The Cthulhu Mythos, Cosmic Horror and Dark Enlightenment

Howard Philips was a horror write who is now viewed with the same esteem as Edgar Allan Poe or Steven King. His works are highly distinctive and share intertexual references to a series of ideas that have been named by others “The Cthulhu Mythos”. These ideas have spread widely with other authors carrying on his mythology and it has inspired occultists, been the base for multiple roleplaying games and has even shown up in childrens cartoons like the Ghostbuster and Justice League.

H. P. Lovecraft received what others would call Enlightment. But for him enlightement was not a positive experience. He looked beyond the ordinary world and saw nothing but fear and despair. The ability to see beyond the ordinary showed him not a universe of joy and purpose but cold hostile universe without hope. Lovecraft believed that the ordinary social world we live in was just an illusion to hide this truth about the universe from ourselves so that we could stay sane and happy.

These ideas would mix with his own intrests to create the Cthulhu Mythos. He would write horror stories not about violence or human flaws, but about unknowable secrets and unfathomable extra-dimensional alien lifeforms set in a universe were humanity is insignificant by nature. This story tone would be known as ‘Cosmic Horror’ and different ideas from it would be used by range of authors as well as occultists and other thinkers.

Below: Azathoth the Cosmic Sultan, the ” blind idiot god” who created and sustains the universe in the Cthulhu Mythos.


Azathoth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2 thoughts on “The Cthulhu Mythos, Cosmic Horror and Dark Enlightenment

  1. Cthulhu Mythos deities | My View Your Review

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