A Story Side Explanation Essay for Neon Genesis Evangelion
By Joseph, 2003
During the First Impact, presumably when man and all else was first created, Adam and Lilith separated, just as it is told in Jewish folklore. Lilith laid waiting at the "Black Moon" ("The Egg of Lilith"), the place of first life and the cavity the Geofront was built upon. Adam and the "White Moon" were, in most probability, stationed in Antarctica, since that is where SEELE found him and where the Second Impact was initiated.
In the preaching literatures of the Rabbis, it was said that Lilith (Lilit) was the very first wife of Adam. Unlike Eve, who was made from one of Adam's ribs, Lilith was not composed from part of Adam and was disloyal to him. Lilith was said to have left Adam and gone wandering where one day she met Adam and Eve's son Cain. After that, Lilith became a demon who attacked new-born babies, and seduced men in their sleep. In Jewish lore she is said to have later married the devil himself. Also, it is said that between Adam and Lilith were born the demons and spirits. Director Anno made humans these demons in Evangelion.
Chairman Keel's knowledge of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the fates that were to come inevitably brought about a necessary Second Impact. Keel, symbolically known to represent the wandering Jew, somehow found and deciphered the Dead Sea Scrolls, and saw that mankind would eventually reach an evolutionary dead end, and so in turn, sought out to try and change the destiny that God had decided for man. The Second and Third Impacts were intentionally administered by Chairman Keel and SEELE. The Second Impact was man's attempt to reduce Adam to an embryonic state, a controllable form that they would use in their plans for Instrumentality. The capture of Adam thereby would awaken the remaining Angel's, who, spawned from Adam, would try to return to him. This is why man had to initiate the Second Impact, because without Adam in their control and the Angel's trying to return to him, there NEVER could have been a constructive Third Impact. Also Adam, in this diminished state, would be much harder for the Angel's to locate and would reduce the damage if humanity were to fail in their quest. (I will explain the constructive Third Impact & the steps necessary for its accomplishment shortly).
SEELE (the German word for "soul") was a secret organization that existed even before the Second Impact. It hid the truth about the Second Impact and the existence of Angels and used its power to abuse the UN and other countries. After the Second Impact, it used the UN as a cover, and established the Committee of Human Complementation (Instrumentality) and the secret agency NERV, and built the EVA series. SEELE's Human Complementation Plan is mapped out according to what was recorded on the "Secret Dead Sea Scrolls". The objective of the plan is to move humanity up to another stage of evolution.
NERV (meaning "nerve") was the organization formed from the previous establishment GEHIRN (meaning "brain" in German). Many things happened at GEHIRN/ NERV that were needed to carry out SEELE's plan for the future. It was around the time that GEHIRN was started that a brilliant young scientist, Yui Ikari, joined the ranks of SEELE. Yui and Gendou soon learned of Keel's plans, and eventually persuaded Kozo Fuyutsuki to become involved in the project. Even though, at the start, they did not believe that what Lorenz Keel was doing was right, joining up with the agency was the only chance they had to partake and eventually undercut Keel's plan. Gendou married Yui (not too much information has been given as to why), but it was clear that he was drawn to her obvious talents. Their marriage happened shortly after Second Impact, and Shinji was born shortly thereafter.
It was around this time that at GEHIRN Naoko Akagi (Ritksuko's mother) began building and designing the Magi Supercomputers. The GeoFront and NERV headquarters were then built in the large underground cavity that was the "Black Moon", Lilith's final resting place that took place eons ago in the First Impact (the creation of all life). Tokyo-3 was built directly on top of it. It's purpose for being built here was protect and hide Adam and Lilith until the Third Impact was at hand. The defensive position better enabled them to protect the GeoFront from Angel attacks.
Soon after, NERV secretly began building another needed part to SEELE's plan, the Evangelions. The Eva's were created from the blueprints of Adam's genes and from copying parts of Lilith. Built through super science and advanced cloning procedures, their true capabilities and power were never fully understood. In the year 2004, Yui Ikari was killed during an early experimental test to sych with EVA01, as she was absorbed by it, much like the same way that Shinji was after EVA01 took in the S^2 organ from an angel. After the death of his wife Yui, Gendou's goal changed from saving man, to personally leading him to his own constructed Final Impact so that he could be reunited with his lost wife.
Each EVA possesses a human soul, Yui's soul is the soul that resides inside EVA01. EVA-02 has Asuka's biological mother's mind trapped inside it (the test w/ Unit 02 caused her to go insane). It's debatable who's soul resides in EVA-00, a lot of people believe it is Rei's (who soul was used as part of the core for the dummy plugs), while others think it's Naoko Akagi's. People think this because of the incident where EVA-00 went berserk on Rei when she first tried to sync with it. The fact that it went berserk multiple times when Rei and Shinji were piloting it (both spawned from Yui Ikari) and took swipes at Ritsuko (the daughter who tried to separate herself as far as possible from her mother) allows it to be left as a reasonable possibility, but no one knows for sure. SEELE used Kaworu as the core of the dummy plugs for the rest of the Eva series (the white models). Look closely at the red dummy plug cores of these Eva's, Kaworu's name is printed on them.
Also, Rei was cloned from the genes of Yui and from those of Lilith. She was created secretly by and for Gendou's final plan for Instrumentality. Multiple clones of Rei were created.
Ok, I think that covers the majority of the information that occurred in the past. I'm going to move on to discussing the Angel's and the Thrid Impact.
The Angel’s purpose is to test man of his strength and wit, in the end producing one of two fates. Either they will reunite themselves with Adam in the Third Impact, killing all of mankind, or man will control the catastrophe and “evolve” into a higher existence. With the choice to initiate Second Impact, SEELE set in motion the future foretold in the Secret Dead Sea Scrolls.
In the series it is told that mankind was born from Lilith. Kaworu often uses the word "Lilin" to replace the words 'human' or 'man'. From the legends, Lilin (the name Lil-In is also used) were the children born between Adam and Lilith. This is the reason why everyone has to return to her during the Third Impact and why originally, SEELE planned to use Lilith to initiate it, through the forbidden fusion between her and Adam. SEELE tried to start this fusion by tricking the 17th Angel, Tabris(Kawrou) into merging with Lilith. The Angel Tabris (who is born from Adam) would provide the needed components from Adam to start Third Impact. Unfortunately for SEELE, Kaworu realised that Lilith was indeed not Adam and instead decided to be destroyed by Shinji in episode 24. When this plan failed, and when the Lance of Longinus was lost, SEELE attempted to use EVA01 in Lilith's place. In The End of Evangelion, Lilith was fused with the third clone of Rei and helped in merging all the world's souls together during the Third Impact.
Now I'm going to try and explain Thrid Impact. The Third Impact took place when mankind initiated the final phase of evolution. By overcoming the Darwinian dead end that man was faced with, he took it in his own hands to "evolve" into a single being and return to one whole single entity (as it was before the First Impact). First of all, there are two kinds of possible Third Impacts: The Destructive Impact (in which an Angel would return to Adam and humanity would be eradicated); and the Constructive Third Impact (where Lilith is the key Angel and every man becomes a single component and "evolves" into the ultimate of beings). The Constructive Third Impact has 2 variations, since Gendo and SEELE each had their own separate agendas for the future of mankind.
In order for the Destructive Third Impact to occur, an Angel must come into contact and return to Adam. This is the Angles one and only mission. Man had to defeat the angels to prove his worth, prove that he could think and act beyond his limited means in order to gain access to eternal and painless life. The Angels had to prove that they deserved the reunification of their own being too, and their test must have been a one by one confrontation with mankind.
For the Constructive Third Impact to take place, mankind needed:
-to defeat all 17 Angels, thereby withstanding the test needed to prove they could evolve into a higher existence.
-to contain Adam and Lilith (Adam to keep him from taking Lilith away and to in turn get the prophesied seventeen Angels to make their appearances, and Lilith to begin the Impact [while also combining with Adam])
-create a manmade Angel with a human soul (Eva)
-and have the Lance of Longinus in their possession. (Also known as the Spear of Destiny. Named after the soldier that stabbed Christ in his side at the Crucifixion. It is a real-life object, the spear still exists and is stored in the St. Augustine Church in Rome)
Otherwise, a pure Angel coming in contact with Lilith would do the job (which is why SEELE tried to trick Kaworu into touching her after the Lance was lost). The Angels DO NOT want to come in contact with Lilith, they simply want to return to Adam.
Now aside from this, Gendou has his own agenda for Third Impact, which I will try to explain. You may ask, if Gendo wanted Third Impact to take place, why didn't he just stand by and let Keel do it? Well, Gendo wanted to control the Final Impact for himself so he could reunite himself with Yui. By controlling the Third Impact, by being the one to first return to Lilith without losing one's physical body, it is thought that one becomes a "god" of some kind, and therefore his goal of either being reunited with Yui, or to somehow resurrect or release her would be realized. Controlling Third Impact would be the ultimate power. The power to have everyone on Earth be lead by you and to have all your pain taken away. So, after defeating the angels, he intended to fuse himself with the embryonic form of Adam (which he did, he fused it into the palm of his right hand) and with Rei (who was cloned from Yui and Lilith). Through this he would initiate Third Impact, controlling it to alter the world so he could reunite himself with Yui.
The idea of a Third Impact in which humanity would evolve into a higher existance (basically becomming God) comes from a mysterious sect of Judaism built around interpretations of the Torah, called Kabbalah. One of the central idea in the Kabbalist culture is The Tree of Sepiroth, or the Sephiroth System. The Sephiroth System is a graph of symbols represented, as a diagram, the route of how a human can attain the highest possible spiritual level (More or less, becomming one with God). Moreover, many other interpretations are said to be possible: As a step-by-step diagram for meditation, as a map that shows the way to wisdom, or as a prediction for human's future etc. The diagram is composed of ten circles linked by 22 paths. The Sephiroth Tree is that thing at the beginning of the opening of every Evangelion episode, it can be found on the cealing of Gendo's office, and it is that system of circles that is formed in the sky at the start of the Third Impact in EoE. There is a ton of information and philosophy about the Sephiroth, and about it's role in Evangelion, which i'm not going to get into because I barley understand it myself (Like how each of the characters represents one of the steps of humanity in the system[For example, Shinji is Yesod, Malchut is Rei, ect].
Ok, I'm going to try and wrap this up by breifly explaning what happens in the End of Evangelion.
After the defeat of all the angels, and after their plan to trick Kaworu failed, SEELE ordered an attack on NERV. Why? First of all, NERV was no longer usefull to SEELE, it had accomplished it's task. Second, NERV held all of the cards needed to initiate third Impact. With Gendo refusing to relinquish control to SEELE, because he was trying to enact his own plans, SEELE was forced to overtake NERV. After a more peaceful attempt to capture the needed MAGI Supercomputers failed, SEELE resorted to more violent means. They sent out the completed Eva series models and the JSSDF to take NERV and the possessions they held by force. Without the Lance of Loginus, SEELE instead planned to use EVA01 as their medium(which had digested the S^2 organ).
During the final hours of NERV's takeover in the End of Evangelion, Gendo, using Adam (fused into his palm), Rei, and an awakened EVA Unit 01, proceeded with the final steps of his plan. However, when he stuck his hand into Rei's body, Rei betrayed Gendo, and freed Adam from him. She then took Adam and merged with the giant Lilith, thereby completing the forbidden fusion, initiating Third Impact.
At the center of the Third Impact, is Shinji, who's mind becomes bombarded with the psychological questions and demons he's lived with from the very beginning. This is where the final two episodes of the series take place, in the onset of the Third Impact where Shinji must make his final fateful choice. In the End of Evangelion, to Shinji, this is virtually the same experience, however, the choice he makes is different. In the series he realizes that he can percieve reality from whichever angle he chooses, and can live happily, content with his own existence if he so desires. In the movie, he chooses to return everyone back to the state of beginning, save for himself and Auska, who continue to be indiviuals.
During the climax of End of Evangelion, The Third Impact reduces all life into a single entity- a sort of primordial soup in which all minds and individualities are shared. The concept of "alone" ceases to exist. But Shinji continues to identify himself as himself and Asuka as Asuka. In doing so, Shinji and Asuka remain individuals. You could say that Shinji strangles Asuka in order to prove to himself that Asuka is distinct and separate from him. Really, there's no clear cut answers for the ending of the movie, there are many contridictions throughout that can be used in defense of whatever fate you believe befelled Shinji and all of mankind. The movie just presents several resolutions of which you must decide within your own beliefs. It's somewhat difficult to seperate what is real, what is in Shinji's mind, what is philosophy, and what is fact. This in itself illustrates the chaos and melding that was happening during the Third Impact.