The Book of the Damned (4)
Early explorers have Florida mixed up with Newfoundland. But the confusion is worse than that still earlier. It arises from simplicity. Very early explorers think that all land westward is one land, India: awareness of other lands as well as India comes as a slow process. I do not now think of things arriving upon this earth from some especial other world. That was my notion when I started to collect our data. Or, as is a commonplace of observation, all intellection begins with the illusion of homogeneity. It's one of Spencer's data: we see homogeneousness in all things distant, or with which we have small acquaintance. Advance from the relatively homogeneous to the relatively heterogeneous is Spencerian Philosophy—like everything else, so-called: not that it was really Spencer's discovery, but was taken from von Baer, who, in turn, was continuous with preceding evolutionary speculation. Our own expression is that all things are acting to advance to the homogeneous, or are trying to localize Homogeneousness. Homogeneousness is an aspect of the Universal, wherein it is a state that does not merge away into something else. We regard homogeneousness as an aspect of positiveness, but it is our acceptance that infinite frustrations of attempts to positivize manifest themselves in infinite heterogeneity: so that though things try to localize homogeneousness they end up in heterogeneity so great that it amounts to infinite dispersion or indistinguishability.
So all concepts are little attempted positivenesses, but soon have to give in to compromise, modification, nullification, merging away into indistinguishability—unless, here and there, in the world's history, there may have been a super-dogmatist, who, for only an infinitesimal of time, has been able to hold out against heterogeneity or modification or doubt or "listening to reason," or loss of identity—in which case—instant translation to heaven or the Positive Absolute.
Odd thing about Spencer is that he never recognized that "homogeneity," "integration," and "definiteness" are all words for the same state, or the state that we call "positiveness." What we call his mistake is in that he regarded "homogeneousness" as negative.
I began with a notion of some one other world, from which objects and substances have fallen to this earth; which had, or which, to less degree, has a tutelary interest in this earth; which is now attempting to communicate with this earth—modifying, because of data which will pile up later, into acceptance that some other world is not attempting but has been, for centuries, in communication with a sect, perhaps, or a secret society, or certain esoteric ones of this earth's inhabitants.
I lose a great deal of hypnotic power in not being able to concentrate attention upon some one other world.
As I have admitted before I'm intelligent, as contrasted with the orthodox. I haven't the aristocratic disregard of a New York curator or an Eskimo medicine-man.
I have to dissipate myself in acceptance of a host of other worlds: size of the moon, some of them: one of them, at least—tremendous thing: we'll take that up later. Vast, amorphous aerial regions, to which such definite words as "worlds" and "planets" seem inapplicable. And artificial constructions that I have called "super-constructions": one of them about the size of Brooklyn, I should say, offhand. And one or more of them wheel-shaped things a goodly number of square miles in area.
I think that earlier in this book, before we liberalized into embracing everything that comes along, your indignation, or indigestion would have expressed in the notion that, if this were so, astronomers would have seen these other worlds and regions and vast geometric constructions. You'd have had that notion: you'd have stopped there.
But the attempt to stop is saying "enough" to the insatiable. In cosmic punctuation there are no periods: illusion of periods is incomplete view of colons and semi-colons.
We can't stop with the notion that if there were such phenomena, astronomers would have seen them. Because of our experience with
suppression and disregard, we suspect, before we go into the subject at all, that astronomers have seen them; that navigators and meteorologists have seen them; that individual scientists and other trained observers have seen them many times—
That it is the System that has excluded data of them.
As to the Law of Gravitation, and astronomers' formulas, remember that these formulas worked out in the time of Laplace as well as they do now. But there are hundreds of planetary bodies now known that were then not known. So a few hundred worlds more of ours won't make any difference. Laplace knew of about only thirty bodies in this solar system: about six hundred are recognized now
What are the discoveries of geology and biology to a theologian?
His formulas still work out as well as they ever did.
If the Law of Gravitation could be stated as a real utterance, it might be a real resistance to us. But we are told only that gravitation is gravitation. Of course to an intermediatist, nothing can be defined except in terms of itself—but even the orthodox, in what seems to me to be the innate premonitions of realness, not founded upon experience, agree that to define a thing in terms of itself is not real definition. It is said that by gravitation is meant the attraction of all things proportionately to mass and inversely as the square of the distance. Mass would mean inter-attraction holding together final particles, if there were final particles. Then, until final particles be discovered, only one term of this expression survives, or mass is attraction. But distance is only extent of mass, unless one holds out for absolute vacuum among planets, a position against which we could bring a host of data. But there is no possible means of expressing that gravitation is anything other than attraction. So there is nothing to resist us but such a phantom as—that gravitation is the gravitation of all gravitations proportionately to gravitation and inversely as the square of gravitation. In a quasi-existence, nothing more sensible than this can be said upon any so-called subject—perhaps there are higher approximations to ultimate sensibleness.
Nevertheless we seem to have a feeling that with the System against us we have a kind of resistance here. We'd have felt so
formerly, at any rate: I think the Dr. Grays and Prof. Hitchcocks have modified our trustfulness toward indistinguishability. As to the perfection of this System that quasi-opposes us and the infallibility of its mathematics—as if there could be real mathematics in a mode of seeming where twice two are not four—we've been told over and over of their vindication in the discovery of Neptune.
I'm afraid that the course we're taking will turn out like every other development. We began humbly, admitting that we're of the damned—
But our eyebrows—
Just a faint flicker in them, or in one of them, every time we hear of the "triumphal discovery of Neptune"—this "monumental achievement of theoretical astronomy," as the text-books call it.
The whole trouble is that we've looked it up.
The text-books omit this:
That, instead of the orbit of Neptune agreeing with the calculations of Adams and Leverrier, it was so different—that Leverrier said that it was not the planet of his calculations.
Later it was thought best to say no more upon that subject.
The text-books omit this:
That, in 1846, everyone who knew a sine from a cosine was out sining and cosining for a planet beyond Uranus.
Two of them guessed right.
To some minds, even after Leverrier's own rejection of Neptune, the word "guessed" may be objectionable—but, according to Prof. Peirce, of Harvard, the calculations of Adams and Leverrier would have applied quite as well to positions many degrees from the position of Neptune.
Or for Prof. Peirce's demonstration that the discovery of Neptune was only a "happy accident," see Proc. Amer. Acad. Sciences, 1-65. For references, see Lowell's Evolution of Worlds.
Or comets: another nebulous resistance to our own notions. As to eclipses, I have notes upon several of them that did not occur upon scheduled time, though with differences only of seconds—and one delightful lost soul, deep-buried, but buried in the ultra-respectable records of the Royal Astronomical Society, upon an eclipse that
did not occur at all. That delightful, ultra-sponsored thing of perdition is too good and malicious to be dismissed with passing notice: we'll have him later.
Throughout the history of astronomy, every comet that has come back upon predicted time—not that, essentially, there was anything more abstruse about it than is a prediction that you can make of a postman's periodicities tomorrow—was advertised for all it was worth. It's the way reputations are worked up for fortune-tellers by the faithful. The comets that didn't come back—omitted or explained. Or Encke's comet. It came back slower and slower. But the astronomers explained. Be almost absolutely sure of that: Iv they explained. They had it all worked out and formulated and "proved" why that comet was coming back slower and slower—and there the damn thing began coming faster and faster.
Astronomy—"the perfect science, as we astronomers like to call it." (Jacoby.)
It's my own notion that if, in a real existence, an astronomer could not tell one longitude from another, he'd be sent back to this purgatory of ours until he could meet that simple requirement.
Halley was sent to the Cape of Good Hope to determine its longitude. He got it degrees wrong. He gave to Africa's noble Roman promontory a retroussé twist that would take the pride out of any Kaffir.
We hear everlastingly of Halley's comet. It came back—maybe. But, unless we look the matter up in contemporaneous records, we hear nothing of—the Leonids, for instance. By the same methods as those by which Halley's comet was predicted, the Leonids were predicted. November, 1898—no Leonids. It was explained. They had been perturbed. They would appear in November, 1899. November, 1899—November, 1900—no Leonids.
My notion of astronomic accuracy:
Who could not be a prize marksman, if only his hits be recorded?
As to Halley's comet, of 1910—everybody now swears he saw it. He has to perjure himself: otherwise he'd be accused of having no interest in great, inspiring things that he's never given any attention to.
That there never is a moment when there is not some comet in the sky. Virtually there is no year in which several new comets are not discovered, so plentiful are they. Luminous fleas on a vast black dog—in popular impressions, there is no realization of the extent to which this solar system is flea-bitten.
If a comet have not the orbit that astronomers have predicted—perturbed. If—like Halley's comet—it be late—even a year late—perturbed. When a train is an hour late, we have small opinion of the predictions of timetables. When a comet's a year late, all we ask is—that it be explained. We hear of the inflation and arrogance of astronomers. My own acceptance is not that they are imposing upon us: that they are requiting us. For many of us priests no longer function to give us seeming rapport with Perfection, Infallibility—the Positive Absolute. Astronomers have stepped forward to fill a vacancy—with quasi-phantomosity—but, in our acceptance, with a higher approximation to substantiality than had the attenuations that preceded them. I should say, myself, that all that we call progress is not so much response to "urge" as it is response to a hiatus—or if you want something to grow somewhere, dig out everything else in its area. So I have to accept that the positive assurances of astronomers are necessary to us, or the blunderings, evasions and disguises of astronomers would never be tolerated: that, given such latitude as they are permitted to take, they could not be very disastrously mistaken. Suppose the comet called Halley's had not appeared
Early in 1910, a far more important comet than the anæmic luminosity said to be Halley's, appeared. It was so brilliant that it was visible in daylight. The astronomers would have been saved anyway. If this other comet did not have the predicted orbit—perturbation. If you're going to Coney Island, and predict there'll be a special kind of a pebble on the beach, I don't see how you can disgrace yourself, if some other pebble will do just as well—because the feeble thing said to have been seen in 1910 was no more in accord with the sensational descriptions given out by astronomers in advance than is a pale pebble with a brick-red boulder.
I predict that next Wednesday, a large Chinaman, in evening clothes, will cross Broadway, at 42nd Street, at 9 P.M. He doesn't, but a tubercular Jap in a sailor's uniform does cross Broadway, at 35th Street, Friday, at noon. Well, a Jap is a perturbed Chinaman, and clothes are clothes.
I remember the terrifying predictions made by the honest and credulous astronomers, who must have been themselves hypnotized, or they could not have hypnotized the rest of us, in 1909. Wills were made. Human life might be swept from this planet. In quasi-existence, which is essentially Hibernian, that would be no reason why wills should not be made. The less excitable of us did expect at least some pretty good fireworks.
I have to admit that it is said that, in New York, a light was seen in the sky.
It was about as terrifying as the scratch of a match on the seat of some breeches half a mile away.
It was not on time.
Though I have heard that a faint nebulosity, which I did not see, myself, though I looked when I was told to look, was seen in the sky, it appeared several days after the time predicted.
A hypnotized host of imbeciles of us: told to look up at the sky: we did—like a lot of pointers hypnotized by a partridge.
Almost everybody now swears that he saw Halley's comet, and that it was a glorious spectacle.
An interesting circumstance here is that seemingly we are trying to discredit astronomers because astronomers oppose us—that's not my impression. We shall be in the Brahmin caste of the hell of the Baptists. Almost all our data, in some regiments of this procession, are observations by astronomers, few of them mere amateur astronomers. It is the System that opposes us. It is the System that is suppressing astronomers. I think we pity them in their captivity. Ours is not malice—in a positive sense. It's chivalry—somewhat. Unhappy astronomers looking out from high towers in which they are imprisoned—we appear upon the horizon.
But, as I have said, our data do not relate to some especial other world. I mean very much what a savage upon an ocean island
might vaguely think of in his speculations—not upon some other land, but complexes of continents and their phenomena: cities, factories in cities, means of communication
Now all the other savages would know of a few vessels sailing in their regular routes, passing this island in regularized periodicities. The tendency in these minds would be expression of the universal tendency toward positivism—or Completeness—or conviction that these few regularized vessels constituted all. Now I think of some especial savage who suspects otherwise—because he's very backward and unimaginative and insensible to the beautiful ideals of the others: not piously occupied, like the others, in bowing before impressive-looking sticks of wood; dishonestly taking time for his speculations, while the others are patriotically witch-finding. So the other higher and nobler savages know about the few regularized vessels: know when to expect them; have their periodicities all worked out; just about when vessels will pass, or eclipse each other—explaining that all vagaries were due to atmospheric conditions.
They'd come out strong in explaining.
You can't read a book upon savages without noting what resolute explainers they are.
They'd say that all this mechanism was founded upon the mutual attraction of the vessels—deduced from the fall of a monkey from a palm tree—or, if not that, that devils were pushing the vessels—something of the kind.
Débris, not from these vessels, cast up by the waves.
How can one think of something and something else, too?
I'm in the state of mind of a savage who might find upon a shore, washed up by the same storm, buoyant parts of a piano and a paddle that was carved by cruder hands than his own: something light and summery from India, and a fur overcoat from Russia—or all science, though approximating wider and wider, is attempt to conceive of India in terms of an ocean island, and of Russia in terms of India so interpreted. Though I am trying to think of Russia and India in world-wide terms, I cannot think that that, or the universalizing of the local, is cosmic purpose. The higher idealist
is the positivist who tries to localize the universal, and is in accord with cosmic purpose: the super-dogmatist of a local savage who can hold out, without a flurry of doubt, that a piano washed up on a beach is the trunk of a palm tree that a shark has bitten, leaving his teeth in it. So we fear for the soul of Dr. Gray, because he did not devote his whole life to that one stand that, whether possible or inconceivable, thousands of fishes had been cast from one bucket.
So, unfortunately for myself, if salvation be desirable, I look out widely but amorphously, indefinitely and heterogeneously. If I say I conceive of another world that is now in secret communication with certain esoteric inhabitants of this earth, I say I conceive of still other worlds that are trying to establish communication with all the inhabitants of this earth. I fit my notions to the data I find. That is supposed to be the right and logical and scientific thing to do; but it is no way to approximate to form, system, organization. Then I think I conceive of other worlds and vast structures that pass us by, within a few miles, without the slightest desire to communicate, quite as tramp vessels pass many islands without particularizing one from another. Then I think I have data of a vast construction that has often come to this earth, dipped into an ocean, submerged there a while, then going away—Why? I'm not absolutely sure. How would an Eskimo explain a vessel, sending ashore for coal, which is plentiful upon some Arctic beaches, though of unknown use to the natives, then sailing away, with no interest in the natives?
A great difficulty in trying to understand vast constructions that show no interest in us:
The notion that we must be interesting.
I accept that, though we're usually avoided, probably for moral reasons, sometimes this earth has been visited by explorers. I think that the notion that there have been extra-mundane visitors to China, within what we call the historic period, will be only ordinarily absurd, when we come to that datum.
I accept that some of the other worlds are of conditions very similar to our own. I think of others that are very different—so
that visitors from them could not live here—without artificial adaptations.
How some of them could breathe our attenuated air, if they came from a gelatinous atmosphere—
The masks that have been found in ancient deposits.
Most of them are of stone, and are said to have been ceremonial regalia of savages—
But the mask that was found in Sullivan County, Missouri, in 1879 (American Antiquarian, 3-336).
It is made of iron and silver.
One of the damnedest in our whole saturnalia of the accursed—
Because it is hopeless to try to shake off an excommunication only by saying that we're damned by blacker things than ourselves; and that the damned are those who admit they're of the damned. Inertia and hypnosis are too strong for us. We say that: then we go right on admitting we're of the damned. It is only by being more nearly real that we can sweep away the quasi-things that oppose us. Of course, as a whole, we have considerable amorphousness, but we are thinking now of "individual" acceptances. Wideness is an aspect of Universalness or Realness. If our syntheses disregard fewer data than do opposing syntheses—which are often not syntheses at all, but mere consideration of some one circumstance—less widely synthetic things fade away before us. Harmony is an aspect of the Universal, by which we mean Realness. If we approximate more highly to harmony among the parts of an expression and to all available circumstances of an occurrence, the self-contradictors turn hazy. Solidity is an aspect of realness. We pile them up, and we pile them up, or they pass and pass and pass:
things that bulk large as they march by, supporting and solidifying one another—
And still, and for regiments to come, hypnosis and inertia rule us—
One of the damnedest of our data:
In the Scientific American, Sept. 10, 1910, Charles F. Holder writes:
"Many years ago, a strange stone resembling a meteorite, fell into the Valley of the Yaqui, Mexico, and the sensational story went from one end to the other of the country that a stone bearing human inscriptions had descended to the earth."
The bewildering observation here is Mr. Holder's assertion that this stone did fall. It seems to me that he must mean that it fell by dislodgment from a mountainside into a valley—but we shall see that it was such a marked stone that very unlikely would it have been unknown to dwellers in a valley, if it had been reposing upon a mountainside above them. It may have been carelessness: intent may have been to say that a sensational story of a strange stone said to have fallen, etc.
This stone was reported by Major Frederick Burnham, of the British Army. Later Major Burnham revisited it, and Mr. Holder accompanied him, their purpose to decipher the inscriptions upon it, if possible.
"This stone was a brown, igneous rock, its longest axis about eight feet, and on the eastern face, which had an angle of about forty-five degrees, was the deep-cut inscription."
Mr. Holder says that he recognized familiar Mayan symbols in the inscription. His method was the usual method by which anything can be "identified" as anything else: that is to pick out whatever is agreeable and disregard the rest. He says that he has demonstrated that most of the symbols are Mayan. One of our intermediatist pseudo-principles is that any way of demonstrating anything is just as good a way of demonstrating anything else. By Mr. Holder's method we could demonstrate that we're Mayan—if that should be a source of pride to us. One of the characters upon this stone is a circle within a circle—similar character found by Mr. Holder is a Mayan manuscript. There are two 6's. 6's can be found
in Mayan manuscripts. A double scroll. There are dots and there are dashes. Well, then, we, in turn, disregard the circle within a circle and the double scroll and emphasize that 6's occur in this book, and that dots are plentiful, and would be more plentiful if it were customary to use the small "i" for the first personal pronoun—that when it comes to dashes—that's demonstrated: we're Mayan.
I suppose the tendency is to feel that we're sneering at some valuable archæologic work, and that Mr. Holder did make a veritable identification.
"I submitted the photographs to the Field Museum and the Smithsonian and one or two others, and, to my surprise, the reply was that they could make nothing out of it."
Our indefinite acceptance, by preponderance of three or four groups of museum-experts against one person, is that a stone bearing inscriptions unassimilable with any known language upon this earth, is said to have fallen from the sky. Another poor wretch of an outcast belonging here is noted in the Scientific American, 48261: that, of an object, or a meteorite, that fell Feb. 16, 1883, near Brescia, Italy, a false report was circulated that one of the fragments bore the impress of a hand. That's all that is findable by me upon this mere gasp of a thing. Intermediatistically, my acceptance is that, though in the course of human history, there have been some notable approximations, there never has been a real liar: that he could not survive in intermediateness, where everything merges away or has its pseudo-base in something else—would be instantly translated to the Negative Absolute. So my acceptance is that, though curtly dismissed, there was something to base upon in this report; that there were unusual markings upon this object. Of course that is not to jump to the conclusion that they were cuneiform characters that looked like fingerprints.
Altogether, I think that in some of our past expressions, we must have been very efficient, if the experience of Mr. Symons be typical, so indefinite are we becoming here. Just here we are interested in many things that have been found, especially in the United States, which speak of a civilization, or of many civilizations not indigenous
to this earth. One trouble is in trying to decide whether they fell here from the sky, or were left behind by visitors from other worlds. We have a notion that there have been disasters aloft, and that coins have dropped here: that inhabitants of this earth found them or saw them fall, and then made coins imitatively: it may be that coins were showered here by something of a tutelary nature that undertook to advance us from the stage of barter to the use of a medium. If coins should be identified as Roman coins, we've had so much experience with "identifications" that we know a phantom when we see one—but, even so, how could Roman coins have got to North America—far in the interior of North America—or buried under the accumulation of centuries of soil—unless they did drop from—wherever the first Romans came from? Ignatius Donnelly, in Atlantis, gives a list of objects that have been found in mounds that are supposed to antedate all European influence in America: lathe-made articles, such as traders—from somewhere—would supply to savages—marks of the lathe said to be unmistakable. Said to be: of course we can't accept that anything is unmistakable. In the Rept. Smithson. Inst., 1881-619, there is an account, by Charles C. Jones, of two silver crosses that were found in Georgia. They are skillfully made, highly ornamented crosses, but are not conventional crucifixes: all arms of equal length. Mr. Jones is a good positivist—that De Sota had halted at the "precise" spot where these crosses were found. But the spirit of negativeness that lurks in all things said to be "precise" shows itself in that upon one of these crosses in an inscription that has no meaning in Spanish or any other known, terrestrial language:
"IYNKICIDU," according to Mr. Jones. He thinks that this is a name, and that there is an aboriginal ring to it, though I should say, myself, that he was thinking of the far-distant Incas: that the Spanish donor cut on the cross the name of an Indian to whom it was presented. But we look at the inscription ourselves and see that the letters said to be "C" and "D" are turned the wrong way, and that the letter said to be "K" is not only turned the wrong way, but is upside down.
It is difficult to accept that the remarkable, the very extensive,
copper mines in the region of Lake Superior were ever the works of American aborigines. Despite the astonishing extent of these mines, nothing has ever been found to indicate that the region was ever inhabited by permanent dwellers—"… not a vestige of a dwelling, a skeleton, or a bone has been found." The Indians have no traditions relating to the mines. (Amer. Antiquarian, 25-258.) I think that we've had visitors: that they have come here for copper, for instance. As to other relics of them—but we now come upon frequency of a merger that has not so often appeared before:
Hair called real hair—then there are wigs. Teeth called real teeth—then there are false teeth. Official money—counterfeit money. It's the bane of psychic research. If there be psychic phenomena, there must be fraudulent psychic phenomena. So desperate is the situation here that Carrington argues that, even if Palladino be caught cheating, that is not to say that all her phenomena are fraudulent. My own version is: that nothing indicates anything, in a positive sense, because, in a positive sense, there is nothing to be indicated. Everything that is called true must merge away indistinguishably into something called false. Both are expressions of the same underlying quasiness, and are continuous. Fraudulent antiquarian relics are very common, but they are not more common than are fraudulent paintings.
W. S. Forest, Historical Sketches of Norfolk, Virginia:
That, in September, 1833, when some workmen, near Norfolk, were boring for water, a coin was drawn up from a depth of about 30 feet. It was about the size of an English shilling, but oval—an oval disk, if not a coin. The figures upon it were distinct, and represented "a warrior or hunter and other characters, apparently of Roman origin."
The means of exclusion would probably be—men digging a hole—no one else looking: one of them drops a coin into the hole—as to where he got a strange coin, remarkable in shape even—that's disregarded. Up comes the coin—expressions of astonishment from the evil one who had dropped it.
However, the antiquarians have missed this coin. I can find no other mention of it.
Another coin. Also a little study in the genesis of a prophet.
In the American Antiquarian, 16-313, is copied a story by a correspondent to the Detroit News, of a copper coin about the size of a two-cent piece, said to have been found in a Michigan mound. The Editor says merely that he does not endorse the find. Upon this slender basis, he buds out, in the next number of the Antiquarian:
"The coin turns out, as we predicted, to be a fraud."
You can imagine the scorn of Elijah, or any of the old more nearly real prophets.
Or all things are tried by the only kind of jurisprudence we have in quasi-existence:
Presumed to be innocent until convicted—but they're guilty. The Editor's reasoning is as phantom-like as my own, or St. Paul's, or Darwin's. The coin is condemned because it came from the same region from which, a few years before, had come pottery that had been called fraudulent. The pottery had been condemned because it was condemnable.
Scientific American, June 17, 1882:
That a farmer, in Cass Co., Ill., had picked up, on his farm, a bronze coin, which was sent to Prof. F. F. Hilder, of St. Louis, who identified it as a coin of Antiochus IV. Inscription said to be in ancient Greek characters: translated as "King Antiochus Epiphanes (Illustrious) the Victorius." Sounds quite definite and convincing—but we have some more translations coming.
In the American Pioneer, 2-169, are shown two faces of a copper coin, with characters very much like those upon the Grave Creek stone—which, with translations, we'll take up soon. This coin is said to have been found in Connecticut, in 1843.
Records of the Past, 12-182:
That, early in 1913, a coin, said to be a Roman coin, was reported as discovered in an Illinois mound. It was sent to Dr. Emerson, of the Art Institute, of Chicago. His opinion was that the coin is "of the rare mintage of Domitius Domitianus, Emperor in Egypt." As to its discovery in an Illinois mound, Dr. Emerson
disclaims responsibility. But what strikes me here is that a joker should not have been satisfied with an ordinary Roman coin. Where did he get a rare coin, and why was it not missed from some collection? I have looked over numismatic journals enough to accept that the whereabouts of every rare coin in anyone's possession is known to coin-collectors. Seems to me nothing left but to call this another "identification."
Proc. Amer. Phil. Soc., 12-224:
That, in July, 1871, a letter was received from Mr. Jacob W. Moffit, of Chillicothe, Ill., enclosing a photograph of a coin, which he said had been brought up, by him, while boring, from a depth of 120 feet.
Of course, by conventional scientific standards, such depth has some extraordinary meaning. Paleontologists, geologists, and archæologists consider themselves reasonable in arguing ancient origin of the far-buried. We only accept: depth is a pseudo-standard with us; one earthquake could bury a coin of recent mintage 120 feet below the surface.
According to a writer in the Proceedings, the coin is uniform in thickness, and had never been hammered out by savages—"there are other tokens of the machine shop."
But, according to Prof. Leslie, it is an astrologic amulet. "There are upon it the signs of Pisces and Leo."
Or, with due disregard, you can find signs of your great-grandmother, or of the Crusades, or of the Mayans, upon anything that ever came from Chillicothe or from a five and ten cent store. Anything that looks like a cat and a goldfish looks like Leo and Pisces: but, by due suppressions and distortions there's nothing that can't be made to look like a cat and a goldfish. I fear me we're turning a little irritable here. To be damned by slumbering giants and interesting little harlots and clowns who rank high in their profession is at least supportable to our vanity; but, we find that the anthropologists are of the slums of the divine, or of an archaic kindergarten of intellectuality, and it is very unflattering to find a mess of moldy infants sitting in judgment upon us.
Prof. Leslie then finds, as arbitrarily as one might find that some joker put the Brooklyn Bridge where it is, that "the piece was placed
there as a practical joke, though not by its present owner; and is a modern fabrication, perhaps of the sixteenth century, possibly Hispano-American or French-American origin."
It's sheer, brutal attempt to assimilate a thing that may or may not have fallen from the sky, with phenomena admitted by the anthropologic system: or with the early French or Spanish explorers of Illinois. Though it is ridiculous in a positive sense to give reasons, it is more acceptable to attempt reasons more nearly real than opposing reasons. Of course, in his favor, we note that Prof. Leslie qualifies his notions. But his disregards are that there is nothing either French or Spanish about this coin. A legend upon it is said to be "somewhere between Arabic and Phoenician, without being either." Prof. Winchell (Sparks from a Geologist's Hammer, p. 170) says of the crude designs upon this coin, which was in his possession—scrawls of an animal and of a warrior, or of a cat and a goldfish, whichever be convenient—that they had been neither stamped nor engraved, but "looked as if etched with an acid." That is a method unknown in numismatics of this earth. As to the crudity of design upon this coin, and something else—that, though the "warrior" may be, by due disregards, either a cat or a goldfish, we have to note that his headdress is typical of the American Indian—could be explained, of course, but for fear that we might be instantly translated to the Positive Absolute, which may not be absolutely desirable, we prefer to have some flaws or negativeness in our own expressions.
Data of more than the thrice-accursed:
Tablets of stone, with the ten commandments engraved upon them, in Hebrew, said to have been found in mounds in the United States;
Masonic emblems said to have been found in mounds in the United States.
We're upon the borderline of our acceptances, and we're amorphous in the uncertainties and mergings of our outline. Conventionally, or, with no real reason for so doing, we exclude these things, and then, as grossly and arbitrarily and irrationally—though our attempt is always to approximate away from these negative states—as ever a Kepler, Newton, or Darwin made his selections,
without which he could not have seemed to be, at all, because every one of them is now seen to be an illusion, we accept that other lettered things have been found in mounds in the United States. Of course we do what we can to make the selection seem not gross and arbitrary and irrational. Then, if we accept that inscribed things of ancient origin have been found in the United States; that cannot be attributed to any race indigenous to the western hemisphere; that are not in any language ever heard of in the eastern hemisphere—there's nothing to it but to turn non-Euclidian and try to conceive of a third "hemisphere," or to accept that there has been intercourse between the western hemisphere and some other world.
But there is a peculiarity to these inscribed objects. They remind me of the records left, by Sir John Franklin, in the Arctic; but, also, of attempts made by relief expeditions to communicate with the Franklin expedition. The lost explorers cached their records—or concealed them conspicuously in mounds. The relief expeditions sent up balloons, from which messages were dropped broadcast. Our data are of things that have been cached, and of things that seem to have been dropped—
Or a Lost Expedition from—Somewhere.
Explorers from somewhere, and their inability to return—then, a long, sentimental, persistent attempt, in the spirit of our own Arctic relief-expeditions—at least to establish communication—
What if it may have succeeded?
We think of India—the millions of natives who are ruled by a small band of esoterics—only because they receive support and direction from—somewhere else—or from England.
In 1838, Mr. A. B. Tomlinson, owner of the great mound at Grave Creek, West Virginia, excavated the mound. He said that, in the presence of witnesses, he had found a small, flat, oval stone—or disk—upon which were engraved alphabetic characters.
Col. Whittelsey, an expert in these matters, says that the stone is now "universally regarded by archæologists as a fraud": that, in his opinion, Mr. Tomlinson had been imposed upon.
Avebury, Prehistoric Times, p. 271:
"I mention it because it has been the subject of much discussion,
but it is now generally admitted to be a fraud. It is inscribed with Hebrew characters, but the forger has copied the modern instead of the ancient form of the letters."
As I have said, we're as irritable here, under the oppressions of the anthropologists as ever were slaves in the south toward superiorities from "poor white trash." When we finally reverse our relative positions we shall give lowest place to the anthropologists. A Dr. Gray does at least look at a fish before he conceives of a miraculous origin for it. We shall have to submerge Lord Avebury far below him—if we accept that the stone from Grave Creek is generally regarded as a fraud by eminent authorities who did not know it from some other object—or, in general, that so decided an opinion must be the product of either deliberate disregard or ignorance or fatigue. The stone belongs to a class of phenomena that is repulsive to the System. It will not assimilate with the System. Let such an object be heard of by such a systematist as Avebury, and the mere mention of it is as nearly certainly the stimulus to a conventional reaction as is a charged body to an electroscope or a glass of beer to a prohibitionist. It is of the ideals of Science to know one object from another before expressing an opinion upon a thing, but that is not the spirit of universal mechanics:
A thing. It is attractive or repulsive. Its conventional reaction follows.
Because it is not the stone from Grave Creek that is in Hebrew characters, either ancient or modern: it is a stone from Newark, Ohio, of which the story is told that a forger made this mistake of using modern instead of ancient Hebrew characters. We shall see that the inscription upon the Grave Creek stone is not in Hebrew.
Or all things are presumed to be innocent, but are supposed to be guilty—unless they assimilate.
Col. Whittelsey (Western Reserve Historical Tracts, No. 33) says that the Grave Creek stone was considered a fraud by Wilson, Squires, and Davis. Then he comes to the Congress of Archæologists at Nancy, France, 1875. It is hard for Col. Whittelsey to admit that, at this meeting, which sounds important, the stone was endorsed. He reminds us of Mr. Symons, and "the man" who
[paragraph continues] "considered" that he saw something. Col. Whittelsey's somewhat tortuous expression is that the finder of the stone "so imposed his views" upon the congress that it pronounced the stone genuine.
Also the stone was examined by Schoolcraft. He gave his opinion for genuineness.
Or there's only one process, and "see-saw" is one of its aspects. Three or four fat experts on the side against us. We find four or five plump ones on our side. Or all that we call logic and reasoning ends up as sheer preponderance of avoirdupois.
Then several philologists came out in favor of genuineness. Some of them translated the inscription. Of course, as we have said, it is our method—or the method of orthodoxy—way in which all conclusions are reached—to have some awfully eminent, or preponderantly plump, authorities with us whenever we can—in this case, however, we feel just a little apprehensive in being caught in such excellently obese, but somewhat negativized, company:
Translation by M. Jombard:
"Thy orders are laws: thou shinest in impetuous élan and rapid chamois."
M. Maurice Schwab:
"The chief of Emigration who reached these places (or this island) has fixed these characters forever."
"The grave of one who was assassinated here. May God, to revenge him, strike his murderer, cutting off the hand of his existence."
I like the first one best. I have such a vivid impression from it of someone polishing up brass or something, and in an awful hurry. Of course the third is more dramatic—still they're all very good. They are perturbations of one another, I suppose.
In Tract 44, Col. Whittelsey returns to the subject. He gives the conclusion of Major De Helward, at the Congress of Luxembourg, 1877:
"If Prof. Read and myself are right in the conclusion that the figures are neither of the Runic, Phoenician, Canaanite, Hebrew, Lybian, Celtic, or any other alphabet-language, its importance has been greatly over-rated."
Obvious to a child; obvious to any mentality not helplessly subjected to a system:
That just therein lies the importance of this object.
It is said that an ideal of science is to find out the new—but, unless a thing be of the old, it is "unimportant."
"It is not worth while." (Hovey.)
Then the inscribed ax, or wedge, which, according to Dr. John C. Evans, in a communication to the American Ethnological Society, was plowed up, near Pemberton, N. J., 1859. The characters upon this ax, or wedge, are strikingly similar to the characters on the Grave Creek stone. Also, with a little disregard here and a little more there, they look like tracks in the snow by someone who's been out celebrating, or like your handwriting, or mine, when we think there's a certain distinction in illegibility. Method of disregard: anything's anything.
Dr. Abbott describes this object in the Report of the Smithsonian Institution, 1875-260.
He says he has no faith in it.
All progress is from the outrageous to the commonplace. Or quasi-existence proceeds from rape to the crooning of lullabies. It's been interesting to me to go over various long-established periodicals and note controversies between attempting positivists and then intermediatistic issues. Bold, bad intruders of theories; ruffians with dishonorable intentions—the alarms of Science; her attempts to preserve that which is dearer than life itself—submission—then a fidelity like Mrs. Micawber's. So many of these ruffians, or wandering comedians that were hated, or scorned, pitied, embraced, conventionalized. There's not a notion in this book that has a more frightful, or ridiculous, mien than had the notion of human footprints in rocks, when that now respectabilized ruffian, or clown, was first heard from. It seems bewildering to one whose interests are not scientific that such rows should be raised over such trifles: but the feeling of a systematist toward such an intruder is just about what anyone's would be if a tramp from the street should come in, sit at one's dinner table, and say he belonged there. We know what hypnosis can do: let him insist with all his might that he does belong there, and one begins to suspect that he may be
right; that he may have higher perceptions of what's right. The prohibitionists had this worked out very skillfully.
So the row that was raised over the stone from Grave Creek—but time and cumulativeness, and the very factor we make so much of—or the power of massed data. There were other reports of inscribed stones, and then, half a century later, some mounds—or caches, as we call them—were opened by the Rev. Mr. Gass. near the city of Davenport. (American Antiquarian, 15-73.) Several stone tablets were found. Upon one of them, the letters "TFTOWNS" may easily be made out. In this instance we hear nothing of fraudulency—time, cumulativeness, the power of massed data. The attempt to assimilate this datum is:
That the tablet was probably of Mormon origin.
Because, at Mendon, Ill., was found a brass plate, upon which were similar characters.
Because that was found "near a house once occupied by a Mormon."
In a real existence, a real meteorologist, suspecting that cinders had come from a fire engine—would have asked a fireman.
Tablets of Davenport—there's not a record findable that it ever occurred to any antiquarian—to ask a Mormon.
Other tablets were found. Upon one of them are two "F's" and two "8's." Also a large tablet, twelve inches by eight to ten inches "with Roman numerals and Arabic." It is said that the figure "8" occurs three times, and the figure or letter "O" seven times. "With these familiar characters are others that resemble ancient alphabets, either Phoenecian or Hebrew."
It may be that the discovery of Australia, for instance, will turn out to be less important than the discovery and the meaning of these tablets—
But where will you read of them in anything subsequently published; what antiquarian has ever since tried to understand them, and their presence, and indications of antiquity, in a land that we're told was inhabited only by unlettered savages?
These things that are exhumed only to be buried in some other way.
Another tablet was found, at Davenport, by Mr. Charles Harrison, president of the American Antiquarian Society. "… 8 and other hieroglyphics are upon this tablet." This time, also, fraud is not mentioned. My own notion is that it is very unsportsmanlike ever to mention fraud. Accept anything. Then explain it your way. Anything that assimilates with one explanation, must have assimilable relations, to some degree, with all other explanations, if all explanations are somewhere continuous. Mormons are lugged in again, but the attempt is faint and helpless—"because general circumstances make it difficult to explain the presence of these tablets."
Altogether our phantom resistance is mere attribution to the Mormons, without the slightest attempt to find base for the attribution. We think of messages that were showered upon this earth, and of messages that were cached in mounds upon this earth. The similarity to the Franklin situation is striking. Conceivably centuries from now, objects dropped from relief-expedition-balloons may be found in the Arctic, and conceivably there are still undiscovered caches left by Franklin, in the hope that relief expeditions would find them. It would be as incongruous to attribute these things to the Eskimos as to attribute tablets and lettered stones to the aborigines of America. Some time I shall take up an expression that the queer-shaped mounds upon this earth were built by explorers from Somewhere, unable to get back, designed to attract attention from some other world, and that a vast sword-shaped mound has been discovered upon the moon—Just now we think of lettered things and their two possible significances.
A bizarre little lost soul, rescued from one of the morgues of the American Journal of Science:
An account, sent by a correspondent, to Prof. Silliman, of something that was found in a block of marble, taken November, 1829, from a quarry, near Philadelphia (Am. J. Sci., 1-19-361). The block was cut into slabs. By this process, it is said, was exposed an indentation in the stone, about one and a half inches by five-eighths of an inch. A geometric indentation: in it were two definite-looking
raised letters, like "I U": only difference is that the corners of the "U" are not rounded, but are right angles. We are told that this block of stone came from a depth of seventy or eighty feet—or that, if acceptable, this lettering was done long ago. To some persons, not sated with the commonness of the incredible that has to be accepted, it may seem grotesque to think that an indentation in sand could have tons of other sand piled upon it and hardening into stone, without being pressed out—but the famous Nicaraguan footprints were found on in a quarry under eleven strata of solid rock. There was no discussion of this datum. We only take it out for an airing.
As to lettered stones that may once upon a time have been showered upon Europe, if we cannot accept that the stones were inscribed by indigenous inhabitants of Europe, many have been found in caves—whence they were carried as curiosities by prehistoric men, or as ornaments, I suppose. About the size and shape of the Grave Creek stone, or disk: "flat and oval and about two inches wide." (Sollas.) Characters painted upon them: found first by M. Piette, in the cave of Mas d’Azil, Ariége. According to Sollas, they are marked in various directions with red and black lines. "But on not a few of them, more complex characters occur, which in a few instances simulate some of the capital letters of the Roman alphabet." In one instance the letters "F E I" accompanied by no other markings to modify them, are as plain as could be. According to Sollas (Ancient Hunters, p. 95) M. Cartailhac has confirmed the observations of Piette, and M. Boule has found additional examples. "They offer one of the darkest problems of prehistoric times." (Sollas.)
As to caches in general, I should say that they are made with two purposes; to proclaim and to conceal; or that caches documents are hidden, or covered over, in conspicuous structures; at least, so are designed the cairns in the Arctic.
Trans. N.Y. Acad. of Sciences, 11-27:
That Mr. J. H. Hooper, Bradley Co., Tenn., having come upon a curious stone, in some woods upon his farm, investigated. He dug. He unearthed a long wall. Upon this wall were inscribed many alphabetic characters. "872 characters have been examined, many
of them duplicates, and a few imitations of animal forms, the moon, and other objects. Accidental imitations of oriental alphabets are numerous.
The part that seems significant:
That these letters had been hidden under a layer of cement.
And still, in our own heterogeneity, or unwillingness, or inability, to concentrate upon single concepts, we shall—or we sha’n’t—accept that, though there may have been a Lost Colony or Lost Expedition from Somewhere, upon this earth, and extra-mundane visitors who could never get back, there have been other extra-mundane visitors, who have gone away again—altogether quite in analogy with the Franklin Expedition and Peary's flittings in the Arctic—
And a wreck that occurred to one group of them—
And the loot that was lost overboard—
The Chinese seals of Ireland.
Not the things with the big, wistful eyes that lie on ice, and that are taught to balance objects on their noses—but inscribed stamps, with which to make impressions.
Proc. Roy. Irish Acad., I-381:
A paper was read by Mr. J. Huband Smith, descriptive of about a dozen Chinese seals that had been found in Ireland. They are all like: each a cube with an animal seated upon it. "It is said that the inscriptions upon them are of a very ancient class of Chinese characters."
The three points that have made a leper and an outcast of this datum—but only in the sense of disregard, because nowhere that I know of is it questioned:
Agreement among archæologists that there were no relations, in the remote past, between China and Ireland;
That no other objects, from ancient China—virtually, I suppose—have ever been found in Ireland;
The great distances at which these seals have been found apart.
After Mr. Smith's investigations—if he did investigate, or do more than record—many more Chinese seals were found in Ireland, and, with one exception, only in Ireland. In 1852, about 60 had been found. Of all archæologic finds in Ireland, "none is enveloped in greater mystery." (Chambers’ Journal, 16-364.) According to the
writer in Chambers’ Journal, one of these seals was found in a curiosity shop in London. When questioned, the shopkeeper said that it had come from Ireland.
In this instance, if you don't take instinctively to our expression, there is no orthodox explanation for your preference. It is the astonishing scattering of them, over field and forest, that has hushed the explainers. In the Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 10-171, Dr. Frazer says that they "appear to have been sown broadcast over the country in some strange way that I cannot offer solution of."
The struggle for expression of a notion that did not belong to Dr. Frazer's era:
"The invariable story of their find is what we might expect if they had been accidentally dropped.…"
Three were found in Tipperary; six in Cork; three in Down; four in Waterford; all the rest—one or two to a county.
But one of these Chinese seals was found in the bed of the River Boyne, near Clonard, Meath, when workmen were raising gravel.
That one, at least, had been dropped there.
And a watchman looking at half a dozen lanterns, where a street's been torn up.
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" seminary.
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 density.
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 them.
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 too interesting.
Dangers of near approach—nevertheless our own ships that dare not venture close to 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 someone'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 compensation?
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 and 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 at 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, and cattle.
First find out that 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 today—the superstition of tomorrow. Science of tomorrow—the superstition of today.
Notice of a stone ax, 17 inches long: 9 inches across broad end. (Proc. Soc. of Ants. of Scotland, 1-9-184.)
Amer. Antiquarian, 18-60:
Copper ax from an Ohio mound: 22 inches long; weight 38 pounds.
Amer. 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 300 pounds.
Or 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 systematist, argues:
"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—someone 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 anyone 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 a 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 been found.
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 scientific tropism—"Geologists say that 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 some 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 damnedest.
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 "pygmy flints" are found, all flints are pygmies—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 minute."
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. Galty says:
"So fine is the chipping that to see the workmanship a magnifying glass is necessary."
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 own method 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 here—horrified with anyone who would gorge himself with more than a bean at a time; fearful for the souls of beings who would guzzle more than a dewdrop at a time—hordes of 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 pulled out.
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 recent-looking.
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 pygmy animal world," 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 Astronomic 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 agreement.
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 postimpressionist 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 and 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 unassimilable.
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 assimilate.
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 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 earth.
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 or 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.
Worlds 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 no 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 disregarded.
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 hilltops and built forts. In a real existence, hilltops, 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 hilltops, in times of danger, we run to them just the same, even with danger closest to hilltops. Very common in quasi-existence: attempt to escape by running closer to the pursuing.
They built forts, or already had forts, on hilltops.
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 for 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, ourselves, 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.