We are the Lucky Ones / Nosotros somos los afortunados by Frank Thomas Smith
I moved with my family to the country from Buenos Aires 14 years ago,
we lived in an old house, once the core building of an estancia.
There were ten acres of what was once farmland, but had turned into
what my son, ten years old at the time, rather romantically and with
his flair for exaggeration called a jungle. After a few days of
snooping around in the “jungle” with his dog, he found a
rusty old lunch pail. It had no lock on it, but it was rusted tightly
shut, so he brought it to me to open, which I did with the help of a
chisel and hammer. Instead of a rotted chicken leg, we found a...what
should I call it? An essay, or simply an unfinished manuscript.
Translated into English, it reads as follows.
The Long Walk Home by JP Miller
day after I arrived in the Nam,
I was immediately choppered out to Camp Radcliffe in An Khe where we were
tasked to run operations in the central highlands as support for infantry
units. I was green, a newbie, or a boot, and I took a ton of shit from the
veterans. But soon the tides of war took over and as I flew mission after
mission with those guys, the magical mystery tour began. We flew insertions,
extractions, dust-offs, close in fire support and limousine service for VIPs. It was in that hazy soup
that lay just above and around the various hills that we scurried back and
forth with supplies, the wounded and the dead. I was one of them—a killer and a
prospective casualty. Nothing can make you a member of a group faster than
being a potential dead man or a member of a gang faster than being a killer...
The Imposter Magi (traditional SCR Three Kings Tale) by Frank Thomas Smith
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. My
wife, twelve-year-old son and I left the house at nine-thirty for the fifteen
minute walk to the one-room schoolhouse. We carried flashlights to light our
way down the narrow dirt road. Although we know the road well, it is advisable
not to walk without light in order to avoid the unpleasant surprise of stepping
on a snake – poisonous or not – or a scorpion. My son is too old to believe
that the Three Kings were coming to Las Chacras, but he wasn’t adverse to
receiving a bag of sweets and witnessing the spectacle. It was a beautiful
starlit evening, luckily not too warm.
Los Reyes Impostores Magi
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. Mi esposa, mi hijo de doce años
y yo salimos de casa a las nueve y media para caminar los diez
minutos que nos separan de la escuela. Llevábamos linternas
para alumbrarnos por el angosto camino de tierra. Aunque conocíamos
bien la senda, es aconsejable no caminar a oscuras para evitar la
desagradable sorpresa de pisar una víbora –venenosa o
no- o un alacrán. Mi hijo es demasiado grande para creer que
los Reyes iban a venir a Las Charcas, pero no era reacio a presenciar
el espectáculo y recibir una bolsa de golosinas. La noche
estaba hermosa y estrellada, por suerte, no demasiado calurosa.
Another Day in Maldavia
by Gaither Stewart
Oh, no, it’s
already beginning. As every morning the usual twisting and
untangling myself to escape these capricious sheets. Already another day. I no
sooner finally drop off to sleep than I’m waking and another long day seems to
stretch out before me. Day itself seems like the dark of night … trailing me.
As if I were alone in the world when I know I’m not, for I have wonderful
David. But not days! And not all nights either. I wonder how other people
handle this matinal sensation of hopelessness. With hope itself. Like putting
out a fire with fire. Nights I don’t have these feelings of being forsaken by
all. No ideas now. No way to get out of this black hole … as if hopelessness
were my destiny...
The Emperor's New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen
Many years ago there was an
Emperor, who was so excessively fond of new clothes that he spent all
his money on them. He cared nothing about his soldiers, nor for the
theatre, nor for driving in the woods except for the sake of showing
off his new clothes. He had a costume for every hour in the day, and
instead of saying, as one does about any other king or emperor, 'He
is in his council chamber,' here one always said, 'The Emperor is in
Life was very gay in the great
town where he lived; hosts of strangers came to visit it every day,
and among them one day two swindlers. They pretended to be weavers,
and said that they knew how to weave the most beautiful cloth
imaginable. Not only were the colours and patterns unusually fine,
but the clothes that were made of the cloth had the peculiar quality
of becoming invisible to every person who was not fit for the office
he held, or if he was impossibly dull.
Buddhism A lecture by Jorge Luis Borges
The subject today will be Buddhism. I’m not going
into the long story that began two thousand five hundred years ago in Benares,
when a prince of Nepal – Siddharta or Gautama – who had become Buddha, spun the
wheel of the law, proclaimed the four noble truths and the eightfold path. I
will speak of the essential in this religion, the most prevalent in the world.
The elements of Buddhism have been preserved since the fifth century before
Christ: that is, since the epoch of Heraclites, of Pythagoras, of Xenon, until
our times when Dr. Suzuki expounds it in Japan. The elements are the same. Now
the religion is encrusted with mythology, astronomy, strange beliefs, magic,
but because the subject is complex, I will limit myself to what the various
sects have in common. They may correspond to Hinayana or the small vehicle. Let
us first consider the longevity of Buddhism.
El Budismo Una conferencia de Jorge Luis Borges
tema de hoy será el budismo. No entraré en esa larga historia que empezó hace dos mil quinientos
años en Benares, cuando un príncipe de Nepal - Siddharta o Gautama -, que había
llegado a ser el Buddha, hizo girar la rueda de la ley, proclamó las cuatro
nobles verdades y el óctuple sendero. Hablaré de lo esencial de esa religión,
la más difundida del mundo. Los elementos del budismo se han conservado desde
el siglo v antes de Cristo: es decir, desde la época de Heráclito, de
Pitágoras, de Zenón, hasta nuestro tiempo, cuando el doctor Suzuki la expone en
el Japón. Los elementos son los mismos. La religión ahora está incrustada de
mitología, de astronomía, de extrañas creencias, de magia, pero ya que el tema
es complejo, me limitaré a lo que tienen en común las diversas sectas. Éstas
pueden corresponder al Hinayana o el pequeño vehículo. Consideremos ante todo
la longevidad del budismo...
Goetheanism in Science by Konrad Rudnicki
There is a
widespread belief that a sharp distinction must be made between thinking
(something entirely subjective) and perception (something having an objective
origin but thoroughly contingent upon man's physiological and psychological
constitution). It is through the interaction of perception and thinking that a
gradual development of the process of the cognition of reality (Immanuel Kant
called this a thing-in-itself) inaccessible in any direct way comes about. The
subjective character of thinking is usually taken as an axiom. The conditioning
of perception by physiology (it is electromagnetic waves that are really there,
and we perceive them as colors, heat etc.) is supported with evidence from the
natural sciences. Various theories of knowledge lead to various, even
diametrically opposed conclusions - from the belief that the thing-in-itself is
absolutely beyond any cognition to the assumption that there are ways of
obtaining some knowledge of it...
Iraq no longer exists by Andrew J. Bacevich
“Iraq no longer exists.” My young friend M,
sipping a cappuccino, is deadly serious. We are sitting in a scruffy
restaurant across the street from the Cathedral of St. John the
Divine on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. It’s been
years since we’ve last seen each another. It may be years
before our paths cross again. As if to drive his point home, M
repeats himself: “Iraq just doesn’t exist.”
His is an opinion grounded in experience. As an
enlisted soldier, he completed two Iraq tours, serving as a member of
a rifle company, before and during the famous Petraeus “surge.”
After separating from the Army, he went on to graduate school where
he is now writing a dissertation on insurgencies.
"Apologia" concerning the publication of the the First Class Lessons: Apologia
Lessons for the First Class of the School for Spiritual Science at
the Goetheanum - Volume Three, Lesson Five (Recapitulation) by Rudolf Steiner
My dear sisters and brothers, in the description of the path of knowledge we have reached the place where we stand before the Guardian at the abyss of being. The Guardian of the Threshold has made clear to us that what surrounds us in the exterior world can never reveal our own being to us; how our observation of nature, what on and from the earth lives and moves, what shines and speaks from the realm of the stars – to the extent we can perceive it with the senses and with our reason – all that offers nothing to clarify the being of our own self; that the brightness, this glistening in the sunshine, this living and interweaving which is so grand and powerful, so beautiful and magnificent in the outer world, remains dark and gloomy for our true self-knowledge
Karmic Relations, Volume III, Lecture Two by Rudolf Steiner
Today I shall
say more about how the karmic forces of preparation
undergo their further course of evolution when man has
passed through the gate of death. So far as ordinary
consciousness is concerned, the forming of karma, and
indeed that of the whole intercourse with the world which we
call ‘karmic’ takes place in the human being
in a more instinctive way. We see the animals act
instinctively. Words like ‘instinct,’
which are used so frequently in science and every-day
life, are generally applied in a vague and undefined way.
People make no real effort to associate them with clear
conceptions. What is it that we call instinct in the
animals? We know that the animals have a Group-soul. The
animal, such as it is, is not a self-contained being...
Rootless in Patagonia; Toothless in Brooklyn by Frank Thomas Smith
In anyone over a certain age
questions arise unbidden.
Often they're dead statistically,
Life and health
insurance aren't interested,
keep their distance, preferring,
rosy-cheeked lads and lassies.
Prologue in Heaven - from "Faust" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The Lord, the Heavenly Hosts, later
Mephistopheles. The Archangels step forward.
The sun resounds as once of old
In loving spheres
of motley song,
Predestined is its journey bold,
Ripening as it
Its sight the angels new strength gives,
none can fathom how its done;
The inconceivable still lives
glory as when the days were one...
You can find us under the
Southern Cross constellation in the Traslasierra Valley, Province of Córdoba, Argentina. Visitors always welcome. Just follow the sign that reads: La Cruz del Sur.
Frank Thomas Smith, Editor
JoAnn Schwarz, Associate Editor
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