Book of the Damned Chapter III
SO then, it is our expression that Science relates to real knowledge no
more than does the growth of a plant, or the organization of a department
store, or the development of a nation: that all are assimilative, or
organizing, or systematizing processes that represent different attempts
to attain the positive state--the state commonly called heaven, I suppose
There can be no real science where there are indeterminate variables,
but every variable is, in finer terms, indeterminate, or irregular, if
only to have the appearance of being in Intermediateness is to express
regularity unattained. The invariable, or the real and stable, would be
nothing at all in Intermediateness--rather as, but in relative terms, an
undistorted interpretation of external sounds in the mind of a dreamer
could not continue to exist in a dreaming mind, because that touch of
relative realness would be of awakening and not of dreaming. Science is
the attempt to awaken to realness, wherein it is attempt to find
regularity and uniformity. Or the regular and uniform would be that which
has nothing external to disturb it. By the universal we mean the real. Or
the notion is that the underlying super-attempt, as expressed in Science,
is indifferent to the subject-matter of Science: that the attempt to
regularize is the vital spirit. Bugs and stars and chemical messes: that
they are only quasi-real, and that of them there is nothing real to know;
but that systemization of pseudo-data is approximation to realness or
final awakening --
Or a dreaming mind--and its centaurs and canary birds that turn into
giraffes--there could be no real biology upon such subjects, but attempt,
in a dreaming mind, to systematize such appearances would be movement
toward awakening--if better mental co-ordination is all that we mean by
the state of being awake--relatively awake.
So it is, that having attempted to systematize, by ignoring externality
to the greatest possible degree, the notion of things dropping in upon
this earth, from externality, is as unsettling and as unwelcome to Science
as--tin horns blowing in upon a musician's relatively symmetric
composition--flies alighting upon a painter's attempted harmony, and
tracking colors one into another--suffragist getting up and making a
political speech at a prayer meeting.
If all things are of a oneness, which is a state intermediate to
unrealness and realness, and if nothing has succeeded in breaking away and
establishing entity for itself, and could not continue to "exist" in
intermediateness, if it should succeed, any more than could the born still
at the same time be the uterine, I of course know of no positive
difference between Science and Christian Science--and the attitude of both
toward the unwelcome is the same--"it does not exist."
A Lord Kelvin and a Mrs. Eddy, and something not to their liking--it
does not exist.
Of course not, we Intermediates say: but, also, that, in
Intermediateness, neither is there absolute non-existence.
Or a Christian Scientist and a toothache--neither exists in the final
sense: also neither is absolutely non-existent, and, according to our
therapeutics, the one that more highly approximates to realness will win.
A secret of power --
I think it's another profundity.
Do you want power over something?
Be more nearly real than it.
We'll begin with yellow substances that have fallen upon this earth:
we'll see whether our data of them have a higher approximation to realness
than have the dogmas of those who deny their existence--that is, as
products from somewhere external to this earth.
In mere impressionism we take our stand. We have no positive tests nor
standards. Realism in art: realism in science--they pass away. In 1859,
the thing to do was to accept Darwinism; now many biologists are revolting
and trying to conceive of something else. The thing to do was to accept it
in its day, but Darwinism of course was never proved:
The fittest survive.
What is meant by the fittest?
Not the strongest; not the cleverest --
Weakness and stupidity everywhere survive.
There is no way of determining fitness except in that a thing does
"Fitness," then, is only another name for "survival."
That survivors survive.
Although Darwinism, then, seems positively baseless, or absolutely
irrational, its massing of supposed data, and its attempted coherence
approximate more highly to Organization and Consistency than did the
inchoate speculations that preceded it.
Or that Columbus never proved that the earth is round.
Shadow of the earth on the moon?
No one has ever seen it in its entirety. The earth's shadow is much
larger than the moon. If the periphery of the shadow is curved--but the
convex moon--a straight-edged object will cast a curved shadow upon a
surface that is convex.
All the other so-called proofs may be taken up in the same way. It was
impossible for Columbus to prove that the earth is round. It was not
required: only that with a higher seeming of positiveness than that of his
opponents, he should attempt. The thing to do, in 1492, was nevertheless
to accept that beyond Europe, to the west, were other lands.
I offer for acceptance, as something concordant with the spirit of this
first quarter of the 20th century, the expression that beyond this earth
are--other lands--from which come things as, from America, float things to
As to yellow substances that have fallen upon this earth, the endeavor
to exclude extra-mundane origins is the dogma that all yellow rains and
yellow snows are colored with pollen from this earth's pine trees.
Symons' Meteorological Magazine is especially prudish in this respect
and regards as highly improper all advances made by other explainers.
Nevertheless, the Monthly Weather Review, May, 1877, reports a
golden-yellow fall, of Feb. 27, 1877, at Peckloh, Germany, in which four
kinds of organisms, not pollen, were the coloring matter. There were
minute things shaped like arrows, coffee beans, horns, and disks.
They may have been symbols. They may have been objective hieroglyphics
Mere passing fancy--let it go --
In the Annales de Chimie, 85-288, there is a list of rains
said to have contained sulphur. I have thirty or forty other notes. I'll
not use one of them. I'll admit that every one of them is upon a fall of
pollen. I said, to begin with, that our methods would be the methods of
theologians and scientists, and they always begin with an appearance of
liberality. I grant thirty or forty points to start with. I'm as liberal
as any of them--or that my liberality won't cost me anything--the
enormousness of the data that we shall have.
Or just to look over a typical instance of this dogma, and the way it
In the American Journal of Science, 1-42-196, we are told of a
yellow substance that fell by the bucketful upon a vessel, one "windless"
night in June, in Pictou Harbour, Nova Scotia. The writer analyzed the
substance, and it was found to "give off nitrogen and ammonia and an
Now, one of our Intermediatist principles, to start with, is that so
far from positive, in the aspect of Homogeneousness, are all substances,
that, at least in what is called an elementary sense, anything can be
found anywhere. Mahogany logs on the coast of Greenland; bugs of a valley
on top of Mt. Blanc; atheists at a prayer meeting; ice in India. For
instance, chemical analysis can reveal that almost any dead man was
poisoned with arsenic, we'll say, because there is no stomach without some
iron, lead, tin, gold, arsenic in it and of it--which, of course, in a
broader sense, doesn't matter much, because a certain number of persons
must, as a restraining influence, be executed for murder every year; and,
if detectives aren't able really to detect anything, illusion of their
success is all that is necessary, and it is very honorable to give up
one's life for society as a whole.
The chemist who analyzed the substance of Pictou sent a sample to the
Editor of the Journal. The Editor of course found pollen in it.
My own acceptance is that there'd have to be some pollen in it: that
nothing could very well fall through the air, in June, near the pine
forests of Nova Scotia, and escape all floating spores of pollen. But the
Editor does not say that this substance "contained" pollen. He disregards
"nitrogen and ammonia, and an animal odor," and says that the substance
was pollen. For the sake of our thirty or forty tokens of liberality, or
pseudo-liberality, if we can't be really liberal, we grant that the
chemist of the first examination probably wouldn't know an animal odor if
he were janitor of a menagerie. As we go along, however, there can be no
such sweeping ignoring of this phenomenon:
The fall of animal-matter from the sky.
I'd suggest, to start with, that we'd put ourselves in the place of
How would they account for the fall of animal-matter from above?
They wouldn't try --
Or it's easy enough to think of most of us as deep-sea fishes of a
Jour. Franklin Inst., 90-11:
That, upon the 14th of February, 1870, there fell, at Genoa, Italy,
according to Director Boccardo, of the Technical Institute of Genoa, and
Prof. Castellani, a yellow substance. But the microscope revealed numerous
globules of cobalt blue, also corpuscles of a pearly color that resembled
starch. See Nature, 2-166.
Comptes Rendus, 56-972:
M. Bouis says of a substance, reddish varying to yellowish, that fell
enormously and successively, or upon April 30, May 1 and May 2, in France
and Spain, that it carbonized and spread the odor of charred animal
matter--that it was not pollen--that in alcohol it left a residue of
Hundreds of thousands of tons of this matter must have fallen.
"Odor of charred animal matter."
Or an aerial battle that occurred in inter-planetary space several
hundred years ago--effect of time in making diverse remains uniform in
It's all very absurd because, even though we are told of a prodigious
quantity of animal matter that fell from the sky--three days--France and
Spain--we're not ready yet: that's all. M. Bouis says that this substance
was not pollen; the vastness of the fall makes acceptable that it was not
pollen; still, the resinous residue does suggest pollen of pine trees. We
shall hear a great deal of a substance with a resinous residue that has
fallen from the sky: finally we shall divorce it from all suggestion of
Blackwood's Magazine, 3-338:
A yellow powder that fell at Gerace, Calabria, March 14, 1813. Some of
this substance was collected by Sig. Simennini, Professor of Chemistry, at
Naples. It had an earthy, insipid taste, and is described as "unctuous."
When heated this matter turned brown, then black, then red. According to
the Annals of Philosophy, 11-466, one of the components was a
greenish-yellow substance, which, when dried, was found to be resinous.
But concomitants of this fall:
Loud noises were heard in the sky.
Stones fell from the sky.
According to Chladni, these concomitants occurred, and to me they
seem--rather brutal?--or not associable with something so soft and gentle
as a fall of pollen?
* * *
Black rains and black snows--rains as black as a deluge of
Such a rain as that which fell in Ireland, May 14, 1849, described in
the Annals of Scientific Discovery, 1850, and the Annual
Register, 1849. It fell upon a district of 400 square miles, and was
the color of ink, and of a fetid odor and very disagreeable taste.
The rain at Castlecommon, Ireland, April 30, 1887--"thick black rain."
(Amer. Met. Jour., 4-193.)
A black rain fell in Ireland, Oct. 8 and 9, 1907. (Symons' Met. Mag.,
43-2). It left a "most peculiar and disagreeable smell in the air."
The orthodox explanation of this rain occurs in Nature, March
2, 1908--cloud of soot that had come from South Wales, crossing the Irish
Channel and all of Ireland.
So the black rain of Ireland, of March, 1898: ascribed in Symons'
Met. Mag., 33-40, to clouds of soot from the manufacturing towns of
North England and South Scotland.
Our Intermediatist principle of pseudo-logic, or our principle of
Continuity is, of course, that nothing is unique, or individual: that all
phenomena merge away into all other phenomena: that, for instance--suppose
there should be vast super-oceanic, or inter-planetary vessels that come
near this earth and discharge volumes of smoke at times. We're only
supposing such a thing as that now, because, conventionally, we are
beginning modestly and tentatively. But if it were so, there would
necessarily be some phenomenon upon this earth, with which that phenomenon
would merge. Extra-mundane smoke and smoke from cities merge, or both
would manifest in black precipitations in rain.
In Continuity, it is impossible to distinguish phenomena at their
merging-points, so we look for them at their extremes. Impossible to
distinguish between animal and vegetable in some infusoria--but
hippopotamus and violet. For all practical purposes they're
distinguishable enough. No one but a Barnum or a Bailey would send one a
bunch of hippopotami as a token of regard.
So away from the great manufacturing centers:
Black rain in Switzerland, Jan. 20, 1911. Switzerland is so remote, and
so ill at ease is the conventional explanation here, that Nature,
85-451, says of this rain that in certain conditions of weather, snow may
take on an appearance of blackness that is quite deceptive.
May be so. Or at night, if dark enough, snow may look black. This is
simply denying that a black rain fell in Switzerland, Jan. 20, 1911.
Extreme remoteness from the great manufacturing centers:
La Nature, 1888, 2-406:
That Aug. 14, 1888, there fell at the Cape of Good Hope, a rain so
black as to be described as a "shower of ink."
Continuity dogs us. Continuity rules us and pulls us back. We seemed to
have a little hope that by the method of extremes we could get away from
things that merge indistinguishably into other things. We find that every
departure from one merger is entrance upon another. At the Cape of Good
Hope, vast volumes of smoke from great manufacturing centers, as an
explanation, can not very acceptably merge with the explanation of
extra-mundane origin--but smoke from a terrestial volcano can, and that is
the suggestion that is made in La Nature.
There is, in human intellection, no real standard to judge by, but our
acceptance, for the present, is that the more nearly positive will
prevail. By the more nearly positive we mean the more nearly Organized.
Everything merges away into everything else, but proportionately to its
complexity, if unified, a thing seems strong, real, and distinct: so, in
aesthetics, it is recognized that diversity in unity is higher beauty, or
approximation to Beauty, than is simpler unity; so the logicians feel that
agreement of diverse data constitute greater convincingness, or strength,
than that of mere parallel instances: so to Herbert Spencer the more
highly differentiated and integrated is the more fully evolved. Our
opponents hold out for mundane origin of all black rains. Our method will
be the presenting of diverse phenomena in agreement with the notion of
some other origin. We take up not only black rains but black rains and
their accompanying phenomena.
A correspondent to Knowledge, 5-190, writes of a black rain
that fell in the Clyde Valley, March 1, 1884: of another black rain that
fell two days later. According to the correspondent, a black rain had
fallen in the Clyde Valley, March 20, 1828: then again March 22, 1828.
According to Nature, 9-43, a black rain fell at Marlsford,
England, Sept. 4, 1873; more than twenty-four hours later another black
rain fell in the same small town.
The black rains of Slains:
According to Rev. James Rust (Scottish Showers):
A black rain at Slains, Jan. 14, 1862--another at Carluke, 140 miles
from Slains, May 1, 1862--at Slains, May 20, 1862--Slains, Oct. 28, 1863.
But after two of these showers, vast quantities of a substance
described sometimes as "pumice stone," but sometimes as "slag," were
washed upon the sea coast near Slains. A chemist's opinion is given that
this substance was slag: that it was not a volcanic product: slag from
smelting works. We now have, for black rains, a concomitant that is
irreconcilable with origin from factory chimneys. Whatever it may have
been the quantity of this substance was so enormous that, in Mr. Rust's
opinion, to have produced so much of it would have required the united
output of all the smelting works in the world. If slag it were, we accept
that an artificial product has, in enormous quantities, fallen from the
sky. If you don't think that such occurrences are damned by Science, read
Scottish Showers and see how impossible it was for the author to
have this matter taken up by the scientific world.
The first and second rains corresponded, in time, with ordinary
ebullitions of Vesuvius.
The third and fourth, according to Mr. Rust, corresponded with no known
volcanic activities upon this earth.
La Science Pour Tous, 11-26:
That between October, 1863, and January, 1866, four more black rains
fell at Slains, Scotland.
The writer of this supplementary account tells us, with a better, or
more unscrupulous, orthodoxy than Mr. Rust's, that of the eight black
rains, five coincided with eruptions of Vesuvius and three with eruptions
The fate of all explanation is to close one door only to have another
fly wide open. I should say that my own notions upon this subject will be
considered irrational, but at least my gregariousness is satisfied in
associating here with the preposterous--or this writer, and those who
think in his rut, have to say that they can think of four discharges from
one far-distant volcano, passing over a great part of Europe,
precipitating nowhere else, discharging precisely over one small northern
But also of three other discharges, from another far-distant volcano,
showing the same precise preference, if not marksmanship, for one small
parish in Scotland.
Nor would orthodoxy be any better off in thinking of exploding
meteorites and their debris: preciseness and recurrence would be just as
difficult to explain.
My own notion is of an island near an oceanic trade-route: it might
receive debris from passing vessels seven times in four years.
Other concomitants of black rains:
In Timb's Year Book, 1851-270, there is an account of "a sort
of rumbling, as of wagons, was heard for upward of an hour without
ceasing," July 16, 1850, Bulwick Rectory, Northampton, England. On the
19th, a black rain fell.
In Nature, 30-6, a correspondent writes of an intense darkness
at Preston, England, April 26, 1884: page 32, another correspondent writes
of a black rain at Crowle, near Worcester, April 26: that a week later, or
May 3, it had fallen again: another account of black rain, upon the 28th
of April, near Church Stretton, so intense that the following day brooks
were still dyed with it. According to four accounts by correspondents to
Nature there were earthquakes in England at this time.
Or the black rain of Canada, Nov. 9, 1819. This time it is orthodoxy to
attribute the black precipitate to smoke of forest fires south of the Ohio
Zurcher, Meteors, p.238:
That this black rain was accompanied by "shocks like those of an
Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, 2-381:
That the earthquake had occurred at the climax of intense darkness and
the fall of black rain.
* * *
Sand blown by the sirocco, from the Sahara to Europe.
Especially in the earthquake regions of Europe, there have been many
falls of red substance, usually, but not always, precipitated in rain.
Upon many occasions, these substances have been "absolutely identified" as
sand from the Sahara. When I first took this matter up, I came across
assurance after assurance, so positive to this effect, that, had I not
been an Intermediatist, I'd have looked no further. Samples collected from
a rain at Genoa--samples of sand forwarded from the Sahara--"absolute
agreement" some writers said: same color, same particles of quartz, even
the same shells of diatoms mixed in. Then the chemical analyses: not a
disagreement worth mentioning.
Our intermediatist means of expression will be that, with proper
exclusions, after the scientific or theological method, anything can be
identified with anything else, if all things are only different
expressions of an underlying oneness.
To many minds there's a rest and there's satisfaction in that
expression "absolutely identified." Absoluteness, or the illusion of
it--the universal quest. If chemists have identified substances that have
fallen in Europe as sand from African deserts, swept up in African
whirlwinds, that's assuasive to all the irritations that occur to those
cloistered minds that must repose in the concept of a snug, isolated,
little world, free from contact with cosmic wickednesses, safe from
stellar guile, undisturbed by inter-planetary prowlings and invasions. The
only trouble is that a chemist's analysis, which seems so final and
authoritative to some minds, is no more nearly absolute than is
identification by a child or description by an imbecile --
I take some of that back: I accept that the approximation is higher --
But that it's based upon delusion, because there is no definiteness, no
homogeneity, no stability, only different stages somewhere between them
and indefiniteness, heterogeneity, and instability. There are no chemical
elements. It seems acceptable that Ramsay and others have settled that.
The chemical elements are only another disappointment in the quest of the
positive, as the definite, the homogeneous, and the stable. If there were
real elements, there could be a real science of chemistry.
Upon Nov. 12 and 13, 1902, occurred the greatest fall of matter in the
history of Australia. Upon the 14th of November, it "rained mud," in
Tasmania. It was of course attributed to Australian whirlwinds, but,
according to the Monthly Weather Review, 32-365, there was a haze
all the way to the Philippines, also as far as Hong Kong. It may be that
this phenomenon had no especial relation with the even more tremendous
fall of matter that occurred in Europe, February, 1903.
For several days, the south of England was a dumping ground--from
If you'd like to have a chemist's opinion, even though it's only a
chemist's opinion, see the report of the meeting of the Chemical Society
of London, April 2, 1903. Mr. E.G. Clayton read a paper upon some of the
substance that had fallen from the sky, collected by him. The Sahara
explanation applies mostly to falls that occur in southern Europe. Farther
away, the conventionalists are a little uneasy: for instance, the editor
of the Monthly Weather Review, 29-121, says of a red rain that
fell near the coast of Newfoundland, early in 1890: "It would be very
remarkable if this was Sahara dust." Mr. Clayton said that the matter
examined by him was "merely wind-borne dust from the roads and lanes of
Wessex." This opinion is typical of all scientific opinion--or theological
opinion--or feminine opinion--all very well except for what it disregards.
The most charitable thing I can think of--because I think it gives us a
broader tone to relieve our malices with occasional charities--is that Mr.
Clayton had not heard of the astonishing extent of this fall--had covered
the Canary Islands, on the 19th, for instance. I think, myself, that in
1903, we passed through the remains of a powdered world--left over from an
ancient inter-planetary dispute, brooding in space like a red resentment
ever since. Or, like every other opinion, the notion of dust from Wessex
turns into a provincial thing when we look it over.
To think is to conceive incompletely, because all thought relates only
to the local. We metaphysicians, of course, like to have the notion that
we think of the unthinkable.
As to opinions, or pronouncements, I should say, because they always
have such an authoritative air, of other chemists, there is an analysis in
Nature, 68-54, giving water and organic matter at 9.08 per cent.
It's that carrying out of fractions that's so convincing. The substance is
identified as sand from the Sahara.
The vastness of this fall. In Nature, 68-65, we are told that
it had occurred in Ireland, too. The Sahara, of course--because, prior to
Feb. 19, there had been dust storms in the Sahara--disregarding that in
that great region there's always, in some part of it, a dust storm.
However, just at present, it does look reasonable that dust had come from
Africa, via the Canaries.
The great difficulty that authoritativeness has to contend with is some
other authoritativeness. When an infallibility clashes with a
Nature, March 5, 1903:
Another analysis--36 per cent organic matter.
Such disagreements don't look very well, so, in Nature,
68-109, one of the differing chemists explains. He says that his analysis
was of muddy rain, and the other was of sediment of rain --
We're quite ready to accept excuses from the most high, though I do
wonder whether we're quite so damned as we were, if we find ourselves in a
gracious and tolerant mood toward the powers that condemn--but the tax
that now comes upon our good manners and unwillingness to be too severe --
Another chemist. He says it was 23.49 per cent water and organic
He "identifies" this matter as sand from an African desert--but after
deducting organic matter --
But you and I could be "identified" as sand from an African desert,
after deducting all there is to us except sand --
Why we can not accept that this fall was of sand from the Sahara,
omitting the obvious objection that in most parts the Sahara is not red at
all, but is usually described as "dazzling white" --
The enormousness of it: that a whirlwind might have carried it, but
that, in that case it would be no supposititious, or doubtfully identified
whirlwind, but the greatest atmospheric cataclysm in the history of this
Jour. Roy. Met. Soc., 30-56:
That, up to the 27th of February, this fall had continued in Belgium,
Holland, Germany and Austria; that in some instances it was not sand, or
that almost all the matter was organic: that a vessel had reported the
fall as occurring in the Atlantic Ocean, midway between Southampton and
the Barbados. The calculation is given that, in England alone, 10,000,000
tons of matter had fallen. It had fallen in Switzerland, (Symons' Met.
Mag., March, 1903). It had fallen in Russia (Bull. Com. Geolog.,
22-48). Not only had a vast quantity of matter fallen several months
before, in Australia, but it was at this time falling in Australia (Victorian
Naturalist, June, 1903)--enormously--red mud--fifty tons per square
The Wessex explanation --
Or that every explanation is a Wessex explanation: by that I mean an
attempt to interpret the enormous in terms of the minute--but that nothing
can be finally explained, because by Truth we mean the Universal; and that
even if we could think as wide as Universality, that would not be requital
to the cosmic quest--which is not for Truth, but for the local that is
true--not to universalize the local, but to localize the universal--or to
give to a cosmic cloud absolute interpretation in terms of the little
dusty roads and lanes of Wessex. I can not conceive that this can be done:
I think of high approximation.
Our Intermediatist concept is that, because of the continuity of all
"things," which are not separate, positive, or real things, all
pseudo-things partake of the underlying, or are only different
expressions, degrees, or aspects of the underlying: so then that a sample
from somewhere in anything must correspond with a sample from somewhere in
That, by due care in selection, and disregard for everything else, or
the scientific and theological method, the substance that fell, February,
1903, could be identified with anything, or with some part or aspect of
anything that could be conceived of --
With sand from the Sahara, sand from a barrel of sugar, or dust of your
great, great grandfather.
Different samples are described and listed in the Journal of the
Royal Meteorological Society, 30-57--or we'll see whether my notion
that a chemist could have identified some one of these samples as from
anywhere conceivable, is extreme or not:
"Similar to brick dust," in one place; "buff or light brown," in
another place; "chocolate-colored and silky to the touch and slightly
iridescent"; "gray"; "red-rust color"; "reddish raindrops and gray sand";
"dirty gray"; "quite red"; "yellow-brown, with a tinge of pink"; "deep
In Nature, it is described as of a peculiar yellowish cast in
one place, reddish somewhere else, and salmon-colored in another place.
Or there could be real science if there were really anything to be
Or the science of chemistry is like a science of sociology, prejudiced
in advance, because only to see is to see with a prejudice, setting out to
"prove" that all inhabitants of New York came from Africa.
Very easy matter. Samples from one part of town. Disregard for all the
There is no science but Wessex-science.
According to our acceptance, there should be no other, but that
approximation should be higher: that metaphysics is super-evil: that the
scientific spirit is of the cosmic quest.
Our notion is that, in a real existence, such a quasi-system of fables
as the science of chemistry could not deceive for a moment: but that in an
"existence" endeavoring to become real, it represents that endeavor, and
will continue to impose its pseudo-positiveness until it be driven out by
a higher approximation to realness;
That the science of chemistry is as impositive as fortune-telling --
Or no --
That, though it represents a higher approximation to realness than does
alchemy, for instance, and so drove out alchemy, it is still somewhere
between myth and positiveness.
The attempt at realness, or to state a real and unmodified fact here,
is the statement:
All red rains are colored sands from the Sahara desert.
My own impositivist acceptances are:
That some red rains are colored by sands from the Sahara desert;
Some by sands from other terrestrial sources;
Some by sands from other worlds, or from their deserts--also from
aerial regions too indefinite or amorphous to be thought of as "worlds" or
That no supposititious whirlwind can account for the hundreds of
millions of tons of matter that fell upon Australia, Pacific Ocean and
Atlantic Ocean and Europe in 1902 and 1903--that a whirlwind that could do
that would not be supposititious.
But now we shall cast off some of our wessicality by accepting that
there have been falls of red substance other than sand.
We regard every science as an expression of the attempt to be real. But
to be real is to localize the universal--or to make some one thing as wide
as all things--successful accomplishment of which I cannot conceive of.
The prime resistance to this endeavor is the refusal of the rest of the
universe to be damned, excluded, disregarded, to receive Christian Science
treatment, by something else so attempting. Although all phenomena are
striving for the Absolute--or have surrendered to and have incorporated
themselves in higher attempts, simply to be phenomenal, or to have seeming
in Intermediateness is to express relations.
It is water expressing the gravitational relation of different levels.
The water of the river.
Expression of chemic relations of hydrogen and oxygen--which are not
Manifestation of commercial and social relations.
How could a mountain be without base in a greater body?
Storekeeper live without customers?
The prime resistance to the positivist attempt by Science is its
relations with other phenomena, or that it only expresses those relations
in the first place. Or that a Science can have seeming, or survive in
Intermediateness, as something pure, isolated, positively different, no
more than could a river or a city or a mountain or a store.
This Intermediateness-wide attempt by parts to be wholes--which cannot
be realized in our quasi-state, if we accept that in it the co-existence
of two or more wholes or universals is impossible--high approximation to
which, however, may be thinkable --
Scientists and their dream of "pure science."
Artists and their dream of "art for art's sake."
It is our notion that if they could almost realize, that would be
almost realness: that they would instantly be translated into real
existence. Such thinkers are good positivists, but they are evil in an
economic and sociologic sense, if, in that sense, nothing has
justification for being, unless it serve, or function for, or express the
relations of, some higher aggregate. So Science functions for and serves
society at large, and would, from society at large, receive no support,
unless it did so divert itself or dissipate and prostitute itself. It
seems that by prostitution I mean usefulness.
There have been red rains that, in the middle ages, were called "rains
of blood." Such rains terrified many persons, and were so unsettling to
large populations, that Science, in its sociologic relations, has sought,
by Mrs. Eddy's method, to remove an evil --
That "rains of blood" do not exist;
That rains so called are only of water colored by sand from the Sahara
My own acceptance is that such assurances, whether fictitious or not,
whether the Sahara is a "dazzling white" desert or not, have wrought such
good effects, in a sociologic sense, even though prostitutional in the
positivist sense, they were well justified;
But that we've gone on: that this is the twentieth century; that most
of us have grown up so that such soporifics of the past are no longer
That if gushes of blood should fall from the sky upon New York City,
business would go on as usual.
We began with rains that we accepted ourselves were, most likely, only
of sand. In my own still immature hereticalness--and by heresy, or
progress, I mean, very largely, a return, though with many modifications,
to the superstitions of the past, I think I feel considerable aloofness to
the idea of rains of blood. Just at present, it is my conservative, or
timid purpose, to express only that there have been red rains that very
strongly suggest blood or finely divided animal matter --
Debris from inter-planetary disasters.
Food-supplies from cargoes of super-vessels, wrecked in inter-planetary
There was a red rain in the Mediterranean region, March 6, 1888. Twelve
days later, it fell again. Whatever this substance may have been, when
burned, the odor of animal matter from it was strong and persistent. (L'Astronomie,
But--infinite heterogeneity--or debris from many different kinds of
aerial cargoes--there have been red rains that have been colored by
neither sand nor animal matter.
Annals of Philosophy, 16-226:
That, Nov. 2, 1819--week before the black rain and earthquake of
Canada--there fell, at Blankenberge, Holland, a red rain. As to sand, two
chemists of Bruges concentrated 144 ounces of the rain to 4 ounces--"no
precipitate fell." But the color was so marked that had there been sand,
it would have been deposited, if the substance had been diluted instead of
concentrated. Experiments were made, and various reagents did cast
precipitates, but other than sand. The chemists concluded that the
rain-water contained muriate of cobalt--which is not very enlightening:
that could be said of many substances carried in vessels upon the Atlantic
Ocean. Whatever it may have been, in the Annales de Chimie,
2-12-432, its color is said to have been red-violet. For various chemic
reactions, see Quar. Jour. Roy. Inst., 9-202, and Edin. Phil.
Something that fell with dust said to have been meteoric, March 9, 10,
11, 1872: described in the Chemical News, 25-300, as a "peculiar
substance," consisted of red iron ochre, carbonate of lime, and organic
Orange-red hail, March 14, 1873, in Tuscany. (Notes and Queries,
Rain of lavender-colored substance, at Oudon, France, Dec. 19, 1903. (Bull.
Soc. Met. de France, 1904-124.)
La Nature, 1885-2-351:
That, according to Prof. Schwedoff, there fell, in Russia, June 14,
1880, red hailstones, also blue hailstones, also gray hailstones.
A correspondent writes that he had been told by a resident of a small
town in Venezuela, that there, April 17, 1886, had fallen hailstones, some
red, some blue, some whitish: informant said to have been one unlikely to
have heard of the Russian phenomenon; described as an "honest, plain
Nature, July 5, 1877, quotes a Roman correspondent to the
London Times who sent a translation from an Italian newspaper:
that a red rain had fallen in Italy, June 23, 1877, containing
"microscopically small particles of sand."
Or, according to our acceptance, any other story would have been an
evil thing, in the sociologic sense, in Italy, in 1877. But the English
correspondent, from a land where terrifying red rains are uncommon, does
not feel this necessity. He writes: "I am by no means satisfied that the
rain was of sand and water." His observations are that drops of this rain
left stains "such as sandy water could not leave." He notes that when the
water evaporated, no sand was left behind.
L'Année Scientifique, 1888-75:
That, Dec. 13, 1887, there fell, in Cochin China, a substance like
blood, somewhat coagulated.
Annales de Chimie, 85-266:
That a thick, viscous, red matter fell at Ulm, in 1812.
We now have a datum with a factor that has been foreshadowed; which
will recur and recur and recur throughout this book. It is a factor that
makes for speculation so revolutionary that it will have to be re-enforced
many times before we can take it into full acceptance.
Year Book of Facts, 1861-273:
Quotation from a letter from Prof. Campini to Prof. Matteucci:
That, upon Dec. 28, 1860, at about 7 a.m., in the northwestern part of
Siena, a reddish rain feel copiously for two hours.
A second red shower fell at 11 o'clock.
Three days later, the red rain fell again.
The next day another red rain fell.
Still more extraordinarily:
Each fall occurred in "exactly the same quarter of the town."