in the shell Forum Index in the shell
Discussions about the many incarnations of Ghost in the Shell, philosophy and more!
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Mythology and Religious symbolism in GitS 1

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    in the shell Forum Index -> The Philosophy
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Elmo



Joined: 30 Nov 2005
Posts: 219
Location: Plato's Cave Weapon of Choice: Sarcasm

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 3:15 pm    Post subject: Mythology and Religious symbolism in GitS 1 Reply with quote

Well this is something I've been wondering about the meaning of ever since I first saw GitS. What is the purpose of the references to mythology/religion?

Oshii’s films commonly use themes of mythology or religion to get the viewer to begin thinking critically about the hegemony of power structures of religion and technology. This is very apparent in Oshii Mamoru’s more recent science fiction films; Mobile Police Patlabor: The Movie, Mobile Police Patlabor: The Movie 2 and Avalon.

All of Oshii’s science fiction occur within an institutional setting depicting a problematic hierarchy of power. In Patlabor the story concerns members of a police force that wear robotic exoskeletons, Motoko Kusanagi is a section 9 government operative and occasional assasin, Avalon is set in the structured world of a total immersion game. The plots of these films show, in an exploration of how the human subject is shaped by its own semi-conscious complicity in discursive fields of power relations, how each of these systems can dominate the individuals within these groups.

In GitS all of the religious symbolism(The halo surronding 'crucified' puppetmaster & the descending angel at the merging of Motoko/2501) and the religion based quotations are controlled by, or invoked by the puppetmaster acting in the role of antagonist. By associating religious quotations and metaphor with the source of conflict within the afore mentioned instiutional structures(which bear the protaganist), Oshii sets up an eventual confrontation between mythos(mythology) and logos(reason). But the solution given is not a conflict with mythology. Instead, Motoko is able to bring about a positive change through reasoned interaction with and manipulation of these mythological structures.

IMO by including this mythological vien in ghost in the shell Oshii is implying that rather than allowing the hegemony of dogmatic mythology and control structures to force us down a particular path, we should manipulate, change and reshape our mythology to aid interaction with a world where technology is becomming increasingly internal.

well that's my current thinking anyway, what do you lot think the meaning of the mythological elements of ghost in the shell are?

...feel free to rip my POV to shreds peeps, it's a fairly jumbled one. - i'm as confused as george bush at a peace summit! Confused
_________________
Joseph Cambell wrote:
Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
base of the pillar



Joined: 23 Nov 2005
Posts: 88
Location: drifitng on the winds of change

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your idea about the conflict between increasing machine based society and old mythos is an interesting one. I agree with you idea about altering religon to suit a society. If you look you'll notice that the conflict between technology and old religion is already underway. At its basest level aren't the terrorists attacking America religion facing technology.

Also if you like this idea of technology and religion facing off I would recommend the Butlerian Jihad which takes place in the Dune universe and is about a group of people who rise up, for religous reasons, when they believe technology has grown to far.
_________________
"And if we spirits have offended think but this and all is mended. That you have but slumbered heree while these visions did appear."--A Midsummer Night's Dream

History may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
douyang



Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Posts: 128

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always thought of the "war on terror" being a conflict between religion and the norms, values, and institutions of modernity. A war between the freedom, equality, and tolerance of modern day democracies and ancient pre-scientific, pre enlightenment religious dogmas.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
base of the pillar



Joined: 23 Nov 2005
Posts: 88
Location: drifitng on the winds of change

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes but at its basest levels what they hate in our culture is how advanced we are which is equated with how advanced our technology is. After all a culture in many respects can be well understood by looking at its level of advancement in technology. The fundementalists are just that old literal dogma.
_________________
"And if we spirits have offended think but this and all is mended. That you have but slumbered heree while these visions did appear."--A Midsummer Night's Dream

History may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Elmo



Joined: 30 Nov 2005
Posts: 219
Location: Plato's Cave Weapon of Choice: Sarcasm

PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I normal go with the idea that what 'they hate in our culture' is all the violent foriegn policy, support of muderous regimes & groups; involvement in Biological Weapons, the many human rights abuses, the self serving corrupt governemnt, WMD, Land Mines, The Arms Trade, that we have a self-glorifying biased and sometimes laughable view of history and world politics and of course manipulation of the middle east for fun and profit(using the US as 'our culture' here, but this is all standard behaviour for any colonial power).
Jealousy over technology just doesn't come into it IMO. the 'war on terror' rather than being a mythology vs. reason war, seems to me like it's a mythology vs. mythology war - it doesn't matter wether you use religious texts, patriotism, fanticism, pretty words like 'freedom' or 'jihad' it's all mythos - 'the war on terror', even the name is open to the interpretation of mythos; a war on an emotion.

The war on Terror Vs. Peace, now that would be a conflict between myth and reason.

</RANT>
_________________
Joseph Cambell wrote:
Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
base of the pillar



Joined: 23 Nov 2005
Posts: 88
Location: drifitng on the winds of change

PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What the terrorists hate is, as far as I've heard, the glutonness American culture. We are this way because of our technology. All that they hate in our culture can be tied to our advanced technology.
_________________
"And if we spirits have offended think but this and all is mended. That you have but slumbered heree while these visions did appear."--A Midsummer Night's Dream

History may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Elmo



Joined: 30 Nov 2005
Posts: 219
Location: Plato's Cave Weapon of Choice: Sarcasm

PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well whichever way you look at it the use of mythology in practical desicions is a mistake(e.g. in theocratic governments/wars, IntellegentDesign, Jihad). ‘Logos’ is the rational, pragmatic and scientific thought that enables men and women to function in this world. Unlike ‘mythos’, ‘logos’ must relate exactly to facts and correspond to external reality. ‘Logos’ is practical and logical. Myth is not reasonable by far. But ‘logos’ has its limitations too. Reasoned arguments are no help in making sense of tragedy or assigning a non-economic value to human life. Our practical actions have no inherent meanings, it is through our own minds we give the world meaning - this is where we should use myth to assist us. That's why I like the notions Oshii seems to suggest on the subject. In the events leading up to the merge mythos is used to give meaning and logos is used in making the big practical desicions. On the other hand after the merge logos/technology becomes ultimately internal within motoko, taking control of - what is traditionally the realm of mythos - her mind and the very essence of life creation itself. Does this mean a more confrontational message is intended, a complete rejection of myth/religion/superstition?





...incidentally i just remembered that there's a line in the theme song about 'an angel will descend at a wedding'. Not making a point there, i just thought it was a fun parallel to the descending angel at the merging. Smile
_________________
Joseph Cambell wrote:
Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.


Last edited by Elmo on Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:54 pm; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Snatcher



Joined: 20 Jul 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find your way of thinking very interesting. And I loved what it puts on the table regarding my interpretation of GITS. My background is more on the technical side (AI, Programming, Systems, Cognitive science, etc) and these are ideas that I never though about in GITS.

The point I see as even more interesting is that I've always seen the part of the Puppetmaster as the result of logic. Having a life form born from memes is the logical follow up to them being replicants as the genes. But, being a life form and not an AI born out of information (evolution by replication), it is not a completely logical entity.. it is bound to the same rules as any intelligence of the type that we know (bound to make mistakes, curiosity and the process of learning). Thus, although it is born from ideas it is not a Logos entity. Even so, I believe that it represents a duality of being born out of Logos and being just an abstract life form (although you could say that we are just information structures represented in matter) it has those mythos elements but brought to a human level. The puppetmaster is indeed the antagonist, but in the end that is a very gray area... it is just the antagonist when viewed in a particular context (as always).

I'll have to watch the movie again with this in mind to make up my mind on what impact this could have on my perception of the film. Have you seen Innocence btw? I'd be interested to hear your opinions on that movie as well I'll also have to watch that one again with this in mind).
_________________
孤独に歩め、悪をなさず
求めるところは少なく
林の中の象のように
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
geckochan



Joined: 18 Nov 2006
Posts: 15
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's interesting - I hadn't noticed most religious and mythological references in the film occuring around the Puppetmaster. Actually, it's been ages since I last watched it, but when Motoko quotes Corinthians that's also the Puppetmaster talking isn't it?
Naturally the very title suggests confict between reason and soul/mythos/spirituality, which is of course Motoko's conflict, but I wouldn't really say the Puppetmaster is an antagonist. And it's ironic that it's through an artificially originated being that Motoko is able to return to natural cycles - which is what I see the merging as achieving - the ability to die, to unite, to reproduce - all of those things that Motoko's cyborg "improvements" denied her. So if the Puppetmaster represents mythos, then mythos is also linked to the naturally occuring, to "life" - its manipulation and control by hegemonic institutions leads to its negation, its subordination by technology makes it null. The merging shows truth-seeking as a natural human aspect, the stripping of which has dehumanized, and which needs to be reclaimed. Personal mythos versus institutionally-controlled mythos I guess.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Togusa



Joined: 10 Jan 2007
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

base of the pillar wrote:
Your idea about the conflict between increasing machine based society and old mythos is an interesting one. I agree with you idea about altering religon to suit a society. If you look you'll notice that the conflict between technology and old religion is already underway. At its basest level aren't the terrorists attacking America religion facing technology.

Also if you like this idea of technology and religion facing off I would recommend the Butlerian Jihad which takes place in the Dune universe and is about a group of people who rise up, for religous reasons, when they believe technology has grown to far.


The tension between high-technology and tradition is an interesting one. Could it bet that Section 9, and perhaps Motoko in particular represnt attempts to redeem or even construct a positive mythology for high-technology in what seems an increasing dystopian world? Note the role of Section 9 as "the good guys" in the context of a morally ambigous and often corrupt government system. Similarly, perhaps GitS attempts to portray the positive possibilities in a high-technology world even as dystopian realities seem the norm everywhere around it.

Just a thought - I know there's a good chance I'm wandering very far out on a limb here. Wink
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
funknotik



Joined: 01 Jun 2009
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Mythology and Religious symbolism in GitS 1 Reply with quote

Elmo wrote:
Well this is something I've been wondering about the meaning of ever since I first saw GitS. What is the purpose of the references to mythology/religion?

Oshii’s films commonly use themes of mythology or religion to get the viewer to begin thinking critically about the hegemony of power structures of religion and technology. This is very apparent in Oshii Mamoru’s more recent science fiction films; Mobile Police Patlabor: The Movie, Mobile Police Patlabor: The Movie 2 and Avalon.

All of Oshii’s science fiction occur within an institutional setting depicting a problematic hierarchy of power. In Patlabor the story concerns members of a police force that wear robotic exoskeletons, Motoko Kusanagi is a section 9 government operative and occasional assasin, Avalon is set in the structured world of a total immersion game. The plots of these films show, in an exploration of how the human subject is shaped by its own semi-conscious complicity in discursive fields of power relations, how each of these systems can dominate the individuals within these groups.

In GitS all of the religious symbolism(The halo surronding 'crucified' puppetmaster & the descending angel at the merging of Motoko/2501) and the religion based quotations are controlled by, or invoked by the puppetmaster acting in the role of antagonist. By associating religious quotations and metaphor with the source of conflict within the afore mentioned instiutional structures(which bear the protaganist), Oshii sets up an eventual confrontation between mythos(mythology) and logos(reason). But the solution given is not a conflict with mythology. Instead, Motoko is able to bring about a positive change through reasoned interaction with and manipulation of these mythological structures.

IMO by including this mythological vien in ghost in the shell Oshii is implying that rather than allowing the hegemony of dogmatic mythology and control structures to force us down a particular path, we should manipulate, change and reshape our mythology to aid interaction with a world where technology is becomming increasingly internal.

well that's my current thinking anyway, what do you lot think the meaning of the mythological elements of ghost in the shell are?

...feel free to rip my POV to shreds peeps, it's a fairly jumbled one. - i'm as confused as george bush at a peace summit! Confused


I really like your analysis and I came to a similar conclusion. The religious and mythological elements are also placed in scenes where characters apear to be transcending or becoming more than themselves. Aside from the fact that in the GITS world within a world, reality is really blurry. Since you can actually live other peoples dreams and fantasies like in the GITS novel The Lost Memory.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
gareth



Joined: 30 Aug 2008
Posts: 16
Location: Chinewrde, UK

PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snatcher wrote:


The point I see as even more interesting is that I've always seen the part of the Puppetmaster as the result of logic. Having a life form born from memes is the logical follow up to them being replicants as the genes. But, being a life form and not an AI born out of information (evolution by replication), it is not a completely logical entity.. it is bound to the same rules as any intelligence of the type that we know (bound to make mistakes, curiosity and the process of learning). Thus, although it is born from ideas it is not a Logos entity. Even so, I believe that it represents a duality of being born out of Logos and being just an abstract life form (although you could say that we are just information structures represented in matter) it has those mythos elements but brought to a human level. The puppetmaster is indeed the antagonist, but in the end that is a very gray area... it is just the antagonist when viewed in a particular context (as always).



I think you raise an interesting issue regarding the origins of the puppetmaster insomuch as any extension of the human architecture will ultimately result in unpredictability. Does this mean, though, that the architectural extensions (i.e. "information structures represented in matter") are actually illogical, or that the puppetmaster is the result of a fundamental flaw in human logic?

I think Donna Haraway doesn't quite come to a conclusion with this issue either when she promotes the Cyborg (in the Cyborg Manifesto) as able to supersede and deliver itself from the flaws of its creators through forgetting them. It seems to me that (as a result of memetics) that any flaws intrinsic to the creator will be retained within the creation. Perhaps the idea of forgetting is being presented as some form of evolution though... (This is probably the wrong essay to quote to be honest as it's related to feminism and completely rooted in a cold war vision of the cyborg...)

Any thoughts on whether the puppetmaster is truly representative of an extension of our own architecture?

Also - http://www.lucifer.com/~sasha/articles/techuman.html

Interesting essay on a similar topic.

Pretentious spiel finished.
_________________
Blah blah
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sergeant X



Joined: 26 Mar 2014
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

base of the pillar wrote:
Yes but at its basest levels what they hate in our culture is how advanced we are which is equated with how advanced our technology is. After all a culture in many respects can be well understood by looking at its level of advancement in technology. The fundementalists are just that old literal dogma.


Nah man, the 'war on terror' is conflict between Empire and lines of flight.

Motoko even says that their own university discouse'd [sic Lacan] intelligence agency is technically a terrorist op.

Personally I think that's a part of the revelation that she has that leaves her so shooken up at the end of the second series

Quote:

I think Donna Haraway doesn't quite come to a conclusion with this issue either when she promotes the Cyborg (in the Cyborg Manifesto) as able to supersede and deliver itself from the flaws of its creators through forgetting them. It seems to me that (as a result of memetics) that any flaws intrinsic to the creator will be retained within the creation. Perhaps the idea of forgetting is being presented as some form of evolution though... (This is probably the wrong essay to quote to be honest as it's related to feminism and completely rooted in a cold war vision of the cyborg...)



Despite the fanservice I think that GiTS is fairly feminist. Oshii's view towards Harraway's piece seems somewhat conflicted to me

I mean he opens the 2nd film with a quote from Tomorrow's Eve only to completely contrast the sentiment there is in that novel by having the whole thing revolve around commodified sex dolls.

It also sort of deconstructs the whole genesis thing by having the Major appear as the 'holy spirit'
_________________
“Poets are always taking the weather so personally. They're always sticking their emotions in things that have no emotions.”


Last edited by Sergeant X on Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    in the shell Forum Index -> The Philosophy All times are GMT - 7 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group