Have you felt the call of the Rabbit Hole?
It’s a big question, and even a greater decision whether or not to listen.
Me, I’m listening to Combichrist right now, with a big ass vodka bottle and a glass full of ice beside me; I’ve found out basically any San Pellegrino sparkling water mixes beautifully with ice and vodka, Stoli for me, if I had Żubrówka or Śliwowica accessible I’d be drinking that. But honestly, Stoli is famous cause it’s delicious and great quality, I just happened to have tasted polish vodka recently due to some colleagues sending me bottles and I’m in love; I’m super snob I’m sure you can tell so no point in hiding it.
But really, Lewis Carroll’s alegory is such a multidimensional symbol, it could really be interpreted in different manners and they all make sense. To me, the Rabbit Hole is the calling of truth, of meaning, of substance; to Alice it was the adventure of her life and the escape from a world way two ordinary for such a special girl, what’s your rabbit hole? I mean, cause there are some things that define a rabbit hole, if we just look at it from Alice’s story:
- It’s an entrance to another world, available in the ordinary world. So a portal.
- It’s not for everyone to enter, not even to notice; Alice was no ordinary girl and you can see it all throughout the story: her confidence, her strong will, her endless curiosity and her depth even.
- It’s dark, so obscure, unknown. This could also translate to risky, dangerous, dreadful.
- But in its darkness is also appealing; something interesting and otherworldy belongs there: a talking white rabbit. Meaning: there’s something irrisistible that belongs to the Rabbit Hole and it is what gives us the guts to break through the resistance of logic and self preservation, to enter the Rabbit Hole.
- It connects to a world that seems full of madness, for its symbols and ways are not our own; but it turns out there’s much in there, and meaning seems to manifest in it once the mind is more accostumed to the new place. .
The rabbit hole, The Rabbit Hole.
You know what? As of today, I will make The Rabbit Hole a new section of this blog, I just thought about it and it’s decided! Because there’s so much in my life that’s just manisfestations of it, just otherworldly.
A door or an abyss? Or both?
Nietzche wrote: ““if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”“
What’s the abyss? Is it the unknown? What do you imagine when you read this word?
The abyss, the I know of, typically won’t bring a happy image to most people’s minds, it certainly doesn’t bring a joyful feeling to me. It’s a rainy (beautiful) night and I just came back from watching Berserk (1997) and I couldn’t but wonder: “why is it that I’m so drawn to this story?” But then I realize it’s not the only story so dark and philosophical that I like, one way or another I seek to surround myself with this type of content.
You know, I’m genuinely curious, I’m not judging myself: I was born in great darkness and I obviously didn’t choose that. Isn’t it simple survival to try to get used to it, to integrate it?
I’m not sure I can make sense to you right now, I feel like I need to ask you to be patient for it will have meaning, but for now it’s just chaotic and sparse. Since it’s so hard to delve into the core matter and put it into words, I will propose an exercise: I’ll choose one specific topic pertaining The Rabbit Hole, and my commitment with you is, each of those will tackle one little piece of this part of me: it’s a big part of me but it’s not all of it, if it was then I’d be like the Queen of Hearts and we wouldn’t really like that, would we?
A first attempt: Persona
Man, it’s not like I’m following an order or anything, but since I recently had a frustrating gamer experience with this game (Persona 5) it’s really present in my mind, so I’ll start with it.
*** Disclaimer: There’s nothing, zero, nada, wrong with this game: it’s a jewel. My frustrating experience hasn’t anyhing to do with the game but more with how stupid I am while playing it. The thing gives you like, tons of save slots so you can go back in time and fix your errors but I keep overwriting the same slot thinking that I can handle whatever comes: not the case; so I reach a point where I simply can’t win a battle and I will have to start over and I’,m looking forward to but right now my workload is quite a bitch, so being a fucking adult it’s what it is. /End of disclaimer ***
So, I’ll try my best to not enter into a “gamer blog” type of thing, cause I’d like to but this is not the section of the blog for doing so; however, because context is needed and I can’t hold myself from wanting to do just a little “gamer review”, I’ll dedicate few bullet points to provide a brief about the franchise and the game:
- “Persona” is a series of turn-based RPG games from ATLUS, a Japanese video game studio. The franchise originates in “Shin Megami Tensie” and this is were most of the persona designs and characters come from which is cool because if you’ve liked the series from the beginning it does provide a nice sense of continuity.
- Besides the way battle works (turn-based), Persona provides very entertaining blend of dungeon crawling and social simulation. Your actions typically occurs in an alternate dimension filled with dungeons and monsters in them, puzzles to solve and so on. While during “normal” lifge you’re typically a high school student in Japan and you need to make friends, go out, date or get a girlfriend/boyfriendeven; your social relationship work will yield fruits in the dungeon, which starts to point to some of the symbolism present in the game.
- The characters in Persona are heroes of the “rogue” type typically; misunderstoon, putting themselves at risk because what’s happening to them is really out of what the ordinary persdon could believe. So they’re vigilantes and outcasts of sorts.
OK, hopefuly that’s enough for an idea of what the game is like, I can’t recommend it enough and yes I’m aware it’s audience is probably 15 to 20 years younger than I am and I don’t give a fuck 🙂 .
How does Persona link to my Rabbit Hole? (When I use upper case it’s because I’m referring to my personal rabbit hole, not the generic concept). The answer lies in Jungian psychology. And I will apologize to professional psychologists and serious students of Jung if I’m somehow butchering the concepts but I’ll use my own words to explain in the next bullet points:
- You’re an individual, but defining yourself apart from the collective to become a unique entity is a lifelong process (individuation).
- Everyone is the product of culture, breeding, trauma, decisions, beliefs and a blend of external material influences one’s concept of the self. But much of what you are is not available to your conscious mind, yet it guides you conscious decisions as programming code would, from the unconscious (this is not unique to Jung but Freud teaches about this).
- There’s a realm that will hinder an individual’s progress towards full self-awareness and plentiful individuation which is the “shadow” realm. It will hinder such progress “by default” unless the individual intentionally and seeks to access it and integrate it.
- There’s a natural difficulty (for some an impossibility) to access and integrate this realm because it contains the dark self. It contains those beliefs that are unacceptable based on socialization and culture, but that nevertheless are a part of you. These beliefs are so contradictory to the value system you profess that your primary reaction to them is rejection, repression and burying them in the darkness within. However, from that prison, from that darkness they emerge to sabotage the false “virtuous” self you’ve built according to the expectatiosn of others that you’ve aboserbed as your own.
- You don’t need to blind-jump into the shadow world and let it rule you, that’s not Jung’ss idea of integration; it’s potentially very dangerous to do so because a lot of distorsion resides in there: the fruit of abuse, trauma, rejection and ugly things we supress can be foudn in the shadow world. But rather than “switch sides” and embrace that darkness as your identity, you need to acknowledge it, see it in the eye and understand there’s a part of you which resides in there; you can bring it to your conscience and you can integrate the valuable parts you find there.
Shit, I hope I’m making at least some sense, this Stoli is kicking now and my tongue is numb, lol, thanks fully I’m writing and not speaking. Jungians feel free to contact me and make corrections, I lack study and I know it and part of the attractive of the rabbit hole for me is precisely being able to dedicate time to interiorize and really understand these things.
In Persona (mostly from Persona 4 onwards) Atlus decided to build the game concept heavily using a Jungian angle to create an attractive story that’s also a means to reflec on the self and the truth, the relationships and your own identity.
I realize it’s been a long article, so my next Rabbit Hole article will be written entirely around Persona 5 and you’ll see what I’m talking about. For now, thanks for reading and you’re witnessing the beginning of a crazy-ass blog section: The Rabbit Hole, good luck.
I love ya.