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Episode 58 - The Case of Charles Dexter Ward part 5
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Author Topic: Episode 58 - The Case of Charles Dexter Ward part 5  (Read 27301 times)
old book
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« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2010, 02:14:13 PM »

ditto:

I like Ben Franklin.

I don't want to see Merlin here.

Maybe it's John Dee or someone instead?

The Enoch connection discussed in earlier episode part threads goes a bit deeper than I first figured. The deal is you're not supposed to be able to look upon the face of the living God and live to tell about it. Enoch did. He was "translated" to the other side. The Book of Enoch was used heavily by Jewish sectarians in the Second Temple era, one of which later morphed into Christianity, which is all about raising the dead, or necromancy, if you prefer. Being able to visit Hades, the other side, the world of the dead, at will is part of the Graeco-Roman mysteries, but also Egyptian religion, and the "mysteries" of early Christianity mentioned by Clement of Alexandria in his infamous letter about Secret Mark. Being able to move across the barrier to the world of the shades means being able to communicate with the departed, to gain practical information.

Curwen did this in a sort of Guantanamo/Camp X-ray/Baghram Airbase torture mode. The Egyptians and the early Christians were much gentler about it. But we are dealing with necromancy, and Enoch fits right in as a living bridge between this world and the beyond.

Besides that stuff, there have been several authors who went to great pains to communicate with the dead in real life. I'm thinking of Oskar de Lubicz Milosz, the French symbolist poet, who used to spend most of the night in conversation with Shakespeare and others. Also, the CIA and other groups have tried to contact dead agents to debrief them. This one was sort of funny:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/28/nasa-goddard-meteorologist-talks-to-the-dead/

I think Lovecraft's speculation here progressed maybe something like this:

1. Fascination with the idea of occult, arcane, archaic knowledge resurfacing, usually through the agency of a young man
2. Extrapolation of what access to anachronistic knowledge would mean in the real world: commercial, personal advantage
3. The inevitable, eventual conflict between the evil necromancers wielding forbidden knowledge, and the "peasants with torches and pitchforks," the rest of us non-necromantizing people trapped in a limited viewpoint of a single lifetime.
4. The positive side of "remembering past lives": the good wizard who puts things aright in the world again.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 10:02:59 AM by old book » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2010, 08:59:08 AM »

Fantastic episode boys, listened to the entire series before falling asleep on Halloween. Strangely though, I dreamt of Chris dressed as one of his cats ...
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« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2011, 10:09:50 AM »

Re-listened to podcast yesterday at work. Given Dr Willett's long relationship with the Ward family, chances are very good he (Dr Willett) might have been the very doctor who helped deliver Charles. If that's correct, there is a certain symmmetry and sadness that Dr Willett is the person who buries him.

Jumping to a less depressing note, all your ideas about who Dr Willet raised in the catacombs are awesome. I never considered it could be Arthur or Merlin. I bow before your collective genius. Part of me was hoping it was John Dee!

Side note: the Ward mansion (IRL the Halsey House at 140 Prospect Street) is one of the stops on Donovan Loucks walking tour of Lovecraft's Providence. The house is gorgeous, will have to see if I still have my walking tour map from the NecronomiCon 2001. If so I'll try and post it.
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« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2011, 04:01:25 PM »

More Metatron Madness!!!111

Found this, posting it.
----------------------
'The term Metatron conveys the multiple meanings of guardian, Lord, messenger, mediator'; it is the 'author of the theophanies [God's manifestation] in the perceptible world'; 14 it is 'the Angel of the Face', and also the 'Prince of the World' (Sar ha-olam), and this last designation indicates that we have in no way strayed from the subject. The traditional symbolism that has been explained up to now may be employed to convey the idea that in the same way as the leader of the initiatory hierarchy is the 'terrestrial pole', so Metatron is the 'celestial pole'. And the one reflects the other, being in direct contact through the 'axis of the world'. 'His name is Mikaël, the Great Priest who is the burnt-offering and oblation before God. And everything the Israelites do on earth is the reflection of a celestial action. The Great Pontiff here below represents Mikaël, prince of Clemency . . . Every part of the scripture that tells of an appearance of Mikaël is concerned with the glory of the Shekinah.' 15 Although said here of the Israelites, it could equally apply to all peoples inheriting a genuinely orthodox tradition; the point should be made even more strongly for the representatives of the primordial tradition, from which all the rest derive and to which they are all subordinate; this is in tune with the symbolism pertaining to the 'Holy Land', an image of the celestial world that has been referred to already.

To revert to the previous subject, Metatron possesses not only the attribute of mercy but also that of justice; it is not only the 'Great Priest' (Kohen ha-gadol) but also the 'Great Prince' (Sar ha-gadol) and 'commander of the celestial militia', that is to say, it is the principle of royal power, as well as of that sacerdotal or pontifical power that corresponds to the function of 'mediator'. It is worth noting that Melek, 'king', and Maleak, 'angel' or 'messenger' are in fact two forms of one and the same word. Moreover, Malaki, 'my messenger' (that is to say, messenger of God, or 'angel in whom God dwells', Maleak ha-Elohim), is an anagram [in Hebrew] of Mikaël. 16

Although Mikaël is identified with Metatron, he represents only one aspect. Beside the luminous face, there is a dark face represented by Samaël, also known as Sar ha-olam - in fact, it is this latter aspect, and it only, which symbolizes in a lower sense the 'spirit of the world', or the Princeps hujus mundi referred to in the Gospels. Samaël's relationship with Metatron, as the latter's shadow, so to say, justifies the use of the same title in a two-fold sense as well as making it clear why the 'number of the beast', the apocalytic 666, is also a solar number.17 To quote Saint Hippolytus18 in conclusion: 'The Messiah and the Antichrist both have the lion for their emblem', another solar symbol. The same remarks may be applied to the serpent19 and to many other symbols. From a Kabbalistic viewpoint, we have here the two opposite faces of Metatron; we need not go into the theories we might formulate on this double meaning of symbols, only noting that the confusion between the luminous and the dark aspects is what properly constitutes 'Satanism'. It is precisely this confusion that allows some, unintentionally and through simple ignorance (an excuse, not a justification), to believe that an infernal significance is to be found in the title 'Lord of the World'.20

footnote:
17 This number is formed in particular by the name of Sorath, demon of the Sun, and opposed as such to the angel Mikaël; later we will see another significance of this number.

[Later is footnote 5 in Chapter 5, Symbolism of the Grail:

footnote:
5 Some people say it is an emerald fallen from the crown of Lucifer, but there is a confusion here, occurring because Lucifer, before his fall, was the 'Angel of the Crown' (i.e. of Kether, the first Sephirah), in Hebrew Hakathriel, a name which, moreover, has the number 666.

which refers to the sentence:

The essential significance of the Grail is best understood through various descriptions of its origin. The chalice is said to have been fashioned by Angels from an emerald that dropped from Lucifer's forehead at the time of his fall.5
]

Rene Guenon, The Lord of the World (Le Roi du Monde, Paris 1927), in the chapter Shekinah and Metatron

-----

PS please do post pics of the Ward mansion if you can.
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« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2011, 06:20:05 AM »

Am I the only one who got the impression upon reading the story that Curwen called Tony up?
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« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2011, 10:08:20 AM »

Tony Soprano?
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« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2011, 02:00:26 PM »

See, I don't like the idea of bringing Merlin into it. That's one cameo even too out-of-left-field for HPL.

I have to agree with you on this one GU. I think having Merlin pop up would be far too frilly for Lovecraft. He is all about magic as a force of barely-concealed demon pacts and sanity-blasting consequences. None of that describes how Merlin has been potrayed over the centuries. Merlin has always been the consummate "white wizard" that cutesy Disneyesque fairytales are woven around, and I just don't see Lovecraft including some random "white knight" to defeat the bad guys in one of his stories. I think the entity was a much more prosaic character like an old witch finder or puritan zealot, or even a rival wizard or even a great philosopher from ancient Greece or Rome (which I think fits in much better with HPL's loves).

Bob.
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« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2011, 09:59:21 PM »

Actually, Merlin was the son of Satan. "White wizard," hardly.
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« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2011, 08:01:48 AM »

Merlin as the son of Satan? Really? OK, at this point, I just have to start questioning the evolution of literary/mythological figures in the modern world. how the hell do you go from son of Satan to Gandalf archetype? That makes no damn sense whatsoever.

Bob
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« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2011, 08:03:28 PM »

Actually, Merlin was the son of Satan. "White wizard," hardly.

Technically an incubus, I believe.
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« Reply #25 on: April 11, 2011, 03:36:15 PM »

I read somewhere Merlin was transgender, too. Probably just gossip.
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« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2011, 08:11:34 AM »

Do you see my avatar? See how he looks drained and pensive? That is how I feel about Merlin now. Sad

And I have to admit that with all of that background, maybe having Merlin pop up may have been more with keeping with Lovecraft's style.

Bob
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« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2011, 10:19:16 PM »

The description, actions of the character, and time period of the writing at least definitely points to a 'Merlin' like character.
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« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2013, 08:01:39 PM »

Very interesting theory of getting a variety of info from a Revolutionary great of Ben Franklin. Got one book here in the personal library on the popular history of Occultist & looked through there to see if other historical figures similar to John Dee & Crowley were in that book with the initials of BF but alas no. If I was looking for history or needing something important of the time period I'd tap Ben Franklin's brain for some info as I'm sure he'd have something.

After going through this episode & the Dark Adventure Radio Theatre episode on dear Charles Ward,

Spoilers here that follows:

I keep finding part of my brain shooting off to a tangent with the line of 'not calling up what you can't put down' where Curwen accidentally get the graves mixed up & gets the wrong salts so he winds up summoning up his dead & rather noisy mother-in-law thereby starting up that comedy sitcom where there's no rest for the wicked while being full of hilarious results.
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