Book of the Damned Chapter XII
And a watchman looking at half a dozen lanterns, where a street's been
There are gas lights and kerosene lamps and electric lights in the
neighborhood: matches flaring, fires in stoves, bonfires, house afire
somewhere; lights of automobiles, illuminated signs --
The watchman and his one little system.
And some young ladies and the dear old professor of a very "select"
Drugs and divorce and rape: venereal diseases, drunkenness, murder --
The prim and the precise, or the exact, the homogeneous, the single,
the puritanic, the mathematic, the pure, the perfect. We can have illusion
of this state--but only by disregarding its infinite denials. It's a drop
of milk afloat in acid that's eating it. The positive swamped by the
negative. So it is in intermediateness, where only to "be" positive is to
generate corresponding and, perhaps, equal negativeness. In our
acceptance, it is, in quasi-existence, premonitory, or pre-natal, or
pre-awakening consciousness of a real existence.
But this consciousness of realness is the greatest resistance to
efforts to realize or to become real--because it is feeling that realness
has been attained. Our antagonism is not to Science, but to the attitude
of the sciences that they have finally realized; or to belief, instead of
acceptance; to the insufficiency, which, as we have seen over and over,
amounts to paltriness and puerility, of scientific dogmas and standards.
Or, if several persons start out to Chicago, and get to Buffalo, and one
be under the delusion that Buffalo is Chicago, that one will be a
resistance to the progress of the others.
So astronomy and its seemingly exact, little system --
But data we shall have of round worlds and spindle-shaped worlds, and
worlds shaped like a wheel; worlds like titanic pruning hooks; worlds
linked together by streaming filaments; solitary worlds, and worlds in
hordes: tremendous worlds and tiny worlds: some of them made of material
like the material of this earth; and worlds that are geometric
super-constructions made of iron and steel --
Or not only fall from the sky of ashes and cinders and coke and
charcoal and oily substances that suggest fuel--but the masses of iron
that have fallen upon this earth.
Wrecks and flotsam and fragments of vast iron constructions --
Or steel. Sooner or later we shall have to take up an expression that
fragments of steel have fallen from the sky. If fragments not of iron, but
of steel, have fallen upon this earth --
But what would a deep-sea fish learn even if a steel plate of a wrecked
vessel above him should drop and bump him on the nose?
Our submergence in a sea of conventionality of almost impenetrable
Sometimes I'm a savage who has found something on the beach of his
island. Sometimes I'm a deep-sea fish with a sore nose.
The greatest of mysteries:
Why don't they ever come here, or send here, openly?
Of course there's nothing to that mystery if we don't take so seriously
the notion--that we must be interesting. It's probably for moral reasons
that they stay away--but even so, there must be some degraded ones among
Or physical reasons:
When we can specially take up that subject, one of our leading ideas,
or credulities, will be that near approach by another world to this world
would be catastrophic: that navigable worlds would avoid proximity; that
others that have survived have organized into protective remotenesses, or
orbits which approximate to regularity, though by no means to the degree
of popular supposition.
But the persistence of the notion that we must be interesting. Bugs and
germs and things like that: they're interesting to us: some of them are
Dangers of near approach--nevertheless our own ships that dare not
venture close onto a rocky shore can send rowboats ashore --
Why not diplomatic relations established between the United States and
Cyclorea--which, in our advanced astronomy, is the name of a remarkable
wheel-shaped world or super-construction? Why not missionaries sent here
openly to convert us from our barbarous prohibitions and other taboos, and
to prepare the way for a good trade in ultra-bibles and super-whiskeys;
fortunes made in selling us cast-off super-fineries, which we'd take to
like an African chief to some one's old silk hat from New York or London?
The answer that occurs to me is so simple that it seems immediately
acceptable, if we accept that the obvious is the solution of all problems,
or if most of our perplexities consist in laboriously and painfully
conceiving of the unanswerable, and then looking for answers--using such
words as "obvious" and "solution" conventionally --
Would we, if we could, educate and sophisticate pigs, geese, cattle?
Would it be wise to establish diplomatic relation with the hen that now
functions, satisfied with mere sense of achievement by way of
I think we're property.
I should say we belong to something:
That once upon a time, this earth was No-man's Land, that other worlds
explored and colonized here, and fought among themselves for possession,
but that now it's owned by something:
That something owns this earth--all others warned off.
Nothing in our own times--perhaps--because I am thinking of certain
notes I have--has ever appeared upon this earth, from somewhere else, so
openly as Columbus landed upon San Salvador, or as Hudson sailed up his
river. But as to surreptitious visits to this earth, in recent times, or
as to emissaries, perhaps, from other worlds, or voyagers who have shown
every indication of intent to evade or avoid, we shall have data as
convincing as our data of oil or coal-burning aerial super-constructions.
But, in this vast subject, I shall have to do considerable neglecting
or disregarding, myself. I don't see how I can, in this book, take up all
the subject of possible use of humanity to some other mode of existence,
or the flattering notion that we can possibly be worth something.
Pigs, geese, cattle.
First find out they are owned.
Then find out the whyness of it.
I suspect that, after all, we're useful--that among contesting
claimants, adjustment has occurred, or that something now has a legal
right to us, by force, or by having paid out analogues of beads for us to
former, more primitive, owners of us--all others warned off--that all this
has been known, perhaps for ages, to certain ones upon this earth, a cult
or order, members of which function like bellwethers to the rest of us, or
as superior slaves or overseers, directing us in accordance with
instructions received--from Somewhere else--in our mysterious usefulness.
But I accept that, in the past, before proprietorship was established,
inhabitants of a host of other worlds have--dropped here, hopped here,
wafted, sailed, flown, motored--walked here, for all I know--been pulled
here, been pushed; have come singly, have come in enormous numbers; have
visited occasionally, have visited periodically for hunting, trading,
replenishing harems, mining: have been unable to stay here, have
established colonies here, have been lost here; far-advanced peoples, or
things, and primitive peoples or whatever they were: white ones, black
ones, yellow ones --
I have a very convincing datum that the ancient Britons were blue ones.
Of course we are told by conventional anthropologists that they only
painted themselves blue, but in our own advanced anthropology, they were
veritable blue ones --
Annals of Philosophy, 14-51:
Note of a blue child born in England.
Giants and fairies. We accept them, of course. Or, if we pride
ourselves upon being awfully far-advanced, I don't know how to sustain our
conceit except by very largely going far back. Science of to-day--the
superstition of to-morrow. Science of to-morrow--the superstition of
Notice of a stone ax, 17 inches long: 9 inches across broad end, (Proc.
Soc. Ants. of Scotland, 1-9-184).
American Antiquarian, 18-60:
Copper ax from an Ohio mound: 22 inches long; weight 38 pounds.
American Anthropologist, n.s., 8-229:
Stone ax found at Birchwood, Wisconsin--exhibited in the collection of
the Missouri Historical Society--found with "the pointed end" embedded in
the soil--for all I know, may have dropped there--28 inches long, 14 wide,
11 thick--weight over 300 pounds.
Of the footprints, in sandstone, near Carson, Nevada--each print 18 to
20 inches long. (Amer. Jour. Sci., 3-26-139.)
These footprints are very clear and well-defined: reproduction of them
in the Journal--but they assimilate with the System, like sour
apples to other systems: so Prof. Marsh, a loyal and unscrupulous
"The size of these footprints and specially the width between the right
and left series are strong evidence that they were not made by men, as has
been so generally supposed."
So these excluders. Stranglers of Minerva. Desperadoes of disregard.
Above all, or below all, the anthropologists. I'm inspired with a new
insult--some one offends me: I wish to express almost absolute contempt
for him--he's a systematistic anthropologist. Simply to read something of
this kind is not so impressive as to see for one's self: if any one will
take the trouble to look up these footprints, as pictured in the
Journal, he will either agree with Prof. Marsh or feel that to deny
them is to indicate a mind as profoundly enslaved by a system as was ever
the humble intellect of a medieval monk. The reasoning of this
representative phantom of the chosen, or of the spectral appearances who
sit in judgment, or condemnation, upon us of the more nearly real:
That there never were giants upon this earth, because gigantic
footprints are more gigantic than prints made by men who are not giants.
We think of giants as occasional visitors to this earth. Of
course--Stonehenge, for instance. It may be that, as time goes on, we
shall have to admit that there are remains of many tremendous habitations
of giants upon this earth, and that their appearances here were more than
casual--but their bones--or the absence of their bones --
Except--that, no matter how cheerful and unsuspicious my disposition
may be, when I go to the American Museum of Natural History, dark
cynicisms arise the moment I come to the fossils--or old bones that have
been found upon this earth--gigantic things--that have been reconstructed
into terrifying but "proper" dinosaurs--but my uncheerfulness --
The dodo did it.
On one of the floors below the fossils, they have reconstructed dodo.
It's frankly a fiction: it's labeled as such--but it's been reconstructed
so cleverly and so convincingly --
Harper's Weekly, 50-715:
That, near the point where the Blue Ridge and the Allegheny Mountains
unite, north of Patrick County, Virginia, many little stone crosses have
A race of tiny beings.
They crucified cockroaches.
Exquisite beings--but the cruelty of the exquisite. In their diminutive
way they were human beings. They crucified.
The "fairy crosses," we are told in Harper's Weekly, range in
weight from one-quarter of an ounce to an ounce: but it is said, in the
Scientific American, 79-395, that some of them are no larger than
the head of a pin.
They have been found in two other states, but all in Virginia are
strictly localized on and along Bull Mountain.
We are reminded of the Chinese seals in Ireland.
I suppose they fell there.
Some are Roman crosses, some St. Andrew's, some Maltese. This time we
are spared contact with the anthropologists and have geologists instead,
but I am afraid that the relief to our finer, or more nearly real,
sensibilities will not be very great. The geologists were called upon to
explain the "fairy crosses." Their response was the usual
tropism--"Geologists say they are crystals." The writer in Harper's
Weekly points out that this "hold up," or this anæsthetic, if
theoretic science be little but attempt to assuage pangs of the
unexplained, fails to account for the localized distributions of these
objects--which make me think of both aggregation and separation at the
bottom of the sea, if from a wrecked ship, similar objects should fall in
large numbers but at different times.
But some are Roman crosses, some St. Andrew's, some Maltese.
Conceivably there might be a mineral that would have a diversity of
geometric forms, at the same time restricted to the expression of the
cross, because snowflakes, for instance, have diversity but restriction to
the hexagon, but the guilty geologists, cold-blooded as astronomers and
chemists and all the other deep-sea fishes--though less profoundly of the
pseudo-saved than the wretched anthropologists--disregarded the very
datum--that it was wise to disregard:
That the "fairy crosses" are not all made of the same material.
It's the same old disregard, or it's the same old psycho-tropism, or
process of assimilation. Crystals are geometric forms. Crystals are
included in the System. So then "fairy crosses" are crystals. But that
different minerals should, in a few different regions, be inspired to turn
into different forms of the cross--is the kind of resistance that we call
less nearly real than our own acceptances.
We now come to some "cursed" little things that are of the "lost," but
for the "salvation" of which scientific missionaries have done their dam-dest.
They can't very well be denied.
They're lost and well known.
"Pigmy flints" are tiny, prehistoric implements. Some of them are a
quarter of an inch in size. England, India, France, South Africa--they've
been found in many parts of the world--whether showered there or not. They
belong high up in the froth of the accursed: they are not denied, and they
have not been disregarded; there is an abundant literature upon this
subject. One attempt to rationalize them, or assimilate them, or take them
into the scientific fold, has been the notion that they were toys of
prehistoric children. It sounds reasonable. But, of course, by the
reasonable we mean that for which the equally reasonable, but opposing,
has not been found out--except that we modify that by saying that, though
nothing's finally reasonable, some phenomena have higher approximations to
Reasonableness than have others. Against the notion of toys, the higher
approximation is that where "pigmy flints" are found, all flints are
pigmies--at least so in India, where, when larger implements have been
found in the same place, there are separations by strata. (Wilson.)
The datum that, just at present, leads me to accept that these flints
were made by beings about the size of pickles, is a point brought out by
Prof. Wilson (Rept. National Museum, 1892-455):
Not only that the flints are tiny but that the chipping upon them is
Struggle for expression, in the mind of a 19th-century-ite, of an idea
that did not belong to his era:
In Science Gossip, 1896-36, R. A. Gatty says:
"So fine is the chipping that to see the workmanship a magnifying glass
I think that would be absolutely convincing, if there were
anything--absolutely anything--either that tiny beings, from pickle to
cucumber stature made these things, or that ordinary savages made them
under magnifying glasses.
The idea that we are now going to develop, or perpetrate, is rather
intensely of the accursed, or the advanced. It's a lost soul, I admit--or
boast--but it fits in. Or, as conventional as ever, our ownmethod is the
scientific method of assimilating. It assimilates, if we think of the
inhabitants of Elvera --
By the way, I forgot to tell the name of the giant's world:
Spindle-shaped world--about 100,000 miles along its major axis--more
details to be published later.
But our coming inspiration fits in, if we think of the inhabitants of
Elvera as having only visited here: having, in hordes as dense as clouds
of bats, come here, upon hunting excursions--for mice, I should say: for
bees, very likely--or most likely of all, or inevitably, to convert the
heathen--horrified with any one who would gorge himself with more than a
bean at a time; fearful for the souls of beings who would guzzle more than
a dew drop at a time--hordes to tiny missionaries, determined that right
should prevail, determining right by their own minutenesses.
They must have been missionaries.
Only to be is motion to convert or assimilate something else.
The idea now is that tiny creatures coming here from their own little
world, which may be Eros, though I call it Elvera, would flit from the
exquisite to the enormous--gulp of a fair-sized terrestrial animal--half a
dozen of them gone and soon digested. One falls into a brook--torn away in
a mighty torrent --
Or never anything but conventional, we adopt from Darwin:
"The geological records are incomplete."
Their flints would survive, but, as to their fragile bodies--one might
as well search for prehistoric frost-traceries. A little whirlwind--Elverean
carried away a hundred yards--body never found by his companions. They'd
mourn for the departed. Conventional emotion to have: they'd mourn.
There'd have to be a funeral: there's no getting away from funerals. So I
adopt an explanation that I take from the anthropologists: burial in
effigy. Perhaps the Elvereans would not come to this earth again until
many years later--another distressing occurrence--one little mausoleum for
all burials in effigy.
London Times, July 20, 1836:
That, early in July, 1836, some boys were searching for rabbits'
burrows in the rocky formation, near Edinburgh, known as Arthur's Seat. In
the side of a cliff, they came upon some thin sheets of slate, which they
Seventeen tiny coffins.
Three or four inches long.
In the coffins were miniature wooden figures. They were dressed
differently both in style and material. There were two tiers of eight
coffins each, and a third tier begun, with one coffin.
The extraordinary datum, which has especially made mystery here:
That the coffins had been deposited singly, in the little cave, and at
intervals of many years. In the first tier, the coffins were quite
decayed, and the wrappings had moldered away. In the second tier, the
effects of age had not advanced so far. And the top coffin was quite
In the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquarians of Scotland,
3-12-460, there is a full account of this find. Three of the coffins and
three of the figures are pictured.
So Elvera with its downy forests and its microscopic oyster shells--and
if the Elvereans be not very far-advanced, they take baths--with sponges
the size of pin-heads --
Or that catastrophes have occurred: that fragments of Elvera have
fallen to this earth:
In Popular Science, 20-83, Francis Bingham, writing of the
corals and sponges and shells and crinoids that Dr. Hahn had asserted that
he had found in meteorites, says, judging by the photographs of them, that
their "notable peculiarity" is their "extreme smallness." The corals, for
instance, are about one-twentieth the size of terrestrial corals. "They
represent a veritable pigmy animal kingdom," says Bingham.
The inhabitants of Monstrator and Elvera were primitives, I think, at
the time of their occasional visits to this earth--though, of course, in a
quasi-existence, anything that we semi-phantoms call evidence of anything
may be just as good evidence of anything else. Logicians and detectives
and jurymen and suspicious wives and members of the Royal Astronomical
Society recognize this indeterminateness, but have the delusion that in
the method of agreement there is final, or real evidence. The method is
good enough for an "existence" that is only semi-real, but also it is the
method of reasoning by which witches were burned, and by which ghosts have
been feared. I'd not like to be so unadvanced as to deny witches and
ghosts, but I do think that there never have been witches and ghosts like
those of popular supposition. But stories of them have been supported by
astonishing fabrications of details and of different accounts in
So, if a giant left impressions of his bare feet in the ground, that is
not to say that he was a primitive--bulk of culture out taking the Kneipp
cure. So, if Stonehenge is a large, but only roughly geometric
construction, the inattention to details by its builders--signifies
anything you please--ambitious dwarfs or giants--if giants, that they were
little more than cave men, or that they were post-impressionist architects
from a very far-advanced civilization.
If there are other worlds, there are tutelary worlds--or that Kepler,
for instance, could not have been absolutely wrong: that his notion of an
angel assigned to push along and guide each planet may not be very
acceptable, but that, abstractedly, or in the notion of a tutelary
relation, we may find acceptance.
Only to be is to be tutelary.
Our general expression:
That "everything" in Intermediateness is not a thing, but is an
endeavor to become something--by breaking away from its continuity, or
merging away, with all other phenomena--is an attempt to break away from
the very essence of a relative existence and become absolute--if it have
not surrendered to, or become part of, some higher attempt:
That to this process there are two aspects:
Attraction, or the spirit of everything to assimilate all other
things--if it have not given in or subordinated to--or have not been
assimilated by--some higher attempted system, unity, organization, entity,
harmony, equilibrium --
And repulsion, or the attempt of everything to exclude or disregard the
Universality of the process:
A tree. It is doing all it can to assimilate substances of the soil and
substances of the air, and sunshine, too, into tree-substance: obversely
it is rejecting or excluding or disregarding that which it cannot
Cow grazing, pig rooting, tiger stalking: planets trying, or acting, to
capture comets; rag pickers and the Christian religion, and a cat down
headfirst in a garbage can; nations fighting for more territory, sciences
correlating the data they can, trust magnates organizing, chorus girl out
for a little late supper--all of them stopped somewhere by the
unassimilable. Chorus girl and the broiled lobster. If she eats not shell
and all she represents universal failure to positivize. Also, if she does
she represents universal failure to positivize: her ensuing disorders will
translate her to the Negative Absolute.
Or Science and some of our cursed hard-shelled data.
One speaks of the tutelarian as if it were something distinct in
itself. So one speaks of a tree, a saint, a barrel of pork, the Rocky
Mountains. One speaks of missionaries, as if they were positively
different, or had an identity of their own, or were a species by
themselves. To the Intermediatist, everything that seems to have identity
is only attempted identity, and every species is continuous with all other
species, or that which is called the specific is only emphasis upon some
aspect of the general. If there are cats, they're only emphasis upon
universal felinity. There is nothing that does not partake of that of
which the missionary, or the tutelary, is the special. Every conversation
is a conflict of missionaries, each trying to convert the other, to
assimilate, or to make the other similar to himself. If no progress be
made, mutual repulsion will follow.
If other worlds have ever in the past had relations with this earth,
they were attempted positivizations: to extend themselves, by colonies,
upon this earth; to convert, or assimilate, indigenous inhabitants of this
Or parent-worlds and their colonies here --
Or where the first Romans came from.
It's as good as the Romulus and Remus story.
Or that, despite modern reasoning upon this subject, there was once
something that was super-parental to tutelary to early orientals.
Azuria, which was tutelary to the early Britons:
Azuria, whence came the blue Britons, whose descendants gradually
diluting, like blueing in a wash-tub, where a faucet's turned on, have
been most emphasized of sub-tutelarians, or assimilators ever since.
World that were once tutelarian worlds--before this earth became sole
property of one of them--their attempts to convert or assimilate--but then
the state that comes to all things in their missionary-frustrations--unacceptance
by all stomachs of some things; rejection by all societies of some units;
glaciers that sort over and cast out stones --
Repulsion. Wrath of the baffled missionary. There is not other wrath.
All repulsion is reaction to the unassimilable.
So then the wrath of Azuria --
Because surrounding peoples of this earth would not assimilate with her
own colonists in the part of the earth that we now call England.
I don't know that there has ever been more nearly just, reasonable, or
logical wrath, in this earth's history--if there is no other wrath.
The wrath of Azuria, because the other peoples of this earth would not
turn blue to suit her.
History is a department of human delusion that interests us. We are
able to give a little advancement to history. In the vitrified forts of a
few parts of Europe, we find data that the Humes and Gibbons have
The vitrified forts surrounding England, but not in England.
The vitrified forts of Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, and Bohemia.
Or that, once upon a time, with electric blasts, Azuria tried to swipe
this earth clear of the peoples who resisted her.
The vast blue bulk of Azuria appeared in the sky. Clouds turned green.
The sun was formless and purple in the vibrations of wrath that were
emanating from Azuria. The whitish, or yellowish, or brownish peoples of
Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, and Bohemia fled to hill tops and built
forts. In a real existence, hill tops, or easiest accessibility to an
aerial enemy, would be the last choice in refuges. But here, in
quasi-existence, if we're accustomed to run to hill tops, in times of
danger, we run to them just the same, even with danger closest to hill
tops. Very common in quasi-existence: attempt to escape by running closer
to the pursuing.
They built forts, or already had forts, on hill tops.
Something poured electricity upon them.
The stones of these forts exist to this day, vitrified, or melted and
turned to glass.
The archæologists have jumped from one conclusion to another, like the
"rapid chamois" we read of a while ago, to account for vitrified forts,
always restricted by the commandment that unless their conclusions
conformed to such tenets as Exclusionism, of the System, they would be
excommunicated. So archæologists, in their medieval dread of
excommunication, have tried to explain vitrified forts in terms of
terrestrial experience. We find in their insufficiencies the same old
assimilating of all that could be assimilated, and disregard the
unassimilable, conventionalizing into the explanation that vitrified forts
were made by prehistoric peoples who built vast fires--often remote from
wood-supply--to melt externally, and to cement together, the stones of
their constructions. But negativeness always: so within itself a science
can never be homogeneous or unified or harmonious. So Miss Russel, in the
Journal of the B. A. A., has pointed out that it is seldom that
single stones, to say nothing of long walls, of large houses that are
burned to the ground, are vitrified.
If we pay a little attention to this subject, before starting to write
upon it, which is one of the ways of being more nearly real than
oppositions so far encountered by us, we find:
That the stones of these forts are vitrified in no reference to
cementing them: that they are cemented here and there, in streaks, as if
special blasts had struck, or played, upon them.
Then one thinks of lightning?
Once upon a time something melted, in streaks, the stones of forts on
the tops of hills in Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, and Bohemia.
Lightning selects the isolated and conspicuous.
But some of the vitrified forts are not upon tops of hills: some are
very inconspicuous: their walls too are vitrified in streaks.
Something once had effect, similar to lightning, upon forts, mostly on
hills, in Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, and Bohemia.
But upon hills, all over the rest of the world, are remains of forts
that are not vitrified.
There is only one crime, in the local sense, and that is not to turn
blue, if the gods are blue: but, in the universal sense, the one crime is
not to turn the gods themselves green, if you're green.