Pitch Black Gnosis

Theories disagree on why exactly cultists might embrace the worship of Lovecraftian beings, but a common thread is forbidden knowledge, insight into a greater truth beyond normal human understanding. But what if the opposite were true? What if true cultists actively sought the oblivion rather than arrogantly assuming they will avoid it?

The gospels of Lovecraft and his successors paint cultists in different skins depending on the politics of the writer: Lovecraft portrayed bestial non-Caucasians and degenerate Caucasians, each rejecting the benefits of civilisation; modern authors portray drug addicts, the unemployed, venture capitalists, and other groups instead; but each portrays cultists as already being outside of Normal before becoming cultists, as already having an absence that they seek to fill with ever more transgressive extremes.

Or so it appears on the surface. What if instead the faith of the Old Ones is a seeking for absence?

©Dave Higgins CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
(Derived from Wanderer above the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich and Infinity of Matter: The Event Horizon by Anders Sandberg)

We each have prejudices and biases, oozed into us from birth by our close and wider society; limitations that even active rejection of might not suffice to remove. Imagine sheep’s eyeballs, snails, insects. I was raised to see these as not food. As I became older, I discovered other people ate them, but—because of my upbringing—I didn’t eat them, I didn’t feel a desire to try them, I even felt a slight mental barrier whenever I wondered about trying them. Due to a mix of empathy and will, I no longer feel an aversion but still experience an awareness I am eating something “Other”; to add them to my diet in the same way, for example, chicken is casually part of my diet, I need not only try them and like them, I need to remove the original prejudice. The same theory applies to racism, sexism, religions, anything that springs from subtle yet chronic experience.

To truly overcome these things we must develop a methodology of no-longer-knowing things we need to discard: a negative epistemology, if you will.

And what is the most unnoticed yet longest experience we have? The human form itself. We rarely if ever question the limits of our bodies and minds. Certainly nowhere near the focusing of effort needed to counter a lifetime of experience of being human.

Lovecraft’s statement that the greatest mercy is that the human mind cannot correlate its contents is taken to be a statement that the whole truth would destroy us; what if instead he intended it as a praise of unknowing, a statement not of fear over a lurking vastness but of hope over a partial ability to overcome the mind’s drawing of eternal truth from prior experience?

After all, the god, the centre of the universe he portrayed was a blind idiot, the ultimate symbol of not seeing and not concluding.

As with so many other metaphysical viewpoints, whether secular or religious, most adherents come to us not yet understanding it and many slip from the path into the same amount of prejudice but aimed at something else. But perhaps the new ways to revel and kill that the Old Ones teach are based in the joy of destroying our false limits, the horror only present for those who have not yet internalised that if our bodies are not us then the injury and death don’t happen to us.

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