Site Map: MAIN / This Page       How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news. Isaiah 52:7

Good Mountain Press Presents DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#17c
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==


Like this Digest? Let the Editor know with a short email by
Clicking Here!


LIKE US? To Receive a Monthly DIGESTWORLD Reminder, Click the Link to Send Email Request: SUBSCRIBE

NOTE: Place Cursor over a photo for a few seconds to read text description.

All the tools you need for a simple Speed Trace
Great Way to show Gratitude for DIGESTWORLD is to use the above Google Search Engine
to Search this Site or the entire Web from anywhere in DIGESTWORLD pages.

== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==

~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Fats Domino (1928-2017) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ [ New Orleans Singer, Performer of Blueberry Hill and many other classics from '50s to now ] ~~~~~

== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
Quote for the Christ-Bringing Month of December:

There are painters who transform the Sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the Sun.

— Pablo Picasso, Spanish-born Painter (1881-1973)

== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==

By Subscription only.
Editor: Bobby Matherne, Asst. Editor: Del Matherne
[To Contact Editor Click Here!]
To Subscribe, Click Here or copy into your Browser
this URL:
To Unsubscribe, see bottom of any DIGESTWORLD Issue.
©2017 by 21st Century Education, Inc
Published Monthly by Good Mountain Press.

To Read All of Bobby's Writings Click Here!

== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
~~ Click on Heading to go to that Section (Allow Page First To Fully Load). NOTE: DIGESTWORLD is a Trademark of 21st Century Education, Inc. ~~


ISSUE#17c for December, 2017

Archived DIGESTWORLD Issues

             Table of Contents

1. December's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for December
3. On a Personal Note
       Read Bobby's Books
       Movie Blurbs

4. Cajun Story
5. Handy Hint for December, 2017 from Bobby Jeaux: Plastic Spoon for Traveling
6. Poem from May, 1996:"Palindrome Is An Oxymoron"
7. Reviews and Articles featured for December:

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

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

== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==

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

To Receive a Monthly DIGESTWORLD Reminder — Click Here.

For Best Viewing, Decrease Width of Window Until Mountains Barely Touch the Issues

== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
1. December Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==

For newcomers to DIGESTWORLD, we have created a webpage of early Violet-n-Joey cartoons!

This month Violet and Joey learn about Mammograms.
"Mammograms" at

== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==

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 December, 2017:

Dianne Cruz in Gretna, LA

Robert Pugh in New Orleans, LA

Congratulations, Robert and Dianne!

== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==

== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==

Out Our Way:


Our favorite piano player is Armand St. Martin, but he does a lot more than just play the piano: he composes songs, tells stories about his songs, and he sings them while playing his piano. We have hired him over several occasions for parties in Timberlane and everyone loves him. One this night we went to hear him and his wife Patty Lee was there. I like teasing her and on this night, I noticed that she had lost some weight since the last time I saw her. She looked good, but rather than just saying, "Oh, you look great," I figured that I'd tease her a little. I said, "You look like you're losing weight to get back into your bikini". Abashed, she replied, "Oh, no! Even when I was young I never wore bikinis. I didn't even wear bathing suits." To that reply I gave a big knowing grin as I imagined her completely naked, a plausible response to her words. Well, she got my unspoken meaning and her face reddened and she protested that was not what she meant, but the cat was out of the bikini and it was too late. I suspect she protested with perhaps a secret pleasure, as I've been told embarrassment usually is. The more she protested, the more I smiled and we both had fun.


Usually Del and I wait for friends and relatives from out of town to come for a visit before we go to the French Quarter, but this month, we decided to take ourselves on a date to the Quarter. It was a month with an "R" in it, November so we decided to begin with some oysters opened by our friend MJ (Michael Jackson) at Felix's Oyster House on the corner of Iberville and Bourbon. We parked in our favorite spot and ambled down Royal Street, stopped to watch the craftsman building a Bevolo lamp, then into Hotel Monteleone to visit our Grandfather Clock. On Royal Street there was a long table on which they were finishing a world's record Poorboy sandwich. The sandwich was about a block long and was to be given away free to spectators in about 15 minutes, but we were on our way to open up Felix's at 11 AM.

MJ had not prepared his Special Sauce yet, so I had to make the sauce while Del was eating the oysters. But there was enough for both of us. Besides that we were going directly to lunch at Antoine's later and needed to save some room for their luncheon specials. I believe I had the fried softshell crab entree following three Oysters Rockefeller (originated by Antoine's and often copied but never duplicated). On our way home, we stopped at DiMartino's Deli to pick up some of their great shrimp potato salad to take as our side dish to the Matherne Reunion in Houma on the next day.


In previous millennium, we had never had a formal Matherne Reunion. We had mini-reunions each time we drove to Houma or Bourg where both my Babin and Matherne relatives lived. But in on April 16, 2000 we had an official Matherne Reunion in St. Ann's Gym in Bourg where so many wedding receptions and other events had been held since I was a kid. I remember an old 16mm B&W film projector being set up there on a Saturday afternoon in the 1940s where we watched old cowboy movies for a nickel admission. My brother Paul's wedding reception was held there when he married Joyce next door at St. Ann's Catholic Church.

I was his best man and had a rose in my lapel. I remember the day vividly because Joyce's aunt came up to me at the reception, gave me a hug, and congratulated me. It wasn't until she said, "Congratulations" that I realized she took me for the groom, my brother Paul, who was the spitting image of me, only a bit shorter.

All the branches of Clairville's offspring were at the 2000 reunion. There was Buster's Bunch, Terry's kids, Purpy's group from Florida came in, Ray's gang, and kids from each of my five married aunts and my Aunt Carolyn who was known as Tante (Aunt) to all of them. We each wore different color T-shirts with our family names on them.

I planned to take photos of everyone there: a bust shot closeup. I had my early digital camera which took only a dozen or so photos per floppy disk and Del assisted me by writing each person's name on a sheet with the disk number. It was an almost overwhelming job, but it gave me about 30 seconds to interact with each aunt, uncle, and cousin while I set up and took the photo. There were a set of colored balloons hanging down at the right height from the wall so that it made a nice clean backdrop, so I took as many photos as I could with the person standing alone in front of the balloons. For some couples I almost needed a three-foot-long oyster-knife in order to split them apart. "Why do we have to take separate photos?" For me I thought that was taking marriage a bit too far. Plus I wanted each photo to go into my Family Tree Maker software with the person's name and location in the Matherne family tree! It worked, or better said, Del and I worked like crazy, and we got 177 photos, all named (except for a couple of stragglers that I needed to call to get an ID on). We barely had time to take a break to enjoy the food and then get back to the rest of the reunion gang. It was all we could do.
By the time we finished the photos, the reunion was nearly over. I did go outside and sit by my mother in the shade of a tent and talk to her. My daughter Maureen and her daughter Tiffany also came to talk to us. Never again would I attempt a complete photo-shoot at a reunion, but I'm glad I did it that one time.

Our next reunion was about four or five years ago and at our cousin Jackie's house on the Intracoastal Waterway, a big house which I thought was a country club when we first drove up to it. I took a few photos then and I did for this most recent reunion at the same spot. My cousin Cindy Matherne who was one of the organizers said, "The new generation will need to do the next reunion."

We were at the Gonsoulin residence again this reunion, a large estate bordering the water highway through South Louisiana, the Intracoastal Waterway. At one point a large boat the Earl Gonsoulin passed by, named after the founder of the Gonsoulin Barge Company. Jackie's husband was offshore and flew his helicopter back home, landing on the heli-pad between the water and the swimming pool. Then he took a few kids for a flight. Paul spotted a large bald eagle perched at the top of a tree trunk across the waterway and I managed to get 30X photo of it. As I tried to get closer for a better shot, it flew away.

I joined up with Stephen Neal, my cousin Mary Fanguy's husband, in the Pedro Tournament. Cindy had spelled the name Pidro, but that is its Finnish name, its Louisiana name is Pedro (pee-dro). My mother won a Statewide Pedro contest, so I know how its name is spelled locally. I've heard there's only three primary places in the world where this bidding game is played: Finland, Michigan, and Louisiana. The reality of this hit home when my daughter married a guy from Michigan and he came ready equipped to play Pedro with us. Jerome LeBoeuf had designed a Pedro Man Championship trophy, a bit like an Oscar for card playing excellence. It shows the four Pedros covering the man's torso. The four fives in a deck are called Pedros, and in any hand either the black or the red Pedros are trump and count as 5 points if taken in a trick. Together with the Ace, Deuce, Jack, and Ten of trumps (1 point each): a perfect hand counts for 14 points, but for 28 if the winner side bids 14, usually called 14-28. You win 28 if you make all the points, but only lose 14 if you don't. Stephen and I had trouble with the two cousins, Roxanne and Cindy we played against, but that didn't keep us from taking a photo holding the Pedro Man Trophy like the real winners we are.

My four aunts: Marie, Lorraine, Carolyn, and Nancy put on fancy hats, colorful boas, and held up a cartoon balloon to get their photo taken. Aunt Lorraine tried to hide behind her cartoon balloon. We had a good time with the food, the band, the oysters on the half shell, and everyone catching up with each other's lives. We left in time to get home to watch LSU play Alabama and nearly beat them. If two of the three long passes thrown by our QB had been caught as so often before, we would have won. We held Alabama to fewer yards than anyone else had, even though we played over a dozen freshmen this year. Watch out next year when we have you back in Tiger Stadium and those freshman are seasoned sophomores and Myles Brennan is our quarterback.


The next Friday was GRETNA GREEN DAY and we were celebrating the 1960s this year. Vince Vance and the Valiants were keeping us feeling groovy as we enjoyed the feast which Café Hope provided us. Del had bought a costume for the two of us to be Sonny & Cher, complete with wigs, a Sonny moustache, a flower child dress for Del, and bell-bottom trousers for me. We test drove the costumes the day before and decided they were a go. We were a big hit! Everyone said we looked great! The Woodstock VW Bus frame (see Banner photo at top) was also a hit with everyone wanting to be on the Bus taking the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test! The brownies were special brownies and came with an Eco-sticker in shape of a curiously familiar green leaf.

The DJ outside by the golfer's entrance played "I Got You, Babe" for me and Del to sing our Sonny and Cher song to. More oysters on the half shell were being shucked in a pirogue by the entrance. A Beverly Hillbilly 1940 pickup truck with original rust was parked outside also. I saw one of the crew, a linebacker sized guy dressed as Ellie Mae Clampette. There were all four characters and they raised a big stir when they drove the truck here with Granny sitting in the wooden rocker in the truck's bed, drinking her Shoo Floo Brew.

Before we got dressed, we had to pick up two 1965 Ramblers from Harley Rabig's house and drive them to park in front of the Clubhouse's Main Entrance. One was a Classic Convertible and the other was a Marlin. I chose the Marlin as it had automatic transmission and power steering. Harley warned me about it's lack of power brakes: manual, four wheel disk brakes, "You have to push very hard to stop the car!" he warned me, and I am glad he did. The car was in his driveway facing the garage door, but I couldn't get the shift to move into Reverse after I started the Marlin. I felt like a fool, but the mechanical linkage was tricky to keep you from moving into Park by mistake while rolling, and it was not obvious how to get it out of Park! Finally it moved out of Park, but so fast it was in Drive, Low Gear, and I had to find a way to get it into Reverse again. Harley had parked up the street a bit, so he stopped his Rambler to come help me by the time I had finally moved it into Reverse and backed into the street. Now to get it into Drive and move forward. I cautiously stopped about twenty feet behind our Maxima Del was driving to make sure I could get the car braked in time. Then we waited for Harley to restart his Classic Rambler. We waited. And waited. And waited.

Finally Harley came out of his car and raised the hood. Uh-oh, problem. But he got it started okay. Later he said some vacuum hose had disconnected and he re-connected it.

Then we drove home and got into our 60s gear. Added some period necklaces, chains, and bracelets to augment the packaged costumes. We were easily recognized by most people at the clubhouse as Sonny & Cher. Vince Vance introduced us at one point and invited us to come up and sing "I Got You, Babe" along with him and his band.

After the various dignitaries had their say, I recited my poem The Sixties which I wrote in my 1990 book of poetry, "Flowers of Shanidar". I asked John Callendar if he would record my words and he managed to get a movie clip of it which is now on YouTube and you can see/hear it by clicking on it in the Movie Blurbs Section of this Issue.

There's also a short clip of Vince Vance with a chorus line of Gala guests doing backup for his 'Boney, Boney' which you can sample. Plus there's a clip of the saxophonist Jimmy who played two saxophones at the same time.

Batman and Robin graced our table in the person of David and Maddie Jorgensen from the French Quarter. Ron Whitcomb, Barbara Louviere, and John & Sandra Callendar filled out our table of friends. We bid on the silent auction, danced, sang, ate, drank, and had a blast, feeling like we were in our twenties in the sixties again.

My poetic Sixties introduction went like this:

"Last year we celebrated the 50s. Remember it was decade of the birth of Rock & Roll where everyone was Rocking Round the Clock. Everyone was Awake! Next came the 60s!

It was dream time. The Sons of the Mist were coming out. (I mimicked taking a long toke on a joint and exhaling the smoke) Things were just Happening. It was the Dawning of Truth, the Springtime of Love.

Peace advocates were fighting — War advocates were talking peace

It was an Age of Tanks and Aquariums, of covered faces and uncovered bodies and Freedom wasn't just another word . . .

Every dance brought a new Twist, and Inflation only happened to balloons, before they burst.

So Welcome to the Sixties and Feeling Groovy again!"

Later a gal in her twenties came up to me and thanked me for helping her experience the 60s for real after she had thought about what it must have been like for so long. She asked if she could give me a hug and did. She said she felt some emotion when I did my poem. I thanked her and discovered that she worked in theater herself and really appreciated what I had done.


We were invited to have Thanksgiving with Kim and Wes in Alexandria, Louisiana about three and a half hours away from here. Wes and his friend Oday have just stocked the new lake at their camp on the Red River with bream and largemouth bass. We planned to fish for the bass for a fish fry on the day after Thanksgiving.

On the trip to Alexandria on Wednesday we stopped to visit my brother Paul and his wife in Opelousas, a short block or so off I-49 on the way. Got to Paul and Joyce's about 3:30 and had a nice visit before heading to Kim & Wes's where we arrived about 5 PM. Wes helped me get the stuff necessary to cook the oyster dressing. I was a bit short on green onions, but it came out delicious anyway. When it was ready, it was my lunch as we had skipped lunch and supper.

We enjoyed Wes's new fire pit a bit before we headed off to bed. The LSU game against Marquette was on at same time as Pelicans game against San Antonio Spurs and I watched the Pels beat the Spurs soundly.

Up early to begin heating up the oyster dressing. Used a combo of the Mwave and the heated oven, plus I stirred up the cold and warm parts and reheated in Mwave to get it just right without getting charred or dried out. Also added some water to keep it moist.

We began eating about 1 PM and I enjoyed the oysters, cornbread, green bean casserole by Del, and a couple of other things.


Weslee wanted his dad to fry the turkey for the first time. Never saw this being done, but the turkey came out too dry by all reports. Frying gives you no flavor from the wonderful oyster dressing that gets stuffed into the turkey when I roast our turkeys in the oven. Plus no turkey gravy at all! I always make gravy in the roasting pan from the onions surrounding the turkey while it bakes. Oven baked turkey is always moist. I keep it under a tin foil sheath until the last 30 minutes or so when I let it get a golden brown until it's ready to admire, carve, serve, and eat.

But that's just my quirk. Believe me: no expensive oil and propane tanks, etal for me, ever! Fry French Fries and Roast Turkey.

Watched the Dallas Cowboys get whipped, along with the Detroit Lions. Too bad they didn't play each other on Thanksgiving Day: one of them would have won!


This was our day to go fishing at the camp. Wes and I left about 10 am and brought only some cornbread, brownies, and water to last the day. We drove around the lake on the cart first, then baited our line with shiners and began catching largemouth bass, very slow going for an hour or so till the weather warmed up. Wes broke the slow spell with a 16-inch, two-pound bass. Then we caught some more, and when Oday showed up, he caught about four more of the 16 inch size, so we had enough fish to filet and fry when we got back to Wes's kitchen. I used my Repala knife to filet the fish which worked fine, but needs some sharpening. Wes used an electric knife which can cut through the rib cage and leave long fish bones in the filet. I never leave fish bones when I filet because I cut around the rib cage carefully. I also carefully avoid opening the guts of the fish, which eliminates a nasty smell and makes a mess and never take the scales off which eliminates another mess. Instead I simply slice the filet from the outside skin with the scales still on.

We were hungry when we arrived home about dark and Kim and Del had left the house. I called Del on her cell, and true to form, I heard it ringing in the guest bedroom, where she wasn't. Wes guessed they were over at the JENT place (Dr. Jay is an ENT and lives next door.)

We went over and enjoyed Jay's new firepit (no covering stones yet, just bare jets flaming). Sat and talked with Jennifer, his wife. Wes, Kim, Del and I we came back and I got the fish ready to fry. First I cut the filets into finger-food pieces, about the size of human fingers, then I battered and then rolled them into the Zatarain's Seasoned Fish Fry. Wes heated up the oil, and I fried them, removing them quickly retaining a beautiful light golden hue and all flavor.

As the fish were frying, I watched with only a little interest but a lot of satisfaction as the Pelicans whipped the Phoenix Suns soundly. We led by 25 points from early in game and won by almost that much. We ate, along with the fish, the oyster dressing and green bean casserole. Talk about good. I went to bed about 9 PM completely exhausted from a full, busy, and fun day. A good way to top off a very enjoyable Thanksgiving celebration with our daughter and her family.


Del and I got up about 6:30 am and made us some coffee. We each ate one before we packed the car and headed home. Stopped at the Iberville Parish Welcome Center in Grosse Tete for a rest stop. We got a small cup of coffee at the beautiful Acadian-style building and decided to fill our gas tank later.

When we got home I read the past newspapers from Wed, Thurs, Fri, and Saturday, saving the crosswords. Then I went into TSR for my last College Football day. Unbeaten Miami got whipped by Pitt, and I wanted to see Auburn beat Alabama.

I predicted the win and it happened. Big-time win for the Auburn team LSU had beaten earlier. As I think about it: Syracuse (whom LSU beat) beat the No. 1 Unbeaten team Clemson the previous weekend and this weekend Auburn (whom LSU beat) beat the No. 1 Unbeaten team Alabama! Then my LSU Tigers took on Texas A&M and scored 20 points in first half, giving up a last-second TD before half-time. Then A&M got the kickoff and drove for another TD making it a one score game, 20-14. That was as close as they ever got: LSU finished them off handily, 45-21 with great defense and passing by Danny Etling. That makes for 9 wins in Coach Ed Orgeron's first full year and with a bowl win, it could be LSU's first 10-win season in many a year. Great start for Coach O — just the way local Cajuns predicted it would be. Must feel good for him to be on the sideline watching the SEC Coaching Carousel spinning by with a half dozen coaching changes, so far.


I woke up early one Sunday morning and noticed a sign in our front lawn announcing that our home had been named Garden of the Month by the Twilight Garden Club.

I had lunch with my oldest, Maureen, on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. She had the week off school and Jay and Trinity had gone to Disney with his mom for the week. She showed me her new Quail Farm. A small cage she bought off Amazon and built herself. She had 24 quails of various colorings in it and expects them to be a source of a delicacy she enjoys: quail eggs. I said, "It's nice to have a pet that can say its own name aloud, Bobwhite!"

The beat goes on: both LSU and the Saints have won their last three games in a row. LSU is near the top of the SEC Western Division and the Saints are at the top of their NFC South Division. Both are on a run to a big bowl game. In the Fall hope Spring's eternal.

Speaking of eternal, we lost two long-time members of my club this month, Clive Hardy and Joe Darlak. I will miss them. New Orleans has also lost a favorite son, a singer of world-wide fame since the 1950s, Antoine 'Fats' Domino. I recall one night when I saw him in person. He appeared on a Riverfront Stage playing a large grand piano. He looked like a large canary in a brilliant yellow suit. He must have been in his seventies at the time. As he concluded his set, he was playing thunderous chords on the piano to a heavy beat and with each beat he would slam his belly against the bottom of the keyboard and push the heavy piano forward a few inches. This continued until he completed the number having nudged the huge piano completely into the wings of the stage! This scene is burnt indelibly in my memory of the great Fats Domino, who will always be "Walking to New Orleans."

Speaking of Hope, Del and I attended a Benefit for Café Hope at Timberlane Country Club. Its restaurant is now located in the Clubhouse and has greatly improved the service to members and the public. The food was prepared by celebrity chefs from J. W. Fins and featured a fish version of chicken wings.


The past month of November has brought us real Fall Weather with nights in the 40s and days in the 60s. Football season for most colleges is over, except for Conference Championship. Our local teams are doing great: Saints had an 8-game win streak going and are headed to playoffs. Pelicans beat Thunder and Spurs and look to go deep into March playoffs with four stars passing and shooting: Davis, Cousin, Holiday, and Rondo, among other future stars on the team. A great bowl game is coming up for LSU, and I hope it will be the Sugar Bowl. My high school alma mater, the Hahnville Tigers, are in the Semi-Finals and may be playing for the State Championship in the Superdome. It would be nice to have my college alma mater, the LSU Tigers, to follow them on the same field in the Sugar Bowl. One more sports note: our great LSU shortstop Alex Bregman was instrumental in the Astros' winning the World Series. Someday he'll move from third base to shortstop for them, no doubt.

Hope you had a wonderful November with lots to be thankful for on Thanksgiving. Let us extend our Blessing to include the entire world this year. God Willing, and the River Don't Freeze Over — (just kidding) — whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, whether you'll be enjoying glorious Winter days or warm Summer days,

Remember our earnest wish for the last months of this God-given year of 2017:



To those Good Readers who are puzzled by How the Moon could be Rising In Front of a Mountain, Click on Photo. To see 161021 photo, Click Here. ALSO: if you are puzzled because you No Longer get our Monthly Reminder, you may have Changed Your Email Address without notifying us. NOTIFY US NOW by a simple Click Here!

Here's the Sting:
You will NOT receive a Monthly Reminder unless you have Re-subscribed under your new address to DIGESTWORLD.

If you've already receiving DIGESTWORLD Reminders, ignore this message.

If you're not subscribed, and would like to Subscribe to DIGESTWORLD Reminders to receive one short email a month to inform you of the latest ISSUE, now's a good time. SUBSCRIBE NOW by Clicking Here.

Yes, this message does no good to those who changed their email address without notifying me — but it can alert those of you who are going to change your address.

If you've changed or are planning to change your email address, Click Here to SEND NEW ADDRESS. (Alternate way is to copy into your Browser this URL: )


NOTE: For Internet Explorer Browsers, DIGESTWORLD is best viewed at 100% Zoom and the Window's width sized so that Digest Archives lines are single-spaced, just barely. Adjust Window width so that Mountains almost touch the Archive Numbers, especially if you find some Photos overlapping text.

PHOTO CAPTIONS (CURSOR FLYOVER ISSUE RESOLVED):If you have been enjoying the photos in DIGESTWORLD, but have wondered who or what you were looking at, you will now be able to hold your cursor still over the photo and the photo's description will appear. (Test on Butterfly-Crab Image at Right.) We spend a lot of time writing these photo captions and hope you will read them. All the Archived Issues have been updated to provide descriptions when your cursor rests for a second on a photo. Note that older Reviews have not been updated. If you haven't finished reading text when description disappears, move cursor away and back on photo to finish. We thank you for your patience and hope this pleases you.

Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:

    The silence that accepts merit as the most natural thing in the world is the highest applause.
    — Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Philosopher (1802-1882)

    That which we call sin in others, is experiment for us.
    — Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Philosopher (1802-1882)

    Art is the path of the creator to his work.
    — Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Philosopher (1802-1882)

    Hospitality consists in a little fire, a little food, and an immense quiet.
    — Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Philosopher (1802-1882)

  • New Stuff on Website:
    Below are Bobby's Five Published Books. Click Book Cover to Read.


  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Movies we watched this past month:

    Notes about our movies: Many of the movies we watch are foreign movies with subtitles. After years of watching movies in foreign languages, Arabic, French, Swedish, German, British English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and many other languages, sometimes two or three languages in the same movie, the subtitles have disappeared for us. If the movie is dubbed in English we go for the subtitles instead because we enjoy the live action and sounds of the real voices so much more than the dubbed. If you wonder where we get all these foreign movies from, the answer is simple: NetFlix. For a fixed price a month they mail us DVD movies from our on-line Queue, we watch them, pop them into a pre-paid mailer, and the postman effectively replaces all our gas-consuming and time-consuming trips to Blockbuster. To sign up for NetFlix, simply go to and start adding all your requests for movies into your personal queue. If you've seen some in these movie blurbs, simply copy the name, click open your queue, and paste the name in the Search box on NetFlix and Select Add. Buy some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. You get to see your movies as the Director created them — NOT-edited for TV, in full-screen width, your own choice of subtitles, no commercial interruptions, and all of the original dialogue. Microwave some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. With a plasma TV and Blu-Ray DVD's and a great sound system, you have theater experience without someone next to you talking on a cell phone during a movie plus a Pause button for rest room trips.
    P. S. Ask for Blu-Ray movies from NetFlix, and if it says DVD in your Queue, click and select Blu-Ray version.
    Hits (Watch as soon as you can. A Don't Miss Hit is one you might otherwise have missed along the way.):
    "The Daughter" (2015) Movie based on Ibsen's 'Wild Duck' - the eponymous character is the keystone of the family arch which is falling apart. Story: a man wounds a wild duck and fathers a wild girl who wounds herself. Will the duck and she ever learn to fly?
    "Alias Grace" (2017)
    based on a Margaret Atwood novel, a true story about a woman in prison for murdering two people and telling her life story to psychiatrist. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
    "The Hateful Eight" (2015)
    Quentin Tarantino serves up an ugly feast. Former soldiers and cowboys huddle in a camp during a blizzard in Wyoming. Will they manage to survive the blizzard? Possibly. Each other? Unlikely.
    "To Rome With Love" (2012)
    Woody Allen auditions opera singer in the shower, paparazzi tackle a dweeb, and Alec Baldwin does a Greek chorus role.
    "Mudbound" (2017)
    which showed the effect of WWII experiences on two soldiers when they returned home to their families in rural Mississippi, one to a poor white landowner farmer, and the other to a poor black tenant farmer on the same land.
    "Plymouth Adventure" (1952)
    Spencer Tracy and Van Johnson in this Mayflower biopic with the back-story of how it came about that school teachers never talked about.
    "An Officer and a Gentleman" (1981)
    made Richard Gere famous in his role as a rebellious Navy Air recruit. Like Top Gun without any flying scenes, only fighting ones. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
    "Growing Up Smith" (2017)
    Gung ho immigrant father from India gave his son a common USA name, "Smith", only it was his first name. Cute kid having to survive in two cultures at the same time. Has his fifteen minutes of fame and comes back under his father's iron Namaste.
    "Queen of the Desert" (2017)
    Gertrude Bell follows her heart through the desert of the Middle East and wins the hearts of everyone she meets and helps shape the boundaries of the Arabian lands. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! !
    "Miss Sloane" (2106)
    high paid lobbyist switches sides on issue and turns the table on the Senate Investigation Committee. A DON'T HIT MISS !
    "Dreamland" (2016)
    a piano player plays his way through the schools of hard knocks. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
    "Northern Lights" (2009)
    in Lunacy, Alaska, like Jesse Stone in Paradise, but this movie ends with the new Chief getting married.
    "Solace" (2016)
    just as the movie was getting good the Blu-Ray disc began getting bad.
    "The Spectacular Now" (2013)
    worked through high school, but soon the warm glow of booze wears off in the light of reality. Will Sutter ever grow up past the stage his father remained?
    "Megan Leavey" (2017)
    about a Marine Dog Handler in Iraq who saved countless lives before someone remotely detonated a deep IED and blasted her and her dog Rex. She and Rex survived, but her plans to reunite with Rex after she cooperated were derailed by regulations. She had to light a fire under the brass to get their ass in gear. A DON'T MISS HIT! ! !
    "The Spectacular Now" (2013)
    worked through high school, but soon the warm glow of booze wears off in the light of reality. Will Sutter ever grow up past the stage his father remained?
    "When Harry Met Sally" (1989)
    the first time, she saw him kissing a girl, when Harry met Sally the second time, he saw her kissing a guy. Best line from this movie, "I'll have what she's having." Wonderful rom-com, worth a second or third look. Meg Ryan makes this movie soar! Billy Crystal makes it do loops. The dual phone conversations in bed is a classic! Time for you to meet Harry and Sally! A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! ! !

    Misses (Avoid At All Costs): We attempted to watch these this month, but didn't make it all the way through on most of them. Awhile back when three AAAC horrors hit us in one night, I decided to add a sub-category to "Avoid at All Costs", namely, A DVD STOMPER. These are movies so bad, you don't want anyone else to get stuck watching them, so you want to stomp on the disks. That way, if everyone else who gets burnt by the movie does the same, soon no copies of the awful movie will be extant and the world will be better off.

    "Made" (2001) poorly and almost a DVD stomper.
    "Ghost in the Shell" (2017)
    didn't stand a "Ghost of a Chance" of being a good movie. Sci-Fi CGI substituted for real story and plot development. Watching a naked, neutered Scarlett Johannson as much fun eating cane syrup from the Maple Syrup containers at Crackerbarrel Restaurants, where we no longer stop when on the road.
    "Stagecoach: Texas Jack Story" (2016)
    Whiskey made from Texas-made Apple Jack was the reformed bandit's favorite drink, and how he was called "Texas Jack". Drawn from retirement when he heard his wife had been killed, he had to face the marshal whose eye he had long-ago shot out in battle. A pleasant cowboy story, marred by poor acting and a worse script.

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

    "Closed Circuit" (2013) terrorist bombing led by undercover MI5 operative gets through labyrinthine British court system.
    "Dinner" (2017)
    stars a sibling rivalry among 40-somethings. Good way to spoil a great dinner.
    "Stagecoach: Texas Jack Story" (2016)
    Whiskey made from Texas-made Apple Jack was the reformed bandit's favorite drink, and how he was called "Texas Jack". Drawn from retirement when he heard his wife had been killed, he had to face the marshal whose eye he had long-ago shot out in battle. A pleasant cowboy story, marred by poor acting and a worse script.

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

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

    When Boudreaux and Broussard turned 21 and could drink hard liquor legally for the first time, they went to New Orleans often for parties. One night the party was on DeSaix Street with a long row of houses that looked all alike. They had a good time but were very drunk when they left with a friend.

    On the drive home, Broussard told Boudreaux, "Boo, did you notice the golden toilet in dat house we was at?"

    "Mais non, Cher, Ah only went in the outdoor john by the pool, me."

    Well, the next day Boudreaux noticed that his wallet was gone and he figured it must have fallen out of his pocket at the party. So he and Broussard drove back to DeSaix Street, but sober now, and without any address for the party, they had to walk down the street and knock on each door. The only thing they could remember about the house was the golden john which Boudreaux had sat on that night.

    They went up each house and asked, "Scuse me, do you have a golden john here?" They got a lot of strange looks and shaking of heads, until they reached this one house. The guy listened to Boudreaux's question, then turned back into the house and yelled, "Hey Jack! The guy who crapped in your tuba is here!"

    == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
    5.Handy Hint for December, 2017 from Bobby Jeaux:

    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    Plastic Spoon

    Background: This idea came to me when we flew to England and took the train to Harrogate in 2017 for their Gilbert & Sullivan Festival held each year during the month of August.

    The idea is this: When on a trip carry around a plastic teaspoon. In airports and train stations, or on airliners or trains, they usually serve coffee with tiny straws for stirring your coffee, so it's great to have a teaspoon handy for stirring your coffee. At the Festival, they had great local ice creams in small cups, but cups came with a flat spoonie thing stored in the cap, so a teaspoon was handy for eating the ice cream.

    One Plastic Spoon

    Other options
    When on a long trip on a plane or train, you may wish to remove you shoes and it can be a problem sliding them back on, so having a plastic teaspoon in my shirt pocket gives me a handy shoe horn.

    == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
    6. POETRY by BOBBY from May, 1996:
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
    NOTE: "Palindrome Is An Oxymoron" is a previously unpublished poem written originally on May 7, 1996 and fleshed out into a poem on May 10th and 15th.

    Palindrome Is An Oxymoron

    Palindrome is a one word oxymoron
           because the word "palindrome"
           does not read the same backwards
           and thus "palindrome" contradicts itself.

    Here are some familiar oxymorons: military intelligence, jumbo shrimp, and sad clown.

    Here are some familiar palindromes:

           A man, A plan, A canal, Panama.

            Able was I ere I saw Elba.

            Madam, I'm Adam.

    Here are some of Bobby's newly minted palindromes:

    1. What do you call a Shakespearean actor on a motorcycle?
           A ham, a Yamaha.

    2. What do you call a reminder of the uniqueness of a Nevada city?
           One Reno.

    3. What do you call a man who feels like a Biblical son after returning from the Middle East?
           Non Abel was I ere I saw Lebanon.

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

    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: Learning to See Into the Spiritual World by Rudolf Steiner

    This small book, only 81 pages, is jam-packed with concepts and ideas, so let's cut to the chase.(1)

    [Page 3, 5] You can only learn how things really are if you know how they are when they are not normal.

    Steiner explains that "mental illness" is a very bad term — in German the word is geistesgestört — literally a deranged spirit. He points out that the spirit is healthy in these cases; what happens is that the body is so ill it can not properly use the spirit.

    [Page 7] Strange as it seems, one meets independent thinking today only in the few people who have not been to school much.

    Steiner points out the pervasive effect of the Latin language on our mode of thinking even today. The process of giving everything a label, placing it into a category made Latin very important in science, law, and medicine for thousands of years. Look at the botanical names, the legal terms, and doctor's prescriptions: all in Latin. If one goes to school for a long time, one becomes a Latin thinker, full of ideas about what is right and what is wrong. Not much room for independent thinking in such a person.

    [Page 8] You see, as long as one cannot think for oneself, one can in no way enter the spiritual world.

    Humanity has reached the point where physical thinking with the physical body (in the Latin way) will be replaced by spiritual thinking with the etheric body. One by one in that most physical of sciences, physics, the ultimate particles have in the 20th Century proven to be mere phantoms of energy, not physical at all.

    [Page 11] Concerning his 1893 book, The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, Steiner says: No one can possibly understand this book who does not think independently. From the beginning, page by page, a reader must become accustomed to using his etheric body if he would think the thoughts in this book at all.

    After reading these lectures I came to appreciate the two titles of this book even more. I had preferred The Philosophy of Freedom because so many of the ideas contained within the book resonate with the ideas of Dr. Andrew Joseph Galambos, a pioneer of independent thinking about the concept of freedom. Now I prefer the title, The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, since I have come to understand that spiritual activity necessarily includes freedom and independent thought in its scope.

    Steiner says about this book "it is not the contents . . ., but the most important thing is that independent thinking appeared in the book for the first time." He points out that even though he wrote it in German for a German audience, it might as well been written in Chinese, because he did not use Latin thinking in his German writing, and most of the people of the time had no idea what he was saying. "The etheric body is no Latin scholar," he adds.

    [Page 13] Who has used Latin, only Latin, throughout the centuries? More than anyone, the Church. It is precisely the Church that claims to teach humanity about the spirit that has contributed the most to drive out the spirit.

    Here Steiner points to a striking paradox inside the orthodox! Latin language prevailed across the world in the Roman Catholic Church until Pope John XXIII replaced the Latin Mass with the vernacular of the people. The Latin language is gone from the Mass, but the Latin thinking is still very much around, and not only in the Catholic Church.

    [Page 13] How would the Greeks have described the sacrament of the Eucharist?

    Certainly not in the Latin materialistic way: actual body and actual blood. The whole argument about the true nature of transubstantiation was possible only because of its origin and basis in Latin thinking. No etheric, independent thinker would activate a single brain cell on that debate.

    My editor, Del, always gives me the etheric thinker's point of view. She said I should include an explanation of how the Greeks might have described the Eucharist. She likes my Notes [explanation of poem] better than my poems, and she also likes my explanations better than the quotes from Steiner. So here goes. I am no expert on the Greek language or Greek thought, but I gathered from Steiner that the Greeks would have taken more of an etheric thinker's view of the changing of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. Something like this: "When I consume the sacred bread and wine, my soul experiences uniting with the Sun Spirit of the Christ." The Greeks would have had no need for the argument over whether the bread and wine really changed or not — that argument is physical Latin thinking.

    There are street performers in New Orleans' French Quarter who paint themselves silver and hold a pose so still that one takes them for a statue. That is Latin thinking: materialistic, unmoving. Yet there is a paradox in their art: by standing still, not even twitching a single muscle, the performers are less narrowly tied to their physical bodies than the onlookers on the sidewalk who gaze at them in amusement.

    [Page 30] Just look at all the things and places people run to in order not to be bored. They always want to be amused; but what does that mean, to want to be amused all the time? It means they really want to run away from the spirit.

    Steiner describes an ingenious method of artificially creating boredom. [You thrill-seekers can skip to the next paragraph.] Go to a boring lecture, or merely find yourself inadvertently in one for an hour, then spend the next two hours reviewing in detail everything the lecturer covered. Why do such a thing? Because, Steiner tells us, in the subsequent two hour meditation on the boring lecture, a higher being, a completely spiritual being will emerge behind the lecturer.

    [Page 38] One must get used to feeling pain in one's soul when something is not right, and to finding that something that is correct gives one a spiritual joy.

    This explains why the feeling of joy arises so strong when one discovers a truth. As a young girl told me once, when I asked if she'd like to become a computer programmer, "When I think about getting paid money for just telling a computer 'yes' or 'no', I get joy feels all over."

    [Page 39] You must continually be spitting out what is bad, spiritually, if your spirit is to remain healthy.

    I note that this contradicts what Steiner says on page 5: "The spirit is always healthy." Perhaps he was only talking about in a "mentally deranged" person.

    When Del read the above statement by Steiner, she said, "Don't put it in your mouth in the first place!" I explained to her that Steiner died by being poisoned, which indicates that he did put something in his mouth that was bad. This casts a different light on the two statements.

    Consider that the statement, "The spirit is always healthy" was spoken by Steiner as an etheric thinker, and that the statement on page 39 was spoken by Steiner as a Latin thinker. The latter statement presupposes that you must put something physically into your mouth [Latin thinking] in order to determine if it's bad. It also presupposes that if you don't spit out what's bad, your spirit will become unhealthy. Thus, in these two contradicting statements we get a hint of Steiner's imminent death by poisoning several years later.

    These clips from Steiner's lectures may not nourish you, but they will tantalize you with the redolence of the nutritious goodies awaiting you within the covers of this book. Bon Appétit!


    Footnote 1. A more detailed review of these lectures can be found in the context of the full set of Steiner Lectures from the GA#350 Volume called From Mammoths to Mediums.

    Return to text directly before Footnote 1.


    Read/Print at:

    2.) ARJ2: Emile or On Education by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

    Two hundred years before Jean Piaget did a twenty year longitudinal study of his children, Rousseau did this longitudinal study of an imaginary child. This novel is a story of how Rousseau would have raised such a child placed in his charge. As full-time governor of Emile, Rousseau begins his study, not with the intent of discovering how the boy would grow into manhood, but with the conscious intent of shaping and controlling Emile's maturation.

    The story of Emile, "a savage made to live in cities", is a familiar one. It is the inverse of the story of Robinson Crusoe in which a civilized man is made to live in the wilderness of an island. Interestingly, the story of Robinson Crusoe is the only book that Rousseau allows Emile to read during his early education. He wants Emile to be able to survive in any milieu, be it the wilderness of a deserted island or the wilderness of a populated city. This perennial theme of a wild man coming to the big city appears in Tarzan stories, and most recently in a movie called Crocodile Dundee. An Australian crocodile hunter meets a lady from the big city and later returns with her to the city. Innocent of the wiles and intricacies of city life, Dundee manages to survive quite well as a modern day Emile, Rousseau's "noble savage", transplanted to the city.

    Rousseau paints us a portrait of Emile, but it is not the portrait of a finished Emile, but rather a work in progress, a moving picture of Emile's life in five books from birth to childhood. Each book begins with a frontispiece that presages the course of Emile's education in the coming section. Book I has an engraving of Achilles's mother dipping him as a baby into the river Styx to protect him. It is Rousseau's intent to dip Emile into the cold realities of nature so that he may invulnerable to the harshness of nature thereafter. Book II begins with an engraving of Chiron's training of Achilles as a youth in running.

    This signals Rousseau's intent to focus the early youth of Emile on his physical development. Book III shows Hermes engraving elements of his science on columns of a temple to preserve his teachings in case of a flood. Book IV has Orpheus teaching men the worship of gods. It is in this Book that Rousseau undertakes Emile's education on religion via the "Profession of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar." The frontispiece of Book V has Circe giving herself to Ulysses, a natural man that she is not able to transform. This leads us into the final book where Emile is to fall in love with Sophie, and Rousseau is to complete Emile's education.

    In creating this movie of Emile, Rousseau is the screen writer, the director, the shaper, the sculptor, the author, the creator, and the educator of the key character Emile. And yet, Rousseau does not teach Emile — he arranges for things to happen to Emile so as to draw out of Emile the best qualities that will suit Emile as a man, in Rousseau's eyes. In doing so, Rousseau goes to the root of education — which comes from the Latin roots, e ducere, which means to draw out from. Rousseau arranges with Emile's parents to become the full-time governor of their son when he is a small child. As Emile grows Rousseau arranges experiences for Emile so that his educational plan is achieved.

    Always Rousseau prefers the cold hard rigors of nature to the soft, easy ways of civilization for Emile. The goddess Thetis dips baby Achilles into the cold waters of the Styx holding him by his ankle. He is thus invulnerable every place touched by the harsh waters of the river of Hades, and vulnerable on in the spot when his mother's soft hands shielded him from harshness. The soft ways of mothers Rousseau considers to be cruel:

    [page 47] Thetis, to make her son invulnerable, plunged him, according to the fable, in the water of the Styx. This allegory is a lovely one, and it is clear. The cruel mothers of whom I speak do otherwise: by dint of plunging their children in softness, they prepare them for suffering; they open their pores to ills of every sort to which they will not fail to be prey when grown.

    [page 129-130] People raised too delicately no longer find sleep elsewhere than on down; people accustomed to sleep on boards find it everywhere. There is no hard bed for him who falls asleep as soon as he lies down.

    To avoid such soft, easy ways, Rousseau appoints himself Emile's governor, which sounds strange to modern ears that are only accustomed to the female form of the noun governess. His description of a governor rings true to the same ears, especially if it brings to mind a former governor of our home state:

    [page 49] We spend a lot of time trying to figure out the qualities of a good governor. The first quality I would exact of him, and this one alone presupposes many others, is that he not be a man for sale.

    Rousseau has little use for medicine in his raising of Emile, depending on the natural healthiness of a life lived close to nature:

    [page 55] The only useful part of medicine is hygiene. And hygiene is itself less a science than a virtue. Temperance and work are the two true doctors of man. Work sharpens his appetite, and temperance prevents him from abusing it.

    Rousseau would also consider temperance to be a virtue since his definition of virtue is "good with merit" — that is, a good that one receives without earning it is no virtue. The very act of holding back, as implied in temperance, is the essence of what he means by virtue.

    [page 444] The word virtue comes from strength. Strength is the foundation of all virtue. Virtue belongs only to a being that is weak by nature and strong by will. It is in this that the merit of the just man consists; and although we call God good, we do not call Him virtuous, because it requires no effort for Him to do good.

    Throughout his role as governor, Rousseau demonstrates virtue by denying himself and Emile the usual comforts of society. A horse is preferable to a carriage and walking to a horse. Thus is Emile allowed to experience the world in his first education, which given directly to him by nature. Emile learns nature with his hands, his senses, not from a book on biology. He feels the bumpy warts on the toad that would else appear as flat designs in the illustration in a book.

    Nature, Rousseau argues, is the source of the first of the three educations of man, and the one that we have the least control over. Man's second education comes from things, and the things of the world we have more control over. Rousseau as Emile's governor controls the things, the man-made things that Emile encounters. Always he prefers to allow Emile to learn to build a thing for himself rather than to utilize a thing made by someone else, so that Emile may live and prosper independently of the things that are available ready-made. The third education comes from man, and this is one that the governor is the master of, and yet, as Rousseau laments, "Who can hope entirely to direct the speeches and the deeds of all those surrounding the child?"

    [page 63] When during the farewell of Andromach and Hector, the little Astyanax, frightened by the plume waving on his father's helmet, fails to recognize him, flings himself on his nurse's bosom, and extracts from his mother a smile mingled with tears . . .

    Reading this passage brought to mind a personal experience and helped me to better understand something about our dog. Since we got our schnauzer I've noticed that when I got excited, he would start barking and jumping as if a stranger were around. Could his reaction be similar to that of Astyanax above? Perhaps our schnauzer reacts to my astral body rising up out of me [like the plume on Hector's helmet], causing him not to recognize me and requiring me to reassure him that it's really me. This alarm response also happens every time my wife and I caress in his presence. Perhaps Astyanax, a very young child, still has embedded memories of a previous lifetime, when seeing the astral body of an angered or otherwise excited man projecting from his head was still a normal human capability.

    Thus, to see the plume on his father's helmet would have reminded him of such a projection and frightened him. Perhaps warriors in fierce battles project their astral bodies out of themselves that way and from our ancient memories of that, we have added plumes to our helmets to create the image of a fierce warrior in every soldier. Thus a body of soldiers, plumes waving in the breeze, would have given the appearance of a troop of fierce and angry warriors, and this alone would have brought opposing troops to a paralyzing fear and made them easier to conquer. The plumes that serve a decorative function today once had a serious role in warfare. In modern day warfare one can go back to the German helmets of World War I that had the spike sticking out the top of them. On the American continent the native American headdresses must have served a similar function as a colorful representation of the astral body of a fierce warrior going into battle.

    Fighting always comes from weaklings, says Rousseau: the urge to fight finds its origin in weakness not in strength. When I worked at a nuclear power plant most of our managers came from the nuclear navy. Navy runts or little Napoleons, we called them. They were uniformly short and nasty. I'm beginning to understand that their fierce natures stemmed from the perceived weakness of their short stature.

    Children can only take to heart those lessons given, not by preaching, but by example, and the most important lesson of all is "Do No Harm."

    [page 104] The only lesson of morality appropriate to childhood, and the most important for every age, is never to harm anyone. The very precept of doing good, if it is not subordinated to this one, is dangerous, false, and contradictory.

    Is your child quiet or sullen at times, especially when in the midst of a crowd of its more animated peers? Keep in mind that Rousseau uses "stupid" in the sense of slow to respond as you read his advice about such a child:

    [page 106] From giddy children come vulgar men. I know of no observation more universal and more certain than this one. Nothing is more difficult in respect of childhood than to distinguish real stupidity from that merely apparent and deceptive stupidity which is the presage of strong souls. It seems strange at first that the two extremes should have such similar signs.

    Nevertheless, it is properly so; for at an age when man as yet has nothing that is truly an idea, the entire difference between one who has genius and one who does not is that the latter accepts only false ideas, and the former, finding only such, accepts none. Thus the genius resembles the stupid child in that the latter is capable of nothing while nothing is suitable for the former.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Rousseau clearly delineates in the following passage that words may take on different meanings in different contexts because it is the idea that is being expressed that determines the meaning of the word, and not vice versa. Instead, Rousseau says that each place a word is used, the meaning of the word is to be derived from the words surrounding it in the sentence, in effect, an in situ definition.

    [page 108] I have a hundred times in writing made the reflection that it is impossible in a long work always to give the same meanings to the same words. There is no language rich enough to furnish as many terms, turns and phrases as our ideas can have modifications. The method of defining all the terms and constantly substituting the definition in the place of the defined is fine but impracticable, for how can a circle be avoided? Definitions could be good if words were not used to make them.

    In spite of that, I am persuaded that one can be clear, even in the poverty of our language, not by always giving the same meanings to the same words, but by arranging it so that as often as each word is used, the meaning given it be sufficiently determined by the ideas related to it and that each period where the word is found serves it, so to speak, as a definition. One time I say children are incapable of reasoning; another time I make them reason quite keenly. I do not believe that with that I contradict myself in my ideas; but I cannot gainsay [deny] that I often contradict myself in my expressions.

    Herbert Spencer asked "What knowledge is the most worthy? How do we teach it and how do we measure it?" In Book II Rousseau explains that "fables can instruct men, but the naked truth has to be told to children. When one starts covering the truth with a veil, they no longer make the effort to lift it." Let us look at how we adults might be instructed by La Fontaine's fable of the Fox and the Crow on page 115. The Fox flatters the Crow into singing, and when the cheese falls from the Crow's mouth, the Fox eats it. Cruel, one might think, but La Fontaine is not done yet, for the Fox has a lesson for the Crow. "My good man, learn that every flatterer lives at the expense of the one who listens to him." Some lessons are more expensive than others — this one only cost a piece of cheese. Rousseau says that children will make fun of the Crow, but like the Fox. "They will always take the advantageous role." If the fable contains a lion, they will be the lion. If a gnat were to humble the lion, however, they will be the gnat.

    According to Rousseau, man has three kinds of voice: speaking, singing, and passionate. A child may seem to speak as we do, but does not know how to blend inflections into the singing and passionate voices. This indicates to me that there are doyles [See ARJ: The Emotional Brain.] of intention, doyles of will, that in a young child are not stored, or if stored, are not yet activated during speaking. These physical body states modulate the voice according to the will or intention of the speaker and communicate that will or intention to us. When a recruit says, "SIR, YES, SIR!" to his drill sergeant in boot camp, there is no doubt that his will is activated. A young child may yell, but only from exuberance, never from will or intent.

    The absence of a fully modulated voice with accentuations and inflections is one signal that distinguishes autistic persons from non-autistic persons. [See ARJ: Thinking in Pictures and Emergence.] With the autistic's precocious onset of cognitive memory capabilities, the doyles of intent and will are never stored for later recall during speaking, and the autistic child is left with an often too loud, unmodulated voice for the remainder of its life. Yet I have no doubt of the presence of will and intent in the autistic person — only the outward signs of will and intent are missing in their inflection, modulation, and tone. It is the non-autistic that must learn to seek other signs of will and intent in these advanced members of the human race from now on.

    [page 152] Countless things are indifferent to touch, to hearing, to sight. But there is almost nothing indifferent to taste. What is more, the activity of this sense is entirely physical and material; it is the only one which says nothing to the imagination, or at least it is the one into whose sensations the imagination enters least, whereas imitation and imagination often mix something moral with the impression of all the others.

    This conclusion by Rousseau I must disagree with. My study of food dislikes indicates that they stem from doyles that are fired off when the taste or the thought of the taste occurs. What one experiences as a dislike for a certain food disappears as soon as one traces and erases the doyle associated with the food. What may be difficult to convince the reader with words becomes very easy when the reader traces and removes a doyle and finds the formerly abominable taste of liver or sauerkraut becomes a pleasurable sensation, as has happened to me. [See: Speed Trace. ]

    Here's what Rousseau says about smells:

    [page 157] Smell must not be very active in the first age, when imagination, as yet animated by few passions, is hardly susceptible to emotion, and when we do not have enough experience to foresee with one sense what is promised to it by another sense.

    What Rousseau has right is that in the first age, specifically under five years old as shown by the nascent science of doyletics, children are as yet animated by few passions or emotions. [See ARJ: The Emotions — The Outline of a Theory by Jean-Paul Sartre.] It is during this first age that passions and emotions are stored as doyles or physical body states in the child, to be recapitulated later upon the appropriate stimulus, which might be a smell. It is not the sense of smell that is inactive, but the absence of stored doyles that makes it appear so. When, as a child, I was given castor oil mixed in honey to make it more acceptable, the result was to make honey distasteful to me as an adult. The physical body states of feeling ill became attached to the taste of honey, so that, as an adult, I avoided honey thinking that I didn't like its taste.

    In this next passage, Rousseau stumbles upon the key error that humankind makes in its ignoring the evolution of consciousness, up until now. My suggestion is to read it replacing "children" with "early humanity".

    [page 170] We never know how to put ourselves in the place of children; we do not enter into their ideas; we lend them ours, and, always following our own reasonings, with chains of truths we heap up only follies and error in their heads.

    In this next passage, one can imagine that Rousseau would be amazed to find that the answer to his question today is, "Yes, the Internet."

    [page 184] Is there no means of bringing together so many lessons scattered in so many books, of joining them in a common object which is easy to see and interesting to follow and can serve as a stimulant even at this age?

    In this quote, he tells us graphically of the plight of the beginning artist in any field: one must begin as a beggar. How true even today.

    [page 196] But you have to make your talent known. Do you think you can just start out by showing a work at the Salon? Oh, that is not the way it goes! You have to belong to the Academy. You even have to have pull in it in order to obtain some obscure place in a corner. Leave your ruler and your brush, I tell you. Take a cab and run from door to door. It is thus that celebrity is acquired.

    In this next passage, I'm reminded of the well-meaning folks who say proudly, "We never watch TV at our house!"

    [page 201] Let us be simple in doing good. Let us not go and reproduce vanity by our efforts to combat it. To pride oneself on having conquered prejudices is to be subjected to them.

    Rousseau here warns us of the danger of a "free lunch" — I would say it this way, "Something that is free is worth less than what I paid for it."

    [page 234] Ingratitude would be rarer if usurious benefactions were less common.

    When the fisherman puts a lure in the water, the fish comes and stays around it without distrust. But when caught by the hook hidden under the bait, it feels the line being pulled back and tries to flee. Is the fisherman the benefactor, and is the fish ungrateful?

    Have you ever known someone who does what seems to be a favor for you and suddenly you discover that there is a hidden hook that is yanking you about against your will? Rousseau sums it all up for us thus: "Never did a true benefaction produce an ingrate."

    Why is the news always full of things that are going wrong? Apparently it was much the same in Rousseau's day for he says, "We have a precise history of peoples who are destroying themselves; what we lack is the history of peoples who are thriving."

    In this next passage Rousseau sets the stage for the Savoyard Vicar to give his profession of faith to a young refugee from society. Notice how he calls up a spiritual manifestation of the sun-washed Alps "in order to set aside low thoughts in our souls and lift us to divine contemplation." It is the voice of the young man speaking.

    [page 266] It was summer. We got up at daybreak. He took me outside of the city on a high hill beneath which ran the Po, whose course was seen along the fertile banks it washes. In the distance the immense chain of the Alps crowned the landscape. The rays of the rising sun already grazed the plains and, projecting on the fields long shadows of the trees, the vineyards, and the houses, enriched with countless irregularities of light the most beautiful scene which can strike the human eye. One would have said that nature displayed all its magnificence to our eyes in order to present them with the text for conversation.

    By such words, one suspects that Rousseau believes in a divine spiritual being. He seems to further substantiate that when he says at one point that, "Man is therefore free in his actions and as such is animated by an immaterial substance." And in the following telling argument, he has the good Vicar say:

    [page 285] That a being which I cannot conceive of gives existence to other beings is only obscure and incomprehensible; but that being and nothingness turn themselves into one another on their own is a palpable contradiction, a clear absurdity.

    Later the Vicar tells the young man how to tell a good man from a wicked one.

    [page 292] The difference is that the good man orders himself in relation to the whole, and the wicked one orders the whole in relation to himself. The latter makes himself the center of all things; the former measures his radius and keeps to the circumference. Then he is ordered in relation to the common center, which is God, and in relation to all the concentric circles, which are the creatures.

    Does the Vicar exhort the young lad to accept all that he has told him in his profession of faith? No, rather, he says to him:

    [page 295] I do not know whether I am in error. It is difficult in discussion not to adopt an assertive tone sometimes. But remember that all my assertions here are only reasons for doubt. Seek the truth yourself.

    Always Rousseau would have Emile follow the truth that grows within himself rather than the rules imposed from without by society, else by having been forced to follow blindly the rules of society all his life, he will begin outwardly to rebel from them and go forth rudderless into life. He offers him advice about his peers that would be a grand caveat for teenagers of any period of time:

    [page 331-332] But why do these young people want to persuade you? It is because they want to seduce you. They do not love you. They take no interest in you. Their whole motive is a secret spite at seeing that you are better than they are. They want to bring you down to their low level, and they reproach you for letting yourself be governed only in order to govern you themselves. . . All they have done is to imitate other giddy fellows, just as they want to be imitated in their turn. To set themselves above the alleged prejudices of their fathers, they enslave themselves to those of their comrades. I do not see what they gain by that . . .

    What I see that they gain by setting themselves above the prejudices of their fathers is that they destroy the sameness, the kitsch, of their father's generation, and, in so doing, they release exciting possibilities for their own nascent generation. This is the art of the teenager in this society, and like all art, all real art, it is the process of destruction of sameness.[See my essay: Art Is the Process of Destruction.]

    It is not a process that is revered or understood until many years have passed, until the ugliness of its first artworks have been superseded by the refinements of the creations of those artisans who began with the distinct advantage of having a model to follow. This was pointed out by Picasso to someone who commented on how crude his early cubist paintings looked compared to other cubist painters who came after him.

    In Emile, I recognize many attributes that I find in myself and such attributes that I have at times been faulted by others for exhibiting. Here is a brief collection of Emile's attributes to that point:

    [page 336] He does not like to see anyone suffer. He will not offer his place to someone else out of affectation, but he will gladly yield it out of goodness if he sees that someone else is forgotten and judges that the man is mortified by this neglect.

    Unable to give them the taste for things that are really good, he leaves them with the things that are good according to popular opinion, with which they are contented.

    He speaks little because he hardly cares whether any attention is paid to him. For the same reason he says only useful things; otherwise, who would engage him in conversation? Emile is too well informed ever to be talkative. . . Generally people who know little speak a great deal, and people who know a great deal speak little.

    Far from shocking others, Emile is quite willing to conform to their ways — not to appear knowledgeable about social practice or to affect the airs of an elegant man; but, on the contrary, he does so for fear of being singled out, in order to avoid being noticed. And he is never more at ease than when no attention is paid to him.

    In the lobby of the Monteleone Hotel is my grandfather clock (See Photo Above), and what a clock it is, over ten feet tall and covered in exquisite carvings of black walnut. It is my most wonderful possession because it comes with an entire hotel devoted to its preservation. The owner of the hotel has said that its price is twelve million dollars, because to buy it, one would have to buy the entire hotel. They charge me nothing for the upkeep of the clock and allow me to look at it as much as I want whenever I visit the lobby of the hotel. This way of owning something I came up with years ago, and here in Rousseau, I find a description of the process.

    [page 354] I am richer now with the property of others than I shall ever be with my own — I lay hold of all that suits me in my vicinity. There is no conqueror more determined than I am. I usurp even from princes. I make myself at home on any open pieces of land that please me. I give them names. I make one my park, another my terrace, and so I am their master. From then on, I walk about on them with impunity. I return often to maintain possession. By dint of walking on them, I use their soil as much as I want; and I shall never be persuaded that the man who holds the title to the property I appropriate draws more use from the money it yields for him, than I draw from his land.

    In Book V Rousseau paints a portrait of Sophie as assiduously as he painted Emile. He says of her that, "She ought to reign in the home as a minister does in a state — by getting herself commanded to do what she wants to do."

    This is a marvelous book, one that should be required reading for all new parents. Surely it wouldn't take much more time than the natural childbirth classes for pregnancies that usually end up with a last minute saddle-block anesthetic anyway. Here, to end this review I have assembled a miscellany of Rousseau quotes that didn't fit anywhere else, but are too delicious to hide from the eyes of those readers, who like mothers-to-be in the throes of labor, would opt for anything that permits an escape from undergoing the full experience of childbirth, or the reading of Emile.

    The letter kills, and the spirit enlivens.

    In order to subject fortune and things to yourself, begin by making yourself independent of them. To reign by opinion, begin by reigning over it.

    In giving himself the need to hurt me, this man has made his fate dependent on mine.

    Volenti nihil difficile. [Nothing is difficult to him who wills.]

    The most unfortunate effect of formal politeness is to teach the art of getting along without the virtues it imitates.

    If you have a spark of genius, go and spend a year in Paris. Soon you will be all that you can be, or you will never be anything.

    Ubi bene, ibi patria. [Where there is good, there is the land I am father of.]

    A person is never ridiculous except when he follows fixed practices.

    The small fatherland which is the heart.

    Freedom is found in no form of government; it is in the heart of the free man. He takes it with him everywhere.

    If there is happiness on earth, it must be sought in the abode where we live.

    Read/Print at:

    3.) ARJ2: Christ and the Spiritual World and the Holy Grail by Rudolf Steiner

    How did people around the time of Mystery of Golgotha understand the Christ Being? What were the four sacrifices of Christ? How are we to understand the Sybils? These are the questions to which Steiner undertakes to give us answers, ones we can understand in the corresponding first three lectures, but only with great study.

    Something happened to human consciousness during the 350 year period in the middle of which the Mystery of Golgotha occurred. People sought to understand the secrets and riddles of the world in a new way, a way which came down from the Greek culture as intellectual form of understanding. But the new keys of intellectual thought did not open the locks to the secrets of existence. We learned a lot about nature, mathematics, and physical things, but the riddles of life remained a deep mystery with which intellectual thinkers struggled mightily.

    [page 12] For we then come to recognize that the struggle was in vain; that the Mystery of Golgotha appeared to human understanding as though it were dispersed through far-distant spiritual worlds and would not unveil itself.

    One needs to raise oneself above two spiritual worlds, the Astral and lower Devachanic, into the Higher Devachanic to experience what penetrates our physical world from the Mystery of Golgotha. It does us no good to pore deeply into the writings of others expressing their ideas and thoughts about this great mystery of existence. Only in that highest world can one find the "fountain-head", "the life of thought". (Page 16)

    [page 16, 17] For clairvoyant souls in our time it could be a powerful experience to immerse themselves, alone with their thinking, in the time when thought underwent its deepening; to shut out everything else, including knowledge of the Mystery of Golgotha, and to reflect how the thought-content on which we still nourish ourselves came forth in the Greco-Roman world.
           Then one should turn one's gaze to other worlds and feel rising over the Devachanic world a star that belongs to a higher spiritual world; the star from which rays out the power that makes itself felt in the thought-world of Greco-Roman antiquity. Then one feels oneself here on Earth, but carried away from the world of to-day and plunged into the Greco-Roman world, with its influence spreading out over other regions at that time, before the Mystery of Golgotha. But as soon as one lets the spiritual world make its impression on one, there appears again, shining over Devachan, the star (I speak symbolically), or the spiritual Being of whom one says to oneself: yes, the experience of the isolation of thought, and of the possibility of thought having undergone such a deepening at the beginning of our era — this is a consequence of the rays that shine out from this star in the higher spiritual world.

    The star he refers to is the Christ Being. It was the appearance of this star shining from the third spiritual world that inspired the spiritual giants of the time to create a system of knowledge known today as Gnosis, which means a "direct knowledge". Unfortunately Gnosis was considered heretical by the early church fathers and their texts were expunged or cleansed(1) in all the extant writings at the time. Learning about Gnosis from writings today is fraught with problems. Steiner was often accused of bringing a weak form of Gnosis in his spiritual science. But Steiner does not rely on any of these texts. He does recognize that the Gnostics understood the point he was making about the great spiritual Being.

    Following the Gnostics' time, a materialistic nature infused the thoughts of writers who came up with various explanations, such as: the beginning of our cosmos was a condensation of some diffuse nebula.(2) These thoughts and ideas filled Gnostic writings and led them far astray from any objective reality. Steiner needed to explain this to make this next statement.

    [page 18] Above all we can say that the Gnostics had a feeling for what I have just described; that for the causes of what happened in that past epoch one must look to worlds lying infinitely far away in the background. This awareness was passed onto others, and if we are not superficial we can, if we will, see it glimmering through what we may call the theology of Paul, and in many other manifestations also.

    This devolution of the Gnostic texts has turned the Gnostic world of spirit-first upside-down into a material-first reality. One can not understand Gnosis from most of the extant texts.

    [page 19, 20] That is why it is so difficult to enter into the thoughts of the Gnosis. For what the Gnosis places at the beginning of the world carries no suggestion of anything at all material. Anyone thoroughly attuned to modern education will perhaps be unable to restrain a slight smile if he invited to think in the sense of the Gnosis that the world in which he finds himself, the world he explains so beautifully with his Darwinism, bears no relation to a true picture of how the world began.

    This is an example of why, in reading Rudolf Steiner's works and lectures, you need to know all about it before you start!(3) It's the only way to understand the "true picture of how the world began". To the Gnostics the world began as a divine Father and Silence which evolved into some thirty great Beings or Worlds called the "Aeon." Steiner makes it clear that he is not teaching Gnosis in this passage:

    [page 21] We will disregard for a while what we have ourselves said about the world in the sense of the early twentieth century. What I am now telling you must not be taken as offering a convincing world-picture. In the anthroposophy of the twentieth century we have naturally to get beyond the Gnosis, but just now we want to sink ourselves into it.

    How might a Gnostic respond to our Darwin type of evolution, based as it is on matter and energy?

    [page 26] Yes, if a Gnostic, with his soul born out of the Gnosis, were to stand before you, he might also take the liberty of expressing his outlook, somewhat like this: "I understand very well how you have become so proud and arrogant, with your ideas of evolution and energy, but this is because your thinking has become so crude and simple and primitive that you are satisfied with your nebulae and your entirely abstract concepts. You say the words 'evolution' and 'energy' and think you have got something, but you are blind to the finer spiritual life that seeks its way up into that which rises through thirty stages above anything you have."

    No materialist scientists today would take kindly to their way of thinking being called, "crude, simple, and primitive", would they? But there was truth in Gnosis, even if it not useful to us today as anthroposophists, who accept that one occult experience, the star which shines through three levels of spiritual worlds to us.

    [page 27] It is not my wish that you should treat our considerations to-day as offering an explanation of anything. The more you feel that what I have told you is not an explanation; the more you feel that I have put before you contradiction after contradiction and have shown you only one occult experience, the perception of the star, the better will you have understood me for to-day.
           I would wish you to see clearly that at the beginning of our era there appeared in the world something which influenced human understanding and was yet far, far from being understood; I would like you to feel that the period at the beginning of our era was a giant riddle.

    There it is: a giant riddle, an Unanswered Question, that Steiner leaves for us to ponder as we enter Lecture 2, in which he gives us an answer to the riddle of the Three Magi in the Matthew account of the birth of Jesus. Why were there three of them and what was the meaning of the three gifts they brought? If the holy Rishis of ancient India, the first cultural epoch, had to come to encounter the Logos, they would have brought an offering of frankincense, "symbolizing a recognition of the Divine that works in the realms of humanity." (Page 33) If a King of Zarathustra's time in old Persia, the second cultural epoch, had come to adore the arrival of the great Sun-spirit, they would have brought a gift of shining gold. And a Wise Man in Egypto-Chaldean time, the third cultural epoch, would have brought an offering of myrrh.

    [page 33, 34] It would have been understood that a Star from spiritual heights had appeared and had been born in a human being. This divine-spiritual line of descent from spheres beyond the earthly would have been clearly grasped; and myrrh would have been brought as an offering. And if we enter into the souls of those who figure in the Bible as the three Magi, who come from the East and are the guardians of the treasures of wisdom derived from the three preceding culture-epochs, we find the Bible itself indicating that a certain understanding was present, since these three Magi do at least appear at the birth of the Jesus-child.

    Does this not suggest that the Bible has encoded for us the reality of the three cultural epochs preceding the birth of Christ? Each of these three epochs had wise men who understood the reality of Christ, and yet Christ was to appear in human form during the fourth cultural epoch, the one least suited to understand His appearance.

    [page 35] And when we look at all the attempts that were made in subsequent centuries to understand the nature of Christ Jesus, we find endless theological wrangling; and finally in the Middle Ages a sharp distinction is drawn between knowledge and faith — which implies a complete abandonment of any knowledge about the being of Christ Jesus . . . not to speak of modern times, which up to the present have remained powerless in face of this manifestation.

    Steiner admits on page 36 to having much difficulty solving his giant riddle, but shares the role that the Sibyls played in his search. I had encountered the Sibyls once before in my studies of his work, in his lectures on Approaching the Mystery of Golgotha. It was a Sibyl whose advice led to the defeat of Maxentius, allowing Constantine to conquer Rome. We hear the Sibyl influence in the Dies Irae, a famous hymn which translates to, "Day of Wrath, O Day which leads this World-Age into destruction, according to the witness of David and of the Sibyl." (From footnote on Page 38) These Sibyls were so well-known and respected that Michelangelo painted them among the great prophets of the Bible in Sistine Chapel.

    Rome converted to Christianity after the Sibyl led Constantine to victory by the ambiguous message she gave Maxentius, "You will defeat the greatest enemy of Rome if you take your troops outside the walls." The greatest enemy was himself.

    [page 38, 39] Only someone dominated by present-day rationalistic ideas can overlook the far-reaching influence of Sibyllism on the world in which Christianity grew up. As I have often said, the history we are given to read is in many respects a fable convenue (4), especially where anything of a spiritual nature is concerned. Until quite recent centuries the ideas of all classes of people were influenced much more widely than is generally believed by what came from the Sibyls. Sibyllism is a remarkable, enigmatic phenomenon, occurring as it did in the fourth post-Atlantean epoch.

    Michelangelo certainly respected the influence of the Sibyls when he included so many of them in his Sistine paintings, carefully arranged between the Prophets as if each were of equal significance.

    [page 39] We have indeed an important work of art which points to the traditions concerning the significance of Sibyllism. Perhaps we do not always look at this work with an awareness of its significance in this respect, but the significance exists and should give occasion for reflection. I mean the great paintings in the Sistine Chapel, where Michelangelo depicted not only the development of Earth and Humanity, but also the Prophets and the Sibyls. In looking at these paintings we ought to notice the way in which Michelangelo portrays the Sibyls, and particularly how he contrasts them with the Prophets.

    The one of the Prophet Daniel shows a pose familiar to me: he is writing something with his right hand while holding open a book with his left hand. In my work of writing detailed reviews, especially of a Steiner text (as I am doing right now), I often write with my hands on a keyboard with the book I'm reviewing open at my left side.

    [page 40] In this wonderful work of art we see first the portrayal of the Prophets — Zechariah, Joel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Jeremiah, Jonah, and ranged with them are the Sibyls — the Persian, Delphic, Erythrean, Libyan and Cumaean Sibyls. Almost all the Prophets, we find, have to a greater or lesser degree something of the character which strikes us immediately in Jeremiah and comes out with particular significance in Zechariah; they are deeply reflective men, for the most part absorbed in books or something similar, quietly taking into well-ordered minds whatever it is they are studying.

    In the countenances of these Prophets we encounter the calmness of their souls. Daniel looks like a slight exception, but only an apparent one. He stands before a book which is supported on the back of a boy; he has in his hand something to write with, in order to write down in another book what he is reading. Here there is a slight effect of transition from reading the world-secrets to writing them down; while the other Prophets remain in meditation, calm and relaxed in soul, entirely devoted to the world-secrets. In gazing at them we see — and this must be kept firmly in mind — that they are all absorbed in super-earthly things; their souls are at rest in the spiritual and they are seeking to fathom the emergence of humanity from out of the spiritual.

    Steiner seems particularly impressed with the Erythrean Sibyl. The image seems to portray someone doing the same work as Steiner did in his lifetime: bringing out of his soul forces a prophetic message.

    [page 41] Then we turn to the Erythrean Sibyl; we see how she is connected with everything that can accrue to man from the elemental secrets of the Earth. Above her head is a lamp; a naked boy is lighting the lamp with a torch. How could the Intention of the painting be more clearly expressed? Here is human passion kindling out of the unconscious soul-forces the message that is to be instilled with all the power of prophecy into mankind.

    While the Prophets are portrayed in deep contemplation, the Sibyls are portrayed as tied to the moment and the elements of the Earth. Take the Delphic Sibyl as Steiner describes her, who represents the airy element of the Greek oracle.

    [page 41, 42] The Prophets are devoted in their souls to the primal eternity of the spirit; the Sibyls are carried away by the earthly, in so far as the earthly reveals the psychic-spiritual. The Delphic Sibyl shows this particularly clearly; we see how her hair is even blown to one side by a gust of wind, and the same wind catches her blue veil, so that she has the air element to thank for what she imparts. In this gust of wind we see pictured what the Earth wished to reveal through the lips of this Sibyl, with forcibly persuasive power.

    How could the ancient Indian Rishis have understood the Christ Being? They had none of the thoughts and ideas of the later Greeks like Plato and Aristotle. It could only have come to them as inspirations via their astral bodies, essentially a gift from the spiritual world.

    [page 43] Not as ideas that had been worked out, somewhat as the ideas of Plato and Aristotle were worked out, but as inspirations, as something that stood before them with the full power of concrete inspirations. Their astral bodies were laid hold of by that which streamed into them from the great Universe, and out of this working of the Cosmos on their astral bodies came the concepts which could have conjured up before their souls the Being of Christ Jesus.

    Later in Plato's time, ideas and concepts came from the spiritual world through the medium of thoughts which were laid hold of and expounded via the Ego instead of the astral body. This new ability existed harmoniously alongside the older chaotic prophecies of the Sibyls which offered only warped views of the spiritual world. The Ego was waxing as a stronger influence and the astral body was waning.

    [page 44] And so two quite different developments can be traced. On the one hand there was the world of concepts, let us say of Plato and Aristotle: a world of ideas which could be called the most attenuated form of the spiritual world, a world grasped and explored directly by the Ego and no longer experienced through the astral body.

    So, as my old friend Bagley used to ask after some long discussion about software design, "What does all this mean?" It meant that humankind was being readied for the most significant event in the history of the world, the Mystery of Golgotha, when the great Christ Being completed His journey and filled the Earth aura with His Spirit. Lacking this the Sibylline forces would have wreaked havoc upon humankind by maintaining their forces right up to the present time. This did not happen.

    [page 46, 47] And if we ask why this has not happened, and who has brought it about that the force so apparent in the Sibyls has gradually declined, then we must answer: the Christ, who through the Mystery of Golgotha infused the Earth's aura with His Being; thus He destroyed the Sibylline force in the souls of men and has driven it away.
            And so on the ground of Spiritual Science we observe the remarkable fact that men with their wisdom have not understood much about the Christ Impulse: their concepts and ideas have turned out to be virtually powerless in this respect. But the essential thing is not that the Christ Impulse came into the world primarily as a teaching. The essential thing is the character of the facts, the direct impulse that flowed from the Mystery of Golgotha. And this we must look for not only in what is taught or understood, but in what is accomplished for human souls. And one of these deeds, the struggle waged by Christ, who had permeated the Earth-aura, against Sibyllism — it is this deed that I wished to bring before you to-day.

    Steiner includes Paul as a fifth writer of the Gospels, one who indicated how the Christ won the battle against the Sibyls. Even though Paul couldn't find the exact words to express what was going on with this battle, somehow his message came through between his words. Paul's words sounded out notes of the Prophets of old and the words of Sibyls spoken out from the elements of the Earth.

    [page 48, 49] With Paul it always seems that there is much more between his words than one gets from simply reading them. It is as though the Damascus vision had come to expression through him; as though there penetrated into humanity through him a note which was opposed to the prophetic note of the Sibyls; as though through him there rang out again the note of the old Prophets whom Michelangelo has represented so beautifully in his paintings.

    As I have said, the Sibyls had something that came from the elementals of the Earth; something that could not have been there if the elemental spirits of the Earth had not spoken to them. With Paul there was something similar, something which external scholarship has noted in a remarkable but quite exoteric way; and this, if one examines it from the standpoint of Spiritual Science, really leaves one standing before a world of amazement.

    One of amazing things about Paul was that the regions he traveled to and brought the message, the Good News of Christ, were all regions in which olive trees grew. I had encountered this observation elsewhere in Steiner, but here he offers an explanation for this otherwise strange situation. One must understand the power of elementals of the Earth and how it flowed as a good force through Paul.

    [page 49] One can understand Paul quite well, if one wants to understand him only from the standpoint of ordinary rationalism. But if one wants to grasp what it was that lived spiritually in Paul, in and between his words, and why one feels through his words something akin to the prophecies of the Sibyls, but with him proceeding from a good element in Earth evolution, then one comes to the phenomenon which answers the question: How far does Paul's world extend? What are its boundaries? And the remarkable answer we receive is: Paul is great throughout the world where the olive tree is cultivated. I know I am saying something strange, but we shall see that this strangeness explains itself, in a certain sense, when tomorrow we enter a little into the character of Paul.

    Steiner next talked about Paul in Lecture 4, a day later than he planned; instead, on the next day, he focused on the three sacrifices of Christ which preceded His ultimate sacrifice on the Cross. The best exposition of these sacrifices outside of Lecture 3 can be found in Approaching the Mystery of Golgotha, GA#152 whose lectures are contemporary with, coming before and after, this lecture series(5). What this lecture reveals is that these sacrifices filled the spiritual Being who was later to become the Nathan Jesus-child.

    The First Sacrifice moderated the human sensory system. The spiritual Being heard a cry of distress from the human sensory system, which was being beset by Lucifer and Ahriman, and unless this Being intervened, the human senses would have continually bounced from one extreme of bliss to intense pain without end; some moderation was needed and this Being provided it.

    [page 56, 57] So it was that in the spiritual world the Being who later became the Nathan Jesus-child was permeated by the Christ Being, and then brought about a change in the cosmic forces which were streaming in to build up the human senses. These senses were changed in such a way that instead of being mere organs of sympathy and antipathy, they became organs that human beings could use, and so could look with wisdom at all the nuances of sense-perception. Very differently would the cosmic forces have flowed into mankind if this event, far back in the Lemurian Age, had not taken place in the spiritual worlds. This Being who appeared as the Nathan Jesus-child was then still living (if I may use the phrase) in the Sun-sphere, and because he listened to the human cry of distress, he experienced something which made it possible for him to be permeated by the very Spirit of the Sun, so that the activity of the Sun was modified in such a way that the human sense-organs, which derive essentially from solar activity, did not become organs of mere sympathy and antipathy.

    The planetary forces worked on the vital organs of humankind without the direct influence of the Sun, and unabated, they would have created intense greed and loathing. The Second Sacrifice came from the Christ Being whose origin was the Sun and moderated these extreme behaviors in the vital organs by entering the Nathan Jesus-child Being.

    [page 58, 59] So again something had to happen in the spiritual worlds in order that this destructive activity should not enter into human life. And this same Being, who later appeared as the Nathan Jesus-child and who (as we have explained) dwelt in earlier times on the Sun and was there permeated by the Christ Being, the sublime Sun-Spirit — this Being went from planet to planet, touched in his innermost nature by the fact that human evolution could go no further, as things were. And this experience affected him so strongly, while he was assuming a form of body on the different planets, that at a certain time during the Atlantean evolution the Spirit of Christ permeated him again.

    And through what was now brought about by the permeation of this Being by the Christ Spirit, it became possible for moderation to be implanted in the vital organs of man. In the same way that wisdom had been given to the sense-organs, so moderation was now bestowed on the vital organs. Thus it came about that when a man breathed in a particular place, he was not impelled to suck in the air greedily, or to recoil with loathing from the air in another place. That was the deed accomplished in the spiritual worlds through a further permeation of the Nathan Jesus-child by the Christ Being, the high Sun-Spirit.

    These first two Sacrifices moderated our senses and vital organs, but our soul-organs of thinking, feeling, and willing were not yet moderated. One can understand the effect of this lack of moderation by reading the Iliad and Odyssey, those Homeric epics from the time before the invention of writing. We can view the excess of will in Agamemnon who stole Achilles' war prize, the lovely Briseis, causing Achilles to withdraw from the Battle of Troy. Many excesses of thinking, feeling, and willing are portrayed in these pre-Mystery-of-Golgotha epics(6).

    Our three soul organs originating from the planets needed to be harmonized by the actions of the Sun, Moon, and Earth. This was accomplished by the same Nathan Jesus-child Being during the Third Sacrifice by the Christ Being.

    [page 60, 61] Help for these soul-forces had to be provided from the spiritual world. And now the soul of that Being who later became the Nathan Jesus-child assumed a cosmic form such that his life was in a sense neither on the Moon nor on the Sun, but as though it encircled the Earth and felt a dependence on the influences of Sun, Moon and Earth at the same time. The Earth influences came to him from below; the Sun and Moon influences from above. Clairvoyant observation really sees this Being, in the spring-time of his evolution — if I may use that phrase — in the same sphere as that in which the Moon goes round the Earth. Hence I cannot say exactly that the Moon influence came to him from above, but rather that it came to him from the place where he was, this pre-earthly Jesus-Being. Again there rose to him a cry of distress, a cry that told of what human thinking, feeling and willing were on the way to becoming; and he sought to experience completely in his own inner being this tragedy of human evolution. Thereby he called to himself the high Sun-Spirit, who now for the third time descended upon him, permeating him. So in the cosmic height, beyond the Earth, there was a third permeation of this Nathan Jesus-child by the high Sun-Spirit whom we call the Christ.

    There is a wealth of information in pages 62 through 69 answering questions about a plethora of subjects. Why was the Sun and the Ego so important to Zarathustra in the Persian (second cultural) epoch? Why did astrology arrive in the Egypto-Chaldean (third cultural) epoch? Why did the gods arrive during the Greco-Roman (fourth cultural) epoch? How was Apollo connected with St. George? (Both shot arrows into a dragon, Apollo figuratively, St. George literally.) How did the Greek and later Roman gods get their names from the various planets?

    But we continue on with the Fourth Sacrifice of Christ in the Mystery of Golgotha, but for which we humans would have never received our unique identity, the name that each one of us can call our "I", our Ego, our eternal spirit. When each one of us say "I exist", we unconsciously acknowledge the gift of the Fourth Sacrifice.

    [page 70] We have seen this Being pass through three stages of evolution, and then the Healer, whom Apollo reflected, was born on Earth and men called him Jesus, which in our language means "He who heals through God". He is the Nathan Jesus-child, the one who heals through God, Jehoschua-Jesus.
           Now, at this fourth stage, this Being made himself ripe to be enfilled with the Christ Being, with the 'I'. This came to pass through the Mystery of Golgotha. For if this Mystery had not been enacted — if the Being whom we have followed through cosmic ages had not given embodiment to the Christ — then in the course of later time human souls would not have found bodies in which the Ego-force could come to necessary expression on Earth. The Ego had been brought to its highest stage in Zarathustra. The souls who had taken part in the evolution of the Ego would never have found earthly bodies suitable for its further development if the Mystery of Golgotha had not come to pass.

    There you have it: you and I today live and enjoy the gift of the Four Sacrifices, each one having brought to us humans a new harmony. Let us give thanks during the Christmas season each year for these marvelous gifts and use them in our lives to help ourselves and others live to the fullest.

    [page70, 71] We have now seen the four stages of harmonization: the harmonizing of sense-perception, of the life-organs, of thinking, feeling and willing, and the harmonization in the Ego, this last through the Mystery of Golgotha. You have the connections between the Being who was born as the Nathan Jesus-child and the Christ Being, and the way in which this was prepared. It is now possible, through that which it is permissible to reveal in true Anthroposophy, to understand this kind of growing together, belonging together, of the Christ Being and the human nature of Jesus. This is possible for us. And a healthy development of spiritual life in the future will depend on this — on it becoming possible for more and more people to grasp that which could not be grasped by the thoughts and ideas of the epoch in which the Mystery of Golgotha was fulfilled.

    Through Lectures 4 and 5 Steiner weaves a wonderful and mysterious tale of the search for the Grail, the Holy Vessel upon which stands the name Parsifal. After much seeking in the spiritual world and in exoteric sources, Steiner glimpses the New Moon in the Old Moon's arms and finds the name Parsifal. To understand the following passage, you will need an explication of these two expressions: ganganda greida and viaticum. Page 144 contains a detailed discussion of ganganda greida, which can be summarized as "provisions of nourishment for a journey." The word viaticum meant specifically the provision for the journey from this life to the next, as it is the name of the consecrated host administered by a priest to someone who is dying.

    [page 111] Where, then, is the Grail, which to-day must he found in such a way that the name of Parsifal stands upon it? Where can it be found? Now in the course of my researches it had been shown to me that the name — that is the first thing — must be sought for in the stellar script. And then, on a day which I must regard as specially significant for me, I was shown where the gold-gleaming vessel in its reality is to be found, so that through it — through its symbolical expression in the stellar script — we are led to the secret of the Grail. And then I saw in the stellar script something that anyone can see — only he will not immediately discern the secret. For one day, while I was following with inner sight the gold-gleaming sickle of the moon, as it appeared in the heavens, with the dark moon like a great disc dimly visible within it . . . so that with physical sight one saw the gold-gleaming moon — ganganda greida, the journeying viaticum — and within it the large Host, the dark disc.

    This is not to be seen if one merely glances superficially at the moon, but it is evident if one looks closely — and there, in wonderful letters of the occult script, was the name Parsifal!
           That, to begin with, was the stellar script. For in fact, if this reading of the stellar script is seen in the right light, it yields for our hearts and minds something — though perhaps not all — of the Parsifal secret, the secret of the Holy Grail.

    If we understand that Easter is designated each year as the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the spring (or vernal) equinox, we can understand why Easter is such a complicated movable feast. Its date is chosen so that one can witness on Good Friday, in accordance with the Parsifal story, the renewal of the Host as it sinks into the Holy Grail to be renewed. (Page 115)

    Can we point to the influence of Sybils in the course of history in a more modern time than ancient Greece and Rome? Yes, definitely. In the early fifteenth century Joan, a young peasant girl of Arc, spoke as a Sibyl of the urgent need for an ordained king of France. No one would listen to her at first, so she found a way to take up arms, collect an army around her, and overcome the British force at Orleans. This defeat drove the British out of France and allowed the Dauphin to become a rightfully ordained King of France. Without this 19-year-old woman's courageous efforts, there might be today no country known as France, no French language(7). I first encountered this understanding when in 2008 I was studying the Occult History lectures of Rudolf Steiner, which he refers to in this next passage.

    [page 119] I want to touch on a manifestation to which I called attention three years ago — three years almost to the day — the transformation of a Sibyl under the influence of the Christ Impulse. In the lectures printed under the title of Occult History, I referred to the appearance of the Maid of Orleans. I pointed out how events of the greatest importance for the destiny of Europe in the subsequent era flowed from what the Maid of Orleans accomplished under the influence of her inspirations, fully permeated by the Christ Impulse, beginning in the autumn of 1428. From external history one can indeed learn that the destiny of Europe would have been very different if the Maid of Orleans had not appeared when she did, and only an entirely obsessed materialist, such as Anatole France, can deny that something mysterious came into history at that time.

    Indeed, the destiny of many countries outside of Europe would have been different. Thousands of place names in North America would be drastically different today but for Joan saving France from absorption by Britain, especially in Quebec and South Louisiana. It pains me to imagine the French Quarter of New Orleans being named English Place! Or Louisiana being named Henriana. Or New Orleans being named New Harrogate.

    Clearly Steiner saw Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans, as a modern Sybil.

    [page 120] I will not repeat here what can be read in history-books; anyone who has listened to these lectures can see that something like a modem Sibyl emerged in the Maid of Orleans. It was the time — the fifteenth century — when the fifth post-Atlantean (our current cultural) epoch begins; a time when the Christ Impulse had to emerge more and more from the subconscious depths of the soul. We can see in what a gentle, tender form, imbued with the noblest qualities of the human soul, the Sibylline power of the Maid of Orleans is revealed.

    But what might a man of Joan's time have written about her? Steiner shares with us the words Lord Percival, a man in the entourage of the King whom the Maid of Orleans liberated, wrote to the Duke of Milan carefully describing her achievements:

    [page 120, 121] This and much more has the Maid brought about, and with God's help she will accomplish still greater things. The girl is of appealing beauty and manly bearing; she speaks little and shows remarkable sagacity; when she speaks she has a pleasing, delicately feminine voice. She eats little and abstains from wine. She takes pleasure in fine horses and weapons and admires well-accoutered and noble men. To be obliged to meet and converse with large numbers of people is abhorrent to her; her tears often overflow; she loves a happy face, endures unheard of toil, and is so assiduous in the manipulation and bear ing of weapons that she remains uninterruptedly for six days — day and night — in full armour. She says that the English have no right to France, and therefore — as she says — God has sent her to drive them out and conquer them, but only after previous warning. For the King she shows the deepest veneration; she says He is beloved by God, is under special protection, and will therefore be preserved. Of the Duke of Orleans, your nephew, she says that he will be delivered in a miraculous way, but only after a demand for his release has been made to the English who hold him prisoner.

           With that, revered Duke, I bring my report to a conclusion. Still more wonderful things are happening and. have happened than I can write of or describe to you in words. While I write this, the aforesaid Maid has already gone to the neighborhood of the city of Rheims in Champagne, whither the King has hastily set off for his anointing and crowning under God's protection. Most respected and powerful Duke and greatly honored master! I commend myself to you in all humility, while praying the Almighty to protect you and fulfil your desires. Written at Biteromis, the 21st day of June (in the year 1429).

    Your humble servant
    Lord of Bonlamiulk,
    Counselor and Chamberlain
    of the King of the French and
    of the Duke of Orleans,
    Seneschal of Berry.

    In the Christmas season, we can give thanks for the Four Sacrifices of Christ, and in the Easter Season we can give thanks for the Grail Mystery which is reenacted in the sky every Good Friday. The secrets of the spiritual world are not hidden from us, but are writ large in the Heavens which surround us, if only we know how to find them.

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

    Footnote 1.
    Cleansed means rewritten by materialist-minded theologians to remove all reference to spiritual worlds and thus neutering the meaning of "Gnosis." With the discovery of unexpurgated texts in the Dead Sea scrolls, authentic Gnosis writings are now available, but are discredited by most theologians.

    Return to text directly before Footnote 1.

    Footnote 2.
    One should note that the word "cosmos" as Steiner uses it does not mean "universe". Cosmos refers to what materialists call our "Solar System." Its origin is explained by them using the Kant-Laplace theory of a cosmic nebula which magically, without an agent, begins turning and out of which our Sun and planets coalesce and evolve.

    Return to text directly before Footnote 2.

    Footnote 3.
    This is an application of my Rule #23: When learning a new subject, it's best to know all about it before you start. You must learn how our cosmos evolved before you can understand the folly of the Kant-Laplace theory of our solar system's evolution and the folly of Darwin's evolution of humankind.

    Return to text directly before Footnote 3.

    Footnote 4.
    Meaning a convenient untruth.

    Return to text directly before Footnote 4.

    Footnote 5.
    The subject of these pre-Mystery of Golgotha sacrifices of Christ can be also found in these volumes: The Four Sacrifices of Christ and The Reappearance of Christ in the Etheric.

    Return to text directly before Footnote 5.

    Footnote 6.

    A similar observation can be made about early myths and legends, in which many examples of excesses of thinking, feeling, and willing are described. Humans today can feel that the ancient gods of the Greeks, for example, were always getting angry (excess of will), using skewed thinking, and showing excessive sentimentality (feeling). We are able to avoid these excesses only because our own three soul-organs of thinking, feeling, and willing have been harmonized by this Third Sacrifice.

    Return to text directly before Footnote 6.

    Footnote 7.
    The impact of this came to me one night as I listened to the Captain of the Krewe of Joan of Arc Parade speak as I was sitting above Mary's Ace Hardware Store in the New Orleans French Quarter. I thought, with a shiver going through me: but for Joan, there would be no French Quarter, no New Orleans, and no Louisiana named after a later French king.

    Return to text directly before Footnote 7.

    Read/Print at:

    = == == == == == == == == == ==

    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.

    == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

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

    1. Padre Filius Watches a Christmas Elfie on a Shelfie Take a Selfie this Month.

    Padre Filius, the cartoon character created by your intrepid editor and would-be cartoonist, will appear from time to time in this Section of DIGESTWORLD to share with us some amusing or enlightening aspect of the world he observes during his peregrinations. (Thanks to Stephan Pastis's "Pearls Before Swine" Cartoon for this idea!)

    This month the good Padre Observes an Annalee Elf Using his Smartphone. Click on the Elfie to see the Selfie he took.

    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 John Rankin in New Orleans re DW#17b:
      Hey Bobby!
      I enjoyed your DW Issue this month — I love Chicago! I was also pleased to see you review the City Park concert with pictures — cool!

      Great to see you,
    • EMAIL from Joan re DW#17b:
      Wonderful to see your smiling faces .... thought of you often while on Crystal Serenity, Quebec City to NYC. It proved to be too early for Autumn colors but Bar Harbor Maine and Acadia National Park were spectacular.

      Will spend the holidays on Crystal Mozart, Danube River....Christmas in Vienna, New Years in Budapest.

      Have fond memories of your friendship and the festivities at Table 60 on my first Crystal experience. Can still see Del’s smiling face as she raised her hand and said "Hi, I’m Del".
      Warm Wishes,
      Joan Bergy

  • EMAIL from Kevin Dann in New London re DW#17b:

    Well, I was just about to belittle the person who mistook you for Neil Young, when I then came upon the “Dopp kit” reference. . . My dad always called his brown leather toiletry kit a “dob kit” – at least, that’s how my ears always heard it. In fact, I even think once or twice I wondered whether it was really a “daub kit,” given its purpose.

    One never knows what one will learn from the Digest!


  • EMAIL from Jens re DW#17b:

    Great shot from under the Bean!

    Reply from Bobby: At right is another from under the Bean—>

  • EMAIL from Gary in B.C., Canada:
    Greetings, Bobby!

    I was reading over this footnote, for this review — — and I remembered something interesting from quite some time ago:

  • Footnote 6. Over thirty years ago, I formulated that the notion "it all happens at the same time" from events which I observed in the macroscopic world, and now it seems to offer a way of rescuing quantum theory which has difficulty sustaining itself with a notion of cause and effect. See my Matherne's Rule #4: Click Here . The process of "it all happens at the same time" can do to the quantum enigma what oxygen did to phlogiston.
    It was following my return to Canada from the UK where I had been studying drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking for a year, 1961-62.

    A friend in Canada had secured some dried Peyote Buttons from a source in Laredo, Texas. It was a legal import in those days. An agricultural import permit from the federal government was all that was required to bring the plant into Canada.

    Following a couple of excursions from eating some of the Peyote Cactus, it occurred to me that it was always the same time, and everything moves past it. The fictitious contrivance of "time" had revealed itself to me for what it is, not what it is claimed to be - space-time and/or some kinda form of energy, etc.

    At that time, I had no answers if someone asked me what "it" was or what "everything" was. If I was asked now, I could answer that I believe that "it" is Consciousness and "everything" is Entropy.

    I continue to work my way through the marvelous library of book reviews that you have posted. I am learning large from all that I read. Thank you.

    Best regards,

    ~^~^~^~^~ REPLY ~^~^~^~^~
    Dear Gary,


    I am always excited to hear from a Good Reader who has enjoyed my writing, but when my work inspires someone, it is a special treat.

    When someone is teaching effectively, their words are merely a way of navigating through the soul-images arising in them. Any attentive student will receive these soul-images directly at the same time as the teacher has them! It always happens at the same time!

    Warm regards,

  • EMAIL from Betty Chowning in Louisville, KY:
    Hi Bobby!
    I always enjoy seeing and reading about you and love life! Please update my email if you would to: Thank you, take good care, enjoy living as you do everyday, Betty

    ~^~^~^~^~ REPLY ~^~^~^~^~ Dear Betty:

    Thanks for sending in your new email address. Getting "lost souls" emails each month from people who have changed their email address without notifying us is no fun. Often their email address is the only way I have of contacting them.

    Hope you have a blessed Christmas season,

  • EMAIL from Bill Reeves re my Rent Collector Review:

  • I have just read your review, enjoyed it very much; you focused on the deeper messages of the book rather than the plot that seems a little contrived. I don't agree that Ki Lim was "outraged," it seems to me he was portrayed as remarkably self-controlled. The final twist to the plot, finding her house full of books, is somewhat bizarre, but comforting.


    ~^~^~^~^~ REPLY ~^~^~^~^~
    Dear Bill,

    Thanks for the feedback. As for Ki Lim, I agree that he was remarkably self-controlled in most things, but Sopeap Sin, aka the Cow, he saw as a miserly old witch, and he was very upset initially when his wife claimed the Cow could read. When 'upsetness' reaches a certain level, one can say it has risen to 'outrage', which is how I interpreted Ki Lim's instant reaction. He did, to his credit, calm down and not try to stop his wife from learning to read from the old rent collector, upon which the entire tale hung.

    warm regards,

  • EMAIL from Nenette in Toronto:
    I am from Toronto, Ontario Canada. I was interested in your article about Anthroposophy. It was sent to me by a friend. It was about Nutrients. So now I go back to your previous issues to find other articles. I find your summaries and caption very interesting and a good read!!!


    ~^~^~^~^~ REPLY ~^~^~^~^~
    Dear Nenette,

    Thanks for writing. One essay I highly recommend that you read. It's called "Plant As Doctor". You can Google that entire expression and find the essay on-line. Or Click this DW#113. It's a synthesis of Steiner's work, Anastasia's work, and Barbara McClintock's work. Basically it shows that the veggies you grow and eat for yourself are better for you! The plant picks up toxins emitted from your breath and sweat as you sow the seeds, till the soil, weed the growing plant and modifies the structure of its proteins to provide the exact proteins your body needs. This sounds incredible, but McClintock received a Nobel Prize for proving that there were "jumping genes", and whenever a plant gene jumps, the protein it produces changes.

    best regards,

  • 3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell: "Literal Demonocracy"


    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:

      Literal Demonocracy

    Sturgeon said,
           "95% of everything is crap."
    I wonder if he was thinking
           of democracy when he said that.

    Pareto said,
           "80% of the work is done
           by 20% of the people."
    I wonder if he was thinking
           of democracy when he said that.

    Emerson said,
           "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin
           of little minds."
    I wonder if he was thinking
           of democracy when he said that.


    == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    Thanks to all of you Good Readers for providing the Chemistry which has made this site a Glowing Success. — Especially those of you who have graciously allowed us to reprint your emails and show photos of you and by you on this website — you're looking good! As of June 1, 2019, it enters its 20th year of publication. The DIGESTWORLD Issues and the rest of the doyletics website pages have received over 21.6 MILLION VISITORS ! ! !

    We have received over ONE MILLION VISITORS per Year to the Doyletics Website since its inception June 1, 2000, over twenty years ago. Almost 2 million in the past 12 months. We are currently averaging about 150,000 visitors a month. A Visitor is defined as a Reader who is new or returns after 20 minutes or more has passed. The average is about one visitor for every 10 Hits.


    Our DIGESTWORLD came into existence years before Facebook and all the other social media which interrupt people's schedules many times a day. All our photos, reviews, cartoons, stories, etc, come to you via a link inside of one short email Reminder at the beginning of each month. We hope you appreciate how we let YOU choose when to enjoy our DIGESTWORLD Issues. To Get a Monthly Reminder, Click Here .

    We especially want to thank you, our Good Readers, in advance, for helping our readership to grow. NOTE our name is now: DIGESTWORLD. Continue to send comments to Bobby and please do create links to DIGESTWORLD issues and Reviews on LinkedIn, on your Facebook page, and on other Social Media. When you copy any portion of a webpage or review, please include this text: "Copyright 2018 by Bobby Matherne".
           Email your friends about the reviews, the handy doyletics Speed Trace, the Household Hints, the cartoons, the Cajun jokes, the recipes, the poems, and the photos in all the DIGESTWORLD Issues archived on our website. Urge them to subscribe to the DIGESTWORLD Reminder so they won't miss a single issue!
           The Subscription Process SIMPLE: no Reply Confirmation is required. An email to the Editor with your First and Last names is all that's required. There is never a charge for viewing any page on our website; nor for any of the guidance we offer to people using the FIRST AID KIT or asking for help with doyletics in any other areas.
           For those who are able to contribute to the site we offer a year's subscription for receiving the DIGESTWORLD Monthly Reminders for $50.

    ~~ NOTE: DIGESTWORLD is a Trademark of 21st Century Education, Inc. ~~

    The cost of keeping this website on-line with its 300 Gbytes of bandwidth a month is about $50 a month. Thank you, our Good Readers, for continuing to patronize our advertisers when they provide products and services you are seeking as you visit any of our web pages. Remember the ads are dynamically displayed and every time you read even the same page a second time, you may find new products and services displayed for your review. Our reviews, digests, tidbits, etc, all our webpages act as Google magnets to bring folks to the website to learn about doyletics and frequent our advertisers, so they support one another in effect.

    We welcome your contributions to the support of the website and research into the science of doyletics. To obtain our street address, email Bobby at the address found on this page: and we will send it to you. Every $50 subscription helps toward keeping this website on-line for another month. If you can't send money, at least show your support by sharing your favorite Issue of DIGESTWORLD and Reviews with a friend.

    We wish to thank all Good Readers who have made a contribution to the website! Special thanks go to Chris and Carla Bryant in Corpus Christi and Gary Lee-Nova in Canada!

    You can read a description of how to do a Speed Trace (either in English or Spanish):

    Learn to Do a Speed Trace Here

    Or Watch Bobby extemporaneously explain How to Do a Speed Trace on Video:

    To make a connection to the Doyletics website from your own website, here's what to do. You may wish to use the first set of code below to link to the site which includes a graphic photo, or to use the second set of code for a text-only link. Immediately below is how the graphic link will look on your website. Just place this .html in an appropriate place on your website.

    <CENTER> < — with graphics link — >
    <A HREF="">Learn to Do a Speed Trace Here<BR>
    <IMG SRC="" width="309" height="102" border="2" TITLE="Learn to Remove Doyles — all those Unwanted Physical Body states of fear, depression, migraine, etc." ALIGN=middle><A/></CENTER>

    <CENTER> < — text only link — >
    <A HREF="">Learn to Do the Speed Trace at <A/>

    Check out the new additions to the Famous and Interesting Quotations at:

    == == == == == == == == == == ==

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

    == == == == == == == == == == ==

    We invite you to Sign Up below for a Short Email Reminder of the Newest DIGESTWORLD Issue which goes out monthly only to:

    Friends and associates
    People who have expressed interest in Bobby's writing.
    People who have Asked to Receive the DIGESTWORLD Reminder.

    Please Don't Bug Us

    Nothing BUGS US more than losing Hale-and-Hearty, Ready-to-Read Good Friends from the DIGESTWORLD Reminder List.

    So we've made it easy for Good Readers who have changed their Email addresses and Friends who would like to begin receiving the DIGESTWORLD Reminder at the first of each Month:


    As of August, 2011 we have begun using a Contact Manager with an Email Merge feature which allows us to send personalized Emails to everyone in our Contact List. You can receive the colorful Email containing the DIGESTWORLD Reminder beginning with "Dear [Your First Name]". It is important that we have your First Name, so if the name you are addressed by in your Reminder is not your first name, please notify us of the name you wish us to use. For convenience you can send a quick email to give us your name by Clicking Here. To Contact Bobby, his Email address is visible on this page.

    NOTE: As of 2018 the List messages are NO LONGER READABLE!

    Please do your part by letting us know of any email address change so that you may continue receiving the DIGESTWORLD Reminders. Most of our Readers come from folks who don't get these Reminders, but we offer the DIGESTWORLD Reminder as a service to our regular Good Readers. To send us your new email address, CLICK HERE! .

    If you discovered this page by a Google Search and want to SUBSCRIBE NOW
    Simply Click the Link at right to send an Email Request: SUBSCRIBE

    If you have enjoyed a particular issue, let us know, especially around the first of each month when those "lost soul" messages are bugging us, Send us a quick email by Clicking Here!

    If you have a friend or two that you think would enjoy reading the DIGESTWORLD, suggest they view the current DIGESTWORLD Issue and perhaps they'll decide to Subscribe.

    To unsubscribe from the DIGESTWORLD Reminder List:
    Click Link at right to send a Blank email to: UNSUBSCRIBE

    If the above links which provide canned emails don't work on your system, you can send a Subscribe/Unsubscribe request to the address found on this page: Please include your first and last name when Subscribing.

    == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
    10. GRATITUDE - in Three Easy Steps:
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    Maintaining a website requires time and money, and apart from sending a donation to the Doyletics Foundation, there are several ways you can show your gratitude and support our efforts to keep on-line.

    One would be for you to buy a copy of my Dolphin Novel, The SPIZZNET File. Books May be ordered in hardback or paperback form from Xlbiris the Publisher here:



    The best source at the best price is to order your copies on-line is from the publisher Random House/Xlibris's website above.

    Two would be for you to use the Google Search Engine for your web searches or to find an item on website. New reviews will have a place to do a Google Search at the top and the bottom of the reviews. Just enter a search phrase in the box below to do a Search. Note you can check whether to Search just this site or all websites.

    Three would be for you to let us know you like us by Subscribing to our monthly Reminder. One short email each month with a link to our Latest DIGESTWORLD Issue will keep you apprised of our latest reviews, photography, poetry, Cajun stories, recipes, Movie Blurbs, Travels, and even more! Simply Click Here: Subscribe Me!

    Thank you in advance!



    Like Us? Subscribe to Receive a Monthly Email
    Reminder of New Reviews & New DIGESTWORLD Issues — CLICK


    == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
    22+ Million Good Readers have Liked Us
    22,454,155 as of November 7, 2019
      Mo-to-Date Daily Ave 5,528 Readers  
    For Monthly DIGESTWORLD Email Reminder:
    ! You'll Like Us, Too!

    == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==

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

    To follow Research in the science of doyletics, Read our Monthly DIGESTWORLD Issues.
    Click Here to get Monthly Reminder.

    For Copies of Reviewed Steiner Books, Click on SteinerBooks Logo below.

    Visit Bobby's Other Reviews, Articles, and Essays

    Books are Lighthouses Erected in the Sea of Time

    Visit the Counselor's Corner for Suggestions
    on Incorporating Doyletics in Your Work.

    e-mediatelytm is a Trademark of 21st Century Education, Inc. Prototyped 2000.