Southern Cross Review

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

Number 102, September - October 2015

"Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?"

Paul Gauguin. Gauguin inscribed the original French title in the upper left corner: D'où Venons Nous / Que Sommes Nous / Où Allons Nous. The inscription the artist wrote on his canvas has no question mark, no dash, and all words are capitalized. In the upper right corner he signed and dated the painting: P. Gauguin / 1897. Gauguin indicated that the painting should be read from right to left, with the three major figure groups illustrating the questions posed in the title. The three women with a child represent the beginning of life; the middle group symbolizes the daily existence of young adulthood; and in the final group, according to the artist, "an old woman approaching death appears reconciled and resigned to her thoughts"; at her feet, "a strange white bird...represents the futility of words." The blue idol in the background apparently represents what Gauguin described as "the Beyond." Of its entirety he said, "I believe that this canvas not only surpasses all my preceding ones, but that I shall never do anything better—or even like it." The painting was created in Tahiti, and is in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

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Editor's Page

Letter to an Anarchist by Frank Thomas Smith

Dear Anarchist,
I don't blame you for being an anarchist. After all, I was once one myself. I also read the famous anarchists – Godwin, Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Tolstoy, Thoreau, etc. I don't remember much of what they wrote, but I do remember that they were convincing. Also you, having been born in Argentina and living all your life here, have witnessed the stupidity, inefficiency and corruption of governments; of police, many of whom besides being corrupt and brutal, are more criminal than the criminals they lackadaisically pursue. And Argentina is not alone in this respect. So it is understandable that you blame the institution of government itself; who needs it? We'd be better off without it. Democracy is a sham because the powerful interests easily manipulate it... Continue reading

Carta a un Anarquista traducida por María Teresa Gutiérrez

Querido anarquista:
No te culpo por ser anarquista. Después de todo, yo también lo fui. Y también leí a los famosos anarquistas – Proudhon Bakunin
, Kropotkin, Tolstoy, Thoreau, etc. No me acuerdo mucho de lo que escribieron, pero sí recuerdo que eran muy convincentes. Además, por haber nacido en la Argentina y vivido toda tu vida aquí, has sido testigo de la estupidez, la ineficiencia y la corrupción de los gobiernos; de la policía, muchos de cuyos miembros además de ser corruptos y brutales, son más criminales que los criminales que persiguen sin mucho entusiasmo. Y la Argentina no es única en este aspecto. Así que es comprensible que le eches la culpa al gobierno como institución; ¿a quién le hace falta? Estaríamos mejor sin él. La democracia es un engaño porque los intereses poderosos la manipulan con facilidad... Continuar


To Love a Spy - Chapter One by Frank Thomas Smith

Rachel Baumgartner and Dr. Hans Staudenmaier were huddled over a map of West Berlin in a small basement room with no windows. A long florescent light on the ceiling hummed like a beehive. They were preparing a list of objectives that the Soviet Mission Military Patrol was to photograph on its next rounds. Actually they were suggesting; the Russians would decide. It was, they both knew, frustrating work, for they seldom knew if their allies approved their suggestions. Hans Staudenmaier, a robust middle-aged man with a goatee and rimless glasses, was doing the selecting and dictating to Rachel, who made notes in German, which she would later translate into Russian, in a stenographer's spiraled notebook made in West Germany. She was young and pretty and intense; there was a certain hardness about her which would have seemed unusual in one so young if we did not know that they were in the building in East Berlin that housed the STASI – East Germany’s State Security organization. Continue reading

Levels - A Tale of Gods and Saints, of Revolution, Murder and Time
by Gaither Stewart

I find it curious that with the passage of time many former places of worship of various religions—cathedrals and temples, synagogues and mosques, or the pyramids in the jungles and deserts of the world—change their nature from the holy sites of worship where the presence of some god or the other was once perceived, and morph into museums and tourism destinations. And so over the span of its two millennia of existence the same has happened with the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome that my father introduced me to when I was a small child... Continue reading

Children's Corner

A Journey to the Stars by Frank Thomas Smith

One evening Nicky and his little sister Caroline were sitting in the meadow near their home at the edge of the forest. The sky overhead was like a cape of black silk encrusted with brilliant jewels.
"How many stars are there in the sky, Nicky", Caroline asked.
"A lot."
"Yes, I can see that, but how many?" she insisted.
"Billions. Nobody knows." Continue reading


Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid by Virginia Woolf

The Germans were over this house last night and the night before that. Here they are again. It is a queer experience, lying in the dark and listening to the zoom of a hornet, which may at any moment sting you to death. It is a sound that interrupts cool and consecutive thinking about peace. Yet it is a sound--far more than prayers and anthems--that should compel one to think about peace. Unless we can think peace into existence we--not this one body in this one bed but millions of bodies yet to be born--will lie in the same darkness and hear the same death rattle overhead. Let us think what we can do to create the only efficient air-raid shelter while the guns on the hill go pop pop pop and the searchlights finger the clouds and now and then, sometimes close at hand, sometimes far away, a bomb drops... Continue reading

Zoroastrianism, Judaism and Christianity by Hannah M.G. Shapero

Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and Christianity share so many features that it seems that there must be a connection between them. Does this connection really exist? If so, how did it happen? And how much of the similarity between these faiths is due simply to parallel evolution, rather than direct contact and influence? The simplest answer to the first question is, yes, there is a great deal of Zoroastrian influence on Judaism and Christianity, but the problem is that it is hard to document this exactly, at least in the early stages of Judaism. The evidence is there, but it is all "circumstantial" evidence and often does not stand up to the rigorous judgment of scholarship. Nevertheless, I will dare to present these ideas assertively, with the qualification that there will likely be no definite way to prove them either true or untrue... Continue reading

Book Review

V A L I S by Philip K. Dick

"VALIS (acronym of Vast Active Living Intelligence System from an American film:) A perturbation in the reality field in which a spontaneous self-monitoring negentropic vortex is formed, tending progressively to subsume and incorporate its environment into arrangements of information. Characterized by by quasi-consciousness, purpose, intelligence, growth and an armillary coherence." After that discouraging definition, I advise the reader to ignore it and enjoy the book. If, however, you are expecting the usual Philip K. Dick science-fiction novel, you will be surprised and either disappointed or excited by VALIS – for it is not your usual sci-fi novel. I, in what might be called an untoward gush of enthusiasm, call it one of the most important American books of the twentieth century and certainly the most original one... Continue reading

Current Events

Literature in a Locked Down Land by William T. Hathaway

Prisons are one of the few growth industries in the USA today. They are becoming money-making institutions, and profits are rising. New ones are being built and old ones expanded to hold all the new slave laborers being captured. The prison-industrial complex is the epitome of capitalism.The USA imprisons a far higher proportion of its population than any other country, 730 people per 100,000. As of 2011, our prison population was 2,266,832. Continue reading


Problems of Nutrition - Vegetarianism by Rudolf Steiner

In the past I have spoken here on a variety of subjects concerning spiritual life. It may be permissible today, therefore, for me to touch upon a more prosaic theme from the standpoint of spiritual science. Problems of nutrition undoubtedly offer a more mundane subject than many we have heard here. It will be seen, however, that particularly in our age spiritual science has something to say even concerning questions that directly affect everyday life. Continue reading

The Destiny of Humanity and the Evolution of the World by Rudolf Steiner

In the course of this lecture cycle, I should like to set forth several things connected in the most intensive way with the being of man, the formation of man's destiny, and what might be called the relationship of man in his entirety to world-evolution. I shall proceed immediately to the center of this matter by pointing out that the whole evolution of man's life on earth is connected not only with what we observe with our ordinary waking consciousness but also intensively with what takes place during sleep, from the time of falling asleep until awakening. Doubtless earthly culture, civilization, derives its significance primarily from what man is able to think, feel and accomplish out of his waking state. Man, however, would be utterly powerless, in an external sense, unless his human forces were continuously renewed in the period between falling asleep and awakening by contact with the spiritual world...Continue reading

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

Nine Lectures on Bees - Lecture Two by Rudolf Steiner

Good morning, gentlemen! I will add just a few remarks to the statements made by Herr Müller, remarks which may perhaps be of interest to you, though naturally, as far as the present day is concerned, the time has not yet come when one could really apply these things in practical bee-keeping. For the moment, on this side of practical bee-keeping, very little can be said, since Herr Müller has already given you a beautiful account of the way things are managed nowadays. If you listened to him attentively it must have occurred the to you that this whole question of bee-keeping has something of the nature of a riddle. Obviously, the bee-keeper is first of all interested in what he has to do. Everyone must, in reality, take the greatest interest in bee-keeping, for in fact more in human life depends on it than one usually thinks... Continue reading

Karmic Relations, Volume III, Lecture Five by Rudolf Steiner

The members of the Anthroposophical Society come into the Society, as indeed is obvious, for reasons that exist in their inner life, in the inner condition of their souls. And as we are now speaking of the karma of the Anthroposophical Society, or rather of the Anthroposophical Movement altogether, showing how it arises out of the karmic evolution of members and groups of members, we shall need to perceive the foundations of this karma, above all in the state of soul of those human beings who seek for Anthroposophy. This we have already begun to do, and we will now acquaint ourselves with certain other facts in this direction, so that we may enter still further into the karma of the Anthroposophical Movement...
Continue reading


Elf King - Erlkönig by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Who rides so late through night so wild?
It is the father with his child.
He has the boy secure from harm,
He holds him tightly, he holds him warm
My son, why does your face show fear?
You don't see, father, the Elf King near!
The Elf King with crown and tail?
My son, it's mist within the vale... Continue reading

Love's Letter by Frank Thomas Smith

My sister Faith was first to go,
Her blood was staunched and ceased to flow.
Never was she the worldly type,
And won't return till time is ripe.
My other sister's name is Hope;
Never was she one to mope.
Her eyes, once fawn's, now sadly droop,
She walks with an ancient's wary stoop.... Continue reading.

Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee... Continue reading

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Frank Thomas Smith, Editor
JoAnn Schwarz, Associate Editor
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