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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: First Cousins ~~~~~~~~
< — Alvin Peter Bonvillian (1932 - 2018) < —
— > Lance 'LJ' Poimboeuf (1940 - 2018) — >
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WELCOME TO DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#18b November, 2018== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Quote for the Thanksgiving Month of November:
On retirement: You can't turn back the clock, but you can wind it up again.
— Modine Sprull, in Hot Springs Village letter.
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GOOD MOUNTAIN PRESS Presents
ISSUE#18b for November, 2018
Archived DIGESTWORLD Issues
Table of Contents
1. November's Violet-n-Joey Cartoon
2. Honored Readers for November
3. On a Personal Note
4. Cajun Story
5. Household Hint for November, 2018 from Bobby Jeaux: Improving Taste of Tap Water
6. Poem from Approaching the Mystery of Golgotha: "Sargeant Kant"
7. Reviews and Articles featured for November:
8. Commentary on the World
- ARJ2: The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Vol. 4 by Henry David Thoreau
- ARJ2: Our Connection with the Elemental World by Rudolf Steiner
- ARJ2: The Power of Silence by Carlos Castaneda
- ARJ2: A Deep Understanding of Doyletics An Essay by Gary Lee-Nova
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. November Violet-n-Joey CARTOON:
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==This month Violet and Joey learn about Sirious Business.
For newcomers to DIGESTWORLD, we have created a webpage of early Violet-n-Joey cartoons!
"Sirious Business" at http://www.doyletics.com/images/181004vj.jpg
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2. HONORED READERS FOR November:
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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 November, 2018:
Bobby Duplantis in Lafayette, LA
Anne Kotch in Rhode Island
Congratulations, Bobby and Anne!
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3. ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
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Out Our Way:
A LONG DELAYED FALL
It is the middle of October and we have seen no signs of Fall, so far. But cool waves are due any day now. So hope springs for a cool Halloween evening.
On the first day of October, I went to go to Brandt Nissan to get my equinox Oil Change. I started going there after having to wait in line for 20 minutes at a "Five Minute Oil Change". The service guy Joel was very helpful. He offer a tire rotation for $24 but I explained I only put 3K miles/year on my tires and I will skip rotation this time.Plus the repair I did to fill in a chunk in the sidewall of right rear tire seems to be holding and I know where it is. The tire alarm light is now off again. It came on when the heat of the summer increased the tire air pressure and I knew a little extra air pressure would be okay. Now the techs have reset the alarm. Their oil changes come with a nice carwash. I treated myself to a free Berliner (red jelly donut) in the waiting room. And my out-of- pocket cost was $2 for entire service, due to some accumulated credit provided for our other services, a little benefit that Del had set up for us! Once we had bought our second new Maxima from Brandt, we began using their service department to service our cars and we have been very pleased with their excellent work.
Last month Randy St. Pierre and Mike fixed a leaking toilet valve and a bad faucet valve.Randy helped us select a replacement brass faucet set for our two lavatories in the Master Bath. The parts came in and Randy and Mike came to install them. The new faucets work great, but as we expected the new bases did not exactly cover the space of the removed faucets and we needed to get that cleaned up. So we contacted our marble expert Marcello to take a look at the situation.
He proposed polishing the entire top of our lavatory area and make it shine again. It was easy to see difference between the most and lesser used areas of the bathroom. We had to remove dozens of items from the double lavatory top. Marcello build a tent to catch the marble dust from his polishing. After he finished that, he rebuilt the front edge of stove island where the marble had come unglued and fallen out for several feet. He re-glued the broken pieces and polished the entire top.
Gave us some polishing compound for marble and our maid came the next day to polish the long serving counter as well. A lot of work, but it feels like a new kitchen and bathroom to us with the polished white verdigris marble all sparkling.
The Iceman Cometh was the theme of our next repair. Our Kitchen Aid Ice Maker stopped making ice. It required a relay board to be replaced and the part came around the first of the month and it was fixed. On the same day, the security technician came to replace the old spring loaded alarm switch with a new magnetic relay. The first time the alarm went off was as I was setting the alarm and I couldn't set the alarm with that door showing open. No problem, I walked to the door, opened it and closed it and the alarm set just fine. About a week later I had set the alarm from the other end of the house and walked out that door. After I closed the door, the alarm siren went off indicating the door was showing open because that same alarm had not reset properly. I learned in working with computers since 1964 that if a problem happens once, forget it, but when it happens a second time, it's a pattern, so fix it.
By the middle of October both the Saints and the Tigers have one loss records. The LSU Tigers have just soundly defeated the Number 2 Team in the country, the Georgia Bulldogs, 36-16. This is the third top ten team LSU has beaten this year, and they did it in a resounding fashion. Our new quarterback Joe Burrows says that he's a football player who likes to play quarterback. At 6-4 and 230 pounds, he loves pounding the ball into the end zone from inside the half-yard line. Four times LSU went for it on fourth and one and made it every time. Once the halfback ran for forty yards.
How did we stop Georgia? LSU crashed through the Georgia line on their first TD, then adjusted their defense to stop Georgia's slashing runs after its first TD and squelched the run the rest of the game. "How did you do it?" the press asked Coach O and he said, "We had shaded them one way, then we shaded them the other way." Cute, giving information, but no details. Had to do with UGA running draw plays every time and LSU adjusting to the draw to stop them. Four runs for first down or TD on fourth down. WOW! 5 Field Goals without a miss. WOW!! Go Cole Tracy! QB passed for 200 yds and ran for 95! WOW! ! Go Joe Burrow! Clyde Edwards-Hillaire ran for 145! Defense got four turnovers! And best of all LSU won without a single let-up till the final whistle. Crowd poured onto the field like in the old days. LSU great Jimmy Taylor died at 83 years old on this morning, but his spirit was there on the field with LSU that afternoon.
As for our beloved New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees and Mark Ingram were together for the first time this season and they whipped the Washington Redskins something fierce, about 46-16, as I recall.Drew set an all-time NFL passing record. I was watching seconds before half-time when his wife Brittany led Drew's family along the sideline in case of his breaking the record. Plans were for them to take a photo together. Drew needed about 50 yards so it seemed unlikely to happen before half-time, but on the very next play, as if it were a Hollywood movie, he got a receiver clear for a 62-yard TD! The Dome erupted in cheers! Drew handed the TD football to a white-gloved Canton Official to be placed in the Hall of Fame when Drew gets inducted. It was a great game and a great day to be in the Superdome as a Saints fan.
CRABS, ABSINTHE, AND CROQUET ON SHORE OF LAKE CATHERINE
Charlie Cox invited guests to his new place, Shangri-La, nestled on the shore of Lake St. Catherine. Set off the Chef Menteur Highway almost to the Slidell exit, this is the most luxurious fishing camp I've ever been to. My dad and Matherne uncles shared a fishing camp in Lake Barre which was a one-room cabin with an outhouse on a ramp around the side and a boat dock across the front. You could fish all day, eat and play cards all evening, then get up and fish some more without ever hearing a car or a jet ski buzzing by. Charlie's camp is an elegant 3-bedroom spread with several baths, AC, and a long porch across the back looking to the Lake. Evening breezes from Lake Catherine are delightful. I took a walk to the shore of the lake which had a half-dozen white-headed pelicans and several seagulls perched on the top of pilings. We didn't see the local alligator this trip, but he's around somewhere.
Charlie had a caterer boil some No. 1 Blue Crabs for us and we enjoyed them together with corn, potatoes, and garlic cooked along with the crabs.After the seafood, an earnest game of croquet began on the full-size court that Charlie had laid out. Reports of sightings of the green fairy of Absinthe were also heard. It was a great event with good weather if still a bit warm as the first cold front had not come through yet. A couple who Charlie gave their first flying lessons to had driven in from Montgomery, Alabama, and gave me a tip of stopping in Columbus, Georgia for the halfway point of our upcoming trip to Savannah, Georgia.
The last week of the month we spent in Savannah, Georgia with our friends Gust and Janet Valantasis who drove in from Orlando to meet us at the Westin Hotel on Hutchinson Island. They've been to this area several times and like the hotel. A short 15 minute ferry ride to the city of Savannah across the Savannah River. We met them about noon and ferried into the city. Had lunch at Vic's Restaurant before we began our walk through the many squares of the city. Each public square is filled with live oak trees and usually a fountain or monument of some kind. We saw The Barber Pole, a barber shop with rotating pole outside. Also saw an old gasoline station that was still pumping gas. There was an old 1950s era movie theater featuring musical performances.We walked by vintage cars and trucks used as props for the filming by Disney of a "Lady and the Tramp" remake using live characters. After a four hour walk, we took ferry back to hotel to refresh ourselves, get unpacked, and we joined Gust and Janet in the lobby for a game of Pay Me!
The next day we got tickets for Alice Green's Old Savannah trolley. She started it in her station wagon for friends decades ago and tour line is thriving. If you go here, take the white trolley and you'll have the best tour guides. Alice is still alive at 94 today. Still comes to annual celebrations for the crew but they no longer put a microphone in her hands (she loves to talk). First guy who bussed us on his trolley was Big Scott, looked like Big Leboski with long hair. Real fun guy.Turned us over to the long-playing record called Donny who talked top speed, non-stop, as he wove his trolley into old streets and between the many wooded squares of the cityscape laid out by Oglethorpe. At various points Donny picked up costumed actors playing historical and hysterical characters from the city's past.
There was the cotton-picking Factor who helped every cotton farmer get a good price for his bales of cotton. Then we were boarded by the King of Haiti, Henri, a free black who began as a drummer boy in the army and became first black king in Western Hemisphere. Then we were regaled by Juliette Gordon Low who was born in Savannah and founded the Girls Scouts. Lastly a drunken pirate swished aboard, but his garbled words were hard to understand.
We finally hopped off the On-Off trolley and walked our way back to the ferry after getting something to eat in a large restaurant. We were seated in a table blocking half of the pathway to rest rooms hidden under a brick staircase. By the time we got to ferry landing it was dark and the boat had just sailed so we had to try to keep warm in the Candy Shop before we boarded ferry for our trip to Westin and some blessed sleep. At breakfast the next morning, I told Gust, an avid golfer, "I've done my 18 holes the last two days, and I'm staying in the room to work on my DIGESTWORLD today." Del joined Janet and Gust in walking to various places in the city that had interested them from our trolley tour the previous day.In particular, Del wanted to see the Torahs in the Synagogue. Two in particular were written on deerskin which maintains readability without any need for preservation. They also visited a couple of homes and the St. John's Cathedral. When they arrived, Del came to room for a nap and we joined them down in the restaurant for dinner and we played a hand of cards afterwards.
The next morning we packed up and left for home. Our original plan was to motor home via Gatlinburg through the Smoky Mountains, but cold and wet weather caused to drive directly home, retracing the same way we came. The weather was due to be rainy till about noon and then dry the rest of the way. The rain was mostly a light drizzle and we didn't need an umbrella when we stopped for gas and meals. Picking up an extra daylight hour by changing time zone, we decided to head straight for home and sleep in our own bed. We arrived home at 7:30 about an hour after dark, but we knew this way by heart and going home was like driving downhill, no extra impetus needed and we arrived refreshed, but ready to hit the sack after unloading our bags.
HALLOWEEN HAUNTED HAYRIDE ALONG TIMBERLANEFolks in Timberlane pull trailers filled with kids in Halloween costumes down the Golf Path across the back of homes along the Timberlane Golf Course. Connie and Don's stop has proven the most popular with the kids for the large amounts of candy and with the adults for the Jello shots. This year Rhonda Mouton and Fae Remedios joined our station to hand out candy and goodies. I was busy pulling for LSU to whip Mississippi State (which they did) but came out during half-time to take a few shots, er, photos.IMPORTANT MESSAGE:
LAST MINUTE EVENTS
We are sorry to report the loss of Carla Gralapp after a long illness. She was the sister-in-law of Wes and Kim Gralapp and we offer our condolences and prayers for them and their family.
EVERY GOOD THING MUST COME TO A NEW BEGINNING
The month of October is usually cool and dry, but this year it has brought us warm temperatures and more showers for our lawn and garden, until the last week when the first cool dry air arrived. Hope you had a wonderful October. Del and I sure enjoyed the last of our balmy weather in this northen temperature zone before the cool Fall weather began. Hope you enjoyed the Halloween fun, and, for November, we wish a Happy Thanksgiving for you, and God Willing, and 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,
HERE'S OUR EARNEST WISH FOR THE LAST TWO MONTHS OF THIS GOD-GIVEN YEAR OF 2018:
MAY THE WORLD REMAIN PEACEFUL AND SERENE IN TWENTY-EIGHTEEN
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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:
- Judge me and you lose a chance of coming to understand me and through that coming to understand yourself.
– Bobby Matherne
- A pun is language with a life of its own.
– Bobby Matherne
- Writing is the art of protecting unique thoughts from disappearing while exposing them to common indifference.
– Bobby Matherne
- Fatigue makes cowards of us all. When we are tired, a reduced level of serotonin is sent to our frontal cortex which makes us less able to make strong decisions.
– Bobby Matherne
- A hug is a heart to heart talk.
– Bobby Matherne [January 10, 2003 in his journal.]
- The best praise is like mercy — it blesses the giver and the receiver.
– Bobby Matherne (from Ambrose Bierce)
New Stuff on Website:New Stuff on the Internet:
~^~ Below are Four of Bobby's Published Books. Click to Read Them.
~^~ [add here]
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."I Can Only Imagine" (2018) Dennis Quaid as a monstrous father that God could forgive if he would listen to his son’s songs. A DON’T MISS HIT! ! !
"Father Figures" (2017) Owen Wilson and Ed Helms, twins on a trip to locate their father, bounce off a half-dozen candidates only to lose their mother along the way and learn valuable lessons.
"Forever My Gal" (2018) 'Home, Finally Home' sang rock star Liam on his return to the gal he left behind at the altar to start his rise to fame. A DON’T MISS HIT! ! !
"The Death of Stalin" (2018) and the rise of Kruschev in a real Marx Bros farce. A DON’T MISS HIT! !
"The Hunter's Prayer" (2017) Assassin's prey turns into his prayer for a better life. A DON’T MISS HIT! ! !
"The Forgiven" (2018) Eric Bana and Forrest Whitaker star in this post-apartheid saga of forgiveness and redemption. A DON’T MISS HIT! ! !
"The Fencer" (2015) made in Estonia, a true story of a courageous champion fencer who hid out in a country town to escape his Nazi past, he went to teach and when the army needed his Sports Club skis, he switched to teaching fencing. Amazing, warm, intriguing movie, don't miss this one! A DON’T MISS HIT! ! !
Misses (Avoid At All Costs): We attempted to watch these this month, but didn't make it all the way through on most of them. Awhile back when three AAAC horrors hit us in one night, I decided to add a sub-category to "Avoid at All Costs", namely, A DVD STOMPER. These are movies so bad, you don't want anyone else to get stuck watching them, so you want to stomp on the disks. That way, if everyone else who gets burnt by the movie does the same, soon no copies of the awful movie will be extant and the world will be better off."Permission (2018)" a sleazy romcom.
Your call on these — your taste in movies may differ, but I liked them:"Versailles" (2107) watch as it morphes from hunting lodge to grand palace. Can Louis morph from lecher into moral ruler? A two-season series.
"Permanent" (2017) How can you make a movie about a young teen getting a permanent? Just watch and be appalled by the folly of human weaknesses displayed.
"Con Man" (2018) Barry Minkow stars in a movie of his star-crossed life as a con man.
"Submergence" (2018) Lovers split to Somalia and Hades. Will they ever see each other again?
"Ready Player One" (2018) goes through a lot of foolishness to discover reality.
"2-11" (2018) a Nicholas Cage shoot-em up bank robbery gone bad.
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Le Boudreaux Cajun Cottage, drawn by and Copyright 2011 by Paulette Purser, Used by Permission
== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==Cooyon, Boudreaux's life-challenged cousin, went to Doctor Mayeux in Abbeville and said, "Doc, Ah wanna got myself castrated."
Doctor Mayeux said, "Cooyon, dat's a big decision, Yah sure dat's wat Yah wanna did?"
Cooyon said, "Ah been t'inking about dis for a long time and Ah'm sure." So Doctor Mayeux agreed to do the operation.
The next morning Cooyon woke up and there was guy in the next bed in his hospital room. Cooyon leaned over and asked him, "Wat Yah in here for?"
The guy said, "Ah'm here to be circumsized." Cooyon jumped up in bed, pointed emphatically at the guy and said, "Dat's the word!"
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5.Household Hint for November, 2018 from Bobby Jeaux: Improving Taste of Tap Water
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =Improving Taste of Tap Water
When I was newly married, I found this book on cooking which began with instructions on "How to Boil Water". I laughed aloud, thinking what can this guy teach about boiling water? I could already cook a bit, being raised in a Cajun family. His instruction was enlightening. He said, "Always begin with COLD water." His reasoning was sound, "If you try to save time using water from the Hot Water Tap, it will taste funny because of the higher level of dissolved impurities in the hot water." If being cold helps remove impurities, such as dissolved chlorine gas used to purify water, then placing water from the Cold Water Tap into a bottle and letting it chill overnight will undoubtedly remove any leftover chloring gas and any other gaseous impurities in tap water.
Later a friend of ours into crystals suggested that placing a quartz crystal into a bottle of water crystallizes it. She claimed this improved the water but couldn't describe exactly how. We began keeping our water in half gallon jugs in our fridge and one day, I noticed the water in a jug had begun to freeze and the jug was filled with lacy crystalline patterns like large snowflakes. That was enough to convince me that crystals place in water changed the molecular structure of the water.
One Half Gallon Water Container (used Apple Juice bottle is okay)
6 Evian Water Bottles, 500 ml each
1 quartz crystal (Small enough to fit into Half Gallon container, but large enough to not be poured out by accident. This size works. The crystal as it appears in the bottom of the half-gallon water container. One can verify its presence by the sound it makes when tilting the bottle.
Place quartz crystal into Water Container. Fill with Tap Water. Allow to remain over night. Pour water into the empty Evian .500 ml Bottles. Place in fridge for carrying in car or drinking with meals at home. Refill Water Container from the tap and place back in fridge.
The taste of the Tap Water will be improved even if you have no quartz crystals available, so you can begin immediately without the crystal, but its use is recommended.
Evian bottles are preferred because they have a larger mouth and are sturdier than most cheap water bottles. The large mouth facilitates quickly pouring the water in to refill them. They are also much easier to open and close when using. They also hold up under many refillings.
NOTES: if your local water has minerals with an objectional taste, this will likely not help improve the flavor, but test it to be sure. We have been using this process for about 20 years and it works great. We only buy throw-away water bottles for our guests to use.
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6. POETRY by BOBBY from Approaching the Mystery of Golgotha:
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One, Two: June 14, 2012: NOTE: When Immanuel Kant confused the character of a specific human such as himself for the general character of all souls, he made a serious miscalculation, which Rudolf Steiner called him on. The recognition of Kant's error and the vindication of Steiner's correct position on this matter awaits rectification on the part of those who call themselves philosophers. This matter inspired me to write a poem about Sergeant Kant and General Kant. (I know how Kant's name is pronounced, but suggest you read Kant as Can't.)
Sergeant Kant was a specific sergeant
and he was right, by God!
One Kant prove
the existence of God.
But Sergeant Kant
thought he was a General,
And, by God, he was wrong.
Because, in General, one Kan,
But in Sergeant one Kant, by God.
It goes to show
How wrong one Kan go,
If one were to mistake the Specific Sergeant
for the Universal General and
materialize the Universal
from the Specific, to let
the Sergeant Truth
Become the General Lies.
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7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for November:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =For our Good Readers, here are three reviews featured this month. The Thoreau Journal No. 4 below was written in 2004 and appears in full in this Issue for the first time. The second review is a New Review, and the third review has never been published in an earlier DIGESTWORLD ISSUE.
1.) ARJ2: Journal, Volume 4 of Henry David Thoreau
During 2004, each night when I got into bed, if I was not immediately sleepy, this was the book that I pulled up to read myself to sleep. Not because it was inherently soporific, but because it was inherently enjoyable. I grew up in the bayous of Louisiana, but for four years in the 1970s I had the pleasure of living in New England, in Thoreau's home state Massachusetts. I lived in the middle of all the flora and fauna that he meets, inspects, and describes during his daily walks through the woods of Concord and its environs. But he walked through them while I, a hundred or so years later, drove through them on the turnpikes at 70 mph, the back roads at 40 mph, and the bike trails at 20 mph on my trail bike. My favorite place was the Foxborough State Forest which was only a couple of trail bike minutes from my home. Often during hectic projects while I was managing the Corporate Software Engineering and Development Department at the Foxboro Co., I would walk home at lunch, a brisk 5 minute walk, hop on my Honda 175 trail bike and head for the forest.Zipping over rocks, streams, up and down narrow trails, barely missing trees on either side of the trail, I'd enjoy the cool air of the forest, park on the broad shady expanse of Flat Rock, and relax for a few minutes, maybe eat my lunch. Then I'd be back at work. Not much time for stopping to inspect plants, or for noting which flowers were blooming during which season. In the winter, I did notice the tracks in the snow left behind by the animals of the forest which I seldom noticed any traces of during the summer.
And that leads me to why I enjoy Thoreau so much — he takes me on the walks I didn't allow myself time for during my impetuous, always rushing, youth. He holds up plants and calls them by their names.He tells me what time of year they are blooming. He even describes how many times it snows during a given winter, and how many significant snows there were. When I reached the end of this book, and he talked in February about the winter's snowfalls, I thought back and counted in my head from memory that in the winter of 1852-53 there were two major snowfalls of about 6 inches or more up till that time. I was right! He said that there were two. I remembered because I had encountered those two snowfalls with him during the course of this book.
[page 492] But Sunday it snowed about a foot deep, — with our second, only, important snow this winter, — . . .
What astounded me was the thought that I now have a stronger memory of the snows of a winter 150 years ago than I do of winters only 30 years ago! A stronger memory of a winter I read about in a book than one that I experienced in person.
We are in the middle of a political campaign for president of this country. The incumbent Bush is running against the challenger Kerry. The names don't really matter, it's always two candidates, an incumbent against a challenger. In this next passage, I will replace Thoreau's "Haynes" by "Bush" and "Kossuth" by "Kerry" for effect. Read the passage and see if you don't agree with me that Thoreau could well have been talking about the current political campaign.
[page 15] May 4. R. W. E. [Emerson] tells me he does not like Bush as well as I do. I tell him that he makes better manure than most men.
This excitement about Kerry is not interesting to me, it is so superficial. It is only another kind of dancing or of politics. Men are making speeches to him all over the country, but each expresses only the thought, or the want of thought, of the multitude. No man stands on truth. [RJM: italics added] They are merely banded together as usual, one leaning on another and all together on nothing; as the Hindus made the world rest on an elephant, and the elephant on a tortoise, and had nothing to put under the tortoise. You can pass your hand under the largest mob, a nation in revolution even, and, however solid a bulk they may make, like a hail-cloud in the atmosphere, you may not meet so much as a cobweb of support. They may not rest, even by a point, on eternal foundations. But an individual standing on truth you cannot pass your hand under, for his foundations reach to the center of the universe.So superficial these men and their doings, it is life on a leaf or a chip which has nothing but air or water beneath. I love to see a man with a tap-root, though it make him difficult to transplant. It is unimportant what these men do. Let them try forever, they can effect nothing. Of what significance the things you can forget?
A little thought is sexton to all the world.
A few thoughts on the above passage. Thoreau is a man with a tap-root. A few years ago my wife, Del, was offered a job as Vice-President of a company in Atlanta, which would have required us to move from New Orleans. She turned the job down this way. She asked the interviewer, "Did you ever try to transplant a 50-year-old oak?" and then added, "Well, I'm married to one, and he isn't moving."
Thoreau aptly sums up politicians with this short sentence, "No man stands on truth." Not standing on truth means lacking a tap-root, becoming one who blows hither and thither as the political winds blow. However politicians try, they speak in this season of things you can forget, things that can effect nothing but getting them elected or re-elected.
And that final short sentence at the very end of the passage, right before Thoreau switches to talking about a "slate-colored snowbird" — "A little thought is sexton to all the world." What can he mean by that? With 150 years of evolution of consciousness and thought between us and Thoreau, it behooves us to pop open a dictionary to see if we can garner a meaning from the definition of the word, sexton. I only knew that a sexton is some kind of church official, and that title was possessed by no one I've ever known personally. It seems to me to be a more common title in England. So I consulted my British Cassel's Concise Dictionary and here's what I found:
sexton n. an officer having the care of a church, its vessels, vestments, etc., and frequently acting as parish clerk and a gravedigger.
What is Thoreau driving at? A thought is to the world as a sexton is to the church. Even a little thought takes care of the world, acts as a world clerk, and buries its dead. That's the best I can do with my limited knowledge of a sexton's duties.But whether I'm correct in my interpretation of what Thoreau meant, I can definitely see Thoreau as a sexton to the world of nature, a sexton who walks the grounds of his assigned estate, inspects its vessels, and vestments, and takes appropriate action when one of his charges requires interment. It is a holy job, this roaming sexton has, and he permits us, the reader, to accompany him on his sacred rounds.
Perhaps Thoreau is thinking about a sexton in the next passage:
[page 19] As I can throw my voice into my head and sing very loud and clear there, so I can throw my thought into a higher chamber, and think louder and clearer above the earth than men will understand.
Or maybe not. He interposes such thoughts in between young oaks which have "lost all their leaves" and tree toads.
[page 20] In its America of enterprise and active life, does not the mind lose its adipose tissue that Knox tells of?
Or between tree toads and saxifrage when he talks below using a sense of the intransitive verb, recur, that requires another flick through my Cassel's: to return to in thought. He seems to be saying he must wait a day or two before he writes down his experiences in his journal, so that he gets enough distance to obtain a perspective, but not longer than that, if his writing is to maintain the freshness he likes best.
[page 20] I succeed best when I recur to my experience not too late, but within a day or two; when there is some distance, but enough of the freshness.
One needs to keep a dictionary close by when reading Thoreau, who often used familiar words in an unfamiliar way, such as his usage of the verb improve in the next two passages, in sense of "to make the best use of". How concise is this archaic use of "improve" and how preferential over our modern truncation of its colloquial meaning. In the third passage note the curious usage of "advertised" — how odd it falls upon our ear.
[page 23] I hear Barrett's sawmill running by night to improve the high water.
[page 110] Is there any fog in a sultry night? The prudent farmer improves the early morning to do some of his work before the heat becomes too oppressive, while he can use his oxen. As yet no whetting of the scythe. The morning is ambrosial, but the day is a terrestrial paradise. Ah, the refreshing coolness of the morning, full of all kinds of fragrance!
[page 308] From this hill I count five or six smokes, far and near, and am advertised of one species of industry over a wide extent of the country.
Likewise for his reference to the yellow umbrels of the primose known as cowslips that adds their color to the cows' cream and creates the first yellow butter of the Spring.
[page 27] Cowslips show at a distance in the meadow (Miles's). The new butter is white still, but with these cows' lips in the grass it will soon be yellow, I trust.
Imagine yourself as a humblebee or hummingbird whose life depends on flowers, if you would understand Thoreau.
[page 34] The first humblebee, that prince of hummers, — bombyle [sic], looking now over the ground as if he could find something. He follows after flowers. To have your existence depend on flowers, like the bees and hummingbirds!
Have you lived so long or so close to the Earth that you depend on the indigenous foods of your area to pull you through the year? If so, you may consider yourself able company for Thoreau on his walks.
[page 36] No tarts that I ever tasted at any table possessed such a refreshing, cheering, encouraging acid that literally put the heart in you and set you on edge for this world's experiences, bracing the spirit, as the cranberries I have plucked in the meadows in the spring. They cut the winter's phlegm, and now I can swallow another year of this world without other sauce. [RJM: italics added] Even on the Thanksgiving table they are comparatively insipid, have lost as much flavor as beauty, are never so beautiful as in water.
One must also be careful when visualizing images such as in this next sentence from page 38. Read it and create a visual image: "Saw a load of rock maples on a car from the country." Did you visualize a railroad car? If not, remind yourself that automobiles were not invented before 1900 or so, some fifty year after the time Thoreau is writing about.
Thoreau walked through unimproved areas of his environment and likened the areas he trod as "widow's thirds" — a phrase that stems from a time when a widow was automatically given one-third of her husband's estate and might be able to employ only one hired hand to attend to it as best he could.
[page 77] The lupine, which I saw almost in blossom a week ago at Plymouth, I hear is in blossom here. The river is my own highway, the only wild and unfenced part of the world hereabouts. How much of the world is widow's thirds, with a hired man to take negligent care of it!
Thoreau had a musical instrument which followed him wherever he walked and an itinerant minstrel, the wind, who played upon it, namely, the telegraph harp. When the wind blew, it cause the telegraph wires strung between poles to sing in melodies and chords, and this was known as the telegraph harp. I will note below a few of the passages where he mentions the singing accompaniment to his solitary walks abroad.
[page 80] The constant inquiry which nature put is: "Are you virtuous? Then you can behold me." Beauty, fragrance, music, sweetness, and joy of all kinds are for the virtuous. That I thought when I heard the telegraph harp today.
[page 410] The winds of autumn draw a few strains from the telegraph, after all. At this post it is only a musical hum, but at the next it attains to clearness and reminds me of the isles of Greece. I put my ear to the post. Every fibre resounded with the increasing inflatus, but when it rose into a more melodious and tenser note it seemed to retire and concentrate itself in the pith of the wood.
[page 458, 459]The telegraph harp again. Always the same unrememberable revelation it is to me. It is something as enduring as the worm that never dies. Before the [sic] it was, and will be after. I never hear it without thinking of Greece. How the Greeks harped upon the words immortal, ambrosial! They are what it says. It stings my ear with everlasting truth. It allies Concord to Athens, and both to Elysium. It always intoxicates me, makes me sane, reverses my views of things. I am pledged to it.I get down the railroad till I hear that which makes all the world a lie. When the zephyr, or west wind, sweeps this wire, I rise to the height of my being. A period - a semicolon, at least - is put to my previous and habitual ways of viewing things. This wire is my redeemer. It always brings a special and a general message to me from the Highest. Day before yesterday I looked at the mangled and blackened bodies of men which had been blown up by powder, and felt that the lives of men were not innocent, and that there was an avenging power in nature. Today, I hear this immortal melody, while the west wind is blowing balmily on my cheek, and methinks a roseate sunset is preparing. Are there not two powers?
[page 473] Returning, I thought I heard the creaking of a wagon just starting from Hubbard's door, and rarely musical it sounded. It was the telegraph harp. It began to sound but at one spot only. It is very fitful, and only sounds when it is in the mood. You may go by twenty times, both when the wind is high and when it is low and let it blow which way it will, and yet hear no strain from it, but another time, at a particular spot, you may hear a strain rising and swelling on the string, which may at last ripen to something glorious. The wire will perhaps labor long with it before it attains to melody.
Nature was the temple in which Thoreau worshiped and one can imagine he is talking about himself when he calls to mind for us the ancient druids. He uses the word fane in this next passage which means sacred place or temple, which definition helps us to understand the word pro-fane to mean "outside or in front of the sacred place". We may speak only sacred words in the temple, but outside we may speak profane words or profanity.
[page 84] The priests of the Germans and Britons were druids. They had their sacred oaken groves. Such were their steeple houses. Nature was to some extent a fane to them. There was fine religion in that form of worship, and Stongehenge remains as evidence of some vigor in the worshipers, as the Pyramids, perchance, of the vigor of the Egyptians, derived from the slime of the Nile. Evelyn says of the oak, which he calls these "these robust sons of the earth," "It is reported that the very shade of this tree is so wholesome, that the sleeping, or lying under it, becomes a present remedy to paralytics, and recovers those whom the mistaken malign influence of the Walnut-tree has smitten."
Every now and then Thoreau slips in a bit of homespun advice, such as this one on employment, which would be lost on the Dilbert business world of today.
[page 101] Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love, and pay him well.
You gotta love the way Thoreau travels the world — he doesn't need a steamship or a railroad train or a caravan — he has his imagination. Wherever he sits is where the lotus grows, rightly understood.
[page 102] How refreshing the sound of the smallest waterfall in hot [weather)! I sit by that on Clematis Brook and listen to its music. The very sight of this half-stagnant pond-hole, drying up and leaving bare mud, with the pollywogs and turtles making off in it, is agreeable and encouraging to behold, as if it contained the seeds of life, the liquor rather, boiled down. The foulest water will bubble purely. They speak to our blood, even these stagnant, slimy pools.It, too, no doubt, has its falls nobler than Montmorenci, grander than Niagara, in the course of its circulations. Here is the primitive force of Egypt and the Nile, where the lotus grows.
In case anyone take the impression that Thoreau did not appreciate the more civilized music of man as much as the wild telegraph harp played by itinerant zephyrs, I include this next passage about someone of a night playing a clarinet. Thoreau likens it to a flower in bloom. Can one hear Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, or Pete Fountain again without imagining the bouquets of flowers they produce from the bell of their clarinets?
[page 114] I hear a man playing a clarionet far off. Apollo tending the flocks of King Admetus. How cultivated, how sweet and glorious, is music! Men have brought this art to great perfection, the art of modulating sound, by long practice since the world began. What superiority over the rude harmony of savages! There is something glorious and flower-like in it. What a contrast this evening melody with the occupations of the day! It is perhaps the most admirable accomplishment of man.
I grew up in South Louisiana in those days when we exercised of an evening in the summer by swatting and slapping mosquitos. Those days are gone with the advent of mosquito spraying, but one concomitant casualty has been the disappearance of fireflies, which we always called "lightning bugs" — even though we knew they were called fireflies by others. Thoreau would have liked our usage of the name "lightning bugs".
[page 129] More thunder-storms threaten, and I still can trace those that are gone by. The fireflies in the meadows are very numerous, as if they had replenished their lights from the lightning.
As I read this next passage I was able to understand for the first time the veracity of an old saying. I can even predict that this saying is true only for areas of the Earth subject to prevailing westerly wind flows such as our Northern Hemisphere. Here's how it works: if you see a rainbow in the morning, the rainbow must be in the Western sky, the opposite side of the sky from the sun. Rainbows only occur when rain is falling and the sun is shining on the drops. A westerly wind will bring the rain to where you are located sometime during the day — thus sailors have learned to be forewarned by a rainbow in the morning! At night or evening, a rainbow would appear in the Eastern sky, indicating the storm has already passed, and the mere appearance of a rainbow is a sign that the Western sky is clear or no sun's rays would be present to create a rainbow — thus sailors may expect clear skies and good sailing the night through and the next day.
[page 141] Just as the sun was rising this morning, under clouds, I saw a rainbow in the west horizon, the lower parts quite bright.
"Rainbow in the morning,
Sailors take warning;
Rainbow at night
A few moments after, it rained heavily for a half-hour; and it has continued cloudy as well as cool most of the day.
Thoreau doesn't just write, he paints with words. This next passage reveals his attention to this aspect of his writing and his intention is crystal clear. He wants to add darkness, not to his nightly walks, but to our images of them as we read — he intends us to create a dark Tintorretto not a bright Cezanne with his words.
[page 147] June 26. I have not put darkness, duskiness, enough into my night and moonlight walks. Every sentence should contain some twilight or night. At least the light in it should be the yellow or creamy light of the moon or the fine beams of stars, and not the white light of day. The peculiar dusky serenity of the sentences must not allow the reader to forget that it is evening or night, without my saying that it is dark. Otherwise he will, of course, presume a daylight atmosphere.
Thoreau paints with such metaphors in the penultimate sentence of this next passage as he refreshes himself from a flowing spring.
[page 188] How cheering it is to behold a full spring bursting forth directly from the earth, like this of Tarbell's, from clean gravel, copiously, in a thin sheet; for it descends at once, where you see no opening, cool from the caverns of the earth, and making a considerable stream. Such springs, in the sale of lands, are not valued for as much as they are worth. I lie almost flat, resting my hands on what it offers, to drink at this water where it bubbles, at the very udders of Nature, for man is never weaned from her breast while this life lasts. How many times in a single walk does he stoop for a draught!
Could you live with a composer without wondering what poetry or music is being composed right now? Thoreau likens Nature to such a composer and calls our attention to her compositions in the moment. Do you put flowers and fruit on display in your home? If you do, you are displaying the current compositions of the season of this great composer with whom we are all living at every moment.
[page 191] How fitting to have every day in a vase of water on your table the wild-flowers of the season which are just blossoming! Can any house be said to be furnished without them? Shall we be so forward to pluck the fruits of Nature and neglect her flowers?These are surely her finest influences. So may the season suggest the fine thoughts it is fitted to suggest. Shall we say, "A penny for your thoughts," before we have looked into the face of Nature? Let me know what picture she is painting, what poetry she is writing, what ode composing, now.
What Thoreau thinks of his journal he tells us in this next passage:
[page 223] July 13. A journal, a book that shall contain a record of all your joy, your ecstasy.
Thoreau knew about lively words that expressed his joy, his ecstasy, and he abhorred writers who used dead words, words bereft of direct expression, from whom the life has been squeezed out by the hands of abstraction. Even when he declaims the faults of abstract words, he uses a lively metaphor.
[page 225] July 15. A writer who does not speak out of a full experience uses torpid words, wooden or lifeless words, such words as "humanitary," which have a paralysis in their tails. [RJM Note: humanitary has disappeared from the dictionary since Thoreau's time.]
Take a ride with Thoreau as he goes berry picking along Walden Pond and encounters a host of yellow butterflies. Is his descriptive power any less than Wordsworth's when he encountered a host of daffodils?
[page 226 227] Saw to-day for the first time this season fleets of yellow butterflies dispersing before us, as we rode along berrying on the Walden road. Their yellow fleets are in the offing. Do I ever see them in numbers off the road? They are a yellow flower that blossoms generally about this time. Like a mackerel fleet, with their small hulls and great sails. Collected now in compact but gorgeous assembly in the road, like schooners in a harbor, a haven; now suddenly dispersing on our approach and filling the air with yellow snowflakes in their zigzag flight, or as when a fair wind calls those schooners out and disperses them over the broad ocean.
Everywhere one can spot curious usages of words that illuminate their origin. Such as on page 233 when he pens about resuming a boat trip, "Again under weigh" — our current usage of the phrase as "under way" hides as much as it reveals — and my Cassel's still contains the original form used by Thoreau to describe what happens after one weighs anchor — one gets "under weigh" and begins moving again. Perhaps the very origin of our simple word "way" meaning to move comes from this boating metaphor.
Or take this one where a familiar metaphor meaning someone getting his due is revealed in its pristine literalness on page 240: "As we go by the farmhouses, the chickens are coming home to roost."
Always Thoreau paints his verbal pictures for us with a pallette of adjectives, such as here when we gaze into the reddening sunset alongside him.
[page 242] Those small clouds, the rearmost guard of the day, which were wholly dark, are again lit up for a moment with a dull-yellowish glow and again darken; and now the evening redness deepens till all the west or northwest horizon is red; as if the sky were rubbed there with some rich Indian pigment, a permanent dye; as if the Artist of the world had mixed his red paints on the edge of the inverted saucer of the sky. An exhilarating, cheering redness, most wholesome.
What are weeds but plants where we don't wish them to be, as some sage once wrote. No doubt, sage itself was once considered a weed, until some one discovered its medicinal properties and later someone else touted its value as a herb for seasoning a stew. But there were no weeds to Thoreau — if there were, he would have to admit himself to be a weed, as some of his neighbors might have considered him since he walked at times where they didn't wish him to be.
[page 250, 251] I sympathise with weeds perhaps more than with the crop they choke, they express so much vigor. They are the truer crop which the earth willingly bears.
This next passage illustrates how Thoreau acted and thought differently than us. He not only "heard a different drummer" than his fellow men, but he went to a different school.
[page 252, 253] There is a coarse, boisterous, money-making fellow in the north part of town who is going to build a bank wall under the hill along the edge of his meadow. The powers have put this into his head to keep him out of mischief, and he wishes me to spend three weeks digging there with him. The result will be that he will perchance get a little more money to hoard, or leave for his heirs to spend foolishly when he is dead.Now, if I do this, the community will commend me as an industrious and hard-working man; but, as I choose to devote myself to labors which yield more real profit, though but little money, they regard me as a loafer. But, as I do not need this police of meaningless labor to regulate me, and do not see anything absolutely praiseworthy in his undertaking, however amusing it may be to him, I prefer to finish my education at a different school.
Thoreau tells us about the Attacus luna, one of several large emperor moths which are rarely seen except after they have been eaten by a bird and their wings flutter to the ground. He likens them to poems, those wings of flight which fall to the Earth after the poet has eaten the succulent morsel which powered the flight. Imagine each line of metric verse to be a wing, a lifeless thing on a page, which can only again take flight when powered by the spirit of a quickened reader and re-display for the reader and audience its pre-Fall glory!
Or, do as Thoreau suggests, and imagine poems, even his own lyrical prose or Homer's epic verse, as the fallen wings evincing a flight of a poet whom Death, the "ravenous vulture of the world" has snapped up.
[page 259] So most poems, even epics, are like the wings come down to earth, while the poet whose adventurous flight they evidence has been snapped up by the ravenous vulture of this world.
Thoreau was alone often as he walked through the woods, but we get the sense that he was alone also in the company of others. He longed for true clarity in a world which seems to darken meanings rather than reveal them, to hide intimacy rather than reveal it. He included himself in this next metaphor of the squid or cuttlefish, which protects itself by hiding within a murky ink as it moves about in the world.
[page 315] Like a cuttlefish, we conceal ourselves, we darken the atmosphere in which we move; we are not transparent. I pine for one to whom I can speak my first thoughts; thoughts which represent me truly, which are no better and no worse than I; thoughts which have the bloom on them, which alone can be sacred and divine. Our sin and shame prevent our expressing even the innocent thoughts we have. I know of no one to whom I can be transparent instinctively. I live the life of the cuttlefish; another appears, and the element in which I move is tinged and I am concealed. My first thoughts are azure; there is a bloom and dew on them; they are papillaceous feelers which I put out, tender, innocent. Only to a friend can I expose them.
Much as he liked clarity in people, he liked some tint in the landscape around him. Maybe it seemed to him that the tint of distant objects helped to bring the nearer objects into sharper focus. This is something film-makers use to their advantage when they employ smoke machines to pervade a scene with a light mist before shooting it.
[page 350] In my ride I experienced the pleasure of coming into a landscape where there was more distance and a bluish tinge in the horizon. I am not contented long with such narrow valleys that all is greenness in them. I wish to see the earth translated, the green passing into blue. How this heaven intervenes and tinges our more distant prospects! The farther off the mountain which is the goal of our enterprise, the more of heaven's tint it wears. This is the chief value of a distance in landscapes.
In the winter time Thoreau bemoans that not only is the water too cold for bathing in the river, but there are few plants to be observed in it. But each time he grabs a log for his hearth, he has a wealth of nature at his finger tips.
[page 363] It is not in vain, perhaps, that every winter the forest is brought to our doors, shaggy with lichens. Even in so humble a shape as a wood-pile, it contains sermons for us.
This next metaphor needs a bit of explaining, if you are not a duck hunter. To hit a bird on the wing, one must shoot ahead of where the bird is flying, i.e., "on the wing". You must accurately gauge its speed versus the speed of the pellets from your shotgun so that the two may meet in time at the same place.
[page 359] My friend is he who can make a good guess at me, hit me on the wing.
A stranger, on the other hand, can make no good guess, but makes a guess nevertheless, and takes us for something other than we are. Thoreau seemed to feel that "two's company, three's a crowd, and more is a litter of pigs."
[page 397] My friend is one whom I meet, who takes me for what I am. A stranger takes me for something else than I am. We do not speak, we cannot communicate, till we find that we are recognized. The stranger supposes in our stead a third person whom we do not know, and we leave him to converse with that one. It is suicide for us to become abetters in misapprehending ourselves. Suspicion creates the stranger and substitutes him for the friend. I cannot abet any man in misapprehending myself.
What men call social virtues, good fellowship, is commonly but the virtue of pigs in a litter, which lie close together to keep each other warm. It brings men together in crowds and mobs in barrooms and elsewhere, but it does not deserve the name of virtue.
In this passage we cannot mistake what Thoreau says about himself as he discusses Walden Pond:
[page 425] If, by living thus "reserved and austere" like a hermit in the woods so long, it has acquired such wonderful depth and purity, who would not regret that the impure waters of Flint's Pond should be mingled with it, or itself should go waste its sweetness in the ocean?
Have you ever observed railroad cars as they rush past you at an intersection? Does something about their passage remind you of your life? Always on the go, from one task to another in a hurried pace? Thoreau's advice is to "Keep the time, observe the hours of the universe, not of the cars."
[page 433] It is worth the while to apply what wisdom one has to the conduct of his life, surely. I find myself oftenest wise in little things and foolish in great ones. That I may accomplish some particular petty affair well, I live my whole life coarsely. A broad margin of leisure is as beautiful in a man's life as in a book. Haste makes waste, no less in life than in housekeeping. Keep the time, observe the hours of the universe, not of the cars.What are threescore years and ten hurriedly and coarsely lived to moments of divine leisure in which your life is coincident with the life of the universe? We live too fast and coarsely, just as we eat too fast, and do not know the true savor of our food. We consult our will and understanding and the expectation of men, not our genius. I can impose upon myself tasks which will crush me for life and prevent all expansion, and this I am but too inclined to do.
One moment of life costs many hours, hours not of business but of preparation and invitation. Yet the man who does not betake himself at once and desperately to sawing is called a loafer, though he may be knocking at the doors of heaven all the while, which shall surely be opened to him. That aim in life is highest which requires the highest and finest discipline. How much, what infinite, leisure it requires, as of a lifetime, to appreciate a single phenomenon! You must camp down beside it as for life, having reached your stand for the whole world to you, symbolical of all things. The least partialness is your own defect of sight and cheapens the experience fatally. Unless the humming of a gnat is as the music of the spheres, and the music of the spheres is as the humming of a gnat, they are naught to me. It is not communications to serve for a history, — which are science, — but the great story itself, that cheers and satisfies us.
Thoreau manages to describe the indescribable by his own admission as in this picture he paints of a winter sky.
[page 468] Ah, our indescribable winter sky, pure and continent and clear, between emerald and amber, such as summer never sees! What more beautiful or soothing to the eye than those finely divided or minced clouds, like down or loose-spread cotton-batting, now reaching up from the west above my head! Beneath this is a different stratum, all whose ends are curved like spray or wisps. All kinds of figures are drawn on the blue ground with this fibrous white paint.
There are mornings when the world seems to burst open and pour forth a sea of creativity in our world. What else can we call these "mornings of creation," but "the poet's hour"?
[page 478] Mornings of creation, I call them. In the midst of these marks of a creative energy recently active, while the sun is rising with more than usual splendor, I look back, — I look back for the era of this creation, not into the night, but to a dawn for which no man ever rose early enough. A morning which carries us back beyond the Mosaic creation, where crystallizations are fresh and unmelted. It is the poet's hour. Mornings when men are new-born, men who have the seeds of life in them. It should be a part of my religion to be abroad then. This is not one of those mornings, but a clear, cold, airy winter day.
I remember a day fishing with my dad in Bayou Barré under blue canopied sky. Our boat floated in the shallow bayou between masses of paralleled spires of short marsh grass that unrolled as a green carpet to the flat horizon all around us. It was so quiet we could hear the oysters talking. As the undulating waves from the slow rocking of our drifting boat rolled towards the oyster reefs near the edge of the bayou, the oysters closed their shells in an unsyncopated rhythm rather like chickens pecking in the yard. Over us a stately mass of white pelicans floated, and as they passed, the flock rotated majestically like a huge white pinwheel in slow motion, an ultra-slow motion which held us in thrall, held our breath, and kept our eyes transfixed until they passed. Did we catch fish that day? Probably. Do I remember the fish? No way. I returned home with a catch that was invaluable — this memory.
[page 480] It is remarkable that many men will go with eagerness to Walden Pond in the winter to fish for pickerel and yet not seem to care for the landscape. Of course it cannot be merely for the pickerel they may catch; there is some adventure in it; but any love of nature which they may feel is certainly very slight and indefinite. They call it going a-fishing, and so indeed it is, though, perchance, their natures know better. Now I go a-fishing and a-hunting every day, but omit the fish and the game, which are the least important part. I have learned to do without them. They were indispensable only as long as I was a boy.I am encouraged when I see a dozen villagers drawn to Walden Pond to spend a day in fishing through the ice, and suspect that I have more fellows than I knew, but I am disappointed and surprised to find that they lay all the stress on the fish which they catch or fail to catch, and on nothing else, as if there were nothing else to be caught.
Were Thoreau's fishermen wise because they measured the value of the time they spent in terms of the fish they caught? You decide. Thoreau makes it clear that the world is populated with many who are appear to be wise in this counting-house way.
[page 486] A man is wise with the wisdom of his time only, and ignorant with its ignorance. Observe how the greatest minds yield in some degree to the superstitions of their age.
Some people may think that Thoreau was a savage to have spent so much time in the woods rather than in the work of civilization. It is true that he spent a lot of time in the wood, in the sylvan woods, and Thoreau himself helps us to learn the etymology of the word "savage" is in the word "sylvan" which means wooded. Thoreau was undoubtedly a salvage, a man of the woods.
[page 494] I think myself in a wilder country, and a little nearer to primitive times, when I read in old books which spell the word savages with an l (salvages), like John Smith's "General Historie of Virginia, etc.," reminding me of the derivation of the word from sylva. There is some of the wild wood and its bristling branches left in their language. The savages they described are really salvages, men of the woods.
Are we to regret that Henry David Thoreau has gone since to waste his sweetness in the ocean? Yes but, so long as these journals of his remain, his sweetness will provide ample nourishment for the souls who drink deeply of the ambrosia within these journals' covers. I would like to say more about Thoreau, but another journal awaits, and I must be off into the woods — my companion and guide awaits my pleasure.
2.) ARJ2: Our Connection with the Elemental World, GA#158 by Rudolf Steiner
Steiner's first lecture was in Helsinki, Finland, followed by three lectures in Dornach, Switzerland about Our Connection with the Elemental World as revealed in Finland's national epic the Kalevala. Followed by three more lectures in Dornach named The World as a Result of Balancing Influences. Various addresses and a Q&A session followed. My review will be concerned with the first three lectures in Dornach. The remain lectures will be reviewed in a future review.
This is a difficult book to read, set in the first half of his lecturing career when Steiner was moving from teaching theosophy to teaching anthroposophy. His trip to Finland brought him in contact with the Kalevala in which he encountered an awareness of the three-folding of human nature in the ancient Finnish epic poem. He also came upon a Norwegian folk poem, The Dream Song of Olaf Åsteson, which was read aloud in its German translation.
In his public lecture Steiner takes us to a reality-based human evolution much different from that which is speculated and postulated by ordinary science.
[page 12] Nevertheless, for someone who enters into spiritual science in the way that I intend to explore it in my next lecture, what I am saying is no mere hypothesis but the result of real research which can be placed alongside the results of other scientific research. The things that I need to speak about sound strange because present-day science, which believes that it stands firmly on the ground of real facts, of what is true and uniquely attainable, limits itself to what our outward senses perceive, to what an intellect that is bound to the senses and the brain is able to discover. Hence it is generally considered unscientific today if one speaks about a method of research that makes use of other soul-forces, which have the capacity of beholding the supersensible world and the interweaving of this world in the sense-perceptible domain. The research method of spiritual science leads one not merely to the abstract fantasy that leads Herman Grimm to say what he does about national epics but, rather, to something that goes far beyond fantasy and portrays a completely different state of soul or consciousness than is possible for man to have in the present period of his evolution. Hence we are led back by spiritual science to a former time in human evolution in a completely different way than occurs in ordinary science.
Ordinary science postulates that human beings grew out of advanced animals, but spiritual science finds that human beings existed before any animals existed, and thus animals fell away from the evolution of human beings: the exact opposite of what ordinary science postulates.
[page 13] In spiritual science we also have an unprejudiced view of how as regards outward forms everything is indicative of man's relationship to other organisms, but if we trace the evolution of mankind backwards we cannot go back to some dim, distant past when the stream of humanity was inserted directly into animal development. What we actually find when we reach back from the present is that we are never directly able to derive the present human form from any animal form that we know from the present.
We can determine when the process of thinking occurred in human beings and establish that to about 600 B.C. This was the time of the Greek philosophers and when Homer converted the oral traditions of The Iliad and The Odyssey to written form. From many sources we find this time period to be a watershed in human evolution of consciousness. Humans lost the ability to retrieve long narratives directly from the spiritual world and acquired the ability to record long narratives in physical form.
[page 13, 14] . . . as we reach back into the past and observe how the human soul has changed, if we compare how people think today (whether scientifically or otherwise), how they use their intelligence and powers of feeling, with how people thought in the past (which we can establish with a certain precision), we find that this faculty first appeared amongst mankind at a particular time, namely in the sixth or seventh century before Christ. The entire configuration of present-day feeling and thinking cannot be traced further back than those times when the first Greek philosophers were said to have lived.
Humans as portrayed by Achilles, Hector, Paris, Agamemnon, etal, in the Homerian epics did not act as humans do today.
[page 14] Instead people had a certain immediate, instinctive certainty. They acted out of direct, elemental impulses, which they did not control through a brain-bound intellect. . . . Imagination, intellect and reasoning power were all mixed up with one another in those ancient times. The further we go back, the more we find that the quality that lived then in people's souls as an inseparable combination of imaginative and intellectual faculties was one that we would no longer associate with the soul-faculty that we call imagination today.
Instead we find those early people had in place of imagination an atavistic clairvoyance, which in our modern times is hidden from us. This clairvoyant ability gave ancients access to epic stories they could verbalize, an ability which faded away over time and was replaced by the art of writing which enabled humans to recall long narratives of historical events.
[page 17] If we were to go back beyond Homer, we would find that people had a clairvoyant consciousness which had a recollection of pre-historical events in human development and was able to relate a memory of what had happened in this early time. By Homer's time the situation was that, although there was an awareness that the old clairvoyant consciousness was waning, people continued to feel its presence.
Humans felt the presence of this native clairvoyance as if gods were talking to them. We can find evidence of this in the first lines of the Iliad and the Odyssey, but not in the first lines of the Aeneid, written some 600 years later. The Iliad begins, "Sing to me, O Muse of the wrath of Achilles," and the Odyssey, 'Sing to me, O Muse, of a curious man," but the Aeneid begins with, "I sing of arms and a man." Virgil acknowledges himself as the writer of this later epic, but Homer acknowledged earlier only that he received his epics from his clairvoyant consciousness, which he attributed to his Muse.
Today we humans are organized much differently than the ancient Greeks. We are comprised of three parts or outward bodily sheaths: consciousness soul, intellectual soul, and sentient soul.
[page 21] We conduct our soul-life in such a way that we experience within it what our eyes see, what our ears hear, what our senses are able to apprehend and what our mind can grasp. We live with our soul in our physical body. Inasmuch as our soul lives in the physical body, our term for it in spiritual science is the consciousness soul, because only through becoming fully immersed m the physical body in the course of human evolution has it become possible for man to advance to ego consciousness.
But our soul also lives in our etheric body and we call this our mind soul or intellectual soul.
[page 21] The soul indwells the ether body in such a way that its forces are its own, but we cannot say that they are our own personal forces. They are universally human forces, through which we are much closer to all the hidden mysteries of nature. In so far as the soul perceives these forces in an outward sheath and specifically in the ether body, we speak of the intellectual or mind soul as a second soul-member. So just as we find the consciousness soul in the sheath of the physical body, we have the intellectual or mind soul enclosed in the etheric body.
Our third aspect is life in our astral body, an even more refined body which can reach into the supersensible world.
[page 21] Everything that we inwardly experience as our intimate secrets, as what is hidden today from consciousness and was experienced at the time of the old clairvoyance as the creative forces in the evolutionary process emerging from the events of the dim and distant past, all this we ascribe to the sentient soul, which is enclosed in the most refined human body, in what — if you will excuse the technical term — we call the astral body. It is that part of man's being that forms a connection between the outer earthly environment and what lives as an inspirational element in his inner being. This latter is something that he cannot perceive through his outer senses, and neither can he perceive it when he looks into his own ether body, rather does he perceive it when he becomes independent of himself, independent of his ether body, and is united with the forces of his origin.
Here are our three aspects of soul: the sentient soul in the astral body, the intellectual soul in the etheric body, and the consciousness soul in the physical body. The ancient runes spoke of the three-fold body and understood the spiritual basis of our physical reality, even the harp upon which these folk played their tunes was a spiritual harp, a harp not formed from physical materials, as indicated in this old folk rune:
It was fashioned from dire hardship,
Sorrow bound its parts together,
And its strings by tears of longing
And deep suffering were woven.
Steiner explains that the old folk understood the spiritual basis of existence similar to the way his spiritual science endeavors to teach us today.
[page 29] Thus everything in existence is born not out of material substance but out of the realm of soul and spirit — not only this old fork rune but also spiritual science, which seeks to play an active part in the living cultural development of our time.
When I was eighteen I entered a college bookstore for the first time and was amazed by the books available that I had never encountered in my public and high school libraries. One of these was the Complete Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson. This book became my constant companion in those moments when I was not engrossed in my official university studies. I was enthralled by his thoughts which expanded my own world for me. His essay, "Self-Reliance", became my favorite and was the most often re-read essay. It wasn't until I encountered Rudolf Steiner's works some twenty-plus years later that I found a thinker as deep as Emerson again. It does not surprise me to find that Steiner highly regarded Emerson.
[page 64, 65] One of the greatest figures of the nineteenth century is without doubt Emerson, who writes in a language which, while not being philosophical in a pedantic sense, is particularly impressive. Whether he is speaking about nature or about the human race, Emerson shows again and again how the outward structure of the world, which man perceives with his senses and understands with his intellect, is merely an outer sheath, a phantasmagoria, and that one only arrives at truth if one tries to reach behind this phantasmagoria.
But a mind such as Emerson's goes beyond this. In order to exemplify what I mean, I should like to refer to one of his many remarkable books, Representative Men. In this book he cites Plato as the representative of all of humanity's philosophical endeavors, Swedenborg as the representative of mankind's mystic strivings, Montaigne, a remarkable figure from the sixteenth century, as the representative of scepticism, Shakespeare as the representative of the realm of poetry, Goethe as the representative of the skill of writing and Napoleon as the man of action, the representative of the will. Emerson achieved something highly significant with this book. Particular human qualities are singled out and related to certain individuals. It would be an interesting study to try to discern how Plato is the representative of philosophical endeavor and Montaigne similarly the representative of scepticism. This book is one of the greatest achievements of the human mind.
In my early writing, I wrote a short review of Emerson's Representative Men in which I pointed out that the qualities that Emerson finds in each of the six men are easily identifiable as qualities that are often used by writers since his time to characterize Emerson himself. Indeed, Emerson found a lot of himself in the essayist Montaigne, commenting that, "It seemed to me as if I had myself written the book, in some former life." (Page 66 and 215)
Steiner was attracted to Montaigne as a sceptic, as he explains below:
[page 65] The sceptic, who is acutely aware that whenever one formulates a truth in strict terms one is inevitably in the wrong, is deeply affected by the soul-spiritual fluid that is constantly present in the human soul and prevents one, from the moment of one's contact with the spiritual world, from advancing a sharply outlined truth without also indicating that there is some justification for the opposite point of view.
Montaigne's appreciating the contact from the spiritual world attracted Steiner's attention, seeing him as an important person. In each man, Emerson and Montaigne, Steiner perceived a man who understood the spiritual world and allowed rarely-mentioned ideas to shine through his words, such as reincarnation. About Emerson, Steiner wrote:
[page 67] . . . behind what he imparted in this way to mankind there were some more intimate aspects — such as the instance that I have mentioned, when the idea of repeated earthly lives shone through in a very genuine way.
Where does such an idea come from? It is surely not from the external world of science which only accepts what it experiences through its senses. No, but when even a scientist is asleep, a part of life otherwise unknown can be revealed. The chemist Kekule was asleep when he observed the benzene molecule turn into a circle like a snake and bite its tail, from which the waking Kekule deduced the ring structure of the organic molecule benzene. As Shakespeare put it, "There is more in heaven and earth than appears in your philosophy, Horatio."
[page 67] What is the source of such a remark? This question can only be answered if one considers all aspects of human nature. In his life on Earth a human individual is aware only of the most insignificant part of his nature, he knows only that part of his life which is spent between waking up and going to sleep. The other part of his life is spent in sleep, and this part of human life has many, many aspects.
How often do we say, when confronted with a seemingly unsolvable problem, "Let me sleep on it," and awake with solution in our mind, like Kekule did? Certainly this way of valuing one's dreams was appreciated by Emerson, which made him an early example of an anthroposophist, before Steiner had coined the world.
[page 69] But if we now turn our thoughts to individuals who are as worthy as Emerson, we should make it quite clear that they are not larking about when they are asleep but that what they do is above reproach. When they are in the spiritual world with their ego and astral body, they have a relationship to truths, to what is to live amongst mankind as true anthroposophy; they become aware of what is to become the physical knowledge of the future. One could say that Emerson receives something of this kind in sleep. This is why it finds expression in what he has to say about physical life, as he surveys the full extent of earthly life with his physical senses and intellect, in so modest and intimate a way.
Emerson knew himself as a true anthroposophist long before Steiner had reached age 18. Steiner revealed how ideas that may be unacceptable in the light of day or in public circles may come to us while we are sleeping. We may reveal the essence of the ideas lacking any consciousness of their deep meaning.
[page 69, 70] Now it would not be in accordance with the rightful path of human evolution if it were simply to remain the case that human beings should perceive what lies behind sensory appearances, the phantasmagoria of the senses, only while they are asleep; for it is of evolutionary significance that sleep life will increasingly cease to have a part to play in the quest for knowledge. It takes a great spirit such as Emerson to arrive at an idea such as repeated earthly lives from one's sleep life. Nevertheless, it must be possible for spiritual insights to come to humanity, to gain entry to human lives. Thus whereas these truths have hitherto been proclaimed — as if in a kind of dawning light through individuals such as Emerson — in connection with the innermost life of the soul, there needs now to be a more earthly basis for understanding such truths in clear waking consciousness. The earthly aptitude must exist for feeling that it is perfectly natural to recognize these truths. You will be well aware from the fact that there are still only a handful of anthroposophists that this is not as yet perfectly natural, and all those who stand outside the anthroposophical movement regard us as fools or something of the kind.
But those who receive insights in their sleep, as did Emerson, will communicate these spiritual truths in their writings about everyday life. When I first read Emerson at age 18, his truths attracted me by a time-wave of feeling from my own future of reading and understanding Rudolf Steiner when I was aged 38 and over. I consider these two men as having the most important influence in my life as a thinker, writer, and full human being. Their thoughts and writings have enriched my adult life.
3.) ARJ2: The Power of Silence by Carlos Castaneda
In this book Carlos does what he must do after killing off a major character — he brings him to life by recounting a memory. Don Juan lives once more in this book. Not as the omniscient guru, but as a vulnerable, stupid nagual apprentice to his two benefactors: Julian and Elias.
Julian is the clown and stalker; Elias the wise and the explainer. Here we find Don Juan exhibiting all the behavior that in earlier books, we find Don Juan (at a later point in his life) chiding Carlos for exhibiting: reading a lot, always wanting explanations, being stupid, etc.
This book, at times, takes on an aura that makes you forget it's Don Juan reminiscing, so much does he remind you of Carlos. Its strength is that it captures much of the flavor of Carlos's early books: the teacher and the pupil interacting. Only this time it's Don Juan the pupil and Julian/Elias the teachers. Of course, Carlos is the listener to these recollections, and he asks Don Juan some stupid, as well as thought-provoking questions.
Don Juan's explanations and answers to Carlos's questions are the meat of the book. They detail the processes to which Don Juan had subjected Carlos and his other apprentices, as detailed in Carlos's earlier books. The processes I found which showed up as adventures in the other Don Juan books are described and named in detail here.
The processes are: stalking, intent, moving the assemblage point, controlled folly, place of no pity, and silent knowledge. The last one gave this book its title. The Power of Silent Knowledge is likely how it reached the publishers, who suggested the more mysterious and impactful, Power of Silence.
The theme of this book is silent knowledge in its many forms, and it gives names to each of the forms. One might think of silent knowledge as the "sound of one hand clapping." Or what Alfred O. Korzybski called WIGO, What Is Going On. Or what Wittgenstein call the unspeakable. Or Bandler and Grinder in NLP called the deep structure. It is a part of the unfathomable reality that presents itself to us in a "blooming, buzzing confusion" that we must perceive, abstract, and make sense of.
Don Juan refers to it as that deep intuition which, when it comes, is not noticed as an intuition at all, unless one has been trained as a warrior to notice when silent knowledge appears. "Where is the basket wherein the fruits of one's mind appears?" asked Jane Roberts in one of her books. Don Juan answers in silence.
4.) ARJ: A Deep Understanding of Doyletics An Essay by Gary Lee-Nova
I am pleased to share Gary Lee-Nova's understanding of doyletics. His essay may help you Good Readers to understand the concepts of doyletics better, answering some of your questions and raising others to contemplate. Bobby Matherne, Principal Researcher of The Doyletics Foundation
I have begun to develop a fuller and deeper understanding of doyletics.
What we in the West refer to as 'emotional', 'emotions', and 'emotion' is an extremely large catalog of body-states.
The body-states seem to me to be the consciousness of the physical body. Overall human consciousness seems to fit together as layers and the "emotional" layer is the first layer of consciousness to come into being through an amygdala.
This layer or level of consciousness, has memorized doyles and all of the non-verbal experiences of a physical being that is coming into being starting with its being as a fetus.
First of all, I have been curious to learn of any opinions you may have about human sensory orientation.
I've read your reports on the NLP publications and noted the sensory orientation codes located in what are now known as Markova Stacks. I've not yet studied those deeply but I have recognized the value of the AVK code (Audio, Visual, Kinesthetic) of NLP.
What I've become curious about is this; my conscious orientation in this life is one of being extremely visceral. How I am feeling, on very deep physical levels, is something I'm always acutely aware of. It's what I am most conscious of when I'm conscious. Therefore, I was able to grasp and understand the speed trace procedure involving "hold" and "mark" almost immediately, and put it to work expeditiously.
I am now wondering if people who lack any kind of strong visceral orientation to their lives can understand and deploy the speed trace technique, a procedure that involves being sensitive to how their physical body is feeling be it positive, negative or neutral.
You may recall an early report of mine, sent to you in 2017, during my early explorations of doyletics and the speed trace technique. I reported to you that I seemed to encounter events involving a disruption caused to the planetary electromagnetic environment by the first testing of atomic explosions and the subsequent use of atomic weapons on Japan.
I was about 25/26 months old at that time. That report is an index of how sensitive my sensorium seems to be, or at least was, at that time. Maybe it still is. My sensitivities are such that I have described my sensory life as sometimes feeling like I'm walking around with my skin peeled off.
My next questions:
Is it possible to identify body-states that are what I'm tentatively calling 'primal'? Perhaps there is a more appropriate term for what I am calling 'primal'. Perhaps 'existential'.
In considering the 'emotional' register of experience, there are those signalling events our body sends us about a need to excrete fluids or solids, to make room for the input of more liquid and solid nutritional material. Hunger is a primal body-state. Sexual urges are primal body-states. Sexual orgasm is a primal body-state. I'm not a female but I assume that for adult human females, menstruation is a primal body-state.
In Stalking The Wild Pendulum, Itzhak Bentov attempts a definition of "consciousness" in the simplest possible terms.
Bentov makes this statement: "We can say that consciousness is the capacity of a system to respond to stimuli.
Furthermore, he states that the system may be a nervous system, no matter how simple.
He writes further: "Suppose we stimulate an atom by applying ultraviolet light or other electromagnetic radiation. One of the electrons may get excited and respond by jumping into a higher orbit farther away from the nucleus."
These statements got me to thinking about how human sense organs are the extremities of a brain and nervous system and how these respond to stimuli.
Human sensory responses occurring at these levels are also engaged with storage and retrieval processes involving memory. This would seem to be the first bifurcation of several memory processes that are bifurcations of sense data into appropriate memory registers.
An amygdala, being the first memory register, shows up in a fetus, but an amygdala doesn't memorize semantic information. It can only memorize and retrieve non-verbal sensory input patterns.
The amygdalin memory registers would seem to me to eventually contain the entire spectrum of distinctive auditory units that make up the phonemic, phonetic and phonological structures of human speech. It seems that most if not all of an entire phonological (auditory) system is established by an amygdala as memorized sound data.
Amongst other sensory events, the sounds of speech must be given a substantial amount of attention and a large memory register for storage. This starts during the period when the being is a fetus, and continues through infancy and deep childhood.
Around the age of five years old, which doyletics calls the Memory Transition Age (MTA), all of future auditory sense data is transmitted or transferred via the hippocampus to the cortex where semantic information content can be readily memorized and later retrieved.
I regard the MTA as the foundational stage for the sounds of human speech encountering semantic content and putting together sound and meaning constructs as meaningful speech. An MTA brings a semiotic system of speech communication into being.
Stimulus. Response. Laws Of Form. Boundaries crossed by energies yielding consequences to systems.
A consequence of great significance seems to be a consciousness coming into being, and expanding, from emotional/body consciousness into semantic and cognitive communicational consciousness.
Consciousness appears to be begin coming into being within the physical order of being a fetus. This occurs following conception at about the two to three month mark.
At approximately those points in time, functioning memory registers develop in a small organ in the developing brain of a fetus. This memory storage organ can't store semantic (verbal) sense data. It can only store non-verbal (*aesthetic) information.
What seems to follow (with some immediacy) is an emergence of an early stage of a living, therefore conscious physical system, something physical that has come to be named "the emotional," and can perhaps be regarded as a first development of human consciousness. It certainly sets the scene for further developments of consciousness.
In addition to the notion of "responding to stimuli" as a simple definition of consciousness, we can perhaps agree that sense organs respond to stimuli and in order to do so, must have storage registers that memorize all stimuli of sense organs.
A brain somehow makes sense-data retrieval possible. It seems probable that this process takes place in states of consciousness and unconsciousness. Is the instant-reply and other "playback" options in our technological culture an extension of human memory retrieval processes?
Doyles are replays for stored non-verbal memories. Doyles can become enmeshed with 'primal' body-states. I learned this with my experience of the primal body-state of hunger and a body-state of anxiety, made up of a fear and confusion body-state. You published my report on my speed trace results earlier this year. The entire experience has become a milestone in my experience of doyletic theory and practice.
I'm wondering if all sensory organs, maintaining their readiness for stimulus, are body-states, or is it only while engaged with and responding to external stimulus, that the sense organs are body-states?
Physically, how deep do the memory registers go? Does the data have components that amount to the very smallest physical units of matter as in the "Planck Length"?
A Planck Length is a measurement of a fractional physical quantity that amounts to 1.616229(38)×1035 (<------ 35 zeros after the 1) of a meter.
The physical locale (as tiny as tiny can be) has been theoretically cast as a scale at which quantum gravitational effects are believed to begin to become apparent.
I ask this because this year, following some very deep-dive speed-traces into my consciousness of doyles and memories, it seems that sense data from traumatic events memorized while a fetus, or during infancy and deep childhood, can be found deeply embedded in what seem to be the outer limits of the physical, in terms of boundaries. Just as there are speed limits on sound and light, there seem to be limits on how small units or portions physical matter can become.
At those levels of perceived physical sensations (doyles), the sense data can be very subtle, subtle to a degree of being like cast shadows, or ghosts, of other, more pronounced sensations and have already been speed traced into oblivion. Do doyles have layers?
I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to pose these questions to you.
While there may be many different 'kinds' of information content, there are only two 'types'.
As distinct from semantic (verbal) information, the non-verbal type of information was labelled "Aesthetic Information" by a French Audio Engineer by name of Abraham Moles.
His book is titled Information Theory And Aesthetic Information, Joel E. Cohen (trans.) was published by University of Illinois Press, Urbana, 1966, originally published in France, 1958.
Abraham Moles intended his 'aesthetic' type to cover all sensory experience that isn't confined to verbal information content. For Moles, the 'aesthetic' has many flavours; colors, sounds, textures, tastes, and smells; all non-verbal sensations of various types and kinds.
Large quantities of aesthetic information seem to fuel doyles.
The pair of information types — semantic and aesthetic — are not mutually exclusive.
There are information situations involving both semantic and aesthetic content and incidents that could serve as examples of purely aesthetic (non-verbal) and purely semantic (verbal).
For examples of some pure aesthetic content, consider instrumental symphonic music and abstract/non-representational painting.
Pure semantic content could be a broadcast weather report, or a banal newspaper story.
A well written story, fictional or otherwise, can contain both semantic and aesthetic content, like poetry does. Also, music with lyrics that are sung accompanied by the playing of musical instruments.
Read/Print the Essay at:
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I hear often from my Good Readers that they have bought books after reading my book reviews. Remember: A book is like a 3-D kindle. Keep reading, folks! As I like to remind you, to obtain more information on what's in these books, buy and read the books — for less information, read the reviews.
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= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =In this section I like to comment on events in the world, in my life, and in my readings which have come up during the month. These are things I might have shared with you in person, if we had had the opportunity to converse during the month. If we did, then you may recognize my words. If I say some things here which upset you, rest assured that you may skip over these for the very reason that I would likely have not brought up the subject to spoil our time together in person.1. Padre Filius Reads Sign in Edinburgh, Scotland 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 Feels Like a Thanksgiving Turkey:
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 Lu Gray in Australia:
Firstly, thank you I love your digests and reviews!
However your email below with the link for the last issue seems to be a dud link. I managed to find the DIGESTWORLD link via your home page but just thought you might wanna know about the dud email links.
I tried it with Firefox and Chromium - both gave me error notices.
Much cheers, love and light to you
Lu Gray, Australia
~~~~~~~~~~~ NOTE from Bobby ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lu wrote back later after finding a way to view the Issue. No one else reported a problem, and I was unable to re-create it so it was likely something local, maybe caused by us being upside-down to Aussies ;-).
Good Readers: In case of a problem, do use the Main Page link. Just in case, keep handy a bookmark of any DIGESTWORLD Issue because the Archive in ALL the Issues is updated every month.
3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell:"First Thanksgiving"
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 Story of the First Thanksgiving — Prologue
In a "Notes from FEE" for January 2006, they celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) by abridging a 1961 lecture at FEE by Leonard E. Read (1898-1983). In his lecture Read apparently did not mention that after the first plentiful harvest of the Pilgrims, they celebrated the event we call the "First Thanksgiving Day." A Day which would not have happened but for their abandonment of the principles of socialism and communism which had utterly failed them. This is a fact that is glossed over in our school systems and culture annually: that the First Thanksgiving Day is a testament to the importance of private property as a basis for prosperity and human dignity.
The Pilgrims’ experience has become dim memory, and in recent decades we have slipped once again into “taking from each according to his ability” by so-called “progressive” tax rates and “giving to each according to his need” by so-called “government” give-away programs. My poem below endeavors to speak aloud the facts of the case so that every Thanksgiving we can give a clarion call to restore the true basis of freedom in our land: a free enterprise system that recognizes that human rights begin with property rights. A free enterprise system that does not abridge the property rights of any human being in this great land from now on!Leonard E. Read speaking in 1961 said:
I would like to go back, a little over three centuries in our history, to the year 1620, which was the occasion of the landing of our Pilgrim Fathers at Plymouth Rock. That little colony began its career in a condition of pure and unadulterated communism. For it made no difference how much or how little any member of that colony produced; all the produce went into a common warehouse under political authority, and the proceeds of the warehouse were doled out in accordance with the authority’s idea of need. In short, the Pilgrims began the practice of a principle held up by Karl Marx two centuries later: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" — and by force!
Now, there was a good reason why these communalistic practices were discontinued. It was because the members of the Pilgrim colony were starving and dying. As a rule, that type of experience causes people to stop and think about it!
And they did. During the third winter Governor Bradford got together with the remaining members of the colony and said to them, in effect, that this coming spring they would try a new idea: each individual has a right to the fruits of his own labor. And when Governor Bradford said that, he enunciated the foundation of private property as clearly and succinctly as any economist ever had. The next harvest was plentiful. Governor Bradford recorded that: "Any generall wante or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day."
The First Thanksgiving — A Poem by Bobby MatherneIn the year of 1620
On the shore near Plymouth Rock
A pilgrim band sailed into dock
In this virgin land of plenty.
By rule of the majority
They agreed to share their harvest,
They plowed and planted all their best
Without the hint of a calamity.
The winds of winter chased the warmth
And painted snow flowers on the pane,
The icy drafts blew on stomachs
As empty as the frozen barn.
Their sharing pact failed the test,
Though they didn't falter in the least,
But when the time came to share the feast,
All they could share was their emptiness.
The meager food and starvation
Devastated the colony.
There were no food stamps then, you see,
Only freedom in this nation.
The governor's hands rose in despair,
"If we are going to save this town,
Everyone must be on his own,
Drop all the rules, try laissez-faire."Soon the pilgrims would discoverLeft alone to their resources
What we, alas, have long forgot.
To plant and harvest on their own,
They brought abundance to their home,
Thanksgiving with many courses.
Too many years ago, you say,
To have a lesson for today?
Look at Japan, for such a feat
Did in our history repeat.
General Mac in post-war Japan
Had control of the economy,
"How many items by our factory
Do you deem best to happen?"
Getting full of questions like this
Caused the general to bellow,
"There will be no rules to follow,
Do whatever you think is best."
The rest is anthropology
Created by technology —
Perennially we see prosperity
Can only grow in liberty.
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9. CLOSING NOTES:
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