Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Instinct and Desire, Belief and Enlightenment - The Nature of Powers

With Bleach Chapter 560, we saw a very unusual Quincy ability with "The Superstar", and it most likely threw everyone for a loop in one way or another. How does such an ability relate to reishi manipulation, and how could such an odd ability exist in Bleach?

When I stopped to think about it, I now believe that the individual abilities of the Quincy may tie into what Aizen mentioned about "Human" hearts in "Deicide":

"...However, it is a peculiar quality of living beings... // ...that when it comes to achieving those petty desires that their crude hearts enshrine... // ...they tend to have remarkable levels of success."

...but living creatures are truly mysterious, you know?
4: Despite the nature of what they wish for with their stunted hearts,
5: they are built so that they are able to realize such

Before, I only attributed what Aizen said to Fullbring, because the concept of "fulfilling desires" ties into how Fullbring works flawlessly - a Fullbring is a power "born form desire", and the kind of power that is manifested is based on the "desire" of the individual.

But considering Aizen said "living beings" in general, and how "Humans" and "Quincy" fall under that category, it can arguably be applied to the Quincy as well. True, Royd and Loyd seem to counteract this argument because they were born with "The Yourself", but they could have also had "The Yourself" because they were born as identical twins.

So just as Fullbring is "a power of desire", the power of a Quincy is "a power of belief". The Quincy all begin with the basic bow and arrow but, as their power evolves, they shape and create their unique abilities based on their individual beliefs, as well as a power befitting their own personality.

Currently, it seems no Quincy's power shows this more clearly than "The Superstar" just because of how unusual it is.

Alternatively, the Shinigami and the Hollow represent the "inner self" - the "enlightened" inner self or the "instinctual" inner self respectively. Shinigami are "born" with their Zanpakuto power, which represents their "inner selves", while the Hollow is the embodiment of the "instincts" that exists in all individuals.

This is where the opposition between the soul types exist, because of the correlation between the two sets of souls.

Shinigami and Quincy are opposite because the nature of their powers are opposite: while the Quincy form their powers based on "belief/faith", the Shinigami's Zanpakuto is one of "enlightenment", through the understanding of one's own soul, and the acceptance of both the good and bad that comes with it.

"Belief" is trust, faith or confidence in the existence of something or in someone. This is evidence in the Quincy's monotheistic nature and symbolism: they hold a "belief" in God, and that "belief" can also be related to themselves and their powers, as "belief" also encompasses "ideal", often without proof. "Enlightenment" is the opposite, as to be "enlightened" is to have achieved understanding and knowledge of something. For the Shinigami, that "enlightenment" is the understanding of themselves and their own soul through the Zanpakuto.

Humans and Hollow are opposite in the same manner, because "desire" and "instinct" can be seen as two sides of the same coin. We have not really seen any pure "Human" power in the series - aside from potentially Kanonji and the Were-wolf Clan - but Fullbring best represents the "desire" aspect of the "Human" power.

"To desire" something is to want to possess something or to want something to happen. A Fullbringer's ability allows them to "bring about that desire" through their power. "Instinct", on the other hand, is the primal form of "desire", a powerful motivation carved into the behaviour and nature of an individual. This is what the body, Mask and power of a Hollow represents - the primal instincts of the soul.

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