The Dark Side of Life

Frater Barrabbas has an excellent analysis on the Qliphoth and the darker and subconscious aspects of the Tree of Life. He explores the nature of the darker side of the Tree and considers the benefits of results of mastering the Qliphoth, and what that might entail:

Aleister Crowley and other occultists (like Grant) have taken some incomplete information from Jewish qabbalistic sources and have given names, qualities and rulers to the ten anti-sephiroth of the Qliphoth. Grant has attempted to extrapolate on this incomplete information and attempted to build up a system of anti-correspondences. I have found this work to be quite weak and incomplete, and based upon a decided Jewish monotheistic mystical bias, which I think is contrary to any practical magickal workings with these forces. I would recommend that the forces and spirits of the qliphoth and their wormhole pathways be examined as merely the negative source potentials for the obverse sephiroth and glyph determined pathways. If they have any names or qualities, it would not be just a mirror image of the surface structures of the Tree. They would be the veritable archaic sources for those structures. The backside of the Tree of Life is without morals and spiritual values, and is therefore, beyond good and evil.

High adepts are supposedly those individuals who have crossed the Greater Abyss, having left their old lives, motivations and aspirations (like lifeless shells) behind them. That crossing is not so much a leap across a chasm as it is the voluntary leap down into the abysmal gateway, and therein fully engaging and resolving the various powers and spirits of the Qliphoth before one is allowed to emerge on the other side, profoundly transformed and completely remade. A high adept has supposedly completed the process of conquering his or her internal issues and complexes before ever attempting this greater passage, and thereby seeking to resolve the sins and inequalities of the world as opposed to the self.

This underworld passage and ordeal has always been the theme of the exalted apotheosis, but it has reflections in the underworld transformative journey of the proto-shaman. Even Jesus descended into hell and underwent its harrowing before ascending into heaven to sit at the right hand of the throne of his father. The oldest written variation of this theme is the Egyptian underworld ordeal known as the Book of Gates (Am Duad), where the sun god, ensconced in his solar boat, had to fight the forces of darkness to achieve passage to the eastern horizon every night. As an initiation theme, it is the most important and the greatest of all ordeals, since few emerge as victors from that terrible descent. Likewise is the theme of a mock burial and resurrection, particularly if it is enacted within a temple, vault or sacred grove. Such a theme emulates the famous initiatory burial and ascent that took place in the pyramid tombs of ancient Egypt. All of these themes characterize that the spiritual, mental and physical changes to the one undergoing such an initiation are massive, radical and quite permanent. Madness and death instead of illumination and rebirth could easily be the end result for such an ill prepared undertaking. (One does not take the Oath of the Abyss either lightly or presumptuously.)

Read the whole thing here.


One response to “The Dark Side of Life

  1. I tend to prefer to focus on the dark elements of the soul. To know the unknown and dissolve weakness.

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