The Damned

A novel by Algernon Blackwood in which tells the story of a haunted house.

Towards the end, there is an interesting dialogue on beliefs and thinking. He writes

“What is the world,” she told me, “but thinking and feeling? An individual’s world is entirely what that individual thinks and believes –interpretation. There is no other. And unless he really thinks and really believes, he has no permanent world at all. I grant that few people think, and still fewer believe, and that most take ready-made suits and make them do. Only the strong make their own things; the lesser fry, Mabel among them, are merely swept up into what has been manufactured for them. They get along somehow.

Bill then says

None of us have Truth, my dear Frances

to which she responds

“Precisely,” she answered, “but most of us have beliefs. And what one believes and thinks affects the world at large. Consider the legacy of hatred and cruelty involved in the doctrines men have built into their creeds where the sine qua non of salvation is absolute acceptance of one particular set of views or else perishing everlastingly–for only by repudiating history can they disavow it–

Frances says

“Trying to get out of it,” she admitted, “perhaps they are, but damnation of unbelievers–of most of the world, that is–is their rather favorite idea if you talk with them.”

If the whole book was just these few paragraphs, I would have loved it just as much.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

18 thoughts on “The Damned

  1. Goon says:


    Liked by 1 person

  2. tildeb says:

    This is a typical post modern misunderstanding between epistemology and ontology. How we interact with the world – including our social environment – is based on beliefs we hold about it but the world remains independent of them. The world is neither created nor sustained by our beliefs about it but we do add and subtract to the social environment.


    • makagutu says:

      I think, could be wrong, but the world spoken of here is the world of ideas. And it is a world that each of us makes. And it is also a world that ends with us


  3. basenjibrian says:

    I agree with tileb. Falling too far down the postmodernist black hole does not lead necessarily to wisdom but to nonsense like The Secret…and Homeopathy (as well as standard religions and belief systems)


    • makagutu says:

      There are people who think the secret represents some truths about the world, that if you think positively long enough, you can be the president


      • Nan says:

        I have to somewhat defend this type of thinking. After leaving the faith, I found focusing on a more positive outlook was extremely helpful. After years of negative teachings (you gotta’ be good or you’re headed for hell, etc.), directing my thinking to more positive outcomes helped me get past a lot of the negativity that comes with Christianity. As to whether it “works,” I would be more inclined to think it does if for no other reason that it keeps you focused on good outcomes.


      • basenjibrian says:

        Many of these things are NOT positive in any way. Many sociopaths are exemplars of positive thinking.

        Also: this meme leads to blaming those who are not “winning”.

        Trump is President partly because he was the son of a weathy man who was able to parlay his fortune, along with a unique (and sociopathic) way of presenting himself. He also tapped into a miasma of anger in the country.


  4. renudepride says:

    That sums it all up rather nicely. Those who think they believe are always the ones who strongly condemn those who they think don’t believe. Good post, my Kenyan brother! Naked hugs!


  5. Real real me says:

    You read lots of books lately.
    I remember you had a huge goal for 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

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