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Good Mountain Press Presents DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#154
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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Rose Mae Bonvillian (1930-2015) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ My Godfather's Daughter, Our Westwego Neighbor ~~~~~
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Quote for the French Quarter Festival Month of April:

Beauty is an investment which pays a dividend in the heart.
— Bobby Matherne, written February 16, 2014.

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GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents ISSUE#154 for April, 2015
                  Archived DIGESTWORLD Issues

             Table of Contents

1. April's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for April
3. On a Personal Note
       Flowers of Shanidar Poems
       Movie Blurbs

4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe or Household Hint for April, 2015 from Bobby Jeaux: Facts & Uses of WD-40
6. Poem from The Destinies of Individuals and of Nations: "Foreteller of the Future"
7. Reviews and Articles featured for April:

8. Commentary on the World
      1. Padre Filius Cartoon
      2. Comments from Readers
      3. Freedom on the Half Shell Poem
      4. A Blast from the Past

9. Closing Notes — our mailing list, locating books, subscribing/unsubscribing to DIGESTWORLD
10. Gratitude

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1. April Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
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For newcomers to DIGESTWORLD, we have created a webpage of all the Violet-n-Joey cartoons!

This month Violet and Joey learn about Babies. Cartoon inspired by Sunrise Baby Greeting Card: 'Babies are a nice way to start people.'
"Babies" at

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Each month we choose to honor two Good Readers of our DIGESTWORLD from those all over the World. Here are the two worthy Honored Readers for April, 2015:

Philip Dituri in New York

Abdul Hanif in the UK

Congratulations, Philip and Abdul!

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Out Our Way:


It's been a cold, snowy winter in the North with Boston getting an all-time record snowfall of over 110 inches, but while we've had frigid weather in New Orleans, we have had no snow here. Nevertheless, Del and I have encountered two snowstorms this month. The first came during our week in our mountain cabin in Arkansas and the second at the end of the month when we flew to New York City for a weekend seminar. More about the snow later.


The night before we were due to leave for our cabin, my desktop computer had a hard failure. Symptoms of the display screen told me it was a fried video card. I disconnected the main frame and prepared to take it to A Prompt Computer Company locally who had built it to my specifications several years ago. I could tell there was a lot of dust clogging the vents and I could hear one of the exhaust fans was going bad. The next morning, we were all ready to leave for Arkansas. I called the A Prompt every 15 minutes and finally got a familiar tech on the phone. He said to bring it in, so I did, and after dropping it off we headed out to Alexandria from there.

On the way to our daughter Kim's home, she called to say that she and her husband Wes were stuck in Dallas and unable to get a flight out, so Katie would be driving over to open the house and Wes's brother, Cole, would be bringing over ten pounds of boiled crawfish for us. Crawfish with one LSU basketball game and two LSU baseball games sounded like a good way to spend the rest of the day, plus a chance to see our pregnant grand-daughter Katie made it a real good day. Got to give Katie the cowboy booties that Maureen made for her expected son. Kim and Wes came in late at night, after Del had gone to bed, so Wes and I got a chance to visit.


We left early in the next morning because we knew cold weather was coming down from the north and we wanted to be in our cabin before it sleeted and got the roads iced over. Thankfully I-49 has been completed right out of Shreveport, just a couple miles of city street before we were on Interstate all the way to the Hot Springs area. We got to the cabin around dark, unpacked, and settled in to watch the Season Finale of Downton Abbey. The next day I set up my laptop to play the new season of House of Cards on NetFlix, but forgot the sound cord and could barely hear anything, so we gave up on that. Pulled out the jigsaw puzzle of a satellite view of our home and began assembling it. We found the house-shaped middle piece and all of the edge pieces, but could not get them to link up, leaving about 8 to 10 edge pieces that went no where. We gave up on the puzzle.

We went grocery-shopping and got supplies to last us through Thursday when we expected to leave for home. The wild card was the snow event coming on Wednesday. When we bought this cabin, our intention was to come here to spend some quality time together and the wintry weather was ideal for doing that. We pulled out the Scrabble game for some Matherne Rules play. Basically, we count all double and triple scores whenever a word is added onto. Our joint scores will add up to 1,000 at times with the relaxed rules. The blank tiles can be re-used and there is no challenging or time limit. We use the dictionary to ensure the word is allowed. In one game I topped 500 points thanks to the seven-letter word WINKING added vertically with the G making GO horizontally. That was about 130 points.

We each had books we were reading. Mine was the early Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson which I had recently ordered. One night we watched the "King's Speech" for our second time and really enjoyed it. Actually Del watched it and I monitored it while watching the LSU Tigers whip Stephen F. Austin playing handily.

The snow began falling on Wednesday and covered the ground about 3 inches by the next morning. A deep freeze in the 20s made the roads impassable. On Thursday we had planned to return home, but I explored the conditions of the road on the Arkansas website and could see where there were icy roads, slush covered roads, and clear roads. By midday I-30 was mostly clear, but the 30 plus miles of roads to reach I-30 had various problems. Given the winding hilly roads to get to the flat Interstate, we decided to hold off and leave early Friday morning.

Our two friends from New York, Kevin Dann and his daughter Jordan Dann had already arrived on Thursday and were enjoying the city. Leaving on Friday left us with only one day together, Saturday, so we planned to make the most of it.


Picked up Kevin and Jordan at the Hotel Royal on St. Philips and Royal and we got to Commander's Palace right at opening time. We chose a spot in Garden Room and the music trio came to serenade us right away. I asked for "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans" which they went into immediately. My fish was excellent as was the seafood gumbo, and everyone else enjoyed their meal. The trio returned later and played "Up a Lazy River" a tune written by a resident of my original home town across the river, Westwego.

We had ordered the bread pudding souffle for dessert and it was awesome. After the meal, we walked in Lafayette No. 1 cemetery a bit, then I drove us down St. Charles, then Carrollton, stopping at New Orleans Museum of Art to walk through its K&B Sculpture Garden. Kevin and Jordan sang a song about the "Waters of Pontchartrain" near one of the sculptures, so I decided to take them along Lakeshore Drive. We got out the car near West End so that Kevin could touch the waters of Lake Pontchartrain, which he did after carefully walking down the slippery lower steps of the concrete seawall. I said I wanted a shot that included his shocking pink socks and Kevin naturally obliged. (See photo in Section 6 below.) It was great for us to finally get to meet Jordan and for her it had been a long time wish to visit the city. She really enjoyed herself, making several trips to Café du Monde for café au lait and beignets.


Took me about two weeks to recover from the repairs done to my PC. The new video card fixed the major problem, plus I had it vacuumed to clear away the accumulated dust blocking the vents, and one new exhaust fan to replace the noisy one. Now to get all four of my monitors working. Apparently they did not bother to hook up four monitors before telling me it was fixed. Only two monitors came up, no matter how I hooked up to the new card. Plus I discovered that the Main Board also had a video card. I got a tech to come out and after an hour or so, he was able to get three monitors to work. He left, saying he'd have to order a special adapter for the fourth monitor to work. I decided to take over and found an instruction sheet that cane with the board showing the various ways to hook up monitors. I called the video card company and got a guy on tech support who explained that two MiniDisplay ports required a special connector and told me what to buy. I ordered the two immediately and soon I had four monitors working, using only one of the two MiniDisplay ports. On a hunch, I hooked up a spare monitor to the second Mini-port and it worked! I was a little upset that I had to do the work to figure this out and that it had not been tested before letting me pick it up. The service charge for the technician should have been added to the cost of the repair and I would have been fine with that. But, sending it back to me with only two working monitors was unacceptable, especially since it took me about two weeks to finally get the problems resolved.

With all four monitors working electronically, I was still faced with getting the perspective on each of the four screens to work properly. Basically for photos to be displayed correctly, a CIRCLE must display as a round circle and not a skewed oval. That required a lot of trying various resolution settings. Then the cursor for the computer must travel from the right edge of rightmost monitor to the left edge of the leftmost monitor. I mention these things, but this is required when you used multiple monitors and when you change video cards, all the settings may need adjusting. Here's the settings which finally worked.

For Correct Perspective, no oval circles, I used these settings: [3 VGA and 1 HDMI Connectors]

Monitor 1 900X1440 AOC
Monitor 2 1080X1920 SAMSUNG small (HDMI)
Monitor 3 1050X1680 GATEWAY
Monitor 4 1920X1080 SAMSUNG large

I have not put the fifth monitor into service yet because I need two brackets which will hold the fourth and fifth monitors in portrait configuration which will allow all five to fit on my desktop space. As a writer, I prefer all monitors to be in portrait mode, and expect to solve that problem shortly. Now that the interconnect problems are resolved, the mechanical problems can be workd out later.

One other problem involved my ACT Contact Manager which got hung up with all the rebooting and testing that needed to be done during the monitor rework. The SQL Server would not work. This had happened to me about once or twice a year and it generally took almost a week to get it working again, and I had no procedure for a quick recovery. Elliot Ernst worked on this for me and sent me an SQL Reboot batch file which worked to fix the problem. The ACT contact manager is essential at the end of the month to get the DIGESTWORLD Reminders out to my thousand or so Good Readers, and I now can rest assured that any SQL Server lockup in the future can be fixed within minutes. Thanks Elliot!


How can a man feel poor if he always has two Benjamins in his pocket? On St. Joseph's Day, March 19th, our second great-grandson named Benjamin was born to our grand-daughter Katie Upton. We now have two Benjamins, a Benjamin Huber and a Benjamin Upton. My daughter Maureen, the grandmother of Ben Huber (14) made booties shaped like cowboy boots for newborn Benjamin Upton. We were packing for our trip to New York when the birth news came in. Kim has been sending us photos of her first grandchild and my favorite is the one she sent with the note: Ben Chilling and Relaxing. He sure looks relaxed in his jailbird pajamas and the green dinosaurs slippers. Click Here: Comments from Readers. Kim's been helping Katie who has to get up every 2 hours to feed Ben. We're expecting to meet Ben Upton in person around Del's birthday when a crawfish party is planned in Alexandria.


FRIDAY: The last time we flew out of New Orleans the TSA line was so long we nearly missed our flight, so we got up at 3 am to drive to the airport, but we could have slept another hour as Delta baggage check doesn't open until 4:25. We got checked in fine, sat in Gate D-2 and left on time. Arrived at LaGuardia before the snow event began. In fact, we got to Washington Square Hotel in time for its complimentary breakfast, and since we were hungry, we really enjoyed it. We unpacked and took a nap and had some artichoke soup in North Square Restaurant downstairs. Hot soup on a snowy evening is great. It tasted a bit like the garlic soup we enjoyed in Linz, Austria years ago called knobloch suppe.

The Washington Square park had turned into a winter wonderland, with the evergreen tree limbs bending under the heavy weight of the snow. At least one snowman showed up the next day.

Met Gene Gollogly and Paul O'Leary in the WSH lobby. Gene left and Paul, Del, and I took a taxi across the Square to Kimmel because Paul had only sneakers which would have gotten wet and cold in the four inches of snow on the ground that evening. We helped Paul carry his bag full of the newly launched magazine in which he has an article published.

This was Del's first NYC SteinerBooks Seminar and I introduced her to as many people as I could. She and I sat on front row during the evening presentation. I tried to get a photo of Gene and Peter Selg, but the dual microphones kept getting in the way. Peter talked about the first book of his seven-part Biography of Steiner to be published by SteinerBooks. The first two were on sale and the third will be ready by December. Peter focused on Rudolf Steiner's youth, from birth to age seven.

Afterwards on the return to WSH, Paul, Del, and I walked back on the sidewalks which were dry near the buildings and we took our time. Snow had stopped and it was a wintery scene everywhere. When we got back we were exhausted and hit the sack right away.

SATURDAY: The next morning Kevin Dann came by, and he and I walked to Starbucks on Avenue of Americas a short block away from WSH for a couple of lattes. Then we came back to wait for Del and Paul. The morning was very cold with four inches of snow on top of cars, bicycles, and bushes. By afternoon, most of the snow had melted away.

Paul was coming down and met me and Kevin in the lobby, and Kevin volunteered to carry Paul's heavy bag (more magazines) as Del joined us and the four of us walked over to the Kimmel Center for the day's activities, which consisted of Peter Selg and Christopher Bamford talking about Rudolf Steiner's life. Peter covered the material in his next two books, especially Steiner's meeting with the Herb Collector Felix and then the Master that Felix introduced Steiner to. Selg covered Steiner's life through the Theosophical meetings where he lectured and all the way to moving to Berlin. I got a copy of the first book and will know by the time I finish reading it whether I will want to acquire the rest of the series of seven books.

Chris Bamford spoke about the many unanswered questions of Steiner's life and how for Steiner finding the answer to one question always generated more questions to be answered. It occurred to me as Chris spoke that there was one question which would never be answered fully, namely what is the full meaning of the Mystery of Golgotha. Steiner hinted somewhere that this will remain a mystery, an unanswered question, until the end of the Sixth Venus stage of evolution, when we have left Earth and entered the spiritual world.

The morning had began with Christine playing a solo on her cello. As she played I noticed that the steam from the roof of building behind her was dancing with her music.

When she played in a minor key, the steam was mixed with dark smoke, which then lightened when she played in a major key again. I talked to her briefly after her performance to tell her what I had experienced during her playing. The world seemed to be dancing with her notes, not only in rhythm but in color as well, and she was unable to see it as it happened behind her.

Lunch was served, but I was busy talking to folks while Del got in line. Gene implored me to make sure Peter Selg got something to eat, and since I had earlier had Kevin take a photo of the two of us and introduce us, he knew me when I went over a few minutes later to grab him to get himself something to eat. I walked him over to where Del was in the middle of a long line, and we joined her.

I went outside into the Square to take a few photos in the area, and got a selfie of me and Del and one of a man on his cell as a pigeon sat upon his head. The evergreen trees so loaded with snow earlier were all green again. Got a photo of a small snowman someone had made earlier that was yet standing.

That night was a post-party which celebrated the opening of the newly renovated RS Library and Anthroposphy Section of New York. Del stayed at the hotel and Kevin and I walked to the Library. It took about 5 minutes down Avenue of the Americas (locals still call it 6th Avenue) to 15th Street, then left a block and a half. Easy to get to and return to the WSH.

It was a packed and noisy venue, and I didn't see a lot of folks I knew. Kevin had to leave early, so I found my own way back. But, before leaving I talked to the guy playing on the old Steinway Brothers piano. Asked what model it was, he said, 1903 and I said, Yes, but is it a Model O perhaps, he said no that it was a model L and was still in great shape, music-wise.

Its cabinet's corners were worn, no longer sharp edges, but it sounded great. I told Paul Catalon (his name) about Alan Rusbridger"s book. Rusbridger editor of the Guardian, learned to play Ballade No. 1 of Chopin while he was battling publication deadlines of WikiLeaks and phone hacking. He said he needed to get a copy of that. Also mentioned the way the Steinway Co owns its own forest. They plant spruce trees close together so that in the center of the forest, the trees grow tall and straight in order to reach the sunlight. Steinway then harvests the center trees to make their sounding boards from.

SUNDAY: Today was our day of touring NYC: Guggenheim, Architectural Digest's Home Show at Pier 94, then dinner with Gene at Kevin and Cathline's in Brooklyn, 1 Grand Army Plaza 12C.

We took a cab to the Guggenheim Museum and were chagrined to find its wonderful display walls had no paintings but merely Dates in Black & White above newspapers from the Vietnam era. Well, we had really come to see the Frank Lloyd Wright architecture itself more than its contents so we were not too disappointed.

There was a large side display of Impressionist paintings by Money, Manet, Pissarro, Bracque, Picasso, Degas, and others which we enjoyed.

One of the dates on the Vietnam display had my 29th birthday on it, so we walked over to see what its display was about. It contained the NY Times headline page for July 20, 1969 and sure enough the article had to do with Man Setting Foot on the Moon for the first time in history. But on the left column was an article about Ted Kennedy going scuba diving with his car and Mary Jo and of course Mary Jo Kopeckne never came back, likely pregnant by Kennedy according to rumors. I didn't recall that both those news stories broke on the same day.

Talked to the Guggenheim guard by the Moon Walk display, who said he was only 6 on that day. I told him my story about eating the green cheese ball with a tiny American Flag on top representing the Moon, and not knowing until we had finished it that the Moon was not made of green cheese.

Then Del and I walked along Fifth Avenue on the Central Park side as it had some patches of sun and the weather was still about 28 degrees or so. We walked to the Metropolitan Museum building and there was a Bride and Groom posing for photos for their wedding album. At one point she picked up a ripe banana from a fruit kiosk and posed with it. Del pulled her turtleneck sweater up over her lower face at times to keep it warm.

We were getting hungry and nothing in dozens of kiosks appealed to us, besides, we'd have to eat it in the frigid air standing up, so we caught a cab to take us to Pier 94 where we were certain to find food areas in the large Architectural Digest Home Design show.

We did. Delicious baked goods with lattes and a good place to sit and eat next to a "Garden Wall". Two different exhibitors on lunch break joined us and we had fun talking to them and getting our photos taken.

It was too soon to head to Kevin's so we taxied back to WSH and took a nap, and then took a cab to Kevin and Cathline's place on Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. We were there before Gene and David Tresemer called to say he was unable to come. He said he had taken Del's suggestion and took his daughter with him to see the Broadway play, Kinky Boots, which they enjoyed. [David lives in Boulder, Colorado and is a psychologist and counselor. He and I had arranged for a long talk about doyletics and other things at the RS Library on Saturday night before he had to leave to meet his daughter who was in town for a short visit.]

Gene showed up a few minutes after us and we enjoyed a delicious meal. The main course was a marvelous roast pork with sweet potatoes and other veggies. Dessert was a crumble with Breyer's vanilla atop it, which I loved. Cathline called a cab for us, and we waited downstairs in the lobby till it appeared.

MONDAY AND FLYING HOME: After our Breakfast in the North Square restaurant, we saw Kevin and David Tresemer in the lobby and said goodby to David who was flying out later that day. Then we followed Kevin to navigate the subway to Grand Central Station. This took care of two things Del wanted to do: to ride a subway and to see Grand Central Station (a place I had never been in person either). Then we went down to Bowling Green and Kevin toured us around Wall Street, up in the Museum behind George Washington's large statue in front of the building, now a Federal Museum, in which he took the oath of office. If you thought all inaugurations took place in Washington, D. C. touring this building will enlighten you. Just think, how could the first U. S. President have been inaugurated in a city named after him which didn't exist at the time of his terms in office. This statue was installed in 1883 the Centennial of Evacuation Day, the day the British left New York City forever.

A historian named Frederick that we met later outside the building said the gesture of George holding his hand out was probably meant to show how he felt as the British left Fort Amsterdam on Evacuation Day, namely, "This land is all ours now." The celebration of Evacuation has slipped into the mists of history now, but the statue is there to remind us of that first day when there were only Americans left on the soil of this great land, 6 years before the Constitution was ratified and Washington became the First President of the United States of America.

We visited the Fraunce Pub, but the music there was obnoxious, so we walked across the street to the truncated Smorgasbord, the Smorgas restaurant. Kevin and Del had a delicious salmon lunch , I chose the hot seafood chowder, which surprised me greatly when they brought me a plate without any liquid in it! They quickly returned to fill it with steaming chowder liquid including whole mussels forming a hearty chowder of mussels, clams, salmon, etal, all hot and delicious, as well as filling. It was $20 for the soup, but it was indeed a full entree and satisfying meal.

Then we walked over to Trinity Episcopal Church and examined the cemetery on the way out. A very frigid day, never went over 31 degrees, so far as I know. We said goodbye to Kevin in the early afternoon and took a cab back to the WSH, took a long nap, and then had supper in the North Square Restaurant. I had the wild mushroom soup and Del had something else just as good. We came back to our room and read for a while before tucking in for the night. Because we would fly back home around midday the next day there would be plenty of time to pack before catching a limo to LaGuardia. We were surprised and delighted with the new Delta Terminal.

When we reached our Gate, there were only a third as many seats as one might find for passengers waiting to board a plane, but in the large center area between Gates was lots of comfortable seats at tables where one could order drinks and food, charge one's cell phone and laptop, and work or read in comfort while waiting for your flight to be called only a dozen or two steps away. This is truly the model for new passenger terminals. WiFi and charging ports for every single passenger who wants one with no need to get up and walk away from your stuff to obtain food and beverages.


Before leaving for New York, I had just finished reading "Play It Again" and I had to write its review, and finish the rest of the April DIGESTWORLD Issue. That has kept me busy. Last thing to be done is add in the photos to these personal notes, send out the Reminders, and get ready for our friends Jim and Connie who are visiting us in a few days. After they leave, we will be leaving for Easter Sunday with our daughter Yvette and her family on their ranch.


The past 31 days of March has been another month of frigid weather, including two snow days for me and Del, which is a rarity for March. The month began with Kevin and Jordan visiting us and ended with Jim and Connie coming by. It is one of our joys to show newcomers to our fair city. We enjoy it as much as the folks we show around. My LSU Tiger Baseball team is playing well in mostly nice weather and won its first couple of series. Ranked No. 1, but the only ranking which counts is the one at the end of the year when we hope to raise the Championship Trophy in Omaha. Our home basketball teams of Pelicans are yet striving to make the playoffs and that will likely go down to the wire. LSU Tigers went to NCAA Tournament, but after leading by 16 points most of the game, went cold and lost in the first round by 1 point. Our azalea bushes are going into full bloom as is our Redbud and Peach Trees. The blackberries bushes are becoming white all over with flowers, each of which will morph into a juicy blackberry in a couple of weeks. The petunias on the East Portico, the creeping phlox in the South Garden are showing color all around Timberlane. Till we meet again in the warm days of May, God Willing and the River Don't Rise, whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, be it blustery or balmy, Remember our earnest wish for this new year of 2015:



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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:

    I've had a wonderful evening, but it wasn't here tonight.
    Groucho Marx (To a hostess upon leaving a party)

    Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others.
    Groucho Marx (Comedian aka Captain Spalding)

    Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
    Groucho Marx (Comedian aka Captain Spalding)

  • 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 a poem or two each month until all poems have been published on-line. (Flowers drawn by Artist Maureen Grace Matherne) The rest of the five poems come from Bobby's 1995 book of poetry, Rainbows & Shadows, all of which will be published for the first time on-line.

    1. Chapter: Hollyhocks

          Wildflower No. 15


    In the kingdom of the Now
    We clean up and order
    The kingdom of Then.
    Now is the world of processes
           that quicken us in glory
    Then is the world of memories



    2. Chapter: Hyacinths


    There was a young lad who said, DAMN!
    I'm beginning to think that I am
           A machine who moves
           In determinist grooves
    I'm not even a bus, I'm a tram.

    There was a young lass who said, CUSS!
    I must choose from better or wuss.
           I certainly am
           No single track tram,
    With the free will of choice, I'm a bus.

    There was a young man who said, TRUE!
    There's certainly no reason to be blue:
           His tram was a map,
           Her bus was a map,
    So let's get out of the maps and DO!

    (With thanks to Gregory Bateson for first two stanzas)


    3. Chapter: Rainbows

    This month, as we near the completion of Bobby's first book of Poetry, Flowers of Shanidar,
    we continue with a poem from the Rainbows Chapter of his second book of Poetry,
    Rainbows & Shadows (1995).
          This month we read

          Happiness Is Having A Mother

    Happiness is having a mother
           Who loves and cares for you
                  as her only child.

    Happiness is having a mother
           Who loves and cares for you
                  even though you've a
                         bigger brother.

    Happiness is having a mother
           Who loves and cares for you
                  even though there are
                         two bigger brothers about.

    Happiness is having a mother
           Who loves you and treats you special
                  even though you are
                         the smallest of four boys.

    Happiness is having a mother
           Who loves you and teaches
                  you how to survive
                  in a world surrounded
                         by four bigger brothers.

    Happiness is having a mother
           Who loves you and raises you
                  when other mothers her age
                         are content with just
                                having grandchildren.

    Happiness is having a mother like you.


    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

                A Fish Tale

           Streams of fish
                  speeding past
                         one another

    Each fish
           on the
               ahead that it is passing
                   it soon will pass.

    One fish
           ever in school



    5. Chapter: Violets

          Wildflower No. 16


    We step up to the plate
           for the new season
    With our batting average
           on our backs
    Which may be
           the primary reason
    For the consistency
           of our whacks.




    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 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.
    P. S. Ask for Blu-Ray movies from NetFlix, and if it says DVD in your Queue, click and select Blu-Ray version.
    Hits (Watch as soon as you can. A Don't Miss Hit is one you might otherwise have missed along the way.):
    "The Best of Me" (2014) Nicholas Sparks a pot-boiler of lost love refound; a story with a heart.
    "Laggies" (2014)
    Keira Knightley hangs out with some laggies and learns, "In a marriage each of you has to be on the same side of what's stupid." and her high school friends and fiancι are on the other side from her.
    "My Old Lady" (2014)
    Kevin Kline inherits a large apartment in Paris that comes with an old lady and a lot of baggage. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
    "The Good Lie" (2014)
    Reese Witherspoon helps "lost boys of Sudan" get jobs in Kansas and find their sister in Boston. African saying, "To go fast, go alone; to go far, go together." Will these siblings be reunited?
    "The Prince & Me" (2004)
    in which a Wisconsin pre-med gal and the Prince of Denmark fall in love. Will this become a life-long love or a royal mess? Too soon to tell, but fun to watch.
    "J.S. Bach: The Music, The Life, The Legend" (2003)
    the trials and tribulations of the master innovator and composer in a time when no one wanted anything new, just rehashed old stuff.
    "Arrowsmith" (1933)
    the story of doctor who conquered bubonic plague in Africa and lost this wife due to his abysmal carelessness.
    "Patsy Cline: Sweet Dreams Still" (2005)
    and noticed her voice sounds so much like Hank Williams, and when she sang one of his songs (Lovesick Blues) actually sounded better than him. Truly a great singer taken away before her prime. Great chance to watch young Country Music icons like Eddie Arnold etal introducing Patsy.
    "The Judge" (2014)
    for 46 years in a small town is arrested for murder and his estranged big city lawyer son comes to defend him against his father's decision. Can anything good come out of a small town or return to one? Want to find out? A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! !
    "Birdman" (2014)
    a tour de force for Michael Keaton, best exotic, most outrageous role since "Beetlejuice", Birdman: will he go out with a Bang! or out on a Lark?
    "Pianomania" (2009)
    about a piano tuner who specializes in tuning Steinway pianos for various auditoriums, pianists, concert pieces, and to sound like various instruments. Like watching sausage being made and re-made, musically.

    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.

    "Lucy" (2014) beautiful Scarlett in ugly movie, a Science Fiction masquerading as Science Fact. Materialistic wishing gone wild; lots of special effects but nothing special otherwise.
    "Night Flight" (1933)
    a Hollywood chop job of a poet's finest work. No resemblance to the great novel, no wonder St-Ex had it axed. In a natural society it would have stayed in the wood pile where it rightly belongs to disintegrate, instead of being resurrected by primary thieves 60 years later.
    "Predestination" (2014)
    complete with sex change operation and time travel and a soporific script.
    "A Coffee in Berlin" (2012)
    Black and White film and Black Coffee finally arrives.

    Your call on these — your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:

    "The Zero Theorem" (2014) which made zero sense to us, at first, like a psychedelic wet dream, a hero with "a case of Zero Theorem Heebie-Jeebies." Soon we discover the evil materialistic plot to prove that the "Universe is All for Nothing". They succeed as they always do: by ignoring the spiritual world completely.
    "I Origins" (2014)
    pseudo-scientist get close up of people's eyes and makes dubious claims about what this means. A ludicrous materialistic attempt to prove reincarnation.
    "The Angriest Man in Brooklyn" (2014)
    is the nicest man in the movies, Robin Williams. Plays a man with an aneurysm given 90 minutes to live by a doctor he hassles for an answer to "How long do I have?" When he asks the doctor later, "Would you want to know when you were going to die?" I felt a quiver of recognition that Robin Williams by hanging himself had come up with that answer.

    == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
    4. STORY:
    == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==

    Le Boudreaux Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission
    . . . Thanks to Jeff Parson for the inpiration for this Cajun story.

    Boudreaux's dad at 92 went to Breaux Bridge to see Dr. Usey to get his annual physical. A few days later, Dr. Usey saw him walking into Mulate's Dance Hall with a gorgeous young woman on his arm.

    A couple of days later, Dr. Usey called up the senior Boudreaux and said, "Ah saw you going dancing wit' dat jolie blonde the other day. You must really be feeling great, non?"

    Boudreaux replied, "Mais oui, Doc! Ah'm jest following your orders. Remember wat you tole me? You said, 'Got me a hot mamma and be cheerful.'"

    Dr. Usey said, "Mais non, Ah don't t'ink Ah tole you dat, me . . . wat Ah tole you was dis: 'Boudreaux, you got a heart murmur; be careful.'"

    == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
    5. Household Hint for April, 2015 from Bobby Jeaux:
    (Thanks to our Arizona buddy, Jeff Parson, for sharing these useful tips for using WD-40 with us.)
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    Facts & Uses of WD-40

    Background on Facts & Uses of WD-40:

    Like many of you out there, I always keep a can or two of WD-40 in my garage. Like Chanel No. 5 which was the fifth perfume a chemist concocted for Coco Chanel, WD-40 was the 40th Water Displacement compound concocted by three technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Co.

    It has all kinds of uses, some you may never have thought of: E.G. Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell), but fish love the smell so, if not prohibited in your State, keep some with your fishing tackle. CLICK HERE for Compilation of Uses.

    Primary ingredient is Fish Oil, but the list of ingredients says it contains petroleum distillates as well. It is also flammable, so be careful using it around an open flame or where electrical sparks might puncture the can and cause a fire. I've used WD-40 for about fifty years with nary a problem, but the Nanny State wants to cover her Rear Guard.

    If you have the new can with the Smart Straw, you can spray with straw closed (next to can's side) for wide coverage, or move the straw up perpendicular to the can to appy small amounts into holes and tight places.

    Spray or Apply for all the 43 uses outlined for you on our Tidbits page, CLICK HERE.

    Other options
    When we moved into a new home about five years ago, some of the doors squeaked a tiny bit when we closed them. A tiny spray of WD-40 solved the problem. Doors have been noiseless since them. BUT, a slight problem arose, unexpectedly, the slight noise was caused by friction in the hinges, and without any friction, the doors would no longer stay where you left the, which can be slight problem. So beware of losing this ability of the doors to stay ajar or partially open if you spray the

    == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
    6. POETRY by BOBBY from The Destinies of Individuals and of Nations:
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

           Foreteller of the Future

    Dream on, you fool —
    the dancer is not the dance
    the chips are not the game
    the images are not the trance
    We are but babes in school.

    Dream on, you fool —
    the future creeps in
    on etheric wings
    A breeze, a breath, a feather's touch

    Dream on, you fool —
    for a teller of the future
    is licking your ears as you wake
    and loving you for tomorrow's sake.

    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
    7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for April:
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    For our Good Readers, here are the reviews and articles featured this month. The first, second, and fourth reviews this month will be ones which were published in early DIGESTWORLD ISSUES but only as short blurbs so the full reviews and will be of interest to our DIGESTWORLD 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: Joan of Arc by Mark Twain

    When Mark Twain says in the Appendix and last sentence of this book that "she is easily and by far the most extraordinary person the human race has ever produced", one can be sure that he has given his reason for writing this historical documentary, a docu-drama in modern terms, of her life. Already a popular author, Mark Twain did not want his name attached to this book when it was first serialized, and he was aided in this by the apparent author of this work being identified as Louis de Conte, a companion of Joan of Arc. Thus we have in this book, Samuel Clemens writing under the pseudonym of Mark Twain writing under the pseudonym of Louis de Conte. Mark Twain also writes (under the pseudonym of Alden) the Translator's Preface, which, together with the Translator Notes sprinkled throughout the document, gives the book an aura of authenticity it would be otherwise lacking. Try for a moment to hold in one's head that one is reading the opinions of Louis de Conte written by Samuel Clemens in the guise of Mark Twain. It boggles the mind. No matter, soon we are lost in de Conte's world and find ourselves wandering in the 15th Century countryside of France with a seventeen-year-old maid from Domremy who wants to become the supreme commander of the army of France. In gentler times, she would have been called "pixilated" and ignored, but when the "pixie" is the Archangel or Spirit of the Nation of France, it is not easily ignored, and anyone driven by such a Spirit is not easily ignored, by friends, countrymen or the so-called leaders of the country, in Joan's case a shell of man who bore the title of King, but little else, up until she appeared before him.

    As Mortimer Adler recommends in his How to Read a Book book, one must come to terms with an author, and in this case one must come to understand the term puissance, which means ability to sway or coerce, or coercion. England has coerced a large portion of France into submission to its will. Joan of Arc appears and tells England to go home in peace or she will apply her puissant will to encourage them to leave. She does so. Then the "stick of a man" King abandons her, she is captured by the English who apply their puissant will to her and burn her at the stake. Obviously one must read this story as one reads a Civil War account - one can hope for a different outcome, but does not expect one. But between the first voices of the Spirit of France Archangel and the burning at the stake, Mark Twain fills over four hundred pages with an engrossing tale of puissance par excellence.

    If one were to be faced with trumped up charges in a court of law in this 21st Century, one could do no better preparation for that court than to read this book and learn how Joan was able to acquit herself time after time of scurrilous attempts to trip her up, to trick her to condemning herself. Cauchon, which sounds exactly like cochon, which means pig or hog, and in the verb form in French means either to produce a litter of pigs or to mess things up, was the fat pig of a cleric who led the charges against Joan. This delicious ambiguity led to graffiti of various sorts being scrawled over the walls of the city and Cauchon's chambers during the long series of trials, e. g., "The Cochon has cochoned [given birth to another trial of Joan of Arc] and cochoned [screwed up and lost the battle of wits with a 17-year-old girl] again."

    After de Conte saw the apparition appear to Joan in the meadow, he asked her about it.

    [page 76] "I will tell you, but do not be disturbed; you are not in danger. It was the shadow of an archangel - Michael, the chief and lord of the armies of heaven."

    Joan lived during the middle of the age of Samael, the archangel ruled by Mars, whose reign is filled with wars. During this reign of Samael, the great Hundred Years war was fought and was over ninety years in progress when Joan led the fight to free France once and for all from its English conquerors. Perhaps the archangel that came to meet Joan was Samael, perhaps Michael, or perhaps an archangel that Steiner says leads every great nation, the Spirit of France. Given the subsequent outcome of his advice to Joan, one leans towards the last of the three possibilities.

    This was a time when in the evolution of humanity, humans were still able to view spiritual realities, a gift that was soon to fall into disuse with the advent of the materialistic scientific way of viewing the world in which only consensual evidence of the senses is accepted. As more and more people began to doubt the existence of the spiritual realities, those left who could yet view them were looked upon with distrust. Joan found that distrust used with great effect by her inquisitors, the porcine Cauchon and a selected jury of his peers who grilled Joan both in court and in the courtyard. [Aside: rather than "throwing a steak on the barbie" as the Australians like to do, they "threw a Barbie on the stake."] Here's a passage in which Twain identifies Joan's atavistic clairvoyance, her ability to see into the spiritual world, by calling it her "seeing eye."

    [page 149-150] He said the common eye sees only the outside of things, and judges by that, but the seeing eye pierces through and reads the heart and soul, finding there capacities which the outside didn't indicate or promise, and which the other kind of eye couldn't detect.

    Joan, in this book, obviously has a great script writer, Mark Twain, for the things she says, such as this one:

    [page 88] The wise change their minds when they perceive that they have been in error.

    In one place, de Conte unknowingly speaks a prophecy, assisted by the omniscient voice of Twain, who lives 450 years in his future. He speaks of what nations do when they perceive a great truth. [NOTE: the Dwarf was a giant of a man, who left to visit his dying wife and returned to be hung as an army deserter, but Joan gave him clemency. The Dwarf learned to see Joan as France's savior and vowed to follow her orders.]

    [page 181] When they love a great and noble thing, they embody it - they want it so that they can see it with their eyes; like Liberty, for instance. They are not content with the cloudy abstract idea, they make a beautiful statue of it, and then their beloved idea is substantial and they can look at it and worship it. And so it is, I say; to the Dwarf, Joan was our country embodied, our country made visible flesh cast in a gracious form. When she stood before others, they saw Joan of Arc, but he saw France.

    France saw its true self when it looked at Joan. And when it looked at the United States of America, it saw the essence of Liberty and created the sculpture that today stands in the New York harbor called the Statue of Liberty, a female form. If you can see the future, prophecy is as simple as speaking about it. During the Second World War, soldiers were given nicknames using the name of the state they hailed from, Texas, California, Louisiana, etc, so the act of seeing a state when looking at a person, as the Dwarf saw France when he looked at Joan, continues today.

    During one of the many trials orchestrated by Cauchon, Joan was taken into a room of torture and told to answer everything or be put to the torture of the rack. Here was her great answer that made the rack superfluous:

    [page 395] "I will tell you nothing more than I have told you; no, not even if you tear the limbs from my body. And even if in my pain I did say something otherwise, I would always say afterwards that it was the torture that spoke and not I."

    She was finally condemned to death on the stake and the execution was carried out. Some twenty-five years later, she was cleared of all the charges. Her promise to free France from the influence of England for a thousand years has run over half its course. Joan of Arc is the one person France can look to in history and say, without a shadow of a doubt, but for her, there would be no France today.

    Read/Print at:

    2.) ARJ2: The Ahrimanic Deception, GA# 193 by Rudolf Steiner

    In this lecture Steiner lays out the 6,000 year plan of Lucifer, Christ, and Ahriman for humankind. Lucifer was incarnated the third millennium B. C. in the Far East of China, Christ was incarnated in the Middle East in the middle of the time period, and Ahriman will be incarnated in the third millennium A.D. in the West. This is a marvelous symmetry and balance which makes it also easy to remember. Without Christ in the center providing the necessary balance, we would be in a dilemma, having to choose between the spiritual inflation of Lucifer and the spiritual deflation of Ahriman. Without Christ's balancing influence, we are led either to the airy folly of Icarus (ancient metaphor) or the computerized soul-less zombies of Dennett (modern metaphor).

    In this lecture Steiner was sharing the mysteries of the ancient traditions, to which he has direct access via his supersensible perceptions.

    [page 2] When a man of today learns to know something of this original wisdom, he is astounded at the depths of the realities to which it points. Yet in the course of the studies we have been pursuing for many years, it has been shown that this widespread wisdom-teaching of ancient times must always be contrasted with the understanding of life and the world that was possessed by the old Hebrew people and bore a completely different character.

    In every epoch, this is true - the ancient wisdom will be different from the current wisdom or wisdom of the time, even though the understanding of life and the world changes upon our entry into each new century and millennium due to the course of the evolution of consciousness. In each new culture, with each different level of understanding, humans will hold the ancient wisdom as flawed unless they find a way to comprehend its truth directly.

    In Rudolf Steiner, as in no other human being, we find someone who was willing and able to present the ancient wisdom to us as a science, in a way accessible to scientists of all persuasions. And when one, as a scientist understands the deep reality presented by Steiner's presentation of this ancient wisdom, one does not have to change one's scientific beliefs one whit, one iota, but instead one can add an entire dimension to one's understanding of science by encompassing the spiritual world as well as the physical world.

    In the early centuries after Christ Jesus's deed on Golgotha, humans "understood the Christ through what they had received from Lucifer." Those who did were called Gnostics and their mode of thought was permeated by Luciferic forces. (pages 4 and 5) On the opposite end of the spectrum is our modern day in the beginning of the third millennium after the deed on Golgotha in which Ahrimanic forces are rampant that urge humans to understand Christ, not as a cosmic being come to Earth, but rather as the 'simple man Jesus of Nazareth.' Thus the cosmic being of Christ is ignored and the deeds of the Christ are deemed those of an ordinary human being who just happened to do extraordinary things that we should admire.

    [page 5] The more the man Jesus of Nazareth could be regarded as an ordinary human being, one belonging to the ranks of other noted personalities, the better it pleased a certain materialistic trend of modern theology. Of the supersensible element of the Event of Golgotha, modern theology is willing to recognize little, very little.

    There is another impulse now that is growing stronger, an "impulse from a supersensible Being different from the Being of Christ or of Lucifer." That Being is Ahriman, who can equally be called "sub-sensible," Steiner hints. How do these three Beings inter-relate with us humans?

    [page 6] Lucifer is the power that stirs up in man all fanatical, all falsely mystical forces, all that physiologically tends to bring the blood into disorder and so lift man above and outside himself. Ahriman is the power that makes man dry, prosaic, philistine — ossifies him and brings him to the superstition of materialism. And the true nature and being of man is essentially the effort to hold the balance between the powers of Lucifer and Ahriman; the Christ Impulse helps present humanity to establish this equilibrium.

    The superstition of materialism! Was there ever a more apt term for the folly of the flat Earth scientists of today, not those that literally believe the Earth is flat, but those materialist-minded scientists who look at the Earth from one perspective only, who in effect take a photo of one view of the Earth, one view of the cosmos in which the Earth is immersed, and paste this flat photo up above their altar to materialism and worship it.

    [pages 9-10] What the ideas of Galileo, Copernicus, have brought to mankind is grand and mighty, but not an absolute truth, by no means an absolute truth. It is one aspect of the universe, one side from a certain standpoint. . . . The only right view - according to spiritual science - is to realize that all that is accepted by way of mere world-mathematics, mere world-schematism of a mechanical order, does not furnish man with absolute truth about the universe, but with illusions.

    The physical view of the world is just one point of view; the mathematical view of the world is a convenient and useful way of interpreting the physical world from another point of view. It is the point of view that is fostered and nurtured by Ahriman and a point of view that by its very success inspires humans to believe that it is the true view of the cosmos, rather than simply one point of view. Those who have invested their entire life in worshiping one point of view, believing it to be the whole point of view, the entire truth, do not want to hear that their life has been infused with a superstitious illusion, and Ahriman would be loath to inform them of that nuance of their existence.

    [page 10] Ahriman has the greatest possible interest in instructing men in mathematics, but not in instructing them that mathematical-mechanistic concepts of the universe are merely illusions. . . . that they are only points of view, like photographs from one side.

    Superstitious materialistic scientists are in the same position as the man who went to dinner at Antoine's, a gourmet restaurant in New Orleans. He ate the printed menu of food selections and complained about the food. Illusions of reality, like the printed menu, are useful because they help us to understand one side of reality. Unless we learn to discern the difference between our illusions of reality and the reality to pointed by those illusions, however, we are in danger of starving our immortal souls by consuming a continuous diet of cardboard menus.

    "Why don't you just tell them the truth?" some well-meaning person might ask. Steiner minces no words when he answers that question.

    [page 7] People nowadays flee the truth, and one cannot give it to them in an unvarnished form because they would ridicule it and scoff and jeer. But if one gives it to them through the "Threefold Social Organism" as one now tries to do, then they will not have it either — not the majority, at any rate. The fact that people reject these things is just one of the means which the Ahrimanic powers can use and which will give Ahriman the greatest possible following when he appears in human form on earth.

    One of the principles that will lead us to a threefold social order as Steiner proposed is found in the concept of primary property by Andrew J. Galambos. Fully developed this concept, in my opinion, will lead to a view of freedom from all sides versus the current one-sided points of view, in which each person has a different definition of freedom, or a confused one, or worse, none at all. Fully developed this concept will lead to the implementation of Steiner's threefold order. Unfortunately, Steiner was not around to learn of Galambos's revolutionary concept, and I've found few people who have studied both Galambos and Steiner. What happens when I attempt to explain the principle of primary property to students of Steiner? Many of them scoff and jeer, using every sort of pejorative adjective.

    Here's one example, "Of all of Galambos's ideas this is easily the silliest, and for you, a supposed student of Steiner's to advocate it, is even more strange." These words come from someone who, as a supposed student of Steiner's, might be expected to recognize and avoid Ahrimanic influences better than others.

    [page 7] This disregard of the weightiest truths is precisely what will build Ahriman the best bridge to the success of his incarnation.

    Rick Pitino, a famous basketball coach, once said, "When you build bridges, you can keep crossing them." If you cross bridges during your daily waking life, experiencing life from a one-sided materialistic superstition, and you cross bridges during your nocturnal soul life (while asleep), experiencing the fullness of your soul life in the cosmos, you will feel a disconcerting incongruity between your waking materialistic life and your sleeping spiritual life in your soul.

    [page 9] And much of the great discord felt by modern man is derived from the disharmony between what the soul experiences and what the waking consciousness acknowledges as its world-conception.

    Through the well-known psychological phenomenon of projection, the disharmony one feels within, when it is not understood fully as coming from within, is projected out upon the world. People who feel this discord can be recognized by the way they bemoan the "disharmony and discord out there in the world."

    When Marx wrote his doctrine, it spread quickly among the proletariat, but was firmly rejected by university science. Then it came to be accepted as a proven fact because Marx used all the methods of present day science.

    [page 13] Middle-class circles have unfortunately had no Karl Marx who could prove the opposite for them . . . A middle-class, bourgeois-Marx would be fully able to prove the exact opposite by the same strict method. There is no sort of swindle or humbug about it; the proof would work out right. Whence does this come? It comes from the fact that present human thinking, the present intellect, lies in a stratum of being where it does not reach down to realities. One can therefore prove something quite strictly, and also prove its opposite.

    We have built a bridge to understanding how a one-sided materialistic view of life can lead to egregious mistakes and error in our lives. Let cross that bridge once more as we look with Steiner at those who take a one-sided view of the world through the Gospel. In every town in America one can find a "Full Gospel Church" for whose members the Gospel is held to be the only way to view the spiritual world. This held belief is no longer appropriate due to the evolution of humankind and its consciousness in the past two millennia.

    [page 16] The Gospel was given to those who lived in the first centuries of Christianity, and to believe that today the Gospel can give the whole of Christianity is simply a half-truth. It is therefore also a half-error which befogs people and thus furnishes Ahriman with the best means of attaining the goal and the triumph of his incarnation. How numerous are those who think they are speaking out of Christian humility, but in reality out of dreadful arrogance, when they say, "Oh, we need no spiritual science! The homeliness, the simplicity of the Gospels leads us to what men need of the eternal!"

    Steiner reminds us that the Gospels were written back in a time when humans were permeated by a strength of Luciferic impulse which is no longer as strong for us today. Less we fall into the clutches of that dastardly troll Ahriman when we cross over his carefully constructed bridge, we must deepen our understanding of the Gospel with the insights of spiritual science. What is the alternative if we do not recognize the spiritual realities that the printed menu called the Bible points to? It is to paradoxically walk away from Christ by a study of the Gospels.

    [page 17] To accept the Gospel as it is and as numberless people accept it today, particularly as it is taught today, is not a path to Christ; it is a path away from Christ.

    Oh, they come to a Christ, Steiner says, but it is only a one-sided picture, a flat-Earth view of Christ, a hallucination of Christ that they come to, not the reality of Christ. Why, just look at what modern theologians say of Paul's experience on the road to Damascus, for example. They claim that Paul suffered a hallucination on the road to Damascus, not a direct experience of the reality of the Christ permeating the Earth with His cosmic being for the first time in history. Maybe we need a new revelation of Christ today? Steiner says, "No," and explains why.

    [page 19] We have no need, however, of a new revelation; the time of revelations in the old sense is over. We need a new science, one that illumined by the Spirit. But men must have the courage for such a new science. . . . Mankind must be courageous . . . and say: secular science by itself leads to illusion, the Gospel by itself leads to hallucination. The middle way between illusion and hallucination is found only by grasping reality through the Spirit.

    Thus, we must seek the reality of Christ as the balance point in our lives by which to avoid the extremes of Luciferic influences on one side and Ahrimanic influences on the other side. One way we can do this is to avoid placing too much emphasis on just one of the Gospels. There are four Gospels for a very good reason - to provide us with four perspectives of the spiritual reality that lies behind the Gospels. To emphasize but one Gospel leads to hallucination. Steiner says,

    [page 20] A great wisdom lies in the fact that these four Gospels have come down to the civilized world. In this way man is protected from being caught up by some one stream, which will take possession of him - as in the case of so many members of sects - if he is influenced by one Gospel alone.

    In these short twenty pages, Steiner has laid out the Ahrimanic deception like a patient on an operating table. With a brief CAT-scan we can view the inner workings of Ahriman as he strives to permeate our individual lives with his deception. We can ignore the results of Steiner's CAT-scan of Ahriman at our own peril. What we do with that information is up to each of us in freedom and light. What we do with that information will form the reality of our cosmos for all time.

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    3.) ARJ2: Play It Again — An Amateur Against The Impossible by Alan Rusbridger

    The books I read are books I have selected based on my current interests, but I keep open to possibilities for books to surprise me. This book came to me from our Book Club leader who had not read it in time for the upcoming meeting and offered it to anyone interested in the topic. My musical studies with Prof. Bob Greenberg through his Teaching Co. courses led me to suspect this would be of interest. I have a good friend, Ed Smith, who, like Alan Rusbridger, was a busy executive when he suddenly decided as an adult to play a public concert of Beethoven's Concerto No. 3 in C minor for piano and orchestra. I contacted Ed and sent a short description of this book and he replied:

    [Ed Smith] I loved the part where Rusbridger says "he became just good enough to know how much better the pros were." I believe that is the level I attained. People tell me that my playing sounds like a pro.  These are people who have not attained a high enough level of amateur performance to recognize the difference. I must confess that I enjoy listening to my own CDs because for me they are powerful with feeling, something I don't always get from professional performances.

    In a curious coincidence, Ed had also played two Chopin Ballades, including the Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Opus 23. It is this work which Alan Rusbridger describes so thoroughly in this book, keeping a detailed journal of his year and a half journey to playing the piece for his Master Class. While learning this piece, Alan was dealing with tight publication deadlines due to the WikiLeaks and phone hacking news breakthroughs, often having to coordinate the release of his Guardian issues with international journals in the USA and Germany in disparate time zones. Any early release could greatly upset the other two journals by giving the Guardian a scoop.

    This was Alan's foreground job which consumed him for 80 or so hours a week, while in the background he was tackling an incredibly challenging piano piece, so complicated that he had to memorize large pages of music, some of which he likened to being filled with "squashed flies on the page". (Page 359) Memorizing music was not Alan's forte, but he had no choice as some of the complicated passages began on one page and ended on another allowing the pianist no time to turn the page.

    The definition of the word amateur has devolved in recent decades to mean a dilettante, someone who is not serious about some endeavor, but merely dabbles in it. Originally amateur meant a "lover of" some activity, and until the time of recorded music most people heard music played and sung by amateurs in their homes. The only music one could buy was sheet music and without an amateur with a voice and an instrument around, the music remained on the sheets, unheard. Alan and Ed are amateurs only in that original sense of the word as lovers of music, talented amateurs, of course, and they are able to discern the difference between a professional musician and an amateur.

    From Rusbridger's discussions with many other pianists who have played Ballade No. 1 we come to understand that the coda is especially challenging and noteworthy to all of them, with its flying trapeze leaps of the Right Hand part.

    [page 16] The coda is the bit nearly every pianist fears, no matter how good they are, no matter how many hundreds of hours they've put into this piece. It explodes. It's presto con fuoco — extremely fast and fiery. The syncopated rhythms can throw and confuse the ear, the feet, the brain and the fingers. The RH is soon flying up and down the keyboard in trapeze-like leaps completely unrelated to the LH's own jumps. Something diabolic is happing — the listener must hear that — a sense of loss of control and a shattering of all earthly order. But how to convey that abandon without a loss of technical control?

    Was this challenge enough to scare away the faint of heart from even attempting this piece? Yes, but Alan felt up to it, though not without trepidation.

    [page 22] At any other time in my life, I would quietly have closed the music and put it back on the shelf. The added fear overlaying the entire enterprise is that I have never memorized a note of music in my life. I can't remember poetry, dates, phone numbers, films, novels — or music. Given that half of the piece is unplayable unless the eyes are on the hands and not on the score, I have no idea how, in my late 50s, I am going to retrain my brain.

    Clearly Alan is going to need help, and he finds it in the form of books, films, brain specialists, and piano teachers. Here's an example of advice by Charles Cooke, an amateur piano player himself. Alan had identified twelve horrors, he called them, in the Ballade, the coda being the prominent one. Cooke suggested that the pianist approach a piece by "identifying the weakest moments in a piece and turn them into the strongest". Easier said than done, but each piece of advice was like another stepping stone across the treacherous waters of the Ballade which threatened to drown Alan if he made but one misstep along the way.

    In addition to playing the Ballade, Alan decided he needed a new piano and a place to play the piano, a small room for intimate recitals with a few friends. He had the location in mind in the back of his cottage grounds at Blockley, about a third of an acre with lots of springs underground. He planned the piano room in the corner of the lot against a hill, all of which required piping to remove the water, lots of pilings to support the foundation, and a careful architect to produce the plans and carry them out. Just overseeing building this music room would filled the spare time of any amateur, but luckily Alan knew less about building than music and he hired professionals to do the design and the construction, while he carved out an hour a day to practice the Ballade. Or at least he strived to get an hour, but soon the crush of WikiLeaks and phone hacking news-breaking pushed him down to about 20 minutes a day. Every music teacher he consulted told him it was impossible to learn this piece playing less than an hour a day, but he went ahead anyway. In my experience, if you have a difficult job you want done, give it to a busy person! This seems paradoxical, but busy people already know how to get the impossible done, and if they accept the job, it will get done. Alan gave the job to himself. It was the Matterhorn to him, and he decided to climb it.

    [page 44] I think of the Matterhorn analogy. Looking at Matterhorn websites, it doesn't seem way off. Jerry R. Hobbs, an American computational linguistics expert and amateur climber, described the mountain as 'just about the hardest climb an ordinary person can do', which, apropos the G minor Ballade, sounds familiar. 'The climb is relentless. For the entire climb, there's never anything resembling a path. If you stop, you can only perch. You're always looking for handholds, and your average step would be like stepping onto a chair, if only the ledge were that big. Always up, up, up.' Which also sounds like a description of tackling Op. 23.

    Surely it can't be that bad, some of you might think, besides think of the thrill of reaching the summit. After reading Hobbs' description of the summit, you might change your mind.

    [page 44, Hobbs] 'one side is a sheer rock cliff and the other side is a steep slope of snow and the top itself is a track of footprints in the snow at the edge of the cliff. If your right foot slips, you end up in Switzerland. If your left foot slips, you end up in Italy.'

    Rusbridger compares the summit of the Matterhorn to scaling the coda of the Ballade which he says "induces night sweats in even professional pianists." Then he finds a pianist, Gary, who climbed out of deep despair by playing the Ballade. It came after Gary had finished watching the 2002 movie by Roman Polanski, "The Pianist", in which a famous Jewish pianist Szpilman escapes from Warsaw by playing the Ballade to a Nazi officer. Gary told Alan that, "It didn't take me very long to remember the notes." Turns out Gary played the piece continuously for three years, five or six times a day. Then when he was asked to play it in public, he spend an hour and a half a day of real practice. Not what Alan, with his twenty-minutes-a-day practice schedule, wanted to hear.

    [page 62, 63] I leave Gary feeling both uplifted and daunted. The story's an inspiring one — someone who had sunk low and was in something close to black despair who had found his way back to life through the associations of one ten-minute piece of music. I actually think of the piece very differently: far from the ending expressing hope, it seems to me to be about disintegration and despair. But it had, in the film, saved Szpilman's life and it had, in a way, saved Gary's.

    As the father of three daughters, I must agree with Alan that Schuman's "Child Falling Asleep" must be played as if one were attempting to leave a child one has just helped to fall asleep.

    [page 66] To me there's something so hushed and tender about a child falling asleep — every parent learns the art of imperceptibly moving out from under a child so as not to wake her, and tiptoeing from the room. I have done that a thousand times with our daughters. The piece graphically describes that feeling -- with the magical, velvet moment when the piece arrives in E major, and the ever-slowing breathing of the last few bars as sleep finally settles.

    "Steinway has its own forest?" Alan asked Clive Ackroyd, head technician of the Royal Academy of Music. Why would Steinway need its own forest when there are lots of forests of spruce trees around, I wondered myself. Clive reacted before answering Alan's question.

    [page 81] He looked at me quizzically, as if wondering how this could be possibly be news to anyone. Yes, it has its own forest and it takes the wood from the center of the forest, where the trees have to grow taller in order to reach the light. The trees are therefore straighter, which means you get a superior cut of wood for the soundboard. Other, lesser, piano manufacturers presumably have to make do with the punier spruce trees at the edge of whichever plantation serves as their spruce.

    To me the reasons for the popularity of Steinway Pianos for concert venues suddenly became apparent. Plus Alan spent a lot of time describing the various models of Steinways he tried playing on while looking for the ideal piano for his new Music Room at Blockley. He played on a 1908 Model O, he tried a Steinway B, and moved to a 1978 Model O which he deemed to be destined for Blockley.

    During a recent trip to New York City, I attended a reception in the Anthroposophical Section at which a pianist, Paul Catalon, was playing on an old Steinway piano. In the noisy room, I was the only person listening to the piano, so I asked him what model it was. He said, it was 1903, so I asked if it might be a Model O. He said, "No, it is a model L and still in great shape, music-wise." The corners of the piano were worn over time, but the great sound of a Steinway apparently lasts indefinitely.

    When Alan had a chance to have dinner with Ronnie Harwood, the writer of the movie, The Pianist, he verified a bit of the back story he had heard from Gary, that Szpilman actually saved his own life by playing Chopin's posthumous nocturne instead of the Ballade.

    [page 93] So, I asked Ronnie, whose idea was it to have the Ballade instead? 'It was mine,' he says, his voice husky through a life of chain-smoking. 'It's the most important scene in the film and it had to work emotionally. I listened to so much Chopin at the time to get exactly the right piece.'

    On Friday, 3 December, the WikiLeaks story breaks out like a 9/11 event in global diplomacy, consuming all of Alan's time except for the scant twenty minutes a day he devotes to the Ballade.

    [page 108] It is going to be like this right up to Christmas, I suspect. I can't remember any story quite like it: each day — actually twice a day, since we're launching stories in the morning and late at night — the partner newspapers are setting something off that ends up being discussed simultaneously in the White House, the Pentagon, the Kremlin, the Elysée Palace, in Delhi, in Caracas and Canberra. It's the first prolonged rolling, real-time global scoop — a vast spillage of information seeping out across the world.

    Even in the throes of a carved-out 59 minute session with Michael his piano teacher, he can't help but think of the WikiLeaks reverberations around the world.

    [page 108] It feels slightly surrealistic to be plunged straight back into fingering discussions while the WikiLeaks story is pinging round the chancelries and parliaments of the world. But I'm back into the scrum of the story within a blink, so I do my best to shut out all other thoughts for an hour.

    Ray Dolan, a professor of neuropsychiatry, helps Alan get over his major concerns about memorizing the score of the Ballade by reframing the sheet music pages as a memory cue instead of a crutch.

    [page 112] 'What the sheet is, essentially, is a cue and a lot of us need a cue to remember things, just something that will elicit the memory. So the music for you, as it's written and in front of you, is clearly a guide, it's a script, but it's a cue as well. It's eliciting memories that have been laid down.'

    Alan asks Dolan if he can explain how one pianist can move us emotionally and another one playing the same notes can leave us cold.

    [page 116] 'Well, when you acquire a skill, that skill is enacted out by you making predictions about the consequences of your actions. A lot of motor skills are also of that ilk. You're making predictions of the consequences of your actions. And those predictions, they perfectly line up with the consequences so you don't notice anything. It's only when there's a deviation that you notice. And that deviation in mathematical terms is called "surprise". But I think that's one of the things that good musicians do. They're not aware of this in any technical sense, but a crucial thing is to bring elements of surprise into how you play it. It is my intuition that this element of surprise, or a nuancing of expectations, provides a skilled musician with the core algorithm that is exploited to evoke emotion in an audience.'

    From Ronan O'Hora at Guildhall, Alan learns that playing perfectly will not work for certain compositions, particularly those of Beethoven because he was first composer who poured his own life struggles into his music, beginning with the Eroica Symphony, No. 3. A pianist who doesn't struggle playing Beethoven may be technically precise but will not feel and therefore not evoke the struggle of Beethoven. Part of Alan's struggle is with memorization and Ronan has a suggestion for him about that.

    [page 122, O'Hora] 'That's why it's very difficult, I think, for the hyper-virtuosi to play Beethoven convincingly, because you actually need some sense of struggling with one's own kind of limitation. That's actually part of the central utterance of Beethoven.' The Ballade, he thinks, is the nearest you get to this in Chopin — 'where you actually need to feel a player at the edge of their powers'. . . .
           Ronan tries to reassure me, telling me I probably don't have a problem with memorizing, just an anxiety about forgetting.

    In a live performance, the audience is apt to hear mistakes as expressive gestures. Also in live performances, audiences would often interrupt a great performance for some spontaneous applause, all of which is gone with the wind of recorded performances. Music critics will pick out such expressive gestures today, so inured they are by the quasi-perfection of edited recorded music, but audiences will still appreciate the nuances of live performances and ignore the wailing of perfection-minded critics.

    [page 187, Alex Ross] 'because recording, because availability to everybody of the best piano playing, of the highest level, has changed what kids strive for. The whole idea of having records which are beautifully engineered and fixed up has changed all of music. . . . There's hardly any room to play a messy performance. That used to be the norm, that used to be perfectly OK, and musicians were able to come to a concert and actually relax and not worry about detail sometimes and let go and play inspired performances in spite of a couple of lapses and I think that doesn't happen any longer.'

    When Woody Allen made a movie entitled, "Play It Again, Sam", everyone who saw that movie and had never seen "Casablanca" thought for sure that the line was spoken by Humphrey Bogart, but all Bogie said was "Play it" to Sam, who began playing the famous melody of "As Time Goes By," whose haunting refrain was the harmonic foundation of the entire movie. Alan Rusbridger knew that when he chose "Play It Again" as the eponymous title for his book, but the eponymous quote had never been spoken, not until Woody Allen's movie.

    [page 192] Should I ever make a book out of my endeavor with the Ballade, I resolve, I've at least got the title: Play It Again. It has two associations apart from the possibility that I might be sitting in front of an old upright piano in Casablanca this time tomorrow night: returning to the piano as an adult, and the fact that it's only by endless repetition that any progress is made. The journalist in me also likes the fact that it's a misquote. Bogart never said it.

    When the music room was completed at Blockley, ignominiously named the Fish Cottage, the original brochure from 1978 was with the piano. Its title should forewarn anyone in the market for a piano against even putting a finger on the keys of a Steinway: "See one, Touch one, Play one, Own one." (Page 199)

    For myself, my carpentry skills far outpace my music skills with a keyboard instrument. I know how cut wood with precision and fit it together into a seamless whole and a sturdy structure. Alan found himself thinking of his mother taking apart old furniture to re-use its wood and a carpentry metaphor came to his mind.

    [page 227] It's clear why this suddenly came to mind. I can now play even the most difficult sections of the Ballade, but I have to remain aware of the weak joints, each fracture, and continue to revisit them until they're mastered — and of course, if I stop focusing on them, they won't just remain weak joints, they'll get weaker. In carpentry each piece you make is built of joints, each one crucial to the integrity of the whole; I need to remember this with the Ballade. There's no room for imprecision. Each dovetail and dowel matters in exact detail.

    What is the one thing that no teacher will ever advise a student when playing a piece? To go for it all, in other words, to take big risks! But Alan attempts to do that for his secondary teacher, Lucy, and finds himself playing it in "a new, vivid way."

    [page 238] The next time I play it will be for Michael, and I know I will retreat in speed and in expression. But this has been a little moment of release. And I now understand the imperative to really go for it — that the true impact of the piece lies in the sensation of the pianist risking all. Which is something that a lesson doesn't always encourage.

    Much of what happened to Alan during the WikiLeaks and phone hacking fiascos fits in the category of "impossible things", all of which brought to mind for me what the Red Queen said to Alice in Wonderland:

            "Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things."
           "I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

    Seemed that everyone except the Queen of England had their phones hacked, even Prince Charles and Camilla.

    [page 269] And then it turned out, every member of the royal family, bar the Queen, had been hacked — and that's probably only because she hasn't got a mobile phone. So that was three amazing stories by lunchtime. But, mentioning them to the media editor at six o'clock in the evening, he looked at me blankly and said dismissively, 'Oh yeah, now that seems so long ago, doesn't it?' There had been three equally jaw-slackening developments during the course of the afternoon.

    To a journalist, especially one who's editor of the Guardian, it seems that people are constantly swimming in and out of your life on any given day. Alan recounts one of those hectic days for us.

    [page 321] Today's similarly hectic, but also another one of those days when editing a paper — actually, simply being a journalist — is just one of the most interesting jobs in the world, if only because of the people who swim through your life and the things you discuss. In the morning Martin McGuinness, the former IRA and Sinn Fein leader and now Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister, comes for a cup of coffee. He's just unsuccessfully stood for president in the South and we spend three-quarters of an hour discussing policing, security and the politics of Northern Ireland. As I show him out, I tell him that the next person in — for lunch — is the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams. His face brightens and he says what a nice man Williams is and would I send him his regards, which I do. 'Martin McGuinness says he really likes you,' I add. Rowan — beset, as ever, by endless ecclesiastical divisions over gender and sexuality — allows a bushy eyebrow to arch a bit and remarks drily, 'Well at least that's one.'

    One of Alan's music teachers is named William, and he offers this wonderful difference between an amateur and professional musician.

    [page 328] So, whether you were jet-lagged, or have flu, or really don't like the piano [RJM: the one provided for your performance], or aren't feeling great, you can still play the piece impressively. That is what marks a professional from an amateur.

    Then Stephen Hough, who played the Ballade at age 12 and is now 50, compared the coda to the process of physically shredding into pieces or ripping apart a horrible love letter from an old flame.

    [page 333] When he speaks about the coda, Stephen touches on something new for me, saying: 'When you watch someone playing it, it's not just what you're listening to, it's what you're seeing.' In the coda, the pianist's action is particularly dramatic, quickly going from the bottom of the piano to top, then round the bottom and back up again. 'It's like shredding, ripping up a love letter or something. You know there's something — physically it looks dramatic.'

    How was Rusbridger's final performance? His friend Martin popped around for an impromptu dress rehearsal and thought he was marvelous. Rusbridger is reminded of how the theater expert Alan Bennett dealt with weak actors, "Whatever you thought, even if you slept through the whole of the second act, you have to go in there saying it was all marvelous. Marvelous. It was MARVELOUS."

    [page 349] Suddenly it's over. My hands ended as they began — with thumbs and fingers joined in intoning a unison note of despair (yes, Stephen Hough was right: it is despair). There's a moment of silence and then everyone's on their feet and the girls are rushing towards me for a bear hug of congratulation (their) and utter relief (mine. I can't remember feeling such an instant, immediately physical surge of release.

    Yes, indeed, it was marvelous for Alan Rusbridger. Marvelous to have finished learning the Ballade. Marvelous to have played it before his friends in the Master Class. Marvelous to have done with it. Marvelous for them to pause for the moment of silence that every audience owes to a performer who has completed a piece. Marvelous to have discovered the difference between an amateur and a professional. Marvelous to enjoy being a true amateur.

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    4.) ARJ2: Karmic Relationships, Volume 3, GA# 237 by Rudolf Steiner

    We not only live in our body, we live in our karma.
    Rudolf Steiner

    One of the consequences of the evolution of consciousness is that we are always stuck with our present state of consciousness when trying to understanding the past, up until now. You may know some adults yourself who you would swear were never children because they come at every new experience as the proper adult of whatever age in years they are, e.g., the thirty seven year-old who must always act thirty seven years old. Yet we know full well they were a child once, and as a child, they had a consciousness that was much different than the consciousness they possess now. Perhaps you know other people who, while eminently adult, can quickly recover a childlike state in a moment of levity, jest, or fun. Rudolf Steiner is like the latter when it comes to consciousness - he is a scientist of the present time who can recover, when appropriate, the consciousness of a prior stage of the evolution of consciousness.

    [page 13-14] People who study history nowadays generally project what they are accustomed to see in the present time, back into the historic past, and they have little idea how altogether different men were in mind and spirit before the present epoch. Even when they let the old documents speak for themselves, they largely read into them the way of thought and outlook of the present.

    What do these people of today think when they read the beginning lines of the Iliad where Homer writes "Sing, oh Muse, the wrath of Achilles, son of Peleus."? I imagine that they think Homer was speaking metaphorically, as if a Muse were speaking to him. These people would certainly not think that (page 15) "In the Ether which reaches up to the Moon, there are the thoughts. We perceive the thoughts, receive them into ourselves." And yet that is what Homer thought in his time, what led him to open his books in such a fashion.

    "Where is the tree from which comes the fruit that appears in mind's basket?" Jane Roberts asked in one of her books that I read some twenty years ago. This quote has haunted me as an unanswered question all these years, and now Rudolf Steiner points to the tree as the Etheric space between the earth and the Moon.

    Before the 14th Century people considered themselves as living in an ether of thoughts just as we today consider ourselves as living in an atmosphere of oxygen. We know that we breathe in oxygen to live as they knew back then that they breathed in thoughts to think. If we breathe in thoughts, where do the thoughts come from? From the out-breathing of others.

    [page 17-18] What then is this out-breathing? It is the very same, my dear friends, of which we speak when we say: In the three days after death the etheric body of man expands. Man looks back upon his etheric body, slowly increasing in magnitude. He sees how his thoughts spread out into the cosmos. It is the very same, only it was then conceived - if I may say so - from a more subjective standpoint. It was indeed quite true, how these people felt and experienced it. They felt the cycle of life more deeply than it is felt to-day.

    If, in the 13th Century, a young priest came to an older priest "telling of the inner tortures which he was undergoing in remaining true to his religious faith" he might express himself this way, "I am pursued by the specters of the dead." (Page 20) And how might a Post-Structuralist historian interpret such a statement? Lacking an understanding of how consciousness existed in the 13th Century, the historian would consider the statement as a trope, not as a literal description of the young priest's experience.

    While it is true that every word was once a living metaphor as Emerson claimed, it is not true that every metaphoric expression in the past was a mere metaphor when it was first used. To put it bluntly, in the beginning, a "horse's ass" was a part of a horse. To distinguish metaphoric prose from literal descriptive prose, one must calibrate or align one's consciousness according to the evolution of consciousness at the time the prose was written. One must, in effect, make a trip, time-travel into the past. If this seems incredibly difficult to you, I would agree, and would suggest that you study the evolution of consciousness with a knowledgeable guide such as Owen Barfield or Rudolf Steiner before you attempt such a trip.

    Let us take such a trip with Steiner and eavesdrop on an imaginary conversation between an older and younger Dominican, in which we discover why "the Anthroposophical Movement must speak without reserve in forms of living thought":

    [page 25-26] The younger man said, 'Thinking takes hold of men. Thought, the shadow of reality, takes hold of them. In ancient times, thought was always the last revelation of the living Spirit from above. But now, thought is the very thing that has forgotten that living Spirit. Now it is experienced as a mere shadow. Verily, when a man sees a shadow, he knows the shadow points to some reality. The realities are there indeed. Thinking itself is not to be attacked, but only the fact that we have lost the living Spirit from our thinking.'

    The older man replied, 'In Thinking, through the very fact that man is turning his attention with loving interest to outer Nature - in Thinking, to compensate for the former heavenly reality, an earthly reality must be found once more.'

    'What will happen?' said the younger man. 'Will European humanity be strong enough to find this earthly reality of thought, or will it only be weak enough to lose the heavenly reality?'

    What is instinct in animals and humans? Where does it originate? Animals on earth are not self-contained beings, but have a Group-soul standing behind them as Steiner likes to say. The Group-souls exist in the spiritual world and when animals act instinctively, they are operating out of the full consciousness of their Group-soul. And humans? Contrary to animals, humans are self-contained beings.

    [page 30] For man however it is different. Man too has instinct, but when he acts through his instinct, he is not acting out of yonder Spirit-realm, but out of his own former lives on earth. He is acting across time, out of his formerly earthly lives, out of a whole number of former lives on earth.

    As the spiritual realm works upon the animals, causing them to act instinctively, so do the former incarnations of man work on his later incarnations in such a way that he instinctively lives out his karma. But this is a spiritual instinct - an instinct that works within the Ego.

    It is just by understanding this, that we shall come to understand the absolute consistency of this instinctive working with human freedom. For the freedom of man proceeds from the very realm out of which the animals act instinctively, namely the realm of the spirit.

    What does all this mean? It means, as Steiner succinctly states on page 30, that here in our life on earth, our "inner experience of karma is instinctive." Like the weaverbird knows how to weave a basket nest for its young without previous instruction in this life, so do we humans know how to act so as to balance out our karma without having taken any lessons in how to do it in this lifetime.

    Our thoughts are woven into our karma instinctively, out of our awareness, or unconsciously - these are our "living thoughts." On the other hand, the thoughts that we are conscious of are "dead thoughts." In the period between death and a new birth, these living thoughts spring forth into the Ether of the Moon space and are breathed in by the Angels, Archangels, and Archai, the Third Hierarchy of the spiritual world. From this process comes this prayer which we can say when we think of someone who has recently passed the gates of death [page 32]:

    Angels, Archangels, and Archai in the Ether-weaving receive the human being's Web of Destiny.

    The Second Hierarchy, or Powers, Mights, and Dominions, named by Steiner as the Spirits of Form, Movement, and Wisdom, draw into themselves the "Negative of human deeds" and the prayer about them goes [page 35]:

    In Powers, Mights, and Dominions, in the astral feeling of the Cosmos the righteous consequences of the earthly life of man die into the realm of Being.

    In the next phase the human's deeds on earth are received by the First Hierarchy, the Thrones, Cherubim, and Seraphim, the Spirits of Will, Harmony, and Love. The prayer is [page 35]:

    In Thrones and Cherubim and Seraphim, as their Deeds of Being, the justly transmuted 'fruits of the earthly life' of man are resurrected.

    Steiner was able to see the working of destiny among humans as a "clear, radiant light" beaming its way heavenward.

    [page 37] The individual man experiences his destiny. But as soon as two human beings are working together, something more arises, — more than the working out of the individual destinies of the one and of the other. Something takes place as between the two, transcending the individual experiences of either. Ordinary consciousness perceives no connection of what happens between man and man, with what goes on in the spiritual worlds above.

    My wife and I have the following saying framed on the wall aside the door to our bedroom:

    From every human being there arises a light
    that reaches straight to heaven
    and when two souls
    that are destined to be together
    find each other,
    their streams of light flow together
    and a single brighter light goes forth
    from their united being. - Baal Shem Tov

    What Steiner is saying above and Baal Shem Tov is mirroring is clear: It is into the First Hierarchy that this light of our deeds on earth flow, individual and collective alike.

    One of the most frustrating experiences for any master chef is to prepare an exquisite meal only to serve it and have the diners talk about food that they have eaten elsewhere, particularly bad-tasting food! It is with this in mind that I offer this quotation from Steiner.

    [page 40] How happy men are when they can somehow contrive to cover up the New, that is coming forth in Anthroposophy to-day, with some old saying. How contented they are, if in some lecture that I give something occurs of which they can subsequently prove: ' Look, here it is in an old book!' In reality, of course, it is there in quite a different form, coming out of altogether different foundations of consciousness. The people of to-day have so little courage to receive what grows on the soil of the living present. Their minds are set at rest as soon as they can bring something forward out of the past.

    To "receive what grows on the soil of the living present" is only possible when someone focuses on process, that is, on what is happening in the "living present." If my readers would like a simple test by which to determine how close to the "soil of the living present" they live, take a minute away from reading this review, use a pen and paper if one is available, and write down a description of what you are doing. Then continue reading from this spot.

    Some of you will write, "I'm reading a review." - but you stopped reading the review to write this. Others will write, "I'm interrupting my reading to take this test." Others will write, "I'm following instructions." Others, "I'm describing what I'm doing." Each of these examples get closer and closer to the soil of the living present which, when you reach it, you can only write in infinite recursion, "What I'm doing is describing what I'm doing which is describing what I'm doing which is describing what I'm doing which is describing what I'm doing which is . . ." That is one way of experiencing the soil of the living present, one way of getting completely into process.

    Words are content - canned, preserved, crystalized process. Nouns are the primary example of content, which is why nouns are the first words to disappear when one passes the gates of death. Verbs are words, true, but words that at least point to process. Every word has a content and a process meaning according to how the word is used. Want an example? "The same thing happens to happen." In the previous sentence the word "happen" appears first as process and secondly as content. Rightly understood content is but another form of process. Content can change the internal state of a human being as easily as process. Pouring ice water over someone's head can stop a bickering, pointless conversation faster and more effectively than a thousand words, but words, carefully chosen, can also do the job.

    In the process of understanding the content of words, one's inner state can change. Content to the brain is like a CD-ROM is to a Personal Computer - the CD is all content, but insert it into a PC and things begin to happen in process. Materialistic science has taught us that nouns are things, that content exists independently of process, that the material world is independent of the spiritual world, which if it exists at all, must exist somewhere else. At least that's what materialistic science taught me. I came to believe that the spiritual world existed somewhere else, in another dimension, in another reality disconnected from the one I lived in, up until now. I was disoriented and the question, "Where is the Christ spirit?" would have been a meaningless one to me. If pressed I would have answered with some cliché like "in heaven" which was all my Catechism taught me. Through my study of Steiner's works I have come to understand that the highest spiritual beings reside in the most brilliant sources of light, so that Christ is a being of the Sun in our solar system. Simple, elegant, and true. By recovering that insight, first promulgated by Zarathustra aeons ago, the spiritual and the material worlds have come into alignment for me again, and I feel oriented in the world once more in this lifetime. I look around me and I find human beings now incarnated - and I wonder about those who are currently not incarnated on earth.

    [page 44] And the others who are not on earth, where in the universe shall we find them? Whither must we look in the great universe if we would turn our soul's gaze to them, - assuming that a certain time has elapsed since they went through the gate of death? The answer is: We look in the true direction when we look out upon the starry heavens. There are the souls - or at least the directions which will enable us to find the souls - who are spending their life between death and a new birth.

    Can anyone who has read the story or seen the movie of Antoine St. Exupery's classic The Little Prince ever forget the souls in the stars laughing along with the little Prince? This great mystical writer enabled our souls to do what Steiner says that his Anthroposophy is to attain for the souls of all: to feel ourselves "united even in a human way with the whole cosmos."

    Have you ever felt like you jumped out of your skin when something startled you? Have you ever listened to a motivational speaker and felt carried away, transported? These ways of talking metaphorically today were once living experiences. These living experiences disappeared about the 11th Century.

    [page 81] Until that time, when a man listened to another, who, filled with divine enthusiasm, spoke out of the Spirit, he had the feeling as he listened that he was going a little out of himself. He was going out a little, into his etheric body. He was leaving the physical body to a slight extent. He was approaching the astral body more nearly. It was literally true, men still had a slight feeling of being transported as they listened. Nor did they care so very much in those times for the mere hearing of words. What they valued most was the inward experience, however slight, of being transported - carried away. Men experienced with living sympathy the words that were spoken by a God-inspired man.

    But after the 9th through 11th Centuries this way of hearing became replaced by mere listening and the direct experience of the spiritual world was replaced by rote learning by Catechism. Those trained in the Catechism were allowed to attend Mass only till the Gospel was read. To receive communion required a deeper training and preparation. This practice has also passed into history and nowadays anyone can attend the entire mass and the preparation requirements for receiving communion has been almost completely eliminated. Yet even in the depths of the materialistic world we have not completely lost our moorings from the Christ spirit for in every Monstrance is the symbol of the Sun with its golden rays beaming out into the universe. If one wishes to know where to find the Christ in the universe, one need only look upon the Blessed Sacrament as it is exposed in the middle of the golden rays of the Sun in the Monstrance.

    If one wishes to understand why the cycle of sevens is so pervasive in Steiner's works, and is not satisfied with the explanation that musical octaves are seven tones following a repetition of the base note as the eight note, then one can look at the days of the week. In a typical week, we live through a passage through seven heavenly bodies as follows: Sunday [Sun], Monday [Moon], Tuesday [Mars, Mardi in french], Wednesday [Mercury, Mercredi in french], Thursday [Jupiter, Jeudi in french], Friday [Venus, Vendredi in french] and Saturday [Saturn]. On Sunday we go to church to worship the Sun Being, Christ. On Saturn's day we spend together with our family, recalling the origin of our solar system when all the planets were collected together in the body of Saturn. In french Saturday is samedi and in German it is Samstag. Sammlung in German means a collection and Samen means a seed — the root of our word semen. Is it not interesting that so many family reunions occur on Saturday?

    Another appearance of the cycle of sevens occurs in the seven ages of the Archangels that recycle after the seven Archangels of Raphael, Anael, Samael, Zachariel, Oriphiel, Gabriel, and Michael. From the age of Alexander to the beginning of the 20th Century we passed through the seven ages of the archangels. At the start of the 20th Century the Michael age returned once more, but with a dramatic and important difference. Previously Michael had brought Cosmic Intelligence to humans, but on this trip, during this Michael Age, he is bringing both Intelligence and Freedom, for it is only when humans have achieved Intelligence on the earth, separate from Cosmic Intelligence, that Freedom is truly possible for them.

    How is the influence of Michael different from those of the previous age of Gabriel?

    [page 133] The rulership of Gabriel is connected with forces that go through the line of physical inheritance. The forces of Michael are the very opposite of this. The rulership of Gabriel is characterized by the fact that his impuses enter strongly into the physical bodily nature of man. Michael, on the other hand, works intensely into the spiritual being of man.

    I was having a conversation over electronic mail today and someone sent me the following message, "Individuals can inspire but groups of kindred spirits change the world." I made the point forcefully that it is individuals that change the world, not groups of any kind. Emerson once said that if you get a large enough business, it will display the intelligence of a very dumb animal. Steiner seems to agree in the following quote.

    [page 152] Every public meeting, every mass meeting to which we go, only fulfils its purpose as such, if the initiative of the individual human being, with the exception of the speakers and leaders, is undermined. Nor does any newspaper fulfil its purpose if it does not create an atmosphere of opinion, thus undermining the individual's initiative.

    If we add television and the Internet for the latter part of the 20th Century, we have here the means by which the undermining of initiative by materialistic thinking has become so widespread today.

    To summarize, the world of humans once comprised physical body, immortal soul, and the spiritual world. In 869 A. D. the 8th Ecumenical Council declared that there were only two bodies, physical body and soul and that the soul possessed certain spiritual qualities. There! Steiner has pinpointed an event that led to my disorientation in the spiritual world some 1200 years later. He has diagnosed the cause of my dis-ease in the spiritual world and pointed to my cure: I am to raise my eyes to the stars, to the planets and the Sun from which cometh my help. I am to understand that "Intelligence means the mutual relationships of conduct among the higher Hierarchies." I am to consider the hierarchy closest to me with the same reverence and deference that a plant points its new colored leaf, its flower, to the sky in hopes of attracting the astral energy without which its seed will fall infertile to the earth, the same reverence and deference with which my Schnauzer looks up to me as he strives to reach Egohood. That hierarchy for me is the Third Hierarchy, the Angels, Archangels and Archai. I am to look upon a physical planet as a gathering of Spiritual Beings from now on. When I do all this and even more, when I do it in concert with my fellow humans, a light, a Cosmic Ray will go forth that will restore the truth in karma and make it live in our souls.

    Read/Print at:

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    I hear often from my Good Readers that they have bought books after reading my book reviews. Keep reading, folks! As I like to remind you, to obtain more information on what's in these books, buy and read the books — for less information, read the reviews.

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    In this section I like to comment on events in the world, in my life, and in my readings which have come up during the month. These are things I might have shared with you in person, if we had had the opportunity to converse during the month. If we did, then you may recognize my words. If I say some things here which upset you, rest assured that you may skip over these for the very reason that I would likely have not brought up the subject to spoil our time together in person.

    1. Padre Filius Glances at the New Orleans Times-Picayune, our former Daily Newspaper this Month:

    Padre Filius, the cartoon character created by your intrepid editor and would-be cartoonist, will appear from time to time in this Section of the Digest to share with us some amusing or enlightening aspect of the world he observes during his peregrinations.

    This month the good Padre is not impressed by our skinny former daily TP:

    2. Comments from Readers:

    NOTE: I love hearing from all my Good Readers and including your missives here (slightly edited).
    If you prefer any comments or photos you send to be private, simply say so and they will not be published.

    • EMAIL from Del:
      Our week-old great-grandson Benjamin Upton just chilling and relaxing in his PJ's and dinosaurs slippers.
    • EMAIL from Abdul in the UK:
      My response to his earlier email: The information from Anastasia that plants grown by a person benefits the person was very useful to me in forming my concept of the plant as doctor. Read my review here: McClintock's Book .


      "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -Hippocrates

      That was the quote that came to mind when reading your website. I looked back at what Anastasia had said regarding planting seeds. Here is an excerpt from the first book which I think you are referring to.

      "Before planting, put into your mouth one or more little seeds, hold them in your mouth, under the tongue, for at least nine minutes. Then place the seed between the palms of your hands and hold It there for about thirty seconds. During this time It is important that you be standing barefoot on the spot of earth where you will later be planting it. Open your hands, and carefully raise the seed which you are holding to your mouth. Then blow on It lightly, warming It with your breath, and the wee little seed will know everything that is within you."

      I always felt that there was something special this piece of information and I'm glad to see that there is a scientific backing for it.

      I have yet to test this myself, but even without this method, I know that self-grown produce will always be superior to what can be bought. After all, nothing beats the superior taste of the vegetables grown by my grandmother, and I'm pretty sure that she doesn't do anything fancy beforehand. So I wonder what the difference would be with Anastasia's method. Perhaps you have tried planting in this way?

      Your insights have been valuable to me also, so thank you and keep up the good works.


      Superior taste was how I came to put together the pieces of Plant as Doctor.

      A simple thing like putting salt on watermelon. We did this back in 1940s. But few do it today. Why? Because in the 1940s it made the watermelon taste better and today it doesn't. Why?

      In the Deep South, we ate watermelon on hot days in summer, outdoors because the house was too hot. Usually we had been playing hard and sweating up a storm. Our bodies were depleted in SALT and watermelon had no salt in it. So we sprinkled salt on it to "make it taste better" but to our bodies the salt supplied a vitally need ingredient at the time, so IT MADE THE WATERMELON TASTE BETTER! [Why does no one add salt today? Air Conditioned houses! Less sweating. ]

      That's how our body works!

      Now if you work your own garden, toxins from your body enter the plant which then changes its DNA structure by moving genes around on the DNA molecule. What does this do?

      It causes the proteins created in the plant substance to be modified. (Barbara McClintock proved this, got a Nobel Prize) Those proteins will provide what your body requires to eliminate the toxins. Since your body recognizes that fact, it makes the plants taste better to you, just like with the watermelon with salt on it.

      My father's tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden he tilled tasted better than store-bought. Always wondered about that, but that was a subjective fact and the watermelon phenomenon is an objective fact that most anyone can verify independently from historical records.

      Putting seeds in mouth before planting gets the toxins directly into the plant. But we never did that with my father's plants, only walked through them and later helped harvest them, and still our breathing around the plants was enough to be noticeable in the taste.

      This info caused me to begin planting vegetables and tending them myself. They taste great and are good for me.

      Thanks for writing,

    • EMAIL from Kevin Dann, getting to N.O. before we did:
      The sun is out here in New Orleans! Have a safe journey home. Jordan and I met Father Jacob in the middle of Royal street yesterday, and attended mass this morning. Then walked over to Cafι du Monde and got the last seat inside before the rush. (Photo of me and Joan of Arc on March 6th)
    • EMAIL from Abdul re the Reality of Anastasia:
      Just one last thing that I wanted you to comment on:
      Do you think Anastasia is real?


      I don't spend a lot of time debating myself or others whether something or someone is really true. If what she says works, she's as real as anyone I know.



      What a brilliant answer!

      Full of wisdom.

      Thanks Bobby.

    • EMAIL from Frances White Identifying "Mr. Stephans":
      I am a descendent of Mr Stephan's....He was my grandfather. The name was Stevens. My mother was Joyce Stevens, his daughter.



      I'm guessing you're talking about the "Mr. Stephans" that my mother talked about who ran the drugstore and played the violin at night in the Sawmill Town of Donner when she grew up, which I wrote about in Buster and Annette Remember Is that correct?




      His name was Anatole J. Stevens(called AJ) Sadly, he died in 1948 of cerebral hemorrhage most likely. They lived above their drugstore in Thibodaux on Jackson St. I was born in 1949. Grew up in Lafayette. My dad was also pharmacist. Joyce Stevens, Gladys, and Gilmore are all gone. I have Stevens cousins in Spring, Tx and I am a nurse in Lafayette. Thanks so much for responding. My mom wrote some stories of her childhood when she was dying of cancer in the 90's. Recently found it and "reconnecting" with roots...

      God Bless
      Frances Deborah White

    3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell: Chimera Verité

    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:

                    Come on Weal

    Should is the socialist's shibboleth,
    The password to the utopian path:
    A just distribution should be arranged
    For general opportunity and wealth.

    Our fragile few private property rights
    This socialist chimera would trample
    Ride roughshod over our Bill of Rights
    Till all that remains is one great big BILL
    To create in our Western Hemisphere
    The principles the Eastern Bear once held dear.

    We'll queue for bread and wine and salami
    With no time nor money for baloney.
    Locked into legalized equality,
    We'll grin and bear with forced fraternity
    And dream dreams of how we used to be
    When private property meant liberty.

    NOTE: Joanne Woodward is said to have posted above her bed, "I will not should on myself today."


    4. A Blast from the Past

    Usually our Blast from the Past refers to a photo of some relative, but this month we also feature a news item of an actual blast from the past: A 1901 tornado which severely injured my grandfather Clairville Matherne and killed his mother. Thanks to my second cousin Suzanne Potier for calling this to my attention. She shared information she had received from my first-cousin-once-removed, Paulette Malamud, and my first cousin, Kathy van Pelt. I had never heard this story before. I called my aunt, Carolyn Matherne, who shared with me pieces of the story from her father Clairville, but said, "Papa didn't like to talk about it," which helps explain why few people knew about this story. Clairville was stone deaf, my Aunt Lydia told me, until he finally got a modern hearing aid, a black box larger than a cigarette pack, which he wore attached to his belt when I first remember him in the mid-1940s. Perhaps the tornado damaged his eardrums and led to his deafness, but there is no way of knowing.

    My grandfather was ten years old, playing outside in his yard in Bayou Blue, Louisiana, on November 2, 1901, when the sky suddenly turned a brilliant orange color. He looked toward his home where his mother Palmyra had rushed to the door to call him to come inside. As he watched in horror, his mother was sucked from the house which was torn from the ground. Clairville didn't see much else because he was lifted into the air and tossed back to the ground in a field where he lay unconscious with a broken arm. His mother was hit by a flying piece of timber and killed. His eighteen-year-old sister Susanne had thrown herself over her younger sister Lizzie to protect her. Lizzie had two broken arms, but Susanne died saving the life of her sister. Clairville remained in a coma for days, and when he awoke, he was told that his mother had died and had already been buried.

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    My reviews are not intended to replace the purchasing and reading of the reviewed books, but rather to supplant a previous reading or to spur a new reading of your own copy. What I endeavor to do in most of my reviews is to impart a sufficient amount of information to get the reader comfortable with the book so that they will want to read it for themselves. My Rudolf Steiner reviews are more detailed and my intention is to bring his work to a new century of readers by converting his amazing insights into modern language and concepts.

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    Any questions about this DIGESTWORLD ISSUE, Contact: Bobby Matherne
    Look at George Burns, Bob Hope, both lived to 100. Doesn't that prove that "He who Laughs, Lasts"? Eubie Blake at 100 told Johnny Carson, "If I'd known I'd live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself." Do you find nothing humorous in your life? Are your personal notes only blue notes? Are you unhappy with your life? Fearful? Angry? Anxious? Feel down or upset by everyday occurrences? Plagued by chronic discomforts like migraines or tension-type headaches? At Last! An Innovative 21st Century Approach to Removing Unwanted Physical Body States without Drugs or Psychotherapy, e-mediatelytm !
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