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Good Mountain Press Presents DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#186
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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Billy Cannon (1937-2018) ~~~~
~ At LSU: Heisman Trophy Winner, SEC Shotput and 100-yd Dash Champion ~

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Quote for the Bustin' Out All Over Month of June:

Big talkers reach the end of their wits over and over again.
— Lao-tzu, Chinese Philosopher (from The Human Element)

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ISSUE#186 for June, 2018

Archived DIGESTWORLD Issues

             Table of Contents

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

4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe or Household Hint for June, 2018 from Bobby Jeaux: EASY PEELING OF HARD-BOILED EGGS
6. Poem from What is Man?:"One, Two"
7. Reviews and Articles featured for June:

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

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

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

This month Violet and Joey learn about the Walk to End Alzheimer's. (There is an Alzheimer's Walk, Check Link for Details).

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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 June, 2018:

Sandra Wilkinson in Buxton, England

Edwin Fleischmann in New Orleans

Congratulations, Sandra and Edwin!

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Out Our Way:


After a long cool April, the flowers of May arrived: Large white magnolia blossoms, Easter Lilies, lines of petunias across the East and West Porticos, Meyer Lemon blossoms, abd bromeliads.


Mostly Glitch-free. Del spent most of the month recovering the fiasco of her Smart Phone being destroyed by a Smart Faucet in a public restroom. Read about it in DW#185 Issue if you missed it. Remember this: Calling an inanimate object a Smart Device does NOT make it into a Smart Device.

It is still a DUMB Device which often produces unexpected consequences, like the faucet which destroyed Del's Smart Phone. My suggestion was that Del get a phone like her daughters have so she can get help using it from Kim, Maureen, Carla, and Yvette. This is working great.

Two Glitches rolled over into May and I got them both fixed in one day. The COX technician came over and repaired the problem causing low bandwidth. Apparently the F-cable going into my Uninterruptible Power Supply was overloading my broadband with a back signal. The UPS signal was not being used, so we disconnected the F-connector and the signal on the bandwidth turned okay. The other leftover problem was a PANIC trouble alarm, and the TECH came out and replaced a bad module.


First one was J. Gary Brown from Colorado who was in town for some medical conference and offered to take me to dinner at my favorite place. I chose the Bon Ton Restaurant for dinner. It is a short walk from his conference hotel on Canal Street. Enjoyed our dinner and conversation with Gary. He told me about Eliah and many Good Readers of my on-line Steiner reviews and studies. He tracks them on FaceBook, which I do not use. Gary said he likes live music, so I suggested he check out Frenchmen Street some night after 10 pm for great local music groups. New Orleans has over 40,000 live music gigs a year, so any night you can find live music all over the city, and Frenchmen Street is a hotbed of these music groups.

Stuart Sinclair-Weeks is another Good Reader who contacted me this month. He is a student of Steiner's work and a friend of Brian Lynch, Bradford Riley, and others. He asked me questions about the science of doyletics and its relationship to Scientology.

I explained to him that doyletics is a science of how humans work and Scientology is a proprietary product based on L. Ron Hubbard's work. The science of doyletics explains how Scientology works. Big difference is that with doyletics, one can achieve life changing results alone without using electronic measuring instruments attached to your body being run by a technician. Stuart knows a lot of people and invited me to a conference phone call with Patch Adams. Was great meeting the doctor whose life was portrayed by Robin Williams in the movies. Stuart has added our Speed Trace to the various tools available to people on his Concordium Website. You can find out about his work by Clicking Here.

Another Good Reader is Edwin Fleischmann with the Council for the Development of French-Speaking in Louisiana (CODOFIL). It is great to have our state of Louisiana who eliminated the French language from schools in the 1920s and has in recent decades reversed itself and encouraged French language immersion in the school system again. Edwin sent this poster of a Cajun Reunion on August 12, 2018 at The Four Columns in Harvey. We encourage all friends of CODOFIL and French-speaking Cajuns to be present. Heck, you don't hafta be a Cajun! If you jes' wanna pass a good time, come by for some eating, drinking, and dancing!

Other Good Readers we heard from this month include Duane Walter, Gary Lee-Nova, Georgia Barri, Laurence Clark Crossen, J. Barrett Chevalier, Chris Bryant, Nancy Diamond, Warren Perrin, Joy Adams Beck, Suzanne Potier, Charles Cox, Brent Furdyk, Marylou Coyle, Gary Arnold, Ron Neeld, Kevin Dann, and Ray Brooks, among others. Where appropriate, I have included emails from them in our Letters Section.


Gary Arnold invited me as his guest to hear him talk about JFK assassination at the Good Ole Metry Boys at St. Jerome's K of C Hall in Kenner. It was 11:55 already and the GOMB meeting started at noon, so I quickly ended my conference call and headed to Kenner. Walked in a minute or so before Gary was due to speak and got to hear his whole talk. After meeting, a guy came up to me and said, "I know you from TANO." It was Ron Neeld, a FORTRAN programmer that I knew back in the 1970s. He's still working, helping Gary. Got a photo of Ron and me together. I told him that I'd add him to my DIGESTWORLD Reminder list.

Driving home from Kenner, I got ready to go with Del to Crazy's Al's on the shores of Lake Catherine past Charlie Cox's new home on Chef Menteur Highway. We left at 5 PM and got there a few minutes past 6 PM. Crazy Al's is a bustling place with all you can crabs for a set price. How wonderful! Hadn't seen crabs this cheap in decades. My Jazz Fest friends from Vancouver Brent Furdyk and Marylou Coyle joined us. Del sat next to Marylou and made a new good friend. I got to talk to Brent and to Sandra Callender (she and John were there also). Charlie's friend was Sarah, a feisty gal who grew up harvesting crabs, and jumped right in to opening them like an old pro. I must have eaten over 2 dozen crabs. When it's all you can eat, no need to clean every morsel from the shell and claws. I only opened the pincer end of the claws and discarded the other end of the claws.

I didn't feel bad if one or two crabs were light (newly moved into larger shells) because I wasn't paying by the crab and could get more. Had 3 or 4 packed female crabs and the rest were reasonable sized easy to open and peel crabs. There was music and not so loud that we couldn't hold conversations. Reminded me of crabs in a bayouside bar in Houma back in the 1950s with Hank Williams singing "Hey, Good Lookin" on the juke box, only this time it was locals singing songs on a Karaoke machine.


Famous last words: "All you have to do is let us use your house; we'll do everything else!" With those words, I agreed to have the Gala Fund-Raiser in our home. Suddenly we had landscapers, electricians, and chandelier cleaners crawling all over our home and grounds for six weeks. Thousands of blooming plants had to be chosen, bought, and planted around the edge of our estate. Then new outdoor lights and some indoor lights had to be installed. Bulbs on strings needed to hung on both pergolas for the evening affair. Our big foyer chandelier needed a specialized chandelier cleaner to make it sparkle all over. She also brightened the two outdoor Bevolo lamps on either side of the front door. Weeks of work planning, arranging, preparing, and setting up were required.

The day of the Patron party finally came. It was tonight. We had been feeling for a week like we were living in a Bed&Breakfast. Everything was moved to a new location. It was an adventure just eating breakfast and lunch, working in our offices, etc. Around 11 AM on the fateful day, Del made a great suggestion, "Let's go to Waffle House!" We aimed for the one on Manhattan Boulevard, but a State Trooper had pulled someone over, and we drove past the trooper, missing the Waffle House! So we went on to the new one, open since January, on West Bank Expressway just past Stumpf Boulevard. New location and we were the only white people in it, customers or service staff, till 3 rednecks walked in. Good service, good food, and we didn't have to clean anything up afterwards. Del exclaimed as we ate in Waffle House, "It's like we're on vacation!" And it was.

Came back home, did a few last minute things for the party and we got dressed early in our Gala Best and simply waited. I began reading my new book of Steiner lectures and a new box of 3 books arrived in the mail from SteinerBooks. I added these newly published books to my Library Database, and created scaffolding for the eventual on-line reviews. But mostly it seemed that Del and I were sitting around just "Waiting for Godot", till finally about 5 PM things started popping with Christine and Michelle coming to set up the bar, and other gals delivering goodies to eat. The variety of food was enormous: BBQ ribs, salmon in edible shells (my favorite), a mashed potato bar, and lots of desserts, cookies, salads, and drinks of all kinds. Piano Man Armand got here about 6 and got his equipment set up.

Folks began flooding in about 7 pm and enjoying themselves. About 8 or so, it got dark and the bugs began flying round the lights, so Armand and others moved back into the house and we turned the lights off outside. About a half hour later, the bugs were gone and everyone moved back outside, but Armand kept playing in front of the Screening Room. As a public service, he would call the score of the Pelicans game as they whipped the so-called mighty Warriors like a red-headed stepson. Led by 20 points and kept scoring till the end. Meanwhile I had the LSU baseball game streaming on another TV screen, and they led Ark 4-1 most of game, but the reliever gave up the winning run to Ark and LSU lost 5-4 as I found out the next morning.

Everyone crowded the West Portico again and enjoyed the cool breezes. We had 9 people sitting on the Southwest Pergola for about an hour, the most people ever in that great sitting area. People loved the area. Everyone had a great time and extolled the beauty of our house and grounds. Made all of our hard work and expense worth the work and effort we expended. I met a new friend named Steven Kornich, who was interested in my five monitors, said he thought I was a Day Trader. I showed him my DIGESTWORLD Issues and he asked to be signed up there as a Good Reader.

The next day was Kentucky Derby Day at Timberlane Country Club and for this one we only had to show up, bet on the races, and have a good time. Lucky for us, we could leave early and recover from the extended Patron Party preparations.


After our good friend Guntis Melbardis died, Anne Kotch had moved away and we hadn't seen her in years. But she came back in town and had a good friend of Guntis's with her, Jack Wolbrink. Guntis and Jack went back to his days in college in Michigan and it was great to meet an old friend of my good buddy, Gus, as we called him. With Anne, Jack, Candice Reed in tow Del and I went to Zea's for dinner, and it felt like old times around Anne and Gus's table for Thanksgiving in Algiers Point again.


Del was invited to join her daughter Kim in Lafayette for dinner and a movie.

Then the next day they went to lunch with Laurel Joseph, her mother Cathy, and her Aunt Karen and after that they went to a cookie decorating class together. It was a way of likely potential future family members getting to know each other. Laurel was in PT school in New Orleans for a while and lived close to the streets bearing her first and last name, Laurel and Joseph, so she had Weslee Gralapp, her boy friend, take a photo of her at the intersection of her name streets Uptown.


A few days later, my daughter Yvette came to stay with us while she and a co-worker worked on a project at Monsanto Chemical in Luling nearby.

She and Renu Hall were consultants helping to collect data as part of a planned merger with the German company, Bayer. We had dinner with them at DiMartino's Deli the first night, went to Houston's Restaurant downtown the next night, and fixed dinner for them in our home the last night they were here. My other daughter Maureen came over after dinner. We got to see her new car and hear about her plans for the high school she is currently running as principal. She gave Del a beautiful pillow she had designed and crocheted a cover for, and a couple of dozen quail eggs fresh from her small quail farm


On our second meeting with the Croquet Club, we got there in time so that I could play a game of croquet.
First time playing the game in about seventy years, I was a bit rusty. Like what are the rules exactly? Easy enough: Hit ball through hoop or hit other ball and get a free shot. Get all the way through first and win Golden Mallet Award, second through wins Silver Mallet. Persons getting too serious are not invited back to next meeting of the Club. When any rare dispute occurs, the Governor's decision is final. Costume of the day is seersucker or white outfits with suitable hats. Smiles are optional and frequent. Songs may break out at any moment and are timed to blend in with the good eating and drinking enjoyed by all.


May remained dry after a few early showers. It was cool with night temperatures falling into low to mid 70s, but by the second half of the month reached into the 80s with no clouds to break the Sun's rays. Got photos from Barrett in Edmonton showing the difference a few weeks can make: he went from six inches of snow to flowing plants! We got desperate for rain and had the sprinklers working all day and that afternoon, as if on cue, we soon had our first shower in a couple of weeks. Now, we seem headed into our normal Summer weather forecast: "Partly Cloudy with scattered afternoon thunderstorms" which will cause the retirement of our sprinklers for the rest of the year.

From me and Del, till we meet again when July begins rolls in with Crepe Myrtle trees and Summer weather, 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:



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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:

This is generally true: inner qualities grow out of the past, but beauty is created by the present.
Rudolf Steiner (c. 1922, page 139 of "From Crystals to Crocodiles", Austrian Philosopher)

All knowledge of what is visible must plunge again and again into the invisible in order to evolve.
Rudolf Steiner (c. 1909, page 49 of "An Outline of Occult Science", Austrian Philosopher)

The archetype of music is in the spiritual, whereas the archetypes for the other arts lie in the physical world itself.
Rudolf Steiner (February 27, 1861- March 30,1925 Austrian Philosopher)

When we try to impose an idea upon another person, we are trying to implant our own concept into another person; this concept we have implanted into another person is the blunted weapon that Cain plunged into Abel.
Rudolf Steiner in a lecture on Cain and Abel, March 27, 1913. (Austrian Philosopher)

Feelings live longer than ideas.
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) Austrian Philosopher

Everything that man creates he must create from out of the spirit.
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) Austrian Philosopher

Disease in many cases is the only means whereby the good powers can save man from the clutches of Ahriman.
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) Austrian Philosopher, spoken Nov. 16, 1922 in London.

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


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

    Movies we watched this past month:

    Notes about our movies: Many of the movies we watch are foreign movies with subtitles. After years of watching movies in foreign languages, Arabic, French, Swedish, German, British English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and many other languages, sometimes two or three languages in the same movie, the subtitles have disappeared for us. If the movie is dubbed in English we go for the subtitles instead because we enjoy the live action and sounds of the real voices so much more than the dubbed. If you wonder where we get all these foreign movies from, the answer is simple: NetFlix. For a fixed price a month they mail us DVD movies from our on-line Queue, we watch them, pop them into a pre-paid mailer, and the postman effectively replaces all our gas-consuming and time-consuming trips to Blockbuster. To sign up for NetFlix, simply go to and start adding all your requests for movies into your personal queue. If you've seen some in these movie blurbs, simply copy the name, click open your queue, and paste the name in the Search box on NetFlix and Select Add. Buy some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. You get to see your movies as the Director created them — NOT-edited for TV, in full-screen width, your own choice of subtitles, no commercial interruptions, and all of the original dialogue. Microwave some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. With a plasma TV and Blu-Ray DVD's and a great sound system, you have theater experience without someone next to you talking on a cell phone during a movie plus a Pause button for rest room trips.
    P. S. Ask for Blu-Ray movies from NetFlix, and if it says DVD in your Queue, click and select Blu-Ray version.
    Hits (Watch as soon as you can. A Don't Miss Hit is one you might otherwise have missed along the way.):
    "Winchester" (2018) Helen Mirren as the eccentric heiress to Winchester fortune which included 51% of the extant corporation and the Board hires doctor to declare her incompetent. Amazing true story full of popup spooks and gunfire. No heads roll, few new injuries.
    "Gifted" (2017)
    I think, therefore I am free, and I need to be home again. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! !
    "Wonder Woman" (2017)
    gives detailed back story of Diane and how she came to the aid of America during the Great War. What made this movie great was the dialogue between Gal Godat and Chris Pine. Dialogue trumps CGI any day!
    "Darkest Hour" (2017)
    Masterful job by Gary Oldman portraying a masterful job by Winston Churchill fighting off the "ewe in ewe's clothing" HolyFox who wanted Britain to roll over and play dead for Hilter.
    "Home Again" (2017)
    Wonderful RomCom with Reese Witherspoon, her family separated, then home again. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! "Home Again" (2017) Wonderful RomCom with Reese Witherspoon, her family separated, then home again. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! !
    "Little Women" (2018)
    faithful PBS rendition of famous novel by Louisa May Alcott, the lives, loves, trials, tribulations, and challenges of four "little women" as they grew to womanhood in the mid-nineteenth century. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! !
    "The Odyssey" (2016)
    Biodrama of Jean-Jacques Cousteau and his family through the decades as he evolves into an environmentalist and saves Antarctica. First time watching Audrey Tatou portray an older woman instead of an ingenue. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! !
    "Geostorm" (2017)
    Westworld, where nothing can go wrong meet Geostorm, but can a reboot fix the ills of humankind? Kinda. Perhaps a Butler can help. 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.

    "Dunkirk" (2017) would have been better left in the film canister undeveloped: it was so dark few would have noticed the difference and there was no story arc to be developed anyhow. Yeah, a Spitfire which never ran out of gas or bullets, how believable was that? Not worth the effort of stomping, let it bore everyone else too.
    "The Strange Case of Angelica" (2010)
    which came with no subtitles or English dialogue warranting A DVD STOMPER! ! ! !
    "Apollo 8: Leaving the Cradle" (2003)
    Old B&W footage and dialogue seems random.
    "American Experience: Tesla" (2016)
    This PBS documentary focuses on Tesla’s eccentricities and ignores his greatest inventions, four of which he demonstrated publicly and they have never been replicated. Lacking respect for primary property we lost a great Genius after stealing most of his work and hiding the rest in the caverns of the Smithsonian. His work touches every human life on the globe every minute and he is mostly forgotten. This movie is a disservice to his legacy.
    "Florida Project" (2017)
    if anything good happened during last half of movie, we happily missed it, the first half was so bad: filled with stream of 10-year-old rug-rat consciousness.

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

    "I, Tonya" (2017) She, Tonya, let her superb ice skating skills get over-shadowed by her trailer-trash theatrics and bad choice of husband and friends. She did one trick no other ice skater ever managed: got banned for life from ice skating competition!
    "Commuter" (2018)
    Liam Neeson tasked by an unknown person to search a busy commuter train for an unknown person, leaving all the audience in a fog as to what the hell is going on even as the credits are rolling. Talk about a director outsmarting the audience.

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    4. STORY:
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    Le Boudreaux Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission

    Boudreaux had come to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to work on renovating the Zulu Carnival Krewe's headquarters. To show its appreciation, the Krewe invited him to ride in the Zulu parade a few years later.

    Broussard came along with Boudreaux to New Orleans for the Zulu parade because he wanted to get one those Black and Gold decorated Coconuts they handed out to parade goers on Mardi Gras. The parade went down St. Charles to Canal Street and then into the Treme area where they disbanded. Broussard was there waiting to get his promised coconut.

    As Boudreaux got down from the float, he handed the coconut to Broussard and asked him to take his photo by his float. Boudreaux saw two Zulu gals, Enimal and Femalle, who had helped apply his make-up and put on his costume for the parade, so invited them to get into the photograph with him.

    While Broussard was fiddling with Boudreaux's old 35mm SLR camera, Enimal looked over at Femalle and asked, "Wat dat he doin'?

    Femalle said, "He gwan focus."

    Enimal asked, "Bo' fus?"

    Later as the Cajuns drove down Bayou Lafourche, Boudreaux told Broussard, "Dat was fun, but let me tole you sumpin': Ah'm glad to be back home where folk jes' speak no'mal lak me."

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    5.Household Hint for June, 2018 from Bobby Jeaux:

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    On Dec. 6, 2017, I discovered that rolling a hard-boiled egg on marble surface allows the top and bottom of the shell to separate immediately! Took some practice to make it happen almost every time.

    One Hard Boiled Egg


    Take a hard-boiled egg, tap each corner to crack the tip of the top and botton of the egg. Then roll the egg with the palm of your hand on a hard surface, marble of metal does best. (May also work on any hard kitchetop surface.)

    Simply remove the egg shell from the egg body in whatever way is easiest. This takes a bit of practice, and may not work the first several times you try. It amazed me that it worked at all and is fun when it comes out quickly and easy as shown in the photo.

    Other options
    This photo shows only one crack through the middle of the egg, but often multiple cracks appear and then the shell is easily removed. The tapping of each end helps bleed away any vacuum holding the shell to the egg (which was not necessary with this egg).

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    6. POETRY by BOBBY from What is Man?:
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    One, Two: It can be said that we humans are born out of a womb that is supersensible to us at the time of our birth, as it also can be said that, on a fractal or holographic level, we humans in the beginning were born of the supersensible world. As I pondered these thoughts while writing my review of the book What is Man? by Edward Reaugh Smith, I was inspired to create the following poem entitled One, Two:


    One, Two

    Two is born out of one.

    We are born out of a womb
    that is supersensible to us
    Because we are at one with the womb
    until we are borne out of the womb.

    Two is born out of one.

    Allways the sensible is born
    out of the supersensible.

    Two is born out of one.

    To understand our origins
    we must look to the womb
    out of which we were borne.

    Two is born out of one.

    Allways the sensible is born
    out of the supersensible.

    Two is born out of one.

    Our mineral bones were born out of spiritual bones
    that are supersensible to us
    because spiritual bones dissolve into the supersensible world
    while mineral bones dissolve into the sensible world.

    Two is born out of one.

    Allways the sensible is born
    out of the supersensible.

    Two is born out of one.

    To understand our sensible bones
    we must look to our supersensible bones
    the womb of our sensible bones.

    To study only the product of the womb and not the womb
    is to find a product without a sensible beginning.
    Products without sensible beginnings
    have supersensible ones.

    Two is born out of one.


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    7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for June:
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    For our Good Readers, here are the reviews and articles featured this month. The first review was published as a blurb in DW#086. The second review appeared as a short blurb in DW#36. The third review is a new one about the amazing Apollo 8 flight and will be a new additions to the top of A Reader's Journal, Volume 2, Chronological List.

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

    1.) ARJ2: Into the Silent Land — Travels in Neuropsychology by Paul Broks

    "Why does raw meat give me a hard-on?" is an amazing first sentence for a book, right up there with "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times" by Charles Dickens. And "Into the Silent Land" is about the worst times which humans have to go through - journeys into neuropathology, when suddenly parts of their body act in strange ways or just go silent on them. Michael, who spoke that first sentence above had a dent in his head about three inches up from his right eyebrow, indicating some injury involving damage to his brain.

    The next day the author Paul Broks is visiting another patient with a dent over his left eyebrow, Stuart, which he received when his head hit a rock in the grass after a fall from a tree.

    [page 4] We sit in his stuffy front room. An ornate black clock (his early-retirement present) clings to the wall like a huge fly. As I struggle with milky tea, Stuart locks me in his gaze. He is about to say something, but doesn't. It is a long pause. Eventually he speaks.
          "I don't love you any more, do I, love?"
          The words are intended for his wife, Helen, who sits beside him. "No, love," she replies. "So you say."

    Mirror image sides of the brain are damaged in Michael and Stuart and the effects on their life are completely different. In the next patient we find an autistic man, Martin, who acted similar to the one played by Dustin Hoffman in the movie "Rain Man". When Broks's research assistant arrives, she asks Martin a simple question, but the answer is one that Broks has trouble dealing with.

    [page 8] "And what have you been up to?" she asks him.
          "I've been masturbating quite a lot," he replies, as if through a tiny loudspeaker. I press mouth against knuckles to block the laughter. It's no good. I snort and cough.

    Broks talks about sleepwalking and gives an example from his own life when he was young as an example of acting without awareness.

    [page 16] I was in the Combined Cadet Force in my teens. One night, at camp, I somnambulated through the barracks and mistook the NCO's quarters for the lavatory. I shuffled in and urinated over one of the officers as he slept. Unfortunately, the following morning I was fully conscious.
          How convenient it would be sometimes to turn off consciousness and carry on with ordinary behavior. Imagine flicking a switch on difficult days and flipping into oblivion, knowing that your body will continue going about its normal business. No one would notice. A pre-programmed wake-up call would return you to sentience in time for a film or the football. Controlled automatism might be preferable to periods of physical or emotional discomfort, or sheer boredom. If everyone had a consciousness switch then the world, most of the time, would be teeming with zombies. Perhaps it already is.

    These few paragraphs gives us a good idea of the humor which Paul Broks mixes in with the insights in the course of this book. If one looks at the people who are taking various conscious-altering prescription drugs for depression, bi-polarity disorder, and various other medical conditions, at young people imbibing various legal and not-so-legal combinations of drugs and pills, helping them to keep the real world at arm's length while they enjoy some store- or street-bought ecstasy, at the prevalence of Lite Beers designed to allow all night beer drinking for getting drunk without getting fat, one might agree that the world is teeming with half-conscious zombies already.

    Let us pause to consider that Paul Broks is a materialist scientist, who recognizes the effects of spiritual phenomenon, but lacks the tools to understand them within his sensory-based instruments. When he looks into a person's face, he see an "I" - that outward effect of the spirit within, that glimmer of recognition which survives throughout a person's lifetime when all the other features have changed. That look in the eye is the person's spirit, the "I", looking out and into us, into our eyes, where our spirits meet, as the people of India yet greet each other today, Namaste, which means "I see the place in you where, when I am in that place in me, we are in the same place."

    But, being a neuropsychologist, Broks tries to locate the "I" within the skull of the brain and cannot. His described attempt to do so reminds me of my friend's looking inside a PC case and asking me to show him the software that makes the computer operate. I cannot show him the software in the computer: it does not exist in visible things, but rather in the status of minute positions of electromagnetic fields and voltage levels lying unseen within the visible hardware. Yes, I can show him the box the software came in, the memory chips and hard drives which the software was loaded in, but I cannot show him the software while it is in the computer and operating. It's just there. Why we can believe that the software is there and we only see its effects, but that the spirit is not there even though we see its effects has to do with our long evolution of conscious from the fifteenth century until now.

    Broks might say, "Oh, yeah, that's true about software. But one could detect the status of those bits and voltage levels while the software is operating." True, but the computer is man-made and we have developed man-made instruments to allow us to do this. Human beings are not man-made, and the only instruments we have are built into us. One of those instruments is the "I-detector" which allows us to recognize a person we knew from 50 years earlier by looking into their eyes, and it is really their "I" we recognize, not the shape or color of their eyes. Give a PC to any animal and it will never discover the presence of the software within. Its tools are sub-human and it is unable to comprehend what software is, much less locate it.

    We humans are in that position of being unable to comprehend our own "I" using our human tools and are the same position vis-à-vis comprehending our brain as animals are of comprehending computers. Broks illustrates his belief about the non-existence of spirit dramatically in this next passage, going so far as to say, "There's no one there." Imagine a roomful of trained chimps looking into the inside of a running PC and signing to their trainers, "There's no software there." We would be chumps to believe chimps.

    [page 17] The illusion is irresistible. Behind every face there is a self. We see the signal of consciousness in a gleaming eye and imagine some ethereal space beneath the vault of the skull, lit by shifting patterns of feeling and thought, charged with intention. An essence. But what do we find in that space behind the face, when we look?
          The brute fact is there is nothing but material substance: flesh and blood and bone and brain. I know, I've seen. You look down into an open head, watching the brain pulsate, watching the surgeon tug and probe, and you understand with absolute conviction that there is nothing more to it. There's no one there.

    It is interesting to note that Broks can "imagine some ethereal space . . . charged with intention", but imagination is not enough, he must look at only dead tissue for what can only exist in live tissue and which exists in an ethereal space indeed, one that is by definition not amenable to observation with one's physical eyes and sensory-based instruments.

    To his credit, Broks gives us data, even data which he is unable to explain, data which point to the presence of that essence which he claims does not exist(1). Here is an example is of a 17-yr-old boy who fell three floors and survived, but now his face is in constant contortions of anger and dread, punctuated by howls and volleys of obscenities. Nothing the hospital staff do for him seems to help. But another essence shows up and notice what happens.

    [page 19] Then, one day, I happened to be around when the boy's mother came to visit. I watched as she cradled his broken head in her arms. For the time that she was with him, but not much longer, an extraordinary transformation came over this face. It became still. The rage subsided . He seemed to regain his humanity. Here were two selves, not just a mother and a broken shell of a son. The whole was greater than the sum of its parts.

    When his own son claims one night to have "swallowed dark", Broks doesn't correct him, but he holds onto the memory of that short episode of a winter's evening.

    [page 19, 20] I have a memory of being with my son when he wa four years old. It is deep winter. We have to go out, so we leave the warmth of our house for the freezing night air. There are few lights in the village and the sky is full of stars. We are hardly beyond the front door when he starts coughing.
          "Are you all right?"
          "It's okay," he says, "I think I just swallowed some dark."
          He has the notion that darkness is a substance. It will make you choke if you swallow too much in one go.

    Unable to access the essence of the brain, the "I" directly, neurosurgeons have to remove or disconnect parts of the brain that they deem to be the cause of some problem. When they did that to a patient known as H.M., he ended up cured of his previous intractable problem, but was left with a disastrous form of amnesia in which he was unable to retain a memory for more than a couple of minutes. Every time he met you, you had to re-introduce yourself to him. Surgeons learned from HM that they should restrict their exploratory operations to one side of the brain. If H.M. had regular memory on just one side of the brain, he would be unaware of having any amnesia in the other side. [Two books with more information about H. M. are Memory's Ghost and Strange, Familiar and Forgotten. ]

    Broks is called into help before patient Naomi is operated on.

    [page 29] Since [H.M.], surgeons have restricted their interventions to just one side of the brain, but even so there have been similar disasters where it was not established prior to surgery that the other side was in good working order. That's the reason we're here today, I remind myself, going through these arcane rituals. We want Naomi to continue in mind as well as body.

    In a PC, the electrical pulses are scattered throughout the main board's CPU, memory chips, and peripheral interface chips and the various hard drives and peripherals. There is no special point of convergence. Sure, the pieces of software stream through the CPU as each instruction is executed, but they diverge as quickly as they converge and never stay in one place for more than nanoseconds. Where does the software reside then? one might ask. And lacking an answer, one might say that the software is a fiction, a mere story made up by someone. In a real sense this is true. It is the essence of programming to make up a story which, when told, performs a useful function in a computer. A monkey could not understand this, could not see this when looking into a PC, but Broks takes his inability to understand the equivalent situation in the milieu of the brain as proof that our brain has no software, that the existence of the essence of the brain is but a fiction, "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing", to quote the Bard.

    [page 41] From a neuroscience perspective we are all divided and discontinuous. The mental processes underlying our sense of self - feelings, thoughts, memories - are scattered through different zones of the brain. There is no special point of convergence. No cockpit of the soul. No soul-pilot. They come together in a work of fiction. A human being is a story-telling machine. The self is a story.

    Mary had an aneurysm which poured blood into her frontal lobes. After the surgery to stop the bleeding, she talked incessantly about crazy things. She didn't know who she was. Only when her husband came to visit did she calm down and get herself together. Broks uses Mary's case as an example to justify the neurological belief that humans "assemble a self" as a "means of negotiating the social environment." Again we find comforting connections between Mary and her husband as we did earlier with the young man and his mother.

    [page 50] When Mary's husband came to visit he had a calming effect. They seemed to function as a unit. Mary's behavior meshed into the networks of partnership and so became more coherent and consistent. In any relationship each person is partly defined in terms of the other. So, for Mary, her husband's presence was a guide to self-definition. He provided a template. He drew from her a behavioral repertoire and a mental structure to complement his own, and the center of gravity lay between them. There was stability, a kind of equilibrium. This effect was not of his deliberate doing. That's just the way it happens.
          If Mary's heart or lungs or liver had been the primary site of pathology, rather than her brain, it would be possible to describe the disease in terms of its effects on that particular organ system in relation to the rest of her body. The function of the heart is to pump blood, the liver secretes bile, the lungs enable the supply of oxygen to the blood, and in each case the frame of reference for a description of function is the individual organism. In defining brain function we have to go beyond this, extending the frame of reference beyond the systems of the body.

    In a science which includes only materialistic hypotheses, one would certainly define brain function as extending the beyond the body to other humans, but in a science which includes soul and spirit within its domain in addition to the material, one would describe this comforting not as a brain function, but as a soul function. To a full science, one which includes body, soul, and spirit, there is much more to know about how our mind works than a mapping of the brain. For matters of imagination, inspiration, and intuition, the brain is the not the originator of these ineffable thoughts, but merely the receiver of them, converting them later into thoughts which can be expressed to others. Scientists like Broks, on the other hand, exclude such possibilities, not by proof, but by their strongly held beliefs or what in religion is called simply dogma - if you will allow me - that word fits aptly in this matter.

    The chapter ends with Broks' example of what I would call the Materialist's Litany.

    [pag 56, 57] Like the surface of the Earth, the brain is pretty much mapped. There are no secret compartments inaccessible to the surgeon's knife or the magnetic gaze of the brain scanner; no mysterious humors pervading the cerebral ventricles, no soul in the pineal gland, no vital sparks, no spirits in the tangled wood. There is nothing you can't touch or squeeze, weigh and measure, as we might the physical properties of other objects. So you will search in vain for any semblance of self within the structures of the brain: there is no ghost in the machine. It is time to grow up and accept this fact. But, somehow, we are the product of the operation of this machinery and its progress through the physical and social World.
          Minds emerge from process and interaction, not substance. In a sense, we inhabit the spaces between things. we subsist in emptiness. A beautiful, liberating, thought and nothing to be afraid of. The notion of a tethered soul is crude by comparison. Shine a light, it's obvious.

    To identify humans as mere machines and a product of the machinery of bodies, Broks uses the English verb "to be" several times in the above passage, apparently oblivious to the harmful effects of such usage as described by Korzybski. He warned specifically against such usage in any field of science, comparing it to donning semantic blinders. A scientist with semantic blinders on cannot catch a glimpse of the peripheral phenomena of soul and spirit. Shine a light and such a scientist will miss the obvious.

    To Broks, one's marvelous human brain never receives inspirations or intuitions, but instead it is meat and one's self is a fiction.

    [page 63] When we see the brain, we realize that we are, on one level, no more than meat; on another, no more than fiction.

    Broks finishes the chapter by saying, "Despite myself, I fear for my soul." (Page 64) I suspect that "myself" refers to his "Doctor Self" which had to be "carefully taught" to think of humans as meat and the mind as a fiction, which leaves the possibility of a soul out of the question, in fact, non-existence. The fact that he would write, "I fear for my soul" seems to indicate that his Soul has some existence apart from the Doctor self.

    Let us take a break here to get a handle on how the brain is organized. The approach is simple: make each hand into a fist and each will serve as a model for one side of the brain, then put them index fingers together and you will know that the brain from the midline outward comprises the occipital, parietal, temporal, and frontal-lobe regions, mapped directly upon your index through little fingers.

    I suppose the title "Brains for Dummies" sounded too facetious to Bruno Aldaris, who chose the title, "Neuroscience for the Brainless", which is rather humorous in itself. With a simple visual aid of the fist, Bruno gives us a simple mnemonic for remembering and mapping the main areas of the brain.

    [page 76] Make a fist with fingers wrapped around thumb. This is the brain. Palm upwards, the outer ridge of forearm becomes the spinal cord. It turns into the brainstem at the wrist. Now look at the fleshy part leading up to the base joint of the thumb. This is the hindbrain. The protruding base joint itself represents the cerebellum, which is the most prominent feature of the hindbrain. In reality it looks like a kind vegetable outgrowth at the brain's rear underside.
          Moving upwards and into the tunnel of fingers, the shaft of the lower thumb bone represents the top end of the brainstem. This is known as the midbrain. Finally, there is the forebrain - the upper thumb bone, hidden under the fingers, and the fingers themselves. Each finger stands for a division of the topmost part of the brain - the cerebral cortex. Starting with the index finger, we have the occipital lobe, the parietal, the temporal and the frontal lobe. The upper thumb bone represents various forebrain structure that lie beneath the cerebral cortex (the amygdala and hippocampus, for example).
          There you have it. The gross anatomy of the brain - or half of it. The brain is a double organ with two mirror image sides. Put both fists together to get the full picture.

    Several times in this book either Broks or someone else talks about how heavy the human brain seemed to them. Each time the brain was a preserved one they were handling. What Brok never mentions is that the human brain floats inside the skull and its effective weight is only a few ounces in its live condition, which is how we feel our own brain. We feel it to be a couple of ounces.

    Inside a room full of dead, pickled brains, Broks imagines the brain to be a creator of the infinite spaces around us: the sky, clouds, people, pleasure, pain, in other words, the entire universe. But our brains are not creators of these things, but merely a temporary home, a hut where travelers of the spiritual world reside for a time. Plus, our brains are actually pink and pulsating with blood when they are inside living human beings.

    [page 90, 91] "I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space," said Hamlet, "were it not that I have bad dreams." The infinite space was within the shell of his head. And so, inescapably, were the dreams. But looking around now at these dead still, grey-beige objects it is hard to see them as erstwhile progenitors of infinite space. They each represent the opposite: a singularity. A point at which the universe has collapsed. I love the stillness of this place and the hum of the void - the sense of worlds dissolved and dissipated passions. It fills me with a sense of being. I am not yet pickled meat.

    Add the pickled meat comment to Broks' litany of the limitations of human beings. He admits about human self-awareness, "I have no idea how the trick is achieved." He is in the one occupation where his knowledge of the material he works with falls far short of explaining the very essence of its functioning as a receiver of spiritual inputs. Unable to accept that his very way of examining the functions makes it impossible for him to explain it, he is left clueless.

    [page 92] Wouldn't it be absurd for an airplane pilot to deny knowledge of the principles of flight, or for a physician to claim ignorance of the basics of human physiology and anatomy? Yet I, a neuropsychologist, can give no satisfactory account of how the brain generates conscious awareness. Worse still, I find myself edging towards a doubt that it means anything at all to say that the brain generates consciousness.

    Perhaps the brain doesn't generate consciousness. Perhaps consciousness arrives as a sojourning soul and spirit to take its place inside the soggy flesh of our brain and departs again later, allowing the no-longer necessary flesh to decompose. But that is not permitted within the materialistic dogma of Broks' field of science. Perhaps that is the fundamental misunderstanding that he is leaning towards correcting in his thinking. For now, he seems to have the form of philosophical disease which he says Wittgenstein talks about below, but Broks does not apparently recognize the symptoms within himself.

    [page 96] For Wittgenstein, philosophy was not so much about finding solutions to puzzles as about correcting fundamental misunderstandings. The philosopher's treatment of a question, he said, is like the treatment of an illness. Our minds are knotted with misconceptions about the world and the job of philosophy is to unravel the knot, or, as he said, to show the fly the way out of the fly-bottle.

    Paul Broks is interested in the boundaries of the body, boundaries which he has difficulty defining. He asks:

    [page 108] How much a part of us are our hair or our fingernails? What about bodily fluids? What about food? I pick a strawberry from a basket, I swallow it and it becomes incorporated into my body. At what point does it become part of my body and so a part of me?

    The answer to his last question is one that Rudolf Steiner gives a clear answer to(2). In the process of digestion, the live food we take into our mouth must be dead before it becomes part of us. If any shred of live food were to get into our blood, we would die. The entire digestive process involves the progressive killing of the food until the not-us of the food becomes the us of our blood stream and an active agent of life-giving nutrition. Below is my summary of the digestive processes outlined by Rudolf Steiner in his book, Harmony of the Creative Word [from my review]:

    Food is dissolved in the mouth by saliva, the pepsin in the stomach, secretions from the pancreas and then from the gall bladder, etc. Each of these processes must be linked in a chain because when the next process in the chain takes over it and checks the previous metabolic process, which if unchecked would make one ill.

    A spiritual scientist like Steiner can perceive when food in one's body is no longer live and when it is dead - incorporated into one's body. Materialists, concerned primarily with chemicals, have no such tools to perceive at which point in digestion food changes from live to dead when it is passing through the human body.

    In the chapter on Einstein's brain, we learn that the only difference found in his brain post-mortem was an unusually high ratio of glial cells to neurons in the inferior parietal lobe, an area known to be associated with mathematical and spatial reasoning. Neurons are the basic functional units of the brain and the glia provide the metabolic and structural support required for them to do their work." (Page 119) Clearly it was not a higher number of neurons in his brain which led to Einstein's imaginative thinking and spectacular reasoning capability, by which he discovered the photoelectric effect, postulated his theory of relativity, discovered Brownian Motion, and tied together mass and energy in a grand simple equation, among his many innovations in physics.

    Broks equates mind and brain the way a computer engineer might think of hardware and software, you can't have software without hardware and you can't have mind without a brain. But you can have the hardware without software in it, and it becomes useless; so, too, you can have a brain on oxymoronic life-support without any life (soul and spirit are gone) - the brain is useless and quickly decays to nothing when life support is removed. Does the brain support the soul and spirit? If so, why does the brain collapse after the soul and spirit leaves the brain? Certainly, if you scoop away the brain, the soul and spirit will also leave, having been deprived of their residence. Clearly brain and mind are not equal as the mind no longer functions when the soul and spirit are gone. No amount of life-support can encourage the mind to return once it has departed. Yet, Broks must demand that brain and mind are equal as a matter of dogma. (Page 123)

    Broks is writing using his PC.

    [page 126] Both hardware and software are irrelevant to the content of the text. I happen to be writing about minds, brains, and selves, but it could be anything - a guide to sea fishing, a suicide note or a Japanese haiku. Think of the brain as the hardware, the mind as software, and the self as the text on the screen.
          In fact, why not a haiku?

          A true enigma:
          The self looks inward and finds
          Nothing but neurons.

    Why don't I write a haiku which counters his nothing-but-neurons-dogma haiku? - A haiku which, instead of Broks' blatant statement about an empty self, asks an intelligent and non-dogmatic question. - An unanswered question for materialist scientists to hold onto. My haiku is titled "Where's the Programmer?":

          If the brain is hardware and
          The mind is software
          Where's the programmer?

    Broks tries to play on both sides of the fence, but his medical training prevents him from doing so and restricts him to the materialist side. He reminds me of a kid, obeying his mother's commands to stay in his own yard, while spying kids playing in other yards through his chain link fence, yearning to go play with them. Unfortunately his mother will not relent and he must satisfy his yearnings in his dreams and vivid imaginations, many of which he shares with us in this fine book.

    In his "Right This Way, Smiles a Mermaid" chapter, he meets Collicula Brodman, President of the Academy, who pops into his midtown Manhattan apartment during thunderstorm blackout. She says, "Come with me." and leads him through a door he hadn't "noticed before." They have a dialogue about his yearnings with respect to the other side of the materialistic fence, which can be sampled in this next passage. Broks is in front of the Investigatory Panel and is questioned about his beliefs:

    [page 142, 143] "Are these your beliefs?" Number 1 asked.
          Come to think of it, I really wasn't sure, and the words spilled out in the thinking: "I'm really not sure."
          "So, what do you believe?" Collicula demanded for a second time.
          "I am a materialist," I said. "I believe that the world and everything in it is made of physical stuff and, whatever the origins of the universe, we are a natural product of its material evolution: sentience, intellect, emotions, moral codes and all. All behavior and experience, all knowledge and understanding of the world and ourselves, depend upon the workings of a physical device: the brain."

    Later, playing in that longed-for yard across the fence, Broks sees a vision of an apple tree which is not really there, but seems to be there. He calls it a ghost tree and dismisses it as an hallucination, an artifact of the dim light. Someone told me once if one person says you're a horse's ass, you can ignore it, but if another person tells you the same thing, perhaps you should buy a saddle. The ghost tree will re-appear later as a vivid Christmas tree, sparkling of tinsel, smelling of the forest, yielding pine needles to the touch.

    [page 151] It is getting dark now. The clouds have thinned and a crescent moon is visible. At the bottom of the garden there is an apple tree. It looks tired and forlorn. This, instantly, is how I see it. It is an old tree, bearing fruit for the last time. I see not just the fading shape of the trunk, the twisting branches, the leaves darkening in the gloom and the pale, half-grown apples; I see the age of the tree and its weariness. I have in mind the sharp taste of the fruit. This is how it appears to me. And how do I know it is bearing fruit for the last time? Because I realize it is not there at all. My brain has conspired with the failing light to conjure a fleeting illusion of the tree from memories of similar grey evenings a year ago, before it was felled by a February gale. It is a ghost tree, rooted only in thought.

    The second ghost tree happened during Broks' first college term when he roomed with a working-class family near Sheffield. He calls them the Fancys, and this family had a ghost visitor who regularly would project her spirit from Scotland to the foot of Mr and Mrs Fancy's bed. (Details on pages 159, 160) So there was already a ghost presence in the Fancy house, but Aunt Judith from Scotland never appeared to Paul Broks. Then the ghost tree came again, only this time it was a fancy tree. Broks is required by his stated belief to slough it off as a dream or hallucination, but you, dear Reader, read his description of what happened and tell me if this sounds like a dream.

    [page 160, 161] Just before I left the Fancys I had an unsettling experience. I woke in the early hours, aware of something glowing faintly in the corner of the room. My heart thumped an offbeat. When I turned to look, it wasn't Aunt Judith I saw but a Christmas tree. I'd got back late, let myself in, helped myself to a snack, then gone straight to bed. I hadn't noticed a tree. How could I not have noticed? I got up for a closer look. I brushed a branch and caught the scent of the pine needles.
          Returning to bed I was soon asleep, but something else disturbed me. Perhaps it was voices in the street. I can't remember. But I do remember getting up to shut the window and noticing that the tree had gone. It appeared from nowhere, then, silently, it disappeared. It was there. I touched it. I could smell it.
          I slept in. Winter sunshine filled the room. The Christmas tree looked splendid, red baubles and silver tinsel splintering the light. So there was a tree. I tried to get up, but found I was paralyzed. I looked at my right arm and willed it to move. I commanded it to move. It stayed put. When I tried to sit up or roll over nothing happened. I panicked. On the inside I was a twisting fury, but the shell of my body remained motionless. I gave up the struggle, overwhelmed by an intuition that if I tried any harder I would break through the shell and float away.
          I closed my eyes. The room was still a block of sunlight when I opened them again, but there was no tree.
          I now recognize this as a lucid dream, an hallucinatory state in the hinterlands of slumber where the mind is alert, but the body remains bound by the paralysis of sleep - the intersection of dream life and reality. Perhaps intra-operative awareness is like this. It's happened several times since, and each time I found myself restrained by the same forceful intuition. Next time I'll grit my teeth and let go.

    My guess is that the shell he would have broken and floated away from was the encrustation of dogma which requires his world to be solely a world of physical material in motion completely devoid of spirit. Perhaps next time he will let go. Or perhaps early in his life he held on so dearly that the next time he lets go will be at his so-called death, when he in born into the very spirit world he did not fully allow himself to believe existed. It will be a very tough time for him as he will be very lonely. This is the path of the materialist.

    Mr Barrington has lost his hair in clumps over the weekend when Broks sees him as a client. Broks looks him over and suggests that Barrington take a walk out in the fresh air. Barrington won't leave and gets more agitated. Broks asks Mrs Barrington to leave.

    [page 198] Clara understands. 'I'll see you later,' she says, and leaves. Mr Barrington gazes out of the window across the suburbs towards the distant hills, his wet, blue eyes unblinking. He isn't admiring the view. He is adrift somewhere in a vast, inner space, the exhausted prey of a relentless emotional predator: guilt. I shake his soggy hand at the end of the session. He is very grateful. I listened. I advised. Outside it has started to rain.
          Clinical supervision. While Clara fills the kettle, I think back to Mr Barrington. I see his arms swing down at his sides, his head roll back. I hear the sustained, oscillating groan like a child exhausted by a bout of crying. Then the confession: a single, weedy act of marital infidelity, a long time ago. His wife never knew. He'd almost forgotten.

    What Barrington tried to hide advertised itself when his hair fell out in clumps. Guilt can indeed be a relentless emotional predator and confession good for the soul.

    I have now finished the text of the book and there is a surprise waiting for me on page 235: the eponymous quotation - the quotation from which the title was taken. It's from a poem by an obscure nineteenth century poet, Christine Rossetti. Here is the stanza as it appears alone on the page with italics added to the title text:

          Remember me when I am gone away,
          Gone far away into the silent land;
          When you can no more hold me by the hand,
          Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
                      Christina Rossetti, 'Remember'

    What took me aback was that I had seen that stanza in some movie recently, probably last night. It was the author I remembered, even though I had never heard of her before, to my knowledge. For some reason, the name stuck with me. I asked my wife and neither of us could pinpoint the movie. We had watched three movies the night before, but which one? I went to Google and did a search to find out more about the author. She was born in 1830, died in 1894, and wrote this poem in 1862 while the Civil War was in full swing. The rest of the poem(3) contained this line which helped recall the movie: "For if the darkness and corruption leave/A vestige of the thoughts that once I had" - it was "Kiss Me Deadly" a Mike Hammer movie in 1955 from a Mickey Spillane novel in 1952. Once Mike had read that line in a book at the victim's apartment, he went directly to the morgue and got the coroner to confess removing a safety deposit box key from the victim's body, her dark corruption, a key to the box containing the whatzit. Imagine, I thought to myself, Mickey Spillane reading Christina Rossetti and incorporating her poem so beautifully into a mystery novel.

    People who suffer neurological disorders often enter a silent land from which they do not return. Broks gave us examples of many different disorders in people for whom it was too late to counsel or pray. He also assembled a book which will leave a vestige of the thoughts he once had when he has gone into that silent land when his brain must decompose because his soul and spirit, no doubt much to his chagrin, has left it. We will remember him and smile.


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

    Footnote 1. See Broks' statement of his beliefs in Page 142, 143 passage.

    Return to text directly before Footnote 1.


    Footnote 2. See Steiner's Harmony of the Creative Word for more details.

    Return to text directly before Footnote 2.


    Footnote 3. The rest of the poem can be read in full here: CLICK HERE!.

    Return to text directly before Footnote 3.


    Read/Print at:


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

    "Wisdom lies solely in truth." Goethe's words, Steiner's motto [page 1]

    When I began studying Carl Gustav Jung'sworks about twenty years ago, I remember one day becoming very excited as I for the first time realized the reality of the psyche. This concept pervaded his work, but it took me years of study before that concept bubbled up from the depths of abstract philosophical, scientific, and religious ideas to a vibrant, living concept. Carl Jung helped build a bridge between material life and spiritual life from the exoteric side with his books and researches. Rudolf Steiner worked on building the bridge from the esoteric side by translating the esoteric into exoteric in a way no one had done before. Here is Steiner's description of why such a bridge is necessary:

    [page 1] To begin with, the connections between material life and spiritual life are little understood because spiritual life is frequently seen today as nothing more than the sum of abstract philosophical, abstract scientific, and abstract religious ideas. From what has been said on other occasions you will have grasped that religious ideas are today often most strongly afflicted by abstraction, by ideas and feelings which can quite well be developed without any direct, real spiritual life. . . . If man's future evolution is to avoid being swept into total degeneracy, a true spiritual culture will have to enter ever more strongly into external life. Very few people realize this today because very few have any feeling for what spiritual life is.

    Everyone today if asked will agree that truth is important and will probably want to know why anyone would bother to ask them if truth is important.

    This book is filled with answers to the question, "Why is truth important?" It was especially important during the period of the Great War [WW I] which had been raging for two years or so when Steiner was asked to make these comments to anthroposophists from many nations in Dornach. It is especially important now as the first war of the 21st Century, the War Against Terrorism is raging at various points around the world as the world's latest version of the late Barbary Pirates are ravaging peaceful countries and killing innocent people, up until now.

    Steiner tells us that "the world is frequently misled by the way in which history is written."

    [page 31] The writing of history is really something very much more profound. Only at the outermost edge of physical existence, in the utmost maya, can it be said: If this or that professor is a competent historian who has mastered the historical method, he will know how to depict the right things historically. This need not be the case at all. Whether a historian knows how to depict the rights things or not depends on whether his karma leads him to the possibility of discovering the right things or not. Everything depends on this.

    Everything depends upon whether the historian's karma leads him to discovering the right things or not! How many PhD's in history are awarded based on whether the candidate for the degree has a karma that will lead to discovering the right things? Not many, so far as I can guess. Let's take an example from current events. Suppose historians set out in the last two decades of the 20th Century to discover why a certain code was chosen for reporting an emergency over the telephone. No amount of research would have led them to more than a trivial answer. But suppose other researchers had been working in New York City on the origin of that code on September 11, 2001. The answer would have been obvious to them in a flash — the code for emergency, 911, which had already for decades been burnt into people's memories was to coincide with the date of the World Trade Center and Pentagon catastrophes in the American date format of 9-11-2001.

    [page 31] For one who is led by his karma to see the right things at the right moment, they are revealed at the point where something significant is expressed by a single phenomenon. Often a single phenomenon expresses something that throws light on decades, illuminating like a flash of lightning what is really happening.

    It seems unlikely to me that a candidate for a PhD in history would be required to be aware of the occult teachings of secret brotherhoods, but, as Steiner points out, it would be useful for one seeking to research the rise of the English language to prominence in the world to be led to study those occult teachings. For if one did, one would find that "English-speaking peoples are for the fifth post-Atlantean epoch what the Romans were for the fourth." [4th PAE: 800 BC to 1450 AD; 5th PAE: 1450 AD to 3570 AD] Steiner was writing this almost a hundred years ago, but anyone aware of the prevalence of English in world-wide communications today would have to agree that English plays the role today that Latin did in the 4th PAE, also called the Greco-Roman age. And he gives us hints of what will arise as we progress nearer to the 6th PAE:

    [page 40] In addition, it has always been taught that, just as the Germanic-British element, as they call it, opposed the Latin, so will the Slav element come to oppose the English element, for that is the way of the world.

    [page 80] The fifth post-Atlantean period belongs to the English-speaking peoples alone; it is for them to make the world into something which stems from them.

    [page 124] The fifth sub-race [RJM: 5th PAE], which began at the start of the fifteenth century, is composed of those peoples who are called upon to speak English in the world. The English-speaking peoples represent the fifth sub-race, and the whole task of the fifth post-Atlantean period [5th PAE] consists in conquering the world for the English-speaking peoples.

    What Steiner calls the way of the world is the occult teachings that he illuminated in his spiritual science. One can see the cultures laid out in historical and futuristic accuracy in the Sevens Table containing the Seven Post-Atlantean Epochs.

    How it is possible that one's karma brings one to discover the truth is a bit of a paradox. One can only find out after the fact that one has all along been pursuing a certain line of thought that produces exactly the insights that one would have wanted to pursue, had one known from the beginning what those insights were! My name for that is the bootstrap paradox. A common German name for it is embodied in the story of Baron Münchhausen, who, legend has it, could lift himself and his horse into the air by pulling up on his own pigtail. We might state it this way: one creates the karma and the karma creates one. Steiner tells of a German philosopher, Rudolf Christian Eucken, who poses the bootstrap paradox, namely, one cannot lift oneself by one's own bootstraps or pigtail. Eucken talks very similarly to many social scientists today:

    [page 41] Eucken, for instance, speaks of the influence of the environment without noticing that he is saying on the one hand: The environment creates the person; and on the other hand: The environment is created by the people; which is equivalent to saying: I want to lift myself up by my own pigtail! The way to look at what is termed the environment in which people are immersed is to realize that this environment emerges in a definite way from certain spiritual streams. It is not the nebulous something that many people consider it to be.

    Steiner tells of Franz, the hero of Ascension, a novel by Hermann Bahr, in which Franz was driven hither and thither by his karma in the world until "he notices that there is something in the background behind human evolution and discovers that he ought to pay attention to what goes on behind the scenes." (Page 48) Then one night Franz is at a canon's house and finds himself in the library looking through the canon's heavily annotated copy of Goethe's writings in the Weimar edition. The canon chose that moment to leave his company and join Franz in the library and told him, "Nobody knows Goethe's scientific writings. Alas! The old heathen he is supposed to have been appears in quite a new light in them, and they help you to understand the ending of Faust as well." The canon goes on to tell Franz that "every page shows how Catholic Goethe was" and yet "there is also a heathen, a Protestant, and even almost a Jewish Goethe." What the canon had discovered by his study of Goethe was that Goethe was a spiritual scientist, but the canon could only express it in terms of a list of well-known labels, lacking a spiritual science as such to point to, such as the spiritual science of Rudolf Steiner which exists today, but not in Bahr or Franz's time.

    [page 56] You notice, even in these circles a different Goethe is sought, one who can follow the path into the spiritual world, a different Goethe for sure than that 'insipidly jolly, common or garden monist' described and presented to the world today by the Goethe biographers. As you see, the path trodden by Franz is not so very different from those you find interwoven in what we call our spiritual science and, as you also see, a certain modicum of necessity can be present.

    To understand what Steiner means by necessity in the quote above, one would do well to read his books, Necessity and Freedom and Chance, Providence and Necessity. My own approach to spiritual science came about through as tortuous a path as that taken by the fictional Franz and many other real people that I know. It is not from environmental influences, because there were none in my early life, other than my Catholic upbringing, which upbringing tended to cause me to shy completely away from anything spiritual at the time. And yet, slowly the massive gears of necessity clicked into place and I found myself studying Rudolf Steiner, someone whose works I did not understand and so I could not for the life of me understand why I continued to read someone whose works were so intricately abstruse to me. Somehow I managed to overcome the bootstrap paradox like the aerial Baron by lifting myself up by a sheer act of will and fortitude. Looking back now, I can see clearly the "modicum of necessity" in my life that led me to spiritual science. None of this will make any sense to one who has not overcome such a paradox in one's own life.

    Steiner makes the point many times during this book that "great spiritual streams underlie current events," — that "the history of mankind — even in its most painful events — is guided and led by spiritual impulses." (Page 67) Consider Judas and the executioner's men who nailed Christ to the Cross — they were guilty of murder and yet they were forgiven by the man they killed who pleaded for them thus, "Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do."

    [page 65, 66] Can you imagine someone who might say, You Christians owe it to Judas that your Mystery of Golgotha took place at all. You owe it to the executioner's men, who nailed Christ to the cross, that your Mystery of Golgotha ran its course!

    Is anyone justified in defending Judas and the executioner's men, even though it is true that the meaning of earthly history is owed to them? Is it easy to answer a question like this? Is one not immediately faced with contradictions which simply stand there and which represent a terrible destiny? Think about what I have placed before you! . . . What I have just said is spoken only so that you can think about the fact that it is not so easy to say: When two things contradict one another I shall accept the one and reject the other. Reality is more profound than whatever human beings may often be willing to encompass with their thinking. It is not without reason that Nietzsche, crazed almost out of his mind, formulated the words: 'The world is deep, deeper than day can comprehend.'

    Many are aware of Thomas More thanks to the movie, A Man for All Seasons, how he died because he defied King Henry VIII's wish to take another wife. When More died, an order was given to quarter his body and spread the four pieces to the compass points — but was there a deep, deeper meaning to his death?

    [page 96] Most of you know, since it has long been published in secular books, that in Freemasonry the ascent through the various degrees is connected with certain formulations which also include the manner of death awaiting those who fail to keep the secrets of a particular degree. It is stated that under certain circumstances the candidate will have to die a terrible death; for instance, in the case of one of the degrees, his body shall be cut open and his ashes strewn to the four winds of the earth.

    If Thomas More gave away a secret, one can assume it must have happened in his book Utopia — On the Best Form of the State and the New Island of Utopia, a book that Steiner calls the most important thing More did. He also says that "Utopia can have the utmost significance for anyone who looks at it squarely." (Page 96) I don't know how many lawyers there were during Thomas More's time, but if there were enough of them, one could easily guess how More's end was plotted and by whom after one reads the following passage:

    [page 116] There were no lawyers in Utopia; they are considered to be the most harmful people. Contracts are not entered into because the Utopians believe that if someone wants to keep an agreement he can do so without a contract, whereas if he does not, he can break it even if he has a contract.

    To understand how virulent the antipathy to More's way of thinking would have been in his time, one need only recall that More was born only a few years after the end of the Greco-Roman or Latin or 4th post-Atlantean epoch, when the rules of Roman law had completed its work on the insides of human beings. And yet, this English-speaking man spoke in the manner of the nascent Germano-English or present 5th PAE, in which the Consciousness Soul would become more important than the Intellectual Soul that had been nurtured during the Latin epoch. Thomas More had no contract with King Henry, and even if the King thought so, More broke it. That was too much to bear for a man of the Intellectual Soul age, so More was put to death. And the manner of his death was designed to warn off anyone else who reveal such secrets as More did to the uninitiated.

    "The world is deep, deeper than the day can comprehend." Nowhere is the world deeper and more hidden from the light of day than in the way we choose our parents. It is related to "the forces which bring people together over many generations."

    [page 120] Through the ever-repeated union of different pairs of parents and all that leads to descendants, as well as other aspects of the succession of generations, it comes about that the human being between death and rebirth finds himself within a whole stream which, in the end, leads him to the parent through whom he can incarnate. Just as in physical life one is linked with one's physical body, so between death and rebirth is one linked with the conditions which prepare for birth through a particular pair of parents.

    In the cascading of parents being selected from generation to generation, the forces bringing people together are operating in a delicate balance of freedom, chance, providence, and necessity to bring us to Earth to work out our individual karma. If Nietzsche had attempted to grasp that reality, it may have driven him crazy and led him to state that, "The world is deep, deeper than day can comprehend."

    In Thomas More we were shown a man who straddled two epochs — he was born shortly after the beginning of the Consciousness Soul age of the 5th PAE at a time when those around him were still strongly operating out of the Intellectual Soul age of the 4th PAE. In Dante we find someone who straddled three epochs. Through his genealogy or lineage, those generational forces mentioned above, he was of 3rd PAE or Sentient Soul or Egypto-Chaldean (Etruscan or Celtic) — that was the first layer of his being. The second layer was the 4th PAE or Intellectual Soul or Greco-Roman — he was born in Florence in 1265 just before the end of the Latin period, was an Italian poet, and died in Ravenna in 1321. These Roman roots gave his work a basis in legal concepts that added validity to it. The third layer was a Germanic element, ancestors from Switzerland, from which "he gained the boldness and freshness of his views, a certain candour, and the courage of his convictions in what he had set himself." (Summarized from page 122.)

    The next concept deals with how each mature sub-race acts as a wet nurse to each new sub-race. "Sub-race" refers to the people that live within a given post-Atlantean epoch or period, a PAE.

    At the beginning of each Post-Atlantean-Epoch, the people of that sub-race are like infants and need nurturing in order to survive and thrive. For the 5th PAE, the English sub-race's nurturing came from the guidance of the Pope and the Roman Empire who together acted as a wet nurse to nourish and educate, to shepherd the infant English sub-race into youthhood in the eighteenth century.

    [page 125] Thus, in the course of time in the North, under the rule of the wet-nurse, the guardian, and so on, the present mature condition grew. This bears within it the germ of rendering Britain the ruling nation of the fifth post-Atlantean period, in the same way as were not only the Romans but also the Roman element in the form of the Papacy, which was derived from them. So, according to this doctrine, while the remains of the Latin element crumble away from the human race, a new fruitful element expands from the factor in which lives the British element.

    Now it is hinted that all external actions and measure which are to serve any purpose and be fruitful, must be made under the sign of these views. Anything that is undertaken without these views, anything that does not take into account that the Latin element is in decline and the British element ascending, is doomed to wither. Of course such things may be undertaken, say these people, but they are condemned to remain meaningless, they will not grow. It is like sowing seeds in the wrong soil.

    "The world is deep, deeper than day can comprehend," Nietzsche said, but we can progress a little further in our comprehension if only people will turn their minds to spirit realms. Once we have assimilated how the previous sub-race serves as a wet-nurse for the succeeding sub-race, we can come to understand what our sub-race will meet coming towards it later in the 5th PAE. Just as the peoples of the North came towards Rome to meet the Roman element, so too now, we can already see signs of the people of the East, the Slavic peoples, coming towards the West. They represent the nascent sixth sub-race which will thrive during the succeeding 6th PAE, called the Russian period. We can expect that the 5th PAE sub-race, the English, to be the wet-nurse for the 6th PAE, the Slavs or Russian.

    "The Papacy," beginning in the 4th PAE, Steiner tells us, "created churches and religious communities of all sorts." Out of the British element in the 5th PAE an economic papacy will emerge to create a form of economic society of a socialist nature, but this socialism cannot be founded in the West which is its wet-nurse, but only in the East where the sixth sub-race will carry it to maturity. It should surprise no one that Karl Marx was German and wrote his ideas on socialism and communism while he was living in London. In this next sentence, Steiner, speaking these words in 1916, before the Russian Revolution, is presaging the great Russian experiment in socialism called the Soviet Union of Socialist Republics which was to last for 70 years.

    [page 127] The East, experimentally at first, must be used for such experiments for the future. Political, cultural and economic experiments must be carried out.

    Was Rudolf Steiner prescient? He would not say so. What he said was that he was just reporting what he had dug up in the teachings of western Freemasonry. (Page 127)

    Before Steiner ends Lecture Six, he gives us a summary exposition of the well-known linguistic law known as Grimm's Law on pages 128 through 30. These pages deserve a lot of study as they show how folk characteristics over the ages are embedded linguistically in cultures.

    The next section of the book, which I would like to tackle in detail, gives the connection between thought and word as they vary from culture to culture. As happens so often when I encounter a brand-new and mind-boggling concept in Steiner's works, the concept rings so true that I am left with little doubt of the veracity of the concept while I am yet trying to make sense of it. The details of my Steiner reviews testify, as this one does, to my own working through, my own journey into understanding of such concepts. First, some pertinent quotes from Steiner about how the French, German, English, and Slavic cultures operate differently vis-à-vis words and thoughts.

    [page 158] The French people have the tendency to push the thought right down into the word; thus, when they speak, the thought is pushed right down into what they are saying.

    This, he adds, is why the French have an intoxication with words and phrases in the best sense of the meaning. George Bernard Shaw said it succinctly, "A Frenchman doesn't care what you do, actually, so long as you pronounce it correctly." That shows clearly that Shaw understood the process of the French pushing the thought into the word.

    [page 159] The English people press the thought down below the word, so that the thought mingles with the word and seeks reality beyond the word.

    Let me see if I might resurrect Shaw just long enough for him to pen a pertinent quote for the English. "The English don't care what you say, actually, so long as what you say makes sense." While I am not completely happy with that statement, who am I to quibble with Shaw. Is it an apt characterization of what Shaw might have said? I'll hold that as an unanswered question till my Shavian reception improves.

    [page 159] The German language has the peculiarity of not taking the thought as far as the word . . . it retains the thought in the thought.

    What does Shaw tell me about the Germans? "The Germans don't care what you think, actually, as long you're sure that what you're thinking is true." Steiner explains it is impossible to translate Hegel, actually, into English — one can only produce a substitute for what Hegel actually wrote.

    Which naturally leads us to ask of Steiner, How then is understanding possible between the Germans, English, and French?

    [page 159] The fact that some understanding is possible comes about solely because certain Latin elements are common to more than one language, for it is the same whether you say 'association' in French, or 'association' in English; both go back to the Latin element. Such things build bridges. But every people has its own special mission and it is only possible to approach this through a longing to attain such an understanding.

    My own situation is embodied in my surname. My grandfather who came to America was named Johann Adam Matern born in Rosenheim, Germany (now a German speaking section of France in the Alsace region). When he arrived in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana in 1721 he went to the Hahnville Courthouse to register. (Note: The town's name came from combining the German surname, Hahn, with the French suffix for town, namely, "ville.)

    There he encountered a French clerk who likely asked him, "Comme s'appelle?" and Herr Matern likely answered, "Wir heissen Matern." The French clerk wrote down "Matherne" adding the silent "h" and the silent terminal "e" to Matern. Later the "h" was left off one of his son's names and that gave rise to two versions: Materne and Matherne. At this point the three names, Matern, Materne, and Matherne were phonologically equivalent — not one's whit's difference in the French pronunciation between the three. About a hundred years later, Louisiana became a state and more and more English-speaking people poured into the region. Another hundred years later, English was made the official language for teaching in public schools and along the way the pronunciation of the three names diverged. My own surname took the biggest hit as it began to be pronounced Muh THurn' by most residents of South Louisiana versus Muh Turn' by the indigenous Cajun (French descendants). Thus I came to have a German name that has been Frenchicized, then Anglicized. And since I am an Anglicized, Frenchicized German, it seems exactly appropriate that my own heritage be reflected at first glance in my name. My paternal grandfather was of German descent and his wife was of French descent. My maternal grandfather was of French descent and his wife was of German descent.

    As I write, in whatever I write, I bring these three parts of me into play: my French heritage in which my "thought disappears over against the word," my German heritage in which is "found a marriage between what is of itself spiritual and what is spiritual in the thought," and my English-speaking heritage, my first language since birth, which "makes it to a certain extent necessary to materialize what is spiritual." (Quotes from pages 160, 161)

    In the days when Steiner was still alive and teaching, many critics accused him of serving warmed up leftovers of gnosticism in his anthroposophy. Direct knowledge of gnosticism had already been extirpated by the Church a dozen or so centuries earlier, leaving behind only the writings of those opposed to gnosis as a record of what Gnosticism was. I know few people today who would know enough about gnosticism or anthroposophy to make such a criticism, but a hundred years ago there were many who did, and the criticism brought strong retorts from Steiner on several occasions. Here is one such occasion.

    [page 171] Today there is no longer a question of returning to Gnosis for, of course, the light of Gnosis has meanwhile gone out. But the elimination of Gnosis, root and branch, through a consequence of evil, ignorance and hostility towards knowledge and wisdom, sprang, nevertheless, in a way from a necessity of earthly evolution. So the accusation that anthroposophical spiritual science intends to warm up ancient Gnosis is nothing more than one of the many malevolent attacks now being made on us. This accusation is made by people who know nothing about Gnosis and, similarly, little about Anthroposophy. We do not want to warm up Gnosis, but we do want to recognize that Gnosis was something powerful, something great, for that time nineteen centuries ago when it endeavoured to give some kind of an answer to the question: Who is Christ?

    Steiner tells us bluntly that the Gnostic saw directly into the spiritual worlds, saw the hierarchies arrayed rank upon rank. "He also saw how Christ strode down through the world of the spiritual hierarchies in order to enter into the enveloping bodies of a mortal human being." Next he tells us: "What Gnosis was as wisdom, the Temple of Solomon was as a symbol."

    [page 173] When Christ Jesus had come to the earth, when the Mystery of Golgotha had taken its course, then this great Mystery of Golgotha was to be mirrored in every single human soul: 'My kingdom is not of this world!' So the external, physical Temple of Solomon first of all lost its significance, and its destiny fulfilled itself in a tragic way.

    Have you ever considered that the time between Easter and Christmas is approximately the time of gestation of the human in its mother's womb? That a baby conceived during the first full moon after the vernal or spring equinox will be born during the Holy Nights of Christmas? I had never considered that, until I read this next passage about the Northern tribe of the Ingaevones who lived about 3,000 B.C. on the Denmark peninsula called Jutland. All of their best children were born during the Holy Nights of deepest winter.

    [page 176] This came about because the temple priests of this secret Mystery centre on the Jutland peninsula decreed that in certain tribes, the Ingaevones as Tacitus called them, the sexual union of human beings must only take place during the first quarter of the year. Every sexual union outside this period decreed by the Mystery centre was taboo; and anyone not born during the season of the darkest nights, in the coldest season towards the new year, was considered by these tribes of the Ingaevones to be an inferior human being. The impulse was sent out by the Mystery centre at the time of the first full moon after the spring equinox. This was the only time when those who felt truly connected with the spirutal worlds were allowed to practise sexual union. The forces which are used up in sexual union were saved for the whole remainder of each year and thus contributed to the growing strength of the people. Therefore, they were able to develop that remarkable power of which even the dying echo so astonished Tacitus — writing a century after the Mystery of Golgotha.

    This next part is incredible, so I would like to set the stage for you. Each year when Christmas comes around, I like to send Christmas cards which show scenes of dark nights with snow covered ground, with trees, stars, lights, and people riding out in the cold all bundled up for warmth. I grew up in the South and never experienced such things, but I always felt an attraction to them, even today. Obviously there wasn't any snow on the ground in Bethlehem when Baby Jesus was born in a manger, so why the allure of snowy scenes? I took it for granted and never gave it a second thought until I read this next passage by Steiner — then suddenly everything became crystal clear.

    [page 176] In this way the tribes of the Ingaevones, and the other Germanic tribes to a lesser extent, underwent at the time of the first full moon after the spring equinox a particularly strong experience of the process of conception, not in a state of waking consciousness but through a kind of dream annunciation. They knew what this meant with regard to the connection between the mystery of man and the mysteries of heaven. A spiritual being appeared to the one who was conceiving and announced to her, as through a vision, the human being who was to come to the earth through her.

    This is beginning to sound like the Annunciation to Mary of her destiny to give birth to the Holy Child, Jesus. The coincidences go deeper yet.

    [page 179] Among the tribes of the Ingaevones this human being, the first to be born in the holy night, was chosen to become, at age thirty, the leader for three years, for only three years.

    We all know that Jesus, born on the Holy Night, was the chosen one who was to become the Christ at age thirty for a period of three years. What on Earth could be the connection between this northern tribe, the Ingaevones, and the birth of Jesus some 3,000 years later? Here is the famous Anglo-Saxon rune-song which has these lines:

    [page 179] 'Ing was first seen by the men of the East Danes. Later he went eastwards. Across the waves he strode, and his chariot followed after.'

    The spiritual impulses of the northern Mysteries went East and entered into scattered Mystery-communities in the East till only one remained.

    [page 180] The one in whom the whole meaning of the earth was to be renewed, the one in whom the Christ was to dwell, was chosen to unite within himself what had once been the content of the northern Mysteries.

    Now we can begin to glimpse the truth of why Christianity was greeted in a special way by the northern tribes when it arrived from Rome, from the South. A chord deep in the folk consciousness was struck and resonated with the people of the tribes, of the descendants of the Ingaevones and the various other tribes.

    [page 180] Now once something is there, once it has become customary and firmly anchored in the soul, then it remains there, it remains firmly in the soul. So when the people of the North received the tidings of Christianity from what had been ancient Rome in the South, these tidings were linked with old Mystery-customs which lived no longer in full consciousness but in the subconsciousness and were thus only dimly sensed. That is why the feeling for Jesus could be especially strongly developed there. What had lived in the old Nerthus [ Ing ] Mystery had sunk down into the subconscious where it was still present, where it was sensed and felt.

    And, finally, I began to grasp why I found the snowy scenes of Christmas nights with lights shining out of the windows of houses so compelling. Somewhere in my own northern heritage the Ing Mystery from 5,000 years ago was residing in me.

    [page 181] In those distant days in the far North, when the earth was still covered in forests in which lived the aurochs and the elk, the families gathered in their snow-covered huts in the lamplight around a newborn child. They spoke of this new life and of how it brought to them the new light which the heavens had announced to them in the days of early spring. This was the ancient Christmas, the consecrated night. When they later received tidings of one who was born in the holiest hour and who was destined for great things it reminded them of another who had been the firstborn after the twelfth hour of the consecrated night. The ancient knowledge was gone, but the ancient feelings lived on when the tidings came of such a one born in distant Asia, one in whom lived the Christ Who had descended to the earth from the starry heavens.

    So many today proclaim that the Earth is a fragile rock and humankind is ravaging and destroying it. I reject those claims strenuously. The Earth is a robust planet, a gigantic living creature which lives and develops just as we do. The life of the Earth has from its beginning been infused with robust spiritual beings which have cared for it and its evolution.

    [page 183] The earth is not only a great living creature. It is also a lofty spiritual being. Just as a great human genius cannot evolve to full stature without suitable development through childhood and youth, so the Mystery of Golgotha could not have taken place, the divine could not have united with earth evolution if, in the days of earth's beginning, other divine beings had not descended in a different, though equally divine way. The revelation of the divine on high incorporated in the worship of Nerthus [ Ing ] differed from the way it was later understood; but it existed.

    This ancient wisdom which could see into spiritual realities can only be understood in a true light when it is compared to the so-called modern way of looking at the world in which we live using our eyes which can only see the surface of things.

    [page 183] The knowledge contained in this ancient wisdom is solely atavistic, yet it is infinitely higher than the materialistic world view which is today making human beings into animals as regards the level of their knowledge.

    Steiner speaking a few days before Christmas says that the tidings are twofold: "The revelation of the divine from on high" and "Peace to earthly souls who are of good will", and claims that without the second part Christmas is meaningless. As I pondered the meaning of "Peace on Earth to men of good will", a phrase I have heard so many times, it occurred to me for the first time that it is saying that those, who by dint of their will power pour out good will into the world, those same ones will be blessed with peace. Peace follows from humans who pour out good will into the world. In the words of Miller and Jackson's song, "Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me." EAT-O-TWIST!

    [page 184] A time must come in which the second part of the Christmas words may be understood: 'Peace to men on earth who are of good will!'

    I mentioned earlier how the Church had extirpated, pulled out by the roots, the Gnosis that allowed humans to comprehend the Christ-Being as a cosmic being — the essential meaning of the Christmas mystery. In doing so, one might say that the Church threw out the Baby Jesus with the bath water of Gnosis.

    [page 185] Together with Gnosis there disappeared the possibility of comprehending the Christ-Being as a cosmic being. Instead there remains dogma which has perpetuated certain incomprehensible concepts — the Credo and so on — about the Christ-Being.
    What was important in centuries now gone by was not so much the wisdom about Christ as the fact itself, the fact that Christ turned towards the earth and fulfilled the Mystery of Golgotha. A true understanding of the Christ-Being will first have to be won through the new Gnosis, which is something entirely different from the old Gnosis, for it is anthroposophical Spiritual Science.

    The Gnosis of the North, as we saw in the Ingaevone tradition of the holy child born in the depth of winter, dealt with the Baby Jesus or Christmas Mystery. In the South, the Gnosis dealt with the Easter Mystery. And the Church in order to sustain its dogma had to root out the Easter Mystery in the South and the Christmas Mystery in the North.

    In these few pages from about 170 to 192 one finds a wealth of material that must be studied directly. Much of the earlier pages dealt with recondite details about politicians and world situations that existed a hundred years ago and this was slow work, like mountain climbing in the dark, but when I reached these pages, it was like reaching a prominence on which one could make camp and sit and rest to meditate on the journey and absorb the meaning of the strenuous climb. Steiner says on page 186 that, "Feelings live longer than ideas." The feelings of the ancient customs of the Ingaevones which resulted with each child being born as a holy child in a snow-covered hut in the darkness of deepest winter — those feelings which arise within me every winter from out of 5,000 years ago — those feelings have outlasted any ideas. Those feelings resonate with the Christmas mystery in me despite every attempt made by the Church to extirpate them and replace them with their dogma of short-lived ideas.

    In the next passage Steiner leads us to view the macrocosm in the microcosm of our lives. How when each day as we arise we go from Vanir (dream consciousness) to Aesir (day consciousness). How in every cycle of the Sun in 24 hours we recapitulate human evolution from the age of dream consciousness to day consciousness.

    [page 190] We rightly speak of what happens in going from the fourth to the fifth post-Atlantean period. But even in the transition from the third to the fourth there was a step forward in human consciousness towards increased ego-consciousness, increased waking consciousness. The ancient dream visions of the spiritual world have disappeared. In the North this was expressed by saying that the Vanir, who were connected with what is given in visions, had been replaced by the Aesir, who are indeed gods for a well-developed day consciousness.

    One of the most difficult things for traditional Christians to accept when they come onto the ideas of Rudolf Steiner for the first time is his reference to the "gods". This tends to provoke strong responses to the effect that there is only one God, with a capital "G" and anyone who thinks otherwise is a miscreant. Can this strong reaction be merely a projection — an accusation tossed upon someone else which reveals what the traditional Christian is doing within unconsciously? If so, these reactions are coming from people who are suffering from some illusion or maya.

    [page 212, 213] Some time ago I drew your attention to what almost amounts to a religious cultivation of something that is entirely without thought or feeling, namely, the lack of desire to know that modern religions, when they speak of 'God', actually only mean an angel being, an angelos. When human beings today speak of 'God' they mean only their angel, the angel who guides them through life. But they persuade themselves that they are speaking of a being higher than an angel. It is maya that modern monotheism speaks of a single god for, in reality, seen from a spiritual point of view, mankind has the tendency to speak of as many gods as there are human beings on the earth, since each individual means only his own angel. Under the mask of monotheism is hidden the most absolute polytheism. That is why modern religions are in danger of being atomized, since each individual represents only his own idea of God, his own standpoint. Why is this? It is because, today, in the fifth post-Atlantean period, we are isolated from the spiritual world. Our consciousness remains solely in the human sphere.

    But Christians are not the only ones in this 5th PAE to fall into maya or deep illusion — the historians of today are also subject to the most severe form of maya. One of the amazing paradoxes of our current 5th PAE is that those who accuse Steiner of being deluded by his own visions are the ones who are deluded by their own self-imposed limitation of sense-perceptible vision. Would you prefer to take the word of what's going on inside a house from someone who can only see the outside of the house or one who can also see the inside of the house?

    [page 217] What is the historical criticism cultivated today in historical seminars? It is a neat paring down to the bare sense-perceptible facts, and this can only lead to error. For by striving to pare things down to the sense-perceptible facts we drift over into maya. But maya is illusion. So any science of history which endeavours to exclude every spiritual element and, instead, bring maya to the fore must of necessity lead directly to maya. . . . Take a modern history book for which anything supersensible is an absurdity and in which great care is taken to attach validity only to physical events, and you have in your hand the striving to bring maya to the fore. But maya is illusion. So you have to fall a victim to illusion; and this is exactly what you do. The moment you believe history as it is written today you become a victim of maya, of illusion. . . . It is a terrible aspect of human karma that even in man's view of history the spiritual element is excluded.

    The karma of untruthfulness is revealed once we can perceive, with Steiner's help, how the spiritual element has been excluded in our modern view of history, up until now. For a view of how history was written during early periods when the spiritual element was not excluded, one would be advised to read the wonderful story of Otto the Red Beard's encounter with Gerhard the Good which fills the pages from 217 through 224.

    What was the overall theme of this book? Steiner lays it out for us while discounting the political details which seem to fill the major part of the book.

    [page 251] It has not been my concern to criticize politically one measure or another taken by one side or another. My intention has been to stress the importance of the principle of truth in the world, to stress that the karma which has fulfilled itself in mankind has often come about because the attention paid to facts, the attention paid to historical and other connections of life in our materialistic age, is not permeated with the truth. When truth is not at work, when that extraordinary opposite of truth, namely, the lack of inclination to seek the truth, is at work, when there is little yearning for truth — all this is connected with the karma of our time.

    What we think becomes true over time. What we fear comes upon us eventually. What we plan for becomes reality. Each of these statements demonstrate the truth of Everything Allways Turns Out The Way It's Supposed To. EAT-O-TWIST never breaks. Here is Steiner's explanation of how that process works.

    [page 251] When we see what is being said during these years in which mankind is living, through what is today called war, we cannot object that such things are said only by the newspapers. What matters is the effect. These things have powerful effects. When we pay attention to what is said and to how these things are said, we find that it is just in this 'how' that something works which truly does not run concurrently with the truth. Do not believe that thoughts and statements are not objective forces in their own right! They are objective, actual forces! It is inevitable that they are followed by consequences, even if these are not translated into external deeds. What people think is far more important for the future than what they do. Thoughts become deeds in the course of time. We live today on the thoughts of past times; these are fulfilled in the deeds committed today. And our thoughts which flood through the world today will flow into the deeds of the future.

    This review began with my discussion of my study of Carl Jung's work and my excitement when I came to understand for myself the reality of the psyche. Steiner, in his own way in the above passage, confirms the reality of the psyche when he says that "thoughts and statements" are "objective, actual forces" and emphasizes it with an exclamation mark! When untrue statements which harbor untrue thoughts are made, so much of which is extant in the karma of our time in this fifth post-Atlantean epoch, they create powerful effects whose consequences we will not relish. When we perceive only the surface of a house and have thoughts and make statements about what is true within the house, we create powerful effects whose consequences we will not relish. Shakespeare said in Othello, "There are more things in heaven or earth than are dreamed of in your philosophies." Steiner said above in the passage from pages 65, 66, "Reality is more profound than whatever human beings may often be willing to encompass with their thinking." We live now in the period or epoch of day consciousness and we must remind ourselves in the words of Nietzsche, "The world is deep, deeper than day can comprehend."


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    3.) ARJ2: Rocket Men — The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 by Robert Kurson

    About a year ago in 2017, I visited the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry and on the way out, I noticed an old beat-up space capsule which seemed to have been forgotten about. I walked over and read the nameplate which said, "Apollo 8", but no further information. Must have been one of those meaningless trips into space leading up to Apollo 11 which set a man on the Moon for the first time and brought the three-man crew home safely, I thought. I couldn't have been more wrong! About three years before my visit the author Robert Kurson had made a similar trip to the museum and decided to investigate the Apollo 8 trip into space. What he discovered was a unique pioneering trip of three brave men who "boldly dared to where no man had gone before" and blazed a trail to the manned Moon landing of Apollo 11. But for their courage, Russia might have put the first men on the Moon and President Kennedy's pledge to put a "Man on the Moon" before the end of the 1960s might never have happened.

    The first Saturn V rocket test went fine, but the second one blew up on the launch pad. Their chief rocket scientist Werner Von Braun worked to correct the problems, but NASA lost precious time doing so. Three more launches were to happen before Apollo 11, namely 8 (low Earth orbit), 9 (high Earth orbit), and 10 (Moon orbit). But a funny thing happened to George Low, NASA's leading engineer, on the way home from the beach: he decided to have Apollo 8 moved up to the Moon Orbit trip, skipping two preliminary launches. Low saw this was the only way of ensuring Apollo 11 would happen on schedule. This was so dramatic a change, he feared that NASA might not accept the leap in schedule. Luckily the first man he proposed the idea to was named a key NASA manager who was named after a great explorer, Christopher Columbus Kraft.

    [page 32, 33] The idea seemed heresy to Kraft. No man had ever flown more than 853 miles above earth's surface. Now Low was proposing to send three astronauts a quarter of a million miles away, and to do it half a year sooner than anyone at NASA had planned. As if that weren't enough, Low was proposing to skip not one but two preparatory Apollo flights, violating one of NASA's foundational philosophies: that missions be incremental to assure mastery and success.
           And yet Kraft saw elegance, even genius, in the plan. Low wasn't proposing to land Apollo 8 on the Moon, just to fly around it, so no lunar module was necessary. By going in December, NASA could prove many of the systems and procedures, and much of the equipment and technology, required for a lunar landing. It could gain valuable deep space experience, and avoid the months of downtime that would come from delaying Apollo 8 until the lunar module was ready. That would put the agency back on track to make Kennedy's deadline. And there was another benefit: A December launch gave America a chance to beat the Soviets to the Moon.

    Kraft asked a day to study Low's proposal and his response nearly knocked Low over: not only did he accept the speeded up schedule, but he wanted Apollo 8 to orbit the Moon, not just a simple flyby as the Russian were contemplating at that time. The level of complexity had suddenly increased and made Low's head spin. The capsule would fire rockets to slow down enough to be captured by the Moon, orbit it several times, then firing the rockets again to continue its return voyage to Earth! The challenges were enormous, but the benefits outweighed them.

    [page 35] Yet the benefits of orbiting the Moon could be immense. Putting Apollo 8 into lunar orbit would provide NASA with all kinds of experience it needed for the upcoming landing mission. Everything from deep space maneuvers to rocket firings to navigation to communications to propellant consumption to life support systems could be tested under the same conditions NASA would face when landing men on the Moon. New mission rules and procedures could be put through their paces, simulations appraised, training revised. And once the spacecraft arrived, the crew of Apollo 8 could photograph the Moon from up close, scouting potential landing sites for the lucky successors who would be the first to step onto its surface.

    The three man crew of Borman, Anders, and Lovell were bowled over by the sudden change in status: "We are going to the Moon!" they thought, excited about the new plans. They looked at each other with an expression which said, "We know this is impossible, but we still think it can work." (Page 51) The change in plans meant it was unlikely Anders would get to collect rocks on the Moon, but it meant something important:

    [page 70] Flying on Apollo 8 meant that he, Lovell, and Borman would be the first human beings ever to leave earth, and the first to arrive at the Moon. And the first to see its far side. That was like being another Christopher Columbus, and what more could a curious man hope for than that?

    These three astronauts were taught by a team of men whose job it was to kill them! Each man was called the SimSup and in turn each needed to teach the astronauts the correct procedures and sequences for each stage of the flight, any deviation from which could kill them by sending them flying into the Moon's surface or out in deep space forever. So it was their job to program deviations which if not correctly responded to would kill the astronauts. One of those out-of-sequence maneuvers due to a slip of the finger will nearly kill them on the way home.

    [page 75, 76] Space flight was inherently complex and unpredictable crews were nearly certain to encounter problems with the rocket and spacecraft during their mission. To give them a fighting chance, the SimSup would unleash an arsenal of emergencies, failures, malfunctions, and conflicts into the simulation, forcing the crew to learn to survive, showing them the consequences of every wrong move. It would do no one any good to take it easy on them. Only by theoretically endangering the lives of the men inside the simulator could the SimSup hope to save them during actual flight. In this way, the best SimSups had a streak of the devil inside them.

    The author gives us insight into the flight career of the three astronauts. On pages 90 and 91, he details an experience where Lovell nearly crashes when his cockpit lights go out during a night carrier landing. Making a night carrier landing is one of the most challenging piloting jobs, even with everything is working. For a jet pilot it is said, "the best things in life are a good landing, a good orgasm, and a good bowel movement, and a night carrier landing provides you with all three at the same time." (See Military Advice.) Lovell uses the green algae glow from the carrier's propellers and in guiding his ship to Earth from Moon, he is forced to use the patterns of dust swirling in his Apollo 8 capsule.

    Anders related a story of how Anders went on a deer hunting trip with Deke Slayton to get to know him. What he didn't know was that Slayton put newbies through a "one-shot" hunt, providing them only one bullet with which to have a successful hunt. Anders succeeded in getting his deer with one shot, but he had no idea at the time, that he was to travel to the Moon and back on a similar "one-shot" hunt; if he wasn't successful on his Apollo 8 trip, he would be unlikely to return home at all.

    Going through the Van Allen belt of radiation for the first time, Anders reported to the crew they had only received about 1/10 the radiation of an average chest X-Ray. A continuous problem was the overheating of the capsule on the side facing the Sun's rays. The solution was called "barbecue mode" which Borman initiated in space for the first time: it put the capsule into a rotation rate of one revolution per hour which allowed the heat of the Sun's rays to dissipate uniformly over the capsule during long flight periods.

    The word 'nominal' to engineers means the amount named on the device, so the nominal voltage for a AA battery in 1.5 volts, even though the setting of anew AA might be 1.65 and over usage drop to 1.2 or lower. NASA Manager Christopher Kraft wanted the rocket that will put the capsule in orbit around the Moon tested right away, so they could have time to fix any problems which were uncovered. After the test, the PA Officer reported, "The burn was completely nominal in all respects." But Kraft noticed a problem. The thrust did not build up fast enough and was too low. Kraft put the engineers on the problem but did not mention it to the astronauts as there was nothing they could do until the cause of the problem could be determined. It was due to a bubble of helium in the propellant line, and that first test, while showing a bad response, likely cleared up the problem.

    Lovell couldn't sleep because of the lights inside his eyeballs due to cosmic radiation. The rays were mostly harmless, except they could not be turned off and caused Lovell insomnia. NASA tried to control the amount of sleep, the amount of food intake, etc that the three astronauts got, and worried over each deviation.

    [page 214] But what was NASA to do? They were dealing with three grown men, each of whom was risking his life for his country, who now didn't want to eat their beef and egg bites. If the men began to starve, they'd eat.

    Basically the men hated the taste of the beef and egg bites! But there were some fun moments, like when the Apollo 8 crew broadcast the television image of their home planet to Earth! It provided the entire rest of humanity with a selfie, decades before the term selfie made it into popular jargon with the arrival of smart phone cameras.

    [page 216] Suddenly, an orb drifted dead center into the middle of the picture, and the shape of clouds and continents sharpened into view. For the first time in history, mankind was looking back at itself — at all of itself. Every human culture and language and idea and conflict and difference fit into a single picture.

    The most incredible event in the history of Earth was marked by complete silence; only the engineers marked the arrival of equigravisphere, the place where a human being left the gravity of Earth and was taken over by the gravity of another planet. It was like when I drove my young children across a time zone line. I did a small ding! to give the abstract time change a reality.

    [page 218] There would be nothing to mark the place in space, no bump or jolt to the space craft. But in its silence, the crossing would make a thundering announcement — for the first time, man had become captured by the pull of another celestial body.

    The crew had to make a rocket burn while behind the Moon and out of contact with Earth by radio. This meant that NASA control would not know if the rocket burn went on-time, too long, or too short. Anything but on-time meant disaster for the crew and this was one of the few times, the crew what was going on and NASA control did not. When the crew responded to the call from NASA with, "Go ahead, Houston, Over" everyone was jubilant and cheering, and some like Chris Kraft had misted over eyes. They all hear Lovell's "Burn Complete" words and saying, "We're still here!" (Page 240)

    Everyone has seen the Sun rise in the morning or the Moon rising over the horizon at night, but humanity got to see something for the very first time, something for which we had no word to describe, up until it happened during Apollo 8: Earthrise!

    [page 247] In the distance, the astronauts could see the arc of the lunar horizon, and beyond it, the pitch-black infinity of space. As Apollo 8 continued to roll, Anders saw something appear in his window, just over the Moon's eastern horizon.
            "Oh, my God!" he called out. "Look at that picture over there! Here's the Earth coming up. Wow, is that pretty!"
           A shining sphere of royal blues, swirling whites, and dabs of sunbaked browns rose over the rough, all-gray Moon. And now Borman and Lovell saw it, too.

    No one had the word "Earthrise" available; it had not been invented yet. Earthrise had not risen into usage. But Anders as a photographer knew this moment could not be photographed in Black & White! It must be captured in full Living Color! He was right. He created one of the iconic images of what was later called the "Big Blue Marble" of our planet. That photograph appeared everywhere in later weeks, months, and years.

    [page 247] Anders reached for his camera.
           "Hey, don't take that, it's not scheduled," Borman joked.
           But no one could take his eyes off the scene.
           "Hand me that roll of color, quick, will you?" Anders said.
           "Oh, man, that's great!" Lovell said.

    The rising Earth moved out of view, but the crew quickly found it in another window and Anders got a spectacular shot with his Hasselblad 500 EL camera with its Zeiss Sonnar 250 mm telephoto lens. With it he took the Earth rising over the horizon of the Moon, the most famous photo taken by Apollo 8, known ever since as Earthrise.

    [page 248] Earthrise was the most beautiful sight Borman had ever seen, the only color visible in all the cosmos. The planet just hung there, a jewel on black velvet, and it struck him that everything he loved — Susan, the boys, his parents, his friends, his country — was on that tiny sphere, a brilliant blue and white interruption in a never-ending darkness, the only place he or anyone else had to call home.

    Anders thought it strange: we have come here to discover the Moon, and yet here we have discovered the Earth. (Page 249) On the way home, they also discovered their humanity. It happened when the three crewman lined up to read a Christmas message to those watching their broadcast to Earth. With the Moon moving across television screens shining out into homes, bars, and offices all across Earth, Anders began with a passage from the Bible, "In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth . . ." Lovell with the next passage "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. . . ." And Borman ended with the third passage "And God called the dry land Earth. And the gathering together of the waters He called seas. And God saw that it was good." (Page 262)

    [page 262, 263] Borman paused.
            "And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you — of you on the good Earth." A moment later, television screens around the world went dark.
           Inside Mission Control, no one moved. Then, one after another, these scientists and engineers in Houston began to cry. . . . In his studio at CBS, Walter Cronkite fought back tears as he came back on the air.

    They were aiming for home and Anders recalled watching man at the top of the main tent pole announce to the crowd that he was going to dive into a small bucket of water on the ground. Anders thought to himself: "My bucket is even smaller than that guy's from the circus." (Page 278) But something was going to happen, something very human, an error, and it would shake up the crew and Mission Control. And it was the maestro who made the mistake.

    [page 288] Lovell had become a maestro at this job, "shooting" stars, entering data, and aiming the sextant like a concert pianist playing a Steinway. In fact, Lovell had earned the nickname Golden Fingers for his proficiency at punching these keys. But he was human, and not immune to a bad note. Early on December 25, Houston time, Lovell missed a step. He meant to enter Program 23 and then select Star 01. Instead, he entered Program 01 into his computer.(1)

    BANG! An alarm went off and Apollo 8's guidance system reset itself to the first position on the launchpad at the cape. No one, neither man nor computer, knew which way was up anymore! Anders heard thrusters firing, which was a bad idea, since the control system was a blind man pushing buttons. Unsure what action to take to stabilize the capsule, Anders noticed the cabin was rotating by watching the sunlit dust particles floating inside it. With all the technology at his fingers confused, Anders stopped the rotation by firing the thrusters until the dust particles stopped moving. Collins on the ground relayed procedures to provide an accurate attitude reference for the capsule and then uploaded the correct values to the control system. Lowell sighted the stars with his sextant and in about a half hour more, the men and the spacecraft knew how they stood in relation to the universe and most importantly to their home on Earth. (Page 290) Like Lovell had once used the green algae glow in the seawater from the carrier's propellers to guide his airplane to the carrier safely, Anders, when returning to Earth from the Moon, was forced to use the patterns of dust swirling in his Apollo 8 capsule to stop the rotation of the capsule and allow them to reboot the navigation system successfully. Neither of these procedures were written in their operation procedures, only in their brains from life experience. During their last broadcast before landing, Lovell poked a little fun at himself, "I tried to hurry up the voyage home by calling up Program 01 to get us back on the pad, but it didn't work." Golden Fingers had done a little Golden Tongue excuse.

    Their last challenge of landing safely in the sea had been compared by someone as equivalent to "throwing a paper airplane into a mailbox slot from four miles away." But land they did, into a bumpy sea at night, but they were airlifted safely. One of the pilots asked the astronauts a question, "Is the Moon really made of green cheese?" "No," Anders replied. "It's made of American cheese." When Americans set foot on the Moon on July 20, 1969, we were watching the broadcast with friends and eating a green cheese ball with a tiny US flag stuck into its top. When we began eating the green cheese with crackers, we didn't know whether the Moon was made of green cheese, but by the end of the night we were sure it was not. As promised Americans had walked on the Moon and flown back safely in one of the greatest performance of engineering, courage, and bravery!

    Read/Print at:


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

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

    1. Padre Filius reads a Tee Shirt in Alaska this Month:

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

    This month the good Padre makes a Startling Discovery in Dutch Harbor:

    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 Kevin Dann in NYC:
      OH! RE: Poem

      If I were not scrambling to get uptown to Harlem for a bike tour, I would compose my reply to Awaken Now, O Son of Love.

      It would go something like this:

      Why do you, O Microcosmic Man from the Bayou
              Have such prodigious talent

      For affirming the reality of the spiritual world
              With such a light and tender touch?

      Love, Kevin

    • EMAIL Barrett in Edmonton:

      I just looked at your latest digest and I see my Pope as chauffeur joke along with my picture of snow in Edmonton on April 16th when the temperature was about 30°F. The weather here on May 3 just 8 days later was 77°F and all the snow is gone.

      The grass is turning green and the threes are leafing out. We will soon get a good day of rain followed by a sunny day or two. When this happens, all the trees just explode with green leaves. It is astounding. This is Alberta!


    • EMAIL from Suzanne:
      Bobby, Just a quick note to say Hi and to thank you and Del for sending me the Digestworld. I truly enjoy it and look forward to it each month !! Since you and Del are the Queen and King of Ship Cruises, I thought I might tell you that we are planning a Viking River Cruise to Paris this Summer. It will be a whole new experience and I am a bit nervous and very excited !!! Any suggestions will be accepted.......Your Cousin, Suzanne

      ~~~~~~ Reply from Bobby ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Suzanne,
      Del and I went on this exact Viking River cruise and I have it all documented here: Click Here!

      Hope you guys have a great cruise!

    • EMAIL from Joy Adams Beck re WJ60th Reunion:

      Nice review and picture of the reunion.

      Barbara Duhe & Brenda Cheramie did not graduate with us. I saw Barbara at a party about six years ago. She was living in in the area at the time. I have completely lost track of Brenda. Veronica was living in Texas and is now deceased.

      It was great seeing you and Del. Look forward to seeing you at the next reunion.


      ~~~~~~~~~~ Reply from Bobby ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Thanks, Joy. If anyone out there has contact information for my Westwego Classmates Barbara or Brenda, I would appreciate your letting me know. Click Here to get my email address.


    • EMAIL from Marjorie about Patron Party Del and I hosted at Timbelane:
      Hi Del and Bobby,

      WOW!!! What a party!!! Everything was just perfect!!!

      The yard and pergola were stunning, the tent with the white table cloths blew me away! Your home said "Welcome", the minute I walked into it.

      With all of that, it was so much fun, such a good time. Good music, good food, good people and great hosts. You can't beat that!!! It was truly a lovely evening, you were so generous to lend your home! It was the perfect venue!

      I enjoyed the whole evening, I was so happy to be there.

    • EMAIL from Chris Bryant, long-time Speed Tracer:
      RE: "I Could Have Traced That!"


      I hope all is well with you two. You and Del are on my fridge reminder of people I pray blessings for daily, so I think about you guys daily, even when we don't talk for awhile.

      I've served on our condo association board for most of the time we've lived here. New to the equation this year, I'm the president. As president responsibility for setting the agendas and leading the monthly meetings is now mine. Until last night all has gone well. Nearly everyone has thanked me for running efficient and short meetings. They have averaged 35 minutes as opposed to the 75 to 90 minutes they used to run. We have had a couple of troublesome owners in attendance. They have also been troubling our manager, office staff, and several other owners. The manager and I discussed a plan for limiting their doing so during meetings, so I was prepared for last night. Prepared, except for how pissed off aka doylic I became with them. I handled them, and all other attendees thanked me afterwards. However during the process my heart was racing, even feeling like it was skipping beats, and I'm sure my blood pressure was skyrocketing as well. About 4 hours later it occurred to me, I COULD HAVE TRACED THAT. So right there in bed I retrieved the body state as best I could and did several traces. I was even feeling like I had approached the situation incorrectly. After the traces I felt much better. I felt like I had done the right thing, I just could/should have remembered to trace in the moment.

      Thank you Bobby and Thank God you and Del are a blessing and blessed, Chris
      ~~~~~~~ Reply from Bobby ~~~~~~~

      And thanks to you, Chris. You reminded me this month to do a trace on a subtle, pasky doyle that kept hanging around inside me. It went away at one month old and is gone for good!

    • ~^~

    3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell: "Ex Post Facto"

    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:

    Ex Post Facto

    Next time you think of voting, ask yourself these questions.

    What percentage of the people would have voted for:
                 . . . sailing to India with Columbus?
                 . . . going to the moon?

    What percentage of the people would have voted for inventing:
                 . . . a heavier-than-air flying machine?
                 . . . an AC electric generator?
                 . . . a microwave oven?
                 . . . a VCR?
                 . . . a XEROX machine?
                 . . . an electronic computer?
                 . . . the Internet?

    Only after a person with single-minded conviction
          makes the essence of a personal vision
          manifest in physical reality
          is it possible to vote for the endeavor.

    Such is the nature of discovery.

    Such is the nature of invention.

    Such is the nature of democracy.


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