Southern Cross Review

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

Number 112, May - June 2017

"Nude With a Coral Necklace"

August Macke (1887 – 1914) was one of the leading members of the German Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider). He lived during a particularly innovative time for German art which saw the development of the main German Expressionist movements as well as the arrival of the successive avant-garde movements which were forming in the rest of Europe. In 1910, through his friendship with Franz Marc, Macke met Kandinsky and for a while shared the non-objective aesthetic and the mystical and symbolic interests of Der Blaue Reiter.

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Editor's Page

The Book by Frank Thomas Smith

I met Dr. Hableben during a working vacation in the Traslasierra valley, which means, literally, Beyond-the-mountains. The mountain range in question is just east of the Andes and about five hundred miles west of Buenos Aires. So much for geography. I include it in order to indicate that my encounter with him took place in a relatively remote part of the planet. I went to Traslasierra at the invitation of a group of families who had fled the urban chaos of Buenos Aires and wanted to start an alternative school for their children. They felt that I, as an expert of sorts in alternative education and coordinator of a teacher-training seminar in Buenos Aires, could provide some of the knowledge and impetus they would need... Continue reading

El Libro Traducido por María Teresa Gutiérrez

Conocí al Dr. Hableben durante unas vacaciones de trabajo en el valle de Traslasierra, que significa, literalmente, más allá de las montañas. La cadena en cuestión está próxima a los Andes, hacia el este, y queda a unos novecientos kilómetros al oeste de Buenos Aires. Suficiente en cuanto a geografía. Lo menciono para indicar que el encuentro tuvo lugar en un punto relativamente remoto del planeta. Viajé a Traslasierra por invitación de un grupo de familias que habían huido del caos urbano de Buenos Aires y querían iniciar una escuela alternativa para sus hijos. Creían que yo, como suerte de experto en educación alternativa y coordinador de un seminario de formación docente en Buenos Aires, podía ofrecerles algo del conocimiento y del  impulso que necesitaban. Continuar

Current Events
What Does an “America-First” Foreign Policy Actually Mean? - Putting the U.S. Military First, Second, and Third by William J. Astore

What does an “America-first” foreign policy look like under President Donald Trump? As a start, forget the ancient label of “isolationism.”  With the end of Trump’s first 100 days approaching, it looks more like a military-first policy aimed at achieving global hegemony, which means it’s a potential doomsday machine. Candidate Trump vowed he’d make the U.S. military so strong that he wouldn’t have to use it, since no one would dare attack us -- deterrence, in a word.  The on-the-ground (or in-the-air) reality is already far different.  President Trump’s generals have begun to unleash that military in a manner the Obama administration, hardly shy about bombing or surging, deemed both excessive and risky to civilians... Continue reading

Resurrecting the Unholy Trinity - Torture, Rendition, and Indefinite Detention Under Trump by Rebecca Gordon

When George W. Bush and Dick Cheney launched their forever wars -- under the banner of a “Global War on Terror” -- they unleashed an unholy trinity of tactics. Torture, rendition, and indefinite detention became the order of the day. After a partial suspension of these policies in the Obama years, they now appear poised for resurrection. For eight years under President Obama, this country’s forever wars continued, although his administration retired the expression “war on terror,” preferring to describe its war-making more vaguely as an effort to “1">degrade and destroy” violent jihadists like ISIS. Nevertheless, he made major efforts to suspend Bush-era violations of U.S. and international law, signing executive orders to that effect on the day he took office in 2009.  Executive Order 13491, “Ensuring Lawful Interrogations,” closed the CIA’s secret torture centers -- the “black sites” -- and ended permission for the Agency to use what had euphemistically become known as “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Continue reading

When Nations Apologize by Edwin Battistella

An analogy is haunting the United States – the analogy of fascism. It is virtually impossible (outside certain parts of the Right-wing itself) to try to understand the resurgent Right without hearing it described as – or compared with – 20th-century interwar fascism. Like fascism, the resurgent Right is irrational, close-minded, violent and racist. So goes the analogy, and there’s truth to it. But fascism did not become powerful simply by appealing to citizens’ darkest instincts. Fascism also, crucially, spoke to the social and psychological needs of citizens to be protected from the ravages of capitalism at a time when other political actors were offering little help. The origins of fascism lay in a promise to protect people. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a rush of globalisation destroyed communities, professions and cultural norms... Continue reading

Cultivating Compassion by Thich Nhat Nanh

Precepts in Buddhism and commandments in Judaism and Christianity are important jewels that we need to study and practice. They provide guidelines that can help us transform our suffering. Looking deeply at these precepts and commandments, we can learn the art of living in beauty. The Five Wonderful precepts of Buddhism—reverence for life, generosity, responsible sexual behavior, speaking and listening deeply, and ingesting only wholesome substances—can contribute greatly to the happiness of the family and society. I have recently rephrased them to address the problems of our times:
Continue reading

Cultivar Compasión - Los preceptos del budismo y los mandamientos del judaísmo y del cristianismo son joyas importantes que necesitamos cultivar y practicar. Proporcionan pautas que nos pueden ayudar a transformar nuestro sufrimiento. Observando profundamente estos preceptos y mandamientos, podemos aprender el arte de vivir en la belleza. Los Cinco Preceptos Maravillosos del Budismo—reverencia por la vida, generosidad, comportamiento sexual responsable, hablar y escuchar con profundidad, e ingerir sólo sustancias saludables—pueden contribuir en gran medida a la felicidad de la familia y la sociedad. Recientemente los he reformulado para abordar los problemas de nuestro tiempo: Continuar

From Judith von Halle's childhood diary - 1982 (10 years old)

Good evening Adonai, King of the world!

You know, I learned something else. It was like a trial in the night, but in the daytime. It is the following. Many flowers and plants like to suck up the disorderly, ungodly soul colors of the people around them. One can observe it. This afternoon we were in a florist shop where I watched people and then I observed the lively colors of the customers. Each one looked different, because they were different. What happens is that the impure soul colors are sucked up by many plants. Like in a dream the people moved to “their” plants without knowing why. And the disorderly, impure in them went to particular plants. These plants became least somewhat warmer than their normal temperature. The disorderly, impure soul colors feel especially comfortable in the warmth! In the moment when they are sucked up by the warm plants, they make the plants poisonous... Continue reading

Del Diario infantil de Judith von Halle - 1982 (10 años de edad)

Buenas noches Adonai, Rey del mundo!

Sabes, aprendí algo más. Era como una prueba en la noche, pero en el día. Es lo siguiente. Muchas flores y plantas tienen gusto de chupar para arriba los colores desordenados, impuros del alma de la gente alrededor de ellos. Uno puede observarlo.

Esta tarde estuvimos en una tienda de floristería donde vi gente y luego observé los colores vivos de los clientes. Cada uno parecía diferente, porque eran diferentes. Lo que sucede es que los colores impuros del alma son absorbidos por muchas plantas. Como en un sueño la gente se trasladó a "sus" plantas sin saber por qué. Y los desordenados, impuros en ellos iban a plantas particulares. Estas plantas se calientan ... bien ... por lo menos algo más caliente que su temperatura normal. ¡Los colores desordenados, impuros del alma se sienten especialmente cómodos en la calor! En el momento en que son absorbidos por las plantas cálidas, hacen las plantas venenosas... Continuar

Falling Down and Getting Up by JP Miller

The first time I noticed the Tickle was almost three years after I had left the Army. Without notice, as I stepped across that magical line into Capitalism’s greatest accomplishment--into Wal-Mart World--my ears start ringing. Tinnitus? Artillery Ears? I'm used to that. But my skull opened up and a feather entered my head and tickled my brain. It was that funny bone uncomfortable feeling like something buzzing and poking at my gray matter, torturing me with insane laughter. Then the world went upside down. My eyes are twitching and my legs are shaking. The space in my lungs is filled with fire. The chest pain traveled down my left arm to exit my tingling fingers. A heart attack? I dropped to my knees. I lay out. One of those obese lady shoppers in a electric, drivable shopping cart ran over my feet as she rushed to buy more food. My legs were rubber, my ears rang out, and my eyes closed. Then, I saw those 105s with Willy Pete rounds impacting a little ville north of Mosul---the white phosphorus burning. Burning so bright it hurt your eyes... Continue reading

Elves and Emeralds by Gaither Stewart

Rafael opened his eyes. He smiled. There it was, the sun. The yellow sun Mamá had painted on the ceiling had long bright arms. She said his waking up should be sunny. He loved his Mamá. She was very beautiful. Everyone said so. When he was grown he would marry her. Slightly raising his head he turned his eyes across the room. It was big. It was full of their things. The table and the two blue chairs where they ate. The sink. All the shelves with their dishes and their food. The gas burner. The table with their television. The soft chair where Mamá sat and his low stool for watching TV. In the corner the box with his toys. He had to put everything into it each night before he went to bed. He could see the long hood and the silver fenders of the red car the Señora had given him. How he loved cars. The Señora and the Señor always said coche, but he said carro... Continue reading

Miryam - Part Two by Luise Rinser

But I decided for something else. I had long wanted to go to Bethany to visit my relatives. I got as far as Qumran on the first trip, not farther. This time I didn’t reach it either. Again something intervened. At an inn I met some people who were going to Enon. There was a man there, Yochanan by name, a great repentance preacher. The people told me that he prophesized the end of time. Great catastrophes will come, he said, fire will fall from heaven, the sea will rush up and devour the land, the greatest part of humanity will be killed. However, the possibility of salvation exists: whoever turns away from sin and completely changes his life will survive the catastrophe. But one must repent, and baptism is part of that, the great purifying bath. Only the pure can enter the realm of heaven that the Messiah will found, here and soon.This was the talk of the Essenes. The madness of the desert monks. This Yochanan was surely one of them from the lion caves, one who hated life and love, one of the people-robbers, one of my enemies, whom I had cursed so bitterly... Continue reading


Judith von Halle - Interviewed by Michel Gastkemper

MG: In readers' letters your name has been mentioned and commented upon. That is a remarkable situation. With today's interview, I hope to make you better known to our readers. I hope you are willing to tell us something about yourself. Naturally I have some questions, but I will ask them during the discussion. Today you told us something about your youth, but I don't know how much of it is for public consumption. Therefore, for this interview can you say something about yourself, how you grew up, what you experienced. A difficult question of course.
JvH: I already talked about that [this morning in a lecture about Faith and Knowledge]. I grew up in a non-anthroposophical family and I was told nothing about anthroposophy. I had a very active inner life. As long ago as I can remember I had a relationship to what we call the spiritual world. "Spiritual world" can mean anything, for one can understand almost anything by it. In my case it was not in a confessional religious way, but an experience a person can have with super-sensible worlds, and that's something that I already experienced strongly as a child. Therefore, I asked myself very early about the world and about human beings in that context. I also wondered why so few people discussed the reality of the spiritual world. That was an important question for me as a child: Why is it a taboo? Continue reading

Evolution and Extraterrestrials by Rudolf Steiner

This is a time when a great deal of attention, ranging from serious science to science-fiction, is being devoted to “outer space.” There is speculation on various levels about visitants from other worlds. Behind it all there may be an instinctive feeling — true in itself though often distorted in expression — that the apparent isolation of man on earth is not final; that man is not alone in the universe. We are therefore reprinting here a lecture (first published in English in the quarterly, “Anthroposophy,” for Easter, 1933, and long out of print) in which Rudolf Steiner spoke, briefly and enigmatically, of the need to recognise and welcome certain beings, “not of the human order,” who since the seventies of the nineteenth century have been descending from cosmic spheres into the realm of earth-existence, bringing with them “the substance and content of Spiritual Science.” — The Editors [of the Golden Blade] Continue reading

The Gospel of John - The Nature of the Virgen Sophia and the Holy Spirit by Rudolf Steiner

Yesterday we reached the point of discussing the change which takes place in the human astral body through Meditation, Concentration and other practices which are given in the various methods of initiation. We have seen that the astral body is thereby affected in such a way that it develops within itself the organs which it needs for perceiving in the higher worlds and we have said that up to this point, the principle of initiation is everywhere really the same — although the forms of its practices conform wholly to the respective cultural epochs. The principal difference appears with the occurrence of the next thing which must follow. In order that the pupil may be able actually to perceive in the higher worlds, it is necessary that the organs which have been formed out of the astral part, impress or stamp themselves upon the ether body, be impressed into the etheric element... Continue reading

"Apologia" concerning the publication of the the First Class Lessons: English / Español


The Lone Man by Frank Thomas Smith

Now is today,
            which will be
and was once
Render time as you would
a bouquet of roses to your love.
like all the beauties of the world,
will, quicker than a lie,
whimper and die...Continue

Strange Fruit by Billy Holiday

Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the leaves to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop... Continue.

You can find us under the Southern Cross 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

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