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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Billy Wayne Tyree (1940 - 2013) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ [Hahnville High School, fellow graduate] ~~~~~
Eydie Gorme (1928-2013) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ [Singer and wife of Steve Lawrence] ~~~~~
WELCOME TO DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#13a October, 2013== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Quote for the Fall Month of October:
Every memorable act in the history of the world is a triumph of enthusiasm.
— Og Mandino
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Editor: Bobby Matherne, Asst. Editor: Del Matherne
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GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents ISSUE#13a for October 2013Archived DIGESTWORLD Issues
Table of Contents
1. October's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for October
3. On a Personal Note
Flowers of Shanidar Poems
4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe of the Month from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen: Okra Jambalaya
6. Poem from New Millennium Poems: "Take a Haiku"
7. Reviews and Articles Added for October:
8. Commentary on the World
- ART: Frogs into Princes — Neuro Linguistic Programming by Richard Bandler and John Grinder
- ARJ2: The Book of Illusions by Paul Auster
- ARJ2: The Redeemer by Jo Nesbø
- ARJ2: The Christmas Conference, GA#260 by Rudolf Steiner
1. Padre Filius Cartoon
2. Comments from Readers
3. Freedom on the Half Shell Poem
4. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU
9. Closing Notes — our mailing list, locating books, subscribing/unsubscribing to DIGESTWORLD
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1. October Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==This month Violet and Joey learn about Editing Someone Else's Quotation.
For newcomers to DIGESTWORLD, we have created a webpage of all the Violet-n-Joey cartoons!
"Editing a Quotation" at http://www.doyletics.com/images/130916vj.gif
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2. HONORED READERS FOR October:
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Each month we choose to honor two Good Readers of our DIGESTWORLD from those all over the World. Here are the two worthy Honored Readers for October, 2013:
Kurt Cramer in Dornach, Switzerland
Robert Sardello in Texas
Congratulations, Kurt and Robert!
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3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
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Out Our Way:
A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON OUR WAY TO ALASKA:
We had signed up for a cruise from New Orleans to Alaska, going through the Panama Canal, all the way up to Alaska and back down to Seattle for next April and we received the news that the cruise was canceled because the ship had been scheduled for dry dock instead. So we moved onto Plan B which was a Viking river cruise coming down the Rhine river, this time from Basel to Amsterdam in the summertime. No more fall trips with freezing weather ending with a heavy snowfall in Budapest like last time. Having spent a week or so in the Rheingau (Rhine River region around Wiesbaden) in the summer, I knew we could expect great weather at that time. Also this new cruise actually stops in the middle of the Rheingau instead of sailing through it. Rudesheim is a lovely German village which is on our new itinerary. Before the cruise we plan to spend 3 days in Dornach so Del and I can visit the Goetheanum together, staying at the Kloster-Dornach, then meeting our cruise in Basel. At the end of the cruise we plan to spend three days in Bruges, Belgium before flying home. So we started out for Alaska and will end up in Bruges instead.
There are three phases of enjoyment in taking a cruise: the pre-cruise time when you get to talk about your upcoming cruise, as I am doing now, the cruise itself, and then the post-cruise phase when you get to answer questions about how the cruise went. Typically the pre-cruise portion is the longest of the three phases and that's the phase we're in now, for the Rhine cruise. Actually we are also in phase one of a second cruise which will happen in 2015. This one will take us to Tortola in the British Virgin Isles, a place where Del booked bare boat charters when we first met. As part of her job, she had to spend a week or so there learning about the place and the boats that she chartered back in New Orleans over the phone. This trip is a return for her and my first trip there. So I suppose the funny thing which happened on our way to Alaska was that we had to go through Germany and the West Indies.
LSU AND SAINTS OFF TO GREAT SEASONS
With Zack Mettenberger, Mett, as one newspaperman dubbed him, at the helm of the LSU offense, no team can stack the line against an LSU run without risking a pass going for a first down or touchdown. LSU's defense, in the able and steady hands of John Chavis, has recovered well from the loss of almost a dozen starters, with the new guys playing their hearts out and ready to take on the best in the SEC, at least the best that's left behind the Fighting Tigers of LSU who are sitting at the top of the SEC. We've won a National Championship twice before with a Matt at the helm and now we have a Mett. They are definitely more fun to watch with new Offensive Coordinator, Cam Cameron, training the offense and calling the plays. LSU is 4-0 heading to its game with Georgia.
Whatever Drew Brees left undone from the first two victorious games, he did against Arizona Cardinals: 3 TD passes and one TD run up the middle for 11 yards. Like Tumbleena, he has bounced right back up after being hit, hurried, and sacked and won all three games. In the most recent game, the Saints beat Arizona 35-7, never looked back after spotting Cardinals a 7-0 lead on first drive. Defense was awesome for Saints. Drew was incredible, using his passing to make up for poor offensive line protection and lack of holes for running backs. The running game perked up when newcomer Kwiry Robinson came in during 3rd Quarter and made his own holes. Drew threw three 3 TD's and scored a running TD for 11 yards up the middle. Saints are 3-0 and at the top of the Southern NFC division going into its game against the Miami Dolphins who are putting their 3-0 record up against the Saints on Monday Night Football with the nation watching.The sports pundits are begining to take notice of the Saints, e.g., Scott Rabalais, sports columnist for the daily New Orleans Advocate, wrote on September 23, 2013: "This Saints defense has given the faithful a lot to be infatuated with. Through three games, it's been the gift which keeps on taking away." and this: "What makes the Saints' defensive success sound even more like some implausible football movie being filmed in New Orleans is the players the Saints have lost on defense."
Both LSU and the Saints are winning games with an untested but over-achieving bunch of defensive players backing up their two productive Quarterbacks. Could prove to be an exciting football season for their fans.
We have been picking more okra and eggplant than we could eat and freezing the excess. Along the way we made a large okra jambalaya and saved some tubes of the delicious concoction in the freezer to grace future omelets, similar to the way we have used Crawfish-Eggplant Dressing inside omelets. For Labor Day, I made a large seafood gumbo, and saved half of it without oysters for when Stoney, Sue, and Sam came over later. Del and I ate most of the gumbo and saved two small, lunch-size containers in the freezer for later. We also had fresh cucumbers from the volunteer vine in the new mulch bed area. By the end of the month, the vine was waning and the four newer ones need the weeds pulled away from them.
With the completion of the new pergola and paving stone areas on the southwest and northwest sides of Timberlane, we have created new planting areas for flowers. Del and I put the petunias around the horse's head sculpture and two new artichoke plants which will fruit next year if we have a mild winter. I purchased a large quantity of white sweet alyssum seeds and we'll plant bunches according to Connie's advice, make a hole, place a 1/4 tsp in hole, and a huge white bunch of fragrant and beautiful white blooms will appear. This is to be done in October on the first waxing Moon.
I have some seed potatoes ready for the waning Moon to plant for our December crop of red potatoes. We needed gas for our Echo Tiller, and State Oil was advertising no-ethanol gas, so I bought some Sta-Bil and 2-cycle Oil, then filled our three five-gallon gas containers which are invaluable in case of a power outage as they will keep our generator running, and also provide the gasoline for Tillie our Tiller. I ran Tillie to toil up the veggie garden to get it ready for our green onions and red potatoes. The green onions are already about 6 inches high, and the potatoes will be planted right after the Full Moon.
Had a run-in with a couple of wasps who were building a nest in one of the eggplant bushes and took two stings on my left ring finger. Removed the rings in case of swelling, which never occurred but the stinging caused a bit of pain over the next day or so.Immediately crushed some St. Augustine grass and rubbed it on the sting area. This is an excellent First Aid for various stings which I have used since childhood. Generally grass is close by when a sting occurs. A few days later I found the source of the wasps, a 3" diameter wasp nest, and took care of it with dispatch.
WARREN EASTON HIGH SCHOOL JAZZ LEGENDS CONCERT
This month was the Warren Easton event at Del's High School, a fund-raiser for their band. The concert featured the bands of Nicholas Payton and Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, and the event honored all the famous musicians who graduated from the school. Their most famous alumnus was there to receive a Golden Eagle award, Peter Dewey Fountain, Jr. He was born on July 3, 1930 and was playing in Bourbon Street jazz bands when fifteen years old. I remember seeing Pete Fountain playing his clarinet on Lawrence Welk and remember him as having a full head of black hair. What I found out later from a member of Welk band at the time that Pete was fully bald when he played in the band and that Welk had talked him into wearing a toupee. One night in an outdoor concert, the toupee flew off in stiff wind and the girl singers went chasing it all over trying to catch it.
During the Patron Party prior to the concert, I shook Pete's hand and told him that my wife and I go to Mardi Gras every year in the French Quarter and we always look forward to seeing him with his Half-Fast Marching Club. I said I saw him at the Jazz Fest and asked if he enjoyed playing with Tim McLaughlin. He said yes and that it will probably be his last Jazz Fest performance. I had heard that he had performed every year since Fest started, perhaps the only performer to do so. I told him, "I've seen Tim performing before, and he always mentions you, saying how much he loves the clarinet you gave him."
As we were seated waiting for the event to begin, I heard this story about Pete going recently to a Music Store on Magazine and Louisiana to get a cheap clarinet. He told the owner, "It doesn't need to work." The owner, Jimmy, was sitting next to Del, and told us the story. "I gave it to Pete free of charge. Later I found out he had had it made into a lamp and sent it to Woody Allen." Pete obviously knew how Woody played a clarinet and loved to play improvisational jazz New Orleans-style. The card on the lamp said "Keep on Playing"
While walking down the hallway to the Patron Party I had caught a glimpse of a familiar face: Jim Louie, an Easton graduate of 1958, same year I graduated. Dr. James Louie now, Physician and UCLA Professor. Couldn't see him on 1958 Graduates photos posted over my head, but tried a photo. Bill Hatchett, Del's first husband, who was the Emcee for the event, said he had a 1958 WE yearbook. I mentioned I would love to see it, and the next weekend he brought our joint grandson Sam Hatchett to the house and had the '58 Yearbook with him. Sure enough, that was the Jim Louie I knew.
Think I met Jim in 1958 or 59 because we worked selling Colliers Encyclopedias in thd Thibodaux area, we also double-dated with Judy and his girl (tall black haired uptown chick), don't remember her name, Triche or something like that. We played chess together at his home on Argonne Blvd. His mother made the best fried rice. He gave me copy of "Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man." Taught me to play a word game called Superghosts, with which we passed the time during the long drives into Bayou Country to sell our encyclopedias. A few days later at our Book Club, a Warren Easton graduate, Dr. Eversmeyer, told me that he knows Dr. Jim Louie as a fellow Rheumatologist in Los Angeles area. I have sent him an email, and so far, I haven't heard from Jim, but it would be great to say hello again to an old friend that I knew for only one summer as a teenager.
TELEVISIONS AND OLD PC
Our Timberlane Screening Room is undergoing a makeover beginning this month. During the first Saturday of September, the Mitsubishi TV, an old projection TV, but with High Definition capability finally bit the dust. When the McCann electronics specialist said it would cost about $700, it was time to cut our losses and dump the old TV. It was one that Del's dad had purchased for $2,000 back in the 1990s when it was the top line TV. It survived Katrina and has given us good service since then. I was reluctant to part with it because it's not possible to buy a TV anymore that has a flat top on which you can perch another TV. We decided it was time to have some shelving units built which will allow us to stack two flat screen TV's on each side of our Pioneer KURO Plasma Screen in the middle. With the big box gone, I placed the LG flat screen on a coffee table. When it came time for the first College Game Day on Saturday, I added a fifth screen in a small table to the right of the LG. Next step will be to buy two larger flat screen TVs to place in the new shelves and get the shelves built big enough to hold our four side TVs.
My old PC, an XP system, whose mainframe goes back to the 1990s, finally kept crashing even in Safe Mode, so my migration to S7 had to be completed. A month or so later, I have published on S7 an entire DIGESTWORLD ISSUE for September, and I am in the process of completing the October issue which contain these Personal Notes. Notepad++, freeware, has been a life-saver replacement for my old Hot Dog 7.0 html editor, for which hundreds of websites claim to have it to download, but try it yourself and let me know if you can actually do a download as all of the sites I tried were trying to sell me or have me download stuff I didn't want and never gave me what I wanted. Wasted a couple of hours and the only thing good to come out of my trials and errors was stumbling upon Notepad++!
Near the end of the month, I took the old PC to A Prompt Computer for troubleshooting. Too soon to tell if they'll be able to get it going. Good news is the four hard drives seem to be okay. . . . Just got a call from the tech saying the motherboard is fried (made useless) due to a short in the lower USB ports which backfed into the motherboard. I had noticed a few years ago that the lower ports didn't work, and I suppose if I had taken it to them back then, they could have repaired the ports before the short caused the major failure. I will retrieve my hard drives and let them dispose of the mainframe. I did find out that they have 3.5 floppy disk drives which plug via USB ports, so that alleviates my concern of losing my only PC with a workable floppy drive.
P. S. I know this techy stuff is useless to most of my Good Readers, but I include it because some folks will recognize a possible solution to a problem they might have in the future. Like if a USB port stops working, take the PC to shop immediately, DO NOT PASS GO or your PC may become a Boat Anchor as mine did. Fried Motherboard does not go well with our Portobello Burgers. Recognize USB ports and get the mother fixed ASAP or you'll think yourself A SAP.
During the PBS July 4 special, Neil Diamond made an appearance, leading off with his amazing song from the 1970s, Sweet Caroline. I was thinking about that song when Del and went to meet Caroline the new masseuse who opened a Massage Wellnes Spa in John Garrity's strip center about a block away from our home. I made an appointment for myself for the following week and as we were leaving we bumped into John who was coming out of his car. We used to see him a lot when we lived next door to him on Timberlane Road, but not since we moved a block away to Timberlane Drive. Del took a photo of him and me.
Since I lost my best masseuse ever, Laura Sampson, due to Katrina when she and her husband's Lakeview house went ten feet under water during the Federal Flood which followed the storm, I have tried various masseuses and never found one I really liked.After meeting Caroline, Del bought me a massage as thanks for helping her with her Garden Club yearbook, editing, printing and cover photography. I thought if Caroline worked out well, that would be a boon: no more long drives across the river to Metairie, and other ignominies I have suffered through with West Bank masseuses. It's been six months or more since my last massage. I had three massages on our cruise to Istanbul, thanks to the lovely and talented Rachal from Portugal.
A little background on the weeks leading up to my massage with Caroline: I had been feeling low, a little out of sorts, but nothing serious, just wasn't feeling my usual vim and vigor and excitement about my work. I got my massage with Caroline. Just told her I had some back muscles that were a little tight due to some gardening. She took care of those muscles just fine. The next day I noticed that the slight malaise I had been feeling for a week or two was all gone! It was as if some crap had accumulated in my body and Caroline had pushed it all out!
Our life body (etheric body) is what keeps the minerals and fluids in our body alive and moving. When we have a massage, the etheric body of the masseuse penetrates the etheric body on the table, and if our etheric body is sluggish, and unable to remove the sluggishness on its own, a good masseuse can kick start the etheric body of their client. So, if you're feeling a bit down, taking pills, etc, and nothing seems to help, do yourself a favor and get yourself a massage. If you don't think it's a good idea, read the potential side-effects of the pill and the potential side-affects of a massage, and decide for yourself.
The only side-affects I had from Caroline's massage was to recover my usual good feeling. That's why she deserves the name Sweet Caroline!
STEPPING OUT TO BATON ROUGE AND DALLAS
Del and I had collision of wedding events on Friday the 20th: her son's step-daughter Amanda was getting married in Dallas and my step-son John Hatchett was having a wedding shower in Baton Rouge. After considering all the possibilities we decided to divide and concur, alliteratively, by attending both events, Del to Dallas and Bobby to Baton Rouge. I drove Del down to the Sheraton to meet her daughter's husband to drive to Alexandria with him. They were to watch Thomas Gralapp's football game (which they won in the last seconds), and then all drive to Dallas the next morning for the wedding. Meanwhile I left home about 5 pm to drive to Baton Rouge and the thunder clouds in the Southwest looked ominous, so instead of taking the route through Boutte via 3127 to I-10, I decided to take the Huey Long Bridge to I-10 instead. Taking the Huey P. during Friday night rush hour would have been unthinkble a short 3 months earlier while the construction was underway, but with the three wide lanes and a breakdown lane each way now open, it seemed worth a test. Never slowed down under 50 mph till I was up to Earthart Expressway and headed towards airport. Zipped over Bridge City and Jefferson Hwy on the overpass approaches as if they didn't exist. Then I saw the time across the Spillway I-10 to be only 11 minutes so I shuttled to I-10 on I-310 and made it Baton Rouge for 7 pm with very little rain.
Collin and Kyle Hatchett were walking up to greet me in the middle of the street when I got out of the car. We walked back to the Bassinger's home and I got to meet Wendell, the host who asked me if I was the Matherne's Supermarket Matherne. I laughed, no, but we're undoubtedly cousins. Rohan and Irene, Kim Green, the bride-to-be's parents were there, and I got to meet them, plus a bunch of people John and Kim work with at Amedisys. Love was in the air, this night, literally: cutouts of LOVE were hanging from the helium balloons which filled the ceiling over the table full of delicious food. Kyle got a helium balloon and breathing some to make his voice higher. I told his brother Collin, who's voice dramatically changed with puberty onset, "Collin, you breathe some, your voice will soon the way it was three months ago!" As Kim was opening a present a long strip of paper with a message on it had to be unfolded. She said, as she opened it, "Look how long it is after it's unfolded." Well, that got a huge laugh, which will make sense to anyone who's gone to a shower before and listened to them read back what the bride and groom said as they opened presents, after prefacing the comments with: "These are things that Kim and John might say on their honeymoon night."
LAST MINUTE EVENTS
Our good friend Burt Lattimore (See photo at top of this section.) had made a large quantity of equisetum tea and we drove over to visit him and Renee in Meraux to pick some up. He showed us his veggie and we had a nice visit. On the way home, we stopped at Harold's Nursery on Press Street in the Ninth Ward to pick up some herbs and misc. plants.
Del's brother Dan Richards and his son Daniel drove in from Charlotte, N.C. and arrived during second quarter as LSU was defeathering the Auburn War Eagles who played more like doves as they trailed 21-0 in the first quarter, same as two earlier opponents of the Fighting Tigers of LSU did. Each time they clawed their way to a TD in the second half, Mett paid them back in kind, until he took a knee in the victory formation to end the game near Auburn's goal line.
The day after the Dallas wedding, Del went to her step-grandson Kirt's football game in Dallas, before she got on Southwest Airlines to fly home about 9 pm. I picked her up at the Louis Armstrong International Airport.
The two Dans had tickets to the Saints-Arizona football game in the Superdome and we were all hoping for a third win, but few fans would have predicted 35-7 win, especially after Carson Palmer drove 80 yards to a TD on the first series! The Dans went to Felix's Oyster House in the Quarter before coming home and were watching the Sunday Night Football game when Del and I came home from the airport.
The next day Dan drove across the lake to inspect his property and when he and his son came back, we decided to go to dinner at West End on Lake Ponchartrain. We saw Landry's Seafood was open, but drove past it to inspect the old West End park which was home to so many great seafood restaurants, Fitzgerald's, Bruning's, and a half dozen others. All of them are gone now! "Ain't dere no moh!" as Benny Grunch would say.But the Point was still there and I wanted to show the younger Dan the spot where young couples used to park to watch the Submarine Races. It was approaching dusk, and I wanted a good shot of the newly rebuilt Lighthouse. Dan told me the original lighthouse's light use to periodically shine into his childhood bedroom window as there were no houses or trees to block the light back then. I took one shot and then got out the car to wait for the sailboat returning to the harbor to pass in front of the lighthouse. After that photo, I noticed that a fisherman about 100 feet away on the lake side of the Point had hooked a huge fish, so I walked over there. Sure enough, it was not only large, but absolutely ferocious: a seven to eight foot alligator gar! Strong, fierce, and with jaws like an alligator and the strength of a cobia (lemonfish). It was definitely hooked well, but it could not be lifted by the fishing pole alone, but only by a gaff. The other fisherman was really tentative with the gaff, probably afraid of the large thrashing fish so close to his hands as he tried repeatedly to secure the hook of the gaff into its gills. I immediately turnedS my camera on video and 42 Mb of streaming later, the denouement! Who will win the mighty battle of man and beast? Watch the YouTube video yourself to find out! ! !IMPORTANT MESSAGE:
This the point in the last week of the month where we wish for nothing exciting to happen, so I don't have to change the upcoming Issue or find a spot into which I can squeeze just one more photo. We have a visit to our son's house to make yet, a little baby-sitting to do, and that news will have to wait till the November Issue. But there's plenty to read, chew on, view, listen to, enjoy, learn from, among other things in this October DIGESTWORLD Issue! So scroll on down and have fun!
EVERY GOOD THING MUST COME TO A NEW BEGINNING, SO UNTIL NEXT MONTH
The past 30 days of September have found us at home with a trip by Del to our grand-daughter's wedding in Texas and my trip to our son John's wedding shower in Baton Rouge. Kim and John's joint wedding shower took place the day before Amanda's wedding and we couldn't do both, so we split up to attend both. It's been a marvelous September with lots of rain and lots of sunny days in between. Our watering equipment got a summer off after three parched summers in a row. With our the new sod, new plants, trees, and veggie gardens requiring water to survive, we were constantly outside getting water to them, water which has mostly all come from the skies this summer. With Summer Officially ended in New Orleans, and the first mild cold front blowing through, cooler and drier air can be expected for the next two months. It's time to pull up the okra and eggplants, and I have already planted the fall crop of potatoes during the waning Moon. We also have our green onions and other fall crops, broccoli and brussels sprouts growing in the ground. Next planting will be sweet alyssum to add white accents to our floral borders. My new desktop is exceeding my expectations for ease and productivity for writing and editing the DIGESTWORLD Issues. The Saints in pre-season were back as strong as their Super Bowl year, they have added wins against Atlanta, Tampa Bay, and Arizona. The LSU Tiger football team with its new Offensive Coordinator, Cam Cameron, is looking like a jigsaw puzzle with the last crucial piece solidly in place. Four wins and no losses going into the Georgia game. Maybe this will be the next year we've been waiting for since 1958: an unbeaten regular season and a National Championship.
This coming month of October will find us visiting our son, Robie, and his new lady. There will be Saints games each Sunday and LSU games on Saturday, and Broadway Musicals at the re-opened and enlarged Saenger Theater downtown on certain Friday nights. Two bridal showers have happened to our offspring, one wedding, and another wedding is coming next month. Till we meet again in these pages in November, God Willing and only Gentle winds blow, whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, be it Fall or Spring, remember our slogan for this God-given Year of Grace:
MAY THE WORLD CONTINUE PEACEFUL AND SERENE IN TWENTY-THIRTEEN
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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:
- A gaffe in Washington, D. C. is when you inadvertently tell the truth.
Chris Wallace, Commentator on FOX NEWS
New Stuff on Website:I'm in Cahoots with Jeff Parsons on this one: Travel Plans
Don't Jump to Conclusions or You might Land in Denial.Thanks to Ed Murphy for sending this inspiritional one along: THE STORY OF DELTA FLIGHT 15
(A PREVIOUSLY UNCIRCULATED 9/11 STORY)
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)
The memory of a memory can bring us home again.
There are good memories we cherish
that live within our mind
And the bad memories which we wish
that we could leave behind.
But the memory of a memory
with a new dimension fine,
Can make us sad the good one is
no longer to be found
And make us see in new perspectives
the bad one that's around.
To enjoy all your memories
in a way that's safe and sound:
If you find you're feeling badly,
let a mem'ry of a mem'ry
Help turn your life around.
There are mem'ries that we cherish
and ones that bring us pain
But the mem'ry of a mem'ry
can bring us home again.
The cause depends on its effects
If it's designed to proper spec's:
Those that say that the cause comes first
Live in a casual universe.
With no spec's their futures come
In surprises labeled random.
It all happens at the same time:
The punishment befits the crime;
The cause, bereft of a defect,
Creates the planned for effect.
All's right with the scientific world,
With Bacon's grease it keeps well-oiled;
Much depends upon this verity
For scientific sanity.
But TRUE and FALSE are just a tease:
Only TWO possibilities.
For when we with our REASON slice
The world in two, we DO err twice:
Confuse the map with territ'ry
And lose touch with REALITY.
3. Chapter: Rose Mallow
Tree of Life
In a dream within a dream one night
I chanced upon a grove of trees.
The trees were unlike earthly trees
For each one carried in its branches
The joys and sorrows of a human life.
There was a warning on the path
"All visitors are welcomed herein
But heed these words ere you begin —
Each tree reflects a life within
You'll find no good without the bad."
The branches were bending to and fro
As the winds of the heavens blew
On the left side where sorrows grew
And the right side where joys anew —
Did in harmonic balance flow.
How could I choose another's tree
And look upon my own askance?
Dare I take blindly such a chance:
Prove "envy to be ignorance"
Or rest content in being me?
4. Chapter: Rainbows & Shadows
This month, as we near the completion of Bobby's first book of Poetry, Flowers of Shanidar, we continue with a poem from his second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). This month we read the Foreword written by Bobby, edited slightly for DIGESTWORLD.
To The Reader:Is there one rainbow? Or does each one see their own rainbow?
Is there one shadow? Or does each one see their own shadow?
Is there one ultimate reality? Or is reality multi-faceted? Like a diamond, which may reflect a different sparkle of color from each and every facet.
Is there one personality in each of us? Or is personality multi-faceted? Like a sunflower, with each petal reflecting a different sub-personality and the center, an undecipherable nexus of intercommunication.
Your reading of these poems will present you with your own rainbows and your own shadows. Open at random and read a rainbow, then a shadow. Read all rainbows followed by all shadows, then read all the notes. The process you use as you progress through Rainbows & Shadows will be your own process. Notice it. Notice also your process of thought as you read each individual poem and its note. Once you have read all the poems, start over with a different process and notice how the poems have changed.
Of Bobby Matherne’s earlier poems in Flowers of Shanidar, James Malroy Morgan said, “Each poem would take a book to explain it.” Alas, the book contained only “raw poems” — sans explanation of any kind. In the rear of Rainbows & Shadows and are Notes for most of the poems. Each Note contains information (how you might inform yourself) on the who, what, where, how, and why of its associated poem. We'll include the Note right after the poem in DIGESTWORLD whenever there is one.
Think of the poem as the appetizing entrée and the Note as the fragrant side-dishes that transform the entrée into a full meal. Eat on. Bon Appetit!
NEXT MONTH THE TITLE POEM: "RAINBOWS & SHADOWS"
The Inquisitor puts the finishing touches
On that Unfinished Symphony called Heresy.
He sics the dogmas upon the interloper
Who walks by the temple without genuflection.
"Call off your dogmas
I have broken no one's laws. My legs are stiff
I was gored by an Irish bull."
The lady waits for her lover to come to her
But nothing returns beyond the pale gray shadow,
Sucked dry of joie de vivre.
Palimpsest of spirit
Erased by ecclesiastical exegesis
Tenuously awaits the archeologist.
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.
"Enigma" (2001) takes us inside the huge building called Bletchly in which hundreds of code-breakers worked to save servicemen from German strikes against troops on land and at sea. Kept secret for decades, PBS series "Bletchly Circle" (See DW136) came out recently. Kate Winslet stars in this gripping, albeit hard to decipher at times DON'T MISS HIT !!!
"Antonio's Line" (1995) Antonio remembers the people in her life and in her line as she lies on her chosen day to die. A DON'T MISS HIT! !
“Monsieur Lazhar” (2011) about an Algerian man whose family died in an apartment blaze in Algeria after he left to seek refuge in Canada. He finds a job replacing a teacher who had committed suicide in her classroom and has to face both the ghosts of his family and the teacher.
“NCIS: Season 10: Disc 4” (2012) great series of episodes includes ‘Little Abby’, her first case. A DON’T MISS HIT !
"Woman on Top" (2000) any man who would chase Penelope Cruz away because she wanted to be on top deserves to lose her forever. A DON'T MISS HIT !
"Masterpiece: Masterpieces 1851 to 1900" (2003) Edouard Manet's Le Dejeuner Sur L'Herbe, Edvard Munch's The Scream, and James McNeill Whistler's Mother are three masterpieces constructed, deconstructed, and elaborated upon ad infinitum but held our interest. Three prime examples of my thesis that true "Art is the Process of Destruction of Sameness." The world has never been the same since the nude, screaming, Mother! A DON'T MISS HIT !
"Safe Haven" (2013) Nicholas Sparks up a good conflagration when he rubs a suspected murderess and a widower together.
"Columbus Circle" (2011) at its center an agoraphobic takes a cure after two cons try to steal her inheritance with an elaborate ruse. Two hits and a miss.
"Star Trek: Into Darkness" (2013) "Star Trek: Into Darkness" (2013) Non-stop excitement from Spock doomed in volcano eruption, to Scottie thrown off the crew, to terrorist attack on Star Trek Headquarters in SF twice, to Kirk dying and being saved by a Tribble, to Khan's revenge, and after 132 minutes time to catch your breath. Best Star Trek Movie to date. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! ! !
"The Iceman" (2013) I usually don't like Ray Liotta movies, but lucky for me, he played a bit part. True story of super hitman of the Jersey Shore and his home life."Taken 2" (2012) Just when Liam Neeson thought his daughter was safe after he rescued her in Taken, all three, Father, Mother, and Daughter are in danger of being taken, but daughter escapes and has to locate her dad in Instanbul and help him escape. Hopefully they will live without further sequels.
"Robot and Frank" (2012) and frankly Robot is a sight better abetter than most wives would be.
"In Time" (2011) in a place where time is money and money is time, people say things which take on new meanings: 'Don't waste my time.' 'You've taken years off my dad's life.' 'Do you come from time?' and 'Quality time' is what you'll get maneuvering semantically through this interesting movie.
"Flashdance" (1983) Oh, what a feeling, in a world made of steel! Jennifer Beals and Michael Nouri in this amazingly tuneful and sexy movie. A DON'T MISS HIT! ! !
Misses (Avoid At All Costs): We attempted to watch these this month, but didn't make it all the way through on most of them. Awhile back when three AAAC horrors hit us in one night, I decided to add a sub-category to "Avoid at All Costs", namely, A DVD STOMPER. These are movies so bad, you don't want anyone else to get stuck watching them, so you want to stomp on the disks. That way, if everyone else who gets burnt by the movie does the same, soon no copies of the awful movie will be extant and the world will be better off."The Paperboy" (2012) take these stars, Zac Efron, Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, and Scott Glenn and create a movie lacking humanity and continuity, then give it an obscure title, and you get an AVOID AT ALL COSTS! !
"Martha Marcy May Marlene" (2011) poor gal didn't know who she was, who she was sleeping with, who she was robbing, who her sister was who helped her escape the commune, or how to live in a normal world.
"Chasing Ice" (2012) was chasing yesterday's old news, today's news is polar ice increasing at rapid rate! Beautiful photos filled with phobia installations and fear-mongering by so-called scientists.
Your call on these — your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:A Cool, Dry Place(199) an ice chest where a baby in a blanket can be safe is the kernel metaphor for this interesting movie.
“American Venus” (2007) when her daughter quits ice-skating, her mother-coach turns pyscho and begins skating on thin ice.
“Amour” (2012) realistically portrays the last weeks of a married couple’s life. A strong dose of reality with a French twist.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Le Broussard Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Dugas died in a fire and his body was burned pretty badly. The morgue needed someone to identify the body. The Clerk suggested that the coroner call Dugas' two best fishing buddies, Boudreaux and Broussard. The Clerk knew that the three men had always fished together out of Broussard's camp on Lake Barre, you know, the one with a large alligator as a guard dog.
So the coroner called the two men and asked them to come over to the Houma morgue to identify the body. Boudreaux arrived first, and when the coroner Dr. Guidry pulled back the sheet, Boudreaux said, "Yah, Doc, his face been burned real bad, dat might be Dugas. Ya t'ink yah can roll him over?"
The coroner rolled Dugas over and Boudreaux said, "Mais non, dat ain't Dugas, none at all".
Dr. Guidry thought this was rather strange, so he brought Broussard in to confirm the identity of the body. Broussard looked at the body and said, "Ah can't told you, me. Dat face look sumpin like Dugas. Maybe Ya could roll him on his stomach?"
After Dr. Guidry turned him over, Broussard said, "Nah, uhn, uhn - dat can't be Dugas."
By this time, Dr. Guidry was really curious, so he asked Broussard, "But how can you tell for sure?"
Broussard said, "Well, Doc, everyone know dat Dugas had two assholes, and dat body only got one, plain as day."
"What!" Dr. Guidry was amazed, "that's anatomically impossible so far as I know. Are you sure that Dugas had two assholes?"
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5. RECIPE of the MONTH for October, 2013 from Bobby Jeaux’s Kitchen:
(click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
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Background on Okra Jambalaya:
It's summertime in the New Orleans area and that means peak growing time for Okra. The only problem is what to do with all those okra pods? We've found out that smaller pods are delicious freshly picked, thanks to my brother Paul. I have plenty enough from two days picking for a large seafood gumbo which we did earlier in the month. But this new dish which I call Okra Jambalaya provides a tasty dish to take care of our bounteous okra crop. This is a vamp on what I called Cajun Stir-Fry but with additional okra and whatever other fresh veggies are available from the garden or market such as, eggplants, colorful Bell peppers and ripe cucumbers. Give it a try, you'll like it, even if all the veggies come from the market.
Several ounces of extra virgin imported olive oil.
1 large bowl of fresh Okra
1 medium bowl of white lady finger (as shown) or regular eggplants
1 red and 1 green Bell pepper
3 medium yellow onions and 1 purple onion (optional)
1 small tomato
1 tsp of jalapena pepper slices
4 small red potatoes
1.5 cups of steamed wild and long-grain rice
2 stalks of celery, sprigs of parsley and basil
seedless ends of 2 fresh cucumbers
2 tsp of chopped garlic
8 or 16 oz of fresh mushrooms
Season-All Salt and Tony's Seasoning
2 tsp of Shrimp Powder
Chop the ingredients as shown in the photograph. Julienne the red potatoes for quick cooking. Also cut the eggplant into very small pieces so they will cook fast and retain their shape for texture. Chop the green pepper small, but the yellow or red peppers into larger strips to add color.
Slice the okra about 1/4 inch pieces, discarding tips and stems. Chop the yellow onions, celery, parsley and basel. Chop the jalapenos and mix with the tomato choped very small. Crack the three eggs into small cup or bowl and keep ready. Heat up rice to warm in microwave and have ready.
Cover bottom of large fry pan or work with olive oil, add oil as necessary when adding new ingredients. I place wok's bottom on smallest burner and keep it on high until it's time to add the rice at the last step. Important to have all chopping down so that you can add, can cook, and stir each set of ingredients to keep the cooking going without the bottom charring.
Begin cooking by saute'-ing the greens: onions, parsley, basil, celery, and green bell peppers. Cook till translucent, then add the garlic, tomato, jalapenos, salt, black pepper, Tony's and Season-All. See photo of this stage: Greens in pot. Add about a fourth of the mushrooms to cook down early on for flavor. The rest of mushrooms will go in near the end to maintain their texture in final jambalaya.
Continue adding rest of ingredients in this order: okra, add and stir until the stringy-ness goes away. Eggplant, stir into pot. Always stirring into or away from center if using small burner and wok. When potato and eggplant pieces smash easily, they are done. Add the three eggs and immediately break the yolks and stir vigorously to ensure the eggs mix into the ingredients thoroughly. Next add the larger chopped mushroom, and stir into mixture.
Lower heat at any point during cooking if necessary, but before adding rice, put heat on Low or Simmer or Off (electric stove use Off because of its residual heat). Stir in the rice mixture evenly and the jambalaya is ready to serve.
Serve as soon as cooking is done. See full view of jambalaya when done: View of full pot. Take portions from center of wok or pot which is over burner. Turn off burner and cover.
Some folks might care for Soy Sauce on the mixture, which gives it a bit of Chinese flavor, so keep the salt down as the Soy will add salt. This dish can be put into the fridge and kept for about a week. We also freeze it in tubes in Ziplock freezer bag and place in the middle of a simple omelet. If you choose to do this: heat tube in microwave, place a couple of cheese slices in the middle of the omelet and place the hot tube on top, lap the sides of the omelet over the tube and serve. Makes a terrific brunch omelet. We also do this type of omelet with Crawfish Eggplant Omelet. (See recipe for that.)
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6. POETRY by BOBBY from New Millennium Poems:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =NOTE: This is a poemlet in three parts with a Note after each part.
Take a HaikuNo. 1: Process Without Content
what I'm doing
what I'm doing
is describing what
I'm doing is
I'm doing is
describing [go to beginning of poem]
NOTE1. Process Without Content:The process without content description above necessarily leaves out the time, place, and context parts. Here they are: This poem was written at 1:50 pm on May 7, 1996 in the Timberlane Screening Room while listening to classical music on WWNO. It is Part One of a three-part serial poem.
Notice how the second part of the poem reads differently from the first. The only change is in the punctuation of the words on the line. Every description of what is going on boils down to this: "What I'm doing is describing what I'm doing." No description is possible without an "I" to do the describing. Human beings are the only describers of all of God's creations.
No. 2: What I'm Doing
I'm doing is describing
I'm doing is describing
I'm doing is describing
How, though it is possible to describe
your here and now some other way,
Sooner or later
you end up like me: which is
Is describing what I'm doing . . .
NOTE2. What I'm Doing: Part Two of a three-part serial poem.Written originally on May 7, 1996 in the Timberlane Screening Room shortly after writing the first part of this serial poem.No. 3: Take A Haiku
This part of the poem calls attention to the way we read differently when the words are arranged differently on the lines. These are the same words as in Poem1., but they will be read differently.
The middle of the poem is for you skeptics, rebels, and polarity-responders who think it's possible to give some other description of your here and now. Go right ahead, but notice when you begin to tighten the loop how you approach this line: "What I'm doing is I'm describing what I'm doing . . . " If you don't grasp this, you can take a hike . . ,.
"I do not get this.
Is this like a haiku or
Is it something else?"
What is it you think?
"Maybe it should be in Notes."
Put a poem in Notes?
"That's a poem, you say?"
Yes, and even more than that.
"Oh, like a haiku!"
NOTE3. Take A Haiku: Part Three of a three-part serial poem.Written on May 15, 1996 about 7:15 pm while talking to Del as she read and edited my typed-up poems for the day.
This almost became a poem in a Note, but it made more sense as the third part of this serial poem since it refers directly to the second part of the serial poem. These were Del's comments as she read the second part of the serial poem of which this became the third and final haiku.
A haiku is a Japanese poetic form that contains exactly seventeen syllables and often has few other clues that it is a poem. The other clues are: there's usually a title and an organization into lines of a stanza (three lines of 5, 7, 5 syllables). Other than that, haiku rarely have rhyme, rhythm or reason.
Many of my new poems in my New Millenium series have very few clues that they are poems other than the title and organization of lines into a stanza. One of the other features is the repetition of structure between stanzas. Other examples are my poems: "I Don't Know How", "Animal Crackers", and "Salt of the Earth" which will published on-line later (after the dateline of this DW Issue in 2013).
Ambiguity? Of course, that's another clue. And as one Matherne's Rule predicts: There's Allways Even More. Ambiguity in this poem: Title sounds a little like take a hike, doesn't it? Also, it could be short for "If you want another model for something that doesn't sound like a poem, but is one, take a haiku, for example." It also refers to the three stanzas of this poem, which are each written as a haiku.
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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for October:
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And for my Good Readers, here’s the new reviews and articles for this month. The ARJ2 ones are new additions to the top of A Reader’s Journal, Volume 2, Chronological List, and the ART ones to A Reader’s Treasury. NOTE: some Blurbs may be condensations of the Full Reviews, lacking footnotes and many quoted passages. For the convenience of those who want to read the full review in printed form, simply CLICK on the Book Cover.This first review is from 2000, and it has not appeared in a DIGESTWORLD Issue, up until now. Hope you enjoy it.
1.) ART: Frogs into Princes — Neuro Linguistic Programming by Richard Bandler and John Grinder
In the fall of 1977 I went to Berkeley to attend the Association for Humanistic Psychology Conference. On the heels of the AHP conference came the Gestalt Conference. Since I'd been in Gestalt training for over a year I decided to stay for that conference also. During lunch this tall young man with Birkenstocks came over and sat across from me. He introduced himself as John Stevens and his girl friend as Connirae Andreas. Finding out that they were attending the Gestalt Conference also, I told them about the exciting new work that Bandler and Grinder were doing. They didn't believe me and seemed a little bored by the prospect of some new guru - after all, who could replace Fritz Perls. I don't believe that I knew at the time that John's mother was Fritz's girl friend, Barry Stevens. So I told them about the eye cues, about the fast phobia cure, about the six step reframing model using the most powerful case histories I had been exposed to, maybe one I did myself. This happened twenty-three years ago, so my memory of what I said is sketchy, but I must have said something that excited them a little, because they showed up at Eric Marcus's afternoon workshop to learn more about what was to become the subtitle of this book, Neuro Linguistic Programming, which later received a hyphen and a trademark.
Here's what John had to say about my introduction of him to NLP:
[page i] When I was first introduced to Neuro Linguistic Programming I was both fascinated and very skeptical. I had been heavily conditioned to believe that change is slow, and usually difficult and painful. . . . If you are skeptical, as I was, you owe it to your skepticism to check this out, and find out if the outrageous claims made in this book are valid.
John and Connirae apparently went to the very next Bandler and Grinder workshop they could and this book is the transcription of that workshop. The comments of his mother, Barry Stevens on the inside cover highlights the refreshing approach of Bandler and Grinder:
"How tiresome it is going from one limiting belief to another. How joyful to read Bandler and Grinder, who don't believe in anything, yet use everything! NLP wears seven-league-boots, and takes 'therapy' or 'personal growth' far, far beyond any previous notions."
What are some of the previous notions, Barry referred to? How about the practice of using the phrase "resistant client" to refer to an approach by the therapist that doesn't work? Would we have ever put a man on the Moon if we had blamed our rocket failures on the rocket? (Paraphrased from page 13.) Here's another example of disabusing therapists of non-useful notions:
[page 17] I think it's extremely useful for you to behave so that your clients come to have the illusion that you understand what they are saying verbally. I caution you against accepting the illusion for yourself.
That sounded quite a bit like John Grinder, the transformational grammar expert. Who's saying what is not credited in the book, and anyone who's been to a Bandler and Grinder workshop can attest that they switch talking sometimes in mid-sentence without breaking stride. What they strove to do was not to teach how to do therapy in those workshops, but rather they taught expert and novice therapists alike to pay attention to the world around them - to come to their senses. Here's an example of one of them doing that:
[page 17] If you take nothing else away from this workshop, take away the following: You will always get the answers to your questions insofar as you have the sensory apparatus to notice the responses.
Bandler and Grinder were not therapists so much as they were modelers that came to therapy as a neat way of applying their modeling techniques. By modeling, I'm not talking about making balsa wood miniatures of airplanes, but rather cybernetic simulations of notions, internal maps of some external territory. As modelers, they say a lot of things that people took to be true, so they explained that everything they said were lies. That one statement tended to wake up the expert therapists in a hurry! Here's how they did in this particular seminar.
[page 18] Everything we're going to tell you here is lie. All generalizations are lies. Since we have no claim on truth or accuracy, we will be lying consistently through this seminar. There are only two differences between us and other teachers: One is that we announce at the beginning of our seminars that everything we say will be a lie, and other teachers do not. Most of them believe their lies. They don't realize that they are made up. The other difference is that most of our lies will work out really well if you act as if they are true.
Want some more examples of useful lies? How about hypnosis? That's a useful lie. Near the middle of the seminar a woman asked them, "Do you use hypnosis for that?" In this case, the responses were credited to the speakers.
[page 100] Richard: Everything is hypnosis.
John: There's a profound disagreement between us. There is no such thing as hypnosis. I would really prefer that you didn't use such terms, since they don't refer to anything. We believe that all communication is hypnosis. That's the function of every conversation.
Some conversations are more powerful than others. There was a therapist on Hayward Avenue in Phoenix who held conversations with people that were so powerful that few of them were able to stay awake while the man was talking. Here's a story about a visit to this man, Milton Erickson, probably by Bandler, who tells us that Milton told him something that has taken him some time to figure out:
[page 136] "You don't consider yourself a therapist, but you are a therapist." And I said, "Well, not really." He said, "Well, let's pretend . . . that you're a therapist who works with people. The most important thing . . . when you're pretending this . . . is to understand. . . that you are really not . . . You are just pretending . . . And if you pretend really well, the people that you work with will pretend to make changes. And they will forget that they are pretending . . . for the rest of their lives. But don't you be fooled by it." And then he looked at me and he said: "Goodbye."
---------------------------- Reference Links for Bandler and Grinder ---------------
Read/Print the Review at:
2.) The Book of Illusions by Paul Auster
Norman Cousins, while the editor of Saturday Review magazine, came down with and unknown illness. Doctors were unable to help him, so he ordered some Marx Bros. movies and watched them in almost constant laughter and his disease symptoms went away. Nicola Tesla was in school and developed a mysterious disease and he started reading Mark Twain which caused him to laugh and he was cured(1). Along comes the hero of this book, David Zimmer, who loses his wife and two sons in a plane crash, and goes into a deep depression until he saw a clip of Hector Mann in an old silent movie which made him laugh. David tells us:
[page 9] That might not sound important, but it was the first time I had laughed at anything since June, and when I felt that unexpected spasm rise up through my chest and begin to rattle around in my lungs, I understood that I hadn't hit bottom yet, that there was still some piece of me that wanted to go on living.
Hector Mann after making twelve silent films stepped out one day for a walk and never returned. That was in 1929 and only 3 of his 12 films survived, but in 1981 one after another of his films began to arrive in different countries, each mailed from different places, and now David was grabbed by this project: watching all or as many of Hector's films as possible. The man was born in 1900 and was not likely to be alive in 1989, but his films were available, and David decided to fly to these places and watch the films. He thought it best to identify himself as an English professor, which he was, and when one curator asked if he was writing a book about Hector Mann, he said yes, and that unexpected question led him to begin writing a book about Hector's films. He wrote the definitive book about them, and one day a letter arrived from New Mexico from Hector's wife saying her husband had read his book and wants to meet him. This letter launches the string of incredible adventures which will pull us through to the end of the book.
The author describes silent film comedies as follows:
[page 15] Most silent comedies hardly even bothered to tell stories. They were like poems, like the renderings of dreams, like some intricate choreography of the spirit, and because they were dead, they probably spoke more deeply to us now than they had to the audiences of their time.
These were the thoughts of David Zimmer, whose memories of his family haunted him and spoke deeply to him, and somehow the silent comedies were filling the huge gap in his life caused by the lost of his family. He became a fanatic about seeing all the films and watched some for days or weeks before moving on to the next film, memorizing every one of Hector's brilliant moves, the way he moved his thin moustache speaking volumes, it was "the instrument of communication, and even though it speaks a language without words, its wriggles and flutters are as clear and comprehensible as a message tapped out in Morse code." (Page 29)
The single open eye which fills the book cover seems to be Paul Auster's eye staring out at us, and it reminds me of a book I read by another Paul, Paul Broks' Into the Silent Land, which also has a closeup of a single right eye, but it is a closed eye. However, "Into the Silent Land" would be a great title for Auster's book, given its focus on a silent movies' star, and the amount of time David Zimmer spends watching Hector Mann's silent movies in various places around the world.
Along with his mustache, Hector's signature white suit made him instantly recognizable. We wince every time some potential splash, split, or mud takes aim at Hector. We smile at his mustache and we wince at his suit's vulnerability, all of which makes watching his movie an interactive role-play with us in our seats and Hector up on the screen. Thank goodness there's no dialogue to listen to at the same time, because his antics in averting one disastrous situation after another keeps viewers too busy to attend to any verbal inputs. I write as if I have seen Hector's films, which of course I have not, but my writing this way is a testament to Paul Auster's antics in the words on the page which enable one to feel the direct experience of watching those silent films.
Once Hector seduces two women at the same time, an older woman whose jewels he plans to lift as she swoons under his flirting, and a young beauty, the sheriff's daughter, whose dress he plans to lift at some early opportunity. The camera is placed so that we can see both women, but neither can see the other, and each sees Hector's eyes pointing at her alone. Two birds with one eye shot.
In the film Mr. Nobody we observe Hector Mann turning into No Mann, watching as he seems to meditate on his own upcoming disappearance. When he is finally visible again in the mirror, his mouth breaks into a large smile, his mustache twitching for a few seconds as camera comes closer, a circle enclosing his smile and gradually becoming smaller till it disappears. Hector has vanished like the Cheshire Cat, leaving behind only a waning smile. When the words, The End, appear on the screen, it is the first time and last time in a Hector Mann silent film. He is gone. The man who disappeared in the film has disappeared in life.
Prof. Zimmer begins to work on another project, translating a long memoir from French into English, Mémoires d'outre-tombe. Zimmer felt the title Memoirs from Beyond the Grave was too awkward, too literal, and too hard to understand, so he chose Memoirs of a Dead Man, which I feel is too awkward, too literal, and too easy to understand. "Beyond the Grave" implies a memoir being communicated from the beyond which gives it a cachet that "dead man" does not. After all, what's a metaphor for, if it's not for creating some elegant and mysterious connection carried over into words? Here I am criticizing a fictional writer's choice of a title, how weird is that? A dead man has had a life once, but a fictional writer, never. How about Memoirs of a Fictional Author?
Later, on page 67, the dead man speaks in the Introduction to his memoir, "I have been urged to allow some portions of these Memoirs to appear in my lifetime, but I prefer to speak from the depths of my tomb." Now there's a metaphor with punch, "From the Depths of My Tomb". If the fictional writer were only a real writer, I would send him this suggestion poste haste, but darn it, he's not even post humous!
Zimmer take Mémoires d'outre-tombe down from a shelf in his home and three days later he gets the letter asking him to translate, written on the same day he had been looking through the book. He takes this as a sign, a cosmic coincidence, and I agree, such "winks of Fate" reveal that It All Happens at the Same Time, a process I discovered decades ago and incorporated in my Matherne's Rules as No. 4. Whose mind did the book pop into first? Both at the same time. In any event, there is no way to determine precedence. Try to do it yourself when it happens, you'll soon be convinced that it's impossible. We think it's possible to align events in the material world as to which happened first, but even that is impossible as Einstein's Law of Relativity shows, but try to align mental events as to priority, hah! Rotsa Ruck! Can't be done. MR#4!.
Translation, Zimmer reports, is like shoveling coal. Never thought of it that way.
[page 70] You scoop it up and toss it into the furnace. Each lump is a word, and each shovelful is another sentence, and if your back is strong enough and you have the stamina to keep at it for eight or ten hours at a stretch, you can keep the fire hot. With close to a million words in front of me, I was prepared to work as long and as hard as necessary, even if it meant burning down the house.
Deep into his coal-shoveling, a letter arrives from Frieda, tantalizing Zimmer with the prospect of viewing films made by Hector after he disappeared if he will only come to New Mexico. But the professor in Vermont writes back that he must have proof that Hector is still alive before he will travel to some unknown location in remote New Mexico. This works for the plot, but it seemed a strange response to Frieda's letter when Zimmer had flown to Europe without any more proof than the words of curator that a Hector film was there to be viewed. Soon he receives a visit from a gal named Alma saying that she was sent by Frieda to tell him that Hector's in bad shape and he had better fly to New Mexico the next morning if he wants to see him still alive.
Zimmer refuses to hear Alma out and his excuse to himself went this way, "The only person I knew how to be with now was myself — but I wasn't really anyone, and I wasn't really alive. I was just someone who pretended to be alive, a dead man who spent his days translating a dead man's book." Seems the translator was also operating "From Beyond the Grave" or "From the Depths of a Tomb".
Alma finally gets Zimmer to hear that she is Charlie Grund's daughter, knowing that Zimmer would recognize the name as Hector's cameraman during those first twelve films. We get to hear Alma's incredible story of how she has been working for years on Hector's biography. Zimmer's book was the story of Hector's films, and Alma's the story of Hector's life. There was an appealing symmetry between the two of them as if they were fated to meet and make this trip to New Mexico the next morning.
That night Zimmer (whose name means "room") is in his room musing over her name, Alma, from almus, meaning nourishing, bountiful, two things which he had possessed little of since his family went down in flames in that plane crash, when Alma slipped into his bed, and before he could think of anything to say, she kissed him and something nourishing and bountiful entered David Zimmer's life as he entered Alma. On the trip to Logan Airport, David realizes that he is reenacting that fateful last trip when he drove his wife and two boys along this same route. This is the classic phobia cure, take a path you were fearful of, but with a fullness of nurturing so that a fresh new memory completely blots out the phobic fear-filled memory. The entire airplane trip to New Mexico, his first flight without Xanax, is filled with Alma telling her story and Hector's story in great detail, the kind of detail a biographer can relate.
For example, Alma tells us how Hector Mann morphed into Herman Loesser in Spokane, his first and last name welded together as Herman, and his last name denoting him as Herman the Lesser. He met Nora, who was alone in a store, and offered himself as a stockboy. The silent film star and movie producer had turned from a gadfly into a moth, risking exposing his secret identity.
[page 155] He had turned himself into a moth, and he spent the rest of the day fluttering around a hot, burning candle. He knew that his wings could ignite at any moment, but the closer he came to touching the fire, the more he sensed that he was fulfilling his destiny. As he put it in his journal that night: If I mean to save my life, then I have to come within an inch of destroying it.
Soon Hector became the de facto store manager and Nora's father finally gave up trying find out who Herman Loesser really is. He wanted Herman to marry his daughter, Herman demurred, and the crisis comes when Nora announces she had received a proposal of marriage. He loved Nora, but could not marry her, so he wrote a goodbye letter and disappeared once more. Like the Cheshire Cat, Hector seemed best at disappearing acts.
His next life with Sylvia was that of being paid to have sex with her in front of live, high-paying customers. Often these took the form of short skits, which Hector knew how to produce, direct, and star in.
[page 183] The most popular one was the nurse and patient routine. People seemed to like watching Sylvia take off the starched white uniform, and they never failed to applaud when she began unwrapping the gauze bandages from Hector's body. There was also the Confessional Box Scandal (which ended with the pries ravishing the nun) and, more elaborately, the tale of the two libertines who meet at a masked ball in pre-revolutionary France.
To protect his identity, Hector insisted on wearing a mask, disguising, as it were, his best assets, while revealing everything else. Soon the jig was up, and Hector was on a bus. He noticed that the bus would stop in Sandusky, Ohio, which he had used as his place of birth in one of his aliases, so he decided to actually visit Sandusky for real. On a whim, he wants to change his fifty-dollar bills from his last gig into fives for convenience. In the bank, a robbery took place, and he protected a gal named Frieda and received a bullet as thanks. Not the bullet he'd hoped for, which would have labeled him a suicide, but a bullet which labeled him a hero.
Remember the professor, David Zimmer, who is listening to the story told by Alma? She has given David a bounty of hope and nourishment, and, meanwhile in Alma's story, Hector marries Frieda, they move to the New Mexico ranch and Hector finds a way to continue making movies without breaking his promise not to make no more movies: the movies will be burnt by Frieda with 24 hours of his death.
Zimmer who is in no rush to head to Frieda, not believing her story about Hector being alive, now finds that a rush is necessary because Hector is dying. Hector Mann had become Hector Spelling fifty years earlier, taking Freida's last name, and now he was within hours of death. Hector and Frieda had a son who died at a young age from bee stings. It seems as if all of Hector's productions were going to disappear forever. Perhaps even Alma's decade-long work on his biography. Will David reach Hector before he dies? Will he get to see one or more of his new batch of movies? Will Frieda carry out Hector's will and burn his movies shortly after she has him burnt in cremation? Will Alma, who helped return David to life, stay around to enjoy it with him? Let's say that if David were to write about his time with Alma, his title might be, "Six Days of Alma" or "Six Alma Days".
-------------------------- — Footnotes -----------------------------------------Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
3.) ARJ2: The Redeemer by Jo Nesbø
A rape of a fourteen-year-old girl at a summer camp many years ago in Østgård, a hit on Salvation Army worker Robert Karlsen in Oslo during Christmas season, and young man who is a runner during the Serbian-Croatian War blows up tanks by hiding in hollows in the ground and affixing mines to tanks as they rolled past — these three are parts of a multi-faceted drama triangle that Harry Hole joins as he seeks out the hitman.
We meet the hitman early. He is the eponymous character of the novel, first known as the "little redeemer" for saving his comrades from the ravaging Serbian tanks. He wore a red necktie tied as a cravat, which name we learn comes from Croatia originally. One last job, his boss in Zagreb had promised him, one last job. But that last job turns out to be a "black hole" that sucks him ever deeper, a Harry Hole, six foot and four inches of a "sullen alcoholic" and brilliant detective. When the hit takes place in the first twenty pages, we know it will not be a clean and simple flight back to Zagreb and retirement. His skills in evading the Serbian army and destroying its tanks is tested in Oslo as he discovers he has killed the wrong man and he must stay to finish his job in the wintry city where the "day is a blink between dawn and dusk".
Harry is hobbled when a black Metzner dog attacked him as he was halfway up a fence and wouldn't let go until Harry dumps his hip flask into its mouth and the drunken dog finally lets go of Harry's leg and falls to the ground. But the dog bite becomes the crucial clue to discovering that it was the father who killed his own son with an overdose in the container by the dock that Harry had investigated before the dog bit him. A rape, a hit, a bite, and closed case in eight short chapters. Just a warmup for a Harry Hole novel.
Harry's new boss, Gunnar Hagen is a trip, coming up with stories intended to keep Harry pointed in the right direction apparently, such as this one.
[page 76, 77] "In 1942, a mere hundred thousand Japanese soldiers conquered Burma. Burma was twice the size of Japan and at that time occupied by British troops who were superior in numbers and firepower." Hagen raised his grubby forefinger. "But there was one area where the Japanese were superior, and this made it possible for them to beat the British and the Indian mercenaries: discipline. When the Japanese marched on Rangoon, they walked for forty-five minutes and slept for fifteen. Slept on the road wearing their backpacks and their feet pointing toward their destination. So that they didn't walk into the ditch or in the wrong direction when they woke up. Direction is important, Hole. Do you understand?"
Harry had an inkling of what was to come. " I understand that they made it to Rangoon, boss."
After Gunnar makes his point that the Japanese followed directions and that Harry should learn that lesson also, he dismisses Harry, but Harry doesn't leave, finally asking his boss, "Mm, I was wondering. Didn't the Japanese lose the war?" He gave his boss a lesson in how Harry operates. What bosses don't know is just what war it is that each of their employees is fighting. As infuriating as Harry could be to his boss, he is to his readers, refusing easy answers to whodunit and making us stick to the very end before all is revealed.
Hit men travel light, especially so those who must travel by air. This hitman, called Christo Stankic on his passport, had a take-apart gun with seven bullets which he carefully packed with its pieces and ammo disguised from X-rays by the metal corners of his small suitcase. Having to stay in Oslo to make another hit on the right man, he runs low on bullets, and has to improvise weapons. His credit card is tracked down by Harry's men, and is taken when he tries to withdraw cash. He has to lose his winter coat to keep from being recognized, is forced to find ways to acquire shelter and food without any money. His solution to a food source no doubt pleased Harry when he found out. A little Chinese barbeque.
Harry answers the door at Jon's place when the hitman visits his re-acquired target and the appearance of a man with a cravat tie triggers Harry into action in time to deflect the bullet intended for Jon's head, but Stankic gets away, short another bullet in his gun. We readers are now doing a countdown of the bullets left in his gun. When it gets down to just one bullet left, Harry's partner Halverson is attacked with a glass shard instead of being shot, keying us readers into suspecting it was Stankic conserving his last bullet.
Harry visits his former boss, Bjarne Møller, in Bergen, a place Nesbø describes this way:
[page 198] Harry stepped out into a sad, gonorrheal discharge of a Bergen squall, which, according to myth, starts one afternoon in September and finishes one afternoon in March.
Bjarne tells Harry that Gunnar is more than a lecturer, that he was in the special forces unit, FSK, for seven years, a unit set up to protect oil rigs in the North Sea and which, because of security clearances, never appears on anyone's resume. Bjarne's advice to Harry is, "Follow the money."
Meanwhile Ragnhild Gilstrup goes over to Jon's place, slips past the police tape, and destroys an incriminating letter, and begins vacuuming up any evidence of her ever being there, aiming to dump it all down the trash chute of the high rise apartment building, only she ends up there herself.
Desperate for food and shelter from the bitter Oslo winter, Stankic finds the container that Harry had investigated earlier by the dock and meets the same dog that bit Harry's leg. This time the dog unfortunately grabs Stankic's hand with his revolver and closes his mouth on the trigger finger and there goes the last bullet from his gun. And the dog bites the dust. Stankic now has both shelter and food. But he needs help from his boss in Zagreb and places a call to the Hotel International there. Meanwhile Harry has discovered Stankic's Croatian name, mali spasitelj, which means "little redeemer". With these sparse clues, he flies on his own to Zagreb and finds Stankic's boss and makes a deal.
While Harry's in Zagreb, he hears about the meat identified as Metzner dog in Stankic's vomit, and tells his boss to surround the container but make no arrest till he gets back to Oslo. Too late, the man in container sticks his head out and is shot by a sniper posted by Gunnar. Stankic is dead the newspapers proclaim the next day, but it is too soon for case to be closed. Harry needs more evidence, there's the thing about following the money, and who was killing all these people. Stankic had only two people to kill and then he could leave Oslo, were all these other people collateral damage? Is Harry the latest target of Stankic who now has Harry's gun and ammo?
Where's Stankic? Where's Jon? Where's Martine — was she the only rape victim? Who actually flew to Zagreb on Robert's passport? Who stuffed Ragnhild down the chute? Where's the money? Can Harry keep the deal he made with Stankic's boss in Zagreb in exchange for the vital information he got to help solve the case? The last few chapters will keep you awake late into the night, dear Reader, dragging you along with Harry to the final pages in breathless anticipation.
4.) ARJ: The Christmas Conference, GA#260 by Rudolf Steiner
This conference took place one year after the original wooden Goetheanum had burnt to the ground. Steiner called together all the members of the various national Societies from around the world for this conference at which his goal was to form one General Society to be headquartered in the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland. One member objected that there was no Goetheanum present, only the charred remains, and Steiner rebuffed him saying, in effect, the Goetheanum is present in spirit and will be rebuilt on the same spot, and so it was. When it was completed about four years later, it was a stronger and larger concrete structure with two performance halls, one atop the other so that rehearsals and performances could happen simultaneously. That is the Goetheanum I visited in February of 2013 for a Mi-cha-elic Conference of about forty people from around the world. Our sessions were held in a wooden building which abuts the carpentry shop where the 1923 Christmas Conference took place. The new Goetheanum was a short walk away, having arisen from the ashes of the earlier one whose charred remains were visible to attendees of the Christmas Conference.
In the Introduction, Marie Steiner relates how eurythmy comes into existence through the three processes of Intuition, Inspiration, and Imagination. First her overall summary.
[page 35] So actually eurythmy came into existence when what works unconsciously in the human being to transform his capacity for movement into speech is subsequently recalled from speech and returned to the capacity for movement. Thus an element which belongs to Inspiration becomes an element belonging to Imagination.
This will not make much sense to someone new to eurythmy, and it wouldn't have to me except that I have had the opportunity to talk to Bradford Riley. When he talks, eurythmy gestures are an integral part of his speech. The gestures are a natural expression of our way of talking, but a way that has become unconscious to us today. Consider eurythmy as a way of learning consciously what we as human beings only know as unconscious, up until now. We write a poem and we feel its effect inside of us, that is Intuition at work. Then we recite the poem and Inspiration is at work inside of us. If you then allow the poem to settle into you and express itself as movement, you have Imagination at work inside you and its effect is visible as eurythmy to others. Marie Steiner explains it in detail.
[page 35, 36] Consider, dear friends, a poem living in your soul. When you have entirely identified yourself inwardly with this poem and have taken it into yourself to such an extent and so strongly that you no longer need any words but have only feelings and can experience these feelings in your soul, then you are living in Intuition. Then let us assume that you recite or declaim the poem. You endeavor, in the vowel sounds, in the harmonies, in the rhythm, in the movement of the consonants, in tempo, beat and so on, to express in speech through recitation or declamation what lies in those feelings. What you experience when doing this is Inspiration. The element of Inspiration takes what lives purely in the soul, where it is localized in the nervous system, and pushes it down into larynx, palate and so on.
Finally let this sink down into your human limbs, so that in your own creation of form through movement you express what lies in speech; then, in the poem brought into eurythmy, you have the third element, Imagination.
And, now, in a concise summary:
[page 36] In the picture of the descent of world evolution down to man you have that scale which human beings have to re-ascend, from Imagination through Inspiration to Intuition. In the poem transformed into eurythmy you have Imagination; in the recitation and declamation you have Inspiration as a picture; and in the entirely inward experience of the poem, in which there is no need to open your mouth because your experience is totally inward and you are utterly identified with it and have become one with it, in this you have Intuition.
In an earlier meeting in April, 1923, Rudolf Steiner explained that the Anthroposophical Society was not organized in any recognizable way; that it existed mainly as a movement, the Anthroposophical Movement, and that a conference was needed to give the Anthroposophical Society a genuine task, and he exhorted the members present:
[page 38] I beg you, my dear friends, not to break up today without a result. Come to the point of setting a task for the Anthroposophical Society which can win a certain degree of respect from other people.
From this and other planning meetings, the agenda for the Christmas Conference emerged with the goal of uniting the mishmash of local and national societies under the umbrella of a truly international society headquartered in Dornach. Steiner opened the conference stating that the new Society will be located in Dornach, on Swiss soil, but will have no national character and will always consider itself a guest of the Swiss in the realm of ideals. Steiner had to deal the sharing the Statutes of the new Society and having each Statute ratified by those present. A first reading without comment was followed by a second reading of each Statute, with questions allowed, and a vote taken on each Statute. With deft diplomacy Steiner answered the objections raised and obtained a unanimous vote on each one. To move to the kind of Society that Steiner envisioned, he had determined after long consideration that he would have to be its Founding President, and he was so accepted as such.
[page 51] By hinting at moods of soul I am indicating what it was that moved me to take on the task of being President of the Anthroposophical Society myself. This Anthroposophical Society — such things can often happen — has been called by a good many names. Thus, for example, it has been called the 'International Anthroposophical Society'. Dear friends, it is to be neither international nor a national society. I beg you heartily never use the word 'international society' but always to speak simply of a 'General Anthroposophical Society' which wants to have center here at the Goetheanum in Dornach.
When I read this, it clarified for me why the name General Anthroposophical Society came into being. I found myself immediately in agreement with Steiner's averseness to the use of "international" in its name. I especially found resonance with his requirement that nothing administrative be contained in the Statutes. Oh, if only the United States of America's Constitution were designed that way!
[page 51] You will see that the Statutes are formulated in a way that excludes anything administrative, anything that could ever of own accord turn into bureaucracy. These Statutes are tuned to whatever is purely human. They are not tuned to principles or to dogmas.
Think of it: if there can be no soil in which bureaucracy can grow, then there would be no coercive bureaucracy, which has grown like rampant weeds in the USA's government exactly as specified in the Statutes of its Constitution, senselessly choking out all that is human from the government, until all that is left is noxious weeds. Rightly understood, government cannot operate in the presence of such weeds and turns into a so-called government, a coercive bureaucracy, one that necessarily harbors the seeds of its own destruction. Steiner was wiser than anyone else in his time, and knew the correct model for a true government of the Anthroposophical Society. Reading the proceedings of this Christmas Conference has given me to understand that I can join the Anthroposophical Society in complete freedom.
[page 52] Those who wish to join this Society are not expected to adhere to any principle. No religious confession, no scientific conviction, no artistic intention is set up in any dogmatic way. The only thing that is required is that those who join should feel at home in being linked to what is going on at the Goetheanum.
I began my study of Rudolf Steiner because I found small books of his in an occult bookstore. Over the course of a dozen years, I bought about ten of them, read them all, and was still wondering what he was talking about it. His books were clearly important and said important things, but the sense of what they were saying was beyond my ken at the time. Yet, I asked myself, why do I keep buying his books. You have probably guessed that these were all books containing his lectures given to members of the Anthroposophical Society who had studied Steiner's basic books and were able to make sense of his lectures. With the new presence of the internet, my first question was, "What should I be reading of Rudolf Steiner's works?" Soon I had a laundry list of his books that were not lectures, but books written by Steiner that presumed no previous training or knowledge of his work in spiritual science. They were a revelation to me. None of those books were at that occult bookstore since the owner simply ordered extra copies whenever someone in one of her study groups ordered a book from her and put them on the bookshelves. Steiner was urged not sell these books to the public, which if that advice had been heeded, I might never have come to Steiner's works at all. This is how he laid down the principle regarding lecture cycles and their sales.
[page 54] In future all the cycles, without exemption, are to be sold publicly, just like any other books. But, suppose, dear friends, there was a book about the integration of partial differential equations. For a great many people such a book is very esoteric indeed. . . . The book, however, may be sold to anybody. . . . As you can see, there is no harm in the judgment of someone who understands nothing the matter, for he is a dilettante, an amateur. In this instance life itself draws the line between the capacity to judge and the lack of capacity to judge.
Thus as regards anthroposophical knowledge we can at least try to draw the line morally and no longer physically. We sell the cycles to all who wish to have them but declare from the start who can be considered competent to form a valid judgment on them, a judgment by which we can set some store. And we also declare that in future we shall no longer take any account of judgments passed on the cycles by those who are amateurs. This is the only moral protection available to us.
Notice that what Steiner considers to be moral is completely devoid of coercion, a lesson all governments who wish to remain true governments and not devolve into coercive bureaucracies will overlook to their own peril. Steiner declares at the end of his closing remarks that the new General Anthroposophical Society "must become a Society of attitudes and not a Society of statutes. The Statutes are to express externally what is alive within every soul." (Page 57) Someday a government based on a set of attitudes instead of binding statutes will arise and will begin as and remain as a true government without coercion at any level.
The Foundation Stone was buried under the first Goetheanum. It was designed by Rudolf Steiner as a double dodecahedral solid: two pentagonal dodecahedrons, one large and one small attached to each other. The smaller one to represent the human being and the larger one to represent the cosmos. Although the physical foundation stone was lowered into the ground some seven years earlier, it survived the fire which burnt down the original Goetheanum (whose etheric form yet hovers over the site) and could equally well act as the Foundation Stone both for the new Goetheanum (whose future spirit hovered over the site) and the General Anthroposophical Society whose reality the Christmas Conference was bringing into existence. Let us listen to Steiner benediction of the Foundation Stone.
[page 72] When now, at this moment, we unite these three forces, the forces of the heights, the forces of the circumference, the forces of the depths, in a substance that gives form, then in the understanding of our soul we can bring face to face the universal dodecahedron with the human dodecahedron. Out of these three forces: out of the spirit of the heights, out of the force of Christ in the circumference, out of the working of the Father, the creative activity of the Father that streams out of the depths, let us at this moment give form in our souls to the dodecahedral Foundation Stone which we lower into the soil of our souls so that it may remain there a powerful sign in the strong foundations of our soul existence and so that in the future working of the Anthroposophical Society we may stand on this firm Foundation Stone.
And let us now lower the same Foundation Stone into the soil of our soul, let it grow in us as we move forward as a threefold being and lower it into the soil of our hearts.
[page 72] Let us seek in the threefold being of man, which teaches us love, which teaches us the universal Imagination, which teaches us the universal thoughts; let us seek, in this threefold being, the substance of universal love which we lay as the foundation, let us seek in this threefold being the archetype of the Imagination according to which we shape the universal love within our hearts, let us seek the power of thoughts from the heights which enable us to let shine forth in fitting manner this dodecahedral Imagination which has received its form through love! Then shall we carry away with us from here what we need.
With these words providing the frame for several recitations of the Foundation Stone Meditation in various forms (See below to read the Meditation.) the meeting began of the Secretaries of various societies. When Foundation Meeting continued on 26 December 10 am, Rudolf Steiner spoke of the openness that the new Society must ever exhibit, eschewing any tendency toward secrecy at any level, at any time. He had apparently seen those tendencies in various other societies, especially the Theosophical Society, and stated once and for all time there will be complete openness in the newly founded General Anthroposophical Society.
[page 98] But today, early on, I want to say the following: As we saw in the necessary content of the Statutes, we have to connect total openness with the Anthroposophical Society. Anything less, dear friends, is not permitted by the signs of the times. The present age can no longer tolerate any tendency towards secrecy. This presents us with a fundamental problem which we shall have to solve. . . . We must be absolutely clear about the fact that our Society, before all others, will be given the task of combining the greatest conceivable openness with true and genuine esotericism.
Then followed the first reading of statutes, then the second reading with question and answers and voting on each statute (each of which passed unanimously). Paragraph 2 of the Statutes says in part that the cultivation of a science of the spiritual world will be the task of the Society. "It will endeavor to fulfill this task by making the anthroposophical spiritual science cultivated at the Goetheanum in Dornach the center of its activities . . ." (Page 122) which brought a question from Herr Van Leer: "The Goetheanum is mentioned here; but we have no Goetheanum." Steiner answers:
[page 125] We are not of the opinion that we have no Goetheanum. My dear Herr van Leer, we are of the opinion that we have no building, but that as soon as possible we shall have one. We are of the opinion that Goetheanum continues to exist. For this very reason, and also out of the deep needs of our heart, it was necessary last year, while the flames were still burning, to continue with the work here on the very next day, without, as Herr Steffen said, having slept. For we had to prove to the world that we stand here as a Goetheanum in the soul, as a Goetheanum of the soul, which of course must receive an external building as soon as possible. . . . what we see with our physical eyes therefore does not prevent us from saying 'at the Goetheanum' . . . The Goetheanum does stand before our spiritual eyes!
And by 1928, a short four years later, a magnificent concrete Goetheanum was opened for use, a Goetheanum of the soul then and now present to both our spiritual eyes and physical eyes. It was points like this that Steiner made in response to questions that makes the proceedings of the Christmas Conference so valuable. Mr. Collison added an important comment which helped lubricate the process of getting through the Statutes.
[page 142] MR COLLISON: Please pardon me, as a very old member, for saying a few words about the Statutes. We have now come to point 4. I believe that it cannot be our intention to improve on these Statutes. Dr Steiner has put so much effort into them and they are truly all-embracing. It seems to me that any debate on the various points should serve the purpose solely of asking any questions there might be about the meaning or the extent of any of them. [Lengthy applause.]
To forestall any questions about how the Classes should be laid out or, God forbid, administered, Steiner gave a lengthy exposition on the subject which anyone who works in modern-day academia or governmental organization should find some resonance with. He sarcastically refers to the Classes as Sections to help make his point. His metaphor of "Cloud-cuckoo-land" for "abstract thinking" is marvelous. He wanted instead an emphasis on being with activities already underway to form the Classes. A living process instead of a fairyland process.
[page 144, 145] What is usually the consequence of such a way of thinking? It is a structure that lies in the realm of Cloud-cuckoo-land. And on the top of that, this structure has to be administered! So then you start hunting for suitable people, you look around all over the place for people who have to fit into the first, the second, the third Section, and finally they are somehow juggled in by means of some sort of election or something. Usually what then becomes apparent is that they settle as though into a chrysalis in their particular department in the scheme; they creep into their chrysalis, but no butterfly emerges. So let us not proceed in an abstract way.
His characterization of a bureaucrat as someone who builds a chrysalis around oneself out of which no butterfly ever emerges is an apt metaphor for the modern bureaucrat. His metaphor for the need for money was equally ingenious.
 For just as human beings cannot live on air alone, so is it also not possible to exist with the Anthroposophical Movement if our idealism does not occasionally reach for our wallet.
Later when no one wishes to ask questions about Paragraph 6 of the Statutes, Steiner says, "Mr. Collison really is a magician!" When he was later asked if the national economy course constituted a cycle (of lectures), Steiner replied in part, "In one way I am quite grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to speak about this rather vexed question." A vexing question has the nature of what I call an "unanswered question,"(1) that is, a question which one does not immediately dispense with off-hand by some glib response, but which one allows to continue to vex, to trouble, to remain unanswered in one's mind, and, perhaps as Steiner did, to share with other people who could also ponder the question and help come up with an answer. Again a masterful handling of the question by Steiner.
This Paragraph of the Statutes is magnificent and should be tattooed on every would-be anthroposophist's mind.
[page 156, 157] Paragraph 9. The purpose of the Anthroposophical Society will be the furtherance of spiritual science research; that of the School of Spiritual Science will be this research itself. A dogmatic stand in any field whatsoever is to be excluded from the Anthroposophical Society.
In case there were nascent bureaucrats in his audience, Steiner immediately added this caveat in his comments about Paragraph 9, "And it has to be stressed that anything dogmatic is excluded from the administration of the Anthroposophical Society." Any person or organization which criticizes the Steiner or Waldorf Schools today for teaching some religious dogma is simply displaying their own ignorance of the founding principles of the Anthroposophical Society.
Steiner points out later in response to questions that "pedantic statutes can be the source of much that has to be settled by tact." He certainly gives masterful examples of handling issues by tact during the second reading of the Statutes, but feels a need to be more explicit.
[page 174] I am altogether of the opinion that in the management of a society not much can be achieved by a pedantic head. It may have its place elsewhere, certainly, but in the management of a society such as the one to be founded here a pedantic head is quite harmful. What we need are sensitive fingertips. The more we can manage the Society through our sensitive fingertips the better things will be.
Later Steiner adds "We need courtesy." Having resigned from an organization recently due to its lack of courtesy, I agree wholeheartedly with Steiner's exhortation below.
[page 229] We shall urgently have to make it our task that courtesy is not the least of the unwritten paragraphs of our Statutes.
On the evening of December 31, 1923, Steiner's lecture dealt with "The Envy of the Gods — the Envy of Human Beings." It was one year ago to the day that he had given a lecture in the original Goetheanum and several hours later he had been roused from his bed to learn that the magnificent wooden structure was completely engulfed in flames. In a previous lifetime Steiner and Ita Wegman may have been high priests together in the great Temple to Diana in Ephesus(2). This temple was later set fire to by an arsonist named Herostratos. In the chill of the New Year's morning of 1923, Steiner and Wegman they stood together to watch a temple they had created burn to the ground, likely by another arsonist. It was the burning of the Goetheanum that led Wegman to ask Steiner about their previous lifetimes together, and during his answers, he revealed their presence at Ephesus, among other lifetimes. About the phrase "envy of the gods" Steiner tells us:
 Such words are always seen when one looks in spirit towards the deed of Herostratos, the burning of the temple at Ephesus. In the flames the ancient words stand out: The envy of the gods.
Next he gives us a definition of what the word "god" means:
[page 233] In those olden times the word 'god' was used to describe anything that lived as a supersensible being without ever needing to appear on earth in a physical body.
Perhaps the destruction of the Tower of Babel as mentioned in the Bible illustrates an example of the envy of the gods for the towering accomplishment of human beings. Steiner is careful to note that the divine and good spiritual beings responsible for our human development cannot become envious. He directs us to the ahrimanic and luciferic spirits who are envious of our approach to the good gods.
[page 233] But those divine spiritual beings who are so closely linked with mankind that the human being in his inmost nature has come into existence through them and has been sent by them on his journey through the ages, those beings we sense in the majesty and in the minutest appearances of outer nature, those divine spiritual beings cannot become envious. Yet in olden times the envy of the gods denoted something very real. Following the human race in its development up to about the time of Ephesus we find that indeed the more advanced human individuals had taken for themselves much of what the good gods had been glad to give them in the Mysteries. It is quite right to say that an intimate relationship exists between the good human hearts and the good gods, a relationship made ever more close in the Mysteries. Thus the realization came about in the souls of certain other luciferic and ahrimanic godly beings that human beings were being drawn ever closer to the good gods. And thus arose the envy of the gods towards man. Again and again we hear in history that a human being striving for the spirit, if he meets with a tragic destiny, is described as having been a victim of the envy of the gods.
Steiner likens the envy of the gods to clouds which hovered over the ancient world until one salient deed of the gods, filled with love instead of envy, the Deed of Christ Jesus on Golgotha.
[page 234] And there came down into this atmosphere filled with the envy of the gods the deed of that God who was capable of the greatest love that can possibly exist in the world. We see the Mystery of Golgotha in its true light only if we can add to everything else also the image of the clouds in the ancient world, in Hellas, Macedonia, the Near East, North Africa, Southern Europe; the image of those clouds that are an expression of the envy of the gods. Wondrously warming, gently gleaming, there falls into this cloud-filled atmosphere the love that streams through the Mystery of Golgotha.
If we look back at the Mysteries in their old form, we find that gods are comprehended by humans who make offerings to them.
[page 234] In olden times, down on the earth, one thought of the Mysteries thus: Human knowledge, human wisdom finds an abode in the Mysteries. But among the gods it was said: When we descend into the Mysteries we find there the offerings of human beings, and in the human being who makes his offering we are comprehended.
The burning down of the Temple of Ephesus signaled a dramatic change in how humans encountered the gods. Before then, humans encountered gods in these physical temples, after then, humans encountered gods spiritually, inside themselves. The seeking of the Holy Grail became an internal path, replacing the former physical path. With that change, one could no longer find help in physical temples, only in the "gently shining eyes" of the Initiate (Rosicrucian).
[page 235] Those who wanted to find the way, for example to the Holy Grail, had to know how to follow spiritual paths. In olden times, before the burning of the temple at Ephesus, the paths to be trodden were physical paths. In the Middle Ages the paths were spiritual. . . . Many true Rosicrucians frequented the temples, but these temples could not be found by any external, physical human eye. But it was possible for pupils to find these aged Rosicrucians who lived here or there like hermits of wisdom, hermits of the holy human deed. They could be found by those who could comprehend the language of the gods speaking out of gently shining eyes. I am not talking figuratively. I do not want to speak in pictures. I am telling you of an actual reality which was extremely significant at the time to which I am pointing.
"When the Pupil is ready, a Teacher will appear." This ancient wisdom comes to help us understand that the path we seek lies within us, not outside. When we have prepared ourselves internally, the Teacher will appear and show us into the Temple, the temple within us. The search for the Holy Grail, rightly understood, was a cover story, a metaphor, for the search for this inner temple.
[page 235] The pupils found their Rosicrucian teacher if they had first gained the capacity to understand the language of the heavens speaking out of gently shining physical eyes. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in Central Europe these remarkable personalities were to be found living in the most modest surroundings, in the most unassuming human accommodation. They were filled with the divine spirit; in their inner being they were linked to the spiritual temples which existed but to which access was truly as difficult to find as was that to the Holy Grail described in the well-known legend.
What we learn in An Outline of Occult Science is how human beings evolved in synchronism with the cosmos which surrounds us. Steiner tell us that this lesson in evolution, in its earliest form, "was the subject of long instruction by a teacher in whose gently shining eyes the pupil heard the speech of heaven." The teacher explained that the First Hierarchy sacrificed of their own being to form the warmth which filled the first humans during Old Saturn stage of evolution. Then the Second Hierarchy helped to build up our etheric body during the Old Sun stage. And finally the Third Hierarchy helped build up our astral body during the Old Moon stage. Steiner adds an important point in this lecture about our physical body. For a quartz crystal, its physical body comes from the Earth, but it does not require any spiritual beings to maintain its shape. When I went mining for crystals, it was an incredible feeling to extract from the Earth a perfectly formed quartz crystal that no human being had ever seen before, one whose form had remained unchanged from the very time when Earth itself was solidifying. And one whose form will remain unchanged until Earth itself dissolves back into the cosmos. Our physical body, however, cannot be maintained by the Earth; the Earth can only destroy it, not build it up.
[page 236] Your physical body is not of this earth. Your physical body is of supreme spirituality. To Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones belong the form and shape of your physical body. Your physical body does not belong to the earth; it belongs to those spiritual forces which are the highest as yet accessible to you. The earth can destroy it but never build it up.
Likewise with our life body, otherwise known as the etheric body, which moves the life fluids within us. The etheric body built up by the Second Hierarchy remains with us until our physical body returns to the Earth, and then it returns to the far reaches of the universe.
[page 236] The widths of the cosmos can dissolve this etheric body but they cannot build it up. Only those divine, spiritual beings belonging to the hierarchy of the Dynamis, Exusiai and Kyriotetes can build it up. You unite with your physical body the physical substances of the earth. But that which is in you transforms the physical substances of the earth in such a way that within them there is no longer anything resembling whatever is physical in the environment of your physical body. Your etheric body moves everything in you that is liquid or watery. The juices that stream and circulate are under the influence of your etheric body.
Similarly with our astral body, it is built up by the First Hierarchy, and contains everything which is air which circulates in our body. These astral or ghostly forms can be seen floating through the atmosphere of the Earth years after the human spirit has slipped into the spiritual world. Now Steiner sums up the instruction given the pupil by the being with gentle eyes who could rightly be called their "godparent".
[page 237] Having undergone sufficient instruction in this way, the pupil no longer felt related to the earth. Going out, he sensed, from his physical, etheric and astral bodies were the forces that joined him through the mineral world with the first hierarchy, through the watery earth with the second hierarchy and through the encircling air with the third hierarchy. It was clear to him that he lives on the earth solely through the element of warmth which he bears within him.
In the temple of Ephesus stood the statue of the goddess Diana and in the Goetheanum stands the statue of the Representative of Man, "Christ Jesus, into whom, identifying ourselves with him, in all humility, we thought to merge in knowledge, just as in olden times, in their own way, no longer quite comprehensible to mankind today, the pupils of Ephesus merged into Diana of Ephesus." (Page 241)
Steiner sombers up as he recalls that night a year earlier when an event spoke to him of the envy of human beings.
[page 240 And a year ago, in the night of New Year's Eve, we saw before us the devouring flames. The red blaze shot skywards. Dark blueish, reddish-yellow lines of flame curled through the seething sea of fire, generated by the metal instruments contained in the Goetheanum, a gigantic sea of flame containing the most varied shades and colors. And gazing into this sea of flame with the colored lines darting hither and thither one could not but read words which spoke to the pain in one's soul: the envy of human beings.
He feels the pain of the loss of his magnificent building by a Herostratus-type deed, but he reminds all present that they will bear the Soul of the Goetheanum into a new building, a building which stands to this very day in 2013, ninety years in the future.
Page  Our pain attaches itself to the old Goetheanum. We shall only become worthy of having been permitted to build that Goetheanum if today in remembering it we vow, before whatever is best and most divine in each one of our souls, to keep faith with the spiritual impulses that had been given an outer form in that Goetheanum. It was possible for this Goetheanum to be taken from us. The Spirit of this Goetheanum, if our will is truly upright and honest, cannot be taken from us.
Page  Let us bear the Soul of the Goetheanum over into the new cosmic year, and let us endeavor to build in the new Goetheanum a worthy monument to the body of the old Goetheanum, a worthy memorial!
On the evening of January first, Steiner gave a lecture on "The Right Entry into the Spiritual World." Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley wrote about her novel, Frankenstein, "I only wanted to write a tale to tremble by," and we should tremble when we read Steiner's words about entering the spiritual world, of trying to get past the Guardian of Threshold without proper preparation. If we were to enter with the thoughts of the masses today, we would necessarily return in a condition of "soul paralysis." (Page 264)
[page 264] For if the inner condition experienced before the Guardian of the Threshold were to endure for a sufficiently long period of time, if human civilization were to remain for a long time under the influence of what can be taken in schools by way of what is traditionally passed down by civilization, then sleep would become ordinary life. Human souls would pass through the portal of death into the spiritual world and then be incapable of bringing any strength of ideas with them into their new life on earth. For though you can enter the spiritual world with today's thoughts, you then cannot leave it with them. You can only leave it in a state of soul paralysis.
Whenever anyone returns from some psychotic break or LSD-type trip, they may begin ranting and raving as if they were soulless; this is a sure sign of their having gone into the spiritual world without proper preparation and having returned in a state of soul paralysis.
What might it be like to live on Earth if the majority of people were in a state of soul paralysis? In a Luke Wilson movie, Idiocracy, such a world is portrayed in vivid realism. Luke plays an average Joe in the U. S. Army. He was proven to be average by an extensive battery of tests and was chosen for an experiment. He was put into a capsule and sent five hundred years in the future. This is about the time that most people on Earth would have reincarnated and returned in a state of soul paralysis, unable to think for themselves, doing what they’d always done, and living only on instincts like an animal. Luke arrived to find horrendous conditions. All plant life was dying because people were watering their plants with Gatorade. Why? The reason they gave was, "What else? We can't water plants with stuff that's in the toilet bowl!" Luke was soon acknowledged to be the smartest man on the planet, but ends up nearly killed in a gruesome gladiatorial contest before anyone would listen to his sensible reasoning. It is painful to watch this movie because it shows the direction that most of humankind is already plunging headlong into today. The other amazing quote was when Luke goes to Costco to buy something, and the clerk looks it up and says to him, "It's located at Mile 17."
This is the kind of world that Rudolf Steiner was warning us about a hundred years ago, and the signs are everywhere that we are on a steep slope toward that kind of civilization.
[page 264] You see, present-day civilization can be founded on the kind of cultural life that has been nurtured for so long. But life cannot be founded on it. It would be possible for this civilization to endure for a while. During their waking hours, the souls would have no inkling of the Guardian of the Threshold; then while they slept they would be turned away by him so that they should not become paralyzed; and the final consequence would be that a human race would be born in the future without any understanding, without any possibility of applying ideas to life when they were born in this future time, so that the faculty of thinking and living in ideas would have disappeared from the earth. A sick human race, living only in instincts, would have to populate the earth. Terrible feelings and emotions alone, without orientation through the force of ideas, would come to dominate human evolution.
What Luke encountered in the movie when he got out of his capsule five hundred years in the future is what we would encounter when we arrive in a new incarnation about five hundred years in the future, unless humankind endeavors to nurture the spiritual aspects of our everyday life. And this is exactly the task that Rudolf Steiner gave the Anthroposophical Society headquartered in the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland.
[page 265] See, if this goes on, then the earth will have fallen into barbarism by the time those living today return for a new incarnation; people will live by instincts alone, without ideas; this is what you have brought about by falling away from the ancient spirituality of the orient.
Why ancient spirituality? Because their ideas, concepts, and deeds were turned toward the gods and the spiritual world, and therefore they were allowed through the Gate of the Threshold by the Guardian. (Page 266)
[page 266] And if souls then approached the Guardian of the Threshold with these ideas which had been formed in a manner that was worthy of the gods and that had a value for the gods, then the Guardian said: You may pass, for you are bringing with you into the supersensible world something that is directed towards this supersensible world even during the time of your life on earth in a physical body; therefore when you return to the physical, sense-perceptible world sufficient strength will remain to prevent you from becoming paralyzed through having seen the supersensible world. Nowadays human beings elaborate concepts and ideas which, in accordance with the genius of the times, they want to apply solely to the physical, sense-perceptible world. These concepts and ideas deal above all with anything that can be weighed and measured, but they are not at all concerned with the gods. They are not worthy of the gods and they are of no value to the gods. That is why the souls who have fallen entirely under the spell of the materialism of these ideas which are unworthy of the gods and valueless for the gods are met, when they cross the threshold in sleep, by the thundering voice of the Guardian of the Threshold: Do not step across the threshold! You have misused your ideas for the sense-perceptible world; therefore you must remain with them in the sense-perceptible world; if you do not want to become paralyzed in your soul, you cannot enter with them into the world of the gods.
These thoughts inspired this poem I entitled, "Soul Paralysis":
Most schools today
teach soul-paralyzing thoughts:
Left Brain concepts or
All of which turns the entrance
to the Gate of the Threshold of the Spiritual World
into a Parking Lot full of Souls
Who arrive like foolish Virgins with no oil for their lamps.
One foolhardy Soul Sleepwalks
past the Guardian of the Gate
and, when later evicted,
Finds it impossible to think,
remaining in a State of Soul Paralysis.
Only the Wise ones whom the Guardian
readily admits can escape Soul Paralysis
when they return
and Engender Life.
Will the Wise or the Foolish Inherit the Earth?
It would be Foolish not to hold that as an
From now on.
Every day for over a week, I had to walk past the new and vibrant Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland during a conference of a Mi-cha-elic Group from all around the world.We met in the Schreinerei Hall next to the Baukunst (Carpentry Shop) where the Christmas Conference was held in 1923/24. We experienced directly the "true spiritual life for the blessing of mankind in the future, from the Goetheanum" which was back then only a spiritual vision, but now it houses a living and breathing spiritual science and a panoply of the arts in every cubic meter of its space.
[page 268] With thoughts which are not easy but which are grave we must depart from this Conference that has led to the founding of the General Anthroposophical Society. But I do not think that it will be necessary for anybody to go away with pessimism from what has taken place here this Christmas. Every day we have had to walk past the sad ruins of the Goetheanum. But as we have walked up this hill, past these ruins, I think that in every soul there has also been the content of what has been discussed here and what has quite evidently been understood by our friends in their hearts. From all this the thought has emerged: It will be possible for spiritual flames of fire to arise, as a true spiritual life for the blessing of mankind in the future, from the Goetheanum which is being built anew.
Steiner makes it clear that no sleepwalker will be allowed through by the Guardian of the Threshold. Those who speak with derision towards anthroposophy and have plans against the Waldorf Schools will find that they have wasted their thoughts on materialistic objectives, and will be subject to soul paralysis as recompense for their folly.
[page 269] Those who are not anthroposophists hear: You must remain outside the land of the spirit, you have misused ideas for merely earthly objects, you have not gathered ideas which have value for the gods and which are worthy of the gods; you would be paralyzed on your return to the physical, sense-perceptible world.
[page 270, 272] For this purpose we have immersed ourselves in those words with which I began, in those words with which I wish to close this Christmas Conference, this Christmas Conference which is to be for us a festival of consecration not merely for the beginning of a new year but for the beginning of a new turning point of time to which we want to devote ourselves in enthusiastic cultivation of the life of spirit:
FOUNDATION STONE MEDITATIONSoul of Man!
Thou livest in the limbs
Which bear thee through the world of space
In the spirit's ocean-being.
In depths of soul,
Where in the wielding will
Thine own I
Comes to being
Within God's I.
And thou wilt truly live
In the World-Being of Man.
For the Father-Spirit of the heights holds sway
In depths of worlds begetting being.
Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones!
Let there ring out from the heights
What in the depths is echoed
Ex Deo nascimur.
The spirits of the elements hear it
In East, West, North, South,
May human beings hear it.
Soul of Man!
Thou livest in the beat of heart and lung
Which leads thee through the rhythm of time
Into the realm of thine own soul's feeling.
In balance of the soul,
Where the surging deeds
Of the world's becoming
Thine own I
With the World-I.
And thou wilt truly feel
In the Soul-Weaving of Man.
For the Christ-Will in the encircling round holds sway
In the rhythms of the worlds, bestowing grace on the soul
Kyriotetes, Dynamis, Exusiai!
Let there be fired from the East
What through the West is formed
In Christo morimur.
The spirits of the elements hear it
In East, West, North, South,
May human beings hear it.
Soul of Man!
Thou livest in the resting head
Which from the grounds of eternity
Opens to thee the world-thoughts.
In stillness of thought,
Where the eternal aims of Gods
On thine own I
For thy free willing.
And thou wilt truly think
In the Spirit-Foundations of Man.
For the world-thoughts of the Spirit hold sway
In the being of worlds, craving for light.
Archai, Archangeloi, Angeloi!
Let there be prayed from the depths
What in the heights will be granted
Per Spiritum Sanctum reviviscimus.
At the turning of the time
The Spirit-Light of the world
Entered the stream of earthly being.
Darkness of night
Had held its sway,
Streamed into souls of men:
Light that gives warmth
To simple shepherds' hearts,
Light that enlightens
The wise heads of kings.
Light Divine Christ-Sun
Warm thou our hearts,
Enlighten thou our heads,
That good may become
What we from our hearts would found
What we from our heads would direct
In closing, Herr Werbeck quoted Albert Steffen who, praising Steiner's words, said, "Our gratitude is inexpressible. And yet on the wings of these words he did express everything our heart can give." He later added, "If we understand him aright, then we know that for us anthroposophists the hour has come when we must set the deed of gratitude in the place of the word of gratitude. We must requite his great, his immeasurably great deed of love with whatever deed of gratitude our puny strength can muster. (Page 274)
Rudolf Steiner realized that no one should imagine that he alone was able to say all these things; that the Spirit of the Goetheanum, the great Archangel whose face shines through the Rose Window facing Westward from the new Goetheanum, deserves the credit.
[page 276] In that Spirit's name I have permitted myself over the last few days to say a great many things which ought not to have been put so forcefully had they not been expressed while looking up to the Spirit of the Goetheanum, to the good Spirit of the Goetheanum. So allow me, please, to accept these thanks [from Herr Werbeck, etal] in the name of the Spirit of the Goetheanum for whom we want to work and strive and labor in the world.
The Foundation Stone has been laid, the Statutes have been read, discussed, and approved, and the General Anthroposophical Society has been founded by Rudolf Steiner who promised us that a new Goetheanum, even greater than the first one in many ways, would be built upon the Bloody Hill in Dornach. That Hill, which was first consecrated by the blood of the soldiers of the Swiss Confederacy, whose blood was spilled there in that successful battle to retain their freedom and independence forever, was later sanctified by the bonfire that engulfed the magnificent wooden temple designed by the mind of Rudolf Steiner and carved and painted by his own hands. Two great sacrifices took place on that Hill and now a great temple of Spiritual Science holds its doors open to humankind who might else sleepwalk through the world using ideas for earthly objects but for the Goetheanum and the spiritual realities it brings forth through its architecture, its paintings, its windows, its great performances, and its many people who carry on today the society founded by Rudolf Steiner nearly a century ago.
----------- Footnotes -------------
“What is the power of an unanswered question?” is one of my basic rules, MR#25.Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
See Rudolf Steiner's Mission and Ita Wegman by Margarete & Erich Kirchner-Bockholt.Return to text directly before Footnote 2.
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I hear often from my Good Readers that they have bought books after reading my book reviews. Keep reading, folks! As I like to remind you, to obtain more information on what's in these books, buy and read the books — for less information, read the reviews.
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In this section I like to comment on events in the world, in my life, and in my readings which have come up during the month. These are things I might have shared with you in person, if we had had the opportunity to converse during the month. If we did, then you may recognize my words. If I say some things here which upset you, rest assured that you may skip over these for the very reason that I would likely have not brought up the subject to spoil our time together in person.1. Padre Filius Reads Latest News from Poynter's MediaWire this Month:
Padre Filius, the cartoon character created by your intrepid editor and would-be cartoonist, will appear from time to time in this Section of the Digest to share with us some amusing or enlightening aspect of the world he observes during his peregrinations. This month finds the Good Padre praying for the man falling from the Tower on 9/11.
This month the good Padre reads "Esquire.com's worst 9/11 mixup imaginable" — a photo by Richard Drew on 9/11 gets misplaced on Esquire.com's Style Page:
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 or photos you send to be private, simply say so and they will not be published.
- EMAIL from Patty Lee with Music Video:
Got Potholes? Takes money to fill potholes, doesn't it? Also politician's pockets. Check out this production video by New Orleans Musician who composed the song and played all the music parts, Armand St. Martin.
- EMAIL from Duck Man Tony Spatafora:
White Face, early September, 2013.
Do you think this duck is a Dendrocygna autumnalis or a Dendrocygna viduata ? Roger thinks it's a juvenile of the former because of the range of the latter. I think it's an adult of the latter. Do you have a thought or opinion on this particular Anseraform ?
~~~~~ REPLY ~~~~~
Tony, from what I see on Google Images, the Dendrocygna viduata has a full over white front half of the head. The Dendrocygna autumnalis seems more likely as they all have the dark crest over the head absent in the "viduata". Thanks for a new word, Anseraform, an order of birds including 150 species of ducks. Also, thanks for the great photo!
- EMAIL from Chris Bryant in Corpus Christi, TX:
Carla had a meeting yesterday with the guardian of one of her autistic students. Carla and this aunt of the student and were talking after the meeting. Carla said that a friend of hers believes that autistic people are advanced beyond the rest of us. The lady got tears in her eyes and thanked Carla so much for telling her that. This loving auntie believes it very much as well.
Go Saints and Tigers!
~~~~~ Bobby's Comment on Autism ~~~It is a tenet of doyletics that autism results when a child has precocious cognitive memory, perhaps due to a mutation in the hippocampus which allows it to transmit events to be stored in the declarative (cognitive) memory space of the neocortex at a very early age, sometimes from birth. This advancement of memory processing can explain the various problems autistics have in development, those problems caused by the caregivers for whose expectations the autistic child does not live up to. It is due to clueless caregivers and the general lack of understanding of the advanced development of autistic children that such special children and adults have been labeled variously as retarded, defective, or various dysfunctional. What is urgently needed, and only now beginning to be provided, is informed training of caregivers.
- EMAIL from Christopher in Switzerland: Hi Bobby,
I'm an Irish/English poet with three collections of verse to my name, two of them published in the US, one in Italy, and I'm particularly intrigued by your connection to Rudolph Steiner. Steiner has been very important to me owing to the role he plays in the mind of Charlie Citrine in Saul Bellow's glorious novel "Humboldt's Gift". So I wanted to touch base with you!
- EMAIL from Teddy Graham re the two guitars photo:
I still have the tattered remnants of the blue one. The red one was sold to a fellow in Australia before Katrina. Thanks for the photo.
Are you guys coming to our CD release party on September 28th at Margaritaville? It's in the big room from 9 to 12 pm.
~~~~~ Note: Ted made these two guitars by hand and the blue one went swimming during Katrina flood. We found photo in shoebox the other day. Ted and his band are regulars in the smaller lounge Storyville Cafe attached to Margaritaville (the big room). This is his band's First CD. ~~~
3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:"Of Thee I Sing"
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:
Of Thee I Sing
My country is not the United States
My country has no Constitution
My country has no House of Representatives
My country has no Senate
My country has no Supreme Court
My country has no bureaucrats
My country has no police force nor army
My country has no Social Security
My country has no man-made laws
My country has no public property
My country has no public libraries
My country has no federal lands
My country has no Imminent Domain
My country has no coercion
My country has no non-profit organizations
My country existed before all these man-made conventions.
My country ranges
from the Atlantic to the Pacific,
from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico,
from the Columbia River to the Rio Grande.
My country is Sam the shoemaker
who puts new soles on my feet,
My country is Ms. Kim the dry cleaner lady
who makes my clothes look new again,
My country is Noemi the maid
who freshens up my home,
My country is Caroline the masseuse
who kneads my muscles into shape,
My country is Abdul the auto dealer repair coordinator,
who sells me new clothes,
My country is Peter the owner,
whose people serve me at my favorite restaurant,
My country is Renelle who trims my hair,
My country is Manual
who delivers the daily newspaper,
My country is Guntis my neighbor
who lends a hand when I need help,
My country is Chris
who mows and trims our lawn,
My country is my club members
who provide companionship,
My country is my Good Readers
whose comments on my writing are like nutrition to this writer,My country is my adult children
and the pride and joy they bring to me,
My country is my grandchildren and great-grandchildren
who teach me to look at the world
as a child once more.
My country is my wife and my friends
who remind me of all the things
I have still to learn.
My country is all these:OF THEE I SING!4. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU
A big Gomer Pyle-type Thank You to all of you Good Readers who have endorsed my work on LinkedIn. You have my heart-felt appreciation and gratitude.
Here is a September 2013 snapshot of my endorsers for those of you who are not part of LinkedIn. For those who are, you can see that you are in good company!
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9. CLOSING NOTES:
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Thanks to all of you Good Readers for providing the Sunshine which has made this site a Blooming Success. — Especially those of you who have graciously allowed us to reprint your emails and show photos of you and by you on this website — you're looking good! By May 1, 2019, in its 20th year of publication, the DIGESTWORLD and the doyletics website has received over 21.4 MILLION VISITORS ! ! !
We have received about ONE MILLION VISITORS per Year to the Doyletics Website since its inception June 1, 2000, nearly twenty years ago. Almost 2 million in the past 12 months. We are currently averaging about 150,000 visitors a month. A Visitor is defined as a Reader who is new or returns after 20 minutes or more has passed. The average is about one visitor for every 10 Hits.
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Our DIGESTWORLD came into existence years before Facebook and all the other social media which interrupt people's schedules many times a day. All our photos, reviews, cartoons, stories, etc, come to you via a link inside of one short email Reminder at the beginning of each month. We hope you appreciate how we let YOU choose when to enjoy our DIGESTWORLD Issues. To Get a Monthly Reminder, Click Here .
We especially want to thank you, our Good Readers, in advance, for helping our readership to grow. NOTE our name is now: DIGESTWORLD. Continue to send comments to Bobby and please do create links to DIGESTWORLD issues and Reviews on LinkedIn, on your Facebook page, and on other Social Media. When you copy any portion of a webpage or review, please include this text: "Copyright 2018 by Bobby Matherne".
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The cost of keeping this website on-line with its 300 Gbytes of bandwidth a month is about $50 a month. Thank you, our Good Readers, for continuing to patronize our advertisers when they provide products and services you are seeking as you visit any of our web pages. Remember the ads are dynamically displayed and every time you read even the same page a second time, you may find new products and services displayed for your review. Our reviews, digests, tidbits, etc, all our webpages act as Google magnets to bring folks to the website to learn about doyletics and frequent our advertisers, so they support one another in effect.We wish to thank all Good Readers who have made a contribution to the doyletics.com website! Special thanks go to Chris and Carla Bryant in Corpus Christi and Gary Lee-Nova in Canada! And to our newest supporting subscribers Georgi Barioni and Bob Gehrig in Phoenix.
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You can read a description of how to do a Speed Trace (either in English or Spanish):
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To make a connection to the Doyletics website from your own website, here's what to do. You may wish to use the first set of code below to link to the site which includes a graphic photo, or to use the second set of code for a text-only link. Immediately below is how the graphic link will look on your website. Just place this .html in an appropriate place on your website.
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Check out the new additions to the Famous and Interesting Quotations at:
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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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10. GRATITUDE - in Three Easy Steps:
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Maintaining a website requires time and money, and apart from sending a donation to the Doyletics Foundation, there are several ways you can show your gratitude and support our efforts to keep doyletics.com on-line.
One would be for you to buy a copy of my Dolphin Novel, The SPIZZNET File. Books May be ordered in hardback or paperback form from Xlbiris the Publisher here:
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Any questions about this DIGESTWORLD ISSUE, Contact: Bobby Matherne
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