To date, we have focused the discussion on the physical component of the Great Race – the cone-shaped beings (CSBs) and more recently on the Flying Polyps. However, little has been said on the Yithians, which HPL described as “beings of a dying elder world, wise with the ultimate secretes.” Before their world ended, the Yithians found a race in the future – their future – to inhabit. This race was the CSBs on ancient Earth.
Yithian by Hazi B
The Yithians moved their entire collection of minds “en masse” into the CSBs, switching physical bodies with that species. This meant that the original minds of the CSBs ended up suddenly transported into the bodies of a completely unknown, alien species on the dying Yithian home world. Nothing is known about the morphology or general appearance of the original Yithian species; it is not even know if that species was truly the original corporeal form of the Yithians. So how was it possible for the Yithians to travel through time and space (space-time) as a “collective species consciousness” to exchange their minds with the resident minds and inhabit the CSBs?
Amazingly, such mind projection does not appear to be completely fanciful. In Michio Kaku’s newest book, The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind (2014), he describes that sometime in the future it may be possible to “reverse engineer” the brain (which means reproducing a product – in this case the brain – following a detailed examination of its parts) and download this consciousness into some type of supercomputer.
Kaku admits that such technology is generations head of our time, however not an impossibility, particularly with the work being done with “nanobot” technology that can actually manipulate matter on a molecular or even atomic basis.
So once a mind is digitized and downloaded onto a device, how does it move through space-time into a receptacle and eventually into another species? Well it may be possible to transmit these minds into space-time on a laser beam. As Kaku points out in his book, trillions of pieces of digital data are transmitted routinely on laser beams via fiber-optic cables every day. The wavelength of a laser beam is microscopic and you can compress vast amounts of information on its wave pattern; even more data can be transferred onto a beam of X-rays, which has a wavelength smaller than an individual atom (Kaku, 2014).
Did the Yithians use similar technology? Downloading their minds with the use of their strange mechanical devices , transmitting these minds with the use of laser beams or X-rays and then using controlled wormholes to open up hyperspace and “beam” the minds into other devices or the “receptive” organisms?
Yithian Communication by M. Wayne Miller. Did the Yithians use these devices to download a sentient being’s mind and then transmit it through space-time?
While some of these ideas of downloading your mind into a device and then transferring it through space-time into a new receptacle (whether organic or artificial) may seem very far fetched, Kaku mentions a number of times that as long as such ideas are consistent with the laws of physics, then the technological barriers (while formidable) are not impassable. In other words, if the physicists deem it feasible, it up to the engineers to make it work and the economists to tell us if we can afford to do it!
Next time, the discussion will review some of the other species that were being studied by the Great Race in their ancient Cities. Thank you – Fred.
Poster for the great Dark Adventure Radio Theatre’s audio drama of The Shadow Out of Time, available through the H.P. Lovecraft Historical society (www.cthulhulives.org)
11 thoughts on “The Shadow Out of Time – Part 5, Yithians and Mind Projection Technology”
I’m not TERRIBLY technologically aware (except on this laptop – I’m a master!) and my mind was still blown. I never thought that the Yithians could DOWNLOAD their minds and transport that data via (to use a somewhat unrefined and idiotic-sounding term – FORGIVE ME) time lasers!
And to think that it is actually POSSIBLE for humans to do it is fascinating. As you said, there are some huge obstacles, but by the laws of physics, it is possible! If H.P.L. knew, I’m sure he’d be glad.
Fantastic article – this is the one I was looking forward to the most, and it exceeded what I expected. Nice job, Fred!
Thanks Haxan – the more I look into this stuff the more Lovecraft’s imagination impresses me! I can’t believe half of the stuff he came up with and to look at some of the parallels with todays science and technology, it is absolutely amazing.
P.S. Please continue to call me Brian – “Häxan” is one of my favorite silent films. As you may have noticed, I’ve just changed my name again. 🙂
Sorry about that Brian – by the way, I agree – great movie Haxan! I love the version where William Boroughs narrates! Fred
The Lazer concept seems to fit one part of the story. Correct me if I am wrong but the main character of Shadow Out of Time’s Yithian counterpart built a mirror based device while inside his body.
*Laser (so sorry)
No problem – yes, the Yithian counterpart’s device may have something to do with this! Fred
My first thought is that a mirror based device may be necessary to intercept or interpret a transmission via laser. However the fact that the Yithian consciousness traveled through time complicates things. . . . A laser based on tachyons instead of photons?
Very interesting thought! This is one of the reasons I kept mentioning space-time in the article – because the Yithians could travel through both time and space. The idea of using tachyons is quite intriguing! Thank you – Fred
Very enlightening stuff, as always.
Something I was wondering are the “rules” of time travel in HPL’s universe. Is it possible for the Yithians to change the future or past?
It would seem that past and future are locked in the Lovecraftian universe, as shown by Peaslee still existing in the future after being sent into his “displacer’s” body. If the timeline were variable, then Peaslee’s actions in the past would certainly have altered events so much that he would never have been born (the Butterfly Effect compounded by hundreds of millions of years).
I wish that the Old Gent had addressed this question; the notion of fatalism.