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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Elmore Chauvin (1940 - 2016) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ [ Bobby and Del's friend from SMA and RTC ] ~~~~~
WELCOME TO DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#16b November, 2016== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Quote for the Thanksgiving Month of November:
These days, liberals are once again preaching one thing and practicing another. They always want diversity, but that ideal never seems to carry over to diversity of opinion.
— Vanessa Pierce
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DIGESTWORLDArchived DIGESTWORLD Issues
GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents ISSUE#16b for November, 2016
Table of Contents
1. November's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for November
3. On a Personal Note
Rainbows & Shadows Poems
4. Cajun Story
5. Household Hint for November, 2016 from Bobby Jeaux: Rose Trimming
6. Poem from This Review:"The Moon Man"
7. Reviews and Articles featured for November:
8. Commentary on the World
- ARJ2: For the Time Being by Annie Dillard
- ARJ2: Deeper Secrets of Human History in the Light of the Gospel of St. Matthew, GA# 117 by Rudolf Steiner
- ARJ2: Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy 1 GA#304 by Rudolf Steiner
1. Padre Filius Cartoon
2. Comments from Readers
3. Freedom on the Half Shell Poem
4. The UAQ
5. SOMETHING FOR FREE
9. Closing Notes — our mailing list, locating books, subscribing/unsubscribing to DIGESTWORLD
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1. November Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==This month Violet and Joey learn about Following Directions.
For newcomers to DIGESTWORLD, we have created a webpage of all the Violet-n-Joey cartoons!
"Following Directions" at http://www.doyletics.com/images/161020vj.jpg
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2. HONORED READERS FOR November:
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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 November, 2016:
Karen Richards in Mandeville, LA
Joan Bergy in Palm Springs, CA
Congratulations, Karen and Joan!
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3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
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Out Our Way:
THE BIG O's: THAT'S OCTOBER AND ORGERON!
In last month's DW16a Issue, I mentioned briefly that LSU had just appointed Ed Orgeron as the new Head Coach. On his first radio show, the Evil Twin told him, speaking in his own Cajun accent, "Coach, lemme tole you it's great to have a coach what don't have no accent!" Yes, it's an interim appointment, but one which looks more and more permanent as the wins mount up! Coming out of the chute to play the high-scoring up-tempo Missouri team, LSU whipped them soundly 42-7, and it took a couple of LSU penalties to allow them to get close enough to score their one TD. One TD per game seems to be average of the Coach Arando's defense. Then we tackled another high-scoring team, Southern Miss, and beat them 45-10. Could we shutdown the vaunted Ole Miss Rebels who scored 45 points against Alabama and almost beat them? Against Ole Miss we went against the third-in-a-row, high-scoring, up-tempo and beat them 37-21. Yes they did score two TD's but the second was a gimme when a defender blindsided Danny Etling on our 3 yard-line, forcing a fumble. Danny should have never dropped back to pass with us leading 21-13 with less than a minute to play. Run, run, run should have been the call, run the ball, run out the clock, and run into the Dressing Room ahead by a TD and two point play.
Coach O tells us his motto is One Team, One Heartbeat, and all his charges have bought into his coaches style of Offense and Defense. The new Offensive Coordinator is the renown LSU Quarterback Steve Ensminger. What a delight to have a quarterback as a Coach calling plays for our truly versatile QB Danny Etling. He looks like a young Drew Brees when he goes back with the back and scans the field for the open man to toss a pass to. He fires a laser-guided bomb, not a bullet which bounces off receivers' hands, but a soft touch pass which falls gently into receivers' hands. His passing opens the line for the run, as Fornette's record-breaking 287 yards against Ole Miss demonstrated. And his run-pass handoffs for big runs, opens the opponents back field for short and long passes. We've known the capability for LSU to play this way was there and only awaiting a coaching change to bring it out on the field.
Yes, it's been a big October with 3 impressive wins, and our only regret is that we were stymied by Hurricane Matthew and Florida's apparent reluctance to play or LSU would have been 4-0 for the Big O. Thanks to LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva for sticking to his guns and getting the postponed LSU-Florida game moved to Tiger Stadium in November.
GLITCHES AND FIXES
Okay, spoiler alert: this section is mostly for guys. Getting back home after being away 5 weeks on our Northwest Passage Cruise, I expected to find several things needing my attention.
First thing I noticed was that my old Gateway monitor was burnt out, right as I needed five screens to complete the very long DW16a Issue. I pulled the other Gateway monitor from under the bookshelf and pressed it into service, but after two days, it blinked out. So I finished the Issue using only four instead of five monitors. When the dust cleared from working on that Issue, I went to Best Buy and talked to Donna who has been so helpful with my camera acquisitions and she helped me pick out a monitor replacement. I had my spec's: 1) 11 inches wide by 18 inches high 2) A VGA input connector and 3) Must have 4 inch centered holes for my mounting bracket. Any deviation from these specifications would require from day to weeks of delay.None of the official monitors in the computer area fit the spec's. No VGA and No 4" mounting holes. So Donna came with me to the TV area and after a comprehensive search, we located a VIZIO Smart TV that matched ALL 3 SPEC'S! And it only cost $135! I felt like I had won the lottery. I didn't need a Smart TV there, but it's right next to my Wi-Fi Router and sure enough, after quickly installing the TV through the VGA connector as SCREEN 4 of my five desktop monitor. I needed to align the resolution and brightness, and the result was great! I was elated! Next I hooked up to a High Broadcast Antenna, and it receives local HD channels fine! Then I tested the Smart TV functions. Logged into my secure WI-FI and logged into NetFlix (tested it by streaming "Blue Bloods"). The screen seemed too dim after I bumped the Brightness control full to 100%. Then I discovered a PIC button just over the 2 on the digit panel of the remote control and the first selection I chose went BRIGHT WHITE! Was able to move Brightness Control to match that of the Samsung Monitor to its right.NOTE: when I bought the two Gateway monitors, they came with a swivel connector which allowed me to rotate them either Landscape or Portrait mode. As a writer I preferred a page orientation so I usual four of the five monitors in Portrait or Page Mode (vertical) and one monitor in Landscape (horizontal) mode. Even though the new Smart TV is used as a monitor in Page Mode, I can quickly rotate it to Landscape or TV mode to view live local broadcasts or view a streaming movie or sports event. All this work took me only about an hour or so, and didn't require a trip to buy some special tool or special adaptor!
One day when we were all dressed up to go ashore in the Arctic, my big red parka, over pants to keep my legs dry in case of a Zodiac splash, and so forth. I needed to get my camera out of my pocket under all this outer gear and when I finally retrieved it, the spring on the carabiner was broken. I later used a smaller spring connector from a Crystal Badge holder to secure my camera strip to my belt loop, until I could go to Ullo's Ace Hardware back home and get a new Carabiner. I lucked out at Ullo's: found the ONLY black one at the very bottom of a fishbowl of bright Purple, Green, and Gold ones. I quickly drilled the hole and put the new carabiner in place of the tiny temporary one.
One day our housekeeper noticed that water was in the tray under the Laundry Room sink. I ran some water into the sink and noticed a leak coming from a large nut securing the J-trap which had broken. I taped the leak and the nut till I could get a new nut. A few day's later I decided to drive to Neeb's Hardware on Lafayette Street in Gretna. It was in the middle of the week before the big Gretna Music Festival and all the streets were full of big trucks making deliveries. I noticed a familiar face talking to Neeb at the counter. It was Eric from Richards' Cutting Tools. Del and I bowled on a team with Eric and his wife back when Del worked there for her dad. Was great seeing him again. I gave the broken nut to Neeb and he quickly returned with a replacement. He didn't have a new vertical tube of the right length, so I decided to re-use the old one. Came home, took apart the J-trap connections, installed the vertical tube secured by a new nut, and tested the connection, and it was done.
SUN MAN WITH SHADES BACK ON CYPRESS TRUNK
When I first saw the sculpture of the Sun looking like a Man with Sun glasses on in an uptown nursery, I bought it immediately and we've had it for about twenty years. This past month he bit the dust. Some time during our long cruise, the metal loop which secured it to a nail in the tree rusted away. There he was, lying at the base of the tree. I set him up so we could at least see him from our breakfast area till I figured out how to re-attach him to the tree. After a week of planning in the back of my mind, a plan emerged which did not require a new tool or attachment, i.e., a trip or two to a store. This is my goal in every repair. Use parts I have and tools I have. I decided to use brass screws so they won't rust. Four of them screwed into the cypress trunk at the corners of the almost round sculpture. After installing, I noticed the Sun reflecting off a flat brass screw head, and I used a felt tip marker to stop the reflection. You can see the result.
SECURITY SYSTEM TROUBLE ALARMS
On Saturday, these problems usually happen on a weekend, the Smoke Detector trouble alarm went off in our home security system. I verified that Intrusion Alarm stays active during a Trouble Alarm, something I had wondered about. I noted it had happened earlier back in May. This time it kept coming on and I called John The United Security tech to come out to repair it. He replaced a module that affected the two alarms which had been coming on and now everything's okay.
CED OMELETS AND NO.1 CRABSOn Sunday mornings, we love enjoying a Crawfish-EggplantDressing Omelet together, so we made a large potfull as soon as we returned from our August-September NWP Cruise. Most of it we rolled into tubes in gallon-sized Ziplocks for use in omelets later.We made a total of 15 tubes, each tube makes two omelets, as it is broken in half and each half fills an omelet. On this Sunday morning, we ate the first CED omelettes using the new October 10, 2016 tubes. We put aside two tubes for Dan and Karen to have to make omlets for themselves later.
Del and I adjoined to the Screening Room and watched a powerful Saints game, as our boys put away the Panthers 34-31 after being tied by them with a minute to go. Just where we wanted them. The coup d'etat was a neat 51-yd Field Goal by Lutz.
Then we drove to Dan and Karen's home in Mandeville in 45 minutes right past the Superdome exiting traffic, delivering the CED tubes. We left immediately from their home to Mandeville Seafood and ordered a dozen No. 1 male crabs, which Dan & I split. They were delicious, and I didn't want to stop to take photos of them, too busy eating! Back at Karen's she had bought a small cake from Whole Foods which served as my birthday cake. I asked, "Where's the candle?" and she found a candle, but she and Dan couldn't find matches so I pretended it was lit, made a wish and blew out the imagined flame. We had a great visit and I really appreciate the belated birthday celebration which got postponed twice due to our two cruises and their travel schedule.
FALL GARDEN WORK
Our landscape man came, weeded and tilled the Babe and Veggie Gardens for us while I was still completing DW16a Issue. A week or so later, I bought plants for the Fall Garden to plant before the Full Moon, there are the leafy vegetables: broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, Swiss chard, Kale, Bell Peppers, cucumber, okra, Italian parsley, and green onions. We were lucky enough to have some fresh Basil plants sprout on their own. Parsley is a winter plant so it never survives the hot New Orleans summer days. By the waning Moon's last quarter, I planted some root vegetables: beets and carrots.
The cotton plant which sprouted by itself from a previous year's plant is full of blooms in purple and gold. I call it LSU cotton. The green bolls are getting near full size and should be turning gray and popping open soon to reveal their white cotton innards.
On one of our pergola's columns I spotted a Monarch butterfly's chrysalis! First time I've found one at Timberlane. The photo I took of it shows, if you look closely, the leaf structure of the butterfly that is under development inside. The chrysalis is easily visible from our Swing where I do my reading on nice days, like the ones we're having this month, so I'll watch for it to turn black as opening time approaches. If we hadn't gone to a butterfly garden in the British Virgin Isles and seen dozens of chrysalises, I wouldn't have known what this green thing was. Given that it was only a few inches away from a branch of a milkweed plant, the caterpillar didn't have far to walk to find himself a man cave for his further development.
GRANDSONS KYLE AND COLLIN VISIT TIMBERLANE
We strive to get as many of our 21 grandkids to visit during the summer school vacation or fall and spring break as possible. Del loves going to the movies with them. When Del left for her Garden Club meeting one morning, I showed the boys how to clean a fresh pineapple and make icebergs. We really make a fruit smoothie with fresh pineapple, strawberries, an apple or Bartlett pear, some whole milk plain yogurt, and honey, and then decant it into four ice cube trays. During the evening we take a break between movies or shows to eat the icebergs. We each use a fork to chop up about 8 cubes of the smoothie and then eat the delicious treat with a spoon or fork. Somehow the boys went back home to Baton Rouge before they realized that they had missed the iceberg treats. Next time. They did get some of Grama Del's eggs-on-toast for breakfast one morning, not to mention the three major food groups at the movies: popcorn, soda, and candy.
After making the smoothie, I explained how I repaired my antique 1980s Stainless Steel VitaMix with the spout. I shared with them what I've discovered about the importance of eating the vegetables that you grow yourself.
BOB LEGENDRE IN PICAYUNE VISIT
Del wanted to visit her Uncle Bob, her mother Doris's brother, at his home in Picayune, Mississippi and have lunch with him. Knowing how much he liked poorboy sandwiches she went to DiMartino's and got some oyster and catfish poorboys with a container of their great Shrimp Potato Salad and a container of their gumbo. His daughter Renee came over and we had a nice visit with the two of them. Bob showed me his workshop in which he had installed a central dust collection vacuum that picks up sawdust from five or six saws, planers, sanders, etc, and feeds it into a large trash can in the next room, whose contents can be dumped into a mulch bed for his vegetable garden.
TWO FUNERALS THIS MONTH
Unfortunately we had to miss the funeral service for an old friend Elmore Chauvin, but we had already scheduled the Picayune trip before we learned the date of the funeral.
The other funeral was for my brother David's mother-in-law, Myrtle Ford Tastet in Des Allemands. Del had an investment club event that day, so I drove there myself. It was the first time I've gone to St. Gertrude's Church since David's funeral fourteen years ago. I got to see David's first great-grandchild, Aiden, in the Cry Room being held by Landon, his father, attended by his mother Mindy. Also saw my sister-in-law Barbara Matherne, Aiden's great-grandmother, and her two sisters and family.
MOTHER AND DAUGHTER HEAD TO DENVER
Del decided to visit our son Jim in his new home in Ft. Collins, Colorado, north of Denver. She and her daughter Kim planned the trip for the two of them to fly out for about 5 days or so. I told Del to tell Jim I couldn't come because I wasn't invited, this was a girls only trip. Kim's husband Wes stayed in Alexandria working and I stayed in New Orleans working. Del and I plan to take a road trip to Jim's next year when it gets warm again. So I have the office all to myself as I finish work on this DIGESTWORLD Issue. Del will get home just in time copy-edit these notes and add a few Colorado photos to this month's pictures.
SATSUMA SEASONIf you ever lived in Louisiana, you would know that it's tough to leave the state any month of the year because any month has a delicacy that's not available so delicious or so plentiful anywhere else. If you leave the state during that month, you lose a chance to enjoy. In April, it's blackberries. Those blackberries which don't ripen until August in New England, ripen around Easter here. This year my blackberries ripened later, well into May. Then in June, the Creole tomatoes abound and they have a flavor that is unique to South Louisiana. Often for supper we make a meal of them. We slice a couple of them into a bowl and drench them with a mixture Wishbone Italian dressing and Blue Plate Mayonaise, then place them for a hour or so in the fridge before eating them. Delicious!This month of October is Satsuma Season and you can see them in our Portofino Pear Bowl awaiting our peeling and delighting in eating them. They are easy to peel, contain no seeds, and absolutely sweet! I know because I just ate one and can still taste it in mouth. (Thanks to neighbors Don and Connie for picking these from their Ninth Ward place and giving them to us.) We are waiting for the new crop of delicious Opelousas sweet potatoes any day now. Next up will be Navel Orange and Grapefruit season till January. We lost our wonderful navel orange tree when we moved 7 years ago, and the replacement ones we planted here are very slow in producing, up until now. Four grapefruits on one this year, finally! The other season we love is Crawfish Season. (Please, crayfish is bait for Yankees, crawfish is a delight for Louisiana. It seems to last all year, but the best time is April and May when Crawfish Boils are bigger and more plentiful than Clam Bakes in New England. Then, there's oysters, Empire Oysters which are huge and delicious! Best time is a month with an "R" in its name, but in New Orleans we can be found eating them in Jrune, Julrye, and Argust too!IMPORTANT MESSAGE:
LAST MINUTE EVENTS
GOODBYE TO COACH MILES
Click Here to see the Padre Filius Cartoon below which features a photo of a Mid-City Parade spectator showing a Hammer hitting the Hard-headed Les Miles for not playing Jarret Lee instead of Jordan Jefferson as QB, resulting in the 13-0 LSU Tigers losing the 2012 BCS Championship Game 21-0, What many Tiger Fans have called the Worst Coaching Mistake Ever!
Keeping Danny Etling on the bench and losing to Wisconsin and Auburn in 2016 ranks even worse than his 2012 earlier mistake. And now that Les Miles is gone, the Good Padre can't resist one parting shot to remind us of how long we have put up with Miles' 3-yds and a cloud of rust offense. We loved the man Les Miles, but Coach Miles needed to take a Coach many miles out of town. I suffered through Charlie MacClendon's vanilla offenses and have now undergone Les Miles' similar offenses (for lack of offense) and for his offenses he has to go elsewhere. Best of Luck, Les! May you have Miles to go before you sleep. God Bless You!
EVERY GOOD THING MUST COME TO A NEW BEGINNING
The past month of October has been cool, dry, and clear skies, one or two light showers to keep the grass green. Our Fall Vegetable gardens are planted and ready to begin producing some Bell peppers soon. The green onions are a foot high and I've already used some in our Sunday omelets. With nights in low 60s, the AC units are enjoying a well-deserved rest. LSU's new Coach O has the Tiger offense producing up to its billing. For myself after tough slog of getting the DW16a Double Issue together, it's been a relaxing time. Enjoyed a new acquisition, an Annie Dillard non-fiction, and it'll be featured in DW16c, so look for it. Not a lot of photos this month, but a great selection of Reader's Comments for you to enjoy. If you have had a letter published there, we encourage you to share your thoughts with us and we'll share them with your fellow Readers. Till we meet again in December, enjoy your cool Fall weather or warm Spring weather down under. Whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, Remember our earnest wish for the short remainder of this God given year of 2016:
MAY THE WORLD BECOME PEACEFUL AND SERENE IN TWENTY-SIXTEEN
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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:
- A liberal is a man who will give away everything he doesn’t own.
— Frank Dane
- How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.
— Henry David Thoreau
- Any wild mushroom can be eaten; some more than once.
Kaisu Viikari (MD, PhD Ophthalmology, Turku, Finland)
- Corruption is no stranger to Washington; it is a famous resident.
— Walter Goodman
- There are so many congressmen and senators here [in Washington, D.C.], I don't know whether to tell a joke or pass a bill . . . as if there was a difference.
— Bob Hope
- Only when we play are we fully human, and we play only when we are human in the truest sense of the word.
— Friederich Schiller (1759-1805)
- Only through Beauty's morning-gate, do you penetrate the land of knowledge.
— Friederich Schiller (1759-1805)
New Stuff on Website:From Rainbows & Shadows, A 1995 Book of Poetry by Bobby Matherne
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky.
What is your substance, whereof are you made,
That millions of strange shadows on you tend?
William Shakespeare, Sonnet 53
Why rainbows and shadows? One reminds us of joyful occasions and the other of things that go bump in the night. First, rainbows.
In 1995 I stood in the open doorway of my garage before driving to work on my last day before retirement from the Waterford 3 Nuclear Power Plant, and I saw a beautiful double rainbow in the morning sky before me. My heart lept up like Wordsworth's when I saw that omen. I remembered that the source of the rainbow is in my heart, and was in the heart of everyone who took the time to observe a rainbow that morning. We each saw a different rainbow, and each one we saw was truly our own rainbow.
In 2015 a double rainbow appeared as I looked out my garage door in the morning of the same day I celebrated twenty years of working full-time as a writer, publisher, photographer, cartoonist, and poet. The beat goes on . . .
Likewise, each shadow we encounter is truly our own shadow, created by the materialistic stuff of our world blocking the light of the Sun. Shadows are the dark colors of the artist's pallette of our lives, without which there would be no texture, no structure, no light. As I reviewed my poems for this volume, I found some were naturally rainbows and some naturally shadows, and I separated them into one section called Rainbows and one called Shadows. My wife Del likes me to read to her one Rainbow followed by one Shadow — they seem to complement each other, she says. I have put the section titles in the header to facilitate such a manner of reading.
In addition to the poem, I have included a short note (where available), which notes altogether contain a panoply of information about my poems: when they were written, what I was doing at the time, what I was reading that inspired them, and on what scrap of paper I wrote them. Poems do not "form in their own water" (as my friend Calvin said of volcanoes), but they may form in the water of ideas suggested by others and completed in some fashion by me. In gratitude, I include in many of the Notes the authors' names and sometimes a brief reference or quote of the source of the inspiration. By reading the Notes, one may readily discern my favorite authors and assorted sources of inspiration during the five-year period of writing this book.
There is an ambiguity in the phrase driving to work that leaves unspecified whether I was alone in the car at the time. Believe me, I could never think these thoughts if I were not alone in the car. Sometimes I listened to jazz on WWOZ, sometimes to classical on WWNO, and sometimes only to the thoughts of the writer of the book I was reading and my own thoughts, but always moving on. Like rainbows and shadows are always moving, so was I.
You may have a moving experience also as you join me in my carpool of one on the highway of life. Welcome Aboard! What would you like on the radio, classical or jazz?
These poems are from Bobby Matherne's 1995 book of poetry, Rainbows & Shadows, most of which have never been published on the Internet before. Here at the beginning of the new millennium, we are publishing five poems until all poems and notes have been published on-line. Some of these poems have appeared in earlier DIGESTWORLD Issues and are being republished here with their associated NOTES above each poem.
This month we continue with a poem from the Rainbows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). This poem was written on March 10, 1984. An obvious paraphrase of the biblical saying, “Greater love hath no man than if he lay down his life for his friends.” Click Here to see the poem's original Artwork from page 17 of The Center Book.
Greater love hath no man
Than if he stand up
His life for his Friends.
This month we continue with a poem from the Shadows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995): A Vacant Lot. This poem was written on Sept 19, 1991. It was inspired by the title line "Scientists are a vacant lot" and the response it elicited from Del and Maureen (my daughter) when I shared it with them. It is aimed directly at Left Brain dominant scientists that attempt to steer the world with their paltry, limited maps. Their maps are great for building structures, but not for living. For living they should leave the steering to the Right Brain dreamers and poets.
A Vacant Lot
Scientists are a vacant lot
with a For Sale sign out front.
They like to show what they are not
and lift their vacant truths to flaunt.
Scientists are made not born
when as an adult they quickly learn
To stuff their hoary truths
in journals and three piece suits
To steal their bread appropriately
in voting booths from you and me.
Like silver threads among the galled
they leave the populace appalled,
Because the owner of the mines they salt
has no use for their perfected fault.
But undaunted in their forensic foray,
they shiver outside on a winter's day
And proclaim that globalwarming is on the way.Scientists are a vacant plot
Weeds are all that they have got.
Plants they want to trim and cut
And leave us with nothing but
A scorching concrete parking lot.
3. Chapter: Rainbows
This month we continue with a poem from the Rainbows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). I Am As God Created Me: This hymn was written April 15, 1991 while driving to work at 5 A.M. on page 162 of the Course in Miracles Workbook, which is Lesson 94: "I am as God created me." The title is iambic tetrameter, one of my favorite meters. The words and phrases of the hymn are direct quotes or slight paraphrases of other lessons in the same book.
I Am As God Created Me
I am as God created me
I am His Son eternally.
I see not doubt but certainty
I am as God created me.
There is no will but God's, you see
His holy Grace is given me.
I see the true reality
His legacy belongs to me.I am as God created me
I am His Son eternally.
Miracles are seen in light
All is blessed in my sight.
Today I see God's will for me
Salvation only comes from me.
He turns His loving Face to me
I live in His reality.
All I have is given me
Light and Joy abide in me.I am as God created me
I am His Son eternally.
This month we continue with an unpublished poem from the Shadows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). To Sleep . . . : This poem written on March 11, 1991. It was inspired by the phrase "my ancestors' sleep." The title alludes to Shakespeare's famous line from Hamlet, "to sleep, perchance to dream." It also hints of Jane Robert's philosophy as elaborated on in "The Education of Oversoul 7" (1973) which I read in the 1970s but did not review.
To Sleep . . .
I see an endless string of forebears
stretching backwards to eternity
And, while caught up in my reverie,
my ancestors sleep and dream of me.
5. Chapter: Rainbows
This month we continue with a poem from the Rainbows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995), one not published before. Moving Still: This poem was written on April 18, 1995. It was inspired by reading The Quantum Self by Danah Zohar. The title of this poem is from her quote of T. S. Eliot at the head of Chapter 10 on page 141 of her book:We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity
For a further union, a deeper communion
Through the dark cold and the empty desolation,
The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my
beginning. — T. S. Eliot, “East Coker,” Four Quartets
And in the stillness
Like sunlight raying on a window sill
Like moonlight playing on a distant hill
Like lotus blooming in a silent pool
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.“Labyrinth of Lies” (2015) Radmann, the young prosecutor, is warned, “Don’t lose yourself in the labyrinth.” Story of how he brought dozens of Germans who killed people in Auschwitz to trial and convicted them around 1958. A DON’T MISS HIT ! !
“Palms in the Snow” (2015) Killian returns from Madrid to his birthplace in tropical West Africa and runs his father’s coca bean plantation and falls in love with a native girl. Gripping story beautifully portrayed.
“Eddie the Eagle” (2016) flapped his way to a personal best and into the hearts of his countrymen with an Olympics ski jump from the 90 meters high jump. Truth is often more fun than fiction! A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
“Tumbledown” (2016) Whatever happened to Hunter Miles? Therein lies a story and a bunch of great songs. A DON’T MISS HIT !
“Nice Guys” (2016) makes Pulp Fiction looks like Howdy Doody. Ryan & Russell the best detective and comedy team since Gibson & Glover. ROTFL scene with Goslin sitting on the john. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
“The Family Fang” (2016) injected a venom in the name of art which woke people up and then they walked away. Could the parents walk away? A quirky tour de force by Christopher Walken. A Don’t Miss Hit!
"Midnight Special" (2016) Eight-year-old boy has special powers. Is he a weapon or a savior? The Feds, a religion sect, and his parents want him. Who gets him?
"Everybody Wants Some of This" (2016) Delightful story of small university baseball team placed in two next door houses due to athletic dorm shortage. Does the suggestive title refer to the team's bodies or the coeds' bodies? Probably both. A fun flick which we remember seeing before which is strange since it's 2016 flick.
"Southpaw" (2015) Billy Hope loses hope after his right-hand helper, his wife is shot dead. Can he come back as a southpaw?
"The Siege of Jadotville" (2016) gripping story of battle-virgin Irish soldiers sent to defend small outpost in Katanga during the Congo rebellions. They fought against overwhelming mercenary forces and held their own. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Sunset Song" (2015) Trials of a young Scottish farm girl growing up under a tyrant father. Beautiful scenery, touching story, a 'Gone with the Wind' saga set in WWI.
"The Free State of Jones" (2016) During the un-Civil War, deserters were treated worse than runaway slaves: they were shot, the slaves returned to work. So when Knight deserts to get a dead son home, he stays to drive off the so-called tax collectors who barely left 10% if anything for the farmers they 'assessed'. Knight's only safe haven was the inner swamp with runaway slaves which he worked with to build up a free state in which every man was treated equally in a country where that was still a shallow ideal. A DON'T MISS HIT ! !
"Café Society" (2016) a disgruntled jeweler's apprentice heads to fame and fortune in Hollywood and becomes an errand boy for his movie magnate uncle and falls in love with a secretary who shows him around, but she is secretly in love with her boss. It wouldn't be a Woody Allen movie if her boss were not also his boss, and thereupon hangs a piece of tale.
"Mississippi Grind" (2015) Two gamblers in Iowa drive down the Mississippi River on a high stakes gambling trip to New Orleans. Odds are they'll lose everything - several times.
"The Choice" (2016) A Great Choice. A DON'T MISS HIT ! !
"A Royal Night Out" (2015) Princess Elizabeth and her sister Anne are given a night out on V-E Day and have an adventure neither will forget. For Lizzie it was her chance to live, breathe, and rub shoulders with the common folk which will serve her well in her upcoming insulated life as Queen. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Maggie's Plan" (2016) Greta Gerwig and Julianne Moore take turns marrying Ethan Hawke in this delightful story written by a female version of Woody Allen. A DON'T MISS HIT ! !
"Miles Ahead" (2016) of the rest of jazz trumpeters, Miles Davis was a true musician and entrepreneur. This is the story behind the flashy headlines he made as he moved miles ahead of the crowd. A DON'T MISS HIT !
Misses (Avoid At All Costs,AAAC): 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.“Coming Home” (2015) going back unwatched.
Your call on these — your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:"Anything Else" (2003) Woody Allen's typical walking-talking style as he advises a young almost married how to live his life and then takes his own advice. Anything else?
"Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" (2016) and also a sense of growing up and apart from each other.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Le Broussard Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission
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Thanks to Verne Rainey for this one.
A sexy Cajun gal named Camille loved smoking, drinking, and having sex. One night as she drifted off to sleep, an angel visited her, said, "Camille, if you ever want to get into Heaven, you will have to give up smoking, drinking and promiscuous sex. Do you understand me?"
Camille trembled a bit said, "Mais ouis — Ah gonna did my best."
A week later the angel appeared to Camille as she was drifting off to sleep and asked her, "Camille, have you been keeping the promise you made to me?"
"Ah been good, Ah guarantee." Camille replied, "Ah've given up smoking dem t'ree packs of Marlboros a day and Ah done stopped drinking dat quart of Jack Daniels Black Label every day lak Ah used to did."
"Dat's good . . . er . . . I mean that's good, Camille," the angel said, "what about sex? You didn't mention that."
"Oh yeah, sex. You see, Ah been very good until just yesterday Ah bent over to get some boudain sausage out of de freezer, and my boyfriend, Tee John, done caught sight of my long slender legs. He came over and pulled up my skirt, pulled my panties down, and made love to me right den and dere."
"Camille, I'm sorry to tell you that they don't like that in Heaven."
Camille said, "Mais, lemme tole you sumping: Dey're not too happy about dat in WalMart either!"
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5.Household Hint for November, 2016 from Bobby Jeaux:
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Background on Rose Stem Trimming:
I don't recall where I first heard this, so a big thank you for whoever shared that with me. If you'll notice that expensive long-stemmed rose bouquets arrive with small tubes attached to the end of each rose. Okay, that's to keep them fresh while in shipment, right? But it's also to keep the tips of each stem drying out, which happens very quickly when you snip a rose stem. Here's a way to keep roses fresh even if you have to allow the tip of stem to dry out before you can get it into water.
You'll need a sharp scissors or snips (such as the CUTCO snips shown in photo) because you'll have to cut each stem quickly and cleanly, usually at an angle. Clean away any rose leaves from the part of the stem which will be under water.
Cutting the Stems
Place the stem of the freshly-cut roses, one at a time, into the water of its vase, and carefully snip the tip of the stem UNDERWATER.
The piece of cut stem will float to the top to be extracted easily from the vase.
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6. POETRY by BOBBY:
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This is a poem inspired by my review of The Destinies of Individuals and of Nations, a book of lectures by Rudolf Steiner. In my review I explain the origin of this poem:The moon has always been associated in popular thought with dreams. Steiner makes it clear why this is so. He says, "we still have Moon man in us . . . He is what we call the dreamer in us . . . The dreamer is what is left in us of Moon." His usage of Moon in this passage referred specifically to the Old Moon Epoch or Phase of Evolution which preceded our current Earth Epoch Phase of Evolution. Old wives' tales about the Moon being made of "green cheese" refer specifically to the stage of the Old Moon Epoch. See page 216 where the above passage, which inspired me to write this poem, is found.
The Moon Man
The Man in the Moon
came down too soon
And wrapped us in a dream
The Man in the Moon
is a merry boon
And things are not as they seem.
The Man in the Moon
before our eyes
is so very wise
so very wiser than I.
The Man in the Moon
came down too soon
And took up in us his home.
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7. REVIEWS for NOVEMBER:
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For our Good Readers, here are the reviews and articles featured this month. The first and second reviews this month will be ones which were never published in early DIGESTWORLD ISSUES and will be of interest to our DIGESTWORLD 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: For the Time Being by Annie Dillard
Come with me and follow Annie Dillard into that wildest of spaces – that "deep-sea vent . . . where the people come out" – the maternity ward at the city hospital where "a blue baby-shaped bunch of cells" comes out "between the two hands of Dr. C. Lamont MacMillan." Or to Peru where a man is asking Alex Shoumatoff, "Isn't it true that the whole population of the United States can be fitted into their cars?" Or to the 19th century where the innocents sang "A Bicycle Built for Two" and endured evils such as slavery, civil war, and bacterial infection that do not "seem so vividly terrible as our own evils." We who live in a dark room where the "blue light of television flickers on the cave wall" and "read Consumer Reports every month." We who follow with religious precision whatever passes for the wisdom in our time. "Americans place infants on their backs now – never on their stomachs, lest they smother in their sleep and die. Ten years ago, American placed infants on their stomachs – never on their backs, lest they choke in their sleep and die." We hear Annie mumbling, "soon the continents would roll us under, and new sets of people would trample us." Just as the Chinese trampled over the ten thousand terra cotta soldiers buried for centuries under a field in their countryside.
Come with me and follow Annie Dillard into that wildest of spaces – that "deep-sea vent . . . where the people come out" – the maternity ward at the city hospital where "a blue baby-shaped bunch of cells" comes out "between the hands of Dr. C. Lamont MacMillan." Or to Peru where a man is asking Alex Shoumatoff, "Isn't it true that the whole population of the United States can be fitted into their cars?" Or to the 19th century where the innocents sang "A Bicycle Built for Two" and endured evils such as slavery, civil war, and bacterial infection that do not "seem so vividly terrible as our own evils." We who live in a dark room where the "blue light of television flickers on the cave wall" and "read Consumer Reports every month." We who follow with religious precision whatever passes for the wisdom in our time. "Americans place infants on their backs now – never on their stomachs, lest they smother in their sleep and die. Ten years ago, American placed infants on their stomachs – never on their backs, lest they choke in their sleep and die." We hear Annie mumbling, "soon the continents would roll us under, and new sets of people would trample us." Just as the Chinese trampled over the ten thousand terra cotta soldiers buried for centuries under a field in their countryside.
"Does anyone believe the galaxies exist to add splendor to the night sky over Bethlehem?" she asks us as we march into page 73. "Yes, I do," I answer and you look at me puzzled. "Purity's time is always now," Annie whispers into our ears, and then reads the words of Joel Goldsmith to us, "God has nothing to give you that he is not giving you right now." Or taking from you right now apparently:
"Does anyone believe the galaxies exist to add splendor to the night sky over Bethlehem?" she asks us as we march into page 73. "Yes, I do," I answer and you look at me puzzled. "Purity's time is always now," Annie whispers into our ears, and then reads the words of Joel Goldsmith to us, "God has nothing to give you that he is not giving you right now." Or taking from you right now apparently:
[page 91] This hospital, like every other, is a hole in the universe through which holiness issues in blasts. It blows both ways, in and out of time. On wards above and below me, men and women are dying. Their hearts seize, give out, or clatter, their kidneys fail, their lungs harden or drown, their brains clog or jam and die for blood. Their awarenesses lower like lamp wicks.
We lower our eyes like lamp wicks as she balefully focuses on the physical side of life. Baleful, until she relates the words of Teilhard who talks of the stone that is not a stone, "I don't know why but geologists have considered every concentric layer forming the Earth except one: the layer of human thought." With "no thought but man's thought" he asks how we could consider any philosophy where man is not the "key to the universe." But "what are we doing here" she asks plaintively and notes that science is mute on the question. Science cannot account for spirit by matter, she says, but Teilhard's top-down notion starts from God and shows that "one can indeed account for matter by spirit." What's that? Oh, it's Annie giving one of her pertinacious facts again. Listen up.
[page 101] Volunteers in famine lands, and rescue workers who haul people from rubble and wrecks, say that those people who are near death have a distinctive look in their eye. They call it "circling the drain."
The current popularity of news programs of disasters, airplane wrecks, earthquakes, spectacular car crashes – how would Annie explain that? Looking up from the books on her lap, we hear her quote from two of them.
[page 109, 110] "For man, maximum excitement is the confrontation of death and the skillful defiance of it by watching others fed to it." Ernest Becker said this in The Denial of Death. Ralph Touchett, in The Portrait of a Lady, says, "There's nothing makes us feel so much alive as to see others die. That's the sensation of life - the sense that we remain." So I watch from the stern; I attend the wake.
All the while, "we live on dead people's heads" she says as we tiptoe across the archaeologists dig in a suburb of St. Louis where they are unearthing thirteen settlements, "one on top of the other, each of which lasted longer than St. Louis has."
If we come from dust and are destined to become one with the dust, why are we here? Let's ask Annie – what would she say? "We are earth's organs and limbs; we are syllables God utters from his mouth."
[page 156] How to live? "The only worthwhile joy," Teilhard wrote in one of his thoughtful, outrageous pronouncements, is "to release some infinitesimal quantity of the absolute, to free one fragment of being, forever."
Christian mystic, Chinese Buddhist, and Jewish Rabbi whisper sweet somethings into Annie's ear and we wait patiently while she blurts out what she has learned. Rabbi Isaac Luria says God didn't extend himself, but withdrew from the world of necessity leaving it to us to handle. Tillich tells us that true prayer is surrender to God. Rabbi Pinhas exhorts us to remember that "the soul teaches incessantly, but it never repeats." Perhaps there is an evolution of consciousness, after all. "Plunge into God," she repeats to us Teilhard's words. Look, there is Son Master Chinul, he's giving Annie advice on how adept people conduct themselves, "In everything they are like empty boats riding the waves . . . buoyantly going along with nature today, going along with nature buoyantly tomorrow." Was he describing us, Annie? Annie? Where did she go? Oh, there she is in the stern of the boat attending the wake again.
[page 175] Our lives come free; they're on the house to all comers, like the shopkeeper's wine. God decants the universe of time in a stream, and our best hope is, by our own awareness, to step into the stream and serve, empty as flumes, to keep it moving.
Are we but flumes in which the stream of time flows, as Annie asks? If so how can she say that, "We live on mined land. Nature itself is a laid trap. No one makes it through; no one gets out." Which are we the eternal flume through which time passes or the prey of a relentless hunter? Where is the meaning in life? Lucille, Teilhard's dearest, wrote, "Friendship is no doubt the highest form of love – and also very difficult." (page 193) Again and again she provokes us with paradox, this Annie, saying one thing and then the very opposite – has she no sense? We've about had enough of this – we're leaving . . .
[page 197] Many people cannot tolerate living with paradox. Where the air is paradoxical, they avoid breathing and exit fast.
Yeah, that's what we would like to do – exit fast from this book of Annie's. It is chock full of paradox and lugubrious images. Like the earth plowing us under. How can she justify that?
[page 203] Ours is a planet sown in beings. Our generations overlap like shingles. We don't fall in rows like hay, but we fall. Once we get here, we spend forever on the globe, most of it tucked under. While we breathe, we open time like a path in the grass. We open time like a boat's stern slits the crest of the present.
Yes, I see that slit – it's the slit in which we seed ourselves and grow like wild things – wild flowers, each blooming in its own season and fruiting in its own time. Rightly understood, we are like the water molecules in the wave split by the stern of the boat – we move up and down in that waving wake, but when the wake has passed we are the stuff that remains, we are the spirit that endures.
2.) ARJ2: Deeper Secrets of Human History in the Light of the Gospel of St. Matthew, GA# 117 by Rudolf Steiner
When I went to enter into my library data base this latest book that I had just finished reading, I did a search to see if I had previously entered the book. Not only did I find an entry for it, but to my amazing revelation, I discovered that I had already read and reviewed the book four years previously. I went to my review shelf and there it was in place with a copy of the review neatly folded in the rear overleaf. I had purchased another copy of the book, put it in my to-be-read shelf, and read it. What to do now? A review already existed here, why write another? Expand the original? After some consideration, I decided to write this new review as if the original review didn't exist.
From the Foreword:
[page 7] The day will come, Rudolf Steiner once declared, when the whole human race will acclaim the Bible as the greatest book in the world, inasmuch as it will be seen to contain the whole history of the spiritual evolution of mankind.
An appropriate introduction to the subject of the first lecture in which Steiner lays out the essence of the four Gospels for us. To begin with, Steiner gives as an example of love without wisdom, the story of a mother whose intense love prevents her from correcting her son when he steals something from the home, and the child grows up into a major criminal. In the Gospel of St. John, we are directed to the soaring qualities of the eagle, Love united with Wisdom:
St. John: "I am the light of the world."
[page 13] The significance of the Love that streamed into the world from Golgotha lies precisely in the fact that it was united, in a single Being, with the Light of the World, with true Wisdom.
For the next Gospel, we are directed to the earthy qualities of the bull, sacrificial Love:
St. Luke: Love through Sacrifice
[page 14, 15] A pictorial presentation of the mood and feeling arising from a right approach to the Gospel of St. Luke is to be found in the portrayals of the Mithras bull being driven to the sacrifice, bearing on its back the figure of a man. . . . Contemplation of the sacrificial animal carrying the man, for whose sake it must be sacrificed in order that, as man, he may be able to advance along his path of life, provides the right basis of feeling for study of the Gospel of St. Luke.
Next, we are directed to the Strength of the lion, as it betokens Supreme Power:
St. Mark: Strength and Power
[page 17] The Strength infused into our earth through Chris-Jesus, the Strength which orders and directs all things and which when it is unfolded, signifies supreme Power — that is what is described in the Gospel of St. Mark as a third attribute of Christ-Jesus.
If we inspect the first twenty pages of this book carefully we discover that the first three Gospels represent the attributes of thinking, feeling, and willing. What is the fourth attribute that completes the quaternary? A hint comes from the fact that the first three are represented by three animals: eagle, bull, and lion. In the 1960's television serial Star Trek the qualities of thinking, feeling, and willing were epitomized dramatically in the three characters Spock, Bones, and Scotty. Mr. Spock was the quintessential thinker, Dr. McCoy or Bones was the feeling person, and Scotty was the engineer in charge of making the Enterprise starship respond to the will of the Captain. The Captain, of course, was James Tiberius Kirk, and Capt. Kirk was in charge of the entire ship and its crew. Capt. Kirk, when confronted with a problem, received thinking advice (data) from Spock, feeling advice from Bones, and willing advice from Scotty ("The ship is barely holding on, Captain!"). After all the advice was given, it was up to Kirk to make the decision, and often the decision came right out of the blue — had nothing to do with any of the received advice. Carl Jung called this fourth attribute, intuition, to signify its origin — as if it came from another world.
Here's how Steiner blends these four into a full picture of man as the human being who combines the aspects of thinking, feeling, and willing into one unified Personality. This is the unification that the Gospel of St. Matthew provides us as it completes the quaternary and allows us "to understand human life, human history, and human destiny."(page 21)
[page 19, 20] . . . if we have acquired from the Gospels of St. John, St. Luke and St. Mark some conception of the Thinking, Feeling and Willing of Christ-Jesus, we can attempt to harmonise these three attributes into a united whole. The picture will inevitably lose precision and vividness, for no human faculty is capable of unifying what it has made separate and distinct. In Being itself there is unity, not separation; but for us, only at the final stage is it possible to gather the separated attributes into a unity. Although it will be less vivid, we shall at last have a presentation of what Christ-Jesus was as earthly Man.
[page 21] . . . a picture of the human personality of Christ-Jesus can be afforded only by study of the Gospel of St. Matthew.
In the genealogy given in the Gospel of St. Matthew we follow the progress of the Hebrew people from Abraham down into the birth of Jesus. When Abraham spared the life of his son Isaac by replacing him with the ram, he was symbolically sacrificing the two-petalled lotus or the third-eye chakra which contains the ancient clairvoyance ability of the Hebrew people. This chakra is also call the "horns of the Ram." When Joseph showed up later with this ancient capability he was cast out of his tribe and found his way to Egypt, a country which yet maintained this ability, but was unable to apply the faculty of mathematical logic to interpreting the imaginations that came from their clairvoyance. Joseph provided to them this capability that existed in his Hebrew blood-line and soon became a very valuable advisor to the Pharaoh, interpreting the Pharaoh's clairvoyant dreams for him. (page 36,37)
Steiner points out that the three sets of fourteen generations given in St. Matthew's Gospel correspond to the first three ages of man in the following way. The first fourteen generations take us from Abraham to the first part of the Book of Kings and parallel for the Hebrews the development of the physical body of the human being which occurs during the first seven years of life. The reason for the fourteen generations in place of seven is the need for a period of quiescence or pralaya between each generation during which what is achieved is solidified before the next generation. This process called pralaya occurs during the evolution of the cosmos, such as when the Sun re-absorbs the Old Moon, returning to the Old Sun phase before the final separation stage into Sun and Old Moon occurs. Although Steiner doesn't mention it specifically, one can infer that the second phase of development of the Hebrew people, the second fourteen generations bridging the time span from first Kings to the Babylonian captivity, corresponds to the emergence and maturation of the etheric body of the Hebrew people, just as today, the etheric body of a human child emerges during the years from seven to fourteen. And finally the third phase during which the development into adulthood occurs corresponds to the third fourteen generations of the Hebrew people that span from the Babylonian captivity to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.
[page 31] A brain capable of understanding Jahve had to be preserved through physical heredity. Jahve's covenant with Abraham had also to pass on to his descendants. This, however, called for the uttermost devotion to Jahve on the part of Abraham; for it is possible to develop a particular organism to further stages only if it is used in conformity with the purpose for which it was originally created.
Only by the purification and refinement of the human body over these 42 generations could Zarathustra find a human body that provide the instrument for his incarnation as described in the Gospel of St. Matthew into the body of Jesus in Bethlehem. This great Spirit first incarnated in Zarathustra's physical body, then incarnated in Moses' etheric body, and later incarnated in Hermes' astral body. [See ARJ Gospel of St. Luke Review.] We move ahead to Bethlehem and find another Joseph who has a dream that tells him to take Jesus newly incarnated with the Ego of Zarathustra with him and Mary to Egypt.
[page 42, 43] Thus, in the appearance of the Bethlehem Jesus — only later called the Nazarene — there is a recapitulation of the whole destiny of the ancient Hebrew people up to the return from Egypt to Palestine, the Promised Land. Events in the outer history of the Hebrew people, extending over long, long centuries, are now recapitulated in the destiny of that human being who was Zarathustra incarnated in the body of the Bethlehem Jesus. This — conceived on the vast scale of in which it is presented in the Gospel of St. Matthew — is the secret of human history in general. Human history cannot be understood unless it is recognised that in the destiny of every great Individuality charged with a special mission the whole process of development through centuries is recapitulated; that such Individualities represent the essence and extract of what has been achieved in history through long ages.
And what had been achieved in history through long ages leading up to the time of Christ-Jesus was the preparation for the emergence of humanity into a love that was free from the bonds of one's bloodline. Until that happened humankind remained with one foot in the animal kingdom where bloodline is all important. The stage had been set for the emergence of the Ego, the 'I' of humankind in freedom and love.
[page 46] In the 'I' the kingdom of the Spirit speaks; the Spirit from the heavens speaks when the 'I' has become fully self-conscious.
This helps us to understand that when Christ-Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand," that He was referring to the imminent emergence of the 'I' of humankind. In other words, the mineral kingdom, the plant kingdom, and the animal kingdom were soon to be supplemented by the "kingdom of heaven" which Steiner calls an alternative to the phrase, the "kingdom of man."
[page 54] Through the widespread intermingling of blood, conditions which in earlier times had great meaning and purpose, passed away, but in their place came the possibility of the full activity of the human Ego. Thus the true kingdom of mankind — the Kingdom of Heaven — was added to the other kingdoms.
As the the Sadducees and Pharisees arrived in his presence to be baptized, John realized that they would be seeing the Serpent (a remnant of the Luciferic beings of man's early development phase) rather than the Lamb that his Hebrew followers experienced as the soul-nature of their etheric bodies during their baptism. It is not a surprise that he labeled them quite sanely, "a generation of vipers" (page 63). Nor that he said, "God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham."As Paul points out in his letter to the Galatians [IV, 24-25], the words Hagar and Sinai are cognates of the same root word, stone. Thus the Pharisees as descendants of Abraham and Hagar were raised up from stone unto Abraham. From Sinai, the other stone, the Hebrew people received what had been cast out of their blood in the form of the Law of Moses on stone tablets. (page 66)
[page 67] Those, therefore, who are followers merely of the Law as given on Sinai - that is, the Pharisees and Sadducees — are exposed to the danger of their development coming to a standstill. they are those who at the Baptism of John will see, not the Lamb, but the Serpent.
"Repent ye!" John shouted to those who came to him to be baptized. We would understand his meaning better, Steiner tells us on page 69, if we understood him to be saying, "Change the tenor of your minds!" Do not look back to the old traditions, but forward to the new.
John was preparing his followers for Christ-Jesus who was to come forth as the Lamb of God and to being preaching to all the message [Matt. IV, 17], "Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand." If I may hazard an interpretation of these words, "Change the tenor of your minds as the Spirit of Heaven, that formed your being from without in ancient times, is residing within you from now on."
3.) ARJ2: Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy 1 GA#304 by Rudolf Steiner
In his swing through Europe giving lectures about education, Steiner was facing audiences who were interested in education, but who were unfamiliar with the supersensible consciousness upon which Waldorf education was based. He avoided the use of any terminology that his audience was unfamiliar with, instead using common sense examples and analogies from the material world. As René Querido says in his Introduction, these lectures contain "a number of surprising jewels not found anywhere else" by learned readers of his lectures, and they "could well be placed also in the hands of beginners who wish to find out in a succinct and clear way what Waldorf Education was really about."
My undergraduate degree was in Physics, so I studied the basis of all the natural sciences in my search to understand how the world worked. I did not want to be an engineer who builds things, but rather to understand the nature of things. Nothing, however, that I learned in my college days gave me any insight into the essence of life itself, what it means for me to be a human being. I began to see life as a puzzle with an enigma on each end. What happened before I was born, and what happens after I die. This formed an unanswered question in me which led me to study the works of other writers and led me eventually to Rudolf Steiner who provided answers to me in his spiritual science, anthroposophy, the science of the full human being, body, soul, and spirit.
[page 2] Natural science, with its scrupulous, specialized disciplines, provides exact, reliable information about much in our human environment. But, when a human soul asks about its deepest, eternal being, it receives no answer from natural science, least of all when science searches in all honesty and without prejudice.
In earlier times, there was only one stream of knowledge which included two worlds: the everyday world of the senses and the spiritual realities. Today most people accept only the world of the senses, but back then one felt oneself as part of both worlds; in fact, the idea of two worlds never occurred to anyone back then. Take, for example, humans in early stages of Greece which was so different from ours today. Steiner explains with the analogy of a finger.
[page 6] During its earlier stages, the state of the human soul was not the same as it is today, for in those days there still existed a dim awareness of humanity's kinship with nature. Just as a finger, if endowed with some form of self awareness, would feel itself to be a part of the whole human organism and could not imagine itself leading a separate existence — for then it would simply wither away — so the human being of those early times felt closely united with nature and certainly not separate from it.
With the adoption of the Copernican Sun-centered view of the universe and the Baconian method of focusing only on the external sensory world, the one stream of our earlier integrated knowledge of the natural and spiritual worlds split into two separate streams of natural science and spiritual science. Actually when the split occurred, and since then, the separate stream of spiritual science was called metaphysics and disparaged by natural scientists as illusory and superstitious. What Steiner has accomplished with his spiritual science is to demonstrate conclusively that spiritual science can be as practical in enhancing our soul life as natural science can be in enhancing our everyday physical life.
The curious thing that Steiner points out is how Aristarchus of Samos in ancient Greece taught a Sun-centered view of our cosmos during a time when the Earth-centered view was active. The Earth-centered view prevailed for some 2,000 years until Copernicus's time. The Sun- or helio-centric view was known in ancient mystery centers, but the leaders of these schools kept it secret from the common person. Why?
[page 7, 8] Why were ordinary people left with the picture of the universe as it appears to the eyes? Because the leaders of those schools believed that before anyone could be introduced to the heliocentric system, they had to cross an inner threshold into another world — a world entirely different from the one in which people ordinarily live. People were protected from that other world in their daily lives by the invisible Guardian of the Threshold, who was a very real, if supersensible, being to the ancient teachers.
Why was this a problem? Because if people could see into this world, it would be a world lacking all soul and spirit!
[page 8, 9] But this is how we see the world today! We observe it and create our picture of the realms of nature — the mineral, plant, and animal kingdoms — only to find this picture soulless and spiritless. . . . it is the kind of knowledge which has become a matter of general education today.
When I took my first airplane ride at age twenty to travel 600 miles to a job interview, I felt the loss of a firm ground under my feet! I felt like I was floating 30,000 feet in air above the ground, as indeed I was. It took me several more flights before this curious sensation finally left me. Now I read where Steiner described this as the type of feeling that the leaders of the mystery schools encountered when teaching their students the heliocentric view of the Earth spinning around the Sun. Their students would have fainted without proper preparation. In my early jet airplane flights, I felt the world torn away from under me, exactly as the ancients would have felt if taught the heliocentric view. What took long training of students in ancient times, I overcame quickly because of the greatly increased human level of self-consciousness as it has evolved in our time.
[page 9, 10] At the same time, we can see how we look at the world today with a very different self-consciousness than people did in more ancient times. The teachers of ancient wisdom were afraid that, unless their pupils' self-consciousness had been strengthened by a severe training of the will, they would suffer from overwhelming faintness of soul when they were told, for example, that the earth was stationary but revolved around the sun with great speed, and they too were circling around the sun. This feeling of losing firm ground from under their feet was something that the ancients would not have been able to bear. It would have reduced their self-consciousness to the level of a swoon. We, on the other hand, learn to stand up to it already in childhood.
It is because our consciousness has evolved to be primarily intellect-based that we can handle, without extra training, concepts such as the heliocentric view of our Solar System without feeling a loss of footing. We can see how, when we use intellectual reasoning we lose all experience of our innate sense of feeling, i. e., as Steiner says on page 12, ". . . we are deprived of the kind of knowledge for which our souls nevertheless yearn." It was indeed for me the kind of knowledge I yearned for at age 22 and I had no idea where to seek this soul knowledge, or even if there existed any such knowledge!
If we have intellectual honesty, we cannot imagine our natural world as split away from the world of the spirit.
[page 23] We do not contemplate nature as being thus alienated from the world of spirit. And, if people today are honest, they cannot help becoming aware of the dichotomy between what is most precious in them on one hand, and the interpretation of the world given by natural science on the other.
One can look at the stark emptiness of a world devoid of soul portrayed in the dismal ending scenes of the movie "A. I.". It is the world of people who have adopted the firm footing of materialistic natural science and have developed a bleak view of the Earth as a tiny speck in some desolate corner of the Universe which will eventually fall into the Sun and burn away into nothingness. The very idea of nothingness is a nightmare for the natural scientist. They are born out of nothing and die into nothing, just as their world itself will do. Life is hopeless and everything we strive for will disappear in time. That is the message of natural science.
[page 24, 25] This is the point at which spiritual science enters, not just to grant new hope and belief, but resting entirely on its own sure knowledge, developed as I have already described. It states that the natural-scientific theory of the world offers only an abstract point of view. In reality, the world is imbued with spirit, and permeated by supersensible beings. If we look back into primeval times, we find that the material substances of the earth originated in the spiritual world, and also that the present material nature of the earth will become spirit again in future times. Just as, at death, the human being lays aside the physical body to enter, consciously, a spiritual world, so will the material part of the earth fall away like a corpse and what then is soul and spirit on earth and in human beings will arise again in future times, even though the earth will have perished. Christ's words — taken as a variation of this same theme — ring true: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Human beings thus can say, "Everything that our eyes can see will perish, just as the body, the transient part of the human individuality does. But there will rise again from this dying away what lived on earth as morality. Human beings will perceive a spiritual world around them; they will live themselves into a spiritual world."
Clearly our life is limited by the boundaries of birth and death, but everything we are doing here on Earth of a moral nature will live on into another world we have no words to describe. This realization is the goal of spiritual science.
[page 27] It enables us to become aware of our spirituality. It helps us see in our fellows other beings of soul and spirit. And it helps us recognize that our earthly deeds, however humble and practical, have a cosmic and universal spiritual meaning.
"That all sounds good," you may be thinking, but what has spiritual science done to make my world better?" The full answer to this question would require a detailed study of Rudolf Steiner's works, but, in a few passages, he describes what has been done so far.
[page 28, 29] Last spring, I was able to show how what I could only sketch tonight, as the beginning of spiritual-scientific research can be applied in all branches of science. On that occasion, I showed doctors and medical students how the results of spiritual science, gained by means of strict and exact methods, can be applied to therapeutics. Medical questions, which can often touch on other problems related to human health, are questions that every conscientious doctor recognizes as belonging to the facts of our present civilization.
[page 29, italics added] During that autumn course, specialists drawn from many fields — law, mathematics, history, sociology, biology, physics, chemistry, and pedagogy — tried to show how all branches of science can be fructified by anthroposophical spiritual science. . . . The courses were meant to show how spiritual science, far from fostering dilettantism or nebulous mysticism, is capable of entering and fructifying all of the sciences and that, in doing so, it is uplifting and linking each separate branch to become part of a comprehensive spiritual-supersensible conception of the human being.
In a few short pages Steiner has shown us that one can lead a practical life full of spirit by grasping the real nature of spiritual science. Doing so is one of "the paramount needs of our present age." (Page 30) He sums up his lecture this way:
[page 31] This gives us the hope that those who still oppose spiritual science will eventually find their way into it because it strives toward something belonging to all people. It strives toward the spirit, and humanity needs the spirit.
Why do we need the spirit? Because almost one hundred years after Steiner gave these lectures, we have learned a lot more about the physical body through advances in physiology, psychology, and medicine. Yet we, in this nascent millennium, still have a lot to learn about the greater part of the human being, the soul and spirit, and spiritual science can provide the answers to the yearnings of our soul by continuing to expand our knowledge into soul and spiritual realms.
[page 33] Only this spiritual-scientific continuation allows a person to acquire the kind of knowledge that can answer the deepest longings in the minds and the souls of modern human being. Thus, through spiritual science, one really comes to know human beings.
In the list of fields (Page 29 above), I highlighted one special field that Steiner's spiritual science can benefit, and that is pedagogy, the field of education. Steiner says on page 35, "One of the most important practical activities is surely education of the young." A quick scan of the list of Waldorf Education lectures that Steiner gave (see bottom of this review for the list or link to the list) will show that all but a few of these lectures were given by him in the last five years of his life (1919-1924). The Roots of Education (March, 1924) were the very last lectures on education he gave, coming after over 6,000 other lectures during the previous 25 years. He gave few lectures afterward and died in March, 1925. He had obviously come to realize that the best way to apply his spiritual science to the practical needs of society was through bringing it into the service of pedagogy. We need this especially for our children, who arrive in this world as spiritual beings and deserve to be treated as such, not treated as fodder for some educational machine to crush, manipulate, and spit out materialistic robots into society. No, our children deserve the chance to meet their full potential as human beings, and Steiner-inspired Waldorf educational principles groom teachers to recognize the soul-spiritual nature of each child and assist each one to grow into a healthy, happy adult, living with an inner harmony of body, soul, and spirit.
[page 36] And because spiritual science, in its own way, seeks the inner harmony between knowledge, religious depth, and artistic creativity, it is in a position to survey rightly — that is spiritually — the enigmatic, admirable creation that is a human being and how it is placed in the world.
In the above quote we can deduce that when Steiner says, "survey rightly," he means "understand spiritually." Similarly when he says, "understood rightly," as he does in many lectures, we can take him to mean, "understood spiritually."
If you have ever traced a great river from its source to its delta, you will have noticed that at times, the water disappears beneath ground and appears again further downstream. It is the same water appearing in a new location. Steiner uses this metaphor to describe how the way one plays in one's early youth reappears in one's twenties as aptitude for finding one's way in the world as an adult. I was fortunate to have four brothers and neighborhood kids to play with, and our parents occasionally guided, but never restricted our play unless we caused harm to ourselves or others, which was rare. We were never bored, always finding interesting things to do, games to play, and fun ways to keep busy.
[page 39, 40] Now, careful observation will reveal that the way in which people in their twenties adapt themselves to outer conditions of life, with greater or lesser skill, is a direct consequence of their play activity during early childhood.
Certain rivers, whose sources may be clearly traced, disappear below the earth's surface during their course, only to resurface at a later stage. We can compare this phenomenon with certain faculties in human life. The faculty of playing, so prominent in a young child, is particularly well developed during the first years of life. It then vanishes into the deeper regions of the soul to resurface during the twenties, transmuted into an aptitude for finding ones way in the world. Just think: by guiding the play of young children, we, as educators, are directly intervening in the happiness or unhappiness, the future destiny, of young people in their twenties!
It is easy to agree with Steiner when he adds, "Such insights greatly sharpen our sense of responsibility as educators."
This next passage illuminates the need for Waldorf teachers to follow their students from the first to the eighth grades. It is the longitudinal experience with the growth of each pupil which will inspire the teachers as they watch the external effects of the child's spirit descending into and shaping its features, its bodily shape and its actions.
[page 40, 41] At this point, I should mention that those who choose to become teachers or educators through anthroposophical spiritual science are filled with the consciousness that a message from the spiritual world is actually present in what they meet in such enigmatic and wondrous ways in the developing human being, the child. Such teachers observe the child with its initially indeterminate features, noticing how they gradually assume more definite forms. They see how children's movements and life stirrings are undefined to begin with and how directness and purpose then increasingly enter their actions from the depths of their souls. Those who have prepared themselves to become teachers and educators through anthroposophical spiritual science are aware that something actually descending from the spiritual worlds lives in the way the features of a child's face change from day to day, week to week, and year to year, gradually evolving into a distinct physiognomy. And they know too that something spiritual is descending in what is working through the lively movements of a child's hands and in what, quite magically, enters into a child's way of speaking.
What is the inner mood of a teacher who wishes to take on the vocation of a Waldorf teacher? Steiner describes this way:
[page 41] The spiritual worlds have entrusted a human soul into my care. I have been called upon to assist in solving the riddles that this child poses. By means of a deepened knowledge of the human being — transformed into a real art, the art of education — it is my task to show this child the way into life.
Now, ask yourself, dear Reader, is a person who undertook teaching in this manner someone you would wish to educate your seven-year-old child? Riddles of childhood not solved by a teacher are like unkissed bruises and bumps on a child's soul which will show up later in various maladjustments to adult life. My surmise is that the increasing frequency of adult children returning to their parent's home from some unsuccessful life experience provides us ample examples of such maladjustments to adult life. Lacking a parental home to return to, many choose homelessness rather than directly face the exigencies of adult life.
Unkissed bruises can harm the children when it grows into an adult, but not as much as actually inflicting soul bruises by premature teaching of reading before writing can. Reading involves absorbing completely abstract figures, the letters of the alphabet, and teachers who require this be done by rote learning hit the child with a soul-deadening process, similar to the deadening that occurs from a shot of novocaine by the dentist. The difference is the dentist's deadening goes away in a few hours, but the soul-deadening can remain unkissed bruises for the rest of a child's life. Look into the childhood of an adult who reads only what is required by their job and cannot enjoy reading for pleasure, and you will find someone who was forced at an early age to learn the abstract letters of the alphabet.
The Waldorf system of teaching writing before reading sometimes creates children who write and read later than traditionally-trained children. Steiner says that, instead of this being a problem, the late start is often an advantage. (Page 47)
[page 47, 48] Of course, it is quite possible to teach young children reading and writing by rote and get them to rattle off what is put before their eyes, but it is also possible to deaden something in them by doing this, and anything killed during childhood remains dead for the rest of one's life. The opposite is equally true. What we allow to live and what we wake into life is the very stuff that will blossom and give life vitality. To nurture this process, surely, is the task of a real educator(1).
It is a curious paradox, one that will be lost on inveterate materialists, that much of what they call the real world consists of completely abstract concepts. Every theory of theirs is filled with abstract concepts, no matter how useful the theory in predicting events in the sensory world. Their theories about human beings are also abstract and are applied to human beings as if they were corpses, those inanimate material bodies lying on an autopsy table. Sometimes their theories are useful. But theories applied, without the insights of spiritual science, are often incomplete and inaccurate. We need these expanded insights today more than ever to rescue us from a one-sided, materialistic view of the human being. No wonder that horror films about the walking-dead are so popular today. People sense unconsciously that they themselves are treated by materialistic scientists as if they were mere dead matter which happens to be animated.
[page 49] The pressing demands of society show clearly enough the need for such knowledge today. By complementing the outer, material aspects of life with supersensible and spiritual insights, spiritual science or anthroposophy leads us from a generally unreal, abstract concept of life to a concrete practical reality. According to this view, human beings occupy a cental position in the universe. Such realistic understanding of human nature and human activities is what is needed today.
Where in all of pedagogy is it stated that what a teacher is thinking while speaking to a class is more important than what the teacher is saying? There is one place, in the Final Paper I wrote in 2003 for my graduate course "College Teaching." In the section called The Live Lecturer in the Classroom I explain how I discovered that learning is received directly from the teacher's mind and that what the teacher says is only the carrier wave of that learning. The real learning proceeds from the soul of the teacher to the soul of the student on the wings of the words spoken. [See the end of my review of Jerome Bruner's The Process of Education where he describes how a college professor discovered this meaning-transfer process.]
Teachers can use the metaphor of the caterpillar becoming a butterfly to demonstrate this soul to soul teaching and learning process. The first kind of teacher truly believes that this story evokes the feeling and deep meaning of immortality of human beings, and that what flies from the teacher's soul to the pupils' souls is this spiritual reality. The second kind of teacher considers this butterfly life cycle to be a silly analogy, and as a result the pupils will receive only the supercilious soul attitude of the teacher. Anyone monitoring the classrooms of the two teachers will observe in the second kind's classroom, a complete lack of involved attention to the teacher by the pupils, and in the first kind's classroom, a deep level of introspection by the pupils. And while in the first kind of teacher's classroom, such a powerful metaphor for immortality may not be understood directly by the pupils, but it will embed an unanswered question in each of their minds which will continue to bear fruit as they grow older. What kind of school has teachers of the first kind?
[page 50] A Waldorf teacher, an anthroposophically oriented spiritual researcher, would not feel, "I am the intelligent adult who makes up a story for the children's benefit," but rather: "The eternal beings and powers, acting as the spiritual in nature, have placed before my eyes a picture of the immortal human soul, objectively, in the form of the emerging butterfly. Believing in the truth of this picture with every fiber of my being, and bringing it to my pupils through my own conviction, I will awaken in them a truly religious concept. What matters is not so much what I, as teacher, say to the child, but what I am and what my heartfelt attitude is." These are the kinds of things that must be taken more and more seriously in the art of education.
Here is another paradox: the meaning of the word maya has been completely reversed by modern natural science. In ancient times, maya referred to the external sensory world which to the ancients, offered them only the semblance or outer appearance of reality. Today, modern science deems the external sensory world to be the only reality. This represents a complete reversal of what counts as reality. Rightly understood, the word maya today must be understood to mean ideology. And what is ideology but abstract logical concepts? This is the reality in which we are doomed by materialists to live, move, and have our being. If we accept the materialist's judgment, we live on a tiny mote in an insignificant galaxy in a remote part of the universe, and upon tiny speck we call Earth all our dreams and accomplishments will die a fiery death. (Page 53)
[page 54] According to natural science, what rises in the human soul as ethics, religion, science or art, does not represent reality. Indeed, if we look toward the end of earthly evolution as it is presented by science, all that is offered is the prospect of an immense cemetery. On earth, death would follow, due either to general glaciation, or to total annihilation by heat. In either case, the result would be a great cemetery for all human ideals — for everything considered to be the essence of human values and the most important aspect of human existence. If we are honest in accepting what natural science tells us — such people had to conclude — then all that remains is only a final extinction of all forms of existence.
Steiner saw how such a view led to the materialism of the working class and he perceived the catastrophes ensuing following the Russian revolution which lasted for seventy years and planted its seeds of discord in other countries around the world. What is the alternate to such a bleak world view?
[page 55] Anthroposophical spiritual science gives us not only ideas and concepts of something real but also ideas and concepts by which we know that we are not just thinking about something filled with spirit. Spiritual science gives us the living spirit itself, not just spirit in the form of thoughts. It shows human beings as beings filled with living spirit — just like the ancient religions. Like the ancient religions, the message of spiritual science is not just "you will know something," but "you will know something, and divine wisdom will thereby live in you. As blood pulses in you, so, by true knowing, will divine powers too pulse in you." Spiritual science, as represented in Dornach, wishes to bring to humanity precisely such knowledge and spiritual life.
Steiner observed the state taking over the schools from various denominations and thought it was a good idea, but he knew that meant education would soon become a servant of the state. He warned, "The state can train theologians, lawers, or other professionals to become its civil servants, but if the spiritual life is to be granted full independence, all persons in a teaching capacity must be responsible to the spiritual world, to which they can look up in the light of spiritual science." He also predicted, "One must be clear that freedom from state interference in education will be the call of the future." By doing so he foresaw the advent of "Charter Schools" which provide a considerable degree of independence from the state schools today. In New Orleans, the state and local bureaucracy ran horrible schools with a pitiful graduation rate and abysmal level of educational achievement. No way out of this conundrum was deemed possible until Hurricane Katrina blew through the city and cleared out the state schools which were replaced by healthy and vibrant Charter schools. The snakes of coercion from the state bureaucracy are trying to sneak back into control, and if they do, we can expect a repeat of the former debacle.
On pages 58 and 59 Steiner discusses the economic sphere and uses the example of "crabs" in the publishing business as one example of wasteful practices in his time. Back then, what we know now as "remainders" in the book trade were called "crabs". Today with the advent of Print-on-Demand books, books can be printed when an order is placed, and this eliminates the wasteful and unprofitable "crabs" and keeps books available in print form indefinitely.
What about health and illnesses in the school system? This is an area where Steiner's ideas have been invaluable in the developing of the Waldorf School system. One of these is how the introduction of writing, reading, and arithmetic assaults the child's nature. (Page 76) To counter these necessary assaults, Waldorf teachers learn to first minimize them, by teaching writing before reading using an artistic approach which harmonizes with the child's basic artistic instincts. Secondly, the teachers attempt to restore a harmonic balance after these assaults. They ask themselves, "How do I heal the child from these necessary attacks required by civilization?" Awareness of this is required of the teachers.
[page 77] But this awareness is possible only if we have insight into the whole human organization and really understand the conditions of that organization. We can be proper teachers and educators only if we can grasp the principle of the inflicting of malformations and their subsequent harmonization. For we can then face a child with the assurance that, whatever we are doing when teaching a subject and thereby attacking one or other organic system, we can always find ways and means of balancing the ill effects of leading the child into onesidedness.
This is one realistic principle and method in our education that teachers can use and that will make them into people who know and understand human nature. Teachers, if they are able to know the human being as a whole, including the inherent tendencies toward health and illness, can gradually develop this ability.
Steiner leaves us an unanswered question, "What is the opposite of illness?" We would immediately think the answer is health, but he answers that it is "overabundant bliss". He says that illness comes when one organ is out of whack. I think of it like the way one person out of step in a marching band disrupts the harmony of the entire formation.
[page 78] What occurs in the case of illness is that a single organ, or organic system, no longer operates within the overall general organization but assumes a separate role. This has a complement in the case of a single organization merging into the total organization.
One might imagine the role of a dictator like Hitler as an example of a single person merging into a total organization. We call such a system a totalitarian system. Look at the bliss felt at the huge Nazi rallies when Hitler spoke: can you understand this as bliss? And yet, the people in rally felt it and it was clearly not healthy for the German people in the long run. Rightly understood, health is a balance between illness and overweening bliss.
[page 79] Between these two extremes — of feeling ill or pained and the feeling of well-being or organic bliss — a healthy human being must hold the balance. This is what health really is: holding the balance.
Before teeth change around age 7, the child's forces are devoted to construction of the physical body, and afterwards these same forces are diverted into the forces of idea-forming, memory, and so on, the very forces teachers will call on for the child's educational development in the primary grades. And teachers do best by activating these forces in an artistic fashion, such as by teaching writing using artistic designs to develop the child's drawing of the otherwise abstract letters of the alphabet. The other important aspect is to counteract these assaults on the child during the morning sessions by devoting the afternoons to purely artistic bodily movement sessions. In Waldorf schools, such a balance is maintained with watercolor and eurythmy classes in the afternoons.
Steiner focuses particularly on the ages of 9, 10, and 11 leading up to puberty, saying how important they are, because the soul spirit nature of the child is re-submerging into the physical body as puberty approaches. As I recall, that age period was the time when I was taking out 5 books each week when I went to the Westwego Library and reading about every aspect of the world I could find. I recall it had a collection of about 30 Dr. Doolittle books which I sailed through because of the varied nature of the adventures the good doctor had. I learned a lot about the world through his eyes.
[page 83, 84] Indeed our adolescents will develop abnormally if we do not recognize that we must fill their souls and spirits that are submerging into their physical being with an interest for the whole world. If we do not do this, they will become inwardly excitable, nervous or neurasthenic (not to speak of other abnormalities). As teachers, we must direct our pupils' interests to the affairs of the wide world, so that our young people can take into their bodily being as much as possible of what links them to the outer world.
Waldorf education always comes down to practical application by teachers of their skills. Rather than having a doctor stand alongside a teacher to determine what should be done for a specific student, the teachers ingest a knowledge of the child's tendencies toward health or illness.
[page 85, 86] A healthy situation is possible only when teachers let their knowledge of health and illness permeate their entire teaching. Such a thing, however, is possible only if a living science, as striven for by anthroposophy, includes knowledge of healthy and sick human beings.
In those cases where the teacher must lead a child into onesided development in reading, writing, and arithmetic, the teacher knows how to take measures to restore the child into harmony again.
[page 86] If teachers are introduced to both healthy and sick development of children in a living way, if they can harmonize those two aspects of child development, then their own feeling life will at once be motivated. They will face each individual child with his or her specific gifts as a whole human being. Even if teachers teach writing in an artistic way, they can still be guiding their children in a onesided way that comes very close to malformation. But, at the same time, they also stand there as whole human beings, who have a rapport with their children's whole beings and, in this capacity, as whole human beings, they themselves can be the counterforce to such onesidedness.
The teacher learns to develop and utilize the wordless communication from soul to soul. That is the key to 1,001 imponderables when Steiner refers to in the next passage:
[page 86, italics added] There are two things that must always be present in education. On one hand, the goal of each particular subject and, on the other, the 1,001 imponderables which work intimately between one human being and another.
Teachers do best when they allow their children to open their inner beings to them. When children believe in the authority of the teacher, the teacher becomes the whole world for them. This teacher-world continues until the children are released into the outside world upon graduation. The reason for this change being called commencement is that the children begin their participation in the larger world outside. (Page 121)
[page 121] If they find a world in us as their teachers, then they receive the right preparation to become reverent, social people in the world. We release them from our authority which gave them a world, into the wide world itself.
People who cannot hold unanswered questions do best to avoid becoming teachers. One can spot such people because they have an "I know that!" attitude about most any subject one talks about or discusses with them. Such people, if they became teachers, would likely use familiar clichés to talk to their children because the clichés describe what they understand. Unfortunately, if their understanding is at the shallowest level, such teachers will quickly lose the attention of their children in a classroom. Why? Because they have only the cliché to describe their shallow understanding and that shallow understanding flows unabsorbed through their children's ears and souls.
[page 132] And what happens when we speak in clichés — no matter whether the subject is religious, scientific, or unconventionally open-minded? The child's soul does not receive the necessary sustenance, for empty phrases cannot offer proper nourishment for the soul.
Children clearly will not love a teacher whose forté is the empty phrase or cliché. Steiner understood that, and whenever he visited a Waldorf classroom, he asked one specific question of the students there whose response gave him immediate confirmation that the Waldorf teacher was doing a great job. Can you imagine what such a question might be?
[page 133] I must confess that whenever I come to Stuttgart to visit and assist in the guidance of the Waldorf School — which unfortunately happens only seldom — I ask the same question in each class, naturally within the appropriate context and avoiding any possible tedium, "Children, do you love your teachers?" You should hear and witness the enthusiasm with which they call out in chorus, Yes!" This call to the teachers to engender love within their pupils is all part of the question of how the older generation should relate to the young.
I daresay few if any teachers could receive such an enthusiastic response in any classroom of the average state-run school system today.
Steiner gave over 6,000 lectures in twenty-five years, and never spoke using empty phrases or clichés. His words, even if talking about a subject he had lectured on before always came straight from his heart. When we say someone speaks from the heart, we are describing the process of knowledge flying from the speaker on the wings of words, from one heart to another heart.
[page 137] It might surprise you to hear that in none of the various anthroposophical conferences that we have held during the past few months was there any lack of younger members. They were always there and I never minced my words when speaking to them. But they soon realized that I was not addressing them with clichés or empty phrases. Even if they heard something very different from what they had expected, they could feel that what I said came straight from the heart, as all words of real value do.
The practice of foot-binding of young Chinese girls to maintain a small size for their females, thought to make them prettier, has been universally decried and has disappeared from use in modern China. But the same liberal thinkers who would decry foot-binding can often be found teaching children using abstract concepts that are soul-binding, providing soul-shoes too tight for the children's souls to expand into, producing children of small souls and constricted understanding of the world. The result is not pretty.
[page 152] It is so easy to feel tempted to teach children clearly defined and sharply contoured concepts representing strict and fixed definitions. If one does so, it is as if one were putting a young child's arms or legs, which are destined to continue their growth freely until a certain age, into rigid fetters. Apart from looking after a child's other physical needs, we must also ensure that its limbs grown naturally, unconstricted, especially while it is still at the growing stage. Similarly, we mst plant into a child's soul only concepts, ideas, feelings, and will impulses that, because they are not fixed into sharp and final contours, are capable fo further development. Rigid concepts would have the effect of fettering a child's soul life instead of allowing it to evolve freely and flexibly. Only by avoiding rigidity can we hope that what we plant into a child's heart will emerge during later life in the right way.
When we understand as teachers, that what we plant in and instill into our children's hearts will appear much later in life, it should be clear that what can be represented as a letter grade on a report card at the end of one year is little more than a shallow cliché. This is why Waldorf School teachers prepare a poem at the end of a term for each student, a poetic representation which may contain numerous unanswered questions to fructify the child's entire adult life to come.
Steiner could see no use for experiments done with children. One need only look at an early experiment when Frederick the Great had a group of children isolated from birth to discover what language they would speak naturally. The result of the experiment was that all the children died from lack of human contact! In a similar but less serious vein, the experiments done on modern day children are death-dealing and soul-weakening.
[page 153] What does one seek to discover through experiments in children's powers of comprehension, receptivity to sense impressions, memory, and even will? All of this shows only that, in our present civilization, the direct and elementary relationship of one soul to another has been weakened. For we resort today increasingly to external physical experimentation rather than to a natural and immediate rapport with the child, as was the case in earlier times. To counterbalance such experimental studies, we must create new awareness and knowledge of the child's soul. This must be the basis of a heathy pedagogy.
One will often see people walking and talking together. This is a natural and enjoyable way to have a conversation between two people. The basis of this felt enjoyment goes back to how we develop our will and feeling organizations in our childhood.
[page 155] As young children are learning to walk, they are developing in their brains — from below upward, from the lower limbs and in a certain way from the periphery toward the center — their will organization.
In other words: when learning to walk, a child develops the will organization of the brain through the will activity of its lower limbs.
Next comes the development of the breathing organization which forms the basis of our ability to talk.
[page 155] The breathing assumes what I should like to call a more individual constitution, just as the limb system did through th activity of walking. And this transformation and strengthening of the breathing — which one can observe physiologically — is expressed in the whole activity of speaking.
Once more, as with walking, there is a development from below upward.
[page 155] We can follow quite clearly what a young person integrates into the nervous system by means of language. We can see how, in learning to speak, ever greater inwardness of feeling begins to radiate outward. As a human being, learning to walk becomes integrated into the will sphere of the nervous system, so, in learning to speak, the child's feeling life likewise becomes integrated.
Thus as adults, our will and feeling functions are most in harmony with each other when we walk and talk together with someone. There's an old popular song which goes: "Let's go for an old-fashioned walk, I'm just bursting with talk; what a tale could be told if we went for an old-fashioned walk." There is much truth in those lyrics. So often in a movie, we'll see a man go to talk to his boss, and his boss says, "Walk with me." What could otherwise seem like a move to save time, can now be seen as a way to facilitate the talking by creating a harmony with the walking.
Another insight which Steiner shares is that vowels come from a mother's soul and consonants from a father's movements. Certainly the first words spoken by a baby illustrate this: mama and dada. Say these words and notice how ma-ma focuses on an inner vowel sound, and da-da focuses on an outward striving consonant which one almost has to spit out to speak.
For over thirty years, since my first grandchild was born, I have insisted that they call me Granpa. Now, it occurs to me why I like the name: it combines a mother's vowel sound 'an' and a father's consonant sound, the 'pa', giving it an androgynous quality which fits best with my approach to being a grandparent.
[page 156] It is wonderful to see, for example, what happens when someone — perhaps the mother or another — is with the child when it learns to speak the vowels. A quality corresponding to the soul being of the adult who is in the child's presence flows into the child's feeling through these vowels. On the other hand, everything that stimulates the child to perform its own movements in relation to the external world — such as finding & the right relationship to warmth or coldness — leads to the speaking of consonants. It is wonderful to see how one part of the human organism, say moving of limbs or language, works back into another part.
In the nascent science of doyletics, we postulate that our early memories are full body states which we call doyles, and our later memories involve more cognitive images and thinking, a process which neuroscientists call declarative memories. In this next passage Steiner, speaking a hundred years or so ago, said essentially the same thing. Natural science has been able to pinpoint the hippocampus of the brain as the gateway which transmits the experienced events to the cortex for later recall as thinking and images. Our limbic system in the root brain stores the bodily states for later recall as bodily states or doyles whenever the hippocampus is not functional; this includes the pre-teeth-change stage of growth and the later-in-life times of external stress. An extreme stress event will flood the hippocampus with glutocorticoids, rendering it temporarily non-functional, causing doyles to remain in the limbic region and resulting in post-traumatic stress syndrome episodes as these stored bodily states (doyles) bleed through.
[page 156] . . . just as we see that a child's will life is inwardly established through the ability to walk, and that a child's feeling life is inwardly established by its learning to speak so, at the time of the change of teeth, around the seventh year, we see the faculty of mental picturing or thinking develop in a more or less individualized form that is no longer bound to the entire bodily organization, as previously.
It is important for a teacher to connect with a child using an artistic approach, especially during the earliest years of a child's life. He says on page 116 that, "A true teacher(2) of our time must never lose sight of the whole complex of such interconnections."
Steiner refers to the "etheric body" as the "time organism" as he focuses on the post-teeth change development of the child.
[page 166] There is one moment of special importance, approximately halfway through the second life period; that is, roughly between the ninth and tenth years. This is a point in a child's development that teachers need to observe particularly carefully. If one has attained real insight into human development and is able to observe the time organism or etheric body, as I have described it, throughout the course of human life, one knows how, in old age, when a person is inclined to look back over his or her life down to early childhood days, among the many memory pictures that emerge, there emerge particularly vividly the pictures of teachers and other influential figures of the ninth and tenth years.
The age of 9 and 10 was a time of a lot of early reading for me. I went to our public library once or twice a week, bringing home five books each time, the most allowed to be checked out. The librarian, Mrs. Edith Lawson, was a very influential person in my life, and one vivid image of her sticks in my mind. I was checking my selected books one day and she carefully inspected this one book, looking at the book, and then into my eyes before finally allowing me to take the book. She gave me no reason for this unusual delay, so it remained an unanswered question until a decade or so later, when I realized the cartoon character, whose adventures in the human body I wanted to see drawn out like a comic book for me, was a syphilis bug. Not even understanding it was about a disease, I learned a lot about syphilis, how it enters through the skin and how the disease can cause blindness, for example.
[page 156] What enters a child's unconscious then emerges again vividly in old age, creating either happiness or pain, and generating either an enlivening or a deadening effect. This is an exact observation. It is neither fantasy nor mere theory. It is a realization that is of immense importance for the teacher. At this age, a child has specific needs that, if heeded, help bring about a definite relationship between the pupil and the teacher.
A teacher simply has to observe the child at this age to sense how a more or less innate and unspoken question lives in the child's soul at this time, a question that can never be put into actual words.
In this next passage Steiner makes explicit an insight I mentioned earlier about the need for a live lecturer in a classroom. My insight was this: what was communicated soul-to-soul without being spoken was as important or more important than what was spoken. Children may rebut a teacher's words, but cannot rebut an insight received directly in their souls.
[page 168] People of materialistic outlook usually believe that whatever affects children reaches them only through words or outer actions. Little do they know that quite other forces are at work in children!
There was nothing in my college schooling or in the extensive literature I have read which revealed this reality about children to me before I encountered it in Steiner's lectures. I was taught to believe that the content of words spoken was the sole communication. Later when I studied with Richard Bandler, he taught me that there was an invisible communication channel in the tone one used when one spoke. Amazing, but still a materialistic aspect of communication. What Steiner reveals here is a mode of communication that would have to be ESP (extrasensory perception) by materialists, but it really exists and can be discovered and utilized effectively by teachers and others.
[page 169] Unseen supersensible — or shall we say imponderable — forces are at work here. It is not the words that we speak to children that matter, but what we ourselves are — and above all what we are when we are dealing with our children.
We must learn to think of our words as the mere carrier waves of the reality we transmit (to use a radio metaphor). Or perhaps think of our words as carrier pigeons who carry tiny capsules bound to their feet which contains the real message, the soul message we wish to send to the other person. What we think about when we speak, speaks louder than the words we use, rightly understood.
Words as Carrier Pigeons
Meanings fly from soul to soul
on the wings of words
Meanings are carried like cargo
on the wings of words
Meanings are soul messages
carried on the wings of words
Words are but the carrier pigeon
with an encapsulated soul message
Words are not the message
only its carrier pigeon
Bearing capsules of soul and spirit
between two people.
See my review of Towards Imagination, which contains my poem "On the Wings of Words", for an earlier incarnation of this idea. These capsules of soul and spirit by a parent or a teacher become implanted in the children and ripen into fruit later in their life.
[page 173] We can therefore plant something like soul-spiritual seeds in our children that will bear fruits of inner happiness and security in practical life situations for the rest of their earthly existence.
Some children encounter great difficulties as they grow into early adulthood, being unable to cope with the challenges of life, flunking out of college, being unable to hold a job, etc. Steiner explains how this might happen.
[page 180] If we are asked, "Why has a particular child not developed a healthy ability to discriminate by the time they are thirteen or fourteen? Why do they make such confused judgments?" We often have to answer, "Because the child was not encouraged to make the right kinds of physical hand and foot movement in early childhood."
Eurythmy in Waldorf schools teaches the child to make physical hand and foot movements because it is speech made visible. Steiner says on page 181, "Each single movement — every detail of movement that is performed eurythmically — manifest such laws of the human organism as are found in speech or song." If the child doesn't receive the right kind of hand and foot movements from its parents during pre-school time, it can receive it during Waldorf school time.
I grew up as the son of a blend of German and Cajun parents. They were always using their hands and I mimicked them. Mom crocheted and I even learned to do a little of it myself as the oldest child. My dad while listening the Gillette Friday night boxing matches would knit crab and shrimp nets using a hand-made tool and I learned to do a bit of that also. He bought scraps of lead, heated the lead on the stove, and poured it into wooden forms to make the lead weights for the edge of the shrimp cast nets he knitted. I got a lead soldier kit from Santa which I made soldiers melting the lead as I saw my dad do it. If we needed something to use or work with, Dad always made it by hand, often from discarded material. He built a trailer using the rear axle on a junk auto. He built a crab boiling burner from a discarded water heater burner. When he added on a room to our first home, he showed me how to toenail a vertical stud to keep it upright.
Most of my early footwork was learning to quickly get out of his way when he was working and to fetch something he needed quickly. My fine motor skills developed as I watched my dad working in various ways, e. g., building himself a pirogue, resoling our shoes, cutting my hair and my brothers's hair, catching fish, dancing, hunting, playing, etc. He rarely told me what was the right thing to do, but he quickly corrected me if he sensed I was doing something wrong. Stealing and hurting some else brought his wrath quickly. He was my first teacher about what it was to be a man. From my mother I learned what it was to raise small children, how to burp them, change their diapers, rock them to sleep, kiss their bruised knees, and feed them, etc. By age 20 I could have written the Dr. Spock book on parenting.
[page 189] Listen carefully to what I say: teachers do not implant an ethical attitude by moralizing. To the child, they are morality personified, so that there is truly no need for them to moralize. Whatever they do will be considered right; whatever they refrain from doing will be considered wrong. Thus, in living contact between child and teacher, an entire system of sympathies and antipathies regarding matters of life will develop. Through those sympathies and antipathies, a right feeling for the dignity of human beings and for a proper involvement in life will develop.
Later as the child reaches puberty, these sympathies and antipathies grow into a sense of morality and moral principles, "a moral attitude of soul".
[page 191] This is the wonderful secret of puberty. It is the metamorphosis of what had previously lived in the child as living morality into a conscious sense of morality and of moral principles.
Once more Steiner gives us insight into how what a child learns in early life becomes a source of youthful energy as one ages into the mid-thirties, the mid-fifties, and beyond. A true teacher will recognize this and accept this responsibility as a sacred trust to ensure that the child matures in a healthy fashion.
[page 192] Only at the age of about 35, does a person's soul begin to loosen itself somewhat from the physical body. At that point, two ways are open to us — although, unfortunately, all too often there remains no choice. At that moment, when our souls and spirits free themselves from our physical bodies, we can keep alive within us the living impulses of feeling, will, and concepts that are capable of further growth and that were implanted in our souls during childhood days. In that case, we not only remember experiences undergone at school but can relive them time and again, finding in them a source of ever-renewing life forces. Although, naturally, we grow old in limbs, with wrinkled faces and grey hair and possibly even suffering from gout, we will nevertheless retain a fresh and youthful soul and, even in ripe old age, one can grow younger again without becoming childish.
What some people, perhaps at the age of 50, experience as a second wave of youthful forces is a consequence of the soul's having become strong enough, through education, to enable it to function well not only while it has the support of a strong physique but also when the time comes for it to withdraw from the body.
Waldorf School teachers do not give a letter or number grade at the end of each term. Steiner said that he was unable to distinguish from a B or B- or satisfactory versus unsatisfactory grade. (Page 194) Instead of such grades, the Waldorf teachers write a summary of the child's life during the year plus a short poem, a verse for the child to consider. I would hope the verse would contain several unanswered questions for the child to ponder during the next year and to have answers revealed during the child's later adult life.
[page 195] We do not make use of such marks in our reports. We simply describe the life of the pupil during the year, so that each report represents an individual effort by the teacher. We also include in each report a verse for the year that has been specially chosen for the individuality of the child in words with which she or he can live and in which he or she can find inner strength until the coming of a new verse at the end of the next school year. In that way, the report is an altogether individual event for the child. Proceeding thus, it is quite possible for the teacher to write some strong home truths into a report. The children will accept their mirror images, even if they are not altogether pleasing ones. In the Waldorf school, we have managed this not only through the relationship that has developed between teachers and pupils but also, above all, through something else that I could describe in further detail and that we can call the spirit of the Waldorf school. This spirit is growing; it is an organic being. Naturally, I am speaking pictorially, but even such pictures represent a reality.
My parents and my teachers deserve a "poem grade" for the good work they have done so that I am healthy and happy, and am still working actively as I near 80. It is with gratitude and thanks that I close this review with a verse for them.
True teachers all,
You inspired me:
Giving me many unanswered questions
to enrich my later life.
Modeling for me
how to use my hands and feet
in fun and productive deeds.
Teaching me to hold my hands
in prayer as a child
So that I may be able
to bless those in need now.
May God Bless all of you
for the abundance of Blessings
you have bestowed upon me.
---------------------------- Footnotes -----------------------------------------
Footnote 1. In my review of Human Values in Education, I wrote 20 short stanzas most of which begin with "A true teacher . ." inspired by Steiner's lectures in the book. This one is a propo of the above passage: "A true teacher allows a child to learn by doing so they may grow into a full human being instead of a small professor." Read its Endnote here: http://www.doyletics.com/arj/humanval.shtml#N_20_Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Return to text directly before Footnote 2.
Click Here for a List of 25 books of Waldorf Education Lectures by Rudolf Steiner
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= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =In this section I like to comment on events in the world, in my life, and in my readings which have come up during the month. These are things I might have shared with you in person, if we had had the opportunity to converse during the month. If we did, then you may recognize my words. If I say some things here which upset you, rest assured that you may skip over these for the very reason that I would likely have not brought up the subject to spoil our time together in person.1. Padre Filius Helps Send Les Miles on his way this Month:
Padre Filius, the cartoon character created by your intrepid editor and would-be cartoonist, will appear from time to time in this Section of DIGESTWORLD to share with us some amusing or enlightening aspect of the world he observes during his peregrinations.
This month the good Padre takes a Hammer to the Hardhead:
2. Comments from Readers: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 Kaisu Viikari, MD, PhD in Ophthalmology, Finland:
NOTE: in 1898 Book, "Optical Truths", on page 138, it states that "vertical wrinkles are primary indciation of hyperopia". Plus, on page 64: "Wearing plus glasses may have great cosmetic effect for ladies with latent hyperopia by removing wrinkles."
Dr. Viikari shared the above message from Srdjan Kojic and commented: "Here already is the background of all my writings proved!"
Kaisu, Author of Ocular Accommodation Strain
- EMAIL from Warren Preiss:
I facilitate Gestalt inspired groups after 3 years Gestalt group training which changed my life. I quoted you as below (on a Scottish highland background) on the facebook page as your words are for me very poignant especially in today's age of rampant authoritarianism and political correctness. If that's not okay with you for any reason, please let me know and I can modify or remove the quote."Gestalt is about getting livened up, about re-owning your power, which is important in a world of rules and expectations which strive to take away our power."Cheeers
~~~~~~~~~~~~ REPLY from Bobby ~~~~~~~~~~~~
Yes, Warren, you have my permission, and thanks for asking. My quote is from my review of Barry Stevens' book, Don't Push the River, which has been getting a lot readers in recent months.
- EMAIL from Good Reader:
Myself and 5 others left U of Mn at the end of Winter Quarter in 1949 and drove up the Alcan Highway to Anchorage in a 1936 Buick Roadmaster. Took turns driving while the others played poker. Our clothes and extra gear was stowed in a large box on top. Frozen roads the only way to go since Spring thaw would result in a sea of mud and pot holes.
Worked all summer to accumulate money and married my wife in September. After graduation took my family back and we lived in Portage, at the end of Turnagain Arm, for 3 years, working for the Alaska Railroad. Great memories, but all of my friends have passed over to the Light, to prepare for their rebirth.
Bobby, I have seen the Light, the realm of the Father-Mother principle. I remember knowing when it was time for me to leave that realm. I have a picture memory of seeing my mother's body and the fetus, and then settling into the fetus. This was followed by a falling sensation for the birth process. I have other memories during infancy, one particularly vivid one when I was about 6 months old, still in the crib. If you like, I will give permission to use any of the above, but please do not identify me by name.
~~~~~~~~~~~~ REPLY from Bobby ~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thanks for sharing these memories. Traveling to begin our Northwest Passage Cruise in August, I enjoyed our bus ride from Anchorage along the Seward Highway, and I recall our bus driver/guide telling the story about Turnagain, how the stretch of land got its name during Cook's doubling-back explorations of the area. Got out of bus to get a photo of the narrow gauge Alaska railroad, one of the few railroads where you can get on or off at any point along the track, just get on the track and the train will stop for you.
Your recollection of arriving in the womb is indeed as Rudolf Steiner has described. That others have also described it in a similar way indicates it is a spiritual reality that all of us go through (though few remember it consciously) as we arrive from the spirit world to be born to parents we have beforehand carefully selected.
EMAIL from Chris and Carla Bryant in Corpus Christi, Texas:
Today I noticed something at the top of the website for the first time. It says this website is a FIRST AID KIT with EVERYTHING you need to do a speed trace in one place. I am so thankful that 13 years ago I found this first aid kit and that it was so easy and helpful. I've shared with you many times what a life changing event that was for me and Carla. In fact because of it we've had a life.
Thanks to Doyle, the first aid kit, and especially to you,
EMAIL from Stacey who was on our NWP Cruise:
Hey there Bobby!
I've been reading your Northwest Passage issue (DW#15b) over time. It is really great!! You have quite the sense of humor.
Plus I'm thrilled to be reminded of and learn other things about the history, geography, etc. What an epic journey that was . . .
Hope you and yours are having a wonderful fall!
- EMAIL from Jeff Parsons with a Unique Tale:
The passenger steamer SS Warrimoo was quietly knifing its way through the waters of the mid-Pacific on its way from Vancouver to Australia. The navigator had just finished working out a star fix & brought the master, Captain John Phillips, the result. The Warrimoo's position was LAT 0s 31' N and LON 179 30' W. The date was 31 December 1899.
"Know what this means?" First Mate Payton broke in, "We're only a few miles from the intersection of the Equator and the International Date Line".
Captain Phillips was wise enough to take full advantage of the opportunity for achieving an incredible navigational feat. He called his navigators to the bridge to check & doublecheck the ships position. He changed course slightly so as to bear directly on his mark. Then he adjusted the engine speed. The calm weather & clear night worked in his favor.
At midnight, the SS Warrimoo lay on the Equator at exactly the point where it crossed the International Date Line! The consequences of this bizarre position were many:
The forward part (bow) of the ship was in the Southern Hemisphere & the middle of summer.
The rear (stern) was in the Northern Hemisphere & in the middle of winter.
The date in the aft part of the ship was 31 December 1899.
Forward it was 1 January 1900.
The Warrinmoo was therefore not only in
two different hemispheres,
two different days,
two different months,
two different years,
two different seasons
but in two different centuries — and all at the same time!!!
Thanks for sending this in, Jeff!
3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:"It Surely Is"
Give me your poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free and I will give them taxes, regulations, restrictions, and every manner of unfairness ever created by persons saddled with the illusion that they can decide what is best for someone else's welfare. The individual, like the business professional, knows what's best in a given situation and, given the freedom, will take that action. The forces of coercion are prying open the shell that contains the living muscle and spirit of the American people — will we resist those forces and keep our muscles and spirit alive, free to open at will, or will we give up like the oyster and settle for "freedom on the half shell?" Here is another poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:
It Surely Is
"It's not that we're denying the requests,"
the radio spokesman said,
And went on to explain exactly
how they were denying the requests.
It's not that we decry the use
of the expression, "It's not that" —
For most certainly we do not depreciate
and discredit such a sly expression
Whose usage pretends to say the opposite
of what is really meant.
But, how refreshing it would be
if we could just once hear,
"Yes, we are denying the request
because we hold this other issue dear."
Till then remember this:
(No matter who the speaker is)
When you hear "It's not that,"
you can be sure "It truely is."
The advent of computers raised so many questions, it generated the acronym:
FAQ which stands for the Frequently Asked Question, for which a predetermined answer could be created in a handy list for people, a list of pre-canned answers for people with common questions.
I propose a new acronym:
UAQ which stands for the Un-Answered Question, for which no canned answers can be given because the UAQ, rightly understood, is a seed of discovery for the person holding it!
This new section recently added to Matherne's Rule No. 25.5. SOMETHING FOR FREEOne of the Rules I have learned in life is this: "Anything you get for free is worth less than you pay for it".
If you didn't do well with negative numbers in school, this rule may be puzzling to you. Those who get the meaning can skip this explanation.Now what if you paid nothing for something.
If you buy something and you consider it worth what you paid for it, you got a deal.
If you buy something and you consider it worth more than you paid for it, you got a steal.
If you buy something and you consider it worth less than you paid for it, you got ripped off.
You got it free, right?
You're supposed to feel good, right?
But suppose you have to fill out a long survey, or sit down and listen to a long presentation for a condo you don't want? Or you show up to collect your free gift, perhaps one you won in a contest, and you find out that the gift you wanted requires you to buy a more expensive version of the item which will cost you money, money you had not intended to spend. This last version of something free that is worth less than you paid for it is called a Bait-and-Switch, and it's an abominable way to do business.
Every day free coupons come in the mail and they fly into the trash bin. Offers over the phone get a quick disconnet. Some way or another the coupons or offers will cost me in time, cause me inconvenience or frustation, and when I didn't pay for it, and it costs me one of those miseries, that's an example of something free being worth less than I paid for it. Yes, I didn't pay for it in money, but I paid for in ways that are often more dear than money, namely time and peace of mind.
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9. CLOSING NOTES:
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Thanks to all of you Good Readers for providing the Sunshine which has made this site a Blooming Success. — Especially those of you who have graciously allowed us to reprint your emails and show photos of you and by you on this website — you're looking good! By May 1, 2019, in its 20th year of publication, the DIGESTWORLD and the doyletics website has received over 21.4 MILLION VISITORS ! ! !
We have received about ONE MILLION VISITORS per Year to the Doyletics Website since its inception June 1, 2000, nearly twenty years ago. Almost 2 million in the past 12 months. We are currently averaging about 150,000 visitors a month. A Visitor is defined as a Reader who is new or returns after 20 minutes or more has passed. The average is about one visitor for every 10 Hits.
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Our DIGESTWORLD came into existence years before Facebook and all the other social media which interrupt people's schedules many times a day. All our photos, reviews, cartoons, stories, etc, come to you via a link inside of one short email Reminder at the beginning of each month. We hope you appreciate how we let YOU choose when to enjoy our DIGESTWORLD Issues. To Get a Monthly Reminder, Click Here .
We especially want to thank you, our Good Readers, in advance, for helping our readership to grow. NOTE our name is now: DIGESTWORLD. Continue to send comments to Bobby and please do create links to DIGESTWORLD issues and Reviews on LinkedIn, on your Facebook page, and on other Social Media. When you copy any portion of a webpage or review, please include this text: "Copyright 2018 by Bobby Matherne".
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The cost of keeping this website on-line with its 300 Gbytes of bandwidth a month is about $50 a month. Thank you, our Good Readers, for continuing to patronize our advertisers when they provide products and services you are seeking as you visit any of our web pages. Remember the ads are dynamically displayed and every time you read even the same page a second time, you may find new products and services displayed for your review. Our reviews, digests, tidbits, etc, all our webpages act as Google magnets to bring folks to the website to learn about doyletics and frequent our advertisers, so they support one another in effect.We wish to thank all Good Readers who have made a contribution to the doyletics.com website! Special thanks go to Chris and Carla Bryant in Corpus Christi and Gary Lee-Nova in Canada! And to our newest supporting subscribers Georgi Barioni and Bob Gehrig in Phoenix.
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You can read a description of how to do a Speed Trace (either in English or Spanish):
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To make a connection to the Doyletics website from your own website, here's what to do. You may wish to use the first set of code below to link to the site which includes a graphic photo, or to use the second set of code for a text-only link. Immediately below is how the graphic link will look on your website. Just place this .html in an appropriate place on your website.
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My reviews are not intended to replace the purchasing and reading of the reviewed books, but rather to supplant a previous reading or to spur a new reading of your own copy. What I endeavor to do in most of my reviews is to impart a sufficient amount of information to get the reader comfortable with the book so that they will want to read it for themselves. My Rudolf Steiner Reviews are more detailed and my intention is to bring his work to a new century of readers by converting his amazing insights into modern language and concepts.
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10. GRATITUDE - in Three Easy Steps:
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Maintaining a website requires time and money, and apart from sending a donation to the Doyletics Foundation, there are several ways you can show your gratitude and support our efforts to keep doyletics.com on-line.
One would be for you to buy a copy of my Dolphin Novel, The SPIZZNET File. Books May be ordered in hardback or paperback form from Xlbiris the Publisher here:
The best source at the best price is to order your copies on-line is from the publisher Random House/Xlibris's website above.
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Any questions about this DIGESTWORLD ISSUE, Contact: Bobby Matherne
Does your Face sometimes resemble the Faces Below? If so, Click on the Faces or Flags to Dig into our First Aid Kit.
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Books are Lighthouses Erected in the Sea of Time
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