Julius LeVallon, by Algernon Blackwood

Book iii

The Chalet in the Jura Mountains

“He (man) first clothes the gods in the image of his own innermost nature; he personifies them as modes of his own greater consciousness. All this was native to him when he still felt himself kin with Nature; when he felt rather than thought, when he followed instinct rather than ratiocination. But for long centuries this feeling of kinship with Nature has been gradually weakened by the powerful play of that form of mind peculiar to man; until he has at last reached a stage when he finds himself largely divorced from Nature, to such an extent indeed that he treats her as something foreign and apart from himself. . . .

“He seems at present, at any rate in the persons of most of the accredited thinkers of the West, to be absolutely convinced that no other mode of mind can exist except his own mode. . . . To say that Nature thinks, he regards as an entire misuse of language. . . . That Nature has feelings even, he will not allow; to speak of love and hate among the elements is for him a puerile fancy the cultured mind has long outgrown.

“The sole joy of such a mind would almost seem to be the delight of expelling the life from all forms and dissecting their dead bodies.”

— “Some Mystical Adventures” (G. R. S. Mead).


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