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[personal profile] phonon_belt
As I mentioned here, nigredo is the first step for creating the philosopher's stone--a source of enlightenment, basically--in alchemy, but the concept has been applied to spiritual/psychological development as well.

To quote from this random website:
Psychologically, nigredo is a process of directing oneself to find self-knowledge. A problem is given full attention and reduced to its core. This is not done so much in an intellectual way, but especially by feeling the emotions. By really going into . . . it, one causes . . . the decomposition of that in which one had been stuck. The confrontation with the inner reality is often painful, and can lead to depression. But once in the depth of the darkness, with the discovery of the seed of the problem . . . the white light is born (= albedo, whiteness, the next phase). A state of rest arises.


Now, on to the song!

平沢進 - 「ニグレド(黒化)」

広場まで 急いで行け
夕闇の前にひれ伏して
終わる日よインディオに見せたように
鳴らせ陰りを咲く園への声

陽を浴びて 向かうキミの
喝采の声に消えそうな
月を見る巡礼の道端で
歌う王国への微かな歌

夜が来る底無しに来る
轟音のマシンの上に
古に知られた国へ
キミをまた迎に降りる

始まりは世界中に
夜の香をまいて麗しく
夕闇よインディオに見せたように
影の王妃の声運べ人に

夜は来る底無しに来る
轟音のマシンの上に
古に知られた国へ
キミをまた迎に降りる

夜は来る底無しに来る
轟音のマシンの上に
古に知られた国へ
キミをまた迎に降りる

Hirasawa Susumu - "Niguredo (Kokka)"

Hiroba made isoide yuke
Yuuyami no mae ni hirefushite
Owaru hi yo indio ni miseta you ni
Narase kageri o saku sono e no koe

Hi o abite mukau kimi no
Kassai no koe ni kiesou na
Tsuki o miru junrei no michibata de
Utau oukoku e no kasuka na uta

Yoru ga kuru sokonashi ni kuru
Gouon no mashin no ue ni
Inishie ni shirareta kuni e
Kimi o mata mukae ni oriru

Hajimari wa sekaijuu ni
Yoru no ka o maite uruwashiku
Yuuyami yo indio ni miseta you ni
Kage no ouhi no koe hakobe hito ni

Yoru wa kuru sokonashi ni kuru
Gouon no mashin no ue ni
Inishie ni shirareta kuni e
Kimi o mata mukae ni oriru

Yoru wa kuru sokonashi ni kuru
Gouon no mashin no ue ni
Inishie ni shirareta kuni e
Kimi o mata mukae ni oriru


Hirasawa Susumu - "Nigredo (Blackening)"

Hurry to the square
And prostrate yourself before the dusk
Oh, ending day, just as you showed the Indios,*
Sound the voice that calls to the garden where darkness blooms

Bathed in sunlight as you go,
Your cheering voice threatens to overwhelm the moon**
That the pilgrim gazes at from the roadside where he sings
A faint song for the kingdom

The night comes, endlessly deep, it comes
On a thunderously roaring machine
It descends once more to welcome you
To a land known in ancient times

By beautifully scattering throughout the world
The perfume*** of the night, it begins
Oh dusk, just as you showed the Indios,
Bring the voice of the shadow queen to all people****

Night comes, endlessly deep, it comes
On a thunderously roaring machine
It descends once more to welcome you
To a land known in ancient times

Night comes, endlessly deep, it comes
On a thunderously roaring machine
It descends once more to welcome you
To a land known in ancient times


Translation Notes:
* Honestly, I originally thought "indio" was supposed to be "indigo," but I can't get away from it being "Indio" or rather, the native peoples of the Americas or (possibly) the Philippines. At any rate, I guess the singer is trying to connect to the knowledge of ancient cultures in his understanding of and communication with the impending night.

** The contrast between the "you" in sunlight and the pilgrims in moonlight calls to mind Jung's idea of nigredo being a state of being "too conscious" or rather being unconscious of the unconscious. The you in sunlight cheering loudly is unaware of (and detrimental to) the quietly despairing pilgrim in the darkness, even though they are all aspects of the same person.

*** Oddly, the word I translated as "perfume" could also mean "sheen, lustre." The image (to me) is of seeds or pieces of the night being scattered so that the scent and the colors of night may spread as dusk falls.

**** The "shadow queen" may be the male singer's anima

- Interestingly enough, these lyrics have a lot in common with the lyrics of "In the Square," a much earlier song.