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Neon Genesis Evangelion: 2D culture and more (Part 5)


Why are “self” of Hegel hostile? Why does Asuka hate Shinji, hate Rei, Misato, hate everyone and hate herself too? Tucker explains that the “self” always refer to the infinite, the “absolute”. So it cannot bear to see the other “self”, because it means that someone exists outside of it, which means that its existence is limited, not infinite. The “self” fears attachment, Tucker points out. This attachment is all there is to think about, it is the law, the morality, the “fulcrum” for the way people act, the relationships between people and so on. And by removing all attachments, man can finally attain “absolute freedom”.

But Soren Kierkegaard, a great existentialist philosopher, asked, “Then what?”
After having obtained that “absolute freedom”, what will people do next? Anno Hideaki showed that it couldn’t have been better in NGE’s final episode, as he let Shinji “experience” the feeling of people letting go of their constraints. Humans have the freedom they want, but what they “experience” (that is, if it is possible to use the word), is just an empty world …

-What is this? An empty world? A world without anyone?
-This is an absolutely free world.
-This is an absolutely free world. A world where you don’t have any restrictions.
This is a world where you can do whatever you want. But are you scared? You’re afraid you won’t know what to do, right? Here, let me give you a “guide”, a “fulcrum”.
Now that he has “ground”, he can move freely, do what he wants, even change the world. However, his “absolute freedom” was lost a little … Because now his actions depend on a “fulcrum”.
What else do you want? An identity? Want to know yourself? Let me give you “mother”, the first person you meet when crying is born. Thanks to the awareness of “mother”, he is aware of himself, he has the first “identity”, but at the same time, he is no longer the “absolute”. Still want to continue?

What is it this time? Friends? This is Rei, it is Asuka, Toji, Kensuke, Hikari. Now he has bigger relationships, at the same time. He may be happy but he can also suffer with these relationships, but one thing is certain, he is no longer “absolute freedom”.

Many people will find it difficult to understand when Shinji makes such a choice. Choose a world that has an infinite amount of constraints compared to a world of “absolute freedom”. Choose a future where suffering is compared to a forever happy “present” right in front of your eyes. But perhaps Kierkegaard will agree with Shinji.


Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) in one of his last works, “Sickness Unto Death” (1849) argued that people are always desperate because of the conflict between the two states.

The “Inner God” gives people the imagination of possible, even grandiose futures. I want to be someone who can bring happiness to the whole world. I want my future lover to be Miss. I want to be a great scientist. I want and I want.

But the “Inner Worm” pulls people back to reality, by showing them the flaws, limitations of themselves, of society, of what is of human nature. And so people are desperate. They just want their wishes to come true. But ironically, they did not dare to look directly at the truth in order to proceed. They wish to be happy, but do not want to work hard to find happiness. They want the future to change for the better but are afraid of not changing the present. Because, they ask themselves, “What if it’s worse than now?”

Or as the great economist, Ludwig von Mises points out in Liberalism (1927):

“One out of a million people is unlikely to fulfill their ambition. The achievement of a person’s labor, even someone with a smiling fate, is far from youthful dreams. Thousands of obstacles have dispelled all plans and dreams, people turn out to be unable to accomplish the goals they aim for. The dream failed, the plan was broken, the force was lost – these are the most bitter experiences of each person. But also human destiny in general.
There are two ways to react. Goethe used practical wisdom to talk about one of these two ways:
Can you imagine that I must hate life,
Must run into the wilderness

Because not all of our dreams will bear fruit? Shouted Prometheus. And Faust, in that “greatest moment”, realized that “the wisest statement” was:
People every day are not fighting for freedom and for life
It is not worth living, nor is it worthy of freedom.
There is no risk in the world that can break such a will and spirit. The person who accepts life as it is and never lets it be crushed will not seek solace in his “saving lies” as support for his shattered beliefs. If the long-awaited success still does not come, if the ups and downs of fate are ruined in a moment the achievements are built up with years of hard work, then the person will only become more determined. stop it. That person can look straight into disaster without even showing despair. ”

Kierkegaard in his most famous work, Fear and Trembling, suggests that, in search of true enemy happiness, in order to truly “exist” we must “dare.” use a “jump”. Kierkegaard calls it “A leap of faith”. It is that each individual has to realize for himself what they really want, besides, also have to realize their own limitations. After all, if they still want to get what they are looking for, they have to take action. They must WANT to act. And whether the result is good or bad, satisfied or unsatisfied, individuals must recognize and accept that it is their actions and themselves, not anyone else, not society or the world. who is responsible for the action itself.

That was what Ikari Shinji chose.

“I am a coward, cowardly and weak.
I hate myself.
I can cherish myself!
I am myself! I want to be myself!
I want to continue to exist in this world! ”

“As long as you continue to live. Good things will definitely come ”- Osamu Tezuka

If you understand this… Omedetou! CONGRATULATIONS!

P / s: By the way, many people wonder about 2 scenes. It was Shinji “France” in front of Asuka’s hospital bed and Shinji strangled Asuka after it chose to give up “absolute freedom”. Actually the explanation is also simple. The first scene is Shinji, when no one is there, has “tried” to get rid of his moral ties as well as his relationship to “France”. But after tasting the feeling of “absolute freedom”, it strangled Asuka to “check” whether there were any constraints (eg guilt, suffering), as a way to check if it has escaped from that “no strings attached” world. Btw, baka Shinji.

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