"Chthonic" means pertaining to the earth or to the Underworld. I have used this term to designate planes of intra-physical consciousness beneath our ordinary consciousness. Macrocosmically there are also further subpalnes and resonances here - perhaps pertaining the shamanic and occult underworld planes. Microcosmically at least three distinct resonances can be listed here: the instinctual-somatic subconscious, the personal-emotional subconscious, and the mental subconscious.
With the macrocosmic dimension - the collective lower subcosncious, the physical subgrade of the Chthonic pertains to evolution within the world of nature. In the inanimate world this would involve the elemental consciousness behind geological, meteorological, and other such processes (which science is not aware of, being concerned only with the "external", "objective" reality).
The Etheric/Astral, Soul/Psychic, and Mental/Spiritual Subgrades refer to the animate world this elemental consciousness is "internalised" or "incarnate" in biological organisms, constitut-ing grades of evolution of conscious response to the environment: taxis (simple orientation to stimuli in protozoa and invertebrates), reflex, and instinct (more complex "programmed" behaviour). These three grades of biological consciousness could be defined as lower, middle, and upper chthonic (remember, each plane is also divided into sub-planes, so there are actually many chthonic planes), and constitute the somatic subconscious (nefesh of nefesh).
The higher subgrades of the Chthonic Asiyah pertains to Gods, which, being gods, actually come from a different dimension to human consciousness.
Moving now to the microcosmic dimension - the individual lower subconscious, the soul/psychic Chthonic represents the subconscious psyche; the various repressed emotional reactions that have sunk down from, or been denied by, the Conscious Ego. Here we are in the region of depth psychology. The Emotional Subconscious is referred to as the Unconscious by Freud, and the Shadow by Jung. This region of the being, like the Mental Subconscious, is full of all sorts of negative reactions and neuroses, and is the ultimate cause of much of the fear, hatred, and ignorance in the world, especially among the ignorant.
Whereas the Psychic Chthonic represents emotional neuroticism, the Mental Chthonic is the mental subconscious, and thus constitutes mental neuroticism and anxieties. This is the level of the lowest, most frozen and mechanical thoughts, obsessional and neurotic thoughts and fears; all the "negative programming" we have inside us. But there is also a positive side to these lower mental realities. This is because it is possible to reprogram the lower mental subconscious with positive affirmations. Just like a computer, the mental subconscious will reflect what is put it into it. A lot of "New Age" teachings - rebirthing and so on - are concerned with affirmations; and sometimes individuals espousing these teachings will have actually achieved some measure of personal transformation. More often they are just as neurotic and insecure as everyone else, but only have a veneer of seeming "together". This is because it is extremely difficult to reprogram the mental subconscious. It can be done, but it requires a great deal of persistence.
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