When considered separately from Midgard, we refer to the great and bottomless pool of Önd as the Otherworld – the mysterious domain of Spirit, the true origin and source of all things.
The Otherworld is everywhere and nowhere, pervading and generating all things experienced. It gives movement and animation to Midgard, sets its pulse beating, and its lungs breathing. The gateway to the Otherworld resides within all things. When the shamans and seeresses of old flew through the sky, or travelled to strange worlds and communed with otherworldly entities, they did so without walking a single pace.
The Otherworld is our true home from where all souls originate. It is the source of all life, for it is life. It is where we all come from, and to where we return at death. Death is not the end of life, but the temporary departure of a soul from matter. A soul is a fragment of Spirit, and such a fragment is the difference between a festering carcass, and a living, breathing human being with memories, loves, hates, hopes and dreams.
We intentionally emphasise a distinction between Midgard and Otherworld for the purposes of clarity. But the ancients made decidedly less distinction between the two domains.
The reason for this is a matter of consciousness.
The conscious mind is primarily ‘Midgardian’, ie. it is rooted in space and time. The conscious mind of a human being is heavily influenced by those of the other humans around it, often behaving as the humans of that particular place and time behave. The conscious mind is raised and shaped by the social constructs, ideas, beliefs, politics and philosophies of the culture or civilisation in which it finds itself.
Bad parents raise troubled children, and bad societies raise troubled people. Our highly materialistic culture has affected our conscious experience of Midgard. We hone in on matter exclusively; our bodies, ageing, physical beauty, clothing, image, gadgets, owning stuff, the wealth necessary to own more stuff, and so on.
These interests are obviously not unique to modern culture, and humans have been engaged in these things throughout recorded history. The difference today is that, generally, this is all our society is interested in. Those with alternate interests are just that – alternate. The implication is other.
Most of us are blind to Spirit, blind to the big picture. We do not consider our collective destiny, and our society does not seek to evolve towards an endgame. It cannot see past the year’s profits. We are purposeless and wandering.
Every ancient Pagan culture in history was steeped in an acute awareness of Spirit, the intrinsic, underlying necessity which manifests as all phenomena. The Greeks called it Aether, the Chinese Ch’i, the Indians Prana, the Inuits Silla, the Polynesians Mana, and the Norse Önd. Life is Spirit, Spirit is Life; it’s the same thing. It is more than this sensory world of matter and age. This is simply a body, Spirit given flesh, a lesser vision of a far greater world.
The cultures of the Ancients were long imbued with this awareness, and their conscious experience was moulded by it. They saw through this world of flesh, they saw it for what it is. Thus they passionately embraced all things in life, for they saw that to simply exist was not enough. They were fascinated by purpose, and were keen pursuers of destiny.
But our modern culture has no awareness of any of this, considering these ideas the domain of strange, hokey religions. Beyond that, it is referred to mockingly if at all. And they shuffle about their meaningless day to day lives, seemingly content to be worthless.
And so Draug emphasises a distinction between Midgard and Otherworld in order to aid the comprehension and accommodation of these concepts into a modern, polarised consciousness – one very much affected and moulded by the materialistic society of today, one raised not to see past matter.
To one completely immersed in flesh, Spirit will at first be considered other, before it can be seen for what it truly is – all.