(All quotes in this post come from the edition of Book of the Damned on the Project Gutenberg website. This edition is available for free at the link below.
Book of the Damned)
In Charles Fort's expression of a quasi-existent world, there are three kinds of evil. One kind of evil is the things that have been good becoming too old for their time. Another kind of evil is the future good, which is not quite yet ready to be accepted as the good. As Fort says:
"Evil is outlived virtue, or incipient virtue that has not yet established itself, or any other phenomena that is not seeming adjustment, harmony, consistency, with a dominant."
Fort's third description of evil is simply being the use by things of other things for which the first things are useful.
Fort's third description is made in direct reference to the extra-terrestrial beings for whom Fort believes we are property.
This third description of evil is, of course, only evil for the things that are being made use of. In other words, Fort believes that we would see the aliens who "own" us as evil simply because they think of us as their property.
Fort's Book of the Damned is famous for his quote, "I think we're property."
Fort's opinion in this matter is quite serious, and his evidence for anomalous phenomena occurring throughout human history is all directed to point to this expression of his.
Fort doesn't believe things. He "accepts" them. This is a hard thing to remember, as I type.
Fort "accepts" that earth used to be a No-man's land, fought over by beings from a number of different planets. But one alien race has managed to gain control of the planet from other alien races. That alien race fends off all other beings from our planet and has complete control over us.
Fort also accepts that there is a group of human beings that has had contact with this alien race for a long time. He first mentions this group as a "secret society," that chilling phrase of modern history, made even more spine tingling by contemporary conspiracy. Fort hypothesizes that for every anomalous phenomenon reported, one might be able to trace an investigator to the area.
"But," Fort asks, "what if (this investigator) had no anthropological, lapiderian, or meteorological affiliations -- but did belong to a secret society -- It is only a dawning credibility."
Fort later hypotesizes that this secret society might be akin to a cult, guiding humanity through various stages of development.
"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."
Fort has devised this idea, as he says, from the evidence he's found of anomalous phenomena. He has, he tells us again and again, compiled a mass of data. Accumulation of data, in Fort's expression, brings things from a phantomic or ghostly state into a state of substantiality. So as evidence piles up, the phenomena behind the evidence become less deniable and more substantial.
But as Fort compiles more and more data, he seems to have more and more ideas about what kind of existence this data justifies.
I'm about two-thirds of the way through this book. I'm actually surprised that I'm only this far along. I feel like I've studied my brains out. It's not a big book, and it's actually a lot of fun to read. But I feel like I've read a lot and hardly gotten anywhere.
Anyway, I'm about two-thirds of the way through this book, and already I've encountered the following planets:
Super-Romanimus -- The planet from which all the Romans came.
Super-Israelimus -- The planet from which all the Israelites came.
Azuria -- The planet from which all the Britains came. Azuria, actually, is a planet of blue people. The first Britains were actually blue -- they didn't paint themselves blue. Later on, the humanized Azurians no longer wanted the space-dwelling Azurians controlling them. So the Azurians left the planet. But before they left, they sent down huge rays of electricity to the earth, literally vitrifying a number of stone forts surrounding (but not in) England.
Monstrator -- A gigantic, spindle-shaped planet that has been seen on a number of occasions floating before the sun.
Melanicus -- Not really a planet at all, but a bat-shaped ship -- or a bat-shaped alien -- with wings hundreds of miles long. Actually, Fort's descriptions of Melanicus are so beautiful, I'll quote them:
"Vast dark thing with the wings of a super-bat, or jet-black super-construction; most likely one of the spores of the Evil One.
Fort clarifies the third conception of evil in this second quote on Melanicus:
"That upon the wings of a super-bat, (Melanicus) broods over this earth and over other worlds, perhaps deriving something from them: hovers on wings, or wing-like appendages, or planes that are hundreds of miles from tip to tip -- a super-evil thing that is exploiting us. By Evil I mean that which makes us useful. He obscures a star. He shoves a comet. I think he's a vast, black, brooding vampire."
Vulcan -- which is not a planet at all, but rather a whole bunch of objects which have passed between Mercury and the sun. But many astronomers, including one names Leverrier, have claimed these multiple phenomena to be one planet.
Fort claims that Leverrier believed in these phenomena being one planet so much that, when it was finally proved not to be so, he died. Fort says this was a "translation to the Positive Absolute," a kind of apotheosis a thing in the Fortean realm of quasi-existence (the plane on which we live) can experience when it holds so steadfastly to the things it identifies with that even total prove of its incongruity with reality will not shake its belief.
Incidentally, Fort also expresses that the stars in the sky are fixed, not moving. He says, as well, that stars are something like the souls of entities (human or otherwise) which have translated to the Positive Absolute. Fort says:
"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."
One super-celestial entity Fort does not mention in the cosmogoria above is the Super-Sargasso Sea, the vast, formless region in which sits the world of the Genesistrine, from which elements of our earth have been deposited, via sky-borne gelatinous regions, in free-fall.
These worlds seem to keep multiplying themselves. It's an incredible feat. And there's never a minute where I, as a reader, get bored with the experience. And I love all the data. But it seems so overwhelming that, as a new piece of data arises, Fort seems to invent a whole new story around it.
Fort claims to systematize. He even says that he's guilty of excluding, just as much as any of the scientists he berates are. But his universe just keeps on expanding. If a stone falls to the earth -- a new planet appears in Charles Fort's heaven!
I think there's an interesting quote of Fort's that connects both his tendency to multiply worlds and his belief in some kind of conspiracy theory involving humans and aliens:
"Unfortunately for myself, 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 communications with all the inhabitants of this earth. I fit my notions to the data I find."
Fort has plenty of data. And plenty of notions.
But -- in spite of the fact that Fort says he looks out widely but amorphously, indefinitely and heterogeneously, there really is one point where his already bloating fantasy literally fragments. Fort himself commits an act of psycho-tropism, a mental "turning-away" from a subject matter. And not long after he does this, an image occurs in his work, which, although it is an objective piece of evidence, is truly an act of fragmentation.
This is the point where Fort speaks about poltergeists. He -- I should say -- barely speaks about poltergeists: only long enough to reject them.
However, for all the times he -- convincingly! -- shows how the rejections by conventional scientists of the reports of anomalous events are really only flimsy rejections, Fort manages to put up only a flimsy series of rejections against reports of poltergeists.
Fort gives two instances of all the windows of one or two houses being broken: one incident in Bermondsey in 1872, and one in Chiswick in 1841. In both of these incidents, people seem to have been puzzled as to where the stones could have come from. But Fort claims that the stones came from above.
This seems possible to me -- that the stones could have fallen from above. But to fly through windows, and at such an angle that they'd break furniture and even injure people inside the house -- seems like the stones would have to be coming from a much more horizontal than vertical angle.
Fort gives a few different types of conventional-scientific resistances to anomalous trauma, as one might think of it:
1. The thing was always there
2. The thing was swept up in a whirlwind and dropped down somewhere else
3. Complete disregard
5. Identification with something else (without explaining how something else got there)
I would put Fort's resistance to this idea of poltergeists as a kind of counterpart to his second type of resistance. Fort says that if a bunch of stones come from somewhere, they have to come from the sky. They can't possibly have been thrown vertically by, say, poltergeists.
Fort admits that he's excluding, just as a scientist would, in this case. He claims, not long after rejecting poltergeists:
"I have always been in sympathy with the dogmatists and exclusionists: to seem to be is falsely and arbitrarily and dogmatically to exclude."
He then claims that he's rejecting poltergeists because he doesn't want the theories of his cosmology to burgeon into an unsustainable mass of concepts.
"So that this book shall approximate to form, or that our data shall approximate to organization, or that we shall approximate to intelligibility, we have to call ourselves back constantly from wandering off into infinitude."
However, I find it kind of interesting that Fort, right after rejecting the idea of poltergeists throwing rocks through windows, then goes on to rather drastically alter (in my opinion) his theory regarding the gelatinous areas in the sky -- these areas suddenly become vast icy areas in the sky.
Not only do these areas in the sky suddenly become vast icy areas instead of vast gelatinous areas -- but the earth itself becomes flat! The universe itself becomes flat. Fort says there may come a day when people will simply walk to Mars or Jupiter. Fort also envisions a future for aviators, where, at a certain altitude, they'll park their vehicles in something like a winter wonderland:
"Aviators of the future. They fly up and up. Then they get out and walk. The fishing's good: the bait's right there. They find messages from other worlds -- and within three weeks there's a big trade worked up in forged messages."
Not long after this, Fort says:
"We begin to suspect that this is not so much a book we're writing as a sanitarium for overworked coincidences."
But -- his coincidences, the ones that make his theories -- or the coincidences that the scientists are using to reject the evidence of anomalous phenomena?
What I find more interesting about the "Aviators of the future" quote is that Fort says mentions "forged messages," as if that's a big joke -- that the first thing aviators would be doing would be forging and selling messages after seeing how much demand there was for the actual messages.
This is interesting to me because in one of the sections preceding this one, Fort's topic of investigation was evidence of stones, wedges, other shaped objects, coins, and stone tablets -- all inscribed with characters that appeared to be letters. Fort asserted that these items were objects that had fallen to earth or been left on earth by alien races. But, largely, these items were alleged to be communications, either between aliens and earthlings or aliens and aliens on earth.
After this section, Fort gives a very clear description of Intermediateness, and the reasons that people have for resisting new phenomena in our current state of quasi-existence:
"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."
This section moves into a section of evidence relating to the visitation and even population of this earth by giants (or large beings) and fairies (or small beings). Two examples of fairies were extremely interesting to me. One was the phenomenon of "fairy crosses," or formations, in different parts of the world, of small cemetery-like areas of crosses. Another was a cave in Edinburgh, where in 1836, two boys found seventeen very small coffins, with wooden dolls inside.
This section is now followed by another philosophical statement by Fort on how Intermediateness attempts to reach Universal Reality -- or translation to the Positive Absolute -- or Localization of the Universal -- through the two processes of attraction and repulsion.
"'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 have not surrendered to, or become part of, some higher attempt:
"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, entity, harmony, equilibrium -- and -- Repulsion, or the attempt of everything to disregard or exclude the unassimilable."
In other words, Fort, coming into the section where he rejects poltergeists, basically equates the process of individuation from the Absolute with the scientific processes of skepticism. But, in the first third of this book, Fort has equated the process of individuation from the Absolute with "abrupt transitions" from Nature, which assert their Positiveness in this world by defying the very systems wishing to defy their existence.
So -- Fort rejects the poltergeist explanation of the evidence of thrown stones. And, suddenly, the gelatinous areas in the sky become watery areas. The gelatinous areas seem to disappear.
Not long after this, Fort compares current scientific theories to "rag dolls that keep infants occupied and noiseless." He says there's nothing wrong with this. But the problem occurs at "the arrival of rag dolls into maturity."
This idea of rag dolls growing into maturity reminds me of the miniature coffins found by the two boys in Edinburgh. There were wooden dolls inside those coffins. Those dolls, though not rag dolls, hadn't just grown into maturity: they'd grown into old age and death.
But, in the normal course of life, I don't think society would be affected one way or another if a rag doll grew into maturity. In fact -- I think, for some people, rag dolls do grow into maturity. What would be of more harm (in some people's minds -- certainly not mine!) would be if the infant didn't grow out of its infancy. If the rag doll grew while the infant did not.
I think this is the image Fort has, while his metaphor disguises this image for him. Remember that, after he mentions the inscribed stones and coins, he speaks about a new consciousness being "pre-natal" in humanity.
Right after this consciousness is "pre-natal," it becomes composed of races of giants and fairies. Right after these alien beings, who, as far as I can tell, were completely missing, un-present from the earth, being sending writings -- actual writings -- though completely indecipherable -- to Fort's planet, they suddenly appear. But they appear as fairies and giants!
Fort is suddenly unable -- it seems to me -- and I don't know anything about Charles Fort -- so I'm not saying this is a knowledgeable theory -- to deal with actually having beings on this imagined planet of his.
So Fort, through his narrative-manipulation of the data -- causes the beings to disappear. Before he causes them to disappear, he chants a magico-philosophical spell at the giants and narratives: he excludes them, by empowering the scientific dogma for his own purposes. He removes the law of "abrupt transition" from the process of the Absolute becoming the Individual -- and he replaces it with Attraction and Repulsion -- under which fall all the processes of conventional-scientific resistance he'd previously mentioned.
But -- then -- once he has caused his giants and fairies to disappear (I suppose that would be a psycho-tropism), he is left with psychic force in this world of his -- this world of his is this world of his data. And this psychic force still has some sort of humanoid characteristics. But it doesn't have a form. It's invisible again. It's a poltergeist.
But as soon as it acts -- through the data -- Fort has to bind it. The stones can't have been thrown by a poltergeist. They had to have been dropped from the anti-gravity areas in the sky. And so -- the psychic force that began in the sky -- in Fort's description of his world to us -- through his narrative-manipulation of these genuine relations of anomalous experience -- has gone back to the sky.
I think there is a process here. Fort spent quite some time in his book talking about things dropping to the earth. In fact, after he'd gone through his relation of all the natural phenomena falling to earth from this Genesistrine region, through the anti-gravity gelatinous regions of the sky, he suddenly starts giving us evidence of stone objects like rudimentary artifacts falling to the earth.
Then these artifacts start being inscribed with things. But -- suddenly -- Fort's evidence starts finding things buried in the earth. Instead of things falling to the earth, Fort's evidence starts showing up as things -- things of a higher level development, by the way, things like nails, masks, and so forth -- being found buried in the earth.
There is a psychic development here. Objects from the unconscious couldn't reach Fort from the earth -- because he had such a resistance to the earth. But after so much "communication" from the earth, Fort was finally able to start finding objects buried in the earth. The objects themselves moved from being natural objects, vegetation, animals, or refuse, to suddenly being rudimentary artifacts. Then, more developed artifacts were coming up from the earth.
Finally the objects really began communicating with Fort, through the inscribed objects. But the objects led to actually embodied presences of giants and fairies -- or at least their implication. In fact, there was only the idea that these giants and fairies existed.
In the second third of this book, the closest I got to seeing the giants was -- giant bones in the American Museum of Natural History, which Fort says "have been reconstructed into terrifying but 'proper' dinosaurs."
In the second third of this book, the closest I got to seeing the fairies was -- the fairy coffins the boys found in Edinburgh.
So -- Fort, through his narrative-manipulation of the genuine evidence, still didn't even allow these primordially humanoid psychic forces to be completely embodied before he once again banished them to invisibility.
Although it's interesting to note that the fairy-doll still survives in metaphorical form -- threatening to grow up into a "mature" rag-doll, while Fort's side of the metaphor apparently still remains a little baby. (Again -- I don't have any problem with remaining a little baby. I think it's terrific.)
Now Fort has banished his psychic forces from embodiment. He then banishes them from having even the human force of poltergeists.
What's the first thing that happens? The gelatinous region in the sky turns into water. It then stops sending down human-like artifacts. No more coins, masks, nails, wedges, axes, etc. It starts sending down fish and frogs again -- fish and frogs were all that seemed to be sent down from the gelatinous areas, sometimes, in the first third of the book.
After this happens, the next thing to occur is that the watery area in the sky turns into -- ice! Ice starts falling from the sky -- not hail (which had fallen from the sky in the first third of the book), but actual chunks, sometimes even huge blocks, of ice! And sometimes frogs and fish are actually embedded in the ice!
Fort's emotional state is freezing back up -- because of this psycho-tropism he had regarding the psychic forces he was allowing to come forth (in his narrative-manipulation of this genuine data of anomalous experiences).
This ice then develops into large disks of ice floating in the sky. The large disks of ice even eclipse the sun -- which is interesting, considering the following sections of the book are all about bodies being tracked travelling across the sun, the moon, and other planets.
At one point, the disk of ice even fragments -- suddenly bursts into pieces.
Fort quotes the Monthly Weather Review, regarding an event that took place on June 3, 1894, in Portland, Oregon:
"(The sight) gave the impression of a vast field of ice suspended in the atmosphere, and suddenly broken into fragments about the size of the palm of the hand."
For the time being, I would say, Fort's communication has been cut off, at such a close distance, at least, with these unconscious elements which have been exchanging images with him through Fort's own narrative-manipulation of data.
Fort sees an icy area in the sky -- but it no longer has any real integrity. It's sagging in the middle, and it's even forming icicles -- melting. Fort tries to justify this with a philosophical invention:
"A vast field of aerial ice -- it is inter to this earth's gravitation -- but by universal flux and variation, part of it sags closer to the earth, and is susceptible to gravitation -- by cohesion with the main mass, this part does not fall, but water melting from it does fall, and forms icicles -- then, by various disturbances, this part sometimes FALLS IN FRAGMENTS that are protrusive with icicles."
I capitalized the "FALLS IN FRAGMENTS" for emphasis. This is not a whole disk of ice. It's fragmented.
From this, Fort moves directly to a discussion -- which is as far as I've gotten for this post -- and it doesn't show any signs of stopping soon, where I stopped -- of sightings of celestial bodies passing in front of the sun, moon, and planets.
But right as Fort begins to discuss these far away objects (he moved them there himself, through his narrative-manipulation, after their closeness to his own psychic earth became too strong for him to handle), he makes mention of the Spirit of the Era. This, in Fort's theory, is the greater quasi-reality of which we are all a part.
All scientists adhere to a greater system of science. And this science is a product of the age. The age is charged with the Spirit of the Era -- which is the greater attempt at Localization of the Universal, to which, basically, everything in our quasi-existence surrenders itself.
"The dominant spirit of the era -- to which all minds had to equilibrate or be negligible, unheard, submerged. -- The system that was growing up independently of all (individual) astronomers."
In my opinion, Fort has been frightened by his own imagery. I believe he had to insist, at the beginning of his book that everything was falling from the sky (though a lot of it does really seem to have been falling from the sky!) was because he was afraid of the earth, the Dionysian, the feminine, whatever you want to call it. When he got over his fear, elements of the unconscious came to earth, showed up in the earth. But they took on too much power, and Fort had to banish them.
Banishing these forces from earth again, Fort suddenly saw the benefit of excluding things from his system. He started seeing things through the scientists' eyes. He now saw how a psychic life could benefit from excluding things that frightened it, like scientists excluded things that it couldn't handle.
Again, Fort paints a picture of a science that is false, a bubble which is about to pop. But it doesn't pop. Because now it is actually held together by this exclusionary tactic:
"Astronomy and inflation: and by inflation we mean expansion of the attenuated. Or that the science of Astronomy is a phantom-film distended with myth-stuff -- but always our acceptance that it approximates higher to substantiality than did the system that preceded it."
Before this time, Fort had mentioned planets. But the planets he mentioned did not have the personalities that they have after this point. Super-Romanimus, Super-Israelimus, and Azuria are all planets with people on them -- super-missionaries, etc.
But, now, suddenly, the planets themselves are the things with personality -- again, due to Fort's narrative-manipulation of the genuine data.
The first planet that begins to appear is Vulcan -- the most fragmented (so far) of all Fort's creations, but a planet so powerful that it actually manages to kill one of his characters. Leverrier makes all the wrong guesses about Vulcan, thinking it is one planet, when it is really a whole lot of different planets. He's so disappointed by this fact that he dies.
Vulcan is, in one sense, as far away from Fort as it can possibly be. But even at that range, the psychic forces are still felt so powerfully by Fort that they have the power to kill him.
Fort says that, "In a way, at this point occurs the crisis of our whole book."
I'd agree with him there. He continues, "Formulas are against us."
That's interesting. But how does Fort follow up, *after* he introduces another planet -- breaking up and then coming back to his Vulcan story?
"Our acceptance is that Leverrier never did formulate observations. -- That he picked out observations that could be formulated. -- That of this type are all formulas."
If Fort were looking at Leverrier as a part of his own psychic life, he'd see how he had banished the psychic giants and fairies from earth and sent them out to the distant reaches of space. But how this banishment of observations that could not be formulated actually managed to kill him, or to kill him in the character of Leverrier.
Nevertheless, as soon as Fort recognizes that he's gone too far by sending his giants and fairies (or his Monstrator and Vulcans?) all the way out to the sun, he already begins to draw them back in!
I think this is an incredible statement of Fort's psychic strength. And it is interesting that at this point, Fort talks about the physical evolution of life from the reptilian state to the mammalian state -- which I think Jung would attest is a symbol of the healthy psychic development of the personality:
"If, in an embryo, some cells should not live up to the phenomena of their era, the others will sustain the scheduled appearances. Not until an embryo enters the mammalian stage are cells of the reptilian stage false cells."
Again, Fort speaks of a reversal of action. Obviously he experienced a severe psycho-tropism -- a repulsion. His emotions froze, went all the way to the sun, and were powerful enough to kill the image of Leverrier within him. But he's hoping that psychic energy does not have to work according to what people nowadays accept as immutable physical laws:
"Some day some BRAIN will conceive a way of beating Newton's third law -- if every reaction, or resistance, is, or can be, interpretable as stimulus instead of resistance -- if this could be done in mechanics, there's a way open here for someone to own the world."
I emphasized "BRAIN" to make it clear that Fort was talking, at least partially, about a psychic process. Also -- "own the world" would mean take control of one's own world, instead of being property. It would mean allowing the personality to individuate.
Fort goes on to discuss his concept of "dirigible worlds," or planets and super-constructions (world-sized spaceships) without orbits, which can conduct themselves wherever they wish to go. In other words, Fort's pyschic energies may have been banished all the way to the sun. But they can direct themselves, as "dirigible worlds," back to the earth.
Here, Fort makes the extremely exciting statement: "The two great commandments: -- Thou shalt not break Continuity. -- Thou shalt try."
He follows it up with this statement, a kind of condensation of his understanding of the psychic process he's been through so far:
"It is the system that pulls back its variations, as the earth is pulling back the Matterhorn. It is the system that nourishes and rewards, and also freezes out life with the chill of disregard."
But Fort wishes to break free from the system -- and even sees that drifting too far into the system would be a loss of his identity. But he wishes to retain his identity. So he's willing to let his psychic life come back to him, to his "own world," this Fortean realm of imagination compounded of genuine data of anomalous phenomena.
It is at this point that Melanicus -- the Satanic planet described above -- becomes known.
Melanicus and Monstrator may have been planets with personalities. But Melanicus really is a personality. Melanicus is the Devil with wings as large as a planet.
Fort begins discussing the problem of evil at this point -- and, in my opinion, seems to be frightened of a too-humanized image of his pyschic life. He seems to flee from the image of Melanicus, and he drifts into a horribly convoluted discussion of philosophy.
But what's interesting in this discussion is that, whereas before Fort had always made reference to the Absolute as the Absolute -- in his philosophizing, anyway -- he now has a place in his philosophy for the Negative as well as the Positive Absolute.
"It would seem that Intermediateness is a relation between the Positive Absolute and the Negative Absolute. But the Absolute cannot be related."
"It seems thinkable that the Positive Absolute can, by means of Intermediateness, have a quasi-relation, or be only quasi-related, or be the unrelatd, in final terms, or, at least, not be the related, in final terms."
Moving from a discussion of evil, through a discussion of the Negative Absolute (which, I'm pretty sure Fort has brought into his *philosophical* discussions for the first time), Fort now makes this comment about free will:
"In Intermediateness, there is only the paradoxical: that we're free to do what we have to do."
Suddenly, Fort's unconscious is communicating with him again -- through evidence collected of "cup marks," which he takes to be something like electronic lettering actually cut into stone faces, all over the world, "except in the far North, I think." In other words, except in the place full of ice.
At one point these "cup marks" are found all over a Chinese plaza. The people there assume a Devil (Melanicus?) made the marks.
Suddenly -- Fort moves from these communications into Angels -- bright hordes of Angels, which Fort assumes are making a crusade.
How quickly Fort's psyche has moved! It was all the way over in Mercury. Then it was flying to earth in the form of the Devil-Vampire-Planet Melanicus. Now it's already hovering over the earth in the guise of a multiplicity of angels!
"Hordes upon hordes of them. -- Beings massed like the clouds of souls, or the commingling whiffs of spirituality, or the exhalations of souls that Dore pictured so often."
But -- it's obvious here -- that Fort's major form of defense, as it has been all this time, is to fragment identity. He had to fragment his Devil Melanicus to make it into "safe" angels.
Fort seems to be afraid here of the control that the angels would have over him if they were all transmuted back into Melanicus:
"I should say that now we're under cultivation: that we're conscious of it, but have the impertinence to attribute it to all our own nobler and higher instincts."
So the aliens, whose "property" we are, are cultivating us. If Fort weren't afraid (who wouldn't be afraid? I'd be afraid!), he'd realize that the Devil was involved in cultivating his soul. But Fort has to fragment the personality of the Devil into the multiplicity of the angels. He knows he's deluding himself in this.
Fort then relates -- a multiplicity -- of light and dark bodies that cause various levels of obscuration of the sun and moon. Sometimes these bodies are light, then dark, or dark, then light.
Suddenly Melanicus appears again! Fort seems to have allowed Melanicus to re-integrate into one figure. But first Fort asks the reader if *he's* forgotten Melanicus -- as if someone reading Paradise Lost could forget the Devil!
But Fort seems, again, to be serious about allowing the communications to return to him -- and, possibly, for personalities even to return to his earth. He understands the importaince of his work.
"Acceptance either way calls not for mere revision but revolution in the science of astronomy."
However, I think Fort -- who was really brave to let the giants and fairies come to his earth -- now realizes that, since he's living with one psychic structure, he can only develop an integrated personality by changing his currently dominant psychic structure with a different one. And that will take time and effort.
"All intellection is associative -- or that we remember that which correlates with a dominant."
"Our own expression on evolution by successive dominants and their correlates."
However, the following quote is the most interesting statement by Fort so far. He seems to believe that he must change his psychic structure, or else he loses a chance at maintaining the integrity of his personality. But he also makes a comment about the moon -- where Melanicus seems to be hovering at this moment, that is also quite interesting.
"The point in Intermediatism here is: -- Not that to adapt to the conditions of quasi-existence is to have success in quasi-existence, but is to lose one's soul -- But is to lose "one's" chance of attaining soul, self, or identity."
"One indignation quoted from Proctor (an excluding scientist refuting the vision of swarms of angels) interest us: 'What happens on the moon may at any time happen to this earth.' -- That is just the teaching of this department of Advanced Astronomy."
This is the point where Fort gives his descriptions of evil as outlived virtue and incipient virtue.
Fort has developed his sense of evil from one of basically being possessed by the devil to one of either using an outmoded psychic structure in an attempt to integrate his personality, or using a too-young psychic structure in an attempt to integrate his personality.
I'll end this post by letting Fort have the last word. In one quote, he gives a good view of exclusion in science, and why conventional scientists are necessary to the world. In its plain sense, I think it's very good (though kind of cynical). But it also shows the point of view of Fort -- as needing a reinforcing element from his old psychic structure while his new one is developing.
It's also interesting to note that in the first quote, Fort again mentions a "shadow," which is how he recently described the planet-Devil-Vampire Melanicus.
The second quote shows that the new psychic structure, or "new dominant," is developing.
"It's bad for trade to have an intense darkness come upon an unaware community and frighten people out of their purchasing values. -- But if an obscuration be foretold, and if it then occur -- may seem a little uncanny -- only a shadow -- and no one who was about to buy a pair of shoes runs home panic-stricken and saves the money."
"But -- if we are in harmony with a new dominant, or spirit of a new era, in which Exclusionism must be overthrown; if we have data of many obscurations, not only upon the moon, but upon our own earth, as convincing of vast intervening bodies, usually invisible, as is any regularized, predicted eclipse. -- One looks up at the sky. -- It seems incredible that, say, at the distance of the moon, there could be, but be invisible, a solid body, say, the size of the moon."