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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Clarice Marie Babin (1924 - 2017) ~~~~
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~~~~~~~~ My Aunt Clarise Bascle ~~~~~
WELCOME TO DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#178 August, 2017== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Quote for the Leonine Month of August:
To be a scholar is to remember one's sources.
Bobby Matherne , American Writer
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GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents
ISSUE#178 for August, 2017
Archived DIGESTWORLD Issues
Table of Contents
1. August's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for August
3. On a Personal Note
Rainbows & Shadows Poems
4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe or Household Hint for August, 2017 from Bobby Jeaux: Power Strips as Floor Switches
6. Poem from Thoreau's Journal, Volume 12: "A Poem in an Arrowhead"
7. Reviews and Articles featured for August:
8. Commentary on the World
- ARJ2: Initiation Science and the Development of the Human Mind by Rudolf Steiner
- ARJ2: Fruits of Anthroposophy by Rudolf Steiner
- ARJ2: Truth and Knowledge by Rudolf Steiner
1. Padre Filius Cartoon
2. Comments from Readers
3. Freedom on the Half Shell Poem
4. Him and Me Went to the Store
9. Closing Notes our mailing list, locating books, subscribing/unsubscribing to DIGESTWORLD
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1. August Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==This month Violet and Joey learn about Fate.
For newcomers to DIGESTWORLD, we have created a webpage of early Violet-n-Joey cartoons!
"Fate" at http://www.doyletics.com/images/170715vj.jpg
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2. HONORED READERS FOR August:
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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 August, 2017:
Henry Gurr in S. Carolina
Roger Smith in New Orleans
Congratulations, Henry and Roger!
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3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
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Out Our Way:
I finished last month's Out Our Way section with this question: "Did the Tigers win the CWS Championship?" The short answer is, no. The longer answer follows and also explains why the July 1 Issue came out a week early. Our good reader, Kristina, down in Australia wrote me the day after she received her early DW177 Reminder, "I must admit I got a fright when I saw your mail come through — I often live in my own little world and forget which day it is, and for a moment I thought a whole week had gone by without my noticing it! Why have you posted early? Are you OK?" I apologize to her and others of you who might have had a similar reaction, but we were away from home for the last week of June and first week of July. You may have noticed there were large sections of text in DW177's final two reviews. That was due to the shortened month. If I have photos from the June segment of our trip leftover from this issue, I will post them in that issue for posterity.
Del's son John called her early in May and asked, "How often do you wish you could have your twin boys, me and Jim, together with you?" "Just about every day," Del replied. "Well, you can if you get to Jim's home in Colorado for the Fourth of July, as I'm bringing my family there then." Not the timing for a long trip that I would have chosen, but I made the best of it so we planned a trip to Colorado. However, there was a series-us problem. Our LSU Tigers had won the Super Regional and would be playing in the College World Series in Omaha. I contacted our friends Mark and Lori in Osceola, Nebraska, about an hour west of Omaha, and they invited us to come up for the Series. In planning the trip, I had expected to go up I-55 and take Interstate Highways through Memphis, St. Louis, and Kansas City on our way to Omaha. But when I used my GPS it directed me in a straight line up through Alexandria, Shreveport, Paris (TX), Tulas (OK), Witchita (KS) to Osceola. I had never driven through this area, so it seemed like an adventure. Plus, I figured I would miss traffic jams on the Interstate going through the big cities.
I figured the eleven-hour drive after we would spend the night in Alexandria where Kim and Wes live, we could make in two more days easily. At 6 pm that night we began watching LSU and waiting for them to begin playing against Oregon State. They never did! Game ended 13-1 for OSU. Our ace weekend pitcher Eric Walker walked himself off the mound after his pitching arm tightened in the top of the 4th and the game for LSU was over. Zack Watson sent one to the Left field bleachers for our only score, but it was too late, our hope for getting to the Championship Series had left the field with our injured pitcher. How could LSU possibly beat Florida State and then win two games from mighty OSU? If LSU did that, could they win the Championship lacking Eric Walker their key pitcher?
What happened? LSU smashed out to 5-0 lead over FSU in the bottom of the second inning and went to a 7-2 lead in top of eighth. Poche was awesome for 8 and gave up two consecutive HR's in bottom of ninth and was replaced by Zack Hess, who came into the game and struck out the final batter to win 7-4. First time since 2009 that LSU has won more than one game in CWS. This was 50th win for Tigers, 39th win for Poche best-ever for any Tiger pitcher. This puts LSU in the Final Four. Those two games against Oregon State would be crucial. Lange would pitch the first one.
Cindy wimped out
On the day I was packing, Tropical Storm Cindy blew through the Gulf Coast. Only problem was we got no noticeable rain or wind in the New Orleans areas. West of us through Lake Charles and East of us to Mobile there was a lot of rain and wind. Cindy just wimped out on us in the middle.
At the height of nervousness about the storm, the sun was shining on us through the light clouds, so I drove for my morning latte with extra foam from PJ's. It was about 8:30 AM and the shop was dark. There was a hand-written "Storm Closed" sign on the door, in complete absence of any storm thereabouts except in the mind of TV weather-casters. (More like spell-casters they are.) As I walked back to my car, the Asst. Manager was walking up. I asked her, "Why aren't you open? Can you see any signs of storm?" She said she was going to open up for a few hours, but I would have to wait 30 minutes. Second day in a row I woke up to the sun shining. We got light rain on and off the previous day. The next day was pretty as well.
LSU BATTLING AS WE TRAVEL
The day before we left on our trip I watched LSU beat Oregon State 4-1. One more win and LSU gets to the Championship series. Del and I got up early on June 24th and drove all the way to Kim and Wes's home in Alexandria, first leg of our trip to Omaha. Our grandson Weslee was with his girl Laurel in Lafayette for her 24th birthday. Our son-in-law Wes had been at his Red River camp and returned about the 2nd inning of the LSU-Oregon State game. He went outside for a "Slip and Fall" call. Said he got many of them during the rainy weather Cindy brought to Alexandria area. While he was on a call, LSU's catcher, Mike Papierski, hit a 3-run homer. I figured Wes must have heard me, Kim, and Del yelling, so I went outside to flash him three fingers to show the new score of 3-0. Caleb Gilbert pitched the best and most important game of his life holding vaunted Oregon State (49-5 record, No. 1 Ranking in country), to a 1-hit, no-runs game in 7 full innings.At top of the 8th, OSU homered to make it 6-1, and Caleb came out to a standing ovation. He was replaced by Rattlesnake Hess, a name I give him because he looks like a rattler ready to strike as he coils up his 6-6 frame, stares at the hitter, and pitches a 94-mph fastball strike over the plate. Hess struck out 4 and maybe gave up one hit to seal Gilbert's win and LSU's spot in the Championship best of 3 series.
Wes boiled some shrimp out on the carport while he, Kim, Del and I sat around and talked, catching up on our Benjamin and Abigail, their first grandkids and our newest great-grandkids. Wes got a phone call from Bobby Loving who was in his wedding party and invited him to meet him at the College Worlds Series. Wes called his friend Oday and told him to fly the jet. He then called his boys, Thomas and Weslee, to join him. We went inside, peeled and ate the boiled shrimp. I had some Breyer's vanilla, some fruit, and a piece of cake which Kim made with her grandson Ben before hitting the sack early at 9 PM.
Our plans to leave early and get in Tulsa in a Holiday Inn Express in time to watch the first game of the College World Series Championship between LSU and Florida went awry when the Creek rose. It was actually the Creek Indians whose annual meeting in Tulsa had all the rooms booked. We drove on, not knowing where we would spend the evening, when suddenly I saw a Holiday Inn Express in the little town of Okmulgee, about 20 minutes outside of Tulsa. We got a room, wanted to get unpacked and settled in to watch the game. But we were delayed in getting into our room three times for an hour each.
First, we were a bit early and our room wasn't ready and they needed to make us a new keycard. The room key worked on our door, but not on the outside door next to our car. I tried to grab a nap in the room, but it was like Grand Central Station with guys trying to get our door working. That took an hour. Then we unpacked.
Second, I had an hour's hassle getting logged into their WiFi. I walked to the front desk at least four times where the receptionist got it working, and by the time I got back to room, it had failed again. About an hour of this foolishness, I found a way to fix it myself. Go figure.
Third, another hour's hassle getting the Satellite TV to work. I had to figure out the unfamiliar remote, which was impossible because every button I pressed did not respond! Since I hadn't used that kind of remote before I couldn't know if it was my fault or the remote's fault. I gave up and handed it to Del.She took over and discovered you have to point the remote to the upper right portion of the TV or it would not respond. Apparently the add-on Satellite receiver control box is in that position behind the TV. With that knowledge using the remote was strange, but doable.
Those were three hours of my life I would never get back, but I learned a few things. Also left a message for the manager the next morning about the keys, WiFi, and TV remote. This was the only problem we've ever had with a Holiday Inn Express before or since. We love the large suites on the ground floor, usually right next to the entrance.
Salina, Kansas Chaos
Rather then driving all the way to Osceola, Nebraska and getting in late, we decided to stop a few hours away from Mark and Lori's, watch the first game of the Championship Series and drive to their farm the next day. I called Lori and she said that Mark definitely wanted to go to game the next night, but they hadn't been able to get tickets to the game. I called Wes and he said he'll have two tickets for Mark and me. When we got to our Hotel Inn room in Salina, Wes called to say he was able to get two tickets at the Club Level to watch the game.
No problems with keycard, WiFI, or TV remote in this Holiday Inn. The remote was identical to our Cox remotes back at Timberlane. The three things that each took an hour in the Okmulgee HIE only took a minute each here in Salina, Kansas.We took a nap before the 6 PM game began. Then chaos reigned! ! I turned on TV to watch LSU Game 1 of World Series, thinking I was an hour early, but some time change had hit us, and LSU was already at bat. Before the batter could hit the ball, the power to the Holiday Inn went off and we lost the satellite TV. I waited patiently after several minutes the power returned, right before the tornado hit! Well, not exactly a Kansas tornado, Toto, just a New Orleans-style heavy afternoon thunderstorm with tornadic winds. Okay, I'll watch the game, I thought, but the cockamamie EMERGENCY BROADCAST SYSTEM TOOK OVER THE TV PICTURE AND SOUND to Announce a Tornado Warning, doing it twice, very slowly, in English. Okay, fine that's over. NO! They did it again, twice, and just as slowly in SPANISH. Used up all my best cuss words before that was over. Usually at home, I can quickly switch to WatchESPN and/or LSU radio broadcast, but no such possibility here. I was in the dark as to the progress of the game.The wind was blowing very strong, Del saw the slender eight foot high cedar trees outside our window bending almost to the ground around 5:20 PM. Probably pointing at 45 degree angle and touching next tree. But what was happening to us in Salina was almost as bad as the tornado that hit the LSU team in Omaha that night. Our bullpen had been used up. Our third ace starting pitcher Eric Walker was out for the season. Our other two ace starting pitchers, Alex Lange and Jared Poche had gotten us to the Championship Series and were getting needed rest, so the Bullpen had to win that first game so that our new aces could win one of two of the next games for the Championship. LSU lost the game after a valiant attempt by backup pitchers, Russell Reynolds, Bush, and Hunter Newman. No breaks except bad breaks for LSU and good breaks for Florida who only won 4-3.
The next morning I drove us to the Yesteryear Museum but it was closed, so I took photos of the old church and the antique plowing machinery. Around the back side of the Inn was a Tesla Charging Station for guests to power their electric cars.
To Osceola, Nebraska and Ameritrade Park
We left tornado prone Salina, Kansas and headed due north to Osceola and our friends Mark and Lori. We arrived there in mid-morning and Lori saw us coming. Almost as flat as Saskatchewan except for the bordering range of hills to the eastern horizon that Mark called his mountain. Our GPS took us to the wrong side of the final turn and we landed in someone else's driveway. I was ready to get out and knock on the door when Lori called to say we made the wrong turn; she could see a car coming and the traffic was its usual Nebraska light, namely, none, so she figured it was us. Lucky she called. We found her a few hundred yards on the other side of the road and drove up the long dirt lane across a flowing creek to her home. She was outside with Sam the collie waving as we drove up. We hadn't seen her since our January, 2015 cruise to Tortola where we first met her and Mark as regular members of our dining table on the Crystal Serenity. I remember there were two other tablemates from Omaha, Mary and Myra and the four Nebraskans were so much fun. About the fourth night of dining with them, they found out I was from LSU and their faces lit up simultaneously. "LSU! we love you guys when you come to the College World Series!"That was when we decided if the stars aligned we would someday come to Omaha and go to the game with them. Mark and Lori had never been to the game and wanted to go. This was to be the year!
Arrived at the Schott Farm House and Went to College World Series in Omaha.
After we left Salina, Kansas we stopped in Concordia at a McDonald's and took a few photos, one of a grain elevator, another of tall Castle like structure. We drove into Nebraska that morning and the terrain was beautiful green and rolling hills.
We followed the GPS which led us into a farm house about a mile away from the Schotts. Lori has seen our car and texted me to come back across the road. We should have turned left instead of right. GPS GOT US LOST. WOULDN'T BE THE LAST TIME. Drove to the Schott Farm and was met by Lori and Sam (the Collie). Mark showed up later and gave us a tour of his huge modern Combine by CASE IH.His son-in-law works for the company and helped Mark acquire the right one and even tried to talk him into expanding it later from 8 rows to 16 rows, but Mark said he had enough trouble keeping up hauling the kernels away from the 8-row harvesting already.
Del and I walked up the steps of the ladder into the cockpit of the Combine. Mark came in to show me what the controls do. Amazing GPS which keeps record of where seeds were planted and goes to that spot later to harvest the corn. It also has total bushels harvested on the cockpit display and keeps a running total while harvesting is in progress.
Mark told us about the old barn which has been left as built by his father. Del wanted to know about the various silos and he showed us the bin which heats up and dries the kernels, then transfers it to the bin to be blown dry before being lifted into the various silos, going from one to the next.
We each freshened up and Mark drove us in his large pickup to Omaha. When we came to the Ameritrade Park area, he let me and Del out and we waited for them in the Mattress Factory Sports Bar and Grill, using their rest room.Black gal in lobby had Rex beads from Mardi Gras on her neck and I had a long talk with her waiting for Del to return. The gal said she has gone to New Orleans several times, once on Mardi Gras, but lives in Omaha.
Outside we found Mark and Lori and we walked into a large tent thinking it might be NRG one, but wasn't. We asked for directions, and when Lori asked, this guy came and led us all the way about a half a block to point us to the NRG Hospitality area across the street.
We walked to the area and didn't see anyone. Mark went to buy two General Admission tickets for Del and Lori. The girls and I waited in the walk-up hospitality room for NRG-Tenaska. Michelle came by and made us feel welcome. Later we saw Wes and Weslee down by the NRG tent which had opened. Went down and talked to several people. Met Bobby Loving, good friend of NRG president. Bobby was in Wes & Kim's wedding party some 25 or so years ago. Talked to him and Don Cupid who was also there, having flown up with Wes in the morning on his friend Oday's jet.Oday was with his son Oday-John, who was co-pilot on the flight. We ate some food and then walked across the street to the stadium after Wes gave us the three Club Level tickets. The tickets had no legend over the section, row and seat numbers, but we figured the seats were 9,10,11, and I naturally assumed they were all on the same row next to railing where the usher pointed us. As luck would have it, they were actually on three different rows. The guy I gave the third ticket to sat in a row above us, which seemed strange. Then a couple of 11-yr-old boys came to take Mark's seat and the vacant one next to him. That was when we discovered the three different row numbers. Mark went up two rows above me. We finally got reunited by mid-game when seat next to Mark was vacated.What a fluster-cuck! When I told people back home we got Club seats, they said, "How lucky!" Yeah, well, I didn't have the heart to tell them the whole story.
The girls walked to stand in line to enter the stadium's left field bleachers, and we could pick out Del and Lori from our seats. They got in too late to grab a seat. Later they got tired of the hot sun in their faces and left to go bar hopping and watching it on TV. If we'd gone with them, I would have had a better view of the game.
We would at least have been able to see on rerun the play which cost us the game. No out, a man on first and third, a ball hit to short and thrown to second. Man running to second was out, and man on third ran home for a run. HOORAY! We're gonna win this game! Then a strange meeting at second and the umpire changed the call to TWO OUT and took the RUN OFF THE BOARD! ! ! We're gonna lose this game, and we did.
Three or four calls by umpires during this game made LSU fans mad and not a single call made the UF fans mad! Go figure. Something stinks. Even though the call was barely legit, it is a call rarely called in college baseball games, especially during a critical World Series game.It was pure interpretation and a bad call for baseball. Alas, our ace Alex Lange never got a chance to pitch the third game. In facing a bases-loaded, two-situation 20 times during his career, Alex was a perfect 20-0 striking out the batter every time. There was a point in this game with bases loaded, two outs, and Alex would have been perfect in that spot again, but Alas and Alex, he wasn't available.
Mark and I got separated as we reached ground level outside the main gate after the game. When we found each other again we were each talking on our cell getting directions to each other from our wives! Then we walked to where Mark parked and found Del and Lori waiting for us at the truck. Mark drove us straight home, this time taking a side road instead of the interstate. It began raining very heavily with lightning bolts flashing. Mark slowed down a bit but kept driving to the farm. Then we got in our car, and Lori had us follow her car to their house in downtown Osceola (population about 900). She opened the garage door and allowed us to park in it.We had the entire downstairs area with kitchen, 3 bedrooms and living room. We slept in what she called the cold bedroom in the basement, apparently the warm bedroom was upstairs. What a busy day, from Salina, Kansas to Osceola farm, Omaha, and to Osceola home.
FROM NEBRASKA THROUGH CHEYENNE TO LOVELAND
Schott farm house all day
We slept well, showered, and drove to the farm directly after we got up. We opened garage door, backed out, then I went back into garage and closed garage door, into house and closed kitchen door (THANKFULLY DID NOT LOCK IT as will be apparent later), and we left by front door which we locked. We used the GPS to get to the farm, but we ignored its call to turn right as it had done the day before and turned left and drove down the lane to the farm. Water was till flowing through the creek from rain the previous night.
We enjoyed a breakfast which Lori graciously prepared for us. Mark got his four-seat four-wheeler. He and I sat in front seats and the girls in the back. He drove us all over his several contiguous farm areas totaling over 1500 acres, most of which was under cultivation for corn with some areas of soybeans. We stopped by a neighbor's wheat field which had stalks of wheat filled with grain. Del asked if it was ready for harvest, and Mark took a stalk, tasted the kernels, and said it was about two weeks before harvest.
We asked about the football field-long sprinklers in his fields. These are called pivots because one end is attached to a well. Mark took us to a pivot pumping area at the end a path cut through the middle of the cornfield. He showed us how he could turn the pivot on or off to begin or stop pumping and moving by using his cell phone from anywhere in the world. including right next to the pump. He waited till we heard it running and saw watering leaking from the pipe, then he turned it off. "Had a lot of rain last night, don't need to sprinkle today." Amazing.
He drove us up the side of the mountain we drove down when we first came to his farm. He said there was a similar row mountain on the far horizon side of his farm. I wondered if those long mountain ranges might have caused of the long rows of clouds which moved slowly over Ameritrade Park during the game the night before.
At one point he drove us to his daughter Malyn's home and we were greeted by her and her daughter Georgia, who is only 8 months old. A real sweetie, clear blue eyes, blond hair, and not at all shy of strangers, and so was her daughter. Mark opened the chicken coop to show us the wild guinea chicks which the chickens had roosted on and hatched as their own offspring. When he opened the latch to the egg laying area, one bin had almost two dozen eggs ready, including several guinea eggs.
Mark stopped whenever I wanted to take photos of flowers and fauna. Several birds flew up which he called rails, but later said that they were actually quails. I didn't get a photo of them, but the killdeer were walking on the road, a mother was tracking her baby chick. I did get a couple of shots of the killdeer, including one which was in flight.
Del and I got out in the wheat field and Mark took several shots of us. At another point he stopped and walked out into his cornfield and said take a photo, and use the caption: "Out Standing in His Field." which I will do down below in this Issue. I feel now that I have truly met a modern American farmer. It seemed unbelievable to me that he had no farm hands at all! Only when he was harvesting the corn, he had several family and friends who came to enjoy the harvest by driving trucks, etal, to get the corn kernels into the silos as soon as possible. We paused to take photos of an old abandoned church and a farm with silage stacked in front of it. It was a hill of dark brown stuff made of compacted green corn waste, and used for cattle feed in the winter. Mark prefers to allow the green corn waste to go back into the field for mulch.
We returned to the farm and got into our swim trunks and into the pool. An above ground pool, which looks like an infinity pool with its blue water surrounded by green corn stalks on two sides. It reminds me of the shot I got in January, 2015 in Cane Harbor Bay of Tortola, BVI, of Mark and Lori in the infinity pool of the sea there. Their pool water was about 90 degF and easy to get in and out of.I tried to get a 10 sec time delay shot of the four of us, but after I set up the camera on the edge of the pool I was afraid if I jumped in the splash might wash my camera into water. So I shot the delay and rushed along side of pool, but barely touched water before the camera went off. The three of them, Del, Mark, and Lori were laughing their heads off at my antics. Finally I gave up on the jumping, and got into pool, went over to the already set up camera, started it going on 10 sec delay, and rushed to get into photo. Half of my head got into the photo.
Sitting in the shade in a pool chair alongside the pool was so relaxing. Enjoying the shade of the trees, the cool breeze, and the view of green corn stalks to the horizon, we sat there for hours before it was time to get ready for supper. We went inside and dressed.
When I came into the kitchen, Mark had pulled out a pound of frozen shrimp and asked, "What are you going to do with it? He said he planned to BBQ some steaks, but I could fix the shrimp. Hmmm, the shrimp were too big for shrimp stew and rice might be a problem. I decided to use the Zatarain's Seasoned Fish Fry we had brought to them, and fry them in Mark's deep fryer. Two eggs whisked in milk to soak the shrimp first. Oh, big surprise, the frozen shrimp were not peeled! I had to peel them while they were still partially frozen after defrosting them in the microwave. I soaked them in batter, then covered them with Zat's fish fry, and dumped them into deep fryer. Came out great. Everyone had some and all the shrimp disappeared. Along came Malyn, and Georgia with her other grandmother, so there were seven for dinner in the large shed next to the BBQ pit. Lori had made a salad and boiled some sweet corn to go along with the steaks and shrimp. The meal was a magnificent Surf and Turf on the Schott Farm. We stayed until the sun went down on the Nebraska cornfields, and then trusted our GPS to get us back to the house in town. Well, guess what? We got lost! You wanna get really lost in the 21st century, you need a GPS. That's what I say after many experiences of being on "Unknown Street Name" etc. This time we got lost on Lost Street in quaint and tiny Osceola.
It was getting dark as we got to the right turn onto Kimmel but the GPS went haywire and directed us further down the highway. We turned around, came back, and it found Kimmel Street, but sent us off on Central Street. and then finally onto Lost Street! Well, Del was convinced we should just drive down Kimmel Street to the school, so we did so finally, giving up on the GPS, and we guessed which one was the right house with two garage doors, but we couldn't see the address at night. Luckily, Lori had given us the garage remote, and I figured if it opened the right side garage door, we were at the correct house. It did and we were. LUCKILY, leaving that morning, I had not locked the door from garage to the kitchen or we'd have had to drive back to the farm to get a house key.
Before we left the Nebraskan metropolis of Osceola, we needed to visit a supermarket for some supplies, and took the opportunity to find me a real coffeeshop where I could get myself a latte. We found the place Lori told us about in the neighboring town of Stromsburg, the self-proclaimed Swedish Capitol of Nebraska. We were confused by which door was the entrance. We saw two names, Primitive Chicks, and 4th Street Coffee House, so we entered the 4st Coffee House door and found it was all one big happy Antique Shop (run by ladies with a sense of humor) with a Coffee Bar at the far back. As I ordered my latte I said something about being at the College World Series, and the gal in line next to me said, "Oh, you're the folks staying with Lori!" Small world, even smaller town. Turned out to be Lori's boss at the Post Office, who had kindly given Lori two days off during our visit. I had hardly take a sip from my cafe latte when Lori herself showed up on the way to work with Mark's sister and husband. Since I missed a photo op on Lori's boss, I decided to get one of her in-laws. Like the theme for "Gas Stop" says about the small town of Dog River, "You think there's not a lot going on. Buddy you're so wrong." It seems the smaller the town, the more going on because everybody knows each other. We were sorry to leave Osceola and Stromsburg so quickly. I even had a couple of conversations in the supermarket and when I got back to our car in the parking lot.
Archway Museum, North Platt, and Buffalo Bill Ranch
We headed west towards Cheyenne aiming to stop in North Platt, Nebraska to give us an easy drive through Cheyenne, Wyoming down into Loveland, Colorado the next day. We stopped at the Arch over I-80 which houses dioramas displaying the first settlers by covered wagon going west, then the Lincoln Highway which replaced the trail west in the 20thCentury.
Checked in at the Holiday Inn Express in N. Platt next to a Gulf Gas Station. This Inn had an attached Convention Center (best to avoid these). The Inn was under expansion and everything was screwed up. We drove around it twice looking for the main entrance. We ended up on the fourth floor this time. Not sure how that happened, but apparently its Convention Center used all the ground floor space.We had a long walk to the elevator from our car, and another long walk to the end of the hall to our fourth floor room. Once we got to our room, I looked out the window and our car was directly below us. I checked the hall outside our room and sure enough there was a staircase down to the door that opens right next to our car on the ground. On one trip down to the car with our hands empty, I invited Del to walk down with me. About the same distance as the trek to the elevator and back through the lobby to our car.
We drove down the street to dinner at Appleby's and back to our room where we watched our favorite news channel for a while, and while Del slept, I began processing photos. By 12:30 AM I was done with all 171 photos and hit the sack. It will be about four hours to Cheyenne, so no need to get up early.We checked out of Holiday Inn and gassed up at the Gulf Station. These were the most common gas stations in Louisiana until Gulf merged with Chevron a couple decades ago, now we saw them in Nebraska and Colorado on the way home. We also saw Sinclair Gas Stations in the same area with their familiar green dinosaur standing atop the signs. Its large Convenience Store had bags of ice on the left and firewood for sale on the right of the door. Not something you would find available for sale in the South, would you?
Del had called about Buffalo Bill Cody's museum's opening time and was told noon which was too late for us, but we decided to go see it from the outside anyway. Only about ten miles due north.Well, it turned out they were wrong: the home was open at 9 AM, as I found as I walked up the steps to the screen door at 9:15. I saw the door was open and a posted sign that said, Open 9 to 5. Only cost $2 adults, but they plunked a State Park charge of $10 for $12 each. We met Courtenay at the desk who answered my questions. First one was: Did Bill live in this home during his years of traveling? She said, Bill's sister designed and watched the construction, and Bill regularly came to town with his Wild West Shows and stayed in his home while in N. Platt. I was amazed to find that his fame as Buffalo Bill was created by an author who gave him the name and wrote fictional novels about his exploits in the West. The author's given name was a mouthful, "Edward Zane Carroll Judson", but his favorite pen name was Ned Buntine.
He created some 1908 comic books (maybe before the name comic book was coined for the genre) which sold for 5 cents called "The Buffalo Bill Stories" and were published weekly. Soon his legend spread to the extent that Bill Cody decided to bring his stories to real life by assembling a troupe of horsemen, sharp shooters like Annie Oakley, real Indians, and real buffalo and present these as a large outdoor cicus/rodeo all over the world. Here was his home where he found respite from his travels.
We toured the home, then the large Barn which housed Bill's horses, his covered wagon, and half dozen carriages. Then we walked to see the live buffalo, two of them in a penned area. Took photos of them through the holes in the fence. Got photos of the lovely grounds with its large shade trees, pond, and bubbling stream coming over the weir of the pond and running through the Ranch.
When we left Cody's home, the GPS sent us off on US30 and Del balked, wanting us to get on the Interstate a few miles south. I insisted we take US30 after checking the map overview which showed it went straight and merged into I-80. Several times Del wanted me to take a side road to I-80 and I continued to resist. I felt we were close to the famous Lincoln Highway, the first coast-to-coast highway, built in 1910, about which I had watched a documentary years ago. The same highway which was highlighted in the Archway museum we had stopped in the day before.I wanted to drive on it in the best way! After about ten miles on US30 we saw the Lincoln Highway Marker and stopped to get a photo of it. After that Del still wanted us to go south to I-80, but I demurred. I said, "You have to go over 30 miles on this road to claim to have driven the Lincoln Highway." Lucky we stayed the course or we would have missed completely our next adventure on our "Discover America Accidentally" tour.
When we finally made the last turn toward I-80, we drove past Ole's Big Game Bar in Paxton, Nebraska, and Del said, "That's the place with all the wild game stuffed on the walls that Lori talked about." We did a U-turn and pulled into Bar's parking space.
We walked in and a huge polar bear towered over us, his mouth wide open standing on an ice cropping with his foot upon a seal he had just killed. We took lots of photos. Saw the restrooms named Pointers and Setters. Snacked on some of Ole's Onion Rings and had Tricia take our photo at our table. Also Del took one of me standing behind the bar. We saw stuffed animals, now illegal to shoot, like a large Golden Eagle perched above the bar. There were several large moose, Rocky Mountain goats, a tall Giraffe, a huge elephant, a big buffalo, and numerous wild cats of North America and other countries. When we finished our photo tour of Ole's, Del continued driving us to Cheyenne, Wyoming.
From Cheyenne we dropped south on I-25 and were heading to Loveland near Ft. Collins when a huge backup of traffic occurred, so we exited and ate at the Waffle House hoping the traffice would clear. Hah! Still stopped, so wetook the highway parallel to the clogged I-25 through Fr. Collins to Loveland, adding another 30 minutes to our destination. Finally entering Loveland, we drove to the GPS location on Foxtail Ct as Del entered it in her cell phone, erRoneously. She should have typed FoxtRail Ct. We ended up in an exclusive cul-de-sac that obviously wasn't a hotel, and called to get the correct address which turned out to be Foxtrail Ct. We were lost twenty minutes on this Wild Fox Hunt, in heavy Friday rush hour traffic, too.
Finally got to our room at 5:06 pm MDT (actually 6:06 our internal Central time). We called Jim and Gina, and while waiting for them to pick us up, I saw a rabbit walk across the hotel's drive-through check-in area. I showed it to Del and later I got a photo of it hopping across the road. They picked us up at the hotel and drove to Mimi's Café where Gina's co-worker Sherry joined us with her precocious little grand-daughter, Linly. After dinner Del and I drove to see Jim and Gina's home and then came back to the Marriott Fairfield Inn on Fotrail Court after a long day of traveling from North Pratt to here. We had finally ended the long month of June!
With Jim and Gina in Loveland
Had good breakfast in the Fairfield Inn. Del drove to visit Jim in his new home that morning while I worked on my Laptop, my website stats and links to new DIGESTWORLD #177 because it is now the first of July. I was happy to be able to adjust the hotel room desk chair for ease of typing and mouse use. Desk has enough AC outlets for the various devices we have, Del's Fire, our two Z10 Cells, my SONY camera, and my Lenovo LT.I spent the morning processing all my photos to date and writing up Journal items which are now going into my Personal Notes.
Del and came back from Jim's to pick me up and the three of us went to lunch at Chili's, my first time ever eating at this restaurant. The first one I encountered showed up across the street from Houston's Restaurant in Metairie twenty years ago, so we saw it take the overflow crowd from our favorite restaurant, but never went there. Our waitress was a very cute gal named Audrey to whom I told about the origin of her name. In medieval times, there was a St. Audrey with a gross deformation of her neck that she disguised by always wearing brightly colored scarves. She gave us the word 'tawdry' which we use today to mean outlandish or garish looking.
I had ordered the guacamole and tacos, but the taco were razor sharp and not comfortable to eat. Del finished my tacos and I ate the guacamole with a spoon. She shared her salad with me. This is typical of how we adjust what we eat to the standardized meal portions of chain restaurants.
At night we enjoyed dinner with Gina and Jim at the Bonefish Restaurant. Cute waitress called Mackenzie, but the food was over-seasoned, even the crab cakes, which were otherwise okay. If we had to vote for the best of three restaurants we visited in Colorado so far: the Waffle House our first morning in Ft. Collins.
Lake, Rockies, and John's Family Arrives
On the next day we knew John was due in later in the afternoon, so Del and I drove out to explore Loveland. We stopped by a large lake and took photos of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains in the distance. Saw a skier being pulled by a boat on the lake. There was a 20 foot Statue of Liberty near the lake and I got photos of it. Then we drove around Benson Sculpture Garden. Stopped once or twice. I didn't care for the sculptures, too much Western stuff, but a couple of bronzes caught my photographer's eye. The Old Creek hiker, the Wildcat and Rabbit, and best of all, the Hysterical Marker guys. Its actual title is "Best Friends", a bronze by Linda Prokop, but Del and I have been laughing hysterically every time we saw a "Historical Marker". After you've stopped and read one of these, you'll lose all desire to do it again. But we started calling these "Hysterical Marker" and laughing hysterically as we passed, which served to break up the long drive as much as it broke us up. Best Friends portrays two guys, one bending forward at the waist and the other bending back laughing hysterically.
We composed ourselves and drove to Jim's home to find that John's family had just arrived at his twin brother Jim's, we enjoyed the family reunion.This reunion of her twins is what drew Del to Colorado and it was great seeing our two sons together again. Gina ordered in some pizzas and the towering stack of pizzas disappeared in no time at all.
Pike's Peak, Garden of the Gods, 4th of July BBQ
On June 3, Del rode along with her boys to see Pike's Peak and the Garden of the Gods park. She rode with one of the twins on the way to Pike's Peak and with the other one on the way back. I had no desire to see either place, so I enjoyed a peaceful day around the Fairfield Inn.
At breakfast we saw a man in a T-shirt that had six moose with large antlers sitting at a bar, but the moose to the right, second from the end, had fallen backwards to the floor. I couldn't read the line under the shirt, but Del was closer and said it read, "Watch out for Moose Droppings". It was a good laugh so I went over and asked the guy if I could get a photo of his T-Shirt. He said yes, but when I said I wanted the back of his shirt, he feigned being upset and said, "I thought you wanted my front side." So I shot both. They were from Ohio, so I told them my Ohio State University story in the Superdome the last time LSU won the football championship. We were surrounded by OSU red shirts and my son-in-law Wes bought the whole row of OSU fans a beer each time he bought himself one. Even though OSU lost, they became our best friends by game's end.
While sitting outside the motel on the Bus Stop bench I saw a rabbit run into the brush but couldn't see enough of it to take a photo. When I moved, it ran away. I called Kevin Dann from the bench and we talked about his Radio Show performance, and why he had moved from New York City. He wanted to get into a smaller town and likes New London, Connecticut a lot. He's looking for modern day adage writers. I told him that I thought an adage is an example of an unanswered question, often requiring gestation to suss out its deep meaning.
After the call, a pretty 30-ish gal walked by with a tall trophy. I asked if she'd won it, or was bringing it to a winner. Bringing it, she said. Later I went into the lobby of our Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suite on Foxtrail Drive, and there was the trophy on the counter. The hotel had won the Best Customer Service award for the month. I ask to speak to the manager, and Erika Crespin came over and I congratulated her. It's a competition between 3 or 4 hotels in the circle area (Hampton is one). Once a month the one which wins is treated to lunch by the others. She was still glowing from the award when I took a photo of her with her trophy.
Del got back about 6:30 and we went to a nearby Subway to get our favorite tuna sub, her instructions to the fixer are so complicated, I won't even attempt to order one. It took Del a horrendously long time just to get to order because she was in line behind a family of 5. Each member had questions to ask and one of them added about four times the normal amount of bacon to his sandwich. The shop was only open a couple of months, and the older lady there was alone in the shop and already naturally slow.
The morning of the Fourth of July saw us packing and getting ready to head for home the next day. At the breakfast room, I was getting ready to drink a full cup of coffee and the cover came off and poured down my shirt and pants. I had to completely change all my clothes except my socks. We planned our trip back home this way: on Friday we leave and stop in Colorado Springs to visit Kathy and Ron Whitcomb for an hour or so.Then we drive to Dumas, Texas a couple of hours north of Lubbock. We will then get to Ed Smith's home about mid-morning the next day and allow us to have dinner with Bradford Riley that night in Austin, planning to spend the night there and drive home on July 7th. Good planning and it worked out exactly that way. Sure breaks up a long road trip when you make time to say hello to good friends along the way.
We drove to Jim's home for the 4th of July barbeque he had planned. There were baseball games on the TV all day. Del and I walked a couple of blocks to the swimming pool where John's Kim was watching her son Jacob enjoying the pool. Then we ate some hamburgers, salad, corn on the cob, baked beans and chips. Jim barbequed some fish especially for me. What a great son. We left later that evening and headed back to our hotel already thinking of our trip home. We decided to skip the fireworks show for the evening and watched some TV and went to sleep early.
Kissing Camels, Des Moines, and Dumas
Early on the 5th we packed our car, had breakfast and headed down I-25 to Colorado Springs. We stopped at Ron and Cathy Whitcomb's home in Colorado Springs. Their elevation is 8100 feet and water boils about 180 degF instead of the 212 we are used down here at sea level in New Orleans. We had a nice visit with them. Cathy served us some pastries. They live in the Kissing Camels subdivision with a view of the Kissing Camels rock in the Garden of the Gods from their front porch area. Pike's Peak was visible also from their property so I got to see both without the long trip through heavy traffic the kids took a few days earlier.
Colorado Springs is barely above desert conditions with only 15 inches of rain a year, but the high elevation causes everything to dry out very fast. I lived in Southern California's desert climate for three years and am delighted to live in a place with humidity again. I asked Ron show us Sandra Callendar's bedroon, the one Sandra said that we would be sleeping in. That was before we altered our plan and went to Omaha before Colorado. Ron and Kathy had children and grandkids visiting, including a curious set of triplets: one set of identical twin boys and a separate boy all born within minutes of each other.
Del and I hit the road again and headed down to Dumas, Texas, a couple of hours out of Lubbock. We stopped in the Dairy Queen before getting on I-25. Kathy had told Del that her favorite DQ treat was a Hot Fudge malted milk. Del loves Hot Fudge so she ordered one for herself and I got my usual DQ strawberry milkshake. We didn't get hungry until the mid-afternoon when we reached Des Moines, New Mexico and ate at the Sierra Grande Restaurant.I had a Barq's Root Beer with my meal. I decided to save some of it for a root beer float when I saw that a scoop of ice cream was only $1.50 a scoop. Had the waitress bring me two scoops of vanilla, added them to my tall glass and enjoyed my Root Beer Float! Delish! I texted a photo of their trademark sign to our grandaughter Sierra. She loved it.
We arrived at our Holiday Inn in Dumas, checked in, and I found this 1998 movie on HBO which we haven't seen in years: "Shakespeare in Love". One of the best movies of all time! Quick tempo, quick wit, and quick action on stage as Will chases his Juliet across a social gap wider than the Montaguts and Capulets.
LUBBOCK AND AUSTIN AND HOME
Things were going quickly now as they always do when our car is pointed towards home. We found Ed and Jo Anne's place in Lubbock and visited with them for a couple of hours. They graciously invited us to have lunch with them in their local dining hall. We had soup and sandwiches. Ed had ordered a Reuben Sandwich and I asked the waitress if she could make a Rudy for me. It's a Reuben without the corned beef or pastrami in it. Ed thought that sounded good to him and ordered himself one. He and Jo Anne had visited us in New Orleans twice since I first visited them in Lubbock, so this was the first time Del has visited them in their home. She was amazed with the way that Ed had built-in file cabinets across the wall along the back of his desk. Ed gave an early copy of his new book, Revelation, which I have begun reading and will review in some future month.
We drove directly to Austin, getting in a little later than we planned, but Bradford was there waiting for me as I was parking the car. Actually a rainbow in sky had caught my eye and I rolled the driver's side window to get a photo of it as Bradford drove up and said, Hi! I said, park your truck and I want to get a photo of you with the rainbow. I arranged the photo so the rainbow's arc ended right in Bradford's heart. Then Del came out from signing us up with the Holiday Inn and we rode down the street to Chili's Restaurant with Bradford. He said he had checked out a couple of restaurants, and the first one he went into was Italian and he saw his old friend, a chef from Romeo's Restaurant, where Bradford and his wife Tara had worked for many years. But he chose Chili's and we enjoyed a great meal together. One more long day's drive ahead of us and we'll be home.
We left Austin early in an attempt to get some crawfish pistolettes at Steamboat Bill's in Lake Charles and perhaps sleep in our own bed tonight. We made it, driving Highway 90 thru Morgan City, stopping for Catfish chips at Spahr's Restaurant outside Raceland, and getting home to Timberlane we were greeted by a Manoukian sky in peach and blue, as the twilight was just beginning, about 7:30 PM or so.Whew! Three full days of travel from Jim's home in Loveland, but with three visits of several hours each, which made each day fun.
First we turned on the coffee pot, the ice maker, and the water to the washing machine. We moved the now-melted ice bottles back into garage's freezer compartment. I collected the mail and the newspapers and carried them to the kitchen. It was nice going to bed in our own home after watching a couple of "Blue Blood" episodes. We saw the 2016 new release of the streaming videos, so we began with the last one from 2015 and ended with the first one from 2016.
We spent our first two days back at home after the long road trip getting everything back in order around Timberlane and resting from the at times grueling drive. Because of our planned trip, we gave our week at the two condos to our Matherne offspring, Carla and Maureen. They were disappointed that we weren't coming, so Del and I decided to spend a few days with them at the beach. Maureen's work schedule got changed by some new administrator and she was only able to come on Thursday through Sunday. That left the one-BR condo available for me and Del to use.
We were not wanting another long trip, but the lure of the beach and the kids pumped up and we got early and left for Orange Beach about 9 am. We had breakfast at Waffle House along the way, and got there about 2 PM after stopping for bananas and peaches at Burris.
The weird building we had seen last year going up across the highway from our condos has now been completed as the Hotel Indigo. I heard it had a coffeeshop in it. Wow! All the years I've driven 20 minutes to a coffeeshop in Orange Beach, and now I could walk to one. Patrick, Sierra, and I walked across the highway to the newly opened hotel's coffee shop. Pat bought a latte for me and some coffee for Sierra. I took photos and we came back. We sat out on the under Carla's canopy by the beach. I went into water with Carla after Del came out, and floated on her rectangular raft. Not much waves, but there was shade from the clouds and very pleasant.
Then we seven, Del and I with Carla, Pat, Molly, Sierra, and Maggie, piled into Carla's van and Pat drove us to the Crab Trap where Justin Turner waited on us, doing a great job! Mine and Carla's grouper sandwich was excellent.We treated everyone and came back afterwards to have on the watermelon Carla had bought from a local supermarket. I told the story of the time a local watermelon had gushed its liquid guts on the floor in our condo, but this one seemed to be okay. I carefully sliced it half open in the sink and no dripping. I moved it to the top of the sink to complete the slicing and it began leaking. It was also hollow, but most of its leak went into the sink. I tried a small piece of the inside edge of the hollow space and it was horrid tasting. The edge part close to the rind may have been okay, but I didn't want anyone to have to taste what I tasted again, so Pat piled it into a big black trash bag and dumped it. Our dessert may have been a washout, but the rest of the evening was perfect. I was reunited with my son's daughter Sierra who is a sophomore at Indiana University in Bloomington now. We enjoy the company of Molly's friend Maggie Fazio from Beaumont, who are both going off to college to different schools.
The next morning Del and I went to the coffeeshop and got some information about the hotel rates for future years if we decide to come for a few days while our kids are here. Turns out the Hotel Indigo is part of the IHG group which includes our favorite place, Holiday Inn Express. With Maureen bringing her entire Bayhi brigade with her, several kids and grandkids, the condos would be overflowing, so Del and I decided to leave that night about 8:30 and got home by midnight. We heard from Carla and Maureen that Molly, Maggie, Sierra, Gabe, and Ben all hung out together, boogie boarding the waves which had started the day after we left.
LAST MINUTE EVENTS
A few days after we returned from Orange Beach, we got dressed up for my club's Summer Soiree. Dress was Seersucker or White Linen for the men. We had a good time. Was great seeing our friend Barbara who just returned from a vacation in Mexico.
My daughter Maureen had retrieved some items we left in Orange Beach condo and we had lunch at New Seafood and Spirits on Lapalco. It was on Tuesday the day they feature old-styled shrimp stew like my mom used to make.
Del and I celebrate my birthday with an oyster poorboy from DiMartino's Deli, some their shrimp-potato salad, and a longneck Barq's with a candle on its cap. We lit the candle, I made a wish and blew out the candle. A few days later we drove across the Lake to Dan and Karen's who took us to Nuvolari's Restaurant to celebrate my birthday. Thank all of you who graciously sent birthday greets via email and in traditional card form.
The twice-annual meeting of our Book Club met at Clancy's Restaurant uptown to choose the next six months of books to be read. I submitted a book Del liked a lot and it was chosen, so I will have to read it.NOTE: I have many more photos from this busy month, so if you expected to see yourself in the above travelogue, read down further and you will likely appear. Also many flowers and local color are scattered below in approximately chronological order. Our 208 photos from this month overflowed in the previous month. Check the Note From Editor above the Table of Contents at the top of this Issue. Enjoy.
EVERY GOOD THING MUST COME TO A NEW BEGINNING
The past month of July has brought us delightful summer weather, due to the cloudy skies and afternoon showers which kept the temperature in the mid-80s during the day and the mid-70s in the night most of the month.
Football practices for LSU and the Saints are beginning soon and the thrill of the gridiron escapades of our teams is throbbing in any true fan.
Our veggie garden has been cleaned out and will soon be ready for fall planting. The lawn and fairways of the golf course have never looked so lush and green.
Hope you will a wonderful vacation during the coming month of August, and, God Willing, the tropical winds and rains stay moderate for us. Whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, be it warming Summer days or chilling Winter days,
Remember our earnest wish for this wonder full year of 2017:
MAY THE WORLD BECOME PEACEFUL AND SERENE IN TWENTY-SEVENTEEN
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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:
- We seem not to have learned a basic lesson of history: Capitalism harnesses human self interest; socialism exhausts itself trying to kill it.
Linda Bowles — American Writer
New Stuff on Website:From Rainbows & Shadows, A 1995 Book of Poetry by Bobby Matherne
~~~ Tidbits of Humor: IDIOT SIGHTINGS ~~~
An Example from a Dallas County Sheriff's Office:
I work with a deputy who plugged her power strip back into itself and couldn't understand why her system would not turn on.
Click for more IDIOT SIGHTINGS
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). Skin Tight: This poem was written on April 16, 1992. It was inspired by reading the following quote on page 439 of A Course in Miracles Textbook, "...faith in innocence is faith in sin...". I wrote it while driving to work on Hwy 3127 about six-thirty in the morning. The essence of the poem is that the connection between isolated human bodies locks them into an unconscious dance with each other so that there are no homicides, no suicides, no robberies involving "innocent victims." As a news commentator reported, "innocent passersby were being pulled from their cars" during the Los Angeles riots. The title intimates that our humanness does not stop at the boundary of our skin.
If our life force doesn't end
At the surface of our skin
Then how does our faith in innocence begin?
The robber and the victim are a pair
with something in the air.
The atomistic idea of Democritus
was simple enough for most of us
Till the quantum mechanic
tied us together and
put us in a panic.
Now the wave
is all the rave
And the stars sing in bars
of probabilistic avatars.
It is only fitting
if the robber does the victim's bidding,
That we disregard recompense
and declare mutual innocence.
2. Chapter: Shadows
This month we continue with a poem from the Shadows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). Thy Name is Me: This poem was written on October 4, 1995 as I was getting dressed to get a haircut and go to Del's office. I was getting spiffied up and thinking how nice I looked — then the thought came to me, "You been doing it (being vain) all along, You might as well admit it!" P. S. If you only see Me in the image below, look again.
Thy Name is Me
Thy Name is Me
The Me's in the World
Thy Name is Me
The Me's in the World
Thy Name is Me
The Me's in the World
Thy Name is Me
The Me's in the World
Thy Name is Me
The Me's in the World
Thy Name is Me
The Me's in the World
3. Chapter: Shadows
This month we continue with a poem from the Shadows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). DRUGS-CZAR-US:This poem written on June 16, 1990 shortly after a Drug Czar for the U. S. was named by the president. Poem was inspired by the phonological ambiguity of Drug Czar US and Drugs-R-US (I credit TOYS-?-US® for my use of the similar name). NOTE: Russia in 2017 is still holding the Crimia it recaptured under Putin and its human rights are in sad shape, so far as I can tell. The USA has withdrawn its troops from Colombia whose government has recently won its fight against the rebels. The ACLU has chipped away at American freedoms by using the Bill or Rights as a sculptor's chisel.
Who would have thought
Russia would get free enterprise
and the USA a czar?
Russia would give artists free expression
and the US would outlaw:
artworks in Cleveland
music in Miami and
free expression of beliefs
Russia would free the Baltic States
and the US would send troops
that Russia would guarantee human rights
and the US would chip away
at the Bill of Rights
Russia would get a McDonald's
and we would get a Drugs-R-US?
4. Chapter: Shadows
This month we continue with a poem from the Shadows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). Human Limit:Written 1993 based on George Miller's famous The Magic Number 7±2 paper. Miller did extensive studies of the capabilities to process multiple tasks and found that performance tapered off drastically at about 6 or 7.
Excerpt from my review of Jerome Bruner's Actual Minds, Possible Worlds:From George Miller's famous 7±2 paper, Bruner deduces, "...it means that perception is to some unspecifiable degree an instrument of the world as we have structured it by our expectancies." My equation to describe this process generically is: Pn= f(In, g(Ip)), where Pn is perception now, In is Inputs(raw sensory data) now, Ip is Inputs past, and f() and g() are functions. Thus one may read my equation as follows: our perception in the now is a function f() of our inputs in the now and another function g() of all of our inputs in the past (up until now). This equation explains why my favorite phrase "up until now" works so well when placed at the end of a statement expressing a limitation. The phrase refers only to the g(Ip) Input-in-the-Past portion of the equation and reminds us that we can rethink the In (Input-in-the-Now) in the present moment and open up possibilities that never existed before.
The human limits of the mind
are 7±2 chunks of consciousness
It limits the number of things one can do at one time:
Like the number of balls a juggler can keep in the air,
The number of rhythms a drummer can sustain.
I watch 5 TV's at a time
and still have Two other chunks available
How do you use
your 6 extra chunks
When you watch only one TV?
5. Chapter: Shadows
This month we continue with a poem from the Shadows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). Writing About:This poem was written September 18, 1995 on my 486DX2/66 with 17" monitor. 1.5 Gb storage in my by-the-time-you're-reading-this-antiquated PC. (We older models have to work twice as smart to keep up with you younger models.) Thanks to the story (from Richard Bandler) about William James and the lady who came up to him after his lecture and said, "Ooh, Dr. James, you know the world really rests on the back of an elephant." "If so, my dear lady, what does the elephant rest on?" "Ooh, Dr. James, you know it rests on the back of a turtle." "And the turtle, what does it rest upon?" "Ooh, Dr. James, you know it's turtle all the way down."
I have to wait
Until something happens
To write about in my journal.
If I start writing before something happens,
It's all: "Nothing yet, nothing yet.
Writing about Nothing yet, nothing yet.
Writing about Nothing yet, nothing yet.
Writing abou . . . "
It's Writing about all the way down.
Movies we watched this past month:Notes about our movies: Many of the movies we watch are foreign movies with subtitles. After years of watching movies in foreign languages, Arabic, French, Swedish, German, British English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and many other languages, sometimes two or three languages in the same movie, the subtitles have disappeared for us. If the movie is dubbed in English we go for the subtitles instead because we enjoy the live action and sounds of the real voices so much more than the dubbed. If you wonder where we get all these foreign movies from, the answer is simple: NetFlix. For a fixed price a month they mail us DVD movies from our on-line Queue, we watch them, pop them into a pre-paid mailer, and the postman effectively replaces all our gas-consuming and time-consuming trips to Blockbuster. To sign up for NetFlix, simply go to http://www.netflix.com/ and start adding all your requests for movies into your personal queue. If you've seen some in these movie blurbs, simply copy the name, click open your queue, and paste the name in the Search box on NetFlix and Select Add. Buy some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. You get to see your movies as the Director created them NOT-edited for TV, in full-screen width, your own choice of subtitles, no commercial interruptions, and all of the original dialogue. Microwave some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. With a plasma TV and Blu-Ray DVD's and a great sound system, you have theater experience without someone next to you talking on a cell phone during a movie plus a Pause button for rest room trips.Hits (Watch as soon as you can. A Don't Miss Hit is one you might otherwise have missed along the way.):
P. S. Ask for Blu-Ray movies from NetFlix, and if it says DVD in your Queue, click and select Blu-Ray version."The Great Wall" (2017) Matt Damon seeks black powder and creates a big bang on the Great Wall.
"Shakespeare in Love" (1998) One of the best movies of all time! Quick tempo, quick wit, and quick action on stage as Will chases his Juliet across a gap wider than the Montaguts and Capulets. A DON'T MISS HIT!!!!!
"To The Bone" (2017) is Ellen's goal for her upper arm. She is anorexic and can't eat. Can a new name, a boy friend, and a mother's love help her?
"The Space Between Us" (2017) may be 40 million miles but Gardner as the first human born on Mars blows his cover when he falls in love with his Earth-bound girl friend and gets to Earth and her help to locate his father. Unexpectedly brilliant movie. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Before I Fall" (2017) teenage coming of age for Samantha who wants to save Juliet and she saves her. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Split" (2017) beset by Multiple Personalities, Kevin seems to be coping, but the Beast lurks inside him and M. Night Shyamalan is determined to let him out for the horror of it.
"Amadeus" (1984)3rd Viewing-see DWs38&105 Wolfgang Gottlieb Mozart adopted Amadeus when he worked in Paris and the movie folks chose it as a unique name for this movie about one of the conspiracy theories of Wolfie's young death. It dramatically portrays his problematic relationship with his overpowering father Leopold and his amorous relationship with many women. A tour-de-force by F. Murray Abraham who wore makeup for most of the scenes that made him look 30 years older, probably older than he looks today. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"No Escape" (2015) Owen Wilson has to escape with his wife and two small girls from a small Asian country with thugs determined to kill him. A perilous journey with little hope of success. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"The Shack" (2017) Mack grows up physically abused by his alcoholic father and fathers his three kids of his own, but still hasn't dealt with forgiving the father he poisoned until his beloved youngest daughter is brutally killed, and suddenly a shack looms large in his life. Will he forgive the two men, one took who his early life from him and the other the later life from his daughter? It will take a miracle or three. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Arrival" (2017) like "The Day the Earth Stood Still" but of 12 ships and a physicist and a linguist charged with communicating with a truly strange heptapod culture bringing us the gift of remembering the future so we can all feel more things. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! !
"United Kingdom" (2017) Seretse and Ruth loved jazz and each other and helped found a democratic Botswana in 1966. Amazing true story of love, deprivation, and reunion. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Miracles from Heaven" (2016) A ten-year-girl Annabel's body stops digesting food, putting her life at risk. If pennies can fall from Heaven perhaps miracles can also. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Fences" (2016) Denzel Washington directs and stars in this movie of a garbage collector who has trouble building fences in his life. A powerful portrayal of a hard worker trying to maintain his sanity and his family. A DON'T MISS HIT !
Misses (Avoid At All Costs): We attempted to watch these this month, but didn't make it all the way through on most of them. Awhile back when three AAAC horrors hit us in one night, I decided to add a sub-category to "Avoid at All Costs", namely, A DVD STOMPER. These are movies so bad, you don't want anyone else to get stuck watching them, so you want to stomp on the disks. That way, if everyone else who gets burnt by the movie does the same, soon no copies of the awful movie will be extant and the world will be better off."American Violence" (2017) A DVD STOMPER ! ! ! !
Your call on these your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:"Sleepless" (2017) Jamie Fox goes bad cop on worse cops in drugs and guns movie.
"Ask Me Anything" (2014) says the blogger who blogged a more interesting life than she lived.
"Playing it Cool" (2014) guy asked to write a romantic comedy has never been in love, has to do research, and his prize specimen gets away, or does she?
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Le Boudreaux Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission. This story sent in by mon frere T-Paul in Opelousas, Feb. 9, 2017.
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One day Boudreaux was stopped by a game warden in Bayou Des Allemands. The game warden asked him, "What you got in dat big ice chest?"
Boudreaux opened the ice chest and it was full of fish. The game warden raised an eyebrow and said, "My friend do you happen to have a license to catch all dem fish?"
Boudreaux said, "Mais non Ah don't need no license. Dese are all mah pet fish."
"Pet fish! Hah! Ah nevah heard of sech a t'ing! Wat you mean by dat?"
Boudreaux said, "Wahl, every day Ah take them into dis bayou and let dem get some exercise. Den Ah whistle for dem to come back and they jump back into the ice chest."
The game warden was skeptical and thought "I have to see this for myself." So he told Boudreaux to show him how that worked.
Boudreaux dumped the fish into the bayou and sure enough they all swam away. The game warden waited. Finally he said, "Well, when you gonna whistle for the fish to jump back into the ice chest?"
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5.Household Hint for August, 2017 from Bobby Jeaux:
(click links to see photo of preparation steps)
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =Power Strips as Floor Switches
Often a lamp is located is a spot where its On-Off switch is not easily accessible. Perhaps you'd like to turn two or more lamps on at the same time. The easy answer is a power strip. I have used this for Christmas lights during the season, and for the three lamps which back light our Screening Room behind the five TV sets. I simply step on the power strip's switch as I walk to my seat in front of the TV array and three lamps light up behind the sets.You will likely find solutions in your own home once you begin thinking of a power strip as a handy foot-operated floor switch.
One Inexpensive Power Switch with three or more outlets.
Place the strip in a handy, inobtrusive spot on the floor, perhaps alongside a cabinet. Set it so the switch end of the strip is closest to the room. (Unfortunately most power strips have the heavy duty power cord coming out of the side of the strip where the switch is located, but you can work around this minor problem.)
Step on the Right Side of the RED ON/OFF switch of Power Strip to turn ON all three lamps. Click to see Foot Step on the RIGHT SIDE to TURN ON the RED TOGGLE SWITCH and its connected lamps, etc. To turn OFF the three lamps, simply step on the LEFT SIDE of the RED TOGGLE SWITCH.
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6. POETRY by BOBBY from Thoreau's Journal, Volume 12:
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A Poem in an ArrowheadWhat did Henry David Thoreau do for entertainment other than think and walk around looking at things in the woods?
Among other things, he was a collector of arrowheads, which in his time could be found lying around on the top of the ground after a recent rain in many places. Buried in the earth for years, the arrowheads passed through the earth to the surface of the ground after heavy rains.To him these arrowheads were as pretty as butterflies, and he did not need to run after them with a net.
He saw these arrowheads as the thoughts of ancient inhabitants of the American continent, which were immune to the rages of time. Like all our earthly possessions these collected arrowheads pass through us temporarily on their way back to the earth from which we extracted them momentarily. Thoreau's thoughts on arrowheads suggested to me a poem:
There's a poem
In an arrowhead
As sure as there's
An arrowhead in the earth.
There's a worm
In the earth
Which passes earth
There's an arrowhead
In the earth
Which the earth
Passes through itself.
In my review of Thoreau's Journal, Volume 12, I condensed his words on arrowheads from pages 91 to 93 to create a found poem. You can read it by Clicking on the above photo of the Butterfly Arrowheads or Click Here. It is Thoreau's paean to the arrowhead passing through the earth on its flight to eternity. It might be titled, "The Arrowhead Talks Back."
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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for August:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =For our Good Readers, here are the reviews and articles featured this month. The second and third reviews this month will be ones which were never published in early DIGESTWORLD ISSUES and will be of interest to our DIGESTWORLD Readers. The first review is a new one and will be new added to the top of A Reader's Journal, Volume 2, Chronological List and the List of Rudolf Steiner Reviews.
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, sans any DW photos, simply CLICK on the Book Cover or choose Printer Ready option on the top line of a review page when it opens.
1.) ARJ2: Initiation Science and the Development of the Human Mind by Rudolf Steiner
Steiner begins the first lecture saying he is adding to things he had said earlier in the July 20 to 23 lectures compiled in the book, What is Anthroposophy?(1) He leads us on a guided tour through the planets of our Cosmos, which we have come to call our Solar System. The Moon is the mirror of our Universe as it reflects light from the Sun, from all the other planets, and from all the stars to us. As we ponder the Moon, we can learn the Moon's secret: that it holds the spirits that were the great teachers of wisdom to humanity.
[page 6] We fight our way through to the original revelations made to humanity that are still behind myths and legends, and with great wonder and awe come to realize that human beings once had a magnificent wisdom given to them as a grace by the cosmic spirits, given in a way that required no effort on their part. And in the end we are taken back to everything those spirits had once been able to teach the early human beings who were then on earth. Now those spirits have withdrawn into the moon fastness of the universe, departing from the earth with the moon. Human beings retained a memory of what those spirits had once revealed to the earliest peoples of the human race who were still very different in their nature from the present-day human form.
As we gaze into the face of the Man in the Moon, he smiles down on us as if to represent the Moon's early teachers of wisdom now hidden from our physical sight, but embedded deep within our souls. There is indeed in the Moon "a tie that binds us to our home(2)" on Earth as humans.
Continuing his tour, Steiner reminds us that Saturn encompassed the whole cosmos from which the various planets separated. Its inner warmth speaks to us today and lures us to dwell in the past.
[page 8] And it speaks of the planetary system's past with inner warmth, an inner glow, which means that it is actually dangerous to be intimately acquainted with anything which Saturn says in the universe, for it speaks of past events in the universe with such devotion that one develops a tremendous love for this past of the universe. Saturn is, as it were, always tempting those who listen intently to learn its secrets to set little store by earthly things and enter fully and wholly into the past, into what earth has once been.
Saturn above all speaks clearly about everything the earth was before it came to be earth. It is therefore the one planet in our system which makes the past infinitely dear to us. And it is people who always like to look into the past, not liking progress but always wanting to bring back the past who have an earthly liking for Saturn. This is the way in which we come closer to the individual nature of Saturn.
Jupiter's nature is revealed in its alternate name Jove and its role as the wise answerer of unanswered questions(3) for humans. From my earliest reading of the daily comics I came to see the expression, "By Jove!" at the time when some comic character had a great insight revealed. What Saturn does by bringing insight from the past into our mind, Jupiter does by bringing insights of the present into our mind.
[page 9] When you try to get a dear idea about some important riddle of existence and find you cannot do so because of the obstacles presented by the human physical and etheric and above all the astral obstacles, the Jupiter spirits will come in to help. The Jupiter spirits are indeed coming to help us to develop human wisdom. When someone has made a real effort to think clearly about some riddle of existence and cannot get to the bottom of it, he will find that if he is patient and continues to occupy himself with the riddle in his mind the powers from Jupiter will even come to help during the night.If someone who has found a better solution to a day's problem during the night, seemingly in his dreams, and were able to know the truth of this, he'll really have to admit: It is the Jupiter spirits who bring movement, swing, and verve into human thinking.
It was this kind of thinking: holding long and patiently onto a question, and allowing the answer to present itself in consciousness that led me to understand the power of an unanswered question several decades ago.
Mars is the most talkative planet, and shows up in people who talk in their sleep. When someone just talks and talks without end, gossipy Mars is behind it. It is different from Jupiter who wants to convince by a quality of thought, while Mars wants to persuade by a volley of words. It is the Mars personality who says in response to some thoughtful observation, "I know that!" and continues to blather away as if nothing important had been revealed. These Mars types do not understand the power of an unanswered question, being naturally more fond of talking than thinking.
[page 10] If there is anything in human nature open to it so that it can make it rattle on, Mars will turn people into chatterboxes. It is the planet which thinks little, has few thinkers but many talkers. . . . It may be called the 'agitator' in the universe.
Venus stands apart, however, and does not want to know the universe, feeling that would take away her virginity.
[page 11] On the other hand, Venus is tremendously receptive to anything which comes from the earth. In a sense the earth is Venus's lover. The moon reflects the whole universe all around; Venus reflects nothing of the universe, does not want to know about anything that has to do with the universe, but lovingly reflects everything that come to her from the earth. Spying on the secrets of Venus with the inner eye you get the whole earth again with all its secrets of the soul.
It is from Venus that every poet receives inspiration through the mirroring of Venus with its sphere surrounding Earth spiritually (in the original geocentric, pre-Copernican sense).
[page 11] It is indeed the case that essentially people on earth cannot secretly do anything real in their souls without it being a reflection coming down from Venus, something we discover if we go into the matter. Venus looks deeply into human hearts, for this is of interest to her, it is something she does allow to reach her. Everything which lives in the inmost heart on earth is also found on Venus thanks to a mirroring of an unusual kind. Venus is really transforming everything as it is reflected just as dreams transform the external events of physical life. Venus takes the events on earth and changes them into dream images. The whole orbit in which Venus moves around the earth, this whole Venus sphere, is really a dream state. The secrets of human beings on earth are transformed as in a dream and live there in many different dream forms. Venus actually has a great deal to do with the poets. The poets themselves do not know this, of course, but Venus has a great deal to do with them.
In a 1990 poem entitled All at One I ended with this stanza:
Sometime in the winter's night
as the moondrops sparkle
in the snow
I will dance with Venus
round the crescent Moon
After reading the above page 11 passage and my above poem again, I have a new understanding of how Venus was inspiring me at that time, and ever since, by Jove! What about Mercury? Inquiring minds want to know. We tend to think of Mercury as the quicksilver messenger of the gods with winged-heels, but Mercury really excels at rational thinking and providing us with insights.
[page 12, 13] Mercury is the planet which, unlike the others, is really interested in anything which is not sense perceptible by nature but so that one can make combinations with it. In Mars we have the masters of making combinations in thinking, in Jupiter the masters of wisdom-filled thinking. When human beings come from pre-earthly life into earthly existence it is the moon impulse which provides the powers needed for physical existence. Venus provides the powers for all qualities of mind and temperament. Mercury, on the other hand, provides the powers for the qualities of our rational understanding. The masters of powers of insight gained by making combinations are anchored in Mercury.
If we look at the outer planets of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars we find them concerned with the freedom of human beings. The inner planets of Venus, Mercury, and Moon are concerned with the destiny of human beings(4). How can a human have a destiny and still be free? This possibility was lost on strict Calvinistic theologians, but is an important part of Steiner's anthroposophy, the science of the full human being. Each human has a destiny based on karmic relationships with other humans over many lifetimes, but always possesses the freedom of choice in how to deal with others.
[page 15] The Sun then takes its position among these actions and impulses of individual planets, creating harmony, as it were, between those which make man free and those which determine destiny. The Sun is therefore the individual spirit where destiny-determining necessity and freedom-making principles come together in a truly marvelous way. One will only understand what the leaping, blazing light of the sun contains if one thus sees the interweaving life and activity of destiny and freedom in this light which spreads out into the world and then again keeps warmly together in the Sun.
One can imagine modern physicists blasting Steiner's thinking as being a complete folly, and yet, Steiner portrays the silliness of the concepts of those same physicists. The same physicists who followed Isaac Newton's constructed view of absolute time and space and then, when Einstein offered his theory of relativity, had to adopt a view that time and space, mass and energy, were all relative to each other, dissolving forever the view of absolute time and space and the separateness of mass and energy.
To demonstrate the folly of the physicist's views of the world, Steiner says that a physicist can say the following:
[page 19] "I direct my telescope towards a distant star. But I have worked out that so and so much time passes before the light from that star gets down to earth. When I look through my telescope, therefore, the light I see has needed so and so many light years to reach it.The light in my telescope was therefore emitted so and so many light years ago. The star is no longer in the place where I see it. The ray of light reaches my telescope, but the star is no longer in the place to which the telescope extends. When I look at a neighboring star, the light of which needs far fewer light years, this light nevertheless gets here at the same time. I move the telescope. The star appears in a point of light which perhaps was there so and so many years ago. Now I move it again. A star appears in the telescope which actually is not there, but has been there a completely different number of years ago. And that is how I form ideas about my starry heavens. All of it has been there since it came to be there but in reality it is not there at all. In reality there is nothing there — everything has gone higgledy-piggledy."
This indictment of the physicist shows the complete folly of a materialistic scientist's thinking process, making this an even draw between Steiner and the physicists who call his spiritual science a fantastic folly. During all this havoc in the world of physics, which Steiner lived through in his own lifetime from 1860 to 1925, the world view of anthroposophy remained unchanged, as it is based on direct experience of the spiritual world and not on the abstract logical reasoning and speculation of physicists about the material world.
Look at the days of the week carefully and you will see how intimately we live with the planets. We start our week with Saturn-day, then move into Sun-day, followed by our weekdays of Moon-day, Mars-day, Mercury-day, Jupiter-day, and end with Venus-day. French speakers will recognize Mars-day as Mardi, Mercury-day as Mercre-di, Jupiter-day as Jeu-di or Jove-day, and Vendre-di as Friday or Venus-day, but English-speakers use German gods' names for Tues-day, Wodens-day, Thors-day, and Frei-day, and may not notice the full range of planets which fill every week of their lives.Rightly understood, each week, we recapitulate the full range of evolution of our Cosmos going through again the Saturn, Sun, Moon, and Earth Epochs, the planets of Mars and Mercury arising during the middle Earth Epoch, and Jupiter and Venus Epochs following our present Earth epoch.
[page 20] The true situation in the spiritual world will really only be clearly understood more widely when people raise the nightcap they are wearing at least a little bit. So it is certainly possible to think that something which speaks in the kind of tenor in which I spoke yesterday is absurd in the face of modern science, for in its theory of relativity, for instance, this science is wholly negative. It is really always telling us what is not, and humanity will need to steer towards insight into what is.
Let us get practical and look at what is and find a way to penetrate into the universe. Anthroposophy provides us with such a way by leaving aside the squishy so-called solid foundations of materialistic science.
[page 21] Yet what are the solid foundations of science? They are the concepts of space, time and so on which people have gained on earth. Now the relativity theoreticians destroy these concepts where the universe is concerned and declare them to have no validity.
The one earthly concept remains valid in the cosmos, that of reflection of the universe by the Moon. The Moon acts like a silvery mirror reflecting the entire universe from its surface, while spirits inside the Moon go about their cosmic business.
[page 22] I did, however, say to you that the spirits which are holed up in this moon fastness and in the universe and pursue their cosmic business in there had once been on earth, before the moon split off from the earth. They had been the first great teachers of human souls on earth. The great, most ancient wisdom of which people speak is essentially a legacy from these moon spirits who today live hidden lives in the moon. They have withdrawn there.
Why did these wise spirits withdraw from Earth? Were they not like our parents, guiding us on our way into adulthood? Yes, and perhaps that's why they withdrew from us, so that we might achieve our own destiny in freedom from their over-powering influence.Every one knows of people whose parents forced their own careers upon them: a doctor who wanted his son to become a doctor, an actress who wanted her daughter to become an actress, etc. One boy sent to medical school skipped medical classes to study music and became a famous musician. Take Francesco Petrarch for example; he was sent to law school and finally dropped out saying, "I did not want to make a machine of my mind." How could his father, a famous lawyer, know that about his son when he insisted Francesco attend law school? Petrarch went on to become a famous philosopher in the Renaissance and is now known as the Father of Humanism. These are examples of success achieved by ignoring the influence of parents, but likely there are far more examples of lives wasted in unsatisfying occupations by children unable to escape the profession chosen for them by their powerful parents. Truly wise parents know when to withdraw their influence so that their children might live in freedom.
[page 22] Those spirits had made the wonderful decision, as it were, to withdraw from the earth, withdraw to a closed place in the universe. There they would pursue their cosmic business far removed from humanity so that human beings would not be influenced any further by them, so that human beings would be able to take in all the impulses of the universe and be free spirits. Those spirits chose a new dwelling place in the universe for themselves, so that freedom would gradually be possible for human beings.
When the Moon withdrew from the Earth, the physicists could calculate the weights of their separate masses, the energy required, the speed of the separation, and the subsequent orbit of the Moon around the Earth, always presenting one face to the Earth. In talking about Petrarch's life course, that would be like talking about the money his father wasted on him during law school before he dropped out, instead of the freedom Petrarch acquired for himself in his new course in life.
[page 22] Hearing that the moon had split off from the earth, a physicist would simply calculate the speed at which this happened, the energies involved, and all of this always only with earthly energies, earthly velocities in mind. When we speak of the moon the way I did yesterday, those factors are simply ignored. Yet when we ignore the physical aspects, there remain those decisions, those great cosmic moral impulses. From going on about physics, which do apply to conditions on earth, we come to speak about the universe in moral ideas.
We can rattle on about mass, energy, money, etc. in a person's life as if talking about an inanimate object operated on by physical forces, or we can speak about freedom and morality in a person's life. Steiner shows us both sides of the world, the physical and the spiritual, so that we may come to understand the complete set of influences others have on our lives and we have on others' lives.
One can say that the true role of a father is teach his son to stand up for himself, we might say, to develop a spine, so that he might stand on his own two feet in freedom and think for himself, at which time the father can withdraw from his direct influence on his son's life. This seems like wise advice, does it not? Now consider the Moon spirits as being the father in a similar scenario in relation to all humanity. What did they do to their offspring, the adolescent child, during the old Moon Epoch when the Moon and Earth were one body? They gave the child a spine, a horizontal spine, so that when the Moon spirits separated, the child could grow into an adult human with a vertical spine, standing on two feet, and operating in freedom.
[page 24] When those spirits were still on the earth they acted on the soft, I'd say slimy form that the earth itself and all creation on it once had. And in both human beings and animals the development of the spinal column was connected with the actions of those spirits. The spinal column of human beings and animals is thus a legacy from very early times when the moon spirits were still connected with earthly existence. It can no longer arise today. The spinal column is a legacy, it can no longer develop anew today.
For four-footed animals the spirits fixed the spine in such a way that it remains in the horizontal. For human beings they made it to be such that it could come into the vertical. With the vertical spine human beings could then grow free for the universe and its influences at the moment when the moon spirits withdrew into their moon fastness.
In Lecture 3 Steiner asks and answers this wonderful question, "Is it part of the essential nature of the human being to live in the three states: fully awake, sleeping, and dreaming?" (Page 31)He begins his answer by explaining that only humans experience these three states of being on Earth. Animals have a waking state close to human's dreaming state, but their dreaming is never completely unconscious as the human's is. This means animals can awaken to possible threats much quicker and easier than humans. Animals are close to their environment; they lack the distinctly different outside and inside worlds that human beings have. Animals feel a deep connection to plants via either sympathy or antipathy, something lacking in most humans, those who only see the outside of the plant as they were taught to in botany class. Animals know through this deep connection whether a plant is good or bad for it to eat, know whether a plant is helpful for whatever might be ailing the animal.
[page 32] Only human beings have this power of making clear, definite distinction between their inner world and the outside world. Why do human beings accept that there is an outside world? What makes them speak at all of an inner world and an outside world? They do so because they are always out of their physical and ether body with their I and astral body when asleep, leaving their physical and ether body to themselves, as it were, in sleep, and are with the things that are outside world.In our sleep state we share the destiny of outside things. Tables and benches, trees and clouds are outside our physical and ether body in our waking state and we therefore refer to them as outside world. In sleep our own astral body and our own I are part of the outside world. And something happens whilst we belong to the outside world with our I and astral body in sleep.
During our waking state we deal with the objects around us that we can count, measure, and weigh, similar to what a physicist is taught to do. These objects also possess colors, make sounds, are cold or warm, etc. These are the current conditions under which we human beings live in the waking state.But things change dramatically when we go to sleep.
[page 33] When human beings are in the state between going to sleep and waking up, these things are different for the I and the astral body. First of all, the objects determined by measure, number and weight simply are not there. It may seem strange but when we are asleep we do not have things around us that can be weighed, nor things one is able to count or measure in a direct way. When we are I and astral body in sleep we would not be able to use a measuring rod. What we have there are, if I may put it like this, the free floating and moving sensory perceptions. However, at the present stage of evolution human beings are unable to perceive free floating redness, freely moving sound waves, and so on.
Above right is the colored chalk diagram Steiner drew with his own hand on black paper which has been preserved in a book(5). Whenever possible I use these in place of the black-and-white re-drawn ones which require the use of cross-hatched shading to identify the colors that Steiner refers to.
[page 33] To make a diagram of this, we'd do something like this. We might say that here on earth we have things that are solid and can be weighed, and redness, yellowness is in a way attached to these weighable solid objects, being what the senses perceive in those objects. When we are asleep the yellowness is free floating quality,the redness is free floating quality, not attached to such conditions of gravity but floating and moving freely. It is the same with sound. It is not that the bells sounds, but that the sound is actively moving. [Fig. 2, above]
In the diagram above, those things pulled by gravity are shown by arrows pointing down and the free floating colors and sounds want to move as the arrows pointing up show, into cosmic space. (Page 35)
[page 35] There is also something there which is like a kind of measure. You'll discover this if there is a small reddish cloud somewhere, let us say, [Figure 3, above Right] and this is hemmed with, let us say, a mighty yellow form. You then measure, not with a measuring rod, but qualitatively, using the red, which is the stronger color, to gauge the fainter yellow.And where a measuring rod would tell you that you have five meters, the red will here tell you: 'If I were to spread, I'd fit five times into the yellow. I have to expand, grow in size, and then I'll also be yellow.' That is the way of measuring here.
Steiner takes us into Figure 2 above again to establish the presence of numbers in the spiritual world which then become measure, number, weight when one returns to conscious awareness.
[page 36] If we have one of a particular kind somewhere here, it calls for some, let us say three or five more, depending on how it is [Fig. 2, dots and small circles in red]. There is always an inner connection with the others and the number is something real. When there begins to be conscious awareness about how it is when one is out there with one's I and astral body, one will also come to establish something like measure, number and weight, but of the opposite kind.
Soon our seeing and hearing out there in the spiritual world morphs from a floating area of red and yellow light into an order of things we come to perceive as spirits.
[page 36] Once seeing and hearing out there is no longer a mere wishy-washiness of red and yellow and sounds but we begin even there to be sentient of things having an order, we begin to perceive the spirits who bring themselves to realization in these free floating sensory perceptions. We then enter into the positive spiritual world, into the life and activities of the spirits. Here on earth we enter into the life and activities of earthly things by weighing, measuring and counting them. Learning the opposite to being heavy in a qualitative way, that is, seeking to expand easily, lightly into cosmic space, measuring color with color, and so on, we begin to grasp the nature of the spirits. Such spirits are also present throughout everything out there in the natural worlds.
In the material world, causality rules as I learned as a physicist; in the spiritual world, morality rules as I learned from studying many sources, especially Steiner. In learning something new, I have learned that it's best to know all about it before you start, so I will summarize the remainder of Lecture 3 with a poem.
In sleep there is truth
Only that which we sleep with
can we know as truth.
Hmmm, that sounds true —
Can I sleep on it a few days?
Oh, yes, Now I remember!
In dreams there is beauty.
Only that which we dream
can we create as beauty.
Hmmm, that sounds good —
like something I dreamed of.
Oh, what I create with my hands —
Only that which is beautiful
can be deemed to be good.
In beauty there is good.
Truth leads to beauty which leads to good. In the material world, we hold measure, number and weight to be important; in the spiritual world, we hold truth, beauty, and good to be important, in fact, essential for our human spirit.
People are known to get sick if they lack enough sleep. Why? Because we need sleep to live in the outside world of consciousness.
[page 36] In the waking state of mind we human beings see only the outer aspects of minerals, plants and animals. But in sleep we are with the spiritual element which lives in all these entities in the natural worlds. When we return to ourselves as we wake up, the I and astral body do in a way retain the inclination towards, the affinity with the objects outside, making us accept the reality of an outside world. If we had an organization that was not made for sleep we would not accept the fact of an outside world.It is not a question of someone suffering from insomnia, of course. For I am not saying 'when people do not sleep' but 'if we had an organization that was not made for sleep'. It is a matter of being prepared for something. This is also why people get s ick when suffering from insomnia, for that is not in accord with their nature. But the way things are is that exactly because people dwell with their outside world in sleep, with the world which on waking they call their outside world, they also arrive at an outside world, a view of the outside world.
It is our relationship to sleep that provides our concept of truth. Why is that so?
[page 37] Well, we call it truth when we are able to recreate the image of something outside within us, when we have a real living experience of something from outside within us.For this we need the institution of sleep. We would have no concept of truth if we did not have the institution of sleep. We are therefore able to say that we owe the truth to the sleep state. To give ourselves up to the truth of things we must also spend some of our time with them. The objects only tell us something about themselves because in our souls we are with them in sleep.
Recall any movie you've seen in which a character is deprived of sleep, and you will notice they had trouble understanding what was true. Many coerced confessions are extracted from people who are tortured and deprived of sleep.
We can now understand the free floating world of color and sound that Steiner described as happening in the early portion of dreaming when we are only halfway out of our body. The part of our I and astral body in the spiritual world perceives this color and sound of which we are not aware, and that part, while still attached to our physical and etheric body, creates from the colors and sounds the images we experience in the memory of our dreams.
[page 37] When we enter in completely, the powers that we unfold in a living, active way in our dream turn into powers of memory. We are then no longer distinct from the outside world. Our inner life comes together with the outside world and we live so powerfully in the outside world with our sympathies and antipathies that we are not sentient of those things as sympathetic or antipathetic but that the sympathies and antipathies themselves assume image nature.
We create memory in our dreams and from memory we create something beautiful, creating a kosmos out of the kaos, an order out of the disorder.
[page 37] If it were not possible for us to dream, with this dream power continuing on in our inner life, we would not have beauty. The fact that we actually have potential for beauty is due to our ability to dream. In everyday life we have to say that we owe it to dream power that we have a memory; when it comes to art in human life we owe beauty to the power of dream.The dream state is thus connected with beauty. For the way in which we are sentient of something being beautiful and create something that is beautiful is very close to the active, mobile power of dreaming.
It is a tiny shift from dreaming to living in beauty; a tiny shift from free-floating chaos into organized cosmos. (Page 38) First we need to understand the meaning of chaos; it is an unruly spreading apart.
[page 38] People today will go on for a long time thinking about what one meant by saying 'chaos' in earlier times. The term is defined in many different ways. But the only true way of characterizing the term chaos is to say: When human beings enter into a state of conscious awareness where the experience of weight, an earthly measure, has just come to an end and things begin to be only half that weight yet do not yet want to go out into the universe but remain in the horizontal, in balance, when solid boundaries begin to wave, so that the indefinite aspect of the world is seen still with the physical body but already with the mental constitution of dreaming, that is when we see chaos. And the dream is but chaos floating towards the human being like a shadow.
Next we look to the ancient Greeks who taught us how to create beauty from the chaos of the external world around us, i. e., to go from chaos to cosmos. And the chaos floats towards us in our dreams. In dreams there is beauty.
[page 38] In ancient Greece people were still sentient of the fact that we cannot really make the physical world beautiful. The physical world is necessarily natural; it is as it is. We can only create beauty from chaos. Beauty arises when we transform chaos into cosmos. Chaos and cosmos are therefore alternatives. We cannot create the cosmos — the real meaning is 'beautiful world' — from earthly things but only from chaos by giving form and order to chaos. And anything we do with earthly objects is mere imitation in material form of chaos that has been given order.
We cannot find goodness in the sleep state or in the dream state, only in the waking state.
[page 39] But when it comes to human nature we have to understand that if we want to have the idea of truth we have to turn to the sleep state, if we want to have the idea of beauty we must turn to the dream state, and if we want to have the idea of goodness we must turn to the waking state.
As I promised earlier, we have now found Truth originating in the Sleep state, Beauty in the Dream state, and Goodness in the Waking state.
[page 39] In the waking state, human beings are therefore not determined according to truth, but according to goodness in their physical and etheric organism. So this is where we must really come to the idea of goodness in that case.
When modern science seeks to explain the human in the waking state, does it move as Steiner suggests is necessary: from truth to beauty to goodness? Not at all; science tries to explain everything using the external causality of the physical world, blithely ignoring the internal morality of the spiritual world.
[page 40] The human being presented in science can only be explained as someone lying in bed. Nothing else is possible. Only the sleeping human being is explained in science. One would have to use mechanical means to set him in motion. This also means that science is a mechanism. Machinery has to be put into this sleeping human being to get this floppy sack moving and out of bed and put him to bed again at night.
The sleeping human being has only its physical and etheric body present and is incapable of conscious thought, movement of its limbs, and other expressions of the awake human being.
[page 40, 41] Science thus tells us nothing at all about the human being who walks about, is alive and active, is awake. For the principle that sets him in motion lies in the idea of goodness and not the idea of the truth that we initially gain from external objects. . . . The science of this age has never provided real insight into the living human being.
Yet, this same science proclaims to be on the verge of creating Artificial Intelligence with the aim of creating an improved human being, aiming to improve on something they understand only superficially. Perhaps science would do better to admit it is researching Superficial Intelligence! But why create expensive superficial human beings when there are so many living examples of inexpensive ones to choose from?
To develop a superficial intelligence that creates poetry of fixed stanzas with rhymes and metrical uniformity is possible for these overachieving scientists, and it would not impress me if they did such a thing. If, however, they created a superficial intelligence which could recognize great poetry, that would impress. Everyone recognizes great poetry like great art, feeling a heartfelt response, something an SI machine would not possess the capability of. Steiner says on page 43, "No one will find even a trace of art in the physics books today." There is clearly ART in HEART but no ART in PHYSICS.
[page 43] Art has been lost today. And the more people go into physics the more inartistic do they grow. Just consider, we have a magnificent science of physics. And there is no need for the opposition to tell us so.As anthroposophists we do say that we have a magnificent science of physics. But physics lives by repudiating the artistic element. In every single aspect it lives by repudiating the artistic element . . .
In my career, I did not grow less artistic as I studied physics, but over a decade, I began to feel that something was missing in my heart. I found it when I began to do wood sculpture at the age of 29. I thought I was not an artist because I couldn't draw the face or figure of a person, but when I took a gouge in my hand I could find, hiding inside a piece of pecan or walnut, a beautiful face or figure. I studied physics to find out how the physical world worked, and soon I set about finding out how the full human being worked, first through computers (which worked as the human brain worked), then through psychotherapy, and now through anthroposophy.
What was perception like for a human being before the fifteenth century? They had never been taught to determine everything by physical units of measure, weight, number, etc. They saw free floating colors and felt in their heart the tapestry of colors in the world around them. Still able to view spiritual reality a bit, they saw golden colors which surrounded the heads of saints and great moral personalities, and they painted those colors. One only has to view the paintings of Cimabue to see the brilliant colors he perceived in the world around him. This way seeing was gradually fading away and soon painters began painting only the surfaces of humans, like Raphael did with his Madonna.
[page 44] What potential lay in this way of living in sensory perception free from all weight? It made it possible, for instance, to see a person one was approaching not the way people are seen today but one would look at the person as something which had been brought about by the whole universe. The human being was more a coming together of the cosmos. He would be more of a microcosm than everything that is within his skin on the small bit of ground on which he would be standing.They were more seeing a reflection of the world in a human being. Colors would flow in from all sides to give the human being his colors. The harmony of the world was there, sounding through the human being, giving him his form.
The teachers of the ancient mysteries stressed the importance of the human heart which is infused by gold that exists everywhere in the light. This was the heritage of early painters such as Cimbue and the painters of Russian icons. (See icons in Kodiak, Alaska Russian Church Altar above.)
[page 44, 45] They would say: 'The human heart is the outcome of the gold which lives everywhere in the light, gold which comes streaming in from the universe and actually creates the human heart.' The way they saw it was this: Light moves through the universe and the light bears the gold [See Figure 4 above left]. Gold is everywhere in the light, it is alive and active in the light. And during life on earth the human heart — as you know, it changes: every seven years — is not made up of the cucumbers and lettuce and roast veal which people have been eating but, and the ancient teachers knew it, of the gold in the light. The cucumbers and the lettuce merely provide an impulse so that the gold which lives in the light makes up the heart out of the whole universe.
Steiner has given us moderns a way to understand the haloes of gold which surround the heads in old paintings. The cartoon depictions of haloes as circles floating atop the head is a gross simplification made possible by our flattened modern perception of the outside of things.
[page 45] In the past, painters painted out of the universe, for things did not have weight then. This has gone; last traces can still be seen with Cimabue, for instance, and above all in the Russian icons. The icon is still painted out of the outer world, out of the macrocosm; it is a detail from the macrocosm. Then, however, a dead end was reached. It was not possible to go any further, because humanity simply no longer had the eye for it. To be inwardly involved in painting the icon and not just do so in the traditional way, one would have needed to know how to treat the gold. The treatment given to the gold in the painting was one of the greatest secrets in the art of painting. To let the human form arise against the background of gold — that was the old way of painting.
In Lecture 4 Steiner reveals the true nature of the human being by focusing on the importance of the time we spend sleeping. He asks us to remember our life and then points out that the only things we can come up with are day-time, non-sleeping-time, memories. What happens when we are asleep during that time of which we have no memories? Our I and astral body leaves our etheric and physical bodies lying on the bed. This leaves us with a question. If our I or Ego feeds our circulation, what takes their place at night when our blood continues to pulsate through our arteries? If our astral body lives in our whole breathing process, how is it we continue to breathe when it has vacated our sleeping body? The answer will likely surprise you.
Consider your sleeping body like an automobile stranded on the side of the road because it has run out of gas and the battery is dead. What do you do? Call AAA and help will be on the way. What is the Triple-A of the spiritual world which comes to our body's aid at night when it is left stranded by the I and astral body? This spiritual AAA consists of the Angels, Archangels, and Archai to help keep the blood pulsating, and they come with three friends from the next higher hierarchy to help keep the breathing going.
[page 56] In sleep life, our astral body leaves the organs in us which are our respiratory organs, for instance. Our I leaves the powers that make the blood pulsate. Now what do they do during the night? Well, the situation is that when the individual has been lying in bed, with his I departing from the blood-pulsating powers, spirits from the next higher hierarchy enter into the blood-pulsating powers. Angeloi, Archangeloi and Archai then live in the self-same organs in which the I lives during the waking hours of the day. And the spirits of the next higher hierarchy are during the night active in the respiratory organs from which we departed because our astral body has left us: Exusiai, Dynamis, Kyriotetes.
The etheric body during the day and the night-time needs help from the Seraphim, Cherabim, and Thrones to thrive. The physical body would be an inert mass of atoms were it not for the peak of the spiritual hierarchy which lives in it.
[page 56] And then the physical body! If we had to manage all the magnificent, tremendous processes in our physical body ourselves we would not only do this badly but we would not at all know how to set about it; we'd be quite helpless. The things said about the physical body in external anatomy would not be able to set a single atom of it in motion. This calls for very different powers.
These powers are none other than those which have from time immemorial been known as the powers of the highest trinity, Father, Son and Spirit, the actual Trinity which dwells in our physical body. . . .
So we are able to say that throughout our life on earth the physical body is not ours; it would not go through its development under our direction. As has been said in ancient times, it is the temple of the godhead, the godhead which is a trinity.
Last night my wife and I watched a marvelous movie called "The Shack", a 2017 movie which illustrated the presence of the Trinity in the life of Mack who nearly died when his vehicle was rammed by a large 18-wheel transport truck. All the spiritual hierarchies arrived to attend on this man, but the Trinity was the only one Mack was shown as experiencing directly. Papa, Jesus, and the Spirit invited him into their Temple, the Shack, and helped him learn to forgive the two men who had devastated his life before the accident, giving Mack, at movie's end, the option to remain with the Trinity or return to his family.
Anthroposophy is difficult for people to comprehend, leading to many people misinterpreting what they do not understand. Rudolf Steiner gives us a wonderful metaphor involving logarithms.In high school I learned to use logarithm tables, and with the advent of calculators, log tables have disappeared from the curriculum, so far as I know, so a quick word about them. It is easier to add than multiply, especially with four digit numbers, isn't it? If you wish to quickly multiply two numbers, find the log of each number in a Log Table, add them together, and the result will be the log of the two numbers multiplied together. Much quicker than doing the long multiplication. Slide rules appeared when I went to college, and I discovered I could multiply quickly with the slide rule because the numbers were ruled in logarithmic progression. What do Log Tables look like? A table of 4 digit numbers resembling random house numbers.
[page 150] Kuno Fischer, the well-known professor, said that he had two colleagues at school who were brothers. They had an uncle who was an out-and-out simpleton. The time came when they were learning about logarithms in mathematics and needed to buy logarithm tables. The uncle took a look at these tables. He saw nothing but figures on them, and so he asked these schoolboys, his nephews, what kind of figures these were. They had no idea how to introduce him to logarithms. Finally one of the two young rogues had an idea: 'Yes, those are all the house numbers in Europe.' The uncle believed him, and decided that this was really quite useful, to know all the house numbers in London, Paris and so on instantly.
My point is that people who read Steiner's lectures lightly, without deep understanding, are like the uncle looking at log tables and seeing only house numbers. They may apply their abstract thought processes to his lectures and miss the deep reality present in his words and images. By doing so, the spiritual life they earnestly need eludes them.
[page 155 italics added] The people of our time need this kind of spiritual life — not materialistic life — so that they may be the human beings of the future. Because human beings have come to think and form ideas in an abstract, powerless way, I would say all inner ways of life they have developed have become such, for the time being, that with present-day education it really is the case that to speak to them of things of the spirit has the same effect as speaking of logarithm tables to the simple-minded uncle. When mighty signs do after all come up here or there for the desire of the spiritual world to come in, people misinterpret this, as if they were the house numbers of Europe.
One of the mighty signs is the advent of three states of mind which is close upon us. To understand what this is, one needs to look at how we have come through two sets of states of mind during the development of our human mind. In olden times, we dreamt in images, slept with an aftertaste of our dreaming upon waking, and we knew the stage of deep sleep. From this stage we developed into our present stage of dreaming, sleeping, and waking. The new states of mind we can expect in the future will be: subdued dream sleep, ordinary waking state, and a hyper-awake state.
We have arrived in the age of freedom with a new spirituality and have the ability with our free powers of insight to live out our individual lives to the fullest.
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"What is the power of an unanswered question?" is Matherne's Rule No. 25. Rightly understood, the power comes from holding the question long enough to receive an answer from Jupiter, by Jove!
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NOTE: inner and outer refers to the position of the planet relative the orbit of the Sun in the spiritual or pre-Copernican geocentric way of looking at orbits as concentric spheres with the Earth as the center. In that system the Sun and the Moon were considered as planets. Note the diagram shows the original designations of Mercury and Venus whose names materialistic astronomers have blithely switched.
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2.) ARJ2: Fruits of Anthroposophy by Rudolf Steiner
Truly Rudolf Steiner has created his own style during his life — his sculptures, his eurythmy dances, his medical advances, his Waldorf School teaching methods, and his over 6,000 lectures to audiences around Europe for over 25 years — all these and more speak eloquently of the unique style of a man who has single-handedly shaken the belief systems of agnostics the world over ever since.
[page 7] Agnosticism has seized hold of science, education and social life, and it affects millions of men who very often are quite unaware of the fact. It then lays hold of the realm of ideas, separating this from the world of true reality upon which alone humanity should have its stand; thus creating an inner division which weakens the soul forces of men. Through this division, licence is given to all the lower instincts, as we can recognize to be prominently the case in the world today. The realm of feeling also becomes unsatisfied; unfertilized by ideas it degenerates, hardens and becomes sentimental, or else it is engulfed in the life elementary instincts. This shows itself particularly in art, which is either sweetly unreal or else is naturalistic. True art creates its own style, and true style can only come from men's supersensible experiences. Agnosticism robs us of the truths which must live in art. [italics added]
"True art creates its own style," and it does so by destroying the sameness that pervades the imitative art of the present time, always a carryover from earlier times, art from artists whose work, in their time was fresh, new, in its own style. Therefore true art often appears as a destruction of earlier styles of art.This is one of the reasons that modern art is often thought of as ugly - because the new style seems to destroy what was accepted as true art for so long. But life goes on, and the spiritual or supersensible experiences of the artists of today create new styles that no one could ever expect.
Who could have expected a Raphael, a Titian, a Michelangelo, a Rembrandt, a Van Gogh, a Picasso in their time? No one. That is the remarkable fact about true artists: their work is always unexpected, and therefore undervalued during its own time. Van Gogh's brother Theo was only able to get seven francs for one of the paintings that sold recently for $300 million francs. No museum director would pay top price for the work of a new artist. No way. The work must mature, be accepted by many, be praised in the cultural centers, and only then will the director choose to spend a handsome sum for a work of the new artist. Tom Wolfe in his book, The Painted Word, has a lot to say about how what is said about a painting creates the value of the painting. It is as though an evolution of consciousness in the rest of us humans had to arise before we were able to value the spiritual insights of Van Gogh as he embodied them in his spectacular paintings.
"True art creates its own style." No one has said it better than Rudolf Steiner, in my opinion. But the second aspect, that "true style can only come from men's supersensible experiences" is mostly overlooked by the agnostic age we live in. Go back now and re-read the above long quotation and ponder for yourself how it speaks to you in the age you live in as you read these words. Go ahead. Maybe visualize Van Gogh's painting, Starry, Starry Night, as you do. I'll wait for you before continuing to write further.
Welcome back. You have now had an aperçu or brief glimpse into a way of perceiving the world as Steiner did. In the midst of an era of agnosticism, Steiner wrote in 1885 in his Theory of Knowledge according to Goethe's Outlook, "We have a science which corresponds to no one's seeking and a scientific craving that nobody satisfies." Rather than treating material objects as things that could only be described by inputs from his senses, "Goethe developed a mode of thinking which was able to penetrate into the nature of the plant," i.e., he replaced "thinging" with "thinking."Rather than focusing on the content perceived from his senses when he examined plants, Goethe focused on the process that plants went through in their growth cycle. Using his powerful imagination he was able to create with his thinking what we can do with cameras today, time-lapse photography. Using those powerful imaginations, he was able to understand the process of metamorphosis of plants, how flowers are modified leaves, e.g. Later he was able to understand how the human skeleton also went through a process of metamorphosis, how our skulls are a modified vertebra on the top of the spinal cord. Steiner admits that Goethe did not get as far with human metamorphosis as he did with plants and asks, "Why could Goethe command one realm of nature and not another?" He defers till later the question, but I would hazard this answer: Goethe did the best he could at the current level of evolution of consciousness in his time. The time scale expands greatly when one moves from the metamorphosis of plants, which can be observed physically in most plants in a single season, to the metamorphosis of humans, which no one human can ever observe physically because it extends over eons of time.To put it another way, we cannot observe the metamorphosis of humans by using only the sensory apparatus that views the physical world, but human metamorphosis involves the development of four bodies, and only one of those bodies, the physical body, is accessible to our physical senses. In many lectures Rudolf Steiner describes with his supersensible sight the evolution of the human being, its metamorphosis, using his super-phenomenal abilities, his super-sensible sight.
Interestingly, to do this job, Steiner had to apply the methods of natural science, which requires that if you would observe something in the visual spectrum, for instance, you must use an instrument which measures light. If you would therefore observe something in the spiritual realm, you must use an instrument which registers input from that realm. That instrument is super-sensible sight, which refers not only to visual inputs, by the way, but to feelings and sounds, as well. In the summary of the August 31, 1921 lecture, Steiner said about Edward von Hartmann's claim in his book, The Philosophy of the Unconscious, that he was presenting "metaphysical results according to the methods of inductive natural science," the following:
[page 10] This title implies a conclusion drawn from what you perceive to what is not perceptible, and this can never lend to true spiritual knowledge. Just as facts in natural science are observable, so must psychic-spiritual facts be accessible to spiritual observation also. Through thought we can unite ourselves not only to the outer world, but also to our I-consciousness, and in I-consciousness lies human freedom.
Our human freedom lies in our I-consciousness, our Ego body, the fourth and highest body of the human being. To even discuss a philosophy of the unconscious without acknowledging the Ego body is a folly, one which modern materialistic science today is as guilty of as it is unaware of, up until now.
[page 10] Thinking itself must bring about the state of freedom, in that it is not void of contents while ceasing to rely upon sensory perception, but that it fills itself with the contents of the human soul. The methods of spiritual science are nothing else than the experiences of the content which is there when the human soul loosens itself from the rivets of outer objects, and can still have the strength to experience something.
Goethe was Steiner's forerunner as he showed us that nature must be understood poetically, that, in Steiner's words on page 12, "art is the revealer of nature's secrets. The world is not fitted to surrender its nature to merely logical thinking." If it were so, then the Star Trek characters of Spock, Data, and Tuvok would all be commanders of their ships rather than Science Officers, relegated to collecting data from the sensory world and relaying it to Kirk, Picard, and Janeway for final action.
What is the content of the world apart from our sensory experiences of it? Steiner gives us these three aspects of the content of the super-sensible world: Imaginations, Inspirations, and Intuitions. These words represent content in the spiritual world and are not used in their ordinary dictionary meanings. A full description of them are found in Steiner's Occult Science and elsewhere, but a summary of each is appropriate here.
[page 16, Imaginations] Imaginations called up in the soul, will be found not to relate primarily to personal experience. They may be exactly the same in character as memories, but they relate to a world that is not accessible to the physical senses, though nevertheless entirely objective, in a world alive and active within the sense-perceptible world, but not revealing itself through the organs of sensory perception.
"Ho Boy!" some of you may be thinking, "Now we're talking hallucinations! This man's off his rocker for sure! Objective hallucinations — that's LSD-ville!" To think that way is to confuse the process of one's Self with the content of one's Self and is not a healthy way to live or think at all, as the bad trips on LSD [popular psychedelic drug of the 1960's] showed us. Steiner's words below could have provided some important guidance for those embarking on their first LSD trip.
[page 16] All the time we are looking at the outside world in a healthy way, having a healthy regard for our position in that outside world, we need to distinguish to some extent between our Self and the content of our Self. If we are overwhelmed by the content of consciousness, of Self, so that the necessary awareness of Self is partly paralysed, unhealthy conditions will result, including those of visionary, hallucinatory activity. Anyone able to consider these issues without prejudice will know that in the spheres of healthy sensory perception we are always to some extent aware of our own egoity, and he will know that visionary, hallucinatory activity is at a level below such healthy, normal sensory experience. He will not feel the least temptation to take such reduced levels of consciousness for revelations from a world that ranks higher than the world of the senses. . . . It is reflection on our own Self, on the I, which raises sensory perception above the level of mere visionary, hallucinatory, dream-like experience.
Steiner warns us that there is no shortcut to super-sensible perception and that those who attempt to achieve shortcuts, such as the LSD-trippers did, will develop not humility but a kind of megalomania. This is an observation made forty years before the 1960's, but one that may now be checked out for its veracity by a review of the history of that period.
"Okay, so what? If I have Imaginations, what good will it do me?" Steiner tells us on page 22 that one will become able, for example, to experience in one's perception, "how the movement of the sun through the Zodiac, something normally regarded as merely a physical, mechanical process, is indeed a living, cosmic, organic process." Thus we come to achieve living soul content in a new way, one that is not attainable by logical thinking alone, rather by a way that, during a previous stage of the evolution of consciousness, our ancestors were able to achieve instinctively.Since the 15th Century revolution wrought by Francis Bacon and others has led us to value logical and empirical reasoning over all other forms of thinking, we have lost that previous instinctive ability. Our challenge now is to regain that formerly instinctive ability of Imaginations, but in a new way, one that now allows us to clothe this ability in concepts for the first time.
Formerly this instinctive knowledge came to our ancestors as the image of a serpent eating its own tail, the mythical ouroboros, which to them spoke to the method they must follow to achieving knowledge of their Self. The part of the tail that the serpent eats is the part that is spiritualized and becomes as it were, an aura surrounding the serpent. Above left is a figure of the tooled leather cover of my Vademecum, a book cover given to me by my daughter Yvette that I use on the current book I'm reading. It shows a stylized image of the Ouroboros with two serpents eating each other's tails.
What does this mean about our view to modern materialistic science? Can we use the methods of science to show that it is wrong? Steiner says clearly, NO, and points us in the appropriate direction.
[page 30] It would be wrong for spiritual science oriented in Anthroposophy to approach science with criticism, using dead concepts. Instead, it is necessary to take up the views science has achieved, the advances made in research into nature, and take them forward into living concepts. The knowledge gained in science should not be opposed in a dead spirit, but taken onwards to the living spirit.
There are no basic emotions. This is an insight that the nascent science of doyletics, rightly understood, provides us here at the beginning of the 21st Century. What we have are individualized memories stored in our body as doyles or physical body states that stem from our individual set of personal experiences before we reach five-years-old.Using a metaphor to lead us to understanding Imaginations, Steiner tells us that Imaginations are similar to our individualized experiences, and then leads us into the cosmos. He has now extended the process of human metamorphosis that Goethe began. Goethe's best attempts led only to understanding the metamorphosis of the most basic body of the human, the physical skeleton. Steiner expands our view by directing it to the source of the etheric body in the cosmos.
[page 35] The memory process is however individualized into the human body — if I may put it like this, made individual for our personal experiences. The process of Imagination moves away from the human body, aligning itself with similar processes that occur in the cosmos, outside the human body.
One aspect of the West's increasing awareness of Eastern cultures since the 1960's has been that more and more people are turning to yoga and other breathing disciplines, up until now. If we understood the evolution of consciousness as Steiner does we would avoid these atavistic disciplines from now on. Steiner so seldom uses the imperative must that we do well to pay attention to his advice when he does use must as in this next passage.
[page 39] The organization of our present culture is such that we cannot copy the process gone though in the yoga exercise, and we must not copy it. It would cast us down into the physical organization. It may be said that our soul life is no longer on the plane where the soul life of the Indian was in the past. His soul life tended more towards sensibility, ours tends towards intellectuality. And in the sphere of intellectuality, yoga breathing would present the risk of man destroying his physical organization.
For our current stage of evolution of consciousness, the exercises that Steiner described in his book, Knowledge of the Higher Worlds, is recommended, as these exercises do not cast us down into our physical organization, but are rather in the sphere of soul and spirit with only a hint of breathing process, and that only on rare occasions.
[page 39, 40] The essential part of our exercises to achieve Imagination lies entirely in the sphere of mind and spirit, the sphere man has experience of when working with geometry and mathematics. The work which has to be done to achieve Inspiration also has to be in this sphere.
We are now ready to move from Imaginations to Inspirations, which is the second of three aspects of our learning to see into the super-sensible or spiritual realms. For the development of our physical being we can simply live and we progress through childhood into old age, and few are reluctant to proceed with that growth. But in the area of inner soul content as we are discussing here, there is a hesitancy, a reluctance to proceed, up until now. For when we do so, we move from thinking linked to the perceptible world to motivations for our thinking which is linked to the supersensible world.
One of the primary principles of the field of General Semantics as founded by Alfred O. Korzybski around 1933 is the time index, which means simply that a person at time = 1933 is not the same as that same person at time = 1966 or in annotation: John1933 does NOT = John1966 . We have to expect some metamorphosis of John during those thirty years. Our map of John as we last saw him in 1933 must be updated to account for the changes we experience when we see him again in 1966. So much humor of such comedians as Robin Williams consists of mocking the maps we have of life.We laugh because we recognize the fixed maps we share and realize suddenly that these are only maps and we change immediately in the process of laughing, we metamorphose on the spot. This process of changing as we laugh is what attracts people to comedians — they want the metamorphosis, and once they have it, once they get it, their metamorphosis is complete, and the same comedy routine no longer holds the same excitement for them thereafter. How can something be funny one day and not the next unless the person has changed in the process? Life is like Robin Williams mocking maps that we have of life. It always throws us a curve that we are not expecting and we change in response to it.
Steiner on page 41 lays the groundwork for General Semantics in his description of forming a concept [the map] and how a subsequent situation [the territory] can render the map useless. Here are his words:
[page 41] Anyone who gets into the habit of forming concepts and then applying them can easily find himself in a situation where realities make his applied concepts utterly meaningless.
Someone who operates on maps is subject to such follies as the man who ate the menu at Antoine's Restaurant and complained about the food. Why all this fuss about concepts? It is essential to moving to the next step, Inspiration.
[page 42] And so it happens that, ascending from Imagination to Inspiration, we are not able to use the concepts that are quite rightly and properly used in ordinary consciousness. They will have to remain for purposes of orientation, but need to be modified when perception is addressed to the truly inner world, that is, to the spiritual nature of things. This then lifts the logical distinction between 'right' and 'wrong' out of th abstract as we advance from Imagination to Inspiration. In the world that now present itself as a spiritual world outside us, we shall no longer be able to manage it we use the terms 'right' and 'wrong' in the same way as we have learned to use them, quite rightly at an earlier level of perception. the ideas 'right' and 'wrong' now become something much more concrete, something we now experience in the radiant Imaginations that arise in us.Where they are concerned, we cannot say 'right' and 'wrong' the way we do with reference to ideas in the intellectual sphere. At this point, more concrete ideas arise specifically in the sphere of soul and spirit; one thing is 'sound' or 'healthy', another 'sick', one encourages life, the other kills it. the abstract notion of 'right' turns into a more concrete notion, and what we are tempted to call 'right' is something that brings life and health into the spiritual world, while the things we are tempted to call 'wrong' bring disease, paralysis and death into the spiritual world.
Let's look at the spectrum of spiritual reality as it extends from Imagination through Inspiration all the way to Intuition. In Imagination we have a visual experience of the spiritual world, in Inspiration we breathe the spiritual world into us, and in Intuition we live in the spiritual world, "become one with it" as Steiner says.
[page 43, 44] We live in Intuition when we are at one with spiritual reality. This means nothing else but that in man as he is today, in this period of world evolution, perception of physical things is at one pole and intuitive perception at the other. Between these two poles lie Imagination and Inspiration.
Isaac Newton in his new physics was reputed to have discovered the System of the World, the Great Clockwork of the Cosmos, by which the world operates. This clockwork metaphor came about because clockworks were the most intricate mechanism known at 17th Century evolution of consciousness. Today we would use networks of computers systems for our metaphor. Think of it: some levels of voltaic tensions are applied to microscopic strata of silicon and computers operate. Is it so much of a stretch to imagine macrocosmic spiritual tensions applied to our microcosmic physical bodies enable us humans to operate? Read this passage Steiner quotes from his landmark book, Philosophy of Freedom:
[page 44] "The individual human being is not truly separate from the world. He is part of the world, and there is a connection with the cosmos as a whole that is a reality and is broken only in our eyes, the way we perceive it.We see this part initially as something existing by itself because we do not see the 'ropes and belts' used by the basic forces of the cosmos to move the wheel of our life." . . . In his human nature, he is linked to the cosmos through 'ropes and belts', that is, through spiritual entities. Yet man is only able to perceive this connection if he now goes through the intermediate stages between object-based perception and Intuition, stages that are not required for ordinary reflections. He needs to ascend from object-based perception through Imagination and Inspiration to reach cosmic Intuition.Science teaches us how to understand the world we live in using our sensory experience and the causal origins of things. This method works so well in the physical world that it has come to be applied to us humans, and the results are less than satisfactory because there is something unique in us humans that cannot be reached by the methods we use on the physical world.In addition, those methods are extended to cosmic facts such as the evolution of the earth, even to the freedom of man. Therein lies a tale of woe, because the results of this natural extension of techniques is less than satisfactory, up until now.
[page 47] He will extend the sphere of absolute necessity to the most inward and subtle aspects of human nature, with the result that man is completely held in the cocoon spun by science-determined inevitability.
One of the results of this thinking is the inevitable heat-death of the earth, which Steiner likens to a "vast battlefield strewn with the corpses not only of all men, but also of all moral ideals." For if that is the fate of the earth then that must also be the end of all the morals and ideals of its human beings. Is this the only result possible from our materialistic science? If not, why not?
[page 49] You see, the inward element which has to do with the rank and dignity of man cannot be considered something which is in being and can be incorporated in a philosophy based on recognition of natural inevitability only.
The goal of the process of Imagination is to achieve "insight into a genuinely objective supersensible world" — that is to achieve in soul and spirit what our physical and etheric body does in the process of remembering genuinely objective physical world events.
[page 51, Inspiration] To advance to Inspiration, it will then be necessary not only to practise the generation of such ideas in soul and spirit, ideas similar to remembered ideas, but we shall have to direct our efforts towards forgetting in soul and spirit, removing such Imaginations from the consciousness we have now achieved. . . . The lighting up of such objective Imaginations, Imaginations not arising out of us but out of spiritual objectivity, that is Inspiration. We are in a way reaching the borders of the supersensible sphere which reveals its outer aspect to us in those Imaginations.
In the process of Imagination we perceive our whole life as a progression, as a river, e.g., and we see that we live in the River of Life.When we gain the process of Inspiration it is as though we sense the water vapor that feeds the River of Life. A river begins from the draining of precipitated water vapor which flows for a time with the river only to evaporate again from the river's surface to continue the cycle — it is the water molecule that, through the cycle of evaporation, raining, and flowing, endures. In the process of Intuition we live into union with the reality of the spiritual world and we come to experience the Ego, the eternal I, that which in us endures.
[page 54] The relationship between the objective world outside of man — which we are approaching through Inspiration — and man himself shows us that through Inspiration we become aware of a cosmic entity that extends its activities into us through ideation. This inspired world comes in specifically through the breathing process, the rhythms of which continue also into the processes occurring in the brain and in the rest of the organism.
Steiner sees the three processes of Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition not as ends in themselves, but instruments for research in the supersensible world. The toys of childhood are not appropriate for the tools of adulthood, and similarly the processes used for spiritual enlightenment of the ancient Eastern cultures are not appropriate spiritual tools for modern man from now on. Here's his summary for theses three processes:
[page 63] When the results of Imagination are revealed, man's souls perceives — and I have already described this in these lectures — everything encompassed within his life from the time of birth as one cohesive stream. the ego grows beyond the here and now, sensing and experiencing it self within the whole river of life, from the time of birth.
[page 63, 64] As man advances to Inspiration, the world he lived in before birth, or before conception, opens up before him, and this is also the world he will live in when he has gone through the gate of death. In this way, the immortal element that is part of man's life becomes the object of his perception.
[page 64] In Intuition, finally, the prospect opens up of repeated past earth lives. The things anthroposophical spiritual science speaks of may therefore be defined as such that the individual steps needed to achieve these results are stated in every case, and that the results are verifiable, as I have said, because they have to be expressed in thought forms that are accessible to everyone.
Steiner says that "social forms cannot evolve out of the kind of thinking that has proved effective in science." (Page 65) That was certainly true for Steiner's time at the beginning of the 20th Century, but on or about 1968, a materialistic scientist, an astrophysicist by training, began teaching a concept of freedom that holds great promise for helping to apply Steiner's Three-fold World Order to society in this nascent 21st Century. The man is Andrew J. Galambos[1924-1997] and his life's work on freedom has recently been published in his book, Sic Itur Ad Astra, which translated, means Thus is the Way to the Stars. Having studied with him in person, I doubt that he realized the spiritual depths that he was sounding in his thoughts and ideas while he was alive. How different he might sound today if we were to receive a postcard from him in his new circumstances. He might join Steiner in singing this exultant paean to freedom:
[page 60] "Freedom! Gentle and truly human word, you hold within you all that is morally favoured, what does most honour to my humanity; you make me subservient to none, you do not merely establish a law, but wait to see what my moral love itself will come to recognize as law, seeing that it feels unfree in the face of any law imposed on it."
3.) ARJ2: Truth and Knowledge by Rudolf Steiner
This prologue was originally published in the front of his Philosophy of Freedom, and only later appeared as a separate book. In this brief volume, Rudolf Steiner takes on Immanuel Kant and single-handedly turns a key aspect of Kant's philosophy upside-down. Steiner apparently had a lot of respect for Kant's works of philosophy, but one disagreement that was crucial to Steiner — and missed by so many others lost in the materialistic fog of their shallow reality. Kant showed us that "the foundation of things lying beyond the world of our senses and our reason is inaccessible to our faculty of knowledge." (Page 9) In other words, the ding an sich or "thing in itself" cannot be known (This is the lack referred to below). In this passage, Steiner clearly states what his aim in this essay is.
[page 11] The aim of the following inquiry is to remedy the lack described above. Unlike Kant, the purpose here is not to show what our faculty of knowledge cannot do, but rather to show what it is really able to achieve.
Steiner's intent is to show that truth is not "an ideal reflection of something real," but rather that truth is a "product of the human spirit, created by an activity which is free." Thus he lays the groundwork for his landmark book, The Philosophy of Freedom , that was to follow. In the passage below, we catch a glimmer of why he chose a different title, "The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity," for his American readers. He wished to avoid their confusing a concept of spiritual activity with their entrenched political concept of freedom. Yes, freedom, even political freedom, rightly understood, is a spiritual activity, and that concept is not very well known, up until now.
[page 11] The object of knowledge is not to repeat in conceptual form something which already exists, but rather to create a completely new sphere, which, when combined with the world given to our senses constitutes complete reality. Thus man's highest activity, his spiritual creativeness, is an organic part of the universal world-process.
If the sphere of activity of one human being is encompassed by a man-made law that restricts some and allows other activities, then that one human being is not free — that one human's spiritual creativeness is as enslaved as any human slave was by the plantation master on the hill. Human slavery, in any form, acts to the detriment of the evolution of the world-process. "Surely you have overstated the case, Bobby!" some of you may be thinking. No, I have grossly understated it, but I have but these meager messengers called words to press into my service. They can only carry messages, not communication. Like anyone knows who has ever received a coded message, the deep meaning of the message must be decoded or "in-formed" by the receiver of the message. That communication process is the essence of in-formation, rightly understood. The author of the message can only encode the message — if the receivers of the message do not bother to decode the message, it will remain gibberish to them.
Does the abrogation of some laws or customs, such as Lincoln did when he freed the slaves, produce freedom? No, only the abrogation of all man-made laws can produce the "completely free personality" that Steiner discusses in the passage below. He directs our attention to the laws that underlie our individual deeds, our moral ideals. [Let us play the "believing game" of Peter Elbow and believe that living without man-made laws would be a good thing from now on.]
[page 12] Our moral ideals are our own free creations. We have to fulfil only what we ourselves lay down as our standard of conduct. Thus the insight that truth is the outcome of a free deed also establishes a philosophy of morality, the foundation of which is the completely free personality.
But surely if every one were able to have one's own moral ideal, the world would become a madhouse where a deed resulting from any wild impulse would be permitted!"There, Bobby, you have disproved your own point — we cannot live in a world such as that." Remember the believing game. We certainly do not live in a world such as that today — there are man-made laws everywhere we turn. The US Government regulation on the sale of cabbage is 26,911 words long. Steiner quickly adds a caveat to the above passage about the "free personality" — he says that it "is valid only when our power of thinking penetrates — with complete insight — into the motivating impulses of our deeds." In a very real sense, Steiner is saying that we must develop the ability to decode the deepest meanings of our own deeds as though they came to us as secret messages from our higher self.
[page 12] As long as we are not clear about the reasons — either natural or conceptual — for our conduct, we shall experience our motives as something compelling us from outside, even though someone on a higher level of spiritual development could recognize the extent to which our motives originated within our own individuality. Every time we succeed in penetrating a motive with clear understanding, we win a victory in the realm of freedom.
If we do not penetrate to our motives, we are as enslaved by our own motives as any slaves were by the motives of their masters in the history of humankind. In many ways, the elemental spirits that orbit us in our lives are like our slaves. They are called into existence by our thought forms and proceed to play havoc with our lives until we identify the origin of their existence within ourselves.
Epistemology is broadly defined by the dictionary as "the theory of knowledge" but Steiner tells us that it is "the scientific study of what all other sciences presuppose without examining it: cognition itself." (Page 27) Clearly if the essential problems of science are not stated or only presupposed, one can hardly expect any clarity to result. Epistemology cannot function properly if it contains unstated presuppositions. Like sidearms in the Old West, we must check our assumptions at the door of knowledge. And since Cowboy Kant didn't do so, Sheriff Steiner blasts off his holsters, and Kant's firepower falls useless to the floor. In the following passage Steiner quotes from Kant, and we can see clearly that Kant states his assumption as if it were a fact.
[page 35] "I will then limit my assertion to pure mathematics, the very conception of which implies that it consists of knowledge altogether non-empirical and a priori."
So, where does Steiner start? He chooses a starting point that lies outside the act of cognition and thus is not itself knowledge. What is this point immediately prior to cognition so that the very next step we takes propels us into the activity of cognition?
[page 51] Only our directly given world-picture can offer such a starting point, i. e. that picture of the world which presents itself to man before he has subjected it to the process of knowledge in any way, before he has asserted or decided anything at all about it by means of thinking.
Steiner says that this "world-picture that flits past us, disconnected, but still undifferentiated" is never encountered by us. In a case history of a man who regained his eyesight as an adult, after having been blind since shortly after birth, we find that it is possible for someone to see this direct world-picture under certain special circumstances. Virgil was his name, and his case history was written up by the famous neuropathologist, Oliver Sacks, and was later made into a movie in the 1990's called At First Sight.Until Virgil learned how to think about what he saw, he was unable to see more than a crazy-quilt maze of colors and patterns. In fact, Virgil went from a fully functioning blind person to a partially functioning sighted person as a result of his eye operation. If he wandered off the marked path through his own living room, the objects dissolved into meaningless patches of color and he began to trip over objects and get lost. Yes, we have direct evidence that the given world-picture precedes our thinking operations on it.
Errors, in relation to knowledge, cannot occur in our perception of this given world-picture, only in the act of cognition that follows our perception. Any number of optical illusions can be cited as evidence of this. We may have errors in a conception but not in perception because a conception is a joining together of disconnected perceptions into a unity.Building on this, Steiner gives us his definition of the simple word, idea — "a concept with a greater content." (Page 61)
He shows convincingly, to those who will take the trouble to check their assumptions at the door, that the content of thinking is more than Kant's "empty thought-forms." Here is the pertinent passage:
[page 71] The world-content can be called reality only in the form it attains when the two aspects of it described above have been united through knowledge.
If I may call up the Structural Differential of Alfred O. Korzybski, the parabola at the top represents the "directly given world-picture" — what AOK called the WIGO or What Is Going On. In the strings that proceed down to the islands below we find the connections or cognition that takes place to create thinking.Each string connects something in the WIGO to an abstraction, in AOK's terminology. In the making of these linkages the process we call thinking evolves. If we were to make two circles, one representing the Territory (the directly given world-picture) and the other the Map (our knowledge or thinking), and then allow the two to overlap, we would arrive at a cogent representation in the overlapped portion of our "I". Here's how Steiner describes it:
[page 73] The I feels a need to discover more in the given than is directly contained in it. In contrast to the given world, a second world — the world of thinking — rises up to meet the I and the I unites the two through its own free decision, producing what we have defined as the idea of knowledge.
The first step in the Habit Formation process is becoming conscious of something that you don't know you don't know how to do. That consciousness moves you to the condition of now knowing that you don't know how to do something. Steiner points out that epistemology, the science of knowledge, has, as its very first job, to bring "consciousness to the act of cognition, insofar as it is still an unconscious activity of the I." (Page 75)
In this next passage Steiner gives us the crux of the job of the "I":
[page 81] Self-observation reveals the I engaged in the activity of building up the world-picture by combining the given with concepts.
Steiner explains that if we do not make the necessary effort of self-observation, we may, like Kant, Fichte, and others after Kant, imagine that one "spins the world out of the I itself." He admits that Fichte came close, but did not arrive at the "right thought-form which, when supplemented by the given, constitutes reality." Here he sums up his findings:
[page 85] The present discussion shows that the I is free when it cognizes, when it objectifies the ideas of cognition. For when the directly given and the thought-form belonging to it are united by the I in the process of cognition, then union of these two elements of reality — which otherwise would forever remain separated in consciousness — can only take place through a free act.
Now the skeptics among you already have your hackles up, thinking something like this, "Our thinking can never approach the world!" I would tell you that it is clear to me that you have never doubted your skepticism. Steiner's response, on the other hand, is simplicity in itself:
[page 90] Should the sceptic maintain that our cognitive thinking can never approach the world, he can only maintain this with the help of thinking, and in so doing refutes himself. Whosoever attempts to establish doubt in thinking by means of thinking itself admits, by implication, that thinking contains a power strong enough to support a conviction.
Rather than create an epistemological standpoint by presupposition like Kant or by metaphysical axioms like Biedermann, Steiner provides insight into reality by directly observing the process of cognition itself.
How does this create freedom, one might ask? A slave is someone who follows the orders of another — to be free is to be one's own master.
[page 94] If the I has really penetrated its deed with full insight, in conformity with its nature, then it also feels itself to be master. As long as this is not the case, the laws ruling the deed confront us as something foreign, they rule us; what we do is done under the compulsion they exert over us. . . .To carry out a deed under the influence of a law external to the person who brings the deed to realization, is a deed done in unfreedom. To carry out a deed ruled by a law that lies within the one who brings it about, is a deed done in freedom. To recognize the laws of one's deeds, means to become conscious of one's own freedom. Thus the process of knowledge is the process of development toward freedom. . . . This is the free sphere. Only insofar as man is able to live in this sphere, can he be called moral.
In the last sentence of the above passage, Steiner produces an insight that resonates with that of Andrew J. Galambos, who begins with his innovative definition of freedom and derives from it that to be free is to be moral! From my review of Sic Itur Ad Astra:
Galambos gives us an operational definition of morality that is simple, easy to understand and to explain, "any action is moral that does not involve coercion." In other words, any action taken in freedom, is moral, by the definition of freedom.
As an example of a deed taken in freedom, I offer my own work in doyletics, a science that I recognized could grow out of the pioneering work and insights of Doyle Henderson with my help. My task was to apply my own thinking to the given world-process to form a unity and to give that unity a name, doyletics. In the Editorial and Reference Notes at the end of the book were two Notes that contained material important to my work in the nascent science of doyletics, and therefore I include the following quotes and my comments on how they are important to the nascent science of doyletics.
[page 101-102] Johannes Peter Müller, German physiologist and comparative anatomist, born in Coblentz, July 14, 1801. . . . In his Handbuch Müller developed an entirely new principle which he called "the law of specific energy of sense substances." This he expressed as follows: "The kind of sensation following stimulation of a sensory nerve does not depend on the mode of stimulation, but upon the nature of the sense organ. Thus, light, pressure, or mechanical stimulation acting on the retina and optic nerve invariably produces luminous impressions."
When I read this "law of specific energy of sense substances" the question arose in my mind, "How does this law impact on doyletics?" After pondering this topic for a while, it came to me that, since doyles are stimulations of the sensory nerves from the amygdaline/limbic region of the brain, such stimulations would have the same results on the sensory nerves as did the original stimulations from the outside world during the original event when the doyle was stored. This was a basic assumption made by Doyle P. Henderson back around 1975 when he began analyzing how it was possible that humans could respond emotionally to thoughts. He knew the brain had no sensory apparatus inside itself, so it must be somehow re-creating the original stimulations in the sensory receptors at various other points of the body. This basic principle that Müller developed leads us to expect exactly the conclusion that Henderson, unaware of Müller's law, came to accept, namely that signals from the brain can re-create in the human senses the exact stimuli that have been previously received from the external world. These stimuli we have come to know variously as emotions, feelings, and, more specifically, by their component name, doyles.
In understanding the evolution of the species, one principle is essential - that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. I remember first hearing these words from a fellow college student's lips some forty plus years ago and thinking to myself, "What ridiculous stuff those biology students are forced to memorize!" In studying Steiner's works, I have now encountered two men who were instrumental in formulating this basic principle, Haeckel and Müller. Fritz Müller was apparently first with his formulation of biogenesis as described by Steiner in the passage in Note 75 in the appendix of this book. Thus stated, biogenesis is the intra-species equivalent of the principle of ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny, that is, one's individual development recapitulates one's ancestors' development.
[page 105] 75. biogenesis, the teaching that living organisms come from other living organisms, as opposed to abiogenesis. The author of the modern formulation of "the fundamental law of biogenesis" was Fritz Müller (1864). Haeckel called Müller's formulation "the biogenetic fundamental law," which can be stated briefly as the teaching that in its development from the egg to adult stage, the animal tends to pass through a series of stages which recapitulate the stages through which its ancestry passed in the development of the species from a primitive form. In other words, the development of the individual is a condensed expression of the development of the race.
The principle of biogenesis has deep meaning to the science of doyletics for the following reason: during the development of the race we call humans, we first developed doylic memory and later cognitive memory. With doylic memory, humans were able to have primitive memory capability which operated as follows: a vague record of events that occurred to primitive humans were stored along with the physical body states that accompanied them. This record included components of visual, auditory, gustatory, olfactory memory, and kinesthetic experience. The components of the visual and auditory memory can only be called primitive when compared to the later capability that was to follow when the neocortex reached its full development. It was the best we had available as a species, at that time.
The visual component was vague because of the limits of visual processing capability of the limbic structures of the brain, the highest brain function of our ancestors at that stage of evolution. The ability to recall feeling, smelling, and tasting was very refined, was distinct and sharp, however, as these had survival benefit, and the senses of feeling, smelling and tasting had been around a very long time, longer than the eyes with their superb visual acuity and image capability. While the eyes of our early ancestors were very sharp, perhaps sharper than our current eyes, their capability to remember the visual components of the events around them paled in comparison with our own due to the reduced size of their neocortex.
Modern scientists like Joseph LeDoux have shown us that there exists a primitive visual and auditory storage of memories in the limbic system, especially the amygdala, and the visual and auditory components of those memories serve as a pattern that triggers the release of associated doylic memories with their very sharp feeling, olfactory and gustatory components, that is, physical body states of visceral sensations, proprioceptive sensations, and muscle contractions and dilations, basically all the responses of the autonomic nervous systems that are triggered by the limbic region of our brain via the amygdaline structures and fed directly to the hypothalamus of our root brain, bypassing the neocortex. This bypassing of our higher cognitive functions in the neocortex is why such responses occur so quickly that we tend to characterize them as follows: "It all happened before I knew it." or "Before I knew it, there were tears streaming from my eyes."
What the principle of biogenesis allows us to understand is how we passed through a stage when, as a child, our highest memory capability was similar to these ancient ancestors — we had only the beginnings of a neocortex — and we were only able to store doylic memories, not full-blown cognitive memories as we later came to take for granted. At five-years-old, we passed into a period in which our neocortex, having been fully grown since age three, was able to store permanent, full-fledged cognitive memories, with a level of visual and auditory-digital discrimination far superior to the capability of any of our early ancestors. The structures of our limbic system that provided our ancestors with doylic memory are maintained for the rest of our lives, however, and they faithfully feed up to us those early body state memories upon receipt of the associated trigger. This process of feeding up doylic memory, rightly understood, provides us with the mechanism that enriches our everyday lives with feelings, emotions, and various other physical body states that enable us to experience and re-experience the wonderful times, both good and bad, of our childhood.
In this book of Rudolf Steiner's, Truth and Knowledge, written over a hundred years ago, there are ideas that can infuse our thinking about the given world-picture today, if only we take the trouble to decode the message and in-form ourselves with the meaning.
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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, but unlike a Kindle if it's really gripping, you'll won't break it. Keep reading, folks! As I like to remind you, to obtain more information on what's in these books, buy and read the books for less information, read the reviews.
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== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==In this section I like to comment on events in the world, in my life, and in my readings which have come up during the month. These are things I might have shared with you in person, if we had had the opportunity to coverse during the month. If we did, then you may recognize my words. If I say some things here which upset you, rest assured that you may skip over these for the very reason that I would likely have not brought up the subject to spoil our time together in person.1. Padre Filius views a hard-working Plumber 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 enjoys Plumber's Clever Camouflage of his Occupational Hazard:
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 Patti-Lynn Chevalier in Vancouver, B.C. :
Dear Bobby and Del,
Thanks for making Barrett's day once again, Bobby. He never tires of seeing his name (and face) in print in your stellar DIGESTWORLD.
Printing Bill's news spurred me to contact them about our upcoming get together in Vancouver. A broken foot isn't going to hamper his trip to Vancouver and on to Alaska although, apparently, he has declined to sign up for zip-lining with Sharon and their daughter. I know we will wish you were with us for a reunion on July 8th, but, be assured, we will toast you both and our good times had last summer.
Weather-wise you were in the news last week. We are hoping there was no damage or inconvenience suffered by you or your family. Because we do not get hurricanes this far north I can't really imagine what it might be like to go through that.
I'm thinking you might be off on your road trip by now. Have a good time. Will you be heading into areas with overwhelming heat? We head out next Wednesday for the drive to Vancouver. Barrett wants to do it but it has really taken him till now (since his surgery) to regain his stamina so I'm hoping he is really up to that much driving. I can't help out because I will be knitting!
Our next reunion will need to be with you and Del. Let's hope — Patti-Lynn
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ REPLY ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Well, thanks to you, Barrett will be delighted with this new Issue as well! He sent me a couple of photos of you four Northwest Passage tablemates' reunion to share with my Good Readers, and, like you, we hope to be in the next reunion photos.
Cindy the tropical storm dropped heavy tears on the Gulf Coast west of us and East of us, but spared us from any wind or rain. One morning my PJ's Coffeeshop was closed for storm, but open again just after I left.
Warm regards, Bobby
- EMAIL from Gary in Canada:
I have some questions for you. The questions are concerned with what is known (and perhaps, not known) about the functions of the Amygdala, some curiosities I have developed after reading and thinking about your own reports on functions of an Amygdala.
The core concern is one of a potential relationship between Information Theory And Aesthetic Perception, a book by Abraham Moles, (which I read many years ago and continue to refer to in times of need), and the various roles had by an Amygdala.
Thank you and best regards,
P. S. Yesterday I became 74 Years Old!
- EMAIL Poem and Radio Interview from Dr. Dann:
Listen to Kevin Dann's radio interview about his Thoreau biography Expect Great Things. First, click on Link below, then click on LISTEN on Thoreau's Chest when he appears. Slide forward to Kevin's words which begin 5/6ths of the way through the audio clip: Radio InterviewNow come scholars dry and professorial,
Followed by a Fool un-sartorial,
To celebrate a fellow Fool
Who was never, ever gone to School.
- EMAIL from Douglas Gerwin in Massachusetts:
Many thanks, Bobby, for sharing this extended review ( Balance in Teaching), which it was a pleasure to read in this more leisurely moment — and especially helpful since I am part-way through leading a summer seminar for Waldorf high school teachers who have been asked to read this convoluted text.
All the best,
- EMAIL, etc., Title
3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:"The Free Way"
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:
4. Him and Me Went to the Store
The Free Way
In a dream the other night
I went shopping with a friend
At the public department store.
Over the heads of the enormous lines
Of people waiting to go in
The sign proclaimed: FREEWAY MART.
Let's go to another store,
One that's not so crowded.
"No use," my friend replied,
"all the stores are as busy as this one."
Why the name FREEWAY MART? I asked.
"Because the goods are free inside."
But who pays for them?
"Oh, we all do, through our taxes."
Wow, the taxes must be very high.
"Not at all, they've just this year been reduced,
From 97% to 96% of our wages."
But people who don't use any of the goods here,
do they pay just as much as those that do?
"Oh sure, sometimes more, depending on their ability to pay."
Then I rose and drove to work over "free" roads
And wondered if I could afford that kind of freedom.
"Him and me went to the store." Sounds strange, doesn't it?
But that's what little Johnny said to his teacher, when she asked him, "Why were you and Joey late coming back from lunch?" He said, "Him and me went to the store." So being a good teacher, she used a scolding tone of voice as she promptly corrected him: "You mean, 'HE and I went to the store'."
"Yes, Ma'am," little Johnny replied, and he made sure to use "he" and "I" every time in place of "him" and "me". After all, the teacher had scolded him for saying "him" and "me."
We live today in the world of these grown-up Johnny's and Mary's. What they learned from their teachers still has an affect on their speech. They now say, in public, over-the-airwaves yet, "My station manager sent Calvin and I to the White House", for example.
No adult today would never say, "The problem concerned I and John," but you hear people from TV Newscasters to Congressman saying, "The problem concerned the Senator and I." All this seems to be a result of avoiding the "and me" construction which had upset their grade school teachers.
I suspect that the root cause of the switching-around of nominative (I, he, she) and objective (me, him, her) pronouns in our society began with well-meaning teachers trying to stop grade schoolers from ever saying, "Him and me went to the store."
But you and me know better, don't we? Let's just keep this a secret between you and I.
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9. CLOSING NOTES:
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