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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam ~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~ Dennis Hopper (1936 - 2010) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ [ from "Easy Rider" to "Blue Velvet" ] ~~~~~
~~~ GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS DIGEST #111== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
Published January 1, 2011 ~~~Quote for the New Start Month of January:
Don't talk to me of Archimedes' lever. He was an absent-minded person with a mathematical imagination. Mathematics commands all my respect, but I have no use for engines. Give me the right word and the right accent and I will move the world.
— Joseph Conrad , Novelist
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THE GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS DIGEST #111, January 2011Archived Digests
Table of Contents
1. January's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for January
3. On a Personal Note
4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe of the Month from Bobby Jeaux's Kitchen: Grama Del's Clam Chowder
6. Poem from "Yes, and Even More":"Prior Programming"
7. Reviews and Articles Added for January:
8. Commentary on the World
- ARJ1: It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It by Robert Fulghum
- ARJ1: Alchemical Studies by Carl Gustav Jung
- ARJ1: Here to Heal by Reshad Feild
- ARJ1: Jung and the Lost Gospels by Stephan A. Hoeller
- ARJ1: Six Walks in Fictional Woods by Umberto Eco
- ARJ1: Strategy of the Dolphin — Scoring a Win in a Chaotic World by Dudley Lynch and Paul L. Kordis
- ARJ2: Mystery of the Universe, GA#201 (COMPLETED) by Rudolf Steiner
9. Closing Notes — our mailing list, locating books, unsubscribing to Digest
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THE GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS DIGEST #111== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ARCHIVED DIGESTWORLD ISSUES ON THE WEB ~ ARCHIVED DIGESTWORLD ISSUES ~2000: INAUGURAL YEAR: Jun #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
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1. January 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: http://www.doyletics.com/vjtoons.htm 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 doyletics.com website.
The Violet-n-Joey Cartoon page is been divided into 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 learn about Being Amenable.
#1 "Being Amenable" at http://www.doyletics.com/images/121010jv.gif
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2. HONORED READERS FOR January:
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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 January are:
George Centanni in New York
Christoph Gottel in Germany
Congratulations, George and Christoph!
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3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
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Out Our Way:
RUDOLF, RUDETTE, AND A Readers' Journal Vol. 1 (ARJ1)
Del lassoed me into putting together the two lighted reindeer from last year. One moves his head looking out for Santa, and the other moves her head eating to nourish her baby in the womb to be born on Christmas Day. Only thing lacking was for the male deer to have a Red Nose, so I found a red bulb, placed it on his nose, and dubbed him Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I feel a karmic connection with ole Rudolf since I found out that he first appeared in the Fall of 1939 during the time in which I was conceived and found myself a set of parents to be born into. He was first called Rollo by the advertising department of Montgomery Ward's who dreamed him into being, but soon a book appeared with his story and his name had been changed to Rudolf. Del laid out the white net lights over the leriope ground cover and if tonight would be the grand opening of the Timberlane Drive lighting contest, since we have the only lights, we'd be assured of first prize.
I tried to get my ARJ1 files converted to nix the Ad Sense ads and improve my income. Finally had to give up. This futile effort threw my whole day out of whack. Then I noticed that Rudette's lights were off and she wasn't moving her head up and down to eat. I was worried as she was already just skin and bones, er, well, only bones. After some Instrument & Control Systems troubleshooting, I determined that the power cord where it went into the moving Motor's housing was frayed internally, causing an open circuit. I carefully supported the power cord under two housing screws so that it was fixed into making contact. Then I provided some stretch relief and ample flex in the power cord so that as her motor moved up and down to maneuver her head, there were no tight flexes in the cord which would cause a future problem. Her head has worked fine in fair and rainy weather, often overnight, without fail for the entire month of December. I call that a good fix: no parts required, no wires cut, up and running in under an hour, and will last longer than the original design.
Del bought an electrical set up to turn on the reindeer and the two sets of East Portico ground cover lights remotely. I installed the three power remote switches as follows: 1 actuates the Left front, 2 actuates the Right front, and 3 actuates the Christmas Tree. Remote kept handy in the left side of fireplace hanging on the Christmas Stocking nail.
All this happened in one day, the reindeer fix, the remote power light, and then I found huge nest of fire ants at the base of NW cypress and want to burn them out. Couldn't find our butane fire starter till Del reminded me that we had hidden it so that the grandkids would not fool with it while the Christmas tree was up. Such trees are very flammable, and a five year old playing with the fire starter could set it afire. Dispatched the fire ant nest and replaced the fire starter. About that time I was exhausted, and Del said I looked and acted like I was the one carrying the Hoar Crux medallion today, so we went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1. In it Hermione, Ron, and Harry have to share the duty of carrying the Hoar Crux medallion around their neck for safe keeping, and the one carrying it never had a pleasant day. She and I went to see the Harry Potter movie, I got reminded of what it was like to carry the Hoar Crux and through the course of the movie I felt at last relieved of carrying it myself. Thanks, JK!
By the next day, I had figured out a strategy for removing the Ads from all the non-productive ARJ1 reviews. My method kept those reviews without Ads in a separate folder in case one of them became a popular review and then the Ad-filled review could easily be sent to replace the Nixed-Ad review on the website. I worked all day from 4 am to 4 pm and finished all of 272 ARJ1's which I had confirmed had little readership traffic. My hope is to help boost my Coverage rating with AdSense (by increasing the percent of the Ad-filled reviews which have high traffic) and kick up my monthly income from Google by helping its advertising revenue increase.I will stop making changes while these changes to ARJ1 steep and soak into the weekly Google spidering of my site. If my website Coverage increases, as well as my Ad revenue, I'll consider doing more Ad-nixing of non-popular reviews. By the end of December the jury is out on the effect of my extensive changes on the Coverage index and no discernible changes to revenues have yet been noted.
BEAUMONT AND BELLAIRE BABES
Up early and going to Texas: Bellaire and Beaumont, on successive days. Took the lower route along Hwy 90, but didn't get off until 7:45 in earnest and it was 1 pm when I got through Beaumont and 2:15 to Yvette's. The Beaumont and Bellaire babes are my two youngest daughters, whom I fondly recall as babes in my arms in 1964 and 1965 when they were born. Each December I endeavor to make a trip to each daughter to spend a half day or more with them doing some Christmas shopping for each of them, plus they assist me locating gifts for Del. On this trip, I had not yet settled on gifts for Del and was unable to motivate myself to walk through a shopping mall to get inspired. I'm a guy. We go to a shopping center to buy a certain thing, walk to the store which sells it, buy it, then come home. Sure enough as soon I began shopping with Yvette, all kinds of ideas for gifts for Del began floating through my head. We went to Rice Village and didn't find anything until we were at an Ann Taylor Shop where I found an ideal gift for Del while Yvette was trying on some leopard-skin spiked heels. They looked very nice on her and they were on sale. Yvette switched from the 6 ½ size to the 6 at the suggestion of the saleslady, "They will stretch to fit." But she made a move to not buy them, and I jumped to the rescue with, "Wrap them up, they will be your Christmas present from me." She got $150 shoes for only $50, but when she pulled out the $25 off coupon, she was chagrined to note it was not valid for sales merchandise. She then gave it to me and I used it for Del's large gift. After shopping, Yvette and I picked up her daughter, Evelyn, and her girl friends. One was named Mackenzie — when I asked her if she had a nickname, she said, no. I said she was lucky her last name wasn't Mackenzie, and added, "If you get tall, you might get nicknamed, Big Mac." Yvette fixed supper for us, and I hit the bed early, pleasantly tired from the long drive and shopping trip.
Early the next morning I left Bellaire (a separate city from Houston but located inside city limits of the megalopolis of Houston) and headed for Carla's house in Beaumont, a small city near the Louisiana border on I-10. We usually tell people our kids live on the I-10 Corridor, from Bellaire to New Orleans with only our son Rob off I-10 way up in Indiana. Carla called me about the time I left Houston and got onto I-10 east of I-610. I picked her up at home and we drove immediately to Dillard's and found all we wanted. Carla got presents for Patrick, then we went upstairs and found one of the pots she wanted, and Elsa, a delightful clerk with dark eyes and hair, about 50, helped us. She seemed to know what I wanted. Bought some baking pans for Del and a double boiler sauce pan in Caphalon. Then downstairs to the perfume counter for some Chanel No. 5, 1.26 ounces in spray bottle. As we were ready to leave, Carla tried on a long black, decorative sweater-type garment with 3-D roses on the front border which hung down to about her knees. Sounds awful, but it looked classy and very dressy on her. I saw her eyes adore it, and I got that for her Christmas present. She loved it.
I left Beaumont about 2 pm with the goal of getting home for 7 pm and I made it. Got a bit drowsy, but switched to WWL sports and it woke me up again. Stopped at Mel's Diner in Broussard about 5 pm. I was the only customer in the place. Ordered some coffee and Carolyn the waitress said she had just put on a new pot for herself, so I sat at the counter invited her to join me in a cup. We talked for about 15 minutes about our kids and grandkids, and she mentioned how tips go down during Christmas season. I left her a big bill for the coffee and wished her Merry Christmas as I left. Also left one with the Salvation Army lady standing in the cold outside Dillard's in Beaumont.
I was all excited when I turned left onto Timberlane Drive at the Country Club, a mile from our home and a song came on WWOZ about "Heading for home" — I wanted to share it with Del and called immediately so she could hear the words of the song, no answer. Called on the home phone, no answer. The song stopped just as I entered garage and I began blowing my horn. Nobody came to the door. Then Del appeared with the phone stuck in her ear, and she waved me to stop blowing the horn. Del said she was talking to her Uncle Bob Legendre about his grandson who at age 20 has had a section of his colon removed and was in critical condition with sepsis. He has since recovered and is now at home with rehab. Our prayers were answered.
HOUSE NAZI AND EXCAVATED REVIEWS
After movie I asked Del why the new Clock thermometer was on the hassock instead of the wall and she replied that she had replaced the batteries and hadn't hung it back up yet. I mentioned that I was thinking of putting it on one of the french door windows facing in where it will actually be used on a daily basis and give reliable measurement of temperature. She absolutely refused to hear of it. I got angry at her inflexibility and went to bed without further talking to her. When the next morning came, I was still not talking to her. If she wants to be the house bully, she can just do everything on her own. She had come into the bedroom while I was doing Nei-Kung alone (instead of per usual along with her) and she mumbled "a--hole", so later one when she went into bedroom, I went in and told her, "Just came to see if you were doing Nei-Kung alone, so I could say, 'a--hole'." She laughed and we reconciled. I accused her of being a "House Nazi" and she agreed that she had acted as one and apologized. It was a term I had learned from my son who talked of the Milk Nazis where he lives that try to keep him from buying fresh, unadulaterated milk directly from a dependable local farmer's cows. He has to disguise the milk when he transports it to his vehicle to take home. So a Nazi, by his usage, is someone who dictates hard and fast rules. Calling someone on "acting like a Nazi" is a useful way of keeping them from acting that way, if they acknowledge their deed.
What are "evacuated reviews"?That's my definition for my very early c. 1990 reviews in A Reader's Journal, Volume 1, which for whatever reason, did not make it into the website when I converted them all. Reviews since then are all ARJ2 reviews and they automatically get posted to the website immediately upon proofreading, so it's unlikely I missed any of them, certainly no recent ones. (There may be some already written ARJ2 ones which missed being published to website during the bulk conversion of early ARJ2 ones.)
During the upgrade of my AdSense Google ads, I went through all of my ARJ1 reviews and deleted ads from the low-readership ones. I did a query of all ARJ1 reviews and discovered there were several reviews in my Library Database which did not appear on the website. These I had to locate in various places. Some existed only as a paper copy in the back of the books on the ARJ1 shelves in my Library. (I tape a paper copy of review inside back cover of its book on the shelf.) Some were found in my master copy of the Word Perfect files of the hard-bound ARJ1 books which I published and sold. Each step along the way that a review could have been missed, I found one or more reviews, a total of six reviews. These are now published to the web, placed in the ARJ1 Table of Contents, and are published here in this Digest for my Good Readers to have first crack at reading them. Hope you enjoy these this month. If you did not buy a paper copy of ARJ1, you will not have read these before. They are all short as were all of my ARJ1 reviews, usually only two hand-written pages or a half-page of typewritten text. They were usually written without my having the book itself present, so they were written from memory and often have no direct quotes in them for that reason. They represent a style of writing which I use now mostly for writing Movie Blurbs rather than reviews.
BIG FAN PRESENCE AND 10-3 RECORD
For the St. Louis Rams game, Saints Coach Sean Payton asked for a BIG Saints Fan presence, so I brought my good friend Guntis Melbardis along with me. Guntis is a BIG man, over 6' 2" with a large white beard he lets grow long over the Fall in order to play Santa Claus for the New Orleans area. The folks in Algiers Point where he lives talked him into being Santa one year right after he moved into the area, and they had a Santa suit designed to fit him, since no store-bought costumes were big enough. As a result Gus (his Americanized nickname) has been stuck with doing Santa ever since. This year he rode in a barge down the river as Santa waving to the folks and kids along the Mississippi River levee, especially those at the bonfire at Algiers Point, a long time tradition for that very old section of west bank New Orleans right across from downtown.
Saints won over St. Louis Rams and their hotshot QB 31-13 on an outstanding effort by offense and defense. Courtney Robey was the only major injury, something to his neck and they immobilized him for transport to hospital for observation. Was a concussion and he was later put on injured reserve status. Chris Ivory looked fantastic again till he tweaked his hamstring a bit and was asked to sit out since both Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush were both healthy. Thomas and Bush each had a good day, nothing spectacular. Marcus Colston had two spectacular catches for TD's and then dropped several other passes thrown to him. Malcolm Jenkins had a 96 yard TD interception and another one caught in end zone. He prevented two TD's by Bradford and made one TD for a nifty night's work.
It was freezing cold with stiff wind on the way to the 3 pm game and dark and even colder on the way home afterward. Gus and I were both warmed by the Saints' victory however. I dressed warmly and during game near end of first half I was too warm, but waited till half-time to get my warm jacket off. With gloves, radio, scarf, etc, I was snuggled into my seat like a F-16 pilot. Took off the jacket and I was just fine till it was time to go. Saw Kevin and Chris Wisemen during the game in costume and got a photo as they appeared at a ramp opening just below us. Introduced myself to Lauren, the cute brunette gal who sat to my right the past two games. She had taken photo of me and my great-grandson Ben at a previous game. She said she wouldn't be at the Tampa Bay Bucs game, the last game of the regular season, which will be in the Superdome. Our long-time Season Ticket neighbor Marcus took the photo of me and Guntis during half-time. It appears in this Digest.
Saints were 10-3 at that point in season. The next game they lost a hard-fought battle to the Ravens to become 10-4, and then on Monday Night Football, in front of a national audience, they whipped the Atlanta Falcons, the high-flying birds who hit the turf of their home stadium very hard after Drew Brees threaded several TD passes through their ragged wings. At 11-4 now the Saints need only win against Tampa Bay Bucs and the Carolina Panthers beat up the downed Falcons for the Saints to win their division and have a stay-at-home ticket to the playoffs. At worst the Saints have already assured themselves a second-year-in-a-row run at the Super Bowl via a Wild Card playoff game.
CHRISTMAS CRUSH AND A CRUNCH
In the course of 4 days we attended three parties: a Jane Austen's Birthday party, a Christmas Party at my club, ,a Retirement Party for Dr. Mark Parker at Ruth and Ted's home, plus we gave two huge parties at Timberlane on successive days: Del's Garden Club Christmas Party and our Family Christmas Party. For the Jane Austen party, we headed to the headquarters of the Jane Austen Society on St. Charles Avenue. Even though we pinpointed the spot with our GPS, it was impossible to see the address in the dark and we had to guess which large home the party was in by noticing which front door was open and had people inside. There was great food at the party and lots of people we knew. We talked to Duke and Pam and their friends Wilson. The President of the Society read a few pieces of Jane Austen's for her 235th birthday, and others did the same. As we were leaving to go to my club's Christmas Party a few blocks away, we looked down and could barely discern the street address implanted in walkway near the sidewalk. You never know until you find out. We enjoyed ourselves in the company of our friends, and after wishing all a Merry Christmas, we headed home for last minute preps for the Timberlane Garden Club's Christmas Party that its President, Del, was hosting at our home the next day at noon.
Up early the next morning, I got dressed in same suit and tie as I'd worn the night before. Helped Del get every thing started. Drove to grocery for last minute items such as orange juice, bananas, and milk for the Family Christmas weekend to follow during which we were to have 17 kids, spouses, and grandkids sleeping over at Timberlane. Every bedroom was full, plus five pads and blowup mattresses on the floor of the living room and screening room and three couches.
At Ten AM, the first ladies started coming over to get the food and refreshments ready. Twenty-four ladies of Timberlane Garden Club came to find well-decorated tables in the Dining Room, Screening Room, Kitchen, and Office Area. The food was lined up along the long counter, Rita's feast of roast turkey was warmed in the oven, gravy on stove, and lots of other fixings and desserts. Then Del led the group into a personal sharing by each member of a favorite tradition they had for Christmas. I guess if I were asked, I would have talked about the fun of coming down during the night pf early Christmas morning and peeking through the keyhole into the magical room full of colors and presents in the locked parlor. Then my three younger brothers and I'd tiptoe back up to bed with visions of Christmas morning's gifts from Santa dancing in our heads.
After everyone had left the Garden Club Party, just as I was planning to take a well-earned nap, Warren Perkins came by to pick up his wife Audrey who had already left. I invited him in for a cup of coffee and got him talking about basketball. I was amazed to discover that he played in the first NBA game with the Quad-City Blackhawks who later became the Milwaukee Hawks and eventually ended up in Atlanta. They won the game, too! Got a photo of Warren. We talked for a long time, about the changes in the game of basketball , about his friendship with Bob Petit who was six years longer than he, and many other things. He is truly a living legend of basketball.
After Warren left, I took that nap, and then we got up and drove to Mark Parker's retirement party at Ruth and Ted's, always a good time. Mark was in fine form, glad to be retired finally after several earlier attempts failed when some company begged him to work for them. He is the most savvy doctor I have ever met, a true generalist with a broad knowledge of many specialities. In the beginning he said, he delivered about 10,000 babies before he rebelled against some of the onerous rules forcing him to be nice to certain low-class pregnant ladies who insulted him while demanding care as some federally enforced right. Met some of his co-workers including a gal with what looked like a red firemen's hat, but was actually a Saints emblem on the front of it. We left for home early because daughter Yvette, Greg, and their two kids, Evelyn and Aidan were due to arrive from Bellaire in an hour or so at Timberlane to spend the night before the Family Christmas the next day. The preliminaries were over and Del and I prepared for the kids' onslaught.
Our son Robert and his crew showed up about 8:30 AM as Del and I were busy getting everything ready. He and the boys working on the new Rock-Climbing remote jeep which supposedly can climb an 80-degree incline. His attempts to get it up the cypress tree which Katrina tilted at about 60 degrees came to naught because the wheels would slip and the torque of the motor would cause the front wheels to lift off the tree, causing loss of traction and a back flip.
I took Yvette with me to PJ's in the Cherry Max, and when I returned, Rob's truck was parked right behind where Del would have to back out later. I made a mental note about it, but decided against telling Del because it seemed so obvious, plus her new car has a rear view display in the middle of the dashboard. I assumed she would see it and have to back out of the driveway. She didn't. She was carrying two hyper sub-teen grand-daughters in backseat and neither looked at Rob's truck on her left as she walked around the back of the car, nor did she bother to view rear view TV monitor as she quickly backed out in her usual pattern and CRUNCH! — rammed right into the corner bumper of the truck, caving in the trunk of the new Maxima and doing no obvious damage to Rob's truck.The Maxima is having its trunk lid replaced and I'm looking for a loud fire alarm to wire into a rear-proximity alarm to keep this from happening again. This is the second time Del has rammed into a vehicle in the driveway, seems like Aries Rams are equally impetuous in both forward and reverse directions.
We played a little touch football in mid-morning. The big guys against me, Thomas, Weslee, and Kyle. On the first play I sent Thomas long, Weslee on a short route with a cut left, and Patrick blitzed me so I threw it quickly, missing Weslee, but it fell right into Kyle's hands and he nearly scored a TD. We didn't score, but on the next series, I was tired and asked John to take my place and an interception flew right into his hands which he nearly ran back for a TD. It was fun, but rather too cold for me. I went inside. We had everybody in the family here except Jim, but with John, his twin brother here, the family seemed complete at times. Besides, Jim and his family will be joining us in Anaheim after Christmas for our Disneyland and California Adventures.
Del even picked up and helped her mother, Doris, to be here for the opening of the presents. Del had earlier planned not to have a Family Christmas because of the Disneyland trip, but her kids were all going to be in town this weekend for another activity, so we plugged in our own celebration as in previous years.
My brother Paul and his daughter Monique came by with her two precious children, Taylor (girl) and Brayden (boy). Remember when names of kids were unambiguous as to the sex of the child? Finally got photos of the two precious children. At one point when they first arrived, I told Rob, "That's your cousin, Monique. She's Kim's vet." Rob said, "Shouldn't she have a regular doctor?" Now I know where I got my wisecracking nature — from my son!
We ended up playing a Pay Me! card game later in the afternoon after present opening at Evelyn's request. I joined in when I saw that Tiffany our oldest grand-daughter was playing. There were enough people playing for it to be interesting. Good thing about Pay Me! is that it can handle from 3 to 7 players. It was me, Tiffany, Greg, Del, Evelyn, five of us. Good size for playing the game. One problem was toddler great-grandson Preston who continually bugged his mom, Tiffany. We asked his Grandma Maureen who played the Grandma card. So back Preston came, scattering game tokens, distracting Tiffany, Greg, Del, Evelyn, and me. I drew the line at Yvette helping Evelyn to play her cards because Evelyn knew the rules and if one player helps another player they gain an advantage by knowing which cards not to play. Also I insisted that Evelyn not leave the table to take care of the smaller kids, mostly persistent Preston. Plus I scotched any plans of Evelyn leaving in the middle of the game to go to her Aunt Maureen's house. Tiffany saved Evelyn by offering to drop Evelyn off on her way home after the Pay Me! game was over. Thus it came about that we, at the hardest, completed the game through the final King round. I won several Pay Me!'s and Del won the low score for the game token by a squeaker, only 6 or 7 points.
I blew up the mattress in the Timberlane Screening Room and woke Rob and Kathyrn on the couch to move into the room to sleep. I made sure all the kids knew where they were to sleep and chased Aidan upstairs from the Laundry Room, not once, but twice. This area was the staging area for repairs and modifications to several of the remote cars of Rob and his boys. On the second time, Aidan said that he was only watching Walden, but I blasted him, saying, "You do not quibble with me, young man! I told you to stay out of here and keep the light out!" He ran upstairs and hid, requiring his mother to come and find him. In effect, he had maneuvered his mother into blaming me for not knowing where he was. I simply repeated, "I sent him upstairs and that's all I know about his whereabout"s. His mother gave up her oblique attack, and went upstairs to finally locate where he was hiding. It is a lesson I learned somewhere along the way, your children will use all their wiles to make you suffer for disciplining them. Do not fall for that if you wish to raise them to grow into truly independent and resourceful adults.
Walden went quietly to bed after that in the Living Room on the floor mattress. The only grandkids left up were Thomas, Katie, Emerson, and Kyle who quietly remained in the Office area on the table painting and coloring mandalas. I left them alone, simply showing Katie where the light switch was. In the morning the table was cleared off and the lights had all been turned off. Very successful turn-in for bed for almost everyone.
One glitch developed overnight. It was a cold night outside, under 40 degrees, and the air conditioner was running full blast set at 66 degrees. I turned it off, but knowing my son-in-law liked to sleep in a cold room, I decided it best to leave the heater off. The rooms will cool over night, but if the doors are left open a bit, the warmth from the great room downstairs will heat the bedrooms. One daughter complained it was 20 degrees colder upstairs in the room than with the doors open. I explained that Wes liked it cold and that I turned the stat up from 66 to 72 with AC on and figured that anyone too cold would simply open the door to let heat in. Wes said that he opened his window to the 44 degF air and he was fine. I had figured that opening a window or opening a door would solve any heating/cooling discrepancy, but that no setting on the thermostat of either heat or cooling would be good for all parties upstairs. Next time I will let everyone know how to take care of their own comfort. Three guest rooms with only one thermostat requires the occupants to control their own temperatures.
DRIER AND DRYER, SHOPVAC AND SHOPVAC
Our old clothes dryer was causing Del to complain that it was not drying clothes well enough. I finally decided that Del needed a new dryer and since our daughter Maureen had offered us her new electric dryer when she moved into a house which only had a gas connection for a dryer. We had demurred on the offer, but I suggested to Del it was time to get that dryer. Patrick and Robert offered to carry over to Timberlane from Maureen's house and within minutes I had installed it in place and it was drying clothes. It worked, but its top began to get warm, which indicates the air flow is somehow constricted. There must be an accumulation of lint in 24' of air duct which goes up from the dryer, over across a ceiling and then up through the roof. With all those right-hand turns, it is a problem to clean out. Joe Taylor our chimney man who did it last time said he was retiring this year. So I needed someone to come up with an answer to this problem. I called AAA Wayne and he confirmed that heat on top of dryer indicates restricted air flow. He said I could buy a kit for duct cleaning from Ideal Appliance about a mile from us.
I told Del that it needed to be done and she wanted to hire someone, but when she called Husbands for Hire and they couldn't clean the flue until after the first of the new year, I decided to follow Wayne's instructions, knowing full well that it would likely be a full-day's work. I dreaded the task, but there was clearly no other way to get Del's new Dryer working properly and not overheating. Luckily Del took Rob's two sons to see the new Narnia Movie in the afternoon, so I didn't have any interruptions in what I had to do.
So I bought the Duct Cleaning kit for $100 with 12' of rods and 12' extensions. It required a shop vac to do it from the inside out. I like that approach as the lint is not blown out into the air, the roof and yard, but sucked into the Shop Vac.Well, my old Shop Vac was way too small. I decided to buy one from Home Depot and I got one for $45 and it was also too small. I went back with the cleaner adaptor to ensure it would fit before I bought another Vac, the $80 Vac fit the adaptor fine. Came home, hooked it up and ran the cleaning brush as far up as it could get, which I suspected was to the base of the last right-hand turn up to the stack. Darn. Luckily Robbie came home and he was willing to get up there and detach the water cover of the vent and run the brush DOWN into the vertical flue. He said there was a small layer of lint around the inside of the pipe. He brushed it down while the big Shop Vac was running to suck it up. Afterward, as we could tell from the reduced suction on the flexible vent, the rest of the dryer vent up to the roof was completely free of lint. Still, what we sucked out showed that there was an awful lot of lint which escaped from the dryer's first filter into the ductwork in just one year.
That took me most of the day, and along the course of the next few hours I felt my nose drain as if it was the onset of a head cold. At last my head cold which had been holding had descended upon me. Luckily I had been taking zinc tablets for about a week in anticipation of this possibility and the cold affected me for only a day and a half during which I took some AlkaSeltzer Cold tablets and then I was fine — just a guy with head cold, no aches, fever, or pains, just an aggravating sneeze or drippy nose at times.
Kids, Walden & Emerson went to WWII Museum with Patrick and Carla. I didn't feel well enough to go. I took AlkaSeltzer and felt better about an hour later. They came back about 2 pm. We did crosswords together. Patrick & Carla got ready to leave. They left in afternoon and went to Maureen's. Rob wanted to go to Luling to see his Grandpa Buster, so I went with him and his two boys. Vicki was there so Rob got to meet his Aunt Vicky for the first time. Also hadn't seen Kevin for 20 years, so it was a productive visit. Then we drove to Debbie's house and I got to see Anthony's large house. Inside is gutted and painted to look like a French Quarter patio. Then we went to Maureen's and Amy and Jenny Terranova were there. Amy's like Jenny's only younger sister. They were doing artwork. We visited for a while till I was ready to go home again. Del and I watched "The Closer" which turned out to be Part I of a two part series about Serbians doing violence to Albanians. We won't get to see the end before we return from our Disney trip on January 1st.
THE CABLE GUY FROM HEAVEN
Rob and his gang left about 2 am the next morning and I had a quiet day until the Cox Cable guy showed up. I had problems with the RF output from the Cable DVR box which had been going on for several weeks, but with the Christmas Crush, I had not bothered with it. Hoping to have it fixed for the bowl game and post-season NFL games, I called Cox as soon as our family had returned home and the house was empty. The dryer was fixed, now for the Screening Room. There were several nagging problems that had accumulated. I couldn't play DVR on our HD Plasma TV, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) which we watch a lot couldn't display on either the DVR nor the Cable Card in our HD TV, the size of HD TV programs quickly filled up the Hard Drive on our DVR, and there was a lot of noise on the Weather Channel and a couple of other channels. If I could just get the RF output working I would be happy I thought as I placed the call for service.
From 3 to 5 pm I was told to expect a Cox technician, but he didn't show up until almost 5. I thought I was doomed! Byron was his name, and he turned out to be an angel! The nicest and most competent Tech they have even sent to me! I explained to him what the problem was and he immediately said "You need a new DVR box."Hooray! I yelled silently to myself.Then he added, "I have a special one I've been saving for someone who would appreciate it." I asked him if it had more hard drive and he said "Yes, double the old amount", he said. DOUBLE HOORAY! Then I explained that we weren't getting TCM, Ch 59 and he promised to fix that. He also added a powered amplifier with 1 to 4 splitter to replace the passive 1-to-4 one I had installed. He also made up two short connection jumpers with F-plugs to fill the gap with right-sized cables. Channel 59 came on all TV's! Then he told me I could use the HDMI cable from DVR to KURO. Quickly I found one, thanks to Del's careful plastic bagging of all the cables during move, installed it and, sure enough, it worked! WOW! A Christmas MIRACLE! A Cox Cable guy from Heaven. Every nagging problem was fixed and my overall reception improved, plus as a final fillip, Byron measured the signal coming from the house at the outside junction box/splitter and said he was going to schedule someone to come after the first of the year to track down and eliminate that back-scatter noise, likely from improperly or unterminated connections left over from the previous owner's exuberant scattered wiring of Timberlane. Who could ask for more?
CHRISTMAS EVE JOY, CHRISTMAS DAY JOY, AND EVEN MORE
On Christmas Eve, Del brought the Maxima to the Collision Center who promised to have it ready when we return after the first of the New Year. Then we went to our two neighbors to deliver Del's Christmas Cookies in the Santa Jars. First we delivered a jar to Barbara on the north side, and then to Connie and Don on the south side. Connie goes outside to smoke so I usually check before going to the front door. We found her outside, and she said she thought she was coming down with the flu. In reply, I said we're both getting over colds and our bodies are full of antibodies, so we'll be just fine. Brought her the cookies and she cheered up a bit. Then later I called Connie to ask her to pick up our newspapers. Del went to get her Mom to have some Christmas cookies and coffee by our tree and she opened the Christmas outfit del had bought for her to wear tomorrow. We then went to bed early to let Santa do his deliveries undisturbed by us.
On Christmas morning, it was already only 52 degF outside and too warm for a fire in the hearth today, so I saved it for tomorrow. I made a large brunch omelette of Crawfish-eggplant dressing and we ate heartily before opening our presents in the Living Room with the Christmas music playing in the Screening Room.
Del had me open my many presents first. A travel alarm (to be re-gifted), a pack of 96 clothes pins, a small SONY digital tuning radio which clips onto my pocket was a favorite toy, also a tiny binocular set which fits easily in any coat pocket, both a boon for Saints games. Also several other things. My coffee is warming on a hot plate she bought for me about 18 inches to the right of my right-hand on the keyboard right now. It's tepid, but not cold. She also gave me a beautiful jacket, light and comfortable, although the arms may be an inch too long. A new shirt with a pocket and no visible buttons on collar (hidden buttons she didn't see). I gave her the heavy present containing the Chanel No. 5 and she loves it. Will apparently wear it as she is so like Coco Chanel. Next the Cashmere scarf which she also adores and finds very lovely and useful for cold Ball Nights at my club. The pot and the pans I bought her were also a big hit! The double boiler in stainless steel is too pretty to put anywhere but on the stove top. The baking utensils in Calphalon she also adored. Said she'd throw some old ones away.
In the early afternoon we went to see Doris at Woldenberg. It was frigid! 20 degree wind chill no doubt with the stiff wind. We had rain in the morning, but I recall that at about 11 am, a very stiff wind picked up, whistled through the roof vents, and ceased in ten seconds, but during that gale, the cypress trees had dusted a new coating of needles on the ground I had vacuumed with lawnmower when kids were here. That was the cold front edge and afterwards we had no more rain, but the skies were cloudy all day at our Home on the Range. We disconnected the two reindeer at nightfall as we want to keep the outside lights on the ground to warm it through Monday night which may be below freezing.
Got to take a couple of photos of Doris with her girl friend Margaret, they sat on the sofa together and at least one time I heard Doris refer to Margaret as "him" as is her wont, for what reason, we can only guess. Margaret doesn't mind. She has some dementia, but not ALZ like Doris. They are clearly good friends, and Doris sorely needs a good friend at this otherwise very lonely period of her life.
At nightfall we watched the rest of one movie and the whole of several other movies "The Sensation of Sight" (2006), "Greenberg" (2009), "Scrooged" (1988), and "White Christmas" (1954). Watching White Christmas in HD, we noticed dance production numbers that we could swear we'd never seen before, probably because of the poor resolution of the older TVs. We enjoyed the last of our alone time together, because the Disney trip was looming ahead, some six days filled with thousands of people and 15 relatives.
The morning after Christmas was very cold and a perfect day for burning the firewood I had arranged almost a week earlier. I got up and started fire in the hearth and read the Times-Picayune newspaper, my last TP for almost a week. Then I got Del up with the promise of fire and hot coffee. Del, in her impetuous Aries mode, began immediately taking down the Christmas tree. Our son John was coming to stay the night with his two boys and we would head to Moisant (Louis Armstrong) Airport together the next day. I spent the rest of the morning getting photos into this Digest.Losing six crucial days at the end of the month and having lots of activities and photos to add after the normal first of the month publication date meant only one thing to me: All the components of Digest, all text, and all photos had to be filled in, and as much of the Out Our Way Notes had to be written as possible. Then I could add the Notes and new photos from Disney trip on the day we get home and be ready to publish it to the website the next day.
Great Hour of Power this morning without Robert H. Schuller, her father, Pastor Sheila did great inteviews with Interim Choir Director and then with a guy caught under debris of Montana Hotel in Haiti during the 7.0 Earthquake about a year ago. He was rescued a long 60 hours later and no one knew if he was alive or dead till he came out on a stretcher and looked up for the cameras. Then Jim Penner led us with his homily into a celebration of JOY — he got everyone on their feet, in the Crystal Cathedral and at home, saying, "Jesus Come!" He utilized bits from previous homilies by Sheila, Ken Ulmer, and Tony Campolo, e. g., Ulmer's "water in the Glass" metaphor morphed into "Joy is in Jesus and Joy is in Us". It was a crescendo of Joy all around the world.
On my way to PJ's shortly afterward, there was WWOZ.ORG's Gospel Show with a song saying, "I don't call my mother, I don't call my father, I don't call my sister, not even my brother. Who do I call?" and the low choir refrain began, "I call Jesus" and then a louder and louder, "I CALL! I CALL JESUS!" Incredibly Joy-filled singing. Several more such Gospel songs played on way home after a Joy-filled reunion with David the drummer boy newly returned to my favorite coffeeshop, PJ's on Manhattan!
Can I have a per-rum-per-rum-pum? David showed up at PJ's this morning after a hiatus of several months with no hope for his return. He was hidden by the stack of goodies on top of the display case, as I was talking to Cody. When David appeared, I stepped back in mock fright, and exclaimed, "I've been watching 'Scrooged' too many times yesterday! The Ghost of Christmas Past is before me!" David laughed and said, "Also Christmas Present and those to come!" He explained that he has been rehired by Charlie starting today. He will soon return to his weekday hours after a few Sundays, etc. I said, "David, I can just imagine Charlie crawling up to you on his knees and kissing your foot to get you back!" He started to reply and I said, "No, don't say anything to spoil my imagination of what happened." He started to shake my hand and I said, "Nope! this calls for a big hug!" and I walked around counter and we embraced in joy.
We heard that our son Jim is still sick and may have to postpone his flight to Disney by one day. Gina, when asked if she were still coming, said, "I'd have to bury Kirt!" Her son is so excited about coming on this trip his Grama Del promised him a year ago to "go see Mickey Mouse!"
FIRST DAY STUCK INN
Up at Four AM to get to airport in time for our 6 AM flight. We flew to LAX from MSY in 3.5 hours. Great flight. Our plane on the ground was delayed getting to our gate and getting bags. Then long delay for the Blue Shuttle getting a handicapped van for Kirt. Del didn't want to leave the airport building to go outside, but I did and found it very pleasant.Finally, I went in and coaxed her outside and she agreed it was great. She was expecting it to be cold like back home, but it was nice and the air was fresh. We needed to call 1-800-BLUE VAN but neither of us knew by heart how to convert |BLUE VAN to numbers because Blackberry cell phone's do not have a Telephone Number pad on them and the Blue Van forgot to include the number version of their phone number on their literature. She had to go inside to the Info Lady to get the numbers off a regular phone.
The elusive van finally showed up and we made it straight through to Disneyland. Jim said he saw a sign about USC DISNEYLAND EXIT. He did a double take and then recognized it was actually USE and wondered what University of SE was, but then realized it meant to USE the DISNEYLAND EXIT.
Our rooms at the Residence Inn were not available until 4 pm, so we signed up for ART 7 shuttle and went to California Adventure Park because Disneyland was all filled up and could allow no new admissions to the Park. So we walked through the new park to familiarize ourselves with it.
After our cursory tour, we began walking back to shuttle and got there just as a No. 7 green shuttle was pulling up. Made it back in time to check in. Jim helped me move the bags to Unit 10 only to find our unit 1023 was upstairs, and remembering Del's shoulder injury moving her own bags upstairs at the Johnson & Wales Inn in Seekonk, Massachusetts in 2000, Del went to the office and got a bellboy to do the heavy lifting. Meantime, the Saints game was due to start any minute and the bellboy had not a clue as how to find the channel that Monday Night Football was going to be on. I know the Channels in New Orleans, but in Anaheim and on a first-time TV and with no Channel Listing, I didn't want to spend the first quarter looking for the game. But the bellboy was useless to help and I had to find it myself. Located it within minutes of kickoff. This was my first hint that the Marriott Residence Inn was going to leave a lot to be desired before our stay was over. First the Internet was broadband only in their imagination. It was more like a California Adventure roller coaster with its ups and downs, the bars never stayed at 3 for more than a few seconds, and mostly laid at 1 or 2 with long excursions into a RED star or BLUE donut or a Yellow Sun, all of which meant what site I was waiting to open would have restart loading and I might have to re-enter and re logon again. In other words our room's Wi-Fi was Lo-Fi and basically sucked.That was during clear skies — when it rained on Wednesday, I had to carry my Laptop IN THE RAIN about a hundred yards to the so-called Business Area which had a PAC MAN game set up and since it was raining, subteens babbled and crawled all over. The "Corinne, Corinna" rock ballad from the 1950s blared from the loudspeakers over head, just the very thing a businesswoman wants hear while making financial decisions in the Business Room. Or a writer like myself needs to hear while trying locate photos and text files for a review or a Digest. I managed to get the Rock & Roll music turned off, but I couldn't locate the MUTE button for the subteens or their parents who were eating and blabbing a few feet from my tender ears. One day the water in the shower had water pressure so low that in order to get the water to come from the shower head and I had to pull out the valve on the lower spigot and hold for several minutes for the fill up the shower stem and the light sprinkle of water to come out. It was a bare step above a bird bath at the lavatory sink. The coffee provided in the room was good Arabica beans, but the coffee pot was full of tricks and traps with its fancy no-drip if coffee pot is not in place, needed only for dummies who shouldn't be drinking coffee in the first place. Once the coffeepot's cheap plastic cover was not exactly in place and 8 of the ten cups of water spilled over the top of the filter while it was brewing and I had a mess to clean up. Where do I write to thank the newly graduated engineer whose design messed up my morning?The LG TV was obviously designed for HIGH DEFINITION images, but the blurry ESPN broadcast of the Saints was pitiful! I knew who the players were on the New Orleans team and at the numbers on their jerseys and still had trouble discerning who was carrying the ball. The breakfast buffet was okay, but the lack of grits and the oatmeal without salt was cruel and unusual punishment. By the time I found Salt to make the oatmeal palatable, it was barely lukewarm. What a waste for them to create a perfect desk for my laptop and a useless Wi-Fi! I could sit at my laptop and see three bars on the Wi-Fi indicator luring me to use the Internet and as soon as I did, the rainbow colored failure modes began. The fireplace had a fire log ready to light, but no matches anywhere in our room to be found. Well, that ends my rant about the Marriott Residence Inn.Hey, it was walking distance, 10 minutes or so, to Disneyland Shuttle area. Imagine with me for a moment how fun a ten minutes walk can be after 6 hours on your feet in a place where you are standing in a line to get in the place, to get out of the place, to eat, to drink, to pee, to go on a ride, to ask a question, to buy a ticket, even to get a hug from Goofy! You get the idea. Want to get ready for Disneyland, get in line! Any line! It's good practice.
Back to reality and the Saints football game. It was a hard-fought game which I prayed to end with Brees in the Victory Formation: Brees kneeling with the ball for the last minute of the game, and amazingly that what happened. Enjoyed watching the close-ups of Brees's eyes during critical plays, their determination, their intensity, their hawk-like movement as they flitted left, right, straight ahead, searching for a target for his passes. The back-flip he did to Pierre Thomas to save a sack was incredible, like he had eyes in back of his head. Likewise the deftness of his quick-tempo running plays which sprung Thomas loose for two long gains, one ending in TD. His ability to escape the grasp of the clawing Falcons by his quick foot movements as the Atlanta blitzed on almost every down. His shoestring tackle of the lineman who had intercepted his pass and was heading for 6 points, followed by his 90-yard — 13-play drive for the winning TD. A masterful show that revealed the Saints are still in the hunt for their second in a row Super Bowl win.
The first day at the SUCK INN was an exhausting day whose tedium was wiped out by the great Saints's win. If the Saints and Panthers win next weekend, it will be another Division Win for Saints and home field advantage for the Super Bowl run in the playoffs. It could happen. Brees expects it to happen and so do I. If so, we'll be in the Superdome for the playoff games, Del and I, God willing.
DISNEY AND CALIFORNIA INTENSIVE
An intensive is what in the 1970s and 80s we called an extensive immersion in psychotherapy training lasting several days or a week. Well, we've gone through this in Anaheim, with Disneyland and the California Adventure. A little ambiguity there needs explaining. California Adventure is the new amusement park built on the site of the original parking for Disneyland. In the 1970s when we lived a block off Katella Avenue and a mile from that parking lot, we got to know it well. You never walked through the parking lot because it could take as long as 20 minutes, you simply waited for the shuttle tram to pick you up. Now people, thousands, tens of thousands of people are walking over that same ground today but it known as Downtown Disney and the California Adventure! Where do the cars park today which used to daily fill the huge lot? Several ten story parking lots which look like office buildings fill the northern boundary of Disneyland Hotel. They are the largest parking lots in the world holding 10,000 cars! How do people get into the park from the garage? There is a special train which runs into Downtown Disney and drops them off within easy walking distance of the two parks, Disneyland and California Adventure.
As for the ambiguity, Del's kids, who could be blasé about Disneyland after multiple visits to the Florida version, have all but one (Stoney) never been to California, so their California adventure is driving to various sites and scenes of the great state of California. Huntington Beach, Pacific Coast Highway, Venice Beach, Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Freeway (with its gridlock 12 lanes of traffic each way at rush hour), Rodeo Drive, Hollywood and Vine, Mann's Chinese Theater (with cement imbedded footprints of Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, etal), the stars on the sidewalks of Hollywood Blvd, the snow-capped San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mtns which line the northern horizon (in these days of crystal-clear post-rain air). The list is endless and the last two days they've been hitting the highways and running up mileage on the two rental vehicles. As my new T-Shirt says, "Been there, Done that, Got the T-Shirt", and I have enjoyed some solitude typing away these notes for my Digest.
On Monday when we arrived in Anaheim, I called Doyle Henderson only to have Norma answer. I talked to her and discovered that Doyle had driven up the hill to Big Bear (at 7,000 feet elevation) to stay with her over the holidays. Great news I thought. Doyle and Norma had remained good friends after their short marriage and it was good to hear that they were together. Then I talked to Doyle. He was cheerful as usual, but said one thing that was ominous, "I can hardly make it to the bathroom without running out of breath. I'm never coming back up here." He was on full oxygen, but his lungs and heart already weakened due to congestive heart failure were having trouble keeping him going at 7,000 feet. He had had trouble a couple years ago when he and Norma visited up in Garden Grove at a150 feet above sea level. We talked about the possibility of Del and I driving up to Big Bear to see him and Norma in a couple of days.The next day I was surprised to see Doyle's bright face on cell phone as I answered, but it was not Doyle speaking but Norma who told me that Doyle had fallen on the way to the bathroom that morning and never recovered. The EMT's were called and they took him to Big Bear hospital and he was later helivac'ed to Kaiser-Permanente hospital in Irvine, California about ten to twenty miles from us where he never came out of the coma when he passed. Doyle Philip Henderson, born in San Bernardino on Columbus Day in 1924 died in Irvine on December 28, 2010. He was to make a significant discovery for the good of all humankind as did Christopher Columbus who shared his birthday. And now he, like Columbus, has departed the physical plane for a New World. Every good thing must come to a new good beginning. And so it is for the spirit we all knew and loved, Doyle Henderson. The entire Southland of California, from the Pacific Ocean to the San Gabriel Mountains to the Big Bear mountains was washed by tears from the skies in the form of rain for the entire day following Doyle's passing, with large amount of beautiful white snow covering his beloved Fawnskin in the Big Bear area where he lived for so long with Betty when I first met him some twelve years ago. He and Betty are re-united now and his long-time friend and colleague Warren Liberty will no doubt be a frequent visitor to their new Fawnskin cabin in Heaven. Meanwhile we below are left to mourn the passing of our dear friend, the ever cheerful Doyle.
EXTENSIVE INTENSIVE CONTINUES
After the shock of Doyle's passing and the realization that there would be no funeral service, only a private cremation, we returned to squeezing out some fun in the time we have set aside for this Christmas vacation with our kids and grandkids.
As soon as rain stopped about midday Wednesday, Del and I walked to Disneyland with intention of eating lunch in Blue Bayou (bayous are Louisiana waterways, a slow river to Gulf) which I used to pass in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, all lit with blue lights. Our reservation was for the next day, but we suspected there would be opening at noon due to the heavy rain and we were right. We got in after a half hour wait. The food was tremendous and the atmosphere lovely.Having lunch there instead of the next day in the afternoon cleared the way for us to meet my old buddy Glenn Martin from our Lockheed days and his wife Sara Lee who live near here at the Rain Forest Café for dinner. It would have been hard to have two meals so close together, so our gambit worked — we got a table within 30 minutes, when the previous day we had been assured that there were NO reservations left till after Jan 1, 2011.
After lunch we rode the monorail and went to another ride in California Adventure section of park. In all, we spent another six jam-packed hours at the two parks. Much more fun than hauling and minding 4 kids as I did 30 years ago when we lived a mile away for three years. We always tried to jam everything into one day and now we could spread things out over several days. All and all it was a good trip.
EVERY GOOD THING MUST COME TO
A NEW BEGINNING, SO UNTIL NEXT MONTH, NEXT YEAR . . .
Till we meet again in February for the onset of the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras Time in 2011, God Willing and the River Don't Freeze. Whatever you do, wherever in the world you reside, be it hot or cold, make it a great winter season for you and yours in the New Year ! ! !IMPORTANT MESSAGE:
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New Stuff about Website: Five Featured Reviews:
1. Hazrat Inayat Khan's Art of Being .
In the early 1980's I read the other eleven volumes in this set, some of them several times. When I got on the Internet for the first time several weeks ago I discovered this volume for sale by a Sufi Book Center in Virginia. I ordered the book over the net on a Friday afternoon and was reading it Monday afternoon.
This book is divided into two sections: I. Health and Order of Body and Mind and II. The Privilege of Being Human. The first section was a good review for me, but the second section was packed with insights. If I had read the book ten years ago when I first began looking for it, it would have undoubtedly not have had the same impact for me. One afternoon I sat down to continue reading from page 165. I had just finished three intensive days of income tax preparation and felt too washed out emotionally to write anything. In the course of the next three hours and fifty pages I wrote fifteen poems, inspired by the writings of Hazrat Inayat Khan. Here is a list of the titles which will suggest something of the nature of the poems:
1. Write On!
3. "Judging or No-Judging Section?"
4. Sound Harmony
5. Feed No Evil
6. Life's Massage
7. No-Fault Love
8. A Pear Tree
10. Chains of Mind
11. Hang It All!
12. Light Traveler
13. Dogs of War
14. Salt of the Earth
15. Without A Doubt
This past month I listened to a minister friend give a homily on the Samaritan woman at the well. He explained how she had come to the well under the hot midday sun so that she would not encounter other women who might scorn her presence there, and how after Christ told her of the living water, she left her vase at the well and ran back to the city to tell everyone. On page 159 Hazrat comments on how children outgrow their dolls and says, "So it is with us, the children of the world.Our likes and infatuations have a certain limit; when their time has expired the period of indifference commences. When the water of indifference is drunk, then there is no more wish for anything in the world."[italics mine] It was the water of indifference, of divine knowledge, that Christ offered the Samaritan woman at the well that caused her to drop everything, all her attachments to the things of the world, and to rush back to the city to tell how she had found everything inside herself, thanks to this man at the well.
When I found Hazrat Inayat Khan ten years ago, I was alone at the well, carrying heavy vases during the heat of the day to be filled. He filled my vases then, and when I returned ten years later, I was empty-handed, and he gently reminded me to look within, for the divine knowledge of God, the water of indifference, flows therein as an eternal spring. And if one has an eternal spring flowing within, one will never need to return to earthly wells.
2. Joseph Conrad's A Personal Record
To read a book by Joseph Conrad is to take oneself on a sea voyage with him. The equivalent of, as the French say, "une campagne de trois ans dans les mers du sud." You soon ignore the swaying of the cabin and the creaking of the timbers and hear only Conrad's voice as he talks deep inside your head.
"Don't talk to me of Archimedes' lever. He was an absent-minded person with a mathematical imagination. Mathematics commands all my respect, but I have no use for engines. Give me the right word and the right accent and I will move the world." This is one sample of his words, and here's another, "Most of the working truths on this earth are humble, not heroic truths."
For three years "Almayer's Folly," Conrad's first book wandered the sea lanes of the world with him, till at last it found a publisher. The day that it was published Conrad reckons as his birthday and comments in this book that he is a mere lad of 15 years old as he writes these personal thoughts.
Another favorite passage of mine is about Conrad meeting his mentor. "I tell you it was a memorable year! One does not meet such an Englishman twice in a lifetime. Was he in the mystic ordering of common events the ambassador of my future, sent out to turn the scale at a critical moment on the top of an Alpine pass, with the peaks of the Bernese Oberland for mute and solemn witnesses?" And further on . . . "As far as is possible for a boy whose power of expression is still unformed I opened the secret of my thought to him and he in return allowed me a glimpse into his mind and heart; the first glimpse of an inexhaustible and noble treasure of clear thought and warm feeling, which through life was to be mine to draw upon with a never-deceived love and confidence."
I have met such rare friends infrequently in my life and have treasured them dearly. Through his books, Joseph Conrad has become just such a friend.
3. Edmund Blair Bolles 's A Second Way of Knowing — The Riddle of Human Perception
How do we see? How do we perceive constancy of size in our visual field as we move about? How does sleepwalking work? How does dreaming affect our eyes (REM) but not our arms and legs? These and many other questions about the nature of perception are asked and often answered in this book.
Bolles takes us on an historical survey of the field of perception. We look through his studious eyes as he inspects the manifold reaches of this field. We follow him into the library as he studies the history of perception and then to Irvine, California and Dallas, Texas as he visits research teams working on problems in this field. We watch as he recreates the humanist-physicalist battle for dominance in explaining perception. Do we have vision to create a physically accurate representation of the world or do we have vision to create an individualized human view of the world.?
The answers, when they come, derive from key experiments by researchers in the field of perception. When they inverted a frog's eyes and re-wired them, the frog constantly missed bugs with its tongue. When they put upside-down glasses on humans, similar response occurred for the first three weeks, then a marvelous thing happened: the visual field inverted itself in the wearer's head and he could see things right side up again. The message was clear: the brain learns by changing the way it works not by storing mechanical information in large vats. Lashley spent his life looking for such vats. He called them engrams, or memory traces, and after a life of dead-ends he came to the conclusion that memory was impossible.
Through the many theories and experiments we find a focus either on the subjective or objective characteristics of perception but nowhere do we find something that bridges both. This question science leaves unanswered: Is this gap between specific and general meaning, subjective and objective characteristics, an unbridgeable one? Are we rationally constructed automata with lightning fast reflexes or clumsy, slow learning machines with a perceptual basis? Bolles answers in the last sentence of this too short book, "When the slowpoke, perceiving mongoose goes up against the lightning reflexes of the cobra, it is madness to bet on the cobra."
4. Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged
"Who is John Galt?" is the opening sentence of Atlas Shrugged. It is also the answer to the questions: "What happened to John Tower?," "What happened to Eastern Airlines?," "Was Oliver North a hero?," "What happened to Whitewater and the other Savings and Loans?", "What happened to Worldcomm?", "What happened to Enron?", "What happened to Bernard Madoff?", "What happened to everyone's 401K?", and each decade the questions go on and on. It is a question in Ayn Rand's fictional world that was an answer to hopelessly unanswerable questions. It is also an ingenious plot thread that the heroine Dagney Taggart follows assiduously to its ultimate conclusion in which the hero answers "I am" and proceeds with the longest and most boring radio speech in real or fictional life. It winds on without a break for almost 80 pages, erupting with such pearls of wisdom as "Existence exists" — shades of Werner Erhardt! Much better for a radio broadcast would be Francisco d'Anconia's monologue on money given at Hank Rearden's party, but Rand had built up to her Aristotelian climax and she laid it on thick.
Oh, for those of you who have not been so fortunate as to have someone you respect stare you intensely in the eye and say, "You must read this book," the story is about how the moochers (welfare state interventionists) and the looters (politicians and their henchmen) gain their day only to find the victims of their victory disappearing from their pleas and grabs. The victims disappear, abandoning all their material wealth (usually intact), taking with them the very item the moochers and looters had railed against (their intellect), and leaving the leeches behind to discover that the very intellect indispensable to their survival had disappeared.
Railroads collapse, copper mines disappear, oil wells dry up and the social welfare bedbugs find themselves faced with the disastrous consequences of their own folly, thanks in no small part to Rand's hero, John Galt. Galt acts as an accelerator of the destruction by explaining the results of their interactions and offering them a viable alternative to supporting an immoral structure. The producers disappear and laws are created to unify the railroads (shades of Amtrack and Conrail), the steel industry and equalize opportunity for all (although Rand in her wildest imagination never dreamed of minority set-asides: laws requiring contracts to be awarded to the least capable because of perceived past injustices). The new laws succeed only in bringing further collapse.
That there is a happy ending may be guessed from the ending words, "...the sign of the dollar."
5. Gary Provost's Beyond Style — Mastering the Finer Points of Writing
In this followup to his "Make Every Word Count" Gary Provost gives us a guided tour of creative writing that could be labelled "Make Every Word Sing." He is not satisfied with the concept that style, like life, is "what happens when you're doing something else," but feels that good writing style can be cultivated. As a writer and a teacher he reviews many manuscripts of beginning and professional writers and has developed the skill of spotting places where their writing doesn't work.
In this book on how to develop your individual style, he warns us that any technique that is obviously a technique doesn't work because it makes the reader aware of the author instead of the character or subject of the writing. One poor technique is describing the viewpoint character using a mirror or shop window reflection, "she saw in the shop window that her hips had grown wider than she imagined." Another is switching viewpoints abruptly within a single scene or paragraph.Another is inserting dialogue or description that adds no meaning to the piece.
On the positive side he suggests the use of quotes. "Credibility is believability," he says, "and everything you write, fiction or non-fiction, must have that quality." Quotes, showing that it's true, and "plants" are ways he suggests of adding credibility. Plants are basically presuppositions of other time and space actions that are created in the readers' minds by some statement. The juggler's sticks tumbled in the air like Tony's body did during a triple somersault during his college gymnastic competitions. Later when Tony does a triple somersault to foil a robbery we tend to believe it as a result of the plant while he was watching a juggling act.
"Beyond Style" is written using all the techniques that Gary suggests for writers to follow. He achieves a coherency of form and content thereby that adds credibility to his suggestions for improving style. This is an enjoyable and easy to read book that every beginning writer should have in his armamentarium. With it one can discover that what lies "beyond style" is the individual writer that transcends stereotypes to create writing that is as unique one's fingerprint and as revealing as an intimate portrait.
Movies we watched this past month:Notes about our movies: Many of the movies we watch are foreign movies with subtitles. After years of watching movies in foreign languages, Arabic, French, Swedish, German, British English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and many other languages, sometimes two or three languages in the same movie, the subtitles have disappeared for us. If the movie is dubbed in English we go for the subtitles instead because we enjoy the live action and sounds of the real voices so much more than the dubbed. If you wonder where we get all these foreign movies from, the answer is simple: NetFlix. For a fixed price a month they mail us DVD movies from our on-line Queue, we watch them, pop them into a pre-paid mailer, and the postman effectively replaces all our gas-consuming and time-consuming trips to Blockbuster. To sign up for NetFlix, simply go to http://www.netflix.com/ and start adding all your requests for movies into your personal queue. If you've seen some in these movie blurbs, simply copy the name, click open your queue, and paste the name in the Search box on NetFlix and Select Add. Buy some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. You get to see your movies as the Director created them — NOT-edited for TV, in full-screen width, your own choice of subtitles, no commercial interruptions, and all of the original dialogue. Often you get the Director's Cut Edition which adds back excellent footage that was cut from the theater releases. With a plasma TV and Blu-Ray DVD's and a great sound system, you have theater experience without someone next to you talking on a cell phone during a movie plus a Pause button for rest room trips.Hits (Watch as soon as you can. A Don't Miss Hit is one you might otherwise ignore.):
P. S. Ask for Blu-Ray DVD movies from NetFlix.“The Human Comedy” (1943) starring Mickey Rooney, Frank Morgan, and others in a splendid portrayal of William Saroyan’s great novel. Enjoy a time warp to 1943 and join in singing “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” with a train full of young soldiers heading off to fight. Movie theaters all over America must have resounded with audiences singing along during war-time. Arching over everything was Saroyan’s marvelous philosophy and descriptions of the spiritual world. A DON’T MISS HIT! ! (NOTE: not currently on Netflix, saw it on Turner Classic Movies — TCM)"That Evening Sun" (2009) Hal Holbrook stars as an aging man who walks away from a nursing home to reclaim his family home which is haunted by a new family and remnants of his old family. If you treat your kids mean when they're growing up, you won't like what they do to you as they take over parenting you in your old age.
"Chloe" (2009) Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, and Amanda Seyfried star in this menage à trois, or is it à quatre? Is Liam betraying Julianne, she wants to find out, and hires a call girl to report back. The reports turn on Julianne and thereupon hangs a tale not to be missed. A DON'T MISS HIT ! !
"Alice in Wonderland" (2010) takes us along with Alice as an adult back to "Underland" and everything has become more adult, darker, and evil. The Red Queen treats people as furniture, and Alice take umbrage over that, calling herself Um from Umbrage, and decides to exert her muchness and turn things around. We see a bit of Oz process as bumbling twin girls of Alice's friends become Tweedledum and Tweedledee. We watch the caterpillar Absolam morph into a butterfly, and Johnny Dep become the maddest Hatter of all. Worth the wait, worth the ride, worth a second look. A DON'T MISS HIT ! !
"Please Give" (2010) is a movie you want to hate, but enough reality breaks through with love and kindness that it warms your heart at the end.
"Get Him to the Greek" (2010) a movie you want to hate because obviously everything's going to go wrong for the young guy escorting a superstar from London to the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, but it's so much fun and hilarious at every step that you don't want it to end. Madcap adventures like Alice following the eponymous Madcap.
"Nathalie" (2003) is French movie from which "Chloe" was adapted. In a curious twist of movie mores, this movie is absent the sexy and flirting scenes of "Chloe". Interesting movie in its own right.
"The Extra Man" (2010) staring Kevin Kline in a comedic tour-de-force as an aging male escort to the rich. Unexpectedly funny, as it moves to second half of movie, the laughs are non-stop with unpredictable twists and situations. Worth a couple of viewings. A DON'T MISS HIT ! !
"Lovers and other Strangers" (1970) a medley of stars of the era play out the fun in this romantic throwback to the throwaway 70s.
“Flame & Citron” (2008) is a true story of possibly the only resistance when Denmark rolled over for the Nazis in WWII. Flame & Citron are like Bonnie & Clyde or Butch & Sundance in their epic and often confusing struggle to get rid of Nazis in their homeland. Dark, moody, and bloody, but worth a long look. HIT
“Letters to Juliet” (2010) is a wonderful love story at two levels, unrequited love satisfied after 50 year hiatus and young love blooms between two protagonists after they push ice cream in each other’s face. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
“Confessions of a Shopaholic” (2009) Fun movie about a gal to whom buying clothes more is important than work and sex. Suddenly thrown into notoriety as The Girl with the Green Scarf, she celebrates by going on another shopping spree.
“The Pillars of Earth” (2010) 3Disks An epic tale of the building of Kingsbridge Cathedral and the lives of Tom Builder, Jack Jackson, and Prior Philip who made it all possible. Intrigue and subterfuge kept England in the throes of poverty and battles for twenty or more years while the cathedral rose twice from the ashes. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
“White Christmas” (1954) Watch this classic in HD and you’ll notice dance production numbers that you’d swear you’d seen before, probably because of the poor resolution of the older TVs. Bing Crosby, Rosie Clooney, and Danny Kaye star in a marvelous story for the eponymous evergreen song of a snowy holiday. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
“Scrooged” (1988) This holiday classic was broadcast continuously in HD and we finally gave in and watched it all. Charles Dickens, if he were alive today, would be turning over in his grave! The updates of the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and To Come were deliciously clever and zany and Bill Murray played the bad guy/nice guy Scrooge while Buddy Hackett played the period Scrooge in the live “Christmas Carol” being broadcast by the Cable Channel Murray is head of. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
Misses (Avoid At All Costs): We attempted to watch these this month, but didn't make it all the way through on most of them. Awhile back when three AAAC horrors hit us in one night, I decided to add a sub-category to "Avoid at All Costs", namely, A DVD STOMPER. These are movies so bad, you don't want anyone else to get stuck watching them, so you want to stomp on the disks. That way, if everyone else who gets burnt by the movie does the same, soon no copies of the awful movie will be extant and the world will be better off."Interception" (2008) Somewhere along the way this movie had intercepted: its script, its acting, its plot and its directing, and yet by the end of the movie, you know it was awful in every way. A DVD STOMPER ! !
"Centurion" (2010) Bloody battle after bloody battle in cold, dark north. Ends as meaningless as it started.
"Grown Ups" (2010) were nowhere to be found; 4 year old sucking on his mommie's tit and 34 year olds not weaned either; potty humor and prat falls; 7-year-old humor makes this an AAAC!
"Love and other Disasters" (2006) such as this lugubrious Brittany Murphy movie!
“Greenberg” (2009) A Ben Stiller quirky movie in which a NY’er moves into brothers home in Beverly Hills and develops a relationship with a German Shepherd and a Personal assistant, but hardly anyone else. His job is “doing nothing” right now, and that’s what the movie mostly did. Some wit, some insight, some sexy scenes, some quirky advice from narrator, and a puzzling ending.
Your call on these — your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:"Winter's Bone" (2010) Remember Old Mother Hubbard whose cupboard was bare? That's this movie: Absent any explanation of the situation, devoid of joy, of human kindness, of love, of food, and what they forced a 17-yr-old daughter to do to retain the home in which she was forced to raise two young siblings and her crazy-sick mother shouldn't happen to a dog. Not a travel poster for Missouri hill country.
"Splice" (2009) Two geneticist attempt to improve on God in designing humans and their results are as predictable as Frankenstein's. Using genes instead of electricity, and hubris instead of common sense. They produce Dren, a surprisingly androgynous being in this lethal tale.
“The Sensation of Sight” (2006) involves a teacher whose student blows his brains out shortly after giving him some antique encyclopedias and asking him to put them to good use. After this event in an otherwise abandoned classroom, the teacher quits and begins door-to-door selling of the encyclopedias. On his peregrinations, the ghost of the student accompanies him through this somber movie. Will the ghost ever move on to the light? Will the teacher ever return to his wife and little boy who love and miss him? “Light is responsible for the sensation of sight.” is the eponymous quote at the end of the movie.
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4. CAJUN STORY:
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==This joke may be the only shark joke extant which does not involve a lawyer in any way (unless it happens to be a swimming lawyer), plus it may be the first Cajun shark joke. (Note: A Cajun purges crawfish before boiling to clean out the mudbugs' intestinal tracts.) Adapted from a joke told me by Cindy our garden helper.
Two Cajun sharks were swimming around in deep water below a man who was struggling on the surface of the water.
The Mamma Shark told her teenage boy shark, "T-Boo, follow me now, Cher. We can't attack right now. We must go up on the surface and circle the man three times, making sure dat he sees us."
During the second trip around the flailing man, the teenage shark had enough. "Oh, Mamma, this is boring! Why can't we just eat him right away?" Lil Boudreaux axed.
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5. RECIPE of the MONTH for January, 2011 from Bobby Jeaux's Kitchen:
(click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =Grama Del's Clam Chowder
Background on Grama Del's Clam Chowder:
When our daughter Maureen some years ago introduced us to Progresso's New England Clam Chowder, we enjoyed it immediately. Nothing out of a can ever came close to authentic New England Clam Chowder, a concoction which takes the chill off out of the coldest New England day. Recently Del came up with a way of extending the chowder and adding an additional savor.
Here's the recipe.
2 Cans of Progresso New England Clam Chowder
1 Can Green Giant Cream Style Sweet Corn
1 Can Green Giant Niblets Corn
Pinch of Cayenne pepper
Season with Salt, Pepper, and Tony's
Open all cans.
Pour entire contents of all cans into sauce pan (or Corning Ware dish in Microwave).
Heat over Medium to Low heat untill simmering.
Thin with a little cream or milk if too thick.
Add a half slice of hot buttered toast to the side of each bowl.
(Croutons or Oyster Crackers optional)
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6. POETRY by BOBBY from "Yes, and Even More" Series ©1995:
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Prior ProgrammingPrior Programming: Written December 7, 1995 at 217 Timberlane Road. This poem describes the theory of Goethe and Steiner that it was the presence of light that created the organs of sight.
"The eyes are created by the light for the light." Goethe
Everything you do is based on prior programming.
"I don't get it."
Have you ever rubbed your eyes in the morning
to get them going?
Maybe a cold wash cloth does the trick for you?
What is going on?
"The blood starts flowing to the eyes?"
Right. You re-create the original irritation of the beams of sunlight
that caused the creation of the sense of sight
during the dawn of creation.
"I don't get it."
Everything we do is based on prior programming.
"I still don't get it."
If you don't get it, it's because of your prior programming.
Excerpt from my review of Supersensible Knowledge by Rudolf Steiner, who editted the Goethe archives:. . . Goethe's saying, "The eyes are created by the light for the light." The impact is this: that our eyes were created as a result of persistent impacts of light rays falling on the surface of the skull, causing pain (an abundance of sensory inputs), destroying the skin, and leading to the creation of a sensory apparatus (eyes) to record the sensation. (Perhaps humans passed through a Cyclops stage, before binocular vision was created.) The key here is that the presence of data created the transducers. Much like a computer systems analyst would add a transducer to record temperature of a device if the temperature of that device were crucial to the operation of the system. Thus we might expect new sensory apparatuses and capabilities to form as soon as persistent sources of new data appear.
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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for January:
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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. NOTE: these Blurbs are condensations of the Full Reviews sans footnotes and many quoted passages.[RJM NOTE: These five reviews were part of my "A Reader's Journal, Volume 1", but were missed during the initial website publication. Newly resurrected, I include these reviews here and in the ARJ1 reviews. ]
1.) ARJ1: It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It by Robert Fulghum[RJM NOTE: You may remember Robert Fulghum from his popular book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten from 1988. I have just added a passage to the review from page 218 as it contains a dictum I have often used but had forgotten the origin of, up until now: "He who laughs, lasts." ]
The fireman responded to an apartment fire and found a bed on fire. They questioned the tenant as to how the fire started. "I don't know," he said, "it was on fire when I lay on it." Thus was the title of Fulghum's successor to his "Kindergarten" book generated. Once again He mixes together a melange of anecdotes and philosophical nectar into a potpourri, which, when quaffed in deep draughts, warms the heart.
The three weddings he describes presiding at provide excellent examples of his genre. In the first wedding, the controlling mother's shenanigans are overturned by the bride's puking all over the wedding party in full view of the assembled congregation, Three video cameras, God and everybody. In the second the eloping brother-in-law (a widower) and sister-in-law (a widow) are surprised by their kids from both marriages, cousins soon to be siblings, who join in the ceremony. In the third episode, the marriage of a devout Catholic and a devout Jew proves that not only does love conquer all, but love is stronger than religion.
"Fulghum" is the only word on his business card as he does not wish to limit himself by putting an occupation on it. On airplane trips he prefers to concoct an occupation in order to generate conversation. Once he agreed with his fellow traveller that they would both choose alternate occupations and Fulghum chose "nun." The end of the plane ride brought him strange looks from the people seated behind him when they got their first glimpse of the nun to whom they had been listening.
His wife sleeps with a sleep mask on every night and when he goes to bed he chuckles to himself about sleeping with the Lone Ranger. He says he is now content to say things like "Goodnight, Kemo Sabe" to himself in deference to the sleeping beauty before him. This book is full of things that Fulghum has been privately chuckling about for some time and we are invited to join him in the fun.[page 218] Some years ago I cam across a phrase in Greek — asbestos gelos — unquenchable laughter. I traced it to Homer's Iliad, where it was used to describe the laughter of the gods. That's my kind of laughter. And he who laughs, lasts.
If you would ask him, if this is his last book, I'm sure he would answer "Belum," which is a quaint word in Indonesia, a favorite word of his, that means, "not quite yet."
Read the Review also at:
2.) ARJ1: Alchemical Studies by Carl Gustav Jung[RJM NOTE: This review left out of the bound version of A Reader's Journal, Volume 1, and was missed during the initial website publication. Newly resurrected, I include the review here and in the ARJ1 reviews. My early reviews were typically two pages long like this one."]
Jung starts this book with a quote from an ancient adept, "If the wrong man uses the right means, the right means work in the wrong way." Thus Jung starts the reader on a journey to that unique destination, individuation. The outcome of the journey is never certain; the goal is to arrive at one's own center of being and from there to gaze upon the world for the first time. Jung strives to bring metaphysical insights into the light of psychological understanding and explores the subterranean caverns of alchemy to mine it of its jewels of insight into that yet mysterious process of individuation. In simple terms, Jung tries to turn the wrong man into the right man.
He leads us through explorations of the secret of the golden flower, the writings of Paracelsus, the myths of Mecurius, and the lore of the philosophical tree. Till at the end of the book he tells us,It seemed desirable to discuss in some detail the process which underlie both alchemy and the modern psychology of the unconscious. I am aware, and hope I have made clear to the reader, that merely intellectual understanding is not sufficient. It supplies us only with verbal concepts, but it does not give us their true content, which is to be found in the living experience of the process as applied to ourselves.And in the closing sentence,We feel sorry for the [alchemist] and admire the [chemist], but no one asks about the fate of the psyche, which vanished from sight for several hundred years.
Vanished, that is, until Carl Jung focused his research on it and returned it, as a holy grail, to the light of day to heal all those who drank from it.
It is a shame that such beautiful insights should lie hidden in such a ponderous and unapproachable book. The process of individuation is never easy and easier to approach books tend to lead us farther from the goal of self knowledge.
Read the Review also at:
3.) ARJ1: Here to Heal by Reshad Feild
In this book Reshad covers some basics that any healer requires to be successful in his art. He covers the three R's of healing: Recognition, Redemption, and Resurrection. The second R, redemption, he says, we keep ourselves from by erecting three walls around our heart: the walls of resentment, envy, and pride. (See my poem, "Three Walls", which was directly inspired by this book.) Unless we dissolve, shake apart, or tunnel through these walls we will not heal ourselves and thus will not be able to heal others.
Feild discusses his experiences as healer of the earth, called a geomancer. By divining rods held over maps, he discovers vortices of negative energy and using iron rods clad with copper, he is able to divert the energy into useful channels. A couple at a small cottage have their peace interrupted by fires and floods (from an underground river, no less). He discovers that the nearby site of an old monastery had been paved over (shades of Amityville) and once he restored the disturbed flow of energy to its former path by directing it around the slab with his copper clad rods, peace was restored to the cottage.
He gives directions for the Mother's Breath: a sequence of 7-1-7-1-7 breaths: actually a rhythm, not a fixed time sequence. This is the same rhythm used by smokers of marijuana to produce altered states of consciousness.
Once when moving, a glass desk top sheared and a huge guillotine shard of glass sliced across my wrist. I automatically began breathing deeply and regularly in a similar fashion. The result was that the cut hardly bled at all. A friend who was watching me said she saw me stop the bleeding. That was the Mother's Breath I'm convinced now. Everyone should practice enough of this to ensure its availability in time of need.
Read this book and be ready with the Mother's Breath.
[Bobby's commentary found in handwriting from Back Inside Cover]:
April 20, 1989:
Hypnosis: Whenever you ask a question and happen to say remember when, if you mention a person, place or thing, you lead, via a subtle form of hypnosis, the other person into conjuring up an image of what you described. Do not do this unless that is your intention!
June 4, 1989:
Large Groups Suck: You must wait for everyone in the group to show up before you can move to another place. Thus, the person who has the most problems, the most kinks in their life, will hold up and inconvenience everyone else. This is the major difficulty with democracy. We are all dragged down to the lowest level of limitation, up until now!
Read the Review also at:
4.) ARJ1: Jung and the Lost Gospels by Stephan A. Hoeller
Starting with "dreams as facts", Jung ends with all facts as dreams, if we interpret the psyche as dreams. Jung avers the reality of the psyche clearly and concisely in several places. Here's one example:
Early in this book Hoeller identifies himself as a modern day Gnostic and the book seems dedicated to his examination of the main tenets of Gnosticism. He explores the writings of the father of Gnosticism (Valentinus), the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Nag Hammadi library.
The "Song of the Pearl" is a story told by Bardesan (b. 155 A.D.) as an ancient Gnostic myth. It tracks the plot of so many stories of the hero who forgets his mission (modern day version: `Man Who Fell to Earth'). It concerns the plight of the prince who, visiting a strange country, forgets his mission until some event intervenes to assist him in remembering who he really is. Here is a fragment of one of his hymns presereved by St. Ephrem:
[page 81, 82] Thou fountain of joy
Whose gate by commandment
Opens wide to the Mother;
Which Beings divine
Have measured and founded,
Which Father and Mother
With their steps have made fruitful.
Let her who comes after thee
To me be a daughter
A sister to thee.
When at length shall it be ours
To look on thy banquet.
To see the young maiden,
The daughter thou sett'st
On thy knee and caressest?
Hoeller tells us details of the two great Gnostic mystery rites: the bridal chamber and the redemption . He explains how these two rites became flattened of affect and meaning and were transformed into the mundane sacraments of matrimony and penance in the second or third century. In the bridal chamber, the man is reunited with his female angelic part from which he was separated at birth, the woman likewise with male angelic part. The difference between our matrimony and the bridal chamber mystery is that matrimony, in which a real man and real woman join together in a partnership, is one step removed from the process of the bridal chamber. The bridal chamber rite is the mysterium coniunctionus of Jung or the heiros gamos (or mystical marriage) of the Greeks. In these rites the `eternal male' part is united in one body with the `eternal female'. The individual undergoing that rite will become unified, made one, `be alone but never lonely', and may or may not be married. In a real sense marriage is a poor substitute for heiros gamos and although it may be useful as a stepping stone to the real thing. So often, however, the hero (or heroine ) forgets his (or her) ultimate goal and builds a house upon the stepping stone. As the Sufi's say, `counterfeit coin can exist only because real gold exists'.
Stephan Hoeller shows us the real gold and we can see our houses of religion as stepping stones to self-knowledge and individuation and not as the final goal.
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5.) ARJ1: Six Walks in Fictional Woods by Umberto Eco
I first read this book in April 1994. I remember it well because when I reached page 88 on April 14, 1994, I read the following, " . . . today is Wednesday, April 14, 1993 . . . ". Exactly one year, 365 days, had passed from when Eco wrote the original words until I read them in a finished book, second printing. I noted the date in the book, and later, on August 14, 1995, I again encountered the same page in the course of re-reading this book, one year and four months later. I return to Six Walks like Eco gets lost in the woods in Sylvie. After his first reading of Sylvie at the age of twenty, Eco returned to it time and again: in his papers, seminars, and graduate courses he gave on the novel. He says, "Every time I picked up Sylvie, even though I knew it in such an anatomical way — perhaps because I knew it so well — I fall in love with it again, as if I were reading it for the first time." Eco gets lost in Sylvie's fictional woods like I did in the Foxborough State Park on my trail bike. Soon I came to know where all the trails came out, where all the waterfalls were, where the granite quarry was, but still I rode to enjoy new combinations of trails and the changing of the terrain with the different seasons of the year. Each time Eco's Model Reader reads the same book another time, the Empirical Reader is experiencing a different season of the year, of life. During our perambulations with Eco, we discover there are Model Authors and Empirical Authors as well — makes for a busy reading time, since four's company.
Here is a potpourri of Eco from Six Walks:
Eco gives a process description of a pornographic film: what is non-sexual takes as long as real life, what is sexual takes much longer.
Eco asks, "How can a verbal text put something before our eyes as if we could see it." He explains how the impression of space is created by expanding "both the discourse time and reading in relation to the story time."
Eco points out that "it was believed that the Morning Star was different from the Evening Star (Hesperus and Phosphorus, as they were called), but that these are really the same celestial body — namely, Venus." Thus, those who worshiped the Morning Star held their adorations in the morning. They were loath to believe that the object of worship of their evening worshiping brethren was the same as their beloved morning icon. Two perspectives, one object.
Eco says, "During the seventeenth century, Francis Lodwick put forward the idea that original names were the names not substances but of actions." Like the American Indian names we hear today, such as "Dances With Wolves" or "Rainbow Dancing Waters." The focus is on the action, the process, not the thing. Using this naming process, one might call Umberto Eco: "Walks in Fictional Woods."
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6.) ARJ1: Strategy of the Dolphin — Scoring a Win in a Chaotic World by Dudley Lynch and Paul L. Kordis
Ablaze with self-indulgent and self-congratulatory fluff — this masterpiece of hyperbole hardly ever finishes a sentence or a complete thought. E.g., "The strategy of the carp. And the strategy of the shark." or later "It's the road less traveled, but if you begin, in the discovery sense, you are already there." This is future shock in mega-doses, "open wide" they say (in effect), "we have you pegged and here is your curriculum vitae for future success. You only have to jump into the pool and dophinize your shark and carp brain to swim circles around others to succeed in creating a flow that overwhelms you with abundance everywhere: of money, love, friends, success, and, of course, money! By the way, here's our address to send us money at Brain Technologies Corporation."
I read this book through in one session (about 2 hours) since there was little material that was new to me and because the hyper-onceover the book gives the subjects encourages that kind of express train mentality.
Read this book if you are a carp or a shark and have fallen so far behind in your field that you cannot catch up in one simple lifetime. It will at least give you an explanation of why. Or at best plot a blueprint for a springboard to a revolutionary way of thinking/being that will make your former shark/carp/pseudo-enlightened-carp thinking irrelevant to your future self.
Dolphins: save your money and skim it at a library.http://www.doyletics.com/_arj1/sixwalks.htm
7.) ARJ2: Mystery of the Universe, GA#201 by Rudolf Steiner
This Review Blurb completes the one begun in Digest10c on December 1, 2010.
Quick summary of the three planes brought by Steiner out of the abstract Cartesian coordinates of x, y, z axes into the three human planes in which we live, move, and have our being. First consider the plane which divides our left and right sides of our body. This is the plane of Thinking and discriminating. The second plane divides our front from our back (anterior from posterior). This second plane does not exist for animals because they are not human and have no possibility of this anterior/posterior plane because the natural animal body is oriented parallel to the surface of the Earth instead of perpendicular to it as humans are oriented naturally. This is the plane of everything dealing with human Will. The third plane is that of Feeling which is the horizontal plane you form by stretching out your hands, it separates the head region from the body and limbs region, the above from the below.
What is the option that modern astronomy provides us?
[page 10] Naturally if one only takes this last remnant of the human being — the three dimensions at right angles to one another — if that is all one wants to imagine, then the Universe appears terribly poor. Poor, infinitely poor is our present astronomical view of the Universe; and it will not become richer until we press forward to a real knowledge of Man, until we really learn to look into Man.
Astronomers and physicists subtract away the essence of what it means to be Man and starve upon the abstract, dead logical constructs which remain. Having studied astronomy as a physicist, I have some acquaintance with the matter. I was trapped by my academic studies like a triangle in Abbott's Flatland. I would watch in awe as 3-D objects penetrated my 2-D world, a sphere appearing as a point, growing larger and then smaller till it became a point once more and disappeared. That was how the world of above and below, the world of feeling appeared to me. I didn't have a clue as to what I was feeling, it was just things which happened to me. One day I read Jane Austen's Emma and I was taken aback — she was writing about feelings! A whole new dimension of existence opened up for me that was nowhere to be found in Skilling's "Electric Waves" or Margenau's "Quantum Physics". Like Alice consuming the "Drink Me" liquid, I grew out of the abstract me into a full human being who could now move through the Flatlands of astronomy and physics with ease. More importantly the things I talked to people about were full of meaning to everyone not just to the academic types.
During this process of growth, I studied Left and Right Brain functions, a subject of much interest in the 1970s and 80s, and one that I find Steiner was familiar with over ninety years ago. Here is his description of the distinction between Left and Right Brain processes. Note that he refers only to the external limbs which are cross-connected to hemispheres of the brain, so that left sense-organs (connected to the right hemisphere) are and charged with sensing outer objects, and our right sense-organs (connected to the left hemisphere) are charged with "sensing our sense" of them. (Page 11)
[page 11] We bisect our organism as it were into right and left; for we really act quite differently with our right and left sense-organs. This we can appreciate if we observe that with the left sense-organ we undertake as it were, the handling of outer objects; and in our thinking too, there is a sort of handling or feeling of external objects. With the right sense-organ we as it were 'feel our feeling' of them. It is then that they first become our own.
Try this experiment: bring your two hands together and interlace your fingers with fingers lying on top of each hand in the valley formed by the knuckles. Do that now. Observe which thumb is on top of the other thumb. Is your right thumb or left thumb? Whichever it is, separate your hands by several feet and bring them together again so the opposite thumb is on top of the other — if your Right Thumb was on top, now your Left Thumb should be on top. Notice how different it feels? Awkward, perhaps? Difficult? Perhaps you would like to learn how to make both ways feel equally comfortable.Here's how to do it: Start with the natural way from the first time, let's say it was Left Thumb on top. Slowly move your hands apart, always keeping the Right Thumb and Fingers lifted against and touching the Left Thumb and Fingers. When you reach the extremities, roll over the tips of Thumb and Fingers and begin to approach with the Right Thumb and Fingers on top. Move slowly till both hands are interlaced as originally, only with the opposite Thumb on top. You may encounter some difficulty during this, so make sure that you allow your wrists to flex in order to complete the process. After a few times, you will find it possible to feel equally comfortable with either Thumb on top. This can be seen to be an Ego or "I-am" building exercise as it requires coordination between both your left and right hand sense-organs.
[page 11] We could never have attained to the ego-concept if we were not able to perceive, together with what we experience on the right, also that which we experience on the left. By simply laying the hands one over the other we have a picture of the ego-concept. It is indeed true that by beginning to use clear images instead of living merely in phraseology, man will become inwardly richer and will gain the faculty of visualizing the Universe in greater detail.
Animals lack an Ego and thus cannot experience abstract dimensions in space as any human being can. When a Zoologist calls Man the "highest primate" it is an insult to every human being who knows that no animal has an Ego.
[page 14, 15] The question is important: How do we manage to obtain abstract space dimensions from concrete ones? An animal could not do this! An animal would always feel its plane of symmetry as a concrete 'symmetry' plane, and it would not relate this symmetry plane to any abstract direction, but would at most, if it could think at all in the human sense, feel the turning (from one plane to another). The animal in fact does feel this turning as a deviation of its symmetry plane from the normal. Herein lie important and essential problems of Zoology, which will once again be illustrated as soon as Man studies them from the standpoint of their impulses in reality.
Anyone over the age of 60 has seen dramatic changes in automobiles during the twentieth century. If one has ever driven a car which had a crank to start the engine, as early Model T Fords, one knows how convenient the invention of the electric starter must have been. No longer did one have to walk outside in all kinds of weather to the front of the automobile, instead one pushed a button on the dashboard to start the motor. Every new incarnation of automobiles arrived with some function that previously one had to go outside to do or check: the oil level goes low and the engine light on the dashboard comes on, the tire pressure goes low and a light on the dashboard comes on. The dashboard went from a flat board designed to keep water from splashing on the driver (thus the dash-board) to what should be called the instrument panel or the sensory coordination center, the brain, if you will, of the automobile. Considering how the various generations of cars have evolved, it shouldn't be too foreign to consider that human beings undergo a similar process of evolution, namely, what forces were in one's limbs during a previous incarnation are now located in one's head. "Head forces are the metamorphosis of the limb forces of the previous incarnation." (Page 15)
Our head is the equivalent of the seed of a plant, the main difference is that the plant growing up away from the Earth whereas the human being grows down towards the Earth. In the womb we are first formed as all head, and then gradually the limbs are added, we born unable to stand erect, but as we complete our maturation outside of the womb, we eventually stand up and complete the process of growing down to the Earth. Thus, when looking at how the various portions of plants affect which portions of the human body, one must imagine the human being with its head under the ground, as if its head were a seed growing up.
This is the key to understanding how we have evolved abstract notions of space and directions: our head begins its existence independently of the Earth and only gradually grows down towards it.
[page 21, 22] Consider for a moment what we as civilized humanity have done since the beginning of this Fifth post-Atlantean epoch. We have thought about the Universe with our head. And it is the head — that part of us which has made itself quite independent of the Earth — that has contracted the world-movements into the abstraction of the three dimensions. We have the Copernican conception of the Universe, designed for us by the least appropriate means, the head, the essential characteristic of which is its emancipation from co-operation in the world movements. It would be somewhat as though you wished to obtain an idea, shall we say, of the movement of a railway train in which you are traveling, from a picture of it you draw with your hand, without reference to the movement of the train, but solely according to your own ideas. You draw something; you make yourself independent. But you cannot consider such a drawing as depicting the movement of the railway train; it has nothing whatever to do with it! And just as little to do with the world-process has a picture of it that we have designed according to external spatial astronomy, using for the purpose the instrument that is the most inadequate for its conception.
If you wish construct a model of how the Earth revolves around the Sun, take an old phonograph record, glue a round ball to its periphery, and start the turntable spinning. There will be the Earth revolving around the center of the turntable where the Sun would be located. Simple enough — but what does this model leave out? Well, the Earth is spinning around the Sun more like a ball on a string whirled around with one's hand held in the air. But consider that the Sun is moving quickly through space. So imagine you are on the tip of a rocket rising straight into the air and are spinning the model of Earth around, what does it do? It trails after you as it spins around you. That is how the Earth trails the Sun during its travels through the universe. And we as humans on the surface of the rotating Earth traverse an amazingly complex path of spirals within spirals through the Universe.
[page 24] But I will show you first how to gain a conception of the true relation of the Earth to the Sun — that the Earth actually follows the Sun in its path — by searching for the one thing that will show us this relationship, namely certain processes in the human organism connected with the representative of the Sun in man — the human heart. For it is by taking our start from the knowledge of Man that we must seek to attain to a knowledge of the Universe.
The method is to distinguish the three planes of the human being which relate to thinking, willing, and feeling, not to build a different set of lines of orbits of the Earth and Sun.
[page 26] I have tried to show you how, the moment one begins to pass to a more intensive experience of the three directions of space in one's own form, one realizes how these directions differ in nature and kind from one another; it is only the faculty of mental abstraction in the head which makes these three dimensions abstract and does not distinguish between above and below, left and right, before and behind, but simply takes them as three lines. And a similar error would immediately again be incurred if one set out to build any other construction into space in a purely abstract way.
The next bit of news will no doubt come as a shock: the Sun is really a black hole and does not generate light and heat but merely reflects it back from the rest of the Solar System. This might seem to some staunch materialists as weird as saying that the heart is not a pump, but rather the circulation of the blood moves the heart! The interesting part of these two phenomena is that they are isomorphic with each other: the Sun and the heart are both receivers of the bounty of the milieu in the center of which they are embedded! Both are hollow vessels which receive flow, pulsate, and emit flow back into their sphere of control. To be convinced of the truth of the heart's operation as a hydraulic ram which interrupts the flow of circulatory blood to create turbulence in order to oxygenate the blood, one need only observe the pulsation of the heart in a fetus, an organ that does not resemble a pump at all because it has no discernible structure nor muscular walls, but is merely an elongated portion of an artery.As for the true nature of the Sun, scientists have never been able to explain why the temperature in the atmosphere of the Sun is higher than that inside the Sun, a scientific fact which seems to indicate that the Sun is a charged body traveling in a galactic magnetic field and thus acting as a generator of electromagnetic radiation. All of which, if so, is exactly as Steiner described it 90 years earlier. Plus, scientists have postulated Black Holes as existing in various distant parts of the universe, but no one actually has seen one and thus the Sun could be one and no one would know, and if that were so, Steiner would be right on his other point that the Sun's center contains "negative space which absorbs everything which comes near it". The radiation of the Sun is not absorbed because it happens at and above the surface of the Sun, being generated by the motion of the large charged body in a magnetic field. If there are some thermonuclear reactions within the body of the Sun, these would be confined to the surface area and a side effect of the Black Hole in the deeper interior of the Sun, which we have no instruments for measuring.
[page 37, 38] Look at the principal course of the blood-vessels in the human organism. Seen from above it is like a looped line. Instead of drawing it, we should follow the hieroglyphs inscribed in our own selves; for then we would learn to understand the nature of the qualities in the Universe outside.This we can only do when we are able to recognize and experience livingly the fact of which I have also spoken in public lectures, the fact namely, that the heart does not work like a pump driving the blood through the body, but that the heart is moved by the circulation, which is itself a living thing, and the circulation is in its turn conditioned by the organs. The heart, as can be followed in embryology, is really nothing more than a product of the blood circulation. If we can understand what the heart is in the human body, we shall learn to understand also that the Sun is not, as Newton calls it, the general cable-pulley which sends its ropes (called the force of gravitation) towards the planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and so forth, drawing them by these unseen forces of attraction, or spraying out light to them, and the like; but that just as the movement of the heart is the product of the life-force of the circulation, so the Sun is no other than the product of the whole Planetary system. The Sun is the result, not the point of departure. The living co-operation of the solar system produces in the center a hollow, which reflects as a mirror. That is the Sun! I have often said that the physicist would be greatly astonished if he could travel to the Sun and find there nothing of what he now imagines, but simply a hollow space; nay, even a hollow space of suction which annihilates everything within it. A space indeed that is less than hollow. A hollow space merely receives what is put into it; but the Sun is a hollow space of such a nature that anything brought to it is immediately absorbed and disappears. There in the Sun is not only nothing, but less than nothing. What shines to us in the light is the reflection of what first comes in from Cosmic space — just as the movement of the heart is, as it were, what is arrested there in the co-operation of the organs, in the blood-movement, through the activity of thirst and hunger and so forth.
Truly there is in operation the macrocosm of the Sun in the Cosmos mirroring the microcosm of the Heart in the Human Being. If the human being evolved in synchronism with the cosmos, as Steiner describes in his Outline of Occult Science, then this is surely to be expected. If we are ever to follow the dictum over the Temple of Apollo, "Know Thyself", we will find this knowledge of ourselves revealing a knowledge of the cosmos and vice versa — it all happens at the same time.
There is an interesting religious aspect which suggests itself at this point, people who would gladly acknowledge taking Christ into their heart might balk at accepting the reality of Christ residing in the Sun, the heart of our Cosmos, up until now. We discover the living Nature of our macrocosm aligning with the living Christian religion of our microcosm.
During life between death and a new birth what was formerly outside of us is inside of us, instead of looking out into the cosmos as we do now, we look then within ourselves. "In a certain sense we look then from the periphery upon the center." (Page 103)
[page 108, 109] Between birth and death we say: My heart is within my breast, and in it converge the streams or motions of the blood-circulation. At a certain stage of development between death and re-birth we say: In my inner being is the Sun — and by this expression we mean the actual Sun, which the physicist claims to be a ball of gas, but which is in reality something quite different. We experience the actual Sun in the same manner as we experience here the heart. Here the Sun is visible to the eye, whereas during the time between death and re-birth the evolution of the heart on its path to the pineal gland, as it undergoes on the way a wonderful metamorphosis, is the cause of sublime experiences. We experience the complete system of our blood-circulation — the forces at work in it, that is, not the substances as such. As existence between death and re-birth proceeds, these forces undergo transmutation, so that, when once again we come to be born again on earth, they have become the forces of us of our new nervous-system.
Here is a concise summary of the tripartite human as a being of thinking, feeling, and will. In our thinking we are awake, in our feeling as in a dreaming sleep, and in our will as in a deep unconscious sleep. Our will is connected to our metabolism and part of our limb-nature and all this is "really in a state of perpetual sleep" — which means a deep unconscious sleep.
[page 114] We must be absolutely clear that this state of sleep continues in regard to our inner organism, when we ourselves are awake. We can therefore say that the 'limb-being' as carrier of our 'will-being', is in a permanent state of sleep. Our circulation or 'rhythmic-being', which may be described as mediating between the head-organization and the limb-being (the latter extending into our interior in metabolism) is in a continuous dream state. This rhythmic system is at the same time the outer instrument for our world of feeling. The world of feeling is rooted wholly within our rhythmic organization and while our metabolic system, together with its outward extension — the limbs — is the vehicle of the will, the rhythmic system is the vehicle of our feeling life, and is related to our consciousness in the same way as our dream state to our waking life. Between waking and falling asleep, we are only really awake in our life of ideation and thought.
One must also be aware that our limbic-being includes the various processes of digestion as well as the operation of our outer limbs.
[page 114, 115] Thus man, in his life between birth and death, is in an intermittent waking state in respect to his life of thought, in a dream state regarding his emotions and feelings, of which the rhythmic system is the vehicle; and he is in a state of continuous sleep as regards his limbs and metabolic system. We must realize at this point that really to comprehend human nature, it is necessary to fix our attention upon the fact of the extension of the limb-nature into the interior of man. All the processes that are ultimately connected with the abdominal region, everything connected with assimilation, digestion, as also with the secretion of milk in females, and so forth, all these processes are a continuation of the limb nature, directed inwards. So that in speaking of the will-nature or metabolic-nature, we do not mean only the outer limbs, but the continuation inwards too of this limb activity. In respect to all this, intimately connected as it is with the will-nature, we are continuously asleep.
Here we encounter another difference between what Steiner perceives as an inner reality and what the science of physiology holds to be true. Steiner reveals that there are no motor neurons, only neurons of perception. Thus when a neuron is severed which would otherwise report the position of a man's leg, e.g., that man will not be able to move his leg, because he will not even know the leg exists, even if he can see it with his own eyes!(3)
[page 115] The nerve merely informs us that we have a limb, it tells us of the presence of such a limb. This nerve as such has no part in the activity of the Ego upon that limb. A direct correspondence exists between the limb and the will, which latter is associated in man with the Ego-being, and in the animal with the astral body. All that Physiology has to say in respect, for instance, of the speed of transmission of the so-called will, needs to be revised; it should be impressed upon us that here we have to do rather with the velocity of transmission in respect of the perception of that particular limb. Naturally anyone initiated into modern physiology can challenge this assertion in a dozen ways. I am well acquainted with these objections. But we have to try to rise a really logical thought process in this matter, and we shall find that what I say here corresponds with actual facts of observation, while what is said in physiological textbooks does not.
The Deed of Golgotha, when Christ Jesus's blood flowed from the Cross into the Earth and forever changed the nature of the Earth, setting it glowing for spiritual sight. It was this glow which the Hebrew initiate Saul encountered on the road to Damascus and caused him to understand and proclaim the Good News of the arrival of Christ, the Great Sun Spirit as a living presence thenceforth in the Earth. This Deed, this Event both physical and spiritual, cannot be rightly understood unless the human being is understood as a being of body, soul, and spirit. A speed bump to that understanding was installed in the ninth century at a meeting of Church fathers.
[page 123, 124] It is possible to understand the physical man as an expression of the Spiritual which is experienced between death and re-birth. The physical world explains itself and brings the spiritual world into this explanation. But we must first know this, saying to ourselves: The phenomena of nature are only a half, as long as we have them as mere sense-phenomena. We must first know this. Then we can find the bridge and understand the event that gave Earth its true meaning — the event of Golgotha: then we can understand how a purely spiritual event can at the same time enter right into physical life. If a man is not prepared to see the relation of the physical to the spiritual aright, he will never be able to grasp the fact that the Event of Golgotha is both a spiritual Event and an Event of the physical plane.When in the eighth General Ecumenical Council, in the year 869, the Spirit was eliminated, it was made impossible to understand the Event of Golgotha. The interesting point is that while the Western Churches started from Christianity, they took great care that the essence of Christianity should not be understood. For the nature and essence of Christianity must be grasped by the Spirit. The Western creeds set themselves against the Spirit, and one of the principal reasons why Anthroposophy is prohibited by them is that in Anthroposophy we have to relinquish the erroneous statement that 'man consists of soul and body' and return to the truth that 'man consists of body, soul and Spirit'. The prohibition indicates the interest taken on that side to prevent man from coming to the knowledge of the Spirit, and so arriving at the true significance of the Event of Golgotha. Thus the whole knowledge which, as we see, throws so much light on the understanding of Man, has been entirely lost.
Steiner says, in effect, that "empty talk is the sister of falsehood" and it is the task of each and every one of us to find our way into a knowledge of the spirit which will lead us out of the labyrinth of empty talk which has masqueraded so long for religious dogma. (Page 125)
There is a treasure chest in every lecture in this volume, too many subjects to be dealt with comprehensively in this review. In Lecture 16 Steiner sums up the case for human beings and our life and purpose here on Earth. If ecologists think humans are destroying Earth, in a long-term sense, they are exactly right. We are annihilating Earth and will continue to do so until it passes into nothingness, like a Hollywood set made expressly for a movie is often destroyed in the final dramatic scenes, but like that movie, the film is saved, the pictures survive the complete destruction of the set.
[page 211, 212] Throughout the world of Nature, conversion of forces prevails. In man alone matter is thrown out by pure thought. That matter which is actually cast out of the human being by pure thought is also annihilated, it passes into nothingness. In man, therefore is a place in the universe which matter ceases to exist.
If we reflect upon this, we must think of all Earth-existence as follows: Here is the Earth, and on the Earth, man; into man passes matter. Everywhere else it is transmuted. In man it is annihilated. The material Earth will pass away in proportion as matter is destroyed by man. When, some day, all the substance of the Earth will have passed through the human organism, being used there for thinking, the Earth will cease to be a cosmic body. And what man will have gained from this cosmic Earth will be pictures. These however, will have a new reality, they will have preserved an original reality. This reality is that which proceeds from the force which, as central force, makes itself felt through the Mystery of Golgotha. Thus, when we look to the end of the Earth, what do we see? The end of the Earth will come when all its substance is destroyed as described above. Man will then possess pictures of all that has taken place in earthly evolution. At the end of the earthly period the Earth will have sunk into the Universe, and there would remain merely pictures, without reality. What gives them reality however, is the fact of the Mystery of Golgotha having been there within human evolution giving these pictures inner reality for the life to come. Through the Mystery of Golgotha, a new beginning is set for the earth's future existence.
In the end, freedom cannot be proved, only grasped, and it can only be grasped through the kind of sense-free thinking which Steiner described and illustrated in his classic work, The Philosophy of Freedom.
[page 214] Anyone who seeks to be constrained to recognize Christ cannot find His Kingdom, he can rise only to the Universal Father-God, who however, in our world, has now only a share in a decaying world, and precisely on account of the decay of His own world, has sent the Son. Spiritual cosmogony must unite with natural cosmogony, but they must unite in man — and that by a free act. Hence we can only say of one who wishes to prove freedom that he is still at an ancient heathen standpoint. All proofs of freedom fail; our task is not to prove freedom, but to take hold of it. It is grasped when one understands the nature of sense-free thinking. Sense-free thinking however needs again the connection with the world, and this connection it does not find unless it unites with what has been introduced into the evolution of the world as new substance through the Mystery of Golgotha.
As you finish this review, I hope it is clear to you that you have only tasted the appetizers and the full banquet awaits your attention in the sixteen lectures of this book, many of which were not touched upon in this review. As with any banquet, the best sauce is a good appetite, so order yourself a copy of this book, work up an appetite, and be ready for a feast.
Read the Full Review at:
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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.
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 wanders past a Kiddie Clothes Shop.
2.Comments from Readers:
- EMAIL from Carolyn Bienski in Texas:
Hi there Bobby, Your reviews this month were pretty darn fantastic. Thanks so much for all your work, labor of love, and sharing the fun. It's a real treat.
- EMAIL from Sarah Cherry in Tennessee:
Greetings, Dear Ones,
At Steiner Study group on Sunday, we worked through an exercise practiced in many consciousness studies. We observed a simple object and commented on it, with the intent that we would only connect those thoughts to it that were directly related to the observation of the object. We did not assign a concept to the object from any memory or other association. We were to connect through direct observation, using our senses. (read more on this exercise below, just scroll down) This prompted me to realize that many of you may not be familiar with Steiner's view of the senses and defined twelve of them.
Below is a chart of the TWELVE senses. It is from a review of Steiner's Riddles of Humanity written by Bobby Matherne, a friend, Scholar and Gourmet cook from Louisiana. If you wish to read the entire review, it can be found at: http://www.doyletics.com/arj/trhrvw.htm
In the review of the book, the twelve senses are explained in detail. I invite you to check out Bobby's entire site. It's wonderful.
- EMAIL from Kevin Dann in Germany:
I am keen to read your Stieg Larsson review. The Larsson trilogy was of course prominently displayed in every German bookstore — along with an enormous pile of pop occultism stuff, from vampires to magicians. Heck, the Germans invented the genre, no? Wish we could go back to that great little bar and I could give you the whole travelogue.
EMAIL to/from Vesa Loikas in Turku, Finland:
2010/12/25 Bobby Matherne kirjoitti:
Great Christmas card! Truly the loveliest young ladies I've ever seen and so color-coordinated, as if by an artist! Makes me want to go jump in some snow! Can I use that photo in my upcoming Digest?
Oh, and to make Christmas Eve perfect, I received one of your aprons a few minutes ago. I love it. It will become one of Chef Bobby Jeaux's favorite aprons! (See Photo above) Photo of the Chef in it will follow after the Holidays.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! warm regards,
~~ REPLY from Vesa Loikas: ~~
Great that you like the apron and the photo. Sure you can use. Just put my website adress along with it (www.vesaloikas.com).
EMAIL, etc., Title
3. Epistemology THOUGHT: In earlier times when we humans knew directly, we did not need a science of what it means to know. Thus, there was no need for Epistemology. Anthroposophy, rightly understood, is the only modern science which contains its own Epistemology.
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9. CLOSING NOTES:
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My reviews are not intended to replace the purchasing and reading of the reviewed books, but rather to supplant a previous reading or to spur a new reading of your own copy. What I endeavor to do in most of my reviews is to impart a sufficient amount of information to get the reader comfortable with the book so that they will want to read it for themselves. My Rudolf Steiner reviews are more detailed and my intention is bring his work to a new century of readers by converting his amazing insights into modern language and concepts.
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