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Good Mountain Press Presents DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#182
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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Guntis "Gus" Melbardis (1943-2019) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ [Good Friend] ~~~~~

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Quote for the Mardi Gras Month of February:

Art allows us to see the Spirit in the Sensory —
Science, to see the Sensory in the Spirit.

— Bobby Matherne
Inspired by Goethe's Theory of Knowledge, page 97

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ISSUE#182 for February, 2018

Archived DIGESTWORLD Issues

             Table of Contents

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

4. Cajun Story
5. Household Hint for February, 2018 from Bobby Jeaux: Grapefruit Picking Tool
6. Poem from Ceremony:"Bobby & Del's Marriage"
7. Reviews and Articles featured for February:

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

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

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

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

This month Violet and Joey learn about Palindromes during Winter Trip to Poland.
"Palindrome" at

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Each month we choose to honor two Good Readers of our DIGESTWORLD from those all over the World. Here are the two worthy Honored Readers for February, 2018:

Grady Hardy in New Orleans

Gary Lee-Nova in British Columbia

Congratulations, Grady and Gary!

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Out Our Way:


Came home from PJ's. Read papers for Sun and Mon. The newsguy missed us yesterday so I picked up a Sunday at PJ's. It was Darren's paper, he said.

When I left PJ's with coffee in right hand and papers under left arm, the wind started to take my hat off so I tightened with my right hand spilling a tad of coffee on it. Then it took my hat off and started it rolling toward Manhattan! I ran as fast as I could and at the grassy area in lot, left side, the hat mounted the curb and that bit of slow down allowed me to catch it and with some difficulty put it back on my head with the chin strap so I could then walk to my Cherry Max and drive home after a wind sprint in 29 degree weather with blowing wind. At home I turned off the outside faucets and made sure the four drains from each were open to allow any water to drain out before the four day freeze began.

Then I came in house and began fixing the traditional New Orleans New Year's Day feast! Everything was great: blackeye peas, rice, cornbread, and cabbage. The cabbage came from a half head left over from Del's delicious minestrone soup from the previous week.

Not everything was great today: LSU lost to Notre Dame in a game they should have won, and would have won if only we had a field goal kicker. The first two missed FG's would have allowed us to win the game all else being equal. Now: in one weakend: the Pelicans, the Saints, and the Tigers have lost games they should have won. Maybe Wade's Wonders will beat Kentucky on Wed set things aright once again. Not quite, but they played UK to a stand-still until the final seconds and lost a close one.

Del cooked more spaghetti and we had some more of her chunky delicious sauce for supper.


Well, not actually, but I told someone this morning (January 26, 2018) who complained about the cold, "I'm thinking of moving to someplace where it's warmer, New Orleans." We both got a laugh from that. This is the longest cold spell we've had in decades. For two weeks now I've been driving to PJ's Coffeeshop each morning with the steering wheel heater and the front seat heaters both on! Rarely do that even once in a given winter. The area schools and businesses have had to shut down. A doctor whose office is in a medical building near East Jefferson Hospital told me they shut his office building down due to low water pressure resulting from the freeze.

For the first time I can recall I have absolutely no photos of outdoor flowers for this issue, only some from a flower design class Del went to. Every where I look, I see dead tropical plants and brown grass on the lawns and golf fairways. No bugs, few animals about, just an arctic-like landscape. We had two snowstorms so far this winter which mostly passed west and north of us slightly. The second one was a snizzle during the night and we only saw the results on the ground the next morning. Ice and snow stayed on the ground around trees and other places in the shade for about three weeks. Felt and looked more like New England than New Orleans. For my club's annual meeting, I had to call to find out if they had water before driving across the river, and they did. Many places were without drinking water and had to boil water until the last week of January. Pipes were bursting all around. My neighbor had a pipe running down from the attic along the outside of her garage that burst. So far we have done okay, but too soon to tell if any of my outside faucets and fixtures suffered damage. All of our ferns which line the north portico have turned brown and will have to be replaced.

This is about the time that some sucker at the public trough will write a scholarly piece claiming that global warming is causing this new Ice Age.

On January 11, we had a brief respite from freezing weather and I was able to sit out on West Portico swing to read for awhile with a short sleeve shirt on. Got colder the very next day.


Our son John, who is heavy into genealogy gave me and Del DNA test kits from and we took them and passed them along in the mail. I was wondering if I spit into the DNA bottle right after drinking my Sumatra coffee if it would show that half my genes came from Sumatra. I dropped two DNA kits, NetFlix Blu-Rays, and annual club dues in the outside mailbox on Gretna Blvd and then drove to see Kevin at my Alteration Place. I had three shirts needing holes patched, two new cargo pants needing to get 27" inseam, and my silk sport coat needing its lining detached in back and its sleeves shortened.


With the new year upon us, I decided it was time to make Del happy. With Saints playoff games, Pelican NBA, and LSU SEC games on, often at the same time, Del wanted to be able to watch streaming videos upstairs when I was in Sportsville in the Screening Room. She had signed herself up for Amazon Prime and bought an LG Blu-Ray Player with Streaming capability. I hoped that it could receive Wi-Fi from our router directly below in our office area, and it worked! No need for wires! I moved a digital antenna so that local HD TV signals could be received on the same TV.

Got the LG to play a Blu-Ray disk okay, then I had to search to find how to stream videos through it as it promised on the outside of the box and lacked any written instructions inside the box.

Searching through all the clickable items on the screen, I found it had the streaming capability and installed our NetFlix. It took me a long time (an hour or so) to get it to work. Next to get Del's new Amazon Prime installed, and having learned from my NetFlix challenges, it went in quickly and just fine. She was deliriously happy, ecstatic even, watching her favorite programs in Bedroom2 upstairs. Especially that first night while I was watching two basketball games at the same time in the Screening Room.

She and I also brainstormed ways of re-arranging BR1 and 2 to make it more comfortable now that she will be watching movies in BR2 a lot. We talked about moving Day Bed from BR1 to BR2 and arranging the double bed in its frame in BR1.

Then the Day Bed can be a comfortable couch on which to watch her movies in BR2 and the upright chair can go into BR2's dormer alcove and provide a third viewing seat. The Hassock (folds out into single bed) can become a coffee table in BR1 together with the wooden desk chair. Will need some grandkids to help with the moving of beds.

Our day wasn't finished. Next we needed to do smoothies for icebergs in the newly re-glued VitaMix. We filled it up and it came unglued and for the second time we had to decant its contents. Put it in fridge and we drove to Target. Our target: An inexpensive blender. Walked past the $300 ones and found a Black & Decker for $29.95. When I looked below it for one in a box, the price was marked down to $23.95. Matherne's luck: Very often when I go to buy something, the price has been marked down. Once I had to return a sweater that was too big for my daughter and I received a refund on its replacement as the sweater in the months since I bought it had been cut to half price.

We took the new blender home and installed it. Great solid glass 6 cup container which is plenty enough for our iceberg mixture. Blended it perfectly, no fruit loops (small chunks of fruit). No plastic top to get yellowed and dull. Should last for a decade and serve as our VitaMix replacement or backup.

While Del streamed movies upstairs, downstairs I watched as LSU at 7:30 PM on SECN nearly beat Kentucky Wildcats, missing two 3-ptrs and in last seconds and lost 74-71. Really showed what Coach Wade's team can do against the best in the SEC. At the same time, I watched our NBA Pelicans at 8 PM go against the Utah Jazz and showed them our own Jazz-y moves as we beat them handily!


January 6 fell on a Saturday and I watched two basketball games during the day: LSU beat Texas A&M 69-68, an SEC game sealed by two, long Tremont Waters 3-ptrs in the last 12 seconds of game! Our NBA Pelicans got eaten up by the Timberwolves in a disheartening loss.

The previous year Del and I marched in Joan of Arc Parade and it was bitter cold, near freezing the whole time, and not a pleasant experience. We decided that once in a row was enough and this year we decided to attend the parade as spectators and get to enjoy it that way, especially if the weather was warmer, and it was.

After my basketball games finished we drove to our favorite parking lot and our favorite attendant Kenny checked us in. The parade passed directly by our parking spot, making it easy for us to leave right after the parade and drive directly home down Magazine street and over the bridge. We got there about 45 minutes early, so we walked to the Monteleone Hotel, going in through Parking Garage to get out of the cold air. We had drinks and rested awhile as we waited for K-Paul's restaurant to open. The restaurant was also on the parade route. We went in and got seated near a window to watch for the parade to start. The food at K-Paul's was over-seasoned, not surprising, but disappointing anyway. I chose to have the three frog legs which were good, but a little too big for my taste. I asked our waiter David to hold off putting the Buffalo Wings sauce on my frog legs after getting Del's thoughts on the sauce which she has tried and said it was awful. David was our server who let me pay our bill early, so I could go outside and take photos. Later Del joined me. We got to see most of the parade, only missed the leading edge. Enjoyed watching the parade. I got a lighted votive candle, a card, and some Joan of Arc matches. Hard to get great photos of a night parade, but switched to flash and got a few good ones. The flight of Angels was special. Also a good photo of the wall of the city of Orleans from which Joan drove the British away. I talked to a family from Rome, Georgia, who were standing next to me. And Del and I met two guys from Holland on their first day in New Orleans. Bart was the dark-haired shorter one, and Frank the taller blond guy.
There was an expression of delight on their faces at the parade spectacle unfolding in front of them. I suggested they go down to Frenchmen Street to hear some local music after watching the post-parade fireworks near Café du Monde. Also told them to try lunch at Antoine's, only a block away from where we stood. After the parade, we walked to our car about a hundred yards away and drove straight home: a fun-filled evening in the French Quarter only 15 minutes from home.


Around the first of the year I phoned and talked to Bradford Riley, and told him about a YouTube video clip of our wedding ceremony I made available in my previous DIGESTWORLD Issue. He asked if I'd send him the transcript of the ceremony and I did that. Afterward, I converted the transcript into a .html file and began editing it to move it on-line with links to the YouTube video clip, an image of our Invitation, photos taken by our wedding guests (we had no official photographer), and a link to our 21st Century Marriage Contract.

Del and I sat together and selected from 200+ photos of the wedding the ones we could fit into the text of the Ceremony for this issue. Then I scanned the photos, sized them, placed them into the text with a description available by setting your cursor on each photo. To make as much space for photos as possible, I increased the font size of the text. This was a ceremony which Del and I created with a friend who was the minister. I designed and drew the wedding invitation as a spiral which indicated the path we would walk down to the center of the cathedral canopy of Live Oak trees.

We planned to stop at three spots for each of the readings, but at the last minute before the wedding began, a guitar player from the Dixie Blue Bluegrass Band offered to accompany the procession and play music, if we liked. We did like and asked if he could play "Morning Has Broken". He did exactly that. Enough people knew the song so that you can hear the lyrics being sung in YouTube video clip.


Del's brother Dan and his wife Karen joined us to hear John Magill talk about his new book "The Incomparable Magazine Street". I got to meet his publisher who took the job of selling the books after John's enlightening talk. The book was pre-signed, but I found John and he graciously gave me a personalized autograph and inscription.

The book is filled with beautiful photos of Magazine then and now. It is a delightful 6 mile stretch of homes and small business places which follows the bend of the Mississippi River a few blocks south. It is a very walkable street, beautiful Creole cottages with ornate, colorful wooden brackets supporting their overhanging porches line some portion of the street, and quaint business places with covered galleys providing shade from sun and protection from the rain for shoppers. When I arrived home with my new book, I opened it and began a walk down Magazine Street, inspecting each photo, the vintage B&W ones and the present day colored ones. About twenty minutes later I reached the end of the street and the book, and dividing the price of the book by the minutes of my walk, it came out to $2 a minute. My sister-in-law Karen bought two copies, one for her and Dan and one for her sister who grew up in New Orleans and now lives away from here.


One tune you will hear on the streets during Mardi Gras season is Al Johnson's "Carnival Time". He is a native of New Orleans and wrote this song when he was only 16 years old. It has become a Mardi Gras classic and is now a part of his name: "Al Carnival Time Johnson." I had a chance to talk to him before the luncheon started and I wanted to know the reason for the line in the lyrics which goes, "Throw the Baby out the Window". He said the lyrics mention two hot nightclubs he spent a lot of time in, The Plaza and the Green Room, and talks about the places burning down, so it was necessary to toss the baby out the window to someone to protect the baby from burning. Here's the actual lyrics, "The Green Room is smokin' / And the Plaza's burnin' down / Throw my baby out the window / And let the joint burn down / All because it's Carnival Ti-i-ime" That sure makes sense now. If it's carnival time, save the baby and let the place burn down, we still gawn to have some fun!

Del and I went over about 10:30 so she could help get things organized. Barbara Louviere came right at 11 am. About 11:20 Gary Arnold showed up and said Anita would be late. She showed up about 11:45 and she and Gary both enjoyed talking to Barbara. Al "Carnival Time" Johnson was there in full regalia and sang his signature song, "Carnival Time", which he wrote when he was only 16 years old and it has become a Carnival Classic. I went over asked him what the line "Throw the Baby out the Window" meant. He explained that the line began with the Green Room and the Plaza, two local nightclubs on fire and the baby was thrown out the window to save it from burning! Here's the actual lyrics, "The Green Room is smokin' / And the Plaza's burnin' down / Throw my baby out the window / And let the joint burn down / All because it's Carnival Ti-i-ime" That sure makes sense now. If it's carnival time, save the baby and let the place burn down, we still gawn to have fun! Pepper's dad Marlin played guitar to accompany Al's band. Met a nephew of my Hahnville classmate Carl Montet who lives locally. He is Curtis Montet, and I talked to him and his wife Denise. There were about a dozen guys at the luncheon and everyone had a great time. There was never a break in the fun: good music, good eating, and good conversation.


Saint Catherine of the Wheel was martyred about 1100 years before Joan of Arc. They were both the same age, about 19 when they died. Joan identified herself with the Great Saint Catherine and for this reason, the Wheel is carried by St. Catherine each year in the Joan of Arc Parade through the French Quarter.

So far as I know, St. Catherine had nothing to with lost teeth until this day in January, a bright Saturday morning when Del and I drove to meet our good friend Charlie Cox at the new home he had just bought on the shores of Lake St. Catherine along Chef Menteur highway, almost to Slidell. Unfortunately I left without my camera and only got a photo of John and Sandra with my phone. We finally got to Charlie's place about 10:15 AM. It's about a couple hundred yards past where the GPS says it is, on the right. Had to call Charlie and make a U-turn to get there. A Big Sign by the long driveway says: FISHERMAN'S DREAM FOR SALE. Told Charlie he should get someone to paint a picture over the For Sale text and leave the "Fisherman's Dream" as the title of his new home. It's a dream of a home: a luxurious 3 BR home raised up over 20 feet in the air to protect it from flood tides, has a CAT 5 Hurricane Construction, fireplace, new kitchen appliances, etc. Heck, it looks like it's never been lived in before. The previous owners must have hardly come here except to fish. There's a long staircase in the front and a small elevator along one side. Halfway up the back staircase there's a workshop. And along the back looking towards the nearby lake is a full-length porch and railing ideal for BBQ'ing and watching sunrises and sunsets. There's a covered boat dock and a canal which runs out to Lake Catherine about a hundred yards away.

When we arrived, Charlie was waiting for us and talking on the phone to John and Sandra Callendar who were coming also. We got our tour of the house and then Sandra called to say that their Lexus SUV had broken down about ten miles away near a large water tower. Well, I think of large being tall and I never saw a tall water tower when we drove past where they were stuck just a half hour earlier. It turned out to be a very wide but not tall New Orleans Water Tank almost hidden by live oak trees from Chef Hwy. Charlie and I drove to help them.

The tow Truck would take two hours to reach them, so we all drove to back to Charlie's place and Sandra got a quick tour before she got a call from the tow truck saying it would be there in 15 minutes. Del and I drove them in our car with Charlie following in his truck. John gave the tow guy the keys to his car and then we drove to the Vietnamese Restaurant down the road a couple of miles. It has a good reputation and a great attached bakery which was overflowing with King Cake buyers. We were hungry and ordered. The food was worse than the service which was very bad. The waitress immediately brought Charlie his soup, only to find out it was meant for another table. Charlie ate his soup while we waited and waited and waited. Finally my food came, a simple shrimp fried rice and veggies. But the veggies had mostly undercooked broccoli and some time during the meal I broke my right upper canine tooth, my first lost tooth in over twenty years that I have had my new teeth. John and Sandra were concerned about their car being broken so I didn't mention the tooth so as not to disturb them further. The lost tooth was slightly to the side, it didn't interfere with my finishing the fried rice and no one noticed my problem. They might have noticed that I didn't talk much. I was concerned about how to get my tooth replaced. Maybe I prayed to St. Catherine for her help with my lost tooth, I don't recall.

We came directly home. Del had bought some loaves of fresh french bread from the Vietnamese Bakery, which were pretty good, not as good as Rouse's. We took a long awaited nap until 4 PM at which time I began watching the second half of Atlanta and Philadelphia NFL playoff game, which the Eagles won. Then later I watched the LSU basketball game which, but for incredibly bad officiating, we likely would have won. On a side screen I monitored the game which the Titans lost to New England. There was still in play a triad of three games being played by the Saints in Minneapolis in one year, and if the Saints could make it to the Super Bowl, Drew Brees would have a chance to top the other two Hall of Fame QB's: Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in Super Bowls. That's the important triad. He beat Manning in 2009 Super Bowl and could possibly beat Brady in 2018 Super Bowl. That possibility quickly went down the drain like my lost tooth when the Vikings beat the Saints on a 60-yard TD pass with time expired.

Monday was a national holiday which falls around my namesake Robert E. Lee's Birthday, but I couldn't wait another day to replace my tooth. I figured after 20 years, my dentist was retired and maybe the Dental Lab was gone, too. So I checked my Journal and found my last dental repair was done in 1999. Here's my notes which indicate that it was a loose tooth, not a missing one:

Tuesday, April 3, 2001: I called the dentist's office and Nancy, the Wicked Witch of the East, gave me her usual no-can-do spiel. I finally told her to have the dentist call me. A half hour she called me back and seemed triumphant that she got to call me instead of the dentist. His message was to call Clark Dental Lab directly and take my teeth to them. Well, hell's bells, that's exactly what I wanted in the first place. I called the labs and drove directly over there, bringing along a Steiner book just in case. I'm reading about Thomas Aquinas and it's fascinating. Drove over the Huey P. Long Bridge and up-river on Jefferson Hwy, something I'd not done for years. Noted there was now a PJ's Coffeeshop at the front of the Mark Twain apartment complex where I lived as a bachelor back in 1976. I found the Clark Dental Lab on Williams Blvd, right over the tracks on the right. It was in a small double house with a sign on front. It was run by very nice folks. Jerry, who picked up the dental plate from me, and the tech who actually did the work. The tech looked like Stiller of Stiller and Meara. Told me he drilled a hole in the tooth and applied acrylic to make it stronger than it was originally. Cost me only $30 - can only guess what it might have cost me if the dentist has seen me.

After reading my journal notes I Googled Clark Dental Lab and saw a color photo of the small double, looking exactly as it ha did in 1999. I called the number given and there was no answer. I checked other Google references and called a Selsen dental service in Algiers. A very nice man answered who told me that Clark had retired and closed his office, and that his office only dealt with dentists directly. He recommended Louisiana Dental Center on Manhattan. I drove immediately there; it's across the street from my regular PJ's Coffeeshop. After I filled in three pages of forms, the dental assistant Jade showed me to a comfortable dental chair, and put a blue napkin around my neck. Dr. K came in, a sweet Hindu lady, and I told her what I needed. She asked me if I ever had problems with my plates and I said, "Only one: my dentist removed my overbite without asking me, and this caused me to lose my lifelong ability to whistle." She smiled.

My plate went away for 30 minutes, which I spent reading The Renewal of Education in a very comfortable reading chair, and came back with a new tooth installed, all for $82.50, about half of the total cost, most or all of which my Aetna dental plan will likely cover. Given that I paid $97 back in 2001 for a new tooth, that's a good deal some 16 years later. Matherne's Luck again.


On her birthday, I called Maureen and wished her Happy Birthday. Welcomed her to the sunny-side of 56! Told her it was this cold on the day she was born in 1962 in Baton Rouge. The LSU Lakes had frozen six inches thick and I went ice skating on them the day before she was born. I went there without ice skates and this woman came off the ice and offered to seel me her skates. I began to say, no, thinking they'd be too small for my feet, until I saw her bloody toes and realized the skates were way too big for her feet. They fit my feet perfectly.

Also told Maureen the back story of when she was 13 and took a flight with her three younger siblings from Indianapolis on Christmas 1975 to my home in Foxborough, Massachusetts: how we'd had 24" of snow the night before and when I began calling Logan Airport at 6 AM, I kept getting a busy signal until I decided to drive to get there at the time they were due in not knowing if the flight was in air. I drove over snow-packed plowed roads and had to stand in line for 30 minutes just to ask a question about my four kids' flight. The gal turned and looked at the board and told me the most amazing thing: "Your kids just got off the plane at the gate!" Matherne's Luck!


Del and I drove to Madisonville to see a play starring two good friends, Regggie Badeaux and Anne Pourciau. The title was "Ladies in Waiting" and what these six lovely ladies were waiting for was a chance to judge their husband, King Henry VIII. And judge they did. Each in turn talking about their fate in the hands of Henry. They repeated this litany several times, "Divorced, Beheaded, . . .". Each Lady using one word to describe their fate. The last one Katherine Parr lasted the longest because she was a friend to Henry. Rex Badeaux is Reggie's stage name. I asked about it because I thought perhaps it was a typo, but no, he said it was his mother's pet name for him and he hated it as a young boy. "Mom, that's a DOG's name!" he complained to her. Later he began using it as a stage name to keep his dad from having to answer this question from his co-workers, "Reggie, are you in this play?" Seems a totally apt name for the regal Reggie these days, especially when he is playing King Henry VIII. The play was held on the grounds of the Trinity Marine Shipyard at the 1854 Bayou Cottage in a large tent. It was a staged reading with minimal movement by actors except for each lady in turn as she judged her kingly spouse.


The first 31 days of this New Year has been like a new Ice Age, low temps in the 20s every day for a week. We ain't used to this in New Orleans. We have skipped a couple of Carnivals Balls this season, but made two Annual Meetings of Clubs we belong to. We pulled for the Saints to beat the Vikings and they almost did. We'll get to see the Saints stars in the Pro Bowl on January 28 as Drew, Kamara, Ingram, Lattimore, Cam Jordan, Michael Thomas and others will be playing. I don't really care if Eagles or Patriots win the Super Bowl, but I figure the Saints will be vying for the big game again next year. New Orleans has been blessed having two NBA All-Star Starters this year: Boogie Cousins and Anthony Davis will be on LeBron's team. (Late breaking news: Cousins is out for the season with an Achilles tear in his ankle.) The Pelicans are on a winning streak and look to be going long into the NBA Play-Offs this year, if everyone stays healthy. The LSU Basketball team tore apart high ranked Texas A&M and look to be in March Madness if they keep winning from now on. And Hey! The LSU Tigers baseball team, Ranked No. 9, plays its first game in late February against Notre Dame. Is it sacrilegious to hope that our Baseball Tigers can do what our Football Tigers almost did and actually beat the Irish?

Last year at this time our Japanese Magnolia tree was nearly finished blooming, and this year, we can see only buds. We have had NO FLOWERS blooming around here for almost a month, but with a few weeks of more temperate climate we expect our azaleas and other flowering bushes and fruit trees to begin showing color by the end of February. I am able to share a photo of a good bloom on our Purple Dawn Camellia. Till Lent is over and we meet again in the windy, but Spring-like days of March, God Willing and the River Don't Rise, whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, be it blustery or balmy,

Remember our earnest wish for this new year of 2018:



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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:
    The witch doctor succeeds for the same reason all the rest of us succeed. Each patient carries his own doctor inside him. They come to us not knowing that cure. We are at our best when we give the doctor who resides within each patient a chance to go to work.
    Albert Schweitzer, MD

    Never exceed your rights, and they will soon become unlimited.
    Jean Jacques Rousseau

    Rollin Becker had a 'mantra' he'd use before he saw a patient: 'Thank you for allowing me to watch you heal yourself.'
    Hilmar Moore, Ortho-Bionomy Worker

    Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving in words evidence of the fact.
    George Eliot [Novelist]

    A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. .
    Christopher Reeve[Superman]

    We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
    Aesop[Noted Fables Author]

    When you choose the lesser of two evils, always remember that it is still an evil.
    Max Lerner

  • New Stuff on Website:
    Below are Four of Bobby's Published Books. Click to Read Them.



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.):
"Kurt Seyit & Sura" (2014) Lushness of Dr. Zhivago in this Russian-Turkish love story. 46 episodes covering thirty-five plus hours of gripping drama and beautiful cinematography! A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! ! ! !
"Ali & Nino" (2016)
is this lush romantic portrayal of pre-WWI Azerbijan royalty in love across religious divides. Amazing what 71 years can do!
"The Pledge" (2001), See DW37
Jack Nicholson as retired cop who promised to bring a serial killer of small girls to justice. When Robin Wright and her young daughter decided to move in with Jack, he watched the girl carefully in case his prey would come for her. The ending is as surprising as it is sad, but worth seeing all the way through.
"Princess Kaiulani" (2009)
Hawaiian Princess grows up in Britain and returns to her land as it becomes part of the USA.
"When Calls the Heart" (2016)
second of two seasons released in 2016 begins with Christmas celebrations of love and life. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Dirk Gently: Series 1: Disc 2" (2012)
Dirk gently finds the missing robot after dating his professor's dead daughter and other fun stuff. MacDuff is to Dirk like Suitcase was to Jesse Stone.

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.

"Carnage" (2011) is what this movie will do to the reputations of Jodie, Kate, and John C. Riley. A Woody Allenesque gab fest without any humor.
"Sisters" (2015)
sitcom hogwash, had to Windex the screen to remove the scum and stomp the DVD only 10 minutes into this imitation of a movie.

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

"Drillbit Taylor" (2008) once again Owen Wilson leads with his nose in the teenage coming of age flick.
"Blackway" (2015)
slow and dull, waste of Anthony Hopkins.
"The Philantrophist" (1975)
Helen Mirren joins a half dozen Brits talking about philanthropy while having drinks.
"Murder on Cape Cod" (2017)
a philandering fisherman hooks a ten-pounder in this true story in which the only mystery is when the murder is going to take place and who will be killed.
"Office Christmas Party" (2016)
in which the canceled party is back on to close a big contract. A bit of fun fluff and foolishness in another Jason Bateman spoof on life.
"The Lion King" (1994)
talking animals with all the foibles of human beings as they learn about hakuna matata, meaning no worries, dude! My first viewing of this childish tale.
"I, Daniel Blake" (2016)
"am a citizen, nothing more, nothing less." Not a football to be kicked around in the halls and out of the halls of a socialistic bureaucracy.
"The Polka King" (2018)
Jack Black reprises the zany life of Jan Lowan, whose rise and fall took him to prison and to fame.

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Le Boudreaux Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission
Boudreaux was a Cajun from Houma, Louisiana. He walked into a bank in New York City and asked for the loan Officer. He told the woman, "Ah'm going to Nova Scotia for an International Cajun festival for two weeks and Ah need to borrow $5,000."

"Excuse me, Sir, are you a depositor in our bank?

"Mais, non," Boudreaux said, "dis is mah first time in dis place."

She explained to Boudreaux that the bank would need some form of security for the loan, and Boudreaux reached into his pants and pulled out the keys to a Ferrari. He told the bank officer, "See dat red car? Dat's mah new car parked on de street in front of the bank. Then Boudreaux pulled out the title and gave her the title and the car keys.

The bank officer looked over the title and went outside to inspect the car. When she came back in she said, "The bank will loan you the $5,000 and hold the car as collateral for the loan. I'm sorry, but our policies require that we charge you 12% interest on the loan."

Boudreaux agreed to the terms and after he left, the bank's president and its officers all enjoyed a good laugh at the Cajun from Louisiana for using a $400,000 Ferrari as collateral for a $5,000 loan. An employee of the bank then drove the Ferrari into the bank's private underground garage and parked it.

Two weeks later, Boudreaux returned, repaid the $5,000 and the interest of $23.07. The loan officer said, "Sir, we are very happy to have had your business,and this transaction has worked out very nicely, but we are a little puzzled. While you were away, we checked you out on Dunn & Bradstreet. We discovered that you are a Distinguished Alumnus of LSU, an important investor and a billionaire with real estate financial interests all over the world. You also own a large number of oil wells in Louisiana's inland waters. What puzzles us is this: why would you bother to borrow $5,000?"

Boudreaux replied, "Where else in New York City can Ah park mah Ferrari for two weeks for only $23.07 and den expect it to be dere when Ah return?"

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5. Household Hint for February, 2018 from Bobby Jeaux:
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Grapefruit Picking Tool

Background: In our previous home, I planted a grapefruit and a navel orange tree along the south side and they flourished. Within a few years I was picking navel oranges and grapefruit faster than we could eat them. I began squeezing the juice and drinking it, especially the grapefruit as it was quicker than eating the grapefruit section by section. I had one big problem: the trees kept getting taller and I stayed the same size. I needed a way of easily plucking grapefruit and navel oranges. This tool was my solution.


One 56" wooden stick about 1" X 1" thick.

One 7" Nail

Carefully nail the 7" nail at the angle shown. Drilling a hole smaller than the diameter of the nail would help get the nail into the wood without splitting the stick.

Using the Tool Instructions
It's very simple to use: Lift the Tool above the grapefruit so that the stem holding the fruit is set between the nail and stick. Then tug downward till the grapefruit drops to the ground.

Other options
This tool will work for navel oranges and other citrus fruit and will mostly eliminate the need for a ladder. I did require a ladder to get the topmost section of the tall grapefruit tree, and whenever possible I picked the large fruit by hand to prevent them splitting when they hit the ground. Those that did split I set aside to juice them first, the rest went into the spare fridge in the garage for later eating and juicing. The biggest grapefruits did not fit into my juicer, but that was fine with me because those big ones were easy to eat one section at a time.

I have an expensive pole with a cage on its tip that I use to replace light bulbs in our 25 foot high ceiling. I tried it a couple of times and the grapefruit did not come off the tree as easily and did not stay in the flexible cage. They almost broke the cage, so I went back to using my hand-made tool again.


Early on I juiced two gallons of grapefruit juice at one time, and I found that the juice had gone bad when we got to it. Grapefruit will last for months in the fridge unjuiced, but if juiced will only last for about a week or so. After that lesson, I only juice a gallon or less each time.

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6. POETRY by BOBBY from Ceremony:
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~~~ Bobby & Del's Marriage ~~~

A Collection of Photos, Videos, and Audio Transcription from Del and Bobby Matherne's 1978 Marriage on the grounds of the Sadler Horse Farm in Abita Springs. Audio Recorded by Kent Stearns and Marge Shaw, Transcribed by, Edited by, and Copyright 2018 by Bobby Matherne. [NOTE: for insight into the vows Bobby & Del took, Click Here.]

Bobby and Del Matherne's Marriage on July 16, 1978

NOTE: The text below includes a recording of the ceremony and interviews done by Marge Shaw [MS] and Kent Stearns [KS], (not a complete transcription, but includes the important parts). First they interviewed guests and then followed the wedding party and recorded the ceremony as it took place. Afterward, they continued recording the band Dixie Blue which played for the reception.

Here are comments made by guests as Kent [KS] and Marge [MS] placed the microphone in front of them:

Sally [friend]: Be separate, individual, autonomous, . . .

Bill Hatchett [Del's ex-husband]: I'm glad. I'm glad for Del and Bobby and the kids, too. Driving down a surveyor's stake, a landmark stake.

KS: You look like the third happiest person here today.
{nodded his assent}

MS: I haven't met you. I understand you're Del's grandmother.

Monee [Adele Bertel Richards]: I wish other people my own age were here. I'm going to be 87 yrs old on my next birthday. I do my own work; I still thread a needle without glasses. There are plenty things I can't do. I have I hope they will be as happy as I was when I was married 47 years and I hope they will be as happy as I was.

Dick [Del's father]: Mixed emotions. [Bobby note: 24 years later as I edited this transcript, this was still true.]

Doris [Del's mom]: We're happy if she's happy. [Bobby note: She's been a great mother-in-law.]

Dick: We hope this one lasts longer than the last one. I'm very outspoken. I hope this one turns out real good. Best wishes for both of them. And really be happy. That's the main thing.

Doris: I'm excited. I'm happy for her. I kinda miss having a big church wedding, but that's the way it is. But whatever they want. Be happy.

KS: Have you read their wedding vows?

Dick: No. Will there be any surprises in that?

Steve [Bobby's brother]: I'm a little confused, not used to wearing Bermuda Shorts to a wedding. I hope they have a long and happy life, happy as mine has been.

MS: How are you feeling about this wedding?

Annette [Bobby's mother]: I think it's fine. I'm very happy for them. I'm from Luling, Mimosa Park. I wish them all the luck in the world. I hope God gives them lots of happy years together. Be happy, Bob.

KS: Buster, how far did you travel to the wedding?

Buster [Bobby's Dad]: About 65 miles, from Luling. I think it's a real novel wedding. People are so nice. I want to wish them the best. They're a nice couple. I'm a little too old to give advice. I'd like for them to come over to see us as often as they can after the wedding.

CEREMONY BEGINNING: (complete Transcription except as noted by elipsis marks: . . . )

The Video Clip below covers from the reading starting immediately underneath the Video Thumbnail to the first song of the post-ceremony reception. You may enjoy playing the video and reading the transcript as it plays since the audio recording is hard to understand at times. It will also help if you wish to identify the various readers's voices.
[Note: This recording was done only once, during which a 15-second power failure occurred at one point and a couple of slides were inserted by hand upside-down, each eliciting laughter from the several people in the room.]

Brian (Minister): Marriage Reading from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet. "Sing and dance together and be joyous. . ."

PROCESSIONAL: [FIRST VERSE of Morning Has Broken, lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon ]

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world.

READER: Pat Dunbar

FIRST READING: [Words of Kahlil Gibran from Mary Haskell's Journal May 12, 1922]

"That deepest thing, that recognition, that knowledge, that sense of kinship began the first time I saw you, and it is the same now — only a thousand times deeper and tenderer. I shall love you to eternity. I loved you long before we met in this flesh. I knew that when I first saw you. It was destiny. We are together like this and nothing can shake us apart."

READER: Dorothy Stringer

SECOND READING: [Words of Kahlil Gibran from Mary Haskell's Journal, October 22, 1912]

"The most wonderful thing is that we are always walking together, hand in hand, in a strangely beautiful world, unknown to other people. We both stretch one hand to receive from Life — and Life is generous indeed."

READER: Flo Treadway

THIRD READING: [Words of Mary Haskell from her journal September 10, 1920]

"When two people meet, they ought to be like two water lilies opening side by side, each showing its golden heart, not closed up tight, and reflecting the pond, the trees, and the sky. And there is too much of the closed heart. When I come to you, we talk for four or six hours. If I'm going to take six hours of your time, I ought to unfold for you, and to be sure that it is myself I give."

[Moving to the Center of the Spiral]

Bobby: "All circle now. Circle with us. Close up the circle."

MINISTER'S PRE-VOW READING: [Words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, from his Essay, Self-Reliance]

"There is a time in your education when you arrive at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that you must take yourself for better, for worse, as your portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to you but through your toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to you to till. The power which resides in you is new in nature, and none but you know what it is, nor do you know until you have tried."


"Do you Bobby take yourself for better or worse?"


"Do you Del take yourself for better or worse?"


[SECOND VERSE of Morning Has Broken, lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon ]

Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dew fall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass.

DEL's READING: [Words of Kahlil Gibran from Mary Haskell's journal May 27, 1923]

"Marriage doesn't give one any rights in another person except such rights as that person gives — nor any freedom except the freedom which that person gives."

BOBBY's READING: [Words of Kahlil Gibran from Mary Haskell's journal May 26, 1923]

"Among intelligent people the surest basis for marriage is friendship — the sharing of real interests — the ability to fight out ideas together and understand each other's thoughts and dreams."


"Do you Del agree to be Woman to Bobby?"


"Do you Bobby agree to be Man to Del?"



Join now as Man and Woman. Feeding and nourishing each other.

READER: Sally Sadler

COMMUNION STORY: [From The Kin of Ata by Dorothy Bryant]

"Once, long ago, when Ata was very young and the twelve times twelve people had not yet dug and built the great La-ka, but sat to tell dreams beneath the branches of the great Life Tree, a strong dreamer, a waking-dreamer, was born among them. He had been born as a baby, torn out of the body, long before, but then he was born again as a waking-dreamer. And all this happened in the midst of famine, when the harvest of summer was gone, and the root crop of fall had been dug up, and still the winter fast had long to go.

"And the waking-dreamer sat beneath the Life Tree and the people all came before him, and they said, 'We have only these twelve pots of grain left and these twelve baskets of fruit. Some will eat and some will starve. Tell us who shall live and who shall die before those of us who are strong take all, and the people of Ata is reduced to strong bodies with bad dreams.

"And the waking-dreamer said, 'You feed all the people.' But the people protested and said, 'We have not enough for all the people.'

"'You have not enough for yourselves,' said the waking-dreamer. 'If you feed yourselves you will starve, but each feed another, and all will be filled, for kin are nourished by what they feed to others.'

"And so twelve people picked up twelve pots and began to feed others from the pots. And twelve more picked up twelve baskets of fruit and began to feed all the twelve times twelve people from the baskets. And when they were through, and all were fed, all having been fed from the hands of others, the pots and the baskets were still full and so were the people."


To illustrate this story, we want to share something with you. Some food, some life food, and so we've brought some grapes. And we'll be passing them out. So we ask each of you feed someone else, as the story illustrates, so there will be plenty in abundance for all.


[Each person took a handful of green seedless grapes and fed grapes to others in the wedding congregation. friends fed friends, parents fed children, children fed grandparents, strangers fed strangers.]


You were born together, male and female, in ultimate union, to grow and learn, exploring your unique self, waiting till now, this moment in time, beneath these trees. You affirm and reaffirm your union, your union with your selves, as individuals; your union with each other as man and woman. And you affirm and re-affirm this new potential, individually, and as a man and woman again united, to feed and nourish each other, to grow anew, to learn anew, and to explore these new potentials together. And now, here in this place, you are born again together, to go forth and create, in each moment, your unique wedding celebration.


Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day.

Del: Brian said his last words were going to be, 'Hot Damn! They really did it.'


In addition to allowing us the use of their large estate for the wedding ceremonny and reception Ken and Sally Sadler provided a large, square Doberge Wedding Cake for the ceremonial cake cutting by Bride and Groom.

We had invited everyone to bring their favorite food for the reception in lieu of presents and there was a bountiful feast as kin nourished each other. We provided the liquid refreshments for all, which was much needed on this warm July afternoon in South Louisiana.

Dixie Blue, the Bluegrass Band was hired by Bill Hatchett, Del's first husband. It provided the music during the Ceremony and at the Reception for dancing.


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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for February:
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For our Good Readers, here are the reviews and articles featured this month. The first review this month is a new review and will be added to the top of A Reader's Journal, Volume 2, Chronological List, the others were never published in earlier DIGESTWORLD ISSUES and will be of interest to our DIGESTWORLD Readers.

NOTE: some Blurbs may be condensations of long Reviews, possibly lacking footnotes and some quoted passages. For your convenience, if you wish to read the full review or to print it out, simply CLICK on the Book Cover or choose Printer Ready option on the top line of a review page when it opens.

1.) ARJ2: The Renewal of Education, GA#301 by Rudolf Steiner

The title of this book would be better re-stated as "The Refreshing of Education" as Steiner avers in Lecture 7, "I do not believe a renewal of education is necessary, since present educational principles contain many good things. I believe that primarily a refreshing of education is necessary." (Page 121, italics added)

In 1920, the educational advances by John Dewey and Maria Montessori came to prominence, while Steiner's work in education was just getting started. The insights people garnered from Steiner's spiritual science led them to ask him for help in many areas.

[page 9] By 1920, a host of practical endeavors were undergoing transformation or renewal through Steiner's anthroposophical insights. Every profession or vocation requiring renewal compelled Steiner to provide new imaginations and inspirations for its practitioners so that they in turn could act with new intuitions as challenges arose.

Examples of Steiner's contributions can be found in architecture, dance, sculpture, medicine, agriculture, worship, and education: each contribution leading to a renewal of the field. His contribution to education came after Emil Molte asked him to speak on the subject to the workers in his Waldorf-Astoria factory in Stuttgart. Afterwards, the workers wanted their children educated based on the methods Steiner had described, and the first Waldorf School was organized for the children of the factory workers. Steiner saw great value in Waldorf education; seeing that it helped to create the kind of adults to which he sought to bring his spiritual science. This led to his focusing the last six years of his life on helping teachers to bring the living spirit to classrooms which had waxed intensely materialistic, up until then.

Often when I mention Waldorf schools, people want to know how they are different from Montessori schools. In his Foreword, Eugene Schwartz helps us by contrasting the Dewey and Montessori approaches to education with the Steiner approach.

[page 13] As we accompany Steiner on this journey, we can understand the appeal of Dewey's "Problem Approach" and the Montessori method — as well as their limitations. By emphasizing the education of the cognitive forces at any age, Dewey's methods can heighten a child's sense of independence and wakefulness, while Montessori's stress on the will can strengthen the life of habit and inner discipline. In Steiner's terms, the "Problem Approach" would not be appropriate until adolescence, and using it exclusively from the kindergarten years on up could result in "accelerated adolescence," a premature wakefulness that would undercut the childlike wonder and playfulness that are the foundations of a healthy adulthood. When viewed from the vantage point of these lectures, the Montessori approach could be valid in the will-filled kindergarten years, but might hold the child back from the development of independent imaginative and creative forces as he or she matured. With her emphasis on the teacher's need to "hold back" and allow the child to discover things for herself, Montessori also weakens the strong bonds of feeling that can grow between a teacher and student.

Dewey's system tends to create "little professors" who bubble over with information at a time when they would be better served by a sense of wonder and unanswered questions as they approach maturation. Montessori's system can disconnect the child from the authority model of the teacher at an essential stage of child development.

Some of these little professors can grow into adults who can spout from memory what they have learned. Steiner deemed people who could do this with tenets of his spiritual science as "immature". He saw absorbing spiritual science as digestion, just as when we eat a food and completely digest it, we forget about it as it becomes part of a new life within us. When asked about spiritual science, one does best to re-create an answer from one's understanding and not reel off a glib answer learned by rote(1). Steiner stresses this in the passage below:

[page 15] To carry anthroposophical knowledge in one's memory is a sign of imperfection, for Anthroposophy must be a living spring which constantly renews itself within the soul. And this is the very mood in which one should face one's pupils. Therefore the real task of spiritual science is to revitalize the human soul in a similar way to that in which our digestion gives new life to the physical body every day. All memorized matter should disappear from the mind to make room for an actively receptive spirit. Allowing spiritual science to flow into one's sphere of ideation will fructify the art of education.

Schwartz closes his brilliant Foreword with this comment which sets the eponymous theme of this book:

[page 15] To Rudolf Steiner, the "renewal of education" can be brought about only by men and women who, with courage and initiative, will be willing to undertake their own renewal.

Our modern culture has become progressively more materialistic and Steiner says on Page 21, "This materialistic attitude has not been visible in the same degree in every area, but it has had the most damaging effects upon education." Take a look at people who insist that we cannot find a connection between the soul and the body and use that as a justification for saying the soul does not exist. "How is the soul connected to the body?" they demand that we answer. It turns out to be a badly-formed question and therefore incapable of producing an answer.

 [page 23, 24] Nearly everyone who takes this question seriously undergoes a form of suffering, but they do not realize that the way the question is normally presented is simply not correct.

A better question is how does the soul develop out of the body? And how as parents and educators can we perceive this happening in a developing child?

[page 24, italics added] When we look at the developing child, we can understand how the soul develops out of the physical body. Those who have a sense of outer form see how the child develops in such wonderful and mysterious ways. They can also see that when we follow the child's growth from day to day in the first weeks of life, and then from week to week, month to month, year to year throughout the child's life, that development speaks strongly to our sense of humanity. Those who watch this transformation and have a sense of how the soul is progressing must pose the question, "How is what develops as the soul connected with the physical body as we see it revealed externally?"

To a scientist who denies the existence of a soul, this question is meaningless; to an educator dealing with growing children, this question is essential to forming useful teaching strategies.

[page 24] Certain phenomena are simply not objectively observed by modern science; yet when we observe a child's first years of life, we see things that give us a new riddle each day. We need only to look. The child cuts its first baby teeth about the age of one or sometimes a little later; these baby teeth fall out and are replaced by the permanent teeth around the age of seven. But what do they really mean, these facts modern science describes in detail everywhere? What do they suggest about the development of the human being?

Steiner suggests that our ability to retain memories is what develops in us as our second set of teeth are formed between birth and seven years old.

[page 25, 26] We should also try to gain a genuine sense of what changes in the soul. Try remembering, and see how far back clear memories reach. Then think about how little we remember prior to the change of teeth; that is, how little people can collect concepts to retain in their memory before the change of teeth. We can thus conclude that the less the organism has to use those strong forces to create the adult teeth, the more a human being will be able to form its thoughts into firm pictures that can remain in the memory.

Science has shown that our hippocampus is also undergoing development as our body grows from birth so that by age five, we reach full memory capability. Those strong forces working on new teeth as Steiner mentions are also apparently ramping up the functionality of our hippocampus so it can send live events to the cortex to be stored as cognitive memories.(2)

[page 26] Can those forces that give rise to the teeth be in some way connected to the pictorial aspects of thinking? Isn't it as though the soul needs to give the child's body the use of certain bodily forces during the first seven years, until the change of teeth, so that the teeth can form? When they are complete, a metamorphosis occurs and the child transforms these forces so that they become forces for conceptualization in the soul.

In Lecture Three, Aspects of the Human Being, Steiner reveals that there are three aspects to each of these four aspects of the full human being. First, the four:

[page 38] I said that in spiritual science we speak of the physical human being, the etheric human being, the astral human being, and the I. Each of these aspects of human nature has three aspects of its own.

In the physical body, the three aspects are the nerve-sense, the rhythmic system, and the metabolism. The first aspect is the nerve-sense system which is located the periphery of the human being and exhibits a high degree of independence and individuality, and is directly connected to human thinking.

[page 39] Because modern people consider the whole human being as some nebulous unity, science cannot comprehend the fundamental independence of the nerve-sense human being.

In the physical body, the second aspect is the rhythmic organism, which is directly connected with human feeling.

[page 39] It is the part of our respiratory, circulatory, and lymphatic systems that is rhythmic. Everything that has rhythmic activity within the human being is part of the second system, which is relatively independent from the nerve-sense system. It is as though these two systems exist alongside one another, independently, yet in communication with one another. Modern science's vague concept of a unified human being does not exist.

In the physical body, the third aspect is the metabolism or metabolic organism. It contains everything connected with human willing.

[page 39, 40] If you look at the activities of these three aspects of the human being, the nerve-sense being, the human being that lives in certain rhythmic activities, and the human being who lives in the metabolism, you have everything that exists in human nature to the extent that it is an active organism. At the same time, you have an indication of three independent systems within the human organism. Modern science creates quite false concepts about these three independent systems when it states that the life of the soul is connected with the nerves. This is a habit of thought that has established itself since about the end of the eighteenth century.

It is a tenet of modern physiology that humans have sense nerves and motor nerves. The sense nerves tells us something is there and the motor nerve allows us to make some movement happen. This is a fallacy according to Steiner. He says that we have only sensory nerves which report to us on the presence of objects in the world, one set of those objects comprises our limbs: our arms, legs, fingers, and toes.

Just as we cannot move a rock outside of us unless we can sense its presence, so also we cannot move a finger unless we can sense its presence. Once we can sense its presence, we can will it to move, and only then. The same nerves which carry the sense of presence report on the movement of the finger when we will it to move.

Sometimes our maps of the territory turn into the territory itself. For example, when the telegraph arrived on the scene in Steiner's time, it provided scientists a ready model for what they called motor nerves. This model, a cheap comparison which Steiner calls erroneous, soon became entrenched as a reality to these materialistic scientists and their successors.

[page 41, 42] The differentiation between sense and motor nerves is a most willing servant of materialism. It is a servant that could have arisen in materialistic science only because a cheap comparison could be found for it in modern times, namely, the telegraph. We telegraph from one station to another and then telegraph back. It is approximately a picture of the process of telegraphy that people use to describe how the sense and motor nerves communicate between the periphery and the central organ. Of course, this whole picture was possible only in an age like the nineteenth century, when telegraphy played such an important role. Had telegraphy not existed, perhaps people would not have formed that picture. Instead they might have developed a more natural view of the corresponding processes.

If telegraphy is a misplaced metaphor, what is the connection between an act of willing and the metabolism? As long as a sense-nerve exists, the perception of the metabolic process will be received and motion will be possible, but if the sense-nerve is broken, no perception of the limb is possible and no movement can take place(3). Steiner's father worked in a remote telegraphy station and as a young boy Steiner discovered science's error in presuming separate motor and sensory nerves.

[page 42] I began to study nerves as a very young man, and it was very earthshaking for me when I noticed that this theory served materialism. It did this by transforming what is a direct influence of the will upon the metabolism into something merely physical, into an imagined physical strand of nerves carrying the will impulse from the central organ to the periphery of the human being to the muscles. People simply imposed material processes upon the human organism.
       In an act of will, there is in truth a direct connection between the will impulse of the soul and some process in the metabolism. The nerve exists only to transmit the perception of this process.

Here's the curious part: the nerve also transmits a perception of a circulation change when a feeling occurs.

[page 42, 43] All feeling is directly connected with the rhythmic processes. Again, the nerves exist only to directly perceive what occurs between the feeling in the soul and the rhythmic processes in the organism.

Now Steiner gives us a brief summary of the three aspects of the physical human being in thinking, feeling, and willing.

[page 43] Today I wanted only to give some indication of what is shown by an objective observation of the human organism as consisting of three aspects: namely, that the nerve-sense organism is related to the imaginative, thinking life of the soul. We have the rhythmic organism, which relates to the feeling life of the soul, and finally, the metabolic organism, which, in its broadest sense, is related to the willing life in the soul.

Why is it that some people feel a wall exists between them and other people? Perhaps they have introjected materialism to such an extreme that they experience an unbreachable wall between them and others(4).

[page 45] I am convinced that the incorrect hypotheses about sense and motor nerves that modern science has incorporated as a servant of materialism (and incorporated more strongly than we may think) have already taken over human thinking. In the next, or perhaps the following generation, it will become the general attitude. I am convinced that this materialistic theory about the nerves has already become the general mentality and that what we find today as theory in physiology or psychology has entered so deeply into our thinking that this attitude actually separates people. If you have the feeling — and many people do — that when we meet another human being, we make only sense impressions upon that person, and the other person upon us; that the other person is a closed entity with its own feeling life, separate from us; and that this person's feelings can be transmitted only through her own nerves, we create a wall of separation between people.

How can we help people breach this wall and bring people together as vibrant, living human beings again? We can give them insight into their existence as thinking, feeling, and willing human beings. This is a perspective that Steiner shared with us so eloquently.

[page 46] The perspective that connects the life of the nerves with our ability to creatively picture our thoughts, that connects our living circulation and respiration with feeling, and connects our entire metabolism with willing, will bring people together again once it becomes the general attitude, once it finally becomes actual experience.

When we learn that meanings fly from soul to soul on the wings of words, we will dissolve the wall that materialism has built up between people, up until now.

Having covered the three aspects of the physical body in thinking, feeling, and willing, Steiner now moves along to the three aspects of the etheric body which contains our soul life. These three aspects are sympathies and antipathies and a combination of the two together.

[page 47] To understand the life of our soul in a living way, it is better not to begin with thinking, feeling, and willing. If we instead concentrate on something that permeates our entire soul life, we can recognize it as a primary characteristic of our living soul. We can see that the soul lives alternately in sympathies and antipathies, in loves and hates. Normally we do not notice how the soul swings between loves and hates, between sympathies and antipathies. We do not notice it because we do not properly evaluate certain processes of the soul.

Whenever we make a judgment we experience it through sympathy if it is a positive judgment and through antipathy if a negative judgment. In between we experience a third state when having to choose between the two conditions of sympathy and antipathy.

[page 48] The accuracy of the judgment is not based upon sympathy or antipathy; rather the accuracy is experienced through sympathy or antipathy. We could also say that a third situation lies clearly between sympathy and antipathy. That is the situation when someone has to choose between the two. In our souls, we do not merely have sympathy and antipathy; we also clearly have alternation between the two, which is also a positive state. Though this is not as clearly differentiated as in the physical body, since we are dealing with a process and not with clearly defined organs, we can divide our soul life into sympathies, antipathies, and something in between.

Steiner has developed a distinction for us between the physical and the soul aspects of our human being.

[page 48] The physical consists of the nerve-sense processes, the circulatory processes, and the metabolism. The soul aspect of the human being consists of experiencing antipathy, sympathy, and the alternation between those two.

What are the spiritual aspects of our human being? They are waking, sleeping, and dreaming.

[page 48, 49] The spiritual aspect of the human being also exists in three parts. When we want to understand the human being spiritually, we must in the first place take note of waking experience, which we all know as a state of spiritual life and which is a part of us from waking until sleeping. Another spiritual state, sleeping life, exists from the time we fall asleep until we awaken. Finally, we have a third state between those two, which we encounter at the moment of awakening, namely, dream life. Waking, dreaming, and sleeping are the three aspects of spiritual life.

We can now understand that in thinking our waking spirit is active, in feeling our dreaming spirit is active, and in willing our dreamless sleeping spirit is active. About willing: when you raise your arm, you have no awareness of what happens, only a perception that your arm is raised. You may think "I want to raise my arm" and notice that it raises, but all that goes into its raising you remain completely unaware of, as if you were in a dreamless sleep during its raising.

What is the task of the heart? Is it merely a pump as doctors believe to be the case? Is it a pump at all? It pulses, of course, but does it drive the blood to circulate or does the circulation of the blood drive the heart to pulsate? Note that during fetal development there is clear evidence of blood circulation while the heart is still being formed. This is an inconvenient truth which flies in the face of the materialistic view of the heart as a pump, is it not?

[page 63] You need learn only a little embryology to learn that the heart slowly develops in the organs of the blood circulatory system, in the system of vessels. You can see that the heart is not there first, with the circulatory system developing from it, but that the circulatory system develops slowly, with the heart as the final result. You can see directly from embryology that the situation is just as I have described it.

The task of the heart in the post-birth human being is that of a hydraulic ram designed to create vortices in the chambers of the heart for enriching the venal blood with oxygen from the lungs and nutrients from the digestive system before sending it out via arteries to the body.

The spleen is another important organ which is mostly misunderstood by doctors today who think it is unimportant because it can be removed surgically with little ill effects.

[page 64] In the English language, which in comparison to the languages of Central Europe is still at an early stage of development, the word spleen, as an emotional state, has something to do with the soul. However, spleen also refers to an organ, and for good reason, since the spleen of the soul has much to do with the spleen organ.

The spleen is a spiritual control center for the human body, which remains operational even if the spleen organ is removed. I mentioned once to a friend who was a surgeon the benefits of an internal spleen massage and before I could explain how that happened during a nap after a meal, I could see his hands moving is if they were inside a body massaging a physical spleen. No, I said, the peristalsis of digestion creates a gentle internal spleen massage.

[page 64] Materialism has nearly lost an understanding of the physical organs, particularly those of the human being. How can we work with a human being if we are not in a position to understand what the human being is physically? We must first understand that the human being is built up piece by piece out of the spirit-soul, so that there is nothing physical that is not a revelation of the spirit-soul.

The forces which create the child's second teeth by age seven also activate the child's ability to imitate what goes on around the child. This is a physical process which reveals a spirit-soul functioning at work.

[page 66] These are the forces active in the child's motive for imitation. Imagine what it means when you grasp that not only intellectually, but when with the entirety of your being, with your soul, when you have a universal, human understanding of it. It means that when I do something in front of a child who is not yet seven years old, not only do I do it for myself, but my doing also enters the child's doing. My deeds do not exist for me alone.

Everything you do in front of a child, your very innermost thoughts, are communicated to the child. The child will absorb your attitude and years later will reflect that attitude to you, often causing you great consternation, especially during their teenage years. As a parent, teacher, and caregiver to a young child, you do best to understand how important your charge is when you are in their presence.

[page 66] I am not alone with my deeds, with my willing, with my feeling. I am not alone with my thinking; there are intangibles that also have an effect. There is a difference in whether I live alongside a child with a good attitude and allow the child to grow up alongside of me, or whether I do it with a poor attitude. These intangibles have an effect but they are not yet recognized. If we do not honor the connection between the spirit-soul and individual physical human organs, then we do not honor what exists between human beings as a real force, the spirit-soul itself.

There is a difference between a person who carries knowledge around as dry, memorized facts to be shared and someone who exudes a sense of warmth and enthusiasm for the knowledge they share with children. The latter type of person is the true teacher who can reach into the souls of their students.

[page 67] If we are active in every fiber of our soul, and identify ourselves with that knowledge, then the love for what we carry in our souls is just as much a means of communication as demonstrations and language. An education made fruitful through spiritual science enables us to understand the importance of this kind of intangibility.

Rightly understood, love flies from soul to soul on the wings of human words, and a teacher who understands and lives in this reality is a true treasure indeed for their students.

Abstract thoughts are mere empty words for children, and teachers who use such thoughts build up a wall between them and their students, a wall such as represented dramatically in the Pink Floyd movie, "The Wall."

[page 69] The content of thoughts is essentially very abstract. As teachers, we cannot approach the developing human being through these thoughts. In a certain sense, there is an impenetrable wall between us. That wall exists in social life and brings us many social problems. It also exists in areas such as teaching and education. Through the scientific materialism that has taken over all our thinking and, to an extent, our feeling, everything we have to say about the soul or spirit has slowly become empty words. We cannot work out of empty words. We can find no relationship to other adults through empty words, nor can we find a relationship to children through them.

When we spout remembered words and phrases we are spewing empty words which will bounce off of the child's ears. In spiritual science, the kind of science which fills Waldorf teachers, we forget the spiritual content and re-create it anew in the present moment, enlivening what would else be mere empty words. This is how teachers can sculpt human souls: they treat their content as new clay and strive to remold it each day for each class so the students will feel the content being molded within their souls.

[page 72] In a way, the core of spiritual science is that you actually forget the spiritual content you have learned and at each moment renew it by creating it again within yourself. You have not really understood spiritual science if you understand it as something you need to remember. . . . I prepared the teachers of the Waldorf School so that, in a certain sense, they entered school each morning with a virgin soul, so that they would always be confronted with something new, with new riddles. The ability to forget, which is only the other side of comprehending, is what draws people to spiritual science. It is the result of continual spiritual-scientific learning.

Some people reject any spiritual-scientific learning outright, accepting only the prevalent view based on materialistic teachings. The only way to break down this wall of resistance is for them to begin to grasp the reality of the living spirit by observing its results when it is applied.

[page 85] Those unwilling to develop the feeling I spoke of at the end of the last lecture will not immediately recognize how such an understanding of the human being can arise in any way other than that which is currently acceptable. It can, however, arise when we comprehend the entire developing human being, that is, the body, the soul, and the spirit, in terms of lively movement. By comprehending the living human being in movement, by placing ourselves in human nature, we can create within ourselves an understanding that is not dead but alive. This understanding is most appropriate if we are to avoid clinging to external materialistic perspectives or falling prey to illusions and fantasy. What I have presented here can be very fruitful, but only when we use it directly, because its primary characteristics first become apparent through direct use.

What is most amazing is the change which comes upon teachers who convert themselves from people who feed dead information to children into people who read living information from children. This a possibility which becomes a reality for Waldorf school teachers.

[page 87] Those who develop this possibility within themselves, who configure their spirit in this way, make themselves alive in a different way in regard to developing children, even in large numbers. They gain the capacity of reading the curriculum from the nature of the developing child.

If you have doubts about this possibility, you will not find the answers in this review nor will you find it in any Steiner lecture — you will only find it by close-up observation of Waldorf education in action and in its results in producing whole human beings, not just intellectually over-stimulated human beings.

The difference can be as simple as teaching writing first and reading only afterward. This may create roars of disapproval from parents who boast about their three-year-olds being able to read. Such a skewed approach is one way we populate the next generation with intellectually over-stimulated adults instead of balanced human beings.

[page 89] If, as is done today, we teach conventionalized writing to children, it can affect only the intellect. For that reason, we should not actually begin with learning to write, but with an artistic comprehension of those forms that are then expressed through writing or printing.

Drawing and work with flowing paints allows the child's intellect to evolve as a consequence of its entire humanity, not just its thinking capability.

[page 90] If we allow children to enjoy this artistically taught instruction in drawing, aside from the fact that it also leads to writing, we will see how they need to move their fingers or perhaps the entire arm in a certain way that begins not simply from thinking, but from a kind of dexterity. Thereby the I begins to allow the intellect to develop as a consequence of the entire human being. The less we train the intellect and the more we work with the entire human being so that the dexterity of the intellect arises out of the movements of the limbs, the better it is.

Individualized teaching in large classes is possible if the teacher shares a living knowledge with the children. This is a point often missed in the claim that the smaller the class the better; rather, the more living knowledge presented, the better.

[page 96] It does not seem to me to be so bad if classes are very large as long as they are healthy and well ventilated. What we might call individualization occurs of itself if the teacher's work arises out of a living comprehension of human nature and the nature of the world. In that case, the teacher is so interesting for the students that they become individualized by themselves. They will become individualized and do it actively. You do not need to work with each individual student, which is a kind of passive individualization. It is important that you always attempt to work with the entire class, and that a living contact with the teacher is present. When you have shaped your own soul to comprehend life, life will speak to those who wish to receive it.

What is the importance of ensouled learning? For one thing, ensouled learning works within us while we are asleep, whereas abstract concepts and definitions do not. If you wish to create little professors who will grow into stilted adults, give them abstractions and definitions to memorize, which they will be able to spout out later at will. If you wish to create balanced human beings, give them images which will awaken their feelings, as these feelings will work on the child every night as they sleep. A good unanswered question(5) placed in a child's mind is better than a dozen definitions. It is not without significance that people say about some important decision, "Let me sleep on it." Surely something must grow into understanding during one's sleep and dreams.

[page 101, 102] There is continual activity in the content of the soul during the period from falling asleep until awakening, and what occurs there can be studied only with the help of spiritual-scientific research. Through such research, it is apparent that we take into our soul only what we receive pictorially, that is, only what awakens corresponding feelings. Everything we receive as mere abstract concepts — things we learn as unpictured, unmovable concepts — does not work within us during the period of sleep. It does not directly enter our souls.

One of the soul experiences of children comes from musical instruction. In Waldorf schools this experience is extended by a kind of physical exercise Steiner originated called eurythmy. From a teaching perspective, he says one should think of eurythmy as "ensouled gymnastics." It is a combination of physical education, dance, and artistic expression which ensouls itself within children. It has a complicated definition, but only adults need the definition, not children. They simply enjoy the graceful movements which contrast with the muscle-pumping exertion from usual gym exercises. In effect during eurythmy, the human being becomes a moving larynx.

[page 104] In the end, eurythmy is such, when you understand it, that you can read it in just the same way as you can read words and sentences. If I may use a Goethean expression, eurythmy developed through a sense-perceptible and supersensible observation of the tendencies in the movement of the larynx, gums, and lips, and then applying the Goethean principle of metamorphosis to transfer the movement of those organs to the entire human being. Goethe's view was that an entire plant is only a more complicated leaf. What I mean here is that everything that a human being does in movement according to her will is a reflection not of the actual movements, but of the tendencies of those movements found in the organs of speech, so that the entire human being becomes a lively, moving larynx.

A good friend of mine studied long years of eurythmy, and I can pick up eurythmic movements of his body at various points when he talks.

[page 105] We need only recall that speaking is simply a localization of the entire activity of a human being. In speaking, the activities of thinking and will come together. In encountering one another, they also become an activity of feeling. The intellectual activity, which in our civilized language is very abstract, is left out in eurythmy so that everything flows out of the human will. Thus the will is what is actually utilized in eurythmy.

The lack of intellectual content in eurythmy often to leads newcomers to ask, "What does this mean?" Isadora Duncan gave the perfect answer to that question about dance movements when she said, "If I could tell you, I wouldn't have to dance it." Eurythmy can be thought of as willing and feeling without thinking.

Teaching grammar is one of a teacher's toughest jobs and one fraught with far-flung consequences for society. I recall continuous corrections when I was in grade school of my classmates who used expressions like "Sam and me went to the store." The teacher would burst out with the correction, "Sam and I" and the child would cower under the teacher's admonition. What has been the result some 50 years later? Adults who get paid to talk on News and Sports stations use the following erroneous grammatical structure, "He said it to Sam and I." This is a prime example of bad pedagogical process propagating itself into the future generations. What's a teacher to do with children who speak in dialects with bad grammar? Steiner recommends using the way the child speaks and encouraging interaction with children who speak without dialect.

[page 112] There is a way of teaching language by using the way the child already speaks and supporting the instruction through a living interaction between those children who speak a more cultivated language and those who speak a dialect. In this way you can allow them to measure themselves against each other, not in some abstract way, but using feeling to guide a word, a sentence, in dialect into another.

Something as simple as learning to create a vertical line and then an arc before being asked to write the capital letter P can create a felt experience of the spiritual residing in the physical. Let children grow into adults without this felt experience and they will create and introject all kinds of abstract theories of mind-body parallelism. We can perceive now how the spirit has become separated from the body through such abstractions which began in childhood by forcing writing before felt experience of the components of writing.

[page 115] Just think of all such bridges we have seen in modern times that were to be formed between the spirit-soul and the physical body, beginning with the views of Descartes, psychophysical parallelism, and so forth. All these theories have essentially been born out of an incapacity to view the human being as a whole. People do not see how the physical is formed out of the spiritual and how the spiritual is revealed simultaneously in the physical body. We need only to understand how the one has been separated from the other through abstractions. Thus certain things have been totally misunderstood in modern times, even though they are understandable when we recognize the harmony between the physical and the psychological.

Some teachers are very serious and some are light-hearted (lacking a very serious nature). Steiner asks which is better and equates that to the question of is it better to inhale or exhale. The answer is obvious: a balance of inhaling and exhaling is essential. So, too, is a balance of gravity and levity in teaching. No one who is depressed enjoys humor, do they? To be depressed is have our self completely contained, which means our soul-spirit is imprisoned within our skin. To enjoy humor is to have our soul-spirit take flight from our body. The text acronym ROTFL says it rightly, we are "Rolling on the Floor Laughing", not literally on the floor but metaphorically. It is our soul-spirit which is out rolling on the floor when we "get carried away" laughing. Seriousness, levity, gravity, humor, etc., represent the inhaling and exhaling of spirit which is essential for a balance in our lives.

[page 125, 126] Just as there is a strict rhythm in the human being according to which there are on the average eighteen breaths taken in a minute, the entirety of human life is based upon rhythm. One part of that rhythm is the interplay between humor and seriousness. Humor is based upon people getting away from themselves in a certain way. With humor, we move onto the path toward dreaming. Although we remain completely conscious, moving toward humor is the beginning of the path to dreaming. This loss of self is expressed through smiling or laughing. In these acts, the spirit-soul — or what we in spiritual science call the I and the astral body — moves out in a certain way from the physical and the etheric, although people still remain in control.

Through humor, people expand in their soul and spirit aspects.

How is a teacher able to mix humor in front of a classroom of children? The answer is hard work. Hard work on creating a lesson plan so that the teacher can share the material without appearing to work hard because the material will seem to just float out into the classroom effortlessly. When someone, like a well-prepared teacher, is having fun, the opportunity for humor arises spontaneously.

[page 127] If I come into a classroom at three in the afternoon to present something to the children and if I have schooled myself in the material in the same way I have learned to school myself in spiritual science, the material will be something through which I no longer need to take the external world into account. My own attitudes will disappear. The material itself will provide me with humor and seriousness at the right times, and things will just go by themselves.

If a teacher is too serious, the children will act up to add some humor. My only C grade in conduct came in the second grade and my mother was so upset at me that I found other ways to amuse myself in class thereafter. As best I can recall, that teacher was way too serious and my classmates, unlike my mother, appreciated my lightening up their classroom. I have since come to see that conduct grades for students can be understood as conduct grades for the teacher.

When I first read Steiner's "Outline of Occult Science", I wrote a half-page review on it. Several years later as I read and absorbed much more of his spiritual science, I re-read the book and my review of topped 120 pages. Clearly I received only dry straw from my first reading and very nutritious sustenance from my second, experiencing the book as a complex orchestral score for the evolution of the cosmos and the human being.

[page 129, 130] As I mentioned before, we cannot take up spiritual science as though we were sitting in the theater and watching a film. We can only take it up when we are inwardly active. As I said before, you should read my book An Outline of Occult Science, but if you read it without any inner experience and take what I say there simply as a guide for your own thoughts, then the entirety of spiritual science will be just like straw. For that reason, spiritual science is for many people simply straw. If, however, you read it so that it is like an orchestral score that you first only understand when you have drawn all the details out of yourself, then, through drawing that out of yourself, you will develop those forces that otherwise remain hidden in human nature.

Steiner in his Waldorf lectures often speaks about the age of 9 being an important change point in a child's life. This next passage summarizes what changes at the age of 9 in child and why it is important.

[page 135] We can therefore say that until the age of nine children want to develop under authority, but their desire to imitate is still present as well. At nine, the desire to imitate disappears, but the desire for authority remains. At about the age of twelve, while still under the guidance of authority, another important desire, namely, to reason independently, begins to develop. If we use independent reasoning too much before the age of twelve, we will actually ruin the child's soul and bodily forces. In a certain sense, we deaden human experiencing with reason.

My grandparents spoke Cajun French until English was forced upon their children about a hundred years ago. I never learned to converse in Cajun, but I absorbed a lot of words and intonation of the local dialect, and can relate to what Steiner says about dialect.

[page 151] The children speak in dialect, and they speak in such a way that the dialects have developed in them under the influence of the instinct for imitation. If we have a talent for observing such things, we can recognize that those children who speak in dialect have a much more intimate relationship to language than those children who do not speak in dialect.

A few days ago, while I was reading Lecture 9, "Dialect and Standard Language", I was re-writing a joke someone had sent me in Standard Language into the Cajun dialect. The content of the joke was the same, but as I read my Cajun version out loud, I noticed its impact was greater than the original joke. There was more emotion than in the bland original version, and in a joke, less thinking and more emotion — more feeling and willing — makes the joke more fun to tell and to listen to. "Ah guarontee!" as famed Cajun humorist Justin Wilson liked to say.

[page 151] We certainly cannot overlook the fact that the intimate relationship that children who speak in dialect have to their languages exists because the dialect as such, in its words and sentences, has been formed out of a much more intense feeling and willing than standard language, which is based more upon thinking or upon a thinking derived primarily from feeling. In any event, emotion is much less present in standard language when a child learns standard language originally than it is in dialect. The same is also true in regard to the will impulse.

What happens when the musical element invades a language? There is no better example to be found than in the unique singing style of New Orleanian Louis Armstrong. For him the lyrics of a song were like notes on his trumpet and vice versa. His singing morphed into music and his music morphed into lyrics, all filled with intense feeling and willing of at times indescribable beauty that one can marvel at and enjoy. As a child Louie roamed the streets of New Orleans' and on a New Year's Eve, he fired a gun in the air in celebration and was arrested and brought to a Waif's Home where the headmaster put a trumpet in his hands and said to him, "Everyone here plays an instrument." Louie brought the rhythm of the streets into his horn and into his singing. The street was Louie's authority.

[page 152] As very small children, we attempt to imitate, though unconsciously, in our language what we perceive through the senses. It is especially clear in language how the musical and sculptural elements work in two diverging directions. If we educate children more according to the musical element, which in school is expressed primarily through a feeling for authority, we will destroy what exists in the child as a sculptural desire. The musical element of language develops under the influence of authority such that the child continuously has an instinct or a desire to speak, even in the details of the tones, in the same way that a person who is felt to be an authority speaks. A conformity to the authority's musical element is, whether we want to believe that it is right or wrong, simply there because of the nature of the child. If you have a talent for observing such things, you will quickly notice how the musical element of the child's language conforms to that of the person educating the child.

Louie developed musically and the language he spoke lost its hard structural element and gained an expressiveness that was heavily imitated by musicians who studied his style, such as Bing Crosby who once joked in song with Louie, "Don't dig dat kind o'crooning, son." The joke was that Bing was imitating Louie's style as he sang those words. To dig means in dialect to make something a part of yourself.

[page 152] A one-sided development of the musical element in language destroys language's sculptural element. When people only follow the musical element, they are forced more and more to make language an inner experience, to follow their feelings in a certain way by recreating the tone, the intonation, and particularly the nuances of the vowels to conform to those of the people whom they perceive as authorities.

Steiner urges teachers to use the dialect spoken by children in class as a means of helping the other children to learn how language enlivens and re-creates an activity of the world in speech. The closeness of gesture and word brings to mind how the Fonz in the sitcom "Happy Days" said his famous "Aaay! with his arms pulled back and spread in a thumbs-up pose — it was his ultimate approval of what a friend had just done or said.

[page 155] Learning to speak is at first the enlivening of an activity whose substantiation occurs only afterwards. This is something that, when we look at dialect, we can certainly take into account. You can attempt to feel that by having a child say something and then trying to feel that within yourself. The words in dialect are such that they are extremely close to what lives in the gesture that accompanies the word in dialect.

In a nutshell, Steiner tells us it is important to teach using dialect as it provides a means of encouraging an inner sense of style when speaking.

[page 159] If we use dialect in order to develop the natural human instinct for language while using standard language in order to awaken an inner feeling for style, we can achieve what is necessary in teaching language.

Steiner's approach in many areas of pedagogy is from unity to parts. We see this in arithmetic where addition is taught by subtraction, i.e., taking away from ten apples various combinations of apples such as 5, 3, 2, all of which adds up to ten. And multiplication is taught by division, e.g., where twelve apples are divided into three groups of four each, or six groups of two each, leading the child to understand how 3 times 4 equals 12 and 6 times 2 = 12. I remember the most hated arithmetic exercise was long division, and I wonder now if we had learned division before multiplication if any division would have been disliked.

Following the unity first, Waldorf schools start with complete sentences. I recall the first book we had was "Dick and Jane" in 1940s elementary schools. "See the dog Spot.", "See Spot run." and so on. Short, but complete sentences. As we grew up, we ridiculed the silly stories about Dick and Jane and their dog Spot, but we learned to read from complete sentences. Beginning to read with complete sentences helps the child express its need to analyze and defuses a tendency to materialism. On Page 171 Steiner says, "Materialism is encouraged by a failure to satisfy our desire for analysis."

[page 171] For this reason in the Waldorf School we always teach beginning not with letters, but with complete sentences. We analyze the sentence into words and the words into letters and then the letters into vowels. In this way we come to a proper inner understanding as the child grasps the meaning of what a sentence or word is. We awaken the child's consciousness by analyzing sentences and words.

Steiner's unity to parts method as applied to arithmetic prevents children from being confronted with the horrible and dreaded equals sign at the end of an equation, such as 5+3+2=? Instead finding the components of 10 to 5, 3, 2. Using this method one begins with the answer and is never confronted by the dreaded equals sign.

[page 175] When teaching addition, we should not simply expect answers to the question of what is the sum of so and so much. Instead we should expect answers to the question of how a sum can be separated in various ways. In contrast, the question with regard to subtraction is, from what number do we need to remove five in order to have the result be eight? In general, we need to pose all these kinds of questions in the opposite way to which they are posed in synthetic thinking when interacting with external world.
       Here we can place the teaching of arithmetic in parallel with teaching language, where we begin with the whole and then go on to the individual letters.

The point of using dialect when teaching is to help children understand that there are genuine experiences in words. (Page 180) Mark Twain brought dialect into his Tom Sawyer stories in a lively fashion that was interesting and charming. The famous German writer Goethe did likewise.

[page 181] Goethe introduced much dialect into language. It is always good to enliven written language with dialect because it enables words to be felt in a warmer, more lively way. . . . When teaching language, we have a certain responsibility to use it also as a training for ethics in life. Nevertheless there needs to be some feeling; it should not be done simply according to convention. We move further and further away from what is alive in language if we say, as is done in the Western European languages, that one or another turn of phrase is incorrect and that only one particular way of saying things is allowed.

Children from teeth change to puberty need authority figures they trust. If we eschew being an authority figure during this age period, we are demanding a capacity for reason to appear too early. This causes the physical body to take over the reasoning capability and results in problems in later life. Many movies were made based on this theme about juvenile delinquents and even adult delinquents. James Cagney movies in which he played the bad guy, often in prison gave examples of adult delinquents, and movies like Blackboard Jungle, The Wild One, and Rebel Without A Cause portrayed the younger delinquents whose reasoning capability was unsteady, temperamental, and caused serious problems.

[page 184] The physical body is drawn in with all its natural characteristics, with its temperament, its blood characteristics, and everything that gives rise to sympathy and antipathy within it, with everything that provides it with no objectivity. In other words, if a child between the ages of seven and fourteen is supposed to reason independently, the child reasons out of that part of human nature which we later can no longer rid ourselves of if we are not careful to see that it is cared for in a natural way, namely, through authority, during the elementary school period. If we allow children to reason too early, it will be the physical body that reasons throughout life. We then remain unsteady in our reasoning, as it depends upon our temperament and all kinds of other things in the physical body.

Clearly the best approach is to accept your authority role with children until they have reached the age of puberty, at which time their soul (astral body) is prepared to be guided towards freedom.

The renewal of education should be considered as a refreshing of education, an approach to education which brings living processes of the teacher in place of frozen definitions and rote memorization. In this lecture cycle we learn of the three aspects of each of the four aspects of being human and learn in depth that education is not just about thinking, but includes feeling and willing in equal order. We learn that art is an essential part of education and how to begin with flowing paints with which children can learn to create curves and learn of colors as they mix together. We learn about the processes of learning in the three stages of childhood: from birth to teeth change, from teeth change to puberty, and from puberty to adulthood, and how teachers best deal with each period. We learn about the life of the soul in sympathy, antipathy, and in-between. We learn about the life of the spirit in waking, dreaming, and dreamless sleep. All of this information we digest and forget about when we face children in the classroom. We look upon the children as a riddle not as some malleable clay to be molded into a human being by us. We offer them questions more than answers. Knowing they arrive in our classroom wanting living experiences more than answers, we do not stuff them full of facts, but instead instill in them questions which will only be answered much later in life as they bloom into adults and middle age.

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

Footnote 1.
A glib answer produces no soul-to-soul communication while a recreated answer does. The process of creating an answer from one's digested knowledge provides a direct soul-to-soul communication. See my essay on this subject in Teaching and Learning.

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Footnote 2.
This the basis of the science of doyletics which details how physical body states (doyles) are converted into cognitive or declarative memories beginning around the age of five.

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Footnote 3.
In his famous book, A Leg to Stand On, Oliver Sacks, a neurologist, reports his disbelief in even having a leg after the nerves to it were damaged by a falling accident.

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Footnote 4.
Perhaps the most powerful artistic representation of the metaphoric wall which exists between students and teachers can be found the Pink Floyd's movie, The Wall.

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Footnote 5.
What is the Power of an Unanswered Question? is one of Matherne's Rules.

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2.) ARJ2: On The Biology of Learning Works of Holger hyden, Konrad Lorenz, H. W. Magoun, Wilder Penfield, etal, Edited by Karl Pribram

This book is a compilation of essays by pioneers in their respective fields: Konrad Lorenz, Wilder Penfield, and Karl Pribram, the ones I am most familiar with. I read the book quickly through after the Introduction and first chapter, so this will not be a comprehensive book review, as much as some thoughts inspired by the first few chapters. A comment by Pribram in his Introduction is worth noting in full:

In addition, each does something strict behaviorists usually feel constrained not to do (because they think it "unscientific"): each of the contributors continues to reflect on the riddles that gave rise to his research.

On page 2, Pribram's comments on ethology led me to make the following definition: ethology [the human portion] is the systematic study of the formation of human character. That makes Doyle Henderson's theory of the acquisition of emotional traits a theory of ethology, since his theory describes the formation of the emotional components of human character.

On page 6 Pribram, in talking about Penfield's work on necessity of attention for learning, says:

The evidence for it is not at all conclusive, however. Much of the process of operant conditioning may well occur in the absence of awareness on the part of the organism conditioned.

This confirms what I have believed for some time that learning occurs both consciously and unconsciously, but that which is learned unconsciously takes longer for the learner to understand that the learning is present. So, sleeping in school and college will lead to learning, but not necessarily in time for the final exam. In pointing out that "novelty must be recognized for what it is: that is, information", he leads up to the old saying, "education is what remains after all that was learned has been forgotten." Note that statement brings unconscious learning into a par with conscious learning, so far as education goes.

About Magoun, who presents a three-stage description of the development of learning, Pribram says, "he calls attention to a newly won research opportunity: study the maturation of neural structure and function concomitant with behavioral development, and you will achieve new insights into learning." It is exactly this study that is necessary for further development of Doyle Henderson's theory of emotions. Doyle has focused to date on the functions of the neural mechanisms of the brain, and now it is timely to begin to study the structures that provide the functions in the manner that his theory requires or suggests. An example of research work in this area would be to study the switch from amygdala/limbic memory to neocortex memory at the memory transition age.

Konrad Lorenz makes a cogent point in his essay:

In describing evolution, we are forever hampered by the fact that our vocabulary was created by a culture not yet aware of phylogeny . All the existing terms . . . fail miserably to do justice to what is the essence of evolution, the coming-into-existence of something entirely new, which simply did not exist before.

This leads me to note that mutation is the ontogeny of phylogeny, that is, the development up through all the species, taken as one whole, proceeds by mutations that survive from generation to generation, to improve on a species to such an extent that a new species comes into being, and the phylogeny thereby continues its ontogenesis.

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3.) ARJ2: The Practice of Writing by David Lodge

Lodge's book would have been better named, The Practice of Re-Publishing Essays, as all the contents of the book are previously published literary essays, most of them written after 1987. This book was a fast read for me, as I was most interested in the essays on writing, such as "Fact and Fiction in the Novel," "Creative Writing," and "The Novel as Communication," and was bored with the essays on writers such as Graham Greene, Nabokov, Joyce, et al. Lodge's essays on writers held no attraction to me, and even though I wanted to like them, I could not. They were academically biased and tendentious to a point that escaped me. But I did unearth a few golden nuggets of insight and wisdom even in those essays:

[page 86, on Kingsley Amis's flawless sense of comedic timing] . . . the way he controls the development of an action, or a sentence, to create that combination of surprise and logicality that is the heart of comedy.

[page 100, Lodge's apostrophe to his readers] If, gentle reader, you don't wish the most private moments of your life to become the object of interested scrutiny by future generations, you would do well not to become a great writer, or have anything to do with one.

[page 137, on James Joyce's prose fragments he called "epiphanies."] By an epiphany he meant a sudden spiritual manifestation, whether in the vulgarity of speech or of gesture or in a memorable phase of the mind itself.

[page 177, one requirement for a novel] "The only obligation to which in advance one may hold a novel, without incurring the obligation of being arbitrary," said Henry James in his essay, "is that it be interesting."

[page 190, 191, excerpt from Lodge's novel Small World] Reading of course is different from conversation. It is more passive in the sense that we can't interact with a text, we can't affect the development of the text by our own words, since the text's words are already given.

In this last quote, Lodge runs afoul of quantum mechanics. Yes, the words are already set in type and printed in the book, but until read by the reader, their reality is not yet fixed — the words of a book, until read, have the same quasi-reality as Schrödinger's cat in the famous quantum mechanics thought experiment. Until the box is opened and an observer notes the condition of the cat (alive or dead), the cat exists in some intermediate quantum state that is neither dead nor alive. So also does the text of the novel you hold before you as you read the words for the first time. Only after reading, do the words become a given, not before. Until observed, the words and meanings are in as much flux as the cat in the box, and that is the very reason we read the novel in the first place.

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4.) ARJ2: The Unconscious in Its Empirical Manifestations by C. A. Meier

It is rare to find an error in the second sentence of a book especially by one so literate as C. A. Meier, but alas, if you read enough books, it will happen. From the Foreword:

[page ix] Only gods are born miraculously full-grown from trees, mountains or the head of Zeus. Every science possesses its own phylogeny and ontology (sic), just as it possesses its own postulates and its own conclusions. We epigones are therefore only deceiving ourselves if we disregard the position of a school or doctrine in the history of thought or the personal history and development of its founder. If we do so, our assimilation of our subject will remain, as it were, at the epiphenomenal level.

The problem is the word ontology should be ontogeny. Ontology is the science of being, while ontogeny is the systematic development of an organism or organization. A science develops phylogenetically as physics originated as an offshoot of philosophy. Physics developed ontogenetically with each major advance in knowledge from Aristotle to Galileo to Newton to Einstein to Heisenberg. On with the ontogeny aspects of Jung's psychology. But first, let us take a look at what a detractor has to say about Jung's approach to psychic realities. Robert Sardello writes, in his polemical attack on Jung, that one must learn the "difference between one's own inner life and the experience of the objective spiritual world." [from his Foreword to Rudolf Steiner's book Freud, Jung, & Spiritual Psychology]

[page 16] Avoiding this crucial difference leads on the one hand to the confused mysticism of Jung, and on the other to modern psychologists such as R. D. Laing who approach schizophrenia as if it were spiritual experience. The first reduces spiritual experience to subjective psychology; the second enlarges subjective experience beyond its proper domain. Only the spiritual cognition of the life of the soul can produce the kind of knowledge that avoids such confusions — a knowledge of the difference between soul that is self-enclosed and soul that is permeated with and radiates into the objective spiritual world, the difference between subconsciousness and supra-consciousness. One might think that Jung made this distinction, that he recognized the supra-conscious realm with his more mystical investigations of the archetype of the Self.

Here's Jung's program for his own work as a lecturer in his field as provided by Meier in his Foreword:


While, I must admit, Jung did not specify that "psychic cultivation" means coming to a realization of the "difference between one's own inner life and the experience of the objective spiritual world," Carl Gustav Jung exemplified in his life the qualities of a person who eventually came to perceive an objective spiritual reality. When asked in a filmed interview if he believed in God, his answer was unquestionably that of a person who perceives spiritual reality. Here's a poem I wrote after viewing that film of his interview. [from my poem Face to Face in my book of poetry Flowers of ShanidarCopyright 1990]

His eyes twinkling in black and white
His voice a raspy roar
Over the projector's clatter.
A fuzzy ghost speaks from the screen
"I do not believe, I know."

This was the elder Jung speaking these words with a conviction that belied any claim that he propounded a "confused mysticism." Throughout his life he spoke his truth in the words of a scientist who wished to remain within the materialistic establishment while opening a window out into the spiritual world for those inside to see. Recently I came upon someone who claimed that Jung in his later years told his friends in private something that he had not dared to write publically: that his "archetypes were actually spiritual beings." To say that Jung "reduced spiritual experience to subjective psychology" is a mean-spirited skewering of what he did — Jung researched spiritual realities and wrote cogently in the words of establishment scientists to get his ideas accepted, and was very successful in doing that. He produced a psychology that is based on his own spiritual experiences and got his resultant psychology accepted by otherwise materialistic psychologists and psychiatrists. To call Jung's early seeking for spiritual realities a "confused mysticism" is to ignore the ontogenetic development of Jung's psychology in the course of his long lifetime. As Meier points out, "Jung himself never produced a systematic treatment of his own work." In fact, in another interview, Jung said that he could never be a Jungian. Most of the objections to Jung's work are better directed at the systematic treatment others made of Jung's work, not the man himself.

Robert Sardello, James Hillman, and other would-be debunkers of Jung are like the "scholarly wasps" in this quote by Wieland that Meier gives us on page xiv, "He that has dared to break new ground / a nest of scholarly wasps has found." The scholarly wasps perceive a tangled web when they try to un-deceive themselves from the teachings of Jung. They have tried to do something Jung admitted he would not do, i.e., become a Jungian, and they have failed. And they take their failure as indicative of some failing in Jung himself. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man." Let the de-bunkers of Jung be aware that they are only stepping on the shadow of the man.

Meier opens his chapter Creative Effects of the Unconscious by recalling how the ancients thanked the gods for their creative ideas. Note how Meier's lack of understanding of the evolution of consciousness leads him to call the reality of the ancients an attitude:

[page 10] An attitude of this kind had in fact been traditional since the earliest days of Greek poetry. The poet would invoke the muse for inspiration; and he would also thank her. I need only recall the poet's invocation of the Muse in the opening lines of the Odyssey: "Tell me, O Muse, the tale of the man of many wanderings. . . ."

This is a common failing today, and it is based on a projection back in time of attitudes of consciousness that exist today, but did not exist in the earlier times under consideration. The very idea that traditions could be based on attitudes without the attitudes resulting from some pre-existing reality seems fantastic to me. What was traditional was not an attitude, but the reality of humans with the quotidian ability to perceive the spiritual world directly. Thus, we can see that the gibes Sardello intends for Jung are better applied to Meier and other Jungians who do not perceive the spiritual world directly and blithely project their handicap on the rest of humanity going back to the earliest historical times.

If we examine what Meier says about medicine in antiquity in Chapter 5 Soul and Body we find more evidence for the reality of the ancients directly experiencing spiritual beings and calling on their help with their illnesses. "Theurgy" is the proper word for such a process of urging the gods for help in one's illness. Meier says, "This theurgic medicine had entered so deeply into the bloodstream of the ancient physicians that they never forgot the psychic factor in the healing process." (Page 152) To "get into the bloodstream" there must have been a reality of communication with the gods that infused the daily lives of the ancients, a reality that we have forgotten, and, in our collective amnesia, we presuppose that it never existed, up until now.

Meier translates a quotation from Constantinus Africanus which illustrates an early knowledge of the psychogenesis of illnesses: "The soul follows the body in its activities, the body the soul in its symptoms." When one allows oneself to be led by one's soul, health is the natural result; when one resists being led by one's soul, illness is the natural result.

In the next passage we will see how a Jungian analyst interprets the spiritual experience of the Christ Being in the Sun as a projection of "regressed libido" energy. Meier says that Robert Mayer's development of the law of conservation of energy was due to an archetypal image, the very kind of images which Jung himself in his later life came to understand were actual spiritual beings. Here we may see clearly how the very attitudes of the materialistic scientists create the very reality they purport to perceive. In Thomas Kuhn's terminology, they are blinded by their own paradigm.

[page 32] As usually happens in such cases , the image activated by the regression of the libido had a fascinating effect upon Mayer. It appeared to him in projected form in the heavens; he was fascinated by the sun as a center of energy. Whenever a fascination of this kinds occurs, we take it that a primordial image, or — in Jung's terminology — an archetypal image, is at work. Once such an image has been activated, it will obtrude itself upon the conscious mind with elemental power.

Like Jung had to do with his ideas to get them accepted by the scientific establishment, Robert Mayer had to fashion his spiritual insights into the accepted terminology of his time.

[page 33] There is no doubt that these studies and the new wording of his paper, which was more adequate to the level of knowledge in physics at that period, represented a tremendous achievement in terms of Mayer's work on himself. To a considerable extent he had succeeded in objectivizing the original, largely subjective content of his idea and had transformed it in such a way that it constitutes a universally valid truth. It is, in fact, nothing less that the First Law of Thermodynamics. Not only did he give the world a great new idea, which secured his fame alike as a genius and an enricher of civilization; he had also, at the same time, redeemed his own soul.

The story of Mayer's primordial image leads Meier to give us a succinct definition of a symbol. A symbol is "an image of a psychological state of affairs which could not be better or more completely expressed in any other way than by this precise image." One such symbol for me is what I call the Soul Captain. This unconscious part of our psyche leads us on paths that we follow willingly, but drags us on paths that we resist following. On page 39, Meier says, "it seems as if the unconscious behaves well when we are friendly towards it." In other words, when we allow ourselves to be led by our Soul Captain, we are being friendly to it, and it leads us without any problems; if not, the Soul Captain drags us against our will, not a friendly act. Subjectively we perceive such times as if all the forces of the universe were conspiring to make us do something we don't wish to do or to prevent us from doing something we wish to do. If we were to suddenly change our "wishes," we would immediately experience relief and unleash enormous energies to the completion of the activity we sought so hard to avoid. I often think of giving "Want Development Seminars" to teach people how much energy they can release in their lives simply by changing the things they want to do to make them align with what they are already doing in their lives.

I had an object lesson in this process in December 1999 when a long planned trip got cancelled at the last moment. I had just read the following passage by Meier a week before.

[page 62, 63] The proverbial expression Un Romain retournerait ("A Roman would turn back.") has a psychological meaning. It implies that anyone who leaves his house intent on some specific project and then stumbles over the threshold must have inner resistances against the plan he has in mind and would be better advised to return home and sleep once more upon his project.

On the night before we were to set out on a Christmas trip to northern Michigan, a friend called to tell us that his wife had been hospitalized due to chest pains and he didn't know for sure if she would be home by the next day when we were due to arrive at their place. So far the tests on her heart showed it okay, he related to me, but they were running more tests. She might be released tomorrow, he just didn't know yet. I got her phone number at the hospital and told him we were coming anyway. Del thought it better we not stay with them, and I suggested we wait and see. In the back of mind, I was thinking about the old proverb above. I looked it up and found right below the proverb a passage from "Seneca" whose last line was strikingly similar to Matherne's Rule #28: "The Soul Captain leads the willing and drags the unwilling."

[page 63] O Father and Ruler of Heaven, do Thou guide me
Where e'r Thou willest: I will gladly follow.
Did I not so, with groans I'd have to follow
And suffer as evil what I could have accepted as good.
Fate leads the willing, drags the unwilling, man.

In this case Fate (my Soul Captain) seemed be leading me to stay at home, so when I got in bed before going to sleep, I asked my Soul Captain to give me an unambiguous sign before we left in the morning whether we should proceed as planned on our Christmas Odyssey. When the alarm went off, as I struggled to get out of bed, I felt woozy, with a touch of vertigo as I did during my bout with sinusitis seven years earlier. I sat on the side of the bed and as I rose to stand up, it was as though a giant hand pushed me back onto the bed. Stunned, I lay back down in bed and realized that the message, the signal that I had asked for, had come to me in no uncertain terms. Not only did I get the message, but it came in such a fashion that I couldn't leave if I wanted to. Braving the cold and snow of the north country was daunting enough when I was feeling perfectly well, as I was just last evening, but there was no way I was going to proceed on this trip feeling unfit as I did lying in bed this morning. I woke Del to tell her what the problem was and that we were not going. At that point, I felt mostly relief rather than disappointment.

To be healthy one must find a healthy balance between enacting a plan regardless of the consequences versus changing plans at the slightest whim or indication.

[page 130] Sooner or later, onesidedness of any kind will inevitably be compensated by a reaction from the unconscious which will take the form of resistance against the onesidedness.

This process of compensation may remain within the bounds of normality; but a person who is mentally unbalanced will try to defend himself against his unconscious and will therefore refuse to accept its compensatory significance. By so doing, he will fatally reinforce his onesidedness; in other words, he will miss the opportunity offered him by the healing intention behind the manifestations of his unconscious. As a result, the pressure from the unconscious will be intensified; its contents will appear even more distorted, and the forms in which they become audible and visible will become increasingly bizarre. Since the material we are dealing with is derived from the unconscious, its language will be peculiar in any case; however, owing to the resistance of the conscious mind, it will become even weirder than before.

Even as early as 1919 Jung attacked those materialistic physicians who saw only physical causes in mental illness.

[page 130, 131] He maintained that doctors were hypnotized by their belief in physical causation, since they only saw the worst cases in the mental hospitals -- cases that could accounted for largely as the terminal states of prolonged hospitalization. Doctors and psychiatrists have practically no opportunities following the gradual process of the development of the pre-psychotics states in such patients.

Pre-psychotic states are those activated by complexes and they can lead us into such primitive behaviors as projection. The historical expression for the process of projection is "kill the messenger." A friend of mine cut down a tree in the front yard of a house that he and his wife had purchased from her parents some eleven years earlier. He had wanted to remove the tree shortly after they bought the house, but his father-in-law explained that it shaded the front of the house in the evening sunset, so he allowed the tree to stand. Eleven years later, he realized that the tree did not shade the house, and he had the tree removed, stump and all. His father-in-law was furious and accused him of cutting down the tree to spite him. The clue to the origin of the anger became clear only when he discovered that the tree had come from the yard of his father-in-law's mother. His father-in-law was eighty-two, in frail health, and the removal of the tree that came from his mother reminded him unconsciously, served as a symbol for, the removal of something else that came from his mother: himself. The tree was shading him in the sunset of his life. He did not want to be cut down and obliterated from the face of the earth as his tree had been. Here's how Meier describes the process that father-in-law went through.

[page 162] We become subjective and "personal" because an objective attitude would demand a form of mental superiority which the excitation of the complex has made impossible for us.

Seen in this light, the complex is precisely an area of inadequate adaptation to reality, and in psychological terms this is simply equivalent to a specific unawareness of embarrassing weakness. And at this point the "trouble-maker" who has touched us on the "sore spot" (in the association experiment this is of course the experimenter), becomes an antagonist and is made responsible for our failure.

Meier devotes all of Chapter 4 from page 65 to page 149 to The Association Experiment as Developed by C. G. Jung, which first began as word association lists with stopwatch timing of the responses by the experimenter. Those words that caused a slight delay in response were loaded words indicative of complex-laden affect. Thus the experimenter would become privy to the deepest secrets of the person being tested. With the addition of galvanic skin response recording, the technology led to the modern day polygraph used by police departments for lie detection.

The question arises as to which is correct: does an emotion come and then we notice the effects of the emotion or do the effects come and those effects comprise what we call an emotion. William James took the latter view, a view that provides substantive support for the science of doyletics.

[page 163] This inversion of the causal nexus as compared with the naive view does provide us with food for thought; for example, it tends to support the theory of emotions held by James and Lange, which states that we do not cry because we are sorry, but are sorry because we cry, angry because we strike, fearful because we tremble; i.e., that "the bodily changes follow directly the perception of the exciting fact, and that our feeling of the same changes as they occur IS the emotion." James's thesis is that the states of mind that appear in "the coarser emotions, grief, fear, rage, love" are the results of their bodily expression, and that "Without the bodily states following on the perception, the latter would be purely cognitive in form."

Using the techniques of tracing unwanted doyles, one can remove the unwanted doyles and the result is a perception that is "purely cognitive in form." [See ARJ: PANACEA! .] In fact, the essence of the tracing technique is that a bodily state (called a doyle) is converted into a cognitive memory. Doyles are stored before the brain can store cognitive memories (five years of age) and the only mechanism of storage is for the brain to store the physical body states. What is stored is the trigger stimulus and the signals required to re-create the physical body state upon demand. Later in life, whenever the trigger stimulus recurs, the brain stem in the limbic region sends out the signals to re-create the original physical body state. When one does a doyle trace, the bodily state is converted into a cognitive memory so that from then on, the presence of the trigger stimulus leads to a cognitive memory rather than the bodily states.

[page 164] The research of Pfenninger, Aptekmann and Klaesi has established that complex stimuli have a periodic function and that their physical accompaniments also wax and wane in intensity and in fact exhibit a wave-like appearance on the graphs. It looks as if an exponential function is involved here. Similar behavior has been observed in certain allergic phenomena such as, for example, insect bites, which tend to swell and itch in phases. This is a vagary of the time factor and we are still completely in the dark as to its workings.

The similarity between the nature of the complex stimuli and allergic phenomena seem to suggest that allergies are doylic in origin. In other words, the physiological phenomena known as allergies stem from some stored physical body state (doyle) before five years old that is systematically re-created in later life upon presentation of the original triggering stimulus. The original event occurred when some antigen was present in one's pre-five-year-old body and caused a physical body state associated with the antigen to be stored as a doyle. Later, as an adult, when a triggering stimilus causes a doyle to arise in one's body, the body begins a systematic attack on an offending antigen that is not present, but seems to be because of the bodily states of the doyle, and the resulting inflammation and other affects are what we call an allergy. With the advent of advanced tracing techniques it may become possible to trace and erase the doyles that lead, unchecked, to allergic responses by the body. This should be considered for a future research study in doyletics.

To summarize: much of the field of complexes and their resolution is made simpler by the new science of doyletics which provides a method for systematic removal of the affects caused by the complex. Understanding is not necessary for the removal of the doyle, but the usually employed processes of analytical psychology and psychoanalysis, to the extent that they are effective, result in the equivalent of an unconscious doyle trace. With the removal of the doyle, the patient experiences relief, and, since there was some understanding that occurred during the analysis, the understanding has been credited as the agent of relief, up until now. With the advent of doyletics, the whole area of what happens during a successful therapy session is open to completely different interpretations from now on.

Read/Print the Review at: tuiemrew.shtml

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I hear often from my Good Readers that they have bought books after reading my book reviews. Remember: A book is like a 3-D kindle. Keep reading, folks! As I like to remind you, to obtain more information on what's in these books, buy and read the books for less information, read the reviews.

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In this section I like to comment on events in the world, in my life, and in my readings which have come up during the month. These are things I might have shared with you in person, if we had had the opportunity to 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 Gets Mugged in Chicago Park 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.

Actually, the good Padre, watching a tree hugging a lamp post, gets hugged by the Tree:

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. P. S. An Honored Reader is someone who has commented to me about something they liked in my writings.
  • EMAIL from Georgie in New Orleans:
    Dear Bobby,

    What a nice surprise. I'm behind in my 2018 things to do — but opened your Digestworld and was surprised to be one of your honored readers. Thank you.

    Happy New Year to you and Del.

  • EMAIL from Barrett & Patti in Canada:
    Bobby & Del,

    Patti & I are in the Canadian Rockies to celebrate the New Year at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Last night, the temperature was 20 below zero Fahrenheit. The warmest we could get our cabin to reach was 63F. However, the cold snap will be over today. It is still cold but the temperature should rise to about 7F above zero. There is not a cloud in the sky and is bright and sunny. You really need sunglasses because of the reflection off pure white snow.

    I just spent 20 hours (or so it seemed) reading and absorbing your newsletter. I also spent a further 30 hours (or so it seemed) finding you an answer to the O'Henry Christmas story. It is titled "Christmas by Injunction" and is available in written form here: Click Here.

    This was used in the radio show "Death Valley Days" and is discussed Click Here:

    A reading of the story is available Click Here:

    Pix of me and Patti are attached.

    Again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Barrett & Patti

  • EMAIL from James Burke:
    Thank you Bobby, keep up the good work and all the best for 2018 !
  • EMAIL from Annie Kotch about Guntis who died a week or two after I received this email:
    A Very happy New Year.

    Update on Guntis:
    Guntis is still in Newport, RI in a Rehab center. Sadly he will never improve. His son came this summer to visit him which was nice. When I am in RI, I go to visit. On one visit an old roommate and fraternity brother came in to visit. When the gentleman left Guntis asked me who he was. He has no memory at all of either current or past events. He tells me he remembers me however I doubt it. Sadly all I have left are pictures of our times in NOLA. No one to talk with about our life there or the friends we made. It was a good run while it lasted.

    Hugs and safe travels to you in 2018
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ REPLY ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Dear Annie,

    You'll always have us, and we remember our many good times together with you and Guntis.
    Bobby & Del

  • EMAIL from Ron Whitcomb in French Quarter:
    Great digest this month, Bobby!

    Always lovely parties this time of the year. I'm glad to see the Christ child included in your thoughts. There always lovely parties this time of year. Fra Angelico is one of our favorite artists. We discoved him while we were in Florence a couple of years ago. Also Del, we love the Ring. Happy new year Bobby and Del.

    Ron Whitcomb

  • EMAIL from Kevin Dann in Brooklyn:

    So much nurturing soul food in the latest issue of DIGESTWORLD! My favorite was seeing you make such good use of that scarlet vest — and you and Del both of that Misssissippi River umbrella!

    Limping along here in the cold — all bike tours cancelled this week due to the weather, so trying to stay busy. Went out to Coney Island this morning for a walk on the boardwalk and to haunt the amusement park and museum when everything is boarded up.

    Love to you and Del and best wishes for 2018!


3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell: "Childish US"


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:

Childish US

When I was a child
       I was coerced like a child

When I grew up a bit
       I coerced like a child

When I grew up a bit more
       I put away childish things.

When this country was a child
       It was coerced like a child

When it grew up a bit
       It coerced like a child

It is time for US
       To put away childish things.


4. [next topic]

5. [next topic]

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