|Posted by Levelworm on 2004/02/04 09:38:46|
|Well,though I'm not western,I still have strong interest toward those ancient stories...
1.Do you believe in Demons/strange seals/etc.?
I thought most of you are followers of rational
2.Anyone has got some research(seriously) on these?
I resume that the reseacher has to learn latin, ancient greek?
Levelworm: Lovecraft: WARNING LONG AS HELL POST
Uhm, Levelworm, I think you're seriously misunderstanding Lovecraft. I may not be as obsessed with him as Kell, but he is my favourite writer and I think I have a full understanding of his message. Lovecraft's work is a philosophical analogy; it is meant as an attack on conventional religion and Platonic ideas. Lovecraft was a materialist determinist: he believed the physical world is all that exists and that everything is predetermined and free will does not exist.
Nietzsche may have accused Plato of being a stupid asshole, but Lovecraft essentially says that he ought to be locked up. Lovecraft's reasoning is thus:
People are animals and civilization is a social structure. We deal exclusively with the physical world, and recieve no input from any other type of world. This is the philosophy of empiricism. Thus, Plato and his idea that concepts or Forms exist apart from in people's minds and that some sort of non-physical existence is possible, even that the soul itself exists as a nonphysical entity, is essentially crazy-talk. But instead of refuting the Platonic/Judeo-Christian arguements like a philosopher would, Lovecraft actually plays along with them: So say some pseudo-non-physical thing or entity came along and somehow began to interact with us human organisms: it would be horrible. Human beings fear what they do not or cannot understand, and something that is *wholly* outside of their sphere of experience, beyond their conception of reality itself, would destroy the very sanity which allows them to percieve at all.
Lovecraft's monsters exist only because man misunderstands the universe; they are not supernatural or nonphysical at all. Lovecraft makes his work more intruiging by saying that historical demonologists and occultists may have tapped into knowledge of such things, but like I said he was a strict materialist.
So basically, Vondur's first comment sums it up :)
And yes, anyone seriously researching history or historical things (occult being one such) has to learn a new language. If you're merely interested, you can just read translations and such. And no I don't know any languages besides english and a scrap or two of French (being Canadian and all, eh?), but I will have to learn one or two in order to have a Phd.
That Was Really Interesting
thank you Tronyn. I only managed to scratch the edge of the surface of most of that by my reading of lovecraft (not vast, but more than a normal person would ;)).
Absolutely Excellent Tronyn,
and probably will help Levelworm from going too far astray as well.
Most people's first impression on reading Lovecraft, myself included, is that he was drawing on an immense and dark tradition of occult and hidden religions. However, he himself said that if you look in history for this sort of stuff, there really isn't much there. Hence he invented the Necromomicon and other evil tomes just so he could have some material :)
But...I heard that Necronomican was not created by Lovecraft,but an Arabian? I forget his name,and I'm a little...insane after watching that "in the mouth of madness".(this movie uses some Lovecraft stuffs)
BTW.I though most of westerns(no offence)are followers of rational because the shadow of Plato didn't leave this land until ShoebenHaur(right?must be wrong),or maybe as early as ****(can't spell his name,but he was once a friend of Hegel)
a third question: In western societies nowaday,do people concern with demons,god,or other supernatural stuffs?
Hoho,so much English for Wormy...
Lovecraft invented the Necromomicon. It was entirely his own invention (check this link:http://www.hplovecraft.com/creation/necron/ if you don't believe me: it's extensive). In his works, he says the Necronomicon's author is the mad Arab "Abdul Alhazred", which is actually a name Lovecraft either invented or someone gave him as a child when he was interested in the Arabian Nights.
It's true that Plato's ideas have been entirely dominant since 2000 years after his time of writing. I would argue that even the so-called empiricists from Aristotle onwards *still* used his ideas and their political implications to a degree where the similarities are far more important than the differences.
warning: offensive opinion being served right up now :)
I think the general attitude of most Westerners these days is rather laid back: it's belief for your own convenience, sort of sitting on the fence. For example, most people want to believe in survival of consciousness after death, because they are afraid of death. They also want to believe in an objective morality, which of course they are acutely aware of (as opposed to everyone else, dumb schmucks), because this allows them to feel as if they have a meaning to their life and that they are acting well (that's important). Nietzsche called this "moral masturbation." However, they do not like to believe in a severe morality, because that means in an afterlife, if there is one, they would likely be severely punished. Thus, they take whatever is convenient for them and half-heartedly believe in it.
I think the general belief in OBJECTIVE (notice the caps there!) morality among Westerners is extremely hypocritical. If they cared about objective ideals, they wouldn't be acting as they do (materialism, ignorance, etc). However, I think that the starting point of many moralities is "I am good."
Pretty much, your average Westerner does what they want first and perhaps justifies it later; if they feel like it. Of course, there are religious nutcases here like there are anywhere else, but they certainly do not make up the majority. Among the more intelligent and free-minded people (this board being a likely-enough example) there are a wide variety of beliefs covering everything from Plato to last week's philosopher s.
I Just Realized
that that post makes me sounds as if I am apart from it all or somehow above it. Not the case.
Yeah, Just To Concur With, And Summarize, Tronyn's Post
There are a lot of people who say they believe in God, but there aren't so many that actually do. There are also a lot of people whose religion has stagnated due to cynicism.
...by using 'Westerner' and 'rational' in the same sentence you run a high risk of creating an oxymoron.
I was saying the same thing and the hall monitors started gunning for me.
I don't mean to hrut anyone,how can Wormy hurt humans? hehe,we always call ourselves easterners if neccesary.
To Tronyn:You've cleared my mind by telling that Necronomicon is created by Lovecraft himself,well I admit that I am a little disappointed because the book is so interesting,as an easterner I have never read these stuffs before.
But I still hope to read something old and mystery and is not faked by modern noverlists...anyone has a clue may guide my way :D
After reading some novels by Lovecraft(Alchemist,Chuthulu,shadow,nameless city),I'm having strange thoughs over and over(damn that),I think I'dbetter have a rest :D
Perhaps If You Are Interested
in that sort of thing, John Dees may perk your interest, but much out there on him is fake as well. Neil Stephensons new novel QuickSilver is a good read. Chronicles the time centered around Newton when the practice of Alchemy transitioned into Natural Philosophy.
But I still hope to read something old and mystery and is not faked by modern noverlists...
Sorry, but the supernatural cannot be reconciled with science. What I mean is that a supernatural event cannot be proven true; it is by its very nature inexplicable.
However, if you want to read older fantasy and lore, you might try reading the mythologies of various cultures (such as Greek or Norse), or perhaps stories written by centuries-old authors. Dante's Inferno seems like a good place to start, as it is even referenced in modern fiction. (Discounting strictly religious texts, that's probably the closest you will find to something that is true and yet supernatural.)
If you are interested in really weird stuff, check out some books on the unknown. For example, Arthur C. Clarke, a highly respected science fiction author (he wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey, later tranlsated to film by Stanley Kubrick) has a series of books called Chronicles of the Strange and Mysterious, in which he and some colleagues investigate odd phenomena. There is a lot of *really* messed up stuff in there, but it often does have a natural explanation (which is yet more interesting).
Though I myself am fascinated by mythology and similar topics, I'm inclined to look at the supernatural as not existing objectively or "out there." It doesn't make it any less interesting for me, in fact it's sometimes comforting to know that you can't meet a werewolf for real :)
...should be right up your ally Levelworm http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/gilgamesh/
Have fun with it.
ally == alley
that really helps a lot...
I'm making my mind to change my major...
So what are you changing it from and to?
if I could goto Canada I may change my major from math to classics study/religion, just a thought.
If you're good at something useful, like math, that will be guaranteed to land you a stable and well-paying job, by all means do that. Studying humanities means a lot of effort trying to get scholarships, grants, etc just so you can go to school without getting evne further into debt. Jobs in huamnities are available to graduate students, it's true, but you can't really do anything with a humanities degree except slowly become a professor, at which point you can make a respectable wage despite the fact that that particular job obviously demands to take over your life :)
If I were you and really interested, I'd finish the math degree first and then take part-time classes while working a real job, which would allow you to pay for the price of tuition as you go through school. Many people get second degrees or complete masters degrees after they have finished their first degree and are really working, or even married.
...you can't really do anything with a humanities degree except slowly become a professor...
You can't be serious Tronyn.
Of course a generalisation like that requires only a single counterexample to refute it so...
Name - distrans
Degree - humanities
Job - Information Manager
Although, I absolutely agree with your advice in the second paragraph. I'm doing exactly what you said.
You can get a job with a humanities degree, but it's not as easy.
If you're so interested in classics, there should be enough slack in a math major for the relevant courses. Or you could extend your stay at the university by a semester and take some classes not necessary for your degree. It's a much less drastic change from chucking all your work towards a degree.
That said, I don't know what Lovecraft has to do with classics.
If you want a job after you graduate, you take computer science, engineering, accounting, statistics, things like that. It's not as if there are no jobs at all with humanities, but still it does not by any means guarantee a career the same way a degree in engineering does. I'm interested to know what sort of humanities degree you've got. You can't deny that there are humanities degrees very little application to non-university jobs, such as philosophy for example.
Lovecraft was poor, and he studied humanities :)
Actually, he didn't even have a high school diploma. He was entirely self-educated. So the university stuff doesn't apply to the discussion of him at all, except as there might be classes on him, or subject overlaps between his work and humanities classes.
Name = distrans
Degree = BA Honours Philosophy (La Trobe)
Working on the Masters at the mo'
You must be logged in to post in this thread.
Website copyright © 2002-2020 John Fitzgibbons. All posts are copyright their respective authors.