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Southern Cross Review

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

Number 104, January - February 2016

"Nudo sdraiato"

Amedeo Modigliani (12 July 1884 – 24 January 1920) was an Italian painter and sculptor who worked mainly in France. He is known for portraits and nudes in a modern style characterized by elongation of faces and figures, that were not received well during his lifetime, but later found acceptance. Modigliani spent his youth in Italy, where he studied the art of antiquity and the Renaissance, until he moved to Paris in 1906. There he came into contact with prominent artists such as Pablo Picasso. During his life, Amedeo Modigliani had little success, but after his death he achieved greater popularity and his works of art have achieved enormously high prices. He died at age 35 in Paris of tubercular meningitis.



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Editor's Page

The Impostor Magi by Frank Thomas Smith

 
A boy from the village ran into our yard at lunchtime on the fifth of January and announced at the top of his lungs that the Three Kings were coming to the schoolhouse that night at nine o’clock. That’s how news in Las Chacras is announced – by word of mouth. I remembered that a neighbor had asked for a donation to buy sweets and balloons a few days before. Making enquiries on the main road, I found out that the Kings were scheduled to begin their descent to the school from the almacén at nine o’clock, which meant that they would more likely begin at nine-thirty and arrive at ten...Continue reading

Los Reyes Impostores El mediodía del 5 de enero un chico del pueblo entró corriendo a nuestro patio y anunció a voz en cuello que los tres Reyes Magos llegaban a la escuela esa noche a las nueve. Así es como se transmiten las noticias en Las Charcas –de boca en boca. Recordé entonces que, unos días antes, un vecino me había pedido una contribución para comprar golosinas y globos. Preguntando en el camino principal, averigüé que a las nueve los Reyes tenían programado iniciar su descenso desde el almacén hacia la escuela, lo que significaba que más probablemente comenzarían a las nueve y media y llegarían a las diez... Continuar


Fiction

Juan Francisco Hangs On by Gaither Stewart

  
You don’t have any idea what the real world is,” Juan Francisco said after an unusually long mental search for a subject he knew offended and irritated her most. He looked up from his easel and scowled at her curled form in the narrow bed a few steps away. “You’re thirty years old, verdad? But you’re still the spoiled rich girl from Las Lomas … still dependent on your father.” He smiled to himself when he saw her twitch. He let his last words sink in before continuing, louder now... Continue reading


Book Review

Narcissus and Goldmund by Herman Hesse

  
This isn’t really a book review, rather an excuse to include an excerpt from Herman Hesse’s superb novel in SCR. In order to introduce the excerpt, it will be necessary to say something about the characters. Narcissus and Goldmund are novices in a Catholic cloister in Germany in what seems to be the 13th century – the time of the plague. They are both in love, Goldmund, the younger, with Narcissus's beautiful soul, Narcissus with all of Goldmund – but he keeps his feelings within, like a good monk. He realizes that Goldmund is not made for the ascetic life because he is too much for this world, and loves girls...Continue reading



Current Events

Afghanistan “After” the American War - Once More Down the Rabbit Hole by Ann Jones

  
Ten months ago, on December 28, 2014, a ceremony in Kabul officially marked the conclusion of America’s very long war in Afghanistan. President Obama called that day “a milestone for our country.” After more than 13 years, he said, “our combat mission in Afghanistan is ending, and the longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion.” That was then. This is now. In between, on September 28, 2015, came another milestone: the Taliban takeover of Kunduz, the capital of the province of the same name in northern Afghanistan, and with a population of about 270,000, the country’s fifth-largest city. A few invaders strolled unopposed to the city center to raise the white flag of the Taliban.  Others went door to door, searching for Afghan women who worked for women’s organizations or the government. They looted homes, offices, and schools, stealing cars and smashing computers...
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Anthroposophy

Lucifer and Ahriman Under the Bed by Stanley Messenger

   
Like all inspired spiritual impulses which enter a world which is hell-bent on survival by acquisition and destruction, anthroposophy has a tragic destiny. Tragedy (salted of course by a touch of comedy at the right moments!), is fine and necessary. I once heard Hermann Poppelbaum say in a lecture that if one is to pursue a life in the promotion of anthroposophy it is necessary to develop an entirely new relationship to failure. Had the path of anthroposophy run its course smoothly and successfully into the world of euphoric expansion which prevailed between the wars it could only have taken a luciferic form...  Continue reading.


Fichte and the German Spirit by Rudolf Steiner

   
Let us transport ourselves in imagination to Rammenau in Oberlausitz, a spot not far from Kamenz in Saxony, the birthplace of Lessing. The year is 1769. A house of no great size stands beside a brook. The generations inhabiting this house, as records show, had been engaged in the ribbon-weaving industry, from father to son, ever since the period of the Thirty Years' War. The standard of life prevailing at this time in the house was not even as high as tolerable comfort, indeed it was very near to poverty. By the brook that flowed past the house, in this year of 1769, stood a seven-year-old boy, fairly small, rather sturdily built for his age, with red cheeks and expressive eyes, that at this moment were showing signs of deep distress. The boy had just thrown into the brook a book that was floating away. Continue reading

Rudolf Steiner's Fifth Gospel - Lectures 1 and 2 in Cologne, Germany

   
This evening and tomorrow I feel obliged to speak to you of what we have become accustomed to call the Mystery of Golgotha, but I will attempt to speak of it in a somewhat different way than until now. What has been said previously, although certainly esoteric, has had a more esoteric-theoretical content. I have spoken about the essence and significance of the Mystery of Golgotha for humanity. That it is to a certain extent the central phenomenon for the whole evolution of humanity on earth and to what extent it is the central phenomenon has been considered... Continue reading

El Quinto Evangelio de Rudolf Steiner - Conferencias 1 y 2 en Colonia, Alemania

Siento que, esta noche y mañana, debo hablarles de lo que hemos dado en llamar el Misterio del Gólgota, pero trataré de hacerlo de manera algo diferente de como lo he hecho hasta ahora. Lo dicho anteriormente, aunque ciertamente esotérico, ha tenido un contenido más esotérico-teórico. He hablado sobre la esencia y la importancia del Misterio del Gólgota para la humanidad, sobre cómo, en cierta medida, es el fenómeno fundamental para toda la evolución de la humanidad sobre la tierra y he analizado en qué medida es fundamental. Esto ha provenido, en su totalidad, de fuentes de investigación ocultista. He abordado las fuentes de pensamiento que emanan del Misterio del Gólgota y que se desarrollan y viven en nuestra evolución terrena... Continue reading

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

Nine Lectures on Bees - Lecture Five by Rudolf Steiner

   
Herr Erbsmehl remarked that in modern bee-keeping the bee-master is primarily concerned with making a profit: it is the material side that has to be considered. In the “Bienenzeitung” (No. 10) it says: — “Honey is for the most part a luxury, and those who can afford to buy it can well pay a good price for it.” An instance is then given of how a certain Balmesberger who was travelling in Spain, found a number of very healthy children in a bee-keeper's house, and how in answer to the question where he sold his honey, he replied: “Here are my customers.” Here in Central Europe we want to get as much profit as possible from our honey. An employer of many workmen must see that he gets as much as possible out of them, and the same also applies to the bees. Continue reading

Karmic Relations, Volume III, Lecture Eight by Rudolf Steiner

 
We shall now describe how the individual anthroposophist can come to experience his karma through the simple fact that he has joined the Anthroposophical Society, or at any rate the Anthroposophical Movement, through all the previous conditions of which we have already spoken. To this end it will be necessary for me to add a few explanations to what I set forth last Monday. I told you of the deeply important super-sensible School at the beginning of the 15th century. To characterise it we can say: Michael himself was the great Teacher in that School. Numbers of souls, human souls who were then in the life between death and a new birth, and numbers too of spiritual beings who do not have to enter earthly incarnation, but spend the aeons, during which we live, in an ethereal or other higher form of existence, — all these human, super-human and sub-human beings, belonged at that time to the all-embracing School of the Michael force...
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Poetry

The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats

   
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand... Continue reading

Midnight Christmas & The Return of the Magi by Frank Thomas Smith

   
The midnight air was a crystal vise
Crushing a billion bits of ice -
One stood out grand and glaring.
Mary, a virgin in her bearing,
Joseph trying to make the best
Of expectations. You know the rest:
Denied the use of house and table,
The birth took place in a humble stable. Continue reading.

Poems from The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse

   
Stages

As every flower fades and as all youth
Departs, so life at every stage,
So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,
Blooms in its day and may not last forever.
Since life may summon us at every age
Be ready, heart, for parting, new endeavor,
Be ready bravely and without remorse
To find new light that old ties cannot give.
In all beginnings dwells a magic
For guarding us and helping us to live.
Continue reading



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Frank Thomas Smith, Editor
JoAnn Schwarz, Associate Editor
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