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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Ray Bradbury (1920 - 2012) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ [ Science Fiction Writer Farenheit 451 etal. See Story Here. ] ~~~~~
WELCOME TO DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#135 May, 2013== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Quote for the Merry Month of May:
The difference between writing and reading is if you’re interrupted in the middle of a sentence you’re reading, you can go back to it and finish it.
— Bobby Matherne, written on February 13, 2013
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Editor: Bobby Matherne, Asst. Editor: Del Matherne
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GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents ISSUE#135 for May 2013Archived DIGESTWORLD Issues
Table of Contents
1. May's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for May
3. On a Personal Note
Flowers of Shanidar Poems
4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe of the Month from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen:
6. Poem from Yes, and Even More!:"Skeptics"
7. Reviews and Articles Added for May:
8. Commentary on the World
- ARJ2: The Phantom — A Novel by Jo Nesbø
- ARJ2: Art as Seen in the Light of Mystery Wisdom, GA#275 by Rudolf Steiner
1. Padre Filius Cartoon
2. Comments from Readers
3. Freedom on the Half Shell Poem
4. Ray Bradbury Tells A Non-fiction Story
9. Closing Notes — our mailing list, locating books, subscribing/unsubscribing to DIGESTWORLD
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2002: Jan #20, Feb #21, Mar #22, Apr #23, May #24, Jun #25, Jul #26, Aug #27, Sep #28, Oct #29, Nov #30, Dec #31
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1. May Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
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For newcomers to DIGESTWORLD, we have created a webpage of all the Violet-n-Joey cartoons!
This month Joey does a solo stint, as he comes to a cross-roads and has to make a decision between making bombs or making love in this Road of Physics 2-Panel Strip recently excavated from 1983. This is the fourth and final of the excavated strips. Joey and Violet return next month.
#1 "Road of Physics" at http://www.doyletics.com/images/130124jv4.gif
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2. HONORED READERS FOR May:
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Each month we choose to honor two Good Readers of our DIGESTWORLD from those all over the World. Here are the two worthy Honored Readers for May, 2013:
Janet McGinty in Baton Rouge, LA
Tony Spatafora in New Orleans
Congratulations, Janet and Tony!
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3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
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Out Our Way:
On the first day of the month, Microsoft played an April Fool joke on me: All the descriptions for the photos in my DIGESTWORLD Issues disappeared! This came as a shock to me as I have about 141 issues going back to August, 2000, each published with about 100 photos. Not to mention over a thousand reviews with photos in them. What happened to cause me this grief? I remembered a recent Software Update and discovered that it included a new version of Internet Explorer, the most popular browser of my Good Readers around the world by far. I Googled and found that in the IE10 my photo descriptions will not be shown by cursor flyover because I used ALT="description" instead of TITLE="description" in my .HTML codes. YUCK! That meant my IT TECH (affectionately known as MOI) would have to edit some 140 issues and make 14,000 changes! Okay, life is what happens when you're making other plans, I got that — so I looked further into the issue and found that the Firefox browsers have been using the TITLE="description" coding from the beginning and that explains why my Firefox users couldn't see the descriptions.
So, I frog-marched my IT Tech in a perp-walk, kicking and screaming, and forced him to make the changes. Ingenious creature he is, he created a way of changing all instances of ALT= to TITLE= with a simple replacement function in his HTML editor. But he complained bitterly to me, for the umpteenth time, about not having a Macro Editor that can make changes in multiple files. Not in the budget I told him. "But I had one at the Foxboro Co!" he replied. "I know, I know, I was there, too, remember! This is a small publishing firm, MAKE DO!" So he did. Three hours later, he reported to me that he had done all the 141 issues and now any IE and Firefox browser will be able to view the photo descriptions. Also he was able to add an information line to the top and bottom of each review explaining what Clicking on the fixed photo of author or bookcover will do. He did this in a couple of edits using some techy thing called an INCLUDE file, whatever that is. So, battle-worn, I surveyed the results of our struggle to find some good things: IE10 and Firefox browsers will now be able to read my photo descriptions! I spend a lot of time on these descriptions and readers have been asking why they couldn't see them, up until now. Enjoy! Go back and look at descriptions in the archived issues. They're all there now!
MAPS OF REALITY
"The map is not the territory." This seemingly trivial statement I devoted an entire year of my life to around 1977 by reading the benchmark work of the man who first wrote those words, an obscure (at the time) Polish Count, Alfred Korzybski, who wrote about his insights into human beings in "Science and Sanity." I do not suggest anyone read that book today, but it is a gold mine of information and gave me treasures which I use on a daily basis as I strive to understand myself and other human beings.
Here's a thought I had recently: suppose there had been cell phones in Moses time. Here he is leading his people out of Egypt and as he neared the Red Sea, all the Israelites following would have checking the weather forecast on their Smart Phones. "Hey, Moses, the weather bureau is predicting a high tide on the day you're planning to cross the Red Sea! Count me out!" See the problem? The map created by the weather bureau may be accurate but it cannot represent the territory fully because no map can do that. No cell phone can predict the future, no internet can predict the future, not even global-warming scientists can predict the future — there is always even more than appears in our maps of reality.
A Be Spontaneous Paradox occurs when a command is given to someone to do something that can only be done spontaneously, that is, without being commanded. A BSP is the result when a command is given to do what cannot be done under command and creates something different from what is commanded. "Smile" said to someone before you take a photo will create a forced smile, which any photographer will tell is not a spontaneous smile. So they tell people to say "Cheese" or "Underpants" or anything which is funny and snap the photo before their spontaneous smile morphs into a forced smile.
Greenhouse gases have gone up enormously since the beginning of the 1990s but the Earth's temperature which was supposed to rise as such gases caused global warming, has not risen, but instead have stayed the same. Feel sorry for the scientists who have mined gold for their research out of legislators and now find their predictions were only maps which bear no semblance to the territory. Beware of scientists bearing maps intending to frighten people, they are the new Dr. Frankensteins of our age, the ones Mary Shelly warned us about. She gave us a "tale to tremble by" similar to the fictional tales told by modern Global Warming Alarmists.
TOLL YOU SO
The tolls have been removed from the bridge between us and downtown New Orleans after a judge ruled that discrepancies in the voting process were too great to justify keeping tolls on, after a victory by only 18 votes. For the first time in over twenty years, we have been able to drive across the bridge without tolls and in the past month we have encountered no backups approaching the bridge. The energy for keeping the bridge tolls has been diffused and the opposition to keeping them has risen enormously. Now if only the new election to decide to get rid of them forever could be held on a weekend where some big event has the proponents distracted, like the second weekend of Jazz Fest, (Hey! It will be!) that would ensure that the tolls will never return, like Charlie on the MTA, "Oh, he never returned, oh, he never returned, and his fate is still unlearned." These tolls were to pay off the bridge bonds and they have been paid off, and it's time to deep-six them for good and let the traffic flow.
Speaking of Jazz Fest, we rarely go these years, having too fond memories of our fun times in the 1970s and 80s when the crowds were sparser and the music and food just as great. If we get some out-of-town guests who want to go, we'll accompany them, but otherwise not. We like the Twilight Concerts on Thursday in City Park, one session of a local New Orleans group, a walk through the Arboretum to look at the flowers, and then back home. No getting beat up all day in uncomfortable seats, like on the ground, with people tromping all around you, hot, sticky, and rainy, you get the idea. Just cool, comfortable seats, close to performers. Food, drink, and rest rooms a few steps away, not a ten-minute walk over a muddy path just to stand in line.
When I read about the FestForAll in our only daily New Orleans paper, the Advocate, I suggested we take a drive to Baton Rouge to attend it. Being held on the grounds of the old State Capitol, I could take Del on a tour of the wonderful Antebellum building which resembles an ancient castle with its crenelated towers. She thought we were going to the modern skyscraper-style State Capitol built by Huey Long, because after all it is old, about eighty years old.
The FestForAll had a sparse crowd, by Jazz Fest standards, and we sat in comfortable chairs under the spreading arms of a large live oak tree as we ate our sandwich and listened to the music coming from the bandstand. Walking up the steel spiral staircase of the old Capitol was a treat. We could feel the ghosts of governors and legislators walking alongside us on the slightly moving steel steps as the glorious stained-glass dome bathed us with colored rays of sunlight. The arts and craft kiosks were fun: one had driftwood pieces outfitted with eyes looking like exotic fish and animals, another had a nice selection of coffee mugs and I found one I liked, another had some porcelain glazed objects and I found a Sun to go with my Moon wall-hanging in the kitchen.
MOVIES AND LSU BASEBALL
Some of you may have noticed that we watched a lot of movies this month. Two reasons for that: we didn't got on a long trip or cruise and LSU baseball season is in full swing. There are several ways I can watch a baseball game, at my work desk on the right hand screen or in the Screening Room on big screen. At my work desk, I can do work on photo processing and website maintenance while watching a baseball game. Any great plays I might miss live are usually rerun right after the play. This works well for no-brainer work which is detailed file cropping, sizing, naming, and moving around during which my brain, being otherwise is idle, can keep track of the game. Creative writing — like I'm doing now, where I'm sure not how any given sentence might end — requires my brain to be in gear and heavily involved. So during LSU baseball season, I save up techy tasks for the next baseball game, if possible.
Now, when I'm looking at the games in the Screening Room, there are four other screens which can be called into play for those 90-second pitching change time-outs and numerous amped-up commercial assaults on the eardrum. Usually I'll have TCM (Turner Classic Movies) tuned in and watch old B&W movies I missed for one reason or another, like maybe I had not been born yet or TV hadn't begun playing movies yet. Remember: Hollywood detested Television right up to the point where it discovered that it could make money from dumping its movie archives on TV and filling them with commercials! When TCM came along, these movies became available sans commercials, a boon for the frequent commercials and breaks in baseball games. Plus the sound track can be listened to while watching the game without the movie and the game interfering too much with each other. For a great movie a push of the DVR Record button allows one to come back later to view the whole movie, or the Rewind button to just watch a few seconds of a scene one missed before going forward in the movie.
I like to watch LSU baseball when it's broadcast on COX Sports Television or on ESPN and I use the DVR Pause button to allow the radio to catch up with the TV broadcast. In those rare cases where the radio is ahead of the TV broadcast, this won't work, but mostly it does.When I get the TV and Radio lined up, I can't easily Rewind to see again a great hit or throw-out because it requires too much time to re-align the two media, but that's not a problem with TCM or other movies on DVR. Lots of options for me to choose from and I only mention a few for the benefit of some of you who yet wonder why our Screening Room has five screens. This is my long answer; my short answer is "because there's not room for six TV's."
LUNCHES AND DINNERS
At FestForAll, Del got us a tuna sandwich at the Subway Shop that was adjacent to the square where I found us a table and two chairs to sit in the shade, to eat and listen to the music, when she returned. I started to object to some national chain fast food with all the food kiosks around, but this was a typical last-minute fare for us when we're at home and we knew what to expect. Good food, filling, and minimum of trouble to eat and clean up from.
My good friend Christopher Tidmore just returned from his trip around the world without using an airplane (almost), and we had lunch together to talk about his adventures and his plans now that he's returned. One day he was running late and suggested we move our lunch in Riverbend at La Madeline's to 2 pm. Okay, I said, but I soon regretted when I was faced was heavy traffic due to street construction in most of uptown, with Broadway blocked and detoured, etc, on my way to lunch, and then with Carrollton being blocked due to construction and school zones filled with soccer moms picking up their charges after school to chauffeur them to their next event. Later in the month on the 397th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, Chris came to the Annual Meeting of the New Orleans Shakespeare Society at Antoine's. It's a luxurious Black Tie event during which we toast the Bard, enjoy a gourmet meal in the elegant environs of the Rex Room, and after which we accomplish two events in one for most play productions: First Reading and Dress Rehearsal. This year, our waiter brought in a large Baked Alaska dessert held high in the air just the man, who played the King of France, was cued to speak with the line, "Then speaks the King of France." At which point Reggie, eyeing the dessert, said, "What a big cake!" and after our chuckles, proceeded with his first line in our condensed version of Henry V. Later, someone added the word "potatoes" after calling out the names in a series French noblemen who had died in the Battle of Agincourt, the name Brabant, brabant potatoes being a stable on the menu of many restaurants in New Orleans.
Another favorite restaurant is the Bon Ton and we had dinner there one Friday night with our good friends Renee and Burt. The food is also great and the ambience is excellent. It serves great lunches for business folk in the Central Business District. New Orleans has the highest percentage of people working its in downtown area, according to a recent magazine report. If you're in the city for a conference, check out Bon Ton for lunch — it's in easy walking distance of the Convention Center and many large convention hotels.
In Alexandria, central Louisiana, later in the month, our son-in-law Wes made a great shrimp, okra, and tomato stew for dinner on Friday night, which we ate when we got back from watching his son Thomas play the Pharisee Monster in Godspell for a local high school theater group in a downtown auditorium. It was a great play except that the most memorable song from the movie, "Day by Day", a No. 1 Pop Hit in its day so far as I know, was given short shrift because the female singer had a weak voice which seemed to be soaked up by the curtains and seats of the large auditorium. On the morning of Thomas' Confirmation, Wes took me on a trip to the Heron and Egret Rookery at his camp on the Red River.
We had a quick lunch on the Sunday of our grandson Thomas's Confirmation at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church there. Our daughter Kim and husband Wes invited us to join their three, Katie, Weslee, and Thomas at the Outback Restaurant. The food was okay, but the waiter was klutzy. While taking away the dishes, he allowed a large spoon to fall out of a plate that was full of some white sauce which proceeded to redecorate my black felt Fedora. Rather than take it out on the waiter, I had someone take my photo with the hat on.When I finally got the waiter to bring me a wet rag, he came with a terrycloth towel that re-redecorated my hat with white pieces of lint, which proved more difficult to remove than the white sauce had been earlier. Luckily Kim had just purchased a new lint-removal gadget which we christened after we got back to South Hampton from the brunch.
On the day we bow in respect to the IRS so it will leave us in peace, April 15, our good friend Sharon Roberts came over to take Del to lunch for her birthday. I enjoyed the visit with Sharon who credited me with helping her get started in selling her art by buying her first painting from her. Last word I got was that she has been renting about 7 of her artworks for movie productions, something which will make those artworks even more valuable when she sells them for the first time.
TIMBERLANE HOME & GARDEN TOUR
The ladies of Les Dames had not put on its annual Home & Garden Tour for about 18 years, but pulled off a great one this year. Del and I were leery about participating until one day I saw a car pull into our U-shaped driveway (which I have a great view of with my peripheral vision while I'm typing away, like now), so I went to the door to meet Rhonda DeFelice -Mouton who was one of the driving forces of Les Dames. I asked her a few questions and told her we would be honored to participate in the Tour.
The date of the Tour coincided with Del's birthday and I had to make sure she got her birthday cards and gift early in the morning of this very busy day. I placed the first one by her clock radio which she opened as soon as she got up, and the second one, containing her "Royal Coach" Pandora charm was waiting for her on the kitchen table.
By a bit of serendipity, a month or so earlier Del had contracted with a landscaper come to weed, mulch, and plant petunia in all the gardens of our estate, and the petunias were almost in full bloom. There was yet some work to be done inside the house and that we took care of on the day before the Tour, April 11. I arranged the fresh flowers in six flower vases to place around the house. The previous day, Del and I had an LLO (loud learning opportunity) about the artificial flowers in the Ladies Powder Room. I wanted fresh; she wanted artificial. As I was finishing up the flowers, I found that I had an extra and looked for Del to broach the ticklish subject one more time. She was on the phone with our son, Stoney, and was talking about our LLO and Stoney said, "Go with the fresh!" Nice to have some support and Del went and moved the artificial ones out of sight as soon as she hung up the phone, er, closed her cell. We don't have an easy way to say ended a phone call on a cell or smart phone, yet, do we? It'll come. Hanging up the phone was a great descriptive metaphor, which goes back to the very first phones: one closed a call by taking the separate earpiece and placing in the metal U-bracket alongside the wooden rectangular case of the phone attached to the wall of the kitchen.You know, the ones which you had to crank to send electricity down the wire to alert the operator to pick up and place your call for you? For them hanging up the phone was a literal description of what you did to end a call, now it's figurative and no longer descriptive. We used to close cell phones to hang up, but now we usually press a button and the button is not really a button but just a visual spot on a small video screen!
Back from my verbal peregrinations to the Home and Garden Tour. It began with a pre-party at Rhonda and Zack's home down Timberlane Drive from us a couple hundred yards. We got to meet a lot of friends, some long-time friends from Del's Garden Club activities and some new ones like Kim Mouton, Zack's sister, who was in town for the event and acting as photographer for the event. She got a good photo of me and Del in Bobby Jeaux's Kitchen in our house. Then we moved to our home where about 60 folks came by and visited with us. We walked them through the house, answered questions, walked outside on the West Portico with them, and just enjoyed ourselves. I had put the five TV's on with continuous elevator music playing from Cox through the stereo. Had to answer questions about why so many TV's.We actually have about the same number of TV's as other homes, only we have them all in one room. Works out great, because there are never any TV's blaring in the kitchen, living room or bedrooms when we have company or are ready to go to sleep. When we're sleepy we can make our way into a silent bedroom without any extended negotiation. "Let's go to bed" around here never means going to watch TV.
After the tour was over, we closed up the house and drove down to the South 18 of the Golf Course on Fairfield to Leah and Frank Buck's home for the post-party. More fun and friends to interact with, meet, and enjoy a bite to eat with, in the living room and around their pool. We went home early because Del's daughter Kim was coming to town to take her to dinner and a movie for Del's birthday. I wasn't invited because the girls knew that I would be watching LSU beat Arkansas and the Hornets trying beat the Clippers in their last game as the Hornets. Next year new colors, new mascot, and new name as the Pelicans.
NEW ORLEANS SPRINGTIME CATASTROPHE, SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS
What's the worst thing can happen to a New Orleanian in the Spring? To be invited to TWO crawfish boils on the same day! The first crawfish boil was at my West Jefferson 55th Reunion. Though I never graduated from West Jeff High School, I went to Westwego Elementary and High Schools for 9 years. Those kids I grew up with in Westwego went to West Jeff when I moved to Hahnville High School (from where I graduated in 1958), so I renew my acquaintance with them by going to these reunions. This year I met a fellow non-graduate, Billy Hunter, who went to work directly from the ninth grade at Westwego High. This was the first time Billy had come to a reunion and he was talking to Andrew "Red" Dufrene when I came up to them. Those two brought memories flooding back to me, of becoming a newspaper delivery boy (taking over from Red's route on Avenues F, G, and H), my knuckles began hurting as I recall the many long summer afternoons that he and I and other tough kids from Avenue B played "Knuckles" on Billy's front porch. It was a game in which if you lost, the number of cards in left in your hand was recorded, not by numbers on a piece of paper, but by hard swats on your knuckles by the deck of cards held by the winner. We each walked around all summer with sore knuckles gained in our school of hard knocks.
The reunion featured seafood which in April means boiled crawfish and they had purchased 350 lbs of boiled crawfish and 100 lbs of boiled shrimp. We had a great meeting old friends and new ones, especially Jeri Este Landry, the younger sister of Wayne Este, whom I had insisted Wayne bring to the next reunion of our class and he did. Jeri, unbeknownst to us at the time, was at a funeral with us in Laplace, a sad funeral for a high school senior, a son of a friend of Kim and Wes about a week earlier.
The second crawfish boil took place at our neighbors Barbara and Gerry's house. Gerry's son was married recently to a gal from Sweden and her parents were in for a visit, so Gerry planned a crawfish boil for them on her patio which is just off our driveway on the north side of Timberlane. As we were leaving for the West Jeff Reunion, Gerry invited us to her crawfish boil, thus the catastrophe. One cannot really enjoy two crawfish boils in the same day, but we promised to come by to say hello, which we did after we returned. I met the Swedish folks, about 8 of them and only two who spoke English at all. So we talked a bit in German which they knew, and I showed them all how to peel crawfish.Yes, they have crawfish in Sweden, but it's like lobsters are for us: a special treat and they eat only about five of them. I peeled a large crawfish in front of each person, allowing them to watch how I did it, and how I ate it, then peeled another one and gave the crawfish to eat for themselves. They were all good sports and willing learners. After talking to them for awhile, I realized that I was getting on overload, both from eating crawfish and from talking to other people. 60 people at the Tour the day before, 50 people or more at the Reunion, plus ten at Gerry's patio, and what I wanted more than anything was some peace and quiet and a nap at home, so I walked to the house took care of my needs, after saying my "aufwiedersehens" to the lovely Swedish folk.
After two days of interacting with folks during the Tour and the two crawfish boils, we opted to stay home the next morning when it began raining very hard. It was the last day of the French Quarter Festival and we were planning to go to Carol's Brunch in the Quarter. By the time the rain stopped, there was still time to get to Carol's and enjoy the afternoon festivities of music and food and people, but it was the people part, more people was more than we could take. A person can just take so much fun in a single weekend! Through the luck of the draw with the assistance of rain, we have missed Mardi Gras Day and the French Quarter Festival in 2013, but the events we did do on those days were also fun, but of a quieter more soul-filling kind, namely taking care of ourselves.
VAN BEETHOVEN UND GREENBERG
Bob Greenberg is the most entertaining professor I have ever been in class with! My classes take place in my 2000 Maxima while I'm driving to and from PJ's Coffeeshop from my working space at Timberlane. The course I'm taking is the Teaching Company one called Understanding Great Music, or something like that. The information he imparts is delightful and interesting enough, but his sense of humor and use of modern lingo helps bring his words alive and makes them memorable. He can go from imitating a Jersey Mafia hit-man to a high school nerd in two sentences. Once he talked about women going to the Mall for some "retail therapy". Often I am laughing out loud as I'm driving along or sitting in my car waiting for some great piece of music, a Sonata or Minuet, he explained earlier, to finish playing.
One day he explained that Beethoven was born of a Dutch not a German family so that one should always say, Ludwig van Beethoven because there's no von in his name. (That's a German pun as von is pronounced like fun in English.)Bob Greenberg said that Beethoven was a true innovator. He created a new form of the symphony every time he composed a new symphony. His Fifth Symphony was ground-breaking as well as ground-shaking with his four-note Fate motif which wove its syncopated way through the entire symphony. People might think that Beethoven was lazy because "Hayden composed 104 symphonies and Beethoven only 9", but they miss this crucial point: Hayden was making cookie cutter symphonies of the time, kitsch, in other words, and Beethoven was creating new forms of music with every symphony. Beethoven said, "Art demands that we never stand still." He was talking about art as the process of destruction of the sameness which exists at any one time. Hayden replicated the sameness which existed in his symphonies; Beethoven destroyed it with every new symphony he wrote. Trying to explain Beethoven's music means working on each piece, one at a time.
WITH A SIGH OF RELIEF!
One morning I was working assiduously on proofing my Art as Seen in the Light of Mystery Wisdom review and publishing it to the web. I called my friend Bradford Riley and had a helluva good time talking to him. I read my "Awaken Now, O Olaf Åsteson" poem to him, which he called brilliant. He told me that he was quite familiar with the Dream Song of Olaf Åsteson which is given in the book and extends over about ten pages. He knew it from its use during the Holy Nights when he lived at the Goetheanum several decades ago. But it was new to him that Olaf meant "one left behind" and that Åsteson meant "Son of Love", both phrases that I used in the poem.
The most fun we had was with the AUF ATMEN room in the Kloster-Dornach during our February visit to the Goetheanum together. The rooms in the Kloster's Inn did not have numbers, but had names. Our room together before his wife and friend Brian came to join us was Zuversicht which means Confidence, and a nearby room was Fröhlichkeit which means Joyfulness. After Brian showed up we were talking across from a room named "Auf Atmen." Brad or Tara shot a photo of me standing in the open doorway, holding up the lintel of that door while Brian Lynch had his arms coming up around me from behind. Brad said we shouldn't be fooling around with that doorway because it represented Atman, the high spiritual being we are all working towards becoming. I thought Brad was wrong about this at the time, but this month I finally got around to researching in my two German Duden (dictionary) and finally got this translation: auf atmen is a phrase which means to breathe a sigh of relief. Since Brad had at the time we were clowning around thought it said "Atman" I told him on the phone, that Atmen is not the plural for Atman, but merely means "to breathe" and auf Atmen means a sigh of relief, which is what I felt after getting it translated finally.Well, he immediately recalled it was this room that a gorgeous tall brunette had come out of and left, complaining that we were yammering away outside her door. Well, we really thought the room was still empty as it was when we were clowning around, and besides this was the only public space with chairs on the floor our room was on. The tone in Brad's voice told me in guy-speak that he would have relished a roll in the hay with that gal. This prompted me to say a most PC-insensitive thing, just for the fun of it, "Yeah, I remember that gal, and I'm telling you I would have considered relaxing my rule against sloppy seconds for her." Well, Brad roared and must have almost fallen to the floor when he heard that. It took a few minutes for us to get back to talking normally. We talked about the possibility of going back to Dornach for the Michaelmas Conference in the Fall. I mentioned the Great Barrington event at the end of the summer. Brad said his ex-wife used to live there and some friends of his may still be living there, so he's familiar with the place. Plus it's a chance to meet Jim Stewart, the guy who runs the eLib for Steiner books. Many possibilities for me to use some of my Delta frequent-flyer miles this summer.
EVERY GOOD THING MUST COME TO A NEW BEGINNING, SO UNTIL NEXT MONTHIMPORTANT MESSAGE:
The past 30 days of April have found me home with mostly sunny skies and chilly days around our home in New Orleans. Flowers of all kinds are in bloom everywhere: Amarylis blooms fill our every garden, Easter lilies are beginning to show their white blossoms, the blackberry bushes are full of flowers and new berries just beginning to turn black, our pomegranate tree is full of dozens of blooms promising our first harvest from the new tree, our artichoke plants are lush and green and ready to provide their fruit for us, we have harvested and eaten our first potatoes and several other potato plants are preparing for a May harvest, the brussels sprouts and broccoli are done and gone to seed, and the garden will soon have okra plants for our summertime harvest and enjoyment. We opened our home for the Home & Garden Tour, did two Crawfish Boils in the same day, Shakespeare dinner and performance, LSU baseball games (good, bad, and ugly), learned some new Cajun jokes, got a new artichoke recipe from neighbor Connie, and even more. Our St. Augustine grass is close to its lush green carpet of summer already. This coming month of May here will be one of Jazz Fest, Twilight Concerts, garden work, bicycle riding, college baseball regional playoffs, and other fun early summer activities! Till we meet again in the traditional wedding month of June, God Willing and the River Don't Rise, whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, be it cool and dry or cool and wet and rainy or sunny, remember our slogan for this new year:
MAY THE WORLD BECOME PEACEFUL AND SERENE IN TWENTY-THIRTEEN
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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:
He has never learned anything, and he can do nothing in decent style.
Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (1736-1809), composer/theoretician, music teacher of Hummel and Beethoven about his student, Ludwig van Beethoven.
NOTE: Hayden composed 104 symphonies and Beethoven only 9, but Hayden was composing cookie-cutter symphonies of the time, in a decent style, i.e. kitsch, and Beethoven was creating new forms of music with every symphony. In the quote below, Beethoven talks about art as the process of destruction of the sameness, the style, which exists at any one time. Hayden replicated the sameness; Beethoven destroyed it.
Art demands that we never stand still.
Ludwig van Beethoven ( 18,19th-century Pianist and Composer )
The improver of knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, skepticism is the highest of duties, blind faith the one unpardonable sin.
Thomas Huxley (1825-1895)
- No great improvements in the lot of mankind are possible, until a great change takes place in the fundamental constitution of their modes of thought.
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) English Philosopher and Economist
New Stuff on Website:5 Poems from Flowers of Shanidar, A 1990 Book of Poetry by Bobby Matherne
INTRODUCTIONIn a small dark cave in the hills of Northern Iraq near the Turkish border the excavator Ralph Solecki found in 1960 the bones of a young man placed in the recess between two large boulders. Analysis of the remains from the cave of Shanidar determined that the burial occurred over 60,000 years ago.
Soil samples collected near the bones were only analyzed several years later and produced a quite unexpected result. Ordinarily a small random assortment of pollen grains would be found in funereal soil samples, but the Shanidar soil analysis revealed thousands of pollen grains from wild flowers of the region. Flowers of rose mallow, hollyhocks, hyacinths, and other indigenous varieties of flowers had been systematically collected and transported to the cave of Shanidar as a funerary tribute.
Astonished, the scientists were confronted with the earliest known evidence of a burial ritual. From the very dawn of mankind a message had come down to us, written in pollen grains from the flowers of Shanidar, of the birth of a new consciousness — the consciousness of death.
How far have we progressed in the knowledge of ultimate destinations in the 600 centuries since that funeral celebration? As we stand before the door to the new millennium, do we dare to knock? Are we ready for the new flowers of Shanidar and the birth of consciousness that will surely accompany our passage into that new era?
These poems are from Bobby Matherne’s 1990 book of poetry, Flowers of Shanidar and have never been published on the Internet before. Here in the beginning of the new millennium, we are publishing each month five poems, one from each Chapter of the book. (Flowers drawn by Artist Maureen Grace Matherne)
1. Chapter: Hollyhocks
When I live partially
I have lots of company
When I live fully
I am alone
In the best of company.
2. Chapter: Hyacinths
There is the flying photon
a particle of light
An electron dropped its orbit
and sent it into flight.
The electron's like a gas balloon
Packed with photons that make it rise.
When it wants to lower soon,
It sends a photon to the skies.
No one saw the photon pass,
It wasn't that it went so fast:
The paradox of light's the trouble,
For while in flight, it's invisible.
It's only when the photon flies
into another entity,
Which re-absorbs its energy,
that it appears within our eyes.
3. Chapter: Rose Mallow
Flowers of Shanidar
He was the flower of his age
picked from the stem while in full bloom
And laid to rest within a cave,
a cleft between two rocks his tomb.
Friends came from miles around to see
they picked wild flowers along the way
That symbolized his inner beauty
and made him a funeral bouquet.
Six hundred centuries have raged
and we know what the flowers are
That framed the flower of his age
deep in the caves of Shanidar.
Among the bones and detritus
were grains of pollen by the score
Of hyacinths and hollyhocks
yarrow and rose mallow and many more.
For consciousness took a leap that day
when friends laid that youth away
And prayed that his spirit would go far
from the caves of Shanidar.
There are times that make us smile
and times that make us frown —
Who knows but that tears
are exclamations upside down!
5. Chapter: Violets
The Kahuna's Prayer
Let Us Pray:
You, who reside in us,
Your name is spoken
only in our hearts,
We recognize that what you wish,
We ask of your bounty
that you wish for us:
[mention special intentions here]
Food for our body,
Forgiveness for others and
Love for all your creation.
New Stuff on the Internet:
- [add here]
Movies we watched this past month:Notes about our movies: Many of the movies we watch are foreign movies with subtitles. After years of watching movies in foreign languages, Arabic, French, Swedish, German, British English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and many other languages, sometimes two or three languages in the same movie, the subtitles have disappeared for us. If the movie is dubbed in English we go for the subtitles instead because we enjoy the live action and sounds of the real voices so much more than the dubbed. If you wonder where we get all these foreign movies from, the answer is simple: NetFlix. For a fixed price a month they mail us DVD movies from our on-line Queue, we watch them, pop them into a pre-paid mailer, and the postman effectively replaces all our gas-consuming and time-consuming trips to Blockbuster.To sign up for NetFlix, simply go to http://www.netflix.com/ and start adding all your requests for movies into your personal queue. If you've seen some in these movie blurbs, simply copy the name, click open your queue, and paste the name in the Search box on NetFlix and Select Add. Buy some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. You get to see your movies as the Director created them — NOT-edited for TV, in full-screen width, your own choice of subtitles, no commercial interruptions, and all of the original dialogue. Microwave some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. With a plasma TV and Blu-Ray DVD's and a great sound system, you have theater experience without someone next to you talking on a cell phone during a movie plus a Pause button for rest room trips.
P. S. Ask for Blu-Ray movies from NetFlix, and if it says DVD in your Queue, click and select Blu-Ray version.
“Valmont” (1989) a period piece, indeed, several period pieces in full costume and deshabille.
“The Sessions” (2012) in “Intouchables” the man had a severed nerve at the neck and no feeling or movement in his limbs, whereas in this movie, the man had feelings in his entire body, but no voluntary movements in his limbs and was within a year of being a 40-year-old virgin when Helen Hunt as sex therapist came to treat him. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
“Mr. Selfridge” (2013) PBS series opener about a man from the USA who made shopping in London fun by opening the biggest and best department store. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !“Flight” (2012) from reality by a pilot whose life is turned upside-down in order to keep him and his passengers from crashing and burning. AA DON’T MISS HIT !
“She’s the One” (1996) with Jennifer Aniston in early support role and Edward Burns in early starring role as prodigal son returned home to taxi-driving and fishing trips with Dad and his high-paid philandering brother. One fare he takes to the altar and then the fun begins and one wonders if the quick marriage will lead to a quicker divorce.
“Argo” (2012) “Knock, knock!” “Who’s there?” “Argo” “Argo who?” Argo get those six houseguests out of Iran and make A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
“Moonrise Kingdom” (2012) A movie with Bruce Willis, Harvey Keitel, and Ed Norton with no criminals or hit men, but a flood of growing up and fun. A DON’T M ISS HIT ! ! !
“Cover Girl” (1944) with Rita Hayworth competing with her grandmother, Gene Kelly dancing with himself, and Gene and Rita dancing down the aisle together, perhaps? Hit Song: Long Ago and Far Away
“The English Patient” (1996) amazing movie based on Michael Ondaatje’s novel. Ralph Fiennes in another amazing performance as a burnt pilot recounting his life to a nurse in pre-WWII field hospital. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
“Orchestra Wives” (1942) of George Montgomery, Glenn Miller, Jackie Gleason, and Caesar Romero add to drama as Miller’s Big Band plays on, serenading into the moonlight and beyond.
“My Gal Sal” (1942) Paul Dresser’s songs woo Rita Hayworth to the “banks of the Wabash, far away”.
“Compulsion” (1959) Art & Judd kill a boy for the perfect crime and make a perfect mess of things which even a rotund Citizen Kane cannot fix.
“Carnegie Hall” (1947) enjoy this movie for the great musicians who found their way to Carnegie Hall in the 1940s.
“Enchanted April” (1991) — as enchanting as ever, as forgotten re-love blooms in an Italian castle during April. Movie which booted up Miramar Productions. See earlier blurb in DW096. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
“Anna and the King of Siam” (1946) the original “King and I” sans Brynner and music, but with more substance and oomph.
“Branded” (2012) What if AdMen could see the spiritual effects on the customers who fall for their marketing ploys? Might they run off to the hills and become shepherds as the hero of this movie does? A food-version of the Luke Wilson movie, “Idiocracy”. You will never think of Burger King the same way ever again. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !“Hope Springs” (2012) (See also DW12a) The full name of the mythical Maine city is “Great Hope Springs” and that’s what is springing up in the wife Meryl Streep plays, great hope for shaking her hubby Tommy Lee Jones out of his spousal stupor and back into bed with her. Movie proves Steve Carrell can play a non-comedic part quite well as the marriage counselor. A DON’T WAIT 30 YEARS TO SEE HIT! ! ! !
“Masterpiece Contemporary: Page Eight” (2011) British spy holds an embarrassing revelation about the PM after his colleague dies.
“That Hamilton Woman” (1941) in which Scarlet O’Hara (Vivian Leigh) succeeds this time in luring away the married man Lord Nelson (Laurence Olivier) from his wife and lives to regret it.
“Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (2012) Bilbo Baggins is lured out of his comfortable Bag-End hole in the ground by Gandalf to go on an adventure to help dwarves regain their home. Part 1 of 3-part movie and it is all that I could have hoped for to re-create the images my 1968 reading of Tolkien’s book evoked in my imagination. Get ready for A DON’T MISS TRIP ! ! ! !
“A Royal Affair” (2012) Something was rotten in Denmark when Johann arrived as a Doctor to cure what ailed the King & Queen & finally the country. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !“Hitchcock” (2012) with Hopkins and Mirren playing the hubby & wife Alma. Great lines: “Sleeping pills with a dust jacket” and when Hitch receives Lifetime Achievement Award, “I share this as I have my life with Alma.” Should have had a disclaimer like this: “No animals were hurt during the making of this movie, but two cross-dressing dogs got snockered.” Theme: a slightly psycho couple makes a slightly Psycho movie into a great hit by sound effects and locking the doors.
“Play Misty for Me” (1971) a time warp into the 70s when Eastwood had a lot of hair. A great song as counterpoint to a mediocre terror flick.
“Carnegie Hall” (1947) enjoy this movie for the great musicians who found their way to Carnegie Hall in the 1940s.
“Anna and the King of Siam” (1946) the original “King and I” sans Brynner and music, but with more substance and oomph.
Misses (Avoid At All Costs): We attempted to watch these this month, but didn't make it all the way through on most of them. Awhile back when three AAAC horrors hit us in one night, I decided to add a sub-category to "Avoid at All Costs", namely, A DVD STOMPER. These are movies so bad, you don't want anyone else to get stuck watching them, so you want to stomp on the disks. That way, if everyone else who gets burnt by the movie does the same, soon no copies of the awful movie will be extant and the world will be better off.“Killing Them Softly” (2012) Brad Pitt rhymes with . . . oh well, this movie’s so bad why did they bother with putting it on Blu-Ray when toilet paper would have sufficed? A DVD STOMPER ! ! !
Your call on these — your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:“Sleuth” (1972) Olivier and Caine in this two-man tour d’force which quickly goes flat and repetitious but manages a few surprises for the first-time viewer. See remake with Caine in older role DW091.
“A Lady Vanishes” (1938) due to Hitchcock, Magician, and evil Nazis on a train. Will the real Hitchcock ever show up? Maybe his next movie, but till then, we can watch his early attempt at suspense and surprise endings.
“Yoyo” (1965) Pierre Etaix directs this droll movie about a once-wealthy man who goes on the road and helps his son become a famous clown. An almost silent movie with wonderful sight-gags.
“Django Unchained” (2012) Dr. King's a dentist who fills a tooth cavity with dynamite and BOOM! No cavity. BOOM! No more Candyland! More Bust than Boom in this skewed and screwed-up Hollywood version of plantation life. Just like Tarantino to do a Hitchcock-like cameo and go out with a bang!
"The Japanese Wife" (2010) A Bengali man & Japanese woman fall in love as pen-pals and enter a 17 year marriage, having been in each other presence. A beautiful committed relationship to the end.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Le Broussard Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Dugas walked into a restaurant with a full-grown ostrich behind him. The waitress, Clothilde, came to take their order. Dugas said, "A hamburger, fries and a coke." Clothilde turned to the ostrich, "What about you?" "I'll have the same," said the ostrich.
After they'd finished eating, Clothilde returned with the check. "Dat comes to $9.40." Dugas reached into his pocket and pulled out the exact change and gave it to Clothilde. The next day, Dugas and the ostrich came in again and Dugas said, "Brought me a hamburger, fries and a coke."
The ostrich said, "I'll have the same."
When he was ready to leave, Dugas reached into his pocket and pulled out the exact change.
This became routine until one day the two took a seat in the restaurant. Clothilde looked them over and asked, "You want de usual?" "Mais non, Dugas replied, "dis is Friday night, so Ah want de seafood platter wit some sweet potato fries" "Same," says the ostrich.
Clothilde later brought them the check and said, "Dat comes to $32.62." Once again Dugas pulled the exact change out of his pocket and placed it on the table.
A puzzled look came over Clothilde's face. She said, "Mais, Dugas, kin Ah axe you sumpin? How come you got de exact change in your pocket every time?"
"Wahl," Dugas said, "several years ago Ah was cleaning mah attic and found dis old lamp. When Ah rubbed it, dis Genie appeared and gave me two wishes. My first wish was dat if Ah ever had to pay for anything, Ah would just put my hand in my pocket and the right amount of money would be there."
"Dat's beaucoup smart, Ah guarantee!" Clothilde said. "Most people would ask for a Million Dollars or sumtin', but you gonna be as rich as you want for as long as you live!"
"Dat's right. A gallon of milk or a fishing camp, de money is always there," Dugas said.
Clothilde pointed over to Dugas's constant companion and asked, "How come de ostrich?"
Dugas sighed, paused a few seconds, shrugged his shoulders, and answered, "My second wish was for a tall chick with a big butt and long legs who would agree with everything Ah said."
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5. RECIPE of the MONTH for May, 2013 from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen:
(click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =Cranberry Sunrise
Background on Cranberry Sunrise: For the past decade or so we have stopped using soft drinks with our meals, opting instead for apple juice (not from concentrate) diluted to half strength and flavored with cranberry juice or pomegranate juice. The difficulty of ordering this kind of drink in a restaurant or when dining on a cruise led me to experiment and I came up with a delicious drink which a mixture of cranberry juice cocktail and a tiny amount of orange juice. Try it yourself and see if you like it. In recent weeks I decided to give the drink a name so that if it becomes popular I will be able to order without going through the whole magilla of how to prepare. It is easy to prepare, but much easier to mis-prepare, so be prepared to do some explaining if you order it in a restaurant. Bars are much easier if you sit at the bar and describe to the person fixing the drink how you want it. Good cruise table servers will learn how to make it in one night, and you will soon have your drink waiting for you or delivered shortlyl after you arrive at your table.
Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail
No or low pulp freshly squeezed or not from concentrate Orange Juice
Select a Large Wine Glass or Tall Tumbler. (The drink takes time to make and can't be refilled at your table.) Fill the glass with crushed or small cubed ice to within a half-inch of the top. Add Cranberry until the liquid almost reaches the top of the ice level. Carefully decant the orange juice over the top of the ice cube layer, not more than a thimbleful of orange juice.
Can be drunk immediately and enjoyed for an entire meal.
Bestl Cranberry Juice Cocktail is Ocean Spray Classic in the large bottles because it is a darker red than the other versions. If the juice is not red enough, the drink will look like a washed out sunset, so this is important, and you can control when you're at home. Prepared correctly the drink takes on a deep red color which gradually tapers into a red-orange shade as it reaches the top of the glass, thus the choice of name, Cranberry Sunrise. It's like a Tequila Sunrise without the hangovers. If you live in the New Orleans area, your drink will taken for a Sazerac and you won't be treated like an idiot for not drinking alcohol, nor will you be asked to be a Designated Driver. The charge is always less than a mixed drink with alcohol and if you tip the bartender handsomely, he may give you refills without charging you for them. Most bars have cranberry juice cocktail available as well as orange juice.
NOTE: if you drink this regularly at home, buy the small 12 oz size orange juice, as it will last for a long time.
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6. POETRY by BOBBY from Yes, and Even More!:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =SkepticsSkeptics: Written on November 12, 1995 while reading Theosophy by Rudolf Steiner at 217 Timberlane Road. The inspiring text was on page 176. The operant quote is: “However, the point is not to believe or disbelieve what has been communicated, but only to be unbiased and receptive toward it.” This poem is an attempt to answer my skeptical friends, who read the Skeptical Inquirer and revel in the debunking of every cherished belief of their friends. Once one has gone to the trouble of informing oneself of the truth, it is too much trouble to attempt to inform such a skeptic of a truth that can only be discerned by oneself actively doing the work. Skeptics can only founder in their disbelief and rarely rise above it.
Skeptics lack not the faculty of belief
but the grace of thinking
inside of what they are told
treat what they are told
as an object of scorn.
Thus skeptics can never be unbiased
or receptive to what they are told
but have to be proven wrong.
Someone else has to do the job —
to treat them as an object
and inform them
of the truth.
Truth found, in truth,
by the non-skeptic,
by biasing their receptivity
to inform the truth
existing in the object
in the first place.
Carroll Righter, the famous daily astrologer for hundreds of newspapers for many years, was very skeptical of the truth of astrology at first. He was able to rise above his skepticism by informing himself of the truth of astrology. Righter was the rare skeptic — I wonder what caring person informed him. ©1995 by Bobby Matherne
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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for May:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
And for my Good Readers, here’s the new reviews and articles for this month. The ARJ2 ones are new additions to the top of A Reader’s Journal, Volume 2, Chronological List, and the ART ones to A Reader’s Treasury. NOTE: these Blurbs are condensations of the Full Reviews sans footnotes and many quoted passages.
1.) ARJ2: The Phantom — A Novel by Jo Nesbø
When Harry Hole left us at the end of The Leopard, he was so beaten up and ragged-looking that it seemed to us readers that he'd never survive, much less return for another adventure. But heroes of novels have miraculous powers of recuperation, and Harry arrives Hale and Hearty in a new linen suit after spending time in the Orient healing himself.
Heading for one of his old haunts, Hotel Leon, in a seamy section of Oslo, he is accosted by a regal looking prostitute:
[page 14] The woman's hand rested on his arm as he made to move on. She leaned toward him and breathed red wine into his face.
"You're a good-looking guy. How about giving me . . . a light"
He turned the other side of his face to her. The bad side. The not-such-a-good-looking-guy side. Felt her flinch and slip as she saw the path left by the nail from his time in the Congo. It stretched from mouth to ear like a badly sewn-up tear.
He walked on . . .
This is our Harry, no doubt about it. In town to clear the name of Oleg (18) who was charged with killing another teenaged druggie, Gusto (19). Oleg was his girl friend Rakel's son and likely Harry's own son, and he has come back to dark and dreary Oslo to clear Oleg's name, to find the real killer, but the real killer, the deeper Harry digs, begins to resemble a phantom, while all the police evidence points to Oleg.
[page 34] Oleg, who smiles, patiently and indulgently, whenever Harry promised that in the autumn or spring they would go to London to see Tottenham playing at White hart Lane. Oleg, who sometimes called him Dad when it was late, he was sleepy and had lost concentration. It was years since Harry had seen him, years since Rakel had taken him from Oslo, away from the grisly reminders of the Snowman, away from Harry's world of violence and murder.
Oleg, who said, when Harry visited him in jail as soon as he could, "You're no one to us anymore. You were someone who drifted in, hung around for a few years and then . . . gone!" Then he called for the guard to take him away from Harry and back to his cell. Harry had a son who would rather die in jail than talk to him. How could he help clear his name without Oleg's help?
A burner we discover is someone who destroys police cases. "He makes sure that evidence becomes contaminated or goes missing, that mistakes are made in legal procedures, thus preventing a case from being brought to court, or that everyday blunders are made in the investigation, thus allowing the suspect to walk away free." (Page 58) Clearly Oleg didn't have an burner working for him, because an abundance of evidence pointed to him. The case was already old by a year or so and Harry couldn't get anyone interested in helping him re-open it. This would be all on Harry to solve or not.
Tutu got his name from a mistake he made placing a bet for his underworld boss. He had been sent with a bag of money to be laundered by placing a bet on a team in a game that was fixed. Tutu was supposed to bet on a 2-0 score for a game which was fixed. However, Tutu's stutter came out as 2-2 instead of 2-0. He was doomed to be kneecapped by his boss for this mistake, but luckily a new Polish forward whose speaking was as bad as Tutu's misheard the fix and played to win and tied the score 2-2. Two wrongs equal a right, but Tutu compounded his first problem by telling his boss that he placed the wrong bet and the boss shot him in knee before Tutu could explain to the boss that he had won anyway! The morale: Always tell the good news first! From that incident Tutu got his name, from his 2-2 bet. (Page 64, 65)
Harry's job in Hong Kong was an enforcer for large banks. He had lost a link of his finger during a previous adventure, and had it replaced with a titanium finger tip. Rakel notices it as she makes coffee for Harry.
[page 71] While Rakel was making coffee he saw her gaze fix on his metal finger, but neither of them made a comment. There was an unspoken agreement that they would never mention the Snowman. So Harry sat at the kitchen table and instead talked about his life in Hong Kong. Told her what he was able to tell. What he wanted to tell. that the job as "debt consultant" for Herman Kluit's outstanding accounts consisted of meeting customers with payments that had fallen behind and jogging their memories in a friendly way. In brief, the consultation involved advising them to pay as soon as was practical and feasible. Harry said his major and basically sole qualification was that he measured six feet four in his stocking feet had broad shoulders, bloodshot eyes and a newly acquired scar.
Harry Hole's a pretty scary guy at this time in his life, enough to get debtors to pay without having to resort to physical force, as least not so far as he revealed to Rakel.
On the other hand, Tord Schultz was an airline pilot who had a neat racket smuggling drugs in from Asia and now an inspector had found a bag full, not of drugs, but of flour on one of his planes, and he was forbidden to fly planes to foreign countries while under suspicion by his employers. Time for him to eject! Time for another great Nesbo metaphor!
[page 81] If he couldn't fly abroad he would have no value to them anymore. All he would be was a desperate, debt-ridden, cocaine-addicted risk. A man on police radar, a man under pressure. He didn't know much, but more than enough to be aware that he could destroy the infrastructure they had built. And they would do what had to be done. Tord Schultz wrapped his hands around the back of his head and groaned aloud. He was not born to fly a fighter jet. It had gone into a spin, and he didn't have it in him to regain control; he just sat watching the rotating ground getting closer. And knew his sole chance of survival was to sacrifice the jet. He would have to activate the ejector seat. Fire himself out. Now.
He would have to go to someone high up in the police, someone he could be sure was above the drug gangs' corruption money. He would have to go to the top.
Rats of all kinds, small, large, and metaphoric crawl through this novel and Harry remembers what his boss once told him about rats, "A rat is neither good nor evil. It does what a rat has to do." (Page 84)
Gusto is in the process of dying, having been mortally shot and left alone in some foul place, but his voice echoes through the pages of the novel in italics-filled pages as he recounts the episodes which lead up to his being shot, intermingled with Hole's attempts to unravel these same events from the outside, giving us both an inside view and outside view, one placing pieces together in the inside of a jigsaw puzzle, the other placing the edges pieces together, allowing gradually the full picture to emerge. Will it emerge in time to save Oleg's life? Will it emerge in time to bring the phantom killer to justice?
Violin was the street name for a new drug which was replacing heroin and Dubai was the street name for the mastermind who had the source of the new drug(1). Oleg and Gusto were working for Dubai. Harry questioned Martine, the petite and pregnant woman.
[page 96] "What do you know about Gusto, apart from the fact that he was attractive to women and came from a foster family?"
"He was called 'the Thief.' He sold violin."
"Who did he work for?"
"He and Oleg used to sell for bikers up in Alnabru, Los Lobos. But they joined Dubai, I think. Everyone who was approached did. They had the purest heroin, and when violin made an appearance it was the Dubai pushers who had it. And I suppose it still is."
"What do you know about Dubai? Who is he?"
She shook her head. "I don't know if it is a who or a what."
Violin was like strawberry clover, a weed which is allowed to grow because it acts as a mulch to prevent harmful weeds from growing, while allowing strawberry plants to grow and be harvested. Here's the deal Gusto witnesses which the old man makes with the Oslo city councilwoman.
[page 127, 128] "And in this little analogy the City Council's vision of a cleaner Oslo is the strawberries, and all the gangs selling dangerous heroin and creating anarchy on the streets are the weeds. While we and violin are the mulch. . . . We don't shoot anyone. We operate discreetly. We sell a drug that does not end in overdoses. With a monopoly in the strawberry field we can raise the prices so high that there are fewer and fewer young people recruited — without our total profit going down. I admit. Fewer users and fewer sellers. Junkies will no longer fill the parks and our downtown streets. In brief, Oslo will be a delight to behold for tourists, politicians, and voters.
At one point Harry Hole has to inject himself with violin at the point of a gun to prove that he was not an undercover cop, which he wasn't actually, but it was a point which he could only lose by arguing, so he prepared an injection of violin and purposely missed an artery on injecting it. He expected more of an ethereal hymn instead of the full symphony from his "faked orgasm."
[page 134 135] On Prinsen's Gate he got the delayed effect. Caused by those parts of the drug that had found blood, that had reached his brain via the roundabout routes of capillaries. It was a distant echo of the rush from a needle straight into an artery. Yet Harry felt his eyes filling with tears. It was like being reunited with a lover you thought you would never see again. He ears filled, not with heavenly music, but heavenly light. And all at once he knew why they called it violin.
Harry finally found Tord Schultz, the drug-running pilot who blabbed to the police, dead from a beetle, a Zjuk. Every novel, Nesbo comes up with some new means of murder, and this beetle was the methode du jour of the Russian drug dealers to get rid of rats like Tord. A brick with six long nails is dropped from a ceiling beam onto the head of the rat whose ear had been nailed to the floor.
But a phantom used a knife when he snuck up on Harry, held his head, and prepared to severe the arteries in Harry's neck. Doom was certain, but once more Harry escaped certain death, using something special that only Harry had. Something which kept him alive until he found a suitable weapon to dispatch his assailant. This was not the Phantom — but Harry was getting close to the eponymous villain.
Gusto's story and Harry's story began to converge and the end came, in a salvo of bullets from a most unsuspected direction. The only EMT around when Harry hit the ground was a mother rat who inspected his body. She found two holes in Hole's chest and a hole in Hole's head. Was his heart beating? Will Harry once more be resurrected and made whole? To live another episode? Or will the female EMT morph into a Medical Examiner and take apart Harry's body in tiny morsels, a picnic for one?
---------------------------- Footnotes -----------------------------------------
Footnote 1.Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
Heroin got its street name from the word "heroine." When it first appeared on the street in Philadelphia, addicts would steal old metal junk from the docks to sell to buy heroin — thus the name "junkie" came into being.
2.) ARJ2: Art as Seen in the Light of Mystery Wisdom, GA#275 by Rudolf Steiner
Art, Science, and Religion had their origins in the Mystery temples and Art was to turn away from its source, but remain relatively unchanged with us today, as revealed in the Introduction.
[page 3, Marie Steiner ] It [Art] is one of the healthiest and most revealing and most direct; it was the last to turn away from its source in the temples of Mystery wisdom and has not been so quickly smothered under rubble as the path of religion by the passion of the church for power or that of science by the rigidity of thought born of the materialistic age. For these three paths once more to find each other, or art, science and religion once more to intermingle — it was for this that Rudolf Steiner worked among us.
Life is what happens when you are making other plans, and Marie Steiner mentions how his work on the Goetheanum and the World War (WWI) forced Steiner to curtail his busy lecture schedule and spend time on the arts as he designed the architecture, the paintings, and the sculpture for his magnificent building. These eight lectures in this book were given in the Carpentry Shop in where the nearby Goetheanum's wooden pieces were shaped and formed. When completed it was a monument to the man, Rudolf Steiner, and a monument to Man.
[page 6, Marie Steiner] The building stood as man, and man as building. The genesis of worlds, the genesis and deeds of human beings, the deeds of the gods were all inscribed in it; they were revealed in the waves of color in the domes, in the organic growth of motifs in columns and architraves, in the luminous creation of the windows. Sculpture and painting passed beyond their own sphere, overcame line and were transformed into movement. Color created form from within by virtue of its own creative soul quality. Music and speech became movement in the newly-blossoming art of eurythmy, and were made visible through the instrument of the human body. The creative forces of speech thus made visible were reflected back to the other forms of art, reviving them and kindling the fire of spiritual creativity. Its innate note of creativity was able to grasp the physical sound that molds the air, filling it with spiritual substance and elevating it to higher spheres. Rudolf Steiner called his building 'the House of Speech'. All forms of art, together with science and Mystery wisdom, had found a home there. The synthesis of art, science, and religion was once more accomplished.
This original wooden building was destroyed by fire on Dec. 31, 1922 and the building of a new Goetheanum was begun almost immediately, this time of concrete, and it stands to this day, a new Parthenon hovering over the Acropolis (high point) of Dornach, Switzerland.
[page 7, Marie Steiner] Like a fortress it stands . . . An abode for spiritual endeavor, it radiates over the landscape, welcoming all who desire to strive for that noblest of treasures, the knowledge of the world and of the human being.
To serious students of Rudolf Steiner, it stands as a place of pilgrimage, where one must go to experience it directly. On my trip in February, 2013, I was one of forty pilgrims from all over the world who came there to experience and participate in sculpture, eurythmy, speech, singing, acting, and even more, in the Schreinerei Hall next to the Carpentry Shop where the lectures in this book were given almost one hundred earlier. In our tour of the Goetheanum, we saw Steiner's 30-foot-tall wood sculpture, Representative of Man, plus the magnificent lines of the columns, architraves, luminous colors of the windows (e.g. the west-facing Mi-cha-el Window), the line of Druid stones lining the path up to the Main Entrance, and the evanescent colors which seemed to float on the walls, staircases, and murals of the building.The Boiler House was separated from the Main Building, providing heat via underground ducts. It was made of structural concrete in the shape of the stem of a rose, but the rose blossom was truncated, only exhaust from the furnace could be seen escaping from the thorny stem. Steiner asks us to imagine that the rose was taken from the tip of the stem and moved uphill to the nearby Goetheanum site where it has blossomed into the Main Building(1).
Steiner explains the theme of this book is to continue his theme(2) of building a bridge for us from the knowledge of spiritual science to the conception of life our time demands. (page 9) We are all aware of the disruptive influences of modern life, the coffeeshops, which only a few years ago were places of quiet contemplation and earnest schoolwork, have now evolved into noisy telephone booths in this new age of cell phones. People have TV sets blaring away in their homes with no one watching them, often in every room. Most restaurants have TV sets going which distract every diner unless one choose a table facing the wall. Some people brag, "We don't have a single TV in our home." These purists have become like modern Essenes(3), shutting out the luciferic and ahrimanic effects from their lives, but what they have yet to learn is that their abjuration of modern technology is a sign of weakness, not strength.
[page 12] All this withdrawing and protecting oneself from the influences that we necessarily have to encounter, because of world karma, arises out of weakness. Anthroposophy can only strengthen the human being as a whole; it is intended to develop those forces that strengthen and arm us inwardly against these influences. Therefore, within our spiritual movement there can never be any kind of recommendation to cut oneself off from modern life, or to turn spiritual life into a kind of hothouse culture. . . . Our task, however, consists in strengthening our soul life by filling ourselves with the impulses of spiritual science and spiritual research so that we are armed against the onslaughts of modern life, and so that our souls can stand any amount of hammering and knocking and are still capable of finding their way into the divine spiritual realms through the hammering and knocking of the ahrimanic spirits.
The next subject Steiner tackles with dispatch is that of free will: Do we have free will or not? To listen to a philosopher talk about free will would be like listening to a waking person talking about what it's like to be sleepwalking. Why? Because a philosopher who is talking or thinking about the will is awake and during daytime awake-ness the will activity is unconscious, just like a sleepwalker's thinking is unconscious. We think in consciousness, but our will operates mostly out of our consciousness in modern life.
[page 13] All the arguing the philosophers have done about the freedom or lack of freedom of the will is due to this: . . . they have not taken into account that they are investigating the will while they are daytime sleepers and therefore cannot arrive at its true nature, [so] they talk a lot of nonsense about free will and unfree will, indeterminism and determinism. In fact, while we carry on the waking life of daytime, we are only conscious of our will life to a very small degree; it is immersed in the subconscious, in the region that belongs purely to the astral body.
What does modern life mean, exactly? It means the time since the beginning of the fifth post-Atlantean era, the middle of the fifteenth century. Before then humans were working on developing the very intellect processes which our modern scientists now investigate the physical world with abstract logical constructs such as "natural laws"(4). The Scholastic schools of religious orders in the 12th to 15th Centuries worked on these development exercises through such activities as arguing, "How many Angels can fit on the head of a pin?". These very same exercises are derided by our so-called modern scientists who call them "idiotic fantasies" — showing how oblivious they are of the essential part these thought exercises played in the very evolution of consciousness which led to their own livelihood.
[page 13, 14] We know that today's intellectual culture is proud of the achievements of modern life. This pride is expressed something like this: Throughout antiquity and the Middle Ages people were incapable of developing a real observation of nature such as could have led to genuine science; this did not happen until modern times. . . . That was when people broke away from the old way of observing nature and observed it impartially, solely according to its abstract laws. It was through this knowledge of the laws of nature that science came into the position of opening up the possibility of mastering the forces of nature, and mastering them in an unprecedented way, as we so often hear.
A modern day scientist who is speaking using abstract laws is speaking Ahriman's language. Isn't this a good thing? Certainly it's good, but isn't it indeed a skewed way of understanding the world? Yes. Okay, if that's so, what choice do we have? Well, we could expand our view of nature to include both natural and spiritual realities. This is the aim of Rudolf Steiner's spiritual science: to show how to examine the full life of nature both as a natural modern scientist and a spiritual scientist. Steiner is giving us a purchase onto a future science which balance materialistic and spiritual understandings of our human bodies and the cosmos in which we live as body, soul, and spirit.
We break up the natural world into pieces by cutting down forests, mining minerals from the Earth, etc., basically ripping the living fabric of nature apart. Then we artificially put the pieces together using our so-called natural laws. What is going underneath, in the spiritual realities when we do these things? The elemental spirits of the forests and the rocks are upset by this activity. They are cast out of their homes in nature.
[page 15] What is important here is that we cast out of nature the elemental spirits belonging to the sphere of the regular progressive hierarchies who, in fact, are the very spirits who maintain nature. There are elemental spiritual beings in all natural existence. When we plunder nature we squeeze the nature spirits out into the sphere of the spirit. This is what is constantly happing during the first stage. We smash and plunder material nature, thus extricating the nature spirits, driving them out of the sphere allotted them by the Yahveh gods into a realm where they can fly about freely and are no longer bound to their allotted dwelling places.
That is the first stage of modern technology: acquiring raw materials. The second stage is construction: creatively refining and putting these elements together into machines. But we also place spiritual beings into any machine we construct.
[page 16] In constructing it we make a habitation for other spiritual beings, but these spiritual beings that we conjure into our machines are beings belonging to the ahrimanic hierarchy. . . . This means that by living in this technological milieu of modern times we create an ahrimanic setting for everything that goes on in us in a sleeping state, by night or day.
Living in this modern age, we are in effect like a beggar invited to a feast who is gorging himself on all kinds of food, only what we are stuffing ourselves with are ahrimanic spirits. On the other hand, peoples of early times lived so close to nature that they filled themselves with nature spirits and felt the "enlivening effect on their inner life of soul." (Page 17)
We modern day people have lost our connections with the divine spiritual beings, up until now. These are connections we need so earnestly from now on. If you have any doubt about us having lost these connections, ask yourself and answer truthfully, "When was the last time I thanked my Guardian Angel when something good happened to me?" Perhaps you drove downtown and the traffic was unexpectedly clear the whole way, or maybe you decided to forgo a certain trip downtown and you discovered that a huge accident had blocked the bridge for hours. Did you perhaps thank your "lucky stars" for these events? Rightly understood, thanking your "lucky stars" for good fortune is an insult to your Guardian Angel who has followed you around and cared for you for countless lifetimes. Try this next time some good fortune comes your way: Thank your Guardian Angel.
Think of your relationship to your beloved pet, whom you feed, groom, take for walks, pet, and love. How can your adorable pet thank you for your care? It cannot speak your language, but you know it appreciates you because it comes to you when you arrive at home, gives you attention, following you around. What kind of pet would it be that constantly ignores you? A dog that never wags its tail? A cat that never climbs on your lap? All these forms of attention is how your pet thanks you.Now, consider your relationship with your Guardian Angel, who does all the wonderful things you do for your pet: keeps you nourished, out of harm's way, makes sure you are warm and sheltered, brings new friends your way when old ones pass out of your life, and so many other things: How do you thank your Guardian Angel? A simple thought, a smile, an unspoken word of thanks would be enough, but when is the last time you did such a thing? Today? Last week? Last year? Ever? Consider these things next time something good happens to you, and perhaps you'll remember to thank your Guardian Angel. As this becomes more of a habit, you may begin to notice fewer bad things happening to you and more good things happening. This is one small step humans can take to restore a balance in their own lives between the ahrimanic spirits of modern technology and the natural spirituals which surround them mostly out of their awareness, up until now.
[page 17] Only by penetrating into the depths of their own being will they find the connection with divine spiritual beings that they need for their salvation. . . . This connection with the spiritual hierarchies from which we were actually born, in the spirit, this living connection with them, is made difficult to the highest degree by the saturation of the world by modern technology. Human beings are dragged away from their spiritual-cosmic connections, and the forces which they should be developing to maintain their link with the spiritual-soul being of the cosmos are being weakened.
This sounds bad. It sounds like we should cut ourselves off from all technology, but that would be making the same mistake the Essenes did in the time of Christ Jesus. Do you know of any Essenes around today? Clearly their life style was not a robust one because it died away quickly. I read of a dream Buddha had in which everyone became beggars and there was no one left to provide rice for the begging bowls. Skewed life styles are generally dead-ends.
[page 18] It would be the worst possible mistake to conclude from this that we should resist what technology has brought into modern life, that we should protect ourselves from Ahriman by cutting ourselves off from modern life. This would be a kind of spiritual cowardice. The real remedy is not to let the forces of the modern soul weaken and cut themselves off from modern life, but to make the forces of the soul strong so that they cna stand up to modern life. A courageous approach to modern life is necessitated by world karma, and that is why true spiritual science possesses the characteristic of requiring an effort of the soul, a really hard effort.
Want to make a really hard effort of the soul? Try reading Rudolf Steiner's works! After reading and studying about 200 of his books, each new book reveals some mind-boggling concept or two or three that I have never encountered anywhere before, except perhaps a hint in some previous Steiner lecture from years ago. This book is filled with such concepts, spiritual concepts, and there are really difficult to understand unless you have already been applying some of them unconsciously and are prodded by Steiner's words to bring them into conscious understanding.
[page 19] You so often hear people saying, 'These books of modern spiritual science are difficult, they make you exert yourself in order to develop your soul forces and really penetrate into spiritual science.' This is why 'well-meaning' people — and I am saying this in inverted commas — keep on coming to me and saying that they want to smooth out difficult passages for the sake of their fellow students and change what is written in rather a difficult style into something as banal as can be. . . However, it belongs to the essence of spiritual science that it makes demands on soul activity, that you do not accept spiritual-scientific truths lightly, as it were, for it is not just a matter of taking in what spiritual science says about one thing of another, but of how you take it in. You should take it in by dint of effort and soul activity. To make spiritual science your own you must work at it in the sweat of your soul . . . That is the way spiritual science operates, if you will excuse the mechanical expression.
To be a spiritual scientist, you must build up what entrepreneurs call, "Sweat Equity". You must work at it, you must work on your own soul, and that is hard work, indeed.
For myself, my work on reviewing Steiner's books is the hardest work I do on any books. It reminds of my years in college taking junior and senior level physics courses. Who knew thermodynamics could be so tough? Acoustics, wow, there's another tough subject. Those equations for acoustic wave guides filled entire lines of a page. I wondered for thirty years why no one ever found a practical use for them, up until Bose did with his wonderful desktop clock radios whose speakers can handle any volume level you choose without losing their fidelity of sound. Maxwell's equations were another challenge: four inter-related equations which explain every aspect of radio, television, microwave, and any other electromagnetic transmission ever invented or to be invented. And then quantum mechanics equations which were as short as they were complicated yet only gave statistical answers. So, when I tell you that Steiner's books are tough, believe me they are tougher than any physics course I ever took, and I approach his books with the same steadfastness of purpose as if they were part of my physics curriculum and must sweat my way through to meaning in my mind and understanding in my soul.
In my working through Steiner's works, I am aided greatly by the German language courses I took in college. After taking a couple beginning courses and making A's in them, I decided to move on to German literary courses, such as interpreting and reading aloud Schiller's "Wilhelm Tell" which I did in one course. I read Steiner's words from lectures he gave almost a hundred years ago in German(5). These lectures have been translated into English by the time I read them, most of them by British translators from several decades ago. Two filters stand between the American reader and Steiner: German and British English. If you wish to eliminate the skewing process of a filter, it's best to understand the filter. German uses complicated syntax to the American ear and Steiner writes complicated sentences which translators must somehow convert into English while maintaining his original meaning in German. This creates problems for translators: they must often use equivalent structures in English to the German, which leads to long sentences, or else hazard changing the meaning by making two or more sentences out of one. These are some of the problems I face when writing a review of this difficult material. What I strive to do is to convert these long, complicated sentences into less complicated structures in modern American English, and, while I do so, to add my own personal insights that I have acquired via the soul-sweat-equity route into my reviews.
I often find Steiner talking about processes of which I am already aware from my earlier training, not only in physics, but computer hardware, systems analysis, neurological brain function, psychotherapy, Jungian analysis, and many other fields, and whenever this happens, I must pause until I can understand the connections and decide whether it will help others reading my reviews if I share these connections. Whenever possible I offer links to other reviews of Steiner or other writers from which my readers can probe deeper into how I came to the insight I offer. My reviews of Steiner become like lectures, where I set the stage for some passage from Steiner so that the reader has a chance to open the oyster of the passage and extract a pearl of wisdom for themselves. If you've ever opened a sack of oysters, as I have, you will appreciate the sweat equity involved.
This next passage I read the day after I had watched the movie "Branded" (2012) in which people sleep and dream their way into becoming fat and ugly by an advertising campaign and a man who is awake to the reality is able to see the ahrimanic and luciferic forces flowing out of their bodies.
[page 21, 22] What spiritual science quite specifically has to want at the present time is that human beings do not sleep and dream their way through what world karma is imposing on them. Yet people who wish to know nothing about spiritual science do sleep and dream their way through all the influences even though they know nothing about them.
Notice the verb "has to want" in the first sentence of the above passage. Steiner takes time to explain the importance of his choice of words. He said, in effect, "must want" instead of merely "want." Why?
[page 22] That is a particular way of putting it which comes quite naturally to a person who is speaking out of the spirit of spiritual science, for spiritual science leads as a matter of course to a more impersonal grasp of the truths of spiritual life than other sciences do. Speaking in the manner of the sciences we would say, 'Spiritual science wants something'. But spiritual science says what it 'should or must want'. And I say, "the way I must express myself' and not, 'The way I express myself'.
If his meaning is not clear to you, as it is not to me, I suggest we mutually hold it as an unanswered question for the time being. At least I am able to say "I suggest" — that way of speaking, i.e., using a first-person pronoun, had not yet evolved in pre-Christian times. The "I Am" spoken by God to Moses was one word, not two. Ancient languages had not yet evolved a separate word for "I", a word you , I, and every other person in civilized culture take for granted, so let me pause a moment to explain how it was possible to indicate that one was talking about oneself as the actor in a sentence without using "I": the verb form had a specific ending which indicated this condition. In such languages, the word "I" or "ego" was an invisible part of the action specified by the verb. Sometime after the Mystery of Golgotha the separation of the "I" into a separate word evolved, and at the same time our I or ego became an essential part of what it means to be a full human being.
[page 23] There is something tremendous behind the fact, for instance, that the conception of the ego in the whole evolutionary system of language is quite differently constructed the further back we go, in pre-Christian times, than it is later on when we go forwards from the Mystery of Golgotha. The way people spoke about the 'I' changed, and this can be seen in the configuration of language. When the 'I' becomes part of the word for the verb, as is the case in many languages, it signifies something entirely different from when is it is separated from the verb and spoke as a separate word, and so on.
There is an inspired spirituality in our spoken word which is often not appreciated by modern humans. I wrote about this in a Final Paper I wrote for a Ph D-level course in Education. In the essay I explain the importance of a live lecturer in a classroom, pointing to how the words that the lecturer uses allows him to think the thoughts which fly directly into the students minds. In this next passage Steiner seems to refer to that same process when he talks about spiritual beings flying around the room on "the wings of words" whenever one speaks.(6)
[page 25] Spiritual beings live and are active in human language, and when we form words, elemental spiritual beings pour into these words. When human begins converse together spiritual beings fly about in the room on the wings of words. This is why it so important that we pay attention to certain subtleties of language, and do not simply let uncontrolled feelings get the better of us when we speak.
In a world of increasingly ahrimanic influences we need new forms of art to speak to us today. Art is soul food and the type of soul food which satisfied past centuries will not suffice for us today.
[page 29] Through being placed today by world karma in a setting that functions in an especially ahrimanic way, and through having to make our soul forces strong enough to find our way into spiritual spheres — despite all the hindrances that come to us from ahrimanic spirituality — our souls are in need of different kinds of sustenance than before. For the same reason art must also adopt new paths in all its branches. . . . Art has to speak in a new way to souls today, and our Goetheanum building is meant to be the very first step, really and truly the very first step towards art of this kind, and not anything perfect. it is an attempt to create the kind of art that calls on the soul to be active, along the lines of the whole conception of modern life, a spiritual conception of modern life.
In the full human being, we can find architecture arising out of our physical body, sculpture from our etheric body, painting from our astral body, music from our ego or "I", poetry from our spirit self, and eurythmy from our life spirit. Steiner explains the logic behind these connections on pages 34 to 50, but gives us a concise summary of the first three here.
[page 39] Painting is a form of art which contains the laws of our astral body, just as sculpture contains the laws of our ether body and architecture those of our physical body.
I was particularly interested in how poetry arises from the spirit-self myself.
[page 40] If we go on to speak about the higher members of the human being, starting with the spirit-self, we can refer to them only as something that is still outside the human being. For, in this fifth post-Atlantean era, we are only just beginning to make this spirit-self one of our inner members. But if we accept it as a gift from a higher sphere and sink it into our ego, if we go down into our ego, like a swimmer into water, taking with us what as yet can only be dimly felt of the spirit-self, then poetry is born.
His description of life-spirit inspired eurythmy is rather droll, as he hints at much more than he reveals about the art form he innovated and introduced into the world of the twentieth century.
[page 41] Eurythmy is indeed something that must make its appearance in human evolution at this time; but there is no call for pride, for at present it can be a mere babbling compared with what it will become in the future.
How did these words do re mi fa so la ever get connected with our musical scale? I held this as an unanswered question for many a year before encountering this passage below (Note: ut becomes do and SJ becomes si.):
[page 46] People felt they were transported to spiritual heights when they raised themselves up from speech to music, which is the image of celestial music. This feeling was expressed in the following words: Ut quent laxis, resonare fibris, mira gestorum, famuli tuorum, solve pollluti, labii reatum, S. J. (Sancte Johanne).
To translate this we would have to say, "So that thy servants may sing with liberated vocal chords the wonders of thy works, pardon the sins of the lips which have become earthly — meaning: which have become capable of speech — 'O Saint John'.
Einstein's theory of energy-mass equivalence (E = mc2) remained a theory for many years before it was eventually used in nuclear power plants to provide us clean energy for daily electrical power. Similarly the knowledge we can gain about spiritual science will take some time before it becomes a part of our living experience. Graduates of and families with children in Waldorf Schools are already getting living experiences of the value of spiritual science. We are living now in the future that Steiner foresaw some 100 years ago.
[page 49, 50] The knowledge gained through spiritual science will become fruitful as soon as it is no longer a theory but a living experience. . . . I want to awaken in you a recognition of the fact that spiritual science is itself an initial impulse that will continue to grow and develop, that we are in a sense called upon to take the very first steps, and that we can have an inkling of what these first steps will lead to, long after we have laid aside our bodies in our present incarnation.
So often something unexpected happens to us which delights us so much that we wish we had thought of it ourselves — ever have that experience? Someone once said it this way, it might have been me, "Life is what happens to us when we are making other plans." This expresses the thought that our plan-making is only the day-time, conscious part of our living experience, like the tip of the iceberg floating open to the view while its deep structure contains much more than what it shows above the water. Perhaps these unexpected delights were after all planned by us, only out of our consciousness.
[page 53] A vast number things take place within us unconsciously; and even a great part of what seems to be done consciously is, in reality, done half or more than half unconsciously. . . . [Humans] do something which proves that in a certain way they unconsciously remember this Saturn existence: they become an architect. Architecture would never have come about if human beings did not now carry within themselves the laws that were imprinted on their physical body during an ancient Saturn evolution.
Thus, a modern architect may ridicule the idea of an Old Saturn stage of cosmic evolution, but her own livelihood depends on her having come through that stage of evolution of her physical body.
[page 54, 55] So when we create or enjoy architecture — where it is a case of genuine art, of course — we really lift ourselves not only out of the present earth existence but also out of the more distant past and place ourselves once more into the period of Saturn evolution.
Another popular adage is "You must lose yourself to find yourself" but this must surely be met with a ton of skepticism. How can one who is lost find oneself? Does that require someone outside of oneself? Well, that is exactly true, if you will recall our earlier advice about Guardian Angels.
[page 58, 59] [Here] comes the experience of the most radical transformation of all, when the soul must decide to undergo what can be expressed with the words, 'Now you must lose yourself for a while, you must thrust yourself away from your self; but you must have faith that while you are losing yourself, while you are thrusting yourself away from yourself, beings reposing in the wide expanses of the divine hierarchies will protect you, will cause you to find yourself again after you have lost yourself.' This is the passage through births and deaths. This has to be undergone among the inner experiences that lead to initiation.
Earlier I had mentioned the curious truncated-rose shape of the Boiler House — the separate building was part of Steiner's concerted effort of design to keep Ahriman out of the Goetheanum. The heat is transferred into the Main Building via underground ducts and a beautiful concrete smokestack rises to the sky from a double domed base where the furnaces are located. If you look closely, you can see some white smoke coming from the tip of the thorny rose stem.
[page 65, 66] You will also see, if you study our ahrimanic chimney along with the whole boiler house, how it is indeed possible to make an architectural structure of what belongs, one might say, to the most blatant elements of ahrimanic civilization in our time. . . . In its entire form our boiler house is not only suited to its specific purpose but also corresponds to the whole relationship of Ahriman to our Goetheanum. . . .
We are not even halfway into the book when Steiner provides us with this masterful summary of his theme for the lecture series.
[page 69] What a superb perspective unfolds before us when we say, 'Life, science, religion and also art can receive impulses of transformation from spiritual science when it is truly understood. In the case of the pictorial and sculptural arts the impulses come from what we learn in spiritual spheres about the past; and in the case of the arts involving music and speech the impulses come from what we are striving for inwardly, in order to be able to approach the future.' This perspective is so immense and so powerful that we cannot bring enough realization to bear on it, in order to make it more intensely clear to ourselves. . . . Not only do I want to appeal to your reason and your understanding with this; I also want to sow it as a seed in your souls and in your hearts.
Lecture 4 took place on New Year's Eve of 1914 and Rudolf Steiner arranged for Marie Steiner to recite for the audience and introduced in this way, "the Norwegian legend of Olaf Åsteson, of whom we are told that at the approach to Christmas he fell into a kind of sleep which lasted for 13 days: the 13 holy days that we have explored in various ways." Olaf during these 13 days of sleep was able to immerse himself as a microcosm into the macrocosm and extract a knowledge which is not available if we equip ourselves only with "a knowledge given us by our sense and an intellect bound by those senses." (Page 70, 71) Because his sleep took place at a time when the Earth receives the least light and warmth from the macrocosm, Olaf could learn the holiest of secrets.
[page 72] This is why the days around Christmas were always kept so sacred, because while his organism was still capable of sharing in the experience of the earth, man could meet the spirit of the earth during the point of time when it was most concentrated.
Olaf's Dream Song fills the pages from 73 to 81 and is too long to include here, but it inspired me to write a poem which I will share below.
[page 94, 95] The human soul has slept long, indeed, but world spirits will approach and call out to it, 'Awaken now, O Olaf Åsteson!' Only we have to prepare ourselves in the right way, so that it doesn't happen that we are faced with the call, 'Awaken now, O Olaf Åsteson!' and have not the ears to hear it. That is why we are engaged in spiritual science, so that we shall have the ears to hear, when the call to be spiritually awake sounds in human evolution.
The name Olaf means "he who was left behind" and we do not want to be left behind, do we? The name Åsteson means Son of Love, something we would each want to be known as, a Son or Daughter of Love. Before we read the poem together, let us hear Rudolf Steiner's benediction at the end of his New Year's Eve lecture.
[page 95] If we can bring the microcosm of our experience on this New Year's Eve into connection with the macrocosm of human experience over the whole earth, we shall then have the kind of feelings we ought to experience, sensing as we do the dawning of the great new Cosmic Day in the fifth post-Atlantean era, a day at whose beginning we stand as we experience with dignity the midnight that precedes it.
Awaken Now, O Olaf ÅstesonWhy do you, O Skeptical Man,
Apply all your spiritual forces
to denying the reality of the spiritual world?
You will succeed — and fail by doing so.
Why do you, O Materialistic Man,
Apply all your spiritual forces
to understanding the reality of the physical?
You will succeed — and fail by doing so.
Why do you, O Literate Man,
Apply all your spiritual forces
to understanding the words on the physical page?
You will succeed — and fail by doing so.
Why don't you, O Literate Man,
Apply some of your spiritual forces
to understanding the words on the cosmic page?
You will succeed — and never fail by doing so.
Awaken Now, O Son of Love,
You, left behind, so long.
Awaken Now on this Cosmic New Year's Day.
The seed has sprouted
while you slept,
The seed that the Macrocosm without
has sowed into the Microcosm within
Will succeed, and cannot fail in doing so.
Awaken Now, O Son of Love,
You, left behind, until now.
It is fitting that we now allow Steiner to give his New Year's blessing at the beginning of Lecture 5, "Moral Experience of Color and Music".
[page 96, 97] Everything in the world, each event and every act of human conduct, has two sides, which are like polar opposites.
Yesterday it was my task to point out to you that by understanding our spiritual-scientific world outlook through their feelings, human souls should acquire reverence and devotion for the spiritual worlds. The opposite pole to this reverent attitude is energetic work on our inner life, an energetic taking-in-hand of the evolutionary factors of our own soul, making a point of always using our experiences for the purpose of learning something from them and making progress with regard to our inner powers, so that whatever meets us in life and whatever takes place around us, whether it is easy to understand or not, we shall always avoid the danger of losing ourselves. May we always have the chance of keeping hold of ourselves and of finding within ourselves the strength to develop an understanding for what can come to meet us in an often incomprehensible way, and may the kind of reverence for things we were talking about yesterday make such an impact on the development of our souls that we acquire a proper understanding of universal existence; this, my dear friends, is the New Year greeting I wanted to give you today at the start of the year.
In Steiner's Mystery Dramas, he wished to show what it is like for the soul "to expand in the cosmic forces and feel what the spirits of the cosmos are feeling". (Page 101) This was the beginning of all art, he adds. But in our materialistic age, true art was replaced by kitsch, our modern name for what Steiner called "sham art". Kitsch(7) is basically art which creates replicas of true art, sometimes by direct copying, sometimes by making a collage of pieces of true art.
[page 101, 102] The sign of all second-hand art, all sham-art, is that it needs objects to imitate; it does not produce first-hand forms by working directly with the material.
In describing how the soul experiences entering a colored surface, Steiner gives the following experiences for living in each color: Red — Wrath with a need to Pray, Orange — Desire for the Knowledge of the inner essence of things, Yellow — Feeling transported back to our first earthly incarnation, Green — Feeling inwardly healthy and a stimulation of ego forces, Blue — Feeling an approach of divine mercy. Steiner adds, "I have taken the colors that flood the world as a specific example."
With music Steiner describes the way humans will eventually be able to enter the spiritual world through each note, beginning with the prime, which I understand to be the tonic or central note. His descriptions are given for each note, the prime, and the intervals of second, third, fourth and fifth, the dominant.
[page 104] Through the prime, for example, which we experience as absolute and not in reference to previous notes of the scale, we experience danger as we pass from the sense world into the spiritual world.
[page 105] When we climb out of the physical world into the spiritual world through the window of the second, we shall gain the impression of powers in the spiritual world that take pity, as it were, on our weakness and say, 'Well! so you were weak in the physical sense world! If you only climb into the spiritual world through the prime I must dissolve you, suck you up and break you to pieces. But if you enter through the second I will offer you something from the spiritual world and remind of something that is there as well.'
[page 105, 106] If you enter the spiritual world through the third, you will have the feeling of an even greater weakness. . . . People who want to become composers will have to enter especially through the third, for that is where the tonal sequences, the tonal compositions are that will stimulate their artistic creativity.
[page 106] If you penetrate into the spiritual world through the fourth you will experience something strange. Although no new notes appear from any direction, those that have come before, when you were experiencing the third, will live lightly in the soul as memories. You will find that in continuing to live with these note-memories they perpetually take on a fresh coloring; at one time they become as bright and cheerful as can be, at other times they descend to the utmost sadness; now they are as bright as day, now they sink down to the silence of the bright as day, now they sink down to the silence of the grave.
[page 107] The fifth will produce experiences that are more subjective, that work to stimulate and enrich the life of the soul. It is like a wand that conjures up the secrets of the music world over there, out of unfathomable depths.
These are summaries of the various intervals which will have meaning to those with natural music ability who can experience these sounds from within, especially composers of music who know the intervals and their inner effects intimately.
[page 107] Experiences of this kind will come to you when you no longer merely look at the things and phenomena in the world, or merely listen to them, but experience them from within. These are the kind of experience you have to have, particularly through colors and musical sounds, but also through form, in short, altogether through the realm of art, in order to get away from the purely external relationship to things and their functioning — which is characteristic of the materialistic age — and to penetrate into the inner secrets at the heart of things.
Fainting is a short break in consciousness, which materialistic medicine strives to find a cause for, often hospitalizing the person, whether she be a Secretary of State or a Garden Club member. During these gaps in time, something can enter out of the unconscious, and for us humans today, that means the spiritual world, as most of us are only conscious of the material world which surrounds us. Steiner says, "A tremendous amount of spiritual vitality can stream into the human being at such moments, forces that may be good or bad, and capable of either." If you train yourself, you will begin to notice the after-effects of these moments.
[page 111] You will gradually reach the point of becoming so perceptive for living links that you will recognize the moments in which the spirit comes near to each human being. In the future the world will no longer be described as something so undifferentiated as it is nowadays on the basis of material causes; matter will be relegated to its proper place and, at the same time, people will realize that the material phenomenon is not the only thing, for spirit shines through it.
Steiner adds that if we fail to read the significance of such events in our lives, we are basically cosmic illiterates; we are as helpless with reading these spirit signs as a person who can appreciate the artistic nature of the beautiful Arabic script decorating the outside of the Topaki Palace in Istanbul, but cannot understand the meaning of the words themselves.
[page 112] Only a person who can read is capable of following a biography, perhaps, or a piece of information that has been set down in these strange signs. A person who cannot read world phenomena is like a cosmic illiterate where these phenomena are concerned. A person who can read, however, reads the ongoing process of the spiritual world in them. It is characteristic of the present materialistic age that materialism has made people illiterate with regard to the cosmos, almost a hundred per cent so. At a time when people are so proud of having reduced the percentage of illiteracy in civilized countries to such a great extent, they are enthusiastically heading towards illiteracy where the cosmos is concerned.
We are like kindergarten students with respect to reading the cosmic script, hovering at the stage of spelling out the words, up until now. Let us resolve to work towards the goal of wiping out cosmic illiteracy from now on.
My thirty-three years of working and thinking as a physicist taught me that only other physicists were interested in talking physics with me, everyone else deeming such talk too cold and dry. This was something I could never understand from within my knowledge of physics. Only by studying myself and what made me truly human was I able to understand this phenomenon, a study which grew by leaps and bounds when I found Rudolf Steiner's writings and lectures. I discovered, among other thing things, that true knowledge of the human being and the world could be warm and wet as well as cold and dry.
[page 115] There are good reasons why external, scientific knowledge has to be like this, but spiritual science is not this kind of knowledge. On the contrary it ought to bring us nearer and nearer to the living abundance and warmth of the outside world and of the universe altogether.
Yes, I thought exactly like Wagner in Goethe's Faust. I expected that if I assimilated science the riddles of nature would be solved, and that I would know how everything is constituted and that I would be perfectly satisfied with what I knew. (Page 155 paraphrase) I had been trained, in effect, to think just like all the other physicists and hard scientists.
[page 115, 116] They imagine how boring life will be in the future when science will have solved all the mysteries and there will no further possibility of wondering about anything, or having any feelings of an unscientific kind. What a terrible desolation would befall mankind; we have every reason to be horrified at the prospect.
In the movie "A. I. Artificial Intelligence" (2001), Steven Spielberg aptly portrays this desolation for us as a cold, gray, dead world of robots who know everything, where the warm, vibrant world of spirit is nowhere to be found. This is the ultimate goal of materialistic scientists, but few acknowledge the long-term track they are embarked upon nor do they recognize the sterile nature of their quest.
With spiritual science, there are no easy answers, but those that do come fill our hearts with vibrant living.
[page 116] To approach external nature with our souls filled with anthroposophy is to find more riddles in nature and not fewer. Everything grows even more puzzling, which broadens instead of impoverishing our life of feeling. You could say that spiritual science makes the world even more mysterious.
From my early training in physics, I drew a lot of diagrams in my notebooks when I first began studying spiritual science, and you can find them peppered across my early reviews. Gradually I began to understand that such diagrams are dead, cold, dry objects and do not represent spiritual knowledge, but only give the appearance of spiritual knowledge.
[page 116, 117] It is quite different when spiritual science tells us, for example, 'When you see the sunrise or hear a piece of music, it must feel to you as though the Elohim were sending their punishing wrath into the world.' Then we become aware of the mysterious living weaving of the Elohim behind the glow of dawn. Yet to know the name of the Elohim and to be able to give them a place in the ninefold diagram we have drawn in our notebook, is not to know anything about the Elohim. But out of the living feeling we can have in looking at the sunrise will come a perception of the movement and life in rich abundance, just as we know that when we look at a human being, any amount of conceptual knowledge about him will not tell us the whole of his nature, nor fathom the universal life within him. Likewise, we become aware that the dawn is revealing something to us of the unfathomable life of the cosmos.
Through years of reading Steiner's works, I struggled to make sense of what he was talking about, and life only seemed to become more enigmatic and mysterious to me. I did not realize that this was an important stage in my own growth of understanding the cosmos. Through my own patience, the living warmth of spiritual science began to filter into my own being, blowing away all vestiges of my earlier dry, cold, diagrammatic way of thinking about it.
[page 117] We just need to be patient until the message of spiritual science becomes a living being within us and forms itself anew, filling us not only with its light but also with its warmth. Then it will take hold of our hearts and our whole being and we shall feel the richer for it, whereas if we take up spiritual science in the same way as ordinary science we are bound to feel the poorer.
In pedagogy, especially the education of our little children, our materialistic thinking age does a major disservice by its view of the classroom as an adult, a teacher, imparting knowledge to children, the students. But this is only viewing the outside appearance of things, namely, maya, a wonderful word which points to the illusion caused by imagining that the projection of living reality we see with our eyes and abstract logical thoughts represents the entire living reality of the world. But inside every human, adult and child, is a living reality which passes from incarnation to incarnation, and teachers who recognize this cross-incarnational reality they share with their students, are best able to share a relationship in which they learn as much from their students as they teach to them. Thus a Teacher, So Also a Learner is how I have described this reality for some forty years, a thought which came to me from Sufi readings long before I found Rudolf Steiner and his spiritual science, so reading these next words now is like hearing cosmic echoes of truths which have blossomed within me over these decades.
It helps to understanding this next passage if we recognize the root of educate is the same as that of ductile: a metal, for example, is ductile if it can be drawn out into a wire, such as copper can be. To educate is to draw or pull something out of a person which is already in the person, whether the person be a small child or an adult.
[page 124] In reality something invisible in the teacher educates something invisible in the pupil. We shall only understand this properly if we focus our attention on what is gradually unfolding in the growing child, as the outcome of previous incarnations.
In a classroom situation the teacher does best to draw out of the child the invisible result of previous incarnations, which neither the teacher nor the pupil is directly aware of, but which, through spiritual science influenced pedagogy,(8) can emerge. The key aspect of such teaching is to fully comprehend this: "When we are teachers our own next incarnation converses with the previous incarnation of the pupil."
[page 125, 126] We only have the right feeling for this if we say to ourselves, 'The very best in me which my spirit can think and my soul can feel, and which is preparing itself to make something of me in the next incarnation, can work on the part of the child that is sculpturing its form out of times long past.' What enables us to educate is something intrinsically musical in us. What we should work upon in the child is something that is doing sculpture in that child. . . . Music is related to everything that is in a process of development and lies in the future, and the realm of sculpture and architecture is related to what lies in the past. A child is the most wonderful example of sculpture we can see. What we need as teachers is a musical mood, which we can have in use in the form of a mood pervaded by the future. . . . For then the teacher will speak, think and feel in such a way that in the course of his lessons, what comes from the past will reach out to the future.
In pedagogy, the bank metaphor of teaching is much disdained, but in everyday classrooms, it is yet very much in evidence in most schools. The bank idea is this: the teacher deposits his own learning into the students' minds, as one might put valuables into a safety deposit box, from which it can be later withdrawn when needed. This is a very luciferic model of teaching and learning — recall that Luciferic took Light from God which he then has proceeded to parcel out to us at his own whim, the Light of knowledge which we do better as full human beings to extract from the world on our own, to sculpt it out of ourselves, a process which never comes as quickly or as cheaply as Lucifer's so-called gifts to us. Teachers who proceed to dole out knowledge to their students are operating as egotistically in the classroom as Lucifer did in the spiritual world.
[page 126] If the teacher is egoistic and only tries to make the child an imitation of himself, then the teaching is purely luciferic. Education becomes luciferic when we try as far as possible to turn the pupil into a poor imitation of our own opinions and feelings, and are only happy if we tell the pupil something today and he repeats it word for word tomorrow. That is a purely luciferic kind of education.
Parents who insist on their offspring becoming imitations of themselves, e. g., doctors who insist on their children going to medical school, or lawyers, to law school are luciferic parents who often produce offspring who are unhappy in their professi on, requiring that they leave the profession which their parents chose for them for a profession they choose for themselves as an adult. This luciferic child-rearing process is fodder for many movies about dramatic mid-life career changes as well as tragedies in which the adult is unable to cope with his parentally-chosen profession. It seems strange that the very adults, who would abhor the idea of choosing a lifelong mate for their growing child, would have no qualms whatsoever about choosing a lifelong career for the same child. Were my parents remiss because they didn't have a career lined up for me? No, I don't think so. The more I think about my own career path, the only thing which makes sense is that this unique path I took was the result of my having chosen my parents carefully before I was born so that I would be not subject to such luciferic upbringing. To paraphrase Steiner slightly, "The best thing we can achieve, as teachers or parents, is to be able to face perfectly calmly the thought of the child becoming as different from us as possible." (Page 127)
[page 127, 131] External science requires uniformity, but spiritual science gives manifoldness and variety, the kind of variety that belongs to life itself. Thus, spiritual science will have to bring transformation into the furthest reaches of life. . . . Spiritual science must become a magic draught of youth and not just a theory.
Now let us talk about headless horseman of Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. But first let me ask you, "Would you hard-boil an egg and then place the egg under a hen and expect it to hatch into a live chick?" Steiner tells us that would be as a silly a thing to do as for us to set out to solve the mystery of the cosmos using the hardboiled techniques of modern science. We cannot do this, nor can we determine whether science is helpful or harmful by asking, 'Is science right about this or what?' (Page 134)
[page 134] Attaching so much importance to the question of whether what science says is right or not is the very attitude we have to get away from. We must reach the point of seeing that this is not the main thing when it comes to solving the riddles of life.
It is like putting the horse before the carriage and claiming that the horse is deciding the direction to pull the man who is seated in the carriage. It is right that the horse is ahead of the man, but ahead of the carriage does not necessarily mean the horse guides the carriage. Science, in its materialistic view of things, often completely misses the invisible aspect of guidance which can link things, as we can see in the simplistic example of the horse and the man. Science can give reasons of why a man's breath may be visible, describing how tiny water droplets condense out of one's warm breath in the presence of cold air, but science would strenuously protest if we claim that one's morality is discernible in the patterns of one's visible breath.
[page 137, 138] But it has significance for someone who follows up the phenomena of life through initiation science, for he sees in the patterns of the breath the exact traces of the moral or immoral conduct of the person. . . . Certainly more delicate qualities can only be detected in more delicate parts of the etheric and astral aura. But the human being's moral and immoral tendencies in the ordinary sense of the words are actually visible in the etheric-astral content of the vaporous breath. The physical part of it dissolves. But what is incorporated in it does not dissolve, for it contains a demonic being which, in the case of vaporous breath, has a physical, an etheric, and an astral part, only the physical is not earthy, just watery. Something with extremely differentiated forms can be seen in this exhaled breath.
The physical traces of demonic presence may sound a little far out, but I have personally heard a report which confirms such a trace. It was a blister which appeared on the sole of the left foot of a patient on his death bed who went from being nasty to everyone for a couple of years earlier to be being very congenial for the three weeks until his death after being given the Last Rites by a Catholic priest, even though he protested vigorously against it. His daughter who insisted on the priest continuing his blessing — even having her father restrained during it — reported that a blister had appeared under his foot that had not been there the previous day when she washed him. Apparently the priest had performed an exorcism without realizing it. If the demons can lead a physical mark in a foot when leaving a body, they should be able to leave an impression in the vaporous breath exhaled by a person they inhabit.
Rudolf Steiner knew from his spiritual research that our breath today contains the germinal seed of beings who will become human during the Jupiter stage of evolution, just as we humans today received our germinal seed from the Angelic hierarchies who had reached their human stage of existence during our Saturn, Sun, and Moon stages of evolution. When we exhale today, what we exhale affects the germination of future Jupiter beings, and if we are immoral the demonic breaths we exhale will create beings of demonic forms, headless beings! Creatures looking ever so much as Irving's Headless Horseman which roamed the area called Sleepy Hollow. If we are unconscious of the effect of our immoral deeds on future evolution, we reside in a metaphoric Sleepy Hollow which will unleash future headless monsters. Steiner says about these demonic beings:
[page 140] The other beings, the demons created out of immoral actions, also have an astral body, an etheric body and a physical body, at the watery stage, of course, but they do not have the basis for developing an ego. They are born headless, as it were. Instead of taking up the basis for progressing along a regular evolutionary path to the Jupiter existence, they reject this basis. By doing so they condemn themselves to the fate of dropping out of evolution.
This might seem to be a good thing if these headless beings drop out of evolution, but they do not disappear, but instead join the rest of the luciferic beings who follow on Lucifer's own dropping out of evolution. They become parasites or demons which can easily seize upon a human baby in utero and share its existence prior to its birth.
[page 140, 141] Some of these beings, if they are strong enough, can continue to accompany the human being after birth, as seen in the phenomena of some children who are possessed.
What is brought about by the criminal demons attached as parasites to unborn children is the cause of a deterioration in the succession of the generations; it gnaws at human beings, making them less able to develop than they would be if these demons did not exist. There are various reasons for the decline of families, tribes, peoples and nations, but one if them is the existence of these criminal demon parasites during the period mentioned.
The circumstances of one's birth can clearly have an effect of whether these lazy parasites can remain attached to a baby after its birth. As now only the date and time of a birth is recorded, but few other details of who was present in the room, the house, the surrounding area, etc, are recorded.My wife, Del, was born on the day Franklin Delano Roosevelt died in Warm Springs, Georgia, an event which happened about five or six hundred miles away from her birth in New Orleans. When her mother awoke to receive her new baby in her arms, she asked the nurse, "Are they ringing the bells for my daughter?" Church bells were originally installed in church when people were still able to see spiritual realities and they could see that demons would rush away from anywhere near the ringing bells. This led them to require bell towers for their church and the bells to be rung whenever a service was ready to begin or simply rung on the hour to chase away demons from the church who might decide to stop over.(9) Having known Del intimately for almost 4 decades, I can attest that she does not have an immoral bone in her body, i. e., no attached demonic spirit). For me, at times when I am uncertain about a given action, she helps me to tune up my own moral compass.
One of my challenges in life is learning to accept things which happen to me calmly. I developed a tool to assist me with this goal which I call EAT-O-TWIST. It is an easily pronounced acronym which states a basic rule of equanimity, Everything Allways Turns Out The Way It's Supposed To, where supposing is something you did prior to the event happening; it could be a thought, a desire, a dislike, a hatred, or even perhaps a deed in a previous lifetime. Said quickly when some thought arises which might upset one's equanimity, EAT-O-TWIST can help restore one's balance. It works better the more often you apply it and use it in your life. In meditation exercises in spiritual science, maintaining our consciousness is important and the key to success is "leading a calm and composed life and accepting the things of the world calmly." (Page 143)We can learn to understand the concept of karma, so we recognize when some untoward event happens to us, it is an event which we have planned to occur during this lifetime for the purpose of dealing with some earlier or future event by which we will balance our karma. Yes, it's hard for me not to get furious when some small mishap occurs to me, but I have learned to respond to my fury by immediately searching for some plausible meaning in the event. First I search my own thoughts and desires for an EAT-O-TWIST connection, namely, something I have wished for or against happening — for X or against X supposing are equally productive in achieving X, given a long enough time. I have added a process for eliminating immediately thoughts of any X that I do not want to have. I use a process I learned from Jonathan Parker decades ago: I immediately visualize X and place a red circle with a red slash across it and say CANCEL! That is effective at keeping negative thoughts out of my mind. Another auxiliary method I apply at the same time is to avoid as many news broadcasts as possible. I read the newspaper which allows me time to cancel any negative thoughts I pick up during reading. With news broadcasts via radio and TV, the next news item can start before you've canceled the first one.
[page 144] People are not all inclined at first to take the idea of karma really seriously. If they have even a small mishap that hurts them, or anything at all happens to them, they sometimes get furious, but at any rate they antipathy towards it. We encounter what we call our destiny with sympathy or antipathy. In ordinary life this has to be so; here it is essential that we feel sympathy towards some of the occurrences of destiny and antipathy towards others. To us, destiny is something that comes to meet us from the outside.
Or is it? EAT-O-TWIST says that is likely not the case. It may come from deep supposing inside us, i. e., destiny happening as a result of karmic events. As I mentioned several times earlier in this review, "Life is what happens when we're making other plans." If we are making plans and some unintended event happens as a result of our plans or happens to cancel our plans, we can get angry. Or we can simply say EAT-O-TWIST!, knowing that what happened was more important than what you planned because your conscious plans had no fore-knowledge of the karmic requirements which would intercede to modify your plans in this unexpected way. This is a case of a previous life-time's deep-supposing, of whose karmic connections you were not consciously aware of , but your Guardian Angel, who witnesses all events in all your lifetimes, was aware of those karmic connections and chose to intercede. Rightly understood, saying EAT-O-TWIST with equanimity is a way of saying "Thank You" to your Guardian Angel.
Steiner reminds us that when someone offends us, it is we who are hidden inside the offender, and therefore it is us hitting us.
[page 144] . . . we must always keep a corner within us where we admit to ourselves, 'Even when someone offends me it is me offending myself; when someone hits me it me hitting myself, when unpleasant blows of destiny hit me, I myself am dealing myself these blows.' We forget that we are not only within our skin but also in our destiny; we forget we are within all the so-called chance happenings of our destiny.
When we are hit by these "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune", we should strive to unite with our destiny, saying each time, 'Through suffering this blow of destiny, that is, through meeting myself in this blow of destiny, I am making myself stronger, more vigorous and robust.' (Page 145 paraphrase) I'd like to add that, contrary to many pessimists about Earth, I consider that we are robust humans on a robust planet. Understanding and doing all these things may seem very difficult, a serious business. But it will not always be so serious. We are like actors in the first read-through of a complicated script, so we must take it very, very, seriously. But after many live performances our jobs will become more easy and more fun.
[page 149] Times will certainly come when people will be able to be more light-hearted with regard to spiritual science. But now, right at the beginning, we must get used to taking things very, very seriously.
Steiner began these lectures by calling attention to the immediately previous series of lectures he had given in Dornach and Basel ending on December 27, 1914. He begins his first lecture in this series on December 28, 1914 and promises to "give a few more indications on this theme" — meaning on the theme of "building a bridge from the knowledge of spiritual science to the kind of conception of life which our time demands" (page 9), or as the subtitle says, "How One Brings the Reality of Being into the World of Ideas". Has he built such a bridge for us? Indeed he has, it is a bridge such as Olaf Åsteson strode over in his 13 Holy Nights adventure: (page 77)
So I went on the wintry way
And saw on my right hand:
Like unto paradise it was,
Light shining far and wide.
The moon shone bright
And all the paths led far away.
The wintry way translates in Scandinavian languages to Vintergaten which is their snowy phrase for what we call the Milky Way, our own galaxy which stretches across the night sky, and which according to an ancient belief leads to Paradise, the realm of the blessed, the spiritual world. With Steiner in these two sets of lectures, we have crossed the bridge into the spiritual and especially in this current book learned how to see art in the light of the spiritual world.
The Immediate Precursor of these Lectures can be found here:
Inner Reading and Inner Hearing
& How One Brings the Reality of Being into the World of Ideas, GA#156
---------------------------- Footnotes -----------------------------------------
Thanks to Bradford Riley for sharing this metaphor of the truncated rose nature of the Heating Plant with me. Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
Footnote 2.Return to text directly before Footnote 2.
The lectures in this book followed immediately upon the last lecture of Inner Reading and Inner Hearing. These two books are best read in conjunction with each other.
Footnote 3.Return to text directly before Footnote 3.
See The Fifth Gospel for a description of how the Essenes in Jesus's time avoided Lucifer and Ahriman.
Footnote 4.Return to text directly before Footnote 4.
Rightly understood, the natural laws of modern science are not of Nature, but of dead analytical constructs in the mind of Man.
Footnote 5.Return to text directly before Footnote 5.
Of his 300 plus books in print, a great majority are transcripts of his lectures. Only a handful are books that he wrote and these are best read early in one's study of Steiner.
Footnote 6.Return to text directly before Footnote 6.
This reminds me of a poem that I was inspired to write on this subject called "On the Wings of Words" in my review of Towards Imagination, a series of Steiner lectures in 1916.
For a detailed discussion of kitsch, see my Essay, Art is the Process of Destruction.
Return to text directly before Footnote 7.
Footnote 8.Return to text directly before Footnote 8.
Such as can be found in Rudolf Steiner Schools and Waldorf Schools around the world today.
For a similar reason, gargoyles were added to medieval churches to keep demons away because people noticed that demons flying up to a church, if they saw a gargoyle (which looks like a demon), they would figure that church already had a demon parasite attached to and they would fly elsewhere. Gargoyles have become passé, but bells are still ringing and keeping away demons. Return to text directly before Footnote 9.
The Immediate Precursor of these Lectures can be found here:
Inner Reading and Inner Hearing & How One Brings the Reality of Being into the World of Ideas, GA#156
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I hear often from my Good Readers that they have bought books after reading my book reviews. Keep reading, folks! As I like to remind you, to obtain more information on what's in these books, buy and read the books — for less information, read the reviews.
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= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =In this section I like to comment on events in the world, in my life, and in my readings which have come up during the month. These are things I might have shared with you in person, if we had had the opportunity to converse during the month. If we did, then you may recognize my words. If I say some things here which upset you, rest assured that you may skip over these for the very reason that I would likely have not brought up the subject to spoil our time together in person.1. Padre Filius Goes on Retreat this Month:
Padre Filius, the cartoon character created by your intrepid editor and would-be cartoonist, will appear from time to time in this Section of the Digest to share with us some amusing or enlightening aspect of the world he encounters during his vocation.
This month the good Padre listens in his Confessional:
2. Comments from Readers:
- EMAIL from Sirpa in Zurich:
It was nice to have an Insight into your life and work, great work!
All the best and love to all on this very special day!
Sirpa Marianne Khalil
- EMAIL from Paul OLeary re SteinerBooks Seminar:
Wonderful to meet you and be entertained by your humor and insights.
- EMAIL from Betty in Louisville, KY:
Gosh, all the interesting things you see and do! I enjoy the digest so much and feel I learn or visit locations with your writings and pictures.
All is OK here. I am cheering the Louisville Cardinals onto the NCAA basketball Championship hopefully. You and Del look wonderful still and enjoying life so much — keep on keeping on doing that,
luv ya, Betty
REPLY from Bobby: Looks like your Cards made it. Congrats!
- EMAIL from Gust Valantasis in Orlando: Hi Bobby,
For some unknown reason to me, I think this April Issue was your best newsletter. Perhaps it was the writing style, I really don't know. But I truly enjoyed the read. Janet and I just got back from spending five days in Las Vegas. We had a great time. I was able to drag her away from the slots for an excursion to the Zion Valley. Zion Valley is truly a magical place. We took a mile long hike surrounded the entire way with inspirational views. I could not get over the effervescence green color of the Cottonwood trees. Give my love to Del and hopefully our paths will cross soon. Best regards, Gust.
- EMAIL from Vesa Loikas in Turku, Finland:
Dear Bobby -
I should actually get some photos of me while shooting in NYC, my friends will be sending some to me hopefully soon. Meanwhile here's one nice photo of me by my friend from NJ (whom I stayed with one night while in NYC) Andres Ortiz. He is originally from Columbia (US citizen now). We had a reunion for exchange students in Paris in 2011. We were both Rotary exchange students in Michigan in 1986-87.
REPLY from Bobby: So sorry we missed each other in NYC when my flight got canceled. Thanks for the great shot of you on the Eiffel Tower in Paris!
- EMAIL from Alexander Sellers in Ontario, Canada:
We have moved from the countryside, and are almost settled in! Please adjust your records to reflect our new urban digs, and my preferred email address.
REPLY from Bobby: Thanks, Sandy, for updating your email address. I just lost another friend named Alexander whom I also knew as Sandy, so I couldn't bear to have lost two Sandy's in one month! Btw, I just got a new great-nephew who is named Alexander, and I wonder if he might be called Sandy someday. Note his photo at left.
- EMAIL from brother Paul Matherne and wife Joyce in Opelousas, Louisiana:
Grandchild #7 came into this world this morning, a few days early. Let you know a name when they decide. [later update revealed his name as Alexander Keith Matherne in Alexandria, Virginia] Joyce & Paul
3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:"It Isn't Fair"
Give me your poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free and I will give them taxes, regulations, restrictions, and every manner of unfairness ever created by persons saddled with the illusion that they can decide what is best for someone else's welfare. The individual, like the business professional, knows what's best in a given situation and, given the freedom, will take that action. The forces of coercion are prying open the shell that contains the living muscle and spirit of the American people — will we resist those forces and keep our muscles and spirit alive, free to open at will, or will we give up like the oyster and settle for "freedom on the half shell?" Here is another poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:
It Isn't Fair
The sweet smell of success
has a subliminal lean
SNAP! CRACKLE! POPCORN!
In the marketing business
only dollars are seen.
Demographically designed odorants
waft about retail concourses
PFFFFT! Brand new Cadillac!
Activating our buying muscles
and emptying our purses.
IT ISN'T FAIR, the conscious mind says,
to bypass my total control,
Ain't gonna let no unconscious jazz
mess with my bankroll.
Laws are passed prohibiting smells
from use in increasing sales
MMMmmm! HOMEBAKED BREAD!
The conscious mind can rest content:
for why it buys it has no hint.What kind of perfume didAn industrial nation that doesn't trust
Bridgette Bardot wear
when she wore
nothing at all?
its unconscious mind
Will find itself not boom, but bust,
A decade and a half behind.
4. Ray Bradbury Tells A Non-fiction StoryWhen I was living in Anaheim, California in 1972, my wife attended a lecture at Cal State Fullerton given by Ray Bradbury. He told a story about his growing up in Beverly Hills as a child. He rolled on skating around looking for movie stars to get their autographs, and one day he spotted W. C. Fields leaving the Brown Derby. Skating up to him, Ray asked him, "Mr. Fields! Can I get your autograph?" Fields reached down, took the pen and paper, scribbled his autograph, then handed the paper back to Ray, saying, "There you are, you little son-of-a-bitch!" It was reported, apparently accurately, that W. C. hated dogs and children. Today Ray and W. C. can compare notes as equals in a different world of spirits.
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