"When the stars are right" is really the kind of book that really gives you some “ah-a” moments, that makes you go “I knew it had to be something like this”.
Basically this book reveals how Lovecraft mythic figures work, how they are not just monsters-aliens-deities, but rather some kind of archetypes (in the Carl Jung sense) or even some kind of world disclosures (in a Martin Heidegger way), if that doesn’t sound too pedantic ^^. In the author words, it’s an “examination of the Great Old Ones as emergent properties of certain types of consciousness”, an empathy with the forces of chaos. And when the stars are right, they will be freed form their conceptual prisons !
The three main forces are :
Yog-Sothoth : primal ground of being, bubbling life and consciousness, quantum foam emerging from nothingness, growing and infinitely permeable, all-in-one and one-in-all.
Shub-Niggurath : forward thrust of being into time, fertility and fecundity, tree of life and death, lust and hunger, swam of forms in which “the “individual” is a momentary condensation of the shifting surface of flesh and from”.
Nyarlathotep : the story of the being, the search of meaning in it, the transfer of information between different levels, the madness to search patterns, the very idea of language already concealed in the mind of a preverbal infant (that make him figure that adults words must have a meaning).
Dagon and Cthulhu are representations of the consciousness. Dagon is the past, it’s the innate consciousness (our oceanic origins, the germs that allowed the promethean gifts of arts and technologies). Cthulhu is the present and the future, it’s the acquired consciousness (human body for the rationality / dragon wings to transcend it / cephalopod head with tentacles : problem-solving, ability to embrace multiple realities simultaneously, 360° apprehension). Cthulhu influences humanity by its very act of dreaming and waiting [like a kind of universal zazen emitter].
What’s striking is the use of these myths as “symbolic embodied concepts”. Formerly we had to use concepts to understand how and why men invented deities (like in Mircea Eliade studies of symbols in religions). Now we have concepts that seem powerful enough to describe the world : physics, evolution, chaos theory, and even the buddhist void-form… but existentially these concepts hardly make sense. I think that “ When the stars are right » is a proposition to use some literary archetypes to embody these concepts.
“ When the stars are right » is a great book and I strongly recommend it. It’s published by the canadian editor http://martianmigrainepress.com/ and is available in electronic and also in quick print-on-demand format. I was delighted to learn that I was the first “international customer” to buy it (from France) but I think it definitely deserves an international readership !