Southern Cross Review

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

Number 89, July - August 2013

"Portrait d'une Ngresse"

Marie-Guihemine Benoist (1768 - 1826). Benoist was a woman of aristocratic lineage who belonged to a small elite circle of professional women painters that included, among others, Anne Vallayer-Coster, Elisabeth Vige-Lebrun, Marguerite Grard, Anglique Mongez, and Adlaide Labille-Guiard. As had been the case with most women artists working at the time, Benoist fit the middle and upper class ideal of "womanhood" in her conforming to the social expectations of women to marry, raise children, and forego a career. Although we do not know whether or to what extent Benoist partook in the volatile debates on slavery and gender current during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in France, her painting may be seen as a voice of protest, however small, in the discourse over human bondage. With the portrait, the artist responded to early nineteenth-century French racialism and the less-than-desirable treatment of women by playing upon the popular analogy of women and slaves. (Thanks to The Art History Archives.


Editor's Page

Basic Issues of the Social Question - Unresolved by Frank Thomas Smith

   
I. Beyond Capitalism and Socialism
Juancito is nine years old but looks six. He lives on the streets of a Latin American city and lives by the laws of the streets. He is already a criminal of sorts because begging is illegal and he is a beggar. In a year or two he will graduate to petty thievery and then on to violent crime. More than likely he will become a drug addict, thereby making his own violent end at the hands of the police or disease inevitable. Members of the middle and upper classes will shake their heads at the depravity of the poor or in commiseration, consciously or not will wish him good riddance and carry on as before. Juancito's name is legion; he can be found in virtually all regions of the world. He is a victim of social injustice -- a euphemism for greed. Continue



Current Events

Our Nameless War by Andrew J. Bacevich

  
For well over a decade now the United States has been “a nation at war.” Does that war have a name? It did at the outset. After 9/11, George W. Bush's administration wasted no time in announcing that the U.S. was engaged in a Global War on Terrorism, or GWOT. With few dissenters, the media quickly embraced the term. The GWOT promised to be a gargantuan, transformative enterprise. The conflict begun on 9/11 would define the age. In neoconservative circles, it was known as World War IV. Upon succeeding to the presidency in 2009, however, Barack Obama without fanfare junked Bush’s formulation. Yet if the appellation went away, the conflict itself, shorn of identifying marks, continued. Continue


Fiction

Tram 13 to Opernplatz by Frank Thomas Smith

 
Johnson awoke from his siesta and felt like he’d just parachuted into enemy territory, something he actually did once, into France on D-Day. He couldn’t remember the jump itself, only the jolt of the landing. It was like waking up. He went into the bathroom to urinate and splash cold water on his face. Then he opened the door to the living room, which looked familiar. There were a few people sitting around, but the only ones he recognized were Fleur and Rafael. Fleur, although aging (at last), still as tall and beautiful as ever, Rafael taller still, balding, bearded (today – the beard comes and goes), silent as usual. No one paid attention to Johnson’s entrance, he sat in an armchair and watched them but they didn’t watch him. Continue



Tranva 13 a Opernplatz translated by Mara Teresa Gutirrez

 
Johnsonse despert de la siesta y se sinti como si se hubiera lanzado en paracadas sobre territorio enemigo, algo que efectivamente haba sucedido una vez, sobre Francia el Da D. No recordaba el salto mismo, slo el sacudn al tocar tierra. Parecido a despertarse. Fue al bao para orinar y mojarse la cara con agua fra. Luego abri la puerta de la sala, que le result familiar. Haba algunas personas all sentadas, pero a las nicas que reconoci fueron Fleur y Rafael. Fleur, aunque ya con signos de la edad (al fin), todava tan alta y hermosa como siempre, Rafael, ms alto an, con una incipiente calva y con barba (hoy la barba va y viene), callado como de costumbre. Nadie le prest atencin a Johnson; l se sent en un silln y se puso observar a los dems, pero nadie lo observ a l... Continue





Anthroposophy


"Open Letter" - or - The Judith von Halle Phenomenon Continued

  
Dear Mr. Prokofieff, Your book, Time Travels – A Counter-Image of Anthroposophical Spiritual Research (Verlag am Goetheanum, 2013), provides us with a clear justification to address this open letter to you. We do this because the book is not only a renewed and ruthless attack on Ms. Judith von Halle – against both her person and her writings – but above all because the depictions in your book are neither anthroposophical nor spiritual-scientific, nor can they be upheld in any way as objective, besides which you have so far rejected any discussion in this matter...
Continue


Esoteric Lessons for the First Class of the School for Spiritual Science at the Goetheanum - Volume Two, Lesson Eleven by Rudolf Steiner

   
  
In esoteric striving it is necessary to at least envision, to the extent possible, the path upon which real knowledge of spiritual things can be realized. Of course how far one or the other comes along this path depends on his karma, on what conditions he brings along from previous earth lives. But not only that, it also depends on which physical and environmental conditions the person's destiny places him. Much old karmic residue may exist to be worked out which hinders achieving everything which is otherwise within one's capabilities. Thus much which perhaps could be quickly achieved without these karmic residues takes longer. Continue



Karmic Relations, Volume II, Lecture 10 by Rudolf Steiner

 
In the last lecture we spoke of how the seed of karma is formed in the period immediately following a person's death. And I tried to describe to you with what living force and intensity the experiences undergone during this period work upon him and also upon one who is able to follow the life of a human being through this period — which, as you know, lasts for about a third of the time of the earthly life. We must, of course, bear in mind how the terrestrial world in which the fulfilment and development of karma take place, works upon a person, and in what a different way he is influenced by the extra-terrestrial world. Continue



History of the Anthroposophical Movement - Lecture 6 - The Decline of the Theosophical Society by Rudolf Steiner

It is important to be aware of the need which existed in the anthroposophical movement for Christianity to be asserted, specifically among those who were initially what might be described as ordinary listeners. For the theosophical movement under the guidance of H.P. Blavatsky had adopted an expressly anti-christian orientation. I wish to throw a little more light on this anti-christian attitude, a perspective which I also mentioned in connection with Friedrich Nietzsche. It has to be understood that the Mystery of Golgotha occurred in the first instance simply as a fact in the development of mankind on earth. If you look at the way in which I have dealt with the subject in my book, Christianity As Mystical Fact, you will see that I attempted to come to an understanding of the impulses underlying the ancient Mysteries, and then to show how the various forces which were active in the individual mystery centres were harmonized and unified ... Continue



Poetry

Occult Science - the Verse by Frank Thomas Smith

   
In the beginning was Saturn,      Then came Sun
Invisible heat,                             Hot and bright,
Bodies of will:                            Bodies alive:
It died.                                         It died.
Continue


Poems from The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse

   
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... Continue




Letters to the Editor

  
I am studying this class lesson 10 now, and I want to thank you so much. For years I went to the class lessons, and lived into the Cosmic Worlds and then went home, forgot and, just like Steiner says, mechanically meditated on the mantras. Without having before you these admonitions and the advice, how can one do otherwise? So what you are doing (translating and publishing these lessons) is of the greatest of Help! ...continue





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