Moment of Transition: Night Is Coming

“Night is coming” is often associated with Revelation or apocalypse. Like the black fire it has ancient roots in biblical sources referring to the Second Coming. Night is coming is used in John 9:4, “While it is daytime, we must do the works of Him who sent Me. Night is coming, when no one can work”.

There is a long history how this idea was used in many ways. In supernatural fiction it is sometimes a time when something (an apocalyptic event) is supposed to happen. In a movie, this is also often a timelog, which makes it attractive to storytellers. It gives the whole narrative a direction. Somebody takes on the role of the prophet of doom. He is warning the rest of the world, that something is coming. Nobody is listen to him. People do not wake up until it is too late. The moment of “night is coming” is often the climax of the story.

I am convinced that there is not only a tradition in fiction which makes the warning that something is coming so strangely familiar. Furthermore it is not only an idea in theological context. Night is coming: This is real. Something will happen. We only do not know when it will happen and what exactly will happen. If it is the end of mankind we do not know. Neither do we know if it is some sort of ecological catastrophe or a final and last war.

It is some sort of inherited knowledge. Jungian psychologists think this is the archetype of apocalypse. But this is more than rather a psychological development: It is not something happen only on the inside but something will really happen on the outside.  Night is coming: This is a transition moment. Life (if there is one) will be different after this moment. If we explore all the ideas around this, it is transition in the first place. A shift from one dimension to another, not necessarily doomsday.

When we say “Night is coming” it is not always meant in a literal way. It could be darkness but darkness could also mean revelation. Afterwards we see things in a different light.

There is no proof to this, but these changing events happen on a minor scale more often as we think, also in a different and harmless way. The turn of the year is a very good example: If we think rationally it doesn’t make much sense to believe that next year will be different as the year before. Nevertheless for a lot of people the new year is like moving into a new town. There is indeed a huge tradition with mythological background around the turn of the year. Many practices have their roots in magical thinking.  A strong belief is held, that the future can be seen in the “rough nights” between Christmas and New Year. Furthermore the future can be influenced. It is like leaving one dimension and entering a new one. It might be only an emotional thing, but indeed, we often experience every new year in a different way. There are also transition moments in everyone’s individual life when reality appears in a new light. It might be a life-changing event or a long forgotten memory coming back to life.

“Night is coming” is a transition moment on a much bigger scale. It is more like something in the otherworld is changing, and this event has a huge impact in our world. Perhaps we feel the fallout of a cosmic battle between light and darkness, or is it that somewhere somebody changes the rules of the game. If we would actors like the poor guy in “The Truman Show” who doesn’t know that reality is a soundstage, this is the moment when somebody switches off the light behind the scenes and sets up a new situation. This could happen to us.

There might be certain signs as it is predicted in the books about apocalypse. Perhaps the moment of transition is not a short-time span as a full moon eclipse. It could be happen over years, maybe much longer.  What about little shifts in our everyday reality we sense somehow (but which we do not dare to talk about it)? Sometimes it is like we could swear something has happened during the night: We think this was a dream but was way too real to be only a dream.

Later, when we wake up, it feels like the world is different. It is hard to point the finger on it, but there is that certain feeling something has changed. It is like a change in weather but with an element which can’t be named. It can’t be framed what exactly it is. It is like the color of the sky is still blue but different. It is like time is running faster even the clock shows no difference and the length of the day is still the same. It is like people suddenly behaving differently for no obvious reason. They change their opinions but you don’t know why. And aren’t there periods where strange events happen more often? Don’t we see that foreboding signs more often these days?



There is no proof to this. The potential of self-deception is incredibly high. We can only trust our inner voice when we have a foreboding feeling that “night is coming”. People exploring this moments are not necessarily prophets of doom but explorers who want to take a glimpse behind the scenes. This can be a lonely business: If a person wants to explore this ongoing events which happen on another plane that ours in the first place, this person needs to put some distance to the noise of everyday life. This is why some people go deep into the woods from time to time.

 

Night Is Coming: The Forest Dark Video Installment No4 – Black Fire Tales

Some people go into the forest because they are drawn toward darkness. In certain places, they will find what they have been looking for a long time. But will they be ready for this kind of experience? Light and darkness are not what they think it is. Darkness is more than the absence of light, it is a tangible entity. It is a substance. Darkness is black fire. For scientists, black fire is dark matter.

Black Fire Tales

I will tell you something about the black fires.
It is not good to go into that forest up the mountain.
Not when you can see these damned lights in the night.
Some folks followed the lights but many of them didn’t return.
Those who made it back from the forest weren’t right in their heads.
They were talking about a black fire.
A gate was opened to another dimension for them and something was looking from there straight into their soul, so they said.
Sometimes it showed them wonderful things. But some of them never talked about what they have seen. Those people are not the same people they were before, I swear to you.
This is fire mixed with fire.
(Duncan, The Forest Dark Screenplay)



Black Fire

“Sometimes people see wildfires in Witch Mountains but the trees are not consumed. The fires are known as ghost fires or black fires” (The Forest Dark Movie Project).

What is Black Fire or a Cold Fire? It is mentioned in fiction, religious text and in sightings. It exists. Black Fire is a supernatural thing, a metaphorical thing and a physical reality. Indeed there is also a literally black fire which can be demonstrated in chemistry experiments: If a fire gets illuminated with a monochromatic light source (sodium vapour) and you put sodium ions in the fire the flames appear black.

A black flame is mentioned in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone.

Furthermore, black fire is for example mentioned by Deputy Hawk in Twin Peaks III when he explains the map to Sheriff Truman. He said that “there are two kinds of fire, similar to modern day electricity, but depending on your intention. Black fire symbolizes death and destruction, and probably the Black Lodge”


However Black Fire is not an invention by Lynch and Frost. It is an ancient idea which already occurs in connection with the Bible/Torah. In Jewish thought “Black Fire” is important.

The supernatural experience of Moses in Exodus 3:2 leads to the mention of black fire:

“There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. (Bible, New International Version)”.

The Midrash ( the biblical exegesis – interpretation – by ancient Judaic authorities) on Exodus 3:2 explains:

“From this they derived that the heavenly fire shoots out branches upwards, burns but does not consume, and is black in color; whereas fire used here below does not branch upwards and is red, and consumes but does not burn.”

Scholar and Rabbi Fern Feldman gives an excellent and very interesting insight on her website and opens up a new way of thinking about “black fire” and “darkness”:

Rabbi Fern Feldman: “It may be hard to imagine a black fire—perhaps it is counter-intuitive, or paradoxical. So what can we learn from this black fire?

The fire metaphor itself is multifold. It implies something awesome, powerful, something with the potential to give life or death”.

We learn that black fire is an ancient symbol for the sacred, the divine, the otherworld and there is ambiguity.

The Black Fire mentioned in Twin Peaks is also not always necessarily evil. As Hawk puts it it depends. The experience of black fire is more that we are able of overcome our boundaries and feel connected. “We become aware of a larger whole that includes all of it”, as Rabbi Feldman says.

 

Black Fire has an even longer tradition in Jewish History. It is said that the Torah is “black fire on white fire”.

“R. Simeon ben Lakish said: The Torah given to Moses was written with black fire upon white fire, sealed with fire, and swathed with bands of fire” and Yerushalmi Shelamim 6:1, 49d): THE FIRST THINGS CREATED – In the beginning, two thousand years before the heaven and the earth, seven things were created: the Torah written with black fire on white fire, and lying in the lap of God” etc. Source: Sefaria.org

Thus black fire is often a metaphor for something real, an expression of the divine. The gods can’t be seen in itself. One way they show their presence is through images which might occur paradoxical.

Black Fire is often seen as the fire of creation. That is why people are interested in it. Black fire is at the bottom of things. It is a hidden driving force. Black Fire might be also the Philosopher’s Secret Fire (Patrick Harpur wrote a book by the same title and describes it as something accompanying human history but which can’t be defined in a single way).

It is possible that black fire as a manifestation of something we can’t understand appears also in our days hiding behind other phenomenas like mysterious lights and many other.

In my story this is why people are drawn towards the forest dark. This is where black fire is more closely.

 

Tour Guide To The Otherworld

In stories with a metaphysical setting as in my The Forest Dark Movie Project, a kind of a professional guide is often introduced. The most prominent example, however, is “The Stalker” in Andrey Tarkovsky’s movie based on the Brothers Strugatzki’s novel.

In “Stalker”, there is a quarantined zone. Inside there is the danger. What happens in the zone is a secret. The government is sealing off the zone.  Entry is forbidden. No one gets in, no one gets out. The idea of such a zone appears also in other stories. A similar concept appears in “Annihilation” but without the guide. These type of stories and ideas go back a long way and most of all these zones do exist. Most people know about the “Bermuda Triangle” or “Area51” but there are zones which are much closer to civilisation and the everyday world:

In an outstanding documentary, “L’Autre Monde” (Otherworld) legendary filmmaker Richard Stanley portrays the magic region in South-West-France around Montsegur. This zone, where the supernatural is pretty alive, “a place where magic still has “currency”, is well known as the setting of the Dan Brown novels and is rich in history. It is indeed labelled as “The Zone”. Stanley and his companion Scarlett Amaris investigated over years and unearthed convincing evidence and disturbing secrets.

Montsegur is not the only place haunted: There are several zones on this planet, some places are forests, like the already mentioned Freetown-Fall River State Forest with the “Bridgewater Triangle”. They are often seen as a portal to other dimensions.

In psychogeography, there are also more subtle zones, not always known as haunted but are loaded with some sort of otherworld energy.

 

Usually, a lot of people who tried to conquer forbidden zones or haunted forests are never come back. But these guides survive somehow. They must have extraordinary abilities or somehow they are connected to the “Zone”. In Tarkovsky’s movie, the Zone is described as sentient. It has itself an understanding of any kind of intruder and it responds. The guide, on the other hand, is also a highly sensible man. It doesn’t mean that he actively communicates with the Zone, but he knows things. In Twin Peaks, it is Deputy Hawk who acts sometimes as a guide person in the mysterious forest. He is a very positive person. Also “The Stalker” has positive intentions, but is a much more desperate person.




Of course, there are many real guides taking people to mysterious places or zones of the supernatural. Both the real persons as the fictional guides cannot be trusted all the times. They are intermediaries between two worlds. In a positive sense, they gain knowledge and teach others what they learned on the other side. Furthermore, they can help to survive in a dangerous metaphysical setting. On the other side, they can not always be trusted. If it is a dark place they might have become corrupted. Or they follow their own agenda.

The “Stalker” movie was a movie with interesting ideas about hidden desires. The “Zone” does know a lot of things about the visitors. If we imagine a haunted forest knowing perhaps the deepest secrets entering such a place can be a dangerous game. You can’t know what kind of “deal” you guide made with the forbidden zone, the dark forest. Perhaps he is trading you for something. Perhaps he is not always under control or can’t control himself. Things could happen.

These human guides are the opposite of the spiritual guides of the “otherworldly journey”.

What if a person wants to be a guide, a shaman, an intermediator between the worlds, but doesn’t have the gift?

You need to have some sort of sixth sense,  open-mindedness and not being a selfish guru-type person to become a positive guide person. Otherwise, such a guide can be a puppet in the hands of the dark forces lurking deep inside a zone of the paranormal.

It is a theme in my story but also, in reality, we know we have to be careful with certain guru-types who returned from who-knows-what kind of place.