I am currently reading the collected stories of H.P.Lovecraft. They are wonderfully imagined tales of cosmic horror ripping through the thin veil of reality. When one goes beyond the entertainment however, I feel a certain sadness that the stories reveal a kind of existential horror of the material world on the part of the author – the descriptions of slimy-orificed creatures replete with Freudian suggestion. There is also a kind of anti-Platonist motif in Lovecraft’s work with the universe of Cthulu falling as a dark shadow on the mundane world. The protagonists of Lovecraft’s stories often appear rendered spiritually helpless by their own materialism. In contrast Abdu’l-Bahá teaches that we have both a lower self and a higher self capable of reflecting the light of God. We are in this wonderful material world but not limited to it.
In man there are two natures; his spiritual or higher nature and his material or lower nature. In one he approaches God, in the other he lives for the world alone. Signs of both these natures are to be found in men.