Author Topic: The nature (or origin) of the denizens of Fantasia...  (Read 1214 times)

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Offline Arvin

The nature (or origin) of the denizens of Fantasia...
« on: April 15, 2013, 02:31:27 AM »
... and by Fantasia I mean the inhabitants of the stratum that used to be called Rift (according to the translation in here, not sure if it's very accurate) or Hazama (interstice). Since now at this point in the story the realms have merged, these terms have fallen to a certain obsolescence, but to make sure we are on the same page, I mean basically the stratum (or region, or whatever term that suits best) where Unicorns, elves, trolls, dragons and most other creatures belonging to folklore and legends used to inhabit.

I'm particularly curious about their nature, how these beings came to be as well as how they reached the human psyche.
Of course, such a question is very speculative; there is currently no definitive answer to it in the manga as far as I'm aware. When I put some thought into it I reached a couple hypothesis, one in particular based on a few tidbits that I always found interesting for possibly hinting a different interpretation (even if more unlikely)

I will quote the parts I'm referring to elaborate further:

Episode 215 - Qlipoth

Schierke: "Trolls, Ogre, elves and kelpie...
The creatures in the spiritual world are taking form as if they had actually had a physical body...
They are originally in the world within our mind...
They are the ones who reside in our dreams at night or our imagination.
"


Episode 306 - Fantasia

Puella's translation:

"Those things that people thought might exist have been transmitted by words, and developped and refined (added, expanded, modified...) (from generation to generation).

That which people feared and long for desperately.

Another half of the world that only existed in people's imaginations and that has come down."


More than once, and one time coming from the narrator himself, there's been this concept that these creatures belonged, perhaps originally, to humans imagination.
It couldn't be stressed more in the case of episode 306. One idea that came to mind is what if these legendary beings were, originally and before anything else, constructs in the human collective subconscious that took a form of their own based on the amalgamation of ideas belonging to that being, and started to live independently and self-sufficiently in the astral world?
This whole process wouldn't be so foreign when we take into account the Idea of Evil (assuming the lost episode holds, it hasn't been contradicted so far), which was created in a process somewhat similar. It could set a very big precedent to the theory.

I found this current of thought to be very interesting, it would indicate that the legendary creatures first existed on the human psyche, and then they came to be (in the astral world). Their existence and appearance towards humans would then feed ever so more the concept of the creature on the human imagination, as the tales are passed down.

The other interpretation I had, which is far more simplistic and straightforward, likely the one most people have, is that these folklore creatures were always there, or at least as far as it can be conceived. Meaning that they first existed, and their elusive sightings would feed their concept in the human psyche which would then be propagated as the legends are passed by.
That wouldn't answer the original question per se, but one would imagine that much like the corporeal world, they would be the "wild life" that inhabit that region of the astral world. How they came to be would be a mystery that we may well never know, but the relevant part we would take from it, again, is that they existed before being part of humans imagination (and therefore wouldn't be a product of human mind).

We could perhaps summarize all this talk to a single question: Which came first, the idealized creature or the creature that would become legend?

Another interesting event that may relate to this topic, is how Slan, during volume 26, was seemingly able to create or spawn Ogres and trolls from the surroundings.
I can kind of see how that would work from both perspectives:
1) If trolls and ogres were beings originated from human subconscious, Slan, as a Godhand and having the source of her powers coming from an existance simmilarly created by the collective human consciousness, would then be able to manipulate creatures with a similar nature;
or
2) More simply, trolls and ogres have a certain Od, which would be similar to Slan's (her womb of darkness) or easily susceptible to her control as a higher spiritual being.

In both cases, she would be able to freely manipulate beings with a similar nature or origin.

Well, I think I rambled enough, now you guys can dissect everything I said.  :ganishka:
What do you guys think? Any other theories or interpretations I may not have covered?

Offline Walter

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Re: The nature (or origin) of the denizens of Fantasia...
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2013, 06:49:29 PM »
Thanks for the post. Always a fun topic, if often headache-inducing due to the lack of clarity in some of the concepts here...

I'll answer point by point, but in short I don't believe that all things in the astral world derived from the human mind. The way you're phrasing things is an oversimplification as well, because in this new world, we're not just seeing a variety of legendary creatures that humans may have dreamed upódragons, trolls etc., but also things things living deep within the astral world that, in Flora's words, are beyond human comprehension.

The astral world is a big place, and was likely a big place even long before humans started closing their eyes to the rest of reality.

... and by Fantasia I mean the inhabitants of the stratum that used to be called Rift (according to the translation in here, not sure if it's very accurate) or Hazama (interstice).
The term rift is a little inaccurate, and Hazama is just a transliteration of the Japanese word, but interstice is appropriate. The term refers to the border between the physical and astral worlds that Guts and Casca are a part of. They each have a foot in both worlds, you could say. Apostles also straddle this line. But what you're talking about in your post is the entire astral world, not just its surface layer.

Quote
I'm particularly curious about their nature, how these beings came to be
We don't know, just as we don't know who/what created humans in the Berserk world.

Quote
as well as how they reached the human psyche.
Humans once interacted with these creatures long ago (Volume 24), so a bit of it was handed down from legend, and we're also told that they can cross over into dreams or nightmares.

Quote
Episode 215 - Qlipoth

Schierke: "Trolls, Ogre, elves and kelpie...
The creatures in the spiritual world are taking form as if they had actually had a physical body...
They are originally in the world within our mind...
They are the ones who reside in our dreams at night or our imagination.
"

Admittedly the wording here seems more resolute than it should be, but I believe you're taking these lines at face value without considering their place in Schierke's full explanation. She's talking about what would happen if these creatures, who normally interact with humans only in dreams, suddenly began appearing in the physical world. That's the scope of the conversation she's having with the group, not explaining their universal origin.

Quote
Episode 306 - Fantasia
"Those things that people thought might exist have been transmitted by words, and developed and refined (added, expanded, modified...) (from generation to generation).

That which people feared and long for desperately.

Another half of the world that only existed in people's imaginations and that has come down."
This is merely referring to creatures people dreamed of, or heard spoken of in legend, but didn't know truly existed until the worlds were merged and they could suddenly be seen by everyone.

Quote
One idea that came to mind is what if these legendary beings were, originally and before anything else, constructs in the human collective subconscious that took a form of their own based on the amalgamation of ideas belonging to that being, and started to live independently and self-sufficiently in the astral world?
Schierke would call that a closed-minded, human-centric view of the worldóa result of the indoctrination of the Holy See  :guts:

Quote
This whole process wouldn't be so foreign when we take into account the Idea of Evil (assuming the lost episode holds, it hasn't been contradicted so far), which was created in a process somewhat similar. It could set a very big precedent to the theory.
The Idea of Evil comes from the abyss, in the ideal world, a deeper realm than the astral world. And the process by which it was created was fueled by the human subconsciousness, which is a little different from the process you were describing above.

Quote
The other interpretation I had, which is far more simplistic and straightforward, likely the one most people have, is that these folklore creatures were always there, or at least as far as it can be conceived. Meaning that they first existed, and their elusive sightings would feed their concept in the human psyche which would then be propagated as the legends are passed by.
This is what's supported in the text.

Quote
We could perhaps summarize all this talk to a single question: Which came first, the idealized creature or the creature that would become legend?
I'd say the creature came first, then the legend.

Quote
2) More simply, trolls and ogres have a certain Od, which would be similar to Slan's (her womb of darkness) or easily susceptible to her control as a higher spiritual being.
This.
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline Arvin

Re: The nature (or origin) of the denizens of Fantasia...
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2013, 02:39:31 AM »
Hi Walter, thanks for the reply!

The way you're phrasing things is an oversimplification as well, because in this new world, we're not just seeing a variety of legendary creatures that humans may have dreamed upódragons, trolls etc., but also things things living deep within the astral world that, in Flora's words, are beyond human comprehension.

About the new world, now that you mention, besides all these legendary beings, we've seen the Godhand manifesting in some form just after the merging of the worlds.

Another thought that occurred to me is whether the merging, aside from joining astral with corporeal world, also merged the layers within the astral world itself.

For instance, we see a herd of Unicorns running in the wild, which we would assume to have a certain od, but then we see a Hydra going after them, a creature with probably a very different od from the Unicorns. Since beings of similar od usually like to flock together in their own regions, like Schierke says, it stands to reason that they may inhabit different layers (or regions) of their stratum in the Astral world (hehe, that may sound confusing).

Or maybe they belong to the same "safari" so to speak, and what we saw wasn't different from a lion catching and devouring its prey in our real world (or Berserk's corporeal world, I'm pretty sure there are lions in the Berserk world).

Again, two possibilities that sound equally interesting. But I'm digressing here, now we are onto the specifics of the merging and the layers of a certain part of the Astral world.

The astral world is a big place, and was likely a big place even long before humans started closing their eyes to the rest of reality.

It sure is. I really like how it added elements of a high fantasy setting to Berserk's own dark fantasy storyline.

The term rift is a little inaccurate, and Hazama is just a transliteration of the Japanese word, but interstice is appropriate. The term refers to the border between the physical and astral worlds that Guts and Casca are a part of. They each have a foot in both worlds, you could say. Apostles also straddle this line. But what you're talking about in your post is the entire astral world, not just its surface layer.

Oh but it's mostly the surface I'm talking about, the relatively shallow place where according to Flora, we can start to see most of these mythical creatures (I'm not concerned about deeper places and the entities that inhabit these, like the Vortex or GodHands and the Elemental Kings). Of course, we're talking pre-merging.

Humans once interacted with these creatures long ago (Volume 24), so a bit of it was handed down from legend, and we're also told that they can cross over into dreams or nightmares.

I'm really interested in how that works. Not that it's the case with Berserk, but there are some cults or beliefs that tells us that we may release our spirits (or astral bodies) when we sleep, and many of the fantastical things we see in our dreams are part of this Astral world of sorts. Thought it was worth mentioning, I also believe that Miura researched quite a bit about OBE and astral projection, as it's an important feature in the story.

Admittedly the wording here seems more resolute than it should be, but I believe you're taking these lines at face value without considering their place in Schierke's full explanation. She's talking about what would happen if these creatures, who normally interact with humans only in dreams, suddenly began appearing in the physical world. That's the scope of the conversation she's having with the group, not explaining their universal origin.

Yeah, that interpretation really takes these words a bit too literally, even though they may not be the focus of what she's saying.

This is merely referring to creatures people dreamed of, or heard spoken of in legend, but didn't know truly existed until the worlds were merged and they could suddenly be seen by everyone.

Yes, this interpretation is more well grounded, and likely the right one.

Schierke would call that a closed-minded, human-centric view of the worldóa result of the indoctrination of the Holy See  :guts:

Hehe, but wouldn't the Holy See abominate even the existence of such spiritual beings that belonged to other "pagan" world views? The priest that didn't acknowledge the river spirit at Enoch village comes to mind.

The Idea of Evil comes from the abyss, in the ideal world, a deeper realm than the astral world. And the process by which it was created was fueled by the human subconsciousness, which is a little different from the process you were describing above.

Sure, as far as the IoE goes.
Besides the difference in the thoughts or concepts that would arise to give birth to the IoE or the astral beings in this interpretation, the IoE would dwell in the abyss as you said (unlike the astral beings who would live in a more shallow stratum of the Astral world) and the IoE would be a much bigger, more powerful and influential entity than any astral being that we've seen so far.

But it matters little I guess, unless we're futurely told any information that may indicate that it might be the case (unlikely as it stands so far).

Although exceptionally so, there's one more place where I think we could see constructs related to the human mind:
Ubik's domain (or correct me if I'm wrong, sephir, if that can be called such) as we see a bit after the merging when the Godhands appear, in that reference to Hieronymus Bosch Garden of Earthly Delights. Of course this is speculation on my part, specially if that was just a tribute or reference to Hieronymus's work, but those were very oneiric, dreamlike critters that may relate to Ubik's powers.  :ubik:

This is what's supported in the text.
I'd say the creature came first, then the legend.
This.

:serpico: