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Imaginary Worlds of Power and Solidity [weird magical stuff] - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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April 18th, 2008


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04:06 pm - Imaginary Worlds of Power and Solidity [weird magical stuff]
Last night, teaotter and I had a talk about created and fictional worlds, and were both struck by how much creativity, thought, and psychic energy (if one believes in such a thing) has gone into some of the most popular such places.

Consider comics, particularly Metropolis and Gotham City. Metropolis has been Superman's home and a place that's been the subject of countless comics, movies, novels, plays, TV shows, and works of fan fiction for the last 69 years. It's older than a number of material cities and far more well known than many. Gotham city is 68 years old and equally familiar to the many millions of people who have had some contact with Batman over the decades. The sheer amount of detail and thought

The metaphysical implications of this are (to me at least) fascinating. There's the obvious fact that a whole lot more people now think and write about Thor as a clean shaven blond guy with long hair, who flies by holding his hammer and lives in an Asgard designed by Jack Kirby, than a red headed guys with a beard and a chariot drawn by goats. I wonder how many would-be Norse pagans are actually praying to the blond long-haired Thor vs. the historical one. Personally, if I were interested in making contact with one of them, I'd go with the blond Marvel Comics Thor, since he's a whole lot more connected to the world we live in, as well as having a lot more presence in the minds and thoughts of people, but clearly tastes differ on that point, as well they should.

However, the magical implications go well beyond that. Becca's thought, which I agree with, is that spirits, souls (or whatever one wishes to call people without bodies) need some sort of home. Physical bodies provide that home, but other things can also, including various sort of creations of imagination. This is well know to every writer who has had a "muse" or a character who came considerably more to life than one expected as well as to some seriously immersive gamers who have experienced similar phenomena with a few of their role-playing game characters. A single novel or role-playing game often created a fairly fleeting place, that (with a few exceptions) is only supported by the minds of a relatively small number of people for only a few months or years. In contrast, some places such as the Starship Enterprise or Metropolis: The City of the Future are the subject of the thoughts, dreams, fictions, and imaginings of tens or hundreds of millions of people.

I've thought extensively about fictional characters and how (from my PoV at least) some authors, actors, gamers, and etc… either connect with some more than slightly real version of a character, finds an unembodied individual who needs a "home" and is willing altering their personality and memories in return for having something interesting to do and a place to live, or finds someone unembodied who is simply play one of these characters as I would play a character or as an actor would play a role in a play, once again in return for having something interesting to do and a place to live. Thinking about various fictional places helps but more of these thoughts in perspective, because I realized exactly how solid, enduring, and "well-traveled" (by the thoughts, dreams, and imaginings of embodied peopled) many of these places are. I'm also amused and quite pleased at how many of these ideas I put into the portion of the Astral Realms sourcebook for Mage: The Awakening that I wrote (I wrote the chapter on the world of shared human dreams and imaginings).
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative

(19 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:alobar
Date:April 18th, 2008 11:46 pm (UTC)
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hehe. To me, all the gods, demons, and elementals began as stories told around the campfire. The only difference, imo, between religion and fiction is that religious folk want people to believe that their mythology is real rather than fiction.

It seems to me that it does not take long for fiction to become mythological. Back in the mid-1970s, I could not find anyone who took the mythologies of HP Lovecraft as being anything other than pulp fiction. Now I know many who work the 23 Current, but most do not limit themselves to Uncle Howie's paranoid adrenalin soaked anti-sexual nightmares, but make their own connections to various of the critters HPL wrote about.
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From:heron61
Date:April 19th, 2008 12:15 am (UTC)
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I've read descriptions of their writing process from quite a number of SF&F authors. It's clear to me that some of them very much are not channeling worlds and characters, but it seems equally likely that some of them are.
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From:silvaerina_tael
Date:April 19th, 2008 12:39 am (UTC)
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And then, as you mention, there are the, ah, characters who manifest so strongly as to determine their own destiny.

Go take a look at an old, now seemingly defunct LJ called jet_moon and tell me that ain't manifestation.
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From:heron61
Date:April 19th, 2008 12:52 am (UTC)
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And then, as you mention, there are the, ah, characters who manifest so strongly as to determine their own destiny.

Most definitely. I've encountered quite a number of authors who would likely never think of their writing process as channeling, but from my PoV, that's precisely what they are doing.
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From:silvaerina_tael
Date:April 19th, 2008 01:26 am (UTC)
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And of course the stronger the personality, the stronger it comes through.

You may be interested to know that there are a few characters I've created that definitely seem to more that "just" characters... Some of which seemed to come in full bloom, and others which took a while to do so. Interesting experiences, that's for sure.
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From:silvaerina_tael
Date:April 19th, 2008 12:36 am (UTC)
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"wonder how many would-be Norse pagans are actually praying to the blond long-haired Thor vs. the historical one."

How do you know they are not following the same god dressed up in "modern" guise? Perhaps the entity in question subtly manipulated a few things (Thor has been known to do that occasionally...)

One thing I've speculated for quite a few years now is what if we are tapping into something 'other'? The multiverse is a big place, who's to say what's out there, what links form, and how. Perhaps there is something in us that resonates to small degrees with these other realities? After all, everything was connected up at some point in the past, so, however faint, those resonances still remain.

Tolkien mentions the fact, without using the actual word, he channeled his works. I *can* dig up the quote, written to his editor re why Silmarillion should be included in the body of LotR as essential backstory.



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From:heron61
Date:April 19th, 2008 12:51 am (UTC)
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How do you know they are not following the same god dressed up in "modern" guise? Perhaps the entity in question subtly manipulated a few things (Thor has been known to do that occasionally...)

I was specifically wondering what your reaction to my comments about Thor would be. I hadn't really thought of it like that before, but I can very much see what you mean. That's a fascinating thought and an interesting path for a deity to take for renewal in a very different age.

One thing I've speculated for quite a few years now is what if we are tapping into something 'other'? The multiverse is a big place, who's to say what's out there, what links form, and how. Perhaps there is something in us that resonates to small degrees with these other realities? After all, everything was connected up at some point in the past, so, however faint, those resonances still remain.

Other than believing that such connections can form spontaneously (which is vaguely related to my theory that parallel worlds both divide and recombine on a regular basis) I complete agree. Of course, then the question of the difference between channeling and creation looms very large indeed.
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From:silvaerina_tael
Date:April 19th, 2008 01:15 am (UTC)
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I knew there was something of a poke in there re Thor... And when I was writing that out, I felt what amounts to a cosmic "thumbs up"...

"Other than believing that such connections can form spontaneously (which is vaguely related to my theory that parallel worlds both divide and recombine on a regular basis) I complete agree. Of course, then the question of the difference between channeling and creation looms very large indeed."

Sure, they form spontaneously. I've felt at least one of those. I suspect it has to do with the mindset at the time regardless of whether one is aware of it or not. I also agree regarding channeling vs creation. And that would follow it's own continuum. In fact a current such guide, I would put somewhere in the middle, especially with the inundation of leagues of followers...
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From:aekiy
Date:April 19th, 2008 03:31 am (UTC)
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my theory that parallel worlds both divide and recombine on a regular basis

This concept is central to one of my own fictional worlds: pShift. I am crashing and unable to articulate much at the moment, though I may have mentioned that world to you before when we met at Thresholds. A central part of that world's technology was gravitational manipulation, and they found they could use it to manipulate time. Many people jumping through time and having small effects gradually builds alternate probabilities until they reach a critical mass and eventually converge to rewrite the primary time-line—or, as I've called it, the global paradigm. (This is called a paradigm shift, hence the title, "pShift.")

That's just something that jumped out at me. I do like some of the other ideas you've discussed, too, particularly about fictional characters and spirits inhabiting those forms, etc..
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From:silvaerina_tael
Date:April 19th, 2008 04:34 am (UTC)
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Here's something from an in Character journal that I wrote re this, and from the POV of a different character than the one who's journal it is. It's probably going to have to be broken down into multiple posts.

Imagine a ball of yarn. From a distance it seems to have a sameness, even though there appear to be specs of difference. When looked at more closely, and when the “dust” on the ball is brushed away, you can see that it has many different strands of many different colours on the surface, though there is still the dust in between them, and indeed all the way through the ball. There are some strands, which if you try to follow them merge into another colour some distance back, like branches on a tree. Some of these also merge into a different colour, and others actually merge back into its parent. If you were to unravel or detangle the ball entirely, you would see that all these different strands merge into the same point, or to further the analogy, knot. This is the multi-verse, though greatly simplified.

Much like frequencies of light, each of these “strands” has its own frequency or wavelength or harmonic resonance. These represent each individual space-time. The dust cloud mentioned previously is actually the “probability field” or “potential” that exists enabling these alternate realities to come into being. What materialises as the individual strands is just a small part of what is potential. The two strands we are interested in branched on September 05, 1931, initially. This would correspond to what the Doctors are calling a weak-point in the time stream. There is another one on November 06, 1935. The primary one we are interested in is the one happening now, and I will bet corresponds to the other now as well.

What happens sometimes, is that, much like a real ball of yarn, threads break off and are caught by, or imbed into other strands. Of course it takes a tremendous amount of energy to do this, much like achieving escape velocity out of a planet’s gravity well. When the threads enter the “alternate reality”, they are effectively caught in the other’s gravity well, and will eventually merge with it, which is what we are seeing in this case.
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From:silvaerina_tael
Date:April 19th, 2008 04:39 am (UTC)
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Oh yeah, I should mention that the character POV that this is from is Dr. Tabitha Childs, writing in the "Elf's" journal, in an alternate time line where Nazi Germany won WWII. Tabitha is Black, and was a mere janitor in this alternate time line, and taught on the sly.
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From:aekiy
Date:April 19th, 2008 04:49 am (UTC)
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Very interesting. The vision I had of this sort of thing was a bit different, but definitely had some similarities. I'm not sure how to articulate it really at the moment; it was something like a large silvery strand of time that represented a primary time-line that had many vines or stems growing from it, then merging back in.. and things like that. This is also a vision I had some four years or so ago, so is a bit vague in my mind at this point. I will have to try and resurface these things.
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From:silvaerina_tael
Date:April 19th, 2008 11:31 am (UTC)
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I remember it being talked about...
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From:silvaerina_tael
Date:April 19th, 2008 04:35 am (UTC)
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part II

Another thing to consider, is that what can be seen as an intrusion, that is the alternate space-time frequency threads, is acting rather like a virus by superimposing their pattern on their “counter-parts”. They will eventually merge. Remember the gravity well analogy. What we have to do is find a way to not only separate the frequencies, and there has to be an underlying pattern that matches here, but send the others home at the same time, or they will die, either from being “not from here” and merging. Remember one other thing, matter, on an atomic level, is mostly empty space, and is also extremely dense energy: E=mc^2. Therefore in this case, it would be possible for the two energy patterns to co-exist in what appears to be the same space. We know that as the intruders were materialising “here” the “originals”, such as they are, somehow merged together with them. And there was mention of a deviated flight plan, which would have to have happened initially “here” before the intruders “arrived”. I am uncertain at this time when that took place, but it would have to have been just prior to being hailed by the fighter jets.

We also know that there is some sort of reciprocal effect also, because those of us who seem to have counterparts; “leakage” as our esteemed Elf put it…

…is actually entanglement. That is, the reason myself and Hank, and possibly others (we will have to find out not only who, but what they experienced during these flashes), have been receiving these counter memory intrusions is that not only do we have alternates in this other reality, but our wave patterns are becoming entangled due to proximity with those from “ground zero”. This will only stop if and when full assimilation takes place, and the effects fade, or they are sent “home” and it is cut. That said, there might still be some residual entanglement anyway just by the very fact that it happened in the first place. Hmmm… I wonder if strength of mind plays a part in this process; in keeping the “parent” personality submerged, like a virus, though with degenerating effects, experienced as the increasing number of memory intrusions, and whether this could play a part in keeping a channel open to the other.
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From:lyssabard
Date:April 19th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)
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There's a mix going on for me. A lot of what I work with has been both "characters" from other people's stories and my own creations and games. Sure, there are times when I am acting, just telling a story, using craft versus Craft, if you will. And then there are moments where it's like a presence in the head--or something just overlaying the senses and perceptions.

I've had moments where I've forgotten what I said and had to have it told back to me--sure that can be a normal thing in the course of deep play, but it's fairly frequent. I've had one my characters tell a friend something, like as a voice in their head that while I never TOLD that person about that character, it seems the character had something to say of his past on his own. I've had the memories of another character hit me so hard and fast that I was basically almost living them. Together, we have a symbiotic relationship, story and storyteller, created and creation, each fueling the other. I am fairly certain that I am not alone in my head always--and you know, even if *I* am generating the character, I am certainly feeding my own personal energy into it so that it becomes a different aspect or extension of myself, equally capable as any magical construct/entity. Again, the lines blur--pick your chicken or egg. "Real" or creation, it serves a needed function in my life and well being.

In the end, I don't care always nor need the "academics" of the matter, I only know that it is my spirituality, it is vital to what I am as a bard, who I am, and what I do. I get my feathers in a bunch when people poo-poo the need and affects of things like role playing games, video games, fandom, etc., as not related nor legitimate as magic or a part of spirituality. (Ah, the agendas, the agendas....)

Like all art, like my writing, it's a thing of love, really--I can't live without it, and maybe they can't live without me. Not do be that is heartbreak and life would be more grey. It's long been said that humans need our stories, our myths, personal and otherwise. Maybe they need us, too.


Edited at 2008-04-19 02:15 am (UTC)
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From:aekiy
Date:April 19th, 2008 03:33 am (UTC)
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That was beautifully said. ^*^ I agree wholeheartedly.
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From:heron61
Date:April 19th, 2008 03:44 am (UTC)
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I've had the memories of another character hit me so hard and fast that I was basically almost living them.

Dear gods, I know precisely what you mean.
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From:silvaerina_tael
Date:April 19th, 2008 04:24 am (UTC)
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"It's long been said that humans need our stories, our myths, personal and otherwise. Maybe they need us, too."

If there wasn't that need for connection, they wouldn't be there, the stories, that is, because the stories reflect us to some measure. They solidify our own presence to a certain degree, perhaps even to a large degree.
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From:amberite
Date:April 21st, 2008 11:18 pm (UTC)
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I've had moments where I've forgotten what I said and had to have it told back to me

I'm struggling with this same effect in trying to get a roleplaying game I ran back together. Half of it is fuzzy like a dream!

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