Nephesh

“The ninth sphere or Sephirah on the Tree of Life is that of the Nephesh, which means the animal soul. It is the sphere proper of the animal instincts and urges, which may in truth be called the Freudian unconscious — that which was conscious at one time or at one stage of development but which has since been lost to consciousness. It is regarded as comprising all those psychic faculties which are not conscious. All the various automatic, habitual, and routine actions; all the things that we say and do ‘without thinking’ and all the thousand things we never really ‘do’ at all, these processes are assigned to the unconscious realm, to the principle of Nephesh. To it is related the cerebellum, the hind section of the brain, and it is intimately connected with the glandular and sympathetic nervous systems. As such it is that part of our being which regulates the circulation of the blood, the pulsation of the heart, our digestion and respiration. All the promptings of desire and the urges of passion that spring unbidden within us, have their seat in Nephesh. This is the underworld of the psyche through which we get comparatively close to nature, to the elemental side of life. It is the undermind in which function the primary instincts of self-preservation and reproduction. It is the seat of the sex instinct itself. The Jungian concept of the unconscious might be the approximate term for this side of life, as is held by the Freudian school, whereas the much abused word superconscious would be distinctly descriptive of the Supernal Sephiroth of the Yechidah, Chiah, and Neshamah corresponding to the Jungian unconscious.”

From Israel Regardie, The Middle Pillar: The Balance Between Mind and Magic, ed. Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero (Woodbury, MT: Llewellyn, 2012 [1938]), 36.

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