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WELCOME TO DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#183 March, 2018== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Quote for the Blustery Month of March:
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— Will Rogers , Humorist and Rope Twirler
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GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents
ISSUE#183 for March, 2018
Archived DIGESTWORLD Issues
Table of Contents
1. March's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for March
3. On a Personal Note
4. Cajun Story
5. Household Hint for March, 2018 from Bobby Jeaux: GARAGE DOOR OPENER FAILURE
6. Poem from The Destinies of Individuals and of Nations: "The Man in the Moon"
7. Reviews and Articles featured for March:
8. Commentary on the World
- ARJ2: The Hidden Gospel — Decoding the Spiritual Message of the Aramaic Jesus by Neil Douglas-Klotz
- ARJ2: Memory's Ghost — the Nature of Memory and the Strange Tale of Mr. M. by Philip J. Hilts
- ARJ2: I Think, Therefore I Laugh — An Alternative Approach to Philosophy by John Allen Paulos
- ARJ: Education and Modern Spiritual Life, GA#307 by Rudolf Steiner
- ART: Writing Without Teachers by Peter Elbow
1. Padre Filius Cartoon
2. Comments from Readers
3. Freedom on the Half Shell Poem
4. Nissans, Toyotas, and VWs
9. Closing Notes — our mailing list, locating books, subscribing/unsubscribing to DIGESTWORLD
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1. March Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==This month Violet and Joey learn about Simplicity.
For newcomers to DIGESTWORLD, we have created a webpage of early Violet-n-Joey cartoons!
"Simplicity" at http://www.doyletics.com/images/180209jv.jpg
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2. HONORED READERS FOR March:
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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 March, 2018:
James Burke in New Orleans
Sidney Pritchett in England
Congratulations, Sidney and James!
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3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
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Out Our Way:
A MONTH OF STUFF
The month began with a lunch at the Timberlane Country Club with Jim Webb, Bobby, Barlow Brown, Frank Arneman. Frank usually takes photos, but this day, he got a waitress to take our photo and he picked up the Calendar Girls poster for us to hold during the photo. "A cultural event" was Frank's way of describing the poster of sexy gals holding flowers in front of their nude bodies.
Had a chance to hear Arthur Hardy talk about Carnival, and he was delightful. I introduced myself to Arthur as married to his friend from Warren Easton High School Bill Hatchett's ex-wife. Arthur apparently remembered Del as a member of the Flag-Twirling team, "Yeah, I remember Del!" Told me how Bill was famous for dropping a football that went over his head during a crucial playoff game. Said, "Bill never had a chance to catch the ball, but everyone teased him about missing the ball." Arthur said he saw Sandra Bullock, after an interview, start to hand a football to Bill and say, "If I hand you this ball, will you promise not to drop it?" Bill was abashed.Arthur also shared this delightful epigram, "If you die from old age in New Orleans, its your own damn fault!" So good, I have placed it in my Quotations page and in a section of this Issue.
Del and I dressed to meet our friend Barbara Louviere at Houston's Restaurant on St. Charles, but Barbara had to cancel. Del and I drove there and got a room overlooking the Avenue, but overhead came some very loud, thumping jazzy music which was very unpleasant. We asked three different waiters to have it turned down, but it blared away unabated, so we finally left. All we got by way of explanation was "We can't figure out how to turn it down". Well, maybe they will figure it out later and maybe we'll go back to this restaurant where we've dined over a thousand times, where we've never had a problem like this before.We drove towards home and stopped into Di Martino's Deli on Carol Sue where we each had a delicious Eggplant Parmesan meal and ate it in auditory comfort. I told Del if we had just one Italian meal this good in our five trips to Italy, we would have praised Italy's Italian food!
During the freezing weather we protected our orchids by placing them in our jacuzzi tub for easy watering and safety from the cold. By mid-February we moved our almost blooming orchids to their hanging bracket on our West Portico. Five of the six orchids have long sprouts and one has flower buds ready to open at the tip of a long stem. Wintering in the jacuzzi is very convenient as we see the orchids every morning and add water to their open wooden crates and the excess water streams down the drain. This eliminates any possibilty of over-watering the delicate sub-tropical plants.Our grand-daughter Katie Upton brought her month-old son James Michael and they spent the night with us. Her husband was attending a wedding downtown and his mom was taking care of Ben and Abigail, Katie's other two kids.
RAINED-OUT NBA GAME
One night I watched LSU put up a good fight and lose a basketball game to Florida. I planed to watch our NBA Pelicans play immediately afterward, but the game was rain-delayed! In an indoor arena! First such I have ever heard of in an indoor arena. The roof of Smoothie King Arena is about 20 years old and it obviously needs replacement, after being patched several times recently. But on this night, with rain falling outside, the leaking didn't appear until several minutes before the game was due to start. It looked like a like drizzle, but it sat on the floor awhile before being wiped away and while a tarp was installed near the roof to act as a catch-basin for the dripping water. Well the water caused some minor swelling of the flooring, and after an hour and half delay, the game was postponed. We just heard that an upcoming Pelicans back-to-back will become a rare back-to-back-to-back game, a good test of physical their conditioning. I hope it comes soon after the All-Star break!
LITERARY EASTER EGG HUNT
In a wonderful literary-archaeological hunt, I was going through Volume 1 of my dozen Hazrat Inayat Khan books to consider writing an ART review for it, when I found a reference to an old friend in 1986 in a passage where Khan said that issues of money can show you the real man.I searched my 1986 Journals to find exactly what I had written and instead stumbled upon the first three Free-Writing Exercises that I did. They were typed up July 1, 2004 from the January 27, 1986 hand written piece. "How wonderful!" I thought, and I decided that they needed to be in DW183, but how? Where could they go? I imagined all the work required and began to convert them to .html for publication when I decided to look at my "Writing Without Teachers" review by Peter Elbow and read it. BANG! There were the same three Free Writing exercises already published. All I needed to do was add a fifth review for 183 and put writingw.shtml into it! That search was a lot of fun!
LOVE BETWEEN THE BULLETS AND BOMBS
Morocco: Love in Times of War was a fun NetFlix streaming series, worth dealing with the sub-titles, which with fast-talking Spaniards can be a speed-reading challenge. Del and I completed the final two episodes 12 and 13. What a marvelous melange of love stories, all resolved in the end. Fidel and Julia are amazingly reunited by a cannon shot which hit the hospital. Julia's lying fiancé was left at the altar of the church, the same thing Luis had done to Pilar years earlier, and now they were finally re-united as his scheming wife Magdelena ended in a cliff hanger with no sequel. An ending sure to please movie buffs who like to have all the loose-ends tied up when the credits roll.
LUKE'S LUXURY SEATS
Our daughter Kim had a couple of extra passes for the stands across St. Charles from the Intercontinental Hotel to watch the Hermes, Krewe d'etat, and Morpheus parades. Del and I drove to the Bon Ton and pulled into a parking slot off of Natchez for $30 and walked to the Intercontinental Hotel where Kim and Thomas and Zack were waiting. The woman's Krewe of Iris were gathering and I got a shot of the Queen. Kim gave us armbands for the stands in front of Luke's restaurant across the street, but the Restaurant had a three-hour wait, as full as Bon Ton we had passed, and we ate in the grill room of the PanAm building off the lobby of the ICH. I had the shrimp and grits which was okay and very filling. Then we walked back to wait for the parade to start. Hermes came by with exquisitely beautiful floats; they were the first parade to use electric illumination. We enjoyed seeing the paradefrom the raised stands but were too exhausted to wait for Krewe d'etat which followed, so we walked across St. Charles at the break area on Poydras and back to our car and home. Later Kim texted us, "Morpheus did not reach them before 11 pm." That was the third parade of the night, and we were glad to be home, safe and dry by 9 PM. Big day tomorrow with friends from Orlando coming.
WHERE Y'ACHT COOKIES ON SAMEDI GRAS
Did a big Rouse's trip for our company. I wanted a large fresh King Cake, filled with Cream Cheese, but unfortunately our supermarket had no large King Cakes, just a bin full of regular sized ones, so I got a small cream cheese-filled one.I wondered why all the large ones were gone. Surely Rouse's wanted to satisfy its regular customers with King Cake on the Saturday of Mardi Gras weekend, which the French would call Fat Saturday or Samedi Gras. So I complained to my regular clerk about lack of large ones and she said, "Rouse's is shipping all the large King Cakes, some 350 of them ship out today." I feigned being insulted and said, "You mean to tell me you're shipping all the large King Cakes to strangers, and we, your friendly local customers are being stiffed?" The guy behind me echoed my sentiment. As I rolled my cart out the store, I noticed the 350 large ones all wrapped in clear plastic for shipping and took a photo for proof. As it turned out, the smaller one was enough for me, Del, Gust, and Janet.
When I got home, Del had goten a text that Pauline Colomb's son is moving his large Samedi Party for his Endymion friends to the Timberlane Country Club because all-day rain is predicted for the parade and his party is an outdoor affair on the parade route.She invited us to come and bring along our two friends. So when Gust and Janet arrived we treated them to King Cake, helped get them settled upstairs, visited awhile, and then drove to the Samedi Party. We had a great time. Got to talk to Angela Hill, a WWL News Personality known to all residents of the metro area, who was also a guest. She remembered me from my visit to her and Garland's home with the Joe Newman crew years ago when she cooked a great spaghetti meal for us. Met Eddi Aucoin who was in food service industry with Proctor & Gamble (Cincinnati) as their rep in New Orleans. His wife Judy reps for Music Groups. Enjoyed talking to him about his checkered career. Del showed Gust around the TCC and introduced him to the TCC president, Chip Rosen. Gust helped put together a Golf and Country Club in Orlando and they talked about their challenges. The food at the party was great and the large Where Y'at cookies were spelled Where Y'acht, a little New Orleanian inside joke. Where Y'at is common greeting, and the response to someone saying that is not to answer the question but to say Where Y'at back.
We came home and the girls took naps while Gust and I watched LSU beat Ole Miss, and a bit of Pels playing before we went into the kitchen for dinner. Del served us a big meal of shrimp pasta and eggplant-shrimp dressing and we played Play Me! till about 11 PM.
CED OMELETS FOR FOUR, PAY ME!
Rain was predicted for Sunday, and Gust and Janet had driven for two days to get to New Orleans, and we had overwhelmed them with Mardi Gras fare already on Saturday, so we slept late, and then Gust and I acted as Co-Chefs in Bobby Jeaux Kitchen to make the specialty of the Kitchen, Crawfish-Eggplant-Dressing Omelets. He and I each made one for our wives, and then one for ourselves.
The rest of the day we played our favorite card Pay Me! It was a game we played with them for seven days on the cruise from Miami to Spain across the Atlantic. We would meet on the stern upper deck and play cards in the calm seas under the blue skies of the Atlantic. Our fun ended when we approach the Azores and began a series of 12 daily on-shore excursions. The next day we cruised through the Strait of Gibraltar where one could see the two great continents of Europe and Africa at the same time.Over this series of excursions, I heard English spoken with Portugese accents in the Azores, Spanish ones in Barcelona, French ones in Toulon, Italian ones in Pisa, Greek ones in Mykonos and Athens, Turkish ones in Istanbul and Ephesus, and so on. I am amazed by the English language, that one can hear the vowel sounds of one's native land pronounced in a slightly different accent and sitll understand recognizable English. I encountered only once a misunderstanding due to the wrong vowel being used by a foreign country guide. No wonder English has become the international language and the second language taught in most schools around the world. Change the vowel sounds in French or German and you can get in trouble, in English, no problema!
Late that afternoon, the rain had held off, so I decided to drive down through the Barataria town of Lafitte, named after Jean Lafitte whose warehouse was thereabouts, filled to the rafters with luxury items sought by rich Uptown ladies for their posh homes along St. Charles Avenue in the 19th Century.We ended our bayou tour at the Restaurant des Familles which is built like a large Cajun cottage and serves all kinds of Cajun delicacies like the softshell crabs that Janet had for her supper. We hit the bed soon after we got home from dinner, knowing that the next day would begin the carnival parade experiences for Janet and Gust.
LUNDI GRAS ON THE AVENUE
Took Gus with me to PJ's and we brought back a cranberry and a Sunrise muffin for us and the girls. They split the Sunrise one and Gust and I ate the cranberry one. We played Pay Me! during the day, taking a break about 1 PM to have a nice meal at DiMartino's Deli near home.
In the afternoon we rested and drove to Barbara Louviere's Lundi Gras Party at St. Charles Place. She arranged for us to have a parking spot which was great in case it rained. Her small apartment was filled with guests and a lot of food. We viewed her large patio outside which we missed in our previous visit because it was too cold to go out. The parade watching balcony was a short walk down the hallway. It was for all guests on her floor, but we were almost the only ones using it.It was a great spot for viewing the parade and an easy walk downstairs to go out on St. Charles Avenue for viewing the floats from the street. Gust and Janet got inaugurated as New Orleans parade-goers and were soon waving hands high in the air and yelling "Throw me sumpin, Mister!" and filling a sack full of beads, lit-up rubber balls, and footballs of all size and colors. I caught one necklace whose ruber pendant lit up purple. One slim blonde on the parade route was a few steps past tipsy and talked to Gust for a long time. I suggested she kiss Gust and got a photo of the event for Gust as a Carnival souvenir. We enjoyed the Proteus parade which was soon followed by Harry Connick, Jr.'s large Orpheus Parade. The Locomotive float had about 7 or more passenger cars attached behind it, all filled with bead-tossing masked riders. I started a video going, aiming to cover the entire float about near the last car I got hit by a bag of beads which deflected the camera for a bit. As we were leaving someone told Janet, "See you next year" and Janet said back an automatic, "You bet."
MARDI GRAS DAY IN FRENCH QUARTER
We have had guests for Mardi Gras weekend in the past many times, but it was mostly our kids and their family, and they all had to leave on Sunday or Monday and none could stay for the Tuesday celebration, the big day of Mardi Gras. Gust and Janet stayed until Ash Wednesday and we decided to take them along on Del and my favorite way to spend Mardi Gras Day: in the French Quarter of New Orleans. This is not so much as a going to a parade, but a walking through hundreds of small parades and costumers scattered through the narrow streets of the Quarter. This year we began on far end of the Quarter next to the Treme. As we parked our car on North Rampart, I noticed a group gathering down into the Treme, and we walked there and found the Skull and Bones Krewe were beginning their march near St. Augustine Church. First time we've seen them.
What an incredible Mardi Gras day for me and Del as we shared our process for Mardi Gras with Gust and Janet. This time we parked at Sam's Chevron and walked to Ron and Cathy's place at on Burgundy. They were dressed as hippies, Ron with his blue eyeglasses Cathy in a flower child dress. We toured their lovely home and while we were in the pool area Ron answered a buzzer and it was Sandra Callendar coming in. Her husband was waiting outside, then Diane and Ron Guthrie came in, and we walked outside and Bobby and Willie Templet were there with John Callendar. Willie had some spectacular New Orleans earrings on.We talked to them all and left to begin our march into the French Quarter. We stopped in front of the St. Louis Cathedral which was sparkling in the early morning sunlight. We rarely get this early view of the iconic church of New Orleans. We saw a guy in the Skeleton Krewe. I asked if they had a full crew or just a skeleton krewe. Guy dressed in all red looked like a Devil with the Prison number 666 and the name Edwards on the other chest, a reminder of our jailbird governor Edwin.
CAFÉ DU MONDE AND JACKSON SQUARE
The Black and White I Spy characters from Mad Magazine walked past us while we enjoyed café au lait and beignets in Café Du Monde, the some Killer Bees walked by. Got a photo of Gust, Janet, and Del in front of the oldest apartment building in the USA, the Pontabla Apartments, which are still occupied to this day.They were constructed by a female, Madame de Pontabla, and the three-story red brick monoliths embrace Andrew Jackson's Square on two sides. This is the 300th Anniversary of the founding of New Orleans and we saw signs reminding everyone of this special year in the city's history. Of course, we needed a photo of Janet and Gust on either side of one of the ubiquitous Lucky Dog hotdog stands. If you're in New Orleans, you can consider yourself a "lucky dog", I know Del and I do. We walked back to the cathedral's front where the KOE (Krewe of Elvis) was forming. Del found out that Elvis is still alive and I got a photo of them together. And a bride! Every time I go on a photo shoot, I find a bride, usually with a groom in tow, but not this time. This green-faced bride hold her long green tail apparently left her groom sunning in the jungle somewhere.
PERE ANTOINE'S AND VICKY'S GALLERY
A large sofa provided comfortable seats for one spontaneous krewe to enjoy Royal Street. We walked to Pere Antoine's restaurant for brunch and saw a lady in a window seat there with a growing fern flowing from her head down her shoulders and back. A group of bright red human-sized crawfish stood in a shower of bubbles, looking like they were in a boiling pot. Pere's is a great place for lunch if you can get a window seat, or a table in the middle where you can see out of four large windows such as we did. Someone spoted Cruella de Ville with a Dalmatian fur around her waist standing next to human-sized Dalmatian dog.A woman walked by in a large hot air balloon that looked like it had just landed on Royal Street for the festivities.
We left Pere's and walked toward the Monteleone Hotel, hoping to encounter Pete Fountain's Half-Ass Marching Club, oops, I think I left out the "F" in "fast". Pete left us after a good long run from 1930 to 2016 during which he played for every Jazz Fest and since the 1960s marched or rode with his fellows in the Marching Club. It was called 'half-fast' because in the early years, they walked up St. Charles stopping in every bar along the way for a drink, and soon their marching was 'half-assed' so whichever way you said it, you got it right. There on Royal Street we saw, Mis Behavin, who wasn't, and let me take her photo. She was behavin like all the other revelers in the French Quarter, sipping an alcohol drink on the street and just to be-havin fun.
On a slightly serious note, we saw the NoKo Bombsled Team, apparently headed from here to the Winter Olympics. We were walking past Orleans Avenue on Royal when we heard someone call out "Del!" It was Diane Guthrie up on the second floor gallery of Vicky's apartment. She invited us up and this was great chance for Gust and Janet to experience throwing beads down to the Royal Street revelers. As we looked down, we saw a yacht coming down the street and as I looked closer, I could see the tricycle handlebars behind the ship's wheel.It was a parade float shaped like a yacht holding three or four people standing and the captain was steering round people and things in the street. There was Centaur walking on all fours in the street, and a Moby Dick! I'd heard it might be the name of a venereal disease, but I didn't realize the large amount of swelling that happened till I saw this on Royal Street. Took a lot of balls to wear this costume! Then there was the Purple Lady in a wheelchair talking to a lady police officer, or was it only a costume? On Mardi Gras it's hard to tell.
On Vicky's gallery, I met a lady in a long purple and gold gown named Bobby, named after her father Robert Harris.Next to her was a lady which may have been Bobby's mother who had on a hat made of natural materials like a fur tail, a miniature wolf howling, feathers, moss, and twigs. Ron Guthrie had on a NASCAR outfit, looking ready to jump into a Daytona racer and do some left turns. There was a horse's head on a post used to secure horses etal that was covered with colored beads, but it didn't complain. And there was Irene the Waffle House waitress, skipping work to walk Royal Street.
CANAL STREET AND REX PARADE
We moved into Monteleone Hotel to relax with some drinks at the Carousel Bar and I saw a gal with a large peacock tail of feather hanging up behind her back. We had stopped on our way to my nephew Mark Matherne's family viewing spot to watch the Rex Parade on Canal Street. We were accosted by a Donald Trump wannabe who had the obnoxious part down pat. Got photo of Mark and Becky's girls, Ella and Abby, and enjoyed some refreshments while waiting for the Rex floats to roll by. My goal was to score some Rex doubloons and there were only a few floats tossing them this year, so I had to stay on alert.Got about five of them to add to my collection and give to other people. As we walked towards our car, we passed the Monteleone again and bumped into John Magill. What a treat for Janet and Gust: they've only been in the city for four days and met John the previous night at the St. Charles parades and again today on Royal Street. A gal with a British accent offered to take our photo again so Del could be in it. I got to talking to here and found out she was with about five other gals from Britain so I asked if they could surround me in a group hug so I could have some Royalty rub off on me on Royal Street. Del got one of me with two of the gals next to me. A short walk down Royal and we saw this gal in a Cuzi dress — a dress made out of cuzis which are foam cylinders used to keep beer and cans of sodas cold as you drink them. Hanging off of one gallery was a blow-up Philadelphia Eagles player. Then we saw rolling wooden cage with stuffed zoo animals and human toddlers inside. As we walked past Lafitte's Blacksmith shop, I took another long shot down Bourbon Street and this time it was wall-to-wall people.
NAM HERO IN THE 9TH WARD
On our walk along Governor Nichols Street, we stopped to rest and Gust got into a conversation with a gentle guy recovering from or creating a hangover sitting on a stoop. He mentioned to Gust that he was in Vietnam and was shot four times during his time there. Remarkable to have survived being shot 4 times during his service in Nam, but what he said next was even more remarkable, "And I got shot 5 times in the 9th Ward." We were only a few blocks from the 9th Ward of New Orleans, which has an occasional shooting but is not a war zone. This gives one to wonder, "Was this guy a war hero, or just someone with a perennial bullseye on his back?"
VALENTINE'S EVE BY CANDLELIGHT
The title sounds better than the event. Valentine's Day was Ash Wednesday this year, so this happened on Mardi Gras night. We got to our car, but were unable to get into a couple of restaurants where we wanted to eat, so we decided to get home and Del would make Portobelo Burgers for the four of us. We got to our car exhausted, but it was the first time we'd parked on Rampart Street for Mardi Gras and I had to navigate our way home. Every street I tried was blocked and after several back tracks I drove to Elysian Fields and then did a U-turn to get on I-10 towards downtown and the bridge. Bad choice as the traffic was horrendous, but once we got on the bridge we had smooth sailing to the house and food. We had eaten a late breakfast about 11 AM in Pere Antoine's Restaurant, and during the long day, we had a few snacks and drinks, but this was 5 PM and we were very hungry. Del began fixing supper for us as I unpacked the car, and suddenly the power went out on our street. Entergy reported damage to its equipment and two hours to a repair. What to do? It's Mardi Gras and all businesses are closed at this time of night. Maybe there's a restaurant open somewhere, I thought, but we were in no mood to get out and drive around looking for one.
I located our flashlights, and Del found two long red tapers which I lit on the table. Using cell-phone flashlight illumination Del decided the Portobelos were cooked enough and she could finish the burgers without toasting the buns. We sat around the table, Gust, Janet, Del, and I said Grace, and we enjoyed our nourishing burgers by candlelight. Then for dessert Del brought out some Valentine Candy she had planned for the next morning and we enjoyed that as desert. We had planned to play a last couple of hands of Pay Me!, so we began playing by candlelight.I kept hitting one Pay Me! then another, and made about 7 of the 11 possible Pay Me! hands. Almost every hand I pulled three wild cards and went out in the first or second pass around the table. Never had such luck before. Hate to think I'd have to play by candlelight to repeat my amazing performance at cards.
A week before Mardi Gras, our grand-daughter Katie stayed overnight at Timberlane with her one-month-old son, James Michael Upton. Her husband was going to wedding downtown New Orleans and she decided she wanted to visit us. After Mardi Gras, we drove four hours to her home in Woodward, just south of Alexandria for James Michael's baptism in which he became en-christened, Christ-bearing, for the first time. It was a lovely ceremony in the small town church of Mary, Mother of Jesus, the third baptism we've been to there. Katie was planning a one-pot dinner for the post-christening feast at her small house close to the church, but cooking and managing two toddlers and a baby was a challenge and the first pot got ruined. Her mom, Kim, offered to move the party to her home in Alexandria, and her father, Wes, donned his Super-Dad cape and rounded up a feast for everyone there. Good thing because an unexpected cold rain had started during the christening, and Katie's outdoor patio, which was needed to hold her guests, would have been an unpleasant place to eat and visit in the rain.Kim and Wes' home was filled with adult and small children guests. Must have been 15 or so toddlers running, bouncing balls, and having fun together. Reminded me on when we visited one of my aunts, where there were about ten of our cousins living next to each other, which, when added to our six kids made for an army of boisterous kids running around indoors and out. No one got hurt, everyone got well-fed, and it was a truly joyous occasion.
A GAGGLE OF GLITCHES
We encountered over half a dozen glitches during this short month of February, and got most of them fixed. Here they are, with the solutions I found for them. This section can be skipped by all but household troubleshooters who may find a useful solution herein.
GLITCH1: Del's PC has had audio problems for several months. I tried several other Plug-In Speakers but after a while, their sound crudded up, becoming barely audible. I tested it again this month and discovered that the sound was fine at first but in about five minutes it went bad in one speaker and then bad in the other one. I tested and found that the Bose earphones did the same thing so I decided it must be the audio board in her PC that was bad. So one day, Del helped me as I sat on the floor to record the PC rear plug setup with a photo.I disconnected her PC and took it to Dominique at A Prompt Computer Co (who built it for her) to get the audio working again. Turned out that the bad audio board was built into the Main Board, but Dominique had worked out an out-board audio device. I picked it up, brought it home, reconnected everything like before and the speakers were working again.
GLITCH2: Garage door opener is not working. Stuck in fully open position and when we hit the Manual Button, it begins to move and then stops. I realigned the two electric eyes, cleaned contacts etal and still the same. After we called Overhead Door Co (ODC)., I discovered that the Remote by our backdoor did not activate at all. Replaced its battery, but that made no difference. Tried both 2010 and 2016 Maxima's remotes and no response. Called Stacey at ODC and she said the remotes won't work if there's an electric eye problem. Doesn't seem to be any operational light on either eye during activation. She said, "Try this: Hold down the Manual Switch till door gets to bottom. That may work." ]
Tried it and the door was able to close. Now we need to manually open and close garage door from inside garage until ODC guy gets here on Friday. We discovered that even though the remotes did not work to CLOSE the door, they worked to OPEN it! Big surprise! Del came home from doctor's and opened the door from her car.
Here's the logic: If the electric eye is not working, there is no automatic protection against the door coming down upon someone or something, so the remote activation is disabled. But opening by remote still works and MANUAL closing is required as there is a human watching it close. WHEW! A great work around, thanks to Stacey! Have described my glitch and the work-around in this month's Household Hint.
GLITCH3: Del watched or tried to her Amazon Prime movie, but somehow was not connected to it. Got it connected, but it would not play continuously, but kept aborting. Ran Speedcheck on my modem and found that the Cable Phone/Modem was only giving about 1/30th the speed that it had formerly given. That could explain Del's problems. Spent an hour on Chat line doing troubleshooting with Cox expert, who finally re-initialized my Modem and got it up to 30 Mbps. Said the modem appeared defective, so if it ran slow again, take to Cox Store for a replacement. Later it dropped to 1.99 Mbps, so I got a replacement. When I plugged it in, everything worked except the phone would not come up, so I had to call Cox again and the tech said some switch needed to be thrown, he did so, and the phone came up with a dial tone.
GLITCH4: Had a tough time getting a Blu-Ray disk to play; it kept stopping and having to be paused, then played to get going again. Finally made it all the way through and then the SONY Play Station 3 joined the newer PS 4 in the junk yard. It refused to acknowledge that a movie was inside the player, much less play it. Turned it off and back on. And still no luck. Del bought another Blu-Ray Player with Streaming ability like we installed upstairs. We can use it for viewing on large big plasma TV in the Screening Room, plus it will be able to show streaming videos on the screen which we had not been able to do before now.
GLITCH5: Next I had to fix my ACT Contact Manager SQL DataBase which was locked up again. This time I asked my Local Tech Service to give me a procedure that I can follow on my own. He came on-line and I listed the following steps he went through to clear the SQL DB:
PROCEDURE FOR RESTARTING ACT DB WHEN HUNG UP:
DISABLE NORTON 360 SMART FIREWALL (Click WIN BUTTON, Cursor over NORTON 360 and Select: Disable Smart Firewall for 15 minutes)
Run services.msc (A Batch File: Click on Gears ICON in lower right of Home Screen)
Scan down services to this line:
SQL Server (ACT7) and, with it highlighted,
Do a RCLICK on SQL Server (ACT7), then click on START
Then ACT should open good! Run NORTON 360 to get firewall going again
Problem seems to be: during some reboots, the SQL Server aborts and needs to be restarted, but cannot restart while NORTON 360 Firewall is up.
I hope this info may help SQL data base users, and I am hopeful that this will work to get my ACT together the next time its SQL Data Base gets locked up again. If not, we'll drop back and punt.
GLITCH6: I reached across over stove top to turn on the far light under the hood and heard stuff hitting the floor. It was the lower trim on the white verdigris marble edge of the cooking island that had come unglued and hit the floor. We saved the pieces, but not sure whether it's worth re-gluing them or placing a wooden molding across the open gap. We'll have our local carpenter come over give us his advice and fix it.
GLITCH7: Our hose for watering ferns and pineapple plants across the North Pergola had a leaking nozzle which had to be replaced. I was forced to discard the valve at the tip and go to an older sprayer with no valve near the handle.With the new hookup, I turn water on at the Flower Arranging Table when ready to water things and off there afterwards. With the Flower Arranging table's valves re-arranged since the freezing weather, all the valves are accessible and a a lot easier to use.
GLITCH8: I love my 30-yr-old Microsoft Optical mouse with its five buttons. With the two side buttons I can do a Copy of text with the Lower Left button and a Paste with the Lower Right button. For some curious reason, nobody has made a good five-button mouse like this one since, so far as I know.
GLITCH9: Our new, inexpensive LG Blu-Ray player/Streaming device kept interrupting our Blu-Ray movie asking us to connect to the WiFi which would have caused me to miss the LSU baseball game (streaming on my LapTop on a side screen), which goes through the router and would be aborted if I reset the router, so we endured and not gracefully so, the idiotic interruptions.They increased in frequency to very 10 seconds or so near the end of our movie. The movie's image was mostly blocked by the obnoxious dialogue boxes while Del quickly clicked them away. WTF? What a ridiculous requirement for a device we bought primarily to play DVDs! When our game was over, we stopped the movie's credits and connected to the WiFi and the blockages of the screen stopped. But we lost large portions of the movie which while starring mostly Turkish actors was thankfully done mostly in spoken English. I have bought three or four of these wonderful point-and-click devices over the past twenty years, and this is the only one still functional. At the recommendation of my grandson Collin, I paid a hundred dollars for a fancy RAZR game mouse with multiple buttons, but it became undependable and I switched back to my MS-Mouse. As I was creating these Out Our Way notes, I copied and pasted a large page of text about Mardi Gras, which ended up being pasted twice in a row. Well, my Copy-Editor caught the duplication while I was watching LSU dismantle Vanderbilt in a basketball game, so I asked her to stop, that I would see about the problem later. I wondered about how that duplication might have happened, and overnight it came to me: the Lower Right mouse button had been occasionally doing a double-paste, something that is easy to spot and correct for a one-word Paste, but for a whole page of text, not so easy to notice and correct on the spot. I test the mouse with a dozen or Paste's this morning and no double's. Next time I do a large Paste, I'll have verify there was no double-paste. I still have the center wheel button which I can "press" into service to do a Paste.
LAST MINUTE EVENTS
We are enjoyed short-sleeve weather in the high 70s post-Mardi Gras, quite a welcome relief. My bushes are turning green and veggies are beginning to sprout. Should be a great Spring!
EVERY GOOD THING MUST COME TO A NEW BEGINNINGIMPORTANT MESSAGE:
After our Janaury freezing spell of low temps in the 20s, our Japanese Magnolia bloomed full force in February. Much better than the spotty flowers over two months in warmer winters. New Orleans has been blessed having two NBA All-Star Starters this year: Boogie Cousins and Anthony Davis were picked for LeBron's team. Unfortunately Cuz didn't play due to a serious Achilles tendon tear which has been repaired but will keep him out till next year. Anthony flaunted the NBA rules and wore Cousin's 0-jersey in the game. Noticed the jersey on other players when Anthony was resting on the bench. The Pelicans have recovered from the loss of Cuz and are on a winning streak and have a chance to go deep into the NBA Play Offs this year, since trading for Nikola Mirotic to help Anthony. The LSU Basketball team is much improved over last year, but still has a shot for NCAA bid after beating Vanderbilt decisively. On a bummer note:L the LSU Tigers baseball team, Ranked No. 9, lost its first series in 19 years to Notre Dame. But it's not the baseball season is not a dash, but a marathon, right? Our brightest spot has been the return of the Jordan twins to the starting line-up. When Bryce, after being out for a year with injury, hit a Grand Slam against ND, my first thought was how we could have won the CWS Championship last year with him hitting one of those. The Jordan twins have won a championship at every level they have played. God Willing, this will be their year to do so at the college level in Omaha. Lots of freshman talent waiting in the dugout to show their stuff. LSU's next baseball game started off against UNO with the Tigers down 0-3, but the result was a 14-6 rout by LSU over UNO. Even with a few starters out due to minor injuries, the team came through with great pitching after the freshman starter was pulled in the lugubrious first inning, and made this, at last!, an enjoyable game for LSU fans to watch.
My Spring garden is half-planted and time for the Sun to do its job. Potatoes and radishes are sprouting above ground. Still some sweet corn and okra left to planted when the Moon begins waxing again . Till the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox brings Easter to us, when we meet again during the halcyon days of April, God Willing and the River Don't Rise, whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, be it blustery or balmy,
Remember our earnest wish for this new year of 2018:
MAY THE WORLD BECOME PEACEFUL AND SERENE IN TWENTY-EIGHTEEN
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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:
Be like the bird that pausing in her flight a while, on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her — and yet sings, knowing that she has wings.
Victor Hugo (French poet, dramatist, and writer)
Sanity is a madness put to good uses.
— George Santayana 1863-1952, American Writer)
A fanatic is one who re-doubles her effort when she has forgotten her aim.
George Santayana (1863-1952, American Writer)
People constantly speak of ‘the government’ doing this or that, as they might speak of God doing it. But the government is really nothing but a group of people, and usually they are very inferior people.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)
Criticism is prejudice made plausible.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)
New Stuff on Website:
~^~ Below are Four of Bobby's Published Books. Click to Read Them.
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.“American Made” (2017) Tom Cruise reprises Barry Seal who flew guns and drugs and filled suitcases with money until it all crashed to earth.
“The Peacemaker” (1997) Clooney and Kidman chase a nuclear bomb from Iran border to NYC.
“Morocco: Love in the Time of War” (2017) A Spanish-Arab soap opera series. More triangles than a geometry class!
“My Life” (1993) Keaton and Kidman in this PR man searches his life and finds his heart. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
Last Flag Flying” (2017) Doc enlists two Nam buddies to help bury his Marine son in Arlington, a movie filled with wonderful stories. A DON’T MISS HIT !
“American Assassin” (2017)a great action movie starring a buff Michael Keaton as the leader of a young Jason-Borne-like assassin bent on revenge. Nail-pulling suspense and lots of bullets.A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
"The Exception" (2017) "Brandt, they are the rule, you are the exception" one who reads beyond good and evil.
"Love Finds You in Charm" (2015) and sometimes the loser in an auction is the winner in life.
"The Promise" (2017) did you grow up hearing about the starving Armenian children? Watch this movie and you'll realize that they were lucky ones — they survived the still-unacknowledged genocide by Turkey at the dawn of WWI. Christian Bale appeared as American journalist recording the atrocities and living a love triangle. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Harry and Tonto" (1974) Ed Norton aka Art Carney gets kicked out of his apartment in NYC and heads West with his companion, Tonto, a cat. 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."Dracula: Dead and Loving It" (1995) This Dracula movie: Dead and Hating it! Mel Brooks went to sleep on this one and forgot to include any funny bites, er, bits. Like Naked Gun, but meaningless without the ROTFL fun.
"Stations of the Cross" (2015) made me very cross.
Your call on these — your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:"Heir Apparent: Largo Winch" (2008) when Largo's super-rich father dies under mysterious circumstances, Largo is called back to the city and fights to take over his father's legacy.
The V.I.P.s (1963) Grounded at Heathrow by London Fog, a group of businessmen and their ladies struggle with life problems which become murkier and murkier. Liz, Dick, Rod, Maggie, and Orson among others in this star-filled movie which excelled in everything except the script.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Le Broussard Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission
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Boudreaux and Broussard loved hunting ducks and were always looking to get as many ducks as possible. T-Coon told them about a cow pasture in Bayou Dularge where there were so many ducks they turned the sky black. Unfortunately they would all fly away if they saw a hunter.
So the two Cajun buddies hatched a plan. They made themselves a two-man camouflage cover which looked like a cow. It was mostly white with black blotches, and was complete with utters. T-Coon stopped by and said, "Bon Dieu, Boo! Dem ducks will be completely fooled by your disguise."
Early the next morning they loaded up their guns and shotgun shells in their pickup truck and drove out to the far side of the cow pasture. They unloaded everything and donned their cow disguise and were soon waiting for the sun to rise so they could start shooting. Boudreaux was in front and had begun loading his shotgun with shells because the Sun was peeking over the horizon and a large flock of ducks were landing, when Broussard began punching him in the back.
"Stop hitting me! Can't you see all dem ducks landing?"
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5. Household Hint for March, 2018 from Bobby Jeaux:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =GARAGE DOOR OPENER FAILURE
Background on Problem:What do you do when your Garage Door Opener Fails to CLOSE? My experience may save you from having to raise and lower physically your heavy door until the repairman arrives. Read on:
One day our garage door opener stopped working. It was stuck in its fully open position and when we hit the Manual Button on the wall, the door activated and then immediately stopped about 8 inches down and returned to the top. I noticed that the right side electric eye had been moved and that might be the problem, so I re-aligned the two electric eyes, cleaned contacts of the wires attached to them, and had the same problem. We have a Genie Door Opener, but we've had it worked on previously by Overhead Door Co. We called them to send a repair crew over to us.
FIRST WORK AROUND
After that call, I discovered that the Remote Button by the door from the laundry room to outside did not even activate the door at all. I replaced its battery, but that made no difference. Tried the remotes inside both our cars, and got no response. The door just would not come down from fully open. I called back Stacey at Overhead Door and she said the remotes won’t work if there’s an electric eye problem. Then she added, “Try this: Hold down the Manual Switch till the door gets to the bottom. That may work.” Well, it did work. We got the door closed without having to physically lift the heavy door. I noticed that there doesn’t seem to be an Red Light On for either electric eye, so that's the source of the faulty operation. I had figured that we would need to manually open and close the garage door from inside garage until repair guy gets here on in two days, but we now could close it and open it using the Genie.
BETTER WORK-AROUND DISCOVERED
Big surprise! Del came home from an errand and, without remembering it was broken, pressed the remote button in her car and opened the door! Apparently, even though the remotes do not work to CLOSE the door, they work to OPEN it! Thanks to Stacey at Overhead Door Co. and our troubleshooting, we have a very handy work around to Open and Close our garage door. For example, I opened the garage door at the Wall Switch on my way to PJ's coffeeshop and had Del manually close it. When I came home, I opened it from inside my car. Then closed it manually at the wall switch. Del just left to run errands a moment ago, and tooted her horn to get me to close the door manually.
LOGIC OF GARAGE DOOR OPERATION
Here’s the logic: If the electric eye is not working, there is no automatic protection against the door coming down upon someone or something, so the remote activation is disabled. But opening by remote still works and MANUAL closing is required as there is a human watching it close.
NOTE: This procedure works for a Genie Garage Door Opener. Other brands of door openers may be different, but they will all try to prevent operation if the electric eye goes out and this Household Hint may provide you a good work-around till the repair crew gets your door fixed.
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6. POETRY by BOBBY from The Destinies of Individuals and of Nations:
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The Man in the Moon: This poem was inspired by material on page 216 of the book The Destinies of Individuals and of Nations and was written on December 6, 2002, about 11 as I sat up in bed reading this book. The moon has always been associated in popular thought with dreams. Rudolf Steiner makes it clear why this is so. He says, "we still have Moon man in us . . . He is what we call the dreamer in us . . . The dreamer is what is left in us of Moon." His usage of Moon in this passage referred specifically to the Old Moon Phase of Evolution. This short poem written about the same time speaks of dreams this way: Dreams have wings/and other things/that smile like butterflies.
The Moon Man
The Man in the Moon
came down too soon
And wrapped us in a dream.
The Man in the Moon
is a merry boon
And things are not as they seem.
The Man in the Moon
before our eyes
is so very wise
so very wiser than I.
The Man in the Moon
came down too soon
And took up in us his home.
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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for March:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =For our Good Readers, here are the reviews and articles this month. These five reviews were never published in early DIGESTWORLD ISSUES or only as a short blurb and will be of interest to our DIGESTWORLD Readers.
NOTE: For your convenience, if you wish to read the full review, or to print it out, simply CLICK on the Book Cover or choose Printer Ready option on the top line of a review page when it opens. The review will be printed sans any DW Issue photos.
1.) ARJ2: The Hidden Gospel — Decoding the Spiritual Message of the Aramaic Jesus by Neil Douglas-Klotz
This is an amazing book written by a Sufi about the Bible. Klotz uses his knowledge of the Aramaic language to tease out deep meanings from otherwise flattened and familiar Bible passages. In the Acknowledgments, page 177, he thanks his spiritual grandfather, Pir Hidayat Inayat Khan, a son of Hazrat Inayat Khan. Klotz is a member of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature and a leader in the International Federation for the Sufi Message. The author is certainly a ripe tree and in this book brings forth ripe fruit for the reader's nourishment. I will give examples of the ripe fruit that he brings forth in the following way throughout this review: first I will give a passage from the Bible and below it a re-translation by Klotz using the insights he draws from the Aramaic language. The first example below explains the "ripe" metaphors that I used above.
[page 1] "Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit." (Matthew 7:17)
A ripe tree brings forth ripe fruit, an unripe tree bring forth unripe fruit.
There is a curious presupposition in the contiguity of the two interpretations that seems to say that the usual English translations of the Bible are like a "corrupt tree" bringing forth "evil fruit."That is an amazing way to begin a book about the Bible, and Klotz is certainly courageous with this opening re-interpretation of a Bible verse. From there he proceeds apace with his translation of the Peshitta version of the Bible written in Western Aramaic. While not the Palestinian Aramaic that Jesus would have spoken, it is the closest version to Jesus's native language.
Here's an example of what Klotz does with the most famous prayer in Christianity, the Our Father; first the King James version, then several alternate translation using his technique:
[page 20] "Our Father which art in heaven"
O Thou, the one from whom breath enters being in all radiant forms.
O Parent of the universe, from your deep interior comes the next wave of shining life.
O fruitful, nurturing Life-giver! Your sound rings everywhere throughout the cosmos.
Here's Klotz's attitude towards the English translations, in a nutshell, from page 20, "It's not that these English translations are wrong; they are simply limited. They can't hold the spiritual possibilities of the original Aramaic . . ." In an English-speaking culture that is assured every day that the "map is the territory" one can understand how Klotz might be led to believe that it is the English language in which the fault lies, not the readers of the English translations.By a student of General Semantics, steeped in the processes of the "map is not the territory," any English translation might be understood in the fullness of any of Klotz's Aramaic translations. The problem is not in the language, but in the unconscious meaning-formation of the users of the language. In fact, it is exactly for those who blithely read the Bible in English without any spirit-infused thought and meaning-formation that Klotz's book will be extremely helpful. It is like a crash course in General Semantics using the Bible as the textbook.
[page 27] "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." (Matt 5:8)
Ripe are the consistent in heart; they shall see Sacred Unity everywhere.
"Have faith in God." (Mark 11:22)
Remain within yourselves - live in a place of rooted confidence in Sacred Unity.
In this next passage, Klotz delivers to the reader several interesting propositions: that our Western concepts of God are only a subset of the Sacred Unity of the East, that our religion uses a different set of rules than the other parts of our lives, and that Jesus, living 2,000 years ago did not live under such separated rules. To untangle the threads of entangled presuppositions is no easy task, so let me state what I read him saying: Our religions are hollow and rule-based and we act as if the people of Jesus's time lived under those same rules. And after saying all this, he tells us Jesus left behind for us a model for living outside rule-based systems of any kind. Read for yourself [I have italicized the key phrases and used Jesus and God in place of his words, Yeshua and Alaha wherever they appear]:
[page 29] Our usual Western concepts of God and the sacred are only a partial view of Sacred Unity in the Middle Eastern sense. It is difficult to overemphasize this point. Most of us have been raised from childhood to think of God as a being infinitely distant from humanity or nature, and of the sacred as something separate from the profane. We have been taught that religion operates by different rules than politics, science, psychology, art, or culture. Jesus's teaching and reported dealings with his followers show that he did not live from this type of separation thinking.
There is the sting of truth in his words. Those readers whose views of spirituality come from their rule-based religion may spy an aspect of "unripe" fruit in their religion and it would behoove them to read carefully the remainder of this book. Klotz has done a masterful job of prying open the eyes of the spiritually asleep to the deep realities portrayed by the Gospels.
Klotz points to passage from the Gospel of Thomas containing the Hermes Trismegistus dictum, As Above, So Below, which expresses an essential truth about the macrocosm and microcosm for us to digest:
[page 30] "When you make the two One, and when you make the inner as the outer and the outer as the inner, and the above as the below . . . then you will enter the kingdom." (Saying 22:4,7)
In Max Freedom Long's books on the Hawaiian language, he finds a "huna code" in which every syllable of the language has a special meaning. When combined into a single word, the multiple meanings of the individual syllables taken separately and in various combinations within the word reveal meanings that illuminate the secret code of healing known as the "huna code." It is a message embedded into the very structure of the language by the ancient Polynesians gods who came to Earth to teach them to talk. The word "kahuna" derives from "ka" as keeper of, and "huna" as name of the healing code. Thus "kahuna" is the keeper of the huna healing code and thus a medicine man or shaman. In the flattened Hawaiian language today, it means "priest." Note the similarity of the word "kahuna" and "Cohen" - the common Jewish name today, which also derives from their word for "rabbi" as I recall. Max Freedom Long uncovered some evidence that the ancient Polynesian language infused the early Hebrew language in pre-historical times. Note the similarity of structure as Klotz reveals it to us.
[page 35] In the Jewish mystical tradition of Kabbalah, the spiritual practice of interpretation called midrash begins with a study of the Hebrew letters themselves, which symbolize cosmic or universal patterns of energy. In some parts of the tradition, sacred words and letters are considered living beings, like angels. Kabbalistic texts also maintain that every letter, word, phrase, and sentence of the scripture exists simultaneously on several levels of meaning.
In Rudolf Steiner's works we discover that Jesus had the "tree of life" within him, which Steiner identified as the etheric (or spiritualized) body of the first man, Adam, whose very name means "hard" as in our word "adamantine." Consider that the word archetype is used to represent a spiritual being and the following passage of Klotz's takes on new meaning using the very technique that he applies so successfully in his book.
[page 36, 37] One early Jewish mystical practice used before and at the time of Jesus involved remembering and reexperiencing the creation story in one's being. The original archetype of adam, the perfection of humanity, became a focus for meditation. One reading of the first chapter of the book of John shows us that, in at least some branches of early Christianity, Jesus was considered the embodiment of the original "word" or perfect human archetype that was present "in the beginning."
Klotz explains below the circadian usage of the English language in this next passage. The limitation to our individual understanding does not reside in the English language, but in unconscious users of English who mistake the maps they make in English for the territory the maps [English words] represent. This is an easily correctable error through a brief study of the levels of abstraction as taught in General Semantics, but this study is unconscionably left out of most of today's educational system, which seems so devoted to content that the content it teaches misleads more than it leads.
[page 42] ... when we meditate on the words of a prophet or mystic in the Middle Eastern way, we must consider all possibilities simultaneously. So "Holy Spirit" must also be "Holy Breath." This transcends word play and requires us to shift our consciousness. The separations between spirit and body, between humanity and nature, which we often take for granted in the English language, begin to fall away.
The next re-interpretation is lengthy, but one can see illustrated clearly the power of Klotz's process. He first points out that "sin" means to "miss the mark," "blaspheme" means to "cut oneself off from the object of [one's] blasphemy," and "forgive" also means to "set free, let go, loosen, leave out, or omit."
[page 45, 46] "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men." (Matt 12:31)
All types of tangled behavior, the missing and falling, the rips and tears — all the ways you cut yourself off, break your connection, or disrupt the pattern — can and will be mended. Sooner or later, you will be freed from error, your mistakes embraced with emptiness, your arrhythmic action returned to the original beat. But your state cannot be mended or repaired, when you cut yourself off from the Source of all rhythm — the inhaling, the exhaling of all air, wind, and atmosphere, seen and unseen — the Holy Breath.
And here is an apt re-translation of the famous "meek" beatitude, which is so often misunderstood by the speakers of flattened English:
[page 49, 50] "Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth."
Ripe are those who soften what is rigid, inside and out; they shall be open to receive strength and power — their natural inheritance — from nature.
This next passage resonates beautifully with Hilmar Moore, the person who recommended this book to me. He is a body worker in the new field of orthobionomy which focuses on the types of bodily sensations to which Klotz refers below.
[page 50] We can again compare these insights to those of various body researchers of this century who have demonstrated conclusively that the idea of the body as a machine is completely inappropriate. The body's movement is not an automatic system of levers and pulleys, but rather a living flow of a whole organism in which awareness plays a very large part. For instance, one can become aware of the sensation of the position in space of joints, muscles, tissues, and organs on a very minute level. These sensations can be sensed and influenced by fine-tuning one's awareness. In this context, the awareness of breathing and the breathing wave can have a very therapeutic effect.
This next passage reminds me of the story of the "Wizard of Oz" in which the four companions all breathed deeply as they imagined meeting the Great Wizard and as they skipped arm in arm when they went "off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz." Then came the mis-breathing when they discovered the old man behind the curtain. And full breathing again when he presented each one with a token that recognized their heart's desire. Misbreathing when the balloon takes off without Dorothy, and then full breathing again when she is taught to click her ruby slippers together and say with deep breaths, "There's no place like home."
[page In one of the earliest Jewish mystical practices, the practitioner tried to reexperience the descent of the spirit and breath into form, and then experience resurrection and ascension in a journey of return to the "throne" of the Holy One.
In his chapter "Faces of Light" Klotz discusses the nature of day and night as it is used in the Bible, particularly in the Genesis story. Day becomes the building up phase and Night the pralaya or destructive phase that allows for re-construction in a better fashion during the next creative phase of Day. [See my essay on "Art as the Process of Destruction."] In Steiner's description of the evolution of the solar system, he maps the phases of Saturn, Sun, Moon, and Earth upon the Genesis creation story and shows that each unfolding stage was followed by a re-assimilation or pralaya stage.
[page 76] In fact, Genesis gives both [light and darkness] a place in the unfolding creation as day and night. In Hebrew, the word "day" (iom) gives scope for unfolding, expanding purpose, like a story that proceeds from event to event. "Night" (lailah) allows for assimilation and consolidation, which follow a more mysterious course, like our dream life. We could regard these concepts of day and night as deep insights into the natural world, resulting from close observation of plants and animals on the part of people we normally [RJM: materialistically] call primitive.
He adds later that "To escape into light is not better than to continually rummage in darkness. Both light and darkness are needed." To this latter sentence, I cannot help but elaborate that he is not talking about some equal amounts of light and dark as some English speakers might naively interpret his words, but a rhythm of light and darkness in one's life.
This next passage requires some elaboration. It reminds me of "Black Elk Speaks" in which John Neihardt writes how Black Elk as a young boy went into a coma-like state for three weeks and when he awoke, he walked around in a daze, avoiding everybody. An old man of the tribe took him aside and told him, "You have had a big dream and unless you share it with the tribe, you will go crazy." Black Elk shared his dream, the tribe helped him enact his dream in real life, and he went on to become a great shaman of the tribe.
[page 78] If you receive a vision that illuminates circumstances, you naturally share it. If you keep it to yourself, you either suffocate the flame for want of breath, or you keep it veiled in your inner life. You can only do the latter for so long, however, without denying the reality of the vision. We are also generous with illumination when we allow it to penetrate all parts of our being. Then we embody the light fully and put it into practice.
In the next passage Klotz gives us a demonstration of a definition of evil that I first came upon in Steiner's works that few people seem to understand at first, namely, "evil is a good out of its time." The light that Lucifer brought to Earth with him was a good that human beings were not quite ready for, and therefore it was an evil deed that he did, a good out of its time. When we consider that "unripeness" is something that is out of its time, and ripe means something good that is ready to eat, we get a deep view into the relevance of Steiner's insight into evil as a good out of its time.
[page 79,80] "The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness."
But when your expression is veiled, the eye cloudy and darting, the action at the wrong time and place, what you embody of light and understanding will be chaotic, swirling, obscure. Your non-understanding then participates in the primal darkness of the cosmos.
If I have any complaints about Klotz's book, this next passage will show an example of it. In English the word "heart" is used metaphorically to mean the center of one's feeling or being in such expressions as "with my whole heart" and until the advent of materialistic science, the heart was thought to be source of all thought and the container of one's soul. Klotz gives us the Aramaic definition of "heart" and surprise, surprise, it's the same as English. [On page 118 he does a similar thing to our word, "neighbor," which comes from the word "nigh" which means to draw near exactly as he explains the meaning of neighbor in Aramaic.]
[page 117] The Aramaic word for "heart," leba refers not simply to the physical heart, but figuratively to the center of one's feeling or intelligence, the pith or marrow of what we would call our mental-emotional life.
The next passage is his re-write of Mark 4:11-12 in which Jesus explains why he speaks in parables to the crowds while he often talks more directly to his disciples. To let go of maps and experience the territory directly is figuratively described in the phrase "to release the cords with which you tie your selves to the past." Maps are always items from the past that if we cling to desperately will prevent us acting appropriately in the present. Instead we are apt to bring forth something good, but since it is out of its time, we will produce something that will viewed as an evil or a sin. It was a good in its time, but its time is past.
[page 124, 126] "Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may not hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them." (Mark 4:11-12)
These wild parts of you see but aren't yet illuminated, hear but aren't struck by the sound that envelopes the mystery of Unity; not until they (and you) are turned around by parable, not until turning you begin to release the cords with which you tie your selves to the past.
With so many people infected and infested with what Transactional Analysis calls "Be Perfect" drivers and injunctions, it is no wonder that the next passage which exhorts us to "be perfect" is so often misunderstood. Watch what happens when Klotz passes his Aramaic magic wand over the short passage:
[page 129, 130] "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matt 5:48)
Be fulfilled in all of your selves, know them until they cease to know themselves, grow with them until they outgrow themselves in a reborn "I am." The Knowing, Growing, Parenting of the cosmos completes itself through you.
Another passage that is often not understood fully, with three re-interpretations by Klotz.
[page 148, 149] "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." (Matt 5:44)
#1, Find the blessing of yielding to those who cover you with their own impressions, detaching you in their minds from who you really are. Use this seclusion to retreat from the surface of your image, the pride and reputation to which these insults stick. Use the force to bend toward your own deepest Self.
#2. Restrain a reaction when someone helps filter out the real from the false in you. What you feel as hate is a mirror like the moon, reflecting your own self-loathing. Heal hate with beauty, inside and out. When the dawn breaks, the moon will know its time has passed.
#3. Open space for those who try to tie you up. Lay a trap that catches and releases all of their knots and binding complexities. Let your prayer for them be: "O God, use this force that pushes and contracts, that chases and entangles, to guide us all back to harmony and you."
This is a great passage on which to end. It demonstrates the multi-faceted translations by Klotz that fill the pages of this inspiring book.Each chapter also ends with a meditation and it is only fitting to cap off this review with the final meditation of the book called, "An Inner Shalom":
[page 169, 170] Return to a quiet place of breathing awareness, feeling the word shalom or shalama riding on the inhalation and exhalation. With this feeling and word, feel the presence of Hokhmah, Holy Wisdom, and greet each aspect of your inner self that you meet. As much as possible, allow each one to participate in feeling the mysterious origins of the universe. Invite each aspect of your self to a table of bread and wine that can fulfill the ultimate desire of each to bring its purpose into being. As you end the meditation, look into the days immediately ahead of you. In what ways can this greeting and invitation enter your interactions with everyone and everything you meet?
2.) ARJ2: Memory's Ghost — the Nature of Memory and the Strange Tale of Mr. M. by Philip J. Hilts
Hilts devotes this book to the study of memory and to do this he uses as a central figure Henry M., who has no memory, but is otherwise normal in every way. After being run down by a bicycle as a child, Henry began having seizures. These seizures worsened until as a young adult he was operated on by a brain surgeon who sucked away his hippocampal regions through a silver straw. From that time on, Henry had no memories of any events that occurred to him, and continues to live in the eternal world of the present. Henry can read the same newspaper again and again, and each time it will be new to him.
Henry's case, together with those of other patients that have had an assault to their hippocampal regions, make it clear that the hippocampus is essential for the storage of conceptual or cognitive memories. All conceptual memories pass through the hippocampus on the way to storage in the area known as the associative cortex, which is a region of the neocortex. If the hippocampus is gone, these memories do not reach the neocortex and the result is a lack of creation of new memories exactly as in Henry M.
Yet Henry has several types of memory. He can remember his father and mother from before his accident, but doesn't know if they're alive. This seems to indicate that the hippocampus is not involved with retrieving conceptual memories, only in storing them.
Henry also has some primitive body knowing or pattern recognition ability as illustrated in this story:
[page 154] On that spring day, Dr. Teuber relates that Henry jumped up in the middle of his work at the Hartford Regional Center, a state rehabilitation clinic populated chiefly by the mentally retarded, at which Henry's work was to test balloons and then mount them on a card. Someone apparently had taken Henry's materials, perhaps wondering if Henry would notice or remember it.
Henry stood, shouting "that he was no good to anyone, that he was going to do away with himself, that he was merely in the way, that he had no memory."
This story shows that Henry can experience emotions, such as anger, which are very likely stored in the amygdaline region adjacent to the hippocampus. [See ARJ: The Emotional Brain.] But the story also indicates that Henry was in a state of readiness to perform an activity, that the materials he needed were not there, and that Henry knew at some level that something was wrong. He couldn't say what was wrong because he lacked the conceptual memory to remember the balloon materials. His entire reason for living had been taken away to Henry's way of thinking, and he got appropriately angry. This episode indicates that Henry knew at a process level, at the level of bodily knowing, that he had a task to do and that he was being thwarted. Thus there is some mechanism that is not conceptual memory, that is not mediated by the hippocampus, that must store this kind of bodily knowing.
Another type of memory that Henry used in his daily life where possible was other people's memory. The author described how Henry asked him almost daily such questions as, "What went on before?" and "Did I say something?" To the extent Henry is surrounded by researchers studying his memory deficiency rather than friends, these other people do not answer Henry's requests for memory data, but simply make notes in their notebooks or ask further questions of Henry.
When Henry was asked to help out in the machine shop by fetching tools, he demonstrated another usage of exogenous memory. Henry would never return to the machine because he would go off in search of the tool and forget what errand he was on. The head of the shop began drawing pictures of the tool Henry was to fetch and Henry would eventually return with the requested tool. The scrap of paper with the picture on it served as a long-term conceptual memory, and Henry was able to use it successfully.
What strikes me about the way Henry was treated is that no attempts were made to rehabilitate him, only to study his defects. One cannot do both — if one is successful at rehabilitation, one loses the object of observation. One method of rehabilitation would have been to develop detailed procedures that Henry could follow to perform the actions he needs outside help to do otherwise. The procedures could provide the external memory to replace his missing internal memory. His ability to test balloons indicates an ability to follow simple instructions. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that such procedures were tried.
Two interesting quotes headline Chapter 19:
[page 161] "He is indebted to his memory for his jests, and to his imagination for his facts." — Richard Brinsley Sheridan.
What makes this witty is its inversion — one should be in debt to one's memory for facts and to one's imagination for one's jests. So the person referred to in Sheridan's imaginative jest is too dumb to create an original jest and they use their creative facility only for recounting factual events. Sheridan's quote may be considered as referring to the Marketing and Sales department of a large corporation in which the salesmen and the marketeers have a repertoire of funny stories to regale clients and use their creative imagination on presenting the facts of the new product in an enticing way. In its inversion, the quote would apply to the Research and Development department whose engineers must begin with the facts of the current product line and use their imagination to create improved product lines (which some will call jokes).
[page 161] "It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards."
— Lewis Carroll
What seems to be a statement of fact by Lewis Carroll is in reality an imaginative jest, one that points to this hitherto unconscious capability for remembering the future. This is a process I have discussed in this review: The Magical Approach. [See also Matherne's Rule #36][Quoted from my Review above] Creativity has its own kind of time, a free-flowing time in which past, present, and future co-exist like in a dream where we can "rummage through the days of the future to find precisely the data required to make a specific point." Seth contrasts this magical approach with the rational approach which says "that to solve a problem you worry about it."
In this next passage, Hilts describes how our brain evolved from an exterior sensory cover to an internal processing organ:
[page 161-162] The brain was once, in primordial form, an expanse of sensitive skin. It was like the skin of the jellyfish, across which signals from the environment were received as if by antennae, then conveyed to other cells. This suggests something important in philosophy — that the mind is dependent upon sensation for its material to work on.
Unfurled, the brain would be about the size of an opened newspaper and not very firm (indeed, the sheet can melt or leak from its vault). This wet sheet is infused throughout with jelly-like threads, the neurons. In embryo, its evolution is replayed: first neural cells grow in a sheet, then bulge out like a bladder atop the spinal cord, and this bladder grows into the brain's outer layer, the cortex, a word which means "rind" in Latin.
If one imagines an early jellyfish with no localized brain, one sees only long neuronic cells reaching from one end of the jellyfish to the other end, and spread all over the surface of the jellyfish. Now imagine the evolution of the jellyfish going along the lines that Rudolf Steiner lays down in The Riddle of Humanity[See ARJ.]: the structure of the body in a previous incarnation forms the head in the new incarnation. The new jellyfish will have the beginnings of a primitive brain located in an area near the top of the jellyfish, its head. With eons of evolutionary progress the human brain can be seen as a neuron-filled jellyfish that sits atop the long tube of neurons (spinal cord) that provides connections to every part of the human body. Rightly understood, this simple evolutionary process of body becoming head in succeeding incarnations gives birth to the human brain. [Note: Goethe was the originator of this concept of body becoming head.] This means that the carrier of our body's evolution is not only the genetic material in our DNA, but also the plans made by our I and astral body for the etheric and physical body of our next incarnation.
Much ado has been made about apes learning hand-signs in recent years. This passage by Hilts shows dramatically the futility of training apes to speak as humans do — a futility that resides in their lack of an ego body or I:
[page 186] The reason apes can be trained to learn hand signs and other symbols, writes Canadian psychologist Merlin Donald, is "they are using episodic memory to remember how to use the sign; the best they can manage is a virtual 'flashback' of previous performances." They do not use language inventively, creating expressions needed for any situation, in a fluid expression. Rather, they always sign as if they are referring to some unseen picture of things and actions, "Koko-banana-eat" or "Roger-tickle-Washoe."
In the following quote, Hilts makes some statements about childhood memories that bear a deeper investigation.
[page 211] Other notions about memory have also been radically changed with research — for example, that childhood memories are important to present psychological states. Childhood memories, in fact, don't really exist at all until after age three or four, and are for some time after that quite sketchy.
Hilts raises two separate points: 1) Childhood memories are important to present psychological states (emotions) and 2) Childhood (conceptual) memories don't really exist at all until after age three or four. Biology teaches us that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. Simply stated this means that the growth of a single human re-traces the evolutionary growth through the species.This process is seen in the fish-brain, reptile-brain, bird-brain, and primate-brain portions of the human brain. Each primitive portion of the brain was kept as the species evolved - our brain was formed by adding new structures with each new evolutionary jump, the most recent of which is the neocortex, which is an expansion of the cortex of the primates.
The magnificent jump in evolution that distinguished humans from apes was the addition of the complex neo-cortex layer that covers the human brain. This layer is where conceptual or cognitive memories are stored after they are mediated (transferred to the neocortex) by the hippocampus region. If you remove just the hippocampal regions of the brain, all conceptual memories cease to be formed. This is what happened to H. M., who has continued to live an otherwise normal life for over 50 years, a life continually in the present. He can, e. g., read the same newspaper over and over again with the same interest.
Before the advent of the neocortex, all humans were like Mr. H. M. — they lived in an eternal present and the only form of memories they had was spiritual voices of the Gods that they listened to for guidance in areas that you and I would use our conceptual memory for guidance. In fact, part of our descent into the material world was made possible by such a neocortex that made each person a God, in effect. This process is described by Julian Jaynes in The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.
With the availability of the neocortex, humans became able to store these conceptual memories. When did this happen? Most likely it happened sometime shortly preceding our historical records. One has no ability to record anything, nor any reason to do so, if one lives like H. M., does one? That gives us an approximate date of -10,000 to -6,000 years ago that the neocortex expanded to its current size (and it's still expanding on the average yet today, but not perceptibly).
Since ontogeny recaps phylogeny, the age of evolution in a single human (ontogeny) can be mapped onto the age of evolution of the species (phylogeny). What age of the single human do we get when we try to pinpoint the development of the neocortex? Well, it must correspond to -10,000 to -6,000 years ago in our evolutionary history, a near pre-historic epoch. To do the mapping one would have to pick the point at which the human stops evolving and starts just growing. That would be the age at which all of our adult capacities are full grown, even though their use is just beginning. I'd guess that to be about five to seven years old. Seven being when the teeth change occurs. But the scales are not linear, so this mapping approach won't work.
So let's look for some developmental event in the single human that would correspond to a developmental event in the human race, and that can be our time or epoch marker. The one prominent physical marker is the age at which the neocortex reaches full size. The fact is that the human brain doubles in mass from birth to three years old and then stops growing. So three years old would be the individual age marker of the evolutionary human epoch in which the neocortex reached approximately modern size.
In this distant (-10k to -6k) time period, humans began to develop conceptual memories to the same extent as a three-year-old child does today. They could remember things that happened days before, or weeks before, and with each generation concentrating on this new capability, soon they began to remember things from years and decades before. This capability increased until it is as we find ourselves today. So in those 10k years or so, we humans progressed in evolutionary time and that jump in evolution mirrors exactly the jump in evolution that happens in a single human individual today between the age of three and five years old!
A five year old child's memory is as good as it will ever get in terms of physical apparatus (size of brain) — it only needs usage and training to realize its full potential.
During that evolutionary period that corresponds to ages 3 to 5, another process is winding down as this one builds up, and this other process corresponds to childhood memories associated with present psychological states or emotions.
Physical body states are stored less and less as the conceptual memory capability stores the unique events as a combination of sounds, feelings, sights, tastes, and smells. By feelings above I mean only pointers to associated physical body states or doyles. In building data bases, designers learn to store pointers to big things that are already stored elsewhere to conserve space — that's what our neocortex does with doyles - the doyles themselves are stored in the amygdala and pointers to them are kept in the neocortex — the pointers are simply the stimuli that tickle the doyles forth from the amygdala. [For the evidence of the amygdala as storage medium for emotions and other doyles, see ARJ: The Emotional Brain].
Our human conceptual or cognitive memory is so much more efficient than doyles that the brain, by age three, has reached a capacity to use conceptual memory in the neocortex in place of the by now cramped doylic memory storage in the amygdala. Evolutionarily, the brain switched from doylic memory to conceptual memory storage — that much is clear — so individually that must happen at some point in an individual's growth today from birth to adulthood. Doyle Henderson's work illuminates this process and predicts when to expect that point in the life cycle of a human being: at about the age of five years old. The science of doyletics gives excellent reasons for why it should be so, and also predicts the kinds of experimentation that will prove this to be the case.
It was these and many other considerations that first led me to be convinced that PANACEA! is an invention based on a hitherto unknown and un-described science, the science of the acquisition and transmission of feelings, emotions, and organized physical body states including internal organ functioning and motor operations. So I named the science in honor of the creator of PANACEA!, Doyle Philip Henderson.
Doyletics is the science of doyles, just like genetics is the science of genes. At least the founder of the science is given credit in its name, not ignored, as was Gregor Mendel.
I hope this exposition helps the reader to see why it is so that a child of three is just beginning to articulate his experiences. Let's separate articulate into two parts: process and content. The process of articulating is the ability to speak. By three the child has learned to speak and has stored as doyles the speaking organs dynamic patterning, so that the word pops out as a complete sound structure without need for thought to be given to the formation of the word.
The content of articulating is the selection of the words to be spoken. Here the conceptual memory plays a crucial part. Conceptual memory gives content to what the child talks about when it grows past the Mama, Dada, balloon, stage of one-word, here-and-now pronouncements. The child sees its mother get into car and says, "Mama go to store?" which requires some conceptual memory of the store.
From three to five children are in two worlds: the world of storing doylic memories and the world of creating conceptual memories. As Doyle points out, it is during this time period a care-giver can easily remove an unwanted doylic memory by converting it immediately into a conceptual memory.
For a detailed examination of the how childhood memory evolution mirrors humankind's memory evolution, see my essay The Childhood of Humanity.
There is truth in the question, "Is it not possible that conceptual memory advances as the mind becomes better able to articulate the experiences?" The answer is the reverse of your question: The mind becomes better able to articulate experiences as the conceptual memory capability advances during the period from age three to five. The brain at three has reached full size and the little human learns from scratch at age three how to use its full conceptual memory capability until at age five as it has reached the goal of the conceptual memory capability of a full size human being.
To summarize Hilts's two points:
1) Childhood memories are important to present psychological states (emotions) — yes, the physical body states stored in the amygdala before the age of five are the basis for all emotions, feelings, moods, and organized motions and homeostasis of internal organs.
2) Childhood (conceptual) memories don't really exist at all until after age three or four — yes, these conceptual memories require the neocortex to be full-size and that doesn't happen until three years of age in the human child.
In his investigation of Memory's Ghost, Philip Hilts unearthed many interesting issues that modern science is only now learning to deal with. The issues raised in this book will infuse many studies of human capabilities in the next century. Henry M. didn't have a memory, but when asked where they were going, he always thought on this one thing, "That we're going to a clinic and they're going to examine me to find out different things about me that will also help them with other people." Henry has dedicated his life to helping us find out things about how our memories work and we owe him an eternal debt of gratitude for that.
The Remembered Present by Gerald M. Edelman
The Anatomy of Memory by James McConkey
3.) ARJ2: I Think, Therefore I Laugh — An Alternative Approach to Philosophy by John Allen Paulos
The title translates (thanks to Prof. Stephen L. Pearce) to: Cogito ergo rideo in Latin. Ridere is the root of risible, which means laughable or to laugh. I wonder if "to ride someone" originates from ridere?
Entomology(1) (and, of course, etymology) aside, Paulos wrote Mathematics and Humor, which I added to my humor collection several years ago (seriously). A wonderfully insightful writer, he brings humor to otherwise dreary subjects. The story from Leo Rosten about the kid who shot first and then drew bullseyes around them he uses to explain the organization and contents of this book: a miscellany of potshots with meaningful bullseyes drawn around them — examples:
- Friedrich Waissman, in his rebuttal to logical positivists, who claim that the meaning of every proposition (except their own) is in the method of its verification, said, "To believe metaphysics is nonsense is nonsense."
- Hy Marx (Groucho's estranged uncle) claimed that the smell associated with flatulence is for the benefit of the deaf.
- Howard Eves calculated the probability of there being two separate bombs on one airplane as so small that whenever he travels he carries one with him.
- Using medical research logic, Paulos proves that the lack of aspirin in the bloodstream causes headaches.
- When told that girls like these three topics of conversation in a man: food, family, and philosophy, the following tete-a-tete ensued:
He: Hello, do you like noodles?
She: <startled> Why, no.
He: Do you have a brother?
He: If you had a brother, would he like noodles?
Wife laughs at distraught husband with a loaded .45 at his temple. "Don't laugh," he said, "you're next." Ever notice that when people say "Don't laugh" that a laugh usually follows? There's a paradox in there somewhere. Told by his doctor to take a calming ten mile walk each day, the man reports in a month later "Things are fine. I'm very relaxed, but I'm 300 miles from home." Step right up and win the million dollar lottery: $1 a year for a million years.
Let's leave 'em laughing with a comment on "man's inhumanity to man." "That's what communism is all about," you say? I agree, but with Western governments, it's the other way around, up until now.
----- Footnote -----
Footnote 1.Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
Like in, "Waiter, there's a fly in my soup."
"Yes, I see it. It's doing the breast stroke."
4.) ARJ: Education and Modern Spiritual Life, GA#307 by Rudolf Steiner
This book is a "course of lectures given with the object of describing what Waldorf School education seeks to achieve for the progress of civilization in face of the needs of the present time." My daughter-in-law gave this to me — she was unable to extract the information she wanted from it about Waldorf Schools. To her, her daughter, and all my grandchildren, now and to come, I dedicate this review of how Steiner sees education fitting into modern life, both materially and spiritually.
Those things we know most about we do not talk about, we do not write about. Steiner makes this point in several places to illustrate that all the talking and writing we see nowadays about education must signal a pervasive lack of knowledge of the process of education. [Note: the indictments Steiner had of education in 1923 sound like they could have been said in 1998.] The solution Steiner offers is to outline what he knows about the human being, how we develop from infancy in body, soul, and spirit, so that by a full knowledge of their students, Waldorf teachers and parents may become agents of their charges's development into maturity in wisdom and knowledge both materially and spiritually.
The human body replaces all of its constituent cells every seven years, casting off its previous whole body, laying it aside. A new-born baby thus expresses its pre-earthly existence in the cells of its chosen mother, and deserves to grow up in the family it was born into. It is a being unified in body, soul, and spirit. See Table I .
When the new teeth push out around seven years of age, it is the signal that the child bears its first earthly body or sheath for the next seven years.
[page 56] he is a being of body and soul with a separate nature of soul and spirit; and from puberty onwards he is a threefold being — a physical being, a being of soul and a being of spirit.
In Table II we find that the life of thought emerges during the first seven years of the child's life. This is a natural consequence of its development of teeth, which are not only for eating and speaking, but for thinking.
[page 77] The forces that press the teeth out from the jaw are the same forces that now within the soul bring thought to the surface from the undefined sleeping and dreaming life of childhood. With the same degree of intensity as it teethes, the child learns to think.
[page 112] Loving treatment while the child is learning to walk, truthfulness while he learns to speak, clarity and precision as he begins to be able to think - all these qualities become a part of the bodily constitution. The organs and vessels develop after the models of love, truth, and clarity. Diseases of the metabolic system are the result of unkind treatment while the child is learning to walk. Digestive disturbances may arise from untruthful actions during the time the child is beginning to speak. Nerve trouble is the outcome of confused thinking in the child's environment.
My daughter told me that her daughter Tiffany went to a dance recently with someone other than her boy-friend, and when the boy-friend came to the door to ask for Tiffany, she told him that Tiffany had taken two female French exchange students to the dance. Her report was accurate, but not the whole truth. She related to me that she felt "sick to the stomach" as she told this to Tiffany's boy-friend. This story illustrates that the connection between digestion and truth-telling survives to adulthood.
Here we encounter a remarkable process of Steiner's: his ability to relate actions in the life of the child to its later adult life. In Table II I have assembled several of these relationships that he discusses in this book. I have for many years been distressed by the actions of parents who mimicked their children's cute baby talk, saying over and over back to the baby some nonsense syllables like, "Da — da — goo — goo". Before reading this book, I had no idea why or how that might be detrimental to the baby. Perhaps the thought that they will be creating digestive problems for their children when they grow up will encourage such parents to speak true adults words for their infants to hear and learn, as well as to speak truthfully at all other times to their children as well as each other. With the prevalence of marketing advertisements for medicines to alleviate stomach distress today, one can only guess at the level of untruths foisted on adults of today during their youth.
The other example that came to mind from my personal experience was Sidney Langston Goldfinch, who was raised by missionary parents in a foreign country. He grew to be one of the most skeptical adults of all my acquaintances. Undoubtedly he was indoctrinated very early into the tenets of religion by his zealous missionary parents.
Speech sounds betray the essence of the complete human being. Everyone has an innate sense of this, even though most people are not conscious of that fact. The rightmost column of Table III shows the connection of the types of speech sounds according to the parts of the body they originate from and their relation to thinking, feeling, and will. Here's how Steiner describes them:
[page 97] Dental sounds, labial sounds, palatal sounds do not exist in speech by accident; they are there because in the dental sounds the head, in labial sounds the breast system, in the palatal sounds the rest of the being of man wins its way into speech.
As I was reading this passage I had just been operated on for an umbilical hernia and I was unable to form any palatal sound because it hurt to do so. I thought of the Marine officers who insist that recruits address them by shouting from the depths of their guts, "SIR! YES, SIR!" These are pure palatal sounds coming from the will of these recruits, aged 18 to 21. With each sounding, the will of each recruit becomes more and more bound to the will of their officer and the Marine Corps. The connection of palatal sounds to the will is certainly well-known in the various branches of the armed forces and is utilized effectively during basic training.
To a recruit of today in boot camp, words become living forces just as they were to the ancient Greek, of whom Steiner tells us:
[page 98] Words were to him expressions for the forces of cloud formation, the forces lying in the growth of plants and all natural phenomena. The word rumbled in the rolling waves, worked in the whistling wind. Just as the word lives in my breath so that I make a corresponding movement, so did the Greek find all that was living in the word in the raging wind, in the surging wave, even in the rumbling earthquake. These were words pouring out of the earth.
When did this supernatural power of words disappear from language? Steiner says it began to fade when Francis Bacon of Verulam anathematized the Greek way of thinking of the spirit living in the word, in the Logos, calling it idol worship, and exhorting his fellow scientists to guard against such foolishness. Bacon pointed us towards the things of the sense world, what was external, outside of us, and single-handedly precipitated science's headlong fall into the physical world to the exclusion and complete discounting of the spiritual world, up until now.
[page 103] Fear of the idol in the word arose in men. The Logos disappears. What is called observation, a function which is quite justifiable — but which is now understood to mean sense observation, becomes the decisive factor.
Does Steiner buy Bacon's new program? The answer is a resounding No! as this passage from the end of Lecture V explains: such a program is an abstract principle leading us away from reality, not towards it.
[page 104] What we have to find to-day, however, are the means which will lead us to reality. For no education will develop from abstract principles or programmes — it will only develop from reality. And because man himself is soul and spirit, because he has a physical nature, a soul nature and a spiritual nature, reality must again come into our life — for with the whole reality will the spirit also come into our life, and only such a spirit as this can sustain the educational art of the future.
Steiner points out the basic premise of doyletics in this next passage. In doyletics, the science of the acquisition and transmission of emotions, feelings, and other physical body states, it is postulated that all the sensory states that the human body experiences before age five are stored in the amygdaline structures of the brain and then no new sensory states are stored ever again. Past the age of five, when a person experiences a feeling or emotion, what is happening is that some stored set of body sensory states stored before five is being re-triggered by the amygdaline region so that the person experiences exactly the same sensation as when the original event during which it was stored. [See ARJ: The Emotional Brain for more details on the amygdala's functioning and the Introduction Page for practical applications of doyletics.]
[page 106] The first three years, and from then onwards to the seventh year, are much the most important in the whole development of a man, for the child is not at all the same being as in later life. In his earliest years the child is one great sense-organ. The scope of this idea that the child in its first years is wholly sense-organ is not generally brought to mind with anything like sufficient intensity; indeed it is a question of using very emphatic words if the whole truth is to be expressed.
In his landmark work, The Philosophy of Freedom, Steiner lays out for everyone to see the importance of actions that are free from coercion. It is only natural, then, that he reminds these future Waldorf School educators in England of the importance of freedom as a spiritual activity.
[page 108] If we now begin as educators to bring coercion to bear on what human nature itself wills to do, if we do not understand how to leave this nature to itself in freedom and act only as helpers ourselves, we injure the organism of the child for the whole of its earthly life.
It is an injury that will reappear, Steiner says, in advanced age in the form of diseases of various kinds. It appears that the best disease prevention measures may be a good teacher who understands the maturation of the child both materially and spiritually and acts non-coercively to foster that natural development.One of the mistakes Steiner cautions parents against is giving their child toys that are intricately constructed before they reach the age of about 7 to 9 years of age. He dramatizes his advice with the "beautiful doll" story. Such a doll is an offense to the sensibilities of the child which would much prefer at that age to have a doll that is as simple as can be, perhaps only a simple piece of stuffed cloth with dot-eyes drawn by hand. For a boy, the equivalent might be a bag of wooden blocks with which he can built his imaginary structures to his heart's content. How much better for him than an intricately designed beautiful pirate ship with hundreds of pieces to be taken care of.
When I mentioned this to my daughter, who has raised two daughters of her own, she remembered getting them each a "beautiful doll" when they were only three. She recalled how the girls proceeded to gouge their dolls's eyes out and tear off their hair, eventually discarding them completely. If such a pre-mature gift of a "beautiful doll" survives a child's natural desires, no doubt it will be due to extraordinary efforts by the mother to coerce the child against its own wishes to leave the doll alone, by which actions the mother will only exacerbate the difficulties of her daughter as she grows older. As Steiner says so pointedly, "These topsy-turvy ideas show that our civilization simply does not know how to approach children."
How can our civilization ever learn how to approach children from the proper perspective? It will help if everyone had an understanding of the evolution of consciousness, particularly the evolution of consciousness of the existence of the spiritual world. Steiner talks on many occasions of a time when the average person knew from individual experience that the spiritual world existed.
[page 214-215] These men possessed a much more instinctive wisdom of the inner life of soul and spirit. What we to-day would speak of as the faculty of clear and conscious discernment, did not as yet exist. Man experienced a weaving, moving inner life, the shadowy echoes of which remain in our present dream-life.It was an inner life, in which man not only knew with certainty that a soul was weaving and moving through his body, forming part of his true manhood, but in which he also knew: A soul, born from a divine-spiritual existence before a body clothed me in my earthly form, is living within me.
Perhaps with the recovery of that ancient wisdom, parents and educators will cease force-feeding these precious vessels of spirit in their charge as miniature adults and instead begin learning to be helpers of their children's natural development into fully functional, healthy adults — human beings in body, soul, and spirit.
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5.) ART: Writing Without Teachers by Peter ElbowSo you want to write. WHO YA GONNA CALL? So you face writer's block. So you know how to write but you can't get started. So give up. You'll never become a writer unless you start writing. And this book will show you how to dynamite the logjam that has dammed up the flow of words from your mind to your fingers, and get those words freely flowing before your eyes downriver to market. Imagine your fingers flying across the keys in utter abandonment while words and ideas you didn't know were in you arrange themselves affectionately and effortlessly on the page. And that's just the beginning. Later you can call your inner Editor and inner Judge into the room and with their help figure out how to best fit the meanings you want into the words on the page. In a nutshell, this is what Peter Elbow will teach you to do if you use this book. If you plan to just read it, forget about it — it'd be a waste of time. Save your money and forget about being a writer — take up something easier, like brain surgery or nuclear physics. But, if you are truly serious about being a writer, you can start by reading my review of Peter Elbow's fine book below. Included as a bonus are my own first three dam-busting Free-Writing exercises.
This book is dedicated to those people who actually use it — not just read it. Peter Elbow.
“Ah, this is a book dedicated to me!” — I can say this as I write my review some eighteen years after I first read this book. Imagine a book on writing written by a man whose name is "elbow" — which after the mind is the most used muscle in writing. A few weeks ago when I took this book down from my "Previously Read" shelves to look through it, Del saw it and asked me why I hadn't written a review of it. I said, "Duh — I didn't start writing reviews until after I read and used this book!" And it's true, which you will see as my review unfolds.
First I read the book. Began reading it a few days after I bought the book on April 12, 1985. I had already begun date-glyphing books to denote when I bought them and read them. I had not yet begun noting where I bought the books and for how much. The paperback price was $4.95 and listed on the back cover, but the condition of the book indicates to me that I must have bought it used. I might look in my daily journal for that day to see if I noted where I bought the book, but, as with my reviews, I did not start a daily journal until I began using this book.
What qualified me to be a writer? I satisfied the primary prerequisite: I wanted to write. But writing technical papers were a chore that consumed so much of my time and energy that for a long time I couldn't imagine that writing would ever become an activity that I would spend so much time doing and enjoying. Like someone said of love, I might say of writing — "no other pleasure is so worth its pains". At the time I had been studying a huge variety of fields and I knew that any computer which inputs so much data must eventually grind to a halt unless it outputs some of it. Writing was to be the output, but there seemed to be a logjam. My computer got into an infinite loop when I attempted to put any of it on paper. A few things had flowed over the logjam during my early years, however: two articles on process computers which appeared in Datamation magazine around 1969 plus a report on a conference, some short spoof articles in the Journal for Irreproducible Results, and an article in the Jan, 1981 issue of the International Transactional Analysis Journal. But not much that was fun to write.
I was a scientist, not an English major. I had avoided any non-required Liberal Arts course because I majored in physics, except for German literature which I found that I liked and was an easy "A" for me, and in physics, any "A" was most welcome. A few years before I began writing I had begun reading literature, Jane Austen's "Emma", Samuel Butler's "Way of All Flesh", etc. in my attempt to add some Arts to my one-sided Sciences education. But none of what I read helped me to write.Until Peter Elbow sat by my elbow, took my writing hand in his and forced me to begin moving my pen on the paper without any detailed plan ahead of time. It is what he calls "Free Writing", but it might as well be called "forced writing" because you must force yourself to do this. It is as brave an act as diving off a high cliff into strange waters. Nothing can prepare you in advance for what will happen. It is suicidal, in fact. A part of you that has been essential to your survival will die — namely: the Editor in your head!
Now, editors are essential folks for writers, but not in advance of writing! Only after something has been written do you even allow the editor part of you into the room. Peter showed me how to chase the editor away by forcing me to write while completely ignoring the editor in my head. That's what free-writing is. You sit down on a daily basis and write without stopping, without lifting your pen from the paper, without stopping your hand for ten full minutes. Wow! Soon I felt something, a heavy weight, lifting from my shoulders. Peter was suggesting that I write the opposite of the way I had been writing. Formerly I would have had the whole piece laid out, and then and only then would I have sat down with the editor on my shoulders and attempted to fill out the blueprint I had created.
I had a new freedom! I could just write and let the blueprint for something that might be useful or beautiful evolve out of what I wrote! That was really scary to me, but I followed his instructions. I learned to gain control over my writing by losing control over my writing. I let my fingers do the talking across the yellow pages upon which I did my free writing exercises. Actually I used white quadrille pads because they felt comfortable to the scientist part of me and they were readily available.
I did not start my free writing immediately. I needed more help than Peter Elbow or the book could provide — luckily Peter told me in the book how to acquire that help: start a "Writing Without Teachers" class with my friends who might be interested in becoming writers. So I did that. Here's the "Necessary Ingredients" for such a class as listed on page 195:
Get a commitment from at least seven people for a ten-week stretch
Make sure everyone writes something every week
Make sure everything read out loud is read twice and given a minute's silence after each reading
Give pointing and summarizing responses to every piece of writing
Make sure everyone, for the first four classes, uses two showing (p. 90) exercises
Do three ten-minute writing exercises each week
Use the last five minutes of each class for reactions to the class itself
Explanation of Terms
Start by simply pointing to the words and phrases which most successfully penetrated your skull: perhaps they seemed loud or full of voice; or they seemed to have a lot of energy; or they somehow rang true; or they carried special conviction. Any kind of getting through. Point also to any words or phrases which strike you as particularly weak or empty. Somehow they ring false, hollow, plastic. They bounced ineffectually off your skull.Summarizing Responses
a) First relate very quickly what you found to be the main points, main feelings, or centers of gravity. Just say what comes to mind for fifteen seconds, for example, "Let's see, very sad; the death seemed to be the main event; um . . . but the joke she told was very prominent; lots of clothes."
b) Then summarize it into a single sentence
c)Then choose one word from the writing which summarizes it.
d) Then choose a word that isn't in the writing to summarize it.
Do this informally. Don't plan or think too much about it. ... It's a test to see if the words got you right. Also try this a week later: tell someone what you remember of last week's piece.
If you plan to do a Writing Without Teachers class, please do yourself a favor and get the book and read it first. I can only give you a flavor of the book and a strong taste of the effect it had on me. Here's a few examples of my own first free-writing exercises I excavated from a old file cabinet the other day:
Free-writing Exercise of January 27, 1986
"If you stop to think, write while you're thinking," I said at the beginning of the first free-writing exercise of the "Writing Without Teachers" class. "Don't know what to write next" was my next thought but I kept plugging — somehow hoping to defuse — to incapacitate the judge in my head who wants to edit as I go along.
Time for a new paragraph, but what's the idea to fill out, to flesh out with words as I write? Don't know but I keep skipping merrily along, trying no to look at the watch and maybe something will come along.
It's like walking briskly along a path, no time to stop to examine every little bit of scenery, but yet you examine your path on all sides as you stride along.
Looked at clock and it's 5 minutes left to go and so my walk is half-finished. This writing is like the filler in meat loaf — crushed bread to fill up the pan so that the loaf looks bigger than it is. Does the bread stuffing add to the taste or does it only make it look good? Isn't that the point: with good writing, mustn't it taste good if the writing is any good, not just look good? After all who reads something just because it's a lot of words? Obviously the bigger the better is not a good slogan for an inspiring writer.
So write like you cook seems to be Peter Elbow's message. Select the best ingredients, fold them in at the right (write) time, and heat properly until done. Set the timer, throw the ingredients together, taste the results as you cook (taste — don't eat) and set out the results for all to sample. If it's good, all will enjoy an excellent meal. Since I am the timer, I can set the ending right now.
Pointing: Strong points: first sentence a beaut, likewise "the filler in the meatloaf" and "write like you cook." "The write time." Weak points: "inspiring writer" rings false.(1) "Doesn't the bread & does it only" not parallel, so I removed the "n't".
Summarizing: a) b) you're saying think of writing as cooking, select, mix, and heat until done. c) cooking d) tempo
Free-writing Exercise of January 28, 1986
Free-writing exercises start today as an attempt to free the flow of writing into my friends, my fingers and out from the spell of my enemy, the Judge. Here comes the Judge! And there goes the writing, the thoughts undercover.
A neat idea — my fingers as friends. They are certainly old friends — I've known them all my life since I first noticed them flashing back and forth across my field of vision and discovered that I had some degree of control over them And now I can rediscover that control in a new way by writing with my fingers instead of my brain.
So I keep writing, keeping up a tempo that seems to cramp my hand but makes it possible for me to write without editing, without judging. If I relax, it's like stopping in the middle of my walk down the street wondering where to turn next. I encounter that paradox that Georgette expressed in her free-writing last night — "if I stop to think, I can't think of anything to write."
Well I'm halfway through — is this going to exercise my hand as well as my mind in a new way? Well it seems to be doing so. How often I begin sentences with "well". Well, I wonder what's that about?
How many book titles have I created in the past eight years nestled in the leaves of the several thousand books I have read? And why can't I remember any of these right now? Perhaps I need that computer system and word processor to compile all my notes in order to have a list of book titles and book ideas ready at hand while writing? When will that Happen? Also what if the channeling — when will that start or will it be a surprise how quickly and in what way it first occurs & develops?
Pointing: Strong points: Here comes the Judge! There goes the writing, the thought undercover. Fingers as friends. Quote, "if I stop to think, I can't think of anything to write." Repeated usage of "well" Weak points: channeling
Summarizing: a) keep the Judge out the room while you write; let your fingers go walking for ten minutes b) write until done. c) walking d) Non-stop
Free-writing Exercise of January 29, 1986
Here I begin free-writing exercise no. 3 at a more normal rate. I will single space even though double space seems to appeal to me more. With single space each 10 minute exercise will fit on a single page.
I note that as soon as I project into the future a possible use in a compiled form of these free-writing exercises that a surge of adrenalin hits my heart. Why is that? Is the secret of automatic writing to do it without thought of the future? To do it automatically without thought of possible utility? Is this writing exercise a way of doing over & over until the adrenalin surges damp out — chill out — and the writing takes on a life of its own? Its future would then be determined not by the thought of the future uses while writing, but by the resultant output of the writing.
Maybe that's the secret: to write and keep writing so that writing becomes an end in itself rather like jogging — you do it because you enjoy doing and stop when it's no longer enjoyable — I could probably switch to double-spacing my writing and at this rate cover a front and back of a single page easily.
What I've learned today is to write every day — and to keep writing — fill up two double-spaced pages — get my thoughts down on paper and discover the utility of the writing in the future — in the writing — not discover the future in my head in advance of the writing.
Pointing: Strong points: surge of adrenalin hits my heart; damp out — chill out — writing takes on a life of its own Weak points: automatic writing
Summarizing: a) write without thought of the future utility, write like jogging — every day so many miles, where you is not as important as what you do along the way b) whatever happens, keep writing c) jogging d) equanimity
That was difficult for me, even 18 years later — reading my early writing exercises — but these early pages represented a quantum leap for me.I was letting my fingers do the talking, and, within a week or two, the Editor and the Judge had left the room in disgust! And I never looked back. I stopped paying attention to grammar — heck, I hardly pay attention to it after the fact. What's important to me as a writer today is that my words flow and communicate as they flow. I feel like I'm still free-writing as my ten short friends trip lightly across the keys — Hallelujah! I'm free! Just keep writing and the thoughts will arrange themselves on the page with the dextrous help of my flying fingers. The flying finger effect! Great phrase for beginning writers who suffer writer's block. When you face a blank page every day and begin writing immediately for two pages and find the content of what you're going to say as you say it, then you will inevitably become a writer. My father, Buster, asked me one day if it was hard being a writer. I told him, "No, Dad, writing is easy — it's having things worth saying that is the hard part." If you have things to say, the only advice you need is this: "Keep writing" — your thoughts will get down on paper and the Editor, the Judge, and all the other parts of you that you've had to lock out of the room while your fingers were whisking merrily away can be allowed back into the room when you find roaming around in your pages some wild animal that you are ready to tame a bit before unleashing it out into the world.
One day I was getting ready to do my free-writing and I realized that the night before I had just finished reading a book. AHA! I thought. Content! And I wrote about the book I had just finished reading. Thereafter, the day after I finished reading a book, I would write a review of it. About two dozen of these impromptu free-writing reviews occurred before I made it official and did the review shortly after reading the book as I do now — apart from my regular journal writing, which is what my free-writing exercises have evolved into. Another way my free-writing background shows up is in my "movie blurbs" — those short movie summations which vary from several paragraphs down to a single word. These are written off-the-cuff, no preparation other than viewing the movie. Once, after a set of these blurbs were published in a South American e-zine, a woman wrote to complain about the lack of grammar. That gave me a big hoot — I really found it hilarious — the idea of having to rein in the wild animals who have escaped from my free-writing exercises to placate the Evil Empress of Grammar.
One last step for my progression as a writer was to invite another person, a real person, into the room to read my material. I call her my copy editor, and her name is Del. She sees things that I don't and I recall the advice that Peter Elbow gave about getting another's reactions (gender changed):
[page 134] If someone has a hang-up about X and sees it in 50 per cent of what she reads (which is actually typical when you start learning someone's real reactions), then you better take her seriously when she sees X in what you wrote. She's an expert on X and can detect it in very small quantities. Very small quantities are important because they affect other readers who can't see X.
One gem that those of you who skip Prefaces, Introductions, Appendices, etc, will likely miss is his Appendix Essay on page 147 about the Doubting and Believing Game. This essential tool for understanding the world was innovated by Peter Elbow. After reading about it in this book in 1986, I next encountered it about 14 years later while in graduate school. My professor in my College Teaching course, Dr. Michael Paulsen, used it and recommended it to us. It is a tool of teaching that he used effectively in class with us. My comments about the Doubting and Believing Game can be found in my review of Peter Elbow's fine book, "Embracing Contraries — Explorations in Learning and Teaching".
One motto I've had for over 25 years is "Thus a Teacher, So Also a Learner". You can interpret it many ways, but one important way is that one must become a learner in any situation if one is to operate effectively as an teacher. If school systems were to give every so-called Teacher the new title of Learner, one can only imagine the waves of improvement that would flow through our school systems and most importantly through our youngsters who have so much to teach us.
----- Footnotes -----
Footnote 1. should be aspiring — you must begin as an aspiring writer before you can ever become an inspiring writer.Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
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I hear often from my Good Readers that they have bought books after reading my book reviews. Remember: A book is like a 3-D kindle. Keep reading, folks! As I like to remind you, to obtain more information on what's in these books, buy and read the books — for less information, read the reviews.
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= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =In this section I like to comment on events in the world, in my life, and in my readings which have come up during the month. These are things I might have shared with you in person, if we had had the opportunity to converse during the month. If we did, then you may recognize my words. If I say some things here which upset you, rest assured that you may skip over these for the very reason that I would likely have not brought up the subject to spoil our time together in person.1. Padre Filius Walks Through the French Quarter 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 Pauses to Read Sign in front of door to a Cigar Store:
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 Morgan Reiner of L. A. :
I came across your website and noticed you had shared some fitness resources.
I recently published an awesome workout guide to help strengthen your core and improve your overall fitness. It has tons of interesting data and I think it would be a great addition to your site.
I think your audience would also find it valuable. In return for referencing our post on your site, we can share your page with our huge social media following.
Either way, keep up the great work!
~~~~~~~~~~~ REPLY FROM BOBBY ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dear Morgan,
Sounds good to me. I'll add your email with its live link in my Comments from Readers in this DIGESTWORLD Issue, No. 183.
- EMAIL Reply from Kevin Dann in NYC
RE: Photo of Nick Hopwood's Sign in Times-Square of Haeckel's Embryos, which I had slightly edited, changing Hopwood's word "Fraud" into "Truth":
I think I'll ask the editor to pass along a link to your latest DIGESTWORLD Issue, and that photo — nice work!
My digest(ion) of March's DIGESTWORLD DW#183 raised this question for me:
Is there anyone on God's Green Earth who has put his arms around as many friends, neighbors, and strangers, than Mr. Evolution & Truth, everybody's favorite Cajun, Bobby Matherne?
PS Great day yesterday: met with editor and publicity and marketing directors at NYU Press, which is over the moon about my new book, "This Magic Isle: A Walk Up Broadway into Manhattan's Magical Past".
The production schedule they promised won't see the book come out until Spring 2019, but meanwhile, I'll be up to Magical Mischief, my latest endeavor.
~~~~~~~~~~~~ NOTE from Bobby: I have walked the Magical Isle with Kevin on several occasions and enjoyed his magical mischief, which led me to make a comment which graces his website The Magical Isle.
3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:"Canned Freedom"
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. Nissans, Toyotas, and VWs.
"Do you have Prince Albert in de can?"
"Yes, we do."
"Well, let him out!" - popular joke during the 1950's.
From the Plantation House on the hill
comes another stream of capitol ideas:Businesses will be required to provide...shuffle...shuffle...shuffle...
12 weeks of maternity-related leave
each year to every employee.
Businesses will be required to provide...shuffle...shuffle...shuffle...
medical insurance for each employee.Businesses will be required to hire...shuffle...shuffle...shuffle...
non-English speaking employees.Before the War Between the States,...shuffle...shuffle...shuffle...
slavery was concentrated in the South
Now the entire country is enslaved
by the Plantation House on the Hill.Who's going to set US free?...shuffle...shuffle...shuffle...
~^~Walking through our Rouse's Supermarket this morning, I noticed that the automobiles that filled the parking lot all came from countries the USA helped remove tyrant dictatorships from in World War II. Hope we'll be seeing autos from North Korea and Iran soon, and without having to go to war to remove their dictatorships.
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9. CLOSING NOTES:
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Thanks to all of you Good Readers for providing the Sunshine which has made this site a Blooming Success. — Especially those of you who have graciously allowed us to reprint your emails and show photos of you and by you on this website — you're looking good! By October 1, 2018, beginning its 20th year of publication, the DIGESTWORLD and the doyletics website has received over 20.3 MILLION VISITORS ! ! !
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