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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Joan Rivers (1923 - 2014) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ Famed Comedienne, her own prediction for her last words was this:
"It was a joke. Put down the gun! It was a joke! ARRGH!"
Quoted from Esquire. ~~~~~
WELCOME TO DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#151 January, 2015== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Quote for the Wintery Month of January:
Just look at us. Everything is backwards, everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, psychiatrists destroy minds, scientists destroy truth, major media destroys information, religions destroy spirituality and governments destroy freedom.
— Michael Ellner
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DIGESTWORLDArchived DIGESTWORLD Issues
GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents ISSUE#151 for January, 2015
Table of Contents
1. January's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for January
3. On a Personal Note
Flowers of Shanidar Poems
4. Cajun Story
5. Household Hint for January, 2015 from Bobby Jeaux: Five Vases of Flowers for $12
6. Poem from Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856):
7. Reviews and Articles featured for January:
8. Commentary on the World
- ARJ2: The Gospel of St. Matthew by Rudolf Steiner
- ARJ2: The Memoir of Norbert Slama by Norbert Slama
- ART: The Angels and Us by Mortimer Adler
1. Padre Filius Cartoon
2. Comments from Readers
3. Freedom on the Half Shell Poem
4. Make the Most of Thursday
9. Closing Notes — our mailing list, locating books, subscribing/unsubscribing to DIGESTWORLD
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1. January Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==This month Violet and Joey learn about Google.
For newcomers to DIGESTWORLD, we have created a webpage of all the Violet-n-Joey cartoons!
"Google" at http://www.doyletics.com/images/122414jv.gif
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2. HONORED READERS FOR January:
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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 January, 2015:
Daniel in Basel, Switzerland
Jo Ann Montz in New Orleans
Congratulations, Daniel and Jo Ann!
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3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
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Out Our Way:
No, it didn't snow in December in New Orleans, which it has done at least twice in my memory, instead our Timberlane Country Club imported snow from far off Kenner, machine-made, but icy cold and snowball ready for the kiddies. Del registered the families coming with small children to enjoy the snow and the number of registrations topped all expectations, something over 90. It included a buffet lunch and a special visit from Santa and his lovely elfin assistant Tammy, rolling up on his electric sleigh with a big Ho-Ho-Ho. That night we attended the "Odd Couple" play in the Clubhouse. Might have enjoyed the play more if it hadn't involved a serial game of Trivial Pursuits which I have always deemed to be a trivial pursuit and time-waster.
Due to some bad planning our Patio Planner's Christmas Luncheon at Muriel's was scheduled at the same time as an important Saints game against a division rivalry. Del and I drove to Jackson Square, parked behind Café Du Monde's and were about 20 minutes early. As we were walking along the north side of the Square, I spotted Padre Filius reading a sign, and captured that to share with you this month at the bottom of the Digest here . Then, having extra time, we stopped in the Tabasco Gift shop and met a neat clerk at the counter, Judy from Jackson, Mississippi, who loves it here in New Orleans.Told her my grandson Gabe's story where at five years old he was mumbling something under his mother's bed while she was sitting on the bed typing in her computer. She asked him what he was doing and he said, "I'm saying all my 'under-the-bed' words." "What do you mean, Gabe?" she asked. "Daddy told me that if I wanted to say these words, I needed to say them under the bed." I was inspired to tell this story to the clerk because, right across from her counter, there was a bin full of "Dammit Dolls!" — small rag-filled dolls meant to be thrown or stepped on while saying Dammit! Speaking of which, one of those dolls would have been useful for us later while watching the second half of the Saints game back at home: It was a GIANT BLOW OUT! No Dammit Doll would have survived that game! The Saints blew their chances for a Division Championship by repeated turnovers and bad play. When, later in the month, I saw a large bow tie in the Saints' Black and Gold colors, I couldn't resist getting a photo and modifying the words GIANT BOW to GIANT BLOW which summarizes the Saints season for 2014. You can see it here.
Judy at the Tabasco Shop enjoyed the Gabe story so much I also shared another one with her. Gabe was in nursery school, about 4 years old, and when Maureen, his mother came to pick him up, the lady who answered the door was laughing so hard, she couldn't catch her breath. Maureen said, "It's Gabe again, huh?" The lady nodded and finally said, "We were singing Christmas carols when Gabe asked to be excused to go to the rest room. We could hear him singing through the door, 'Jingle Bells. . . uhn uhn . . . Jingle Bells . . . uhn uhn . . .'"
We got to Muriel's a few minutes early after leaving the Shop and they sat us in the bar area. Just as I was wondering how we might find our friends David and Maddie they arrived at our table for drinks. We went upstairs and got ourselves a table for the brunch. David and I sat together and enjoyed talking to each other as the girls talked also. We decided that since neither of us had ever been to Perlis' Clothing Store uptown, we'd plan to do so together during the holiday season. David knows how to tie a bow tie and promised to show me how to. I was just telling David how to increase your chances of winning a prize in a drawing by bending your ticket stub before putting it into the hat, which I never had a chance to do on this day, when they called my number and I won a Saints Wreath for the door prize! That was fortuitous because our current Saints Wreath was needing replacement.It was also a surprise as our neighbor Connie had made us a Black and Gold Saints' wreath out of large okra pods which she and Don had picked from our veggie garden a couple of summers ago while we were away on a long cruise. Those painted black and gold okra were beginning to fall away from the backing and a new wreath is now hanging there. Frankly I would have been happier to have a Saints Win instead of a Wreath on this day.
In a curious twist of fate, our Saints who had been nearly invincible at home the previous season, lost five straight home games this year while winning four straight away games. At least the away game streak has been broken and perhaps, you know, next year, some balance will be restored.
BUSTED, LEAKING, AND DARK
The day started off horribly with my being told by Earthlink Support that my Urchin logs, which I have depended on for 15 years to record the readership of my website and DIGESTWORLD Issues, have been discontinued. That lugubrious news put me in a minor depressed mode most of the day. So to cheer myself up, I made a large seafood gumbo. As I was fixing the gumbo the garbage disposal broke. Where's that DAMMIT DOLL when I need it? The disposal hummed but its blades didn't move. I located my wooden handle mop (Have you noticed that wooden handles are disappearing from mops and brooms?) Finally got disposal blades to move with broom handle. The super unstick BUSTER button on the disposal didn't help this time. But after I got the blades to move, the motor no longer hummed when turned on, indicating either the motor gave up the ghost or the disposal or house breaker had tripped. Checked the garage box, nothing tripped. The red RESET Button on the disposal had never come out. So, I figured we'd need a new Disposal. No problem, we usually put all organic matter in our Biodynamic mulch bed, so we can live for a few weeks without a disposal. But after we ate supper, big problem: Del started the dishwasher and water began pouring out from under the sink, the white plastic drain pipes had become separated during my assault on the stuck disposal blades. She called Home Shield and placed two calls: fix our dishwasher (doesn't dry dishes) and fix our disposal. Since the ice maker drains into the same pipes as sink, dishwasher, and disposal, I re-attached the white drain pipes and duct taped them, placing a large pan to catch any drips.
The next morning my Urchin logs were back working and have remained so even though Google, who bought Urchin, is ignoring the statistics package. I suspect Earthlink got enough flack that their techs are keeping Urchin working. The Google Analytics which are supposed to replace Urchin simply is too slow and provides stuff I don't need while obscuring the stuff I do need, if it's available! When it takes a minute after a click for a response, there's not enough time in the world to run through a large maze of possibilities where every turn takes a minute! So far so good by the end of the year. Wish me luck.
Sears repairman came to troubleshoot the dishwasher. We thought a heating element was burnt out causing dishes to have water drops on them, but he found a blower fan broken as the cause. Plus three other parts that would be hard to find. Later the Warranty folks called to ask me a question about the dishwasher. I walked to kitchen and back and they had another question. 7 trips later back and forth to my workstation, they were done. I figure they wanted to know about features on current dishwasher for an exact replacement. They sent us an email with the Model of the replacement, but it was only available in Black, just like the original one which it replaces. Great! I thought, being only a man and thus thinking like a man. Well, it seems that the lady of the house wants a brushed Stainless front to match the ice maker and the cabinets knobs (which are white now, but will soon be stainless). So, back to the drawing board. I decided to go top-of-the-line with the Stainless front model, choosing the most expensive one, and we'll pay a few hundred more to have that one installed with its 40-plus jets and retractable shelves and what not. Dishwashers are to women like automobiles are to men, so husbands, beware when time to replace a kitchen appliance comes around for you. An identical model might not be acceptable.
The garbage disposal also needed replacement and the repair man had one in his truck. The old Kitchen-Aid was replaced by a Waste King disposal of the same size. The new disposal is manufactured in Anaheim, California on La Palma Street, within a few miles of where I lived off Brookhurst and Katella. Good to have a new disposal from my former home town. I have replaced garbage disposals in my time, but I was so glad that I didn't attempt it this time. The guy said it was the most difficult disposal to remove in his 14 years experience. After he was gone, I looked under the now cleared out under-sink area and saw where I might place a single shelf to reduce the floor clutter that had accumulated over 5 years. Couldn't find one by going to Bed, Bath, and beyond, but did find a surplus shelf behind a little-used door upstairs in one bath, and four screws later, I was installing it in place under the sink. We're still waiting for the new dishwasher to arrive to be installed which should happen early in 2015.
Our bathrooms have had busted and leaking problems that have taken over a month to get fixed. Dripping faucets for Del's and the Powder Room's lavatory, plus the bidet faucet needed repair. That has now been done. The toilet seat in the master bath has developed a 1/8 inch crack in one side and we're waiting for that replacement. Plus the flapper valve in toilet is leaking, causing a waste of water when it refills between flushes several times a day. We're also waiting for the ghost flushing problem to be fixed early next year.
One more busted item during this month, my camera. It is my vademecum and goes everywhere with me in my right front pocket and remains with me until I switch into bedclothes. One night, I was wearing some nice thick Orvis socks which can double as slippers, and I made a quick trip to the kitchen involving a 90-degree turn around the fridge when my improvised slippers slipped! It was like slipping on a ice-covered walkway and I went down on my right side, abashed but not bashed up, mostly my pride was bruised. Plus, the future fun of sliding on our wood floors in those slippery socks had to be foregone from now on. Too bad. The next day I turned on my camera to take a photo and the only view finder was dark and remained so. It had been damaged during my slip by the fridge. As I inspected the viewfinder, I found signs of cracks in the 3" wide LCD window. I need that camera for some photography work in January, so I ordered a replacement camera from Amazon on a Saturday morning, paying $12 extra for 2-day delivery, and at 8:30 on Monday morning it was delivered. In case you wonder whether the 2-day delivery is worth it, you now have some data that it will get to you, even across a Sunday, in two days! Later in the day, I noticed my view screen was partially operational, the outside borders were dark as was the upper left corner, and these dark areas acted like a black Gothic spider-web framing the image. The photos were okay, only the view finder and I was able to take photos of our Matherne family weekend at Timberlane with the original camera. Just in case, I pulled out my larger Canon with the shoulder strap and shot some photos with it. I searched and found the warranty for the first camera and will return it for repair in the new year. It will become my back up camera from now on, probably I will switch from one to the other every month or so.
Being a writer, I always keep two Parker Jotter ballpoint pens with me at all times, in case one of them runs out of ink. Being a photographer, I always keep two cameras with backup memory sticks and batteries at the ready, and now I'll have a spare at home in case one needs to be sent off for repair. Yes, I have a Blackberry Smartphone which takes great photos, but its zooming, Macro, and resolution is a pale shadow of what my Sony HX50V can done with its 20.2 mega-pixels and 30X optical zoom, among its many other features that I'm only now beginning to exploit.
When Porter-Stevens, an upscale men's clothing store went out of business, I didn't pay much attention. Store by store closed until there was just one left open the Lakeside Shopping Center, and I happened to be walking past it the last week it was open. So we went in and I was shopping for bargains. I found an Italian designed vest with bright colorful masks all over it and placed it on the counter. I bought a couple of other things, and asked the clerk if I could see that black cummerbund and bow-tie set up on a top shelf. It originally sold for $240, pure silk, with half-inch high gold fleur-de-lis figures on it, the Saints logo. I wanted it, but even the $100 price seemed too high for me, so he put it back up on that high shelf while I continued to shop around. As I was checking out with my selections, the clerk caught my eye wandering up the top shelf and said, "Take it home for $60."Well, how could I say no? But it's $29 vest that I bought that day which has drawn raves when I wear it during Christmas time (See above photo of Bobby with Wreath). Usually I get about 6 or so comments every gathering. "Great vest!" "Love the vest" etc. At a birthday party for Phil Mollere and Don Martin one night, I was accosted by Bruce Hill, a friend of Don's from Wisconsin, who said, "I want that vest." Bruce looked like he was ready to tear it away. Improvising, I said in reply, "There's a silent auction for it starting at $500 and there's already two bids placed on it." He laughed, and we became friends. I told the story of how I got the vest and he told me a bunch of stories about Wisconsin.
The day of that birthday party was busy for us. We went on the Home Tour Uptown. Walking over sidewalks as treacherous as an Alpine hiking trail at times (concrete walkways made hilly by live oak roots), we walked up to one house to find an old friend Jimmy Farenholtz checking our tickets.After the tour we came back home because Del's brother Dan and his wife Karen were coming for a short visit before they headed back home to Charlotte. They've bought a home in New Orleans area north of the lake and are soon to be selling their home in North Carolina. After Dan and Karen left we dressed for Phil and Don's birthday party.
A TALE OF TWO CHRISTMAS CAROLS
By Dickens, Del and I have four kids each from our first marriage, and in 37 years we have had all eight of our kids together with us for Christmas about 3 or 4 times. As our grandkids get up into their teens and twenties, getting just her four or my four together has been problematic. So we opt for separate Matherne and Hatchett weekend Christmas celebrations. Two smaller celebrations in place of one larger one.
My three daughters came to Timberlane for the weekend before Christmas and Del's three sons met at their older sister's home for the post-Christmas celebration. This is the first Christmas in a long time where one of our grandkids is pregnant. It is Katie Upton who is expecting her first child in April about the time of Del's birthday. It will be Del's first genetic great-grandchild and will be a welcome addition to our extended family. Katie and Stephen have bought and moved into their first home, both have jobs around Alexandria, Katie as school teacher, Stephen in the forest industry. Their home is on the edge of the Kisatchie Forest and Stephen can enjoy hunting and fishing on his 22 acres abutting their home. We drove to their home the night before the celebration in Alexandria because she and Stephen were flying out on a holiday trip to Maryland the next day.
My two girls came in from Texas, Carla from Beaumont and Yvette from Bellaire. Yvette brought her two with her, but Carla's two were with their dad that weekend. Ever saw a fractal design with all its twists and turns? Well, take a family with multiple remarriages and schedules for the holidays are as complicated as the simplest fractal design.
Yvette and Greg came in first the evening before the celebration and arrived on Greg's birthday. We had a decorated chocolate Doberge cake ready and sang Happy Birthday for him. The next day we arranged for Greg and his son Aidan to play 18 holes on our golf course. I had made a large Redfish Courtbouillon for the weekend and by the time the large crew left Monday morning, Del and I had only one serving left for us.
Two of Maureen's kids came for the Saturday celebration, Jennifer and Gabe. Chris was shoring up Sandy-damaged homes in New Jersey, and Jennifer's husband Anthony was working on their new home, and Gabe's girl-friend Erin came along. Erin fit right in and I got reports that she had a big bowl of courtbouillon and enjoyed it.
My two daughters Yvette and Carla came with me shopping on Saturday afternoon for some last minute gifts for Del (which they are a big help to me in selecting items) and gifts for themselves. An after-Yoga wrap suited the two girls. When we arrived back home, Maureen had come and Del made some spaghetti for the courtbouillon as the rice had been all eaten away and Jay's daughter Trinity liked spaghetti and butter which left more courtbouillon for the rest of us.Jay is Maureen's guy and he had a ball taking selfies with his cell phone. Even gave each of us a selfie unicorn extension which allowed for long-armed selfies. It has a button on handle which can trigger the camera via a Blue Tooth wifi connection. Plus he had an app in his phone which could move the faces from one person to the next. When Jay did a photo of Erin and Gabe on the sofa in our Living Room the white Female Statue was recognized as a face and went onto Gabe's body, Gabe's onto Erin's body, and Erin's face replaced the white statuette's face! The result was as ridiculous as it was unexpected, as you can imagine. Take a look. That night a Christmas Parade passed in front of our house. About five floats with a Santa Claus on one of them. My kids asked me how long this parade tradition had gone on, and all I could say is, "This is the first time."
We exchanged presents, ate Doberge cake, courtbouillon, oatmeal cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and had a great time. On Sunday, Yvette's gang headed back home to prepare for a post-Christmas snow-boarding trip in New Mexico. Carla and Pat left to have lunch with Jay and Maureen, and we stayed home to watch the Saints play. Burke Fountain and Candy came over with reindeer antlers on their heads to join us in watching the game, only to see the Saints lose another game in the Dome where they had been invincible until this year. Likely they will go to Tampa and whip the Bucs handily, but small consolation for the Saints missing the playoffs so narrowly in the Dumpster full of stinking teams known as NFC South. Carla and Patrick later came with us to go caroling in Jackson Square. They were interested in seeing into the homes we walked past and got to do just that when arrived at the pre-caroling party at John and Sandra's on Burgundy Street. We walked along St. Ann Street to the Square and found a place next to the Fountain where we could sit while waiting for the caroling to start. We were supplied with a candle and a carol booklet and we supplied our own voices in song. If ever you could sing at the top of your lungs, this was it! We knew the lyrics, the atmosphere of light candles in the open park full of singers, the St. Louis Cathedral towering over us, all this made for a truly festive and joyful Christmas evening.At one point Del and I both stopped singing just to listen to the mellifluous chorus of conjoined voices flowing over, through, and into us.
After the caroling we decided to forgo Café du Monde's beignet and café au lait because of the crowd and head for Morning Call Coffee Stand in City Park. On the way down Esplanade Avenue, I suddenly remembered it's Christmas time! The Christmas in the Oaks celebration would be in full swing and it would take two hours of creeping traffic to get to Morning Call, so I swerved left onto Carrollton to avoid the Oaks traffic and veered into a parking place at the oldest Ice Cream Parlor in New Orleans, Brocato's, founded 1905. We quickly got a table near the entrance, and because it was cold out I got a café latte, Del a café au lait, I got strawberry cheesecake and Del the vanilla bean gelato cups. Carla the tiramisu, not sure what Patrick got, but it was a wonderful refreshing stop after our caroling experience. and we enjoyed winding down a long, wonderful day together. The next morning Patrick and I headed for PJ's as Carla and Del headed for yoga together.
For me and Del it was quiet time for a few days, time to let the house stop vibrating from all the company, to open our presents for each other, to enjoy some time together just the two of us. We never left the house on Christmas Day and found some marvelous seasonal programs to watch in the Screening Room at night. One was the PBS special about the Christmas Bomber who brought joy to Post-WII German waifs by dropping candy bars tied to handkerchief parachutes. The best with the colorized version of "It's a Wonderful Life" which anchored our Christmas night entertainment.
The day after Christmas it was time to get the car loaded up with the presents for the Alexandria Christmas celebration at our daughter Kim's house. Her brother Jim is driving in with his family from Dallas, John from Baton Rouge, and Stoney from Mandeville.We left about noon on Saturday because we planned to have dinner with my brother Paul and his wife Joyce at Prejean's that night. The traffic was light and even with our stopping for a light lunch in Gonzales, we arrived early and spent some time with Paul and Joyce before going to dinner. Paul had just finished carving a red Cardinal standing on a piece of driftwood, and Joyce had gotten a big box of Opelousas sweet potatoes which she gave us some to try. Seems Opelousas is known as the Sweet Potato Capitol. Can't wait to bake these suckers. We drove over to Prejean's and enjoyed a wonderful Cajun dinner. Del and I shared the two serving appetizer selection known as Quelque Choses (kake shows) which means "various things" including crawfish boudain balls, fried alligator tails, popcorn crawfish, etal. Watching over us was the Santa Gator with his Santa Cap and a red Christmas stocking hooked on his front tooth. Eating in Prejean's dining room is like eating outdoors in a Cajun swamp without the mosquitos snacking on your ears.
We drove next to Katie and Stephen's home south of Alexandria and there were our grandkids, Thomas and Weslee Gralapp just getting ready to leave. Laurel Joseph, Weslee's girl was also there.After Katie's two brothers left we opened up presents, one of which was a Peek-A-Boo bear for Katie for her soon-to-be son. It talks, pulls the handkerchief in front of its face, then drops it, saying peek-a-boo! Got a video of Katie's reaction to the antics of the bear. We left for our daughter Kim's house where we had to drop off the shrimp potato salad and the Honey-Baked ham to put in the fridge overnight. After a short visit we head to a Comfort Inn and hit the sack. Another full day awaited us on the morrow.
Wes Gralapp was cooking a large gumbo and the food and gifts began arriving with the boys and their family. Jim, Gina, and Kirt arrived, followed shortly by John, Kim, and their three boys, Jacob, Collin, and Kyle.Then came Stoney, Sue, and Sam, followed by Bill Hatchett the father of the gang with his wife Carol. Everyone ate their fill and soon Wes's large den was filled with the sounds of wrapping paper being ripped open and presents being inspected, tried on, played with, and tested. After the dust settled, Del, Kim, and others went to see "Unbroken" at the cinema and Wes and I settled in to watch the New Orleans Pelicans game on TV and visit.
Del and I left for our room at the inn and I realized that I didn't have my hat with me. I could have left it at Pitt Grill after breakfast that morning, so we stopped there but they didn't have it. It could have been at Kim's and we called to find it was there, together with other stuff I had saved in my hat.During the marauding force of gift givers and gift openers, my hat had gotten moved to the darkest place in aisle between kitchen and den. Kim moved it to the carport where we could pick it up the next morning on the way home.
It's December 30 as I type these notes. The LSU game in the Music City Bowl starts in about 20 minutes, followed by a Pelicans NBA game. Last night LSU beat Univ. of Sou. Miss in basketball to run its record up to 10-2 and garner itself some public recognition. But the SEC schedule starts soon and that will tell the tale of how far into the post-season this talented young Tiger team might go. Football is on the wane with the Saints out of the playoffs, and LSU Baseball is looming ahead of us in early February. 2015 should be another banner year for the LSU sports team, and a new 2010s decade College World Series Banner hung from Alex Box Stadium on Nicholson Drive would look real nice to Tiger Fans.
WELL, AS WE LIKE TO SAY, EVERY GOOD THING MUST COME TO A NEW BEGINNING, SO TOO WITH 2014 ! ! ! ENJOY SOME NEW YEAR'S FIREWORKS BY CLICKING HERE.
SO UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN IN THESE PAGES IN 2015, WE WISH YOU A HAPPY NEW YEAR AND ALL THE BEST THAT LIFE CAN OFFER.IMPORTANT MESSAGE:
For the second year in a row, December has been a month of frigid winter weather, Brrr! ! ! An early freeze turned our Bald Cypress trees a golden orange-brown and our Crepe Myrtles and other deciduous trees into a colorful Fall display. Color that we usually get only a taste of in January or February in sub-tropical New Orleans. Our snow on the mountain camellias are in full bloom across the East Portico, dropping white leaves which look like snow on the ground at their base.
Having survived a spate of Christmas and Birthday parties, we're ready to welcome in 2015 into our hearts and lives with all the good things it has in store for us, God Willing. Remember your Teen Years? If you do, may you consider these as your new Teen Years as we enter the mid-Teens of the first Century of the new Millennium. So until we will next see you in these pages in the February, 2015 DIGESTWORLD Issue, whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, Remember our slogan for the NEW YEAR:
MAY YOUR WORLD BE PEACEFUL AND SERENE IN TWENTY-FIFTEEN ! ! !
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PHOTO CAPTIONS (CURSOR FLYOVER ISSUE RESOLVED):If you have been enjoying the photos in DIGESTWORLD, but have wondered who or what you were looking at, you will now be able to hold your cursor still over the photo and the photo's description will appear. (Test on Butterfly-Crab Image at Right.) We spend a lot of time writing these photo captions and hope you will read them. All the Archived Issues have been updated to provide descriptions when your cursor rests for a second on a photo. Note that older Reviews have not been updated. If you haven't finished reading text when description disappears, move cursor away and back on photo to finish. We thank you for your patience and hope this pleases you.
- New Stuff on Website:
- For some fun, Google this phrase below.Festina lente Butterfly of Paolo Giovio
Click on Images, scan all the way down and see how images you recognize.
How does this happen? It's a googledox. What's a googledox? It refers to a paradoxical set of responses to a Google request. I just coined the word googledox on this date: December 4, 2014. These interesting results came up as I Googled the first five words in the Descriptive Text of the Crab-Butterfly above right, making this the first ever googledox. ©2014 Bobby Matherne
Look at this new Tidbit on the Tidbits Page:
When someone has only ONE job to, how can they not get it right? Click on this new Tidbit
to see some egregious examples. Thanks to Jeff Parsons for sending this Tidbit along on December 18, 2014 to DIGESTWORLD! ! !
From Flowers of Shanidar, A 1990 Book of Poetry by Bobby Matherne
In 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. (Note: scientists with no apparent interest in the evolution of consciousness have tried to evaporate away the meaning of these pollen grains. I pity them.)
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 a poem or two each month until all poems have been published on-line. (Flowers drawn by Artist Maureen Grace Matherne) The rest of the five poems come from Bobby's 1995 book of poetry, Rainbows & Shadows, all of which will be published for the first time on-line.
1. Chapter: Hollyhocks
I knew the fire was the source of light
though I cannot tell you why.
I knew the earth was cold to touch at night
though I cannot tell you why.
I saw the birds fly through the air
and I can tell you why.
I felt the fish swim in the sea
and I can tell you why.
I was created in a flash of fire
when sperm and egg combined
I floated in my mother's womb
and felt the beating of her heart.
I touched the bed sheets of my bassinet
and longed for my former home.
I dreamed of flying winglessly
over land and sea.
I knew my touch and felt my thoughts
well up inside of me.
Some questions have true answers and some
questions have false answers,
But some questions have both
true and false answers.
For example: "Is a navel orange appropriately named?"
1. The answer yes, or it’s true because it has a structure which resembles a human navel.
2. The answer is no, it’s false because the named structure on the orange is on the opposite side of the orange from its analogous umbilical cord — its stem.
Many questions illuminate only one facet of a situation — the facet with which the questioner is concerned. Thus the reason for cross-examination in court cases: to provide the other side an opportunity to fashion questions that illuminate its version of the case.
Even with cross-examination, only two sides of the situation are illuminated.
3. Chapter: RainbowsThis month, as we near the completion of Bobby's first book of Poetry, Flowers of Shanidar, we continue with a poem from the Rainbows Chapter of his second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). This month we read:Free For All
When I learned about freedom,
I learned that I wanted to pay
full price for everything I bought.
When I learned about freedom,
I learned that anything you get for free
is worth less than the price you pay for it.
When I learned about freedom,
I learned that free roads
are very expensive.
When I learned about freedom,
I learned that free lunches
are the most expensive lunches there are.
4. Chapter: Shadows
This month, as we near the completion of Bobby's first book of Poetry, Flowers of Shanidar,
we continue with a poem from the Shadows Chapter of his second book of Poetry,
Rainbows & Shadows (1995).
This month we read
Ex Post Facto
Next time you think of voting, ask yourself these questions.
What percentage of the people would have voted for:
...sailing to India with Columbus?
...going to the moon?
What percentage of the people would have voted for inventing:
...a heavier-than-air flying machine?
...an AC electric generator?
...a microwave oven?
...a XEROX machine?
...an electronic computer?
Only after a person with single-minded conviction
makes the essence of a personal vision
manifest in physical reality
is it possible to vote for the endeavor.
Such is the nature of discovery.
Such is the nature of invention.
Such is the nature of democracy.
5. Chapter: Violets
Wildflower No. 10
I found myself upon the steps
The rain was starting to come down
Walking so briskly to the top
I did not pause to look around.
At the top of Chichen-itza
There's no place to eat your pizza
Or to sit down off your feetsa.
Once in a row is enough, they say
Once in a row is enough.
How can I say "Oops" every day
If once in a row is enough.
When life's getting to be a chore
And the road looks like it did before
Say out loud, "There'll be no more,
Cause once in a row is enough."
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.Hits (Watch as soon as you can. A Don't Miss Hit is one you might otherwise have missed along the way.):
P. S. Ask for Blu-Ray movies from NetFlix, and if it says DVD in your Queue, click and select Blu-Ray version.“The Expendables 3” (2014) are becoming unexpendable with this sequel. All the big action stars converge in this one and Stallone stands above them all, offering an expressive twitch of the nose in place of words. Kelsey Grammar only one could get a rise of Rocky. A lot to enjoy in this well-made and well-scripted movie. A DON’T MISS HIT, in fact a whole slew of don’t miss Hits!
"The Promise" (2013) about a young man who moves into his boss's home in the new 20th Century and falls in love with boss's wife. "Why should we deny our pleasure while we're still alive?" they ask each other. Will this unrequited love ever find fulfillment? Worth the wait to find out.
“What If” (2014) a boy meets a girl and girl goes back to her boy friend? That wouldn’t be this movie which breaks a lot of expectations for romantic comedy, like starring Harry Potter as a heterosexual. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
"The Hour" Season 1 (2011) BBC series on 1950s attempt to revolutionize news ala 60 Minutes. Written with 2014 grammar quirks, but otherwise interesting retro view of a quantum leap in news-making and background look at espionage work. A DON’T MISS HIT ! !
"The Hour" Season 2 (2012) great BBC series about 60 Minutes-type news program set in 1950s, there's "hope at the last hour". A DON'T MISS HIT ! !
"When the Game Stands Tall" (2014) and the players stand tall for the team, the coach stands tall for the high school. Best ever movie about football and an amazing coach who won 151 games in a row. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Magic in the Moonlight" (2104) He could expose all her tricks except how she made him fall in love with her. A DON'T MISS HIT!
"Begin Again" (2014) "Are we all lost stars trying to light up the dark?" is the movie's unanswered question to ponder.
"Age of Innocence" (1993) Wharton's Archer is a prisoner in an armed camp of society. (See also DW#54)
"The Hour" Season 2 (2011) great BBC series about 60 Minutes-type news program set in 1950s, there's "hope at the last hour". A DON'T MISS HIT ! !
"Bad Words" (2014) a tour de force by first-time director and star Jason Bateman as the 40-something contestant in the National Spelling Bee. The Maguffin is why he's doing it. This is the Spelling Bee with a Sting! "I feel the opposite of bad wordy right now." "Why run from fire ants?" Facetious? Ask me, I'm yours! A DON'T MISS HIT! ! ! !
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.“Coldwater” (2014) Boot camp for juvies turns into Lord of the Flies nightmare. FUGGETTABUTIT.
"Chef" (2014) tried to watch this all-atwitter movie and gave up.
Your call on these — your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:"Are You Here" (2014) Ben (Zack G.) And Steve (Owen W.) are best friends from childhood who have to cope with life in a sober state. Owen Wilson in another engimatic role.
"The Congress" (2014) Robin Wright went way Wrong, slipped into a cartoon and carried the world with her.
"Saving Grace B. Jones (2009) "The hard thing about being crazy is you can't do crazy things anymore," Grace said before she went home.
"I'll Follow You Down" (2014) Elon's dad skips in his Tardis-machine to talk to 1946 Einstein, but gets killed by a mugger. Son learns how to build his own Tardis but refuses to use it till his mother commits suicide. Now, he's willing to risk his life to restore his family's life to wholeness. May make the ultimate sacrifice.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Le Boudreaux Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==When Marie was a young single woman, she was very religious. One day after meeting Boudreaux, she went to Confession. When the priest slid open the window, she began, "Forgive me, Father for Ah have sinned."
The priest said, "Confess your sins, my child. I will give you absolution, you will do penance, and you will be forgiven."
Marie said, "Last night my new boyfriend made mad, passionate love to me seven times."
The priest looked carefully at Marie and paused. After thinking a long time, he gave Marie absolution, and then said, "For your penance, squeeze seven lemons into a glass and then drink all the juice."
Marie said, "Merci beaucoup, Father, but told me something, will this penance cleanse me of mah sins?"
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5. Household Hint for January, 2015 from Bobby Jeaux from Bobby Jeaux:
(click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =Five Vases of Flowers for $12
Background on Flower Arranging on a Budget:
When I decided to begin working as a writer at home in 1995, I needed to do some things which took me out of the house during the week. My club on Thursdays nights came me a chance to don my suit and tie for lectures and PJ's Coffeeshop became my break room. Del was still working so I took over the grocery-buying chores which allowed me to choose what I wanted to cook during the week when I shopped. I like having fresh flowers around the house and a bowl full of fresh fruit. The Fruit Bowl became a weekly task for me, cleaning out the bowl and arranging the fresh fruit in the bowl along with polishing the apples to a new shine.The other task was arranging flowers. I was from the put the whole bunch in a vase school until I read and absorbed the lessons of "Zen in the Art of Flower Arranging" by Gustie L. Herrigel. By trial and error I disoovered the virtues of alstromeria stems. I could buy two packages of about 6 stems plus a package of baby's breath white blooms for $12. Originally I'd buy some decorative wax fern leaves, but eventually I discovered that the leaves off our variegated pittosporum were excellent and long-lasting greens to provide the base for a flower arrangment. (Rosie Harris taught me this one year when she explained how to cut them so they would stay fresh.)
One every week or two, I buy the three packs of flowers and use them in 4 to 6 vases, which I place in Del's dressing area, the Living Room, Kitchen, and an alcove between LR and Dining Room. The alstromerias have the wonderful feature that they will last about 10 days to two weeks without wilting, drooping, or dropping their leaves. Some stems will continue to look beautiful after all the water is gone from the vase; they become dried flowers.
IngredientsLook in your supermarket floral area and speak to the Floral Manager about what you want. Two packs of color-coordinated Alstromeria stems. Make sure the green leaves on the stems are not wilted. If you wish the flowers for a special occasion a few days away, ask for some from the refrigeration unit whose blooms are not quite open yet. They will open fully in three days. You want white Baby's Breath blooms with no flowers or greens mixed in them, especially if you have access to pittosporum or other greens at home. Also avoid the dyed Baby's Breath and insist on only white.
One pack of White Baby's Breath flowers
Two packs of Alstromeria stems
One bunch of freshly cut Pittsosporum branches
Baby's Breath: First tear away package and cut at least 1" off stems. Carefully pull the stems apart without damaging the tiny stems of the flowers. If one small stem bends, cut it away, but save it as you may have use for it in a small vase. Place each stem into a separate bowl of water as you separate them.
Alstromeria stems: Remove package and cut at least 1" off stems. Separate the stems carefully. Take each stem and with your index finger and thumb held against the stem, slid that hand down to remove all the green leaves below the flowers. These will dissolve quickly and being smelling, so keep green leaves above the water line of each vase. Place each stem in a water-filled bowl as you separate them. Avoid letting their blooms get intertangled again so choose a large mouth bowlPittsosporum branches: Rosie Harris explained that I should choose pittosporum branches that are old branches. You can tell new ones by the shiny gloss and bright green color. See Photo inside white circles are the bright green leaves. While these may look pretty, they will wilt in just a day or so. So choose the matte sheen older one leaves. Choose a long enough stem to fit in your average vase size, and many leaves will have shorter stems. On the long stems, use your index and thumb to quickly slide down the stem removing any leaves that might go below the water line. Your efforts in removing these lower leaves will be repaid by the longevity of the flower arrangement in the vase.
You are now ready to begin arranging your flowers and greens in a vase. Plan to use one or two stems of alstros and the same for Baby's Breath and pittosporum branches.
Use whatever order makes sense to you. I usually put the greenery, then the white Baby's Breath, then the Alstromeria stems. Always line up the Alstro stems alongside the vase it's going into and snip the stem so that the flowers will be the height you wish them to be. Remember the stems must be barren of any leaves. Slide the stem so that is is secured (held erect) by the white Baby's Breath and pittosporum branches and leaves. Adjust the white BB's to highlight the colorful Alstros without hiding their color. The greenery should be below and/or behind the flowers.
Look at the final four vases and the Lady Vase (at top of this seciton) to see an example of how you can arrange your flowers. We have a special Flower Arranging table with a tiled top to hold all the materials and tools while arranging the flowers. Aim to get a table or reserve a space like this for your use.Other options
We keep one large vase which looks nice in a walk-through from the Living Room to Dining Room and has an alcove on each side with three-sides of mirrored walls which reflect the large vase's flower arrangement quite well. It's also convenient to have a vase large enough to hold the "leftover stems" after all the smaller vases are arranged. To do this, make sure you only cut the stems of alstros heading directly into a smaller vase because the large vase (ours is anyway) requires the full length of the stem after the first 1" is cut off.
If the flower wrap of the package contains a packet of flower food, open it right away and fill the bowl into which you will later place the alstromerias after you have cut the 1" off its stem. The reason for cutting 1" is because some flower stems dry out and will not take up water unless a fresh cut is made.
ROSES, in particular, have stems which dry so fast, you MUST CUT THE STEMS UNDERWATER in the vase they are meant to end up. This sounds tricky, but remember, the cut stems will float and can be easily removed. A sharp scissors can do the job, making a slataed cut which is better because a larger area is available to suck up water. Sometimes if the floral area has sold all its Baby Breaths, I will buy one or several inexpensive single rose displays and incorporate the Baby Breaths and roses into an alstromeria arrangement, cutting the rose stems underwater after I move them into their final vase.
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6. POEM translated by BOBBY from Heinrich Heine(1797 - 1856):
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =German Title: Das Meer erglänzte weit hinausThe sea reflecting far and wide
The last beams of eventide,
You and I sat in a solitary fishing hut,
silent and alone.
A mist was rising, the tide coming in,
A seagull sailing to and fro,
And from your love-filled eyes
came dripping down your tears.
I saw them falling in your lap,
And sinking upon my knees
I sipped away the tears
from your lily-white hands.
Since then my body is wasting away,
My soul aching from longing,
All of me sickened, stricken by your tears,
Dear, dear forlorn one.
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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for January:
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For our Good Readers, here are the reviews and articles featured this month. The first review this month was published in an early DIGESTWORLD ISSUE and the last one never published in DW. These full reviews will be of interest to our new Good Readers. The rest of the items will be new additions to the top of A Reader's Journal, Volume 2, Chronological List, new additions to A Reader's Treasury, or Essays previously unpublished.
NOTE: some Blurbs may be condensations of long Reviews, possibly lacking footnotes and some quoted passages. For your convenience, if you wish to read the full review or to print it out, simply CLICK on the Book Cover or choose Printer Ready option on the top line of a review page when it opens.
1.) ARJ2: The Gospel of St. Matthew by Rudolf Steiner
In The Gospel of St. Luke Steiner does a detailed comparison of the two Gospels of Luke and Matthew, showing how the apparent contradictory stories of Jesus reveal a deeper truth of two Jesuses, the Matthew Jesus descended from the kingly Solomon line and the Luke Jesus descended from the priestly Nathaniel line. Steiner begins this book with a comparison of the four Gospels as summarized in the Table below:
Here's what Steiner says about the other three Gospels:
[page 22] The Gospel of St. John reveals to us the magnitude of the wisdom of Christ Jesus; the Gospel of St. Luke, the power of his love. When we study the Gospel of St. Mark, the picture will primarily be one of might, of the creative Powers permeating the universe in all their glory.
But the Gospel of Matthew is different - it is filled with the elements of the other three Gospels as shown in the Table. These three Gospels focus individually on warmth, splendor, and hope, and, although Matthew covers all three elements, its primary focus is on the humanness of Christ Jesus as a person one can approach, can "stand on a level with."
[page 22] In a certain respect the Gospel of Matthew is like a commentary on the other Gospels. It clarifies to some extent what otherwise is often beyond the reach of human understanding and once we realize this, great illumination is shed upon the nature of the other Gospels.
In its focus on humanity, this Gospel leads us to view the birth of Jesus through the eyes of the three Magi following their Star. To set the stage for this event, Steiner takes us back to Zarathustra's time some 6,000 years before Christ. The historical "Zarathustra" who lived 600 years before Christ, Steiner calls Zarathas. This incarnation of Zarathustra's Ego founded the mystery school that taught the men of wisdom who came to be called variously "Kings" or "Magi" during the time of Jesus's birth.
Epoch/Gospel 4/Matthew 6/Luke 5/Mark 7/John Deals with Physical/Etheric Astral/Ego Sun Spirit Logos - Soul of Sun Spirit Reveals Commentary Love Might Wisdom
At the time of the original Zarathustra, the Eurasian world was divided into two modes of thought, and each one had a different basis for dealing with the fall of humanity from the spiritual plane of existence into the physical plane. The southerners in the region now known as India held that the physical world was an illusion or maya, and for them the real world, the spiritual world, could only be reached by contemplation. The northerners, who lived in the regions north of India into Siberia, took a different view: they still possessed the old clairvoyance which enabled them to see into the spiritual world directly. They balanced their spiritual perception with their material perception to create a new intellectual thinking. The northern-most people were nomads, wanderers living off the land, depending on their spiritual perceptions to lead them to the next place to live - these were called Turanians. The more southern of the northern peoples, who lived in the area East and South of the Caspian Sea, were called Iranians. They desired to settle in one place and to apply their knowledge of spiritual forces to the transformation of Nature. In these two people we can see the primordial model of the cowman and the farmer as it was played out in the American West in recent times.
In the legend of Djemjid, the King of the North received a golden dagger from his God and went to the South where the first primitive inventions of humankind were formed to create what we know as civilization today. Zarathustra called attention to the aura of the sun, calling it the God of the golden dagger, Ahura Mazdao, the Great Aura.
[page 32] He opened out the path along which people were ultimately to realize that the outer sunlight is only the external body of a sublime spiritual Being whom he called Ahura Mazdao, the 'great' Aura, in contrast to the 'little' aura of man.
Zarathustra said that this being would one day descend to Earth, to become united with Earth, and thus directed his people's attention to the Being who later came to be called Christ. Zarathustra also directed his followers's attention to two principles proceeding from Time - a good principle of Light and an evil principle of Darkness. How evil proceeds from good is an age-old question of humanity. It is often stated thus: "How can a good God allow evil to exist?" The first answer to this question came from the ancient Persian infused by Zarathustra's thought:
[page 38] So in the thought of ancient Persia, Evil is not absolute Evil but, rather Good manifesting out of its appropriate time, something that once, in an earlier period, was good but is no longer so.
The producing of leaves is a naturally good thing for a plant to do, but the new leaves must eventually evolve into, to be replaced by flowers, or the plant will never reproduce. [See ARJ: Spiritual Hierarchies and the Physical World] The good of producing leaves becomes an evil if it continues to the exclusion of producing the flowers of reproduction. [See ARJ: Christianity as a Mystical Fact] In specific human terms, the good of making money (what we call "greenbacks" or "lettuce" in the USA because of its similarity to leaves) becomes an evil precisely when its sole purpose is to use the money to make more money. So the secret of evolution, time in flow, can be stated as appropriate development in appropriate time.
Zarathustra gave one pupil his teachings about Time, Moses, and another pupil his teaching about Space, Hermes. These teachings were transmitted by reincarnation into Moses of Zarathustra's etheric body, and into Hermes of Zarathustra's astral body. Thus it happened that Hermes became the first scientist as he studied the "secrets of those things existing contemporaneously in Space." Hermes was invested with the Sun Wisdom and Moses with the Earth Wisdom.
[page 65] This is the secret of the Hebrew people. Whereas in the Turanians the forces inherited from ancient times produced organs of external clairvoyance, in the Hebrew people these forces turned inwards, organising the inner constitution of the body. Hence the Hebrews were the people destined to feel and to experience inwardly what during the Atlantean age men had seen outspread behind the single physical objects. Jahve or Jehovah - the name consciously uttered and proclaimed by the Hebrew people - was the 'Great Spirit' revealed to ancient clairvoyance behind all things and beings and now concentrated into a unity.
This next quote I have included because in it Steiner provides a justification for Matherne's Rule No. 6: All Meanings Are True (AMAT). My premise for AMAT has been that all meanings are true for the person who holds the meaning. With this understanding I have found it possible to reply to the most disagreeable person, "Yes, what you say is true." Here is Steiner talking about the sojourn into the spiritual world of one who undergoes initiation.
[page 120] The reason why this sojourn in the Great World dazzles and bewilders is that in the material world of the senses man is accustomed to altogether different conditions. In the world of the senses he is accustomed to consider everything from a single viewpoint; and if he comes across something that does not tally exactly with the opinions he has formed from this one viewpoint, he regards it as false. This is quite suitable for life on the physical plane but if he were to attempt to pass out into the Macrocosm through Initiation still holding the opinion that there should be conformity in this sense, he would never find his bearings. His mode of life in the world of the senses is such that he places himself at a particular point and from this point - as though it were his snail-house - he judges everything. But when he undergoes Initiation his consciousness passes out into the Great World. - Let us suppose a man were to pass outwards in one particular direction; he would experience only what lies in this direction, and everything else, being unnoticed, would remain unknown to him. In point of fact, however, man cannot pass out into the Macrocosm in one direction only; he must necessarily pass out in all directions, for the process is one of expansion, of spreading into the Macrocosm and the possibility of having one single standpoint ceases altogether.
Thus AMAT can be understood as a compass that points in all directions at once, which is the direction of travel when one expands in all directions at once, whether it be during sleep, initiation, or death.
Since the compass points in all directions in the spiritual world, and there are an infinite number of directions, the result of penetrating the Macrocosm will be a labyrinth for one who is not ready. "Man is protected by the sleeping state from penetrating consciously into the Macrocosm without due preparation." [page 122] In fact, the number of important directions in the Macrocosm is twelve and they are indicated by the twelve signs of the zodiac. The danger from expansion is getting lost, whereas the danger from contraction into one's physical and etheric bodies is megalomania or inflation of the ego as psychotherapists call it. This overpowering by mystical experiences is seen often in mental patients who claim to be Napoleon or Jesus Christ.
[page 123] Unless there has been proper preparation, the Ego descends into the sphere of the physical and etheric bodies unpurified, and a man is so overpowered that the resulting mystical experiences preclude inner truth, inasmuch as deceptive pictures arise before him.
The expansion into the Macrocosm is one of the main themes of the Gospel of Matthew Steiner tells us:
[page 130] Our attention is drawn to the fact that Christ Jesus had been living hitherto in the physical body which afterwards hung on the Cross. He had been concentrated in one point of space and now expanded into the Cosmos. Those who would seek for Him now could not find Him in this physical body but would have to seek Him with clairvoyant vision in the spirit which pervades space.
What had formerly required three-and-a-half days and external help from a guide was accomplished by Christ alone. He had rebuilt the Temple in three days, and indicated to all that He must no longer be sought in the physical sheath in which He had been confined, but must now be sought in the cosmic space of the spiritual world. In the following passage from St. Matthew translated by Steiner, the cosmic space appears in the metaphor of "clouds":
[page 130] 'Hereafter ye shall see at the right hand of Divine Power the Being who is now born as the prototype of the evolution of humanity and He will appear to you out of the clouds.'
In the next section of the book Steiner takes us through the path of Initiation through the ten Sephirot of the Kabbalah, from Malkhut to Keter. The process begins with Malkhut, and then from the bottom of the Table, proceeds upward in the three stages of Mineral, Plant, and Animal for each of the astral, etheric and physical bodies. The I or Ego of humanity may be considered the highest of the members of the body comprising a human, but, being the newest, it is the lowest stage, "the rudiments of the highest perfection attainable by man." [page 137] Thus we begin with Malkhut, the Kingdom, or Ego and proceed to the astral body as the next most recently acquired body. Hod is the astral body or 'spirit revealing itself outwardly', Netzah is the denser or impermeable astral body, and Yesod is an intermediate stage.
Bodies\Kingdoms Mineral Plant Animal Physical Binah Hokmah Keter [Crown] Etheric Geburah Tipheret Gedulah [Hesed] Astral Netzah Yesod Hod
The oldest body is the physical body which has been worked on by divine spiritual beings for millions upon millions of years. Between the recent astral body and the ancient physical body lies the intermediate etheric body which balances and buffers the forces of the neophyte astral body. The etheric body is older, much more godlike, and is encountered in the second stage of Initiation. First one encounters Gedulah, which is that greatness bringing its inner richness to expression. Geburah is similar but conveys the impression of a kind of aggressiveness. Tipheret is called Goodness and Beauty, for the reason that it is like a balance between Geburah and Gedulah, an inner richness without the aggressiveness.
At the next stage of Initiation, Beings of Wisdom are encountered and this quality of wisdom is called Binah in its densest form, and in its less dense form, Hokhmah. The final stage is Keter in which "divine-spiritual Beings of the greatest sublimity" are encountered. This stage is known as the Crown. So the process of Initiation begins with the physical Kingdom of Malkhut and proceeds to the divine-spiritual world of Keter.
[page 142] It was the Essenes who first taught of the coming of One who would bring down for the 'I', for the Ego living in Malkhut, what is above in the 'Kingdoms of Heaven.'
Thus it can be understood that before the Christ event, "In your own Ego you search in vain for the Kingdoms of Heaven." [page 147] And after the Christ event the situation became as Christ Jesus said: "The time has come when in their own Egos men will find the Spirit when they seek the Kingdoms of Heaven." [page 147]
In Lecture Nine beginning on page 160, Steiner gives his translations of the Beatitudes. His translations of the of "meek" and "poor in spirit" help infuse the familiar passages with new life. [For the sake of brevity, I have paraphrased slightly several of the Beatitudes from Steiner's words.]
Beatitude 1.) From now onwards, not only those who through the old clairvoyance are rich in the things of the spirit are blessed; but those too who are beggars for the spirit, are blessed; for when the path has been opened for them by Christ the Kingdoms of Heaven flow into their Ego. [page 160]
Beatitude 2.) Those who suffer can now be blessed not only through reaching a spiritual world and in a clairvoyant condition allowing the forces of that world to stream upon them; now, if they can find the path to Christ, to the new truth, they can find within themselves consolation for all suffering. [page 161]
Beatitude 3.) The time has come for man to receive into his Ego the power to curb and tame the passions and emotions of the astral body. Blessed are those who have become meek through the power of their own Ego; for it is they who will inherit the Earth! [page 161]
In The Christian Mystery [page 268] Steiner gives a passage from Mabel Collin's book Light on the Path which explains "meek" as meaning having a gentle voice, one without power to wound another: "Before the voice can speak in the presence of the Masters, it must have lost the power to wound."
Beatitude 4.) If a man desires to experience the Christ within himself, he must develop in his Sentient Soul a longing as strong as the instinctive longing he otherwise feels in his body and calls hunger and thirst. What man can develop through the Christ-power within him has always been referred to as 'thirst after righteousness.' And when he fills his Sentient Soul with the Christ-power, he can find within himself the possibility of satisfying his thirst after righteousness. [page 162]
Beatitude 5.) When he takes the Christ-power into himself he can unfold in the Intellectual or Mind-Soul those qualities which pass from like to like, which are not besought from Heaven but which go forth from and return again to the same being. 'Blessed are the merciful: for they shall attain mercy.' What streams forth streams back again. [page 163]
Beatitude 6.) A man who takes the Christ-power into himself will find the way to his God when he pours his 'I' into the Spiritual Soul. In experiencing Christ in his Ego at the level of the Spiritual Soul, he will find his God. 'Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.' [page 164]
[page 164] The further Beatitudes relate to the development of the higher members of man's being: Spirit-Self, Life-Spirit, Spirit-Man. Therefore the words do no more than indicate what man will experience in the future and what only a few chosen ones are able to experience at the present time.
Beatitude 7.) Blessed are they who draw to themselves the Spirit-Self as the first purely spiritual member of their being; for they will be called the children of God. [page 164]
Beatitude 8.) What men of the future, having received Christ into themselves in the fullest sense, will call the 'Life-Spirit' is now within the reach of a few individuals only. But because they are chosen individuals, the others are unable to understand them and they are persecuted. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for in themselves they find the Kingdoms of Heaven. [page 164]
Beatitude 9.) And the last Beatitude concerns the closest, most intimate disciples only; it refers to the ninth member of Man's being: Spirit-Man. - 'Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you . . . for my sake.' [page 165]
[page 165] And so these wonderful utterances relating to the nine members of man's being show how the 'I', when filled with Christ, works in the different members and brings them blessedness.
To understand the next important point that Steiner makes, one must come to understand the meaning of the words "Son of Man". The Greek words did not have the restricted meaning that we take to mean the son of a father, but rather had the more general meaning that "signifies the successor of a living being, an entity that evolves from a living being like the blossom or flower of a plant on which hitherto there have been leaves only." [page 189] This blossoming flower of one's 'Son of Man' reaches up to the spiritual world to the Spirit-Self, Life-Spirit, and Spirit-Man that together stream down towards one.
[page 192-193] Christ Jesus asks: What is it that must come to men through my impulse? - It is the life-giving, Spirit principle from above! Thus a distinction must be made between the Son of Man who has grown upwards from below and the Son of god, the Son of the living God, who comes down from above. But the difficulty of this question for the disciples will be apparent to you when you realize that they were the very first to receive what the simplest of men since the time of Christ Jesus have received through the Gospels. It was only the living forces of Christ Jesus that enabled the disciples to assimilate all this teaching.
This is an extremely powerful and important insight as it impacts on the importance of having a living teacher in our schools and universities. Sometime before reading this book, I got a glimpse of this insight in my own experience. I was reading a complicated post I'd written to a fellow researcher on the Internet to my wife Del. She was following me as I read the post just fine until I reached a sentence that gave me an idea on a better way to explain the concept. I continued reading without a pause, but Del stopped me at the end of the sentence to say that she didn't understand what I'd just said. I re-read the sentence to her and she understood the meaning. I noted the episode and pondered on it awhile. What if, when we read something we understand to another person, they receive the concepts directly from our thoughts and our words merely serve the purpose of helping us to sequentially cover all the concepts we wish to convey? If that were so, that would explain why as soon as I thought about something other than what the words I was saying were conveying, Del stopped me because she didn't understand! The impact of this, were it so, is that words are conveniences for the speaker, sort of loci in which are stored the concepts that the speaker wishes to convey, but the words are not the conveyors of the concepts, the speakers thoughts are. That would mean that listening in person to a living person's thoughts, one would be much better able to assimilate the thoughts.
It would also mean that the lesson plans that a teacher prepares serves the purpose of teaching the teacher the concepts so that when she teaches the class the next day, as she speaks the words about the concepts, the concepts are flowing directly into the minds of the students that are actively listening to her words.
If my hypothesis is correct, you dear Reader, who have the only access to my written words, have a much more difficult job of understanding me than Maureen Bayhi, Chris Bryant, and the occasional other listeners that I first share my ideas with using the spoken word. Plus there's my best friend and editor, Del Matherne, who not only hears the spoken word, but reads these reviews for comments and proofs for typographical errors. To the extent that you are able to understand these words, you owe a debt of gratitude to these listeners and first-time readers of my words. If I may hazard to add a tenth beatitude: Blessed are they who have a living teacher! [Note: several other examples of this process are given in my Essay Teaching & Learning in the College Classroom.]
One word on quantum jumps by Rudolf Steiner. He gave these lectures in 1910, only ten years after Max Planck first described his unit of action called Planck's constant that led to the concept of the quantum jump. Here's how Steiner wrote about his jumps:
[page 199] At the transitions of Saturn-evolution to Sun-evolution, of Sun-evolution to Moon-evolution, of Moon-evolution to Earth-evolution, everything material passed away. The spiritual remained and it was the spiritual that brought about the jumps. In small things and in great it is the same.
Note that the Saturn-evolution involved a volume of space as big as the entire solar system is today, and yet a jump occurred, and the same spiritual jump occurs in the small when an electron moves from an inner to an outer orbit in an electron shell of a single atom. This is what physicists have come to call a "quantum jump". The process that Steiner describes below is also reminiscent of what neuro-physiologists refer to as a synaptic jump - a gap in the connection between a dendritic spine and an axon on a neuron that is responsible for the operation of all the nervous system components of our body, and therefore for our very life processes in the physical world.
[page 200] As evolution advances, the past curls inwards like a vortex and the new phase emerges as a second vortex, unfolding from within outwards and leading on further. But the new phase is not actually joined to the old; between the end of the old phase and the beginning of the new there is a little 'jump' or 'gap' and only then does the process of evolution continue. In the above figure we have two inter-twining vortices and between them is a little gap. This is the zodiacal sign of Cancer, symbolizing the process of growing out into the Macrocosm and the birth of a new shoot in some phase of evolution.
It is no wonder that when a man first set foot on the Moon on July 20, 1969, the Sun was in the place in the zodiac known as Cancer, because a new phase of evolution in the history of humankind had begun.
The five members of human nature, etheric body, astral body, sentient soul, intellectual soul, and consciousness-soul, developed during the five civilization-epochs were meant to be imbued with content so that when the time comes, they may be permeated by the Christ impulse. If not, they will be like the five foolish virgins who had "no oil in their lamps." [page 224]
In the parable of "Caesar's coin" Steiner leads us to understand the deep meaning of Christ Jesus when He says, "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto to God what is God's."
[page 224] He asked for a coin and pointed to the image of the Caesar upon it. This was done in order to make the people realise that the coin gives expression to something quite apart from the metal itself, namely, the fact of being subject to a particular rulership, a particular ruler. 'What in this coin pertains to Caesar, render unto Caesar' - and that lies in the image, not in the metal. 'But learn' - so He wished to imply - 'learn also to regard man as the bearer and temple of the living God. Regard a man exactly as you regard a coin; learn to perceive in a man the image of God and then you will know that he belongs to God.'
If one has fully absorbed the teachings of the Gospel of St. Matthew, has reached up with one's Son of Man to receive the Spirit-Self, Life-Spirit, and Spirit-Man streaming down, the hour when the power comes that makes one an Initiate, "a participant in the Kingdoms of Heaven"[page 202], cannot be predicted because it is dependent on the karma of the individual. That hour will assuredly come, but it will come at the least expected moment, like a thief in the night.
2.) ARJ2: The Memoir of Norbert Slama by Norbert Slama
Never had I heard of Norbert Slama until one night at a Twilight Concert in City Park in New Orleans when I saw John Rankin help this blind accordion player into a chair at the front of the stage. Flowing out of his accordion came amazing mellifluous tunes, French waltzes and exotic melodies, that I had never heard before. He soloed and played along with John on his guitar, accompanied by Don Vappie on the bass fiddle, Paul Soniat on the piano, and a virtuoso washboard player named Chaz.
Rankin announced Slama as having played for Josephine Baker, Edith Piaf, Eva Gabor, Elizabeth Taylor and many other femme fatales. Interested in his background, I bought this newly published memoir during the break. I was walking towards him for an autograph of my copy when I suddenly realized, "He's blind! How could he sign it?" Hmmm, I wondered, would he be upset if I asked him to sign it. So I made it as easy as possible, pulling out my own pen as I approached. I explained what I wanted and placed the book in his hand and the pen in the other hand, and he scribbled his autograph as best he could, mumbling something like, "I'll do my best." (See his autograph over the title below.) Having years ago met a lady who claimed she was a "pied noir" or "blackfoot", as the French called the native s of Algieria where Norbert was from, I asked Norbert if he might be a "pied noir" and he smiled and said, "Yes."
[page 1] I was born July 7, 1926, the son of Solomon and Jeanne Slama, who owned a jewelry store and sold gold and diamonds in the Arab quarter of Algiers, Algeria, in North Africa.
When he began taking music, he discovered that he didn't like reading written music, preferring to use his ears to hear music and learn it that way. For someone who was to lose his eyesight in his 40's due to progressive retinitis pigmentosa, this amounts to a time wave from the future for Norbert, the "boring feeling" he got from reading music leading him to learn an essential later life skill, "playing music by ear". While his inability to read music occasionally caused him to lose a job which required sight-reading of music, he moved easily to new gigs where the music he already knew was highly prized.
His meeting with Josephine Baker came at an early age in a small village in the desert on the road to Casablanca, Morocco.
[page 2] We saw there, parked in the dusty street, a red sports car with its hood open and its chauffeur looking at the engine. To our surprise, next to the car, and sitting on the sidewalk, was Josephine Baker — the American-born French dancer, singer, and actress — playing with some Arab children. Since the tiny village had no automobile service station, she rode on the bus with us to the next big town where she hoped to find someone to fix her car.
Well, Norbert and Josephine became friends: she did a show with them and then followed them on tour for a few more shows.
He discovered that the Americans had landed in North Africa because the radio kept repeating "Lincoln arrived" over and over one morning. He helped the US Army find the Gestapo Headquarters and on the list of Jews to be executed, he found his name and his father's name.
In one place where Slama's band played, there was a Hindu hypnotist who did a stage show. He was apparently good at creating positive hallucinations on the spot, and had fun with a lottery salesman who passed their table in a café one day.
[page 17] The Hindu man purchased 10 tickets. As the seller handed him the tickets, our Hindu friend handed him the money, which we saw were French bills. The man turned away to continue on, but then he quickly turned back around and shouted angrily, "Hey! This is just blank paper!" The Hindu man looked at him and told him he was mistaken. Just as the ticket seller looked down at his hand again, the bills reappeared. This same thing continued for many minutes, the seller unable to leave because his money kept appearing as plain sheets of paper. We were laughing but the seller became angrier. Finally the Hindu man let him have his money, and he went on his way.
During a break at a 1981 week-long hypnosis seminar, some participants and I were having drinks at a hotel bar and talking about creating a positive hallucination. One guy said, "Watch this." He turned to his neighbor at the bar and pointed down to a cat on the floor. The guy looked down and saw the cat, but it was not there, only a positive hallucination. I learned that if you make a statement which presupposes some object which is otherwise not visible and you say it as if you believed it were true, people around you will see the object. This strong belief is also the secret to magic tricks involving sleight-of-hand; rightly understood, it is sleight-of-mind. There is, as in Slama's story, no trance induction required, if you know the technique.
In 1946 Slama was drafted into the army, but in his first few months, he spent more time in the brig than in the barracks, often for punching out someone who called him a derogatory name, like 'you dirty Jew' or whatever. He recalled his diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa at age 14 and went to the army hospital complaining of his eyesight. The doctor confirmed the eye disease and tested his eyes with a chart. He said no, he couldn't see the letters, and this led to his getting out of the brig and the army for good. Norbert, even at a young age, never took "no" for an answer and was able to wheedle concessions from even the most recalcitrant bureaucrats later in life.
At one point, he went into the clothing business with another Norbert making shirts and pajamas for sale. He soon found this boring and went back to making music for a living. He briefly tried smuggling jewelry and gold into and out of Switzerland with various degrees of success.
During his lifetime, Norbert saved the lives of at least two people. The first one was Maria, the wife of Tyrone Power. She sang with Norbert and one day he went to get her in her room and she was so drunk, she had passed out and stopped breathing. Norbert removed her top, did mouth-to-mouth breathing and chest compressions until Maria started breathing again.
For a while he teamed up with an incredible violin player, and, as they became friends, Norbert found out that George was the president of the biggest cigar company in Switzerland, but loved to play the violin, even playing first violin for the Opera of Rome. Norbert was amazed that George left the orchestra in Rome, and asked him, "Why did you leave?" It turns out that George always moved his bow in the opposite direction of the other players, and that drove conductors mad! Playing alone with other instruments, no one ever noticed.
His good friend, Wilson, played music with Norbert, but he was always depressed, likely suicidal. After taking Wilson to extensive treatments by other therapists, Norbert finally found a Dr. Levy, a Jewish psychologist, who worked with Wilson and cured his depression in a couple of sessions. We can add Wilson as another life saved by Norbert.
One of his schemes succeeded at first. Getting a job selling wine with Wilson, he bought a beautiful set of women's slippers and told the customers if they ordered wine from him, a pair of these slippers would arrive with their wine. He sold a lot of wine and had to quit the business when the wine arrived sans slippers.
When he was 22 years old, he met Suzanne and during a visit to her parents in Algiers. Norbert saved the life of a few-weeks-old baby during that visit in 1948.
[page 37] I don't know what had happened, but the baby was turning purple and seemed not to be breathing. The father began screaming; everybody was screaming. The father took the baby from his wife and said it was dead. The Spanish ladies made the sign of the cross. I thought, "God, tell me what to do." I took the baby, went to the kitchen, turned on the cold-water faucet, and put the baby under it. The baby coughed and spit and came back to life crying. They all thanked me so much for what I did.
Norbert was particularly sensitive to abusive statements about his religion, often punching out the person who said them, as happened this time in an open-air market near the Kasbah, where the vendors were Arab.
[page 40] At one stall, I was looking at the cherries and could not find the price. When I asked the merchant what it was, he replied, "Get out of here, you f**king Jew." That made me so angry I punched him in the face, smashing his head into the wall. I then head-butted him and he fell to the ground Suddenly, several Arabs appeared and one of them struck me with a heavy can across my shin, breaking my right leg. I fell to the grund and looked around for Lucien, but I could not see him. The Arabs kicked and stepped on me, breaking my teeth, and both of my legs.
Sometime later, in Paris, another series of insults ended with Slama slamming an Arab to the floor with a punch. This time the Arab pulled a knife and started a melee from which Norbert and Meyer escaped by throwing a chair Western-style through the bar's window and jumping into the street, accordion in Norbert's hand, to escape.
In 1950 he went back to Paris and ended up working in Pigalle, the red light district, where he got to meet a lot of the girls working in the Place Pigalle on Rue Frochot.
[page 43] They had many clients, tourists, and such. They would laugh at the Americans, calling them stupid and "American Express" because sex with them took such a short time.
Being a traveling musician working out of Paris in the early 50s, Norbert discovered that driving a big American car meant instant celebrity.
[page 56] When we'd go out of town, we would all pile into a big American car and go to the small villages. When we arrived in the villages all the people would come out and stare at us. Because we were in big American cars, they thought we were big shots, but we were just musicians trying to make a living. Impressed with our arrival, the mayors of the villages would often take us out to big dinners with cognac and wine and everything.
Slama got a gig on a large yacht which sailed in to Cairo and back along the coast of the Levant. He wanted to visit Israel for the first time, but the yacht was only dropping off royalty in Haifa and then leaving immediately. Two men in yellow shirts entered the ship in Haifa and saw that a fellow Jew was troubled. When Slama explained he wanted to see Israel at least once, they intervened, and delayed the yacht for two days. The Captain was livid!
[page 58] When I knocked on the captain's door, I heard him say to come in. When I entered, the captain threw the musicians' passports in my face. "Good job!" he said angrily. "Those two men were the port commissioners and they said we must stay because you are Jewish. Because of you we are stuck here for 48 hours." So it turned out I could visit at least a part of Israel. It was beautiful.
This was one of several events he relates where being Jewish was to his benefit, for example, he got his Citroen repaired on his desert journey to Paris by a Jew who helped him. Plus, so far as I know, he never punched out a fellow Jew as he did so many Arabs who insulted him for being a Jew.
This next passage relates an episode of super-human strength that came upon Slama, it was as if he were Popeye who had just slammed down a large can of spinach! Curious thing is that he had been walking near the coast of Brittany near the seashore when this happened, a place known for a tide that comes in very fast with a lot of seaweed. Given the color similarity of seaweed and spinach, it seems possible that it was seaweed, and not spinach, that is the origin of Popeye's strength. As the story goes, Popeye got his super-strength after falling down in a spinach patch, but a sailor falling down into the seaweed of Dinar, Brittany, where Slama was playing the Copacabana, is far more likely. Read the passage and decide for yourself.
[page 61] Everything was going great until one day we were walking down a street in town. I coughed and I fell down. My friends brought me back to our room. I was not myself, and I didn't know what was wrong. I had an uncontrollable, almost super-human strength. When I grabbed my friends, they said I was hurting them, and when I grasped the metal bed frame, it bent in my hands. They took me to the hospital and the doctors did many tests on me, but they couldn't find anything.
It was only later, that we realized when I walked down that same street, I got the crazy feeling again and was very anxious. Then we learnd that in the ocean by Dinar there is a very high tide and it comes in very fast with a lot of seaweed. It was the iodine from the seaweed that made me sick.
It seems doubtful to me that it was just the iodine that created Slama's super-strength episodes, but rather it was some complex of chemicals in the seaweed that did it. His second episode only mentions anxiety, probably because in the first episode he stuck his face into some high-tide seaweed on the street when he fell down ingesting some seaweed, and in the second he only smelled it in the air and got nervous remembering that original episode.
When he returned to Paris, he played his music in a couple of movies, notably Trapeze and The Spirit of St. Louis. One time he was given time off to visit his parents in Algiers, but he had to promise to return. While in Algiers his musician friend Lucien tried to talk him into staying and playing the piano. Slama returned to Paris as he had promised. Sometime later the casino where he would have been playing piano had a bomb go off under the music stage, killing his friend Lucien and it would have killed Slama had he not kept his promise.
His first skiing trip was memorable. He had not planned to ski, but at the luxurious Le Chalet de la Loze, everyone went there to go skiing. Everyday all his friend musicians were up on the slopes skiing, so one day he decided to rent some gear and go skiing. The owner of the hotel said, "If you break a leg, who's going to play the piano?" An American doctor who was there to ski, offered to tutor Slama and accompany him to slopes. A girl on the lift going up asked Slama what class of skier he was, and he replied, "God only knows." He couldn't get off the lift without falling down. The doctor gave him quick lessons and said, "Don't worry, we'll go slow, and I'll be with you." About halfway down the steep slope, the doctor was called away by two skiers who approached with news of a skier who had broken his leg. Slama was left alone. He passed the time smoking cigarettes and watching the skiers speeding by him, but still no doctor and it was beginning to get dark. The rest, you can guess, and will probably be wrong.
[page 70] As I stood there, frozen with fear at what lay before me, a girl slid to a stop next to me and said: "Come on. Let's go baby!" I said OK, and tried to calm down. Finally, with her encouragement, I started to go down the slope. I went faster and faster, and I screamed at the people ahead of me, "Watch out! Watch Out! I don't have any brakes!"
Eventually, I finally made it to the Chalet, and I was glad to be down from the mountain and in the warm inside. I told my musician friends about my experience, and eventually everyone heard about the piano player who couldn't ski but was able to ski down the mountain of la Loze. They called me a champion, and when I went to the Jean Blanc store to pay for my rentals, the guy in the shop refused my money and said, "No, no! Champions don't pay!" During the evening, everybody was congratulating me for having descended la Loze all by myself.
I have heard of sleepy people driving, piloting a boat, etc, and waking up finding themselves arrived at their destination and never remembering most of the trip. This is the first time I've heard of a piano player playing while he was asleep.
[page 72] We were playing a tango called La Cumparsita, and the room was very dark because there was only a read light on the stage. Because I was very tired, I fell asleep, but I was still playing at the same time. Andre touched my shoulder, awakening me and said, "We arrived, Norbert!" All the people on the floor stopped dancing and laughed at me.
During one successful gig where Slama had to lead three bands, a friend tried to introduce him to Pablo Picasso, but he was too busy to meet the renown artist. After that gig, his wife told him, "Norbert, if you go to America, you'll become a millionaire."
[page 77] With those words, the first step of my American adventure began. Today, I'm in America, and I have been for a long time, but I'm far from being a millionaire.
When he got a musician job in Puerto Rico, the owner asked if he knew a waiter he could bring long, so he invited Guy and they planned to fly there together.
[page 84] At the airport, Guy purchased a life insurance policy for his wife in case of a plane crash. It cost 25 dollars, and I told him it was crazy to spend so much for insurance. [RJM: about $250 in 2014 dollars] We boarded the plane and had an uneventful flight. When we arrived in Santurce, just outside San Juan, I told Guy that he had lost $25. In response, he joked, "But my wife lost $150,000." [RJM: $1.5 million]
Although Norbert never became a millionaire, in several places he lived like one, such as when he got a job at the Millionaire's Club in Florida and lived in a luxurious suite on the yacht with a big round bed which could slept 7 people. It was during this time he met Eva Gabor, the famous actress. He was told to sit by her at the pool and play his music, but she only wanted him to sit down and talk with her. That caused him to be thrown into a pool, accordion and all, by a large man in a tuxedo. One further time, he sat next to her by the pool and played his music and she turned to him, and he told her, "Listen, Darling, let's have a date. Meet me at midnight at the front of the yacht. There won't be anybody there." She said, "Alright, Frenchie." But she never showed up. Later as the police questioned Slama, he found out that Eva and her husband had been tied and gagged and their stateroom robbed of her jewelry.
He met Hoagy Carmichael, the great songwriter and piano player. Hoagy would tell people around him, "Give me three notes, and I'll compose a song for you." When Hoagy got up, Slama said, "Give me one note and I'll compose a song for you." Hoagy heard him say that, gave him a big smile and shook Slama's hand. (Page 93) Once he met his childhood idol Johnny Weissmuller who played the first Tarzan in the movies. They became friends as Johnny came in almost every night for drinks. One night he asked Johnny if he would call his seven-year-old stepson, so Johnny went over the wall phone and said, "Hello, Christopher, this is Tarazan." But Christopher wanted proof, so Johnny gave his famous Tarzan yell over the phone and that was the convincer.
Do you know how Tarzan got his famous yell? One day he was getting ready to swing on the vine to the next tree and Jane was coming with him. He said, "Grab onto the vine, Jane." She grabbed onto something else and Tarzan created his famous yell on the spot.
This next episode could be titled, "Breakfast for Dummies". It was a practical joke in which his friend Gordon said it was okay from Slama's friend's sister from France to stay at his place. That afternoon Slama took a blowup female and put it in Gordon's bed under the covers. Not wanting to wake her, he slept in the other room, then in the morning made her a breakfast of coffee, tea, and croissants, which of course, she never got up to taste! About ten he opened the door to find the trick that Slama had played on him. (Page 107)
At one point he met Liz Taylor and they conversed in French together. She invited him to a party she was having on a train from D. C. to New York City. When an astronomer friend called Slama to listen to newly discovered sounds from a distant star called a Pulsar, Slama decided it would make a good drum track for a piece of music. He created the music using four music synthesizers playing along with songs from a star 15,000 light-years away.
From dating a star to music from a star, Slama was and is one versatile musician as well as an incredible human being. Slama nearly died three times, once in a bomb in Algiers, once falling into deep water, and once with pancreatic infection so bad, the doctor told his wife to buy a cemetery plot for him. He saved two people's lives, sold cookies and wine as a traveling salesman, owned an island in the Florida Keys, lived on a luxury yacht, and spending time in the French Quarter in New Orleans, where he and I share WWOZ as our favorite radio station. As the book ends, he's likely listening to WWOZ on the Internet and eating cherries from the trees of his Bed & Breakfast.
3.) ART: The Angels and Us by Mortimer Adler
I began reading this book about August 29, 1983 and it is filled with marginalia and date glyphs throughout. As I review my notes I find that they all seemed to coalesce into a coherent whole, when about three weeks later in September, 1983, I wrote a proof of EAT-O-TWIST in the blank pages at the end of the book. Before we get to that proof, there are some miscellaneous quotes and references from the body of the book, I'd like to relate. This process is almost like archaeology for me of an ancient city, as I am reading notes someone I was seventeen years ago wrote, and I'm trying to decipher what this writer was attempting to communicate. So enjoy these words realizing at each point that the words are almost twenty years old, the 1982 writer is no longer extant, and the 1999 writer is filtering them through his augmented understanding.[page 18] The significance of angels in the context of theology does not touch the minds of unbelievers or disbelievers, non-religious person of whatever variety. For them theology is a closed book, to be dismissed out of hand or ridiculed as a mass of superstitions. [page 19] When angels are mentioned, the question that usually pops into people's minds today is how many of them can stand on the head of a pin. That question was never propounded by any mediaeval theologian. It was an invention of modern scoffers who used it to exemplify what they regarded as the utterly specious disputes involved in theology.It is a pity that the words of skeptics on the issue of angels would be better known than those of the believers. But that is merely a commentary on how far we've fallen into the materialistic morass in our time, up until now. This situation with angels reminds me of what Rudolf Steiner said about the historical documents about the gnostics — that all of the documents we now have access to were written by the opponents of the gnostics who burned all the documents that explained the true tenets of gnosticism.
It is heartening to see an establishment academic like Mortimer Adler taking on on the subject of angels, at all! That is the reason I bought this book in the first place. In this attempt to cover all aspects of angels, Adler tackles angels as objects of belief in Part Two and angels as objects of philosophical thought in Part Three of the book, spanning the subject from the credal to the grave.[Page 34 italics added] Dogmatic theology, which is sometimes called sacred theology or sacred doctrine, carries the process of interpretation one step further. Starting from the promulgated dogmas or credal declarations of one sort or another, theologians attempt to formulate doctrines that provide some elaboration and explication of the articles of faith.
In Part Two he reminds us that Aquinas posited the necessity for a layered hierarchy of spiritual beings thus:[page 57] "At the topmost summit of things there is a being which is in every way simple and one; namely, God. Therefore, corporeal things cannot be located immediately below God, for they are composite and divisible. This is why one must posit many intermediates, through which we must come down from the highest point of the Divine simplicity to corporeal multiplicity."This seems to be an important point to remember in this time of the beginning of the Third Millennium when everyone seems to have forgotten the intermediaries between human beings and God and we tremble before the unbridgeable chasm such an amnesia creates.The philosophical arguments are detailed in the book and thus hardly worth laying out here except for one in which the power of an angel is equated with the mass of a physical body and thus both are deemed as incapable of being interpenetrated. Here is the text:[page 130] Third, when an angel acts spiritually on a particular body, its presence at the place occupied by that body is also an occupation of that place. The body occupies that particular place extensively by filling it with its bulk. In contrast, the angel occupies that place intensively by surrounding it with its power. The body is enveloped by the place it occupies. In contrast, the place is enveloped by the angel that is present there by its power. It follows, therefore, that two angels cannot occupy the same place at the same time.Philosophically taut, but a careful inspection will show that to treat some abstract concept called power as if it were substance is pure folly. We have much evidence that matter is not inter-penetrable and none that angels are not. To the contrary there is ample reason to believe the opposite that angels and other spiritual beings are inter-penetrable of matter and each other without limit.In Chapter 11 If Men Were Angels, the authors quote The Federalist Papers where Hamilton and Madison say that if men were angels, no government would be necessary, and go on to say:[page 167] Virtuous men may comply with just laws voluntarily simply because the conduct the laws command happens to be conduct to which they are inclined by their own goodwill. But all men are not virtuous. Coercive forces must be employed to compel their compliance.I'll grant that before I took Dr. Andrew J. Galambos's volitional science course V50T , I'd have definitely agreed with the above quotation, but no more. The statements were true at the time and remain true — lacking the technology that Dr. Galambos has brought forward, coercive force is necessary for compliance. With the advent of his new technology, true government will come to be understood as that which has no coercion at any level, and such true government will drive out the coercive counterfeit of government as surely as good money drives bad money out of circulation [Gresham's Law]. Nothing remains but for me to summarize what I got from my first reading of this book some 17 years ago: the Proof of EAT-O-TWIST, Everything Allways Turns Out The Way It's Supposed To. The proof was written in rear overleaf of book on August 30, 1983, about three weeks after I finished reading the book. This was before I began reading any of the works of Rudolf Steiner and, as I review this proof from the perspective of seventeen years and over fifty Steiner books, there is no need to change anything substantive in the proof, even though I've acquired enormous new insights into the spiritual world since that time. [This note was written on March 30, 1999.]
November 10, 2014 Note: With the insights from reading over 203 Rudolf Steiner books including his lectures about the time between death and a rebirth, I would modify substantially my description of immortality below, but I will allow it to stand as one that may appeal to other materialistic scientists for whom the concept of a black hole provides a strong attraction.Proof of EAT-O-TWIST: A. All Beings are omniscient. (by Definition III) B. Each Being communicates Expectations to every other Being, i. e., Supposes what the other is going to do. (Definitions IV. and V.) C. Your expectations are communicated to everyone else, including God. (By Definitions I., II., and III.) D. Others accept your expectations and hold them in their minds, perhaps creating better or worse ones for them and you in their minds. (By Definitions IV., V., and VI) E. QED: Everything Allways Turns Out The Way It's Supposed To! EAT-O-TWIST! (By Definition VII and Postulates I. and II. Below.)
PostulatesI. God is omnipotent. (There's allways a way to do anything.) II. God is all good. (There's allways a good intention behind any action or behavior.)
DefinitionsI. God — the plenum of universal communication of which all objects comprising the plenum are simultaneously transmitters, receivers, and the communication itself. II. Angels — a local coalescence from the plenum for the purposes of the person doing the calling, whether conscious or unconscious. Another way of saying this is: Angels are subsystems of God, organized according to the expectations (EAT-O-TWIST) of the person requiring the communication from the omniscient plenum. EAT-O-TWIST is from Matherne's Rule #10 and stands for Everything Allways Turns Out The Way It's Supposed To. [Note: Allways is spelled that way because I mean both at all times and in all ways, and even more. See definition of Suppose below at IV, Supposed To at V, and Turns Out at VI.]III. Omniscient — having access to the communication plenum without constraint. Humans appear to be not omniscient to the extent that they have forgotten that they have continuous unrestrained access to this plenum. IV. Suppose — from Webster's 7th New Collegiate Dictionary — 1. Lay down tentative hypothesis or assumption, to hold as an opinion, to think probable or in keeping with facts 2. Conceive, imagine, have a suspicion of. V. Supposed To — refers to the holding of ideas in the mind about a given situation. VI. Turns Out — the final outcome or product. VII. Omnipotent — capable of changing any physical of mental situation without limit by thinking about it [supposing]. VIII. Religion — an organized body of Left Brain Knowledge (Content) and Right Brain Knowledge (Process) whose purpose is to provide humans with access to the communication plenum(1). IX. Death — the process we observe when a person's bodily functions cease. X. Immortality — the process a person who is dying (in our frame of reference) undergoes in their frame of reference. (A person in this condition has instantaneous access to all of the time-space continuum.)(2) XI. Reincarnation — while in the state of immortality, the person has the option to enter a fetus and thus to be born into another body. EAT-O-TWIST! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ footnotes ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. Religions may be characterized by the subset of the five basic senses that they activate or use preferentially. Below's my best guess at how religions I'm familiar with do this, but first what the initials stand for: V — Visual, A — Auditory (At is Auditory-tonal/RB, Ad is Auditory-digital/LB), O — Olfactory, G — Gustatory, and K — Kinesthetic. [Note: I'm no expert on religions other than Catholic, so I may have left out some aspects. I put de Sade in, not to claim that he founded an established religion but to show the one-sided focus on the Kinesthetic sense of the Maquis de Sade's processes.]Catholic V — statues, churches, robes, stained glass
At — Gregorian Chants, organ music, hymns, High Mass
Ad — Rosary, Litany, Low Mass, homilies.
O — wine, incense
G — communion Pentecostal At — speaking in tongues
K — holy rolling Protestant Ad — sermons
G — communion de Sade K — fornicating, flogging, and killing
2. Black Hole Metaphor: To help understand the process of death from a scientific point of view, imagine you are entering a black hole. The rest of the universe begins to more and more rapidly evolve as your frame of time reference slows down. To those viewing you from the outside, the rest of the universe, you seem to reach what they call death in a relatively short time, but for you, from your reference inside the black hole, it's a very long time indeed, without end, and you get to the watch the evolution of the universe proceed at an ever increasing rate.Cybernetic Metaphor: if the external clock pulses of a computer slows down, the computer will be unaware of any change in itself — but the rest of the world will seem to speed up, from its point of reference.
Read/Print the Review at:
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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 coverse 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 walks through New Orleans French Quarter this Month:2. Comments from Readers:
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 observes during his peregrinations.
This month the good Padre spots a sign for a bar across the street from Jackson Square:
NOTE: I love hearing from all my Good Readers and including your missives here (slightly edited).
If you prefer any comments or photos you send to be private, simply say so and they will not be published.
- EMAIL from Ed in Lubbock, Texas:
Quite a heavy load of some of Steiner's work. Doubtless took a good bit of time putting together. Noted your Summerfield Waldorf School pics, etc. You were one proud dude in your tails and top hat. Or, in other words, you dress up nice.
- EMAIL from Dianne Cruze in Timberlane Estates:
Enjoying this issue....great photos of Gretna Green, "Fred and Ginger"
- EMAIL from Chris Bryant in Corpus Christi, TX re our daughter Carla's teenagers: I still picture them as the little one's we met in Galveston years ago. Now I would have to look up to look them in the eyes. I wish I'd met your dad. More correctly I wish I'd gone fishing with him.
Go Saints, win the South!
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"Almost" counts in horseshoes, not the NFL. Next year we'll get a ringer or two.
- EMAIL from Carol Fleischman of New Orleans:
I enjoyed this issue at my daughter's in Charleston.
Thanks and have a great day.
- EMAIL from Anne Koch in Massachusetts: Hi Bobby, I was finally able to open the newsletter by copying the link and going to Google to paste it in. It would not open in Safari on my new computer. Happy and worth the extra work. Peace to you and Dell on this day.
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Anne had a problem similar to Betty Chowning, Theresa Chatelain, and Jim Webb this month. Inspection of the Emails they returned to me showed a malicious code added after it arrived at our Reader's computers. When a problem occurs, always check the actual link which is hidden under the visible link. A cursor over the visible link usually works. You can Bookmark and Save a link to any issue and go to it to click on the Archives link to any new Issue. This is the best and safest way if a problem occurs. When something strange happens, it may indicate you need to run a virus protection scan right away.
- EMAIL from Johannes Weber in Dornach, Switzerland:
Thanx a lot Bobby, every month so full of life and love, merci beaucoup.
- EMAIL from Lawrence Clark in Idaho:
Thanks for sending and just keep your writing coming.
- EMAIL from Guitarist John Rankin re my Review of Norbert Slama's Memoir:
I read it to Norbert. He said it made his day!
Nice job Bobby - Thanks!
- EMAIL from Daniel Lim in Singapore:
Is there a possibility that an ebook can be written about doyletics - and given away as a free download?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ REPLY ~~~~~~~~~~~
Yes, Daniel, I think so.
3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:"Root of the Matter"
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:
Root of the Matter
A tree cannot grow from a central plan
Each twig must bend and branch so carefully
In search of sunlight as best it can
To spread its limbs in joyous liberty.
How sadly stunted it would be to boot
If it had to get orders from its root.
A week before Christmas this year I was in a particularly jovial mood and began singing the phrase "Make the most of Thursday". Soon it occurred to me that Thursday is the most forgotten and neglected day of the week, especially in song. There are songs or popular phrases about all the other days of the week, but the day named after Jupiter, Jove's Day (in French, it's jeudi), has been severely neglected. What a perfect day for me to begin to make amends to this wonderful day by composing a song to it on its day! May I share it with you.Written on Thursday, December 18, 2014, and ©2014 by Bobby Matherne, making the most of Thursday.
You may not remember my lyrics, but give yourself and your friends a special treat by reminding them on each Thursday, "Make the most of Thursday!" And, whenever Christmas comes on Thursday, make sure you have a very Merry Christmas and Make the Most of Thursday!Make the Most of Thursday
Blue Monday, Fat Tuesday, Midweek Wednesday,
TGI Friday, Date Night Saturday, and Worship Sunday.
All those memorable days, but what about Thursday,
The most forgotten day of the week?
By Jove! We should remember Thursday,
It's a day to get things done.
Whether it's all work or mostly fun,
Remember this everyone:Make the most of Thursday
It's the best day of the week!
If you've an appointment to keep
If you've a deadline to meet,
If you've a cake to bake,
Or it's some joy you seek,
Stop to smell a rose or
Maybe a song to compose and:Make the most of Thursday
It's the best day of the week!
All the days of the week need a role to play
So take this day, never mild nor meek,
Make it your own special day,
It's Thursday, the best day of the week.Make the most of Thursday,
It's the best day of the week!
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9. CLOSING NOTES:
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