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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Andrew Flaxman (1935 - 2014) ~~~~
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WELCOME TO DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#14a October, 2014== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Quote for the Wild Color Month of October:
The one thing of which the world will never have enough is exaggeration.
— Salvador Dali, Artist
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Editor: Bobby Matherne, Asst. Editor: Del Matherne
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DIGESTWORLDArchived DIGESTWORLD Issues
GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents ISSUE#14a for October, 2014
Table of Contents
1. October's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for October
3. On a Personal Note
Flowers of Shanidar Poems
4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe or Household Hint for October, 2014 from Bobby Jeaux: FLEA TRAPS. ETC
6. Poem from "Don't Push the River" Review:"A Rainbow in Itself"
7. Reviews and Articles featured for October:
8. Commentary on the World
- ARJ2: Blowing Zen — Finding An Authentic Life by Ray Brooks
- ARJ2: Understanding Healing, GA#316 — Meditative Reflections on Deepening Medicine Through Spiritual Science by Rudolf Steiner
- ARJ2: The Art of Hearing Heartbeats — A Novel by Jan-Philipp Sendker
1. Padre Filius Cartoon
2. Comments from Readers
3. Freedom on the Half Shell Poem
4. SYMPTOMS OR HEALING STATES
9. Closing Notes — our mailing list, locating books, subscribing/unsubscribing to DIGESTWORLD
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1. October Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==This month Violet and Joey learn about the Nanny State.
For newcomers to DIGESTWORLD, we have created a webpage of all the Violet-n-Joey cartoons!
"Federal Requirements" at http://www.doyletics.com/images/140823vj.gif
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2. HONORED READERS FOR October:
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Each month we choose to honor two Good Readers of our DIGESTWORLD from those all over the World. Here are the two worthy Honored Readers for October, 2014:
Rick Herranz Sr. in Florida
Shiloh Jaxen in Wisconsin
Congratulations, Rick and Shiloh!
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3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
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Out Our Way:
A new Rouse's Supermarket, the only Louisiana-owned and operating grocery chain, opened near where Casey Jones Supermarket used to be. It is smaller than our usual store on Belle Chase and Lapalco, and has been designed and built from the ground up by Rouse's, not converted from a previous Sav-A-Center like the one we've been using, which, as I recall was originally an Albertson's in the early 1980s.
My plan was to go shopping for my weekly groceries at the new store, then cross the street and get a strawberry milkshake at the new Dairy Queen location.When I worked at Dairy Queen in Westwego in the 1950s, I occasionally went to the DQ stores in Harvey and in Gretna, but those three disappeared sometime later, 1970s probably, and there had not been any DQ stores in Gretna since this new one opened. I was a skinny teenager back then and I ate about 3 of those strawberry milkshakes a day when I was working. I tried all the flavors and came back to strawberry. DQ puts, yet today, the strawberry topping with whole and partial strawberries into the milkshakes. Few other places do that, and those that do, the shakes don't taste as good as Dairy Queen's. One strawberry shake a week is my budget these days and, having a DQ to stop by before making groceries (as we say it around here), makes for a special treat for the family grocery shopper.
Look, I never planned to grow up and be the grocery shopper. I went together with my wife to Schwegmann's when we were in our twenties and had two, three, and four kids in tow. We filled up two large baskets full of our monthly groceries and each of us pushed one basket through the checkout line and to the car. There was never room for the kids to sit in the basket back then. Back then, those two baskets full to overflowing cost us a total, on average, of $50, back in a time when that amounted to one-eighth of my take home pay. Everything cost one-tenth of what it costs today, on average, and people made about one-tenth of what they do today.To keep myself from railing about high prices of things today, I simply divide the price by TEN, move the decimal left one place, and ask as I thought yesterday as I carried a hundred dollars groceries into the house from car in one trip, "Well, that's a lot of groceries for ten dollars." One day I found fresh pompano filets, and that night I cooked the pompano to go with our green limas and rice for supper. It was great. In 1950s dollars, it was $2/lb and I used half a pound filet for our dinner. No longer does $20 seem astronomical for a parking spot in the French Quarter, or $3.09 seem outrageous for a gallon of gasoline. Parking was $2 and gas was .30 a gallon back then. I now see today's prices as cheap, given the perspective of history. But I digress.
When Del and I were working full-time, she did the groceries and I would give her a list of things to get, especially if I were cooking on the weekend, which I did a lot. Then when I became a full-time, stay-at-home writer around 1995, I cooked evening meals for me and Del, and it only seemed fair for me to do the grocery shopping. It kept me from making lists, it allowed me to plan the menu for the week as I walked down the aisles, and it gave me a break from my work station. I haven't found a way to write standing up or walking around, not on a consistent basis, anyway. I may suck my thumbs occasionally, but I ain't gonna type a full review on a so-called Smartphone with them!
Change sucks. Nobody likes it. Just changing from the big store to the smaller store seemed to be a good thing. But you never know until you find out. By my third shopping trip at the smaller store, I had found, or rather, not found three items we buy regularly at the larger store: Imported Parmesan/Romana cheese I sprinkle on our Artichoke Flowers dish, Dark Toblerone Chocolate (they had only light milk chocolate), and the 12-Pack Fig Newtons. Drats, as Charlie Brown would say. So yesterday I chose to go the larger store and get these three items, and wouldn't you know it? The shelf space for the 12-Pack Fig Newtons was empty! I felt like Mother Hubbard. Okay, they'll re-stock it soon, and with my daily consumption of one fig newton, the half-pack left in my cupboard will last about 30 days. Unless my grandkids visit — they love Fig Newtons. I've notified several managers at the small store of these missing items and received responses varying from caring concern from the store manager and blatant disregard ("This is a SMALLER store!") from the lady in the cheese department. Somebody needs to bless her.
Speaking of openings, I finally figured out how to take an in-focus clear photograph of the Full Moon using my new SONY DSC-HX50W. First rotate the top knob to SCN low light, noise reduction, no tripod. When I zoom in to 30X , the Moon will fill the screen, and then Moon's details will resolve and then a click of the shutter does the trick. It seems that with modern digital instruments, the more complex the device, the smaller the instruction manual, and many times there is none at all. Before one has mastered all the options, it's time to buy an new device; this is especially true for digital cameras, so I'm glad I found this out before my new camera comes along. This is the best all-around camera I have ever owned and it fits in my right front pocket, so I'm always ready for any great photo opportunity in my vicinity.
An opening of a sort for a play entitled "Numb" took place at the Pharmacy Museum. It was actually a fund-raiser for the play which took place in the museum, which is located just around the corner from our favorite French Quarter parking lot. After we got into the museum, a stormy downpour started. We had left our umbrellas in the car, so we were stuck. The main entertainment was planned for the patio and they were stuck. While waiting for the rain to stop, we used our tickets to do some Victorian Parlor games. I did the "controlled ecstasy" which consisted of three players in Victorian dress sitting around a small table and blowing a piece of fluffy cotton around till it fell off and then cheering; Del did another Parlor One-Act play, and then she tried her hand at the Back Alley bowling where she ended up with three gutter balls. Hmm, "gutters in the alley", "bowling alley", I'll bet that the sport of bowling got it start in such back alleys. After all, in the bowling alleys we know today, the word alley for a bowling lane or gutter for the ball return chute has no obvious connotations. Its origin in back alleys would account for the bad reputation bowling alleys had in its early days. Crap shooting and bowling seem likely to have had similar roots in dark back alleys. Back to Numb: when the rain began, all activities were moved under cover of the edges of the open air patio, but it quickly became steamy and uncomfortable outside. The only cool spot was in the museum, which quickly became too crowded for comfort, as a result, we left as soon as the rain stopped and headed home.
The openings for LSU and the Saints football teams were opposites. LSU started off on a high, winning the first three games, and then crashed and burned on the fourth game. The Saints lost their first two games in the last few seconds of each game, but won the third game, a home game, handily. It felt so good to see Drew Brees take a knee in the Victory formation for the last two plays to run out the clock. All good Saints take a knee when their prayers are answered. I'm buying special knee pads for the Super Bowl, if, God willing, his Saints get into that big game.
Three basil plants came up in the cracks, in tiny openings in the space between the paving stones at the edge of our patio. What's ironic is that, as much as we tried we could not get the basil seeds to sprout in the herb garden just off the edge of the patio area. When our handy man Marcello came to pressure wash the patio, Del transplanted the basil sprouts into the herb garden. Who woulda thought? (Photo of basil in paving stones is below.)
Anyone who can pass a month without any technical problems with their computer system is probably typing on a mechanical typewriter, where installing a new ribbon or unsticking two stuck keys is as wild as it gets. This month, it was time for me to get several technical problems fixed, hopefully, with one service call.
After a lot of consideration I finally called Ryan of A Prompt Computer the computer company which created mine and Del's PC's according to our specs. At first I thought I'd have to wait a day or two, then Ryan called to say he was coming over, Prompt-ly. First thing, he fixed the Color Printer so that it is configured on our local network and locked-in manually. Why manual, because as Ryan explained, on Auto, it can lose the IP address or pick the one from our other PC, like my PC or Del's PC, so that neither works. That won't happen from now on. If you have an IT staff, choose Auto, but in a home office, choose Manual. That took about 10 minutes. Now Del can finally print her labels, brochures, and name tags, etc, in Color.
The next task was the occasional spurious reboot which says the battery had gone too low. That should never happen on a PC, only on a Lap Top. I showed him the screen-shot after a spurious reboot which happened while I was working on my PC one morning. Ryan went into all the fields and disabled the hard drive turnoff which can trigger a Hibernate. Should be okay now.
Next was the intermittent cable/PC to router connector which was driving me crazy. Ryan recommended replacing the Router, and he drove to his office and to bring back a new CISCO WiFi router. We had trouble getting it to connect, so we went back to the short white cable and it came up okay. Perhaps that new LAN cable was also bad. So one more trip to Ryan's office to get a 25' LAN cable, and when we laid out the cable and installed it, the signal came up immediately.
Most problems I can resolve on my own, but if nagging, difficult problems come up, I like to save them so that one tech support trip will take care of several of them, as happened this time. Thanks, Ryan!
GROUP CHAT WITH MYSELVES
Actually it was a Group Text Marathon with Me and my three daughters, Maureen, Yvette, and Carla. It started with a curious Text from Yvette about a knot. Unbeknownst to me Maureen had mentioned to Yvette that her son Gabe knew about tying a trucker's knot. I responded with a big HUH? Then Maureen and Carla chimed in, all three of my daughters were working at the time, but found time for quick quips. I felt like I was talking to myself as replicated in my three girls. Hope you enjoy the repartee.
Yvette 09/19/14 12:39 PM: Tell Gabe I want to see the truckers hitch knot
Me 1:13: Huh?:/
Yvette 1:15: It's the Sam singing group that did "what does the fox say?" They teach you how to tie a trucker knot at the end of the song - hilarious group from Norway
Carla 1:23: Haven't seen that one yet
Me 1:35: Feel like I'm caught in a trailer park knot
Maureen 1:37: A Norwegian trailer park ... Not
Carla 1:38: Wonder if they have all their teeth in Norwegian trailer parks?
Maureen 1:38: Lutefisk
Carla 1:39: Is my favorite dish
Me 1:47: Said like a true benefishery
Yvette 1:50: I like lutefisk and I cannot lye
Carla 1:51: How base of you
Maureen 1:51: Eat too much and you just might dye
Carla 1:52: Tie dye — back in knots and trailers
Me 1:52: Knot again!
Me 1:53: How many of you knew what basemeant?
Maureen 1:55: That's where we used to skate, right?
Maureen 1:55: It's lye. Lye is base
Me 1:56: You need a Ph Degree to know that
Me 1:58: Gotta be 7 - 14 to get that
Carla 1:58: Heehee
Carla 1:58: I love us :)
Maureen 1:59: Me too
Me 1:59: Like talking to myselves
Carla 1:59: Some of my selves are funnier than others
Maureen 1:59: True...
Maureen 1:59: Me too
Me 1:59: <3<3 <=-P
Carla 2:00: Explain please: Heart heart. Long face with tongue sticking out?
Me 2:02: A LOVE PARTY, Dual Emoticons: Heart over head; Head with a party hat on it.
Carla 2:04: :)
LAST MINUTE EVENTS
This is the section I reserve for things which happen late in the month while I'm putting the finishing touches on my DIGESTWORLD Issue. One morning we had a funeral to attend for Warren Perkins, husband of Audrey who is in Del's garden club. After one club meeting at our home a few years ago, Warren came by to pick up Audrey but she had already left. I invited him in and we had coffee and I asked about his basketball experiences. Del had told me he played in the NBA. What I found out was that Warren played in the first NBA game and his team won! He played for the Quad-city Blackhawks, and explained to me that it turned into the Milwaukee Blackhawks, then the St. Louis Hawks, and is still playing today as the Atlanta Hawks. We must have talked for about an hour, but it was a very memorable hour to talk with a living legend.
We had to leave the funeral early as both Del and I had lunch plans, she with our daughter Kim and I with our friend Renee. Kim is enjoying a bit of empty nest time, having sent the last of her three off to college and able to travel with her lawyer husband when he has meetings. While Wes was doing lawyer stuff downtown, Kim planned lunch and shopping with her Mom at Lakeside. Del had planned to do lunch with me and Renee until the Kim lunch possibility popped up. I had promised Renee to bring her a photograph of the Representative of Man sculpture, a 33' high wood sculpture designed and carved by Rudolf Steiner which resides in the Goetheanum. Unable to get easy permission to photograph the sculpture myself, I did the next best thing and bought a color postcard for Renee. I first met Renee on the Steiner98 List back in 1996 when a group of a dozen or two people studying Rudolf Steiner were exchanging thoughts via the newly formed Internet. It took a year or so for Renee and I to discover that in this List of folks from all over the globe, we both lived in New Orleans.
Our grandson Kyle had a football game in the 11-12 age league and Del and I attended the game. Kyle's team won handily and Kyle got into the game for several minutes near the end, even getting his name called over the loudspeaker for making a tackle.
Del has been mentoring a group in the new Master Gardener's training class. It is a fun way for her to get her necessary volunteer hours as a Master Gardener and to help newbies get through their training sessions. Several months of Tuesday and Thursday morning sessions and finally the last Thursday arrived and I went with Del to the graduation. I've been to several before, including Del's graduation and it's a fun time, watching the mentored groups present the projects they selected.
This Thursday we decided to stop by to see our grand-daughter Jenny's home being built next to City Park where the graduation was taking place. Got a photo of it and then went to see Jenny at the market where she works, but we missed her. Got to talk to her husband, Anthony, and his parents who cover the morning shift at the store.
New Orleans has a new Museum in the Dryades corridor called SoFAB, the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, which had its Hard Hat Gala and Grand Opening yesterday. We have followed Liz Williams' adventures with this great endeavor which dropped its anchor at the end of Riverwalk for several years before looking for a permanent spot where it could expand and serve food as well as talk about and show it. Anchored permanently in its new place, SOFAB has two large modern kitchens and a 150-year-old bar. The kitchens will cook food for a restaurant to open shortly and provide places for cooking classes and demonstrations. The bar re-assembled after being salvaged from post-Katrina Brunings Restaurant by the Lake will provide mixed drinks such as Sazeracs and Absinthe cocktails that visitors to the Museum can sip as they walk through the displays of food culture of the 15 Southern States plus Washington D.C.A full house of dignitaries filled the conference room to over-flowing long before the opening time, so Del and I, arriving on time, had to squeeze into the edge of the room to hear the speakers. The Museum is a work-in-progress, with lots of bare walls and potential, but already many of the State-themed displays are beginning to fill up. Down the street a half-block walk away is its SOFAB Culinary Library where recipes and food artifacts from all over the country are being assembled. As the only place in the country doing this, states as far away from the South as Minnesota, California, and Pennsylvania are asking Liz to help store their food artifacts until they can create a place for them. Antique beer bottles, store signs, food containers otherwise gone forever are being rescued and preserved by SOFAB, Inc which is taking on several preservation projects in addition to the SoFAB Museum itself.It is so fabulous, SOFAB-ULOUS, to have New Orleans, the first city with public gas lights, the first with a Grand Opera House, with so many other firsts in the Land, to lead the way to displaying and preserving the food and culinary culture of the South, and inspiring other sections of the country to do the same.IMPORTANT MESSAGE:
EVERY GOOD THING MUST COME TO A NEW BEGINNING
The past 30 days of September have drifted by, slowly, without the rush of the July on vacation or the crunch time in August preparing the double DW Issue#149. Till we meet again, when the cool breezes of October bring our first taste of Fall to New Orleans and the cool Brees of the New Orleans Saints football team recovers from a slow start to bring us closer to another Super Bowl, and LSU's young but ambitious team tackles the heart of the SEC West, God Willing and the River don't rise. Whatever you do, Wherever in the world you and yours Reside, be it mid-Fall or mid-Spring,
Remember our earnest wish for you during this waning God-given year of 2014:MAY YOUR WORLD REMAIN PEACEFUL AND SERENE IN TWENTY-FOURTEEN
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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:
Joan Rivers (1933-2014) Quotes from Esquire Magazine: http://www.esquire.com/features/what-ive-learned/joanrivers0507
Don't expect praise without envy — until you're dead.
Tell a joke to a comedian and he won't laugh. He'll point at you and say, "That's funny."
They always say how mean I am. But let me tell you, the smart ones get it. When I took out the jokes about Cher, she said, "Why am I not in your act anymore?"
My last words? They might be, "Put down the gun! It was a joke! Arrgh!"
Men look great when they're a little used. They've done it, and they know about it. That's William Holden to me. Robert Mitchum. George Clooney is getting that look. That wonderful, wonderful lived-in look.
Joan Rivers (Comedienne, 1933-2014) You were a great one, Joanie!
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. (Note: scientists with no apparent interest in the evolution of consciousness have tried to evaporate away the meaning of these pollen grains. I pity them.)
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 until they're all published. (Flowers drawn by Artist Maureen Grace Matherne) To fill in, we're including a Rainbow and a Shadow poem which will fill out the five poems until all of both books' poems will be published in pixel form for the first time.
What a wondrous tool the time line,
It helps us in all we do.
It keeps us in the present fine,
Arranges past and future, too.
To the left the past goes trailing
Like news reel film unrolled,
To the right the future unveiling
New views with every goal.
In the middle is our present
Object of our here and now.
We will keep it if it's pleasant
And we don't care why or how.
We return before a past decision
To re-decide our future now,
And having chose that life revision,
We implement that deepest vow.
The time machine of H. G. Wells
Is an extraordinary tool
That inside each of us upwells
In operation as a rule.
It was dream time
The sons of the mist were coming out . . .
Things were just happening
It was the dawning of truth
The springtime of love.
Peace advocates were fighting
War advocates were talking peace
It was an age of tanks and aquariums
Covered faces and uncovered bodies
And freedom wasn't just another word . . .
Every dance brought a new twist
And inflation only happened to balloons . . .
before they burst . . .
3. Chapter: RainbowsEither Twist
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
Every word was once a poem.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Once a poem a time
Once a rhyme a poem
Time for all of this
You know it’s EAT-O-TWIST.
Try some more of this
Try gumbo with this
This is all you need,
You know, to eat of this
Or some o’ this or that
Or some o’ that or this
Feel good either way
You’ll love it either twist.
4. Chapter: Shadows
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
Bell of Coercion
Freedom reigned supreme
and rang across the land
The dulcet tones of Pass and Stow
proclaimed the constitution's plan.
When on July the eighth
Freedom's Bell rang out
at Justice Marshall's funeral
'Twas in justice that a crack appeared
in freedom's brassy apparel.
The new republic's bell
rang a sour note
and thus it's ever been
Freedom walks right out the door
when coercion finds the back way in.
"Every man has many I's." - Gurdjieff
Personality is like a daisy bloom,
Each petal a separate I going from I(1) to I(n).
The Self anchors each petal at the center.
A petal can only refer to itself
And it calls itself "I."
The Self is the navigator
and moves from I to I
as the occasion warrants.
I1 don't know how I2 could have done that. (The I's are different petals)
I3 wasn't myself today. ( A new I has been created that has not identified with the Self yet.)
I4 don't know what came over me. (I4 was replaced by some other I for a period of time. I4 is now back in control and has a vague memory of what happened and no clue of why.)
I5 was in a bad mood. (I5 had been replaced by some other I, such as I6, which I5 does not like.)
That advice was just right for me. (I7 is talking and is the I that likes the advice best of all the other I's.)
I1 don't like you. (You1 activates I8 in me which is very much like you1. I1 doesn't like what I8 does, and thinks it doesn't like you1. I1 feels the dislike for I8, but because of the proximity of you1, I1 feels the dislike as associated with the presence of you1.)
Perls' Dream Interpretation Algorithm:
Each person and object in a dream represents a separate I(n) interacting with each other in some way. The I(n) that you choose to identify with in the dream is your currently favorite I. The one that you dislike or don't understand in the dream will be the new behavior that would benefit you most to try on.
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.“Finding Normal” 2013) fancy city doctor leaves L.A. driving to L.I. but gets stuck in Normal, LA. and spends three days in jail, somehow coming to her senses in the process.
“An Invisible Sign” (2010) Mona Gray loves numbers, finding invisible signs in them, but finally puts 2 and 2 together to find 1+1 equals happiness.
"Here Comes the Boom" (2012) Biology meets music and the wrestling begins. Fun movie.
"Words and Pictures" (2013) Pictures meet Words and sobreity breaks out. Clive Owen stars in this role with Juliette Binoche. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! !
“The Battered Bastards of Baseball” (2014) Bing Russell never caught a crook in 14 years on Bonanza, but he found a bonanza when he single-handedly brought sell-out crowds to Portland, Oregon’s park with his team made of mavericks who just like to play baseball with the only independent Single A team in baseball. Listen to Bing, his wife, and their famous actor kid Kurt tell about the Portland Maverick Baseball team. How Bing took on the mighty baseball monopoly in court and won big. A DON'T MISS HIT!
“About Adam” (2000) three sisters are gaga over Adam who is willing to oblige.
"Smilla's Sense of Snow" (1997) Greenland native Smilla uses her sense of snow to suss out the secret coverup of the death of the young Eskimo boy who jumped off the roof to his death.
"A Long Way Down" (2014) "We're the Topper House Four; we're a team, the worst team in the world, but a team." Meet this team meeting on the roof of Topper House with the intention of jumping without a bungee cord or parachute. How long can they possibly survive? How much fun can they have while surviving. A fun movie with an edge.
“Dames” (1934) Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler singing and hoofing to early Busby Berkeley choreography. Joan Blondell a hoot as the ironing woman singing and dancing with animated long underwear on the clothesline. “What do you go to see a show for? Dames!” Spot the short line which later inspired “Shuffle Off to Buffalo”. A DON'T MISS HIT!
“Trance” (2013) for all reasons: “Do you want to remember or to forget?” Art theft, abuse, murder, just sit back, relax, and close your eyes . . . A DON’T HIT MISS HIT ! ! !
“Last Tango in Halifax” (2013) has more pregnancies than the Gran Hotel had murders. One marriage and three or four break-ups and a murder revealed. A soap opera in a stew. Good binge watching fare.
“Good Morning, Vietnam!” (1987) Good Bye, Robin Williams! — you left behind a lot of dead air when you signed off. This movie is like a capsule of your career. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! ! ! !
“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” (2013) from Nelson’s autobiography, his life is following from boyhood to his release from prison. A DON’T MISS HIT! ! !
"At Middleton" (2013) Andy Garcia stars in another movie where he gets acting lessons, this time as he tours a campus where his son is visiting. This is an amazing and fun movie as two parents link up as their precious only-child teens interview the school. A DON’T MISS HIT! ! !
"Pompei" (2014) was a blast! A DON’T MISS HIT! ! !
"The World According to Garp" (1982) offers a curious look at feminism and sexual mores in the 1970s, in addition to Robin Williams early movie career.
"The Roosevelts" (2014) I found out for the first time that Franklin had bought the houses in the little town of Georgia and renamed the area Warm Springs himself, using over half his personal fortune to do so. The film of him having fun in the pool with others crippled with polio are incredible. The joy, joie de vivre, and just plain unabashed fun must have cleared the final dark clouds away from his battle with polio and allowed him to pursue his career as a four term president during WWII. A DON’T MISS HIT! ! !
"Chaplin: The Movie" (1992) Downy stars as Chaplin who says, "You want to know me, watch my movies." This movie allows us to see behind the Silver Screen version of the man, his life, his loves, and his persecutors in the FBI who banned him from his favorite country. A DON’T MISS HIT!
"The English Teacher" (2013) could do a little creative writing and learn to disregard the narrator.
"MASH" (1970) is a smash! Any resemblance to the movie by the later TV sitcom is purely an accident. The combination of pranks, the lives saved, the lives changed, and the laughter was a pure pleasure offered up by the gifted cast and Robert Altman the director. For the first time, an Army hospital portrayed, not as a Hollywood set, but as a real hospital operating in intense triage situations, including keeping the morale of the over-worked field Army crew in the near normal range. 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."PI" (2013) Young man obsessed by numbers, too much drilling in early life led to late-life drilling and freedom.
"Veronica Mars" (2014) There may be other Veronica Mars movies worse than this one. Stomp 'em all! A DVD STOMPER ! ! !
"Divergent" (2014) a silly sci-fi by a woman writer about a dystopian world in which people are sorted into five classes or castes ala India with the Untouchables being those who don't make it in any category. The heroine of the movie has hair down to her waist and is supposed to be an athletic Dauntless, but is really a hidden Divergent, someone who fits into any of the castes. When the action kicks in, ooops, well, it never really does. Makes a good bedtime story to put adults to sleep by.
Your call on these — your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:The Boys are Back” (2009) but still without a parent between the three of them.
“In Secret” (2013) Therese and Laurent have each other, but her idiot husband Camille is in the way, even after he’s dead. Zola.
“The Curse of the Golden Flower” (2009) might make you stop planting mums forever. Zillions of soldiers battling zillions of soldiers spilling oceans of pixel blood all over everything and the point is: Well, we’re still waiting . . .
“Big Night” (1996) Tucci’'s restaurant needs a big boost and his competitor down the street who wants to hire him away schedules Louie Prima for a visit to Tucci's on one night, and Tucci pulls out all the stops. Every one has a great time, two prima donnas meet each other, but the prima signoro is a no show.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Le Boudreaux Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission. Cajun story sent in by Sharon Roberts. Thanks, Sha!
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Boudreaux got called up to active duty, and quickly got a reputation as the smoothest-talking Cajun in the Louisiana National Guard. His first assignment was in a military induction center in Breaux Bridge. Because he was a good talker and well liked by the local Cajuns, they assigned Boudreaux the duty of advising new recruits about government benefits, especially the GI insurance to which they were entitled.
The officer in charge soon noticed that Boudreaux was getting a 99% sign-up rate for the more expensive supplemental form of GI insurance. This was remarkable, because it cost these low-income recruits $80.00 per month for that higher coverage, compared to what the government was already providing free. The officer decided he would sit in the back of the room at the next briefing to observe Boudreaux's sales pitch.
Boudreaux stands up before the next group of inductees and says, "If Ya gets de normal GI insurans an' gets sent to Afghanistan an' gets killed, Unka Sam pays yo' bene-fishery $20,000, am Ah rat? Dat's okay, eh? Mais, oui! Better dan nothin. But, if you takes dis suppmental insurans, which gonna cost you only eighty dollars a munt, den Unka Sam gotta pay you bene-fishery $800,000!"
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5. Household Hint for October, 2014 from Bobby Jeaux from Bobby Jeaux:
(click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
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Background on FLEA TRAPS, TREE TOPS, SHOWER DOORS, DIRTY CLOTHES, KILLING BACTERIA:
What do these three things have in common? Surface tension. I know your eyes glaze over at the mention of surface tension, yeah, like being in high school science class again, the dumb experiment with the skinny tubes showing water rising up in them, right?
Funny thing is most science teachers don't know of these particular applications which are based on the properties of surface tension, up until now.
Why do shower doors get cloudy when you shower? Because the surface tension of the water causes tiny droplets to form and keeps them from blending together, so the tiny droplets obscure your vision through the door. Why do the leaves at the top of some trees seem to thin out? Surface tension again, aided by human vanity. How do bugs skim across the top of the water? Surface tension. If a flea happens to fall and hit water, they can spring right back off. Why does dirt stick to clothes even if you spray water on them? Surface tension of water keeps it from wetting the tiny particles of dirt.
What's an easy way to eliminate surface tension? Soap. Does soap kill bacteria? Yes, it does. Why, because, lacking surface tension, the soapy water enters the surface of the bacteria and dissolves it into a lifeless mush. No need to buy soap which says "Anti-Bacterial" or "Kills Germs" because all soap does that, thanks to its surface tension removal effects.
With this background, you'll be able to begin applying your new found knowledge about surface tension.
If you want a simple, inexpensive flea trap, take a jar lid or other shallow container, place an inch of water and a drop of Joy liquid detergent in it. Place the lid directly under a small night light. Fleas, attached by the infrared brightness of the warm lamp will jump towards it, thinking it will find warm flesh to get blood from, but will bounce off and fall into the homemade flea trap. The soap added to the solution eliminated the surface tension and the fleas will drown. This method of removing fleas has a great advantage over spraying toxic materials, it is not only non-toxic, but you can count the number of fleas each morning. If you have a flea infestation, this simple method will let you know when the fleas are all gone, and you can remove the flea traps.
CLEAN DIRTY CLOTHES
The washing machine uses soap or detergent to eliminate surface tension so that the dirt can go into the watery solution and be rinsed away. Any bacteria on the dirty clothes, dissolved and washed down the drain.
CLOUDY SHOWER DOORS
An easy way to clear up cloudy shower doors is to do this, while showering and your hands are soapy, simply pass your hands over the section of the shower stall you wish to be clear. Not enough soap to leave suds on the glass, just enough to remove the surface tension. One treatment every third shower is usually enough to keep the surface tension awaym and the glass walls and door of the shower will be easy to see through.
THIN TREE TOPS
There is no cure for thin tree tops, but a little knowledge of soil dynamics and surface tension will help you to avoid ever being plagued by this problem. In south Louisiana where we have lovely evergreen trees like the Magnolia and Live Oak, one can see many trees, especially in suburban neighborhoods with small lots, that are being systematically killed, unknowingly, by their owners.
Here's how it usually happens. The owner is proud of his grassy lawn and wants the grass to fill his yard, even under his tall Magnolia and stately Live Oak trees, so he is disturbed by the roots of the two trees which seem to rise out of the ground. To correct this so-called problem, he adds soil to cover the roots. Problem solved right? Well, yes, but a bigger problem is created. Let's see what happens when you add soil between the protruding roots. First of all, the soil between the spreading roots above ground is covering the place from which the tops of the trees are receiving their moisture. Second, adding soil over this moist soil adds weigh to that soil, which compresses the moist soil, and compression in a soil acts like the straws in the high school science class surface tension experiment. Remember? When the teacher used a smaller diameter straw, the water was drawn up higher! Compressed soil is like the smaller straw, it draws water from further down into the soil to the surface, where it evaporates uselessly so far as the tree is concerned! The moist soil which fed the tree tops with water has become dry now, and the leaves at the top of the trees so afflicted will slowly die off from lack of water.
If you have Magnolia, Live Oaks, or other Evergreen trees or shrubs, the best thing is to learn to love the bare ground beneath them and you'll have healthy trees all the way to their tip tops. If you buy an empty lot with a such a tree already there, find some way to keep from adding dirt to the base of the tree. If you must add fill to the lot, avoid the base of the tree under the outside line of its branches. If you want confirmation of this tree-thinning effect, look around your neighborhood. If you have neighbors who seem to get a load of dirt every year or so to "level" their yards, check their tree tops, and you'll likely notice the thinning leaf phenomenon.Surface tension: learn how it works and use it.
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6. POETRY by BOBBY from "Don't Push the River" Review:
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A Rainbow in Itself
You can't collect rainbows,
but you can remember them.
Like the brilliant morning rainbow
which greeted me on the day
I became different and
grabbed my life by the pen.
Like the daily rainbows
which graced every waterfall
on the rainy isle of Kauai.
Like the evening rainbow
which chased me
in my VW Bug and
helped me find the Pot O'Gold
was in my heart.
You can't collect rainbows
but you can re-collect them .
A poem can be a rainbow in itself.
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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for October:
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For our Good Readers, here are the reviews and articles featured this month. The Ray Brooks review this month was published in the early DIGESTWORLD Issue #32 on Jan. 2003 as a short blurb, so the full review will be of interest to our new Good Readers. The rest of the items will be 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 long Reviews, possibly lacking footnotes and some quoted passages. For your convenience, if you wish to read the full review or to print it out, simply CLICK on the Book Cover or choose Printer Ready option on the top line of a review page when it opens.
1.) ARJ2: Blowing Zen — Finding An Authentic Life by Ray Brooks
Like Ray in Blowing Zen — Finding An Authentic Life playing a shakuhachi flute Zen piece, I blew right through this book in three short days around Christmas. Brooks began his adventure as a "Zen tourist" — he went to a three-day Zen meditation retreat where he met a man playing the shakuhachi or Japanese Zen flute, which he had never seen before. Ray was looking for the authentic life, but had no idea what that meant for him. His first hint came to him when during a break between excruciatingly painful zazen sessions, he got up to walk around the Zen garden outside.
[page 7, 8] After washing, I set off down a winding, cobbled path, through the flawlessly manicured garden, passing plants and trees that had succumbed to the discipline of a Japanese Zen gardener. Rocks and stones were deliberately placed, some surrounded by a white gravel that had been raked into ripples of perfection. My eyes were drawn to a few rebellious stones that had escaped onto the path. I wondered if the perfection of the raked gravel symbolized an outward perfection of a Zen mind. The stones on the path: unruly thoughts.
Leaving the retreat Ray began to have "Pipe Dreams" in Chapter Two as he imagined himself playing the shakuhachi. He began a quest to find a flute for himself. He located a CD of Katsuya Yokoyama playing the flute and he likened Yokoyama's shakuhachi music to John Coltrane on the saxophone. Ray's introduction to Coltrane was by a salesman in the record store who described his CD A Love Supreme thusly: "Coltrane's blowing the absolute truth."
[page 28] The music I was listening to now was from a completely different genre than Coltrane's Love Supreme, but the similarities were striking. Each possessed exquisite tone color and perfect timing. There was that same intensity and seriousness, that same searching introspection. They were both "blowing Zen."
Soon Ray would have his first shakuhachi and would be blowing Zen and wondering why he was blowing Zen. Clearly the tones of the shakuhachi were humming his future and he had stumbled upon a karmic plan he had earlier laid for his own life here on Earth. When someone continues on a path in spite of an obvious lack of progress, one can usually find a karmic plan at work underneath.
[page 32] Why had something as simple as a bamboo flute, of all things, grabbed my attention? It had to be the challenge that was holding my interest because I certainly wasn't making any musical progress. Seven weeks ago I didn't know what a shakuhachi was. . . . This was a chance to study the discipline of working at something every day without expecting instant gratification.
His first teacher or sensei was Sasaki who gave Ray the theme that shakuhachi playing could become his "own art". Once Ray asked Sasaki about the certification and grading system of the different shakuhachi Zen sects, and Sasaki went into a furious tearing through his dictionary to express himself succinctly to his errant pupil:
[page 83] "Certification is the mandate of fools," he bellowed out. "Is it possible to have passion without a cause, to play shakuhachi, or do anything for that matter, for its own sake and not merely for status?"
Visibly ruffled, he then went on to tell me the tale of how the rebellious Ikkyu tore up his certificate of confirmation as a Zen master in utter disapproval at the corruption of Zen. Ikkyu also refused to confirm or certify enlightenment in any of his students.
Ray lived in small apartment in Tokyo and needed to find places in which he could practice the shakuhachi, so he located a nearby temple, the Arai Yakushi Temple, and got permission to play his flute. One day he was playing and this older gentleman who spoke very little English came up to him and said, "You ... good sound, good ... pitch." Ray asked him if he played the shakuhachi and the old man nodded, a bit unsure. " 'I hear shakuhachi in market,' he said, smiling and cupping his ear with his hand." So Ray begins showing him his music and tells him about 'Skika no Tone' about two deer, a stag and a doe, calling each other, played by two shakuhachi, and so on.
[page 97] "Your teacher is who?" he asked, halting me in midflow.
"Sasaki Sensei in Hachioji," I replied.
"Sasaki, Sasaki! I am . . . teacher . . . old student him," he said.
"Really? You studied with Sasaki Sensei in Hachioji?" I asked excitedly.
Thus goes it with sparse translations — the gist of the conversation was inverted. When Ray read the words on his business card, it said, "Katsuya Yokoyama, President of the Shakuhachi Society" and Ray was dumbfounded. He suddenly realized that Yokoyama was Sasaki's teacher, and thought to himself, "I just gave Katsuya Yokoyama an introductory lesson!" At this point, I noticed a curious attribution that Ray gave to Sasaki — it's as if Ray's deep-seated Western sanctification of the process of certification arose from the ashheap to which Sasaki had relegated it. It is equally obvious to me that Sasaki recognized the folly of certification and left Yokoyama for that reason, but note how Ray punctuates the event:
[page 98, 99] Yokoyama was Sasaki's mysterious teacher. Sasaki, wanting to start his own sect, had obviously stopped studying with Yokoyama before he had been certified, hence the hostility against certification.
In any case, Yokoyama good-naturedly used the name "Temple Sensei" to introduce Ray to his other students when Ray took him on as his new sensei, explaining how Ray had given him an introductory lesson in shakuhachi. In the teaching sessions, Yokoyama has a student play a piece and then has him play the piece a second time as Yokoyama plays along with him. Ray says that he could "immediately hear Yokoyama's influence. The performance was hauntingly beautiful. Goose bumps rose on my arms." A beautiful description of Ray's internal experience in process - that is, what Ray actually experienced during the flute playing. But when asked a few seconds later his opinion of the piece, Ray could only stammer out, "Er . . . fantastic . . . er . . . very proficient. Very well played." Note the switch into content when Ray was asked for his opinion. Content is the province of certification — it is the reified expression of the process of flute playing or any other activity and it is this very reification that Sasaki rightly labeled, "the mandate of fools." How foolish of Ray to keep his internal direct experience to himself, for us readers, and to verbally express only a judgment on the playing. "Fantastic" had to serve as a meager pointer to the "goose bumps" that the playing created in Ray. (Page 115)
In all great music the musician disappears as a player and enters into the music. There is no content left for the player, only the playing fills the air and the ears and the bodies of the listeners. There is, rightly understood, no piece that can be played the way Beethoven played it because only Beethoven played it that way, only he could be certified, if you will, to be Beethoven. Each piece of music must become the musician's music and the musician must disappear into the music for it to be authentic music. Yokoyama was aware of this as this next passage intimates:
[page 116] "Each phrase is played in one breath," he said. "Intensity of breath and control are most important. Sometimes we need an explosive blast of air, sometimes just a wisp. The beauty of the piece relies on the quality of your tone, color, perfect timing, and space." He then said it was important for each piece to be interpreted by the individual, becoming the player's own piece of music.
In the art of Japanese calligraphy we can find and appreciate the frozen process of the artist's brush. When Ray played with Yokoyama the first time, he used this as a metaphor to describe the subtle playing of his new sensei:
[page 119] This time we played in unison. The gravity of his first note startled me, and by the second line I couldn't hear myself. I watched his fingers and head movements intently. Where each of my notes ended abruptly his finished in perfect pitch and were barely audible, the effect like the final stroke of a calligrapher's brush.
One day Ray visited the Zuisenji Temple and following a trail of incense, he walked into the cemetery. He met a mourner there and explained to her, "I followed the smell of the incense and it reminded me of another place and time."
[page 122] "Smells do that. They can release the smallest, forgotten memory," she said, in near-perfect English. . . . "It's a pleasure to talk to someone who appreciates 'listening to incense.'"
When Ray said that he'd never heard that expression before, she told him that Koh means incense and that kohdo means the "appreciation of incense." She asked him if he had ever heard of koboku and explained that it was a type of incense.
[page 124] "Koboku means aromatic wood and comes from fallen trees that have been buried in tropical forests for hundred of years. The resin within the wood becomes thick and hard, and when smoldered on hot embers, has an exquisite fragrance. My husband collected many rare and expensive types of koboku over the years."
Then Mrs. Chen invited Ray to dinner and along the way she explained the Buddhist term en to him. Her explanation makes sense if one understands how each person makes plans for this lifetime on Earth during the time between death and a new birth and those plans involve coming to Earth during the same time as the souls one knew during a previous lifetime would be there. This ensures that one would meet these old friends again and be able to interact with them. Karma, rightly understood, makes no sense unless one is able to meet and interact with a person that they had known during a previous lifetime and during the interaction correct any imbalances from the previous meeting.Such karmic meetings can be characterized by the wonderful words that Emerson spoke on friendship, "We will meet as though we met not and part as though we parted not." That's en.
[page 131] "En means 'an inevitable connection,' or the reason people are sometimes fated to meet by chance or coincidence. En expresses the existence of relationship. Usually in Japan, relationships are established by a go-between," she explained. "But on rare occasions when we meet someone new, en already exists and can be developed. We have to be extremely careful when making new acquaintances. If en doesn't exist, cause and effect can sometimes take you down a dark path. I feel that en already exists between us," she said.
Ray began to get better at the shakuhachi and was urged to take his playing public which meant busking for coins in the public areas as indigent musicians in Japan are wont to do, such as Two Tone Tony who knows only two notes on the shakuhachi and played them continuously in front of a subway entrance. Ray became friends with Tony and found him to be well-versed in philosophy and other subjects, a fact belied by his scruffy appearance which tends to bring him coins of pity as much as musical appreciation.
One day as Ray was playing during the cherry blossom festival, large crowds gathered and wanted to take his picture. As he obliged by moving from one side to another, someone shouted that his bag of money had been stolen. Ray was upset, but say, "Shoganai. It's okay." and thought to himself, "So what? It's only money."
[page 160, 161] But soon everyone in the crowd opened their wallets and purses. I protested, but all I could do was watch as the scene unfolded. The young woman who had first spoken to the crowd collected the money and handed it to me. She apologized and said that the thief had not been part of the crowd. I thanked them and bowed, then asked I could play another piece for them.
"Hair! Dozo. Yes, please!" was their unanimous answer.
"What would you like me to play?" I asked
"Amazing Grace," someone called.
Others gave their agreement. I composed myself. No one moved. There was complete silence around me. Passersby, sensing something special, joined in the group. Imagined or real, the air felt charged with the human spirit. The notes drifted into the night air, the breeze carrying them through the darkness.
Next Ray took on a shakuhachi marathon, a self-imposed sixty-day shugyo, which means a "practice undertaken as an ascetic path to realization." The form Ray's shugyo took was a daily walk to the top of Mount Takao followed by several hours of shakuhachi playing. As the days grew shorter into November, his hands became very cold as he played, and a remarkable thing happened to him.
[page 170] On these occasions, it was rare for a group of women to pass without stopping and holding my freezing hands in theirs, each taking turns and commenting on how cold mine were. This was the height of generosity, the sharing of warm hands with a stranger.
After a long rainy spell where Ray was restricted to indoor playing, the weather cleared and Ray took another hike to Mount Takao where at noon he liked playing a duet with the noon temple bells.
[page 209] At noon the main temple bell rang, and, as always, I played along with it. If my timing was right, it created an amazing atmosphere, as both my sound and the tolling of the bell blended and echoed across the valley.
Once Ray was accosted by a Japanese hoodlum in a yellow jacket who made him an offer he couldn't refuse: to play for his boss. In spite of Ray's protestations that he spoke no Japanese, sign language and universal gestures make it clear to Ray that he would play. At the gathering of hoods, which filled a banquet room at a nearby restaurant, Ray sat and pretended to neither speak nor understand Japanese, requiring them to use their primitive English skills on him. The boss got up and began to tell a story on "Yellow Jacket" which severely tested Ray's ability to keep from laughing, causing him to attempt to stifle his laughing with mouthfuls of sushi. It seems that YJ had gone shopping for a new pair of denim jeans and tried on one pair that was so tight that when zipped up it caught and imbedded itself into his penis.Unable to remove the zipper, YJ put his coat on to cover his all-too-visible problem and went to pay for the pair of jeans so he could take it home to remove the zipper. The clerk insisted that he must take off the pants for her to remove the Anti-Theft tag. Finally she had to call the manager to whom YJ very privately explained his predicament. The manager deftly turned off the door alarm so that he could quietly leave with his purchase. At home, YJ still had no success removing the zipper, so he cut away the zipper from the jeans, drank an entire bottle of whiskey, put on new pants and went over to his girl friend's place for her over to remove it, which she does, taking a piece of his private parts with it. At this point in the story, with everyone laughing, the big boss turned to Yellow Jacket and said, "Show us the scar!" This anecdote is so funny that one imagines the book could be made into a movie of which this would be the highlight!
Near the end of the book, Ray returned to Japan and visited the man who first introduced him to shakuhachi during the Zen retreat. Ozawa is very unhappy with his life and could see no way out from the hectic business of his job till some far future retirement day. Ozawa was either busy with his work or dizzy with drink trying to forget work. This seems strikingly similar to many white and blue collar workers in America today, the only difference between the two being the choice of drink: martinis or beer. When Ray suggests that he look at what's behind his misery, Ozawa's explanation is, "We have to go about our business, Ray-san. We have to earn a living. I have not time to look into these things." Ray responds that Ozawa has to be serious if he wants change and sums it up this way, "Seriousness is its own change, Ozawa-san."
[page 225] "What you're saying, Ray-san, reminds me of a Zen story. Perhaps you've heard of it. It's about a monk who somehow, during the night, got lost in a monastery and fell out of a window. Fortunately, he was able to grab the sill and hang on for dear life. After a short while, the pain became unbearable, and there was no choice but to let go. He fell, only to find that he'd been hanging merely three feet from the ground.
Two years later Ozawa's life had turned around for the better, and like in the Zen story, it happened just at the point where life had become unbearable for him. It was as though his karmic debt had been paid and the dungeon master of life had come into to turn him loose from his dire straits into a world of happiness.
[page 255, 256] He hadn't run away and joined a monastery, as he had once half-jokingly wished, but ironically, had been made redundant when the company he worked for was dissolved after being caught in one of the many corruption scandals in Japan. He was now running his aging uncle's tourist inn in Kyoto and had never been happier.
In a return visit to Tokyo, Ray joined Nakamura for a recital. His teacher introduced him to the students by saying that Ray had given him a present that left him speechless, and he held up Ray's new CD of shakuhachi music. "This is the result of Ray's diligent efforts," he said.
In this last paragraph of the book, Ray refers to Mount Takao as one might refer to a friend by adding the Japanese word san to the end of his name. The equivalent in English would be like calling the mountain Mister Takao out of respect.
[page 257] The next day I didn't have any engagements, so I did what I loved best on my visits to Japan. I caught the train to Takao-san, hiked up the mountain to my cedar tree, and played shakuhachi.
~ See also A Zen Wave by Robert Aitken ~
Now! Days come, days go
A gecko on the window;
A smile is soul food.
2.) ARJ2: Understanding Healing, GA#316 — Meditative Reflections on Deepening Medicine Through Spiritual Science by Rudolf Steiner
In this series of lectures Rudolf Steiner describes meditative exercises which physicians may use to develop the moral quality known as the will to heal. Doctors who have been traditionally trained in Medical Schools to observe only the physical half of the human being, the outside of things, namely, structures, organs, tissues, bones, muscles, etc., will find themselves in a quagmire of amorphous concepts and constructs as they take Steiner's hand and enter the other half of the human being they have sought to heal, the spiritual half, a reality for which they are completely unprepared. In other words, they have been well-prepared in only one-half of the knowledge they require for healing, up until now. Most doctors will be hard put to describe any medical school courses in which they studied the processes of healing and therapy. Here in this volume, Steiner leads us to the terra incognito of understanding healing, an understanding which requires the ability to comprehend, not just the human body, but the full human being in body, soul, and spirit, i. e. , the study of which, Steiner labeled anthroposophy.
Let us observe as Steiner walks us through these components of the full human being. Doctors need a grounding in the physical contours of the human body and its various organs, and the fluids which flow through them. But, in considering flows, one should not imagine one can fully understand the flows using only the laws of physics, i. e., the laws of dynamics and mechanics. Earthly forces govern the material flows of earthly matter, whereas planetary forces governs the fluid flows in the human being. The flows of the etheric body are governed not by earthly forces, but instead by planetary forces.
[page 4, 5] And so we have to say that a true understanding of the human being must, first, take the sharply outlined organs into account, but then also those things which are in flow in the organism. Of course reference is also made to those things which are in flow but it is done in a way which only seeks to understand the fluids, indeed the whole fluid configuration of the human organism, in greater detail on the basis of the laws of dynamics and mechanics. It is not the case that the latter apply; as soon as we consider the fluid human being, the so-called human etheric body is involved. . . . As soon as we are dealing with what circulates, be it the circulation of the nutritional fluids themselves or the nutritional fluids that have already been transformed into blood, we are dealing with controlling forces that are not earthly but planetary.
We ingest liquids which are processed into bodily fluids. If we drink 4 glasses of water and only one is required, the other three glasses pass out of the body without conversion. But we also ingest gases whenever we inhale and then exhale them later, after they have undergone some transformation; simply put, we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, among other things. Steiner has previously shown us the physical body and the etheric body, and now he shows us the aeriform body, the gaseous aspect of the full human being which is connected to and dependent upon the astral body. The fourth aspect is variously called the "I", I-organization, or warmth human being, and is the source of the warmth which fills various parts of our body to different levels of warmth.
[page 5] And specifically with regard to the fourth human being, the warmth human being — I have referred to the physical human being linked with the physical body, the fluid human being linked with the etheric body, the gaseous human being, i.e. the activity of all that is gaseous or aeriform, linked with the astral body — there cannot be a moment's doubt that in the physical space occupied by the human being, and even beyond, there are different degrees of warmth. If you take someone's temperature behind the ear or in the armpit you will find a very differentiated warmth organism. The degrees of warmth are different everywhere. Just as you can say that the liver is in a specific location in the human being, so you can say that the intestines are in a specific location. Both have quite different temperatures. The liver temperature is quite different as the liver has a very specific warmth organization. This warmth organization is originally linked with the I-organization. Only now, really, is it possible for you to picture the human being to the extent that it carries the substances which are otherwise present on earth within itself as solid, fluid, gaseous and warmth-like substances.
The physical body can be filled with the "I" through the warmth organization, filled with the astral body through the aeriform organization, and filled with the etheric body through the fluid organization. Only by understanding how the four components of the full human being interweave each other can one come to understand how illness occurs when one or more of the organizations strays out of its normal bounds, and understand how healing occurs when the stray component is corralled once more into its normal functions or milieu. Dealing with the human body only, as it is taught in physiology and anatomy, one is unable to comprehend the key elements of healing, which so-trained new doctors quickly discover. Dealing with the full human being, one can easily make the transition from insight into the sick person to insight into modes for assisting the person to heal.
Just the simple fact that fear can turn you pale, causing your legs to tremble, is difficult to explain as it requires a communication from the mind to the body. Similarly, an embarrassing encounter can make you blush. It is hard to conceive how a mental thought can trigger these often dramatic physiological changes.
[page 7] But you can conceive that the soul organization, which is anchored in the warmth ether, is affected by fear and that such fear comes to expression in a change of your warmth state. In that way the warmth organization is transferred to the respiration, to the fluid and as far down as the solid human being. That is the only possibility of building a bridge between the physical and the soul element.
The above are simple examples, but the same principles can be applied to diseases of any of the organs of the body.
[page 7] Without gaining such insight into the human being you will never be able to make the transition from the healthy human being, to insight into the sick human being. Because, you see, if we take some component of the human organization, say the liver or kidney, which under so-called normal circumstances in some way receives its impulses from the I-organization in that these impulses from the I-organization first act on the warmth organism and then pass down into the sharply contoured liver or kidney and so on — if we look at that, then there is of course a possibility that this intervention by the I-organization through the warmth organization is intensified in the organ compared to the normal behavior. In other words, the I-organization has too strong an effect on the warmth organization with regard to the liver or the kidney in a way that it should not. And given the configuration of the human organism so that the I-organization can work properly within it, this also provides the possibility for the human organism to fall ill if these structures appear in a wrong or, if you like, dislocated way.
The "I" acts on the heart via the warmth body, and if those heart forces act instead on the liver, the possibility of illness can arise. It would be like if our central heating system started pouring heat into our refrigerator; we would soon notice a big problem was going on. Illnesses are like mis-directed good things arriving in the wrong place or at the wrong time. As Steiner says in many places, "An evil is a good out of its time."
[page 8] Only once you know that what is disease in the liver is healthy in the heart, and is required there if the human being is to be complete, can you learn to understand the possibility of falling ill.
Imagine you have a pile of dirt next to your house, which you shovel away in one day's time, and it appears the next day to be shoveled away again. Finally one day it doesn't appear as high, and as you keep shoveling away as each day it is less and less high, till finally you shovel it away and you have no need to return to shoveling. This is a metaphor for our I-organization which works on the nutrients to remove any external substances from them like you did when you removed the unwanted pile of dirt. These unwanted substances are built up and removed each day until the amount gets less and less and finally the I has nothing left to remove and leaves the human body, which then must decompose. While alive the physical body's function is nourishment, and the I's function is death, killing those unwanted substances.
[page 16] What does the I-organization actually do in the physical body? It destroys it constantly, it does the same thing death does, with the exception that this is always balanced by the physical body being able to assimilate external substances as food so that you have the polar opposition between I-organization and food.
What about the other two organizations, the etheric and the astral? What are their functions? Their two functions also oppose each other, one is the burgeoning of life processes (etheric) and the other is staying or paralyzing the burgeoning life processes (astral).
[page 17] We have the reciprocal connection between the etheric and astral organism in each individual human organ. If we look at the effect of the etheric organism on any organ, the effect can be seen in that the organ obtains burgeoning, budding life. Everything that is vitality in an individual organ or the organism comes from the etheric organism.
If we look at the astral organism, it always has the tendency to paralyze burgeoning, budding life — not to kill it but to paralyze it.
This balancing act of the etheric and astral is absolutely necessary. If the burgeoning occurred without being modulated, we would never develop a soul life, never become conscious. We would be forever in a coma, on life-support, living like a vegetable. With the astral's paralysis of the burgeoning life, we fall ill a little bit, continuously, and from the delicate balance between burgeoning and ailing, we develop consciousness and a soul life. We humans are designed to die. Planned obsolescence is what we call human products that are designed for replacement after a few years. How can we sum up the functions of the four organisms of the physical, etheric, astral, and I? In that same order, Steiner sums it up:
[page 18] And you can say . . . that the human being consists of nutritional processes, of burgeoning and sprouting health-giving processes, as well as of continuous processes of illness, and of something which is a process of continuous killing, of arrest, until the killing processes are summed, form an integral, as it were, and death occurs.
We can now understand how all illness comes from the astral body. When there is a balance between the etheric and astral, normal feelings result. Too much astral body means more than is needed to stem the burgeoning growth in an organ, so that the organ becomes inflamed, malfunctions, becomes deformed in time, eventually allowing the illness to be perceived by a standard medical doctor or procedure. When this eventuality happens, often the healing will come too late for full recovery, and some amount of damage will be recorded in the physical body. Too little astral body and the burgeoning becomes overweening, resulting excessive growth, and also leading to illness over time.
[page 19] And illness is in reality connected in such a way with the feelings that we can say that human feelings are simply a reflection in the soul of illness. . . . If we are able to observe such things, we can see the approach of an illness a long time before it can be diagnosed physically when the feeling life no longer functions properly. Illness is nothing more than the abnormal feeling life of the human being. . . . So if a person can under normal circumstances maintain their feelings in their soul, they will remain healthy; if they cannot do that, the feelings infiltrate down into the organs and illness arises.
Steiner has now shown the physicians in his audience and us how important it is for the physician to be able discern a person's soul life. Without that skill, the physician will not be able to develop a feeling for diagnosis. It is interesting that the feelings of the physician are vital to perceiving the abnormal feelings of the patient. These are the feelings which will signal the presence of a developing illness and point way for healing of the patient.
Pain is the usual signal of an illness. Why? If the astral forces overwhelm the etheric forces in an organ, the organ is deformed and pain can result. This does not happen with the liver, the one organ that can be deformed without any noticeable pain. Why is this so? On pages 21 and 22, Steiner tells us to imagine the liver as an ovoid solid taken into the human body directly from the external world, like a football perhaps, so that any pressure to deform the football is not experienced as pain. Our liver is able, however, to perceive the outside material world via the fluids which pass through itself. Our ears are able to perceive the outside air. Our eyes are able to perceive the light, the light which is the outer reality of the light ether of the etheric body. The other major organ of perception is our heart. In the heart, the two forms of nutrition come together: respiration-nutrition and digestion-nutrition. Respiration-nutrition happens above the diaphragm, and digestion-nutrition happens below the diaphragm. Both these arrive in the heart which, during its hydraulic ram pulsations, creates a vortex to provide efficient blending of oxygen-rich blood coming from the lungs and protein-rich blood coming from the digestive tract together with the depleted venous blood coming from the body.
[page 23] The heart is another sensory organ. But while the liver is exposed with its perceptive capacity to the external substances entering the human being, the heart is a sense organ for perceiving the whole of the interior of the human being. It is an absurdity — as you might have seen from some of the presentations I have given — that the heart is a kind of pump which drives the blood through the arteries. The movement of the blood is caused by the I and the astral body. And in the heart we merely have a sense organ which perceives the circulation, namely perceives the circulation from the lower to the upper human being. So, you see, the liver must see in the digestive process the value of, say, some carbohydrate in the human being. The heart must see how the astral body and I work in the human being. Thus the heart is a wholly spiritual sense organ, the liver a wholly material sense organ. That is a distinction we have to make.
As Steiner began Lecture 4, he stated clearly, "We cannot have a system of medicine in which the findings of spiritual science are not present." One can imagine that no medical school-trained doctor today would understand such a statement. Much less would any university-taught theologian agree with this next statement, "Things are such today that we have a science — including in theology — which is only suitable for technical purposes and not in any way for gaining an understanding of the human being." (Page 41) In both medicine and theology, the academic schools are missing a crucial component of what is essential, up until now. This applied in Steiner's day a hundred years ago and applies even more today. They focus on what can be seen with the eye, missing what can be seen with the heart. Antoine St. Exupery said it in the Fox's Secret, "It is only with the heart one can see what is essential is invisible to the eye."
[page 41] For you see, real medical knowledge requires something special, which will become clear to you when I speak about how the human being is created. I already drew attention to it exoterically yesterday, so today and in the following lessons I will make the transition to the esoteric aspect: the external substances are in reality processes. Salt is only the expression of processes; the magnesium processes, iron processes are processes which take place outside in nature. Lead processes, mercury processes are processes which human beings must not have within them, which are outside in nature. But it is only apparently so that human beings do not have these processes within them.
What does Steiner mean? These lead, mercury processes enter the human being as part of the etheric body. We watch as he describes the creation of the full human being.
How is the human being created? To begin with, the physical base is created through fertilization and this physical base must combine with the etheric body of the human being. But the etheric body is not created through fertilization but is formed around what later becomes the I-organization and astral organization, around the spiritual and soul entity which comes down from the spiritual world and which was present from pre-earthly life.
If we are to accept that the human being is composed of body, soul, and spirit, we need to understand how the soul and spirit components arrive together to form this four-part being of physical body, etheric body, astral body, and I. The germinated seed comes from heredity at fertilization to form the earthly base of the physical body and the other three components arrive shortly thereafter, the result of previous incarnations.
[page 41, 42] So we are dealing with the actual core of the human being as the spiritual and soul entity which exists, firstly, from earlier incarnations and, secondly, from the time between death and a new birth long before fertilization has taken place. This spiritual and soul core of the human being attaches the etheric body to itself before it establishes a connection with what is created through the fertilization of the physical egg. And the thing which unites with the potential contained in the physical embryo, the I, the astral organization and the etheric organization, this threefold organization unites with what has been created through physical fertilization.
Now he explains how these lead, zinc, mercury processes enter the etheric body before it becomes attached to the physical body.
[page 42] You must look at the etheric body as something which is formed from out of the cosmos. Now this etheric body, which is formed out of the cosmos, at the moment when it first unites with the physical organization contains the forces which then do not apply to the physical organization — the lead and zinc forces. It is only apparently the case that human beings are not a microcosm in that they do not contain certain substances. The substances which the human being does not have in the physical body are the most important substances for the constitution of the etheric body so that lead processes, zinc processes, mercury processes and so on indeed take place in the etheric body before it is united with the physical body.
If we understand that the cosmos includes the planets of our Solar System, then we see how each planet has a process associated with it, lead process with Saturn, mercury process with Mercury, silver process with Moon, and so forth, and how these processes enter the physical body after fertilization via the etheric body. The process is a gradual one leading up to birth, but when the first gasp of air from outside the body occurs, an important transformation takes place which locks the etheric and astral bodies into a new relationship.
[page 42] Then the etheric body combines with the physical body — the other parts as well, of course. And the following occurs to a small extent during the embryonic period, but to the greatest extent when respiration starts, that is at birth, when real external respiration starts: then all the forces which the etheric body possesses from the substances which are not based in the physical body are transferred to the astral body and the etheric body takes on those forces which the physical body processes within itself. So the etheric body undergoes a very important metamorphosis, the metamorphosis that it takes on the content, the constitution of the physical body and passes on its own constitution, its affinity with the human environment, to the astral body. The astral body is now intimately connected with what human beings can know.
All this may sound theoretical unless this can be proven useful. If the astral receives information from the etheric body about the environment, then this should have medical implications. For one thing, it would mean that the medicine, which we need for an illness that is common in a particular environment, that very medicine would be present in the indigenous plants of the same environment. For example, an area which has a lot of mica will also have a lot of rhododendrons growing there, such as the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, one such place that I know of in the United States. One might find an illness common in the long-time residents of that area for which an extract from the rhododendron plant would help heal.
[page 43] Rhododendron substance is intimately connected with the etheric body before it enters the physical body in such regions. This affinity with rhododendrons is passed on by the etheric body to the astral body. So when illnesses occur in such regions which are caused by a preponderance of the action of mica on the inhabitants by way of the groundwater, the etheric body has passed on what it obtained from the rhododendrons to the astral body. That is present externally in the rhododendron plant. From that we can know that there is a sap in the rhododendron which has a healing effect on this illness. That is why in many things, but not in everything, the specific medicine for an illness can be found in the regions in which the particular illness occurs.
Those of you who went to medical school may remember dozing off during some boring classes, but did you know that when you go to sleep at night today, you can experience confirmation of what you learned in class?
[page 43] Now you have to consider that when you are asleep each night as a physician you immerse yourself in your astral body in the environment that was connected with the etheric body and is now connected with your astral body. When you then acquire medical knowledge, if you know what healing forces exist in the human environment, you experience these healing forces constantly in sleep. In sleep you constantly experience confirmation of what you can learn externally through dialectics. And that must be taken into account in any medical course because all external dialectical learning of medical subjects is of no use, is never of use. It becomes dissociated, disordered if the necessary confirmation within the astral body and the environment fails to occur during sleep. Because if the study of medicine is not obtained in such a way that the astral body can say yes to what the physician has learned in their dialogue with the environment, it is as if they listened to something which they cannot understand, which only confuses them. In this way medical knowledge is intimately connected with those things in the life of the human being which lead into sleep.
Steiner says in several places that the physician must develop the courage to heal. Where can this courage to heal come from? From this nightly interaction of the physician with their environment. Not only do they receive confirmation of healing processes, but these confirmations lead to an urge to heal, which when reinforced over time becomes the courage to heal.
[page 44] Because something else arises from this nightly intercourse with the healing ingredients which can really never be obtained through dialectical learning: the urge to give real assistance. Without this urge, this feeling of the physician, without the concern for the person who is to be healed, without this urge personally to give assistance there is basically no healing.
How did we arrive at the current situation with medical practice where only the material world data is deemed to be important? Imagine the situation today when a patient goes to a doctor for the first time with an illness and is subjected to a barrage of sensory-based tests, the results of which are summarized on a data sheet with which the doctor enters the consultation room and says, "I see from these tests, that you have this problem, and I'm prescribing this medication and treatment for you." Then the doctor leaves, having perhaps glanced up from the data sheet at the patient before leaving. How did we arrive at this situation with medical practice where only material world data is deemed to be important? It apparently began in Vienna.
[page 45] After all, the reputation of the Vienna medical school, with which I really grew up, became so great because essentially this Vienna school took as its basis that part of healing in which therapy is least important, namely pneumonia where one can do least with regard to the central disease, with regard to treatment. That is how therapeutic nihilism, of which you will have heard, arose. Specifically the most important of the Viennese physicians very deliberately defended therapeutic nihilism, i.e. they took the view: medicine does not heal!
Have you ever heard the phrase, "She vented her spleen"? It means usually she gave voice to her bad temper. The mouth is considered the spleen's external aperture. In certain areas there is a lot of iron in the ground which creates an active spleen leading local folk to being obstinate, self-righteous, naive, etc., providing them ample reasons for venting their spleen. If newcomers arrive they may suffer symptoms due to their newly active spleen, there is a plant which grows in that area that can help them. [Note: plants that are eaten by the people who cultivate the plants create proteins in response to toxins they absorb from their cultivators, which proteins help eliminate the toxins and heal the cultivator. See: Plant As Doctor and A Feeling for the Organism for more information.]
[page 46] If you are in an area with much Rotliegendes [RJM: rocks bearing iron] you will find that the people who have lived there for a long time have become used to the Rotliegendes and display particular characteristics with regard to their temperament. We find that these people have a very active spleen. And if you arrive in that area as a stranger you will find little liking for you; the people are terribly obstinate, self-righteous, naive. They think you are stupid if you question anything they do. That is how it is, the people become used to it in the Rotliegendes. But if a stranger comes who wants to set up a business, he will not tolerate the Rotliegendes, namely the water. He will suffer certain pathological symptoms. . . . Now you always find that laburnum grows wonderfully in these regions. You will easily find a sap in laburnum, in the flowers, the leaves, also sometimes in the roots, which can produce a very good medicine, depending on how the human being is constituted.
We have handed down to us the image of a physician looking through a microscope, but where else but through Rudolf Steiner can we find the image of a physician looking through a macroscope?
[page 46] I became acquainted with a physician — I was still a boy at the time — whom you often encountered in the fields and meadows where he communed with the plants, flowers, insects and so on. Three or four luminaries lived in the area where this person worked as a modest physician. We can say that the work of this modest physician, who so loved the flowers of the field, was incomparably more productive for his patients than the work of the state physicians and the other luminaries. Because they obtained their wisdom from school and the things associated with school. But he truly took his wisdom about medicines from his direct contact with nature. But even this only leads to medical knowledge if you can love nature in every detail. You no longer love it when you study it under the microscope. You have to love it, you have to be able to macroscope it.
There are three things about a plant which is important: its scent, its leaves, and its roots. What is the basis for scent in the plant exists most concentrated in the mineral world as sulphur. What is the basis for the shape of leaves is found in the mineral world as mercury, its drop-forming aspect which can be stretched into various shapes such as leaves have. What is the basis for the roots of a plant is found concentrated in the mineral world as salt, salts of all kinds.
In the diagram at left, one can see the upside-down relationship between the plant and the human being and how the various of the three elements of flowers (scent), leaves, and roots are important to the various parts of the human body. One should not assume that the names, sulfur, mercury, and salt refer to actual minerals but to the processes of these elements as they occur in the human being. For example, the sulfur process in the plant is its scent and "The scent of the plant is the thing that exercises the attraction for certain elemental spirits who want to descend into the plants." (Page 48) In addition, the leaf's ability to stretch into unlimited forms comes from the mercury process, i.e., "ancient medicine called everything with a drop-like form mercury" (Page 49). Finally, "it called salt what is in the plant and the downward pointing root enters into a connection with the substances of the soil." (Page 50)
From this understanding of the plant Steiner gives his physician audience and us this prayer-like meditation:
I want to unite the knowledge of my soul
With the fire of
The flower's scent;
I want to bestir the life of my soul
Through its glistening drop
Of the leafy morning
I want to strengthen my soul existence
Through the hardening salt
With which the earth
Carefully maintains the root.
Steiner wishes us to develop, to stimulate in our soul the forces which can work medically. Why?
[page 52] Because the normal forces which are used in school today cannot awaken medical knowledge. The latter must be retrieved out of the soul. That is why I always preface the esoteric observations we wish to foster with this: we have to consider how the soul forces first have to be brought to life in order to awaken in the soul those things that lead to medical knowledge.
The primary thing to be awakened in the soul today is an experience of the cosmos. Consider this: we humans were formed, each of us, during the shaping of our cosmos as detailed in Steiner's opus, An Outline of Occult Science. The cosmos exists inside each of us, rightly understood, so only by understanding the cosmos can we understand what is inside of us, the primal forces at work inside of the cosmos are inside of us, and only then can we understand the forces at work in other people which can be applied to healing. If we do not experience the cosmos, we cannot experience the spiritual world he says plainly on page 54.
[page 54] People do not experience the cosmos today to a greater or lesser extent. People do not experience the cosmos today and because they do not experience the cosmos they do not experience the spiritual. Because spirituality can only be achieved by way of the cosmos.
The modern path of medical knowledge does not require that physicians experience the cosmos, does not require the kind of real transformation that Steiner states is necessary to be a true physician.
[page 55] And in seeking your medical path you also have to participate, right from the beginning, in such a real transformation so that the esoteric path is not just some kind of addition but represents nothing less than your life's path being completely filled with esoteric impulses.
What I have learned from Steiner is that there are no plant diseases, only defects in the soil which lead to weakened plants upon which various fungi and bugs can prey. A healthy root makes for a healthy plant and a healthy root comes from cosmic forces, especially the Saturn warmth in the soil.
[page 56] You see, my dear friends, when we look at the root and the way it dips into the soil, this is where the plant terminates, we might say, in relation to the earth, the solid earth. But the root could not get anything from the soil if the soil were not subject first to the influence of the cosmic environment. The cosmic environment — and by that I am not just referring to the warmth and light of the sun but also to what comes from the rest of the planetary system associated with our earth — influences the earth and penetrates it a little way from the surface. And the forces which are stimulated in this way in the substance of the earth, these forces enable the root to be within the earth.
As we can see in the diagram above, the Saturn warmth in the soil matches the Saturn warmth in the human head, makes the head a small Saturn, Steiner says on page 58. Saturn was the earliest of the stages of cosmic evolution, followed by the stages of Sun, Moon, and Earth. If you progress upward from the root of the plant you will encounter the plant's evolution through the Sun and Moon stages.
[page 59,60] Because just as you can gain an understanding of Saturn existence through observing the connection between the human head and the growth of the roots in the plant, the sun's existence can become clear through the connection between the human heart and the development of the stem and leaves in the plant. And conversely the development of the stem and leaves in the plant is a living memory of existence on the old Sun.
And when we rise to the flower, in which the seed is created in the plant, then we get to what is connected with the human metabolic system, the limb system. And if in this connection we look at what happens in the flower together with the human metabolic and limb system, something comes to appearance which is like a memory of the old Moon period. And if you take this inner feeling experience, my dear friends, if you really feel these connections inwardly through profound meditation, you will experience even more.
Our Earth spins around on its daily orbit and around the Sun on a yearly orbit, the Moon spins around Earth (which it separated from) on its monthly orbit. All the while the Sun is moving in space and dragging us as part of the solar system (planetary system) with it. This is a complex movement in space, not a circular movement, but spirals within spirals, movements we can experience inwardly if we meditate on the plant. The movement of our planetary system is experienced in the roots of the plant, the movement of the Earth in the stems and leaves of the plant, and the movement of the Moon in the seed production of the plant. At left is the diagram from Page 61; notice how Steiner traces the axial rotation of the leaves up the stem of the plant and labels it Earth movement.
[page 60, 61] What the Copernican system says about the movement of the earth around the sun is, after all, a construct. You will perceive the real movement of the earth when you study the way in which the stem and leaves are connected with one another. With the stem and leaves you are moving with the earth in concordance with the sun so that the earth looks the way in which it is described in the Copernican system. But in reality it is a much more complex movement. When you look up towards what happens in the flower — where we have the stamen and pistils — and experience that, then you will experience the movement of the moon around the earth through what happens in the flower: an experience of the movement [in what] is already separated from the earth. The whole of the planetary system including the earth is experienced in the root or the plant; the movement of the earth is experienced in the stem and leaves: the movement of the moon, i.e., those things which are already separated, is experienced in the seed production of the plant.
Said flatly, fire is will, courage is air, and water is sentience. This is the message which Steiner wants us to allow to penetrate our inner being so that we will be connected deeply with our environment. When we light a votive candle in church to remember a loved one, there is active will at work which reaches the loved one in the spiritual world. When we are on a promontory like Heathcliff and feel the bracing air, do we not feel courage coursing through us? When a couple falls in love in a movie, do they not get sprayed, sprinkled, dipped in water at some point to acknowledge something at work inside them, the feeling, the sentience of love within them? When you encounter an abstract logical construct, it leaves you cold. These examples are aphoristic, but they illustrate the points Steiner makes on page 63.
[page 63] Wherever you find fire, in the smallest match, there is active will. . . . You must learn; I am in this fire because it is active will, it is part of me like my finger is.
You will only experience air in your being if you experience it as courage. Everywhere where wind occurs, wind blowing in nature, you will feel it in your own soul as courage. So what you see in external nature as air is courage. Courage is air. You should experience that in your soul.
Water is the external appearance of sentience. Where sentience occurs, something is at work inwardly which appears outwardly as water. Water is sentience.
And where there is earth, the solid earth, such firmness is the same thing as the thought. After all, life freezes in the thought.
Meditate on these four thoughts, and, if in fire you can learn to experience active will, if in the blowing wind of the clouds you can sense courage, if in water you can see sentience coming to appearance, if in earth you can see something everywhere that is equal to your thoughts, then you will come to understand the essence of thought. With respiration, if you can learn to experience how the aeriform being in you circulates, you learn to assert yourself with courage in the external world. With your fluid organism, you will learn to experience the centripetal and centrifugal movements which provide you with balance.Then you can also learn to experience your bodily skeleton as crystallized thought and your muscles, which move the skeleton parts, as coagulated blood. (Paraphrase of pages 63, 64)
[page 71] And no one will understand the muscular system who fails to see it in a sense as an image which has not arisen in the same way as the skeletal system but which has formed in a sense through the coagulation of the blood. This is of course as much an inept expression as when I say crystallized into the skeletal system, but it is comparatively correct. [RJM: Note: on page 70 Steiner said, "You see, as the skeleton is built up out of the totality of the human organism, as human beings crystallize into the skeleton — that is not a good way of putting it but you will understand what I mean — cosmic thoughts are at work on them.]
When dealing with the aeriform body, we learn to understand that all our internal organs, excluding skeleton and muscles, are formed from the air surrounding our Earth which is filled with formative forces. Our lungs are formed directly from these forces, and the other organs indirectly. We hear sound vibrations with our entire body but our ears were formed to bring the sound into our consciousness. Deaf people are reduced to experiencing only the vibrations arriving all over their body, and they are mostly unconscious of the vibrations' meaning.
[page 73] There is so much in physiology today that is fundamentally wrong that one is sometimes embarrassed to say the right thing when it is so grotesquely different from what people say. When human beings hear, all their organs vibrate along with the vibration of the air, not just the inner hearing organs. The whole human being vibrates along, if only quietly, and therefore the ear is not an organ of hearing because it vibrates but because it brings what is present in the rest of the organism to consciousness through the way it is inwardly organized. It is a big but subtle difference if we say human beings hear through their ears or human beings use their ears to bring to consciousness what they hear.
When Steiner dealt with skeleton he was using Thought; with muscles, Imagination; with the lungs and organs, Inspiration; and now in dealing with warmth, Intuition. We know we are dealing with Intuition when we say something comes out of the blue, we feel it in our bones, or we are operating by the seat of our pants. What is the one thing we can feel in every part of our body, whether it's the skeletal, the fluid-filled organs, the air-filled lungs, our muscles, our head down to our toes? It's warmth! We can't explain it, warmth just is, and we know it. If our feet get cold, the rest of our body gets cold.
[page 75] And if we rise to true Intuition we reach the warmth human being, the organization which is a space filled with inwardly differentiated warmth. Now I said that we truly experience ourselves in warmth, that we do not experience it like carbon or nitrogen, but warmth just is; it is inside us and we are in it when we experience it. It is precisely the thing which we experience most intensively. That is why people today cannot deny that they experience warmth whereas they have no idea that they experience air, water and earth. They have no idea because they have grown out of that. But the experience of warmth is the direct application of Intuition to the human organism. We simply have to experience warmth not in a wholesale way, as we do in ordinary life, but in the way it is finely differentiated in the forms of the organs themselves. If we are able to observe the warmth organism throughout the organism by means of Intuition, this cognitive method will lead us to an understanding not of the internal organs but of the activity of the internal organs. All the activity of the internal organs must be grasped through an understanding of the way that the warmth ether is organized. Anything else is not really suitable for achieving an understanding of the activity of the organs.
There are four spiritual worlds to be entered to understand the full human being: Thought, Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition. Those worlds are not elsewhere; they are here, where we are at every moment of our lives. Steiner summarizes how these worlds interweave us as human beings.
[page 75] A perception, an intuitive perception of the activity of the warmth ether, that is, of the warmth human being — that is what must be understood through Intuition. In other words, it is not sufficient to think that here we have the physical world and then we acquire Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition to enter other worlds. The other worlds are here. The etheric world is here in that human beings have a muscular system, the astral world is here in that human beings have a system of organs, and the world of Devachan, the spiritual world is here in that we have the warmth human being. The spiritual is constantly among us. It is here. After all, the human being is a spirit, but this spirit is filled with physical substance.
Steiner explains that "healing always comes from the etheric body; the physical body has the causes of illness and cannot heal itself." If healing is done by the laying on of hands, the astral body of the healer can enter the etheric body to undo what is off-balance; if the healing is done by chemicals, the medication affects the physical body and healing enters the etheric body that way.
One of the arguments for the heart not being a pump is that in the early stages of the fetus, there is no perceptible heart, but still a circulation and pulse. Steiner explains that absent its own heart the uterus of the mother acts as the heart of the fetus. Just as our heart is the organ of perception of the two circulatory flows from above the diaphragm (oxygen-rich blood from the lungs), and from below the diaphragm (nutrient-rich blood from digestive tract), the organ of perception for the fetus is the blood-filled uterus of the mother.
[page 85] The female uterus is designed to be the organ of perception of the circulation which arises after fertilization. That is what it is there for; just like the moon reflects the sunlight, so the female uterus reflects the perception of the heart in the blood circulation. It reflects it back. They always belong together like the sun ad moon in that their perceptions behave like direct and reflected effects. When human beings are here, they need heart forces; when they are being created they need reflected heart forces — these come from the female uterus.
In this next passage we find that the fearless doctor is immune to the diseases of their patients, that being fearless is more powerful than immunization. Why? Because love is the opposite pole of fear. The courage to heal, based on love coming from the physician, creates a powerful immunological effect in the physician.
[page 92, 93] Real smallpox provokes a very strong Inspiration, even including Intuition, and what you truly know by this means, my dear friends, if you are real therapists in this field, has a much stronger effect on you if it is true knowledge than vaccination. It has a much stronger effect in a different sense; and in studying the treatment of smallpox as a physician you will cause a kind of preventive healing in yourself and in that way will prepare yourself, if you understand the connection, to be among smallpox sufferers without fear in complete love. But all these things in turn have their reverse side. Because, you see, what you acquire as knowledge of a medicine is, if it is truly imaginative or inspired knowledge, a real medicine; it has healing forces within it. It does not even need to be your own imagination but only one which someone else has, and that is something everyone can do, as I keep repeating. Having the idea of a medicine is effective but it is only effective for as long as you are fearless — because fear is the opposite pole from love. If you go into a sickroom with fear all your therapy will be of no help. If you enter with love you can disregard yourself, indeed, you can focus with all of your soul on those whom you have to heal, can live in love in your imaginative, inspired knowledge. Then, you see, you will not be involved in the healing process out of a personal quality, as this fearful person with knowledge, but as a loving person with knowledge. Thus medicine is driven towards morality not just from outside but also from inside.
We learned in the page 63 passage above that courage comes to us in the air; we feel it arrive in us when we experience a bracing wind blowing upon us. Steiner tells us on page 93 "The thing you need above all else to study medicine is courage, the courage to heal. It is truly the case that if you have the courage to heal an illness, that in itself is the right outlook which in 90 per cent of cases will lead to the correct result, because it is so that these moral qualities are most intimately connected with the process of healing." Combining these thoughts inspired me to write the poem below entitled "Courage":
Courage is in the air,
Air is everywhere
Courage is everywhere.
Take Courage —
Breathe it in !
Shallowly . . .
Take a deep breath . . .
if you wish to have the
Courage to Heal.
Steiner says on page 93 that there must be a final course for the physician, one which deals with the development of moral abilities of a physician. There is a paradox that needs to be handled. A physician comes to love the disease which afflicts their patient because the disease, when healed, adds meaning to the physician's life while adding more life to their patient.
[page 93, 94] It becomes something which the physician loves, not in the sense of nurturing it so that the patient remains ill for as long as possible but which he loves because the disease only acquires its meaning when it is healed. What does that mean?
You see, my dear friends, being healthy means bearing the spiritual qualities, the so-called normal soul and spiritual qualities within one. But being ill, having some kind of illness, means actually being influenced by a spiritual quality. I know, of course, that if one of the clever people of our time hears what I am saying now he will say: Aha, here comes the old teaching of possession. Well, it is arguable whether the old teaching of possession is worse than the new one, whether one is possessed by spirits or germs. Modern physicians always declare themselves in favor of possession in their medical teaching, only it is more appropriate for their understanding to teach about materialistic possession. But it is the case that when we have an illness we have spiritual quality in us which is not present in the normal course of a person's life. But it is a spiritual quality.
Steiner goes into more detail, explaining how "Illness is the physical imagination of the spiritual life." (Page 95)
[page 95, 96] We say that when heaven — or hell, of course — take too strong a hold of a person he becomes ill. If they only take hold of his soul and spirit he becomes wise or clever or insightful.
These are things which you, my dear friends, will have to digest in your soul. Then you will understand the task of anthroposophy as it relates to being a physician because anthroposophy reveals the correct divine archetypes of what is demonically reflected in the diseases. But that can lead you deeper and deeper into the knowledge that the reform of medical studies which is necessary today must be sought on the ground of anthroposophy.
What should a physician do about healing if it be in opposition to the patient's karma? A question like this had been asked in an earlier session and Steiner answers it here, emphasizing that "there can be no healing in opposition to karma." To understand healing vis-à-vis karma, one must look at karma from two sides, from the lives before this one which lead into the current life, and from the lives following this one.
[page 97, 98] Karma has two sides. On the one hand you have to look at karma in such a way that in the sequence of lives on earth you relate your destiny to your previous one. In such a case karma is the expression of the product of your previous lives one earth. But you also have to think of karma directly in the fifth or sixth following life on earth, in the life on earth that follows this one five or six lives away. What is happening now will have consequences then; that is when you will see the final result. If you think this thought properly to the end, it will be clear to you that karma is also something in development, that what is happening now adds something to karma.
We now approach anabolic and catabolic forces as they are revealed in the shape of the skull, the calvarium, and the leg bones such as the femur. The anabolic or growth forces of the Moon pull the long bone of the leg towards it and at some point the catabolic or destructive forces of Saturn bring its growth to a stop, causing a cap to form similar in shape to the orbit of Saturn. Once we understand these basics, we will be in a position to prescribe medicine or eurythmy with catabolic forces to heal an illness caused by overweening anabolic forces and vice-versa. So, first look at the bones in your imagination along with Steiner. [NOTE: If you imagine a boxer with his hand tightly molded into a fist, you will see the anabolic forces capped by the catabolic forces of Saturn aiming to unleash destructive forces on his opponent in a fight.]
[page 99, 100] You can imagine it like this. Here you have the earth and forces flare up from the earth towards the moon. And everything is harnessed into these forces which has the alignment of, let us say, the femur when the human being stands or walks. In contrast, all those things which are positioned like the calvarium [RJM: cap bone of the skull] are arranged to coincide with the movement of Saturn. The rotational forces of Saturn are at work in them, so that we can say: human beings are formed from below upwards through the connection between earth and moon; they are closed off through what lies in the rotational force of Saturn. But both types of force are in opposition. If you look at the [earth-moon forces] they contain everything which gives human beings their sculptured form, which builds them up three-dimensionally. We might say that these forces contain a secret sculptor who builds up the human being three-dimensionally whereas there is constant catabolism in the other forces [which disperses the matter being built up.] So when you cut your nails you are in the Saturn forces with your scissors. When you eat, then the direction of this component — it is characterized by the direction away from the earth — is towards the moon. All forces aligned with the direction of the moon are anabolic. All forces aligned with the direction of Saturn disperse the human being; and the human soul, the human spirit lies in this interchange between being dispersed and being sculpturally built up. That is how they reveal themselves.
If your patient has excessive anabolic forces creating an illness, you recommend a catabolic therapy by using Saturn forces, Plumbum (Pb) medications, or perhaps vowel eurythmy exercises. The signs of excess growth are generally apparent upon examination and some form of catabolic therapeutic aid can be prescribed.
If your patient has catabolic forces overwhelming anabolic forces, dissolving their normal building up forces and dispersing them, you recommend an anabolic therapy by using Moon forces, Silver (Ag) medications, or perhaps consonant eurythmy exercises.
The key to discerning how the human being is formed in the spiritual half of its body is to be able to see into the spiritual world. But to see into the spiritual world without adequate preparation is dangerous for human beings. One need only recall the horrendous LSD trips in the 1960s which ended in young people jumping to their deaths, for example, to understand what can happen if one crosses the threshold into the spiritual world using chemical means which bypasses the spirit guarding the threshold, the Guardian of the Threshold.
[page 101] It is a matter of getting into such a way of observation. Now you see, my dear friends, the true world, the world of the spirit, lies somewhere of which it has rightly always been said that it is beyond a threshold; human beings are on this side of the threshold. It is indeed necessary that human beings should cross this threshold to come to a true understanding, a true insight into the constitution of the cosmos. It is, however, generally dangerous for human beings to cross this threshold without any preparation. Because if human beings suffuse normal sensory perception with the kind of thoughts they have in ordinary life and take these with them into the spiritual world across the threshold, they produce real phantasmagoria by judging things beyond the threshold in the same way as they do here. And that is why there is the spiritual being at the threshold from whom we can learn that we require completely different concepts when we cross the threshold, that phantasmagoria will make us incapable of action if we enter the spiritual world with our ordinary concepts taken from the sensory world. This Guardian of the Threshold is truly there to warn us that we must first obtain the ideas that we need in the spiritual world.
Steiner gives us some examples of the ideas we need, e.g., the part is greater than the whole, the longest distance between two points is a straight line. If you attempt to go in a straight line, there will be many obstacles, thus any other direction is shorter. If we enter the spiritual world without full consciousness, we return with a demonic reflection of the Guardian and an illness in our body.
The ancients considered the human body as a temple of the divine. Steiner emphasizes the truth of this ancient expression, saying in effect that we do best to say, "My body is the Temple of God, and in it I reside for now."
 And as much as it is true that the I rules in the soul when the soul is conscious, it is equally true that the Deity rules in the body. You must not address your body as your own because the body does not belong to the human being, the body belongs to God. That is how it is. The human body grows out of divine forces, only the soul within it belongs to the human being so that you have truly to see your body as the temple of God.
Our I arises in our soul and strives outwards luminously into the cosmos while the strength of God's spirit is contained the might of gravity (our body). The luminous power must not take hold of the might of gravity or a physical illness will arise; the might of gravity must not penetrate the luminous power or a psychiatric illness will arise. Understanding the relationship of luminous power and the might of gravity leads us to understanding how eurythmy works.
[page 108] You see, if you penetrate something like that properly with the feelings in your soul, then you will also gain insight into what it is that heals in eurythmy therapy. Because the healing aspect in eurythmy therapy is fundamentally that element which takes particular account of cosmic forces in its healing action. When you do eurythmy therapy exercises with consonants, you are in the moon forces. When you develop eurythmy therapy forces using vowels, you are in the Saturn forces. So when doing eurythmy therapy human beings directly feel their way into the cosmos with these two types of forces. It is like this, for example. Let us assume we could determine — because the key thing in medicine is of course the therapy, but there is no therapy if we do not have a usable diagnosis — let us assume we could determine that the structural element is too strong in a person, that he has salt and carbohydrate structures within him which he cannot overcome: there is too much structure.If you take a real look at the more subtle effects on the organism — the symptoms can occur unobtrusively — eurythmy using vowels which counter such structures can have an exceptionally beneficial effect. Or let us assume that a small child begins to show a tendency to stammer. Well, I certainly do not want to draw any unprofessional conclusions about some cause or other of the stammer; there can, of course, be a whole range of disorders. But in all situations the disorders associated with a stammer work in such a way that there is a predominating structural force and that is why vowel exercises are used in eurythmy therapy for a stammer. And they can be used in the sequence, the form in which the vowels naturally come to expression in the human being. So we can indeed achieve an exceptional amount in children who show signs of a stammer with eurythmy therapy simply with the normal vowel sequence a, e, i, o, u if we have the necessary perseverance and love.
Vowel eurythmy is catabolic (destroying, dissolving, breaking up structure) and Consonant eurythmy is anabolic (building up structure, burgeoning). In the two examples Steiner gives above, stammering and salt and carbohydrate structures, both cases needed catabolic or Saturn forces.
Moon forces are anabolic, the human body is built up by forces between Earth and Moon, (Ag, silver forces) consonant eurythmy. So any illness which needs a medicine based on Silver (Ag) would be a candidate for consonant eurythmy.
Saturn forces are catabolic (Pb, lead forces) and Moon forces are anabolic (Ag, silver forces). The Moon forces are anabolic and can be seen in long bones like the femur which are pulled from the Earth by the Moon into an elongated structure. The Saturn forces can be seen in the caps of such bones of the femur or the skull because these bony ending structures are arranged to coincide with the movement of Saturn, whose catabolic forces stop the anabolic buildup of the bone, resulting in a cap-like ends or top.
Many people criticize Steiner's work without having examined it. But if they actually did examine it, even those who are paid to speak on various subjects, such as professors, might find themselves rendered speechless. Steiner relates a case in when this happened to him one day when he gave a lecture on therapy to a full class of students and their professor.
[page 110] On one occasion when I had to give a lecture to a group of students about a particular chapter of therapy all the students from the whole faculty were there as well as a full professor, a real professor. Now you see, my dear friends, I could see that he came to the lecture because he wanted to find confirmation for his belief that I would talk a lot of rubbish, as medical amateurs do. It was a study in metamorphosis to see how on the one hand he became increasingly annoyed inwardly but on the other hand experienced astonishment. Because he had to concede that it was not rubbish, but he could not, of course, acknowledge that because that would completely contradict what he had for decades considered to be true and accurate. Indeed, the most one could expect from that gentleman was — I spoke to him afterwards when it became clear — that he would refuse to come anywhere near the subject. He would not have needed to steer well clear of it if he had seen that it was rubbish. Then he could easily have made the usual disparaging remarks.
You are smarter than you think you are. This may seem like nonsense, but Steiner explains that it is so when you meditate because you switch off what you think you know and simply absorb what the meditation gives you. If you do that then the I from your previous incarnation will be at work and you will find yourself saying, "I just experienced something which I could not experience previously."
[page 119] Take a simple meditation content which I have frequently given: 'Wisdom lives in the light'. Well, if you start reflecting on it you can find out a great deal of clever stuff and just as much nonsense about it. It exists to be inwardly heard: 'Wisdom lives in the light'. When you listen to it inwardly in this way, something which is not from the present incarnation but which you have brought with you from the previous one is attentive in you. And it thinks and feels, and after a time something is illuminated in you which you did not know before and which you could not have thought about with your own intellect. You are inwardly much further ahead than your intellect. It only contains a small section of what there is.
There was a time in my mid-thirties when my previous incarnation was apparently upset with the path my current life had taken and proceeded to apply a quick kick to my rear in order to turn me into its planned direction for my life. I didn't realize it at the time because I was ill with red measles, normally a childhood disease. My family doctor couldn't diagnose it and send me to an internist. As I sat in the consultation room waiting for my doctor to return, I noticed him with his partner poring into a large medical dictionary. I was alarmed, but the doctor quickly returned to explain, "It's rare for us to see an adult case of red measles." That's how rare my case of red measles is. What happened as a result of my staying home for a week from work was that I moved home to New Orleans and met new people who pointed my life in a completely new direction. I was smarter than I thought I was. Within a year or so, I was reading my first book by Rudolf Steiner. After almost forty years, I am finally understanding the why and wherefore of the case of adult red measles.
What leads to the formation of red measles?
[page 122] What we are as human beings on earth is useless with regard to the cosmos. That is why we want to form a completely different organization when we arrive on earth as soul and spiritual beings. We want to create an environment, we want to produce all kinds of configurations within this environment, but we do not want this human being which is of no use to us in the cosmos. The latter is only given us as a model and we furnish the second human being in accordance with this model.
That is why in this first period of life we are involved in a constant struggle between what comes from our previous life and what comes from the hereditary development. Those two things are in conflict. And that conflict comes to expression in the childhood diseases.
At thirty-five, I was in the first period of my life, and something from my previous incarnation wanted to come to expression in me.
[page 123] If the inner human being is so delicate that it constantly gives way, that it wants to form the substances which are assimilated more in its own image, and if it fights against the model, then this struggle is expressed as measles. And so this mutual struggle comes to expression in the childhood diseases. And we will also only understand what happens later in the right way if we can take these things correspondingly into account.
What I had been unable to understand with my reason, up until now is revealed to me by the clear insight coming from my study of Steiner's approach to healing. Imagine the problems medical doctors have today who must understand everything using only their reason.
[page 124] The fact that people want to understand everything today with their reason is a most dreadful thing. You cannot understand anything in medicine with reason. The most you might be able to understand with reason is the diseases of the minerals and we do not cure those. Everything medical in nature has to be grasped with direct perception, which first has to be trained.
A question came from a participant about how much meditation one should do. She seemed overwhelmed to the point of despondency by the number of meditations Steiner had described.
[page 131, 132] It is a matter of using the circumstances of one's life, that is, the specific situation of our life, to do such meditations. . . . You see, it detracts from every meditation if we start from the obligation that we have to do it. . . . If the meditation becomes something without which we cannot exist, of which we feel with regard to the soul that it belongs to the whole life of the soul, then the meditation is experienced in the right way. . . . The urge must therefore always be there from the free inner volition of the human being to undertake such a meditation. And it is actually unimaginable that this would make one despondent. Because why should the thing for which one is inwardly thirsting make one despondent?
Steiner's answer to this question inspired me to pen this poem. [Note: Del suggested adding "thirst for knowledge".]
When we thirst for water,
we seek it,
we drink it freely
with no sense of obligation.
When we thirst for knowledge,
we seek it,
we imbibe it freely
with no sense of obligation.
When we thirst for freedom,
we seek it,
we act morally and freely
with no sense of obligation.
For people who can grasp healing with direct perception, they become natural healers. If asked how it is they heal, they will be unable to tell you because they don't know. If you explain to them how difficult it is to heal, as a modern doctor might, you may make it impossible for them to heal people.
[page 138, 139] Let me tell what an old colleague said to me. He was not speaking about a physician but a rural healer in the Bavarian mountains. He did all kinds of orthopaedic things with consummate ease so that he became famous. An orthopaedist in Munich heard about his skill, went to see him and told him he should come to his hospital. The man saw all the equipment in the hospital and the professor said to him that he should show him how he did it. The rural healer looked at everything and from that day onwards he could no longer heal.
Shown the way of medical academies, the man could no longer heal. He had previously been operating under the rubric of "Thus a Healer, So Also a Learner" and learned as he healed, none of which required the equipment that filled the hospital.
[page 139] You see, medical studies today are rather like asking a sculptor, let us say, first to get to know mainly the scientific characteristics of marble and wood. That is not something he really needs to concern himself with. Much of what is written in textbooks today or what happens in hospitals has nothing to do with medicine.
When I began doing wood sculpture I let the wood show me what it would let me do to it. One cannot see the inside of a block of wood so if one finds some defect in it while carving, one simply incorporates the defect into the final sculpture, turning the defect into a thing of beauty. To have doctors saddled with the burden of knowing all the details of anatomy, physiology, and such can create a such burden that the doctor cannot get through the eye of the needle of healing with it.
"It is the physician who heals and not medical science," Steiner says on page 172, right after talking about a terrible thing happening in medicine in 1924, 90 years ago, something that has literally become a monster in our time, consuming people's incomes and providing drugs and treatment as a poor substitute for real healing. Notice his words could be easily said today.
[page 172] Everywhere in the world the opposite of what should be happening in substance is welling up, and particularly with regard to medicine something terrible has developed in recent times. That is — please forgive me for descending to something mundane, but it shows how the opposite acts — that is the medical health insurance system. It has cut out the physician primarily.
We enter the world today like someone who has been beaten half-senseless stumbling out into daylight. We find ourselves in a world of which we can only see the surfaces of things and the living spiritual realities are quickly lost to us once we reach the age of five. I knew that fairies and elves existed before I was about three and was disappointed to find later that everyone claimed they didn't exist. Apparently everyone had the same surface-only affliction that I had acquired.When I finally discovered Steiner's writings, it came as a huge relief to discover that I had popped into a civilization in which the evolution of consciousness had progressed as deeply into the physical world as it could, and the turning back to perceiving the spiritual half of the world was in progress, this time retaining our ability to see the surface half of the world as well.
[page 184] Science must develop in such a way that something really does occur in the sense that with every stage we achieve in science we also change as human beings in our mind, in our feelings, that we become acquainted with something we have forgotten. After all, we did become acquainted with nature, for example, before we came down into the physical world. But it looked different then. Today what young people went through in their previous existence is killed off when we refer them to crude, robust external perception. [RJM: as happened to my knowledge of fairies and elves.] Once it occurs to people to treat external sensory perception as if an old acquaintance turned up in sensory perception whom we know from pre-earthly life, then feeling will enter knowledge, feeling will enter cognition in all instances. And this must truly be like a bloodstream, like a spiritual bloodstream which flows through all of scientific life, through human education and teaching as such. This intimate relationship with what is real — that is what we have to obtain in science.
Half a loaf of our senses is not enough! The spiritual world flows as feelings into us, such as those which well up at seeing an old acquaintance after many decades — we feel something long before we understand and can explain why this person has had that effect upon us. The spiritual world likewise, and just as strongly, flows into us in feeling when we meet a new acquaintance, one we haven't seen since a previous lifetime. We can't explain this one with our academically trained knowledge, but the feeling is real and cannot be discounted as meaningless because it cannot be rationally explained. The Bavarian orthopaedist had feelings for his patients and could heal them, until the day when it was shown to him how little he really knew about medicine. The time has come for the science of medicine to be shown how little it really knows about healing, and maybe we can begin thriving on the full loaf of knowledge and healing from now on.
3.) ARJ2: The Art of Hearing Heartbeats — A Novel by Jan-Philipp Sendker
This is the story of Tin Win and Mi Mi as told by U Ba to Julie Win. He confronts Julie in Kalaw a small village outside of Rangoon to which Julie had flown from New York City in search of news of her father who disappeared without a word or trace years earlier. There in the tiny village was U Ba, a man who knew her name, birth date and place, and that she had an American mother and Burmese father. He asks Julie, "Do you believe in love?" and Julie laughs. "You laugh. How beautiful you are. I am serious. Do you believe in love, Julie?" (Page 5) But before she can answer, he explains the kind of love he is talking about, the kind of love which fills the covers of this book, the kind of love which will fill your heart, the kind of love which will make you savor every page as you follow along with U Ba's story.
[page 6] "I speak of a love that brings sight to the blind. Of a love stronger than fear. I speak of a love that breathes meaning into life, that defies the natural laws of deterioration, that causes us to flourish, that knows no bounds. I speak of the triumph of the human spirit over selfishness and death."
Julie, having lost her father with no explanation, cannot understand such a kind of love, one that is not bound by the kind of loss, separation, and rejection which her father left her as his only legacy. Now here is this strange man in a place Julie has never been before telling her of a story her father told him.
[page 6,7] "This is where I met your father, by the way, and, as a matter of fact, he sat right there on your stool and took up his tale while I sat exactly where I am now, astonished — I'll admit — disbelieving, even confused. I had never before heard anyone tell a story like that Can words sprout wings?(1) Can they glide like butterflies through the air? Can they captivate us, carry us off into another world? Can they open the last secret chambers of our souls? I do not know whether words alone can accomplish these things, but, Julia, your father had a voice on that day such as a person hears maybe only once in a lifetime.
"'I am not a religious man, and love, U Ba, is the only force I truly believe in.' Those are your father's words."
Julie is flummoxed. She wants to tell U Ba that no, she doesn't believe in love and that no force is greater than fear. Her last memory of her father was when she was four in New York City. Her father was going to work, told her he had an appointment in Boston, didn't know when he would be back, kissed her and said, "I love you, little one. Never forget that, you hear?" Then he left and never came back, never sent any word, and no one knew where he had gone or what might have happened to him. The New York Times reported a few days later, "Influential Wall Street Lawyer Disappears Without a Trace." They found traces, barely. He had flown from Los Angeles to Hong Kong and a stewardess remembered that he read a book of Pablo Nerudo's poetry on the flight. Later his passport was found near the Bangkok airport. There the traces stopped. Win is a common name in Burma, but still no one knew of her father's family.
Very recently her mother sent Julie a box of her father's things and in it she found a thin airmail envelope with an address of Mi Mi in Kalaw, Burma. The letter was addressed to Mi Mi, a love letter, to Mi Mi, whose heartbeat he says he has not heard for about 15 years, to be exact, 140,736 hours. Julie decided that she must go to Kalaw and find out about her father and Mi Mi, and when she arrived, it seemed as if U Ba had been waiting for her arrival, to tell her his story of Tin Win.
We meet Tin Win as his mother gives birth to him, and when Tin Win is six years old his father is killed in an accident. Then his mother leaves Tin Win telling to wait for her, and never returns. Tin Win waits, never moving from the spot, sitting where he could see his mother approaching from a distance, but a week went by and he was still sitting in the same spot and nearly dead when a neighbor lady found him and nursed him back to health. Later Tin Win loses his sight. Life continues to deal him a harsh hand, and he manages to thrive in spite of it. As Julie listens, she cannot believe this is her father's story and thinks U Ba is making this up. "Where's your evidence? If at any time in his life my father had been blind, don't you think that we, his family, would have heard about it? He would have told us." (Page 88) U Ba asks if she's certain and she knows she is not.
Tin Win became blind and could only distinguish light from dark. Then one day he was walking when he heard an unusual sound, a light thumping sound, and stopped in his tracks, asking if anyone were there. A voice came to him from the ground. It was Mi Mi. Upon closer approach to Mi Mi he discovered it was the sound of her heart beat that he had been hearing. When Mi Mi left, Tin Win discovered that she was crawling on all fours. A boy who couldn't see had met a girl who couldn't walk.One day they were together and Tin Win heard a light drumming and with Mi Mi's help he discovered he was hearing the sound of an unhatched chick's heart beating. Soon they became constant companions, she became Tin Win's eyes and he became Mi Mi's feet and legs, carrying her to places she had never been, could never go but for him. She began to feel something she had never before felt in her life, that she was needed.
[page 85] Tirelessly he carried her through the village and across the fields, up the mountains and back down again. He carried her in the scorching midday heat and in the most torrential downpours. On his back, in his company, the limits of her small world evaporated. They roamed and roamed, making up for all those years when her horizon had been the garden fence.
During the monsoon months, on days that threatened to sink them into the mud, they'd stay in the monastery and take refuge in Tin Win's books. His fingers flew over the pages, and now it was his turn to conjure images before her eyes. He read aloud, she lay beside him and surrendered to his voice, irresistible as it was. She toured with Tin Win from one continent to the next. She, who on her own feet would not have made it to the next village, circled the globe. He carried her up the gangways of ocean liners, from one deck to the next, all the way to the captain's bridge. On arrival in the ports of Colombo, Calcutta, Port Said, or Marseilles it rained confetti and the ship's band played. He carried her through Hyde park, and they turned heads in Piccadilly Circus. In New York they were nearly struck by a car, Tin Win insisted, because Mi Mi was always looking up instead of concentrating on the traffic and on guiding him through the canyon-like streets. She was no burden. She was needed.
Julie doubts her father's love for her because he left her. U Ba rebuffs her doubt saying, "Love has so many different faces that our imagination is not prepared to see them all." "Why?" Julie asks, and he answers:
[page 243] "Because we see only what we already know. We project our own capacities — for good as well as evil — onto the other person. Then we acknowledge as love primarily those things that correspond to our own image thereof. We wish to be loved as we ourselves would love. Any other way makes us uncomfortable. We respond with doubt and suspicion. We misinterpret the signs. We do not understand the language. We accuse. We assert that the other person does not love us. But perhaps he merely loves us in some idiosyncratic way that we fail to recognize."
You never know until you find out(2). One cannot expect to know all the answers; a good question is worth more than a hundred answers. Holding an unanswered question is often the only way one can arrive at the knowing which otherwise seems so elusive. The answer will come in its own time, but only if we hold the unanswered question. Julie's unanswered questions kept her listening to U Ba. She said to herself that she didn't understand him, but she trusted him.
Win Tin's rich uncle sent for him to come to Rangoon. He had to say goodbye to Mi Mi and it nearly broke his heart and hers. But he left and an operation removed his cataracts and allowed him to see. But he never lost his ability to hear heartbeats. As he walked from the English to the Chinese to the Indian quarters of the large city, he saw, smelled, and bumped into all kinds of people, and listened to their hearts."Hearts sound different from person to person, betraying age or youth, joy, sorrow, fear, or courage, but that was all." (Page 268) He discovered that hearts betray no nationalities, no boundaries, no ethnic differences.
Julie Win listens to U Ba's story, not knowing what to expect. If her father could see again, he could have gone to the university, could have become a famous lawyer, and could have given birth to her, but what could have possessed him to suddenly leave her at four years old and return to Burma? And how could U Ba have known all of this story? We will never know until we find out, and when we finally receive that knowledge, we will be sad, not for Julie, but for ourselves because the wonderful story of Mi Mi and Win Tin will have drawn to a close, just like the bedtime story of the Prince, the Princess, and the Crocodile that her father told her almost every night, the one her mother didn't like because it didn't have a happy ending, but her father knew that it did. We can side with the father if we wish, as Julie will undoubtedly do, when U Ba's story of Tin Win and Mi Mi disappears like intertwined curls of smoke rising into the sky.
---------- Footnotes ----------Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
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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 Sees A Ghost Tour 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.
Padre Filius, going to Mass at St. Louis Cathedral, Spies a Ghost Tour:
2. Comments from Readers:EMAIL from Dr. Kaisu Viikari, MD, PhD Opthlamology in Finland:
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.
When you live a long life as I have, keeping your faculties intact, and all these years coincide with a period in which humankind is faced with an exceptionally dramatic transformation (new digital phones with tiny text), a single doctor may get the privilege of observing the great patterns of change.
I cannot help feeling that this is what happened to me when I decided to become an ophthalmologist. In a relatively early stage of my career I realized that the key role played by accommodation strain was not understood adequately at all, probably due to the built-in accommodation reserve in our eyes during the first several decades of life.
This was the starting point of my various battles with the optical profession. In my early career, I had already pointed out in several articles how great an impediment to treatment it was to strive for perfect vision and, above all, indulge the patient's quite human need to focus and, at rather short intervals, control how the "treatment" was progressing. This action, on the contrary, is apt to tighten the accommodation as a result of aiming for sharpness of vision, i.e. focusing. During my decades of work, I had installed in my doctor's office extra facilities especially for investigating of accomodation strain and to test for its having been released. All this is described in detail in my large volume, Panacea — Ocular Accommodation Strain.
Over the years I further started making the point that there will never be another Kaisu Viikari, as I realized that in today's conditions it is impossible for a single ophthalmologist during his or her career to accumulate all the experience that I have benefited from:And now, after all these years, I have to repeat the same observations, made multiple times more obvious and predicting the destruction of humankind! After observing this development of the world for almost half a century:
1) The number of glasses prescribed, and more specifically incorrectly prescribed by previous doctors, which prescriptions I had to correct.
2) The large number of instructive migraine patients with a great variety of symptoms that came to me for treatment (over 2,000) and found relief by a change of eyeglass prescription.
3 The number of years during which I monitored the improvement of my patients, and their letters, both before and after their symptoms had been relieved, etc.The same requirements to relax the accommodation muscles are still valid, and no significant progress has been made.It should all start from the parents of children understanding this physiological event, which is simplicity in itself.Parents should make sure that the child wears plus glasses (aka reading glasses) regularly, already from the age of 2 or 3, and stronger ones as he or she gets older — even if the child could manage without the glasses for several decades to come.
This would secure the future of the younger generation.
Once children grow up, they should be persuaded to personally understand the necessity of wearing glasses.
All it takes for the treatment to be successful is to get on with your life, wearing of plus eyeglasses, as the aforementioned digital cellphone revolution has irrevocably brought about an immense increase in the need for demanding close work, which without plus eyeglasses will intensify accommodation strain after childhood, childhood having ample built-in accommodation reserve. This will cause widespread and eyesight threatening eye diseases such as macular degeneration, retinal detachment, etal, plus ancillary side-affects such as intense and intractable migraine headaches.
But where in today's society you could find people able to manage their work without straining to focus upon often tiny words up close on their digital information screens? Given such requirements for so many jobs, the workers will find little time to look away into the distance — which is the only thing that would allow their eyes to relax and avoid the aforementioned deleterious effects of accommodation strain. .
There is hope, however, if workers are encouraged to wear plus lenses, reading glasses, whenever they are doing close work. The avoidance of onerous accommodation strain becomes possible if they do close work wearing plus glasses; no other action is necessary, the solution is simplicity in itself.
We could do even less and still manage reasonably well, however, without always overcoming all of the damage already done. The ideal for preserving our vision is as I described above. Even in retirement age and later years of your life, it is always possible to take steps to improve the situation.
I do not know of any other person with my experience who could talk about this subject and provide advice — in the entire world!
For example, understanding the implications of my work would lead to cutting back on mismatched glasses and cylinders with their confusion of axes, and that measure alone would mean a revolution, a boon that the entire spectacles industry is currently unable to fathom and so remains adamantly opposed to, up until now. In addition, the use of plus lenses for close work would bring about an immense reduction in the number of minus (nearsighted) eyeglasses.
Why are cylinder values used? The cylinder values on eyeglass prescription are, more than anything, corrections for distortions coming from the accommodation strain produced by close work without plus lens! Plus lenses that are the cheapest and most available kind or eyesight possible, available from most pharmacies, drugstores, supermarkets, etc all over the world. These can be bought up to +4.0 usually, but during advanced age, a person may need stronger lenses, and that would require ordering over the Internet.
It is impossible to even begin to predict how long it will take before humankind at large and, above all, the professional body of eye doctors, give up their resistance. Perhaps we are once again talking about centuries, knowing how long the era of darkness behind us was!
What does all this mean?
This will be a revolution against all practitioners of eyeglass optics. It will sweep away all the subtleties of centuries, which are not only unproductive but actually injurious. The easy availability of eyeglasses custom-made from the Internet will help foster this revolution, which may have already started.
When the smoke of this revolution clears, there will still be people who need eyeglasses. A person with congenital myopia due to elongated eyeballs will need minus lens correction. But such people, having actually problematic, exceptional or anomalous defects in their vision system, will account for about one three-thousandth of the current number of cases! They will need special ophthalmological care, which must include the results of my research, if these patients are to avoid accommodation cramp.
My guess is that the number of such patients remaining will certainly not support the large optical industry operating today. That industry is in position that buggy-whip manufacturers were in the early 20th Century, and it can be put out of business by the very horses that they are whipping into blindness, who will revolt against their mistreatment!
EMAIL from Tom Verret of Louisiana Kids:
Congrats Bobby on your Work Anniversary and all the creative work that you do at Good Mountain Press! Take care & keep up the great work!!!
EMAIL from Marianne Else in Ontario:
Hi Bobby and Del
I just got your latest DIGESTWORLD Issue and went on a wonderful excursion through Switzerland and Germany — wonderful reporting and experience without actually having to pay the trip — as well as your good company..
I will be going to Florida shortly to teach Eurythmy in a Waldorf School and I was wondering if I could visit with you and perhaps do an interview about your amazing biography. I have done this kind of work with people from the Mystery Dramas and also faculty at Rudolf Steiner College.
You can have a look at my YouTube channel called — mocevil — I also filmed Frank Chester — that channel is called — frank7chester — perhaps you know about his work...
Many blessings to you both
from Marianne Else
EMAIL from Kevin Dann in Brooklyn:
Riding the bike back home just now over the Brooklyn Bridge, I passed the caped crusader (Batman) and couldn't resist stopping to introduce him to Soapbox Charlie. As you can see, they took an immediate liking to each other!
Funny, everyone who met Charlie seemed to recognize him - I'm not sure if the sweatshirt or the beard makes him a good Everyman. Harry John Roland (below) bellowed out: "Yeah, he's definitely a New Yawkuh!" when I said Charlie was a retired policeman from Staten Island.
Dr. Dann the Mischief Marionette Man
EMAIL from Jim Harman:
Just read your review of my little novel. Many thanks for your kind words and marketing assistance.
Jim [Author of Conscience Under Fire ]
EMAIL to/from Owen Pearn in Brisbane, Australia:
Dear Owen,Back in my psychotherapy days, we called "understanding" what happened in a successful session, the Booby Prize. Same goes for a Speed Trace today. If the unwanted doyles are gone, who cares why or where they went. As your website says,
Found your website and had a rollickingly good laugh when I saw your graphic for the BOOBY PRIZE! ! ! !
"You acquired your problem without understanding.
You can get rid of your problem without understanding."
I've had otherwise good friends miscall me "Booby" at times, some of them have remained friends. So, seeing this was a catharsis for me at several levels.
Thank you. You are doing a great job and you truly present doyletics better than any other website I've seen to date.
Where in Australia are you located when Del and I get down under? I've got you listed as Brisbane.
REPLY FROM OWEN:
hey bobby! more power to you sir!
yeah i'm in brisbane australia
keep on truckin'!
EMAIL from Marisa Gray in South Africa via LinkedIn:
Marisa Gray congratulated you on your work anniversary!
"Congrats! A full moon node (19 years) tucked under your belt with a recent journey through the Goetheanum ...
I often think of your dynamic aura from our 2013 February Conference there ..
Lotsa love, Marisa"
EMAIL from Daniel Lim in Singapore, re tracing durians, a local fruit:
Yes, I went before 5 years old. I initially did the trace visualizing the durian. However a few weeks later, when I smelled the durians, I did not have the same automatic reaction. Success! I think a doyle for durians might have been installed below the age of 5. Possibly by watching someone's reaction of dislike. I'm not sure as the trace was done a long while back.
You mentioned that one of your goals is for the speed trace to be taught in schools. How is that goal coming along?
I've recently taught this speed trace to a few of my friends and they have been amazed at the results. I'm thinking of teaching this as a stress management tool in my old school (using the speed trace to eliminate stress doyles).
~~~~~~~~~~~~REPLY FROM BOBBY ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thanks for the update on your progress. After receiving your email, I decided to do a speed trace on persimmons. I had a bad experience with eating an unripe persimmon as a child (it locks your mouth) and have never eaten any since. My wife brought home a ripe persimmon yesterday and I ate a section. It tasted okay, but my dislike doyle was still there, a tension in my mouth when I thought of persimmons, so I did a Speed Trace and it went away at 2 years old. Your response helped me remove an unwanted doyle and it can help others.
Getting doyletics taught in schools is a long term goal. First we need school teachers to each do a confirmed Speed Trace and then understand how to assist children from kindergarten on up to do a quick talking Speed Trace. The younger, the easier it is to lead a speed trace: fewer steps are required, and no formal Speed Trace steps are necessary, just a simple dialogue, e. g., "You're very mad right now at age 7, right?" (watch for at least a nod), then vary it a bit "You're were probably mad like this when you were 6, huh?" then 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, all the way down. Kids pick this up very quickly and will follow the teacher or caregiver till the doyle is gone. This is all that's necessary for the science of doyletics to be useful in helping kids in school. Once the Speed Trace usage has been established, doyletics can be taught in upper grades when children want to learn how it works, that is, what is it in human beings that makes it possible to work. That gets into the science aspect. Eventually neuroscientists will confirm the efficacy of the Speed Trace using various real-time brain scanning techniques. The first one to do so will be a real pioneer!
As for stress management, a married couple fought so hard and so often that they needed a year or two to get rid all their unwanted doyles, and their success was noted by their son a couple of years ago when he wrote to them, "So, you re-painted the dock together and the police did not get called out, huh? Sure proof that doyletics works!"
Everyone who removes a strong unwanted doyle is a real pioneer. Your durians trace was done, not so you could eat durians, which smell so awful on the outside but are so sweet inside, but so you could have a confirmed Speed Trace under your belt which means for you that you know the validity of the theory because it has worked for you. The big step for you will be when you remove unwanted doyles in your life when have been hindering you, up until now! When you do, you will be amazed at the changes for the better from then on.
A real pioneer is a real researcher. Gregor Mendel noted changes in smooth and wrinkled peas from one generation to another and he pioneered the field of genetics with his work, without any qualifications or experience except in the priesthood.
good doyles to you, Daniel, from now on.
3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell: "Poortry for the Millions"
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:
Poortry for the Millions
Under the poor-tree of poly-ticks
The I-am-bigs do congregate —
Legacy-late and agri-vate our culture:
Build battle axes with hidden taxes
Welfare stoats with mini-mom wages.
'Tis puer-trey in motion
The ex-sect-you-thieve, Ju-Ju-dish-shall,
Ledge-is-late while the state's adrift.
The ship is foundering
and the captain and the crew
Have better things to do
Than bail the water from the bilge —
They're much too busy barking on the bridge
About how fine their stewardship has been
And how nice it will be when
They're voted in again
In the election of Twenty-Fourteen.
When we encounter some disease, get fever, chills, headaches, etc. doctors will call those "symptoms" of the disease, sometimes the symptoms are simply called by the name of the disease such as the flu. But in the science of doyletics, we have discovered evidence to support our hypothesis that these so-called symptoms are better called by the name "healing states" as the various symptoms of a disease are due to the human body's healing response to whatever is ailing it. Makes sense?
But why bother to call these by a new name? The main reason is that the body's healing states, we've found, can be stored as doylic or bodily memories if encountered before five years old (or under traumatic stress conditions). If stored as doyles, these healing states can be eradicated to prevent their arising in the absence of the original disease causing them. Calling them symptoms does not suggest such a possibility, does it?
My daughter had done several Speed Traces to remove doylic memories with great success, and one day we were talking and she said her shoulders were hurting her. Then she mentioned that this particular shoulder pain returned each January. That sounded to me like it could be a periodic doylic memory, returning at the same time each year. What happened to her in January? She was born in mid-January, the first-born of her young mother, so her passage was the first through the birth canal., causing her shoulders to hurt during the compression of birth, and storing the pain as a doylic memory, one which could be triggered in mid-January each year. She did a speed trace, the hurt went away, and ten years later, has not returned.
Some time later, my wife suffered from a bad case of bronchitis, something which recurred each winter, it seemed to me. So the next time she began with bronchitis, I suggested she do a Speed Trace on the symptoms, er, healing states. The symptoms went away at Age 2. She had a very mild case of bronchitis and thereafter her bronchitis never returned on its previous annual basis. The healing states of bronchitis created all the symptoms of a real case of bronchitis, was just as painful and unpleasant, with lots of coughing, etc, and she was able to remove this annual source of suffering with a several minute Speed Trace. When she asked the Plausibility Question, "What's a plausible thing that could have happened to me at age 2?" She saw an image of her being in an all-white room. Asking her mother later, she was told that at Age 2, she had a very bad case of bronchitis, the doctors thought she was going to die and put her under a homemade oxygen tent using a white sheet, and she recovered.
A friend of mine had a ten-year-old son who had a bad earache which the doctor treated with an antibiotic. She said that while he was recovering, he spent a lot of time going to the bathroom. I explained that antibiotic drugs wipe out the normal healthy bacteria in the digestive system causing diarrhea. The best correction for that problem is to eat a large spoon of plain yogurt which is full of acidophilous bacteria to replace the ones wiped out by the antibiotic dosage. Use only plain yogurt, no fruit-filled, as the adding of fruit over time kills the acidophilous bacteria. Once I asked my wife to get me some plain yogurt from the fridge while she had it open, and our grandson, Garret, heard me, and asked me in all seriousness, "What flavor is plain?" TI didn't tell him this, but that's the flavor one uses to get rid of diarrhea, PLAIN.
Note that our bodies has natural antibodies which arise when some bug gets into our body. That internal antibiotic attack does the same as taking a prescribed dose of an antibiotic drug: it wipes out the good bacteria in the digestive track, causing diarrhea. And the same correction, a big spoon of plain yogurt is the best treatment. We can see diarrhea as a healing state of the body. Since it is a second-level condition, caused by the body's response to the healing state of an internal or external antibiotic dose, diarrhea, so far as I can tell, is not susceptible to being eradicated by a Speed Trace, but one can trace the early symptoms (healing states) of the disease which ends up causing diarrhea (after the body's antibody attack kicks in) and if those are doylicly stored healing states, the problem will go away before the diarrhea state is reached.
Doylic memories cascade from one to another, the first doyle triggering a related doyle, and so on. If you do a Speed Trace on the earliest symptoms (sign of a healing state), you may eliminate the disease which had been gearing up to full speed while it was only in first gear, showing only mild symptoms. If you have traced away a periodic or recurrent doylic attack, you have save yourself a lifetime of recurring misery with a few minutes of Speed Tracing.
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9. CLOSING NOTES:
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Thanks to all of you Good Readers for providing the Sunshine which has made this site a Blooming Success. — Especially those of you who have graciously allowed us to reprint your emails and show photos of you and by you on this website — you're looking good! By Apri 1, 2019, in its 20th year of publication, the DIGESTWORLD and the doyletics website has received over 21.3 MILLION VISITORS ! ! !
We have received about ONE MILLION VISITORS per Year to the Doyletics Website since its inception June 1, 2000, nearly twenty years ago. Over 2 million in the past 12 months. We are currently averaging about 160,000 visitors a month. A Visitor is defined as a Reader who is new or returns after 20 minutes or more has passed. The average is about one visitor for every 10 Hits.
IMPORTANT NOTES about DIGESTWORLDtm
Our DIGESTWORLD came into existence years before Facebook and all the other social media which interrupt people's schedules many times a day. All our photos, reviews, cartoons, stories, etc, come to you via a link inside of one short email Reminder at the beginning of each month. We hope you appreciate how we let YOU choose when to enjoy our DIGESTWORLD Issues. To Get a Monthly Reminder, Click Here .
We especially want to thank you, our Good Readers, in advance, for helping our readership to grow. NOTE our name is now: DIGESTWORLD. Continue to send comments to Bobby and please do create links to DIGESTWORLD issues and Reviews on LinkedIn, on your Facebook page, and on other Social Media. When you copy any portion of a webpage or review, please include this text: "Copyright 2018 by Bobby Matherne".
Email your friends about the reviews, the handy doyletics Speed Trace, the Household Hints, the cartoons, the Cajun jokes, the recipes, the poems, and the photos in all the DIGESTWORLD Issues archived on our website. Urge them to subscribe to the DIGESTWORLD Reminder so they won't miss a single issue!
The Subscription Process SIMPLE: no Reply Confirmation is required. An email to the Editor with your First and Last names is all that's required. There is never a charge for viewing any page on our website; nor for any of the guidance we offer to people using the FIRST AID KIT or asking for help with doyletics in any other areas.
For those who are able to contribute to the site we offer a year's subscription for receiving the DIGESTWORLD Monthly Reminders for $50.
~~ NOTE: DIGESTWORLD is a Trademark of 21st Century Education, Inc. ~~
The cost of keeping this website on-line with its 300 Gbytes of bandwidth a month is about $50 a month. Thank you, our Good Readers, for continuing to patronize our advertisers when they provide products and services you are seeking as you visit any of our web pages. Remember the ads are dynamically displayed and every time you read even the same page a second time, you may find new products and services displayed for your review. Our reviews, digests, tidbits, etc, all our webpages act as Google magnets to bring folks to the website to learn about doyletics and frequent our advertisers, so they support one another in effect.We wish to thank all Good Readers who have made a contribution to the doyletics.com website! Special thanks go to Chris and Carla Bryant in Corpus Christi and Gary Lee-Nova in Canada! And to our newest supporting subscribers Georgi Barioni and Bob Gehrig in Phoenix.
We welcome your contributions to the support of the website and research into the science of doyletics. To obtain our street address, email Bobby at the address found on this page: http://www.doyletics.com/bobby.htm and we will send it to you. Every $50 subscription helps toward keeping this website on-line for another month. If you can't send money, at least show your support by sharing your favorite Issue of DIGESTWORLD and Reviews with a friend.
You can read a description of how to do a Speed Trace (either in English or Spanish):
Learn to Do a Speed Trace Here
Or Watch Bobby extemporaneously explain How to Do a Speed Trace on Video:
To make a connection to the Doyletics website from your own website, here's what to do. You may wish to use the first set of code below to link to the site which includes a graphic photo, or to use the second set of code for a text-only link. Immediately below is how the graphic link will look on your website. Just place this .html in an appropriate place on your website.
<CENTER> < — with graphics link — >
<A HREF="http://www.doyletics.com/index.htm">Learn to Do a Speed Trace Here<BR>
<IMG SRC="http://www.doyletics.com/doylepb.gif" width="309" height="102" border="2" TITLE="Learn to Remove Doyles — all those Unwanted Physical Body states of fear, depression, migraine, etc." ALIGN=middle><A/></CENTER>
<CENTER> < — text only link — >
<A HREF="http://www.doyletics.com/introduc.htm">Learn to Do the Speed Trace at doyletics.com <A/>
Check out the new additions to the Famous and Interesting Quotations at:
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My reviews are not intended to replace the purchasing and reading of the reviewed books, but rather to supplant a previous reading or to spur a new reading of your own copy. What I endeavor to do in most of my reviews is to impart a sufficient amount of information to get the reader comfortable with the book so that they will want to read it for themselves. My Rudolf Steiner reviews are more detailed and my intention is to bring his work to a new century of readers by converting his amazing insights into modern language and concepts.
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A Short Email Reminder for the Newest DIGESTWORLD Issue is mailed monthly to:
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Please Don't Bug UsPlease Don't Bug Us Nothing BUGS US more than losing Hale-and-Hearty, Ready-to-Read Good Friends from the DIGESTWORLD Reminder List.
So we've made it easy for Good Readers who have changed their Email addresses and Friends who would like to begin receiving the DIGESTWORLD Reminder at the first of each Month:
IT'S EASY to RE-SUBSCRIBE or SUBSCRIBE:
As of August, 2011 we have begun using a Contact Manager with an Email Merge feature which allows us to send personalized Emails to everyone in our Contact List. You can receive the colorful Email containing the DIGESTWORLD Reminder beginning with "Dear [Your First Name]". It is important that we have your First Name, so if the name you are addressed by in your Reminder is not your first name, please notify us of the name you wish us to use. For convenience you can send a quick email to give us your name by Clicking Here. To Contact Bobby, his Email address is visible on this page.
NOTE: As of 2018 the Topica.com List messages are NO LONGER READABLE!
Please do your part by letting us know of any email address change so that you may continue receiving the DIGESTWORLD Reminders. Most of our Readers come from folks who don't get these Reminders, but we offer the DIGESTWORLD Reminder as a service to our regular Good Readers. To send us your new email address, CLICK HERE! .
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Simply Click the Link at right to send an Email Request: SUBSCRIBEIf you have a friend or two that you think would enjoy reading the DIGESTWORLD, suggest they view the current DIGESTWORLD Issue and perhaps they'll decide to Subscribe.
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Click Link at right to send a Blank email to: UNSUBSCRIBE
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10. GRATITUDE - in Three Easy Steps:
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Maintaining a website requires time and money, and apart from sending a donation to the Doyletics Foundation, there are several ways you can show your gratitude and support our efforts to keep doyletics.com on-line.
One would be for you to buy a copy of my Dolphin Novel, The SPIZZNET File. Books May be ordered in hardback or paperback form from Xlbiris the Publisher here:
The best source at the best price is to order your copies on-line is from the publisher Random House/Xlibris's website above.
Two would be for you to use the Google Search Engine for your web searches or to find an item on doyletics.com website. New reviews will have a place to do a Google Search at the top and the bottom of the reviews. Just enter a search phrase in the box below to do a Search. Note you can check whether to Search just this site or all websites.
Three would be for you to let us know you like us by Subscribing to our monthly Reminder. One short email each month with a link to our Latest DIGESTWORLD Issue will keep you apprised of our latest reviews, photography, poetry, Cajun stories, recipes, Movie Blurbs, Travels, and even more! Simply Click Here: Subscribe Me!
Thank you in advance!
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21+ Million Good Readers have Liked Us!
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Any questions about this DIGESTWORLD ISSUE, Contact: Bobby Matherne
Does your Face sometimes resemble the Faces Below? If so, Click on the Faces or Flags to Dig into our First Aid Kit.
To follow Research in the science of doyletics, Read our Monthly DIGESTWORLD Issues.
Click Here to get Monthly Reminder.
For Copies of Reviewed Steiner Books, Click on SteinerBooks Logo below.
Visit Bobby's Other Reviews, Articles, and Essays
Books are Lighthouses Erected in the Sea of Time
Visit the Counselor's Corner for Suggestions
on Incorporating Doyletics in Your Work.
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