Monday, 24 February 2014
by Richard Trouncer
Over the Christmas period I particularly enjoyed listening to Cthulhu Carols while playing Arkham Horror. The combination of unspeakable, mind bending horror and lovely Christmas carols takes the sting out of Cthulhu and the nauseating out of Christmas. I'd suggest listening to them while reading the rest of this blog.
For those of you unfamiliar with it, Cthulhu, and the associated mythos, was created over a century ago by H.P. Lovecraft, a horror writer. Personally, I find his style difficult to read and the stories a little repetitive, but the world of horror he created is genius. We are sitting on a thin veneer of normality, and underneath, just waiting to break through, are horrors who would consume everything in a moment, whose shadow would drive you to madness, whose existence proves everything meaningless.
Time for a non sequitur, but hang with me. Those who study the bible in universities generally accept a changing understanding of the devil within the bible. Initially the devil is not present, evil is chaos opposed by God, and the devil changes from a prosecuting angel into an opponent of God personifying moral wickedness. In many ways the former scares me more, a meaningless chaos that the Cthulhu mythos taps into. It scares me because it seems as I get older to be an increasingly rational way to view the world.
When I see natural disasters, disease and arbitrary suffering I find belief in God hard to hold onto. A world without meaning, where stuff just happens and we have little control or ability to direct even our own local environment, seems far more likely than a God suffused universe where love is the basis of existence. In comparison, an evil force wanting to destroy, sow misery and hate seems curiously reassuring - at least it can be understood.
I know suggesting God versus meaninglessness as the only two views is simplistic, that atheism and philosophy would suggest that I'm being naive. They're probably right, I've always struggled with postmodernism. But for me it feels this way sometimes. Holding onto my faith in God - love, hope and all that is best, is a struggle against meaninglessness. Against despair. Against Cthulhu and all his Christmas Carols.