What exactly is the abyss?

Q&A and discussion on the world view encapsulating humanity's current stage of evolution

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What exactly is the abyss?

Postby Abdulaziz » Tue Jan 19, 2016 2:32 pm

Hello everyone!
I'm glad to be a member of this forum, since basically I have nobody to discuss Occult stuff with, except one awesome magician I knew through tumblr and we exchange emails every once in a while. So, as the title implies; what exactly is the abyss?
I know this might be quite a big question, and to each his own interpretation, but I'm interested to know what is the view of those who delved deep enough in Thelemic literature. Is it a sort of mental phase someone goes through? I remember reading such remarks.
I'm also quite new to the Mystery Schools, I only started practicing and reading the past year.
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Re: What exactly is the abyss?

Postby Jim Eshelman » Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:41 pm

It's not really an opinion matter in the usual sense of "opinion matter" - it's a technical term.

From the glossary in the back of my book, Visions & Voices:

ABYSS, THE. n. Qabalah. The immeasurable gulf between human and divine consciousness, diagrammed as a vast chasm between the Supernal sephiroth and the remainder of the Tree of Life.
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Re: What exactly is the abyss?

Postby Abdulaziz » Wed Jan 20, 2016 2:11 am

Jim Eshelman wrote:It's not really an opinion matter in the usual sense of "opinion matter" - it's a technical term.

From the glossary in the back of my book, Visions & Voices:

ABYSS, THE. n. Qabalah. The immeasurable gulf between human and divine consciousness, diagrammed as a vast chasm between the Supernal sephiroth and the remainder of the Tree of Life.

Thanks Jim!
I get it when you say 'usual sense.'
I guess I didn't phrase my question well, since what I read was probably on how or what it feels like to cross the abyss, on a personal level.
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Re: What exactly is the abyss?

Postby gurugeorge » Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:21 pm

Abdulaziz wrote:I guess I didn't phrase my question well, since what I read was probably on how or what it feels like to cross the abyss, on a personal level.

That's the difficulty in talking about it - in a sense, the "personal level" has to give way to (but also be included by) the "impersonal level". (It's easy to talk about it intellectually, if you're careful enough and have a bit of mystical experience - by talking about this, I don't mean to suggest I myself have attained that level.)

One way to think of it is maybe this: below the Abyss, you're a human being having "episodes" of realizing you are God; above the Abyss, you are God, having an "episode" of being a human being.

That's why the "leap" is scary, such a fundamental shift from personal consciousness to impersonal consciousness seems like "too much"; you are leaving behind every small comfort of being a mere human being, nestling in his warm burrow. As that creature, all you had to contend with were scary monsters in the dark. To have to contend with the fact that you are the One who is responsible for it all - that's a whole other level of terrifyingness.

And in fact, the fully-formed adult consciousness can't handle it, only the consciousness of a child can take it in its stride.
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