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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: John Wesley Ostarly (1981 - 2013) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ Father of Two of our Great-grandsons
~~~~~~~~ Aven and Preston ~~~~~
WELCOME TO DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#134 April, 2013== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Quote for the Spring-bringing Month of April:
Don't talk to me of Archimedes' lever. He was an absent-minded person with a mathematical imagination. Mathematics commands all my respect, but I have no use for engines. Give me the right word and the right accent and I will move the world.
— Joseph Conrad, from his Autobiography.
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DIGESTWORLDArchived DIGESTWORLD Issues
GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents ISSUE#134 for April 2013
Table of Contents
1. April's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for April
3. On a Personal Note
Flowers of Shanidar Poems
4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe of the Month from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen: Juicing from the Garden
6. Poem from Yes, and Even More! :"Here’s How To Do It"
7. Reviews and Articles Added for April:
8. Commentary on the World
- ARJ2: The Easter Festival by Rudolf Steiner
- ARJ2: Pieces of My Heart by Robert J. Wagner with Scott Eyman
1. Padre Filius Cartoon
2. Comments from Readers
3. Freedom on the Half Shell Poem
4. No More Global Warming
9. Closing Notes — our mailing list, locating books, subscribing/unsubscribing to DIGESTWORLD
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DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#134== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ARCHIVED DIGESTWORLD ISSUES ON THE WEB ~ ARCHIVED DIGESTWORLD ISSUES ~2000: INAUGURAL YEAR: Jun #1 Jul #2, Aug #3, Sept #4, Oct #5, Nov #6, Dec #7
2001: Jan #8, Feb #9, Mar #10, Apr #11, May #12, Jun #13, Jul #14, Aug #15, Sep #16, Oct #17, Nov #18, Dec #19
2002: Jan #20, Feb #21, Mar #22, Apr #23, May #24, Jun #25, Jul #26, Aug #27, Sep #28, Oct #29, Nov #30, Dec #31
2003: Jan #32, Feb #33, Mar #34, Apr #35, May #36, Jun #37, Jul #38, Aug #39, Sep #40, Oct #41, Nov #42, Dec #43
2004: Jan #44, Feb #45, Mar #46, Apr #47, May #48, Jun #49, Jul #50, Aug #51, Sep #52, Oct #53, Nov #54, Dec #55
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1. April 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 Need to Know in a 2-Panel Strip recently excavated from January 21, 1983. This is Strip 3 of 4 with 1 more to follow next month.
#3 "Need to Know" at http://www.doyletics.com/images/130124jv3.gif
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2. HONORED READERS FOR April:
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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 April, 2013:
Bension Porat in Israel
Edmund Hughes in Louisiana
Congratulations, Bension and Edmund!
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3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
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Out Our Way:
From February 18 through 26 I was away from home, on my way to Dornach, Switzerland, at the Mi-cha-lic Conference there, or on my way home. I arrived home with 300 plus photos and a DIGESTWORLD ISSUE to publish with only two days in which to do it, thanks to the shortest month of the year. People ask me on occasion, "How long does it take you to create your digest?" They seem to expect me to say a week or maybe ten days, likely because they are thinking of it as a job which has a definite schedule, but each of my DW Issues I start on the first day of the month and continue working on it till the last day of the month. My answer to that question has to be, "One month." And, if that month has 31 days and I'm home the whole month, there's plenty of time for me to live, visit with Del and our family, do interesting things, shoot photos of these things, draw cartoons, select poems, read books, review them, and still have time to write about what we did, crop photos, assemble all these parts into a coherent form for the coming DW Issue, proof-read it, and publish it. Combine those activities with a trip out of the country for nine days during a short month of 28 days, and it's Crunch Time! I planned ahead for the trip by creating all the parts of the next Issue possible before the trip, leaving to be done, upon my return, only my personal notes to be written and my photos to be cropped, cleaned up, and placed into the Issue. That was DIGESTWORLD Issue#133, which some of you will have read.
My daughter Maureen when she was pregnant for her fourth child said she had a Biology class she needed to finish in summer school to graduate and the baby was due at the end of the 3-week long intensive course with classes of 3 hours each weekday morning. She told me that she had no time for morning sickness, so she decided to have evening sickness instead. It worked. She had the baby, our grandson, Gabriel, two days early, got a B in Biology and graduated on time. If she could delay her morning sickness till the evening, I figured that I could postpone my jet-lag from the trip back from Switzerland entirely, and I managed to do exactly that. Well, till I got the DW Issue out, anyway, then the upcoming trip to New York City on March 8 began looming ahead of me. I would be gone eleven days this time. How in the world would I get my next Issue out on time? I began creating as much of the Issue as I could before I had to leave for the next trip.
SAVED BY THE STORM
Delta Flight 558 would leave at 6:45 in the morning; I needed to get to airport by 5:30 am. Made it almost in time; an accident that had restricted I-10 down to one lane over Veterans Highway delayed us, so we took the Veterans exit to drive to airport. Checked in okay, but the gal at counter did not mark the Gate number and in my hurry to get through security, I figured I'd find out afterward. Well, I walked and walked and could not find a Flight display screen till I got to the end of Concourse D, and it listed FL558 as leaving from Gate 2! That Gate was directly behind where I had stopped to re-lace my shoes after leaving the security check-point some ten minutes earlier! I had to walk all the way back. Got on board and in my seat at the window only to get the pilot's report of low hydraulic pressure. We had to deplane while a replacement part was flown in. In the meantime the Snowstorm Saturn was battering NYC and canceling other flights, so I picked up my luggage called Del and she picked me up. We drove to Timberlane Country Club for lunch and bought ourselves some tickets for the Ronnie Kole concert for Sunday night, which we would have missed had not my flight been canceled.
I called Delta and re-schedules my flight to NYC for the following Thursday. No charge for doing so thanks to Winter Storm Saturn. It seemed to me like Saturn was repaying me for helping to create its planetary emblem last week during our Art Session in the Goetheanum. I called Kevin to inform him of the change to next week. That all done, I felt an enormous sense of relief.
The New York City trip was for two purposes 1) meet Vesa Loikas, a photographer friend from Finland and take photos with him, 2) attend the SteinerBooks Seminar in NYC. Since the airline canceled the flight, I could change my flight with no penalty, and I was in time to cancel the hotel room without penalty.
RECOVERED WEEK AT HOME
I was sorry that I would miss meeting Vesa Loikas in NYC, but the extra week at home before I had to leave again gave me time to relax, to recover fully from the jet lag from the Switzerland trip, and I even managed to squeeze in reading a book and reviewing it during that week, "Pieces of my Heart". I got to enjoy some LSU Baseball games on my computer. With two monitors, I can watch the game in progress on one in the Geaux Zone, which has improved dramatically over previous years, and on the other screen, I work on assembly work for the next Issue, basically the non-thinking but necessary handwork to place photos, poems, and various parts of the issue into their proper places.Given the long time delays between innings, pitching changes, and pitches, I can easily handle grunt work and enjoy the game at the same time. It's actually fun for me. Creative writing requires my full attention with no noise or distractions, but for the grunt work, partial attention is preferable. If there's no game on, I'll play some music on the stereo for my partial-attention work.
Basically I planned to enjoy myself in the extra week and even left my suitcase packed for the following Thursday when my re-scheduled flight would take off.
On Sunday night Del and I went to the Ronnie Kole concert, and I was expecting some piano-playing with a little singing, but nothing prepared us for the bounty we received. Ronnie Kole blasted us with a symphony of sound from his talented fingers. He evoked the tornadic winds of Dorothy's Kansas while a tinkling Somewhere over the Rainbow floated over the maelstrom of fury. In other pieces he imitated a balalaika, an Italian concertina, and various other instruments as he took us Around the World in 88 Keys.He began with the sounds of the Cathedral Bells in Jackson Square of his adopted city, New Orleans, followed up by a Sinatra tribute, a Viennese Mozart tribute, and places around the world: Japan, Paris, Vienna, Russia, Chicago, and Las Vegas. Explaining how he got to New Orleans, Ronnie said that Al Hirt used to hear him in Chicago, his home city, and hired him to come to his new club in the French Quarter to play between Al's sets. He left his home in Chicago and built a home in Timberlane Estates where he lived for several decades, and many people in the audience this night remembered having him as a neighbor. Ronnie recalled one set that Harry Connick, Jr. did at his home which he wished he'd recorded.
We left Ronnie Kole's great concert to enter another when we arrived home in our Screening Room: The 25th Anniversary Production of Andrew Lloyd Weber's "Phantom of the Opera" staged in Albert Hall was being broadcast on PBS. This is an incredible production on a huge three level stage with the orchestra almost hidden on the middle stage and some action taking place on the third stage, which was above the orchestra stage. After the musical was over, four singers from previous productions came out and did a reprise of the show's best-known songs, with each singing in turn. The female singer from a previous production literally danced the music as she sang while standing in one spot. To my surprise, when Andrew Lloyd Weber came out to a thunderous ovation, I noticed for the first time that he has a huge head, oversized for his body, giving him almost a Cyclopean appearance. We stayed up till almost midnight to watch every moment of the production and the finale. I lucked into the show because the DVR had been left on HD PBS and when I turned on the TV, the show was halfway or more to the end, so I rewound DVR to beginning and waited for Del to come into the Screening Room to enjoy it with me. She was tired, it was late, and she dozed a few times, but always the show woke her up again and she was glad she saw the whole thing.
I had a retro-vision, a little vuja de, of how puny this magnificent show would have appeared in a 1960s 19" B&W TV set with a tinny speaker instead of our large Plasma HD screen with a Panasonic Elite Amplifier projecting the sound through our Bose Surround-Sound speakers in the Timberlane Screening Room. People who don't own TV's are still thinking of those old TV experiences and missing a prime ticket to events like Downton Abbey and the Phantom of the Opera, just to name a few.
Door-to-door salesmen are not as common today as they were in the 1940s and 50s, but we had two come to our door who were from Turkey and they came to show us some Turkish rugs. Driving all over the country in a bright yellow Ryder truck, they brought a variety of wool, cotton, and silk rugs to show us. They were from the company in Istanbul, Turkey from which we bought our silk rug last year. Two twenty-something Turkish men driving from California across the southwest, Texas, and heading northward to New York after a short stay in New Orleans. We didn't buy any rugs this time, but we enjoyed their visit and gave them hints on where to eat in New Orleans just across the river from us.
The next day Del had arranged for our friend Carol Fleischman to do her goal-setting seminar here. We had six scheduled to be here, but two of our friends were under the weather and it turned out to be four of us. One of the insights we gained from the seminar came when Del had to say what her life purpose is. This was always easy for her when she had a full time career and four kids to raise. All previous purpose statements she had written dealt with her insurance career and raising kids. It was difficult for her to understand how to write a purpose statement now that she was retired from her career and all her children were grown up. As she stumbled over writing her purpose statement, I realized that she needed to relate the purpose statement she was writing to her everyday activities now, her various Garden Clubs, Investment Club, Master Gardener activities, just to name a few, and I was able to help her see that she still has a career: It it is the career of life.
People who come to Timberlane are amazed by the five TV's in our Screening Room and ask, "What do you need five TV's for?" The implication seems to be "There are so few TV programs worth watching, how can you find five at one time?" We don't watch TV programs, or at least very few, but here's an example from two nights before I left to go New York City for the for the first time this month.
After getting my carry-on bag all packed, I went into the Screening Room and lined up my laptop and the two TV's on either side of the big plasma screen so that I could watch the LSU baseball game in the center screen over the web-based Geaux Zone, the New Orleans Hornets NBA basketball game on the left side TV screen and the LSU Basketball team on the right side TV screen. In the meantime, the Senate was in a long Paul Ryan filibuster on the top left TV screen, and on TCM, Robert Osborne was doing his long-awaited interview with Kim Novak on the top right TV screen. I switched on the sound of the game with the most action, checked on the filibuster and Kim Novak during commercials and time-outs for the three ball games. Hope TCM replays the Osborne-Novak interview so I can view it in its entirety. I was amazed to find that Kim successfully fought the studio to keep her strong last name of Novak.Del used to get upset if I wanted to tie up the Screening Room with sports games, but we have worked out an equitable arrangement where she goes to the movies to watch the first-run movies on those nights. When she returned on this night, the games were over, and we watched some of "The Bourne Legacy" together on NetFlix DVD.
The next morning we got dressed to go to the funeral of John Ostarly, the father of two of our great-grandsons, Aven and Preston. This was a first for me and Del, attending the funeral of a spouse of a grandchild, in this case, our first grandchild, Tiffany. John and Tiffany had been separated and he died at home. The medical cause has not been determined, so far as we know. Tiffany will be raising their two boys on her own from now on we expect. The funeral was at St. Agnes Church on Jefferson Highway, and we offered our condolences to John's mother Tiva. Our daughter Maureen Bayhi was there with her son Chris and her two daughters Jennifer and Tiffany. It was good to see Steve Bayhi and his two sisters Charlene and Kathleen there. Tiffany's oldest son, Benjamin Huber, is now as tall as my shoulder and still growing. We're thinking he will be a football player if he gets nearly as big as his dad, Nick. Aven and Preston looked happy, as if unaware of having lost their father, but the reality of it will only come to them as they get older. Aven is in his second year of elementary school and Preston hasn't started yet. We hope and pray for the best for Tiffany and her boys during the coming years.
Del and I drove home over the Huey P. Long bridge since we were so close to it and we wanted to see the status of its completion. A few block-long segments of pavement are still to be laid and then its all done but the re-striping of the road beds. It's due to be completely open in mid-June, a couple of months from now. It's definitely not my father's bridge anymore! Its original two nine-foot-wide lanes in each direction were fine for the Model-T Fords in the 1930s when it opened, but quickly became too small for 1950s boat-sized Buicks and Oldsmobiles. Just driving across the old Huey P was a rite of passage for teenagers of the 1950s. If you could pass a large 18-wheeler in a big Buick sedan in a curve going up the bridge, you passed the test! Especially challenging in those days before rack-and-pinion pinpoint steering — those loosey-goosey steering wheels doubled the Huey P challenge! Come July, the new bridge will have three eleven-foot-wide lanes plus a breakdown lane in each direction, and it will be a delight instead of a challenge to drive over the Mississippi River on the Huey P, with overpasses zipping right over Jefferson Highway on the East Bank and over the Bridge City-to-Westwego road on the West Bank.
During this week, a curious thing happened to me, kind of embarrassing, but it was just me around, so it's only embarrassing now in the telling of it. One morning, one of those they'd never believe it if this happened in a movie things happened to me. It's what I was thinking when it happened that made it so funny. Before getting up from the toilet, I had decided to replace the newly-empty toilet paper roll. While beginning to remove the roll I thought, "All those new gadgets to make roll replacement easier, how unnecessary! Any idiot can replace a roll." As this thought buzzed through my mind, the spring-loaded metal cylinder which holds the roll of toilet paper slipped from my hand and launched itself into the toilet! Swish! A clean 3-pointer right into the space between my legs, hitting nothing but net as they say in basketball, and it landed in the deepest part of the newly flushed (thank goodness) toilet! Another example of truth being stranger than fiction.
WINTER IN NEW YORK
After having spent winter in Northern Europe during the latter part of our river cruise in October when it snowed in Budapest, then winter in Switzerland last month when it snowed in Dornach, I wasn't looking forward to spending even a weekend in wintry New York City, but somehow I survived. How glad was I to get back home to New Orleans? It was 32 degF in the middle of the day when I arrived at LaGuardia and it was 78 degF when I arrived at Louis Armstrong International in New Orleans on St. Patrick's Day. But let's get to the frigid Big Apple before we return to the balmy Big Easy.
On Thursday morning Del and were up at 4 am again and she drove me to the airport. I boarded the plane, and it took off on time. Big difference between the same flight last Friday and this one on Thursday, the plane was jam-packed on Friday and about 60% full on Thursday. My row in Coach had six seats across and I was the only person in the row. Can't remember a flight like that since the 1960s when I did a lot of flying on business trips. I think a lot about those days of flying with all the delays and hassles of air flights today. Back then I could leave for the airport, arrive fifteen minutes before boarding time, buy my ticket, check my bags, walk down the long concourse, get on the plane, and take off on time. Ah, the good ole days!
My friend Kevin Dann picked me up at the airport and served as my tour guide to Brooklyn for the day. We walked the frigid waterfront area of Red Hook, my first time seeing Lady Liberty from Brooklyn. We saw Kevin's restaurant, the Crab, and went in to meet the folks there. Across the street was a huge fresh market about the size of six Whole Food Markets in one site. It has already recovered from the loss of its contents during Hurricane Sandy and we walked through it. A bin of a thousand different kinds of cheese, with smells I had never experienced wafting over the long counter. We looked at its outdoor café area overlooking the water with two old railway cars on a siding, but it was much too cold for anyone to use the area until Spring arrives. We had some coffee in a Revolutionary Café which sported a print of a surly Zapata on the wall. What a contrast between his somber face and the smiling face of Kevin! My latte had a heart-shaped design in the foam which seemed to set the tone for the entire weekend in New York to come.
After warming up a bit we walked down to the chocolate factory, Cacao Prieto, which wasn't quite opened yet, but Nick let us in and told us about their work. I asked him why it smelled like alcohol in the place, and he said they were bottling a new batch of their small batch Bourbon whiskey, Widow Jane Whiskey. It got its name from the limestone caverns upstate from which they get their water. He gave me and Kevin a shot glass sample. Tasted great. He also offered us a small plate of broken pieces of chocolate with nuts. I bought two bars of the dark chocolate, one for Del and one for Cathline (Kevin's lady, whom I met later that night).
After taking photos of Kevin on the corner with the mural showing the life cycle of whisky from field to distillery, we walked back to his car and drove closer to the Brooklyn Bridge. We walked around the DUMBO area, Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass, an art district. There we grabbed a bit to eat in a small pub where a saucy gal in a Fedora served us. She was named Salama and was a delight to talk to. Because she and I both had Fedoras on, it was a photo op. Had a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch there, as I recall.
Since I had mentioned to Kevin of my wish to walk across the bridge, we walked from lunch to the pedestrian crossing of the Brooklyn Bridge and he and I walked over the bridge as he gave me his tour guide spiel. Got great photos of Manhattan's skyline and full length shots of the Gehry building, the Empire State building, and other architectural marvels. As we walked he pointed out Jane's Carousel down below us, and he promised that we'd go for a ride on it later, if it were open.
Kevin said that authorities had been removing the padlocks placed by lovers on the railings of bridges, but apparently they have recently given up on the removal, as we saw some going back a few months that were still linked to the bridge. A couple of them in a floral bouquet of locks. Got photos of the South Street Seaport as we walked to the Manhattan side of bridge. Turned around after we reached the Manhattan side as I was getting a slight bit tired and we headed back to Brooklyn.
When we got down from the Brooklyn Bridge, we walked over to the base of the Manhattan Bridge. Passed in front of Robert Gair Co., named after its founder. It was Gair who invented cardboard, which revolutionized shipping at the time like nothing has since, except perhaps Styrofoam and its ubiquitous white peanuts we call Ghost Farts. We walked along the shore from the Manhattan Bridge's base, past a small beach, then to Jane's Carousel where Kevin and I took a ride. "PONY UP TWO BUCKS" was the slogan on the attendants' shirts. First time I'd seen admission prices advertised by T-Shirts. Cute, and the saying was also.
I wondered why Del didn't mention the Carousel, but a close inspection of the inscription in the concrete showed the words Since 2011, and Del took Katie and Kim to NYC there for Katie's high school graduation which was before 2011.
The Carousel was lovely, but not quite as large or ornate as the City Park Carousel which we love. Plus the all-glass jewelry-box like building which enclosed it seemed was a bit tacky compared to the wonderful wooden structure of the New Orleans one. The water level of the river mustn't range up and down as much as the Mississippi because no one would situate such a thing on the batture of our river which rises as much as 30 to 40 feet from its low level and here the river level seemed to be only ten feet or so below the carousel's base.
On the Pier near the ride we came upon a wedding party taking photos of the bride and groom. This seems to be a tradition I stumble upon in every city I visit. Dornach, Switzerland was the one exception, but then it was a rather frigid winter time in February. New York City in March was acceptable I suppose, especially since the Bride wore Long Sleeves covered by a white fur.
The Watchtower buildings fill several acres of Brooklyn due to the Jehovah's Witnesses owning a large area of land in old Brooklyn, by sale of which they have kept their ministry viable in modern times. Blocks of 12 story buildings were covered with the red WATCHTOWER sign. I remember the Jehovah's Witnesses knocking on our doors and once the couple, usually from the Midwest, began talking, you were stuck there until they finished. One year, I heard that they were having a large convention in New Orleans, so I was prepared for them to knock on our door on Sunday morning. As soon as I opened the door and saw the Midwest couple, I said, "Hello! Isn't this a great morning? I'm so delighted that you two have come here to talk to me. I always look forward to your visit and am so glad you came to our fair City . . ." and I went on in this upbeat fashion, talking without a stop, and finally ended up by saying, ". . . so let me thank for you coming. Goodbye." and with that final note, I gently closed the door. I think their mouths were open the entire time and they must have walked away in a bit of daze, because they didn't ring our doorbell again.
Meanwhile for Kevin and I tromping through Brooklyn, time was getting late, so we walked to the building housing "Proteus Gowanus" which is an "interdisciplinary gallery and reading room. Named for the Greek sea god of change and the adjacent Gowanus Canal, Proteus Gowanus acts as an interpreter of culture and place, deepening the community's sense of context and connection." Some long-standing exhibits include, " Hall of the Gowanus, Reanimation Library, Morbid Anatomy Library and the Museum of Matches." One of the regular meetings was of the "The Writhing Society, open to writers and non-writers alike, practices methods of constrained writing invented by the French group Oulipo and others." I suppose this would be to writing like swimming would be with chains on one's arms and feet. There is also a "Fixers Collective Third Thursday of every month: The Fixers Collective is a social experiment in improvisational fixing. Bring your broken thing and together we will see what can be done." Also this event: "Join us for Secret Wars Readings with nighttime battle between white and black witches, bedtime battle between a newly married royal couple, subway battle, dream battle and more. " Plus they featured lectures by Bryan M Wilson talking on the Atomic Priesthood.
Kevin and I arrived to hear this lecture: "As part of our exploration of Secret Wars, Proteus Gowanus is very pleased to present David Kahn, the world's leading expert on the history of codes and cryptology. Dr. Kahn will discuss how the frantic race to break enemy codes helped bring about an earlier end to World War II." It was delightful to hear David begin his talk by asking the audience who the biggest spies of history were. As each name came up, he added information to what the audience member provided, establishing quickly his encyclopedic knowledge of spies, spying, and secret codes which are necessary for spies to remain secret in their nefarious doings. Clearly spies were motivated by money above all else. How else could you explain the German native and Nazi who betrayed his country during WWII? He lived the good life for a few years on his money till he was shot by the Nazi party as a traitor.
The walls of the rooms were decorated, a term I use loosely, with colorful plates of bodies being dissected while still fully clothed, something Ducky would never do in his autopsy room of NCIS. The dead deer's head lying on a shelf with its tongue sticking out was a macabre touch as was the white wall-hanging decoration looking exactly like a skeleton with a floral bouquet for a funeral standing next to it in the corner.
The small lecture room held about 50 people tops and was about half full for Kahn's ramblings on code breaking. I learned how Alan Turing used a simple idea to break the German Enigma machine: most posts from military bases began with the same text: Report from Biergarten Naval Base, for example, so by guessing that the name would be in the first set of letters, he was able to discover a setting of the Enigma machine which would work for an entire day. This simple code-breakng technique was enough to save thousands of servicemen's lives during Atlantic Crossings by diverting soldier-filled convoys away from a gathering of U-Boats, a Wolfpack.
After we left the meeting, we parked Kevin's car close to 1 Grand Army. Anthony greeted us in the Lobby and I called him, "Ant-knee", New Orleans's style. We became friends and that made it easier the next night when I had to take a taxi back to Kevin's place. We went up to the 12th floor and I finally got to meet Cathline and took a photo of the two of them together. Cathline worked all day and went on a 60 mile bicycle ride on Saturday, so I ended with only this one photo of her.
FIRST DAY OF SEMINAR
Cathline was up and fixed us some coffee. Kevin fixed me a toasted English Muffin and gave me Apricot jam to put on it. We had a leisurely morning as I asked Kevin if we could avoid any unnecessary walking today. Our plan was for Kevin to show me how to catch the subway to the seminar so that I could re-trace my steps back that night as he had to work at the Crab and Cathline was working late.
Kevin and I walked down to the 7th Avenue Subway on the Q Line to head to Manhattan. Kevin showed me how to get to Washington Square on the subway and back to their apartment in Brooklyn after the seminar. After showing me the way, he would leave for work and I would return to Brooklyn late that night on my own. I was in full-learning mode about using a subway on my own. I learned how to buy a Metro Ticket, what happens if it runs out of money, and how to add money to it. We got out at the Union Square station and walked along Broadway and took a right on Waverley, I think, which goes right to Washington Square. Kevin took me on a short guided tour of the original St. Patrick's Cathedral, plus a walk through Little Italy and Chinatown which, he explained, has begun to overlap as more and more Italians have moved away to the suburbs. He pointed out the golden statue of Puck jutting out from second story corner of a building.When we got to Washington Square, he headed back to Union Square station to go to work at The Crab. I walked back with him to Union Square to get familiar with the landmarks, etc, and then he left. With a couple of hours left before the Seminar kicked off, I took my time walking back. It would be frigid in the open Square, not warm and inviting like the previous time I had been there a few years ago. I stopped in a coffee shop, sat in a glass corner with a view of the street, sipped a latte, and watched folks walking past. Then I began my final walk, hoping to find a warm place when I got to the Square. A pianist was performing on a grand piano near the arch in the frigid open square with a 20 knot wind blowing. Playing very fast must have kept his fingers warm. I walked to Kimmel Center and decided to go in and take my chances on getting a warm place to wait. As I formed a story to help myself get let into the Seminar room, Jen Jensen came walking by with a hand truck. We embraced and I walked outside to help him take things up to the 10th Floor Seminar Room, together with other folks getting Anthony's artworks and Steiner Book books trucked and carried to the Room. That got me in. Met Marsha Post and she gave me a badge and a big welcome.
Seminar began at 7 PM with a triple welcome by Gene Gollogly, "Welcome, Welcome, Welcome!" to all the participants, some of which were a bit late arriving. The first speaker created a bit of excitement when Gene announced that she, Gertrude Hughes, had injured her knee playing hopscotch with her grand-daughters. That gave everyone a chuckle. Pinch-hitting for her was to be Fred Dennehy whom I had met that first time I went to Rudolf Steiner Library several years earlier. Fred apparently picked up on Gertrude's theme of Meditation as "the most profound experiment appointed unto Men" as Emily Dickinson put it. I enjoyed his talk and was so glad to be at the Seminar, but I kept wondering how I'd make out getting back, late at night, on the subway. Cathline saved me from further worry by texting me to take a Taxi. She said the fare was only about $22, and I could catch one outside Kimmel and get dropped off outside their Grand Army building. Great. That's what I did.
During the break I met John McAlice who was due to speak next. I was interested in talking to him because he had just completed German-to-English translating the new Christoph Lindenberg biography of Rudolf Steiner, a big handful of 794 pages, a project to which John had devoted some five years of his life. He was a delightful guy to talk to, and he answered my questions about translations very well. He did the next talk about how Rudolf Steiner experienced a shift in his inner life at 35 when he awakened to the sense world and all it could reveal.
The two talks were followed by Q&A with Fred and John and after that the 9:30 pm reception in which everyone could talk to everyone else.
The columns of the hall had lights inside them of violet-colored hue, and when reflected in the mirrored wall, they seemed to double the size of the large room, but the most impressive view was how the violet-light columns reflected in the glass wall which offered a view of the Empire State Building: the violet columns seemed to hover over the street heading to the skyscraper, as if the spiritual doings inside the room were projected in 3-D over the night-time city. I took a photo of the effect, but unfortunately the light columns inside the room show up as white, while their reflections show up violet in the photo, but the view I saw with my eyes had the columns in the room and their reflections hanging over the street violet colored.
After warming myself up with coffee and a bit of food, unfortunately no pastries or bread for quick energy, only veggies, I went down to catch a taxi. When I reached the lobby, as if on cue from the universe, a young man waved a whole tray full of cookies in my face and begged me to take some or all of them! I took one and walked outside and caught a taxi. The time was about ten pm, and about 11 taxis passed in quick order. The next one stopped for me, and when I said Brooklyn, he said, "Get in". Nice guy. We hit some traffic nearing Grand Army circle and the toll was $22 so I gave him a 3 buck tip for the pleasant ride. So glad not to be tromping the frigid streets! Subway would have been about $2.25, but door-to-door service is worth paying extra for.
Ant'nee was at his post in the apartment building's lobby, and he said, "Hello, Bobby". We talked for a while before I went upstairs and let myself in with Kevin's key. Then I went to bed.
SECOND DAY OF SEMINAR
Seminar began in the morning with breakfast at 8, so Kevin and I took the subway and planned to get back via the Union Square station.
Once more Gene started us off with his triple greeting, like an Irish Gomer Pyle, "Welcome, Welcome, Welcome". We were serenaded by a lyre and cymbal music by Diane Ingraham Barnes before each session which created a receptive mood in our hearts to hear our speakers. The first speaker was Robert Sardello, someone I had wanted to meet. He talked on meditation, using a stone as a metaphor for getting truly silent. Then he showed a full page rendition of a black-and-white drawing and asked us to view intently the three dots in the middle of the figure for 30 seconds, then close our eyes to meditate on the after-image. This simple drawing creates in each of us an after-image of Christ. You can try for yourself at right.This is the image I used in my Archangel Michael Review back in 2003. When I later got to meet Robert Sardello to tell how much I appreciated his work, he was equally effusive about my work, indicating that he had likely read many of my reviews. A similar thing happened when I met Christopher Bamford — I was anxious to tell him how much I enjoyed all the Introductions for Rudolf Steiner books and the other material he wrote, only to discover that he seemed equally delighted to meet me and compliment me for my work.
After Sardello's talk, we had a Eurhythmy session led by Rachal Ross which was wonderful. Later, waiting for the next session to start, she was sitting at the end of my row with a guy between us. She had apparently told him something funny and soon they were quietly giggling for a minute or two. Later I discovered that the guy was Paul O'Leary, a Good Reader of mine. Paul told me later on break when we met, "I'm a subscriber!" He said it twice, and finally I realized he was saying that he is on my DIGESTWORLD subscription list. So much stuff was going on in the room and our conversation that he could have been saying he was in favor of (i.e., subscribing to) that I missed the obvious connection. He's a great guy and we talked for a long time. Paul lives in Philly, I think, works as a lawyer, and has a summer place in Sandwich on Cape Cod. Got my picture taken with him and Edward Smith who had suggested he subscribe to my DW List years ago. A few minutes later, while sitting next to Kevin on the back row, a guy a few rows in front of us looked back and made hand signals to Kevin that I didn't understand, and Kevin said that he was Ted McGlone and wanted to meet me. He was another Good Reader, one whose name I immediately remembered. I found out that Ted is a Professor of Philosophy and other stuff at St. Joseph's College on Long Island, and he was signaling Kevin to introduce him to me. Also got a good shot of Carole Johnson. And later of Paul and Rachal.
The next Seminar presentation was by Jane Hipolito, for which she had handed out 5 or 6 colorful postcards of artworks (from Norton Simon Museum in L. A.) which she used to make points about the evolution of art over time. I was particularly taken by the mountain scene of Thomas Moran (1837-1926), from the Huntington Library, San Marino, Rock Towers of the Rio Virgin, 1908. Moran was a painter who did mountain landscapes and later had his name given to Mt. Moran, the highest peak of the Grand Teton mountain range. He was inspired by J. M. W. Turner, another artist whose work I greatly admire. After Jane's talk, I mentioned to her that she had inspired me to connect Moran with the literary giants such as Wordsworth who brought respect to wild places such as mountains.
"It seemed likely to me," I told Jane, "that Moran, Wordsworth, and others had reincarnated into the same time period as Karmic Companions, creating a multi-media flood of respect and awe of wild places in lieu of the fear and loathing prevalent during their time."
She enthusiastically agreed with my appraisal and thanked me for sharing it with her. This was the first time I ever considered how experts in various fields of endeavor, not even knowing each other, could produce breakthrough ways of understanding the world in their various fields because they had likely chosen to incarnate together during a certain time period to achieve exactly that result.
Jane talked about the power of powerlessness, the help that comes out of helplessness, the self that comes out of selflessness. How we can't even make mayonnaise without trust. When she talked about secrets, I thought of secrets as being maps, and those who keep secrets are living in the past, instead of in the here and now. We do better to live into the present, instead of the past, into the unknown, into the unanswered questions which arise in the course of our daily lives, whose answers will likewise spring from our lives at the right time, if, instead of glibly accepting some trivial answer and dispatching them from our minds, we instead hold them as unanswered questions in our minds.
Lunch deserves a section of its own, if not for the insights gained into Steiner's work, then for insights gained into each other by the fun we had arranging our own table when there seemed to be no room for us at the inn, namely, the round tables on the floor of the hall were completely filled already.But someone noticed that the cloth-covered table on the raised platform for the podium was available, and we decided to adjust the table and place our chairs around it so we could sit and eat our food. Paul O'Leary sat across from me as did Marie-Laure, and Gene Gollogly joined us, sitting at the end of the table. Somehow I told the Cajun joke about Aunt Angelle the long-time church organist and her crystal bowl on her organ at home. See DW133. Well, everyone nearly fell off their chairs, especially Marie-Laure. I decided since her name was the usual name for a Boudreaux joke, I told them the one about Marie modeling the sheer negligee for Boudreaux and another big hit. That one's in DW104.
We enjoyed a great meal together and had a lot of fun. I may have missed one or two names at the table, but they were sitting next to me, not across from me, so I have no visual recollection of who they were.After lunch, which was all too short, Christopher Bamford gave a great talk about living thoughts and anthroposophy. I do hope it is transcribed and published in a later SteinerBooks catalog as it was terrific. Paul and I said a few Amen's when Chris made strong points which happened many times, but we stopped after a while to keep from interrupting his talk. He seemed to be saying that we must stop living out of the past (the past I understand to mean our maps of reality); that we should instead live in the here and now, living inside of life itself. In other words, instead embracing our dead maps of reality, we do better to embrace our living reality.
After Christopher's talk was over, Rachal Ross did another Eurhythmy session, and the last session was led by Marie-Laure Valandro who divided us into groups of threes and invited us to share several events in our lives which came to us unexpectedly and we found to be significant. This was another great chance for us to each meet two new people and interact with them.
After this came the Closing Panel Discussion in which people asked the speakers of today and last night questions.
Again, Diane Barnes played some music on her lyre which others played on the hanging cymals and tuned pipes — a very lovely and ethereal music.
I went to buy the book "Art as Seen in the Light of Mystery Wisdom" by Steiner. I was pretty sure that I didn't already own that book and went to buy it from Mary Giddens at the checkout table, waiting till Gene had closed the question session, and Mary waved me away. I assumed she was telling me to wait till all questions were done as Gene had just then taken another question and reopened the questioning session. Five minutes or so I waited and then went back to Mary to pay for the book, and she said, "Keep the book. I can't take any money from you with all the work you do." Later I asked her if the display copy of the new Steiner Bio was the last copy and she said, "Take it." I thanked her for the gifts and the expression of gratitude for my work by the folks at SteinerBooks.
Now it was time for us to leave, and the snow which had been coming down, light snow, had mostly stopped, but when we got outside the Kimmel Center, I got a few flakes on me. I told Kevin I was going to treat him to a taxi ride back home, but he got busy helping Jens and the SteinerBooks crew loading up the truck with boxes of books and pieces of art. I tried to flag down a taxi, and none of them stopped. Kevin suggested we walk and I decided I felt like a walk to the Union subway stop and told him to stop trying to flag down a taxi. So we walked to Union Square, got on the Q Train to 7th Ave, the route I had memorized the night before but never used. We walked from the subway stop to Kevin's place. We went out to eat at a small pizza place a short walk from their apartment, where I had some good Eggplant Parmesan, and then we three walked back to the apartment where we talked for a short time. Cathline said that her 60-mile bike ride got truncated because the snow falling had made it hazardous to continue. I had attended my first SteinerBooks Seminar and learned to navigate the subway system in NYC alone. I was ready to go back home tomorrow.
FROM BIG APPLE TO BIG EASY
Up around 7 am and Kevin turned on the pot for the coffee. We decided to eat on the bar in the kitchen, so they put the cat's house on the floor, but she jumped up on counter nibbled on the butter while we were eating. Think I had an English muffin again.
There was time for one more tour of Manhattan this morning, this time of the tip of the island. Kevin's plan was to park his car close to the subway line which goes directly into Battery area and north past St. Paul's Chapel. We could leave my bags in the car and take the subway. Ten minutes to Manhattan, explore Battery area, visit the American Indian Museum (Old Custom House), then Trinity Church, and St. Paul's Chapel, and when done, take the subway line from St. Paul's directly back to his car in Brooklyn, from where he could drive me to LGA for my flight.
We walked along Battery which was mostly closed for construction, then up Broadway to Bowling Green, the first park of NYC. We walked over the Heroes Way and read the signs in the sidewalk of the recipients of ticker tape parades, like Eisenhower, Truman, etc. If I'd known about the strip search just to get into the Custom House's Museum, I'd have skipped it, but it's a Federal building so we got the Federal hassle, the guards almost apologetic for our trouble. Then Kevin took me into Trinity Church, the oldest church in the country he said, where he met up with Catherine Stank who had originally invited him to join the choir there which he sings with on occasion. This was her day off from the choir, too, she said, a day in which she gets to enjoy hearing the Choir from the pews. It was St. Patrick's Day and the Mass was ready to begin, so we waited to watch the procession up the left aisle, past us, and back down the center aisle to begin the service and then we left.
Our next stop was at St. Paul's Chapel, the place where President George Washington worshiped and had his own pew box which remains to this day. During 9/11 aftermath, the doctors used that pew box to treat the responders for burns on their feet (from the high temperature on the floors and sidewalks). Apparently it's a healing place.
I told Kevin of the story I heard about Washington taking the entire delegation present at his first inauguration (down Broadway a bit) for a walk over to St. Paul's Chapel for a two hour prayer meeting during which the first President of our Country, George Washington, dedicated this new country to the service of God and asked Him to Bless our Land. When the WTC towers collapsed directly beside the Chapel, the falling debris should have destroyed St. Paul's Chapel, but likely because of Washington's prayer, the Chapel was spared. Poignant that another President named George came to that area after the devastation to heal the country and help it get down on its knees in prayer and back on its feet to restoration.
As we walked to the subway station, Kevin pointed down the side street where Washington was inaugurated — there is a statue of him commemorating the spot. On the subway, into the car, and down an almost vacant QBE to LGA for my flight home. The guy outside checked my bags and printed my boarding pass. The worst was to come when I walked inside: there was one hour wait to get through TSA and my flight boarded in one hour.Luckily I made it through okay and got to gate just a minute or so before they boarded Zone 1 (me). I was in Row 5, just behind First Class. Sat next to guy named Bob heading to New Orleans to work. I told him to try a pub crawl down Frenchmen Street and to check out Bon Ton Restaurant for a business lunch.
The pilot had predicted heavy turbulence as we descended for New Orleans, but it was smooth as silk. Del was in the Cellphone Lot, and I called as soon as my bag showed up and we drove home. I was exhausted, the temperature outside had gone up 46 degF between when I left in The Big Apple and when I arrived in The Big Easy: from 32 in NY to 78 in NO, Winter into Spring in 3 short hours.
HOME AGAIN, HOME A GAIN
Nothing like being away from home to help you appreciate it. I spent the first few days home completing my journal notes from the trip while it was all still fresh in my mind, and then a few days processing the 300 or so photos from the month of March so far.
I missed seeing Vesa Loikas in New York City, but the item he had planned to give me, he shipped by UPS, and it arrived in fine shape. It's a traveling cup with BOBBY inscribed on it, handmade out of a birch burl, with the handle's top protected by a slice of reindeer horn. It is a thing of beauty and a joy to behold and to just hold and drink from. I will treasure it forever. He also sent me a photo of the heavy snow from the storm the previous week which had canceled my flight and gave me permission to publish it in this Issue. Look in this Issue for the tall B &W Photograph of the Gehry Building taken from the street level looking up to where it disappears as it is obscured by the falling snow.
As I was typing away, winding up my Personal Notes for this month, the doorbell rang and there was a tiger waiting for me at the front door. A beautiful tiger face engraved inside of a crystal rectangular-shaped column sent to me as a gift from my Good Reader and friend of doyletics, Christopher Carroll Bryant from Corpus Christi, Texas. Thank you Chris and Vesa for the two treasures you have sent me.
With Easter coming up fast, I decided it was time for me to read and review a book of 4 lectures that Steiner gave on the Easter Festivals and the Evolution of the Mysteries in 1924. I had time to read the book and review it and it is included in this Issue below. While I was reading it, I realized why I had put off so long reading it: I had to go to Dornach, Switzerland, and walk up to the Goetheanum and down again several times to realize the connection of the Goetheanum and the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens, so that I could write about their connection to Rudolf Steiner and Aristotle. My working on the sculpture of the Saturn planetary emblem during the Art session at the Goetheanum also helped me appreciate the function of Saturn as the collector of the forces of our cosmos.My German professor once told us that "If you put anything off long enough, you don't have to do it." I'd like to add a corollary to that: "If you put something off long enough, you'll discover, after doing it, the importance played by your so-called procrastination in your doing the task right."
A good friend, Sandy McCleod passed this month, and I will hold him in my prayers and thoughts. I recall good times with you, Sandy, especially us playing poker with Sam Dunbar, Battle Bell, and others.
LAST MINUTE ITEMS
On Tuesday of Holy Week I went to the Mass of the Chrism in St. Louis Cathedral as I have done almost every year for 30 years. It is always a blessed time to be in the French Quarter, usually the best weather of the year; only once can I remember it raining on this day.It is the annual blessing of the oils used in all anointings during the next 12 months in the Archdiocese of New Orleans: baptisms, confirmations, ordinations, altars of new churchs, and Last Rites. Del came with me and we had the obligatory cafe au lait and beignets at Cafe du Monde after the Mass before returning home.
For Easter weekend our three boy brought their families to Timberlane for Easter. Stoney was with Sue and Sam, Jim with Gina and Kirt, and John with Kim and his two boys, Collin and Kyle. In addition two of the Marcie Street friends, Norman and Brett also came to visit. The weather was great, sunny about 70 degF so after we had lunch in the kitchen, we moved out to the West Portico porch for visiting and sharing stories and memories with each other. They all left for home at the end of Saturday, and Del and I enjoyed a nice double feature in the Screening Room.
EASTER BLESSING FOR HOLY WEEK
I'd like to close with a special blessing since the publication of this Issue is the day after Easter this year:
Only Sunlight reflected from the Moon can activate your inner living soul and during Holy Week, the week before Easter, each of the planets take their turn giving you their blessing on their eponymous day of the week, so I will share their blessing with you. May the words of this blessing stay with you every week of the coming year, Full Moon or not, so that when the next Holy Week rolls around you will enjoy it to the fullest.
May the Sun reflect off the Full Moon to fill your soul on Monday, and on Tuesday, may Mars activate your limbs, on Wednesday Mercury quicken your steps, on Thursday Jupiter fill you with wisdom, on Friday Venus pour her beauty upon you, and on Saturday, Saturn gather you together in consecration for the Easter Festival.
EVERY GOOD THING MUST COME TO A NEW BEGINNING, SO UNTIL NEXT MONTH
The past 31 days of March have been filled by days of frigid weather for me in New York and the rest of the month by mostly sunny skies and chilly days around our home in New Orleans. Spring is springing up everywhere: Azaleas are near finished their full bloom, amarylis blooms are bursting open in our every garden, our potato plants are lush green in promise of a May harvest, the brussels sprouts are ready to pick, and the lawn is returning to a green color in anticipation of the St. Augustine grass returning with its lush green carpet everywhere.This coming month of April here will be one of Spring Festival, French Quarter Festival, Shakespeare's Anniversary Dinner, West Jefferson Reunion with Crawfish Boil at Bayou Segnette, the Jazz and Heritage Fest, and much, much more! Till we meet again in the warm and flowery month of May, God Willing and the River Don't Rise, whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, be it cool and dry, cool and wet, rainy or sunny, remember our slogan for this new year:IMPORTANT MESSAGE:
MAY THE WORLD BECOME PEACEFUL AND SERENE IN TWENTY-THIRTEEN
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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:
- Healing States are idiopathic, i.e., arising spontaneously or from an obscure or unknown cause — that cause obscured because it happened while the hippocampus was unable to transfer cognitive memory to the cortex which is the storehouse from which we extract causes. A Speed Trace will recover the unknown and obscure cause by converting doylic memories (pre-hippocampal memories) into cognitive memories via a now-working hippocampus. After a speed trace, a healing state will no longer arise from a stimulus triggering some earlier disease event.
— Bobby Matherne (March 2, 2013) (21st-century Writer)
- The Earth is a eurytopic planet, i. e., tolerant of wide variation in one or more environmental factors.
— Bobby Matherne (March 4, 2013) (21st-century Writer)
New Stuff on Website:From Flowers of Shanidar, A 1990 Book of Poetry by Bobby Matherne
INTRODUCTIONIn a small dark cave in the hills of Northern Iraq near the Turkish border the excavator Ralph Solecki found in 1960 the bones of a young man placed in the recess between two large boulders. Analysis of the remains from the cave of Shanidar determined that the burial occurred over 60,000 years ago.
Soil samples collected near the bones were only analyzed several years later and produced a quite unexpected result. Ordinarily a small random assortment of pollen grains would be found in funereal soil samples, but the Shanidar soil analysis revealed thousands of pollen grains from wild flowers of the region. Flowers of rose mallow, hollyhocks, hyacinths, and other indigenous varieties of flowers had been systematically collected and transported to the cave of Shanidar as a funerary tribute.
Astonished, the scientists were confronted with the earliest known evidence of a burial ritual. From the very dawn of mankind a message had come down to us, written in pollen grains from the flowers of Shanidar, of the birth of a new consciousness — the consciousness of death.
How far have we progressed in the knowledge of ultimate destinations in the 600 centuries since that funeral celebration? As we stand before the door to the new millennium, do we dare to knock? Are we ready for the new flowers of Shanidar and the birth of consciousness that will surely accompany our passage into that new era?
These poems are from Bobby Matherne’s 1990 book of poetry, Flowers of Shanidar and have never been published on the Internet before. Here in the beginning of the new millennium, we are publishing each month five poems, one from each Chapter of the book. (Flowers drawn by Artist Maureen Grace Matherne)
1. Chapter: Hollyhocks
The New Wave of Light
Has washed clean
The Black Tide
And the bulwarks
In such supernal
That even Bogeymen
Into projected images
2. Chapter: Hyacinths
Tracks on the beach
are temporary tracks
Washed away by
the evening tide.
Tracks on bathroom tile
are ephemeral tracks
when they are dried.
Tracks on a paper pad
are immortal tracks
3. Chapter: Rose Mallow
On the threshold of sacred ground
We peer into an empty box —
Nature sets our hands in flight
Filling them with objects of delight.
A pond, a hill, a river appear,
A lotus, a Buddha with temples near.
A pilgrim rests upon his journey
One from which there is no turning.
Memories he's left behind
In charge of old possessions,
Thoughts are dropping from his mind
Like moisture from a summer storm.
The box is full and now complete,
Stored within his mental attic —
Ever ready for him to meet
Himself within the sand box magic.
4. Chapter: Shamrocks
In the middle of an outage,
Working twelves from six to six:
Saying hello at night
To friends you told goodbye that morning.
Wrap-around friends wrap around the power plant.
Their 24 hour coverage keeps the work
Forever in their minds.
A brief respite off-site
to catch a good night's sleep,
Then driving under morning stars
To start the day anew.
Like a naval ship the nuclear plant is run,
Though hired help swab down the decks,
And officers wear battle stripes
In their minds and titles.
Afloat in a sea of mud, this concrete ship
Will never return to port
So shipmates dream of milder times
And gentler folk
That wait on them and shore leave.
5. Chapter: Violets
"About how long did it take
you to write that last poem?"
"About 3 hours and 50 years."
New Stuff on the Internet:
- [add 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.“A Late Quartet” (2012) What happens when a string quartet breaks up. Beethoven’s String Quartet Opus 131 fills this movie and will fill your heart. A DON’T MISS HIT !!!
“The Words” (2012) a stuck writer finds a full manuscript for a novel in an old briefcase his wife bought for him. He submits it under his name and it makes him a best-selling author. What should he do with the real author comes forth? What should he have done differently when he decided to publish the work? These and many more questions arise in this story within a story within a story. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
“Annie Hall” (1977) is always a treat, still as fresh as ever. Spotted Jeff Goldblum saying, “I lost my mantra.” Curious watching large 1970s autos being driven by one person. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
The Bourne Legacy (2012) continues the tradition without Jason, with a new superspy who escapes being killed in the Alaskan wilderness and needs to get new meds and finds a doctor almost killed to protect the program and they fly off to Far East for some adventure including the obligatory car chase through heavy traffic.
“Looper” (2012) Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis play hide-and-seek and find each other across a time paradox of thirty years which only be resolved one way.
“Hang ‘em High” (1968) No one leaves Clint Eastwood dangling and gets away with it. This was likely the movie which began his series of Spaghetti Westerns. His signature hat and thin cigar very much Gary Cooper in one of his early Westerns.
“In A Better World” (2010) two mid-teen boys from broken homes, one divorce in progress, one mother dead of cancer, are set upon by a bully at school and instead of teachers stopping the bully, they call police when the boys fight back. Friends now, Elias is reluctant when Christian wants to blow up the van of an adult who bullied Elias’s father. This can not end well, but the title hints otherwise.
“Pitch Perfect” (2012) about “a ca kids” striving to take their a capella routines to Lincoln Center. Can the Second Placers of last year make it with their same routine? Only mystery, the rest is just fun set to toe-tapping and rib-tickling music.
“Strange Lady in Town” (1955) Greer Garson and Dana Andrews as dueling doctors in Santa Fee who get lovesick.
“Skyfall” (2012) A new Q in the first part of the movie and a new M in the latter part. Takes a super agent to kill another super agent and Bond comes through, but Judi Dench hits the bench and Fiennes takes over as M.
“Days of Wine and Roses” (1962) “They are not long, the days of wine and roses” because the hangovers last until noon. Jack Lemmon recovers from his alcohol addiction by end of movie, and when the credits rolled, I got the sense that Lee Remick will eventually come around, too.
"Atlas Shrugged" (2011) watched in preparation for PartII coming tomorrow. Dagney Taggart is left screaming at the destruction of her friend's oil fields after he leaves to join John Galt. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
“The Intouchables” (2011) about a careful and funny black ex-con who takes care of a quadraplegic and brings hope, happiness, and joy to him in the process. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
“Seven Psychopaths” (2012) Marty has writer’s block and seven psychopaths show up to help out. Laugh out loud funny in the middle of bloody action.“The Next Big Thing” (2002) Art speaks for itself, but everyone gets a piece of the action.
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.“Hit & Run” (2012) & the victim is the viewers. This movie is offal; clean your shoes after stomping. A DVD Stomper!
“Reality of Love” (2004) which was nothing but love of reality shows. A DVD STOMPER ! ! !
"Jet Lag" (2000) A waste of Juliette Binoche and Jean Reno's talent and time in this movie. Don't waste your time either.
Your call on these — your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:“Soldier” (1998) Kirt Russell as a soldier battling the genetically-modified new soldiers. Guess who’s going to win? Ho-hum except for Sci-Fi special effects.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Le Boudreaux Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission
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Marie was trying on some clothes in a froufrou dress shop in the French Quarter in New Orleans, so Boudreaux walked down the street and saw an antique shop with a foot-tall bronze statue of a lawyer in the window. It had no price tag, but was so incredibly striking Boudreaux decided he must have it. He took it to the old shop owner and asked, "How much you want for the bronze lawyer?"
"Bon Dieu, you have chosen wisely, Monsieur! It is $12 for the statue and $100 for the story," the aged Frenchman replied.
Boudreaux quickly pulled out twelve dollars. "Non, jest gimme de statue, and you can keep the story".
As he walked back to Marie’s dress shop on Royal Street carrying his bronze lawyer, he passed the Supreme Court building. Boudreaux noticed a few real lawyers coming out of the building who began following him down Royal Street. This was a bit disconcerting so he began walking faster.
A couple blocks later he looked behind him and saw that the entourage of lawyers behind him had grown to several dozen, and the lawyers’ voices were calling to him and waving papers at him.
Sweating now, Boudreaux began to trot toward the Mississippi River. Again, after a coupla blocks, he looked around only to discover that the lawyers now numbered in the hundreds, shouting, waving papers, and speeding toward him faster and faster.
Terrified, he ran to Woldenberg Park and, stopping at the fence overlooking the river, he threw the bronze statue as far as he could into the rushing water.
Amazingly, the thousands of lawyers sped past him and they all jumped the fence and fell into the Mississippi River. They landed where he had thrown the bronze statue and they were all drowned in the current that swept them away. Boudreaux walked back to the antique shop in the French Quarter.
"Bienvenue, Monsieur Boudreaux," said the owner, "you have come back for ze story, n’est pas?"
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5. RECIPE of the MONTH for April, 2013 from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen:
(click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =Juicing from the Garden
Background on Juicing from the Garden:
Del and I have been using Juice Plus capsules daily since the early 1980s as a convenient alternative to juicing. The patented centrifuge and vacuum extraction preserves the live enzymes and antioxidants of the juiced fruits and veggies. But Del's doctor looking at the lack of Vitamin B in her blood prescribed a protocol for juicing designed to boost her Vitamin B (including folic acid). For three months she has been juicing daily and this recipe describes her process. The addition of the apple and pineapple make the juice more palatable. After the first few weeks, we planted Swiss chard and Kale to supplement the broccoli and parsley already in our Veggie Garden. See here. Note the Juice Plus Bottles behind the juicing equipment in Ingedients photo below.
Put the leaves in first, then the ginger root, the parsley, broccoli, and the fruit in last as it tends to clog the holes in the juicer. See here.
There is no cooking, but one item to mention which will help. Placing a plastic bag over the container for the organic material makes cleanup of the pulp catch basket easier with the additional benefit that the bag's contents can be easily added to the mulch bed in the garden. See here.
One glassful using the amount of ingredients suggested above.
Other Options and Notes
Adding a couple of small ice cubes and stirring into the juice makes it taste better, we've found. After 3 months of juicing, Del found it necessary to buy a new juicer and the one shown here on sale for $100 at Macy's. This one is quicker with the juicing and the bag catching feature speeds the after-juicing cleanup.
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6. POETRY by BOBBY from Yes, and Even More!:
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Here’s How To Do It
Before I could tell you how to do it,
I’d have to get you to do it first,
Or you wouldn’t believe it was possible.
If I could tell you exactly
How I do it, you could do it too,
And then my writing it would be unnecessary
Because you could do it, too.
Besides, before I could tell you exactly
How to do it, I’d have to know
Exactly how I’m doing it. I write to discover what I’m doing
and in the process I leave traces on the page
That allow you to discover what I’m doing,
So that you can do it yourself.
So the evolution of consciousness
Must start with writing.
NOTES on POEM:
Here’s How To Do It: Written on May 20, 1998 while driving 75 mph in the left lane of I-10 heading to Beaumont from Houston, Texas.
People ask me how it’s possible for me to read while driving. I usually don’t tell them that I must write while I’m reading because that’s when I get my inspiration. So they don’t ask how it’s possible for me to write while I’m driving.
Mostly they ask, “How do you read while driving?” and I simply answer, “Safely.” The full answer requires several minutes of custom-tailored response, tailored to the person I’m talking to, tailored to slide around their enculturated and encrusted defenses to learning anything new. So, for many folks it’s a waste of time, and I never bother to mention to those folks the fact that I read and drive at the same time. Did this without an accident for 14 years and over 300,000 miles.
2013 Update: With all the folderol about texting, emailing, and cell phone calls while driving, no one has ever bothered to attempt to teach folks how to do those things safely, or even to admit it's possible, up until now. Safe driving instruction is required to get a license, but safe driving while texting, emailing, and cell phone calls is never taught, but is instead relegated to the status of parenthood: everyone learns on their own or fails miserably. Why not make it illegal to raise babies? That would be applying the same logic which leads newspaper editors, lawmakers, and parents to want the State to make texting while driving illegal, would it not? Why not provide instruction on doing both safely and effectively?
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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for March:
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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.) ARJ2: The Easter Festival, GA#223a by Rudolf Steiner
Everyone knows that Easter is a moveable feast, especially those with Spring birthdays which on occasion coincide with Easter Sunday. What Steiner reveals is that Easter is a fixed feast in the heavens! Easter is linked to a specific constellation in sky which is in position on the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox. Look in the sky during Holy Week and you will find that the Moon is Full some time during that week leading up to Easter Sunday.
Why is Easter on a Sunday? is another question that might arise. Other holy days in the Church calendar are fixed by a day of the month, such as the Feasts of the Assumption on August 15 and of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, as I recall from my Catholic childhood, which were rarely on Sunday. As kids we preferred holy days that were on a Sunday because for those we didn't have to go to Mass twice a week. The answer to why Easter is on a Sunday requires us to look at how the names of the planets correspond to the names of the days of the week, which will come later.
Why is Easter in the Springtime? Hmm, the answer to this question seems obvious to almost everyone, but they would be surprised to find that Easter was originally celebrated in the Fall. For a long time before Christianity appeared, the festival of the god Adonis was celebrated each Fall by Near Eastern peoples. A quick examination will reveal its links to the Easter celebrations which were to follow.
[page 3] To the accompaniment of songs and rites portraying humanity's deepest grief and sorrow, the god's likeness was immersed for a period of three days in the sea if the Mystery site was near the sea, in a lake if it was near a lake, or otherwise in an artificial pond that was dug nearby. For three days a profound and solemn silence took hold of the entire community. When after that time the idol was lifted from the water, the laments gave way to songs of joy and hymns to the resurrected god, the god who had come back to life.
The ritual conformed to the method used in ancient initiations where the candidate was placed into a dark tomb-like chamber in a coffin and was told that he was to undergo the experience of death and remain there for three days.
[page 4] On the third day, in a spot visible to the occupant of the coffin, a branch appeared, signifying life's renewal. The earlier laments gave way to hymns of joy, and the initiate arose from his grave with transformed consciousness. A new language, a new script were revealed to him, the language and script of the spiritual world. He was permitted to see, and did see, the world from the viewpoint of the spirit.
These rites took place in the Fall when the vegetation of Earth was dying away. The initiate was told that Nature was dying, so would he have his autumn and die, that he would experience this dying, that he would be born anew after three days in the spirit world, and this rite would allow him to experience this dying and reawakening in his own soul.
[page 5] The profound shock inflicted upon people by this old method of initiation — we shall see that in our day completely different methods are necessary — awakened within them latent powers of spiritual vision. They knew henceforth that they stood not merely in the world of the senses, but in the spiritual world as well.
The etheric body of ancient people was not so locked into the physical body as ours is now, and the shock of an initiate’s being buried alive was enough to liberate his etheric body which would be called back into his physical body by the Master after the three day period had passed.By the time of Golgotha the human etheric body was so tightly bound to the physical body that few humans could survive the entombment initiation through which Lazarus was guided with Christ Jesus's help.
Most people were not ready to receive such spiritual vision and thus they were led through less onerous rituals such as the Adonis one which took place in autumn, a pre-Christian form of Easter festival. One should not feel superior to these early people because similar spiritual rites, such as our Easter festival, provide acceptable avenues for approaching spiritual knowledge to those otherwise not ready in modern times.
What these early initiates, including Lazarus, experienced as death and resurrection in their soul, Christ Jesus would experience in his body. Unlike Christ Jesus, the initiates' souls, not their bodies, died to rise again to a higher consciousness and life.
[page 7] What aspirants to initiation experienced only in their souls, Christ Jesus passed through in the body, that is, on a different level. Because Christ was not of the Earth, but rather a sun-being in the body of Jesus of Nazareth, he could undergo on Golgotha in the entirety of his human nature what initiates had formerly experienced only in their souls.
The people in the Mystery schools knew for millennia that initiates had died in their souls and been returned with newfound spiritual knowledge, so when Jesus of Nazareth received the great sun being during his baptism in the Jordan, they knew that what initiates had experienced in their soul would now happen in the body. What they had practiced in dress rehearsal for so long was going to be enacted on the world stage and become a historical fact.
[page 7, 8] In spite of Christ's bodily death, in spite of his dissolution into the mortal earth, the Resurrection could be brought about because Christ ascended higher in soul and spirit than was possible for a candidate for initiation. The neophyte was incapable of bringing the body into such profoundly subsensible regions as Christ did, so that he could not rise as high in resurrection. Except for this difference in cosmic magnitude, however, it was the ancient initiation process that appeared in the historic deed on sacred Golgotha.
Those people familiar with the initiation process were elated by the Deed, the great Mystery of Golgotha, because they knew that the sun being who could previously only be reached by the initiation process had become man in the body of Jesus of Nazareth. Over time this living awareness dimmed in the consciousness of most humans and led to what we know now as the Easter festival in memory of the Mystery of Golgotha. Through long recitation of the events of the days leading up to that Deed, worshipers are put in mind of the great mystery enacted for all humanity. Instead of requiring a dangerous initiation to view the Christ being in the Sun, humans, all humans, are able to look back on the Deed of Golgotha to find the Christ. What formerly required a spatial access, looking to the Sun, now requires only a temporal access, looking back to the Deed on Golgotha.(See Diagram at Right, page 9.) Today we look back in time to the Deed on Golgotha, the yellow cross on a hill, to find Christ. Before Golgotha, people looked out in space, along the red line, to find Christ in the Sun.(1)
How did these initiates know for certain that the Sun being had come into Jesus of Nazareth? Due to the evolution of human consciousness, humans could no longer find Christ in the Sun. To prevent our precipitous fall into materialism, the Christ being came to Earth to save humankind, allowing us thenceforth to find Christ on the Earth.
[page 9] Evolution had progressed in such a way as to make initiation by means of the old ritual impossible. Human beings on earth could no longer find Christ in the sun. For this reason he came down to enact a deed to which earthly humanity could now turn its gaze. This secret is among the holiest things of which we may speak here on earth.
Saul persecuted Jesus of Nazareth, seeing him as just another pretend Messiah. Saul was also a Hebrew initiate, having gone through the initiation procedure which had become so difficult to perform in his time due to the evolution of human consciousness, due to our fall into materialism. Saul could see the "Sun at Midnight" which initiates performed by looking down into the Earth in the darkest hour to see the golden spiritual rays of Christ flowing through the Earth from the Sun.On his fateful journey to Damascus, Saul saw these golden rays filling the Earth during the middle of the day, and he knew instantly that Jesus of Nazareth, who had just died on the Cross, had been the carrier of the Christ spirit, the Great Sun Spirit which had been expected to reach the Earth for millennia. Immediately Saul received the Christ spirit into himself, changed his name to Paul, and began to proclaim the Good News of the arrival of the Christ spirit filling the Earth. Paul's good news was that, without having to undergo an onerous and dangerous initiation process, every human being could thenceforth find and accept Christ into their heart(2).
[page 10, 11] The profoundly intimate rites of the Mystery sanctuaries now stood forth as an external, historical event. All humankind now had access to what was previously available only to initiates. No longer was it necessary to immerse an image in the sea and symbolically resurrect it. Instead human beings were to think of, to remember, what actually took place on Golgotha. The physical symbol, referring to a process experienced in space, was to be supplanted by the internal, immaterial thought, by the memory of the historical deed on Golgotha experienced within the soul.
As the centuries progressed humans no longer could experience autumn as the time of death and renewal and they began to look to Spring as the time of new birth and resurrection, when seeds remaining from a dead plant are burgeoning into new life.
Before proceeding further we must ask ourselves: What does it mean to be a moon person or a sun person? Steiner takes us back to about 9,000 years ago and tells us that a remarkable thing happened to humans at the age of thirty: they forgot everything which had happened to them before that time. People would keep records for those who reached thirty to help them remember their events before thirty. They were told that before the age of thirty only moon forces acted on them, but after that sun forces entered into them. He says that this is "Something that takes place in human beings around the thirtieth year today [and] remains largely in the subconscious or unconscious." (Page 10) The moon forces act as forces of instinct or compulsion and the arrival of the sun forces at age thirty bring a new sense of freedom. It had always puzzled me how the minimum age for a U.S. Senator came to be set at 30 years old, up until now. Clearly some unconscious knowledge of the onset of the sun forces led the drafters to establish that age. A Representative must be over 21 and can still be subject to compulsive moon forces, but a Senator is required to be filled with the sun forces and free from those younger instincts. The modern expression "going middle-age crazy" can be understood as the emergence into daily life, from a person's unconscious, of the dramatic sun forces of freedom.
[page 11] While the moon forces determine the human being, permeate us with an inner necessity so that we must act according to our instincts, our temperament, our emotions, in a word, our whole physical and etheric nature, the spiritual sun forces free us from this. They dissolve, so to speak, the forces of compulsion, and it is really through their agency that we become free.
It is as though every human is born into a lunar birth by the Father and then at age thirty experiences a solar birth by the Son (Christ). Thus, rightly understood, every human is twice-born, once at birth of the Father and a second time at thirty of the Son(3). These facts may seem strange to many who are encountering them for the first time, but this is true of much of Rudolf Steiner's works. To allay the skepticism of many he writes:
[page 20, 21] Only those who know it derives from such a reality as I have just described can grasp its true meaning. About such things spiritual observation does, after all, have something to say; and once it is spoken, I would challenge any unprejudiced researcher in a conventional academic discipline to prove that existing documents do not at every step bear it out. Ordinary science will confirm spiritual research, provided things are seen in the right light. But certain things transcending ordinary science must be brought to light since the study of documents cannot lead to a true understanding of human life.
Now we are in a position to understand the Deed of Golgotha in a new way because Jesus of Nazareth was born into the Sun spirit, his solar birth, when he reached the age of thirty. Whereas the initiates of the time received only the rays from the Sun being, Jesus received the Sun being, the Christ, fully into himself and thence the name Christ Jesus is more appropriate and used by those who understand the relationship of Jesus of Nazareth to the Christ being.
[page 22, 23] One person who still knew the sun forces and was able to let himself be guided by them was the Christ-bearer, Jesus of Nazareth. He had to know them. For, whereas in the old Mysteries the sun forces could be reached only by looking up spiritually to the sun, it was the mission of Jesus of Nazareth to receive these forces in his own body as they streamed down to earth. This I explained yesterday. The essential point, however, is that in his thirtieth year a transformation occurred in Jesus of Nazareth's body. It was the same transformation everyone experienced in primeval times, except that in those times only the rays, so to speak, of the spiritual sun entered into people, whereas here the primordial sun being himself, the Christ, descended into human evolution and dwelled in the body of Jesus of Nazareth. This event central to all earthly life is at the root of the Mystery of Golgotha.
To understand this next part, one needs to review the first four stages of initiation. The first stage for a neophyte was to understand that he knew nothing about the human being and could not even claim to be one.
[page 25] That was the first stage of initiation in the old Mysteries. And the moment a person learned in this way to look inside himself, he experienced how he had been in pre-earthly existence, for then he knew himself to be a being of spirit and soul.
We are born into a human body remembering all the events of our previous existence, but by the age of five, all those memories are gone completely, only traces of unconscious responses may remain(4). If you personally can recall a time when you thought elves and fairies were real, perhaps while your mother is reading a fairy tale to you, then you have experienced a bleed-through, a memory of that spiritual reality which yet existed for you in early childhood. Soon after that you were taught your so-called "imaginary companion" was illusory and that you had to forget everything you already know about the world and start over fresh, focusing only on material aspects of the world.
[page 26] We all become acquainted with the kingdoms of nature from their spiritual aspect before we descend to earth. And while today people are encouraged to forget all they learned about minerals, plants, and animals, the old initiate, in the so-called first Mystery stage, attempted to remember it. He was shown, for example, a quartz crystal, and then everything possible was done to remind him of what he had known about quartz — or about lilies, or roses — before he descended to earth. The knowledge of nature taught in the Mysteries was essentially recognition.
Re-cognition, re-membering, so many words we have for adding back, membering once again into our being what we lost during our early childhood. Once a neophyte had mastered this kind of re-collection of things from his previous existence, he was allowed into the Second Stage of initiation, the Temple Grotto of Man, whose chambers were threefold: thinking, feeling, and willing. Whereas the First Stage involved remembering of knowledge from the spiritual world, the Second Stage involved acquiring knowledge specific to an earth-existence, music, architecture, geometry, surveying, etc.
[page 27, 28] It was important for the novice of the second stage to realize that all talk of gaining knowledge by purely earthly means, except as it applies to geometry, architecture, and surveying, is nonsense. He realized that a genuine science of nature must consist of recalling pre-earthly knowledge; however, geometry, architecture, music, and surveying are sciences that can be learned here on earth.
The Third Stage involved entering the Portal of Death, requiring remaining outside the body for a time.
[page 28] When we die we discard our physical bodies and are no longer bound to them. we cease to respond to, and are henceforth free from, earth forces. But while we are still connected to our physical bodies, as was the case in the initiations of old, we must achieve by inner exertion something that in death happens of itself, namely freedom from the body; we must hold ourselves outside the body for a time. Initiation required that one attain strong inner forces of soul, by virtue of which one could remain free from the physical body.
During the Third Stage, the initiate learned that the earth does not build up the human body, but instead works toward its destruction, that the cosmos itself is the origin of upbuilding forces. After passing through the Third Stage, the initiate, freed from his body, was ready to receive the gift of sun forces called Christos. As a bearer of the sun forces, he became known as a christophor, a Christ-bearer, and realized how spiritual forces are at work even in the substances of earth. To study chemistry, one must be initiated into the Fourth Stage(5).
[page 30] For only when you are able to perceive by means of forces of the sun-existence will you be able to study chemistry.
With the fourth stage, the ancient initiate was ready for astronomy, a subject to be penetrated deeply rather than creating superficial descriptions of reality as modern astronomy does.
[page 31] The merely external study of the stars, based on calculations and the like, ancient people considered thoroughly trivial. For the stars are inhabited by spiritual beings, and these beings can be known only after physical observation and even geometry have been left behind, when one can literally live in the universe and know the spiritual nature of the stars. At this stage the candidate became one of the resurrected and could observe the forces of the moon and sun at work, particularly in their effects upon earthly humanity.
What does all this mean? What does it have to do with Easter? Consider what we have learned so far in these lectures: Ancient peoples received sun forces at age 30 and were changed so dramatically by this event, they could not remember who they had been before age 30. As humans evolved, they no longer received these forces so strongly or consciously, but those who did remember carried their knowledge into Mystery Schools where it could be preserved. At the turning point in time, human knowledge of receiving sun forces at age thirty was gone, lost and forgotten.
[page 31, 32] Humanity would have fallen into complete decadence had not the power to whom the initiates had raised themselves in becoming christophors descended into Jesus of Nazareth and remained on earth since then, enabling people to unite themselves with it through Christ Jesus.
Easter as we know it today is thus a link in the evolution of the Mysteries, and we can become aware of its true content only by reviving that evolution.
Easter must be on a Sun-day, we find out, because Sun forces arrive to us from the cosmos. All the knowledge of the initiates pointed to this, and today we have this knowledge presented to us in the Easter Festival by the arrangement of Easter on a Sunday during a particular arrangement of the Sun and the Moon in the heavens, namely, the first Sunday after the first Full Moon, after the Vernal Equinox — the first day during which the Sun shines on us for exactly half of the time and night is present for the other half. That is the constellation or positions of the Moon and Sun which are aligned and fixed as the time for us to celebrate the Easter Festival each year. Easter, as regards the positions of the Sun and Moon, is a fixed feast, not a moveable feast.
When humanity gained freedom, it lost these Mysteries, but it is now the time when humans have evolved to the point where we can re-collect, re-cognize, re-member these Mysteries, and this study of the meaning of the Easter Festival is a good place to start.
[page 33] The Mysteries themselves, of course, began to disappear at the time human freedom started to assert itself, but the time to rediscover them has arrived. The Mysteries must be found anew, and we should be fully conscious that preparation to that end must now be made.
In Lecture 3, Steiner relates the details of how the days of our weeks are composed of the planets in this order: (6)
Moon (Monday), Mars (Tuesday), Mercury (Wednesday),
Jupiter (Thursday), Venus (Friday), Saturn (Saturday), and Sun (Sunday)
Then one must realize three things: 1) the Sun cannot directly influence our etheric body until its rays are attenuated by being reflected by the Moon; 2) the most rays are present when the Moon is Full; and 3) the Moon itself becomes the christophor or Christ-bearer. Now the pieces of the puzzle for the scheduling of the Easter Festival fall into place. The ancients imagined the Moon looking toward the Sun.
[page 46] The moon itself, they thought, then looked toward the sun, that is, toward the first following Sunday. In other words, instead of a christophor looking at the sun from his newly-gained vantage point in the moon, people imagined that the moon looked at the sun, that is, at its symbolization in Sunday. Thus we have the following sequence:
March 21: Full moon: Sunday
March 21 is the beginning of spring; the Earth's forces burgeon forth into the cosmos. One must then wait until the proper observer, the Full Moon, is there. The Moon then observes the Sun, making the following Sunday Easter. Our method for fixing Easter's date is thus an abstract vestige of what was once a thoroughly real Mystery procedure, one that in ancient times many people experienced.
Over time and the evolution of consciousness, people's memory of their living relationship with the cosmos dimmed, and "the autumnal Mystery of ascent was mistakenly combined with the spring Mystery of descent." (Page 47)
[page 47] Here materialism began to show its effects. For materialism not only gave rise to false opinions, it cast people into total confusion concerning things that had previously lent a kind of sacred order to human existence.
Nature in the autumn falls into decay, but, with our spiritual eyes, we can observe Nature rising into the spiritual world from the decay, thus the original Easter festival in the Fall. When nature arises from the Earth in Spring, humans are reminded of how they emerge from the world of death to descend to life upon Earth, thus the new Easter festivals in the Spring.
[page 48] In other words, precisely when nature was on the rise, human beings were reminded of their descent into the physical, while, when nature fell into decay, they were to reflect upon their rise, their resurrection, into the spiritual.
To sum up Lecture 3, Steiner writes:
[page 49] By proceeding from earthly Mysteries to cosmic Mysteries, from earthly knowledge to cosmic knowledge, we thus begin to recognize the year's inner structure as revealed through the festivals, even though much of the festivals' hidden meaning has been lost.
In my study of Rudolf Steiner's work over 30 years, I have at times bumped up against unpleasant people who call themselves skeptics. The only thing I have found these people to lack skepticism about was the certainty of their opinions. I have found these people throwing ridicule and scorn at the works of Rudolf Steiner while at the same time lacking any understanding of his work. I have heard that people who hate everything the United States stands for are destined to reincarnate in this country in their next life time. Perhaps something similar will happen to these skeptics: they will reincarnate and look at the work of Rudolf Steiner with esteem and reverence.
[page 51, 52] Although today it can hardly be said that we have already achieved true inner freedom and are ready to proceed with the next evolutionary step, still a significant number of people have gone through incarnations in which the power of the Mysteries has been less palpable than it was in earlier times. The fruit of these incarnations, although not yet ripe, is alive in peoples' souls. And when an age finally dawns that is once again more spiritual, the current ignorance will be overcome. People will then freely greet with esteem and reverence the spiritual knowledge and experience that can be achieved through modern initiation. For without esteem and reverence, neither knowledge nor humanity's spiritual life would be possible.
We have seen glimpses of how the arrangement of the Sun and Moon in the heavens is important for the Easter Festivals, and it is likewise important for guiding human spirits in the formation of their etheric bodies as they come to Earth for a new incarnation. In Ephesus this knowledge was especially important to Ephesian students whose service to their Goddess (called variously, Diana and Artemis) gave them the sensation of her saying, "I delight in all that bears fruit within the vast cosmic ether." (Page 53) The students were carried to the sphere of the Moon from whence they would return to Earth as if in a new incarnation.
[page 55] It was a pre-earthly state into which the student was transported, a state preparatory to the descent to earth. In the Ephesian Mysteries their self-elevation into the sphere of the moon was an especially vivid experience, which the initiates inwardly cherished, and whose content might be expressed in the following words:Cosmic-born being, thou clothed in light
Strengthened by sun in the realm of moon's might,
Blessed are thou by Mars' creative ringing
And Mercury's swiftness, mobility bringing,
Illumined by wisdom from Jupiter raying
And by Venus's beauty, love portraying —
So that Saturn's venerable spirit-ways
Might consecrate thee to the world of space and time(7).
Through the above experiences, the Ephesian initiate will have been taken through the seven days of our week, or put another way, each week we go through takes each of us, at an unconscious level, on a trip through the Ephesian initiation experiences and bears fruit in our own human etheric body.
In 2012 I had the occasion to walk up the hill to the Acropolis of Athens, Greece where the famous Parthenon stands today, its ruins under re-construction but still displaying its magnificence for all to see. In fact, anyone in Athens can see a glimpse of the Parthenon, as our guide Dimitri told me and I was later to confirm as I sat in downtown Athens for lunch in an outdoor eating area. There, up to my left was the white marble of the Parthenon just barely visible. In 2013 I had the occasion to walk up the hill to the Goetheanum of Dornach, Switzerland. From the windows of my room in the Inn called Kloster-Dornach down the hill, I could see the Goetheanum sitting proudly on the top of a hill. (Look at the Banner at the top of this Issue for a photo taken from the Inn.) One day during our conference, we walked up a nearby hill to Perceval's Cave where our guide mentioned that Rudolf Steiner had come up this hill after being turned down by Munich's city authorities to build his structure there. The guide suggested that it was on his trip up this same hill that he was led to consider the flat area on the top of a nearby hill as an ideal spot to build his structure. He found the owner to be someone for whom he had done a favor, and the man donated the land to Steiner(8).
The flat portion of land had been shunned by developers because it was known as the Blood Hill, the site of the bloody battle of Dornach in 1499. Steiner’s view seemed to be that building his center for spiritual study on that site would thereby redeem and sanctify the site. As I pondered the Goetheanum from the window of my room in the Kloster-Dornach, I realized that Aristotle must have walked around Athens looking up the Parthenon much of his life, a great architecture that had been started about 50 years before he was born. If Rudolf Steiner had been Aristotle in an earlier incarnation(9), then the site on the hill overlooking Dornach would have resonated for him as appropriate for his modern temple to the spirit, the Goetheanum, which has become a new Parthenon on the Acropolis (high point) of Dornach.
His magnificent architecture of wood and concrete was begun in 1913 and finished in 1919. A fire on New Year's Eve 1922 destroyed the building completely. That fire led Ita Wegman to inquire whether she and Steiner might have been present as priests at the burning of the great temple to Diana in Ephesus, and Steiner nodded his assent (op cit fn 9).Would a bonfire built to redeem the bloody hill not have been simpler and easier to do than building a huge wooden temple, I wondered. Perhaps, but somehow the temple burning was necessary. On the day the Diana temple burned, Philip of Macedonia's wife gave birth to Alexander, who was destined to spread his influence over all the known world, in other words, a great influence would issue all over the world from the burning of the Temple of Diana. Can we see that a great influence is spreading across the world following the burning of the first Goetheanum? Waldorf Schools, Eurhythmy, Architecture, and the study of Anthroposophy has spread to all corners of the Earth. Rudolf Steiner stood on the site of this destroyed building the next day and vowed that a new and better building would replace it and by 1928 that new Goetheanum arose and remains today as a modern Temple to the Spirit.
[page 63, 64] Just as the fire of Ephesus flared anew within the hearts of Aristotle and Alexander, after scorching the cosmic ether and revealing to the secrets that they compressed into the simplest of forms, just as they used the burning of Ephesus, so too must we — and this may be said in all modesty — be able to make use of what the flames of the Goetheanum carried out into the ether as the substance of our anthroposophical aims, both past and to come. . . . This world, filled with spiritual wisdom, has adopted the Goetheanum's cause, which was carried out by the flames. The Goetheanum impulses with which we imbue ourselves now stream in from the cosmos.
As we enter Holy Week each year, let us look out into the cosmos as a christophor, a Christ-Bearer, a cosmic being clothed in the light of the Full Moon building up our etheric body by light reflected from the Sun, filling ourselves with Mars’ life-stirring song and Mercury’s swift-winged agility, allowing Jupiter’s wisdom to flood over us, Venus’s beauty to shine upon us, and Saturn’s ageless devoutness to gather us together and consecrate our lives in this world of space and time.
---------------------------- Footnotes -----------------------------------------
The diagram on page 9 of this book also appears in Steiner's hand in Blackboard Drawings on page 146. Given the propensity of our time to think of time proceeding from left to right, I reversed the orientation for clarity, my own and others, so that in this diagram we look back to Golgotha to the left from our present time. In the ancient mysteries, initiates looked for the Sun at Midnight, looking down through the Earth to find the Christ Spirit, so the red line should, rightly understood, go down into the Earth. Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Return to text directly before Footnote 2.
Footnote 3.Return to text directly before Footnote 3.
On pages 21, 22 Steiner mentions briefly of the third birth by Saturn, which is a birth into the spirit world via physical death.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Return to text directly before Footnote 4.
Footnote 5.Return to text directly before Footnote 5.
Steiner admits it would seem absurd to require a pharmacist or a chemistry professor to be able to experience sun forces before they could practice their trade, but in ancient times, that was exactly the case. Chemistry today is a shallow study based on descriptions rather than inner penetration of the subject. (Page 30)
Footnote 6.Return to text directly before Footnote 6.
One must know the days in English, German, and French languages to get all the connections, e.g., in French: Mardi means Mars Day, Mercredi means Mercury Day, Jeudi means Jupiter's Day, and Vendredi mean Venus Day. In German: Wodin's Day is our Wednesday, Thor's Day is our Thursday, and Samstag is not Sam's Day, but seems to mean "Collection Day".
In German Samstag is Saturday or Saturn's day. Sammeln means to collect or bring together in German, so I had for over four decades wondered what the reality might be for Saturday or Samstag being connected to collecting. On page 57, Steiner gives this expanded interpretation of Saturn: "So that Saturn may gather all together and complete our inner and outer development, preparing us to descend to Earth and to clothe ourselves in a physical body, so that we might live on Earth as physical beings who carry the god within us." I should note that my own birthday was on a Saturday.
Return to text directly before Footnote 7.
Return to text directly before Footnote 8.
As described in Rudolf Steiner's Mission and Ita Wegman by Margarete & Erich Kirchner-Bockholt. Return to text directly before Footnote 9.
2.) ARJ2: Pieces of My Heart by Robert J. Wagner with Scott Eyman
Several things had to happen for me to want to read the life of Robert Wagner. First, I had to learn to like him. Second, I had to be made aware of this book. And, third, someone had to give it to me because I wouldn't have bought it on my own as I rarely read memoirs, especially of movie stars. When RJ appeared several times on NCIS, our favorite program, I found him almost playing himself and being very likeable. He played Tony DiNozzo's father and he delighted in calling Tony, Junior. In one of the DVD commentaries, Michael Weatherly, who plays DiNozzo, talked about reading RJ's book as homework for RJ's stint on NCIS and how much he enjoyed reading it. In an unlikely third part of the syzygy, someone gave a copy of the book to my wife and I watched as she read it, enjoyed it, and when she was finished, she gave it to me. When I began reading it, I immediately discovered that RJ was a junior himself, taking the nickname RJ to avoid it, and thus his apparent delight in calling Tony, "Junior".
The authors get this memoir off to a BANG! in the Prologue entitled, "He was Fred Astaire!" The title came from when twelve-year-old RJ slid down a hill of the eleventh hole of the Bel-Air Country Club on a piece of corrugated tin to sit and watch golfers go by. A foursome consisting of Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, Clark Gable, and Randolph Scott walked to putt out across the place where young RJ was sitting in the bushes.
[page 4] I was transfixed! It was the most amazing experience, not just because I had grown up seeing these men at the movies, at the Fox and the Bruin Theaters in Westwood. It was because they looked . . . freshly minted! They say that some movie stars are disappointing when seen in the flesh — smaller, less prepossessing than they appear on the screen. Not these men. They inhabited life as securely as they inhabited the screen. Put it another way: they filled the room, even if the room was outdoors.
Randolph Scott I knew as a favorite cowboy hero when I was twelve years old — the other three I would only meet a decade or so later in the movies — but he was one of our favorite cowboys when we played cowboys and Indians at that age. We fought to be him. To see those four mega-stars together, at close range, and to know who they were, was an incredible opportunity for any twelve-year-old boy. And yet, for RJ, it was just the beginning of his acquaintance with Hollywood stars. If you'd like to have had such a childhood and growing up in the movie industry, open the pages of this memoir and you can enjoy sharing the feelings, the excitements, and the thrills along with RJ as he grows up. You'll find yourself smiling, chuckling, and laughing out loud at some of his stories. Yes, there were times of sorrow, of tears, and of a deep sense of loss. These are the concomitants of life for anyone who hangs out with people who are older than they are; you will likely survive them and have to mourn their passing. And RJ had a lot of close friends who were older than he was. One of these was Clark Gable with whom RJ played a lot of golf later in life. On a great photo of himself, Gable inscribed, "To R. J., who taught me how to putt a decent golf ball — thereby saving me unknown $. Clark." (B&W Plate between pages 86 and 87)
Photos such as this one grace many pages of this fine memoir, all from RJ's personal collection. Do you have a personal favorite movie or role of his? You'll likely hear it mentioned within the cover of this book along with so many of the illustrious stars he played along with. Want to be a fly-on-the-wall in the men's room with him when an inebriated Clifton Webb gives his little friend a drink of brandy? Or when RJ discovers the cosmetic enhancement Jayne Mansfield did to herself which led to a photo of Sophia Loren looking askance at Jayne's cleavage? Or when RJ caught Errol Flynn in flagrante delicto? It's all here awaiting your perusal.
Most of all the young RJ wanted to be a movie star. He learned to imitate them, but in the process learned an important lesson.
[page 28] And then Stan Anderson, whose daughter I had entertained with imitations, sent me to see Solly Baiano at Warner's. I did my impersonation of Cagney, Bogart, and the rest for Solly, and all he said was, "Well, that's all very well, but we've already got Cagney, and we've already got Bogart. What about doing you?"
That rocked me back. I thought about it and sensibly pointed out that "I can't do me. I don't know who me is."
RJ wrote about his introduction to jazz and how you can tell from the first few notes who is performing a given song.
[page 36] You can listen to three or four notes on the trumpet and know it's Louis Armstrong — there are thousands of trumpet players, but nobody else has that unique Armstrong sound. It's the same thing every actor strives for — a tone that's all their own.
Clearly RJ strove for and found out who he was, finding a tone of his own. He played the young handsome lover, but never became a Tab Hunter; he played a cowboy but never became a Randolf Scott; he played an evil doctor but never became a Boris Karloff; he played a nice guy and became and stayed a likeable Robert Wagner.
He met Barbara Stanwyck on the production of Titanic when he was 22 and she 45 and they were together for four years, the first woman RJ ever loved, and she was a major factor in his maturation. Finally she came to him and said that she loved him, but . . .
[page 64] I couldn't argue with her reasoning. There was simply no way we could have been married at that time. I would have always been Mr. Stanwyck, and we both knew it.
She was an enormous influence in my life, and still is. I remain immensely grateful. I gave her things, nice things, such as a four-leaf clover necklace made out of platinum and diamonds, a piece of jewelry she always set special store by. But the things I gave her were dwarfed by the things she gave me. If I had to limit it to just one thing, I would say she gave me self-esteem. To have a woman of her beauty and accomplishment see value in me and give herself totally to me couldn't help but have a powerful impact on my psyche. Barbara was the first savior in my life.
When RJ stuck his neck out with the studio to add Fred Astaire to his show "It Takes a Thief", it proved to be a successful addition. One day RJ and Fred were in Rome and returning from lunch together to the villa where they were shooting, and the crew saw them coming.
[page 190] One guy began clapping his hands rhythmically and called out "Fred!" The rhythm and the call were quickly picked up by the rest of the crew, and as "Fred! . . . Fred! . . . Fred! . . ." reverberated around the ballroom, Fred began to dance. He did incredible little combinations and twirls, kicked the piano, and danced around the ballroom to the clapping of the crew. It was pure dancing, for his own pleasure and the pleasure of the people he was working with. I just stood there and thought, Remember this.
There was a fourth reason for my reading this memoir by Robert Wagner, which I have saved until now. The circumstances of Natalie Wood's death seemed suspiciously like he might have been involved with her death. Nothing in the book helped to clarify what happened that night on the boat when she disappeared into the water, but his love for her was so heart felt, when they were married the first time, when he missed her so much while they were divorced, and when they found each other and married a second time, that there is no way he could have wanted her to be anything but alive and with him for the rest of his life.
After a party at the Foremans where neither spouse was able to attend, RJ drove Natalie home, he felt the feelings they still had for each other, but the subject never came up. In front of her house, they sat for a few minutes.
[page 195, 196] "I guess I shouldn't come in," I finally said.
"I guess you shouldn't," she said. She got out and went in the house. I drove down the street, then had to stop. I was crying, and I couldn't see the road anymore. I sent flowers the next day, and Natalie sent me a thank-you note.
They were eventually remarried, on a chartered boat, the Rambling Rose, on the water in Catalina, with Frank Sinatra present who sang for them "Second Time Around" and things were "more lovely, the second time around" for RJ and Natalie. When Courtney, their daughter, was born to them, Natalie showed her off to all their Hollywood friends, saying, "Who needs movies?" They were truly happy to be back together. It was easy to see how and why RJ loved her, and as for why she loved him, we have his own testimony.
[page 214] You can tell why I loved her. Why did she love me? I think it was because I made her laugh. Natalie had this great, boisterous guffaw, and I could always make her roll over with laughter. And she knew that I was there for her. A friend of ours once asked her how she managed to keep herself together. "Because I always had RJ behind me," she said. "I always know he's there."
On the stage, actors are always told before a performance, "Break a leg!" Ever wonder why that is such an old tradition? It's because one cannot break a leg on purpose! When someone tells you to do something which can only be done spontaneously, you will be unable to do that very thing under command. "Smile!" is a great example — and decades of photographing pretend smiles have taught photographers to say anything else, like "Say Cheese" or "Say Underpants" anything which will create a spontaneous response will make for a great natural-looking smile. In movies, directors will sometimes drop the final syllable from "ACTION!" into "ACT!" and create a "be spontaneous" paradox, causing Actors to act instead of be, a potentially deadly career move.
[page 235] You get up in the morning, and you're thinking about the scene you have to do, and you keep thinking about it while you're being made up. You tell yourself to keep the scene in perspective with the whole of the film and not to push it. And then you go on the set, and sometimes the director will say, "Act!" And that's the thing you don't want to do.
You do not want to act. You want to be.
The inclusion of the story of how Bill Holden died because of an accident which occurred while he was drinking seems to be RJ setting the stage for the accident which took Natalie's life later.
[page 259] He had gotten drunk, fallen, and hit his head on a table. Not realizing how badly he had been cut, he had lain down on the bed and bled to death. He had been dead for four days before he was found. It was a terrible, ignominious death for a fine man and underrated actor who had been unable to shake his addiction to alcohol.
One night they were together with Christopher Walken, Natalie's co-star on Brainstorm, and all three had been drinking, not a lot, but several glasses of wine on shore and a couple of drinks back on the Spendour anchored offshore of Avalon. Natalie had gone below and Walken began to lecture RJ on how Natalie should devote herself to her career the way he was doing. RJ got upset with Walken's "total pursuit of a career" and told him to leave Natalie alone, slamming a wine bottle at one point.They later moved up to the top deck and things cooled off, but unbeknownst to anyone Natalie had left the boat. When RJ finally went below, Natalie was nowhere to be found. RJ called a shore boat and went to search for her, thinking she must have gone back to the restaurant on Catalina Island. The next morning the missing dingy was found and two hours later she was found. His beloved wife was dead. Her death was ruled accidental, but the Tabloids made a lot of money publicizing every other imaginable and unimaginable possible explanation for her death.
As a writer who writes reviews, I learned not to read other people's reviews of any movie or book that I planned to review. Hard to be original when someone else's words are reverberating through your head. RJ learned not to read the reviews others wrote of his work.
[page 308] When I was a kid and just starting out, I read my reviews, but I came to realize that if you believe the good reviews, you have to believe the bad ones. Rather than focusing on what other people thought of me, I chose to concentrate on the work, the job, and my commitment to that work.
RJ said that he learned that "there is no such thing as 'what if . . .' There is only 'what is'." He had lost Natalie, the woman he loved, twice in one lifetime, her death taking "pieces of his heart" away, and the only way to steer one's ship of life after a devastating loss is to point it into the what is.
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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 coverse during the month. If we did, then you may recognize my words. If I say some things here which upset you, rest assured that you may skip over these for the very reason that I would likely have not brought up the subject to spoil our time together in person.1. Padre Filius gets a Small Cafe Latte at his favorite Coffeeshop 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 drops a Tip in PJ's Tip Jar:
2. Comments from Readers:
- EMAIL from Marisa in South Africa:
Hi :) wanted to say I really really really like the way u write - its so clear (for me) that I can have easy access to your thinking processes and into your being.
EMAIL from Mary Giddens in New York:
Dear Bobby . . . . thank you !!! It was so very nice to meet you "in the person" and a very warm wonderful person you are ! Thank you for bringing your great big Southern Heart to the conference. Your work for anthroposophy is much appreciated by all of us here at SteinerBooks.
I am fascinated by Digestworld I will look forward to reading your news and views every month.
and I will be happy to see you the Seminar NEXT YEAR !!!!
with warm regards, Mary
EMAIL from Gene Gollogly in New York:
Thank you Bobby — it was just great to have you with us, and I am going to enjoy these digests even more now that I know you better! Gene
EMAIL from Vesa Salonen in Finland:
Kaisu asked me to mail you a note about the latest addition to her website:
It is an excellent explanation on causes behind glaucoma, sadly these are neglected by the profession.
EMAIL from Kevin Dann with photo of my blood-brother pact:
This is perfect — just came to the Pain Quotidien to treat myself to Belgian chocolate, & two French men sat down next to me, at Alain Coumont's famous communal table, and I opened my iPad to look for a photo I just took outside for you — but it has not appeared yet in the cloud, so I send this in the mean time.
3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:"Internal Racketeering Society"
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:
4. No More Global Warming
Internal Racketeering Society
The racketeer sends its ultimatum
on the Ides of April plus two.
Unless you wish to be disturbed,
interfered with, or annoyed
You will comply in the name of freedom
Deep inside the D. C. mole station
the moles are rooting deep
Within the pockets of producers
picking the easiest targets
And mortgaging the future of the rest.
The Economist (March 30th Edition) reports in its Climate Science Section that the actual change in the global mean temperture has flattened out since 2000, indicating that the high rise in the 1990s was likely an anomalous change and not connected with the so-called "greenhouse gases". Why? Because the emission of these gases has continued to rise since 2000 while the temperature of this robust planet has stayed basically unchanged. I know this is a crushing blow to so-called climate scientists to have their predictions of climactic catastrophes disappear as quickly as the carbon emissions upon which they based predictions, but the coastal communities can rest easy and the U.S. Congress can drop any plans for a Carbon Tax. Drop it, if they can over come the lobbying and obfuscation (smoke and mirror predictions) of those academic scientists whose funding would be severely hurt by fiscally responsible adjustments to the reality of 2013 science. Rightly understood, the Earth is a robust and resilient planet and we should be careful about drawing long-term conclusions from short-change variations in temperatures from now on. Remember: back in the 1970s Newsweek had a cover proclaiming the start of a new Ice Age.
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9. CLOSING NOTES:
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As of August, 2011 we have begun using a Contact Manager with an Email Merge feature which allows us to send personalized Emails to everyone in our Contact List. For the time being the Topica.com e-mail List Subscription List will remain active, but you will receive the colorful Email containing the DIGESTWORLD Reminder beginning with "Dear [Your First Name]". It is important that we have your First Name, so if the name you are addressed by in your Reminder is not your first name, please notify us of the name you wish us to use. For convenience you can send a quick email to give us your name by Clicking Here. To Contact Bobby, his Email address is visible on this page.
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Maintaining a website requires time and money, and apart from sending a donation to the Doyletics Foundation, there are several ways you can show your gratitude and support our efforts to keep doyletics.com on-line.
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