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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ David Anthony LeBoeuf (1960- 2018) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ Bobby's First Cousin ~~~~~
WELCOME TO DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#187 July, 2018== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Quote for the Summery Month of July:
"The past is not recovered, but reconstructed, and each new reconstruction is based on previous reconstructions."
Sir Frederick Bartlett, Psychologist (1886 - 1969)
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This DIGESTWORLD Issue will be edited until the First of July.
GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents
ISSUE#187 for July, 2018
Archived DIGESTWORLD Issues
Table of Contents
1. July's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for July
3. On a Personal Note
4. Cajun Story
5. Household Hint for July, 2018 from Bobby Jeaux: BEWARE: DEEP PRESUPPOSITIONS AHEAD!
6. Poem from Long Quiet Highway : "Fist Deep in Life"
7. Reviews and Articles featured for July:
8. Commentary on the World
- ARJ2: The Great Spring — Writing, Zen, and This Zigzag Life by Natalie Goldberg
- ARJ2: The East in the Light of the West, The Children of Lucifer and the Brothers of Christ by Rudolf Steiner
- ART: Writing Down the Bones — Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg
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
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1. July Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==This month Violet and Joey learn about Absinthe-Mindedness this Month.
For newcomers to DIGESTWORLD, we have created a webpage of early Violet-n-Joey cartoons!
"Absinthe" at http://www.doyletics.com/images/180603vj.jpg
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2. HONORED READERS FOR July:
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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 July, 2018:
John Rankin in New Orleans
Alva in the United Kingdom
Congratulations, John and Alva!
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3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
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Out Our Way:
TWO WEDDINGS AND A REUNION
KEVIN AND VICKI
We have heard that annulments are being facilitated by the Catholic Church and evidence of that came to us in a personal way when we received invitations to church weddings two days in a row! The first one came unexpectedly when my brother Kevin called on a Wednesday and asked if we could attend his and Vicki's wedding on Friday. Two days notice is unusual for a church wedding, so I asked how this happened. He and Vicki had been working with the priest at St. Mark's Catholic Church in Ama, Louisiana to get their annulment. He called on Tuesday and said that the annulment was approved and, "You can get married anytime." Kevin asked him, "What's a good time?" and the good Father answered, "How about Friday?" Amazingly all of our family, Paul, Steve, Janet, and I were available to come on Friday morning to Kevin's wedding at St. Mark's. Along with our spouses, Joyce, Janice, Barbara, Tommy, and Del we gathered after the wedding for a group photo.
The reception was a buffet at the Happy Gardens Chinese restaurant in Paradis, Louisiana. While we were eating my cousin Janell's husband Chester Ledet recognized me and came over to meet the wedding party. He said he saw my hat. We had been together a month or so ago in Thibodaux for our Babin's Reunion.
The next day was a luncheon at my club where members were encouraged to wear Hawaiian Shirts. My guest was Gary Arnold for the event, and we all had a good time. Whenever my brother Paul comes from Opelousas, I always ask him if he has a Cajun joke for me, and this time I hit the jackpot. He told me the joke after Kevin's wedding, and I shared it with the guys after our breakfast was over and it was a big hit. You can enjoy it as it appears in the Cajun Story section of this Issue. I had to leave the festivities early to get home and change into my seersucker suit for the Cathedral wedding.
DOUG AND LILLIAN
Del and I arrived early for the Saturday wedding of Doug Schmidt to Lillian in the St. Louis Cathedral. It was our first wedding in the famous head of the Archdiocese of New Orleans in the French Quarter. Lucky we were in the church before a heavy downpour hit the area and delayed the wedding for about half an hour, but eventually the large wedding party of maids and groomsmen assembled. It was an elegant wedding in a full church and we exited the church and joined a Second Line dancing up Chartres and Decatur to the Riverview Reception Hall on the fourth floor of the Jackson Brewery overlooking the Algiers Point bend of the Mississippi River.Our friend Vince Vance was the emcee and he and his Valiants played for the dancing and celebrations.
Del's cousin Pat Clark had organized the Legendre reunions in the past, but Del took over the chores this year. Pat was present with his wife Cherie, Lawrence Clark his oldes brother, and his other Dennis Clark with his wife Susan. The Clark family photo is located here in this Issue. Del started with the list Pat gave her, and dug up as many other names as she could find. She booked the Timberlane Country Club Ballroom and was hoping to get at least 40 relatives to the reunion. She was successful beyond her expectations and 71 people attended. They came from Idaho, Colorado, Tennessee, Texas, North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and other places.
After welcoming everyone to the Reunion, Del used a process that my cousin Judy Clement Poimboeuf had used for the earlier Babin reunion. She collected all her mom, Doris Legendre's descendants together and she and her brother Dan took turns introducing each of the members of their clan, those present and elsewhere. Each of the clan heads followed Del's pattern in turn. The large spoon that Del banged against a glass to get everyone's attention was passed onto her Uncle Bob when he began talking. It was like the talking stick: you got to talk if you held the stick.
Del's branch of the Legendres was the largest represented with about 15 members including her brother Dan and his family. Present were her son Jim from Colorado, her daughter Kim and family from Alexandria, Louisiana, her son John and family from Baton Rouge, and her son Stoney and family from Mandeville. Dan and family were from Mandeville and his daughter Heather and family were included.
Her Uncle Bob Legendre was here with his family from scattered parts of the country. Her cousin Pat Clark came from Houston with his wife Cherie, his brother Dennis with his wife Susie from Tennessee, and his brother Lawrence Clark from Idaho.
The Calkins branch of the Legendres was represented by brothers Richard, Dennis and Ronnie Calkins and family members. Among the group was Kathy Berrault with her husband Warren we knew from Del's work at Northwestern Mutual Lifes when we first met.Earline Calkins Arender's son Eric was there as was Earl Calkins' daughters Karen and Susan.
Her cousin John Hart was present with his family and most of the rest of the Hart clan Carolyn, Charlotte, and Gladys with spouses all descended from Del's Aunt Gladys..
The head of the Foley clan was celebrating his 85th birthday, Earle Foley. Okay, why is there an "e" on the end of Earl? He says it was on his birth certificate and he just kept it. His daughter Sharon brought a large birthday cake which we ate for dessert. Earle's family make up its small size with its cheery presence. The cake disappeared by the end of the day.
The other Foley branch was Gus Foley which was represented by Keith Foley who introduced Gus's widow Jackie and some of her grandchildren. I recall Gus and Jackie from Waterford-3 events and knew them as related to Ken and Gail LeBlanc. Only after many years, I discovered Gus was related to Del. Jackie took a photo with her very tall grandsons, Conner and Blake and she barely came up to their biceps.
After everyone said their goodbyes at the Club and headed for home, Del's four offspring and grandchildren were waiting in our driveway for me and Del to arrive. They came in and had a Hatchett family get together. Jim was on vacation for the first time since his family moved to Loveland, Colorado, we all wanted to be together as a family again. The next day was Father's Day and the kids had plans to be with their dad in Baton Rouge, and my daughter Yvette and I were planning to be together in Mandeville. Del had worked mightily to get everything together. Dan and I were there to help her, but we knew the best way to help her was to get out of her way. The event was a great success. I had been to many events held in the Timberlane Country Club Ballroom, but this was the only one where Del planned and executed the whole event: the invitations, the food, the table decorations, the family charts on the wall, and the hors d'oeuvres served as people arrived. The pulled pork sandwiches were a hit and the fried catfish and salad also.The best part of all was that Café Hope who prepared the food and served it, also cleaned up afterwards.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY IN MANDEVILLE
Our Sunday gathering was for our grandson Aidan Clark's Lacrosse tournament in Pelican Park of Mandeville. The first game began at 8:50 AM and we were told to expect a possible second game if they qualified which would occur at 1 PM or so. We got up early and I timed our arrival to get to the field at 8:50, but life had other plans. First, we wanted to eat something in case it was hot dogs and sodas to last to the second game. So we drove to the Waffle House we knew of next to Lewisburg where Dan and Karen live.When we got there, it was shuttered and we had no idea where it had boogied to. We passed the Mandy's restaurant next door and I noted that it was already open for Father's Day.Del found a Waffle House on the way to Pelican Park, but it cost us about 20 to 30 minutes. Plus there had been a fiery auto accident which slowed us down.
When we got to the Red lacrosse uniforms on the Purple Field, Aidan's team was already playing. We settled in to watch a long game, but the High Lacrosse games are truncated and unfortunately the game ended about 15 minutes after we arrived, due to the Waffle House being closed.After the game, we visited with Greg and Yvette while waiting for Aidan's team to finish their post-game team meeting and it was getting close to 11 am so I suggested Mandy's Restaurant for our Father's Day meal. It would be next to Causeway Blvd, easy egress for me and Del to New Orleans and equally easy for the Clarks to head up to I-12 and west to Belle Aire, Texas and home.We had thought it might be possible for us to meet up with Dan and Karen who live nearby, but they had gone to church.
We had to wait for about 25 minutes to get a table for five.We each had one of their specialty omelettes and Yvette tried their Eggs Sardou. As we got up to leave, I texted Karen, "Home yet?" and as I looked up from my text screen there was Karen looking directly at me! She and Dan had just come in from church and were waiting in line for a table. We found out that this is their usual place for Sunday brunch after church.What ensued was a family meeting standing up in waiting area of Mandy's. Greg, Yvette, and Aidan were introduced to Del's brother Dan and his wife Karen. They knew Yvette, I believe, but probably not Greg and Aidan.
The crowd of folks waiting had by this time dwindled to Dan and Karen, so enjoyed their company, took family photos, and only parted some 20 minutes later when Mandy's announced their table was ready. The Prince of Serendipity was certainly at work on this Father's Day morning.
ONE GLITCH MONTH, ALMOSTI was too optimistic — we were into Extra Time in our World Cup and down only One-Nil when on a Saturday Morning I heard a strange metallic sound as Del left for Beauty Parlor. Looked around didn't see anything. When she returned couldn't get the garage door open. I rounded up the usual suspects: was one of the electric eye moved out of position, was something jammed against the track, etc. I found nothing. But while I was doing a close inspection on the long track, Del looked out from the kitchen door and asked, "Does the spring look funny?" Well, it should have: it had snapped apart on the right edge and without that heavy-duty torsion spring, which is put under enormous pressure when the door goes down, to lift the double-wide wooden garage door, it was stuck. Too heavy for one man to lift it. So the one car left in the garage was going to stay in the garage until the Overhead Door mechanic got here to fix it. Naturally no one available on weekend and we'll get on the schedule early Monday morning.They're due here on Tuesday.
Now for the one glitch we fixed earlier in the month. We struggled for years with having two HP Laserjet Printers available from Del's PC and my PC. They worked fine when they worked, but it was an expensive call for repair when they didn't link up to the two PCs, which was often. Like the latest call was after COX installed a new Wireless Router and suddenly Del's HP Color Laserjet wouldn't work. That was the last straw for me, so I had tech connect the Color Laserjet directly to Del's PC and the HP4+Duplex to my PC for two-sided printing.
Soon, Del's HP would only work if you powered it off and back on. Finally it stopped altogether. The price to fix it was 5X the cost of a new LaserJet which printed in Black&White. We bought a Brothers Laserjet at Best Buy and Del has been happy. But she still needs to unplug and replug the printer for it to work. As an el cheapo printer, there is no ON-OFF switch. The wonders of modern technology: Now manual ON-OFF switches cost more than the entire electronic minds which control devices!The physical hardware holding the pieces of a cybernetic device together sets the lower limit of the cost of the device.
CELESTE FIGS HAVE ARRIVED EARLY ! ! !For almost a decade we had been going to Orange Beach with our kids for our week in our condos. Unfortunately that meant missing out on our delicious Celeste figs because they normally ripened during the week we were gone. We received glowing reports from our neighbors who enjoyed picking them and occasionaly a small jar of fig preserves from a vacation picker of our crop. This year, perhaps because of the extraordinary cold spell, 8 days with lows in the 20s, our fig crop ripened in June 22, almost three weeks early. I've been having to get up early to pick the ripest figs before our beloved Cardinals and Mocking Birds have a chance at them. There's plenty enough for all of us to enjoy this year. Getting a bowlful every day for about a week so far. I may have missed a day or so because I don't start checking the figs until the first of July, up until now.
FOLLOW UP ON DEL'S SMART PHONE
Del was having trouble doing a Google Search on her new iPhone 8 she bought to replace the Z10 Blackberry Smartphone which had been killed by the Smart Faucet in a rest room. Background: her purse had been perched precariously on a small lavatory had fallen into it. Unbeknownst to Del, her purse had filled up silently with water. Polite lavatories don't do that! Her credit cards, and cash were fine, just a little damp, but her Smart Phone was dead. I dried it using several techniques and finally after several weeks I gave up. But learning that it sometimes takes a month or more, I left it plugged in on the shelf under our kitchen table.
On this morning when she couldn't get her new phone to Google the location of Senegal, a World Cup team we were watching play. I got an idea that I needed to check her old comatose phone. I hadn't checked the drying-out Z10 in a few days, and when I lifted it to the top of the table and a RED LIGHT was ON. That meant it had recovered! I checked a few things and discovered even though I could not make phone calls on the disconnected phone, it was possible to do a Google Search and I was to find Senegal, its capitol is Dakar, on the western coast of Africa. I checked a few other things. Remembering that I had removed her 32Gb memory chip I had added for holding photos and videos, I placed it into the Z10. Unfortunately, like an drowning victim newly recovering, the Z10 went back into it comatose state for some time. Probably the movement of re-installing the memory chip shook loose a tiny moisture which must now dry out again. I'm excited about finding out what other functions will also work, such as the NFC method of sharing contacts, and many other things which may also work, such as the TEXT function since it goes direct to satellite and doesn't use the telephone cellular towers. The camera should work just fine and if enough things work, the Z10 may be a handy off-line device to carry around at times. More to report next month, so stay tuned, Same Smart Time, Same Smart Channel.
COMMANDING THE TABLE
We watched a movie about the life of Ella Brennan and then Del got the book written by her and her daughter which the movie was based on. She never owned a pot or a pan but knew how food should be cooked, how it should taste and be presented, and everything else important about running a restaurant. She lived on the grounds of Commander's Palace and was always present in the kitchen tweaking the food and in the dining areas greeting guests. When our son-in-law gave Del and Kim a special ticket to Commander's Palace for Mother's Day specifying that each could bring one guest, Wes and I hoped they would ask him and me, which they did. We arrived at ten for their Sunday Jazz Brunch and were seated in the Sun Room upstairs.The food was marvelous. I began with a pain perdue appetizer, had a Cajun Crawfish Frittata, and the scrumptious Bread Pudding Souffle for dessert. Everything was perfect including the Gulf Fish leftovers which they wrapped up looking like silver swans for Del. We are getting ready to enjoy Commander's Palace leftovers for supper in a few minutes. Talk about good!
LAST MINUTE EVENTSDel and I had lunch at Walk-Ons Grill and Sports Bar at the end of June. Had a chance to shake hands with Coach Orgeron and talk to him during a break in his WWL Radio Interview with Bobby Hebert. Told the Grill Manager who asked me how we enjoyed his place, "We're just walk-ons, but you treated us like regulars!"
EVERY GOOD THING MUST COME TO A NEW BEGINNINGIMPORTANT MESSAGE:
June busted out all over our area with almost daily showers and the dry patches of our lush St. Augustine Grass have filled in with bright green leaves again. My method for keeping our grass vibrant and green at Timberlane? I leave it alone. It gets cut once a week during growing season, March to December, and grows on its own otherwise unattended but watched over with loving care. No fertilizing, rolling, aerating, watering or other machinations of lawn maintenance which keeps Lowe's and Home Depot and lawn owners busy in other parts of the country.
From me and Del, till we meet again, God Willing and tropical storms wander elsewhere, whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, be it warm or frigid,
Remember our earnest wish for this wonderful Year of 2018:
MAY THE WORLD BECOME PEACEFUL AND SERENE IN TWENTY-EIGHTEEN
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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:New Stuff on the Internet:
Don't talk to me of Archimedes' lever. He was an absent-minded person with a mathematical imagination. Mathematics commands all my respect, but I have no use for engines. Give me the right word and the right accent and I will move the world.
— Joseph Conrad , from his Autobiography.
Most of the working truths on this earth are humble, not heroic truths.
— Joseph Conrad , from his Autobiography.
Good manners make any man a pleasure to be with. Ask any woman.
— Peter Mayle
The virtuous need but few laws; for it is not the law which determines their actions, but their actions which determine the law.
These days, liberals are once again preaching one thing and practicing another. They always want diversity, but that ideal never seems to carry over to diversity of opinion.
— Vanessa Pierce
A liberal is a man who will give away everything he doesnt own.
How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.
— Henry David Thoreau
New Stuff on Website:
Below are Four of Bobby's Published Books. Click to Read Them.
Tidbit of Humor:Funny Wedding-Couple Announcements such as Hardy-Harr!
Thanks to Jeff Parsons for sending this Tidbit on June 11, 2018 to DIGESTWORLD! ! !
Movies we watched this past month:Notes about our movies: Many of the movies we watch are foreign movies with subtitles. After years of watching movies in foreign languages, Arabic, French, Swedish, German, British English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and many other languages, sometimes two or three languages in the same movie, the subtitles have disappeared for us. If the movie is dubbed in English we go for the subtitles instead because we enjoy the live action and sounds of the real voices so much more than the dubbed. If you wonder where we get all these foreign movies from, the answer is simple: NetFlix. For a fixed price a month they mail us DVD movies from our on-line Queue, we watch them, pop them into a pre-paid mailer, and the postman effectively replaces all our gas-consuming and time-consuming trips to Blockbuster. To sign up for NetFlix, simply go to http://www.netflix.com/ and start adding all your requests for movies into your personal queue. If you've seen some in these movie blurbs, simply copy the name, click open your queue, and paste the name in the Search box on NetFlix and Select Add. Buy some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. You get to see your movies as the Director created them NOT-edited for TV, in full-screen width, your own choice of subtitles, no commercial interruptions, and all of the original dialogue. Microwave some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. With a plasma TV and Blu-Ray DVD's and a great sound system, you have theater experience without someone next to you talking on a cell phone during a movie plus a Pause button for rest room trips.Hits (Watch as soon as you can. A Don't Miss Hit is one you might otherwise have missed along the way.):
P. S. Ask for Blu-Ray movies from NetFlix, and if it says DVD in your Queue, click and select Blu-Ray version."Abdul and Victoria" (2017) A ruler of a billion without a friend in the world, up until Abdul. True story hidden by Brit Royals until 2010.A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !"Roommates" (1995) a movie set in the 60s with Peter Falk, D. B. Sweeney, Julianne Moore, and Ellen Burstyn forming roommates for each other nonagenarian Falk helps his grandson from grade school to college, helps him raise his kids and helps lift him out of depression.
"A Righteous Kill" (2008) De Niro and Pacino train Danny Reagan as they go on track of a serial killer who is a cop, a cop inside of a killer inside a cop. But who is the cop? A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Only the Brave" (2017) The Granite Mountain Hotshots go up in a blaze of glory, a monument to courageous firefighters everywhere. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"Battle of the Sexes" (2017) Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, both sides win.
"Anon" (2018) when anonymity is gone, the power is being anonymous.
"Bombshell: The Hedy Lamar Story" (2017) Inventor and Hollywood Movie Star. Guess which one paid more! A DON'T MISS HIT !
"LBJ" (2017) Woody Harrelson portrays Lyndon Johnson's rise to the presidency in this sanitized movie by Rob Reiner.
"Poison Thread" (2017) Daniel Day Lewis stars as meticulous London dressmaker whose life is disrupted by a model who poisons him to his senses when she falls in love with him.
"Wonderwheel" (2017) Woody Allen spins a dizzy Chekhov play of a summer at Coney Island with a wife finding new life in a lifeguard while her son burns his bridges.
"Shetlands" (2017) we watched mostly because series is located on the islands off Scotland we will be stopping in port one day during our fall Viking Cruise to Norway. The Shetland Bus during WWII was the name of the ferry to England people used to escape Nazi oppression. A murder mystery developing slowly.
"The Saint" (2017) Simon Templar, resurrected into 21st Century rides a white horse with a cyber-punk tough gal, recovering gold and locking up bad guys.
"In Bruges" (2008) We went to Bruges after seeing this movie. Wacky hit men and midgets with swan in canals and a swan dive at the end.
"12 Strong" (2018) formed the first team into Afghanistan after 9/11 and did in 3 weeks what was projected to take 2 years; plus all of the 12 returned home alive! A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
"California Typewriter" (2017) stays open keeping typewriters alive and typewriter nuts happy! I bought a 1950s Royal brand new from Sears for $85 and a used IBM Selectric for $500 in 1980. Still have them both.
(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."Manglehorn" (2014)Mangled Al Pacino, mangled script, mangled film.
"False Confessions" (2017) like I confess this was really a movie about a play. Del was surprised by that revelation at the end, but I stopped watching because it seemed like an awkwardly performed High School play.
"Planetarium" (2017) a Portman portmanteau of seances and silliness.
"Suburbicon" (2017) a dystopian Hollywood's view of the flyover area of America with a couple of Coen Brothers thrown in for bad measure.
Your call on these your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:"Blade Runner: 2049" (2017) 'Do Androids Dream of Plastic Imitations'? What fun watching Han Solo in handcuffs for a half hour, almost drowning while the script foundered out of sight.
"Literally, Right Before Aaron" (2017) if you break up a six year love affair do you go to her wedding to Aaron a year later? Only if you're a creep like Adam who lives in his imagination of how things were and lets real life go sliding past him.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Le Boudreaux Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission. Thanks to brother Paul Matherne for the story.
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My brother Tee Paul told me this happened when his Cajun band showed up for a volunteer gig at C'est Bon Retirement Home outside Opelousas. They waited in the back while Boudreaux the Magician was finishing up his act with a hypnosis demonstration.
Boudreaux took out an antique pocketwatch and began swinging slowly, back and forth, back and forth on its chain while he said in a soft voice:
"Yo' eyes been getting heavy . . .
"Yah gone getting drowsy . . .
"Yah gone heard only mah voice . . .
"Yah gone done only w'at Ah tole yah to done . . ."
Suddenly the chain broke, the pocketwatch shattered into pieces, and Boudreaux said, "SHIT!"
Tee Paul told me his band's gig got canceled and it took the Home three whole days to clean up the place!
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5.Household Hint for July, 2018 from Bobby Jeaux:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =BE AWARE OF DEEP PRESUPPOSITIONS AND SNEAKY PHOBIAS!
~^~ How long does it take you to recover from being hit by a presupposition? ~^~
After a week long seminar in Advanced Hypnosis, I came away with this incredible realization: The Expert Hypnotists are the average people on the street. They create hypnotic trances, post-hypnotic suggestions, and install phobias in other people and no one even notices! These people are expert in using presuppositions. "What color is that cat?" presupposes there is a cat where you're pointing. If you say it congruently, the person will hallucinate a cat and tell you what color it is. I know this is so because, during a break during the seminar, a member of the seminar said he could create hallucinations and that was how he demonstrated it, using the guy standing next to him at the bar. Suddenly I began to hear presuppositions all around me and most of them were used to my own detriment: news, weather, ads, commentary were full of presuppositions, especially the commercials. Over the decades since then, I have gone on a presupposition diet by avoiding TV programs, choosing instead to get my information from the newspaper the next morning. Hardly any news is important enough that it can't wait till the next morning. In a similar vein, I do not subscribe to any social media or news alerts which merely spoil my equanimity, diverting my attention from my work, and filling me with presuppositions about unpleasant things happening, most of which never happen. I learned as a young adult that "95% of your worries never happen". I choose not to bother with worries (negative presuppositions), especially with other people's worries. (Note: a concern is worthy of my attention, but a worry creates a presupposition that something is going wrong and is only 5% worthy of my attention.)
STEPS TO AN ECOLOGY OF MIND
This was the title of a powerful book by Gregory Bateson and the title presupposes there are steps to developing an ecology of mind, a peace of mind. With practice you can learn to notice when a presupposition is dropped nearby and you can take positive action to disable the effects of the presupposition. Jonathan Parker in a tape series suggested that we say CANCEL either out loud or to ourselves to ward off the deleterious presupposition. If an image was created internally by it, then you imagine the CIRCLE WITH A DIAGONAL SLASH (the now-universal sign of CANCEL) and place it over the unwanted image, i.e., over the image of the unwanted reality someone or something triggered in you mind. Visualize the CANCEL symbol over the image and say to yourself at the same time, CANCEL as many times as necessary for it to go away. If you practice this process often on your own, you will find it possible to do it without anyone else being aware of it. Most people's negative presuppostions are like their pets and you should respect their pets. But respecting someone's pets does not require you to let them live inside of you or your home. NOTE: if you let on that you are canceling you of their pet presuppositions, that person will likely jump on you with a fury of negative presuppositions which may take you a lifetime to cancel afterwards.
The Advanced Hypnosis seminar I attended in the early 1980s was run by Richard Bandler, one of the authors of Structure of Magic, a two volume book I read and studied back in 1977 and 1978. Once I learned how to eliminate the unwanted presuppositions that people dumped upon me, my interest in psychotherapy began to wane. Since then I have kept a close acquaintance with the Presupposition Glossary of Structure of Magic. Click on the link at left and you can read through their comprehensive list of presuppositions and examples of how each one can be used and are used by experts — the average person on the street. My Matherne Rule#39 is: How quickly do you recover when hit by a presupposition? Click Here to read about it.
RECOVERING FROM PHOBIA INSTALLATIONS
Another process I learned from Bandler and Grinder was how to help someone get rid of a phobia in a few minutes. This was beginner's work for their new psychotherapy students. It was only in Bandler's Advanced Hypnosis Seminar that I learned how to install phobias. You may be wondering, "I can see why curing a phobia would be useful, but why would anyone wish to have a phobia installed in them?" The answer is: NO ONE WOULD, not in themselves, but into OTHER PEOPLE. An example of people who find it useful and profitable to install phobias in other people: sales personnel. "If you buy this 2 Year Warranty, you're protected against your new printer breaking during two years." Well, consider that the customer of a new printer never considered it breaking. The sales clerk has just installed a phobia in them and offered a solution to remove the very phobia they have just installed. The solution is an expensive warranty to cover the customer for 2 years for a product that likely has a life expectancy of twenty years, especially if it's an electronics device. Sales people are experts in phobia installations.
The average person on the street is an expert in installing phobias and they do not have a clue that they installing phobias. They usually start by saying, "You know what I just found out." and suddenly you are concerned about something happening to you that you never considered before. You've just had a phobia installed.
Having digested this Household Hint you have an option when you feel like you've been done to: CANCEL! CANCEL! CANCEL! until you feel normal again and avoid that person in the future. You can do this silently in your head as you walk away and or place the CANCEL (CIRCLE AND SLASH) Icon over the image they created in your mind. For visual people the CANCEL ICON works; for Auditory people saying CANCEL! works. When in doubt do both!
OTHER THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Remember anyone you meet is likely an expert in the utilization of presuppositions, and most of them don't know it. It's up to you be aware and then you can ward off the effects that presuppositions can have on you: phobias, trance inductions, post-hypnotic suggestions, and so on. Be aware of the images and feelings people create in you and be ready for an immediate CANCEL! if the need arises. It is up to you to take steps to improve the ecology of your own mind.
Are you aware that any Poll Question which goes "Are you aware of the seriousness of X?" presupposes the existence of X?
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6. POETRY based on Bobby's Review of Natalie Goldberg's Long Quiet Highway :
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =Fist Deep in Life: "Where Hemingway talks about the Bambilla, he also talks about the Madrid climate, sleep, Constantinople, the Allied occupation, watching the sun rise, the stockyards burning in Chicago, and the Republican convention in Kansas City in 1928 all in the same paragraph. He did not worry whether everything followed a topic sentence, as I was taught to write in junior high. Old Ernest went wherever his mind took him. And it worked! I wanted that for myself; that was having a fist in my own life." Natalie Goldberg
"Having a fist in my own life" made me think of being "fist deep in life" like a baker bread might be fist deep in dough as while kneading it. The poem below, based on my review, is my litany of the things one can get "fist deep in life" with:
~^~Fist Deep in Life
Fist deep in bread dough
Fist deep in dishwater
Fist deep in garden soil
Fist deep in Life.
Fist deep in a novel
Fist deep in glowing words
Fist deep in a birthing cow
Fist deep in Life.
Fist deep in taffy
Fist deep in sawdust
Fist deep in blood and guts
Fist deep in Life.
Fist deep in problems
Fist deep in paperwork
Fist deep in a fight
Fist deep in Life.
Fist deep in chocolate
Fist deep in grapes
Fist deep in a beehive
Fist deep in Life.
Fist deep in Family
Fist deep in Friends
Fist deep in Love
Fist deep in Life.
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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for July:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =For our Good Readers, here are the reviews and articles featured this month. The first review this month is a new book by Natalie Goldberg. The second is a brand new Steiner review this month. The third review appeared as a short blurb in an early DW33 and appears in DW187 in full for the first time: "Writing Down the Bones" by Natalie Goldberg. A double-dip cone of Natalie for our readers this month.
1.) ARJ2: The Great Spring — Writing, Zen, and This Zigzag Life by Natalie Goldberg
"I thought you were dead!" With those words, Dottie Zold of California greeted me in the Schreinerei of the Goetheanum in 2013. "That's interesting," I said, "and why did you think that?" "Because you've been writing for so long," was her earnest reply. I feel the same way about Natalie, "You have been writing for so long." Over forty years, she says.
What a delight to find a new book written by Natalie! One in hardback and First Edition, containing pieces that she has written elsewhere over the years, which I am happy to encounter collected into a book. I remember Writing Down the Bones which I read first in 1987. She wrote down things which inspired me and inspire me still. "If only one line in the poem has energy, then cut the rest out and leave only that one line," William Carlos Williams said to Allen Ginsberg. On page 157 of Bones, she wrote, "A quiet poem. Those are tricky poems to find; they are the subtle hum in your notebook that can bring you into another world." And this short poem oozed out from the underground of my psyche.
a subtle hum
a quiet poem
into another world
In Natalie's introduction she writes of the bursting joy of Spring this way: "The title The Great Spring signifies the great rushing of energy that arrives when you think no life will ever come again." I was reading this on the day of an LSU baseball game when freshman pitcher Todd Peterson talked his coach into letting him take a swing at the ball saying, "I nuked them in high school!" He hit the ball against the fence for a 2-RBI double to win the game. His jaded coach Paul Manieri, whose team was facing sure elimination, suddenly beamed like an eighteen-year-old kid! Later the pitcher admitted he lied, "I only hit the ball in batting practice, Coach, but I wanted to swing!" He was batting a thousand! His swing created a bursting of joy in his team and coach which will carry good feelings for LSU baseball into the next season.
Bursting of joy continues: Natalie leaves a monastery and is overcome by a yen for chocolates and buys two bags of M&Ms; they are all melted but she shoves them in her mouth. A monk all in formal traveling attire walks towards her; she tries to hide her chocolate-smeared hands, but the monk pulls out a bar of something and holds it up. Almond Joy. They both burst out laughing. (Page 14)
In her chapter Tennis, Natalie writes:
[page 22] I love tennis with every cell, and the amazing thing was I couldn't do it alone. I had to have a partner. I tried the squash walls: the ball answered wrong, came back too fast, too low, too artificial, too alone. I needed others before I knew or could pronounce loneliness.
I never knew aloneness growing up as one of six kids and two parents. Reading was the only thing I ever did alone — maybe that's why I did a lot of reading — I could be alone. I enjoyed one-on-one games, handball, ping-pong, chess, and even tennis for a few years. I liked the head-on competition of these games, and mostly avoided team games. Tennis was just another one-on-one game and not my favorite game. But Natalie loved tennis and even remembered it late at night as she lay in bed.
[page 22] In the middle of the night I remember how I visited my grandmother in Miami Beach in December and walked away from the ocean four blocks to where a tournament was being held at Flamingo Park, sat on a green bench between the high iron fences separating the eight courts. I closed my eyes, feeling the paaa paaa paaa around me in all four directions from the felted yellow balls hitting in the magnificent center of the strings, I could tell from the sound who could play and who was faking it, who drank too much, who had wrong sex the night before, and whose wife didn't love him.It was all men playing that afternoon, and soon my grandmother would be looking to serve me her boiled plain chicken. To return to family, I tore myself away from the hum in my body, the central hunger in my breath.
Her grandmother's taste in chicken causes me to pause and ask, like my grandson Garret, "What flavor is plain?" In the city of New Orleans, one cannot find any food that tastes plain. Someone said, "If you die of old age here, it's your own damn fault!"
In college, a boyfriend remembered Natalie's smile on the tennis court "when she made a good shot, swung hard, the swirl below the right toe of her rubber sneaker deepening." She puzzled, "How did I dare leave tennis behind, drop that true poetry for the one of words?" (Page 25)
Natalie inspired me to write a short poem and finish with a quote from page 27:
I dropped the true poetry
The paaa paaa paaa
around me in four directions,
for the poetry of words.
Like in Tennis,
it's better to keep a limber mind
and develop a tenderness
On page 29, Natalie learned from a writer that if you stop writing, you remain a writer. "Even if you can't write, you can see the way a writer does, notice, take in, digest the details and stories of what surrounds you." Another poem flowed from my finger.A Writer
If you can't write:
See like a writer
Feel like a writer
Smell like a writer
Taste like a writer
Dance like a writer
Live like a writer.
Her chapter Archer City is about a ghost town I would love to visit, about 2.5 hours north of Dallas, a ride so monotonous that "even the cows are bored out of their minds." As Natalie's friend says as she asks her to turn around because, "There's nothing here." Natalie responds by relating how Larry McMurtry saved Archer City from oblivion. He turned it into a town of book stores!
[page 60] In the mideighties, as his hometown of Archer City, the setting for some of his novels, was slowly becoming a ghost town, McMurtry bought up the buildings and made each one a bookstore. One building held books of poetry, another history. He said that whenever an independent bookstore any place in the country went out of business, he bought up the stock and brought the books home. His Family herded cattle; he was going to herd books.
The metaphor of an archer for a writer seems fitting for me. Around 1981 I bought a wood sculpture of an archer which is my favorite. Writing about Archer City, my wood sculpture came to mind. The archer in the wood carving is holding the bow string taut with his own body which acts as the arrow! A writer creates the tension in his words, shapes himself into a story, and launches himself in the direction of his intended reader. My wood sculpture is a fitting symbol for Archer City.
This book I am reviewing is a First Edition, but I have already glyphed the date in it, written where I bought it, and have written numerous marginalia inside it. In my early days, I underlined important passages, but I switched to writing notes in the margins because the underlines became distracting as I re-read the book for my reviews and research later on. I own few rare books because they are meant to be looked at and admired, not to be consumed by this hungry reader. I decline offers from friends who want to loan me a book, "Sorry, but if I read your book, as hard as I try to avoid it, I will make notes inside it."I buy books I choose to read. Kindles to me are only useful as night lights if you have no other source of light.
[page 68] I was driven to write books in order to find my lost voice, to be seen by people who could not see me. Why did I think books — something I cared for but they didn't — would wake up my parents? They would read my books and we would have the connection I longed for. It thought they would see into my true heart.
My parents hardly read my writing. Once my father asked me if I would write a poem about the small sawmill town of Donner in which my mom grew up. What can I write about a sawmill town, I thought, but Dad was interested in my writing and knew that I could write poems, so I needed to produce a poem which somehow summarized my mom's life in this now-gone sawmill town. Like cypress kindling, Donner flamed up in the early 20th century and was snuffled out when the old growth Bald Cypress were clear-cut by 1938. That led Annette to move to Bourg where she met Buster and they became my parents a couple of years later. I basically came into being because of Donner, one might say I came through the sawmill town of Donner, a sawmill town that was through now. Those words in italics became the title and theme of my poem which you can read here: Donner. Years later, Dad asked me one day out of the blue (we rarely talked about my work as a writer), "Is writing hard?" Boy, that was a hard question to answer, but I thought about it and came up with this reply, "No, Dad, writing is easy; it's having something worth writing about that is hard."
When I made a decision to spend the rest of my life writing, I had no idea where to begin.Up until that time, I wrote when I was given assignments to write. I wrote several articles in national journals, such as Datamation Magazine, Journal of Irreproducible Results, and International Transactional Analysis Association Journal, among other small journals, but nothing that filled my time and I struggled to find myself as a writer. Into this vacuum strolled a man named Peter Elbow. What a perfect name for a writing teacher! And his book was perfect for me, Writing Without Teachers. I bought a copy immediately and began writing following his instructions. "Take out a piece of paper and write for ten minutes without stopping". WOW! How simple is that? I thought. Write without stopping until you have filled ten minutes of time, which amounts to two pages at my speed of writing. If you can't think of anything to say, write "I can't think of anything to say." The main job is to keep writing, to write through the pauses even.
Soon, the editor in my head simply GAVE UP! I kept writing so the editor got pissed and left me alone to my foolishness, as he called it. My writing began to make sense and led me into an occupation as writer. I had already made the decision, but I had a family to house, feed, and entertain, so I took a job at a nuclear power plant. I was driving to work for 90 minutes each way, which gave me about an hour and a half of time for reading each day. I taught myself to drive safely while reading, and one day I finished reading a book while on my way to work. During my coffee break, I got ready to do the daily Free-Writing Exercise suggested by Peter Elbow and my feelings perked up as I thought, "CONTENT!" What I felt was relief that today's writing exercise already had content ready to fill the two empty pages, namely, writing about the book I had just finished reading! That is how I began my practice of writing a review of every book after I finish reading it.
When Natalie said that she avoided doing writing workshops, I understood what she meant as I had avoided them in my own career. I did start a brief Writing Without Teachers class for a half dozen friends which helped them and me get this process started, but no writing workshops or classes after that for me.
[page 71] It is widely acknowledged that writing cannot be taught as a chronological step-by-step method and that this workshopping process, we were doing in class, is the way writing is transmitted in America. Many great writers have been initiated this way. But I grew impatient. I have assiduously avoided workshopping for the whole of my writing career.
Natalie described what happened when she sent a friend directions to a newly built retreat in Taos. What her friend discovered was that we get lost in maps we create out of the words people use to give us directions. My preference is always a sketchy map over an elaborate verbal description of the route, and her friend describes my very reason for the map preference.
[page 144] "I rented a car at the airport in Albuquerque. Getting to Taos was fine — only one highway pointing north — but then I had to follow Natalie's directions on these dirt back roads. I got lost. I realize now that when I listened to her over the phone, I pictured in my mind what she was saying, and when the markers appear in actuality — for instance, the right at an abandoned adobe — they weren't how I'd pictured them, so I ignored them and went looking for what matched my vision. Isn't that how we also work in our life? We don't see reality."
As a 35-year-old, my supervisor told me, "In the Norwegian Boy Scout Handbook, in the section on Map Reading, it said, 'When the terrain differs from the map, believe the terrain." Natalie drove to Hibbing, Minnesota with Mary, a filmmaker, to find Bob Dylan, but instead found Bobby Zimmerman. But along the way they couldn't find Bob Dylan and became tangled up in attempting to find Dylan and made a movie about their process of looking for him, named Tangled Up in Bob. Mary said she knew they had a movie after they met BJ Rolfzen, Dylan's English teacher.
[page 150, 151] We traveled back to Hibbing several more times and made the film Tangled Up in Bob. At the end I realized I couldn't find Bob Dylan, the man I played on my stereo, in Hibbing. What I found in Hibbing was Bobby Zimmerman, who eventually gave birth to Bob Dylan. Hibbing was where he came from but he left and went on to another life. . . . The film turned out gorgeous, and something large and unexpected happened to me in the process. I went up to Hibbing hoping to find home — Dylan's, mine, somebody's. But you can't find a home in a house, a building, a place. Instead I found friendship, with the breath of poetry breathing us, both BJ and me.
In the Chapter called Losing, Natalie loses friends in six stories. Sandy was one.
[page 154] "Do you see that bird's nest on top of the telephone pole?" He
I'd have to squint hard. "Yes, you're right. Wow."
He was clear almost to the end. I'd stop by, bring watermelon — his favorite — out of season, while he was propped up in bed reading the New York Times.
Gone now. A rush of death in a month's time.
A friend of mine gave me this advice decades ago — he's probably dead now. "If you live long enough, all your relatives and friends will die — keep getting younger friends."
Stories and more stories, Chinese in St. Paul, Zen at the High Chapperal, and at the end, a memorable Afterword titled The Smoke of Memories. I like to think of it as a poem with which Natalie ends the Great Spring with a Lingering Summer:Afterword
2.) ARJ2: The East in the Light of the West, The Children of Lucifer and the Brothers of Christ by Rudolf Steiner
The subtitle seems a bit unusual, referring to the East as the "children of Lucifer" and the West as the 'brothers of Christ." Patience. Steiner urges us readers to endure, as we wade through the early lectures until he reveals all in Lecture 5.
[page 1] Patience, or the ability to wait, is the inexorable demand in all departments of life. Failures are inevitable, and we must not grieve over them. Nature is not concerned over her countless failures, for the beings behind nature know that the higher spiritual law is bound to bring to pass the things which have been determined.
If, in our transitory human lives, we can grasp the Christ, we will allow to mature in our intransient womb the eternal and the immortal. We do best to view our failures in the light of the cross, "to remember that on the cross hung the source of boundless eternal life which defeats death not only for itself but for all mankind." (Page 2) As humans we had to live in a time of darkness, which was to be illuminated by the Christ principle as spoken of by John.
[page 3] A wonderfully beautiful legend tells us that when Lucifer fell from heaven to earth a precious stone fell from his crown. This precious stone — so the legend proceeds — became the vessel from which Christ Jesus took the holy Supper with His disciples; the same vessel received the Christ's blood when it flowed on the cross, and was brought by angels to the western world where it is received by those who wish to come to a true understanding of the Christ principle. Out of the stone, which fell from Lucifer's crown, was made the Holy Grail.
This jewel represents the full power of the human 'I' which requires humans to blend the radiance of Lucifer's star with a deep understanding of the Christ principle, and thereby become able to receive light where our thinking and sight had formerly only grasped darkness and night. Only by doing so, Steiner tells us, can "we understand the cross of the Christ in the star of Lucifer." (Page 4)
[page 5] If this is our conception of the mission of anthroposophy, Lucifer will guide us to the safety of a luminous spiritual life, and the Christ will guide us to the inner warmth of the soul which trusts and believes that will come about which may be called the birth of the Eternal out of the Temporal.
In Lecture 2 Steiner asks us what if we were awakened with all our faults on display? Could we handle confronting ourselves as a "naked soul being"? The answer is important because at the moment we become clairvoyant we perceive how far from perfection we are. It is then that we meet the Guardian of the Threshold who shields us from experiences we must first learn to bear(1).
[page 21] In ordinary life, that which we see at the moment that clairvoyantly we step out of ourselves is the Guardian of the Threshold. He shields us from an experience that we must first learn to bear. We must first acquire a strong enough force to enable us to see a world of the future before us, and to look without fear and horror upon what we have become, because we know for certain that we can make it all right again.
Life begins when warmth spirits enter the elements of our body. This is often expressed as "we become living when permeated with spirit." We need this warmth for permanence and continuity.
[page 29,30] In the real spiritual world there is permanence, even if it is relative. For this reason the inner being of man, if it is to exist without a break from one incarnation to another, must pass through the spiritual worlds, because only there is to be found a certain — not external — but relative permanence or continuity.
What happens if someone performs an evil deed? To see this portrayed in a movie, watch the movie Ghost with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze. The murderer is beset by dark shapes exactly as Steiner describes.
[page 31, 32] Suppose somebody has done an injustice: from thoughts which have led to the unjust act other thought-forms develop as the metamorphosis of the first. Everything that a person thinks and feels exists in his astral aura as a form or shape of the nature of thought or of feeling. A thought which is, let us say, distinct, definite, can be seen in sharp outline hovering round a person, and wild thoughts or passions in confused outlines. At the time when a person is doing an injustice he has certain thoughts and feelings, these forms detach themselves from him and live in his environment, but the essential point is that they do not remain in this condition but draw nourishment from certain worlds. Just as the wind rushes into empty spaces, beings from definite regions (of which more later) rush into the forms created by the pang of conscience and fill them with living substance. Thus in his own thought-forms a person offers opportunity for other beings to live in his environment, and these beings are really the cause of the sting of conscience. If the beings were not present the conscience would not sting. When a person begins to feel these beings unconsciously, the first gnawing of an uneasy conscience is experienced.
Modern humans do not see the spirits created by one's bad deeds, but can feel what we call the inner voice of conscience.
[page 33] What we of today call the psychological phenomenon of conscience was not present in our forefathers, but on the other hand they could see in the astral aura what is now only perceptible to the eye of the seer; modern people feel the inner voice of conscience and the spirits of conscience are hidden behind it. . . . The avenging goddesses of Greek mythology are simply a pictorial image of what has just been described as a reality for spiritual perception.
Rightly understood, humans developed a mechanism called conscience in a leap of understanding between Euripides and Aeschylus. In the fifth century BC, Aeschylus saw avenging goddesses called Furies, and only a few decades later these were gone, replaced in Euripides by humans with a conscience. Not only is it possible to perceive a gradual evolution of consciousness in humans, but at times dramatic changes in consciousness.
[page 35, 36] The phrase 'nature makes no jumps' is untrue; nature continually makes jumps at decisive moments. And such sudden transitions are perceptible in spiritual life. For centuries and millennia there is slow and gradual development; but then there is a sudden change, as in the case of the conscience in the fifth century BC where an earlier tragic poet makes no mention of conscience in his dramas and only a few decades afterwards it is introduced for the first time. With this is connected the fact that clairvoyant perception of the spirits of conscience, the Erinyes, has disappeared. The spiritual beings are of such a nature that our inner experience of conscience comes between us and them in the same way as the outer expression of fire hides the spirits of the element of fire. . . .When conscience came to be a voice speaking in the human soul, it interposed itself in front of the world of the Furies and hid that from human sight.
During the transition from Old Sun to Earth, the beings who co-existed with human beings in the Old Sun stage remained behind as humans moved to Earth. The Sun beings continued to radiate their sunbeams to the human beings on Earth as they do today.
[page 36, 37] The other beings, whose evolution could not proceed upon the earth, separated from the earth the substances necessary for them, and built their sun abode. From there they influence and work upon the earth. In physical sunbeams, as they lighten and warm the earth, we see the streaming activities of the sun spirits; the sunbeams are the outer, corporeal manifestation of sun beings. That is the meaning of the separation of the sun from the earth.
What was the meaning of the separation of the Moon from the Earth? The Moon was the opposite of the fast tempo of the sun beings; it was far too slow for humans to survive. The sun beings had an evolutionary tempo too fast for human beings; only by the Moon withdrawing from the Earth were human beings able to be saved from hardening and mummification.
[page 38] Ask someone whose spiritual sight is able to penetrate into the cosmos as to the origin of man's perception of the external world and his answer will be that it is to be found in the physical or spiritual sun elements. Ask what lies at the basis of inner experience, of thought, of feeling, of conscience, for example, and it will be found that all this is due to the moon, to those beings who separated their substance from the earth with the moon.The presence of moon substances in the earth would have prevented the inner mobility of soul life.
We learn in many places from Steiner that Old Saturn consisted of beings of warmth, Old Sun beings of air, Old Moon, beings of water, and only on Earth, do we find beings of earth. The warmth of Old Saturn is often related to the element of fire, but the only fire of that time was the warmth, the same warmth which permeates our human blood today. The dramatic element we know as fire today is a later product of Old Saturn warmth and only appeared in the external form we know it today during the evolutionary period of Earth.The triad of Old Saturn, Old Sun, and Old Moon can be considered as the Three-in-One Oil out which our life on Earth was formed.
[page 46] Accordingly men whose instinctive consciousness brought them into touch with the realities of the spiritual world felt the mystery of the birth of the earth to be expressed by the relation of the three to four. And they turned reverent eyes to the sacred triad of Old Saturn, Old Sun, and Old Moon, which had become the quaternary manifested by the Earth period. It is obvious that the modern expressions Saturn, Sun, and Moon had other equivalents in the instinctive consciousness of ancient humanity.
As evidence of our instinctive consciousness I can cite the ages-old idea of the Moon being made of Green Cheese. It became a joke after men brought rocks and dust back from the moon in 1969, but those who study the Old Moon stage realize that the vegetative state of the Old Moon was green and living much as a green cheese would be. In my youth the favorite playing cards was Bulldog Squeezers with a drawing of two bulldogs with a full moon above them and an inscription which says, "There is a tie which binds us to our home." Clearly this is a cryptic reference to our home on the Old Moon stage of human evolution.
Scholars who have studied the ancient gods of Kronos, Zeus, and Chthon have little idea that these refer to the terrestrial triad of Old Saturn, Old Sun, and Old Moon. The chthonic (earth) god Chthon embodied both our Moon and Earth (Gaia). If you study these ancient myths you'll find our cosmic evolution described in the form of myths, of which few people can make literal sense who have not studied Steiner's insights.
Many people think it is a silly platitude to say that humans reincarnate again and again. But not students of spiritual science. They do not believe in reincarnation; they understand it to be a concrete fact.
[page 51, 52, italics added] And why? Because the people who incarnate during the Christian era are those who have passed through previous incarnations, and what they could not possibly learn before the appearance of Christ on earth they must learn after that event. Anyone who believes that man incarnates again and again — only to learn exactly the same wisdom — has no serious appreciation and feeling for reincarnation in his soul; for to believe in reincarnation seriously means to realize its goal and its purpose and to know that there is good reason for our returning to earth repeatedly. We come back in order to have new experiences. It is a platitude to say that exactly the same wisdom is to be met with again and again in different conceptions of the world. The concrete fact is that wisdom develops, that it takes on higher and higher forms, until there comes into being on the earth something that is ripe to pass over into another condition, in the same way as Old Saturn, Old Sun and Old Moon passed over to the earth condition.There is real progress and not mere repetition — that is the whole point. And here lies the difference between eastern and western modes of thought. Western thought, in face of the whole task and mission of the West, can never separate itself from an actual, a concrete historical conception of the evolution of the Earth; and a historical conception implies the idea of progress, not of mere repetition.
We now arrive at the eponymic message of this volume of lectures, "the point at issue here is that of raising a mode of thinking to a higher level or, as we may say, of illuminating oriental (Eastern) thought by the light of the West." (Page 53) Steiner wishes to lead us to "understand why a certain wisdom has flourished in the East and why the future of the Christian impulse depends upon the development of powers residing in the West." (Page 59)The people migrated from old Atlantis and settled into two distinct streams, one in a northerly stream and another in a southerly stream.
[page 61] We can follow these two streams of human evolution if we examine the records of spiritual seership. One stream of evolution is formed by the transmigration of certain peoples from old Atlantis to more northerly regions, touching territories which now include England, the north of France, and thence extend to the present Scandinavia, Russia and into Asia as far as India. In this movement were to be found peoples of various kinds, forming the vehicle of a definite spiritual life. A second stream went a different way, in a more southerly direction, through southern Spain and Africa to Egypt and thence to Arabia. Each of these two streams of civilization goes its own way until they meet to fructify each other at a later point of time.
In Greek sculpture we can identify northern people with purified physical bodies such as Zeus, Aphrodite, Athena, etal. In the southern people we find the form of Hermes or Mercury, the bearer of science and wisdom as befits the messenger of the lower gods.
[page 66, 67] Again we might characterize the difference between the two evolutionary streams by saying that the northern peoples worked at the production of a human being whose outer bodily form is an image of the spirit; whereas the southern peoples were busy developing the invisible forces of soul, perceptible only when the gaze is directed inwards (to the inner life).The northern races created the outer aspect of the image of divinity in man; the southern peoples created the invisible soul-image of the Godhead in the inner life.
In summary, we learn that the southern peoples can be called the "Children of Lucifer" and over time the northern peoples come to be called the "Brothers of Christ". First the Lucifer children.
[page 67, 68] In accordance with the nature of the powers holding sway in the spiritual world accessible to the southern peoples it is called the world of Lucifer, the Light-bearer. It is a world, spiritual and divine in its nature, illumined in the inner being of man by a light invisible to outward sight and which has to be acquired by the process of individual perfecting. This was the path to the world of Lucifer which people of the southern evolutionary stream took.
Next Christ's brethren. In the northern region of Persia, Zarathustra set about creating a perfect human body to be the receptacle for the Godhead, Ahura Mazda, which he saw approaching the sense world of Earth from the world of Sun beings(2).
[page 68, 69] And so in one of his incarnations, Zarathustra appeared in the body of Jesus of Nazareth, a body so spiritualized, so noble that into its external corporeality could be poured that spiritual essence formerly to be found only behind the veil of the sense world. The human body which had been developed in the northern evolutionary stream by the turning of the external gaze to the spiritual world was prepared for the reception of the spiritual essence concealed behind the sense world. For in this manner, preparation was made for the mighty event of the reception upon earth of the spirit behind the sense world, invisible to all save spiritual sight, and its maturing there for three years in the body of Jesus of Nazareth.Hence it devolved upon the northern peoples not only to develop an understanding of what lay behind the sense world, but to prepare for the possibility of that spirit flooding our earthly world, of the being heretofore hidden behind the sun, treading the earth for three years, as man among men.
The two streams of Lucifer and Christ have already begun merging. The blood of Christ flowed into the Grail formed by the jewel which fell from Lucifer.
[page 69, 70] It has already begun; it began at the moment indicated in the story which tells us that the sacrificial blood of the Christ flowing from the cross was received into the vessel of the Holy Grail and brought to the West from the East, where preparation for the understanding of the incarnation of Christ had been made in a very definite way by cultivating that which represents the light of Lucifer. . . .Christ will give the substance, Lucifer the form, and from their union will arise impulses which shall permeate the spiritual evolution of mankind, and bring about what the future has in store for the healing and the blessing of the peoples.
There will be many who will oppose using Lucifer as a principle in understanding the Gospels. You can imagine how they might respond in some Sunday service in a fundamentalist church in 2018. That Rudolf Steiner could be saying these words over a century ago indicates how little has changed in the Christianity of these otherwise earnest Christians.
[page 85, 86] "We are content to accept the Gospels as simple Christians; we feel that they satisfy us. The Christ speaks through them, and He does so even when we receive them as traditionally handed down for centuries in religion."
Steiner asks us to imagine that the people saying the above words, though they claim to be good Christians, are actually the enemies of Christianity in our time.
[page 86] Although these people may imagine themselves to be good Christians they are in reality enemies of the Christ, who on account of their personal egoism, and because they still feel themselves satisfied by what is offered in the traditional interpretation of the Gospels, would sweep away that which in future will bring Christianity into glory. Those who today believe themselves to be the best Christians are often the most effective exterminators of real Christianity.
They can be recognized immediately as they are egoists who claim that the Gospels are enough and they teach on that basis, not realizing their fundamental error. Steiner says, "Real Christians today know that humanity needs something more than the Christianity of the egoists; they realize that the world can no longer be satisfied with the old Gospel tradition, and that the light from Lucifer's kingdom must be thrown upon it." (Page 86) Only through Steiner's spiritual science can the light of Lucifer's kingdom fall upon the Gospels. If initiates do so, they will find "the Gospels to be of such infinite depth that it is impossible to imagine that they can ever be exhaustively dealt with." (Page 86)
We have reached the time where our views of Lucifer and Christ will be reversed. No longer will we see Lucifer as being behind the veil of the soul world and no longer will Christ be behind the veil of the sense world. What has happened? "The Christ, an erstwhile cosmic God, has become an earthly God, who is henceforth the soul of the earth; Lucifer, an erstwhile earthly god, has become a cosmic god." (Page 88) What can happen if we allow the forces of Lucifer to rise in us? "Lucifer will intensify our understanding and comprehension of the world; the Christ will strengthen us perpetually." We must become as children of Lucifer and learn from him, and we must become as Brothers with Christ who will strengthen us.
Reading Owen Barfield first led me to Rudolf Steiner and I was impressed by his comprehensive understanding of the evolution of consciousness. Scientists of today who apply retrodiction to the writings of the past completely misinterpret the past. These scientists and thinkers need to study carefully and understand these two statements of Rudolf Steiner or else remain confused about the past as they continue to perpetuate their errors. Our human organization and view of the world changes over time.
[page 90] There is no such thing as a conception of the world which holds good for all times. Man's perception of the world is conditioned by his organization.
During the Old Indian epoch, humans saw a misty cloud of an etheric nature which arose from all things. "The manner of perceiving then was what might be called a seeing of the etheric element, which was spread out over everything like the dew or hoar frost. That peculiar kind of sight was then normal; at the present time the human soul can only attain to it by means of special exercises given by spiritual science." (Page 91) This misty condition was how humans perceived the world in Old Indian times. By being able to perceive such ancient times, Steiner knew that human perception is always conditioned by our organization. This permits us to understand the reversal of luciferic beings and the Christ being.
[page 91] The object of the progressive evolution of mankind through the different periods of civilization is to cause the etheric body to descend deeper and deeper into the physical body. Thus the whole manner of human perception changes, for all human perception depends upon the way in which the etheric body is organized. And this in its turn is connected with the fact that the luciferic beings manifesting within the earth and within the soul have risen to the state of cosmic beings, and that the Christ Being who was formerly a cosmic being descended into incarnation in a human body and has now become an inner being.
Our human condition has now begun to allow our etheric body to emerge again and Steiner indicates that "many of the subtle diseases characteristic of the present time would be understood if this were known." (page 95)
[page 92] It was a change that not only affected the past but was also a preparation for the future. We live in a time when the most complete inner permeation of the physical by the etheric body is already a thing of the past — a time when the tendency of evolution is in the opposite direction. We live in an era in which the etheric body is slowly emerging from the physical body. The normal development of humanity will in the future consist in the gradual emergence of the etheric body from the physical body.
At the time when Christ appeared on Earth, luciferic influences were so darkened that humans could perceive nothing of spiritual forces, so it was necessary for Christ to appear in sense-perceptible human form. Humans needed to "place their hands into His wounds" in order to believe in Him. Clairvoyant perception was not a human capability during His time, but it is slowly returning in our current time.
[page 96] From having been a sub-terrestrial god, Lucifer becomes a cosmic god. Man must prepare himself in such a way that his etheric body is provided with such forces as make Lucifer a fructifying and a beneficent element instead of a destructive one. Man has to pass through the Christ experience, but in such a way that he becomes capable fo recognizing in the world the spiritual fabric of which the world was created.
I have long been puzzled by the two different meanings of the word, "feeling": it can refer to the sense of touch and it can refer to an inner soul-experience. We can feel joy as an inner soul-experience and pain from an unpleasant external touch. Both can be called feelings. I feel joy; I feel pain.
[page 99] Experiences of joy or pain are defined as feelings. This particular feeling of which we are here speaking is an intimate soul-experience; the other feelings, produced by the sense of touch, are always caused by some external object. The other feeling may be associated with an external object, but it can be seen that an external object is not the only cause, because the effect upon one person is different from the effect upon another. We have two experiences: one connected with the external sense, the other bound to the inner. These two at the present day appear to be widely divided, but this was not always the case.
But today, the inner soul-experience bounces off of humans at the skin.
[page 101] The reason for this was that in those olden times, for example, man, in his whole make up, stood in a very different relation to light. The light surrounding us has not only its external physical aspect but, like everything physical, is also permeated by soul and spirit.The course of human evolution was such that the soul and spirit of the outer world withdrew more and more from man and gradually the physical part came to be all that was perceptible. Man came to perceive light as a fluid pouring into his organization from all sides, and within this light streaming through him he felt its soul. Today the soul of the light is stopped by the human skin.
Steiner recognized the great Christ event and came to call it later the Mystery of Golgotha to remove any preconceived limits placed by humans upon it. Part of the Mystery was the reversal of luciferic forces and Christ forces which happened at that time.
[page 106] We have seen that the Christ event, when the two forces, the Lucifer principle and the Christ principle, crossed each other, was the decisive one in human evolution. The Christ event was the turning point, when that which comes from out of the cosmos, from the fountain of the spirit, was to be poured as a ferment into human evolution. It had been lost, but it had to be poured in again as a ferment. That which was harmful to mankind, that which made it into something evil, is poured in as a ferment and transformed into good. The evil has to drop into the fructifying spiritual inherent in human evolution and work with it for the good. That too has been expressed in the myths.
This leads Steiner into sharing the parallels of the Oedipus myth and the Judas Ischariot story from the Bible. A man was told his son was to murder his father and marry this mother. The son was sent away to the island of Kariot and rescued and adopted by the Queen. After killing the Queen's real son, he flees and ends up working for Pilate. He kills a neighbor, marries his wife, fulfilling the prophecy. Overcome by remorse, he goes to Christ who received him. Judas had an important deed to perform so that Christ could be crucified. This is an amazing correlation that Steiner did with the myth of Oedipus and story of Judas. He ends Lecture 7 with, "External life becomes comprehensible only when there is knowledge of the inner, the spiritual."
My external life exists in the City of New Orleans which has always had a deep inner, spiritual life. It was founded when French explorers landed on a nearby shore on Mardi Gras day three hundred years ago. Thousands of its citizens voluntarily design floats and costumes to parade through its streets between the Twelfth Holy Night and the day before Lent each year. The most popular Carnival themes are that of Apollo and his nine Muses, the names of which people in New Orleans know better than in other cities because they drive over streets every day named after Urania, Thalia, Euterpe, Calliope, Clio, Erato, Melpomene, Terpsichore, and Polyhymnia. My native city is bathed in Apollonian mysteries and holy music of the spheres.
[page 116] And when the teachers in those Apollonian mysteries desired to speak to their pupils of the spiritual and moral influences of Apollo, they said that Apollo filled the entire earth with the holy music of the spheres, that is to say, he sent down rays from the spiritual world. And they saw in Apollo a being accompanied by the Muses, his assistants.A wonderful and deep wisdom is wrapped up in Apollo and his nine Muses.
Let us consider Apollo and his nine Muses, and we cannot help but think of the human 'I' and its nine constituents, arrayed around the 'I' as the Muses are around Apollo.
[page 116] Man's being consists of physical body, etheric body, astral body, sentient soul, intellectual soul, consciousness soul and so on; man is an 'I'-center, having seven or nine members around it, all of which are parts of its being. Let us ascend from a human being to a divine being, and think of the 'I' as this divine being, and of the members as his helpers, each helper being a single individuality. Even as in man the different members, physical body, etheric body, astral body and so on are gathered together and grouped around his 'I', so were the Muses grouped around Apollo.
The seven post-atlantean epochs (PAE) of our time are arrayed in a V-shape with Indian, Persian, and Egypto-Chaldean stepping downward, and the fourth, Greco-Roman, marking the turning point. Then fifth epoch (our time), is followed by the sixth and seventh. Note the symmetry of three downward steps, a turning point, and three upward steps. Epochs PAE 1 will be recapitulated by PAE 7, PAE 2 by PAE 6, and PAE 3 by PAE 5. Already in our time, early in PAE 5 we can find signs of PAE 3, Egypto-Chaldean, being recapitulated. One example is the focus on the innovative astrology of PAE 3 appearing as astrosophy which is being studied seriously in our PAE5 time(3). With this précis of the epochs, it's possible to understand how the PAE 2 Song of Apollo will be realized in PAE 6.
[page 116, 117] What was said in connection with this subject to those about to be initiated into the Apollonian mysteries is of a deep significance. A secret was confided to them, and the secret was this: that the god who in the second epoch had spoken such wonderful words to Zarathustra would speak to people in the sixth epoch in a very special way. This was the intention and meaning of the saying that in the sixth period the Song of Apollo upon earth would attain its goal. In this saying, which was frequently quoted by the pupils of the Apollonian mystery schools, was expressed the fact that during the sixth epoch the second period of the Earth evolution would be recapitulated on a higher stage. The first epoch will reappear in a higher form during the seventh period.
What were humans like in the first epoch, PAE 1? In that period, the old Indian Epoch, people could perceive directly with their etheric body, lifting their etheric body out of their physical body as we might lift a sword out of its scabbard. They could perceive spiritual realities directly without any reason or logic intervening. Steiner explains how such people experienced their world:
[page 118] 'I do not see with eyes or hear with ears, or think with the physical organ of understanding; I make use of the organs of the etheric body.' And this he did. Then, however, living wisdom rose before him — not thoughts which people may think or have thought, but thoughts according to which the gods without had fashioned the world. Deeply immersed in spiritual life, the Indian knew nothing about what we today call thought, fabricated as it is by the instrument of the brain. He never thought things out intellectually, or reasoned about them; he rose out of his physical body into his etheric body, and from there he looked all around him at the cosmic totality of the thought of the gods, whence the world sprang forth. He saw in a flash the gift proceeding from the divine world.
I am reminded of old Indian images of hundreds of beings lined abreast and stacked upon each other. An old Indian could not explain what these images consisted of, any more than a modern naturalist could explain why a huge flight of birds makes the patterns it does in the sky. It just does. We might feel a need to explain such things, but they did not.
[page 118, 119] With his etheric organs he saw the thoughts of the gods depicted in the design of all things. He had no need of logical thinking. Why must we think logically? For the reason that we must find truth through logical thinking, because we might otherwise make mistakes in linking up chains of thought. If we were so organized that right thoughts coalesced of themselves, we should not require logic.
When things are already organized rightly, there is no need to organize at all. The individuals of the Old Indian Epoch could breathe in wisdom directly.
[page 119] The Old Indian did not require logic for he looked at the thoughts of the gods, which were right of themselves. He wove around himself an etheric, cosmic net, wove it out of the thoughts of the gods. He looked into this web of thought, which appeared to him like a soul-light pervading the world, and in it he saw the primordial, eternal wisdom. This highest stage of perfection, which I have just described to you, was of course only possible for the Holy Rishis, and with this vision they could proclaim great world realities.
These great world realities were written down by the Holy Rishis and became part of the Vedas.
[page 119] They were justified in saying that everything which they proclaimed was breathed out by Brahman himself. That is the meaning of the deep expression, an expression which is verbally correct: 'It is breathed out by Brahman and breathed in by men.' That was the position of the Holy Rishis as regards the wisdom of the world, as regards the things which they made known. These were then written down in the different portions of the Vedas, in pictorial form, if the expression may be permitted; yet these forms were but feeble reproductions of the original visions.
We are poised to reach an understanding of the Children of Lucifer and the Brothers of Christ, as promised by the subtitle of these lectures. When we consider the laws of time, we encounter the number seven, and when we consider the laws of space, we encounter the number twelve. In considering time, we find groupings of seven, the seven stages of human growth, the seven post-atlantean epochs, for example. In considering space we view groupings of 122 which exist side-by-side, such as the twelve regions of the zodiac or the twelve disciples of Christ, each of which live together in space. In considering time we can talk of children and growth, but in considering space, we can talk of our co-equal human beings, our brothers and sisters.
[page 133] Brothers and sisters live side by side. Beings who descend from one another live after one another. Here we see the transition, at a significant epoch, from the sons or children of Lucifer's kingdom and of his being, to the brothers of Christ, a transition of which we shall speak further.
Once the material of these lectures are fully absorbed, one can never think of a grouping of seven without thinking of growth and evolution again, from the smallest to the largest grouping, always there will be an aspect of growth. Steiner exhorts us not to attribute meaning to the number seven, but instead to consider seven as a key to facilitating our understanding of growth.
[page 135] Take, for instance, an individual whose spiritual vision is so far opened that he can examine data of the Akashic Records of the past. He may use the number seven as a guide and realize that what runs its course in time is built up on the basis of the number seven; that which repeats itself in various forms can very well be analyzed by using the number seven as a foundation and proceeding from this as a basis. In this sense it is right to say that since the Earth goes through various embodiments we have to look for its seven incarnations: Old Saturn, Old Sun, Old Moon, Earth, Jupiter, Venus and Vulcan. Because human civilizations pass through seven incarnations we must seek their connections by once more using the number seven as a basis. Let us for instance consider the civilizations in post-Atlantean times.The old Indian is the first, the second is the old Persian, the third the Egypto-Chaldean, the fourth the Greco-Roman, the fifth our own and we are expecting two more, the sixth and seventh, to succeed our own. We can also find our way in the study of the karma of an individual by trying to look at his three former incarnations. By starting with the incarnation of a person of the present day and looking back at his three former incarnations it is possible to draw certain conclusions concerning his next three incarnations. The three former and the present incarnations plus the three following make seven again. Seven is a clue for everything that happens in time.
In space we have found from the key to understanding things which coexist; it is the number twelve. Again, the meaning of the number twelve is not important; what is important is the key twelve provides to our understanding of space.
[page 136, 137] On the other hand the number twelve is a clue for all things that coexist in space. Science, which at the same time was wisdom, was always conscious of this. It said; 'It is possible to find the right way by connecting the spatial relationship of everything that occurs upon earth with twelve permanent points in space — the twelve signs of the zodiac in the cosmos.' These are the twelve basic points with which everything in space is connected. This declaration was not an arbitrary yield of human thinking. But the power of thought in those early times had learned from reality and so ascertained the fact that space was best understood when it was divided into twelve constituent parts, thus making the number twelve a clue for all spatial relations.
Somewhere I read that Steiner was once asked, "What existed before all of this?" He described a metaphor of climbing to the top of a high mountain, saying we look in one direction as far as we can see, then we look in the other direction as far as we can see; we can break up each direction into three parts and together with our current position we have the ability to understand a total of seven parts of our surroundings. Steiner's mountain is a metaphor for time, especially long ages of time. When we move forward into time, we will be able to see forward a bit further, but always we will be seeing and understanding using the number seven.
Seven is our clue to our inner being.
[page 137] How can we best understand a being with a message for the inner life of man? How, for instance, can we best understand those beings with their fundamentally individual characteristics whom we call the Holy Rishis? By relating them to soul life which runs its course in time. Hence in those ancient epochs wherein the great sages spoke, one question above all was asked: 'Whence have they descended?' Just as we might ask a son 'Who are your father and mother?' so ancestry, the time element, was then the subject of enquiry. On meeting a wise man the primary concern was: Whence does he come? Who was the being who preceded him? What is his descent? Whose son is he? Therefore in speaking about the luciferic world, the number seven had to be taken as basic and the interest was whose child it was who was speaking to the human soul. We speak of the children of Lucifer in this sense when we speak of those who in olden times taught of the spiritual world lying hidden behind the veil of soul life, behind that which belongs to time.
Children grow up in the course of time in the Light of Lucifer. Brothers and sisters grow together separated in space. In Christ we find a Being who enters Earth from space and is not concerned with the relationships of parents and children(4), rather with how we coexist with each as brothers and sisters. Christ existed in space and was visible to the earliest seers such as Zarathustra. He approached us not through time, but as a brother who lives in a distant land and approaches us through space.
[page 137, 138] The approach through space, this advent of the Christ out of the infinitude of space down to our earth, has an eternal and not a temporal value. With this is connected the fact that Christ's work upon earth is not carried on only under the conditions of time. He does not bring to earth anything corresponding to the relationships between father and child, or mother and child, which exist under time conditions, but He brings into the world something which goes on side by side, which coexists. Brothers live side by side, they coexist. . . . What Christ brings is the coexistence of human beings in space, a condition of increasing community of soul regardless of time conditions. The mission of the earth planet in our cosmic system is to bring love into the world. . . . Through Christ there came the love of soul to soul, so that that which is side by side, which coexists in space, enters a relationship which was at first represented by brothers and sisters living side by side and at the same time — the relationship of brother love which one human soul is intended to bear towards another in space. Here the condition of coexistent life in space begins to acquire its special significance.
Everywhere we look, we will find instances of the relationship between the numbers seven (time) and twelve (space).
[page 138, 139] Hence in the olden times, it was natural to speak of those who were connected by the rule of the number seven: the Seven Rishis, and the Seven Sages. But Christ is surrounded by twelve Apostles in whom we see the prototypes ot man living side by side, coexisting in space. And this love which, independently of successive ages, is to encompass all that exists side by side in space, will enter social life on earth through the Christ principle. To love what is around us with brother love, that is to follow Christ.
Through the great Christ event on Earth, we find more groupings of things by twelve, the twelve tribes of Israel, the twelve Apostles, etc. The number twelve comes to have a deep meaning for us when we find the twelve signs of the zodiac which remain fixed in the celestial sphere which surrounds Earth.
[page 140] It has been said that if we do not consider universal space in an abstract sense, but really relate earth conditions to universal space, we must refer those earth conditions to the circle described by the twelve essential points of the zodiac, namely Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces. These twelve points of the zodiac were not alone the real and veritable world symbols for the very oldest divine spiritual beings, but the symbols themselves were thought to correspond, in a certain sense, with reality. . . . [They have] the nature of permanence, as it were; they are far more sublime than that which arises and passes away within our earth existence. That which is symbolized by the twelve signs of the zodiac is infinitely Higher than that which is transformed in the evolutionary course of our planet from Old Saturn to Old Sun and from that to Old Moon and so on. Planetary existence arises and passes away, but the zodiac is ever there. What is symbolized by the points of the zodiac is more sublime than what upon our earth plays its part as the opposition between good and evil.
Those humanistic ministers who try to say that Christ Jesus was a man who was a great teacher are misleading their followers. The Bodhisattva were great teachers; the difference between them and Christ is incalculable.
[page 147] The Bodhisattvas are what they are through being great teachers; the Christ is to the world what He is through His own Being, through his own Essence. He needs only to be seen, and the manifestation of His own Being needs only to be reflected in His surroundings for the teachings to spring forth. He is not only a teacher; He is Life, a Life that pours itself into the other beings, who then become teachers.
Yes, Christ was man; He was incarnated in Jesus of Nazareth during His baptism by John in the Jordan. He lived in a human body, but even the most perfected Hebrew male was only able to hold the Great Christ Spirit for three years. It is not a metaphor to say that Christ Jesus sweated blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, his human body could not hold the Christ Spirit much longer. His goal was not to teach humans great things; his goal was to do a great thing for all humanity for all time. He was destined to be the first god to experience death as a human being and in the process to pour His Blood into the Earth and thereby become a resident Spirit in the Earth available to all who would call upon Him for help. This was the event Steiner spoke of, saying he stood in awe of the great Deed of Golgotha when the golden light of the Great Sun Spirit filled the Earth with a glow which could thenceforth be seen from the cosmos.
------------ Footnotes --------
Footnote 1.Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
During the 1960s when people died from taking LSD, it likely that under the influence of the potent drug, unprepared people met the Guardian of the Threshold and became so frightened that they killed themselves.
Footnote 2.Return to text directly before Footnote 2.
In the Gospel of Matthew, the genealogy of Jesus on Nazareth shows him as descended directly from King Solomon. As humans beings reincarnating we may chose our parents carefully, the Christ spirit chose the parents of Jesus of Nazareth extending back far enough to create a perfect Hebrew human male.
Footnote 3.Return to text directly before Footnote 3.
See Brian Gray's Introduction to Astrosophy in this lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZo1C2MiFGM.
Footnote 4.Return to text directly before Footnote 4.
In Matthew 10:35, Jesus says, "I have come to divide a man against his father and a daughter against her mother."
3.) ART: Writing Down the Bones Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg
Judith Guest writes in the Foreword, "Some years ago, while cleaning out my grandmother's attic, I came across this motto encased in an old oak picture frame: Do Your Work as Well As You Can and Be Kind. She goes on to talk about how in her Chapter "More About Mondays" Natalie says, "Let the whole thing flower: the poem and the person writing the poem. And let us always be kind in this world." Like Guest, the older I get the more important it seems to me to be kind in the world. Guest says this about Golberg's book:
[page xi] In this collection of sane and clear-hearted observations on writing, along with its solid, practical tips, there is a vitality that sings and an honesty that makes me want to cry. This is the way writing feels when it is good. What a challenge to make it feel good all the time!
Guest, who almost turned down the request to write the Foreword because she had never done one before, did a masterful job on her first attempt. Just as she did with her first novel, Ordinary People, which was a phenomenal success. So much so that she says when she came to write her second novel, she tried to use what she had learned in the first novel, but it didn't apply to the second. This led her to understand that because she was writing a different novel, she was exploring a new path.
[page xii] It is easy to lose sight of the fact that writers do not write to impart knowledge to others; rather, they write to inform themselves.
The opening sentence of the Introduction is a hoot! It should remind many writers of trying to write during their school days in some way. It certainly reminded me.
[page 1] I was a goody-two-shoes all through school. I wanted my teachers to like me. I learned commas, colons, semicolons. I wrote compositions with clear sentences that were dull and boring. Nowhere was there an original thought or genuine feeling. I was eager to give the teachers what I thought they wanted.
Natalie says that one day she opened a thin book of poems by Erica Jong found a poem about an eggplant. Something snapped in her mind! She realized that if Jong could write about something as familiar as an eggplant that maybe she could write about something she was familiar with, her family.
[page 2] This all happened fifteen years ago. A friend once told me: "Trust in love and it will take where you need to go." I want to add, "Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go." And don't worry too much about security. You will eventually have a deep security when you begin to do what you want.
Natalie studied Zen formally for seven years and had trouble with understanding the Roshi Katagiri's answers to her about Zen until he began his answer, "You know, like in writing when you . . ." Then one day he said to her:
[page 3] "Why do you come to sit meditation? Why don't you make writing your practice? If you go deep enough in writing, it will take you everyplace."
In the Chapter "First Thoughts" she gives the basic unit of writing practice: the timed exercise. These instructions are very similar to the process that Peter Elbow in his Writing Without Teachers calls a "free writing" exercise.Here's the instructions. If you are a compulsive goody-two-shoes writer who turns out dull, boring prose, this may be your savior. Simply follow these instructions as careful as you did your grade school teachers instructions. These instructions work for the post-elementary school writer. Choose a time period, either 10 minutes, 20 minutes or an hour and follow the steps on page 8:
1. Keep your hand moving. (Don't pause to reread the line you have just written. That's stalling and trying to get control of what you're saying.)
2. Don't cross out. (That's editing as you write. Even if you write something you didn't mean to write, leave it.)
3. Don't worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar. (Don't even care about staying within the margins and lines on the page.)
4. Lose control.
5. Don't think. Don't get logical.
6. Go for the jugular. (If something comes up in your writing that is scary or naked, dive right into it. It probably has lots of energy.)
Her next thoughts about the ego are right on target. Writer's block is ego block every time. Each one of the steps above requires that you effectively disable your ego from control as you do your exercise. You are learning how to disable your ego so that you will be able write without its disabling effect on your writing. Gee, those grammar school English teachers never taught us that, did they? They counted on our egos to be in control so that we young'uns could write with correct spelling, correct punctuation, correct grammar, only problem was what we produced wasn't worth reading except by our teachers. No one else certainly would want to read it. As a result, we grew up unable to write anything interesting even though it had good spelling, good punctuation, and good grammar!
If you want to learn about how important good punctuation is to being a writer, I suggest you get hold of a copy of Gertrude Stein's How to Write - there are perfectly literate sentences in that book that have absolutely no punctuation and yet one sentence will string out over several pages! Good punctuation is as necessary for writing as eating in a plate with divided sections for each of the parts of the meal is. Great for kids and TV dinners and just about nothing else!
Why bust the ego? Ever try to light a campfire in a driving rainstorm? But read how Natalie lays it out for us:
[page 9] First thoughts are also encumbered by ego, by that mechanism in us that tries to be in control, tries to prove the world is permanent and solid, enduring and logical. The world is not permanent, is ever-changing and full of human suffering.So if you express something egoless, it is also full of energy because it is expressing the truth of the way things are. You are not carrying the burden of ego in your expression, but are riding for moment the waves of human consciousness and using your personal details to express the ride.
I read this book in 1987, in fact, exactly fifteen years ago to this day according to my date glyph in the margin. What is a date glyph? It's a combination of a signature and date that is unique for every day and every year. It is a drawing that resembles two fishes nose to nose which represents the year and the month in placed in the left fish and the day in the right fish. Each year I must design a new fish. The drawing of the fish shows graphically the waves of human emotion that I am riding at the time of reading the page and writing in the margins.
Here's my marginal notes for January 27, 1987 on page 9: "The ego reifies and stultifies. The Ego Buster: 'Up Until Now.' E. g., 'I have a very strong ego, up until now.'" This phrase "up until now" placed at the end of a sentence I have since come to call "the limitation eraser" because, deftly applied to the end of a sentence by the stultifying ego, will disable the stultification. Perhaps you have never heard of the limitation eraser, up until now. The previous sentence is of course another example of its application. There is a salubrious effect you can notice if you begin adding the limitation eraser to every sentence you say aloud in which you discover by the end of the sentence that you have just constructed a limitation or some blatant statement of the static nature of the world.
This will not work for people who have such strong egos that they are both convinced that the world is unchanging and that the way the world is for them will never change. With such a mind set, naturally they will be unable to add the limitation eraser to the end of their solid statements of the world's condition, up until now. They systematically avoid doing or thinking or saying anything that would fly in the face of the rock solid belief they have in the world as it is now and always has been, up until now.
[page 17] It is true that when we begin anything new, resistances fly in our face.
In the margin of page 17 next to the above sentence, I wrote this: "Journey of One Step takes Place after 1,000 miles." This is currently embodied in Matherne's Rule #40. The idea behind this inversion of Confucius's famous saying, "Journey of thousand miles begins with first step." is this: When one has a lot of resistance to doing something, one will avoid dealing with it over and over again until perhaps after a thousand times or miles, one overcomes the resistance and just does the thing that one supposed one was seeking to do, but in actuality was systematically avoiding doing in intricate ways designed by the ego, up until now.
[page 17] Actually, when I look at my old notebooks, I think I have been a bit self-indulgent and have given myself too much time to meander in my discursive thoughts. I could have cut through it sooner.
My marginalia spoke directly to Natalie this time: "No, you could not have - the you(past) could not and thus did not the you(now) can and can therefore see how the you(past) could've done it better." What we all have is many subpersonalities inside of us, each of which when they take charge call themselves, "I". It is only by indexing the subpersonalities as I did in in my marginalia that one is able to separate these subpersonalities is a useful way in text. In speech, if one listens carefully to the tone in such spoken statements as "I don't know how I could have done that." one will notice a raised inflection on the second "I" audibly indicating that the second "I" in the sentence is a different "I" from the first "I". Which brings us to her next topic in the chapter titled "Fighting Tofu":
[page 23] If those characters in you [RJM: i.e., those "I"'s] want to fight, let them fight. Meanwhile, the sane part of you should quietly let them get up, go over to your notebook, and begin to write from a deeper, more peaceful place. Unfortunately, those two fighters often come with you to your notebook since they are inside your head. We can't always leave them in the backyard or basement or at the day-care center. So you might have to give them five or ten minutes of voice in your notebook. Let them carry on in writing. It is amazing that when you give those voices writing space, their complaining quickly gets boring and you get sick of them.
In "We Are Not the Poem" she echoes a sentiment that I first encountered at age 18 when I first read Emerson's incredible essay titled, "Self-Reliance" any of you, dear Readers, who have not read this essay should read it. If you havent re-read it in the past ten years, you should realize that you(then) who read it no longer exists, and you deserve a chance for you(now) to read it with fresh eyes. (A quick google search will find it on-line for you.) Read it now.One pertinent quote from it: "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know." Oops, that's not the one. "Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day." Those are hard words which one would do best to take to heart if one would be a writer.
[page 32] Sometimes when I read poems at a reading to strangers, I realized they think those poems are me. They are not me, even if I speak them in the "I" person. They were my thoughts and my hand and the space and the emotions at that time of writing. Watch yourself. Every minute we change. It is a great opportunity. At any point, we can step out of our frozen selves and our ideas and begin fresh. This is how writing is. Instead of freezing us, it frees us.
Instead of freezing us, it frees us, just as the limitation does. Perhaps you've avoided trying to use it, up until now? It, too, frees us, but only if it is used systematically from now on.
In "Writing is Not a McDonald's Hamburger" Natalie tells us that writing strips the ego bare of all its encrustations of pretenses it leaves us naked, and if we shiver in the cold, let us remember what the American Indian told the English lady who asked if his bare chest was cold since it was uncovered in the winter air, "Paleface squaw have no covering on face."
[page 36] Let go of everything when you write, and try at a simple beginning with simple words to express what you have inside. It won't begin smoothly. Allow yourself to be awkward. You are stripping yourself. You are exposing your life, not how your ego would like to see you represented, but how you are as a human being.
As a kid I read a lot of comic books. One character I recall was the "Two-Gun Kid" with his famous crossed holsters, one gun on each hip with the butt of each pistol facing forward because of his patented cross-armed draw. As a writer now, it is imperative that I have a working pen handy in case I'm walking, driving, or sitting in some public place and a thought, a poem, an idea flits across my mind. Flit is a good word to describe that process. If I don't capture the flitting thought, it will fly out my mind as quickly as it came in, or what I will recall when I get home ready to write it down will be but a blur of the original crystal clear thought. So I have found it prudent, like the Two-Gun Kid, to have two instruments of my work handy in case one of them were to misfire or go empty at a crucial moment. One cannot stop what one is doing to write something down, but must capture the thought as it flies and record it.
[page 37] People often say, "I was walking along [or driving, shopping, jogging] and I had this whole poem go through my mind, but when I sat down to write it, I couldn't get it to come out right." I never can either. Sitting to write is another activity. Let go of walking or jogging and the poem that was born then in your mind [goes, too].
I do a lot of my reading while driving. I taught myself to do this carefully during a fourteen year span during which I worked 12 hours a day and drove an hour each way. By reading as I drove, I was able to get in two hours of good reading most every day. As I drove along reading, if a thought came to me, I noted it in the margins. Likely I was reading this very book while driving and made these margin notes that I'm sharing with you that would have else been unavailable to me.One caution: reading while driving is not an activity to be taken lightly or to be bragged about. I took to lowering my book whenever anyone I knew or a policeman passed me by to keep from having to answer questions about what I was doing. One must train oneself to scan the road ahead every 2.5 seconds at 60 mph and learn to trust one's peripheral vision to notify you instantly of any changes in view ahead. Studies have shown that our peripheral vision is better at detecting motion than the rods and cones of the foveal sharp vision in the center of our line of sight, so trusting one's peripheral vision, once learned, can be very effective. I have noticed that I have fewer panic stops when reading because I am more effective at being attentive when I allow my peripheral vision to be in charge of that job. To me reading while driving is actually safer than not.
Good writing is inspirational. It causes us to inspire with our breath in time with the writer. This kind of writing cannot be subject to the rules of a grammar school teacher for whom inspiration comes in a Weekly Reader. Good grammar must yield to inspiration; punctuation must create the breathing cycle of the writer. Shelley knew how to write inspirational poetry. He was a great writer. In Whitman's words, "he sang the body electric."
[page 51] And what great writers actually pass on is not so much their words, but they hand on their breath at their moments of inspiration. If you read a great poem aloud for example, "To a Skylark" by Percy Bysshe Shelley and read it the way he set it up and punctuated it, what you are doing is breathing his inspired breath at the moment he wrote that poem. That breath was so powerful it still can be awakened in us over 150 years later. Taking it on is very exhilarating. This is why it is good to remember: if you want to get high, don't drink whiskey; read Shakespeare, Tennyson, Keats, Neruda, Hopkins, Millay, Whitman, aloud and let your body sing.
I thought I was tone deaf and unable to sing as a child and well into my thirties when I met my present wife, Del. She taught me to listen and I found that by listening, I could sing along in key with anyone who sang within the range of my voice. I sang for many years in a Barbershop Chorus. It was not my singing ability that was lacking, but my listening ability. It is such a relief to be able to sing aloud in church from now on. This lesson in singing that Natalie took reminded me of my own experience of learning to sing correctly.
[page 52] Several years ago I took a singing lesson from a Sufi singing master, and he told me there is no such thing as tone-deafness. "Singing is ninety percent listening. You have to learn to listen." If you listen totally, your body fills with music, so when you open your mouth the music automatically comes out of you. A few weeks after that, I sang in tune with a friend for the first time in my life and I thought for sure I had become enlightened. My individual voice disappeared and our two voices became one.
That's the scariness of singing to or writing to one's ego: It disappears! Your ego must be willing to trust you in order for it to allow itself to disappear.
In the next passage, Natalie gives us a useful exercise for listening called a "Recall." As I read this now, it reminds me of the way I write reviews of books I've read. I recall specifics of things said that were important to me when I read them and I share the specific thing and the thoughts that were important to me. As I'm doing now:
[page 53] After something is read in class, I often have the students do a "recall": "As close as you can to the exact words of what was said or written, repeat anything that was strong for you. Don't step away and say, 'I liked when she talked about the farmland.' Give us exact details: 'Standing in the field, I was lonelier than a crow.' Besides opening and receiving what was said, this kind of deep, nonevaluative listening awakens stories and images inside you. By listening in this way you become a clear mirror to reflect reality, your reality and the reality around you.
Natalie encourages us on page 54 to enter the poem with our whole body and quotes Dogen, the great Zen master, "If you walk in the mist, you get wet." If you walk in the mist, let your writing create a similar mist for your readers to walk through, then they will be awake, present, and alive in that mist. If you keep your writing alive, your readers will eat it up: like a kid eating an ice cream cone, they'll even eat the serving dish.
Haha. Excuse me. I was chuckling over marginalia on page 56. Natalie keeps her chapters short, two, maybe three pages each with titles like the one for this page, "Don't Marry the Fly." Here's what I wrote along with a cartoon of a man drawing something with his pen:
These 2 & 3 page chapters fill up a book fast
& leave lotsa drawing room
& everyone one can use a drawing room
Have you ever noticed that when you give them a compliment, some friends will look or away from you, or grunt "uh-huh" and change the subject as if it never happened? But dare give this same friend a criticism, and they perk right up as if they'd suddenly come alive!
[page 58] My ex-husband used to say to me, "You look ugly. Ahh, now that I have your attention . . ." He said when he complimented me, I never heard him, but as soon as he said something negative, I perked right up. . . . Stop! Really stop when someone is complimenting you. Even if it's painful and you are not used to it, just keep breathing, listen, and let yourself take it in. Feel how good it is. Build up a tolerance for positive, honest support.
In recent years, I have done this with others if they slough off a compliment. I stop them and say, "Did you hear my compliment?" and will not move on to another topic until they have allowed themselves to feel appropriately good about the compliment.
When I wrote the review of A Zen Wave a few months ago, I discovered the Japanese language construction of a postposition, which is the inverse of our preposition. A preposition is a marker in English that tells us the word it precedes [thus: pre-position] is modified by the word it comes after. Thus we have the preposition "of" in "sound of water". In Japanese the word "of" would be a postposition and the equivalent expression to our phrase "sound of water" would be written literally in Japanese using a postposition as "water of sound." Natalie points out another facet of the Japanese language encourages us to think of the act of seeing as a relational interaction back and forth between two parties, as in the sentence "I see the dog."
[page 62] It is interesting to note that in the Japanese language the sentence would say, "I dog seeing." There is an exchange or interaction rather than a subject acting on an object.
The chapter "Don't Tell, but Show" was about not using the word "about" in the way I did in the first part of this sentence. By making the sentence structure recursive, by using "about" in process (without the quotation marks) and then again in content (with the quotation marks), I was able to show exactly what to avoid doing by doing it, by demonstrating it. Writing that talks about something is terribly dull and borinnnnggg! Don't talk about, demonstrate! Do it right away, kid! or acronymically, DIRAK! The first sentence of this paragraph is an application of this DIRAK principle demonstrated in action: Matherne's Rule #7.
[page 69] As soon as I hear the word about in someone's writing, it is an automatic alarm. "This story is about life." Skip that line and go willy-nilly right into life in your writing.
In her two-page chapter "Talk is the Exercise Ground" she tells us that talking should be a way of warming up for the real game, which for writers is the time along with pen in hand.
[page 78] Once I came home from a visit in Boston and said to a friend in passing, "Oh, he's crazy about her." She was in the process of writing a mystery novel in those days and honed in, "How can you tell he was crazy about her? Tell me what actions he did." I laughed. You can't make general statements around writers they want me not to "tell" but to "show" with incidents. . . . Talk is a way to warm up for the big game the hours you write alone with your pen and notebook. Make a list of all the stories you have told over and over. That's a lot of writing to be done.
Here's my marginalia from the bottom of the second page, written DIRAK.Talk is warm
Writing is cold
Unless the story
Begs to be told.
A one-page chapter flies at all conventions for writing books, but this one does it with impudency with a title almost as long as the text: "One Plus One Equals a Mercedes-Benz." Here is the first third of the chapter to illustrate how Natalie does her thing.
[page 82] I always tell my students, especially the sixth-graders, the ones who are becoming very worldly-wise: Turn off your logical brain that says 1+1=2. Open up your mind to the possibility that 1+1 can equal 48, a Mercedes-Benz, an apple pie, a blue horse. Don't tell your autobiography with facts, such as "I am in sixth grade. I am a boy. I live in Owatonna. I have a mother and father." Tell me who you really are: "I am the frost on the window, the cry of a young wolf, the thin blade of grass."
What I was on January 27, 1987 was scribbled at the bottom of the page:I am the Night Rainbow
Hovering over the City.
A two-page chapter that tells us to "Make Statements and Answer Questions" leads off with this wonderful story:
[page 85] In the early seventies there was a study done on women and language that affected me very deeply and also affected my writing. One of the things the study said was that women add on qualifiers to their statements. For instance, "The Vietnam war is awful, isn't it?" "I like this, don't you?" In their sentence structure women were always looking for reinforcement for their feelings and opinions. They didn't just make statements and stand behind them: "This is beautiful." "This is terrible." They needed encouragement from outside themselves. (By the way, what they found to be true for women they also mentioned was true for minorities.)
About the time I read this book, I had been studying NLP (neurolinguistic programming) for about ten years, and the use of this sentence structure (adding a question to the end of a sentence) was called a tag line. It was demonstrated by NLP trainers to be useful in ratifying or obtaining agreement with a statement made to a client in a therapeutic setting by allowing the part of the client that may be opposed to the statement to be represented as well. That makes sense to you, doesn't it? So, we might say that the use of tag lines by women helps them to defuse any resistance that the other party might have to the position that they are taking on an issue. That would thus tend to act as a social lubricant to prevent friction in a conversational environment, would it not?
[page 85] Another thing women did in their speech was to use a lot of words like perhaps, maybe, somehow. Indefinite modifiers. For instance, "Somehow it happened." As though the force were beyond understanding and left the woman powerless. "Maybe I'll go." Again, not a clear statement like, "Yes, I'll go." . . . It is important for a beginning writer to make clear, assertive statements. "This is good." "It was a blue horse." Not "Well, I know it sounds funny, but I think perhaps it was a blue horse." Making statements is practice in trusting your own mind, in learning to stand up with your thoughts.
In the top margin of page 85, I had written, "I looked at it carefully and decided, yes, indeed, it is perhaps a purple cow." Compare that paradoxical drivel to Ogden Nash's poem "Purple Cow": "I never saw a purple cow/ I never hope to see one/ But I can tell you this:/ I'd rather see than be one."
[page 85, 86] After I read the article, I went home and looked at a poem I had just written. I made myself take out all vague, indefinite words and phrases. It felt as though I were pulling towels off my body, and I was left standing naked after a shower, exposing who I really was and how I felt. It was scary the first time, but it felt good. It made the poem better. . . . Writing is the act of burning through the fog in your mind.
Again I was inspired to write a poem, this time two stanzas on the theme of this chapter about standing naked. From the margins of page 86 and 87:
Stripped of words that covered me
Feelings ripple over me
Burned away by fire within
Words that power me
Words are warm.
Natalie's study of Zen Buddhism infuses her writing with life in many places such as this quote from Katagiri Roshi on page 156, "We are all Buddha. I can see you are Buddha. You don't believe me. When you see you are Buddha, you will be awake. That's what enlightenment is." To close out this review, I would like to offer you two haiku scribbled on the last blank page of this book on January 28, 1987, called, "Enlightenment":I see you are Buddha.
When you see you are Buddha
You are awake.
Find the haiku hidden within
If you would know it
You must show it.
Read/Print the Review 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 Goes to the Pour House 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 Tries to Buy Beer on Food Stamps:
2. Comments from Readers:
NOTE: I love hearing from all my Good Readers and including your missives here (slightly edited).
If you prefer any comments or photos you send to be private, simply say so and they will not be published.
- EMAIL from Barrett Chevalier in Edmonton:
Here is my writeup on CFL vs NFL. Also attached is the CFL TV coverage in the USA. You are now required to watch them.
~~~~~~~~~ Reply from Bobby ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thanks, Barrett. I'll run these past Del and see if she approves my spending time watching an entirely new football league. I admit it would be wild watching Patti-Lynn in sub-zero weather slamming down her knitting and jumping up screaming when the Eskimos score a long TD.
- EMAIL from Man who gets sexually aroused by Boots:
He writes:I get physically, sexually aroused. I have not been able to stop the sexual arousal.
------- REPLY FROM BOBBY -------
This is a unique situation and I want to stay with you till we work our way to some understanding for both of us.For you, I want you to be free of unwanted arousals.
For me I want to add somehow to our understanding of doyletics.
Here's the challenge: How do we remove an unwanted doyle that has been reinforced over and over again?
Here's how I see it:
Most bad doyles (unwanted doyles) happen only a few times, so they are like weeds which can be easily pulled up.
Good doyles happen many times and are strong, robust, and difficult to extirpate.
Many Speed Tracers have asked me "How can I keep from removing a Good Doyle by mistake?"
My answer has been simple: "Good doyles happen so often before five years old (Memory Transition Age) that they can't be removed. Feelings of joy from receiving a present are stored during Christmas, birthdays, and other events where others are receiving gifts, etc, for many times."
You, my dear Sir, are sublimely stuck between Good and Bad! There is a doyle you don't want to have but it is connected with boots, creating a sexual arousal every time you encounter a boot, up until now.
How can we remove the unwanted arousals?
I am going to think more on this, but here's a few thoughts from my research for almost 30 years:
In tracing very bad doyles I have found it possible to trace them away at the faintest sign of a doyle! This keeps people away from the full terror. Take the case of a woman shaking with terror from "Man whistling outside their room at night". In this actual case I turned out lights, had her close her eyes, and begin her tracing as soon as she felt the slightest twinge of terror as I began to whistle. She was successful in removing the bad doyle without ever feeling the full terror.
A doyle seems to build up in strength as if it is cascading from a weak doyle to a stronger and stronger one till it's a full blown doyle. If you begin the trace immediately on the weak beginning doyle, the full-blown doyle will never get a chance because the weak one disappears (never appears again). Makes sense?
The boots can be used in helping to do this. Holding the boots may trigger the full-blown doyle, so try triggering the WEAKEST doyle you can. Experiment. Don't touch the boots. Move them very far away. Only think of them, and so on. Find the first approach of a weak doyle trigger specifically by the boots or thought of a boot and immediately trace it, VERY QUICKLY!
Memorize your TIME MARKS and Skip any unnecessary words.
NOTE: I had a "Falling into the Sky" doyle which was so scary that I did the trace in under 3 seconds, just starting then going 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and it went away at 2.
So find a weak trigger and TRACE QUICKLY.
This may take several times. Reason I asked if you had therapy before (which I don't think you answered) was that people who have done therapy take a long time to trace each Time Mark, during which time, multiple similar doyles are triggered and the trace never gets down to the one bad guy. DO IT QUICKLY is the best advice.
I'll think some on this while waiting to hear your results. Success will be the boots won't cause arousal, but the good arousals will remain. You are a Columbus here, so be brave and keep searching for your own path to a new world,
Good doyles to you,
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Response from Man ~~~~~~~~~~~~
Intriguing. I will experiment and keep you posted. I know that I am far from alone in having this condition. A release would be a miracle.
3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:"Why Oysters for a Book on Freedom?"
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 our oyster — 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:
Oysters on the Half Shell
The oyster never leaves his shell,
And does, therein, exceeding well;
He does not have to sweat and brood
To know the joys of oysterhood;
He deems the treasured pearl a fault,
And takes his world with ample salt.
Samuel Hoffenstein from
The Complete Poetry of Samuel Hoffenstein
Samuel Hoffenstein said it for me in his poem written in the 1930s. As you enter this book of poems before you, keep your salt shaker handy. "Taking something with a grain of salt" is an old fashioned idiom for "not believing everything you hear." In the realm of freedom with its polar opposite of coercion, one should take things with "ample salt" as Sam suggests in his poem.
In the D. C. Mole Station (the Plantation Master's home on the hill, the Home of Molestation, as I call Washington, D. C.) one hears a lot about freedom and hardly anything about coercion. Remove the "salt" and you find in reality the exact opposite ratios being placed into practice: a lot of coercion is promulgated into law and the last bastion of freedom, the Bill of Rights, is being undermined, saboteged, and extirpated, clause by clause, with each new law passed by the Supreme Court in its finite wisdom. (Doesn't the Constitution charge them with interpreting the Constitution, not modifying it for the sake of some fashionable cause? Doesn't anybody keep track of these things?)
How can freedom ever prove itself if it is treated as a fault, an irritant, and removed by the Plantation Master before it can improve into a pearl?
Why Oysters for a Book on Freedom? An oyster is alive and keeps its trap shut using every bit of power in its one large muscle. An oyster shucker must severe that muscle to open the oyster. So when you eat a raw oyster on the half shell, it's is guaranteed fresh! Live oysters are un-coerced oysters, live oysters, and people are also happiest uncoerced! If we must choose to coerce one or the other, I say we choose oysters.
Please pass the salt and let's open a few oysters, whatdya say?
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9. CLOSING NOTES:
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