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Konami's Silent Hill

Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:10 pm
by Nefastos
Certainly, all the aspects of life include some occult symbolism, and many artists use at least some easy occult trappings to spice up their show. But there are not so many art pieces in popular culture that manage to go very deep into the occult psychology. One of my personal favourites in these regard is Konami's often praised video game Silent Hill 2 (2001). Below is just a quick commentary on some of its points. Please feel free to discuss here the series' fictional mythology, its symbolism & aesthetics, if so inclined.

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From the standard point of view, the protagonist is dead & going through his post mortem stages of self-created hells. But as we know from Dante, people can very well be alive physically and still have their souls in hell. (Cf. e.g. Argarizim VII: Phlegethon.)

Protagonist's superego has the familiar form of the upside triangle (triune godhead) as its symbol. This common patriarchal godhead is not responsive, its motives are impossible to fathom, it is penetrative, and can only be killed by itself after it has been understood by the protagonist.

The mother goddess, on the other hand, is always mythologically a virgin and a whore, a saint and a blasphemist at once, and the great prize of the whole drama. This is seen in Mary (please note the name: the only goddess of the Christian pantheon), also known as Maria. In this latter form she can be grasped, but not idolized, and thus remains unrealized and thus perpetually victimized.

Where there is possibility of realization and going forth, there is always the reverse possibility of black magic. The protagonist's goal would be to understand death; thus his fall is to force to being un-death, the pervert resurrection. On this downward path, three plus one items are needed: three magical artefacts, and one manual to put them in use. Of these three, the forms of ascension – the sacred forms creating actual life – would be:

The Red liquid: Blood of the pelican, freely sharing its own life for others. (Self-sacrifice working under Mars.)
The White cup: Pure vessel (Grail), to hold the former. (Vivification working under the female aspects, Venus & Moon.)
The Black book: The method of true meditation that is needed for purification. (Mortification working under Saturn.)

These are the same as our esoteric aspect colors. When perverted, these three become:

The White liquid: Cold sperm of the devil.
The Black cup (with a serpent carved in it): The poisoned chalice of sin.
The Red book: The methodical knowledge of practical rituals with selfish ends.

It is also interesting to note that while all the other endings need some action to be fulfilled, the "black magic" ending is the only one that has no other requisites than to get hold on these items. This is an apt way of presenting the way how the downward path is travelled, in a psychological surrendering to obsessions. (Otherwise, even the not so good outcome needs some form of actions taken, and the kind of these actions have their effect on outcome, whether good or bad. Not so in the downward path, which follows a different pattern altogether: that of utter devotion to loneliness.)

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Most of the other symbolism is more psychological than occult, although it is vastly interesting for an occultist and a profane observer both. It can be seen to be a work of a psychological and intuitive genius, most certainly inspired. While there is some very smart use of psychological symbols in the other Silent Hill products, plus some more shallow occult symbolism, the Silent Hill 2 remains as the deepest and most accurate image of the sinner's – that is, anybody's – deepest mental journey.

'Tis doubt that leadeth thee to purgatory – and purgatory is just the thing what we need to test out our life against the life divine. It truly is the chamber of initiation. Like Jung understood, the way of reaching de facto humanity (from its fragmented state to true individuation) is either similar or the very same as reaching the point above what is usually called as human condition, viz. gnosis. This is true with Silent Hill 2, also: while being an inner hell of a murderer – either physical or allegorical, that is not the point – it is also the inner hell of any human being on his terrible way to self-realization.

I put this here because there seems to be quite a fanbase of Silent Hill, and it would be interesting to see if some of it overlaps with the students of esotericism and/or Satanism as well.