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Grand Unified Theory

(on the Mi-Go, SAN, K'n-Yan, and Ghouls)

by Bertil Jonell

Ok, here's my Grand Unified Theory on Mi-Go, SAN, K'n-Yan, and Ghouls. Long-time readers will recognize that it connects to old posts of mine on the nature of Ghouls and about why only humans in the Mythos go insane:)

The undefined thing that the Mi-Go did to primitive humanity was that they manipulated their brains to be divided into a concious and an unconcious. Having an undivided mind (like almost all independent races) will put a real crimp on the rate of scientific advance in a universe where chaotic nihilism rules: It is hard to invest effort in trying to determine 'natural laws' when you *know* that 'natural laws' are neither constant nor even possible to determine over astronomic distances ('when the stars are right') nor geological time ('strange eons').

But with a divided mind all the 'special cases', 'anomalous readings', and 'instrument errors' gets weeded out by the action of the unconcious (except when the unconcious have found a pattern in the anomalies. Then the discovered pattern will percolate up to the concious level, aka a flash of inspiration).

But this division had other effects: the concious level is the source of large-scale social organization, ideas about good and evil and so on, while the unconcious level is the dark side, ever repressed and ever trying to bleed through and twist the creations of the concious level (Robert Crumb has drawn the id of one of his characters as a little round hairy thing with spidery legs and a big mouth with pointy teeth. I think it's an excellent picture of what I mean with 'the unconcious':)

The downside is of course insanity: the unconcious have collected and collated a new big pattern that suggests things that the concious absolutely refuses to accept, and the normally mostly benificious relationship degenerates into war.

(See also HPL's 'The most merciful thing'-quote.)

The K'n-Yanni are then the last remnant of original humanity: Slow to advance (they had nuclear power long before the 15-th century judging from 'The Mound' and haven't advanced an inch since then. I'm assuming they didn't invent their technology themselves but rather recived it from their benefactors: Cthulhu, Tsathothugga et al.), totally amoral, or rather beyond good and evil. Just like Old Castro said.

Regarding ghouls I add my own previous article. If I wrote it today I'd probably modify it a bit, like removing the part about that the minds of ghouls are fully integrated, and instead say that their concious and unconcious have switched, so that the unconcious is the active part that 'rules' them, while the concious is eh, unconcious.

I suspect this doesn't match McNaughton's ideas about ghouls, so I put it forth as an alternate view:)

Btw: Extrapolating this theory to the Mi-Go plans for humanity I would expect them to try to profit from their investment/experiment. The three most obvious ways would be to keep the stars from becomming right until humanity has advanced enough technologically that the Mi-Go can use that technology themselves, grab great minds (literally:), and set up a research colony staffed with pet humans away from Earth (I just got an evil idea about 'End Times':).

David Brazil wrote:

Howabout this:

'Ghoulism' is essentially a state of changed brain activity(1) where the lower reptilian parts of the brain (eat, sleep, fuck(2)) are much more influential than the convoluted surface of the brain, which normally is what our conciousness uses.

(In other words: they don't have a concious and an unconcious part of the mind, they are integrated, albeit the part that was the unconcious is much more influential than the part that was the concious. This also means that they don't sleep and dream, or rather they are always simultaneously awake, dreaming and sleeping, which explains why they and their tunnels exist in parelell in the Dreamlands)

This brain activity makes various glands (the pitutary(sp?) etc) excrete different hormones than they normally do, which cause the physical changes.

According to some theories users of different languages have physical differences in their brains, ie different languages stimulate different parts of the brain into developing. This gives a clue about how humans can change into ghouls. The ghoul language stimulate the right parts of the brain, and may over time cause it to switch into ghoul mode. This is a gradual process, not a sudden switch, but it can take place even if just *listening* to ghoul speech, depending on individual suceptibility. This is why ghoul speech is decribed in vague terms like 'gibbering' and 'meeping'. It is indecribable and incomprehensible to a human in human mode since the brain in that state simply can't grasp it. If you understand it, you're probably a ghoul or well on the way of becoming one(3).

Ghouls on the other hand can learn human speech, but tend to use it in a strange manner. If they are isolated from other ghouls and only listen to human speech for a long time they tend to be less and less ghoulish and more and more like humans.

Children and infants switch the easiest, both from human to ghoul and the reverse. With increasing age switching takes longer and longer and ultimately becomes impossible, although this is unlikley to happen before the age when the brain starts to decline in capacity.

A given individuals difficulty in changing from ghoul to human is not necessarily equal to the difficulty of changing from human to ghoul for the same individual. Generally low SAN, nocturnal activity cycles and many recent ancestors that were ghouls or humans that had been ghouls make it easier to become a ghoul and harder to become a human. High SAN and extremely few recent ancestors that are ghouls or have been ghouls make it easier to become human and harder to become a ghoul.

Rumour has it that ghoulism can be triggered by visual impressions. (Pickmans paintings for example?:)

It is quite possible that the state of ghoulism was the normal state of humans, since it is the way an animal might behave if it had the brain of a human, and that the 'normal' state of humans is a recent aberration.

    Epileptic fits are also a state of changed brain activity, albeit temporary and not semi-permanent like ghoulism.
      Lovecrafts sensibilities made him focus on the eat part: they eat everything edible that doesn't move (and some things that do move) especially ghoul and human carcasses.
        When Randolph Carter spoke with the ghouls he had gone through the Door of the Silver Key and wasn't human anymore. He wasn't ghoul either, though...

        -bertil-

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