June 15th, 2016

Macbeth the Usurper

Lego Building

Along with my recent birthday, my wife gave me a Jurassic World dinosaur set, Raptor Rampage. I was happy leaving it alone for a while, but my daughter kept picking it up. I saw the want. I mean, I saw THE WANT. So, at her not subtle suggestion, I asked her to help me put it together. Last night, we had some grand father and daughter Lego building time, but not without her criticism on my limited Lego skills. (Limited? Girl, you don't know your father, but that's OK.) Everything got built, we did it together, and that's what matters.
Macbeth the Usurper

The Birthday of the World and Other Stories (2003)

The Birthday of the World and Other Stories (2003) by Ursula LeGuin is a compilation of Hainish stories. As usual for LeGuin stories, they both hurl themselves deeply into the cultures of future and far away civilization, yet also have a clinical feel to them, feeling distant for all their immediacy. These stories come with all the quality, all the frustration, and all the idiosyncrasies of LeGuin. In my opinion, the stories all make for a good read, but not all the stories make for a satisfying read. If you are unfamiliar with LeGuin, these stories are not a place to begin. If you are familiar with LeGuin, then you'll know what you're getting into when you begin this collection.
Macbeth the Usurper

The Not-So Secret Sources of Cthulhu

The Secrets Sources of Cthulhu does a nice job of connecting up the Cthulhu mythos with Theosophy. I generally support this association.

What I don't support is the title of the article, the SECRET sources of Cthulhu. In the 1920's, theosophy was no secret. It was widespread and well known. You could easily buy books describing theosophy. Indeed, the 1920's was rife with spiritualism. In the time period that Lovecraft was writing, these things were obvious.

Perhaps the FORGOTTEN sources of Cthulhu would be a better name.

I've been thinking about writing an article like this myself, but more in table form comparing and contrasting theosophy with Cthulhu. I feel very confident in saying that the Cthulhu mythos is just garden variety theosophy turned on its head. In theosophy, spiritual beings are preparing us to ascend, teaching us better ways, so that when the next age comes, we become greater. In the Cthulhu mythos, horrible beings hate us, their teachings drive us toward depravity, and when the next age comes, they plan on wiping us out. Their mystical books don't enlighten you, they drive you mad. Our relationship with greater beings is not based on benevolence, but malevolence. Really, with just a bullet point table, you'd see the comparison in sharp relief.

This all makes me think that Lovecraft really hated theosophy. In that, I finally find a point where I agree with the man.