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Good Mountain Press Presents DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#18a
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~~~~~~~~      In Memoriam: Good Friends      ~~~~~~~~

<~ Fr. John Finn (1938 - 2018) <~                

                ~> Dr. Mark Parker (1929 - 2018) ~>
~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Quote for the Fall Color Month of October:

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.
It will not lead you astray.

ó Rumi, Sufi Mystic and Persian writer

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ISSUE#18a for October, 2018

Archived DIGESTWORLD Issues

             Table of Contents

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

4. Cajun Story
5. Recipe or Household Hint for October, 2018 from Bobby Jeaux: Sharpening 5-Bladed Razor Blades
6. Poem from Awake! For the Sake of the Future by Rudolf Steiner: "Awake!"
7. Reviews and Articles featured for October:

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

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

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2019: Jan#191,Feb#192,Mar#193,Apr#194,May#195,Jun#196,Jul#197,Aug#198,Sep#199,Oct#19a

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

This month Violet and Joey learn about Eating Fondue.
"Eating Fondue" at

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

Patty Lee in New Orleans

Peter Hodge in California

Congratulations, Patty Lee and Peter!

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Out Our Way:


"This is the Day!" was a song from the movie "Every Day" in which a person self-named 'A' awoke each day in a new male or female body. Del and I wanted the song so I spent a hour or so signing up on Amazon music to buy it. Here's a sample of the amazing lyrics:

. . . You watch a plane flying across a clear blue sky. . .
This is the day your life will surely change,
This is the day when things fall into place. . .

In addition, while I was in a buying mood, I bought us a copy of the Cat Stevens' song we used for our 1978 wedding ceremony, "Morning has Broken." It was truly a day for us when things fell into place!


One of the most eclectic and fun groups I've ever belonged to. We meet once a month in an elegant home uptown and drink absinthe and play croquet if the weather is good. Well, we drink absinthe whether the weather is good or not. The members come from all over and good conversation flows along with good food brought by the members. The gals are usually in white and the guys are in seersucker suits as befits a New Orleans group in the balmy days of summer.


Early in the month my daily newspaper, The New Orleans Advocate, was missing from my front driveway. It's the only newspaper published daily and I depend on it for all my daily news, having weaned us from the local and national news in the evenings. Works out great: for example the tropical storm Gordon sped by east of us without any rain or even a strong breeze and we found out about it in the Advocate after it had passed. So we need our daily paper and I called the Advocate to report it missing. An hour or so later, this old guy in scruffy condition came and did a BANG! BANG! BANG! on our front door. I saw he had our newspaper so I went out to complain to him and he said, "I only deliver missing newspapers", and handed me a New York Times which I quickly returned, saying, "Take it back! It ain't worth burning!" He also handed me a Wall Street Journal which I returned to him, but thought it might have been worth a glance. Finally I accepted the Advocate. He explained he carried all of them to make sure he had the one I needed. Having been a newspaper boy from ages 12 to 15, I expected and wanted the guy who I pay to deliver my Advocate to show up so I could tell what I thought about his missing my newspaper several times already this year. On previous times, no one showed up and I had buy a copy at a local coffeeshop.


The year before we moved to Timberlane Drive, I had spent several months completely overhauling my 20-year-old Toro Snapper Riding Lawnmower. I took it completely apart, replaced the drive transmission, fan-belt, lubricated all the parts, and finally put it all back together. That was the most difficult part! It was like assembling a 3-D jigsaw puzzle! I had taken photos of the Snapper before I disassembled it, and that helped, but it still left a lot of interpretation to be done before all the parts went together. Then a few months later, the 6-hp motor went out and I had West Bank Mower replace it was a 12-hp Briggs and Stratton. I was good to go for another twenty years, I thought.

I remember when we moved to Timberlane Road house in 1989, my first lawnmower was a push mower and its blade hit a cypress knee and shatter the motor's case. I decided that I needed a mower which had a fan belt between the motor and blade to cushion against cypress knee shocks.

I was getting gas on the way to the Nuclear Power Plant one morning at a Texaco Station when a guy pulled in to gas up with a beat-up old riding mower, a Snapper. I asked him how long he had the mower, "25 years", he replied. His job was cutting grass and this mower had lasted over 25 years. First day off, I went down to Chauvin's Tractor and bought me a Toro Snapper. I was delighted with its performance and endurance, and after 20 years, I decided it was time to refurbish it. I could cut the grass of our house in about twenty minutes and enjoyed the job. But a problem arose: I was running out of space for books in our house.

The solution came with a move to a larger house and a yard which took 2 hours to cut its grass. I did it for a awhile, but Del talked me into hiring a landscaper and my riding mower remained in the garage, taking up valuable space. Until this month. I found the ideal person to take over the Snapper. He worked as a landscaper and would appreciate and use my almost new Snapper. Remember the guy at the Texaco station used his Snapper to cut multiple lawns every day for 25 years and I only used mine for one lawn a week for twenty years.

The new buyer watched as I explained how to remove the grass chute and re-attach it. How to remove the grass bag and how the latch works to keep the bag from falling off. How to lock the Parking Brake and release it. How to raise and lower the blade. How to check the oil and replace the filter. I added a half tank of gasoline so we could start it.

Would it start after six year of not being started? Yes, took a little while to move the gasoline into the carburetor, but he got it started. I drove it first so I could remember its various functions of clutching, shifting forward-reverse, etc. Then he drove away with it and happily told me the next week when I saw him that he had cut a lawn with it that same afternoon he bought it from me.

We celebrated by moving our bicycles from a hallway and into the space vacated by the lawnmower. I pumped up the tires and we decided to take the bikes for a quick ride around the block. About a hundred yards down the paved street I noticed that my rear tire was low on air and was hard to pedal, so we stopped and I told Del let's turn around and go home. She tried to turn her bicycle around but didn't get up enough speed hit a curb at a bad angle and fell down on the driveway.

She was cut, bruised and bumped in her face, her knees, her hands and legs. Nothing major, and she rode the bike back home where I patched her up with Neosporin and Bandaids. I think she went through a whole pack of make-up to cover up the scrapes and bruises on her face, but after a week or two week she is back to normal again. In the mean time we have bought a tire chain to lock our two bikes to a metal shelf in the garage and we are ready to take rides around the golf course on a regular basis again soon.


This was a quiet month at home, no traveling to speak of, so the glitches provide the highlights of the month.


We've had a toilet with a minor leak for a year or so, but the leaking flapper valve began getting stuck, so we called in a plumber to fix it. He also repaired a leaking faucet in the other powder room for us.

In addition we needed the Master Bath faucets completely replaced. Their problem was it took forever to twist the handle to get the water to stop leaking from Del's faucets. We had a different plumber a year or two ago who fixed the same faucet and within a year it was bad again. I insisted we get Delta faucets and that meant replacing both lavatory sets with new fixtures. Del's faucets had the lacquer peeled away from the fixture which made it look unsightly. Randy found a replacement and the first week in October he's coming back to replace lavatory fixtures in the Master Bath.


During a hurricane in 2011, we had a power outage which lasted a few days, and we hooked our microwave oven into the portable generator and it stopped working. So we decided to use the time outside of the house driving around to various appliance places to find a new microwave oven. It gave us something to do, and got us out of the hot house into air-conditioned places. One of the places we went into was a donut shop we had never been in before, I think it was Krispy Kreme. We walked into this wonderfully air conditioned shop and a guy handed us each a hot donut from right off the assembly line!

We went to Circuit City, A-1, and Best Buy among other places and saw a lot of microwave ovens, but none that fit into our Baker's Rack at home. Most of them were too wide, meant to be installed into new construction. Finally we decided to go to Sears and there on the shelf was a Kenmore Microwave Oven that fit perfectly and met all our requirements. The main one was that you could be able to pull the door open instead of pushing a button to cause it to open. This is the worst design I can imagine: I want to PULL the oven door open and the designer wants me to PUSH it open!

Nine years later in the last week of September, I put a cup of coffee to be heated and pressed the button and the timer went down, but the turntable didn't move and the fan didn't come on. So nothing warmed up. I decided to go directly Sears first this time and buy a replacement Kenmore microwave oven. But the Kenmore is no more because the Sears place in our area is no more!

I started to come home and decided instead to check out J. C. Penney's at the other end of the Mall. There I found three choices. The Samsung needed to be pushed to pull the cover open. No Deal! The Oster had no easy minute start button. There was only one Cuisinart Microwave and it was more expensive but it had everything I wanted. Pull handle which works from either left or right hand, easy start buttons for 30 sec, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 minute starts. It was more expensive, but Del will love the stainless steel insides and cover. A helper named Kevin showed up to haul it for me all the way across Oakwood Mall. We had time to talk, so I asked him if he played football. He said that he played in the band and on the football team for O. Perry Walker.

Talked about band and football and our walk was made very short. He put the oven into my trunk and I drove home. Del wasn't there but I unfolded our new hand cart and toted the broken Kenmore to street-side garbage pickup, then the Cuisinart to kitchen. The hardest job was peeling off the protective skin from outside of the oven. It was stuck on tight and almost invisible. Got it set up and it works great! The old Kenmore could only be opened from the right side ,but the new Cuisinart oven's offset handle allows opening the door with either the left hand or the right hand. The Kenmore oven was so light, the door had to be slammed shut, but Cuisinart had more metal in it and shuts easily without slamming it.


Del flew to visit our son Jim in Loveland, Colorado for a few days. She arrived home in time to watch LSU beat Ole Miss with me. Speaking of football, LSU is now 5 wins and no losses, including two wins over Top Ten teams, Miami and Auburn. It did all this with a first time QB, Joe Burrow, who is now a leader of the Tigers. In this fifth game Joe threw 3 TD passes, ran for 99 yards including a forty yard run for a TD. All three coaches: Coach O, Coach E, and Coach A have done great jobs getting the Tigers prepared for each game and adjusting to multiple injuries to the players along the way. As for the Saints football, we are through the four game suspension of Mark Ingram after the Giants game, which we also won to stay aboard the Super Bowl Express for the rest of the season.


The past month of September has brought us lots of showers for our lawn and garden. Hope you had a wonderful September and enjoyed the last of our balmy weather in the northen temperature zone as Fall has begun. May you enjoy the upcoming Halloween fun, and, God Willing, and the tropical winds stay away from our door — whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, here's hoping you'll enjoy the upcoming glorious Fall days or blooming Spring days,




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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:

  • It is one of the joys of publishing as I do directly to the Internet that I can have my cake and eat it, too, that is, I can publish it and continue to edit it. Directly I publish a review, an essay, or my DIGESTWORLD to the Internet, I hear the cries arise from the text for emendation, for improvement, for parsing, for clarification — they beckon me to give them attention like a houseful of children newly arrived home from school. I must attend them — attend each paragraph, each sentence, each word, and allow them to reveal to me how the meaning they hold matches my intent when I first set them carefully into place. When, as sometimes happens, I read my words after a rest period and am puzzled as to my original intent, I must first recover my intent, sacrifice my prose with a flourish of the delete key, and reform my intent into words with more clarity. Then I can immediately dispatch my newly rewritten sentences into publication over the Internet.
    — Bobby Matherne in Thoreau's Journal No. 6.

  • New Stuff on Website:
    Tidbit of Humor:

    WOMEN: Ever Wanted the the World to Go Away for 8 hours and leave you alone?
    And Other New Drugs for Women in Distress!

    Below are Four of Bobby's Published Books. Click to Read Them.


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

    Movies we watched this past month:

    Notes about our movies: Many of the movies we watch are foreign movies with subtitles. After years of watching movies in foreign languages, Arabic, French, Swedish, German, British English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and many other languages, sometimes two or three languages in the same movie, the subtitles have disappeared for us. If the movie is dubbed in English we go for the subtitles instead because we enjoy the live action and sounds of the real voices so much more than the dubbed. If you wonder where we get all these foreign movies from, the answer is simple: NetFlix. For a fixed price a month they mail us DVD movies from our on-line Queue, we watch them, pop them into a pre-paid mailer, and the postman effectively replaces all our gas-consuming and time-consuming trips to Blockbuster. To sign up for NetFlix, simply go to and start adding all your requests for movies into your personal queue. If you've seen some in these movie blurbs, simply copy the name, click open your queue, and paste the name in the Search box on NetFlix and Select Add. Buy some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. You get to see your movies as the Director created them ó NOT-edited for TV, in full-screen width, your own choice of subtitles, no commercial interruptions, and all of the original dialogue. Microwave some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. With a plasma TV and Blu-Ray DVD's and a great sound system, you have theater experience without someone next to you talking on a cell phone during a movie plus a Pause button for rest room trips.
    P. S. Ask for Blu-Ray movies from NetFlix, and if it says DVD in your Queue, click and select Blu-Ray version.
    Hits (Watch as soon as you can. A Don't Miss Hit is one you might otherwise have missed along the way.):
    "The Man Who Invented Christmas" (2017) ala íShakespeare in Loveí we follow a frantic young Charlie Dickens as he creates a Christmas present for the whole world! A DONíT MISS HIT ! ! ! ! ! !
    "Wonderstruck" (2017)
    A long roll-up to an incredible reunion at the Queens Museum. Will leave you dumbstruck. A DONíT MISS HIT ! ! !
    "Every Day" (2018)
    A wakes up in a different person, making every day special, making marks, leaving traces. Great song from movie: 'This is the Day' by Matthew Johnson, performed by The The on SONY Music. A DONíT MISS HIT ! ! ! ! !
    "The Eagles" (2013)
    Part I before they split in 1972, Part II when they got back together in the 1990s. People did a lot of things while listening to the Eagles, fell in love, partied, and even went up into space. This 3 hour film was epic in scope and if you didnít know what songs the Eagles did before, you will certainly now. A DONíT MISS HIT ! ! ! ! !
    "Assassins" (1995)
    Stallone has trouble with hitman Banderas taking his work away.
    "In Search of Fellini" (2017)
    young girl about 19 goes in search of in Italy and lives out her own Fellini movie. A DONíT MISS HIT ! !
    "Mountain Top" (2017)
    Sam Miller gets messages from Papa (his name for God) and helps people out of problems until he gets jailed and needs help himself. A DONíT MISS HIT ! !
    "Submission" (2018)
    based on 'Blue Angel' Tucci and Sedgwick star in this sorry turnabout of morals: professor is seduced and scandalized by a coed who gets her novel published and her helpful prof fired.
    "Beirut" (2018)
    A deal maker in war-torn Lebanon tries to save a friend's life under dicey circumstances. A DON'T MISS HIT ! !
    "The Trench" (1999)
    with a young Daniel Craig leading a platoon of recruits in a trench during WWI. Focuses on the young men facing battle for the first time in the Somme.
    "In Darkness" (2018)
    a blind pianist has to live and find the man who killed her family. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
    "The Resistance Banker" (2018)
    for seventy years Dutch bankers hid this ingenious WWII plot by a local banker to fund the resistance in occupied Holland by replacing a half-billion in real bonds in a vault with counterfeit bonds and cashing the real ones. All done without the German authorities being the wiser. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
    "Submission" (2018)
    based on 'Blue Angel' Tucci and Sedgwick star in this sorry turnabout of morals: professor is seduced and scandalized by a coed who gets her novel published and her helpful prof fired.

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

    "A Different Loyalty" (2004) The lugubrious life of a Brit who became a Russian spy.
    "Nightfall" (1988)
    Asimov's short story should have remained in obscurity. Movie is slow, dumb soft porn with 1970s crystals, reincarnation, and drugs.

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

    "The Con is On" (2018) and we were conned into expecting a movie instead of a drunken revel of Tim Roth and Uma Thurman.
    "Prince Avalanche" (2013)
    Paul Ruud and a younger guy repaint lines on a rural stretch of road in this quirky movie in which not much happens.
    "Dark Crimes" (2018)
    Jim Carrey as detective holding onto a closed case thinking he'll solve this if it's the last thing he did.

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    4. STORY:
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    Le Boudreaux Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission
    Sent in by T-Paul from Opelousas on August 4, 2018.
    Boudreaux and Marie couldn't get a baby-sitter so they took their ten-year-old son with them the Nudist Beach. Boudreaux went roaming around on his own, but T-Boy stayed close to Marie as he was curious and had a lot of questions to ask.

    At one point, T-boy looked up to Marie and said, "Mama, how come some ladies have bigger breasts than you do?"

    Marie blushed a bit, but thought she'd better answer her son. She said, "Dat's because they are sillier than me."

    T-Boy thought awhile then asked Marie, "Mama, how come some of the men have bigger wienies than Daddy?"

    Marie had already prepared an answer for that question and quickly replied, "T-Boy, dat's because they are dumber than Daddy."

    Satified, T-Boy wandered around to where his daddy was. When he returned, he seemed concerned and went up to Marie and said, "Mama, Daddy's talking to a silly lady and he's getting dumber and dumber."

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

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    Sharpening 5-Bladed Razor Blades

    Background: About ten years ago, I bought a Leather Razor Strop from Duluth and began using it. Since each of my five-bladed Gillette Fusion Blades have lasted me from 6 months to a year under daily use. NOTE: razor blades are made of steel and are sturdy, but the sharpened ends are delicate and should not be manhandled, but stropped gently to preserve the sharpened edges.

    Instructions for Sharpening 5-Bladed Razor Blades

    1) Holding razor in right-hand, begin at the BOTTOM and move it gently UP the ROUGH SIDE. Lift from the Leather Strop, return to bottom, and repeat for 8 passes.

    2) Rotate the razor so cutting edges face upward. Holding razor in right-hand, begin at the TOP of the Strop and move it gently DOWN the ROUGH SIDE. Lift from the Leather Strop, return to the TOP, and repeat for 8 passes.


    4) Holding razor in right-hand, begin at the BOTTOM of the Strop and move it gently UP the SMOOTH SIDE and back DOWN the SMOOTH SIDE, ALWAYS REMAINING IN GENTLE CONTACT WITH THE STOP. Repeat for 8 passes.

    Other options
    The razor strop will work on one, two, three, four, or five-bladed razor blades.



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    6. POETRY by BOBBY from Awake! For the Sake of the Future:
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    One, Two: Should the ancient Greek speak to us today, the message would be Awake! That would be a paradoxical message, as we feel ourselves to be the ones who are awake in our detailed focus on the processes of the sensory world around us. The part that we are missing fills Steiner's lectures in this book, but if I may shape a short poem to you, as an ancient Greek might carve a naked human body in stone, to demonstrate the point.



    Should the ancient Greek speak
           to us today,
    They would say Awake!


    Awake to your full humanity of fluids and air
           pulsing through your physical body,
           coursing through your flesh and bones,
           which you see as the be-all and end-all
                           of your existence, up until now!


    Awake from your sleep of materialism
           which hold fast your eyelids
           shut to the reality
           of the full human being, up until now!


    Awake, you frogs in a vacuum jar!
           Jump out and breathe in soul-permeated air!

    Awake, humans!
    Throw off your sleep blanket of materialism,
           woven of abstract logical premises —
           covering your naked humanity, up until now!


    Awake from your millennial sleep, Beauty,
           Speak the Ancient Greek,
           Live in your full essence from now on!

    == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==
    7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for October:
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

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

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

    1.) ARJ2: A Gentleman in Moscow — A Novel by Jerome Bruner

          Always to shine,
          to shine everywhere,
          to the very depths of the last days . . .
                                Mishka, (page 183)

    Count Rostov was not a poet, but a poem spared him from being summarily shot through the head, relegating him to a slow death in exile. He had accepted credit for the poem to protect his poet friend Mishka when revolutionaries in Russia were killing artists and aristocrats everywhere. And now that same poem was protecting him. And where was the Count to be exiled? If he had a chance as Br'er Rabbit did, he would have said, "Don't throw me into that Briar Patch!" — a place his predators detested, but one full of tunnels and hide-y-holes where any rabbit could make himself a comfy home, safe from enemies, with plenty to eat, and lots of fun things to do. For Alexander Rostov, Sasha, his briar patch of choice would have been the Metropol Hotel where he had lived for four years since returning to Moscow. "Why did you return?" the inquisitor commissars wanted to know. "For the climate," he replied, and they laughed, before emphasizing the Count would be shot if he ever stepped out the door of the Metropol Hotel.

    Who was the eponymous Gentleman in Moscow, you may be thinking? It was Count Alexander Rostov, a man, a gentle man, whose goal was always to shine, to shine everywhere, to the very depths of the last days. He never once complained of his imprisonment in a cubby hole about 100 square feet in a belfry at the top of the hotel, six flights up. He only insisted that "a gentleman fortifies himself with a desk", and they moved his heavy desk into his tiny room. He graciously accepted his sparse new quarters, but what about us, readers of his tale? Will we want to read a 450-page novel when, after 10 pages, we find that the main character is to be locked into a hotel for the rest of his life? Can we accept our fate with the same equanimity shown by the Count? Thereupon lies the tale.

    The Count knows only the public rooms of the Metropol's barber, its bar, and its elegant restaurant, so he will not lack for grooming, for drinks, and for dining, as any gentleman requires. Occasionally an inadvertent tear in his trousers would require the service of the seamstress Marina. What of entertainment in his small room? He was allowed to take only one book of his from his elegant and spacious previous quarters, so he wisely chose a large book that he had been promising himself to read one day, now that he had an endless supply of days at his command, the Essays of Montaigne. I remember Ralph Waldo Emerson recalled how as a teenager he opened his father's copy of those essays and found nothing of interest to him; then, later, as a college student, he opened them again to find unending passages of wisdom.

    When the Count was escorted by Kremlin guards back to the Metropol, three of its staff, good friends of the Count, awaited an explanation, having never expected to see the Count again. Always truthful, as befitted a gentleman, he explained elegantly.

    [page 16] "My dear friends," said the Count, "no doubt you are curious as to the day's events. As you may know, I was invited to the Kremlin for a tête-à-tête. There, several goateed officers of the current regime determined that for the crime of being born an aristocrat, I should be sentenced to spend the rest of my days . . . in this hotel."

    Count Rostov had indeed fortified himself with the heavy desk, as we discover when alone in his tiny room, he releases a catch to reveal a velvet-lined cache of gold coins in each of its four legs. These were only for emergency expenditures as the appearance of one of them would likely cause the rest to be confiscated by the tight fists of the State. His next treasure was Montaigne which he read at his uninterrupted leisure. He opened Book I to find this useful advice, which he took to heart in his novel situation of being both a hotel guest and a prisoner of the State: "When someone is exerting vengeance on you, the best thing to is obey them fully, which may move them to have mercy on you or to hold your ground in firm resolve which may have the same effect on them."

    Montaigne gives an example of the Duke of Bavaria being under siege by the Emperor, who, in deference to the women, allowed them to leave the town, on foot, with only whatever they could carry. The women managed to leave carrying their husbands, children, and the Duke himself! What wonders one can perform if one constructively follows the coercive orders of the State.

    A gentleman need not be awakened by a clock in the morning. If he has an appointment, it will likely be at a decent hour, like noon. And, a late night for a gentleman usually ends by midnight, so his father had Sasha's clock designed to ring only twice a day, at noon and midnight. Reading Montaigne's essays, Sasha waited impatiently for the clock to toll his weekly noon-time appointment with the barber of the Metropol.

    [page 32] On past the sixteenth essay.

    Until, suddenly, that long-strided watchman of the minutes caught up with his bowlegged brother at the top of the dial. As the two embraced, the spring within the clock's casing loosened, the wheels spun, and the miniature hammer fell, setting off the first of those dulcet tones that signaled the arrival of noon.

    Sasha's life was going to change dramatically before his standing appointment with Yaroslav the barber was over. An ungentlemanly man insisted he had been waiting before the Count showed up and expressed his displeasure by lopping off one of Sasha's elegant moustaches. When Yaroslav asked for his pleasure after finishing with the indignant customer, Sasha asked for a clean shave, which removed his moustaches completely. Some unexpected twists of fate offer amazing surprises; this one was a nine-year-old girl named Nina with a liking for yellow who had been watching him from across the lobby. Sasha was enjoying his soup in the restaurant with his eyes closed and had a surprise waiting when he opened them.

    [page 40] Turning his attention to his okroshka, the Count could tell at a glance that it was a commendable execution — a bowl of soup that any Russian in the room might have been served by his grandmother. Closing his eyes in order to give the first spoonful its due consideration, the Count noted a suitably chilled temperature, a tad too much salt, a tad too little kvass, but a perfect expression of dill — that harbinger of summer which brings to mind the songs of crickets and the setting of one's soul at ease.
           But when the Count opened his eyes, he nearly dropped his spoon. For standing at the edge of his table was the young girl with the penchant for yellow — studying him with that unapologetic interest peculiar to children and dogs. Adding to the shock of her sudden appearance was the fact that her dress today was in the shade of a lemon.
           "Where did they go?" she asked, without a word of introduction.
           "I beg your pardon. Where did who go?"
           She tilted her head to take a closer look at his face.
           "Why, your moustaches."
           The Count had not much cause to interact with children, but he had been raised well enough to know that a child should not idly approach a stranger, should not interrupt him in the middle of a meal, and certainly should not ask him questions about his personal appearance. Was the minding of one's own business no longer a subject taught in schools?
           "Like swallows," the Count answered, "they traveled elsewhere for the summer."
           Then he fluttered a hand from the table into the air in order to both mimic the flight of the swallows and suggest how a child might follow suit.
           She nodded to express her satisfaction with his response.
           "I too will be traveling elsewhere for part of the summer."
           The Count inclined his head to indicate his congratulations.
           "To the Black Sea," she added.

    He invited her to sit at his table, and she wanted to confirm he was a count so she could ask him about princesses. Thus began his friendship with Nina, who was to be a constant source of surprise and delight in his life, even after she disappeared into the far reaches of Siberia. She asked if the Count had ever been to a Ball and did he dance. "I have been known to scuff the parquet," he replied.

    Theseus had his Ariadne, Odysseus his Tiresias, Dante his Virgil, but Count Rostov was alone in this cavernous Metropol Hotel and only knew a few public spaces. Where was his guide? She came in the form of a nine-year-old girl, Nina Kulikova, who knew all the secret places and passages and became his guide. With a tiny key hung around her neck, she could open any door in the Metropol. Did Nina have a governess while her father was frequently traveling around the world? Yes, but as long as Nina stayed in the Hotel, she was left alone to do what she wanted, and now she wanted to share the Hotel with the Count. "How else do you spend your time," Nina asked him when he balked at accompanying Nina on her daily rounds, in, out, and about the Hotel. He had been in Fatima's flower arranging room, but had he been there since it's been closed by the revolution?


    [page 56] And yes, he had visited Fatima's in the days when it was open, but had he been inside the cutting room? Through a narrow door at the back of her shop was that niche with a light green counter where stems had been snipped and roses dehorned, where even now one could find scattered across the floor the dried petals of ten perennials essential to the making of potions.

    Nothing is more interesting than a large hotel which survives a revolution — no one person knows all its secret places. Rostov began to think of the Metropol Hotel as a large cruise ship at sea. One could shoot clay pigeons off the topside of the ship, dress to dine with the Captain, win money in the casino, and say that one had tasted everything on the ship. Not Nina!

    [page 57] Nina had not contented herself with the views from the upper decks. She had gone below. Behind. Around. About. In the time that Nina had been in the hotel, the walls had not grown inward, they had grown outward, expanding in scope and intricacy. In the first weeks, the building had grown to encompass the life of two city blocks. In her first months, it had grow to encompass half of Moscow. If she lived in the hotel long enough, it would encompass all of Russia.

    Nina took the Count to the second floor of an assembly so that out of sight they could hear the proceedings. There was an argument about the use of words. A Russian bureaucrat insisted on using only one word, facilitate, saying, "Poetic concision demands the avoidance of a pair of words when a single word will suffice." As a poet, my claim is that there is no art in poetic concision, only in poetic elaboration and expansion. In the committee meeting, a burly fellow spoke out to the assembly, "With all due respect to poetic concision, the male of the species was endowed with a pair when a single might have sufficed." He received a thunderous applause! There was a man with a pair of balls! (Page 69)

    In this next passage, the author explains that there may be three ways to ask a question. The question is simply, "What is to become of you, Alexander?" But there are three ways to enunciate the question, each evoking a different meaning.

    [page 83] They all asked that question of the Count. Helena, the Countess, the Grand Duke. What is to become of you, Alexander? But they asked it in three different ways.
           For the Grand Duke the question was, of course, rhetorical. Confronted with a report of a failed semester or an unpaid bill, the Grand Duke would summon his godson to his library, read the letter aloud, drop it on his desk, and ask the question without expectation of a response, knowing full well that the answer was imprisonment, bankruptcy, or both.

           For his grandmother, who tended to ask the question when the Count had said something particularly scandalous, What is to become of you, Alexander? was an admission to all in earshot that here was her favorite, so you needn't expect her to rein in his behavior.
           But when Helena asked the question, she did so as if the answer were a genuine mystery. As if, despite her brother s erratic studies and carefree ways, the world had yet to catch a glimpse of the man he was bound to become.
           "What is to become of you, Alexander?" Helena would ask.
           "That is the question," the Count would agree. And then he would lie back in the grass and gaze thoughtfully at the figure eights of the fireflies as if he too were pondering this essential enigma.

    The Count met a famous movie actress, Anna Urbanova, and their first meeting did not go well. But sometime later, the Bellman passed him a note which read (Page 117),

    Please allow me a second chance
    at a first impression
    in suite 208

    The Count could not have anticipated the reception waiting for him in Suite 208, a sensuous tour-de-force which would be repeated throughout the book.

    [page 122] Ever since reading her note in the Shalyapin Bar, the Count had felt one step behind Miss Urbanova. The casual reception in her suite, the candlelit dinner for two, the deboning of the fish followed by memories of childhood — he had not anticipated any one of these developments. Certainly he had been caught off guard by the kiss. And now, here she was strolling into her bedroom, unbuttoning her blouse, and letting it slip to the floor with a delicate whoosh.

    In 1923, the Count planned his leave-taking of life to be four years after his imprisonment in the Metropol Hotel. He imagined he would be slipping off his mortal coil as easily as Anna Urbanova slipped off her blouse.

    [page 147] On the twenty-second of June 1926 — the tenth anniversary of Helena's death — Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov would drink to his sister's memory. Then he would shed his mortal coil, once and for all.

    After planning his future demise, the Count got into a discussion about The Nutcracker with a Brit and a German, and claimed it captured the best of Christmas cheer on the darkest night of the year, if you celebrate it above the fiftieth parallel in Russia.

    [page 158] "Yes, exactly," said the Count to the Brit, "It is commonly said that the English know how to celebrate Advent best. But with all due respect, to witness the essence of winter cheer one must venture farther north than London. One must venture above the fiftieth parallel to where the course of the sun is its most elliptical and the force of the wind its most unforgiving. Dark, cold, and snowbound, Russia has the sort of climate in which the spirit of Christmas burns brightest. And that is why Tchaikovsky seems to have captured the sound of it better than anyone else. I tell you that not only will every European child of the twentieth century know the melodies of The Nutcracker, they will imagine their Christmas just as it is depicted in the ballet; and on the Christmas Eves of their dotage, Tchaikovsky's tree will grow from the floor of their memories until they are gazing up in wonder once again."

    Just as The Nutcracker means Christmas to the Russians, so also A Christmas Carol means Christmas to the rest of the Western World. Dickens single-handedly changed the way Christmas was celebrated into a time of looking back at one's life in Christmas-Past, examining the possibilities of Christmas-Yet-To-Come, and enjoying Christmas-Present as a celebration of family and friends in a grand feast. Our greatest celebrations come as gifts to the world by artists such as Tchaikovsky and Dickens.

    The Count mused that exile began with primitive tribes sending away its unwanted members, and was prominent in many places in the Bible.

    [page 164] After all, exile was the punishment that God meted out to Adam in the very first chapter of the human comedy; and that He meted out to Cain a few pages later. Yes, exile was as old as mankind. But the Russians were the first people to master the notion of sending a man into exile at home.

    One could argue that one must have a very large country to make exile at home possible, and Russia's ice-bound Siberia makes an ideal place for exile at home. Count Rostov was in exile at home in a very large hotel, the Metropol, but the four years after which he promised himself to end his exile were coming to a close, and he was ready to go. He toasted his sister Helena on the roof of the Metropol and prepared to end his exile within seconds with a swan dive to the street below. His first exit from the Metropol will be his last. Only a miracle could spare his life.

    [page 165] It was now the simplest of matters. Like one who stands on a dock in spring preparing to take the first lunge of the season, all that remained was a leap. Starting just six stories off the ground and falling at the speed of a kopek, a teacup, or a pineapple, the entire journey would only take a matter of seconds; and then the circle would be complete. For as sunrise leads to sunset and dust to dust, as every river returns to the sea, just so a man must return to the embrace of oblivion, from whence —

    "Your Excellency!" Abram spoke out loudly and excitedly, in a tone no one could ignore. The man the Count had spent hours drinking tea and talking with on the roof about various things, bees and apple orchards in the Count's home area, urged him, "You must come with me at once!" What had excited Abram so much? His bees that he raised, after having disappeared for weeks, had now returned! But that was not all . . . Abram gave the Count a spoonful.

    [page 166] In an instant, there was the familiar sweetness of fresh honey — sunlit, golden, and gay. Given the time of year, the Count was expecting this first impression to be followed by a hint of lilacs from the Alexander Gardens or cherry blossoms from the Garden Ring. But as the elixir dissolved on his tongue, the Count became aware of something else entirely. Rather than the flowering trees of central Moscow, the honey had a hint of a grassy riverbank . . . the trace of a summer breeze . . . a suggestion of a pergola . . . But most of all, there was the unmistakable essence of a thousand apple trees in bloom. . .
           "Nizhny Novgorod," he said. . . .

    All these years, Abram said, they must have been listening to us — they traveled over a hundred miles to bring back the sweetness of your youth. And with the sacrifice of the bees, the life of Count Rostov was saved for another twenty years.

    [page 172] History is the business of identifying momentous events from the comfort of a high-back chair. With the benefit of time, the historian looks back and points to a date in the manner of a gray-haired field marshal pointing to a bend in a river on a map: There it was, he says. The turning point. The decisive factor. The fateful day that fundamentally altered all that was to follow.

    For Russia the fateful days came in 1927, 1928, and 1929 with the rise of Stalin to absolute power, the first Five-Year Plan, and the drafting of Article 58 of the Criminal Code, a giant Arachnian Net which would ensnare all Russians in its sticky, ever-present web of intrigue and civilian spies and would execute summarily those speaking against Stalin in its omnipotent and deadly jaws. The lucky survivors of their "interview with the commissars" were sent to Siberia. (Page 173)

    One evening the Count was ordered to the presence of Osip Ivanovich Glebnikov, a former colonel of the Red Army and an officer of the Party, whose current job is keeping track of certain men of interest, men such as Count Rostov. But Osip did not have an inquisition in mind for Rostov, but rather a position as his tutor in French and English. One night a month the Count would dine with Osip in the Boyarksy restaurant, teaching him the nuances of the two languages so that he may be prepared when Soviet Russia begins relations with foreign governments again. Here was the exchange of their agreement. The Count asked::

    [page 212] "How do you propose that I help?"
           "Simple. Dine with me once a month in this very room. Speak with me in French and English. Share with me your impressions of Western Societies. And in exchange . . . "
           Glebnikov let his sentence trail off, not to imply the paucity of what he could to for the Count, but rather to suggest the abundance."
           But the Count raised a hand to stay the talk of exchanges.
           "If you are a customer of the Boyarksy, Osip Ivanovich, then I am already at your service."

    Three new things appeared in the Metropol in the 1920s. The first was the reappearance of the sounds of jazz being played and enjoyed. The second was the reappearance of foreign correspondents. And the third was the appearance of spies. Not obvious spies, but three beautiful young ladies who moved around the patrons of the Shalyapin Bar who seemed to be interested in listening more than talking, all of which charmed the patrons and loosened their tongues. The foreign correspondents were on to the spies, suspecting that these ladies were memorizing everything they heard and later repeating to a flunky who wrote it all down for the State watchdogs. So they made bets among themselves as to the first one that would get called before the Commissariat of Internal Affairs. A Mr. Lyons won the bet by relating his favorite battle from War and Peace in front of the female spies.

    The Metropol's assistant manager was dubbed the Bishop because he never approached a subject directly, only on a diagonal like the chess piece named the bishop. Since being promoted, he had perfected his technique by using ellipses as the end of sentences.

    What do I mean by that . . . ? Well, since you asked, here's the Count, after having escaped from a barrage of oblique questions by the Bishop and after he had made up an alibi of looking for his pen to explain his presence in an unexpected place.

    [page 218, 219] The Count waited until he was out of sigh, then hurried in the opposite direction, muttering as he went:
            "Where is it now . . . ? Perhaps in your blue pagoda . . . Very witty, I'm sure. Coming from a man who couldn't rhyme cow with plow. And what's with all that dot-dot-dotting?
           Ever since the Bishop had been promoted, he had taken to adding an ellipsis at the end of every question. But what was one to infer from it . . .? That an interrogative sentence should never end . . . ? That even though he is asking a question, he has no need of an answer because he has already formed an opinion. . . ?
           Of course.

    Nina, years later, showed up at the Metropol, startling the Count. She has grown up, wearing pants, and now married to Leo, the father of her daughter Sofia. Leo has been arrested and sent to Siberia, where Sofia was headed immediately to be near him, asking the Count to take care of her 5-year-old-daughter for a month or two. The Count had little time to recover the multiple shocks before he meets Sofia, a young girl of about the age of Nina when she first appeared equally abruptly in his life. Within fifteen minutes, Nina had said goodby, leaving Sofia with a small backpack with all her belongings in the hands of Count Rostov.

    Talk about adjustments . . . The Count lived in a small one-room apartment in a top floor turret. He had carved out of an unused adjacent area a small room to hold a secret study. Sofia called him Uncle Alexander; Rostov introduced her as his niece. The seamstress Marina helped watch Sofia, as Sasha had turned into Uncle Alexander, knowing his life was going to change drastically.

    Meantime Sasha's good friend and poet Mishka had been lured back to Moscow by Stalin in '34 so he could create the poetry of Soviet Realism with three of his friends. "And what has been the fallout of that?" Mishka asked rhetorically.

    [page 269, italics added] All but ruined, Bulgakov hadn't written a word in years. Akhmatova had put down her pen. Mandelstam, having already served his sentence, had apparently been arrested again. And Mayakovsky? Oh, Mayakovsky . . .
           Mishka pulled at the hairs of his beard.
           Back in '22, how boldly he had predicted to Sasha that these four would come together to forge a new poetry for Russia. Improbably, perhaps. But in the end, that is exactly what they had done They had created the poetry of silence.
           "Yes, silence can be an opinion," said Mishka. "Silence can be a form of protest. It can be a means of survival. But it can also be a school of poetry — one with its own meter, tropes, and conventions. One that needn't be written with pencils or pens; but that can be written in the soul with a revolver to the chest."

    What would the poetry of silence look like? . . . I wondered as I read Mishka's poignant words which inspired me to write this poem:

        The Poetry of Silence

           Here is the result,
           Hear the result of
           The poetry of silence
           In these four mute lines:





           They speak eloquently
           The meter of emptiness,
           Filling a Stanza with
           And a Heart with


    And what was the result of Mishka's non-silence? In 1939 he was marshaled aboard a train to Siberia and the realm of second thoughts. (Page 270)

    As Sofia grew up into an accomplished pianist, she was headed to Paris for a concert, but her Uncle Alexander was not allowed to accompany her. What could our dear Sasha do? Sofia was under close watch by Soviet authorities during her concert tour in Paris. Her Uncle Alexander would be shot with a revolver if he walked out the revolving door of the Metropol. Count Rostov's previous plan to escape the Hotel was stopped by a flight of bees, but there will be no stopping this plan. Sofia and he would escape from the authorities at the same time, and once the Count set all the parts of his plan into motion, each part must work like clockwork. There must be a diversion, there must be feints to lead the State in the wrong direction, there must be a reunion with the newly freed Sofia, and, if all works as planned, there will be apple blossom honey and a willowy woman awaiting him in a familiar Inn.

    Open this book, begin reading it, and out of a hundred-square-foot room, a new world of love and life will arise before your eyes.  . . .    A gentleman of Moscow is awaiting the pleasure of your company. . .

    Read/Print at:

    2.) ARJ2: Extending Practical Medicine by Rudolf Steiner and Ita Wegman

    A prominent impression one gets from this book is that there are many ways of approaching the healing of a human being, all of them good — to the extent that they are effective. What Steiner and Wegman add to the arsenal of observation techniques of medical doctors, who observe only the physical body of a patient, is the ability to observe consciously the patient's etheric, astral, and Ego bodies. By observing imbalances in the three non-physical bodies, the authors are able to suggest remedies that would not be found in the standard Physician's Desk Reference, but remedies that are nevertheless quite effective and practical.

    The case histories the authors provide are difficult to assess because they occurred at the beginning of the 20th century and use chemicals, minerals, elements and natural plant concoctions that are unfamiliar to most people now at the end of the 20th century. The authors use names such as Colchicum autumnale which stimulates the astral body. Also sorrel salt compresses, Urticia diocia solution, and lime blossom solution — all three of which they used successfully to treat migraine headaches in one patient and root of Potentilla tormentilla they prescribed to improve the general metabolism (Ego body or I organization) of another patient. These examples of obscure medications and natural preparations show that this book will not likely be useful for "extending practical medicine" to the average person, as the title implies.

    What is likely meant by the title is that extending the ability of the medical practitioner to observe the etheric, astral, and Ego bodies' operations consciously will lead to suggestions for simpler, more direct treatment of diseases with fewer side effects than currently available, in other words, lead to a more practical medicine. Consciously, because many doctors cannot explain where their diagnoses originate, and it seems likely that from long observation of their many patients, doctors have learned to recognize symptoms of etheric, astral, and Ego body imbalances. Thus the thrust of this book is to extend the material world sensibilities of the doctor into the super-sensible world so that a true healing of the human body may take place for human beings whose bodies bridge the material world and spiritual world.

    Any healing is shortsighted and therefore short-lived that does not bridge both worlds.

    In those early years of this century when medical licensing was not so prevalent and coercive as it is today, it was easy for the authors to introduce their book thus:

    [page 1] Basically those who follow the established practice of medicine cannot object to what we are presenting because we do not go against that practice. The only people who can refuse to the accept our attempt without further ado are those who not only demand that we accept their system of knowledge but also insist that no insights may be presented that go beyond their system.

    Nowadays there are laws that will put people in jail if they attempt to use practices that "go beyond" the establishment's medical system. In this case the going beyond "adds understanding of the non-physical or spiritual human being"(page 2). In the past 20 years or so the advent of holistic medicine has brought to the average person's attention the non-physical or spiritual aspects of healing. Unfortunately the name holistic healing tends to be materialized in its presentation and understanding, giving one the impression that holistic healing refers to paying attention to the whole physical body versus only some of its constituent parts. This common mistake is similar to the one that table-tappers made in Steiner's time.

    To prove the existence of the spiritual world, they sought evidence in the physical world, i. e., the sounds of the so-called spirit's tapping on the table.

    How does one extend one's understanding and perception to the etheric, astral, and Ego body? Steiner describes how to do it in detailed techniques in Knowledge of Higher Worlds and Occult Science. Simply stated it involves the three processes of Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition. Through Imagination one comes to know the etheric aspect of human nature, through Inspiration, one comes to know the beings or spirits of the astral world, and through Intuition one comes to live within those spirits. (paraphrase from page 9)

    In the chapter "Why Do People Fall Ill?" the authors describe what happens when a limb becomes paralyzed. One's leg, for example, becomes part of the outside world. In A Leg to Stand On Oliver Sacks, himself a trained neuropathologist, while recovering from a serious hiking accident, writes on what it's like to attempt to move a leg that seems to be part of the outside world.

    The chapter "The Phenomena of Life" has a vivid description of the transition from lifeless matter to living material. The lifeless is governed by forces radiating from the center to the periphery, while the living is governed by forces that flow from the periphery to the center.

    [page 20] In the transition to life, matter must withdraw from the outward radiating forces and make itself part of those that radiate in.

    Independent of the forces radiating to and from the earth, and of a higher order, is the astral forces that create an independent, self-contained aspect in animals that we call the astral body.

    [page 25] Through the physical forces it separates itself from the cosmos, through the etheric forces it lets the cosmos influence it; through the 'astral' forces it becomes an independent individual entity in the cosmos.

    This background prepares us to understand the nature of our bodily organs, which are generated from physical material that has been operated on by the etheric and astral forces, in which our organs are on their way back to the sphere of the physical, only fully arriving there upon our death (pages 26, 27). The etheric substance of plants develops from lifeless matter, and the sentient substance of animals develops from living matter. In humans the sentient substance is drawn into another organization, the I organization or Ego body, and that is the body that leads us to self-awareness. The Table below shows some of the bodily functions and organs and how they are related to the three super-sensible bodies of the human.

    Etheric Body

    Astral Body

    I Organization (Ego Body)


    Final Digestion (food to blood)

    Tongue, Palate, speaking muscles

    Sympathetic Nervous System

    Spinal Column Neurons

    Preliminary Digestion (pepsin, pancreas, bile)


    Cerebral Nervous System

    The I lives in inner warmth of the blood and body

    General metabolism

    One of the food stuffs that is intimately associated with the I organization is sugar. It should not be surprising that newly civilized countries greatly increase their intake of sugar — it is a natural process that accompanies the increased I organization of civilized beings. The common disease of diabetes mellitis involves sugar becoming an elimination product.

    [page 44] This is a case of the I organization coming on the scene in the human organism in such a form that its actions are destructive.

    Another common food constituent is fat, and the current fad of fat-free foods flies in the face of the bodily wisdom of ingesting fat.

    [page 51] Fat proves least of a foreign substance when taken into the organism. Fat will most easily change from the nature it has when taken in as food to the nature of the human organism. . . . Fat is able to behave like this because it takes as little as possible of a foreign organism's nature (its etheric forces, etc.) into the human organism. The human organism can easily make it part of its own sphere of activity. The reason is that fat plays a special role in producing inner warmth.

    A new mother's I organization is drawn off from her in the mother's milk with which she nurses her child, adding to her child's creative ability. Our bones are formed by our I organization releasing its inner hold and maintaining only an external manipulation of the resulting bony parts of our bodily skeleton. When the I organization withdraws from the arteries, the calcified deposits create arteriosclerosis.

    At the turn of the 20th century doctors were beginning to focus on the chemical properties of the human body. At the turn of the 21st century the current focus is on the genetic properties of the human body. Both of these approaches are purely materialistic and operate in ignorance of the spiritual realities that infuse the human body, realities such as the etheric, astral, and I organization. When these bodies get out of balance with each other, the chemicals and the genetic mechanisms of the body lead us into the processes we know as illnesses or dis-ease. The physical composition of the human body is as important to the doctor of medicine as the physical composition of the paints are to the artist — a necessary but not sufficient condition for producing worthwhile results.

    [page78, 79] Yes, it would be a good idea for a painter to know something about the chemical point of origin. But the way he uses pigments when he is painting is based on another methodology. The same applies to the medical practitioner. He may take chemistry as a basis that has some significance; but the mode of action substances have in the human organism no longer has anything to do with this chemical aspect. Anyone who holds the view that only data established in chemistry — and that includes pharmaceutics — are exact destroys the possibility of developing views on what happens when healing processes occur in the organism.

    When doctors find a deficiency in the chemicals, in the neurotransmitters, or in the genetic structure, etal, and deduce that they can cure the human being by administering the deficient substance, they are putting the cart before the horse. They are expecting the lifeless cart, the lifeless physical body, to pull the living human being along the road to health. Not surprisingly, many of their efforts in such a direction, supported by so-called excellent science and blind tests with placebos, turn out to lead to a once again unhealthy, even dead, human being, about which the doctors can say with pride, "We did our best to save that patient." Doing one's best as an anthroposophical medical doctor is helping the patient to correct the imbalances in their living bodies: etheric body, astral body, and their I. Once these are balanced properly the physical effects will no longer be present to the materialistic doctor, who won't be called in to notice them anyway because the patient will be healed.

    Summary of Medical Courses and Review Links

            Latest editions as of 2014 (From Editor's Preface of GA314)
            Publisher: RS = Rudolf Steiner Press, SB = SteinerBooks
            Bobby Matherne Review Link
    Click to Read Link, if underlined as shown in brackets at right: [active].

                 GA/CW    Course Name      (Publisher Year)    [Link]
                   27 Extending Practical Medicine, GA# 27 (RS 1996) [epmrvw]
                 107 Disease, Karma and Healing (RS 2013) [diskarhe]
                 230 Essentials for the Healing of Civilization (RS 2001) [harmonyo]
                 312 Introducing Anthroposophical Medicine (SB 2010) [amedic12]
                 313 Illness and Therapy (RS 2013) [illnessa]
                 314 Physiology and Healing (RS 2013) [physheal]
                 315 Eurythmy Therapy (RS 2009)
                 316 Understanding Healing (RS Press 2013) [underhea]
                 317 Education for Special Needs (RS 1998)
                 318 Broken Vessels (SB 2003) [brokenve]
                 319 The Healing Process (SB 2000) [healing]

    Read/Print at:

    3.) ARJ2: On Knowing -- Essays for the Left Hand by Jerome Bruner

    There is a type of paradoxical intent that every teacher confronts, either consciously or unconsciously. It goes like this: show your students exactly how to construct a reality on their own terms. If you succeed at getting them to construct a reality the way you showed them, then you've failed because they will be doing it your way and thus constructing a reality on your terms, not theirs. Just how unconscious this paradoxical intent is in our society is well illustrated by the instructions I saw emblazoned on the front of a Betty Crocker® Cake Mix box many years ago: "Be Creative! And here's How You Do It!" But Jerome Bruner, undaunted by the paradoxical nature of his task, devotes the first part of his book to the nature of, "how we lead the learner to construct a reality on his own terms."

    [page 5] I have felt that the self-imposed fetish of objectivity has kept us from developing a needed genre of psychological writing — call it protopsychological writing if you will — the preparatory intellectual and emotional labors on which our later, more formalized, efforts are based. The genre in its very nature is literary and metaphoric, yet it is something more than this. It inhabits a realm midway between the humanities and the sciences. It is the left hand trying to transmit to the right.

    The reason for the paradox is that the left hand's way of knowing things is different from the right hand's way of knowing. The difference can be discerned in the design of a piano — the lower notes are to the left, so that the bass notes that are mostly used for harmony and tempo are played by the left hand and the right hand tackles the melody. The simultaneous striking of multiple keys to form chords with the left versus the sequential ordering of chords into melody by the right hand. Both are required for a pleasing musical composition and both styles of thinking, holistic and sequential, left and right hand thinking, are required for effective teaching.

    Both are required for every great work of art.

    [page 14] What is characteristic of the great work of art is that its metaphoric artifice, its juxtapositions, have not only surprise value but also illuminating novelty. The two combine to create what we shall later refer to as "effective surprise."

    This is Bruner's way of saying that "art is the process of destruction of sameness", as I have discussed in this essay. "The road to banality is paved with creative intentions," Bruner says (page 18), and just as the instructions on the cake mix box, the banality shows up in replication and kitsch. One sameness that has handicapped our ability to understand healthy human mental functioning is that scientists for the most part have studied in detail those with less than normal mental functioning, up until now.

    [page 15] It is difficult to catch and record, no less to understand, the swift flight of man's mind operating at its best.

    He seems to be saying that we can only capture the halt and the lame products of the human mind, up until now. Only by raising our eyes and our aspirations can we begin to understand, with our right and left ways of knowing, the truly remarkable flights of the human mind from now on.

    Many of those remarkable flights of fancy are in churches.

    [page 17] In periods during which man saw himself in the image of God, the creation of works ad majorem gloriam dei could provide a sufficient rationale for the dignity of the artist, the artisan.

    Fresh back from a trip the Rhine valley in Germany, where I visited many very old churches, I wondered why I didn't see any very old museums. Then it dawned on me: at that time, the only museums were the churches and the only art was religious art. Museums were a more recent invention of humanity when art was created that was not appropriate for churches.

    There is much in this book about art and how human beings create art. One can tell that an artistic nature infuses Jerome Bruner in his searching for methods of educating ourselves and others as we move into the next century.

    [page 116] No person is master of the whole culture; indeed, this is almost a defining characteristic of that form of social memory that we speak of as culture. Each man lives a fragment of it. To be whole, he must create his own version of the world, using that part of his cultural heritage he has made his own through education.
    In our time, the requirements of technology constrain the freedom of the individual to create images of the world that are satisfying in the deepest sense.

    [page 165] What we have now is a new frontier, a frontier for the full use of human beings. Perhaps I reveal my biases as a psychologist when I say that the cultivation of this frontier excites me far more than the prospects of exploring empty space.

    Read/Print at:

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    I hear often from my Good Readers that they have bought books after reading my book reviews. Remember: A book is like a 3-D kindle.

    Keep reading, folks! As I like to remind you, to obtain more information on what's in these books, buy and read the books ó 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 Eats Raw Oysters in the French Market 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.

    The good Padre Tips the Master Oyster Shucker:

    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 our daughter Carla:
      Actually a text with this link to her daughter Molly's adventures aboard the Corwith Cramer sailing the Gulf of Maine as part of her study in Marine Biology this semester. (Molly has light blue top on.)
    • EMAIL from Lee and Daphne in England:
      Dear Adele and Bobby,

      Thank you very much for sending us your Digestworld. You seem to have enjoyed your cruise to Scotland and Norway very much.

      We missed your company at Harrogate this year. We went in August for 4 nights and saw 6 Gilbert and Sullivan Operas which we enjoyed very much. The strangest one was H.M.S.Pinafore performed in a yellow submarine by a cast of just 9 people !! No, they didn't really do justice to the choruses or dance the Hornpipe, but were only a small company and very good singers. This year was the 25th Anniversary of the G and S Festival, so during August they performed every opera including The Grand Duke which we saw.

      All best wishes,
      Daphne and Lee Metcalfe.

    • EMAIL from Irene Martin in Baton Rouge:
      Re: DOUBLE DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#189, September 1, 2018

      YES, our world has become more peaceful & serene in 2018 :)
      Good Issue.
    • EMAIL from Brent Scott in Honolulu asks, Why Anthroposophy?:

      Hi Bobby, Brent Scott here. The last time we spoke (via email) I was in Arizona, probably 2010 or so. Left Arizona in 2016. Went to Colorado to retire on my Social Security. Met a gal who convinced me I didn't have enough money, went back to work, lost the gal, kept working and saving. Now I've lost my no income, no savings status and have to keep working. I'm here in Honolulu with my son and his girl friend and we're pooling our resources to buy a house and grow some equity for all of us. I took a job with a company that has contracts with the Navy to assist shipboard crew to do repairs. Average age of our department is probably 62. Everyone is retired from the ship yard here at Pearl Harbor, a branch of the service, or something, except me. I actually need to work and I'm 64. Counting my blessings. That's the update.

      I really am checking in because the Theosophical Society of Honolulu is housed at a crossroads street and it keeps showing up for me. You have given many reviews of Steiner's writings. I'm not a student of Steiner's but sense great value, I'm just not sure why. I'm writing to ask you: "Why study anthroposophy?"

      Brent Scott
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Reply from Bobby ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Dear Brent,

      Lots of changes in your world. Sounds like you doing well. Good work!

      I was a physicist and studied how the world works, then as a psychotherapist studied how the human mind works, but I was constantly confronted by the human being as a puzzle with an enigma at each end:

      Life before birth (enigma)
      Life (puzzle)
      Life After death(enigma)

      Only in Rudolf Steiner's work (called anthroposophy, study of full human being) could I find explanations that made sense to me without any of the eastern mumbo-jumbo of the Theosophical Society.

      If you're interested in those two enigmas, there's a wealth of information and help in Steiner's work.

      Steiner led the Berlin Section of the Theosophical Society (TS) and taught only what he experienced directly (not from books), as spiritual truths. When Anne Besant insisted that a "new redeemer" had been born, Steiner left the TS and everyone in the Berlin Section left with him into a new society, the Anthroposophical Society, whose anthroposophy (spiritual science) reveals the unique importance of the Christ Spirit who can only be born once to undo the gift of Lucifer which had precipitated our fall into materialism. This happened on Golgotha when Christ Jesus's blood fell to Earth and the Christ Spirit entered the Earth to be present to all human beings and help them to arise from a dusty death in materialism to a full life in the spiritual world.

      Here's a quick link to most of my 200+ detailed reviews of Steiner's work. Steiner's Works

      Perhaps An Outline of Occult Science would be a good place to start so you can understand how humans evolved in synchrony with the cosmos in which we live. Maybe read the work he did on the Four Gospels and The Fifth Gospel he wrote.


      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Response from Brent ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Thanks for the support Bobby. I look to your DIGESTWORLD as an example to myself of a life lived with vitality, wonder, and good will. An inspiration for me. It is generosity such as yours that helps buoy me.

    • EMAIL from Michael Bogar re: Bobby's "Socrates Blues" poem:

      I liked the poem. I also liked the critique of Campbell in The Road to Walden. When I was at Pacifica, although I appreciated Campbell, I was critical of his skewed approach and his strong bias against Christians and Jews. Good stuff in that critique.

      grace and self-reflection,


    • EMAILs From/To Martin in Guerrero, Mexico, Re: DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#189, September 1, 2018:
      >Hi Bobby, how is it going?
      I am still reading, studying, and reviewing Rudolf Steiner's works, up over 220 now.

      Warm regards, Bobby

      >Thank you! Rudolph Steiner's 220 works?!
      Yes, about 220 scattered in several areas, but the major ones are linked in one place here:


      >Wow, Thanks. I have just begun reading your reviews this morning. Great stuff!


    3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell: "The Politician's Prayer"

    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:

                The Politician's Prayer

    The politician prays to God:
    "Please preserve our force and fraud!

    "We cannot coerce
          without judicious use of force
    Nor can we tell the truth
          without getting the boot.

    "Please hear our plea, O Deity,
          Our land with liberty endow,
    With the boon of freedom bless
          But not just now."


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