Somewhere in the course of my writing, it occurred to me that I was drawing on a lot of archetypes, a large number of Platonic Ideals: dragons, fairies, deities in all shapes and sizes, and whole kingdoms like El Dorado and Nirvana and fountains of youth, and more. I imagined they ought to fit somewhere in creation but I could not quite place them.
It was too much of a stretch to place them in some deep and mythical past like Robert E. Howard (Conan the Barbarian) or J. R. R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings) might have imagined because there was simply no evidence for that. Besides, these “things” were too otherworldly for such a concept to hold up on close examination.
It did not make sense to place them in what I am calling “Spatial” universes such as conceived by current scientific theory. These universes are not imagined to contain variable life forms, but rather to stretch, even negate the so-called laws of physics to the point of absurdity. One would not have to travel far into the spatial dimensions to find a universe completely inhospitable to any form of life. I have already stretched that concept to include the “Other Earth” as a place filled with the variable and creative energy (magic) missing in our dimension. Going further out decreased rather than increased the odds of finding unicorns.
Then also, it did not make sense to place them in what I call the “Temporal” universes. These are the universes imagined in most science fiction, where something of significance is altered in the past and the whole subsequent course of history plays out differently. My principal characters in the novel Guardian Angel that explore this concept refer to these universes as the worlds, though they have also been called parallel earths or alternate realities. Still, it is far too difficult to imagine a real history so altered as to produce goblins and a Benu Bird (Phoenix) able to be reborn from its own ashes.
So here I was stuck with all of these archetypes – things universally understood throughout the history of human consciousness, and nowhere to put them. The thing that always seemed remarkable to me was how consistently so much of this was known across time and even across cultures. Surely, there must be some reality behind these things…
So I have imagined a third set of alternate realities, not spatial nor temporal, but spiritual (mythological or folkloric if you prefer). These are the universes of our dreams and the place of our imaginations. These are the universes that gave rise to the very universal concepts we all know. I find it comforting in a way to feel instead of the entire human race suffering from some form of mass psychosis, there is a reality we can touch in our dreams, our visions, our hearts, and certainly also in our fears though I would rather not go to the last. But the Caller, my protagonist in the novel Killers in Eden might.
It was sometime after settling my mind on this idea that I wondered what the second heavens might be like…but that will have to wait for a future post.