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Good Mountain Press Monthly Digest #082
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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Norman Mailer (1923 - 2007) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ [ American novelist, journalist, playwright, screenwriter and film director ] ~~~~~

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~~~ GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS DIGEST #082 Published February 1, 2008 ~~~
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Quote for the Valentine Month of February:

The highest rewards for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.
John Ruskin (1819-1900) , English author and art critic

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Editor: Bobby Matherne
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©2008 by 21st Century Education, Inc, Published Monthly.

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~~ Click on Heading to go to that Section (Allow Page First To Fully Load). ~~
Archived Digests
Table of Contents

1. February Brings a Different Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for February
3. On a Personal Note
4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe of the Month from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen: Freezing Parsley, Cilantro, etc.
6. Poem from Flowers of Shanidar:"Dance of Energy"
7. Reviews and Articles Added for February:

8. Commentary on the World
9. Closing Notes - our mailing list, locating books, unsubscribing to Digest
10. Gratitude

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#1 Jul  #2, Aug  #3, Sept  #4, Oct  #5, Nov  #6, Dec  #7
2001: Jan  #8,  Feb  #9,  Mar #10, Apr #11, May #12, Jun #13, Jul #14, Aug #15, Sep #16, Oct #17, Nov #18, Dec #19
2002: Jan #20, Feb #21, Mar #22, Apr #23, May #24, Jun #25, Jul #26, Aug #27, Sep #28, Oct #29, Nov #30, Dec #31
2003: Jan #32, Feb #33, Mar #34, Apr #35, May #36, Jun #37, Jul #38, Aug #39, Sep #40, Oct #41, Nov #42, Dec #43
2004: Jan #44, Feb #45, Mar #46, Apr #47, May #48, Jun #49, Jul #50, Aug #51, Sep #52, Oct #53, Nov #54, Dec #55
2005: Jan#051,Feb#052,Mar#053,Apr#054,May#055,Jun#056,Jul#057,Aug#058,Sep#059,Oct#05a,Nov#05b,Dec#05c
2006: Jan#061,Feb#062,Mar#063,Apr#064,May#065,Jun#066,Jul#067,Aug#068,Sep#069,Oct#06a,Nov#06b,Dec#06c
2007: Jan#071,Feb#072,Mar#073,Apr#074,May#075,Jun#076,Jul#077,Aug#078,Sep#079,Oct#07a,Nov#07b,Dec#07c
2008: Jan#081,Feb#082,Mar#083,Apr#084,May#085,Jun#086,Jul#087,Aug#088,Sep#089,Oct#08a,Nov#08b,Dec#08c
2009: Jan#091,Feb#092,Mar#093,Apr#094,May#095,Jun#096,Jul#097,Aug#098,Sep#099,Oct#09a,Nov#09b,Dec#09c
2010: Jan#101,Feb#102,Mar#103,Apr#104,May#105,Jun#106,Jul#107,Aug#108,Sep#109,Oct#10a,Nov#10b,Dec#10c
2011: Jan#111,Feb#112,Mar#113,Apr#114,May#115,Jun#116,Jul#117,Aug#118,Sep#119,Oct#11a,Nov#11b,Dec#11c
2012: Jan#121,Feb#122,Mar#123,Apr#124,May#125,Jun#126,Jul#127,Aug#128,Sep#129,Oct#12a,Nov#12b,Dec#12c
2013: Jan#131,Feb#132,Mar#133,Apr#134,May#135,Jun#136,Jul#137,Aug#138,Sep#139,Oct#13a,Nov#13b,Dec#13c
2014: Jan#141,Feb#142,Mar#143,Apr#144,May#145,Jun#146,Jul#147,Aug#148,Sep#149,Oct#14a,Nov#14b,Dec#14c
2015: Jan#151,Feb#152,Mar#153,Apr#154,May#155,Jun#156,Jul#157,Aug#158,Sep#159,Oct#15a,Nov#15b,Dec#15c
2016: Jan#161,Feb#162,Mar#163,Apr#164,May#165,Jun#166,Jul#167,Aug#168,Sep#169,Oct#16a,Nov#16b,Dec#16c
2017: Jan#171,Feb#172,Mar#173,Apr#174,May#175,Jun#176,Jul#177,Aug#178,Sep#179,Oct#17a,Nov#17b,Dec#17c
2018: Jan#181,Feb#182,Mar#183,Apr#184,May#185,Jun#186,Jul#187,Aug#188,Sep#189,Oct#18a,Nov#18b,Dec#18c
2019: Jan#191,Feb#192,Mar#193,Apr#194,May#195,Jun#196,Jul#197,Aug#198,Sep#199,Oct#19a

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1. February Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
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For newcomers to the Digest, we have created a webpage of all the Violet-n-Joey cartoons! Check it out at: Also note the rotating calendar and clock that follows just to the right of your mouse pointer as you scroll down the page. You'll also see the clock on the 404 Error page if you make a mistake typing a URL while on the website.

The Violet-n-Joey Cartoon page is displayed on two pages: one low-speed and one high-speed access. If you have Do NOT Have High-Speed Access, you may try this Link which will load much faster and will allow you to load one cartoon at a time. Use this one for High-Speed Access.

This month Violet and Joey morph into two lovable fishes swimming. Violet, of course, is the cute fish on the right with the flashy eyelashes. They take the form of Bobby's date glyph. This one was drawn on December 29, 2003. With this month Violet and Joey begin by talking about what's different. Since every day has a unique date glyph, Violet and Joey are different every day.

#1 "A Different Violet and Joey" at

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Each month we take time to thank two of our good readers of Good Mountain Press Digest, books and reviews. Here's our two worthy Honored Readers for this month. One of their names will be in the TO: address line of your email Digest notification. Our Honored Readers for February are:

Joy Paolo in New Orleans

Louise Lewis in California

Congratulations, Joy and Louise !

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Out Our Way:

December ended on a sour note PC-wise. On Christmas Eve eve which was a Sunday, my PC froze up on reboot. I had only a few days left to get digest081 finished and I couldn't take my PC to Computers-R-Us till Wednesday. All day Sunday I tried powering on & off, rebooting, RESETing, and nothing I did got me past the frozen screen. The red light showing a controller access cam on at RESET and stayed on for 90 seconds or so, then went out. I assumed a bad boot disk or disk controller. On Monday I bought a new HP Pavilion Laptop with the idea of converting all my digest-creation software over to it in order to get my digest out in time. I spent most of Christmas day, after we went to visit Del's mom and have lunch with her, working on getting the new LT ready. On Wednesday I carried the PC across the river into Metairie and when Carlton hooked it up on his workbench, it booted up perfectly. "Great hands!" I told him. Ebullient I returned back home with my mainframe, plugged it back in and it booted up fine. Digest081 got out on time.

Then on New Year's Eve, disaster struck! It began in the form of an Entergy, our power company, power outage. The lights stayed off for over an hour, before some main breaker on a local transformer was reset. When the power came back on, I turned on my PC to find it stalled with the same display screen as it did a week earlier! Drat! I was now stuck again for several days before I could get it to the computer store, but worse than that, it was apparent that I might take it there only to have it boot up good again and the ball would be back in my court. You can't fix something that ain't broke!

So, I pondered the matter as I stared at the stalled computer. I decided to go over do something I had never tried in all my fruitless attempts to resurrect it a week earlier: I held down the DEL key as I pushed the RESET button on the PC. Suddenly the frozen screen display was replaced by a series of DOS commands showing the startup sequence of the PC. It halted at a line which said, "INITIALIZING USB DEVICE . . ." AHA! That told me that the problem was caused by a bad USB device hooked up to the PC and I had removed all those devices when I took the PC to the shop! I quickly removed two 1 Gb memory sticks and hit RESET and the computer came up normally. Whew! I had troubleshot the PC, identified the bad component, removed it, and the problem is now manageable.

I put the two memory sticks back in to see if they still worked and they did. They simply need to be removed each time the PC is rebooted. That's an easy work-around which will allow me to continue to use the memory sticks. The lesson for all computer owners is this: Remove any USB devices if your computer hangs during reboot. Those cheap $20 memory sticks are not very robust and if they do not acknowledge the USB controller upon a boot-up sequence, they will make your PC inoperable until you remove them.

One more item for computer owners, especially those upgrading to Vista: Remember to set all your folders to show Hidden and System files. The external USB hard drive that I use for backups seemed to be missing crucial files when I hooked it up to my new Vista Laptop. That kept me from accessing crucial software. I knew those files should be there, but three folders corresponding to three drives on my PC were gone! Well, the puzzle was solved after my PC came back from the shop that Wednesday after Christmas: I had forgotten that the default of Windows Operating Systems is HIDE any folders with at least one System file in it. One of the missing folders was of the current C: drive, and the other two were older C: drives, now used for data, but all three had System files and were thus invisible and seemed to be erased from the USB hard drive. For those of you getting a Vista system, here are the simple instructions for revealing Hidden and System files, sent to me by Kent Newsome. Thanks, Kent!

1. Click the round blue Start thing in the lower left corner
2. Click Control Panel
3. Click Appearance and Personalization
4. Click Folder Options
5. Click the View tab
6. Click Show hidden files and folders
7. If you want to see system files as well, unclick Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)
8. Click OK

Well, the rest of the month went much better, computer-wise. My new HP Pavilion is amazingly adept at handling media of all kinds, and we were able to watch an Instant Movie from NetFlix in the Screening Room on the big screen TV using it. The movie came over the wireless connection to the Laptop, and fed directly into the TV's video and sound system. If you're a NetFlix renter of DVD's, you've got as many hours a month of Instant Movie watching as you pay dollars for your rental. If you pay $16 a month, you get 16 hours of Instant Movies at no extra charge. Except the charge you can get from watching the movie and the joy of getting it right away! You can watch it directly on your computer or feed it into your TV. Waiting for a plane in an airport with a wireless hot-spot, you can watch a movie over NetFlix. Check it out. We're planning to add a new TV which accepts HDMI signals directly from our Pavilion LT to get the best picture possible for our Instant Movies.


With my computer working great again, it was time to focus on the Bowl Championship Game where LSU would take on Ohio State in a game to decide the 2007 National Championship of College Football. The date was January 6, 2008, the place was the Superdome in New Orleans, and we had six tickets to the game. Del and I went to the game accompanied by our daughter Kim and her husband Wes, plus two of our sons, John and Stoney. We were nestled between two rows of red-shirted Ohio State fanatics who gave us all kind of good-natured ribbing, stressing how good their buckeyes were. We even got a lesson in how to accompany their band when it plays "Hang On, Sloppy", er, make that "Hang On, Sloopy". When the music hits a four down beat break, we were taught to yell loudly, O - H - I - O. It was fun, but give me the LSU Fight Song any day. You'll see the red shirts in some of the photos of the game in this Digest, all except the last five minutes, when they all seemed to have headed down to Bourbon Street or something because the stands turned into all purple and gold. LSU won the game and we stood and cheered as purple & gold confetti sprayed all over the field as the BCS Glass Football Trophy was presented to Les Miles and his Tiger band of brothers. It's been an incredible year. After living through two previous LSU National Championships, I got to be at the game for LSU's third.

Following the game, our friend JB Borel forwarded me an email from another friend Anna Keller. The emails are included below in Section 8, Commentary, and were responsible for the photo in our banner for this Digest. I didn't know that my nephew, Dean Matherne, was in the photo (the banner is a cropped version of the larger photographer), but I knew he'd be interested in it if he hadn't seen it, since he is also stationed in Iraq. So, as an after-thought I asked him if he might be in the photo. His reply came back, yes. He identified himself in the photo and send me the full photograph in detailed resolution plus two additional photos of himself in a purple and gold LSU Army Helmet he wore for the photo and the time of the BCS game.

All because it's CARNIVAL TIME
In 2008, we have almost the earliest Mardi Gras possible because Easter comes on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox. Spring starts March 20, Full Moon is March 21, and Easter is March 23. So the week after the BCS game, the first Carnival parades started, and the Balls have been in full swing since early December in order to get them all in. We did the Caesar's Ball Dec. 29, and on Jan. 4, we attended the Caliphs of Cairo Ball at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown New Orleans. It was a traditional Carnival Ball with a Tableau presentation of the court and a fun skit portraying Julius Caesar refusing to be crowned emperor during the Feast of the Lupercal. Around midnight the Ball adjourned to the New Orleans Country Club for the Queen's Breakfast for the traditional dining and dancing: grillades, grits, King Cake, and live ballroom dancing till the wee hours of the morning.

On our way out the Ritz after the Tableau, we stopped by to see our friend, Armand St. Martin, who plays the piano to accompany his unique song stylings in the Library Lounge. Two of his distaff fans were there and I got them to pose for a photo which I set up to make sure that I got Armand with a big smile on his face.

As I type these words, parades are in full swing this Sunday afternoon on the Westbank (where we live) and the Eastbank (New Orleans and Metairie). But we have two more main events on our Carnival schedule, both on them take place in February. My club's ball on the Friday night before Mardi Gras (Feb. 1) and Mardi Gras Day (Feb. 5) itself. We may do one or two parades before the month is out, but standing out in the cold for hours to watch a parade gets less fun over the years, so we like to compress our parade watching into the big Fat Tuesday event itself. It's a great time to be downtown and we never pass up a chance to be in that number.

Mojo on the Bayou

We took one short trip up to visit our daughter Kim in Alexandria, Louisiana. Del went to grand-daughter Katie's swim meet where she came in second in the Mile Event. Later that evening she and Kim joined us at the local high school to watch grandson Weslee play in the Varsity Basketball team. The next morning, we motored to the downtown Performing Arts Center to watch grandson Thomas play the Town Crier in a local performance of Cinderella. On the drive up, I was expectingthe play to be on wooden bench seats in a grade school cafeteria, not prime-time cushioned seats in a large auditorium downtown. The choreography was superb, the singing was excellent, and the staging and costumes were first-class. A very enjoyable show. As the show progressed, I remembered that Del and I had been singing "Bibbity, Bobbity, Boo" together for no obvious reason on the trip up. Something in the dim recesses of our brain recalled that the song was from Cinderella. I never saw the movie, but I remember hearing that song blaring out of our AM radio back in the 1940s when it was high on the Hit Parade of popular songs, probably because of a Cinderella musical for which it was composed. And there it was as the central theme of the movie — the very mojo that made the pumpkin into carriage and cinder-girl into Princess possible. We left for home right after taking photos of ourselves and Thomas after the play was over.

Phoenix Bird, Float-down Menu Bar, a Favicon, for Doyle, and Four Million
I discovered an amazing float-down menu bar on a Phoenix myth website which I looked up to test my idea that "the Phoenix is a myth which embodies the Ego as the eternal spirit which arises from the ashes of one human life in perpetuity."

That little side trip into website design took me several hours, but the new menu bar design worked immediately with no debugging. Got it from a great fount of DHTML and Java Scripts. See: . It took me a while to locate the menubar as I only knew how it worked, not the name given to it. The menu bar stays at the top of the page no matter how far you scroll down. It floats into view after a second or two. To see it operate, simply open in another window and scroll down while looking at the top of your Browser window.

Another thing I had wondered about for some time is how a website gets that little icon with its logo image to come up in various places, such as on the Tab of a tabbed Browser like FireFox or IE7. Again my web-savy friend in Bellaire, Kent Newsome, came to my aid and told me that these little logos are called favicons and he sent me this URL to a tutorial: After reading about what one is and how to post one, I downloaded a utility for creating an icon called: IrfanView located at . It is a great image viewing program which supplements my image processing program very nicely.

You can open one image file in a folder and simply scroll down through the images as quickly as you like with the Scroll Button on your mouse. It will open any type of media file along the way, even .mpeg or other video clips. It is freeware and handles more different file formats of sound, audio, and movie files than any other software. After installing IRFAN, I quickly became an IRFAN fan, I guarantee. It is now a permanent part of my desktop. As for the new favicon for the doyletics website, I chose an image of Doyle Philip Henderson, without whose inspiration and life's work, this website would not exist. He was truly the pioneer in doyletics, just as Gregor Mendel was the pioneer in genetics. Both did their innovative research in a field which was later founded based on their work. I choose the names doyletics to honor Doyle Henderson in a way that Gregor Mendel never got honored: I embedded his name into the field he helped to create. So he deserves to appear in any Tab displaying a page of the website. Check it out on your Tab now. Look for his photo to the left of the words Good Mountain Press Monthly Digest #082. Some browsers may not show the favicon, unfortunately. I can see it on my Vista Laptop's IE7, but not on my XP PC's IE7. Del can see it in her IE6 browser, a friend can see it on his FireFox but not his IE7 browser. Why this is I will hold as an unanswered question till either it is resolved or I figure out how this is happening.

This month we passed another milestone: FOUR MILLION VISITORS to the doyletics website since I created it and placed it on-line back in August of 2001. It began as a website devoted solely to information about the new science of doyletics and how to apply its speed trace to help you in your life. Soon I began adding my various writings to the website as I discovered that the more varied the information contained on the doyletics website, the more visitors the site could attract to all of the webpages. It's like a shopping center: the more shops of different kinds are present in the one location, the more business all of the shops get. Currently everyday over 3,000 unique visitors come to the doyletics website: some to read about doyletics: the Main Page and the Shingles page are perennial top-pullers of traffic, some to read Reviews, some to read Tidbits, and so on. A unique visitor is defined by the Urchin Log program as " either a brand new visitor to a website or a visitor who not returned in over 20 minutes." If you, for example, click on a webpage, leave the website, but return later in 19 minutes, you are counted as only one visitor. But if you return 21 minutes later you are counted as two visitors. This month a little Violet and Joey date glyph helps remind us to check out what "unique visitor" means. Basically this definition helps to eliminate separate pageviews by one visitor from a new visitor. This results in a lower but more accurate estimate of the people actually accessing the website.

Ta Ta For Now

On the last weekend of January, we drove to our Dad's home in Mimosa Park planning to visit him, play cards, and have lunch with him. We were about ten minutes away from his house when my brother Paul called and asked where we were. Turns out he and his wife Joyce had just driven in from their home in Opelousas, a couple of hours west of here, and were playing cards while waiting for us to show up. We played a couple of games, got some delicious Po-Boy sandwiches (oyster, shrimp, and softshell crab) from a local café and generally had a good time. We drove back home to watch the New Orleans Hornets whip the San Antonio Spurs by almost 30 points to climb higher above the top of the Western Conference of the NBA. Looks like the Hornets will make the playoffs a year after their NFL cousins, the New Orleans Saints made the playoffs. Should be a fun year for basketball in the New Orleans area. In a couple of weeks, the entire NBA basketball world will have their eyes on New Orleans as the NBA ALL-STAR GAME will be played in our downtown area. Like I said last month, the city will not stop vibrating for several months, what with Mardi Gras, All-Star Game, Spring Festival, St. Patrick and St. Joseph's Day parades, and an incredible Jazz Fest line-up, among other things. New Orleans is a great place to live and few people who live here for a year or two will voluntarily leave without developing an intense longing to return. When you're in New Orleans, it's like you're living in Oz and, "Toto, every other place is like living in Kansas."

That's it from out our way for another Digest. Till next month, God Willing and the river don't rise! Enjoy Valentine's Day and make it a great February for yourself wherever in the world you are ! ! !


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NOTE: For Internet Explorer Browsers, DIGESTWORLD is best viewed at 100% Zoom and the Window's width sized so that Digest Archives lines are single-spaced, just barely. Adjust Window width so that Mountains almost touch the Archive Numbers, especially if you find some Photos overlapping text.

PHOTO CAPTIONS (CURSOR FLYOVER ISSUE RESOLVED):If you have been enjoying the photos in DIGESTWORLD, but have wondered who or what you were looking at, you will now be able to hold your cursor still over the photo and the photo's description will appear. (Test on Butterfly-Crab Image at Right.) We spend a lot of time writing these photo captions and hope you will read them. All the Archived Issues have been updated to provide descriptions when your cursor rests for a second on a photo. Note that older Reviews have not been updated. If you haven't finished reading text when description disappears, move cursor away and back on photo to finish. We thank you for your patience and hope this pleases you.

New Additions to Website:
By now some of you may have noticed a new menu bar at the top of the Main Doyletics Page. It looks exactly like the one below and the clicks take you to the same places. Only difference is that the one below is static, whereas its twin on the Main Page floats down to the very top of the browser window as you scroll down the page. No matter how far you go down the page, the floating menu bar will find you and make itself available to your pleasure. The floating menu bar also has a tiny image of Doyle Henderson to its right which you can click to turn off the menu bar at any time. Check it out.

                  Speed Trace / Digests / Reviews / Tidbits / Cartoons / Recipes / Rules / Quotes      

[We would like to express gratitude to the folks at Dynamic Drive website for providing the source code for this floating menu bar. It was easy to install and modify and worked the first time. It looks right at home now on the doyletics home page, don't you think?]

New Quotes Added to quotes.htm this month:
English experience indicates that when two political parties agree about something, it is generally wrong.
— G. K. Chesterton (Consider this as the Tax Rebate Bill is passed.)

Nobody is smart enough to be wrong all the time.
Ken Wilber (Webpage )

This set below was sent in by Kiki Burgereit, thanks, Kiki!

  • Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go
    Oscar Wilde ( British Playwright )

  • He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.
    — Winston Churchill

  • I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.
    — Clarence Darrow

  • He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.
    — William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)

  • I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it.
    — Groucho Marx

  • I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.
    — Mark Twain

  • He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.
    — Oscar Wilde

  • I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play, bring a friend . . . if you have one.
    — George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

  • Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second . . . if there is one.
    — Winston Churchill to Shaw, in response

  • I feel so miserable without you, it's almost like having you here.
    — Stephen Bishop

  • He is a self-made man and worships his creator.
    — John Bright

  • I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial.
    — Irvin S. Cobb

  • He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others.
    — Samuel Johnson

  • He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.
    — Paul Keating

  • He had delusions of adequacy.
    — Walter Kerr

  • Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?
    — Mark Twain

  • His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.
    — Mae West

New Stuff about Website:
  • The Top 5 ARJ2 Reviews in 2007
    (Total of 25,000 Readers) :

    1. Jean-Dominique Bauby's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly .

    A movie is coming out on this one, causing large jump in readership of this Review.
    Excerpt from Review:

    With "locked-in" syndrome due to some event in his brain stem, Bauby is completely paralyzed, able only to move his left eye and blink. Otherwise completely rational, this former editor of Elle, a prestigious Parisian magazine published in twenty plus countries, is completely bed-ridden, breathes through a respirator [diving bell], and is fed through a feeding tube. Using his eye blinks, he is able to communicate and write this book.

    2. Evelyn Waugh's The Loved One

    A funny and insightful look at Hollywood funeral practices by the Englishman, Evelyn Waugh (EEVE'- LYNN WHAW). A Perennially popular ARJ Review.
    Excerpt from Review:

    This book is full of "Loved Ones" — every day brings new Loved Ones to the hero, Dennis Barlow, and the heroine, Aimée Thanatogenos. Each loved one gets tender loving care, whether it's a shampoo, a hair-do, a manicure and nail polish, a new smile, flesh-colored make-up, or twenty minutes to an hour and a half in the cremation oven. Dennis handles the cremations for his Loved Ones at the pet cemetery called the "Happier Hunting Grounds" which models itself after the ritzy human cemetery, "Whispering Glades," where Aimée is the"cosmetician of the Orchid Room" who does the shampoos, hair-do's, manicures, nail polish, and flesh-colored make-up for her Loved Ones. If "Whispering Glades" sounds like Forest Lawn, one can only reflect thoughtfully on this prefatory "Warning" by Waugh, "This is a purely fanciful tale, a little nightmare produced by the unaccustomed high living of a brief visit to Hollywood."

    3. John O'Donohue's Anam Cara — A Book of Celtic Wisdom

    Here is an amazing book by a Catholic theologian. My friend Len Daley recommended this book to me. Got time to live dangerously a little? Read this fine book.
    Excerpt from Review:

    "Speaking is an art — it breaks the silence — it destroys the sameness of the still air that it fills with vibrations. In this life we are but a song on a record, a cut on a CD, a single melody on the long-playing record of our immortal spirit." I wrote these words in the margins as I was reading the first pages of the Prologue. Any book that can inspire me so quickly, that can set my thoughts flying lyrically so early, belongs in a special place on my shelf, its words in a special place in my heart. On every page I found more inspiring words to set my thoughts into flight.

    Have you, dear Reader, ever considered friendship to be a sacrament? I hadn't, up until now. One almost needs to fasten one's seatbelt while reading O'Donohue's words.

    [page xvii] Human presence is a creative and turbulent sacrament, a visible sign of invisible grace. Nowhere is there such intimate and frightening access to the mysterious. Friendship is the sweet grace that liberates us to approach, recognize, and inhabit this adventure.

    [page xix] Time is eternity living dangerously.

    4. Annie Dillard's An American Childhood

    Here is a marvelous book about the childhood of what I consider to be the finest American writer of our time. Slide into her book and it will fit you like a glove.
    Excerpt from Review:

    [page 3] When everything else has gone from my brain — the President's name, the state capitals, the neighborhoods where I lived, and then my own name and what it was on earth I sought, and at length the faces of my friends, and finally the faces of my family — when all this has dissolved, what will be left, I believe, is topology: the dreaming memory of land as it lay this way and that.

    In this wonderful book Annie Dillard writes about the "dreaming memory of the land" and conjures up her past in this reader as his very own "dreaming memory." A memory of Ben Franklin's Pennsylvania when "a squirrel could run the long length of Pennsylvania without ever touching the ground." A memory of her beloved Pittsburgh in the 1950's.

    If a book like this one ever gets in your head, you just gotta set out to see the territory that it portrays. Life on the Mississippi got into her father's head and he had to set out down the river. He never made it all the way to New Orleans, but his daughter grew up, woke up, and found herself at home in Pittsburgh. In the following metaphor she describes how consciousness converged with her at 10 years old:

    [page 11] Like any child, I slid into myself perfectly fitted, as a diver meets her reflection in a pool. Her fingertips enter the fingertips on the water, her wrists slide up her arms. The diver wraps herself in her reflection wholly, sealing it at the toes, and wears it as she climbs rising from the pool, and ever after.

    5. Joseph LeDoux's The Emotional Brain — The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life

    An amazing look at how our brain stores emotions as bodily states by the Neurological Researcher, Joseph LeDoux.Much of my early research into the underpinnings of the science of doyletics came from LeDoux's fine work as documented in this book. A must-read for doyletics researchers.
    Excerpt from Review:

    Emotional memories of all types are with us for life, until they are removed either consciously or unconsciously. Some may be removed unconsciously during the maturation process, and the others may be removed by a conscious doyle trace. Some regulation of the expression of these emotional memories is possible through cognitive therapy, but the permanent removal of recalcitrant and resistant unwanted emotional memories requires a doyle trace. The expression, "indelibly burnt into the brain," reminds me of what, in computers terms, is called a read-only memory or ROM. It can only be read and not written, therefore it stays exactly the same forever. With the advent of doyletics , we must re-examine whether emotional memories in the amygdala are stored as PROM instead, that is, a programmable (changeable) read-only memory, one that is changeable only by some special process, for example, a doylic memory trace, a speed trace.

    Look at these three related quotes:
    Although this may seem obvious, the study of emotion has been so focused on the problem of emotional consciousness that the basic underlying emotional mechanisms have often been given short shrift. (page 282)
    It's hard to believe that after all these years we actually still don't have a clear and definitive understanding of the role of body states in emotions. (page 295)
    Although thoughts can easily trigger emotions (by activating the amygdala), we are not very effective at willfully turning off emotions (by deactivating the amygdala). Telling yourself that you should not be anxious or depressed does not help much. (page 303)

    These quotes point out that the basic emotional mechanism involves the amygdala's storage and retrieval of physical body states. By doing a doyle trace one can be quickly convinced that it is possible to remove indelible, burnt-in emotional memories like anxiety and depression. One cannot judge the food by eating the menu; one must taste the food.

  • New Stuff on the Internet:
    • Thanks to Max Green for this link:
      HEMA is a Dutch department store. The first store opened on November 4, 1926, in Amsterdam. Now there are 150 stores all over the Netherlands. HEMA also has stores in Belgium, Luxemburg, and Germany. In June of this year, HEMA was sold to British investment company Lion Capital.

      Take a look at HEMA's product page You can't order anything and it's in Dutch but just wait a couple of seconds and watch what happens. This company has a sense of humor and a great computer programmer. [Turn on your sound first.]


    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 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, and all of the original dialogue. Often you get the Director's Cut Edition which adds back excellent footage that was cut from the theater releases.
    P. S. Look for HD/DVD format movies which are now available from NetFlix.
    Hits (Watch as soon as you can. A Don't Miss Hit is one you might otherwise ignore.):
    “The Terminal” 2nd Viewing (1st in digest051) (2004) “Are you a little Krakozian or something?” Tom Hanks delights with a marvelous portrayal of the stranded Krakozian in JFK Terminal Building. Second viewing, knowing how movie ends, was easier to savor and enjoy the many subplots of this delicious movie. Tucci, Zeta-Jones, round out a superb cast of this DON’T MISS HIT !
    “As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me” (2003) “A promise spoken is a promise which cannot be broken” his 6 yr-old-daughter tells Clemens before the German soldier ships out from Germany to the Russian front where he is captured and shipped to a prison in the frozen Siberian wilderness near the Bering Strait. He escapes and begins an 8,000 mile journey on foot in the winter towards home. This is excellent movie portrayal of this true story of a father’s love for his family. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! ! !
    “The Book and the Rose” (2001) Best 30 minute movie I ever saw. Great story of “The Book”, a First Edition of Anna Karenina, and the Rose Bookplate in the back which identified the reader who loved writing in the margins and whose writing sparked a love affair with the new owner of the Book.
    “Stardust” (2007) Claire Danes literally stars in this intriguing movie. A magical tale of a boy who wanders through a hole in the wall of the small town of Wall, England, enters a secret kingdom, and finds a fallen star. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! ! ! !
    “Waitress” (2006) is gonna bake you a pie with a heart in the middle and you’re gonna enjoy every bit of this delicious DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
    “Batman Begins” (2005) If you avoided this movie because it was “just another Batman movie”, think again. This movie has a heart that beats with the Batman comic book roots and gives us the psychological back story of Bruce Wayne’s obsession with bats. In HD-DVD and a Don’t Miss Hit.
    “From the Hip” (1987) Judd Nelson as Robin “Stormy” Weathers, just out of law school with a large firm. He maneuvers himself into getting assigned a case and all havoc breaks loose in the courtroom. Amazing performances by Ray Walston as the judge, Darrin McGavin as a senior partner, John Hurt as the murder suspect, and Elizabeth Perkins as Robin’s fiancé. Get ready for a rollicking good time. Has all the ingredients of “A Few Good Men” and Judd Nelson outdoes Tom Cruise because he actually has a sense of humor! A DON’T MISS HIT ! !
    “The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio” (2005) is a fun look at love in mid-20th Century. Julianne Moore as mother of 10 married to an abusive, drunk Irishman who spends all his income on booze, and she submits contest entries to win prizes which are cashed in to support her family. An eye-opener for newly marrieds today of how things were done back then in a male-dominated society. But her ebullient optimism conquers all. Heart-rending and tender this is about defiance and winning. Great lines such as “Defiance, a great place to leave.” and “ Death by Jell-O is highly unlikely.” A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
    “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not” (1997) Claire Danes (Daisy) and Jude Law as high school sweethearts in this poignant portrayal as Daisy is pulled apart by love and alienation. Jeanne Moreau as Daisy’s feisty Nana has a number of her own. (Not to be confused with 2002 Audrey Tautou french film of the same title, different plot. See digest057.)
    “Pierrepoint” (2005) Albert “Peerpoint” lives a cover story as a delivery man in his truck, but his real day job is hangman for England. Monty chooses him to dispatch the war criminals after WWII and his notoriety blows his cover and his composure.
    “American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile” (2006) As a senior and a virgin, Adam has the Stifler reputation of rampant womanizer to live down, and his buddies have the sure cure: the one mile naked coed run across a local campus. This is a fun movie with an ending that is too good to miss.
    “Muriel’s Wedding” (1994) Toni Collette goes de-Collette in Sidney, marries a hunk in her dream wedding, and finally begins telling herself and others the truth. A big, fat Australian wedding starring a family of slugs. In Porpoise Spit, she ain’t worth spit, but as she leaves her hometown, a Sheila with an attitude, the town’s sign says, “Missing you already” and “You can’t stop progress.”
    “Rock School” (2005) is a private school run by Peter Pan aka Paul Green who teaches young wannabe rock stars to play the toughest Frank Zappa songs. You’ll be bowing down in admiration as he takes his young charges to play in Germany at a Zappa Festival as the Zappa flute player did. “The hottest band in town,” Alice Cooper said as he sang with them as the credits rolled.
    “Jeff Dunham” (2007) The best ventriloquist since Jerry Mahoney and Edgar Bergen, Jeff has Walter, this old guy with a scowl on his face who is hilarious just to look at. This is a show in front of an audience, one you don’t have to be in, Thank God! No Walter to pick on you. He’s like a mahogany version of Don Rickles. An hour and a half of laughs! Viewed instantly on NetFlix.
    “The Bourne Ultimatum” (2007) is now on DVD and we watched it again after only 4 months. The drama and the pulse of this movie is incessant and it pulls you through to the end. In the end Jason takes a swan dive, but he wasn't singing, and soon swam away to live another day as David Webb, or will he?
    “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” Book 5 (2007) (2nd Viewing, see 078) On DVD this time, we wanted to refresh our memory in prep for Book 6, The Mud-Blood Prince coming up soon. Dramatic scenes of Dumbledore and Waldemore dueling it out. Harry’s life get more precarious with each episode.
    “Pride and Prejudice” (2005) is set in an authentic house with real people, mud, and clutter befitting a not-so-rich Bennett family trying to place its daughters into better conditions. Keira Knightly is superb as Lizzie — one can feel her heart throb when Darcy comes around. Jane Austen’s work never grows stale, it only gets better as it ages.
    “King of California” (2007) What’s a teenage gal to do when her dad comes out of two years in a mental hospital still crazy as ever? He’s seeing naked Chinese men swimming ashore with plastic bags. She follows him around with surveying tools to finally locate the lost treasure of California buried beneath a giant Costco Warehouse Sales building. An amazing superposition of new and old California and a new and old Douglas with Michael playing a crazy man like Kirt did.

    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.

    This is England” (2006) THIS IS ENGLAND!?!? Forget it! A DVD STOMPER to the MAX! ! ! ! !
    “Grandma’s Boy” (2006) Video games rule for Alex who gets kicked out of his apartment and moves in with his grandma. A movie that is DOOM’ed from the start.
    “Old School” (2003) Luke Wilson is taken advantage of by Vince Vaughn time and time when he comes up with ridiculous schemes such as turning Luke’s new house into a fraternity house for all ages. This movie may be dumb, but it’s not funny.
    “Klimt” (2006) — a collage of diverse images from his life; more like one of his paintings than a movie. His art may be memorable, Malkovich may be a great actor, but this movie sucks.
    “Madea's Family Reunion (2002 Stage Play on DVD)” Madea is a foul mouth broad who bosses everyone around. One can hear such a gal on many corners in New Orleans — not a fun or novel experience for a native to spend time watching or anyone else IMHO.

    Your call on these — your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:

    “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada” (2005) Tommy Lee Jones at his grungiest cowboy best takes his Mexican friend home across the border after he was killed by a border patrol officer. This bare description gives you no idea of the poignant, funny and unexpected bits which this journey entails. HIT
    “Yesterday” (2004) is the name of a poor Zulu mother raising her daughter ‘Beauty’ alone in the barren country far from civilization while her husband works the underground mines in Johannesburg. She contracts a deadly virus and this is her struggle against the elements of life to survive and get her daughter an education. Poignant and heart-rending.
    “I’m Reed Fish” (2007) In Mud Meadows, the morning radio show personality is Reed Fish. “You’re on with the Fish”, Reed answers his phone and arranges for fixing problems, just like his dad did for years. His own problems are with his girl friends, and his dad is not around to fix those for him. This is a movie within a movie within a movie, so get ready for head-shaking double-takes.
    “Light Keeps Me Company” (2000) and Sven Nykvist portrays it on the screen using only three lights. Sven is the cinematography genius who worked with Ingmar Bergman and many other Swedish film greats. A long, loving look at his life and works.
    “Evan Almighty” (2006) An Almighty Boor and Bore. A flood of idiots, and in HD-DVD you can count every one! Al Mighty damns a dam and has a Martin-Short-wannabe building an ark. Noah kidding.
    “Respiro” (2002) Directed by Crialese of “Golden Door”, a film about a manic-depressive mother of three children who constantly upsets the town and her husband with her antics. Interesting look at small-town Sicily mores.
    “American Pie Presents: Beta House” (2007) Beta House is like “Animal House” with tits showing.
    “Onegin” (1999) Ralph Fiennes stars with Liv Tyler in love off-again, on-again. Enthralling period piece about a Russian prince who is a lazy frog and gets squashed by the princess instead of kissed.
    “American Pie Presents: Beta House” (2007) Beta House is like “Animal House” with tits showing.

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    Boudreaux and Thibodaux were doing their usual Saturday night thing at T-Al's bar — drinking beer and bragging.

    After about six longneck Dixies apiece, Thibodaux looks over and says to Boudreaux, "Let's have one more beer and den go find us some hot Cajun women."

    Boudreaux shakes his head and says, "Oh, not me. Ah got more den ah can handle at home."

    Thibodaux, well-lubricated by now, shrugs his shoulders and replies, "Mais, dat's fine. Get us anutter Dixie and den let's go over to your house!"

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    5. RECIPE of the MONTH for February, 2008 from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen:
    (click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
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    Freezing Parsley, Cilantro, etc.

    Background on Freezing Parsley, Cilantro, etc.:

    I like to use parsley in many of my Cajun meals, and don't want to run to the store every time for some fresh parsley. I tried growing it in the back yard and that usually costs more and is more trouble than just buying it. Another problem is that a bunch of parsley is always too much for the dishes I make and fresh parsley doesn't last long enough in the refrigerator to be worth saving. I tried freezing chopped parsley, but it gets filled with frost which changes the taste. I make guacamole from time to time and need a small amount of cilantro for that. [See Guac This Way recipe.] Here's a way to store one bunch of chopped parsley in the freezer for up to a year with minimal frozen and yet be able to use a fifth of a bunch at any one time.

    5 Snack Pack Ziplocktm bags
    1 Quart size Freezer bag.
    1 bunch of parsley or cilantro.
    1 toothpick and 1 drinking straw


    Chop the parsley or cilantro fine.
    Open the five Snack Pack size Ziplock Bags.
    Place about one-fifth of the chopped parsley or cilantro into each bag.
    Roll the bag around, like rolling a cigarette, until the contents are in a tubular form in the bottom of the bag.

    Place the toothpick on one edge of the ziplock sealing track, butt up against the end of the track, roll the bag over while squeezing the air out until the roll reaches the tip of the toothpick, squeeze the air out once more, then gently remove toothpick while sealing the ziplock slider the rest of the way to the end of the track. Place the filled Snack Pack bag into the bottom of the Quart Size Ziplock Freezer back.

    Do the same for the rest of the Snack Pack bags until you have a row of five individual servings of parsley or cilantro lying next to each other in the Freezer bag.

    Remove the air from the Freezer Bag using a drinking straw. Place it like the toothpick in the farthest edge of the ziplock track, close the ziplock slider butt up against the straw. Now, suck all the air out. Keep sucking while you position your hands to move the ziplock slider tight against the far edge while you pull the straw out. Done carefully, you'll let no air into the package. See Photo.

    This arrangement will allow you to remove one or two packs for your cooking without disturbing the others.

    Cooking Instructions
    When using one of the frozen packs for cooking, rip the Snack Pack off while it's still frozen, then chop the tube again, to add the ingredients to your cooking pot or bowl

    Other options
    Another ingredient I use a lot is Rotel chopped tomatoes with hot chili peppers in it. Often a full can of Rotel makes my dish too peppery. To use a half can of Rotel, I simply place the other half in a Snack Pack. Since it's liquid, I seal it by simply ensuring all the air bubbles out one end of the ziplock track before I close it and seal it. Also, since its liquid, no need to worry about frost forming inside air gaps like with chopped ingredients. Also, since it's liquid you don't need a quart freezer bag (which would be too big).

    Leftover jambalaya or crawfish eggplant dressing can also be frozen in Half-gallon Ziplock Freezer bags. Best to have juicy ingredients to prevent frost forming between the grains. I take the ingredient and under-fill the bag so that it will lie flat. Then I separate the ingredients into three tubes parallel to the ziplock slider (top of bag). I make a thumb-size flat area a third of the way up from the bottom of the bag, and then roll that third into a tube, then divide the rest in half and roll over the second tube. Then seal it using either the toothpick or straw method to remove any air. If you do the air removal correctly, you will achieve an air-free freezing equivalent to those expensive food sealing systems you see advertized on Info-mercials on TV. The difference here is there is nothing to break and you never run out of material for storing items in the freezer safely and frost-free.

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    6. POETRY by BOBBY from Flowers of Shanidar:
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    Dance of Energy

    A ladybug
           is in the tub
       as I pull the plug.

    As she swims,
        the water that washes against her shell
        has earlier washed Against every part of my body.

    In the ocean
        is water that has washed
        every part of Mother Earth's body
        and dissolved within itself,
        evenly distributed:

    Silt of the Mississippi, Nile, and Po,
        minerals from the gorge of the Grand Canyon,
        the angular outcroppings of the young Appalachians and
        detritus of 3 billion years of baths and showers
        by the Mother of Us All.

    And when we bathe our bodies in her ocean,
        we, like you, dear Ladybug,
        rub the molecules of our shell
        with molecules of our Mother's body

    And in the dance of molecules exchange our fields of energy.

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    7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for February:
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    And for my Good Readers, here’s the new reviews and articles for this month. The ARJ2 ones are new additions to the top of A Reader’s Journal, Volume 2, Chronological List, and the ART ones to A Reader’s Treasury.

    1.) ARJ2: Founding a Science of the Spirit, GA#95, 14 Lectures, Stuttgart, Aug-Sept, 1906 by Rudolf Steiner

    By my latest count I have read and reviewed 157 books by Rudolf Steiner. What would possess me to read a general survey such as this one? Before I answer this question, read what Brien Masters writes in the Introduction to this book.

    [page ix] Many may reach the end of the book with the question: If the wide-ranging panorama that Steiner presents is a 'general survey', what would a detailed account of the worlds he is introducing be like? An answer is to be gleaned, or course, by looking at the whole oeuvre of Steiner's work.

    In studying something new, it's always best, I've found, to know all about before you start. But one must always start even the journey of a thousand miles with one step, or in the case of Steiner, with one book, one lecture, one page, one sentence at a time. After reading and studying a large portion of Steiner's oeuvre, I thought it would be useful to read a general survey against which I might calibrate my own assimilated knowledge of Steiner's work. The very length and depth of this review compared to my earlier review of the book under this title, At the Gates of Spiritual Science, is an indication of my own increased understanding of his work.

    In this review, I will share with you, dear Reader, those portions of this book that I find interesting so that you will decide to pick up this book and read it. There are few general surveys of Steiner's works. This one came in a series of lectures in Stuttgart in 1906 "intended to give a general survey of the whole field of theosophical thought" as Steiner says in the first sentence of Lecture 1 on page 1 of this book. When Steiner years later abandoned the Theosophical Society, he continued doing exactly the same things and teaching in the same ways he had been all along, but he called it "anthroposophical thought". The only difference from Steiner's later works that one will notice in this book is his usage of recondite theosophical names which he later supplanted with more descriptive and easier to understand anthroposophical names.

    What is the purpose of a "science of the spirit" as the title indicates? Steiner says it is to "unravel the riddle of man." For many millennia, this science was hidden from the public and thus its historical name of "occult science", but it is clearly Steiner's self-assigned task to make the hidden visible in a practical way.

    [page 3] The purpose of occult science has always been to unravel the riddle of man. Everything said in these lectures will be from the standpoint of practical occultism; they will contain nothing that is mere theory and cannot be put into practice.

    Man has a physical, etheric, and astral body. One of the practical exercises Steiner explains in greater detail in other places, he indicates here by the phrase "suggest away." One suggests away the physical body and one will see a "reddish-blue light like a phantom, whose radiance is a little darker than peach blossom." That is the etheric body, which one never sees if one does this exercise on a mineral such as a crystal. Plants cannot feel please pleasure or pain while animals and humans can which indicates that plants lack the additional principle, an astral body which contains desire, passion, etc. The fourth body of Man comes to our awareness when we use the name "I" to refer to ourselves. It is a name which came into appearance in human languages only in recent millennia at the same time this member of our being became more developed and important. In the Bible it appeared to Moses in a burning bush and when Moses asked who he should say sent him, it answered, "Tell them the 'I Am' sent you." It is the voice of God speaking within our soul which allows us to say, "I am". Our "I" works upon the three lower bodies and refines them into three higher bodies, the manas, the buddhi, and the atma, which Steiner later renamed as the Spirit Self, Life Spirit and Spirit Human. In this first lecture, "The Being of Man", Steiner rounds out the full sevenfold human being with a brief description on pages 7 and 8 of these upper three members, which is essential reading for beginning students of his spiritual science. In us, during our present stage of development, our first four bodies are present and operational, with the physical body, as the oldest and our "I" or Ego as the youngest. Our newly formed Ego works on the lower three bodies of physical, etheric, and astral, to refine them into atma, buddhi, and manas, beginning with the astral body and moving backward to the oldest body, the physical.

    [page 8] In every human being four members are fully formed, the fifth only partly, the sixth and seventh in rudiment only. Physical body, etheric body, astral body, 'I' or ego, Manas, Buddhi, Atma — these are the seven members of man's nature; through them he can participate in three worlds.

    What are these three worlds? The world of the physical, the world of soul, and the world of spirit. (Page 10) These worlds are not separated, but interweave each other, even though, with our seeing and hearing, we can only perceive the physical world. The other two worlds require spiritual organs of seeing and hearing to be developed. He compares our state now vis-a-vis the other two worlds as Helen Keller's state of being unable to see the two worlds of sight and sound. We differ from her in that she could not develop a way to see and hear, but we are capable of spiritual organs of seeing and hearing to perceive the worlds of soul and spirit. Steiner says on Page 10, "The spiritual eyes and ears of each and everyone can be opened, if we bring enough patience and perseverance to the task."

    Many things are reversed in the astral or soul world to what they are in the physical world. Numbers are reversed, colors are reversed, and time sequences are reversed such that the effect will precede the cause. Many of these reversal effects appear in fairy tales, such as when the frog turns into a handsome prince or the ugly old witch turns into the beautiful princess. "All myths, legends, religions and folk-poetry help towards the solution of the riddles of the world, and are founded on the inspiration of initiates." (Page 12)

    "Every lie is a murder in the astral world." Steiner says, adding that, "No proverb is more untrue than the one which says: 'Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

    [page 13] Every thought and every feeling is a reality, and if I let myself think that someone is bad or that I don't like him, then for anyone who can see into the astral world this thought is like an arrow or thunderbolt hurled against the other's astral body and injuring it as a gunshot would. . . . When we make this truth known we are not preaching morality but laying a solid foundation for it.
          If we speak the truth about our neighbor, we are creating a thought which the seer can recognize by its color and form, and it will be a thought which gives strength to our neighbor. Any thought containing truth finds its way to the being whom it concerns and lends him strength and vigor. If I speak lies about him, I pour out a hostile force which destroys and may even kill him. In this way every lie is an act of murder. Every spoken truth creates a life-promoting element; every lie, an element hostile to life. Anyone who knows this will take much greater care to speak the truth and avoid lies than if he is merely preached at and told he must be nice and truthful.

    The devachanic plane is a higher spiritual plane and entering it is similar to Helen Keller's gaining her hearing — we gain a spiritual organ of hearing. We continue to see the astral or soul world and hear the devachanic or spiritual world.

    [page 15] . . . we hear the devachanic, and we see the astral, but under a changed aspect, offering us a remarkable spectacle. We see everything in the negative, as though on a photographic plate. Where a physical object exists, there is nothing; what is light in the physical world appears dark, and vice versa. We see things, too, in their complementary colors: yellow instead of blue, green instead of red.

    We have four bodies active in us while we are awake, physical, etheric, astral, and Ego. When we fall asleep the astral and Ego leave the physical body and etheric body. Without an etheric body, the physical body becomes a corpse; with it, it remains asleep. Sometimes the etheric body leaves the physical body while we are awake, such as when our leg "falls asleep". A seer will notice a second leg (the etheric leg) alongside the sleeping leg. When we are faced with a near-death experience, it is well-known that our "life flashes before our eyes." Those memories of our life are stored in the etheric body, and if it is suddenly dislodged from our physical body while our astral body is present (thus giving us consciousness of the event), then we will see this diorama of our life arise in our consciousness. Steiner explains in more detail how this happens.

    [page 21] While the etheric body is firmly rooted in the physical body, as normally it is, its vibrations cannot act on the brain sufficiently to become conscious, because the physical body with its coarser rhythms conceals them. But in moments of deadly danger the etheric body is loosened, and with its memories it detaches itself from the brain so that a person's whole life flashes before his soul. At such moments everything that has inscribed on the etheric body reappears; hence also the recollection of the whole past life immediately after death. This lasts for some time, until the etheric body separates from the astral body and the ego.

    This life review occurs immediately upon dead when the etheric body separates from the physical body, but is still associated for a short time with the astral body. The next region the newly dead encounter is called Kamaloka, the place of desires. Our body has appetites, our soul has desires. When we eat we satisfy our appetite and our desire to eat at the same time. In Kamaloka we have no appetite as we have no body, but in our soul the desire for food can remain, and these can be especially strong for someone who greatly enjoyed food while alive. This is one example of a desire which cannot be satisfied.

    The soul is filled with all kinds of burning desires with no way to satisfy them, like a lost person in a desert with no water to slake their thirst. But the difference is that the desert is not on the outside, but on the inside of the soul who has not weaned itself from these desires for things of the physical world. Thus it can be seen that a materialist will suffer greatly during Kamaloka. Every soul must purify and cleanse itself of desires before leaving Kamaloka. This process of cleansing takes the amount of time that one spent asleep during one's life, about one-third of the normal lifetime. We pass through Kamaloka by living through our entire lifetime backwards. Each night in dreamless sleep we do a mini-kamaloka process and go over the day's activities in reverse order. Each of the daylong pieces of retro-living is strung together during Kamaloka and thus its duration is equal to the total amount of time we spent asleep. As we go through this process wean ourselves from our earthly life.

    [page 23] What is the point of this? The point is that we have to pause at every event and learn how to wean ourselves form everything we enjoyed in our earthly life, but in such a way that we have to do without all this; it offers us no satisfaction. And so we gradually learn to disengage ourselves from physical.

    The one who suffers the most from death in Kamaloka is the suicide. A natural death, even if it arises unexpectedly "has in fact been prepared for well in advance" (page 24), so the separation of the three bodies is easy. But suicide is sudden, often violent, and the body is usually healthy. All this causes the suicide intense pain and suffering. The deep despair and painful fate of the suicide is vividly portrayed in the recent movie, "What Dreams May Come."

    [page 24] This is a ghastly fate: the suicide feels as though he had been plucked out of himself, and he begins a fearful search for the physical body of which he was so suddenly deprived. Nothing else bears comparison with this. You may retort that the suicide who is weary of life no longer has any interest in it; otherwise he would not have killed himself. But that is a delusion, for it is precisely the suicide who wants too much from life. Because it has ceased to satisfy his desire for pleasure, or perhaps because some change of circumstances has involved him in a loss, he takes refuge in death. And that is why his feeling of deprivation when he finds himself without a body is unspeakably severe.

    One who had already weaned oneself from onerous desires will have an easier time in Kamaloka, but will still have to deal with one's interactions during life with other living beings. If you have caused pain to another living being on occasion, you will have to live through that pain in Kamaloka as if it had been inflicted upon you. It is best to practice empathy while in the flesh so as to be ready for it to be thrust upon you in Kamaloka.

    At birth the physical body is released into the world, but the baby's etheric and astral bodies are devoted to constructing the physical body up until the seventh year. This is the time at which the baby teeth, which were formed in its mother's body, are finally replaced by teeth formed within the child's own body. This marks the completion of the first seven year period of the human being. Each seven year period or septad marks an important phase of growth, and the second septad, from 7 through 14, is a crucial one for the education of the child.

    After the age of seven, the etheric becomes open and available to the external world. Since the etheric body is the organ of memory, memory tasks are appropriate to children during this next seven year stage of their growth. It is also the time for art and music skills to be encouraged. Also it is a great time for telling them stories and fairy tales. Allow them to develop their own comparisons with the external world, but avoid trying to develop their judgment during this time. Avoid abstract explanations when they ask, "Why?", but instead give them examples and images. If the child asks about life and death, the example of the butterfly and its chrysalis is useful. The most important tool of parents and teachers during this time is authority, but it must be a natural authority based on sound insights and educational principles.

    With the next stage beginning at fourteen and puberty, the astral body is liberated to interact with the outside world, and judgment and criticism will come to the fore, as any parent of teenagers will testify. When our youngest son was a teenager, we hung a sign on the wall where he passed to go out everyday which said, "Hire a teenager, while they still know everything!" So the three stages or septads of growth focus on example (0-7), authority (7-14), and judgment (14-21).

    So much erroneous information exists about reincarnation and karma, that finding a place to start is difficult. Can humans be reincarnated as animals? Not a chance. A human's destiny is individual while an animal's destiny is tied up with the group soul of its species (an Ego which exists only in the astral plane). Each human has its own Ego in the physical plane of Earth and therefore has its own unique destiny as any entire species of animal has. Therefore a human being can never reincarnate as an animal.

    Another source of confusion is the thought that karma predestines us to do such and such an act. Surely if you had prepared a banquet table ahead of time, you would expect to eat certain delicacies from it, but at no point are you forced to eat those foods just because you did the planning. The choice is always individual, especially the preparations you make for this lifetime before entering it — it is like a banquet table you prepared for yourself.

    The Christ event of the Mystery of Golgotha was precisely a balancing deed of karma, rightly understood. Steiner says on page 51 that "the testament of Christ is in fact the teaching of karma and reincarnation." Elsewhere Steiner states that the knowledge of reincarnation was discouraged by Christ for the past two thousand years in order to encourage Man to learn to make the best of this one life, especially to learn about how the physical world works.

    In this next passage, Steiner reveals an amazing answer to the question of why God would allow evil to exist. He says basically that evil is to Man as manure is to a garden. He adds that the "the power needed to overcome evil will yield a power that can reach the heights of holiness." (Page 66)

    [page 66] A field has to be treated with manure and the manure has to enter the soil and activate it; similarly, humanity needs the manure of evil in order to attain to the highest holiness. And herein lies the mission of evil. A person's muscles become strong through use; and equally, if good is to rise to the heights of holiness, it must first overcome the evil which opposes it. The task of evil is to promote the ascent of man. Things such as this give us a glimpse into the secret of life. Later on, when man has overcome evil, he can go on to redeem the creatures he has thrust down, and at whose cost he has ascended. That is the purpose of evolution.

    As unlikely as it might seem, Christ as the world's Redeemer came to Earth and died as a human being to pay us back for the deed of thrusting us down into materiality that had been earlier performed by a fellow high spirit, Lucifer. The deed from such a high level of spirituality could not be undone by the humans upon which it was performed — it required a deed from the same level from which the thrusting downward was performed. Christ gave us the ultimate example of how, out of the greatest evil — the slaying of the most innocent of Men, can come the greatest holiness.

    In Lecture Ten, Steiner gives a quick reprise of the "Evolution of Mankind Up To Atlantean Times". Especially important is his elaboration of how the luciferic spirits evolved only part-way during the Moon phase and became important to the evolution of human beings. Remember how the fire breathed during the Moon phase moved into our blood during the Earth phase? The luciferic spirits used that fire to fire up our blood for independence. The race of Atlanteans suffered a great catastrophe, sinking beneath the Atlantic Ocean without leaving any archaeological traces, but the people of the great continent who managed to escape before the sinking populated the land we know as Ireland today, and the people we know as Celts became the carrier of civilization across into Europe and as far east as the farthest reaches of Asia, leaving behind along the way, the various Toltecs, Semites, Akkadians, Mongols, and others.

    Human ability to perceive the spiritual world directly faded as humans entered the Post-Atlantean cultural ages of India, Persia, Egypto-Chaldean, Greco-Roman, and our current age. Here's how the old India human viewed touching Nature:

    [page 94] Whereas the Atlantean could still discern the Godhead in every leaf, the Indian said: 'The Godhead is no longer apparent in the outer world. I must sink into my inner being and seek for Him in my heart; I must follow after Him towards a higher spiritual condition.'

    The ancient Persian in the next cultural age, saw the external world not as something that must be moved away from in internal musings, but rather as something that must be worked with and shaped into creations by human beings. The rays of the Sun were understood to be the outer vestments of the Great Sun spirit, Ahura Mazdao.

    [page 95] The Persian wished to transform nature by work; he became a husbandman, a tiller of the soil. He moved out of the quiet realm of world-renouncing thoughts and learnt from the resistance he encountered that the outer world was not wholly maya. Side by side with the world of spirit he found a real world in which work had to be done.

    The third cultural age can be understood in the Egyptian people who had moved so far from the spiritual reality of the world that they strove to preserve their own bodies in mummy form as a way of achieving immortality. Together with Chaldeans, Assyrians, and Babylonians, they began to study the stars and create the science of astrology to explain how the Nile flooded, for example.

    [page 96] It became clear to them that there was a great wisdom governing all natural processes; that everything happened in accordance with great laws, and these they tried to fathom. The ancient Chaldean priests, above all, were the custodians of profound wisdom, but for them these laws of nature were not merely abstract, nor were the stars merely physical globes. They looked on each planet as ensouled by a being whose body it was. They had a quite concrete conception that behind every constellation was a divine being which gave it life. Thus the Egyptians and Chaldeans discerned that they were spirits living among spirits in a world of spirits. They saw matter as filled with wisdom.

    The fourth age brought us the Greco-Roman culture with its deep decline into materialism. The gods of the Greek were separated from matter and lived wisdom-filled in a distant world called Olympus.

    [page 96, 97] The Greek went further than the Egyptian: instead of taking the finished forms of nature, he took unformed matter, in the shape of marble, and impressed on it his own stamp. He formed his own gods, Zeus and the rest. The third sub-race (Egypt) had sought the spirit in the external world, the fourth (Greco-Roman) impressed the spirit itself on the world. Art, the charming of spirit into matter, was the task reserved for the Greco-Roman race.

    In our own age, we carry the shaping of the material world into new heights with laws of gravity, aeroplanes, televisions, computers, and the world-wide Internet. And we will be succeeded by another age which will lead us to transcend the material world on a return trip to the spiritual world. In summary, humans through the ages have spurned, churned, learned, formed, tamed the material world, and will soon rise above it.

    [page 97] The Indian turned away from the physical. The Persian saw it as a substance which resisted his efforts. The Chaldeans, Babylonians and Egyptians recognized the wisdom in nature. The Greeks and Romans went further in enforcing their inner nature upon the physical plane. Only our own culture has gone so far as to operate with the laws of nature on the physical plane. From now onwards mankind will become more spiritual again.

    Several years ago, my friend Kristina Kaine informed me about the importance of the first 14 verses of the Gospel of John, which prompted me to post those verses on-line here. Reciting the first 14 verses of the John Gospel each morning is a practical way of filling our soul daily with sacred thoughts. This practice goes back to the days of the Essenes. Assiduous recitation of these verses while alive in the flesh will help one to remain linked through love to those souls of loved ones living on Earth when one is alive in the spirit in the world.

    Recently the area of the world in which I live, New Orleans, was hit by a devastating hurricane. The hurricane knocked down trees and power lines, but the major devastation came from several levee breaks which allowed flood waters of heights from one foot to 15 feet to fill about half the city. It had been about 40 years since the last disastrous hurricane in 1967. I rode out Hurricane Betsy in an apartment with my wife and two daughters, and after the storm, I helped an aunt to clean up her house from the flood waters. For years after Betsy, I wondered about what caused hurricanes, and why the major storms never seemed to come back except after several decades. Then I read this Jane Roberts' book, The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, and my unanswered question began to get answered. The human psyche as it exists in the people of an area act as the steering currents for hurricanes. By extension, one can understand that this holds also for other natural catastrophes such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

    Steiner reveals how spiritual science can explain what is really happening when a person is greatly affected by some natural disaster such as a hurricane, earthquake, or volcanic eruption. In addition, Steiner gives us an example of how the effects of an earthly disaster affects the future incarnation lives of those who die during the disaster.

    [page 137] How man's destiny and will are related to happenings in the earth can be seen from two examples which have been occultly investigated. It has been found that many people killed in an earthquake appear in their next incarnation as human beings of high spiritual quality and faith. They had progressed far enough for that final blow to convince them of the transitoriness of earthly things. The effect of this in Devachan was that they learnt a lesson for their next lives: that matter is perishable but spirit prevails. They did not all come to realize that, but many of them are living as people who belong to some spiritual-theosophical movement.

    This is a thumbnail of my review of Founding a Science of the Spirit. The book contains a "general survey" of Rudolf Steiner work as he saw it in 1906 during the early years of his public lecturing. Over the next twenty years, he gave another five thousand plus lectures, most of them dealing with some aspect of his spiritual science, and the rest dealing with some discipline which branched off from his spiritual science, such as bio-dynamic farming, architecture, eurythmy, drama, and education, among other things. His fields of interests had as many facets as a fine diamond, and wherever one moves one's view, there is brilliant light radiating forth to join the dazzling array of rainbow colors.

    Read the Full Review at:

    2.) ARJ2: The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Volume 11 , July 1858 to February 1859 by Henry David Thoreau

    Shortly after I began reading this journal volume in July, I decided to read Thoreau's daily adventures in step with him, 149 years distant from him. By September 12 we were in step and stayed that way through the winter, when by January I decided to pace my way through the rest of the journal ahead of him, knowing that he would catch up with me in a few weeks anyway. This lock step pace allowed me to reflect on the difference in climate from New England and my current home in New Orleans, about 2,000 miles south of Concord. I was thus pleased to read Thoreau's comments on the liberating effects of a lake and especially a river, since New Orleans is situated with a large lake open to the sea on one side and the broadest river in America on the other. In a walk of an hour or so, one can leave the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, walk through downtown New Orleans, and arrive at the banks of the Mississippi River. By Thoreau’s measure, New Orleans has great wings on its back!

    [page 4, 5] There is something in the scenery of a broad river equivalent to culture and civilization. Its channel conducts our thoughts as well as bodies to classic and famous ports, and allies us to all that is fair and great. I like to remember that at the end of half a day's walk I can stand on the bank of the Merrimack. It is just wide enough to interrupt the land and lead my eye and thoughts down its channel to the sea. A river is superior to a lake in its liberating influence. It has motion and indefinite length. A river touching the back of a town is like a wing, it may be unused as yet, but ready to waft it over the world. With its rapid current it is a slightly fluttering wing. River towns are winged towns.

    In this review I expand the number of photos which I began in my reviews of two previous Thoreau Journals, and include a photo for each plant that Thoreau describes in a quoted passage in this review. Here is the first example from July 2, 1858. Photos of the two possible plants are shown for comparison. Note the umbrella-shaped stems with terminating flowers which are common to both, which is what umbelliferous refers to. With no flowers, Thoreau could not unambiguously identify the plant.

    [page 5] I returned through the grass up the winding channel of our little brook to the camp again. Along the brook, in the rank grass and weeds, grew abundantly a slender umbelliferous plant mostly just out of bloom, one and a half to four feet high. Either Thaspium aureum or Cryptotænia Canadensis (Sison).

    While ascending Mt. Washington, Thoreau and Wentworth were invited by a miner to dine with him and his assistant in a mountain shanty. The wind was so strong it blew fire down the stove vent and nearly burnt the shanty down.

    [page 15, 16] July 7. A merry collier and his assistant, who had been making coal for the summit and were preparing to leave the next morning, made us welcome to this shanty, and entertained us with their talk. We here boiled some of our beef-tongues, a very strong wind pouring in gusts down the funnel and scattering the fire about through the cracked stove. This man, named Page, had imported goats on to the mountain, and milked them to supply us with milk for our coffee. The road here ran north and south to get round the ledge. The wind, blowing down the funnel, set fire to a pile of dirty bed-quilts when I was out, and came near burning up the building. . . . The wind blowed(2) very strong and in gusts this night, but he said it was nothing to what it was sometimes, when the building rocked four inches.

    [page 16] July 8. I noticed [this plant] this morning and the night before at and above the limit of trees: Oxalis Acetosella, abundant and in bloom near the shanty and further down the mountain, all over the woods . . .

    Thoreau suggests that one can get lost easily without a compass on the mountaintop because a cloud can envelope it in a fog without any advance warning. Even though one can find a road if one travels in a straight line for 8 or 9 miles, the fog will not allow that without a compass. One will most likely travel in a circle without realizing it. I discovered in my studies of Rudolf Steiner's works that the etheric body moves in circles, an effect which is particularly noticeable in children. They all have a naturally strong etheric body and thus their love of any activity which involves circular motions. This tendency of our etheric body to move in circles remains in adults and that explains why people lost in the woods or in a fog tend to move in circles even though they think they are moving in straight line.

    [page 23] July 8. Descending straight by compass through the cloud, toward the head of Tuckerman's Ravine, we found it an easy descent over, for the most part, bare rocks, not very large, with at length moist springs places, green with sedge, etc., between little sloping shelves of green meadow, where the hellebore grew, within half a mile of top, and the Oldenlandia cærula, or mountain fly-honeysuckle, in bloom, only two specimens; it is found in the western part of Massachusetts.

    In this next passage Thoreau speaks of the need for what we know today as rest areas for the traveler, but he spells out a more simple requirement than parking spots, picnic tables, and sanitary restrooms. He asks merely for places along the road where a weary traveler may stop, make a small fire, and camp over-night during his journey without being yelled at by irate landowners.

    [page 55] July 18. What barbarians we are! The convenience of the traveler is very little consulted. He merely has the privilege of crossing somebody's farm by a particular narrow and maybe unpleasant path. The individual retains all other rights, — as to trees and fruit, and wash of the road, etc. On the other hand, these should belong to mankind inalienably. The road should be of ample width and adorned with trees expressly for the use of the traveler. There should be broad recesses in it, especially at springs and watering-places, where he can turn out and rest, or camp if he will. I feel commonly as if I were condemned to drive through somebody's cow-yard or huckleberry pasture by a narrow lane, and if I make a fire by the roadside to boil my hasty pudding, the farmer comes running over to see if I am not burning up his stuff. You are barked along through the country, from door to door.

    [page 55] July 18. Within one mile of top: Potentilla tridentata, a very little fir, spruce, and canoe birch, one mountain-ash, Alsine Grænlandica, diapensia, . . .

    In this next passage we encounter two usages which seem a bit strange to our eyes and ears today. The spelling of the verb "stayed" and the metaphor for a lightning strike as something "falling" which brings to mind Zeus tossing his thunderbolts to ground in the Greek myths.

    [page 64] July 22. The next of the marsh hawk is empty. It has probably flown. C. and I took refuge from a shower under our boat at Clamshell; staid an hour at least. A thunderbolt fell close by. A mole ran under the boat. The wind canted round as usual (is not this owing to the circular manner of storms?) More easterly, and compelled us to turn the boat over. Left a little too soon, but enjoyed a splendid rainbow for half an hour.

    [page 69] Aug. 2. What I have called the Panicum latifolium has now its broad leaves, striped with red, abundant under Turtle Bank, about Bath-Place.

    A river plant, the bladderwort or utricularia, was apparently in full purple bloom as Thoreau landed his boat near Fair Haven Pond.

    [page 73] Aug. 5. The purple utricularia is the flower of the river to-day, apparently in its prime. It is very abundant, far more than any other utricularia, especially from Fair Haven Pond upward. That peculiar little bay in the pads, just below the inlet of the river, I will call Purple Utricularia Bay, from its prevalence there.

    Thoreau bemoans the value of country life, if one is no longer allowed to pick huckleberries or other wild fruit freely. He says that it "reduces huckleberries to a level with beef-steak." Blueberries are considered to be cultivated huckleberries and lack the ten or so hard seeds.

    [page 78, 79] I suspect that the inhabitants of England and of the Continent of Europe have thus lost their natural rights with the increase of population and of monopolies. The wild fruits of the earth disappear before civilization, or are only to be found in large markets. The whole country becomes, as it were, a town or beaten common, and the fruits left are a few bips and haws.

    Thoreau did not sow or till the soil, so far as I can tell, but he did harvest. He harvested what he saw on his daily walks and in this next passage, he uses harvest as a metaphor to infuse meaning into the description of his walks.

    [page 96] Aug. 12. That very handsome high-colored fine purple grass grows particularly on dry and rather unproductive soil just above the edge of the meadows, on the base of the hills, where the hayer does not deign to swing his scythe. He carefully gets the meadow-hay and the richer grass that borders it, but leaves this fine purple mist for the walker's harvest.

    On the first official day of Fall, Thoreau spies some seed pods, and the next day he makes himself a square sail which he likens to an ox pulling his boat. I daresay there are few people today who would use that metaphor, having never experienced the actual pulling of a plow by an ox. Note how he recognizes the evil of too quick travel is that we spend less time living in the surroundings we pass along the way.

    [page 116] Aug. 21. I still see the patch of epilobium on Bee Tree Hill as plainly as ever, though only the pink seed-vessels and stems are left.

    [page 116, 117] Aug. 22. P. M. — I have spliced my old sail to a new one, and now go out and try it in a sail to Baker Farm. It is a "square sail" some five feet by six. I like it much. It pulls like an ox, and makes me think there's more wind abroad than there is. The yard goes about with a pleasant force, almost enough, I would fain imagine, to knock me overboard. How sturdily it pulls, shooting us along, catching more wind than I knew to be wandering in this river valley. It suggests a new power in the sail, like a Grecian god. I can even worship it, after a heathen fashion. And then, how it becomes my boat and the river, — a simple homely square sail, all for use not show, so low and broad! Ajacean. The boat is like a plow drawn by a winged bull. If I had had this a dozen years ago, my voyages would have been performed more quickly and easily. But then probably I should have lived less in them.

    Thoreau comments on the difficulty of writing of the natural world. One must first acquire the words to use for the things one observes. This reveals in a curious inverted way how valuable Thoreau's Journals can be for someone who loves the out-of-doors: one can find words for things and then discover the thing itself in the wild, growing and living. Thoreau has already done the hard work and we can enjoy the fruit of his labor a century and a half later.

    [page 137] Aug. 29. How hard one must work in order to acquire his language, — words by which to express himself! I have know a particular rush, for instance, for at least twenty years, but have ever been prevented from describing some [of] its peculiarities, because I did not know its name nor any one in the neighborhood could tell me it. With the knowledge of the name comes a distincter recognition and knowledge of the thing. That shore is now more describable, and poetic even. My knowledge was cramped and confined before, and grew rusty because not used, — for it could not be used. My knowledge now becomes communicable and grows by communication. I can now learn what others know about the same thing.

    Aug. 30. P. M. — To bayonet rush by river.

    What we look for we find and in the looking for one thing we miss other things in the process. It is as if our intentions reside in our eyes and creates a selective perceptibility.

    [page 153] Sept. 9. How much more, then, it requires different intentions of the eye and the mind to attend to different departments of knowledge! How differently the poet and the naturalist look at objects! A man sees only what concerns him. A botanist absorbed in the pursuit of grasses does not distinguish the grandest pasture oaks. He as it were tramples down oaks unwittingly in his walk.

    By the end of September in New England the days have gotten shorter. To a traveler who goes on foot such as Thoreau, this has an interesting aspect, which he points out to us.

    [page 188] Sept. 30. Walking early in the day and approaching the rocky shore from the north, the shadows of the cliffs were very distinct and grateful(3) and our spirits were buoyant. Though we walked all day, it seemed the days were not long enough to get tired in.

    While reading Thoreau’s journals about these plants, I have often wondered what a fringed gentian looks like. So I took the opportunity to do a little research and find a photo of one to go with this next passage. From the color of the flowers, one can tell where "Gentian Violet", a very purple antifungal solution once used for coating the umbilical cord stub of a newborn, came from.

    [page 189] Oct. 1. The fringed gentians are now in prime. These are closed in the afternoon, but I saw them open at 12 M. a day or two ago, and they were exceedingly beautiful, especially when there was a single one on a stem. They who see them closed, or in the afternoon only, do not suspect their beauty.

    The levity of Thoreau in this next passage will be missed by any one who does not know what field of study is ornithology.

    [page 191] Oct. 2. The garden is alive with migrating sparrows these mornings. The cat comes in from an early walk amid the weeds. She is full of sparrows and wants no more breakfast this morning, unless it be a saucer of milk, the dear creature. I saw her studying ornithology between the corn-rows.

    The sugar maple trees which decorate Concord's Common so brilliantly each Fall were brought there from the country as straight poles with the tops cut off and were joking referred to as bean-poles. These poles are now like festival poles on which brightly colored flags are hung by Nature every autumn as a golden harvest.

    [page 218, 219] Oct. 18. All children alike can revel in this golden harvest. These trees, throughout the street, are at least equal to an annual festival and holiday, or a week of such, — not requiring any special police to keep the peace, — and poor indeed must be that New England village's October which has not the maple in its streets. This October festival costs no powder nor ringing of bells, but every tree is a liberty-pole on which a thousand bright flags are run up. Hundreds of children's eyes are steadily drinking in this color, and by these teachers even the truants are caught and educated the moment they step abroad. It is as if some cheap and innocent gala-day were celebrated in our town every autumn, — a week or two of such days.

    Is there any greater joy than to go nutting in November? For me, the picking of pecans from the grounds under a majestic pecan tree and eating them as I pick them is a great joy. Thoreau enjoys his daily walks to the post office as if they were nuts he plucked to take home and enjoy in front of the fire on a winter evening. On his solitary walks, he has always a friend nearby.

    [page 274] Nov. 1. And yet there is no more tempting novelty than this new November. No going to Europe or another world is to be named with it. Give me the old familiar walk, post-office and all, with this ever new self, with this infinite expectation and faith, which does not know when it is beaten. We'll go nutting once more. We'll pluck the nut of the world, and crack it in the winter evenings. Theatres and all other sightseeing are puppet-shows in comparison. I will take another walk to the Cliff, another row on the river, another skate on the meadow, be out in the first snow, and associate with the winter birds. Here I am at home. In the bare and bleached crust of the earth I recognize my friend.

    [page 312] Nov. 11. This is the month of nuts and nutty thoughts, — that November whose name sounds so bleak and cheerless. Perhaps its harvest of thought is worth more than all the other crops of the year. Men are more serious now.

    As it gets colder, Thoreau experiences winter's approach and sees the earth breath being exhausted from the ground.

    [page 317, 318] Nov. 13. Last night was quite cold, and the ground is white with frost. Thus gradually, but steadily, winter approaches. First there is the bleached grass, then the frost, then snow, the fields growing more and more hoary. There is frost not only on all the withered grass and stubble, but it is particularly thick and white and handsome around the throat of every hole and chink in the earth's surface, the congealed breath of the earth as it were, so that would think at first it was the entry to some woodchuck's, or squirrel's, or mouse's, retreat. But it is the great dormant earth gone into winter quarter's here, the earth letting off steam after the summer's work is over.

    Thoreau is not a preacher, but at times he crosses the line when some theme such as freedom of speech inflames him, especially when he perceives that preachers of various sects do their best to squelch any such freedom. Thoreau is no man of straw, but a man who takes such deep breaths of inspiration that he would exhaust all the air from one of these so-called preacher's place of worship. He lambasts the church and recommends that the best preachers if they had any manhood, would best leave the church and play baseball! As for magazines, he blasts them with timidity to print a "whole sentence" — anything freely spoken that might intimidate their bulk of subscribers. And to finish his attack, he takes on the meeting houses where he experienced them trembling at the thought of what he might say to them. Is this real Christianity or the mere semblance of it? he asks. Instead, they pick on each other's weak spots and create sores which can never heal. He gives us an example of what happens when such a meeting house has invited him to speak. The silence is deafening when he speaks, but in that silence there is a fructification.

    [page 326, 327] Nov. 16. I have been into the town, being invited to speak to the inhabitants, not valuing, not having read even, the Assembly's Catechism, and I try to stimulate them by reporting the best of my experience. I see the craven priest looking round for a hole to escape at, alarmed because it was he that invited me thither, and an awful silence pervades the audience. They think they will never get me there again. But the seed has not all fallen in stony and shallow ground.

    In one passage we even get to experience with Thoreau the pleasure of skating on ice, in the words of the song, "to know how it feels to have wings on your heels, and to fly down the street," only for him he flies down a nearby frozen stream or river.

    [page 381, 382] Dec. 29. I think more of skates than of the horse or locomotive as annihilators of distance, for while I am getting along with the speed of the horse, I have at the same time the satisfaction of the horse and his rider, and far more adventure and variety than if I were riding. we never cease to be surprised when we observe how swiftly the skater glides along.

    Thoreau loves the forest. When he enters the forest, he has left civilization behind and is in his natural element. He loves the wild animals like the marsh hawks, the wild fruits like the wild apple, and most of all the wild trees and plants planted and maintained by Nature herself without interference from the bog-slogger human beings who deign to shape Nature in their own image and produce less not more of what they began with. It is fitting that he, of all people, would notice the origin of the word forest itself. Its etymological roots suggest the wild nature that so attracted Thoreau and called him to spend even the most important holidays in its company.

    I noticed that this year I spent my Christmas and Thanksgiving in Thoreau's company, with him in the wilds of Nature. For most of a year I found myself for a short period each day, transported from sub-tropical New Orleans back to New England in the company of a man who mostly suffered few men to accompany him on his adventures abroad, but was somehow delighted to have me along with him as he walked through marsh, swamp, seashore, and mountain, rowed and set sail over the Concord River, and skated over frozen streams with wings on his heels. I returned from these excursions exhilarated and thankful that there was a Henry David Thoreau who wrote in his Journal every day for 14 years, and a little sad that our journey together has only three more years before I close the last page of his Journal, a better man and a happier me.

    You have now read a Thumbnail of the review of Thoreau's Journal, Vol. 11. You have missed many of the quotes and photos. To read the full Review go to:

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    I hear often from my Good Readers that they have bought books after reading my book reviews. Keep reading, folks! As I like to remind you, to obtain more information on what's in these books, buy and read the books — for less information, read the reviews.

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    In this section I like to comment on events in the world, in my life, and in my readings which have come up during the month. These are things I might have shared with you in person, if we had had the opportunity to 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 Reads the Cover of the IRAQI TIMES 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 the Digest to share us on some amusing or enlightening aspect of the world he observes during his peregrinations.

    This month the good Padre reads a Headline about warning about a No-Humor Zone.

    2.Comments from Readers:
    • EMAIL from Terry in Houston on Dec. 31st:
      I would like to wish you and Del a happy and prosperous new year in person, but that is not to be, but the wish is still there. Hope all your aspirations for 2007 were realized. If not, you've got a few hours to get'er done.

      Here's hoping we get to see more of you in 2008.

    • EMAIL, etc., Title
    • EMAIL from Schoolchum of Del's at Warren Easton, Ginger Thiele in Florida: >

      Yesterdays Naples Crossword puzzle question: "Fighting Tigers" School. Guess being national Champs a couple of times helps with the recognition.

      Please let us know if you are in the Naples area, we would love for you
      to stop by for a visit. Maybe we could have dinner or at least lunch together.
      Just give us some notice so that we are sure to be here.
             Give my love to Del.
            Thanks for keeping in touch.

    • EMAIL from J. B. Borel, President of Les Amis d'CODOFIL, Rive Ouest:
      À mes cher amis Bobby et Del:
      J'espere que vous avez eu un bon Noël et je vous souhaite une bonne
      et heureuse année 2008 remplie de bonheur, d'amour, de succes et surtout une vonne santé.
      Avec toute mes amities:
      J. B.
    • EMAIL from our Son-in-Law, Wes Gralapp.
      He and Kim gave me the book,
      The Perfect Season, as a Christmas present:

      Look forward to celebrating the National Championship with you and Del.
      Glad you enjoyed the book.

    • EMAIL from Ed Smith about LSU BCS game:
      Hi Bobby (& Del),
      Do you have a good supply of tranquilizers at hand for this evening's game?

      It will be interesting to see what the outcome of this crazy, mixed-up BCS season finally produces.

      I have you on one side and another close friend on the other, so I'm standing on the sidelines wishing for the best team to win, but doubting that everyone (all those other teams that came in so close) in the U.S. will agree that this will be possible.

      Hope 2008 is starting out great for you two.


    • EMAIL from Anna Keller forwarded to me:
      A Marine mom (from Baton Rouge), sent this picture and it was sent to her all the way from Iraq.
      First hand picture.
      I bet this picture will travel on the internet fast.
      Pretty incredible!
    • EMAIL from our nephew in Iraq, Dean Matherne:
      Uncle Bobby,

      This is a picture of my unit.
      I am on top of the truck on the right.
      I am the guy on the left wearing a purple hat and sunglasses.

      [RJM NOTE: The above two emails refer to the photo from which I created the banner at the top of this Digest.

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