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.


“The Transformation From Mind To Matter Has Become Possible”

No longer there is a clear boundary between inside and outside.

“Ideas have become visible, palpable…” (Fantasy, Rosemary Jackson)

The closest genre to magical realism is “The Fantastic”. The principle of tales of the fantastic is its hesitation between supernatural and realistic explanation of events. It is even more about asking the nature or reality, since it seems more grounded in ordinary reality and psychology.

There is a well-known work about “The Fantastic” by structuralist Tzvetan Todorov who died recently called “The Fantastic: A Structural Approach To A Literary Genre”.

Even Todorov deals with fiction his analysis of the supernatural could be very helpful to better understand mysterious events in our real world.

Todorov mentions “the transition from mind to matter has become possible” as a generating principle.

Perhaps this doesn’t not only happen in literature but also in some real places like in the forest at certain times. Or in the skies: Psychologist C.G. young described the UFO phenomenon as a modern archetype in “A Modern Myth Of Things Seen In The Sky”. Jung believed in synchronicity where external events mirror inner states. However this is not about projection, it is about a different understanding of the realms of the mind and the material world. These archetypes are very real.

Visionary experiences resemble the principles of The Fantastic as described by Todorov: “The principle we have discovered may be designated as the fragility of the limit between matter and mind. This principle engenders several fundamental themes: a special causality, pan determinism, multiplication of the personality; collapse of the limit between subject and object; and lastly, the transformation of time and space…this list collects the essential elements of the basic network of fantastic themes…of the self“ (p120, The Fantastic, T. Todorov).

It is obvious that some modern theories in sciences (Quantum mechanics) sound like they would also apply to this principle. A reversed relation of mind and matter is often discussed in Quantum Mechanics.

“A fragility of the limit between matter and mind” suggests the same idea. It means a different idea of the nature of reality as we know it. There are many examples that could mean that the principle not only applies to fictional literature. In many near-death-experiences a collapse of eternal boundaries does happen. And the most frightening aspect of many tales from the forest or close encounters with UFOs is that the laws of nature do not work any longer. In a lot of accounts about phenomena of high strangeness there is a problem of consciousness and perception. We don’t trust our eyes any longer. Often we are convinced that what we have seen was real but trustworthy evidence is rare if not available.

If a transition from mind to matter has become possible it would be indeed possible that an “idea based on a true story” could also work the other way around. What we think could become a reality.

Todorov speaks of a special causality and pan determinism. We know that paranoia is never far away. Easily we tend to think that nothing happens by chance. Is personal freedom an illusion? In the works of “The Fantastic” the characters are often victims of a larger mechanism they don’t understand.

In our daily life we can only guess how things really work. Our actions are based on certain assumptions (think of “plotting” in politics – any intrigue is based on assumptions). But there isn’t much we really know or which we can be absolutely sure about.

Only if we look at events (in life, in history) from a different perspective or from long experience after a long time span we sense that there must be a mechanism or a secret pattern. On one side there are certain elites for example in the media business covertly modeling and manipulating a lot of things but there are still difficulties and obstacles which can’t be easily explained in a logical way on the other side. A lot of people feel that somebody is secretly shaping their lives.

Of course we can become the victims of our own projections, or we live in a bubble of pseudo-reality. But we can try to look through the veil. And this is what fiction often does, it makes us understand the very real invisible patterns which are guiding our lives. They are something which could be better described in fiction rather than in theories. See for example Goethe’s concept of “the demonic” as a driving force and how are we exposed to this force.

Nevertheless most of us would agree if we say that the phrase “the transition from mind to matter has become possible” is a theoretical idea. It’s hard to imagine.

However if we translate mind as “psyche” it becomes different. We know the ancient theories about ideas which become matter. The ancient philosophies suggest a different meaning of psyche as in modern days, it is the Greek term for “soul” or “spirit”, in Neoplatonism it is the animating principle of the world.

The psyche is not something which is only in our head. It is a universal consciousness, a spiritual realm. Some thinkers believe that all matter flow from a pure spiritual plane. This is philosophical thought but what we see is that the idea of a transition of mind to matter is not an invention of fiction but has a long traditional foundation.

It might be worth to mention that sightings or for example “mysterious” lights often are described like something which suddenly popped up in our reality and which can vanish in the same way, like switching from mind to matter and vice versa.