Meet Cthulhubot – Mythic Avatar of the Post-Human Chthulucene

Hi everyone~ thanks to the excellent web developers at @discourse, we now have an automated chat bot to welcome new members to this site and provide an interactive guided tour on how to use the forum.

Moreover, I did a little customization on it, just for fun, and we can also now invoke this bot whenever an avatar of impersonal doom from the deepest bowels of time is required—

Give it up (your soul and all you hold dear) for @cthulhubot!

In particular, check out the New User and Advanced User tutorials. This forum has some pretty cool features, and the bot can help you quickly and easily learn by doing. Feedback welcome.

As well, if you have ideas for Quotes and Fortunes we might program into the bot, i.e., to improve its narrative repertoire, just let me know. This bot is really not very intelligent yet, but may one day learn…

What say you, Great Old One?

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Hi! To find out what I can do, say @cthulhubot display help.

Hey, @cthulubot dude/thing. Do you respond when I whistle for you here in comments?

Hi! To find out what I can do, say @cthulhubot display help.

@cthulhubot display help

I currently know how to do the following things:

@cthulhubot start new user

Starts one of the following interactive narratives: new user, advanced user.

@cthulhubot roll 2d6

:game_die: 3, 6

@cthulhubot quote

:left_speech_bubble: Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you — Princess Diana

@cthulhubot fortune

:crystal_ball: You may rely on it

First challenge is to correctly spell “Cthulhu.”

Second challenge is to correctly say it:

“The name of the hellish entity was invented by beings whose vocal organs were not like man’s, hence it has no relation to the human speech equipment. The syllables were determined by a physiological equipment wholly unlike ours, hence could never be uttered perfectly by human throats … The actual sound – as nearly as any human organs could imitate it or human letters record it – may be taken as something like Khlûl’-hloo, with the first syllable pronounced gutturally and very thickly. The u is about like that in full; and the first syllable is not unlike klul in sound, hence the h represents the guttural thickness.” – H.P. Lovecraft

Meanwhile, Donna Haraway has re-appropriated the image of monstruous tentacularity, but changed the spelling to Chthulu (with a Ch, invoking a “chthonic” quality), to suggest that we’re living not merely in an Anthropocene (i.e., human-centric reality) but what she calls the CHTHULUCENE, with much more earthy, powerful, uncontrollable forces in play than the myth of techno-capitalist utopian progress would prefer to admit.

This was kind of my inspiration. But also, the little boy in me just can’t resist poking fun at a big, scary monster—and running for my life!

It’s a fun meme, I guess, with a deeper, darker truth…as world events (the oceans reclaiming our shores, for example) continue to demonstrate.

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“Collaborative problem solving involves much more than the mere exchange of information and orchestration of activity. It involves actively prompting the other to work harder at certain aspects of a problem, and allowing the other to focus your own attention in places you might otherwise ignore.”-Andy Clark

Thinking about thinking…dreaming about dreaming…and developing a meta- language to model hyper-realities…

On the night of April 30th, the year 2017, I had a lucid dream-

I am in a lucid state. I see two women at an elevator and I approach. One of the women gets taller, then I get taller. I say," I want better companionship on the Astral-and on the Earth."

I look at my dream hand. In my dream hand I see a round, golden, radiant medallion and a face appears upon it and I ask," Is there a relationship between the Astral, the Imagination and the Earth?"

I see an image, quite impossible to describe. It is like the backstage process of putting on an opera, or a movie, there are lots of wires and pulleys but they are also like arteries and veins. There is a sense of an ‘us’ but it is an invisible presence and an upward feeling movement and I wonder about what I am seeing/sensing. Some kind of cosmic organism, pulsing, throbbing, undulating…

I am working with elderly people. I work with an organization-I am a go between-and I arrange the elderly man’s place, I set up his environment. Then I leave that place and I walk outside, a public street, but empty, and notice iced over buildings, lots of ice.

I turn around and go in another direction and meet an image of my little brother, as a child. His clothing is messed up, looking lost and I embrace him and say," Thank God." I feel grateful that we are re-united. ( A meta-reflection…On Earth as it is in Heaven?)

I see the Old Man that I was working for giving a talk/demonstration with elaborate drawings on a board. I watch with satisfaction from the back of a crowded conference room. A woman, who is my supervisor, says," I can see your influence on his presentation."

I reply," It is best that he is doing it on his own."

Then, I am in a wheel chair, one of the elderly, being given assistance, at the conference. End of Lucid Dream. Re-enter physical reality, with good recall and feeling refreshed and alert.

Questions and reflections

How to contrast/ compare meta-perspectives?

How or what is the Observer?

How to put the Aperspectival into a linguistic formula that others can follow?

How do we model the modeler of Alternate-Realities in the making?

It is my belief that Gebser’s Aperspectival is happening in lucid dreams, OBE’s and various other kinds of altered states of consciousness by some ( not all) practioners. What appears as a monster may turn into an ally. We are fluid and in between shapes and sizes, much as Alice, morphs in odd ways, falls through holes, goes through mirrors, etc.

As, Moderns, or Ultra Moderns, or what I would call Alter-Moderns, we have presumably developed a capacity for reentering an indicated space and reflecting upon that re-entry. This is what I would call a Self-reflexive move ( not to be confused with Self-reflective-a very different metaphorical construct). Taking perspectives, is how the Modern Mind ( the Alter-Modern Mind) elaborates upon the Magical and Mythic structures in a direct way.

Past-Present-Future are improvisations upon a Theme, a Motif, that the Participant/Observer shapes and is shaped by.

What is the nature of ‘joint attention’ in the Lucid or OBE?

Is this ‘joint attention’ similar or different from the ’ joint attention’ in the waking state?

What is the different phenomenology of these differently labeled states of consciousness?

Who or what comes up with these labels?

What is the nature of an action plan when all of these various capacities are developed further?

And when it is impossible to describe, then what happens?

What new metaphorical constructs will arise?

As Donna Haraway says," The Imagination is Physical."

I agree but maybe not in the way she means. I will discuss this among the members of my Mandala.

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The Super Natural as Theater. Jeffrey Kripal has great insights into the Tricksters among us. He thinks they are fucking with us, erasing boundaries, re-arranging our belief systems. It’s getting weird.

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“The paranormal is a kind of theater, it’s a performance, it seems staged. The question is, who is staging it…?” [chuckles] --Jeffrey Kripal

Glad to see this video up, @johnnydavis54. I was actually there that night it was recorded. Great talk & discussion w/ Stuart Davis, an integral hero of the weird.

You ask fantastic questions, too—and your dreams describe a non-euclidean stage of meaning which is suggestive and generative. Identity is not a fixed construct in this world, but a worm tunnel involving time and space travel through transmorphic embodiments. But then you are still you and I am still me and we are still somewhat us, but this doesn’t quite mean the same thing anymore.

I am having fantasies (transitive) of dressing up as (becoming) Cthulhu for Halloween. I will not be giving away candy.

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Thanks, Marco, for your response. It helps to know that I’m not the only person to have been freaked out by the weird and the uncanny. Kripal’s books are full of insights about the paranormal and the writing process.

As a writing exercise I continue to make reports about the non-ordinary things that go bump in the night, without trying to impose a pre-given theory or format. I do believe we are exercising a skill by trying to describe the impossible to describe. When we are at the edge of our maps we are in a very good place to be. Being forced to put the ineffable weird stuff into language exercises our brains and our para-brains, bringing into focus our unembodied potentials.

Whitley knows well how we are influenced by the bad movies we have seen and wisely invites us to make better movies and cultural products that might helps us to re-organze our intuitions about our intuitions. We have to imagine doing without the maps we were given so that we can get to a fresh way of making sense, less threatened by our lack of control, which for our macho culture is a very scary prospect.

I wonder if there is a relationship between Haraway’s thoughtful invitation to new stories and Whitley Strieber’s visions? Can the Cthulhu and the Super Natural overlap in useful ways?

Haraway believes the Imagination and the Physical are connected naturally. The following video is a bit technical but useful demonstration of how Haraway breaks up the meta-narrative that blocks our imagination. I’m sure we can come up with better models for making this happen. We have already in our co-modeling sessions, started this process.

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You get it right, Marco, and I have come to realize as we study Sri Aurobindo, ( a dream come true) that the more subtle states of mind that the paranormal arise from are developing our collective aesthetic sense making. Nature is relational and works with us through shared images. Our dreaming mind(s) each night are working with boundary conditions and each of us can participate directly in this great effort. Philosophers and scientists also benefit from the power of symbolic thinking and our collective survival probably will depend upon this faculty of the imagination, (usually an esoteric area of study hidden in the English department) used in much more coherent ways. With better skill in the arts and symbolic thinking, we could create the transdiscplinary bridges we need to make our travel between dimensions more friendly, less filled with horror and mayhem. We do need to drain the swamp. It is said that good men have bad dreams. Can we co-evolve a topology generating love?

Science is dead without imagination. And the imagination when trained can become virtuoso level. I would say we are lagging way behind in our imaginal development, the interiors of most of us, in our couch potato age, are stuck in the lower depths. But to get to the transcendent heights and then to re-enter the mundane areas of our busy lives could give us a great zest for living this odd life we are given. It is more art than science that we need now. The cognitive will then function better. This is an age old problem, the conceptual and the perceptual are uneasy next to one another. This goes back to Plato’s allegory of the cave. As we escape the dark of the cave, and relax in the light, we can then go back and explore the cave.

Do we love the art in ourselves or ourselves in the art? This koan, posed by Stanislavsky, to his actors, should be asked of each of us daily.

Hamlet describes the theater artist thus, “These are our actors, the chief abstracts and chroniclers of our times…”

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A very original way of using Greimas’ Semiotic Square. Takes me back a bit, that, I went to hear Greimas speak when I was a graduate student (hint: he wasn’t the best of speakers). I was prepared to think the Haraway approach too simplistic (I found that often was the case with semiotics), but by the end of the 20 minutes I have to agree that the approach is interesting. Thanks for posting this, @johnnydavis54!

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