Tag Archives: Michio Kaku

Lovecraft’s “The Other Gods,” Part 1: Earth Gods and Other Gods

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As previously mentioned data collected during the 29th of May 1919 eclipse was used to empirically confirm Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity and this had a substantial impact on Lovecraft’s view of the Cosmos. In turn, this provided the foundation for the development of his unique view of cosmic horror.  While eclipses are frequently discussed by Lovecraft in his astronomical writings, in fact he wrote an entire article on eclipses for the Asheville [N.C.] Gazette-News, published 2 March 1915 (Joshi, 2004), eclipses are typically not an important component of his fiction. The exception to this was his short story “The Other Gods,” written in 1921 and first published in in The Fantasy Fan in November 1933.

In the tale Barzai the Wise wants to visit one of the tallest earth peaks, Hatheg-Kla, to witness the Earth Gods dance under a clear moon. Barzai was very knowledgeable on the lore of Earth’s Gods and he thought this knowledge would protect him from their wrath if he was in in their presence. Thus, Barzai decided to travel to the top of Hatheg-Kla on the night of a strange eclipse.  Barzai was accompanied by his young disciple and assistance Atal.

capbarzai                                                                    Barzai the wise on his journey to encounter the Earth Gods

It is said the Gods of Earth visit Hatheg-Kla in their ship of clouds. Lovecraft references this a number of times in “The Other Gods.” For example, in one passage Lovecraft states, “Often the gods of earth visit Hatheg-Kla in their ships of clouds, casting pale vapors over the slopes as they dance reminiscently on the summit under a clear moon.” When I was a graduate student doing research on the sub-alpine lakes in northern California, lenticular clouds frequently appeared over Mount Shasta. These lenticular clouds are essentially stationary, lend-shaped clouds that are typically perpendicularly aligned to the direction of the wind. However, many local residents of the local areas thought of these clouds formations as being “cloud ships” of beings from other worlds or dimensions, frequently called Lemurians. Are the Gods of Earth in Lovecraft’s “The Other Gods” actually extra-dimensional beings who visit the “Dreamlands” world? Are Lovecraft’s Gods of the Earth Lemurians?

Mt. Shasta_CrystallineCitiesofLight_AmorahQuanYin                            Mount Shasta, CA with lenticular clouds; could these be the cloud ships described by Lovecraft? Photo titled Crystalline Cites of Light by Amorah Quan Yin

While Barzai climbed to the very top of Hatheg-Kla, Atal stayed just below the summit, refusing to observe and encounter the Gods of Earth. Barzai did see the Earth Gods dance and howl in the moonlight and actually thought the Gods were afraid him and his wisdom. However, “Whilst Barzai was shouting these things Atal felt a spectral change in all the air, as if the laws of earth were bowing to greater laws…”. Such observed conditions may be indicative of an inter-dimensional breach or portal opening. At a minimum, it may be a weakening of the barrier between two universes.

As Michio Kaku has suggested along with others (Kaku, 1994 and Kaku, 2005), the structure of reality may be an incalculable number of ten-dimensional, soap bubble universes. While space-time would exist within each soap bubble, natural laws would cease to exist outside of these bubble universes. In addition, the natural laws of one universe may be slightly or substantially different than the natural laws of another universe. It is hypothesized that for the majority of these universes life (at least life as we know it) could not exist. For example, if gravity is slightly stronger than in our universe, all matter may be coalesced into one, large universal lump. In contrast, if the electromagnetic repulsion is slightly stronger that the strong nuclear force, atoms may never form. However, slight variations in the natural laws (e.g. a “weaker” weak nuclear force) could still produce a universe that could harbor life. Additionally, with slightly different natural laws the manipulation of matter and energy could be very different in one universe relative to another.

sopabubble                                                                                                           Illustration of a connection between two “soap bubble” Universes.

Of course, the large reveal in the tale is that the Earth Gods are not frightened of Barzai but of the Other Gods. In fact, while frightened, the Earth Gods mockingly laugh at Barzai’s encounter with the Other Gods. Atal’s statement “…a spectral change in all the air, as if the laws of earth were bowing to greater laws…”, may be a hint that while the Earth Gods are part of the Dreamlands Universe, the Other Gods are not. The Other Gods can wield matter and energy in a different manner as the dwellers of the Dreamlands. This would also explain how Barzai ends up “falling into the sky.” The Other Gods have the ability to manipulate matter and energy in a very different manner.

untitled                    An encounter with the Other Gods on the peak of Hatheg-Kla

In conclusion, the Other Gods may be beings from outside of the Dreamlands Universe and under a specific set of circumstances can enter the Dreamlands Universe through an inter-dimensional portal that connects it with their Universe. At least one of these connections or bridges between the two universes may be on the peak of Hatheg-Kla. While the Earth Gods may be aliens from another Dreamlands world, the Other Gods are extra-universal beings that are very different from all of the residences of the Dreamland Universe. Do the Earth Gods worship the Other Gods? Almost nothing is known of this relationship.

lenticularclouds_MtShata Another view of Mt. Shasta with lenticular clouds

Next time we will wrap up our analysis of “The Other Gods” with a discussion of the role of eclipses in the tale. Thank you – Fred.

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Through the Gates of the Silver Key: Chapter VI, Galaxies and Light-Beam Envelope Technology

As described in Chapter VI of “Through the Gates of the Silver Key” written by H.P. Lovecraft and E. Hoffmann Price, the insectoid-like beings of Yaddith were a technologically advanced species that could transport their consciousness through time and space similar to the Great Race. For the Yaddithians this was done with the use of “light-beam envelopes.”

Yaddith_JacquesBrodier_www.thewire.co.uk Yaddith by Jacques Brodier (www.thewire.co.uk)

When Randolph Carter’s consciousness entered the body of the Yaddithian wizard Zkauba, he took advantage of the light-beam envelope technology to travel throughout the twenty-eight galaxies and over ten thousand worlds known by the Yaddithians. Currently, based on observations made with the Hubble Telescope it is estimated that there are 100 billion galaxies in the Universe but this estimate is expected to increase to around 200 billion as improvements and refinements are made in telescope technology.

In Lovecraft’s time, the concept of a galaxy was relatively new. Prior to the early 20th century galaxies were described as globular star clusters or spiral nebulae. However, by the early 20th century Harlow Shapely determined the distribution, size and shape of some of these globular star clusters as well as the Milky Way. It was Shapely who determined that the Milky Way bulged in the center, surrounded by a large, flat area (http://science.howstuffworks.com/dictionary/astronomy-terms/galaxy2.htm). Shapely later called the identified star clusters or nebulae as “island universes” or galaxies. Others claimed that the nebulae were part of the Milky Way. Thus, in the early 20th century there was a debate on whether the Milk Way was essentially the Universe or if it was just one of many galaxies in a much larger Universe.

OSC_Astro_28_01_Abell2744                                               A very small fraction of the billions of galaxies identified by the Hubble Telescope

Toward the end of 1924 the debate was settled by Edwin Hubble. Using his 100-inch diameter telescope at Mount Wilson California, Hubble identified, with the use of Cepheid variables (stars that pulsate on a regular basis, producing a stable period and amplitude of brightness) that a spiral nebula had structure and stars similar to but separate from the Milk Way. This confirmed the presence of another galaxy and those Cepheid variables became part of the galaxy known as Andromeda. Thanks to Hubble, it was determined that the Milky Way galaxy is not the Universe but one of other galaxies spread throughout the Cosmos. The Universe got a whole lot bigger thanks to Hubble.

hubble_300                                                                                            One of Edwin Hubble’s first photographs of the Andromeda Galaxy (also known as M31)

The Yaddithians are known to be able to have the ability to travel through the 28 known galaxies. Possibly by coincidence, in the Superman mythos it is also stated that there are 28 known galaxies. I was curious why this number of 28 keeps coming up when we now know there are literally billions of galaxies. I hypothesize that this number of 28 stems from the findings of Hubble. After his confirmation that other galaxies exist, Hubble went on to discover another couple dozen galaxies. Thus, while at this time I cannot find an actual document to confirm this, I hypothesize that in the mid-1920’s as Hubble’s findings were presented to the general public somewhere it may have stated that Hubble identified 28 galaxies, which is why this number has been used in a number of venues.

Andromeda_m31_bers_1824 A more recent photograph of the Andromeda Galaxy one of the “local 28” for Yaddithians

Relative to the Yaddithians, the 28 galaxies may represent a local “cluster” of galaxies, composed of a few large galaxies, such as the Milky Way and the Andromeda, and a series of satellite galaxies that surround the larger ones. From a practical standpoint, traveling throughout Space-Time for the Yaddithians may be limited to these 28. As we have suggested with the Great Race’s ability to travel through Space-Time, the Yaddithian may transmit their consciousnesses through the Universe on a laser beam, to be deposited into the mind of another sentient being. 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 (The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind by Michio Kaku, 2014).

55-24760-green_laser_teaser                          Humans can transfer 26 Terabits of information per second with the use of laser technology. Do the light-beam envelopes of the Yaddithians perform a similar function but on a larger scale? Transferring an entire consciousness through Space-Time on a laser?

The Yaddithians probably used their light-beam envelopes to transmit their minds, with the aid of laser beams or X-rays as carrier waves, through controlled wormholes that opened up hyperspace and “beam” their minds into other devices or the “receptive” organisms on other worlds or in other times. Again, similar technology is utilized by the Great Race; however, for them instead of using light-beam envelopes, they used strange mechanical devices in conjunction with some alien crystals. In each case the result is the same – downloading the consciousness of an individual into a device and then immediately transferring it through Space-Time (most likely through a worm hole) into a new receptacle, which may be another organism or some type of artificial or cybernetic device.

lovecraft___snouted_yaddithian_by_kingovrats-d68pvtf                    Illustration of a Yaddithian by King Ov Rats. (www.deviantart.com)

In conclusion, it appears that both the Great Race of Yith and the Yaddithians had the ability to consciously travel through Space-Time. However, in order to get back to Earth Randolph Carter, trapped in the body of the Yaddithian wizard Zkauba, had to modify a light-beam envelope so that it could transport both the body as well as the mind of the individual. This topic, as well as the resulting cost this had on Yaddith, will be discussed next time. Thank you – Fred.

H.P. Lovecraft and Time Travel

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“I think I am probably the only living person to whom the ancient 18th century idiom is actually a prose and poetic mother-tongue.”

“-leaving the sunny downstairs 19th century flat, and boring my way back through the decades into the late 17th, 18th and early 19th century by means of innumerable crumbling and long-s’d tomes of every size and nature – “

“I am certainly a relic of the 18th century both in prose and in verse.”

Based on these quotes, taken from S.T. Joshi’s I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H.P. Lovecraft (2013), H.P. Lovecraft felt trapped in the future. He frequently talked about “the supremely rational 18th century” when great strides in physics, astronomy, chemistry and biology were made. A large part of Lovecraft’s own philosophy of life was based on Hugh Samuel Roger Elliot’s Modern Science and Materialism (originally published in 1919), which in turn is largely based on the rational thought and science of the latter half of the 18th century and 19th century.

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By the end of the 19th century, it was thought that the Laws of Nature and Life were fully understood. This is why Einstein’s Theories of Relativity were initially distressing to some scientists as well as Lovecraft. While Lovecraft did eventually resolve his view of the Universe with Einstein’s theories, as can actually be seen in the evolution of his stories, he experienced this same concern over his view of the cosmos with quantum theory. While Lovecraft’s view of the cosmos was indifferent and uncaring relative to humanity and all life, it was based on the cosmos functioning under well-established rules and laws of nature (Newton’s Laws of Gravitation, Darwin and Wallace’s Theory of Evolution, etc.) like a large machine. The Theories of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics shook this up and thus Lovecraft’s philosophy. Such “strange science,” coupled with his preference for the literature of the previously centuries (see above), made Lovecraft pine to live in the 17th, 18th or early 19th century.

finlay_lovecraft H.P. Lovecraft as an 18th century poet by the great Virgil Finlay.

Given Lovecraft’s wish to live in a simpler time, it is not surprising that time travel would periodically show up in his stories. As previously discussed, tales such as “The White Ship” and The Shadow Out of Time, are examples of moving out of our perceived linear, Newtonian flow of time. Einstein essentially linked Space with Time, which means that if a stable and large enough wormhole could be created, time travel may be possible. Suddenly, time was not simply linear.

yith-2014 The Great Race were expert time travelers (illustration by Steve Maschuck)

To Newton and the physicists that followed, Time was thought of as an arrow; once shot it can’t change its course and moves linearly in one direction. With Einstein’s Space-Time as described in his Theory of General Relativity, space (and therefore time) could be warped. Thus, instead of Time being thought of as an arrow, it was more like a meandering river; gently speeding up in riffles and slowing down in pools with small eddies of backflow (Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions and the Future of the Cosmos by Michio Kaku; 2005).

This concept of Time having backflows, whirlpools or forks did worry Einstein, particularly when one of his contemporaries, W. J. Van Stockum, in 1937 found a solution to Einstein’s equations that permitted for the possibility of time travel (Michio Kaku, 2005). Other mathematicians and physicists, for example Kurt Gödel in 1949 and Kip Thorne in 1985, identified various solutions to Einstein’s equations and potential ways to travel in time. Beyond the equations, the methodologies to achieve time travel vary from traveling around an infinitely long cylinder close to the speed of light to traveling around the circumference of the known universe a little faster than its rotating, to the creation of two wormholes traveling at the speed of light, connected with a “bridge” of negative energy. Matter can be thought of as positive energy, gravity can be thought of as negative energy (Michio Kaku, 2005).

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Based on these mathematical calculations, using Einstein’s equations, General Relativity does allow for the possibility of time travel. However, in all cases the problem is one of energy. The amount of energy needed to bend, twist or warp time (Space-Time) is so high that Einstein’s equations actually break down and quantum theory takes over (Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universe, Time-wraps and the 10th Dimension by Michio Kaku, 1995). Thus, while on paper time travel is possible, it’s the engineering that limits its development.

hyperspace_kaku_1995

In many of the potential scenarios for time travel, such as using the gravitation forces of a black hole for the needed energy, the forces / energies would surely destroy us before any time travel occurred. However, many of Lovecraft’s entities are either from Universes with a different set of natural forces and laws or possibly from outside the known multiverse altogether. Thus, the Old Ones may have the ability to harness these forces and energies and use them to travel multiple Space-Times. However, as I have previously hypothesized the “weakness of the Old Ones” is the fact that they cannot form a stable and consistent form of matter in our Space-Time. This is why I believe the Old Ones have not yet dominated our Universe and why they even have any dealings with humanity. We need to provide them with something within our Space-Time, whether its “opening a door” on this side of reality or providing a part of us (e.g. DNA); both of these scenarios are exemplified in “The Dunwich Horror.” However, the one story that I believe best supports the “weakness of the Old Ones” hypothesis is “The Dreams in the Witch-House.”

Walter Gilman, a student at Miskatonic University, is working on some multidimensional mathematics and quantum mechanics for his graduate work. Indeed, for time travel since General Relativity begins to break down into the quantum level, both need to be united in higher dimensions – in fact up to 10 or 11 dimensions; our four dimensions plus six to seven others folded and tucked out of our reality. Accessing these higher dimensions may be a way of entering hyperspace, a means to travel vast distances and times. Indeed, this is what both Walter Gilman and the witch Keziah Mason succeed at doing. However, the vast amount of energy needed to open these higher dimensions are not available to us so how do they do this?  Essentially, the available energy is provided by Nyarlathotep. Thus, using math or magic (to the Old Ones probably the same thing), one gains access or the attention of the Old Ones. The Old Ones provide the energy needed for this hyperspace travel and get something in return. Signing Nyarlathotep’s book in blood may be providing a sample of DNA the Old Ones need to attempt to enter and remain in our Space-Time. Of course the question remains – if we truly want to time travel, is it only achievable if we establish some sort of pact or agreement with the Old Ones? Will we as a species be able to harness, control and utilize the enormous forces and energies needed for interdimensional, interstellar and inter-time travel?

the-dreams-in-the-witch-house-jhc-by-h_-p_-lovecraft-2-2120-p The Dreams in the Witch-House, illustrated by Pete Von Sholly

I would like to conclude with a quote from Michio Kaku (1995) that every much sounds like Lovecraft:

“Einstein’s equations, in some sense, were like a Trojan horse. On the surface, the horse looks like a perfectly acceptable gift, giving us the observed bending of starlight under gravity and a compelling explanation of the origin of the universe. However, inside lurk all sorts of strange demons and goblins, which allow for the possibility of interstellar travel through wormholes and time travel. The price we had to pay for peering into the darkest secrets of the universe was the potential downfall of some of our most commonly held beliefs about our world – that its space is simply connected and its history is unalterable.”

 

I believe Lovecraft would absolutely agree with this – we are finding out the universal machine does not necessarily operate the way we think it does. Next time we will talk about time paradoxes and how Lovecraft handled them in his stories. Thank you – Fred.

The Hounds of Tindalos, Part 5: Final Thoughts on the Hounds

HofT_JbLee The Hounds of Tindalos by Jb Lee

Unlike H.P. Lovecraft’s “From Beyond” where a device is constructed that generates a particularity unique electromagnetic field that directly stimulates a part of our brain called the pineal gland, in Frank Belknap Long’s “The House of Tindalos” Halpin Chalmers consumes a drug that alters his brain chemistry and allows his consciousness to temporarily travel outside of the Space-Time of our Universe. In these travels Chalmers encounters beings that “have no bodies, and they move slowly through outrageous angles.” These are the Hounds of Tindalos.

Even in the absence of drugs or mental illness, the mind is constantly generating hallucinations and the anterior cingulate cortex is the key part of the brain that allows us to distinguish between external stimuli and those that are internally generated our mind (The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind by Michio Kaku, 2014). Unfortunately, in many forms of mental illness, including schizophrenia, the system that allows us to separate real (external) and imagined (internal) stimuli is damaged or is not correctly operating. Additionally, consciousness (at least for humans) can be defined as “the process of creating a model of our world in space and time (especially the future) by evaluating many feedback loops in various parameters” (Kaku, 2014). Thus, one of the outcomes of this is that mental illness is largely a disruption of the checks and balances between competing feedback loops (Kaku, 2014). This means that since we evolved in a Universe / reality of Space-Time – that is, three spatial dimensions and one of time – are minds and associated consciousness recognize linear time and uses this to make predictions for future actions. Mental illness and drugs can alter, modify or damage this perception.

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The Liao drug ingested by Chalmers in “The Hounds of Tindalos” may have altered his perception of reality, particularly in reference to time, giving his mind “access” to components of our reality not normally perceived by us (as the Resonator does in “From Beyond”).  Specifically, in the case of “The Hounds of Tindalos” Chalmers’s mind was provided access to outside of our Space-Time.  This access beyond our or any other Space-Time may be similar to the circumstances that occurred in Clark Ashton Smith’s “Ubbo-Sathla.”

Stepping out of our (or any) Space-Time is very different than using a wormhole to enter another part of our Universe or using extra-dimensional travel to enter another Universe.  To be completely out of Space-Time would be an unnerving condition for the human mind and this certainly seems to be the case for Chalmers.  While in the beginning of the tale Chalmers appears to be a little eccentric and perhaps even bipolar (which may have actually made him more susceptible to the Liao drug), after he has taken the drug and is outside of Space-Time he appears to suffer from a mental breakdown. His mind, attempting to perceive the absence of time, or perhaps even meta-time, attempts to compensate by observing a wide array of historical events in human history. Additionally, Chalmers also documents the presence of other entities that either exist or visit outside the Space-Time, which includes a mysterious It that can move “through strange curves and outrageous angles,” the Doels (more on them in future articles) and of course the Hounds of Tindalos.

the_hounds_of_tindalos_by_nottsuo-d9sed54 The Hounds of Tindalos by Nottsuo (www.deivantart.com)

We know the Hounds exist outside of Space-Time but we don’t know if they originate from there. Were they visitors who got stuck outside and have remained there? Or maybe they are the refugees from a long dead Universe, living on the outskirts of our Space-Time. The one thing we do know is once an entity from our Space-Time is recognized by the Hounds, they can easily track that entity (in this case Chalmers) to their Space-Time, entering it through angles. However, to what end? Once the Hounds recognize an entity, what do they want with it?

When the Hounds eventually track down Chalmers investigators found him stretched out on his back in his apartment dead.  He was naked and his chest and arms were covered with a foul-smelling bluish pus, ichor or slime. His head was removed from his neck and was laying on his chest. While his head was “twisted and torn and horribly mangled,” there was no trace of blood. This may be a key point in reference to the Hounds. They exist outside of Space-Time but if they encounter an entity from a specific Universe, they lock on their “scent.” What this scent is we don’t know; it could be signature of DNA, the entity’s consciousness, brain activity or other life signature, or some other factor associated with being bound in Space-Time. Once the Hounds have the scent eventually they find their prey and apparently feed on their blood. However, it appears that they cannot survive too long in our bound Space-Time and immediately disappear back into the void outside of Space-Time.

49-hound of tindalos                                                                                  The Hound of Tindalos by Michael Bukowski (www.yog-blogsoth.blogspot.com)

In conclusion, anyone doing research on the structure and nature of reality, particularly if this research includes surveys or investigations outside of Space-Time, whether this includes the use of drugs, sensory deprivation or high particle physics, need to be wary of The Hounds of Tindalos.  I do want to mention that Mr. Jim Moon will be posting a reading of “The Hounds of Tindalos” very soon and you can find that on www.hypnogoria.com or on iTunes at the Hypnobobs Podcast. Please look out for that since Jim’s readings of weird tales is always extremely enjoyable.

Next time we will H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Statement of Randolph Carter.” Thank you – Fred.

the_hounds_of_tindalos_by_douzen-d8iem99 The Hounds of Tindalos by Douzen (www.deviantart.com)

Shub-Niggurath, the Mother of Matter

As previously mentioned Shub-Niggurath is frequently cited by HPL but was never directly featured in his tales.  Also, as shown below and described in the previous article, the union between Yog-Sothoth and Sub-Niggurath may be one of the few examples of sexual reproduction among the Old Ones.

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As shown above and previously described, the sexual union between Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath gave rise to Nug and Yeb. After this a series of subsequent asexual fragmentations or budding occurred where Nug gave rise to Cthulhu and Yeb gave rise to Tsathoggua. However, this article explores the relationships from Azathoth to Shub-Niggurath and to a lesser extent Yog-Sothoth. Azathoth will be discussed in greater detail in a future article but at this point it can just be stated that Azathoth is the beginning of universe or reality. Azathoth gave “birth” to three entities or properties of matter – Nyarlathotep, The Nameless Mist and Darkness.

We have discussed Nyarlathotep in some previous articles and will continue these conversations later. Here we have Nyarlathotep not as the prophetic showman from “Nyarlathotep,” or as the hooved Black Man of “The Dreams in the Witch-House” or as the howling, mad, faceless god in “The Rats in the Walls.” Instead, here Nyarlathotep is a distant ancestor of HPL himself! This may represent more of a cultural relationship or linkage as opposed to one related on a genetic basis, similar to the way in which Nyarlathotep is thought to have been a pharaoh of Egypt. If there is some type of direct genetic relationship, how this comes into play relative to what we know about the creation of eukaryotic life (animals, plants, fungi and protists) on Earth by the Elder Ones is not known at this time. Thus, the leading hypothesis at this time is the connection between Nyarlathotep and humanity is more cultural and not genetic.

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Nyarlathotep, the black pharaoh by Girhasha (www.deviantart.com)

Moving to the other two progeny of Azathoth, literally nothing is known about The Nameless Mist or Darkness so the hypotheses suggested here are simply based on the names of this entities or forces. If Azathoth can be equated to the birth of our universe / reality (or in more distinct terms, possibly the Big Bang), The Nameless Mist and Darkness must represent in some capacity matter and/or energy. The Nameless Mist may be a manifestation of our space-time (3 spatial dimensions and one of time) as well as the other seven dimensions that are necessary for String Theory to be verified. In turn, Yog-Sothoth is described as being a congeries of iridescent spheres and “the key to the gate, whereby the spheres meet.” This description could mean that Yog-Sothoth is the structure of our universe and other universes. Or that possibly Yog-Sothoth is the offspring of Azathoth that gave rise to the “multiverse” and the associated dimensions. At this point, this is all supposition with no testable hypotheses. However, as we use partial physics to delve deeper into the intra-atomic nature of matter, string theory may provide some clues as to the true nature of reality and the role of Yog-Sothoth.

3242526-yog_sothoth_by_hvergi_www.comicvine.com

Yog-Sothoth by Hvergi (www.comicvine.com)

While The Nameless Mist gave rise to Yog-Sothoth, Darkness gave rise to Shub-Niggurath. Since Shub-Niggurath is thought of in more tangible, biological terms, in contrast to Yog-Sothoth being thought of as a gate, Darkness may represent Dark Matter.

Various methods can be used to measure the amount of mass in a galaxy. However, when such calculations are conducted it appears that up to 90% of the matter that should exist (given the influence of gravity) is non-detectable. This undetectable, missing mass is called “dark matter” (Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension by Michio Kaku, 1994). In addition to being undetectable or represented on our own electromagnetic spectrum, dark matter itself may actually exist in a parallel universe but still have the ability to influence our universe through gravity. So even though we can’t detect it may still impact our reality!

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Thus, Darkness may be a representation of matter and Shub-Niggurath may be a portion of this matter that passed through Yog-Sothoth into our space-time. Shub-Niggurath may not be the direct “mother” of live on Earth, but she may be the “mother” of matter in our universe! Meanwhile dark matter exists in other parallel universes and impacts our reality, possibly by gravitons passing through Yog-Sothoth. However, giving birth to matter in our space-time does not mean Shub-Niggurath’s work is done. It seems as if she is always attempting to generate more life or matter in the form of the “thousand young.” Next time we will discuss the fecundity of Shub-Niggurath, her thousand young and how this has had a direct impact on humanity and other species.

shub_niggurath_by_borjapindado-d7jxj5f

Shub-Niggurath by Borja Pindado (www.deviantart.com)

Also, if you are interested in receiving more “Lovecraftian Science” please check out my Kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1081353216/lovecraftian-science-volume-1. Thank you – Fred.

The Call of Cthulhu – Perchance to Dream

cthulhu_stele_by_jasonmckittrick-d3ao965

Bas-relief of Cthulhu by Jason McKittrick (deviantart.org)

How would two completely alien civilizations communicate if they have never had any pervious contact?  Frequently mathematics is one of the more common answers.  This makes sense since mathematics is a form of deductive reasoning, which is arriving at a conclusion based on a set of facts.  In mathematics this means that a conclusion can be reached thorough a series of   steps that give rise to a “proof.”  The net result is that the conclusions arrived at in mathematics is the same everywhere in the known universe.

In the Steven Spielberg film Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) a combination of musical tones and hand signs were used to communicate with an alien civilization.  Music can be understood in the language of mathematics so using music as a form of communication makes sense.  However, this assumes that both species can process and understand sound waves in a somewhat similar manner.

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Commination with extraterrestrial life through musical tones in the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

On a side note, in some ways, Close Encounters of the Third Kind is very similar to “The Call of Cthulhu.”  In both stories, a sub-set of the global population is experiencing something beyond our normal daily lives.  In the case of HPL’s story the experience is primarily through dreams with some small sets of humanity actually worshipping this “other.”  In the case of Close Encounters of the Third Kind the experiences are more complex – visions, artist inspirations, experiences involving lights or music from the sky and even abductions.  In both cases, these experiences impact a sub-set of the global population and are leading to a specific event, at a specific location and time, which involves direct contact with something completely alien.  The outcomes are obviously different but idea of using a non-language based means to communicate resonates in both stories.

Back to the subject at hand, what if two distinctly species did not even have a means of communicating such basic concepts such as 1 + 1 = 2 or the difference between a high and low pitch?  What if the two species did not just evolve on separate planets but what if they evolved in separate corners of the universe, in separate dimensions or even in separate universes?  How do they communicate?  Possibly the easiest means of overcoming these barriers is to communicate through a basic process or action conducted by all members of a particular species.  For humanity, such day-to-day actions involve perceiving and interacting with the world around us with our five senses and include rudimentary processes such as breathing, eating, drinking, mating, physical movement and sleep.  Of these basic evolutionary actions sleep has a possible mode communication and that is through dreams.

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Henry Anthony Wilcox describing one of his disturbing dreams in the 2005 film The Call of Cthulhu (The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society)

The science associated with dreams is in its infancy, yet some major strives have been made in recent years.  Within the last decade, scientists have been making progress on actually photographing and videotaping dreams with MRI machines.  For the first time in 2011 scientists have used MRI and EEG sensors to actually measure dream content and may even one day make direct contact with a dreaming person (The Future of the Mind:  The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance and Empower the Mind by Michio Kaku, 2014).  Imagine if we could have recorded  Henry Anthony Wilcox’s dreams while he was being contacted by Cthulhu.

Additional research into dreams have revealed that they are important for the health of humans as well as many other animals.  On average we spend 5 to 20 minutes a night dreaming and about 6 years dreaming over a lifetime.  Dreams are universal across race, cultures, civilizations and religions.  People dream essentially the same things – personal experiences from the pervious day or week are frequently incorporated into our dreams. The dream state appears to function as a means of digesting or processing “new” information in the brain’s neural network; organizing memories in a more coherent and orderly way and consolidating useful information (Kaku, 2014).  More than likely Cthulhu takes advantage of this neural network in contacting the human race as well as others.

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A view of the neural network in the human brain (www.willamette.edu)

While we are awake EEG scans indicate that the brain is emitting a steady stream of electromagnetic waves. However, the frequency of the EEG signals changes as we fall asleep. When we dream, waves of electrical energy move from the brain stem and surge up into the cortical areas of the brain, particularly the visual cortex. This is one of the reasons why visual images are an important part of dream. In turn, the senses of smell, taste and touch are largely shut down (Kaku, 2014).

The hippocampus is active when we dream, suggesting that dreams draw on memories. Dreams are directly linked to high levels of emotion, often involving fear. Other sections of the brain – those that involve fact-checking, spatial awareness / coordination and logic – are shut down. Thus, emotional levels are up and rational control is reduced (Kaku, 2014).  Thus, the predominance of visual stimulation over the other senses, coupled with the high levels of emotion, primarily fear, and low capacity for rational thought, at least partially explains our reactions to Cthulhu.  Since Cthulhu communicates through dreams, we respond in our dream-like state.
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Cthulhu Idol by Jason McKittrick (www.deviantart.org) 

As has been identified by both S.T. Joshi (The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, 1999) and Leslie S. Klinger (The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft, 2014), the name” Cthulhu” itself is a feeble attempt for human vocal cords and language to pronounce the actual name of the entity.  As HPL himself states “the word is suppose to represent a fumbling human attempt to catch the phonetics of an absolutely non-human word.”  Thus, if we do not even have the physiology and anatomical organs to properly commutate with Cthulhu, direct communication through dreams – where sights and shapes can be processed into  images that we can somewhat understand – makes sense.  Of course the “baggage” associated with this innovative means of communication, results in an interpretation of this incoming information with a high level of fear and low level of rational thought.  From an evolutionary response this makes complete sense!

Next time we will talk about the entities associated with Cthulhu but reside within the wooded swamplands of southern New Orleans.  Thank you – Fred.

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Dead Cthulhu Waits Dreaming by Greg Stevens (www.deivantart.org)

The Music of the Spheres and Erich Zann

The Music of the Spheres by Talonabraxas (deviantart.com)

The “Music of the Spheres” was a term that was originally used to describe the harmonic and mathematical movement of the “planets,” which in the time of Pliny the Elder, Gaius Plinius Secundus, included Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus and Moon (Natural History: A Selection by Pliny the Elder; Translated with an introduction and notes by John F. Healey, Penguin Books, 2004).

While this concept had very religious and metaphysical connotations, it was Pythagoras who connected the planetary orbits and their associated numerical ratios with musical notes (sounds frequencies) in proportion to the length of string and its associated sound.  Pythagoras identified that the “planets” all produced their own unique hum (orbital resonance) based on the orbital revolution and called this concept the Harmony of the Spheres.  Pythagoras was a mathematician and astronomer; he proposed that the Earth was spherical like the other planets and established the basis of musical intervals (Pliny the Elder, 2004).  It is not surprising that Pythagoras would connect the celestial movement of the planets with musical theory.  Pythagoras goes on to say that the quality of life on Earth is directly impacted by these planetary sounds even though the human ears can not sense or pick up these sounds.

As identified by S.T. Joshi (I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H.P. Lovecraft, 2013), HPL read Pliny and was certainly familiar with Pythagoras.  Indeed HPL actually mentions The Music of the Spheres in “The Horror in the Museum” one of the revision tales – this one for Hazel Heald.  In the tale the protagonist is in a vaulted chamber of the museum in the middle of the night and “wishes that his senses were not so preternaturally keen.”

The protagonist catches faint sounds of whispering, murmuring or rustling, “which could not quite be identified within the nocturnal hum of the squalid streets outside, and he thought of vague, irrelevant things like the music of the spheres and the unknown, inaccessible life of alien dimensions pressing on our own.”  I believe HPL is referencing Pythagoras’s Harmony of the Spheres since he read Pliny and must have been familiar with the proposed connection between the celestial hums (orbital resonance) of the planets and our inability to perceive them.  Thus, in “The Horror in the Museum” HPL makes the connection that these barely audible sounds may represent an inaccessible alien dimension.

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So what does all of this have to do with Erich Zann?  I propose an awful lot.   I hypothesize that the specific tones and frequencies of that weird, strange tune Zann plays in front of the large garret window prevents the “things” on the other side of threshold from entering our universe.  At a minimum, the music warns them not to enter.

Sound is a vibration in some type of medium, such as air or water, which travels as a mechanical wave of pressure and displacement through the medium. This vibration is typically received by some type of membrane and then interpreted. In the case of humans, these sound waves reach our eardrums, which resonate at varying frequencies and in turn are converted into electrical signals, which travel to the brain and are then interpreted as sounds (Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension, by Michio Kaku, 1994). Similarly, our vocal chords are also stretched membranes that vibrate at varying frequencies or resonances and create sounds (Kaku, 1994). Thus, membranes both generate and receive / interpret sound waves.

The Music of Erich Zann by Khalfrodod-d7uas5p (www.deviantart.com)

I described in a previous article, Beyond the Wall of Sleep, Part 4 – The Cosmic Radio, that a energy can be converted into another form of energy. The example provided in that article was the natural radio emissions generated from the planets and their moons / rings, which are collected and then translated into sound waves by our space probes (Voyager I and II and Cassini).  In this case natural radio waves generated in the vacuum of space are converted into a format that can then be perceived through one of the five human senses; in this case sound.

With the information provided above the question is posed, was the music of Erich Zann’s producing sound waves that were hitting some inter-dimensional membrane, then being translated on the other side as a warning to “keep out?” Or, were the sounds waves of Zann’s music being converted into a particular form of energy that repulsed the entities or forces on the other side of the garret window?

The next article will be the last on The Music of Erich Zann.  Next time we will discuss and describe the entities beyond the threshold of the garret window.

Rue d’ Auseil by Mercvtio-d6a9unf (www.deviantart.com)