A theory of creation, existence, and destruction as interpreted from Shin Seiki Evangelion
Author: Dedguy (Enthusiast)
Source: I A M D E D G U Y
Revised by: Aaron Clark (At author's consent)
In Tokyo 3 a teenage boy will take a journey that will end in a choice. Shinji Ikari will have to answer the question, is the world worth keeping?.
Shin Seiki Evangelion could easily be discarded as just another animated giant robot series from Japan, similar to the currently popular Gundam series. In a futuristic environment giant monsters attack humanity and giant robots piloted by teens fight them. This deceptively simple plot line is nothing but a mask disguising an emotionally damaging story thick with distorted religious symbolism. Shin Seiki Evangelion creates a new and intriguing theory of creation, existence, and destruction through the use of symbols and names drawn form various major religions.
Second impact, the world is decimated; half of the human race is no more. Man in his folly has awoken Adam, the first of 17 angels, Adam through contact with his mother, Lilith initiates second impact. Fearful of what may come, the major governing powers of mankind pool their resources and begin to prepare for contact with another Angel.
Seele and Nerv come to the aid of floundering nations, an answer to their problem in hand. Seemingly formed to protect man from the coming of the Angels Seele and Nerv (then known as Gehirn) where in fact the initiators of the second impact.
Run by a man named Keel, Seele seeks to reunite man as one and breakdown the barriers of Absolute Terror that separate us from one another. Keel himself is an enigma, he could be representative of Cain, this would explain his knowledge of Lilith. This would also explain his desperate need for an end, being cursed by God to wander the earth until the end of time. It could also be said that he is the archetypical wondering Jew seeking to return to the holy land. Seele and Keel are keepers (and or compilers) of the Marduk Report which identifies the children that are able to pilot the Evangelions.
Nerv is the hand of Seele, acting in the open where Seele cannot. Gendo Ikari, the father of the third children Shinji (and the pseudo-husband of the first) is the head of Nerv. Due to event involving the removal of his wife Yui from his life, Gendos ideas of instrumentality and how it should be carried out differ from that of Keel and Seele. This difference in ideas leads to the eventual conflict between the two.
The main concern of Nerv is the creation of the tools of instrumentality. These tools are known as Evangelions. Each of these creatures is modeled after the first Angel, Adam. They differ from Adam in that each Evangelion has within it the soul of a human. Despite stemming from fairly unreliable sources it is worth mentioning that the Evangelions are said by many to be modeled after the four barons of hell.
|All the Evangelions in the series are based on barons of hell. Unit 00 is based on a baron with only one eye for a face. Unit 01 is based on the baron of darkness, which had one horn and giant teeth. Unit 02 was based on a blood red baron who had four eyes and two jaws. (http://www.geocities.com/kenyuen1/anime/eva/neonbible.htm)|
While the descriptions offered by many seem to match those of the Evangelions there is little support for this intriguing theory.
In Judaism Lilith was the first wife of Adam, born of the same dust as he. The Talmud creates a picture of a divine heavenly Adam created in Gods true form. This is the Adam known as Adam Kadmon. He is androgynous as is God, vessel to both male and female aspects. When we first see Lilith in Evangelion it is a being of white flesh, pregnant and androgynous in form. It wears a mask which portrays the seven eyes of God (Revelations 5:06), and is held to a cross with nails and the Lance of Longinus. For unknown reasons, perhaps due to the second impact it is also lacking legs. Kaworu (Tabris) brings about the greatest revelation in the series when he comes in contact with Lilith who at the time he believed to be Adam. Must one who was born from Adam return to Adam, even though it will destroy man? Wait this isnt Lilith?! (Shin Seiki Evangelion Gekij˘-ban: Shito Shinsei 11:6:45) In this moment we become aware of Liliths role in the creation of man. In this role Lilith of Evangelion shares more in common with Adam Kadmon, the true man, than the deamon goddess of Judaism. Lilith is the bearer of all Angels including the last, final, and chosen Angel; mankind.
Born of Lilith were 18 children, each a possible inheritor of earth, these are Angels. In Evangelion man must fight for dominance in the world against the children of Lilith. It could be postulated that each Angel encountered within the series is a failed form of human life. This conclusion can be drawn due to the existence of only one of each Angel, and their need to be catalyzed into life by mans folly. Each of these failed children of earth are named from Angels of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Every Angel carries with it a field of Absolute Terror, or AT Field, which protects it from harm. Humanitys AT Field extends only as far as the mind, and is always intact.
The first was named Adam. Of the heavenly Adam Kadmon was born the first man, Adam. It would then be very logical that the first Angel birthed by the great mother of humanity, Lilith, would carry his name. Referring to the second book of Enoch, A Dictionary of Angels: including fallen angels, Davidson classifies the earthly Adam as an Angel. (p.6). This is not unheard of as Elijah, of the Old Testament, was transformed into Sandalphon upon reaching heaven. In Evangelion Adam is found by Nerv in Antarctica. After second impact Adam is returned to an embryonic state, he is later delivered to the head officer of Nerv, Gendo Ikari. Gendo later moves Adam to his right hand. This is significant in that it is the right hand of God that is responsible for Adams creation.
The second Angel is a fair mystery, the best candidate being Rei Ayanami the first children and antagonizor of the Angels. If we are to assume Rei is the second Angel then it is possible the name Rei (a common Japanese name) was chosen for its similarity to the name of Reiiel an Angel of the order of Denominations.
The third Angel was Sachiel the Angel of water. Short of an apparent fondness for water (the first time we see Sachiel is in water), Sachiel shares little with its namesake. As a cherub Sachiel, as stated in Secret Teachings of all Ages, should have "four heads, four wings, and brazen hoofs like those of a calf."(Hall p.125). Sachiel sets a president in that none of the Angels bear any direct resemblance to their namesakes, although a few are derived from descriptions of Angels.
After the establishment of the Angels role in the scheme of the greater truth, the importance of the Angels in explanation of existence degrades with the exception of a few key examples.
Sandalphon, the eighth, is the Angel of the womb. For the first time we are shown an Angel where it was meant to stay. Sandalphon is found within the magma of an active volcano, yet to be fully awakened by the second impact of Adam.
The fifteenth Angel Arael is the prince of the people of the birds. In Evangelion it sits in a lofty perch in earthly orbit, and appears fairly bird-like. Arael offers Gendo an excuse to remove the Lance of Longinus from its definite, although unclear, role in instrumentality (the apocalypse). After its removal from Liliths body its severed legs spontaineously regenerate.
The sixteenth Angel is only worth mentioning due to its obvious resemblance to a very strange order of Angels known as Ofanim. In The Vision of Ezekiel, an etching from The Bear Bible (as depicted in The Secret Teachings of all Ages p.125) the Ofanim are shown to be flaming wheels of eyes. While lacking eyes, the double-helix wheel body of Armisael is a very possible reference to these Angels who are often related to Cherubim.
The last Angel to visit Nerv in an attempt to reunite with Adam is first represented as the fifth children, Kaworu Nagisa. He is also known as Tabris, the Angel of free will. He is knowingly sent as an Angel by Seele to Nerv in an attempt to begin instrumentality. Fortunately Tabris has free will, an aspect his kin seemed to lack. After his realization that he himself is born of Lilith, just like the Humans he sought to destroy, Tabris decides in favor of humanity and requests that Shinji destroy him.
In its final moments Lilith falls into many roles. After the destruction of the seventeenth Angel, Keels suspicions of Gendos betrayal are affirmed. Gendo and Nerv now hold far too many cards: Lilith, Adam, and the most important of the Evangelions 01 (it is unclear why unit 01 is so important). Thinking instrumentality a lost cause, Seele attempts to infiltrate Nerv, when traditional weapons fail at the hands of Evangelion unit 02, Keel deploys the remainder of the Evangelion series, 06-13.
Rei and Adam are joined with Lilith awakening it, and giving it will. In this Rei and Adam, the first and second Angels could be interpreted as the earthly male and female aspects (Adam and Eve) returning to the heavenly androdgynous form of Adam Kadmon. The mask of the seven eyes of God falls from its face. Its body now given will and freed from the restrait of the eyes of God and the Lance of Longinus, both due to Reis actions, takes on the alternately male and female aspects of itself. These aspects are depicted as Rei and Kaworu, the two most human of the first seventeen Angels. Summoned by Shinji and Unit 01 Lilith ascends to the surface of Nerv.
Upon ascending out of Nerv Shinjis first site is that of his fellow pilot and her Evangelion being eaten alive by the remainder of the Evangelion series. Already torn with grief from the recent death at his own hands of his only true friend, Tabris, this drives him over the edge. At this point it is very easy to argue that he has made his choice to free man of the cage of the flesh and bring about apocalypse. Unit 01 lets out a bellow of pain, and extends 4 wings. The combination of the Adam born Unit 01 and its grief stricken pilot resemble strongly the Angel Israfel. He is described as 4-winged and he looks down into hell and is so convulsed with grief that his tears would inundate the earth (Davidson p.151). Israfel is also related to the end of the world and it is said he will be destroyed at the sounding of the third and final blast (Davidson p.152). This third and final blast can be easily be associated with the third impact of which Evangelion speaks.
After the extention of its wings unti 01 calls to itself from earthly orbit the Lance of Longinus. The remaining Evangelions 06-13 and 01 form the Qabbalistic Tree of Life also known as the Sephiroth.
|The Sephirothic Tree is sometimes depicted as a human body, thus more definitely establishing the true identity of the first, or Heavenly, Man-Adam Kadmon-the Idea of the Universe. (Hall p.121).|
Being a likness or symbol of Adam Kadmon, when Rei says Ikari is calling me (Shin Seiki Evangelion Gekij˘-ban 8:5:45) she could be referring to the Sephiroth. Once contact is made between Unit 01 (Israfel) and Lilith (Adam Kadmon) unit 01 and the Lance merge becoming the literal form of the Tree of Life, the controlling force of all existence. Having full governing power Shinji becomes like God, and Lilith the creator of man facilitates his decision. Lilith brings every human to a moment of pure joy or pain destroying their egos and freeing them from the Absolute Terror of personal existence. When it came to make a choice, Shinji chose to return all to the one and spare the world of despair and personality.
To interpret Shin Seiki Evangelion is akin to the interpretation of any known faith. It is full of riddles and mysteries, things that are never meant to be understood, and those things that are never seen correctly. The interpretation stated here is just one of a possibly infinite number.