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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: The Darkness of the Heart which Binds Minds Together
     
         
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
Notes left: 11379
Last seen at: I'm here, and waiting for you
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRE SERIES BEYOND THIS POINT. MOSTLY SH2, ORIGINS, AND HOMECOMING, THOUGH.

I'm sure most of you have heard the theory in passing, or read snippets of my theory around the board; that the collective consciousness is an active force upon the Otherworld and the people within it. Since I'm getting tired of copypasta, I'll just write it up here for you all, if that's alright.

(Note: There's some dispute over it's use of such, but for the sake of this thesis, The Otherworld will refer to all planes that are beyond the bounds of reality. If I need to call attention to a specific plane, such as Walter's Kingdom, the Foggy World, Dark World, Angela's World, etc, it'll be given an appropriate name. Let us move along.)

Since Silent Hill is the first game in the series and is completely and wholly dominated by Alessa, we'll skip it for now. But let's look at Silent Hill 2. One of the most blatant and immediately relevant pieces of evidence is the Abstract Daddy. To Angela, it is her abusive father, POSSIBLY sexually abusive (we won't be getting into that), but to James, it appears as a monster with symbolism equally appropriate to himself as it is Angela, due to his expecting monsters. After killing one, and knowing atleast one of those monsters exist, more pop up in James' World. A piece of Angela's World has permanently been merged into his own.

There's also the sight of the Seal of Metatron through some parts of the Dark World James experiences; relics left over by Alessa, and bugs from her world. What if these leftovers aren't because of Alessa's psychic power, but because her thoughts were simply powerful, and her suffering qas alike enough to James' to allow a bleedover? And there's mutiple cases aside. The thoughts of Brookhaven patients recorded as readable documents, the elements that could be as much aspects of Mary's psyche as they are James', and the mere fact that his world bleeds over with three others (four if you count Ernest) who hold contents in their heart similar to his own, allowing a cross over.

And what is the Darkness of the Heart, really? Popular opinion has it that it is the sins and guilt that the three main SH2 characters hold, but does Ernest meet these qualifications? Alessa? Laura? The power of Silent Hill calls out to those with Darkness in their Hearts, and manifests the strongest thing in the mind, and what is more potent than the darkness which we repress?

Let's think about what it means for the Heart to have Darkness. Is Darkness evil? No, of course not. Even if it was, who judges this? The town isn't sentient, or atleast I don't believe it to be, and if the characters are judging their own sins, then they're calling to Silent Hill to call to them so they can judge themselves, which is just redundantly silly. No, perhaps Darkness of the Heart means something more significant and three-dimensional. What else does Darkness represent? It is the hidden, the shameful, and that which is concealed.

Everyone has a Darkness within their Heart. Everyone has a Shadow which they hide, and run away from, and project upon others. Dear, simple Laura, for instance. She's lonely, but her loneliness is powerful enough to create an entire empty town based on stories Mary told her. More importantly, she lies about her loneliness and avoids dwelling on it. She's alright, quit asking. And so that darkness grew, until the loss of Mary forced her to look for her, and so desperate did she become that she ceased looking in reality and began looking for her within her own heart.

Does this remind you of Jung's Shadow Archetype? It should, because that's exactly what I'm proposing. It's nothing new or unexpected for Silent Hill to draw upon famous psychologists and writers. Furthermore, the Shadow Archetype has been known to visit the individual in their dreams, and force them to confront their terrible secrets and burdens, the Shadow not being an evil force, but simply the shunned part; ironically, it is the source of human creativity, and it is through the Shadow that we can tap the Collective Consciousness within our dreams.

Sounds like Silent Hill in a nutshell, right? It doesn't help that there are common elements in all Otherworlds we see. The basic concept of nurses, hospitals, rust, blood, and various other symbols are reused, each with their own symbolism. Perhaps Silent Hill's power records our thoughts, and reuses the shapes and symbols formed by previous visitors if the content or attributes are significant to the current visitor?

Certainly, the idea seems to really fly in, say, Homecoming, where the Otherworld is a gestalt of an entire town mashing their minds together. Certainly, the monsters are all prevalent to Alex, but perhaps different monsters have equally powerful, different meanings to everyone else? Perhaps it's not purely out of laziness that the monsters share similarity to previous ones?

Certainly, the most powerful piece of evidence is the Pyramid Head and all related forms. Pyramid Head is James' Shadow Incarnate. Everything James hid under the rug, Pyramid Head is, twisted to monstrous proportions to make himself look worse than he actually is. The mirror James prefers to look into when he finally takes off the rose-colored glasses. Pyramid Head only gives up once James accepts and confronts his Shadow, as well, and finally puts an end to his nightmare. The image of Pyramid Head was taken by James from a painting of the Executioner, but once he made it into the archetype of his punishment, it was preserved, frozen into the akashic records of the Otherworld; the sponge of the mind. Pyramid Head, like other monsters, was retooled by the people of Shepherd's Glen, that image and meaning warped just enough to maintain it's essence and gain even more, evolving for them. And perhaps Pyramid Head isn't wholly original to James...

Consider the Butcher. Written off as a Pyramid Head ripoff, maybe its something more. Travis was one who lost his mother to schizophrenia, and a father to suicide. A mother who called him a monster, and a father who would rather die than look at his face. To the little Travis' mind, he is responsible for tearing his family apart. He is the Family Butcher. And so when Travis eventually came back to Silent Hill and entered the Otherworld, his Shadow, the self-loathing and hatred he held for himself and the rest of his family, merged with the delusions of a crazy man who saw the Butcher, and thus was born the Butcher of Travis' World, the Butcher of his heart.

It was his Shadow, twisted out of proportion to make him look like am murderous, sociopathic monster. He isn't, merely a victim of circumstances, but he believed this so much that he ran away from those memories, and constructed the modern Travis persona of a kind, unrealistically altruistic man. If he accepts his Shadow and overcomes it, the true Travis is born; the soul that is kind because its the right thing to do, instead of using kindness to run from himself. The Travis who accepts his memories and realizes its not his fault; that he is an innocent. This is the path that Travis took, and the path James must take if he wishes to heal, and the path Alex must take if he wishes to get over Josh.

Or, perhaps Travis gives in to the Shadow and, like James, nurtures his delusion. Perhaps he gives up and lets his darkness consume him. If so, then his fate is clear. He is trapped in a cage of rust, mirrors, and grime. The same cage that had been binding him all these years. But now he has no claims to innocent. Now he will indulge his Shadow's claims. If he is to be a butcher, then he will be a butcher. Once he gets out of here, the ripping of flesh and the silencing of screams will be his paradise...

Silent Hill. It is adjacent to a world that, alone, is like a waveless sea. The tremors and waves are the soul, and the thoughts etched into it are the fish. It is a sponge that soaks up what you feed it and regurgitates visions of its contents, and recycles and reuses what you allow it to. It connects the synapses of other peoples' minds to each other to form the simplest and shortest path. Does it matter what nurse you see? The body was prepared by another, but nurses are still sexy to you, yes? Nurses still hurt you in that basement, right? The Otherworld is the mirror, and mirrors are adept at catching light and showing where the darkness lies. It reveals what you might of liked to be hidden, for only by drawing on what you hide can it create.

_________________
BlackFire2 wrote:
I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 27 Aug 2003
Notes left: 12943
Last seen at: The Wand'ring Wood
>Since I'm getting tired of copypasta

The cousin to creepy pasta? D: I kid.

>but because her thoughts were simply powerful

WORD. So much word it's just WORD. I think this is a key element in all of the games of the series, something that western developers almost unknowingly replicated when they got their hands on the series.

>What else does Darkness represent? It is the hidden, the shameful, and that which is concealed.

Also, darkness is a void--it's nothing, it's emptiness and it's also a solace.

>Perhaps Silent Hill's power records our thoughts, and reuses the shapes and symbols formed by previous visitors if the content or attributes are significant to the current visitor?

Agreed, and I'm reminded of House of Leaves, and the house on Ash Tree Lane--it just takes everything, bodies, food, markers, shit, piss, camping supplies. It absorbs it all--but Silent Hill is different. It takes it in but it almost.. uses it, or rehashes it, sort of it it's been 'taught' these common elements of human fear.

>And perhaps Pyramid Head isn't wholly original to James...

Damn right he's not! lol. Not anymore, anyway.

>The Otherworld is the mirror, and mirrors are adept at catching light and showing where the darkness lies. It reveals what you might of liked to be hidden, for only by drawing on what you hide can it create.


Although the pool's reflection
blurs before us often:
know the image.

Only in the double-world
do voices become
eternal and mild.

-- Rilke, #9, Sonnets to Orpheus.


Consider this an A for Awesome, Aura.

_________________
I'm not dead yet, dammit.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
Notes left: 11379
Last seen at: I'm here, and waiting for you
Yaaaay! :D Does that mean you'll unblock me from AIM now?

_________________
BlackFire2 wrote:
I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 27 Aug 2003
Notes left: 12943
Last seen at: The Wand'ring Wood
Shit, I had you blocked? It doesn't list you as that in my privacy settings...

_________________
I'm not dead yet, dammit.


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 20 Mar 2009
Notes left: 125
Last seen at: Eastman, Ga. U.S.
pretty much thats it in a nutshell. what im wondering is, why would a certain place be like that? there has to be another power over it: an angry god, spirits, something. that certain place has to be special for some reason. i doubt the native americans had anything to do with it or you'd see some essence of them there.


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Woodside Apartments Janitor
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Missing since: 30 Mar 2009
Notes left: 1081
Last seen at: North of The Wall
I think it's just a place of power, almost all beliefs have certain places like this, just look at Lourdes. Pagan practices are rife with locations that contain power simply because it's part of their nature and for no other reason than that.

_________________
Too cold to start a fire
I'm burning diesel, burning dinosaur bones
I'll take the river down to still water
And ride a pack of dogs


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 20 Mar 2009
Notes left: 125
Last seen at: Eastman, Ga. U.S.
maybe it was the White Claudia that gave it power? :D


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 27 Aug 2003
Notes left: 12943
Last seen at: The Wand'ring Wood
No. White Claudia is a drug. It can't give a town powers. It doesn't even give people powers :P

_________________
I'm not dead yet, dammit.


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Woodside Apartments Janitor
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Missing since: 30 Mar 2009
Notes left: 1081
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Krist. wrote:
No. White Claudia is a drug. It can't give a town powers. It doesn't even give people powers :P



At least not real powers anyway.

Weee, I can fly!

_________________
Too cold to start a fire
I'm burning diesel, burning dinosaur bones
I'll take the river down to still water
And ride a pack of dogs


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 27 Aug 2003
Notes left: 12943
Last seen at: The Wand'ring Wood
Fly right out that window, crazypants!

Indeed.

_________________
I'm not dead yet, dammit.


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 20 Mar 2009
Notes left: 125
Last seen at: Eastman, Ga. U.S.
it was a joke! i guess according to the game, you have to believe in the Order's belief about their angry, vengeful, sacrifice-demanding god. that it controls the town and everything. not really control, but gives Silent Hill its power.


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Woodside Apartments Janitor
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Missing since: 30 Mar 2009
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Screws wrote:
it was a joke! i guess according to the game, you have to believe in the Order's belief about their angry, vengeful, sacrifice-demanding god. that it controls the town and everything. not really control, but gives Silent Hill its power.


According to the game? Are you sure you don't mean movie?

_________________
Too cold to start a fire
I'm burning diesel, burning dinosaur bones
I'll take the river down to still water
And ride a pack of dogs


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 20 Mar 2009
Notes left: 125
Last seen at: Eastman, Ga. U.S.
game and movie both could be true. mostly i mean SHH


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Woodside Apartments Janitor
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Missing since: 30 Mar 2009
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Yeah, I guess SHH seems that way. All this talk of White Claudia and the god just made me start thinking in terms of SH1 again rather than any of the other games. I do that sometimes.

_________________
Too cold to start a fire
I'm burning diesel, burning dinosaur bones
I'll take the river down to still water
And ride a pack of dogs


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 20 Mar 2009
Notes left: 125
Last seen at: Eastman, Ga. U.S.
the orders believed that the angry god would punish them if they didnt offer sacrifices and when they failed, the monsters came.


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Historical Society Historian
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Missing since: 01 Aug 2006
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How do we know the God of the Order isn't something they created with the town's power? After all, one of the most powerful archetypes of the collective consciousness is God, the almighty parental figure that makes everything alright.

_________________
BlackFire2 wrote:
I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 20 Mar 2009
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.........yeah. so its either: the god gave the town its power, or the town created the god the Order worships? could be either one. the certain god the Order worships isnt a very kind figure. like an abusive parent. not good, not evil. just chaos and order


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Rosewater Park Attendant
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Missing since: 12 Jan 2008
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AuraTwilight wrote:
How do we know the God of the Order isn't something they created with the town's power? After all, one of the most powerful archetypes of the collective consciousness is God, the almighty parental figure that makes everything alright.

You've mentioned that theory several times, and it sounds very likely. It also makes the Order, and those who are killed by them, even more tragic than before.


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Just Passing Through
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Missing since: 20 Mar 2009
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usually the god has to come first, then the petty humans start worshiping it. so the god had to come first.


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Rosewater Park Attendant
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Missing since: 12 Jan 2008
Notes left: 1323
Last seen at: Minnesota
Screws wrote:
usually the god has to come first, then the petty humans start worshiping it. so the god had to come first.

Keep in mind that the power of the town was there before the European settlers came.


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