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WELCOME TO DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#185 May, 2018== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Quote for Month of the Darling Buds of May:
Arts & Science: Art allows us to see the Spirit embedded in the Sensory; Science, to see the Sensory embedded in the Spirit.
— Bobby Matherne , Inspired by Goethe’s Theory of Knowledge, page 96
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GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents ISSUE#185 for May, 2018Archived DIGESTWORLD Issues
Table of Contents
1. May's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for May
3. On a Personal Note
4. Cajun Story
5. Household Hint for May, 2018 from Bobby Jeaux: Keeping Your Honey Warm
6. Poem from Art As Seen in the Light of Mystery Wisdom: "Awaken Now, O Son of Love"
7. Reviews and Articles featured for May:
8. Commentary on the World
- ART: The Unknown Reality, Vol 1 by Jane Roberts
- ARJ2: D’Oyly Carte — The Inside Story by Roberta Morrell
- ARJ2: Mystery Knowledge and Mystery Centres, GA#232 by Rudolf Steiner
1. Padre Filius Cartoon
2. Comments from Readers
3. Freedom on the Half Shell Poem
4. Peanut Butter and Bad Advice
9. Closing Notes — our mailing list, locating books, subscribing/unsubscribing to DIGESTWORLD
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1. May Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==This month Violet and Joey learn about Addictions.
For newcomers to DIGESTWORLD, we have created a webpage of early Violet-n-Joey cartoons!
"Addictions" at http://www.doyletics.com/images/180401vj.jpg
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2. HONORED READERS FOR May:
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Each month we choose to honor two Good Readers of our DIGESTWORLD from those all over the World. Here are the two worthy Honored Readers for May, 2018:
John Rankin in New Orleans
Alva in the UK
Congratulations, John and Alva!
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3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
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Out Our Way:
APRIL WITH A BANG!
It started on April 1 which was April Fool's Day, Easter Sunday, and my brother Steve's birthday. Didn't know which one to wish him first, but I called after he and Janice had left for church, so it didn't matter. The day before Easter Sunday the Easter Bunny visited Timberlane Country Club with Egg hunts, games and fun. The photos arrived too late for last Issue, so some will be included further down.
A couple of days later we met Dan and Karen at the Bon Ton to celebrate Dan and Del's birthdays, only a couple of weeks apart. Brought home a container of their Crawfish Bisque, an old Cajun dish that's hard to find anywhere but at the Bon Ton. Was great to see the manager Wayne, as we had missed him the last few times we had eaten there.
A CHILLY CHILLY BANG BANG!
The weather has been chilly all of April; on the 8th it was very frigid, no sun at all. We needed heat on in the Living Room to add some warmth to the house. I remember living in Foxborough, Mass, when one had to wait till May to be able to go outside with short sleeved shirts on. Is this the beginning of a new Ice Age perhaps? Today is April 26, 2018, and I needed a long-sleeved shirt this morning. Maybe it was due to the cold weather that I decided to use the title for this month's Household Hint: "How to Keep Your Honey Warm".
ANOTHER BANG! Met Second Cousin.
My ancestors coming out of the woodwork of our Family Tree since I did the Ancestry.com DNA test. They reported to me about Bonnie Comly, likely a 2nd Cousin.She sent me word about an ancestor of hers that was a Babin, so I assumed we were related on the Babin side, but BRAPPP! Belulah the Buzzer went off! We are related on the Matherne side. We discovered that Bonnie's grandmother was a sister of my Grandma Nora Boquet Matherne, so there are Babins on the Boquet side of my family as well as my mother who was a Babin herself.
ANOTHER BANG! Kim and Del.
Del's birthday was this month. She got up before me and I had gotten interrupted while filling our her birthday card the day before. So I quickly moved to my secret hiding place for cards and filled it out and gave it to her. She had already been wearing for several weeks the Louisiana Girl necklace in gold and diamonds I had given her earlier, but the card was due on time. Del's daughter Kim arrived in the afternoon, and took me and Del out to dinner at Houston's Restaurant for a birthday feast.
ANOTHER BANG! 49 for Breakfast.
These folks arrived for breakfast at Timberlane the next morning! Del had been preparing the house for this Home and Garden Tour for a month and Kim was here to help her with some last minute preparations, including those four very handy round tables which are perfect for holding light foods and drinks during a party. Several of the early guests had not been to our home and wished to have a tour. I began the tour with eight of them, but soon new people arrived and a few of the ones I had in tow stopped to greet old friends. Rhonda brought a delicious strawberry and cream cake to Del for her birthday, and I placed it in the fridge to keep it fresh and ended up eating most of it in the next day or so.Our friend Barbara drove us to the other three homes on the Tour ending with a Champagne Party at the third home.
ANOTHER BANG! French Quarter Fest.
It was on Sunday, brunch at Carol's home. Del and I got time to rest up from the Tour on Friday. Kim left Friday afternoon, and Del and I spent a quiet Saturday together, knowing Sunday would test our endurance again with a brunch and a romp through the French Quarter.Someone once said, "If you die of old age in New Orleans, it's your own damn fault!" Probably had April in mind, busiest time of the year. When we turned right to Carol's on Dauphine, Del said I think we're too early and a second later Jo Huey appeared on sidewalk looking at us: with her was her son, Jason, and sister, Connie, I think. Carol's kids were in town, Steve and his sister Laurie with her husband Rob were helping out. Carol's patio area was full of people and food. At Carol's we met a couple from Baton Rouge, D. J. and his wife, golf players who met in golf class at LSU. Later I spotted D.J. in his hat on Pirate's Alley. We stood in front of the Jackson Square stage and watched Louie Prima's daughter Lena hold forth with several love songs to New Orleans, then got coffee around the corner at P.J.'s Coffeeshop.Watched the Lady Puppeteer maneuver her marionette to paint a picture. Apparently she sells these puppet-painted images. One was a painting done by her puppet named Mimi (for mini-me) of Mimi looking at a painting of herself she had just completed. A selfie of a selfie of a selfie painted by a puppet. We hired a Pedi-cab to shorten the long walk back to the Treme area where our car was parked.
ANOTHER BANG! SYC American Legion.
Col. Jim Webb invited me to have lunch with him at the Southern Yacht Club in West End overlooking Lake Pontchartrain. Last time I ate there it was red beans and rice after crewing with John Aiken in the Sugar Bowl Regatta back around 1979. The place was rebuilt after Katrina and the luncheon had elegant table settings, New Orleans french bread, crispy and warm with real balls of butter. Caesar Salad, shrimp creole, and for dessert creme brulee. Coffee was also good, served with real cream in a silver pitcher. The speaker was Sal Serio and he talked about his genealogy work on a downed 1943 pilot in rural Italy, on the coast just above Sorrento. He located people who had found the flyer's personal effects which they had saved before the Germans arrived to burn the pilot's downed plane with his body in it. The locals quickly put out the flames after the Nazis left and saved his body parts for future burial. The flyer Louis Richard was later buried in Garden of Memories in Metairie.
ANOTHER BANG! NOSS.
With my New Orleans Shakespeare Society I celebrate the anniversary of Shakespeare's death the last two weeks in April each year. The first night is in the Rex Room of Antoine's Restaurant where we do a first reading of the script over a fancy meal of Shrimp Remoulade, fish or steak, and Baked Alaska. Since our attire is black tie, this also counts as our Dress Rehearsal. One week later we perform on the stage of a local club as we have done since 1930. I love this kind of play, no memorizing lines, no extended rehearsals, etc, just a fine meal and the performance. This night we did Taming the Shrew in which the famous lines, "Kiss Me, Kate" appear several times, which was adopted for the stage film productions of the play.
ANOTHER BANG! TGC
25 ladies for lunch in our home. Del hosted her Timberlane Garden Club here. Luckily the food acquisition and preparation are done by two other ladies. This time it was Glennda Bach and Fae Remedios, both of whom I had a chance to talk with.
ANOTHER BANG! Anole Tactic.
Caught a video of a local lizard, an anole, changing colors while it ate a housefly. Del had called it to my attention. The anole was only inches away on the other side of a kitchen window. I watched as the brown anole on the brown bench snapped a fly into its mouth. Then I took out my camera and started the video. Amazingly, as he moved the fly around in its mouth, the anole, still on the brown background of the bench's back, the anole began to turn green! This violated my understanding of chameleon animals. I supposed that they change their color automatically to match their surroundings! This anole's surrounding had not changed, however, the bench was still brown, but the anole was turning green as grass! How could this be?Then I realized something: The anole had turned brown so that the fly it wanted to eat would not notice its presence on the brown bench's back! Having caught in its mouth a sizeable fly which was likely to be its main meal for a while, the anole had begun immediately turning green so that it could disappear into the grass after it had munched and swallowed its lunch! The anole demonstrated a measure of volition that I had not thought possible, and I got the color change on my video which anyone in the world can now see on YouTube, and you, Dear Reader, can view in this DIGESTWORLD Issue, down below.
ANOTHER BANG! 4-0 Sweep.
That was the sound of the New Orleans Pelicans sweeping the Portland Blazers, winning their NBA playoff series, 4-0, in a way which rocked the NBA and got them taking the Pels seriously as a playoff contender.On the day of the fourth game, there was an LSU baseball game on, the LSU Spring Football game on, the fourth Pelicans game on, and former First Lady Barbara Bush's funeral was on TV most of the day. When we have visitors to house as we did for the Home and Garden tour, one invariably asks me, "Why do you have five TVs in your Screening Room?" My answer is, "For days like this one." After the games were over, Del and I were streaming a Blue Bloods episode waiting for son-in-law Greg to arrive with our grandson Aidan and his friend after a college visit to Ole Miss. They spent the night before heading back to Belleaire, TX the next morning.
A DOUBLE BANG! HS Reunion and an Uptown Croquet Match.
After Greg, Aidan, and A. J. left for home, we had two events to attend, so we decided to share the afternoon with both groups of friends. We got to Four Columns on Westbank Expressway early and went into Main Entrance where they were setting up for a wedding and directed us to the side door. As we walked toward the door a couple came up behind us, but the glare from the light behind them made them unrecognizable. A man's voice said, "Robert", and I recognized him as Bobby Duplantis and behind him his wife Carolyn Pezanie from my Westwego schooldays.I went with her to Wego Elementary and through the ninth grade of Wego High School before I moved to St. Charles Parish and finished high school at Hahnville High School. I knew classmates from Westwego for nine years, and from Hahnville only three years. The year after I left, all of Westwego, Marrero, and Gretna went to the consolidated school known as West Jefferson High School and this was my classmates 60th reunion. It seemed strange going to a reunion of a school I never attended, but many of my long-time Wego classmates attend the reunion, and it's my only way of seeing them again.
My classmate Anthony Celino had done a great job organizing the event. Name tags were placed in holder which clipped on outer wear without sticking to it and later falling off. Easy to see everyone's names. We were given two thermos mugs with WJ 58 on them which I quickly placed in our car. There was Joy Adams Beck, Maxine Bergeron Palmer, Carolyn Pezanie Duplantis, Andrew 'Red' Dufrene with wife Shirley, Billy Hunter with wife Evelyn Champagne Hunter, Betty Griffin, and of course, Tony Celino and his wife Marcy, plus a few other classmate like Gail Duhe and Hayward Cantrelle.
Had to look later for Evelyn Champagne in my Spartan Yearbook and yes, I do remember her. First time I've seen her since 1955. I asked Tony to take a photo inside the Class Ring with my three favorite classmates, Joy, Carolyn, and Maxine. We were about the smartest kids in elementary through the ninth grade and we interacted a lot during classes. In classes I spent time with the girls because they were smarter than the boys and outside during recess playing with the boys: mumbly peg, spinning tops, shooting marbles under the shady live oaks, playing soccer, touch football, etc.
Several of my friends have died over the years: Steve Valence, Thomas Gros, Carol Sigur, Donald Coulon, Carol Granier Ott, and others. Girls I haven't seen since 1955 but are likely still alive: Veronica Hebert, Brenda Cheramie, and Barbara Duhe come to mind. Maybe this reunion report will lead one or more to contact me.
Del and I have missed about five months of the Uptown Croquet Club because of bad weather or scheduling conflicts, and on this Sunday we had both, rain due all day and the reunion, but I promised Del we would leave the reunion in time to get to the 3 PM Convivial Conversation part of the Croquet Club. We drove to St. Elizabeth's Asylum, but saw no one. We found Tim Hobb's code on the door device and called his number, but got no answer. We walked to the right side and saw a pink flamingo and thought that might Tim's place, then walked to check the other side of the yard and saw nothing. Then two guys came up who paged someone and while we were waiting to go in with them, Del walked to the flamingo side again and called me to say she'd found Tim's place. Two guys in seersucker suits (croquet costume de rigeur) had come out on the porch, So we went in and found three members singing, "Singing in the Rain", rain which fortunately had stopped by that time. Talked to Tom and Kiernan Zimmerman, Tim's wife Ysonde, Christopher Tidmore, and Stephen Chesnut were there along with John Magill. We had a great time.Especially enjoyed Stephen and Kiernan singing a bit from Sweeney Todd.IMPORTANT MESSAGE:
I took a photo of the statue of St. Elizabeth and noticed as I was processing the photo that she appeared to be slightly pregnant and with some checking Del confirmed that as I suspected Elizabeth was the mother of John the Baptist and it was in her the baby John "leapt for joy" when she approached the newly pregnant Mary, mother of Jesus. These two boys would meet again as adults in the Jordan for the great baptism of Jesus who became the Christ for three years until dying on Golgotha in the Great Mystery which bestowed Christianity on the world.
We left at about five and dropped off John Magill at his place on Camp street on our way home.
SMART DEVICES ARE KILLING SMART DEVICES
Ever wondered if there were too many so-called smart gadgets in the world today? This month Del sat her purse on top of a lavatory and it slipped and fell into the bowl of the lavatory while she sat down. No harm, no foul, right?
Yes, that would have been the case in days of old (like a dozen or so years ago) — before they installed smart faucets which turn on the water as long as your hand stays under them! Sitting down Del noticed her purse had slipped into the lavatory, but the tiny streams of water filling up her purse made no noise, so, by the time Del got to the sink to retrieve her purse, its contents had filled with water. Her paper currency dried out okay, but her cell phone was soaked. The Smart Faucet had killed the Smart Phone! After a couple of days of drying the phone, then even heating up uncooked rice and placing her phone in it for an hour or so, she took it to be replaced under warranty. I have placed her old phone on top the Bunn Coffeemaker to dry out. Sometimes it takes months, and this way I can easily check it every day or so.
So, Adults and Kids: BEWARE! Actually just BE AWARE of smart devices around you and unintended consequences they may cause in your life and property.
Do NOT place your Smart Phone atop a Smart Lavatory or you could get Smart the Hard Way.
Another lesson: Del had bought a warranty for her phone, but for a $100 charge (the deductible) she would only get a refurbished phone of their choice not a replacement of her phone. Like most electronic warranties are: this one was a ripoff, designed to sell someone a promise which they will likely never ask to have fulfilled. Electronics warranties are worth the paper they're written, and that's about all. When they break, you'll likely buy a newer model so an exact replacement is usually impossible or unwanted, besides that electronics these days usually outlast the warrantees they sell for them.
HOME DEPOT BROKEN
My Vermont Country Cart needed to have replaced the handy gate which closes off the front end of for hauling and slides out to dump trash and dirt, etc, when you get it to its destination.This rotten wooden gate was a glitch which accumulated over 30 years or so which is how long we've had this amazing cart. Every part of it is easily repaired or replaced. I've put new bicycle tires and tubes on it when needed. While I've protected the cart from the weather, the front of the cart had degraded to the point that I needed to put a new piece of plywood into the metal brackets. It needed 1/2 inch piece of plywood and I brought the exact dimensions to Home Depot for them to cut it into the size I needed. Well, GUESS WHAT? HOME DEPOT WAS BROKEN THAT DAY! Yes, the table saw I needed to have an exact size cut for me was broken and I would have drive to another location to have it cut. Instead, I found a small piece, big enough to cut out three gates and I took it to my shop where I used a combination of my electric Miter saw and a handsaw to cut the gate to size. The photo at right should the old decrepit gate and the new gate installed. NOTE: one of the rusted bolts broke in two, so I replaced all the bolts and nuts with stainless steel ones.
Yes, my HP 4+ Duplex printer stopped working after I upgraded my Broadband Bandwidth to 330+ Mbps. Actually the COX clerk who "upgraded" me didn't explain that I would need a new, faster Cable/Phone Modem at the time, so the higher speed didn't show till another call about problems led to a COX technician to come out and fix leaking connections in my cable. Broadband and TV cables are high-frequency wave guides and if improperly terminated, they become like a dripping faucet, losing signals by becoming an antenna. While he was here he noticed that my Modem had not been upgraded and had one in his truck which he installed. Great work!Except my HP Printer has a TrendNet connector which had to be reconfigured to match the new Cable Modem which has a built in WiFI and Router! I tried every trick I had learned and after five hours, I gave up and called Bell Office Machines and Mike came out and got my printer working again. PC's no longer have Parallel Printer Outlets and newer printer don't have them either. Used to be I could just Plug and Play my printer. Now I need a technician to do it for me for a hundred dollar visit. That's an improvement I could do without!
ABBY FINEREADER v12 NOT WORKING
For some unknown reason, my ABBY OCR Program v12 did not work. Gave me an error message. I was able to get the v9 working, but it didn't handle 600 dpi images and gave me more conversion of text errors. I had paid for a full license for v12 and so I sent a request for help and they replied and explained how to get v12 Started using the Control Panel's Administrative Services dialogue box.This solved the problem, but several times later when I used v12, I had to start it from Service. Seems to be okay now. That services box is the same one I have used to help get ACT's SQL Data Base working again after a reboot.
BLACKBERRY PATCH AND COBBLER
My blackberry patch is yielding about 2 cups of big, delicious blackberries a day. Scott Long on DandyDon.com shared a simple recipe for Blackberry Cobbler a week ago. I checked our panty and found the necessary ingredients and made a pan of Blackberry Cobbler which came out good. Need to tweak the ingredients a bit to get it just right, but it was delicious and will supplement my usual Blackberry Sundaes I make each night when my bushes are producing. Instead of berries over Dairy Queen vanilla, it'll be DQ over cobbler for a few nights.
LAST MINUTE EVENTS
The last Sunday of the month we're invited to a Crawfish Boil with Dan and Karen at their church in Mandeville. No greater way to spend a Sunday afternoon in April.
EVERY GOOD THING MUST COME TO A NEW BEGINNING
April with its beautiful cool and dry weather flew by so fast. Got photos from Barrett in Edmonton showing heavy snow piling up in his yard this month. "It's April!" his text yelled. Thanks for sending the extra cool weather down to us, Barrett -- much appreciated. No heating or AC usage for most of the month at Timberlane. And here I am waiting for May in New Orleans for our first normal warm weather. Hope yours arrives just as soon as ours.
From me and Del, till we meet again when June begins Bustin' Out All Over, God Willing and the River stays in its banks, whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, be it warm or frigid,
Remember our earnest wish for this wonderful Year of 2018:
MAY THE WORLD BECOME PEACEFUL AND SERENE IN TWENTY-EIGHTEEN
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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:New Stuff on Website:
This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.
Western Union internal memo, 1876
Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.
Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895
Everything that can be invented has been invented.
Charles H. Duell, commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899
Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.
Marshall Ferdinand Foch, professor of strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre
The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?
David Sarnoff's associates, in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.
Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?
Harry M. Warner, Warner Bros., 1927
I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
There is no reason for any individuals to have a computer in their home.
Ken Olsen, president, Digital Equipment Corp, 1977
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 http://www.netflix.com/ and start adding all your requests for movies into your personal queue. If you've seen some in these movie blurbs, simply copy the name, click open your queue, and paste the name in the Search box on NetFlix and Select Add. Buy some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. You get to see your movies as the Director created them — NOT-edited for TV, in full-screen width, your own choice of subtitles, no commercial interruptions, and all of the original dialogue. Microwave some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. With a plasma TV and Blu-Ray DVD's and a great sound system, you have theater experience without someone next to you talking on a cell phone during a movie plus a Pause button for rest room trips.Hits (Watch as soon as you can. A Don't Miss Hit is one you might otherwise have missed along the way.):
P. S. Ask for Blu-Ray movies from NetFlix, and if it says DVD in your Queue, click and select Blu-Ray version.“Wonder” (2017) is wonder-full – an off-the-charts great movie — two tissues and all issues resolved! Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson sparkle together. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! ! ! ! ! !
“The Hero” (2017) ” (2017) A gentle movie about a gentle man who has a lot to say. A DON’T MISS HIT ! !
“Ella — Commanding the Table” (2016) Ella Brennan’s family made an incredible contribution to food and hospitality in New Orleans and the World. Ella never owned a pan or pot but she owned the kitchen and the food it prepared.
“Unthinkable” (2017) faced with loss of 10 million American citizens, Samuel Jackson as hard-nosed interrogator of terrorist says, “What I have to do is unthinkable.” But will it work? Actor William Sheen segues from PM John Major to Major Terrorist.
“The Third Wheel” (2002) a wacky Luke Wilson movie about a homeless guy that he hits with his car while he’s on a first date with this gal he been in love with from afar and then things get wackier and wackier ending with a street dance to “Bust a move” as the credits roll. “Who’s on the Bus?” a memorable gimmick.
“Bullethead” (2017) a gripping grizzly movie about a man-killing dog, which is filled with a spate of interesting tales as Malkovich and friends try to escape from the dog.
“Troy: Fall of a City” (2018) well-done elaboration of the siege and fall of the great city, with PC casting.
“Kill the Irishman” (2011) An array of stars and great character actors fill this potboiler about the true story of a union boss named Green. See DW#119.
“American Masters: This is Bob Hope” (2017) Amazing documentary with movie clips of Hope's antics and narration of Hope's own words by Billy Crystal. You can call me Leslie, you can call me Lester, just don't call me late to host the Oscars! A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
“Come Sunday” (2018) the pastor will tell a new truth and will need a new church to hear it.
“Girlfriend's Day” (2017) some twit of a governor declares a new holiday as Girlfriend Day, and an out-of-work greeting card poet battles his writer's block to win the Best Card Award. Who knew poets could be so snarky?
“Outlander” Season 3 (2017) Clare has gone back to meet Jamie and the shock of seeing her after 20 years causes him to pass out on the floor. They meet again almost as strangers and will have to build a new life together. Jamie's cozy apartment in the bordello won't be suitable for long. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
“Pele” (2016) played a most beautiful game bringing Brazil back to its ginga roots and to World Cup championships. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
“Sun Dogs” (2017) A man needs a purpose. Even a man with half a brain. "Hello, how are you today?" An enchanting movie about a young man who keeps getting rejected by the Marines, until he become the ultimate undercover operative in the war on terror. A DON’T MISS HIT !
“Kodachrome” (2018) A father-son reunion at the end of its road in Parsons, Kansas where the last roll of KODACHROME file will be processed before the no-longer manufactured dyes run out and any rolls will die undeveloped. Will the dyes die out before the one photographer who only shot with Kodachrome does? A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
“All the Money in the World” (2017) about J. Paul Getty who never gave any money to charity and plunked all his riches into great mansions and artworks. When his beloved son is kidnapped and ransomers ask for $17M, he tells them to go jump. The plot unravels from there in this dark and moody biopic.
“The Shape of Water” (2017) a weird movie about an Aquaman, captured in the Amazon, who was held in an experimental 1960s laboratory and one of the cleaning ladies befriends him and plots to help him escape. Can this above and below water romance taking shape survive the guy with cattle prod?
“Hostiles” (2017) Christian Bale in a baleful tale of evil renegade Indians killing everyone in their path, till a couple of good Indians waylay them.
“Molly's Game” (2017) for whatever: Olympic free-style skiing or high-stakes poker games, she rises to the top and may get creamed in each one. 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.“After Love” (2017) this relationship should have stopped, but it went on and on and on, and we had a real life to live and ejected the DVD!
“David Lynch: The Art Life” (2017) documentary of Twin Peaks etal director showing his bizarre life and artworks not worth showing.
Your call on these — your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:“The Paper Chase” (1973) curious look back at law school without smart phones and Google.
“The Circle” (2017) uses social media to force people to vote and soon they’ll have installed 100% coercion, so says the Hollywood Message in this idiotic and diabolical movie about Facebook to the NTH degree.
“Paradox” (2018) a musical Western by Neil Young and friends.
“Istanbul Kirmizisi” (2017) in Turkish, it was hard to read the subtitles in a complicated plot of a writer coming to edit the novel of a film maker. Great scenes of Istanbul taken a year or two after we cruised into the great city which spans two continents.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Le Boudreaux Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission. ~~~ Thanks to Barrett Chevalier for the inspiration for this story. ~~~
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The Pope was on a limo ride from his visit in Baton Rouge to the New Orleans airport. It was a rush trip so it was just the Pope and the chauffeur in the limo. About halfway there, on a remote section of I-10, the Pope asked the driver if he could drive the big car for a while. The driver refused but the Pope gave him a Rosary and blessed it for him, so he stopped the limo and got into the back seat area. The Pope took the wheel and began driving like a teenager in a new set of wheels.
"Let's see how fast this big car can go", the Pope said and cranked it up to 100 MPH.
He was still accelerating when his limo was pulled over by Louisiana State Trooper Boudreaux. "Roll down yah window, rat now!" Boudreaux yelled. Then he stared at the driver for a few seconds. Turning away he said, "Jes a minute, Ah gotta go call mah Captain."
Taking the radio microphone, he said, "Captain, Ah got somebody beaucoup important in dis limo Ah jes' stopped for speeding."
"What's his name?"
"Mais, Ah don' know."
"Then what makes you think he's so important, Boudreaux?"
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5.Household Hint for May, 2018 from Bobby Jeaux:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =Keeping Your Honey Warm All Year Long
Background on Keeping Your Honey Warm:
Deep background: In the Bible, the people were always seeking a place flowing with milk and honey. Ever wonder why these two particular foods were singled out as being important for human life? In the works of Rudolf Steiner he mentions how important milk is for babies: a baby loves milk and tastes it with its entire body. For over a year, a baby has no desire to drink or eat anything else. Parents who have tried to push solid food prematurely on babies know how little they want it. Why is this? Milk contains incredible constructive forces for young babies and they need no other food whatsoever. Some Masai Mara children nurse on their mother's breast twenty-four hours a day for four years or more. A landing flowing with milk will have healthy babies. (Note: for humans past middle age, milk no longer provides constructive forces, and those at age 40 and over who continue to consume the amount of milk a day they did when they were preteens are doing their body a disservice.)
Why is a land flowing with honey important? The answer to this question is not so obvious, but Steiner reveals the reason: Because honey has the same excellent constructive forces for older people as milk does for babies and young chilredn. The older a human becomes, the more they need honey as a regular component of their diet. Unfortunately, no modern day dieticians and nutritionists are aware of this, so far as I know. (An example of what passes for modern advice: The American Academy of Pediatrics advised parents to avoid giving any peanuts to children in 2000 and the frequency of peanut allergies has tripled since then.)
Taken together we can now understand that a "Land flowing with milk and honey will have healthy babies and healthy old people." The ancient people of the Bible knew this as a matter of fact, and guided their lives and selection of places to live by this knowledge.
When I discovered this information, I decided to blend honey into our daily intake of food and minimize the amount of milk we consumed. We began using honey to sweeten our coffee; this gave us each several teaspoons of honey a day, one for each cup of coffee. Plus we use honey to sweeten our fruit smoothies, which we freeze and eat at night when we're home. It replaces the popcorn we used to eat at night and is healthier for us.
If you are going to consume honey several times a day, you will want a way to serve the honey which is quick and easy. Honey is thick and particularly in winter-time, it is hard to spoon out or squeeze out of a container. Fortunately we use a Bunn Coffee Maker which contains a tank of water hot enough to make a 4-up pot of coffee within 20 seconds. We keep about five squeeze bottles behind the coffee maker and place two bottles touching the hot water tank, one on each side as you can see in the photo. We use a small black block under each bottle to allow it to touch the tank. This keeps two bottles with thinned out honey ready to squeeze into a teaspoon for a cup of coffee.
Buying honey in these squeeze bottles costs about 50% more than buying the 48 fl ounce bottle shown atop the Bunn Coffeemaker in the photo. We place it there about a day before we need to refill the 16 fl ounce bottles so that the large bottle can be quickly and easily poured out completely into the smaller ones.
NOTE: the 16 fl oz bottles are designed to sit upside-down, but with the warming mechanism, they pour so easily that we can keep them right-side up, the dispenser at the top. You see the two bottles in the top photo arranged this way. Setting them right-side up eliminates any minor dripping, keeping the countertop clean and the bottles from sticking to the countertop. If top of one comes loose from the bottle, we put an X on it to indicate the bottle should only be used to refill a bottle with a good top. Shown in bottom photo. Note the large bottle's insides have dripped to the bottom. We keep it on top the Bunn overnight on its side and can easily and quickly drain the last drop into one of the 16 fl oz bottles.
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6. POETRY by BOBBY from Art As Seen in the Light of Mystery Wisdom:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =Awaken Now, O Son of Love
Why do you, O Skeptical Man,
Apply all your spiritual forces
to denying the reality of the spiritual world?
You will succeed — and fail by doing so.
Why do you, O Materialistic Man,
Apply all your spiritual forces
to understanding the reality of the physical?
You will succeed — and fail by doing so.
Why do you, O Literate Man,
Apply all your spiritual forces
to understanding the words on the physical page?
You will succeed — and fail by doing so.
Why don't you, O Literate Man,
Apply some of your spiritual forces
to understanding the words on the cosmic page?
You will succeed — and never fail by doing so.
Awaken Now, O Son of Love,
You, left behind, so long.
Awaken Now on this Cosmic New Year's Day.
The seed has sprouted while you slept,
that the Macrocosm without
has sowed into the Microcosm within,
Will succeed, and cannot fail in doing so.
Awaken Now, O Son of Love,
You, left behind, up until now.
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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for May:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =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.) ART: The Unknown Reality, Vol 1 by Jane Roberts
Today is tomorrow, and present, past,
Nothing exists and everything will last. —
Jane Roberts, page 1.
Frequency was an interesting 2000 movie on many levels. If you watch the movie, you can see the multiple changes occur in the present 1998 time of John's life as he has a conversation over a ham radio with his dad living in 1968. Each time one of those changes occurs in his life, John is the only one who is aware that a change has happened. No one believes him if he tries to explain how things used to be before that dramatic change. Now imagine that in this lifetime, you are communicating with your parents some 30 thirty years in the past and they are acting on the information you receive. Each time they act, your life changes, and neither you nor they remember how it was before the change. If that is the way life truly operates, you would not be the wiser, and neither would anyone else. This might sound a little crazy and far-fetched, but it is consonant with what Seth and Jane Roberts wrote about thirty years ago in The Education of Oversoul 7 and The "Unknown" Reality. They called it probable pasts, presents and futures. To get a flavor of how those operate, watch Frequency. To get an understanding of how this aspect of your reality works, read The "Unknown" Reality, Volumes I & II.
When I first read "Unknown" in 1979, I had not yet begun the practice of making comments in the margins of books and providing a date glyph with the comments. When I re-read "Unknown" in 1984, I had begun and many of my comments in this review stem from the notes from that second reading. Those marks in the margins are a communication from a past me to a present me: my 44-year-old me talking to my 60-year-old me.
What makes Jane Roberts' books so amazing is the tri-fold level on which they are written. First, in any book that has "A Seth Book" on the cover, as this one has, the major portion of the book contains a verbatim transcription of Seth sessions, i.e., sessions in which Jane Roberts in deep trance spoke as Seth. Her husband did the transcription, first in shorthand, and then typed up the material. The second level comprises the Introduction, interspersed notes, eleven Appendixes and an Epilogue that her husband Robert Butts wrote to provide background to the production of the books and inside information about what happened during the sessions that he was transcribing. The third level comprises the comments that Jane herself makes about the material that she is channeling through Seth. Jane's comments are interspersed in Butt's notes, etc.
As noted by Butts in his Introduction, Seth led off with this hint at the structure of time in his 14th session way back in 1964:
[page 10] '... for you have no idea of the difficulties involved in explaining time to someone who must take time to understand the explanation.'
One gets the idea that our limited experience of time makes it extremely difficult for us to comprehend its true nature, like a fish trying to understand the reality of water. After reading what Howard Margolis has to say about the barriers that Hobbes and Boyle had coming to a mutual understanding of the "ocean of air" that we humans live in, I'm not at all surprised that we would have difficulty understanding the ocean of time that we likewise live in. Somehow, in movies such as Back to the Future and Frequency we break open the tender shell of time and lay out its structure for all to see. Lacking, as we do, the ability to see our machinations as John was able to in Frequency, we believe that they do not exist, up until now.
In the book next to this next quote, I noted in the margin that Seth was pointing to his intention to create many unanswered questions. Since I wrote those words in 1984, I can now pinpoint my understanding of the "power of an unanswered question" as pre-dating that time. See Matherne's Rule #25: What is the power of an unanswered question?
[page 11] "No book entitled The "Unknown" Reality can hope to make that reality entirely known. It remains nebulous because it is consciously unrealized. The best I can do is to point out areas that have been relatively invisible, to help you explore, actually, different facets of your own consciousness . . . I am well aware that the book raises many more questions than it presents answers for, and this has been my intent . . ."
Below is another great quote by Seth, one that I would agree with wholeheartedly. From the 590th session, Chapter 22, Seth Speaks:
[page 13] "You are not fated to dissolve into All That Is. The aspects of your personality as you presently understand them will be retained. All That Is is the creater of individuality, not the means of its destruction."
This speaks to a point that Rudolf Steiner makes in many places: that the "I" or our individuality is given to us in freedom. It is the essence of our freedom, rightly understood, and it can only be destroyed by our own inattention and negligence over several lifetimes.
My fundamental hypothesis about life is that if there is a process one human being could do, then we all can do it, and are doing it all the time, out of our awareness. If we apply that to Jane Roberts' processes as described in her books, we get a hint of our own capabilities. Here's how Seth says it in his Preface:
[page 22] Jane Roberts's experience to some extent hints at the multidimensional nature of the human psyche and gives clues as to the abilities that lie within each individual. These are part of your racial heritage. They give notice of psychic bridges connecting the known and "unknown" realities in which you dwell.
Reading the above quote, I get a sense of why the word "unknown" is in quotes in the title and wherever it appears in this book: Seth is pointing out that it is not really unknown, but only appears to be unknown, up until now. It certainly becomes less "unknown" in the process of reading and re-reading this book of his.
[page 23] Here, I wish to make it clear that this book will initiate a journey in which it may seem that the familiar is left far behind. Yet when I am finished, I hope you will discover that the known reality is even more precious, more "real," because you will find it illuminated both within and without by the rich fabric of an "unknown" reality now seen emerging from the most intimate portions of daily life.
In the next passage Seth's probable or incipient selves remind me of what Everard Polakow in his book The Soular System calls Planets or orbiting selves. Also of what Piero Ferrucci calls subpersonalities in his book What We May Be.
[page 45] Within the entire identity there may be, for example, several incipient selves, around whose nuclei the physical personality can form. In many instances one main personality is formed, and the incipient selves are drawn into it so that their abilities and interests become subsidiary, or remain largely latent. They are trace selves.
How does one get all these peripheral selves lined up?
[page 46] In terms of energy, intent is stabilizing. There is a center to the self, again, that acts as a nucleus. The nucleus may change, but it will always be the center from which physical existence will radiate. Physically, intent or purpose forms that center, regardless of its reality in terms of energy.
Thus we have intent as the center of our being and subordinate selves that try to express themselves in all directions. In the margin of this next passage, I drew a flower with a center and petals growing from that center in what was to become for me the symbol for the Self with its subpersonalities.
At this moment, 5:57 PM Central Standard Time on December 12, 2000, I am typing these words and experiencing my "moment point." Note how the concept of "moment point" helps explain the power of the limitation eraser, which some of you may not have heard about, up until now. Here's Seth definition of the phrase "moment point": [Note: Seth directed Butts many times to underline for emphasis certain words and phrases, as shown in the next passage.]
[page 56] In your terms — the phrase is necessary — the moment point, the present, is the point of interaction between all existences and reality. All probabilities flow through it, though one of your moment points may be experienced as centuries, or as a breath, in other probable realities of which you are a part.
In Steiner's view, anything less than free will is unacceptable — to him, freedom and spiritual activity are one and the same thing. To be lured away from freedom by Luciferic or Ahrimanic spirits is to defeat our own best interest, rightly understood. Given the choice of becoming the moral automatons of Lucifer or the automatic amoral beings of Ahriman, we can do no better than to rise above their illusions of the false alternative, and seek some unpredictable solution offered by neither. [See ARJ: Angels by Rudolf Steiner.]
[page 59] Anything less than complete unpredictability will ultimately result in stagnation, or orders of existence that in the long run are self-defeating. Only from unpredictability can any system emerge that can be predictable within itself. Only within complete freedom of motion is any "ordered" motion truly possible.
One of the most difficult things to comprehend is how a plant is able to grow from a miniature seed or bulb. Think back to Frequency, the movie, in which John, some thirty years in the future, converses with his father over the radio and tells him how to fix some problems that exist in John's time as he knows it. According to Seth, this process is not only possible, but happens all the time, without our conscious knowing, and makes up a large part of what he calls the "unknown" reality in which we live.
[page 79] Go back to our bulb and flower. In basic terms they exist at once. In your terms, however, it is as if the flower-to-be, from its "future" calls back to the bulb and tells it how to make the flower. Memory operates backward and forward in time. The flower — calling back to the bulb, urging it "ahead" and reminding it of its (probable future) development - is like a future self in your terms, or a more highly advanced self, who has the answers and can indeed be quite practically relied upon.
This reminds me of how I used to add a year to my wife's age each year. She didn't like it, but unconsciously I was assisting her to communicate with the person that she was becoming. I wrote in the margins of page 80, these words: "Our God that we pray to for guidance and answers may be our future self who gives us the best answer for our self now! Who would object to a deterministic universe in which everything always and all ways worked out for the best? EAT-O-TWIST!" [Everything Allways Turns Out The Way It's Supposed To]
If "memory operates backward and forward in time" as Seth says above, then it's possible to remember the future. One day my daughter called me to say that she put a ring on her finger and got this incredible feeling. I suggested that perhaps she was "remembering the future." I explained that the reaction she got was due to her remembering the many years that she will have that ring on her finger in the future. With a few weeks, due to a series of interesting circumstances, her husband of seventeen years gave her that same ring as an engagement ring — a ring that they had never been able to afford before. Like my daughter's ring appeared from future onto her finger in the past to create its future existence, so also does the human grow from a fetus:
[page 88] The fetus grows into an adult, not because it is programmed from the past, but because it is to some extent precognitively aware of its probabilities, and from the "future" then imprints this information into the past structure. . . . From your platform of poised now-experience, you alter both the past and the future, and that alteration, that change, that action, causes your point of immediate sense life.
Our body, in other words, is like a building being renovated, it is reacting to future as well as past activity in its living present moment. We, as inhabiters of our body, have been carefully taught that our consciousness exists within our flesh, and those beliefs keep us from daring to view our body from a standpoint outside of it, up until now. (Page 94)
[page 111] Your consciousness and neurological prejudice blind you to the full dimension of physical activity. The true implications of physical action are not as yet apparent to you.
Such as the true nature of teaching in which the communication flows from one mind to another is not apparent to us, up until now. The teacher's lesson plan and her subsequent flow of words in front of the classroom are merely roadmaps for the speaker to ensure that her internal pathway of thought is followed by her and her students. When those aspects all come together the teacher becomes a tuned transmitter of thoughts and the learners become resonating receivers of those thoughts. Thus a Teacher, so Also a Learner.
This nature of teaching and learning came to me in an episode when I was reading to my wife, Del, and my mind wandered as I continued to read without any change of tempo or tonality. She was no longer able to follow me, and stopped me to ask what those words meant. Until that time, she was receiving my direct thoughts as I followed the lesson plan and spoke. When I thought of a change to the lesson plan as I was reading the canned lesson plan she received that thought and became confused as it did not match or illumine the words I had spoken. It was then that I first discovered that, "... the importance of written words is the thought paths that they carry us and others along" as we say them; that a teacher's lesson plan is to ensure that she thinks the right thoughts as she gives her lesson to the students the next day; that she does not merely recite words empty of thoughts broadcasting from them.Lacking this understanding, we live but on the surface of things, subject only to sensory data and those pale images of the sensory data, materialistic scientists would have us believe are the meager impact of our thoughts, up until now. Seth talks about that subject thus:
[page 126] Again, you live on the surface of the moments, with no understanding of the unrecognized and unofficial realities that lie beneath. All of this, once more, is tied in with your accepted neurological recognition of certain messages over others, your mental prejudice that effectively blinds you to quite valid biological communications that are indeed present all of the time.
From Seth in this book, I learned that the plans of architects are "precognitive events inserted from a probable future into the present." (page 140) I learned that my "thoughts and feelings are quite as real" as my cells, and that my "desires go out from me in time in all directions." But Seth is also speaking to you, dear Reader. Listen to his voice:
[page 140] On the one hand as a species your present forms your future, but in even deeper terms your precognitive awareness of your own possibilities from the future helps to form the present that will then make that probable future your reality.
Our thoughts and feelings are quite real, but as a physicist I was taught to distrust feelings and trust diagrams. Seth must have taken some of the same physics courses I did by the sound of what he says about diagrams:
[page 221] But most physicists do not trust felt answers. Feeling is thought to be far less valid than a diagram. It seems you could not operate your world on feelings — but you are not doing very well trying to operate with diagrams, either!
As the indigenous Southern philosopher, Pogo, once said, "What's so bad about the blind leading the blind? The seeing been leading the seeing all these years and see where that got us." What does this all mean? It means that when we use our instruments to probe reality, we can discover a reality that exists at the same level as our instruments. With our man-made instruments we are like the blind being led by the blind.
[page 226] Ultimately your use of instruments, and your preoccupation with them as tools to study the greater nature of reality, will teach you one important lesson: The instruments are useful only in measuring the level of reality in which they themselves exist. Period.
What is the level in which we ourselves exist? Is not that level deeper or greater than the level of our paltry instruments for measuring the sensory world? Can we not do something that our instruments are unable to do, namely, to communicate with the present and the past? Are we not ready to discard the folly of Francis Bacon and our five hundred years's fall into materialistic distrust of our greater faculties as human beings? I, for one, am ready.
One last quote from this amazing book, this time from "A Brief Epilogue" by Robert Butts, Jane's husband. It is a Seth quote from the 742nd session, April 16, 1975:
[page 287] "Empty houses are psychic vacancies that yearn to be filled. When you move, you move into other portions of your selfhood."
It's been fifteen long years since I last read this book, and a lot of amazing things have happened to me. I moved into an empty house during that time and into other portions of my selfhood. I began to write reviews of every book when I finished reading it. I published several books of poems and my first book of reviews and essays. I wrote my first novel. I began to read and study the books and lectures of Rudolf Steiner in earnest and for the first time discovered a true spiritual scientist, someone who had already done in his life what I was forming a plan to do in my life. And going back through this work of Seth, Roberts, and Butts, I have come to realize that the "unknown" reality that Seth writes about is the same reality that Steiner was able to experience and write and talk about in his almost 6,000 lectures between 1898 and 1925. If you have read Steiner and not Seth, or vice versa, you are in for a treat as you discover the insights of the other writer for the first time. This is as good a book as any with which to begin your journey. Read on.
Read/Print the Review at:
2.) ARJ2: D’Oyly Carte — The Inside Story by Roberta Morrell
What Gilbert & Sullivan are doing these days? And what was D'Oyly Carte doing to their wonderful operettas in the old days of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries? Roberta Morrell was part of the traveling troupe of players for about ten years, qualifying her to write about their triumphs and shenanigans. But she wanted to include input from as many as possible of the principals and members of the chorus and staff while their memories were as vibrant as their many performances. All will be revealed within.
In the Foreword, Cynthia Morey explains why this book is different from all the other books written about D'Oyly Carte.
[page xv] I think I must have read every book about the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ever published, but never one like this! 'Outsiders' who have written on this subject in the past may have given their opinions of the Company, the management, the artists, and the productions, but it is only the past members of this unique organization themselves, who, having experienced it on the inside, truly knew what it was all about.
But for my attending the annual Gilbert & Sullivan Festival in Harrogate, England in 2017 and attending a lecture by Roberta, I would not have bought and read her fine book. In her lecture she related in an animated fashion many of the tales she tells in this book. The reading is a tough slog at times, mostly because of the barrage of names of cast and management, but my interest picked up as I read along, helped enormously by the 9 G&S operettas my wife and I attended during the festival. Del had never seen a live production, only a TV production, I wondered if she would feel overwhelmed by going to one production a day and want to drop out. The opposite happened. Del couldn't wait for the next staging and we attended them all, including two juvenile productions. One of them was memorable: H.M.S. Pinafore — its quality matched that of the other productions in spite of there being only a couple of cast members over 20 years old. Reading this book about seven months after the Festival helped me with Roberta's references to the shows we had attended then.
Here's a collection of terms which will be helpful as you read this book, especially for non-Brits. The word "tannoy" is used in place of "loudspeaker". It was taken from the name of a company which made early loudspeakers in England. The last play of a season was called "Last Night" and was an opportunity for ad libs and spontaneous terpsichore on the stage, enjoyed immensely by the performers and the knowledgeable audience as well. Another important term which Americans rarely use is “digs”. Roberta used the term so often in her lecture in Harrogate that I asked her the origin of the term for the various places the company stayed while on tour. She wasn’t sure, but I guessed it might an abbreviation of the word "lodgings" into the single syllable word digs.Thus, the letters giving new lodging assignment were known as "digs letters" — much easier to say than "lodgings letters". "Smalls" referred to the ladies's undergarments which were often washed and hung up to dry in the theaters between performances. (Page 82) Rumbustious is the English version of our rambunctious. (Page 87) There's another term describing a situation familiar to anyone who watched the Carol Burnett show live or selected excerpts from it. It is called corpsing or to corpse which means to laugh so much and you and maybe everyone on the stage are incapacitated by laughter. (Page 168) Another potentially confusing term is 'caravan' which in England refers to a 'trailer home'.
How John Reed became a star of D'Oyly Carte: He was a dancer and actor, not a singer, but a friend convinced him to take an audition, and he received the usual perfunctory, "Thank you, we'll let you know." John bought a ticket to The Gondoliers later which helped convince him not to do any G&S work. But he later received a call from a Mr. Lloyd asking him to join them in Newcastle in a few weeks time.
[page 24, 25] His earlier decision flying out of the window, John found himself saying, "yes". Thus, one of the truly great D'Oyly Carte performers hesitantly signed up what proved to be an illustrious twenty-eight year career with the company.
Roberta explains how difficult auditions are to performers. In my own experience with amateur stage productions I have never had to undergo auditions, and had no idea of the rigors of musical auditions.
[page 27] It is difficult to explain to someone who has never been involved in the theater how much more nerve-racking it can be to audition for a role than to play it in performance. Auditions have to be endured and it is true to say that some performers are better at auditioning than others. An audition panel may be faced with a singer who gives a reasonable account of themselves, but who, when employed, proves never to be more than ordinary, regardless of how much coaching they receive.
On the other hand, someone who gives a shaky, nervous audition could prove to be a fine performer once outside of the audition situation. How is an employer to make this distinction? For experienced directors, it often comes down to gut instinct; they just seem to know the difference.
D'Oyly Carte forced principals to accept the roles in which they were cast, and in one case, John Reed was stuck with a part he didn't like for several years.
[page 35] John Reed was never happy playing 'The Major-General' in The Pirates of Penzance, but loved all of the other comedic roles. It was several seasons before he was able to relinquish it to his understudy, on the basis that it was better for the understudy to play a role in his own right than suffer audience disappointment when a scheduled night off meant John did not appear.
One performer came up with a unique way of memorizing her lines by first converting them into French; this seems so unwieldy, but it worked for her.
[page 37] No rehearsal time was allowed for dialogue, so it must be supposed that the company assumed they would be proficient in the acting department. Every performer has their own way of learning lines, but Jane Metcalfe's was most ingenious. Whilst learning the music for the soubrette parts she had inherited from Judi Merri, she came up with a novel way to get to grips with the dialogue.When studying singing in Geneva, she had become fluent in French and found that by translating Gilbert's words into French, their meaning readily stuck, making them easier to remember when she translated them back into English.
Hard to believe that for many decades the traveling company of D'Oyly Carte had to set about hiring pickup bands in each new town it arrived in. The local musicians had just one rehearsal to get up to speed and in a lot of production numbers that was a high speed indeed!
[page 50] But, in the early 1960s, the management made a huge leap forward when it took the decision to have its own touring orchestra, although it is not clear who, or what, prompted this move. Without the hassle of having to hire a scratch orchestra and rehearse it for every show wherever the company appeared,Isidore Godfrey had more freedom to devote to the performers and all-important dress rehearsals became possible.
The word digs appears in this droll story of a young boy meeting the man playing the Mikado on a train to the theater.
[page 61] Not all train journeys were from one venue to another. Sometimes, getting to the theater from home or digs was best managed by rail. On one such occasion, Donald Adams was traveling by train to the theater in Wimbledon when it came to a shuddering halt. The following lengthy delay was an irritation for all the passengers, but a lady with her small son, seated near Donald, seemed particularly agitated as the time passed. Repeatedly checking her watch and tut-tutting, she eventually turned to Donald and bemoaned the hold-up because she was taking her little boy to see The Mikado and it was looking increasingly likely that they would be late for the performance. In his inimitable lugubrious style, Donald replied, "I don't know what you're worrying about, madam. I am The Mikado." A favorite anecdote amongst D'Oyly Carters, Thomas Round confirms this to be exactly what Donald told him when he eventually made it to the theater.
Another amusing incident involved a flasher accosting a female performer in the woods.
[page 68] One day, Peggy was walking her dog, Judy, in the woods when she saw a man ahead of her fiddling with the front of his coat. Ever naive, she carried on until he was right in front of her, whereupon he opened his coat and exposed himself. Petrified, she turned tail and ran back to the caravans, hysterically alerting the others to this unpleasant experience. With the girls anxious to commiserate, Peggy soon began to calm down, until Michael Tuckey and John Broad came along to see what was going on. When Peggy tearfully explained what had happened, prankster Mike went to unzip his trousers and said, "It's not your lucky day, is it?" Once the giggling men were shown the door, the girls advised Peggy to report the incident to the police, who duly came along to interview her. She still remembers their guffaws of laughter when they asked what the flasher looked like. "I don't know; I didn't see his face."
In the 1960s on a flight across America Abby Hadfield was in the rest room when it hit an air pocket, and afterward she was known to boast that "she was the only mezzo-soprano ever to pee uphill." (Page 73)
In 1969 as a young computer programmer I went to the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco, my first trip to the City by the Bay. On a dark and stormy night I ended up in Chinatown and had to buy an umbrella to keep dry. It rained from that soggy Friday night, on and off, but always with a heavy cold mist which made going outside unpleasant. On Wednesday morning I drove across the Golden Gate bridge to the overlook and when I got out of the car I was greeted with the first sunshine as I looked across the bay to the city! It was a magnificent sight! Later that afternoon, as my airliner banked taking off and I got a view of the city from the air and my heart flushed as my head filled with the unforgettable lines of Tony Bennett singing, "I left my heart in San Francisco . . ." Roberta had a similar experience nine years later, only the whole passenger cabin was filled with the song.
[page 74] For me, the most memorable flight of the 1978 tour was from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Many of the company had family or friends visiting for the California leg of the tour and my parents were among this group, for whom arrangements were made to travel with the company between venues. Taking off in perfect conditions, with no fog to obscure the view of the iconic bay, the plane soared high over the Golden Gate Bridge. As one D'Oyly Carte voice started to sing "I Left My Heart in San Francisco"', the rest of the company picked up the melody to give a thrilling rendition of the famous song, much to the astonishment of the other passengers, who cheered and clapped as we hit the big finish. The only person not applauding was my mother who was in floods of tears. It had always been her ambition to visit the city she had seen in movies, but she never seriously thought about it actually happening. Thanks to the D'Oyly Carte, I was able to help fulfil that long-cherished dream, something for which I shall always be grateful.
In the 1970s, the digs letters were generally posted in the Company Manager's office,"the tannoy announcement of their availability causing a stampede from the dressing rooms. One time digs letters were being passed around and Lorraine Daniels happened upon a postcard of Edinburgh Castle and remarked to her digs sharer, Barry Clark, "Ere, Barry, this place looks nice" which caused peals of laughter. [Page 81] You see and hear Roberta relate this postcard story by Clicking Here.
How does a group of northerners celebrate Christmas in New Zealand in the middle of their summertime? Roberta and Ken Sandford found a way to liven up their celebration.
[page 92] When word of the seasonal feast spread amongst the company, Ken Sandford and I came up with an idea to surprise the revelers. He took his make-up box back to his little house and painted an intricate blue design on my face in the distinctive style of the indigenous New Zealand population. Wearing a borrowed hooded red coat and with a stuffed pillow case over my shoulder, I burst in on the festive five as they tucked into their meal and shouted, "Maori Christmas!" before disappearing as quickly as I had arrived. By the time the astonished diners had stopped laughing, their festive meal had nearly gone cold. Happy days indeed.
Sometimes the search for last minute digs led to a little "udder" madness, but even that turned into the start of a beautiful friendship, such as with the lady living alone in a bungalow on a small farm that Kathryn Holding met while searching for a B&B.
[Page 98, 99] Betty Bishop, as she introduced herself, worked the farm on her own, looking after her herd of Charolais cattle and milking them by hand. Something of an eccentric, she nevertheless made Kate welcome in her home, which was basic, but clean. Not someone to worry about the lack of a plug in the bathroom sink, or other simple amenities, she and Kate made an instant connection and the unexpected stay was great fun for both. Of the many odd things to happen in Betty's home, Kate talks fondly of her host's inability to grasp the idea that theater folk work until late and don't get up early.Nevertheless, she politely drank the cup of tea brought to her at 5am every morning. Swimming with fat from the fresh milk, which often boasted udder hairs, it was not exactly what Kate would have chosen, but it was delivered with generosity. Breakfast was a newly-laid egg boiled in a kettle on the stove, the water from which was always later used to make tea for the postman! Arriving home late one night after a show, Kate saw a large pan bubbling away and asked Betty what she was cooking. "I ain't cooking, I'm boiling me knickers. Yours are in there as well." Meaning only to be helpful, she did not realize that going into Kate's room to look for underwear to wash was an intrusion, but Kate let it pass, bemoaning the grey fate of her pristine white underwear in silence. Thetwo became firm friends, keeping in touch for many years and Betty even attended Kate's wedding. She was not the usual landlady type, but Kate would not have wished her any other way.
I have an old saying I made up that goes, "You can piss in your soup; it makes more soup, but it doesn't necessarily improve the flavor." This applies to people who make a big deal out of nothing, among other things. I was reminded of this saying when I read this next story about two guys who pissed in their bottle of sherry to betray a thief.
[page 107, 108] Sometime in the 1950s, two D'Oyly Carte men were staying in digs in Glasgow with a landlady who made them very comfortable and was an excellent cook. There was just one problem, their bottle of sherry. A favorite after-show tipple for them at that time, each day they noticed the level in the bottle seemed to have gone down a little. Thereafter drawing a line in pencil on the bottle after each drink, they always found it had gone down by the next evening, so it became obvious they were not imagining it. The boys were rather annoyed. That the landlady should help herself to their drink did not seem right, so they decided to teach her a lesson. Downing the remainder of the sherry after a show, one of them then went to the toilet and used his own amber liquid to fill the bottle back up to the mark they had made. Giggling like naughty schoolboys, they went to bed and looked forward to seeing what happened the next day. Sure enough, the level in the sherry bottle had gone down again, so they continued to refill it each night, finding the whole thing hugely funny. On the final day of their stay, the landlady brought in dinner and made a confession: "I kept meaning to tell you, but forgetting, and I hope you don't mind, but I noticed your bottle of sherry and I've been putting a wee drop in your soup every night." Now that's what I call getting your own back.
Sometimes you can have more fun thinking about doing a practical joke than actually doing one — that's another old saying I made up which is applicable here.
The job of an understudy was semper paratus, the slogan of the U. S. Coast Guard, "always ready." For the understudy it was always ready to take the part of a principal at a moment's notice. Enough to get one's head spinning when it happens at the last moment before a performance. Instead of standing or sitting in the wings going over your lines as the principal says them on stage, you're on stage and not only saying those lines, but having do other things which you cannot easily rehearse in the wings, as Lorraine Daniels found out while playing the lively, flirtatious Phoebe in The Yeomen of the Guard for the very first time.
[page 151, 152] Lorraine Daniels, has a tale to tell about going on for the first time, in the mid-1970s, in that most appealing of soubrette roles.
"Whilst we were playing Leeds, I had a meal in a café before the show. It took a lot longer than it should have done and I just managed to get into the theater on the half-hour call. It was The Yeomen of the Guard and I would usually allow an hour before the start of this opera. As I climbed the stairs, I was greeted by Jimmie Marsland, who said, "You're on." My head went into a whirl, as it was my first time playing 'Phoebe'. Yes, 'Phoebe', the first person on stage! 'Trying to get ready was a real panic. The biggest challenge was the spinning wheel, because we never had a rehearsal with the wheel and it wasn't easy.Trying to use my feet; spinning the wheel; stopping it at the end of the first verse, only to start it again for the second. The only practice I had was during the overture. My opening song, 'When Maiden Loves' was interesting; there I was trying to work the spinning wheel and remember the words. Hence, I sang the second verse first and the first verse second, whilst the wheel was spinning backwards! What a start, but unless you knew the song, nobody could tell. I'm pleased to say that the rest of the performance went without a hitch and Phoebe became one of my favorite parts but, after that, I made sure I could use a spinning wheel."
Disasters on stage can be triggered by mundane everyday occurrences, like a need to urinate which happened to Michael Rayner in a 1970s Mikado. He had underestimated the time need to undo and redo his elaborate costume and left John Reed and Ken Sandford ad libbing while awaiting the arrival of Michael bringing the letter to the Mikado.
[page 162] Eventually an out-of-puff Mike rushed onto the stage to gasp out his line 'I am a bearer of a letter from His Majesty the Mikado', to which Ken Sandford drolly retorted, "Second class, obviously." The uproarious laughter greeting this delightful sarcasm at least gave Mike a chance to get his breath back.
An unexpected change of words in ordinary conversation can be quickly explained away, but on stage, it may cause one or more in the cast to corpse. Roberta gives us some examples from Patience, The Mikado, HMS Pinafore, and The Yeomen of the Guard.
[page 168] One of the most famous D'Oyly Carte stories of all time involved an unintentional change of words, the culprit being Peggy Ann Jones, who was playing 'Lady Angela' in Patience. Ken Sandford, as 'Archibald Grosvenor', made his entrance in the first act finale and took his rather camp pose as the heartbroken poet, his appearance supposed to send the ladies into transports of delight. Peggy soon put an end to that when, instead of singing, 'But who is this, whose godlike grace proclaims he comes of noble race', she sang, 'But who is this whose godlike grace proclaims he comes from outer space'! Barely able to believe what she had done, the cast members were in a dilemma, because they were supposed to repeat Peggy's line and, of course some could not resist adding to her faux pas, although many were too convulsed with laughter to sing anything at all.But spare a thought for Ken Sandford trying to keep composed for his upcoming lines after an introduction like that. Even today, Peggy is at a loss to know why those words came out of her mouth, but does make the rather feeble excuse that, perhaps, it was because men had recently landed on the moon for the first time. However, she could not use such a reason to explain another hilarious mistake, this time in The Mikado. In the second scene in which 'the Mikado' questions 'Ko-Ko', 'Pooh-Bah' and Sing' as to why they have had his son executed, the three miscreants claim they didn't know who he was.Peggy was supposed to say. 'It wasn't written on his forehead, you know' but, for reasons known to herself, instead said, 'It wasn't written on any part of his anatomy you know', reducing the others to jelly and leaving John Reed incapable of getting out his next line.
Great example of John Reed corpsing. And next, the able seaman, Dick Deadeye, has his name tarred and feathered on stage:
[page 168, 169] Ralph Mason was another experienced performer to make a slip of the tongue which left the stage in uproar. Playing 'Ralph Rackstraw in a performance of HMS Pinafore, he addressed John Ayldon as 'Dead Dickeye'!
The next inadvertent line changed completely the tenor of the ending of a tragic opera; and it wasn't even a verbal line, more of an easily recognizable music tone.
[page 172] In the second act finale of The Yeomen of the Guard, John Reed, as 'Jack Point', had just made his entrance for 'Oh, thoughtless crew, ye know not what ye do', with the assembled cast looking suitably sad. At the back of the stage, the phalanx of red-clad yeomen warders framed a spectacular scene. John always left a small, but highly emotional pause between 'Attend to me and shed a tear or two, for' and 'I have a song to sing-O'. With unbelievably bad timing, one of the yeomen, who will not be embarrassed here, found that exact moment to accidentally break wind. A second either side of that poignant gap in the music and it would have gone unnoticed, at least audibly, but everyone on the stage heard it and the effect was immediate. Of all the moments in the Savoy Operas not to have everyone shaking with laughter, that was it. Heads were bowed, or turned away from the audience, but the mass hysteria could not be stopped and poor John had to continue, not having a clue as to why everyone was laughing so much during the tragic ending of the opera.
And now my promised answer to the question, "What are Gilbert and Sullivan doing now?" It first appeared publicly during a radio interview.
[page 225] Definitely falling into the fun category was the radio interview Ken Sandford did for a small radio station in New Zealand, when it immediately became apparent to him that the young presenter asking the questions had no idea about Gilbert and Sullivan or the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. Ken struggled valiantly to make some sense of the interview, doing his best to plug the tour and trying not to smile at the naive questions put to him, but he was rendered almost speechless when asked, "What are Gilbert and Sullivan doing now?" After a few moment's thought, Ken cleverly remembered Gilbert's famous quote and countered with "Decomposing"!
Roberta Morrell does a masterful job of portraying the trials, tribulations, and fun associated with "a life lived out of a suitcase"! There's much more in this book than any short review can even point at, so there's the place to get your full boat of HMS Pinafore and the rest of the fleet of Gilbert and Sullivan's operas.
3.) ARJ2: Mystery Knowledge and Mystery Centres, GA#232 by Rudolf Steiner
What were the "mysteries" that Mystery Centers provided knowledge of over the centuries going back long before birth of Jesus who became the Christ incarnate? Andrew Welburn explains it the mystery of the Mysteries in his Introduction this way:
[page 2] The Mysteries have been since ancient times an expression of the inner triumphing over external forces. In Antiquity they played the role especially of preserving a link with the 'time of the gods', of the primordial revelation. Not in a static way, but by bringing the chosen leaders, prophets or priests to confront the power of life and death, to discover the deeper needs and potential of the human spirit, the Mysteries had kept humanity in touch with the living foundations of experience.
As a trained physicist, I was intrigued to find the root of the word theory to be theos, referred originally to a divine oracle or god and also to learn the basis of Free Masons was that they were free from having to build things as the original masons did. They were instead to speculate, to build using philosophical ideas instead of hard bricks. Welburn also reveals the connection of Archangel Mi-cha-el slaying the Dragon to Apollo defeating the Python, "The dragon to be slain is precisely the hardening of knowledge into forms that were once appropriate but are no longer right." (Page 19) In ancient times Apollo was petitioned to give out new responses to difficult situations, but in recent times Mi-cha-el prompts us to experience new responses in our inner thoughts as Steiner describes in his Philosophy of Freedom.
[page 28] This may be putting it simply, but what is meant is that when one experiences thinking in the real sense one no longer feels outside the mystery of universal existence but within it. If one grasps the reality of thinking within oneself, one grasps the divine element within oneself.
Steiner expounds on "The Life of the Human Soul" in Lecture 1, especially how we can acquire the feeling of traveling with the Sun and then observe that the flowers take on a spiritual color that goes through the surface which has become transparent and unites with your soul.
[page 33] You feel one with the whole world, with the etheric element of the world. But as you stand here on the earth you feel that your feet and legs are drawn down by the earth's gravity; you feel that your whole being is bound firmly to the earth.The moment you have this experience of thinking, you no longer feel bound to the earth; you feel dependent on the wide expanses of the cosmic sphere. Everything comes in from the expanses, not from below, as it were from the center of the earth upwards, but from the cosmic expanses. And you feel that to understand the human being this feeling that there is a streaming in from the cosmic expanses must be present.
Once you feel united with these cosmic expanses, you have experienced what the Third Hierarchy does: the angels, archangels, and archai who live through a thinking experience instead of trudging around the surface of the Earth as we humans do.
In our experience of memory we can see right through objects, into the very essence of things, their spiritual element. In memory we find ourselves in the presence of the Second Hierarchy. Steiner gives an example of how this reveals itself in a person's life.
[page 35] There is of course something in the life of the human soul that reaches beyond memory. Let us see what it is. Memory gives our soul its special coloring. Suppose we come across a person who criticizes everything, who reacts with bitterness to everything we say to him, who, whenever we tell him about something that is really pleasing, at once speaks of something unpleasant. In such a case we may know with certainty that this characteristic is connected with his memory. Memory gives the soul its coloring.
There is yet one more step which leads us into the First Hierarchy: gestures. There is a saying that you cannot give away a smile because when you smile, you lead others around to smile back at you. If you talk to an audience, as Steiner discovered, some faces in the audience may have cheerful expressions and others will have wrinkled foreheads, some blank faces and others open and expressive faces. These various expressions are evidence of physical body states or doyles that are mostly stored in the person's body before the age of five years old.(1) Doyles which have been stored in one person's body for decades tend to become part of the person's physiognomy and their characteristic gestures.
Steiner says on page 36 that we can achieve something at age 50 if we play games that we played in childhood. I agree. I had exactly that experience when I was working in a plant and the local intranet first came on-line. In my work group we found it possible to play a video game in which three of our buddies were visible and we could chase them around, pop out of hiding to surprise them, and frag them. This was very much like my three brothers and I playing cops and robbers in our yard at night: nobody got hurt and everyone had fun. The first one to shoot the other won and the shot bad guy rose up and began chasing you. No one who played this game ever wanted to do it with real guns when they grew up, so far as I know.At the plant we were only able to do this during our half-hour lunch break, so we ate quickly in five minutes and played this kid game with each other for the rest of the break. The heart-pumping excitement and adrenaline rush lasted the entire time and I felt like I had just transposed myself into being a 11-year-old boy again for a half hour.
[page 36, 37] If he can transpose himself back into the actual gesture or posture of that moment, he will again find that something is brought into his life whereby he is led to the conviction that the outer world is the inner world and the inner world is the outer one. . . .You cannot with your full consciousness inwardly apprehend the gesture you made perhaps 20 years ago in response to some outer provocation without realizing, with the greatest inner depth and reverence, the union of the physical and the spiritual in all things. But then you will have arrived at the experience of the First Hierarchy.
Here's a summary of the types of experience associated with each of the hierarchies:
Thinking Experience: Third Hierarchy
Memory Experience: Second Hierarchy
Gesture Experience: First Hierarchy
In all that I have been describing to you today my aim has been to indicate how, by simply following the course of the soul from thinking to thought-filled, soul-imbued gesture, the human being can develop feelings — to begin with no more than feeling — of the spiritual foundations of the world right up to the sphere of the seraphim.
If you understand rightly the conditions after death, you could say, "Everyone is a good poker player after death." Why is that? Because a person after death cannot conceal the actions in their soul: it is written on their outer shape, just as good poker players can tell by looking if a person is bluffing when raising with a poor hand. After death, a person cannot lie about his life on earth because his very form reveals the truth.
[page 42] The form (of a person who has died) is a kind of physiognomical expression of his life on earth; it is a faithful portrayal of the manifestations of the good and evil of which he was responsible in his physical life on earth.
The psychological process of projection says that we project upon others the faults we have within ourselves. It seems easier to understand projection if you realize the very process of perception is one of producing what is perceived in oneself. Steiner explains it this way:
[page 42, 43] A human being who carries through the gate of death some moral evil inherent in his soul will bear a physiognomy in which there is an outer resemblance to ahrimanic (devilish) forms. During the first period after death it is a fact that a person's feeling and perception are dependent on what he can reproduce in his own being. If he has a physiognomical resemblance to Ahriman because he has carried some moral evil with him through the gate of death, he can reproduce in himself — which means he can perceive — only things that resemble Ahriman, and he is as it were blind to those human souls who passed through the gate of death with a sound and good moral disposition . . . He can reproduce in his own being only the physiognomy of other evil people.
Consider how EAT-O-TWIST predicts this: it says Everything Allways Turns - Out - The Way It's Supposed To. You see only other good or evil people as you supposed there to be before you died.
One surprising revelation from Steiner is that both the ahrimanic and luciferic beings work with the spirit of human beings.
[page 43, 44] But while the luciferic beings want to draw the soul and spirit out of human beings so that they would cease to concern themselves with their earthly incarnations but would prefer living as beings of soul and spirit only, the ahrimanic beings would like to disregard soul and spirit entirely and detach from human beings what has been given them as a sheath, a covering, an instrument in the physical and etheric realm, and bring it all into their own realm.
This is a dilemma that we as humans have ever to face: succumb to ahrimanic forces which tug us to subhuman realms or succumb to luciferic forces which tug us away from our human incarnations. If you have only one choice in any situation, you are stuck; if you have two choices, you have a dilemma; only if you have three choices can you have an option. The third option for humans is rising above the Tug-of-War. And only the Christ spirit can assist us, can help keep us balanced, can keep us from being pulled irretrievably to the light, etheric side of Lucifer or pulled to the dark, dense side of Ahriman.
There are two stories I recall which illumine the difference between a Northerner and a Southerner. You get lost on a country road in Maine and stop to ask directions from a farmer leaning on his fence, "Do you know where the center of town is?" "Ay, yup." the farmer replies and says nothing else. "Well, can you tell me how to get there?" you reply. "Ay, yup, didn't ask me how, jest asked me if I knew." Short replies, little information. The other story was related to me by a friend, a Northerner, trying to find the route to a paper mill in a Southern town. The local talked up a storm, finally telling him, "Now you go down this road and take a right turn just before where the old schoolhouse used to be." Of course my friend had no idea where the old schoolhouse just to be. Long reply, little information. Steiner explains the relationship between humans and their environment:
[page 47] Southerners who are exposed to the maximum of sun influences gesticulate a great deal and are talkative; their speech is melodious because there is a connection between their own warmth and the warmth outside. Northerners, on the other hand, are not talkative because they have to hold on to the stimulus their body warmth gives them.
Paul Watzlawick famously wrote that when faced with a dire circumstance, the Northerner will say "the situation is serious, but not hopeless" and the Southerner will say, "the situation is hopeless, but not serious."(2) It is as equally true of Berliners and Bavarians as it is of Maine farmers and Texas ranchers.The Northern one is taciturn and the Southern one is garrulous.
The title of Lecture 3 tells us how Steiner reveals "the path to the inner core of Nature through thinking and will". We humans arrive at birth with a fixed heredity, but with an incredible adaptability, both of which we owe respectively to ahrimanic and luciferic forces.
[page 55] Yesterday I was speaking to you of how human beings are subject to what natural science generally calls heredity, and also of how they are subject to the influences of the external world and adaptation to it. I also said that everything relating to heredity is connected with the ahrimanic forces, and adaptation in the widest sense with the luciferic forces. But I also told you how, in the realm of the spiritual beings that form the basis of the cosmos, provision has been made to enable the luciferic and ahrimanic forces to play a lawful part in human life.
Here we should be admonished against considering to view ahrimanic and luciferic forces as mere devilish forces, but instead encouraged to see them as two opposing forces which we should do our best to balance in our own lives. Our experiences leave traces in our memories and help form our individual souls as we live and grow in strength and knowledge, especially our earliest experiences.
[page 55, 56] Our soul has been shaped by the process whereby our experiences have become memories; we are the product of our life of memory to a greater extent than we think. And anyone who is capable of exercising even enough self-observation to enable him to penetrate into his store of memories will realize how particularly important a part is played throughout earthly life by the impressions of childhood. The kind of life we spent in childhood (which really does not loom large in our consciousness), the period in which we learnt to speak, to walk and in which we got our first inherited teeth, the impressions made on us during these periods of development — all these play an important part in the life of soul throughout our life on earth.
Our outer impressions and our inner memories may bring us happiness or sorrow during our waking time and these all pass into our astral body when we are asleep. Steiner could perceive the astral swirl of these memories during a person's sleep.
[page 56] During sleep the etheric body and the physical body are still enclosed within the skin and the astral body is outside — I will speak of the ego later on. This astral body is seen virtually to consist of the person's memories. However, these memories in the astral body, which is now outside the physical body, are seen to be swirling in and through one another in a kind of eddy. Experiences that were widely separated in time and space are now in juxtaposition; parts of the content of certain experiences are eliminated, so that the whole life of memory is transformed during sleep. And when a person dreams he is becoming conscious of this transformed life of memory. And in the character and makeup of the dream he can be inwardly aware of the swirling eddy of memories which imaginative clairvoyance can perceive from outside.
The seemingly chaotic nature of dreams can be understood as a vortex of impressions from various times and places all mixing together as if in a blender to create the seed of adaptability we need as human beings. When we tell someone who presents us with a problem, "I'll sleep on it", we are saying we want to run all our impressions of the problem through this magic blender to come up with a unique and fitting solution. Kekule did this when searching for the molecular structure of benzene; in a dream he envisioned a snake biting its tail.This led him to propose a ring structure for benzene which proved to be correct. Kekule was able to perceive the forces lying within the liquid benzene and laid the basis for organic chemistry.
[page 56] These memories, which from the time of going to sleep until waking form the main content of the life of the human soul, unite during sleep with the forces behind the phenomena of nature. It may therefore be said that all that lives as astral body in our memories enters into connection with the forces that lie behind, or rather lie within, the minerals, within the plants, behind the clouds, and so on.
The materialistic scientist, who eschews the possibility of spiritual forces, sees only material atoms in the phenomenon of nature, and cannot explain how Kekule could have dreamed up the unique structure of the benzene molecule while experiencing the spiritual forces in the vortex of astral forces while he was asleep!
[page 57, italics added] Those who recognize this truth find it horrifying when people come and say that material atoms are behind the phenomena of nature. The fact is that our memories do not unite with material atoms during sleep but with the spiritual forces behind the phenomena of nature. This is where our memories reside during sleep.
One of the first poems I wrote was in grade school about a rose. It began, "A pink rose so pure beside my garden grows." I had no idea where that rose came from, as there were no roses planted that I can recall on the grounds of our first house. Yet there was the poem.
[page 57] There is perhaps no more beautiful feeling for nature than to have not merely an external relation to a rose bush but realize that you love it because a rose bush harbors the first memories of childhood. Space plays no part at all. However far away the rose bush may be, during sleep we find the way to it. The reason why people love roses — only they do not know it — is that roses receive and harbor the very first memories of childhood.
You can learn a lot about a person by observing the fixed lines on their face and various facial expressions they make in conversation. Like a phonograph needle scratches into the vinyl disk all the sounds made through the microphone, a person's face records their reaction to all the impressions the world made on them plus all the expressions they created in response to the world. Unlike a vinyl disk which is a one-time record of an event, one's face is a palimpsest of a life-time of impressions and expressions, all of which can be read by an observer. While memories live in our astral body during sleep, it is these impressions (physiognomy) and gestures (expressions) which live in our ego (our I) when we are asleep and are in that process written upon our faces and living gestures.
[page 59] Thus those human beings who are able to put a great deal of their inner nature into their facial expression or their gestures have shining, radiant egos.
In a recent film documentary of Bob Hope(3), one can see him as a man who put a lot of his inner nature into facial expression and gestures. In his eyes especially, one can see directly his shining, radiant ego.
The materialist is adamant that we cannot enter into the inner core of nature, but is that true or merely a materialistic fable about reality? Goethe encountered such a materialist in Albrecht von Haller who wrote his thoughts in verse:
'Into the inner core of nature
no earthly creature can go.
Happiness enough is yours,
that she her outer trappings doth show!'
Goethe hated that remark and inwardly cursed it for years before he came back with a powerful retort:
[page 60] 'O, you philistine!
We are within her being wherever we look.
Nothing is only inside or outside,
for what is inside is outside,
and what is outside is inside.
Ask yourself first of all whether you are core or shell.'
Goethe seems to aver that if Haller is a shell, he cannot penetrate his inner core, but if he is in fact core, he already exists within every aspect of his being. Christ Jesus said in one of the Gospels, "Knock, and the door will be opened." Steiner says we do not knock in vain, and puts the matter this way, dissolving the spurious claim of Haller in the process:
[page 60] [Haller] shows he knows nothing of the fact that human beings, simply because they are beings with a memory, beings with physiognomy and gestures, continually penetrate into the inner being of nature. We are not creatures who stand at nature's door and knock in vain. Through our own core of being we are connected by intimate ties with the innermost essence of nature.
And when in our lives are we most directly connected to the innermost essence of nature? When we are very young children. It is only after teeth change that children are most amenable to learning about the secrets of nature, especially in fairy tales. Elves, gnomes, and elemental beings only appear to children under the age of teeth change, and afterward, when they are told fairy tales after teeth change, they remember the beings they experienced directly at an earlier age.
[page 61] It is only after the change of teeth that children gradually 'grow into' nature, and then their thoughts can in course of time comprehend thoughts of nature. Fundamentally speaking life from the seventh to the fourteenth year is a period during which children 'grow into nature', for in this period, in addition to their memories, they also carry into the realm of nature their gestures and physiognomy. And this then continues throughout the whole of life. It is not until the change of teeth that, as far as the inner core of nature is concerned, we are 'born' as separate human individuals.
Before this 'birth' the child exists in a world invisible to the nature spirits, gnomes, undines, etal. So you can understand how these elemental beings are puzzled by our children, who suddenly appear to them as completed beings. All of which leads these nature spirits to be very interested in young children, especially in someone who can tell them stories involving children, like fairy tales. This will seem fantastic to some of you readers, but perhaps you have heard the story of Beatrice Potter holding conversations with nature spirits as she was typing up the stories of Peter Rabbit. She even describes how irascible these spirits could be at times if she didn't answer their questions.
[page 61, 62] It would, however, be immensely stimulating for pedagogical imagination if, through absorbing spiritual knowledge, a human being could really participate in a dialogue with the nature spirits, if he could transport himself into the soul of the nature spirits in order to obtain their views about what he can tell them about children. This would produce the most wonderful fairy-tale imagination. And if in olden times fairy-tales were so wonderfully vivid and full of content it was because the storytellers could actually converse with gnomes and undines and not merely hear something from them. These nature spirits are sometimes very egoistic. They become taciturn if they are not told things they are curious to know.Their favorite stories are those about the things babies do. Then one learns a great many things from them that can create the atmosphere of a fairy-tale. What seems utterly fantastic to people today can be very important for the practical application of spiritual life. It is an actual fact that because of the circumstances I have told you about, these dialogues with the nature spirits can be extremely instructive for both sides.
Two enigmatic passages in the Bible from John 1 and 14, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." and "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us". In the Ephesian Artemis Mysteries, the Initiate was taught to focus on his speech, to note the word, and through this process was able to feel the word move into his being, his very flesh, just as the cosmos moved over aeons into human flesh.
[page 104] The processes at work in speech elude crude perception, for they are delicate and intimate. But let us consider first of all the external aspect of speech, for it was from this that the instruction given in these Mysteries took its start. The attention of the pupil was first directed to the way in which the word sounds forth from the mouth. He was told over and over again: 'Mark well what you feel when the word sounds forth from your mouth!' He was then taught to notice how something of the spoken word turns upwards in order to receive the thought in the head, while something from the same word turns downwards in order that the feeling content may be inwardly experienced.Again and again the pupil was instructed to push through his throat the utmost extremes of speech, and thereby perceive the ebb and flow manifest in the word as it is uttered. 'I am, I am not' — a positive and a negative assertion — these he had to utter as articulately as possible, and then observe how in the words 'I am' the upward ascent is felt, while in the 'I am not' there is more the feeling of pressing downwards.
Soon the attention of the pupil, the initiate, was turned to the warmth rising upwards to the head and the watery element flowing downward like glandular secretions.
[page 105] Thus it was made clear to the pupils in the Ephesian Mysteries that human beings make use of the air in order for the word to sound forth, but in the act of speaking the air changes into the next element, into fire, warmth, drawing the thought down from the heights of the head, embodying it in itself. And there occurs as alternating conditions first a sending upwards of fire, then a sending downwards, as the air in the word trickles down like a glandular secretion in the form of water, of fluid. By means of this latter process human beings can feel the word inwardly.
The pupil was brought to feel that his "own body was a kind of sheath for the cosmic mystery that sounded from his rhythmic system and lived in his speech." (Page 106) All this led him to feel deeply that his own humanness was connected to the evolution of the cosmos. The great saying over the Temple of Apollo was "Know Yourself!" and the pupil got a deep appreciation for its meaning. Know and experience yourself as a being who evolved in parallel with the cosmos around you.
The final step in human evolution involved the shaping and forming of the physical body into a bony structure which began first with a chalky substance which mixed into liquid albumen and finally solidified into bones(4).
[page 107] The earth was in the condition when it contained as a substance essential for that stage of evolution what we now know as common chalk, such as is found in the Jura Mountains. In the chalk mountains, in the chalk of the earth today, we find the substance we want to study with regard to its function in those ancient times, when the earth was surrounded by what I called fluid albumen.We know that cosmic forces worked into the fluid albumen, causing it to coagulate into certain definite forms; and while the earth was in this condition a process took place resembling in a higher degree and in a denser substance what we know today as the rising of the mist and the falling of the rain. The chalky element rose upwards and permeated what had hardened in the fluid albumen, so that these forms acquired a bony content and the animal kingdom began to evolve. Through the spirituality contained in the chalk the animals were drawn down as it were, out of the atmosphere which was still albuminous.
Writing is a very new way of representing words, going back only several thousand years. Homer's epic sagas were spoken for centuries before the invention of writing. The mystery of evolution was an audible mystery, rightly understood.
[page 108] The processes described in the last lecture were felt by the human being to be taking place in himself. But how? Everything I have described to you here as the rising of the chalk, the uniting of this chalk with the coagulated albumen and then the descent of animality onto the earth — all this was experienced by the human being of that time in such a way that he heard it. The forms that arose when the chalk filled out the coagulated albumen and made it bony and gristly, all that then took shape, was 'felt' in the ear — it was audible. The cosmic mystery was heard.
An old spiritual called "Dem Bones" goes like this, "the thigh bone's connected to the hip bone, the hip bone's connected to the back bone, now hear the word of the Lord."(5) Ezekiel connected dem bones together according to the song. Steiner explains how we should understand the bones of our skeleton by listening to them.
[page 109] Confronted with this mystery of the skeleton we can do no other than say to ourselves, 'Do not merely look but listen, Listen to how one bone transforms itself into another. Listen — for it speaks!'
He suggests we visit a Natural History Museum with its mighty orchestra of bones on display for us to see and hear. He visited one in Trieste and reports:
[page 109] One could certainly feel the connection between the skeleton — the bony system living in the chalk — and that which once upon a time spoke to the human being out of the flowing forces of the cosmos, when he himself was one with the cosmos, with the secret of the cosmos, which is at the same time the secret of the human being himself.
It is now possible to understand the origin of John 1's passage, how the macrocosm appeared in the microcosm of human speech.
[page 111] And it is to this macrocosmic mystery — the translation into maya, into the big world — that the beginning of St. John's Gospel refers: 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.' For that was still a living tradition in Ephesus at the time when the evangelist, the writer of St. John's Gospel, could read there in the Akashic Record that for which his heart yearned, namely, the right form in which to clothe what he had to say to mankind concerning the secret of cosmic evolution.
On page 114 and 115 Steiner relates the burning down of the Goetheanum to the earlier burning down of the Temple of Ephesus. Elsewhere we can discover that Rudolf Steiner and Ita Wegman in previous incarnations were priests who witnessed the flames of the Temple of Ephesus. (See Rudolf Steiner's Mission and Ita Wegman.) As he spoke about the colorful flames of the Goetheanum, he was reminded of the earlier conflagration.
[page 115] Auspicious colors, colors akin to the metals! And through this connection with the metallic element there rises up within us something that is like memory in the early sphere. And what it reminds us of is what went up in flames with the Temple of Ephesus. Then, even as there is a connection between those two fires, so the longing to probe further into something of the nature of 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God' can link us to what was brought home again and again to the pupil at Ephesus: 'Study the mystery of man in the small word, the micrologos, in order to make yourself ripe to experience within your self the mystery of the macrologos!'
In Lecture 7 on the Hibernia Mystery Centers, we learn how their initiates learned to experience the complete scale of feelings which an initiate today would also have to experience.
[page 122] There is still something a modern person can learn from these experiences which in earlier times were presented in a perceptible form but no longer can or need be so presented for the purpose of initiation. He can learn how wide a gamut of feelings must be passed through in order to approach the truth which then leads to cosmic mysteries.For although it is right for the pupil of today to develop along an inner path that is not dependent on outer perception, nevertheless he must still pass through the same gamut of feelings, must experience them through intense meditative effort. So the scale of feelings to be lived through today can be ascertained from knowledge of the experiences undergone in the ancient rites by those who were undergoing initiation.
In my childhood I wanted to find out how the world worked. This earnest desire led to do a lot of reading of science fiction and the lives of great inventors. Therein I found only more questions and decided to study physics as my best chance of learning how the world worked. After graduation I worked for a while as a physicist, then got into computer programming and learning how computers worked. The more I learned about computers the more I realized the way computers worked revealed the way the human brain worked: the brain has hardware (its various lobes and structures) and software which comprise our thoughts. In real-time computers with multiple programs working alongside each other at the same time, I found an explanation of how humans are able to do more than one thing at the same time. But soon my questions outstripped my computer model of the human brain. We know where computers come from: they are designed by the human mind. Their software is created by the human minds of programmers. New computers must have a bootstrap program built into them to get the first piece software loaded.Human engineers do this job. Who does the job of getting the human being to bootstrap into existence? We know where computers come from and where they go to when they die or become obsolete, but what do we know about where a human being comes from and where this being goes after death? Does our software, our mind, soul, and spirit disappear when our body dies?
I began to see human life as a puzzle with an enigma on each end: where did we exist before this life and where will we exist after this life? I searched for decades until I stumbled upon Rudolf Steiner who was able to share with me the answers to these two important questions. These answers came to the initiate of ancient times, and today we have Rudolf Steiner's revelations to assist our quest for this knowledge. It was this very knowledge which was kept hidden in various Mystery Centers until a suitable initiate had undergone rigorous training to develop the ability to see directly into the spiritual world and learn for oneself. Along the way of my seeking, I switched from studying Science to studying the Arts. I came to know that experiencing feelings for learning spiritual realities was equally as important as acquiring knowledge for learning physical realities.
In Hibernia mystery centers students or initiates were taken through a similar process of learning about Knowledge and about Fantasy. They saw two statues. The first spoke to them:
I am Knowledge.
But what I am is not real being.
I had learned knowledge myself and found it lacking in substance and real being.
The other statue spoke this way:
I am Fantasy.
But what I am has no truth.
I had fought to find real being and truth and seemed to have found neither, until I discovered Rudolf Steiner. It was after the Internet came into being that I asked, "Who is Rudolf Steiner and what of his work should I read first?" Answers flooded in and I was off to the races: my studies of his work involved intense study comparable to that of Hibernian initiate, so far as I can tell, and I expect this work of mine has several decades left to run.
As an undergraduate I studied Science, and as a post-graduate, I studied Art, seeking to find some truth and some real being in the world. I had reached what the Hibernian initiates did: seeing the words SCIENCE and ART written in flames above the two statues that had earlier spoken to them the above words on pages 126, 127. I knew that I needed to study the arts as much as I had earlier focused only upon the sciences.
[page 127] All these experiences were lived through by each individual pupil in absolute isolation. The experience became so intense that the pupil's power of sight ceased to function, and after a time he no longer saw the statues. But in the direction where he had been looking he read as though written in flames something which was not physically there but which he nevertheless perceived with utmost clarity. Where he had previously seen the head of the statue of knowledge he read the word SCIENCE and where he had seen the head of the other statue he read the word ART.
The most amazing aspect of my studying Steiner's works came when I found the reverence he had for Christ. Steiner had already established credibility in my mind for his explanation of how the human being evolved in parallel with the Cosmos in which we lived, and that added credence to his writings about Christ Jesus. What I found especially important was how Steiner stressed the importance of the Deed of Christ Jesus on Golgotha, how His Deed changed the entire world, bringing it back from the precipice of an utter, irretrievable plunge into materialism.
Here is Steiner's description of how the Hibernian initiate was shown the way to Christ.
[page 127, 128] After this he was taken out of the temple again, and beside the exit stood the two initiators. One of them took the pupil's head in his hands and turned it towards something to which the other initiator was pointing: the figure of Christ. And this second initiator impressed upon him the following words:
Open your heart
To the Word and the Power of this Being.
And the other priest said:
And receive from Him
What the two statues wished to give you:
Science and art.
These were the first two acts as it were in the Hibernian initiation, the special way in which the pupils in Hibernia were guided to a real feeling for the innermost nature of Christianity. This experience impressed itself deeply on the minds and hearts of these pupils, and now they could start on their further path of knowledge.
The area of Hibernia had no knowledge of the events going on in Palestine during the time of Christ Jesus, and yet these Hibernian initiates celebrated the Mystery of Golgotha as it was happening thousands of miles away(6).
[page 161] Over in Hibernia were initiates with their pupils, and there, without any means of physical perception of the Mystery of Golgotha, and without any possibility of receiving information of the event, the Mystery was nonetheless celebrated simultaneously with all solemnity, because the initiates knew from their own insight that the Mystery of Golgotha was happening — out there — at that very time.
Over the course of centuries, the spiritual perception of the average human faded, gradually replacing the spiritual knowledge of the Mystery of Golgotha with a simple recounting of recorded events in the Gospels and a sense developed that Jesus must have been a mere human, one with special teaching gifts.
[page 162] In general a knowledge of these events, of a kind for which no direct spiritual perception was required, spread over Europe. People turned to historical tradition, which simply told of the physical events that took place in Palestine at the beginning of our era. And from this stream proceeded that attitude to history which takes account only of what happens in physical life. Humanity in general was less and less able to perceive the colossal contradiction that lies in the fact that the Mystery of Golgotha, an event which is comprehensible only by means of the deepest spiritual activity, should be referred only to an external phenomenon, perceptible to the physical senses. But this was, after all, the path which cultural development in Europe had to take.
In Lecture 10 dealing with "The Chthonic(7) and Eleusian Mysteries", Steiner explains how the teachings of Plato flowed into Aristotle, then into Alexander the Great who spread it to all the lands he conquered, especially into the Arabs, then it flowed into Spain, which began its return into Europe. No one should naively assume that the thoughts of Plato went directly north and west into Central Europe, but instead they circumnavigated their way around the Mediterranean Sea before arriving back in Europe and influencing European thought. (Pages 178, 179)
Rudolf Steiner's anthroposophy, rightly understood, is the science of the full human being in body, soul, and spirit. As he explains Aristotle's method of education, it likewise involved the full human being, a process which changed the human being entirely. Note: the process of retrodiction is described by Steiner as a 'continuation of the present back into earlier times, and it is utterly unreal'. Much of the confusion created by modern historians, geologists, archaeologists, anthropologists, and other scientists is due to invasive presence of retrodiction in their thoughts and deductions.
[page 182, 183, italics added] What we think of today as 'knowledge' was really of little account in those ancient times, even as late as the days of Aristotle. And if a modern historian of some particular science wants to give an account of the progress in thought in his domain he should really begin with Copernicus or Galileo, for anything he may add to his account by going further back is beside the point. And if he goes back as far as the knowledge of Greek times, what he says is mere fantasy. It is a continuation of the present back into earlier times, and it is utterly unreal. For even in the time of Aristotle any education that \ was taken seriously involved a complete change in the very \ nature of the pupil, for it made an appeal not merely to thought and observation but to the whole life of the human being. The acquisition of knowledge was meant to bring about a change, the essential thing in the Mysteries being that the human being should become through his education an altogether different being from what he was before. And in Aristotle's time in particular, the endeavor was made to bring about this transformation by subjecting the soul to two diametrically opposite impressions.
What were these two ways? The first is the way of modern physics, chemistry, physiology, and such which deals only with observable properties of material substances:
[page 183] A teacher of those olden times did not try to make the connection with nature by saying: 'Here is a body which has such and such a temperature. I heat it in a retort and it undergoes such and such a change.'
Instead a teacher led pupils to acquire a human knowledge of their environment with instructions such as this: 'Look, you breathe the air. In summer the air you breathe is warm, while in winter it is cold. In winter you can perceive your own breath in the form of vapor, but it is invisible when you breathe the warm air in summertime.' One can hardly imagine a grade school science teacher of today beginning a science class in such a fashion by bringing their pupils into direct contact with nature(8). A teacher in Aristotle's time subjected a student to this second way of acquiring knowledge. He did not talk about measuring and manipulating temperatures.
[page 183] No, he brought nature into direct contact with the human being himself, by making him attentive to the feeling he experienced in connection with the breathing process. And the pupil learnt to develop a true feeling on the one hand of the warmed air. 'Picture to yourself,' said the teacher, 'what it really means -- warmed air. It wants to rise; and you must feel, when the warmed air comes towards you, that something is trying to carry you out into far spaces. And now feel, in contrast to this, cold water in some form or other. Just feel it. You actually do not feel at home in it. In the warm air you feel at home, so much at home that the warm air tries to carry you out into far spaces. In cold water you feel unnatural and not at home. And you feel that if you go away from the cold water and leave it to do what it wants to do out of its own nature, it will do something that has meaning for you and turn into snow crystals which fall to earth. You feel in your right place outside the snow crystals, watching them from outside. The warm air you can only feel inside you, and you would gladly let yourself be carried by the warm, ascending air into the far spaces of the cosmos. You can actually only feel the cold water outside you, and in order to have a relationship to it you would prefer observing what it does by means of your senses.'
Lecture 11 promises to tell us "The Secret of Plants, Metals, and Human Beings" and we might prepare to read this lecture by recalling "The Fox's Secret" from Antoine Saint-Exupéry's classic novel, "The Little Prince". In the book, the Fox tells the little Prince, "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye." A teacher taught a pupil to experience what the flowers told him, which spoke as the Rose who spoke to the little Prince.
[page 186] For the flowers did not tell him the same thing every night! What the flowers said when the moon stood in front of Leo was different from what they said when it stood in front of Virgo or Scorpio. For the flowers of the earth told of what the moon experienced as it revolved around the zodiac. The secrets and mysteries of the cosmos out there — it was of these that the flowers of earth told. It was indeed true that through these things brought to the pupil he was able to say out of the depths of his heart:
I look into the flowers.
They reveal to me their kinship with the moon.
Captives on earth are they,
For they are beings born of water.
The pupil was able to have this feeling because he had previously experienced the impression made on him by the chilling water. That experience enabled him now to acquire this knowledge from the flowers.
A materialistic scientist works today only with the corpses of reality, not the fully living reality experienced by the full human being. The very idea that artificial intelligence can surpass the abilities of the full human being is laughable, but few modern scientists are capable of understanding why their attempt to surpass human abilities is risible. Alexander did not set out to conquer the world, but rather to understand the other half of the world and to infuse the secrets of flowers, plants, metals, and human beings into the people of Asia, because only the corpses of these secrets could be brought to Europe thinkers during his time, and it is still mostly so, full of abstract thought and logic they were, up until now. Steiner is a modern Alexander who is bringing much-needed living knowledge to European-based civilizations today.
[page 194, 195] Now the time has come, however, when these other things have waited long enough and they must be rediscovered as the sum of the natural sciences. Alexander had, fundamentally speaking, to bury these secrets of nature in Asia for the time being, for only their corpses were brought across to Europe. It is not our task to galvanize these corpses but to rediscover the original living truth. And we shall only really find the necessary enthusiasm for such a task when we can develop a warm feeling for what existed at that turning-point of time, when we can perceive and appreciate the real purpose of Alexander's campaigns. For only to outward appearance were they campaigns of conquest: in reality their object was to find the other side of the compass, to unravel the mystery of the other half of the world. They were also most certainly a search for a personal experience. A certain discomfort and lack of satisfaction was felt in the milieu restricted to cold and moist and warm and moist, and the feeling of the other half of the compass was needed to create wholeness.
"Look at how dumb the scientists of the Middle Ages were: they only saw four elements, earth, water, air, and fire!" This is the mantra of so-called modern scientists as their inbred retrodiction blinds them to earlier realities of human thought. Yet this was the view of the ancients into the Middle Ages. They saw everything on earth from the point of view of the surrounding atmosphere, from a heavenly aspect. (Page 208)
[page 208] They went on from this to speaking of what exists between the encircling round and the earth, namely, the earth itself, below, then the watery element, the element of air, and the element of fire. Thus the ancients saw everything on the earth from the point of view' of the heavens, and the people of the Middle Ages, which did not come to an end until the first third of the fourteenth century, saw everything from the point of view of the surrounding atmosphere. Then, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, came the great turning-point. The human being and his outlook fell right down onto the earth. And now, with regard to his consciousness, the elements of water, air and fire were broken down and split up into sulphur, carbon, hydrogen. Human beings saw everything from the earthly point of view.
Humans could no longer incorporate any spiritual elements in their thoughts and ideas. They had lost the living being of their humanity. How could an individual regain this living spirit? The Rosicrucian initiation provided a way.
[page 209, 210, italics added] The pupil became — not abstractly, but inwardly — illumined to perceive: as a modern human being you can penetrate only to the world of ideas; thereby, however, you lose the living being of this your humanity.
And the pupil felt that what the new age was giving him could not lead him to the essence of his real being. He felt either you must despair of knowledge or you must go through a kind of mortification of the arrogance of abstraction.
In the NCIS television series, a character named DiNozzo would occasionally receive a mild slap on back of his lower head from his boss Gibbs. It always seemed to happen at an appropriate time, but created an unanswered question in me, "Why was this necessary and what function did this slap perform?" I finally found an answer in this passage.
[page 209, 210, italics added] The Rosicrucian pupil — the true Rosicrucian pupil — felt as though his master had given him a blow on the back of his neck to indicate to him that the abstractions of the modern brain are not suited to entering the spiritual worlds, and that he must renounce mere abstraction to enter them.
That was indeed a tremendous preparatory moment for what we may call the Rosicrucian initiation.
Suddenly it became clear to me what Gibbs was doing; his slap was telling DiNozzo non-verbally, "Get out of your thinking head, DiNozzo, and experience the feeling realities around you." Often, the slap was replaced by a perfunctory, "You think, DiNozzo?" which had a similar effect. Feeling realities are spiritual realities which thinkers miss by reflexively over-thinking a situation.
Anyone coming new to Rudolf Steiner's work will wonder, "Why does he refer to Christ Jesus' death on the cross as 'The Mystery of Golgotha'?" It was Steiner's way of pointing to the earlier mysteries, such as the ones he has detailed in these lectures. By contrasting he is able to explain to us the one important difference between them and the Mystery of Golgotha. These ancient mysteries were played out in the inner sanctum of initiates over the ages, whereas this most recent mystery was played out on the World Stage for all to see. This enabled every human being to become an initiate from then on.
[page 211] From my book Christianity as Mystical Fact you can see that what happened on Golgotha united in a certain sense what had previously been distributed over the various Mysteries throughout the world. The Mystery of Golgotha, however, differed from all the other Mysteries I have been describing in that it was presented so to say on the stage of history before the eyes of the world, while the older Mysteries were enacted in the obscurity of the inner temples, and they sent out their impulses from the dim twilight of these inner temples.
What do you see when you look deeply into a person's eyes? Unless you are an eye doctor, you see the person's soul and spirit, don't you? You go to a reunion and see former classmates you haven't seen in over 60 years. You recognize them in their eyes even though all the rest of their bodies had changed as they aged. Others can observe our spirit in our eyes, just as the ancients could observe the gods in nature. How can one accept the reality of the spirit in a human being and ignore the reality of the spirit in the natural phenomena of the Earth? Oh, that's different, some of you may be thinking, but, rightly understood, it is a difference without a distinction.
[page 213, 214] Yesterday I already drew your attention to the fact that for the people of olden times the phenomena and processes of nature were nothing less than deeds of the gods. They would as little have thought of treating a phenomenon of nature as an isolated phenomenon as we should think of considering a movement of the human eyes as a thing in itself and not as a revelation of the human soul and spirit. Natural phenomena were considered to be expressions of the gods who manifested through them. For the ancients the earth's surface was as truly the skin of the divine Earth Being as our skin is the skin of an ensouled human being. We really have not the least understanding of the mood of soul of the people of antiquity unless we know that they were speaking of the earth as a body of the gods and of the other planets of our planetary system as brothers and sisters of the earth.
One of the most impolite things you can do to a woman friend is to look through her as if she did not exist, treating her as a mere solid object or stereotype in front of you. It would feel horrible to her(9). Imagine how the Earth feels with billions of humans doing essentially the same thing to it, up until now.
[page 214] But now this direct relation to the things and processes of nature, which saw in the single object or phenomenon the revelation of the divine principle, changed into a totally different one. The divine part of natural phenomena had, so to speak, withdrawn. Supposing it could happen to one of you that people saw you merely as a body — as we do the earth — neutral and soul-less. It would be absolutely horrible!
But this horrible thing has really happened where modern knowledge is concerned. And medieval scholars felt the horror of it, for from the standpoint of modern knowledge it is as though the divine principle had withdrawn from natural phenomena.
A modern chemist can put oxalic acid and glycerine into a beaker, heat it and carbon dioxide will be given off, leaving behind formic acid. A chemist in the Middle Ages saw in this reaction the human processes of digestion and understood it in a living way which is lost on modern physiologists, up until now.
[page 215, 216] A human being, however, is not a retort! The retort just demonstrates in a dead way what takes place in a human being in a living and feeling way. And this is really how it is: if a human being never produced oxalic acid in his digestive tract he would simply not be able to live. That is to say, his etheric body would have no sort of basis in his organism. If a human being did not change oxalic acid into formic acid his astral body would have no basis in his organism. Human beings need oxalic acid for their etheric body and formic acid for their astral body. Or rather, it is not the substances they need but the inner activity going on in the oxalic acid process and the formic acid process. This is of course something which a present-day physiologist has yet to discover; he still speaks of what goes on in the human being as if these were external processes.
The importance of formic acid in the life of human beings is little known. Honey is an importance nutrient, filled with constructive forces for humans as they mature, and luckily it is the one natural food substance which has an indefinite shelf life due to the tiny drop of formic acid the honeybees exude from their stingers into each hexagonal cell containing honey. Buyers of honey would be aghast if this essential ingredient were forced to be displayed on the labels of every honey jar. The life-giving properties of formic acid have been demonstrated, e.g., a person is reported to have recovered from a heart attack after being stung by a bee. The ants which annoy us by crawling over everything are actually spreading tiny amount of formic acid on the surfaces they crawl over and exuding formic acid into the air we breathe. Imagine if the Nanny State were to require a warning label, "Contains Formic Acid", to be displayed everywhere that humans breathe air.
Natural scientists of the Middle Ages sought in the human the chemical processes they observed in their laboratory retorts. They knew about the benefits formic acid gave to human beings, both inside the body and outside the body.
[page 216] This was the first question put by the student of natural science in medieval times as he sat in front of his retort. He asked himself: 'Such is the external process which I observe; now what is the nature of the similar process in the human being?'The second question was this: 'What is the same process like in the great world of nature outside?' In the case of the example I have chosen the researcher of those days would have said as follows; 'I look out over the earth and see the world of plants. Oxalic acid is present in a marked degree in wood sorrel and in all kinds of clover. But in reality oxalic acid is contained in all vegetation, even if it is sometimes in homoeopathic doses. There is a touch of it in everything. The ants find it even in decaying wood. The swarms of ants, which we human beings often find so troublesome, get hold of the oxalic acid which occurs all over the fields and meadows and is indeed found wherever there is vegetation, and change it into formic acid. We continually breathe in the formic acid out of the air, although in very small doses, and we are indebted to the work of the insects on the plants for changing the oxalic acid into formic acid.'
At the end of this series of lectures, Steiner reveals to us the transition from ancient mysteries to the medieval mysteries to the sciences of our present time. These modern sciences eschew the presence of mysteries, claiming to be able to explain everything, while systematically ignoring or removing the spiritual realities from everything they explain. Rightly understood, all the inhumanities humans foist upon other humans can be understood as due to humans ignoring their full humanity as a being of body, soul, and spirit.
~~~~~~ Footnotes ~~~~~~Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
~~~~~~~~~~ Return to text directly before Footnote 2.
Footnote 3. The film is "American Masters: This is Bob Hope" (2017). It uses photos, movie clips, and Bob's own words about his life which are narrated by Billy Crystal.Return to text directly before Footnote 3.
Footnote 4. The next passage describes the condition of the Earth during the Old Moon stage of evolution when humans without bony structures floated in a liquid atmosphere surrounding a vegetative globe. The legend of the Moon as made of green cheese comes from an archaic memory of this stage of human and cosmic evolution.Return to text directly before Footnote 4.
Footnote 5. Lyrics written by James Weldon Johnson around 1928.Return to text directly before Footnote 5.
Footnote 6. This fact belies the scholars of today who, by retrodiction, claim that only the physical facts of Jesus' life as a man are worthy of discussing, that everything else is mere fantasy made up by primitive human beings. The Hibernian initiates had no access to physical facts of Jesus, only to the spiritual realities of Christ Jesus's great deed on Golgotha.Return to text directly before Footnote 6.
Footnote 7. The adjective chthonic refers to things of the Earth, especially the interior of the Earth.Return to text directly before Footnote 7.
Footnote 8. One might expect such a form of teaching in a Waldorf School which incorporates so many of the ideas of Rudolf Steiner.Return to text directly before Footnote 8.
Footnote 9. It seems to me that the feminist movement strives to eliminate this kind of seeing through women, treating them as stereotypes such as wife, mother, or servant, instead of as a unique human being.Return to text directly before Footnote 9.
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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 Joins a Marching Brass Band in the French Quarter Festival:
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 we Observe the good Padre Beating the Drum for New Orleans:
2. Comments from Readers:
NOTE: I love hearing from all my Good Readers and including your missives here (slightly edited).
If you prefer any comments or photos you send to be private, simply say so and they will not be published.
- EMAIL from Barrett Chevalier in Edmonton, Canada:
This is the middle of April ! It is snowing like mad !
- EMAIL from Kevin Dann in NYC on April 1:
While usually I would be tickled (Easter pastel) pink anytime to see that I was the Digest's "Honored Reader," the fact that today is April Fool's Day as well as Easter Sunday gave me pause. . . I will just go ahead and let myself be tickled either way - thanks!
I see that I was in confessional mode to you with my note inspired by Ray Brooks' book; meanwhile, as How Things Find Us continues to sleep, This Magic Isle rises from the dead - coming out from NYU Press next spring! And that's just the book; the Off Broadway smash hit opens on April 14th:
Come, step right up . . .
Much love to you and Del on this glorious day of celebration of Golgotha's culmination.
- EMAIL FROM/TO Jeff March:
On Apr 4, 2018 Jeff replied:
That's a GREAT story about Sanka, Bobby. Thank you for sending that. You could be the new Paul Harvey.
- Jeff On Apr 4, 2018 Bobby wrote:
Do you know where decaf originated? In the last century a large ship carrying coffee beans from Brazil to France hit heavy seas in the Atlantic and the beans were thoroughly soaked with sea water. Rather than discard them, they made coffee with them and discovered that a lot of the caffeine was gone, but the taste was the same.
The Frenchmen said, "Voila! Sans caffeine!" and abbreviated the product they sold as SANKA!
In English sans caffeine turned into decaffeinated or just decaf!
And "now you know the rest of the story", as Paul Harvey liked to say,
- EMAILS Re: Passing
On a sad note, I lost two brother-in-laws and a first cousin this month.
1) My brother Kevin's wife Vicky lost her brother Joshua Michael Falgout (1998 -2018)
2) My brother David's brother-in-law, David Anthony Schouest (1939 - 2018)
3) My first cousin David Anthony LeBoeuf (1960- 2018)
May Christ, who restores our spirit, nurture and heal their spirit.
3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:"In Memoriam"
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:
In a dream I visited
the Washington, De-Commissioned Museum.
The museum contained the dinosauric remains
of our pre-government days:
1200 page budget bills, Encyclopedic income tax codes,
Non-profit incorporation papers,
The legislative halls of the Supreme Court,
The executive halls of the Congress,
The White House, home of
constitutional law interpretation,
And, in the front of the statue of Neil Armstrong stepping on the moon,
Was a small square foot of ground dedicated to the memory
of public property,
in the days
~^~This month I saw an article in the newspaper about a national pediatrics organization that, in the year 2000, had advised parents against letting their children eat peanuts to avoid reactions from a peanut allergy.I grew up eating Peter Pan Peanut Butter and I never once met a person with a peanut allergy, even to this day. But clearly there is an epidemic of such nut allergies, and I held as an unanswered question, "Why are there suddenly so many peanut allegeries?" Heck, we were on a flight where announcement came that one passenger had a peanut allergy and none of the rest of us could open and eat any peanuts. NUTS! I thought, not out of lack of sympathy for those with the allergies, but a lack of sympathy with a world that could cause this to happen. But what caused this to happen? That was my unanswered question, up until now.
Napoleon had to sell the Louisiana Territory to the USA because his army staged in the West Indies was decimated by Yellow Fever. Yet the natives were not affected by the deadly disease, why? Because they suffered a minor infection which created an immunity in their bodies to the disease when they were under 5 years old. Numerous examples of indigenous populations were decimated by diseases carried by foreign invaders in the Americas, but here was an example where the foreign invaders were the ones decimated. In either case the problem results from complete lack of exposure to the ailment at an early age.
Now with rampaging nut allergies we have to re-learn the lesson again. What happened since the 2000 prohibition on exposing small children to peanuts? The frequency of peanut allergic people has TRIPLED! It was bad enough when naturally-occuring diseases ravaged populations around the word, but how bad is it when this human-made epidemic is ravaging the world? As reported in the newspaper, this national pediatric organization gave the bad advice back in 2000 without a shred of scientific evidence to suppport their recommendation. Lemmings are notorious for following bad advice as they run in lockstep to a cliff, but we human beings have more options than lemmings, do we not?
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9. CLOSING NOTES:
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My reviews are not intended to replace the purchasing and reading of the reviewed books, but rather to supplant a previous reading or to spur a new reading of your own copy. What I endeavor to do in most of my reviews is to impart a sufficient amount of information to get the reader comfortable with the book so that they will want to read it for themselves. My Rudolf Steiner Reviews are more detailed and my intention is to bring his work to a new century of readers by converting his amazing insights into modern language and concepts.
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