The Idea of Time

In figuring out how time would work in the fantasy world of Mysterion (as it relates to the real world of Lethes), there were a couple of considerations. The first one was thematic. Lethes represents the secular life, devoid of a spiritual dimension. Mysterion is the world with the spiritual dimension fully revealed. How does a person moving between these worlds experience time?

I came to the conclusion that our experiences of Mysterion exist within the present moment of our daily life. The present moment is the gateway into a transformed existence: "Now is the acceptable time, now is the time of salvation." On a narrative level, this means characters return to Lethes after having dwelt in Mysterion at the same moment in which they left. In this, I echo Lewis' approach to reentering the real world from Narnia.

In addition, I have always thought of the spiritual life as existing somehow outside history. There is something archetypal about "spiritual time." Events in Mysterion are not part of the usual pattern of history, but play out a kind of "essential story" or proto-myth. Narratively then, this led to the idea that a person could enter Mysterion and interact with figures from any time in Lethes history, past or future. This is different from Narnia, in which a set of characters from the real world enter the fantasy world at different points in its history.

This led to a second consideration: technical. Characters meeting in Mysterion did not necessarily know one another directly in Lethes, and their memories of Lethes are dreamlike. Similarly, when characters return to Lethes, they recall their Mysterion encounters as a dream that either fades quickly or else remains as a kind of belief that there is "something more" to the world. In addition, they feel a kind of invisible connnection to people at other times in history, much as Christians might towards the saints that have come before.


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