Tuesday, January 08, 2013
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Prayer for the Tormentors
Peace to those of bad will and an end to revenge and all talk of punishment and chastise. The cruelties mock all that has ever been -- crossing the boundaries of human understanding and the martyrs are manifold.
Therefore, O God, don’t weigh their suffering on the scales of justice,
Don’t demand dreadful retribution, rather
let them approach with all executioners, traitors and spies
and with all bad people
and forgive them
for the sake of the courage
and soul strength of the others...
....for all that is good should count
and not the evil
and in remembering our enemies we should not continue life as their victims,
not as nightmare and ghosts
Rather come to their help so they can
remove themselves from their madness.
This alone is asked of them,
and that we, when all is over
may live as humans among humans
And that, once again, there may be
peace on this poor earth for people of good will and that this peace may also come to those others.
Gebet fuer die Peiniger
Friede den Menschen, die bösen Willens sind,
und ein Ende aller Rache und allen Redens
über Strafe und Züchtigung.
Die Grausamkeiten spotten alles je Dagewesenen,
sie überschreiten die Grenzen menschlichen Begreifens, und zahlreich sind die Märtyrer.
Daher, o Gott, wäge nicht ihre Leiden Auf den Schalen deiner Gerechtigkeit, fordere nicht grausame Abrechnung, sondern lasse sie zukommen allen Henkern Verrätern und Spionen und allen schlechten Menschen,
und vergib ihnen um des Mutes
und der Seelenkraft der anderen willen .....
...... all das Gute sollte zählen, nicht das Böse und in der Erinnerung unserer Feinde
sollten wir nicht als ihre Opfer weiterleben, nicht als Alptraum und Gespenster
vielmehr ihnen zur Hilfe kommen, damit sie Abstehen können von ihrem Wahn.
Nur dies allein wird ihnen abgefordert,
und dass wir, wenn alles vorbei sein wird,
leben dürfen als Menschen unter Menschen,
und dass wieder Friede sein möge auf dieser
armen Erde den Menschen, die guten Willens sind, und dass dieser Friede auch zu den anderen komme.
...and when it's all over, the mass madness, the delight in roaring crowds, the flag waving; when this illness of our age, pretending that base instincts are good and battles for radical conservatism necessary, is gone, then one day someone will make an earth shaking discovery. They will discover the individual human being. They will say: Everything depends on individuals. The question will be: are they happy, and the goal: are they free. Groups will be secondary. The State will be secondary. Important will be not that the State lives, but that the human being lives...People will cheer and say: 'how novel! What courage! We never heard that before! Books will be written, not by that first person but by his successors because the first is always stupid. And the result will be that thousands of banners and brown, red, and blue shirts will be thrown in the trash and people will start to have courage and believe in themselves without fear of the State, before which they previously grovelled like beaten dogs...
--written by the German author Kurt Tucholsky in 1931
Monday, May 12, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Prelude for the upcoming activities of the Biodynamic Agricultural Association of Ireland (see events list below)
Have you ever hear of Ehrenfried Pfeiffer? As an organic farmer or gardener you might have read one of his books: Grow a Garden & Be Self Sufficient—still the best introduction to organic-biodynamic horticulture. (copies available from the Office of the Biodynamic Agricultural Association, Watergarden Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny, €12.50)
Here’s an extract from an article on Pfeiffer by A.W. Martinez, Collier’s, May 31, 1952. (for the full article see http://rotheraine.com/golden_garbage.html):
Trained bacteria, turned loose on the refuse of Oakland, Cal., produce a rich, sweet-smelling fertilizer that’s guaranteed to perform near miracles for farm land. It’s like backyard compost, and it could save the nation billions of dollars.Dr. Ehrenfried E. Pfeiffer, German-born biochemistOne morning in October, 1950, two strangers walked into the office of Tony Dalcino, president of the Oakland Scavenger Company, with a proposition that turned Dalcino’s casual smile into a look of utter disbelief.
His callers wanted to know whether the company would let them have part of the daily haul of garbage from the city of Oakland, California. They hoped, they said, to put the garbage on an assembly line and sell it!
The two visitors were Richard Stovroff, a young owner of a wastepaper business in Buffalo, New York. The other was Dr. Ehrenfried E. Pfeiffer, German-born biochemist, holder of an honorary U.S. medical degree, and lifelong experimenter with new ways to grow better food.
Pfeiffer, a tall, robust, pink-cheeked man with an infectious twinkle, explained. In the course of his researches he had discovered a new ‘race” of bacteria which converts garbage into a sweet-smelling black earth fertilizer which could perform virtual miracles for the land. A tablespoon of the bacteria, grown in test tubes, could turn a ton of garbage into rich humus in three weeks.
Pfeiffer told Dalcino: “It costs the American taxpayers a few billion dollars a year when we throw away as garbage the precious minerals and organic material we take out of the soil in the form of food. At the same time it costs farmers nearly $7,000,000,000 a year to put some of these minerals back in the ground in the form of chemical fertilizers. That doesn’t make sense.” He had, he added, decided to do something about it ever since his arrival in the U.S. in 1940 as a refugee from war-ravaged Europe.
In control tests at Pfeiffer’s Biochemical Research Laboratory at Spring Valley, New York, vegetables grown in this converted garbage weighed 25 per cent more than those grown with conventional fertilizers, with from one to three times more vitamin A. The garbage-compost treated soil showed from one to four times as much life-giving nitrogen, and grain showed a consistently higher protein content. Laboratory experiments proved that the mixture could restore even sterile sandy soil to vigorous fertility and make rich farm land out of desert if adequate water was available. The converted garbage restored organic matter, mineral balance and structure, giving soil body, and permitting it to absorb and hold water. The organic matter released a powerful concentration of bacteria whose digestive activities and decay created plant foods, soil-binding humus and released nitrogen.
Alas, the city of Oakland did not take Pfeiffer up on his offer. Now, half a century on, have we moved on, or found anything better?
We invite everyone interested in learning more about Pfeiffer’s biodynamic approach to composting farmyard manure and barrel composting to participate under the Skillnet programme at the following venues and events:
We will also assess the state of the compost via microscopy in order to establish the soil-food-web and create “Barrel Compost” the backyard gardeners gold ! Please bring appropriate clothing, overalls, boots, (a dungfork if you can)
We look forward to seeing you all, as we will hardly have another 50 years to move to a sustainable agriculture!
Michael Miklis, Biodynamic Agricultural Association in Ireland, Watergarden, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny, Tel. / Fax. 056-7754214, email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website http://www.biodynamic.ie/
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
"What do we observe in human life? Is it brotherhood, or the struggle for existence that has accomplished great things in mankind's development--or have both impulses contributed to something? The Russian scientist Kessler gave a lecture in 1880, in which he showed that the most progressive animal types, those most capable of development, are not the ones that do the most fighting, but those that give mutual support to one another... In all of nature we see examples of the cooperation of single beings within a whole. Consider the human body. It consists of independent beings, millions and millions of cells... What causes the cooperation of these small cells? Man's soul is the cause....The soul sees with the cells of the eye, thinks by means of the cells of the brain, lives through the cells of the blood. There we can see what union, what association, means. It means the possibility for a higher being to express itself through the members when they are united.
This principle is general for all of life. Five people who think and feel harmoniously together, are not just the sum of the five...a new higher being is in their midst...It is not the one, or the other, or the third, but something entirely new that springs from the union. This new entity arises only when...the single individual draws strength not only from her/himself but also from others.
...The struggle for existence has its justification because we are individualities who have to make our way through life...In a sense, the words of Rusckerts hold here: when the rose beautifies itself, it also beautifies the garden. If we do not make ourselves capable of helping our fellows we shall be poor helpers. If we do not see to it that all our talents are developed, we shall have little success in helping others. In order to develop these talents, a certain egoism is necessary , because egoism is connected with initiative.
...Everyone would like to know how to unite struggle for existence with brother/sisterhood. That is very simple...replace struggle with positive labor, replace combat with the ideal...try without fighting an opponent, to introduce into life what your experience and cognition have found to be correct...
You will see that we develop our talents best when we live in community, that we live most intensively when we take root in that totality."
Excerpted from 'Brotherhood and the Struggle for Existence, R.Steiner, Berlin, Nov 23 1905, published by Mercury Press, Chestnut Ridge, NY
Monday, January 21, 2008
"People joked in the not too distant past that if you talked about the weather, you had nothing better to talk about. Today, we talk about the weather because the weather is important in our lives. Rudolf Steiner comments on this in The Driving Force of Spiritual Powers in World History (Lecture 7, Dornach, March 22 1923, GA 232). In the days of Ancient Persia, talk about the weather would have been understood as deeds of the gods and somebody who had nothing interesting to say about the weather would have been deemed boring. The ancient Persians took note of weather when people were born as an expression of 'Divine Thought' allocated to that child. Steiner says that it would be a definite advance if humanity talked about the weather, not whether it is good or bad, but again to reach the stage where weather is related spiritually to events; where it is determined what natural phenomena are connect to which outer events."
-- Thanks for this to Michael Roboz, North Vancouver BC Canada
Michael Roboz (B.Sc. Biochemistry; P.B.D. Environmental Toxicology/ Pest Management) received an Environmental Stewardship Award presented by the City of North Vancouver in June.