In my world of the Great Island, everything “comes from the Mist.” The Mist is the principle of creation from which the Great Island and the seas surrounding it came, mysteriously condensing like the morning dew. They came ready “equipped” with life and ecology, but the human/humanoid population came afterwards, emerging from the Mist in four waves, defining the four ages (smaller groups and individuals have also arrived, but with less impact). It is said that if you find yourself lost at sea and surrounded in mist, you may find yourself transported to another world, another universe, perhaps even the Great Island itself (see Great Island History and other Reports of St John de Monmouth).
Each wave is successively more “advanced”, technologically speaking, yet also more estranged from the creative power of the Mist, which has parallels to our world: we have become more technologically developed, more knowledgeable about the world around us, yet we are experiencing an ecological crisis due to our disconnection with our own natural roots. Perhaps we are advancing in ways we couldn’t have otherwise, but we are also perilously close to failing.
As our knowledge of the world increases so the Mist recedes more and more, and its magic and enchantment fade. But it is always there, because knowledge has its limits, and at the edge of our limits, there is the Mist. But the Mist also represents imagination and creativity, so though we gain in knowledge and technology, we lose something more essential to life itself. When we limit ourselves to What We Know, we limit our choices and actions, but when we become aware of our limits and grow beyond them, a whole new world of choices and actions emerge, as if from the Mist.
There is a prophecy of a “fifth wave” that will arrive and bring harmony to the Great Isle. The various peoples will once again become one with the Great Isle, but this time with the benefits of the technologies accrued along the way. The first wave came from the East, the second from the South, the third from the West and the fourth from the North, but where will the Fifth Wave come from? Only one direction remains: the centre, or within. It is a prophecy describing our own potential, not the arrival from “outside” that we must wait for.
The Fifth Wave defines well the difference between knowledge and imagination, yet also harmonises the two qualities, enhancing them beyond anything we can know or imagine, but this can only happen within each one of us.