“The School of Mensis controls the Unseen Village.

This hexagonal iron cage suggests their strange ways. The cage is a device that restrains the will of the self, allowing one to see the profane world for what it is.

It also serves as an antenna that facilitates contact with the Great Ones of the dream.

But to an observer, the iron cage appears to be precisely what delivered them to their harrowing nightmare.”

“No, we shall not abandon the dream.”
“Ah hah hah ha! Ooh! Majestic! A hunter is a hunter, even in a dream. But, alas, not too fast! The nightmare swirls and churns unending!”
“As you once did for the vacuous Rom, grant us eyes, grant us eyes. Plant eyes on our brains, to cleanse our beastly idiocy.”
“The cosmos, of course!”
“Let us sit about, and speak feverishly. Chatting into the wee hours of…”
“New ideas, of the higher plane!”
“Now I’m waking up, I’ll forget everything…”

This is an item in the Bloodborne game, but more than trying to figure out the game’s mythology I’m more curious about how you can relate the symbolism to the ideas that actually precede Bloodborne and inspired it.

Without speculating, there are a few aspects that are explicit in the game. One is the idea of a dream, being trapped within without an awareness of the real world. So the dream is like a cage that you can’t escape. If you awake you only find yourself in the same dream, in a circular way without escape (false awakenings). At the same time there’s an idea of transcendence linked to the Great Ones, the Lovecraftian gods of Bloodborne. To escape the cage of a dream one has to transcend the limits of human vision. “Grow more eyes” in the mind, and so being able to see an hidden dimension that was already fused with the normal one.

So, this actual cage around the head is an explicit symbol of the dream as a cage, a consciousness that is trapped within a mind. It is hexagonal because that’s a feature that in the game defines the stuff that pertains the gods, and the existence of the dream/cage depends on the gods, on that hidden layer that is made opaque by the dream itself, the courtain. The gods are the hidden something beyond a veil, an unknown to the current level of experience, which is the dream. The description implies that in order to see the “profane world” one has to surrender the will of the self. But the profane world means the common world, the tangible existence that in this context is represented by “this side” of the dream. That means that the “life in a cage” represented by this symbol only reveals the nature of human-like existence: that of being trapped, with no real will.

It’s interesting because this angle is the same of the stuff I write about, even if it’s nothing in common with Bloodborne. Why the link? Because Bloodborne is inspired by certain structures and mythos, that feed on the basic “truths”.

Yet the description doesn’t end here, it also creates a separation. On one side it reveals the horror of existence: “to an observer, the iron cage appears to be precisely what delivered them to their harrowing nightmare.” Yet, it also represents a “door”, a passage to what’s behind the veil: “it facilitates contact with the Great Ones of the dream”. As if the awareness of an existential cage also offers a gift of transcendence.

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