Shadow, Darkness, Qlippoth...

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Shadow, Darkness, Qlippoth...

Postby Iamus » Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:29 pm

Hey, everyone. I've been struggling to understand the relationship between a related set of concepts within the Thelemic system(s) and am looking for a little help.

To what extent are the following terms related, different from each other, or synonymous: the Qlippoth; darkness (though not in the Supernal/N.O.X. sense); the shadow (in the Jungian sense); the "darkly splendid world" of Liber Tzaddi; hell (again from Tzaddi, and elsewhere); death; the "dark night of the soul"; depression; chaos; matter; the path of Tav; the underworld; nigredo, putrefaction, etc.; the unconscious (in the Jungian or Freudian sense); the Nephesh; the animal; the ignorant/uninitiated state of consciousness... I'm sure I could add to the list, but you get the idea.

I understand, of course, that to a certain extent the sense of these words can vary drastically from author to author and even work to work. I guess what I'm looking for is a way to at least begin to categorize these things (especially through Qabalah) to have a better understanding of my own path. Are they the same thing but on different levels of intensity? Which levels are safer and/or even essential for those well below the level of an Adept to explore? Where's the line, if there is one, between those things that are "dark" because of social taboos, lack of self-knowledge, etc. and those that are "dark" because they are genuinely degraded and unhealthy aspects of reality?

I'd appreciate any help or perspectives on this. 99% of the resources out there on this stuff are worse than useless...
Love is the law, love under will.
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Re: Shadow, Darkness, Qlippoth...

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:19 am

There are broad correlations without them being the same. (Exclude Dark Night of the Soul, though - it's a thoroughly different topic.)

To deepen your understanding, explore (and consider) how much each resembles Nefesh, or subconsciousness (in both its consciousness and biological aspects).
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Re: Shadow, Darkness, Qlippoth...

Postby octinomos » Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:32 am

Iamus wrote:Hey, everyone. I've been struggling to understand the relationship between a related set of concepts within the Thelemic system(s) and am looking for a little help.

To what extent are the following terms related, different from each other, or synonymous: the Qlippoth; darkness (though not in the Supernal/N.O.X. sense); the shadow (in the Jungian sense); the "darkly splendid world" of Liber Tzaddi; hell (again from Tzaddi, and elsewhere); death; the "dark night of the soul"; depression; chaos; matter; the path of Tav; the underworld; nigredo, putrefaction, etc.; the unconscious (in the Jungian or Freudian sense); the Nephesh; the animal; the ignorant/uninitiated state of consciousness... I'm sure I could add to the list, but you get the idea.

I understand, of course, that to a certain extent the sense of these words can vary drastically from author to author and even work to work. I guess what I'm looking for is a way to at least begin to categorize these things (especially through Qabalah) to have a better understanding of my own path. Are they the same thing but on different levels of intensity? Which levels are safer and/or even essential for those well below the level of an Adept to explore? Where's the line, if there is one, between those things that are "dark" because of social taboos, lack of self-knowledge, etc. and those that are "dark" because they are genuinely degraded and unhealthy aspects of reality?

I'd appreciate any help or perspectives on this. 99% of the resources out there on this stuff are worse than useless...


A state of darkness, putrefaction, evil, etc. mostly refers to Sefira Malchut which represents this earthly plane after the One Soul (Adam) committed the sin in the Garden of Eden, we have the breaking/shattering and the departure of the Light (eg: communion with God), so what's left is a very tiny ray of Light coming from above which sustains this world, but it's called Nefesh because we have lost connection with our spiritual roots (however there is no blame put upon anyone since we are being managed just like puppets from above). The next degree of Light is Ruach, when a person becomes conscious of their role in the universe, of reconnecting all reality back to One Source, and that's Sefira ZA (Zeir Anpin), when a person starts to engage in spirituality, in trying to discern good from bad, and choosing the good, and essentially entering into a covenant with the Upper Force. Then a person is said to have free-will and can choose between good or evil. The person has left the inanimate degree (Holy Still) and is now in conversation with the Forces that manage Reality, and therefore is aided in his/her quest. From that moment on, any misfortune, pain, etc. is specifically in order to aim the person correctly and not let them fall back again into unconsciousness. The Light gets different names (Nefesh, Ruach, etc. as the person loses more and more of their egoism and allows more of the Light to enter in, through what's called a 'masach' or screen, called an 'intention to give contenment to the Creator'. Everything in the spiritual refers to intentions and not to physical actions as we see on this earthly plane.
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