Sunday, September 25, 2016

It's a Big, Scary Universe

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.

–H.P. Lovecraft

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

I've never cared for Lovecraft, and I think his almost Biblical distaste for, and fearful suspicion of, the pursuit of knowledge is largely to blame.

He just strikes as very much a product of his time: a man looking at the world in transition, set ill at ease by the perceived chaos brought by rapid technological progress and societal change - particularly given that he wrote in the wake of the first World War and on the cusp of the Great Depression.

I've always found it odd how his works seem to resonate so strongly with so many self identified "geeks", intellectuals, rationalists, and others whom I would consider my peers - and whom I would otherwise imagine would be (as I am) mystified and vaguely repulsed by his emotional, superstitious, pessimistic view of the universe. If I had to draw a comparison (or perhaps a contrast?) I would describe him as being The Anti-Sagan, in that respect.