living on a higher spiritual plane enjoying the most incredible privileges. After the misuse of free-will, Adam, or Man-God, was cast out of that higher plane and lost his pristine position and spiritual privileges. As a result of the fall, this unified being became fragmented, and the cells of that being are now the souls of the men and women we now refer to as humanity. As you can naturally deduce from the above, every man and woman is connected. We are each one cell of Adam Kadmon.

^ (This is the most intriguing passage that came up, since it also incorporates the legend of the Fall of Man. Logically, the idea of Adam Kadmon "falling" from a higher to lower state would have been the result of the Adam Kadmon concept being fused with the tale of Adam the First Man. This sort of unification/reconciliation is very much intrinsic to the tradition of folklore and mysticism, so it would be downright bizarre to not find such a variation out there somewhere!)

Living Gnosis: A Practical Guide to Gnostic Christianity wrote:(...) we have spoken of our souls as being like cells in the body of Adam Kadmon, who is the "image and likeness of God." As we awaken individually, the body of the primordial human being is awakened one cell at a time, and it as though God is is awakening with, in, and though us.


Total Kabbalah: Bring Happiness and Balance Into Your Life wrote:Kabbalistic legend tells that each human being is one cell of a divine human being, known as Adam Kadmon. (...) Adam Kadmon is the primordial human being--the blueprint of the perfect human. In modern terms we could call him/her God's baby. (...) This being exists in potentiality only. It can only realize itself when all its soul-cells (us) have become enlightened. Then we will all become enlightened in the image of God--and as an integral part of the divine baby be truly born again.

^ (Oh lawd @ that subtitle.)

Kabbalah for Beginners wrote:After the four phases [of creation] and their Root, the will to receive was divided into five worlds--Adam Kadmon, Atzilut, Beria, Yetzira, and Assiya--and one soul, called Adam ha Rishon. Adam ha Rishon broke and materialized in our world. In other words, all of us are actually one soul, whose parts are connected and dependent on each other like cells in a body.

And on it goes.

Offhand, I wouldn't consider any of these sources to be especially optimal, but for right now (i.e. until I can haul ass to the local university library, where the real magic happens) they serve the purpose of establishing that the same sorts of esoteric connections I reasoned out independently*, as very possibly present in NGE's cosmology, were already out there in the mystical Zeitgeist. This cements, in my mind, the overall sense of organic symbological cohesion to be found in Kabbalah, Gnosticism, and other forms of mystic thought, a quality that makes them so very useful as supplemental drivers for fictional narratives in the first place!

* By this I mean, "without being aware that these connections had already been made by kabbalists/gnostics". It goes without saying that none of these posts would have been possible without years of bouncing off of other Eva fans! :wink:

EDIT: I started looking into the term mentioned above, Adam ha Rishon. It turns out that this is just the formal designation of "Adam, the First Human" as we normally think of it/him. Matters quickly complicate due to the fact that the distinctions between Adam Kadmon and Adam ha-Rishon can be either absolutely concrete or not really there at all depending on what you're reading.

This confusion and/or conflation is probably why I was under the impression that the split Lilith/Adam being was a visual reference to "Adam Kadmon", whereas further checking indicates that it is specifically a representation of Adam ha-Rishon in its original form as an androgyne (...and a literal "beast with two backs"!). At some point, I'd be interested in further investigating why this imagery was briefly invoked during the scene in question, and any of you feel free to dive deeper. Right now, I want to keep my own focus on the idea that NGE is using the idea of a composite Adam (that is, Adam Kadmon + Adam ha-Rishon)* to represent the primordial super-soul.

* For all intents of purposes, I think I'll simplify/generalize this composite Adam concept to "Adam Kadmon(i)", in order to avoid confusion with NGE's own (increasingly misleadingly named) Adam.

A couple of additional pages with some fascinating information and potentially invaluable leads:
http://www.betemunah.org/adam.html
http://www.rabbidavidcooper.com/cooper- ... ins-n.html <-(I love how down-to-earth the explanations here are!)

As I let the Tree of Souls / Adam Kadmoni stuff settle, I'll start putting together some of the material I had originally intended for the "Instrumentality 101" thread (in other words, been meaning to post about for YEARS). This will provide some follow-up to where I left things off with CommanderFish, as well. Look forward to it!
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Re: An Ark, a Tree, and a Big Red Room

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Postby StrokeMeGoat » Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:40 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:Once I considered that Adam Kadmon might actually be a thing in NGE's cosmology, not just a concept playfully alluded to here and there (cf. GNR's brief appearance as a split androgynous being, frequently identified with A.K. by viewers), the angelic figure being a representation of such seemed to just organically line up. True, it doesn't look the way you might expect, but why should it have to? ?

From my own research, Adam Kadmon is in a way God and, of course, the original or quintessential human. (S)He/it is described as enormous, androgynous, and Adam the human being is made in his image, along with Lilith and Eve.

When Genesis says Adam was made in God's image, it is specifically referring to Adam Kadmon. How Adam Kadmon is and isn't God is very confusing, but it has to do with his existence in his particular section of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. I used to believe that Adam (the human) being made in God's image didn't necessarily mean that God looked like a human. I imagined it in the context of saying "humans made the city in their own image". That is to say, they made the city according to a concept formed in their head and made to their liking. I thought that this is what the Bible meant, and it was a bit silly for people to assume that God looked like a human. However, after digging into Jewish lore, it appears to actually be the case that Adam Kadmon can in a way be considered God (God for the Jews, based on all the things I've read, can actually mean several things, which in a way is supported by how many translations and words there are for God, the lord, etc.) and indeed looked like a human being. He is the primordial man, in this case really meaning human given that Adam Kadmon is androgynous and complete, and Adam the human is made in AK's image.

All that being said, GNR, and I think even Adam and Lilith themselves can all be considered candidates for NGE's representations of Adam Kadmon. Adam Kadmon is androgynous and enormous, which GNR, Adam, and Lilith all are. All souls are derived from Adam Kadmon as well, which also fits. The representation of a cheribum in the OP is easy to spot and recognize as a cheribum, with a head made to look like Sachiel's. Any claims toward it being AK is, to me, wishful thinking, supported by confirmation bias. Most people would likely agree with these designations if they did the research themselves (and already seem to), and arguing otherwise can be fun to entertain in a way, but in all seriousness, it doesn't make sense for it to be a representation of Primordial man when it's a clear depiction of an angel.

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Re: An Ark, a Tree, and a Big Red Room (Eva Cosmology)

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Postby Reichu » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:11 pm

StrokeMeGoat: The summary of your own readings about A.K. is more or less consistent with what I've read — though I must also note that what I've read is far from consistent. That is, many of the details are subject to intense levels of variation.

In any event, I don't want people to get hung up on my suggestion that the angelic figure = Adam Kadmon at the expense of all else. It's just a suggestion that I feel might explain some irksome lingering mysteries, as detailed in my prior posts. I consider the possible connection between AK and the Tree of Souls more primary to the discussion, and hence where any scrutiny should go first.

That said, let me respond to your dismissal of my “angelic figure as Adam Kadmon” speculah.

For starters, you're not setting a very good tone for further discussion by using phrases like “wishful thinking” and “confirmation bias”. I mean, sure, there is a time and place to roll those out, but it should (almost) never be first resort. You (as in, anybody) want to provide a way for the opposition to respond to your concerns that does NOT, by its nature, automatically put their psyche on the defensive, making it that much more difficult for them to mount a productive reply. Please keep this in mind for the future.

Further, your assertion that the figure is 'easily recognized' as a cherub is at odds with how cherubim are actually depicted in ecclesiastic tradition, with four different heads: man, bull, lion, and eagle. Now, it's very possible that the "Angel face" is meant to be a highly stylized eagle head (Sachiel's original face, especially, looks a lot like the skulls of some eagle species seen from above). The "flaming hair" could actually be a stylized representation of the lion's mane, as well. But that takes care of two faces, max. In other words: inspired by a cherub, perhaps, but not an actual cherub. On top of that, as I already detailed (here, the significance of twelve wings (as opposed to the usually seen 4-6) lies with the figure Sammael (Satan) -- quite a bit more specific than a mere seraph or cherub.

In a similar vein, declaring that it's “clearly an angel” has no actual explanatory power. The visual borrows cues from angelic iconography, but it is not actually a traditional angel. Instead, it is, as I previously noted, a symbol created for NGE that happens to composite a number of supernatural motifs, all of which ultimately turn up in in-show entities "that go beyond the finite and mortal”. On top of that, traditional angels are not 'represent' in NGE's cosmology; what are called “Angels” are something very different, which, while borrowing from angelic mythology and art, are ultimately entities unique to NGE's universe. Why should it be out of the question, then, that a mysterious figure custom-tailored for NGE's own purposes represents something, well, unique to NGE? That is, NOT a slavish reconstruction of mythological source material, only something that loosely borrows from such sources, liberally reinterpreting and fusing as it best serves the story and setting.

And on that note: while you object to the figure being "Adam Kadmon" on the basis that Adam Kadmon is traditionally represented as a man, and so why would or should it look like an angel, consider this: in Evangelion, all beings with an "angelic" nature are, in fact, humans! The Seeds, Adam's Children, Evas -- all of their souls are either reincarnated or descended from the souls that inhabited the very first humans (the FAR). This idea that angels and man are spiritually equal is not a tradition within the mystical Judeo-Christian literature, so, of course, the traditional depiction of Adam Kadmon would not have to take such a thing into account...... but NGE's would.

With these things said, perhaps my previous posts might read more lucidly or reasonably? Taking another look when you feel up to it might be worth a shot...

Now, about this:

View Original PostStrokeMeGoat wrote:GNR, and I think even Adam and Lilith themselves can all be considered candidates for NGE's representations of Adam Kadmon. Adam Kadmon is androgynous and enormous, which GNR, Adam, and Lilith all are. All souls are derived from Adam Kadmon as well, which also fits.

First off, I've just remembered that the Classified Information directly references Adam Kadmon:

Seele

D. Upon acquiring the Secret Dead Sea Scrolls, Seele turned once again to a creed that, up to that point, they had considered naught but the pipe dreams of their ancestors. By putting the miracle of divinity, in the form of prophecy, within their sights, they restored the faith. Their dogma is the Path to Adam Kadmon — that is, the approaching of a divinity both ageless and undying.

So to break this down: Seele's directive is described as “the Path to Adam Kadmon” and identified with their interest in transforming humanity into something greater.
And from the show, we know that Seele want to return humanity's souls to their source. “The beginning and the end are the same place”, said Kiel with a blissful expression; along with various other indicators. Simply put, they want to follow the Sephirotic Tree of Life back to its roots and return us to the cosmic womb of God, under the Kabbalistic belief that such a reunion is not actually regression, but a return to a more advanced state of being. Accordingly, NGE's “Adam Kadmon” is both the original form that souls had taken before passing down into the physical universe, and the entity that Seele want to create through HIP, a restoration of that Primordial Uber-Soul.

If this is an acceptable conclusion, then neither Adam nor Lilith nor their fusion can be an actual representation of Adam Kadmon. Now, GNR could be considered part of the Path to Adam Kadmon, but she is not Adam Kadmon itself. The instrument by which something is (re)created is not also the (re)creation itself. This would be like equating a pencil with a drawing. They're related, yes, but they're not the same thing, and suggesting that they are is logically incoherent. Further incoherence is introduced on account of the fact that Lilith and Adam are both beings created by the FAR, helmed by souls that came from FAR individuals. Those souls, like any others, are pieces of Adam Kadmon, and thus -- even contained within the bodies of physical gods -- remain flawed and "incomplete", which AK is (according to dogma) emphatically not. And on a final note, there are plenty of other esoteric concepts that Adam, Lilith, and GNR do, or conceivably could, represent, so let's not force dem pegs through holes in which they don't fit.

EDIT (9/23)
: Tidied up some stuff; excised a bit that didn't really fit the flow, here:

SPOILER: Show
Determining what that something is [that the angelic figure represents within NGE], however, depends on taking two things into account:

(A) The figure's only appearance is in the part of the OP that functions as a condensed tale of creation. It appears against the backdrop of Red Space (a representation of Paradise or the higher spiritual realm), receding until it vanishes, right before we transition into Blue Space (the “lower” physical universe that we inhabit, where most of NGE takes place) and the Cosmic Tree appears.
(A-1) Reasonably, the “angel” cannot represent any concept that does not satisfy the parameters of the context in which it appears.
(A-2) Optimally, this concept will not merely be restricted to the OP, but also feature somewhere in the body of the show, as do the other elements of the Tale of Creation.

(B) While the figure never appears in the show proper, its various features do. These are all (Angel face; wings with eyes; wings numbering 12; core; “flaming” hair) features that appear in the show's various uber-humans... with Eva-01 being the sole entity to express all of the traits.
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Re: An Ark, a Tree, and a Big Red Room (Eva Cosmology)

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Postby CommanderFish » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:48 pm

ooo-wee, there's a lot to talk about here, isn't there? I've gotta admit, I'm a bit overwhelmed with all this info! :hahaha:

Well, first off: great finds, as usual, Reichu! The research you're doing is truly astounding.

Now, on this whole Adam Kadmon thing... I like it. I like it a lot, in fact. But I'm definitely confused about a few aspects as it pertains to NGE. If Adam Kadmon is in fact this "primordial super soul" as it seems he is, then... what does this make all the souls originally present within the Black Moon/Lilith's Chamber of Guf? Isn't this what SEELE explicitly desired to return to? I mean, if all the combined souls in Lilith's Chamber add up to become Adam Kadmon, then wouldn't Adam Kadmon be the primordial entity of Lilin, only? Wouldn't there have to be another Adam Kadmon for the angels? Or, perhaps, is there actually just one that serves as a predecessor/combined form of all the souls that were sent with the Seeds when the FAR initially launched them off? (if that makes sense). Maybe Adam Kadmon is just the name given to the complete sum of souls present within all of Red-Space at any given time, and the Tree of Life is the only way to access this! Or... is it? :headscratch:

I just.... I don't know why, but I'm really confused on all of this. I'm probably just missing something glaringly obvious, or--like I mentioned above--I've become overwhelmed with the sheer density of information that you've presented to the point where I can't think straight/am creating imaginary problems for myself! Unfortunately, the latter is pretty likely.

But either way, here's another question, one that you may be able to answer much easier: do your more recent posts imply--as I believe they do--that you have abandoned this idea:
Reichu wrote:...Adam Kadmon could, in NGE terms at least, be the “souls” part of the Tree of Souls. The cosmic Ur-seele, the “embryo” before there was any differentiation, budding, and release. If all souls could be considered to source from a primeval “entity”, this could handily explain the matter of how Eva-01 could “return” (as in, return to a prior state of being) to the Tree of Life. Both Yui and Shinji's souls were originally part of Adam Kadmon. By being enveloped in the Tree, their souls are being returned to that primitive state of being. (Something like that? My brain is still working all the details out...)

Because if that's the case, then we still have to figure out what the Tree actually is in context with all this (or, maybe that doesn't actually change all that much. yeah, maybe not...)

Either way, I think that's all I'm going to inquire for now. Obviously there's a lot more for me to address, but--simply put--I still just need to wrap my brain around everything you've presented. Such a depth of information cannot be treated lightly, especially when I'm so unfamiliar with the simple basics of these Kabbalistic ideas! I may even try to address your posts one at a time... hmmm... I guess I'll see what's necessary.

As I let the Tree of Souls / Adam Kadmoni stuff settle, I'll start putting together some of the material I had originally intended for the "Instrumentality 101" thread (in other words, been meaning to post about for YEARS). This will provide some follow-up to where I left things off with CommanderFish, as well. Look forward to it!

Oh, I will.
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Re: An Ark, a Tree, and a Big Red Room (Eva Cosmology)

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Postby Reichu » Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:15 am

Wee, another lengthy post! If it were an easy feat to make these shorter and still address everything, I definitely would, but that would require a lengthy rewrite process I feel is best to put off until I'm ready to start archiving this stuff on the Wiki. Right now, sketching, brainstorming, and sandboxing is much more important than polish and perfection. So, those of you with the patience, or simply the natural inclination, to sit down and read through everything, my deepest thanks to you!

CommanderFish: Mystical systems of thought definitely have a steep barrier to entry -- by design, I would expect, as there's nothing mystical or esoteric about something that's easy to grasp ;) -- so feeling overwhelmed is all part of the program. My own understanding of the concepts probably ranks at the lower levels at best: despite having first started reading about this stuff around 2003 or 2004, and continued to do so on an irregular basis ever since (i.e., whenever my participation in NGE fandom prompted me to do so), there's SO much stuff in the (pretty much entry-level) books I own that my eyes still glaze over. :hahaha:

If you feel up to it, I would honestly recommend taking an afternoon to sneak casually stroll into a college library, then just sit down near the religion & spirituality stacks, pluck out whichever books look the most inviting, and cuddle up. If you've graduated from a college, even a 2-year one, you ought to have emeritus privilege access to the library anyway. My approach to the steep learning curve was to start small, by first seeking out familiar reference points that my brain could more easily latch onto -- so, anything I already had even the most vestigial knowledge about. In a lot of cases, this was the concepts most obviously and vividly referenced in NGE, heh. Gradually, the mystical framework permeating the texts became encoded in my own mind, and as that internal framework grew I found myself able to build more and more onto it. Just take things slow, don't get discouraged, and plain have fun with it.

You have a lot of very good questions in your "On this whole Adam Kadmon thing..." paragraph, some of which have occurred to me as well. I regret that I don't currently have any well-thought-out answers XD. I'll give it some time -- keep working on that mega-post / mega-response I promised yesterday, keep reading, and hopefully some of the pieces will gradually come together on their own. If any ideas come to you in the meantime, by all means share them.

One thing that I suspect would help a great deal is if I put some visualizations together. For one thing, these are an absolutely fundamental part of mysticism, to the point that Kabbalistic thought revolves around a diagram; and further, NGE's mysticism-influenced cosmology is almost entirely relayed through visual storytelling -- so trying to get much accomplished with text alone is pretty much a fool's game! I hope to include a couple, however crude, in my planned mega-post, which will further explore cores, Moons/Eggs, the Guf(s); we'll see how it goes.

Regarding the status of the Tree of Souls / Adam Kadmon connection: I'm still 100% on board and very much interested in further refinement of the idea. (What gave you the impression that I wasn't, out of curiosity?) Whatever exactly caused Adam Kadmon to “fall” (...could it be something as simple as entropy?), my best guess is that the Tree is the means by which the souls crossed over into the lower world and might have even been the agent by which AK was split apart. This seems overall consistent with what we hashed out earlier regarding the role of the Tree in Third Impact. For a refresh and summary:

3I (= Genesis in Reverse): souls enter the tree via its downward-pointing branches in order to travel the path of the Sephiroth back up to a state of unified godliness, Adam Kadmon.

Creation (Original Genesis): Adam Kadmon “falls” from Paradise (Sea of LCL / Red Space) and, entering(?) the Tree of Life at its roots, descends through the path of the Sepiroth, ultimately fragmenting into countless individual souls which bud from the Tree's branches.

How the Tree was created in the first place — like, just WHAT THE FUCK is it? — is a very salient question. Possibly unimportant, but I think it's worth playing around regardless. Perhaps the best way to start poking at this question is to look at what went into recreating the Tree: a Spear of Longinus, and an Evangelion who had consolidated both Fruits within her resident soul. (Plus there was Shinji's soul, but I'm going to ignore its significance to HIP right this moment because I want to finish this post before the sun comes up, heh.)

Now, if the Tree of Life is also the Tree of Souls, and if Adam Kadmon was originally the “souls” part of that, then this means that the Tree of Life is an entity with two main components:

(A) The body of the tree
(B) The spirit(s) residing within the tree.

Though, wait... Both forms of Creation (the one going down and the one going back up) involve a “path of the Sepiroth”, don't they? So make that three components:

(C) The Path of the Sephiroth, which runs through the Tree and links the spiritual and physical realms, while transforming the souls that make the journey

So let's just take it as given that (B) is Adam Kadmon. This, intriguingly, means that Eva-01 is playing the role of Adam Kadmon when the Tree is recreated, since she is the ensouled entity contained within the body of the Tree. Does this make a lick of sense? Weeeeell…

Much ado is made of the fact that her acquisition of both Fruits has made her “equal to God” (alternatively, just “a god”). Does “God”, here, refer to the original Adam Kadmon — which is actually considered a god (albeit not THE God per se) in Kabbalah? Does acquiring both Fruits render a soul as near to Adam Kadmon as it can get, short of actually recreating AK? It seems feasible enough. On top of that, we know that Eva-01 is acting as the vessel for humanity's souls, and thus is in the position of becoming Adam Kadmon Reborn.

Now, with that link between Adam Kadmon and Eva-01 in mind, let's backtrack a bit to my suggestion that this thing:

Image

...is a visual representation of Adam Kadmon. Here, you can find a visual summary of where this figure's features turn up throughout the show. Pointedly, Eva-01 is the only entity in NGE that manifests all of the angelic being's features.


You can probably see where I'm going with this. ;)

Tracking back: what about (C), the Path of the Sephiroth? (For a refresher on WTF this is, see here; for the diagram by Kircher used throughout NGE, here. Ask further questions if needed.) According to Kabbalah, Adam Kadmon itself actually contains the ten Sephiroth. Logically, then, if AK is inside the Tree's body, then the ten Sephiroth are inside the Tree as well. What about the “path” specifically, though?

At this point, I have to concede that further reading is needed, as the mechanics of the path(s) between individual Sephirah is not something I've dived into yet. Until then, let's just work with what's in NGE alone. The body of the Tree, which is reconstructed by a Spear of Longinus, surely must be of some importance, otherwise why would the Spear be needed here at all? There must, therefore, be some function that it is furnishing. Perhaps, since the Spear is capable of satisfying the role of the Tree's body, we can look at the Spear and how it works for some leads.

The most fundamental nature of the Spears, as illuminated upon by NGE2, is that they are devices of control. Namely, they are imbued with the power to control gods. Due to their A.T. Field penetrating ability, we can infer that the Spears' power is intrinsically metaphysical, capable of interfacing with the spiritual realm. Just how far do these capacities go? Given the Spear's role in the recreated Tree of Life, perhaps they go as far as the ability to transfigure souls from one form to another?

Here's an intriguing bit from the Classified Information that may tie into this:

Details of the Human Instrumentality Project

D. In-Depth Information

(…)
The first step [in the Way to God] is the completion of Eva — the body of a god and throne of a soul — via the installation of an S² Engine. The interfusion of souls follows. Afterward, our final natural enemy, the Spear of Longinus security device, is annihilated. Thus, that which is nearly divine, or perhaps a god in and of itself, is brought to completion, and, with the Spear gone, cannot be destroyed by anyone.

The Spear being described as a “final natural enemy” at first seems a bit odd, especially considering its necessary role in accomplishing Seele's goals. They can't accomplish HIP without some form of the Spear of Longinus, this much is clear in EoE. At the same time, this text indicates that Seele's Adam Kadmon could potentially be destroyed by the Spear, which makes it a dangerous thing to keep around even if it necessary to bring Adam Kadmon back.

How would the Spear go about destroying Adam Kadmon, exactly? I guess maybe it could just pierce Eva-01 in the core or something, but perhaps they're hinting at something a bit more … cosmological? If a Spear can assume the role of the body of the Tree of Life, this capacity might be telling us something about the Spears' fundamental nature. I'm not saying, necessarily, that the Spears are actually the body of the original Tree of Life*, but they could have been designed by the FAR in order to reproduce, as best as their technology could, the ToL's substance and power. If the ToL's body is the very thing with the soul-transfiguring power to split Adam Kadmon into a myriad souls and also merge those shattered pieces back together again... and every Spear has the potential to become the body of a Tree of Life...

* Though now that I've said that, I have to admit that there is something sort of alluring about this... The “wood” of the ToL being “carved” into seven “spears”... Though there is the problem that I have NO earthly idea how this would have worked. Treat it as whimsy for now, that could MAYBE be useful down the line.

We don't know how Adam Kadmon “fell” and became subject to the Tree's power in the first place. Whether or not Seele themselves know, they would, reasonably, want to ensure that the Fall, and the subsequent budding of the Tree, can never happen again. Destroying the Spear of Longinus after it has satisfied its role would, to their minds, do this. What about those other five Spears out there somewhere? Would Seele's Adam Kadmon, after destroying the Spear on Earth, have made it its mission to stalk across the galaxy hunting down all the others, just to be sure? Who knows...

It only now occurs to me that I never really looped back to the matter of how or why the original ToL (the one shown in the opening) was created. But my brain is spent, and I need to sleep... Someone else want to take a stab at it?
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Re: An Ark, a Tree, and a Big Red Room (Eva Cosmology)

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Postby Director Black » Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:27 am

View Original PostReichu wrote:


There's so many small things that go unnoticed in Eva like the things you mentioned, that make it a treat to rewatch the show everytime.

Also, this may not be true, but the eyes on the wings remind me a lot of Sahaquiel.
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Re: An Ark, a Tree, and a Big Red Room (Eva Cosmology)

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Postby BlueBasilisk » Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:31 pm

Wow, a lot to take in in this thread.

View Original PostReichu wrote:Pointedly, Eva-01 is the only entity in NGE that manifests all of the angelic being's features.


You can probably see where I'm going with this. ;)


I always wondered why Lilith started to die like that when Shinji rejected Instrumentality. Is it possible that Rei and Kaworu decided to abandon their shared body and moved into Unit 01, causing Lilith's AT Field to collapse? The giant body falling apart is really similar to what happened with Rei. And then the awakened Unit 01 emerges from her corpse with the same number of wings and a host of other powers that it never demonstrated before. If Unit 01 was intended as a vessel of souls to create a godly being then it makes sense that they could use it that way too.

Just a thought!
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Re: An Ark, a Tree, and a Big Red Room (Eva Cosmology)

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Postby CommanderFish » Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:42 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:If you feel up to it, I would honestly recommend taking an afternoon to sneak casually stroll into a college library, then just sit down near the religion & spirituality stacks, pluck out whichever books look the most inviting, and cuddle up. If you've graduated from a college, even a 2-year one, you ought to have emeritus privilege access to the library anyway.

Well if that's the case, then I'll get to it directly in just about 5+ years! :lol: In all seriousness though, if I had either the time or focus to do something like that, I may take advantage. But alas, for now I will just take what I can get.

Regarding the status of the Tree of Souls / Adam Kadmon connection: I'm still 100% on board and very much interested in further refinement of the idea. (What gave you the impression that I wasn't, out of curiosity?)

Well... you say both this:
Creation (Original Genesis): Adam Kadmon “falls” from Paradise (Sea of LCL / Red Space) and, entering(?) the Tree of Life at its roots, descends through the path of the Sepiroth, ultimately fragmenting into countless individual souls which bud from the Tree's branches.

... and this:
Now, if the Tree of Life is also the Tree of Souls, and if Adam Kadmon was originally the “souls” part of that...
[...]
This, intriguingly, means that Eva-01 is playing the role of Adam Kadmon when the Tree is recreated, since she is the ensouled entity contained within the body of the Tree.

...which contradict each other, if I'm not mistaken. Unless you're meaning to say that A.K. was the "souls" part of the Tree only after the Tree came into play; i.e. when A.K. was being split apart ("falling from Paradise) in Genesis. That makes more sense, as--to my understanding--he can't be in the Tree (his soul, at least), and in the Red Space simultaneously. Now that I'm writing this, I'm assuming that's what you meant; but I just want to make sure.

Reichu wrote:Pointedly, Eva-01 is the only entity in NGE that manifests all of the angelic being's features.


Although others have already said; this is truly an impressive observation, and--dare I say it--almost a definite connection. I mean, where else do you see twelve wings throughout the show? (Apart from GNR of course). On that topic actually, what do you think the significance of twelve wings actually are? Perhaps I'll look up what it means in Kabbalistic imagery myself, for once (that is, if you don't already know yourself).

I'm with you on your thoughts about the Spear, and how it would serve as an "enemy" in the way that it would reverse everything SEELE worked towards with HIP. I was certifiably confused by that CI line at first, but now I think I have a pretty good understanding of it (the Spear was actually destroyed after 3I, right? I mean, I know it wasn't reduced to dust, but Eva-01 definitely "broke" it/did something to take away its function, correct? Because if this is not the case then... I definitely stil have questions).

It only now occurs to me that I never really looped back to the matter of how or why the original ToL (the one shown in the opening) was created. But my brain is spent, and I need to sleep... Someone else want to take a stab at it?

Aaahh, but this is the part I was most mindboggled from! I mean, did Adam Kadmon exist before the FAR, or did the FAR create him (like they did the Seeds)? Part of me thinks this question isn't really necessary to ask when trying to figure out how A.K. fits with Eva's cosmology, but on the other hand... I think it's pretty crucial. I mean, if the FAR made him, the question is why? -- why is he at all important to have in order to carry out their Seed plan? But if they didn't make him--if he made them, then... does that mean NGE actually has a God in its universe?

Since, to me, the latter sounds ridiculous, and the former seems very hard to answer; I'm honestly starting to consider that A.K. isn't actually, literally part of NGE's cosmology/universe, only present as a visual reference to an idea. I mean, we already know a lot of this type of stuff exists in Eva; and add on top of that what you said:
One thing that I suspect would help a great deal is if I put some visualizations together. For one thing, these are an absolutely fundamental part of mysticism, to the point that Kabbalistic thought revolves around a diagram; and further, NGE's mysticism-influenced cosmology is almost entirely relayed through visual storytelling

...might this be one of those cases--a visual allusion there to inform the viewer the concept of what is going on, but what it's alluding to doesn't exactly hold true to the actual story? (If that makes any sense at all).
That's just an idea in itself, though! I'm sure that you already have a few thoughts on how A.K. could connect in a literal way to NGE's cosmology, that I am simply too much of a fool to notice.
I look forward to your future posts either way!
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Re: An Ark, a Tree, and a Big Red Room (Eva Cosmology)

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Postby Reichu » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:53 am

To give credit where it is due, the connections between the angelic figure and Eva-01 were first noticed by Shin-seiki (doesn't post anymore, but he was my mentor, back in the day). They were just waiting for further applications to be made, is all. ;)

View Original PostBlueBasilisk wrote:I always wondered why Lilith started to die like that when Shinji rejected Instrumentality. Is it possible that Rei and Kaworu decided to abandon their shared body and moved into Unit 01, causing Lilith's AT Field to collapse? The giant body falling apart is really similar to what happened with Rei. And then the awakened Unit 01 emerges from her corpse with the same number of wings and a host of other powers that it never demonstrated before. If Unit 01 was intended as a vessel of souls to create a godly being then it makes sense that they could use it that way too.

I guess a run-down of the sequence of events might be useful. (I had the Newtype filmbook in front of me, so it should be completely accurate.)
SPOILER: Show
- Live-action sequence
- Lilith's neck tears open and she starts bleeding out
- Within the Sea of LCL, Shinji learns the meaning of Instrumentality and rejects it
- A.T. Fields are restored [visual tell: Kaworu shows up with clothes on, then Rei and Shinji suddenly have clothes on, too]
- Lilith's twelve wings evaporate
- Eva-01 erupts from Lilith's right eye, rises, and spreads twelve wings
- Black Moon destroyed and souls released
- Lilith's body falls apart
- Eva-01 restores the Spear of Longinus and transforms it
- With the Spear, she (A) causes the replica Spears to revert to LCL and (B) petrifies the MP Evas
- Glowing crosses rise up as the MP Evas fall
- Eva-01's wings retract
- Eva-01 powers down ATF and she herself petrifies*
- Rei appears in front of Eva-01's face briefly
- Shinji and Yui bid farewell (Shinji's “ascent” to Earth = entry plug falling to the ocean)

* (Yeah, that's what the script says, and, to be fair, what's pretty clearly shown on screen. I don't have any clue what the significance of this is, myself. Whatever happened, and why, it appears we can say it wasn't permanent, given the last glimpse of Eva-01 leaving the solar system, in which the script specifies that she has “gone back to purple” (though some gray patches remain on the armor). The only thing that comes to mind is that Eva-01's “petrification” is meant to represent a temporary pupate state of some sort, and what we see at the very end is Eva's final form in the midst of slowly “hatching” from the top on down.)


So, in contrast to the usual impression viewers are left with, Lilith actually starts to self-destruct before Instrumentality is rejected. Assuming the events are presented in this manner to imply linear cause and effect (while NGE can be “timey wimey” here and there, it's probably best to NOT assume it's doing this without sufficient reason), the implication would be that Lilith was not going to survive HIP anyway.

In the version of HIP that occurs, we might interpret Lilith's role as that of a mother seeing her child into the world. Her body transformatively gestates her Evangelion daughter, complete with a traumatic birth (Leliel reenactment, anyone?). The old is cast aside for the new.

Maybe the Seed of Life Contract states that once you've reproduced (as in, created a being capable of taking over your duties), you can officially enter permanent retirement. I mean, what is GNR supposed to do after HIP, anyway? Split back up into her constituent parts and go back to sleep on Earth somewhere? There's nothing to really do except wait around for the solar system's destruction, so why not just die now? Lilith has existed for a long-ass time, and Rei's desire to “return to nothing” is well-documented, so maybe she's dying, in part, because she wants to.

You noted, “The giant body falling apart is really similar to what happened with Rei.” While you were referring to Rei, prior to merging with Lilith, there's another Rei-related event that probably explains, to some extent, both of the self-dismemberments that follow...


Image Image Image

Ritsuko enables something called “Destrudo Release”. Since destrudo is the psychological impulse of destruction (opposite libido, that of creation), the implication here is that Ritchan isn't destroying the clones so much as she's letting them destroy themselves.

So with any luck, I've addressed why it's unlikely (or, at least, unnecessary) for Rei and Kaworu to have abandoned Lilith's body for the reason you suggested. (Eva-01 "consolidating" their power -- even more than she already had at that point -- might be better explained as a "rebirth" and "passing of the torch", as alluded to previously.) I think there are intimations in the film that Lilith's soul, at least, remains on Earth in some fashion. The appearance of “bookend Rei” in the final scene is not in and of itself a conclusive demonstration of this, since the Lilith of 3I seems to be able to project manifestations of her Lilin avatar in ways that defy traditional space-time; hence, the Rei at the end could have appeared there regardless of where Lilith's soul is at that exact moment. But there is also this odd little thing...

Image

...which, for the uninitiated, is described in the script as, "A keepsake photograph of the main characters (taken during brighter times, around #15, with everyone smiling)". I really doubt this is a photograph that exists in any literal way, my feeling being more that it's a symbolic representation of the characters who will eventually come back... while Rei lurks, both unseen and all-seeing. As for Kaworu and the other people who don't show up: my speculation gets pretty weird, and I'm sure the way I phrased it back in 2007 is that much weirder than how I would choose to phrase it now, so proceed with caution.

Urgh, so much to catch up on, so many directions to go in! :shinchair:
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Re: An Ark, a Tree, and a Big Red Room (Eva Cosmology)

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Postby Reichu » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:16 pm

CommanderFish: Hahah, it totally slipped by mind what your age was. Take it as a compliment, I guess, that I figured you might as well have been in college already.

Looks like that mega-post will have to wait for the proper time so I can keep up with the flow of the conversation. Let me tackle your most recent response, starting with this bit:

View Original PostCommanderFish wrote:But if [the FAR] didn't make [Adam Kadmon]--if he made them, then... does that mean NGE actually has a God in its universe? Since, to me, the latter sounds ridiculous, and the former seems very hard to answer; I'm honestly starting to consider that A.K. isn't actually, literally part of NGE's cosmology/universe, only present as a visual reference to an idea. I mean, we already know a lot of this type of stuff exists in Eva; [so]might this be one of those cases--a visual allusion there to inform the viewer the concept of what is going on, but what it's alluding to doesn't exactly hold true to the actual story?

Lots of really astute questions here. I'm still a bit split on what the answer might be, in so far as where metaphor ends and (in-show) reality begins. My inclination is that the answer lies somewhere in the “interstice”. To explain what I mean, let's take this:

Image Image Image

The storyboards describe it as the “beginning of the universe”. This lends itself easily to two different interpretations. The naturalistic one would be, of course, the Big Bang: all existence emanating from a single condensed point of space-time. Intriguingly, the Kabbalistic equivalent is pretty much the exact same thing; it just uses mystical rather than theoretical language. However, to explain this, we need to get into the Kabbalistic concept of En-Sof. Since this was only briefly alluded to earlier in the thread, let's take a few moments to brush up. Let me relay the main ideas conveyed within the relevant chapter of Kabbalah by Charles Poncé:

The term En-Sof refers to the God of Kabbalism which symbolizes total unity beyond comprehension. Within Him, all opposites exist in a unity beyond unity. It might bring to mind Rei's description of Instrumentalized humanity in EoE: both everywhere and nowhere, everything and nothing, being and non-being. It is utterly beyond all human comprehension.

“The En-Sof comes before the creator God. Even this does not explain Him. He cannot be localized in space or time. The only thing that may be said with some certainty is that the En-Sof was not the cause of this world. He stands even beyond the impetus of cause, desire. He is without desire, without non-desire. He is Himself. He is En-Sof, a plenum of emptiness.”

So, most of what can be said about En-Sof is specifically what cannot be said. I don't think I can even do a particularly adequate job of this, so Googling around until the basic idea clicks might help somewhat.

Finally, the book goes on to describe — in seeming contradiction to En-Sof being a non-creator, but, hey, what do I know... — how the universe was created. In the Kabbalistic system of Isaac Luria, we are told, “the infinite being, En-Sof, retreated from the arena of the universe, contracted into Himself, & left behind (…) an emptiness. It was by the En-Sof's retreat from infinite space into an infinitesimal monad of pure energy that the world came into being. (…) It was then that the En-Sof sent forth a beam, an emanation of Himself into the space created by His contraction. It is on the 'surface' of that space that the first spark was struck, the pinpoint of light which was to become the Sefiroth [= emanations of God].”

And here is an illustration of the process being described:

Image

Look familiar, right?

Image Image Image

So, tracking back a bit: on the one hand, this is depicting the Big Bang. On the other hand, it's depicting the Kabbalistic version of that, wherein the unknowable God, En-Sof, contracts into itself and “sparks off” all existence. Ultimately, we have naturalistic and mystical explanations for the same thing that, for the purposes of NGE's internal mythological cohesion, neatly coexist.

My default position would be to assume that things like Paradise, Adam Kadmon, and the Tree of Life all, similarly, have a naturalistic explanation in addition to the mystical one. We just don't necessarily know what they are yet, though, if we were so inclined, plenty of fun could be hard trying to figure it out.

Some work has already been made on the Paradise front, as by all indications it is a realm of space that exists “parallel” to our own. We know, from Ritsuko's whiteboard (“strings” is visible in katakana), that string theory is a thing in this universe. I only know the most absolutely basic stuff about it, but it almost certainly provides a mechanism for red space's existence that could be handily employed in a soft sci-fi environment.

In the event it's actually useful, here's a paragraph that got scrapped from an earlier post, where I try to apply my paltry understanding of string theory to sci-fi silliness:

---
On the most abstract possible level, the way I understand (part of) this concept is that the sum total of reality includes as much as twelve dimensions. To a human, this is utterly mindboggling, as we only experience three of these. There are vast swathes of the universe that we cannot directly perceive nor interact with. From previous discussions, I've seen it suggested that the physical forms of Leliel, along with Ramiel in the new films, are so incomprehensible because they occupy the fourth dimension. Leliel's body and "shadow" are actually connected even if they seem separate to us; Ramiel doesn't actually have four cores even though at some points the core seems to split in four. These are just artifacts of human perception. Similarly, we cannot observe the Dirac Sea that Leliel's body contains, and, finally, we cannot (without some form of divine intervention) experience Red Space. Even if it's functionally everywhere -- which, for all I know, it might be -- we have no idea it's there any more than anyone aside from astrophysicists has an inkling about dark matter. (I might be complicating things by dragging dark matter into the conversation, but I find it conceptually useful here, since I ended up identifying it with the Dirac Sea in my NGE head canon and then later found an actual physics discussion that did the same thing.)
---

I've run out of useful things to say on this matter, so I'll move on.

The remainder of this post poses questions and concerns that would probably be best addressed/clarified by trying to establish some sort of timeline for these cosmologically significant events. So let me try to do that, starting with the Big Bang and going all the way to happenings on Earth. Much of this is going to be REALLY tentative / hypothetical, but at least it will provide a framework for further modification.

Image
^1. The Big Bang, or the emanation of En-Sof (cosmic spark).

Image
^2. Red Space or Paradise, the source of life (souls and LCL), emerges within the void.
Image
^3. Adam Kadmon emerges from the Sea of LCL.

Image
^4. The physical universe of Blue Space manifests.

Image
^ 5a. The Tree of Life comes into being, forming a bridge between Red and Blue Space.
5b. Adam Kadmon is captured by the Tree's roots and pulled out of Paradise.

Image
6. The Tree of Life manifests over the oceans of the primordial Homeworld, and Adam Kadmon “buds off” into individual souls.
6b. LCL is furnished, as well. (Transported through the Tree — sap analogue? Or the Tree dissolves once the last soul is shed?)
7a. Within the primordial soup of LCL and souls, single-celled life develops, and the process of evolution begins.
Image
7b. Life capable of emerging from the ocean eventually develops.

8. A humanoid intelligence — known to us only as the First Ancestral Race — evolves, the pieces of Adam Kadmon incarnate within their flesh.
9. FAR civilization develops, and their technology reaches unfathomable heights, capable of manipulating souls; creating artificial, immortal gods; and fabricating massive structures with interstellar potential.
10. An unknown threat to the Homeworld results in the creation of seven Seeds of Life, seven Mars-sized(!) transports, and seven giant “security” devices.
11. The planet is evacuated of all souls via the “Zeroth Impact”, with the FAR reduced to spiritual form and divided between the seven Seeds' Chambers of Guf.

12. The seven Seeds depart on their respective intragalactic voyages.
13. Adam's White Moon implants gently within the primordial molten Earth. Adam waits for conditions to improve before populating the planet.
Image
^14. Lilith's Black Moon collides violently into Earth, causing First (Giant) Impact. The Moon's Mars-sized rocky outer shell is partly absorbed by the planet and partly ejected into orbit, to eventually coalesce into Luna.
15. Lilith's Spear of Longinus is somehow lost in the collision. To keep the number of active Seeds at exactly “1”, Adam's Spear places Adam herself into suspended animation.
16. Lilith chooses the Fruit of Knowledge for her offspring. Once oceans have formed, she transforms her entire body into a core, gating LCL from its otherworldly source into the primordial sea.
17. Lilith either empties her Chamber of Guf at this point, or waits until the long process of evolution has furnished a species capable of housing the FAR's souls to do so. (The latter would mean that non-human souls can develop naturally from LCL or something. NGE is a bit ambiguous when it comes to non-human souls, aside from establishing through implication that non-humans do have them.)
18. We reach the timeline actually covered within the show.

(I wish I had the skills of SORAYUNI... It would be great to be able to do a video like this that focuses entirely on the multi-layered Genesis story. I guess I'll settle for doing non-moving fanart, though. I should be getting an art tablet soon...)

Hopefully putting things in order indirectly answers a number of your questions... while doubtless creating many, many more. No worries — fire away!

That's all for today, methinks.
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Re: An Ark, a Tree, and a Big Red Room (Eva Cosmology)

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Postby CommanderFish » Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:05 am

View Original PostReichu wrote:CommanderFish: Hahah, it totally slipped by mind what your age was. Take it as a compliment, I guess, that I figured you might as well have been in college already.

I certainly do (take it as a compliment--that is). Though I can assure you, my age is indeed an accurate indicator of my level of education!

Looks like that mega-post will have to wait for the proper time so I can keep up with the flow of the conversation.

Please, don't feel like you're obligated to reply on this thread! I'd actually much rather see that mega-post you've been talking about. My pesky little questions can take a backseat to any project of greater importance.

So, tracking back a bit: on the one hand, this is depicting the Big Bang. On the other hand, it's depicting the Kabbalistic version of that, wherein the unknowable God, En-Sof, contracts into itself and “sparks off” all existence. Ultimately, we have naturalistic and mystical explanations for the same thing that, for the purposes of NGE's internal mythological cohesion, neatly coexist.

I'm actually pretty satisfied with this conclusion. And the more I think about it, I could easily see (assumed to be) Adam Kadmon in the OP just being an illustrated depiction, drawn by SEELE based on a combination of their existing Kabbalistic beliefs (which would include the concept of A.K.) merged with elements they've taken from the angels (Sachiel's face-mask, for example). I mean, we see the Tree of Life (it's Eva independent form), right after that--and we know that's a human-made illustrated depiction. Just a thought...
Also, En-Sof is an utterly fascinating concept. I'm constantly bewildered by how much knowledge I'm gaining from a fan-site on an 11-year old Japanese cartoon.

In the event it's actually useful, here's a paragraph that got scrapped from an earlier post, where I try to apply my paltry understanding of string theory to sci-fi silliness

Strangely enough, I seem to vaguely recall reading that paragraph before. Maybe it was just something with the same idea, but I don't know... it seems really familiar...

That timeline (or at least significant portions of it) would be a good thing to put on the wiki after it's been refined, I presume? I mean, I definitely like it. Going over all of the known ideas/facts certainly helps me get a clearer head... Now I just need to go about trying to actually understand everything. :lol:

(I wish I had the skills of SORAYUNI... It would be great to be able to do a video like this that focuses entirely on the multi-layered Genesis story. I guess I'll settle for doing non-moving fanart, though. I should be getting an art tablet soon...)

Woah! That video really is extremely well-made.
But alas, why should I be surprised that some of the highest quality fan-content for a show would come from that show's place of origin?
(God, think about what would happen if the language barrier didn't exist, and evageeks from the West and the East could all band together....Wishful thinking, I know. But... jeez)

Hopefully putting things in order indirectly answers a number of your questions... while doubtless creating many, many more. No worries — fire away!

No more questions from me for the time being! When you're ready, I'd prefer to hear what you have to say (i.e. your "mega-post", if you're still on that. If not, that's fine, of course!)

To give credit where it is due, the connections between the angelic figure and Eva-01 were first noticed by Shin-seiki (doesn't post anymore, but he was my mentor, back in the day).

Also, learning that Reichu had a mentor is like learning that the Emperor was Darth Vader's mentor. Except, instead of teaching evil space magic, it's teaching how to be a geekly genius.
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Re: An Ark, a Tree, and a Big Red Room (Eva Cosmology)

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Postby Director Black » Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:32 am

View Original PostCommanderFish wrote:learning that Reichu had a mentor is like learning that the Emperor was Darth Vader's mentor. Except, instead of teaching evil space magic, it's teaching how to be a geekly genius.


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Re: An Ark, a Tree, and a Big Red Room (Eva Cosmology)

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Postby imprimatur13 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:12 pm

My, Reichu. I didn't think it was possible, but you have outdone yourself in that thread! I (and perhaps you too) have seen people try to fit Kabbalah into NGE, but it always seems to be an endeavor plagued with problems.

(For instance, this. It's not too bad, but I have a few definite problems. E.g., Kensuke as Malkhuth? Come on... gotta be teh Rei. And I feel Asuka'd be a better fit for Gevurah... anyway.)

I feel that your posts here are pretty spot on, and fit in pretty well (not perfectly) with my own personal understanding of all this stuff. Amazing~!

I especially love what you said about Yui's plan being "To give all humans a temporary taste of The Other, and then to return them to Earth." Makes a LOT of sense, and is honestly the best explanation I've heard of her motives. It also fits into (what little we know of) her personality, because we know that she is the only person in NGE (except Kaworu :wink: ) who is not troubled by the "Hedgehog's Dilemma"; and is actually able to really unselfishly love another person (Gendo). This would allow her to completely eradicate the HD. (And in the process, demonstrate unselfish love for the whole human race.)

Tangent: Kaworu and Yui  SPOILER: Show
This proposed similarity between Yui and Kaworu may be one of the reasons why Kaworu and Shinji mesh SO well together. That is: Gendo and Shinji are both people who tend to run away from others, rather than confronting them. They hate themselves, and don't feel like they are either deserving or capable of love. They want to isolate themselves. They both only want to really be with Yui. According to NGE2's Gendo ending, apparently Gendo's HIP results in something like Shinji's AU in EoTV.

And the ways in which this really fits well with Reichu's whole "Kaworu as Mother" theory (to which I wholeheartedly subscribe)... Really well. ^_^

Shinji's success in going against fantasy (EoTV's AU) and returning to reality, may be mirrored by Gendo's apologizing to Shinji before Yui-sama eats him. Or not. Depends on the interpretation :).


Perhaps, by the way, the fact that Seele's logo contains the seven eyes in that particular arrangement (four on right, three on left) is a conscious imitation of the center-part of AK, as depicted here (or from Lilith's mask... Where's that from, btw?).

Kabbalah in J-pop  SPOILER: Show
By the way, was listening to the Noragami OP while reading this. Came across this lyric:

終わりと始まりの境目
全て重なった

(The border between the end and the beginning;
Everything overlaps)

And I'll quote my favorite Kabbalistic J-pop lyric, from Hajimaru no wa Sayonara:

始まるのはさようなら、
闇に浮かぶ真っ白なライン

(The beginning is a goodbye, a pure-white line floating in the darkness)

^ Cosmogeny in a nutshell. :tongue:


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