the metaphorical mind

In the northern parts of Finland, Sweden and Norway there has been a wonderful metaphorical language to describe inner experiences in relation to life, and in relation to the environment. People related to these local forces and occupants called haltijas. They were both male and female and could be found everywhere in nature. Everything was related to everything else by individual haltijas. It was peoples relation to the soul of the world in something like an objective relation to Nature. They were conceptually perceptible in the elements where they were experienced in the form of väkis. Also, they were locally connected to the land as impersonal powers or sub-souls to be aware of since they attracted peoples attentions from all around them. Misplaced or otherwise not treated well, they could become a disturbance and even cause illnesses. In this sense, they were experienced as personalities, or agents of a numinous experience of nature. There are still people who pay attention to them today. A persons haltija was called luontohaltija, and was the personal entrance to the inside of Nature. Here they were equal in substance to that of the experience of the väki’s. People had a relation to them through their own Nature, or luonto. Later metaphors for luontohaltijas is the more technical term psyche and the concept of a soul. And as part of a person, luonto was the shared “nature”, the personal experience of the world soul. With their itse, and its connection to the underlying universal field of energy, people had a personal communication with the original autonomous patterns of nature. Luonto was both part of a person, and part of something else. It was separate of him as a power outside of his control, as was the väki’s and haltijas in his immediate environment. But he could also have a relation to the numinous sensation of the elements, and have a personal communication with the ancestors, to instructions from them. Which in itself offered an access to another view of the world. They were asked to help, to contribute knowledge, and by accepting them, take the ancestral spirits into the world of the living as luonto. Relationships of this kind were never far away. In close vicinity to my childhood village there was a tarn. I was told when I was young that it was bottomless. That it opened up to something else. It made me respect it, because a depth of that magnitude scared me. It had a frightening quality about it that was coming from my own lack of understanding an experience of that metaphorical indescribability. And I had trouble dealing with that. I knew then that it was somehow inhabited. And whatever it was that appeared from it, it came from an invisible mirror world behind mine. Later I also learned that from beyond of my physical life, a life force emerged that transformed mind into culture. This generating power, libido or henki also permeated all life. It contained the background forms of everything. Mediating between my worlds. But its full realisation was the vision of the loss of our body. Of the timeless aspects of consciousness in the vision that it is the body that is an apparition. When only our bones remains of what we once were, some knowledgeable people saw this as they had now attained their true form. A more complete body. These people were called tietäjä’s or noadi’s. They had another kind of knowledge. And it was based on the personal experience of having a human form to answer to. A voice of our own. Influenced by an ancestor with a specific knowledge for us to bring into the world.