The Channelers of Liminality
The Channelers of Liminality
The Channelers of Liminality first emerge as a group in order to figure out what is going on between the realms, or what it is really like “on the other side.”
Initially, this is done by setting up a few people in the real world in order to communicate with fictional characters and gain general information about the fictional world through (talking to) them.
In time, it develops into a system of both parties—both channelers in the real world and fictional characters communicating with them—relaying information back to each other in order to find out more “hidden info” (that is, what would be unknown to the denizens of the opposite realm, e.g. that fictional inanimate objects are merely dormant, to the real-life audiences) about the other's realm.
How they communicate:
What is communicated back and forth between the channelers and fictional world is a distinct physical, commanding, overseeing presence from within the individual that is made visible upon utterance. It is in the form of a voice or anthropomorphized words, with the actual appearance of words, akin to the way in which people projected their inner thoughts out into the external environment as concrete experiences. However, each one (each person's concrete, external, visible voice) is slightly different (in the way that each person's handwriting is slightly different, but still the same script), depending on the individual channeler and their personality, genre preferences, type of fictional characters they talk to.
In the dawn of storytelling, one of the first things anthropomorphized by mythopoeic thought was spoken human language, causing words themselves to move around and become sentient. The reason spoken language was affected first was because it was the thing closest to the people themselves, and the thing closest to people would be affected first because humans are nearly always the most important or central figures to the story.
Importance of the real/fictional separation:
Ultimately, it was the division of the world into separate “real” and “fictional” spheres as the modal viewpoint that led the Channelers of Liminality to coalesce as a group. This movement away toward the separation as the default was what eventually caused the Channelers of Liminality to become a secret society. After the default worldview was no longer undifferentiating of “real” and “fictional,” and such a view was now instead pushed back and suppressed, the Channelers of Liminality needed to be secret, hiding their ways so that the public didn't become suspicious to or dismissive of their activities and knowledge. The public mindset having divisions between “real” and “fiction” now, they wouldn’t be capable of understanding the goings-on anyway (i.e. it’s like trying to teach a dog calculus—an impossible task that you’re best off not bothering with)
However, since all this took place a few centuries ago, the Channelers of Liminality as they are known today have been around for about 700 years or so. The Channelers of Liminality at the dawn of humanity would be completely unrecognizable to us, for reasons other than clothing (i.e. outdated styles). They weren’t hidden from the public eye and were in fact a prominent (or at least visible, known) part of ancient culture. However, there are vestiges of the old times still remaining in very archaic pieces of art. Old, pre-separation (of real and fictional) paintings depict similar figures, doing similar things, such as talking to figures from stories imagined directly out from their imaginations into the concrete, physical background. Of course, the modern-day general public doesn't know quite what to make of these scenes, and has no idea that the people depicted are intermediaries between the real and fictional worlds.
What motivates people to become channelers in the first place:
Channelers of Liminality are mythopoeically-minded people that remain in the real world today, who do not differentiate between the concepts of reality and fiction or acknowledge the divide between the two. There are various reasons individual people may choose this path, which drive them to becoming channelers. Particularly important individuals within the Channelers of Liminality—either historically or plotwise—I may detail on later.
One reason for becoming a channeler is out of sympathy for social isolation and escapism, typically arising out of a natural inclination toward favoring/sympathizing with the societal underdogs.
Another reason relates to the ability to see patterns and piece together parts of the whole that is both the fictional and real worlds combined: see underlying meaning, look outside one’s immediate atmosphere in the real world in order to come to realization that fictional and real worlds are intertwined (after all, real people create fictional works and all fiction originated out of real world imagination) in order to communicate between them with fictional characters
How do people become channelers? What determines who becomes one?
Channelers of Liminality use their sense of something missing to find out what it is that needs to be filled—namely, the role of channeler.
The nature of perception and consciousness for the Channelers of Liminality and those who seek to escape reality:
The way of perceiving things for the Channelers of Liminality and those who seek to escape reality is characterized by a lack of split between the realms, divide between the fictional and the real. Remains from a past, un-separated age—or, more specifically, the very origins or early days of the divide, of the fictional world in its infancy—for the general public in real life include the ability of and emphasis on differentiating fiction from reality, in pursuing practical over imaginative/creative pursuits, in expressions such as “head in the clouds” or “nose in a book” which deride a real person from escaping into fiction, lest there be a deficit of people in the real world. Of course, no one but the Channelers of Liminality are aware of the meanings behind these social customs now, as the area of reference and manner of consciousness are one in the same for them.
If fictional or fictionalized, then your consciousness is not only experienced from the reference of that realm but is that realm itself—think of it as being the fictional canons that characters exist in as their “reality”/equivalent of reality, with stories-with-a-story, shows-within-a-show, and the like as their equivalent of what we (people in the real world) perceive as fictional.
The same applies to real people and the real world: their consciousness is both experienced from the real world and is the real world itself. In addition, the nature of consciousness varies for the average person depending on whether one is an inhabitant of the real world or the fictional realm (although in either case the nature of individual consciousness as one and the same with the realm in which that person inhabits and perceives the world, thinks, experiences life, carries out day-to-day behaviors from).
Channelers of Liminality and the fictional characters with whom they communicate are the exceptions. The nature of consciousness for them transcends the boundaries of the ordinary rules concerning what consciousness is considered or how things are things are perceived, treated, done in each of the respective realms (having communicated in a liminal zone, back between the real and fictional)—which is perhaps why some of the channelers and the fictional characters they show favoritism toward develop such a special bond. That is, consciousness for them involves both the real and fictional, as they must communicate with both realms in what they do
Methods of identification:
The Channelers of Liminality are the Uncanny Valley forms (such as human heads on non-human bodies), symbolizing their involvement in both realms: simultaneously accessible and real and distant, detached from reality. They make themselves this way, and transform themselves into these forms using their sense of absence to fit the “missing” liminal role and embody that between-realms liminality in just such a matter when they first become channelers. In fact, it is the Channelers of Liminality that are the ones that are the transformed people-objects and such in positions of power—although this fact is unobvious to all, and remains hidden/secret to the general public.
To be more specific, the Channelers implement a foolproof method of identifying themselves to each other as channelers in an inconspicuous manner by literally sacrificing the human aspect of their body for their art, and retain only human faces and expressions on inanimate objects. Everyone who need not escape reality perceives them as dormant objects, without giving a second thought to them moving, and/or the faces on them moving or speaking; to the bulk of reality, they are merely objects, with the faces an amusing trick of the eyes. And this is precisely how the Channelers blend in to the real world: they pick up the attributes of inanimate objects in body so that they appear to be just a part of the background, combined with human facial features so that those they encounter and/or communicate with may relate to them. Think of how we often see faces in inanimate objects and see them moving along in the background (along a track, so to speak, not going up and down, just along a line) as we move. The face is something one wouldn't think much of because it's common to see faces in objects, and people are always talking about things “growing legs and walking away.” To actually have it happen wouldn't be that much of a stretch and wouldn't be that strange, as the whole idea had to have originated from somewhere.
With these regulations in place, two things happen—the combination of the two resulting in a wave of new people clamoring to become channelers.
- Now that they are aware there is another way to be physically detached from humanity and go unnoticed in the real world, those that have been made unnoticeable or are seeking to be made unnoticeable are beginning to reconsider, now wanting to become Channelers of Liminality instead. There is a difference between those who seek to escape reality and those who want to be completely unnoticeable--more specifically, a difference in motivation: latter wants to be surrounded and immersed in the real world and the familiar, and frees themselves by going unnoticed by all; former wants free themselves by getting out of the real world (no desire for being unnoticeable necessarily). They don’t want to leave reality, but just become totally unnoticed so they be granted the inhibition they desire.
- But it turns out that, even after they become channelers—which of course a great many of them do with the new guidelines for channeler identification in place—there is still that desire for inhibition. They wish to say whatever they want, and do whatever they want with no noticeable consequences—and while the fictional characters with whom they communicate don't mind being exposed to such a lack of inhibition, the idea that they might (and of course, they often do, being inhibited and all) behave this way toward people in reality unconnected with fiction (no desire to escape it or communicate with it) does leave them and the other channelers concerned. Is the average passerby really likely to just shrug it off if a piece of furniture walks up and starts a conversation or tries to grope them?
- There is a whole, unthought-of-before group (perhaps even small subculture) of people desiring to become channelers specifically to lose their human bodies without losing their links to the real world. They want to become channelers in order to become inanimate objects with human faces, rather than the traditional desire to help the societal underdog yearning to escape from their surroundings.