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Good Mountain Press Presents DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#15a
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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Oliver Sacks (1933-2015) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ [ Famous Neurologist and Author of Popular Books, such as, "An Anthropologist on Mars" ] ~~~~~

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Quote for the Fall Color Month of October:

When books and an individual come into collision and there is a hollow sound, this need not be the fault of the books!
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), Austrian Philosopher

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GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents ISSUE#15a for October, 2015
                  Archived DIGESTWORLD Issues

             Table of Contents

1. October's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for October
3. On a Personal Note
       Rainbows & Shadows Poems
       Movie Blurbs

4. Cajun Story
5. Household Hint for October, 2015 from Bobby Jeaux: Removing Marks from Stoneware Dishes
6. Poem from Long Quiet Highway by Natalie Goldberg:"Fist Deep in Life"
7. Reviews and Articles featured for October:

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

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

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== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ARCHIVED DIGESTWORLD ISSUES ON THE WEB  
#1 Jul  #2, Aug  #3, Sept  #4, Oct  #5, Nov  #6, Dec  #7
2001: Jan  #8,  Feb  #9,  Mar #10, Apr #11, May #12, Jun #13, Jul #14, Aug #15, Sep #16, Oct #17, Nov #18, Dec #19
2002: Jan #20, Feb #21, Mar #22, Apr #23, May #24, Jun #25, Jul #26, Aug #27, Sep #28, Oct #29, Nov #30, Dec #31
2003: Jan #32, Feb #33, Mar #34, Apr #35, May #36, Jun #37, Jul #38, Aug #39, Sep #40, Oct #41, Nov #42, Dec #43
2004: Jan #44, Feb #45, Mar #46, Apr #47, May #48, Jun #49, Jul #50, Aug #51, Sep #52, Oct #53, Nov #54, Dec #55
2005: Jan#051,Feb#052,Mar#053,Apr#054,May#055,Jun#056,Jul#057,Aug#058,Sep#059,Oct#05a,Nov#05b,Dec#05c
2006: Jan#061,Feb#062,Mar#063,Apr#064,May#065,Jun#066,Jul#067,Aug#068,Sep#069,Oct#06a,Nov#06b,Dec#06c
2007: Jan#071,Feb#072,Mar#073,Apr#074,May#075,Jun#076,Jul#077,Aug#078,Sep#079,Oct#07a,Nov#07b,Dec#07c
2008: Jan#081,Feb#082,Mar#083,Apr#084,May#085,Jun#086,Jul#087,Aug#088,Sep#089,Oct#08a,Nov#08b,Dec#08c
2009: Jan#091,Feb#092,Mar#093,Apr#094,May#095,Jun#096,Jul#097,Aug#098,Sep#099,Oct#09a,Nov#09b,Dec#09c
2010: Jan#101,Feb#102,Mar#103,Apr#104,May#105,Jun#106,Jul#107,Aug#108,Sep#109,Oct#10a,Nov#10b,Dec#10c
2011: Jan#111,Feb#112,Mar#113,Apr#114,May#115,Jun#116,Jul#117,Aug#118,Sep#119,Oct#11a,Nov#11b,Dec#11c
2012: Jan#121,Feb#122,Mar#123,Apr#124,May#125,Jun#126,Jul#127,Aug#128,Sep#129,Oct#12a,Nov#12b,Dec#12c
2013: Jan#131,Feb#132,Mar#133,Apr#134,May#135,Jun#136,Jul#137,Aug#138,Sep#139,Oct#13a,Nov#13b,Dec#13c
2014: Jan#141,Feb#142,Mar#143,Apr#144,May#145,Jun#146,Jul#147,Aug#148,Sep#149,Oct#14a,Nov#14b,Dec#14c
2015: Jan#151,Feb#152,Mar#153,Apr#154,May#155,Jun#156,Jul#157,Aug#158,Sep#159,Oct#15a,Nov#15b,Dec#15c
2016: Jan#161,Feb#162,Mar#163,Apr#164,May#165,Jun#166,Jul#167,Aug#168,Sep#169,Oct#16a,Nov#16b,Dec#16c
2017: Jan#171,Feb#172,Mar#173,Apr#174,May#175,Jun#176,Jul#177,Aug#178,Sep#179,Oct#17a,Nov#17b,Dec#17c
2018: Jan#181,Feb#182,Mar#183,Apr#184,May#185,Jun#186,Jul#187,Aug#188,Sep#189,Oct#18a,Nov#18b,Dec#18c
2019: Jan#191,Feb#192,Mar#193,Apr#194,May#195,Jun#196,Jul#197,Aug#198,Sep#199,Oct#19a

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1. October 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 Parisian Bumblebees.
"Parisian Bumblebees" 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 October, 2015:

P.K. Scheerle in New Orleans

Kate Somerville in Ireland

Congratulations, P.K. and Kate!

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Out Our Way:


Ever have four things go wrong before breakfast? I had a day like that. It was the last week of August, but it was such a busy month, I saved these problem notes for this Issue. Hope the Lessons help some of you along the way.

PROBLEM 1, AUTO GLITCH: My White Maxima won't go out of Park if the Stop Light fuse is removed (or if it's burnt out I suppose). Why was the fuse removed? Because a couple of days before we were headed to Paris for our Viking Cruise, I noticed my Stop Lights were lit up when I got out to get some groceries. Hard to tell in bright sunlight, so I felt the plastic cover and it definitely seemed warmer than it should be. Didn't know how long this fault might have been going on, so when I got my car back home in the garage, I pulled the Stop Light fuse out and figured to get the problem fixed when I returned. Used the other car till we left for the airport.

On my first time using the car, it started like usual, but I couldn't get the shift lever out of park so I couldn't go anywhere. Thinking back about 3 weeks to when I removed the fuse, I put the fuse back in and was able to drive the car again. I drove it to PJ's and the stop light was still on. I moved up my schedule for getting it fixed to immediately. Another minor problem was my cruise control hadn't worked in a couple of weeks. Never once considered a connection between the brake lights being stuck on and the cruise control not working.

Del followed me to Brandt Nissan Dealershsip and Jason came right out. He said it was probably a brake pedal switch malfunctioning. I asked him to check on the Cruise control which had not been responding to the SET function and its SET light wouldn't come on. Then he said it's probably due to the bad brake light switch. See: If the brake is pushed, the Cruise control must switch off. If it appears that the Brake is ALWAYS ON due to a switch failure, the Cruise Control won't come on!

About $275 to replace the two broken brake switches (they lasted for 126,000 miles). That repair also fixed the Cruise control as well. I thanked my Guardian Angel for helping me spot that the subtle indication in full sunlight that my brake lights were on. I suspect that my battery, which had been recharged each day by my driving, would surely have completely discharged while I was gone if I hadn't pulled the fuse. Before this episode, I didn't know that pulling the fuse prevented me from moving the gear shift into Drive, so that I couldn't drive it without putting brake light fuse back in.

This episode reminds me of my friend in New England, Don Topping, and his Italian motorscooter problem. After spending a week trying to get a Vespa running again, he had tuned it up, replaced everything, and it still would not start. He discovered a burnt-out brake light and that was the original problem. Italian motorscooters like the Vespa will not run if the brake light bulb is burnt out — the designer placed the brake light bulb power in series with the ignition circuit to make sure no one used their scooters with a malfunctioning or burnt out bulb in their Brake Tail Light. Nissan has apparently done something similar.

LESSONS: if your years-old Nissan's Cruise Control stops working, it's probably a switch under the brake pedal that has gone bad. Same thing for Brake Lights staying on, of course. If your shift gets stuck in PARK, make sure your Brake lights are working working properly. Check the fuse if they're not.


With some time before my morning massage, so I went to acknowledge my latest Subscribers and I found that ALL of my ACT Contact Manager Templates were GONE! Couldn't fathom how that happened, so I restored a previous Database and then another one from 2014 and neither had the templates! ! ! Needed to develop a work-around for this problem to keep it from happening again. Sent out a Welcome emails to the new Subscribers using a previous email as a Forward. I put that email in Drafts folder under until I would be able to re-create templates or recover the previous ones. Luckily my templates only require the first name and email address of Contact (and not their street address). I knew I would need a template for the large number of Monthly Reminders, though! Luckily, I later discovered that the default ACT Word Processor had switched to WORD instead of the ACT built-in one, each having a different file extension. All my ACT .tpl templates were still there, but were invisible because only the WORD .adt templates showed up. Easy enough to switch back to ACT Word Processor by going to Settings, but I never asked for this change of Word Processors in ACT and don't know how it happened, probably a GLITCH, my coined acronym for a "Gremlin Licking In the Computer Hardware/Software". See my Commentary 4. below.

LESSONS: Sometimes files seem to disappear, but they're still there. The damn software is only showing you the ones they THINK YOU WANT TO SEE, not the ones you WANT TO SEE. Entering the code *.* in the file name box will usually reveal all the files of any .extension in a folder when something like this happens to you. Wish I'd remembered that sooner. When something frustrating happens to you, it's nice to have a massage lined up, and I did.

PROBLEM 3, DRIVING GLITCH: I sideswiped the curb turning onto Timberlane Road from Commerce going to Caroline's for my massage. When I checked the passenger rear tire, there was a piece of external rubber sticking out from the tire sidewall, all rubber, no ply showing. Luckily, it's the oldest of the four tires on Black Max. We'll watch it. There was another curb swipe in evidence, so it may have been from Del's hit and my hit only scrapped the rim slightly. A few days later the sticking out piece settled back in with no bulging, so it's okay to drive on.

LESSON: Swing wide on curbed turns and save your tires and rims from damage.

PROBLEM 4, SCHEDULING GLITCH: Got to Caroline's expecting to relax after these three problems in a row, and guess what? She was headed out to answer a court summons about some website she didn't order but a guy accused her of not paying for the website he didn't create, only demonstrated to her, and she said she didn't want. Turned out this was a pattern of this guy and the judge dismissed the suit. Had to come back a few hours later, after a refreshing beverage, for my massage.

LESSON: When life gives you four lemons in a row, relax and enjoy some lemonade.


Whenever you submit a movie clip with some music in it, YouTube runs it through music recognition software and looks up the Copyright licensing for you. Once I had to remove a video that had Louis Armstrong singing in it, but no harm done so long as you remove it right away when notified. In last month's Issue, I wanted to use the funny bit on the Viking Cruise with the Cruise Director Michael Bright and Maitr'D Carlos doing the Chicken Dance one night. I received this message which I can share with you. Basically it says I can post it so long as I don't put ads next to it. If I were performing the song myself, I could put ads next to it.

Dear Bobby Matherne,

Your video "150822 LA Rinda Crew do Chicken Dance", may have content that is owned or licensed by SGAE_CS, CASH, Memory Lane Music (Publishing), PEDL, and MACP, but it's still available on YouTube! In some cases, ads may appear next to it.

If this is your performance of a 3rd party song then you can still make money from this video. Click here to change your monetization settings.

This claim is not penalizing your account status. Visit your Copyright Notice page for more details on the policy applied to your video.

A few days later, a new glitch happened.

PROBLEM 5, VITA-MIX GLITCH: We make fruit smoothies every four days which fill up four ice cube trays in the freezers. My mom used make something similar and we called them icebergs. We were too poor to afford ice cream, so this was our substitute. Our modern day icebergs are fruit smoothies made with fresh pineapple, strawberries, peaches, pears, apples, bananas, yogurt and honey. When some of these are not in season, we'll use frozen strawberries and canned pineapple. We blend them in our 35-year-old Vita-Mix, the kind with metal sides, a spigot, a dome with a push-rod, and a half-horsepower saw motor which never quits. If overloaded, the motor stops, until you let it cool for a few seconds, and press the Reset Button. Lawsuits have made this wonderful mixer obsolete and the company won't even sell parts for it anymore. (Doubt I will ever buy anything from them again.)

One afternoon, Del and I had filled the Vita-Mix container with all the ingredients and the blade wouldn't turn. We had to empty the tank into a large 8 qt mixing bowl and put it in the fridge. Then I took the blade assembly apart, turned it upside down on vise and sprayed some Houdini in it to keep it lubricated for another 30 years. With the blades turning easily now, I could not remove the nut from the assembly to re-install the blades! I tried 7 or 8 different ways using a blade in the flattened space along the nut. Then I placed the nut in the vise, and gripped truncated cone shape as it touched the nut, it began to turn, and I got it apart, set in place and the nut tightened again. I installed the blade assembly, and tested it by filling the tank with water, but it leaked. The next day I found a replacement washer with the help of Chris Ullo at his Ace Hardware Store along West Bank Expressway. Try doing that at Home Depot! Got some Perma-Gasket to secure the gasket and the Vita-Mix was back in regular service again. We dumped the contents of the bowl back into the Mixer and had icebergs between our movies that very night.

LESSON: Buy the best appliance you can and learn how to maintain and repair it so that it will work good, last a long time.


Actually I've only been to Touro twice! I went to Touro Infirmy, a long-time New Orleans hospital, in 1969 for a tonsillectomy and this past month with Del to visit her brother who had eye surgery to repair a detached retina. I remember my first trip there because Dr. Zurick told me, trying emphasize this was a serious operation, "You know, you're an adult now." Well, guess what, I didn't know that. When does one become an adult? I was 29 when he said that and I thought, "Gee, I'm an adult!" No one had ever told me that. I had slipped past 21, 25, etc, without ever thinking about whether I was an adult. I had always assumed that people older than I were the adults, and now a doctor told me that I had joined that august state of adulthood. Today I am getting unasked for advice from people who have never been 75 before. I wish they'd act like adults.

For my second Touro trip, I got dressed about 5 am along with Del, I read the paper, and she drove us to Touro for 7:30 am. (She had worked for Touro in 1980s and had to drive there every day for several years.) Found our way to the One-Day surgery waiting room and this guy with a grayish crew cut came up to us, which neither of us recognized at first.

It was Frank, Cheri's husband, Dan's son-in-law. Frank was working night shift on the railroad a short distance away and Cheri joined him. He took us to the room where Karen and Cheri were waiting. We enjoyed talking with them while waiting for the Doctor to finish the operation. While waiting, I asked Frank to show me where the Touro Coffee Shop was and we walked together and talked. Bought a Starbucks latte (yuck) and noted with cheer the sign that a local-owned PJ's coffeeshop was soon to replace the Seattle-based coffee place by the end of September. Dan is recovering nicely at home in Mandeville. Del and I are enjoying having him and Karen living locally again since they moved back home from Charlotte, N. Carolina.


One of my favorite authors, Oliver Sacks, died this past month. I have not read all his books, but I have read his Migraine book, his Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, his Awakenings, and his A Leg to Stand On, all before I began reviewing every book I read. Which books of his had I read, I wondered, and so I scoured my book shelves, my library data base, my on-line reviews and built an Include file for the Sacks books, both read, unread, reviewed and to be reviewed. This will be updated whenever I finish a Sacks review.

You can see this compendium at the bottom of my on-line review of The Island of the Colorblind which is published in full in a DIGESTWORLD Issue this month for the first time. I immediately ordered his new book, On the Move about his life and am almost finished reading it. Look for its review in the November Issue next month.

PROBLEM 6, COMPUTER GLITCH: My computer had unexpectedly shut down a couple of times and when I pushed the power button on the front panel, it came back up. But this one day, it refused to come back on! It was dead as the proverbial doornail! (By the way, I found out what doornails were used for: ostentatious display! In the colonial days, if you could afford expensive metal nails, you nailed them into your front door as a sign of your wealth! Clearly they were useless otherwise because at that time houses were built with inexpensive wooden pegs holding the structure together.)

I traced the power back and everything was under power. House power was okay, my UPS Battery Backup was fully charged, and yet my computer was dead. I checked the power cord where it plugs into the rear of my PC Chassis and there was the culprit! The plug had wiggled almost out of its socket, making intermittent contact. I set it back in and everything's been fine for a month since. I had moved the mainframe in and out under the desk when I installed my five monitors a couple of months ago and that was likely the cause of the plug moving away from its socket enough to cause a power failure. It stayed close enough to the contacts in the socket so that the first few times, simply pushing the Power Button on front panel was enough to re-make power contact. A good hard failure is the best trouble-shooting aid to locating the cause of intermittent failures.

LESSON: When you get an unexpected power failure, even an intermittent one, check your power plugs, resetting them deep into their sockets.


The first game with McNeese State was a whiff! On September 5 the teams played for 5 minutes, then went on a long lightning in the area hold. A lot of nanny-state foolishness, in my opinion. LSU has played in all kinds of rain storms during its over 120 year football history and never has a game been cancelled due to weather (except during Katrina). We waited and, as we waited I watched the other games in progress. Watched Northwestern beating Stanford. Then the finale of the Nebraska game won by BYU. Their QB threw the ball with all his might from the 50 and it went down into the receiver's hands at the goal line as time expired and BYU won by a couple of points! WOW!

Then we watched our Ragin' Cajuns of Ooh La La (ULL) almost beat Kentucky after being down 21-7 in the first half. To tie the score they need 16 pts and got two TD's and two Two-Pt conversions! They tied the score with 11 minutes left 31-31, but allowed UK one final TD and couldn't catch up again. And finally the LSU game was cancelled about 10:30 pm. By the time the following Saturday came, it was almost the middle of September and I had seen neither an LSU nor a Saints game! LSU was worth waiting for. LSU showed itself to be a powerhouse against Mississippi State, but in the second half Miles got stingy with Brandon Harris, didn't allow him to throw the ball and MSU got close, but LSU held them off to win 21-19. No interceptions or fumbles led to a great win for the Tigers in a hostile environment. Their performance was repeated against another top SEC team in Auburn on the following Saturday and they won 45-21, most of Auburn's points being scored late in game against second and third stringers. In an away game in a hot, steamy Carrier Dome (How can a covered stadium with the name of the inventor of AC, not have AC inside it?) against Syracuse, LSU won handily 34-24 in spite of several TD's called back due to two of 14 penalties which helped the Cuses get a couple themselves. Our Fighting Tigers now have the top candidate for the Heisman Trophy, Leonard Fournette, and are a genuine candidate for National Champion. Each week is a roll of the dice, but the "next year" we've been waiting for so long seems to be 2015.


One day it was Labor Day and did Del and I labor! She'd hired two young guys to do some trimming etal. I suggested we rent the large tiller and one of them could till all three beds, Veggie, Mulch, and Babe Garden beds. Rented it for $53, and for four hours he toiled and tilled away, creating rows in the Veggie and Babe gardens, enough to plant an acre of corn, but that would be corny so I won't.

He trimmed the two sprawling Lemon bushes to look more like trees, and we got about a bushel of lemons from the branches he cut away. The gardens look much nicer and more functional now. Our Echo Tiller, Tillie, came back later from her overhaul, but I hardly need her now except for some mid-growth tilling away of weeds.

The younger guy loved the taste of our water and I explained to him about keeping water in fridge for a couple days before drinking it. Also the bottle he had drunk the water from was a large Evian bottle that had a quartz crystal in it. I gave him the bottle and explained how the crystal was important. A nice kid from Honduras with a great smile and pleasant attitude, as well as a hard worker.


Del hosted her Timberlane Garden Club ladies at our home this month. I arranged my Lenovo LapTop to show a continuous slide show of Monet's House and Garden in Giverny, putting it into its Tent-Mode on kitchen countertop where the food was being served during lunch. In the photo at left of Del and Fae Rememdios you can see the Lenovo to the right edge of the photo.


My new Lenovo Laptop came with a temporary version of Norton, which was great because I had only a few days left to get ready for our Paris trip. This month, the license was running out, so it was time for me to get my Norton 360 installed in my new LT. I pay for up to three licenses and when my previous LT fried, I had two licenses left, and I needed one of those installed in place of the expiring temporary license. Sounds easy enough, doesn't it? Who to call? Earthlink who bills me for the Norton 360 each month or Norton itself? It's a coin toss, and so I called Norton. Worse mistake ever! I got this Tech Support Guy From Hell! I called from my LT first, figuring he'd install Norton 360 in a few minutes. He took over my LT with the TeamView program which allows him to install stuff directly into my LT. Asked me for license, but I never received a license from Earthlink. He couldn't find the license, so sent me to my PC which he again took over, presumably to get the license information from my installed Norton 360. He couldn't find it. Told me that I had buy a license and offered to install a different Norton. I told him absolutely not.

Then he told me that he saw that some foreign computer was running on my PC because of the extra CRSS.exe's active, undoubtedly my PC was filled with Trojans! I chased him off my PC and LT immediately. Went to investigate the CRSS.exe and Microsoft explained that my computer should always have two CRSS.exe processes running. I checked and that's what I saw. Then I realized that all the other CRSS's the TSGFH was warning me about were ones that he had created when he took over my PC. He and they were all gone now.

I went to Earthlink Support Chat Line the next day and a nice agent gave me the URL to download Norton 360 to my LT and the PIN number for my license. In 15 minutes or less, Norton 360 was up and running.

LESSON: Tech Support tech's can be incredibly smart and incredibly dumb at the same time. Only believe half of what they say until your problem is solved. If there are two places to call, you may get the wrong one the first time.


After three losses, one to Arizona, one to Tampa Bay, and one to Carolina, the Nay-Sayers abound. I remember the cars we had in the '50s when it was common that the car didn't start on the first crank, so you cranked it again, and sometimes it started on the third crank. You thought, maybe it needs a little tune-up or it's not running on all cylinders, but if it started on the fourth try, no repair needed. The Saints vehicle has had two cylinders missing, one from the defense and one from the offense. The missing cylinder on defense is the premier safety Jarius Byrd who has been injured, but got the okay to begin practicing this week. Didn't play against the Panthers last Sunday, but probably will against Cowboys. The other cylinder is on the offense, C. J. Spiller, who actually saw some action on the field against Tampa and looked great. With these two active, the Saints motor could be starting up, running smoothly, and racking up some wins. With Drew Brees out with a bruised labrum for the third game against slimy panthers, this was a test of how well the Saints vehicle would start if Luke McCowen were pushing it. Turned out that Luke almost got it into the Win Column with a Brees-quality game. Next starting challenge against the Cowboys on Sunday Night. Saints do well at night; could be a 'push over' into the Win Column.


The Captain of the Joan of Arc Parade Krewe, Amy Kirk Duvoisin, invited me to sit on a discussion panel with the Consul General of France, Gregor Trumel, to talk about Joan of Arc. My idea was that if there had been no Joan of Arc to rescue France from the English in 1429, there would have been no country of France and no French language a couple of hundred years later, and thus no New Orleans today.

This was something Amy's husband had said to her years earlier, and she invited me to share how I came to the same conclusion. You can read my comments from the panel discussion below in Commentary No. 5 NO JOAN OF ARC, NO NEW ORLEANS!


The last two weeks of this month have been slow, but we have gotten back into our regular weekly patterns, my pool nights on Wednesday, Del's Tuesday girls lunches. Del had her Timberlane Garden Club meeting here on Friday and next month, Twilight Garden Club will be here. I had lunch with my old pal Mal Morgan who was in town from overseas. He is living the dream he had back in the 80s, flying around the world to do coaching and training for large companies. Christopher Tidmore is back from his amazing journey along the Lewis and Clark trail from Portland, Oregon to Lewiston, Idaho, and we had lunch with two other friends, Marty Sutton and Hy McEnergy at the Bon Ton Restaurant to talk about his trip. Our grandson, Weslee Gralapp spent the night with us before flying to Syracuse for LSU game. His colleague Stephen Tough, who was flying home to London at the same time, came along with him. With few flowers in bloom around our home, I am sharing more of those from Monet's Gardens in Giverny. Hope you enjoy them.


For the past 30 days, September came up with a couple of minor cold fronts with a mixture of showers and dry spells by the end of the month. By first of September, our okra was gone (due to our being away for two weeks on our cruise), our grape tomatoes were finished, but there are still some eggplants growing which we are harvesting. With three garden beds all tilled, we planted cabbage, tomatoes, bell peppers, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, curly kale, broccoli, green onions, potatoes, basil, and parsley in the Veggie and Babe garden beds. The third bed is our mulch bed where all the grass and dead leaf clippings go. This month we have harvested a lot of garden soil from that bed to refresh and build the soil higher in the Veggie and Babe gardens. Our LSU fig tree is working on its breba crop due for harvest in December. Till we meet again at the end of October, God Willing and Cold Fronts chase away any storms, we will stay cool and fresh, and hope whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, be it warm or freezing, that you will remember this: Peace and Serenity can only be found within, and so we offer this earnest wish for you, in the waning part of the year:



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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:

    We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow.
    — Fulton Oursler, American Journalist and Author (1893-1952)

    Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.
    — Corrie ten Boom

    Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it. The man who knows how will always have a job. The man who also knows why will always be his boss. As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.
    —Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

    Of the Gettysburg Address: it was not the Union forces that were fighting for government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but the people of the southern states.
    — H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

    New Stuff on Website:

    Many thanks to Jeff Parsons for sending along the following Tidbit, September 9, 2015.
— Tidbits of Humor: When Kids Speak !

A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds.

After explaining the commandment to 'honor' thy Father and thy Mother, she asked, 'Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?'

From the back, one little boy (the oldest of a family) answered, 'Thou shall not kill.'

Click Here to Read More of these Stories.

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. Shadows

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

            God Is Dead

God is dead
       they say
He committed suicide
       one day.

In the thrall of eternal
The Father simply blew
       Himself away.

The Holy Ghost was most
The Son was in
       a fit

Neither could accept
       it yet,
Duality from

Where did He go,
       They thought,
To His Maker or
       to naught?

Where He went
       I must suppose
Is a place
       God only knows.

2. Chapter: Hyacinths

      Wonderfull Answer

I had a friend

            who wondered

How one goes about

            writing poems

I told her the wonder

            is the answer.

3. Chapter: Rainbows

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 a poem inspired by the malapropisms of Calvin Preston:

       Idyll of March IX, Last One.


Sometimes I see double vision
My wandering ears extend themselves
And make my eyes go blurry.
I find myself thinking too fast
And am overcome by mental celebrity.

Suddenly a long horse sparks my flame
And a voice stored in memory says to me,

             "Shut up, Short Gargantua!
             You are a victim of blind innocence.
             You have over-towered yourself.
             Remember this:
             The whole body is a human weapon."

Then I know I am only hearing the tip of the iceberg
And that it all depends on what the future lies.

4. Chapter: Shadows

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

            Golden Rule II

You are doing unto yourself

             what you think others

             are doing unto you.

5. Chapter:Rainbows

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).

                  Inner Vent

There are things in me

             that are heaven sent

To get them into you

             I must the thing invent.


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.):
“Far From the Madding Crowd” (2015) adaption of Thomas Hardy’s novel about a headstrong young woman who inherits a farm and has three men wooing her. Who will last longer, the suicide, the murderer, or the oak tree? Easy to guess and delight to watch as the countryside scenes unfold. A DON’T MISS HIT !
"In Darkness" (2011)
Warsaw Jews dig down into sewer and pay an anti-semitic plumber to find them a hiding place from the Nazis. They spent 18 months in darkness so we can surely spend 3 hours in darkness in a putrid, rat-infested hole to see if they can ever see the light of day again.
"Gunman" (2015)
becomes the target and dances with the bull in the ring.
"Love Comes Softly" (2003)
Hallmark hits this one out the Ballpark! Newly arrived at their homestead in covered wagon and newly widowed, Marty moves in with a widower with a feisty tomboy. Hate come loudly and love comes softly.
"The Ride" (2015) begins with talk, talk, talk. Reminds me of a guy who went fishing with a friend who lit sticks of dynamite one after another and threw them into the water. With fish floating up around them, the guy berated his buddy over and over about how bad that was. His friend lit a stick of dynamite with a short fuse, threw it into his buddy's hands, and said, "You wanna talk, or you wanna fish?" This movie was similar, "You wanna talk, or you wanna ride?" Helen Hunt and Luke Wilson star in the Ride portion of the movie when the talkative NYC editor decides to learn to ride a surf board. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Oblivion" (2013)
[2nd viewing, see 1st at: DW13b ] Aliens provide just what Earth needs, a thousand Tom Cruises, but it only takes one to drive their God in the Sky away for good. Why, with all those clones, would they keep the original whose memory would leak back to destroy his captors?
"Bank Dick" (1940)
W. C. Fields as Egbert Sousé which everyone said it was not Souse, but had an "Accent Grave over the e", but it was really an Accent Acute, one leaning to the right, and was pronounced as such, as a long "a" or soos-a. Fun movie, one as old as I am, and one I appreciate more each time I watch it.
"A Little Chaos" (2015)
leads to a lot of beauty and love. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Gunman" (2015)
becomes the target and dances with the bull in the ring.
"Hardball" (2001)
with a soft heart, Keanu Reeves as compulsive gambler who throws over that unpromising career to coach a bunch of Little League losers and take them to the 'ship!
"Perfume: The Story of a Murderer" (2006)
amazing story a boy born with an exceptional nose for smells who decides to capture the smell of 13 beautiful women and distill it into a perfume. The results are amazing and unpredictable. Alan Rickman and Dustin Hoffman star in auxiliary roles. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Locke" (2014) why is Locke, in charge of a $100 million dollar project's foundational concrete pour, heading away from the site? How can his assistant ever complete the pour? At one point Locke tells him over his cell, "You don't trust God when it comes to concrete!" Is Locke's life falling apart or coming together? Has he finally found a family issue more important than his concrete?
"Stretch" (2014)
is a guy who doesn't believe in Fate — lucky guy — Fate believes in him. An unbelievable late night odyssey across L.A. Basin and Penelope awaits his return. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Bicycling with Molière" (2013)
Old Friends, but only one can play Alceste in the Misanthrope — which shall it be? Let's take a bicycle ride with the author and find out. A DON'T MISS HIT !
"Aloha" (2015)
means both hello and goodbye - shows how little words are need for real communication. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"I Accuse" (1958)
great B&W movie of the dreadful Dreyfuss Affair in fin de siecle France in which the top brass of the Army railroaded an innocent man to 5 years on Devil's Island. Listened to the reading of J'Accuse in English, Emile Zola's famous letter to the newspaper which turned public opinion around and made Dreyfuss a hero and tarnished the brass of the guilty forever.
"The Water Diviner" (2015)
Russell Crowe could find water underground and also find his sons under and above ground. Starts very slow, but picks up in second half. A DON'T MISS HIT !
"La Sapienza" (2015) A new low in slow. Prominent architect takes wannabe architect teenager to look at architecture masterpieces in Rome (worth a look). Will he impart wisdom (sapienza) to the kid or gain it?
"Above and Beyond" (2014)
new State of Israel's air force of 4 ragtag airplanes turns away Egyptian and Iraqi armies who thought it was only first wave of a larger air force. Amazing stories of the men who risked their lives to provide a homeland to the homeless.
"On Frozen Ground" (2013)
Nicholas Cage and John Cusacks, good guy and bad guy, go after each other in this true story of uncovering a serial killer and his victims in frozen Alaska.
"Adult Beginners" (2015)
were more like Beginner Beginners in the Game of Life. A mother who didn't know how to mother and her brother a tycoon who didn't know how to tycoon.
"Paddington" (2015)
a saccharin sweet story about an evil woman who wants to stuff a stuffed bear!
"The Salvation" (2015)
Danish man battles bad guys who killed his wife and son in Old West. Talked less than Clint Eastwood.
"Seventh Son" (2015)
surprising good plot, directing, and acting (Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges) in a sorcerer's apprentice tale with witches and dragons, good guys and bad girls.

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.

"Time Lapse" (2014) Machine takes photo of what happens the following night. Get rich quick and get dead faster.

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

"Serena" (2014) was not serene as she went about destroying other people's lives and her own. 1920s views of Smoky Mountains logging camp are interesting.

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Le Broussard Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission

Boudreaux had been married to Marie for over forty years, and one long afternoon, he was sipping a Dixie beer with his good buddy, Broussard, in Mulate's saloon.

Out of the blue, Broussard asked him, "Boo, how often do you have sex?"

Boudreaux was a bit surprised, but he thought a while, and said, "Ah t'ink maybe about twice a week."

Broussard said, "Bon Dieu, Ah wish me and Clothilde could have sex dat often!"

"Mais, you didn't axe me dat!" Bourdeaux said, "Me and Marie only have sex about twice a mont'!"

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5.Household Hint for October, 2015 from Bobby Jeaux:
(click links to see photo of process steps)
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Removing Marks from Stoneware Dishes

Background: Del and I had white stoneware that we used everyday for about a dozen years and the knifes and forks had left marks across the plates so bad that we finally gave the complete set to our grand-daughter. We had tried everything to remove the marks, to no avail! Then a few weeks later, I picked a hint that Zud Cleanser could remove those marks. It was with a lot of skepticisim that I picked up a can of Zud and tried it. It worked like MAGIC! ! ! We told the grand-daughter immediately and kept the Zud handy for ourselves. Our Lenox Casual Elegance china got some marks recently in one soup bowl, and not knowing if it was stoneware or not, I tried some Zud and it worked. It worked.

Our everyday dinnerware for many years has been a set of 8 Picasso Dove porcelain plates which do not get visible marks on them. This is the first time I've had to remove utensil marks from our Lenox dinnerware, and that gives me a chance to share this Household Hint with my Good Readers.

ZUD heavy duty cleanser

Note how old the ZUD Can with the dry cleanser is. I bought some Zud in semi-liquid form which is easier to use and which is now used up, but now I can find neither the dry or liquid form locally. So I will hold onto this can till it's used up.
Sprinkle some of the dry cleanser on the plate. Wet a dish rag and rub the cleanser into the plate and then rinse the plate. You can see the difference in the left-side plate before (above left) and after (below right) treatment. The tiny blue veins are marks made by utensils. In our white stoneware they were much more pronounced.

Other options
The Liquid form of Zud is equally effective, if you can find it. I can tell you that ZUD's Motto, "Works Where Ordinary Cleansers Fail!" is truly accurate.

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6. POETRY by BOBBY from Long Quiet Highway by Natalie Goldberg:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

              Fist Deep in Life

Natalie wrote about Heminway on page 32, "Old Ernest went wherever his mind took him. And it worked! I wanted that for myself; that was having a fist in my own life."

Her expression "having a fist in my own life" made me think of being "fist deep in life" — like a baker bread might be fist deep in dough while kneading it. This poem is my litany of the things into which one might get "fist deep into" in one's life. I just came inside from plowing up my Fall garden bed, so I have been only minutes ago fist deep in garden soil.

Fist deep in bread dough
Fist deep in dishwater
Fist deep in garden soil
Fist deep in Life.

Fist deep in a novel
Fist deep in glowing words
Fist deep in a birthing cow
Fist deep in Life.

Fist deep in taffy
Fist deep in sawdust
Fist deep in blood and guts
Fist deep in Life.

Fist deep in problems
Fist deep in paperwork
Fist deep in a fight
Fist deep in Life.

Fist deep in chocolate
Fist deep in grapes
Fist deep in a beehive
Fist deep in Life.

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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for October:
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For our Good Readers, here are the reviews and articles featured this month. The first and second reviews this month will be ones which were never published in early DIGESTWORLD ISSUES 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: The Island of the Colorblind by Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks had visual migraines as a child, not only the usual flashes of light and visual field alterations, but also occasional bouts of color blindness during which his color vision would weaken and even disappear for minutes at a time. Sacks' first book covered Migraines, so his latest book completes the symmetry by covering the colorblind aspect. His early periods of colorblindness led him to wonder what it would be like to have never seen colors at all: what subtle changes in habits and modes of operations one would evolve into. Recently, by chance, he discovered an island in the Pacific with almost ten percent of its population colorblind, and he became very interested in visiting this unique geographic isolate of achromatopsia.

The island was Pingelap and its unique history created its high percentage of colorblindness. An atoll with no high ground, Pingelap was devastated by a typhoon hundreds of years ago, wiping out all but a handful of residents, who began to re-populate the island. The man who fathered most of the new children carried a recessive gene for achromatopsia, which found its way into all of his descendants and from them into the rest of the population.

The island of Pingelap evoked memories of Sacks' childhood readings of Omoo and Typee by Hermann Melville as well as the scientific accounts of the Pacific islands by Darwin and Wallace. He saw a chance to combine two childhood interests with a scientific expedition of his own and soon had lined up an ophthalmologist, Bob, and a Norwegian expert on achromatopsia, Knut to join him.

Knut, colorblind since birth, was a vision research scientist at the University of Oslo. Like all congenital achromatopes, Knut was without the use of the cones in the foveal region of his retina. The cones in the central region of his retina were either missing or non-functional. What the cones provide is the fine discrimination capability that allows one to read normal size text from up close and street signs from a distance. Knut kept around his neck both a magnifying glass for up close reading and a monocular for distance reading. The other aspect of achromatopsia is that the rods, being more sensitive to low levels of light, are overloaded by bright sunlight in the absences of the cones. This causes a white-out of achromatopes' visual fields in bright sunlight. To counteract this, Knut wore three pairs of sunglasses with very dark shades, one on top of the other, and this allowed him to see normally in the bright island sunshine.

The rods that surround the foveal area in a normal person provide excellent peripheral vision, a vision that is colorblind, sees well in low-light, and is sharply attuned to movement. When I am reading while I'm driving my car, it is my peripheral vision that I'm relying on to provide fast information of any traffic to my left or right that I must immediately attend to. The reader may wonder about the colorblindness of peripheral vision, as this is not what the world seems like to a normal color person. Our whole visual field seems colored, but careful tests have shown that color vision drops off sharply to the sides of our central foveal field, so that means our sense of a completely colored field of view is a carefully crafted illusion, that is, an extraordinary visual field construction of the brain. For night-driving most automobile drivers have learned to use their peripheral vision to discern movement and to discriminate low contrast objects in the dark. To be colorblind is like having only this low-light peripheral night-vision filling our entire visual field all the time.

Thus the achromatopes of Pingelap have much difficulty seeing in daytime - always squinting or wearing at times a black cloth over their heads as a crude filter. On the other hand they make excellent night-fishers or seamstresses working in dimly-lit rooms.

One non-vision related anomaly that Sacks noted was the universal craving for large quantities of Spam, the canned meat product, by the islanders. Added to the fruit and vegetable native fare it has turned an otherwise healthy, low-fat diet into a high-fat diet with all the attendant medical problems. One theory for the craving for Spam is that it has a porky taste similar to what the natives refer to as "long-pig" or human flesh. The more likely explanation, in light of the long since discontinued practice of cannibalism, is that Spam provides every native islander a daily chance to eat a food, pork, a meat that was once reserved for royalty. Spam to them is like white bread to us in the more civilized societies. This bread uses a highly refined wheat that originally required so much effort to produce that only aristocrats and the very rich could afford to eat the white bread made with it. Now blue collar workers carry white bread sandwiches to work every day for lunch. Only recently has the nutritional deficits of white bread been highlighted to the point where whole wheat breads are becoming common again.

In the second half of his book, Sacks makes another trip to the Pacific, this time to the islands of Guam and Rota, to investigate a puzzling neurological disease called lytico-bodig. This disease takes one of two forms: lytico - a progressive paralysis, or bodig - a form of Parkinson's Disease. One would expect that Sacks would help discover the etiology of this disease, as he devotes so much space to discussing the research, the epidemiology, the case histories, the theories, etc, but no such luck. This is not a scientific thriller like The Andromeda Strain or Outbreak in which scientists rush against time and find a solution, but rather it is a real-life enigma that remains as puzzling at the end of the story as it was at the beginning. Sacks merely observes and records what he finds. He is like a jigsaw puzzle assembler: he pulls all the pieces together, forms the edges of the puzzles, fills in some key areas, and leaves the rest for others to complete.

One long suspected source of the disease is from eating the fruits of the cycads that flourish on the islands of Guam and Rota. Cycads are remnants of the ancient Mesozoic forests that we know today as common ferns and sago palms. On Rota, huge forests of these cycads, resembling palm trees, still exist in a geographic isolate. The natives have long eaten the fruit and roots of these plants in various forms, all of which require careful preparation to wash away highly toxic alkalines.

As a child, Sacks was enamored by the cycads that he found growing in botanical gardens in England, and even attempted to raise some on his own. His visit to these two geographic isolates of cycad and lytico-bodig allowed him to combine yet another childhood fascination with his adult profession. (The common sago palm indigenous to my local area of New Orleans is, I was surprised to find out from Sacks, a cycad.)

Like a modern day Dr. Doolitte, Dr. Sacks travels around the world having wonder-full adventures which he writes about and invites us all to join in. Whether visiting geographical isolates of disease and plant life or exploring the cognitive isolates of his childhood dreams, or both, he communicates a sense of delight and discovery that always leaves us wanting more.

We note that Oliver Sacks is Exploring New Territory in the Spiritual World as of September 4, 2015. We await his further reports while we work on the puzzles he left for us to complete.

               BOOKS by OLIVER SACKS

      Click to Read Review
  1. The Island of the Colorblind
  2. Uncle Tungsten — Memories of a Chemical Boyhood
  3. Musicophilia — Tales of Music and the Brain
  4. An Anthropologist on Mars — Seven Paradoxical Tales
  5. On the Move — A Life
  6. A Leg To Stand On — A Neurography
  7. Gratitude
  8. The Mind's Eye

      To Be Reviewed
  9. Seeing Voices — A Journey into the World of the Deaf
10. Awakenings — A newly revised edition of the medical Classic
11. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat — A Collection of Neurographies
12. Migraine
13. Hallucinations
14. Oaxaca Journal

Read/Print at:

2.) ARJ2: From Symptom to Reality in Modern History, GA#185 by Rudolf Steiner

This sentence from the book's blurb on SteinerBooks website is vague, confusing, and backwards, "The causes of the symptoms — the reality behind them — are discovered on other levels of existence." The problem with this sentence, as I see it, is that it is illusory to suppose a reality lying behind symptoms. Symptoms are a map of some reality, and a map describes some aspects of the reality, but cannot ever cover all the reality. Alfred Korzyski made this point crystal clear in his classic book, the foundation of General Semantics, Science and Sanity, in 1933. In my opinion the cause of symptoms are the people who create them to describe their limited understanding of some reality, whether they be medical doctors talking about some patient's condition or history professors talking about an historical event. This point is especially important when dealing with spiritual realities, a point which Rudolf Steiner makes over and over in this collection of lectures, and it deserves to be emphasized here and corrected if misstated elsewhere.

[page 17, 18] From earlier lectures in which I discussed similar themes you already know that from the standpoint of spiritual science what is usually called history must be seen as a complex of symptoms. From this point of view what is usually taught as history — the substance of what is called history in the academic world — does not touch upon the really vital questions in the evolutionary history of mankind, but deals only with superficial symptoms. We must penetrate behind the surface phenomena and uncover the deeper layer of meaning in events so that the true reality behind the evolution of mankind will be revealed. Whilst history usually studies historical events in isolation, here we shall consider them as concealing a deeper underlying reality which is revealed when they are studied in their true light.

My study of the symptoms of disease reveal symptoms are merely the names given to the healing states of the body's recovery. This is not a trivial revelation. In doyletics we find that the body's healing states can be stored as physical body states, and thus can be triggered later in the absence of a disease agent. Lacking an understanding of this, doctors will say the disease had recurred, even if their own medical references say a recurrence is impossible. That happened to me when I had the healing states of red measles at age 35. My mother who raised 6 children assured me that I had the disease beforewas five, an age at which bodily states are stored as doyles. Poison ivy is another example. If a rash occurs from direct contact before five, the healing states of itching, redness, scratching can recur later by a doylic trigger such as someone merely noticing a bit of poison ivy around them. Lacking an understanding of rashes as recapitulated healing states, they say, "I have poison ivy." Shingles is another example. If you have chicken pox before five, the healing states are stored and can recur as shingles, usually after fifty years old. Doctors claim the virus remains to cause this, but I wonder if any doctor has actually found the virus during shingles. Doctors seem to claim a reality of a chicken pox virus behind the symptoms without ever proving there is one. These same doctors cannot explain why some people like me never have shingles, and yet I had chicken pox. You see, my chicken pox happened at 7 or 8 years old, and no doylic storage of its healing states happens after 5. I mention these cases mainly to explain how symptoms are created to name the healing states of a disease because the symptoms are the outward sign of the concealed inner reality. A similar thing happens with the events of history as Steiner reveals in this book.

[page 25] When we consider this event as a symptomatic event in the recent evolution of mankind, then, as we shall see in later lectures, it will provide a bridge from the symptoms to reality.

We can build a bridge from the high level abstractions called symptoms to reality, so long as we remember there is no reality in those abstractions — no reality behind them — they can only point us to some reality in the world.

The words French and English are abstractions used to define two sets of people. At one time in history, before 1400, these abstractions were almost interchangeable, given the infusion of the English into the continent and the invasion of the Normand French into the island of Britain. The turning point in differentiating forever the two people was the deeds of Joan of Arc and their reverberations in the spiritual world, which filled the newly forming Consciousness Soul of the people with a consciousness of nationality.

[page 26, 27] But whilst the general idea of nationhood was emerging in France and England an extremely significant differentiation was taking place at the same time. Whilst for centuries these countries had shared a common purpose, differences began to emerge in the fifteenth century. The first indications are seen in the appearance of Joan of Arc in 1429, a most important turning point in modern history. It was this appearance of Joan of Arc which gave the impetus — and if you consult the manuals of history you will see just how important, powerful and continuous this impetus was — which led to the differentiation between the French and the English character.

       Thus we see the emergence of nationalism as the architect of the community and at the same time this differentiation which is so significant for the evolution of modern mankind. This turning point is marked by the appearance of Joan of Arc in 1429. At the moment when the impulse of the papacy is compelled to release from its clutches the population of Western Europe, at that moment the consciousness of nationality gathers momentum in the West and shapes its future.  . . .
       All these facts are symptoms which are inherent in this epoch when the civilization of the Consciousness Soul, in Europe, seeks to emerge from the civilization of the Intellectual Soul.

Steiner goes on to call what historians write today, mostly "domestic gossip", namely, who did what to whom, when and where, and for what purpose. Speaking in these lectures back in 1918, he said:

[page 34] Whilst England lays greater emphasis upon the national element, in France the active tendency is visibly more towards the element of personality: one has to make a careful study of these things.

These two tendencies are still active almost a hundred years later. Brits do deeds for Queen and Country and the French do deeds for the people of France. During a visit to Versailles, our guide pointed out a sea-change which happened during the reign of King Louis XIV when the focus switched from for the Glory of France to the Glory of the French, from the State to the People. This is an example of an advance of the Consciousness Soul in civilization which needed the defeat of the Spanish Armada earlier made possible the emancipation of the individual personality from the collective state.

[page 35] When a phenomenon of this nature emerges on the surface it meets with counter-pressure from the past. The normal course of evolution, as you know, is always accompanied by luciferic and ahrimanic forces which derive from backward impulses and seek to assert themselves. Every normal impulse entering into mankind must fight against the subtle invasion of luciferic and ahrimanic forces. Thus the impulse that was clearly manifest in Hus, Luther, Calvin and Wycliffe had to battle with these forces. A symptom of this struggle is seen in the revolt of the United Netherlands and in the luciferic-ahrimanic personality of Philip of Spain. And one of the most significant turning points of modern times was the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. With this defeat those forces, emanating from Spain, that had offered the strongest resistance to the emancipation of the personality were finally eliminated.

Over several pages, Steiner explains the difference between the English and the French which in a nutshell is the direction of attention, the English gave attention to the whole of humanity and the French gave attention to the individual. The British never felt better than when they could proclaim, "The Sun never sets on the British Empire." The French love to speak of the liberty of the individual and created a Statue to Liberty for the United States as a token of their love of liberty. One could not ever imaging Great Britain making such a gesture to its former colony, could one?

[page 38, 39] In England the personal element transcends nationalism and seeks to embrace the whole world and to promote everywhere the development of the personality. The Frenchman wishes rather to develop the personal element in the soul, the Englishman to extend the principle of personality to the whole of mankind. Here we see two entirely different trends — in both cases the basis is the national element. In the one case the national impulse turns inwards, toward the individual soul; in the other it is directed outwards, toward the soul of mankind.

While Joan of Arc in 1429 set the stage for the differentiation between the French and the English, another personality in the 1600s made the distinction between the two peoples more pronounced. Steiner describes the man over several paragraphs, keeps us in suspense, and then reveals the man.

[page 41, 42]  Now there is a personality who is especially characteristic of the emergence of the impulse of the Consciousness Soul in Western Europe, both on account of his personal development and on account of the place he occupies in contemporary history.  . . . The personality who appeared on the stage of history at this time was a strange individual, whom we can depict in the following way: one could say that he was extremely generous, filled with deep and genuine gratitude for the knowledge imparted to him, infinitely grateful, in fact a model of gratitude for the kindness men showed towards him. He was a scholar who combined in his person almost the entire erudition of his day, a personality who was extremely peace-loving, a sovereign indifferent to the intrigues of the world, wholly devoted to the ideal of universal peace, extremely prudent in decisions and resolutions, and most kindly disposed towards his fellow men. Such is the portrait that one could sketch of this personality. If one takes a partial view, it is possible to portray him in this way and this is the external view that history presents.

Who is this man? Clearly he was a king, could this be King James of England? In his book Who Wrote Bacon? Richard Ramsbotham, inspired by Steiner, reveals James I to be the force, a great initiate who, in addition to writing the King James Bible, inspired both Shakespeare and Bacon to their amazing works. A great man like a great tree must be described from many perspectives, as rarely can one person can see all the aspects.

[page 42] One could say that he was an outrageous spendthrift without the slightest notion of his financial resources, a pedant, a typical professor whose erudition was shot through with abstractions and pedantry. Or one could say that he was timid and irresolute, and whenever called upon to defend some principle he would evade the issue out of cowardly faintheartedness, preferring peace at any price. It could also be said of him that he was shrewd or crafty and wormed his way through life by artfully choosing the path that always guaranteed success. Or that he endeavored to establish relationships with others as children are wont to do. His friendships betrayed a frankly childish element which, in his veneration for others and in the adulation others accorded him, was transformed into romantic infatuation. One can adopt either of these points of view. And in fact there were some who described him from the one angle, others from the other angle, and many from both angles. Such was the historical personality of James I who reigned from 1603 to 1625. Whichever point of view we take, the cap fits perfectly.

It was during the reign of James I that the idea of a state was born and gave rise a parliamentary system of government which rules yet today in Britain.

Next Steiner takes on the French Revolution with its glorious tripartite slogan of fraternity, liberty, and equality. It inspired people during the revolutionary period, but, absent a crucial distinction, the slogan led to massive destruction in France.

[page 51] Considered as a symptom, the French Revolution is extraordinarily interesting. In the form of slogans applied haphazardly and indiscriminately to the whole human being, it presents that which must gradually be developed, with all the spiritual resources at man's disposal, in the course of the epoch of the Consciousness Soul from 1413 to 3573. The task of this epoch is to achieve fraternity on the physical plane, liberty on the psychic plane and equality on the spiritual plane.

The crucial distinction are revealed: Fraternity can be found on the physical level, Liberty or freedom on the psychic level, and Equality on the spiritual level. Without these distinctions, the slogan confuses everything and leads to great abuses such as the Reign of Terror following the 1789 Revolution.

[page 51] The soul of this epoch is characterized in three words whose content is not understood, so that it is unable at first to find social embodiment and this leads to untold confusion. It cannot find any external social embodiment, but significantly, it is still there as the 'demanding soul', a soul in search of embodiment. All the inner soul life which must inform this fifth post-Atlantean epoch remains misunderstood and cannot find any means of expression. Here we are confronted with a symptom of immense importance.

The Revolution is followed by the Napoleonic Period, i.e. a soul without a body is followed by a body without a soul — a great pendulum swing in search for balance.

[page 52, 53] One has the impression that a soul wanted to incarnate in the world, appeared without a body, clamored for incarnation amongst the revolutionaries of the eighteenth century, but was unable to find a body . . . and that only externally a body offered itself, a body which for its part could not find a soul, i.e. Napoleon.

As humankind flowed towards the Consciousness Soul, there was a Roman bulkhead which stalled that flow, trying to keep it backed up in the Intellectual Soul. People were drawn to gnostic teachings, ideas, and rites of oriental provenance, but the Roman ideals stalled these at every point.

[page 55] This is the real battle which Rome wages against the tide of progress. Rome wishes to cling to an outlook which is valid for the Intellectual Soul at a time when mankind seeks to progress towards the development of the Consciousness Soul.

But humankind strove to find ways around the Roman bulkhead in the fourth epoch of the Intellectual Soul, and this led to the formation of Templars and Masonic Lodges which found some solace in the Third Epoch of the Sentient Soul. Steiner calls the freemasonary process as the "squeezed out lemon" which contained the secrets of the third post-Atlantean Epoch, the Egypto-Chaldean epoch, now served as a means of implanting dried out impulses into the life of the Consciousness Soul. These atavistic(1) impulses in this fifth epoch only act to weaken the autonomy of the Consciousness Soul and strengthen the forces of the sensory world, leading eventually to socialism of a dictatorial kind. (Page 56, 57)

[page 61] Under these circumstances spirit and soul are no longer active, and only the forces of the phenomenal or sensible world are operative. And so from the middle of the nineteenth century these forces manifested in the form of socialism of every kind, a socialism that was conscious of itself, of its power and importance.

       But this socialism is only possible if it is imbued with spirit, and not with pseudo-spirit, with the mask of spirit, with mere rationalism that can only apprehend the inorganic, i.e., dead forms. It was with this 'dead' knowledge that Lassalle first wrestled, but it was Marx and Engels who elaborated it. Thus, in socialism which endeavored to translate theory into practice, and in practice was a total failure because it was too theoretical, there appeared one of the most important symptoms of the recent historical development of mankind.

The failure of socialism, predicted by Rudolf Steiner a century ago, became obvious when the greatest socialistic country in the world, the USSR collapsed around 1989 after 70 plus years of abysmal failure in so many ways. The pendulum swing to rampant capitalism is still underway in the new Russian Republic which is trying recover some of its former soviet republics.

People extol Thoreau for building a crude hut near Walden Pond and living in it while he communed with nature. But this view overlooks the fact that Thoreau only lived that way for a short time, about a year or so, then he moved back into Concord. Living so close to nature creates a state of diminished consciousness and one suspects Thoreau came to realize that. He later came to a balance of being in contact with civilization and with nature.

Humans have, since Bacon's time urged the use of experimental methods, pulling objects from nature, killing them, examining them, and making conclusions based on the dead objects examined. This is true for biologists, naturalists, and medical doctors, among others. Thus we have had introduced into our world, processes and applications using the forces of death. What can this all mean?

[page 77] The question then arises: if modern technology is simply a source of death, as it must inevitably be, why did it arise? Certainly not in order to provide mankind with the spectacle of machines and industry, but for a totally different reason. It arose precisely because of the seeds of death it bore within it; for if man is surrounded by a moribund, mechanical civilization it is only by reacting against it that he can develop the Consciousness Soul.

Next Steiner examines how this reaction against mechanisms by the Consciousness Soul led to the parliamentary system of voting. What is most interesting to me is that one must surrender one's personality when one votes! How can this fault be ever overcome? There is an answer to that question, but first listen how Steiner describes the problem.

[page 78] The parliamentary system of government is only a way of asserting the personality. But when the individual participates in the parliamentary system, arguably he surrenders his personality the moment he votes. . . . By voting, when speeches are followed by voting, what lives in the soul is killed even as one speaks. Thus every form of parliamentary government ends in leveling down, in egalitarianism. It is born of the assertion of the personality and ends with the wiping out of the personality.

One can only vote for what one personally desires and not wipe out the personality. How can that personal vote be such that it does not infringe on the personalities of others? That would require a threefold society, one in which the three separate areas of economics, state, and culture remain completely separate without coercion. Steiner attempted to install a threefold society but lacked the ideas for implementing it.

The necessary ideas arose in one Hungarian immigrant to the United States some forty years later, namely, Andrew Joseph Galambos, who described how a non-coercive society which he called the Natural Society might arise, and detailed plans for implementation such a society. When the Consciousness Soul gets tired of the dead machinery of our so-called modern industry and even deader machinery of our so-called government, the means of a solution are waiting for it in the ideas spelled out by Galambos in his Volitional Science courses(2). In a Natural Society, one's soul will never be killed when one votes.

The biggest knock against Galambos' definitions of morality, etal, came from intellectuals who asserted that his definitions were incapable of proof, which is another way of saying they came from some supersensible knowledge. Steiner explains that such supersensible knowledge is essential to take the place of the knowledge which the gods in earlier times had implanted automatically in human beings for whom originals thoughts were unknown(3).

[page 84, 85] Modern civilization in the form it has developed since the beginning of the fifteenth century and especially in respect of its greatest achievements, is destined to remain sterile and barren unless fertilized henceforth by impulses from the supersensible world.  . . . It will lead only to death for humanity unless we know how to transform these forces by impulses from the supersensible.  . . . This is not an arbitrary expression of opinion, but a lesson we learn from a study of the symptoms of history.

Galambos' ideas of Volitional Science are completely new ideas, and they offer us the possibility for implementing the threefold society without any interaction between the three folds. As such his ideas provide a real evolution for humankind. What exists today, our so-called government, actually a coercive bureaucracy, is moribund and will collapse of its own weight. From its ruins, a Natural Society can and will eventually arise.

[page 95] For when we speak of real evolution in mankind we are concerned only with new ideas. Everything else — as we have already indicated — is subject to a certain extent to symptoms of death.

There was a time thousands of years ago when a man was respected for being old; people knew that people grew wiser with age. Have you noticed this is mostly not the case today? Young people in their early thirties are typically replacing people in their early fifties who are treated as if they are jetsam which must be thrown overboard to keep the company's ship afloat. Steiner reveals that the age of intellectual maturity has moved to younger and younger ages, until now it is 27 years old. That explains a lot about the problems of the world today.

[page 109] The majority of people one meets today, especially amongst the middle classes, do not mature after the age of 27; thereafter they are content to plough the same furrow.

In my upper 30s I first discovered Rudolf Steiner and began reading his works. At age 75, after reading over 211 of his some 300 books extant, I am still reading and studying his lectures and books. Each new Steiner book offers mind-boggling concepts that are new to me and these act as a lure to my opening and reading the next book.

In my earlier work in business, I changed jobs about every three years, not content to repeat my successes at just one company, but take on challenges at a new company. When I took retirement at age 55, I knew well by then that I wanted to spend the rest of my life studying, learning, and writing so that others might benefit from my work. This kind of active learning life into old age is possible to anyone who wishes to expand their knowledge, but alas as Steiner points out below, it rarely happens today.

[page 110] A man who is prepared to continue his studies, to expand his knowledge, a man who remains plastic and capable of transformation is a rarity today. This was far more common amongst the Greeks, at least amongst the intellectual section of the population, because development did not cease in the early 30s. The forces inherited at birth were still very active. They began to encounter the forces leading to death; a state of equilibrium was established at the midway stage of life. Today this situation has come to an end; the majority hopes to be 'made' men, as the saying goes, by the age of 27. Yet at the end of their 30s they could recapture something of their youthful idealism and go forward to wider fields if they really wished to do so! But I wonder how many there are today who are prepared to make the readjustment necessary for the future development of mankind: to develop a constant readiness to learn, to remain plastic and to be ever receptive to change.

This will not be possible without that active sympathy for others of which I have already spoken. Our hearts must be filled with a tender concern for our neighbor, with sympathetic understanding for his peculiarities. And precisely because this compassion and understanding must take hold of mankind, it is so rarely found today.

In Lecture V, Steiner covers the Mystery of Death and the Mystery of Evil. Stated in a colloquial form they would form the two questions:

1) Why bother to live if we are going to die anyway?

2) Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?

To answer the first one, Steiner restates the question this way, "What do these forces which are active in the universe accomplish apart from bringing death to man?" Then he gives us a metaphor using the railroad; today we might use the automobile or the computer.

[page 117]The question now arises; what do these forces which are active in the universe accomplish apart from bringing death to man? It would be a mistake to imagine that their sole purpose is to bring death to man; that is only a secondary effect. It would never occur to anyone to say: the function of a railway engine is to wear down the rails. Yet that is what actually happens; the engine gradually wears down the rails, it cannot do otherwise. But that is not its function — it is designed for a different purpose. If one were to define a locomotive as a machine whose function is to wear down the rails, one would obviously be talking nonsense.

Nonetheless there is no denying the fact that there is a connection between the wearing down of the track and the nature of the locomotive. It would be equally mistaken to say that the forces in the universe which bring death to man exist for this sole purpose. This is only a secondary effect. Their real function is to endow man with the capacity to develop the Consciousness Soul. You see how close is the connection between the Mystery of Death and the evolution of the fifth post-Atlantean epoch, and how important it is that in this fifth post-Atlantean epoch the Mystery of Death should be revealed to all. For the task of the forces which as a secondary effect bring death to man is to implant in him, in the course of his evolution, not the Consciousness Soul, but the capacity to develop the Consciousness Soul.

For the problem of Evil, Steiner returns to his railroad metaphor, this time the train is moving fine, but it hits a bad section of track and is derailed(4). How to keep this from happening? Replace the rails with better rails, but in a world run by people plowing the same furrow decade after decade, the condition of the rails will not improve, but only get worse.

Certainly we have in this nascent 21st Century many strange and calamitous developments which fill the news channels every night and haunt those who watch them during the day. The question about why there is evil in the world is certainly on their minds.

[page 128] The present age with its strange and calamitous development is the revolt of mankind against what is destined to follow from these developments which I have just described. Because in future all chauvinistic tendencies in society must be abandoned, mankind rebels against this, and the trite doctrine of national self-determination is noised abroad. What we are witnessing today is a revolt against the divinely ordered course of evolution, a struggle to resist the inevitable. We must be aware of these things if we are to lay a firm foundation for an understanding of the Mystery of Evil. For evil is often a secondary effect of the force that must intervene in human evolution. When a locomotive that has to cover a long distance strikes a bad section of the track, it destroys the rails and comes to a halt. In its development mankind is moving towards the goals I have described to you. And it is the task of the Consciousness Soul to recognize that mankind must press forward consciously to these goals. But the present tracks are badly laid and it will be some time before better ones are in position, for often people proceed to replace the old tracks by others which are no better.

Yes, people rebel against giving up their chauvinism, their near-sighted patriotism, just like teenagers rebel against their parents: they know they'll have to give up certain things when they're parents themselves and want to hold onto these as long as possible. One cannot expect teenagers to understand this, nor for them to take time for a moment of reflection on the reason for their rebellion. But most humans are the same as teenagers, rebelling against the kind of reflection that would show them where they stand in evolution today. This prevents them from understanding the Mystery of Evil; these are the very same people who cavil in despair, "Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?" If, instead feeling hopeless despair, they held that question hopefully as an unanswered question, and worked towards an answer, one might come to them.

[page 128] But, as you see, spiritual science has no wish to be pessimistic. It sets out to show man where he really stands in evolution today. But it demands nonetheless that, at least for certain special moments of reflection in life, he can renounce certain current tendencies. And because men find it so difficult to make this sacrifice, because, in spite of everything, everyone immediately reverts to his old routine, it is extremely difficult to speak frankly on these matters today.

There is no Easy Street to understanding these matters today, and few people care to dote upon them at all. Meanwhile the rails go into worse repair, train wrecks increase, and the entire system of coercive bureaucracy is headed for a collapse because it is endemically flawed. Rightly understood, those votes which kill the soul are the very ones which prop up this flawed coercive system, and when they are withdrawn, the decadent structure will falter and collapse. Understanding this, one would not feel disappointed, but rather encouraged, when the percentage of people not casting soul-killing voting increases each year. One cannot build freedom by fighting against a system.

Americans fought the British to get rid of "taxation without representation" did we not? And what do we have now, taxation with representation, which is far worse and far higher than under the King's taxes that we fought to get rid of. If one dances with the forces of coercion, they get stronger. It's like wrestling with pigs, you both get dirty but the pigs love it. If this does not make sense to you now, have patience, it will later.

What is the answer? A free community life, a Threefold Society, a Natural Society, in which there is no coercion at any level. Steiner envisioned the first, Galambos envisioned the second and left us with detailed plans of how to build such a society, to build a freedom that once built, can never be destroyed. When will humankind be ready for such freedom? They are ready for it now, and when it is first implemented and proven, it will sweep across the world. When will this happen? Steiner indicates in many places that day will come, but humans have a lot of growing up from their current teenagership to do before it happens.

Here is Steiner's vision.

[page 142] I envisaged the idea of a free community life — such as I described to you recently from a different angle — a free community life in which not only the individual claims freedom for himself, but in which, through the mutual understanding of people in their social life, freedom as an impulse of this life can be realized. And so I unhesitatingly wrote at that time:

To live in love of our action and to let live in the full understanding of the other's will is the fundamental maxim of free men. You know no other obligation than that with which your will intuitively aligns itself in harmony; how, in a particular case, they will direct their will depends on their wealth of ideas.

In these next two passage. Steiner imagines Immanuel Kant speaking for the forces of coercive bureaucracy which always asks of us "duty, obedience, and for our sake please vote", and then Steiner speaks for Man — the full Human Being — who sings a Song of Freedom. Which do you prefer, Good Reader, the plaintive cry of Duty! or the triumphant song of Freedom?

First, listen to Kant's call to duty, then, farther down, Steiner gives us Man's cry for Freedom:

[page 142] When Kant says of duty: 'Duty? thou exalted and mighty name, thou that dost comprise nothing lovable, nothing ingratiating, but dost demand submission', thou that 'settest up a law . . . before which all inclinations are silent even though they secretly work against it'.

Now listen to the reply to Kant's tirade that Steiner speaks from out of his heart, allowing the full Human Being to sing a Song of Freedom, a brilliant and powerful paean against the forces of coercive bureaucracy..

[page 142, 143] Then, out of the consciousness of the free spirit, Man replies: Freedom! Thou kindly and human name, thou that dost comprise all that is morally most lovable, all that my manhood most prizes, and that makest me the servant of nobody, thou that settest up no mere law, but dost await what my moral love itself will recognize as law, because, in face of every merely imposed law, it feels itself unfree.

Feels unfree, such as when one casts a soul-killing vote in a ballot box. Remarkably the one freedom not currently infringed by the coercive bureaucracy in the USA is the right to vote or not. But, I suspect we are heading for as sorry an end as in Australia where, as I understand it, every registered voter is forced by law to cast soul-killing votes.

What is amazing to me is how most people who have studied Steiner urge the formation of a Threefold Society as if they were Kant telling us of our Duty. You cannot have both! One cannot have both freedom and duty. Freedom and coercion are like oil and water, they do not mix with one another. Freedom is always floating on the top, always appearing in slogans like "This is the freest country in the World!" But, all the while, the forces of coercion are increasingly at work below the surface, couching their latest coercive law as a kind of freedom. Who wants a kind of freedom? Who needs an imposed law when everyone recognizes what is right morally? How do we arrive at that universal recognition? This is surely an unanswered question worthy of any full Human Being.

[page 143] If, instead of such slogans as peace founded on justice, or peace imposed by force, people would only speak of peace based on freedom, then this word would echo round the world and in this epoch of the Consciousness Soul might kindle in the hearts of men a sense of security.

What can prevent liberty from becoming license and Freedom from becoming infringement? Steiner recognizes the problem can only be resolved by genuine scientific reasoning. I agree.

[page 152] For if freedom without the solid foundation of a science of freedom were regarded as real freedom, then, in an age when evil is gaining ground — as I indicated yesterday — freedom would of necessity lead not to liberty, but to license. What is necessary for the present epoch when freedom must become a reality can only be found in a firm inner discipline of a thinking freed from the tyranny of the senses, in genuine scientific reasoning.

What would a genuine scientific reasoning do? It would establish an operational definition for freedom. With such a definition one could reasonably answer without equivocation such questions as "Is there freedom in my country?" One would simply apply the definition to the conditions in one's country, and an answer would come out; that's what an operational definition allows one to do in science: operate and get an answer. Given an operational definition of freedom, one could easily move to an operational definition of morality: any action taken in freedom. And profit: any moral action which provides a benefit. When such an operational definition of freedom is extant and in practice, people will not need to understand the definition or know what an operational definition is, it will be profitable for them to become and remain moral, ever operating in freedom.

These are not my ideas, but those of a scientist with a Ph. D. in physics, Andrew Joseph Galambos, who created an operational definition of freedom which laid the "solid foundation of a science of freedom" which fits all of Steiner's specifications, as I understand them. It is time for people who wish to live in the Threefold Society as envisioned by Steiner to study the Natural Society envisioned by Galambos. If they dig deep enough into Galambos's work, they will find the answers to all their unanswered questions laid out for them. In my life, I have encountered three great thinkers who understood freedom rightly, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rudolf Steiner, and Andrew Joseph Galambos, and my review of Galambos' foundational work in freedom, Sic Itur Ad Astra, begins with copious quotes from Steiner and Emerson.

What we have today is euphemisms for coercion so that the appearance of freedom might be simulated for the unthinking. Want an example of a euphemistic phrase used by a socialist in Steiner's time? Reasonable constraint. Perhaps you've heard similar phrases in our time used to justify some new socialist program created by the coercive bureaucracy of your country. I certainly have. Here's Steiner report from a hundred years ago. How much has changed since? Not much.

[page 153, italics added] One day I was defending spiritual values in a meeting attended by hundreds of my students when only four members who had been sent by the party executive to oppose me were present; nonetheless they made it impossible for me to continue. I still vividly recall my words: 'If people wish to play a part in future evolution, then liberty of teaching and liberty of thought must be permitted.' Thereupon one of the stooges sent by the party leadership declared: 'In our party and its schools there can be no question of freedom, but only of reasonable constraint.' These things I may add are profoundly symptomatic of the forces at work today.

As of 1968 with the first course in Volitional Science, V50, given by Dr. Andrew Joseph Galambos in Los Angeles, we could say the day that Rudolf Steiner was praying for had arrived. I think if he had been alive to attend that course, Steiner would have agreed that the ideas necessary for a science of freedom had been adequately postulated by Galambos, and that they provide a foundation for ethical individualism in our social and political life.

[page 159] The day that no longer regards the ideas I have attempted to express here today, albeit so imperfectly, as the voice of one crying in the wilderness, but as ideas that will find their way to the hearts and souls of mankind today, that day will herald a new dawn!

That day is here. V50 and more advanced courses in Volitional Science have been paid for and attended by over 30,000 people in the past 60 years and have found their way into the hearts and souls of the attendees who know how to survive in a coercive society and how a non-coercive society is possible. Behind the scenes people are working and waiting for the day of implementation and proof that a society without coercion can be built. They know, like Steiner, that it will come eventually, and it will be based on an ethical approach to freedom, with license and infringement held in check by each individual, not because they wish to lighten the darkness of the world, but because it will be to their benefit.

[page 159] Mankind must realize how the world would be transformed if the meaning of freedom were understood, freedom not in the sense of license, but freedom born of a free spirit and a firmly disciplined mind. If people understood what freedom and its establishment would signify for the world, then the light which many seek today would lighten the prevailing darkness of our time.

Many of you will doubt my words — I fully expect that response. It was the response of my wife when I completed my first course, V50T, in 1981. Only after she had taken the course could she understand and agree with me, having absorbed the superb wisdom and innovative genius which Galambos poured into his beginning courses. If you seriously doubt me, and have the intellectual curiosity, find a way to take Galambos' courses(5). Start by acquiring a copy of V50T transcribed into book form, Sic Itur Ad Astra. Do not write me, asking me to do the work for you, as I will not and cannot. Building freedom is a Do-It-Yourself job which can be done only one person at a time.

The one thing about building freedom that is most misunderstood by afficionados of anthroposophy is how important intellectual property rights are for individuals. They may have read where Steiner said something like the following:

[page 234] If the socialist movement is to develop along healthy lines, privileges, patents and monopolies must be abolished in every branch of knowledge. Since, at the present time, we are still very far from understanding what I really mean, there is no need for me to show you in any way how knowledge could be freed from its fetters, and how every man could thus be induced to participate in evolution. For that will depend upon the development of far-reaching impulses in the sphere of education, and in the whole relationship between man and man. Ultimately all monopolies, privileges and patents which are related to the possession of intellectual knowledge will disappear; man will have no other choice but to affirm in every way and in all domains the spiritual life that dwells in him and to express it with all the vigor at his command.

Steiner is not saying that individual rights to intellectual knowledge will disappear! He is pointing out that the deleterious forms of intellectual rights which involve state-owned and state-controlled rights and privileges must disappear! Monopolies are controlled by the State, privileges are bestowed by the State, patents are authorized, filed with, and maintained by the State. In a Natural Society, there will be no State, so the requirements laid down by Steiner will be met, but not in a way easily understood by those plowing rows the same old way, i.e., by those infused with the current ways of handling intellectual rights. For example, a U. S. patent requires lascivious disclosure and provides minimal protection. For example, electronic innovators file their U.S. patents and Japanese and Chinese manufacturers use these patents to create devices and sell them before the American inventors can get their devices to market. Then the patent holder must file suit against a large foreign manufacturer which few can afford to do. A proprietary way of protecting intellectual knowledge would be built in a Natural Society and provide protection for individual intellectual property(6).

To close out the final lecture, Steiner explains the three approaches to understanding Christ: as Teacher, as King, and as Spirit. The first way is that of the People of the Lodges who view Christ as Teacher. The second way is that of the People of the Church who view Christ as King. The third way is that of the People of the Christ, who view Christ as Spirit. The peoples of the East, namely Russia, are pre-disposed to view Christ as Spirit, but the further West one goes, to Central Europe and America, the less likely disposed they are to view Christ as Spirit, so instead they impose a view of Christ as King via a king-like Pope, or view Christ as a Teacher in various freemason lodges and temples. The entire human race is destined to evolve into an understanding of Christ as Spirit, and in Rudolf Steiner we find one man who can clearly delineate our current perspectives and lead us safely to the perspective we will need to develop as we progress into the remainder of this epoch.

-------- Footnotes --------

Footnote 1.
Atavistic means harking back to some earlier time. Note: the third epoch is mirrored in the fifth epoch, so there is a tendency for processes from the third to re-appear in the fifth, but they would be shallow and as useful as a squeezed out lemon, a mere hint of lemon, but not enough for a tasty lemonade.

Return to text directly before Footnote 1.

Footnote 2.
The first course, V50T, is available in book form, Sic Itur Ad Astra, or Thus the Way to the Stars.

Return to text directly before Footnote 2.

Footnote 3.
Note how both of Homer's epics began with a call for a Muse (a god) to put the words in his head as thoughts that he could write down. See Iliad and Odyssey.

Return to text directly before Footnote 3.

Footnote 4.
In her classic novel on freedom, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand used the derailing of trains to symbolize the derailing of the coercive bureaucracies of her time.

Return to text directly before Footnote 4.

Footnote 5.
Galambos gave a money-back guarantee to anyone who took his V50 course and felt it wasn't worth the money. We paid $300 (worth almost $2,000 in today's inflated money) back in 1981 to take the 19-week course, one 3 hour night a week. Few people out of 30,000 ever asked for a refund, certainly no one in my courses ever did. A warning: it will change your life, but for the better.

Return to text directly before Footnote 5.

Footnote 6.
A proprietary, non-State-based, method for protecting intellectual property is outlined in detailed form in Galambos' V201 course, the successor to V50, which has not been published in book form, up until now.

Return to text directly before Footnote 6.

Read/Print at:

3.) ARJ2: Teaching a Stone to Talk by Annie Dillard

Why did I read another Annie Dillard book? Because I could. This is a writer par excellence. Each book is like a banquet of verbal delights, and while I consume the feast set before me, the prandial speaker is giving this wonderful lesson in how to write. Forget the famous writers correspondence course, just pick up any one of Annie's books, if you want to learn to write.

[page 11] A weasel is wild. Who knows what he thinks?

Annie Dillard is wild. Who knows what she thinks? We, her faithful readers, do because writing what she thinks is her real work. This book is a collection of her "Expeditions and Encounters" as the subtitle quickly informs us. She takes expeditions to the Pole, to the jungle, to a solar eclipse, to the Galapagos, to a cabin in the woods; she encounters a weasel, silence in a field, God in a doorway, mirages, and a nine-year-old girl. And she grabs hold of each expedition and encounter, not daring to let it go, ever. She is like the weasel whose limp, empty skin was found dangling from its bare skull, still clamped onto the neck of an eagle that had been shot from the sky. She clamps onto these expeditions and encounters and will not let go, until either she or the eagle is dead.

[page 16] I think it would be well, and proper, and obedient, and pure, to grasp your one necessity and not let it go, to dangle from it limp wherever it takes you. Then even death, where you're going no matter how you live, cannot you part. Seize it and let it seize you up aloft ever, till your eyes burn out and drop; let your musky flesh fall off in shreds, and let your very bones unhinge and scatter, loosened over fields, over fields and woods, lightly, thoughtless, from any height at all, from as high as eagles.

Whether it takes her to bleak Arctic polar regions where "the sun rolls round the sky like a fish in a bowl" or the South American jungle where the primitive natives sleep naked in hammocks and awaken in the middle of the night to warm their bodies in the river, she writes lucidly and informatively. We learn that the running of a deer prior to shooting it builds up the lactic acid level and tenderizes the meat. The real meat of Dillard's writing for me is in the pithy comments she inserts at intervals, like the following:

[page 70] It is difficult to undo our own damage, and to recall to our presence that which we have asked to leave.

[page 71] Just the other day a chimp told us, if we can believe that we truly share a vocabulary, that she had been sad in the morning. I'm sorry we asked.

And these completely unexpected images:

[page 111] It is a fantastic utterance, as though I were to open my mouth and emit a French horn, or a vase, or a knob of tellurium.

[page 128] This is what life is all about: salamanders, fiddle tunes, you and me and things, the split and burr of it all, the fizz into particulars.

[page 135] There was only silence. It was the silence of matter caught in the act and embarrassed.

[page 172] He has aged. The bones of his skull are tent poles from which his skin hangs in catenary curves.

She closes this book of lovely images and deep thoughts with a ripple of wind coming down from the woods, smelling of November.

[page 177] The gust crosses the river and blackens the water where it passes, like a finger closing slats.

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 Visits the Louvre in Paris, France 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 DIGESTWORLD to share with us some amusing or enlightening aspect of the world he observes during his peregrinations.

This month the good Padre Gets Lost in the Louvre's Statuary Garden:

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 Brent Scott in Arizona:
    OMG Bobby,
    I was just asked if I had read the "Article" Teaching a Stone To Talk. Searching for a .pdf I found your review.

    Thank you!
    Brent Scott
  • EMAIL from Carroll Devine in New Orleans:
    Loved the Voltaire quote in the DW159 Issue, Bobby, and the stunning photos of the flowers — and of Del.
    After a long hiatus, I've resumed my blog:

    Have a little more time now since I've "retired" from my ESL teaching career for a writing one.

    Be well.
    "We shall never cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive from where we started and know the place for the first time." -T.S. Eliot
  • EMAIL from Carol Fleischman in New Orleans:
    Hi Bobby and a belated Happy Birthday.

    I enjoyed the DW159 Issue a lot. I think the key is to wait for a wake-up early time and fully take the time. The church bells were awesome!


  • Jeanne Lex (My favorite QuiLTeR):
    Hi, Bobby

    OMGosh ! I, totally, LOVE your Digest. Haven't read it all, but sure enjoyed your Paris and the Heart of Normandy travelogue. Think the Chicken Dance video is the BEST EVAH ! Dennis and I laughed so hard. Wish you'd gotten Mike and his flatware tirade on film. That would've have had us LOAOROTF !

    What a great trip ! (I can say this a week after getting home and now being rested). Maybe we need to book another Viking River Cruise together and make more wonderful memories !!!!

    Back at you soon...
    Jeanne Lex

  • 3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell: "Taxing Times"

    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:

           Taxing Times

    Tax the rich and tax the poor
    That's what taxing laws are for.

    Tax the goose owner until he begs
    We'll have roast goose instead of golden eggs.

    What can be more frustrating that to have some computer failure and the Geek you hire to fix it, says,"It was just a glitch." But the Geek never tells you what a glitch is, so I will offer an easy acronym for you remember what a glitch is:

    GLITCH — A Gremlin Licking In The Computer Hardware

    Okay, okay, so I'm explaining one unknown, a Glitch, using another unknown, a Gremlin. Can't you just enjoy the humor for once?

    Seriously, though, don't you just hate people who use the phrase "seriously though"? Let's look at various computer failures from a historical and otherwise light-hearted perspective.

    BUG — Computer Problem

    How did a computer problem get labeled as a bug? It's usually reserved for software problems, since hardware problems get removed before delivery (usually) or show up as abject failures so horrible that you get new hardware. But the first bug was a hardware failure. I got this oral report from a woman programmer, Mary Evans, who worked at Bell Labs in the 1940s on the first digital computer built solely with Bell Telephone switching relays. One day their computer had an error, and Mary told me that she saw an engineer come from out of the relay stacks of the computer holding up a smashed roach, saying, "Look at this bug I found stuck between a relay contact!" (Relays each contained one bit of information. They were replaced by magnetic donuts in electronic computers, each donut having four wires running through it. See Photo Above.)

    That roach caused a glitch because it was the Gremlin Licking In The Computer Hardware when it got caught between a relay contact, keeping the relay from making contact, and causing the first bug to be reported as the cause of a computer problem.

    OK, Smartypants, you may be thinking, how can you explain unexpected and non-repeatable Glitches in hardware whose relays are solid-state flipflops in nanometer-scaled silicon chips? No roaches can get between their contacts.

    Pardon me while I don my Physics Robe to explain what happens today. Cosmic rays are large ionized atomic particles traveling through space at near light speeds and some occasionally make it through our lush atmosphere without being absorbed. If one of these cosmic bullets passes through a silicon chip of your computer (or cell phone, auto, or stereo, etc) it can act like that roach and cause an unexpected state to occur in a solid-state flipflop when it ionizes it. When that nano-event causes a macro-event, you may notice something doesn't work right. Reboot, the Geek tells you, you reboot, and the problem goes away. It doesn't come back because it was a one-time trick by your cosmic visitor. Occasionally the cosmic bullet hits a hardware controller and then rebooting will NOT solve the problem because the hardware controller acts like a Jailer under orders, "NO ONE GETS OUT THAT DOOR!" In that case, you will have take all power off the computer (basically over-ride the Jailer's orders) and then the hardware device will work properly again. The RESET button solved such problems by forcing all voltages to go to ground (over-riding all memory of the Jailer). If you don't have a RESET button, then powering off the computer will accomplish the same thing. But note that voltages are held by capacitors which act as temporary memories for the Jailer, so wait for about 30 seconds to clear any stubborn hardware glitches.


    A year or so ago, Amy Kirk Duvoisin, Captain of the Krewe of Joan of Arc Parade in New Orleans, came to talk to our Patio Planters meeting in the French Quarter. As she talked about her Joan of Arc Parade Krewe, I began thinking of what Rudolf Steiner had written about Joan of Arc, namely, "but for her deeds, the English would have taken over France and there would be today no country of France and no French language." I was sitting in the French Quarter at the time and the thought came to me, "If so, there would be No French Quarter! Followed quickly by: "There would be no New Orleans!" And no Louisiana! Put into this in French, "Pas de Jeanne d'arc, pas de Vieux Carre, pas de Nouvelle Orleans, pas de La Louisiane!"

    In this Commentary, I am not out to convince you about anything, but rather to share my own convictions about the effect of Joan of Arc's deeds. Here's how The Encyclopedia Britannica records her physical deeds:

    "In the year 1431, after having led the French army in a momentous victory over England at Orléans during the Hundred Years' War, Joan of Arc was charged with heresy and witchcraft, and burned at the stake."

    Instead of talking about the things Joan of Arc did, I will describe the spiritual realities behind the things she did and the tremendous effects her deeds have had on our world today.

    First her propitious birth on January 6. Steiner reveals an interesting fact about Joan of Arc's birth, that she was born on January 6, 1412, a date that my Encyclopedia Brittanica has only the year as approximation. He explains that she was to be born exactly one sun cycle (2,160) years after the founding of Rome so that the "Inspiration of pagan Rome" could "come in through the aspect of man that is most utterly childlike." (Quotation source: The Destinies of Individuals and of Nations by Rudolf Steiner, 1919.)

    [page 71, 72] This means that the soul of Joan of Arc had to be taken hold of at the point where souls are taken hold of most profoundly, where they are weakest in relation to earthly things, and where the Christ impulse is not yet hampered by worldly impressions — the souls not yet having taken up the earthly element, so that the Christ impulse can be the only one to enter into the soul sphere. The most favorable timing for this would have been for the Maid of Orleans to have gone through the time of the Thirteen Nights in her mother's womb immediately before her birth, before she took her first breath. And indeed, she did — for she was born on the 6th of January.

    Rudolf Steiner wrote about the crucial importance of her deeds:

    [page 26, 27] But whilst the general idea of nationhood was emerging in France and England an extremely significant differentiation was taking place at the same time. Whilst for centuries these countries had shared a common purpose, differences began to emerge in the fifteenth century. The first indications are seen in the appearance of Joan of Arc in 1429, a most important turning point in modern history. It was this appearance of Joan of Arc which gave the impetus — and if you consult the manuals of history you will see just how important, powerful and continuous this impetus was — which led to the differentiation between the French and the English character. (Quotation source: From Symptom to Reality by Rudolf Steiner, 1918.)

    Many people may dispute the claim that Joan of Arc chased the English from France forever, claiming that she only won a few battles and the English were still in France when she was burnt at the stake in Rouen. Yes, it's true that the English were not chased completely from France until years later, so how can we imagine that Joan was responsible for getting the English out of France forever?

    Certainly without her freeing Orléans in that great battle, the English armies would have continued to conquer and control more and more of France. But there is a spiritual truth that when a young person dies, their etheric body remains to continue its work on Earth. As a spiritual body it can act as a angel or guardian spirit for those friends, relatives, and countrymen it left behind. Joan's spiritual body continued its work until the English were banished from France forever as she promised.

    Steiner wrote:

    Regardless of what Joan of Arc said about the appearance of the higher beings in her visions, the occultist who is able to investigate these things knows that it was always the genius of the French nation who stood behind them.(Quotation source: The Presence of the Dead on the Spiritual Path.

    What Joan understood as the Archangel Michael was, rightly understood, a great Archangel, the one assigned as the Folk Spirit or Genius of France. When an Archangel perceives us, we feel driven to achieve some goal and for Joan that goal was to have the Dauphine crowned in Reims as the King. In that time, someone crowned by the Archbishop in Reims would be immediately recognized and honored by the people as the King of France. Joan was driven to make that happen while she was alive, and lived long enough to do that. The people of France had a real King for their country and they made sure anyone trying to take away their country was driven out of France.

    As for Joan of Arc being burnt at the stake before her mission to drive the English from France was completed, Steiner said that Joan of Arc left the world in this way because:

    "she said that after her death the English would meet with a much greater reverse than any they had known before, and that this would happen within the next seven years." (Quotation source: The Destinies of Individuals and of Nations by Rudolf Steiner, 1919.)

    This tells us that, in the spirit, she continued after her death to work on her mission, to inspire her countrymen to drive out the infernal English. Her adversaries could bring about her death, but they were not able to prevent completion of her mission to cast out forever the English from France.

    If England had ruled the Brittany coast their potato farmers might never have migrated to the New World in 1605. If they had, they would have been British settlers, and they would have been speaking English. They would have never been expelled from Canada later to create the French-Acadian heritage here in Louisiana, so there would be no Cajun Culture here as we have today. And Canada would remained entirely English-speaking, never having any Quebecois, no Montreal, no province or city of Quebec.

    Robert Cavalier de Lasalle of Rouen, France might have still claimed all the land drained by the Mississippi River for his King, but it would have been a King of England, perhaps a King Henry or a King Richard. That huge territory in the middle of North American would have become named Henriana or Richardland and not the Land of Louis, Louisiana. And this State's name would then be different also, having no King Louis to name it after. We could be living in a State called Henriana or Richardland instead of Louisiana.

    Steiner explains the difference between the English and the French, which in a nutshell, is the direction of attention. The English give attention to the whole of humanity, and the French give attention to the individual. The British never felt better than when they could proclaim, "The Sun never sets on the British Empire." The French love to speak of the liberty of the individual and created a Statue to Liberty for the United States as a token of their love of liberty. One could never imagine Great Britain making such a gesture to its former colony, could one?

    Besides, the more I think about it, there may never have been a United States, because France was an ally of the American Colonies in their battle for freedom through the support of General Lafayette. Thus, one might say, "Pas de Jeanne d'arc, pas des Etats-Unis" No Joan, No United States.

    We cannot re-write history, but we can learn a new respect for the young woman known variously as Jeanne d'arc, Joan of Arc, La Pucelle (the virgin), Johanne of Domrémy, and the Maid of Orléans. The people of France have donated two great female statues to these United States of America: the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor and the Golden Statue of Joan of Arc in the French Market of New Orleans

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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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