Throughout the various periods in my life and upon close observation of the lives of friends and family, I had come to a notion that was once preconceived when I was just six. As a child, I found myself constantly in a world of my own. This world was created by my subconscious every time my eyes closed shut for more than the negligible time span of a singular blink. This land was weird, to say the least. It contained both elements of the natural world and my precocious thoughts. Everything that happened there would happen in such horrific detail you might just flag it off as one of Scott Calthorn's creepy creations. Except it's not. My world was real, at least to me, and it was influenced by whatever emotion I was feeling current. My characters were based on people I once met whose memories I want to keep.
In my search to find out why I think the way I do and why this world exists in my imagination, I uncovered the term 'paracosm'. This is what I will be talking about today. A paracosm is, by simple definition, a highly detailed fantasy world created by a child that finds its way into adulthood. Essentially a world carried by the creator to their adulthood which is modified and adapted as they grow. A paracosm, however, isn't as far fetched as you may think it is. Paracosms exist in various fields like in mystery horror video games like FNAF and Hello Neighbour as well as in literature, the most obvious examples being Middle Earth by J RR Tolkien and Narnia.
Paracosms are created either by trauma or an upsetting childhood occurring or, as in my case, just a child's overactive imagination. In psychology, they are often specified as a child's coping mechanism, possibly over the death of a loved one or, as I mentioned earlier, trauma. But there is one thing we have to make clear, contrary to popular belief, having an imaginary friend or accomplice doesn't mean that one has a paracosm. Imaginary friends are just basic childhood creativity. It is when this imaginary friend becomes the part of a world so complex and believable it might just have its own place on the map that it becomes a paracosm. Having paracosms isn't a bad thing. When a child has a paracosm, they are also most likely to engage in the world play, which means that the world has a storyline, everyone has a life, and everything is always changing. This is an important aspect as it shows that said child has not only very powerful creativity but also a high level of intelligence.
Paracosms may just be fantasy worlds, but they are also an insight into the deepest corners of a person's mind. This is their life in their head. People you might think of as happy and joyful may have bone-chilling paracosms and vice versa. This is also another flag that proves that one cannot judge the book by the cover, but the interpretation is all up to you.