Tag Archives: multiverses

A Few Last Notes on H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Temple.”

There are a few more additional scientific points I would like to make relative to H.P. Lovecraft’s tale “The Temple.” The first is relative to his possible reference to the Theory of Continental Drift. In “The Temple” when the Lieutenant-Commander, trapped in Submarine U-29, observed the ancient city in the bottom of the Atlantic and states that “…I should not have been amazed, for geology and tradition alike tell us of great transpositions in oceanic and continental areas.” This may be a tip of the hat by Lovecraft to the Theory of Continental Drift.

7th-grade-ch-1-sec-3-drifting-continents-14-728 Fossil Evidence for the Theory of Continental Drift

While the reference to the Theory of Continental Drift in “The Temple” may be indirect, the theory is more directly cited in “At the Mountains of Madness,” where maps of the Elder Things “…display the land mass as cracking and drifting, and sending certain detached parts northward, uphold in a striking way the theories of continental drift lately advanced by Taylor, Wegener, and Jody.” These three men independently developed the Theory of Continental Drift, which was well developed and presented by Wegener in his 1912 paper. However, many scientists rejected this theory due to a lack of direct empirical evidence. It was not until the 1950’s and 1960’s when data were collected that documented seafloor spreading that Plate Tectonics provided the empirical evidence for the Theory of Continental Drift.  Thus, in Lovecraft’s day many scientists were quite skeptical of the Theory of Continental Drift.

In addition to a reference to Continental Drift, the Lieutenant-Commander states that he would put on a deep-sea diving suit with portable light and air generator to explore the temple.  Two English inventors developed the first pressure-proof diving suits in the early 18th century. From the late 19th century through the early 20th century, there were some pretty remarkable diving suit designs and some of them did have portable air supplies. For more photographs of early diving suit technology please check out http://io9.gizmodo.com/the-strange-and-wonderful-history-of-diving-suits-from-1262529336.

divingsuit_Marseille_France_1878_            A Diving Suit from France, dated 1878

Finally, a brief note on what the Lieutenant-Commander observed in the temple before his demise. Toward the end of the story while he is documenting the strange phosphorescent glow coming from the temple and the associated demoniac laughter, he is frequently questioning his own state of mind. A number of times he is wondering if he is hallucinating the things he is seeing and hearing; such issues were considered in the previous article. However, it may also be possible that the Temple is one of the points in our Space-Time, similar to the Nameless City or under the town of Kingsport, where there is a connection between this Universe and others (e.g. the Dreamlands). However, there is no documented evidence that the Lieutenant-Commander entered the Dreamlands or any other Universe. More than likely he was suffering from PTSD and/or the same unknown chemical / biological agent that claimed the entire crew of German submarine U-29.

SH5Img2010-03-13_124912

In “The Temple” there were several references to Atlantis and next time we will discuss what Lovecraft thought of this oceanic myth. Thank you – Fred.

Advertisements

Through the Gates of the Silver Key: Chapter IV, Yog-Sothoth and the Multiverse

In Chapter IV of “Through the Gates of the Silver Key,” written by H.P. Lovecraft and E. Hoffmann Price, Randolph Carter passes through the Ultimate Gate. After passing through the Ultimate Gate, Carter initially still feels he is a “fixed point in the dimensional seething,” but then he begins to lose his sense of space and time in our reality. This statement indicates that passing through this gate may be somehow going outside of our known Space-Time Universe. For example, Carter realized that he is not just one person but many people over the span of linear time. All at once he was that boy at his Uncle and Aunt’s farm in October 1883, as well as the adult who is on the other side of the Ultimate Gate, talking to the Ancient One Umr At-Tawil. Humans are entities grounded in linear time and if this sense of “cause and effect,” which is the essence of time, is removed the past, present and future would certainly become difficult to distinguish from each another.

234edc2913c24e7eb8a9cc8b09858e98                                                                  Yog-Sothoth by Daigoro115

Layered on this loss of linear time is Carter’s loss of “self.” Beyond the Ultimate Gate Randolph Carter acknowledged the existence of multiple “Carters.” Carter felt his self beyond the limitations of one individual. He perceived himself as a variety of entities and creatures – “…humans and non-human, vertebrate and invertebrate, conscious and mindless, animal and vegetable.” He also perceived Carters beyond Earth, on other planets, in other galaxies and perhaps even other Universes (called cosmic continua in the story).

This loss of both linear time and individual self and described by Carter was one of the supreme horrors he experienced. Indeed, in a number of instances in Lovecraft’s tales, few individuals come back from beyond our Space-Time reality sane. As “quasi-Carter” struggles to stay grounded in his self and prevent the loss of his individuality, he sensed the presence of an entity beyond our Space Time.

lovecraft___yog_sothoth___lurker_at_the_threshold_by_kingovrats-d66k92p Yog-Sothoth, Lurker at the Threshold by King Ov Rats (www.deivantart.com)

“It was an All-in-One and One-in-All of limitless being and self – not merely a thing of one Space-Time continuum, but allied to the ultimate animating essence of existence’s whole unbounded sweep – the last, utter sweep which has no confines and which outreaches fancy and mathematics alike. It was perhaps that which certain secrete cults of earth have whispered of as YOG-SOTHOTH, and which has been a deity under other names;”

This entity was actually attempting to communicate with Carter in a concentration of energy that was almost described as painful. This combination of both mental pain and loss of self are a few symptoms of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia has been described by some as a self-disorder or ipseity disturbance (ipse is Latin for “self” or “itself”) and is associated with complementary distortions of the act of awareness (Schizophrenia, Consciousness, and the Self by Louis A. Sass and Josef Parnas; Schizophrenia Bulletin, 29(3):427-444, 2003). Is it possible that some forms of schizophrenia are the result of individuals having some type of contact with Yog-Sothoth?

Yog_sothoth_rising_by_butttornado-d6ubvy6 Yog-Sothoth rising by Richard Luong (www.luongart.hostoi.com)

Yog-Sothoth has been mentioned numerous times in Lovecraft’s tales and tends to be more associated with magic and metaphysics than science. Obviously, how Yog-Sothoth is presented or described depends on the philosophical perspective and knowledge base of the person involved. Thus, is it not surprising that Joseph Curwen in “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward” or Old Wizard Whateley in “The Dunwich Horror” describe Yog-Sothoth as some type of demon to be summoned. However Yog-Sothoth is being perceived, whether from a magical or scientific point of view, there are some common themes associated with this entity. Frequently, it is stated that the past, present and future are all one in Yog-Sothoth. Again, this is another reference to this entity not being confined to the limitations of linear time. Yog-Sothoth is also described as being the “key and the gate,” which refers to the fact that access to beyond our Space-Time reality is through Yog-Sothoth. This access can be opening the “door” to allow things from outside our Space-Time in or allow residents of our Universe, such as Randolph Carter, to go outside of our Space-Time.

While Yog-Sothoth is described as the key and the gate, it seems to be much more than that when Lovecraft’s tales are reviewed. In a number of instances Yog-Sothoth is said to be “where the spheres meet.” In “The Horror in the Museum,” co-written by Lovecraft and Hazel Heald, Yog-Sothoth is described as a “…a congeries of iridescent globes…” These descriptions may be veiled references to the Multiverse structure of reality.

yog_sothoth_by_verreaux-d38lggo                     Yog-Sothoth by Verreaux (www.deivantart.com)

The prevailing concept of the Multiverse is that quantum fluctuations during the inflation phase of the Universe sparks the creation of bubble Universe that then inflate on their own, making more bubble Universes into infinity. However, there is now a competing theory that the quantum fluctuations did not occur until the inflation phase was complete, creating an overlapping, finite Multiverse (see below). Whatever theory is more representative of the Multiverse concept, Yog-Sothoth seems to be “stitched” or “woven” into the very fabric of the Multiverse and in order travel through or go beyond the Multiverse one must make some sort of contact with Yog-Sothoth. Unfortunately, even briefly encountering this entity can result in insanity.

Multi_www.newscientist.com Multiverse Concepts (www.newscientist.com)

In Carter’s encounter with Yog-Sothoth it is revealed that the Ancient Ones, like Umr At-Tawil, are manifestations or extensions of this Old One into our Space-Time. Yog-Sothoth also communicates to Carter that it will grant his request and show him the “Ultimate Mystery.” Yog-Sothoth claims that it has granted this request only eleven times to beings from Earth, with five of these being men or resembling men. What were the other six? Elder Things or Deep Ones? The Great Race in the Cone Shaped Beings? Mi-Go or the Insects from Shaggai? Or some other, yet undiscovered species from Earth’s distant past or future?

Chapter IV concludes with Yog-Sothoth giving Carter one last choice – to return back to his own Space-Time or to peer beyond the Veil of reality. Next time we will journey with Carter beyond this Veil. Thank you – Fred.

 

Supporting Evidence of M-Theory on the Nature of the Multiverse in Lovecraft’s “The Statement of Randolph Carter

warren_meets_his_doom_by_pickmans_model                     Warren meets his Doom by Frohickey (www.deviantart.com)

When Harley Warren entered the under-ground crypt in that forgot graveyard in the Big Cypress Swamp, he discovered something that cost him his life.  He had an idea something aberrant was lurking in that tomb, which is why he would not let his friend Randolph Carter go down with him. However, what Warren thought was down there and what was revealed to be there were probably two very different things. To analyze exactly what was down in that under-ground tomb, I want to discuss H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Statement of Randolph Carter” from both a macro-scale and a micro-scale.

From a macro-scale perspective, Warren may have stumbled into a portal in that tomb that connects our Space-Time to another Universe. There are a unique sub-group of Lovecraft’s tales that hint at the possibility that our Universe is some connected or super-positioned onto another one. Stories such as “The White Ship,” “Pickman’s Model,” “The Nameless City,” “The Festival,” and “Celephais” all provide evidence for the existence of another Universe and the possibility for entities from one Universe visiting the other. The portal or bridge between the two Universe could be a specific location in our Space-Time, the use of some type of alien technology or methodology, or simply dreams. The under-ground tomb in that Floridian swamp may have been one of these portals and Warren may have found this out through the book he was carrying, written in alien characters. It has been questioned whether or not this book is perhaps at least a partial translation of the Necronomicon (Joshi, 1999; Klinger, 2014).  Similar to Walter Gilman in “Dreams in the Witch-House,” Warren may have found a formula or methodology that could be used to access higher dimensions to open a portal to another Universe.  If indeed Warren opened a portal and peered into it, it would help explain some of this statements to Carter such as “God! If you could seed what I am seeing!”, “Carter, it’s terrible – monstrous – unbelievable!”, and “It’s too utterly beyond thought – I dare not tell you – no man could know it and live – Great God! I never dreamed of this.” Are these statements Warrens attempt to understand what he was seeing – a portal that opened up from one Universe (or brane) to another and what was on the other side?

warren 1_SaraBardi_www.dreamquestofunknownkadath.com                                                                                                    Harley Warren by Sara Bardi (www.dreamquestofunknownkadath.com)

Modern cosmology is not considered the pseudoscience it was in the past and current hypotheses on the nature of reality may help to explain what Warren experienced.  Super String theory (also known as String theory) is an attempt to describe a unified field theory (a theory for everything) that would unite all four forces of nature (gravity, electromagnetism, strong nuclear force and weak nuclear force), based on tiny, micro-atomic strings vibrating in 10 or 11-dimensional Space-Time. A strong point of String theory is that it integrates gravity, where other theories cannot. A weak point of String theory is that it cannot provide solutions for every aspect of its model. Thus, a number of solutions are being investigated for M-Theory (essentially an extension of String theory) that include super-symmetry as well as the possibility of adding another dimension into the calculations (www.mkaku.org). For the sake of this discussion, Warren may have opened a portal from our Space-Time brane to another brane (potentially the Dreamlands). Additionally, our brane and the Dreamlands brane may be a series of branes that are single parts of a complex Multiverse that extends into our Space-Time as well as into higher dimensions.

040400sci-universal-theory_A_SteveDuenes_NewYorkTimes Proposed ideas of M-theory and the Multiverse (illustration by Steve Duenes of the New York Times)

From a micro-scale perspective, we have very little information on what the “things” or entities were that Warren encounters in the under-ground tomb. Two hypotheses are proposed.  First, they may be the individuals that were somehow brought back to life through some unknown mechanisms but possibly similar to Dr. Herbert West’s serum in “Herbert West – Reanimator.” Possibly the unique environmental conditions under-ground and/or being adjacent to the portable to the Dreamlands brane, reanimates the dead. This would explain the statement “…why certain corpses never decay, but rest firm and fat in their tombs for a thousand years.” Of course a recently dead individual would probably understand how to use a telephone and speak English so the chilling response Carter gets at the end of the tale would be understandable.

the_statement_of_randolph_carter_by_cheesecake_weasel-d6lmu64 The Statement of Randolph Carter by Cheesecake Weasel (www.deviantart.com)

An alternative hypothesis is the entities are not reanimated dead but instead ghouls, creatures that may be an extreme variation of human genetic / evolution and/or the result of some type of genetic disease (possibly triggered by a virus or prion). Under a certain set of circumstances humans can visit the Dreamlands brane but ghouls seem to accomplish this with a higher degree of ease and frequency relative to humans. Indeed, ghouls may take advantage of this ability as a means of traveling largely unseen from graveyard to graveyard. Whether this ability is largely based on an intrinsic, genetic ability of the ghouls or of knowledge / technology on how to utilize dreams and access portals to move between the branes is largely unknown.

ghoulsgraveyard1_MarkFoster_hplovecraftart.blogspot.com Ghoul’s Graveyard by Mark Foster (www.hplovecraftart.blogspot.com)

If the ghoul hypothesis is correct, the idea of certain corpses that never decay and appear to be firm and fat may be ghouls posing as the dead to avoid being discovered. If this is the case, then Harley Warren did more just examine dead bodies in the tomb. Maybe Warren knew this under-ground tomb in Florida was one of the points where our Space-Time’s brane connected to another (the Dreamlands brane?) and he somehow accessed or opened this connection. This would have easily upset the ghouls, either posing as the dead or possibly coming from the other brane entering ours to find Warren. To keep their existence, as well as the ability to travel to other universes a secret, it is not surprising that the ghouls would kill Warren and tell Carter that “…Warren is Dead!” Using superstition to keep knowledge on the nature and structure of Space-Time, reality and the Multiverse a secret is a re-occurring theme in many of Lovecraft’s writings.

tle_081_www.littleempire.blogspot.com

The climatic scene from Lovecraft’s “The Statement of Randolph Carter” as shown in Lego format (www.littleempire.blogspot.com)

Next time more evidence of the M-theory in Lovecraft’s writings will be presented in a discussion of his tale “The White Ship.” Thank you – Fred.

Is the Nameless City Another Portal to an Alternate Universe?

the_nameless_city_by_pneuv-d37bjaf

The Nameless City by Pneuv (www.deivantart.com)

While there is no formally recognized connection between “The Nameless City” and the Dreamlands, similar to the Lake of Ib, in “The Doom that Came to Sarnath,” the Nameless City may be a portal or bridge to a parallel universe. As described by Hawking and Mlodinow in The Grand Design (2010), according to the mathematics of M-theory there may exist 10500 different universes. M-theory is actually a family of theories that are interconnected but each one tends to be more appropriate under a specific set of physical conditions. Simply put, M-theory states that multiple universes can arise naturally from physical law (Hawking and Mlodinow, 2010).

With such a large number of potential universes, it is more than likely that the natural forces and physical laws of each universe will vary from ours, with the majority of them being unsuitable for life or life as we understand it. For example, in the absence of gravity sub-atomic could not be formed into matter and eventually into galaxies, planets and life. In contrast, without the electromagnetic force stable atoms may never form and there would be no light. However, smaller “tweaks” to the natural forces may result in a somewhat stable space-time filled with matter but in a slightly different state (in the article “Looking for Life in the Multiverse” by Alejandro Jenkins and Gilad Perez originally published in Scientific American 302(1), 43-49, January 2010). For example, if the “weak force” (which among other things allows for reactions that turn neutrons into protons and vice versa) was weaker or “weakless” matter could be formed in alternative pathways resulting in a universe that may possess space-time, matter and life but may be very different than our own in other conditions. Is it possible that the Dreamlands is one of these multiverses? If so are there points in our universe that are linked or connected to other universes? Such inter-universal points of connection may be the Lake of Ib or deep in the subterranean caverns of the Nameless City.

Mulit_www.nationalgeographic.com

Conceptional illustration of the creation of the multiverse (www.nationalgeographic.com)

The Deep Ones as encountered in “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” give us the impression of being part of our universe or world.  In contrast, encounters with the strange reptilian race in “The Nameless City” feel like something that just does not belong in our reality. As mentioned in a previous article, it is actually difficult to describe the specific morphology of race of the Nameless City since they do not seem to part of our world. So maybe they are aliens like the star-headed Elder Things in At the Mountains of Madness but I would say no. While truly alien, the Elder Things still appear to be the product of some type of evolution, Darwinian or otherwise, that is still made of the same matter we are. Thus, I submit that the race of the Nameless City may in fact be visitors of our reality and originate from another universe, possibly one where the Dreamlands are located.

In addition to the extra-universal biology, the protagonist in “The Nameless City” cited a number of times strange experiences / sensations he had as he approached the city and entered the subterranean caverns. Examples of some of these experiences include:

“…in my fevered state I fancied that from some remote depth there came a crash of musical metal…”

The “proportion and dimensions in the ruins” were unusual.

“…my ears ringing as from some metallic peal.”

An icy wind pouring from a temple doorway and after this wind died down, the protagonist felt a spectral presence. When he “glanced at the moon it seemed to quiver as though mirrored in unquiet waters.”

Down in the caverns the protagonist experienced “some unknown subterranean phosphorescence.”

namelesscitycreature

Entity from The Nameless City by Rushelle Kucala

Many of these strange instances may be linked to the Nameless City being a connecting point to another universe; hence the strange experiences are difficult to explain. As the protagonist explorers further down into the depths he finds a gate, which appears to be the source of all of the illuminating phosphorescence. Further down a flight of stairs he comes upon another gate again awash with phosphorescence. The night wind from the surface appears to rush into the gate and from the “luminous aether of the abyss” the protagonist sees a horde of the half transparent creatures rushing to toward him. Previously it was mentioned that the half-transparent appearance of the Nameless City creatures may be an evolutionary adaptation to living in an underground ecosystem. However, an alternative hypothesis is that maybe the half-transparency was an indication that the creatures were entering our universe from theirs.  Thus, once completely in our reality they would not be half-transparent but fully realized.

reptilan_inhabitant_of_nameless_city__early_attemp_by_kingovrats-d7qi4bp

Reptilian Inhabitant of the Nameless City by King Ovrats (www.deviantart.com)

Unfortunately we don’t know if the half-transparency was due to a crossing of universes or an evolutionary adaptation since the protagonist was plunged into darkness.  The great brazen door that may be a threshold to another universe was “clanged shut with a deafening peal of metallic music…” Thus, we are left to wonder, is the Nameless City another means of entering the Dreamlands, or another universe? Or, is it some lost, ancient civilization largely unknown to humanity? We many never know unless the City is re-discovered and serious archeological expedition is funded and implemented.

Next time we will talk about Abdul Alhazred, first mentioned in “The Nameless City,” and how he may have been one of the earliest medieval Arab scientists. Thank you – Fred.