Rulers of Celephais

There was once a story by H.P. Lovecraft that particularly stirred me.

It was about a man who ruled over a fantastic kingdom in his mind yet seemed a half-mad beggar to all those who saw him fumbling about in our reality.  Actually, whether his kingdom of Celephais is the true reality or imaginary is left unclear.  It is suggested that with his death, the man finally comes to be wholly immersed in his grander reality.

I couldn’t help but draw some parallels between this story and how introverts tend to be perceived in the larger society.

Introverts are quite typically immersed in a glorious domain of knowledge and serious hobbies.  For an introvert, the pursuit of these interests often becomes more stimulating than the mundane every day life that surrounds them.  After all, there seems little time for talking with a new acquaintance about the weather when great literature awaits one’s perusal.

The great kingdoms ruled by introverts are invisible to the larger populace.  Because their gaze is turned to another land they are misunderstood and dismissed as sad and socially inept.  Little does the social majority understand that they have disdained the mighty Rulers of Celephais.

The inner wealth of those who are Subtle is no physical possession that can be capriciously stripped away.  Once obtained, it is a constant, lifelong guide, an ever giving asset.  As an introvert acquires treasure: the way is opened to attain ever more of it.

Zygmunt blogs at Kingdom of Introversion.  Rulers of Celephais appears here with permission.

[Editor’s note:  Celephais, in Lovecraft’s story, is a city where time never passes. While this is a generic trait of many a dream-world, longtime readers of this site may recognize something in Celephais of Gregory Bateson and Andrew Lehman’s notion of primary process, describable as “one time, one place, no opposites.”]

on 12/14/10 in Art/Play/Myth, featured | No Comments | Read More

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