Guf

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Lilith's Doors of Guf shortly before closing.

Guf (ガフ, "body"), in Neon Genesis Evangelion, refers collectively to the Chamber of Guf (ガフの部屋, GAFU no heya) and Doors of Guf (ガフの扉, GAFU no tobira). The former term is borrowed from Judaic lore, and said to be the place where all unborn souls reside. While little is said about the Eva version of the Chamber of Guf, it appears to play a similar role, strongly implicated in the spiritual origin of Lilith- and Adam-derived life.

Mentions

There are only three direct allusions to the Guf within the show itself.

In Episode 21' (during the Katsuragi Expedition footage):

Woman D: "Begin thermal dampening treatment as soon as the Doors of Guf open."[1]

In Episode 23 (to Misato and Shinji in the Dummy Plug Plant):

Ritsuko: "Yes, they're human. The Evas do not intrinsically have souls, but they have human souls embedded in them. They were all salvaged. The only vessel that contained a soul was Rei. She was the only one born with a soul. The Chamber of Guf was empty, you see. These things here that look like Rei have no souls. They're just vessels. That's why I'm going to destroy them. Because I hate them."[2]

In Episode 26' (during Third Impact):

Fuyutsuki: "The Chamber of Guf has been unsealed. Have the doors to the world's beginning and end finally opened?"[3]

In addition, the vulva-like apertures that open on Lilith's palms in 26' to receive souls are referred to as "Doors of Guf" in the relevant storyboard.[4]

Nature of the Guf

The basic premise of the traditional Chamber of Guf, that it represents a kind of "storehouse" for unborn souls, can be inferred to apply to the Eva version. In EoE, the Chamber is referred to as "the world's beginning and end"[3], to which the souls of Lilin (and possibly other Lilith-born) flock during Third Impact, an event that is essentially creation in reverse (bodies reverting to primordial ooze, "return to nothing", etc.).

The exact nature of the Chamber of Guf is elusive, but the available visual evidence suggests that it may be a space residing in higher dimensions[5], similar to the Dirac Sea, and linked to both the body of a Seed of Life and its associated Moon.[6] The Doors of Guf can manifest as apertures on a Seed's palms to provide a path between the Chamber and the "outside world". (The "stigmata" rendered unto Eva-01 by the Eva Series may represent the forcible creation of Doors by Seele in preparation for their plan to use Eva-01 in Third Impact.)

Each Seed may possess its own Chamber of Guf. It is implied that Adam opened its Doors of Guf at Second Impact, and in doing so may have bestowed souls upon the Angels. Fuyutsuki states that the Chamber has been unsealed. This, along with the "Reverse-Creation" aspect of Third Impact, suggests that the Chamber of Guf had originally been opened and then subsequently sealed at the "world's beginning" (i.e., Lilith's act of creation), and is only now, at the "[world's] end," being opened again. Then Ritsuko says that the Chamber is empty, suggesting that Lilith had completely emptied the Guf before sealing it. If this had been the case, then Adam must have had a separate one.

Rather unlike Judaic lore, in which emptying the Chamber of Guf signifies the coming of the Messiah, the consequences in Eva -- based on the context of Ritsuko's words[2] -- appear to be merely that: (A) the birth of humanity, lilin, was completed as all the unborn souls had been born; (B) there were no unborn souls in the Chamber to bequeath upon the Evas, and they had to be given salvaged souls that had already been born instead; and (C) only Rei (i.e., the first Rei?) was born with part of Lilith's own soul and Yui's salvaged soul, whereas her clones are soulless shells that most likely obtain Rei's soul after it's salvaged from her corpse.

Guf in the Jewish tradition

09 C123 ramiel-blood.jpg

"Disposing of the Angel on the surface is so expensive!"
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While Guf (גוף) is the Hebrew word for "body," the Chamber of Guf is not merely a "chamber of bodies," however. The Body's chamber is the place in the celestial Body from which all unborn souls originate. This chamber is said to have existed prior to Creation.

The peculiar idiom of describing the treasury of souls as a "body" may be connected to the Kabbalistic tradition of the primordial man named Adam Kadmon. Adam Kadmon, God's "original intention" for humanity, was a supernal being, androgynous and macro-cosmic (co-equal in size with the universe). When he sinned however, humanity was demoted to flesh and blood, bifurcated and turned to mortals. According to the Kabbalah, every human soul is just a fragment (or fragments) cycling out of the great "world-soul" of Adam Kadmon. Hence, every human soul comes from Adam Kadmon's "Guf (Body)."

We read from the subject of propagation in the Talmud [7] the following:

"R. Assi stated: The Son of David (i.e. the Jewish Messiah) will not come before all the souls in Guf are disposed of; since it is said: For the spirit that enwrappeth itself is from Me, and the souls which I have made [8]."

In an early Kabbalistic work called the Sefer ha-Bahir (סֵפֶר הַבָּהִיר), it is also said that:

"In its hand is the Treasury of Souls. When Israel is good, these souls are worthy of emerging and coming into this world. But if they are not good, then [these souls] do not emerge. We therefore say, "The Son of David will not come until all the souls in the Guf (Body) are completed." What is the meaning of "all the souls in the Guf"? We say this refers to all the souls in Adam (Kadmon)'s body. [When these are completed] new ones will be worthy of emerging. The Son of David (the Messiah) will then come. He will be able to be born, since his soul will emerge among the other new souls."[9]

The Door of Guf (Rebuild)

Door of Guf Portals
The Door opened by Eva-01.
A view of the Door from above.
The Door opened during Fourth Impact.
Eva-13 with spears and halo, floating below the Door.

In Evangelion 2.0 and 3.0, the Door of Guf (ガフの扉, Gafu no Tobira) appears in the form of a black void surrounded by multicolored rings.

The events at the end of Evangelion 2.0 resulted in Near Third Impact, wherein Shinji's attempt to save Rei from the 10th Angel caused Eva-01 to open the Door of Guf. The Door formed from Eva-01's halo and was surrounded by slowly rotating red and white rings. The portal was dissipated when Eva-01 was struck with the Spear of Cassius, but it is unknown if the Door was fully closed after this event.

In Evangelion 3.0, an awakened Eva-13 opens the Door of Guf during Fourth Impact. This Door is larger than the previous version and surrounded by multicoloured rotating rings. It is closed after Kaworu impales Eva-13 with two Spears of Longinus, both pilots are removed, and the unit is finally disabled.

The GUFO

The GUFO

During Fourth Impact, an object is visible on the other side of the portal. It appears to be spherical, with large cross-like beams protruding out in the six cardinal directions. What this "Guf Unidenified Flying Object" could be is currently completely unknown. It has been speculated that this object represents the Chamber of Guf.[Source needed]


Notes

The Chamber of Guf is sometimes misinterpreted as being the Dummy Plug Plant, probably on account of Ritsuko being present there when she mentions the Chamber of Guf.

References

  1. "Woman D", Episode #21'
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ritsuko, Episode #23
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fuyutsuki, Episode #26'
  4. Neon Genesis Evangelion Movies Storyboard Collections.
  5. An analysis page is sorely needed, but pending that this thread provides some of the logic behind this assertion -- albeit without directly mentioning the Chamber of Guf... Whoops!
  6. The "Moon" part is also implicit in Fuyutsuki comment about the Black Moon being the source of human life.
  7. Babylonian Talmud (Talmud Bavli), tractate Jebamoth, folio 63b
  8. Isaiah 42:16.
  9. Sefer ha-Bahir, 184.