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Good Mountain Press Presents DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#19a
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~~~~~~~~ In Memoriam: Valerie Harper (1939-2019) ~~~~
~~~~~~~~ [ Rhoda Morgenstern in TV Sitcom] ~~~~~

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Quote for the Autumn Month of October:

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) German Philosopher

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ISSUE#19a for October, 2019

Archived DIGESTWORLD Issues

             Table of Contents

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

4. Cajun Story
5. . . .
6. Two Poems: "Superconductor" and "Words are Expressions of Thought"
7. Reviews and Articles featured for October:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Morgan Vierhelle in Eugene, OR

Barbara Jimenez in Gretna, LA

Congratulations, Morgan and Barbara!

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Out Our Way:


Except on the football fields, especially the ones my Alma Mater LSU played on. On the Saints side of things, the year started off with another BANG! A fumble recovery, caused by and recovered by Cam Jordan, was returned for a Touchdown 80 yards! And BANG! It was overturned by the whistle of an NFL referee! A whistle in direct violation of a rule instituted after the Saints has another TD earlier overturned. Refs were instructed to LET THE PLAY RUN OUT with NO WHISTLE so that if overturned, the full play could be corrected! Instead, some 20-year veteran referee automatically blew the whistle and blew the call! Then minutes later Drew Brees tore a ligament in his throwing hand was lost for an indefinite time! Saints preserve us!

My Chemo Sabe friend, the chemotherapy infusions once every three weeks, have been doing their job: my waist size is reducing and my PSA has been reducing. After some adjustments to the new night-time pain drug (non-opoid), my bowels have achieved regularity again. I am also hoping to return to moving around without my walker soon. The summer has now turned into Fall without my spending more than a few minutes a day, if at all, outdoors.

Del and I have been playing an afternoon game of Scrabble a couple of days per week and she had bought a complete DVD set of Downton Abby which has become our go-to night-time entertainment when no football games are on. We are eagerly anticipating our New Orleans Pelicans fielding a completely new team headlined by our Number 1 pick Zion Williams. We also expect great things again this year from our SEC Champs in Basketball, LSU.

We have been homebodies this month, resulting with few flower photos and what photos we did have were sent in my friends and relatives. Our DIGESTWORLD Issue is full of interesting items to read this month: a new review of The First Class of the Michael School (Rudolf Steiner), and expansion of my review of an amazing book I first read in 1982 which has changed my life, The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events (Jane Roberts), and two other reviews which are appearing in a DW Issue for the first time, The Meaning of It All — Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist (Richard Feynman) and The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by (Gertrude Stein). I hope you will enjoy the Good Reading provided for you and the few photos I did have sprinkled among the text.


4-0 to begin the season for our Tigers! It began with an amazing game by LSU scoring TDs their first five possessions on the arm of Joe Burrow and the hands and feet of 14 Tiger pass receivers. Got to see all of the new Tigers including John Emery, Price, and many others catching and scoring. Myles Brennan came in the second half and managed to score a TD, FG and such with the second stringers. He looked as good as Burrow who played with first stringers. The rest of the month the Tigers were equally amazing, ending with a 66-38 win over Vanderbilt in our first SEC game, with 24 of Vandy's points coming on flubs by our offense. Joe Burrow is on track to become LSU's second Heisman Trophy candidate if we can maintain our winning ways.


Toilet in MBR began sounding like Moaning Myrtle from the Harry Potter movie. We called Randy the plumber and he sent his helper Mike out to fix it by putting new flush mechanism in it.

I had bought a BlueTooth audio receiver a year or so ago, but had installed it in the Screening Room into our Pioneer Amplifier. Only problem was we never just listen to Audio in the screening room and it never got used. After the TV rating service we had been connected to for two years came and removed all their connections it was easy to locate where the BT device was connected and I unplugged it.

The tech filled about four bags full of devices and connecting wires when removing the rating service. Now I could easily locate the BlueTooth device and unplug it, which I did without help. But its power connection required crawling on the floor behind the TVs to remove it, and Del was able to manage that for me. I re-installed it in a useful place: our Living Room's Bose radio. A simple plug of the BT device (I had left its connector handy behind the BOSE) followed by plugging in its power convertor into the BT device. That required the addition of a four outlet connection in the wall socket.
Then getting it working took some time. The button on back of the BT device needed to be pushed to active it. But it also needed to be held in until the red light changed to BLUE. After a few frustrating attempts, it was soon working. I am now able to leave the Bose powered on and by using my Z10 phone am able to select and listen to any of my music files.


Our New Orleans Saints pulled out a big win over Seattle without Drew Brees present! They are 2-1 and at the top of the NFC South going into their game against Dallas.

Del and I visited the Gretna Observatory for the first time. After seeing it off the side of the Park, we decided to take a good look. Hope to return some cool, clear winter night to view the night sky through the eyepiece.

We hit a new High Total Score in our Matherne's Rule Scrabble game together. TWO DOUBLE TRIPLE Scores gave us a Tolstoy Score of 1229, 723 and 496. Image of final board shown down below.

On LSU's Open Date, I watched the No 1 and No 2 Teams, Clemson and Alabama on the losing side of games at the same time. See Screen Shot Below.

The Saints beat 11 Cowboys and 4 Zebras to whip Dallas 12-10, second win in a row without Drew Brees who was watching and assisting from the sidelines.


Till we meet again in the Fall month of Octtember, God Willing and the Wind Gods blow gently in our area, whatever you do, wherever in the world and you and yours reside, be it cooling Autumn or Spring,

Remember our earnest wish for the closing quarter of this year:



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Quotes Selected from quotes.htm this month:

  • Every person takes the limits of their own field of vision for the limits of the world.
    Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860 German Philosopher)

  • Pull the string, and it will follow wherever you wish. Push it and it will go nowhere at all. It's just that way when it comes to leading people.
    General Dwight D. Eisenhower [He used to demonstrate the art of leadership with a simple piece of string. He'd place the string on the table and say the above.]

  • The fact is sometimes overlooked that one reason why many of us continue to manifest our neurotic woes is that we manage to find people with whom to integrate on a neurotic level.
    Don Jackson, Communication, Family, and Marriage, page 3.

  • Every map is a map of the wrong road, the old road.
    Krishnamurti [Final page of Don't Push the River by Barry Stevens]

  • Genius is not perfected, it is deepened. It does not so much interpret the world as fertilize itself with it.
    Andre Malraux (French Novelist)

  • Man is the only computer that can be created by unskilled labor.
    Werner Von Braun (American Rocket Pioneer)

  • New Stuff on the Internet:
  • Suggest you open link in Crome if you have trouble with other Browsers. Radio Garden
    Click on Pick a Green Light to Listen LIVE to a Radio Station, anywhere in the world.
    [Thanks to Jeff Parsons for this amazing link.]

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


  • ~^~


    Movies we watched this past month:

    Notes about our movies: Many of the movies we watch are foreign movies with subtitles. After years of watching movies in foreign languages, Arabic, French, Swedish, German, British English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and many other languages, sometimes two or three languages in the same movie, the subtitles have disappeared for us. If the movie is dubbed in English we go for the subtitles instead because we enjoy the live action and sounds of the real voices so much more than the dubbed. If you wonder where we get all these foreign movies from, the answer is simple: NetFlix. For a fixed price a month they mail us DVD movies from our on-line Queue, we watch them, pop them into a pre-paid mailer, and the postman effectively replaces all our gas-consuming and time-consuming trips to Blockbuster. To sign up for NetFlix, simply go to and start adding all your requests for movies into your personal queue. If you've seen some in these movie blurbs, simply copy the name, click open your queue, and paste the name in the Search box on NetFlix and Select Add. Buy some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. You get to see your movies as the Director created them — NOT-edited for TV, in full-screen width, your own choice of subtitles, no commercial interruptions, and all of the original dialogue. Microwave some popcorn and you're ready to Go to the Movies, 21st Century Style. With a plasma TV and Blu-Ray DVD's and a great sound system, you have theater experience without someone next to you talking on a cell phone during a movie plus a Pause button for rest room trips.
    P. S. Ask for Blu-Ray movies from NetFlix, and if it says DVD in your Queue, click and select Blu-Ray version.
    Hits (Watch as soon as you can. A Don't Miss Hit is one you might otherwise have missed along the way.):
    "On the Basis of Sex" (2018) Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought to get admitted to Harvard Law School and experienced being snubbed for jobs as a lawyer in NYC. She became a Rutgers Law professor and saw a chance to battle sex discrimination in a simple tax case of her Tax Attorney lawyer husband. A never married man was denied a claim for deducting salary of a nurse for his ailing mother because he was a man. When she wrote her brief the Feds came at her with 200 similar cases in which sex discrimination was used as the basis for a decision. Her clerk typed up her long brief and came to Ruth saying, "the word sex appears too many times" and she offered to retype the brief replacing "sex" with "gender" and gender discrimination soon came into use as she won the battle and helped remove gender discrimination from the law. A powerful look at a powerful woman who currently sits on the Supreme Court - she got there because she showed "supreme clout." A DON'T MISS ! ! ! !
    "Mary Shelley" (2018)
    was the daughter of two famous writers and was the lover of Percy Bysshe Shelley and watched her sister be treated as a throwaway sex-object by Lord Byron. Against opposition from every male writer and publisher, she fought to get her novel "Frankenstein" published and eventually won the heart of Shelley. Her life was every bit as amazing and full of monsters as the story she wrote. A DON'T MISS HIT ! !
    "A Little Romance" (1979)
    and a kiss 'under the Bridge of Sighs at sunset as the Campanile bells toll.' Early teenaged Diane Lane falls in love with French boy manage to escape into Italy and live out a dream in Venice. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! !
    "Masterpiece Contemporary: Framed" (2010)
    A story of art and love in Wales. “When you find something beautiful, it’s very hard to let go of it." A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! !
    "Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts" (2007)
    A documentary of the amazing life and works of Philip Glass who did to music what Picasso did to painting: destroyed the sameness which existed. A true artist who never stopped. He said his secret was simple: Get up early and work until you go to bed. A DON’T MISS HIT ! !
    "The Beautiful Fantastic" (2017)
    Luna could finally fly, and for the first time in a thousand years the traveler allowed himself a smile. Watch this movie and you will smile. A DON’T MISS HIT ! ! ! ! !
    "Thorne: Sleepyhead" (2010)
    gripping detective story, plot unraveled by Tom Thorne.
    "Upside" (2019)
    "Rock Steady" was Philip's life with only his head capable of moving until Dell took him for the ride of his life. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! ! !
    "Hearts in Atlantis" (2001)
    Anthony Hopkins stars as Ted. "Ted opened my eyes and let the future in," 11-year-old Bobby said. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! ! !
    "Stan & Ollie" (2018)
    docudrama of their England tour reveals the love and respect felt by the two for each other. A DON'T MISS HIT ! !
    "Tolkien" (2019)
    John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, an orphan who went to war, survived the Somme, and became an Oxford don and master of a unique Mythology.
    "All Saints" (2017)
    Michael Spurlock was called a 'con man in a collar' by the twenty plus members of All Saints Church when he arrived and a hero by the hundres of members when he left.
    "Downton Abby" (2018)
    Binge watching the DVD set of entire series in preparation for watching the new movie. Noticed how one gets a wonderful view of how England changed after WWI when many large estates were sold off, how the divide between the servant class and the Lords and Ladies began to dissolve gradually. A DON'T MISS HIT ! ! ! ! !

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

    "Hold the Dark" (2018) A writer finds his daughter in darkest Alaska with a lot of collateral damage along the way.
    "Breakthrough" (2019)
    didn't come soon enough to keep us interested.
    "The Children Act" (2018)
    defective disk caused gap in movie, but it is not worth watching the whole movie anyway. Waste of Emma Thompson's acting chops.

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

    "MI-5" (2015) hunting terrorists in London for fun and profit.
    "Cowboys and Angels" (2000)
    a quirky movie in which this urban cowboy keeps meeting women and breaking up again and one of them fixes him for good.

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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

    It's the year 2028 and the country has just elected the first woman, Susan Boudreaux, as President of the United States of America. The first female, first Cajun, and first LSU graduate to become President.

    A few days after the election the President-elect called her proud, yet humble Cajun father and said, "So, Daddy, I assume you and Momma will be coming to my inauguration.”

    "Mah Cher, Ah don't think so, me. Dat's a 30-hour drive, and your momma don’t lak all dem crowds, plus dat’ll be in the middle of duck season."

    "Don't worry about it. Daddy. I’ll send Air Force One to fly you both here and back. And a limousine will pick you up at your door in Cocodrie to take you to the airport and another to take you to the Inauguration. You won’t miss but a day or two of prime ducking hunting season."

    "Mais, Ah don’ know, Susie. Everybody gonna be dressed so fancy, and wat would Yah momma wear?"

    "Oh Daddy, I’ll make sure she has a wonderful gown custom-made by the best designer in New Orleans."

    "Honey," Boudreaux said, "Yah know Ah don’ lak dem rich foods you and your friends eat up dere."

    "Don't worry, Daddy. The entire affair is going to be handled by the a caterer brought in from New Orleans, and I’ll make sure there’s some Tony’s to season your food. I really do want you both to come."

    So Boudreaux reluctantly agreed and on January 21, 2029, Susan Boudreaux was being sworn in as the President of the United States of America. In the front row was her Daddy and Mommy. Her Daddy, noticing a Senator sitting next to him, leaned over and whispered, "You see dat woman over dere with her hand on the Bible, becoming President of the United States?"

    The Senator whispers back, "Yes, I do indeed."

    Boudreaux, his chest swelling, said, "Wahl, her brother played football at LSU."


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    6. A POEM by BOBBY from "Yes, and Even More", And EVEN MORE:
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    Note: I wrote this on October 14, 1987 during a free writing exercise. I’m WP’ing it on March 29, 2000.


    The train needs a conductor,
    Half a conductor is a semi-conductor.
    A semi-tractor is a truck.
    A half-track can be a bulldozer.
    A bulldozer is a sleepy politician.

    Half a politician is better than one.

    Half-cocked means a mis-fire,
    A mis-fire is an arsonist’s mistake,
    Half a mistake is better than one.

    One conductor on a train
    Half-trained is better than none.

    No one is better than God,
    God is a super-conductor.

    "Have your tickets ready!"



    Written September 19, 2019: At 2 AM in my recliner bed I typed these poems up on my Z10 phone as emails to myself. I had a dream of making words out of Scrabble tiles and wondering why I didn't have any double or triple letters when I laid them down. I awoke from the dream with the realization that we form letters into words in our mind before we think or say them. We imagine that we think thoughts and say thoughts to others, but thought is a deep spiritual reality which is wordless and must be formed into words in our mind. Thought is a spiritual reality that floods our brain's fluid channels (containing pulsing cerebrospinal fluids) before moving into the cortex where our brain converts it into the words we hear in our head, words we have mistaken for actual thoughts rather than expressions of actual thought, up until now.

    Words are Expressions of Thought

    Thought is wordless,
    Thought is free,
    Thought is boundless Spirit
    Arriving in our finite brain
    Like waves of an ocean
    We cannot grasp in our hands,
    But which deposit on a sandy beach
    As precious shells
    For us to inspect and treasure.

    As we walk along the beach of
    Life an ocean of thought
    undulates and flows over,
    around and through us.

    The seashells we collect are words
    We express of infinite thought
    Arriving on our private beach,
    Words we can share with our friends.

    Thought has wings
    and other things
    Which smile


    Don't ask me for my thoughts —
    I have no thoughts to share

    Thoughts cannot be shared,
    Only expressions of thoughts

    I may have a zillion thoughts, an ocean of thoughts,
    But I can only share expressions of my thoughts.

    Think on that . . .


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    7. REVIEWS and ARTICLES for October:
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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 rest of the items will be new additions to the top of A Reader's Journal, Volume 2, Chronological List, new additions to A Reader's Treasury, or Essays previously unpublished.

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

    1.) ARJ2: The Meaning of It All — Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist by Richard Feynman

    On page 2 of this book I wrote "The names of things evoke angels according to their names." This was inspired by a number of episodes that I had joked about at the time (1970's). When I bought my 1953 MG TD with the deep blue Chinese lacquer paint job in 1972, the first name that popped into our heads was "Blue Baby". She was a beautiful blue baby! Over the ensuing months, the cooling system had numerous problems and needed a six-bladed fan to replace its dinky four-bladed fan to cope with California summer heat. Then it needed a new starter, a new this, a new that — the Blue Baby was beginning to resemble a weak newborn with a heart defect. Due to the aorta receiving blood from both sides of the heart, the newborn appears blue.

    After fixing these problems, I decided that I wanted a robust car, so I renamed it TUFF•TD, and even got a Massachusetts personalized license plate with that name on it (evading the bluenose censors with a name that sounded like the vulgar epithet "tough titty"). I had few problems with it thereafter.

    Later in the 70's I acquired a flashy silver colored VW Beetle with wide aluminum wheels and tires. We called it the Silver Bullet. Within a couple of months the Silver Bullet went up in a flash of fire and smoke when its motor caught fire and melted in the middle of a movie at the Do Drive-In. We never asked our teenaged daughter who was driving the car that night what might have been going on in the front seat, because with a name like "Do Drive-in" the answer was too obvious. We replaced the spent Silver Bullet with a newer blue Super Beetle which we carefully named the Durabeetle, and this car I drove for almost six years and 300,000 miles.

    So what about the name The Meaning of It All? This name was given to this series of three lectures in order to sell them as a book. I found little in the lectures to recommend any title other than the more aptly named subtitle Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist. My guess is Richard Feynman would have kept the subtitle and scuttled the title.

    For Feynman's thoughts are that the meaning of it all can be found in his version of materialistic science, which even he admits cannot have all the answers. His thoughts are clear, concise, and interesting, but the title promises a hearty cup of soup and when we dip into the pot for our portion, we notice that the pot contains only hot water and a large stone. Science is to reality as a large stone in hot water is to minestrone.

    In the folk fable of "Stone Soup" the stone was only the beginning of the soup — the soup was the promise. The citizens of the town, not being citizen-scientists, did not bring more stones, but instead brought salt, pepper, herbs, onions, carrots, parsley, cabbage, tomatoes, beef, and mutton to add to the savory broth which soon nourished the whole town.

    There were a couple of morsels in Feynman's soup worth sharing with you.

    [page 5] [Feynman gives a concise delineation of science and technology.] Science means, sometimes, a special method of finding things out. Sometimes it means the body of knowledge arising from the things found out(1). It may also mean the new things you can do when you have found something out, or the actual doing of new things. This last field is usually called technology.

    [page 28] [Feynman proves that doubt is no doubt valuable.] Doubt is clearly a value in the sciences. Whether it is in other fields is an open question and an uncertain matter. I expect in the next lectures to discuss that very point and to try to demonstrate that it is important to doubt and that is not a fearful thing, but a thing of very great value.

    Feynman moves from the Uncertainty of Science in Lecture I, with which he obviously feels comfortable, to the Uncertainty of Values in Lecture II, with which he appears to founder. This is not surprising to me, because he is riding the stone of science which can only sink out of sight in the sometimes turbulent seas of morality and values.

    In the final lecture, he rambles on about such topics as the probabilities of detecting that a mind reader is a charlatan. Somehow this chapter seems to be an entire article from the Skeptical Inquirer that somehow got substituted for Feynman's real lecture. What is the probability of that, one might ask.

    The Meaning of It All delivered, in the end, the meaning of nothing — and having promised such a hearty soup in its main title, to have served up only a big rock in a pot of hot water leaves the reader more hungry for sustenance at the end of the book than at the beginning.


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

    Footnote 1: [Added September 4, 20191].

    Shortly after I wrote this review in 1998, I discovered a special method of finding out why unusual and unexpected feelings would arise in people. I was working along with Doyle Henderson who had discovered how to remove such unwanted feelings. As I investigated removal of various feeling states, I put together a body of knowledge arising from my discoveries and named it doyletics after Doyle Henderson, and I gave the named doyles to these unwanted bodily states. I began to find out new things one could do with this new discovery, all of which led me to call this new field of endeavor a science. For example, no one had ever considered being able to remove a proprioceptive feeling of flying off the face of the Earth, but I had since childhood such a feeling when I laid down on my back at the beach and opened my eyes. When I closed my eyes, the feeling went away. I knew it was a doyle and quickly removed this unwanted physical body state. Some people objected to my calling my new field a science, but one can clearly see doyletics qualifies to be called a science by Richard Feynman's definition. The technology that comes with doyletics is the Speed Trace which can remove lifelong unpleasant sensations in seconds. The science of doyletics and the applications of its technology can be found here:

    Return to text directly before Footnote 1.

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    2.) ARJ2: The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein

    Gertrude Stein ends this book by explaining how she came to write it using the voice of Alice to tell her own story. She had been dropping hints that Alice should write an autobiography of her life, perhaps calling it Wives of Geniuses I have Met or some such. Finally Alice told her she was already keeping the house, the dogs, the garden, doing secretary and editing work, doing them all at once, and couldn't add being an author. In the final paragraph of the book, Stein writes, using Alice's voice:

    [page 342] About six weeks ago Gertrude Stein said, it does not look to me as if you were ever going to write that autobiography. You know what I am going to do. I am going to write it for you. I am going to write it as simply as Defoe did the autobiography of Robinson Crusoe. And she has and this is it.

    Daniel Defoe began Robinson Crusoe thus, "I was born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family, though not of that country, my father being a foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull."

    Gertrude Stein begins this book thus, "I was born in San Francisco, California. I have in consequence always preferred living in a temperate climate but it is difficult, on the continent of Europe or even in America, to find a temperate climate and live in it."

    With this simple idea, she went on to write this best-selling book, and closed it by crediting the author who inspired the approach she took to the book. The big difference is that Robinson Crusoe was a fictional person and both Alice and Gertrude were real. But they spent so much of their time together that Alice could easily have had access to all the details of Gertrude's life that she is supposed to be writing of, and Gertrude to the intimate thoughts that Alice is supposed to be sharing with the reader. So the book is a paradox: an autobiography that is not written by the author - it is the type of play on ideas and words that so delights Gertrude Stein and endears her writing to me. I had only read her book How to Write before this one, which is full of more contorted sentences than the one that appears on page 55 of this book, "Sentences not only words but sentences and always sentences have been Gertrude Stein's life long passion." I was delighted to find a more conventional form of writing in this book, thanks perhaps to her writing it in Alice's voice. That use of voice also permitted Stein to have Alice say that she had only met three geniuses in her life, Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso, and Alfred Whitehead. That would be like Robinson Crusoe naming Daniel Defoe as a great novelist.

    Attempting to list the great names that appear in this book would be like trying to replicate a Who's Who in Art and Literature in the First Quarter of the 20th Century: Picasso, Hemingway, T. S. Eliot, Henri Matisse, Juan Gris, Seurat, Auden, Ezra Pond, Guillaume Appollinaire, Rousseau, William James, Henry James, Jean Cocteau, Eric Satie, Cézanne, and many more. Most of them came to sit and talk with Gertrude Stein in Paris where she lived most of her adult life.

    Reading the book is like an Easter egg hunt, where on any one page some delightful anecdote like this one might pop into view:

    [page 106] William James delighted her. His personality and his teaching and his way of amusing himself with himself and his students all pleased her. Keep your mind open, he used to say, and when some one objected, but Professor James, this that I say, is true. Yes, said James, it is abjectly true.

    She studied with William James at Harvard, and came to greatly admire his brother Henry later in her life, calling him "the only nineteenth century writer who being an american felt the method of the twentieth century." One wonders at the close of the twentieth century who might be the writers today who being an American feel the method of the twenty-first century. [Note: in Stein's writing, country names are capitalized, but used as adjectives they were not: e.g., Greece, but greek. My spell checker wants me to capitalize it Greek.]

    With so many friends that were beginning painters, Gertrude managed to collect at least one painting from each of them. One night she held a large dinner for all the painters and had them seated at the dinner table so that each one was facing his own painting that was hung on the wall. None of them noticed, she said, but they were all very happy that night. Well, Matisse looked back into the room as he made ready to leave and noticed what she had done. These were the early days of their painting and none of these now famous painters were well-known. She tells how Seurat, famous pointillist, had to hang his pictures in an exhibition room where the rain rained in. Because of this Seurat caught his fatal cold. [Note: this means the artist who is known for painting in tiny drops of color was killed by an excess of tiny drops of water.]

    Someone commented to her about an exhibition that the Picassos were rather awful and the others were not.

    [page 30] Sure, she said, as Pablo once remarked, when you make a thing, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly, but those that do it after you they don't have to worry about making it and they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when the others make it.

    This is one of the best descriptions of what happens when a true artist X comes along who destroys the sameness of kitsch in his field and liberates exciting possibilities. Soon Y, an imitator of X's avant garde style comes along, and people will say, "Oh, don't you think that Y is even better than X?" First art is apt to be ugly, cluttered by the destruction of the old form and the remnants of the scaffolding of the new form. Perhaps this is why:

    [page 69] In those days she never asked any one what they thought of her work, but were they interested enough to read it. Now she says if they can bring themselves to read it they will be interested.

    As a child she lived in France and Germany until the age of four and learned to speak both languages, "but she had never read until she read english" - as a result she always read and wrote in English, even though she was living in France and speaking French daily. Someone asked her if she never read French:

    [page 94] No, she replied, you see I feel with my eyes and it does not make any difference to me what language I hear, I don't hear a language, I hear tones of voice and rhythms, but with my eyes I see words and sentences and there is for me only one language and that is english.

    And there have been few finer writers in English in this century. A case can be made that she taught Hemingway how to write, as well as other young writers.

    [page 103] Once when Hemingway wrote in one of his stories that Gertrude Stein always knew what was good in a Cézanne, she looked at him and said, Hemingway, remarks are not literature.

    Gertrude Stein went all the way through the study of medicine and found it dreadfully boring, but in spite of not knowing the answers to simple questions that every medical student knew, the professors, aware of her reputation for scientific work, thought she didn't consider the question worth answering. The result was that, in spite of her meager achievements, but for one professor who flunked her in his course, she would have become a medical doctor. She thanked him for saving her from possibly studying pathological psychology, because as Alice's voice tells us:

    [page 112] She always says she dislikes the abnormal, it is so obvious. She says the normal is so much more simply complicated and interesting.

    Gertrude loved her painters, and said about young painters that the adventure is before everyone knows they are good.

    [page 119] And adds Picasso with a sigh, even after everybody knows they are good not any more people really like them than they did when only the few knew they were good.

    Alice and Gertrude spent many hours in various locations in France proofreading Stein's manuscripts, a daunting task when French copywriters are producing the galley's and some of Stein's sentences ran over several pages. It was very easy for a whole line of the sentence to be left out. Here's what Alice said about proofreading.

    [page 153] I always say that you cannot tell what a picture really is or what an object really is until you dust it every day and you cannot tell what a book is until you type it or proof-read it.

    On her radical punctuation almost completely bereft of commas, Alice's voice said:

    [page 179] Gertrude Stein said commas were unnecessary, the sense should be intrinsic and not have to be explained by commas and otherwise commas were only a sign that one should pause and take breath but one should know of oneself when one wanted to pause and take breath.

    During the war Alice and Gertrude made themselves useful by traveling all over France delivering soldiers and clothes and whatever other kind of help was required. In choosing a name for the small Ford truck that was to carry a Red Cross emblem on its side as they drove through the war-torn countryside, they showed an astuteness of naming that I admire, having learned through experience that the name one gives, even to inanimate objects, affects their performance.

    [page 233-234] Our little ford was almost ready. She was later to be called Aunty after Gertrude Stein's aunt Pauline who always behaved admirably in emergencies and behaved fairly well most times if she was properly flattered.

    Gertrude Stein understood art at a depth that few other people in the first quarter of the twentieth century did, and perhaps since. If you doubt this, read what she says on camouflage.

    [page 254-255] Another thing that interested us enormously was how different the camouflage of the french looked from the camouflage of the germans, and then once we came across some very neat camouflage and it was american. The idea was the same but as after all it was different nationalities who did it the difference was inevitable. The colour schemes were different, the way of placing them was different, it made plain the whole theory of art and its inevitability.

    Her salubrious advice that pushed Hemingway from his newspaper job into a full-time career as a writer is given here in her own words.

    [page 289] If you keep on doing newspaper work you will never see things, you will only see words and that will not do, that is of course if you intend to be a writer.

    For herself Gertrude Stein could never get enough glory.

    [page 319] After all, as she always contends, no artist needs criticism, he only needs appreciation. If he needs criticism, he is no artist.

    She never wrote for critics nor did she pay much attention to them. She said that the critics that panned her writing, who called it appalling, usually quoted it and quoted it exactly. The writers these same critics said they liked, they never quoted. One comes to understand that Gertrude Stein was both a writer and a true artist, intent on destroying the sameness, the kitsch, of what passed for English writing, up until her time. As a writer her style was as strange and fresh to the reader's ear as the cubists paintings were to the viewer's eye. There was a blocking an overlap of words a run-on of sentences without markers for when to breath and the reader was left abandoned to learn the meaning that could be found within was both new and strange and breathlessly interesting. Did Gertrude Stein write for her critics? I think not, just as Picasso didn't paint for his critics. As she puts it:

    [page 94] I write for myself and strangers.

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    3.) ARJ2: The First Class of the Michael School by Rudolf Steiner

    The First Class of the Michael School is a meditation guide for spiritual scientists studying what it means to be a full human being. It is packed with meditation mantras meant to read aloud so that the full impact of both the words (thinking content) and rhythm (feeling content) may be absorbed fully. As a poet myself, I learned a lot about the impact that various metric forms trochaic, iambic, and spondaic have on one listening to a poem read aloud.

    As full humans we are beings of thinking, feeling, and will. These functions overlap inside us without our being aware of the overlap. Thinking we are aware of, feeling also, but not will. Steiner explains what would happen to us if we could concentrate on only one of these functions:

    [page 14, 15] If we were able to think without will in our physical body for the briefest moment, the power of thought that lives in the universe were to fill us for the merest moment without any power of feeling or will present, we would be totally paralyzed as physical human beings. Were we as physical human beings able to feel without any thinking or will, even for a moment, we would be overcome and cramped, because feeling is something immensely alive. We would have one cramp after another. If we, as physical human beings, were able to use our will without any thinking, even for a moment, we would be devoured by fiery fevers.

    Thinking alone would paralyze us; feeling alone would cramp us; and will alone would devour us with fiery fevers. Yet, somehow we merge these three functions without any serious defects. We were born out of the spiritual world into this sense-perceptible world and these three functions, which had been separate from each other, came together within us. When this happened we lost thinking as a living function — it became a corpse, a pointer to the living being that existed before.

    [page 15,16] By unfolding thinking within me — by thinking the way we all do as earthly human beings — I have such a corpse before me. All earthly thinking is a corpse — a corpse of thinking that was very much alive before we descended into our earthly existence. Our physical body is the coffin into which our thinking was laid when we descended into the physical sense world.

    Our thinking and our will does not become alive again until we pass through the gate of death.

    [page 16] Our will is also not alive. It can only live when we have passed through the gate of death. Our will is a seed; thinking in a corpse. Our will is the embryo of what comes into being when we step through the gate of death.

    To approach a knowledge of the spiritual world, we must learn to separate thinking, feeling, and will from each other.

    [page 16] No knowledge can be obtained unless this is done. And the protection against the dangers of separating thinking, feeling and will from each other can be given human beings through Anthroposophy if they honestly take it up.

    Steiner says we must learn that thinking as we know it now is not our true self, just as life cannot be found in a corpse, that "the physical body gives us a thinking that is only dead illusion". (Page 17) Looking back now to my college days when I was focusing on studying physics, I recall I felt this disconnect with my true self whenever I went home. There was no one I could talk to about what I was learning through my physics courses. I had yet to learn that only when I got into my etheric body could I find a kind of thinking that went beyond the semblance of life in my study of physics. This came when I studied Gestalt therapy and other feeling-based psychotherapies. For example in a dream I was driving in an open top sports car up a steep local bridge and a guy on roller skates was blocking me. I could never understand the meaning of this dream on a thinking level, but the therapist asked me to get up and skate around the room in my socks. As I circled the room, it came to me: a feeling of freedom. I had just become a bachelor and living alone for the first time in my entire lifetime at age 36. Always before there were others who depended upon me to take care of them, and now there weren't. I felt like the free spirit on roller skates! My etheric body was communicating to me directly, unblocked any longer by my overwhelming thinking function. I was feeling like an etheric being.

    Here is the mantra that Steiner gives us. It contains the words that the Guardian of the Threshold speaks as counsel to us about thinking:

    [page 18]

    See how thinking weaves in you;

    Experience, then, world-illusion.

    Selfhood hides itself from you;

    Dive down into the semblance.

    Ether's essence wafts in you;

    Selfhood's being should revere

    Guiding beings of your spirit.


    To rightly understand these mantras we need to be familiar with three types of metrical feet. The word "stressed" could also be understood as a long syllabic sound and "unstressed" as a short syllabic sound. The power of the mantra, the impact it has on the person speaking or listening to it, comes from yhe type of metrical foot chosen for it.

    iambic - unstressed followed by stressed syllable

    trochaic - stressed followed by unstressed syllable

    spondaic - stressed followed by stressed syllable

    In moving from the physical world into the etheric world, one does best to use a trochaic meter or rhythm.

    [page 19] If we want to carry these thoughts over from the more robust physical existence — where they are dead — to an existence where they are alive, an existence more delicate than physical existence, we must choose the cadence of this mantra so that each line begins with a long-stressed syllable and then an unstressed syllable, a trochaic meter. . . .
           The admonition about thinking, which the Guardian of the Threshold speaks to human beings, must be trochaic.

    If you will read aloud the above mantra, you will detect the trochaic cadence at the beginning of each line. Each time you read it or listen to it being read aloud, it can "carry you out of your thinking and up into the spiritual world."

    Thinking is illusion, a dead corpse, but it was alive prior to our entering the physical world. Feeling is alive, even though we may seem to dreaming in our feeling, something alive with real being exists in them. Now read the second mantra Steiner gives us containing the attitude of our feeling life. Notice how each line begins with an iambic meter which has the stress on the second syllable. We are led to move from the etheric to the astral plane as these words with their iambic rhythm resound within our being.

    [page 22]

    Perceive how feeling streams in you;

    How semblance mixes there with being.

    Your Self to semblance feels inclined;

    Immerse yourself in seeming being.

    And world soul forces dwell in you;

    Your Selfhood, it should deeply ponder

    Powers of life within your soul.


    Reading the content of the words is not enough, we must feel their rhythm.

    [page 22] This is how we must feel the rhythm and make the content of the words very alive in us. We immerse ourselves in feeling in the right way if we do this, as we make progress along the path into the spiritual world. The content of the words alone cannot achieve this for us. We must make our entire soul being receptive to sensing the rhythm in the mantric words.

    Next we must absorb the words of the Guardian of the Threshold as we approach the will with the spondaic rhythm (two long stressed syllables). The will is the most unconscious of the three processes of thinking, feeling, and will. We see something we think to reach for and our arm moves automatically. We call this process automatic because it happens immediately and the process of will involved is never brought to our consciousness.

    [page 22] We cannot remind ourselves often enough that in our thoughts we make a decision and then see it carried out. We are as unconscious of this transition into the will as we are of what we experience in the spirit between going to sleep and waking up. Just as feeling is immersed in a dreaming state, so is the will immersed in sleep. In this willing we sleep through real existence, the true reality of existence. Just as we must increasingly learn to retrieve our experiences from sleep, we must also learn to retrieve from the will what we experience there.

    When we were visiting Dornach in the summer, I found a thornless blackberry vine that was strung on a series of wires. Picking the ripe berries without bending down or avoiding the thorns was a delight and I immediately began thinking how great it would be to have such a vine on the edge our lawn. Problem was this: I had no idea where to buy such a vine. But I began thing of various places I could build a fence of wires to support the vines. If people crossed the north section of our lawn and could hurt themselves on the wires, so that wouldn't work. Still I kept the blackberry vine in my mind. One day my neighbor on the south side of our lawn was working on this bush when I went over to chat with him and I noticed that he had planted a thornless blackberry just like the Dornach one. I saw a nearby sprout of the vine coming up from the ground and asked I could have it. He said, "Sure." Suddenly the first part of vision of the vine had appeared in my world. I put the sprout into a planting pot and asked him if I might plant on our side of their metal fence. He gave me his okay and I spent a year watering the vine and interlacing its leading branches into the wires of the metal fencing. The next year I was picking blackberries as big and delicious as the ones I had earlier picked in garden of the Kloster-Dornach a couple of year earlier. The whole project came together quickly and easily without my having to build a fence or locate someplace to buy the vine. Literally it took only five minutes to plant the vine in its pot (removing the bottom of the pot first) and begin watering and trimming. I had learned to retrieve from my will what I had earlier experienced there. My will had thrust me into the fullness of real existence, completing what I had earlier experienced only in thought and dreamt of in feeling.

    [page 23, 24] My dear sisters and brothers, we experience how our blood flows within us, how food satisfies us, that we have thought that are illusions and feelings that are dreams. But in ordinary consciousness, we do not experience how the spirit reigns in us if we follow the third admonition spoken by the Guardian. . . . When we do this, we will be seized by a creative might, leaving behind our separate self-existence within our skin and expanding to become a self of the world, a cosmic self, which we are as human beings who will, as as beings of will. We must learn to stand firm in this. Learn to become a flame of will in the first of the universe: the fire within fire.
           It is about this that the Guardian of the Threshold speaks to our will. He speaks of the thrust of will because the will thrusts us into the fullness of real existence:

    Let work the impulse of will in you;

    It rises up from worlds of illusion

    Creative in its very essence.

    To this devote all your life,

    For filled it is with cosmic spiritual might.(1)

    Your very being should now grasp

    World creative might in your spiritual "I."


    Note how the emphasis at the end of each penultimate line of the three stanza and the last line of each changes (pages 24, 25):

    1. thinking revere Guiding beings of your spirit

    2. feeling deeply ponder Powers of life within your soul

    3. will grasp World creative might

    We must move from thinking to reality by first acquiring reverence in our thinking, then by deeply pondering in our feeling, and finally by grasping with our will. In the third mantra on will, we arrive at the spondaic rhythm of two stressed syllables one after another, which you can experience in reading aloud the above stanza.

    [page 25] To gain firmness when the Guardian turns to us with the third admonition, we must feel the rhythm as we strongly emphasize the first two syllables of each line.

    The three images of the beasts of thinking, feeling, and will stand before us as the Guardian instructs with one last mantra:

    [page 26]

    Only when you have overcome these three

    Will your soul develop wings

    To soar across the deep abyss

    That severs you from the field of knowledge

    Where the dearest longings of your heart

    Aspiring to wholeness, wish to consecrate themselves.


    Steiner urges us:

    [page 26] Take these admonitions from the Guardian of the Threshold into your meditations. It is not I who speak the; I speak them on behalf of the Guardian of the Threshold who wishes to speak these words to you through me, for this School is an institution of spiritual life itself.

    We must always keep a humility towards the power of our will, saying "I am not yet a human being. I must become a human being by participating with spiritual powers. I must seek to enliven my thinking, deepen my feeling, and spiritualize my will."

    "Know Thyself" was the motto inscribed above the Temple of Apollo. Why is knowing yourself deemed so important? Shouldn't knowing the world be more important? The answer is: through knowing yourself, you come to find the whole world.

    [page 52] We will always find in self-knowledge the beginning, middle and end of the world in the form of a story, because the whole world, the entire universe, is expressed and revealed in the human being. That is why self-knowledge is world-knowledge.


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

    Footnote 1. Note the structure of this sentence matches the way Yoda spoke in the Star Wars movies. And the admonition given to Luke to use his will was spoken in a powerful will-aimed spondaic rhythm: "May the Force be with you."

    Return to text directly before Footnote 1.

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    4.) ART: The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events by Jane Roberts

    NOTE: My Short Blurb of this Review was published in DIGESTWORLD#35, April 2003. With the increasing number of mass events occurring in recent years, I wanted to call to the attention of my Good Readers the insights of Seth recorded by Jane Roberts in this book.

    To summarize Seth's insights:

    Mass events are drawn to a given area by the collective psychic energy of the people in that area.

    I first read this book in 1982 and later reviewed it in "A Reader's Treasury" in 2012. After Hurricane Katrina devastated large sections of New Orleans, I re-read the book and realized that another hurricane like that would not occur for at least another 30 years. Why 30? Because New Orleans was set to commemorate Hurricane Betsy when Katrina hit 30 years later. The way I figure it is: it takes about 20 years to forget about the lessons learned from one hurricane and another ten years to let accummulate the psychic energy to call another one into the area to awaken locals to changes which are required. About 30 years before Betsy devastated New Orleans, the great Mississippi River flood hit the city and led us to build strong levees which have since protected the city. Betsy and Katrina have both led to levee reinforcements around the periphery of the city, Katria especially so.

    The lessons which we can take from this book are many, not only about hurricanes, but about tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, wild fires, mass killings, etc, all of which, rightly understood, have their origins in the invisible, but very real psychic energies of the people affected by these mass events. Carlos Castenada asked his mystic guru, Don Juan Matus, "But if you're walking down a city street and a sniper points his telescopic sight on you, how could you protect yourself?" Don Juan's answer was simple and insightful, "I would not be walking down that street." Think on that . . .

    Here is my short blurb from DW#35:

    I recently encountered this passage in Joubert's Notebooks, "All cries and all complaints exhale a vapor, and from this vapor a cloud is formed, and from these heaped-up clouds come thunder, storms, the inclemencies that destroy everything." He wrote this about 200 years ago. Seth tells us that the invisible patterns that underlie the "cries and complaints" are vigorous mental patterns and:

    [page 41] Each person's thoughts flow into that formation, forming part of the earth's psychic atmosphere. From that atmosphere flows the natural earthly patterns from which your seasons emerge with all their variety and effects. You are never victims of natural disasters, though it may seem that you are, for you have your hand in forming them. You are creatively involved in the earth's cycles. No one can be born for you, or die for you, yet no birth or death is really an isolated event, but one in which the entire planet participates. In personal terms, again, each species is concerned not only with survival but with the quality of its life and experience.
           In those terms, natural disasters ultimately end up righting a condition that earlier blighted the desired quality of life, so that adjustments were made.


    By the time this book was published I had begun reading all of Jane Roberts' new books as soon as they came out. I acquired this one in February 1982 and completed it around May 1982. Living as I do in an area which is subject to hurricane incursions from time to time, I was particularly interested in what Seth had to say about me and the nature of these mass events. In the understanding I reached from reading this book I was no longer frightened of impending hurricanes — I came to recognize them as perennial dead-tree-limb trimmers much like the spin cycle on a washing machine that cleans up our dirty laundry. Hurricanes, Seth tells us, have people steering the currents that attract hurricanes into areas where people's lives have been stultified and which need a little moving and shaking to get them back on track again. For over twenty years since reading this book, I have placed Seth's words before me in every hurricane season and seen them confirmed.

    How does one confirm such a thing? Here's how I did it. I reasoned that if what Seth said was true, then one could expect that huge hurricanes would not hit the same area in successive years, if ever again at all. Hurricane Betsy hit New Orleans in 1967 and Hurricane Camille the Gulf Coast of Mississippi a couple of years later. No hurricanes have returned along those identical paths with identical strength. Maybe some will return, but I'm convinced that when one does, there will be good reasons for why they will be pulled into these areas. Out of the destruction will arise a newer and better locale, as I expect has happened in Homestead, Florida since Hurricane Andrew, South Carolina since Hurricane Hugo, New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, and the Northeast in the years after 2012's Hurricane Sandy. I lived in California for three years and the mass events we had there were earthquakes, mud slides, Santa Ana Winds, and raging fires. Give me a nice dependable hurricane any day over those mass events.

    Along the way during these past twenty plus years (now 40+), I discovered EAT-O-TWIST which reminds me that Everything Allways Turns Out The Way It's Supposed To, where what I suppose I want or what I don't want to happen ends up happening. Let me be a little more explicit as it occurs to me that I seem to have covered everything that could happen. Not so. There are many things that fall outside of things that I want to happen and things that I don't want to happen to me; I'm only human and as such I can only spend time supposing about some finite set of things happening or not happening to me — the set of things that I think of, that I create images of happening [whether or not I want to avoid them or to have them happen makes no difference], those are the things that I'm supposing and my supposing acts as steering currents to draw those things to me. The Super Bowl quarterback who says, "I dreamed of this as a kid" is one example. The writer of the passage, "The thing I most feared has come upon me" is another example. What are you spending your time supposing? How would you change your supposing if you understood that EAT-O-TWIST never breaks?

    So what I'm talking about when I use the word suppose is just our normal impulses as we think about those things we want to have happening or to avoid happening to us. I say normal to remind you that it is the very ordinary levels of thinking I'm referring to, the kind that you may never think of as providing steering currents in your life. When Norman Vincent Peale made a big splash with his "Power of Positive Thinking" I'm sure that many other people beside me thought that this form of thinking was some heroic, extraordinary form of thinking that required special effort to effect change in our lives. Here's Jane Roberts as she shares with us in the Introduction to this Seth Book her confusion on this same issue that Seth will quickly lay to rest for her and us.

    [page 8] When Seth began this manuscript, I was personally working on the idea of "heroic impulses" (those separate from our usual ones) that would operate as inner impetuses toward constructive action. In this book, though, Seth states that it is our normal everyday impulses that we must learn to trust. Even I was taken aback! Our usual impulses? The ones I ignored while I was looking for the "heroic" ones? And finally I began to understand: Our normal impulses are heroic, despite our misunderstanding of them. In a way, this entire book is an introduction to our impulses, those we follow and those we deny. . . . In a way, impulses are the language of the psyche.

    In a Seth book, Jane may do a brief Introduction and her husband Robert Butts will intersperse comments as he takes down the dictation of Seth, noting the date and time, and other peripheral events such as pauses in the dictation or some activity of their young tiger cat, Billy, for instance. When Seth refers to Jane, he calls her Ruburt, and when he refers to Robert, he calls him Joseph, and even points to phrases that should be underlined or given a tonal emphasis (these appear in italics). In this next passage Seth is finally speaking on the issues he had promised during an earlier dictation: "illnesses, epidemics, and mass disorders" — all of which may be subsumed under the rubric of "mass events."

    [page 20] I have thus far stayed clear of many important and vital subjects, involving mass realities, because first of all the importance of the individual was to be stressed, and his power to form his private events. Only when the private nature of reality was emphasized sufficiently would I be ready to show how the magnification of individual reality combines and enlarges to form vast mass reactions — such as, say, the initiation of an obviously new historical and cultural period; the rise or overthrow of governments; the birth of a new religion that sweeps all others before it; mass conversions; mass murders in the form of wars; the sudden sweep of deadly epidemics; the scourge of earthquakes, floods, or other disasters; the inexplicable appearance of periods of great art or architecture or technology.

    First Seth explains that every death is at some level a suicide on an individual basis. I found that a little difficult to accept at that time in my life, but shortly afterward I heard a seminar leader quote a statistic from a Los Angeles study that showed that in 85% of the cases of single occupant automobile fatalities, the driver who died had a previous, unsuccessful suicide attempt. That was a statistic that pointed toward the very reality that Seth was asking me to comprehend. In this next passage Seth extends this principle to mass events in which many people die, calling them mass suicides.

    [page 30] To a certain extent, epidemics are the result of a mass suicide phenomenon on the parts of those involved. Biological, sociological, or even economic factors may be involved, in that for a variety of reasons, and at different levels, whole groups of individuals want to die at any given time — but in such a way that their individual deaths amount to a mass statement.
          On one level the deaths are a protest against the time in which they occur. Those involved have private reasons, however. The reasons, of course, vary from one individual to another, yet all involved "want their death to serve a purpose" beyond private concerns . . . for unconsciously the species well knows there are reasons for such mass deaths that go beyond accepted beliefs.

    I recently encountered this passage in Joubert's Notebooks, "All cries and all complaints exhale a vapor, and from this vapor a cloud is formed, and from these heaped-up clouds come thunder, storms, the inclemencies that destroy everything." He wrote this about 200 years ago. Those invisible patterns that underlie the "cries and complaints" are vigorous mental patterns, Seth tells us, and:

    [page 41] Each person's thoughts flow into that formation, forming part of the earth's psychic atmosphere. From that atmosphere flows the natural earthly patterns from which your seasons emerge with all their variety and effects. You are never victims of natural disasters, though it may seem that you are, for you have your hand in forming them. You are creatively involved in the earth's cycles. No one can be born for you, or die for you, yet no birth or death is really an isolated event, but one in which the entire planet participates. In personal terms, again, each species is concerned not only with survival but with the quality of its life and experience.
           In those terms, natural disasters ultimately end up righting a condition that earlier blighted the desired quality of life, so that adjustments were made.

    This next aspect of personal health, what Gregory Bateson called, "an ecology of mind," is immensely important and yet has remained invisible to and uncomprehended by those it affects the most, up until now. The cells and organs of our body can only respond to what they encounter on a cellular level and have no knowledge of the cultural world in which the whole organism operates. They rely on our assessment of exterior dangers and when we notify them of a threat, they begin to react to those conditions.

    [page 48] The body will, therefore, react to imagined dangers to some degree, as well as those that are biologically pertinent. Its defense systems often becomes overexerted as a result.

    Common rashes are an example of a signal of a poison causing a reaction to counteract the poison, but the poison is not really there, only the signal of a poison. The resulting rash is really an outward sign of the body's healing states for an illness that never occurred. On a psychic level this happens all the time and results in no end of harm to the body. The worst perpetrators of this kind of psychic effect on the body are the news media, who no longer report only events that have already happened, but devote most of their coverage to things that might happen. Mix that with a lack of attention by most people to their immediate environment and you get a potent cocktail for illness and disease.

    [page 49, 50] Many people, however, do not pay attention to everything in their environments, but through their beliefs concentrate only upon "the ferocious dog four blocks away." That is, they do not respond to what is physically present or perceivable in either space or time, but instead [dwell] upon the threats that may or may not exist, ignoring at the same time other pertinent data that are immediately at hand.
          The mind then signals threat — but a threat that is nowhere physically present, so that the body cannot clearly respond. It therefore reacts to a pseudothreatening situation, and is caught between gears, so to speak, with resulting biological confusion. The body's response must be specific.

    How can one experience an overall sense of health and contentment if one's body is asked to respond biologically to something that isn't really there? One's body can only respond to such bogus situations with bio-illogical confusion.

    [page 50] Left alone, the body can defend itself against any disease, but it cannot defend itself appropriately against an exaggerated general fear of disease on the individual's part. It must mirror your own feelings and assessments.

    Second to the news media in doing damage is the medical profession who single-mindedly act as though creating fear of diseases in the public will somehow get them well. One wonders if they are not thereby violating the first principle of the medical profession: First, do no harm. How could they be doing harm? If you haven't understood the above, Seth lines it out in detail for you:

    [page 50] Usually, now, your entire medical systems literally generate as much disease as is cured — for you are everywhere hounded by the symptoms of various diseases, and filled with the fear of disease, overwhelmed by what seems to be the body's propensity toward illness — and nowhere is the body's vitality or natural defense system stressed.

    Nowhere is our body is more stressed than by the over-exuberant efforts of the modern medical profession to lure, coerce, browbeat, and scare people into otherwise unnecessary and dangerous medical procedures that often leave them debilitated and at the mercy of the medical and pharmaceutical industry for the remainder of their lives. The latest campaign is against Alzheimer's Disease which is a fancy new name for what used to be called simply "senility." Have you noticed how much more common this dis-ease has become in recent decades?

    [page 50] Senility is a mental and physical epidemic — a needless one. You "catch" it because when you are young you believe that old people cannot perform. There are no inoculations against beliefs, so when young people with such beliefs grow old they become "victims."

    Now, I'm just a human being, not a medical doctor, but I imagine that medical doctors would consider it foolish to believe that what we believe can make a great change in the quality of our lives. And yet, did not these same doctors at one time hold a very strong belief that they would become doctors someday? Given the long years and hard work of becoming a doctor, the strong subjective feelings of wanting to be a doctor were essential to creating their current reality as doctors.

    [page 51] More and more, the quality of your lives is formed through the subjective realities of your feelings and mental constructions. Again, beliefs that foster despair are biologically destructive. They cause the physical system to shut down.

    As human beings in the 21st Century, we are bombarded on all sides by medical, scientific, and cultural theories which offer predictions of impending doom that leave us feeling powerless.

    [page 54] Religious, scientific, medical, and cultural communications stress the existence of danger, minimize the purpose of the species or of any individual member of it, or see mankind as the one erratic, half-insane member of an otherwise orderly realm of nature. Any or all of the above beliefs are held by various systems of thought. All of these, however, strain the individual's biological sense of integrity, reinforce ideas of danger, and shrink the area of psychological safety that is necessary to maintain the quality possible in life. The body's defense system becomes confused to varying degrees.

    What happens as a result of such endemic confusion? Our bodies are subject to intense stress, a stress that is proven to be the cause of many diseases. The result is that the predictions prove to be true. One can always make an accurate prediction if the act of predicting creates the conditions specified by the prediction. In other words, if you make a prediction of certain diseases, which prediction gets people so upset as to create a breeding ground in them of those same diseases, you can be certain, that given enough time, your predictions will be proven to be true. Of course, to get away with this charade, people will have to be convinced that everything happens haphazardly in the world, which is exactly what scientists tell us is the case.

    [page 57] Your scientific beliefs tell you that your entire world happened accidentally. Your religions tell you that man is sinful: The body is not to be trusted; the senses lead you astray. In this maze of beliefs you have largely lost a sense of your own worth and purpose. A generalized fear and suspicion is generated, and life too often becomes stripped of any heroic qualities. The body cannot react to generalized threats. It is therefore put under constant strain in such circumstances, and seeks to specify the danger. It is geared to act in your protection. It builds up strong stresses, therefore, so that on many occasions a specific disease or threat situation is "manufactured" to rid the body of a tension grown too strong to bear.

    The worst examples I can think of is in so-called "public service announcements" which, to my mind, should be properly labeled as "public dis-service announcements" because of the harm they unknowingly cause to the very public they claim to service. Most of these PSA's lead people into states of mind or meditative states that are harmful to them, sometimes causing the very illnesses they claim to be trying to help people overcome.

    [page 57] Unfortunately, many of your public health programs, and commercial statements through the various media, provide you with mass meditations of a most deplorable kind. I refer to those in which the individual is further told to examine the body with those symptoms in mind. I also refer to those statements that just as unfortunately specify diseases for which the individual may experience no symptoms of an observable kind, but is cautioned that these disastrous physical events may be happening despite his or her feelings of good health.

    In 1982, remote control TV's were just coming into production and I went out immediately and bought one. I stopped watching the nightly news programs completely and kept the remote control handy to immediately mute or switch the channel when one of those drug commercials or PSA's came on. As soon as remote control radios came on the scene I bought several of those for similar reasons. I also studied a Jonathan Parker tape which included a dramatic way of protecting oneself from any such "mass meditations" by the news media and medical community. When confronted with a negative thought, one imagines the Red Circle with a Red Slash diagonally across it and places that sign over whatever the image conjured by the mind, saying forcefully to oneself at the same time, CANCEL! This is a very effective inoculation from infection by the PSA, but as with any disease or fight, it's better to avoid it than to launch a defense.

    [page 57] Public health announcements about high blood pressure themselves raise the blood pressure of millions of television viewers (even more emphatically).
           Your current ideas of preventative medicine therefore, generate the very kind of fear that causes disease. They all undermine the individual's sense of bodily security and increase stress, while offering the body a specific, detailed disease plan. But most of all, they operate to increase the individual sense of alienation from the body, and to promote a sense of powerlessness and duality.

    If you want to promote a product, what better way to do it than, through your promotion, create more of the very condition that your product claims to be able to relieve? If you want to sell food, create the feeling or illusion of hunger in your viewers. If you want to sell headache medicine, create headaches. If you want to sell sleeping pills, create a fear of insomnia which will keep people awake night. If you want to sell anti-allergy medications, get people to self-diagnose themselves as having an allergy and thereby converting them into lifelong customers. [I did not know anyone who had an allergy or hay fever as a child in the days before television, and now I'm surrounded by people who claim to be so afflicted.]

    [page 58] Headache remedies are a case in point here. Nowhere do any medically-oriented commercial or public service announcements mention the body's natural defenses, its integrity, vitality, or strength. Nowhere in your television or radio matter is any emphasis put upon the healthy. Medical statistics deal with the diseased. Studies upon the healthy are not carried out.

    The above passage reminds me strongly of what Mark Twain said about statistics, "There are two kinds of lies: damn lies and statistics." Rightly understood, statistics are lies that damn many people to illnesses and diseases that they otherwise would never have or, if they did, they would recover from without ever having taken notice of them! And especially they would not have taken any medications, whose side-affects and resulting dependency has forever reduced the quality of their lives while improving the quality of the economic lives of the producers and pushers of the medications.

    It was this book that undoubtedly first led me to consider the harm done by radio and TV PSA's and none have caused more people problems over the years than the perennial flu season messages. They claim direct evidence for a benefit while sloughing off any suggestions of harm. Is this a reasoned and balanced approach to medical advice, or is it the opposite?

    [page 71, 72] While Ruburt was working at one of his books a few days ago, he heard a public service announcement. The official told all listeners that the flu season had officially begun. He sternly suggested that the elderly and those with certain diseases make appointments at once for flu shots.

    I daresay we have all heard those announcements, always given with the authority of the medical industry. How can you question such a disembodied voice over the radio that presumes to know everything about what's good for you? How long does it take you to recover from a presupposition? Can you recognize the presupposition in the previous sentence which comprises Matherne's Rule #39? If so, can you not also recognize the presuppositions in using a voice of authority, who represents your doctor, who claims to know what's good you as an individual? Presuppositions are merely suppositions (supposed truths) which operate unconsciously upon your supposing mechanisms and, since EAT-O-TWIST doesn't break, cause you to end up having to get the flu shots, get seriously ill, or both, up until now. If you drop the presuppositions and stay healthy without the flu shots, you will have no one to blame but yourself.

    [page 72] The official mentioned, by the way, that there was indeed no direct evidence connecting past flu shots with the occurrence of a rather bizarre disease that some of those inoculated with the flu vaccine happened to come down with. [RJM: the paralyzing Guillain-Barre syndrome, 1976, which scientists later directly connected with the flu shots of the time.]

    Another presupposition embodied in those authoritative PSA's is that the elderly are somehow more susceptible to diseases. I wonder, if that were so, how did they live long enough to be elderly? This thought undoubtedly escapes doctors whose predominant metaphor for the human body is that of a machine: everybody knows that as a car gets older, it becomes more susceptible to breakdowns. What if the human body is not a machine — but a living spirit in flesh who responds to suggestions and presuppositions by shaping its life accordingly? Then one could expect that the humans who listened earnestly to those PSA's would begin to shape their lives so as to create medical statistics that would confirm that the doctors were right! It seems obvious to everyone today that the elderly are more susceptible to diseases — that "that susceptibility is a medical fact of life."

    [page 72] It is a fact, however, without a basic foundation in the truth of man's biological reality. It is a fact brought about through suggestion. The doctors see bodily results, which are quite definite, and then those results are taken as evidence.

    Is there any direct evidence to the contrary of the statement "the elderly are more susceptible to diseases"? Given the chauvinism of America doctors who presuppose their medical system is the best in the world, it's likely that they would treat any evidence to the contrary as a mere anomaly and discount it immediately.

    [page 72] In a few isolated areas of the world even today, the old are not disease-ridden, nor do their vital signs weaken. They remain quite healthy until the time of their death.

    Healthy up until the time of death? How would medical science explain that? Logically, that would mean that health is the cause of their death. To die without having been sick first is not a healthy thing for the medical industry. They lose a potentially good customer. Naturally, any industry who watches its customers disappear without buying its products would increase their advertising campaign to convince its customers of the errors of their ways. No special note has to made to remind any American consumer of the huge increase in the advertising campaigns of doctors, hospitals, and the pharmaceutical industry since 1960.

    [page 75] The idea of prevention is always based upon fear — for you do not want to prevent something that is joyful. Often, therefore, preventative medicine causes what it hopes to avoid. Not only does the idea [of prevention] continually promote the entire system of fear, but specific steps taken to prevent a disease in a body not already stricken, again, often set up reactions that bring about side effects that would occur if the disease had in fact been suffered.

    When I read the above passage I was reminded of a good friend from the 8th grade who at age 45 or so went to a nearby hospital on the advice of his doctor for a stress test to determine if the doctors could prevent his having a heart attack. While on the treadmill, hooked up to the monitoring devices, with competent medical staff on hand, in a fully equipped modern hospital, he died — from a heart attack.

    After spending time studying presuppositions [Appendix B of The Structure of Magic contains 31 "Syntactical Environments for Identifying Natural Language Presuppositions in English."], I began to learn how to turn a presupposition upside down when I found one that was potentially harmful to me. If you begin such a study, I must warn, "Beware of impending joy!" The next passage is filled with life-enhancing presuppositions that I heartily recommend to you:

    [page 74] One of man's strongest attributes is religious feeling . . . . "Life is a gift (and not a curse). I am a unique, worthy creature in the natural world, which everywhere surrounds me, gives me sustenance, and reminds me of the greater source from which I myself and the world both emerge. My body is delightfully suited to its environment, and comes to me, again, from that unknown source which shows itself through all the events of the physical world."
           That feeling gives the organism the optimism, the joy, and the ever-abundant energy to grow. It encourages curiosity and creativity, and places the individual in a spiritual world and a natural one at once.

    In the quoted portion of the above passage, I find a sentiment that echoes a portion of one of the fundamental prayers of the Christian world, the Lord's Prayer. "Gives me sustenance" meshes with "Give us this day our daily bread". Forgiving others gives us the ever-abundant energy to grow. "Lead us not into temptation" encourages a healthy curiosity. "Deliver us from evil" places one's "I" — what makes us an individual — into a spiritual and natural world of free-flowing creativity from now on.

    In spite of evidence that the medical science has caused as many new diseases as it has cured, can't we point to the many cases where medical science has saved lives?

    [page 75, 76] When it saves lives, it does so because of the intuitive healing understanding of the physician, or because the patient is so impressed by the great efforts taken in his behalf, and therefore is convinced secondhandedly of his own worth.

    On page 105, I scribbled in the margins this note, "Sickness is a defense from the truth. CiM." This was a quote or an idea from A Course in Miracles which I was studying at the time and which I reviewed just recently. Read the next passage which is talking about epidemics and the reasons for them.

    [page 104, 105] Many people are simply lonely, or overworked. Some are rebelling against commonly held ideas of competition. Flu epidemics become social excuses for much needed rest, therefore, and serve as face-saving devices so that the individuals can hide from themselves their inner difficulties. In a way, such epidemics provide their own kind of fellowship — giving common meeting grounds for those of disparate circumstances. The [epidemics] serve as accepted states of illness, in which people are given an excuse for the rest or quiet self-examination they desperately need but do not feel entitled to otherwise.

    Flu is one disease that people know when they have it and they are very likely to talk about it. One can readily understand that young working people will get the flu as a way of obtaining much needed rest while elderly people will get the flu as a way of obtaining fellowship. But there are many diseases that people have, but they don't know they have, for the very good reason that their naturally healthy body has made the necessary corrections without any doctor being involved to monitor or report the presence of the temporary illness.

    [page 105] The majority of my readers have come down with one or another disease usually considered very dangerous, and without ever knowing it, because the body healed itself normally and naturally. The disease was not labelled. It was not given recognition as a condition. Worries or fears were not aroused, yet the disease came and vanished.

    My mother died in on a Friday night in 2002, and I remember that week very well. On Monday I felt an urge, a slight feeling, to call her, but she was not sick or anything and I didn't call her because I could think of no reason to do so. On the next day, the feeling arose in me again and for the same reason, I didn't call. On Wednesday when the feeling arose, I had a new reason not to call her, I would be seeing her the next day. I saw her on Thursday and again on Friday and spent time with her each day. That Friday night while we were on a trip away from home, she fell and died on a gurney as the EMTs were preparing to carry her to the hospital for examination to determine if she had any injuries. I was asleep when a brother called to tell me what had happened. They had revived her on the gurney and she was in the hospital and unconscious. She never revived. What was that feeling that I had the whole week, a slight feeling, so slight that it did not rise to the level of prompting me to take action? If not for my having read this book some twenty years earlier, I might have completely ignored and forgotten about that slight feeling.

    [page 151] You have been taught that your feelings must necessarily be tied to specific physical happenings. You may be sad because a relative has died, for example or because you have lost a job, or because you have been rebuffed by a lover, or for any number of other accepted reasons. You are told that your feelings must be in response to events that are happening, or have happened. Often, of course, your feelings "happen ahead of time," because those feelings are the initial realities from which events flow.
           A relative might be ready to die, though no exterior sign has been given. The relative's feelings might well be mixed, containing portions of relief and sadness, which you might then perceive — the primary event are subjective.

    That same Friday morning I picked up Dad to take him to the Entergy stockholder annual meeting with me. I checked with Mom to make sure that she was feeling okay. She assured me that she was. When I returned with Dad, she was still doing fine. After her death later that night, I learned that she had spent that day on the phone talking to her sisters. She called each one long distance, a resource she rarely used due to the expense involved, and talked to each of one them, Clara, Clarise, Azelda, Merlin, and Mazel, for a long period of time. It is difficult to explain her actions on this day unless you accept that some part of her knew it was going to be her last chance to talk to her sisters. In some way she had precognitive knowledge of her impending death.

    [page 237, 238] Impulses, therefore, provide impetus toward motion, coaxing the physical body and the mental person toward the utilization of physical and mental power.
          They help the individual impress the world — that is, to act upon it and within it effectively. Impulses also open up choices that may not have been consciously available before. I have often said that the c-e-l-l-s (spelled) precognate, and that at that level the body is aware of vast information, information not consciously known or apprehended. The universe and everything within it is composed of "information," but this information is aware-ized energy; and again in ways most difficult to explain, information containing — I am sorry: information concerning the entire universe is always latent within each and any part of it.

    The cells are precognitive and contain in-formation of the entire universe. This is a powerful thought and next to the message in the passage above, I scribbled the words, "the Holy-gram!" A hologram being a recording in which the whole of the image is contained in every part of the hologram. One might say that we are cells in the body of God.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly what is essential is invisible to the eye." Do you remember ever hearing that quotation? It's from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and is called the Fox's Secret because the little Prince was told this secret by the Fox in the story. My second wife had a poster with this quotation on it in our house in Foxborough for four years and I saw it several times a day over that time. About the time I discovered "what was essential" I also learned of the authorship of the quote. It was in Saint-Exupéry's wonderful book, Citadelle [its French title] or Wisdom of the Sands [its English title] that I learned what he hinted at as being essential was in fact "the meaning of things." Notice how this theme plays out in the next quote:

    [page 256] . . . animals have values, and if the quality of their lives disintegrates beyond a certain point, the species dwindles. We are not speaking of survival of the fittest, but the survival of life with meaning (intently). Life is meaning for animals. The two are indistinguishable.

    Now notice how craftily this theme is applied to human aberrations to allow us to understand madness, schizophrenia, and other tendencies of collective human culture:

    [page 259] The paranoid and the schizophrenic are trying to find meaning in a world they have been taught is meaningless, and their tendencies appear in lesser form throughout society.

    Who taught schizophrenics that the world was meaningless? Mostly their parents and other caregivers who placed them into binds and double binds whose only escape was to prove by one's behavior that the world was meaningless. Unless these souls are helped to discover meaning in their world again, they will not live very long.

    [page 259] I am saying that if man does not find meaning in life he will not live, bread or no. He will not have energy to seek bread, nor trust his impulse to do so.

    After twenty five years, I cannot recall if this book led to my formulating EAT-O-TWIST or whether it gave me confidence and confirmation in the insight it contains. To answer the question implied by the title of this book, "Do individuals influence mass events in the world?" I would have to say only EAT-O-TWIST! Everything Allways Turns Out The Way It's Supposed To. What we see is what we get. What we expect happens. If you want the world to change, change the habitual way you think about the world, change your expectations, change your suppositions about what's going to happen, in other words, get yourself a new set of wants and suppose that the world is going to provide them to you.

    [page 294] Your thoughts and beliefs and desires form the events that you view on television. If you want to change your world, you must first change your thoughts, expectations, and beliefs. If every reader of this book changed his or her attitudes, even though not one law was rewritten, tomorrow would have changed for the better. The new laws would follow. Any new law always follows the change in belief. It is not the other way around.

    And of all the thoughts, expectations, beliefs, or suppositions, this one is the most powerful in changing the world — hold this thought — repeat this petition each day earnestly: "Not my will, but Thy Will be done."

    Read/Print the Review at: masseven.shtml

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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 Gets Invite to Dinner in Scotland this Month:

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

    This month the good Padre Delines Invite to Dinner in Edinburgh Dungeon:

    2. Comments from Readers:

    NOTE: I love hearing from all my Good Readers and including your missives here (slightly edited).
    If you prefer any comments or photos you send to be private, simply say so and they will not be published.
    • EMAIL from Barrett Chevalier:

      This is what the girls at the front desk of the Crystal Mahler made for me after my fall down the stairs.

      ~~~~~~~~~~ NOTE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      The Mahler Riverboat has a spiral staircase and a circular elevator. Barrett, in his voluble best behavior, was talking to someone at the circular entrance to the stairs next to the circular elevator. He heard the ding of the elevator arriving and stepped to enter the elevator and entered the spiral staircase instead, causing a tumble four floors to the bottom. He survived with few bruises and the crew fashioned a souvenir of his trip to remember it by. Btw, The crew sent him to a nearby doctor for an examination, assuring Barrett the German doctor would speak English. The doctor's first words to Barrett, spoken in perfect English, were, "I am a psychiatrist."

    • EMAIL from Barbara Scott:
      Hello Bobby from British Columbia,

      Happened to notice that you are on a light dose of chemotherapy. I wanted to send along my blessings your way with gratitude for the newsletter and all that you do to bring the world to a higher state of being.

      All Blessings,

    • EMAIL from John Rankin in New Orleans:

      Thanks for the update. I always enjoy your monthly digest, although I don't know how you fit so much in it!

      I hope your chemo goes well!

      Best Wishes,
      John Rankin

    • EMAIL from Kevin in Brooklyn:
      Good Morning Bobby!

      Such a blessed rain of grandkids you and Del have had of late! I loved seeing that shot of Molly (I think!) with the spontaneous smile caused by the discovery of an old bicycle seat. Your Apocalypse of St. John review was wonderful, and I hope that curmudgeon who sent you the "stay away from that occult stuff" letter will have the chance to read it.

      Cathline and I and the rest of the family are all well, though my Dad was back in the hospital this week with a urinary tract infection. But he should get out today or tomorrow, in time to watch the finals of the US Open from home.

      Keep on truckin’, my Cajun buddy.


    • EMAIL from Abigayle in Canada:
      Thank you Bobby for your latest installation!
      Your compilations never cease to amaze me in their breadth and depth. Regrading your Rudolf Steiner studies, can you direct me to more reading on the American 7th epoch you cited in your table? I have not come across this in my own studies and wish to know more.

      Thanks and hope this finds you and Del in fine fettle.

      ~~~~~~~~~~ REPLY FROM BOBBY ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      I referred Abigayle to Ed Smith's Burning Bush where she found the info she was seeking.

    3. Poem from Freedom on the Half Shell: "Weird Occupations"


    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:

               Weird Occupations

    Einstein was a patent office clerk.
    Isaac Newton was director of the mint.
    Nikola Tesla was a ditch digger.
    Benjamin Lee Whorf was a fire inspector.
    Will Rogers was a rope twirler.
    Ben Franklin was a printer.
    Jesus was a carpenter.
    Peter was a fisherman.
    Matthew was a tax collector.
    Moses was a sheepherder.
    Krishna was a butter thief.
    Mohammed was a soldier.
    Thoreau was a pencil maker.
    Thomas Paine was a girdle maker.
    Wilbur and Orville were bicycle mechanics.
    Kaisu Viikari was a hausfrau.

    Surely these people were more than their
          Weird Occupations.


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