If Monsters Don't Exist, Why Are They Out To Get Me?

About EsoterX

EsoterX is an anthropological investigation of the ontological status of things that go bump in the night.  The fact that monsters may or may not be corporeal is of no consequence, as Charles Baudelaire said, “I consider it useless and tedious to represent that which exists, because nothing that exists satisfies me.  Nature is ugly, and I prefer the monsters of my fancy to what is positively trivial”.  Born in a log cabin behind the Institute for Psychical Research, I am an applied anthropologist by training, inclination, and neurosis, masquerading as a software engineer and systems analyst by day.  I’m convinced the universe is a far weirder place than we like to admit and the only reasonable response is that recommended by Hunter Thompson — “When the going gets weird, turn pro”.

“From ghoulies and ghosties, and long-leggedy beasties, and things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us!” —Traditional Scottish Prayer

Nothing to see here.  Move along.
Nothing to see here. Move along.

To contact EsoterX directly with questions, observations, strange encounters, predicted apocalypses, expressions of love, or hate mail, please feel free to send us a note at  Correspondence from mythical monsters is welcomed and encouraged.

54 thoughts on “About EsoterX

      1. How do you find the time – do you write posts in advance? If you ever end up compiling your writings into a book, I’d be among the first to buy it.

      2. Insomnia helps. A little research in advance, but I’m all about instant gratification, so I post ’em as I write ’em. Thanks for your kind comments.

  1. this is a wonderful blog, i really enjoy your articles.

    it may sound a bit of an odd or unrelated question, but what do you think about the possibility and potential of the human mind? i remember reading a memorable ‘creepypasta’ horror story in which scientists severed all of an elderly man’s physical senses, touch, sight, sound, everything, in an attempt to make him contact with god (at the end the man spoke and hauntingly proclaimed that god had abandoned humanity).

    i read a group of monks had also used temporary sensory deprivation for a similar purpose, and after recovering, they claimed they had seen/spoken with God while deprived. then there is the common trope that losing your physical eyesight leads to psychic awareness (think of how many movies and books there are in which a protagonist gains clairvoyance after becoming blind). when humans dissociate from the physical realm, do they then enter the spiritual one? buddhism does opine that this physical world is an ‘illusion’ after all.

    i am also forever intrigued by the theory that we humans, in our lifetime, will only use a small part of what our brain is capable of, with some even claiming we only use a measly 10%- the other 90% of our big juicy brain sitting unused. it was however proven that we use a lot more than 10%, but interestingly also confirmed that by the time of old age/death we only use around 5% (almost as though we ironically get stupider, rather than wiser, as we age? ha). either way, most scientific people are in agreement that we don’t use as much of our brains as we could.

    i watched films ‘limitless’ and the more recent ‘lucy’ both of which base on the topic. both protagonist are about relatively ordinary people who end up, through some kind of mysterious zootropic drug, ‘activating’ 100% of their brain’s capacity. the man in limitless becomes quickly rich, genius and successful through the drug. lucy’s transformation goes at a more rapid and dramatic, frightening scale, with the drug bestowing her new awareness and intelligence as more and more of her brain awakens. by just 60%, she can ‘switch off’ pain and emotion, understand all human languages, has super-genius intellect, telepathic and telekinetic type powers, can control her own body’ cells and other humans, levitate, travel in time – imagining what she will become by 100% is frankly terrifying.

    but what i find even more interesting is how both of these characters also suffer from having so much access to their brain. in limitless, the protagonist experiences severe memory blackouts, depression and addiction to the drug. it is also heavily implied that while in a memory blackout he had murdered a woman. lucy’s mind overloads and her body begins to disintegrate. she is later told that she is slowly dying and the only cure is even more of the harmful zootropic drug.

    it reminds me of a doctor’s claim a few years back that the part of the brain which operates speech and language is also the same part that causes schizophrenia and mental illness. he said our speech is the thing that truly sets us apart from other animals and mental illness is the price we pay for being so intelligent.

    1. Thanks, and you raise some fascinating points. It does indeed seem like the species has this vague awareness that there is more locked up in our heads than we dare believe. I’m a “glass half-empty” kind of guy, so I look around and see the havoc we wrought with just 10% of our brains. Imagine the catastrophes we would cause using the other 90%.

      1. awfully true. i’ve heard what makes humans so determined to wreak havoc is that we are so emotional, with so little logic. it was proven that people with higher intelligence are less emotional. similarly, the portrayals of people with access to all of their brain have them as emotionless, logic taking the lead over feelings.

        in lucy, there is a scene where she has stabbed a man to force from him information about the drug, and as he writhes in agony, comments ‘this pain you’re feeling right now, it’s blocking you from understanding. pain is all you know’. the concept that pain and thus emotion (since one cannot feel emotion without feeling pain) is the thing holding humanity back from what we are really capable of is interesting. i’ve always thought of emotion as a power source, creating motivation, but it can clearly be crippling as well.

        interestingly, if nobody felt emotions the world would probably be better than it is. evil actions, like murder, rape, robbery etc, come from instincts in humanity’s early days, when every day was a competition for survival and if something good was on offer you had to get to it before someone else did and assert your dominance in the food chain. i think that is particularly the source of the greed, arrogance and need to put themselves above others humans feel so strongly. genuinely kind and generous people are quite rare and alien, to be honest.

        most believe emotion, particularly care and love towards others, is the thing that makes us human (people who apparently cannot feel emotion or love, such as psychopaths, seem to trigger some instinctual disturbance and fear inside us) but what if all along it was the opposite, and our emotions ultimately make us less human, by blocking out our full human potential? i guess we will never know.

  2. another thing to think about is what made humans start to become different to other animals in the first place.., though i’ve heard it was around the time we developed our survival skills. once we learned how to get fire and make tools for hunting, survival was no longer such a priority and it seems our brain began to evolve. we developed more complicated instincts and emotions. and we are definitely still changing and evolving even now.

    1. When I hear someone argue that Method X is inelegant or Technique Y is quite, quite behind the times, I figure they’re no good at Method X or Technique Y.

      Since you’ve denounced strong emotion, competition, and gain as barbarous relics that sap away humanity’s “true” potential, I guess one might say you “prefer intellectual activity,” to turn a phrase.

      Trying to live by pure logic would be as fatally conceited as any other attempt to live by a Master Plan, because emotion is inseparable from how projects get chosen, started, and stuck with through completion (or abandonment).

      Our brains are nowhere near as smart and rational as they would like us to think.

    2. According to recent findings, the human brain took a giant evolving leap when we changed our diet; as many moved further south in Africa towards the ocean protein-rich seafood became a major staple. It was easier to fish than chase (and run away from) wild animals. Archeologists have found caves containing several layers of human activity. FYI, “The Human Odyssey” is a wonderful documentary of humanity’s evolution and movement through time.

  3. You expound upon yourself in the first person, then say “send us a note.” Is there a post on here outlining your Dissociative Identity Disorder or are you still compiling anecdotes from friends and strangers? Enjoying your writing, all of you.

      1. *clinks cocktail glasses with EsoterX.

        PS: EsoterX keeps popping up as Apteryx in my mental Rolodex. If you are also coincidentally a New Zealander, my head will explode in 3…2…1….

  4. On our way this afternoon to buy property at the foot of Fort Mountain.I was searching the web for local water table depths for the area and ended up with this lovely bit of writing.Now that I shall be armed with truly useful information of the area, I feel compelled to weave into the story the obvious and necessary historical adjustment of having to appease the retinally challenged little bastards with Moon Pies in exchange for a peaceful homesteading.When my associates and I return they will once again feel the need to research my delusions and my fondest hope is that they find this article.l bet I can get the Moon Pie bit to stick.


  5. There’s a twilight world that I visit every night. It beckons me when I’m awake and in my sleep I belong to it….

  6. You got me from the Hunter S Thompson quote! (I have been lurking around reading your articles for a couple of weeks now.)

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