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Southern Cross Review

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

Number 94, May - June 2014

"Portrait of Sra. Dona Flores de Carillo"

Diego Rivera (December 8, 1886 – November 24, 1957) was a prominent Mexican painter and the husband of Frida Kahlo. His large wall works in fresco helped establish the Mexican Mural Movement in Mexican art. Between 1922 and 1953, Rivera painted murals among others in Mexico City, Chapingo, Cuernavaca, San Francisco, Detroit, and New York City. In 1931, a retrospective exhibition of his works was held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. 



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Editor's Page

Lost Time by Frank Thomas Smith

 
It had been a relatively mild winter in Geneva and the ski and ice-skating fanatics had been complaining bitterly. Now that it was colder and the cloudy sky looked threatening, I hoped it would snow enough for them to be satisfied and shut up. I neither skied nor skated and though I appreciated the beauty of new snow in the old city, I preferred to be warm and comfortable. I walked casually into the entrance of my company’s building on the rue de l’Aeroport, ready for another boring day at head office. “Bonjour, monsieur Smith,” the receptionist said, smiling. She pronounced my name Ess-meet. “Bonjour, Michelle,” I smiled back. I glanced at the large clock on the wall behind her and smiled more broadly. “What happened to your clock?” The Swiss are inordinately proud of their clocks and for a foreigner to discover one not functioning would be a national disgrace. Michelle glanced over her shoulder and back at me, puzzled. “Nothing,” she said, “Why? My smile froze into a silly grin as I checked my watch – Swiss, of course – and saw that it showed the same time as the clock: 10:50. I shrugged, waved to Michelle and headed for the elevators down the hall.
... Continue





Fiction

The Purloined Poem by Frank Thomas Smith

 
I never asked my friend, Peter Product, the origin of his family name. I just assumed that it was shortened from one of those long, unpronounceable Polish or Czech names. In any case it raised eyebrows and, often, grins. Pete was a poet, a profession not very amenable to earning money, so he moonlighted as an assistant insurance underwriter at Encore Underwriters, Inc., 66 Wall Street, New York City, which is where I met him. One day he hit the poetic jackpot when he wrote an epic poem with the title “Ode to the Brooklyn Bridge”, dedicated lovingly to María, and had it published in the The New Yorker. Getting something published in that magazine was enough to win Brooklyn’s 3-B (Best Breast-Beating) Gold Medal, so Peter Product’s reputation went into orbit. Continue

The Gospel According to Mark - El Evangelio según Marcos by Jorge Luis Borges

 
These events took place on the Los Álamos cattle ranch, towards the south of the township of Junín, during the final days of March, 1928. The protagonist was a medical student, Baltasar Espinosa. We may describe him for now as no different to any of the many young men of Buenos Aires, with no particular traits worthy of note other than an almost unlimited kindness and an oratorical faculty that had earned him several prizes from the English school in Ramos Mejía. He did not like to argue; he preferred it when his interlocutor was right and not he himself. Although the vagaries of chance in any game fascinated him, he played them poorly because it did not please him to win... Continue

El hecho sucedió en la estancia Los Álamos, en el partido de Junín, hacia el sur, en los últimos días del mes de marzo de 1928. Su protagonista fue un estudiante de medicina, Baltasar Espinosa. Podemos definirlo por ahora como uno de tantos muchachos porteños, sin otros rasgos dignos de nota que esa facultad oratoria que le había hecho merecer más de un premio en el colegio inglés de Ramos Mejía y que una casi ilimitada bondad. No le gustaba discutir; prefería que el interlocutor tuviera razón y no él. Aunque los azares del juego le interesaban, era un mal jugador, porque le desagradaba ganar... Continuar


Children's Corner

The Nature Spirits - Los espíritus de la naturaleza by Frank Thomas Smith

 
Nicolás and Carolina were lost in the woods and didn't know which way to turn. Whichever way they went they seemed to get more lost. They sat down on the roots of a tree and Carolina began to cry. Her brother told her not to cry, that they would find their way out eventually, but the truth was that he felt like crying too.
Suddenly, they heard a faint sound of someone moaning: "Oh, oh! help me! oh, oh!" They held their breath and waited. It happened again: "Oh, oh!"
Maybe it's only the wind," Nicolás said.
"No, it's someone crying for help," Carolina objected. "What should we do?"
Nicolás thought for a moment. He was older so he had to make the decisions. "Let's go to where the sound is coming from. If it's only the wind we won't find anything. If someone needs help we'll help them if we can. Continue

Nicolás y Carolina estaban perdidos en el bosque y no sabían hacia dónde ir. No importaba qué dirección tomaran, siempre parecían perderse cada vez más. Por fin, se sentaron sobre las raíces de un árbol y Carolina se echó a llorar. Su hermano le dijo que no llorara, que ya iban a encontrar el camino, pero la verdad era que él también tenía ganas de llorar. Así estaban cuando, de repente, les llegó un débil sonido, como de alguien que se quejaba:-¡Ay, ay, ayúdenme! ¡Ay, ay!
Los niños contuvieron la respiración y esperaron. Otra vez se oyó: ¡Ay, ay!
-Tal vez sólo sea el viento -dijo Nicolás.
-No, es alguien pidiendo ayuda -replicó Carolina-. ¿Qué vamos a hacer?
Nicolás pensó unos instantes. El era el mayor, así que debía tomar las decisiones... Continuar


Features

Rediscovering Life - Biology’s Shameful Refusal to Disown the Machine-Organism by Stephen L. Talbott

 
When someone persistently hallucinates, seeing things that aren’t there, we usually assume a cognitive aberration of some sort, if not a severe mental illness. What, then, to make of those countless biologists who look at organisms and think they are seeing machines? Or who look at organs, cells, organelles, and even molecules, and see machines within machines? I will leave it for you to judge. However, one thing is certain: an inexcusable mistake has gripped the scientific community for decades, severely perverting biological understanding... Continue

By the Way, Your Home is on Fire - The Climate of Change and the Dangers of Stasis by Rebecca Solnit

 
As the San Francisco bureaucrats on the dais murmured about why they weren’t getting anywhere near what we in the audience passionately hoped for, asked for, and worked for, my mind began to wander. I began to think of another sunny day on the other side of the country 13 years earlier, when nothing happened the way anyone expected. I had met a survivor of that day who told me his story. A high-powered financial executive, he had just arrived on the 66th floor of his office building and entered his office carrying his coffee, when he saw what looked like confetti falling everywhere -- not a typical 66th floor spectacle. Moments later, one of his friends ran out of a meeting room shouting, “They’re back.” It was, of course, the morning of September 11th... ... Continue



Anthroposophy

Esoteric Lessons for the First Class of the School for Spiritual Science at the Goetheanum - Volume Two, Lessons seventeen and eighteen by Rudolf Steiner

   
Lesson Seventeen: We become aware, if we perceive the world around us correctly, how this world demands our intense attention. We look down at the lowest creatures and up at the glowing, sparkling stars in the sky. We look all around at the kingdoms of nature, much of what is derived from them being part of us. And we have every reason to deeply feel in our hearts and souls the sublimity, the cosmic importance and the majesty of all this. And participation in any kind of esoteric, in any spiritual science, should not tempt us to engage in false asceticism – to reject either the lowly worm or the majestic stars because they belong to the visible world – and not feel their greatness, their majesty and sublimity, nor feel the importance they have for us... Continue

Lesson Eighteen: "...Let us imagine it once more, for we cannot recall it to our souls too often. We see before us everything belonging to the kingdoms of nature. We observe the glorious heavenly bodies; we see the floating clouds; we see the wind and the waves, the thunder and lightning. We see everything from the humblest worm to the sublimest revelations in the glittering stars. Only a false asceticism, unrelated to true esotericism, could in any way despise this world that speaks to the senses. The person who wishes to be truly human can do nothing other than intimately relate to the sense-perceptible life, from the humblest creature to the majestic, divinely glittering stars..." Continue


Karmic Relations, Volume II, Lecture Fourteen by Rudolf Steiner

 
The study of problems connected with karma is by no means easy and discussion of anything that has to do with this subject entails — or ought at any rate to entail — a sense of deep responsibility. Such study is in truth a matter of penetrating into the most profound relationships of existence, for within the sphere of karma, and the course it takes, lie those processes which are the basis of the other phenomena of world-existence, even of the phenomena of nature. Without insight into the course which karma takes in the world and in the evolution of humanity it is quite impossible to understand why external nature is displayed before us in the form in which we behold it. We have been studying examples of how karma may take its course. These examples were carefully chosen by me in order that now, when we shall try to make the transition to the study of individual karma, we can link on to them. To begin with I will give a general introduction, because friends are present to-day who have not attended the lectures on karma given during the last few weeks and months... Continue



Women, Sexuality and Society by Rudolf Steiner

It may seem strange that something like our theme today, which touches so strongly on current everyday issues, could be considered from the world-view of Spiritual Science, from a view of life and the world today which looks to the very greatest enigmas of human existence. In many circles which occupy themselves with Spiritual Science, or in such circles as have heard something of the spirit in this world-outlook, there is the view that Spiritual Science is something that does not concern itself in any way with current questions, with the interests of immediate life. People believe — some as a reproach to the Theosophical movement, and others seeing this as one of its advantages— that Spiritual Science concerns itself only with the great questions of Eternity, that it holds itself aloof from everyday events. People consider it, in both a good and a bad sense, to be something impractical. But if, in our time, Spiritual Science is to fulfil a task, a mission, then it must also grasp what moves the heart, it must be able to take up a position with regard to those questions which play into our day-to-day thinking and into our day-to-day striving and hope... Continue



Poetry

El Golem - The Golem Jorge Luis Borges

   
Si (como afirma el griego en el Cratilo)
el nombre es arquetipo de la cosa
en las letras de 'rosa' está la rosa
y todo el Nilo en la palabra 'Nilo'.

Y, hecho de consonantes y vocales,
habrá un terrible Nombre, que la esencia
cifre de Dios y que la Omnipotencia
guarde en letras y sílabas cabales... Continue

If (as the Greek affirmed in the Cratylus)
the name is archetype of the thing
in the letters of “rose” is the rose
and all the Nile in the word “Nile”.

And, made of consonants and vowels,
there'll be a terrible Name, which
guards in cautious letters and syllables
the ciphered essence of God and the Omnipotence... Continue




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