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Southern Cross Review

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

Number 108, September - October 2016

"Two Women"

Pan Yuliang (22 May 1899 – 1977), born Zhang Yuliang, was a Chinese painter, renowned as the first woman in the country to paint in the Western style. She had studied in Shanghai and Paris. Because her modernist works caused controversy and drew severe criticism in China during the 1930s, Pan returned to Paris in 1937 to live and work for the next 40 years. She taught at the École des Beaux Arts, won several awards for her work, had exhibits internationally in Europe, the United States and Japan, and was collected by major institutions. In 1985 after her death, much of her work was transported to China, collected by the National Art Museum in the capital of Beijing. Her life as an artist has been portrayed in novels and film in China and the United States.



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Editor's Page

Basic Issues of the Social Question - Unresolved by Frank Thomas Smith

  
Juancito is nine years old but looks six. He lives on the streets of a Latin American city and lives by the laws of the streets. He is already a criminal of sorts because begging is illegal and he is a beggar. In a year or two he will graduate to petty thievery and then on to violent crime. More than likely he will become a drug addict, thereby making his own violent end at the hands of the police or disease inevitable. Members of the middle and upper classes will shake their heads at the depravity of the poor or in commiseration, consciously or not will wish him good riddance and carry on as before. Juancito's name is legion; he can be found in virtually all regions of the world. He is a victim of social injustice -- a euphemism for greed... Continue reading



Features

The Liberation of Buchenwald by Harry Herder - Introduction: FTS

  
Introduction: It was the early nineties, only a few years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the demise of the so-called German Democratic Republic (East Germany), when I was working as a management consultant specializing in organization development. I belonged to an international association that organized meetings of like-minded (anthroposophical) consultants. That year, our German colleagues had organized a conference in Weimar, Germany – a town known for two of its previous famous residents: Goethe and Schiller, as well as having been the cradle of the Weimar Republic, the last democratic government before the Nazis came to power... Continue reading


Edward W. Said on Orientalism by Gaither Stewart

  
In Edward Said’s preface to the 25
th anniversary edition of his magisterial work,
Orientalism, the author rapidly begins his definition of the Orientalism that has resulted from the “immense distortion introduced by the empire (of imperialism) into the lives of ‘lesser’ peoples and ‘subject races’…. How little it wishes to face the long succession of years through which empire continues to work its way in the lives of, say, Palestinians or Congolese or Algerians or Iraqis." For Said, the West’s Orientalist line begins with Napoleon’s entry into Egypt two centuries ago, continues with the rise of Oriental studies (one of the author’s principle targets) and the takeover of North Africa, and goes on to similar undertakings in Vietnam, in Egypt, in Palestine and during the entire twentieth century in the struggle over oil and strategic control in the Gulf, in Iraq, Syria, Palestine, and Afghanistan. The author poses the question that if the Holocaust has permanently altered the consciousness of our time, then why do we (the imperialist West) not afford the same recognition to what imperialism has done, and what “Orientalism” continues to do...
Continue reading



Signs and Portents by Joel A. Wendt

  
When those holding power and wealth do not take care of their primary resource, ordinary people, there are natural consequences that cannot be avoided. Venezuela is nearing total collapse. Power systems are breaking down, and hyper inflation is making "money" meaningless. The Chinese government is trying very hard to control the flow of information to its People - something actually impossible. All this at a time when their central bank is working furiously to try to prevent a real estate collapse that will look like small potatoes next what happened here in 2008. Their "underwater" loans are to businesses and belong to commercial buildings, not homes. A madman, and a morally compromised woman, are the main contenders for the next President of the United States of America... Continue reading



The Decay of American Politics - An Ode to Ike and Adlai by Andrew J. Bacevich

  
My earliest recollection of national politics dates back exactly 60 years to the moment, in the summer of 1956, when I watched the political conventions in the company of that wondrous new addition to our family, television.  My parents were supporting President Dwight D. Eisenhower for a second term and that was good enough for me.  Even as a youngster, I sensed that Ike, the former supreme commander of allied forces in Europe in World War II, was someone of real stature.  In a troubled time, he exuded authority and self-confidence.  By comparison, Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson came across as vaguely suspect.  Next to the five-star incumbent, he seemed soft, even foppish, and therefore not up to the job.  So at least it appeared to a nine-year-old living in Chicagoland... Continue reading

Giordano Bruno the Brave by Stephanie Merritt

  
Go to Campo dei Fiori in Rome on 17 February and you will find yourself surrounded by a motley crowd of atheists, pantheists, anarchists, Masons, mystics, Christian reformers and members of the Italian Association of Free Thinkers, all rubbing shoulders with an official delegation from City Hall. Every year, this unlikely congregation gathers to lay wreaths at the foot of the 19th-century statue that glowers over the piazza from beneath its friar’s cowl; flowers, candles, poems and tributes pile up against the plinth whose inscription reads: ‘To Bruno, from the generation he foresaw, here, where the pyre burned.’ In the four centuries since he was executed for heresy by the Roman Inquisition, this diminutive iconoclast has been appropriated as a symbol by all manner of causes, reflecting the complexities and contradictions inherent in his ideas, his writings and his character... Continue reading.



Fiction
They Call Me Jackie Robinson in Brazil / En Brasil me llaman Jackie Robinson by Frank Thomas Smith

  
Sometimes I woke up and didn't know where I was and what language I should say good morning to the maid in. I'd eat breakfast, usually alone, sometimes with my mother if she didn't get to bed late the night before, and head for school in a bulletproof, chauffeur-driven limousine with my two bodyguards. In case you didn't know, the United States is a big, unloved country that likes to throw its weight around so American companies can buy the world and the so-called Third World is full of assholes who think they can change everything by kidnapping the American ambassador's son.I had this recurring dream. I'm spread-eagled naked on a cot in a dingy basement room. The terrorists decide that the only way to convince the United States to give Texas back to the Mexicans is to cut off my balls and send them to the White House with a note graphically stating what would be next. A hairless albino is approaching me with a hacksaw when I wake up screaming. I thought what good is being an ambassador's son if all those assholes want to emasculate you to prove they mean business and you have to be surrounded by bodyguards all the time... Continue reading


A Girl I Knew by J.D.Salinger

  
At the end of my freshman year of college, back in 1936, I flunked five out of five subjects. Flunking three out of five would have made me eligible to report for an invitation to attend some other college in the fall. But men in this three-out-of-five category sometimes had to wait outside the Dean's office as long as two hours. Men in my group - some of whom had big dates in New York that same night - weren't kept waiting a minute. It went one, two, three, the way most men in my group like things to go. The particular college I had been attending apparently does not simply mail people's grades home, but prefers to shoot them out of some kind of gun. When I got home to New York, even the butler looked tipped off and hostile. It was a bad night altogether. My father informed me quietly that my formal education was formally over... Continue reading

Anthroposophy

Mi Educación Esotérica, Mi Introducción a la Antroposofía, y Cómo Conocer los Mundos Superiores por Monique Sanchíz de Mihalitsianos

 
 
No puedo dormir. Es una de esas noches…He estado pensando en esto mucho últimamente y, finalmente, he decidido utilizar este tiempo en vela, bajo el decepcionantemente nublado cielo nocturno, para poner, de una vez por todas, los pensamientos en papel y el punto sobre las í-es. Aquiiiiií va: Fui re-introducida al esoterismo a la tierna edad de los 14 años. Digo re-introducir, porqué estoy segura que he estudiado esoterismo anteriormente, en mis vidas pasadas. Fui criada dentro de una familia Protestante-Cristiana (debido a la influencia americana de mi madre en el hogar), dentro de un país Católico, con un Padre Católico, pero no practicante. Por ende, es seguro decir que crecí dentro de un ambiente religioso. Leí muchas novelas fantásticas al crecer, muchas novelas épicas. Jugué mucho deporte (todavía lo hago). Fui una chica normal con una vida feliz y saludable. El cambio sucedió cuando mi primer novio me prestó un par de libros sobre Metafísica...
Continue reading [Link to English version at end of article.]


What is the Human Being? by Judith von Halle

 
 
Knowledge about the human being, his true inner and outer nature, can be acquired if one begins to consider him – which is, after all, his own being – with the methods of anthroposophical spiritual science. Practicing anthroposophical spiritual science is possible for everyone. No special qualifications are needed. By being human one is qualified. For it is not at all the task of anthroposophical spiritual science to investigate the spirit, but by means of the spirit to investigate the world and humanity. The fact that this spirit is available to the human being means that we are – without any kind of specialized training – very well equipped for anthroposophical investigative work, provided that we are really willing to do so... Continue reading


Reincarnation and Karma - Lecture Two by Rudolf Steiner

   
The thoughts contained in the last lecture will in that form have seemed to many incomprehensible, perhaps even matters of doubt; but if we go further into the subject to-day they will become clearer. What was it that was presented to us in the last lecture? For the whole being of man it was somewhat similar to what a man accomplishes when he is in some position in life where he has to reflect upon earlier occurrences and experiences, and call them back into his memory. Memory and remembrance are experiences of the human soul which, in ordinary consciousness, are really connected only with the course of the soul's life between birth and death — or more exactly, with the period of time which begins in the later years of childhood and lasts until death. Continue reading


"Apologia" concerning the publication of the the First Class Lessons: Apologia

Karmic Relations, Volume IV, Introductory Lecture by Rudolf Steiner

 
Many friends have come here today for the first time since the Christmas Foundation Meeting and I must therefore speak of it, even if only briefly, by way of introduction. Through this Christmas Foundation the Anthroposophical Society was to be given a new impulse, the impulse that is essential if it is to be a worthy channel for the life which, through Anthroposophy, must find embodiment in human civilisation. Since the Christmas Foundation an esoteric impulse has indeed come into the Anthroposophical Society. Hitherto this society was the administrative centre for Anthroposophy. From its beginning onwards, Anthroposophy was the channel for the spiritual life that has been accessible to mankind since the last third of the 19th century. Our conception of the Anthroposophical Movement, however, must be that what takes its course on earth is only the outer manifestation of something that is accomplished in the spiritual world for the furtherance of the evolution of humanity... Continue reading


Poetry

Evolution and Occult Science by Frank Thomas Smith

   
How easy to claim that we crawled one day,
Cloudy and warm, up from the slime
For no reason except we could.
Why not be happy and dumb and stay
Home and leave evolution for another time?

But then you'd never be a crocodile,
Not to mention an anthropoid:
A simian, that is, a monkey or ape.
It seems to me a crooked pile,
Tottering ineptly into the void...
Continue reading

Red Rain Boots and Other Poems by Kimberly Potter Kendrick

   
He desired rain boots,
specifically Red Rain Boots
She being she
and him being him
She knows wants are not needs
He knows what he wants
He knows her
She knows him
Together they scheme
Stores around the town
Stores online
Zealously searching
Suddenly she spots them,
Red Rain Boots... Continue reading

The Death of Rubén Darío / La muerte de Rubén Darío by Antonio Machado

   
If all the world’s harmony was in your verse,
where did you go, Darío, harmony to seek?
Gardener of Hesperia, nightingale of the seas,
heart at astral music awed,
Has Dionysius taken you by the hand to hell
and you’ll return with new triumphal roses?

Si era toda en tu verso la armonía del mundo,
¿dónde fuiste, Darío, la armonía a buscar?
Jardinero de Hesperia, ruiseñor de los mares,
corazón asombrado de la música astral,
¿te ha llevado Dionysos de su mano al infierno
y con las nuevas rosas triunfantes volverás?
Continue reading





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