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WELCOME TO DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#12a October, 2012== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Quote for the Fall Month of October:
Writing is the art of protecting unique thoughts from disappearing while exposing them to common ignorance.
— Bobby Matherne
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GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents ISSUE#12a for October 2012Archived DIGESTWORLD Issues
Table of Contents
If you missed DW#129's ISAAC PHOTOS CLICK HERE
1. October's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for October
3. On a Personal Note
Flowers of Shanidar Poems
4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe of the Month from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen: Simple Omelet
6. Poem from Philosophy of Physical Science: "Darkness and Light "
7. Reviews and Articles Added for October:
8. Commentary on the World
- ART: Bridging Science and Spirit by Norman Friedman
- ARJ2: The Last Man Who Knew Everything by Andrew Robinson
- ARJ2: Introducing Anthroposophical Medicine, GA#312, Lectures 8 to 20 by Rudolf Steiner
1. Padre Filius Cartoon
2. Comments from Readers
3. Freedom on the Half Shell Poem
4. Rheingau Redux
5. Times-Picayune a Goner!
9. Closing Notes — our mailing list, locating books, subscribing/unsubscribing to DIGESTWORLD
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1. October Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
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For newcomers to DIGESTWORLD, 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 New Use for Chocolate.
#1 "Like It or Choc It" at http://www.doyletics.com/images/092412jv.gif
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2. HONORED READERS FOR October:
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Each month we choose to honor two Good Readers of our DIGESTWORLD from those all over the World. Here are the two worthy Honored Readers for October, 2012:
Betty Hoffman in Gretna, LA
William W. Morgan in Cyberspace
Congratulations, Betty and William!
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3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
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Out Our Way:
A STRANGER COMES TO TOWN
It's been four years since Hurricane Gustav blew into town and gave me my first chance to use my new gasoline generator. At the end of August, another stranger, this time called Isaac, made a slow flyover, sticking around for several days and causing many of his hosts a power outage lasting about a week. Visitors, like fish, begin to stink after three days, and Isaac was a real stinker! Even though his blustery winds barely topped hurricane force at 80 mph, he danced a slow waltz through South Louisiana causing major flooding in areas outside the Hurricane Protection levees. People who live outside these levees enjoy abundant wildlife and fishing at their back doors, but have to pay up when hurricane storm surges come to town as happened with Isaac.
For those of you who wondered how I managed to get my September Issue out, I should explain that I cut short the issue by holding off on one review and saving room for about eight photos after Isaac was over and my power restored, which I expected to be a couple of days. After completing it, I sent out the Reminder emails a few days before the end of the month, on the day that Isaac's winds were beginning. For seven days after the storm we had only generator power, no AC, and no internet. When electricity was restored, I returned to DW#129 to add about 7 photos of Isaac activities in the first week after the storm which, if you missed, this link will take you directly to the photos: DW#129 .
How did we fare without power for so long? Since Katrina we have kept any free freezer space in our kitchen and garage freezers filled with half-gallon plastic jars of water which, by allowing for expansion, freeze completely without splitting or pushing off the cap. If the bottle splits or busts its cap and we're out of town during an outage, the water will leak out into the room.When the power went out, we moved some of the frozen jugs into the fridge compartment, turning it into an old-fashioned ice box. Once the generator was powered up, we kept the garage fridge/freezer going, providing ice and re-freezing any melted jugs from inside fridge/freezer. Our new home has gas water heaters, so we had all the hot water we wanted, plus the gas log lighter in the fireplace gave us a way to boil water for coffee and heat up prepared foods. After the storm, our first purchase was a whistling teapot to make the boiling water process much easier. Do you know how long water takes to boil if you're watching the pot? T'aint fun waiting.
Our three 5 gallon cans of gasoline got us through to when the first gasoline station was pumping gas again. Getting the generator started was a problem. Previous time, four years ago, it started on the first pull. We called our handy man Marcello and he came over, diagnosed it as a fuel problem, then pinpointed the carburetor, removed its cover and cleaned out tiny debris keeping gasoline from getting to the engine. It started right away and each time afterward on the first pull.
On the second day with the generator running, we were excited about being able to use the microwave oven to heat food, but in a few hours, the microwave was dead, or apparently so. No lights on the digital display. It had lasted 12 years so it was time to replace it. I hoped it would work when the electricity was restored, so I kept it handy. On the day before we got power back, having a lot of time on our hands, we went out one day to buy a microwave oven. See ODYSSEY below.
TUESDAY: ARRIVAL OF ISAAC
How did we spend the day of Isaac's arrival? In the morning, I went to my favorite coffeeshop and was told by Cody that they would likely close around noon. On leaving PJ's with my small latte, I saw a beautiful full color rainbow in the sky to my left and got a photo of it. Showed signs of being a full half-circle rainbow, but about half of it was obscured by low-flying clouds. Good sign.
Back home I received emails of concern about us from Chris and Carla Bryant, Gust & Janet, Barbara Scott, Kristina Kaine, Kaisu Viikari, Michael Ivory, Jeff March, and Debra Barford. Also Carla our daughter had called me the previous night. The various callers hail from West Texas, Florida, Australia, Finland, California and Chicago, among other places. I spent the morning sending out some 57 DW reminders which didn't go out earlier for some reason. I then backed everything up and prepared for us to be without power for a few days due to Tropical Storm Isaac.
I thought all the news broadcasters would pee on themselves when Isaac just barely exceeded the 75 mph winds needed for him to be called a HURRICANE! ! ! They entoned, "Level 1 HURRICANE!" as if it were horrendous, followed by 6 FEET of flood surge with the same emphasis, clearly intended to install phobias in TV viewers and to grab their attention, rather than actually communicating something helpful. When Isaac was demoted back to a Tropical Storm on Wednesday, TV's Dennis Woltering said, as if giving wisdom from on high, "You know, there's a fine line between a Tropical Storm and Hurricane." Duh! Of course, it's a fine line! So fine only the Dedekin Cut of calculus can make it out: from 74.999999… to 75.0000000… in practical speaking, basically nothing. Put another way, TV announcers emphasis when a storm goes up over that infinitesimal line at 75, but minimize it when the storm goes below the same line. It's as though Woltering wanted the phobia strength of the word Hurricane to continue even though it was now a mere Tropical Storm.
Back to Tuesday: Del helped me to chop up the veggies for a large Cajun Stir Fry. We used about half the okra left after I gave a big bag to our next door neighbors, Don and Connie. They said they'd be staying during storm, but Don usually left his truck outside and it was gone on Wednesday, so I thought they'd gone to the Parish with their folks. That is, until I saw him and Connie cleaning the street in the wind and rain when I walked back from looking at the Roadhouse for Betty Hoffman who was in Las Vegas with her two sisters, Pat and Marie.
We had an avocado with rest of jumbo lump crabmeat as appetizer to hold us while we cooked. I made a fresh two cups of rice and the Stir Fry came out great. Filled up the pot. After eating we put it in the refrigerator. I also lowered the AC setting so that our lower three AC units would keep house as cool as possible. This helped out enormously for Wednesday and following days with no power and no generator.
After supper we watched this movie, "Being Flynn" with De Niro as an aging cab driver and delinquent father who was also a genius in his own mind, considering himself one of three best writers in the world, along with Mark Twain and J. D. Salinger, and was working on his masterpiece while his life was falling apart. All of which came to his sleeping outdoors on a grating heated from exhaust air from a library in sub-freezing weather. His life intertwines finally with his estranged son's life, who was estranger than his father. Thereupon lies the tale and makes this movie just barely a hit, but a great movie for waiting and watching for a storm to arrive. After the movie, we watched an NCIS and the Republican Convention while listening and watching the progress of Isaac which was heading directly to New Orleans, exactly 7 years since Katrina took a similar path. This was to be the test of all the systems of pumps and levees put in to protect the city and suburbs after Katrina. As it turned out they all stood up to the test. Only homes in St. John and Plaquemine parishes outside the levee systems had flooding problems.From the convention podium we listened to John Casey, then Ann Romney, then Chris Criste tell the us why we need a different president, one who actually cares about freedom and free enterprise. Our power held till 10:30 when we hit the sack and I was hopeful it would stay on, against heavy odds. It didn't. I awoke at 12:30 am to see no red-lit time and temperature on the ceiling, so it went off during those two hours. The next day I found out from Connie it was 11:30 pm when our electricity went out.
ISAAC AND ITS AFTERMATH
So what's a day of a hurricane-tropical storm like as it passes slightly to the south and west of where you are? This will likely be too much detail for some of you Good Readers, so don't hesitate to skip over it. This was a very busy period for us with a lot of things happening, and my laptop sans internet served only as a typewriter, and after the first day or so, I had a lot of free time, so here goes:
DAY 1 WED.: STORM OVERHEAD
About 2 AM, the shutter was banging on the north side of our master bath's window and had to be secured. Del helped me as I dressed and went to secure the connector. It needs a better connector, and I'll see to that later. I should have closed the big shutters, but I figured they weren't necessary. By time the banging started, it seemed too dangerous for me to try to close the two shutter with the high winds of 70 mph blowing haphazardly. With my knee boots, Entergy Hard Hat with an LED flashllight on the front, I got a little wet but got the banging stopped.
Del and I awoke in the early morning about the time Isaac hit its peak as an almost Hurricane, 75 mph. This was the beginning of the longest day we ever spent together. In the morning, I hooked up the small HD TV to the AC inverter in our Maxima in the garage, and we could watch TV images after having listened to reports over WWL radio for a long time.The TV took up the passenger's front seat, but Del could join me in the back seat and see and hear okay. We had earlier listened to Governor Bobby Jindal on his Press Conference in the afternoon. The way he handled himself was so great, it gave me goose bumps. We finally decided to switch to the "Couple Cave", what we called our temporary Screening Room in the Maxima, to watch him acquit himself as the finest Louisiana governor of the past century, so far as I'm concerned. He's right up there with Huey Long, only he is straight as an arrow and honest as the day is long, which Long certainly wasn't.
Good thing about Katrina was that when we got to the Roadhouse (our previous home on Timberlane Road), all the branches had fallen, whereas, here at the Drivehouse during Isaac, we got to hear every limb fall with a disconcerting thud to the roof, most of them sliding to the ground, but each of them requiring me to go outside to inspect for possible damage. By the end of the day, our front entrance was blocked and it was dangerous for me to walk down our walkway to the street before I removed the biggest limbs.
Betty Hoffman called in the afternoon from Las Vegas, and asked if I would check on her home, the one she bought from us which we call the Roadhouse. I donned my Entergy hard hat and hazarded a walk outside for the first time since going out to secure the shutter. I walked down Timberlane Drive and headed for Roadhouse on Timberlane Road, a couple of blocks away. Betty's sister Pat owns a house on the corner where I passed and I noticed that its beautiful tree (in the springtime, all green), was leaning on top of the gazebo which was luckily set off from the house a few feet. None of the tree was touching the house and the gazebo seemed okay. The tree was likely a goner (Has since been removed). The wind was gusting near 70 mph, and I dodged from one side of road to the other to stay away from possible large falling branches hitting me. With hard hat, my head was safe, but a sore shoulder would be no fun. No sign of fallen electrical wires, but a tree a ways along the Timberlane Drive seemed to have fallen blocking traffic and taking electrical wires with it. Made it to Timberlane Road and into the gate of Betty's home, saw no power, lots of tree branches in front of her garage, looking very much as we found it post-Katrina, as a young red maple next to its momma tree had collapsed over the double driveway. Rest of house seemed okay.
Stopped to see about Sylinda and Bill Ward. Bill was sound asleep, but Sissy came to the door and let me in. She was busy doing a painting she said. After making sure she was okay, I headed back home. That's when I saw our neighbor Connie raking the leaves off Timberlane Drive in front of her house. We talked for awhile. I noticed both their vehicles were in the garage, so they had been home all day. Don had their generator working so they had power. Still too dangerous for us to move our generator into place, with the wind still blowing hard, and we would have to move a car out of the garage, which means manually opening the large garage door. I don't recall a Tropical Storm like Isaac, one which stayed all day, dancing around Houma before finally heading up to Baton Rouge. Even at 10 pm, we were still beset constantly by gusts, thuds, and rain, and it continued till midday of the next day.
Del and I were both tired of this mess, but we endured. For supper, I took the Wok of Cajun Stir Fry out of the fridge and placed on our fireplace grating and lit the gas burner. Within five minutes, it was steaming and ready to eat. We lit the double candles, put on WWOZ on our portable FM radio, and listened to its mellow jazz as we enjoyed a delicious romantic dinner, while the wind and rain still raged outside. "Isaac, Isaac, Isaac, can't you take a hint that you're not wanted?" After dinner, Del had already gone to bed, and I got my laptop and placed it on the breakfast table where I typed these notes to my Journal. My LT said I had about five hours of battery time left, but I've learned to be skeptical of its battery time estimates. No TV stations were covering the convention so, then I went to bed.
DAY 2 THUR.: GENERATOR GOING, ROOF CLEARED OFF, SAINTS GAME ON TV
Got up around dawn and saw what looked like a Times-Picayune newspaper out in the yard on driveway. Del said it was too white, that it was probably a dead bird. I went out to find that she was right, it was an almost dead bird: The Times-Picayune newspaper, which will disappear as a daily newspaper come October 1. It was the Wednesday and Thursday edition. Its Wednesday edition was inside its Thursday edition. Unable to deliver the Wed. paper during height of storm, they merged it with the Thursday edition. The Thur. edition was reduced print on a not-as-wide-as-usual newsprint. So on the very day when everyone's power's out, I thought to myself, the TP prints itself in smaller print so folks without any light bulbs will really have to squint to read their morning paper. I found out later that the Thursday and several days after that were printed by the Houma Courier's press, which had generators to print, but its big sister city New Orleans didn't.
I opened the heavy garage doors and pulled the Maxima out of the garage to allow me to move the generator into place on our patio near the Flower Arranging Table. It wouldn't start. Sprayed some starting fluid (ether) into the air inlet and it would only run until the ether was used up. Should have suspected a carburetor problem immediately, but if I had, I wouldn't have known what to do about it. Del retrieved the generator instructions so that I could make sure I had gasoline going to motor. Both the gas valve and choke labels were freaking confusing, pointing up to indicate being pushed forward.The labels on the generator made sense only if you already knew what they stood for. I had only started and used the generator four years earlier for Gustav, and it started on the first pull. That's a sure sign of correct alignment, so I didn't spend much time on alignment.
I kept trying to start it by adding more spray to keep it running until the motor warmed up, and the ether pooled in the bottom of the filter cage, and caught fire. I put it out with a rag I had handy, but it just exacerbated my futility about getting the generator started. I now knew, after reading the instructions, I had gotten the valves line up correctly, but pulling wouldn't start it. We called our intrepid, do-everything Handyman Marcello to come over. I hoped his strong arms pulling the generator might start it. He said he'd be over later. While waiting, I finished the two TP crosswords for Thursday while listening to WWOZ music. An Entergy crew should be repairing the lines today and get us electricity by tomorrow at the latest, I thought. I didn't know how wrong I was. Our Sub-Zero Icebox was doing fine, cooled by our ice jugs. I took some butter out and it was well chilled; I used it to make some butter & fig preserves sandwiches for lunch. Made some coffee by boiling water in fireplace and dripping into coffee pot, then put the last six eggs in some water and boiled them for use during the next day.
While waiting for Marcello, we had occasional periods of sun and rain, sometimes rather cool during the rainy times. Eventually the winds calmed down. About three o'clock, Marcello arrived and went right to work on the generator. A few minutes earlier, our good neighbor Don had come home from his Drug Store in St. Bernard Parish. He told me he'd help with the generator , but by the time he'd put on some old clothes and come over, Marcello was taking apart the fuel line and then opened the carburetor chamber to find out that the carburetor had grit in it, obviously preventing fuel from getting to the vaporizing chamber. The vapor of the ether starting fluid by passed the grit because it was already vapor, but the liquid gasoline couldn't get to the vaporizing chambers at all. When Marcello re-assembled the carburetor, the generator's engine immediately started up. A few minutes later, Marcello noticed a minor dripping of gasoline, and turned motor off. He took apart the carburetor to stop fuel from dripping. He cleaned the O-Ring and asked me for some grease to put on it. I had grease left over from my Snapper Riding mower overhaul, about four years earlier, and that worked to seal off the gas leak. Once the generator was running fine I plugged in the garage refrigerator. Del ran extension cords for lamps, TV, microwave, and charging of our cell phones while Marcello and I took on the next large task, clearing the roof of large limbs.
I got out our ladder and he threw all the large limbs to the ground. At one point, when he began to slip a bit on the east roof, I suggested he get down, but he went over to the west roof and cleaned the debris there, mostly along the valley of the new west porch. Gutters were full but David's crew will handle that, or WB roofing, whoever gets here first, so I urged Marcello to come down and we tackled the huge cypress limb fallen along the western edge of the lawn. It couldn't be budged without sawing it into several pieces. Marcello only had an electric chain saw and wanted to run an extension cord all the way to the secret garden, but I got out my Orsa wood saw and he was tickled by how easy it sawed through large and small limbs. I told him it was my most precious tool, that I clean it and protect it like a fine rifle or shotgun. Have had it for over 20 years, I believe, a Swedish made saw of high quality and utility. Marcello cut and he and I hauled to the canal side, two very large branches, after he had cut each of them into three pieces. To take down the broken live oak branch hanging over neighbor's Don's bush, in the southeast lawn, we brought the ladder over. But by that time, Don had put a new cutting chain on his chainsaw and he safely cut down the dangling oak limb on the boundary of our two lawns. Marcello also hauled the oak branch from Don's cut to the street. When we finished outside, we paid Marcello for coming out, for doing an on-the-spot carburetor overhaul, for clearing the roof, and for hauling the heavy limbs to the street. Marcello had been up since 5 am working around his house in Kenner, about 20 miles away. We reminded him of the curfew before he left, so that he wouldn't be stopped by the sheriff's men before he got home.
Soon as Marcello left, it was time to watch the Saints preseason game broadcast on Channel 8, which I could get with our small Samsung HDTV using a rabbit ear HD antenna. I occasionally missed a play due to digital glitches, but with replays, saw most if not all of the game. Our 3rd string offense acquitted itself well, no TD's but two field goals by Hartley. Though we lost 10-6, everyone stayed healthy, minor problem, I think with Joe Morgan, who's on the bubble for cuts. Del hit the sack exhausted about 8 pm and I stayed up to watch Clint Eastwood kick off GOP with a droll conversation with the president in an empty chair. Only unscripted ad lib of the convention, and he used ten to fifteens minutes to snipe at the lieberals in Hollywood whose dream president has gone sour and stale.
Mitt Romney's introduction was given by Mark Rubio, the son of Cuban emigres, who did a fine job of discussing what makes this country great and attracts people, and it's certainly not the mealy-mouthed talk and heavy-handed coercion of the past four years. Mitt spoke eloquently about his wife and family, how he left Michigan to make it on his own, how he founded Bain Capital, and how Bain helped large businesses like Staples, and others, to get started. Think he hit the right note to be the next president. He clearly made a case for Carter and the current prez being one-term-worthies.
Generator was refilled and re-started about 4 pm and was still running when I hit the sack about 11 pm. The freezer in back fridge must have frozen everything, I thought as I headed for the fan-powered, evaporative cooled bedroom.
DAY 3 FRI.: DIOGENES BY NIGHT WITH A CELL PHONE LIGHT, SHAVING BY CANDLELIGHT
This morning I got up about 4:30 and the house was so dark, that I was walking around with my cell phone light held out in front of me. With its help, I was able to locate some strike-anywhere matches and ran one across the only rough space in our master bath, the grout between the marble tiles in the floor, got it on the second try and lit the candle. Then as I blew out the burning match, my breath also blew out the candle! Got it re-lit on my next try. Then by candle light, I ran the hot water, giving thanks for the gas water heaters at our new house. After that, I moved the candle to outside the shower, sitting safely on edge of the jacuzzi, and shining it through the glass wall of the shower. Never to my recollection, had I ever taken a shower by candlelight before.
After my shower I went outside expecting another newspaper, but found none. I came into the kitchen and began typing up my notes. The laptop is difficult to use in the dark because the exact location of the comma, del, backspace keys are not the same as my PC keyboard, so I was constantly typing m's instead of commas, and was surprised when I got one right the first time. Oh, my black hat for everyday use had disappeared for almost a week, and after the storm was over, yesterday morning, it had found its way to the NW corner of the house. It was soaking wet, covered with cypress needles and light debris. I cleaned it up okay and will wear it once it dries out. It rode out a hurricane, and returned from its hiding place on its own. My first hurricane hat! After it dried, I vacuumed it with the Dust Buster and was able to wear it. Outside after day break, I refilled the generator and started it up on one crank, noting that my fuel is down to one 5 gal container. I would need to locate an open gasoline station today to have some generator power tonight.
It was August 31, the day of our second Full Moon of the month, making it a Blue Moon, but we were blue because we had no electricity flowing from the power lines, our only electricity coming from our gasoline generator.
I had plugged our Whirlpool microwave oven we've had for 12 years into the generator power. During Gustav four years ago, I used it on generator power for three days and it worked fine. I was depending on it this early morning to provide me with some hot oatmeal. Poured some packs of Quaker Oats with Brown Sugar and Maple into two bowls, added water, and put them into microwave and pressed the usual buttons. NOTHING!!! No lights came on, no digital display. Took the oven outside to check if it worked plugged directly into generator, no dice. May be a fuse which busted. Unfortunately our beloved 12-year-old Whirpool Microwave seemed to have bitten the dust after serving us up two hot plates of Stir Fry last night. It worked last night for about five minutes, and this morning it fried itself. Its digital display was completely out. Just in case it was only a temporary failure due to low voltage or a voltage spike from generator power, I unplugged the microwave and put it aside to test after the Entergy power was restored, which I expected to happen today at the latest, but I was wrong about that, again. Because I was still hungry I switched to plan B, the fireplace.
I poured the two bowls of uncooked oatmeal into a pot, added a third packet of oatmeal and some evaporated milk. Put pot over fireplace burner and stirred it well. Came back to kitchen, separated into two bowls and added a pat of butter to each. Del said it was as good as my usual made from scratch oatmeal on the stove. Good to know. Thanks, Mom, you always made the best oatmeal ever; I learned it from you!
Our landscaping man, David Babin, came by with a crew just as Del and I were getting ready to begin picking up the yard. Someone from the City of Gretna had earlier come by and told us, "Put your limbs and green debris in the street and we'll come pick it all up." They had already brought a Bobcat front-loader and a large rolling trash bin to hold the debris. We made a deal with David for cash (which he needed as banks were not open yet) to have his guys pick up all the debris on our estate whole yard and clean off the roof and clean out the gutters. I had to re-stake the Okra plants, after picking okra and then re-stake the butterfly flower plant and the celeste fig tree.
We had earlier driven down the road about five miles to buy gas from State Oil because we heard it was open, but they were already out of gasoline. Later in the day I gave some cash to David to get my two red 5 gal cans refilled. He says his mechanic has a 50 gallon drum. David told me the line is miles long waiting to buy gasoline at Brother's. Luckily, except for the generator, we don't need, as both our cars are full and the Babe (pickup truck) is half full. In the good ole days, we could just siphon the gasoline from our vehicles, but gas thieves have caused all our vehicle gas tanks to have siphon traps which somehow divert the siphon hose from the tank. The battery on the Babe was down a bit, and it was hard to start when we stopped at Brother's with a line of cars at the tanks, but it was a false alarm, no gas. But it started up and we got home okay, just a little anxious moment. Usually the Babe's battery is topped up by a trickle charge, but it had not been reconnected since before the storm.
Del made some egg salad sandwiches for us to eat about 2 PM. We ate on the west portico before we played a game of Scrabble.I drew first tile and played this word: SHEARER, using all seven of my tiles. On my next play I made DERANGED, again using all 7 of my tiles. Twice in a row! Never saw such a thing before. Seven-tile plays never showed up in any of our many games during our 28-day voyage on the NCL Spirit last May. Del did her best and gained ground on me but I still won by 99 points. We really wanted to eat in a restaurant on this night, after three days of leftovers and cold sandwiches, but all the places we called were closed, up until Del called the Red Maple Restaurant in Gretna, and we went there and had a delightful meal in air-conditioned comfort. We came home filled and relaxed, ready for bed. I had the white pedestal stand electric fan running to cool us off in our bed while the generator runs, hopefully till long after we're asleep. It was old-fashioned, New Orleans-style evaporative cooling: a fan blowing and evaporating the perspiration of naked bodies to cool them on hot summer nights.
DAY 4 SAT.: WAFFLE HOUSE, LSU GAME
Awoke at 3:30 am with no power, as expected, too dark out, so I slept until 5 am and noticed a newspaper outside, the Friday and Saturday issues of Times-Picayune. Then I added gas to the generator by emptying the 5 gal. can I had filled it up with last night. It was one of the two that David brought. The generator coughed and spit for awhile, but eventually caught up and ran till empty. As soon as this next can was empty, I needed to run over to RaceTrack gas station to fill them up, again. This was getting tiresome.
We wanted someone else to fix breakfast for us this morning and we first checked Shoney's at the expressway: it was closed, then Denny's at Terry Parkway: it was closed; then Waffle House on Behrman Highway: OPEN! We were able to park in the nearly full lot and get two seats at the counter. Del sat next to a woman born of Missionary parents in Africa, Bonnie Warren, seemed to be over 60 likely, who talked to Del the whole time we waited for Crissy to serve us. Leonard, who looked and sounded like a Treme actor, sat to my left and he was a hoot, flirting with Keeshawn, a short cute waitress serving him. He asked her if she had a husband for her kid, "Yeah". "So what he do?" "Don't know."Meanwhile Crissy finally showed up to take my order: "A couple of eggs over medium" I said, and got this reply, "Do you want two or three eggs?" Never in all my years of ordering in any restaurant or diner have I received that reply. "A couple is two," I said in as adult a tone I muster stifling my urge to laugh out loud.
The line was queuing up outside; we had beat the rush. I thought to myself, "Waffle House is not just breakfast; it's an adventure!" Especially after a storm when they have generator power and everybody else is closed. There were twice the usual number of cooks and servers behind the counter, so many behinds behind the counter, especially large behinds, that they need a skinny traffic cop to direct them which way to go, and that was Jason, who expedited the orders. The large generator was keeping them in business, a cash business, due to the non-functioning credit card utility. I've noticed in recent years, that if the internet is down, businesses cannot accept credit cards, and some bureaucratic agencies have to close, such as driver's license offices, due to on-line data requirements.
LSU game was on at 6 PM this night on ESPNU, which meant there was no local broadcast TV, and with our power off and no COX cable, we decided to head to our friend Guntis's place in Algiers Point for some Air-Conditioning and LSU football: me for the latter and Del for the former. We had some kashi for lunch and the leftover shrimp linguini from Red Maple for supper. We got our car packed with a bottle of red wine and snacks and reached Guntis' house by 5:40. We watched the LSU game through first quarter, 24-0, and sometime during the second half, the info-scroller at the bottom of the TV showed that only 50% of area residents have power. Guntis laughed, "Ha! I've got 100% power!" Fifteen minutes later, he had 0% power as did the rest of his neighborhood and we left for home. I listened to rest of game on radio and watched as Michigan challenged Alabama. Both LSU and Alabama games ended 41-14.
Since I had an abundance of gas and a ready supply with gas stations open, I kept power on as much as 90% of the time. We went to bed as soon as 2nd game was over, about 10:30. Re-gassed the generator about 10 pm before we went to bed and it lasted until about 7 am the next morning with only the garage refrigerator and fan in our bedroom operating overnight.
I was able to keep our cell phones and my laptop charged, but otherwise we lived like it was 1945 again. Hoping for a cool wave to sweep over us soon. Or just that the electricity would get restored.
DAY 5 SUN.: HOPE SPRINGS, POWER, BUT NO ELECTRICITY
TV news' latest estimate is Monday for 70% having electricity for JeffersonParish (our area), Tuesday for 90%. The percentage is no help at all; lights will come on when they're ready I figure.
I thought I had replied to the emails I received from concerned friends around the world, but I found out that the RED X on my Blackberry display means NOT SENT. I rarely depend on BB to send emails, and when I do they've always worked before. Knowing that text messages were getting out, I texted a list of email addresses to our daughter, Yvette in Bellaire, for her to send a brief message by email that we're okay, electricity is still out, to those friends in Australia, Chicago, Massachusetts, and Finland who wrote about their concern.
Del used the time to weed the east garden and found a bunch of baby palm trees which I transplanted in several places. I spent a lot of the day reading about Thomas Young, how he discovered astigmatism and other things, as well being a key player in the deciphering of the Rosetta Stone.
Del finally became overheated from weeding and offered to take me to Dinner and a Movie. We chose Zea's Restaurant for dinner and she chose "Hope Springs" for the movie as both places were in same shopping center. I waited till a half hour before we had to leave, to shower and get dressed so we could hop into the AC'ed Maxima and then sit in cool comfort in Zea's. Glad the restaurants will be opened until our electricity is back on. Del admonished me yesterday for my talking about "when the power is back on." She said, "Remember to say 'when electricity to the house is back on'; we still have our power!" Good point, so I began using the longer word, electricity in place of power.
Justin was our waiter at Zea's. His regular restaurant was in Kenner and will be closed for 5 weeks, so they moved him to the Harvey restaurant till then. He was a great waiter and we enjoyed talking to him. I had the grilled tasty rainbow trout filets with roasted corn grits, but I should have gotten two sides of corn grits, as Del wanted some of my portion, and they were delicious with the trout. She got the Mediterranean Hummus, full of colorful veggies which made the pita bread look like tiny pizza slices.
After movie, I asked if Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones' character) reminded Del of me. "Yes, his constant complaining." I asked her to give me a visual signal whenever I start, and I promised to do an immediate switch, and strive to get into a new habit of describing instead of evaluating, and asking her what she thinks about X, which likely lead her into describing her feeling the same way I do about X, and save her from getting upset by my carping about X. This is working well I can report, after several weeks of the new behavior. Our ability to make changes in our behavior has helped keep us together for 35 years and away from the sorry state as portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep in "Hope Springs". As Richard Bandler, a founder of neuro-linguistic programming, used to say, "I have people who come to my seminar, sit on the back row, and ask me to speak louder." It was his way of demonstrating to us that it is up to each one of us, when confronted with a situation one doesn't like, to take control of one's own behavior to change the situation.
Returning home from the movie after dark, we noticed that for the first time since Isaac, all our neighbors on the opposite side of the golf course fairways had their lights on, and we didn't. Tomorrow, I thought, tomorrow: both power and electricity!
DAY 6 MON.: KRISPY KREMES, NEW MICROWAVE, ANGEL NAMED MICHAEL, ISAAC ODYSSEY OVER
It was now the seventh day since our electricity had gone off, and I was determined to do something about it, but what? I held that all day as an unanswered question as Del and I began our odyssey to locate a replacement microwave oven. It had to fit inside a special baker's rack we had bought and loved many years ago. Its wooden shelf had scrolls of iron decorating each side with 28" clearance between them. The new one had to fit in that space.
So, our Plan for Today: Refill 2 gas cans, maybe three, and then buy a new microwave oven that fits in the Baker's Rack. I will hold onto the old one till electricity is back on and I can test it, maybe open it up to check for blown fuse. Also get our electricity back on!
More businesses are open, we noticed as we drove down Manhattan Blvd last night; it looked normal and it was so sad coming down Timberlane Drive and seeing no lights all the way down the street, while our golf course neighbors across the fairway had lights a blinking everywhere.
The only thing resembling my usual work was reading about Thomas Young, writing notes in my journal, and taking photos. First thing, I drove to RaceTrack for gas, filling two cans with 10.2 gals at $3.67 a gal. Came home, refilled the Generator, added a bit of oil. Then I added gas to the lawnmower and cut the front lawn with my riding Snapper, as the landscape crew is so busy cleaning up Isaac debris, they will be skipping us this week. Mower started on second pull, just using the Choke and ran pretty good, never stopping, but sputtering a bit at first. Since the carburetor overhaul Marcello did, every time some motor sputters, I think of dirt in the gasoline.
After the grass cutting, Del and I drove to A-1 Appliances, but they had no microwave ovens with handles to open the door, a requirement for us. It's cruel and inhuman to require someone to push a button to force open a door when a simple pull on the door handle will do the same thing. We felt hungry and noted that a Krispy Kreme store a block away had cars in front and probably AC, so we went in. As we walked up to counter, one of the clerks placed a glazed donut hot off the conveyor belt into our hands. Delish! First time I've ever been in a Krispy Kreme location. We bought about four more of our favorite donuts and some hot coffee. We sat in a table by the window and enjoyed the AC, before we set out again on our microwave odyssey, this time our target was Target. We drove up to the bull's eye building and walked down the aisle. We found a good selection, but in their 24" to 28" wide models, none had handles. They had a large selection of 30" ones, the stove top models, but that would require removing the scroll support, which I saved as a last resort only. We did buy us our first ever whistling teapot there. Where's the place for the best buy in appliances? Must be Best Buy, so we headed there and found again a large selection, but only for 30" models. Our last place to check would be Sears, but before we could head there, Jimmy of WB Roofing called and was on the way to inspect our roof for damage from Isaac, so we drove home. I showed him the photo I took of the roof where the largest branches came down, so he would inspect that area carefully. He did and found no damage. Wonderful!
On to our next stop: Sears and we found the Best All Around Selection of any stores! They had stove top and counter top models, some with handles, some without. We simply needed to select one with the size and power closest to our beloved Whirlpool one. Bought a Kenmore model for $159 with $10 added for two year protection. Clerk said the box was damaged. We should have had them open the box for inspection and we would have seen the case had a noticeable dent in the far right rear corner, and gotten a replacement. But since it was the last one in stock and we wanted it today, we decided to keep it. Back home when I opened the box, I spotted the dent and decided to take off the cover to straighten the dent. Unfortunately it required a TORQ driver, luckily the one in my tool box fit. Well, it fit on all but one screw, and I had to use my Vise Grip pliers to open and re-attach that screw. When I was done, you cannot see the dent unless you know exactly where to look and the new oven fits exactly in the spot where the old Whirlpool white one fit. Won't turn it on till the AC is restored as I don't want to lose it also. Notes from my later use of the new oven: it is much lighter than the older Whirlpool because it has more plastic and less metal in the case and door. As a result the door won't close all the way if you give it a gentle swing as we did with the metal-based one; you either have to push it fast or close it with your hand, either way is slightly objectionable: One's noisy and the other requires a free hand. In addition, the new microwave is so light that it slides on Baker's Rack if you push the door hard. Minor inconveniences, but something I hadn't thought to take into account, so I share it with you for your future purchases of a microwave oven. Check for weight: too little can be a problem, unless you plan to carry it around a lot. So get the extra weight; it's worth paying extra for it.
From talking with my neighbor Don, I found out a disconcerting, but encouraging fact: he had Cox Cable TV channels and Internet! Even though his electricity was still out. Since Cox Cable usually gets restored days after the electricity is on, they need all the light poles to be erect before they can reconnect their cables, it must be all our light poles are erect, so why isn't our electricity flowing? About 3:30 pm, I decided to call Entergy on the OUTAGE phone line. Hadn't been necessary before because they obviously knew we were out of power, but I have worked for decades as a system designer and implementer, and I know that, in large systems, once you get them restarted, there can be small cul-de-sacs where the system is not working locally. Unless someone happened to notice and reported to us that spot as not working, we would never notice it for a long time. On the phone, I got help from an Angel named Michael, who asked me to help troubleshoot the situation of no electricity along Timberlane Drive. What a great guy! It was exactly what I wanted to do. He asked me to go outside and check if the transformer has its breaker closed (describing to me what it looks like), then were there any poles or wires down. I saw none. I told him the tree that had fallen was now gone and the poles were all erect. He assured me that he would get a truck out there as soon as possible, and sure enough about 4 pm, I noticed a white flash across my peripheral vision, went out with my telephoto camera and took a photo of an Entergy truck at work at the end of the street! I went back to reading on my back porch and my neighbors yelled and gave me a thumbs' up. I thought it was for helping get an Entergy truck out to work on problem. A few minutes later, Del came outside and told me to look up. It was then I noticed that the overhead fans were running, over my head. I realized that the neighbor's thumbs up was for the power being restored. My phone call had helped Entergy to spot a transformer that had been shut down for the tree removal, perhaps, and never been turned back on. Could have saved us a few days, if I had known back then how to check the transformer breaker for being open. Now I do.
Happily we spent the whole afternoon clearing away and storing the hurricane equipment. The generator and its heavy cords went into the garage, with its fuel switch and operate switches turned off and about a half tank of gasoline with extra STA-BIL fuel stabilizer in it. I tested the old Whirpool microwave on Entergy power and guess what? It still works, but without a digital display! If we can remember that the Jet Start button gives 30 seconds with each push and successive push, it can still be used as a backup if we ever go back on generator power. We stored it on top of the generator to keep it out of the way and handy. As it is, the Whirlpool oven can used for most of things we do, but it would be dangerous if we had guests, especially kids, trying to operate it without a display.
Del wanted to go to dinner and a movie again tonight. We chose the new Bourne movie. Drove to Zea's, first passing by theater to check the time of next movie. We didn't have enough time for the 5:45 one because of our electricity being restored. Took an hour or so to get generator stored away, etal.
At Zea's, I asked for Justin to be our server. Didn't know if he was back, but we enjoyed him last night, so why not? He was tickled pink when the hostess told him that a customer was requesting him. "Only my second night here, and I've got regulars!" Del and I were happy to bring a smile to his face. (NOTE: We went back to Zea's three weeks later and asked for Justin, but he had already returned to the Kenner restaurant.) Our second night I ate the way I would have eaten the previous night if I had known how good the roast corn grits were: I ordered two servings as my sides with the rainbow trout grilled, and the trout tasted even better. Later Justin told me the chef at the grill came with him from the Kenner location. The meal was incredible, and I was feeling so mellow afterwards, that I told Del we should go home, put on an NCIS episode or two and go to sleep in front the TV, which is what we did. Our long Isaac Odyssey back-to-normalcy Trek was over.
NORMALCY AT LAST
The first day with electricity and internet restored was one of clearing the house of the storm related items. My new Laptop's startup Norton Internet Security subscription on my laptop ran out during the storm, so I took care of that first thing. Next I fixed a broken floor lamp with a curious linear bulb in it. Del found two new bulbs recently and I decided to check the lamp out. One of the two bulbs had continuity, the other didn't. I put the new bulb in place, but the light didn't come on. Checked for voltage at contacts and got 120 AC. Bent the two contacts towards each other and filed away some corrosion on the contacts using an emery stick to reveal fresh brass. The light came on. Replaced the covering glass cylinder and the lamp is now functional.
With all the morning work, we decided to go out for lunch, to a place I hadn't been before, Da Wabbit. It's new name is "615 Café, Home of the Da Wabbit". Good old-fashioned lunches, brown gravy with everything it seems. I had lima beans with fried catfish, so freshly fried, that I had to spoon my lima beans over them so I could eat the catfish without burning my mouth. The green limas in brown gravy were a little too dry, so I added water to them. Friday is the shrimp stew special and my mom made that nearly every Friday as I was growing up. Hard to find it on New Orleans area menus today.
The next day we gave the Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer units a good cleaning, and made trips to Breaux Mart and Rouse's to re-stock our panty and fridge. Put the Babe pickup truck on the charger again, so she'll be ready when we pick up from Rouse's the new metal outdoor lawn chairs and bring them home. The wooden park benches have become unsightly, so much so that Isaac knocked one to pieces as if to tell us, "Get rid of this one!" I had been looking for a metallic outdoor bench and or chairs and Rouse's had a bench and two chairs with a table on sale. Those are all in place now.
The rest of the month went fast. Del had her Master Gardener Classes, same classes she had to take to qualify of Master Gardener two years ago, but this year she has been asked to Mentor the trainees for the new class. This is right up Del's alley. She helped pick a topic, "Composting", to build a presentation about. When graduation came, Del's group made their presentation to the dignitaries and fellow trainees prior to their being awarded their certificates and brass badges as Master Gardeners.
We were glad that the Twilight Concerts in City Park were back in operation for Sept. 6, as we were looking forward to a first time appearance there by our favorite, the New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra. I saw John Rankin in the audience and asked him if this week reminded him of what happened seven years previously when he played his guitar, harmonica, and sang for us on the day before Katrina hit. He said that he was glad the event's director hadn't scheduled him on the previous Thursday, or "I would have gotten the blame for Isaac."
Just as things were getting back to normalcy, Del's Laptop computer crashed and wouldn't reboot. Luckily I had recently made a full system reboot set of DVD's, but no where did it tell me it would take 7 hours to restore the system. Lots of waiting around and rebooting over and over again before it was working, but had no software. More hours of restoring backups and loading software. LT is working again, but Del is ready to get a mainframe PC; both she and I have had way too many problems with recent inexpensive LT's.
I began working in earnest on three reviews. The Thomas Young one, Bridging Science and Spirit, and the last section of Introduction to Anthroposophical Medicine (Lectures 8 to 20). But first I needed to re-stake my okras into erect positions, as we have been picking a lot okra this month. Another Stir Fry is definitely in the offing. Since my brother Paul showed us how tasty fresh okra are right off the stalk, we've also eaten quite a few that way.
Guntis's lady Anne has been in New England most of the summer and when LSU was playing Idaho on Pay-Per-View, I invited him to come over here to watch it with me. Del usually goes to the movies on football nights anyway. Guntis came over about six-thirty for LSU game at 7 on Channel 150 PPV Everything went alright for the game, but the picture looked like a homemade video recording made in 1970 of some high school game on low-definition VHS tape, in other words, like crap! It was not possible to read numbers on jerseys except during close ups, there were no first down markers, no down indicators on screen, in other words, nothing! Nothing worth the $35 dollars they charged, and I'll opt to listen on radio next time and watch real broadcast games instead paying through the nose for blighted Tiger Vision! They either upgrade their product or they'll be throwing their pixels in the bit bucket because no one will pay for it.
As of the end of the month, LSU is 5-0 and ranked around No. 4 in the country; the New Orleans Saints, without a General Manager, without a Head Coach, without a backup Head Coach, without an Offensive Coordinator, and without a seasoned Saints Defensive Coach are, guess what? Without a Win! 0 and 4. Roger Goodell couldn't buy a poboy sandwich in New Orleans, not because they would insist on giving him one, NO WAY, they wouldn't even sell him one at any price! He is persona non grata for all Saints fans anywhere. He used our beloved Saints as a whipping boy and scapegoat to change the NFL mentality about trying to win by knocking the key players out of the game. What key player got knocked out of the game when the Saints met the 49ers in a playoff game last year? The Saints' only running back left on the roster due to injuries, Pierre Thomas, because of a hit by the 49ers. Did the 49ers get a penalty? Did they lose the services of their coach? Nope, they went on to the NFC Conference championship game with New York Giants. The Saints meanwhile got stabbed in the heart by the NFL Commissioner, Roger Good-ell — Good, Hell!
TP GOES DOWN THE TOILETIMPORTANT MESSAGE:
It's been fun living in a city whose daily newspaper, the Times-Picayune, when abbreviated, is spelled TP, which is also a convenient shorthand for Toilet Paper, but it's especially fun now that Newhouse owners from New Jersey have decided to flush the daily newspaper from the streets, coffeeshops, lawns, and breakfast tables of New Orleans. They are only going to deliver an issue three days a week, the days when they can load up the newspaper with glossy stuffers, advertising, and coupons. "Koop'ns" as Tater Salad aka Ron White calls 'em. Well, Messrs. Newhouse, the people of New Orleans have risen up to tell you that you can "Stuff the Koop'ns!" In the meantime, who is the hero riding in on a White Horse from the West delivering a daily newspaper to the city? Yes, it's The Advocate, formerly The Morning Advocate when I read it every day for four years at LSU in Baton Rouge. Already free issues are gracing grocery stores, coffee shops, and other public places. Going to PJ's Coffeeshop every morning and sitting down to read the Advocate Sports pages will remind me of going to the Huey P. Long Fieldhouse on the LSU campus each morning for my coffee and Advocate sports. Fifty-five years it took for it to be deja vu all over again! Plus Advocate home delivery has begun. Count me in that number! Soon I'll be reading the Advocate in place of old what'sitsname each morning spread out on my breakfast table at home.
As I expand on below in my Commentary 5, the Times-Picayune is a Goner! The Advocate has the kind of balanced Sports writing that I came to love during my four-year matriculation at LSU, and I look forward to having it on my front lawn each morning, and to turn to its Sports Pages, not with the former chagrin I got when I picked up a copy of the now-deceased TP daily, but with a smile instead. I am no longer sending money every month to a carpetbagger from the North, but instead to local people for a local newspaper.
EVERY GOOD THING MUST COME TO A NEW BEGINNING, SO UNTIL NEXT MONTH
DOWN goes the TP and UP goes the Advocate, and our daily newspaper comes to a New Beginning! For the past 30 days September has been a month which began with a hurricane with high winds and blessed rain and ended with cooling temperatures of Fall, what I call our California weather: cool and dry. New Orleans during our power outage reminded me of growing up here in the 1940s with electric fans providing our only cooling during sweltering days and steamy nights, the sweat on our bodies providing evaporative cooling. Fall has arrived, and our first cold waves have brought us nights in the upper 60s and days in lower 80s with low humidity. God Willing and the next Ice Age doesn't come, the winds stay breezy, and the showers occasional, we will see you in November in DIGESTWORLD. Till then, whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, Remember our slogan:
Take Care of Yourself in Twenty-Twelve ! ! !
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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:
- Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured, but not everyone must prove they are a citizen.
— Ben Stein
- Many of those who refuse, or are unable, to prove they are citizens will receive free insurance paid for by those who are forced to buy insurance because they are citizens.
— Ben Stein
- The witch doctor succeeds for the same reason all the rest of us succeed. Each patient carries their own doctor inside them. They come to us not knowing that cure. We are at our best when we give the doctor who resides within each patient a chance to go to work.
— Albert Schweitzer, MD
- To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.
— W. Somerset Maugham, Books and You
- It is a funny thing about life — if you refuse to accept anything but the best you very often get it.
— W. Somerset Maugham, Books and You
- The path to salvation is as narrow and hard to walk as on a razor’s edge.
— W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge
New Stuff about Website:Five Flowers of Shanidar Poems, One from each Chapter:
These poems are from Bobby Matherne’s 1990 book of poetry, Flowers of Shanidar. and have never been published on the Internet before. Each month this section will have five poems, one from each Chapter of the book. (Flowers drawn by Artist Maureen Grace Matherne)
1. Chapter: Hollyhocks
The Differing Drummer of Summer
The differing drummer of summer
taps out a tune of revolt
While slip-sliding swishes of cymbals
swings us like drunken sailors.
"O, Differing Drummer," the sashaying chorus opines,
"Your music distracts our dance —
Take up your swisher and cymbals
and join our dithyramb chants."
"O Chorus of Collective Fervor,
you play in a communal trance,
you dance in a chorus line prance —
Take up your drumsticks and snare —
The time of revolt
Bypasses the dolt
So wake up your senses with dare."
The Differing Drummer steps
into his martial attire
and taps out a fusillade air
that rivets the chorus's attention —
While marching troops prepare
Their thundering, thundering, thundering parade.
How many sides does a cube have?
Count them and you see they add to six.
Now observe the cube motionless in space:
How many sides do you see?
Rotate it round and round the place
And all you'll ever see is three.
Where are the other three?
They're in your mind
Perception is a subtle trap
For half the world is territ'ry
The other half is map.
Half out there
And half in here.
Without is dancing
and in the twinning
Around the dream
3. Chapter: Rose Mallow
To plant a memory
Is easier than to plant a tree,
To plant an idea
May take many a year.
First you make an opening
And gingerly place the seedling in.
Then you cover up its root
And assiduously water it to boot,
Protect it from its natural enemies
And you'll be blessed with many trees.
The businessman sees the article
and the brand new taxes sent him reeling
He gets a big strong dose
of what I call paper feelings.
The lonely maid receives a letter
from a loved one far away
The words make her feel much better
the paper feelings make her day.
The grade school boy's report card
flies into his mother's hands
The paper feelings start her gladly
making college plans.
Birthday, Valentine, and Christmas cards
all bolster our self-esteem,
But without the paper feelings
what would they ever mean?
The animate is composed
of the inanimate.
What brings together
in the dance
New Stuff on the Internet:
- Actually this link goes to Old Stuff on Internet. A TIME WARP back to Steiner98 List about 1998 with its droll Rules meant to defuse any fussbudgets from trying to reign on our parade. You might recognize the salty pirate as an early incarnation of Cap'n Robespierre. CLICK HERE!
Movies we watched this past month:Notes about our movies: Many of the movies we watch are foreign movies with subtitles. After years of watching movies in foreign languages, Arabic, French, Swedish, German, British English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and many other languages, sometimes two or three languages in the same movie, the subtitles have disappeared for us. If the movie is dubbed in English we go for the subtitles instead because we enjoy the live action and sounds of the real voices so much more than the dubbed. If you wonder where we get all these foreign movies from, the answer is simple: NetFlix. For a fixed price a month they mail us DVD movies from our on-line Queue, we watch them, pop them into a pre-paid mailer, and the postman effectively replaces all our gas-consuming and time-consuming trips to Blockbuster. To sign up for NetFlix, simply go to http://www.netflix.com/ and start adding all your requests for movies into your personal queue. If you've seen some in these movie blurbs, simply copy the name, click open your queue, and paste the name in the Search box on NetFlix and Select Add. Buy some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. You get to see your movies as the Director created them — NOT-edited for TV, in full-screen width, your own choice of subtitles, no commercial interruptions, and all of the original dialogue. Microwave some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. With a plasma TV and Blu-Ray DVD's and a great sound system, you have theater experience without someone next to you talking on a cell phone during a movie plus a Pause button for rest room trips.Hits (Watch as soon as you can. A Don't Miss Hit is one you might otherwise ignore.):
P. S. Ask for Blu-Ray DVD movies from NetFlix.“Cave of Forgotten Dreams” (2010) takes us on guided tour with background music of France’s Chauvet Cave, first discovered in 1994 and carefully preserved, full of 35,000 year-old drawings. A DON’T MISS HIT !
“The Razor’s Edge” (1946) beautifully portrayed story of a young man returning from the war finding himself with the help of the novelists Somerset Maughn on whose novel the movie was based.
Stuck Between Stations (2011) a soldier on leave from Iraqi war meets a cute school chum and they do an all-nighter in Minneapolis getting to know each other as adults.
“Footnote” (2011) A Talmud scholar spends 30 years researching one project, only to have an associate, Grossman, find a copy of the document the scholar had shown was necessary. His only mention in an publication was a footnote of thanks by his mentor. Now the scholar’s son is getting the coveted Israel Prize and the announcement comes to the father by mistake! What’s a son to do? Thereupon hangs a talmud!
"Hope Springs" (2012) in to this touching romance about an aging couple who stopped growing apart and rediscovered their love for each other on the Maine coast. Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep in bed together on this one.
“Being Flynn” (2012) with De Niro as an aging cab driver and delinquent father who was also a genius in his own mind (See "My Father the Genius" below), considering himself one of the best writers alongside Mark Twain, and was working on his masterpiece while his life was falling apart and putting him sleeping on grating heated from exhaust air from library in sub-freezing weather. His life intertwines finally with his estranged son, estranger than his father. Thereupon lies the tale and makes this just barely a hit.
“Wanderlust” (2012) Rudd & Aniston frolic in this fun and zany retro-romp through ‘60s with two cars in the middle of the lake, nudist winemaker/hit novelist, and life without doors.
“My Best Friend” (2007) a wonderful French movie copied to make “I Love You, Man” (2009), but the original story of man trying to acquire a best friend is inimitable in its verve and panache. Like the Grecian Urn this is A DON’T MISS HIT! ! !
“The Dictator” (2012) I will rate this movie as Aladeen. It has Aladeen parts and Aladeen parts. Something for everyone to hate or laugh out loud at.
“The Razor’s Edge” (1984)which Bill Murray makes into a cutting edge for his comedic stylings. A remake of 1946 B&W with Tyronne Power (which had Somerset Maugham as a character in it!) Bill Murray brings comedic style to a role in which Power had none. Eponymous quote: “The path to salvation is as narrow and hard to walk as on a razor’s edge.” A love which never went stale, but was barely tasted.
“The Trip” (2010) is a Trip! Rob’s “Dinners with Steve” as they drive to the North of England, complete with Dueling Impressions and sumptious meals. A DON’T MISS HIT ! !
“Buck” (2011) if you liked “Horse Whisperer” you’ll love this guy who consulted on the movie, a horse genius who solves problems horses have with people.
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.“My Father the Genius” (2002) turned out to be “My Father the Dumb Ass” and clueless architect. His appearance, hair and clothes, looked as unsightly as the buildings they showed that he designed, at least the early ones before we STOMPED THE DVD!!
“21 Jump Street” (2012) a meaningless spoof of a real movie with prat falls, foul language, with an aroma of stench.
“Mirror, Mirror” (2012) was Awful, Awful. Should have left Prince Charming strung upside down and added Snow and Julie Roberts alongside then ended the movie.
“Expendables II” (2012) not even Bruce Willis is enough to save this turkey. If you have expendable resources, spend it on anything else!
Your call on these — your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:“Ladyhawke” (1985) is a chance to see Matthew Broderick pre-Ferris Bueller, Michelle Pfeiffer and Rutger Hauer as leading love interests, he the Wolf by night and she the Hawke by day, till Matthew swims the sewer and kisses a frog or something.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Le Broussard Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission
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Boudreaux and Brossard die in a boating accident and go up to heaven. They wait in a long line, until finally they are the last two left and St. Peter tells them, "You two will have to take a seat for now. I'll get to you later." Then St. Peter inspects a large book and seems to be making notes or looking something up. The two Cajuns begin to get a little nervous. "You t'ink maybe we might not get in?" Boudreaux asks Broussard, who answers, "Me, Ah don't know. Let's hope we do."
After what seems like an eternity, they see this old gentle man, kinda stooped over, wearing surgical greens with a stethoscope around his neck, coming up to the Pearly Gates.
Instead of making him take a seat, St. Peter just waves the old guy through.
Boudreaux is indignant; he turns to Broussard and says, "Mais, you see dat? St. Peter just let dat guy through in front of us!" and stands up and walks over to St. Peter, saying, "How come me and Brossard got to wait, and you wave the old dude through jest because he's a doctor?"
"Oh," St. Peter said, "That wasn't a doctor, that was God. Sometimes he like to go down to Earth and play doctor."
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5. RECIPE of the MONTH for October, 2012 from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen:
(click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =Simple Omelet
Background on Simple Omelet: I have always struggled with omelets. Oh, they tasted great, but getting them to fold over without ripping or tearing was a challenge I had not mastered, up until now. Up until I saw a short video clip of Julia Childs demonstrating how to flip an omelet so that it folded neatly in half. So I tried the flip and it worked! That led me to making this simple omelet. I use freshly picked basil, parsley, and green onions, which I ensure are readily available outside of Bobby Jeaux's Kitchen. This recipe serves two omelets.
2 or 3 freshly picked basil leaves
2 or 3 freshly picked parsley sprigs
1 small bunch of green onions (small ones with green tips)
4 medium eggs
1 tbsp or so of evaporated milk
1 tsp or less of chopped garlic
2 or 4 pats of butter for each omelet
1 small non-stick omelet pan
Before gathering ingredients, set stove (if electric) to medium setting (mine works best at 4 to 5) Chop the very tips (about 2 inches) of green onions and place next to omelet pan for garnishing final omelet. Slice the orange on its equater. Take each half and create three or four thin, deseeded slices for decorating omelet plate with a delicious accompaniment. Chop onions, parsley, and basil very fine. Add mild to eggs, then greens and garlic, and whip in a two cup measuring cup. The mixture should amount to about 200 mls.
For each omelet: wipe pan clean Add two or three small pats of butter, enough to cover bottom of non-stick omelet pan. Have some water available to sprinkle a drop or two on the heating butter. When the water immediately sizzles and boils away, re-beat mixture and then add half of omelet mixture (100 mls) into pan. Allow it to heat up. Move pan from side to side to ensure the omelet mixture is not sticking to pan. It should slide like it's on melted butter — it is! Wait till the mixture's liquid state has become stiffened a bit on top. See photo of omelet ready to be turned. Then grab the pan with TWO HANDS as shown here. Rock pan back and forth to test that omelet will slide, then lunge forward and give pan an upward motion and allow the omelet to fold in the middle. (NOTE: you can cheat with a spatula to turn the edge of omelet as most hotel buffets do, but it's your kitchen and if you miss, you can try again or decide to eat an omelet with a less than pretty fold. Tastes almost the same. But the pleasure of getting a beautiful fold on first try is part of the pleasure of cooking, isn't it?) Here's my fold for this omelet. Slightly over cooked — if you do it right, there will be no browning of omelet. Stove setting and timing can be adjusted as you strive for the perfect omelet.
Once the omelet is neatly folded, remove from heat and slide into an elegant plate. Garnish omelete with tiny circlets of green onions you prepared earlier. Arrange the orange slices around the plate.
Toast some Pepperidge Farm stone-ground wheat bread slices, one for each omelet, and provide butter and fig preserves to go with them.
Try this Simple Omelet and I hope you will agree that it is Simply Great!
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6. POETRY by BOBBY from Philosophy of Physical Science:
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While reading this book, The Philosophy of Physical Science by Sir Arthur Eddington on April 22, 1992, I was inspired to write a poem about darkness being composed of light.:[page 120] When the analysis is not associated with substance (or with a structurally equivalent concept), when for example it is associated with wave form, the restriction cannot be imposed. In optics darkness is considered to be constituted of two interfering light waves; light may be a "part" of darkness.
Darkness and LightDarkness
is made of light.
Create a caesura
As we segue
from light to dark
and back to light
Let us remember
that God is light
and we are light —
That we exist in darkness
only by interfering with
up until now.
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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for October:
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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.
1.) ART: Bridging Science and Spirit by Norman Friedman
Here is a book which I acquired in 1997, and only partially read it because I was reading books by David Bohm, Seth, Fred Alan Wolf, Ken Wilbur and others. In this book Norman Friedman describes how the various works of these authors overlap each other. Three years ago, I read and reviewed the book Quantum Enigma by Rosenblum and Kuttner, which lays out the various quantum reality problems which have presented themselves to twenty-first century consciousness. Recently, I picked up and read completely Friedman's book to get some perspective on how he was presenting the quantum world of Bohm in the light of Wilbur and Seth and others writing about the spiritual world.
Most of my reading of the Wilbur-Seth material covered by Friedman's book came before I was writing reviews, and my early reviews(1) such as Fred Alan Wolf's The Body Quantum were very sketchy reviews. What I hope to do in this review is to offer some of my insights gained from these books which I read early on, but have not reviewed. In addition, I have gained valuable insights into the interface of the material and spiritual worlds from my study of Rudolf Steiner's works, which needs to be added to the mix of the materialistic minded physicists' points of view.
Friedman's introduction gives us this issue to consider:
[page 22] An ongoing debate arose among some scientists and philosophers over how consciousness originates from matter. (That the question might be reversed — that is, how does consciousness produce matter? — has been and still is largely inconceivable.)
My answer to this question is this: Consciousness does not come from matter; consciousness comes from spirit and matter comes from spirit. At the time I first read this book, I had not begun my detailed study of the works of Rudolf Steiner, a scientist and philosopher of the first quarter of the twentieth century. His books and lectures described how the evolution of humankind and our cosmos (our solar system) began by sacrifices of spiritual beings which remain today, helping us to evolve further. A study of Steiner's An Outline of Occult Science will reward any open-minded scholar with an understanding of how humans and the cosmos evolved in parallel and remain so today. As our quantum physicists create unsolvable puzzles for themselves, they are only revealing that their basic assumptions of the world of reality are wrong. They assume that spirit does not exist, that only matter exists, and with that assumption, they can have no explanation of the latest phenomena of quantum physics, which involve moving back and forth between the spiritual and material worlds, worlds which are intimately interconnected, having interconnections we ignore at our own peril and thereby create obfuscation instead of clarity.
[page 23] Exactly how the relationship between consciousness and matter occurs is still an open question. In fact, it will be central to our discussion in the chapters to follow.
My decades of experience in designing computer hardware, software, and real-time computer systems has helped me to understand the relationship between consciousness and matter as follows: consciousness operates in a human being as software operates in a digital computer built by human beings. Nothing inside the digital computer can understand what software is, as it must use the very thing it wants to understand to attempt to understand it. We humans have built digital computers and we understand how they work. We design and write software and understand how software enables computers to work. But we are as unable to understand how consciousness works for the same reasons that computers are unable to understand how their software works. Hardware exists in the material world; software exists in a non-material world. In a powered-off computer, software has no reality: it can take no action nor change its own internal state, it is like a frozen crystalline structure. Only when the computer is powered up, does software come into play and action; the computer comes alive, in other words.
Similarly for a human being, only when a human being is alive is it possible to say that consciousness is present. Humans know as little about how consciousness got into humans as computers can ever know about how their software got into them.
Ah, you may be thinking, but computers can learn, they can accept data from the material world, accept new programming from humans, and with large enough computers and programming, they can become smarter than humans, can they not? The advocates of Artificial Intelligence (AI) would have us think so, but computers are limited to data from the material world, whereas humans can accept novel information from the spiritual world. Yes, our thoughts arrive as novel information from the spiritual world; it is received by our physical brain and we claim the results to be our own thoughts. Computers cannot do this; they can only receive novel information from human beings or data from the material world, lacking any receptors for the spiritual world. It is inconceivable that computers could ever receive novel information from the spiritual world. Certainly we humans cannot understand how we receive this novel information, and lacking that understanding, we cannot program computers to do so.
Clearly many of you are skeptical at my claim that humans receive novel information from the spiritual world through the process we call consciousness, so let's take a look at this process as it has evolved in recent millennia. There was a time when it was not necessary for humans to write down information because they had direct access to information on a spiritual hot-line. Take a look at Homer's sagas, which existed in an oral tradition(2) for centuries before being written down: The Iliad and The Odyssey. What are the first words of each? The Iliad: "Sing, O Goddess, the anger of Achilles" and The Odyssey: "Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious hero who traveled far and wide". Now compare the beginning of these two books with Virgil's The Aeneid, which begins, "Of arms I sing, and a man."(3) Note the absence of a Goddess or Muse in Virgil's opening line, but the salient presence of the "I". In the 600 to 1,000 year gap of time between Homer and Virgil, the skill of writing appeared along with the human "I" or "I am." What a spiritual being (Goddess or Muse) revealed to Homer in his time, the "I" of Virgil revealed to him in his time. Said another way, Virgil received his novel information from the same source as Homer, but human consciousness had evolved to the point where Virgil accepted these inputs as if they were his own thoughts and wrote them down as his own song, his own thoughts, for his fellow humans who did not have access to this information.
Digital computers could write, "Sing, O Programmer, of the anger of Achilles" but it would be meaningless for a computer to write "Of arms I sing, and a man", for where is the "I" of the computer? Unlike humans, computers cannot have an "I"; it can only pretend to have one, but in reality its "I" would be the "I" of its programmer, would it not?
Until physicists understand the spiritual world which infuses human consciousness and lives inside the human being like software does in a digital computer, they will never be able to understand "the relationship between consciousness and matter" and it will remain "an open question" to them, an unanswered question to be pondered.
Physicists taught biologists about the hardware of the human body and led them into believing that the mind was simply the effects of the brain, all physiology. But, by the time biologists bought into this metaphor, physicists had moved further into the puzzling aspects of quantum physics, which requires an observer and therefore requires consciousness.
[page 24] Thus, biology has busily pushed the mind out of the door of the house of science, little realizing that it was reentering through the door of physics.
How consciousness has "reentered through the door of physics" is the meat of this book, and requires the author to examine unorthodox sources for insights, such as Seth, an incorporeal entity channeled by Jane Roberts, Kenneth Wilbur's holographic metaphor, David Bohm's implicate order, and Aldous Huxley's "perennial philosophy". All of these authors's works I have studied, and the most valuable to me were the works of Jane Roberts' in her Seth books, books whose words came to her directly from Seth, similar to how the Muses reached the mouth of Homer, leading eventually to the texts of the Iliad and Odyssey. Once I had read Roberts' first book, Seth Speaks, I began making my way through her entire genre, both her books and those dictated to her husband, Robert Butts, by the entity Seth using Jane's voice. Butts' commentary about the activities during his taking of dictation adds veracity and credibility to the Seth books. The most important are the ones I went back years after reading them to review: The Unknown Reality and The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events. The one Seth book I was able to write a review directly after reading it was The Magical Approach, which Butts published about eleven years after his wife had died. One passage in my review speaks to the ability of men like Kekule to reach into the future to grab hold of the ring structure of benzene:
[Magical Approach Review] Creativity has its own kind of time, a free-flowing time in which past, present, and future co-exist like in a dream where we can "rummage through the days of the future to find precisely the data required to make a specific point." Seth contrasts this magical approach with the rational approach which says "that to solve a problem you worry about it."
Clearly there are more things in heaven and earth than biologists can find in their microscopes and dissecting rooms, or physicists in their telescopes, spectrometers, and high-energy colliders. What physicists are finding is that the finer they make their semantic nets, the larger the fish that get through(4). One example is dark matter: when astronomers defined the universe by what was visible, no one thought to look for matter which is not visible because it does not radiate energy and yet constitutes about 84% of the matter according to present estimates. When it comes to accounting for the spiritual world, physicists are even more in the dark, opposing vehemently the very idea of a non-material world which interweaves our physical world. But just as they were forced to acknowledge the presence of dark matter in our universe because of its gravitational effects on visible matter, they will one day have to acknowledge the presence of the spiritual world because of its effects on human beings and the cosmos in which we find ourselves. As I point out in my Quantum Enigma review:
[page 75, Quantum Enigma] If an actual physical object were smeared over the extent of its waviness, its remote parts would have to instantaneously coalesce to the place where the whole object were found. Physical matter would have to move at speeds greater than that of light. That's impossible.
Quantum Enigma Review: And yet, the soul and spirit of every physicist when awakened from a dream re-coalesces instantaneously from the edges of the universe. Perhaps physical matter is not actually physical. Physicists calculate the probability that a wave will coalesce in one place, but that is not the probability of there being an object there, an important difference.
I recall a Mutt & Jeff comic strip from when the Times-Picayune was still a daily newspaper in the 1960s. Mutt was searching his coat pockets and his pants pockets looking for his wallet. Jeff looks down on his buddy and asks him, "Did you look in your left back pants pocket?" Mutt gives his pal a sheepish grin and says, "No, if it's not there, I would die!" Physicists are in Mutt's position vis-à-vis quantum realities today: they refuse to look in the one last place for understanding, the spiritual world, because they feel they would die if they did, making all their railings against so-called metaphysical realities null and void. But, clearly there is no other place to look.The evidence provided by the Bell Theorem experiments of Alain Aspect proves that the quantum phenomena we observe are the effects of things we call objects, but which, in reality, only appear to us as objects when we observe them and have a non-material existence in between our observations. To be honest, we physicists should come clean and admit the existence of a spiritual world, and learn more about it. Teachings of the spiritual world have been around long before physics, and perhaps it's time for physicists to learn something new.
[page 28] Do anomalies exist on the macro level that we are simply not noticing or are allowing to slip through our scientific nets? Certain events, casually assigned to the paranormal and thereby dismissed, may contain information that would clarify persistent problems in our evolving worldview. Philosopher Huston Smith imagines the Perennial Philosophy addressing Science and noting, "You are right in what you affirm. Only what you deny needs rethinking."
Once scientists stop denying the spiritual world’s existence, perhaps they will be able catch that slippery eel of consciousness which has been slipping through its finest nets, up until now. (Page 28) They will also discover that consciousness has existed long before humans had physical bodies and will exist long afterward, as Steiner shows in his landmark book, An Outline of Occult Science.
Another slippery eel is that of time, and we must stop treating the past and the future as if they are irrecoverable, one already done and one not yet happened. We do best if we evolve to understand the Past and Future reaching us in the Now moment, coming together in a vortex, allowing us to experience Eternity in the Now, at every moment. My NOW diagram illustrates this ever-present process. Friedman and Ken Wilbur both echo this new way of understanding eternity, the past, the present, and the future, Friedman calling Eternity the Absolute.
[page 112] . . . the Absolute is present at every point in time since the Absolute is timeless.
[Wilbur] Being timeless, all of Eternity is wholly and completely present at every point of time — and thus, all of Eternity is already present right now. To the eye of Eternity, there is no then, either past or future.
Seth in The Unknown Reality, Volume I says it this way:
[page 140, U. R. vI] On the one hand as a species your present forms your future, but in even deeper terms your precognitive awareness of your own possibilities from the future helps to form the present that will then make that probable future your reality.
In Seth's concept of the "moment point" we see a description of the NOW diagram above, Seth’s “inner ego” representing what Steiner calls our “I”.
[page 159] Using Seth's terminology, the outer ego understands most events in physical terms, and for a given event creates a past, present, and future. The inner ego exists in the moment point, in which there is no past and future separate from the present.
Local effects are required by Newton's theories and Einstein's improvement on Newton's theories, but are eliminated from quantum reality by Bell's theorem and Alain Aspect's experimental verification of Bell's theorem. Here's a passage Friedman quotes from physicist Nick Herbert's Quantum Reality:
[page 259] Despite physicists' traditional rejection of non-local interactions, despite the fact that all known forces are incontestably local, despite Einstein's prohibition against superluminal connections, and despite the fact that no experiment has ever shown a single case of unmediated faster-than-light communication, Bell maintains that the world is filled with innumerable non-local influences. Furthermore the unmediated connections are present not only in rare and exotic circumstances, but underlie all the events of everyday life. Non-local connections are ubiquitous because reality itself is non-local.
With Bell's Theorem now confirmed by Aspect's experiments, we must accept that our daily reality is non-local. If this is so, then a rose bush which is wilting due to the overhanging leaves of a large tree may be able to create a wind-storm which downs the offending tree limb, as happened in our backyard a couple of decades ago during Hurricane Florence and inspired me to write this poem.
A Conspiracy of Roses
Locked in step
The bushes bend
To squeeze out every second
of sunlight slipping silently
past the overhanging leaves.
In an instant
A wave of shimmering energy
Moves in the far off reaches
of the galaxy.
In the same instant a movement
Begins in the far off reaches
of the sea.
Locked in step
The wills of the rosebushes
Dance with the galaxy and the sea
and the winds that whistle
through the tree.
The dance is done ... the galactic wave subsides ...
the sea is quiet again ...
the tree is resting on its side ...
and the roses are smiling in the sun.
The world in which we live is operating, sheltered under the old paradigm on a daily basis while the winds of the new paradigm are already blowing through the trees. Lift up your eyes and look at the limbs that are waving in the trees above you, they represent a time wave from your future which is heading into your life, entwining with a time wave from your past and creating a new now for you. This is an effect which you may not have noticed in your life, up until now. It is an effect which will enrich your life from now on.
---------------------------- Footnotes -----------------------------------------
These include books by Itzhak Bentov, Nick Hebert, Richard Feynman, Michael Talbot, Danah Zohar, Jeremy Berstein, Aldous Huxley, Ken Wilbur, Jane Roberts, and Victor Weisskopf, among others, as you can see in the ARJ1 Review List. Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
Footnote 2.Return to text directly before Footnote 2.
This oral tradition became necessary as humans in general began to lose direct access to the spiritual world. Those humans who didn't have access to the Iliad and Odyssey sagas depended on those few who retained that direct access to speak aloud Homer's sagas to them. These few were not endowed with an amazing memory, but with direct access which required no memory at all. (If your song is playing on the radio, you do not need a recording of it.) Eventually someone wrote down the sagas to save them for future generations, and we attribute them to Homer.
Footnote 3.Return to text directly before Footnote 3.
Quotes from University of Chicago Great Books edition, 1952 published by Encyclopedia Brittanica.
Footnote 4.Return to text directly before Footnote 4.
Sir Arthur Eddington writes cogently on this subject in his The Philosophy of Physical Science, which I bought and first read back in 1982.It had a powerful effect on my subsequent thinking about quantum realities.
Read/Print the Review at:
2.) ARJ2: The Last Man Who Knew Everything by Andrew Robinson
Engineers who know of Thomas Young only from their use of Young's Modulus in strength of materials will likely be surprised that he was a medical doctor, proved the wave nature of light, deciphered the Rosetta Stone, and made many other discoveries in a variety of fields.
Egyptologists who recognize Champollion as the decipherer of the Rosetta Stone hieroglyphics may not know that Champollion relied on Young original deciphering of hieroglyphics published in an early Encyclopedia Britannica, and that it was Young who subsequently deciphered the demotic script of the Stone. As a child his classical tutor, John Hodgkin, taught him Greek calligraphy, which helped him immensely in deciphering ancient Greek texts of the Rosetta Stone and other inscriptions.
Physicists who recognize Young's wave theory of light which upset Newton's claim of light being composed of particles, may not realize that Young was the first to recognize the two-slit effect of light, was the first to use energy as a physics term, first to understand that energy of a moving body increase as the square of velocity, first to determine the diameter of a molecule, first to use surface tension to calculate molecular tension, first to create a modern view of heat as molecular motion instead of a flow of a caloric fluid into a body, and first to imagine a spectrum of radiation from ultraviolet to infrared(1). At a time when light waves were still assumed to be longitudinal waves (compression and expansion) like sound waves, Young was first to discover the process of polarization of light and deduced correctly that light must be transverse waves. Combined with Fresnel's work, the Young-Fresnel theory of light explained reflection, refraction, diffraction and polarization, displacing forever the particle theory of Newton.
Ophthalmologists may be surprised to know that Young did basic research in the human eye, creating a much improved optometer for measuring refractive states of the eye. Along the way he discovered the process known as astigmatism due to a deformation of the eyeball during accommodation, which was only given its name by William Whewell some 30 years later. Using rings on a compass, he measured the transverse diameter of his own eye as well as the distance from retina to cornea, and did this unaided by anyone else in his own apartment. He did careful experiments to establish that accommodation was due to a change in the shape of the lens of the eye. Young established the 3-color theory of color sight in 1802. The "man who knew everything" was truly a "Physician of Vision" as Chapter Five is titled.
Young wrote this next passage, which I find much to agree with:
[page 178, Young in a letter to Hudson Gurney, 1809] The longer a person has lived the less he gains by reading, and the more likely he is to forget what he has read and learnt of old; and the only remedy that I know is to write upon every subject that he wishes to understand, even if he burns what he has written.
Writing about what one reads is something I do a lot. Writing is an aid to memory, which is exactly how writing became invented by human beings. At a point around the time of Homer, humans were losing their ability to see into the spiritual world to refresh their knowledge and invented writing as a way of recording information. When I finish reading a book a vague memory of its contents exists in my memory, but after I have completed writing a review of the book, the memory of its contents solidifies and my review becomes a quick way of refreshing in my mind what interested me in the book. Given the currency of the verb "burn" to mean "write into a memory storage device", Young's statement takes on new meaning, for indeed, my reviews after I write, like the one you are reading, are burnt into hard drives locally and on remote computers for the world to be able to read.
When I graduated in physics, I became aware that most of the work being done in physics was like adding a few decimal places onto to physical unit like the speed of light or the density of platinum, and none of that kind of work interested me. This passage by Einstein is a droll way of saying the same thing as I thought after college, as I was trying to decide on a course of life's work for myself. I did not want to work on refining someone's theory to prove how good it was; I want to be on forefront of innovation myself.
[page 183, Einstein] I have little patience for scientists who take a board of wood, look for its thinnest part, and drill a great number of holes when the drilling is easy.
During a summer job at a Celotex factory I worked for several weeks drilling holes in acoustical tiles. Each tile was fed into my machine and my job was to pull the lever down until the large array of drills penetrated about a cm or so into the board. It was an easy enough job, but I learned an amazing lesson while filling in for the person who was on vacation. I was working next to an old man, and asked him how long he had been doing this job. "Thirty years" was his answer. I suddenly created an image of my doing this job for that long and I realized that could never happen for me.But it can happen to even professional people. Recently during the financial collapse of mortgage banks, I was listening to a conversation among lawyers and one mentioned a lawyer who retired recently after working on a case for thirty years! One case. He started on the case when hired by some large law firm and when he retired the case was still under litigation. The similarity of the old man at the drill machine and the old lawyer with the one case are spookily similar. Scientists can create new hypotheses and theories can form from them or they can find easy places to work on existing planks in current theories. Young, whom I admire immensely, was of the former kind of scientist.
Scientists, true scientists, begin with a hypothesis which leads to experiments and if the experiments confirm the hypothesis over time, the hypothesis grows to be called a theory. In the passage below, Andrew Robinson explains and quotes Young's response to invectives about his work by reviewers in Edinburgh.
[page 117, 118] This debate continues even today, in that non-scientists generally imagine that scientists first do experiments and then look for hypotheses to explain the results, whereas in fact, normally, hypothesis determines experiment, which then acts as a check on the hypothesis. Young explains this cogently in his reply:[T]here are two general methods of communicating knowledge; the analytical, where we proceed from the examination of effects to the investigation of causes; the other synthetical, where we first lay down the causes, and deduce from them the particular effects. In the synthetical manner of explaining a new theory we necessarily begin by assuming principles, which ought, in such a case, to bear the modest name of hypotheses; and when we have compared their consequences with all the phenomena, and have shown that the agreement is perfect, we may justly change the temporary term hypothesis into theory. This mode of reasoning is sufficient to attach a value and importance to our theory, but it is not fully decisive with respect to its exclusive truth, since it has not been proved that no other hypothesis will agree with the facts. It is exactly in this manner that I have endeavored to proceed in my researches.
Thomas Young may have known everything, but he wasn't right about everything, and neither was the author of this book. Robinson makes a common error in assuming that the ciliary fibers are muscles which compress the lens of the eye to alter its curvature. Here is his statement:
[page 38] The human eye does accommodate by changing the curvature of its lens. But he was wrong in considering the lens itself to be muscular. In fact, the ciliary muscles, a set of radial muscles that surround the rubbery, jelly-like, non-muscular lens, are what alter the curvature. The function of the ciliary muscles was not known in Young's time, and so he attributed muscularity to the lens itself.
Young was wrong in that there are no muscles in the lenses itself. Robinson is wrong in implying that the ciliary muscles squeeze a flaccid lens to create a focus. Instead, there are tiny ligaments which pull the lens flat and the ciliary muscles must work against these ligaments to compress the lens. Reading something up close requires constant work by these muscles resulting in cramps of these muscles and a steady state of myopia, such as beset Thomas Young as his own calculations of his eyes proved.
[page 74] The near point of his own eye, after he had made the adjustment for the convex lens, turned out to be eight inches; the more short-sighted a person is, the nearer to the eye is his or her near point. In due course Young must have realized his myopia, because in his autobiographical sketch he writes: "He felt some inconvenience in society from being a little short sighted, and he used to attribute in part to this circumstance the mistake which he sometimes made respecting the impression produced by what he said or did, on the feelings of others." (It seems possible that the frequent cases of mistaken identity in the dramatics plots of plays and operas of Young's age were more convincing to audiences then than they are now, because many people were short-sighted and did not wear spectacles.)
One can only wonder what kinds of physical ailments, symptoms, or limitations appear as plot devices in current movies. The movie "Rain Man" is one example of creative use of an autistic person as a plot element.
On a trip to the British Museum, I was hurrying to get to Lord Elgin's marbles when I skidded to a stop in front of a plexiglass case, and stared in awe. In front of me was the famous Rosetta Stone! I stood in awe as I walked slowly around the stone. It contained the key to deciphering the hieroglyphic language of ancient Egypt. It contain parallel translations in hieroglyphics, demotic script, and Greek. As I learned later, the three languages were the fane or religious language Egyptian hieroglyphics, the pro-fane or outside-the-temple demotic language of the demos or common people, and the language of commerce at the time, Greek. Scholar could read the Greek script and were amazed to find this statement on the Stone near the bottom: "This decree shall be inscribed on a stela of hard stone in sacred and native and Greek characters and set up in each of the first, second, and third temples beside the image of the ever-living king." (Page 151) The next step was to find the equivalent expression in the hieroglyphics to those in Greek, a daunting task for a language for which no known speakers had been living for many centuries.Thomas Young's familiarity with Greek from an early age and his close work with calligraphy in Greek gave him a head start in the deciphering process which those who followed him used to their advantage, often without crediting Young's work, especially by Champollion who ignored Young's pleas to relent in his monomania to receive the sole credit.
[page 220] Either Champollion had too much vanity to concede anything important to Young, or he had genuinely convinced himself, through his long years of obsession with ancient Egypt, that the crucial first steps were really taken by him — or perhaps there was an amalgam of both feelings in his mind. By sticking intransigently to his claim of sole authorship, he achieve his ambition and came to enjoy general acceptance as the decipherer of the Egyptian hieroglyphs. But in so doing he lost his good name. Young was right in his gentle warning: Champollion's personal reputation will forever be tainted by his hubris toward Young.
Several more items of Thomas Young's work: he became one of the first insurance doctors, he suggested that seismic waves due to earthquakes were similar to longitudinal sound waves of compression and expansion, and proposed correctly that "the elasticity of a solid must be proportional not simply to its density, as was known to true of elastic fluids, but to the square of its density." (Page 128)
The Jesuit priest Athanasius Kircher was called "the last man who knew everything" from which the title of this book apparently came. (Page 146) Young may not have known everything, but he certainly drank deep from the Pierian Spring as Alexander Pope wrote in Young's favorite passage as a young man (Page 18)
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring . . .
Pieria was the legendary home of the Muses on Mount Olympus and Thomas Young's deep draughts from this fountain of inspiration and intuition proved a boon for humanity, as he single-handedly in so many diverse ways bootstrapped science and industry into the modern age.
---------------------------- Footnotes -----------------------------------------Return to text directly before Footnote 1.1. All these things and others, he described in the book, Natural Philosophy, in 1807.
3.) ARJ2: Introducing Anthroposophical Medicine, GA#312, Lectures 8 to 20 by Rudolf Steiner
We learned in Lectures 3 through 7 that our will moves our human limbs, not so-called motor neurons which are afferent sensors; there are no efferent nerves, rightly understood. There are no so-called motor neurons to our limbs, only sensory nerves from them. We also learned about what causes intestinal disorders, and that common childhood diseases are best left to run their course. For much of these four lectures Steiner was building up in his listeners a basic understanding of how the telluric and extra-telluric forces are related to the planets of the cosmos and how these act upon the human body, particularly on its organs. One important point is that the heart is the dividing point between the upper or extra-telluric organs of the body and the lower inner-telluric organs. Our heart thus acts like the Sun in the cosmos which separates the inner-telluric planets of Venus, Mercury, and Moon from the outer-telluric planets of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Being aware of this allows us to develop a basis for understanding the whole human being in body, soul, and spirit.
[page 117] What we refer to by saying "ether body," "astral body," and so on — terms we must use to abbreviate or simplify our ideas — can definitely be traced to how they are imprinted in a certain sense in physical processes. It's just that today we are not inclined to correctly associate what is expressed through physical processes with the spiritual foundation of existence. We absolutely must make these associations, however, in order to spiritualize our methods of thinking and observation in the field of medicine. For example, we must investigate how the interplay between what we call the etheric and physical bodies takes place. You know that this interplay takes place within the human being, and we spoke yesterday of one aspect of it, an irregularity that can develop with regard to how the astral body affects it.
This same interplay also takes place outside, however, in nature external to the human being. If you follow this thought through to the end, you will have a thorough insight into the human being's connection to nonhuman nature. When you look out into nature, you are surrounded by all the individual species of plants (let's focus on plants for today), and you become aware of this flora through various senses. If you do this, you can get at least an inkling of the interaction that takes place first of all between this flora and the Earth's entire atmosphere, and second between the plants and the planetary or astral realm that lies outside this earthly sphere.
Look at the Diagram from page 121 of Lecture 8. We notice how combustion is related to digestion and aromatization. This connection reminds us of how teas made from aromatic flowers can help one's digestion. When we taste, we bring a substance directly into our taste organs instead of it skimming the surface of our smell sensors. Similarly when we see, light enters our eyes and photons combine with our retinal receptors, making taste and sight into cognates in the sense of being allied closely, exactly as digestion and smell are cognates of each other. That makes sight a metamorphosed taste organ, and vice versa. Thinking is a cognate of salt-making or salinization, though we rarely consider it such. Consider how a rain storm can leach salts from the topsoil — a root vegetable does a similar thing by pulling the salts into itself. As a kid I loved beets, a common root vegetable which pulls salts from below the surface of the soil(1). When we eat beets, and I still love them myself, it helps us to create mental representations, to draw conclusions while achieving logical consistency, processes every writer requires. Coffee has an abundant element, nitrogen, in its caffeine, an element which facilitates dissolving any accumulated brain sand formed during in the process of thinking and writing(2).
Can you instantly spot an artificial flower? If you're not sure, smelling a delightful aroma would be a sure sign of its being real, also, touching it would be another sign due to its natural softness. The very aroma given off by the flower provides its soft texture. Think of smelling ghostly replicas of roses or jasmine next time you walk in a garden by night.
[page 121, 122] Let us consider the aromatic aspect of the plant — that is, everything that allows the plant to avoid becoming solid by giving off its plant essence, extending its spirituality — pardon the lay expression — into the atmosphere, so that the atmosphere contains something of the plant's essence in the form of fragrance. Ghostly replicas of plants are present in what we smell out in the world. Consider what is actually happening in the external world when a plant gives off its ghostly fragrance, when it does not allow itself to become a totally solid plant, when its flowers emit a substance that wants to become a flower but refrains from doing so and persists in a dispersed state. This is nothing other than a restrained combustion process. . . . I might say that becoming aromatic is the process of combustion on a different level.
We can see how aromatic floral teas might ease our digestive processes, being incompletely combusted themselves, they can assist our digestion to complete its own combustion.
Since our sight is the upward metamorphosis of our tasting process, what would be the downward metamorphosis? Might it be our digestion, an internalized version of the externalized version of our seeing ability? Indeed, it is exactly that, and we need to understand that digestion is related to tasting. See page 121 diagram above for the upper (seeing) and lower (digesting) metamorphoses of tasting. The diagram at right shows how salts from root vegetables assist thinking in the brain and the aromatic blossoms and fruit assist digestion.
[page 125] You simply cannot understand the subtle, localized digestive activities in the human organism if you do not conceive of good digestion as being based on the ability to "taste" with the entire digestive tract and bad digestion on the inability to do so.
Various polyps on the lower intestinal tract would interfere with good digestion. This reveals an interesting effect of the new medical procedure of colonoscopy, namely, that it can improve the digestion of someone who, during the procedure, had simple polyps removed from the walls of their intestine. So far as I know, this is not a promised nor an expected benefit from the procedure, up until now.
The separation of tasting from smelling leads us directly to the separation of excretion of solid matter by the intestines and liquid matter by the kidneys.
[page 125] The results of separating tasting from smelling and ordinary digestion from everything involved in the more subtle workings of the kidneys are like counter parts in a polarity.
Then, we must consider the internal versus external metamorphoses of seeing and the implications they bring to us.
[page 125] At this point it becomes possible to see events in the organism enclosed within the skin as the internalization of something external. In everything that has an upward continuation, we approach and open up to what is outside. We must now pursue this matter further in order to recognize our mental activity that is bound to the body (and I mean this not in the materialistic sense but in another sense that will be familiar to you from my lectures) as a metamorphosis of seeing, again transposed inward. We must think of the organs that form the basis for thinking or conceptualization [see drawing from p. 121] — that is, the structure in the interior of the human head — as organs of sight that have metamorphosed in a specific direction. Please consider the fact that most ideas are simply extensions of visual representations that live in your thinking. You need only compare this condition to the inner life of a person who is congenitally blind. Thinking is the inner extension of seeing.
Here is a passage which explicitly specifies the benefits of floral teas for lower digestive processes and root vegetables as beneficial for upper digestive processes, namely, our thinking functions.
[page 126, 127] You help the lower body when something associated with aroma and the restrained combustion process in plants is guided into the lower part of the body. Similarly, you aid the processes of the upper region if the agent responsible for restraining, or internalizing, the salt process in plants is introduced into the upper part of the human being.
Look again at the page 121 diagram at left and note how taste and blood formation points into the center and respiration and combustion point out from the center circle: that circle represents the human heart which is the center of the synthesis and analysis of forces and products at work in the full human being.
[page 121] Here you see two polar processes, one separated off from digestion, the other, respiration, separated off from the more externally located sensory activities. Respiration is located behind the sensory processes (mental representations are nourishment for the soul, and the respiratory process is inserted in between); the blood and lymph-forming process is inserted in front of digestion inasmuch as digestion leads to elimination. Strangely enough, we are moving from the process itself into the entire human being, while it is customary today to consider the human being only from the point of view of the organs in question. Here we are attempting to understand the entire human being from the perspective of the relevant process and of the connection between the human being and the nonhuman outer world, and in fact we have discovered connections that provide us with a direct image of all the etheric activity in the human being.This is what we have been studying for the past hour today. These two processes, respiration and blood formation, meet up again in the human heart. You see, we encounter the entire outer world, including the external aspect of the human being, as a duality that is held back in the human heart, where it attempts to achieve a balance of sorts.
Thus we can arrive at a remarkable image that contrasts the synthesizing process in the human heart — with its inwardness and its activity of gathering the substances and forces that enter the body from outside and move toward the perimeter of the body — and the analyzing process in the outer world, where everything that gathers in the heart is dispersed throughout.
As in previous lectures 1 through 7 in this book, Steiner points to the heart as the balancing center of the human, placed strategically between the upper- and lower-telluric organs of the body to balance their forces. These are important lectures to be read in their entirety, whose content I can give glimpses of by way of pointing to their importance.
In Lecture 9 Steiner deals with functions of various organs. For the heart he suggests that people spend more time in motion which is self-generated instead of motion in cars or trains. For the bladder he describes proper rest after a meal which is eaten properly, not being wolfed down.
[page 133] One example of this is failing to pay careful attention to the act of eating, disrupting the entire digestive process by gulping down our food instead of chewing. Another is not maintaining the right balance between rest and movement during the digestive process, and so on. Everything that disrupts inner mobility from within also disrupts what we might call the life of the bladder.
Meals are best followed by a time of rest, e. g., a post-prandial repose is good medicine for one's digestive processes and a healing balm for one's bladder. Riding a bicycle is better than driving a motor scooter or motorcycle.
In Lecture 10, Steiner describes how a vegetarian diet creates stronger forces in the human body than does the eating of animal flesh. When one eats meat, the animal has already done the work of digesting the plants, obviating the need for the human to do that work. Yes, a hamburger provides one a quick and easy-to-digest meal of animal protein, but one misses the benefit of the forces one acquires by eating equivalent plant material and digesting it directly. In other lectures, Steiner describes how the length of the large intestine is shorter in carnivores and longer in herbivores and thus, some humans are genetically disposed to meat versus vegetable diets. He simply describes the effects of meat versus vegetable diets and does not promote either. In northern climates where animal diets are necessary for humans to survive the freezing winters with little vegetation, humans evolved short intestines to deal with the primarily meat-based diets. In southern climes, vegetable-based diets have led to longer intestines able to handle a greater portion of plant-based foods. The issue of meat or vegetable eating is best left to a case by case basis, he reminds us on page 148 after saying the following.
[page 147, 148] People who eat meat do not engage in the process that animals do; they allow animals to relieve them of this effort. Thus, they fail to develop the forces that they would develop in themselves if they consumed only plant foods and had to do this portion of the work themselves. This means that a vegetarian has to muster up quite different forces from the abdomen than a meat eater. Nonetheless, the forces that would have to be used to overcome plant substance and raise it to the animal level are still present in the meat eater. They rebound on the organism and work within it. Essentially, they have a very fatiguing and disruptive effect on the human being. It must be strongly emphasized that a vegetarian diet offers noticeable relief from fatigue. People become capable of more work if they become accustomed to summoning up forces our of themselves that they do mot summon up if they eat meat, in which case these forces disrupt the organism.
What is it that rebounds on the meat eater? The meat eater does not have to do the amount of work that the vegetarian did when eating plants in order to raise them to the animal level. The animal flesh eaten by the meat eater had already been raised to the animal level, obviating the need for the meat eater to do this work. This extra work remains available and can have a disruptive and fatiguing effect on the meat eater, like a washing machine that stays on its spin cycle unnecessarily long can have a destructive effect on the washing machine.
One can always choose to test this on oneself. There are a variety of ways of incorporating more vegetables into one's diet, in order to notice the difference. From our own experiments, we have noticed that a Portobello mushroom burger offers as delicious and energy-giving a meal as a burger made of meat-based hamburger. A rice and beans meal, which is very common in South Louisiana cooking, creates a well-rounded protein, the beans providing the protein parts missing in the rice. We have noticed that our weight increases whenever we are not at home for any period of time, but are dependent on food prepared by others, but returns to its normal levels after a week of being back on our normal diet.
Steiner explains in this next passage that his explanations are not regurgitated from some ancient volumes, and if it seems to match some ancient knowledge, it is because those ancients happened to tap into the knowledge independently.
[page 156,157] I want to mention again that nothing I am saying here comes from studying ancient knowledge. Everything I have to say has been derived solely from the facts themselves, although I occasionally point out how they coincide with ancient wisdom. The content of these lectures, however, is not derived from ancient wisdom. If you follow the processes I characterize here, you simply arrive at ways of looking at things that in turn lead back to some aspect of ancient wisdom. I myself, for example, would never feel called upon to discover anything by studying Paracelsus, but I sometimes do feel a strong need to look up how Paracelsus presents a subject that I have discovered on my own. Please accept what I have to offer in the spirit in which it was intended. We must, however, acknowledge the fact that when we look deeper into the human organization from the spiritual-scientific point of view, we develop a great respect for ancient wisdom.
A study of Steiner's An Outline of Occult Science will enlighten anyone who might be confused by his claim below that no aspects of nature are external to the full human because nature and the human being evolved in parallel and what seems external in nature now was once internal to the human being in early stages of cosmic evolution. Without understanding this, materialistic science scoffs that the planets could be somehow related to the organs of the human body. Would you as a parent scoff if someone made fun of your relationship with your offspring? In a real sense, the planets are human offspring, once having resided inside of humans during the Old Saturn stage of cosmic evolution.
[page 159] Actually, what aspects of nature truly are external to the human being? None of them, because everything we now encounter as external was removed from humankind and relocated outside in the course of human evolution. Humankind had to pass through evolutionary stages that were possible only because certain processes began to take pace externally as opposed to internally, enabling human beings to internalize certain other processes. In this sense, a contrast and a relationship always exist between certain outer and inner processes.
We have learned elsewhere food which arrives to be digested must be treated to remove all traces of the outside world before its nutrients can pass into the blood stream. Its outside "life" must be "killed" so that it can turn into living matter for absorption into the blood stream. Any food matter not so treated will be fatal to a human being if it enters their blood stream. In this next passage Steiner goes into some detail about this process as it affects carbon (e. g. in Carbo vegetabilis, a partially oxidized form of plant matter).
[page 163] At this point, we come to what I might call a truly painful chapter in modern natural science, a chapter that cannot be concealed from you for the simple reason that you cannot circumvent it if your intention is to understand the connection between the human being and the external, nonhuman world. The great obstacles to an objective grasp of how substances in general (and medicinal substances in particular) work in the human organism are the laws of the so-called conservation of energy and of matter. These laws, posited as universal natural laws, are nothing but an absolute contradiction of the process of human development. The entire process of digestion and nutrition is not what the materialistic way of thinking sees it to be. The materialistic viewpoint sees this entire process as the taking in of substances — let's keep carbon as our example — that were initially outside of us, after which the carbon — appropriately processed — is led further into the organism and then absorbed, so that we continually carry within ourselves small particles of what the outer world has given us. As far as this view is concerned, there is no difference between the carbon that is outside us and the carbon we carry around in our bodies. But this is not so. The human organism has the ability to totally destroy external, nonhuman carbon in the lower body, to eliminate this carbon from space and use the counter-effect to simply create it anew out of nothing. This is the true fact of the matter: within the human being is a site where substances external to the human being are created, while at the same time the possibility to destroy these substances is present.
Of course, this is not conceded by a modern science . . .
This brings us to the formation of light within the human being.
[page 163, 164] The re-enlivening of carbon is connected to what we have described from a different point of view as the "formation of light" in the ordinary human being. This internal light-forming process confronts the influx of external light. With regard to the upper part of the body, we are organized in such a way that outer light and inner light meet and interact. The most essential aspect of our organization rests on the fact that where these two forms of light are meant to work together, we are in a position to keep them apart rather than allowing them to merge, so that they influence each other but do not mingle. Wherever we confront the outer light, whether through our eyes or through our skin, a dividing wall is erected between the light that originates within us and the light that works in from outside. The light that works in from outside is significant only as a stimulus to the creation of internal light. Thus, in allowing the light from outside to flow in on us, we allow ourselves to be stimulated to create internal light.
We are human beings, not materialistic productions imagined by scientists: robots, androids, etc. with superhuman intelligence. Superhuman is in fact an oxymoron which contradicts itself: there is no super-human intelligence. My basic hypothesis is that any process any human has ever had, we all have right now, and are doing it, often out of our awareness; it comes with being alive. Scientists cannot explain life's origin, so they want us to accept that life came to Earth on a meteorite or with some alien life form. This shows that scientists accept Francesco Redi's statement in the 17th century that "Life can only arise from life."
[page 170, 171] In conclusion, I would like to comment in passing that it will no longer surprise you that modern science does not succeed in achieving insight into the origin of life itself. Modern science limits its search to regions where, thanks to Mercury's influence, only the counterimage of life — death — is present. To find life itself, we would have to look out there in places where today's scientists do not want to go. They want to avoid having anything to do with extra-telluric realms if at all possible. Even when scientists have been unable to avoid considering these realms, they make everything materialistic. Their hypothesis that the seeds of life are carried down to our Earth from other heavenly bodies is a convenient materialistic translation of the working of life forces. Supposedly, these seeds are carried down in a materialistic way by other heavenly bodies, avoiding all the obstacles, and then appear on our Earth. Some people even see meteorites as the vehicles these seeds of life drive down to Earth. So you see, today people can even claim to have successfully explained matters with their materialistic theory. Just as they believe they have explained everything that is observed on a macroscopic level by relegating it to the microscopic level or to the submicroscopic level of molecules and atomic theory, they also believe that they have explained life when they have really only relegated it to someplace else.
As we wend our way through the rest of the lectures, dear Reader, we will focus briefly on various pieces of advice given by Steiner on the operations of the human body, especially how the normal functions are sometimes upset by certain imbalances whose subsequent removal can restore the person to health.
Inflammations: We learn in Lecture 13 that the etheric body spreads normally in all directions in the human body, and that anything which disrupts or impedes the flow of the etheric body will be due to inflammations or tumors.
[page 187] In inflammations, the etheric body's activity is guided only in specific directions, whereas the activity of a healthy etheric body extends into the organism in all the appropriate directions. In essence, we can say that if the etheric body as a whole is still healthy but has become sluggish with regard to a particular organ system, we will be able to discover agents, which we will discuss later, that are capable of stimulating it to develop its universal activity, if I may call it that, in this specific direction.
Tumors: These are processes in the human body which make the etheric body sluggish and push it away from its area of formation.
[page 188] With tumors, then, it is a matter of using natural processes to stimulate the removal of the physical processes opposing the etheric body so that it can once again work in a spot its effects formerly could not reach.
Carcinomas and Mistletoe: Mistletoe is a crazy plant: it flowers and bears fruit in the winter time.
[page 191] This behavior, however, is exactly what we will put to use when the human organism goes physically crazy, which is what happens in the development of carcinomas.
Networks and Cable News: Steiner points out, early in the previous century, the two kinds of journalists who exist, and refuses to name names of those he was thinking of, but surely some names will come to mind today as you read his passage.
[page 196] It is not right to name names, but it is an idiosyncrasy of the field of journalism in particular that people with feeble minds can become good journalists because their slow wit puts them in a position to reflect the opinions of the times rather than giving their own obstinate views. For example, dull-witted journalists reflect the opinion of the times to such an extent that their accounts are much more interesting than those of self-possessed, strong-minded journalists. We learn much more about what humanity as a whole is thinking from weak-minded journalists than from strong-minded ones, who are always intent on developing opinions of their own.
Lungs, Liver: We have a friend in her 90s, sane and lively, who often repeats a memory or story she has just finished telling us, without offering any reason for it. After receiving chemo-therapy for her cancer, her repetitive story-telling has tapered off.
[page 197, 198] The person who suffers from frequent repetitions always has a potential for illness that is related to a formative lung process that is not in order, while the one who suffers from omission of thoughts [RJM: without supplying transitions from one thought to another] always has an inherent predisposition to a liver process that is not functioning properly. Other symptoms fall in between.
COFFEE, TEA Drinkers: Many people prefer to drink one or the other of these beverages, but Steiner is the first person I've encountered who points to the difference in behavior and habits of the two types of people. I can attest to being a coffee drinker, but when on a cruise with an afternoon tea, we often take tea there, possibly because we have so many new people around to toss off witty comments to aboard ship.
[page 197] Thus, drinking a lot of coffee should be one of the habits of modern journalists, so that they do not have to chew on their pens so much in order to connect one thought to another. . . . Just as coffee is a good drink for journalists, tea is an extremely effective drink for diplomats, who have great need of the ability to habitually toss off disjointed thoughts that allow one to appear witty.
SUGAR and EGO: Consuming sugar bolsters a person's inner sense of self. If you will notice movies in which aliens come to Earth, the first thing they do is consume a lot of sugar. The first "Men in Black", "Starman", and "Michael" are three movies in which the newly arrived in an earthman's body consume a huge amount of sugar. Steiner looks at two extremes on a cultural basis during his time: Russia and Britain.
[page 198] Russians express a certain selfless devotion to the outer world and have less ego awareness, which they substitute for on a level that is theoretical at best. This is related to low sugar consumption. In contrast, the British possess a strong, organically based sense of self that is relate to high sugar consumption.
Near- and Farsightness: From doing close work without plus-lenses, normal sighted people become nearsighted or myopic. Steiner draws a colored diagram to explain how he sees a difference between the etheric scaffolding (yellow) and the I-scaffolding(white) such that in myopic people the two are much closer together than in farsighted people.
[page 201, italics added] It is interesting to see how close these two come to each other in nearsighted people, how what I have sketched here in white comes very close to the other scaffolding, the yellow. In contrast, in farsighted people the white scaffolding moves outward.
Eyes and Ears: Processes which happen in the body at the right speed are valuable and healthy; those same processes at the wrong speed are not healthy. The inflammatory process is essential for us to be able to see, but too much inflammation is a problem. Ears are connected to proliferation processes which, if too strong, produce tumors.
[page 207] Sight is possible simply because the inflammatory process is integrated into nature as a whole. It has a specific tempo, however. If the wrong speed is imposed on it, it turns into the pathological process of inflammation in the human being. Similarly, the tumor-forming or proliferation process is significant in the natural world when it takes place at the correct speed. If you were able to do away with this process, not a creature in the world would be able to hear. If you give it the wrong speed, however, you end up with everything that takes place in the development of myomas, carcinomas, and sarcomas.
Hair Preservation: Steiner points out a way of preventing hair loss.
[page 211] We can even go so far to prevent the peripheral process of hair loss — if it's not too late, of course; if it is done in time — by supporting the scalp through the stimulating effects of rosemary droplets finely dispersed in liquid.
Sprains, External Injuries: There is an arnica flower which grows in northern areas such as Montana which can be extracted and used with success as a compress.
[page 211] If you want to tell the astral body — which I have described as being deeper in the interior, as even its phantom indicates — to come to a particular spot and help, you do not administer a bath. Instead you wrap arnica in a woolen rag and apply an arnica compress to a sprain or similar external injury where the effect of the I has been weakened. In this way, you summon the astral body from the interior to come to the aid of the I. This is an example of a remedy working as a balancing factor on the surface or periphery of the human being.
If you have trouble understanding how all these remedies work, consider the blackbird, who is never confused. If he eats a cross-spider, a local garden spider in Germany with a cross on its back, he flies immediately to a henbane plant and pecks at it until he is safe from convulsions and death. The planetary and earthly factors of the cross-spider and henbane are explained on page 214. If blackbirds were like humans, they would need a doctor immediately to medicate them if they had convulsions. We humans have lost this natural sense of the connectivity of things in the world, and Steiner, in his development of anthroposophical medicine, is able to reveal this connectivity and how we can heal ourselves with it.
Diabetes: This is a disease which results from a weak I and a strong intellectualism. Doyle Henderson, whom I got to know during the last decades of his life, had a very strong intellect from his early childhood and very little control over emotional influences. He was also diabetic from an early age and used insulin injections into his ninth decade when he died. His strong intellect made sure that he calculated exactly how much insulin he needed for the type of food he had just eaten in order to keep his blood sugar balanced with his body's needs and ability to handle it.
[page 217] We can say that predisposition to diabetes occurs if the I excludes itself from internal processes. These internal processes, especially that of secretion, are strongly related to the development of feelings or emotions. All of this secretion, where as you know is an oscillating and circulating activity, is neglected while the I is focusing its chief activity on the brain. As a result the person in question loses control over certain psychological influences that assert themselves in the form of emotional influences.
Doyle's inability to control his emotions as a child led to his eventual discovering that emotions are recapitulations in the now of early childhood events(3) and pioneering a way to remove unwanted feelings and onerous emotions. His three decades of hard work culminated in the science of doyletics which is helping people to change their lives for the better. In a way, his diabetes led him to create a method to overcome the limitations placed on him by the disease, a disease which accompanies the type of highly-developed intellect that Doyle needed to recognize the origin of feelings and emotions and to create a way to derail the most onerous of those bodily states.
Rashes, Gout, Rheumatism: In the white birch tree, we have a plant which could be a "wonderful herbaceous flowering plant" but for the fact that the process of the salt-development in its bark is dramatically separated from the protein-development process in its leaves. (Page 221)
[page 222, Rashes] Through its bark, which contains the appropriate potassium salts, it works in cases where the patient's desalinizing processes need to be stimulated, as in skin rashes, for example. What shoots outward into the bark in the birch tree also shoots outward in the human being, where it has a therapeutic effect.
[page 222, Gout, Rheumatism] But if you take the leaves, which preserve the protein-forming forces, you get the birch factor that influences the center part of the human being, where it proves to be a good remedy for gout and rheumatism.
Kidney Stones, Internal Bleeding: Plants such as Shepherd's purse, Capsella bursa-pastoris, are useful for treating kidney stone and internal bleeding.
[page 222] When you look at plants with very pronounced root development — plants that develop very strong root forces that then deposit potassium and sodium salts in the plants — you find that this tendency to hold fast to the roots has a healing effect on internal bleeding and also on the formation of kidney stones, and so on.
The Spleen: Our spleen is the most valuable organ in our human body which leads one to wonder why doctors treat it cavalierly as if it were unimportant. Perhaps they are treating the entire human the same way as they treat the spleen, as if it were simply a material object with no spiritual components. Steiner here takes a break to remind us of the spiritual aspects of the human body by pointing to the etheric spleen which remains after the physical spleen is removed.
[page 223] I hope you will not find it extraneous if I conclude today's lecture with a topic that will help us with subsequent observations, namely the peculiar way the spleen functions in the human organism. Human spleen function tends very strongly toward the spiritual aspect. This is why I once said in a lecture cycle on esoteric physiology that, if you remove the spleen, the etheric body — that is, the etheric spleen — takes its place very easily, so that this is one of the human organs that can be most readily replaced by its etheric counterpart.
Steiner's description of spleen function is included in its entirety here because it explains how doctors who learn about the human body through dissecting corpses have no way of coming away from the dissecting room understanding the spiritual processes at work in the human spleen. Without a spleen, we would lose our inner synchronism with the cosmos in which we live, and our haphazard way of eating would destroy us prematurely. A good spleen massage is essential to good digestion and health. In another place Steiner describes how a post-prandial nap creates a mild spleen massage and assists the process of digestion.
[page 224, 225] What is the spleen actually? To spiritual-scientific research, the spleen presents itself as the organ that is called upon to create constant harmony between crude metabolism and all the more soul-like or spiritualized processes in the human being. The spleen — and this is basically true of all other organs to a greater or lesser extent — is a strong subconscious sensory organ, and it reacts extremely strongly to the rhythm of food intake. Constant eating induces a totally different kind of spleen activity than leaving intervals between meals. We can observe this particularly in the irregular spleen activity that develops in children who snack constantly. We can also see it in the fact that when eating does not intervene — after we fall asleep, for example the spleen comes to rest to a great extent, but only in its own particular fashion. The spleen is the organ of sensation that allows the more spiritualized aspect of the human being to perceive the rhythm of food intake, and it speaks to the human subconscious, telling us what needs to be done to mitigate at least in part the damaging impact of unrhythmical eating.
Thus, spleen activity works less in the direction of metabolism as such and more in the direction of the rhythmic processes. It participates in rhythmic processes that must take place between food intake and respiration. An intermediate rhythm provided by the spleen is simply interposed between the rhythm of respiration and the intake of food, which otherwise does not tend to be especially rhythmical. Respiratory rhythm enables human beings to live within the strict rhythmicity of the cosmos. Our irregular food intake constantly disrupts this strict cosmic rhythm, and the spleen is the mediator.
This state of affairs can actually be confirmed by simply observing the human being. Please do study anatomical and physiological details. You will find all of this is confirmed down to the smallest detail. On the one hand, you will find proof of what I have said in how the artery to the spleen is almost directly connected to the aorta and also externally in how the spleen is incorporated into the organism. On the other hand, you will find evidence that the spleen mediates the direction of food intake in how the splenic vein is placed with the entire organism; it leads to the portal vein and is in direct connection with the liver.
Here a rhythm that is half outer and half inner aligns itself with the lack of rhythm so that they regulate each other. The activity of the spleen is interposed between the rhythmic human being and the metabolic human being. Many symptoms that are related to improper spleen function can be put in order by building on the knowledge we have acquired about the connection between the respiratory system and the metabolism or between the circulatory system and the metabolism as mediated by the spleen. It is not surprising that the physiology of the spleen is largely ignored by materialistic science, which knows nothing about the threefold human being — the metabolic human being, the circulatory human being, and the neurosensory human being.
After Meal Naps: Busy people in important jobs tend to have digestive problems of various kinds, often carrying anodynes like Maalox with them as a first-aid kit. The magnesium hydroxide acts to stimulate peristalsis in the intestines, one by-product of which is an internal spleen massage.
[page 227, 228] People do not do as certain animals do, which stay healthy by lying down after eating and refusing to allow their digestion to be disturbed by outer activity. These animals spare the functioning of their spleen. People who are engaged in outer, nervous, hurried activity do not do this. As a result, spleen activity is gradually becoming highly abnormal among all of civilized humanity, and it is becoming especially important to relieve the functions of the spleen by using the methods that I have just spoken about.
Massage: It makes a great deal of difference whether we massage the arms or legs of a person. When the arms are massaged it has an anabolic (build up) effect which assists the body's blood flow and intestinal functions. When the legs are massaged, it has a catabolic (destructive) effect which assists the body's elimination and excretion functions. (See pages 228, 229 for more information on massage effects on the body.)
Migraine Headaches: Migraine is the shifting of digestive and sensory activities from their proper places in the body into the head.
[page 230] This is the basis for the pain of migraine and all similar conditions. it is quite understandable how someone must feel when suddenly forced to perceive the interior of the head instead of the outer world.
Color Therapy: The color of the room a person is in makes a difference to them, even if they are blind. When we bought a new house, my wife was repulsed by the bright red rose pattern which filled the wallpaper from one end of the master bedroom and bath, and that wallpaper was immediately torn out.
[page 231] It makes a significant difference, and it must be said that the effect of bringing blind people into a blue-walled room is to shift the entire organism, their entire functioning, away from the head and toward the rest of the organism. If I bring them into a red-walled room, their functioning shifts away from the rest of the organism and toward the head.
Epsom Salts: The ammonium sulfate salt is very therapeutic when dissolved in warm water; this is a treatment we used a lot as I was growing up. Any kind or ache or pain, and my mother would bring out the Epsom salts.
[page 232] On the other hand, if substances similar in nature to sulfur or phosphorus (such as sulfur itself) accompany a warm bath, they will be especially able to develop their corresponding therapeutic effects.
Head Washing vs. Foot Washing: Steiner explains how these activities promote different processes in the human being.
[page 233] I would like to present you with a few of these archetypal phenomena that are easy to state: "By putting your feet in water, you evoke abdominal forces that promote the formation of blood." Here you have an archetypal phenomenon that points you strongly in the right direction. "By washing your head, you evoke abdominal forces that regulate elimination."
Schizophrenia: One wonders about a medical establishment which is so proud of discovering chemical origins for all sorts of diseases such as schizophrenia, and yet it ignores the possibility that the chemicals they find in the afflicted person is the result of perhaps a lifetime of abuse going back into early childhood. Only when early education comes along to prevent future medication will we become truly healthy as full human beings.
[page 234] To put it briefly, if organs — these are very delicate structures, of course — that are meant to be held in reserve for adulthood are called upon during childhood, the terrible illness that we call schizophrenia appears. Since this is the real basis of schizophrenia, appropriate education is an excellent preventive. At the moment, what we are attempting in the Waldorf school can be implemented only after the age of six or seven and cannot yet be extended to early childhood education, but schizophrenia will disappear if it becomes possible someday to place education as a whole in the service of the knowledge that comes from spiritual science. Shaping education in this way prevents people from calling on their adult organs prematurely.
Fluorine: The widespread use of Fluoride Toothpaste which has only come into vogue after Steiner's time is likely making many people unintelligent. We need a small amount of fluorine to keep us from becoming too intelligent for our own good. But our society seems to be headed to the opposite extreme, as is vividly depicted in the recent movie, "Idiocracy" where Luke Wilson plays a certified average person who goes ahead in time a hundred years or so, and is there certified as the smartest person in the world, because, among other things, he claims it is idiocy for them to continue watering their wilting plants with Gatorade.
[page 237] Fluorine's effects tone us down to the appropriate level of stupidity that we need in order to be human. We need fluorine in small quantities to constantly counteract the process of becoming too intelligent.
[page 238] It is well known that young women can have perfectly healthy teeth until the delivery of their first child, and then their teeth decay. This is extremely enlightening with regard to the connection between toothache or tooth decay and the organism's entire constitution.
Self-Directed Diets: How many people do you know in your personal circle who are following a diet prescribed by their doctor or some dieting book? How many people do you know whose parents have age-related dementia? Steiner here makes a connection between other-directed-diets and dementia and explains why.
[page 249] For example, I may consider it necessary for myself to avoid certain foods and emphasize others. (After what I said earlier, it is important to take this into account.) I may consider it important to adhere to a particular diet, which may be very good for me. It makes a considerable difference, however, whether I have arrived at this diet through independent experimentation on myself or whether I simply let the doctor prescribe it for me. Please don't be offended by this bald statement. From the materialistic point of view, it looks as if a diet that is good for me serves the same purpose regardless of whether I have taken the initiative to work it out on my own, possibly under my doctor's guidance, or whether I simply let the doctor prescribe it. Ultimately, however, the effects of the diet the doctor prescribes, although initially helpful, will be damaging in that they make it easier for me to succumb to age-related dementia than would otherwise have been the case, while my active collaboration will make it easier for me to remain intellectually spry in old age, although of course there are other contributing factors.
Bacteria or Processes?: Louis Pasteur discovered that bacteria were present in human beings and that by finding agents which destroyed the bacteria, sick humans could be helped to recover their health. His contemporary, Claude Bernard, a prominent physiologist, claimed that an upset to the homeostasis of the body allowed bacteria to thrive. On his deathbed, Louis Pasteur is reported to have said, "Claude Bernard was right." Rudolf Steiner takes Bernard's side in this following passage.
[page 251, 252] I believe that our scientific medical education truly needs an infusion of what might be called a return to the true causes of pathological phenomena. In recent times, the tendency has become ever more pronounced to disregard actual causes and to look at surface occurrences. A phenomenon related to this superficiality is the fact that whenever we begin to read or hear a description of any type of illness, current medicine or pathology almost always informs us about what has invaded the human organism, about what kind of bacillus provokes the illness in question. It is terribly easy, of course, to repudiate any objections to the idea of lower organisms invading the body for the simple reason that it is no longer necessary to first prove that these lower organisms are present. Since distinct forms of microorganisms are indeed evident in different illnesses, the tendency to suggest a connection is quite understandable.
But even on a superficial level, this view gives rise to an error that actually completely distracts us from the main issue. If bacilli appear in large numbers in a certain part of the body in the course of an illness, they naturally provoke symptoms, as do any foreign bodies in the organism. As a result of the presence of these bacilli, all kinds of inflammations appear. But if we then attribute everything to the activity of the bacilli, directing our attention only to what the bacilli are doing, we are distracted from the true cause of the disease, because any habitat that lower organisms find suitable for their own development within the human body is brought about by the primary causes. For once, we need to pay attention to the domain of primary causes.
Diaphragm Separates Plant/Animal Processes in Humans: Humans beings went through a plant stage of cosmic evolution during the Old Sun period, followed by an animal stage during the Old Moon period as described in Occult Science. As a result we have plant processes in our body's lung and respiratory system and animal process in our heart and circulatory system, and these processes must cooperate while remaining separate from each other. If somehow these processes become skewed such that plant processes predominate, pulmonary hardening will take place, on the other hand if animal processes predominate in a given area it becomes a seed bed for bacteria and other microbes. While so-called modern medicine can deal with the results of these skewed processes with all kinds of medication and surgery, the best medicine is that which recognizes the skewing(4) and helps humans to return to balance, a balance which when maintained sustains health over the long-term.
[page 253, 254] What happens [when lung processes predominate] is that an "etheric plant," which is built into the lungs and grows up out of them just as physical plants grow up out of the Earth, becomes the cause of pulmonary hardening or the like. . . . On the other hand, the animalizing tendency . . . [leads to a local] life-supporting medium for the microscopic plants or animals whose presence we can confirm in everything that cause illnesses.
Influences Lead to Influenza:Modern materialistic medicine cannot identify the influences which cause particular people to get influenza. (Note the common etymology of the words, influence and influenza.) As a result they urge everyone to get flu shots. Steiner was writing at the time of a world-wide epidemic of influenza, but his words aptly fit the yearly appearance of new strains of flu which affect people in various parts of the world whose respiratory/circulatory rhythms are skewed. The influence Steiner is referring to is that which the outer planets of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn have on the Sun's activity. (Page 258)
[page 259] An influence such as the one I described, however, has an exceptionally strong effect on people in whom this rhythm tends to permit further damage. All predisposed individuals who live on parts of the globe that are particularly affected by this heavenly constellation are candidates for so-called influenza.
Sluggish Digestion: People with poor digestion may find it helpful to spend some time each day walking backwards.
[page 284] We can bring about beneficial results by accustoming a person with sluggish digestion to walk backward a lot in gymnastics, which has the effect of promoting digestive activity.
Hangovers Explained: At age seventeen I came home from drinking a lot of beer and laid down in my bed to sleep and the room began spinning around me. It was a frightful experience, one which tempered my beer drinking thereafter.
[page 284] In a hangover, there is a real reversal of all of human organic activity. A hangover is an extension of the process that takes place primarily in the first phase of digestive activity. After overindulgence in wine, beer, or champagne, a hangover sets in when what occurs up to the point where substances are absorbed into the lymph- and blood-forming processes continues on into these processes themselves. Then the domain of the human organism whose real task is to dissolve substances is transformed into a sensory organ of a sort. Instead of directing the major part of their sensory activity toward the outer world, instead of entering into communication with the outer world and encountering the Earth and its processes, people who are hung over condemn themselves to perceive internally, because what is now inside them has become very, very similar to the Earth's external activity. They begin to sense the Earth's rotation, and the bed begins to spin.
At one point in Lecture 20, Steiner says, "This is a difficult lecture" and I almost had to laugh, because I had struggled my way through it with great effort, and found little that I could share in this review as the subjects he covers are so interwoven with each other. For me to repeat, "Something the liver ought to pull into the physical body is pushed into the soul instead, resulting in depression," may be interesting(Page 289), but the reasons for this require studying the entire lecture.
Steiner closes out the final lecture with an important reminder about materialistic medicine (allopathy). One need only listen to people who return from the doctor with some antibiotic or other to suspect that allopathy seems to involve the writing of a prescription, no matter what the presenting symptoms, just in case.
[page 290, 291] One thing, however, may and must be said: If we survey modern allopathic medicine, we invariably find that it tends to evaluate patients with a view to the concomitant phenomena described by the bacterial theory of infection. This diverts our attention to a secondary issue. As a mere aid to recognition, the natural history of bacilli would be extremely useful. We can indeed learn a lot from the type of bacillus that is present, because a certain type always appears under the influence of a very specific primary cause. There is always plenty of opportunity to see this connection.
But, we must not make the accompanied-by, therefore caused-by fallacy, assuming erroneously that bacteria which accompany a disease are the cause of the disease.
[page 291] There is a tendency to mistake a secondary factor for the primary cause, as when, for example, we look at the extent to which bacilli affect human organs instead of the extent to which the human organism can become a habitat for bacilli. Such a tendency appears not only in allopathic medical theories concerning bacteria, but also in that whole way of thinking. Consequently, this tendency causes damage that I need not elucidate, since many of you have noticed it yourselves. You see, homeopathic medicine has at least certain advantages in that it always aims at the human being as a whole, keeps an image of the overall effect in mind, and attempts to build a bridge to the discovery of remedies, but we also cannot always be satisfied when we scrutinize homeopathic medicine because of another idiosyncrasy of homeopathic medical literature.
Note that Steiner is criticizing the literature of homeopathy, not homeopathy. His criticism of the plethora of cures and the diversity of ills they purport to help cure is well-founded, in my own experience, because I had an opportunity to attempt to locate something to help a friend with a problem and was overwhelmed by the large list of medicines and the equally large list of ills each medicine claimed to work for. I finally recommended a natural healer who could best prescribe the correct homeopathic medicine.
[page 291] Please forgive me for saying this, but if you look at this literature, especially the therapeutic literature, it can almost drive you to despair because you find the remedies listed one after the other, and each one is always supposed to help a whole army of illnesses. It is never easy to find anything specific. Everything is helpful for so many different conditions. I know that this is how things have to be, at least for the present, but it simply leads us astray. We can resist being led astray only by proceeding in the way that has been indicated here, at least on an elementary level. This is why I chose an elementary content for these lectures instead of beginning with the occult. The situation can be improved only when this method of studying human and nonhuman nature enables us to move on to restricting the usage indications of remedies, to delineating remedies.
Steiner's earnest wish as he ended these 1920 lectures was that experts and professionals in medicine would take up his torch and provide an antidote to materialistic medicine, or at least a viable alternative to it. When the rampant ills beset our huge medical establishment today, it is heartening to see an alternative medical practice springing up beside it to help people regain the balance of their various bodily processes so as to achieve good health and sustain it without being subjected to onerous medicines whose side affects are often worse than the disease, without being subjected to unnecessary surgeries which reduce one's lifestyle without increasing one's life-expectancy, without being subjected dehumanizing batteries of tests given to everyone before being interviewed by the doctor.
Often the surest sign of success in a field is how your severest critics change their criticism of your work. Rudolf Steiner was for many years accused of speaking falsely about all aspects of his work, but with the success of his works in areas such as anthroposophical medicine, the accusations switched to saying he was wrong to reveal the secrets of the Mystery Schools. (page 199) Steiner said in closing the final lecture, "I, myself, of course, have never intervened and never want to intervene in the practice of healing. This is left up to practicing physicians. Everything that needs the stimulus of spiritual science should exist on the basis of the give and take between spiritual science and physicians themselves." (Page 294)
The next step is up to you, dear Reader. Even though bureaucrats may tax you to create some expensive medical monolith of healthcare, you can choose to stay healthy and avoid doctors who would force unneeded medications and surgical procedures upon you. Choosing your own diet, choosing caring professionals who treat you as a human being not a number on a chart, and keeping a balance in your own life are the first steps maintaining your good health and happiness to the end of your days.
---------------------------- Footnotes -----------------------------------------
Footnote 1.Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
One must not mistake red and white potatoes for a root vegetable; rightly understood, they are stem vegetables, and their eyes are really sprouts on the stem of the plant and thus each eye can be planted separately and take root. Yams or sweet potatoes are root vegetables and the entire yam must be planted to take root and form a new plant. See expanded description and drawings here: Nutrition and Stimulants.
Footnote 2.Return to text directly before Footnote 2.
Brain sand is tiny calcium carbonate deposits in the brain. The best explanation of the effects of brain sand I have been able to come up with can be found in From Crystals to Crocodiles. Fainting from a sudden lightning flash or loud noise is due to the sudden accumulation of brain sand. When we work our muscles we perspire externally, but when we work our brain, even intense focusing on a flower, we perspire internally by creating brain sand.
Footnote 3.Return to text directly before Footnote 3.
When Doyle made his discovery he announced dramatically to his friends Jenny and Clovis at work, "I know how people remember feelings! The brain recreates the body state." You can read the rest of my interview with Doyle here: http://www.doyletics.com/dintervw.htm .
Footnote 4.Return to text directly before Footnote 4.
One form of skewing of the respiratory and circulatory system is the ingestion of nicotine which causes the heart to beat faster in relation to the breathing rate, leading to the phenomenon of "shortness of breath" which is an "elevated heart rate", rightly understood. Steiner says elsewhere that use of nicotine creates a susceptibility to infections of all kinds.
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I hear often from my Good Readers that they have bought books after reading my book reviews. Keep reading, folks! As I like to remind you, to obtain more information on what's in these books, buy and read the books — for less information, read the reviews.
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= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =In this section I like to comment on events in the world, in my life, and in my readings which have come up during the month. These are things I might have shared with you in person, if we had had the opportunity to converse during the month. If we did, then you may recognize my words. If I say some things here which upset you, rest assured that you may skip over these for the very reason that I would likely have not brought up the subject to spoil our time together in person.1. Padre Filius Reads the Los Angeles Times this Month:
Padre Filius, the cartoon character created by your intrepid editor and would-be cartoonist, will appear from time to time in this Section of the Digest to share with us some amusing or enlightening aspect of the world he observes during his peregrinations.
This month the good Padre reads about an Unleash the Power Within Seminar.
2. Comments from Readers:
- EMAIL: Christopher Tidmore eats a SCORPION:
To My Dearest Friends,
I usually send long emails describing a place. This time, I thought that I might try something different to capture the essence of the difference of the East.
There is a part of Beijing called "the Night Market". The main street is a clash of electronic billboards and high end shopping. Lined along the road are food kiosks. During the day, it is a working street, but at 7 PM, it becomes a walking thoroughfare, for night shoppers and those seeking pleasure.
Walking it, I thought of the crowds that pour out from the French Quarter onto the preternaturally quiet Canal Street. Why must it be that way? Could we not create a "Night Market" on Canal, at least on weekend nights — and bring our main street back to life. Locals certainly would like the kind of experience,to be able to eat on the street, or duck into high end restaurants on the side. What a way we could recreate Canal Street with this lesson.
What makes the Night Market different, is the side streets then have slightly less expensive shopping options, and more exotic eateries. In fact, it is how I came to eat scorpion. For sale in this place are oddest foods imaginable. From spiders to beetles to every creepy crawly. There is a saying in Chinese, "Only the back of the cow is inedible. Everything else in this world can be eaten." The video proves it.
Watch the video, if you dare. (It's tastes a bit like barbecued soft shell crab.)
BOBBY'S REPLY: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thanks for this! I think I'll stick to crawfish myself, but admire your courage. Didn't think you were passing through Beijing. When do you head south to Malaysia?
keep on Madbusing,
P. S. a pirate buddy earlier today sent me a Triolet about Krispy Kremes which inspired me after your post to write this Triolet about your culinary Madventure:
Want something with a little sting from Beijing ?
So who wants to eat a scorpion today?
Tastes like crawfish, boiled or fried, but with a little zing!
Want something with a little sting from Beijing ?
A shiny, black, and piping hot thing
On a skewer, right out of the pot, all a-splay!
Want something with a little sting from Beijing ?
So who wants to eat a scorpion today?
- EMAIL Fwd'ed by Anna:
Many thanks, Elinor. Yes, I found this lovely composition by Sir Anthony Hopkins previously while surfing You Tube for André Rieu performances.
Anna: Here is one of your favourite performers and the surprise is that Sir Anthony Hopkins composed the music. Elinor
Click Here to See/Hear Waltz and its composer: And The Waltz Goes On is a Waltz composed by Sir Anthony Hopkins and performed by André Rieu and His Johann Strauss Orchestra.
Thanks, Anna for sending this along. A marvelous piece of music! Listening to it is like be alive to hear the first Strauss Waltz. Listen and see if you agree that the waltz goes on. [Psst, guys! Even the non-musical among you will likely enjoy the orchestral cleavage.]
- EMAIL from Howard in Devon, England:
Hello Mr Matherne.
I just stumbled upon your intriguing website with the 2008 review of Nicholas Humphrey's Seeing Red. I have just recorded that book unabridged for Redwood/Audible/Amazon, releasing right now. Thought you might wish to be one of the first to hear about that. I'm always excited when science and philosophy get a mass airing. What a fascinating thesis... and what a challenge to understand it (and believe it!) so that our listeners have a chance of that also! If you're interested, there's a four-minute soundbite here:
With regards -
Voice actor + narrator
- EMAIL from Patty and Armand, Isaac evacuees in Hollywood: Wonderful. Amazing you could put out a newspaper/magazine after a Hurricane Isaac! ( RJM: Actually put it out before Isaac. See DW#129 for post-Isaac photos.)
There's so much great info. It will take awhile to enjoy it all.
Love the photos of you and Del and your smiling faces.
Also, going through it quickly for a first glance, we loved all your beautiful flower photos that livened up the pages, along with all else!
Great work always y’all. You live a good life!
Patty and Armand still in Hollywood
RJM: Armand, shown above playing the piano during 2011 French Quarter Fest, and his wife Patty Lee are two great DW readers, and they often spend most of the summers in Hollywood before returning to their home in New Orleans.
- EMAILs from son Rob in Indiana:
I love flying with the camera on the glider... incredibly smooth, and can go very high :)
Sierra is now 17th on her team of 40+ girls, including varsity runners :) She set another personal record yesterday in Fort Wayne, and will be running here at IU on Tuesday.
Walden and I will have the plane ready to film Sierra's cross-country race from the ground and the air. Look for still of Kathryn and her dad Bob Yost.
3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:"Springtime in Freedomland"
Give me your poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free and I will give them taxes, regulations, restrictions, and every manner of unfairness ever created by persons saddled with the illusion that they can decide what is best for someone else's welfare. The individual, like the business professional, knows what's best in a given situation and, given the freedom, will take that action. The forces of coercion are prying open the shell that contains the living muscle and spirit of the American people — will we resist those forces and keep our muscles and spirit alive, free to open at will, or will we give up like the oyster and settle for "freedom on the half shell?" Here is another poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:
Springtime in Freedomland
It is springtime in Freedomland
We take our capitalism straight
and our socialism sneaky.
It is springtime in the Evilempires
They take their socialism straight
and their capitalism sneaky.
We vote Democratic
They vote Socialist
We both get moralizing and promises.
We buy property
and the State takes it away
when it needs it.
They rent property
and the State takes it away
when it needs it.
EAST and WEST
Our freedoms have been whittled
Until there's not one whit's
~^~I'm enclosing below my journal notes from Tuesday, June 23, 1998 in der Rheingau (the region along the Rhine River in Germany) on the day and night I went to Burg Rheinstein. Del and I will be passing this fortress towering over the Rhine river in the coming months. If it's possible we will attempt to have dinner at the fortress, and if Dieter, the troubadour, is still there 14 years later, he will play this song and I will sing along with him. I've attached both the three verses in German (gothic script, I had to learn it back in 1960 as some novels were only available in it for my German literature courses) and the music for it.
Wish I had had my current cameras back then. I shot with 35mm film and had it converted to digital via Seattle Filmworks, one of the first company to provide digital copies with their film processing. The photo is of Burg Rheinstein. I recognize the Commandant's Turm (highest point, where I slept) and the Chapel slightly below and to the left of it. Only photo I have of it. Also a photo of a River Cruise passing below the high point where Die Lorelei was reputed to have sat and lured seamen to their deaths in the rapids of the river. Plus photo of me standing on that same spot.
Tuesday, June 23, 1998: Georg and Doila came by and I rode with them to Burg Rheinstein. Doila and Dory are both named Dorothea, so to distinguish the sisters-in-law, they were given separate nicknames. First time I heard of that being done. I had only a sip of Sekt, the local champagne. Germans use Sekt for bubbly wine, and reserve “champagne” for bubbly from the Champagne region of France. Because of the hot morning I took only a minor sip of Sekt for the toast to Andrew and Thussey. I was feeling much better since the Gatorade and decided that I would allow myself to have some good German wine for the Engagement Party tonight. But didn’t want to push it as we trotted off on another possibly hot jaunt. Luckily I got with Georg and Doila in the A/C vehicle again. We had a long walk up the mountain to the entrance level of Burg Rheinstein. Der Burgherr [owner of Burg] met us as we arrived. Hermann Hecher, an opera singer, bought this place for 350,000 dm in 1975.We started out under the thousand -year-old grape vine that covered the patio by drinking some mead or honey wine. I had a brief sip. Nothing spectacular. I took photos of the guests and over the side of the patio that looked out over the Rhine river valley. There was a toast or two and we went into the banquet hall. From the dining area to the restroom was a walk across the castle that included 75 steps down and 25 steps up and that was only one way.
The food was okay – small salad [Germany’s salads are always half full of liquid and usually has dill weed in it], then some hot soup with small pieces of bread in it. Thussey had ordered a special pastry-filled concoction for her and Andrew. Some vegetarian fluff, probably spinach, etc, that looked better than the slab of ham that we had [Burg Special way of serving ham] – a special way that one can find in any small café in the Deep South in America. Then they served us baked apple with ice cream – that was more my style. Then some more wine and beer. The minstrel came around with this curious container and poured some black stuff on each person's left hand [closed in a fist, on top of the plateau between the thumb and index finger]. It was snuff. I’d never done snuff before and gave it a good try. Several  sneezes from me, which drew rave reviews, as though I’d done something right.
Then Dieter the strolling minstrel regaled us with his German songs. Played 3 games with tall German guy [Axel – Claudia’s boy friend] and David Lock. Actually it was three trials to be followed by a knighting ceremony. First trial was to lead the group in a song: Axel picked up Dieter’s guitar and led us singing “Country Roads” and at the completion of the singing, I lifted my glass in a toast to John Denver, who made the song famous and who died just last year.
Then it fell on David to lead us in song and he demurred. Several folks pointed to me to rescue David, and I did. I rescued a knight in distress. [Where are all the maidens in distress these days? The song I chose was in German Die Lorelei – a very famous old German song, which is so appropriate since it called to mind the scenery outside of the very room we were in:Ich weiss nicht was soll es bedeuten dass ich so traurig bin
Ein Märchen aus alten Zeiten dass kommt mir nichts aus dem Sinn.
Die Luft ist kuhl und es dunkelt und ruhig fliesst der Rhein
Die Gipfel des Berges funkelt in Abendsonnenshein.
The final two lines: “The air is cool and it darkens and peacefully flows the Rhine, the peaks of the mountains are sparkling in the evening Sun shine.” At the very moment I was singing these lines, the Rhine River was flowing peaceful about 800 feet below and the Sun was setting in the West, producing fiery sparks of light on the mountaintops. Unfortunately the troubador Dieter didn’t know the tune too well, and I had to go over it with him. He had some trouble following me, but I sang it as best as I could, walking around the table as I sang the song. I heard folks struggling with the lyrics, saying “liegst” instead of “kommt” etc. I got a huge ovation at the end of the song. We actually sang it again to get it right. Lots of folks complimented me on the choice of song and shared how embarrassed they were that an Auslander (foreigner) like me could sing this song and they couldn’t. Dieter later promised me that he would know all the lyrics of the song when ich wiederkommen nach Burg Rheinstein and we would sing it together. I will again be coming to Burg Rheinstein and perhaps we will sing it together again. I’ll bring copies of the lyrics when I come, just in case.
[As I was writing these notes in Germany a few days later, Erwin, my host for a week, came by and said, “It will be your last night, we’re going to the sea!” Tears welled up in meine Augen (in my eyes) und ich sagte (I said), “Diese hat bin ein sehr guter Zeit für mich.” (I've had a good time) He smiled and said “Mich auch.” (Me, too.) That was touching.]
After dinner and the presentation of the engagement gift, we had some more singing and long conversations. Helmut is a wonderful man – I felt like he was a long-lost brother (Erika’s husband, Thussey’s brother-in-law) – he speaks some English – and is a Birder. He would love Jane Bayhi, my daughter's mother-in-law, who is also a Vögelfrau. [A female Birdwatcher] As guests left the castle, Margret and Holger, twenty-somethings to be married in Wadden on the North Sea next week, invited me to spend the night at the castle with them – on a single-bed couch on the level right below their room. I agreed, somewhat reluctantly, as I had made no preparation. I had only the clothes I was wearing. Their room was two levels in the Commandant’s Turm [tower] – Holger and Margret had the top level of the one room big tower and I had the lower level. The tower stood directly over the Chapel that was being restored – it was covered with scaffolding. We brought four or five German beers from the Banquet Hall to the room and sat on the porch overlooking the Rhein Fluss (Rhine River) about a km below us and talked about important stuff until 3 AM. The lightning bugs (glühwormchen) were flying about the castle’s walls as we talked big ideas such as primary property and doyletics and even more. Margret is very smart – had some thing about mass murderers, or maybe it’s that she just finished a book by an FBI researcher and wanted to talk about it. Anyhow, those three hours in the dark of Burg Rheinstein was like a throwback to my college days where my chums and I often stayed up talking till early in the morning talking big talk.
Holger Ziegler spoke good English learned in German school system; Margret had spent three years at Berkeley, so she spoke idiomatic American. I had been working hard to speak in German as my host and hostess, Irwin and Dory, spoke only German. So it was very relaxing for me to be speaking only English, and when I found out that Margret spent time at Berkeley it was a great pleasure to drop some idioms on her without having to worry about if she understood them.
At one point Margret just got up and said, “I sleep” and we all went to sleep. The couch was made in a large comfortable bed with comforter and large pillows like the ones that Dory had provided for me at their house in Hesse. There is a homogeneity in Germany that doesn’t seem to exist in the States – where one could not expect pillows to be the same size or the breakfasts to have the same foods on the table. The breakfast in the Turm the next morning was spectacular, but that story will have to wait for another time.
When I heard about the Times-Picayune going from a daily newspaper to a 3-Day a week also-ran, I thought the TP had shot itself in the foot. After reading my first Advocate New Orleans Daily Newspaper, I am now convinced that Ricky Matthews and his hatchet squad at the TP have shot themselves in the heart!
When I was at LSU in Baton Rouge, I looked forward to the Morning Advocate newspaper to read about the Tigers football team each day in the Fall. Since moving back to New Orleans in 1976, I have rarely enjoyed or agreed with a single column about any LSU team, football, basketball, or baseball written by a sports writer for the TP rag. That's 36 times 365 issues of slurs, putdowns, and outright abuse! C'mon Man! Gimme a break! Well, finally I am able to subscribe to the Advocate and receive daily delivery of unbiased and accurate sports news and commentary. Don't get me started on the lieberal bias of the TP! Newhouse is like Outhouse when it comes to representing the views of this conservative state of Louisiana, a TP worthy of the outhouse, not the kitchen table.
This morning, Monday, Sept. 23, I read with delight what Scott Rabalais wrote about the Tigers in my first ever New Orleans Edition of the daily Advocate which I found in my PJ's Coffeeshop on Manhattan:What LSU did show in a much-tenser-that expected 12-10 victory over a struggling Auburn team was the kind of heart and determination that may serve the Tigers’ national championship hopes as the season wears on.This is something I voiced to several people a day earlier in different words. Sports is what the Advocate does better than anyone else in the state. I could read on one page the football schedules and record to date of all football teams, organized by conference, something I have rarely if ever seen in the TP rag in 36 years. The TP, Benny Grunch can add to his delightful song, "Ain't Dere No More!" and we can rejoice that a suitable replacement has arrived!
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