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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Joan Alimia (1946-2017) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ Friend and Neighbor in Timberlane ~~~~~
WELCOME TO DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#174 April, 2017== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Quote for the Resurrection Month of April:
Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.
Native American Saying
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GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents ISSUE#174 for April, 2017Archived DIGESTWORLD Issues
Table of Contents
1. April's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for April
3. On a Personal Note
Rainbows & Shadows Poems
4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe or Household Hint for April, 2017 from Bobby Jeaux: Auto-Filling Watering Can
6. Poem from A Course in Miracles Review: "The Quantum Mechanic"
7. Reviews and Articles featured for April:
8. Commentary on the World
- ARJ2: The Education of the Child in the Light of Anthroposophy by Rudolf Steiner
- ARJ2: Lewis Creek Lost and Found by Kevin Dann
- ARJ2: Rudolf Steiner Enters My Life by F. Rittelmeyer
1. Padre Filius Cartoon
2. Comments from Readers
3. Freedom on the Half Shell Poem
9. Closing Notes our mailing list, locating books, subscribing/unsubscribing to DIGESTWORLD
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1. April Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==This month Violet and Joey learn about Grammar.
For newcomers to DIGESTWORLD, we have created a webpage of early Violet-n-Joey cartoons!
"Grammar" at http://www.doyletics.com/images/170314vj.jpg
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2. HONORED READERS FOR April:
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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 April, 2017:
Leo Beth in the Netherlands
Jim Morse in New Orleans
Congratulations, Leo and Jim!
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3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
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Out Our Way:
WORST CASE MARDI GRAS SCENARIO
For a DIGESTWORLD with a March first deadline, having Mardi Gras happen on the last day of February put enormous pressure on our photography, writing, and editing staff. We worked all day on March 2, Ash Wednesday, to add comments and photos from Mardi Gras, but we had many more photos than we could use, and may include a few in this issue for your enjoyment. But we were pleasantly interrupted in midday by a visit from Burke Fountain and Candy Reed who came over foe lunch. I warmed up the redfish courtboullion and served it over newly made spaghetti. By the end of the first helping, the spaghetti had disappeared. Burke and I had our second helping of courtboullion over rice.Burke lives in Boston but has just bought a nice home in Algiers Point and now has a place to stay during his frequent visits to New Orleans. After they left we worked on adding the remainder of the photos and sent out the DIGESTWORLD#174 Reminders that night.
There were a large majority of the Mardi Gras photos to be processed, i.e., enhanced, cropped, compressed, and contents identified, and that took the next few days. Back in 2000 I brought home about 300 photos from Rome which I didn't take the time to process and now they are about as useless as a box of old photographs, which need to be searched photo by photo to find some scene of interest. Some lessons are more expensive than others, and the ones you learn the hard way are the most expensive. I learned that lesson the hard way with my Rome photographs.
MARCH CAME IN QUIETLY
After the tumult of the photos the rest of the month of March was a relatively quiet month for us, so we expect that the April DIGESTWORLD Reminder will arrive on April Fool's Day, right on time, no fooling. We had a bit of excitement when Electra Briggs sent me a link to the new movie "Newman", a documentary of the life of the inventor Joseph Westley Newman and his infamous energy machine which gave evidence of creating more energy than was put into it.I was interviewed for the movie because of my long-term involvement helping Joe to obtain a patent and get his machine commercially built. Click Here to View Movie. The movie tells the story as it is, up until now. The future of the energy machine is a story yet to unfold.
THE BRUNCH BUNCH
One fun event for us was a brunch in Bobby Jeaux's Kitchen. Our guests were Gary Arnold and his wife Anita. I had never tried this before, but the results were great. We began the brunch with a bowl of my seafood gumbo. Then Gary and I donned aprons and worked the two omelet pans I had set up. Basically he followed my lead and did a great job. As I was cooking an omelet in my pan, he followed in his pan. We had gone together out to the garden to pick the basil, parsley, and green onion tops.
We each whisked the five eggs with the greens, chopped garlic, shrimp powder, and evaporated milk in our large measuring cup and then poured half its contents into our already heated up omelet pans. As our separate omelets solidified, we each placed two slices of cheese across its top, and then slid a heated-up crawfish-eggplant-dressing tube on top of the cheese. Then we each folded the contents of our omelet pan onto the plate below the four slices of orange arranged across the top of dove on the Picasso artwork of the plate, finished up with a sprinkle of the green onion garnish over each omelet, and served our ladies. Gary and I repeated the process to make our own omelets and sat down to enjoy our meal.
SPORT NEWS FOR TIGERS, PELICANS, AND USA
In a curious bit of synchronicity, my LSU Tiger baseball team and Pelicans NBA basketball teams played about six games this month on the same day, and four of those times both teams WON and on two sorry occasions both teams lost. Del has been very patient with all the confluence of sports games this month. Luckily the Tigers Basketball team was not in the NCAA Championship run this year. But look out for the coming years: Will Wade has just become our new basketball coach and we expect more frequent runs and a possible Championship trophy in the coming years.
One evening after one of the awful losses by the Tigers in an SEC series, I watched the USA team in a FIFA Qualifying game beat Honduras, 6-nil. Clint Dempsey was back and in rare form, scoring two goals. This was indeed a balm for my bruised soul that evening. I look for the USA team to go further in the World Cup this next time than it has ever gone before. The Tigers lost the second game against Florida, which was headed for a sweep, leading 6-2 in the 8th inning with one out when a 2-Run Homer made it 5-4, the next batter got on base and another homer made it 6-6, and once again another 2-Run dinger made it 8-6. The Tigers finished with two more runs to win 10-6.
In a bit of LSU football news, our new Offensive Coordinator, Matt Canada, has begun installing his exotic style of playing which he calls "very simple". Simple, maybe for the Tigers Offense, which knows what's happening, but not for opposing defenses.
BEN'S BIRTHDAY PARTY
Our great-grandson, Benjamin Upton, had his second birthday this month and Del and I were planning to go to his party, but Del came down with a triple header: flu, upper respiratory infection, and laryngitis. Last year we couldn't go to Ben's birthday party because our grandson Chris Bayhi was marrying Sarah Upton on that day. Hang in there, Ben, we'll do our best to get there next year.
With Del unable to go with me, I decided to go to the Twilight Concert in City Park, mostly to get some early Spring photos in the arboretum. I left at 4:30 PM to have some time before Phil Melancon's set started, HAH! ! ! Didn't get to Two Sisters Pavilion till 6:30 because of extremely heavy bridge traffic. I sat in the wings and listened to a couple of Nat King Cole songs and their break started. Phil mentioned that Nat had died at 47, a young age and something I had never paid attention to before. I walked out into the gardens, and took photos. Along the way I discovered a brande-new Enrico Alferez Sculpture Park and shot photographs in it. Near the entrance I met a photographer with a Hasselblad taking photos of sunset over the Arboretume's Dome using film. Nice guy, had some African name, and we talked for a while. He's a true artist, taking photos out of pure enjoyment. I started to go back in for the second set, but decided it was time to leave and get back to Del. We had just received a new Blu-Ray "Jason Bourne" and were looking forward to seeing it in our Screening Room. It was one of two dramatic new releases along with "Accountant" which we thoroughly enjoyed this month.
CONSTRUCTING ALONGSIDE THOREAU
Jessica Hardy, an instructor at University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, found my writings about Henry David Thoreau and emailed me to see if I would be willing to talk about construction techniques for a class project. Her class is designing and building a small building alongside Thoreau Lake near their USM campus. Her class is going on a field trip and stopping in New Orleans. I agreed to talk to her class at a home they had rented for the day near Rampart and Esplanade Avenue.
I had all the materials together and was ready to head across the bridge about five hours early to avoid another lugubrious two-hour trek across the river when my good friend Jim Webb called.Said he was coming over to bring me the grapefruit he salvaged from his large tree which had to be trimmed away from the power lines. I told him to come on over, and simply delayed my trip a couple of hours. He gave me four large bags of beautiful grapefruit, and I treated him to lunch with me at DiMartino's Deli near our home.
Still four hours early, I planned to visit Bird Island in Audubon Park and take photos of the large number of egrets and numerous other water fowl which fill the island and surrounding lagoon in Spring. I parked nearby and walked to Bird Island which was loaded with water fowl, but almost all of them were Black-bellied Whistling Ducks.I wondered where the large flock of these migrants from Mexico had disappeared and this is likely where they ended up. Hundreds of these birds filled both edges of the lagoon and the base of Bird Island. I saw only two large Great Egrets preening their feathers, a half-dozen cormorants on a long branch, and an occasional mallard or two. Red-eared slider turtles were sunning, several dozen of them, and the BBWD fowls were whistling everywhere. One lady stopped by and asked me what were those ducks that were making so much noise. I explained to her that these whistling ducks lived south of thirty degrees latitude which happens to run directly through the center of New Orleans. Somewhere they have wandered to the northern edge of the reported range and found this area to their liking. Not much fun taking a lot of photos of one species of duck, so I took a few and then walked back to St. Charles Avenue along Exposition Boulevard which is now a pedestrian sidewalk along century-old mansions. So I took photos of these magnificent structures on a beautiful Thursday afternoon. Feeling a bit dry and parched, I aimed my car for Brocato's Ice Cream parlor on Carrollton Avenue for a cup of delicious Lemon Ice refreshment. It was so good, I got a brain freeze and decided to eat the bottom half of the cup slowly as I drove to meet the USM gang.
As I parked my car, I saw a white van with its doors opened and knew I was at the right place, but which door were they inside? As I wondered, Jessica's head popped out of a door and asked, "Bobby?" She came out and closed the doors on her van and I walked across the street to get my stuff. Once inside I handed out the clipboard and asked for each student's name and email and suggested each take a Thoreau Journal review. Began by talking about my reading of Thoreau's Journals, how I added Google image photos of the plants he described into my reviews, and how I aligned my reading of each journal page with the same day of year he was writing (150 years in future). I recalled the day when on December 11, Thoreau commented on the sound made by snow falling on leaves, a gentle susurrus, and how later on the same day, I heard a curious sound outside my window as I was writing, looked out, and saw snow falling on bamboo leaves making the same susurrus, a gentle murmuring. What a marvelous synchronicity! So rare due to the infrequency of snowing at any time of the year in New Orleans.
A TEMPLE IN HATTIESBURG
Next I shared several passages from Kevin Dann's new biography of Thoreau titled, Expect Great Things. He quotes Thoreau saying, "The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or perchance a palace or temple on the earth, and at length the middle-aged man concludes to build a wood-shed with them." Basically an 11-year-old boy dreams building a bridge or a temple, and later around age 28, he builds a small cabin or woodshed with his own hands. I asked if anyone of the ten students was 28, and one young man was.Then I described how my father built the house I grew up in with his own hands, and later when I was 11, he showed me how to toenail studs, cut studs to size, and I learned all about pouring and leveling concrete, fixing anchor bolts in it, etc. At age 28 I felt a need to build a garden shed of my own design from materials salvaged from hurricane debris. I explained to the class what a yard of concrete is, and then how I laid out the size of the shed as 6X9 feet by slicing in my imagination six 6-inch high sections of 3X3' and arranging them 2, 2, 2, which gave it the desired 6X9 foot foundation I wanted, and utilized the minimum order of concrete I got get delivered. Forgot to mention to the class that the one yard that I ordered almost emptied the truck. There was enough left over that I quickly shaped a door-sized walkway from the garden shed to the house, and the remainder was poured into that form.Then I spoke about how my son became a naval architect and build a post-and-beam barn as a prototype for a house upon a ridge, a 2-bedroom home insulated by straw bales which he had acquired and stored in the loft of the barn he had earlier built. See barn and ridge house photos directly above.
Finishing up with questions, we talked about the group's plan for a small structure alongside the Thoreau Lake near their campus. Jessica liked the "temple" idea, and plans to build "the feeling of a large space" inside a small structure. I also meant to mention that Greek Temples were not built for people come inside them to worship. No, they were meant to inspire people from afar, a temple on a hill which could benefit them spiritually without having to approach or enter the temple. This was a practicality in a time and travel was slow and the terrain was rocky with few roads. Each city in Greece had a high point upon which such a temple was built. It was called an Acropolis, you may recognize the acro- prefix meaning high from acro-phobia. The most famous Acropolis is in Athens and after visiting it, I sat in a small café in downtown Athens and sipped my latte and happened to look up behind me and sure enough, there's was the white marble of the great Acropolis shining against the blue sky.This analysis suggests that the temple on Lake Thoreau should have great attention paid to the outside of the building and to how it will look from afar.
THE MAGIC OF 1729
Good Readers allergic to mathematics may wish to skip this. In the movie "The Man Who Saw Infinity" someone said about S. Ramanujan, "He never met an integer he wasn't familiar with." I wondered what he meant and then at the end of the movie, Ramanujan suggests taking a taxi with the integer 1729 on it. Asked why it was important, he said, "It is two ways the sum of two cubes." But he never said the cubes of what numbers. A few days after watching the movie, I awoke with an idea of how to determine the two sets of two cubes easily.In minutes I built an EXCEL spreadsheet which calculated the cubes of two numbers, added them together, and subtracted the sum from 1729. The first set was 9 and 10. Nine looks like its cube could be 729 and it is. The cube of ten is 1000. Next set was simpler but more difficult. One of the numbers to be cubed is 1, whose cube is also 1. The cube of 12 is 1728, also expected because it ends in the even integer 8. Sum of these two is also 1729. Ramanujan, who never met an integer he didn't like, knew instantly the cubes of 9 and 12 and could easily know the deep nature of the integer 1729.
LAST MINUTE EVENTS
[[ To be ADDED HERE ]]
[[ To be ADDED HERE ]]
EVERY GOOD THING MUST COME TO A NEW BEGINNING
The past 31 days of March has been gorgeous Spring weather with on a few short cool spells, some good garden rains, plenty of sunshine, and good short-sleeve weather. Another month with little air-conditioners running and our heating system off.
New Orleans Pelicans added another All-Star player to its starting line-up, Marcus Cousins aka Boogie. Along All-Star Anthony Davis, the starring five is starting to rumble. When they added Crawford with his arching three-pointers, Boogie called him "Instant Grits".Boogie, the Brow, and Instant Grits are still hustling and on the edge of making the playoffs and their strong wins against several playoff teams like the Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets shows they are able to hang on the rim with anyone in the NBA.IMPORTANT MESSAGE:
Our amaryllis are blooming, the Japanese Plums are delicious, the Blackberry Row is showing color, and Del has the entire estate in colorful blooms for a Welcome Home event for brother Dan and his wife, and Maddie and David Jorgensen. My red potatoes are showing buds of flowers and will be ready to dig up in a few weeks. Our orchids are fully blooming out on the West Portico, bounty we worked hard over three years to bring into fruition. Have a Wonderful Easter in April. Until the first weekend of Jazz Fest is over, and the darling buds of May arrive, God Willing, and the River Don't Rise, whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, be it Spring-time or Fall,
Remember our earnest wish for this coming year of 2017:
MAY THE WORLD BECOME PEACEFUL AND SERENE IN TWENTY-SEVENTEEN
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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:
- I too had woven a kind of basket of a delicate texture, but I had not made it worth any one's while to buy them. Yet not the less, in my case, did I think it worth my while to weave them, and instead of studying how to make it worth men's while to buy my baskets, I studied rather how to avoid the necessity of selling them.
Henry David Thoreau from Walden
- Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)
- You can't make people better off by taking options away from them.
Thomas Sowell, American Writer
- Be like the bird that, pausing in her flight a while on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her and yet sings, knowing that she has wings.
Victor Hugo (French poet, dramatist, and writer)
- Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door.
Emily Dickinson (Belle of Amherst, American Poet)
New Stuff on Website: ~~~ Two Tidbits of Information: ~~~
Enjoy Spectacular Exotic Flowers
Like the one below. Click Here to see all of them.
Thanks to Tony Spatafora for send this in.
White Egret Orchid
Enjoy these answers on a test in Sunday School
Thanks to Jeff Parson for send this in on March 21, 2017.
Click Here to see all of them.
Example: Lot's wife was a pillar of salt during the day, but a ball of fire during the night.
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. All Rainbow poems have been published with notes as of DW173, so from now on, only Shadows poem will be published.
This month we continue with a poem from the Shadows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). This poem written on July 28, 1990. Inspired by the idea of demonstrating that the dollar sign is the unit and symbol of cooperation, not coercion. Being raped at the point of a gun is coercion, and being raped at the point of a hundred dollar bill is cooperation.
$ign of Cooperation
Jack had a pretty girl friend
her name was Mary Lou —
She was only twenty
and he was twenty-two.
She told him, "I love you, Jack,
and I always, always will.
Then one day she was raped
at the point of a hundred dollar bill.
She begged Jack's forgiveness
and cleaned up her act
They took a ride in his Ford
and made love in the back.
Just when Jack was certain
Mary Lou was not a whore
A stranger cornered her with the keys
to a Porsche 944.
Jack loved Mary Lou
and he says he always will
But he'll never forget the day
that she was raped
At the point of a hundred dollar bill.
This month we continue with a poem from the Shadows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). Shirts & Symbols: This poem was written on February 17, 1984 on page 22L of The Center Book. Artwork is also on page 22L of The Center Book.
Shirts & Symbols
In Florida I saw a T-shirt proclaim:
I'd Rather Be Skiing
In Halifax I saw a pair of breasts exclaim:
I'd Rather Be Skin Diving
In Anaheim I heard a Bow-Tie sing:
Do you know what it means
to miss New Orleans?
In Kennebunkport I read a sweat-shirt that said:
Meet Me in Disneyworld
In New Orleans I followed a bumper sticker that read:
Lobsters Do It Deeper
Shirts and symbols in different places
Smiles are smirks in different places
Without a chance of fun
Till shirt and symbol are one.
This month we continue with a poem from the Shadows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). Magic Arithmetic: This poem written on December 23, 1990. Words came to me as I awoke from a dream. It is a direct mirror of Samuel Hoffenstein's quatrain only in the opposite direction of adding back the magic that was taken out in the process of maturation.
These two stanzas also reflect the evolution of consciousness in humankind. As we approach the next millennium scientists are finding huge lacunae in their reductionist thinking. Inside these holes one can find the magic. Like Arthur Eddington's fishnet: he said that scientists are like fishermen who lower a net and call anything that swims through the net, not fish. You and I both know that there are always fish smaller than the smallest net-holes a fisherman might make. So too for scientists. Kurt Gφdel proved that the smaller you make the net (in mathematics), the larger the fish that can swim through. Werner Heisenberg proved that the smaller the net you make in physics, the larger the particles that swim through it unnoticed. You can be certain of only one thing: It's magic all the way down.>
Subtraction: (by Samuel Hoffenstein, 1933)"Little by little we subtractAddition: (by Bobby Matherne, 1990)
Faith and Fallacy from Fact
The illusory from the True,
And starve upon the Residue."Little by little we add back
Faith and Alchemy to Fact
The illusory to the True
And feast upon the Magic, Too.
This month we continue with a poem from the Shadows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). The No Chuckholes Way: This poem was written on April 21, 1992. It was inspired by reading A Course in Miracles Textbook, page 404 which statees: "The Holy Spirit will go before you making straight your path, and leaving in your way no stones to trip on, and no obstacles to bar your way."
The episode recounted in the poem actually happened during a trip to Wyoming on my Honda Goldwing motorcycle in 1980. My friend Celeste Montz worried about my hitting a chuckhole, and my reponse to her at the time inspired the poem. The long ride, btw, was as smooth and trouble-free as I had envisioned.
The No Chuckholes Way
On a cross-country
I stopped by a friend's
house in Oklahoma
"How can you ride a motorcycle?"
she asked. "If you hit a chuckhole,
you're a goner."
I thought long and hard about
her question and
Here's the answer I would
give her today,
"The highways I drive over,
two days before I arrive,
have had their chuckholes
So I can drive in comfort
and enjoy the scenery
alongside the road,
as well as the smoothness
of the ride."
5. Chapter: Shadows
This month we continue with a poem from the Shadows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). A Content Model: This poem was written on April 16, 1992. It was inspired by reading Owen Barfield's Unancestral Voice in particular a passage on page 135 that talks of the constructional (content-based) model of modern science. Also on page 133, "... is Bohm's suggestion — that our habit of beginning, as it were, with space and time, as if they were existents, and then planting a number of objects in them, may be traceable to the Cartesian innovation."
A Content Model
Scientists have been content
of time and space
And objects that each
have their place In this Cartesian duality.
But this model has been rent
by Quantum Physics aftershocks
For it has shown us the paradox
of zero size
have infinite energy,
a process that belies
any content at all.
There is no ghost in the machine —
we might look in vain
for its case,
and its gears.
For as we examine ever more closely,
What we call machine
becomes more ghostly,
And what we thought was cat
we find out in the end
Was nothing more than an
eerie, ghostly grin.
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."Criminal" (2016) is one of a kind: an original movie. Costner as stone cold killer melts. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! !
"Jarhead 2: Field of Force" (2014) New sarge in convoy has to extract package for UN speech from Taliban-infested Afghan hills. Will the make it? A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Dying of the Light" (2014) Nicholas Cage has a score to settle with a man in Nairobi. Will either of them survive?
"Newman" (2016) Jon Fox's film with the help of Electra Briggs unique footage shows the life and toils of Joe Newman with Bobby and others who worked with him to get his message out and his patent secured. Joe said that he'd die trying to get his patent, and he was right. In here is some of the last footage filmed of him before he died in 2015. Click Here to View Movie.
"Our Little Sister" (2016) about a half-sister welcomed into her deceased father's family by three older sisters. A delightful look inside a rural Japanese family life and culture. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Jason Bourne" (2016) Bourne again, this time as an adult, perhaps working for the CIA instead of against it. Inquiring minds want more movies. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Coming Through the Rye" (2016) a wannabee Holden writes a play about the book and drives out in search and finds the living Holden Caulfield.
"A Man Called Ove" (2016) was lost without his deceased wife, wanted to join her, but was very bad at dying and very good at loving.
"Manchester by the Sea" (2016) Casey Affleck as disgruntled handyman whose past only surfaces after his brother dies. Can he handle a return to his past in Manchester and the sea?
"Wild Oats" (2016) MacLaine and Lange as two old ladies who come into an unexpected fortune and go wild in the Canary Islands.
"Genius" (2016) Jude Law disappears into Thomas Wolfe who with his editor Max created masterpieces of literature in the early twentieth century. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"The Man Who Saw Infinity" (2016) a Madras Indian named Ramanujan said, "An equation has no meaning to me unless it expresses a thought of God", and helped others to unravel the mystery of numbers such as 1729 and the mystery of God. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! ! !
"The Eagle Huntress" (2016) a 13-year-old girl captures and trains her own eagle and goes up against the men in the World Champion Eagle games in Mongolia. Can she win the golden trophy?
"Battle for Incheon: Operation Chromite" (2016) Liam Neeson as Douglas MacArthur planning his D-Day, the risky invasion of Korea which helped create South Korea after Truman forced him to stop invading further north.
"5 to 7" (2016) a Parisian custom during which spouses can spend time with other lovers in the late afternoon. Elegant wife of diplomat meets with younger writer and sparks a romance and a writing career. He says, "Your favorite story was written for one person." A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! ! !
"I Am Wrath" (2016) Travolta returns to Black Ops form to avenge his wife's death and bad guys die like flies.
Misses (Avoid At All Costs): We attempted to watch these this month, but didn't make it all the way through on most of them. Awhile back when three AAAC horrors hit us in one night, I decided to add a sub-category to "Avoid at All Costs", namely, A DVD STOMPER. These are movies so bad, you don't want anyone else to get stuck watching them, so you want to stomp on the disks. That way, if everyone else who gets burnt by the movie does the same, soon no copies of the awful movie will be extant and the world will be better off."House of Lies" (2016) Showtime skin flick which flicks out.
"Vice" (2015) a very dull 'Blade Runner' which, with Bruce Willis's help, stumbles over itself constantly.
Your call on these your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:"Trespass Against Us" (2017) Brendan Gleeson in a father-son robbing and car chasing duo. Will they get caught or get themselves up a tree?
"Wadjda" (2012) wants a bicycle, but is denied money for winning the Koran championship because she said she wanted a bike. A look beneath the veiled Muslim world.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Le Boudreaux Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission
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Thanks to Jeff Parsons for sending in this story.
Broussard was sitting on the porch of his buddy Boudreaux's camp with him. They were fishing and drinking Dixie beers, when suddenly Broussard says, "Boo, Ah think Ah'm gonna divorce Clothilde, me. Ah been good to her, but she ain't done spoke to me foh t'ree or four months."
Boudreaux pulls his line out of the water, puts a new worm on the hook and places it back in the water. Back to fishing, he takes a long slow sip of beer, looks over to his buddy, and says, "Mais, yoh gots to t'ink dis over, Broussard. A wife like dat is hard to find."
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Auto-Filling Watering Can
5.Household Hint for April, 2017 from Bobby Jeaux:
(click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =Background on Auto-Filling Watering Can: A shady area is required for bromeliads who need protection from direct sunlight and a warm place to live through the Winter in New Orleans. The spot shown in this photo is perfect on both respects, but lacks a handy faucet. For years, I took the yellow watering can into the Laundry room to fill it with water. I wished I had a way of getting the watering can to refill from the nearby downspout. One day, after months of planning, I did it. Here's how.
Flat head screwdriver
Portable drill and bit
Remove the screws on both sides of the lowest section of downspout which directs water away from foundation. Then cut at the spot marked. (If not sure, measure before cutting for your specific downspout. The bottom lip of the down spout must sit snugly on top of watering can you plan to use.)
With gloves on, slide the cut portion of downspout into the removed lowest section. Verify the fit of the lower lip onto the watering can's refill opening. Drill a hole to fit the threads of the removed screws.
Screw in the sheet metal screws to secure the lowest section in place.
Place the watering snugly under the downspout and the next shower will refill the can for you. The end result will resemble the top photo.
Keep the yellow watering can to pour any leftover water into it. Then put the green can back in place. The yellow can will provide water between showers for your plants. I drilled a 1/4" hole in watering can right above the concrete splash pan to pour any overflow into it and direct the excess water away from the foundation of the house. CLICK HERE TO VIEW IT IN ACTION.
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6. POETRY by BOBBY from A Course in Miracles:
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The Quantum Mechanic: This poem was fleshed-out on March 12, 2017 for this Issue. It was inspired by a passage I wrote in my review of A Course in Miracles Textbook: [[This next poem I scribbled at the bottom of page 580; it was inspired by this passage on page 439, among other things: "Such is the power of belief. It cannot compromise. And faith in innocence is faith in sin, if the belief excludes one living thing and holds it out, apart from its forgiveness."
Quantum mechanics, especially the results of the Bell Theorem, shows us that all things are connected, and there are no things, only waves in the fabric of what we call reality. This gives us good evidence to assert that no living things exist which are not connected, unless those living things are human beings, e.g., atheists, who believe they are not connected to other human beings, and by their very belief make it so, up until now.]]
This poem did not have a Title and it needed a bit of introduction both of which I gave it for this publication.
The Quantum Mechanic
The Quantum Mechanic
is ringing a Bell,
proclaiming all things
there are no things,
only waves in the fabric
of what we call reality.
If our life force doesn't end
At the surface of our skin
How does our faith
In innocence begin?
The atomistic idea of Democritus
Was simple enough
For most of us
The Quantum Mechanic
Put us in a panic —
Now the Wave is all the rave
And the Stars in synchrony
Sing in Bars
Of probabilistic Avatars.
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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for April:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =For our Good Readers, here are the reviews and articles featured this month. The second and third reviews this month are 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: The Education of the Child in the Light of Anthroposophy — An Essay by Rudolf Steiner
This Essay also appears in Volume XXV: The Education of the Child as Lecture 1, but is reviewed separately here because the XXV review was written early in my study of Steiner's complete works on Education. The Essay is a rare example of a lecture Steiner had given in various places in Germany which, after many requests to do so, he re-cast in the form of an Essay so that it would be available in printed form.
Steiner says in many lectures that a true teacher educates the child to become a fully functioning adult. The teacher rarely gets to see how their work informs the adult which they taught as a young child. The future of the child is hidden in its depths like the flowers hidden in a growing plant. We may have seen the flowering of a plant before, but no teacher has seen the flowering of the child they have before them in class. Steiner writes, "Human life is present only once; the flowers it will bear in the future have never yet been there." (Page 8) He understands the deep relationship between humans and plants.
[page 8] Life in its entirety is like a plant. The plant contains not only what it offers to external life; it also holds a future state within its hidden depths. One who has before him a plant only just in leaf, knows very well that after some time there will be flowers and fruit also on the leaf-bearing stem. In its hidden depths the plant already contains the flowers and fruit in embryo; yet by mere investigation of what the plant now offers to external vision, how should one ever tell what these new organs will look like? This can only be told by one who has learnt to know the very nature and being of the plant.
By mere inspection of the child a teacher has present in a class, the teacher cannot see the destiny of the child which lies within it, but, like the plant, there are hidden flowers to be revealed that are unique to each child. Flowers are unique to each species of plant, but each child is a species unique unto itself. This is one of the things which makes humans more complex than plants. The flowers present in each human being have never been present before, and the teacher's job is to allow each child to bloom in its own unique fashion. A true teacher does not invent educational schemes, but instead reads what is present in each child and assists in its development. To do so, a teacher must learn the nature of each growing child, and proceed according to its needs at each stage of growth.
To our sensory observation, only the physical body is accessible. Materialistic observers are completely blind to anything that is not part of the mineral kingdom. To spiritual scientists (anthroposophists), humans have etheric bodies in common with plants and astral bodies in common with animals. In the growing child, one can observe how these bodies are revealed and help shape them as they develop, but one must understand how the etheric and astral bodies operate inside living beings, even inside materialists who are oblivious to the existence of these supersensible bodies. While blithely unaware of the etheric and astral bodies inside their physical bodies, they are dependent upon them every minute of their life.
[page 14] Man has this etheric or life-body in common with the plants and animals. The life-body works in a formative way upon the substances and forces of the physical body, thus bringing about the phenomena of growth, reproduction, and inner movement of the saps and fluids. It is therefore the builder and molder of the physical body, its inhabitant and architect. The physical body may even be spoken of as an image or expression of the life-body.
[page 14, 15] The third member of the human body is what is called the Sentient or Astral Body. It is the vehicle of pain and pleasure, of impulse, craving, passion, and the like — all of which are absent in a creature consisting only of physical and etheric bodies. These things may all be included in the term: sentient feeling or sensation. The plant has no sensation. If in our time some learned men, seeing that plants will respond by movement or in some other way to external stimulus, conclude that plants have a certain power of sensation, they only show their ignorance of what sensation is.The point is not whether the creature responds to an external stimulus, but whether the stimulus is reflected in an inner process — as pain or pleasure, impulse, desire, or the like. Unless we held fast to this criterion, we should be justified in saying that blue litmus-paper has a sensation of certain substances, because it turns red by contact with them.
The fourth body is the I body or Ego body. The word I is the only word that can be used to name oneself and not someone else. The use of this word is a faculty that only appears in the human being, not in animals or plants. "With the I, the God, who in lower creatures reveals himself only externally in the phenomena of the surrounding world, begins to speak internally." In the time of Exodus, the people in desert said, "Jahweh is angry" in response to the storm, the fire, and the darkness which beset them.When Moses received the stone tablets, he wanted to tell his people who gave him the tablets. He received this response, "Tell them the 'I Am' sent you." People of that time worshiped the 'Great I Am' and only over succeeding generations began to refer to themselves individually as "I". Our present-day ability to call ourselves "I" comes from the fourth body of the human being, the Ego body or "I". The working of this I on the other three bodies of each human being is the basis for the growth and development of the single individual as well as all of the civilization and culture in which that person lives. It is the working of the I body on the other three lower bodies that forms the basis of the life-long education and contributes to the growth of civilization and culture.
One of the principle activities that must begin in childhood is to be exposed to reading and studying of subjects that are beyond one's current understanding(1).
Each of our bodies has a sheath enclosing it, just as the baby in the womb has its mother's body as a sheath enclosing its physical body. Outside the womb after birth, the etheric body is enclosed by a sheath until the time of teeth change around seven years old. The astral body is covered by a sheath until the time of puberty around fourteen years old. Steiner recommends that memory training not proceed until teeth change.
[page 23] . . . external education must not endeavor to effect a training, or influence the molding, of the memory before the change of teeth. If, however, we simply give it nourishment and do not try as yet to develop it by external measure, we shall see how the memory unfolds in this period, freely of its own accord.
A similar process is important for the qualities of the astral body: one must avoid premature development there as well.
[page 23] Before the age of puberty one must supply it with nourishment, always bearing in mind, however, that the astral body, as explained above, still lies beneath a protecting envelope. It is one thing before puberty to nurture the seeds of development already inherent in the astral body; it is another thing after puberty to expose the now independent astral body to those influences in the outer world which it can receive and work upon, unprotected by the surrounding envelope. The distinction is certainly a subtle one; but without entering into it one cannot understand what education really is.
In practical matters, one should not encourage rote memory exercises for under age seven children, and one should not discuss the pollination of flowers to produce fruit in science classes until the children reach puberty.
On page 26 Steiner writes, "We can never repair what we have neglected as educators in the first seven years." He is talking not only to teachers but also to the parents and various care-givers a child is exposed to. Any negative feelings that a child is exposed to during this period will be stored as a bodily state or doyle and these doyles can be removed from a child by the proper attention. Later, as an adult, any leftover doyles from childhood can be removed by a Speed Trace(2).
Everything which a teacher, parent, or caregiver feels when interacting with a young child will fly from their soul into the child's soul on the wings of words. No matter what the teacher is reading, it is the teacher's own soul feeling which will enter the child's soul.
[page 36] For when one speaks in parable and picture, it is not only what is spoken and shown that works upon the hearer, but a fine spiritual stream passes from the one to the other, from him who gives to him who receives. If he who tells has not himself the warm feeling of belief in his parable, he will make no impression on the other. For real effectiveness, it is essential to believe in one's parables as in absolute realities.
We live in a world in which Intellect rules. The Intellect may rule, but it makes a lousy educator of small children! Think about that!
[page 38] It is no mere figure of speech to say that man can understand with his feeling, his sentiment, his inner disposition, as well as with his intellect. Intellectual concepts are only one of the means we have to understand the things of this world, and it is only to the materialistic thinker that they appear as the sole means.
The power of the Unanswered Question(3) can be tapped at an early age by teachers. Steiner, in the passage below, quotes from Jean Paul Richter's Science of Education to describe how important it is to talk beyond a child's understanding:
[page 38, 39] Have no fear of going beyond the childish understanding, even in whole sentences. Your expression and the tone of your voice, aided by the child's intuitive eagerness to understand, will light up half the meaning and with it, in the course of time, the other half. . . . A child of five understands the words "yet," "even," "of course," and "just."But now try to explain these — not just to the child, but to the father! In the one word "of" there lurks a little philosopher! . . . Always speak to a child some years ahead — do not those of genius speak to us centuries ahead in books?
Steiner explains that the child carries half of the world within, already filled with moral and spiritual archetypes. Our language, filled with only materialistic images, cannot transmit these archetypes, but can only fill the materialistic images with the light of understanding. (Page 39) The child will receive an understanding of the archetypes — it does not need to grasp the intellectual concepts immediately — but over time its unanswered questions from childhood will bloom into meaning from the roots of its many previously not-understood concepts.
Here is the key to understanding Rudolf Steiner's concentrated focus on education during the final five years of his life:
[page 47] Whoever applies it correctly, will find that knowledge of anthroposophy proves itself in life by making life strong and healthy. He will see it to be true in that it holds good in life and practice, and in this he will find a proof stronger than all the logical and so-called scientific arguments can afford. Spiritual truths are best recognized in their fruits and not by what is called a proof, be this ever so scientific; such proof can indeed hardly be more than logical thinking.
Steiner had already by this time of his life laid down the principles of anthroposophy and was embarking upon making his spiritual science both important and necessary in the education of children, knowing that such children will grow into adults grasping that spirit and soul are equally as important as intellect. He saw a chance to create a mature audience after his lifetime, an audience ready to understand the importance and practicality of his spiritual science, an audience which he had fought so long and hard to locate and create during his lifetime.
------ Footnotes ------
Footnote 1.Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
In my reading of Steiner, I have found this to be always the case. Each set of his lectures introduces me to some new and often mind-boggling concept.
Footnote 2.Return to text directly before Footnote 2.
See the First Aid for doyle removal on-line by Clicking Here.
Footnote 3.Return to text directly before Footnote 3.
What is the Power of an Unanswered Question? is Matherne's Rule#25. Click Here.
2.) ARJ2: Lewis Creek Lost and Found by Kevin Dann
The Waubanakee name for Lewis Creek is Sungahneetuk which translates into the "River of the Fish Weirs." A bit more descriptive than the current name which contains the name of a French king. The author's last name "Dann" means "River" and if one applies the two ur-names, one arrives at "River of the Fish Weirs" by Kevin River. Rather appropriate then that the author says in his Acknowledgments, "My role as writer of this book has been much like that of a river: I've acted as a conduit for the anecdotes and thoughts of the countless people who in a sense are the tributary streams of this story."
Names, Dann recognizes, are ephemeral products of the naming game in the long view of time:
[page 186] What names will future generations call Bristol Pond, Monkton Pond, Lewis Creek? At this moment, ten generations removed from the first English and French settlers who coined these names, we still find satisfactory names whose associations lie far across the Atlantic Ocean. "Lewis Creek" is known to more Americans today than ever, not because of the celebrity of the Champlain Valley stream, but because its name has been borrowed for a line of sportswear. One hundred years hence, this association may be more familiar to those who cross the Creek on Route 7 (just above the falls that it its Abenaki name) than its intended commemoration of a French king. Whatever future names are bestowed on these bodies of water, we can take heart that they will speak of their time as surely as the current names speak of our own.
Names are composed of words, and words, Emerson once said, began as lively metaphors. Dann points out on page 66 the etymological evolution of "creek" that leads through the Norse "creke" to the Vikings' "krokr" to the Old English "cradol" or in essence "cradle" to the Old High German "kratto" for basket.
[page 67] With "cradle," the seemingly understated and insufficient epithet "creek" comes full circle, encompassing through its etymology the idea of sheltering, nurturing, rearing. The creek becomes cradle; it is a place of origin, of birth. Lewis Creek has cradled them all: the Paleo-Indian ghosts who hunted mammoths in spruce-fir forests and whose utterings of names for the Creek or any other place we can only imagine; their descendant men and women — the Abenaki — who came to call the Creek "Sungahneetok" . . .
In my review of Steiner's The Principle of Spiritual Economy I wrote:
In relating the life of Moses, the story of his unusual birth is always told, but it is rarely explained why the story is important. With what we have learned of the origin of Moses's etheric body from Zarathustra, we can now relate why the infant Moses was placed in a basket woven of bulrushes and floated on water alone for a long time before he was found — the purpose was to awaken completely the Zarathustran etheric body of Moses. Rightly understood, this event was the genesis of Genesis.
In a basket, a cradle floated on a creek, we encounter an experience which may have led to the very origin, the birthing cradle of the Bible. From the wonderful phrase written by Dann, "The creek becomes cradle" on page 67, I was led to write the following poem, "Ark of Ages" (refrain adapted from Rock of Ages by Augustus Montague Toplady):
Ark of Ages, Cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.
The creek becomes cradle
the bulrushes rocking
And Moses my dear one
'arken to my heart.
Ark of Ages, Cleft for me
Let Thee hide myself in Thee.
The sacrifice forestalled
the Angel rushes in
Abraham father of Isaac
'arken to my heart.
Ark of Ages, Cleft for
Let Thee hide Thyself in me.
The cradle becomes cross
Holy Ghost rushes in
And Jesus my dear one
'arken to my heart.
Ark of Ages, Cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in me.
One of the men whose stories wind through this book like Lewis Creek through the Champlain Valley is Rowland Robinson. If you've ever seen an episode of Star Trek: Voyager in which they visited via the holodeck the Irish town of Fairhaven, one could take heart that, in the 23rd Century or sooner, the area of Danvis may come alive again in a holodeck where people may once more walk through, smell, and taste Vermont the way Rowland Robinson did. Robinson's writings were characterized this way by John Spargo in 1936:
[page 14] "So realistic are these descriptions in fact that, if some great convulsion of nature, or some display of human madness triumphant, were to wipe all of Vermont out of existence, obliterating every trace of it, the discovery of a set of Robinson's books somewhere — perhaps on the shelves of some library in China — would make it possible for scientists to construct from them a faithful and dependable picture of Vermont as it was in Robinson's day. It would be possible to depict realistically the characteristic scenery, the homes, the occupations, the tools, the dress and the speech of the people."
Robinson bought the diaries of Joseph Rogers, which Dann says, "were filled with the most wonderful commonplace: March 6, 1870. Near dark meet Reynolds the meat man for a few moments — he does not know why we have Sunday on the first day of the week, only by tradition and education and custom." The question of why Sunday is the first day of the week goes back to Genesis when God made the first day and said, " Let there be light" That light was the light of the Sun(1). The order of the days of the week are Sun (Sunday), Moon (Monday), Mars (mardi), Mercury (mercredi), Jupiter ( jeudi), Venus (vendredi) and Saturn (Saturday), and certainly of those seven astronomical or heavenly bodies, the Sun comes first. The great Sun Being, the Christ, came to Earth, and, as a man He died on Golgotha in a great mystery to redeem humankind from its Fall from grace. In all of these thoughts, the Sun comes before all others, and thus, Sunday as the first day of the week is not a thought to be taken lightly or treated as some accident of tradition, education, or custom.
Wild flowers are the most wonderful of all flowers, in my opinion. They grow unplanted, flourish unfertilized, and bloom unbidden, and all we as humans have to do is to notice and appreciate them. I find it an interesting paradox to find signs in the median of interstate highways that proclaim, "Wildflowers Planted by Greenfield Horticulture Society" or some such oxymoronic agency who undertakes the human planting and cultivation of wild flowers.Thanks to the author, I have now become aware of wild apples.
[page 75] "Volunteer" apples haven't always been called that. Rowland Robinson, who orcharded twenty acres at Rokeby, spoke once of his orchard trees' "plebeian kindred, the 'common' or 'natural' apples." For Robinson and his generation, another natural philosopher — Henry David Thoreau — had immortalized the trees, as "wild apples." Indeed, on Wednesday afternoon, September 25, 1850, Thoreau and his friend William Ellery Channing had passed this very spot, on Thoreau's sole venture out of the United States, to Canada.
Thoreau, as the next passage indicates, pursued the wild.
[page 76] His autumn walks brought him upon wild grasses, wild house cats, wild muskrats, and wild men, to a pursuit of what he called "the wild." That autumn brought him also to the wild/volunteer apple trees of New England.
What was the difference between the cultivated apple and the wild apple?
[page 77] The cultivated apple represented Thoreau and his fellow Americans who had let the landscape naturalize them. It was with the last that his loyalties lay. . . . Thoreau said it plainly himself: "Our wild apple is wild only like myself, perchance, who belong not to the aboriginal race here, but have strayed into the woods from cultivated stock." . . . [Thoreau's] prophecy was that "humanity would fulfill their destiny not by exploiting the American landscape, but by letting the land take hold of them."
Last night I watched a beautiful story of the Amish people on the Hallmark Channel called Harvest of Fire in which the local sheriff tells the female FBI agent that she will find her truth in her investigation not by pulling the truth out of the people, but by letting the truth, the flavor of the people enter and take hold of her.When cooking my seafood gumbo I must allow time for the flavor of the gumbo, which is the flavor of land, to enter and take hold of the flavor of the sea in the shrimp, crabs, and oysters that I add to it.
If we were to let the flavor of this land we call America take hold of us we might we might learn to live in harmony with it, to have a love affair with it like the natives of this land. Robinson wondered if the native wild apple, like the native people of this land, wouldn't ultimately survive the interloping settlers like himself. So he wrote a story about Sam Lovel who tried to become one for a while.
[page 78] I hev wished I was an Injin, but I don't naow. An' I've tried it tew, for a fortni't runnin', up t'other Slang. An' it beats all haow easy a man settles daown tu that way o' livin', an' I b'lieve a man's consid'able like a tame fox — oncte he gits loose he gits wild ag'in mighty easy.
Dann's work sparkles with wonderful quotations of other writers and the one of Gilpin is my favorite:
[page 80] Thoreau's alertness to the visual came from his reading of John Ruskin and William Gilpin (the latter having expressed a tenet central to the work of both Thoreau and Robinson: "Language, like light, is a medium: and the true philosophic style, like light from a north window, exhibits objects clearly, and distinctly, without soliciting attention to itself."), while Robinson's sprang from his vocation as an artist.
Dann's eloquence jumps from the pages into the reader's heart at times, such as when he talks of Thoreau or of wild apples. If we let this next passage take hold of us we can feel the flavor of the wild in our own lives. Dann, like Thoreau and Robinson, is an American wild apple.
[page 89, 90] As wild apples, "naturalized" lovers of the untamed landscape like Thoreau and Robinson were struck through with self-cultivation. Robinson's blindness, like Thoreau's own personal losses, only increased the depth to which he tilled the soil of his inner self. The scruffy orchard near the railroad trestle over Lewis Creek tells us that we too are wild apples, and that although most of us may escape the challenge of the loss of our physical eyesight, each of us daily risks losing our larger vision. The land, like personal tragedy, calls us home to ourselves, and in going there, we stay the course between a comforting past and a frightening future. Rowland Robinson's prophecy of a depauperate fauna at the Lewis Creek marsh has thankfully passed unrealized, but his subtle warnings of an inner poverty — personified in the literalist language of the young boy who sees nature a bit too scientifically — remain poignant. Like the wild apple, we moderns who have survived A. D. 1950 and have just moved into a new millennium must express our finest qualities, offering our fruit to the future as those wild apples before us have done.
Another man whose stories wend their way through this book is John Bulkley Perry, who melded the fields of theology and geology, heaven and earth, if you will.
[page 141] The earth for Perry was covered with the tracings of God's finger, and he saw it as his mission to come to know these works of God as well as his word. On his twenty-third birthday, he wrote in his diary: "If my life is spared, I trust that I may some day be able to reconcile the sciences with each other, and especially with religion. I am beginning to look upon that as the great work of my life."
Perry's goal closely matches my own goal in life, and in my quest for knowledge I came upon someone who had already done the work of reconciling science and the spirit in his spiritual science. Rudolf Steiner, who managed this prodigious feat, was born about 12 years after Perry wrote the above words in his diary.
From the sublime to the less-than-sublime, in my steamy but brief relationship with my second wife, we had a favorite song, Orchids in the Moonlight. Imagine my raised eyebrows when I realized the etymology of the word orchid.
[page 165] The Greek word for testicle, "orchis" came into use among Greek authors over 2000 years ago. They were excited and curious about the resemblance of the little tuberoids to testicles, since they lived in an age when a plant's medicinal properties were thought to be indicated by the shape of its various organs.
Moving along Lewis Creek, we finding what has been lost as we progress along its banks. We move further and further up the creek as we move towards the back of the book, ending up around Starksboro and Hillsboro. And we find ourselves learning about a now-defunct science that flourished once in the milieu of Lewis Creek: eugenics.
[page 197] There were two key reasons that the Eugenics Survey met with little professional criticism. First, the "science" of genetics was a fledgling science at best, born only two decades before when in 1900 Gregor Mendel's 1866 paper on crossing sweet peas was rediscovered. Before Mendel, there had been no organized eugenics program — the vestigial belief in the inheritance of acquired characteristics and other archaic notions of inheritance stymied the principles of eugenics. But after 1900, Mendel gave the eugenics movement its biological mechanisms and its experimental method.
The thought that Mendel made the sweet peas cross struck me as humorous and led me to write the following couplets:
Gregor gave me a sweet demeanor
when he made the green bean greener,
But this deed left me at a loss:
he went and made the sweet pea cross.
Robinson's fear of a completely impoverished fauna of Vermont has not come to pass, as lands no longer farmed have been returned to forest and the denizens of the forest flourish again. In place of the Robinsons, Perrys, and Thoreaus who strode the land to make discoveries of immense benefit to science, amateur and professional naturalists of today, like Kevin Dann, come to discover the land anew.
[page 210] Our discoveries — of a new location of a rare plant, an otter's den, or a Paleozoic fossil — are much more likely to be recreational sources of personal satisfaction than practical contributions to scientific knowledge. But our finds can also now be deeply re-creational as well, for each act of physical discovery more than ever brings us to psychic and spiritual renewal.
We have traveled the author's river from its finial rivulet, down past its headwaters, and have reached its delta. We are at the last page of the book — but, at the very end, in its ultimate sentence, we find that we are being poured out into the limitless ocean of the cosmos.
[page 210] Sometimes finding, sometimes losing, onward we run like the river to the sea.
---------------------------- Footnotes -----------------------------------------To be completely accurate, the sun was not created till the 4th day. The first day created light, but not the light of the Sun. The first day, as attested by the Hebrew week that Moses brought from "Ur," was Saturn's Day. Christianity (not Genesis 1) brought in the idea of Sunday as the first day of the week, with Christ being born on the day the Sun is born. [This footnote thanks to Edward Reaugh Smith.] Return to text above the footnote.
3.) ARJ2: Rudolf Steiner Enters My Life by F. Rittelmeyer
While reading A Life for the Spirit by Henry Barnes, I first heard of this book about Rittelmeyer's relationship with Rudolf Steiner. Here's how Barnes describes the book:
[page 171 of "A Life for the Spirit"] Late in 1910, while searching for a broader and more encompassing view of the religious life, Rittelmeyer met the work of Steiner. This meeting was decisive for Rittelmeyer, who sensed that Steiner was a thinker who could lead him farther in his search for a contemporary Christianity. Yet he took nothing on faith; each of Steiner's statements was challenged, questioned, and thought through. This process is wonderfully described by Rittelmeyer in his book, Rudolf Steiner Enters My Life, from which one gains not only warm and vibrant impression of Rudolf Steiner, but also of Rittelmeyer himself. After years of strenuous testing, Friedrich Rittelmeyer joined the Anthroposophical Society in 1916.
As I read the Note by Translator on page v, I was reminded of my own experience of reading Steiner for the first time. It took me ten books, purchased at random and read with puzzlement, before I began to make sense of Steiner's works. Over the 15 years since that first book, I have found Steiner's works to be lucid and enlightening, often mind-boggling in their revelations of new and unsuspected truths about human and cosmic origins. Osmond writes about Steiner's colleagues from his years working in the Goethe archives at Weimar, "Very few of those . . . followed him into Anthroposophy."
[page v] Was this most gifted scientist and philosopher on the wrong track? or was his progress too rapid and too unusual to be followed by lesser minds? An answer to these questions may be found in the pages of this book. The author, Dr. Friedrich Rittelmeyer, tells us of his experiences with Rudolf Steiner over a period of many years in the form of a personal narrative, speaking of his ten years of apprehension, critical investigation and cautious scrutiny of the new body of thought, and his final conviction of the unparalleled greatness of Rudolf Steiner's spirit.
A friend of mine who recently read Steiner's book Nutrition and Stimulants at my recommendation, wrote to me afterwards, "While I enjoyed reading your review of that 1923 book, I must confess that I would be more inclined to listen to a more recent information. He never addressed alcoholism because it was not identified as a disease until the 1930's. We know a lot more about nutrition as well. He was very advanced for that period of time."This is a typical attitude of our time in the sense that we tend to credit more recent information as being more valuable than older information. For my part, I have noted that new information, when it proves valuable, is never completely new, but simply a modern spin on much older information. The very process of in-form-ation is something that must be done by readers in every age, and those writers who best describe how to do the process of in-form-ation are the most valuable to me. Rudolf Steiner describes the process of in-form-ation better than any other author, scientist, or philosopher that I have found. In the Preface to the Second Edition of this Rittelmeyer book, A. Heidenreich states that Steiner's work will only become more important to future generations. As someone born seven months after he wrote this next passage, therefore of a future generation he spoke of, I can wholeheartedly agree:
[page 8] Steiner undoubtedly belongs to those few human beings whose influence and importance grow as time goes on. As our present civilization more and more disintegrates, it is very likely that an increasing number of men will find in his work the powerful seeds of a better future. They will then like to have a picture of his personality drawn by one who knew him well, and who was himself great enough to gauge the exceptional rank of the other. January, 1940.
My feeling is that I want to hear about Rudolf Steiner from someone who knew him personally, not an opponent of his, but someone who did not accept what Steiner professed without opposition and severe questioning. That would be Friedrich Rittelmeyer by his own admission. He admits that the final impetus to writing this book came from a pernicious attack upon Steiner in a leading periodical. His first approach to Steiner was initiated by Michael Bauer.
[page 15, 16] So there was Michael Bauer, sitting in front of me. In a tone of smiling superiority I tried to introduce the conversation with the question: "And so you believe in reincarnation?" But I saw immediately that I would have to drop this tone once and for always. A shadow passed over that open, spiritual face. Not unkindly, but in a tone indicating an unmistakable defensive, came the answer: "I cannot do otherwise." And then, in this and subsequent conversations, he proceeded to tell me how his innermost strivings had always been directed to Christ.The fact that he could reverently bear Christ within him as the veritable Son of God, while maintaining a firm, impartial position in the modern world of science and research — this he owed to "Theosophy." . . . Michael Bauer was an unlooked-for herald of a Christianity to come. Christhood as the apotheosis of a full and complete alertness to the world, of an all-pervading clarity of spirit and of the highest Ego freedom — that was what I glimpsed at the time.
Friedrich Rittelmeyer was one of many who found Christ through Rudolf Steiner and continues to do so today. Most religions focus so much on Jesus the Teacher, the Man, and so few on Christ Jesus as the spirit-embodied Man, up until now. And even fewer on Christhood as the divine exemplar of fully human living. The result is that a clear concept of Christ is yet alien to most Christians today. Bauer shared with him how he first met Steiner:
[page 17] He told me how, during a train-journey by night, he had spoken to Dr. Steiner of his experiences in connection with Kerning's "exercises," how he immediately found himself in the presence of a superior knowledge, and how, as the result of Dr. Steiner's advice, he had quickly escaped from undesirable byways and been guided to a path of sure and healthy spiritual development. And so we spoke of worlds which are today still foreign to the majority of human beings.
Michael Bauer gave Rittelmeyer a stack of theosophical literature to read. He worked his way through the pile and said, "The only one who interested me was Rudolf Steiner." This was similar to my experience, but I didn't need to read much to come to that conclusion. Whatever light that theosophy had to reveal seemed to be hidden under a bushel basket of sesquipedalian verbiage. Reading theosophy for comprehension seemed to me equivalent to learning to play the violin by starting on Beethoven concertos. When I later began reading Steiner, I found his words lucid, and comprehensible, but I was reading lectures given to people who already knew the basics, so I was left with lots of unanswered questions. After ten books of such lectures, the Internet bloomed into being, and I quickly located folks who could tell me what his basic books were, which ones are best for me to read first. After the next ten books, I was in much better shape to comprehend Rudolf Steiner. But even now — after 157 books of his, each new book I read of his lectures contains mind-boggling concepts and revelations about the spiritual world that I had not imagined existed. Thus said, you can imagine that I find sympathy with Rittelmeyer's statement at the head of this next passage:
[page 18] How can a man say such amazing things, one after the other, unendingly new, and make such astounding statements with the air of a prosaic recorder? At that time I had no idea that Rudolf Steiner had already made a name for himself by philosophical works of historic and fundamental value before he came forward as a spiritual investigator, nor had I the slightest inkling that he was thoroughly at home in the various branches of scientific research. I simply felt: Here is a man who must be taken seriously.
That Rudolf Steiner was a philosopher is something that is often glossed over by his critics who would prefer to ignore the credentials of the man they wish to deride. His Philosophy of Freedom is one of his fundamental philosophical works. In it he develops a critique of Kant's philosophy which is cogent and lucid. Steiner shows that it is possible, contrary to Kant's claim, to know the ding an sich or the "thing in itself". My approach to Steiner was as a physicist wanting an explanation of the spiritual world which jived with what I understood of the physical world. I found it. Rittelmeyer's approach to Steiner was as a Christian theologian, and he was taken up short immediately.He writes on page 19, "Either this man has no inkling of what we theologians think of the Bible, or he has something absolutely new to give." That meshes with what I found after I had pored over and worked my way through the basic books of Steiner's: he had something new to give in every subject he covered.
He didn't argue about what was true, he simply gave the truth, and invited me to understand how what he gave illumined the whole of which it was a part. I began to fit, like a jigsaw puzzle piece, each book's contents into the whole and they fit perfectly every time. Never once did I find a conflict between what he described and what I had learned in other fields of learning — with every puzzle piece he expanded what I had already learned, made it more comprehensible and useful to me. — And improved my own life and health in the process. The spirit of Rudolf Steiner spoke to me as it did to Rittelmeyer decades ago:
[page 19] Later on I often went to Rudolf Steiner with a list of debatable interpretations of biblical passages in my pocket, but when I was talking to him other things seemed of far greater importance. The list remained in my pocket, unessential as compared with what I was able to ask and experience. Now and again I convinced myself by means of a brief question that there were significant backgrounds to these interpretations of the Bible. The spirit of Rudolf Steiner had said to me: "Just think of all that is trying to speak to you! Try for once to enter this world with good-will! When you understand more of the whole, many things that now weigh heavily will clear up. And if they do not — Is that after all so very important? Can new spiritual teaching be anything but an offense to old, well-worn beliefs? Is it fair to allow unintelligible passages to prey upon you and then base your judgment of the whole upon them? Should not your conception of the whole be determined by its own life and being?"
When I began reading Alfred Korzybski's classic work, Science and Sanity, I found that I could not read more than three or four pages in any one day. I had to stop and allow the material to digest, before I could continue. The 1000-page book took me nearly a year to complete. Ludwig von Mises' Human Action was another book which had that effect upon me. — As did Rudolf Steiner's An Outline of Occult Science, which book I had to work my way through again years later. This second and more detailed reading and review was only possible after I had begun to comprehend the meaning and scope of Steiner's landmark book. My first review of it was about a page long, my second review is over 200 pages long. Within its covers, Steiner describes the evolution of humankind and the cosmos from beginning to end, both physically and spiritually.
[page 19] Rudolf Steiner's Outline of Occult Science was lying on my table at that time. I can still see it there. It upset me, for I simply could not wade through it. If I read for any length of time a feeling of nausea came over me. All this mass of knowledge weighed like undigested food, and I had to read cautiously, never more than two or three pages at a time if I were not to get sick of it. And so it was quite a year before I knew what the book really contained. At that time I had not realized how one ought to assimilate such writings.
How can one read a book full of incredible concepts? One must accept the things they can understand and hold as unanswered questions the things they cannot understand. If what they are studying is worthwhile, those questions will be answered from within and without in due time. This process of holding an unanswered question which I have found so fruitful in my life is what Rittelmeyer hints at in the next passage when he says "let things rest".
[page 19, 20] One must be able to read freely, with much more open-mindedness than is required with different kinds of writing, in order to avoid precipitate acceptance on the one hand and over-hasty denial on the other. One must let things rest as they are, with very great inner tranquillity, and wait without being scared at the realization that well-worn tradition is beginning to totter. One must read such books with inner activity, constantly putting what is read to the test of life, and life to the test of what is read, so that one's own firm stand in life is fortified against the flood of new statements. And furthermore, one must be able to read meditatively, with constant and fairly long pauses, building up what has been read again within oneself and listening with calmness and unimpeded freedom to what one's own spirit and experience has to say to it. If a man does not do this, it will be left to future generations to discover the spirit and living essence of such books, and to him they will remain so much abstruse literature.
After 15 plus years of putting Steiner's work to the test of my life and my life to the test of what he wrote, my own life is a fortress of testimony to the truth and validity of his work. It has become clear to me that my lifetime of study and work in physics, computers, software, psychology, philosophy, physiology, etc. before I found Steiner was merely prologue to prepare me for his revelations. — To ensure that I would be ready to comprehend the reality of the physical and spiritual worlds and to assist others in doing likewise, whatever background they brought to the task.
And, yes, I felt like, still feel like a pigmy when I read a new work of Rudolf Steiner — just like Rittelmeyer did almost a hundred years ago.
[page 21] When I was reading Rudolf Steiner's works, a faint voice would often whisper within me, but only gradually did I become attentive to it. It said: "If this man is right, you — with all your knowledge — are just a pigmy! You may as well begin all over again, and even then you will never get to the point of proving these things for yourself with these higher organs that are promised! And so, if you let any of this teaching get into you, you will start as a pupil again and remain one for the rest of your life. You will have to build up your spiritual outlook from its very foundations, at the moment when you thought you were standing as a teacher before men, and when, moreover, they were looking for and needing you. And in any case you will never get very far in this new sphere."
When you are reading lectures of Steiner, you are reading a live transcription of what he said to an audience of people who each came with their own concerns and wishes. Steiner sensed these at every point during the lecture and would change what he was planning to say based on his perceptions of what they wanted or needed. In his series of books of Questions and Answers, the questions are made explicit, but if the same group had gathered there without submitting questions, Steiner would likely have spoken on many of the same topics, perceiving their questions directly. Steiner apparently admitted as much to Rittelmeyer in a conversation about his curious style of delivering lectures.
[page 26] The rather roundabout and involved style of many of Dr. Steiner's phrases was explained, as I gathered in a later conversation, by the fact that he was taking stock of the particular make-up of his listeners.
There is a variety of card tricks in which you ask questions in such a way as to force the person to recover the very card they were thinking of. If while speaking you structure your sentence in such a way as to evoke responses, you can cue off these responses and finish your sentence to answer questions which came up mid-sentence in the listener's mind — without them ever having posed the question aloud.This is how I understand what Rittelmeyer describes above of Steiner's way of speaking. Such a way of speaking is more natural in the original German which Steiner spoke and seems awkward when translated into English, so long sentences with inverted structures are often broken into two sentences when translated into idiomatic English, thereby losing this probing aspect of Steiner's original words.
Theologians, according to Rittelmeyer, like to "set up 'God' in haunts impenetrable to the light of scientific research." That is a great way of describing what I found unacceptable about conventional theology. I wanted to know "where Heaven was" and no one had an acceptable answer to that question, no one except Rudolf Steiner.
[page 28] He himself was looking into the world with Goethe's eyes. But he brought greater power into those eyes, and a richer, more spiritual world in which there was room for all the Gods of men — above all the God of the Christians. Here, in very truth, was a kingly mind in the realms of knowledge, far-seeing and mighty in its freedom. He let a science of Nature come to flower around us, a wisdom far more stimulating than the dead knowledge of the day and a science in which religion could breathe anew.
Kristina Kaine has written a fine book called, I-Connecting, in which she describes the salubrious effects that I-connecting has upon one's health. One feels lighter, happier, and has fewer neurotic symptoms when one learns to connect with one's I. The exercises that Rudolf Steiner suggested for Rittelmeyer seemed to have that effect upon him. What he calls "unexpected domains" are exactly the domains which Kaine's book explains would lead one to expect changes for the better from I-connecting. I-connecting is a complex concept which, rightly understood, requires an entire book to assist those who are disconnected from their "I" to learn about the process, both to understand it, learn to do it in your own life, and to recognize its healthful consequences when it later occurs. Many of the smooth and delightful experiences, what a poet would call "ineffable" experiences, result from unconscious I-connecting. After a study of Kaine's book, one is able to trace the roots of these unconscious events and create more of them via one's will or conscious volition.
[page 32, 33] It must not be imagined that by means of these exercises a man will quickly attain higher knowledge. In the vast majority of cases it will certainly not be so. Their effect is much more often experienced in wholly unexpected domains. [italics added] In my own case, for example, the first effect was that I felt much more physically healthy. The exercises were like a healing bath or a refreshing bodily exercise, only more spiritual and life-giving. One's whole organism became more normal, more harmonized(1). Lost instincts as to what was right for the body returned. Neurasthenic symptoms abated. In this way one began to realize that neurasthenia is not to be cured by relaxation and change, or by doing nothing, but by a healthy strengthening of inner activity as a counteraction to the exhaustion caused by outer life. Another result was an enhancement of the power of mental achievement.
Rittelmeyer found no subjects about which he could not approach Rudolf Steiner and find a font of valuable information ready.
[page 37, 38] In everything I said and asked I found myself in the presence of an unmistakable expert. There was nothing I could say that he did not seem already to know. Whereas in other conversations I had had with outstanding men I always refrained from speaking about certain experiences because one was accustomed to find no understanding, here I could touch upon whatever intimate and delicate subjects I liked and was always answered by genuine human kindliness and a superior power that could not but inspire every confidence.
Rudolf Steiner never answered questions about someone's previous incarnations, he would instead suggest that people work that out for themselves. He was very careful when he spoke to give out information which would help and never any that would hurt. Rittelmeyer gives a view of what it was like to have a personal conversation with Steiner:
[page 44] If only people could have seen how he spoke of these matters in personal conversation! His great dark eyes became even more alert. With a consciousness of responsibility than which nothing greater or purer could be imagined, he spoke every word with hesitation. It was as if, all unseen, he had passed into a temple where he was acting before the eyes of higher powers. One could have wished that all the sensitive minds of humanity had been present to witness such a spectacle! If the teaching of reincarnation were to be renewed in a Christian sense it could not have been entrusted to a more scrupulous mind.
Here is a passage which reveals Rittelmeyer as a theologian. He meets Steiner again after some six months, and shared with him a thought about the Gospel of John . (Click link to view passage on death referred to in next passage.)
[page 45] I said something to the effect that the revelational character of this Gospel seemed to me to be strongly indicated by the fact that in the passages on death spoken by Christ before His Departure, the word "Father" occurs where one would have expected the word "Death." Rudolf Steiner looked at me with interest. "So you have discovered that? I had to travel a much longer occult path before I discovered it."
One curious paradox about Steiner's spiritual science is that one cannot become an authority on it and oppose it. The root of the word, authority, is author; it would be better spelled out as "author-ship". One only becomes an authority on a subject by investigating it deeply enough that one is able author new and creative works on it, i.e., express "author-ship".Friedrich Rittelmeyer did that with this and other books of his. He also recognized, as I have, that it is impossible to investigate spiritual science or anthroposophy deeply and then find fault with it. Those who do find fault often openly betray their shallowness in various ways.
[page 46] For nearly five years I had devoted practically all the spare time I had from my profession to the theoretical and, above all, the practical study of Anthroposophy. My object was to take stock of my responsibility to humanity and then have the right to speak with authority (italics added). Is there anyone among the opponents who has applied anything like the same amount of time and earnest investigation before writing against Anthroposophy? And above all, is there anyone of them who has really tested it in his own experience?More than once I have found that men with a name and a position in public life asked for anthroposophical literature on the naive pretext that they were proposing to write or speak about the subject in the near future. And it was a very near future indeed! Conversations with those who really knew their subject were not sought for, and sometimes deliberately avoided. There was one outstanding case where the person in question did not even wait to receive books which could have served as a real introduction to Anthroposophy.
Rittelmeyer was present during one or more lectures when Rudolf Steiner revealed the events from Christ Jesus's life compiled in the book, The Fifth Gospel. In our imagination we can enter the room with Rittelmeyer and Michael Bauer and selected others to hear Steiner speak(2).
[page 48, 49] The evening that followed will remain in my memory, far beyond the bournes of this life, as one of the most wonderful in my experience. A hundred or so people had gathered in the narrow premises where the Theosophical Society, as it then was, held its meetings.The audience which had gathered in this catacomb-like room in the Sulzbache Strasse to hear such extraordinary things, consisted of the small, sincere group of people who had collected around Michael Bauer, and a few Members from near and far who used to travel from town to town where Dr. Steiner was lecturing. . . . . Rudolf Steiner stood before us and spoke of the boyhood of Jesus. From my seat in the front row I was able to watch every expression. He seemed to be looking away from and beyond the audience, gazing intently at pictures before him. With the greatest delicacy of touch and a most striking alertness and caution he proceeded to describe these pictures.
It was a magical moment, Rudolf Steiner viewing scenes of the Akashic Record and revealing them to the assembled in a small room with trains running by outside. We owe a debt of gratitude to Rittelmeyer for allowing us into the room with him on this august occasion.
[page 50] Suddenly it struck me that all my life I had been thinking: When I pass into the higher worlds after death I desire nothing else during the first years than to be able for a long space of time to contemplate the life of Jesus with spiritual eyes. — Again and again I tried to be fully conscious of the unprecedented nature of the whole situation. Outside, electric trams were clanking by, one after the other, with shrill hootings. Within stood a man who claimed to have the past in pictures before him and spoke of them with natural assurance.
In a remarkable dream seven years before he helps form the Christian Community, Rittelmeyer remembers the future(3) and visualizes a church whose steeple reaches all the way up to Heaven. He climbs up a high mountain.
[page 56] At the summit of the mountain — I still see it there before me — stood a church with a steeple rising sheer to the heavens. The church had been built by Rudolf Steiner. The path was not easy and yet not too difficult. After a brief glance I set out calmly to make the ascent.— How remarkable that a dream like this should not only have reflected the reality of the moment, which in my waking consciousness I should never have expressed in such a form, but that a remote future of which one could have known nothing should also have shone into it!
Remember the surge of interest in the mystics and yogis of India during the 1960s? Apparently there was a similar interest in things Eastern during the 1910s as well. Scientists were going to faraway places and looking into telescopes and microscopes to find the truth about the world, all the while they were ignoring the revelations provided close at hand in Middle Europe by Rudolf Steiner.
[page 60, 61] It is a strange chapter, this behavior on the part of orthodox science. Thick volumes were being written on the Mystics of the past; people were journeying to India in search of Yogis in order to converse with them. But they did not see that in the very heart of European civilization there was something far greater, something that would have given them the most living understanding of the Mystics of the past and the Yogis in far-off India. Eyes were being strained down microscopes and telescopes; every beetle and every comet examined. But scientists did not trouble about the rarest phenomenon of all and yet so near to hand, in the shape of one who could have shed such many-sided light on what is more significant than anything else — the nature and being of man. Never once in Rudolf Steiner's life, so far as I know, did it happen that a recognized scientist went to him saying: You write such remarkable things. May I ask you about them?— Nothing that he wrote was taken seriously. Men would not let themselves be attracted by his other work nor be compromised by contact with something unfamiliar and unrecognized. At most they expected Rudolf Steiner to come forward on his own account and ask for investigation and recognition. But the request for the former was clearly enough stated in his books. When that had no effect, every other step would have been beneath him.
Those scientists who claimed to be studying the spiritual world were mostly interested in table-tipping, seances with the dead, and such forms of spiritism which Steiner abjured. He recognized that those who looked for sensory data about supersensible phenomena were merely materialists wearing a thin veneer of spirituality and that they did more harm than good.
[page 61] So all that was left to science was to concern itself with old-fashioned seeresses or automatic painters. But all such phenomena only lead into the dim, unconscious regions of the life of soul, and in any case the right methods of investigations are not there. With Rudolf Steiner there was simply no question of trance. One looked there into a super-consciousness, not into a dark, dreamy subconsciousness. It was a difference as between the uncanny flashing of rockets by night and the bright sunlight of day.
This next passage reveals that Rittelmeyer may have provided the source of inspiration for the Christ figure in Steiner's amazing wood sculpture, Representative of Man, which stands yet today in the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland.
[page 63] I asked Rudolf Steiner: "Is it really possible, simply by meditation upon the words of Christ, to come to the point of being able to say anything at all about His actual appearance?" "And what do you think He looked like?" came the quiet counter-question. When I began to say certain things, Rudolf Steiner took up my description and led it — I can only say — to clarity. It was the same picture which he afterwards gave in his lectures: A brow unlike that of a modern thinker, but one upon which reverence for the deep mysteries of existence was written; eyes that did not gaze upon men as though in observation but penetrated their very being in the fire of self-sacrifice; a mouth — "When I saw it for the first time I had this impression: this mouth has never taken food, but has been proclaiming divine truths from all eternity." In astonishment I asked: "Yes, but if you know what Christ was really like, is it not right to make this picture of Him in some way accessible to mankind?" "Yes, indeed," was his answer. "And that is why I have told an artist in Dornach to make a model of Christ according to my indications."
In the Christ figure, we find an Aryan head and Semitic features around the mouth. These represented the two streams of people in the remote past who came together to give birth to Christianity.
[page 64] What Dr. Steiner had said in lectures, namely, that in a far remote past two streams of peoples went out destined to seek for the revelation of the Divine mainly in the outer world, and the other in the more southerly, Semitic peoples who were wont to seek the Divine in the world of inner being, until finally both streams united in Christianity — all this was impressively reflected in the head of this statue.
Rudolf Steiner was a natural clairvoyant since birth. He often saw dead people walking around, but found it better not to mention those occurrences to anyone.He admitted to Rittelmeyer under questioning that his present thoughts of Christ were present even in his early twenties, but he barely discussed them with anyone. That led him to a question that any serious student of Steiner's work and life would have liked to ask him:
[page 68, 69] "Did you always think of Christ as you think today, even in your scientific days?" I asked him. "I remember that in a conversation in the middle of my twenties I spoke of Christ like this," he answered. "But then of course it fell temporarily into the background. I had to pass through all those other phases. It was a karmic necessity." "Why was it that in spite of all you must have known even in those early years, you were so completely silent about occult matters until your fortieth year? "I asked. "I had to make a certain position for myself in the world first. People may say nowadays that my writings are mad, but my earlier work is also there, and they cannot wholly ignore it. And, moreover, I had to bring things to a certain clarity in myself, to a point where I could give them form, before it was possible to talk about them. That was not so very easy. And then — I admit it frankly — it needs courage to speak openly about such things. I had first to acquire this courage."
Anthroposophy is the one science in which everyone has a fully-equipped lab at the ready: their own human body, soul, and spirit. One does not require microscopes, telescopes, oscilloscopes, pyrometers, thermometers, etc — nor a staff of technicians — in order to affirm the truths which Steiner revealed in his writings on spiritual science. One need only study and work at it and the truth will reveal itself in time. Rittelmeyer had another approach open to him via his direct personal contact with Steiner: test the man who was doing the teaching. If there were pervasive delusions in Steiner's teachings, he could test the man himself. And he did.
[page 70, 71] How can one really discover whether a body of new spiritual teaching like this, with all its claims, is actually based on truth — or whether it is all a colossal error? — That was the question. I personally felt that the natural thing to do was to form as accurate a judgment as possible of the man who was bringing the teaching. I did not let a single opportunity for judging Rudolf Steiner as a man slip by. It had been my privilege in life to come into contact with many outstanding personalities and, as a clergyman, with the destinies and characters of very many human beings. A good foundation for judging the worth of a man was therefore present.
Lacking personal contact with the man, I pored through his works. When I completed my intense study of An Outline of Occult Science, I was in awe of the robustness of the image Steiner had laid out for the evolution of humankind and the cosmos. I knew where Heaven was, the structure of God through the spiritual hierarchies, how they played and continue to play their role in our daily lives, how the Bible contains in terse metaphoric language in Genesis and Revelations descriptions of the beginning and ending of time in our local section of the cosmos which meshes perfectly into Steiner's more detailed and comprehensive description, and how Steiner knew the facts of the material he presented before he read them in the Bible and other ancient mystery school literature, where he found ample correlation for his personal findings. And, most importantly, my own Christian beliefs were amplified and made real in the process of studying Steiner's works. It was as if Aristotle and Aquinas had merged into one man and come to illuminate humankind with the knowledge it requires to begin its progression upward into the spiritual world again.
[page 75, 76] A man who knows something of the spiritual history of humanity will have to ask himself: Where and when has mankind ever experienced anything like this? Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas — but here there was something more, something really like a sublimated union of both. The purity of spirit, the manifold confirmations in actual life, the illuminating explanation of hundreds of details, the magnificent interplay of the parts, the healthy way in which a place was assigned to the world of nature and its innate connection with the world of spirit, the living fullness of the spirit as creator of the natural world — when one considered all this and put it to the test of life, here indeed was a conception of the world with which one could really live! My own desire was to hold to what I knew of Christ in my inner being and to regard everything else as secondary. But my Christianity could live and breathe in this conception of the world, even if I still accepted it as a mere hypothesis. Indeed it increased in clarity and power. —
Some time after reading a lot of Carl Jung's work and attending a lot of meetings with people who claimed to be Jungians, I came across a statement by Jung that he could never be a Jungian. I felt I knew by that time what he meant. Any organization attracts people who are joiners and not leaders. If you would find people who are self-assured and love freedom, you will not likely find them as the prominent members of an organization. Since reading Steiner's work, I have been to some meetings of anthroposophists and have found a similar situation as in the Jungian meetings. There was little doubt in my mind that Steiner could never be a Steinerian, but even that minor doubt was dispelled when I read the following passage.
[page 76, 77] There was also far too much easy chattering about anthroposophical truths and a great deal of blind following of the leader of Anthroposophy. Such is the tragedy that is bound up with greatness, a tragedy that will always be there when a great man appears.But Rudolf Steiner never failed to let it be known that the men he liked best were those who stood before him in freedom and self-assurance. Even wilfulness did not altogether displease him, although he could not regard it as a quality likely to promote the cause of Anthroposophy. The way in which he combined the pressing need of the cause with respect for personal freedom always called forth my unqualified admiration. If it were a matter of choosing, he invariably put the freedom of a man before the needs of the cause. For he regarded the future temple of mankind as lost if it were built upon mediæval foundations.
Of the first private lecture Rittelmeyer attended, given by Rudolf Steiner in Berlin, he writes on page 79 that he realized "how a man in the very Presence of Christ speaks of Christ." All the pontifical sermons about Christ he had heard over the years paled in comparison with a man speaking of his direct experience of the Christ.
[page 79] Only a warped nature could fail to perceive that here one was standing in the very light of truth. The man before us was telling of a world in which he himself was living. The many hundreds of sermons I had heard about Christ came up in the background of my mind. They faded into shadows. "We speak of that which we do know and testify of that which we have seen." — A new proclamation of Christ was there. A new Christ-era was dawning — as yet in the first faint rays of the promised morning. The lecture itself spoke of this — spoke without the least trace of selfish longing for what has yet to come, proclaiming simply what is and would like to bestow itself upon us. Anyone who witnessed this could doubt no longer but that a fully authorized servant of Christ was standing before him.
This next passage tickled me because, as a poet myself, I find it a great freedom to write in a way that might engender great opposition among materialistic philosophers, were they ever to read my works and take them seriously. Some might call it poetic license — using poetry to stretch the truth. I call it something else — using the truth to stretch minds. Unfortunately, some minds are unable to stretch without snapping.
[page 81] Christian Morgenstern, who, as a poet, frankly and emphatically avowed his adherence to Rudolf Steiner, was still but little known and he, moreover, enjoyed a poet's freedom in not being taken seriously enough in the domain of philosophy.
Most people, yet today, seem more interested in what so-called important minds have to say about new writers than in the writer's writings. When Rittelmeyer wrote an article on Max Dessoir and Rudolf Steiner, he was told that he put too much emphasis on the differences between the two men — that "The public were more interested in knowing where the two men were in agreement, and, above all, what a mind like Dessoir had to say about Rudolf Steiner! If I would recast the article in this sense it would be gladly accepted." Before then Rittelmeyer's articles were never refused by that journal, but now they were refusing an article because he was writing truthfully and usefully about Rudolf Steiner. Rittelmeyer declaimed, "The invisible pope of public opinion had issued his decree." (Page 87)
Rittelmeyer knew influential and powerful thinkers and he frankly admits that none rose to the level of Rudolf Steiner.
[page 93] When I look back today, I ask: Who was there in Germany at that time who saw things with this clarity of perception? Every week I had conversations with men from University circles who were regarded as leaders of thought. But what blindness they had in comparison with Rudolf Steiner when one had just talked with him!
Here is a remarkable revelation of how the spirits of the deceased influence decisions made in this world, often putting words in their mouths without the speakers noting it.
[page 93, 94] A singularly interesting experience during those months shall be recorded here for historical reasons. It was at Midsummer, 1917. Kuhlmann had resigned. Dr. Steiner said one day: "You are always keen on knowing things that are confirmed afterwards. Now I will tell you something. I have discovered that Moltke (not the Chief of the General Staff, but his uncle, the Field Marshal) is now trying to work for peace from the spiritual world. And now read Kuhlmann's speech. Again and again he quotes the old Moltke. It was agreed that he should say nothing about peace in his speech. The others — I will not mention names — went to Kuhlmann afterwards and reproached him for having broken his agreement. Kuhlmann told them that he did not know himself what made him do such a thing." And then Dr. Steiner gave a poignant description of Kuhlmann's bodily condition that particular morning which resulted in a somewhat lowered consciousness. This made him particularly susceptible to supersensible influences, and they flowed into him under the most unfortunate conditions.
Most people are unaware that the living spirit of the recently dead may visit their own funerals. Over years of studying Steiner's works, I have learned to be very thoughtful of the presence of live spirits at funerals. I inwardly acknowledge their being alive in the spirit world, and scarcely pay any attention to the dead corpse which they have cast off. I assiduously avoid speaking inwardly or openly about grieving for someone being lost forever from me (something which greatly pains the living spirit when someone does that), rather I speak of their life and the love I felt for them. I speak words which they would wish to hear. After I spoke a eulogy for my beloved brother, David, the spouse of one of my cousins said to me, "When I die, I want you to speak at my funeral." On the other hand, a couple of my siblings seemed to be chagrined that I lacked their sense of onerous grief.
After a funeral at which Rittelmeyer did the services, he noticed Rudolf Steiner in attendance and walked with him back to his carriage. He chanced to ask Steiner a couple of pertinent questions about funerals:
[page 100] "Are the dead really there when one is giving their funeral oration?" I asked, and waited eagerly to see what he would reply to this unexpected question. , "When you spoke of the words which had comforted him on his death-bed, he came and stayed there until Prince X. got up so abruptly and went away. Then I did not see him any more." Again I tried to realize the extraordinary situation. There among three hundred others was a man who had experienced this. — But nobody could have guessed it. What kind of faces would they have pulled if they had suddenly seen what was happening? — "It must often be very unpleasant for the dead to be obliged to listen to these funeral orations!" I continued. Dr. Steiner replied: "I have never noticed that. If they have no inner relation to what is said they stay away."
After pondering Steiner's replies, Rittelmeyer made himself a promise, "Never in my life will I give a burial speech to which the dead himself could not listen!" Consider that the dead are not gone, only passed into the living spiritual world and what you say and think about them can affect them immediately and directly. Excessive grief and mourning will cause them pain, as will the simple thought that they are gone forever and you will never see them again, etc. If you wish to honor and respect your loved one after they have passed over into the spiritual world, follow Rittelmeyer's advice and only think and speak thoughts of them which your loved one would wish to hear.
Biblical exegetes mostly accept the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) as being the closest to the actual words which Christ Jesus spoke during his lifetime, and they tend to treat the John Gospel as the odd-ball or errant Gospel, the farthest from the truth. Rittelmeyer asked Steiner specifically about this issue.
[page 106, 107] "Do you not think that in the Gospel of St. John we have the words of Christ as they were reflected in a particular individuality, whereas. the Synoptics present Christ's actual way of speaking?" "To me it is just the reverse," was the reply. "When I read St. John's Gospel I find my way immediately into the language Christ really spoke. With the Synoptic Gospels I must first adjust myself." One can realize how deeply such a statement conflicted with theology in general, but also what a relief it was to a man who had steeped himself in the John Gospel, and had from the very beginning tried to vindicate it from a deep inner consciousness. "And the farewell words of Christ? Were they spoken so?" "Certainly, they were; but many other words were spoken as well which have not been recorded." When Rudolf Steiner was speaking of such matters it was always with particular humility and reverence.
"And Christ's words on the Cross — were they actually spoken so?" "Certainly they were." "But why is it, then, that one Evangelist gives one account and another a different one?" I asked. "They were not, of course, giving an historical account. There are no historical records. The Evangelists tell what was revealed to them as truth after deep contemplation of the events, even when they had not actually witnessed them. And so one word came to one, another to another, each according to his particular preparation." Naturally there will have to be a great deal of "unlearning" before theology will be able to accept a view like this.
Many people yet today, almost a century later, still hold that reincarnation and karma are not Christian. No Christian, they say, would believe in such a thing nor wish it to be true. This is a very parochial view of what constitutes a Christian. Rittelmeyer knew what it meant to be a Christian and he gives us three wishes that an authentic Christian would make upon passing into the spiritual world:
[page 109, 110] Think of it for a moment: a man passes into the higher world. How will it be with him? For a time he may rejoice to find himself free of the earth and all her misery. But then, if he is allowed a prayer — what will it be? He will surely wish again to meet all those human beings whom he wronged in earthly life, and he will crave for the opportunity to do good to those whom he wronged on earth. "Grace" will lie precisely in this, that he asks if this may be granted him. . . .
And now suppose the man in the other world is allowed a second request — what will he wish? He will wish that he may help the Christ where His task is heaviest and most menaced, where Christ Himself suffers and has to fight most bitterly.This wish, if it were fulfilled, would lead the man back again to the earth.
It is not Christian to long for rest and blessedness far from the miseries of earth. It is Christian to bear within one the consciousness which once brought Christ from Heaven to earth, to find one's joy in being like unto Him and to work with Him wherever He may need us. The whole truth of the Christian doctrine of Resurrection remains intact — as could be shown in a theological treatise — indeed increases in — clarity and grandeur.
Rittelmeyer was one of the founders of the Christian Community and yet he openly avers that reincarnation is not a dogma of his church.
[page 110] The Christian Community, in the service of which I now live, has no dogmas — most certainly not reincarnation. Everyone can live in the Christian Community who is at one with us in devotion to Christ, even if he says: I reject all these things. But those who leave others freedom have also the right to claim freedom for themselves. And in the name of this same freedom let it be said: The truth of reincarnation is a word of Christ to our time. It comes at the right hour, just when the path to the christianizing of the East is to be made free. All these things form part of a theologian's experience of Rudolf Steiner.
Detractors from Steiner's work see The Christian Community as a church founded by Steiner to promote his own skewed (to them) beliefs. Perhaps they should read how Steiner himself described the difference between his spiritual science and the church formed by students of that science:
[page 122] When Dr. Steiner was asked: What is the difference between the Anthroposophical Movement and the Christian Community? — he answered: "The Anthroposophical Movement addresses itself to man's need for knowledge and brings knowledge; the Christian Community addresses itself to man's need for resurrection and brings Christ." We have already shown the sense in which knowledge, too, in itself can lead to Christ.
Anyone who works for long in the healing professions knows how the stories which people bring to them deeply affect and accumulate in their own soul. One place this shows up is in the well-known statistic that psychiatrists in our time have a very high suicide rate. The advice given by Steiner shows evidence of a process of projection at work, or maybe simply an acknowledgment that Rittelmeyer was doing unconsciously in his own life what Steiner was doing consciously in his.
[page 129] Years before, in connection with my own much humbler work in the cure of souls, Dr. Steiner had once said to my wife: "He must cut out all these visits. What people say to him gets all stored up inside him and that makes him ill." Those who can guess how much inner sacrifice is required for really spiritual discernment and counsel — sacrifice that far transcends what is so commonly called "love" — will be able to gauge what was happening in those days.
Rittelmeyer has one more scene to share with us, the burial service he gave for Rudolf Steiner.
[page 130] When, at the wish of Frau Dr. Steiner, and in the solemnly decorated hall where Dr. Steiner had given most of his great lectures, I was performing the burial service according to the ritual of the Christian Community, a drop of the sprinkled water fell in the center of the forehead and shone there through the whole service like a sparkling diamond. The light of many candles was reflected in this glittering star — even as the revelations of light from higher worlds had been reflected in his spirit. Thus adorned, the body sank into the coffin. — To me it was as if higher Spirits had indicated in an earthly picture what it had been our lot to experience.
Rudolf Steiner was a sparkling diamond during his lifetime and the light which shone upon him has been reflected in the many brilliant hues of his work: the Goetheanum, eurythmy, sculpture, bio-dynamic agriculture, bee-keeping, medicine, philosophy, Gospel interpretation, education, and even more. Some 6,000 of his lectures remain today to greet new generations of seekers for truths which encompasses both the material and the spiritual world.
Footnote 1.This page 33 footnote by Rittelmeyer is included in full as he speaks to overturn some vicious rumors spread that his health was compromised by Rudolf Steiner:[page 33] It is rather against the grain to go further into this point. But calumnies spread abroad by opponents to the effect that Rudolf Steiner's exercises made people ill, and that I myself am an example of this, must be put an end to. The truth is exactly the reverse. These exercises gave rise to a first real joy in life, and a comforting sense of health in an organism that from youth onwards had been far too sensitive. That is what actually happened. When, later on, this state of things altered for a time, again the cause was not due to Rudolf Steiner but to the after-effects of a fall in the mountains, which injured the membranes of the brain and made all mental exertion, and the exercises, impossible for many months. The exercises never did any harm, but, on the contrary, once more helped to bring about a cure. It is an obligation of gratitude to Rudolf Steiner to state this publicly in order to contradict rumors of another kind.Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
Footnote 2. The only public notice made of Steiner's revelation of The Fifth Gospel was "a frightful caricature of him [appeared] in the illustrated papers with the inscription 'The Fifth Evangelist!'" Rittelmeyer added, "And not one of the recognized leaders of religion was even willing to hear about or examine the gift this man had to give from the divine world." (Page 52)Return to text directly before Footnote 2.
Footnote 3. Remembering the future is a process which everyone has access to, but few realize it. Most people call it coincidence and slough it off immediately. The most common example of the process is called "love at first sight." It is experienced as a feeling which arises spontaneously when one meets the person one will be in love with for years to come. The feeling itself flows as a wave from the future to trigger the very events which will later generate the feeling that appears from the future in the first meeting.Return to text directly before Footnote 3.
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I hear often from my Good Readers that they have bought books after reading my book reviews. Remember: A book is like a 3-D kindle. Keep reading, folks! As I like to remind you, to obtain more information on what's in these books, buy and read the books for less information, read the reviews.
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= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =In this section I like to comment on events in the world, in my life, and in my readings which have come up during the month. These are things I might have shared with you in person, if we had had the opportunity to converse during the month. If we did, then you may recognize my words. If I say some things here which upset you, rest assured that you may skip over these for the very reason that I would likely have not brought up the subject to spoil our time together in person.1. Padre Filius Walks In On Nuclear Training Lecture 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 Hears Cajun Explain Crawfish Boiling Procedure:
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 Jessica in Mississippi:
Hi Mr. Matherne,
Thank you so much for visiting with my class this week! Your discussion gave me insight into the meaning of the cabin for Thoreau, and we are going to use that concept of the "temple" or "cathedral" to guide our individual design process. I am sincerely appreciative of your time! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Instructor / ARCH E.T. Coordinator
University of Southern Miss
School of Construction
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
- EMAIL, etc., Title
3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:"Candlelight"
Give me your poor, huddled masses, your deplorables 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:
My candle burns at both endsOur foundering fathers
It will not last the night —
But ah my foes and oh my friends —
It casts a lovely light.
— Edna Saint Vincent Millay
Went out to sea with a bell of liberty —
The USS Constitution's sides
were rusting from the bilge below
But the stars and bars were flying high
so we ignored the crack in Pass and Stow.
The flagship of freedom has entered the shoals
and the Captain and the crew
are not among the very few
with their sights upon the Bill of Rights.
Their eyes are not upon the sea,
but socialized democracy —
that opiate of the masses —
of the upper and lower classes,
Who haven't learned to: Just say, NO!
NO! Beyond this point I will not go.
I'll support my country and my kin
But I'll decide both where and when.
To the feudal lords of IRS:
I'll pay your tribute nonetheless
You burn our candles from both ends
And though we're basking
in the glowing light,
We know it will not last the night.
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9. CLOSING NOTES:
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Any questions about this DIGESTWORLD ISSUE, Contact: Bobby Matherne
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