Book of the Damned Chapter XV
SHORT chapter coming now, and it's the worst of them all. I think it's
speculative. It's a lapse from our usual pseudo-standards. I think it must
mean that the preceding chapter was very efficiently done, and that now by
the rhythm of all quasi-things--which can't be real things, if they're
rhythms, because a rhythm is an appearance that turns into its own
opposite and then back again--but now, to pay up, we're what we weren't.
Short chapter, and I think we'll fill in with several points in
If it is our acceptance that, out of the Negative Absolute, the
Positive Absolute is generating itself, recruiting, or maintaining itself,
via a third state, or our own quasi-state, it would seem that we're trying
to conceive of Universalness manufacturing more Universalness from
Nothingness. Take that up yourself, if you're willing to run the risk of
disappearing with such velocity that you'll leave an incandescent train
behind, and risk being infinitely happy forever, whereas you probably
don't want to be happy--I'll sidestep that myself, and try to be
intelligible by regarding the Positive Absolute from the aspect of
Realness instead of Universalness, recalling that by both Realness and
Universalness we mean the same state, or that which does not merge away
into something else, because there is nothing else. So the idea is that
out of Unrealness, instead of Nothingness, Realness, instead of
Universalness, is, via our own quasi-state, manufacturing more Realness.
Just so, but in relative terms, of course, all imaginings that materialize
into machines or statues, buildings, dollars, paintings or books in paper
and ink are graduations from unrealness to realness--in relative terms. It
would seem then that Intermediateness is a relation between the Positive
Absolute and the Negative Absolute. But the absolute cannot be the
related--of course a confession that we can't really think of it at all,
if here we think of a limit to the unlimited. Doing the best we can, and
encouraged by the reflection that we can't do worse than has been done by
metaphysicians [202/203] in the past, we accept that the absolute can't be
the related. So then that our quasi-state is not a real relation, if
nothing in it is real. On the other hand, it is not an unreal relation, if
nothing in it is unreal. It seems thinkable that the Positive Absolute
can, by means of Intermediateness, have a quasi-relation, or be only
quasi-related, or be unrelated, in final terms, or at least, not be the
related, in final terms.
As to free will and Intermediatism--same answer as to everything else.
By free will we mean Independence--or that which does not merge away into
something else--so, in Intermediateness, neither free-will nor
slave-will--but a different approximation for every so-called person
toward one or the other of the extremes. The hackneyed way of expressing
this seems to me to be the acceptable way, if in Intermediateness, there
is only the paradoxical: that we're free to do what we have to do.
I am not convinced that we make a fetich of the preposterous. I think
our feeling is that in first groupings there's no knowing what will
afterward be acceptable. I think that if an early biologist heard of birds
that grow on trees, he should record that he heard of birds that grow on
trees: then let sorting over of data occur afterward. The one thing that
we try to tone down, but that is to a great degree unavoidable is having
our data all mixed up like Long Island and Florida in the minds of early
American explorers. My own notion is that this whole book is very much
like a map of North America in which the Hudson River is set down as a
passage leading to Siberia. We think of Monstrator and Melanicus and of a
world that is now in communication with this earth: if so, secretly, with
certain esoteric ones upon this earth. Whether that world's Monstrator and
Monstrator's Melanicus--must be the subject of later inquiry. It would be
a gross thing to do: solve up everything now and leave nothing to our
I have been very much struck with phenomena of "cup marks."
They look to me like symbols of communication.
But they do not look to me like means of communication between some of
the inhabitants of this earth and other inhabitants of this earth.
My own impression is that some external force has marked, with symbols,
rocks of this earth, from far away.
I do not think that cup marks are inscribed communications among
different inhabitants of this earth, because it seems too unacceptable
that inhabitants of China, Scotland, and America should all have conceived
of the same system.
Cup marks are strings of cup-like impressions in rocks. Sometimes there
are rings around them, and sometimes they have only semi-circles. Great
Britain, America, France, Algeria, Circassia, Palestine: they're virtually
everywhere--except in the far north, I think. In China, cliffs are dotted
with them. Upon a cliff near Lake Como, there is a maze of these markings.
In Italy and Spain and India they occur in enormous numbers.
Given that a force, say like electric force, could, from a distance,
mark such a substance as rocks, as, from a distance of hundreds of miles,
selenium can be marked by telephotographers--but I am of two minds--
The Lost Explorers from Somewhere, and an attempt, from Somewhere, to
communicate with them: so a frenzy of showering of messages toward this
earth, in the hope that some of them would mark rocks near the lost
Or that somewhere upon this earth, there is an especial rocky surface,
or receptor, or polar construction, or a steep, conical hill, upon which
for ages have been received messages from some other world; but that at
times messages go astray and mark substances perhaps thousands of miles
from the receptor;
That perhaps forces behind the history of this earth have left upon
these rocks of Palestine and England and India and China records that may
some day be deciphered, of their misdirected instructions to certain
esoteric ones--Order of the Freemasons--the Jesuits--
I emphasize the row-formation of cup marks:
Prof. Douglas (Saturday Review, Nov. 24, 1883):
"Whatever may have been their motive, the cup-markers showed a decided
liking for arranging their sculpturing in regularly spaced rows."
That cup marks are an archaic form of inscription was first suggested
by Canon Greenwell many years ago. But more specifically adumbratory to
our own expression are the observations of Rivett-Carnac (Jour. Roy.
Asiatic Soc., 1903-515):
That the Braille system of raised dots is an inverted arrangement of
cup marks: also that there are strong resemblances to Morse code. But no
tame and systematized archaeologist can do more than casually point out
resemblances, and merely suggest that strings of cup marks look like
messages, because--China, Switzerland, Algeria, America--if messages they
be, there seems to be no escape from attributing one origin to them--then,
if messages they be, I accept one external origin, to which the whole
surface of this earth was accessible, for them.
Something else that we emphasize:
That rows of cup marks have often been likened to foot prints.
But, in this similitude, their uni-linear arrangement must be
disregarded--of course often they're mixed up in every way, but
arrangement in single lines is very common. It is odd that they should so
often be likened to footprints: I suppose there are exceptional cases, but
unless it's something that hops on one foot, or a cat going along a narrow
fence-top, I don't think of anything that makes footprints one directly
ahead of another--Cop, in a station, walking along a chalk line, perhaps.
Upon the Witch's Stone, near Ratho, Scotland, there are twenty-four
cups, varying in size from one and a half to three inches in diameter,
arranged in approximately straight lines. Locally it is explained that
these are tracks of a dog's feet (Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scotland,
2-4-79). Similar marks are scattered bewilderingly all around the Witch's
Stone--like a frenzy of telegraphing, or like messages repeating and
repeating, trying to localize differently.
In Inverness-shire, cup marks are called "fairies' footmarks." At
Valna's church, Norway, and St. Peter's, Ambleteuse, there are such marks,
said to be horses' hoofprints. The rocks of Clare, Ireland, are marked
with prints supposed to have been made by a mythical cow ("Folklore,"
We now have such a ghost of a thing that I'd not like to be interpreted
as offering it as a datum: it simply illustrates what I mean by the notion
of symbols, like cups, or like footprints, which, if like those of horses
or cows, are the reverse of, or the negatives of, cups--of symbols that
are regularly received somewhere upon this earth--steep, conical hill,
somewhere, I think--but that have often alighted in wrong
places--considerably to the mystification of persons waking up some
morning to find them upon formerly blank spaces.
An ancient record--still worse, an ancient Chinese record--of a
courtyard of a palace--dwellers of the palace waking up one morning,
finding the courtyard marked with tracks like the footprints of an
ox--supposed that the devil did it. (Notes and Queries, 9-6-225.)