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Forbidden Knowledge: Examining Gnostic themes in the writings of H.P. Lovecraft

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#1 H.P. Lovecraft

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 05:58 AM

I am planning on writing an extended paper or perhaps a complete book dedicated to Gnostic religious themes within the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Right now I'm in the middle of reading all of his stories and making notes, Ill post what I write here in case anyone is interested.

There are many interesting parallels not only in his writings but in his life also, his experiences in the real world definitely manifested in his writings, so the paper/book will deal with also, not just themes in his stories but his life, already you have a very odd similarity with the gnostic creation myth.


The feminine aspect of the divine gives birth to an "abortion" which she sees as a hideous being with the body of a snake and the head of a lion, repulsed by it, she casts it away from herself. This being then creates other beings to help him govern the universe, he then creates the world and human beings and puts his own thoughts into its design, but the beings who inhabit the world are ignorant. It goes on from there but, its interesting that Lovecraft's own mother once told a relative that she thought her son was ugly and hideous looking, of course Lovecraft himself goes on to create "other beings", he creates a world (or worlds) inhabited by creatures that are just as ignorant and abhorrent, who constantly strive for hidden knowledge, against the Demiurge and his "arhcons" (Lovecraft's creatures). In an odd way Lovecraft is himself a representation of the Demiurge.


Thats just one interesting instance of the applicability of Lovecraft's writings with the mythological motifs of Gnosticism, which of course I will give a brief descriptions of in the finished work.

No doubt this will spark some debate when finished


Hail Cthulhu

#2 Madboyo



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Posted 16 February 2011 - 03:27 AM

Let us know where we can read it once finished.

#3 Patches the Drow

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 06:59 PM

I recently finished reading The Dream World of H.P. Lovecraft, and it makes some nice references to Gnostic stuff.  I personally don't know too much regarding the matter of gnosticism.  I know I'm AGnostic, but despite all the useless readings I've done: Pliny the Elder, the Old Testement, Parapsychology, mythological creatures, the Aberdeen Bestiary...I ironically never picked up on that.

Though perhaps Azathoth is a good example, as he is a source of chaos, a symbol of Lovecraft's madness, and a paradoy of Yahweh.  I'll check the book for that stuff later, since it's currently at my other residence.

#4 Penfold



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Posted 22 April 2011 - 05:01 AM

 Where are you on this? I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.

#5 Shangfu



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Posted 11 January 2012 - 05:13 AM

Ok, not directly Gnosticism but i did some experimenting with Lovecraftian mythos and qabalistic tree of life, which turned out pretty interesting. Too bad never got into Gnosticism that much, more into qabalah/magick side of the religious spectrum....