Metaphysics & Storytelling Part 1.5

The reason I wrote the original post about The conflicting tension between metaphysics and good storytelling was because I was experiencing it myself. I’d used a technical kabbalistic phrase as a placeholder until I could think of the correct word to use. The problem was that I never did and the placeholder was wrong but sounded good. I couldn’t find a “correct” phrase that wouldn’t interrupt the story’s flow.

The phrase that was bugging me was “the veil of negative existence”. In traditional kabbala it is the division between the three unknowable and incomprehensible forms of deity and the first knowable form, “Kether” at the top of the tree, as shown here:


The idea I actually wanted to convey was the barrier between the world of matter and the inverted evil tree that mirrors the tree of life but grows downward from Malkuth. This was a later invention to account for the existence of evil in the world.

The story goes that as the light of God moved down the lightning flash and filled each sphere on the tree, one of them broke and the light overflowed, created a dark realm of shells below the tree that contained pieces of the divine.

This became a realm of demons imbued with a measure of spiritual grace, yet hungry to consume the rest of God’s creation.

This theme is the basis for the monster in my story So Below. I did conflate the realm of shells with the Abyss, but given the total confusion as to the true nature of either cosmological region, I feel perfectly justified in doing so. Plus, this is fiction so I’m allowed to innovate. I just don’t like including a mistake in my work that is so blatantly incorrect. I said precisely the opposite of what I meant (if you follow me).

I just came up with a solution however, so I can finally stop worrying about this. I decided to refer to the “Breaking of Foundations” which is an alternate (and possibly mistranslated) name for Malkuth and allowed me to tie it in with the “Bottom of the Bottomless Pit” idea that appears elsewhere in my story.

Diagram is from Book 4 by Frater Perdurabo.


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