According to folklorist Thomas Keightley, the word “fairyland” is a redundancy of word history. The word “fae” referred to the people or entities, and the English suffix -ry constructed a place for them already (compare aviary, a place to keep avians.) This can be excused if we consider that same suffix also forms nouns based on the descriptive nature or condition (compare greenery, bravery; and, when Tennyson wrote “’tis the fairy lady of Shalott” the meaning to take from that was not necessarily that this lady was a fairy, but that she was “under the influence of magix” another meaning of fairy that would also apply to many other fairy princesses or fairy princes in fairy tales that have got no fairies in them.)
That is, however, neither here nor there when we consider the Otherworld.
The dramatic and instructional narratives of a story play out within the framing or setting of an otherworld. The Classical Greek philosopher Plato so loved the otherworld that the adoption of his teachings would set back the material sciences in the Western world for hundreds of years.
What we agree to classify as the real world is, in the way that most of us understand it best, projected in one’s mind through the physical senses. This simulacrum can be considered and treated as one with the real world, a common opinion that is good enough for me…until I have experiences not shared by other people.
This is inevitable. I have the ability of physical sight, but somebody else might not see the same colors, or might be able to see further than I with more clarity, because of the way that my eyes are constructed: the condition of the lenses, the muscles that adjust the lenses to project light into the retina, the cones and rods in the retina, are all slightly different for everyone. The same goes for taste buds, and nerve endings. The construction of our body creates different experiences. Also considering a more social than material context, still in the real world, but I would have at least a different interpretation of my experiences depending on where and how I balance privilege and oppression in the kyriarchy.
Those are not the otherworlds that I’m going to focus on, however.
I experience projections in my mind, superimposed upon the projection of reality, and these are not consistently validated by most other people also projected in my mind. These are invisible colors, inaudible chords, thoughts that aren’t mine but aren’t communicated through any medium (or else other people would notice these, too.)
Maybe it’s some undiagnosed medical condition that I have: synaesthesia, or schizoaffective disorder.
While I say that these are both projections, and one superimposed upon the other, I must say that they often have a different enough quality that I can still function and compartmentalize how I deal with the real…and how I deal with this interference, which I call the otherreal.
It’s like the cresting and breaking of a wave, whereby the waters are the notions of my psyche. That’s the reasoning that I’ve accepted, of how this happens to me. It might sound more authentic to sustain passivity, but once these otherreal experiences had become familiar enough, I intuited a turnkey where I can deliberately, consciously, manipulate this experience. The effect is negotiable.
Sometimes, I use only this intuitive turnkey, and I call it magix. Other times, I use material items from reality to stir up particular notions in my psyche, which also turns this key to affect the otherreal, and I call it wishcraft (or consider it a part of wishcraft.)
Other times, these projections are not superimposed on reality but are a complete experience themselves. I remember my dreams, grant them enough significance to write them down. I can even manage a lucid dream on occasion, which is a usually harmless sleep disorder characterized by memory and reasoning retention in a dream. I have cultivated my imagination for daydreams, or what I call quests.
Imagination can be a very mundane skill. I don’t know about the neuroscience of this yet, but imagination and memory can feel very distinct from one another even if latter is misremembered. By similar degree would I make the distinction between daydreaming of my own contrivance that panders to my own conceitedness and the daydreaming that results from the swelling again of the tides of my psyche, washing ashore treasures of deep significance.
This otherworld, I call the surreal.
At some point, the labels didn’t matter. In order to function properly in the material and social reality to which I most often and most sustainably default, I take on this worldview of “reality and everything else”. Sometimes the surreal and the otherreal bleed into each other. Dreams become otherreality, via memory, working magix as if it were wishcraft.
I used to suffer from sleep paralysis, also known as Rapid Eye Movement atonia, which is a sleep disorder opposite to sleepwalking: the body is paralyzed, as is natural for a sleep phase, but the mind is awake (the experience is similar to waking interference by the otherreal.) I also used to be able to initiate experiences where I move through what appears to be reality only I have no experience of my physical body that is usually the requirement.
I know not whether to name that world otherreal or surreal. This could demonstrate how much easier it is to do than to explain. Explanations must make sense, but truth (as it imposes itself upon experience) isn’t obliged to follow any such structure.
Otherworlds aren’t a fact, they are placeholders to help make sense of an experience. Aspects of these experience, such as the concepts of space, time, events, items, and other characters…these are notions associated, or as I like to say “constellated” into the interpretation of an otherworld.
I never get anywhere when I try to stay below the basics like that, though, so I just take the otherworld as a given.