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WELCOME TO DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#177 July, 2017== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Quote for the Freedom Month of July:
We seem not to have learned a basic lesson of history: Capitalism harnesses human self interest; socialism exhausts itself trying to kill it.
— Linda Bowles, American Writer
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DIGESTWORLDArchived DIGESTWORLD Issues
GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents ISSUE#177 for July, 2017
Table of Contents
1. July's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for July
3. On a Personal Note
Rainbows & Shadows Poems
4. Cajun Story
5. Household Hint for July, 2017 from Bobby Jeaux: Clamming for Blackberries
6. A Found Poem from A Course in Miracles Workbook:"All Things That Live"
7. Reviews and Articles featured for July:
8. Commentary on the World
- ARJ2: Balance in Teaching, GA#302a by Rudolf Steiner
- ARJ2: The Burning Bush by Edward Reaugh Smith
- ARJ2: Tuva or Bust! — Richard Feynman's Last Journey by Ralph Leighton
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
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1. July Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==This month Violet and Joey learn about Opinions.
For newcomers to DIGESTWORLD, we have created a webpage of early Violet-n-Joey cartoons!
"Opinions" at http://www.doyletics.com/images/170606vj.jpg
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2. HONORED READERS FOR July:
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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 July, 2017:
John Bewick in the UK
Vicky Romaguera in Metairie, LA
Congratulations, John and Vicky!
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3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
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Out Our Way:
JUNE IS CREOLE TOMATO MONTH
We hate to leave New Orleans in June because it's the only month when Creole tomatoes are ripe and they are delicious. We slice them over a bowl to capture their juice and then cover them with a blended mixture of Blue Plate Mayonnaise and Wishbone Italian Dressing. Let them marinate in the refrigerator a couple of hours to cool off before eating. Often we take the tomato pieces from the bowl and spread them on some toasted whole wheat bread and eat it as an open face sandwich. Anyway you eat them, they are delicious. I count the nine years I worked out-of-state as lost Creole tomato years. Like so many local foods in New Orleans: the oysters from September to April, the French Bread year-round, the figs in July, the Creole tomatoes in June are not to be missed. Can't explain to you why these tomatoes taste so good, you just have be here in June and taste for yourself.
Our LSU Fighting Tigers have won 7 SEC series and the Western Division Title of the SEC outright and a share of the overall SEC title for 2017! They won the SEC Tournament Championship in Hoover, followed by the regional and super-regional in Alex Box Stadium. The Tigers are on a winning streak reaching Omaha, looking to win a College World Series Championship in this decade. This would be the second one for Coach Paul Manieri and we are pulling for this to be the year in which it happens. The first game LSU beat Florida State University in a come from behind victory involving two separate scoring plays by a runner going from first to home plate! Then we lost to Oregon State when our third starter Eric Walker developed a sore arm after 3 innings. In an elimination game against Florida State, we won big time with a rally in the top of the second to go up 5-0. Final was 7-4, LSU's 50th win of the season, Jared Poche's 39th win of his career, best-ever of any Tiger pitcher, and LSU is in the Final Four of the CWS. Two wins against OSU and we're in the Championship game!
This has been a slow month compared to some previous months when we were on cruises during previous years. After packing four long cruises into 2016, we decided this year would be spent on land with only a few short trips in late summer and fall. I will detail here a few of our activities around the local area in June.
AMAZING TRUTHS ABOUT YOUR EMOTIONS
June began with me meeting Gary Arnold for lunch in Metairie. I had found Doyle Henderson's book which he gave me as a Christmas present in 1996, "Amazing Truths About Your Emotions". I loaned it to Gary to read so he can decide if he wants to write a book about doyletics or not. The science of doyletics was inspired by Doyle's innovative work in tracing away unwanted emotions which is detailed in this book. From there he went to create software that allowed people to trace back to original events in their early lives when an unwanted doyle was first stored. Doyle's early traces took an hour and half and required a Session Director. The software he called Panacea! could be used by an individual to do a trace alone, and in about twenty minutes or so. When I created the Speed Trace, individuals were soon doing traces in under a minute. Doyle himself began using my speed procedure and liked to call it the MOST, which stood for Matherne's Optimal Speed Trace, but I preferred the more modest name of Speed Trace. Doyle had focused on the various types of problems and how to trace them. My intention to discover why the traces worked and what were the mechanisms in the human brain and neurology which allowed bodily states to be stored before age five (as Doyle had determined experientially) and what exactly happened during a successful Speed Trace. The answer was that a bodily memory (I called a doyle) was converted into a declarative memory (cognitive memory) and the bodily state never reappeared.During a Speed Trace, one returns to a time before the original event with a fully functional hippocampus for the first time and the hippocampus does its job of transmitting the cognitive aspects of the bodily state to the cortex which is a more efficient method of storage, so the bodily state no longer besets the human organism.
DINNER MEETING AT MY CLUB
Del and I had our contribution to the upscale pot luck supper in the car, and, as we prepared to leave in the car, I stopped to watch the down pour and check the weather app on my Z10 Smartphone. How long might the rain continue? I saw on the moving radar that the line of heavy showers were over us currently, but we would have dry skies, so we took off. The rain lessened as we neared the bridge and was nearly stopped as I parked on St. Charles Avenue with Del's door opening onto the sidewalk leading to the Club's entrance. Had a great time.All of our friends I call the Burgundy Street gang were there. Dave, Maddie, John, Sandra, Ron, Cathy, Charlie, and his guest, Heidijo Smith — a pianist, songster, and composer,
My long-time friend Christopher Tidmore came in late, but in time to get food. He had been held up by some alumni meeting at his high school. He announced his engagement to Barkley Rafferty. Marriage to be in October, 2018. He told me her brother's wedding is schedule for next June, so she has to wait till that wedding is over. I asked Chris if her brother was younger than she. "Yes", Chris said. "Then she'll have to jump over a broom!" I told him. Chris said, "Wow. I forgot about that. I'll tease her." This is an old Cajun tradition which my mother had told me about, but I have never personally observed the jumping over or dancing with a broom. We are so happy for Chris.
During the dinner, George White commented on my blackberry bushes and Doug Schmidt heard him and asked me about my bushes. Doug had bought three different bushes and each one had died. I assured him I would get a bush for him, and a couple of backups in case the first one didn't survive the transplanting.The next day I dug up a large bush that was growing up right next to a navel orange tree and put it into a large pot of black soil for Doug. It even had a couple of ripe berries still on its canes. A few days later Doug came to pick up his blackberry bush. Took a photo of us before he left. I got a photo of him and his boys, Ben and Paul, before they left.
His older boy said, "Wow! You have five computers!" when he saw my desk setup. Doug asked to be added to my DIGESTWORLD Reminder list, so I let him watch as I sent out his Subscription Confirmation email, the time anyone has seen that process happen. Doug loved our house and the gardens. I showed him my blackberry hedge which I am training by attaching nearby bushes to grow together. He let Ben and Paul eat one of the two blackberries left on his bush. Later I pulled a nice ripe blackberry from the hedge and gave it to him.I typically chop away errant blackberry bushes sprouting up where I don't want them, so anyone who wishes a blackberry bush, let me know and I'll save one for you. Need a spot with mostly sun and once the roots get established you'll be filling clamshells with blackberries in a couple of years.
Del has several clubs and ladies groups who meet for lunch, but I have only one lunch group. It's put together by two Air Force vets, Frank Arneman and Jim Webb who are often interviewing potential cadets for the Air Force Academy. They'll call me when they're in the local area and we'll meet at the Timberlane Country Club for lunch. With Café Hope newly installed at TCC, we had our first chance for lunch together, and it was a large group of six guys this time. Frank, Robert, Charlie, Jim, Barlow and I filled a table. The hamburgers were huge, and meat loaf poorboy that Jim ordered was enough for four meals. We had talked about missing seeing Mary Romano who had managed the previous TCC café, and as we were finished eating, Mary and Kathy showed up to say hi and get into the photo with us.
The other periodic lunch happens at my men's club. It's always a fun time with over fifty members and male guests getting together to break bread and have a good time. The lunch is followed usually by adult jokes and I'm always on the lookout for a joke which doesn't have any dirty words in it, a joke in which the person hearing the joke has to add the dirty words.
Here's an old one which I was reminded of when someone started off with the old parlay, "What's the difference between. . .?" So I got up and asked, "What's the difference between a woman's track team and a tribe of pygmies?" No one offered a response, so I said, "The tribe of pygmies is a bunch of cunning runts." Half of the guys laughed immediately, catching the Spoonerism form of the joke, and the other half laughed a second or so later as they did the internal search to discover the punch line.
We had dinner with Gary and Anita Arnold at this café on Decatur Street in the French Quarter. It was easy to get to because our favorite parking lot is a just a couple blocks away. The food was good and we were serenaded by an opera singer as we ate.
CAFÉ HOPE GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION
At 6 PM we were dressed and at the Café Hope's opening celebration at the Timberlane Country Club. Got to see and hear the founders talk how Café Hope was based on the successful Café Reconcile on the East Bank, bringing the program to disadvantaged teens on the West Bank. It started near the homeless shelter of Hope Haven on Barataria Boulevard in Marrero, where it maintains a large vegetable garden, growing crops which can be used in the Café . When Timberlane needed a new café operator, the TCC Board contacted the Café Hope Board and came to agreement. The Café Hope program runs teenagers through a 6-week-long on-the-job training with trainees serving and cooking in the Café. Every six weeks, the teens graduate into service positions around the city and local area. I talked to Judge Marion Edwards, asking how retirement was going for him. He said he's busier than ever traveling around the state when a judge is needed. One good thing about being a sitting judge is you know where you'll be working every day. He told me that it was Mayor Belinda Constant who fought so hard to keep the Timberlane Country Club afloat, holding various events there like the Annual Gretna Green Gala and Vintage Golf Tournament. When I finally got Belinda alone, I thanked her for all she's done for TCC and our own Timberlane Estates. As I was leaving, I added "Congratulations on your funny election!" She laughed, knowing I was referring to how she went from unopposed, to opposed, to unopposed in about a week when the last-minute candidate was added to the ballot, then disqualified a few days later for not living legally in Gretna. She said, "It feels good to have that behind me."
NEW LEVIATHAN ORIENTAL FOXTROT ORCHESTRADel and I went to the City Park Twilight Concert to hear our favorite group perform, The New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra. We left early in order to avoid rush-hour bridge traffic and this allowed us to make a few stops. First we stopped at Brocato's for a cup of their homemade lemon ice, only store I know where they have a sign, "Everything You Buy Here Was Made Here." After that we drove to visit our grandaughter Jennifer at Terranova's Supermarket. We noticed the store has a new lighter color of green paint which matches Lola's Diner next door. Still early, we drove to Two Sisters Pavilion (concert hall), parked there, and walked to Morning Call. Del had the crawfish bread and I had café au lait and beignets. Great to see Morning Call bringing new life to this area of City Park.On the way to concert, we walked through the K&B Sculpture Garden, and at 5 pm we entered the Two Sisters Pavilion just as it opened and got seats right up in the first row where our favorite violinist would sit. I walked through the Arboretum taking photos before returning in time for the performance to start. Sadly, violinist Janet was not there, so I asked about her of Carl Mac, the drummer. He said her mom's been needing Janet to care for her and that Janet would be back. George Schmidt was in Europe and he was ably replaced by Johnny Parker, a great singer and banjo player. Got a great view of Carl Mac on drums and we enjoyed watching him switching from drums to xylophone to the top of the bass drum to the wooden klave for various songs. At one point his sheet music for Alexander's Rag-Time Band by Irving Berlin was in tatters, and we shared his amusement as he held up the falling apart sheets. During the break we talked with four friends: Ruby and Edwin, plus Jo Huey (newly moved back to New Orleans from Colorado) and Carol Fleischman.
LAST MINUTE EVENTS
Did the Tigers win the CWS Championship? We'll let you know here as soon as we can. As of now, they've won the first game, lost the second, but are still in the running to make the Championship Game.
EVERY GOOD THING MUST COME TO A NEW BEGINNINGIMPORTANT MESSAGE:
The past month of June has brought us some warming weather in the runup to Summer, but the frequent rains have helped to cool us off.
We are waiting the NBA draft to provide some supporting players for our two All-Stars, Marcus Cousins and Anthony Davis, for the upcoming season. Our LSU baseball team is in Omaha, striving for it seventh CWS Championship. Our LSU football team is building momentum, adding great recruits and getting the new offense geared up for the Fall. Likewise our LSU Basketball team building up for a great season this year under new coach Will Wade. Our New Orleans Saints are pumped up for a run to the Playoffs this year. Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram running the ball and catching passes — we can hardly wait.
Our vegetable garden is about finished producing tomatoes. The lawn and fairways of the golf course have never looked so lush and green. Our Celeste and LSU fig trees are ready to fruit now budding.
Hope you will have a wonderful Fourth of July Celebration, and, God Willing, and the River Don't Rise, whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, be it warm Summer days or chilling Winter days,
Remember our earnest wish for this wonder full year of 2017:
MAY THE WORLD BECOME PEACEFUL AND SERENE IN TWENTY-SEVENTEEN
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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:
Private property creates for the individual a sphere in which he is free of the state. It sets limits to the operation of the authoritarian will. It allows other forces to arise side by side with and in opposition to political power. It thus becomes the basis of all those activities that are free from violent interference on the part of the state. It is the soil in which the seeds of freedom are nurtured and in which the autonomy of the individual and ultimately all intellectual and material progress are rooted.
Ludwig von Mises [economist]
New Stuff on Website:From Rainbows & Shadows, A 1995 Book of Poetry by Bobby Matherne
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky.
What is your substance, whereof are you made,
That millions of strange shadows on you tend?
William Shakespeare, Sonnet 53
Why rainbows and shadows? One reminds us of joyful occasions and the other of things that go bump in the night. First, rainbows.
In 1995 I stood in the open doorway of my garage before driving to work on my last day before retirement from the Waterford 3 Nuclear Power Plant, and I saw a beautiful double rainbow in the morning sky before me. My heart lept up like Wordsworth's when I saw that omen. I remembered that the source of the rainbow is in my heart, and was in the heart of everyone who took the time to observe a rainbow that morning. We each saw a different rainbow, and each one we saw was truly our own rainbow.
In 2015 a double rainbow appeared as I looked out my garage door in the morning of the same day I celebrated twenty years of working full-time as a writer, publisher, photographer, cartoonist, and poet. The beat goes on . . .
Likewise, each shadow we encounter is truly our own shadow, created by the materialistic stuff of our world blocking the light of the Sun. Shadows are the dark colors of the artist's pallette of our lives, without which there would be no texture, no structure, no light. As I reviewed my poems for this volume, I found some were naturally rainbows and some naturally shadows, and I separated them into one section called Rainbows and one called Shadows. My wife Del likes me to read to her one Rainbow followed by one Shadow — they seem to complement each other, she says. I have put the section titles in the header to facilitate such a manner of reading.
In addition to the poem, I have included a short note (where available), which notes altogether contain a panoply of information about my poems: when they were written, what I was doing at the time, what I was reading that inspired them, and on what scrap of paper I wrote them. Poems do not "form in their own water" (as my friend Calvin said of volcanoes), but they may form in the water of ideas suggested by others and completed in some fashion by me. In gratitude, I include in many of the Notes the authors' names and sometimes a brief reference or quote of the source of the inspiration. By reading the Notes, one may readily discern my favorite authors and assorted sources of inspiration during the five-year period of writing this book.
There is an ambiguity in the phrase driving to work that leaves unspecified whether I was alone in the car at the time. Believe me, I could never think these thoughts if I were not alone in the car. Sometimes I listened to jazz on WWOZ, sometimes to classical on WWNO, and sometimes only to the thoughts of the writer of the book I was reading and my own thoughts, but always moving on. Like rainbows and shadows are always moving, so was I.
You may have a moving experience also as you join me in my carpool of one on the highway of life. Welcome Aboard! What would you like on the radio, classical or jazz?
These poems are from Bobby Matherne's 1995 book of poetry, Rainbows & Shadows, most of which have never been published on the Internet before. Here at the beginning of the new millennium, we are publishing five poems until all poems and notes have been published on-line. Some of these poems have appeared in earlier DIGESTWORLD Issues and are being republished here with their associated NOTES above each poem. All Rainbow poems have been published with notes as of DW173, so from now on, only Shadows poem will be published.
This month we continue with a poem from the Shadows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). Slight of Mind: Written on or after February 23, 1992, this poem was inspired by the Wizard of Id comic strip in the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper of that day.
Slight of Mind
Democracy is pandering to people
instead of to principle
Selling away a prosperous future
for last year's election.
In the presidential year
was there no one here
Who said anything
but what the masses want to hear?
Those voices undermining all the things
the masses hold dear,
Lowering their aspirations
to the masses’ wishes
In the crassest magic trick of all
Seeking a certain election
by the effluent majority
Through forceful extraction of property
from the affluent minority.
The net result we all can soon see —
In place of political chicanery.
2. Chapter: Shadows
This month we continue with a poem from the Shadows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). Something Dewing: This poem was inspired by the quote on page 53 of Owen Barfield's book, Poetic Diction, that appears in the italics at the head of the poem. The poem was written on June 27, 1992 in the margins of the book beginning on page 53.
Everlasting day can no more freshen the earth with dew
than everlasting night, but the change from night to day
and from day back again to night. — Owen Barfield
In the arms of everlasting day
Dew dries up and goes away,
But couched in the cool blackness of the night
Dew returns in wet delight.
Unless there be an ebb and flow,
Night-time come and daylight go,
No dew would e'er intrude
Upon the midnight quietude.
The spinning globe creates the dew
And in its wake
It spins a web of life anew.
Thus may we forsake
our pride, vanity, and hubris, too
origin is humble as the dew.
3. Chapter: Shadows
This month we continue with a poem from the Shadows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). Children of My Will: Probably inspired by some reading in A Course in Miracles in conjunction with the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War, the last time the atom bomb was used in over 70 years. Ideas and their corporeal substance may be called by us, “children of our will.”
Children of My Will
In the Beginning was the Word
Children of My Will
Then came Adam and the children
Children of My Will
Who gave names to the animals
Children of My Will
Who gave birth to societies
Children of My Will
Which gave birth to the sciences
Children of My Will
Which spawned the atom bombs
Children of My Will
Which created peace in all lands
Children of My Will.
4. Chapter: Shadows
This month we continue with a poem from the Shadows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). Tales of the Dead:This poem was written on April 13, 1992 while driving to Waterford 3 Nuclear Power Plant. It was written on page 346 of A Course in Miracles Textbook and inspired by the text on page 389. The passage that inspired this poem goes, "Death, were it true, would be the final and complete disruption of communication, which is the ego's goal."
Tales of the Dead
If death were the extinguishing
of the light
and the end
of all communication
Dead men would tell no tales
and the near dead would,
in the deepening dark,
be nearly silent —
But we observe the opposite
to be true
The near dead open new channels
They tell wondrous tales indeed
and bask in supernal light.
5. Chapter: Shadows
This month we continue with a poem from the Shadows Chapter of Bobby's second book of Poetry, Rainbows & Shadows (1995). Feedback:This poem was written September 18, 1995. An example is the excessive paperwork that government agencies make for local businesses. The electronic and paper media are local businesses and have to file the excessive paperwork. So they investigate the government’s doings, causing the Congressmen and Senators who enacted the laws that require excess paperwork, to have to create paperwork to substantiate their claims to be honest. Take, for instance, Current Affairs is investigating the activities of Sen. Frank Murkowski of Alaska because he voted on a bill concerning Alaskan resources while he still owned $56K stock in those companies. They called his stockbroker and accused her or him of backdating a letter from the Sen. instructing her or him to place all his stock in a non-profit trust. The Senator was on the floor defending himself and probably spending more of the taxpayers’ money doing so than the amount of stock involved. The Senator wants to invest money in his state. He loves Alaska, and yet is prohibited from investing in its future, because, God forbid, the state might prosper, and he with it.
How else but in a bureaucratic tyranny can such foolishness come about? Imagine the president of a prospering company being prohibited from investing in his company! And yet that’s what we’re doing to our Senators and Representatives. Must be something basically wrong with our concept of government that leads to such folly.
Maybe the government of this country is too big a job and too important to be placed into the hands of coercive politicians and bureaucrats. Maybe we need a privatization of government itself. Maybe government itself needs to be run as efficiently as the Coca-Cola Company, which produces a product people want and are willing to pay money for without being forced to. In such a company the president would be encouraged to invest in the company and to prosper as the company does. As long as coercive politicians hold the purse strings, however, no private company can perform government services successfully, because to be really successful would mean to replace the holder of the purse strings and put them out of business. The company would negotiate directly with the consumer and bypass the coercive structure. The existence of the coercive structure, enforced by the point of guns (as shown in Waco and Ruby Ridge), is what keeps the US Postal Service in business. Allow competition and their days would be numbered. It is not the delivering of mail that causes employees to go berserk, but the delivering of the orders they receive.
The other benefit from privatizing all government functions is the elimination of graft. Basically all kickbacks, bribes, and graft would be allowed because there would be no laws against any of it. The performance of the government companies would be scrutinized carefully by the investors and customers (what we call voters today). The companies that fared poorly would go out of business, whether it was due to kickbacks or whatever. A kickback in private business is just a commission. Eliminate coercive bureaucracies and graft will disappear. Of course, you must allow competition, pure unfettered capitalism, or none of this will work. A small amount of coercion is like a small amount of pregnancy. Either way you know you have been done to.
with its demand for explanation,
does to the Government
with its demand for explanation,
does to the People as a Whole.
No wonder the Country is foundering
in paperwork and red tape.
It’s a wonder that
The People as a Whole
aren’t demanding an explanation.
Movies we watched this past month:Notes about our movies: Many of the movies we watch are foreign movies with subtitles. After years of watching movies in foreign languages, Arabic, French, Swedish, German, British English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and many other languages, sometimes two or three languages in the same movie, the subtitles have disappeared for us. If the movie is dubbed in English we go for the subtitles instead because we enjoy the live action and sounds of the real voices so much more than the dubbed. If you wonder where we get all these foreign movies from, the answer is simple: NetFlix. For a fixed price a month they mail us DVD movies from our on-line Queue, we watch them, pop them into a pre-paid mailer, and the postman effectively replaces all our gas-consuming and time-consuming trips to Blockbuster. To sign up for NetFlix, simply go to http://www.netflix.com/ and start adding all your requests for movies into your personal queue. If you've seen some in these movie blurbs, simply copy the name, click open your queue, and paste the name in the Search box on NetFlix and Select Add. Buy some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. You get to see your movies as the Director created them — NOT-edited for TV, in full-screen width, your own choice of subtitles, no commercial interruptions, and all of the original dialogue. Microwave some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. With a plasma TV and Blu-Ray DVD's and a great sound system, you have theater experience without someone next to you talking on a cell phone during a movie plus a Pause button for rest room trips.Hits (Watch as soon as you can. A Don't Miss Hit is one you might otherwise have missed along the way.):
P. S. Ask for Blu-Ray movies from NetFlix, and if it says DVD in your Queue, click and select Blu-Ray version.“Paterson” (2016) A bus driver who writes poetry and see twins everywhere, like rhyming couplets, while his wife paints everything black and white. “Look at what the dog dragged in” and “Sometimes black offers interesting possibilities” “Uh huh”
“Passengers” (2016) two passengers on an interstellar journey find each other. Best science fiction movie in a decade or so. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
“Wanderlust” (2008) Wanna watch several dozen great road movies? Grab a chair. Fasten your seat belt.
“Silver Skies” (2016) an exotic Marigold Hotel in L. A. suburb with aging actors like Barbara Bain, Marriet Hartley, and George Hamilton snuggled in an aging apartment complex going condo. Can the two mysterious ladies save these friends from scattering into oblivion? A DON'T MISS HIT !
“Sinatra: To Be Frank” (2015) documentary traces Blue Eyes' career as first pop star then Oscar-winning actor then as innovator of LPs for pop music and Las Vegas acts. What he learned in Watertown. A DON'T MISS HIT! ! !
“Hidden Figures” (2016) Early computers at NASA were females who calculated space shot orbits. This is the story of their challenges and successes.
“Suite Francais” (2014) a music piece written by German officer for sweet French gal he was billeted with in rural French town after WWII invasion. The manuscript for this story was lost for sixty years, un until now. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
“Edge of Tomorrow” (2014) Tom Cruise on adaptive cruise control continually dying and reliving the battle to save the world and to win the girl's heart. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
“The Resurrection of Gavin Stone” (2017) Gavin on drugs destroys a hotel room and gets 200 hours community service at his home town church, volunteers to play Jesus, and has a chance to be resurrected.A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
“Wonderfalls” (2004) Quirky Jaye works in a gift shop next to Niagara Falls and lives in a Trailer. The souvenir animals begin to talk to her and thereupon hangs many a tale. Fun fluffy stuff like the animals, but enjoyable.
“Salesman” (2017) amazing Death of a Salesman in Iran.
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.“Why Him?” (2016) a movie intended to make dirty words sound normal and licentious behavior acceptable. The model for this farcical intent is James Franco, a high school drop out entrepreneur in video game business, who is set on make a small fortune out of a large one and buying himself the family he never had and doesn't deserve. A DVD STOMPER ! ! ! ! !
Your call on these — your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:“Slaughter House 5” (1972) Kurt Vonnegut's classic brought to life, several lives of Billy Pilgrim interwoven, from battlefield to bliss, ad infinitum.
“Sleepless” (2017) Jamie Fox goes bad cop on worse cops in drugs and guns movie.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Le Boudreaux Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission
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Boudreaux was drinking a beer at the bar in Mulate's in Breaux Bridge next to this rancher from Texas. "What do you do?" the big Texan asked Boudreaux.
"Ah mostly hunt and fish, and Ah grow sugar cane on mah hundred-acre farm," Boudreaux said, and asked him, "Tole me sumpin, how big is yoh ranch?"
The rancher puffed himself up and said, "Wahl, I can get in my truck at daylight and drive all day and not get to the other side of my property."
Boudreaux took a sip from his Dixie Beer and said, "Mais, Ah got uh truck jes' like dat, me!"
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5.Recipe or Household Hint for July, 2017 from Bobby Jeaux:
(click links to see photo of ingredients, preparation steps)
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =Clamming for Blackberries
Background on Clamming for Blackberries:
Picking blackberries may seem easy, but it almost takes three hands to do the job efficiently: You need the First hand to hold the bowl, a Second hand to move the thorny canes to the side, and a Third hand to pick the berry.Plus there's these problems: the problem of spilling blackberries from the bowl if you tilt it while trying to pick a distant blackberry and the problem of moving the thorns to the side with a bare hand. Here's an easy solution I have used for the past two years with success — meaning to me, no dropped blackberries and no thorns stuck in my hands while picking.
If you buy fruit such as strawberries, save the clear plastic clamshell in which they come.
Saw a 3' piece of bamboo or saw off from an old wooden handle mop or broom. (These are getting replaced by cheap, rusty metal handles, so save any wooden handles as raw material for many projects around the home.)
Open the clamshell and practice opening and almost closing in you non-dominant hand (usually Left hand). Then practice holding the stick under the clamshell, using the same hand, and using the stick to move the thorny canes to the side when you pick blackberries. This may take a little practice, but soon you'll be moving the canes away from the blackberries, picking them with your right hand, opening the clamshell with your left, dropping the berries in the shell and almost closing it. .
Clamshell Picking of Blackberries
Move the thorny cane away (if necessary), pick a blackberry, allow the clamshell to open enough to place the blackberry in it, then allow the clamshell to almost close (this will prevent any blackberries from dropping out as you continue picking). When the clamshell is full of blackberries, close the cover by snapping the corners, then get an empty container to continue picking.
This will work equally well with other berries that have thorns, and if they have no thorns, the stick won't be necessary.
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6. A FOUND POEM by Bobby Matherne from A Course in Miracles Workbook:
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On page 287 of A Course in Miracles Workbook, I found this lyrically beautiful passage which I have read to others as a poem and it has been much appreciated. The poem testifies to the beauty of the prose which fills this volume. I have given it the title using the words which begin the second stanza: “All Things That Live.”
All Things That LiveThere is a light in you which cannot die;
Whose presence is so holy
that the world is sanctified because of you.All things that live bring gifts to you
and offer them in gratitude and gladness
at your feet —The scent of flowers
is their gift to youThe waves bow
Down before youAnd the trees extend their arms
to shield you from the heat
and lay their leaves
before you on the ground
so that you may walk in softnessWhile the wind sinks to a whisper
around your holy head.
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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for July:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =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: Balance in Teaching, GA#302a by Rudolf Steiner
Apollo and Dionysius shared the temple at Delphi each year; first Apollo then Dionysius but never both at the same time. In our human bodies Apollonian forces rule our growth from birth to age seven, sculpturing our growing bodies in a rational, ordered way. About age seven, the Dionysian forces arrive to gradually balance the child's one-sided centripetal sculpting forces with the centrifugal free-flowing forces of music and rhythm, followed by Dionysian lust by puberty. Steiner devotes the first four lectures of this book on how to achieve this balance in teaching, and the last three lectures to maintaining the health of the child.
Without this balance, a child might grow up into a gruffy, opinionated Archie Bunker, or might never grow up at all, remaining a Peter Pan forever. In his excellent Introduction, Douglas Gerwin describes the results if the two forces do not counterbalance each other during childhood.
[page xi] Left to themselves, these forces can work one-sidedly on the growing child, with devastating consequences. Allow the sculptural, formative, centripetal, linear forces of Apollo to exert too strong a grip, and we can see children grow prematurely stiff in carriage and sometimes burdened of soul, like grumpy little gnomes trapped in the confines of precociously sclerotic bodies. Allow musical, centrifugal, curvilinear forces of Dionysius to rise up too strongly, and we can see children who stay youthful and carefree too long, like flighty Peter Pans or fluid slender sylphs.
In the current Broadway musical "Finding Neverland" James Barrie helps the older brother, Peter, to overcome the Apollonian forces which had burdened him, keeping him from having fun. The magic wand which Barrie waved was music and play. This musical brings childlike play into an adult play in a marvelous way. Barrie freed himself from his own Apollonian forces which burdened him by embracing the Dionysian forces of childhood and writing a play which embodied his own liberation into balanced adulthood.
How can teachers achieve similar results with their children?
[page xi] Here Rudolf Steiner offers exceptionally specific suggestions on how teachers can use the subjects of the curriculum — both academic and artistic — either as parachutes to buoy a child's overly precipitous descent into the physical body, or as anchors or tethers to coax a reluctant being down into corporeal existence on earth.
This sounds a little abstract, too Apollonian, but Gerwin quickly gives us specific things a teacher can do to balance each specific child.
[page xi] Children overly prone to becoming trapped in the body need to draw, write, and revel in the details of a subject in order to loosen their "I" a little from the confines of the physical organism. By contrast, children who have difficulty taking hold of the physical organism need to observe, as from a bird's eye view, what they have drawn or written, or be encouraged to attend to the overall meaning or context of a subject, rather than in its details.
In my work as a writer, I often feel the need to get away from my desk and walk around my estate to look at the flowers, growing plants, and maybe even sit in meditation for a while in a shady bower. Today, without an external stimulus to get up and move around such as happened often when I worked in a nuclear power plant for 14 years, I get these internal stimuli which drive me to take a break, and I always return to my work refreshed afterward. "Move, and you excarnate; be still, and incarnate," Gerwin says.
[page xi] But the result of the movement is that you feel more incarnated, as for instance after a brisk walk; of being still, that you feel more buoyant and excarnated, as for instance after a period of silent contemplation. As in any organic polarity, opposite forces such as movement and stasis, far from canceling the effects of each other, actually help to generate them.
Gerwin shows us the connections between Apollo and Cosmos, between Dionysius and Chaos.
[page xii] In other words, the forces of stilling and moving represent two vital principles of human development. The sculptural forces represented by the archetype of Apollo serve to induce calm, stability, and ultimately quiescence, even to the point of rigidity. What Steiner calls musical forces, represented by the archetype of Dionysus, serve to stir activity, instability, and ultimately dynamic motion, even to the point of dissolution. In Greek mythology the first was called Kosmos ("form coming to rest"), the second Kaos ("restless void").
"It only hurts when I laugh." I've heard people say that, often in jest, but there is a reality behind the statement. We cannot laugh if we are exerting ourselves by holding tension some place in our bodies to minimize pain. Gerwin tells a story of young men lifting a grand piano to move it and having to set it down before they could laugh. (Page xii footnote) When we are hurting, whether from an illness or an injury, we are often unconscious of the tension we are holding in our body to stem the pain, until someone says something funny, then we laugh, but only after releasing the tension we were holding to mask our pain. So we indeed can laugh, but in that moment, we feel the pain we had just released into existence, causing us to hurt when we laugh.
Steiner recommends that children learn to draw letters first, i.e., to learn Writing before they learn to Read. Writing is an action of the will, whereas Reading is an abstract action of comprehension. In this next passage, Steiner indicates that Speaking, an action of the will, must happen during the process of Hearing which, rightly understood, like Reading, is an abstract act of comprehension. The will-based activities of Writing and Speaking enliven the abstract processes of both Reading and Hearing, allowing us to comprehend, even if we are not consciously aware of the presence of our Writing and Speaking while comprehending.
In 1964 I worked as a research assistant to Hal C. Becker who had developed the concept of subliminal perception by observing small movements in the larynx of people in the process of perceiving something. His work led people to add subliminal information into movies which they claimed led people to buy more popcorn, candy, and drinks during intermissions and breaks between double features. Steiner had learned of this subtle speaking while listening decades earlier.
[page xii] These complementary principles — movement and stasis — can be found in two bodily systems by which most of our classroom learning proceeds: the auditory and the visual systems. Ear and larynx, connected by the Eustachian tube, form a single sensory system, as anyone knows who has watched small children subtly mouth the words they are hearing. In his study of the human senses, Rudolf Steiner maintains that even in order to hear the spoken word in a conversation we have actually to reproduce gently the living etheric movements of the larynx that formed it. Indeed, we hear something only when it moves, and we hear only when the ear itself vibrates. In other words, our sense of hearing is profoundly integrated into the world of movement.
Speaking and hearing are two human abilities which require movement when they are in operation in us. What is the one human ability which requires stasis? It is our human visual system.
[page xiii] This system of ear and larynx, so utterly reliant upon our ability to move and be moved, stands in polar contrast to another sensory system which depends on our ability to slow down movement almost (though never entirely) to the point of complete quiet. This is the pictorial or visual sense given to us through our eyes. While each eye is surrounded by six (some say seven) muscles that allow us to roll our eyeballs, squint at a distant object, or simply stare at something close to hand, we see only when our eyes — and the head in which they are set — come to a fleeting moment of focus and rest.
Our environment may be in constant movement around us, such as when we are driving a car, but when we focus on a part of the scene, our eyes come to a halt to achieve stasis for a brief moment. The foveal system of our eyes gives us acuity in stasis, and outside the foveal area of the retina, the peripheral vision detects motion, often unconsciously while we are focusing on the central part of our field of view with our foveal vision(1).
Visual information appears first in our sensory system and must work its way down through the rhythmic system to be digested by the metabolic system and will to be expressed in our limbs. Auditory information comes to us in the other direction, working up from our metabolism and limbs, ending up in our brain and nervous system. "In other words, we perceive sound with our full body, not just with our ears." (Page xiv). Auditory information from another person is a kind of X-Ray, as I experience it. We perceive sound with our full body, and that allows us to in-form ourselves of what is happening in the full body of the person forming the sound. Listening and speaking are both full body experiences and not purely auditory data to be converted into words in the process of hearing as is commonly assumed.
[page xiv] These impressions must be lifted into our systems of circulation and breathing, the semi-consciousness of heart and lung, if they are to be comprehended, and only then can these auditory perceptions rise up into the brain and nervous system, where they are livingly remembered. "In the same regions where we perceive the visible [i.e. the brain], we remember the audible. In the same regions where we remember the visible [i.e. the limbs], we perceive the audible. And the two cross over each other like a lemniscate in the rhythmic system" (page 35). To the degree that we become conscious of this crossing over, he adds, we can "hear colors" and "see sounds."
This area of cross-over leads to the process of synesthesia in some people who are able to hear colors and to see sounds, a process which Kevin Dann tackled in his book, Bright Colors, Falsely Seen.
The Apollonian sculptural forces which form the child work from the top down as sculptural forces and are countered by Dionysian musical forces as the child matures towards adolescence, the time around fourteen when these two inner forces try to break out and similar outer forces try to break in. Teachers need to comprehend the actions of these forces in order to help each child achieve a balance, a balance that is essential in maintaining the health of the child, which Steiner will focus upon in the last three lectures of this series.
[page xv] However we understand these sculptural and musical forces, it falls to the teachers to form their lessons in such a way that the children overcome their natural one-sidedness, for in overcoming imbalance they can achieve, or sustain, a condition of physical and emotional health. Only our rhythmic systems — of breath and blood, of lung and heart — are of themselves health giving, since in these the relationship of movement and stasis is more in equipoise. Here the collaboration between teacher and physician can be especially useful to further the child's healthy growth and development, for the doctor engages at the unconscious level just those therapeutic forces that the teacher employs at the conscious level. "The forces inherent in education are metamorphoses of therapeutic forces" (page 88). In a sense, education begins where medicine leaves off.
Rudolf Steiner understood the power of an unanswered question(2), which rightly understood, is the aim of an aphorism: to provide a short statement of a truth whose deep meaning can only come by holding it and allowing its meaning to unfold in your life. He begins his first lecture with a powerful unanswered question to be absorbed and allowed to grow into an answer inside each teacher.
[page 1] I should like first to add to what I said to you last year about the teacher, the educator. Of course, all I shall say about the teacher's intrinsic being must be understood in a completely aphoristic way, and it will really be best if it gradually takes its true form within yourselves, developing further through your own thinking and feeling.
What is a growing child to do when confronted by a teacher of botany who thinks everyone should grow up to be a botanist? Shouldn't a teacher help an individual child's natural gifts to grow instead of foisting upon the child the teacher's own gifts and predilections? Our textbooks in botany, zoology, chemistry, etc, are written for future botanists, zoologists, and chemists, etc, and end up deflecting a growing child's interest in learning the general aspects of botany, zoology, and chemistry appropriate to their age. My wife recalls that the football players in her high school didn't care about chemistry, so whenever the chemistry teacher asked them a question, their stock answer was, "Copper sulfate, Prof."(3) This is the kind of scorn that a teacher can generate by trying to share their gifts with their children instead of helping each child find their special gift by providing a general education in each possible field.
The source of this scorn can be found in the teachings of Herbert Spencer, a nineteenth century English philosopher.
[page 4] Now the remarkable thing is that we ought to strive for the exact opposite of what Spencer laid down as a true educational principle. When we are teaching children about plants and animals in our elementary schools, we could hardly imagine a greater mistake in our educational method than to treat the subject as an introduction to studies required to become a botanist or zoologist. If, on the contrary, you plan your lessons so that your way of teaching about plants and animals hinders the children from becoming botanists or zoologists, . . . for no one should become a botanist or zoologist through what he or she learns in the early grades. People become scientists only through their particular talents, revealed by their choice of vocation, which are certain to appear at maturity if there is a true art of education. Through their gifts! That is, if one has the gifts necessary for a botanist, one can become a botanist, and if one has the gifts necessary for a zoologist, one can become a zoologist. This can result only from the gifts of the children in question, which is to say, through predetermined karma. This must come about by our recognizing that one child has the makings of a botanist and another the makings of a zoologist.
Steiner back a hundred years ago in his lecture said that he would side with the students instead of the teachers scorned by them. How did we get into this muddle where teachers have become the object of scorn by their students? It started in the universities who have confused the goal of their teaching, and this confusion finds its way down into elementary schools.
[page 5] Today if we were to ask whether we would side with the teachers when the students make jokes about them or uphold the students, we would in the present state of affairs in education side more with the students. The direction things have taken can be best observed in our universities. What are the universities, actually? Are they institutions for teaching young men and women or are they research centers? They would like to be both, and that is why they have become the exaggerations they are today. People even find it an excellent feature of our universities that they are at one and the same time institutions for teaching and for research. But this is just how all the muddle comes into education — it is carried out by scientists, works its way into our highest educational centers, later finds its way down into the high schools, and finally into the elementary schools.
Spencer laid down a set of principles for children's education, but he ignores in process what he has clearly stated in content, thereby contradicting himself. He may have fooled himself, but not Steiner, who points to one of Spencer's axioms.
[page 7, italics added] [On this axiom] he lays great emphasis: in teaching, one should never proceed from the abstract but always from the concrete; one should always elaborate a subject from an individual case. So he writes in his book on education, and there we find, before he enters into anything concrete, the worst thickets of abstraction, really nothing but abstract straw, and he does not notice that he himself is carrying out the opposite of just those principles he has argued are indispensable. We have here the example of an eminent and leading contemporary philosopher completely contradicting what he has just advocated.
Along the way from Spencer's paradox to us, the teachings of Herder, Fichte, Jean-Paul Richter, Schiller, and others have been neglected and forgotten, teachings which can show us there is "a way of educating drawn directly from life, that there is a life-infused education" possible. (Page 5, 6)Steiner's words ring across the centuries to remind us of that possibility, and his Waldorf school systems provide us living proof of their efficacy in creating a life-infused education for children in the twenty-first century and beyond.
Teachers in a Waldorf school for many years will teach grades 1 through 8 and start over again on 1. Will the second time a teacher takes on grade 1 find it easier than the first time? Steiner gives us a unique insight into what constitutes a good teacher in answering this question in an unexpected fashion.
[page 7, 8] Say we teach, beginning with the first grade, the six-year-olds. Every time we take a first grade, our teaching will be bad and will have failed to fulfill its purpose if, after working with this first grade for a year, we do not say to ourselves, "Who is it now who has really learned the most? It is I, the teacher!"
He is here confirming an insight I first had in 1977(4), "Thus a Teacher, So Also a Learner" — something that is true even for first grade teachers. Without a deep insight into this dictum, a teacher can do what others may consider a great job teaching, but Steiner would deem it a bad job.
[page 8] But if we say to ourselves, "At the beginning of this school year I had excellent educational principles, I have followed the best teaching authorities, and have done everything to carry out these principles," if you have really done this, you would most certainly have taught badly.
Each new incarnation of a specific model of automobile incorporates into the dashboard of the car new controls and indicators that formerly required us to use our limbs to activate or read. Think of the original headlamps in 1910 time frame which needed to be lit by a match. Or the crank starter under the radiator. In this new century, we can read the air pressure in all four pneumatic tires on our dashboard, and many other things. The human head operates like the dashboard of a car. Each human incarnation brings capabilities from the limbs of our previous incarnation into our head. At the time of our birth, Steiner says, "Our head is overripe." As we mature, we begin forming a new head from our limbs for the head of our next incarnation.
page 9, 10] All human heads are overripe, even the unripe ones — but the rest of the organism is only at the stage of furnishing the seed of the head in our next incarnation; it is full of life and growth, but it is incomplete. Not until our death will the rest of our organization really show its true form, namely, the form of the forces that are at work in it. The constitution of the rest of our organism shows that there is flowing life in it; ossification is reduced here to the minimum, while in our head it reaches the maximum.
My Cajun mother often hurled the epithet tete dure at me. I was a hard head! Often I did things my own way and her comment was always tete dure! Ofttimes I took it as a compliment. My head was so hard, it wanted to learn everything it could about hard things. I studied physics in college so I could learn how the hard things of the universe operated and could be manipulated. As I matured, I found it harder and harder to avoid the soft things of the world and my search led me to Rudolf Steiner. After many wanderings along dead-ended paths, I found a path without an end in his Spiritual Science which so beautifully complements the dead-ended hard sciences. From his work, I learned the power of humility and the weakness of arrogance.
[page 10] A specific kind of inward humility, the sense that we ourselves are still only becoming, is something that will give teachers strength, for more arises out of this feeling than out of any abstract principles. If we stand in our classroom conscious that it is a good thing that we do everything imperfectly — for in that way there is life in what we do — we will teach well. If on the other hand we are always patting ourselves on the back over the perfection of our teaching, then it is quite certain we shall teach badly.
Heraclitus famously noted that you cannot step into the same river twice. Unless you have held his dictum as an unanswered question as to its deep meaning, it will seem to be a trite saying. But it is the very advice Steiner gives to Waldorf teachers who begin grade 1 for a second time. The similarity, like with the river, is only identical at the map- or name-level; at the territory-level (the only place the river is wet), it is entirely new water flowing and new energy flowing from the grade 1 children.
[page 11, italics added] And so, after you have finished the eighth school year and have corrected everything, if you really have the good fortune to begin again in the first grade, you will find yourself in the same position — but now, to be sure, you will teach in a different spirit. If you carry out your teaching duties with inwardly true, noble, and not false doubts, you will find that your diffidence has brought you an imponderable power that will make you peculiarly fitted to accomplish more with the children entrusted to you. This is absolutely true. The effect in one's life, however, will really be only a different one — not one that is so much better, just different. I might say that the quality you bring about in the children will not be much better than the first time, the effect will only be different. You will attain something different in quality but not much more in quantity. You will attain something that is different in quality and that is sufficient, for everything we acquire in the way described, with the necessary noble diffidence and heartfelt humility, has the effect that we are able to make individualities out of human beings, individualities in the best sense of the word. We cannot have the same class twice and send out into the world the same copies of a cut-and-dried educational pattern. We can, however, give the world personalities who are individually different. We bring about diversity in life, but this does not derive from the working out of abstract principles. The diversity depends on the deeper understanding of life that we have just described.
Teachers need to perform as actors in the various moods of tragedy, romance, and humor. What actors feel inside themselves, we can feel inside ourselves. With grade school children, this is especially true because they have not matured enough to become meta to what the teacher does — that will only come around puberty — so until then they home into what the teacher feels at a soul level. As the teacher changes from the mood of romance to tragedy to humor, the children experience an in- and out-breathing of their bodily organism. These changing moods keep the children's attention, helping lessons enter deeply into their soul as lessons fly quickly by.
[page 12] We should really be able to describe a subject tragically, taking our mood from the subject, and then pass over into a humorous mood as we proceed with our lesson, surrendering ourselves completely to the subject.
The important thing is that we should also be able to perceive the whole reaction of the class to tragedy or romance or humor. When we are able to do this, we shall become aware that all three moods are of extraordinary significance for the children's soul life. And if we allow our lessons to be carried along by an alternation of humor, romance, and tragedy, if we pass from one mood into the other and back again, if we are really able, after presenting something for which we needed a certain heaviness, to pass over into a certain lightness — not a forced lightness, but one that arises because we are living in our lesson — then we are bringing about in the children's soul life something akin to the in- and out- breathing of the bodily organism.
Tragedy and romance leads to the breathing-in of the bodily organism, and humor and laughing leads to the breathing-out of the bodily organism.
[page 13] Tragedy means that we are trying harder and harder to draw our physical body together so that in doing so we become aware of the astral body emerging further and further out of it, owing to this contraction. A humorous mood signifies that we paralyze the physical body, but with the astral we do just the opposite of what we did before; we expand it as far as possible, spreading it out over its surroundings so that we are aware, for example, if we do not merely look at something red but move out into it, how we spread our astral body over this redness and pass over into it. Laughing simply means that we drive the astral body out of our facial features; it is nothing else but an astral out-breathing.
The teacher needs sensitivity and experience to navigate between the three dramatically different moods of tragedy, romance, and humor, e. g., to move from the tragic to the humorous.
The four bodies of the full human comprise the ego, astral, etheric, and physical body, but each of these develop in various ways at various times in the life of a child. Each of these four bodies has a sheath enclosing it, just as the baby in the womb has its mother's body as a sheath enclosing its physical body. Outside the womb after birth, the etheric body is enclosed by a sheath until the time of teeth change around seven years old. The astral body is covered by a sheath until the time of puberty around fourteen years old, and the ego is covered by a sheath until the age of twenty-one, usually considered the age of maturity when a child is grown and able to live on its own.(5)
Teachers who are sensitive to these key periods of time can notice any retarded appearance or precocious appearance of one or more bodies and make allowances for that.
[page 14] We must clearly distinguish between the development of the physical and the etheric bodies, and that of the astral body and the ego. The outer signs of this dissimilar development express themselves — as you know from various indications I have given here and there — in the change of teeth, and in the change that in the male appears as the change of voice at puberty, and also proclaims itself clearly in the female, though in a different way. The essence of the phenomenon is the same as the voice change in the male, only in the female organism it appears in a more diffused form, so that it is not observable in merely one organ, as in the case of the male, but extends over the entire organism. You know that between the change of teeth and the change of voice, or puberty, lies the period of teaching with which we are principally concerned in the elementary schools, but the careful teacher and educator must also pay close attention to the years following puberty.
There is a soul activity which radiates from the head into the physical and etheric bodies down to the very tips of the limbs, a soul activity that after teeth change morphs into intelligence and memory. One can notice around teeth change that the etheric sheath is worn away and the child begins to remember, begins to talk about things it remembers, and begins to ask questions about things it remembers. With the sheath gone, soul forces become active which will work into the next incarnation. The downward pushing forces of memory and reasoning in the soul battle the upward pushing forces of the physical body which want outward movement of the limbs.
[page 16] The change of teeth is the physical expression of this conflict between the two kinds of forces: those that later appear in the child as powers of reasoning and intellect, and those that need to be used particularly in drawing, painting, and writing.
Children need to express both their inward forces of intellect and their outward forces of movement, and each one can help the other. Leading a child into painting figures with its hands, figures which will morph into primitive letters of the alphabet, gets the figures into the child's body memory and helps the forming intellect of the child to recognize these figures placed side-by-side as words and to become able to read them.
[page 16] We employ upwelling forces when we develop writing out of drawing, for what these forces really strive for is to pass over into sculptural formation, drawing, and so forth. These are the sculptural forces that, ending with the change of teeth, have previously modeled the child's body. We work with them later, when the second dentition is completed, to lead the child to drawing, to painting, and so on. These are primarily the forces that were placed into the child by the spiritual world in which the child's soul lived before conception. At first they are active as bodily forces in forming the head, and then from the seventh year on they function as soul forces.
From the above passage we can understand why each child between the ages of seven and fourteen period needs authority figures to provide direction for these upwelling soul forces. After seven, each child moves from unconscious imitation to increasingly conscious imitation of these authority figures.
[page 16] Therefore in the period following the seventh year, through authority in our teaching we simply draw forth what had earlier been unconsciously active in the child as imitation; at that time these forces had a strong unconscious influence on the body.
These forces were carried from the spiritual world into the child's life, and the teacher's job is call forth these forces when the child learns to draw and write. Teachers, you do best to respect these forces when a child arrives in your classroom, and with your soul-feelings of reverence, lead the child in experiences which will draw out these forces.
[page 17] When this reverence for the divine-spiritual permeates your teaching, it truly works miracles. And if you have reverence, if you have the feeling that by means of this connection with forces developed in the spiritual world before birth — a feeling that engenders a deep reverence — you will see that through such a feeling you can accomplish more than through any amount of intellectual theorizing about what should be done. Reverence will have an immeasurable formative influence upon the child; the teacher's feelings are certainly the most important tools of education.
To sum up these forces: from birth to seven, the child experiences sculptural forces through the internal workings of the etheric body. From age seven to fourteen, the child increasingly experiences musical, rhythmic forces as the etheric sheath is worn away and the etheric forces enliven its whole body. The next forces begin to show up as an internal battle which becomes externally visible at puberty.
[page 18, 19] Then the ego and the astral body turn against [these musical forces]; an element of will battles from outside against a similar will element from within, and this becomes apparent at puberty. The difference that exists between male and female has another manifestation in the difference of vocal pitch. The voice levels of a man and woman coincide only in part; the voice of the woman reaches higher, that of a man descends into the bass. This corresponds precisely to the structure of the rest of the organism, formed out of the struggle between these forces.
Steiner uses a droll metaphor of a skeleton sonata to explain the human skeleton, detailing how only a series of animal skeletons such as one can find in a museum could provide such a complete musical impression. This indicates how the unique structure of the human body includes components of all the animal species.
[page 20] Were we to play a sonata and preserve its structure through some spiritual process of crystallization, we would have, as it were, the principal forms, the scheme of arrangement, of the human skeleton.
From the above, we can understand Gerwin's focus on Apollonian and Dionysian elements in the child, how Apollo rules the child with sculptural forces till age seven, and then Dionysius steps in to rule the child from then on.
[page 20, 21] A Dionysian element irradiates, as it were, the music and speech instruction, while we have more of an Apollonian element in teaching sculpture, painting, and drawing. The instruction that has to do with music and speech we will impart with enthusiasm; the other we will give with reverence.
The sculptural forces offer the stronger opposition; hence they are arrested as early as the seventh year. The other forces, counteracting less vigorously, are arrested only in the fourteenth year. You must not take this to mean physical strength and weakness; I am referring to the counter pressure that is exerted. Since the sculptural forces, being stronger, would overwhelm the human organism, the counter pressure is greater. Therefore they must be arrested earlier, whereas the musical forces are permitted by cosmic guidance to remain longer in the organism. The human being is permeated longer by the musical forces than by the sculptural.
If you extract nothing else from the above passage, take this to heart: a teacher must appear as a combination of Apollo and Dionysius, having an abundance of reverence for sculptural forces and an avid enthusiasm for musical forces. The title of Lecture 2 is The Three Fundamental Forces in Education. We have seen the first two: reverence and enthusiasm, and we will shortly encounter the third force, guardianship. But first we need to understand music apart from the pleasure it brings us; there is music's crucial role in warding off luciferic forces, a role that Shakespeare was clearly aware of.
[page 24] [In the case of music,] what comes from within appears as an attack, and what descends from above through the head organism appears as the defense. If we did not have music, frightful forces would actually rise up in us. I am completely convinced that up to the sixteenth or seventeenth century, traditions deriving from the ancient mysteries were active, and that even then people still wrote and spoke under the influence of this after-effect of the mysteries. They no longer knew, to be sure, the whole meaning of this effect, but in much that still appears in comparatively recent times, we simply have remnants of the old mystery wisdom.
Hence I have always been deeply impressed by the words of Shakespeare: "The man that hath no music in himself . . . is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils! . . . Let no such man be trusted."(6) . . . Music is our defense against the luciferic forces rising up out of the inner human being: disloyalty, murder, and deceit. We all have disloyalty, murder, and deceit within us, and it is not without reason that the world contains what comes to us from music and speech, quite aside from the pleasure it affords.
Eurythmy is a natural action of our etheric body; it is what our body tends to do of its own accord. Notice people who cannot talk without large hand gestures, for example. Any tall glasses of water on a table are liable to be knocked over by enthusiastic speakers using gestures. This happened twice during a luncheon the other day. Two men on different sides of the table knocked over a glass of water during the lunch.
[page 27] In connection with eurythmy we should know that in our etheric body we constantly have the tendency to do eurythmy; it is something the etheric body simply does of its own accord, for eurythmy is nothing but motions gleaned from what the etheric body tends to do of itself.It is really the etheric body that makes these motions, and it is only prevented from doing so when we cause the physical body to carry them out. When we allow them to be made by the physical body, these movements are checked in the etheric body but react upon us, this time with a health-giving effect.
What is the purpose of the third force, that of protective guardianship? What is the teacher trying to protect the child from?
[page 28] A person always has the tendency to become weak and stunted in soul, to make [rickety] limbs, to become a gnome. And in teaching and educating someone, we work at forming an individual. We sense this formative activity best if we observe the child making a drawing and we smooth it out a bit so that the result is not only what the child wants, and not exactly what we want either, but the result of both. If I can do this — improve what the child scribbles with his or her fingers — in merging my feelings with the child, the best results will come of it. And if I transform all this into a feeling and let it permeate me, it will be the feeling that I must protect the child from being absorbed too strongly by the outer world. We must see that the children grow slowly into the outer world and not let them do it too rapidly. We constantly hold a protecting hand over the child; this is the third feeling we teachers must cherish.
Here are three fundament forces in education which a true teacher does best to strive for, from page 28:
Reverence for what precedes the child's existence before birth;
Enthusiastic anticipation of what follows it, after death;
Protective gesture for what the child experiences during life.
Before I reached the age of thirty, I was a scientist by education but a dwarf in soul and spirit. I could feel my puny nature whenever I tried to talk to any of my childhood friends who were not scientists. I could make no connection with them on a scientific level, and yet that was the only level on which I could attempt contact. I was smart, but I felt like an ignoramus. And I had no idea what was wrong with me nor any clue about how to adjust myself. At age 29, I began doing wood sculpture, and my feelings changed. I was experiencing the words of Goethe working through me, "He to whom Nature begins to reveal her manifest secrets feels an irresistible longing for her most worthy interpreter, Art." I was creating art and felt less puny doing so.
[page 29] As educators we should be able to perceive that as far as you are only a scientist, you might as well be an ignoramus! Not until you have transformed your organism of soul, spirit, and body, when your knowledge assumes an artistic form, will you become a human being. Our future development — and in this teachers will have to play their part — will lead from science to artistic understanding, from a deformed being to the attainment of full humanity.
In Lecture 3, Steiner discusses the role of physiology in education, not the materialistic version taught in medical schools, but the underlying spiritual reality of the full human physiology. Here is a brief passage from my review of Steiner's work on Nutrition and Stimulants:
When human beings eat plants, their body makes use of forces that others leave unused when they eat meat. This has the following advantages:
[page 46, N&S] One does not tire so quickly. From within the organism one does not get so tired because one does not deposit all this uric acid and its salts. One does not tire so quickly and keeps a clearer head and can therefore think more easily, that is, if one thinks at all.
Read the review for more information on eating meat versus eating vegetables, but the above excerpt will serve to explain what food "partially digested by other people" might mean in this next passage:
[page 30] We can eat and digest suitable foods furnished by the outside world, but we would be poorly nourished if we ate food already partially digested by other people. The important point is that when we receive things from outside us in a definite form, they acquire value for our life because we need to work on them.
Cows and horses eat only vegetable matter. If you feed them meat to eat, the cows will get mad(7) and the horses will get wild. Feed meat to humans and nothing bad seems to happen on the material level, but on a spiritual level one can perceive the forces of health generated by eating plant matter dissipating from disuse. When we humans eat meat, we eat food previously digested by animals and we miss the boon that comes from digesting vegetable matter ourselves. Thus, the work we do digesting plant matter keeps us healthier than a purely meat-based diet.
Steiner compares a previously-digested food diet to studying education as a science filled with principles and formulas. Such scientific shortcuts cause us to miss the work of learning from the children we teach, the only process by which we can develop a strong understanding of the children who depend on us. Who was it that could have taught Picasso how paint, Hemingway to write, and Einstein to think? Teachers are inventors of the Art of Teaching: and the medium they use for their art is themselves!
[page 30] In the practice of teaching there will awaken in us, out of this knowledge of human nature, the art of education in a quite individual form. In reality the teacher must invent this art every moment. That is the point I wished to make as an introduction to today's talk.
Most people would say that we perceive with our eyes and we comprehend with our brains. This is another case where the materialistic physiology gets things half right. We perceive with our eyes, but our brains can only comprehend through the actions of our breathing. Yes, that sounds strange, but read on.
[page 32] First we have perception as such; this perception takes place within the organ of sight. Secondly, we must distinguish comprehension, and here we should be clear that all comprehension is transmitted through our rhythmic system, not through the nerve-sense system, which transmits only perception. We comprehend what a picture is, for instance, only through the fact that the rhythmic activity, regulated by the heart and lungs, is carried through the cerebrospinal fluid up to the brain. In reality, comprehension is transmitted physically by the rhythms that occur in the brain and have their origin in our rhythmic system. It is through breathing that we are able to comprehend.
This true story reveals how at age thirty-seven I began to outgrow my scientific ignoramus status. I was in a weekend workshop with Ed Hackerson, working on a weird dream I had the night before which was meaningless to me. None of my scientific training or powers of thinking could help derive any useful meaning from this dream.
I was driving a sports car with its top down up a long local bridge over the Mississippi River. In front of me was a guy about my age roller skating up the bridge. He had his arms together behind his back and was moving in long sweeps of his skates from one side to the other of the two-lane bridge, so that I could not pass him. Near the top of the bridge when the roadway leveled was a young lady whose truck had broken down. I watched as the guy skated up to her, looking at her as he skated past without stopping. I stopped my car behind her car and got out to help her.
Ed had studied many modes of therapy, including Gestalt and Transactional Analysis. As I finished the dream, he asked me to imagine myself as the various components of the dream, the guy, the girl, the sport car, etc. I did so, and nothing useful came of the exercise. I was ready to give up when Ed did something completely unexpected, he asked me to get up and skate around the group on the wooden floor in my socks. Whoa, I was thinking, "what a weirdo", but I had paid dearly for this workshop and did as he requested. I skated, around the group, doing my best to imitate the carefree guy in my dream. Nothing happened till the second pass when I stopped trying to figure out things and began to feel the carefree way the roller skater guy felt. I even imagined myself skating up to the gal in the broken truck, giving her a smile, and skating past without stopping to help.WOW! I thought, that's not like me. And I was right, it was not like the old me, the one that always took care of others. I was a new me, a bachelor, living alone for literally the first time in my life, with no one who needed me to take care of them, to be responsible for them. This new facet of my life I had not comprehended by all my thinking for the previous year, and suddenly by breathing instead of thinking I comprehended it! In that workshop forty years ago, I learned the truth of Steiner's words, "It is through breathing that we are able to comprehend." Once I had comprehended this by breathing, my life became suddenly lighter and easier for me as I allowed the weight of responsibility to lift away from me in a manner appropriate to my then-current life conditions.
[page 32] How mistakenly these things are generally considered by physiology today! It is believed that comprehension has something to do with the human nervous system, whereas in actuality it is based on the fact that the rhythmic system receives what we perceive and forms a mental picture of it, and then works further on it.Because the rhythmic system is linked with our comprehension, the latter is closely related to our feeling. Those of us who study and observe ourselves carefully will see the connection between comprehension and emotion. Actually, we have to feel the truth of something we have understood if we are to agree with it. It is our rhythmic system that supplies the meeting place for our comprehending knowledge and the soul's element of feeling.
In addition to perception and comprehension, there is something else called memory to be considered.
[page 32, 33] There is still a third aspect: to take in what comes to us in such a way that our memory can retain it. With every event we have to identify perception, comprehension, and an inward working over of what we have understood so that our memory retains it. This third element is linked with the metabolic system; the most delicate inner metabolic processes going on in the organism are connected with memory, with the capacity for remembering.
How many times have you studied for a final in college, run out of time, and felt that you had not quite digested the material yet? The metabolism of the human being is the system most closely connected with digestion. Chew on that fact for awhile.
A child's will has to be active in order to learn. In the earliest grades and even now I keep active when I'm studying something. In grade school I doodled while the teacher was talking. Mostly I drew WWII fighter planes, but anything that popped in my little head might get drawn. The teachers seemed okay with my doing that, but often I was the only kid writing something at my desk while all the others were paying attention. Over the decades I've come to understand that my busy-ness in a classroom situation helped me to assimilate the material better than a stilted "paying attention" would have. When I read books today, they must be my own books because I write at times copious notes in the margins and often draw something like one of my early doodles, as I did on page 33 of this book. Steiner confirms my suspicions that such will-driven metabolic actions are useful aids to memory in children. Homework provides children a chance for some will-driven activity outside of class to help them assimilate their schoolwork. (Rightly understood, a parent who helps a child do its homework is robbing it of will-based learning.) I rarely did any work at home while in grade and high school. Any assigned homework I did during class as organized doodling or in the library during breaks in the school day.
[page 33] Another way of helping their memory would be to bring about for them in our teaching a balanced rhythm between mere listening and working on their own. Suppose you let the children listen too much. They will manage to pay attention and they will also understand, if they're pushed, for they're breathing all the time and therefore keeping their brain fluid moving — but their will is not being sufficiently exerted. The will, as you know, is connected with the metabolism. If you let the children get too much into the habit of watching and listening without doing enough work by themselves, you will not be able to teach them properly; mental assimilation is connected with the metabolism and will — and the will is not active enough. You will have to find the right balance between the children's listening and watching on the one hand, and having to exert themselves independently on the other. The result of the children's working over by themselves what they have seen and heard is that their will works into the metabolism and enkindles memory.
In the tenth grade I faced what seemed to me an insurmountable challenged, learning how to march in step in the high school band. As a great visual thinker, nothing I thought of helped me find the downbeat on which my left foot was to hit the ground. If I could figure that out, it would be a snap. I tried and tried with no success. Luckily much of my marching that first Fall was during half-time and we were forming various figures on the field so my marching out-of-step was rarely noticed by anyone but me. How could I ever learn to march in step? The answer came to me 3 miles into a 6 mile-long Carnival parade in winter. I suddenly found myself marching in step. It took a will-driven activity to provide the answer to my question, something no amount of thinking or calculating could provide.
[page 34, 35] Our visual images meet with our audible images and weave themselves into a common inner soul experience because they are both comprehended by means of the rhythmic system. Everything we perceive is comprehended by means of the rhythmic system; visual images are perceived by the isolated head organism; audible images are perceived by the whole limb organism. Visual images steam inward toward the organism; audible images stream from the organism upward.
I was able to perceive how to march in step when my whole limb organism was activated during the beginning of the Carnival parade. Those audible images streamed upward and soon I was marching in step.
Steiner tells us that in the region where we perceive the visible, we remember the audible, and vice versa. (Page 35)
[page 35] Anyone who has ever studied musical memory — a wonderful and mysterious thing, even though we all take it for granted — will find out how fundamentally different it is from the memory of something visible. This memory for music is based on a particular, delicate organization of the head metabolism; in its general character it is also related to the will, and therefore to the metabolism. Music memory and the memory of visual images are located in different regions of the body; both, however, are connected with the will.
The ancient Greeks thought with their souls and since the fifteenth century humans have thought with their brains in a materialistic fashion. And with their brain-based thinking, most are unable to comprehend how the Greeks thought inside of their soul nature during ancient times.
[page 38] Materialism is a perfectly correct theory when applied to modern human beings, for what the Greeks still experienced in the soul has gradually imprinted itself on the brain and has become hereditary in the brain from generation to generation. Today human beings have started to think by means of the brain's imprints.
In our era, we have gone as far as possible into materialistic thinking, and it is time to restore the spiritual processes to our way of being in the world.
[page 38] If the development of humanity is to progress, we must undertake this consciously, this bringing down of the supersensible into the sense world. We must consciously bring the human body, this body of the senses, into visible movement in a way that up to the present occurred invisibly, unconsciously.
Steiner has mentioned earlier in this book that we make eurythmy movements out of our awareness and volition (Page 27 passage above), but he urges us to bring these movements into visible, conscious actions in freedom.
[page 38] Should we fail to do this, humankind would gradually sink into daydreams, would become somnolent. Things would come to such a pass that although various influences would flow from the spiritual worlds into the human ego and astral body, this would happen only during sleep, and on awakening these influences would never be transmitted to the physical body.
The salubrious after-affects of a eurythmy performance are noticeable.
[page 39] If you were suddenly to wake up in the night after a eurythmy performance, you would find that you felt much more satisfaction inwardly than if you had awakened after hearing a sonata at an evening concert. Eurythmy has an even stronger effect; it strengthens the soul by bringing it into living contact with the supersensible.
What does all this mean? For teachers it means facing their children in a new soul-filled way.
[page 41] We start with an acceptance or perception of knowledge of the human being; then comes comprehension, a meditative comprehension of this knowledge that becomes inward and is received by the whole of our rhythmic system; finally, we have a remembering of the knowledge of the human being out of the spirit. This means teaching creatively out of the spirit; the art of education comes about and takes form. This must become a conviction, must become a direction of the soul.
Are you ready as a teacher to meet this child who flies out of the spiritual world to you on astral wings? This is Steiner's message to you as he begins Lecture 4 Balance in Teaching.
[page 43] Observing children in the early years of life, how they develop; how by degrees they bring their physiognomy from the depth of their inner being to the body's surface; how they gain more and more control over their organism; what we see in this process is essentially the incorporation of the ego.
When teeth change arrives in the child, its etheric body experiences its birth which, rightly understood, is the freeing of the intelligence from the physical body. This is the time when education begins in earnest. The child's eternal spirit, the ego, begins to stream into the etheric body and work upon it. A similar process will happen at puberty when the child's astral body experiences its birth, a release from the child's total organism. Note how birth of each of the bodies of the child occurs with a separation from the total organism, first: the physical body separates from the mother at birth, then the etheric body from the total organism of the seven-year-old, then the astral body from the total organism of the body at puberty. Each time the ego begins to work on the newly born bodies.
[page 44] Again, it is the ego, the eternal element, that unites itself with what is being freed, so that from birth to puberty — that is, up to the age of fourteen or later — we have a continuous anchoring of the ego in the entire human organization.
The amount of anchoring of the ego can vary from child to child and the teacher's job is to help each child maintain a balance of how deeply its ego drives into its total organism. Too deeply and the child becomes a materialistic thinker, not deeply enough and the child becomes a dreamer and visionary living in the throes of its own fantasies. Like a chemist with a delicate lab scale, the teacher must notice which side has fallen too low and strive to lift it back into balance.
If this seems a bit abstract, Steiner offers ways to notice an imbalance and ways to correct it.
[page 47, 48] When, on the other hand, we notice that children are becoming too materialistic, that the ego tends to become too dependent on the body, we need only have them draw those geometrical forms that are otherwise grasped more by thought. The moment we let the children draw geometrical forms we create the counterpoise to an excessive absorption of the ego. You will see from this that it is possible to educate properly when we use the subjects of instruction correctly. If a child — because of talent or other reasons — is receiving special musical training and we notice that they are becoming too dependent on their organism, that there is a certain heaviness in their singing, we must try to guide them to practice more spontaneous listening rather than musical memory. We can always look for a balance in these tendencies, either by helping the children to draw in their ego with the methods I have described, or by preventing the ego from becoming too drawn into the bodily organism. One of these conditions would certainly arise if we failed to maintain the right balance. It is especially good when we try to regulate things through the way we teach language. All the musical elements in language contribute to the absorption of the ego. When I notice that this happens too strongly, I take up something with the child that concerns rather the meaning and content of language. In this case I will work in such a way that I call upon the child concerning the meaning of things. In the other case, children are becoming dreamy or fanciful, I try to make them take up more the rhythmic element of language, meter and recitation. The teacher must acquire the ability to achieve this artistically, and in doing so can develop a certain sensitive sureness.
If you wish to know what makes for a great teacher, look no further than the title for Lecture 5, Gymnast, Rhetorician, Professor: A Living Synthesis. The Greeks approached education through the body, through gymnastics, but in a form of physical exercise by which the Greek teachers were able to reach the soul and spirit. The Greeks worked on the body of the human being.
[page 66, 67] The Greek educator was a gymnast; he educated the body, and along with the body the soul and spirit, because he had the capacity, as if by magic, to draw down the world of soul and spirit into bodily movements. The more ancient Greek gymnasts were perfectly conscious of this. They had no desire to educate human beings in an abstract, intellectual way or to teach their pupils as we do today. We speak exclusively to the head, even if we do not intend to. The Greeks brought their pupils into movement; they brought them into movement that was in harmony with the dynamic of the spiritual and physical cosmos.
This way of reaching the soul and spirit via the body went into disuse by the time of the Romans, to be replaced by the art of speech, rhetoric.
[page 67] Roman education did, in fact, draw forth from speech what was to form the pupils; the educator thus ceased to be a gymnast and became a rhetorician. Beautiful speech was from Roman times onward the essential element in education.
The Romans worked on the middle part of the human being, the rhythmic system which can produce beautiful speech and the music of poetry.
[page 67] They trusted that if speech were handled properly, this musical and sculptural-painterly speech would work downward into the body and upward into the spiritual.
Until the fifteenth century, training the intelligence was not considered important, only eloquent speaking was prized. The next phase was that of the professor when education began to focus, not on the full body as gymnasts did, not on the center of the body as rhetoricians did, but on the head of the body as the newly minted professors did after the fifteenth century. Such professors are idolized everywhere in our culture in this era, except by Waldorf schools, which have no use for learned professors.
[page 68] In our civilization, however, a healthy condition will be achieved only when we realize that to be "learned" in this sense is actually harmful — and that far from adding anything to a human being, it takes something away. Though I am always delighted when someone nods intelligent assent to the sort of thing I have been speaking about, I am also a little uncomfortable about the nodding, because people take the matter much too lightly(8).
Here in the matter of education, Steiner introduces three aspects of teaching: the gymnast of Greek times, the rhetorician of Roman times, the learned professor of our own time.
[page 69] If we could manage things ideally, the teacher should cultivate gymnastics in the noblest sense, rhetoric in the noblest sense — with all that was associated with it in ancient times — and also the professorial element in the noblest sense. Then these three elements should be integrated into a whole. . . . Teachers should simply realize that for their own art of education they need a synthesis of the spiritualized gymnast, the ensouled rhetorician, and the living, evolving spiritual element, not the dead and abstract spiritual element.
John Grinder and Richard Bandler, founders of neurolinguistic programming, recommended that therapists in training take speech lessons because so much of the crucial information a therapist needs to communicate to a client requires a skill in rhetoric, mainly learning to control their unconscious speech patterns such as tone and tempo. The same could be said for teachers and Steiner says exactly that.
[page 70] The rhetorical element, in the noblest sense of the word, still has a particular significance for the teacher today. No educators, in whatever sphere of education they may be engaged, should fail to do their utmost to have their own speaking approach as closely as possible an artistic ideal.
One cannot study Waldorf principles of education without realizing that teaching starts from the ground up, from the soul requirements presented to the teacher by each student. The true teacher learns to build a program for each student, not apply some top-down set of principles. This top-down approach is a result of an ahrimanic influence so prevalent in our modern world. Our goal as humans today is to balance the ahrimanic and luciferic influences, not to get rid of either one.
[page 71] A great deal of ahrimanic influence can be found in the world today; indeed, the evolution of the world would be impossible without it. One of the worst instances of the ahrimanic, however, is that in order to become a qualified professor one must write a thesis(9). There is no real connection between writing a thesis and becoming a professor; the only connection is purely external, ahrimanized. Such things are taken seriously in our civilization today, however, and force their way into education, because educational institutions exert their influence from above downward, and the whole mode of their organization is totally unsound. Merely to say this sort of things gets us nowhere, except to make us unpopular and create enemies for ourselves. In working here, however, we should be fully awake to the fact that we are called to work out of different premises.
Textbooks are an ahrimanized teaching aid; they are supposed to help the children, but instead they mostly create scorn in the children. It was true in Steiner's days in school in the 1860s and mine in the 1940s and likely still today.
[page 74] If you rely on the accursed textbooks that are so popular, the children really understand nothing; you torment the children, bore them, call forth their scorn. What you must do is create a personal relationship to the world that is both living and true to reality. That, above all, is what the teacher needs. . . . One of the chief tasks in Waldorf education is to bring life to knowledge, and to feel a kind of repugnance for the way things are presented nowadays in so-called scientific textbooks.
"All destruction is birth" — Steiner says that on page 76 talking about the caterpillar dying to become a butterfly — but each time a new body is born in the growing human the sheath which is torn away dies. The etheric sheath is torn away at teeth change, the astral sheath at puberty, for example. True art is the process of destruction, a thought which came to me decades ago(10), and certainly giving birth to a unique form of art involves destruction of the sheath of sameness existing in art at the time.
[page 76, italics added] The moth can hurl itself into the light. The caterpillar has the same urge to give itself up to the light but cannot do so, for the sun is a long way off. The caterpillar develops this urge, goes out of itself, passes into the radiating light, gives itself up, spinning physical material out of its own body into the rays of the sun. The caterpillar sacrifices itself to the rays of the sun; it wishes to destroy itself but all destruction is birth. It spins its sheath during the day in the direction of the sun's rays and when it rests at night what has been spun hardens, so that these threads are spun rhythmically, day and night. These threads the caterpillar spins are materialized, spun light.
From this process we receive the beautiful colors of the butterfly, all born out of the light which was spun into the chrysalis of the caterpillar. Unless a teacher appreciates the metamorphosis from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly in this way, what they describe to the child in class will fall on deaf ears. Steiner exhorts teachers, "Every detail becomes interesting if you allow yourselves, with soul and body, to grow together with the cosmos in its work of artistic creation." (Page 76, 77)
[page 78] We must relate ourselves directly to life, and anything we are going to introduce in our teaching should sustain and uphold us inwardly, should truly enliven us. This is why no true teaching can ever be boring.
In Lecture 6 of this volume, Steiner deals with health and illness in education. He begins by asking Why do we educate?
[page 80] Proper adult behavior is perhaps also something that children cannot acquire by themselves; it must be imparted to them through education. But the answer to the question — why do we actually educate? — remains something rather superficial in modern culture because adults today don't really see anything of great value in what they became through the teaching and education they received. They don't look back with any particularly deep gratitude to what they have become through their education. Ask yourself in your own heart whether this gratitude is always alive in you. In individual cases, of course, it may be present on reflection, but on the whole we do not think with deep gratitude about our own education because the human soul does not fully realize what education actually means, nor which forces in human nature are quickened by it.
In my reviewing some 18 of Steiner's works on Waldorf education, I have often spent time reflecting on major learning events in my early life, many times outside the school system. My favorite librarian, my first Mad comic book, how I spent time doodling in grade school, etc. I certainly remember liking the teachers who brought levity and disliked those who brought heaviness or gravity to my classrooms. Levity and enthusiasm are infectious and I loved the teachers who evoked both because I enjoyed learning in their presence. Artificial enthusiasm evokes a Be Spontaneous Paradox(11) and creates the opposite of its intention in everyone except the most superficial sorts who only know the counterfeit form of enthusiasm. As the Sufi saying goes, "One can know real gold exists because there are counterfeit forms of it."
[page 81] As a kind of obvious secret, let me say that although a great deal has been said about enthusiasm here, when I go through the classes in the school I see a kind of depression, a kind of heaviness in the teachers. The lessons are really conducted with a certain heaviness, and this heaviness must be eliminated. Actually, it may also express itself in artificial enthusiasm. Artificial enthusiasm can achieve nothing at all. The only enthusiasm capable of achieving anything is that which is kindled by our own living interest in the subjects we must deal with in the classroom.
What does health and illness have to do with education?
[page 82] People say the human being must evolve, must be brought to a higher level, but this is meant abstractly, not concretely. It will be interpreted concretely only when the activity of education is actually brought into connection with the activity of healing. In healing someone who is sick, one knows that something has actually been achieved: if the sick person has been made healthy, he or she has been raised to a higher level, to the level of the normal human being.
On page 83 Steiner tells us, "The human being really lives within four complexes of forces." Then he explains them in detail for five pages and summarizes them in this next passage:
[page 87] What kinds of activity are present in the human being? There are the movements of walking, grasping, the movement of the limbs, outer changes of location, the activity in the process of nourishment, the rhythmic activity — which is through and through a healing activity — and the perceiving activity, if we regard it from outside. Regarded from within, educational activity is entirely a perceiving activity.
We are continually in the process of becoming ill and healing ourselves. We become ill when walking, grasping, and digesting and we heal ourselves through breathing and blood circulation. We cannot avoid eating, but if we eat or drink to excess we injure ourselves seriously. Since it is our rhythmic system's job to restore us to health, anything we do to upset our breathing and circulation makes us more likely to get ill(12). On the other side, our body creates alcohol internally in the process of digestion, so if we imbibe alcohol, the excess will increase our illness, something anyone who has suffered a hangover can understand.
The words "true" and "false" are abstract concepts, completely devoid of life. Steiner wishes us to substitute the words "healthy" and "ill" for them.
[page 88, 89, italics added] The concepts "true" and "false" are dreadfully barren, prosaic, and formal. The moment we rise to the truths of the spiritual world we can no longer speak of "true" and "false," for in the spiritual world that would be as nonsensical as saying that to drink such and such a quantity of wine every day is "false." The expression "false" is out of place here. One says something real regarding this only by saying that such a thing gives rise to illness. Correct or incorrect are outer, formal concepts, even regarding the physical. Pertaining to the spiritual world, the concepts of "true" and "false" should be discarded altogether. As soon as we reach the spiritual world we must substitute "healthy" and "ill" for "true" and "false."
I don't know if this is known by physiologists today, but people in low nitrogen-level areas become nitrogen donors in an attempt to restore the proper nitrogen level to the air in the area.
[page 90] Suppose a number of people come to a region where the air is poor in nitrogen, containing less than the normal percentage. If they breathe in this nitrogen-poor air, this air gradually becomes richer in nitrogen through their breathing. They exhale nitrogen that they would not otherwise exhale in order to augment the nitrogen content of the air in the environment. I do not know whether any account is taken of this in physiology today. I have often pointed out that human beings living in air that is poor in nitrogen correct this lack; they prefer to take nitrogen from their own organic substances, depriving themselves of it in order to augment the nitrogen content of the outside air.
Coca-Cola is known as the pause that refreshes and every ad for the carbonated beverage shows happy faces having fun, like the comic character Calvin in "Calvin and Hobbes". No matter how mischievous his behavior, he always had exuberant fun. On the other side of the extreme there is Charlie Brown of "Peanuts" comics fame who is best known for saying "Drats" and looking down when things invariable go wrong for him. What is the opposite of the carbon dioxide dissolved in sodas? Methane or marsh gas, where the oxide is replaced by hydrogen, creating CH4 in place of CO2.
Steiner tells us how it happens that some humans get the bubbly personality and others the sluggard, depressive traits.
[page 91] In the sphere that extends from the rhythmic upward to the nerve-sense activity, there is a tendency to unfold an activity between carbon and oxygen. It is truly interesting, if one observes a soul-constitution not worn out by dry scholarship, to see sparkling soda water, where the carbon dioxide appears in the liquid as the result of the interplay of carbon and oxygen. If one observes these bubbles one has directly and imaginatively a view of what goes on in the course of the rhythmic breathing activity from the lung system toward the head. The bubbling effervescence in sparkling water is a picture of what, in a fine and delicate way, plays upward toward the human head. Looking at a spring of sparkling water, we can say that this activity of the rising carbon dioxide is really similar, only in a coarser form, to a continual, inward activity within the human being that rises from the lungs to the head. In the head, something must continually be stimulated by a delicate, intimate sparkling-water activity; otherwise, the human being becomes stupid or dull. If we neglect to bring this effervescence of sparkling water to a person's head, then the carbon within him or her suddenly shows an inclination for hydrogen instead of oxygen. This rises up to the brain and produces "marsh gas," such as is found in subterranean vaults, and then the human being becomes dull, drowsy, musty.
There it is: give a child an excess of sterile abstract concepts and you can create a dullard for whom nothing ever seems to go right. Look at Charlie Brown: his head is full of abstract concepts of how his life should go. Lucy should hold the football while he kicks it, for example, but she always lets it fall down when he approaches to kick it. Steiner explains how teachers can use this knowledge in their language classes to avoid creating dullards like Charlie.
[page 92] Now if, in teaching languages, for example, we make the children learn too much vocabulary, if we make them memorize through an unconscious mechanization, this process can lead to the development of marsh gas in the head. If we bring as many living pictures as possible to the child, the effect is such that the breathing system lets the carbon dioxide effervesce toward the head. We therefore play a part, in fact, in something that makes for either health or illness. This shows us how as teachers we must demand a higher metamorphosis of the forces of healing. To be able to perceive these hidden relationships in the human organism kindles enthusiasm in the highest degree. We realize for the first time that the head is a remarkable vault that can be filled with either marsh gas or carbon dioxide. We feel we are standing before the deeper wellsprings of existence.
Steiner suggests we ponder the three faces of teachers, especially when they are teaching a class, for only then can we notice that their faces appear twice as beautiful as other times. It is due to their sharing vital, living knowledge. The look on their faces is an outward sign of the life of feeling inside the teachers, which can strengthen them as they spiritualize their chosen profession for the benefit of children of this and future generations.
[page 100] A teacher's face has three main nuances of expression, with any number of intermediate stages. There is the face with which teachers meet an ordinary person, when they forget that they are teachers and simply engage in natural conversation. There is the face teachers have when they have finished their lesson and leave the classroom; and there is the face they have in the classroom. We may often be ashamed of human nature when we see the difference in teachers' faces when they going into their classroom and when they leave it. These things are connected with the whole consciousness of the teacher. Perhaps it may comfort you a little if I say that under the influence of an active, vital knowledge every face becomes twice as beautiful as it is otherwise, but the knowledge must do its work, the knowledge must live, and teachers' faces should always be alive, inwardly expressive, especially when they are giving lessons. The importance in what I'm telling you is not that you should know these things, but that they should work on your life of feeling, strengthening you, giving you the vigor to spiritualize your profession.
Teachers today, especially those in Waldorf schools, are aiding the work of Mi-cha-el the guiding Archangel of our time(13). Look at any statue of Mi-cha-el and you will find his foot holding down a writhing demon or dragon and holding a spear ready to dispatch the evil creature from existence. Note especially the writhing part which indicates the dragon is alive, but is pinned to the ground. It is a message to each of us to do our part by holding the spear of Mi-cha-el and helping in our own lives to drive the stake through the living heart of the dragon. (Below is my photo of Mi-cha-el at work, on the Basilica Altar to St. Michael in Mondsee, Austria.)
[page 105] The dragon takes on the most diverse forms; takes on every possible form. Those that arise from human emotions are harmful enough, but not nearly as harmful as the form the dragon acquires from the dead and deadening knowledge that prevails today. There the dragon becomes especially horrible. One might almost say that the correct symbol for institutions of higher education today would be a thick, black pall hung somewhere on the wall of every lecture room. Then one would realize that behind it is something that must not be shown, because to do so would throw a strange light on what goes on in these lecture rooms! Behind the black pall there should be a picture of Michael's battle with the dragon, the battle with deadening intellectualism. What I have said today shows you how the struggle between Michael and the dragon should live in teachers. What I wanted to present to you is this: we must become aware of Michael's battle; it must become a reality for us if we are to celebrate Michaelmas in the right way. No one is more called upon to play a part in inaugurating the Michael festival in the right way than the teacher. Teachers should unite themselves with Michael in a particularly close way, for to live in these times means simply to crawl into the dragon and further the old intellectual operation. To live in the truth means to unite oneself with Michael. We must unite ourselves with Michael whenever we enter the classroom; only through this can we bring with us the necessary strength. Verily, Michael is strong! If we understand Michael's struggle with the dragon in a particular sphere, we are working for the healing of humanity in the future.
There is a lot of vibrant and life-giving knowledge packed into the 106 pages of this small book which can flow into your soul, dear Reader. Allow it to do so. Anyone, especially teachers, who feel down and unsure in any way about their choice of career would do well to study the contents of this book and at the same time the content of their own early lives, as each can inform and enliven the other. If you read these lectures with an open heart, it will seem at times as if Rudolf Steiner is leading you to an inspection of your own life, pointing you to your own teachers and caregivers who gave you great unanswered questions to ponder, questions which enlivened you and enabled you to receive an answer as you matured. Continue to collect unanswered questions from now, during your job, during your own teaching and learning, and allow yourself to present unanswered questions to your children. The answers which will appear to these children as they mature will be much better than any answers you could possibly provide them today, they will be answers which will become a living, vital knowledge revealed to them by their own spirit-filled being.
Click to View List of Rudolf Steiner Waldorf Education Lectures ~^~
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For about 15 years, to cope with a one-hour drive each way to work, I experimented with reading while driving. Foveal vision provides acuity in the center of our field of vision, whereas surrounding the foveal area is our peripheral vision which detects movements. I learned to trust my peripheral vision to notify me of moving objects which required my foveal vision to shift from the book to the scene to inspect and inform me of necessary actions. After driving over 300,000 miles without an accident, I understood that it was possible, using the special techniques I innovated, to read and drive safely. It is not something I would recommend to others in these days of laws against texting while driving.
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What is the power of an unanswered question? This question presupposes there is a power in certain statements which fill us at first with uncertainty, but whose meaning reveals itself in our subsequent life.
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Steiner points out that Goethe in his Faust, Part 2, Act 2, portrayed a student highly scornful of all his professors.
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The Merchant of Venice, Act 5, Scene 1.
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Early in the twentieth century, Steiner had identified what has since been named Mad Cow Disease as the result of feeding animal matter, such as bone meal, to cattle.
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This kind of nodding is equivalent to someone saying "I know that" whenever they hear something new. These are people who have yet to learn to hold an unanswered question when presented with novel information. Instead, they attach the person's words and thoughts to something they had heard earlier and instantly make a vague generalization that the two are the same by saying, "I know that" or quietly nodding their head, always with a supercilious look on their face.
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Usually called a dissertation and necessary to receive a Ph. D. and be called a Doctor in the USA. The acronym Ph. D. is often ridiculed as meaning Pile higher & Deeper, referring the stack of pages in a typical dissertation directly and to bull excrement indirectly. Steiner would likely enjoy the double meaning today.
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I learned of the Be Spontaneous Paradox from a delightful author who always brought levity to his writing, Paul Watzlawick. Eight of his books I have written reviews of, which you can Google to read, but see particularly this one: The Situation Is Hopeless, But Not Serious for insight into the levity he brings to his writing.
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For example, nicotine ingestion makes us more likely to become ill by skewing our breathing and circulation pulse rate. It causes the pulse rate to increase and leads to the common complaint of "shortness of breath" by smokers, which is rightly understood, a "surplus of blood".
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Mi-cha -el is the correct way to say "Michael" in English, not my-kull — it means Micha of God (el). This great Archangel is ruling as the Time Spirit (Archai) of our era, and he appears in various guises as St. Michael, San Michelle, San Miguel, and St. George in various countries and cultures.
2.) ARJ2: The Burning Bush by Edward Reaugh Smith
There was a bush or briar, a very thorny plant, and very weak and supple . . . entirely enveloped . . . by the abundant flame, . . . it nevertheless remained whole without being consumed, like some impassible essence, and not as if it were itself the natural fuel for fire, but rather as if it were taking the fire for its own fuel.
- Philo in "On the Life of Moses, I"
In coming to terms with the author of this book, we must necessarily start at the central metaphor in the title, which is the "burning bush" of Moses. What is it that burns in each of us that takes the fire for its own fuel? It cannot be our body because our body is consumed by the fire, either external flames as in cremation after our life in this body, or internal, slow combustion during our life. Whatever it is, it must have a unique name. "I have a unique name," you might be thinking, but chances are there is someone in the world, maybe many, with the same name as you. But there is one name you have that only you can use in referring to yourself. That name is "I". When anyone else uses it, they can not use it to refer to you; only you may do that. "I" is the name that we give our individuality in English, that immortal spirit that burns within us, that lives imperishably in our body and departs from it still burning when our body has been turned into ashes. Like the burning bush, our "I" is not consumed, but rather takes the fire that it burns with as its own fuel, as Philo so eloquently puts it in the quotation above.
As a materialistic scientist I learned that all the fuels that we consume on the Earth come from the Sun if we trace them back far enough. Coal and other fossil fuels come from plants that eons ago drew their nourishment from the rays of the Sun. Rightly understood, all sources of energy are solar energy - the difference is the extraction and delivery systems for harnessing the energy from the Sun that varies with fossil, nuclear, hydroelectric, fuel cells, or other sources of energy. As a spiritual scientist I learned that all the spiritual fire in my "I" also comes from the Sun, or better said, comes from the spiritual Beings who created the Sun. The spiritual Beings who created me (and inhabit the Sun as we inhabit the Earth), created my Individuality, my "I am". All these phrases are synonyms for my "I", my "burning bush" that takes the fire of the spiritual world as its own fuel. My human being is comprised of four nested entities during this Earth phase of evolution: physical body, etheric body, astral body, and "I".
The "I" is a relatively new addition to humankind, gradually emerging into human awareness only in historical times, thus the "I" was very new to Moses in his time. Abraham was the first human to become aware of his "I" when he was called to sacrifice his son Isaac. As he lifted his hand with the dagger to take Isaac's life, his hand was stayed by a thought that came to him: "Take a lamb and sacrifice the lamb in place of Isaac." This thought was placed in his mind by his Guardian Angel and established Abraham as the human possessor of an "I am" that was to flow via his blood into his numerous descendants. The potential existed for each of his descendants to have a fully developed "I am" but mostly they depended on Abraham to be the key individual who made decisions for all of the tribe. They were content to be nestled "in the bosom of Abraham," a phrase that illustrates the location of the "I am" of the tribe in their leader. Beginning with Abraham, any outstanding individual, someone who showed their "I am" by making original and important contributions to the tribe, was called a Prophet.
With this background, it is possible to understand what Steiner meant when he said, "The time of prophets is past." He was explaining that humankind has evolved in the time since Abraham such that, culminating in our time, each human has an individual "I am" fully as powerful as Abraham did in his time. A paraphrase of Steiner would be, "The time is here when everyone is fully a prophet as Abraham was." Like water to a fish is so ubiquitous that the fish does not understand the concept of water, so the concept of "I am" or "I" seems to us today without some contemplation or study. Like the fish lives and moves in water, we live and move in our "I am" - it is the burning bush that lives in us and lives off of the fire that would else seem to consume it. This is the central metaphor of The Burning Bush; let us now turn to the central metaphor of the Bible itself as the author lays it out.
The Bible's central metaphor is the parable or allegory of the Prodigal Son which in microcosm parallels the entire opus that is the Bible in macrocosm.
[page 1] In both we see the theme of two sons, one of whom leaves home, loses the original inheritance, comes to self-knowledge, and returns home transformed.
In addition, as the author points out, the parable parallels "the human being's own evolutionary journey, itself macrocosmic" - encompassing the time scope from the birth of the solar system to the vaporization of the Earth, "when suns shall rise and set no more ." Prodigal Son to Bible to Human Evolution is the threefold progression - from seventeen verses to the whole Bible to the whole scope of human life in a physical body - from the microcosmic to the macrocosmic. Rightly understood, the Bible is the story of human evolution from beginning to end, a process that we are in the approximate middle of as I pen these words. It is the story of human evolution that Edward Smith has embodied in the series of books called Terms and Phrases, of which The Burning Bush is volume 1.
In the content of The Burning Bush as it quotes from Steiner's works, I have encountered several startling new concepts, in spite of the 112 books of his I've read over the past eleven years. In addition, the author's manner of presentation and his sparkling insights as to the meaning of many of the familiar concepts warmed my heart as they enlightened me. I had attempted to imagine in recent years how one might present all the works of Steiner in a harmonious way to completely naive newcomers to his works. I had mulled over various designs and approaches, but here in "Burning Bush" just such an approach is presented and in full bloom. What the author does is to assemble key phrases from the Bible and comment on them at length. Thus the subtitle of this is An Anthroposophical Commentary on the Bible. Rightly understood, it is equally a Biblical commentary on Rudolf Steiner's anthroposophy. The two fields of endeavor, the Bible and anthroposophy, ratify each other in a powerful way that adds credence to both fields.
How does one begin so mammoth an undertaking as to understand the many books of the Bible or the 900 plus books of Rudolf Steiner? I have a saying that "when learning something new, it's best to learn everything about it before you start" - that concisely expresses the "bootstrap paradox". Do you, dear Reader, know what a bootstrap is and why it is called the bootstrap paradox? It refers to trying to lift yourself off the ground by pulling upward on your own bootstraps. Like Baron Münschhausen did with his topknot - he pulled himself and his horse out of a deep stream to safety. Your computer does it every time you "boot" it up. Where do you think the "up" comes from? We could easily have said, "boot it on" but we don't because of the bootstrap paradox and its image of pulling up. Here is the bootstrap paradox (BP) described in simple computer terms:
To start a computer working you need to load into it a program. In order to do that you first need to load a program loader. The program loader can then load programs to run your application. The program loader is a program. How can you get a program into the computer without a program already inside the computer to load it? BP! In the 1960s we had to fat-finger the bootstrap program into the front panels every time we powered on our mini-computers. Then we could load the program loader and then applications. This process is all automated today using read-only memory (ROM) and hard drives on our present personal computers. ROM holds the bootstrap loader. The boot sector of the first hard drive holds the primitive program loader - which is why your computer will not boot up if that sector is destroyed by a virus or errant program.
Edward Smith has taken on the daunting task of teaching the reader everything about Steiner's work in The Burning Bush(1),and has done a phenomenal job of condensing for the reader the vast substance of Steiner's work therein. He creates for the reader a picture of the entire panorama, which is essential before any part of it makes sense. That's why he said that a second reading will be required of some parts. The entire book is the program loader that allows you to load the first program of understanding, in a sense. The more times you read it, the more sense you make of what you have already read. I mention this so newcomers to Steiner's works will not be too easily derailed or too soon discouraged as they read this fine book.
On page 2 is a list of 34 "dramatic new understandings" that is most helpful for newcomers to the book to comprehend the path ahead - it acts as a map, a syllabus of where we're heading in our journey through our study of the Bible in light of Rudolf Steiner's spiritual science or anthroposophy. This list comprises only a sampling of the treasures that await industrious readers therein.
[page 4] To repeat, this list is only a sampling. The revelations go far beyond these examples, but they will suffice for now. From the perspective of human development, a thousand years from now Rudolf Steiner will be looked upon as the evolutionary equivalent of Abraham.
Abraham was the prodigal son leaving home and setting out into the world, and Rudolf Steiner was the prodigal son returning home, infused with the knowledge gained by humanity during the 4,000 year sojourn away from home. As the author points out, Abraham preceded the incarnation of Christ by as many years as Steiner succeeded it. And it is rightly understood that after Abraham led his people away from their spiritual home into the wilderness of materiality, the apogee of humankind's journey was Christ's deed on Golgotha, following which the return trip home began, culminating with Steiner's revelations of the entire nature of the journey and the reasons for it all.
Such grandiose predictions of Rudolf Steiner's place in history seem to beg for an explanation of why he remains a relatively unknown scholar of the early 20th Century. Here is a quick summary of the author's answers to this concern. One wonders that Steiner is known at all today after reading this summary.
[page 5] His teachings do not fit neatly with ecclesiastical dogma. . . His works are so extensive and interrelated that great commitment of time and effort is necessary to comprehend them. . . . The world conditions were not conducive to the spread of a German's spiritual teachings beyond the borders of Europe . . . Not until 1965 were even small volume printings of any of his works available in English.
My own path led me to Rudolf Steiner, then away from him, then back to him, then away, and I kept wondering why I even bothered reading him. Donna Franz ran a small bookstore out of her motel office on Pasadena Street in Metairie, Louisiana, and when I began studying metaphysics in 1976, I was directed to her place.Her process of ordering books to fill her shelves was this: if someone had her order a book for them, she would order two books and place one of them on her shelves. This was her clever way of bootstrapping her bookstore and keeping books that were in the subject range of her customers and potential customers. This meant that her shelves soon held books by a lot of writers in metaphysics, but only one or two obscure titles by Steiner. I bought a book in the early 1980s and started to read it a few years later to find out who this guy was. I finally put it back on my shelves in puzzlement. What in the world was he talking about? I had no idea. A few years later I bought another small Steiner book - again a similar response. And again. Sometime around 1990 I read an entire book. Reviewed it in a short one-page review. Read another one. Interesting. Read another one. Still not sure what he's all about. Soon I had read about ten books and I was still wondering what's Steiner all about. In 1996 I joined an Internet list devoted to Steiner's works and I was quickly directed to his books. Seems that I had been reading transcribed lectures he gave to people who had already read his basic works. Oh! Soon I was reading his Outline of Occult Science, and I began to see that my curious persistence in coming back to Steiner was paying enormous dividends! In that book was the body of work that, even after reading ten books, I was unaware he had written. And it was exactly what I had been seeking. That was my path to Steiner - no wonder this marvelous scholar and prophet of our time has been mostly unknown to the world outside of anthroposophical circles, up until now.
What Edward Smith has done in this 800 page volume is to extract Steiner's insights on Christianity and relate them to the original passages in the Bible. This is a massive condensation and correlation effort. He has accumulated the essence of 6,000 lectures that Steiner gave in his lifetime and related the pertinent passages to key phrases in the Bible.
In addition, he has added his personal insights along the way. For example, he points out that the 17 verses of the Prodigal Son story is a metaphor for the entire evolution of humankind, but there is a single passage of 23 words spoken by Christ Jesus that accomplishes the same result, rightly understood. ["Rightly understood" is a favorite phrase of Steiner. It can be taken to mean, "understood in the light of all the insights I have written and spoken of." Edward Smith can be said to "rightly understand" Steiner's works.] The three bodies symbolized by the "three measures of flour" correspond to the physical, etheric, and astral bodies of the human being. They are the ABCs of understanding the human being. The physical body is like a spiritual pattern into which the minerals accumulate during this Earth Epoch, and a corpse provides the best example of what a mineral-physical body looks like: an inert, pure mineral form. The etheric body is the life body and the best example of a human with only a physical and etheric body present is a person sleeping or in a coma. The astral body is the sense or passion body and the best example of a human with only these three bodies present is a person who is awake - they are aware of their surroundings, but their "I" has not fully entered yet. Minerals have only a physical body. Plants have a physical and etheric body. Animals have all three: physical, etheric, and astral.
[page 10] He [Christ Jesus] condenses the human journey from seventeen to a single verse in Mt 13,33, "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened."
In my review of Lewis Creek Lost and Found by Kevin Dann, I wrote a poem Ark of Ages which has the following refrain:
Ark of Ages, Cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in me
It occurs to me just now that there is the theme of hiding again - the leaven was hidden in the three measures of flour. The ark of ages, my three bodies (physical, etheric, and astral), cleave or split open to accept or hide within themselves the leaven or "I" which eventually will lift me, my resurrection body, into the spiritual world. When baking a loaf, one lets the yeasting flour rise, and then performs a paradoxical action: one punches the risen loaf so that it falls flat, re-shapes the loaf, and lets it rise again. In this mundane process one can see a metaphor for the process of reincarnation. In the next passage the author sums up the whole process of reincarnation and karma in a nutshell.
[page 10] The development of the higher human components requires many lifetimes on Earth. After death, the physical body dissolves into the mineral world, the etheric body into the etheric world, and, after a period of purification (sometimes described as "judgment," "burning," "refiner's fire" or terms of similar import), the astral body into the astral world. But an extract is saved from the etheric and astral bodies, the transformed fruit of the experiences of the immediate past life. This unites with the immortal Ego. Together they become a "Seed" that now begins a sojourn in the world of spirit, where its spiritual elements will be built up. There, in accordance with the extract or fruit of the past life of the Ego, with the help of spiritual beings, creates an archetype of a new human being, the personality it can become in its next earthly life. Thus the destiny or karma of the next life is determined by the accumulated fruits of an Ego's past lives on Earth. And through its deeds on Earth, a human being can evolve more and more into a spiritual being. Because an individual's actions also have an outer effect on other human beings and on the life of the Earth, these deeds also contribute to the spiritual evolution of humanity as a whole.
After several risings and deflatings of our leavened flour, we place it risen into the oven to be baked. At that point the physical body of the flour becomes hard and crusty, i.e., mineralized. The human being has undergone that same process, if we understand the import of Christ's metaphor of the three loaves.
[page 17] The fourfold human of Earth evolution is composed of three bodies (physical, etheric or life, and astral or sense) plus an Ego. The physical body is not synonymous with the mineral body, for the latter is an attribute of the physical only during Earth evolution. A comprehension of this distinction is essential if one is to understand the physical body as the "resurrection body." . . . Human beings came first, but descended into mineral materiality last. Thus, the skeletons, fossils, and remains of the lower three kingdoms, in succession, demonstrate themselves to archaeology, whereas the skeletal remains of humanity are of but recent origin without any connecting link to its origin existing in mineral form.
To understand the above passage is to ken the incredible scope of the insights of Rudolf Steiner as he overturns Darwinian evolution. He lifts the adamantine rock of scientific evolution for us and we can see the fossils of materialistic reductionism staring out at us from its bottom. The materialistic scientists can never see evidence that in the evolution of humanity it was human beings who came first because their very instruments of materiality, their external sensors, can never detect the existence of the non-mineral humans of our evolutionary origins.
Steiner revealed a process in The Principles of Spiritual Economy that goes like this: people only discuss things they don't know. When knowing stops, discussion begins. I would propose a similar principle about history: people only write down history when they no longer have the ability to remember it. This principle reveals the folly of the reductionistic presupposition that all prehistoric humans were too dumb to write.
[page 22] So complete were the memories of ancient times that there was no need to write anything down. Only as this capacity faded did the necessity for writing arise around 3,000 B. C. But as the human etheric body drew ever more within the physical, thus losing memory and perception within the spiritual world, the intellect correspondingly grew, albeit still in a most primitive state. All the time, hardening was proceeding as the material world came more and more into the human being's focus and interest in the spiritual faded away.
With all this discussion about the meaning of the Gospels, we are constantly encountering people who would like to make the life and deeds of Christ Jesus easy to understand. Contrast that philosophy with that of Steiner as the author recalls it:
[page 29] Etched deeply in my mind are the words of Steiner, beyond my present retrieval, to the effect, "If we are to understand the most magnificent event in all creation, how can we expect it to be simple or demand less than the greatest effort that we can put forth."
One of the most difficult stories in the Bible to comprehend is the Christmas story, rather the two Christmas stories in the two Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Why are there two different genealogies given for Jesus? Why in one did the father Joseph receive the message from a dream and in the other Mary receive a message from an Angel? What does the author do with these two accounts? In The Nativity he uses the insights of Steiner to meld them into one comprehensive story that is consistent with both Gospel stories. [See my review of the separate book Smith wrote about this subject in The Incredible Births of Jesus.]
[page 33] For the first time humanity can witness the holy wedding between the masculine Matthew and the feminine Luke accounts, long recognized not to be the same, but only now seen in their foreordained sacred union. Gone are the conflicts, the seeming inconsistencies . . . The two interdependent and "non-synoptic" versions of the Incarnation, and indeed of all the Biblical account, are shown to have a deep integrity.
The first mention of the Christ Being I encountered in my reading of Steiner was when I was reading about the evolution of our solar system, how the Sun sphere split up into the Moon sphere and eventually the Earth separation within these spheres. During the first separation the higher spirits remained behind on the Sun and after the Moon separated out from Earth, one of the Elohim, Jahweh, took up residence in the Moon and became the moon god of Moses. The other Elohim, the Christ, remained in the Sun, living there as we live on the Earth. As a physicist, accustomed to thinking of the thermonuclear furnace of the Sun's interior as inhospitable to life, this was a big stretch for my credulity. Then the thought occurred to me that when one looks at a sundial to tell the time, the line drawn from the face of the sundial across the tip of the gnomon extends directly to the Sun, to the Christ. As our watches are simply a more convenient form of sundial that can be used indoors, etc, whenever we check the time, we are checking the position of Christ at that moment in our world. Thus even the most atheistic clock watchers check the position of Christ in their lives whenever they look at a clock(2).
[page 87] Any suggestion that Steiner's works can be segregated into those that pertain to the Bible and those that do not is unthinkable. Christ stood as the beacon light for every aspect of his life, and, when understood in the light of anthroposophy, this can be seen in all his works. One might say therefore that the Bible and Steiner both had the same lodestar - Christ.
In my review of Steiner's The Principle of Spiritual Economy I mentioned that Moses was left afloat in the basket of bulrushes which enabled the etheric clairvoyance of Zarathustra to come to light. Smith points out how the two clairvoyances work, one of the astral body and one of the etheric body, that were transmitted respectively to Hermes and Moses:
[page 92] To the first [Hermes], Zarathustra transmitted the wisdom of "clairvoyance in the astral body, as well as the ability to perceive in one's present time frame simultaneously everything that is happening and all the mysteries spread out in both physical and spiritual space." To the second [Moses], Zarathustra transmitted "the power to read the Akashic Chronicle, and this is nothing less than the clairvoyant power of the etheric body, enabling the human being to perceive the successive phases of evolution in time.
How can someone live a corrupt life and yet proclaim that they are saved as if there would never be any repercussions from their immorality? When we ask religious leaders to explain how this could be so, they tell us to have faith in God's judgment, which is "beyond the limits of human knowledge."
[page 100] On this, they collide with one of Steiner's seminal and most potent assertions, namely, that it is inappropriate to speak of any limitation on human knowledge. . . . That humanity reverts to this shelter is based upon the spiritual darkness in which it dwells.
Some of the repercussions of immorality or sin are personal, and some affect the entire world and its evolution. The former fall in the category of subjective karma and the latter in the category of objective karma. It is worth while to spend time in the chapter Forgiven Sins to clarify the distinction between subjective and objective karma as this review cannot but offer brief excerpts.
[page 106] Subjective karma is personal to an individual and must be erased by some form of offsetting or retributive act in a future life. Sins that would otherwise create negative karma can be made good within the same lifetime ("Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court," Mt 5,25) by appropriate compensatory events. . . . Forgiveness by Christ does not erase subjective karma, for debts incurred by an individual cannot be personally escaped "till you have paid the last penny" (Mt 5, 26).
[page 107] The other type of consequence is to the world - a broader form of karma, which becomes a burden upon all humanity and creation. Every sin, however slight, actually generates evil spiritual beings (e.g., demons) or food for such evil beings, and generates a karmic burden upon humankind. It is beyond the capacity of the sinner to erase this burden, once launched, even when restitution has been made. . . . Hence, once a person has sinned, overcoming the consequences to the world is beyond that person and rests upon a different agency, either humanity as a whole or Christ. These are objective sins. [i. e., objective karma]
How is our subjective karma to be taken care of? The planning for that comes during the period between death and a new birth, and the execution of the balancing proceeds during the next lifetime. We choose a life situation for ourselves in propinquity with those with whom we have karmic debts left over from our previous lifetime in order to make the balancing possible(3). . It should be pointed out that the decision to actually perform the balancing remains a matter of free will in the new lifetime - always we may act to balance out a karmic debt from the past or to create a new one for the future. The only form of determination that works in one's life is the one that is made out of a free choice by the individual human being. Here is a summary of the journey we make to balance our karma:
[page 115] A primary purpose of the journey is to reveal to the soul the purpose of its last life in the light of the soul's accumulated karma, the extent to which it succeeded or failed, and then, compelled by necessity, the urge to return to Earth to work in a new personality toward the overcoming of remaining karma. . . . We may aptly analogize the complete cycle by saying that the Earth is the soul's workshop, and the period between lives is spent in the planning or drawing room. . . . In order to become the "first born" or "first fruit" of humanity, humanity's pattern, the very Son of God, the Christ Spirit, had to go into the workshop. . . . The Bible becomes especially radiant when read in this light . . .
Those who indulge in the pleasures of the senses to the exclusion of all else while they are in school, usually end up flunking out or repeating courses. Even many who successfully complete their schooling say that they can't wait to start having fun once they are finished with learning. What many have yet to learn is that humans are distinguished by their ability to rise above animalistic pleasures and passions and to be truly human is to spend one's life doing exactly that. To do otherwise is fall back from the evolution of humanity, to retain an animalistic nature while the rest of humanity moves forward to a future graduation from physicality. Those who fall back return quickly to their next lifetimes so as to increase their chances of making the graduation.
[page 122, fn 9, quoted from Steiner's ORL, see title on p. 696] A person who indulges in sensual pleasures and passions, who lives strongly in what we might call his animal nature, will spend but a short time between incarnations. This is due to the fact that such a person will fall comparatively rapidly into a condition of unconsciousness, of sleep.
When we return to our next life on Earth, the memory of our karma that was restored into us before being placed into this lifetime is activated like a compact disk being placed into a CD player and played for us - it begins to affect us strongly.
[page 124, quoted from Steiner's PSI, see title on p. 713] . . . What until now was but the "memory" of our own Karmic entity [our CD], we now take in as real effective forces, right into our ether-body [our CD player]. Therefore we afterwards appear on the Earth in such a way that we of ourselves bring about the unfoldment of our destiny, our Karma [we listen to the playing of the CD].
Thus we progress from lifetime to lifetime and humanity progresses with us. But a further step will be required in which we will have to not only, in the words of the song writer, "walk a mile in another's shoes," but live a lifetime in another's body.
[page 126] And we shall then be enabled to bring about a change in our decision, — namely to give to the other man the body we have been preparing, while we ourselves take on the body he prepared, whom we have injured.
[page 127] A future [must] come for the planet Earth when one human being will not want to enjoy happiness at the expense of the whole, but man will feel a member of mankind. And it will be the true spiritual counterpart of this when we shall learn to prepare the physical body even for one another.
No passage from scripture is more devastating to the Christian's true understanding of karma and reincarnation than this one from Heb 9,28: "And just as it is appointed to die once, and after that comes the judgment." The passage lacks any indication that the dying once is what happens to the personality, while the Individuality, the "burning bush" or immortal "I", is not consumed, but survives between deaths. (paraphrase from page 129, 130) Why didn't the Bible give us a direct indication of the truths of karma and reincarnation instead of hiding the truth from us? And if it was hidden for so long, what gives Steiner leave to suddenly reveal these hidden truths to us? The reason for this delay was hinted at in Jn 16,12 in Christ's words, "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now." There are things that we don't tell our children until they are ready to bear them, and Christ was saying that to us in the childhood of humanity. Steiner's point is that about 2,000 years were to pass before the average Christian would be ready to come to terms with the reality of reincarnation and karma. Yes, the peoples of the East have understood a primitive form of reincarnation and karma for many thousand years, but their understanding was pre-Christian and, being circular or repetitive instead of linear or progressive, tended to minimize the value of a single lifetime. So Christ did not deem it appropriate for us to know full truth about reincarnation and karma for two millennia after His Deed on Golgotha.
[page 133] Steiner developed the point that "reincarnation was not yet to be taught in exoteric Christianity" over the course of numerous lectures. It is based on Jesus' statement in Jn 16, 12 just cited and on the necessity to stress the critical importance of each life until humanity had matured to the Consciousness (Spiritual) Soul state.
Any gardener knows that before a blossom appears on a new plant, the leaves must first grow. The stem of the first leaf becomes the stem of the plant which is required to hold future leaves and the eventual blossoms and fruit. But first of all the leaves must grow before any blossoms or fruit may appear. Using this telling metaphor Steiner explains to us why the teaching of reincarnation and karma had to wait two thousand years to blossom - the leaves had to grow first. Smith tells us that two thousand years is "the period required for human consciousness to evolve from one significant age to another."
[page 135] Said Steiner, in The Gospel of St. Luke (GSL), Lect 10, "Had this teaching been proclaimed in the early centuries of Christendom in the form in which it is proclaimed today, this would have meant demanding of human evolution the equivalent of demanding a plant to produce the blossom before the green leaves."
The Consciousness Soul Age began about 1414 A. D. immediately following the Intellectual Soul Age which came after the Sentient Soul Age that preceded it. We are almost in the middle of the Consciousness Soul Age but many humans have not made the transition to the new paradigm or process of thinking associated with the new age. In any paradigm switch, we must continue to use the words of the old paradigm to describe or talk about even those things we understand with the new paradigm. There is a hysteresis or semantic lag of meaning between the arrival of the new paradigm and our ability to be able to talk about things in the terms of the new paradigm. Time must pass for the terms of the new paradigm to be developed before we are able to talk about the new paradigm in terms of the new paradigm. For example, that is why people are often confused by the way physicists have talked about quantum realities using the terms of pre-quantum physics. Bohr's principle of complementarity is one such example. Thus it is that Smith can make the statement that "traditional Christian thinking . . . has not moved appreciably beyond the heritage of the Intellectual (Mind) Soul Era." Rightly understood, those who today call themselves "fundamentalist Christians" are applying forcefully to their lives the processes of the Intellectual Soul Age in the middle of the Consciousness Soul Age. They are in effect putting forth green leaves when the time is ready for them to be putting forth blossoms.
To sum up the chapter on Karma and Reincarnation Smith gives us a series of comments which I will excerpt below. About Comment 6. below: it tells us in effect that the horse of heredity may lead the cart of talents and characteristics, but it is the driver that leads the horse.
[page 159] 1. "A person is not born in a new physical body in a later millennium in order to repeat experiences already undergone, but to experience in what respects humanity has advanced in the intervening time." (GSMt, Lect 9)
[page 159] 2. Neither animals nor any of the lower kingdoms reincarnate, for the Egos of the lower kingdoms are never on the Earth (see I-11). Human beings reincarnate only as human beings, never as creatures of a lower kingdom.
[page 159] 3. In general, Individualities tend to reincarnate together, both individually and as groups, because of the karmic relationships between them (see Ezek 16,61). [Then you will remember your ways, and be ashamed when I take your sisters, both your elder and your younger and give them to you as daughters, but not on account of the covenant with you.]
[page 159] 4. All of the suffering and disease that exist on Earth are due to the karma of human beings and to the evil spiritual beings that are created or nourished thereby.
[page 160] 5. The principle of Karma and Reincarnation is a manifestation of the grace of God, applied over evolutionary periods of time.
[page 160] 6. Heredity has little to do with a personality's talents or characteristics in that the reincarnating Individuality, along with the higher powers, choose the parents for the personality.
[page 160] 7. All of a person's circumstances in life are attributable to past karma, save only as one is able to modify those circumstances. The manner in which one handles those circumstances is the test for which the incarnation occurred.
In this next passage (From Jesus to Christ, Lect 7), Steiner talks about Christ as the Lord of Karma for human evolution, who returns to Earth on the etheric plane for his Second Coming in the first part of the 20th Century just past. Obviously this event didn't make the evening news. How can we understand what has happened in our world as a result of this Second Coming of Christ in the etheric plane? Has He perhaps come like the thief in the night? He did say, "you will not know at what hour I will come upon you." (see page 206)
[page 163] This event works into the physical world, on the physical plane, in such a way that men will develop towards it the feeling that by all their actions they will be causing something for which they will be accountable to the judgment of Christ. This feeling, now appearing quite naturally in the course of human development, will be transformed so that it permeates the soul with a light which little by little will shine out from the individual himself, and will illuminate the form of Christ in the etheric world. And the more this feeling is developed . . . the more will the etheric Form of Christ be visible in the coming centuries. [italics mine]
Smith asks how do we reconcile the statements that God is the judge with those that say equally that Christ is to be the judge of our actions, then sums up the answer in this brief passage:
[page 169] . . . the judgment that comes from God is the perfect justice of the eternal law, the law of karma, whereas the justice that comes from Christ is what emanates from the taking vel non [or not] of Christ into one's own being whereby one's objective karma is transferred to him and only the subjective karma remains.
In the chapter titled Second Coming Smith takes issue with "the fundamentalists who maddeningly insist on the reconstitution, atom by atom, of the mineral-physical body not only of Christ but also of his followers on the last day." Such forceful claims form an iron curtain that separates Steiner's spiritual science from these strongly traditional Christians, some of whom, in my own family, have reacted very adversely to my even reading Steiner's works claiming that I should instead be studying the Bible! In this passage I envision Edward Smith as a 21st Century Ronald Reagan proclaiming, "Tear down this wall!"
[page 216] . . . my immediate mission is to dismantle that wall heretofore separating anthroposophists and more traditional Christians.
In the chapter entitled I Am Smith tells us, "This passage, 'I AM THE I AM,' can be understood only when it is seen that Moses stood at the critical point in human evolution when the Ego was making its transition from group or tribal soul to individual soul." He points out that there is a higher and lower "I am."
[page 247] Inasmuch as all humanity is infected by the Fall (Gen 3), the lower "I Am" is unable by itself to raise its three bodies to a state of purity equivalent to that of their pre-Fall status. . . . It is the task of the young Ego (Job 32, 4-6) to overcome this Luciferic infection, but due to its immaturity that young Ego is not equal to the task of overcoming the deeply ingrained consequences of the infection in the older and denser bodies.
Paul says in Romans 7, 22: "For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." Smith, after Steiner, explains the meaning of this passage as it relates the lower human "I Am" or Ego to the higher Christ "I Am".
[page 247] In Rom 7,22, Paul says that his "inmost self" delights "in the law of God" but is unable by itself to effect the cure of his other "members." But this "inmost self," or "Ego," which he correctly identifies as his "mind" . . . has a primeval relationship to that from which it sprang, namely, the Christ. . . . By coming to a recognition and acceptance of that Christ, the pure "I Am," the human being's own Ego joins unto itself the power that higher primeval Ego [higher "I Am"] and thereby is enabled to heal the ages of infection of its lower three bodies or "members."
On page 252, Smith points us to Rev 2,17: ". . . To him who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone which no one knows except him who receives it." What is this new name and the white stone upon which it is written? Keep in mind that in those days, few people ever saw the brains of a live person which is a vibrant pink, but only the dead, white brain of corpses.
[page 253] The "white stone" (2,17) . . . referred to the nature of the human brain, which was developing, i.e., hardening, "rocklike," as the natural result of the process of ever-increasing densification brought about by the Fall (Gen 3).
What was this curious name that can only be known by the person who receives it? The name "I" - a name that if anyone uses it in your presence can never be taken to refer to you. Only you know the name "I" refers to you when you use it. The name "I" or the phrase "I Am" can be used interchangeably in reading the older verses of the Bible, as one can discern by attempting the process, e. g., in Isaiah 42, 8: "I am the Lord, that is my name, my glory I give to no other." I note that the word for "I am" in English, "I," takes a plural verb, which seems strange because it seems to refer to a singular person. Also, dear Reader, the second person singular noun, "you," takes a plural verb as in the sentence when you say to one person, "You are aware." This is not surprising because "I" and "you" are reflections of each other. If we consider the dual nature of the lower "I am" and the higher "I Am," both of which have the possibility to be within each one of us, that gives credence to the plural nature of these two otherwise singular nouns(4). .
More revelations come when we consider the passage Is 40,3 "In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." If we recognize that the sense of "the wilderness" is that of "the desolation of the soul" we can personalize it thus: "In the desolation of your soul prepare the way of your Ego, your 'I am,' that makes straight in the desolation of your soul a highway for God." (inspired by pages 270 to 271) In other words, once the "I am" arrives on the scene, it becomes our burning bush in which the fire of God burns, it opens the channel of the Spirit of God to fill the otherwise isolated and desolated three bodies.
Smith points out that Kyrios from the Greek cannot simply be translated as "the Lord" because it referred to man's soul life and its mysteries, i. e., his "I."If we apply this insight as Smith suggests to Mk 1,3: "the voice crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight - " we get "the voice crying in the desolation of the soul: Prepare the way for the powerful 'I' within you, clear the way for it to manifest itself within you." And when that way is opened, one reaches the soul of man liberated from all the group-soulness. (page 278) Those who do not heed the message to prepare the way will have no "I" and become what T. S. Eliot called the "hollow men."
[page 278] With the others, in that place where the I-being is, which remains there - which is now there in the body, and which remains after death - there is a hollow space, a nothingness.
Note how beautifully this idea of a hollow place in men who, "I-less," must lean together in a group soul, is expressed by Eliot in the first stanza of his 1925 poem written the year Rudolf Steiner died:
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar
But there is more.This is not only an important process, the developing of our individual "I," but one that becomes more and more important as we progress through life compared to all the other ideas we encounter in life which decrease in significance over time. Why is this so important to us?
[page 278, Steiner in EGO, Lect. 1] The central point of man's being is grasped through what we take up as anthroposophical thoughts. That crystallizes a spiritual substance in man; he takes that with him after death, and with that he perceives in the spiritual world. He sees and hears with it in the spiritual world, with it he penetrates that darkness which otherwise exists for man in the spiritual world. . . . Then he is born with this now developed "I," and he remembers himself in this developed "I."
If you wonder how it is that you do not remember your previous incarnations, Steiner says in one of his lectures that your previous incarnation was likely about 1,000 years ago, a time when few if any humans had a developed "I". If you don't achieve it now, when? And what might we expect to happen to those who, for whatever reason, do not develop an individual "I"? They will fall back into the group soul.
[page 279, Steiner in EGO, Lect. 1] These people will then experience that as their FALL, as a new Fall of mankind, as a falling back into conscious connection with the group-soul. That will be something terrible for the sixth period of time; to be unable to look back to oneself as an individuality, to be hemmed in by not being able to transcend the group-soulness. If one will express it strongly, one could say: The whole earth with all it produces (this holds at least as an image) will belong to those who now cultivate their individuality; those, however, who do not develop their individual "I," will be obliged to join on to a certain group, from which they will be directed as to how they should think, feel, will, and act. That will be felt as a fall, a falling back, in the future humanity.
And, in one final passage from the same lecture Steiner speaks of one's individuality being inscribed on one's forehead - a feature that distinguishes the countenance of the popular fictional character at the turn of the 21st Century, Harry Potter, from all his school mates. Harry is nothing if not an individual, and the lightning bolt scar on his forehead marks his individuality.
[page 281, Steiner in EGO, Lect. 1] In the future, that which speaks to the depths of man's soul will express itself more and more in the external nature of man; and that which man on the one side as a quite individual being has acquired . . . will express itself by working out even to the human countenance; so that the individuality of man . . . will be inscribed for him on his countenance.
Later in the same lecture, Steiner says that "the individual will carry in itself an external sign, and . . . the group-soulness [will] carry in itself its external sign." All of which causes me to wonder if the prevalence of body piercing and body tatoos at the turn of the 21st Century somehow presages the external marks of group-soulness that will form automatically on the countenances of future humankind.
Earlier in this review I proposed a principle about history that goes like this: people only began to write down history when they were no longer able to remember it. The time came when the gradual mineralization of the Fall led to an increasing intellect, but was accompanied by a fading memory and loss of natural clairvoyance. (paraphrased from pages 334, 335) One can deduce from this that the advent of historical records marked the end of that original clairvoyance that was a birthright of every human being.
In the chapter called Mysteries we encounter the concept that "the Christ Event was the enactment, 'Once for All,' of the ancient Mysteries on the stage of the world."
[page 337 Steiner in GSMt lecture] In the book Christianity as Mystical Fact I have explained the sense in which secrets of the ancient Mysteries come to light in the Gospels, and that the Gospels, fundamentally, are repetitions of the descriptions of Initiation in the Mysteries. Why, in relating events in the life of Christ, was it possible to describe the processes enacted in the Mysteries? It was possible because everything that took place in the Mysteries in the inner life of the soul, had become historical fact: because the Christ-Jesus-Event was a re-portrayal of symbolic rites enacted during the process of the old Initiation, but fulfilled now at the higher level of full Ego-consciousness.
In the chapter Three Bodies Smith relates many passages that have three bodies as a theme. Here are just two of them that I consider to be very powerful. They are mostly self-contained and require no additional explanation.
[page 432, 433] Dan 3: This seems one of the clearer visions depicting the human being's fourfoldness. Three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, are thrown into the fiery furnace, which is so hot that it slew those who threw them into it. Yet the king then saw not three, but four, "walking in the midst of the fire, and . . . not hurt." Then it says, "and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods." In the period between lives, the three bodies do not survive except to the extent that they have been "Perfected," (transformed). In particular, in the astral world (cf. Purgatory) the unperfected portions of the astral body are burned away in the eternal fire. But the Ego, though it suffers, is not consumed there (see "Bush"). This vision would seem to portray a perfected Ego, which means that its related bodies have also been perfected and thus are not lost but preserved. "The appearance of the fourth" (the Ego) "like a son of the gods" bespeaks the level of spiritual development akin to that in Rev 1, 12-16, which carries the "burning bush" beyond reincarnation to the point of worthiness for the resurrection (see Lk 20, 34-38).
[page 443] Lev 16: . . . The two sons who died by reason of disobedience might be taken as the human physical and etheric bodies, which are infected to death (Gen 3, 19-20) by virtue of the infection of the astral body in the Fall. The bull may here be taken for the astral body, which represents the astral nature of feeling (see I-62). By sacrificing the bull "for himself," Aaron, now representing the astral body, is kept alive, and by the sacrifice of the one goat "for himself and for his house" and the release of the other, bearing their sins, into the "Wilderness," their atonement is accomplished. Now the goat is related to sheep (see WNWD, "goat") but in general has a more objectionable character; thus the relationship of Goat/Sheep is analogous to that of astral body/manas. The implications for the eventual "Lamb of God" thrust themselves irresistibly upon us. The goat, representing the astral nature, is two-fold, and one is sacrificed so that the other may go free into the "Wilderness." The merit of this concept is strengthened when one considers that the zodiacal realm of Capricorn (goat) equates to the astral body (see I-18). The only one of the three bodies over which a human being has direct control in the present Epoch is the astral body. To the extent that it is purified through the action of the "Lamb of God" it moves toward the manas state of the future Jupiter Condition of Consciousness, portrayed in Revelation as the Holy City. The Ego is thus thrust into the "Wilderness" to follow there the lead of the "Lamb of God," which takes the place of the scapegoat in bearing the sins of the human being.
In reading the next passage one may find oneself asking the question, "What seeds am I sowing during my lifetime?"
[page 460] The two introductory paragraphs . . . quoted below . . . are included to demonstrate how a "Seed," once sown into the human soul, comes to fruition at a later time, or incarnation, as a part of the working of the wondrous "mysteries" of God (cf. Rom 11,33).
Some thirty years ago, I was exposed to a concept in the Catholic Church called the "Inner Forum." I was newly divorced and re-married and my new wife wished to convert to Catholicism. I had assumed that going to Church, much less taking Holy Communion was out of the question for me. She asked the priest who was giving her instructions on becoming a Catholic what he would advise and he told her of the Inner Forum. He said for us to go into our inner soul and if we determined that we had committed no sin by our actions we should both go to Church and receive Communion. In this book, I have for the first time found an explanation of what the priest referred to and this has greatly increased my respect for the spiritual underpinning that supports the Catholic Church and the truths that reside sometimes hidden beneath its everyday rules and regulations.
[page 503 Steiner, GSJ, Lect 4, p. 74] The man who voluntarily places himself within the cosmic activities is an individual; he is not ruled by law. In the Christ Principle lies the victory over law. "For the law was given by Moses, but Grace through Christ" [quoting Jn 1,17]. According to the Christian acceptation of the word, the soul's capacity for doing right out of the inner self [RJM: ie, the Inner Forum] was called Grace. Grace and an inner recognition of truth came into being through the Christ.
Through the Grace of Christ I received a blessing from that priest in California who gave my wife instructions in the faith. And I came to understand that there is a heart in the Catholic Church that must be sought if one is to find it. That heart is not in its rules, it resides under the Church's rules that, like traffic signals, prevent collisions on busy intersections, but cannot govern what a person is to do in individual circumstances. One would disregard a traffic signal to move ahead to save someone's life, wouldn't one? Rightly understood, rules are designed for the masses of people, and need not be blindly adhered to by individuals.
Finally, a big bonus came to me from the last section of I-10 in the Charts and Tabulations chapter that I glanced over. This note grabbed me right away.
[page 560] What would seem to be memory in an animal is not memory in the sense that the human being has a memory, but is based upon a function of the astral body. The cause for what appears to be memory in an animal always comes from a presently existing circumstance giving rise to need based on this experience. Absent such a circumstance (such as its master's presence, hunger, etc.), the animal cannot call up from within the same conscious feeling as can a human being.
In my role as researcher in the nascent science of doyletics I have wondered about the possible existence a Memory Transition Age (MTA) in animals. The MTA for humans is five years old today — it is the age at which physical body states (doyles) cease to be stored and cognitive memories are stored instead. But what about animals? We say that you "can't teach an old dog new tricks" - is that some folk wisdom that points to a memory transition age in which old dogs can no longer store novel doyles? I pondered this for some time, and the only thing that seems to make sense is that animals have no memory transition age for the very reason that animals (with the exception of cetaceans) have no neocortex capable of holding what we normally call a memory, what in doyletics we call a cognitive or conceptual memory to distinguish it from doylic memory, i. e., an emotion, a feeling, or other physical body state.
Animals live a doylic existence. They have circumstantial memory as Smith calls it in the passage above, i.e., a memory that arises automatically, without any thought, due to the circumstances of the animal's life at the instant. They smell an odor, recognize it as indicating a food they've eaten before, and go towards it. They sense a change in their master's body and know to stop tapping their foot, which was how the famous horse, Kluge Hans, led scientists of a hundred years ago to think he possessed human intelligence by answering all kinds of questions — until one day they began to ask him questions that no one in the room knew the answer to and the horse was stumped.
Humans live a doylic existence also - their emotional existence is doylic, and is based on a function of the astral body, no doubt. We feel happy or sad according to the circumstantial triggers in our environs and our selves. Doyles can trigger other doyles in linked sequence, so internal states in us can trigger other ones, resulting in a seemingly continuous sequence of internal feeling states that we variously call moods, emotions, fear, anxiety, stress, depression, elation, joy, etc.
This is not to say that we are animals, because we do have a higher memory, a cognitive memory, orchestrated by our Ego, our "I" in concert with our neocortex. Before we developed a neocortex, however, we had only etheric memories, the ones orchestrated by the etheric body in concert with the limbic system of the brain. The etheric body holds a permanent linearized record of all memories from birth to death. The limbic system stores for later retrieval our bodily reactions to events or circumstances that occurred to us before five years old. We call these doyles and consider them to be stored in doylic memory. When portions of the full circumstance occur in our environs or in our body, the full doylic memory of the event stored during the original or novel circumstance before five is recapitulated in our body, and a doyle occurs - we feel something, our heart rate changes, our breathing is modified, we get angry, we get sad, we get depressed - something very real happens inside of us that has happened to us before.
As Santayana said, "Man who does not understand history is destined to repeat it." And repeat it we do; in fact, it seems to me from personal experience to be a rule of life that the events we need to understand occur frequently to us until we understand them and hardly ever thereafter. That's a hypothesis of mine currently, with considerable personal evidence to support it, but none that could convince you, dear Reader. That will be up to you to determine on your own.
Understanding a doyle comes from doing a doyle trace, whether consciously and quickly using the speed trace I developed from Doyle's original work, or slowly and painfully over years or lifetimes using less direct methods such as psychoanalysis, drugs, Cognitive Therapy, etc.
Thanks to Smith's note on page 560 I've been able to develop a new way of talking about doylic memory as circumstantial memory - a memory that is triggered by one's environment. I hope it will help others to better understand the basics of doyletics and how it aligns with Steiner's teachings on memory.
This is an extraordinary book. Encyclopedic in its scope, while maintaining a readability that few encyclopedias ever achieve. One can ill afford to ignore this book if one is interested in understanding Christianity. The Bible alone is like a treasure map with key portions of the map cut out to prevent the casual observer of the map from locating the treasure. Edward Reaugh Smith has scoured Rudolf Steiner's works to locate the missing pieces of the map and has provided us with a completed map of Christianity and salvation, salvation in the microcosm of our individual selves, and salvation in the macrocosm for all of humanity.
Notice: The entire text of "The Burning Bush" is available on-line by clicking on the book title or the link at right: http://www.bibleandanthroposophy.com/Smith/main/burning_bush/burning_bush.html.
----- footnotes -----1. While the author is thorough in the background material necessary to understand the Bible connections, there are areas of Steiner's work that he does not cover, such as education, recitation, eurhythmy, agriculture, medicine, sculpture, and architecture, among other things.
Return to text below footnote 1.
2. Steiner tells us that after Christ's Deed on Golgotha, the Initiates no longer looked to the Sun for the Christ, because the Christ Spirit had entered the Earth. To understand in a simple metaphor how this change came about, consider the townspeople of a small town located far outside the Big City. To buy things they had make a trip to the Big City to go shopping at MegaMart. As a result, whenever they thought of going shopping, they looked toward the Big City. Then one day, a MegaMart was built in their little town. No longer did they have to look toward the Big City when they thought of shopping. The MegaMart headquarters in the Big City wasn't dismantled or left empty when the local MegaMart was built, but the local townspeople no longer looked to the Big City when they thought to go shopping.
Return to text below footnote 2.
3. In a personal communication from Edward Smith, he brought up an excellent point, one that is easily glossed over in the attention given to karmic balancing. He said, "We certainly do that, of course. But there is a wholesome and attractive side also that might not always fit that category. We may be working with another soul with whom there is no related debt from one to the other. There are karmic affinities and I think we reincarnate often with those where such a debt-free affinity exists, but for a karmic purpose of some type related to karmic needs of someone (or group) somewhere. I don't know if you want to bring this in, but it has a bit of a negative aspect that might be attractively balanced by this thought. I judge that Steiner was indicating this type of thing with those drawn into his orbit during his life."
Return to text below footnote 3.
4. Some clarification on the singular/plural agreement of nouns and verbs may be in order. A singular noun normally takes a singular verb: He does. Plural noun, a plural verb: They do. There are two prominent exceptions: You do [singular noun, plural verb] and I do [singular noun, plural verb]. My English teacher told me there was an escape clause for "you" because it can refer to one person [singular] or several people [plural]. But what about "I"? It's always singular, but is treated as if it were plural. No explanation came from my English teacher for that. I personally found that situation most unsatisfying all these years. As I was studying The Burning Bush, I found a plausible reason for the first time: the two levels of "I" - the little "I am" of the Individuality and the higher "I AM" of the Christ (that lives in every human waiting to be recognized). Thus, when we use a plural verb with the seemingly singular pronoun "I" [which is really a name, not a pronoun], then we are recognizing the Christ in us!
Return to text below footnote 4.
3.) ARJ2: Tuva or Bust! — Richard Feynman's Last Journey by Ralph Leighton
Read this book for fun or don't read it at all. If you're looking for examples of a rational scientist's works, look elsewhere. Feynman was as unorthodox as any Nobel Prize winner ever was, or more so. Look at the other titles of his books, "Surely, You're Joking, Mr. Feynman" and What Do You Care What People Think? — that should give you a clue that this book is about fun. You want serious, read his Lectures on Physics — occasionally he waxes serious in them. Pasadena artist Sylvia Posner captured the levity and the gravitas of the Nobel physicist Feynman in an artwork that graces the last page of this book. He is dressed in the garb of a Ladakhi monk, a costume his wife made for him for a party whose rules specified costumes from latitudes that precluded the possibility of a Tuvan Lama costume. He is holding in his right hand what looks like two lightning bolts, but what is in reality a Feynman diagram. In the background are the snowy peaks of the Tuva area and in his left hand an unlocked padlock. Here we can see the Asian shaman that was Feynman unlocking the secrets of QED, quantum electrodynamics using his own invention, a diagram in which time is allowed to flow both ways. The smile on his face, however, is timeless.
During a discussion about geography, Ralph, the author gets suckered into answering this question of Richard's, "Whatever happened to Tannu Tuva?" Ralph, who played geography games with his brother, said confidently, "There is no such country." Well, there used to be one, it turned out. And they began a quest to find out more about Tuva by researching maps. They found it on a map of Asia on a shower curtain and other unlikely places, but it was gone from present day maps because it voluntarily joined the Soviet Union. The little purple splotch between Mongolia and Russia was gone. What had happened to the country? What about all those triangular and diamond-shaped stamps with the strange horses and animals and people on them that Richard had seen as a child?Are there such animals and people extant and wandering around what used to be the country of Tuva? Yes, they discovered. And wonder of wonders, Tuva's capital and largest city had the vowel-less name of Kyzyl! When they discovered Kyzyl, they immediately decided that they were going to Tuva to explore a town with such a unique name! Now, it might occur to you, dear Reader, upon sober reflection, that they had a reason to go to Kyzyl that they couldn't easily explain to the very people responsible for making such a trip possible, namely, politicians and diplomats. But the game was afoot!
[page 21] One of the UCLA library books showed the first government building — a log cabin — with a beautiful white yurt next to it. There were inevitable jokes about the president of Tuva sleeping in the "White Yurt."
Then they discovered that Kyzyl was the USSR's "Atom City" and the center of Soviet atomic weapons development. This led to a minor problem.
[page 23] If Kyzyl is the USSR's Los Alamos, I thought, then the KGB will never believe that Richard Feynman wants to visit the place because of how it is spelled!
Ralph wrote to Radio Moscow to ask a question about Tuva and then tried to tune in on shortwave and found out about a program to be broadcast on the weekly series "Round About the Soviet Union" a few weeks hence. He invited Richard over and they set an alarm for nine o'clock, the broadcast time. They spread out their maps of Tuva and anxiously awaited the broadcast. It began this way:
[page 28] "The topic for this week's program was selected by listener Ralph Leighton of Altadena, California. Today we will go to Tuva, located in the heart of Asia . . ."
They were incredulous to find that their inquiry was responsible for the program, and they were delighted to hear the announcer say, "Today, one can fly comfortably from Moscow to Kyzyl by jet." Well, things in the Soviet Union were not always what they were claimed to be, because if it had been that easy, this book would have ended on page 28 instead of continuing for 200 more pages. To give you an idea of how the Soviets talked in those days, there was a standard question in the Russian-English phrase book, that went, "How many rooms does your apartment have?" The answer in the phrase book said, "I have a comfortable apartment." That meant, our heroes were advised, that the person responding lived in a housing shortage area. Later on, they had occasion to ask that stock question of a resident of Tuva and that phrase book answer was what they received in reply from a native Tuvan.
Ralph maneuvered himself a phone number of 246-TUVA to advertise his trek. He appeared on a radio show in L. A. to talk about his Friends of Tuva club. After the show he got calls from fellow Tuva enthusiasts.
When Ralph took his first trip to the Soviet Union, he watched in horror as one person after another drank from the communal cup at the water fountain. As anyone from the disinfectant-oriented USA might expect, he thought he'd be soon laid low by sore throats and colds after using that public water station.
[page 124] As I walked away, I thought, Maybe communal glasses keep everyone's immune system revved up. After an initial investment of a few sore throats, you're able to fight off the colds and flus of winter. (Over the next week nothing happened — not even another sore throat.)
Richard Feynman survived his first bout with cancer six years, including several severe operations. During those six years, he was deeply involved with Ralph's machinations to bring a Tuva exhibit to the USA including arranging an exhibit at the Smithsonian and in Los Angeles. All this just to get an invitation to visit Tuva and see Kyzyl because it had such an interesting spelling. When the trip finally came off, Richard has died, and he accompanied them certainly in the spirit. The short report of the trip is in the Epilogue. All the fun stuff took place getting ready for the trip. They got the Potemkin Village tour of Kyzyl and Tuva, but had a wonder full time in the years of preparation.
This is a fun book — one that had me laughing out loud many times, so be careful where you read it in public.
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I hear often from my Good Readers that they have bought books after reading my book reviews. Remember: A book is like a 3-D kindle. 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 coverse 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 Stops by a Cigar Store on Decatur Street in the French Quarter 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 aspect of the world he participates in during his peregrinations.
The good Padre Enjoys a Holy Smoke this month:
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 Barbara in Mexico:
Hi Bobby — This a wonderful photo of you — at least my favorite — am in Mexico now — but, was relaxing and going through my photos and came across this one — so, decided to send to you — tell Adele "hello" for me, and take care — Barbara
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ REPLY from Bobby ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thanks Barbara, for the photo. January was a busy issue in which I did use the photo of the three of us at Houston's but will find a place in this Issue for the large Grouper sandwich I had that day. Makes me hungry just looking at it.
Enjoy your time in Mexico. We'll see you sometime after the Fourth back in New Orleans,
- EMAIL from John in Hebden Bridge, England: Hello –
My old email address is now defunct. Could you please send future reminders to me at my new one.
And a really big thank you for your Good Mountain Press’ DIGESTWORLD. It has been of enormous value to me over the years – your reviews of anthroposophical work especially.
With all good wishes –
- EMAIL from Gary in Canada:
During the early Spring weeks of this year, I came across the material listed below via serendipity, while discovering your work on Doyle Henderson’s innovations.
I plan to read both of the Robert Lanza books — Biocentrism (2009) and Beyond Biocentrism (2016), but my reading dance card is already fully booked with studying your excellent work with doyletics.
My own work is focused on the challenge/duty proffered by Dr. Marshall McLuhan, one of my father figures (I grew up without one of those biological father thingies).
Your work is providing me with valuable information connected with the subject, and for that I am deeply grateful.
- EMAIL Bill Gralow:
Glad to see you and Del are enjoying life down south.
Broke my foot on the last day of a Galapagos cruise on Silversea a month ago and am still taking physical therapy but getting better all the time. Sharon, I and family are going on the Alaska Cruise on Serenity in July so I hope to be walking normally by then.
Del and I wish we could be on that cruise with you and Sharon and family. Also because we would get to see Patti and Barrett Chevalier in Vancouver for a pre-cruise joint reunion of our NWP dining table. Lift a glass for us!
3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:"It's Not That"
Give me your poor, huddled masses, your deplorables 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:
It's Not That
It's not that the Supreme Court
is legislating our laws
It's not that Congress
is setting foreign policy
It's not that the President
is creating new laws
It's not that Social Security
is a pyramid scheme
It's not that the IRS
is a USA Gestapo
It's not that the Postal Service
is a constitutional disgrace
It's not that public servants
are underpaid and overbribed
It's not that civil rights
intrude on human rights
It's not that freedom's flare of the 18th Century
has been snuffed out by the 21st.
It's not that we don't deserve
a government of the free,
by the free,
and for the free.
It's not that, it's not that
IT'S SURELY NOT THAT!
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9. CLOSING NOTES:
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