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Southern Cross Review

Review of fiction, education, science, current events,
essays, book reviews, poetry and Anthroposophy

Number 78, September - October 2011




"Egon Schiele, June 12, 1890 – October 31, 1918) was an Austrian painter. A protégé of Gustav Klimt, Schiele was a major figurative painter of the early 20th century. His work is noted for its intensity, and the many self-portraits the artist produced. The twisted body shapes and the expressive line that characterize Schiele's paintings and drawings mark the artist as an early exponent of Expressionism.


Features

The Twin Towers and the Space Between: September 11 Revisited by Gisela Wielki

  
Our passage into the twenty-first century enables us to view the twentieth century in its entirety. We can already sense that it will enter history as an outstanding epoch. The entire century bears witness not only to the crossing of new frontiers and the “breaking of seals,” but also to our loss of orientation. We have entered worlds that had been inaccessible for lack of knowledge or technological tools. When the painter Kandinsky learned about the splitting of the atom in 1906, he became deeply agitated, and wrote, “The collapse of the atom model was equivalent, in my soul, to the collapse of the whole world. Suddenly the thickest walls fell. I would not have been amazed if stone appeared before my eye in the air, melted, and became invisible.” Humanity has since come to live with the prospect of nuclear annihilation. Early in the century, psychoanalysis pushed open the door to the human unconscious, and spiritual science pointed the way from sensible into supersensible realms. Then, as early as 1948, the British astronomer Fred Hoyle took note of yet another frontier that humanity was about to cross, when he wrote, “Once a photograph of the earth, taken from outside, is available … a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose.”.. Read more


A Day of Horror - Terror in Norway by Tarjei Straume

  
"Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself." ( -- Carl Gustav Jung) I've always loved this maxim by Jung. It makes me feel good about myself. But after last week, I shudder when I think of what psychopaths may read into it. The mass executioner of young people, age 15 to 34, had quoted John Stewart Mill: “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests.” It goes without saying that self-proclaimed secularists, i.e. atheists or non-believers in anything religious, are citing this as a typical example of what "true believers" are made of, and that belief is, ipso facto, unhealthy and dangerous...Read more...


Fiction

The Adjustment Bureau by Philip K. Dick

  
It was bright morning. The sun shone down on the damp lawns and sidewalks, reflecting off the sparkling parked cars. The Clerk came walking hurriedly, leafing through his instructions, flipping pages and frowning He stopped in front of the small green stucco house for a moment, and then turned up the walk, entering the backyard.
The dog was asleep inside his shed, his back turned to the world. Only his thick tail showed. "For heaven's sake" the Clerk exclaimed, hands on his hips. He tapped his mechanical pencil noisily against his clipboard. "Wake up, you in there." The dog stirred. He came slowly out of his shed, head first, blinking and yawning in the morning sunlight. "Oh, it’s you. Already?" He yawned again. "Big doings." The Clerk ran his expert finger down the traffic-control sheet. "They're adjusting Sector T137 this morning. Starting at exactly nine o'clock."...Read more

The Adjustment Bureau Revisited by Frank Thomas Smith

  
Natalie was an especially impressionable child. Now we know that almost all children are impressionable in that when small they have difficulty differentiating what is real from what is fiction or fantasy. Once, when she was seven, her father took her to a puppet show in which the devil – or a devil – had a part. When he appeared wagging his red tail and laughing wickedly, Natalie hid under her seat and wouldn't come out until the devil was gone. So you can well understand why – when she was thirteen – she was so impressed by the film: “The Adjustment Bureau”. She knew of course that it was fiction and was based on a short story by Philip K. Dick. Her kid brother, Billy, who was only eleven, opined that the adjustment guys, as he called them, were “scary as hell”. Natalie soon set him straight by explaining that the Adjustment Bureau worked to correct human folly; so actually they were the good guys, even though their methods were somewhat...well...extreme... Read more


Current Events

Playing Ball with the Pentagon
by Andrew Bacevich

  
Fenway Park, Boston, July 4, 2011.  On this warm summer day, the Red Sox will play the Toronto Blue Jays.  First come pre-game festivities, especially tailored for the occasion.  The ensuing spectacle -- a carefully scripted encounter between the armed forces and society -- expresses the distilled essence of present-day American patriotism.  A masterpiece of contrived spontaneity, the event leaves spectators feeling good about their baseball team, about their military, and not least of all about themselves -- precisely as it was meant to do...Read more


Bradley Manning - American Hero by Chase Madar

  
We still don’t know if he did it or not, but if Bradley Manning, the 24-year-old Army private from Oklahoma, actually supplied WikiLeaks with its choicest material -- the Iraq War logs, the Afghan War logs, and the State Department cables -- which startled and riveted the world, then he deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom instead of a jail cell at Fort Leavenworth.
President Obama recently gave one of those medals to retiring Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who managed the two bloody, disastrous wars about which the WikiLeaks-released documents revealed so much.  Is he really more deserving than the young private who, after almost ten years of mayhem and catastrophe, gave Americans -- and the world -- a far fuller sense of what our government is actually doing abroad? Read more


Education

The Rudolf Steiner School in Nairobi, Kenya
by Judith Brown

  
The Rudolf Steiner School, Mbagathi, has just over 300 children - ranging in age from three to fifteen years. The school lies on the dry flat plains, situated south of the Nairobi National Park, where lions are still free to roam and are heard regularly; giraffes silently graze the acacia trees nearby. The children are generally in extreme poverty, they often lack sufficient food and other basic requirements. Living close to Nairobi we feel the cost of living rising fast. Recently prices have rocketed partly due to the drought situation in this region of the world. Driving too is more stressful as the roads are not adequate for the increasing traffic...Our children, mainly from disadvantaged homes, are brought to the school and sponsorship is found for those unable to contribute; they pay what they can. Many donors from all parts of the world give regular contributions for the welfare and education of our children. Without them we could not manage. Thanks to their generous support we are able to provide stability, joy and a sound education.... Read more



Anthroposophy

Rudolf Steiner, Anthroposophy and Waldorf Education by Heiner Ullrich

Rudolf Steiner’s reforming ideas still have an exceptionally strong, practical impact today in many spheres, especially in education, medicine, agriculture and the pictorial arts. On the other hand, his theoretical scientific and philosophical writings have so far met with little interest and still less acceptance in academic circles. When his thinking does attract attention it becomes the subject of passionate controversy. Uncritical identification by his followers contrasts with polemic and sweeping criticism by the representatives of academic research. There seems to be no golden mean in the appraisal of Steiner’s conceptual world...Read more


Freedom and the Catholic Church - Lecture 3 of 3 by Rudolf Steiner

...Now you know that this spiritual life which precedes our birth or conception is not spoken of in the churches of our modern civilized world. It is never spoken of, and for a quite definite reason. Because at a certain point of time, which coincides with that of Greek evolution between Plato and Aristotle, all consciousness of a prenatal spiritual life was lost. Plato speaks clearly of that life, but Aristotle vehemently defended the theory that every time a human being is born on the earth a quite new soul unites with his physical body. The Aristotelian doctrine is that for each physically born human being a new soul is created.Now if one holds such a view, one cannot say otherwise than that the life which begins with death, which a person begins by throwing off his physical body — and of this Aristotle also speaks — continues to exist and does not again descend to earth... Read more


La Libertad y la Iglesia Católica - Conferencia 3 de 3 por Rudolf Steiner

Por razones de fuerza mayor no contamos todavía con la traducción de esta conferencia. Los lectores que tengan interés la encontrarán aquí a partir del 11 de septiembre. Por favor disculpen la demora.


The Limits of Natural science by Rudolf Steiner - Forward by Saul Bellow

  
The audience attending this series of lectures in 1920 was at once informed by Rudolf Steiner that he proposed to consider the connections between natural science and social renewal. Everyone agrees, he says, that such a renewal requires a renewal of our thinking (one must remember that he was speaking of the groping and soul-searching that followed the great and terrible war of 1914–18), yet not everyone “imagines something clear and distinct when speaking in this way.... Read more

Karmic Relations, Volume 1, Lecture 11 by Rudolf Steiner

Our studies of karma, which have led us lately to definite individual examples of karmic relationships, are intended to afford a basis for forming a judgment not only of individual human connections, but also of more general historical ones. And it is with this end in view that I would like now to add to the examples already given. Today we will prepare the ground, and tomorrow we will follow this up by showing the karmic connections. You will have realised that consideration of the relation between one earth-life and the next must always be based upon certain definite symptoms and facts...Read more


Poetry

The Last Judgment and other poems
by Eric G. Muller

  
No escape for the naked hoard
blasted into the abyss
with fanfare trumpets
by angelic cherubs
perched on firm-thin clouds
stripping the sinners of any
hope
Horned hogs and wild horses
trample the freshly fallen flesh-grapes
underneath their horn-sickle hoofs...
...Read more

Ode to a Nighingale by John Keats

   
MY heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happiness,
That thou, light-wingèd Dryad of the trees,
          In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.... Read more



Letters to the Editor

  
I must confess I am most shocked! One thing is to read a biased political view far-removed from the facts or reality of the middle-east; but to read it on a site that harbours Steiner-articles and anthroposophical discussion, which I see as being most enthusiastic in achieving truth, this is disappointing! I live in Tivon, in northern Israel, and I am a student of anthroposophy for thirty years. Summer six years ago we experienced a war. For a month, there were missiles fired from Lebanon on all northern cities, with civilians killed and wounded in their homes, or on their way to work, and so forth. Because it was school holiday, many took their children and ran away to central and southern areas. My daughter and friends still suffer from the memories of sirens going up and down, that used to warn us to go into shelters. Missiles have been also fired on Shderot in the south for eight years, until "operation cast lead", two and a half years ago, has minimized this threat... Read more




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