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Good Mountain Press Presents DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#196
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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Doris Day (1922-2019) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ [ A singer, movie star, and animal lover] ~~~~~

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Quote for the Busting Out All Over Month of June:

One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.
— Elbert Hubbard, Author of "A Message to Garcia"

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ISSUE#196 for June, 2019

Archived DIGESTWORLD Issues

             Table of Contents

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

4. Cajun Story
5.   . . .
6. Poem from Hopkins — The Mystic Poet:"Inscape"
7. Reviews and Articles featured for June:

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

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

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

This month Violet and Joey learn about Escargot.
"Escargot" at

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Each month we choose to honor two Good Readers of our DIGESTWORLD from those all over the World. Here are the two worthy Honored Readers for June, 2019:

Burke Fountain in Taunton, MA

Lu Gray in Australia

Congratulations, Burke and Lu!

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Out Our Way:


Thanks for all the prayers my Good Readers, relatives, and friends have offered up for me. As a Catholic, I was taken aback a bit by my brother- and sister-in-law telling me that all the Episcopalians on the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain were praying for me. Thanks to sister-in-law Karen for bringing me some delicious blackberry cobbler she made with the berries from my bushes and for the two lemon meringue pies which daughter-in-law Sue made for me from my Mom's recipe. Also for the various friends who have come over for lunch with me, often bringing the food with them, especially Frank Arneman, Jim Webb, and gang. And how could I miss the fresh redfish and speckled trout, caught, fileted, and brought over by Rhonda and Zack. Our son Stoney has been a great help, coming whenever Del needed help getting me to the doctor in the early part of the month and keeping our second car running while I was not driving it daily. Our daughter Kim has been a frequent visitor, arranging a birthday party for Del in mid-month here which her siblings John and Stoney attended. Even my oldest daughter, Maureen visited me from across the river in Metairie.

Then a special visit from Kim and her husband Wes. Wes and I enjoyed catching up with each other while our wives enjoyed their favorite past time, shopping. Also our grandson Sam and his friend John stopped in. The two visitors from the longest distance away were Marylou and Brent from Vancouver came along with Charlie Cox, all of which enjoyed our West Portico and picking and eating our blackberries. Another visitor came from Oakland, California, Peter Marino, one of Stoney's Abadie & Marcie Street friends. And from Taunton, Massachusetts, long-time friend Burke Fountain stopped by for a visit. May I extend my warmest appreciation to all of you, those who came in person and those who offered their best wishes for my recovery through emails and cards.

I would like to extend my wishes and prayers for a quick recovery to Cynthia who had a recent knee replacement, Burke who had a knee operation, and Don who broke several ribs in a fall from a ladder.

Most of my photos again this month were taken in and around Timberlane, but this has been a busy place for visitors and various flora and fauna. So please enjoy the photos you were in and the ones you're seeing for the first time.



The battery-operated clock I use during the day began acting strange: losing time, blinking on and off, and the display varied slowly on and off as I looked at it, plus the time was off by two hours. I replaced its two AA batteries and the weird behavior continued. Upon closer inspection

I found out it has THREE AA batteries and some twit had only replaced TWO of them a decade or so ago, the third one had a 2014 expiration date and that was causing weird malfunctions. It was difficult to see the third battery, and even harder to replace it, but that fixed the problems.


The contact cleaner I used last month was no longer working on the bad remote, so I spent an hour with VIZIO tech support (gal in Mexico) to test the TV and Remote, trying to recover from its problems. First time anyone ever suggested unplugging TV pushing all its buttons and plugging it back in. Then with batteries OUT of the remote, she had me double-press EVERY BUTTON on the remote. Nothing worked. Then she gave me three places to order a new remote:,, and

I could have saved myself and her a lot of time and trouble by just buying a new remote for $7. I went to Amazon and decided to ordered two of them. I figured this would give me a backup in case of another remote button failure. After they came in, I decided we might as well use both of them, as Del often keeps the remote on the other side of her chair and this way, neither one of us will have to ask for the remote to be handed over to them from now on.


Del's PC wouldn't connect to the Internet one morning, so I troubleshot it and restored its functioning. Best I can figure what happened: her PC which connects via WiFi, re-connected un-expected to our FAST LOCAL WiFi channel which is configured differently from our HOUSE WiFi. After some research, I finally figured out how to switch her PC back to the HOUSE WiFI, changed its setting to AED, and her PC came on-line immediately. I took a screen shot and saved it as a 190606 file in her personal folder in case it happened again.


Our grandson Collin Hatchett graduated from Dutchtown High School this month He drove in to see us and we took him out to lunch at our favorite place, Houston's on St. Charles. Would have got a great photo of the three of us having lunch at the bar if anyone had thought of doing so, but we were too busy talking and eating. Usually that's up to me. Rene the parking guard came by the bar several times to say hi and visit. We ordered grilled artichokes to share, I had the redfish entree, Collin the Smoked Salmon appetizer and the baked potato soup sprinkled with bacon, Del had three appetizers including a baked potato. We had part of her potato and half of my redfish boxed to take home to enjoylater.

For the first time Staceie of AMEDISY replaced my catheter. Del worked very hard to get the application used in the Urologist's office to ease my discomfort during the replacement of the urinary catheter. Two weeks she called druggists all over town and finally got one to order the special liquid for us. Staceie was great. I barely felt anything, so little in fact, that I asked her if she had started, and she said, "I'm already finished."

I felt so great after the new catheter was installed, I took Del to lunch at Tony Mandina's. On our way leaving Mandina's someone called out to me, "Bobby". It was my first cousin Anne with her grand-daughter Chloe. Great to see her again. I felt strange not asking about her mother's health (my Aunt Lydia had died last year).

One night I went to my first Book Club meeting this year. I wanted to be sure that I could walk up the steps to our Clubhouse and up the long stairs to the second floor to the Library where the meeting is held. I met Calvin, a new member, at the front door. My clicker did not seem to work to open the door, until I took it out of my pocket and placed it close to the door sensor. Club members discussed a book claiming "Asia is the Future of the World". I usually come to the book club to to talk about books, but this night everyone was talking about economics. I did have one thing to share. They were talking about China stealing our intellectual property and getting ahead of us.

I quoted Kipling, 'They copied all they could copy, but they couldn't copy my mind, So I left them copying merrily, A year and a half behind." Not to worry, I added, we'll always be ahead of China and even more so when we stop them from stealing our intellectual property, the very thoughts and ideas that could make it possible for someone to claim that Asia is the future while ignoring that America is the one that Asia has been tapping to create that future! My Kipling quote spurred a little flourish of applause, something rare in our otherwise staid economics discussion. Ample reward for the long walk up and down the stairs that night.

The second to last week of May was devoted to reading and reviewing "Poetic Diction" by Owen Barfield. I had read this the first time in 1992, and I was amazed in my re-reading to find how influential Barfield's ideas had been on my thoughts in the past twenty-seven years. Not surprising, given how influential my two great mentors Ralph Waldo Emerson and Rudolf Steiner had been on Owen Barfield. My first review in 1992 was only a half-page summary as was my custom in my early reviews, so I devoted a week to writing and editing this new review of Poetic Diction, which will be featured in this month's DIGESTWORLD Issue.

Our neighbor Connie drove by one morning and stopped to say hello. As she left, she told me to check out her crop of daylilies in bloom in her front garden. You'll see these in various places in this Issue.


BASEBALL: Coach Manieri has his team stretched to the limit as it attempts to bring another Regional Playoff to Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge. Last night LSU held off Miss. State for 17 innings before ceding a 7-6 victory to them about 4 am in the morning in the SEC Tournament which is fondly referred to by sportcasters as the LSU Invitational because of LSU's phenomenal success at winning six tournament championships in the recent era under Paul Manieri. Then next LSU pulled an incredible walk-away victory 4-3 by creating TWO RUNS on a single passed ball. LSU earned a Regional to be played on campus in Alex Box Stadium.


Great news of LSU players like Javonte Smart eschewing the lure of the NBA and returning to LSU for another year, plus a great new recruit added to bolster the team.


LSU has a recruiting class rated No. 1 in the nation, so far. Tiger Nation is eagerly anticipating the coming new season, particularly seeing new players like running back John Emery hit the field in Purple and Gold gear.


Scott Woodward, our new athletic director, has inherited one of only five teams to finish near the top in both Football, Basketball, and Baseball last year as well as many other sports. Mondo Duplantis as a freshman has already set the NCAA record for the pole vault at 19 feet, 5 inches. It's a great time to be Tiger!


One of the fun organizations Del and I belong to is the Uptown Absinthe and Croquet Club which meets once a month for a competitive game of croquet, some tippling of absinthe, and the enjoyment of good food and company with casually coutured friends.

The photo at right, suitably antiqued by our host Tim Hobbes, shows the group who competed for the Golden Mallet award on Sunday afternoon, May 25.

The dapper gentleman with bow tie, Dennis, is holding the Golden Mallet of the winner, to which he had just inscribed his name. To the left is the second place winner, Kiernan, holding her Silver Mallet. The previous winner, Ysonde, is shown in a relaxed Hollywood Starlet pose on the floor across the foreground of the photo.

I was taking photos of the group (See at bottom of this issue) and I didn't make it into the group photo along with a half dozen other members.



Our blackberry bushes and loquat trees are finished fruiting, but the gardenias, daylilies are out in full force, and the Crepe Myrtles will soon join them in blooming. Del's trimming of begonias in the West and South Lawn is doing beautifully. Till we meet again in the warm, sunny days of June in New Orleans where natives take off clothes until they feel cool, God Willing and the River Don't Rise, whatever you do, wherever in the world you and yours reside, be it chilly Fall or steamy Summer,

Remember our earnest wish for this new year of 2019:



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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:

    Our modern words are palimpsests of primitive speech.
    Bobby Matherne American writer

    " 'If I've offended you, I'm sorry' is not a real apology, but I will accept it in the sense in which it is intended."
    Bobby Matherne (American writer, who on his 62nd birthday, said this in reply to someone who said, 'If I've offended you, I'm sorry.')

    Most people grow old like bread does: they grow stale. One can only stay young by re-inventing oneself!
    Bobby Matherne
    (American writer)

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

    Ever we look deeply into things already seen; Poetry carries us to the precipice to view things previously unseen.
    Bobby Matherne (1940 - ) written June 27, 1992 atop pages 6 and 7 of my copy of Owen Barfield's "Poetic Diction".

    Our modern words are palimpsests of primitive speech.
    Bobby Matherne (1940 - ) written June 27, 1992 in Owen Barfield's "Poetic Diction".

    Synchronicity is just coincidence with a pedigree!
    Bobby Matherne (1940 - ) written September 22, 2000 in my Journal.

    The spiritual world is to the material world as computer hardware is to its software.
    Bobby Matherne (1940 - ) written August 12, 2000 in my journal.

    Life is a result of the placebo effect, rightly understood.
    Bobby Matherne (1940 - ) written November 23, 1999 in an email to Warren Liberty.

    Some people spend their entire life perfecting their faults.

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

  • New Stuff on the Internet:
  • [add here]

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    Movies we watched this past month:

    Notes about our movies: Many of the movies we watch are foreign movies with subtitles. After years of watching movies in foreign languages, Arabic, French, Swedish, German, British English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and many other languages, sometimes two or three languages in the same movie, the subtitles have disappeared for us. If the movie is dubbed in English we go for the subtitles instead because we enjoy the live action and sounds of the real voices so much more than the dubbed. If you wonder where we get all these foreign movies from, the answer is simple: NetFlix. For a fixed price a month they mail us DVD movies from our on-line Queue, we watch them, pop them into a pre-paid mailer, and the postman effectively replaces all our gas-consuming and time-consuming trips to Blockbuster. To sign up for NetFlix, simply go to and start adding all your requests for movies into your personal queue. If you've seen some in these movie blurbs, simply copy the name, click open your queue, and paste the name in the Search box on NetFlix and Select Add. Buy some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. You get to see your movies as the Director created them — NOT-edited for TV, in full-screen width, your own choice of subtitles, no commercial interruptions, and all of the original dialogue. Microwave some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. With a plasma TV and Blu-Ray DVD's and a great sound system, you have theater experience without someone next to you talking on a cell phone during a movie plus a Pause button for rest room trips.
    P. S. Ask for Blu-Ray movies from NetFlix, and if it says DVD in your Queue, click and select Blu-Ray version.
    Hits (Watch as soon as you can. A Don't Miss Hit is one you might otherwise have missed along the way.):
    "Like Arrows" (2015) family movie moves through entire lifetime of a family which tackles and solves life's problems as they arise, hitting the solutions on target each time.
    "A Private War" (2018)
    about war correspondant Marie Colvin who put herself in harm's way to get the real story of the civilians being killed in war zones. A DON'T MISS HIT !
    "Person of Interest" (2011)
    James Cavezal in this 2011 to 2016 series stars as a crime preventor whose leads are based on computer analysis.
    "Equalizer: Two" (2019)
    Denzel Washington as special ops vet who helps victims equalize matters with their tormentors.
    "A Long Dumb Road" (2018)
    A young hero goes on a journey from Texas to Los Angeles to attend art school and meets this bum who helps him survive over a very long and dumb road trip.
    "Backdraft 2" (2019)
    Arson Fighter Sean talks to the Dragon and a crazy man (Don Sutherland) and knows how to do arson when necessary. A DON'T MISS HIT !
    "The Mule" (2018)
    Clint Eastwood stars in this movie as Earl who lived a long life, hauled many a load, and retired to tend his garden of daylilies. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
    "Aladdin" (2019)
    Disney remake of classic story of the Genie in the Lamp. The hero of this tale was a 'Superman' with a cape but no body (Magic Carpet) who rescues Aladdin who frees the Genie from his captivity in the lamp.
    "Bad Times at El Royale" (2018)
    straddling the state lines of California and Nevada is a naughty motel where anything can happen. Will anyone survive?
    "Juliet, Naked" (2018)
    a professor, taken with the music of disappeared singer Tucker Crowe, leaves his girl friend until he finds that she is dating Tucker Crowe. A DON'T MISS HIT !
    "Bel Canto" (2018)
    Julianne Moore stars as famous opera singer doing a private concert at South American mansion when it is interrupted by gunfire and guerrilla rebels take over for several weeks. What's to do in a large home for a month? They figure out fun things to do.

    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.

    "Claire's Camera" (2018) set in South Korea, an American Claire with a camera becomes part of a very slow and obscure family drama.
    "Letters from Baghdad" (2017)
    soporific documentary of the female 'Lawrence of Arabia' Catherine Bell.
    "Trust" (2016)
    Nicholas Cage and Elijah Wood in a Las Vegas drug bust operation, a bust of a movie.
    "Vice" (2018)
    docufiction about Dick Cheney, full of Hollywood anti-Republican messages (Democrats shown as paragons of virtue), hard to sift the wheat of truth from the riff-raff fictional chaff.
    "Holmes and Watson" (2018)
    spoofs the fictional characters Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson but filled with Hollywood anti-Trump messages squeezed in to spoil an otherwise might-be-fun movie.

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

    "A Night in Casablanca" (1945) with the madcap Marx Bros based a bit on the Bogart movie, but with Chico on piano and Harpo on what else? The Harp.
    "Letters from Baghdad" (2017)
    soporific documentary of the female "Lawrence of Arabia" Catherine Bell."Letters from Baghdad" (2017) soporific documentary of the female "Lawrence of Arabia" Catherine Bell.
    "Destination Wedding" (2018)
    Keanu Reeves in a 'not so excellent adventure' with Winona Ryder as they converse incessantly during a destination wedding.

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

    Boudreaux’s son, Tee-Boo, was in his fourth year as a LSU Freshman. One day the professor in his Political Science class called on him.

    He said, “Tee-Boo, can you tell the class what Roe vs. Wade was about?"

    Tee-Boo pondered the question for a while and finally said, "Dat was de decision George Washington had to make before he done crossed the Delaware River."

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    6. POETRY by BOBBY from Hopkins — The Mystic Poet:
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    NOTE: Gerard Manley Hopkins walked to classes on the grounds of Oxford University some five hundred years after Johannes Duns Scotus, the famous philosopher. When Hopkins first read Scotus's writings, he noted that he became, "flush with a new stroke of enthusiasm. It may come to nothing or it may be a mercy from God. But just then when I took in any inscape of the sky or sea I thought of Scotus." This quotation led me into a reverie about the inscape of the poet versus the landscape of the painter which resulted in this poem called, "Inscape".


    A painter with earthen colors
           oils a landscape within a canvas wall.

    A poet with ethereal colors
           coils an inscape within a footless hall.

    What was without is come within
           the framéd painter's scape.

    Will what was within ever escape
           the poet's footless halls?

    There stands the painter's view — Behold!
           A thumbnail of the world unfold'd.

    Where stands the poet's inscape rare,
           but in the harmonies of footéd air?

    Listen with your heart and soul
           if you would hear
           the inscape colors in your ears unfold.

    The painter works with oils and brush —
           The poet works with words and — hush.


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    7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for June:
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    For our Good Readers, here are the reviews and articles featured this month. The first and second reviews this month will be ones which were never published in early DIGESTWORLD ISSUES and will be of interest to our DIGESTWORLD Readers. The third one is a new review and will be added to the top of A Reader's Journal, Volume 2, Chronological List.

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

    1.) ARJ2: Christianity as Mystical Fact, GA# 8 by Rudolf Steiner

    The main theme of this book is mysteriosophy or the knowledge of mysteries or mystical facts, especially the mystical facts that lie at the basis of all religions and spiritual heritages, both Eastern and Western ones. Steiner goes over the Socratic, Platonic and Egyptian mysteries as he builds his way to the Christian mysteries, always with a view to explaining how the facts of the spiritual world are not directly accessible by sensory perception. What directly accessible means is a tricky issue. For myself, although I have no consciousness of super-sensible perception, I have come to understand how certain attractions, such as to flowers, originate in a bleed-thru from some unconscious super-sensible sight.

    [page 12] In ignorance of what being is, sense falsely tells us that what appears is.

    This reminds me of the famous statement by Francis Bacon who said in his condemnation of Aristotelean science, "I will not be held accountable to the very tribunal that is on trial." Aristoteleans could only understand the world in the light of Aristotle's science, and materialistic skeptics of today can only interpret the world in the light of Francis Bacon's sensory based science, up until now. But all is not lost, because even the most materialistic of us, unable to see into the depths of the river of life, are enchanted by the sparkling lights that dance on its surface.

    [page 13] To attain insight is to unfold a new organ, an event comparable to a plant unfolding the color of its blossom out of its former green and leafy state.

    [page 18] The skeptics . . . resembled a plant rejecting its own colorful flower because it felt complete with its green leaves, and therefore regarding anything more as "illusory appearance!"

    I can just hear my favorite skeptics as they read this, thinking, "How cute! Steiner's waxing poetical with the metaphors again. When is he going to say anything of real substance?" They would be betraying, by their own metaphor, the concrete thing-ness of their substance-based understanding of the world. They, who are always looking to add an additional leaf to their philosophy, are unable to create a truly new leaf, which is what a flower is.

    To understand the process that unfolds in the blossoming of a flower is to understand the entire evolution of the universe. For this process of flowering, in which the leafy plant reaches to create something that is unlike itself, requires it to reach into a higher plane, the astral world, for help, and when that help is bestowed on the plant, the flowering stage may proceed. And a glow of astral light hovers around the flowers. It is our innate response to this astral glow that causes us to use flowers to commemorate births, weddings, celebrations, and deaths. For we humans are always like the leafy plant reaching above ourselves for the guidance and assistance to move into our flowering stage.

    In growing plants, the etheric body is strongest and most present during the leafing stages. All its etheric energy wants to create more plant, more of its body, more of its stems and leaves. Unless some help is given by an astral force, one that necessarily transcends the etheric and physical bodies of the plant, the plant stays stuck in the leafing stage, and dies in the winter, unprepared, and without progeny. On Earth Day folks all around this globe gather to bemoan the loss of plant species that are disappearing by exactly that process. All the etheric energy of the plants are not enough to produce anything more than beautiful leaves and death of the species.

    Something more must be added. And that something more can only come from an infusion of astrality from beings that currently exist with astral bodies and so have astral forces at their disposal. Animals, humans, and on up the evolutionary scale all have astral forces. Someone who can see these astral forces in nature can easily observe the astral glow around flowers. Those of us who can't see the astral glow are nevertheless drawn to the flowers. What would a birthday, wedding, prom night, Mother's Day, Christmas, Easter, or funeral be without flowers? How empty without the hint of astrality — of astral forces present in the flowers! Bees are animals, and in their visits to flowers, bring their astrality in contact with the flowers and leave some of their astral glow. Humans admiring flowers in a garden impart some of their astral glow. With this booster shot of astral forces, the plant is now able to rise to its next level of evolutionary development: astrality, for a moment, a very important moment. And in that important moment, the plant creates a seed.

    It should be obvious that there are seeds that, materialistically perfect in every respect, are yet infertile, and no amount of soil, warmth, watering, or sun will cause them to grow. Farmers know this and plant more seeds than they need, or select the seeds very carefully from seed companies who know how to infuse astrality into seeds so that more will grow. But what is a fertile seed, seen in its spiritual reality? It is a small physical object, infused with an immanent etheric body, with a transcendent astral body of the plant-to-be glowing and hovering around it! The astral body cannot fit into the seed! It's too big!

    There is nothing the plant can do with its physical or etheric bodies, both of which reside easily within the seed, to create a fertile seed that will create new plants in the next spring after the original plant has ceased its physical existence and returned its etheric body to the group soul of the plant in the Earth. It's impossible, as impossible as it would be for a child to read, if it were left in a room full of books as soon as it was born, food shoved under the door, etc, so it could live. Then we would know what was the natural language of the child by what book it would be able to read. Frederick the Great did exactly that experiment and all the children died.

    So the plant needs astral forces to pro-create and those forces must come from outside of itself. The plant can pass along those forces immanent in itself, physical and etheric, but needs an infusion of the transcendent [to the plant] astral forces to pro-create.

    In this simple process, rightly understood, is the entire process of evolution revealed. From Saturn to Vulcan, from earliest physical body to the most distance future of spiritual evolution. At each stage an infusion from above is necessary for the move to the next stage.

    What is it about our pets that most attract us? When they exhibit a semblance of a human "I". At that point, one can imagine an egoic glow around that animal. As humans when we are filled with inspiration and intuitions, no doubt an angelic glow can be seen surrounding us. The auras of the Saints in artworks are pictorial representations of that supersensible glow.

    [page 21] Initiatory knowledge is thus an actual event in the cosmic process. It is the birth of a divine child — a process just as real as any natural process. The great secret of the mystai [mystics] was precisely this, that they creatively release the divine child in themselves.

    [page 27] "Eternity," says Heraclitus, "is a child at play. It is the reign of a child." The beginning of error lies in taking too seriously a great deal that does not deserve it. God has poured himself out into the world of things. To treat things seriously, apart from God, is to make them into "tombs of the divine." To disport ourselves with them like a child is to turn our serious intent toward rediscovering the underlying divinity, the God who sleeps spellbound in things.

    Surely a serious plant would look with disdain on one of its fellow plants that was so frivolous and playful as to create flowers all over itself. "Come back down to earth! Make some more green leaves! That's how to really live!" And yet, that is the very advice that comes from Lucifer and Ahriman, the higher being who, like Icarus, tried to fly too high, and were doomed to roam the face of the earth. It is the advice of one who tried and failed in starting a new business, and now says, "A good job with a regular salary, lots of greenbacks [leaves] — that's where it's at!" Such is the one who plays the game of "More of the Same" — life will always fall short of the flowering stage, which requires something different, something from without, a quantum jump to a new level.

    [page 161] This universal soul is the Logos, and if the Logos is to become flesh it must be through the repetition in fleshly existence of the macrocosmic events, being nailed to the cross and rising to a new life.

    When I read the above quote, I saw the whole devolution of Christ: from the time Christ entered the physical body of Jesus during the Baptism by John in the Jordan until the time the earth swallowed up His body in the tomb. In entering the body of Jesus, Christ filled the Ego Body [Human Stage of Evolution] of Jesus, which Ego Body had earlier left his body and entered that of his mother. [See ARJ, The Fifth Gospel.] As the events leading to the Mystery of Golgotha unfolded, Christ moved down through the levels of evolution. He was made to carry a huge wooden cross like a beast of burden [Animal Stage of Evolution] while being beaten with lashes. Then He was nailed to a wooden cross that was stuck in the ground in an upright position. He hung there, alive but immobile, like a being in the Plant Stage of Evolution. Later in the tomb His dead body entered the earth during an earthquake and returned to the Mineral Stage of Evolution. Thus the Bible story of the Way of the Cross shows us how Christ moved completely down the scale of Human Evolution.

    [page 163] The point is precisely that a thinking purified of all sensory content is the prerequisite of "higher knowledge," whose psychic content does not cease when it is no longer shored up by impressions from the senses.

    Here Steiner makes it clear that the skeptics who claim that spiritual science is somehow not a real science because it is devoid of sensory meaning and confirmation are actually half right. Spiritual science is necessarily devoid of sensory meaning and content. What makes it a science is the same thing that makes quantum mechanics a science. Experiments in quantum mechanics require specialized tools and instruments to record the transitions of subatomic quantum events.

    Without the subtle instruments, quantum mechanics would be devoid of verifiability. So, too, with spiritual science whose instrument is that most subtle of all instruments, the human being. Verifiability comes from humans who, taking similar paths, come upon similar truths during the process known as initiation. Steiner makes the point many times in this book that the initiatory paths of all religions and mystery schools have similar roots and processes. And at the bottom of all the processes is the individual human being who becomes the measuring instrument of the ultimate reality of the universe. It is Steiner's avowed design in the writing of this book "to show how Christianity came into being, from the standpoint of a mystical awareness" [page 176] — such mystical awareness being a way of becoming a human measuring instrument of the spiritual ultimate reality of the universe.

    But there is hope:

    [page 182] If we were really to follow in the footsteps of the great figures, the towering geniuses of modern science, we would apply to spiritual life the same approach they brought to bear on nature.

    And, if we were to take Steiner's advice, we would copy the processes that science applies to the material world and apply them to the spiritual world. This is, in fact, what Steiner has already done for us. That is one reason why he writes with such assurance as he does. He writes as an anthropologist who had visited a foreign country would write. He gives us his description of what he experienced while he was in this other world so that we may understand and may come to learn how to use our individual instruments of exploration in as useful a way as he. Where will all this lead us? Here's what Steiner says:

    [page 183] That would lead in the domain of spiritual life to a method of investigation as different from purely natural science as is geology from theoretical physics, or evolutionary theory from advanced chemical research. It would lead to higher methodological principles, which would certainly not be identical with those of natural science, but would be in agreement with all that we really mean by scientific inquiry.

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    2.) ARJ2: The Gospel of Luke, GA#114 by Rudolf Steiner

    Anyone who has read the Christmas story in St. Luke's Gospel and compared it to the Christmas story in St. Matthews's Gospel might well wonder if it's about the same Jesus. Rudolf Steiner says it's not — that there were two historical Jesus's born about the same time. How can Steiner make such a claim? To understand that, one needs to realize that the family trees that we are familiar with involve only the physical body, and the tracing of one's physical body and blood takes us back through our parents, our grandparents, and so forth.

    What about the other components of the human, the etheric body, the astral body, and the Ego body? These likewise have histories and each can be traced by the techniques of spiritual science which Steiner is adept at applying.

    Zoroaster or Zarathustra was the first person to look at the sun and see that the rays pouring forth from it to the earth represented the vesture or physical clothing of a great outpouring of spiritual light from the same region of space. Think about it this way: if there are brilliant spiritual beings in the universe, would they hide in the dark or would they align themselves with the brightest source of physical light available? Doesn't it make sense that both the spiritual and the physical worlds would be aligned in space?

    Zarathustra called this Spirit of the Sun Ahura Mazdao and said that this Spirit was coming ever closer to the earth, that He would visit the earth one day. This great Spirit came to be called by many names, among others, the Christ. This name was applied many hundreds of years before Jesus's birth.

    Zarathustra, when he died, because of his refined spiritual nature, left behind in the spiritual world his etheric, astral, and Ego bodies. Later his etheric body entered the man known by the name Moses and helped him to become a great leader of his people. Zarathustra's astral body entered the Egyptian Hermes who therefore possessed all the knowledge of Zarathustra and became a great teacher of that knowledge. Hermes is best known among modern day historians as the founder of the arts connected with writing. In 600 B. C. the Ego body of Zarathustra entered another Persian known as Zarathas, often confused with Zarathustra, who founded the Chaldean Mystery Schools. The wise men who studied in these schools of the east were variously called kings or Magi. They felt a deep connection to their beloved leader Zarathas and through him to their spiritual leader Zarathustra.

    [page 100] They saw in him the 'Star of Humanity', for 'Zoroaster' (Zarathustra) means 'Golden Star', or 'Star of Splendour'. They saw in him a reflection of the Sun itself. And with their profound wisdom they could not fail to know when their Master was born again in Bethlehem. Led by their 'Star', they brought as offerings to him the outer symbols for the most precious gift he had been able to bestow upon men. . . . Symbols [of] gold — the symbol of thinking, frankincense — the symbol of the piety which pervades man as feeling, and myrrh - the symbol of the power of will.

    The religious tradition streaming from Zarathustra to humankind was concerned with the outer world. Zarathustra's attention to the outer world showed up in his focus on the rays of the Sun that warmed all life externally and his focus on the outer traits of the human being.

    At the same time that Zarathustra's Ego was operating in Zarathas (600 B. C.), another great spiritual leader arose in India in the person of Gautama Buddha. The Bodhisattva that incarnated in Gautama led him to the doctrine of compassion and love known as the Eightfold Path. A brief summary of the Eightfold Path from pages 69 and 70 follows:

    1.) Right View — I view things from what appears to me outwardly.

    2.) Right Judgment - I judge in accordance with my right view.

    3.) Right Speech — I give true expression of my right view and judgment.

    4.) Right Action — I let my right view, judgment, and speech become deed.

    5.) Right Vocation — I act in my highest and best line of work.

    6.) Right Habit — I work steadily till right action becomes a habit in me.

    7.) Right Mindfulness - I link the present with the past and thus account for what I have already learnt in previous lives.

    8.) Right Contemplation — I let the things of the world speak directly to me without partiality to views of other humans or my former incarnations.

    [page 70] He [Buddha] had brought into the world a physical body able to unfold out of itself, forces that formerly could flow down from higher realms only. The first body of this kind was brought into the world by Gautama Buddha. . . . A power that [could] pass over into all men [was] then engendered.

    Let us summarize Buddha's life: the Bodhisattva came to earth, was purified by the Eightfold way, and when Buddha's body died, the Bodhisattva left earth, with no need ever to return in a physical body. One of the refined bodies of the Buddha after death remained close to earth - this spiritual body is known as the Nirmanakaya. This spiritual body returned in one of the Christmas stories as the "heavenly host" that appeared to the shepherds on the hillside.

    We are now in a position to look at the two Christmas stories and to make sense of why there should be two separate humans named Jesus born and living in Judea. To help you keep the two stories straight I have created a mind map in Figure 1. of the two Jesus's with all the pertinent connections.

    Figure 1.

    In the Gospel of St. Matthew, the genealogy of Jesus goes back through the kingly line of Solomon to King David. King Solomon as king was mostly concerned with the outside world, the traits of humans as they were shown outwardly by his subjects. The birth of Jesus was announced to the father Joseph. In this gospel appears the wondrous account of the three wise men from the east, the Magi bearing gifts for the baby Jesus, following their Star to his humble crib in Bethlehem. Shortly after Jesus's birth his mother and father take him to Egypt. Remembering that both Moses, bearing Zarathustra's etheric body, and Hermes, bearing Zarathustra's astral body, spent many years in Egypt, it is understandable that a trip would be made to Egypt so that, in addition to the Ego of Zarathustra, the infant Jesus might be exposed to, and by such exposure absorb the vestiges of the etheric and astral bodies of Zarathustra extant in Egypt.

    All of these things are consistent with what one would expect of the account of the birth of the glorified being of Zarathustra who was in his life on earth concerned with the things of the outside world and the outer traits of human beings.

    In the Gospel of St. Luke, the genealogy of Jesus goes back through the priestly line of Nathaniel to King David. Nathaniel as priest was mostly concerned with the inner world, the traits of humans as they are developed inwardly by those he administered to. The birth of Jesus was announced to his mother Mary. In this gospel appears the wondrous account of the "heavenly host" appearing to the shepherds tending their flocks on the hillside. All of these things are consistent with what one would expect of the account of the birth of the glorified being of Buddha who was in his life on earth concerned with the things of the inner world, the inner traits of human beings. Steiner identifies the "heavenly host" as the Nirmanankaya of Buddha, his glorified spiritual body that appears first to the shepherds in the sky and later around the face of Jesus when he is presented to Simeon. Simeon is the same being who in an earlier incarnation in Buddha's time wept when looking at the infant Gautama because he would not live to see the day "when this Saviour will walk the Earth as Buddha!" Thus it makes sense that when Simeon sees the radiance of the glorified Bodhisattva [Nirmanakaya] above the head of Jesus, he would say to himself, "Now you need no longer grieve, for what you did not live to see at that earlier time, you now behold: the glory of the Saviour shining above this babe. Lord, now let thy servant die in peace!" Steiner’s exact words on the matter follow:

    [page 54-55] These are the findings of spiritual investigation. It was the Bodhisattva of old who now, in the glory of Buddhahood, appeared to the shepherds. From the Akashic Chronicle we learn that in Palestine, in the 'City of David', a child was born to parents descended from the priestly line of the House of David. This child — I say it with emphasis — born of parents of whom the father at any rate was descended from the priestly line of the House of David, was to be shone upon from the very day of birth by the power radiating from Buddha in the spiritual world. We look with the shepherds into the manger where 'Jesus of Nazareth', as he is usually called, was born, and see the radiance above the little child; we know that in this picture is expressed the power of the Bodhisattva who became Buddha-the power that had formerly streamed to men and, working now upon humanity from the spiritual world, accomplished its greatest deed by shedding its lustre upon the child born at Bethlehem.

    When the Individuality whose power now rayed down from spiritual heights upon the child of parents belonging to David’s line was born in India long ago — when the Buddha to be was born as Bodhisattva — the whole momentous significance of the events described to-day was revealed to a sage living at that time, and what he beheld in the spiritual world caused that sage--Asita was his name--to go to the royal palace to look for the little Bodhisattva-child. When he saw the babe he foretold his mighty mission as Buddha, predicting, to the father's dismay, that the child would not rule over his kingdom, but would become a Buddha. Then Asita began to weep, and when asked whether misfortune threatened the child, he answered: 'No, I am weeping because I am so old that I shall not live to see the day when this Saviour, the Bodhisattva, will walk the Earth as Buddha!' Asita did not live to see the Bodhisattva become Buddha and there was good reason for his grief at that time.

    But the same Asita who had seen the Bodhisattva as a babe in the palace of King Suddhodana, was born again as the personality who, in the Gospel of St. Luke, is referred to as Simeon in the scene of the presentation in the temple. We are told that Simeon was inspired by the Spirit (Luke II, 25-32). Simeon was the same being who, as Asita, had wept because in that incarnation he would not be able to see the Bodhisattva attaining Buddhahood. But it was granted to him to witness the further stage in the development of this Individuality, and having 'the Holy Spirit upon him' he was able to perceive, at the presentation in the temple, the radiance of the glorified Bodhisattva above the head of the Jesus-child of the House of David. Then he could say to himself: 'Now you need no longer grieve, for what you did not live to see at that earlier time, you now behold: the glory of the Saviour shining above this babe. Lord, now let thy servant die in peace!'

    With this fuller explication of the stories of the two Jesus's, the Solomon Jesus of St. Matthew and the Nathaniel Jesus of St. Luke, we can now better understand what Steiner tells us in other lectures as he relates how the Ego of the Solomon Jesus enters that of the Nathan Jesus at age twelve. That is the time when the Nathan Jesus begins teaching the elders in the temple in Jerusalem and amazing them with his knowledge. It was the knowledge of Zarathustra recently acquired that he was sharing. At this age the Nathan Jesus experienced the confluence of the two ancient religious streams of Zarathustra and Buddha. With the streaming together of Zarathustra and Buddha into Nathan Jesus, the purified vessel was made ready to receive the Christ spirit.

    In the Gospel of St. Luke we are confronted with the pure compassion and love of Buddha translated into action. As Steiner says it:

    [page 57] Compassion in the highest sense of the word is the ideal of the Buddhist; the aim of one who lives according to the message of the Gospel of St. Luke is to unfold love that acts.

    How are we to act if our thoughts are filled with extracts of our previous incarnations that color and alter our every perception of sight, sound, feeling, taste, and smell? How many of our wishes to do things, to see things, are connected with these leftovers from previous lives? Can one live without these extracts?

    [page 66] Into everything man encounters in the present cycle of existence there is insinuated what has remained from earlier incarnations as 'desire'. If this element of desire were absent — so said Buddha — man would look out into the world as a divine being; he would let the world work upon him and no longer desire anything more than is granted to him, nor wish his knowledge to exceed what was bestowed upon him by the divine Powers; he would make no distinction between himself and the outer world, but would feel himself membered into it.

    The two religious streams from Zarathustra and Buddha were to merge in a Hebrew youth named Jesus who was descended from the Nathaniel line. In preparation for that event, the Hebrew people had to be prepared, and this preparation was by way of a holding back, a retardation of certain elements of development. Steiner states that the parallel development of two streams, one with advanced development and the other with delayed development as a key element in the processes that weave into human evolution. It is difficult to discuss these parallel developments without seeming to value one more highly than the other. In observing the motion of an amoeba, one will notice that its movement takes place by some parts of its single-celled body moving forward and other parts moving back — forward progress is not possible unless some parts move forward and others back. One might think of the forward moving part as the "male" principle and the staying back as the "female" principle: one creating a salient projection and the other a receptacle. Only by the reunion of the projected part and the receptacle can the seeds of new life be created.

    [page 114] The Indian people had been taught to realize that men evolve Dharma, the Law of the Soul, from their inmost being; the Hebrew people were trained to obey the Law given them from without.

    Thus it was not possible for the insights of Buddha's revelation in inner realization to develop within the Hebrew people until the time of the advent of Christ-principle as shown in the Gospel of St. Luke. Until Christ's time, deep revelations appeared only in individuals known as Prophets or Seers, such as Elijah, whose being straddled the earth and the spiritual worlds. Elijah was to re-appear united in the body of John the Baptist. When Mary visits John's mother, Elisabeth, while he was in her womb, the Nathan Jesus in Mary's womb had the Nirmanakaya or Spiritual Body of Buddha hovering above her, which awoke the "Ego of John the Baptist into activity," as described in the Gospel.

    In The Fifth Gospel Steiner explains how at age twenty-nine the Ego of Zarathustra leaves the body of Nathan Jesus who then wanders into the desert in the direction of John to be baptized. Here he explains why this Ego left:

    [page 130] Towards the thirtieth year the Zarathustra-Ego had accomplished its work in the soul of the Nathan-Jesus; the faculties of this soul had been developed to the highest possible degree and the mission of the Zarathustra-Ego was thus fulfilled. Having instilled into the soul all the faculties he had acquired through his own previous incarnations, Zarathustra could declare: 'My task is now accomplished!' — and a moment came when his Ego left the body of the Nathan Jesus.

    With the baptism of the Nathan Jesus, the Logos became flesh, and Christ began His teaching. When rebuffed for teaching 'sinners', Christ said, in Steiner's words adapted from Luke V, 36-37:

    [page 197] If I were to impart in the old way the entirely new impulse I have come to give to mankind, if a new form of teaching were not to replace the old, it would be as if I were to sew a piece of new cloth on an old garment or pour new wine into old wine-skins.

    Some two thousand years later we human are on the brink of another jump in evolution, as Steiner says: "the human heart is demanding the spiritual-scientific elucidation of the Bible." That makes the work of understanding the Bible out of our current evolutionary stage an important task.

    [page 151] Those who are interested in the truths of spiritual science today not merely because they stimulate the intellect, but who can be enraptured by and derive living satisfaction from these truths — such men will be the forerunners of those in whom the mastery of the soul and spirit over the physical and material has been achieved.

    With the living presence of Christ in us, we can allow to flow from us the Love and Peace in the words of the Gospel of St. Luke as expressed by Rudolf Steiner:

    [page 203] The revelation of the spiritual worlds from the Heights and its answering reflection from the hearts of men brings peace to all whose purpose upon the evolving Earth is to unfold good will.


    See also these two reviews for more information on the Two Jesus Children stories:
    The Incredible Births of Jesus by Edward Reaugh Smith
    The Two Children by David Ovason

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

    Footnote 1. The title and book cover are from the latest Edition of these lectures which has a different pagination from the earlier edition I reviewed. As a result the [page nnn] fronting each text citation will not match those of the new edition. The translation will be slightly different as well.

    Return to text directly before Footnote 1.


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    3.) ARJ2: Poetic Diction — A Study in Meaning by Owen Barfield

    Owen Barfield provides the reader a way to differentiate prose and poetry. He writes in the Afterword, "If the book does anything, it erects a structure of thought on the basis of a felt difference between what it calls "the Prosaic" and "the Poetic." I first read this book in 1992 and wrote, as was my practice in my early days of writing reviews, a short half-summary review of the book. What led me to examine my copy of Poetic Diction again was a book which fell into my hands from my bookshelf entitled, Splintered Light, Logos and Language in Tolkien's World by Verlyn Flieger published in 1983.

    She wrote in her book:

    [page 39, Splintered Light] Barfield suggests that myth, language, and man's perception of his world are inseparable. Words are expressed myth, the embodiment of mythic concepts and a mythic world view. The word myth, in this context, must be taken to mean that which describes man's perception of his relationship to the natural and supernatural world. Barfield's theory postulates that language, in its beginnings, made no distinction between the literal and the metaphoric meaning of a word, as it does today. Indeed, the very concept of metaphor, of one thing described in terms of another, was non-existent. All diction was literal, directly giving voice to man's perception of phenomena and his intuitive mythic participation in them. The modem distinction between the literal and the metaphoric use of a word suggests a separation of the abstract from the concrete which did not exist in earlier times. Man in his beginnings had a vision of the cosmos as a whole, and of himself as a part of it, a vision which he has long since left behind. We now perceive the cosmos as particularized, fragmented, and wholly separate from ourselves. Our consciousness and the language with which we express it have changed and splintered. In that earlier, primal world-view, every word would have had its own unified meaning, embodying what we now can understand only as a multiplicity of concepts, concepts for which we (no longer able to participate in the original world and world view) must use many different words.

    And summed up the situation here:

    [page 41, Splintered Light] This is the theory which Tolkien told Lewis had "modified his whole outlook." Nor is it difficult to see why. To accept such a theory — and Tolkien clearly did — would be to accept a whole new way of looking at words, to see them not just as parts of a language but as fragments of the Logos and integral elements in man's way of relating to his surroundings. Tolkien commented to Lewis that Barfield's concept "stopped him in time" from saying things about language which he must have then seen as wrong or misleading.

    Clearly Tolkien found something important in Barfield's Poetic Diction, and Flieger showed me where to begin looking, "The genesis of Poetic Diction was an article Barfield had written in 1922 on the history and changing of meaning of the word ruin." I searched through Poetic Diction until I found his ruin essay on pages 116 through 126 (obviously from the 1922 article) in which he decoded, excavated, and showed the progress of this four-letter word from 1375 A. D. until the present day.

    Barfield gives us an example of philology(1) at its best, in his pinpoint focus on a very short word:

    [page 126] In this chapter, I have taken only one English word, and one no richer in itself than a thousand others. Yet it serves well enough to show how the man of today, overburdened with self-consciousness, lonely, insulated from Reality by his shadowy, abstract thoughts, and ever on the verge of the awful maelstrom of his own fantastic dreams, has among his other compensations these lovely ancestral words, embalming the souls of many poets dead and gone and the souls of many common men. If he is a poet, he may rise for a moment on Shakespeare's shoulders — if he is a lover, then, certainly, there are no more philters, but he has his four magical black squiggles, wherein the past is bottled, like an Arabian Genie, in the dark. Let him only find the secret, and there, lying on the page, their printed silence will be green with moss; it will crumble slowly even while it whispers with the thunder of primeval avalanches.

    No lover of words, whether a reader or writer of prose or poetry, can help but being shaken to the core by these thoughts of Barfield. He brings every word on a page to life. He becomes like Prince Charming who kisses the Sleeping Beauty of every word on the forehead, awakens them from their sleeping charm, and releases them into life again. Since reading Poetic Diction in 1992, I wrote several times about words as Sleeping Beauties, including this poem (2).

    In his Preface to the Second Edition, Barfield writes: ". . . this book grew out of two empirical observations, first, that poetry reacts on the meanings of the words it employs, and, secondly, that there appear to be two sorts of poetry." He doesn't specify the two sorts of poetry, but claims to present a theory of poetic diction, a theory of poetry, and a theory of knowledge, and thus the sub-title of the book is "A Study of Meaning." (Page 14)

    It has occurred to me that a true philosopher would question many of the so-called truths of modern twenty-first century science, and yet so few do. Barfield claims that science is no longer considered to be a newcomer whose work is based on philosophy, but that the two have changed place. Today any philosopher seems to support science rather than question it. "If he is a philosopher, he regards it as his business, not to question the scientific assumptions of the day, but rather to justify the ways of science to man." (Page 18) It is as if the child, Science, has become the father of the man, Philosopher. As such, any one who questions the ghosts of logic in such closely-held scientific-truths as greenhouse gases and global warming will be ridiculed by self-labeled true scientists, who are in fact only empiricists pushing buttons and trying things out.

    Barfield gives us a useful metaphor: think of the Universe as a large automobile in which everyone lived and no one knew anything about it. Two groups developed: the first group was concerned with the invisible structure of the car, the second with pushing levers to see what happens. Soon the pushing-levers second group decided that the first group was merely manipulating meanings and that it was only by pushing levers that one could attain knowledge. They began pushing on smaller and smaller levers and the car began going faster and faster, heading for a crash! Knowledge of this sort, in other words, is like a ship which crashes upon entering the harbor it has been seeking. Poetry on the other hand is aiming for an expanding of consciousness. (Page 26)

    He has led us to his understanding of where poetry exists. It is not just sound waves in the air or ink-marks on paper. He says that poetry "exists primarily in the world of consciousness." (Page 41)

    [page 41] Language itself, we feel, only springs into being as it is uttered by men, or heard by men, or thought by men. Whatever poetry may be, then, it is something more than the signs or sounds by which it is conveyed.

    In my reading I often stumble upon passages of prose which can be unmasked as poetry; I call these "Found Poems" and whenever it's appropriate, I extract these to present them as poems so that they might be better appreciated for their poetic essence. For example, in Ralph Waldo Emerson's Journal there appeared, completely formatted as prose, a lyrical passage that begged to be sung aloud about the early steam railroad engines which sounded like tea kettles whistling.

    (See RWE Journal near the end.) Barfield describes such found poems:

    [page 49] . . . a given group of words may be a vehicle of poetry to one individual, or to a group of individuals, and not to another. It may, for instance, be unpoetic to the consciousness which originates it, but poetic to the consciousness which receives or contemplates it.

    The poet can be the agent provocateur, moving a ghostly coil through the reader's magnetic force field and creating an electric current of poetic mood. When the poet creates a transition through the planes of consciousness, a poetic mood flows in the reader or listener.

    [page 52] So it is with poetic mood, which, like the dreams to which it has often been compared, is kindled by the passage from one plane of consciousness to another. It lives during that moment of transition and then dies, and if it is to be repeated, some means must be found of renewing the transition itself.

    Life requires change, a movement through physical states as well as states of consciousness. The smallest thing, such as the morning dew, can be understood as essential for life on Earth.

    [page 53] Everlasting day can no more freshen the earth with dew than everlasting night, but the change from night to day and day back again to night.

    There must be something dewing at some point on the Earth at every moment. Here is my poem inspired by Barfield quote above:

    In the arms of everlasting day
           Dew dries up and goes away,

    But couched in the cool blackness of the night
           Dew returns in wet delight.

    Unless there be an ebb and flow,
           Night-time come and daylight go,

    No dew would e'er intrude
           Upon the midnight quietude.

    The spinning globe creates the dew
           And in its wake
    It spins a web of life anew.

    Thus may we forsake
           our pride, vanity, and hubris, too

    Remembering our
           origin is humble as the dew.


    The humblest thing in our surroundings can prove to be essential to our life; it may never be understood until it goes away. The simplest impressions we received early in life may last a lifetime, becoming more revered each decade and never questioned.

    [page 54] Youth in these matters governs maturity, and while men may develop their early impressions more systematically and find confirmations of them in various quarters, they will seldom look at the world afresh or use new categories in deciphering it.

    Here again is the sense of the expression "the child is the father of man" revealed. We climb into our box of impressions as a child and spend our lives confirming their accuracy, often never considering the possibility of thinking outside or climbing outside the box. We are able to see best what we have already seen.

    [page 65] The most conspicuous point of contact between meaning and poetry is metaphor. For one of the first things that a student of etymology — even quite an amateur student — discovers for himself is that every modem language, with its thousands of abstract terms and its nuances of meaning and association, is apparently nothing, from beginning to end, but an unconscionable tissue of dead, or petrified metaphors.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "Language is fossil poetry" which can mean that whenever we speak or write we are creating "sermons in stone" with our words. With this thought in mind, I wrote a poem "Sermons in Stone" which can be read here. Emerson also wrote, "Every word was once a live metaphor." Over time the liveliness of the metaphor fades away and is lost except to the most ardent philologist.

    C. S. Lewis wrote in his Studies in Words, "Words progress from descriptive to evaluative." He showed us evolution or rather devolution of some words. He helped me suss out a meaning which had always puzzled me: "Why was my godfather's last name Bonvillain?" To the casual observer the name seems to be an oxymoron meaning a good (bon) bad guy (villain)! Aha! A villain originally meant a man of the village, so a good man of the village would be a bonvillain and be fully descriptive.

    Over time, when things went missing around the village surrounding the Lord's manor, someone invariably blamed a man of the village, saying it was one of them villains. Thus, villain devolved into bad person when it went from a descriptive word into an evaluative word. C. S. Lewis turned me into a philologist with his fine book, making it possible for me to see in words novel meanings which I had been previously unaware of.

    Barfield talks of "primitive languages in which there are words for 'gum tree', 'wattle-tree', etc., but none for 'tree'"; and R. R. Marett, in his little book, Anthropology, remarks that in some crude tongues, although you can express twenty different kinds of cutting, you cannot say 'cut'."

    I have encountered in many places talk of Eskimos having 21 words for different kinds of snow, but no one mentioned whether they have perhaps no word for "snow". The leap of consciousness required to generalize "tree", e.g., from the individual names for various trees had not yet reached the people in their language. To have the word "snow" and twenty-one adjectives for the specific type of snow is an advantage of modern peoples, not a defect.

    Were earlier civilizations full of poets as Max Müller suggested, living in a wonderful "metaphorical period"? Or did these peoples appear to us as poetic because they perceived without generalizing, e.g., by coming up with the word "snow" for all 21 kinds of the icy substance that filled their daily lives? Barfield rejects these two possibilities and suggests a third possibility in which these "apparently metaphorical values were latent in meaning from the beginning."

    The Tower of Babel suggested the chaos that could result if people let go of the words attached to their referent objects and were unable to communicate with each other. I wrote a short verse called "Poem in Waiting" in the back of my copy of Poetic Diction, imagining an Ark instead of a Tower:

    A Poem in Waiting

    Two by two and
           Side by side
           They gathered at the Semantic Ark.

    Where two by two
           Each Object and its Reference
           Were loaded aboard
           Hand in Hand
           Showing its name.

    There was the 4-legged, long-nosed snout
           Holding onto to 'anteater' walking by
           as Noah announced,

    "When you get abroad,
           you must hold onto
           your name for dear life.

    "If you get separated,
           there will be complete chaos."


    Barfield says:

    [page 86, 87] It is these 'footsteps of nature' whose noise we hear alike in primitive language and the finest metaphors of poets. Men do no invent those mysterious relations between separate external objects, and between objects and feelings or ideas, which it is the function of poetry to reveal. . . . The language of primitive men reports them as direct perceptual experience. The speaker has observed a unity, and is not therefore himself conscious of relation. But we, in the development of consciousness, have lost the power to see this one as one. Our sophistication, like Odin's, has cost us an eye; and now it is the language of poets, in so far as they create true metaphors, which must restore this unity conceptually, after it has been lost from perception.

    Words are palimpsests of primitive man. The philologist can examine these layers of meaning which were once seen directly and with imaginative archaeology, they can be brought to the light of day once more.

    Barfield disdains the modern propensity to "projecting post-logical thoughts back into a pre-logical age", calling it "Logomorphism". This is a process I have noted for several decades which I call "retrodiction", talking about something which pre-dates us using our current way of speaking. Note the wonderful metaphors Barfield calls upon in this passage.

    [page 90] Whatever we call it, there is no denying that it is at present extraordinarily widespread, being indeed taken for granted in all the most reputable circles. Imagination, history, bare common sense — these, it seems, are as nothing beside the paramount necessity that the great

    Mumbo Jumbo, the patent, double-million magnifying Inductive Method, should be allowed to continue contemplating its own ideal reflection — a golden age in which every man was his own Newton, in a world dropping with apples. Only when poesy, who is herself alive, looks backward, does she see at a glance how much younger is the Tree of Knowledge than the Tree of Life.

    During my long career in computers, I came to understand the difference between process and content. Executable code in software creates a process in the computer hardware(3), and the data is content which is operated upon by the executable code in the CPU. Over the years I came to see that the very words we used had process and content attributes. Verbs are process words and nouns are content words.(4) My essay Art is the Process of Destruction contains my earliest exposition of this "process and content" dichotomy. Now I discover from Barfield that Homer's epics speak in process form and Virgil's epic, appearing later, takes on a content form.

    [page 98] And we find this contrast — a contrast, as it were between movement and rest — working itself out in broader curves in the descriptions of the shields (Iliad, xviii and Aeneid, viii, 607-731),

    where Homer instinctively translates the description of motionless objects into action, while Virgil finds it natural to employ the static mode of 'here is...', 'there is...'. Importantly, as Barfield adds in a footnote: "Moreover, Homer shows us Hephaestus actually fashioning the shield, whereas Virgil speaks as a spectator examining the finished product."

    Thus, even in the simple description of a shield, Homer lets us follow the process of making the shield, while Virgil describes the shield as content, a finished object.

    These considerations leads Barfield to distinguish two types of poetry, the fluid and the architectural types.

    [page 98] To characterize further the difference between what I have ventured to describe as the fluid type of poetry and the later, architectural type: in the later, elisions tend to become less frequent, whilst (in verse) the number of syllables in a single foot or time-interval grows less easily variable.

    Clearly he points out, "The fluid type of verse is made for reciting or singing aloud (ala Homer), and probably gains more than it loses by this method of delivery." The poetry which the verbal story-teller Homer delivered was not poetry to him but the only way Homer had of sharing his stories. If someone had interrupted Homer to point this out, "Homer, you are speaking poetry", Homer would likely have denied it by words spoken in the same verse as his story.

    [page 103] Owing to familiar associations, this use of the word 'poetic' may still be misleading, unless we are willing to consider it a little further. In II, 3, it was pointed out as matter of immediate experience that what is poetry to the reader or hearer need not have been poetry to its maker.

    This may now be put more strongly: inasmuch as man is living the poetry of which he is the maker, and as long as he is so doing, it cannot be poetry to him. In order to appreciate it, he himself must also exist, consciously, outside it; for otherwise the 'felt change of consciousness' cannot come about. Now nothing but the rational, or logistic, principle can endow him with this subjective — self-consciousness. Hence it was justly inferred (IV, 3) that the functioning of the rational principle is indispensable, if appreciation is to take place. The absolute rational principle is that which makes conscious of poetry but cannot create it; the absolute poetic principle is that which creates poetry but cannot make conscious of it.

    What Barfield is indicating is that the more absolute poetic principle (the more process), the less absolute rational principle (the less content), in other words, the more poetic principle, the less appreciation of the poetry.

    As Barfield said of the critic (Page 108) 'to write well of love a man must be in love, but to correct his writing he must be out of it again'. He adds, "Yet if the intellectual and active powers are, in Emerson's phrase, 'exclusive', the interval of time which must elapse between their alternations need not be fixed." In my own writing, I allow about three days to elapse after I have written an important piece of work before I am able to correct it. My copy-editor can fix minor typos and point out inconsistencies in my text, and I can repair these immediately, but I need three days or more before I can execute a process I call "playing with sentences". This is the time required for me to read my work as if I were reading someone else's words and allows me to spot areas of lack of understanding.
    They show up to me this way. I'm reading a sentence or paragraph and it doesn't seem to make sense. It did when I wrote the text in the heat of creativity, but after cooling off, I am as lost any other reader would be reading it. That is when I have to return to my mind what I intended to say and to re-write it until it says exactly that. This cooling-off period is what Barfield calls "the time-interval between the mood of poetic creation proper and the mood of appreciation" (Page 109), or as I would call it, the time interval between the process of creating a poem and the enjoyment of the content which resulted from it.

    Barfield reminds us what the poet Shelley wrote in A Defense of Poetry:

    [page 105] 'In the infancy of the world, neither poets themselves nor their auditor are fully aware of the excellence of poetry: for it acts in a divine and unapprehended manner, beyond and above consciousness; and it is reserved for future generations to contemplate and measure the mighty cause and effect in all the strength and splendor of their union.'

    In the chapter "The Making of Meaning" Barfield's words and ideas on pages, 132 and 133 inspired me to pen this verse:

            Ode to the Morning Star

    O, give me the pure heat of poetic expression
           where juxtaposition
           lays ruin to logic and grammar.

    Logic? What need have I of logic?
    Grammar itself melts in the force of unthinking.

    As a baker of words
           my mind forms new terms
           like gingerbread in the oven.

    What need has the morning sky of a new star? you ask.
    Does not the morning sky enjoy a new star?

    Let me Wing to the morning star,
           Singing: A new Word is born!


    Barfield writes about words with strange meanings:

    [page 133, italics added] The answer to this is that the meaning of such words — like all strange meaning — while not expressible in definitions and the like (the prosaic), is indirectly expressible in metaphor and simile (the poetic). That is to say, it is suggestible; for meaning itself can never be conveyed from one person to another; words are not bottles; every individual must intuit meaning for himself, and the function of the poetic is to mediate such intuition by suitable suggestion.

    A bottle cannot contain radio waves, nor can words be bottles of meaning. Words are like the carrier waves of radio signals broadcasting meaning upon the world. The tuning of the hearer idiosyncratically separates the meaning from its carrier waves.

    Barfield on page 134, 135 discusses a book entitled The Meaning of Meaning which begins by positing that 'it is impossible thus to handle a scientific manner in metaphorical terms'. Paradoxically the authors never acknowledge the relationship of meaning to metaphor.

    [page 134, 135] The authors of The Meaning of Meaning have never practiced the gentle art of unthinking, though it is one for which the subtlety and agility of their intellects must, as a matter of fact, make them peculiarly fitted. As a result, they are absolutely rigid under the spell of those verbal ghosts of the physical sciences, which today make up practically the whole meaning-system of so many European minds. This may seem a strong expression; yet surely nothing but a kind of enchantment could have prevented two intelligent people who had succeeded in writing a treatise some four hundred pages long on the 'meaning of meaning', from realizing that linguistic symbols have a figurative origin; a rule from which high-sounding 'scientific' terms like cause, reference, organism, stimulus, etc., are not miraculously exempt! That those who profess to eschew figurative expressions are really confining themselves to one very old kind of figure, might well escape the ordinary psychological or historical writer; it usually does; that it should escape the specialist in Meaning is somehow horribly tragic. And indeed the book is a ghastly tissue of empty abstractions.

    Want examples of the "verbal ghosts of the physical sciences" which besiege politicians on all sides today as they plea for money for their causes, claiming to be supported by hard scientific facts? These verbal ghosts are easy enough to find: global warming, coastal erosion, sea level rise, etc. One notes how these new causes have replaced such earlier scourges such as acid rain which has been completely discredited, having been found to be the natural effect of the environment and not caused by human intervention. One would think that a true scientist would be skeptical of the claims of those who use 'scientific terms like cause, reference, organism, stimulus, etc.' which are indeed metaphorical terms completely introjected as fact by oblivious scientists. Barfield thinks so.

    [page 135] Now a great deal — perhaps most — of the technical vocabulary of philosophy and science can be shown to be not merely figurative, but actually metaphorical.

    Barfield has a lot more to say about the issue of what constitutes real science. And what he says may constitute an "inconvenient truth" and uncomfortable revelation for many verbose barkers of the verbal ghosts of science today.

    [page 138, 139] It has already been emphasized that the rational principle must be strongly developed in the great poet. Is it necessary to add to this that the scientist, if he has 'discovered' anything, must also have discovered it by the right interaction of the rational and poetic principles? Really, there is no distinction between Poetry and Science, as kinds of knowing, at all. There is only a distinction between bad poetry and bad science. That the two or three experimental sciences, and the two or three hundred specialized lines of inquiry which ape their methods, should have developed the rational out of all proportion to the poetic is indeed an historical fact — and a fact of great importance to a consideration of the last four hundred years of European history. But to imagine that this tells us anything about the nature of knowledge; to speak of method as though it were a way of knowing instead of a way of testing, this is — instead of looking dispassionately at the historical fact — to wear it like a pair of blinkers.

    William Blake claimed that without the poetic ability, "the philosophic and experimental would soon be at the ratio of all things, and stand still, unable to do other than repeat the same dull round." Yes, much like the melancholic rants that verbose barkers of today's super-rational science intone from public platforms today.

    [page 144] In Platonic terms we should say that the rational principle can increase understanding, and it can increase true opinion, but it can never increase knowledge. And herein is revealed the levity of chanting with too indiscriminate praises the triumphal 'progress' of our language from Europe to Cathay.

    How could anyone remember all the words of Homer's epics before they were written down? Barfield points out in footnote on page 146, that, "before the invention of writing, metrical form was deliberately adopted as an aid to memory."

    [page 146] Nature herself is perpetually rhythmic. Just as the myths still live on a ghostly life as fables after they have died as real meaning, so the old rhythmic human consciousness of Nature (it should rather be called a participation than a consciousness) lives on as the tradition of metrical form.

    Participation mystique is a rhythmic feat
           that pitters and patters in metrical feet.

    That is how I would express the metrical tradition of Homer.

    [page 147] We can only understand the origin of meter by going back to the ages when men were conscious, not merely in their heads, but in the beating of their hearts and the pulsing of their blood — when thinking was not merely of Nature, but was Nature herself.
           It is only at a later stage that prose (= not-verse) comes naturally into being out of the growth of that rational principle which, with its sense-bound, abstract thoughts, divorces man's consciousness from the life of Nature.

    Barfield writes of the separation of prose from verse as he might speak, as his Solicitor-self, of a bill of divorce.

    [page 149] Thus, if we chose to confine our prophetic gaze to language and its 'progress', we should certainly behold Poetry giving poor Verse a bill of divorce and flying at some distant date into the arms of prose.

    Next he tackles the difference between the minor poet and the great poet, not in terms of their content produced, but rather in terms of the process that each uses. First, he describes the minor poet — and poets should beware: he may pin the tail on your donkey self.

    [page 159] For a certain kind of pupil — as though more concerned to please his master than to digest his lesson — insists, as it were, on learning the lesson off by heart. This is the minor poet. The minor poet is appreciator rather than creator. He imitates, because he must have his idiom established, acknowledged, labeled in his own consciousness as 'poetic' before he can feel that he is writing poetry.

    He is always trying to give himself the sensations which he has received from reading the works of greater poets. And since his energies go more into contemplating than creating, it is even possible that he extracts more aesthetic pleasure from his own work than the great poet does.

    Here he describes not only the minor poet, but the minor artist in all genres — the shopping mall artworks contain many examples of their work. The true artists all fields strive to break the mold of the extant artists; to express to others something by their work, rather than to impress others by their work. For this reason, their early works are considered ugly, not pleasing, to the eye(5). Replace the word poet with artist and what Barfield says still holds.

    [page 159] A poetic meaning is already in the words and mannerisms which the minor poet is instinctively drawn to use and imitate. Whether it is there as a legacy from the ancient poetic meaning in all language,

    or whether it is there because it has been put there by some original poet in the past, the fact remains that it is there. It is to do some of my work for me, thinks he (though not, of course, in so many words); let me fit my own emotional experience as neatly as I can into the established poetic molds, and the result will give me something, will comfort me, intoxicate me.

    Often I have found a new form of poetry, such as when I discovered the triolet(6), and my temptation to write a poem using the triolet form was unstoppable. My use of the sonnet form is one I fall back on to express a sentiment on a special occasion to my wife. None of my uses of these forms qualifies me as anything other than a minor poet with a creative bent. Barfield explains what a great poet is.

    [page 160]The great poet, on the contrary, is himself the giver. He is giving out all the time — wisdom to other men, meaning to language. This he does by externalizing as fully as is possible in words his own first-hand experience beyond them. There is, indeed, a certain simplicity and sobriety about the activity of men who expend more energy upon creation than upon appreciation. If they are poets, they do not require to wear their hair long or to neglect their accounts in order to remind themselves of the fact.

    Archaism as defined by Barfield is of two types, the literary and the colloquial. The literary archaism brings back to life academic words long fallen out of use. The colloquial form utilizes words in spoken form, not in literary use, from an earlier time.

    [page 166] These great movements of archaism, which are at the same time returns to Nature, are only inaugurated, as we should expect, by the greater poets. They are led by poets with something to say, in other words, with something to give. It is these who break away from the old 'poetic diction' in its futile sense, and it is not their fault that what they create eventually becomes a new one. At first, indeed, so far from being the fashion, their language is likely to find it difficult to get a hearing at all.

    True poetry, like true art, is a process of the destruction of the sameness of expectations built up over time, a sameness which when broken up often seems ugly or repugnant, at first. For this reason true art in all fields gives critics great trouble, leading them to ignore the great contemporary geniuses of their own time.

    [page 166, 167] For the critic, like the minor poet (they are often one even in corporeal substance) needs to have his poetry in an idiom already duly established as poetry, before he can appreciate it as such. And usually nothing but time can bring this about; as the new style percolates through the more lively and original spirits till at last it receives the franchise of the pedants and the literary snobs. Thus, it so often comes about that the fame of great poets is posthumous only. They have, as Shelley said, to create the taste by which they are appreciated: and by the time they have done so, the choice of words, the new meaning and manner of speech which they have brought in must, by the nature of things, be itself growing heavier and heavier, hanging like a millstone of authority round the neck of free expression.

    The new genius is like a prophet being born of a virgin which the priests declare to be an abomination.

    [page 167] We have but to substitute dogma for literature, and we find the same endless antagonism between prophet and priest. How shall the hard rind not hate and detest the unembodied life that is cracking it from within? How shall the mother not feel pain?

    Barfield explains how a minor critic will likely devolve into a collector over time.

    [page 169] As time passes and the dammed springs of poetic impulse which first impelled him to criticism dry up, his criticism becomes no more than a hunting for subtle sensations and high flavors, and then a nice classification of these according to similar sensations and flavors enjoyed in the past. He invents proper epithets like Dantesque, Dickensian, Shavian, to save himself the trouble of interpretation; and these become less and less significant as they are drawn from more and more minor artists; till at last his work tells us nothing about its subject-matter and too much about its author.(7)

    What is love, Barfield asks and answers.

    [page 175] Love is the begetter of intimate knowledge; for what we love it is not tedious but delightful, to observe minutely. In a footnote he adds, "Hatred, as in the case of satire, or any powerful feeling may lead to a similar result. It is really indifference, alone, which accepts generalization as sufficient."

    Barfield closes out his chapter on Strangeness this way:

    [page 177] At the risk of tedious repetition, I would insist once more that this aesthetic value of strangeness overlaps, but does not coincide with, the ancient and proverbial truism that familiarity breeds contempt. It is not correlative with wonder; for wonder is our reaction to things which we are conscious of not quite understanding, or at any rate ot understanding less than we had thought. The element of strangeness in beauty has the contrary effect. It arises from contact with a different kind of consciousness from our own(8), different, yet not so remote that we cannot partly share it, as indeed, in such a connection, the mere word 'contact' implies. Strangeness, in fact, arouses wonder when we do not understand; aesthetic imagination when we do.

    Two of the people Barfield seems to most admire, and I would agree with him on that opinion, are Ralph Waldo Emerson and Rudolf Steiner. Emerson I discovered at eighteen when I entered college and found the bookstore there had books never found in my local rural libraries, such as a collection of Emerson's essays. Steiner I found in part due to Barfield himself and the high opinion he expressed of Steiner's writing on the evolution of consciousness and other subjects.

    [page 179] 'Language', wrote Emerson, in a flash of insight which covers practically all that has been written in these pages, 'is fossil poetry'.
           Living poetry, on the other hand — the present stir of aesthetic imagination — lights up only when the normal continuum of this process is interrupted in such a manner that a kind of gap is created, and an earlier impinges directly upon a later — a more living upon a more conscious.

    The second paragraph above struck me as familiar and, as I pondered why, it occurred to me that Barfield was describing my Violet-n-Joey cartoons which have graced the top of my DIGESTWORLD Issues almost from the beginning. Here's a sample of one of them: Joey says: "Try not to have an opinion." Violet replies: "I don't think that's possible." Joey requests Violet to not have an opinion and Violet interrupts him with a conscious refutation, in other words, Joey's earlier living request is confronted by a later more conscious statement.

    Emerson's insights shared in his Essays poured an endless supply of insight into my still teenage brain which never left me.

    Next Barfield refers the reader of Poetic Diction to the voluminous writings of Rudolf Steiner. As for myself as a reader of over 237 books of Rudolf Steiner, I can attest to an endless flood of insights I have acquired from Herr Steiner.

    [page 207] And here the reader is once more referred to the voluminous writings of Rudolf Steiner, who brought to bear upon precisely this ancient consciousness an amazing wealth of intuition, inspiration, and imagination, illuminating it out of an inexhaustible fertility in metaphor with a brilliant flood of poetic light.

    What better way of completing my review than a quote from Barfield's concluding paragraph, elaborating on what constitutes great poetry, in which he gives us a living creation to hold memorably in our hand.

    [page 181] Great poetry is the progressive incarnation of life in consciousness. Hence the absolute value of aesthetic pleasure as a criterion; for before we can feel it, we must have become aware in some degree of the actual progress — not merely of its results. Over the perpetual evolution of human consciousness, which is stamping itself upon the transformation of language, the spirit of poetry hovers, forever unable to alight. It is only when we are lifted above that transformation, so that we behold it as present movement, that our startled souls feel the little pat and the throbbing, feathery warmth, which tell us that she has perched. It is only when we have risen from beholding the creature into beholding creation that our mortality catches for a moment the music of the turning spheres.

    So rare: an academic book that leaves me breathless, saying under my breath, WOW!


    Footnote 1.
    "Philology is commonly defined as the study of literary texts as well as oral and written records, the establishment of their authenticity and their original form, and the determination of their meaning." Credit: Google. I would define it simply as "the love of words".

    Return to text directly before Footnote 1.

    Footnote 2.
    The following sentence on page 115 was a likely source of my writing about words being "sleeping beauties": "Like sleeping beauties, they lie prone and rigid in the walls of Castle Logic, waiting only for the kiss of Metaphor to awaken them to fresh life."

    Return to text directly before Footnote 2.

    Footnote 3.
    The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the hardware which converts the code into action inside the computer.

    Return to text directly before Footnote 3.

    Footnote 4.
    It is possible, to noun a verb and to verb a noun. For example, this process can happen to happen.

    Return to text directly before Footnote 4.

    Footnote 5.
    See my Essay, Art is the Process of Destruction linked here:

    Return to text directly before Footnote 5.

    Footnote 6.
    See a trio of triolets here, including one I wrote myself, "The Laughing Monk".

    Return to text directly before Footnote 6.

    Footnote 7.
    Barfield here reminds me of why my reviews are rarely criticisms of the books I read, but instead expository comments on my understanding of each author's meaning.

    Return to text directly before Footnote 7.

    Footnote 8.
    Robert Heinlein's classic science fiction novel Strange in a Strange Land evokes this quality of strangeness in its hero Robert Valentine Smith.

    Return to text directly before Footnote 8.

    Read/Print at:


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

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

    1. Padre Filius Finds Mexican Restaurant Specializing in Guacamole 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 is Ready to GUAC OUT:

    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 Del's cousin Lawrence Clark in Idaho:
      Dear Sir Bobby and Lady Del,

    I still enjoy DIGESTWORLD and please continue sending so I can still continue the seeing and enjoying photos of you Del, a still very beautiful Lady, and local plant and flower pictures you share with us. Some plant pictures I can not identify, and others I recognize but you do not state the common name or Genus species, just a thought for your consideration.

    In 1992 I began attending Mountain Man Rendezvous , very popular out West, one event was primitive archery contest, and I having shot a wooden bow and arrows beginning at a early age in New Orleans, decided to check out the event. I discovered beginning at age 11 into my 60"s there was not ANY archery equipment I have ever owned that could have used in this contest. Required was similar equipment the Native Americans had during the 1830's or earlier. The bows were indian flat bows made from local woods, arrows must come from willow, dogwood etc, shoots, feathers from geese or wild turkeys, points made from stone (obsidian or chert) all lashed together with hide glue and animal sinew. Even the bow strings must be made from sinew, rawhide or plant fibers. I eventually gained those skills, and in doing so, began to learn even more Native American life skills. One study was ethnobotany, the Native American use of plants for food, fiber and medicinal uses. That is why I find your plant and flower pictures so interesting.

    Thank you for your excellent writings and providing DIGESTWORLD.

    Knight Lawrence Clark and Princess Shay (The black female I live with) a Black Lab

  • EMAIL from Armand and Patty (two fellow Scrabble lovers):
    I hope you are well! That is quite a board. How do you score? The 1000 points must be combined scores, right? We just got home from playing. we talk about taking pix of the board -- we should do that for ya'll.

    What are the Matherne Scrabble rules?

    All the Best!
    Armand and Patty
    ~~~~~~~~~~ Reply from Bobby ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Yes, the 1,000 points were Del and my combined scores.

    Matherne Scrabble rules are simply a "relaxation" of the parts of the rules I didn't like.

  • No Time Limit on Playing
  • No Challenges for a word, use of Dictionary ahead of time encouraged.
  • Two letter words allowed if in dictionary.
  • All Double and Triple word and letter scores are scored EVERY time a word is played on them.
  • The BLANK tile can be used multiple times once played on the board. If it was used as an S on the board,for example, and you pick up an S, you can replace the BLANK with your S and put the BLANK into your rack. BLANK tiles still count as 0 points, but if you wish to add on to a word which has a BLANK tile in it, you can replace the BLANK with the actual letter to count it as points, if a real letter is on the board.

    With these rules our typical two-handed games average about 800 pts, running from 600 to as high as 1200 or more, especially if a Double Triple word or a 7-letter word is made. Note how we used Q three times in the game shown. The Q was on a Double Letter and part of a Double Word score also when it was played, a powerful combination.

    The lack of a time limit allows one to scan a dictionary to make the very best word possible while someone else is playing, although at times it can involve a long wait, so having patience and maybe something else to do while waiting is useful.


  • 3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell: "Individual Ism"


    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:

                  Individual Ism

    Ism is the social sin
    That we find ourselves ensconced within.
    Tamed by the orthodox
    We sleepwalk through the paradox.

    We leave the sacrifices of the masses
    In empty churches in our town
    For the sacrifice of the masses
    In the empty jungle clearing town.

    For ever faster do we flee
    To leave our shadow far behind
    But shadows have reality
    Created by unconscious mind.

    So stay at home and contemplate
    Light and shadow in your ism,
    Avoid the collective bait —
    Find your individualism.


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