(Note: The quotes in this post are from the Project Gutenberg version of the Book of the Damned. Below is a link to this book, which is downloadable for free.
Book of the Damned)
In the first quarter of the twentieth century, when Charles Fort wrote the Book of the Damned, the biggest catalyst for scientific and philosophical ideas has seemed to be Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity. In fact, Einstein is still influencing us all, even today! But Charles Fort's philosophy seems to be based about a hundred years back, in Hegel's theory. And the real modern catalyst for Fort's philosophy seems actually to have been the invention of the airplane.
Fort says, "I think that the stronghold of Inclusionism is in aeronautics. I think that the stronghold of the Old Dominant, when it was new, was in the invention of the telescope."
It's interesting to see that, rather than seeing people's ideas being the catalyst for other peoples' ideas, Fort sees inventions, mechanisms, as being the catalyst for other people's ideas.
Now, Fort's chief focus for anomalous is matter that falls from the sky. Near the end of his book, Fort confirms this for us:
"Throughout this book, the datum that we are most impressed with: -- Successive falls."
The study of matter falling from the sky took up about the first third of Fort's book. But, even once Fort has moved on from that topic, he continues to return to it.
Fort feels indebted to aviation for opening up the skies to him. But the skies are full of monsters for Fort. And, in the last third of his book, Fort is constantly giving warnings to aviators to be careful when they go too high up into the skies.
These warnings are largely based on Fort's expression that there are regions in the sky that contain water, ice, and even some kind of gelatinous material. So, making reference to the watery areas in the sky -- areas like actual lakes in the sky -- Fort warns aviators to wear bathing suits.
When making reference to the gelatinous areas of the sky, Fort warns aviators about flying into these areas:
"The shaky, protoplasmic seas of the Genesistrine -- against which we warn our aviators, or they may find themselves suffocating in a reservoir of life, or stuck like currants in a blanc mange."
Fort also mentions areas in the sky where gravity is inert and material collects, decays, and dried out. He assumes that there are areas in the sky where blood has collected and dried. He claims that, in the future (his future), aviators will go up into the sky and map these vast Deserts of Blood, where the blood has decayed and dried to the point of being like sand.
All in all, the sky sounds like a terribly dangerous place to Charles Fort. And I think there's a reason behind this. When aviators started tearing open the sky, they began tearing open -- symbolically -- a portion of the human psyche, a portion of the human unconscious. I think for Fort this had a very strong impact when it was realized that aviators could pierce through, or "tear open," in a sense, the daytime sky.
During the daytime, the sky is blue, and the sun makes everything light. During the night, it's like the sky is gone, revealing a vast, dark universe. In this sense, one could think of the daytime sky as consciousness, and of the nighttime sky as the unconscious.
But it became obvious, as aviators began to float higher and higher into the air, that the daytime sky could be pierced, eventually, and that the daytime sky, the symbol of our consciousness, would be pierced through, leaving even our conscious life open to the vast, dark expanse of our night sky, our unconscious.
I'm sure people are still working through the problems of this. Our concern with the ozone layer is a very valid and serious physical concern. But it can also be equated with our conception of the effects of aviation, and how it has permanently torn a hole in our daytime sky, our conscious sky, leaving us constantly open to intrusions from the night sky, the unconscious.
Now I'm sure that Fort also thought of the earth, the ground, as an element of the unconscious. So, as Fort saw that, if travel out of the earth's atmostphere became possible, then the equating of the daytime sky with the nighttime sky would be a possibility. And the night sky has already, for millennia, been equated with the earth. So, now, the day sky would also be equated with the earth.
Because of this, I believe that Fort began to work out the theory he did work out, based on elements from the earth or the water (another symbol for the unconscious) falling to the earth from the sky. But Fort worked this theory out based on genuine data related to various newspapers and journals about their experiences with anomalous phenomena.
It seemed, about halfway through the book, that Fort would start to call up more data on objects actually arising from the earth. He started listing data of material found in the ground. But as this material took on less of a purely natural element, and became more like human artifacts, the material then took on a human, living character. It seemed as if we may even start to encounter data showing real, living, intelligent beings.
But as soon as Fort reached this point, he seemed to get afraid. All the data he began to express first went back up into the sky. The areas he'd seen up in the sky, which had, up to that time, been mainly gelatinous, first became watery. They then became ice. Then they seemed to fragment.
Keep in mind -- all of these things happen -- as if it were all a story. But it really is a story of data -- collected data, that Fort relates to us in a method I term as narrative-manipulation. He takes this genuine data and uses the imagery of the data to form a story of his own. He himself almost admits this, saying that he fashions his notions to the data.
But once these icy patches in the sky fragment, all the phenomena Fort relates to us suddenly blast far out into space -- all the way to the sun, in fact, i.e. -- to our real center of conscious -- the main symbol of our consciousness. From this far away point, the data begins coming back to us.
But when the data disappears and shows up near the sun, it takes on the appearance of planets. These planets aren't in any orbit. They all begin floating back toward the earth. And, when the data has reached the earth again, it takes on a personality much like that of the Devil. It's a planet known as Melanicus, which is some kind of Devil-Vampire-Bat, floating between the earth and the moon and watching over us, probably with some kind of evil intent.
I thought that at this point, Fort would definitely begin to show us data of actual visitors to our planet. In fact, through the last third of the book, Fort talks over and over again about visitors to this planet. In one instance, he even wonders "whether sometimes there are visitors to this earth who might be pursued and captured and questioned."
But as soon as Fort mentions that we could capture these visitors, the visitors seem to become huge dragons. Fort returns to his favorite subject, the rains of bloods, and conjectures:
"It may be that an interplanetary dragon had been slain somewhere, or that this red fluid, in which were many corpuscles, came from something not altogether pleasant to contemplate, about the size of the Catskill Mountains perhaps."
And, from this sudden realization that these "visitors" who might be "captured and questioned" could possibly be "something not altogether pleasant to contemplate," Fort goes from thinking of it being at all possible for us to capture our visitors, to thinking of ourselves as the ones who are to be captured:
"Our greasy, slimy brains. That they may be of some use after all: that other modes of existence place a high value upon them as lubricants; that we're hunted for them."
Fort revisits this possibility when he discusses unidentified objects in the sky (a long time before the term Unidentified Flying Object, or UFO, went public). One UFO looked like a hot-air baloon with fishing nets attached. Fort says:
"I think that we're fished for. It may be that we're highly esteemed by super-epicures somewhere. It makes me more cheerful when I think we may be of some use after all."
Now this last statement of Fort's is very interesting. "It makes me more cheerful when I think we may be of some use after all."
This could be considered a sarcastic remark. But Carl Jung has often pointed out the passage in the Upanishads where the singer rejoices, "I eat food! I eat food! I am food! I am food!" Fort expresses the same sort of happiness. There is a greater cosmic principle to Fort's searchings. If he ends up being food for aliens, this is fine with him, just like it was fine for the singer of the Upanishads, because it was for some greater cosmic principle.
This is, interestingly, at odds with some of the ideas of modern investigators into these anomalous phenomena. Some of them, such as Laura Knight-Jadczyk, seem to believe that, indeed, the aliens do want to harvest and eat us. But this is bad for Knight-Jadczyk, whereas it seems to be okay for Fort and the Upanishads.
I'm pretty much a baby, but I don't seem to have any soft spots on my skull. My skull is actually really thick. So I'm pretty sure that's why I didn't see all of this until I'd gotten most of the way through the Book of the Damned. But it suddenly began to dawn on me that Fort's encounter with the unconscious was a much larger encounter than a personal encounter. It was a cosmic encounter with the unconscious.
In fact -- Fort's first encounter with something like a living, intelligent element in his unconscious was *almost* with fairies and giants, but it was *really* with poltergeists, which he rejected pretty much right out of hand. Fort's unconscious maintained its intelligence. However, it went all the way to the sun before coming back.
When Fort's unconscious came back, it was as huge as a small planet. But it was still intelligent -- in the form of Melanicus.
And, really, the final third of Fort's book begins with phenomena that Fort describes as eclipses. But, Fort claims, these eclipses were not predicted by astronomers. They were spontaneous. Fort asserts that these eclipses were caused by these smaller planets, or these super-constructions (Fort's term for what we would think of as gigantic spaceships) coming into close contact with the earth.
Fort asserts that these bodies can actually get pretty close to the earth, because the same band of gravity-inert space surrounding the earth can actually neutralize the planet getting close to us, so that the two planets aren't drawn completely together. However, certain parts of the two planets occasionally still manage to get sucked down from one to the other planet. This would account for some of the dirt-rains, fish-rains, etc., that follow these strange eclipses.
Since these eclipses, or planetary encounters, are often accompanied by earthquakes, Fort calls his theories surrounding this idea "Advanced-Seismology." He gives four major characteristics of Advanced-Seismology:
"Our data: -- We take them from four classes of phenomena that have preceded or accompanied earthquakes: -- Unusual clouds, darkness profound, luminous apearances in the sky, and falls of substances and objects commonly called meteoritic or not. -- Every one of them is datum of a quaked body passing close to this earth or suspended over it."
Fort also mentions luminous objects moving along with earthquakes, implying that the luminous objects were affecting the gravity of the earth somehow, so that it seems the luminous objects were like planets.
Fort then mentions howls, like wolf-howls, that have accompanied some of these strange earthquakes. Fort relates this wolf-howl sound to the attraction of the planets. But he does so in a way that imputes feeling, if not actual intelligence, to the planets themselves:
"The loves of the worlds. The call they feel for one another. They try to move closer and closer and howl when they get there. The howls of the planets. I have discovered a new unintelligibility."
What's most interesting to me about all of this is that the sky is directly equated with the earth. The daytime sky is eclipsed, or turned into a night sky, by another planet, which passes so close to our own earth that it actually in our atmosphere -- in our daytime sky, in other words. But this other planet draws our earth up to it, while we draw its earth down to us. Our earth and the sky's earth are both opening.
Later on in the book, Fort asserts that we have a mirror world up in the sky. He claims that our earth's spring, in our northern hemisphere, is that mirror earth's autumn, in the hemisphere matched up with our northern hemisphere. So we occasionally get unseasonal falls of leafs, or actual rains of leafs, from that planet, when the planet passes close enough for our gravity to affect it.
When matter is exchanged between the two planets, Fort calls is celestio-metathesis. The celestio metathesis is usually of Fort's normal variety: mud-rains, fish-rains, frog-rains, and leaf-rains. But sometimes it is much scarier than that. Fort actually gives the testimony of a Humboldt, who, during the apparently anomalous earthquake of Riobamba, saw that "bodies were torn upward from graves;" and that "the vertical motion was so strong that bodies were tossed several hundred feet in the air."
Here you have dead human elements, buried in the unconscious, actually being pulled up into the mirror-earth of the unconscious in the sky. It's pretty scary stuff. Even scarier than this, though, is Fort's next piece of data, about an earthquake in Lisbon, where an entire quay, "we are told," went down into the water. But Fort claims it was actually sucked up into the sky -- up into the planet that was passing through our atmosphere at the time.
"The quay and all the people on it disappeared. If it and they went down -- not a single corpse, not a shred of clothing, not a plank of the quay, not so much as a splinter of it ever floated to the surface."
Fort then spends a little time theorizing about all these data. And right after that, he mentions the quote I included above, about Inclusionism being inspired by aeronautics. He then makes the question regarding our own ability to capture visitors. But those visitors, as we've seen, soon turn into gigantic dragons and beings who, besides owning us, hunt us, eat us, and use our "greasy brains" as a kind of lubricant.
But once these visitors have become this quantifiably a threat to us, they seem to shrink, in Fort's narrative-manipulation of the genuine data, from the gigantic, earthquake-causing planets to objects we would more normally, nowadays, consider to be UFOs.
Nevertheless, throughout this section of the book, Fort remains focused on this idea of a cosmic perspective regarding humanity, our own scientific positions, and the roles our own scientific positions, as instances of human thought, play in creating a larger universal awareness.
This all begins with Fort's discussion of the New Dominant. Fort has explained, throughout the book, that every era of thought is controlled by a Dominant. The Dominant is the system, or the organizing factor. Fort states that the Old Dominant was a system of exclusion. The system was organized in a certain way, and any phenomena that did not fit into that system were excluded from that sytem.
The New Dominant, however, is a system of Inclusion. The New Dominant, Fort says, "is calling for recognition of multiplicities of external things." In the era of the New Dominant, Fort claims, people will always be keeping an eye out for anomalous phenomena. They will then find ways to adapt their notions to the phenomena.
The New Dominant, the system of Inclusion, is more expansive than the Old Dominant, the system of Exclusion.
And, it seems to me, the Old Dominant, as a ground for investigation, would be the system on which Carl Jung based his psychology. In Carl Jung's system, various elements of the personality, conscious and unconscious, were integrated into the overall personality. In this way, a person would find enough organized, focused psychic energy to "individuate" as a person, integrating actively, as an individual, into society.
Fort seems to agree with this to some degree. But it seems like Fort's goal is a struggle for wholeness apart from society, as far as this can be achieved:
"Altogether, the point in Positivism here is that by Dominants and their correlates, quasi-existence strives for the positive state, aggregating around a nucleus, or dominant, systematized members of a religion, a science, a society -- but that 'individuals' who do not surrender and submerge may of themselves highly approximate the positiveness -- the fixed, the real, the absolute."
In this sense, I'd believe that Fort is so struck by these images which he then imagines to be evidence of worlds, even mirror-worlds, gravitating toward us because what he's really attempting to block out isn't, for instance, the unconscious of his shadow (the bad parts of himself he might not want to accept), but -- the collective unconscious.
All of us are connected to the collective unconscious -- whether we're "connected" by our genetic similarities to one another or by some underlying element of our spirits that is common to us all -- or by some kind of compromise between the two. In fact, a lot of people have claimed that UFO sightings have been the result of collective hallucinations: in other words, that everybody, for some reason, had some element of the collective unconscious engaged before their conscious sight in such a way that they had a vision that looked to them like a UFO.
There are elements of anomalous phenomena that are not so closely connected to the collective unconscious: namely, phenomena like telepathy, astral projection, and, possibly, psychokinesis. But UFOs, when (or if) they aren't actually genuine extraterrestrial vehicles, are very closely connected to the collective unconscious. So are all of the data that Fort includes in his book.
It's my argument -- could be totally wrong, that Fort knew about Freud and Jung -- I think he'd done some studying of them. He most certainly knew the works of Herbert Spencer, and of William James and the Society for Psychical Research. So, likely, Fort, when he began processing his data, and thinking of himself as something of an alchemist, and, therefore, something of a Jungian, probably began to process this data as a sort of method of individual development.
But it must have become plain that these elements of the unconscious couldn't be fit into personalities such as the anima (the female-figure in the male psyche) or the shadow (the dark side of our personality, which I'd originally equated with Fort's Melanicus). When Fort tried to fit these elements into, for instance the image of the shadow, the shadow became Melanicus, a huge planet, which then caused all kinds of earthquakes, then began sucking up dead bodies, and even live bodies!
But then Fort began to try and fit these images into an anima figure. The anima figure became a gigantic dragon (dragons are typical primitive symbols for the anima in Jungian psychology). But this dragon became something as big as the Catskill Mountains -- and was apparently so horrifying that Fort couldn't even describe it!
It becomes clear that these elements of the unconscious cannot be constrained in "individual" bodies -- unless the individual body is as huge as a planet. Therefore, these elements must actually be manifestations of the collective unconscious.
This would probably be why Fort is so interested in the idea of these alien visitors coming to earth and visiting with secret societies, "secret agents, emissaries," and "certain esoteric ones." The secret society -- in other words, the society of secrecy, is just another way of saying "collective unconscious." I'm not saying that there aren't secret societies. Secret societies may be another piece of genuine data. But for Fort, the secret societies seem to be a symbol for the collective unconscious.
But then Fort imagines or encounters the theory that perhaps the "visitors" are here, for instance, to eat us or use our brains for grease. Not to eat "him," but to eat "us." "We," as a collective, are their "property." So Fort has been able to transfer this element of the collective unconscious into something that has collective applications. Once he has done this, these elements become less gargantuan.
The first UFO to appear is simply a "super-dragnet" Fort imagines floating through the sky, fishing for humans, but accidentally catching birds or sky-high fish. The next one is one which appeared, to the people who gave testimony, as something like a hot air balloon with a dragnet attached to it.
These are kind of silly, kind of menacing objects. But they fit into our earth. They don't cause an apocalypse. Because their function has been quantified correctly: they aren't phenomena of the individual unconscious. They are phenomena of the collective unconscious.
Fort soldifies this point of view by developing his theory with two quotes that make the goal of this process one of collective individuation, so to speak, rather than individual individuation:
"All things -- in our intermediate state -- are phantoms in a super-mind in a dreaming-state -- but striving to awaken to realness."
"In a dreaming mind awakening is accelerated -- if phantoms in that mind know that they're only phantoms in a dream."
Again Fort moves through a discussion of visitors to this earth, and their communications with "certain esoteric ones" on this earth, before he gets into an extended discussion of what we would nowadays think of as UFOs.
Interestingly, at the very beginning of his discussion on UFOs, Fort gives two statements regarding the individual versus the collective, in terms of the positive versus the system or versus the Absolute, of which everything is a part.
In the first statement, Fort says that individual success depends on his ability to surrender, to a degree, to the collective. In the next statement, Fort says that a stoutly, resolutely individual person, isolated from the collective, will suffer -- but that this suffering and isolation are, in a way, a kind of success of their own:
"Success, as it is called -- though there is only success-failure in Intermediateness -- will, in Intermediateness, be yours proportionately as you are in adjustment with its own state, or some positivism, mixed with compromise and retreat."
"Intermediatism, then, is recognition that our state is only a quasi-state: it is no bar to one who desires to be positive: it is recognition that he cannot be positive and remain in a state that is positive-negative. Or that a great positivist -- isolated -- with no system to support him -- will be crucified, or will starve to death, or will be put in jail and beaten to death -- that these are the birth-pangs of translation to the Positive Absolute."
My favorite writer, George Bernard Shaw, might say the same thing about Saint Joan.
After the dragnet UFOs, Fort's next in-depth UFO subject are triangular shadows which appear on clouds. These shadows were seen, by the people who gave the testimony, to travel in pairs, and to remain in rather fixed positions on the clouds they traveled with, regardless of the speed of the clouds or the position of the sun. The shadows also retained their distinctive shapes.
Fort asserts that these shadows are actually created by a UFO trailing two triangular appendages along with it. The UFO traveled relatively to the clouds, but the triangular appendages intercepted light and thus threw shadows onto the clouds. The light apprehended actually came from -- the UFO itself. But this central vehicle, as well as the actual appendages themselves couldn't be seen.
Why? Because the light from these objects wasn't reaching the earth. The light from this UFO "extended down only about to the clouds."
Fort asserts that some types of light act as a force. As the atmosphere gets denser, in lower altitudes, the light cannot get through it. The object would be seen from higher altitudes, but not at lower altitudes. Fort says, "Altogether, it may be conceivable that there are phenomena of force that are interpretable as light as far down as the clouds, but not in denser strata of air, or just the opposite of familiar interpretations."
But before Fort makes these conjectures, he equates this UFO with Melanicus, the vampire-devil planet that preceded the near-apocalyptic earthquakes brought on by whole planets entering our atmosphere. Now, Melanicus is not as huge as the moon. Melanicus is able to fit in our atmosphere, without causing catastrophies. But Melanicus can't be seen from ground level.
Nevertheless, Melanicus has approached the sphere of the earth, has entered the earth's consciousness -- even if only as a poltergeist-like, invisible being. Fort has constructed a reverse-theory of light to accommodate Melanicus' appearance. But now Melanicus -- or these elements of the collective unconscious which had been equated with imaginal planets like Melanicus -- will traverse, like the rains of matter, through Fort's imaginary, but conscious, realms of thought.
And here the UFOs take on the appearances of glowing wheels. They can only survive in earth's thin atmosphere for a short time. They've come from a much denser atmosphere -- i.e. the gelatinous areas that float around the earth. Sometimes these gelatinous areas, to Fort, are like dimensional portals. So ships that come through these gelatinous areas and end up in the earth's atmosphere are coming, not from some space in our sky, but from some other dimension.
But, like deep-sea fish brought up to the air, these ships, more accustomed to denser atmospthere, will disintegrate or explode if they're in our air for too long. So they generally dive into water for relief. Once their bodies have re-attained stability, they can fly up into the air again.
Up until this point, Fort has always remarked that conventional scientists were like deep-sea fish, because things from above always hit deep-sea fish on the head, but they never question whether there is another world from which all these things come from. But now these glowing wheels are the deep sea fish -- for a completely different reason. But the metaphor has completely passed from conventional scientists -- i.e. humans in a system -- i.e. the collective -- and into a symbole for the collective unconscious: the glowing wheels.
Fort assumes that these glowing wheels have generally fallen out of their natural atmosphere and into ours by accident, "because of miscalculations, or because of stresses of various kinds." Earlier on, Fort claimed that a lot of the rains of different matter from these gelatinous areas were caused by atmospheric disturbances. So it wouldn't be surprising if atmospheric disturbances also brought down vehicles, too.
Fort has a number of very beautifully described instances of ships encountering these glowing wheels as they travel just below the surface of the water. And he has some rather harrowing descriptions of these ships plunging into the water. But, as far as I remember, the count of these vehicles actually ascending back out of the water and back up into the sky is rather slim.
Fort also relates how the wheels, after descending a certain distance under the water, disappear. Fort says that this is because the light can only penetrate through a certain amount of density. So it's like the lights in the sky: after a certain amount of density, the objects just become invisible.
Later on, Fort describes whole strings of lights in the sky. Among these groupings of lights, Fort describes the following:
"Three luminous objects, of different sizes, the longest having an apparent area of about six suns. When first sighted, they were not very high. They were below clouds of an estimated height of about one mile. -- Different sizes, and of different susceptibilities to all forces of this earth and of the air."
From this I would guess that there is a whole constellation of these elements, surviving at all different atmospheric and marine levels of the earth. However, these objects never appear visible. The objects come to rest in an area of the atmosphere or marine body which is equal with the level of density that conceals the force of their light.
In other words, the various elements of the collective unconscious find their equilibrium points in the atmosphere -- which would stand functionally for the global consciousness. Collective unconscious and global conscious.
However, after describing the wheels, and before describing the strings of lights, Fort describes an encounter with one glowing wheel that has a stragely mandala-like shape.
Normally, in Jungian psychology, a mandala can be thought of as a circle divided into four quadrants. Each quadrant is a type of personality. The way the types of personality are arranged in the mandala show what kind of psychological development issues a personality might be dealing with. Normally the two bottom quadrants symbolize the unconscious elements of the personality, while the two top quadrants symbolize the conscious elements of the personality. And usually each of the four quadrants gets and equal amount of space.
But in the mandala described by the glowing wheel in Fort's data, three of the sections are all shoved to one small edge of the circle, while the fourth section takes up more than three-quarters of the space. In addition, this huge section has a hook-like shape sticking out of it, even piercing through one of the three small sections.
This mandala would express, I believe, the power of this one unconscious element. It's so strong it pierces through the central element of consciousness, and even extends outside of the circle of the mandala. This would be, I would guess, the extreme strength of the collective unconscious.
However, this mandala then develops, through Fort's narrative-manipulation of the data, into an animal like a stringray floating through the sky. But it's not just one animal. It's a whole bunch of these stingray-like animals, which Fort actually describes as round and dark brown. But he also says they have tails. He lists some strange phenomena worth noting:
"Occasionally one fell to the ground. When the place of a fall was examined, there was found a film, which soon dried and vanished. Often, when approaching the sun, three bodies seemed to link together, or were then seen to be linked together, in groups not exceeding eight, and, under the sun, they were seen to have tails three or four fathoms long. Away from the sun the tails were invisible. Whatever their substance may have been, it is described as gelatinous."
Fort later says that "The datum is important to us, here, as an indication of disruption in this earth's atmosphere -- dangers in entering this earth's atmosphere."
Fort is frightened at how his glowing wheels had developed into a rather strong, tailed mandala figure, and then, straightaway, into a whole cluster of apparently living beings, something like copper-colored stingrays.
He quickly turns away, back into the fall of matter from the sky. But, just as quickly, he returns to instances of these animal-like floating beings, with a description from North Wales of "a disk from which projected an orange colored body that looked like 'an elongated flatfish.'"
This description is part of a huge paragraph full of UFO sightings of all kinds. It's pretty magnificent -- there are so many different kinds of UFOs sighted. But I think what's happened here is that, as the collective unconscious becomes more and more able to find its various functions, it is also allowed to individualize -- so that different people can function from different perspectives of the collective unconscios -- or so that one person can function by using different perspectives of the collective unconscious.
As this section ends, Fort theorizes: "It is one of the most deep-rooted of positivist illusions -- that people are persons. ... So we personify no more -- but we super-personify. ... Autocracy of Successive Dominants -- which are not final -- but which approximate higher to individuality or self-ness, than do the human tropisms that irresponsibly correlate to them."
This statement of higher approximation to individuality is followed by Fort's long discussion of torpedo-shaped or cigar-shaped UFOs. It's interesting to note, in conjunction with this seemingly increased development of the different aspects of the collective unconscious, and the progress it's made on making the collective unconscious less of an earth-shattering entity and more of a part of "individuality or self-ness," that these UFOs are often seen by the witnesses to be about six feet long -- or around the size of a human being. This isn't always the case. But it's often so.
This moves into the discussion of the strings of lights in the sky. The discussion of the strings of lights in the sky eventually merge, passing back and forth between rather calm, placid, almost cold imagery, and very hot, explosive imagery. But this whole section ends with a very frightening tale of a railroad operator seeing a UFO in 1896. The interplay, up until this time, between the cold imagery and hot imagery often stirred up feelings of conflict. But this final story is starkly terrifying.
The operator saw, "in the darkness of a heavy rain, a light that appeared to be round, and of a dull rose color." The object "seemed to be about a foot in diameter."
The operator thought the object was "ball-lightning." However:
"His awareness of 'something else' is expressed in other parts of his letters, when he says that he has something to tell that is 'so strange that I should never have mentioned it, even to my friends, had it not been corroborated... so unreal that I hestiated to speak of it, fearing that it was some freak of the imagination."
What this "something else" was is never discussed. But it was obviously distressing to Fort, who basically ends chapter 26 with this story and begins chapter 27 with this quote:
"Our slippery brains.
Showers of blood.
Showers of blood.
Showers of blood."
Fort doesn't get very far in this chapter, in terms of data, beyond showers of blood and more evidence for dragons exploded in space by comets, and their flesh raining down on this planet, or deserts of blood that aviators will someday map.
But Fort does manage to summarize his Super-Geography well in this passage:
"Gelatinous regions, sulphurous regions, frigid and tropical regions: a region that has been the Source of Life relatively to this earth: regions wherein there is density so great that things from there, entering this earth's thin atmosphere, explode."
He also engages on his most ambitious statement on the collective unconscious. In this statement, the very solar system we live in is conscious. The collective unconscious is a universal consciousness. The solar system is just as much a part of our psychic functioning as are our individual conscious and our individual unconscious.
"Rains of blood that vein albuminous seas, or an egg-like composition in the incubation of which this earth is a local center of development -- that there are super-arteries of blood in the Genesistrine: that sunsets are consciousness of them: that they flush the skies with northern lights sometimes: super-embryonic reservoirs from which life-forms emanate --
"Or that our whole solar system is a living thing: that showers of blood upon this earth are its internal hemorrages --"
The final chapter of this book is devoted entirely, except the final paragraph, to a discussion of tracks found in the snow in Devonshire. These tracks were explained away as a number of things -- including a kangaroo that had apparently escaped from a zoo. Some people said the tracks were from a demon.
Fort gave no answer for this. It wouldn't be expected that he would. The aliens have appeared back on his earth. And -- again -- they are invisible. The tracks are "cup-mark" shaped -- which Fort often mentions, not as footprints, but as a method of communication: electric beams shot into rocks, even though these marks appear in the snow. So there's a chance that this chapter is supposed to be a subtle reminder of communications from these regions, as opposed to an actual presence -- which may be what Fort is advocating.