The Endless Question: The Souls of the Mass Production Evangelion Series

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Re: The Endless Question: The Souls of the Mass Production Evangelion Series

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Postby Director Black » Sat Oct 15, 2016 5:34 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:Where are you getting that from? Everything leading up to Leliel's death involves Shinji on the brink of dying and being contacted by Yui as a result.


I'm not talking about Leliel's death specifically, I'm talking about the conversations it has with Shinji. Leliel itself spoke about how it shared the same feeling as Shinji had: that is, if it actually had a reason to exist.
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Re: The Endless Question: The Souls of the Mass Production Evangelion Series

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Postby Reichu » Sat Oct 15, 2016 5:47 pm

Keep in mind, what you're referring to as "Leliel" here expressly presented itself as part of Shinji...

Shinji A (OFF):
Who's there?
Who's there?

Shinji B (OFF):
Shinji Ikari.

Shinji A (OFF):
That's me.

Shinji B (OFF):
I am you. People have another self within themselves.
The self is always composed of two people.

Other points:

- "Shinji B" knows waaaaaay more about the pilot, and Lilin nature in general, than the two traditional Angels that are confirmed to have made contact with pilots.
- Arael and Armisael used Asuka and Rei's images in order to communicate, but they never actually said they were Asuka or Rei.
- Kaworu fills out the trinity of "Angel makes close contact with pilot" a lot better than Leliel does. (Satisfies the whole "lets self get killed" thing without a shred of ambiguity, too.)

It's an open question what's going on in episode 16. (My own go-to is that Shinji is hallucinating from the lack of stimulation and the increasingly shot life support; Leliel might be quietly observing.) I certainly don't think you can so readily make an assumption like "Leliel let itself get killed".

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Re: The Endless Question: The Souls of the Mass Production Evangelion Series

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Postby Director Black » Sat Oct 15, 2016 6:06 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:- "Shinji B" knows waaaaaay more about the pilot, and Lilin nature in general, than the two traditional Angels that are confirmed to have made contact with pilots.
- Arael and Armisael used Asuka and Rei's images in order to communicate, but they never actually said they were Asuka or Rei.
- Kaworu fills out the trinity of "Angel makes close contact with pilot" a lot better than Leliel does. (Satisfies the whole "lets self get killed" thing without a shred of ambiguity, too.)


The lines are blurred but your points do bring up valid conclusions. I think the fact that the line is blurred makes the mystique behind those three conversation more engaging. Maybe it's the angels, maybe it's all a foreshadowing to Instrumentality, but those can be saved for another thread.

It's an open question what's going on in episode 16. (My own go-to is that Shinji is hallucinating from the lack of stimulation and the increasingly shot life support; Leliel might be quietly observing.) I certainly don't think you can so readily make an assumption like "Leliel let itself get killed".


I always had a problem with jumping to conclusions, especially when I get engaged in something like Eva. What I met by that assumption was based on my theory that the angels, at the end of the day, were children without parents, newly hatched and faced with opposition. It's the main reason why Kaworu was smarter then the angels. Aside from sharing DNA with the Lilim, he was able to grow, both in his views in humanity and in his motives. A different interpretation from someone else derailing both our trains of thought crashing at our views on Leliel.
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Re: The Endless Question: The Souls of the Mass Production Evangelion Series

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Postby SoryuUberAlles » Sat Oct 15, 2016 7:32 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:Sachi isn't "pushing" it. In the text that you just quoted, he's detailing problems with the idea.


I apologize. It's a difficult argument and if anything I'm excited by the idea.

View Original PostDirector Black wrote:All of this leaves us with the MPE's. It's ironic that the packages that hold say KAWORU on it because it's the exact opposite the essence of his character. Instead of being thoughtful and compassionate, the MPE's are mindless dolls, only existing to further SEELE's plan.


Aesthetically, ye, but as for the series metaphysics it would be very parallel to the varied personalities of the different incarnations of Rei and the nature of soul-fragmentation. We actually only see the the Kaworu-DS slot into the MP Evas just before they begin their savage assault. Maybe we're supposed to pick up on that.
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Re: The Endless Question: The Souls of the Mass Production Evangelion Series

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Postby CommanderFish » Sun Oct 16, 2016 1:27 am

If I may propose something else I think we have overlooked: the MPE's behavior.

I'm talking--of course--about the creepy laughing/snickering they do while circling Asuka, and even more-so the disturbing grins/smiles they all put on, particularly while they're regenerating. I know Eva-01 had some pretty weird/savage-like behavior when Yui went beast mode in episode 19, but I personally feel like the MPEs are just a step above that.

I'm sort of tempted to think that the MPEs behavior makes the identity of their resident souls semi-important to the plot. More likely though: their cruel, disturbing mannerisms are meant to symbolize the ugly face of that lovely thing we call "human nature" (like Lord of the Flies an' stuff).

I don't know, though. What does the Other think about this?
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Re: The Endless Question: The Souls of the Mass Production Evangelion Series

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Postby Reichu » Sun Oct 16, 2016 2:48 am

CommanderFish: I tried addressing the dummy systems' weird behavior here. I probably didn't structure my thoughts in the best way, though...

Both Rei and Kaworu dummy systems demonstrate a brutal and overly simplistic thought process that doesn't seem to reflect their respective source material at all. What's the reason for this? Is it actually a technological limitation? Well, let's look at this...

NGE's history with digitizing the human mind begins with Naoko creating the perfectly functional personality transfer OS. This was not used to generate a single perfect digitization of her mind, but, instead, three specialized programs based on "aspects" of her mind. This process, to me, sounds far more complicated than simply copying the mind as-is, and presumably a straightforward copying process would have to come first. In any case, the Magi's personalities seem to be entirely stable, and they function entirely as intended, with the only known problems involving external hacking attempts. Additional Magi systems were created around the world, testifying to the success of the technology.

In episode 13, we get this rather vague tidbit:

RITSUKO (OFF):
Do you know about personality transplant OS?

Misato:
Yes, it's a system that implants an individual's personality
into a seventh generation organic computer so it can think.
It's the same technology used for operating the Evas, right?

I can't recall any further elaboration ever being provided on what Misato is talking about. The actual pilots don't transplant their personalities, so what does this mean? My best guess is that it has something to do with this:

Classified Information wrote:Dummy Plug

C. Confidential Information
A copy of a personality is made in the dummy plug, but a soul cannot be copied. Why can't it be done, or how would it be done? As far as the technology branches of Seele and Nerv are concerned, it is a theme of research integral to seeking out the Path to God, and study into how to deal with the problem has spanned many years. Examples of failure include Yui and Asuka's mother. The dummy plug is something that came about in the midst of that research.

D. In-Depth Information
The dummy systems are artificial souls that were developed at the end of the research. In terms of functionality, however, the dummy systems leave much to be desired: although they could make Evas activate, that was the limit of their capacity.

So here, we're told that the two Eva contact experiments were, ostensibly, attempts to create copies of souls. Of course, we know this didn't work, but it could have produced a useful lie to tell Nerv staffers: that is, the Eva cores just contain digitized personality data. In the very next episode, we in fact hear about "personality data" in the context of the sync experiment:

Episode 14 wrote:IBUKI:
Unit 00 and 01's personal data patterns are very similar too, after all.

RITSUKO:
That's exactly what makes this synchronization possible.

We're so used to thinking about the Evas in terms of the souls inside that going back and seeing Nerv's obfuscation for what it is can be challenging at times, no?

The CI is hopelessly vague about the limitations of the dummy system. The MP Evas' highly coordinated ability to follow orders make the claim "it can activate the Eva and that's it" a bit hard to swallow. (Possible translation issue I need to fix?) Putting that aside, Naoko's PTOS seems to be extremely functional and stable, and I can't think of any reason offhand why it wouldn't be just as effective at creating the dummy system. The big "brain" in the Dummy Plug Plant looks a lot like the innards of the Magi, doesn't it? So what's missing here?

One possibility is that the dummy system is "simplistic and brutal" partly by design:
Gendo and Seele just want Evas to follow directions without pesky things like morality getting in the way. From that point of view, intentionally "dumbing down" the digital dummy would be to their benefit. The excessively violent behavior could be seen as a side effect of creating something incapable of questioning orders; that is, there is nothing in the DS capable of reflection or moderation.


Alternatively, we do have the weird implication that the actual clone bodies play a necessary role in the DS's functionality. When Eva-01 is activated on the DS, it seems that Shinji's plug is connected remotely to that red "REI-00" dummy plug. Ritsuko speaks of the clones as "cores" for the dummy system, so it's often thought that a clone is placed within the dummy plug to make it work. The digitized personality data would need some sort of hardware to "run" on (Naoko's data runs on artificial brains, for instance), and since the Evas are already rigged to synchronize with not merely the pilot's soul but the whole body-soul unit, maybe "clone + DS" is just what worked best.

However, it's understandable, at least to me, that a "digital soul" would not be able to function in a human body in quite the same way equivalent data would function perfectly well in a biomechanical system custom-designed for the purpose (the Magi). On top of that, taking a digital snapshot of someone's personality is one thing, while digitizing the complete contents of the soul itself is something else altogether. As we see with Kyoko post-CE, any omission in the soul results in the total collapse of everything else. Is it really any wonder that Evas operated by dummy plug are so fucked up?

I don't think the identities of the MP Evas' souls are all that important. The use of a Kaworu dummy plug makes the matter all but irrelevant, IMO, since episode 24 establishes Kaworu's latent ability to control any Eva whose soul is appropriately cooperative. (Rei's personality data presumably confers an analogous advantage, since, having the soul of the Lilin's mother, Rei would have a link to every Eva on a spiritual rather than physical level.) Selecting the "right" (nice and servile) souls from the start and/or advances in binding technology take care of all issues that I can see.

@ the whole "fragments of Adam" thing, this requires (A) Seele retrieving Adam's soul from TD without anyone noticing, and (B) somehow splitting it among the nine finished Evas within the next couple of days. So the idea being suggested here is that Seele were preparing these Evas long in advance for the contingency that ended up happening, but would have completely depended on a last-minute, completely unreliable additional contingency (retrieve Kaworu's soul from Nerv HQ and get it to wherever the MP Evas are being launched from) in order to make sure the Evas worked at all? Not to mention that trying to make this fragments idea functional requires that explanation of GNK and Quantum Kaworu become far more complicated than it was to begin with. I think the MP Evas can get by just fine with complete souls from some other source. :p

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Re: The Endless Question: The Souls of the Mass Production Evangelion Series

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Postby SoryuUberAlles » Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:42 am

View Original PostReichu wrote: @ the whole "fragments of Adam" thing, this requires (A) Seele retrieving Adam's soul from TD without anyone noticing, and (B) somehow splitting it among the nine finished Evas within the next couple of days. So the idea being suggested here is that Seele were preparing these Evas long in advance for the contingency that ended up happening, but would have completely depended on a last-minute, completely unreliable additional contingency (retrieve Kaworu's soul from Nerv HQ and get it to wherever the MP Evas are being launched from) in order to make sure the Evas worked at all? Not to mention that trying to make this fragments idea functional requires that explanation of GNK and Quantum Kaworu become far more complicated than it was to begin with. I think the MP Evas can get by just fine with complete souls from some other source. :p


I always assumed when Rei or Kaworu died you didn't need to recover their souls from their bodies.

Classified Information wrote: There hasn't been a soul within Adam. At the time of Second Impact, its body was torn apart, and its soul flew off somewhere as a result. Adam's soul was later recovered by Seele and incarnated.[6: juniku= "the conception and birth of a sentient creature (generally a human) who is the material manifestation of an entity or force whose original nature is immaterial."]


They go out into the luminiferous ether and you get them back when they float into a pre-prepared metabiological...wind sock.

Yes. Wind sock.
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Re: The Endless Question: The Souls of the Mass Production Evangelion Series

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Postby BlueBasilisk » Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:43 am

It's been a while since I watched the episode, but didn't the recovery team make it a point to collect Rei's remains from Unit 00's entry plug?
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Re: The Endless Question: The Souls of the Mass Production Evangelion Series

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Postby Reichu » Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:41 am

View Original PostBlueBasilisk wrote:didn't the recovery team make it a point to collect Rei's remains from Unit 00's entry plug?

Indeed they did. It's hard to see Rei's corpse in there, so this detail is easy to overlook.

S.U.A.: Again, you're quoting something that says the exact opposite of what you want it to... That bit in the CI specifically states that Adam's soul was recovered by Seele, then placed inside Kaworu. The soul didn't do anything on its own.

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Re: The Endless Question: The Souls of the Mass Production Evangelion Series

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Postby SoryuUberAlles » Sun Oct 16, 2016 3:28 pm

Um, but it does say the it 'flew' off after the body became 'torn apart'. I always assumed Rei and Kaworu's souls free themselves from their bodies even if they can be like, captured and reinstalled.

If it didn't how could Kaworu appear in EoE? Who recovered him? You make it sound like a very difficult high tech process that requires recovering the body.
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Re: The Endless Question: The Souls of the Mass Production Evangelion Series

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Postby Reichu » Sun Oct 16, 2016 3:56 pm

View Original PostSoryuUberAlles wrote:Um, but it does say the it 'flew' off after the body became 'torn apart'.

Well, what do you expect it to do once Adam explodes? At 2I, there are souls flying all over the place. (See: beginning of Death.) In episode 12, we also see these souls falling into the water as streaks of light. There's nothing more significant going on here than disembodied souls being passively moved around in response to physical forces.

If it didn't how could Kaworu appear in EoE? Who recovered him? You make it sound like a very difficult high tech process that requires recovering the body.

I already covered this:
View Original PostReichu wrote:[Kaworu] is both Lilin-shaped and, genetically, half or more Lilin, so I would lean towards [him not having a core]. If so, Kaworu's soul would probably abide by the usual rules where cores aren't involved: that is, it's bound to his body as a whole. We know at least the head remained intact, so the soul would stay put in there. If the head were just left in the LCL at Lilith's feet, then it could simply be absorbed into her body when she starts expanding in size.

I can see that you're attached to this whole "soul fragments" thing, but I don't think there's anywhere else to really go with this so long as you're relying upon unfounded assumptions about how souls in NGE work, rather than observations from the material about how souls work.

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Re: The Endless Question: The Souls of the Mass Production Evangelion Series

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Postby SoryuUberAlles » Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:20 pm

But I mean practically, how do they recover Kaworu's body? The wiki says 25' 'begins immediately after the events of Episode 24. It seems like they initiate an attack within hours. Did Seele snatch Kaworu's head and do-the-rei-lab thing in that time? You make it sound like a more involved process. Rei is recovered relatively quickly in episode 23 but they have massive facilities on site.

If they don't need to do that for Kaworu to appear later as GNK then their souls separate from the body and are presumably recovered later. That correlates with what CI looks like it's saying to me.

So I think During the 2I Adam's soul 'flew' off from his body at the point of destruction and was captured and poured into a new vessel later - Kaworu. This happens again when his new vessel Kaworu is destroyed. This regularly done with Reai and not apparently done with Kaworu himself.

[shrug] It just I always assumed that's what they were doing with Rei and how they made Kaworu in the first place.
Last edited by SoryuUberAlles on Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Endless Question: The Souls of the Mass Production Evangelion Series

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Postby Reichu » Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:23 pm

View Original PostSoryuUberAlles wrote:But I mean practically, how do they recover Kaworu's body? (...) Did Seele snatch Kaworu's head and do-the-rei-lab thing in that time?

Hey, you're the one who is stuck on the idea of getting Kaworu's soul into the MP Evas. Solving the problems is up to you, not me. :p

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Re: The Endless Question: The Souls of the Mass Production Evangelion Series

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Postby SoryuUberAlles » Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:23 pm

If recovering the soul requires recovering the body then how does he appear as GNK?
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Re: The Endless Question: The Souls of the Mass Production Evangelion Series

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Postby Sachi » Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:25 pm

View Original PostSoryuUberAlles wrote:But I mean practically, how do they recover Kaworu's body? The wiki says 25' 'begins immediately after the events of Episode 24'. It seems like they initiate an attack within hours. Did Seele snatch Kaworu's head and do-the-rei-lab thing in that time?

Seele didn't recover his body. They already had these dummy plugs made before Kaworu was sent to Nerv. Kaworu's soul is not necessary for the dummy system to operate once already made. Kaworu's soul remains in limbo until it becomes fused with Rei/Lilith in Terminal Dogma with Gendo during that hot moss.
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Re: The Endless Question: The Souls of the Mass Production Evangelion Series

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Postby SoryuUberAlles » Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:32 pm

Maybe you're all right. I've just re-read Reichu's 'absorbing the head lying in Terminal Dogma' thing...ok I guess? I take the 'if you die before instrumentality you die in real life' rule for granted. I guess there's a lot of assumptions, fanon, old controversies and canon I'm working through at the same time. I have been on this site for a looooong time. Might give this thread a break now...give the real theory post it deserves :-P
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Re: The Endless Question: The Souls of the Mass Production Evangelion Series

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Postby CommanderFish » Sun Oct 16, 2016 6:21 pm

Reichu wrote:I don't think the identities of the MP Evas' souls are all that important. The use of a Kaworu dummy plug makes the matter all but irrelevant, IMO, since episode 24 establishes Kaworu's latent ability to control any Eva whose soul is appropriately cooperative. (Rei's personality data presumably confers an analogous advantage, since, having the soul of the Lilin's mother, Rei would have a link to every Eva on a spiritual rather than physical level.) Selecting the "right" (nice and servile) souls from the start and/or advances in binding technology take care of all issues that I can see.

This is a very good point that I completely forgot about. I suppose it would be possible for a Kaworu dummy plug to obtain absolute control of the MPEs, even to the point of controlling the way they behave, as long as the resident souls were completely subservient (which I'm sure SEELE would make sure of). Part of me wants to think that the resident souls still play a larger part into this, but... I'm just going to end up confusing myself more, so I'll just stick with this conclusion for now.

Reichu wrote:One possibility is that the dummy system is "simplistic and brutal" partly by design

[...]

Alternatively, we do have the weird implication that the actual clone bodies play a necessary role in the DS's functionality. When Eva-01 is activated on the DS, it seems that Shinji's plug is connected remotely to that red "REI-00" dummy plug. Ritsuko speaks of the clones as "cores" for the dummy system, so it's often thought that a clone is placed within the dummy plug to make it work. The digitized personality data would need some sort of hardware to "run" on (Naoko's data runs on artificial brains, for instance), and since the Evas are already rigged to synchronize with not merely the pilot's soul but the whole body-soul unit, maybe "clone + DS" is just what worked best.

However, it's understandable, at least to me, that a "digital soul" would not be able to function in a human body in quite the same way equivalent data would function perfectly well in a biomechanical system custom-designed for the purpose (the Magi). On top of that, taking a digital snapshot of someone's personality is one thing, while digitizing the complete contents of the soul itself is something else altogether. As we see with Kyoko post-CE, any omission in the soul results in the total collapse of everything else. Is it really any wonder that Evas operated by dummy plug are so fucked up?

I could see any of these--as well as any combination of these--being true. To be honest, I was always under the impression that the dummy plugs were actually just "personality data", and that the absence of a soul was what made them so damn brutal (episode 18, specifically). I mean, was it ever revealed, or even implied, anywhere else than the CI that the dummy plugs actually did contain souls? Because, like I said, I never really caught that. Oh well.

Either way: yeah, all of these explanations make sense to me. But I particularly like the last thing you said there--about how copying souls probably wouldn't work so well--because it seems to really align with some of Eva's core messages and whatnot. I mean, if I were to take a guess, I would say that in Eva's universe it would be impossible to 100% "copy" a soul. That's really just a gander, though.
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Re: The Endless Question: The Souls of the Mass Production Evangelion Series

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Postby Reichu » Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:23 pm

View Original PostCommanderFish wrote:To be honest, I was always under the impression that the dummy plugs were actually just "personality data", and that the absence of a soul was what made them so damn brutal (episode 18, specifically). I mean, was it ever revealed, or even implied, anywhere else than the CI that the dummy plugs actually did contain souls?

Looking at the entry again, I think I see what the problem is. It's the ambiguity of "artificial", isn't it? The basic meaning is "man-made", but, much like "synthetic", it can imply two separate things:

(A) Something being a mere facsimile of the original. Our technology is pushed to the limits, but the results are still, clearly, fake. Example: artificial limbs.
(B) Something being essentially indistinguishable from the original, albeit created through or facilitated by technological means rather than the "usual" way. Example: artificial lake; artificial insemination.

If we perfected the ability to grow new limbs for amputees on the fly, those would fall under (B).

So you have the CI telling you, on the one hand, that souls cannot be copied, and then, in the next entry, saying that artificial souls exist. Taking the above into consideration, I don't think these two are mutually exclusive. The dummy system clearly falls under (A) above, while a true soul copy would fall under (B). The DS is called an artificial soul because it replicates much of the data contained within the soul -- that which defines someone's personality, or "ego" as NGE sometimes puts it -- and is capable of functioning, in limited capacity, as a soul in entities that don't have one.

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Re: The Endless Question: The Souls of the Mass Production Evangelion Series

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Postby Lavinius » Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:18 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:Keep in mind, what you're referring to as "Leliel" here expressly presented itself as part of Shinji...

I've interpreted Shinji B as being Leliel, for lack of any other notion of personhood, instantiating & acting as that part of Shinji. As for why she was more knowledgeable than the other Angels, we can say either that the story's reality doesn't progress in accordance with its themes, or that Shinji being in a naturally reflective state, unlike Asuka's and Rei's combative one, enabled a more subtle and thoughtful interaction.
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Re: The Endless Question: The Souls of the Mass Production Evangelion Series

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Postby CommanderFish » Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:46 pm

Reichu wrote:So you have the CI telling you, on the one hand, that souls cannot be copied, and then, in the next entry, saying that artificial souls exist. Taking the above into consideration, I don't think these two are mutually exclusive. The dummy system clearly falls under (A) above, while a true soul copy would fall under (B). The DS is called an artificial soul because it replicates much of the data contained within the soul -- that which defines someone's personality, or "ego" as NGE sometimes puts it -- and is capable of functioning, in limited capacity, as a soul in entities that don't have one.

Ooohhh, okay. Yeah, I definitely misunderstood that CI post. I thought it contradicted itself at first, so I decided to just go with what the "In-Depth Info" said. But this makes a lot more sense.

Didn't really think that through, so thanks for clarifying. I'm much more comfortable with these conclusions now.
"The fate of destruction is also the joy of rebirth"


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