Time and the Leijiverse Part IV (How many Licks?)
Yes, just how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Time Sphere? I’m not sure, but I’m going to try to lick this problem in one short post. It might be a good idea to go back and reread Part III of this series (just two posts down from here), then think back to those great times you had watching Neon Genesis Evangelion. Remember when the show was reaching its climax and getting really really weird? Then episode 23 came along and we found ourselves before this:
[The next paragraph contains MASSIVE SPOILERS for Evangelion, although there’s some heavy speculation involved and I might be very wrong!]
The secret to running an Eva is to implant a soul inside of it. But since the Room of Gaf has run out of souls, NERV must overcome this deficiency by: 1) recycling souls of people actually living and forcing them into the Evas (ideally souls with a strong bond with each Eva’s pilot) and 2) by developing a cloning program, the Rei dummy plugs, that will eventually do away with the need for human souls. The pic above shows Ritsuko’s annihilation of many of these dummies, but alas, not all perished…
The Room of Gaf is an actual concept in Jewish mysticism, an area in the Seventh Heaven where the souls who haven’t been born yet reside. Some think that the apocalypse is triggered when all of the souls that were meant to be born have come into the world: i.e. when the Room of Gaf is empty.
The preexistence of souls has been defended by a small but select group of thinkers throughout the ages. In Christian history, the first systematic theologian, Origen, actually held this view. Notice that I don’t call him Saint Origen, he’s never been canonized principally for this preexistence of souls business. These days, the only major Christian group that I know of who believes in something like this is the Latter-Day Saints.
So what does this have to do with the Leijiverse and the center of a Time Sphere?
As we discussed before, a Time Sphere is made up of several (maybe infinite) Time Rings sharing the same center. Each Ring of Time represents one time sequence of events, a single timeline. Now, looking at such diverse stories as Harlock Saga, Galaxy Express 999, Cosmo Warrior Zero, etc., we must find a single aspect that they all share. And there is one: personality.
Or rather, personalities. There’s always a Captain Harlock in a Matsumoto show, an Emeraldas, a Tochiro. The circumstances change, of course, and sometimes even the species and name of the characters, but the fans can usually pick each out with ease. What I’m saying in a nutshell is that the center of a Time Sphere is the Room of Gaf! Harlock keeps coming back in the different timelines because all of these timelines share the same Room of Gaf, i.e. Harlock’s soul must be “embodied” all over the surface of this sphere. Every Ring of Time sharing a given center X will see the emergence of the souls/personalities encoded in that center.
If, like me, you don’t like the notion of “souls”, then you could say that the center of a Time Sphere instantiates a set number of bodies on each Ring. If you like the Gaia Hypothesis, then think of the Time Sphere as an organism, and the center as its DNA. Harlock is in the DNA of the Leijiversal sphere, so every timeline on it will have a Harlock somewhere along the line.
Maybe then you can make another Time Sphere for “our universe with Adolf Hitler and Britney Spears in it”, another one for the Neon Genesis Evangelion universe, and so forth. We can use the Time Sphere concept to explain how the Eva manga follows a different timeline from the anime, but sharing the same personalities all the way through. Etcetera etcetera.
Post III had two questions: the center issue and the chronology issue. I will work on the chronology issue in my next post.
[In essence, my choice of “Hitler-Spears” for the name of our universe comes from my deeply held belief that no other universe can possibly see the emergence of both of these individuals, so that this name denotes our universe precisely and sets it apart from all possible universes.]