I'm currently about halfway through the series (episode 15) and I've been spoiling myself a bit along the way in my quest to understand certain aspects of the lore that have already been presented. I'm not generally an anime fan, so I've been watching the dub, but I'm getting the impression that the translation may not be the best, so I do intend to do a second watch-through of the sub. I don't know if either version addresses this question, but I wasn't able to find a concrete answer on any of the wikis or forums.
That all said, my question is regarding Rei's soul. I understand that she seems to only have one shared between her iterations, and that the soul is presumably Lilith. My questions are as follows:
1) Was Rei created with the intention of being involved in Instrumentality? I ask this because it seems like the idea was she was created in an attempt to retrieve Yui's soul and place her soul back into a body. However, Yui being absorbed in the first place seems like it is what inspired Gendo to become interested in Instrumentality, thus...was Rei simply repurposed as a vessel for Lilith once it became clear that Yui wasn't retrievable?
2) I am not sure if this is a dub or sub quote, but Ritsuko has some dialogue in episode 23 that implies Rei was "born" with a soul:
Ritsuko: Yes, they're human. The Evas do not intrinsically have souls, but they have human souls embedded in them. They were all salvaged. The only vessel that contained a soul was Rei. She was the only one born with a soul. The Chamber of Guf was empty, you see. These things here that look like Rei have no souls. They're just vessels. That's why I'm going to destroy them. Because I hate them.
So my question then becomes...is "born" literally meaning that she came into existence naturally with a soul? That would contradict the idea that Lilith's soul was placed into her by artificial means. This explanation on the Guf page only further confuses me:
Rather unlike Judaic lore, in which emptying the Chamber of Guf signifies the coming of the Messiah, the consequences in Eva -- based on the context of Ritsuko's words -- appear to be merely that: (A) there were no unborn souls in the Chamber to bequeath upon the Evas, and they had to be given salvaged human souls instead; and (B) only Rei (i.e., the first Rei?) was born with a soul, whereas her clones are soulless shells. The latter raises the question of why Rei was born with a soul if the Chamber was empty, and may have implications on her possession of Lilith's soul.
I'm guessing that the Chamber being referred to must be Lilith's -- and further assuming that Adam and Lilith must both possess Chambers since they are both seeds. This goes back to my question again, though, as to what we mean by "born", being that Rei supposedly does not in fact possess her own independent soul.
I may be overthinking this, but maybe there really is something I'm missing here? Thanks in advance.