The Steampunk Forum at Brass Goggles
December 18, 2017, 05:24:19 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Support BrassGoggles! Donate once or $3/mo.
 See details here.
 
   Home   Blog Help Rules Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Something who always confused me about Lovecraftian mythology  (Read 1341 times)
chicar
Rogue Ætherlord
*
Canada Canada


Student in Techno-Shamanism and Lyncanthrope

Chicar556
WWW
« on: November 21, 2012, 11:13:20 pm »

To the elder ones are gods or aliens who pretend to be gods ? Any description i see of them are very confusing on this point.

Any clarification ?
Logged

The word pagan came from paganus , who mean peasant . Its was a way to significate than christianism was the religion of the elite and paganism the one of the savage worker class.

''Trickster shows us how we trick OURSELVES. Her rampant curiosity backfires, but, then, something NEW is discovered (though usually not what She expected)! This is where creativity comes from—experiment, do something different, maybe even something forbidden, and voila! A breakthrough occurs! Ha! Ha! We are released! The world is created anew! Do something backwards, break your own traditions, the barrier breaks; destroy the world as you know it, let the new in.''
Extract of the Dreamflesh article ''Path of The Sacred Clown''
von Corax
Squire of the Lambda Calculus
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
Canada Canada

Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax


« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2012, 11:58:59 pm »

Interesting question, for several reasons.

First, Lovecraft himself was, as I understand it, a devout atheist, so his Elder Gods, Outer Gods and Great Old Ones are not gods in the Abrahamic sense of "Greater than these, there is and can be nothing." Rather, he specifically left open the possibility that there could be entities who were to the Gods as the Gods are to mortal humans, and other beings greater than them, and even greater beings beyond that, and so on ad infinitum.

It's worth pointing out, however, that (or so I've read) Lovecraft intended his world of Arkham, Mass. to be a shared literary universe after the fashion of Thieves' World or the World of Two Moons, to which any author could contribute so long as they respected each other's contributions. Thus, several other writers, such as H. Rider Haggard, Robert E. Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs made significant additions to the Mythos. In particular, most of what was written immediately after Lovecraft's death was the work of Lovecraft's editor August Derleth, who apparently was as devout a Christian as HPL was an atheist, and Derleth tended to imply (although I don't think he ever expressly stated) that the Gods of the Mythos may have been native to the afterlife realm to which Christians refer as "Hell."

At least that's how I understand it. As usual, all standard disclaimers apply, your mileage may vary, opinions may not be exactly as advertised, this opinion was produced by a trained stunt writer on a closed track and should not be attempted at home, teleologies in mirror are closer than they appear. I fully expect some more-devoted student of HPL (of whom there are undoubtedly a great many) to come along and refute every point I have made in an attempt to curry favour and earn the privilege of being eaten first when the Rising comes.
Logged

By the power of caffeine do I set my mind in motion
By the Beans of Life do my thoughts acquire speed
My hands acquire a shaking
The shaking becomes a warning
By the power of caffeine do I set my mind in motion
The Leverkusen Institute of Paleocybernetics is 5838 km from Reading
neon_suntan
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Gravatar

The scribe wore black

neonsuntan
WWW
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2012, 12:10:10 am »

To the elder ones are gods or aliens who pretend to be gods ? Any description i see of them are very confusing on this point.

Any clarification ?

Both.

In that it depends upon what you mean by gods.

Are we Gods of Ants and insects?

Not really, but our power and strength and size are immeasurable in comparison.

Also in the Lovecraft universe there are degenerate cults who worship these vast entities in the vain hope that when they do arise from their slumber they will be spared.
Logged

Atterton
Time Traveler
****

Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2012, 12:14:20 am »

They were really portrayed as more of an "ancient astronauts" kind of thing. Physical beings like you or I.
Logged

Resurrectionist and freelance surgeon.
chicar
Rogue Ætherlord
*
Canada Canada


Student in Techno-Shamanism and Lyncanthrope

Chicar556
WWW
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2012, 12:17:20 am »

Thank You
Logged
Dr Fidelius
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


Professor of Applied Paleontology, Miskatonic U.


« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2012, 12:35:31 am »

To the elder ones are gods or aliens who pretend to be gods ? Any description i see of them are very confusing on this point.

Any clarification ?

Yes.

They were immensely powerful beings who had possessed Earth in the past, who lost their dominion ages ago, but who will return when conditions are again right for them to have a physical existence. They can currently influence people through the Dreamlands, especially those Dreamers who wander from the known, human dreamscapes and approach those areas corrupted by the Great Old Ones. This leads to madness, as the dreams of those beings do not mesh well with a human's soul.

I have long disliked their being described as "malignant," as their inevitable destruction of all the works of Mankind is not driven by malice; no more than a sheep feels malice towards the grass it devours.
Logged

The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not represent any other persons, organizations, spirits, thinking machines, hive minds or other sentient beings on this world or any adjacent dimensions in the multiverse.
Shadow Of The Tower
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States



« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2012, 03:11:54 am »

My understanding was always that they are not so much aliens as in 'arrived in a spaceship' aliens as extra dimensional beings that came through from another universe.
Logged

Herbert West
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Director of Preternatural Research, Arkam Museum


WWW
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2012, 10:14:59 am »

 They're prime examples of the old saying "Suitably advanced science is indistinguishable from magic."

 I addition to the elder gods, Lovecrafts universe also has proper alien races. The insect-like Mi-Go from Pluto, the Great Race, and the Old Ones, who both colonized the Earth millions of years before humans evolved.
 And of course Earth has plenty of its own natural horrors. The aquatic Deep Ones, and Ghouls, the product of extreme inbreeding and de-evolution.
Logged

"I'm not a psychopath Anderson, I'm a high-functioning sociopath. Do your research!" ~Sherlock Holmes
Captain
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.


WWW
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2012, 08:58:45 pm »

At the Mountains of Madness - Short Animation Movie
Logged

-Karl
George Salt
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2012, 10:05:21 pm »

To the elder ones are gods or aliens who pretend to be gods ? Any description i see of them are very confusing on this point.

Any clarification ?

If I'm reading HPL then I generally regard them as aliens with god-like powers - to misphrase Clarke, "Any sufficiently advanced allien race is indistinguishable from the gods".  Some of the stories stretch this more than others.

If I'm reading Charles Stross then I do place a greater regard to the beings from other dimensions theme, although he is very clear on de-ritualising the religious angle he's raising the position of the mythos above that of conventional god-hood.  Case Nightmare Green is something a few steps beyond what Banks would call an "outside context problem" - whic to me is the limit for the purely alien.  His bad guys are clearly demonic rather than alien.

I'm not sure the mythos was evre pinned down in quite the same way as the Star Wars universe (for instance), there's always a degree of fudging expected from different authors to tie it in with what they want to write about.
Logged
Athanor
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Canada Canada


Keep them off-balance and brazen it out!


« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2012, 12:04:33 am »

The real power of any book - but especially in the fields of SF, fantasy and supernatural horror - lies in the interaction between the book and the reader. Lovecraft was wise enough as an author to refrain from explaining everything, thus enabling the reader's imagination to run free and add - perhaps subconsciously - more eerie and horrific details. In the literature of horror the imagination often counts for more than mere description.

Subsequent authors who have added to the Cthulhu Mythos have failed, in many cases, to adhere to this fundamental principle and have tried to "explain" too much, which in my opinion can render their work uninspired and uninteresting. I'm thinking especially of Brian Lumley in "The Transition of Titus Crow", but other Mythos authors are also guilty.

So the Cthulhu Mythos and its denizens are whatever you make of them, I would say. Enjoy.

Athanor.
Logged

"Truly I say to you, he who seeks, shall find. And quite often, he shall wish he hadn't."

              - Elias Ashmole Crackbone.
GCCC
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2015, 03:14:35 pm »

Despite that this clip talks specifically about gaming, it is a very good exploration of why the Mythos is difficult to grasp fully. Like previous commenters on this thread, the argument is made that Lovecraft's creatures are meant to be incomprehensible and beyond the pale of man's grasp of reality.

Extra Credits - Why Games Do Cthulhu Wrong - The Problem with Horror Games
Logged
Burgess Shale
Officer
***
United States United States



« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2015, 06:26:26 pm »

When I contemplate the Old Ones, Outer Gods and Elder Gods, I imagine that the difference between their intellect and ours would be proportional to the human mind versus that of some clever arthropod, such as a P. audax jumping spider. The spider would be terrified of our size or perhaps curious of our presence if we did not try to directly harm it. It could not possibly conceive of our deeper thoughts and motivations. I imagine that even the most intelligent and educated human mind could not fathom the motivations of these much Greater Things from Beyond.
Logged

Dean of the Department of Palaeontology at the American Institute of Natural History and Decorative Arts
Atterton
Time Traveler
****

Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2015, 07:16:53 pm »

Strangely those new photos from Pluto are also showing a lack of cities with a cyclopean architecture.
Logged
J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


WWW
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2015, 07:22:41 pm »

Meh!  For the love of Azathoth! As Lovecraft once said, all of it is nothing but Yog-Sothothery!
« Last Edit: July 23, 2015, 08:52:40 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged

Burgess Shale
Officer
***
United States United States



« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2015, 08:51:10 pm »

Strangely those new photos from Pluto are also showing a lack of cities with a cyclopean architecture.

Well, we've only seen it from the one side as of yet.
Logged
Narsil
Immortal
**
United Kingdom United Kingdom



WWW
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2015, 09:05:20 pm »

Strangely those new photos from Pluto are also showing a lack of cities with a cyclopean architecture.

The 'official' pictures that is Wink
Logged







A man of eighty has outlived probably three new schools of painting, two of architecture and poetry and a hundred in dress.
Lord Byron
J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


WWW
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2015, 09:18:19 pm »

I'll be impressed when we find one of those cucumber/eggplant-like beings with bag wings flying through the Solar System...
Logged
polyphemus
Zeppelin Captain
*****

« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2015, 01:20:57 am »

And Someone left the lights shining on Ceres...
Logged

Polphemus Pomfret
"Don't be silly. He wouldn't write,"Aaarrgghhh!"
"Perhaps he was dictating."
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.235 seconds with 15 queries.