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Southern Cross Review

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

Number 107, July - August 2016

"A woman in the Sun"

Edward Hopper, (July 22, 1882 – May 15, 1967) was a prominent American realist painter and printmaker. While he was most popularly known for his oil paintings, he was equally proficient as a watercolorist and printmaker in etching. Both in his urban and rural scenes, his spare and finely calculated renderings reflected his personal vision of modern American life. One of his teachers, artist Robert Henri, taught life class. Henri encouraged his students to use their art to "make a stir in the world". He also advised his students, "It isn't the subject that counts but what you feel about it" and "Forget about art and paint pictures of what interests you in life." He encouraged them to imbue a modern spirit in their work. Some artists in Henri's circle, including John Sloan, became members of "The Eight", also known as the Ashcan School of American Art. Hopper's first existing oil painting to hint at his famous interiors was Solitary Figure in a Theater (c.1904). During his student years, he also painted dozens of nudes, still life studies, landscapes, and portraits, including his self-portraits. Not until he was 41 did he receive recognition for his work. His financial stability now secured, Hopper would live a simple, stable life and continue creating art in his distinctive style for four more decades.



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Editor's Page

JFK's Lost Suitcase by Frank Thomas Smith

 
It was 1960. I worked as an American Airlines ticket and ramp agent at New York's LaGuardia Airport. It was a time of DC 3s and 6s, Convairs and later the Lockheed Electra turboprops - which began to fall out of the sky at around that time because of torque pressure on the wings. We did everything. Nowadays you buy your ticket on the internet or from a travel agent. Then you were more likely to have bought it from us at the airport. That means that we didn't only give you a boarding pass and sling your bag onto a belt, but we also issued your ticket by hand, which made us tariff experts as well. And fares were complicated those days – there were “open jaw” constructions, which meant that you could travel from A to B but return from C to A (the open jaw being from B to C) and still get the round-trip discount, by calculating one-half the round trip fares A-B and C-A. There were also “triangular” fares – A to B to C to A, for example: New York-Paris-Buenos Aires-New York... Continue reading


Features

Frida and Diego - a special love by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

  
“I DON'T GIVE A SHIT WHAT
THE WORLD THINKS.
I WAS BORN A WHORE, I WAS BORN A PAINTER,
I WAS BORN SCREWED UP...
BUT I WAS HAPPY ON MY WAY...
YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM...
I AM LOVE, I AM PLEASURE, I AM ESSENCE, I AM AN IDIOT, I AM AN ALCOHOLIC,
I AM TENACIOUS, I AM...
I SIMPLY AM...
KEEP YOUR FUCKING LIFE, YOU'RE A SHIT.”

FRIDA KAHLO TO DIEGO RIVERA Continue reading


Frida y Diego - un amor especial por Frida Kahlo y Diego Rivera

  
Continuar


Science

The Doomsday Clock - Nuclear Weapons, Climate Change, and the Prospects for Survival by Noam Chomsky

  
In January 2015, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists advanced its famous Doomsday Clock to three minutes before midnight, a threat level that had not been reached for 30 years. The Bulletin’s statement explaining this advance toward catastrophe invoked the two major threats to survival: nuclear weapons and “unchecked climate change.” The call condemned world leaders, who “have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe,” endangering “every person on Earth [by] failing to perform their most important duty -- ensuring and preserving the health and vitality of human civilization.” Since then, there has been good reason to consider moving the hands even closer to doomsday... Continue reading


Can Darwinian Evolutionary Theory Be Taken Seriously? by Stephen L. Talbott

  
Evolutionary biologists today find themselves in a troubled relationship with the American public. Their great source of discomfort and wonder lies in the fact that the theory of evolution is “still under siege” by a substantial and sometimes aggressively disbelieving population — this despite being “an established and accepted scientific theory for 150 years” “What are we doing wrong?” asks Jason Wiles, a biologist and educator at Syracuse and McGill Universities. His answer: “We do not know”... Continue reading

Theology

Prayer for the Days of Awe by ELie Wiesel

  
Master of the Universe, let us make up. It is time. How long can we go on being angry? More than 50 years have passed since the nightmare was lifted. Many things, good and less good, have since happened to those who survived it. They learned to build on ruins. Family life was re-created. Children were born, friendships struck. They learned to have faith in their surroundings, even in their fellow men and women. Gratitude has replaced bitterness in their hearts. No one is as capable of thankfulness as they are. Thankful to anyone willing to hear their tales and become their ally in the battle against apathy and forgetfulness. For them every moment is grace... Continue reading

The Bible - Lost in Translation? by Paul Carline

  
Millions of Christians worldwide believe that the Old and New Testaments (The Bible in common parlance) are the words of God, committed to writing by people directly and divinely inspired, and that they can, therefore, be taken as the literal truth. The consequences of that belief have effects which go far beyond individuals’ personal religious convictions - influencing major areas of human affairs, including science and politics (for example, in the creationism/evolution debate, and in the belief of many that Christianity is engaged in an apocalyptic struggle for preeminence with Islam, justifying in some strange way the illegal invasions and occupations of predominantly Muslim countries and lending force to the global demonisation of Muslims based on lies about their involvement in major acts of terrorism)... Continue reading.

The Missing Artcle in the Gospel of John by Frank Thomas Smith

  
The Gospel of John was originally written in ancient Greek, and what is translated as “...and the Word was God” was, literally “AND GOD WAS THE WORD” (God “Deos” became capitalized in later versions.) So the Word, or Logos, was in the beginning. The beginning of what? Of the world. Which means that God must have existed before the beginning in order to have begun to create the world at the beginning. And the Word was there with God at the beginning. Most important, though, is the conspicuous contradiction that the Word was with God and was also God. How can anything, or anybody, be something and simultaneously be with it? It is not possible, so it must be untrue... Continue reading




Fiction

The Intelligence Analyst by Frank Thomas Smith

  
Jim Tate was kicked out of Military Intelligence unceremoniously, and he wanted to know why. I was reminded of Jim's story when reading about and sympathizing with Bradley Manning, that private-first-class who sent all the so-called “secret” information to WikiLeaks. I was reminded of how stupid, that's the best word for it, but one could also say inept, bureaucratic, clumsy and a whole list of adjectives from the thesaurus to describe the United States Army – or, probably, any army. It's just that my experience is with the American version. Just think: a private-first-class sitting in front of a computer somewhere in the desert in Iraq with access to the electronic messages sent from embassies all over the world to the State Department in Washington. Note, however, that Manning is an “intelligence analyst”. Why does he have such an important sounding MOS (Military Occupation Specialty) and still be only a Pfc? It's because he's intelligent and maybe he knows a foreign language, it doesn't matter which one; the path to being an intelligence analyst is to know a foreign language. They give you IQ tests when you enter the army, and if your IQ is higher than a baboon's they call you out of formation for duty as something cooler than an infantry grunt... Continue reading

Turkish Delight by Gaither Stewart

  
His dark face projected toward the rain-blurred windshield, Ibrahim’s body was unusually stiff and erect. The powerful windshield wipers slashed relentlessly but ineffectively at the unyielding rain while the constant splash from the intense traffic on the four-lane highway isolated the big car in a cloud of impenetrable muddy spray against the walls of which his headlights seemed to ricochet back into his eyes. -Just what I needed—he thought—this blinding rain in this indecipherable land. It’s hard enough just finding my way into The Hague. But then, everything has gone wrong since they arrived, finally, for their first visit from the homeland.- The others had fallen silent, hypnotized by the night rain, the methodical slapping of the wipers, and now the regular flashing of the city lights in the distance..
Continue reading



Doctors and Monuments by Travis Englefield

  
D. woke with a headache and a dry mouth and stumbled into the bathroom. The morning sun entered there before anywhere else and reflected off of every surface so that everything glowed. Depending on his mood, this usually reminded D. of radioactivity or life after death. Neither particularly interesting or even threatening. His urine was such a thick yellow it seemed to refuse to dilute. He imagined the Chinese doctor, the one from the book Alice kept rereading, watching him, shaking his head at the colour, mumbling incomprehensibly under his breath. The doctor’s eyes turned to follow him to the basin, where he washed his hands and then splashed water on his face; this is what people did in films and so, it followed, he figured it something worth trying. He didn’t feel more awake but he did have cold water on his face and the Chinese doctor seemed to have disappeared, so he guessed he’d done something right... Continue reading

Anthroposophy

My Esoteric Education, How I Became and Anthroposophist and Knowledge of Higher Worlds by Monique Sanchíz de Mihalitsianos

 
 
It’s one of those nights again where I can’t get any sleep. I’ve been thinking about this lately and decided to use this time under the disappointingly clouded night-sky to type it all down. Heeereeee it goes: I was re-introduced to esoterism at the age of 14. I say reintroduced because I’m sure I’ve studied it before, in my past lives. I was raised Protestant Christian (my mother’s influence on the household) in a Catholic country, with a non-practicing Catholic father. I grew up religious. I read a lot of fantasy books growing up, a lot of epic novels. I played a lot of sports (still do so). I was a normal kid with a happy, healthy life.The shift came when my first boyfriend lent me a few of his books on Metaphysics...
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The Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha: The three jewels of Buddhism in Relation to Anthroposophy by Bruce Kirchoff

 
 
Buddhism speaks of three jewels: the Buddha, the dharma, and the sangha. Although there are precise definitions for these terms in the Theravada tradition, they have relevance to Anthroposophy under slightly wider meanings. First, we will consider the meaning of these terms in Pali, the language of the Buddhist texts, then turn to their application to Anthroposophy. “Buddha” is a name given to someone who discovers (or rediscovers) for himself the path of liberation (of dharma) after this path has been long forgotten by the world. Siddhattha Gotama was the most recent Buddha, but a long line of Buddhas stretches into the past, and perhaps into the future.
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Esoteric & Exoteric in Rudolf Steiner's Work - Review-Essay of Vol. 7 of the Rudolf Steiner Critical Edition by David W. Wood

 
 
Volume 7 of the Critical Edition of Rudolf Steiner’s Writings, "Schriften – Kritische Ausgabe" (SKA), contains Steiner’s two main texts on the spiritual path of knowledge, both of which originally appeared in the journal "Lucifer-Gnosis" in the years 1904-1908. The first of Steiner’s texts is entitled "Wie erlangt man Erkenntnisse der höheren Welten?" (How does one Attain Knowledge of the Higher Worlds?), and the second "Die Stufen der höheren Erkenntnis" (The Stages of Higher Knowledge), which was conceived as a continuation or “intermediate reflection” on the former text. Chronologically, volume 7 is actually the second volume overall to appear in the Critical Edition, and again it is competently introduced and commentated by Christian Clement, and published in a fine and attractive edition by the German academic publisher Frommann-Holzboog. Volume 7 begins with a foreword (VII-XVI) by the late Gerhard Wehr, who argues that Steiner’s aim in these writings was to furnish a Western path of knowledge that led to spiritual independence on the part of the student... Continue reading


Reincarnation and Karma - Lecture One by Rudolf Steiner

   
People who have made a study of Anthroposophy, and particularly of the basic principles of reincarnation, karma and other truths connected with man and his evolution, may well ask: Why is it so difficult to gain a true, first-hand conception of that being in man which passes through repeated earth-lives — that being, which, if one could only acquire more intimate knowledge of it, would inevitably lead to an insight into the secrets of repeated earth-lives and even of karma? It is certainly true to say that as a rule people misinterpret everything connected with this question. At first they try, as is only too natural, to explain it through ordinary thinking, through the ordinary intellect, and ask themselves: To what extent can we find, in the facts of life, proof that the conception of repeated earth-lives and karma is true? This endeavour, which is essentially of the nature of reflection, can, admittedly, lead us to a certain point, but no further... Continue reading


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

Nine Lectures on Bees - Lectures 8 and 9 by Rudolf Steiner

   
(Questions were asked as to the affinity between bees and flowers; also, what honey should be, and is. The question of the laying of eggs when the Queen is not fecundated was again raised, as in a normal hive there are three kinds of eggs: queen-eggs, worker-eggs and drone-eggs).DR. STEINER: Very well, we will discuss these things once more in today's lecture. It is like this: we have first the fertilisation of the Queen during the nuptial flight. The Queen is then fecundated. Then we have to consider the time which elapses between the laying of the eggs until the insect is completely matured. With the Queen this period is sixteen days, with the worker-bee twenty-one to twenty-two days, and in the case of the drone twenty-two to twenty-four days. We have then these three types; they differ from one another in so far as they mature during differing periods of time. What lies at the root of this? Continue reading

Karmic Relations, Volume III, Lecture Eleven by Rudolf Steiner

 
For a long time we have been speaking of the karmic facts and conditions connected with the anthroposophical movement, with the Anthroposophical Society and with the individuals who feel impelled out of an inner sincerity to choose their path of life within this movement. Much will remain to be said on these karmic questions after my return from England, but today, in our last lecture before my departure which will take me away for the rest of August, I would like to bring to a kind of conclusion what I have said. Thus in today's lecture we will to some extent round off the thoughts I have been able to communicate to you in these studies about karma. ... Continue reading


Educación

La necesidad de una educación verdaderamente libre por Carlos Carlos Mönckeberg (f), Frank Thomas Smith y Dr. William L. Chapman (f)

   
Cualquier reforma que se decida no puede tener el efecto deseado si no llega a la raíz del problema de la educación en el país y en el mundo: la dependencia de las instituciones escolares del estado político. Si analizamos la evolución de las formas sociales en la historia, nos encontramos con tres elementos arquetípicos constitutivos de una sociedad organizada. El Estado propiamente dicho, o sea, el portador del elemento del derecho. El sector que podríamos llamar cultural, y que abarca todas las manifestaciones de la vida religiosa, cultural, artística y educacional, ya que educar es, precisamente, poner a disposición del educando los contenidos de la cultura... Continue reading

Poetry

Friend From a Distant Land by Frank Thomas Smith

   
Beyond the highest, Aconcagua's peak,
Lives a lady of delicate health
Known by the name Mireya.

Her glance, her smile, her self are all I seek,
Are more to me than worlds of wealth,
The ailing lady Mireya.
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