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The Book of Power: Evaluating the Necronomicon

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.mythology,alt.magick,alt.necronomicon,alt.horror.cthulhu,alt.religion.wicca,sci.skeptic,alt.paranet.skeptic,alt.aliens.imprisoned,
From: (ny'rl'thot'p)
Subject: The Book of Power: Evaluating the Necronomicon (was ...)
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000 20:59:03 GMT

"Boots" :
>I have a question concerning the mythological(?) power that of the
>necronomicon. Is the possessor suppose to first believe that the 
>power that could be bestowed? If so, why? 

the obsession with the Necronomicon is typically on the part of
hyper-intellectuals (academics) whose knowledge and experience
would otherwise preclude the belief in said object by virtue of
their solid grounding in the sciences. one might compare the
Lovecraftian scenarios involving the Necronomicon and "Cthulhu
Mythos" with the Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Night Stalker,
and, especially, X-Files (in its single, monster-episodes).

the Necronomicon is both cherished by supposed cultists who
would like to assist the Old Ones or some other Lovecraftian
entity to achieve its pinnacle of power ("when the stars are
right"), often at the expense of the human species, and feared
by conspiracy-buffs who are somehow clued to the nefarious
cosmic interlopers ready to gobble up our little planet. this
brings to light immediately the tendency of participants and
converts to the ostensible goals of these extraterrestrials
to be insane, mad, sociopathological, or twisted into shadows
of their former human selves. those who research on the
fringes of such cults tend to begin resembling that which
they are studying (compare Mulder in the X-files and how he
is seen in the FBI as a fruitcake).

in fact, the power objects such as the Necronomicon which
may be used by Lovecraftian storytellers (whether between
the pages of a book or in such interesting contexts as role-
playing games) are usually coercive, corrupting of those who
come into contact with them, and yet there is the promise, 
like so many Cosmic Antagonists, some future role of power 
as an underling to the New Aeon Rulers. sometimes the very
experience of having contact with the book at all is
sufficient to warrant its pursuit without regard for the
possible consequences (compare how Dr. Pretorius and his 
assistants and obsessed followers react to his Resonator in 
the Lovecraft-inspired film "From Beyond": their search
for extended human experiences and becoming a part of an
ambiguous psychic conglomerate monster defies rationality).

the Necronomicon specifically contains the rituals and
symbols needed to summon powerful entities who, if they
don't decide to have hir for dinner, may (the lure) be
beneficent to the spell-worker, no matter the price that
one must pay for the ritual. this appears to be a kind
of Faustian pact, untold short-term glories and promises
of future shelter from a coming Apocalypse which one is
helping to make happen exchanged for assisting antagonists 
to the human species in gaining a foothold (compare the
corporate enterprise in films like 'Aliens' who try to
keep and breed the alien species, yet in Lovecraftian 
material assitance will more often activate through ritual 
summoning, conversion of other cultists, or merely laying 
the groundwork for others to do likewise). some of the
cultist conversion occurs through the dimension of dreams
(as with Cthulhu, who is said to be contacting converts 

here is an egregore of the Book of Power, including 
grimoires such as "The Lesser Key of Solomon" or
"The Goetia", the "Book of Shadows", which may be said
to contain (at least access to) unspeakable power and
a technological description beyond the bounds of
ordinary scientific understandings. the Necronomicon
falls into coercive or destructive end of these books,
which span from simple books of spells and formulae to
cosmic formularies and tools of the Sorcerer Supreme
("The Book of the Vishanti" in Doctor Strange comics),
to social contracts with deities ("Torah", "Old Testament",
"New Testament", "Qur'an") of a presumed positive 
attitude toward humans and reservoirs of mystical power 
("The Book of Five Rings", "Tao Teh Ching", "I Ching", 
"Diamond Sutra", termas of various sorts, cf. "Liber 
Grimoiris" by Frater Nigris at

>What would be vitually important for a ...human, a mortal, 
>to be convinced the books powers are real in order to make 
>them work? Or am I mistaken the necronomicons powers for

there are two levels from which to respond to this question:
	(1) from the context of the stories associated with
	    Lovecraft's constructions: the character's
	    stated or implied motivations in encountering
	    the Necronomicon or its class of magical item

	(2) from the context of nonfictional usage of these
	    kinds of magical items regardless of their
	    fictional descriptions and reputations

(1) there is no rational motivation for individuals who,
knowing what the reader knows, to pursue these books,
determine their reality, or apply them toward nefarious and
sociopathological ends. usually the characters 'fall under
the spell' of the nefarious object, their curiosity leads
them to an understanding of "what humans ought never know",
their academic standards are abandoned in favor of their
gradually increasing obsession with possessing and shelting
others from the horrible effects of the Book of Power.

the premise behind the fictional stories is usually that the
character begins from a standpoint of radical disbelief,
yet whose skepticism inspires hir to examine even what could
seem flaky leads in a survey of whatever subject they happen
to find compelling (esp. archaeology, anthropology, or similar
sciences in which the alien might be discovered amongst general 
historical simian remains or cosmological traces).

the character cannot HELP but become convinced of the aweful
horror that everything she knew about the world as presented
from 'the scientific method' is WRONG, and that, lurking just
beneath a filmy coating of conspiracy or occultism, such
objects of power exist and would lead to catastrophes in both
academic as well as existential human realms if the objects
of power were to '"get into the wrong hands".

(2) where this fits in with the world outside of fiction is
of course the controversy surrounding the Necronomicon in
its various versions promoted by post-Lovecraftian authors
and "discoverers". how much one is willing to accept of the
outlandish (and classic, for its genre) fiction Lovecraft
penned determines immediately what one is to make of and to
what ends one might find use for the book. 

at the most intellectual and academic end of the theoretical
spectrum, books in and of themselves do not contain power. 
their contents may make certain natural human experiences
possible for those who choose to perform in the manner that
may be described therein. the rituals or knowledge which is
contained in the Necronomicon, being a reflection of the
works of a fiction author, will never amount to much more
than amusing entertainment or the basis for a peculiar kind
of ceremonial magic (on par, possibly, with that that uses
the medieval grimoires as its basis). at best one might use
a Necronomicon to further one's spiritual development, at
worse become lost in a fantasy world absent the discernment
between fact and fiction, true power and insanity.

from the perspective of the most liberal-minded rationalist,
books can contain configurations of information which may
have transformative effects upon the people and cultures
to whom they are exposed. fictional works like Neal
Stephenson's "Snow Crash" contain believable theories
(mixed with fiction) about how religio-magical texts may
function as a kind of information-virus that can be
instrumental in shaping entire societies, perhaps the
whole of the human species. the Book of Power, from this
more imaginative perspective, could catalyze personal and
sociological changes undreamt by previous authors. while
it might be a stretch to accept Elder Gods transported
through time and space vying for the minds and souls of
a hominid species on a speck of dirt circling a medium-
sized star (the rationalist evaluation of many a science-
fiction story), there is no arguing that certain texts
have become the focus of intense human obsession, and
may have some innate structural or conceptual content
which makes possible what would othewise seem outlandish
and unnatural.

as a demon-summoner, the Necronomicon appears to be the
apex of challenge to the adventurous, and symbolizes, if
not functioning as, the mechanism by which one might
bring into one's personal sphere of consciousness that
alien element, forgotten and displaced by the development
of civilization and higher "education".

from the perspective of the religious, the Necronomicon
must seem the epitome of evil, surely the comparable
Shadow of the Bible to Christians, a textual Satan that
can only result in doom and the demise of human concerns
at the expense of faint promises to a deluded few. its
very existence or fable must be denied and rejected so as
never to give rise to human behaviours that replicate the
cruel and insane outcomes depicted in Lovecraft's fiction.

the general attraction of the Necronomicon are not that it
contains secrets of parapsychology, E.S.P., telekinesis,
or precognition, but that it affords allegiance with
potent and dangerous entities whose fictional basis is
disputed by many of those who make a study of gods and 
spirits with the intent of communication and pact-making.


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