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Faeries, Aliens & Otherworlds -Keys to Parallel Worlds and Multidimensions?

Jul 8, 2008
Tales of Otherworlds are almost universal in folklore and myth. There is not space to recount all of them, but today there has been a renewed interest in tales from the British Isles and Scandinavia, specifically those related to faeries, elves and other such Otherworldly creatures.

An interesting question to consider is whether these ancient tales were perhaps references to what modern philosophers and quantum physicists now call multidimensions, parallel worlds or possible worlds. These are all terms for the theory that reality is made of many dimensions, not all of them conforming to the same laws, especially in terms of time.

Faerie stories from the British Isles are of particular interest here, because they often specifically refer to the distortion of time that occurs when mortals interact with denizens of faerie. One of the most popular stories, from Ireland, is that of Oisin, a young man who falls in love with a faery woman, Niamh, and follows her to Tir Na Nog, the Land of Eternal Youth. Tir Na Nog is a fascinating topic of its own, as it is a place where time as we know it does not exist. Oisin, of course, is mortal, but has the choice of remaining in Tir Na Nog where he would become immune to the passage of time. As often occurs in such tales, he makes the mistake of returning to his native land, where he finds that hundreds of years have passed and everyone he knew are long dead.

Stories from other lands have similar themes. The Welsh version of Tir Na Nog is Annwn, which is featured in the Mabinogion collection of stories. The Norse have Valhalla, though this is less a parallel world and more like the Christian heaven, as it is a place where mortals go after dying a heroic death.

Yet another, more modern, version of time distortion occurs in stories (whether true or not) of alien abductions. These are often frightening experiences, though sometimes the aliens encountered are friendly. In many cases, a common feature is that when the person is fortunate enough to be returned to earth, a distortion of time has occurred. As with faerie stories, this time distortion can go either way -even much more or much less time has passed than the "victim" believed.

We can, of course, simply categorize all of these tales as just that -tales, based on superstition, imagination or just plain fabrication, perhaps with alcohol or drugs thrown in the mix. However, when we consider the enormous number of such tales that are similar in so many respects, we might just as likely consider that there may be something to them. Could there not be a myriad of realities, some of which, under certain conditions, overlap with our own?

Shamans have traditionally believed something similar. Shamanic journeying involves visits to other realities and interacting with spirits and beings who reside there. Another aspect of shamanism is the belief that the dream world is just as real as the waking world, and that we are actually "journeying" to these Otherworlds when dreaming. That is why we often encounter people in dreams who are deceased in "real life."

It would be difficult, probably impossible, to prove in a rationalistic way that any of these tales or experiences represent actual shifts in reality or visits to Otherworlds. Those interested in pursuing this possibility, however, might do well to study folklore alongside some modern theories of philosophy and physics and consider the similarities.
About the Author
For more about possible worlds and quantum physics, visit Possible Worlds Explore the elusive world of Faerie Realms
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