Slipping Into Darkness

Jake Block

“I was slippin’ into darkness
When they took my friend away,
I was slippin’ into darkness
When they took my friend away,
You know he loves to drink good whiskey 
While laughing at the moon.

Slippin’ into darkness,
Take my mind beyond the dreams
I was slippin’ into darkness,
Take my mind beyond the dreams,
Where I talk to my brother
Who never said their name.

Slippin’ into darkness,
All my trouble so I choose
I was slippin’ into darkness,
All my trouble so I choose
I got a wife and a baby, 
Now my love hath gained its fame.

Slippin’ into darkness,
When I heard my mother say
I was slippin’ into darkness,
When I heard my mother say
What’d she say what’d she say
You’ve been slippin’ into darkness,
Pretty soon you gonna pay”
— “Slipping Into Darkness” by WAR

After one has been on the Left Hand Path for a while, they begin to hear seemingly similar terms that convey different things to people who have been on The Path for many years. One of these terms is “darkness,” and its unusual opposite term “The Darkness.” This can be confusing to some, but to those who’ve taken the time to reason it out, it’s really not that difficult to understand. Darkness and The Darkness only appear to be similar, but to understand the difference, we must differentiate between “darkness” and “THE DARKNESS,” semantically.

“Darkness” is the absence of light, and where two very real human conditions play. They are Nyctalopia: “Night blindness, impaired vision in dim light and in the dark, due to impaired function of certain specialized vision cells (the rods) in the retina. (“Nyctalopia” comes from the Greek “nyct” (night) + “aloas” (obscure or blind) + “opsis” (vision), and is sometimes called nocturnal amblyopia”), and Pareidolia: (the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern. The scientific explanation for some people is pareidolia, or the human ability to see shapes or make pictures out of randomness. Think of the Rorschach inkblot test). Nyctalopia or “night blindness” allows our sense of pareidolia to take hold. When nyctalopia is paired with pareidolia, we see chairs or other shapes in the darkness become the fearful monsters of our childhood. It causes a lack of perspective that is translated in the mind as uncertainty and fear. While these conditions normally affect the very young and impressionable, unless one comes to understand them, as they mature, can cary forth throughout one’s life.

The mind in “Darkness” is the place where we fear; where we don’t know or understand the things that seem to be beyond our control, and oppress us, even when we claim mastery over them. If you “live in darkness,” it’s not the absence of light, but the lack of appreciation for the freedoms that The Darkness can provide. This being unfortunately true, the majority of people never find The Darkness as being synonymous with the Left Hand Path, but without the recognition that there is indeed a difference between simply being in darkness and a part of The Darkness, interacting with it and embodying it as an integral part of the greater whole we call “the self,” we can only flounder in fear and questioning of what pareidolia and nyctalopia provide.

While “Darkness” is generic, “The Darkness” is specific. Darkness is egalitarian and The Darkness is more elitist in nature. Darkness can be benignly chaotic, resulting in confusion and it scattering of thought, while The Darkness is a place for the honing of contemplative skills in which the “what ifs” of chaos can become tools for analysis and development of pure thought. Darkness allows the mind to be in control, where random synaptic firings can, as in dreams, bring often disparate thoughts and ideas into contact, one with the other, in a semblance of harmony while not necessarily in usable format.

The Darkness, however, calls upon a different application of our relationship with our own mind, in which we consciously direct our thoughts and questionings for further processing within our mind, to make greater use of its capabilities than mere dreaming and base calculations. Thoughts and dreams applied to The Darkness become more vibrant, realistic and lucid. As thinkers and dreamers, we become better able to understand and indeed manipulate our somnambulistic visions, all the while feeling awake, aware, and able to control events depicted at will.

And in this we can see the essence of The Darkness as part and parcel of The Left Hand Path on an individually defined basis. It becomes a place where we can go within for answers, solitude, sanctuary and alternative reality, and even a personal science lab to comprehensively test our theories, in contrast to the limitations of the day-to-day “reality” of those who have yet, if ever, to find it, and must look forever outward for the answers that they seek.

We prefer not to find ourselves “slipping into Darkness,” but communing with The Darkness on our own terms where and when we desire. We prefer to see The Darkness as a source of freedom and personal sanctuary where we can consider and define the nature of our mental processes for ourselves, rather than simply allowing Darkness to take us where it will to interpret dreams and desires in its soup of consciousness. In The Darkness, one retains personal sovereignty, whereas one surrenders it in the dreamland of Darkness.

The mind in The Darkness is a place where we can think and be, learn and grow, contemplate, speculate and scheme, but also where we can put our thoughts and plans into action consciously and deliberately, on the physical plane. If we dwell in The Darkness, we reap our own rewards. If we keep slipping in to darkness, “Pretty soon we’re gonna pay.”

“Darkness is only the perception of a mind unable to see beyond its limitations,” but The Darkness is the realm of possibility, the catalytic chamber from which change is not only perceived, but brought forth, first in the mind, and then in reality.

The Orders of The Sect of the Horned God

The Order of Pan
The Order of Cernunnos
The Order of Prometheus
The Order of Dionysis
The Order of Shiva