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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Joe Dean (1930 - 2013) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ LSU Basketball Star and Athletic Director "String Music" ~~~~~
WELCOME TO DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#143 March, 2014== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Quote for the Blustery Month of March:
You have to plan ahead to be disappointed.
— Richard Bandler , Founder of NLP
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DIGESTWORLDArchived DIGESTWORLD Issues
GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents ISSUE#143 for March, 2014
Table of Contents
1. March's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for March
3. On a Personal Note
Flowers of Shanidar Poems
4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe or Household Hint for March, 2014 from Bobby Jeaux: Prevent Hot Water Hose from Bursting
6. Poem from John Horgan's End of Science :"A Little Etheric Thinking, Maestro!"
7. Reviews and Articles featured for March:
8. Commentary on the World
- ARJ2: Cosmic Memory, GA# 11 — Prehistory of Earth and Man by Rudolf Steiner
- ARJ2: The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse
- ARJ2: The Challenge of the Times, GA#186 by Rudolf Steiner
- ARJ2: Experiencing Erickson by Jeffrey Zeig
1. Padre Filius Cartoon
2. Comments from Readers
3. Freedom on the Half Shell Poem
4. THIS IS ONLY A TEST
5. LAWS OF FORM
9. Closing Notes — our mailing list, locating books, subscribing/unsubscribing to DIGESTWORLD
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1. March Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==This month Violet and Joey learn about A Stranger.
For newcomers to DIGESTWORLD, we have created a webpage of all the Violet-n-Joey cartoons!
"A Stranger" at http://www.doyletics.com/images/020214vj.gif
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2. HONORED READERS FOR March:
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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 March, 2014:
Mary Stewart Adams in Michigan
Carl Potswald in Washington State
Congratulations, Mary and Carl!
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3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
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Out Our Way:
A BALL WENT BY ICY FINGERS
We could be talking about the Super Bowl, but we're really talking about a Carnival Ball which was held in an icy tent and the temperature didn't warm up much when we moved indoors for the Queen's Supper. Both places were super noisy and very cold. The warm grillades and grits helped warm us a bit, but we left as soon as we finished eating. Hard to imagine this was the same Ball we had enjoyed so much six years ago. This year's Ball was on the first night of February and the next Ball we'll attend will be on the last night of February. The second Ball will be in a place called the Winter Palace, but we expect this Ball to be warm, full of friends, good music, and great food, and a good time had by all.
There was another example of a ball going by icy fingers, that was a football on the first play of the Super Bowl. Who can ever forget the bemused look on Peyton Manning's face as his head turned to follow the ball flying past his eyes and icy fingers on the frigid turf of the Ice Palace on the plains of New Jersey chosen to play the most expensive and prestigious game of the NFL?The Denver Broncos, instead of blowing on their fingers, were blowing the game, from the first play until the Seattle Seahawks raised the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the game. What the Broncos had done to nearly every team it played during the season, the Seahawks did to the Broncos, winning by a score of 43-8. The Economist had an article titled Peytondammerung(pronounced as dammerung), which should have been spelled Peytondaemmerung (pronounced as dimmerung), as the article did not refer to the dammering, but instead, the dimmering of Peyton Manning, a dimmering which might be rendered in English as the Twilight of the Superstar.
TECHNOLOGY vs BOBBY, BOBBY AHEAD 2-1 THIS MONTH
Those of you Good Readers of a gentler nature can skip this segment as I will be talking what seems like psycho-babble in it.
This month I tried to connect three electronic devices and was successful on two out of the three. The two new capabilities which succeeded, first, then the failure, in non-technical terms:
1) I can play music from my Z10 Blackberry cell phone over my Pioneer Elite Amplifier, while I'm in the Timberlane Screening Room.
2) I can now watch an LSU Baseball or other sports events that are broadcast by the Geaux Zone on the large LG TV in the lower left of the Timberlane Screening Room.
3) The Bummer: still can't get Del's phone to hook up and disconnect properly from her Smartphone to my Bose ambient-sound-deadening QC20 earbuds. Still don't know which device is at fault after spending three hours of testing and re-testing and finally giving up, up until now.
How I did the two successful things:
1) Z10 SOUND: I bought a Blue-Tooth receiver for about $70 and had been using it on our Bose clock radio in our kitchen. I also bought much cheaper wire-only connection to do the same thing, for both of our Bose radios. Decided it was time for me to move the Blue-Tooth receiver to the Timberlane Screening Room (TSR) and connect via an optical cable into my Pioneer Elite Amplifier which creates the sound which come out of my Bose Theater Surround-Sound Loudspeakers in the TSR. It works great, and now if I want to get my Z10 to come out of the Bose radios' fine wave-guide speakers, all I need to do is plug into the small plug which can remain in place while not being used. In addition to playing music from my Z10 in the TSR, I can play music from WWOZ.org or any sports game broadcast on WWL's streaming radio. Sometimes WWL radio broadcasts of a live sports event is ahead of the live TV broadcast, like for LSU or Saints games. When that happens, I cannot slow down the radio! If the radio is behind the live TV video, I can PAUSE the DVR until the radio sound matches with TV sound (like the crack of a bat or a kick off). But if the radio is ahead of the fastest TV sound, there's no hope, up until now. Now with playing radio off their website the sound will be slowed down so that it will be possible to sync it with the TV.
If this sounds complicated, there's more complications than anyone can imagine who has not tried to solve this conundrum. Consider that I have at least five ways of viewing TV in TSR (not counting streaming from Wi-Fi):
Broadcast TV, CABLE CARD SD TV, CABLE CARD HD TV, DVR SD TV, DVR HD TV: Each one has a slightly different time-phasing with the radio signals. Cable Card TV faster than DVR. SD is faster than HD. Broadcast TV is in-between. Plus the DVR adds a devilish complication: If I should dare to PAUSE the DVR even once, it never returns to the same time-phasing as it was before and I must re-sync the sound and TV.
RADIO: WWL 870 AM and WWL 105.3 FM: Each one has a different time-phasing, FM is usually slower than AM signal. By mixing and matching the above sound and video feeds I can sync them in all cases except the one where the radio sound comes before the play happens.
Why watch a Drew breeze pass a football if you already know it's complete before you see it caught? Radio announcers, to the uninitiated in this sync business, you would think would be slower than the TV you're watching, but good announcers, like Jim Henderson, will signal with a change of voice tone that the pass is successful long before they can say the rest of the sentence. "The pass is caught by Jimmy Graham in the end zone for a TD!" The first "The" is enough to give away the play while you're still waiting for the ball to leave Drew's fingertips!
By the time I have gone through 20 plus combinations, I'm lucky if the game isn't already over! Seriously, I have learned which combinations work best, and with my ability finally to slow the occasional too-fast time-phasing of the radio signal, I have mastered the final nuance of how to get the two signals aligned.
THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
When it came time for us to get dressed to go to "Beauty and Beast" we, Del (the Beauty) and I (the Beast) decided not to brave the frigid air to walk of two long blocks from parking to the Saenger Broadway Musical that was part of our Season Ticket plan. Worse than walking to the theater would be the walk back to the parking garage in even more frigid wind and waiting in the cold parking garage for the elevator to take us to our car. Rather than freeze our tootsies off we decided to sit down to a great Double Feature night of the two 2013 Blu-Rays, "The Internship" and "42".The first is a fun romp behind the doors of Google's Megaplex of offices with the madcap duo of Vince Vaughn and Luke Wilson , and the second is the number of Jackie Robinson, the only number retired from all of baseball because there will never be another Jackie Robinson, and hopefully we will never need another one.
OLYMPICS, BASKETBALL, AND BASEBALL
The five screens in our Screening Room have been busy this month. With the Winter Olympics on every night from Sochi, Russia, we have placed them our two lower side screens as we watched movies at night. Watched the remarkable downhill run of the American skier to garner a Bronze medal at age 36, coming back after a serious accident. The great win of the USA team over the Russians which was tied 2-2 with five minutes left and Russia scored an obvious perfect goal and we seemed doomed to lose the game. But wait, the score wasn't official, some question arose, and it was announced that the goal cage had been moved an inch off its moorings and by Olympics rules, the score was invalidated.The hockey game went into overtime sudden death period and the score remained tied. The shootout round began, with USA's Oshie scoring first, the Russians tied, USA got ahead, Russia tied then got ahead, USA tied, and on the eighth shootout, Oshie got his fourth goal and won the game for the USA, 3-2. Incredible stem-winder, nail-biting hockey game which began on a Saturday morning at 6:30 and I was one of the few Americans who bothered to see it live and I was rewarded with a memorable game. The other team from North America, Canada, eventually won the Gold Medal in hockey, and USA dropped to fourth place. Curious thing is Olympics hockey is no longer about US players meeting Russian players for the first time on the ice; the game today is more like a pickup game of NHL players sorted by countries of origin. In the Russian-USA game, I think only one Russian player was not from a NHL team.
Basketball games of our New Orleans Pelicans and LSU Fighting Tigers have also filled the side screen during February. Pelicans having lost 3 crucial first-string playesr this year, Jason Smith, Ryan Anderson, and Jrue Holliday to injuries. But the gang of support players behind them have been making the best of their playing time, and our Anthony Davis got into the NBA All-Star Game held in New Orleans this year. LSU is playing great at home in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, but it's games away from the PMAC they have consistently been losing. I have had the misfortune of watching those away games where LSU whipped itself silly against Georgia, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, and so on. They beat Kentucky in PMAC handily and lost a squeaker in OT by one point to them in their home court Rupp Arena. Now 7-7, they are part of the middle pack of 7 SEC teams with the same record and who knows how this will all shake out by March Madness.
Last but not least, college baseball season has begun, and LSU is right now as I type these words, No. 1 ranked team in the country in most polls. Tomorrow night our Fighting Tigers go against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette who is ranked No. 10 in many polls. They will be the toughest opponent to date for LSU.
DOWNTON ABBY, VALENTINE DINNERS
Del has attended two Downton Abby-themed affairs this month as its fourth season winds to a close. The first was at Diane Guthrie's home in Timberlane and the second was at Maddie Jorgensen's new home in the French Quarter. No guys invited, but I heard from the Burgundy grapevine that David Jorgensen served as Carson the Butler for his wife's soiree, but no other men were invited and he had to leave after serving the ladies. There was an elegant dinner at the Timberlane Country Club which I did make it to. Del had worked for a week getting the decorations ready for the night.
NEW ORLEANS ADVOCATE: NEW OFFICE BUILDING ON ST. CHARLES AVENUE
Our daily newspaper, the New Orleans Advocate has bought the building which formerly housed Michaul's café and music venue on St. Charles Avenue. We were extras in a movie that was shot in that building about a decade ago. We remember when Michelle and Paul had their first restaurant in Algiers Point. Paul was from Thailand and cooked a combination of Cajun and Thai food he called Thai-Coon, and his Spring rolls were the best I ever had. Michauls' got its portmanteau name by combing Michelle and Paul into Michaul. The name came when they moved across the river in a building across from Del's Healthcare Advantage offices on St. Charles Avenue and next to old Hummingbird Café. In the newspaper announcement of their new office building I found out the building was originally a Kaiser-Frazer Auto Dealership called "Klein's Motors".In a curious coincidence, I grew up across the street from a Kaiser-Frazer Auto Dealership called "Paul's Motors". My dad's first post-war auto was a 1951 Kaiser sedan. I remember when Kaiser's cars in the 1950s were on display in Paul's showcase window. They had placed a 3' diameter model of a copper penny to extol the selling point of their compact car named Henry J, its gas mileage was 30 miles per gallon and with gas hovering at 30 cents a gallon, that amounted to a penny a mile. Today we still get 30 mpg but the gas is about $3.00 a gallon, so an equivalent sign would feature a large silver dime. The dime, by the way, is the new penny. Time for the penny to go the way of the mill coin of the 19th century. The coin lives on in infamy today as the universal unit of taxation, or millage, but few people know the origin of the word, millage, up until now.
BOSTON FERN ASSEMBLY LINE AND FERN WATERING SYSTEM
Our ferns which line the northwest portico at Timberlane took it on the chin with the hard freezes we've had almost continuously from December first until February. One day I went with Del to Home Depot to buy some basil to plant, some paint to spray the metal benches and table for the southwest portico, and one Boston Fern to audition to replace the 11 dead ferns. When we got home, it fit in the pot well, so Del went back to buy 10 more ferns, and while she was gone, I organized an assembly line to make replacement of the ferns go expeditiously. I found the S-hook I forged in the blacksmith shop to be perfect for hanging and taking down the fern pots (with a slight opening on one curled tip). I put up a table to hold the ferns and we did all eleven ferns in under 15 minutes. I then added water to the bottom of all of them. My unique method of watering ferns is a special nozzle on a hose which runs across the eleven ferns and a weep hole drilled strategically about 5 inches from the bottom of the holding pots.The ferns are set, pot and all, into the holding pot which is supported by three wires. When the nozzle pours water into the holding pot, the appearance of water coming out the weep hole indicates it's time to move to the next fern. When a heavy rain comes, any water in excess of 5 inches is automatically drained away. The 5 inch level holds water for about 5 days in the summer, usually enough to last until the next afternoon shower, so ferns need little attention unless we have a drought, which for us means a month without rain. And even then about 5 minutes is all it takes to top off the ferns for a week.
RECOVERING FROM WINTER
Our landscaper was busy clearing away dead plants, trimming back still alive plants with dead branches, trimming lower limbs from our Bald Cypress trees, and much more. I decided to give up on the citrus orchard I planted along the northern edge of Timberlane. Apparently the dirt they added after removing a culvert along that line is hardly fertile enough to grow grass (as Gerry & Barbara found after sodding the area with St. Augustine grass which quickly died).So I have given up on growing citrus trees there. Some of the ones I planted are still alive, but have barely grown in four years since I planted them. On the southern edge of our estate, there were healthy citrus trees growing there, but not the kind I wanted and they were overgrown and needed to be removed. The only tree we kept when we cleared out that area was a red-puff tree, like a bottlebrush but with spherical instead of cylindrical flowers. It was in the spot we called the Mary Garden as a concrete grotto with Mary highlighted the area below its outspread branches.
With reluctance, we had the red-puff tree removed and planted a year-old grapefruit tree in its place. The Mary Garden will be moved elsewhere. In addition we plan to add a navel orange tree a bit west of the grapefruit tree.
The entire estate was weeded and dozens of petunias were planted along the 120' stretch of the East-side of Timberlane, from palm tree to palm tree. Only a few days since being planted the petunias are showing blooms.
Meantime, a big meeting is scheduled at Timberlane of one of Del's garden clubs, so she has been busy cleaning everything that doesn't move out of her way, cabinets, ceiling under West Portico Porch, trim under East Portico Porch, you name it and it's been cleaned or is on her hit list.
My work this month has been to get things fixed and installed, things of the hardware variety, guy stuff. We have had an off-centered Tiffany Lamp which we have wanted to replace a hanging lamp centered over our breakfast table in the kitchen along the French Door windows looking to the west. It is the most used spot in the house and we sit there to eat breakfast, lunch, and supper, to do crosswords, to read, and to just talk and plan. Sometimes we do all these things at the same time while sitting at the table. The Tiffany lamp that was there when we bought the place 5 years ago is a heavy metal and glass structure, but we could not get it centered over the table and didn't like the green glow it gave off through its glass top and sides.We finally found a five fixture lamp we liked and I planned out how we might center it by connecting the wire in place of the removed Tiffany's ceiling outlet and hanging the lamp on a hook that would place the lamp centered over the table. After a week of planning and buying the lamp and accessories to install it, our electrician Oville Breaux showed up to install it with my help. He sunk a nail into the center mark over the table to mark the spot for him to anchor a section of 2X4 between the ceiling joists, then he came down and screwed in the decorative hook I had designed to securely hold the lamp fixture. Last step was for him to wire up the new chandelier and hook while I prepared the five glass open-ended globes which would surround the light bulbs. Within 2 hours, we had completed the job and he gave me a gold star for my Electrician's Helper Merit Badge. That badge and $3.00 will get me a small latte at PJ's.
The hard freezes broke two brass fixtures outside on our faucets. I did my best to open the fixtures to keep the water from sitting inside the fixtures without any place to expand. Brass is a strong metal, but water expanding will fracture brass like a hammer shatters glass, only in slow motion. One broken fixture was a one-valve hose coupling. The other was a four-valve splitter connected to a faucet for directing water to various sprinkler systems. This morning I replaced the four-way splitter with one I bought while at Neeb's Hardware to buy the swag lamp's hook. I saw it and thought, if I ever need one, I'll know where to come to get it. Neeb's is an old hardware store from the fifties still in business and Ken Neeb can tell you if he has what you want, suggest something else if he doesn't have, and locate it for you in less time than you can walk from parking to the entrance of Home Depot's megaplex. Well, I decided to go ahead and buy it even though I didn't need it. Or so I thought when I bought it. But on the short 2 mile drive home my thoughts wandered to the round metal ball, the size of a grape, which I found in the driveway, that thought led me to the white Teflon washer that was spherical on one side, and soon I realized that these two items must have come from the four-way valve by the trash can storage area. I checked it out and sure enough, that four-way had one valve brokenn off by the freeze, a fact we would have become quickly aware of if we had turned on the faucet because the water would have splashed all over our pants legs. So here I was buying something we needed before I was conscious of how and where we needed it. A case of knowledge before awareness of having the knowledge.
MOVIES & REVIEWS OF BOOKS MADE INTO MOVIES
After the Diving Bell and the Butterfly was made into a movie some years after I had read the book and reviewed it, my review of the book hit the Top Ten of my most read reviews, and it has stayed in the Top Ten ever since. A similar thing happened more recently with Life of Pi, but it's too soon to tell if it will have the legs and wings of the Butterfly. And now it is happening again with the first run movie of Winter's Tale which came out on Valentine's Day this year. If we had not planned a romantic dinner at the Club, I would have taken Del to see it on February 14, but instead we chose to see it the following Tuesday after having dinner at Zea's Restaurant next to the AMC Palace on Manhattan Blvd a few miles from our home. What a marvel the movie was! Its cinematography in a palette of blue and white, the pale heroine, the white horse, the winter scenes of Manhattan, the horse galloping up the frozen reaches of the Hudson River to a winter palace with ice skating and festivities on a frozen bay of the river. The only color of note outside the blue and white was the red hair of the two heroines. I expect this will become a classic film of the ilk of Casablanca and Citizen Kane, but it's too soon to tell for sure. I don't have a full month's data of readership, but I have been seeing readers popping up all over the globe reading my review ever since Valentine's Day. I just checked the readership since Feb. 15 to 24 and Winter's Tale is the second most popular review, topping Butterfly and Pi both in less than two weeks after its movie's release. I don't review books because they may be made into movies, but when it does happen, it drives more visitors to my site. The novel, Snowman, by Jo Nesbø is due to become a movie and will soon thereafter be in the Top Ten, I expect. The author insists that Martin Scorsese direct the movie, so its completion awaits the famous director's pleasure and availability. Another novel, The Winter Ghosts, by Kate Mosse, which is reviewed in this Issue, would make a good movie, as well, for another winter, perhaps, a milder one like in the old days of the 2000s decade, for example.
I have been thinking about similarity of Jennifer Connelly's parts in Downton Abby and Winter's Tale: in both stories she defied her parents to fall in love with a lower-class man, the chauffeur Tom Branson (Downton Abbey) and the burglar Peter Lake played by Colin Farrell in Winter's Tale.
That line of though somehow led me to the unexpected discovery of a symmetry between Casablanca and Dr. Zhivago. It began by my noticing the physical similarity of Julie Christe and Jennifer Connelly, when Julie was the age of Lara and Jennifer the age of Beverly. From that similarity I stumbled upon the corresponding similarity of Komarovsky (Rod Steiger) and Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart).
LAST MINUTE EVENTS
Both men were in love with a young ingenue, Komarovsky with Lara and Rick with Ilsa. Each met his love again in her later years when she was in love with another man and both helped her to escape from the persecuting State forces, Ilsa from the Nazis and Lara from the Soviets. Whether Lara loved Komarovsky or not, likely she thought so very early on, at least until the Christmas party where she put a bullet in his arm.This is the time of the month when I hope no new things happen so I don't have to find a spot for new reports and new photos. But since this is the last week before Mardi Gras, there's sure to be stuff happening, such as the Adonis Parade which I caught a short walk from Timberlane in Terrytown.
EVERY GOOD THING MUST COME TO A NEW GOOD BEGINNINGIMPORTANT MESSAGE:
The past 28 days of February has been a month of icy, almost snowy days, with lots of wind and rain, during which we spent a lot of time indoors, going to a Carnival Ball on the first day of the month and a second one on the last day of the short month. We enjoyed the Super Bowl, the Winter Olympics, and the two week lead up to Mardi Gras Day which I will report on in the next issue. Having suffered through a very long and frigid winter from early December well into February and lasting into March, most likely, thank you very much Phil, the groundhog who had the audacity to view his shadow and scurry back into bunker for 6 more weeks of winter after February 2, Groundhog Day. Well, Phil, so have we northern hemisphere mortals mirrored your behavior. One short day it got warm enough outside that I switched into short pants and a short sleeve shirt, but the next I was back in winter gear. Our azaleas are just beginning to bloom as our Japanese Magnolias are fading. Already we see blooming fruit trees, such as cherry and pear trees and soon our peach tree will be making its first full bloom and we hope for a bounty of delicious peaches by April or so. Till we meet again in the halcyon days of April in New Orleans at least, which is never the April Showers month as those further North experience, no, April is glorious sunshine, cool weather, and dry California Days for us in the Big Easy, a time when festivals sprout in the streets faster than dandelions in the garden. So, God Willing and the River Don't Rise over the Levees, Whatever you do, Wherever in the world you and yours Reside, be it spring-like or autumny, rainy or dry, shady or sunshiny,
Remember our earnest wish for this new year of 2014:
MAY THE WORLD BECOME PEACEFUL AND SERENE IN TWENTY-FOURTEEN
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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:
Man arrives as a novice at each age of his life.
Anonymous (World Famous Author)
The best advice about anticipatory loss came from Richard Bandler when he said, “You have to plan ahead to be disappointed.”
Bobby Matherne (American writer, 1940 - )
"You're full of it today, Bobby, full of creative energy," Kathy Nichols.
"My mother used to call it meanness — what did she know?" Bobby Matherne
Once in a row is enough, they sayBobby Matherne (from his Flowers of Shanidar, American writer, 1940 - )
Once in a row is enough.
How can I say "Oops" every day
If once in a row is enough.
Elders of excellence. Saging instead of aging.
Louise Hay, Author of "Heal Your Life"
You can lose yourself in a book, but you find yourself in Poetry.
Jasper Fforde in First Among Sequels
Grace Before Meals by Bobby Matherne:Through the Blessings of Christ, Who Refreshes our Soul,
May this Food from His Bounty Refresh our Body.
New Stuff on Website:From Flowers of Shanidar, A 1990 Book of Poetry by Bobby Matherne
In a small dark cave in the hills of Northern Iraq near the Turkish border the excavator Ralph Solecki found in 1960 the bones of a young man placed in the recess between two large boulders. Analysis of the remains from the cave of Shanidar determined that the burial occurred over 60,000 years ago.
Soil samples collected near the bones were only analyzed several years later and produced a quite unexpected result. Ordinarily a small random assortment of pollen grains would be found in funereal soil samples, but the Shanidar soil analysis revealed thousands of pollen grains from wild flowers of the region. Flowers of rose mallow, hollyhocks, hyacinths, and other indigenous varieties of flowers had been systematically collected and transported to the cave of Shanidar as a funerary tribute.
Astonished, the scientists were confronted with the earliest known evidence of a burial ritual. From the very dawn of mankind a message had come down to us, written in pollen grains from the flowers of Shanidar, of the birth of a new consciousness — the consciousness of death.
How far have we progressed in the knowledge of ultimate destinations in the 600 centuries since that funeral celebration? As we stand before the door to the new millennium, do we dare to knock? Are we ready for the new flowers of Shanidar and the birth of consciousness that will surely accompany our passage into that new era?
These poems are from Bobby Matherne’s 1990 book of poetry, Flowers of Shanidar and have never been published on the Internet before. Here in the beginning of the new millennium, we are publishing each month five poems, one from each Chapter of the book. (Flowers drawn by Artist Maureen Grace Matherne)
Projection is just like fishing
He takes his tackle from the shelf
And sets out on his mission
He tosses out the baited hooks
And finds that he has caught himself.
She takes the mirror to her face
And notes the smudge upon her cheeks,
She rubs the mirror to erase
But on the surface where she looks
It is not there, the smudge she seeks.
God Bless those who can only see
Themselves for others just like me.
Albert Einstein hitches a ride
Upon a flying photon —
He sees the world from its side
From within the eyes of God.
He flies through a double slit
And sunders himself in two —
Each a potential Albert
Einstein in the cosmic goo.
Lost in their timeless domain
These identical twins plod,
Betting in a pickup game,
Playing dice with, who else, God.
Watch a planet come and go
Born then die, all within it —
Live their lives in a minute.
Mountains grow and disappear
From towering giant to valley —
Before the twins have been a year
On their intergalactic sally.
Now reunion time has come —
Each twin is in a galaxy
Light years apart — they recombine —
Give to God their energy.
3. Chapter: Rainbows
This month, as we near the completion of Bobby's first book of Poetry, Flowers of Shanidar,
we continue with a poem from the Rainbows Chapter of his second book of Poetry,
Rainbows & Shadows (1995).
This month we read
There are books that give scientific odds
on anything you ever
hoped or feared
might happen to you,
Everything being equal.
But science has never proven
that everything is equal —
it has merely assumed
that everything is equal.
Yet science has
Convinced enough Western minds
that this is so
that, believing this is so,
it has become so,
Thus providing a convincing demonstration
that reality follows belief
And therefore the odds of any of those things
happening to you are not the same
as of them happening to anyone else,
but rather depend on your belief
in the possibility of them happening to you.
Odds are individual, not global,
as any gambler will assure you.
Chances are no scientist will ever believe this.
This month, as we near the completion of Bobby's first book of Poetry, Flowers of Shanidar,
we continue with a poem from the Shadows Chapter of his second book of Poetry,
Rainbows & Shadows (1995).
This month we read
When the body's confined,
the spirit soars free.
Birth is but that death of spirit
We call life.
Life is but that bud and blossom
In the sky.
Here below the ground, the rhizome
Of our soul
Prepares itself against its bloom
New Stuff on the Internet:
- [add here]
Movies we watched this past month:Notes about our movies: Many of the movies we watch are foreign movies with subtitles. After years of watching movies in foreign languages, Arabic, French, Swedish, German, British English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and many other languages, sometimes two or three languages in the same movie, the subtitles have disappeared for us. If the movie is dubbed in English we go for the subtitles instead because we enjoy the live action and sounds of the real voices so much more than the dubbed. If you wonder where we get all these foreign movies from, the answer is simple: NetFlix. For a fixed price a month they mail us DVD movies from our on-line Queue, we watch them, pop them into a pre-paid mailer, and the postman effectively replaces all our gas-consuming and time-consuming trips to Blockbuster. To sign up for NetFlix, simply go to http://www.netflix.com/ and start adding all your requests for movies into your personal queue. If you've seen some in these movie blurbs, simply copy the name, click open your queue, and paste the name in the Search box on NetFlix and Select Add. Buy some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. You get to see your movies as the Director created them — NOT-edited for TV, in full-screen width, your own choice of subtitles, no commercial interruptions, and all of the original dialogue. Microwave some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. With a plasma TV and Blu-Ray DVD's and a great sound system, you have theater experience without someone next to you talking on a cell phone during a movie plus a Pause button for rest room trips.Hits (Watch as soon as you can. A Don't Miss Hit is one you might otherwise 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."Downton Abby" (2014) Mary now has three unofficial suitors, Edith is pregnant, and Rose is in love with the black jazz singer. Bates finds out Green raped Anna and Green has an accident and is killed. Mr. Moseley and Mr. Barrow's aunt get cozy together, to Tom's chagrin. Mr. Branson meets a spirited red-head at a political meeting and a romance is brewing under the tea cosy.
"Bandits" (2001) See DW#068 Willis and Thornton in a romp with Cate Blanchette playing the Sleepover Bandits.
“Treme: Season 4: Disc 2” (2010) wraps up all the loose ends, literally and figuratively, of this paean to the real New Orleans never shown on screen before, a city on the rebound from Katrina and the people responsible for the bounce. With this last episode, folks all over the world can experience what it means to miss New Orleans. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! ! !
“The Internship” (2013) a madcap adventure in a Google Ship with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson teaming up with four twenty-something Nooglers to win a job at Google. A DON’T MISS HIT! ! !
“42" (2013) the only number retired from all of baseball because there’ll never be another Jackie Robinson. A DON’T MISS HITTER! ! ! ! !
“The Making of a Lady” (2013) PBS Movie: lady’s maid gets promoted to head of a manor, but can she survive the machinations of the other heir while her husband is fighting in India?
“Escape Plan” (2013) Sly and Arnold are in the world’s most secure prison and one of them has an escape plan. And a Plan B. All proving the hardest prison to escape from is the one you build for yourself.
“Runner, Runner” (2013) a Princeton student goes to Costa Rica to confront the on-line Gambling tycoon who cost him his tuition and ends up working for him and discovering his dirty secrets. Can he escape with the girl and his skin?
"Prisoners" (2013) about two preteen gals kidnaped (the MacGuffin) and their fathers kidnaping a likely suspect and torturing him. Jackman and Gyllenthal are the two protagonists and one of them ends up a prisoner in this write-your-own-ending movie. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"All Is Lost" (2013) except soul and body, Redford wrote in his last message in a bottle, and all was lost until he saw a golden halo above his head. Be sure you don't miss a word of the dialogue. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"The Impossible" (2012) Can a family of five on the beach in Thailand survive during the huge tsunami? Can you bear to watch what they went through, separated from each other, battered and bloody? A DON'T MISS HIT !! !
"Cobb" (1994) Tommy Lee Jones made up to look as old as he is in 2014 and Lolita Davidson looking as young as she was 20 years ago. Jones makes a convincing Ty Cobb who when asked how he would hit against today's pitchers answered, "299", "But Mr. Cobb you hit .359." "You jerk! I'm a 72-year-old man now, so I'd hit only 299." When hospital administer told his belligerent patient Cobb guns were not allowed, Cobb answered, "You gonna take it away from me?" Amazingly realistic portrayal of the man who turned the gentleman's game into a battlefield. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! !
"The Dinner Game" (1998) a group of Parisian men meet for dinner once a week and each are charged with bringing an idiot. This idiot never made it to his dinner because his host had a bad back and the results were rip-roaringly funny. I went ROTFLMAO! ! ! A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! ! !
"The Sundowners" (1960) wonderful movie with Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr as migrant workers in Australia, a sundowner being someone who sleeps each day where the Sun goes down. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Man on a Ledge" (2012) Diamond, Diamond, who's got the Diamond? Is it the man on a ledge? Or the man who sent him to jail for stealing it? A cliff-hanger on a ledge! And A DON'T MISS HIT! ! ! !
"The Heat" (2013) Sandra Bullock stars as beleaguered FBI agent again, this time beset by her partner in crime squelching and the fun never stops. Drunk and almost naked, Sandra reaches highs and lows of acting we never thought possible. A DON'T MISS MISSES HIT! ! ! !
"House of Cards" (2013) First episode. Kevin Spacey produces and stars in this serial about an ambitious politician who knocks down others in his way like they were a house of cards, speaking aside to us the viewers at key points. Hey, he's the producer, Kevin can do it the way he likes.
"Winter's Tale" (2014) an amazing cinematographic tour de force in white and blue tones, the only red being the hair of the two heroines and crude paintings of them. Jennifer Connelly (Sybil of Downton Abby) plays Beverly, the dying heiress, in this amazing rendition of Mark Helprin's great novel. Still a lot left to read in the novel after you've seen this 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."Mozart's Sister" (2011) soporific, slow, and demeaning to Mozart and his father, implying that Wolfgang's sister was the musical genius, not him. Bad movie, plodding plot which breaks an axle and never recovers.Your call on these — your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:
“Don Jon” (2013) about a boy whose growing up means giving up his favorite hobby. One girl leaves him because of it and a woman asks him if he live without it. Good question.
"St. Trinian's: The Legend of Fitton's Gold" (2009) proved Willy didn't have a willie and Fritt was a Frat with a Frock. Most silly with costumed musical numbers.
"King Rat" (1965) George Segal as the corporal who gambles and bribes his way to survive in a Japanese POW camp.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Le Boudreaux Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission
4. STORY: STORY:
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Boudreaux and Marie are having an elegant dinner in a fancy restaurant in Breaux Bridge when this gorgeous woman walks into the place, goes over to Boudreaux, gives him a big juicy kiss on the lips, and then leaves to be seated in the back of the restaurant.
Marie is furious. "Mais, who was dat? Told me rat now, Boudreaux!"
Boudreaux hems and haws, but finally speaks up, "Dat's my mistress, Marie. Ah know Ah couldn't told no lie with you."
Marie explodes, "Wat!?! Ah can't stood dis, me! Mah heart done been broken by you, Boudreaux, and Ah want a divorce rat now!"
"Marie, you sure you want dat, Cher?"Boudreaux asks, then starts pleading with her, "you know Ah'm getting beaucoup royalties from that oil shale property from mon Pere, huh? And Ah'm planning to take us on a World Cruise this summer, plus you can go shopping in Paris four or t'ree times a year if you want, and Ah'll get you a limo, a maid, and a cook in the new mansion Ah'm buying for you on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans, on de Mardi Gras parade route."
Marie gets quiet, thinking about all these things, looking up only when she sees Theophile, Boudreux's partner in the oil lease, walk in with a good-looking young woman on his arm, and watches as they are seated at a table in a dark, romantic corner. She looks over to Boudreaux and asks, "Mais, who is dat with Theophile?"
"Dat's Clothilde, Theophile's mistress," Boudreaux admits sheepishly.
Marie cocks her head a bit, glances over at the couple again, then back at Boudreaux and says, "Ours is prettier!"
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5.Recipe or Household Hint for March, 2014 from Bobby Jeaux from Bobby Jeaux:
(click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =Prevent Hot Water Hose from Bursting
Background on Prevent Hot Water Hose from Bursting: One Sunday afternoon about 20 years ago, I was watching a Saints game and Del was off visiting her parents. Suddenly I hear her scream and ran to the kitchen and found that water was covering our kitchen linoleum about an inch high. I ran to the utility room to find that the hot water hose to our washing machine had burst and was spewing water. I quickly turned the water off. Luckily the water could be mopped up and didn't get into the living room or hallway carpet. From that moment I decided to buy a stainless steel hose for the hot water line going to our washing machine.
These SS hose lines can be found in various catalogs or on-line. I found them for sale on a Home Depot webpage for $19.98 apiece.
Turn off water at the faucet that the hot water line is attached to.
With a large pliers, start the hose removal, then complete it by hand. Since you want to remove the hose, rotate the hose connector counter-clockwise to loosen it. Remove the other end from the washing machine. Then attach the SS hose to both ends, turning the hose connectors clockwise to tighten them.
Turn faucet on very slightly, just until you can hear the water filling the new hose. Check both ends of the hose for leaking at the connections. If you find any water dripping, turn faucet off and tighten the connection. Repeat until no water is dripping, and then turn water on full and ensure no water is leaking.
One can replace both hoses with Stainless Steel hoses. I did that at first, but needed a SS hose for another house, and put a new rubber hose on the cold water line. The hot water hose is the one that will burst because the combination of heat and pressure will eventually expand the hose at the faucet and the ballooning hose will soon burst. If either of your current hoses shows a ballooning at either connection, you should replace them both immeditely.
You should examine the hot water line frequently if you still have rubber hoses. As an added safety factor, turning off the washing machine water faucets is on our checklist whenever we leave for more than a day trip.
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6. POETRY by BOBBY from John Horgan's End of Science :
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A Little Etheric Thinking, Maestro!
— those Faustian truth-seekers
of ironic science,
Quest for knowledge
— outside the nine dots
of empirical science
Using the most delicate instruments ever devised,
— their human body and soul.
And as they go about their daily prayer,
This wistful lyric fills the air:
Tis not for the strong or meek,
Tis for our Self we seek.
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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for March:
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For our Good Readers, here are the reviews and articles featured this month. The first review this month is one which was published before the first DIGESTWORLD ISSUE in 2000 and will be of interest to our new Good Readers. The fourth review appeared as a short blurb in DW#4 and the entire review appears in this Issue for the first time. The other two items are new additions to the top of A Reader's Journal, Volume 2, Chronological List, new additions to A Reader's Treasury, or Essays previously unpublished.
NOTE: some Blurbs may be condensations of the Full Reviews, lacking footnotes and many quoted passages. For your convenience, if you wish to read the full review or to print it out, simply CLICK on the Book Cover and choose Printer Ready option on the top line of the review page when it opens.
1.) ARJ2: Cosmic Memory, GA# 11 — Prehistory of Earth and Man by Rudolf Steiner
In addition to painting a broad picture of the prehistory and future history of the Cosmos, Steiner presents a penetrating analysis of the limitations of materialistic science.
[page 29] However fruitful the materialistic point of view has been as a scientific working hypothesis, however fruitful it will doubtless remain in this sense in the future — I point only to the successes of structural chemistry — just as useless is it as the basis for a world conception.
As I pointed out in my The End of Science review, one can understand Steiner's point by imagining all sensory-based materialistic science as an iceberg calved off the mainland of the sensible and super-sensible reality that Steiner describes in this book. One can easily map from the mainland to the iceberg and make rational deductions in that direction. But in the other direction, from the iceberg to the mainland, the mapping fails because it lacks an acceptable target, one that fits the narrow definitions of acceptability to the materialistic scientist. Deductions made by such scientists can only arrive at the conclusion that the iceberg is all that exists, that the mainland is a Fata Morgana induced by fear and need [love], the "mothers of religion." Steiner deftly rebuts such thinking:
[pages 256, 257] It is not even considered remotely possible that there could be a true experience of supersensible worlds, and that the feelings of fear and love then cling to the reality which is given by this experience, just as no one thinks of water when in danger of fire, of the helpful comrade in the peril of combat, if he has not known water and comrade previously.
Materialistic science is thus exposed as using the argument that "the mainland doesn't exit because everybody knows it doesn't exist." Steiner says that the mainland exists because its very existence infuses and enlivens each and every one of us, including the skeptical scientists, who use the very kind of logical "deduction to support their belief that they represent as improper in their adversaries." [page 257]
The only way for such scientists to remove their superstition that fear and need have created this illusory mainland of reality is to become familiar with the super-sensible facts using that most delicate of all instruments, their own human bodies.
[page 261, 262] The one who is able to struggle through to this view will no longer be held back by the idea that he might be estranged from reality and practical life by occupying himself with the science of the spirit. He will then realize how the true science of the spirit does not make life poorer, but richer. It will certainly not mislead him into underestimating telephones, railroad technology, and aerial navigation; but in addition he will see many other practical things which remain neglected today, when one believes only in the world of the senses and therefore recognizes only a part of the truth rather than all of it.
The other major issue, the evolution of man and the solar system, fills the rest of the book. The original state of our solar system was that of a spinning gaseous mass, as materialistic science teaches, and out of that huge vaporous cloud, the planets and Sun condensed. But no scientist has ever laid out exactly how the Sun and planets did this, in which order they condensed, etc, up until now.
Steiner describes to us the process as he experienced it directly through his super-sensible sight. The reader may read Steiner's explanation of the process and decide if this is a plausible description that fits with what is sketchily known of the process by materialistic science. Steiner calls the first stage of evolution, Saturn. It divides into two masses, one destined to become the outer planets and the other the inner planets including the Sun and earth. Later the inner portion separates into two parts, the Sun and the earth-moon. The Mother Sun collapses until it begins radiating light and other forces to its orbiting offspring, the earth-moon. Later the moon separates from the earth and begins orbiting the earth. Once again the Mother Moon sends its forces and reflected light from the Sun to its offspring Earth, which offspring also receives the forces and light directly from its Grandmother Sun.
Steiner calls the Sun, pregnant with the earth-moon, the "old Sun." He calls the moon, pregnant with the earth, the "old Moon." He calls these two after the birth of their offspring, the "new Sun" and the "new Moon." These are phrases that one must come to terms with in order to understand Steiner's cosmology as it appears in many of his lectures.
In the Saturn, old Sun, and old Moon phases, human consciousness was present and was moving through various scaled levels of evolution, stages that Steiner describes meticulously in the body of this book. In Arthur Young's Geometry of Meaning he presents a seven-step scale of levels in the form of a V: the first three steps progress down the left arm of the V and the last three steps ascend the right arm of the V. The fourth step is the vertex, or pivot point of the hebdomad. Steiner uses a seven step scale in many areas during the development of his cosmology. Often the seven stages of evolution have seven sub-stages between each major stage. Even though Steiner doesn't refer to the pivotal nature of the fourth stage, it is easy to discern for oneself that such pivot points exist at stage four of each hebdomad.
It shows up in Chapter 3 in the Seven Atlantean Sub-Races:
1.) Rmoahals — immediate connection with nature; power over nature using words
2.) Tlavatli — remembrance of ancestors; power of the past
3.) Toltecs — wanted to count for something; power of the personality
4.) Primal Turanians — broad power over nature; power of the ego
5.) Primal Semites — compared different experiences; power of judging
6.) Akkadians — arranged affairs by thought; power of intelligence, logic
7.) Mongols — possessed secret forces over nature via their gods; power of faith
We see the progression down to the ego at stage 4.) and rising to a transcendence of the ego in stages 5, 6, and 7. A similar hebdomad exists for the cosmic evolution of humankind. See the Table below:
#) Planet -|- Consciousness -|- Agent -|- Body Developed
1.) Saturn -|- Dull Consciousness -|- Spirits of Will -|- Physical Body
2.) Sun -|- Dreamless Sleep -|- Spirits of Wisdom -|- Etheric Body
3.) Moon -|- Image Consciousness -|- Spirits of Motion -|- Astral Body
4.) Earth -|- "I" Consciousness -|- Spirits of Personality -|- Ego Body
5.) Jupiter -|- Self-conscious images -|- "I" on Physical Body -|- Spirit Man
6.) Venus -|- Self-conscious objects -|- "I" on Etheric Body -|- Life Spirit
7.) Vulcan -|- Spiritual Consciousness -|- "I" on Astral Body -|- Spirit Self
Each of the seven stages evolve through seven sub-stages and Steiner describes the characteristics of each sub-stage. One can see in this hebdomad that the fourth stage is the pivotal point where the descent into the physical body has reached its culmination, and the subsequent ascent into the spiritual realms begins again. This is the current state of humanity: at the deepest point of its descent into the material world.
In Chapter 8 Steiner goes through an incredible four or five pages of exposition in which he describes in detail how we humans of this fourth stage of evolution came to fill our souls with the physical world to the exclusion of the spiritual world, up until now. In this book Steiner has clearly established his reverence and respect for the achievements of materialistic science, and he has offered a comprehensive explanation of how we came to have materialistic science. This is the comprehensive treatment one would expect from the mainland: to be able to describe how the icebergs of materialistic science formed and the very reason for their formation.
In describing the future course of the evolution of humankind, Steiner describes the future evolution of our human organs, how some will become more important and some less important. Of particular interest is how he describes the evolution of the human heart. He explains that smooth muscles are associated with involuntary muscular control such as those in the intestines, which move without conscious intervention, or those that control the opening of the pupil of the eye in the iris. The voluntary muscles are transversely striated, such as the muscles of the legs and arms. He points out that our heart muscle has the striated patterns associated with voluntary movements, even though it is commonly thought of as an organ with involuntary movements. Steiner says that's because it is soon to become an organ of volition, executing motions that will "be the effects of the inner soul impulses of man." More interestingly, he claims that the commonly held view of the heart as a pump that causes the blood to circulate is backwards. Here's how he says it:
[page 240, 241] Turning pale through feelings of fear, blushing under the influence of sensations of shame, are coarse effects of processes of the soul in the blood. But everything which takes place in the blood is only the expression of what takes place in the life of the soul. However, the connection between the pulsation of the blood and the impulses of the soul is a deeply mysterious one. The movements of the heart are not the cause, but the consequences of the pulsation of the blood.In 1932, Bremer of Harvard filmed the blood in the very early embryo circulating in self-propelled mode in spiraling streams before the heart was functioning. Amazingly, he was so impressed with the spiraling nature of the blood flow pattern that he failed to realize that the phenomena before him had demolished the pressure propulsion principle. Earlier in 1920, Steiner, of the Goetheanum in Switzerland had pointed out in lectures to medical doctors that the heart was not a pump forcing inert blood to move with pressure but that the blood was propelled with its own biological momentum, as can be seen in the embryo, and boosts itself with “induced” momenta from the heart. He also stated that the pressure does not cause the blood to circulate but is caused by interrupting the circulation. Experimental corroboration of Steiner's concepts in the embryo and adult is herein presented.
In Chapter 15, Steiner describes what he calls a fundamental law of development. I have noticed that at various stages in my life, friends seemed to disappear or become somehow inappropriate to my new situation. Here's what Steiner says about that:
[page 193] It can be seen that man ascends into a higher realm by thrusting a part of his companions down into a lower.
In Chapter 19, Answers to Questions, Steiner explains how evolution progresses by the dropping into unconsciousness of processes that were once conscious. Like subroutines called by a new main program, the old processes are used as building blocks to form the new level of evolution of humanity. Thus no capabilities are lost, only embedded in newer processes. It has been my thought that whatever one human being could in the past or can do now, all human beings can do, and are doing out of their awareness all the time. This insight of Steiner seems to confirm my guess. It is comforting to know that the troubles and learnings of all our lifetimes produce capabilities that are never lost, but rather are built upon as the basis for the evolution of all humanity.
2.) ARJ2: The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse
This is a book of stories. Freddie finally locates a man who can translate a letter written in an obscure French dialect about 600 years old. The man wants to know how he got this letter, and thereupon hangs the long story which fills this novel. As this story unravels, other characters, such as Fabrissa, appear with stories to tell, and form a patchwork quilt of stories woven out of whole cloth and ghostly etheric fabric.
As Freddie drove his yellow Austin 7 saloon up into the mountains and encountered a blizzard, he remarked that "The temperature inside my little windscreen was barely higher than that outside." Reminds me of my 1951 MG TD who was so airy that on winter trips I found it best to carry a warm blanket for me and my passenger. Even with the top up and windows shut as tightly as possible, I could detect any slightest smell in my surrounding as I drove the tiny sports car, as did Freddie in his small British sedan.
[page 18] Through gaps between the window and the frame of the car slipped the acrid yet sweet smell of burning wood and resin. I saw flickering lights in little houses, waiters in long black aprons moving between tables in a café, and I ached to be part of it.
Are black aprons on waiter very common? I don't think so, but the author is setting a spooky table for her novel and pulls out words like black, kill, dark, or shadowy, etc. at every chance. Freddie had a passenger in his car, his brother George who died in the Great War and whose body was never found, but whose spirit haunted Freddie, and likely George accompanied his still-live brother, although unseen by Freddie, through the spooky mountains.
[page 20] Over ten years of mourning, my ability to engage with anyone other than George had ebbed away. He walked beside me and was the only person to whom I could unburden myself. I needed no one else.
This early in the novel, we earnestly wish for Freddie to find someone other than George that he could think about and unburden himself to. Fabrissa would become that person. Freddie's materialistic view of life shines somberly through when he called the desiccated corpses in a graveyard "sleepers in the damp earth."
[page 22] The stone tips of carved angels' wings and Christian crosses and the peaks of one or two more elaborate tombs were just visible above the high walls. I hesitated, tempted to visit the sleepers in the damp earth. I resisted the impulse. I knew better than to linger among the dead.
One time he glimpsed a man who resembled his brother George, but the phantom disappeared as soon as Freddie’s voice pierced the wintery night air, and he decided, "There was nobody there. There will never be." Like the best ghost stories, when Freddie encounters the ghosts as the title promises, he is not aware they are ghosts. But George is ever-present in his life as Freddie reminds us.
[page 25] The simple truth was that I was burdened by my life and the fact of George's death. The pointlessness of carrying on.
With hindsight, I see that all these emotions assaulted me simultaneously. Delusion and hope and longing, all tumbling one after the other like a falling line of dominoes. It was, after all, a path well worn. A decade of mourning leaves its footprints on the heart.
Whoa! I thought as I read that last sentence. Why should one trample one's own heart by a decade of mourning for a loved one? Especially when one could enliven one's heart with all the good memories of experiences of that loved one? As Eleanor Roosevelt is reputed to have said, "Many people will walk through your life, but only true friends will leave their footprints on your heart." These are the footprints one can benefit from: the loving acts of the beloved friend who has passed, which leave their loving traces behind like footprints on one's heart.
It was so bad for Freddie at the beginning of this novel that the telegram he received of George's death which read, MISSING IN ACTION. PRESUMED DEAD, would be a suitable metaphor for Freddie's own life for the past decade. Missing in action was George, in the war. Missing in action was Freddie, in life after the war. And now as the novel progresses, Freddie is also missing in action in a very real way, and could be presumed dead by others. Will George's epitaph become's Freddie's? Perhaps Freddie's cenotaph will read, "Known unto God", Rudyard Kipling's words which grace the unknown soldiers tombstones.
Freddie was headed into a blizzard which would shake up his life, tear him loose from George, and weld him together with Fabrissa, but he drove on aware only of the outside air getting colder and colder. It occurs to me how difficult it is avoid common metaphors like falling and dropping for decreasing temperatures, but consider that in a century or so, maybe even now, children will ask what does this sentence fragment mean: "the mercury was falling", because mercury thermometers are almost nowhere to be found today, already having been replaced by the ubiquitous red alcohol which forms the red line our 21st century analog thermometers, themselves being replaced by digital thermometers whose numbers may decrease or increase but they do not literally "drop" or "fall" or "rise" or "climb" as they do in our old-fashioned red- and silver-line thermometers(1).
Overcome by the cemeteries and war memorials for young men dying in battles like his brother George did, Freddie had to stop, er, kill, the engine of his Austin on a remote mountain road.
[page 43] I pulled over and killed the engine. My fragile good spirits scattered in an instant, replaced by familiar symptoms. Damp palms, dry throat, the familiar spike of pain in my stomach. I took off my cap and leather gloves, ran my fingers through my hair and covered my eyes. Sticky fingers smelling of hair oil and shame, that grief should still come so easily. After all the talking cures, the treatments and kindness, the kneeling at hard wooden pews at evensong, that I still carried with me a cracked heart that refused to heal.
Ah me, that acne should come to a teenager! Cher pitie! A Dr. Ellerbroeck wrote in a short essay in the Mother Earth News back in the 1970s that, when he showed teens how to change acne from a noun (a reified condition) into a transitive verb (a fluid process), their acne dried up and went away. All they needed was to take control of their condition by replacing their hopeless plaint, "I have acne" to "I am acne-ing." Notice how Freddie complained "that grief should still come so easily." To be honest, he should have replaced "talking cures" with "talking non-cures". He needed a strong dose of accepting his part in holding onto his grief. He could turn his grief from a thing into a process by saying, “I have been grieving, up until now.” That deft application of the limitation eraser(2) could set him on the right path, a path which replaces his stagnant grief with a living grieving process and adds it to his personal history from now on. Like the teenagers whose faces cleared up when they stopped acne-ing, Freddie’s grief will clear away, remaining only as a memory relegated to his past life.
In 1978 I learned the phobia and grieving processes from Bandler and Grinder in workshops I attended. I learned how the cure for one process can be had by switching to the other process. To grasp how this works, one needs to understand the First Person and Third Person processes for remembering an event.
In the First Person, one sees one's self inside the image of one's body in the memory. This is the phobia process. Whatever they might be feeling in the memory, they will feel in the present moment. If they see a snake at their feet, ready to strike at their ankles, their heart will race, their respiration rate increase, and they will feel the complex set of feelings we call fear. What I have just described, let us call that the phobia process.
In the Third Person, one sees one's self standing apart from one's body (like in a movie) and watching what happens. Let us call that the grieving process. They will have a feeling about the situation, perhaps interest, wanting to see if the snake just slithers away, which it indeed might if one stands still and quiet. Note: standing still and quiet is not an option for someone using the First Person process (the phobia process), all of which makes them liable to scream and move suddenly, provoking the snake to strike. For reasons which will become clear in a bit, let's call the Third Person process, the grieving process.
Using the Third Person way of remembering, Freddie remembers all the good times he had with his brother George as though he were watching a movie of the two of them together, perhaps we could call the movie, "The Family Life of George and Freddie", and Freddie, watching this movie, can only feel bad, knowing that he can never have those good times with George ever again. He is stuck, clearly up to his hiking boot tops, in the grieving process, unable to extract himself. He even disowns responsibility for what he is actively doing by saying "grief still comes so easily." Freddie has, in effect, nominalized the process of grieving, changed it from a living action (a verb) into a reified condition (a noun).
But soon he meets Fabrissa, he falls in love, and when she later goes away, missing in action, what does Freddie do? He keeps seeing himself with Fabrissa (First Person) and feeling the love he felt for her when she was with him. In other words, Freddie is now using the phobia process to create a good feelings in himself about his loved one. He is seeing himself sitting next to Fabrissa, perhaps, looking to his left, right into her eyes, and feeling loved.
What if Freddie began using the phobia process whenever he thinks of George from then on? Then instead of feeling bad, he will begin feeling good. Maybe that is indeed what happens as Freddie begins to focus more on Fabrissa and less on George toward the end of the novel. (3)
When Freddie found lodging at Madame Galy’s Inn, she nursed him back to health and invited him to go to the Feast of St. Etienne’s at the Town Hall. In Nulle, a tiny village in a remote mountainous section, there were few clues as to whether Freddie was in the 13th Century or the 20th Century. While being introduced, Freddie offered his hand to Guillaume Marty, a friendly man who welcomed him to the feast, but who did not offer his hand in return. This would be a clue that perhaps Freddie was not in modern times, but there were scant other clues, since this was an ancient feast which was celebrated as in olden days, but modern day handshakes would remain even though ancient flambeaux replaced more modern lighting and everyone was in ancient modes of dress. When he sat down next to Fabrissa, it was love at first sight as Freddie was hit by a time wave of feeling from the future which sent his pulse racing.
[page 105] Slowly, we managed to find a way of talking to one another, Fabrissa and I. With the help of the sour, rich wine, my pulse slowed to its usual rhythm. But I was aware of every inch of her, as if she were giving off some kind of electric charge. Her white skin and blue dress and her hair the color of jet. I felt clumsy in comparison, awkward. I took refuge in innocuous questions and managed, against the odds, to keep my voice steady and calm.
In an eerie comment during Freddie's relating to her the effect that the death of his brother George had on him, Fabrissa explains her own presence in Freddie's life, which Freddie misses.
[page 122] "The dead leave their shadows, an echo of the space within which once they lived. They haunt us, never fading or growing older as we do. The loss we grieve is not just their futures but our own."
At this point it becomes clear to the Reader if not to Freddie that the Feast is happening some six hundred years in the past and that Freddie has left his body in a fevered sleep at Chez Galy to join with these winter ghosts, ghosts who have haunted these hills for centuries and have now chosen Freddie as their savior. The plot of this novel is “Freddie the hero comes to town.” Freddie has come to save two sets of residents of the town, the quick and the dead, by locating the bones of the winter ghosts so that they may have a proper burial and stop troubling the still-living residents.
When Fabrissa tells Freddie her story, it contains the story of St. Etienne's Feast which matches what Freddie had just experienced, two soldiers coming in and a brawl ensuing. Fabrissa and others escaped the hall through a tunnel and took refuge in a large cavern in the mountains which the soldiers eventually found and blocked up the exits from. As she leaves Freddie, she gives him his marching orders, "Come and find me" and "Find us. Then you can bring us home."
We begin to understand the spirits in the mountains as the source of the book's title as Guillaume who came with his father to repair Freddie's Austin translated his father's old words.
[page 212] "He says that although they sing of the Cers winds crying in the trees when the snows come, it is the voices of those trapped in the mountains." He hesitated. "The winter ghosts."
This novel is a ghost story with a pedigree, with a long history which unwinds before our eyes as we follow our hero Freddie on his path to redemption as he redeems the long-dead of the mountains and helps bootstrap the region to a full and vibrant life in the modern age.
---------------------------- Footnotes -----------------------------------------
Note: given that the first barometers used a column of mercury to indicate the atmospheric pressure, "falling mercury" could also be used to refer to an approaching storm because the higher the winds the lower the barometric pressure. Mercury's low vapor pressure made it the only suitable liquid for barometers which have a vacuum over a column of liquid, and mercury's heaviness made for a short 30" column of mercury to represent average atmospheric pressure at sea level. Water will rise 34 feet, as it is so much lighter than mercury, which is why pumps depending on suction can only pump water from wells less than 34 feet below the surface of the pump. Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
Footnote 2.Return to text directly before Footnote 2.
The limitation eraser is a way of releasing one's limitation as soon one recognizes its presence. One simply pauses (after recognizing one has stated a limitation) and adds the closing phrase to the sentence "up until now". The comma indicates the need for a pause to take a deep breath before saying up until now. Without the pause, one can hold onto one's limitation because one's inner state is not changed. See Matherne's Rule No. 9 for further explication.
Footnote 3.Return to text directly before Footnote 3.
Bandler and Grinder in the workshop explained how one can use the Third Person or grieving process to cure someone of a phobia. By leading the phobic to switch from First Person to Third Person, they become able to watch peacefully while their lifetime phobic event is played out. With this example of one-time learning, the dreaded phobic event will no longer contain the charge of fear it did before, and they will be cured.
3.) ARJ2: The Challenge of the Times, GA#186 by Rudolf Steiner
"It is not improbable that man, like the grub that prepares a chamber for the winged thing it never has seen but is to be, that man may have cosmic destinies he does not understand," written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes on the title page of Spencer Heath's Citadel, Market, and Altar. Heath dealt with our emerging society, much as Steiner spoke about in 1918, some forty years before Heath's words. Heath's three parts of society, the Citadel, the Market and the Altar mirrors the three-fold society that Steiner speaks about in this passage. (I have included Heath's words in parenthesis for convenience.)
[page 3] . . . this threefold organization . . . will be distributed as the political, or security, order (Citadel); the second, as the sphere of the social organization, the economic organization (Market); the third, as the sphere of free spiritual production (Altar).
Steiner speaks about our cosmic destinies with a scope that one rarely finds. He explains how the West is held back by the ghost of its Roman roots and the East is being led by a nightmare vision which it has yet to fully understand. As we are in the middle of the fifth epoch, the epoch of the West is descending, and already we can anticipate the ascent of the sixth epoch, the epoch of the East.
[page 26] In the West an image of the human being that is on a descending path and appears, therefore, as a specter; in the East an image that is ascending, but that must not be accepted in its present form since it is still merely an imagination of an oppressive nightmare and will appear in its true form only after this nightmare has been overcome.
This next passage will take many aback with Steiner's claim that Christianity is just beginning. What can that mean, some 2,000 years have passed have they not? Yes, but who knows but that we are still in Kindergarten so far as Christianity is concerned? Have any of the various Christian religions revealed the spiritual realities of the Christ? Many still claim Christ was born when Jesus was born, refusing to distinguish Jesus the human from Christ the Great Spirit which infused Jesus at his Baptism in the Jordan.
[page 27] As I have often indicated, the Roman Church has contributed more toward hindering the introduction of the image of Christ into human hearts and minds than it has helped because the conceptions that have been applied" within the Roman Church for the purpose of comprehending the Christ are all taken from the social and political structure of the ancient Roman Empire. Even though human beings do not know this, it works within their instincts.
Exactly as the aspects of Roman law works in our instincts today and so few comprehend how much of our social life is driven by its Roman roots. And even fewer can comprehend the essential difference between Judaism and Romanism, especially with the clarity that Steiner lays out for us.
[page 27] Now, the conceptions that were dominant in the Old Testament, that must be designated primarily as conceptions of Old Testament Judaism, and that took their worldly form in Romanism, which is in the worldly sphere the same thing as Judaism was in the spiritual sphere even though it is in opposition to Judaism, have come over into our own epoch by way of Romanism; they haunt our age in spectral forms. This Old Testament thinking, unpermeated by the Christ must be found in its true origin within the human being.
If you find yourself claiming, "This is in my blood" or "She is not part of my blood", then you are displaying an example of Old Testament thinking, "unpermeated by the Christ". It was a type of thinking which valued people of one's blood, one's kinsfolk, over everyone else in the world. Thinking which valued relatives over strangers simply because they were relatives. The New Testament over-turned such thinking with the injunction, "Love your neighbor as yourself", but millennia of Old Testament thinking left behind deep trace of blood-thinking in our hearts and minds.
[page 27, 28] This thinking depends upon what can be inherited with the blood from generation to generation. The capacity to think in the manner characteristic of the Old Testament is inherited with the blood in the succession of human beings. What we inherit as capacities from our fathers through the simple fact that we are born as human beings, that we were embryonic human beings before our birth — what we inherit as the power of thinking, what lives in our blood, is Old Testament thinking.
What is permeated by Christ cannot be acquired by Old Testament or blood-related thinking which comes into the world with us from our embryo, but can only be acquired by us after we have arrived in the world as a personality through our spiritualized exercises of the type Steiner teaches in his Knowledge of Higher Worlds and Its Attainment.
[page 30] This is the essential fact. The kind of thinking we possess because of our embryonic development leads to the recognition of the Godhead only as the Father. The kind of thinking that is acquired in this world through the personal life after the embryonic stage leads to the recognition of the Godhead also as the Son.
Steiner says elsewhere that if, e. g., a Middle East terrorist hates America, he will be reborn in his next incarnation as an American, i.e., hate creates such a bond to the person or thing hated that one must turn into or live in the thing hated. In this next passage, he indicates that intercommunication must exist between people in order for them to live as total human beings. Without that communication connection people of the West (America) will be stuck to an earthly existence as a ghost, and people of the East will experience a psychic-spiritual evolution apart from earth. If one understands the essential nature of communication between the peoples of the West and the East, one get a better understanding of the spate of wars such as Iraqi and Afghanistan which has involved so many American soldiers in those lands, and the terrorists from the same regions who have exerted such enormous attention on America.
Steiner distinguished three types of occult capacity and the section of the world who concentrate on each capacity: West: materialistic, Central: Hygienic, and East: Eugenic. Each section has much to learn from the other.
[page 100] In other words the people of the East and those of the Central countries will have to receive material occultism from the West. They will receive its benefits, its products. Hygienic occultism will develop primarily in the Central countries, and eugenic occultism in the Eastern lands. It will be necessary, however, for intercommunication to exist between people. This is something that must be taken up into the impelling forces of the social order of the future. It makes it imperative for people to see that they will be able to live in future throughout the world only as total human beings. If an American should wish to live only as an American, although he would be able to achieve the loftiest material results, he would condemn himself to the fate of never progressing beyond e arthly evolution. If he should not seek social relationships with the East, he would condemn himself to being bound within the earthly sphere after a certain incarnation, haunting the sphere of the earth like a ghost. The earth would be drawn away from its cosmic connections, and all these souls would have to be like ghosts. Correspondingly, if the people of the East should not take up the materialism of the West with their eugenic occult capacities that pull down the earth, the Eastern man would lose the earth. He would be drawn into some sort of mere psychic-spiritual evolution, and he would lose the earthly evolution. The earth would sink away under him as it were, and he would not be able to possess the fruit of the earthly evolution.
The map is not the territory has become a familiar rant of mine since I spent a year in 1979 studying the 806 pages of Alfred Korzybski's classic tome, Science and Sanity, published in 1933. What is a map but something that has been fixed immovably upon some media to represent a part of the territory which is always in the process of moving and becoming different. The difference between what the territory has become when the map was made (fixed) and what the territory is constantly becoming as it changes over time is essential to understanding the world in a human fashion. For example, we do ill if we imagine Human (time = a) is the same as Human (time = b). Human beings are constantly changing territories so long as they live.
[page 128] This habit of willing to be something and not willing to become something is an element kept in the background as an opposition to the science of the spirit. The science of the spirit cannot do otherwise than to call the attention of people to the fact that it is necessary constantly to become something and that a person simply cannot be some sort of finished thing.
"I am not a finished thing" — I can hear some of you dear Readers thinking that. Okay, but those of you who think that, ask yourself, have you ever introduced yourself as a teacher, a policeman, businessman, a nurse, (substitute your own occupation here)? If so, you have named a finished thing in the minds of those you are speaking to; even if you don't consider yourself a finished "teacher", say, others who are not teachers have a fixed idea of what a teacher is and they pin their fixed concept on you when you say, "I am a teacher." any form of the verb "to be" pins a fixed reality on whatever it identifies, does it not? He is a nurse. Pinned! She is a secretary. Pinned! He is a writer. Pinned!
[page 128] People deceive themselves in a terrible way about themselves when they believe they can point to something absolute that determines a sort of special perfection in their case. In man everything not in the process of becoming evidences an imperfection.
Korzybski used the term "semantic reaction" to refer to the problems created in a human being by the misuse of words, such as using the verb "to be" as an identifier. "Is" is a word which freezes becoming into being, the butterfly stuck through with a pin on a piece of cardboard. Pinned! Want to improve your social interactions? Quit using "is" "was" and other forms of "to be" as an identifying verb. Instead of pinning yourself by saying what you are, say what you do, e. g. I teach grade schoolers. I nurse old people back to health. I arrest law-breakers and help bring them to justice. I change jobs every few years. To label oneself with an occupational title is to identify oneself with a map which is ever fixed, never in the process of becoming, and thus evinces an imperfection. How many people are unaware of this imperfection, up until now?
The map, with its now obvious aspects of imperfection when applied to human beings, is an achievement of the intellectual soul which is our heritage from the time of the 4th PAE(1), and is being supplanted by the consciousness soul during our present 5th PAE. What is the consciousness soul? Ever heard anyone say, "Things can't be just black or white?" That person was speaking from his consciousness soul, rightly understood.
[page 155] Every conception characterized by the idea of mere duality — a good and an evil principle — will always fail to illuminate life. Life can be illuminated only when we represent it from the point of view of a trinity, in which one element represents a state of balance and the two others represent the opposite poles, between which the state of balance tends to move continually like a pendulum. This is the reason for the Trinity we undertake to represent in our Group(2); the Representative of Man balancing Ahriman and Lucifer, which is to constitute the middle point of this building.
The evolved soul level of each epoch nests inside of each other like the links of a telescope, ready to appear when the telescope must be extended. As we are in the fifth epoch, our intellectual soul influences from the fourth epoch are yet strong in us, while our consciousness soul of the fifth epoch is developing, and even now traces of our spiritual soul are forming inside of us. When the choice between two evils seems necessary, our consciousness soul can rise up to help us find a way of balancing or moving between the two alternatives as a healthy third option.
[page 155] This consciousness of a state of balance for which one strives, but that is always in danger of swinging toward the one or the other side, must become the essential element in the world conception of this fifth post-Atlantean epoch. As man passes through the stage of the consciousness soul, he develops toward the spirit self. This epoch of the evolution of the consciousness soul will continue for a long time. But within reality things do not proceed in such a way that one always follows the other in a beautiful scheme. On the contrary, one is telescoped in a way into the other. While we are developing in ever stronger measure the consciousness soul, there is always waiting in the background the spirit self that will then develop during the sixth post-Atlantean epoch just as strongly as the consciousness soul during this fifth epoch. Just as strongly as the consciousness soul works antisocially in its development, will the spirit self work socially.
Have we seen traces of this sixth epoch in our lives? Yes, during the 1960's when the "Dawning of the Age of Aquarius" was a theme brought forward by the hippies and immortalized in the lyrics(3), "harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abound . . . " — this was our preview of the sixth epoch which will come at the time of our entrance into the time when the Sun will finally rise in constellation of Aquarius, the Water-Bear, on the Vernal Equinox about a millennium and a half from now. Not surprising, according to Steiner, that 1960's premature dawning of the sixth epoch was fraught with all kinds of esoteric mumbo-jumbo, hippie communes, psychedelic art, androgynous clothing, etc.
[page 155, 156] Thus we may say that, during this epoch, man develops from the innermost impelling forces of his soul what is antisocial, but behind this something spiritually social exerts its influence. This spiritually social element that is exerting its influence in the background will appear in its essential nature when the light of the spirit self shall dawn in the sixth post-Atlantean epoch. It is not surprising therefore, that in this fifth post-Atlantean epoch what can enter livingly and in a well-ordered way into humanity only during the sixth epoch appears in all sorts of abstruse, extreme forms.
Even after the hippie communes disappeared, other extreme form of social communities rose up and disappeared ignominiously, such happened with much loss of life in Jonestown and Waco. Steiner voiced this warning to us in 1918, but it was ignored by many, up until now.
[page 156] During this fifth epoch, social life must be regulated through the fostering of spiritual science. Every effort to regulate social life outside the sphere of spiritual science will lead only to chaos and radicalism, bringing about unhappiness for humanity.
Only with the advent of the sixth epoch will humans be able to transcend their animalistic roots. Animalistic behavior is social in animals, but it become anti-social in humans. Human will grow out of this anti-social behavior by the sixth epoch. Only then will the social element dawn with grace and elegance and this hope for the future can shine in us now, even as we struggle through the chaos of our current stage of evolution in the fifth epoch. "Socializing without a science of the spirit and without freedom of thought is an impossibility." (Page 158) It is for each of us to develop our freedom of thought during the current age.
In particular, we must transcend and dissolve our social arrangements that are based solely on blood-lines, inheritance, and family groups.
[page 167] The culture that must come into existence cannot base the social order upon mere blood connections because these blood connections yield only one-seventh of what must be established in the culture of humanity. The other si-sevenths must be added through the Christ impulse: In the fifth epoch, one; in the sixth epoch, the second; in the seventh epoch, the third. The rest stretch out into the following periods of time. For this reason there must gradually develop in humanity what is connected with the true Christ impulse, and what is related to the mere Jehovah impulse must be superseded.
Steiner foresaw the ills of the future that President Wilson was creating with his 14 Points, which suggested dividing up of the map of Europe without regard to the blood-lines of many ethnic groups. For example, one need only look at the bloody battles which accompanied the subsequent splitting up of the artificial country of Yugoslavia near the end of the twentieth century, resulting in the restoration of separate countries for each ethnic group. The period of re-adjustment was nothing if not tumultuous. It was a noble gesture on Wilson's part, but according to Steiner's definition of "evil", it was a "good out of its time", a good that would require a much closer approach to the sixth epoch.
[page 170] In the future what controls the social life cannot proceed from anything having to do with kinship. On the contrary, only what the soul itself in it s own free decision can experience as regulating the social order will be valid. An inner necessity will so guide men that everything that penetrates into the social order out of mere bonds of blood will be eliminated. All such things enter into manifestation at first tumultuously.
An even worse future was foisted upon the people of Russia by the leaders of its so-called revolution. Steiner recognized the lugubrious fate in store for the Russian people. In a sense the goal was for Russia people to have the kind of harmony and understanding which could arrive only during the sixth epoch, the Russian Epoch, but their leaders applied none spiritual science insights required to steer their country safely, instead they applied abstract principles which became subjugated to human avarice and power.
[page 180] It is characterized by the fat that in its present manifestation it has no right relationship to what is in course of preparation as a people in Russia for the coming sixth post-Atlantean epoch. Rather, it is brought in out of abstractions. Thus these more or less illusory ideals of the present Russian revolution are especially significant in connection with a study of this chaotic stirring within humanity in relation to something that is to come later.
Steiner was particularly harsh in his criticism of Trotsky for implementing something in Russia based on wholly abstract constructs. This was very similar to his criticism of President Wilson with his 14 Points.
[page 180, 181] Trotsky . . . is typical of the abstractly thinking man, living entirely in abstraction, appears really to have not the least notion that there is a reality in such a thing as human social life. Something wholly alien to reality is thought out and is to be implanted into reality.
And now we know that Trotsky's folly hobbled the Russian life and spirit in so many ways for over 70 years, before the people threw off the shackles of Communism. This outcome was envisioned by Steiner only one year after the Russian revolution, "The Russian revolution is certain to suffer shipwreck because of its great illusion and isolation from realities."(Page 193)
Another insight of Rudolf Steiner could be said to predict that the language of the Internet, which would not arrive until 80 years later, would be English. The English language would become the instrument for expressing the consciousness soul and would find its way into every country via becoming the international language of the Internet. Here is how he described the situation.
[page 194] Let us consider the various impelling forces underlying the civilized world in the light of the most important European differentiations that come to expression through language. I have often brought to your attention the fact that the English-speaking peoples possess the real germinal potentiality for the development of the consciousness soul. It is important that we should see this clearly. This is connected with everything that happens to the world, if we may so express the matter, under the influence of the English-speaking peoples. . . . This spiritualized instinct to develop the consciousness soul exists nowhere else in the world as it does among the English people.
With the German-speaking people, which is Steiner's people, he feels a time-wave from future(4) proceeding from the Slavic people to the east over into Russia. His metaphor for the future is heat lightning and for the past shadows. The shadows of its Latin roots fills the Western English-speaking world and the Slavic heat lightning germinates the future for the Central European German world. There is a difference in the way the English and Germans understand the consciousness soul: the English have an instinctive understanding of it; the German needs to be educated to it. (Page 204)
[page 205] This is likewise the reason why the British people are endowed instinctively from the start for politics, whereas the Germans are a non-political people and not in the least endowed for politics. . . . The German folk character is the appearing, the seeming, if you will, the shaping of thoughts, that which is not in a certain sense of the solid earth. In the British folk character all is of the solid earth, but just trace [RJM: a trace of] the intellectuality of the Germans.
Steiner adds later that if the Germans "are expected to be political, they are not equal to a person who thinks politically through his instincts." An English person will claim that something is true, such as Darwinism, and base their thoughts on this statement, "The perfect is derived from the imperfect." On the other hand it is the nature of a German instinctive to claim that this is true and that is true. Steiner came to the understanding that "The perfect existed first and the imperfect comes into existence by decadence." (Page 209) Steiner recognized that both these ways of understanding evolution were true, a way of thinking that he claims comes instinctively to the German folk.
[page 209] The situation in which a thinking person finds himself the moment he must say one thing is true and the other also true — to recognize this situation in its whole fruitful character was really granted to the German peoples alone by reason of their folk character. This is not understood at all anywhere else in the world. It is not at all understood in the world that people can argue for a long time over this question, one maintaining that the perfect beings are derived from the imperfect, as Darwin does, and the other maintaining, as Schelling does, that imperfect beings are derived from the perfect. Both are right, but from different points of view. If we look at the spiritual process, the imperfect is derived from the perfect; if we look at the physical, the perfect is derived from the imperfect.
The Russian people have a unique culture of revelation that works this way. One person receives a revelation that should be received by all the people, but because that revelation is outside the Russian folk character, Russians in general depend on this unique person to receive that revelation for them. (Pag 212) I doubt I would have quite understood what Steiner was getting at if I had not spent a lot of time reading the revelations of a young Russian seer named Anastasia during the past seven years. She has single-handedly changed the way that Russians grow their vegetables; instead of large state-operated farms, they mostly grow vegetables in their dachas in small gardens for their own consumption(5).
I had read elsewhere that if an American does not want to go to a meeting, he pretends to be sick, but a Russian does not want to go to a meeting, he gets sick. Steiner adds a bit of further insight about the Russian character.
[page 213] When the Russian wishes to become political on the basis of his character, he is more likely to become ill. Among the Russian people becoming "political" mean becoming "ill". It signifies taking destructive forces into oneself. The Russian is anti-political, not merely non-political. . . . He has to do with what constitutes the third element in the sense of Goethe's fairy tale, that is, with knowledge and wisdom that is to dawn upon humanity during the sixth post-Atlantean epoch,
We have learned of the roots of the folk characters of the West, Central, and East, and how they are related to the intellectual soul, consciousness soul, and spiritual soul. It is a big challenge of our times to understand the instinctive soul of one's own folk, and how it differs from the soul of the folk of other lands. They can be drastically different and we need each other to help fully understand the world we live in. What we understand instinctively, they need their intellect to understand, and vice versa for us. As the French like to say about the difference between men and women, we can apply to the important differences between American, English, German, and Slavic-Russian people, "Vive La Difference!"
---------------------------- Footnotes -----------------------------------------
Footnote 1.Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
The fourth post-Atlantean epoch, which ended around 1453 A. D. and was followed by the fifth epoch we are one-third into, the sixth epoch will come around 3573.
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Three figures in heroic size carved in wood by Rudolph Steiner in the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland.
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Lyrics by Gerome Ragni, Galt Mac Dermot, James Rado, James Jason Poyser, James Dewitt Yancey, Lonnie Rashid Lynn.
Footnote 4.Return to text directly before Footnote 4.
The concept of a time-wave from the future came to me as a way to explain how a certain feeling would presage a later event in my life and other's lives. I formulated this concept as Matherne's Rule No. 36, Remember the future. It hums in the present.
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4.) ARJ2: Experiencing Erickson by Jeffrey ZeigYou've heard of Milton Erickson, the great hypnotherapist? No, well, this is a good book for your introduction to his work. If you go to a great chef and ask how he bakes a cake, very likely he'll answer you by baking a cake in your presence. If you go to Erickson to ask any question, he bakes you. In this book, you can read how he bakes Jeffrey Zeig.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said in his essay on Self-Reliance that "Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare." Given the spate of books about the study of Milton Erickson's life and work in the past thirty years, one wonders about the results of these efforts. A woman once told Isaac Stern, "Mr. Stern, I would give my life to be able to play the violin the way you do!" Stern looked at her and said, "My dear lady, I did!" And so did Erickson give his life to become the person and therapist that he was.
Battling back from polio several times, he spent the time others might have spent bemoaning their fate in careful observation of ordinary details of life that others take for granted. He would make predictions, write his predictions down, and check them later to see if they were accurate. Sometimes his predictions that a woman was pregnant preceded the woman's knowledge of the fact. He could tell if a driver was going to turn right or left at the next corner, or if a person were hungry as they walked near a bakery.
He used this knowledge of everyday life to determine therapeutic courses of action in his clients, often without their conscious knowledge of what he was giving them and sometimes without his own conscious planning ahead of time. Erickson trusted his unconscious consciously. Once a widely disliked doctor had a problem that was published in the newspapers. At a public meeting when someone asked Erickson what he thought about the infamous doctor, he said, "I only know what I read in the newspapers."
Erickson was the master of commonsense and no-nonsense. When Zeig asked how he would treat a man who scratched himself constantly while sleeping, Erickson recommended he tell the man wrap to his fingers with tape, one-by-one every night before going to sleep. Zeig told him that "It's a long-standing problem." Erickson replied, "Tell him to use a lot of tape." (Page 74) When he told a woman to "skate or get off the ice," she said, "My therapist told me that 50 times." So Erickson said, "All right, I'll put it to you another way. Either shit or get off the pot. I'm saying that once." (Page 133) Erickson used to keep a stunt rock made of styrofoam at hand and several occasions he is known to have thrown it at a client with the words, "Don't take anything for granite."
He also could defuse problems before they arose, in completely unexpected ways. Here's an excerpt in which a well-prepared lawyer was trying to undermine Erickson's testimony as an expert witness. When she asked Erickson, "Who is your authority?" Erickson said, "I am my own authority." Then the following exchange ensued (Erickson is telling it to Zeig as a teaching metaphor to ease his discomfort when appearing as an expert witness in court):
[page 72] The lawyer then asked, "Dr. Erickson, you say that you an expert in psychiatry. What is psychiatry?" Erickson said that he provided the following response: "I can give you this example. Anyone who is an expert on American history would know something about Simon Girty, also called 'Dirty Girty.' Anyone who is not an expert on American history would not know about Simon Girty, also called 'Dirty Girty.' Any expert on American history should know about 'Simon Girty,' also called 'Dirty Girty.' "
Erickson explained (to Zeig) that when he looked up at the judge, he was sitting with his head buried in his hands. The clerk of the court was underneath the table trying to find his pencil. The (other) lawyer was trying to suppress an uncontrollable laugh.
After Erickson gave that (seemingly irrelevant) example, the lawyer put aside her paper and said, "No further questions, Dr. Erickson."
Then Erickson looked at me and said, "And the lawyer's name . . . was Gertie."
Zeig remarked at the end of this story that he was unable to go into court without thinking of 'Dirty Girty" thereafter. Zeig said on page 14, "Traditionally, hypnosis and humor are considered immiscible," but, in the presence of Milton Erickson's personality, even the hardest heart would dissolve, and the lucky ones would even laugh aloud.
Read/Print the Review at:
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I hear often from my Good Readers that they have bought books after reading my book reviews. Keep reading, folks! As I like to remind you, to obtain more information on what's in these books, buy and read the books — for less information, read the reviews.
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= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =In this section I like to comment on events in the world, in my life, and in my readings which have come up during the month. These are things I might have shared with you in person, if we had had the opportunity to converse during the month. If we did, then you may recognize my words. If I say some things here which upset you, rest assured that you may skip over these for the very reason that I would likely have not brought up the subject to spoil our time together in person.1. Padre Filius Reads the Back of a Valentine Card this Month:
Padre Filius, the cartoon character created by your intrepid editor and would-be cartoonist, will appear from time to time in this Section of the Digest to share with us some amusing or enlightening aspect of the world he observes during his peregrinations.
This month the good Padre reads Dedication by Sunrise Greeting Cards:
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 Tony Spatafora:
Bobby, Thanks for sending. I love the Wood Ducks shot and can't imagine how you could get such a great shot from your car. It'll take me all month to digest the stories.
EMAIL from Carroll Devine:
I enjoyed reading your "My Own Mountain" poem. You struck a note. I hope you're well.
I'd like to tell you about my new blog - www.devineculturecahoots.wordpress.com - hot off the presses. This was my first. I plan to post once a week. Hope you'll check it out and let me know your thoughts.
- EMAIL from Betty Chowning in Louisville:
Another fun filled digest, Bobby, you share so much in your thoughts and writings. I do wish you a great Mardi Gras season, our winter has been terrible so far and not very enjoyable.
Thanks for the bread tidbit, I throw a lot of bread out or feed to the ducks when Kenny and I walk to the lake.
Take good care, hugs to you and Del, Betty
- EMAIL from our son, Robie, in San Francisco:
Includes this quote from the Wall Street Journal by Robie, a Worldwide Education Evangelist, at Splunk, Inc. "Splunk is thrilled to be working with Internet2's NET+ staff to deliver our leading platform for machine data to even more higher education institutions. Splunk Enterprise can help to transform the way universities operate. Our customers consistently report that Splunk technology helps them to do much more with less, and we are delighted to make it even easier for other institutions to benefit from the power of Splunk Enterprise."
Robie adds in the email, "More than a years worth of work went into this!"
- EMAIL from Kevin, Director of ENIGMA:
I have just been rereading your review of the Agriculture Course, and your "Macroscope" notion is so apt — and so fantastic! That is what I have been dreaming of of late — to put a Macroscope under every Christmas tree next year.
~~~~~~~~~~~~ REPLY ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thanks, Kevin! Makes me want to share the first few paragraphs with my other Good Readers who will wonder what a "macro-scope" is. It is a device as feared and avoided by materialistic scientists as Galileo's "tele-scope" was by Criminino who refused to look through the telescope to see the "mountains on the moon" because he believed such mountains were impossible! Quoted from this link:We live in a world in which we expect a scientist to put the world under a microscope and come up with answers for us. That leaves most people completely unprepared for Steiner's look at agriculture, because he puts the world of agriculture under a macroscope and comes up with answers for us: how we should farm, how we should nourish our plants, how we should eliminate weeds and insects, and how we should schedule our activities in synchronism with the moon, planets, and stars which comprise the macrocosm in which we live and breathe.
What is a macroscope? It's a name I coined for Steiner's technique of looking at the big picture, explaining how to understand agriculture holistically. Contrast Steiner's approach to that of the horticulturist with a microscope identifying minute parts of plants or a chromatograph to identify minute percentages of zinc or lithium or silica, etc, and prescribing chemical sprays to combat fungi and wilt, insecticides to combat pests, and herbicides to kill weeds.
What do we see when we put our eyes to Steiner's macroscope and peer through its lenses? Marvelous things! Breathtaking things!
We see that there are no unhealthy plants, only unhealthy soil; no weeds to be killed, only healthy plants where we don't want them to be; no insect pests, only insects that are attracted to feed on plants made weak by chemical fertilizing. We see how to treat soil to make it healthy so that fungi, mildew, wilt, rot, and other so-called plant diseases rarely happen in our gardens, and are immediately remedied when they do appear. We see how to make our garden unattractive to insect pests and weeds. And best of all we see how healthy the food we eat from our garden makes us.
Steiner's macroscope is not some computerized, electronic marvel, but a way of our interacting with the macrocosm in which we live; it revives for us the way farmers lived in harmony with their environment for millennia before the advent of so-called modern farming. You can choose to grow your own vegetables and fruits this way or not, but I guarantee you that the food you grow using these techniques will be the best-tasting food you've ever eaten, and time will bring you robust health as a side-effect.
- EMAIL from Wibke Reinstein in Germany:
Alle bisherigen Videos im Überblick.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Die meisten sind nur Newsletter-Lesern zugänglich.
Deswegen: Diese Mail gut aufheben :-)
All previous videos now in summary.
Most of them can only be seen by the readers of the newsletter.
So: Save this mail well :-)
Herzlich / Cordially,
RJM NOTE: These videos by Wibke are in German, but with very good subtitles in English. Check them out.
1. Reincarnation of Rudolf Steiner — What awaits us in 2013?
2. Discovering Healing Mysteries
3. Leave the Playground and Go Playing
4. The Different High School Graduation
5. Sun Book
6. Sun Dream
7. Instinct becomes Intuition
8. Mysterious Cave
9. Playing in the Temple of the Sun
10. The Fairy Tale of Goethe
11. The Fairy Tale of Goethe 2
12. The Fairy Tale of Goethe 3
13. The Fairy Tale of Goethe 4
- EMAIL from my brother, Paul Matherne, in Opelousas, La:
This photo (See Blast from the Past Photo below) of Uncle Clyde & Aunt Hilda was taken before they married. Kathy said that they were in a potato field in Bourg, and that they didn't smile much back then.
- EMAIL from Joakim Mårlöv in Sweden:
I just have to send you a big "Thank you!".
Whenever I search for certain topics in Rudolf Steiners writing, I more or less end up at your site 50% of the time, where you've done a lot of the "digestion". I process a lot of information, so your "concentrate" often helps me to get to the core of what I am researching at that moment.
3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:"Weird Occupations"
Give me your poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free and I will give them taxes, regulations, restrictions, and every manner of unfairness ever created by persons saddled with the illusion that they can decide what is best for someone else's welfare. The individual, like the business professional, knows what's best in a given situation and, given the freedom, will take that action. The forces of coercion are prying open the shell that contains the living muscle and spirit of the American people — will we resist those forces and keep our muscles and spirit alive, free to open at will, or will we give up like the oyster and settle for "freedom on the half shell?" Here is another poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:
4. THIS IS ONLY A TEST
Einstein was a patent office clerk.
Isaac Newton was director of the mint.
Nikola Tesla was a ditch digger.
Benjamin Lee Whorf was a fire inspector.
Will Rogers was a rope twirler.
Ben Franklin was a printer.
Jesus was a carpenter.
Peter was a fisherman.
Matthew was a tax collector.
Moses was a sheepherder.
Krishna was a butter thief.
Mohammed was a soldier.
Thoreau was a pencil maker.
Thomas Paine was a girdle maker.
Wilbur and Orville were bicycle mechanics.
Surely these men were more than their
When I worked in a nuclear power plant, during long hours on the night shift, things would happen just to break the monotony. Some mechanics on several occasions, would hold an electric drill up the telephone, put the phone on the loudspeaker to the entire plant, run the electric drill a few seconds and then say, "THIS IS A DRILL!, THIS IS A DRILL!". Everyone would laugh, thankful for a break in the monotony which often came during 12 hourlong night shifts. Drills are things that are done to simulate a possible emergency and test the response to a real emergency. Each drill is not essential in itself, but the drills are an essential part of testing preparedness for a real emergency.
Here's a commentary from my Journal for Friday, February 26, 1988. It deals with something Del and I have called our "hot line". It's a way we have of communicating with each other when it's really necessary. If we try to test our "hot line" or demonstrate it to someone else, it refuses to work. But every time it's absolutely necessary, it always works.Yesterday I stayed home sick - up every hour or so that morning (all night, too ) with headache, diarrhea. Was watching old Don Ameche B&W movie, he had just received a telegram saying his son had died in WWII when I received a letter from a company re a computer job. - When I opened it I thought if it starts off "We are pleased" ... I got the job, if not, it will probably start "Thank you..." — why don't they thank you if they offer you the job, like "Thank you for applying for the job. We wish to hire you for it."? But they don't, and this time they didn't offer me the job. The letter was a perfunctory "thank you" letter. The letter had come earlier that morning, but I was hesitating to open it till I got Del on the phone. - While I was wondering how best to contact Del, she called me just as the telegram came to Don Ameche in the movie. Del said she felt she had to call, indicating that I had contacted her on the "hot line" successfully.
How could you ever test such a hot line if it only really worked when it was absolutely necessary? Such a test would not be absolutely necessary as it would only be a test. Thus do scientists close themselves off to realities that would useful to them - How? Simply by requiring tests to prove the reality of a very real process by an objective demonstration or a test of the process.[NOTE: This Commentary is based on material I wrote in my Journal on Friday, March 4, 1988. See also my review of G. Spencer Brown's classic book, Laws of Form.]
When I first read G. Spencer Brown's "Laws of Form" in 1977, I suspected there were deep meanings in terms of practical psychotherapy and human processes. The meanings of the two basic laws of form were what was in question. The simplicity of the laws were obvious: Law I "A Call Again is the Value of the Call." and Law Law II: "A re-crossing is the NOT the Value of the Crossing." My application of these laws as they apply to human processes is what I will describe here.
Law I: "A Call Again is the Value of the Call."
In its reversed form shown here: Law I can refer to behaviors that are serially replicable — that is, by imitation, one replicates the process of another and creates the sameprocess in oneself. This will apply to most forms of teaching and learning in the home, social gathering, education system, and work environment. For example, the young girl, who observing her mother resisting her husband by saying," I don't have to," learns to assert her 5 year-old authority muscles by saying to her father, "I don't hast to."
Law II:"A Crossing Again is not the Value of a Crossing."
In its form shown here: Law II can refer to behaviors that can be annihilated. This law applies to processes that have the following attribute: when applied recursively (crossed and re-crossed), the process disappears. To understand this kind of recursion, consider the process "judging" which can be analyzed using both laws, depending on the context.
"Judge not lest you be judged" is a recognition from biblical times of Law I: if you judge someone (a Call), someone else will judge you (a Call Again), and the result will be "judging", then demonstrating Law I: "A Call Again is the Value of the Call."
If, however, while in the process of intense judging, someone says "Look at what you're doing," it will cause you to begin judging yourself, illustrating Law II: "A re-crossing is the NOT the Value of the Crossing."The result will be that the judging process will disappear as the "re-judging of yourself is not the value of the judging", in fact, the value of the re-crossing is null and is indicated as a blank (a null set) to the right of the equal sign in Brown's symbolic form of Law II.
A similar result happens if you attempt to resist your resisting. The resisting will disappear. If someone finds some process irresistible, the mere pointing that fact out to them can dissolve the process, or at the very least make it an option instead of a must do. (If you tell this to someone, they will likely respond, "Of course, I can resist doing this." They will not admit they are no longer locked into the process, but they will soon discover that to be the case, and likely forget that it was you who unlocked them from the locked in process.
Thus the Second Law of Form indicated the possibility for annihilation of undesirable behaviors by recursive application of the undesirable behavior. (Why Don't You, Yes But example from Crisis Line) Rightly understood, G. Spencer Brown's two basic Laws of Form indicate a primeval dichotomy of processes into two sorts: one type that re-creates itself and another type that dissolves or annihilates itself.
EXAMPLES OF APPLICATION
The famous hypnotherapist Milton Erickson told of his resistant daughter who threw the paper on the rug one night, and when asked to pick it up, said, "I don't hast to." Milton went and laid on the bed and had his wife Betty bring the 5-year-old daughter to him. He grabbed her on the leg and when she tried to get off the bed, he held tightly. She said, "Let me go" and he said, "I don't hast to." A grim battle of 4 hours ensued until finally the little girl said, "I will pick up the paper and apologize to Mommy." Milton said, "You don't hast to" and let her go. (From Transcript of Milton Erickson Seminar of October 10, 1979)
When I worked the New Orleans Crisis Line around 1980, I usually worked an early morning shift from 3 to 7 am so I could work during the day, and calls were forwarded to my home. When I occasionally pulled a shift at the Crisis Line office, the secretary there also took Crisis line calls and I observed her pattern of handling "Why Don't You, Yes But" callers. The name was given to a game by Eric Berne in his "Games People Play" book. The game indicates someone who has the following process: They ask you for help, You offer a suggestion,"Why don't your try X?", and They reply, "Yes, But ..." and proceed to give explanations for why that won't work, e.g., "I've tried that already", "It might work for someone else but not me", and so ingeniously on. The office secretary would spend an hour or two talking to such callers, and I could tell she had a Yes-But'er on the line by the great number of options she offered the person, all of which were apparently rejected for some good reason or another. No doubt the well-meaning counselor felt some satisfaction when she worked with such people, even though it's unlikely she helped anyone, except by giving them a chance to vent their own frustration upon her. It's from such an approach that phrase "paid companions" came into use to refer to psychotherapists with their "talking cures" which seem to cure only the process of boredom on the part of their clients and emptiness on the part of the therapists' bank accounts. Having studied G. Spencer Brown's Laws of Form, I applied Law II with great success to "Yes, But'ers" when they called me on Crisis Line.
My process was simple: I offered a caller an option and if they explained why it wouldn't work for them, etc, after one or two of such excuses, I knew I had a live "Yes, But-er", and I went into Law II Overdrive on them. I would offer as many options as possible, one after another, making note of how they responded to each one with their own unique, "Yes, But" excuses. Then, after four or five minutes of this tete-a-tete banter, I would pause, and say in the most solemn voice I could muster at 5 am, "In my professional experience, I must tell you that your case is hopeless." Now, I did not do this for serious suicidal callers, but for the lesser life challenges of the usual "Yes, But-er". Invariably, the caller would be taken aback, I could tell because they stopped talking, took a deep breath, and I could feel their "Yes, But" muscles tensed up like a scorpion ready to strike! Finally it came, "Yes, but!", almost a desperate shout, followed by, "What if I did X?" I would then pause, and say, "Yes, but, haven't you tried X before and it didn't work?"There was the Law II process of re-crossing and the result was not the same as the crossing. They would proceed to explain how they would do X differently from now! At so it went, often they would go through four or five possibilities and I Yes, But each one and listen while they told me how they would do it differently next time. Finally I would say tell them that I have listened to the things they said they would do differently, but I doubted that they would follow through. They could only Yes, But that last suggestion by actually following through, which undoubtedly they did. If this process only cured them of their Yes, But process, their chances of fixing the problems in their life were greatly improved, all in one five-minute phone.
The Second Law of Form continually reminds me, whenever others I care about confront me with behavior which is unacceptable to me, that I might look for an opening to re-apply their own behavior to them, as Milton did to his five-year-old daughter, as I did to the adult crisis line callers, and you can do this yourself. When you do so, their unacceptable behavior will be neutralized and they will be able to create new behaviors in its place. With one such success with a new behavior, their new behavior will replicate itself according to the First Law of Form, leading to the generation of entirely new behaviors, all coming from one short, caring intervention.
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9. CLOSING NOTES:
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My reviews are not intended to replace the purchasing and reading of the reviewed books, but rather to supplant a previous reading or to spur a new reading of your own copy. What I endeavor to do in most of my reviews is to impart a sufficient amount of information to get the reader comfortable with the book so that they will want to read it for themselves. My Rudolf Steiner reviews are more detailed and my intention is to bring his work to a new century of readers by converting his amazing insights into modern language and concepts.
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10. GRATITUDE — in Three Easy Steps:
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