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Good Mountain Press Presents DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#184
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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Manolita Hoz Chesnut (1928-2018) ~~~~

        Lita, as everyone knew her,
~~~~~~~~     the mother of my good friend and fellow poet Stephen Chesnut.
     She will be fondly remembered by all
          for her elegance and grace to the last moments of her life. ~~~~~

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Quote for the Halcyon Days of April in New Orleans:

When people accept fake news for actual news, those who wish to hide their real intentions from people will have succeeded.
Bobby Matherne , from this Review.

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ISSUE#184 for April, 2018


Archived DIGESTWORLD Issues

            Table of Contents

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

4. Cajun Story
5. Household Hint for April, 2018 from Bobby Jeaux: AirMan Portable Air Pump
6. Poem by Bobby from September 2, 1976: "Jinny Black's Painting of Bobby"
7. Reviews and Articles featured for April:

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

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

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

This month Violet and Joey learn about Dispositions.
"Dispositions" 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, both of whom are Historians, for April, 2018:

Kevin Dann in NYC

Bill Reeves in New Orleans

Congratulations, Kevin and Bill!

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Out Our Way:


Wild cherry, Redbud, azalea, Purple Dawn, foxglove, Dogwood, amaryllis, and bromeliad flowers chased away the bleak frozen days of winter and brightened our lives. For the first time we could go outside with short sleeved shirts on for several days in a row and enjoy a foretaste of Spring. Del's investment club met at Timberlane on a day when the temperature inside and outside were the same and we left the french doors open for some cool, natural ventilation.


On the last day of February, about 3:30 we drove to my brother-in-law Dan's house and we went with Del and Karen to Mandeville seafood. I had 3 large No. 1 male crabs which were full and very tasty.

The crawfish were a little too highly seasoned for me, especially a small tray of them which tasted like someone had sprinkled pure cayenne on the tray after filling it.

When we got back to his home, Dan and I began watching LSU Baseball and Basketball, flipping channels back and forth. Looked like our basketball team was going to tank around 60-45, so, as we got into our car, I switched to the NBA Pelicans game. As we approached Metairie I checked my Tigers and they had just tied the score in regulation. Great effort to do that, but they came out flat in over-time and lost. Similarly the LSU baseball team came out flat and were down 5-1. They came back in the 8th to make it 5-4, but in ninth with bases loaded, they allowed the hitter to hit into a double play, losing to a local team, Southeastern. I thought a bunt down first base side might be the better play, as a double play is not as likely, a bunt could have scored the tying run.

I would have loved to have been at home in our Screening Room (SR) to watch all three games at the same time: Baseball was on CST, Basketball on SECN, and NBA Pelicans on FSN, all three channels I can view in our SR. But we wanted to see Dan and Karen, and the new season crawfish was another draw. Oh, our Pelicans were playing the vaunted Spurs and trailing most of the game till the last minute when they took the lead away and kept it to the end.

Jrue Holliday said that he was so glad it was not another over time period, of which they have had several in the past month. The Pels' high energy won them the game and are right in middle of the West Division and in thick of the play offs. They went on an ten game winning streak afterward and are becoming a force to be reckoned with as Anthony Davis for MVP is being touted.


LAPTOP CRASH: Windows 10 Upgrade crashed my Lenovo LapTop. Tried to reload the Upgrade and got the Blue Screen of Death, saying some hardware was missing or broken on LT and that I would have to reload my original software, which I didn't have. So, I decided to take the LT back to BestBuy and have the Geek Squad research and fix the problem. I realized that if Microsoft caused the problem, that many people would be affected and that MS would quickly, within days, get a fix out in a new upgrade. So I waited over a long weekend, and on Monday morning, I was ready to take my LT to BestBuy, but first off, I did what I figured the Geek Squad would do first: I turned on LT and watched as it did an auto Upgrade by MS of Win 10. And BINGO! My LT was fixed! In the time I was waiting I had talked to my friend Gary who had suffered a Win 10 upgrade failure as well, hope his PC is back working again. As for MS, they never sent an explanation, an apology, or flowers! But they did fix it.

BROADBAND SPEED TOO LOW: After I installed the replacement Cable/Phone Modem from COX, my speed seemed to be up again, but within a few days, the same low speeds manifested again, about 5 Mbps.

Talked to Don next door; he said he requested the higher speed option from COX and was happy with the results, getting 330 Mbps. I called and for $20 a month, they boasted my speed back to 99 Mbps and I was able this month to actually stream an LSU baseball and basketball game on my desktop at the same time. Then one morning two weeks later, I could not connect with the Internet after restarting router and modem several times. Talked to Paulette at COX and she said my signal strength was too low. She sent out a COX Tech John who explained that the modem I had (even though a new one) could not handle over 99 Mbps even though I was paying for 330! Luckily he had the higher speed one in his truck, which had a built-in Wi-Fi (dual channel), to replace both the low speed modem and my old Wi-Fi router. Plus he dead-headed some unused F-connectors (uncapped F-connectors act as miniature radio transmitters and drain your signal strength), and installed a signal booster in the line going into my new Modem. All is fine! On March 30, a few minutes ago, the SpeedTest ran at 297.32 Mbps!

UNABLE TO SEND/RECEIVE EMAILS ON LT: On the last two cruises we took, I noticed that I was able to send receive emails from my Z10 Blackberry, but not from my Lenovo Laptop. Since I only need the LT to do emails when I am actually on a cruise, there has been no incentive for me to fix this problem when I am at home. And yet, the answer to the problem is at home, on my PC! So finally I decided to fix it one night when the Pels had an important late night game on the West Coast against the L. A. Clippers. Game started at 9:30 and ended at midnight. The Pels whipped them soundly, by the way. In order to stay awake to watch the game, I began a 90-minute Win 10 update on my LT, and when it was over, I decided to fix once and for all my problem with LT's Sending and Receiving emails through Outlook.

I decided to delete the email account and start all over by filling it in manually using same codes as my PC. That didn't work the first time. So I decided to begin again and this time, I'd let Outlook get the server requirements automatically for the email, and that WORKED! Whew! Kept me awake during the slow 3-quarter and early 4th quarter until the Pels-Clipper game got close and my adrenaline kept me awake to the final buzzer.

GOOGLE AUTOADS: Google Ad Sense announced a new feature which will improve the presentation of Ads on my webpages, by targeting ads based on the content in my text. All I had to do was place a block of code on every webpage. In past years that would have been a time-consuming monotonous project involving opening each of my thousand-plus webpages, insert the code, and send it to the remote server. Many days of boring work. With NOTEPAD++, however, it has become a doable task. Its Replace function can only do one-line of code, so I created an Include file to hold the dozen-line block of code, and that allowed me to do the job. What I did was to open about 150 webpages at a time, do a REPLACE IN ALL OPEN DOCUMENTS of the </head> code by the <include file></head>.

This took only an hour or so, including a small amount of testing and debugging on a couple of files before changing all of them. The results are starting to come as my average income per day has jumped almost an order of magnitude (10X). Too soon to tell if this is permanent. What I know from a decade or so of experience with Google AdSense is that things change almost daily.

GOT MY ACT TOGETHER: Some of you may remember the big problem with my ACT contact manager which I need each month to send out personalized email reminders to all of our DIGESTWORLD subscribers. The SQL data base does not come back up after some Reboots. That happened one time this month and the procedure Elliot helped me create worked fine! Thanks to Elliot Ernst for his capable assistance!

ROCK AND ROLL NO MORE: Our paving stone path around the Herb Garden had been pushed up by the Cypress knees of our Bald Cypress and was a trip hazard. We contracted with Frank Bergeron to remove the up-pushing knees (which keep the cypress in swamps from being toppled by hurricanes) and make a heavy concrete foundation under the path. A days and a few thousand dollars later and we have a new flat pathway for our guests.


Had an invite from Gary Arnold to lunch with the GOMB's at the St. Jerome Knights of Columbus Hall in Kenner one day. Gave me a chance to drive by the only home I ever had built for me from the ground up on Ole Miss Drive in Kenner before the meeting. First time attending the GOMB lunch and when I walked in, I was hailed by Andrew Weir whom I know from our "good ole boys of uptown" club. I sat at his table, met some great guys, and we listened to Gary's talk on medical advances.

After lunch, I had a secret mission: pick up a birthday present for Del. I had seen this pendant of gold and diamonds in the shape of the outline of the state of Louisiana advertised around Valentine's Day and wanted to get it for Del for her birthday. But I was afraid Boudreaux's Jewelry would sell all of them by April, so I called and had Donny put one aside for me to pick up later, and this was a good day to do it. It took me two trips to get it as my first trip was blocked for an hour by a train crossing Metairie Road, so I made another trip there on the way home. Got it wrapped and presented it to Del that evening. No way I could keep it hidden until her actual birthday. She is my Louisiana Girl, the one I married when I returned to Louisiana after living in Tennessee, California, and New England over the course of fourteen years. When I returned, I swore I'd never move from the New Orleans area and married me a gal from New Orleans who would never take me away from my city. Once a head-hunter called to offer her a VP job in Atlanta, and Del asked him, "Have you ever tried to transplant a 50-year-old oak tree?" "That's a strange question," he replied, "why do you ask?" "Because I'm married to one and he's not moving!"


My daughter Carla has her daughter going to college in Pomona, California and her son is looking at colleges to attend in our area. She brought Garret and his girl friend Millie with her to New Orleans and I met them at Camellia Grill on Carrollton Avenue in the Riverbend Area at the end of St. Charles Avenue. I hadn't been to the Grill in a decade or so because standing outside in line for breakfast is not on my list of fun things to do. It's a small grill with seating area at the counter only. The food is great. I thought I might try their famous Chili-Cheese Omelet, but I opted for the Veggie Omelet which was great. Garret had a big burger, and Millie and Carla had an omelet.

After the meal, Garret and Millie took a ride on the Streetcar, meeting us later at Audubon Park for a walk to Bird Island. A historical marker explains that the St. Charles Line began service in 1835 as the Carrollton Line of the New Orleans & Carrollton Railroad. It was variously powered by horse, mule, and steam engine prior to electricity in 1893.

Historical Marker says: "It is the oldest continuously operating street railway line in the world." When New Orleans streetcar lines began disappearing, replaced by foul-smelling diesel buses in the mid-twentieth century, the people let out a howl when they suggested taking away the St. Charles Streetcar line! "NO WAY!" they cried and the line stayed. Now it is probably the only profitable part of the transit system, filled both by Tulane/Loyola students and tourists. Best view of the beautiful homes and gardens along St. Charles and Carrollton Avenues is by streetcar. For the past several decades, new streetcars have been added to the Riverfront, Canal Street, Loyola, and Rampart Streets. Some of them are now Air Conditioned, but my favorite is the non-AC St. Charles Line with its windows open allowing fresh air, breezes, and street sounds to flow in as you toddle along the avenue at nineteenth century speeds, not much faster than when the trolleys were pulled by horses and mules. For a time warp trip through New Orleans, take the St. Charles Streetcar on your next trip here. Maybe stand in line for an omelet at Camellia Grill, or a walk into Audubon Park to Bird Island as the four of us did on a beautiful pre-Spring day. We stopped and said hi to Phil Becnel who was sitting on his porch along Exposition Boulevard as we were walking back to our cars.


Del was going to Nottaway Plantation, up river near White Castle, with the ladies from Twilight Gardeners and Timberlane garden clubs and their guests. The Gretna Police provided a van with Deputy Cory Newby to drive the group, but Del and I decided to drive ourselves instead. I asked Cory if he got teased by his last name sounding like "newbie". He said he was in the Marines and they took that as his nickname. Del wanted us to take I-10 and I said, Hwy 3127 is better as it goes all the way to Sunshine Bridge. Cory in the van ended up taking the same route, arriving a little bit before us, as we had stopped at PJ's for my latte. Our GPS told us Nottaway was on the left side of highway, so I stayed in the left lane as we got close, and Del spotted the big entrance on right side of road just as a huge semi passed us on the right.

GPS had told us to take a unnecessary U-turn, but because of the semi, I ended up taking one anyway to get us back to the entrance. We learned a lot about Nottoway and how it was built. The fifteen and a half foot ceilings were decorated with a different molding design in every room. The design was created from clay and moss poured into a mold and was attached to the walls while drying, then after mold removed it was covered with plaster and painted. A large all-white ballroom was designed to show off the colorful ball gowns of the owner's daughters. We ate a wonderful meal in the ground-floor restaurant and toured the gift shop on the way out.

Upstairs we saw the master bedroom, the music room, and the children's room, and from one of the windows we could see the Mississippi River rolling by across the levee. On the wall outside the restaurant was a long mural which portrayed Nottaway in the years before a levee blocked the downstairs view of the river.

One can see a Steam-powered Riverboat docked at riverside in the mural. Del and I walked the long path to the levee and up to the top of the levee. The flood stage of the river was clearly evident as the water was halfway up the concrete-reinforced levee sides and floating quite rapidly. I took a 360-degree movie clip of a large tree trunk, not drifting by, but speeding by about fifty feet from the levee. A large copse of trees indicated the position of a island which was completely flooded. Downriver about 60 miles, the Bonnet Carre Spillway has been opened to take the pressure off the levees in the metropolitan area of New Orleans, diverting the flood waters into Lake Pontchartrain. Upriver from Nottaway are other spillways which also can be opened to divert flood waters into the Atchafalaya basin and the Gulf of Mexico.
This is a yearly event of rising water in the Mississippi River, sometimes higher, often lower than this year, but when Nottaway was built the ground floor was built to let the flood waters of Spring flow by without damaging the living space. With the advent of sturdy levees since 1930, the ground floors of old plantations have become year-round livable spaces for the first time.


The very next day after our day-long trip to Nottaway Plantation, we had another day-long event in Thibodaux, our Babin Reunion. Curious thing about the Babin Reunion is that there was not a single person there whose surname or maiden name was Babin, so far as I could tell! It was meant to be a reunion of Pierre Gabriel Babin's offspring, but word got out and we had two groups there of Homer Babin's offspring, Homer or O-mare being Peter or Pierre Babin's father.

My grandfather Peter Babin had two sons, Lester and Dio, who together had only one son who did not survive long enough to get married. Peter had eight daughters who all lived into old age, and were represented at this reunion by surnames of Barrios (Aunt Clara), Bascle (Aunt Clarice), Breaux (Aunt Mazel), Clement (Aunt Odette), Matherne (my mother Annette), and Musso (Aunt Zelda). Not present were the Bonvillian offspring of Aunt Lillian (who had three) and Aunt Merlin who had none.

Whoever said "Getting there is half the fun"? This was another early morning drive, this time to Peltier Park in Thibodaux. I took the exit off Hwy 90 to Raceland and saw a weird Detour sign. We drove further to find there was a bridge out! Why didn't the Sign say BRIDGE OUT? Took several miles out of our way to get back on Hwy 90 to New Orleans, had to take a U-turn, and drive back to the opposite side of Highway 1 to Raceland, and on to Thibodaux along Hwy 1. Note: this was same Louisiana Highway 1 which if followed North would take you to White Castle and Nottaway Plantation.

Our GPS again put us close to Peltier Park, but we couldn't drive into it because right in front of our car was a sign which said, "DO NOT ENTER." Apparently GPS cannot read! Beyond the sign we could see the baseball field, obviously part of Peltier Park. We turned around on the residential street and had to guess which way to go to get to the entrance. We finally found the pavilion where the Reunion was taking place.

Great to get together with Babin cousins and their families in an event which was not a funeral. My cousin Judy Clement Poimbeouf had spearheaded this event, so I want to give her a special thanks! Her husband LJ had taken a fall and was still in the hospital recovering, but she was able to come to the reunion.

My two brothers Steve and Paul were there with their wives. None of us had any of our offspring along, but my cousins had kids and grandkids. This was the first Babin reunion in which several of us had DNA test results to discuss. I found out that Aunt Clarice's DNA test revealed that her ancestors were 40% Romanian-Jewish. That must be the source of the 2% Southern Europe Jewish ancestors in my test. I had evidence from a Peter Babin in Shreveport that the Babin name came from Croatia, so it's plausible that our Croatian connection was likely an intermediate stop in the Babin migration westward from Romania and eventually to Brittany and onto Acadia (Nova Scotia), and then South Louisiana.

Met Aunt Constance's offspring, a Constance Ledet. Her two parents were still there: C. J. and Doris Ledet. C. J. was grandson of Homer Babin, which would make him my mother's first cousin and my first cousin-once removed. The old man had a hearing aid and could barely hear. When we asked him if his father was Oh-mare — which is how Homer is pronounced in French, he said emphatically, "No!" Then we asked him if his father was Homer and he said, "Yes, but everyone called him Oh-mare!" Go figure that one out! Maybe he heard (or read lips) better in English than in French. It took me a long time to sort all my relationship to C.J. using my Family Tree Maker ancestry tree when I got home. Otherwise I would have asked C. J. if he remembered his cousin Annette, my mother. I knew we had Ledet cousins on the Matherne side, but now I have found some Ledet cousins on the Babin side as well.

Del and I left and drove to see my brother Kevin. He and Vicky had moved recently from Luling to a new home in Thibodaux, on Victory Lane off Brandywine. Vicky had just left for Monsanto to go to work so we missed seeing her. Soon Paul and Joyce stopped by, and then a few minutes later, Steve and Janice. The four Matherne Men were all together again. We enjoyed each other's company while the three girls visited. Kevin showed us his great new quilt with the look of a stained glass window, the colored panels separated by a thin line of black resembling the leaded supports for stained glass pieces.



This has been an easy month for the staff of DIGESTWORLD, so when Bobby decided to them all off for a chance to eat some nice boiled crawfish, go bass-fishing, and attend Ben Upton's third birthday party they were all ready to go. Up I-49 to Alexandria on Friday, and grandson Thomas Gralapp and his jet pilot buddy Oday John boiled the crawfish for us. We all sat around the fire in the glowing firepit, visited, and kept track of LSU's baseball game on the large screen TV attended by other grandson Weslee. He had to find where they moved the game when it didn't appear on ESPNU as scheduled. On ESPNW till the trivial (in the South) NCAA Hockey championship game finished, then Weslee came back to move it to ESPNU when the hockey pucks stopped sailing around the arena.

Wes Gralapp, my son-in-law, and I were up at 6 AM and driving to the bass pond for some great fishing.

He began by catching a couple of 2 pounders, and I followed a bit later with my own 2 pounders. Apparently one of the cats took one out of the fish bucket, which will have some kind of lid on it next time. We fileted the fish, including the one nice size bream that I caught, and iced them down in the fridge over-night. By the time we got back to Wes's house, I was exhausted and needed a long nap.

When I got up about 2 PM, I realized that all I had eaten all day was a Reese's Peanut Butter cup for breakfast and half of a Uncle Al's Stage Plank while fishing. Del and I went to a local fast food and I got a sandwich there before we headed to the birthday party at Bill and Jane's new home alongside Bayou Robert on Azalea Lane. The house was originally built in 1941, the same year my dad built the first home I lived in. I noted the glass door knobs and the original weather boards (on one wall of an enclosed porch). It was situated on two acres of land at the end of a cul de sac and had lot of interesting plants around a picnic table over looking the bayou.

In particular I saw the first forsythia bush in several years. This is an early blooming shrub I loved in Oak Ridge, Tennessee as it brought the first signs of color after a frigid and snowy winter. Its bright yellow quatrefoil flowers are unique and in temperature regions from Tennessee north they fill the long spiny branches with ribbons of yellow weeks before the green leaves appear. There were only a dozen scattered blooms on this Bayou Robert forsythia, but it brought back pleasant memories of the one I bought in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas and nurtured at our previous home on Timberlane Road.

A blow-up jumping-jacks cage provided a baby-sitter for the etheric bodies of the under-ten kids to release their exuberant energy. Hot dogs and cole slaw preceded the Mickey Mouse Cupcakes and Cookies. The birthday candle graced one cupcake for Ben to blow out and make a wish. The cupcakes eliminated the time-consuming cutting of cake slices, the eating of which slices for the under-10 set can be very messy. Del and I walked over the wooden bridge to enjoy Bayou Robert up close and personal and take a few photos away from the noisy bustle of kids' birthday party. Six grandparents and three great-grandparents of Ben Upton were there,


The first Sunday in April will offer an interesting challenge to punsters: Should they say April Fool or Happy Easter? Or as in your case, my brother Steve, Happy Birthday! I hope April 1st brings you lots of eggs from the Easter Bunny and good humor from the itinerant jokesters out there. We plan to be close to home this Easter, and expect to share some Elmer Goldbrick Eggs and Heavenly Hash Eggs, a delicious New Orleans tradition. Few people today know that Elmer's Goldbricks were originally square, shaped like small gold ingots wrapped in gold foil, and were for sale on countertops of Variety Stores, Drugstores, and Grocery stores for ten cents each, year-round, that is, until Elmer's Candy Co. decided to shape them into egg-shapes and now they're only available during the Lenten run-up to Easter Sunday. Elmer's Heavenly Hash Eggs are marshmallow and almonds covered with an egg-shaped chocolate shell. They remind me of dark chocolate fudge my mother made which was filled with marshmallow cream when I was a kid. A bite into a Heavenly Hash Egg today takes me back instantly to the heavenly days of childhood when mother made her fudge and Easter Sundays when I could eat as many of these as filled my Easter Basket. Remember: childhood may only last a few years, but its memories last a lifetime. HAPPY EASTER ! ! !


We survived the busy month of March, have harvested our first crop of radishes and ready to plant another one after Easter Sunday when the Moon begins waning again (best time for planting below-ground crops). Our Japanese Magnolia, Redbud, and Wild Cherry trees have finished blooming and now our white fringe tree is in full bloom. The hard winter messed up the Purple Dawn blooms, but I did capture at least one perfect bloom to share with you.

My Veggie Garden is mostly-planted and time for the Sun to do its job. Potatoes are doing great. The row of sweet corn mixed with pole beans are about 6" high and I'm looking forward to picking green beans without bending over and have delicious corn on the cob. The first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox will be April 1st. Don't know whether to say April Fool or Happy Easter on that wonderful conjunction of days! From me and Del till we meet again during the Darling Buds month of May, God Willing and the River Recedes Gracefully, whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, be it flowery or snowy,

Remember our earnest wish for this Budding Year of 2018:



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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:

We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. ... The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.
General Omar Bradley [WWII USA General]

Shakespeare was an intellectual ocean, whose waves touched all the shores of thought; within which were all the tides and waves of destiny and will; over which swept all the storms of fate, ambition and revenge; upon which fell the gloom and darkness of despair and death and all the sunlight of content and love, and within which was the inverted sky lit with the eternal stars — an intellectual ocean — toward which all rivers ran, and from which now the isles and continents of thought receive their dew and rain.
Robert G. Ingersoll (American lawyer and orator)

England never appreciates a poet until he is dead.
Oscar Wilde (Irish Poet and Playwright)

A Great Dane-sized whiz down every American's leg.
John Kennedy, Senator from Louisiana re: 2018 1.3 Trillion dollar omnibus bill passed by Congress

  • 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.):
"Just Getting Started" (2017) was Morgan Freeman as a drunken womanizer, having fun with Renee Russo and Tommy Lee Jones in this very much fun movie! A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"To the Ends of the Earth" (2005)
Three novels by William Golding: Rites of Passage, Close Quarters, and Fire Down Below comprise this wonderful series of three movies which follow Benedict Cumberbatch's emotion-filled and drama-charged adventures in a wooden sailing ship bound for Australia. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! !
"Tulip Fever" (2017)
about how the prices of tulips rose to incredible heights right until the bulb-ble burst! Money, artworks, and love raised a fever in our heroes, and how they might survive their follies — therein lies a gripping and slipping tale! A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"The Lost City of Z" (2017)
Zed was the ancient city which our hero in this true story uncovered, risking his life on several trips from England to Bolivia to prove his discovery.
"The Crystal Palace" (2017)
was a garbage dump, but she and her dad (Woody Harrelson) had fun planning it.
"2:22" (2017)
Dylan and Sarah, caught in a time-warp of 30 years to be played out as their joint birthday present to each other in Grand Central Station. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! !
"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" (2017)
Dormand and Harrelson star in this quirky movie in which billboards and police station get torched, an ad manager gets thrown from a 2-story office window, a midget lies with Dormand, among other unexpected happenings. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Logan Lucky" (2017)
Sodoberg classic: a NASCAR bank robbery & beauty contest proving that you can't put handcuffs on a one-handed man. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Wind River" (2017)
No one keeps statistics on Native American women who go missing, but we follow the path of two such women.
"Strange Weather" (2016)
Holly Hunter loses her son and takes long drive to find herself again.
"A Perfect Day" (2015)
is when the corpse in the deep well floats to top.
"The Bachelors" (2017)
"I love what you've done with the place: negligent minimalism" - like what you've done with your head, up until now.
"Ladies in Lavender" (2004)
Aged sisters (Maggie Smith and Judi Dench) save life of young Polish man who washes up on rocky beach of coastal English town. Can any good come of two old maids restoring an attractive young man to robust health? A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"The Wilde Wedding" (2017)
Who will get Close to bride - Patrick Steward with the Wild Hair or Malkovich with the Goatee? A fun flick.
"Just Getting Started" (2017)
was Morgan Freeman as a drunken womanizer, having fun with Renee Russo and Tommy Lee Jones in this very much fun movie! A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !

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

"Baby Driver" (2017) more like Baby Drivel — fast cars and bullets shooting holes in what little script there was as well anyone who came around.
"Vengeance" (2017)
Nicholas Cage and Don Johnson rub shoulders in a movie for the first time, on the opposite sides of the right.
"Atomic Blonde" (2017)
an atomic BOMB — a loser about losers — lots of bullets and spies. A graphic novel that didn't translate to big screen.
"Graves" (2016)
deserves to be buried! Nolte is okay but the Hollywood messages keep rising from the dead to doom our watching this turkey! A DVD STOMPER ! ! !
"First Kill" (2017)
last kill, who cares about this turkey of a movie about a turkey of a father? Even Bruce Willis couldn't save the world from this BOMB. A DVD STOMPER ! ! !
"Lemon" (2017)
no sugar and rotten.

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

"Downsizing" (2017) A miniature Noah's Ark inside the Earth creates visions of a human-made apocalypse in this ridiculous science fiction premise of shrinking human bodies to 5 inches tall to save the world and ruin people's lives. It succeeds in the latter.
"The Art of Loving" (2017)
sexy scenes not enough to make up for lack of script. Best line "bald-headed man in a kayak" metaphor.

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Le Boudreaux Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission
Boudreaux's mom was very old and bed-ridden. Her doctor came by to see her every week. One time after leaving Mrs. Boudreaux's bedroom, he took Boudreaux aside, "Boo, I'm afraid your mom's not going to get better, and we must do whatever we can to make her last months more comfortable."

Boudreaux said, "Merci beaucoup for all Yah help, Doc. Is dere sumpin' more Ah could do for her?"

"Well, Boo, you know how she likes to have a glass of warm milk each night before she goes to sleep?"

"Mais oui, Ah brings dat to her, me."

"Ah think it would help if you put a small amount of brandy into her milk. Ah know your mom has never drunk any alcohol in her life, but there's no need to tell her about it and get her upset. It would help her to feel better and go to sleep right away. Can you do that for her?

"Bien sur, Doc, Ah'll start dat tonight," Boo said, shaking the doctor's hand as he left.

The doctor's prescription worked fine, and Mrs. Boudreaux lasted several years more. On her death bed she called her son to her side and whispered in his ear, "Boo, after I die, whatever you do, don't sell dat cow!"

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5.Household Hint for April, 2018 from Bobby Jeaux — HOW TO FIND MISSING PART OF AIRMAN PUMP:

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AirMan Portable Air Pump

Background on AirMan Portable Air Pump:

This is one of the handiest gadgets to have around for inflating bicycle tires, automobile tires, footballs, and air mattresses. You simply put the amount of air pressure you wish in the digital display and it pumps until it reaches that pressure and shuts off.

Essential Rubber Tube Hose Connector
Click Here to see the Rubber Tube up close:

1.3 cm Long
0.6 cm Inside Diameter
1.1 cm Outside Diameter

The AirMan pump worked fine until one day I went to use it and the removable tube would not seal in place.

There was apparently some part missing, so I scoured the meager documentation which came with the device and got no clue as what was missing. I spent a long time Googling and got no help, but I did find another user who had the same problem. The device is utterly useless without this part and I was ready to toss it in the trash in disgust!

A couple of weeks later, a short piece of black rubber tube showed up on the counter top where I store the AirMan and keep its battery charged. It was the MISSING PIECE! I quickly figured out how to re-connect the removable tube, one end of which slides snugly into the projection inside the inflation hose of the AirMan pistol (As Shown at Left). The Yellow Cover holds the rubber tube connected after you screw tightly over the barrel as Shown Here. The other end of the inflation hose, of course, screws onto the inner tube's inflation valve. I hooked up and it worked! I pumped up the bicycle tire on our Vermont Country Cart within minutes and decided to record the tube sizes so that anyone else who has lost the tube can find a replacement at a local hardware store.

I hope by now you realize how IMPORTANT this small piece of rubber tubing is to the operation of your expensive AirMan Digital Portable Air Pump and will keep it stored safely attached to the segment of inflation hose in the AirMan's storage case.

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6. POETRY by BOBBY from September 2, 1976:
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Jinny Black's Painting of Bobby

When Maxine Cassin,
       the Poet Laureate of
       General Pershing Street
Cast her peepers
       on Jinny Black's painting,

She said, "I like it"
       which was fine.

But then she went a bit too far,
       too sentimental and sobby;
She went and wrote
       a poem entitled,

"Jinny Black's Painting of Bobby".


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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for April:
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For our Good Readers, here are the reviews and articles featured this month. The first and second reviews this month will be ones which were never published in early DIGESTWORLD ISSUES and will be of interest to our DIGESTWORLD Readers. The rest of the items will be new additions to the top of A Reader's Journal, Volume 2, Chronological List, new additions to A Reader's Treasury, or Essays previously unpublished.

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

1.) ARJ2: Rudolf Steiner in the Waldorf School, GA#298 by Rudolf Steiner

In December 1919, Rudolf Steiner addressed the assembly of the very first Waldorf School and asked the children, "Do you love your teachers?" He received a resounding reply of "Yes!" — as Gayle Davis relates in her Introduction to this book, which includes Lectures and Talks that Steiner gave to Waldorf students, parents, and teachers from 1919 to 1925, during the last six years of his lifetime. Each time he came in front of Waldorf students he asked this same question and received a loud and enthusiastic Yes!

Davis wrote in her Introduction in 1996:

[page xii, Introduction] The numerous Waldorf schools in Germany may have had some hope of carrying this mandate to influence social life, but in America there were only ten schools as late as 1965. In the last twenty years, however, a change has taken place and there are now over one hundred twenty schools and several public Waldorf teacher training colleges, university education departments, and state and local departments of education.

Currently, in 2018, according to Google, there are over a thousand Waldorf schools in 60 countries. In a recent news broadcast, I heard that top executives of large Silicon Valley tech companies are sending their children to a Waldorf school where they are not allowed to use computerized gear, but write using paper and pencil instead. These parents who know high-tech tools best are choosing to have their children taught in a living spiritual way using their hearts and hands by teachers who love them — this is truly the highest tech of all.

Steiner realized that a truly love-filled teaching can reach individual students even in larger classrooms. His view counters the popular illusion that small class sizes makes for the best individualized teaching environment, and he explains why this is so. Note that "life-filled" teaching refers to a teaching which flows from soul-to-soul on the wings of words(1).

[page 4, 5] What teachers do . . . must be born anew, in each moment of their activity, out of their living understanding of the developing human being. Naturally, the objection can be raised that life-filled teaching of this sort will fail because of classes with a large number of students. Within certain limits, this objection is certainly justified. However, those who take it beyond these limits only demonstrate that they are speaking from the viewpoint of an abstract, normative [rule-based] theory of education. In fact, a living art of teaching, one that rests on a true understanding of the human being, has a thread of strength running through it that stimulates individual students to participate, so that it is not necessary to keep their attention through direct "individualized" treatment. It is possible to structure the subject that is being dealt with so that each student learns and grasps it in an individual way. For this to happen, what the teacher is doing need only be sufficiently strongly alive.

For those who have a sense for a true understanding of the human being, the developing human being becomes one of life's riddles to solve, to such an extent that their attempt at solving it rouses their students to participate. Participation of this sort is more fruitful than individualized treatment, which all too easily paralyzes the student as far as real independent activity is concerned. Still staying within certain limits, it may be stated that larger classes with teachers who are full of the life that is stimulated by a true understanding of the human being will achieve greater success than small classes with teachers who are incapable of this because they take a normative theory of education as their starting point.

The term Normal College was formerly applied to a college which educated teachers in the norms of pedagogy and curriculum. This term has been replaced by Teacher's College in recent years, but the name itself indicates the basis for teaching teachers was normative or rule-based.

Teachers who use a rule-based theory of education can become computerized representatives of a top-down bureaucracy rather than human beings who love and care for the children entrusted to them. Children who hate school do so for this very reason.

No such bureaucracy could get children to reply to this question, "Do you love me?" with an enthusiastic "Yes!" If you are looking one prime reason for sending your children to a Waldorf school, you have found it.

Why is it important to start off a child in school using paper and pencil? With a keyboard, for example, the child has no chance of feeling the artistic flow of the letters from its finger-tips, a process which activates the entire human being, not just the intellect, as the use of the keyboard does. Learning to write is a life-filled activity, not an intellectual one and, rightly understood, works best for a child's maturation when it precedes the intellectual activity of reading. After writing out the various letters with its own hand, the child will be excited to see those same letters formed into a word at a later time! This is one example of life-filled teaching which one finds in Waldorf schools.

[page 6 italics added] If our teaching one-sidedly takes advantage of the children's intellect and abstractly acquired abilities, their willing and feeling nature will be stunted. In contrast, if the children learn in a way that allows the whole human being to take part in the activity, they will develop in a well-rounded way.

When children draw or do rudimentary painting, the whole human being develops an interest in what is being done. This is why we should allow writing to develop from drawing. We should derive the forms of the letters from shapes that allow the child's naive artistic sense to make itself felt. We should develop writing, which guides us toward the element of meaning and intellect, out of an activity that is artistic and attracts the interest of the whole human being. Reading, which draws our attention very strongly into the intellectual realm, should be allowed to develop only as a result of writing.

Rote learning often gets criticized as bad for children, but it is good and important if it's done for children between teeth change and puberty. Steiner says on page 6, "learning certain things purely through memory is related to the developmental forces that are present between the sixth or seventh year and the fourteenth year of life." He emphasizes that it is important for "people later on in life when something they learned purely by rote at an earlier stage reawakens in their souls, and they find that they now understand it out of themselves because of the maturity they have gained." (Page 8) He stresses that teachers should not strive to have their children understand everything, but rather to leave some things to be understood later. This is a process I have learned to respect and refer to it as the "power of the unanswered question"(2). Steiner respected and explained how the process works.

[page 8] Through things that are still beyond their understanding in some respect, an awakening force is enkindled in the children by the teacher's living ardor. This force will remain effective throughout their entire lives.

What is education? Few have expressed it as cogently as Rudolf Steiner:

[page 16]

Science that comes alive!

Art that comes alive!

Religion that comes alive!

In the end, that is what education is.

Note carefully that Steiner does not say "Materialism that comes alive." We cannot educate living human beings with tenets from a dead science such as promulgated by the supporters of Bacon and his materialistic followers. Steiner does not downplay the importance of science and technology, but recognizes its limitations in educating our youth.

[page 16, 17] Now, it has never occurred to me to denigrate contemporary science. I am full of regard for all the triumphs it has achieved, and will continue to achieve for the sake of humanity's evolution, through a scientific viewpoint and method that are based on understanding nature. But for that very reason, it seems to me, what comes from the contemporary scientific and intellectual attitude cannot be fruitfully applied to the art of education. Its greatness does not lie in dealing with human beings or in insight into the human heart and mind. . . . It is impossible to develop the living art of education out of what makes our times so great in mastering dead technology.

In Waldorf education, Steiner strove to "raise what is alive in the human being from the dead." (Page 17) He explains further:

[page 17, 18] The dead — and this is the secret of our dying contemporary culture — is what makes people knowing, what gives them insight when they take it up as natural law. However, it also weakens the feeling that is the source of teachers' inspiration and enthusiasm, and it weakens the will. It does not grant human beings a harmonious place within society as a whole. We are looking for a science that is not mere science, that is itself life and feeling. When such a science streams into the human soul as knowledge, it will immediately develop the power to be active as love and to stream forth as effective, working will, as work that has been steeped in soul warmth, and especially as work that applies to the living, to the growing human being. We need a new scientific attitude. Above all, we need a new spirit for the entire art of education.

The human being evolved along with the cosmos in which we find ourselves. This happened over cosmic time scales as Steiner outlined in his book, Occult Science. Closer to home, we can understand that the human being today evolved over historic times, but lacking a true science of history, few understand the implications of that process.

[page 19] As long as we have no real science of history, so these educators(3) say, we will also not be able to know how an individual human being develops, because the individual human being presents in concentrated form what humanity as a whole has gone through in the course of its historical development.

What passes for historical analysis is actually a process of retrodiction which projects our current understanding of the world back into historical times when such human understanding had not yet developed, all of which creates an illusory history and a shaky foundation for understanding humankind in past times.

[page 20] We must know all the mysterious things that are going on in the body as a result of a completely new physiology that is not yet available to modern science. But we must also know what is accompanying this transformation on an emotional level. We must know about the metamorphoses of human nature. In the case of individuals, we will at least not deny, although we may be powerless to fully recognize the fact, that humans experience metamorphoses or transformations on the basis of their inmost being.

If this fact does not resonate in you with meaning, hold it as an unanswered question for now. Steiner shows us the effects of a recent evolution of human consciousness in the fifteenth century, when one giant leap in consciousness occurred. There are many of these, and the presence of these leaps are ignored by historians at their own peril and lay waste to the value of their conclusions.

[page 20] We do not accept that great leaps have taken place in humanity's historical evolution. Looking back over historical developments, we find the last leap in the fifteenth century. Humanity's ways of feeling, conceptualizing, and willing, as they have developed in more recent times and as we know them now, have only taken on this subtle character among civilized humanity since the fifteenth century. How this civilized humanity differs from that of the tenth or eighth century is similar to how a twelve-year-old child differs from a child who has not yet reached his or her seventh year.

Look around you and you may realize how important the leap of consciousness that humankind took in the fifteenth century affects you now in the twenty-first century.

[page 21] And everything we are living with now in the twentieth century — our striving for individuality, the striving for new social forms, the striving to develop the personality — is only a consequence of what the inner forces of history have brought up since the time in question.

Steiner famously said, "Discussion begins when knowledge is lost." I would like to build on that by saying that "Experiments begin when knowledge is lost." Rightly understood, we use experiments in an attempt to find the innate knowledge we had earlier. That innate knowledge I understand to be how to use soul-to-soul communication. You can do endless experiments and never understand why some teachers can use the butterfly-chrysalis metaphor to effectively illustrate the process of death to children and why others can't. You'll simply find that some can and some can't, and give statistics.

Steiner gives us the innate knowledge that is lost in those who can't, and that is the knowledge of how to do effective soul-to-soul communication(4). The key is in lesson plan preparation.

[page 24] It is really only possible to convey to the children what we ourselves believe in the depths of our souls. Only when we have wrestled our way through to the feeling that the image of the butterfly and chrysalis is no mere cooked-up comparison, but one presented to us by divine spiritual nature itself, only when we can believe in the truth of the image in the way that the children are meant to believe it, only in that instant are we able to convey living spirit to them.

We do not need experiments to tell us how to teach effectively.

[page 25] What we as educators need is an awakening of our living human nature, which will experience in itself the whole of the child to which it makes a spiritual connection.

If you have the notion that Waldorf education is full of dogma, you may have it confused with "dead science" which fills to overflowing with dogma. Steiner states the case clearly: Waldorf education is based on no dogma, but rather on living knowledge of human beings.

[page 26] We are not trying to bring about a dogmatic form of education. We are striving to turn what we have been able to learn from spiritual science into a living act of education. We are striving to include in our instructional methods a way of dealing with individual souls that can originate in a living spiritual science. Dead science can give rise only to knowledge; living spiritual science will give rise to instructional methodology and practical applications in the soul-spiritual sense. We strive to teach, to be able to educate.

Steiner shows his ability to reach children when he creates a story of a bird with two wings which enables it to fly. Children would love to be able to fly like birds, and Steiner explains how they can learn to fly.

[page 30] You see, my dear children, there are beings on earth that are not like human beings — for example, the animals around us — and we might often think that we should envy these animals. You can look up and see the birds flying, and perhaps then you might say, "Oh, if only we could fly, too! Then we would be able to soar into the air." We human beings cannot fly like the birds because we have no wings. However, dear children, we can fly into the element of the spiritual, and we have two wings to fly there. The wing on the left is called "hard work," and the other wing on the right is called "paying attention." We cannot see them, but these two wings — hard work and paying attention — make it possible for us to fly into life and become people who are really ready for life.

Oh, sure, you may be thinking, like my kids would enjoy learning more than playing with their friends! Steiner understood that dynamic and explained how learning can bring a lifetime of enjoyment while the other fun things come to an end, your friends will grow up and leave home, for example.

[page 30, italics added] You know, you can sometimes think that there are things that are more fun than learning. But that is not really true; there is no greater joy than learning. You see, when you enjoy something that lets you be inattentive and does not make you work hard, then the joy is over immediately. You enjoy it, and then the joy is gone. But when you enjoy what you can learn, when you are flying on the wings of hard work and paying attention, then, my dear children, something stays behind in your souls. (Later on you will know what the soul is.) Something stays in your soul, and you can enjoy that over and over again. When we have learned something good and proper, it comes back again and again; we enjoy it again and again with a joy that never stops. But the other fun things, the ones that come only from inattentiveness and laziness, they come to an end.

During an address to a monthly assembly, Steiner commends the children for singing to him, comparing them first to singing coming from little birds, but goes to explain the big difference.

[page 35] We are glad when we hear the little birds singing. But we know that something else is present when we hear what you perform for us. This is something that we call the human soul. It is your human souls that speak to us and sing to us. This is what human beings make out of what speaks to them out there in nature. In the woods, we hear the birds, but when you sing many other things that are heard come toward us out from the human soul.

Then he explains that everything they have learned that is human turns to light in their souls. This is light brought to them by their teacher who acts as the Sun does to plants.

[page 36, 37] And just think what the plants would be without the sun. They would not be able to come out of the ground. They would always remain roots that would not be able to develop flowers, and it would be dark. This is what it would be like for you if you went through the world without ever finding a school where you could learn something.

You would be like a plant that never finds the sun. The soul finds its sun in people from whom it can learn something. . . . Be glad in your souls that you are coming back to the Waldorf School where the sun is lit for you, the sun that people need for life.

On a talk during a parent's evening, Steiner focused on the problems of a child in a school with a fixed curriculum.

[page 40] From day one, the child was confronted with this curriculum, with something foreign and cold that determined with unrelenting strictness everything comprising the child's life of soul and spirit from the first day on. Not only the entire goal of teaching was already set, but in the last few decades it had even been determined at what stage instruction was supposed to be and at what date, from class to class and from week to week.

It occurred to me while reading this that a neutered dog has a fixed curriculum, living a life that has become foreign and cold to him. This is equivalent to confronting a grade school child with what Steiner calls the big fat book Grammar. It appeals only to the head of the child, which means not appealing to them at all. Their attention wanders and they shun any hard work, becoming flightless birds.

[page 44] If we understand the nature of the child correctly, we will be forced to admit that children have subtle reasons for not paying attention when they are confronted with a lesson of this sort. The power of wisdom that wants to protect them from harm makes them resist the big book, resist an intellectual way of looking at things. The inattentiveness that appears is a means of self-defense for them. They are evading the leveling influences of a lesson of this sort. If you teach like this from the first hour to the last, then the children attempt to escape from the lesson by being inattentive.

In my wife's high school, football players in chemistry class, no matter what question the teacher would ask one of them, the jock would give this answer, "Copper Sulfate, Prof!" They were resisting the big book of the fixed curriculum, acting just like a small child, and using levity to break the boredom. A hundred years ago Steiner noted a similar process occurring.

[page 46] I would like to point out that this is related to a very specific phenomenon that occurs in the later grades. Students deal with the school system as a whole with a sarcasm that pervades all of their behavior toward their teachers and their schools. You all know from your own school days what fun it was to be critical of the teachers.

The next phenomenon is not fun but very serious, and its presence in our school systems today is ominous: suicide. Animals never commit suicide, so far as we know, but a young man subject to the cold, poisonous application of a fixed curriculum can either joke about it, as the jocks above did, or succumb to the pressure. Often no one around him knows about the problem until after the precipitous suicide has happened.

[page 46] Add to that the phenomenon of suicides among children of school age. These ominous phenomena are becoming ever more pronounced, and school administrators are ever more helpless in the face of them. Real life forces that want to become active in a natural and appropriate form of instruction have been dammed up. Everything that has been held back in this way then causes the nervousness that we see as a typical ailment of the times manifesting in the school system.

Held back long enough, these forces break through and can run rampant. Something of what Steiner observed in the 1920s showed up later in the weak-willed bureaucrats and the strong-willed Nazis in Germany.

[page 47] And what happened to the will? Either it was so broken that we now have human wrecks serving in responsible positions, or on the other hand we have those brutal and violent human beings who come out trampling everything under their feet as a consequence of not having been able to cultivate their will.

Waldorf school systems strive to direct will forces into creative channels and divert them from violent destructive ones.

[page 51] When we apply this way of looking at things to the school, the creative joy that enlivens us will bear fruit, and we will see that contemporary life is forced to take the school into account. Creative forces can only come out of schools in which such forces are not held back but are developed, so that the children's first day of school does not constitute a crisis. Instead, the children are introduced to school in a way that opens them up to their life to come.

They leave school, not as violent individuals and not as people burdened merely with head-knowledge, but as individuals who can stand for an education of a new sort, the truly human education of a new age. Inherent in truly understanding the human being is a pledge to support our nation's evolution in the future.

In Waldorf schools, children learn to read and write later than in other schools. Steiner's goal in doing this was to avoid giving children something that will stultify their healthy development, namely, teaching them reading and writing very early and in this order: reading then writing. The classic three R's in English are Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmetic, but in Waldorf schools, the 'Riting comes before Reading. Why is that?

[page 70] In many respects, it is a mistake to learn to read and write as early as this happens in other schools. The point is not to make the children acquire certain capabilities as quickly as possible, but rather to teach them to be good and capable people later on in life, people who do not make life difficult for themselves. Outer circumstances can make life difficult enough for many people as it is; we do not need an inner feeling of weakness or inability messing up our lives. We must find a method of teaching reading and writing very carefully and on the basis of the children's natural tendencies and skills.

Early on, a child loves drawing and painting, both of which activate the child's will. Once a child is shown how to draw artistically the various letters of the alphabet which resemble animal and human features, the f a fish, the m human lips, etc, these structures are stored in its muscle memory and can be easily recognized as components of word. Once a child has undergone these fun artistic writing of letters, they will be able to read without any strain from memorizing the arcane shapes of abstract block letters.

The slightest strain on a young child can create an aversion to an activity which it finds difficult and a good teacher will avoid such strain by easily leading the child from writing into reading.

[page 70] Let me just mention that we start by first letting the children draw certain forms from which the forms contained in the letters of the alphabet are developed. We let the children get into reading by starting with writing, because the more we start from something that has its basis in the entire human being, the better it is for the children's development.

Have you met people who seem to take no real pleasure in anything, who seem old before their time, and who tire easily? Steiner does the world a big service by pointing to the early years of childhood development as the source of this otherwise mysterious condition in people.

[page 71] It comes from the fact that as children in the sixth, seventh and eighth years of life, they were not taught writing and reading in the right way. Those who understand human nature know that children who learned to read in the right way, who were not force-fed at age six or seven but learned to read and write naturally, may master reading and writing a bit later, but they will take along what they gained from learning to read and write as a real gift that they will have for the rest of their lives.

A parent can ask, "Do I want my children to leap into reading if it will hamper their development as healthy and happy adults?" In Waldorf schools the goal is for children to acquire living forces which will foster their future development.

[page 71] If we drum it into them in all kinds of artificial ways that disregard their natural tendencies and developmental possibilities, we can get children to read and write at seven-and-a-half, but in many respects we will have crippled these children's souls for life.

In contrast, if we have gone about it in the right way, the children only learn to read and write at age eight, but life forces develop in them as they are learning. That is what we want. While the children are in school, we want them to acquire life forces, forces with effects that will last for their entire lives.

Why did Steiner always ask children in the Waldorf schools he visited, "Do you love your teachers?" One reason can be understood directly, children who love their teachers are happy to be in school, and Waldorf schools are designed to encourage children to be happy in school. One new teacher gave a boy a detention after school to do math work. The rest of the class wanted to join him because they loved doing math work! Note how different this is from the response from kids in today's public schools who mostly hate being kept after school and hate doing math work.

[page 77] The things we foster really are drawn from what I have called "understanding the human being." This is characteristic of our school. It is also the reason why, as far as we can tell, the children are extraordinarily happy to come to school. I come to the school from time to time and take part in the lessons. We are striving to work out of the nature of the child in such a way that the children feel that they want to know the things we intend them to know, to be able to do the things we intend them to be able to do, rather than having the feeling that things are being forced upon them.

Coercion sucks, and kids hate to be forced to do something they don't like. But if they like being in school, find it a happy place to be, they will engage in whatever activity the teacher offers them in a willing fashion. This is how a Waldorf school operates, the process it uses is non-coercive while being usefully directive in providing the what, the content of education the society requires.

[page 79] The "what" is a result of social necessities; we must apply our full interest to deriving it from a reading of what people should know and be able to do if they are to take their place in our times as good, capable individuals. The "how," on the other hand, how to teach the children something, can only result from a thorough, profound and loving understanding of the human being. This is what is meant to work and to prevail in our Waldorf School.

People can come from work all tired and later go out dancing all night. Steiner separates the human being into three systems: the head, rhythmic, and limbs. The head and limbs can get tired after a day at work, but the rhythmic system consisting of the heart and lungs never gets tired. Applying these principles in Waldorf schools keeps the children happy and never tired. A few hours of head work in the morning changes into artistic movements of dance or eurythmy in the afternoon which allows them to leave school feeling refreshed and happy.

If your children are coming home tired from school, look for the cause in some imbalance or overloading of their head and limb systems during school hours.

[page 142] It was asked if the children do not get tired. I must draw your attention to the fact that in principle in our way of teaching we do not count on head work at all when dealing with children between seven and twelve years of age. That would be wrong. Instead, we count on the involvement of the rhythmic system and of the emotions connected to the rhythmical system of breathing and circulation. If you think about it, you will realize that people get tired, not through their rhythmic system, but through their head and limb systems. If the heart and lungs were to get tired, they would not be able to be active throughout an entire lifetime. The other systems are the ones that get tired. By counting on the rhythmic system during these years, we do not make the children as tired as they would get otherwise.

During an address at a monthly assembly Steiner told several elaborate metaphors to illustrate the benefits to children who follow their teacher' s lead even when asked to do something difficult, who always work earnestly and learn seriously. This will lead them to a happy life. In his stories, some children pick sweet-smelling flowers, and others pick grasses, thistles, and grains. They argue over which is better, and a calf tells them, "I need the grasses, thistles, and grains to make the milk you drink." In this next passage, he summarizes the stories for the children.

[page 175, 176] Now, dear children, when you go to school, it is like taking a walk on a beautiful Sunday, and you are meant to get the very best that you can out of school to take with you into life. And if you can take along a bouquet of everything your dear teachers have taught you, this bouquet will give you great pleasure. But all the different flowers must be in it, not just the sweet ones! You must learn that you sometimes have to take in things that are not exactly sweet. If you work hard and learn seriously, you will notice that the bouquet you are able to take with you into your later life has not only sweet flowers in it, but all the things that are full of life, all the things your life depends on. Think about that, my dear children, and obey your teachers lovingly each time they ask you to do something difficult. Then when you leave school you will have the most beautiful bouquet to take with you into life, and you will like it best if it has all of life's different plants in it.

Each memory of your time in school will give you the strength you need in life, because when human beings grow up, they gain the most beautiful forces for their life if they take a bouquet of that sort with them when they leave school. These are life forces that last until death and even beyond.

Note how Steiner's elaborate metaphors emphasize the foods, milk and honey, milk which comes from grasses and honey from the nectar of flowers. Milk has amazing constructive forces for children and honey similar forces for adults. It was this reason that the ancients who could see these invisible forces sought to find a "land flowing with milk and honey" — they knew such a land which would nurture strong, healthy children and adults.

Steiner saw that the coercion of the state and the experiments of science were leading education into a dead end, leading to a perceived need for a new form of education based on living principles rather than on abstract scientific reasoning and bureaucratic control. He knew that the living principles of his anthroposophy could be the basis needed, and when Emil Molt heard him talk about those principles, he decided to found a school in this Waldorf-Astoria factory for his workers' children with Steiner's help.

[page 186] It was clearly apparent to us that we had to work out of a striving that had remained unconscious to Fröbel and his ilk, that we had to create our curricula and educational goals on the basis of a true understanding of the human being, which can only grow out of the fertile ground of anthroposophy. Then we would have a universally human school, not a school based on a particular philosophy or denomination, but a truly universally human school.

What are children to do when they eventually leave their Waldorf school? Steiner knew the most important school awaited them.

[page 209] You will leave the Waldorf School, to be sure. Some of you will leave after the eighth grade and some will leave after a few more grades. Just now we have had to send the first ones to complete the highest grade out into life. But when all that is over with, that is when you really start going to school, because the most important and meaningful school of all is the school of life, and you enter the school of life only when you have left school. It is our job to be the preparatory school for the school of life.

To prove to the children that they will enter the school of life, he explains to teachers present in the assembly how they are still school-children in their own way, always learning from the school of life. My own insight into this crucial aspect of the school of life came when I was only 37 and I expressed it this way: "Thus a Teacher, So Also a Learner!" In every good teacher, there is a life-long learner — someone who goes to work each day to learn from their pupils, so that teaching and learning flows both ways in the classroom of a school and in the school of life.

[page 209] When I look at the school like this, I have to say that the most important schoolchildren are the men and women who are the teachers! It is very important that they have come to this school, because they are learning all the time. And do you know from whom they want to learn the most? From you! They want to learn the best way for you to be able to bear sorrow and joy; they want to learn how it happens that you are healthy or sick. They have so much to learn from you so that out of the fullness of their love for you, they can teach you to be people who can stand on their own feet in life.

People who wish to create a new pedagogy can formulate the most wonderful plans and principles, but there's always a problem with such plans.

[page 222] The principles are very clever, the statutes and paragraphs are very clever, but you cannot do anything with them in real life. The only way to do anything in real life is to feel life itself pulsing within you and to create out of this pulsing life.

One avoids stuffy dogma by planting one's principles in the fertile ground of anthroposophy, teaching and learning in life's classroom using living principles of the full human being.

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

Footnote 1.
For more information on the soul-to-soul process, see my Discussions with Teachers review.

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Footnote 2.
See Matherne's Rule #25, "What is the Power of an Unanswered Question?"

Return to text directly before Footnote 2.

Footnote 3.
Referring to Theodor Vogt and Wilhelm Rein.

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Footnote 4.
Everyone can do soul-to-soul communication, but ineffective teachers communicate their feelings of ineffectiveness stemming from their lack of effective preparation. This creates disinterest and boredom in their students who can't tell their teacher this directly, but show it in their sometimes unruly actions.

Return to text directly before Footnote 4.

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2.) ARJ2: The Karma of Untruthfulness by Rudolf Steiner

The theme of this two-volume book set is best summarized by Steiner in this passage in Lecture 20 given on January 15, 1917:

[page 136] Only if hearts exist which see things in their true guise and penetrate that terrible fog of untruth which shrouds everything in the world today, can we progress in an appropriate way.

It struck me as I read the above passage that it possessed a certain lyrical flair that I might capture in verse.

Hearts are wise most verily
Who see the world in its true disguise,
Hearts are wisest when they see
The world through the fog which hides,
Hearts prepared this proper way
Prosper in the world today.

"Untruthfulness is the counter-image of Imagination." This apothegm from the Contents page (page vii) sets the stage for Volume II which contains the final twelve lectures. We encountered the idea of untruthfulness in the form of error when Steiner told us that the existence of error itself points to the existence of the spiritual world. As Robert Sardello tells us in his introduction to A Psychology of Body, Soul, & Spirit by Rudolf Steiner:

[page xxv] Steiner's response to these questions is quite startling: error originates in the spiritual world, and our stepping stone to this realm is through this aspect of the spiritual world itself! Thus, our first access to the spiritual world is through error. But we must recognize this error consciously. And, in addition to recognizing it, we must have the inner moral force not to be taken into the error: we must be able to utilize the inherent spiritual forces to bootstrap, as it were — or perhaps better said, "soulstrap" — ourselves into the spiritual world.

In this book, Steiner continues his looking into the events of 1917 which involve prominent people in various countries who do not have the "inner moral force" to prevent them from taking themselves, their countries, and the world into error. In his Introduction Rudi Lissau in 1991 calls the karma of untruthfulness "the conscious manipulation of the media by power elites" — a concept so prevalent in the nascent 21st Century that it has been given the sobriquet of "spin". Spin can be defined as a maneuver by someone — of insufficient moral force to tell the truth — who instead twists the truth like a pitcher twists a baseball to create a spin on it that causes it to curve from its apparent path. Thus "spin" by the media and the politicians can be seen as cant or hypocritical talk which seems to be aiming for truth while actually ending up far off the mark. One might even paraphrase the title "The Karma of Untruthfulness" to, in the words of Bill O'Reilly, "The Spin Stops Here."

Is it any wonder that Lissau says that these lectures may reveal a "pro-German bias" by Rudolf Steiner? One who would think that betrays an introjection of the very spin that Steiner strives to end with these lectures. What I found in these lectures was that Steiner systematically investigated both sides of the issues which eventually led the Entente and the Central Powers of Europe into a battle which soon involved the entire civilized world. Both sides were equally at fault. You won't find that written by a partisan of either side in World War I, but Steiner was saying exactly that.

This series of lectures is a tough slog. Much of the trek leads us through ruminations of events that only a person living in 1917 or a historian of WWI could know any details about. We trudge through the swamp of obscure details for many pages, but occasionally we climb upon a prominence where we catch a breath-taking glimpse of spiritual reality. And when we do, we realize that the light we see is shining through the muck of the details we have just endured. This is a book which must be read in its entirety in order to be appreciated. I will share with you the things I appreciated in the course of this book, but you will have to suffer through the book individually if you wish to appreciate fully those things.

Looking at the functions of the ego which are interwoven with the nervous system he points out the cultural epochs when each of the threefold nature of the soul had to be developed by the Ego, namely the sentient soul, intellectual soul, and consciousness soul.

[page 4] And the ego body itself — this, too, has to be interwoven in the proper way.
       As I said just now, as man passes through succeeding periods of evolution he has to step into different developmental impulses with each period. He has to absorb whatever the contemporary age requires him to take in. In the first post-Atlantean period, ancient India, impulses of soul and spirit had to be absorbed which enabled the etheric body to be developed; in the next period, ancient Persia, the astral body was developed; in the period of Egypt and Chaldea it was the turn of the sentient soul; in the Greco-Latin period, the intellectual or mind soul; and today, the consciousness soul.

And then he points out that poisons will be deposited if one were to reject the development appropriate to one's epoch. Poisons appear in everyone's body, but one who has absorbed and developed the culture of his age will have the forces to eliminate poisons as they appear. Those who do not do so accumulate those poisons.

[page 5] . . . to remain behind in evolution means that man impregnates his being with a kind of formative phantom which is poisonous. On the other hand, if he were to absorb what his cultural impulses require him to absorb, the state of his soul would be such that he could dissolve this poisonous phantom he bears within him. By failing to do so, he allows this phantom to coagulate and become a part of his body.

How could this be important? To understand this one need only look at the symptoms of a civilization with such accumulating poisons and ask if we live in such a civilization, a civilization where the word "civil" in the sense of polite and courteous often does not apply.

[page 5] This is the source of all the sicknesses of civilization — the cultural decadence, all the emptiness of soul, the states of hypochondria, the eccentricities, the dissatisfactions, the crankinesses and so on, and also of all those instincts which attack culture, which are aggressive and antagonistic towards cultural impulses.

Steiner says, "Human beings acquire poison, sometimes in a very concentrated form, if they refuse to accept what could dissolve such poison." He also points out that in certain dialects of his region one says not that one is angry, but that one is poisonous. And he tells us what people are refusing to do which could lead to dissolving the poisons they would otherwise be accumulating.

[page 5] Nowadays, untold people refuse to accept spiritual life in the form fitting for today, which we have been endeavoring to describe for such a long time, more recently even in public.

How does the dissatisfactions and crankinesses show up in public? Primarily in the demonstrations of the "Anti's" — those groups who are anti- or opposed to something. The Anti-War, the Anti-Abortion, the Anti-Oil, the Anti-Freedom, the Anti-Infidels, the Anti-Trade groups to name a few prominent ones who parade daily across our TV new screens. Their common ground is that they are Anti-Spirit, but they are unaware of this aspect of their being. Instead they go on accumulating poisons instead of dissolving them and act out their poisons in angry protests, projecting upon others the cause of their anger. Isn't it amazing that some of the most warlike public demonstrations are those created by those to claim to be protesting some war or the other? Steiner helps us to understand this otherwise paradoxical circumstance.

One of the ways to stop spin is practiced by knuckleball pitchers in baseball. Instead of applying spin to throw a curve, they use their knuckles to apply the same resistance to the top of the ball as to the bottom of the ball so that when they throw it, the ball does not spin at all! In this next passage Steiner shows us that living truth contains its counter-image so that, like the knuckleball, resistance is applied to both sides of an issue and it does not spin. Recognizing the counter-image of their one-sided version of truth is exactly what the anti-groups are unable to do, up until now.

[page 6] We have already mentioned the highly contradictory and yet no less important fact that the question: To whom do we owe the Mystery of Golgotha? could elicit the reply: To Judas. For it could be argued that if Judas had not betrayed Christ Jesus, the Mystery of Golgotha would not have taken place, so therefore we ought to be grateful to Judas, since Christianity — that is, the Mystery of Golgotha — stems from him. However, to be grateful to Judas and perhaps recognize him as the founder of Christianity is going too far! Wherever we strive to enter higher realms we have to reckon with living, not dead truth, and the living truth bears within it its own counter-image, just as in physical existence life bears death within it.

The Sufis like to tell the story of the petty thief who was accosted by a Sufi and told that he was wasting his talents — he should be thinking bigger. Soon the man had become the Sultan of his entire country. He applied his talents to bigger things and soon was no longer a thief. By applying his talents on a higher plane he became a respected and admired leader. Steiner has said in several other places that "evil is a good out of its time" — here he reiterates the thought using a slightly different perspective of "place" instead of "time".

[page 10] If thieves were to use their thieving instincts, and murderers their murderous instincts, and liars their lying instincts to develop higher forces, instead of enjoying them here on the physical plane, they would develop quite considerable higher forces. Their mistake is only that they develop their powers on the wrong plane. Evil, I said, is good that has been transposed down from another plane.

Of course, if we know this it does not make a thief or a murderer or a liar any better. But we must understand these things, otherwise we cannot fathom what is going on, falling unconscious victim to these dangers.

In the Lord's Prayer the final passage is where we plead, "deliver us from evil". As free human beings our deliverance must come from our own will applied when we recognize the true nature of what is before us to be evil. How can we recognize evil if there are no examples of it extant?

[page 10] As a counter-image of spiritual endeavor it is essential for a violent evil to exist. And one of man's tasks today is to recognize the true nature of this evil, in order to be able properly to recognize and oppose it when he comes upon it in life.

It may occur to some "anti-war" zealot, for example, to say, "Well, I oppose the evil of war when I demonstrate against it, do I not?" This is a form of falsehood to which such fanatics are prone — they are unable to perceive evil as something they are to avoid in their own lives rather than attempt to save others from it. When we pray the Lord's Prayer, we are asking help in delivering us from creating evil with our own lives. If anti-war zealots prayed that way, they would be able to find the courage to avoid making war on others with their violent demonstrations. We live in a world full of falsehoods in whose name no end of evils are perpetrated on others. Unless we endeavor to understand the spiritual world, we will lack the moral force to dissolve this poison within us and we will instead be led to project our poison upon the outside world. "What we hide, we advertise," is an apt psychological apothegm which can be applied here.

[page 10] Superficially we see how falsehood throbs through the world in mighty waves which devour much more than one might think. For falsehood is monstrously vigorous. But as we have seen today, falsehood is nothing other than the corresponding counter-image for spiritual endeavor which ought to exist but does not. The divine, spiritual wisdom of the universe has given to the human being the possibility of spiritual endeavor. We have within us the poison which we can dissolve. Indeed, we must dissolve it, for otherwise it will become a kind of partial corpse within us.

Thomas Edison is known as a prolific inventor, but what is not widely known is that he had a paucity of original ideas for inventions. What he was excellent at doing was taking the ideas of others and by sheer persistence of will and application bringing them to fruition. The remarkable story about how he created the first light demonstrates that. Did he have a great idea about which element would work best as a filament? No.

He simply eliminated by exhaustion all those which didn't work. I met a man whose father worked for many years as Edison's chauffeur in New Jersey. His dad told him that Edison never bought his own cigars, but was always bumming one of his. In the area of ideas, he apparently did the same thing — taking ideas for new inventions like the motion picture, the phonograph, etc, from other people and implementing them better than anyone else. Did Edison experiment? I suppose you can say he did, if you mean trying every possible way to do something. He was a leader in creating new materialistic technology even though he was poor in ideas. Here is what Steiner had to say about the modern penchant for experimentation.

[page 23] Were materialistic progress to continue its development along the lines of the nineteenth century, people would grow ever poorer in ideas. Put simply: No ideas suitable for comprehending the world would occur to people. Any thought they might have about the world could only be stimulated by means of experiments, or by what they could see with their own eyes. The modern insistence on experimentation is nothing other than a paucity of ideas.

What happens if, burdened by materialism and abstract ideas, people are no longer able to receive ideas from the spiritual world? The answer should surprise no one who is even a casual watcher of world events — nationalism will arise from the diverted intensity of impulses rushing up from the blood instead of from the spiritual worlds of ideas.

[page 24, 25] I have told you, however, that the human soul needs a certain degree of intensity in its impulses. If it cannot reach up to ideas, it will take this intensity from elsewhere, from obscure, unconscious soul forces, from forces that rush up from the spirit of the blood. Fundamentally, nationalism is nothing other than a consequence of the lack of ideas. Mankind's primary need now is the will to rise up to ideas. But it has to be said: if this is to succeed, something else will be needed, too: namely, an understanding for the element of grace which can come from the spiritual world. For it is not possible to win through to the spiritual world from a starting-point of a limited sum of preconceived opinions. The spiritual world can only be reached by keeping the soul open for whatever wants to enter in, by desiring not merely to judge, but also day by day to enrich one's ability to judge.

One area where a paucity of ideas exist is in the area of crime. This idea came as a shock to me when it first arrived. I immediately scoffed at it, thinking of all the ingenious criminal schemes I had seen in various movies and detective stories. But, as with all new ideas when they arrive, they don't come with ready-made explanations — they are like babies who need to be nurtured till they grow to maturity. I began watching crime-based stories and plots and soon I discovered that criminals do not have original ideas — they take their ideas for criminal schemes from others.

If you consider ideas to be primary property (1), they steal others' primary property just as they try to steal the material or secondary property of others. Think for a moment of all the places in a movie you've seen where someone asks the ring leader what they're going to do. What happens? He thinks of some scheme he's seen someone else use in a different job or applies a scheme from another line of work to his current criminal endeavor. This is what usually passes as "ideas" in the criminal world.

Unfortunately for humanity, it mostly passes for ideas in the rest of society as well. To most people being "creative" today no longer requires that one have ideas. The best example of this type of thing is the Betty Crocker Cake Mix box which said in bold letters on its front, BE CREATIVE and HERE'S HOW YOU DO IT! People take art lessons and learn how to paint like someone else, then display their paintings in shopping malls and call it art. Or they go to ceramics class, pour stuff in a form, bake, and paint and consider themselves creative — all without needing to have a single original idea except maybe about which color to paint on a flower. The world has become a gigantic "Paint-By-Number" Set which is supposed to enrich our lives without us having to work to receive a single new idea.

In the consciousness soul age that we currently are living in it is urgent that as many people as possible have insight, become filled with ideas.

[page 25] So to begin with it is above all necessary that insight should take hold of human beings. We live in the age which is to grasp hold of the consciousness soul. So this age must strive for insight. But insight can only come about in ideas that span the world; for insight to come about, reality must be filled with ideas. Yet, especially with regard to the most recent events, our age is thoroughly disinclined to accept ideas. An abstract concept, however logical, however convincing, is not an idea. An idea must be born of living reality. Nowadays we see hardly any ideas come into being.

We hardly see any ideas come into being except for abstract concepts, usually formed out of whole cloth from some interest group with an axe to grind, such as getting favored treatment that they would else not qualify for. Abstract concepts do not have a basis in reality, Steiner tells us, and as a result they are powerless to change reality. He gives the example of "eternal peace," and discusses the very abstract concepts that have been applied to create the supposedly neutral, but really only neutered, body of the United Nations or UN.

[page 25, 36] One of the many abstract ideas ruling us today is that of eternal peace. In the way this is handled it is an entirely abstract concept which does not spring from a living understanding of reality, and yet it appears to those who do not desire to widen their horizons as something entirely convincing. These people say: The various nations — and they do not wonder whether this expression 'the various nations has any reality — ought to create an inter-nation organization, something that stretches across the entire world and is constructed after the pattern of a single nation.

Furthermore, something called 'international law' is to be established. The idea is beautiful and so everybody finds it convincing. The various nations are to commit themselves to keep the peace and they must also create legal norms which can contain their various mutual interests. All very nice! It would be equally nice if, to heat a room, all we needed was the abstract concept of warmth instead of having to light the stove. It is irrelevant whether an idea is nice, or convincing. For what could be more convincing than the thought that our need for stoves and the like really means that nature is a terrible despot!

The UN reality is an example of what a newscaster, such as one did yesterday, might misread on a teleprompter as un-reality. One wonders how the UN can ever work effectively when it bridges so many different cultures with their various levels of soul-development at any particular time. Take the three countries of Italy, France, and Britain, for example. The Italians have a sentient soul development, France an intellectual soul development, and Britain a consciousness soul development.

[page 36] We are familiar with the threefold nature of our soul in that it consists of the sentient soul, the intellectual or mind soul and the consciousness soul, all three being filled, spiritually permeated, enlivened by our egohood. When the Italian folk soul works into individual human beings, it is the sentient soul that is influenced by the forces and impulses with which it works.

In the French individual it is the intellectual or mind soul, and in the British individual the consciousness soul through which the folk soul works. For the folk souls of Central Europe it is the ego that is receptive, and for those of the Slav peoples the spirit-self. If we could fill ourselves with an understanding of this, we should no longer be tempted to form judgements in the way in which they are so frequently formed.

Should Italians be upset because they are not blessed with a natural consciousness soul as the British are? No. If one wishes to be at the forefront, it is possible to do so, no matter one's folk soul or country of birth, by the study of spiritual science.

[page 36, 37] A certain person heard this and was furious, because he understood anthroposophical spiritual science to be saying that in the German nation the folk soul works through the ego, as if this was something higher than a folk soul working through the consciousness soul. This was his own misunderstanding! For in spiritual science different aspects of knowledge are viewed objectively, side by side. The folk souls have tasks to do and to accomplish them they have to work into their nations.

But as regards the working of the folk souls in human souls we must realize that in our fifth post-Atlantean period a certain development has to take place. And those who are drawn towards anthroposophical spiritual science ought to feel themselves in the forefront of this development.

One who does not study spiritual science will say "My blood ties me to my country" while one who does study it will say "My karma ties me to my country." One has only to cast one's eyes towards Ireland, the Middle East, and other troubled areas of the world to see the difficulties caused by the blood of one group or another rising in anger and retribution against another. These problems are caused by what Steiner calls, "superficial judgments."

[page 39] In short, we are touching on something pervaded by tragedy which should have nothing to do with ordinary logic or ordinary, superficial judgments. For whether these things are seen as a matter of blood or as a matter of karma, blood lies below, and karma above, logic.

The ordinary logic and superficial judgments that Steiner is referring to are those which utilize conscious information we receive from the material world. Matters of blood have no need of logic as they are felt directly. Matters of karma rise above ordinary logic because they bridge lifetimes and lead us to make decisions for which we might be unable to offer a logical reason using ordinary logic.

In ordinary logic, it might be possible for us to have a utopia or paradise on Earth. Steiner warns us that this is a foolhardy goal, given the lack of spiritual consciousness available in the world at the present time for most people.

[page 39, 40] It is necessary to come to a profound sense for the fact that it is not possible to understand the world without seeing the reality of the necessary conflicts leading to all that is tragic in the world. And to believe that something like Paradise is possible on the physical plane shows a total lack of comprehension of the peculiarities of the physical plane. Paradise does not exist on earth. There can be no comprehension among those who strive to realize the new Jerusalem as a Utopia on earth or who, like the social democrats, want to bring about some other satisfactory solution. There is a profound law which says that human beings, in so far as they live here on the physical plane, can only reach a satisfactory view of reality if they are aware that higher worlds also exist, and that they are connected in their souls with these higher worlds. Only if we understand that we are citizens of higher worlds can a satisfactory view be attained. Therefore, when spiritual consciousness was extinguished, a time had to come when mankind could no longer understand why so much disaster, so many conflicts, are present on the earth. These conflicts can only be resolved when we feel ourselves not only to be living in the physical world, but also in the spiritual world. Then we may begin to grasp that just as man cannot always be young but has also to grow old, so there has to be a breaking down of what was once built up - conflict and destruction as well as creation. When you understand this, you also understand that conflicts have to arise between groups of human beings. These conflicts are the tragic element of world events, and they must be seen to be something tragic.

This next passage leads me to agree with Hebbel and say that, "Only the clever can experience tragedy; others merely stumble into accidents."

[page 40, 41] Hebbel was a contemporary of Grillparzer and knew him. As I said, Hebbel was a somewhat somber, melancholy genius, but after he had seen Grillparzer's plays The Golden Fleece, Thou shalt not lie! and A Dream is Life and so on, he said — and this is most interesting: Grillparzer depicts tragic conflicts, but only those of which it can be said that, if people were clever enough to see through the situations, it would be possible to resolve them in the end. According to Hebbel, the tragic circumstances in Grillparzer's plays only come about because the characters are not clever enough to see through the tragic situations. This, he says, is not really tragic. Real tragedy among human beings only comes about when those involved are as clever as anything and yet none of their cleverness and caution can help them, so that conflict becomes inevitable.

What kind of spiritual consciousness should we be striving for in the current epoch or period of evolution? Use your imagination. Or rather, Imagination — the first level of seeing images in the spiritual world. If we do that and avoid abstract thinking which can lead to slogans from which people can form superficial judgments which fly in the face of facts and lead even the cleverest human being — absent Imagination — into tragedy.

[page 45] In earlier lectures here I said: In the fifth post-Atlantean period we can only make progress if we strive on the one hand to achieve Imagination, and on the other to let the facts speak for themselves. All preconceived judgments are doomed increasingly to become empty phrases. Least of all can abstract thinking — as opposed to thinking that is bound up with actual facts — lead to judgments about the tragic conflicts in the world, the tragic play of impulses which work in the way I have described.

When people accept counterfeit truth for actual truth, those who wish to hide their real intentions from people will have succeeded. They will, in effect, have "shrouded the world in untruth" or thrown a "fog over the truth". (Page 49)

During the time leading up to and during the 2003 Iraq war France made all kinds of suggestions to the United Nations and to the USA about what should be done. Read the next passage and decide for yourself if France was doing what Britain was doing almost a hundred years earlier around the events of World War I.

[page 59] From the British quarter came all sorts of meaningless suggestions of the kind made by those who either want to take a hand in affairs without thinking things through properly, or who want to build up for themselves from the start a world-wide reputation of having endeavored to settle the matter by peaceful means. This is not actually the aim, but it has to be possible later to say that it was.

One should be able to perceive that the "karma of untruthfulness" is not something that was restricted to Steiner's time, but it is actively at work in the world yet today.

Steiner introduces in this next passage the idea of "materialistic specters" as a way of describing the penchant of modern historians to construct history based on available documents, any of which may have no record of the underlying historical impulses which are always of a spiritual nature. One historian did come around later, R. G. Collingwood, who claimed that "all history is the history of thoughts" — something I imagine Steiner would have liked, at least more than he liked the modern tendency to a ?description of materialistic specters?. Ideas may not appear in the available documents of the time, but they can provide a basis for uncovering the underlying historical impulses, it seems to me.

[page 75] Since the nineteenth century it has been the custom to construct history purely materialistically, on the basis — as people put it — of the available documents. Today it is not yet realized that this does not lead to a true depiction of historical impulses, but merely to a description of materialistic specters — paradoxical though this may sound: a description of materialistic specters.

Even in the best history books, the description of people and events of the past right up to the present shows nothing but specters without any real life, however realistic it is meant to be. It can, indeed, only be a description of specters because all reality is founded on spiritual impulses, and if these are omitted, what remains are specters. Thus up to today, the recounting of history has been spectral, yet in a certain way it has satisfied human souls; it has worked in a certain way.

Steiner was particularly upset by a note from the Entente which mentioned a people that no one in the world had ever heard before: the Czecho-Slovaks. He says he knows the Czechs and he knows the Slovaks, but that he has never heard of a Czecho-Slovak.

But we all have heard of such a thing because the jury-rigged nation known as Czechoslovakia existed for over 70 years as a result of that note which used an abstract term with no basis in reality to refer two different peoples as one as if it were possible without force for them to form one country. That it was impossible to do so was shown by their immediate division into the separate countries of the Czech Republic and Slovakia as soon as the imposition of force by the USSR had disappeared. It is in matters like this one where the results have played themselves out that one can discern the prophetic nature of Steiner's understanding in other matters which have yet to be completed.

[page 88] Further it is said, funnily enough: The Czecho-Slovaks are to be liberated. We know the Czechs and also the Slovaks. It goes without saying that only the Entente has heard of Czecho-Slovaks. Let us presume that it is the Czechs and the Slovaks who are meant.

One gets the impression that Steiner was talking about how ridiculous it was to talk of a Czecho-Slovakian people rather than the Czech people and the Slovakian people. He says, on page 90, "but those in western Europe who know nothing about the actual situation would make of this: 'Czecho-Slovaks'." Unfortunately that is exactly what happened and soon the hyphen between Czech and Slovak disappeared entirely into the name of the country we all knew as Czechoslovakia — which no longer exists as one country.

With Lecture 19 Steiner leaves the discussion of the events surrounding World War I and begins a detailed discussion of the nature of the human being. We find that our real Ego is actually operating below the surface of our consciousness and what we take to be ego-stuff is but the flotsam and jetsam which washes to the surface of consciousness. To investigate consciousness by investigating such detritus would be like studying submarines by examining the debris they jettison to the surface.

[page 91] The nature of man is complicated, and very much of what actually goes on within the human being remains more or less beneath the threshold of consciousness, merely sending its effects up into consciousness. True self-knowledge cannot be won without first obtaining insight into the working of the sub-consciousness weaving below the surface in the impulses of soul. These, it could be said, move in the depths of the ocean of consciousness and come to the surface only in the wake of the waves they create. Ordinary consciousness can perceive only the waves that rise to the surface, and on the whole one is not capable of understanding their significance, so true self- knowledge is not possible. Merely pondering on what is washed up into consciousness does not lead to self-knowledge; for things in the depths of the soul often differ greatly from what they become in ordinary, everyday consciousness. Today we shall look a little into this nature of man in order to gain, from this point of view, an idea of how the subconscious soul-impulses in the human being really work.

The human's Ego, astral body, and etheric body are invisible, even though it is possible to discern their effects at work.

[page 91] However, the manner in which what is evident works through what is not evident is very complicated. But if we work our way bit by bit through the various parts of this complicated process, and place them all together, we shall, in the end, attain an overall view of the being of man. Even this, though, will always remain incomplete, for the being of man is infinitely complex. But at least we can gain a certain basic knowledge of human nature as a valid foundation for self-knowledge.

The distinction between the Ego, which is the fourth and highest body in the human being during this stage of evolution, and the ego, which is our personal consciousness is often confusing to newcomers to spiritual science, particularly if they come from a Freudian background. Steiner makes a crystal clear distinction in this next passage between the Ego and the ego.

He calls the Ego (also the "I") the "real ego" and the ego the "ego-thought." Note that the Ego is also the newest or youngest member of the four-part human being which accounts for its "very dull consciousness" which refers to what can bleed through to human consciousness of the Ego:

[page 92] We must be quite clear what we mean when we say: The ego works through the point of contact of the solar plexus. What it means is this: The ego itself is equipped with only a very dull consciousness. The ego-thought is not the same as the ego. The ego-thought is what is washed up into consciousness, but the ego-thought is not the real ego. The real ego intervenes as a formative force in the whole human organism through the solar plexus.

In the Lord's Prayer we pray "Deliver us from evil" in the final Ego or "I" portion of the prayer which has taken us through the seven-part human structure. When we ask to be delivered from evil, we entreat the spiritual forces (at the same level and higher than the luciferic forces which infected our Ego or "I") to assist us in overcoming the negative aspects of the gift of freedom Lucifer has presented us. With freedom always comes the possibility for error. With error it is possible for a good to come out of its proper time or place — that is what we call evil. Is it no wonder that evil is so attractive when it rears itself in our lives? It is a good — something we would wish or desire — and would gladly succumb to if we were able to. And with our freedom, we are able to! "Deliver us from evil" is a plea to help us remember that when an evil appears it is disguised as a good, and we ask assistance from above to identify evil-tainted goods that are out of the proper time for us — coming too soon or too late.

[page 93] This human ego, given to man during the course of earthly evolution as a gift from the Spirits of Form, has been, as we know, subjected to the temptation of Lucifer. The ego, as it now exists in man, and because it has been infected by luciferic forces, would be a bearer of evil forces. The truth of this fact must definitely be recognized. The ego is not a bearer of evil forces because of its own nature, but because it has become infected with luciferic forces through the temptation by Lucifer; it is in fact the bearer of truly evil forces, forces which, because of the luciferic infection, tend to distort the thought life of the ego towards evil. Since the moment when the ego was given to him, man has been able to think. If there had been no luciferic temptation, man would think only good thoughts about everything. But as the luciferic temptation did, in fact, take place, the ego does not think good thoughts, but thoughts infected by Lucifer. This is a fact of earthly evolution: the ego is malicious and dastardly. It thinks only of showing itself in a good light and consigning everything else to the shadow. It is infected with all kinds of egoisms. This is how it is, because it is infected by Lucifer.

A curious result of the connection of the Ego and the solar plexus is that the Ego is bound to our abdominal organs. As long as our abdominal organs are healthy the demons infecting the Ego are held in check. If some abnormal condition arises in our abdominal organs, even something like constipation, these demons can be released and can cause all kinds of havoc: from manic behavior to madness.

[page 94] Assume now that these abdominal organs are unhealthy in some way, or not in a normal state. Not to be in a normal state means not to want to take in fully what fits into them spiritually, what spiritually belongs to them. The ego can be somewhat freer in its activity if the abdominal organs are not quite healthy. If this freeing is brought about by some physical hyperactivity, this can express itself in the human being in that the ego is let loose on the external world, instead of remaining bound. When the ego behaves freely in this way, we have a case of psychological illness: the human being displays the characteristics of the ego infected by Lucifer. The characteristics of the ego of which I have spoken then make their appearance.

There is certainly no need to be a materialist in order to understand fully the manner in which the spiritual — in this case the ego — can be bound to physical organs in life between birth and death, though in a way that differs from what is perceived by a materialist. There is no need to be a materialist to see how, in a manner of speaking, the devil can throw off his chains and break loose. This is one instance of psychological illness.

The amazing feats produced under hypnosis, on the other hand, provide us ample examples of what can happen when the normal activity of the abdomen is switched off by suggestion.

[page 94] The freeing of the ego, however, is not necessarily a question of psychological illness, because another state of affairs is also possible. In such an instance it is not a question of illness in the abdomen but rather a switching off of its normal activity. This is what happens in the great majority of cases of hypnotic consciousness. The functioning of the system of ganglia in the abdomen is put into a state either by natural causes or by all kinds of mesmeric effects — in which it is unable properly to keep the ego under control. Thus in this way, too, the ego has an opportunity to become more involved with its environment. It is not embedded in the system of ganglia and is therefore free to make use of channels to the outside world which enable it to perceive from a distance all kinds of processes in space and time which, when it is embedded in the system of ganglia, are processes which it cannot normally perceive.

We can see that madness results from some deformation of the abdomen, whether by psychological or hypnotic means. As a teenager I had read up on hypnosis and attempted it with a group of my friends. One older friend who was engaged to a girl in the group was particularly skeptical about hypnosis and asked for proof. While he was under a trance, I gave him a post-hypnotic suggestion to say "I hate you" to his girl friend. In my naivete I thought this would prove to him that he could do things under hypnosis that he wouldn't have ever considered. He came out of trance, we all talked about other things for awhile, then I said the trigger word and he walked up to his girl friend and slapped her in the face and said vehemently, "I hate you!" This shocked her, him, and the rest of us, none more than me. I vowed never to play with hypnosis as a parlor game ever again. The couple broke up later — whatever truth had been unleashed by the artificial deformation of his abdomen under hypnosis, it freed his Ego to express the truth in an unexpected burst of madness, but truth it was and led in a precipitous manner to the severing of an otherwise unhealthy situation. Whatever the good that might have come from the split did not matter to me and I shelved my interest in hypnosis until I could understand it much better and use it properly.

Note that chemical means is a by-product of these three means and, as such, are not mentioned by Steiner. Not surprisingly in this age chemical and genetic means are identified as the culprit by medical specialists who mistake the effect for the cause and treat the effect with sometimes disastrous and oftentimes unwanted side effects which mask the original problem to the extent that some amelioration by the chemical drug doses can be claimed. If one removes the placebo effect of taking drugs for psychological illnesses, one wonders what exactly is left of their claims for efficacy.

[page 95] If the ego is freed, if it feels, you might say, free of its chains and is linked, not with its body but with the spiritual forces in its environment, this is always, in away, a pathological state, just as is also the case in madness. That is why some forms of madness are characterized by the appearance of spite, mendacity, cunning and craftiness — everything that comes from luciferic infection; the urge to place oneself in the light and consign others to the shadow, and so on.

Next Steiner compares the lion with the ox. The lion is notably a carnivore and the ox a vegetarian. The lion's group ego is less bound due to the forceful activity of its abdominal organs, so its group ego is freer. The ox with its vegetarian diet has its group ego more bound up in its abdominal organs and it leads a more placid life. (Page 95 paraphrase) What is amazing is the conclusion that Steiner comes to is that a hungry vegetarian is likely to become more savage than a hungry carnivore. Here's his logic.

[page 96] When hungry, one is apt to be less inhibited. So it would be likely that the hungry vegetarians, who are in the habit of containing themselves as a result of their vegetarian diet, would be the more savage. For hunger brings about changes in the functions of the abdominal organs, which are then less able to fetter the ego than they are when satiated. [Thus, relatively speaking,] . . . the hungry vegetarian, in contrast to his state when satiated, is likely to be far more savage than the hungry carnivore, in contrast to his state when satiated.

It is possible for signs of madness to stem either from the ego or the astral body being released from its normal condition. If the ego is freed, one could expect instances of megalomania or criminal activity. If the astral body is released, one could expect manic-depressive or bi-polar disorders to show themselves. This could happen if the release is caused either by psychological problems or by hypnosis.

[page 97] When the ego is released, this leads, as I have said, to characteristics such as spite, cunning, wiliness, fraudulence, giving prominence to oneself and putting everyone else in the shade, and so on. When the astral body is released, this leads to volatility of ideas and lack of cohesive thought, manic states on the one hand or, on the other, to withdrawal, depression, hypochondria.

If someone's etheric body is released from its confinement in the cerebral system, one finds envy, jealousy, and greed prevalent in that person's life, "a kind of letting oneself go". Steiner here summarizes the Ego, astral, and etheric body's contact points in the human being.

[page 99] The only point of attraction for the ego is, more or less, the system of ganglia and whatever is connected with it; the astral body's point of contact is with the spinal system, but together with the system of ganglia; and the etheric body is linked with the cerebral system, but jointly, with both the spinal system and the system of ganglia. So, from this point of view, the system of ganglia also has to do with the brain, for instance, in so far as it serves all subconscious organic processes. If the system of ganglia brings about a process of illness which runs its course in the brain, then it could be the etheric body which is freed, even though the root cause lies in the system of ganglia.

This material provides a useful adjunct to that contained in the series of Steiner lectures published as A Psychology of Body, Soul, and Spirit. Psychiatry, if it is ever to rise to the challenge of its own name — psyche-iatry, or soul-healing, will need to absorb the teachings of spiritual science and reverse its precipitous fall into materialism with its concomitant chemical, drug, and genetic attempts at soul-healing. What Steiner said almost a hundred years ago is still true — psychiatry which is charged with healing of soul-sicknesses, has no means of making these simple distinctions of Ego, astral, and etheric body symptoms, up until now.

[page 99, 100] Psychiatry today has, as yet, no means of distinguishing between these three forms of soul sickness. Psychiatry will only achieve some degree of perfection when distinction is made between psychological abnormalities brought about by the freeing from bondage of the etheric body, or the astral body, or the ego. Then there will be a really significant way of distinguishing between, and assessing, the various symptoms of psychological abnormality — and it will be important to assess them in this way.

This freeing of any or all of the three bodies brings with it pleasant feelings which can become a detriment to the healing which should take place. This results in the paradoxical situation that when a patient begins to get better they resent the doctor and attempt to sabotage further efforts to help them. This phenomenon provides an excellent gauge as to whether an illness is psychologically based or not.

[page 101] Somebody with a psychological abnormality gains a certain satisfaction from his abnormal soul activity and is therefore loath to depart from it. In every age, those who have concerned themselves with the healing of psychological abnormalities have reported the following experience: When doctors have found a way of healing their patients, it happens that as the moment of health approaches, the patient senses that he can no longer freely merge with his spiritual environment and that he has lost a certain feeling of voluptuous bliss, so he begins to hate the doctor who has taken this from him. Usually those who are not psychologically ill are grateful to their doctor when he heals them, but efforts expended on the psychologically ill are met with the opposite. You will find this documented in the appropriate literature. Doctors have frequently found that when a cure is effected, or even only an attempt is made to overcome the sickness, the patient begins to find his doctor abhorrent because he is taking away what the patient really wants, especially in his subconscious, even if he would consciously deny this.

Steiner reports a case of madness which involved the freeing of the Ego, astral, and etheric bodies. The patient talked about his madness thus, 'Everything appeared easy to me. No obstacles presented themselves either in theory or practice. My memory acquired, all of a sudden, a singular degree of perfection. . . '. Steiner tells us about the case:

[page 102] Someone who understands these things can tell from this that the patient must otherwise have suffered from severe constipation, i.e. an abdominal condition, which led to a dulling of his memory. As soon as his ego tore itself free, his memory was again intact.

In another case, he describes how it would make sense that a person who is exceptionally stupid might benefit if he received an accidental shot in the head. This makes no sense unless one understands the relationship of the etheric body wit h the head. An old saying goes, "Somebody ought to knock some sense into his head." This seems to indicate that something is very tight in a person's head that could be loosened by a sudden jolt, which is exactly what Steiner tells us. Often we find that old sayings reveals truths that were once known by direct observation of the spiritual world

[page 103] Take a person who is stupid to a greater degree than is apparent in external life. There are such people. Well, stupidity is only one stage on the way to a certain abnormality of soul: namely, imbecility. The cause is possibly that the otherwise bound etheric body is free because the brain is too compact and cannot achieve sufficient fluidity in the way it works. Perhaps this person shoots himself in the head without killing himself. Someone who knows what to look for might find that this is not a bad thing, as long as he had not done himself any other harm. For the resulting loosening of his compact brain might lead to his becoming clever. There are certainly known cases in which head wounds have led to people becoming more wide awake than they were before.

When Francis Bacon wrote that we were thenceforth to accept only the reports of our senses as valid data about the world, he began us on a plunge into the materialistic world which gets deeper every day. Soon people began accepting only what was material in everyday life as well. The process is one so aptly described by this quatrain of Samuel Hoffenstein which I first read in 1958 and quickly committed it to memory, although it wasn't until I began to read Steiner's works some forty years later that I understood why I was so attracted to it.

Little by little we subtract
Faith and Fallacy from fact
The illusory from the true
And starve upon the residue.
I see it now as an example of my remembering the future. This fall into materialism is in full swing, but like a pendulum it is moving the fastest right at the point when it begins slowing down in preparation for a reversal of direction to come. Or like the night which is darkest before the dawn — already we can espy streaks of spiritual dawn breaking through the dark materialistic night sky.

[page 113] The materialistic way of life began when science became willing to recognize only what is material. It has already led to a stage at which people are prepared, in life, too, to accept only what is material. This will be taken much, much further and will become far more intense. For the fifth post-Atlantean period must be lived to the end. In all areas it must reach a kind of climax. For spirituality needs its opposite pole if it is to recognize itself with the intensity that will be needed if mankind is to step with maturity into the sixth post-Atlantean period [RJM, ca. 3573 AD].

In this next passage, Steiner expands what he said about three levels of soul and the countries of Italy, Spain, France, and Britain.

[page 118] Now we come to the third element, the one which corresponds to the fifth post-Atlantean period and has the task of bringing into being the culture of the consciousness soul: the English, the British element. The sentient soul element, brought into culture by the Italian-Spanish sphere, expresses itself in the theocratic element of the cultus — the sentient soul does not live in consciousness. Similarly the political and diplomatic element corresponds to the French sphere. And now in the British sphere we have the commercial and industrial element, in which the human soul lives fully and entirely in the material world of the physical plane.

During an interview with James Lipton recently, Cate Blanchet quoted Martin Scorcese as living by this motto as a director, "Pain is temporary; cinema is permanent." What an improved world it would be if everyone took that advice about life on Earth to heart. They would become more earnest about learning the spiritual truths, no matter what the pains involved, because while the painstaking task of learning is temporary, the benefit to the world and to one's immortal spirit is permanent. And yes, there are good forces ready and waiting to help us — but they cannot overcome the rampant materialism of the world alone, we must first be open to them.

[page 131, 132] Have the good forces no power against the evil forces we see all around us? To answer this we have to remember how difficult human freedom makes it for the spiritual world to assert itself amid the surging waves of materialistic life. This is what it is all about. Is it to be made so very easy for human beings to enter fully into the life of the spirit?
       Future ages will look back to today and say: How careless these people were with regard to adopting the life of spirit! The spiritual world is sending it down to us, but human beings resist it with all their might. Apart from all the sadness and suffering holding sway at present, the very fact that all this does hold sway is in itself a destiny signifying a trial. Above all it should be accepted and recognized as a trial. Later it will become apparent to what extent it is necessary for those who — so it is said — are guilty, to suffer together with those who are blameless. For after all, during the course of karma all these things are balanced out. You cannot say: Are not the good spirits going to intervene? They do intervene to the extent that we open ourselves to them, if we have the courage to do so. But first of all we must be serious about understanding things; we must be deeply serious about trying to understand.

Just as the Archangel Mi-cha-el has his foot on the neck of the serpent with the intent of dispatching the dark forces from our world, there are those who have their foot on the neck of spiritual endeavor with the intent of dispatching it from their world. With which side are you aligned? With those of the dark forces whose kingdom is the materialistic world? Or with the light forces of Mi-cha-el whose kingdom is the spiritual world? The choice of either side can be made in freedom, but only one side in light. Mi-cha-el empowers us to choose "in freedom and light".

[page 133] [Those whose] aim is to send a wave of materialism over the earth and make the physical plane the only valid one . . . must be opposed by the endeavors of those who understand the necessity of a spiritual life on earth. Looked at from this point of view, you can express this counter-force in two sentences. One of these is well-known to you, but it does not yet come fully out of the hearts and souls of human beings: 'My kingdom is not of this world.' The sentence 'My kingdom is not of this world' must sound forth against that kingdom which is to be spread over the physical plane, that kingdom which is only of this world, that kingdom of commercial and industrial materialism.

Everyone knows France is a republic, but Steiner sees the monarchial element prevalent in the French Republic. Even though he is talking about the French president in 1917, it applies especially well to the current president Jacques Chirac, whose monetary shenanigans and political positions in regard to Iraq were as imperious as if he were actually the King of France rather than her President.

[page 134] The actual character of the French state corresponds solely to the monarchic principle, so that even now France is a Republic in name only. In reality she is ruled by a king . . . . It is not a question of terminology but of facts. What is so terrible today is the way people allow themselves to be so easily intoxicated by words. If somebody is called a president it does not necessarily mean that he is a president, for what matters is the actual situation.

Steiner was thrown out of a Socialist school in Germany for daring to suggest the need for a theory of freedom. He soon found out that freedom and socialism are orthogonal to one another. Rightly understood, the difference between "reasoned persuasion" and "coercion" is indistinguishable when such "persuasion" is applied by someone in power.

[page 134] Social conditions in Germany do not correspond in any way to the German theory of Socialism! For instance, it is quite comprehensible that, after teaching in a Socialist school for a while, I should have been banned from teaching there, after I said that it ought to be in keeping with Socialism to develop a theory of freedom. On behalf of the leader of the Social Democrats I was told: It is not freedom that matters, but reasoned persuasion! [RJM: italics added] Socialist theory does not fit in with social conditions. In other words, social theory ought to be developed on the basis of the evolution of mankind. On this basis its three great principles are developed: Firstly the principle of the materialistic view of history, secondly the principle of added value, and thirdly the principle of class war.

In Lecture Twenty Steiner identifies four castes:

       1. Priests
       2. King
       3. Commerce
       4. Human Element

Of the fourth caste, the Human Element, he says:

[page 135] It is interesting that no theory has been worked out for the general human element, the fourth caste or class. In this element there can be no question of dominance, for there is nothing below it over which dominance might be exercised; it is solely a matter of laying the foundation for human beings to relate with one another.

What is the foundation for human beings to relate to one another in the absence of "reasoned persuasion" by persons or congresses in possession of coercive power? Steiner knew of no such theory laid out for us when he was giving this lecture in 1917, but since then a remarkable man from Central Europe, Andrew Joseph Galambos, has laid out such a theory called Volitional Science which demonstrates how humans can relate to one another without coercion — without ceding their essential human element of freedom to some king or president or assembly of elected representatives.

This next passage again calls to mind recent events in which several countries were attacked by terrorists, prominently the USA on September 11, 2001 during which almost 3,000 civilians were killed in four separate attacks. Once the USA proceeded to form a coalition to defend itself from future attacks, it was labeled an aggressor. It is understandable during a football game when the first attack by a player on the field against another player is not seen by the officials, but once the defensive counter-attack is launched, the defending player is cited for a penalty. It is not understandable, however, when the first attack is obvious and public knowledge to everyone. In that case we suspect that those slinging the label of aggressor against the defensive party must have an axe to grind. In other words, they are benefitting from the status quo, as the French and the Germans in their lucrative sub rosa dealings with Iraq recently. They apparently wished to continue to profit from the dictator in Iraq and to keep the USA from defending itself from future attacks from the terrorists harbored by and funded by Iraq's dictator. Steiner is talking about events over 80 years ago, but it sounds like current events, indicating that the world has not changed much for the better in the meantime.

[page 137] So it became necessary to defend ourselves. And the present time is proving most opportune for those who want to point fingers at us and say: See what attacks they are making; that shows who is the aggressor! . . . First you force the other fellow to defend himself and then you treat him as the aggressor. It is a very effective method and one that plays an enormously strong role in the world today. The attacker hides behind the clamor he raises after he has forced the other to defend himself by labeling him the aggressor.

In ancient times the knowledge of life after death was circadian knowledge — no one could deny something they experienced on a daily basis. They were linked directly to the spiritual world in a way that has faded for the period we find ourselves within. Today's humans are more awake than those earlier humans, but we are awake only to the sensory world around us. We lack the third condition of perceiving the spiritual world in addition to our waking and sleeping states.

[page 139, 140] In today's state of being entirely awake, human beings are restricted entirely to the physical world which they can perceive with their senses; they live between birth and death in a world which they can experience through their senses and through their understanding which is bounded by the brain. And in sleep they are unconscious. The entities of ego and astral body in which they live between falling asleep and waking up are not yet strong enough to supply them with a comparable consciousness.

We know that the astral body has only been developing since the time of ancient Moon and the ego only since the beginning of Earth evolution. Both are young measured against cosmic evolution and they are not yet strong enough to achieve consciousness when left to themselves between going to sleep and waking up.

If one is put off by the statement "our brain impedes our understanding", one betrays one's materialistic understanding which holds our brain to be the source of all our understanding and thoughts. If that were so, there would be no spiritual world to comprehend and we would never encounter the paradox that thinking is easy and comprehension is hard as we do when reading and studying Steiner's spiritual science. If we persist in our studies and succeed with our comprehension, we enter the world of Imagination, "a world of mobile, subtle pictures and ideas, and that is significant."

[page 141] It is difficult to describe these things in words because our language has been coined for the external, physical plane, so we have to exert ourselves when applying it to supersensible conditions. You could say that everything to which we ordinarily apply our understanding lives coarsely, densely in our soul because our brain is always at our disposal and is trained to deal with ideas and concepts relating to the physical plane. But to explain things which do not relate to the physical plane we have to exert our soul to such an extent that, when we study spiritual science, our brain plays an ever-decreasing part. When we experience difficulties in understanding what spiritual science gives us, this is only because our brain impedes our understanding. Our brain is adjusted and adapted to the coarse concepts of the physical plane and we have to exert ourselves to acquire the subtler concepts — subtler only in so far as human comprehension is concerned of the spiritual world. This exertion is entirely healthy, it is certainly good, because with spiritual science we then live in our soul in a new way, quite different from that required by physical knowledge and understanding and ideas. We transport ourselves into a world of mobile, subtle pictures and ideas, and that is significant.

We enter a world of objective thoughts which float about the universe and enter us. We begin to understand that our brains are tools which allow us to grapple with ideas and thoughts which enter us, and it is only through such grappling that we may be said to comprehend the thoughts, to grasp hold of them and make them our own. The next step is to enter into communication with living spirits of "the dead with whom we are karmically related." (Page 141, 142)

Those spirits of the dead always surround us, but they will not enter our consciousness unless we attune ourselves to them by actually living in the Imaginations of the spiritual world. They can gain entry to our souls, but cannot enter our bodily aspects especially those thoughts which come from our materialistic-thinking brain. Steiner's spiritual science creates a bridge between the material world and the supersensible world which is there for everyone who will avail themselves of it. (Page 142, 143)

[page 143] I have often stressed that what spiritual science has to say about the supersensible world, the concepts and ideas we develop — all of this is there for both the living and the dead. That is why I have recommended the practice of reading to the dead: that is, of unfolding thoughts orientated to them which refer to the supersensible world. Doing this is a way of offering them a bridge and it is one which can reach not only those who have died recently, but all those who have died, even a very long time ago.

And not only does this process allow we-the-living to contact the dead among us, but also the dead to contact us. With our fall into materialism, we have progressively blocked participation in the physical world by the dead among us. With the advent of Steiner's spiritual science we are able to open up two-way communication once more.

[page 143, 144] Active communication must once more be established between the living and the dead. Those who have died must become able to work into the physical world, so that what takes place there no longer goes on solely under the influence of conception which arise in this physical world.
       So our pursuit of spiritual science is indeed intimately bound up with giving the dead an opportunity to work here in the physical world.

Our way of thinking, our way of speaking, our way of perceiving only things of the physical world, and especially our untruthfulness create a tremendous fog through which the dead cannot penetrate.

[page 145] This thick fog contains all that black rubbish which comes, for instance — to name only one source — from today's journalism, in the form of untruths which are printed and repeated, creating an aura of untruthfulness spanning the earth. It is no exaggeration to say that it is exceedingly difficult for the dead to penetrate this black fog. Therefore, with the help of ideas such as those we have been developing concerning the absolutely concrete untruthfulness buzzing about in the world, it is necessary to endeavor to reach clarity, to really make the effort in this field to recognize the purely external truth of the physical plane in so far as this can become accessible to us, in order not to cover our soul with a dense fog through which the spiritual world simply cannot penetrate. You will understand how very necessary this is.

Steiner next explains how secret societies with their rites and ceremonies can create a super-materialism which affects both the living and the dead. He does not specifically identify the secret societies but gives us enough data so that we could identify one by their practices.

[page 146] Imagine certain secret societies carrying on a form of ceremonial magic directed towards its grey or black aspects. Imagine they influence their members in a way that affects even their physical body, even the delicate vibrations and weavings of their physical body, so that something spiritual flows into this physical body.
       What is the consequence? The consequence is that something now comes about which was suitable in earlier periods of human evolution but is no longer permissible today. Such procedures make it possible for the spiritual world to influence those human beings who participate, even though they do not turn towards it along the path I have described. This means that it becomes possible for the dead, as well as other spirits, to influence the members of a circle created by ceremonial magic. In this way today's materialism can be made hypermaterialistic.

The danger from this hypermaterialism is that one can gain counterfeit or ahrimanic immortality at loss of true immortality.

[page 148] This is that the more a person gains by way of materialistic immortality, or rather ahrimanic immortality, the more he loses of the consciousness of true, genuine immortality. Yet materialism has taken such a hold on many souls today that they remain unconcerned about this and are tricked into striving for ahrimanic immortality. It could indeed be said that societies exist today which, from a spiritual or occult point of view, could be called 'insurance companies for ahrimanic immortality'!

One could say, "What's the danger? These people willingly enter such societies." Yes, they do, but only a few at the top of the hierarchy of the society know about what is really happening. This is one of the keys that should alert anyone to the true nature of a society.

[page 148] It is only a small number of people in each case who understand all these things. For as a rule these societies are organized in such a way that the ceremonial magic they practice influences only those who are unaware of the implications, merely desiring to make contact with the spiritual world by means of symbolic ceremonies.
There are many such people. And those who have this desire are by no means necessarily the worst. They are accepted as members of the circle of ceremonial magic among whom there are then a few who simply use the rest of the members as instruments. Therefore one should beware of all secret societies administered by so-called higher grades whose aims are kept hidden from the lower grades. These administrative grades usually comprise those who have been initiated to a stage at which they only have a vague idea of what I have just been explaining to you. They comprise those who are to work positively in connection with certain goals and aims which are then realized by the wider group of those who have been merely inveigled into the circle of ceremonial magic. Everything these people do is done in such a way that it leads in the direction required by the higher grades but is strengthened by the forces which come from ceremonial magic.
These societies, rightly understood are the source of many of the untruths which fill the karma of the world yet today. And there is no doubt these untruths parading as truths strengthen much of the evil in the world. (In 2018, we might call this process "fake news parading as real news".)
[page 150] For in this working of the 'untruth in what is true' lies one of the mighty strengths of evil.
Steiner tells us that our head in this incarnation came from our body in the previous incarnation, and thus our head in this incarnation will fall away and our body will become our head in the next incarnation. First, let me offer a simple automotive analogy. Bring to mind the very first mass-produced automobile, the Ford Model T. You had to walk to the front of the auto and turn a crank to start it. In a later model you could start it from inside the car.
If you examine successive models of automobiles over the decades, you'll find that the instrument cluster on the dashboard grew with each new model. Instead of running a dipstick to check oil level, a warning light lit on the dashboard. Now low pressure levels in tires are displayed on some cars. What was formerly only in the body of the car moves into the head of the car (dashboard) with each successive model. This is admittedly a simple mechanical analogy.

Steiner offers a comprehensive analogy from Goethe's theory of metamorphosis, but it is presented in such brevity as to beg for some explication. He said (page 153), "And our body transforms itself, metamorphoses itself — as does leaf to petal in Goethe's theory of metamorphosis — in our head in our next incarnation." To understand this requires one develop a fluid way of visualizing what happens as a leaf changes into a flower. Here is a leaf newly springing from the ground on a seedling — it is flat, it is green, and in no way resembles a flower. As the plant grows, imagine it now growing in your imagination, the leaf at the very top of the plant begins to change shape and color and to enclose a flower bud, the bud opens into a brightly colored bloom which soon is pollinated and creates a seed which falls to the ground to begin a new plant in a new season.

The change from that early seed to the enclosed flower bud and seed is what happens to the human's torso and limbs between incarnations. What was previously torso and limbs transform, metamorphose, into the head of the human being in a new body, just as the leaf metamorphosed into a flower bud and seed. "That is why," Steiner tells us further, "even in the embryo, the head appears before anything else in its complete form . . ." (Page 153)

Art can be only be understood by fluid, mobile concepts that are dramatically unlike the sharply defined concepts of the physical world. Since I began my career as a physicist who dealt with hard-edge abstract concepts, it took me some time to assimilate the ?squishy? concepts of art, as I would have called them at the time. Now I recognize that the essential nature of art is in its fluid and mobile concepts. In calling art ?squishy? I was acknowledging that I had been under the influence of similar hard-edge abstract concepts that art has incorporated into itself in recent years.

These concepts are discussed by Tom Wolfe in his book, ??The Painted Word? (1975), and the use of those abstract, word-based concepts was already well underway when Steiner was speaking in 1917.

[page 160] There exist today many concepts and ideas which have to be very definite if they are to be of any use. Modern, more mercantile, life demands clearly defined concepts based on calculations. Science has become accustomed to this, but so has art. Think of the development art has undergone in this connection! It is not so long ago that art was concerned with great ideals on a wide scale, when, thank goodness, concepts were insufficient for an easy interpretation of great works which were full of meaning. This is no longer the case to the same extent. Today, art strives for naturalism, and concepts can easily encompass works of art because now they have often arisen merely from concepts instead of from an elemental, all-embracing world of feeling. Mankind is today filled to the brim with commonplace, naturalistic concepts which are determined by the fact that they have been conceived entirely in relation to the physical plane where it is in the nature of things to be sharply defined and individualized.

My essay, Art is the Process of Destruction, is my attempt to break out of the sharply defined strictures of what constituted art. In fact, my essay is a destruction or "breaking out" of the sameness of any "sharply defined" concepts about what characterizes a true work of art. My thesis is that any field of art which is sharply defined or individualized represents a field devoid of creativity and filled instead with replication. To produce an "artwork" according to sharply defined specifications is to replicate or mass produce a form that is already established and places the results in the realm of "mall art" or hobby crafts. And that is not true art. True art can be seen and experienced, but not talked about. True art breaks the mold. True art dances around sharply defined concepts. True art plays with the mind. True art cannot be put into words because it breaks with all traditions. True art cannot be pigeonholed, because no art like it has existed before. True art displays the process described in Matherne's Rule #8: It Allways Happens Before You Know It.

Steiner understands this unique aspect of art as he admits his struggles to communicate his fluid understanding through words which must necessarily express what seems like hard-edged or "close-textured" concepts.

[page 160, 161] I have been endeavoring to find concepts for all kinds of artistic phenomena. To communicate through speech one has to find concepts. Yet I have constantly felt the need to avoid firm, clearly defined concepts for artistic matters. Of course, for the lectures I had to attempt to define the concepts as far as possible, for they have to be defined if they are to be put into words. But while I was preparing the lectures and formulating the concepts I must say I had a certain aversion, if I may use this word, to expressing what had to be said in such meager concepts as have to be used if things are to be expressed in words. Indeed, we shall only understand one another in these realms if you translate what has been expressed in close-textured concepts back into concepts of which the texture is less clearly defined.

Why this aspect of art is important to us has to do with how the living spirits of the "so-called dead" have problems with any sharply defined concept: it makes them feels as if nailed to a cross. They prefer the freedom of movement they experience in the spiritual world. Thus, when one contemplates a work of true art, one can come into intimate contact with those living souls which fill the world around us. Spiritual science with its flowing concepts is also attractive to these living souls.

All these considerations illuminate why spiritual science receives from time to time vehement attacks from materialistic narrowminded critics — these critics rightly attack the lack of sharply defined concepts in spiritual science. But what they attack is the absence of the very thing which if present would neuter spiritual science and render it ineffectual! Unable to generate the flowing views from different perspectives, the critics attack what appear to them as contradictions — which are not there but only apparently there — because of their own penchant for converting everything into sharply defined concepts. And most importantly, those who have the greatest difficulty with those critics are those who try to defend spiritual science using sharply defined concepts! A tug-of-war ensues which can be avoided simply by dropping one end of the rope (2).

[page 161] Therefore it is important that we occupy ourselves with spiritual science so that we may enter those intimate spheres of experience where, as was said yesterday, the living can encounter the dead; because the concepts of spiritual science cannot be as closely defined as can those of the physical plane. That is why malevolent or narrowminded people can easily discover contradictions in the concepts of spiritual science. The concepts are alive, and what is alive is mobile, though it does not, in fact, harbor contradictions. We can achieve this by concerning ourselves with spiritual matters, and to do so we have to approach things from various sides. And approaching things from various sides really does bring us close to the spiritual world. That is why the dead feel comfortable when they enter a realm of human concepts which are mobile and not pedantically defined.

"Mobile concepts cannot be pedantically defined." Long before I ever read Steiner or encountered this thought about mobile concepts, I put together a series of mobile concepts into a list which, for lack of a better name, is called Matherne's Rules. They sound a little strange when you first read them: "Free yourself from thinking. Once in a row is enough. All meanings are true. There's allways even more. Do it right away, kid! It allways happens before you know it. This is the first time you have read Matherne's Rules, up until now. Free yourself from rules." These are a few examples of Matherne's Rules. They are mobile concepts which cannot be fit into sharply defined concepts.

I have attempted to describe some of the implications or various perspectives from which each rule can be viewed, understood, or applied, but the descriptions are always incomplete, as there is allways even more to say about Matherne's Rules, at all times and in all ways, which two of the meanings of the coined word (not a typo) "allways" whenever and wherever it appears, i.e., allways.

If you read the description of Matherne's Rule #9 you'll find the rule is an example of the application of the "limitation eraser" which you may not have heard of, up until now. If you will openly and correctly apply the limitation eraser to the end of any thought or sentence you think, speak, or write, you will experience yourself becoming freed of any hard-edge, immobile concepts which you had attempted to encapsulate within yourself, up until then. Given the insights provided by Steiner in Lecture Twenty-two which we have been discussing, we can intimate that the living spirits of the so-called dead would feel very comfortable among those people who frequently use the limitation eraser. "For the dead love mobile concepts."

[page 161, 162] Indeed, the dead feel most ill at ease of all when they enter the realm of the most pedantic concepts. These are the ones that have recently come to be defined in relation to the spiritual world for those people who do not want to live in anything spiritual, but who want the concepts for sense-perceptible things to apply to the spiritual world as well. These people conduct spiritualistic experiments in order to imprison spiritual concepts in the world perceptible to the senses. They are, in fact, more materialistic than any others. They seek rigid concepts in order to hold commerce with the dead. Thus they torture the dead most of all, for if they want to approach they force them to enter the very realm most disliked by them. The dead love mobile concepts, not rigid ones.

Our physical body is the oldest portion of the human being, it dates back to the Old Saturn phase of human evolution. With its mineral infusion into the phantom of the physical body, it is the densest part of the four-part human being which consists of physical, etheric, astral, and Ego bodies. Being so densely packed it is able to grab lights waves and other sensory data which reach it about the physical world. The popular science fiction concept of the invisible man has a flaw which is seldom noticed: a truly invisible man would be completely blind! The light waves which pass untouched through his body would likewise pass untouched through the retina of his eyes and he would lack any possibility of receiving information from them! He would be totally and completely blind. This illustrates that the less attenuated a body is, the more it is able to grasp information from its milieu.

By the end of the period of human evolution following Old Saturn called Old Sun, the etheric body was formed as a very attenuated body. With each period of evolution, it grew less attenuated and thus more able to grasp information from the spiritual world in which it exists. Similarly the astral body which was formed during the Old Moon period is more attenuated than the etheric body, but is less attenuated than the Ego body which formed only at the beginning of the current Earth period of evolution of which we are in the middle at this time. Lacking fully conscious senses in the etheric, astral, and Ego bodies, we are able to press our senses and our brain into service to attain waking experiences in our soul.

[page 166] Here on earth, bound to our physical body as we are between waking up and going to sleep, using this physical body as a tool for our experiences in the world, we feel a lack of ability to comprehend the spiritual world and grasp its revelations. As long as we are enclosed within our physical body, and in order to perceive anything, we have to use the rough and ready instruments of this physical body. We cannot avoid using them. And when we are unable to use them, as is the case between going to sleep and waking up, our astral body and our ego-being — which are recent additions from the time of ancient Moon and the earlier periods of Earth — are too attenuated, too intimate, to detect anything.

Of course the spiritual world is ever about us, just as the air surrounds us constantly. And if our astral body and our ego-being were — let me say — sufficiently dense, we should always be able to perceive, to grasp, what is all around us in the spiritual world. We cannot do so because in our astral body and our ego-being we are too attenuated; they are not yet fully-formed instruments, like the physical senses or the brain, which our capacity for forming ideas uses in order to attain waking experiences in the soul.

Our senses provide us the instruments for grasping the physical world in our waking life. Likewise we need an instrument for grasping the world between death and a new birth. To understand how this works, let's review the spiritual hierarchy called angeloi or simply angels. Each human has one angel assigned individually — what is commonly called a "guardian angel" — who follows the assigned human through every incarnation upon Earth. One might imagine this angel to be one's personal bodyguard or more specifically, a spiritguard. In addition to the guarding duties, the angel provides another valuable service as the gateway to perceptions of the spiritual world in the time between death and a new birth. I imagine it to be like this: our spiritguard communicates directly with other spiritguards and when it becomes an integral part of our spirit after death, this network of spiritguards provides us communication with other spirits like ourselves.

[page 167] Let me put it like this: Just as here our senses link us to the external world, so the condition of being embedded in the world of the angeloi links us to the spiritual beings, including human beings, whom we find in the spiritual world. Just as here in the physical world, in accordance with the prevailing conditions, we receive an organism which is organized in a certain way, so do we receive an organism of spirit which is brought into being by this networked of angeloi substances. How this network of angeloi substances is structured, however, depends very much on the manner in which we work our way up to the spiritual world. If we work our way up in such a way that we have little sensitivity for the spiritual world because we have far too many echoes of physical pleasures, urges and instincts, physical sympathies and antipathies, then the formation of our angeloi organism is difficult. This is why we tarry for a while in the soul world, as we called it, so that we can free ourselves from all that permeates us from the physical world and prevents us from forming our angeloi organism properly.

This sounds to me like what in catechism is called our time in Purgatory — a place where we purge from our soul the remnants of earthly wants and desires. Steiner tells us that these desires are like dross which must be burnt away before we can proceed upward in the spiritual world. These desires cause us suffering similar to having a thirst and being unable to quench it — what we thirst for is something that requires the physical body which we no longer possess. The movie "Ghost" from the last decade of the former century described this process quite well. A man who had just died wanted to feel, to hold, to touch, to talk to the woman he loved deeply, and suffered much pain because he was unable to do these things. He was only able to proceed higher in the spiritual world when he became willing to give her up.

[page 169] Perception of all that exists in the mineral kingdom is lost almost as soon as we step through the portal of death. Here in the physical world, because we have senses, our capacity for perception is greatest with regard to the mineral kingdom. Indeed, we could almost say it is virtually exclusive, for other than the mineral kingdom there is not much that we can perceive as long as we are confined to our senses.

Once we enter the world between death and a new birth, the mineral kingdom disappears from our view. What remains is our ability to see how humans react to the physical world. Steiner uses the example of salt in a salt shaker, something we see everyday now, but then we will see neither the salt nor the salt shaker (aka salt-cellar). Instead if someone takes some salt into his mouth or sips soup into which the salt has been sprinkled, we experience the influence the salt makes inside his body. In addition we will experience any human thoughts that became attached to the salt shaker or salt during its manufacture.

[page 170] One thing, however, always remains perceptible to the dead, and it is important to pay attention to this. It is whatever has been filled with human thoughts and feelings; it is the human thoughts which are perceived. Salt in a salt-cellar, as a product of nature, is not perceived by the dead. Nor do they perceive the salt-cellar, whether it is made of glass or any other material. But in so far as human thoughts have come to rest in the salt-cellar during the process of its manufacture, these human thoughts are perceived by the dead. When you consider how everything around us, except what is purely the product of nature, bears the signature of human thoughts, you will have a good idea of what the dead can perceive. They also perceive all relationships between beings, including those between human beings. All this is alive for them.

There are some experiences we have in life now that we would like to forget then as soon as possible, especially the thoughts attached to manufactured things. During the time between death and a new birth and we require help from the next higher beings above the angeloi, the archangeloi or archangels, in order to forget these things.

[page 170] There are certain things in the physical world, however, of which the dead endeavor to rid themselves; they want to expel them from their ideas and soul experiences — as it were, wipe them out. Their desire to do this is comparable to the longing on the part of human beings here on earth to gain certain insights about the world beyond. Here we long to achieve ideas about the next world. After death, as regards certain human matters here on earth — the world beyond, from the viewpoint of the dead — we long to extinguish them, to wipe them away.

But to do this it is necessary to be filled with the substances of the higher hierarchies of angeloi and archangeloi. Once the dead are filled with these substances they can extinguish from their consciousness what must be extinguished.

Another obstacle to developing consciousness in the spiritual world during this time is language. Language prevents us from growing into the realm of the archangels, and this is especially so for those who are so materialistic that virtually all of their thinking is contained in language. Anyone who believes that thought without language is impossible will have the utmost difficulty overcoming this obstacle to progressing to the level of the archangeloi.

[page 171] Strange though it may sound from our standpoint here on earth, there is an obstacle to growing into what gives us a clear, enlightened consciousness in the spiritual world. This obstacle standing in the way of growing easily into the spiritual world is, strangely enough, human language, the language we use here on earth for the purpose of a physical understanding from one human being to another. The dead have to gradually grow away from language, otherwise they would remain stuck in the affinities which bind them to language and which would prevent them from growing into the kingdom of the archangeloi. Language is definitely only suitable for earthly conditions. And within earthly conditions the human being has, in his soul, become very strongly linked with language. For many people, especially now in this materialistic age, thinking has come to be virtually contained in language. People today think hardly at all in thoughts but very strongly indeed in language, in words. That is why they find it so satisfying to find the right term for something. But such terms, such definitions in words, are only valid here in physical life, and after death our task is to extricate ourselves from definitions in words.

About twenty-five years ago, I was introduced to the Sufis and began studying their writings in earnest. Hazrat Inayat Khan and Idries Shah were two of the prominent Sufis whose works I studied. Sufis are amazing — are highly spiritual, but belong to no organized religion. They are typically ordinary people on an extraordinary mission. I learned about Sufis from these two well-educated men, Khan and Shah, who spoke of Sufis who wandered around, taught others in paradoxical ways, and were always breaking the hard-edged conceptual frame of anyone who insisted on looking at the world in one specific hard-edged way.

A few of my favorite Sufi stories:

Nasruddin was appointed judge for a day. The first case was brought to him and the prosecutor described in intricate details the wrongs that the defendant had done, ending with the statement, "This man is guilty!" to which Nasruddin declared, "I do believe you are right!" The bailiff rushed to Nasruddin's side and whispered to him, "Judge, you haven't heard the defense's case, yet." So Nasruddin called the defense attorney up and he eloquently pleaded the case that his client was innocent, finishing up with the statement, "And, so, your honor, as you can easily see, my client is innocent!" To which, Judge Nasruddin declared, "I do believe you are right!" Quickly the bailiff rushed to the judge's side and said, "Judge Nasruddin, they can't both be right!" To which Nasruddin declared, "I do believe you are right!"
Five blind men are brought before a Sufi and he asked each one of them to inspect an object and report to him what it is. The first came and said, "The object is a large snake." The second reported, "The object is a wall." The third, "The object is a rope." The fourth, "The object is a tree trunk." And the fifth, "The object is a large leaf on a tree." The object which each one had inspected was an elephant.
Nasruddin was on his knees on the ground under the street light in front of his house. His friend came along, and seeing him searching, joined him on his knees. "What are you looking for, Nasruddin?" he asked. "My keys," Nasruddin replied. They both searched for an hour with no success. His friend, growing tired, asked him, "Exactly where did you lose your keys, Nasruddin?" "In the house," Nasruddin replied. "In the house! Then why on Earth are you looking for them out here under the street light?" his friend cried out. "Because," Nasruddin said, "there is more light out here."

Now read as Steiner tells us how spiritual science helps us to feel our way around actual words and free ourselves from thinking in language and sharply defined concepts which would bar us from communion with the living souls of the so-called dead around us.

[page 171] In such matters, too, spiritual science gives us a certain possibility to find our way into the realm of the supersensible. How often do I say to you that to reach a genuine concept we can only approximate; we can only, so to speak, feel our way all around the actual words. How often have I not shown you how we have to endeavor to reach the concept by approaching it from all sides, by experimenting with the use of different expressions in order to free ourselves of the actual words. Spiritual science in a certain sense emancipates us from language. Indeed it does this very fully, thus bringing us into the sphere which we share with the dead.

Earlier I pointed out that Steiner's spiritual science creates a bridge between the material world and the supersensible world by recommending we do spiritual readings to the so-called dead. Another way of creating a bridge is by loosening the grip language has on us in the physical world. What I learned from my studies of the Sufis, their teachings, and especially their stories was not so much concepts, but I underwent a process in which language loosened its grip on me.

[page 171, 172] Emancipation from language is intimately bound up with the way the dead grow into the substance of the archangeloi. By emancipating ourselves from language in spiritual science, by creating concepts in spiritual science which are more or less independent of language, we build a bridge between the physical and the spiritual world.

The secret societies or brotherhoods that Steiner mentioned earlier have another goal having to do with language which has tremendous implications for humankind. They wish for us to have a complete immersion in the English language. This goes counter to what is required if humans are to be able to merge with the archangeloi in the spirit world.

[page 172] This involves something extremely important from the spiritual point of view. It means that their intention is nothing less than the aim of influencing not only human individuals while they are incarnated in physical bodies between birth and death, but indeed all human individuals, including those who are living between death and a new birth. They are striving to let human individualities enter into the spiritual world and become immersed in the hierarchy of the angeloi, but then to prevent them from becoming immersed in turn in the hierarchy of the archangeloi. The aim is, one could say, to depose the hierarchy of the archangeloi from the evolution of mankind!

If you wish for some evidence of such an aim, Steiner obliges by giving an example from inside the Theosophical Society itself, "Mr Leadbeater, said in so many words that in many ways the life between death and a new birth was a kind of dream-life." Note that the phrase dream-life refers to a life of Imagination which refers to the level of the angeloi, which if one stays at that level, will prevent one from merging with the archangeloi, and thus one would remain forever tied to the thoughts of the ahrimanic materialistic objects of one's previous earthly existence.

[page 172] . . . some souls, who had been successfully influenced in this way and who were found by Leadbeater in the spiritual world, this had actually happened. These souls had indeed been prevented from contact with the world of the archangeloi and they therefore lacked any strong, clear consciousness. So in his way Leadbeater was observing souls who had fallen prey to the machinations of those brotherhoods, only he did not go so far as to observe what became of those souls after a while. Such souls cannot spend their whole time between death and a new birth without the ingredients which would normally be given to them by the world of the archangeloi, so they have to receive something else instead.

And they do indeed receive something that is an equivalent; they are indeed permeated by something; but what? They are permeated by something that comes from archai who have remained behind at the stage of the archangeloi. So, instead of being permeated by the substance of the real archangeloi — as would be normal -- they are permeated by archai, by time spirits, but by those who have not ascended to the level of the time spirits but have remained behind at the level of the archangeloi. They would have become archai if they had evolved normally, but they have remained behind at the level of the archangeloi. That means that these souls' are permeated by ahrimanic influences in the strongest manner.

The amazing part is that these secret societies can have drastic effects, not only on one's life on Earth, but on one's life between death and a new birth. Another way of affecting the so-called dead is to torture them by attempting to contact them with languages and forcing them to respond in kind. Seances, table-tapping, channeling, Ouija boards, and such techniques which require communication in language are experienced by them as a hot branding iron to the chest would be to us. If you love someone who has died, do you think it would be a loving deed to torture them by trying to contact them with such techniques?

[page 176] Let us now take up something we have already discussed from a certain viewpoint. Here on this globe, in the Europe we inhabit, the relationships between nations are spoken about in a way that inflicts utter torture on the dead, for all the ideas and concepts are based on the peculiarities of language. By forming concepts about nationality based on the peculiarities of language, people persistently torture the dead. One way of torturing the dead, one way of failing to show them love, is to participate in spiritualist seances.

For this forces them to manifest in a particular language. The dead person is expected to speak a particular language, for even with table-rapping the signs have to refer to a particular language. What is done to the dead by forcing them to express themselves in a particular language might very well be compared with pinching someone living in the flesh with red-hot tongs. So painful for the dead are spiritualist seances which expect them to express themselves in a particular language. For in their normal life the dead are striving to free themselves from the differentiations between languages.

In an aside Steiner tells us something about the German people that is not very well known. Everyone has likely heard the famous slogan of WWII, "Deutschland Über Alles", even though few foreigners understood that it referred to a deep instinct about the Deutsche Volk (German people). What it did not mean was that the Deutsche people wished to conquer the world, but it was easy for outsiders to attribute that meaning given the other events occurring at the time. But why are the Deutsche people not referred to by the name Deutsche? The name Germany I came to understand when I saw the statue of Germanie in the Rheingau a few years back. It showed a large female figure with an ample body. I learned that female immigrants from Deutschland often looked this way and were called "Germanies", pronounced with a hard "G". These Germanies could plausibly be from a country called, "Germany", couldn't they? But the more I found out about Deutschland, the more puzzled I became. Why we don't call it Deutschland instead of Germany? Steiner tells us that no Western language calls it Deutschland except the country itself and the Deutsche Volk (German people) who sprechen Deutsche (speak German).

[page 177] Taking our departure from what we have said so far, we could state that in Central Europe there existed what we might call the 'primordial soup' for what later streamed out to the periphery, particularly towards the West. Let us take a closer look at this 'primordial soup' (see diagram page 179 See Left Below). For a very long time it has been customary for the nation which represents this 'primordial soup' to call itself 'das deutsche Volk'. The peoples of the West have exercised a kind of revenge on this nation by refusing to call them by the name they have chosen for themselves, a name which signifies a profound instinct. They are called 'Teutons', 'Allemands', 'Germans', all kinds of things, but never, by those who speak a western language, 'Deutsche'. Yet this is the very name that has deep links with the nature of this people which is, in a way, the 'primordial soup'.

Steiner introduces the concept of three castes of Priests, Warriors, and Merchants at this point (Upper left diagram). These three castes mirror exactly the divisions of society that Spencer Heath described in his book, Citadel, Market, and Altar. One can also see the Threefold order of Rudolf Steiner in the diagram. He is talking about the "primordial soup" of Deutsche-speaking peoples (often called "barbarians" by the late Roman period of history) who migrated over the centuries in three basic directions: West, South, and Northwest as shown in the above diagram to the right.

[page 178] The undifferentiated 'primordial soup' of humanity was not quite without structure, even though it was undifferentiated. It is right to distinguish between what was at first undifferentiated and what later became differentiated. The 'primordial soup' contains what migrated down towards the south; it is there as one of the parts. This part (red in the diagram) migrated southwards with all its one-sidedness. Drawing an analogy to what people meant by the ancient castes, we could say that a caste migrated southwards, a caste with a capacity for priestly things — a priestly caste. Since then a priestly element has always emanated from that part of the periphery.

[page 179] The second element migrated westwards: the warrior caste, the kingly caste, the element of kingship. We have spoken of this, too. This western part only fell into republicanism because of an anomaly. In actual fact it is inwardly structured through and through in a warlike, kingly manner and it will ever and again fall back into this warlike, kingly element. Again we have something that has streamed out, so that a part of this element which has streamed out towards the West has also remained in the 'primordial soup' and will in turn have to provide the opposition to what takes place in the West (blue).

[page 179, 180] And north-westwards went the mercantile element. It, too, remains as a part (orange) and will have to stand in opposition to what has developed one-sidedly. No moral evaluation is meant by this, for let no one believe that I in any way share the opinion, expressed so frequently, that the mercantile element is something despicable in comparison with the priestly element. All these things must be seen in their dissimilarity, but they must not be labeled and evaluated. Indeed; for the fifth post-Atlantean period, as we have seen, the mercantile element is something utterly essential. But we really must see the realities as they exist. If people cannot see them now, then they will come to see them in the future.

In Lecture Twenty-Four, Steiner discusses the relationship of our breathing rate to the Platonic Great Year and reveals how we human beings in microcosm reflect the macrocosm in which we find ourselves, how our human breathing cycles and life cycles are related to the breathing and life cycles of the Earth, Sun, and cosmos.

Here I will summarize the material Steiner presents of pages 188 through 194. Let us call our normal breath an "astral breath", our daily breathing in and out of our etheric body into our head an "etheric breath", and our breathing into and out of our incarnation as a "physical breath". Our astral breath occurs about once every 3.3 seconds or 18 times a minute. Our etheric breath once a day. Our physical breath is the length of our normal lifetime on Earth or about 72 years. If we do the math, we find that we experience 25,920 astral breaths during a day and 25,920 etheric breaths in a normal lifetime. If we call a human lifetime a Sun Day, then we find that a Sun Year would contain 25,920 years which corresponds to Plato's Great Year or one complete cycle of the precession of the equinoxes.

The human being consists of four basic interlaced components: Ego, astral body, etheric body, and physical body. The etheric body is pushed down from the head into the torso when we awake so that we may begin thinking and become consciously awake. Then when we go to sleep, the etheric or life body moves up into the brain/head area to begin refreshing and repairing the destruction caused during the day by our thinking processes. This cycling of the etheric on a daily basis we can call the "etheric breath". The cycle is thus, for everyone, 24 hours or 1 day. The human being thus has 25,920 etheric breaths during an average human life time. If you use 72 years and 360 days/year, you get exactly 25,920, but if you use 365.25 and 70.96 years you get the same number, but it's not as cleanly delineated.

The etheric breath can also be considered an Earth breath because during the course of a day, the Earth breathes in and out the astral and Ego bodies of human beings. At night when we sleep these two components are breathed out from sleeping humans which retain only their physical and etheric bodies. During waking the astral body and Ego are breathed back in. During the run of 25,920 of these "Earth breaths", the physical body life completes one human life time.

The physical body wears out in about 72 years, though many live longer than that. That 72 year period can be considered a single breath of the Sun into which and out of which our Ego or immortal spirit ventures after our life on Earth. If we call a single human lifetime a "Sun Day", how long would a "Sun Year" be? 360 X 72 = 25,920 years a Platonic Great Year, which corresponds to length of time of the precession of the equinoxes. According to a new theory by Walter Cruttenden, etal, the precession of the equinoxes is a result of our Sun revolving in a large elliptical orbit around a companion star, which orbit has a period of 25,920 years. This length of time it takes the Sun to complete a rotation around its sun — its companion binary star, probably Sirius — we might call, by analogy to the time the Earth takes to revolve around its sun, a Sun Year. This analysis allows us to see the human being as a microcosm in relation to the macrocosm, and to give the proper name to the 25,920 year period, a Sun Year.

[page 194] Herein you have an analogy for an ancient assertion, for something that was called the 'days and nights of Brahma'. Think of a spiritual being for whom our seventy-one years are as is a single breath for us. We find we are a single breath for that being. When we enter the world as a tiny baby, that being for whom the Platonic Year is one year breathes us out. It breathes us out into the cosmos, and when we die it breathes us in again; we are breathed out and we are breathed in. Now turn to the earth: It breathes us out and in again in one day. Now turn to the air, which is a part of the earth: It breathes us out and in again in an eighteenth of a minute. Whichever way we look at it, the number 25,920 represents the return to the starting point. This is a regular rhythm; it gives us the feeling of being embedded in the cosmos; it teaches us that the span of a human life, and one day in a human life, are indeed, for greater, more all-embracing beings, the same as is one breath for us. If we can transform this knowledge into feeling, then the expression 'resting in the world-all' assumes immense significance.

In this next passage Steiner, in a sense, reveals the importance of morning and evening prayers. Note especially the importance of morning prayers as we may receive guidance which we are able to retain as we gradually rise to consciousness, something that is not easy to do in the evening because we drop off into unconsciousness or fall asleep immediately after receiving such insights or guidance.

[page 195] That is why it is so important for one striving for initiation to learn to sense within himself the great significance of the transitions of going to sleep and waking up. In going to sleep and in waking up, in this transition, we are most likely to sense how spiritual beings mysteriously speak with us. Later we can then gain some control over this. If you seek entry into the world inhabited by the dead, it is good to be aware that the dead are most likely to speak at the moment of going to sleep and the moment of waking up. The moment of going to sleep is more difficult, because here we usually become immediately unconscious and fail to perceive what the dead have said. But in waking up, if we succeed in becoming fully aware of the moment of waking up, that is when the dead are most likely to communicate with us. But we must seek to gain a firm hold of the moment of waking up. This means that we must endeavor to wake up without immediately entering into the light of day. You know that there is a — shall we say — superstitious rule, that if we want to hold on to a dream we must not look at the window or the light because if we do, we will forget easily. This applies just as much to the delicate observations which flow to us from the spiritual world. We must endeavor to wake up in the dark, in darkness which we wilfully create by not listening to noises, by not opening our eyes, by waking up consciously while not yet going out to meet the day. That is when we best notice the approach of communications from the spiritual world.

If we recall only a few messages given to us in the morning, we shouldn't despair about losing all the other messages. These are recorded into the etheric body of the Earth and are available for later study. Likewise we can study the communications from the spiritual being whose breath is a single human life for they are recorded into the sun-ether which fills the whole world. Steiner directs us to his book, Knowledge of the Higher Worlds, for more information on this. (Paraphrased from page 196)

Steiner tells us that the postulation of the existence of the atom was not bad in itself, it was the subsequent denial that anything but the atom existed. (Page 205) Thus the word ATOM can be thought as an acronym for All Things Owed to Materialism or perhaps the Ahrimanic Thrust of Materialism.

If this arhimanic thrust of materialism were to continue we would find ourselves in a waking nightmare where we are unable to understand the world about us. He offers us a solution in the concepts of his spiritual science:

[page 207, 208] The only antidote to this is to plant, in human souls, concepts which stem from spiritual science. Without these . . .[Christ and ] other phenomena in the etheric world, which human beings ought to see, will withdraw from man, will go past unnoticed. Not only will this be a great loss, but human beings will also have to develop pathological substitute forces for those which ought to have developed in a healthy way.

Lacking powerful spiritual science concepts, humans will accept weak substitutes, such as the flood of theosophical material which poured out during Steiner's time. Many people, then and since, have deemed this shallow material to be full of sage wisdom.

[page 208, 209] . . . those things which are held to be so marvelously wise are nothing more than trivia, utter trivia. Someone who has absorbed the spirit of Goethe can regard even a work like such as Light on the Path [RJM: theosophical work by Mabel Collins] as no more than commonplace. This ought not to be forgotten. To those who have absorbed the inspiration of Novalis or Friedrich Schlegel, or enjoyed Schelling's Bruno, all this theosophical literature can seem no more than vulgar and ordinary. Hence the peculiar phenomenon that there were many people who had the earnest, honest desire to reach a spiritual life but who, because of their mental make-up were, in the end, to some degree satisfied with the superficial literature described.

Steiner was trained in the sciences and knew personally that this aspect of his education was vital to his ability both to understand the spiritual world as well as to communicate his understanding to other. With the advent of rampant materialism during his time, however, there were few scientifically trained scientists who were interested in spiritual science then, and that remains to be the case, up until now.

[page 208] The consequence was this peculiar phenomenon: It was not possible to bring about a situation — which would have been desirable — in which a number of scientifically educated people, however small, could have worked out their scientific concepts in such a way that they could have made a bridge to spiritual science. No such people were to be found. This is a difficulty that still exists and of which we must be very much aware.

Thomas Kuhn in his landmark book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, explains how scientists are reluctant to question the theories that they are taught in school even when faced with evidence of anomalies or defects in those theories. Rather they would cover up the defect with some explanation so as to fortify the theory. He called the result of this process of shoring up a theory, a paradigm. The resulting paradigm becomes like a dam holding back the floodgates of heresy or like a stone wall which prevents the arrows of anomalies from penetrating the theory's sanctum sanctorum. While a paradigm can lubricate the everyday processes of science, it can also prevent any paradigmatic anomalies or deviancies from ever leading to a newer and more robust science. A paradigm can be a boon or a boner, a safe haven for productive work or a neurotic shelter from the real world. Safely ensconced inside their paradigms, academically trained professionals in all fields risk their reputations and even their livelihood if they dare to study a field so far from what they were taught as spiritual science would be.

[page 209, 210] Supposing we were to approach those who have undergone a scientific education, with the intention of introducing them to Anthroposophy: lawyers, doctors, philologists — not to mention theologians -- when they have finished their academic education and reached a certain stage in life at which it is necessary for them, in accordance with life's demands, to make use of what they have absorbed, not to say, have learnt. They then no longer have either the inclination or the mobility to extricate themselves from their concepts and to seek for others. That is why scientifically-educated people are the most inclined to reject Anthroposophy, although it would only be a small step for a modern scientist to build a bridge. But he does not want to do so. It confuses him. What does he need it for? He has learnt what life demands of him and, so he believes, he does not want things which only serve to confuse him and undermine his confidence. It is going to take some considerable time before these people who have gone through the education of their day start to build bridges in any great numbers. We shall have to be patient. It will not come about easily, especially in certain fields. And when the building of bridges is seriously tackled in a particular field, great obstacles and hindrances will be encountered. It will be necessary above all to build bridges in the fields encompassed by the various faculties . . .

Here are some of the fields where bridges need to be built.

Law: [page 210] In the field of law the concepts being worked out are becoming more and more stereotyped and quite unsuitable for the regulation of real life. But they do regulate it because life on the physical plane is maya; if it were not maya, they would be incapable of regulating it. As it is, their application is bringing more and more confusion into the world.

Technology: [pag 210, 211] In technology — although it may appear to be furthest away from the spirit — it is above all necessary that bridges should be built to the life of the spirit, out of direct practical life. . . . From machines, in particular, a path will truly have to be found into the spiritual world.

Medicine: [page 210] In the field of medicine the situation is more serious. If medicine continues to develop in the wake of materialism as it has been doing since the second third of the nineteenth century, it will eventually reach an utterly nonsensical situation, for it will end up in absurd medical specializations. The situation is more serious here because this tendency was, in fact, necessary and a good thing. But now it is time for it to be overcome. The materialistic tendency in medicine meant that surgery has reached a high degree of specialization, which was only possible because of this one-sided tendency. But medicine as such has suffered as a result. So now it needs to turn around completely and look towards a real spirituality — but the resistance to this is enormous.

Education: [page 210] Education is the field which, more than any other, needs to be permeated with spirituality, as we have said often enough. Bridges need to be built everywhere.

Both medicine and education are fields in which Steiner would get personally involved in building bridges. Anthroposophical medicine and Waldorf Schools are a direct result of his involvement. In the field of agriculture, Steiner bio-dynamic principles are at work in the world producing healthier foodstuffs than even the most stringent organic farming techniques.

Alfred Korzybski showed how we proceed from reality — the territory — up successive levels of abstraction to concepts — the map — which can represent the territory, but not all of the territory. If we manipulate abstract concepts as if they were real, we are dealing with all map, no territory — and those abstract concepts will fall through the cracks of life. Steiner was aware of this problem as he writes:

[page 214] Some people still have no idea what is meant by wrestling for reality , for they are fighting shy of understanding clearly how threadbare are the concepts with which they work today.

Here is the dilemma we face. Specialists in all fields are building castles of airy abstract concepts and shoring them up against all invaders who attack them in the name of common sense and reality. These specialists, who are like viruses who have invaded the body politic by pretending to be productive members of its constituent cells, are in reality feeding off the body of culture and rendering it progressive less healthy and more in need of healing.

[page 214] Only through the all-embracing nature of spiritual science — this must be understood — can healing come about for what lives in the culture of today.

Who pays the lion's share of taxes today? The other guy does, that's who. Huey P. Long used to say about taxing, "Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax the guy behind the tree." Steiner gives us a story about a lion who founds a new social order for the animals and we are instructed in our own social order by this parable.

[page 217] Suppose the lion were to found a social order for the animals, dividing up the kingdom of the earth in a just way. What would he do? I do not believe it would occur to him to push for a situation in which the small animals of the desert, usually eaten by the lion, would have the possibility of not being eaten by the lion! He would consider it his lion's right to eat the small animals he meets in the desert. It is conceivable, though, that for the ocean he would find it just and proper to forbid the sharks to eat the little fishes. This might very well happen. The lion might establish a tremendously just social order in the oceans, at the North Pole or wherever else he himself is not at home, giving all the animals their freedom. But whether he would be pleased to establish such an order in his own region is a question indeed. He knows very well what justice is in the social order, and he will put it into practice efficiently in the kingdom of the sharks.

Anyone who will found a new social order will design it to apply to everyone else! And the founder will get the lion's share as in Steiner's story by being exempt. He points out something that anyone can look up — in post-World War I Europe, the one country that remained intact was Hungary because the one who drew the map was from Hungary! Every worker in the United States has to pay social security taxes which can be shown to be a forced investment from which they derive a negative return — about -1.5% return on the money they pay into the program — every person except the members of Congress who enacted the law. The situation with the pyramid scheme of Social Security pensions will get worse unless the system is overhauled from a Ponzi (3) investment scheme into an investment scheme and soon.

We find a lot of chatter in the news media today with "talking heads," reputed experts, and studio audiences babbling about every abstract concept imaginable, never finding reality anywhere. They are content to have participated in idealistic chatter instead of substantive discussion which would require real concepts as Plato defined them.

[page 220, 221] If you apply Plato's concepts appropriately, in accordance with reality, then you will find reality everywhere, for with these concepts you will be able fully to enter into reality. Starting from the concept, you must find the way to reality, and the concept will be able to plunge down into the most concrete parts of reality. Shadowy concepts, on the other hand, never find reality, but they do lend themselves exceptionally well to idealistic chatter. With real concepts, though, you can work your way through to an understanding of reality in every detail.

Steiner could not have said the above if he not had ensured that his spiritual science embodied principles which lead us not to shadowy concepts but to living concepts steeped in the spirit.

[page 221] Here lies the task of spiritual science. Spiritual science leads to concepts through which you can really discover life, which of course is created by the spirit, and through which you will be able to join in a constructive way at working on the formation of this life.

Spiritual science is like a food that is readily available, but starving humans are avoiding it and complaining about the lack of food.

[page 221] Mankind must regard spiritual life as a food. It is given by the gods, but it has to be taken in by man. To say that the gods ought to intervene directly is tantamount to saying that if I refuse to eat God ought to satisfy my hunger in some other way. The wisdom-filled order of the universe ensures that what is needed for salvation is always available, but it is up to human beings to make a relationship with it. So the spiritual life necessary for the twentieth century will not enter human beings of itself. They must strive for it and take it into themselves. If they fail to take it in, times will grow more and more dismal.

In these next passages we hear Steiner bidding farewell and reminding his audience and us that thoughts are indeed realities.

[page 224] The greatest of these is to reach an understanding of what it means to base thinking on reality. Wherever we look we are confronted with the impossibility of finding a thinking which accords with reality. We shall have to enter heart and soul into this search in order not to be led astray by all kinds of egoistic distractions. This is what I wanted to say to you as my farewell today, since we are about to take leave of one another for some time. Make yourselves so strong — even if it should turn out to be unnecessary — that, even in loneliness of soul, your hearts will carry the pulse of spiritual science with which we are here concerned. Even the thought that we shall be steadfast will help a very great deal; for thoughts are realities.

[page 225] In this sense, I say farewell to you. My words are also a greeting, for in the days to come we shall meet again, though more in the spirit than on the physical plane.

As I type these words Steiner is "resting in the world-all" — the cosmos — and speaking to me and you more in the spirit than on the physical plane as I also will be someday as you read these words. In a sense, much of the subject of these lectures dealt with his attempt to make it possible for there to be living humans with whom his living spirit could communicate during the time of his lectures and now. Open your hearts and listen — not to words, for there will be none — but to feelings, those ineffable expressions which are all the more real the more they cannot be explained in words. Open your hearts and listen — and you will enter a world you will have no words to picture. A world of spirit and reality which we must endeavor to hold fast to us dearly from now on.

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

Footnote 1.

Dr. Andrew Joseph Galambos brought forth the innovative idea of property as "the non-procreative derivatives of one's life". The levels of property are primordial property — one's life; primary property — one's thought and ideas; and secondary property — everything else which derives from primary property, which includes all the physical goods one may be said to own. Upon this idea he was able to produce the first effective operational definition of freedom, a definition which will eventually span the world. As powerful as this idea is, many are disinclined to accept it because of the cultural myopia which is prevalent, up until now. See Sic Itur Ad Astra for more details.

Return to text directly before Footnote 1.


Footnote 2. I am thinking here of those well-meaning materialists who criticize Waldorf Schools and the anthroposophists who tackle them in debates attempting to defend spiritual science on the battlefield laid out by the critics. On page 162, 163, Steiner says, "For the earthly realm seen spiritually — indeed the earthly realm can be seen spiritually — things appear different from what might be assumed when they are not seen spiritually. It is correct to say, as we have done many a time, that we live in the age of materialism. Why? It is because human beings in this materialistic age — human beings in general, rather than those who understand these things are too spiritual — paradoxical though this may sound. That is why they can be so easily approached by purely spiritual influences such as those of Lucifer and Ahriman. Human beings are too spiritual. Just because of this spirituality they easily become materialistic. It is so, is it not, that what the human being believes and thinks is something quite different from what he is. Those very people who are most spiritual are the ones most open to the whisperings of Ahriman, as a result of which they grow materialistic."

Return to text directly before Footnote 2.


Footnote 3. Ponzi originated the idea of what has since been called generically a "pyramid scheme". He accepted money for investment and paid those who invested earlier from the proceeds coming in from new investors. He never defaulted on his promise to pay, but nevertheless the "Lion" in the form of the so-called government of the USA came in and shut him down for an illegal and unsafe investment scheme. Later that same so-called government stole the idea from Ponzi and built the Social Security pension program on Ponzi's original design. The Lion (Feds) would not let the Shark (Ponzi) eat up the money of the smaller fish, but the Lion decided it would be alright for it to do exactly that.

Return to text directly before Footnote 3.

To Read Volume I of The Karma of Untruthfulness, CLICK HERE!

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3.) ARJ2: The Emotions - The Outline of a Theory by Jean-Paul Sartre

How appropriate that I 'd be reviewing this book on the fiftieth anniversary of Sartre's writing it! In all those fifty years scientists haven't learned much more about a theory of emotions than Sartre knew in 1948. [See ARJ: Passion and Reason, Emotional Intelligence, and The Emotional Brain] But Doyle P. Henderson came up with a theory of emotions some twenty ago [ARJ: PANACEA!] in the light of which I wish to examine Sartre's view of emotions. Henderson's theory may be said to form the basis for the science of doyletics - the science of the acquisition and transmission of emotional traits.

Sartre says on page 7, "Thus, emotion is first of all and in principle an accident." He says it is useless for a psychologist to ask how "the very structure of human reality makes emotions possible." Yet, rightly understood, the theory of doyletics does exactly that: it says that a human being begins developing cognitive memory capability at three years of age and switches over entirely to cognitive memory at age five.

Before age five, all bodily experiences (those physical body states called by the names, emotions, feelings, moods, and motor skills) are stored directly in a form that permits later stimuli to trigger an exact recapitulation of any stored physical body state as though it were actually happening at the time.

Thus, if we are presented with a bouquet of flowers, we attribute the feeling to the flowers and say, "Those flowers give me a thrill!" We don't say, e.g., what would be more accurate, "The sight and smell of those flowers triggers a physical body state that was stored in me when I was two years old!"

We cannot say the latter because only the thrill was stored, not the cognitive memory of the event. We don't remember the when, the where, the what, the why of the event; we only remember the how we did it and the how we felt. If it had been possible for us at age two to store the event as a cognitive memory, the thrill would not have been stored. If as an adult we do a doyle trace we may recover the event as a cognitive memory, but in doing so, we will lose the possibility of ever experiencing the thrill of the event as soon as the event gets stored in cognitive or conceptual memory. This pre-eminence of cognitive memory over physical body states was very early recognized by Doyle Henderson and formed the basis of his theory. It is the key factor which permits his software program to remove unwanted physical body states.

If someone were so foolish as to trace their thrill experience upon receiving flowers, they would be able to say, the next time someone surprised them with flowers on a special occasion, "These flowers remind me of flowers that I saw and smelled when I was two years old." - but they would no longer be able to feel the thrill that they had felt before! Thus it is always necessary to remind new doyle-tracers, "Only trace physical body states that you do not want to ever have again."

Our experience of emotions allows us to classify them, and, once classified, to think that we understand them. Doyletics allows us to understand that the origin of our emotions is in our idiosyncratic set of childhood experiences before five years old and that our use of a classification word like thrill is simply a convenient pointer to some childhood experience that we have no other way of describing.

[page 16] If, in the manner of the phenomenologist, we wish to make of emotion a true phenomenon of consciousness, it will, on the contrary, be necessary to consider it as significative from the first.

Sartre says that "To signify is to indicate another thing." and that physiological facts signify almost nothing - they just are - yet, through doyletics we understand that the physiological facts are the physical body states that comprise emotions and that they point to events of personal history.

Since we are always creating new personal history with each emotion that arises from an important event, we are easily led to believe that the current event is creating the emotion. The experience of over twenty years of doyle tracing to remove unwanted emotions permanently, however, proves the existence of an original event of personal history before the age of five. And during that original event only the physiological components of the emotion were stored.

To a materialistic scientist, the feeling of joy is the physical body state recapitulated from the original event before five years old. To a spiritual scientist, the feeling of joy is the spiritual concomitant of the physiological states or doyles that we call joy. The spiritual scientist sees the world as a chariot that is pulled by two horses: the black horse of the material world and the white horse of the spiritual world.

[page 43] A woman has a phobia of bay-trees. As soon as she sees a cluster of bay-trees, she faints. The psychoanalyst discovers in her childhood a painful sexual incident connected with a laurel bush.

Sartre claims the fainting is a phenomenon of refusal to re-live the memory connected with the bay-tree. If we consider that the painful adjective is a word used by the analyst to refer to the woman's reluctance to tell what really happened, the more likely description is that the young girl swooned or passed out, overcome by the flood of sexual energy, and the current fainting as an adult woman in the presence of a bay-tree is a re-triggering of the physical body state of unconsciousness stored during the original event.

[page 55] The words which my neighbor is writing makes no demands; I contemplate them in their order of successive appearance as I would look at a table or clotheshanger. On the other hand, the words which I write are exigencies.

As I pass now from copying the above quote, I enter a new phase of writing in which the very next word has an urgency, a potential newness that I cannot guess beforehand. Watching someone in the throes of an emotional display has the same quality as that of watching someone else writing - we observe the facts in progression.

But when we are the one emoting, we feel the urgency of the emotion as an exigency that we do not feel when we observe someone else. What I am wanting to claim is that, "writing is born out of the same substrate of human capability as emotion," and I feel the impulse to write those words, even though I can pause, reflect, and consider what they mean, and not be sure what I mean by them, up until now.

[page 67] The emotion of active sadness in this case is therefore a magical comedy of impotence; the sick person resembles servants who, having brought thieves into their master's home, have themselves tied up so that it can be clearly seen that they could not have prevented the theft. Only, here, the sick person is tied up by himself and by a thousand tenuous bonds.

Seen rightly, sickness, a magical comedy of impotence, is a comedy that we are expected to take seriously if we are caregivers.

This is a beautiful insight by Sartre into the reason why a sick person will rebuff anyone who suggests to them that it's all in their minds - the sick person, like the servants above, must insist that it was the thieves, not themselves, that tied them up. This reminds me of the lifelong hypochondriac who had the following engraved on her tombstone, "See! I told you I was sick!"

[page 72] The actor mimics joy and sadness, but he is neither joyful nor sad because this kind of behavior is directed to a fictitious universe. He mimics behavior, but he is not behaving.

This I must disagree with - though Sartre was a writer, not an actor, and so must be forgiven. One need only observe the sterling performances that are highlighted during Academy Awards presentations to realize that these performers are behaving in a real universe that includes real people in the audience, people who will only remain engrossed in a performance if it is startlingly real. The essence of the acting art is to produce experiences in oneself that are so congruent with the scene that the audience believes that the performer and the person portrayed are one and the same.

[page 93] The study of emotions has quite verified this principle: an emotion refers back to what it signifies.

And what it signifies, or points to, is the set of physical body states experienced by that person before the age of five. To build a theory of emotions is easy if one begins on this premise. And the theory, if it is to be accepted, must have useful consequences. In the case of doyletics, the useful consequences are the ability to remove unwanted emotions, feelings, or moods in the privacy of one's home. The listing of the possible set of uses is beyond the scope of this essay. Sartre's book is a useful outline of his theory of emotions, and it has helped this author to outline Doyle Henderson's theory of emotions.

Comments on my Review by Doyle P. Henderson, May 30, 1998:
Oh, what fun I have had reading your reviews, and even printing out, in color your photo and the well-formatted Sartre's book review... Your observations, as always, are instructive, even to me, regarding PANACEA! and Sartre's work... Your remarkable capability to relate things, to see and explain their relevance and meaningful relationships, continues - enhanced by your own exposure to more things.... It will never become stale or obsolete.

Read/Print at:

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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 a Laugh at Foxfire Riding Stable this Month:

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

This month the good Padre discovers that Front-to-back Donkeys Impose Levities upon Riders:

2. Comments from Readers:

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

  • EMAIL To/From Georgia in Phoenix:

    Dear Georgia,

    I thought I'd lost you when your Admin Guy unsubscribed you! So good to hear your voice again. Thank Don for reminding you to call me. Still waiting for a invite to visit Australia with you and your Aussie hubby, Tony-Bob!


    Oh God, you all in Aussie Land! Loved talking with you like old times.

    Georgia Barri

  • EMAIL from Ray Brooks: RE: My review of his new book,
    The Shadow That Seeks the Sun

    Just a quick note to thank you again for your article. After 2 months as a self-published book, Watkins Publishing picked up the book and released it under a new cover and subtitle. It was your review on that helped bring it to the attention on a traditional publishing company.

    Thank you Bobby
    Ray brooks

  • EMAIL from Sid Prichett in UK:


    Hi Bobby and Del,

    Thank you very much for making me an Honored reader for March. As we are currently snowed in here in the UK, I really enjoyed your trip around Mardi Gras. I felt I was there with you. You certainly had a good time. I know that Carolyn would have enjoyed that piece too. I am getting along quite well now thanks to the support of our many friends.

    Best wishes to you and your family
    Sid Pritchett

  • EMAIL from Gary Lee in Canada (photo at right):
    The long email from Gary wouldn't fit in my Letters section, and it was too important to condense, so it has been added to the Top of my Trace History Page here:

    Much thanks go to Gary for sharing his Speed Trace experiences. They will help countless other suffers around the world to trace and erase unwanted doyles from their lives.

    Bobby Matherne
    Principal Researcher
    The Doyletics Foundation

    P. S. To go directly to Gary Lee's page Click Here:

  • EMAIL from Kevin Dann re 'Shadow That Seeks the Sun':
    What a classic, fun, personal review of 'The Shadow that Seeks the Sun' (and what a great title!) Clearly Ray is a philo-Sopher after your own heart, Bobby!

    Watkins is a great publishing house! In fact, thanks so much for this timely tip, as I got my second "no thanks" letter from NYC agents about 'How Things Find Us', the book that first got me in the door at Penguin. I am going to send it on to Watkins today!

    Thanks for reading the intro of my upcoming book, Bobby. I cleaned up a couple of errors in it and also attached the prospectus so you can see where it is aimed.


  • EMAILS from Peter Hodge re Haight & Ashbury:
    BOBBY NOTE: Peter wrote about liking my review of Barry Stevens' Don't Push the River and wrote me about having spent time at Esalen and the hippie district of Haight-Ashbury. I sent him a photo of my daughter Maureen's painting of that corner from a photo I took in 1969. (see at right) And received several emails from Peter which I will excerpt below:

    EMAIL 1:
    my deepest apologies for my strange response to your note; at the time { referred to - corner of Haight & Asbury] we had a large house up in Inverness, @ Pt Reyes - we had left the Haight and followed the trail up to Marin, and the core of our household (on Argyle St overlooking Tomales Bay) included some close friends (from the Esalen period when we had lived down in Big Sur) , ---- and in league with our "consciousness" pretensions, we were all very 'white'.
    my friend at Haight & Asbury, where you took this photo (I remember this shop vividly now) had become a very strange psychic after many years of living in a very altered reality, and he was NOT a 'white' person - and therefore when I took him up to Inverness one day to meet my household, they were shocked by his ability to 'read' them - even today - we all marvel over him - tho I think he died at least 30 years ago - but the issue for me this morning is - that you picked your daughter's painting of this corner where he lived - I should have been more aware of the significance of you sending this particular picture - I wasn't aware of the (""woo woo") (twilight zone) meaning - that you selected a photo of THAT corner where this strange psychic had lived - it makes me wonder if he is still alive - but more than that - it's like wow - your sent me THAT???


    EMAIL 2:
    looking at issues of DIGESTWORLD, I am not surprised that this person may have chosen you as a medium for re-union you are what we call a "nexus" of pathways - your images offer the basis for a new Netflix series

3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell: "So Far"


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:

           So Far

Jesus said we were not
       made for the Sabbath,
But that the Sabbath was
       made for us.

It's time for US to say that we were not
       made for the government,
But that the government was
       made for US.

If made for US,
       why does it force US
       to do things we don't want to?

If we had a machine made for US
       that forced US to do something
We didn't want to
       we would modify the machine.

Or we would build a new machine
       that worked better for US
A machine that would achieve unanimous approval
       because it worked for each
And everyone of US.

When the new machine is in full use
       the old one will fall into disuse
Like an old ship to be decommissioned
       it will be revered and respected
For carrying US so far.


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