Being a sermon and declaration of semiotic war by Rev. M Moneure're, Project R base chaplain
Can be found here
|"God's in His Heaven, and All's Right with the World"
Do you want to stand behind the meaning of this, Eva fans? It's been bandied about by some of you as an afterthought, support for your Eva world of a Judeo-Christian God and his Angels, prophets, apocalypse. I'm willing to accept this challenge. NERV's motto has quite specific implied meaning in the Eva universe.
And if you're reading it, there's no singular Absolute deity here.
Do you know the meaning of this number, Eva fans? You won't find it if you hunt through your Scriptures, your QBLH. It's not an addition of the numbers of your name of God. 108 companies linked together to become the Marduk Institute, SEELE and NERV, with 107 of these companies acting as fronts to disguise the one *real* puppeteer. 108 beads on a mala. 108 steps up to a Zen temple, if you count. 108 "sins" keeping the individual from enlightenment. Sins? Not violations listed in a book, but 108 lies with which one deceives oneself. The final, ultimate twofold lie of the Eva world: SEELE. The lie that all can ever be right with the world, that suffering and loneliness can ever be dispelled in the tangible reality.
That there's a cosmic mediator, waging fairness upon the universe.
Do you know the meaning of this term, Eva fans? There may, in Buddhist tradition, be one Buddha, but there may be hundreds of Boddhisatvas, individuals who have attained enlightenment but choose to continue the cycle of reincarnation so that they may help others dispel their 108 lies. The Bodhisattva is more firmly a part of the Japanese pop-cultural - and anime - conception of a Jesus figure than anything in Christian scripture. Jesus becomes something of a Bodhisattva; an individual who chooses death to bring enlightenment to others, to establish the falsehood of the 108 sins, 108 lies: 108 arms of Marduk.
Sound like a character or two?
Bodhisattva and Buddha.
Can you apply this difference to our shared anime obsession, Eva fans? Bodhisattva follows the example of Buddha. Kaji may destroy falsehood, may strip away the false fronts of NERV, but he does so while being thorougly human, and at the request of "a cat".
Do you know which character was originally intended to make their first appearance as a cat, Eva fans? The "Buddha-smile" is something of an archetype to watch for. Buddha himself must have acted as Bodhisattva to his disciples. Not by showing enlightenment; as has been pointed out constantly since then, it's impossible to give enlightenment. All that can be done is to point the way towards the shattering of falsehoods.
In an anime which picks up elements of Judeo/Christian theology as a costume, of course, this can only come through the death of the Buddha-Christ after the passing on of his final piece of dharma, his final sutra.
His last testament.
God is not dead; just redundant.
Do you know what I mean by this, Eva fans? If a God exists, then a God exists; and is caught in the same trap of existence as humans. Demons and demigods, all are tied to the wheel of Time, all existing. Such a god might send vengeance against humans, or simply have an independent goal which conflicts with humanity. Such vengeance - or a wave of Angels - might simply send itself. Is this an Absolute? If a God exists, it is only to further the suspicion of those who hunger for power that they, also existing, might become Gods.
But what's the point of that, if you're still miserable?
Evangelion is neither theist nor atheist.
What do I mean by this, Eva fans? Simply that while there may not be any indication that there is a God behind the world of Evangelion, such a lack is not supposed either. Alternately, it may mean that there is a God, but that such a God, by virtue of existence, is imperfect, and thus not the Absolute so many of us seem to take it to be.
And consider Eva's addition of a first half of the underlying Final Lie of the 108.
Perhaps the assignment of a concrete God would be the most atheistic project Eva could undertake