26 August 2011

phonon_belt: (Default)
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)」
Japanese lyrics )
Romaji lyrics )

Hirasawa Susumu - "Nigredo (Blackening)"
My English translation )


Translation Notes:Read more... )

- Interestingly enough, these lyrics have a lot in common with the lyrics of "In the Square," a much earlier song.
phonon_belt: (Default)
The melody of "Philosopher's Propeller-2" is almost identical to that in the instrumental track "Albedo" on the same album. Both songs have what sounds like the chanting of some kind of sutra in the background, though it sounds more like a group of many people in "Albedo" and more like one single monk in "Philosopher's Propeller-2." (No idea what's actually being chanted, though.)

To go back to the alchemical background to this album, albedo (or "whitening") would be the second stage on the way to creating the philosopher's stone or (on a psychological level) transforming the self into something resembling enlightenment. Albedo is a stage where the individual comes to terms with the male and female aspects of their unconscious, and gets rid of "inflated ego and unneeded conceptualizations." (That might be part of the reason "Albedo" has no lyrics--they're unneeded. "Philosopher's Propeller-2" also has rather sparse lyrics and mentions getting rid of "today" and the past it's connected to.)

As this page notes, in albedo:
[A] white light appears. [...] The alchemist has discovered within himself the source from which his life comes forth. The fountain of life from which the water of life flows forth giving eternal youth. The source is one: male and female are united.


But enough. Let's look at the lyrics!

平沢進 -「賢者のプロペラ-2」
Japanese lyrics )
Romaji lyrics )


Hirasawa Susumu - "Philosopher's Propeller-2"
My inelegant English translation )

Translation Notes: Read more... )
phonon_belt: (Default)
As discussed here, rubedo (or "reddening") is the final step for creating the philosopher's stone in alchemy. In terms of spiritual/mental growth, though, it is the culmination of the process of self-realization and leads to the appearance of the Self archetype, which Jung apparently described as "the total, timeless man . . . who stands for the mutual integration of conscious and unconscious." The process of rubedo has also been described as follows:
Once the inner light has been discovered, it must be made into the only reality in our consciousness. After having descended into the unconscious [in nigredo and albedo] . . . we found the Light. [...] [O]ur conscious, or attention, must completely penetrate our unconscious, or soul, or everything that lies hidden in ourselves.


Perhaps that's why this song is one big command to "see" or become conscious of something?

平沢進 -「ルベド(赤化)」
Japanese lyrics. )
Romaji lyrics. )

Hirasawa Susumu - "Rubedo (Reddening)"
My English translation )

Translation Notes:Read more... )