The Book of the Damned Part 47/
The Book of the Damned Part 47
Or the loves of the worlds. The call they feel for one another. They try to move closer and howl when they get there.
The howls of the planets.
I have discovered a new unintelligibility.
In the _Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal_--have to go away back to 1841--days of less efficient strangulation--Sir David Milne lists phenomena of quakes in Great Britain. I pick out a few that indicate to me that other worlds were near this earth's surface:
Violent storm before a shock of 1703--ball of fire "preceding," 1750--a large ball of fire seen upon day following a quake, 1755--"uncommon phenomenon in the air: a large luminous body, bent like a crescent, which stretched itself over the heavens, 1816--vast ball of fire, 1750--black rains and black snows, 1755--numerous instances of upward projection--or upward attraction?--during quakes--preceded by a cloud, very black and lowering," 1795--fall of black powder, preceding a quake, by six hours, 1837.
Some of these instances seem to me to be very striking--a smaller world: it is greatly racked by the attraction of this earth--black substance is torn down from it--not until six hours later, after an approach still closer, does this earth suffer perturbation. As to the extraordinary spectacle of a thing, world, super-construction, that was seen in the sky, in 1816, I have not yet been able to find out more. I think that here our acceptance is relatively sound: that this occurrence was tremendously of more importance than such occurrence as, say, transits of Venus, upon which hundreds of papers have been written--that not another mention have I found, though I have not looked so especially as I shall look for more data--that all but undetailed record of this occurrence was suppressed.
Altogether we have considerable agreement here between data of vast ma.s.ses that do not fall to this earth, but from which substances fall, and data of fields of ice from which ice may not fall, but from which water may drip. I'm beginning to modify: that, at a distance from this earth, gravitation has more effect than we have supposed, though less effect than the dogmatists suppose and "prove." I'm coming out stronger for the acceptance of a Neutral Zone--that this earth, like other magnets, has a neutral zone, in which is the Super-Sarga.s.so Sea, and in which other worlds may be buoyed up, though projecting parts may be subject to this earth's attraction--
But my preference:
Here are the data.
I now have one of the most interesting of the new correlates. I think I should have brought it in before, but, whether out of place here, because not accompanied by earthquake, or not, we'll have it. I offer it as an instance of an eclipse, by a vast, dark body, that has been seen and reported by an astronomer. The astronomer is M. Lias: the phenomenon was seen by him, at Pernambuco, April 11, 1860.
_Comptes Rendus_, 50-1197:
It was about noon--sky cloudless--suddenly the light of the sun was diminished. The darkness increased, and, to ill.u.s.trate its intensity, we are told that the planet Venus shone brilliant. But Venus was of low visibility at this time. The observation that burns incense to the New Dominant is:
That around the sun appeared a corona.
There are many other instances that indicate proximity of other world's during earthquakes. I note a few--quake and an object in the sky, called "a large, luminous meteor" (_Quar. Jour. Roy. Inst._, 5-132); luminous body in the sky, earthquake, and fall of sand, Italy, Feb. 12 and 13, 1870 (_La Science Pour Tous_, 15-159); many reports upon luminous object in the sky and earthquake, Connecticut, Feb. 27, 1883 (_Monthly Weather Review_, February, 1883); luminous object, or meteor, in the sky, fall of stones from the sky, and earthquake, Italy, Jan. 20, 1891 (_L'Astronomie_, 1891-154); earthquake and prodigious number of luminous bodies, or globes, in the air, Boulogne, France, June 7, 1779 (Sestier, "_La Foudre_," 1-169); earthquake at Manila, 1863, and "curious luminous appearance in the sky" (Ponton, _Earthquakes_, p. 124).
The most notable appearance of fishes during an earthquake is that of Riobamba. Humboldt sketched one of them, and it's an uncanny-looking thing. Thousands of them appeared upon the ground during this tremendous earthquake. Humboldt says that they were cast up from subterranean sources. I think not myself, and have data for thinking not, but there'd be such a row arguing back and forth that it's simpler to consider a clearer instance of the fall of living fishes from the sky, during an earthquake. I can't quite accept, myself, whether a large lake, and all the fishes in it, was torn down from some other world, or a lake in the Super-Sarga.s.so Sea, distracted between two pulling worlds, was dragged down to this earth--
Here are the data:
_La Science Pour Tous_, 6-191:
Feb. 16, 1861. An earthquake at Singapore. Then came an extraordinary downpour of rain--or as much water as any good-sized lake would consist of. For three days this rain or this fall of water came down in torrents. In pools on the ground, formed by this deluge, great numbers of fishes were found. The writer says that he had, himself, seen nothing but water fall from the sky. Whether I'm emphasizing what a deluge it was or not, he says that so terrific had been the downpour that he had not been able to see three steps away from him. The natives said that the fishes had fallen from the sky. Three days later the pools dried up and many dead fishes were found, but, in the first place--though that's an expression for which we have an instinctive dislike--the fishes had been active and uninjured. Then follows material for another of our little studies in the phenomena of disregard. A psycho-tropism here is mechanically to take pen in hand and mechanically write that fishes found on the ground after a heavy rainfall came from overflowing streams. The writer of the account says that some of the fishes had been found in his courtyard, which was surrounded by high walls--paying no attention to this, a correspondent (_La Science Pour Tous_, 6-317) explains that in the heavy rain a body of water had probably overflowed, carrying fishes with it. We are told by the first writer that these fishes of Singapore were of a species that was very abundant near Singapore. So I think, myself, that a whole lakeful of them had been shaken down from the Super-Sarga.s.so Sea, under the circ.u.mstances we have thought of. However, if appearance of strange fishes after an earthquake be more pleasing in the sight, or to the nostrils, of the New Dominant, we faithfully and piously supply that incense--An account of the occurrence at Singapore was read by M. de Castelnau, before the French Academy. M. de Castelnau recalled that, upon a former occasion, he had submitted to the Academy the circ.u.mstance that fishes of a new species had appeared at the Cape of Good Hope, after an earthquake.
It seems proper, and it will give l.u.s.ter to the new orthodoxy, now to have an instance in which, not merely quake and fall of rocks or meteorites, or quake and either eclipse or luminous appearances in the sky have occurred, but in which are combined all the phenomena, one or more of which, when accompanying earthquake, indicate, in our acceptance, the proximity of another world. This time a longer duration is indicated than in other instances.
In the _Canadian Inst.i.tute Proceedings_, 2-7-198, there is an account, by the Deputy Commissioner at Dhurmsalla, of the extraordinary Dhurmsalla meteorite--coated with ice. But the combination of events related by him is still more extraordinary:
That within a few months of the fall of this meteorite there had been a fall of live fishes at Benares, a shower of red substance at Furruckabad, a dark spot observed on the disk of the sun, an earthquake, "an unnatural darkness of some duration," and a luminous appearance in the sky that looked like an aurora borealis--
But there's more to this climax:
We are introduced to a new order of phenomena:
The Deputy Commissioner writes that, in the evening, after the fall of the Dhurmsalla meteorite, or ma.s.s of stone covered with ice, he saw lights. Some of them were not very high. They appeared and went out and reappeared. I have read many accounts of the Dhurmsalla meteorite--July 28, 1860--but never in any other of them a mention of this new correlate--something as out of place in the nineteenth century as would have been an aeroplane--the invention of which would not, in our acceptance, have been permitted, in the nineteenth century, though adumbrations to it were permitted. This writer says that the lights moved like fire balloons, but:
"I am sure that they were neither fire balloons, lanterns, nor bonfires, or any other thing of that sort, but bona fide lights in the heavens."
It's a subject for which we shall have to have a separate expression--trespa.s.sers upon territory to which something else has a legal right--perhaps someone lost a rock, and he and his friends came down looking for it, in the evening--or secret agents, or emissaries, who had an appointment with certain esoteric ones near Dhurmsalla--things or beings coming down to explore, and unable to stay down long--
In a way, another strange occurrence during an earthquake is suggested.
The ancient Chinese tradition--the marks like hoof marks in the ground.
We have thought--with a low degree of acceptance--of another world that may be in secret communication with certain esoteric ones of this earth's inhabitants--and of messages in symbols like hoof marks that are sent to some receptor, or special hill, upon this earth--and of messages that at times miscarry.
This other world comes close to this world--there are quakes--but advantage of proximity is taken to send a message--the message, designed for a receptor in India, perhaps, or in Central Europe, miscarries all the way to England--marks like the marks of the Chinese tradition are found upon a beach, in Cornwall, after an earthquake--
_Phil. Trans._, 50-500:
After the quake of July 15, 1757, upon the sands of Penzance, Cornwall, in an area of more than 100 square yards, were found marks like hoof prints, except that they were not crescentic. We feel a similarity, but note an arbitrary disregard of our own, this time. It seems to us that marks described as "little cones surrounded by basins of equal diameter"
would be like hoof prints, if hoofs printed complete circles. Other disregards are that there were black specks on the tops of cones, as if something, perhaps gaseous, had issued from them; that from one of these formations came a gush of water as thick as a man's wrist. Of course the opening of springs is common in earthquakes--but we suspect, myself, that the Negative Absolute is compelling us to put in this datum and its disorders.
There's another matter in which the Negative Absolute seems to work against us. Though to super-chemistry, we have introduced the principle of celestio-metathesis, we have no good data of exchange of substances during proximities. The data are all of falls and not of upward translations. Of course upward impulses are common during earthquakes, but I haven't a datum upon a tree or a fish or a brick or a man that ever did go up and stay up and that never did come down again. Our cla.s.sic of the horse and barn occurred in what was called a whirlwind.
It is said that, in an earthquake in Calabria, paving stones shot up far in the air.
The writer doesn't specifically say that they came down again, but something seems to tell me they did.
The corpses of Riobamba.
Humboldt reported that, in the quake of Riobamba, "bodies were torn upward from graves"; that "the vertical motion was so strong that bodies were tossed several hundred feet in the air."
I explain that, if in the center of greatest violence of an earthquake, anything ever has gone up, and has kept on going up, the thoughts of the nearest observers were very likely upon other subjects.
The quay of Lisbon.
We are told that it went down.
A vast throng of persons ran to the quay for refuge. The city of Lisbon was in profound darkness. The quay and all the people on it disappeared.
If it and they went down--not a single corpse, not a shred of clothing, not a plank of the quay, nor so much as a splinter of it ever floated to the surface.
The New Dominant.
I mean "primarily" all that opposes Exclusionism--
That Development or Progress or Evolution is Attempt to Positivize, and is a mechanism by which a positive existence is recruited--that what we call existence is a womb of infinitude, and is itself only incubatory--that eventually all attempts are broken down by the falsely excluded. Subjectively, the breaking down is aided by our own sense of false and narrow limitations. So the cla.s.sic and academic artists wrought positivist paintings, and expressed the only ideal that I am conscious of, though we so often hear of "ideals" instead of different manifestations, artistically, scientifically, theologically, politically, of the One Ideal. They sought to satisfy, in its artistic aspect, cosmic craving for unity or completeness, sometimes called harmony, called beauty in some aspects. By disregard they sought completeness. But the light-effects that they disregarded, and their narrow confinement to standardized subjects brought on the revolt of the Impressionists. So the Puritans tried to systematize, and they disregarded physical needs, or vices, or relaxations: they were invaded and overthrown when their narrowness became obvious and intolerable. All things strive for positiveness, for themselves, or for quasi-systems of which they are parts. Formality and the mathematic, the regular and the uniform are aspects of the positive state--but the Positive is the Universal--so all attempted positiveness that seems to satisfy in the aspects of formality and regularity, sooner or later disqualifies in the aspect of wideness or universalness. So there is revolt against the science of today, because the formulated utterances that were regarded as final truths in a past generation, are now seen to be insufficiencies. Every p.r.o.nouncement that has opposed our own acceptances has been found to be a composition like any academic painting: something that is arbitrarily cut off from relations with environment, or framed off from interfering and disturbing data, or outlined with disregards. Our own attempt has been to take in the included, but also to take in the excluded into wider expressions. We accept, however, that for every one of our expressions there are irreconcilables somewhere--that final utterance would include all things. However, of such is the gossip of angels. The final is unutterable in quasi-existence, where to think is to include but also to exclude, or be not final. If we admit that for every opinion we have expressed, there must somewhere be an irreconcilable, we are Intermediatists and not positivists; not even higher positivists. Of course it may be that some day we shall systematize and dogmatize and refuse to think of anything that we may be accused of disregarding, and believe instead of merely accepting: then, if we could have a wider system, which would acknowledge no irreconcilables we'd be higher positivists. So long as we only accept, we are not higher positivists, but our feeling is that the New Dominant, even though we have thought of it only as another enslavement, will be the nucleus for higher positivism--and that it will be the means of elevating into infinitude a new batch of fixed stars--until, as a recruiting instrument, it, too, will play out, and will give way to some new medium for generating absoluteness. It is our acceptance that all astronomers of today have lost their souls, or, rather, all chance of attaining Ent.i.ty, but that Copernicus and Kepler and Galileo and Newton, and, conceivably, Leverrier are now fixed stars. Some day I shall attempt to identify them. In all this, I think we're quite a Moses. We point out the Promised Land, but, unless we be cured of our Intermediatism, will never be reported in _Monthly Notices_, ourself.
In our acceptance, Dominants, in their succession, displace preceding Dominants not only because they are more nearly positive, but because the old Dominants, as recruiting mediums, play out. Our expression is that the New Dominant, of Wider Inclusions, is now manifesting throughout the world, and that the old Exclusionism is everywhere breaking down. In physics Exclusionism is breaking down by its own researches in radium, for instance, and in its speculations upon electrons, or its merging away into metaphysics, and by the desertion that has been going on for many years, by such men as Gurney, Crookes, Wallace, Flammarion, Lodge, to formerly disregarded phenomena--no longer called "spiritualism" but now "psychic research." Biology is in chaos: conventional Darwinites mixed up with mutationists and orthogenesists and followers of Wisemann, who take from Darwinism one of its pseudo-bases, and nevertheless try to reconcile their heresies with orthodoxy. The painters are metaphysicians and psychologists. The breaking down of Exclusionism in China and j.a.pan and in the United States has astonished History. The science of astronomy is going downward so that, though Pickering, for instance, did speculate upon a Trans-Neptunian planet, and Lowell did try to have accepted heretical ideas as to marks on Mars, attention is now minutely focused upon such technicalities as variations in shades of Jupiter's fourth satellite. I think that, in general acceptance, over-refinement indicates decadence.