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WELCOME TO DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#136 June, 2013== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Quote for the Busting Out All Over Month of June:
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— Charles Caleb Colton
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DIGESTWORLDArchived DIGESTWORLD Issues
GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents ISSUE#136 for June 2013
Table of Contents
1. June's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for June
3. On a Personal Note
Flowers of Shanidar Poems
4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe of the Month from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen: Steamed Artichokes
6. Poem from Yes, and Even More!:"The Process is the Answer"
7. Reviews and Articles Added for June:
8. Commentary on the World
- ARJ2: The Foundations of Human Experience, GA#293 by Rudolf Steiner
- AR J2: The Living, A Novel by Annie Dillard
- ARJ2: 'Pataphysics — A Useless Guide by Andrew Hugill
- ARJ2: Freud, Jung, & Spiritual Psychology GA# 178, 143, 205 by Rudolf Steiner
1. Padre Filius Cartoon
2. Comments from Readers
3. Freedom on the Half Shell Poem
4. Be Spontaneous Paradox
5. Garbage from the "Allied Waste Broadcast Booth"
9. Closing Notes — our mailing list, locating books, subscribing/unsubscribing to DIGESTWORLD
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1. June Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
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2. HONORED READERS FOR June:
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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 June, 2013:
Tony Celino in New Orleans
Paulette Malamud in Texas
Congratulations, Tony and Paulette!
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3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
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Out Our Way:
FIRST OF MAY, FIRST IN OUR HEARTS
The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival takes place every year on the Last weekend of April and the First of May. I mentioned last month that we hadn't been to the Jazz Fest for about ten years, but this month, I got an invitation to accompany a friend, Charlie Cox, and his guests, Brent and Marylou Coyle from Wisconsin to a day at the Jazz Fest. They had Brass Passes and did all seven days of the Fest. The second weekend was very rainy, but things had dried pretty well by Sunday, the last day, and the weather was clear and cool. A marvelous day for Crawfish Monica, John Boutte, and Pete Fountain, the WWOZ Hospitality Tent and even more. The Brass Pass allowed us admission to the OZ Tent where we were refreshed in the shade with iced coffee, fresh fruit, and a short line to a clean rest room. I went as a guest of a Brass Pass holder, so if you can arrange to go along with someone who has a Brass Pass, you can check out the OZ tent yourself. Makes a Brass Pass even more valuable. I was able to buy my ticket without standing in line because a guy Marylou knew as a result of buying her ticket earlier from him had one to sell.It was Sunday, the last day, and many out-of-towners who filled the Fairgrounds Racetrack area during the previous six days were traveling home. Charlie noticed the large number of people on that day checking out from the hotel near his home in the French Quarter where he parks his car. No lines to park, Charlie used a nearby church parking lot on Derbigny; no long lines to eat, Crawfish Monica had seven lines to choose from, and great seats which we got by watching part of the gig before the one we wanted to catch. Neither Charlie nor I wanted to sit on the ground at the large outdoor stages, so we moved easily to our favorite covered stages, catching two acts that were first in our hearts.
John Boutte filled the Economy Hall Jazz Tent and when he sang one long song with a chorus of Allelujah, you could hear a pin drop when he paused before each chorus in a tent full of over a thousand fans. His sisters Lillian and two others joined him as backup singers and we all sang the Allelujah with a sacred resonance that filled our hearts and made us feel like we were in God's one and true church, the church of sacred music.That one set made the entire day worthwhile for me. Enjoyed the company of Charlie Cox and we liked the same artists as we talked over possibilities, making it easy to choose to watch the rest of the Ellis Marsellis family's gig in Economy Hall while waiting for Boutte, and whoever played before Pete Fountain and his group.
Pete mostly played sitting down, and his band was led by Tim Laughlin whose clarinet playing resembles Pete so much; he even plays a clarinet given to him from Pete, one Pete used for many years. Tim played along with Pete and it was hard to tell who was playing what, but it sounded so good, no one cared. That Pete, our Pete, was up there giving it his all was all that mattered to us on this day. We couldn't help but think that this might be the last Jazz Fest performance for Pete who has played every Jazz Fest since the beginning one. With John Boutte, the newcomer, and Pete Fountain, the old-timer, we felt truly blessed to live in a city which nurtures such great musicians, singers, and performers.
SUB-ZERO FIXED AND NEW LAWNMAN
The hardest thing to repair is the intermittent problem. You know there's a problem, you call a repairman, and when he arrives the problem is not present, so he cannot fix it because his troubleshooting shows that nothing is wrong. That's what happened with our Sub-Zero refrigerator a few months ago. It happened shortly after the light-diffusion panel above the top shelf fell and kept the fridge open all night with the lights on. The panel got warped and I replaced it. It didn't seem to cool as well afterwards, hovering always at a lowest temperature of 38 which is too warm for my taste, plus our milk soured quickly, and other foods spoiled that had never spoiled before. Sub-Zero means below zero degC or below 32 degF, which ours never came closer to than 6 degF for several months.
After a couple of weeks of fridge problems, I called AAA Wayne to come over for two problems: our oven timer had broken and the fridge wasn't cooling well enough. He checked the Freon level on fridge, cleaned its coils, and found no other problem. On the timer, he looked at it and said the entire unit would need to be replaced for parts cost of $300. We deferred that repair and monitored the fridge. With its setting on HIGHEST COLD, the temp never got below 38 degF. We began migrating easily spoiled foods to garage fridge and I kept a close eye on the temp. Finally on May 1, the Home Warranty man was called, came in and found that the fan which blows cool air in the fridge, directly onto the top shelf first, was not working when the door closed. There are two switches at the bottom of the door, the left one controls fan (turns it on) and the right one controls the lights (turns them off). The fan switch was intermittent. Instead of replacing the switch, which he would have had to order, he replaced the slide-on connector which was loose, and that fixed the problem. Soon our fridge was humming at 33 degF with its thermostat set to MEDIUM COLD.
The other problem also necessitated a Warranty call, and the fix was trivial. The repairman simply removed the STOP switch and reinserted it and the oven clock was working again. It had gotten caught and stuck in the closed position. We love our AAA Wayne, but he really missed the correct diagnosis and failed the repair on these two problems. But Wayne and I always have a good visit when he comes. On that last trip, he had just bought a bunch of ballpoint pens whose tip becomes a flashlight when you click it twice. It was so special that when I demonstrated at the Goetheanum, the guy behind the registration desk, Giuseppe, wanted one, so I gave it to him. Now I wish I had another one, but Wayne said he had a few left.
Our landscape man, whose crew cleared our yard of debris, trimmed and removed trees, and weekly cut our grass since we moved here, has begun to be too busy and our grandson Chris had asked us to hire him to do the lawn cutting and trimming chores, and we decided to give him a chance. His crew had to dodge a lot of rainy days this month, but they do a great job, plus we get to see Chris on a regular basis. He told me yesterday that he and Sarah have moved into their new house they have had built across across Lake Pontchartrain from us.
A SMALL GARDEN OF DELIGHTS
Del and I have been enjoying artichoke flowers for many years, but it requires a full-sized artichoke to make that recipe, so when our good neighbor Connie came over with a bag of 5 small artichokes freshly cut from her garden, I asked her how she would cook them and she gave me the simple recipe which I share in the Recipe Section this month with you, my Good Readers.
She didn't specify how to prepare the artichokes nor how long to steam them, so I called on some basic physics knowledge to assist me. I had been boiling artichokes for about an hour, and I realized that the heat transfer from steam is much faster than that from boiling water. Why? Because when steam condenses, it gives up its heat of condensation to the leaves and base of the artichoke. Each gram of water from steam condensing on the artichoke gives up about 540 calories. On my first attempt, I tested the leaves at 20 minutes, not quite ready, then another 20 and the leaves were tender.
As for preparing the small artichokes, I decided to trim away the stems and the tips with the thorn on them. Then I sliced each artichoke in two and removed the choke. This is easily done when chokes are already cooked, but a tricky and potentially messy operation when dry as the fine fibers of the choke can go everywhere. I found that our Cutco table knives, which are serrated with a round tip, work well to remove the choke with little mess (after some practice).
The trick was to know how much water to use that will last 40 minutes and one of my early tries ended up boiling away the water and charring the bottom leaves and the pot. Adding just enough water to barely cover the artichokes which are lying cut-face down in the pot works the best for me. If you live at an altitude above sea level, your timing will change as will the amount of water.
But the first try came out great and I steamed the small artichokes in 40 minutes with lemon, garlic and a little olive oil using the Steamed Artichoke recipe Connie gave us. Delish! Later I saw her out in her garden and went to tell her how good the recipe was. She excused herself for a minute and came with squares of a delicious carrot cake for us. What a sweetheart! I feel like we have two Hobbits living next to us in a small garden of delights.
HOW DOES OUR GARDEN GROW?
Finally, after several years of drought-like conditions, we have had a more normal Spring as far as rain is concerned. April, usually our driest month, this year had many days of showers and our garden and lawn loved it. At this time in 2012, as I recall, we had a yellow streak above the drainage conduit because the water table had fallen below two feet or so. Everything looked green through April and now through May. May took over as an April-like month: dry with cool temperatures, unseasonably so for us. Very few days and nights when the AC had to run to add a bit of cooling.
I have begun a new mulch bed north of the two Pittosporum plants that we planted to shade a future mulch bed, and they are now large enough to do that. The small loquat trees on either side of them will add shade also as they mature. The original mulch bed is so dark and loamy that we have named it the Veggie Garden. When I tilled it this month, each time I raised up the pitchfork to remove weeds, about a dozen earthworms were in the roots of the weeds. I even carried some of the earthworms to the other garden which we call the Truck Garden since it runs alongside the Babe, our pickup truck. The Truck Garden has more sand in it and we are earnestly adding organic refuse to bring it into the rich balance of the Veggie garden. This summer it will be covered with cucumber vines, watermelon vines, a corn plant, some cotton plants, and hopefully some Creole Okra. Last year the Clemson Okra seedling showed up and this year these spineless-okra plants have replaced the Creole Okra in all the local garden centers, so far as I can tell. Luckily I had some seed pods from the huge crop of Creole okra which grew in the Truck Garden while we were on our month-long cruise to Europe last Spring. Hopefully some of those will grow and keep that strain of okra going. Having grown the Clemson variety next to the Creole variety last year, I do not like the spineless okra.Only spineless Gardeners would grow spineless okra, in my opinion. The spines are tiny and only a slight irritation to city dwellers but none at all to a real farmer. It's like the thornless blackberry bushes and the seedless watermelons. Have you ever tried comparing the taste of a seedless watermelon with that of an old-fashioned watermelon with big black seeds? The seeded ones are far more delicious, tasteful, and have rich, dark red flesh with texture. The seedless ones are generally filled with washed out texture-less and taste-less pink flesh. YUCK!
Our blackberry bush comes originally from a bush my brother David bought and it has provided sprouts to grow blackberries at Dad's house, our previous house on Timberlane Road, and my brother Paul's house in Opelousas. I had given Paul a sprout from my bush before I had to pull it up due to a Virginia Creeper vine which kept covering it. After we moved to Timberlane Drive, I got a sprout from Paul with roots and now it is producing its first crop of blackberries. It has nice pointy thorns which will stick into your flesh, all of which increases the care with you pick the delicious blackberries. I picked a small pack of blackberries this morning to have with cream later on.
No peaches on our peach tree this year, but maybe next. Our wild cherry tree we transplanted from our previous home made wild cherries for the first time this year. We had a few delicious strawberries from the plants Del set in the herb garden a couple of years ago. We have flowers now on our remaining red potato plant in the Truck garden from which we will harvest the last of our potato crop in a week or so when the green tops of the plant begin to yellow and droop.
Two squirrel plants are growing in the Truck garden: peanuts and corn. Our neighbor, Don, feeds the squirrels and the squirrels hide the seeds in the ground. The corn plant has a tassel on the top already and should make a few ears of corn which we will donate back to the squirrels who planted it. The peanut plants are perennially replanted by the squirrels but usually in flower beds from which we remove them and discard. But this year, they chose to plant two peanut plants in the Truck garden so we may have some peanuts for us or them out of their endeavor.
My mom used to grow cotton plants and I still have her seeds and this year planted several cotton plants. I love the two-toned flowers which are generally yellow in the morning and turn purplish in the evening.
Our cucumber vines are going great guns this year. Last year we had to replant them several times due to stunted growth and lack of water. Already yellow flowers and tiny cukes are showing up in the garden. I bought and planted three lady finger eggplant plants. They make long white eggplants in prodigious quantities. We expect fresh okra, eggplants, tomatoes and cucumbers to be available soon for daily stir fry dishes. Almost forgot to mention the tomatoes. We seem to have the best tomatoes plants ever this year, so our fingers are crossed. I bought some local Creole tomatoes at the supermarket, but the ones from our garden always taste the best. June is Creole tomato month in New Orleans and it's a pity if you have to buy some from someone else. Plants modify their genes from the chemical stimulants they received from their environment, some of which comes from your body when you work and walk in the garden. From these stimulants, they modify their genes to provide proteins to provide what your body is lacking. A home garden, rightly understood, acts as a diagnosing physician and dispensing pharmacy whose medications are embedded in delicious fruit and vegetables. Would you take drugs designed for other people? Probably not, you say. But that is what you do when you buy vegetables grown by other people.
Early this month, we dug up some red potatoes from the Veggie Garden as part of our plan to till it completely and get ready for the summer plants. We bought some green beans and Del and I snapped them, throwing the snapped beans into metal bowls. I noticed that with a good toss the bean would sound a musical note on the bowl, and Del and I were soon creating random melodies as we snapped and tossed. I found out recently my good friend from Dallas, John Knot, does bell-ringing as a hobby, flying to various parts of the world for concerts. I was thinking of him as we did our own humble bell-ringing using snap beans as the clapper.
REVIEWS AND STEINER BOOKS
This month I discovered to my chagrin that SteinerBooks was redoing their book data base and my links to their website from the bottom of each Steiner Review I've written would create an error page unless it were re-linked to the new location. With Jens' help at SteinerBooks, I evolved a plan, but it still meant that I had to make changes to every one of about 200 reviews.
I decided to begin with the most recent ARJ2 reviews and leave the ARJ1 ones for later as they are smaller and less important than the newer ones. That left me with 144 reviews to do. The links change was simple, but while I was going through every Steiner review, I scanned every review for broken links (mostly to old earthlink website pages no longer live) and changed them to live pages on the doyletics.com website. This need to scan every Steiner review gave me a wonderful opportunity to re-acquaint myself with an important body of work and clean it up in various places.
As usual, there were glitches whose correction was not immediately obvious. The new link to SteinerBooks might not work with ISBN-13 codes but would with ISBN-11, and one book required me to use the Product-ID of SteinerBooks. Some books were no longer in print, which is understandable since my earlier review were of books I bought in the 1980s and 90s. I found one review for which I no longer had the book and had to buy a new book which had both a different title and cover. That book never appeared in a DIGESTWORLD Issue, so I include it in this current issue with its new cover displayed, namely, Freud, Jung, & Spiritual Psychology.
Most of the links have been fixed, so if SteinerBooks has it for sale, you will be able to buy it. The .pdf files which are so useful for printing out reviews, especially long ones, will eventually be updated with the new links, so for the time being use the SteinerBooks link at the bottom of .htm pages and not the .pdf pages.
GRADUATION DAY AT LSU
In the middle of the month, we drove to Baton Rouge to the LSU campus early for our grand-daughter, Katie Gralapp's graduation. We parked in the West Stadium parking area and walked over to Mike the Tiger's cage. I was at LSU when Mike II was acquired and the latest Mike is Mike V, I believe. He certainly has the best Tiger pad of any LSU Tiger, either student or Bengal tiger, both in size and amenities. He gets three squares a day, doesn't have to attend class, and can sleep whenever he wants or take a cooling dip in his private pool.For football games he gets gussied up and arrives in his own limousine with good-looking groupies riding on it top while he gets to show his appreciation with an occasional roar when he arrives in Tiger Stadium on Football nights. It's his job to make the visiting teams feel like Christians arriving in the Coliseum in Roman times for a great sacrifice: their own life. Mike adds a bit of verisimilitude to the stadium's name, Death Valley. All that being the case, a visit to Mike's digs is obligatory and we obliged.
From there I led us on a walk past the Huey Long Field House where as a student, I got my mail and had breakfast each morning, down past the Pentagon where some of my buddies lived who could afford posher quarters than my North Stadium pad, then to the Greek Theater where Del and I sat and enjoyed just being with each other as if we were in college together.It was my first trip to LSU's Greek Theater since visiting Ephesus and Greece where we visited original large Greek Theaters. Then we walked into Allen Hall for a pit stop and viewed the wonderful wall and ceiling murals there, walked out across the Quadrangle into Nicholson Hall, the Physics building where I had most of my classes. Walked through the Physics building, pointed to the downstairs lab where I did my final project on a Field Emission Microscope and explained how the technology was similar to my later work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in my first job after graduation operating the Electromagnetic Isotope Separators known as Calutrons. Even did experiments using the Calutrons, attempts to improve their operation using technology from my senior project at LSU. After that walk, we crossed the street to the Student Union and had a bite to eat right before we needed to walk back to the PMAC for the graduation ceremonies. PMAC stands for Pete Maravich Assembly Center, named for our famous basketball player whose per game average at LSU was about 46 pts and would have been a lot more had the three-point play been in effect at the time, since Pistol Pete was quite deadly beyond the range of the three-point arc.
As we walked to the PMAC a young man in cap and gown walked alongside us and we talked to him. He was graduating with a Masters in Library Science and would become a librarian. I showed him the book — which I carried with me to read during long waits — it was dedicated to Librarians:
To all the librarians
who have ever been,
ever will be,
this book is respectfully dedicated.
I showed the page to our young friend, Travis Williams, who fitted the category of the dedication "will be" at that moment and a few minutes later would fit the last category "are now".
We arrived at the PMAC and were tasked with holding seats for Kim and Wes and the other Gralapps. After Katie received her diploma, she decided to leave immediately and we missed Cokie Boggs Roberts's Commencement Speech, which was a shame, but it seems to me her speech should have preceded the giving out of the diplomas.The diploma in the fancy folder (diploma means a folded document) which Katie received on the stage was blank, however, and she received off stage an envelope with the actual diploma to place into the folder. Stephen found Katie after she left the PMAC and said to meet them at Tiger Pen, which we did. It was photos all around and then we left to begin our drive home while there was still some sunlight. The Tiger baseball team, who were playing an SEC game at Alex Box Stadium as we drove past it leaving the campus for home, probably was already leading by at least 2, maybe 4 runs, over Ole Miss as we passed what will soon be called "Skip Bertman Field." It didn't get dark till we got to Laplace, about a half hour from home. It was an easy drive home. I was glad I had given up watching the game live, but as soon as we got home, I turned on DVR and began watching the game from the beginning and finished it about 11 pm, fast-forwarding over pitching changes and between innings commercial breaks.
MY LIBRARIAN EDITH S. LAWSON
At Rouse's, Supermarket, one day during its remodeling, they had redesigned the seafood area, and I couldn't find the Smoked Salmon pack, so I asked for help. No one behind the Seafood counter knew where it was, but a guy in uniform came over, and pointed to a case. I had already looked into that case and found no packs of smoked salmon. A sandy-haired customer who was also looking for the same thing, beat me and the uniformed guy to the case, put his hand into it and came out with a package of smoked salmon.Whereas before the remodeling they carried four to six kinds of smoked salmon and arranged them facing the customer, now there was only one brand, and it was lying down inside of the case, barely visible, and the packaging was black! The sandy-haired customer seemed like a nice guy and we were in the same dilemma, finding the salmon, so I introduced myself to him. He said he was "Jim Lawson". Could he be the now-retired Jefferson Parish Councilman, I thought, so I asked him, "Are you the son of the Westwego Librarian?" Yes, he replied. I reminded him that we had met at the West Bank Regional Library's opening. I wanted to know if he was related to my librarian and he said, "Yes, that's my mother," and he pointed to her a few feet away. I told him she was my favorite librarian ever, that I always took out 5 books, the maximum allowed, each time I went, and only one time did she hesitate before letting me take out a book. It was about a cartoon character named Spiro and his trips through the human body, full of cartoons of various parts of the internals of the human body. He had a spiral tail that he used to enter through the skin. I also remember him coming out the side of the eyeball. Well, Mrs. Lawson let me check it out, and I read it with interest at the tender age of ten or so. About twenty years later, the unanswered question I held for so long was answered when I realized the book was all about syphilis.
He and I separated to continue our shopping, and I later suddenly realized that I wanted to tell him how I loved the new Westwego Library which had been built after we met previously and that it was only a half block from my childhood home. Also wanted to tell him how especially delighted I was that my favorite librarian, Mrs. Lawson, his mother, had her name immortalized on the building. I couldn't see him anywhere in the store as I was checking out, nor as I left the building, but just as I pushed my basket out the door he appeared alongside me and said, "Good meeting you again." And so, I got to tell him my thoughts about the Westwego Library, how glad I was it was named the Edith S. Lawson Library.
He said, "It was a big job getting her name on the library."
"Well, I want to thank you for making it so."
"I will tell my sister of your gratitude." Apparently Jim's sister spearheaded the naming effort and stuck with it till it was done. The amazing thing was that I had lost Jim in the store and looked all around for him at the checkouts but couldn't find him.
SO LONG FOR THE SUMMER
Our friends Dave and Maddie have a small apartment in the French Quarter and a large home in Jacksonville, Florida. What was supposed to be an occasional home in New Orleans has morphed into a more permanent home since Maddie and Dave fell in love with New Orleans, but they leave for the summer to renew their acquaintance with Jacksonville. We drove down to their home, parked in front of our friends John and Sandra's house on Burgundy Street, and walked across the street into Dave and Maddie's place for the first time.We walked down a long narrow hallway which opened into a quaint T-shaped courtyard where folks were meeting, drinking, and eating. We met a TV actor, a regular from Hawaii Five-O (original series) named Doug, plus the head of the Patio Planters club which Del has been invited to join, plus several other folks like Diane Guthrie who lives in Timberlane Estates near us and also has a small condo in the Quarter, and Charlie Cox who lives a couple of houses from John and Sandra. We met Jack Stovall, a second cousin of former LSU All-American and LSU Football Coach, Jerry Stovall, who lived off the patio across from Dave and Maddie. Told Doug that he was the first movie star that I ever had fix drinks for me. He learned how I like my drink and brought me one where I was sitting, unasked. We had a great time and were able to drive Diane back home after we left the Quarter. The evening was cool, a slight breeze, and was absolutely perfect weather for a patio party, especially in the French Quarter. We were only two short blocks from the hustle and bustle of Bourbon Street, but none of that activity disturbed the quiet serenity of that small patio area. Dave and Maddie will be back in October and we look forward to seeing them then.
The month began with Gretna finally sending a crew, thanks to our friend Joan Alima, to replant the stretch of bamboo along our bayou that was dug up during the year-long drainage project designed to help drain the area across the bayou.Now I won't have to watch the guy who feeds the nutria everyday around noon. I told the Jefferson Parish crew which came to remove bamboo stalks left over from the construction about the guy and they said that they told him not to do that anymore. While his "anymore" amounted to about two days after the crew left.
One Monday we watched an altercation on the Tee Box west of our property line between two guys. The golfer who claimed he could golf on a Monday, traditionally a closed for maintenance day except on holidays, was yelling and swinging his club at the guy who said he couldn't. They tussled awhile, but it was mostly shadow-boxing and finally the angry man left, having gotten teed off in at least two ways!
After a meeting at my club, I overheard a discussion about how to tell if a turtle is a male or female. It seems that the male turtle's stomach sticks out (convex), but the female's is concave until she gets pregnant (full of eggs) and then it becomes convex. Hmmm, sounds a lot like human beings, those turtles. Anyway I had occasion a few days later to turn over a small, 6" long turtle to inspect it and she didn't like it a bit, she with her still concave stomach. Best guess is that she was a snapping turtle but too young to exhibit the snapping reflex. I turned her back over after the photo, too little meat for a turtle sauce piquante, and she waddled on her way.
We went to our friend Guntis' birthday party in Algiers Point at the Vine & Dine and were surprised to see our old friend Carol Osborne there, not because we didn't know she lived near there but because her name has not been Osborne for a couple of decades or so. With her was her original husband Rick Osborne. I asked her what the kids thought about having their parents back together and she said, "They're ecstatic." Guntis had a big surprise because he didn't know this was going to be a Birthday Party until he saw me and Del here. His two girls, Maija and Krista were there, along with his sister Ruta and his lady Anne Koch who spearheaded the surprise. Maija had a spiffy hat on and I suggested that she tilt it a bit and she immediately tried it and liked the result.
A bright red newspaper box for the Advocate, our only daily New Orleans newspaper, showed up next to the blue Some-Times-Picayune. I took a photo of these two boxes the day after the Tornado devastated Oklahoma. Note the headline on the Advocate and the empty box of the Some-Times-Picayune which didn't publish for two full days after the incident. Today, Memorial Day, our LSU Tigers just won the SEC Tournament in baseball yesterday afternoon, but the STP won't have anything on their news stand till two days later.
My June, 2013 Issue of arrived with a photo on page 125 of a chair that I bought at Maison Blanche Department store back in 1965 for $6. I bought two of those, plus an identical one as a rocker which may have been $8. These provided needed seating space in the living room our newly built house on Ole Miss Drive in Kenner. The rocker I still own, having covered it with the lambs wool pelt that I bought in Jackson Hole, Wyoming during my 1980 trip to Yellowstone. I tied it over my Honda Gold Wing for added comfort on the long trip home, and later when I traded the bike for my first PC, the thick lambs wool pelt provided a cushion for that same rocker. Of all the items I own now and have owned, this humble cane-woven rocker is the only one that I have seen in AD and I have subscribed to the magazine over several decades.
When you go to the same place everyday, as I do to PJ's Coffeeshop, you get familiar with the guys and gals who work there and hate it when they have to leave. I managed to get a photo of Mindy a week or so before she left and I include it here. I also got a photo of Lacy years ago before she left and when she showed up at PJ's while I was there, I got a new photo of her, now a mom with two sons, but still as pretty as ever. She is featured in the Gratitude Section below.
My older computer is still essential to getting my monthly publication of DIGESTWORLD out, so I got a big scare one day in the middle of May when its XP operating system did not recover from a Microsoft Update. The update reminder had been bugging me for a week or so, and one day I finally allowed the new MS update to proceed. It takes a long time, so I went outside with Del while it was updating. When I returned it was stalled on the Colored Windows logo and showed no disk drive activities. So I pressed RESET and it stalled coming up. Every time I rebooted it, it stalled. I tried a System Restore (went to Safe Mode, then chose option after it comes up). I tried most recent May 15 Restore Point, no luck; then May 16 from 2 am same day, no luck, then I went to MAY 14 and it WORKED! ! ! ! WHEW! Jumped over a snake there, as Jim Hawthorne would say over the radio when LSU make a great play, or barely recovered from a dumb play to save the game.
I decided to hold off any more updates for a week or two. I still had a lot of work to do on the Steiner Data base first and getting out my DIGESWORLD Issue on June 1 before I will try to update again. XP is nearing the end of its MS support life, I've heard, and if so, these pesky (and dangerous) updates will soon stop. I broke my own protocol by leaving the PC area while an update was in progress. I have seen so many of them, that I have a sense of how long each step should take, even those steps in which NOTHING seems to be going on, just a colored LOGO showing.Best Rule is: ALWAYS give TEN TIMES the amount of time you think it should take, because you'll be faced with a potentially broken computer if you get impatient, as I did, and push RESET. The only solution is to do a SYSTEM RESTORE, so make sure a new Restore Point is made every night on your PC. It can be your life vest in case of a power failure or operator error during a MS update.IMPORTANT MESSAGE:
EVERY GOOD THING MUST COME TO A NEW BEGINNING, SO UNTIL NEXT MONTH
The past 31 days of May have found me home with mostly sunny skies and cool days around our home in New Orleans. I fixed our broken fridge and timer, crashed my PC and recovered from it, survived the SteinerBooks data base change, took a romantic walk around the LSU campus with my post-college sweetheart, attended our grand-daughter's college graduation, tilled and planted our garden with our favorite veggies, and watched LSU's baseball team run through its schedule with an all-time best winning record, then win the SEC Tournament to become the only team to have double-digit wins as Champions.
This coming month of June here will be one of LSU Baseball games in the Regional, Super-Regional, and College World Series, going all the way, God Willing. In addition there will be Twilight Concerts, garden work, bicycle riding, college baseball regional playoffs, and other fun early summer activities! Till we meet again in our traditional Orange Beach vacation month of July, God Willing and the River Don't Rise, as John Wayne famously said, remember this: Whatever you do, Wherever in the world you and yours reside, be it warm and dry or cool and wet, rainy or sunny, remember our slogan for this God Given year of Grace:
MAY THE WORLD BECOME PEACEFUL AND SERENE IN TWENTY-THIRTEEN
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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:
- (SAMPLE) What frenzy has of late posssess'd the brain
Though few can write, yet fewer can refrain."
Samuel Garth ( 17th-century physician and poet ) US writer
New Stuff on Website:From Flowers of Shanidar, A 1990 Book of Poetry by Bobby Matherne
In 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)
Health food stores
Are pretty places
Full of bright and cheerful faces
Who stuff their bellies
With faddish foods
And defile themselves
With toxic words
That issue from their mouths.
How healthier they would be
If they scuttled the majority
and minority opinions of healthiness
And ate only what their body
Told them was the best.
Matthew 15:11 What goes into your mouth does not defile you, but what comes out of your mouth.
2. Chapter: Hyacinths
I am a person most of all unique
So if it is the real me you seek,
Don't fall into the comparison trap,
Don't try to find me in your mental map.
I may exist on many levels, true,
But your maps represent not me, but you.
The thought of me you have inside your head
Is what you saw me do or someone said.
Since you got your latest information
I have lived and changed in God's creation.
Confront me as you would a masterpiece
In the process of completion by artiste.
Each time you visit in its studio
You scrutinize and update what you know.
You may leave with latest information
But's it's you that did the correlation.
So look on me as you are wont to do
And you will see in truth not me but you.
3. Chapter: Rose Mallow
The lowly apple seed
Contains who knows
How many apple trees
It sprouts from
The apple's core
Until it plants its roots
In mother earth.
The human seed
Sprouts from the human's core
Formed from the plants and animals
Of mother earth.
The planetary seed
Sprouts from the human mind
Formed by the thrust
Of human consciousness.
Our heart is locked within three walls —
Three holding patterns it enthrall;
No one is granted an exemption
'Tis we who must accept redemption.
Resentment is a wall of straw
Shielding ice that will not thaw
Until the heart of love's desire
Touches off a roaring fire.
Envy constructs a wall of sticks
Lashed together with mental tricks —
Hid away from the light of day
Until love blows the sticks away.
Pride is a sturdy wall of bricks
Glued with ego mortar mix —
No mortal force could make it break —
It would require a love earthquake.
We recognize upon the cross
That all three walls are blown away.
Redemption means a gain not loss,
And resurrection: life today.
A wagon pulled by adolescent peers
Driven by the Hormone King
Rumbles through the mist of youth
Moats and towers.
An automobile climbs above the mist
The driver, SELF, glancing back
upon the foggy banks,
Sets its sights upon the clear horizon.
New Stuff on the Internet:
- Want to see Real Estate being made? Click on this new Tidbit showing a new island being formed in the South Pacific. Thanks to Jeff Parsons for sending this Tidbit along to DIGESTWORLD! ! !
Movies we watched this past month:Notes about our movies: Many of the movies we watch are foreign movies with subtitles. After years of watching movies in foreign languages, Arabic, French, Swedish, German, British English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and many other languages, sometimes two or three languages in the same movie, the subtitles have disappeared for us. If the movie is dubbed in English we go for the subtitles instead because we enjoy the live action and sounds of the real voices so much more than the dubbed. If you wonder where we get all these foreign movies from, the answer is simple: NetFlix. For a fixed price a month they mail us DVD movies from our on-line Queue, we watch them, pop them into a pre-paid mailer, and the postman effectively replaces all our gas-consuming and time-consuming trips to Blockbuster. To sign up for NetFlix, simply go to http://www.netflix.com/ and start adding all your requests for movies into your personal queue. If you've seen some in these movie blurbs, simply copy the name, click open your queue, and paste the name in the Search box on NetFlix and Select Add. Buy some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. You get to see your movies as the Director created them — NOT-edited for TV, in full-screen width, your own choice of subtitles, no commercial interruptions, and all of the original dialogue. Microwave some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. With a plasma TV and Blu-Ray DVD's and a great sound system, you have theater experience without someone next to you talking on a cell phone during a movie plus a Pause button for rest room trips.Hits (Watch as soon as you can. A Don't Miss Hit is one you might otherwise have missed along the way.):
P. S. Ask for Blu-Ray movies from NetFlix, and if it says DVD in your Queue, click and select Blu-Ray version.“The Silver Linings Playbook” (2012) Rub two crazies together, add a little excelsior as kindling, and you have a hot parley. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
“Unforgiven” (1992) another Clint Eastwood western, with lots of mud this time, Gene Hackman as the bad guy and classic showdown. Richard Harris in a swan song performance.
“Alice in Wonderland” (1933) which begins with her going through the Looking Glass before down the rabbit hole. Classic actors, Gary Cooper, W. C. Fields, Cary Grant, and many others filled the costumes in this wonderful movie. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !!
“Every Which Way But Loose” (1978) Clint has fun with chimp and chumps. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
Les Misérables (2012) was miserable, in a dark and gloomy-to-the max way, but the music was wonderful interwoven tunes for interwoven lives. A great quote from the author of the book Victor Hugo: “To love another person is to see the face of God.”
“Bletchly Circle” (2012) on PBS Masterpiece Theatre. The mystery is finally solved by the four gals who worked in the secret service on decoding enemy secrets during WWII and get together to utilize their skills post-war to ferret out a serial killer who was skillfully disguising his kills by pinning them on other men by planting evidence. Instead being a “burner”, he was a “farmer” going around and planting evidence to be found and killing two people with one murder: his victim and an innocent man he pinned the crime on, which the state would subsequently hang.
“Hyde Park on the Hudson” (2012) Bill Murray did an outstanding job as the philandering Franklin speaking frankly with King G-George while serving him franks at a picnic. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
“Jack Reacher” (2012) a one-man show-off aptly played by Tom Cruise. Who else but Maverick could pull off Jack Reacher. A man who travels without luggage, car, and no home to go to. And administers justice as judge and executioner.
“Barrymore” (2011) Christopher Plummer reprises his hit stage show for the movie camera about the aging and drunk John Barrymore, playing all three Barrymores, even Louella Parsons, and many more along the stumbling way of the stage and his lifetime.
“Golddiggers of 1933” (1933) with Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell falling in love as other girls from the chorus rescued Dick from his over-bearing rich brother and guardian by marrying both him and the Boston lawyer at the end.
“Zero Dark Thirty” (2012) a phrase which means midnight darkness, which Claire remained in for over ten years as she endeavored to bring the evil mind behind the killing of 3,000 Americans to an equivalent end. This was no committee effort, but of one person who focused on the task of finding him and in the end Claire was the only one 100% sure she had found him. We all know how it ended, and this movie, be prepared to sit on the end of your ends while watching how it began and progressed to its end. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! ! !
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (2012) High school freshman Charlie is alone until he finds two friends and then finds himself. A DON'T MISS HIT !
“42nd Street” (1933) Chorus gal taps her way to stardom on her Ruby Keeler legs in this Busby Berkeley classic. A DON’T MISS HIT!
“Jesse Stone: Night Passage” (2006) This is the first of the series, in which Suitcase gets his name after Jesse becomes his boss, Boomer and Baldwin go down, and corruption gets a bad name in Paradise. See digest07c.
“Jesse Stone: Stone Cold” (2005) Jesse confronts two serial killers and challenges them to kill him after they kill his girl friend.
“Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise” (2006) in which Suitcase gets shot and movie ends with him in a coma. Jesse once more arranged the death of the perpetrator, this time by the murderer, his own bodyguard.
“Francis of Assisi” (1961) played by a young Bradford Dillman and his fellow knight and competitor for Lady Clare (later Sister Clare) was played by Stuart Whitman. Great presentation of the unique episodes in St. Francis’s life.
“Gone” (2012) is Jill’s sister and her only chance for finding her is to locate the man who abducted and tried to kill her a year earlier. Police treats her as a crazy “procreating dog” so she needs to take care of the serial killer on her own. What Jesse Stone, The Closer, or NCIS would use a large team to do, she does alone. Like the killer, this movie will grab you and not let you go till it’s done with you. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! ! !
“Jesse Stone: Sea Change” (2007) Rape case founders, Cold Case is interred, Jesse is cold-cocked by a hardcase, and Suitcase wakes up from his coma.
“Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt” (2012) New police chief and guy who kept calling Jesse ‘Skipper’ become crispy critters and Jesse gets his PPD cap back on, tracks down the killers as Hasty beats a hasty retreat when Jesse sniffs out who Gino Fish’s boss might be.
“Blue Gardenia” (1953) After receiving a WWII Dear Jane letter, girl accepts date with womanizing artist who tries to rape her while she’s drunk. He ends up dead and she is oblivious as to what happened with the poker she swung to keep him away from her.
“Green Berets” (1968) John Wayne leads WWII-like raid to capture Viet Cong general and gives us insight into the sad days of the Vietnam conflict.
“Flying Leathernecks” (1952) John Wayne and Robert Ryan as competing leaders of a squadron of WWII fighter planes in the Pacific.
“Layer Cake” (2004) in which naive drug businessman Daniel Craig turns into James Bond like character as he removes each layer of complexity of the drug business he’s involves in. See also dw089.
“Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost” (2011) Jesse’s lost his job and a gal has lost her life to a Russian thug. Jesse slams him to the floor to get him to attack him and you can guess the rest.
“Farewell My Queen” (2012) Marie-Antoinette’s maid and reader writes her story of serving her ill-fated Queen who dispatched her to Switzerland shortly before she lost her head.
“Shipping News” (2001) A gaggle of great actors fill this story on frigid coast of Newfoundland. Spacey is his spaciest as the Inker turned into Reporter, who punctuates the script by making up headlines for what is happening or just happened. Headline: House Vanished, New Perspective
“Run Silent, Run Deep” (1958) Gable & Lancaster star and spar with each other as co-commanders of submarine as Gable seeks revenge in the Bongo straits. I watched this as a youngster intrigued by the battle between submarines, now watch it intrigued by the battle between the two leaders on one submarine.
“The Great Mechanical Man” (2012) and the Invisible Girl meet at the Zoo and become visible and human together in spite of the help by her sister! A DON’T MISS HIT ! !
“Blind Dating” (2006) Chris Pine strives to boldly go where no blind virgin has gone before — to fall in love.
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.“Prometheus” (2012)in which a man spends a trillion dollars to fly to a distant star to meet Prometheus who stomps him to death! Now you can return the favor and stomp this DVD to death! A DVD STOMPER! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
“The Eccentricities of a Blonde Haired Girl” (2009) one hour and four minutes got stolen from us by the female kleptomaniac. Usually we want movies to last longer; not this one.
“The Town” (2010) Ben Affleck with his best Boston-Charleston tough-guy accent robs banks while his crazy buddy kills everyone in sight.
“Snowwhite & the Huntsman” (2012) A waste of Pixels turning a fairy tale into mud and gore.
Your call on these — your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:“Anna Karenina” (2012) a lush waste of money on a barely interesting movie. Ice-covered trains and no one ever seemed cold! Vronsky actor completely unbelievable in the role, as well as Anna, looking more like gym instructor and trophy wife than real people.
“Quartet” (1981) Alan Bates and Maggie Smith horribly manage a menage à trois in this Parisian potboiler.
“Smoke Signals” (1998) based on book, “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” — read the book, the movie version doesn’t make any sense, and all the good quotes of the movie are in the book, and even more.
“Broken City” (2013) Nobody talks in complete sentences because everyone’s got a hidden agenda in a broken city.
` “The Transporter” (2002) Jason Statham mows down a squadron of stunt fighters with his hands and feet while flirting with a Chinese chick he picked up in a duffel bag.
"Rembrandt's J'accuse (2008)" his painting 'The Night Watch' in the Rijk's Museum in Amsterdam is deconstructed and reconstructed to show that it portrays a murder taking place.
“Dean Spanley” (2008) is a curious cleric who expounds on his previous life as a dog while drinking Hungarian wine. Sam Neill, Bryan Brown, and Peter O’Toole star in this interesting movie. Two great quotes: "Stepping out of the anteroom of eternity" and "No use of regretting things which have gone through the trouble of happening."
“Small, Beautifully Moving Parts” (2011) about a female techie who gets pregnant and tries to approach pregnancy as she would a new gadget. A long trip to visit Dad (his love affair over Skype) and Mom (trying to meditate in the desert) helps distract her.
“The Town” (2010) Ben Affleck with his best Boston-Charleston tough-guy accent robs banks while his crazy buddy kills everyone in sight.
“The Courage to Love” (2000) a modern day St. Francis of Assisi appears in the form of a free woman of color in New Orleans who founds a religious order to pray for, educate, and provide medical treatment for the French black needy.
“Take This Waltz” (2011) and shove it! Glad we didn’t wait for Blu-Ray for this turkey. It may make sense, but only outside of what was shown on the screen which left you longing for less!
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Le Boudreaux Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Boudreaux loved fishing and what he wanted most in life was a new boat. He had a good job working at the Hardware Store in Bayou Pon Pon, but it was hard for him to save up money for the new boat he wanted. One day a rich uncle died and left Boudreaux enough money in his will for him to get that new boat.
Marie was excited about all the money because she wanted a new washer and dryer, but Boudreaux spent all the money on a new boat and trailer. He couldn't wait till the first weekend to go fishing in his new boat. He went in Hackberry Bay and on his first cast, the lure disappeared under the water and he was soon reeling in a large green trout.
"Oh, Baby, oh Baby!" He yelled as he leaned over the edge of the boat with his net and placed it quickly under the huge fish. As he lifted the heavy fish into the boat, he grabbed his heart and fell into the boat flat on his face. The fish was still thrashing around in the net, but the fisherman was completely still.
Another fisherman came by, seeing the fish flopping in the net, discovered Boudreaux's body, and hauled him and his boat back to the dock in Bayou Black. The local doctor pronounced Boudreaux dead at the dock, and the fisherman knew Broussard was Boudreaux's friend and called the Bayou Pon Pon Daily Bugle where Broussard worked and asked if he would call Marie to tell her the bad news.
Marie was upset about Boudreaux and asked Broussard what she should do. Broussard explained that his body would be taken to Dugas Funeral Home and the boat would be towed to her house. He said, "You know, I work at the Bayou Pon Pon Daily Bugle, and I can put the obituary in the newspaper for you."
"Mais, Ah ain't never done nothing like dat. How dat work, this obitumary t'ing?"
Broussard said, "You pay a fee and you can print up to 100 words, about anything you want."
Marie answered immediately, “Okay, print dis: 'Boudreaux Dead'.”
“Maybe you might wanta add a few more words. T’ink about it,” said Broussard trying to be helpful.
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5. RECIPE of the MONTH for June, 2013 from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen:
(click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =Steamed Artichokes
Background on Steamed Artichokes: This month, large artichokes were 97 cents each at Rouse's Supermarket and looked great, so I bought 6 of them. We usually eat only two and fix them in our Artichoke Flowers Recipe. Shorty after I arrived home with the artichokes, our neighbor Connie brought over 5 small artichokes. I asked her how she fixed them and she gave me this recipe. I tried her recipe that night on the five small artichokes and they were delicious. Also a bit easier to fix and a change from our Artichoke Flowers recipe, so we can alternate the two recipes when artichokes are plentiful. While the Artichoke Flowers recipe works best with large artichokes, this Steamed Artichoke Recipe works better with small artichokes, as it is not so labor intensive. Instead of the Chef removing each leaf, the diners remove the leaves as they eat.
2 large or up to 6 small artichokes
2 tsp of Chopped Garlic
4 oz for each serving of Naturally Fresh Ranch Dressing (click to see jar in previous recipe)
Trim the leaves as described in the Artichoke Flowers Recipe and when done they should look like this: Click Here. Next, slice each artichoke down the middle. Then remove the choke with a round-tipped serrated edge knife such as this Cutco table knife . See how each half should look when choke is removed: Click Here. When you remove each choke from an artichoke half, place it leaf-side down and drip olive oil in the removed choke's hole.When done with all the choke halves, place leaf-side up and just barely cover with water.
Add the chopped garlic and juice of one lemon. Cover pot and steam for about 40 minutes or until a leaf is tender. (Time will vary with artichokes and with elevation where you live. Add at least 10 minutes time for each 1,000 feet above sealevel.)
Place two halves on each plate (large size artichokes) or four to six halves for the small size artichokes. Eat immediately while still warm. Pour about 4 oz of Naturally Fresh Ranch Dressing into a small ramekin for ease of dipping leaves while eating.
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6. POETRY by BOBBY from Yes, and Even More!:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
The Process is the AnswerWhat is the property that can be stolen before the owner knows he has it?
“The process is the answer.”
I’ve got another question. Ready?
How do we know this is true?
“That’s the unanswered question.”
I just got one answer. Wanna hear it?
Matherne’s Rule Number #8: It allways happens before you know it.
What is the property that can be stolen before the owner knows he has it?
Yes, and it happens before you know it!
“Matherne’s Rule Number 8!”
The Process is the Answer: Written on the Presentation Page of Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary [Merriam-Webster®] on March 12, 1999 in the Timberlane Screening Room at 8:10 PM while watching “Peggy Sue Got Married” on one screen and “A Merry War” on another screen.
The key to the poem is that a process, what a person does, can be considered as property and process can be mimicked or stolen before the owner of the process even knows about the process. Knowing requires conscious attention and that is something that can only come after the process appears for the first time. Del had just mimicked one of Bobby’s processes and he was pointing out how such mimicking can be invisible to the one mimicking and that the mimicking itself can constitute a form of primary theft, or the using of someone else’s property without their permission.
Bobby had earlier today got his new CPA to do his tax returns. For over 40 years since Bobby did his first tax return, he’s always done them himself. This was the very first time he’s entrusted the task to another person. When he went to lunch with Tom Trumble later, Bobby's fortune cookie said, “Get ready! Good fortune comes in bunches.”
8:13 pm: After the mimicking episode, he told Del, We just wrote a poem. She said, “Yes, I heard it happening.”
These notes and the poem were typed up by RJ on March 15, 1999.
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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for June:
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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 Foundations of Human Experience, GA#293 by Rudolf Steiner
This book provides a strong basis for understanding human experience, focusing on the full human being, the anthropos, which Rudolf Steiner made the keystone of his spiritual science when he gave it the name, anthroposophy. This book contains the understanding which Waldorf School(1) teachers must acquire before they can be effective teachers in their classroom. It is the same understanding we must each acquire as human beings in the 21st Century, if we are to further progress of human and cosmic evolution in our lifetime. Steiner knew that anthropology, which purported to be the study of Man, studied only the materialistic aspects of what it means to be a human being, ignoring the essential spiritual nature in which we live, move, and have our being. That full human being is what the Greeks called the anthropos, and thus anthroposophy is the proper and only study of the full human being.
Henry Barnes in his Foreword explains the situation this way:
[page 14] Therefore, to understand how the soul — and through it also the human spirit — works into earthly life through the instrument of the body, we must come to recognize that the soul, as a being of thinking, feeling, and willing, engages itself as a whole with the whole physical organism as metabolism, rhythmic breathing organism, and nerve sense system.
In a recent movie, Peter O'Toole as an aged man, spoke of himself as being in the "anteroom to eternity", at a place where any day the door to eternity might open to him as he dies to the physical world. But if we understand that we have each died to the spiritual world prior to being born in this lifetime, we would re-interpret O'Toole's word eternity as referring to the spiritual world. Steiner puts it clearly to us in this passage:D=
[page 37] We must become increasingly conscious of the other end of earthly development — birth. We must be conscious that human beings develop for a long time between death and a new birth, and that during this development they come to a point where, in a certain sense, they die in the spiritual world. They come to a point where conditions in the spiritual world are such that they can no longer live there without going into another form of existence. Humans receive this other form of existence when they clothe themselves with physical and etheric bodies.
Steiner describes how teachers must acknowledge this fact of human existence so that they are prepared to meet the youngest of the children in their charge with the feeling of receiving a full human being who has journeyed here from the spiritual world in a small body ready to learn about the world which has changed dramatically and in a body which has changed dramatically since they last lived in a physical body. He tells us as teachers and parents that we must be aware that our children are a continuation of what they, as spiritual beings, were before being born into this lifetime. A child is not a tabula rasa, not a blank slate to be written on for the first time, but rather a palimpsest of many unique lifetimes with abilities and preferences which a good educator will encourage and allow to grow out of the child.
[page 51] Thinking is a picturing of all our experiences before birth or before conception. You cannot come to a true understanding of thinking if you are not certain that you have lived before birth. In the same way that a mirror reflects spatial objects, your present life reflects your life between death and a new birth, and this reflection is your pictorial thinking(2).
Therefore, when you think of it pictorially, you must imagine the course of your life to be confined left and right between birth and death. Furthermore, you must imagine that thought images from before your birth continuously play into and are reflected by human nature. In this manner, in that the activity you undertook in the spiritual world before birth is reflected by your physical body, you experience pictorial thinking. For those with sufficient insight, thinking itself is proof of pre-birth existence because it is a picture of this existence.
We can now understand the process of will. Thinking is pictorial images arriving from our pre-birth spirit-soul experiences, and will is "the seed within us of what our spirit-soul reality will become after death". (Page 52)
[page 52, 53] Thus, on the one side we need to see thinking, we must comprehend as a picture of prenatal life, and on the other side, willing, which we must comprehend as a seed for something later. Consider the difference between seed and picture. A seed is something super-real, a picture is something sub-real. A seed will only later become something real. It carries in it the characteristics of what will be real later. Thus, the will is, in fact, of a very spiritual nature. Schopenhauer felt that, but he was unable to recognize that the will is the seed of the spirit-soul that will develop n the spiritual world after death.
You can see how soul life is, in a certain way, divided into pictorial thinking and seed-like willing. Between the picture and the seed lies a boundary. This boundary is the life of the physical human being, who reflects prenatal existence and thus creates pictorial thoughts, and who prevents the will from maturing, thus keeping it a seed always.
Is our life only an alteration between thinking and willing? No, there are the forces of antipathy and sympathy at work in us, and the flow between these forces develops what we know as feeling. Here's how it works.
[page 53] We carry the force of antipathy in us, and through it transform prenatal experience into a mere mental picture. Sympathy is our connection to the reality of the will which radiates into our existence after death. We are not directly conscious of these two things, sympathy and antipathy, but they live in us unconsciously. They represent our feeling, which exists as a continuous rhythm of the interplay between sympathy and antipathy.
Our prenatal experiences arrive as pictorial thoughts and, through the force of antipathy, morph into memories and thenceforth into concepts.
[page 55] When you have gone through this whole procedure, when you have pictured something, reflected it in memory and retained this picture, then the concept is created. In this way, you have on the one side of soul activity, antipathy, which is connected with our prenatal life.
The other side of soul activity is sympathy, and when it lives in us, imagination is created in us, which if strong enough, it flows right into our senses and we are able to picture the external reality around us.
[page 55, 56] Exactly in the way that memory arises from antipathy, imagination arises from sympathy. If your imagination is strong enough (and in normal life this occurs only unconsciously), if it is so strong that it permeates your whole being right into the senses, then you have the normal pictures which enable you to think of external things. Just as concepts arise out of memory, the living pictures that provide sense perceptions of things arise from imagination. They arise out of the will.
From the two forces of antipathy and sympathy, our two conceptual systems arise: thinking and willing. These two have their counterparts in our physical body of the nervous system and the circulatory system: nerves and blood. Our feeling system arises from the continuous interplay these two systems have with each other.
[page 62] When we teach, in a certain sense we again take up the activities we experienced before birth. We must see that thinking is a pictorial activity which is based in what we experienced before birth. Spiritual forces acted upon us so that a pictorial activity was sown in us which continues after birth. When we present pictures to children in teaching, we begin to take up this cosmic activity again. We sow pictures in the children, which can become seeds because we cultivate them in bodily activity. As we as educators develop our capability to act through pictures, we must continually have the feeling that we work upon the whole human being, that we create a resonance in the whole human being when we work through pictures.
To take this into our own feelings, namely, that education is a continuation of supersensible activity before birth, gives education the necessary consecration. Without this we cannot educate at all.
In my thirties, I was a very cognitive person and had to think everything out before I did anything. Through my involvement with Gestalt therapy, I was able to move from my one-sided antipathy-filled thinking approach to life to a more sympathy-filled will approach to life, creating a life with a balance of these two approaches. The result was that I stopped my obsessive looking at life and began to add feeling to life. My Gestalt work on the dream of a roller skater blocking my way up a bridge(3) led me to the realization I could only understand the meaning of my dream if I could feel what the carefree skater felt — that I could never understand the skater by merely looking at him and thinking cognitively, that only feeling could help me receive an understanding. Steiner's words in this series of lectures resonate with me because they describe the process that I went through as I moved from a skewed thinking-conceptual approach to life to a more balanced approach of thinking, feeling, and willing.
[page 99] Human feeling stands right in the middle between thinking cognition and willing. If you imagine willing and thinking as I have just developed them, then you will see that everything that is sympathy, namely willing, flows to one side from a point in the middle. You will also see that everything that is antipathy, or thinking, flows to the other side. However, the sympathy of willing interacts with thinking and the antipathy of thinking interacts with willing. Thus, humans become complete when something developed primarily in one direction also interacts with what develops in the other direction. Feeling lies in the middle between thinking and willing, so that feeling connects with thinking in one direction, and willing in the other. Just as you cannot easily separate thinking and willing within the human soul, you can even less easily separate the aspects of thinking and willing in feeling. The aspects of thinking and willing are very closely interconnected with feeling.
To be willing to do something does not means acquiescence to the command of another; rather, it means that you have exerted your own will and made a decision to comply. This distinction is crucially important and people who do not make this distinction lose power in their interactions with other people. As Viktor Frankl discovered in a concentration camp, "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." In other words, the power to exercise one's will can never be taken away — it is a human right, is a seed of our individual destiny.
Feeling exists between thinking and willing, and since thinking is a conscious process and willing an unconscious one, feeling is often our only conduit into our unconscious process. Those who live without feeling, are like tumbleweeds, torn from their very roots, roaming the Earth, blown by the vagaries of the wind.
[page 109] Feeling stands midway between willing and thinking. Feeling is permeated partially by consciousness and partially by unconsciousness. In this way, feeling partakes of the characteristics of cognitive thinking and of felt willing. What do we have actually before us from the spiritual point of view?
You know that you are conscious in your thinking which occurs during your daily waking life. But what about your willing? The simple act of moving your arm is willing, but could you move your arm if you had to consciously direct every muscle to execute a stroke of a pen or to type a letter of the alphabet on a key board?
[page 109, 110] You know that we are not conscious of our experiences during sleep. It is the same with everything that enters our willing. As people, if we are willing beings, we sleep even when we are awake. We always have within us a sleeping person, namely, the willing person, and accompany that person with the wakeful, the thinking cognitive person; when we are willing beings, we also sleep from the moment of waking until going to sleep. There is always something sleeping in us, namely, the inner essence of willing. . . . Feeling exists in the middle, so we may now ask, "How conscious is feeling?" Feeling is midway between waking and sleeping. You experience feelings in your soul in the same way that you experience dreams, except that you remember dreams and you experience feelings.
With children, Steiner says, we can be effective with those who are dreamy by exposing them to strong feelings, then later such children will have the strong feelings awake in them as thoughts. On the other hand, as I know from my own childhood experience, children who are moody and brood a lot, may have few feelings, but a very strong will. Children who appear stupid or slow in school may later become very active, showing that their will had been sleeping and only now become awake.
[page 111, 112] You must handle such children so that you count upon their capacity to understand and comprehend as little as possible. You must use things that in a sense hammer strongly upon the will of those children, for instance, when they are speaking, you also have them walk. Take such children (you will not have many of them) out of the class and, while they are speaking, have them walk. For other children, this would be exciting, but for those children it is developmental. For instance, "the" (step) "man" (step) "is" (step) "good" (step). In this way, you connect the entire will with what is purely intellectual thinking, and slowly you will succeed in awakening the will to think in such children. Only the insight that in the waking human there are different states of consciousness, waking, dreaming and sleeping can bring us to a true understanding of our task regarding the developing human being.
One can hear the conscious willing of Goethe in the second part of his Faust because he dictated it while pacing around the room. (Page 117)
[page 123, 124] Why do we listen to older people when they tell us about their life experiences? Because during their lives, they have connected their personal feeling with their concepts and ideas. They do not tell us about theories, they tell us about the feelings they have joined to ideas and concepts. From elderly people who have really connected their feeling with thinking cognition, concepts and ideas sound warm, they sound saturated with reality, they are concrete, personal. With people who have not progressed as adults, concepts and ideas sound theoretical, abstract, and sterile. It is a part of human life that the capacities of the human soul develop along a certain path; the feeling will of the child develops into the feeling thinking of an older person, and between these two lies human life.
This is a good time to look at the twelve human senses because there are four senses related to each of the processes of thinking, feeling, and willing. The diagram at left appears in my review of Man as a Being of Sense and Perception and shows how the senses are distributed among thinking, feeling, and willing. Note, in particular, the sense of thought, second from the top of the list. What is a sense of thought?
[page 141] As a whole, people are so impressed by the connection between speech and thinking that they believe we apprehend thoughts with speech. That is ridiculous, since through your sense of thought you can perceive thoughts as gestures just as you can perceive them in speech. Speech only transmits thoughts. You must perceive thought through your sense of thought. when we have finally created all the sounds of speech as a movement in eurythmy, then someone would need only to perform them eurythymically and out of these movements you could read the thoughts just also you can hear them through speech.
As the diagram above shows, we have four senses related to willing.
[page 142] Will acts through these senses in perception. Feel, for example, how will acts in perceiving movement, even if you move while standing still. The resting will also acts in the perception of balance. Will is very active in the sense of life, and it is active when you explore your surroundings through touch . . . .
Our sense of sight is a feeling sense which may seem strange at first. The eyes reach out and touch the world as surely as our hands and fingers do, acting as extra limbs which can reach long distances to touch the world. With our complete set of twelve senses we can create a deep meaning of our relationship to the world.
[page 145] If we did not have twelves senses, we would look at our surroundings like idiots and could not experience inner judgment. However, because we do have twelve senses, we have a large number of possible ways to reunite what has been separated. When the sense of I experiences, we can connect with the other eleven senses, and the same is true for each sense. . . . . You can, therefore, understand how immensely important it is that we educate children and develop each of the senses in balance, since we can then systematically and consciously seek the relationships between the senses and perceptions.
If someone were to ask you to place these logical processes in the order we do them in thinking: making a judgment, coming to a conclusion, and forming a concept, how would you order them? I would have said, concept, judgment, and conclusion. What about you? So, you can imagine that I was bit puzzled by the order in Steiner places these processes: Conclusion, Judgment, and Concept. What he reveals is a key to understanding how good teachers operate and how all teachers should endeavor to operate with the children in their charge. They can ruin a child by feeding it conclusions instead of allowing the child to form its own conclusions, apply judgment to them, and allow concepts to arise out of those judgments. As Steiner does so well in all areas of his spiritual science, he begins with the real world in which we live, in this case, he takes us on a trip to the zoo in our imagination.
[page 149] Imagine going into a zoo and seeing a lion. What is the first thing you do when you perceive the lion? First, you become conscious of what you see as a lion; only through becoming conscious do you come to terms with your perception of the lion. Before going to the zoo, you already learned that things that look like the lion you are looking at are "animals." What you learned in life, you bring to the zoo. Then, you look at the lion and realize that it does what you have learned animals do. You connect this with what you already learned in life and then form the judgment that the lion is an animal. Only when you have formed this judgment do you understand the specific concept "lion." First, you form a conclusion, second, you make a judgment and finally, you arrive at a concept.
We discovered earlier that thinking is a conscious activity, that feeling is a dream-like activity, and will is a sleep-like activity, each state going deeper into unconsciousness. The three processes of conclusions, judgments, and concepts go through these same three stages from conscious to dreaming to sleeping.
[page 150] Conclusions can live and be healthy only in the living human spirit. That is, the conclusion is healthy only when it exists in completely conscious life.
[page 151] Judgments first develop, of course, in fully awake life. However, judgments can descend into the human soul, where the soul dreams. Conclusions should never trickle down into the dreaming soul, only judgments. But, everything we make in the way of judgments about the world trickles down into the dreaming soul.
[page 151] If we now go from judgment to concept, we must admit that what we develop as concepts descends into the deepest depths of human nature and, considered spiritually, descends into the sleeping soul. Concepts descend into the sleeping soul, and this is the soul that works on the body.
It is important we align the three processes of conclusions, judgments, and concepts with waking, dreaming, and sleeping.
For me, going to school was the most important thing in the world. When I had chicken pox at age 7 or 8, I was allowed to go outside, but not to school. I remember going to the back fence where I could see my elementary school through the wide open yard of the mayor of our town who lived behind us. I remember the longing I felt to be back in school as quickly as possible. I loved being in school and made mostly A's, very few B's, and only one C, and that was in conduct in the second grade. My mother was so upset with me over that low grade that I made sure that I found another way of fighting the dead conclusions and judgments coming from my teachers: I began doodling instead of listening to the things that somehow I knew in my soul were not worthy of my attention. Only now does it come to my awareness that it must have been the teacher feeding me these already formed conclusions and judgments and that explains why I fought her. First, by misbehaving in class in an unconscious attempt on my part to derail her dead teaching which I refused to allow into my soul at any level. When that didn't work, I discovered that if I appeared to be taking notes, while actually doodling, my conduct grades went up and my schoolwork grades never suffered. My teacher was happy, my mother was happy, and I was happy.
[page 150, 151] . . . you ruin children's souls if you have the children memorize finished conclusions. What I now have to say about teaching is of fundamental importance when we have to act in a given instance. In the Waldorf School, you will have children of all ages with the results of their previous education. Other teachers have worked with these children, and you will find the results in conclusion, judgment and concept. You will need to have the children recall what they know, since you cannot begin with each child anew. . . . You will find before you the souls of children taught by others, and you must be careful in the beginning to avoid forcing the children to retrieve finished conclusions from their memory. If those finished conclusions have been laid too strongly in their souls, then it is better to let them lie and now try to allow the children to focus upon concluding.
You have learned that the dreaming soul is the feeling part of us which holds judgments. When teachers tell a child something they are expressing judgments which trickle into the child's dreaming soul. These judgments sit inside unawares as answered questions, and it never occurs to the child, the child may never get a feeling which allows it to question these introjected judgments. Consider the difference if a teacher poses the judgment as an unanswered question, perhaps like this, "Your textbook shows female lions as docile creatures, do you suppose they are always docile?" Or, "You have used crayons to color a flower in your coloring book which has a stem, two green leaves, and 12 yellow petals; do you suppose there are flowers in the world which look completely different from this flower?"Teachers who work this way in their classrooms are allowing lively unanswered questions(4) to trickle down into their students souls instead of the deadly answered questions. Guess which kind of question creates lively, interesting adults with a lifelong love of learning, and which kind creates bored adults who hate their jobs, hate their lives, and are likely to become addicted to substances which promise them relief from their own stultifying existence. These are the people who lead lives of quiet desperation and die with all their music in them(5), and likely the music, which is in them unrealized when they die, was muffled from their hearing by a steady onslaught of judgments expressed as answered questions, with which their early teachers filled their soul. I leave with you the unanswered question of how the music got into them and how it will be expressed later if they die with it still in them.
You may have seen many such people in your life, especially in the work place; you can read the unrealized music in the features of their face, in the slouch of their body, and in the flatness of their speech, among other things. They were not born with these features, only with the music. Life. Did it not add on the rest of these things to their bodies?
[page 152] The human body is all but completed when a person is born. The soul can at most refine what inheritance has already provided. Nevertheless, it does refine it. We go through the world and look at people. We see that people have distinct facial features. What do these facial features embody? Among other things, they carry the results of all the concepts taught them in childhood. All the concepts poured into the child's soul shine back at us from the face of the mature person, because, among other things, the sleeping soul has formed the adult's facial features in conformity with the concepts retained by the soul. Here we can see the consequence of our teaching. Through the formation of concepts, our teaching leaves its imprint on the person, right down into the body.
And we can also see it in their stunted lives, from which they seek desperate escape by whatever means they can find in society. While each face will have distinct features, there will be a commonality of unhappiness, a uniformity which we will recognize. In Pink Floyd's movie, "The Wall", the screen bombards us with masses of school children trying to break down the wall which is keeping them from becoming full human beings. That Wall is the one that is built, rightly understood, brick-by-brick by the already formed conclusions and deadly judgments spewing from their teachers' mouths.
[page 153] In other words, there is a certain uniformity among people. That is a sure sign that people were not properly raised. From such things, we must learn what is necessary to transform the educational system, because education goes so deeply into civilization. Concepts live unconsciously in people when they go through life without being confronted by a single fact.
Concepts can live in the unconscious. Judgments can live only as habits in semi-conscious dreaming, and conclusions should actually be present only in the fully conscious waking life.
If we are aware that we form, that we must form, our own individual concepts in a fully conscious realization, how can we ever consider foisting our already-formed concepts upon unsuspecting youngsters? If they were to introject the concepts wholly, how would those dead concepts will be able to evolve in the youngsters' lives as they mature?
[page 153] Imagine you form concepts, and these concepts are dead. then, you inoculate children with conceptual corpses. If you inoculate children with dead concepts, you inject the corpses of concepts right into their physical bodies. What does a concept need to be like when we teach it to children? It must be living if children are to live with it. Children must live, and, therefore, concepts must also live. If you inoculate nine- or ten-year-old children with concepts that will remain the same when those children are thirty or forty years old, then you inoculate them with the corpses of concepts because the concept cannot evolve as the children develop.
Surely, one of you reading this material is a teacher and is thinking, "I don't give my children dead concepts." But ask yourself, do you, have you, ever given a student a definition to memorize?" Dead concept! Definitions are concepts born dead, right out of the birth canal! Instead of a definition, e.g., of a house, teachers can characterize, give examples, encourage each child to form their own concepts and especially important, the teacher does best to discourage pointing to any child's concept as the best, as that is tantamount to giving a definition. Concepts are best given as unanswered questions, as homework for which no piece of paper need be turned in the next day or ever. No dog will ever be able to eat this kind of invaluable homework, the unanswered question.
What is the biggest unanswered question of all? David said it in the Bible when he asked, "What is Man?" That is an unanswered question, the study of which can take many lifetimes, and no teacher of worth will want to give their students a definition of Man, a definition of what constitutes a human being. The idea of what is a human being should remain an unanswered question, one which develops inside each individual child.
[page 155] This is something that can remain. We form the concept of human being only slowly, we cannot teach children a finished concept of human beings. However, when it is completed, it may remain. It is, indeed, the most beautiful thing a child can take from school into later life, namely the concept, the most multifaceted, most comprehensive concept of the human being.
No child can develop an individual concept of a human being without developing a prayerful attitude which will remain with them as they mature. If we meet an old person who is truly happy in life, chances are they were allowed to develop their own concept of a human without accepting easy and dead definitions. Plus they likely had a prayerful attitude as a child.
[page 155] In old age, these concepts will be transformed into a capacity to bless and to give others the results of a prayerful attitude. I once said that no elderly person who did not properly pray as a child would really be able to bless in old age. Older people can only properly bless, that is, with the greatest strength, if they properly prayed as children.
Children go through three stages in life, three seven-year-long stages: in the first stage they imitate others around them, in the second they follow orders, and in the third, they use their own judgment. Is it any wonder that teenagers are such a challenge for parents who have become used to having their youngsters follow their orders and now find the same ones as teenagers defying them and following their own judgments?
[page 155, 156] Now, let us look at the threefold nature of youthful life from a somewhat different standpoint. Until the time of the change of teeth, children want to imitate. Until the time of puberty, they want to stand under authority, and then they want to use their judgment in the world.
Remember my unanswered question of how the music got into people in the first place? Steiner asks that question in a slightly different way and hints at a general answer for us to ponder.
[page 156] What do human beings actually desire when they arrive from the spirit-soul world and clothe themselves with bodies? Human beings want to bring what they previously lived through in the spiritual world to the reality of the physical world.
Human beings bring the music which lived in them into this new lifetime and want to bring it into realization in this lifetime. For this to happen, they want teachers who will not drown out their music, but who will provide them the tools by which they can form their own conclusions, build moral judgments, and trickle living concepts into their souls which will hum along with the music of their lives as they mature and realize their goals.
Until the age of seven (new teeth), children live in the past because so much of their previous lifetime fills them, the music they each carried with them is humming loudly, blending into their daily lives, sometimes as so-called imaginary playmates — who are likely friends that they recently and reluctantly left behind them in the spiritual world, friends who have come to help them adjust to the physical world. After the new teeth are formed, the focus moves from the past into the present, and they imitating others around them, their siblings, their parents, their school mates, etc. Lacking judgment, imitation is a safe way of moving about and learning what a person like me is supposed to do in a world like this. After puberty, they are ready to move into concerns about the future and to apply their own judgment about what they will be doing in the future. In our modern times, parents, who would ridicule the idea of a parent forcing a spouse upon their offspring, see nothing wrong with them forcing a career of doctor or lawyer upon their own offspring, often for the sole reason that they want their children to follow in their choice of career.
We have now examined the foundations of human experience with Rudolf Steiner as our guide. Clearly the material in this series of lectures provides the foundation stone which can support Waldorf Education, rightly understood. Parents are the greatest Waldorf teachers of our time, because it is their decision and their decision alone which will provide a Waldorf education for their offspring. One could say that parents need a strong grounding in the material in this book or else their decision to choose Waldorf education will be based on hearsay from other people, and these parents will be unable to absorb, comprehend, or help their children as they progress through the grades. Lacking a grounding these parents will likely choose to abort their children's education before it has had a chance to produce what they require as proof of its efficacy. Pedagogy, Steiner emphasizes is not a science, but an art, and only those parents who can appreciate the art should invest their children's lives in it.
Footnote 1.Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
When Emil Molt asked Steiner if he would consider helping start a school for the employees of his Waldorf-Astoria Cigarette factory in Stuttgart in 1919, Steiner laid down four conditions: the school be open to all children, that it be coeducational, that it not split students into vocational and academic tracks, and that it be run by the children's teachers. These are close to the same principles which are making Charter Schools a valuable alternative to state-run schools today. In addition, Steiner added a fifth stipulation of his own: this was not to be a parochial school, i.e., no filling of children with anthroposophical dogma, only the practical utilization of anthroposophical knowledge in the teaching process.
Footnote 2.Return to text directly before Footnote 2.
Some people, especially those who are primary auditory-access people, will not understand pictorial thinking, but a simple test like answering this type of question, "Do you resemble your mother or your daughter?" will require them to do a pictorial or visual access, whether or not they are aware of a visual image while doing the access. That is pictorial thinking.
Footnote 3.Return to text directly before Footnote 3.
For the complete story, see my review of The Bridge Between Universal Spirituality and the Physical Constitution of Man, the material directly above the page 47 quoted passage.
~~~~~~~~~~~ Return to text directly before Footnote 4.
Footnote 5.Return to text directly before Footnote 5.
This is a portmanteau quote: Henry David Thoreau wrote in Walden, "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation." Oliver Wendell Holmes in his The Voiceless shared this thought, "Alas for those that never sing/But die with all their music in them." Hooray for those Internet wags who have conflated these two quotes into one Thoreau quote.
2.) ARJ2: The Living, A Novel by Annie Dillard
On several drives we took from Seattle to Whistler, B. C., we drove through Bellingham, Washington, which seemed to be a typical suburban metropolitan area with Interstate 5 running through it. Next time we take this drive, we will drive through the city down to Bellingham Bay, to the area where the Ada and Rooney Fishburn disembarked in 1855 to find tall trees coming down to the edge of the stony waterline.
[page 4] It was the rough edge of the world, where the trees came smack, down to the stones. The shore looked to Ada as if the corner of the continent had got torn off right here, sometime near yesterday, and the dark trees kept on growing like nothing happened. The ocean just filled in the tear and settled down. This was Puget Sound, and some straits that Rooney talked about, and there was not a thing on it or anywhere near it that she could see but some black ducks and humpy green islands. Salt water wet Ada's shoes if she stood still. Away out south over the water she made out a sharp line of snow-covered mountains. From the boat she had seen a few of such, mountains poking up out of nowhere, including a big solitary white mountain that they had sailed towards all morning, that the forest now hid; it looked like its sloping base must start up just back there behind the first couple rows of trees. God might have created such a plunging shore as this before He thought of making people, and then when He thought of making people, He mercifully softened up the land in the palms of his hands wherever He expected them to live, which did not include here.
Ada had to sleep with her husband Rooney beside her on her feather-bed which had been carried by train from Baltimore, then by wagon train over the mountains from St. Louis, on the floor of Lura Rush's cabin.
[page 7, 8] Ada opened her eyes and saw black darkness over the room. There was a bit of color, a burnt red, that spread from the dying fire, and by its glow she made out a log stool by her head. Nothing stirred. Whenever things calmed down like this, Ada's mind became aware of the prayer that her heart cried out to God all day and maybe night, too, that He would lend her strength to bear affliction and go on.
She had already survived the loss of her beloved son Charley who fell from the oxen-led wagon and its wheels rolled over his mid-section. Her husband took to snoring beside her as she looked up at the ceiling and thought of the blanket, roof, forest cover, and clouds which lay between her and the heavenly night sky. It was a sky that she see would see little of due to the rain and the mist which covered this area called Bellingham Bay. Rooney soon filed a beachfront claim of 320 acres about a mile north, and would have to remove huge trees just to build the smallest cabin there, tall cedar and fir trees so close together than often one had to turn sideways to walk between two adjacent trees.
The local Indians were the Lummis, and tribes from the Canadian and Alaskan coast were sending raiding parties to capture some them for slaves and to kill the rest of them. With Russian traders buying pelts from them for guns and powder, these Indian raiders were deadly to the local Indians.
About fifteen years later, after Rooney had felled the huge firs which took two good men five hours, finally clearing enough of them to build a cabin and plant things, he and George Judd were digging a well near the cabin when Rooney dug into side of the well expecting water to pour out and instead a deadly gas hissed out and when Rooney fell over, George jumped in to save him and both of them died in the bottom of the well. Ada was soon left with her son Clare and her daughter Nettie (who died of complications from an earache at age 4). In a book entitled The Living, we encounter a lot of the dead and dying along the way.
There are occasional lighter moments, such as when Axel Obenchain wanted to learn English as a fellow German on the train had advised him to do, as quickly as possible. He contracted for a year's work in Olympia, Washington at a logging camp and learn to speak quite well with them. When he came out of the mountains, he went into a bar and asked for a whiskey. The salon keeper asked him a question and they quickly found out that neither could understand the other.
[page 63] Only when the other men returned from their drinking did he determine something that — he ultimately told Martha, and she told John Ireland, laughing helplessly and rocking by the stove — he should have determined earlier; the loggers were Finns, and he had learned Finnish in the logging camp.
That so many of these pioneers died was due more to the hazards of life, not to any lack of hardiness of the men and women who arrived to the western edge of the north Pacific territories. Take this example.
[page 100] The difficulty and expense of reaching Puget Sound at all, from anywhere on the planet earth including Oregon, had drawn men and women hard as mules, whose arrival proved their endurance. Ada Fishburn told Mintz Honer that she was there one night on the dock in Whatcom when Mr. H. I. Hoolihan, who owned the only bank in Whatcom, tripped on a sack of potatoes and fell from the deck of the steamer just outside the bay. Hoolihan swam a mile back to the dock through the freezing water wearing his clothes and hat, clasping a packet of papers in his teeth, and carrying a rolled umbrella in one hand. He was eighty-five years old, he told the crowd on the dock, and he had no intention of buying another umbrella.
Minta lost her husband and was waiting for her family to arrive from Baltimore. It would be her first chance to see them for eleven years. She waited anxiously for the steamer Doris Burn to arrive at the dock and we live the moment with her through the prose of Annie Dillard.
[page 124] The steamer was late. Hugh gave Bert and Lulu their supper, then lit into the dishes, standing sad-eyed at the sink with his hat on. Minta put Bert and Lulu to bed; she sat with them in their room upstairs. She listened at the window for the steamer whistle and heard the tree frogs' sharp droning. She felt the fullness of time, its expectancy, and the unbreathing, sham beauty of the world. The sun had dropped behind the forest and cast its blue shade on the farmhouse clearing. The long northern twilight was beginning to pool on the clearing; it leached yellow from goldenrod, blued the asters, and blackened the woods.
Though the novel is fictional, there can be little doubt that Annie had lived in such forests at the edge of Puget Sound and knew that area well(1).
In a very tragic turn of events, Minta lost her home and two of her children when her family finally arrived, and Senator Green Randall of Baltimore had to sleep in a strange farmhouse that night, having lost two grandchildren he had never met the night before. The next night their Indian friends came over and began squeezing Minta's forearms, elbows, and upper arms. The Senator asked what the Indians were doing to his daughter, and Clare responded, "They are ridding her of ghosts. . . . they will squeeze them out of her toes." Minta had lost her home, her husband, two of her children, and the Nooksack Indians "knew that ghosts were particularly harsh in the presence of other ghosts." (Page 132)
Clare and the senator got to know each other better, but was there a mutual respect between them? The author raises an interesting point about urbane courtesy such as Senator exhibited and the courtesyof the frontier-raised Clare.
[page 137, italics added] Here were two men who each assumed that the other was intrinsically nobody and who, upon recognizing the assumption in the other, revised their views. Clare, however, mistook courtesy for the respect it simulates, and did not know that the senator, upon greater acquaintance, still judged him a nobody.When Beal Obenchain got it in his mind to kill a person at random he chose Lee Chin, a Chinese servant, and bound him to a wharf at low tide so that he would die overnight. Later Beal was upset by how simple the whole thing was, lacking any drama or extent in time, like a movie that only lasts fifteen minutes, which might leave you wondering, "Why the bother?" So the next time the thought comes into Beal's mind, he decides to pull a name out of a hat and tell a man that he will kill him, but with no plans to actually kill him, only a sadistic plan to prolong the drama and the suffering of his victim. The man he chose was Clare Fishburn, and yes, the threat worked on him, but he shared his trepidations with his wife June, who wanted to uproot their family and move to Portland, away from the scary reprobate, Beal Obenchain. Suddenly two plots are stirring in the subtext, Lee Chin's brother notices Beal using a handkerchief just like he and Lee owned. And Clare was avoiding the presence of Beal, and fending off June's suggestion either to kill the crazy guy or to move away from the area.
[page 207] Every day was a day which Clare expected to die. When he awoke at first light on Sunday, January 6, he regarded his sleeping wife gravely. Her head lay lightly on the mattress and smoothly, flush, as a clam rests in its shell. There was a perfection and composure in her pale, round face: her long eyelids fitted over her eyes precisely; her lashes spread in radiating arc over her cheeks.
Clare dealt with the threat as best he could; he vowed to "eat boldly and hope yet more boldly". Beal Obenchain was leaving behind him a chain of karmic events to be balanced, a long series of miseries he caused Clare Fishburn with his threat to kill him, which was exactly what Beal, in his warped mind, wished after the death of Lee Chin went so quickly and easily.
Twelve days after Beal threatened him, Clare's life was changed, as Annie describes using this apt fishing metaphor.
[page 212] Time was a hook in his mouth. Time was reeling him in jawfirst; it was reeling him in, headlong and breathless, to a shore he had not known was there.
Beal's evil mind was calculating and perverse, not at all like Bad Jim, who was just bad. Clare enjoyed this old story, likely because the twisted ways of Beal contrasted with the simplicity and directness of Bad Jim.
[page 220] He was an Indian man who pushed a settler off a cliff. When the sheriff came for him he played dumb, and asked the sheriff to show him the scene of the crime. The dim-witted sheriff took him to the cliff, and Bad Jim pushed him off.
June had left for Baltimore in a tizzy over Beal's threat against Clare, but it was for her father's funeral, and she even thought to herself, that, well, her father would not miss her. The trip back home did not require oxen-pulled wagons, as steam-powered trains now wove their way through the labyrinthine Cascade range and yet, there were some curious hazards like the soft railroad bridges.
[page 286] They highballed down the green Pacific slope, through snow-sheds, and their air brakes hissed. Their locomotive paused before a trestle so unpromising that many passengers, including June and the Honers, chose to walk, in the rain. Conducted by Mr. Tommy Cahoon himself, they spent two hours crossing the wet ravine, where devil's club caught June's skirts, and Minta and Ardeth walked close and laughed over nothing. Cahoon told them that on some local freight lines the hemlock trestles were so soft that the engineer routinely set the throttle and jumped off with all the crew. The men raced down the ravines and up them, and jumped on the moving train.
Clare loved June, but was not going to give in to her uxorious request that he kill Beal — even though he loved and respected her. Both Clare and June had a strong soul force of will.
[page 291, 292] He saw she acted from an unmentioned source of feeling, a source that, he discovered, he tapped as well. It had been there all along. He asked himself if she was conscious of it and understood at once that she was, that she probably had been since Mabel's birth, when their courting talk had hushed and let go, loosing them to drift into the great silence. She had been waiting for him to notice it, and she forgave his doltishness in advance. Wherever he found himself, in whatever deep caves and vaulted mazes of understanding, he discovered her already there before him, her arched eyes glinting with amused sensibility, her lively, small form seeming to beckon him onward. She mocked him, guided him, understood him, tantalized him, at every level of depth he reached. What else did she know that he did not?
Clare was standing in Seattle near Commercial Street, waiting for his wife June to return from Baltimore as these thoughts of her percolated through his mind.
[page 292] Marriage began to strike him as a theater, where actors gratefully dissimulate, in ordinary affection and trust, their bottom feeling, which is a mystery too powerful to be endured. They know and feel more than life in time can match; they must anchor themselves against eternity, so they play on a painted set, lest they swing out into the twining realms. He was acquiring a taste for those realms, for the cold strata of colors he saw from the beach, for the crack of thin darkness that spread behind the thick sky.
Was love blind, Clare wondered, it is a popular belief. No, he was not a deep thinker, but he had his own view, that "lovers alone see what is real".
[page 292, 293] The lover is simply enabled to see — as if the heavens busted open to admit a charged light — those virtues the beloved does possess in their purest form. June was a marvel, and she smelled good. These weeks' long absence of June, he was not unaware, abetted this view.
Love, writing about love, is Annie's forte, and she is here at her shining best writing of Clare's thoughts about June while waiting for her to rush into her arms in the middle of the busy street in Seattle.
[page 293] What could other people know of June's courage in loss, her upwelling hopefulness, her defiant will, her quick, startling wit that made play of even ardent moments? The skin of her temple, that dipped across the hollow, and the soft ruddiness over her hard forehead bone?
Clare was writing a love song to his beloved in his mind, where it was likely to remain — unsung — but lived out in the life he and June will share together. Only a couple who have been together for decades can understand what Clare was talking about, the words which Annie Dillard was putting in his mind and sharing with us. Annie Dillard knows such a love, my wife and I know such a love, and we can recognize that each other knows such a love.
[page 293] Their intimacy seemed a mingling of spiritual limbs. He had re-discovered what he learned in the early days of their marriage and forgot, the life about which even the books he read were strangely silent, but which could not be new: the passion that is both possible and inexpressible, the prolongation of intimacy as a peculiar state, the touch of living skin everywhere, as if the very air and the colored world were a lover's feature that bodied a soul. This seemed to him now, as he walked the gray streets, the truest state, the highest apprehension, and he strictly hoped to keep sight of it, scorn comfort, and stay awake.
Courting June, he had thought it a privilege to wash dishes with her in river sand; he thought it a privilege to hold her cutaway coat, to look at airy Mount Baker from her side; he thought it a privilege to hear her opinions over tea and watch her eyebrows rise and fall. Now, he knew it was.
They met outside the Northern Pacific depot, June coming out after Ardeth, Hugh, Green, and Minta.
[page 294] Here was small June, flushed and flustered, wearing a wrinkled duster. Her eyes found Clare's at once, and their glances' touch unstrung both. They made a blind path through the crowd to each other, and Clare took her in his arms.
Two other stories made me laugh. Eddie Mannchen was a passenger on a Seattle steamer which foundered and Eddie was the only one who stayed aboard until he was pulled underwater. After he was fetched out of the water by someone with a net, he was asked why he did such a fool thing, and he replied that he wanted to know, if only for thirty minutes, "how it felt to be a vessel owner, and fabulously rich."
The other one was told to Clare by Street St. Mary about this fellow from California.
[page 326] "He heard that up in Alaska, north of the circle, the sun never sets all summer; it just goes around. So he took his sunflower seeds up there and planted a crop. The first summer, you know what happened?" He gestured with his stump arm.
Clare had no idea.
"The sunflowers grew straight up in the spring, all right, and the first day the sun didn't set — they twisted their heads off."
Pipe tobacco used to come in a can, especially Prince Albert, whose metal can was flat with rounded corners. Everyone knew the can and a practical joke in the 1950s was for someone to call a store and ask, "Do you have Prince Albert in the can?" and if the clerk said, "Yes", to reply, "Then please let him out." But in the 1890s, when the Internet of the time was the telegraph, the can had another use.
[page 353] At the local line's depot, Whipple leaned over the table where his friend the telegrapher, Crying Johnson, kept an empty Prince Albert tobacco can to amplify incoming code so he could hear it ring over the freight clerks's typewriters. Both men made sense of the keys's dots and dashes as fast as they heard them and a fast "fist," as they called a man's personal style at the key, could transmit thirty words a minute.
If you think the recent collapse of the housing market because of wild speculation and lascivious money-lending to unqualified buyers by bankers was novel, read how things went down at the end of the nineteenth century in the Collapse of 1893.
[page 359] Every single bank in the country had failed and closed. Ignorant bank officers, who looked singularly sober, had loaned out townspeople's deposits to plungers and speculators of the wildest strip, whose ruining schemes all went belly-up, and there was no money to be had.
During the economic collapse, Clare resorted to creating cedar shingles from shakebolts, large sections of cedar, and the sound of his tapping the frow to cleave the individual shakes was constant around their house.
When Johnny Lee was out walking with young Walter, the kid disappeared around a cedar stump and Johnny found him in Beal Obenchain’s cabin built into the large stump, in fact, it was Beal's only home. After they left he found Walter clutching a Tiger with a coin in its mouth, a trinket Johnny had given his brother years before he had been killed. Now he knew for sure who the culprit was and Beal's life was in jeopardy, not like the threat he laid on Clare Fishburn, but from the revenge to be exacted by the brother of the Celestial whose life he took. The locals called the Chinese by the name Celestial and it seemed that Beal would soon have a Celestial dispatch.
Gold was found in the Klondike and miners were coming back and into town carrying sacks stuffed with gold dust. Their small town of Whatcom, soon to become Bellingham, would be soaring once more, so John Ireland led Clare, June, Hugh, and others to the pond for a celebratory midnight bathe. There was a rope swing on which one could swing out over the water and drop into the pond. It was a chance for all of them to "swing out into the twining realms". The stars overhead were shining down through the pond's hole in the towering forest when Hugh, in his union suit swinging out over the pond, let go and fell into the twining realm of the stars.
A new century was coming soon, and the rough area they had cleaved from the forest was on its way to becoming Bellingham, Washington, leaving behind traces of its origin in Whatcom Falls Park.
---------------------------- Footnotes -----------------------------------------
Footnote 1.Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
See her marvelous non-fiction account of living on the edge of Puget Sound in this book, Holy the Firm.
3.) ARJ2: 'Pataphysics — A Useless Guide by Andrew Hugill
Are you a pataphysician? No, you don't think so? Let me ask you two questions: Do you see how things are and ask why? Or, do you see how things could be and ask why not? If you answered yes to the second question, you may be a pataphysician and don't know it, up until now. Concisely put, the science of 'pataphysics is the science of imaginary solutions. Since a guide to a person's imagination presupposes a reality which is unattainable, that is, it presupposes the possibility of knowing a territory, a terra incognito, which exists inside of another person, any guide to 'pataphysics would be perforce useless, thus you have an imaginary solution to the problem of the subtitle, "A Useless Guide".
Some readers, grammatically and punctuationally inclined, will be wondering about the apparently superfluous apostrophe which precedes the instances of the word pataphysics above. The correct spelling of the word coined by Albert Jarré in the 18th century includes the apostrophe, thus: 'pataphysics is the correct spelling of the science when used alone; when used to indicate a practitioner of the science, a pataphysician, or in a sentence, the apostrophe may be dropped, as is also the case for adjectives and other parts of speech, such as pataphysical, pataphysically, etc. Thus said, I have demonstrated a paradox: that even a useless guide can be useful at some level, a possibility which seems to me to be an example of an imaginary solution. I will hazard furthering the paradox by reviewing this useless guide and further mining its uselessness for possible usefulness.
"Surely you're joking" may come to mind along with its imaginary solution or response, "Don't call me Shirley." Okay, let's get serious: "Is 'pataphysics a joke?" Obviously not — as Hugill points out in his Preamble, "Everybody knows that a joke explained is not a joke at all." So don't expect explanations or unambiguous definitions for a field which embraces diffuse explanations and is big on ambiguity. Besides, definitions are dead, abstract concepts (See here). If you want to understand what pataphysics is, this review won't be much help, but at least you will have acquired a first-experience of being confused on a subject that you may not have known existed before.
[page xv] How to write about something that exists mainly in the imagination, that constantly resists clear definition, is purposefully useless, and is regarded by many as a pseudophilosophy, a hoax, a joke, or a schoolboy prank? The enterprise is fraught with dangers. There is a risk of reduction: pataphysics is rich and complex, so anything that resembles a simplified "explanation" will fail to do it justice. Conversely, there is the problem of taking it all too seriously. Everybody knows that a joke explained is not a joke at all. Since pataphysics recognizes no distinction between humor and seriousness, there is always a possibility that any statement on the subject will end up pricking its own balloon. There is the ever-present danger of factual error in a history filled with myth-making, inconsistencies, deliberate hoaxes, and, sometimes, downright lying. Worst of all, there is fear of the disapproval of the worldwide community of pataphysicians, whose deep erudition and independence of mind make them supremely intolerant of any traducement of that which they hold so dear, even if it emanates from one of their own. In the face of these perils one may well wonder why this book exists at all.
Did you enjoy pranks when you were a schoolboy? Well, I did. Nothing which caused physical harm, but those pranks which caused a burst of surprise or sudden revelation upon my playmates. I always wanted to try the bucket of water on the top of a door, but if I did that at home, the result would have been too painful for me, so my range of schoolboy pranks was limited by my meager funds and my dad's razor strop. So it was my great delight to find that the name 'pataphysics was invented by schoolboys! French schoolboys!
[page xv] Of all the French cultural exports of the past 150 years or so, pataphysics has, perhaps surprisingly, turned out to be one of the most durable, and today is attracting ever-increasing attention. The word was invented by schoolboys in Rennes in the 1880s and is most strongly identified with one of their number: the poet and playwright Alfred Jarry (1873-1907). It is generally agreed that it lies around the roots of many of the key artistic and cultural developments of the twentieth century, including absurdism, Dada, futurism, surrealism, situationism, and others.
"I have never heard of 'pataphysics before!" you exclaim? Well, as the Author explains in his Preamble on page xvi, "The fact that relatively few people are aware of its existence is part of the secret of its success." After all, imagine flash mobs all over the major cities forming to create 'pataphysical happenings! What kind of world would we be living in? Hmmm, you know, on further consideration, perhaps that is already happening, those flash mobs, only due to the pataphysical need for sub rosa concealment, they do not advertise themselves as pataphysical flash mobs, but come up with ingenious cover stories for their existence.
Note that there are no pataphysicists only pataphysicians. Most "-ists" have an "ism" to which they belong: deists to deism, absolutists to absolutism, ascetics to asceticism, capitalists to capitalism, communists to communism, environmentalists to environmentalism, egoists to egoism, hedonists to hedonism, machinists to mechanisms, nihilists to nihilism, pessimists to pessimism, and optimists to optimism, just to name a few of the 234 isms's compiled by The Phrontistery on-line.
[page xv] Unlike other, more familiar, "isms" that have been fully documented and historicized, pataphysics has managed to retain its vibrancy by perpetually eluding "ism" ism. It has never fully become either a "movement" or a "philosophy," even though at times it shares some characteristics with both of those. It has managed to permeate both culture and society, but in ways that are somewhat shadowy.
My career began as a physicist, evolved into a computer scientist, massage therapist, psychotherapist, philosopher, writer, photographer, cartoonist, poet, novelist, editor, and publisher and it continues to evolve(1). This points out that I have worked in many of the areas that pataphysics has had a "demonstrable impact on" listed below:
[page xvi] . . . theater, music, painting, sculpture . . . Its influence on politics, economics, philosophy, critical theory, and the wider social sciences is less clear, but can nevertheless be traced. Its presence in the sciences is still less obvious, and yet with a little digging it can be detected. Both scientists and pataphysicians have too much to lose to admit that there are many similarities and connections between them, but the subject does pop up in quantum physics, in computer science, or in scientific research in general.
From my reading of advances in quantum mechanic theory such as the Bell Theorem, the double slit experiment, etal, it has seemed to me at times that the theory itself was formed as a schoolboy prank by Heisenberg, Bohr, Boehm, Feynman and others. It would be laughable if it were not taken so seriously and if it were not so important to our modern technology and understanding of the world.
"Imaginary solutions? What use are they?" you may be thinking. Hmm, perhaps you have never heard of imaginary numbers. You know, the square root of minus one, the number which multiplied by itself equals -1? Sounds useless, huh? Well, a lot of people use imaginary numbers to do valuable calculation everyday, so be careful not to equate imaginary with useless. The results of quantum calculations are like imaginary numbers in the sense that they are only meaningful and useful when squared at which point they can be interpreted as the probability of a quantum event occuring. What sense does the square root of a probability make? No nse nse (2), as a pataphysician might opine.
Why did Andrew Hugill go through the trouble of writing this book about what may seem to some as pataphysical claptrap?
[page xvi] It is important to understand what distinguishes pataphysics from other "radical," "anarchic," or "left-of-field" impulses. The word is often used quite loosely to evoke anything that seems wacky, weird, or bizarrely incomprehensible. This is a misrepresentation which this book hopes to correct. Pataphysics, although complex and difficult, is in fact quite a cogent body of exploits and ideas, which has a history and certain fixed precepts. while the contradictory and the exceptional are woven into its very fabric, the sloppy, the woolly, and the "hip" are not. Pataphysics sets no store by what it calls the "grimaces on the face of a century," the passing fads and fashions of intellectual life; rather, it is imperturbable in aspect. It may never be understood, which is perhaps why it is so frequently misunderstood. These are the academic reasons for writing this book: to contribute to knowledge and to combat ignorance.
One can only strive to explain 'Pataphysics by pataphysical methods; those who try otherwise end with using pataphysical methods in complete unconsciousness of their doing so. True pataphysicians will not attempt to explain, but instead "to draw out themes."
[page xvii, xviii] Ruy Launoir observed that "there is no key to 'Pataphysics . . . To pretend that one can explain (i.e., reduce) 'Pataphysics by methods that are not pataphysical, is a little, even greatly, pataphysical" (Launoir 2005) The aim of my book is therefore modest: to trace the lineaments of pataphysics and, in doing so, to offer some critical insights. . . . It attempts to draw out themes, be they philosophical, literary, artistic, historical, anecdotal or analytical. However, it does so in the full knowledge that it is merely describing an outline, nothing more than an imprint that the idea of pataphysics has left on our culture to date. These are merely the swaddling clothes that surround the invisible body of pataphysics itself. When you have read this book you will not "understand" pataphysics. You will know somewhat better the extent and reach of its influence, and the depth and richness of its insights. you may also perhaps understand why the "crying need" for it, first identified by Jarry, continues to be felt to this day.
In other words, if you want to know what 'Pataphysics is — this book won't be much help, but you will learn why the subtitle calls this book "A Useless Guide". Try to reduce 'Pataphysics to its essence and you will be left with what the Cheshire Cat left for Alice: an enigmatic smile.
[page 1] For some, pataphysics is a cosmic fart, an ultimate spoof, a schoolboy prank, a raucous piece of nonsense; for others it is an attitude of mind, a way of life, a discipline, a doctrine, a deeply ironic religion, even. It is profoundly useless or, as pataphysicians prefer to say, inutilious, but nevertheless manages to inform and inflect the world. To this day, when physicists make questionable science, their colleagues will shout: "That's not physics. That's pataphysics!"
To understand pataphysics is to fail to understand pataphysics. To define it is merely to indicate a possible meaning, which will always be the opposite of another equally possible meaning, which, when diurnally interpolated with the first meaning, will point toward a third meaning which will in turn elude definition because of the fourth element that is missing.
Those who are academically inclined might take some brief solace in the statement that pataphysics is to metaphysics what Aristotle's metaphysics was to physics. We will excuse you from this review while you ponder that relationship. . . . For the rest of you who have managed to life-surf over the often murky waters of academia, this statement might be of some comfort and insight: "Pataphysics is the science of imaginary solutions."
But there's more. As everyone who survived eighth grade science knows: science deals with the general: it creates laws which apply to general categories, such as Newton's Laws of Motion applies to all bodies in general and without exception. Where's the science of the specific and the laws governing the exceptions? 'Pataphysics deals with those, and thus, one might see it as the ultimate complement of all the fields which call themselves "science." 'Pataphysics claims the orphaned offspring of the specific cases and exceptions which science disclaims and discards as unworthy of their attention. If it did nothing else but this, 'Pataphysics would be a worthy study for any true generalist. The very word 'Pataphysics has an invisible and unknowable complement because the leading apostrophe is said to be there "so as to avoid a simple pun," but we have no clue as what the simple pun might be. (Page 7)
There are other explanations of the origin of the word, but I like this one: pas ta physique, which means "not your physics". It reminds me of a TV commercial for a new model of automobile which went something like this: "This is not your father's Oldsmobile." Since I owned an Oldsmobile, was a father, and also began my academic career as a physicist, I feel qualified to appreciate this suggested origin of the name 'Pataphysics.
Now to a matter equally serious and less serious. Placing a bar or a tilde over a letter of the alphabet in logic design indicates a negation of the value: A, which can indicate a change from True to False, 1 to 0, Yes to No, or +5 volt to 0 volt, etc. What happens in life, when after years of studying logic design, you get a value which is both A and Ã? Well, you laugh! It's as if this equation were true: A + Ã = HA HA! My theory about how this happens is that we humans have two sides to our bodies, Left and Right, which are controlled by the two hemispheres of our brain (cross-connected, Left hemisphere to Right side of body, and vice-versa). When one side of our brain understands A and simultaneously the other side understands Ã, the incompatible signals reach each side of the body and at the midline of the body they are unable to resolve into each other except by a quaking, jiggling, shaking, spasmodic tremulous series of events we call, Laughing, that is, the HA HA!(3)
Fr. Leonard Feeney earlier, unbeknownst to me, nodded his agreement with my position with both sides of his brain:
[page 14] Humor consists of seeing an incongruity between fact and an imitation of the fact. [...] The incongruity observed is not complete, but only partial; because a likeness as well as an unlikeness must exist in the bogus. [...] The mind half accepts, half rejects what is being offered to it for recognition. At one and the same moment, it sees a darkness and a light, a nothingness and a somethingness; it becomes simultaneously aware of its own madness and its own sanity. (Fr. Leonard Feeney 1943, 169)
Here is another echo of agreement as a time wave from the past from Bergson:
[page 17] As early as 1884, Bergson had begun his investigation into the meaning of comedy that was to lead to the essay Le rire. Essai sur la signitification du comique (Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic). In his consideration of the comic and the human imagination, Bergson was to note that humor arises when the inflexibility of a mechanism, such as the behavior of a human body under certain conditions, is revealed in the context of the flexibility of life. The comedy is created by our imaginations working on the contrast between the two states.
Laughter occurs, in other words, when one's inflexibility meets the flexibility of life. Here's an example of when inflexibility meets flexibility. When is one the most flexible in life? — It's when one is operating spontaneously, is it not? E.g., a child is playing happily. Suppose its mother wants a photo of the smiling child at play and comes by with her camera and says, "Smile!" What happens? the child stops playing and having fun, and if it has already been well-trained offers its mother an ersatz or pretend smile.The child has been put by its mother into a Be Spontaneous Paradox, that is, a command to do something which cannot be done and the child creates the opposite of what its mother intended. She wanted a photo of her child at play with a beaming smile, but got a posed smile instead of a child who is inwardly upset because its fun has been interrupted! As a teenager a dozen years later, its response will morph into some choice words like "Buzz off, Mom!"(4)
On a recent trip to Brooklyn my friend, Dr. Kevin Dann, took me to a lecture at a place called Proteus Gowanus for a lecture by a famous cryptographer. What I found there was a Library of Morbid Anatomy (full of colorful framed photos which resembled work on the tables of Dr. Mallard's famous autopsy room on NCIS), a shortwave radio receiving coded messages from ET's, an informal museum of various artifacts (e.g., a stuffed deer head lying on its side with its tongue hanging out), a Writhing Project based on the Oulipo (writing constrained by a set of explicit rules, or what I would call, Writhing for fun & prophet.) Basically I was inside of a hotbed of pataphysical activity as the author describes below, even though no one ever mentioned 'Pataphysics or even displayed the name in any of its exhibits, so far as I could tell.
[page 22] . . . there are: dozens of social media groups devoted to pataphysics, with many hundreds of members; innumerable blogs on the subject; a host of variously "wacky" Web pages that trumpet a pataphysical view of subjects as diverse as sociology, psychology, computer programming, calculus, meditation, metallurgy, and cuisine; several online pataphysical Institutes, Collectives, and other groupings; extensive academic research into and using pataphysics; and many collections or museums that have explicitly pataphysical content or which are pataphysical apparently without realizing the fact.
Certainly Proteus Gowanus at first glance qualified as being pataphysical without realizing the fact. Its profusion of objects on shelves, some in glass cases, many with a card with a name and/or explanation of the object gave it the aura of being a pataphysical museum. Walking through the five or six small rooms for the first time, I was bombarded with objects which evoked unanswered questions inside me, only a few of which I dared to even ask and got mostly answered, all of which provoked further unanswered questions(5).
[page 30] Alongside its digital developments, the twenty-first century has seen a profusion of pataphysical museums. Somehow the very concept of a museum seems particularly fertile of pataphysics. Perhaps this is because museum visitors so often have to create imaginary solutions to the questions of the meaning or origins of the objects they view.
Another pataphysical object, the clinamen, "a slight swerve", shows up in curious places such as the side of a packing box from amazon.com, looking very much like a wry smile, and the new symbol McDonald's has recently adopted to replace their formerly ubiquitous "Golden Arches". The new symbol, I learned from a friend who worked for their corporate office, is called "The Brow", and looks like a clinamen swerve rendered across the top of boxy new McDonald's in the classic yellow color. A slightly raised eyebrow has replaced the high arched eyebrows apparently, but to a pataphysician the clinamen shape is instantly recognizable.
When I worked at a nuclear power plant, all plant procedures had to be reviewed by the Plant Operating and Review Committee or PORC, pronounced "pork", of course. Any procedures had to meet all federal standards before being passed by the PORC. But a little nuclear pataphysics slipped into a PORC-approved procedure whose title was Procedure for Inadvertent Loss of Gravity. Naturally this was a big HA-HA event for everyone who got a much-xeroxed copy of the famous procedure. No specific nuclear plant took credit for PORC-approval of this procedure, but there was a marked loss of gravity and increased presence of levity fostered by the arrival of this procedure at many nuclear plants.
We are constantly told to "think outside the box" to get a creative solution to a problem, but a pataphysical construct has arrived to formalize the process called Jootsy which stands for Jump Out Of The System. One Jootsy example to ponder is this one from page 37:
2 teacups + 2 teacups = 40 cups
The author mentions many pataphysical magazines, but leaves out my own favorite magazine dealing with imaginary solutions, namely, the Journal of Irreproducible Results. I have had published in that prestigious scientific journal an article on the Piezo-Photic Effect and a poem entitled, "The Postman Kicked the Dog." The JIR certainly has a name which reveals its pataphysical nature, dealing as it does with events which are exceptional and imaginary by virtue of being incapable of being reproduced, but each issue of JIR does carry a megaton or so of unexploded HA+HA.
In addition to my pataphysical writing, I drew a cartoon in which its character was performing pataphysical research, namely, searching for the famous vanishing-point on the horizon. A photo, as we say pataphysically-speaking, is worth a thousand words.
My pataphysical roots go way back to 1953, on the memorable day when a couple of thirteen-year-old pals of mine introduced me to the first issue of Mad — a new Comics Book which had just appeared. I began reading it like a regular Batman or Superman comic book when suddenly I realized it was making fun of things that our parents took seriously! We all roared at each page. I discovered my love of satire on that very day, and I knew that my life would never be the same again, that no matter how serious things got, I could always find something humorous in them. Later in my twenties, I discovered Italo Calvino and struggled with his writings, too young for them, I expect because recently I read his "If on a winter's night a traveler . . ." and enjoyed it immensely, especially its pataphysical aspects of imaginary solutions, even though I had not consciously encountered the concepts and techniques of 'Pataphysics until I read Hugill's book a year or so later. Also recently I viewed the movie, "Idiocracy" and it blew me away with its imaginary (i.e. pataphysical) solutions to the problems of the world. It hinted at such solutions by simply depicting the ultimate end of the path that we are currently embarked upon where our world will be run by such idiots that an average person of today, projected a hundred years into future, would be deemed the smartest man in the world. People will be sprinkling Gator-Aid on plants ("What? Use water? That's for the toilet!") and the huge warehouse stores will get immense ("BBQ Sauce? Aisle G at Mile 17."), just to name a few quirks of the future path we're heading upon.
Before we step off onto one of M. C. Escher's pataphysical staircases and depart this review, may I remind you that there are no rules for 'Pataphysics, only exceptions; rightly understood, a "rule" is an exception to an exception. Those of you who take exception to anything the author or I have written in this review should follow that rule.
In closing, I hope by now you may have acquired a nascent sense of humor (or increased one already present) and that you will know how to respond if someone ever asks you, "How can you take pataphysics seriously?" The answer as proposed by the author is simple, elegant, and easy to remember, unless you inflexibly answer a question by asking a question. Do you? If you immediately responded to my "Do you?" by saying, "Well, do you?" then you will know to respond to the question, "How can you take pataphysics seriously?" with the question, "How can you not take pataphysics seriously?"
---------------------------- Footnotes -----------------------------------------
Footnote 1.Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
Note the number of "-ists" in the list of occupations that I have life-surfed through, up until now.
Footnote 2.Return to text directly before Footnote 2.
Pronounced No ensie ensie, it spells Nonsense and demonstrates that punctuation and spacing matters.
Footnote 3.Return to text directly before Footnote 3.
It would take an essay the size of this review to delineate how all the important and fun things in life occur along the midline of our bodies, so I provide it as an unanswered question, which you may take as homework to be explored in the privacy of your bedroom at home with a consenting adult companion.
Footnote 4.Return to text directly before Footnote 4.
A complete explication of how the failure to understand the Be Spontaneous Paradox destroys relationships and produces unintended consequences would require a text as long as the "Joy of Sex" book. That failure leads to falling out of love ("Tell me you love me.), impotence ("Get it up, Big Boy!"), insomnia ("Go to sleep now, Junior."), and many other ingenious failure ploys.
Return to text directly before Footnote 5.
4.) ARJ2: Freud, Jung, & Spiritual Psychology GA# 178, 143, 205 by Rudolf Steiner
Many of the modern publications of Steiner's lectures in book form have small introductions that add thoughtful insight to the content of book. This is the first one that I've read where the introduction is long and detracts from the lectures by Steiner that appear in the book. The author of the introduction, Robert Sardello, purports to speak definitively about Carl Jung's works in depth psychology, but his writing reveals him to be an epigone with an axe to grind. He claims on page 11, "The psychology of Jung, therefore, does not open perception to spiritual reality; it stops short." But the record shows that Carl Jung himself did not stop short. In a filmed interview in the last years of his life, he said when asked if he believed in God, "I do not believe, I know!"
Jung may have stopped short in his writings on psychology, but he didn't stop short in his life. In a recent article, a friend of Jung's revealed that Jung had told him that he had come to understand that his archetypes are spiritual beings, but thought it best not to reveal it publicly. If the "legacy of Jung has led to a psychology of abstractions" as Sardello claims, perhaps it was Jung's way of pulling otherwise materialistic psychotherapists into viewing the non-material or spiritual world for the first time — quite a legacy for one man. By not distinguishing the legacy of Jungians from the legacy of Jung, Sardello blames Jung for the excesses of his well-meaning followers. Carl Jung once said, "I would not be a Jungian." Jung was able to distinguish the dance students from the dance.
Sardello quotes Steiner on page 13 as saying that "Wagner allowed Nietzsche to become mentally deranged to protect him from entering consciously into dangerous regions of spirit." Then Sardello asks what might have happened if Nietzsche had the benefit of psychotherapy. This insanity would certainly fall into the category of a circumstance that Nietzsche did not wish to happen, so Wagner played the role of the agent that helped bring about that circumstance. Yet Sardello asks, "Is it not hubris when the analyst determines that what the patient is given to confront in life is the wrong thing for that person to confront?" Was not Wagner acting as an analyst when he made just such a decision for Nietzsche?
In the next passage I found a statement of Sardello's I could agree with:[page 13] In truth, the psychotherapist has not the faintest notion of what he is dealing with nor of how very simplistic even the most complex of psychological theories really are because of the failure to recognize the reality of the spiritual worlds.
This is an indictment with which I heartily concur, an indictment not of Jung, but of many Jungians, even Jung's closest associates such as C. A. Meier, as I point out in my ARJ review of Meier's book, The Unconscious in Its Empirical Manifestations. In his book, Meier quotes Wieland saying, "He that has dared to break new ground / a nest of scholarly wasps has found." If Sardello is a "scholarly wasp," in the page 13 passage above, his sting is well-placed.
After the very long introduction, lasting until page 29, Steiner's actual lectures finally begin.
[page 58] First of all, I would like to point out that the facts available to psychoanalysts are really suited to lead them to a spiritual realm modern people do not wish to enter at least not in an accurate manner. Rather, they would prefer to leave it as a sort of nebulous, unconscious region, for our current outlook, ailing with materialism even in this domain, loves nothing more than a vague, mystical floating among all sorts of unexplained, undefined concepts.
There was a popular TV program called X-Files that seemed to me to attract exactly those "modern people" to be its viewers. Carl Jung uncovered so many of those psychological facts, that by the end of his life he understood what others called "psychology abstractions" were actually spiritual realities. Jung's life should be considered as a paradigm for how a modern person comes to the spiritual world rather than an example of a path to be avoided.
One of the critics of Steiner's works, a man named Max Dessoir, gave this revealing information about himself that Steiner shares with us. It reminds me of a time when I was reading to my wife a passage of something I had just written — it was difficult material, but she followed me just fine until some point at which she stopped me and said, "I don't understand that last sentence." I realized that during the reading of the previous sentence I had noted a minor change that would improve the passage, in other words, my soul was no longer present in my words as I read them. I apologized, backed up, read the exact same words with full attention to my understanding of them as I read them, and she had no problem following them. I realized that she was informing herself with my soul's understanding, a direct understanding-transfer from me, and that the words I read were only a glide path that took me through my understanding.
Suddenly I had a new way of understanding what teachers do when preparing a lesson plan the night before giving a class. They must first understand the material, then organize a glide path through their understanding to use during the class on the next day. Thus if a teacher chooses to read material to the class that the teacher does not fully understood, the class will loose interest for the simple reason that no understanding is being transferred. This is a process whose existence has not been expressly communicated so far as I know, up until now. (Note: Later I incorporated this thought in my Final Paper Teaching and Learning in the College Classroom.)
In an oblique fashion Max Dessoir describes what seems to me to be a similar process that occasionally occurred to him during his lectures :
[page 65] Grotesquely enough, [Max Dessoir] relates that when he is lecturing it sometimes happens that his thoughts go on even though his soul is no longer present with them. He thus continues to speak for a while, until he realizes from the reaction of his audience that his thoughts have gone in one direction and his attention in another.
In the 1960's there appeared a science series on television that lives on in syndication even today forty years later, Star Trek. I was taking a basic course in metaphysics about 1977 and began watching the series for the first time, it was in its first reruns and appeared every night at ten o'clock. As I watched intensely it became obvious to me that Scotty the engineer was the Willing function as he carried out the orders of the Captain. Mr. Spock the science officer was the Thinking function and whenever the Captain needed data, it was Mr. Spock he requested it from. Dr. McCoy, or Bones, was the Feeling function and whenever the Captain needed information involving how to deal with human beings, it was Bones he turned to for help.The trio of Scotty, Spock, and Bones would have disputes over which course to take because each of them saw the situation from different points of view. Scotty recommended a potential course of action depending on how it affected the Starship Enterprise. Bones spoke from the human equation and his recommendations considered the emotional effects on the crew. Spock read data from the ship's computer and outlined a logical course of action that was based solely on the data. This led to Spock's being ridiculed by Bones for being an "unfeeling automaton" at times. How in the world could any reasonable course of action be plotted by any one of the trio? It required a fourth party, the Captain, in the form of James Tiberius Kirk, to formulate a plan that took all three aspects into account plus his own direct intuitions of the situation. Clearly Kirk was the I of the quartet of crew members, the Ego. Reading Steiner's words below one cannot help but hear him talking about the Star Trek crew.
[page 68] When our I is healthy, when it has perfect soul health, then the interaction of thinking, feeling, and willing is so regulated that they do not merge but only mutually influence each other. This is the essential secret of our I: it keeps thinking, feeling, and willing side by side so that they affect each other in the right way, but do not merge.
Consider these two examples. First, we walk into a room, and we are not aware of our body. Second, we walk toward a mirror, and we see our body and observe the way we look and walk. The first example is similar to being unconscious or sleeping. The second example is like being awake.
[page 79] It is the same with the contents of our ordinary consciousness. they exist continually within us, and as such they have nothing whatsoever to do with the physical body — as little as we ourselves have to do with the mirror mentioned above.
The materialistic theory concerning this is simply nonsense; it is not even a possible hypothesis. For what the materialists claim can only be compared with people saying that because they can see themselves in the mirror, the mirror has created them.
Our unconscious contents persist even when there is no mirror of consciousness, and Steiner says that we can develop the ability to perceive these enduring contents. These exist in the hidden realms of the soul, that deep well from which poets and artists draw their inspirations.
If the trio of Spock, Bones, and Scotty were to go through an episode of Star Trek where all their interactions with Kirk were unconscious to them, they would be at a loss to explain their actions. Why, Scotty might ask, did I drive the Enterprise to Warp 10, which nearly destroyed her hull? Why, Bones, might ask, did I leave a wounded crew member on the ground and beam up to the ship? Why, Spock, might ask, did we tell the alien vessel that the Enterprise contained an element called Corbomite when that is simply untrue and illogical? But when the alien vessel released the tractor beam and set the Enterprise free, that illogical description saved the entire ship and crew from imminent destruction. To understand this, the trio might try an exercise that Steiner proposes that each of us attempt in our own lives. They might postulate an imaginary Captain who had access to information that they didn't and who gave the orders that resulted in their successfully escaping sure destruction at the hands of the alien ship. (See Star Trek Episode, The Corbomite Maneuver.)
[page 87] And now we can make the following experiment: We construct in our mind an artificial human being, so to speak, who through his own abilities brought about all those of our successes we cannot explain.
If the trio were to do that they would create for their imaginary being an excellent replica of Captain Kirk, because it is clear that it was the Captain who did make the decisions that neither of the trio would have done using each of their unique talents. If each of us were to attempt such an experiment in our lives, we would begin to understand our world and our lives in a new and meaningful way. We would learn to "take destiny calmly upon us."
[page 89] Then we get the feeling that we really have something to do with events that seem to have no cause in real life. In this way, we get a sense for our connection with our destiny, with what is called karma.
Persons who do not take their destiny calmly, but become maniacally enraged, are acting out a karmic force destined for their next incarnations. (Page 131 paraphrase) We should be reminded here, dear Reader, of what Steiner says about evil, "It is a good before its time." The evils performed in maniacal rages are gifts of Lucifer, who knows something about obtaining a good before its time, as that is an excellent description of what led to the fall of Lucifer from Grace. Lucifer took what light he could with him and turned his back on the continuous source of Light from God. Then he descended to the Earth to convince us that such premature takings are the soul of wisdom and we are doomed to discover that the opposite is true if we accept such ersatz wisdom for spiritual truth.
In the last paragraph of the book, Steiner says that "the law of conservation of energy is the most false" law imaginable. Yet Robert Mayer, as I pointed out in my review of Meier's The Unconscious in Its Empirical Manifestations got the insight that led to his formulation of the conservation of energy law from a blazing revelation of the spiritual Christ in the Sun. Nevertheless, Steiner reminds us of these fateful words of the Bible and suggests we base our ascent into the spiritual world on them, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
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I hear often from my Good Readers that they have bought books after reading my book reviews. Keep reading, folks! As I like to remind you, to obtain more information on what's in these books, buy and read the books — for less information, read the reviews.
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= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =In this section I like to comment on events in the world, in my life, and in my readings which have come up during the month. These are things I might have shared with you in person, if we had had the opportunity to converse during the month. If we did, then you may recognize my words. If I say some things here which upset you, rest assured that you may skip over these for the very reason that I would likely have not brought up the subject to spoil our time together in person.1. Padre Filius Gets Chance to Read a Revealing Memo 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. [Cartoon Idea inspired by Charles Krauthammer's rant in The Advocate, May 16, 2013.]
This month the good Padre reads an interesting Memo:
2. Comments from Readers:
NOTE: I love hearing from all my Good Readers and including your missives here (slightly edited).
If you prefer any comments you write to be private, simply say so and they will not be published.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
EMAIL from brother Paul in Opelousas, LA, with photo of his new grandson:
Alexander Keith Matherne at one month. Happy Mothers day to all, without them who could be a grandmother.
EMAIL from Anise about my blurb on Painted Caves for amazon.com:
Well, at least this reviewer clearly read the book. I have literally not read more than 5-10 positive reviews that fit this description. Anise
EMAIL from Betty in Kentucky Derby city:
Awww, new cute grand baby, how nice! Of course I always like the pictures of you and Del. Her go-green hat was cute on her and your black hat with its mess was cute!! The flowers look like they would blow in the breeze and I could reach out to smell them. The birds are also very nice to add into your writings. I like the Moses and Red Sea story also.
Well, there is so much to remember to mention. Just happy to see you and Del with family and friends, staying busy.
Ask Del if she remembers Pamela Collamore from the Pace Group. I went to CA to her wedding this past weekend and it was gorgeous!
Have a great May, the Derby sounds as if it will be a soggy day here !
luv ya, Betty
~~~~ REPLY ~~~~~~~~~~~~
Yes, both Del and I remember Pam and I have a photo of us together to prove it.
Tell Pam congrats for us next time you talk to her!
EMAIL from Johann Maria in Switzerland:
thanx so much for all the work you put in your presence it helps to stimulate me strongly becoming consciousnessly aware.
EMAIL from Gust & Janet, cruising to Europe:
Hi Bobby, Good to read you and Del are doing well. Janet and I are in Miami to board our ship tomorrow. Wish you and Del were here with us. We certainly will miss you guys. Give my love to Del, Gust.
~~~~ REPLY ~~~~~~~~~~~~
We wish we were crossing the Atlantic again with you two! Love to Janet! Maybe next time, Bobby
EMAIL from Dr. Kevin Dann re his latest project, an enigma called ENIGMA:
Just in from a wonderful walk through of the ENIGMA route with my actors, and happy to think of revisiting the lavender book through your eyes! Hey! I am launching a Kickstarter project next week; video is still being edited, but you can cast your editorial eye right at the kickstarter.com link below. Plus, let me know if you like the story so far, even without the video! The YouTube video is a little teaser for you that should catch your eye.
~~~~ REPLY ~~~~~~~~~~~~
After my phone chat with my busy friend and troubador, Kevin sent me a photo of him with two lady friends in Bodega Bay, California.
P. S. Below are the two links he sent:
3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:"It's Not That"
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. Be Spontaneous Paradox
It's Not That
It's not that the Supreme Court
is legislating our laws
It's not that Congress
is setting foreign policy
It's not that the President
is creating new laws alone
It's not that Social Security
is a pyramid scheme
It's not that the IRS
is a USA Gestapo
It's not that the Postal Service
is a constitutional disgrace
It's not that public servants
are underpaid and overbribed
It's not that civil rights
intrude on human rights
It's not that freedom's flare of the 18th Century
has been snuffed out by the 21st.
It's not that we don't deserve
a government of the free,
by the free,
and for the free.
It's not that, it's not that
IT'S SURELY NOT THAT!Paul Watzlawick describes the Be Spontaneous Paradox as the attempt to do something on command which can only be done spontaneously. Smile! creates an artificial not a genuine smile. Photographers know better than to say Smile!, knowing it only creates pretend smiles, so they will instead ask them to say something which will create a spontaneous smile, like Cheese! did for a short time. I heard a doctor taking a photo ask us to say, Hemorroids! They may not be funny to have but unexpectedly being asked to say the word created genuine smiles in us.5. Garbage from the "Allied Waste Broadcast Booth":
Be Happy! can be a BSP as well, as no one who is unhappy knows automatically how to get happy again on command, they will only feel worse, won't they?
Go to sleep! Tell that to your kids and they will stay awake half the night. Better to say, Stay in bed with lights off and be quiet. Then sleep will happen naturally.
Want to fall out of love with someone? Simply say, "You haven't told me you love for a long time." Naturally the loved one will comply with your implied command and say, "I love you." But it won't sound right and loving, because they are not saying it due to love, but due to a command. Continue this process as long as necessary and the two of you will fall out of love, having lost the very essence of love: spontaneous caring for each other due to a series of BSP's.
Someone you love is having a series of hiccups which never stops? Pull out a twenty dollar bill, wave it in front of them and say, "Give me one more hiccup and I will give this twenty." Note: you must mean this for it to work. The hiccups will stop because the spontaneous reflex will be immediately dissolved by a willful command to do what can only happen unwilled! You only have to risk a twenty once because if you're successful on your first time, the mere telling of the story will help future hiccupers to stop.
The applications of the Be Spontaneous Paradox are many; one need only learn to identify truly spontaneous actions and if they are unwanted actions, apply the BSP; if they are desirable actions to encourage, avoid the BSP like the plague!I remember when football and baseball game broadcasts were sharply divided between calling the game and playing commercials. No respectable announcer would deign to do commercials; they were paid to call the game not plug tobacco or push products. Now every component of a baseball call over radio has a commercial sponsor attached to it, e. g., the Hertz first pitch, the Pinkerton steal, the Twin Tires double play, the Cuddles Diaper Pitching Change time-out, and so forth, ad nauseam! Stinks like a dirty diaper!
So, gimme a break, guys! Sure, I know you gotta make as much money as possible, but can you hear what it sounds like when you say, "We're coming to you from our Allied Waste Broadcast Booth"? This one I didn't make up! I heard Jim Hawthorne use those very words, several times, during a recent LSU baseball game broadcast. Can't you get some company whose name doesn't conjure up a garbage-filled or a reeking-dumpster-filled broadcast booth? It's hard to hear your play calling while we're scrunching our noses from the odors you are calling up in our minds.
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9. CLOSING NOTES:
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My reviews are not intended to replace the purchasing and reading of the reviewed books, but rather to supplant a previous reading or to spur a new reading of your own copy. What I endeavor to do in most of my reviews is to impart a sufficient amount of information to get the reader comfortable with the book so that they will want to read it for themselves. My Rudolf Steiner reviews are more detailed and my intention is to bring his work to a new century of readers by converting his amazing insights into modern language and concepts.
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Any questions about this DIGESTWORLD ISSUE, Contact: Bobby Matherne
Does your Face sometimes resemble the Faces Below? If so, Click on the Faces or Flags to Dig into our First Aid Kit.
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Books are Lighthouses Erected in the Sea of Time
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