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Abraham Lincoln's Sophia

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  • dottie zold
    Dear Friends, I ve been thinking about my long time hero Abraham Lincoln. I attended Virginia Sease talk about Benjamin Franklin, who I had decided at the age
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 20, 2006
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      Dear Friends, I've been thinking about my long time
      hero Abraham Lincoln. I attended Virginia Sease' talk
      about Benjamin Franklin, who I had decided at the age
      of 24 or so was another hero of mine. I had two:
      Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King. And a poster
      of Richard Gere, but hey, you know it was the American
      Gigilo thing:O

      Anyhow, I was interested in the time period of Rudolf
      Steiner's birth and the death of Abraham Lincoln. I
      was thinking about the similarities in the convictions
      and ideals of Benjamin and Abraham Lincoln. And then I
      thought of the love of Raphael and the love of Novalis
      and this brought me to the love of Abraham Lincolns:
      Ann Mayes Rutledge. I do believe it is considered a
      myth and so forth which would not be too strange when
      we take into consideratin the way Sophia works in the
      world with such great men as Dante, Goethe, Novalis
      and others.

      So, I wanted to share a little story here that I think
      it pertinent to understand how this grieving for this
      woman brought him to higher ground. And how his school
      teacher and friends, who were very concerned about him
      killing or harming himself over the loss, had egged
      him onto to understand his greater calling. And one in
      which he too came to understand and see accordingly.

      I believe this love of his life represented the Sophia
      in the manner that Dante't Beatrice did. I believe
      this was the Sophia as represented by the Sophia of
      Novalis. One of the most touching comments I have ever
      heard spoken towards love are those of Abraham Lincoln
      upon attending to the burial place of his beloved Anna
      where it was pouring down rain: "I cannot bear for the
      rain to fall down upon her." This was his reply when
      his friends came upon him at the grave site in the
      pouring rain: "Abe, Abe, what are you doing? He
      responded in sobs: 'I can not bear for the rain to
      fall down upon her.' I have never heard words of love
      that have impacted me so intimately in my own heart.
      Bradford's words for Harvey are a close second.

      Anyhow, my sharing:

      http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/source/sb2/sb2d.htm

      All good things,
      Dottie

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    • dottie zold
      Well, I thought to copy a bit from the link below. Closer to the bottom is the Sophia experience I am speaking about regarding this young ladies death. In
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 21, 2006
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        Well, I thought to copy a bit from the link below.
        Closer to the bottom is the Sophia experience I am
        speaking about regarding this young ladies death.

        In looking at the greatness of the man and the timing
        thereof so close to the incoming birth of Rudolf
        Steiner it just seems to me that we are dealing with
        something really specific on a spiritual front that
        has not been looked at. It seems to me that this is
        one of the primary important moments that define the
        spirit of a man who pulls himself from no education to
        an extraordinary effort of one's own self education
        that I am not sure exists anywhere as incredible as it
        does in the life of this man Abraham Lincoln. It's
        almost as if life dared him to keep going. That
        sensitive spirit within him seemed just dared to keep
        going against all odds. And it seems that it was
        something extraordinary that kept him together.

        It's funny too looking at the pictorial book I have
        where one can see a picture of him in 1861 and then
        one four years later and it is clear we are looking at
        death before it happens. The forces are at their end.

        I bought the book because I was struck by one of the
        pictures there in that is a direct picture of someone
        living today. I am struck by the thought of what
        Abraham Lincoln's next step in a reincarnated life
        would be. It leads me to wonder who he was in a past
        life as well. I do not believe the greatness of this
        man has been surpassed by any of history. His great
        love for his fellow man and his willingness to take a
        stand for love seems unsurpassed in all that I have
        read of him and others.

        The darkness of his skin is often mentioned. I am
        called to think of the great native american spirit
        way of the great Chiefs who walked this country long
        before the whiteman did. Something about him speaks to
        me about the greatest Chief that ever lived. Funny how
        we call our presidents the Commander in Chief.

        Anyhow, below is the link and an excerpt of it. It is
        from a book that is looking at depression but I found
        some good references to Abraham Lincoln's life that I
        thought were well presented.

        http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4976127


        "Three elements of Lincoln's history -- the deep,
        pervasive sadness of his mother, the strange spells of
        his father, and the striking presence of mental
        illness in the family of his uncle and cousins --
        suggest the likelihood of a biological predisposition
        toward depression. "Predisposition" means an increased
        risk of developing an illness. As opposed to
        traditional Mendelian inheritance -- in which one
        dominant gene or two recessive genes lead to an
        illness or trait -- genetic factors in psychiatric
        illnesses are additive and not categorical. "The genes
        confer only susceptibility in many cases," explains
        the psychiatrist S. Nassir Ghaemi, in The Concepts of
        Psychiatry, "not the illness. That is, they only
        increase the likelihood that fewer or less severe
        environmental factors are required for the illness to
        develop, compared with someone who has fewer
        disease-related genes."

        What tips a person from tendency to actuality? For
        centuries, philosophers and physicians emphasized
        climate and diet. Today's experts focus on harsh life
        events and conditions, especially in early childhood.
        Lincoln's early life certainly had its harsh elements.
        His only brother died in infancy in Kentucky. In 1816,
        Abraham's eighth year, the family moved to southern
        Indiana. Two years later, in the fall of 1818, an
        infectious disease swept through their small rural
        community. Among those affected were Lincoln's aunt
        and uncle, Thomas and Elizabeth Sparrow, and his
        mother, Nancy Lincoln. Eventually, the disease would
        be traced to a poisonous root, eaten by cattle and
        then ingested by humans in milk or meat. But when
        Abraham watched his mother become ill, the disease was
        a grim mystery that went by various names, from
        "puking fever" to "river sickness" to "fall poison."
        Later, it became known as the "milk sick." "No
        announcement strikes the members of a western
        community with so much dread as the report of a case,"
        said a newspaper of the time. A physician described
        the course of the illness: "When the individual is
        about to be taken down, he feels weary, trembles more
        or less under exertion, and often experiences pain,
        numbness and slight cramps." Nausea soon follows, then
        "a feeling of depression and burning at the pit of the
        stomach," then retching, twitching, and tossing side
        to side. Before long, the patient becomes "deathly
        pale and shrunk up," listless and indifferent, and
        lies, between fits of retching, in a "mild coma."
        First the Sparrows -- with whom the Lincolns were
        close -- took sick and died. Then Nancy Lincoln went
        to bed with the illness. Ill for about a week, she
        died on October 5, 1818. She was about thirty-five
        years old. Her son was nine.

        In addition to the loss of his mother, aunt, and
        uncle, a year or so later Abraham faced the long
        absence of his father, who returned to Kentucky to
        court another bride. For two to six months, Tom
        Lincoln left his children alone with their
        twenty-year-old cousin, Dennis Hanks. When he
        returned, the children were dirty and poorly clothed.
        Lincoln later described himself at this time as "sad,
        if not pitiful."

        The one constant in Abraham's life was his sister,
        Sarah. She was a thin, strong woman who resembled her
        father in stature, with brown hair and dark eyes. Like
        her brother, Sarah Lincoln had a sharp mind. She
        stayed with the family until 1826, when she married,
        set up house, and quickly became pregnant. On January
        28, 1828, she gave birth to a stillborn child and
        shortly afterward died herself. "We went out and told
        Abe," recalled a neighbor. "I never will forget the
        scene. He sat down in the door of the smoke house and
        buried his face in his hands. The tears slowly
        trickled from between his bony fingers and his gaunt
        frame shook with sobs."

        In the emotional development of a child, pervasive
        tension can be just as influential as loss. Lincoln's
        relationship with his father -- the only other member
        of his nuclear family who survived -- was so cool that
        observers wondered whether there was any love between
        them. The relationship was strained by a fundamental
        conflict. From a young age, Abraham showed a strong
        interest in his own education. At first his father
        helped him along, paying school fees and procuring
        books. "Abe read all the books he could lay

        his hands on," said his stepmother. "And when he came
        across a passage that struck him he would write it
        down . . . then he would re-write it -- look at it --
        repeat it." But at some point Tom Lincoln began to
        oppose the extent of his son's studies. Abraham
        sometimes neglected his farm work by reading. Tom
        would beat him for this, and for other infractions.

        To men who had been born and expected to die on farms,
        book learning had limited value. A man ought to be
        able to read the Bible (for his moral life) and legal
        documents (for his work life). Writing could help,
        too, as could basic arithmetic. Anything more was a
        luxury, and for working folks seemed frivolous. For
        generations, Lincoln men had cleared land, raised
        crops, and worked a trade. So when this boy slipped
        away from feeding livestock and splitting logs to
        write poetry and read stories, people thought him
        lazy. "Lincoln was lazy -- a very lazy man,"
        remembered his cousin Dennis Hanks. "He was always
        reading -- scribbling -- writing -- ciphering --
        writing poetry &c. &c."

        Later, Lincoln's self-education would become the stuff
        of legend. Many parents have cited Lincoln's long
        walks to school and ferocious self-discipline to their
        children. But Lincoln pursued his interests in
        defiance of established norms. Far from being praised,
        he was consistently admonished. He may well have paid
        an emotional toll. Many studies have linked adult
        mental health to parental support in childhood. Lower
        levels of support correlate with increased levels of
        depressive symptoms, among other health problems, in
        adulthood. After Lincoln left home in his early
        twenties, his contact with his father was impersonal
        and infrequent.

        When reviewing the facts of Lincoln's childhood, we
        should keep in mind some context. For example, in the
        early nineteenth century, one out of four infants died
        before their first birthday. And about one fourth of
        all children lost a mother or father before age
        fifteen. Of the eighteen American presidents in the
        nineteenth century, nine lost their mother, father, or
        both while they were children. None of Lincoln's
        contemporaries, nor Lincoln himself, mentioned the
        deaths of his siblings and mother as factors
        contributing to his melancholy. The melancholy was
        unusual, but the deaths were not. In the same vein,
        while we ought not to ignore Lincoln's conflict with
        his father and discount its possible emotional
        aftereffects, we risk missing more than we gain if we
        look at it exclusively through the lens of modern
        psychology. In fact, such a conflict between ambitious
        young men and their fathers was not uncommon in the
        early nineteenth century, a time of broad cultural and
        economic change.

        Abraham was not evidently a wounded child, but signs
        point to his being sensitive. He spent a lot of time
        alone. He was serious about his studies and reading,
        and uncommonly eager to explore imaginative realms,
        which psychologists often observe in sensitive
        children. He also took up a popular cause among
        sensitive people, the welfare of animals. Some boys
        found it fun to set turtles on fire or throw them
        against trees. "Lincoln would Chide us -- tell us it
        was wrong -- would write against it," remembered one
        of his neighbors. His stepsister remembered him once
        "contending that an ants life was to it, as sweet as
        ours to us."

        At the same time, Lincoln was a winsome child. Others
        sought him out, followed him in games, and applauded
        him when he mounted a stump and performed for them,
        pretending to be a preacher or a statesman. By the
        time he was a teenager, grown men would flock around
        him, eager to hear his jokes and stories. He was well
        liked.

        Lincoln was not depressed in his late teens and early
        twenties -- at least not so far as anyone could see.
        When he left his family, at age twenty-one, he had no
        money or connections. His chief asset -- perhaps his
        only real asset -- was his golden character. Settling
        as a stranger in New Salem, a small village on a river
        bluff in central Illinois, he soon was among the
        best-liked men around. A gang of rough boys developed
        a fierce attachment to him after he made a stellar
        showing in a wrestling match, displaying not only
        physical strength but a sense of fairness. Others were
        impressed with Lincoln's wit and intelligence,
        noticing, for example, how when he recited the poetry
        of Robert Burns, he nailed the Scottish accent, the
        fierce emotion, and the devilish humor. Though Lincoln
        looked like a yokel -- tall and gangly, he had thick,
        black, unruly hair and he wore pants that ended above
        his ankles -- he had good ideas and a good manner. "He
        became popular with all classes," said Jason Duncan, a
        physician in New Salem.

        After less than a year in New Salem, Lincoln declared
        himself as a candidate for the Illinois General
        Assembly. He was twenty-three years old. He lost the
        race but got nearly every vote in his precinct, which,
        said another candidate, was "mainly due to his
        personal popularity." When he volunteered for a state
        militia campaign against a band of Native Americans
        under Chief Black Hawk, a part of the bloody Black
        Hawk War, his company elected Lincoln captain. Nearly
        three decades later -- as a veteran of Congress and
        his party's nominee for president of the United States
        -- Lincoln wrote that this was "a success which gave
        me more pleasure than any I have had since."

        In his first four years in New Salem, Lincoln struck
        his new friends and neighbors as sunny and
        indefatigable. "I never saw Mr Lincoln angry or
        desponding," said a fellow soldier in the Black Hawk
        War, "but always cheerful." Indeed, "the whole
        company, even amid trouble and suffering, received
        Strength & fortitude, by his bouancy and elasticity."
        Once Lincoln stopped at the house of a neighbor,
        Elizabeth Abell, after working in the fields. He was
        scratched all over from briar thorns. Abell fussed
        over him, but Lincoln laughed about it and said it was
        the poor man's lot. "Certainly," she said years later,
        "he was the best natured man I ever got acquainted
        with." Asked by a biographer whether the Lincoln she
        knew was a "sad man," Abell answered, "I never
        considered him so. He was always social and lively and
        had great aspirations." Crucially, his liveliness and
        sociability served him well in politics. Campaigning
        again for the state legislature in 1834, he went out
        to a field where a group of about thirty men were
        working the harvest. A friend of Lincoln's, J. R.
        Herndon, introduced him. The men said that they
        couldn't vote for a man who didn't know how to do
        field work. "Boys," Lincoln said, "if that is all I am
        sure of your votes. "He picked up a scythe and went to
        work. "I dont think he Lost a vote in the Croud,"
        Herndon wrote.

        Lincoln won the election easily. When a mentor in the
        legislature recommended that he study law, he took the
        challenge. It would be a good profession to accompany
        politics, in particular the politics of the Whig
        party, which drew its strength from the growing number
        of urban and industrial professionals. In the early
        nineteenth century, attorneys commanded a kind of awe,
        embodying the stately Anglo-Saxon tradition of common
        law and domestic order. Gaining "the secrets of that
        science," explained the poet-author William Allen
        Butler, would give a person a perpetual glow, for the
        law, "more than all other human forces, directs the
        progress of events."

        It is a mark of Lincoln's soaring ambition that, four
        years from the fields, he sought to join such ranks,
        at a time when all but five percent of the men in his
        area did manual work for a living. It was a sign of
        his pluck that he did it virtually all on his own.
        While other young men learned the law at universities
        -- or, more commonly, under the tutelage of an
        established attorney -- Lincoln, as he noted in his
        memoir, "studied with nobody." This was hardly the
        only mark of his ambition. A lawyer named Lynn McNulty
        Greene remembered Lincoln telling him that "all his
        folks seemed to have good sense but none of them had
        become distinguished, and he believed it was for him
        to become so." This language suggests that Lincoln
        had, more than a personal desire, a sense of calling.
        "Mr. Lincoln," explained his friend O. H. Browning,
        "believed that there was a predestined work for him in
        the world . . . Even in his early days he had a strong
        conviction that he was born for better things than
        then seemed likely or even possible . . .While I think
        he was a man of very strong ambition, I think it had
        its origin in this sentiment, that he was destined for
        something nobler than he was for the time engaged in."
        In his first published political speech, Lincoln
        wrote, "Every man is said to have his peculiar
        ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say for one
        that I have no other so great as that of being truly
        esteemed of my fellow men, by rendering myself worthy
        of their esteem."

        But there were cracks in Lincoln's sunny disposition.
        "If the good people in their wisdom shall see fit to
        keep me in the background," he said in that same
        speech, "I have been too familiar with disappointments
        to be very much chagrined." At times, his faith in
        personal progress gave way and his familiarity with
        disappointments shone through. Back from the militia
        campaign, Lincoln and a partner opened their own
        store, buying the stock on credit. When the store
        failed, Lincoln was in serious financial jeopardy.
        Seeing him despondent, his new friends got him a
        crucial political appointment, as New Salem's
        postmaster. Later, he was made deputy surveyor, too.
        These jobs, Lincoln noted, "procured bread, and kept
        soul and body together." Nevertheless, his debt soon
        caught up with him: a creditor seized his surveying
        equipment -- including his horse, his compass, and his
        chain -- and put it up for auction. An older man named
        James Short saw Lincoln moping about and heard him say
        he might "let the whole thing go." Short tried to
        cheer him up. Then he went and bought the equipment
        for $120 (about $2,500 in modern dollars) and returned
        it to Lincoln.

        These streaks of sadness and worry may have been minor
        depressions. But it wasn't until 1835 that serious
        concern emerged about Lincoln's mental health. That
        summer, remembered the schoolteacher Mentor Graham,
        Lincoln "somewhat injured his health and
        Constitution." The first sign of trouble came with his
        intense study of law. He "read hard -- day and night
        -- terribly hard," remembered Isaac Cogdal, a
        stonemason. At times, Lincoln seemed oblivious to his
        friends and surroundings. "He became emaciated," said
        Henry McHenry, a farmer in the area, "and his best
        friends were afraid that he would craze himself --
        make himself derange."

        Around the same time, an epidemic of what doctors
        called "bilious fever" -- typhoid, probably -- spread
        through the area. Doctors administered heroic doses of
        mercury, quinine, and jalap, a powerful purgative.
        According to one recollection, Lincoln helped tend to
        the sick, build coffins for the dead, and assist in
        the burials -- despite the fact that he was "suffering
        himself with the chills and fever on alternate days.
        "He was probably affected mentally, too, by the waves
        of death washing across his new home -- reminiscent,
        perhaps, of the "milk sick" that had devastated his
        family in his youth.

        Among the severely afflicted families were Lincoln's
        friends the Rutledges. Originally from South Carolina,
        they had been among the first to settle in New Salem,
        opening a tavern and boarding house, where Lincoln
        stayed and took meals when he first arrived. He knew
        the family well and had become friends with Anna Mayes
        Rutledge, a bright, pretty young woman with flowing
        blond hair and large blue eyes. In August 1835, Ann
        took sick. As she lay in bed in her family's cabin,
        Lincoln visited her often. "It was very evident that
        he was much distressed," remembered a neighbor named
        John Jones. She died on August 25. Around the time of
        her funeral, the weather turned cold and wet. Lincoln
        said he couldn't bear the idea of rain falling on
        Ann's grave -- and this was the first sign people had
        that he was in the midst of an emotional collapse. "As
        to the condition of Lincoln's Mind after the death of
        Miss R., "Henry McHenry recalled, "after that Event he
        seemed quite changed, he seemed Retired, & loved
        Solitude, he seemed wrapped in profound thought,
        indifferent, to transpiring Events, had but Little to
        say, but would take his gun and wander off in the
        woods by him self, away from the association of even
        those he most esteemed, this gloom seemed to deepen
        for some time, so as to give anxiety to his friends in
        regard to his Mind."

        Indeed, the anxiety was widespread, both for Lincoln's
        immediate safety and for his long-term mental health.
        Lincoln "told Me that he felt like Committing Suicide
        often," remembered Mentor Graham, and his neighbors
        mobilized to keep him safe. One friend recalled, "Mr
        Lincolns friends . . . were Compelled to keep watch
        and ward over Mr Lincoln, he being from the sudden
        shock somewhat temporarily deranged. We watched during
        storms -- fogs -- damp gloomy weather . . . for fear
        of an accident." Another villager said, "Lincoln was
        locked up by his friends . . . to prevent derangement
        or suicide." People wondered whether Lincoln had
        fallen off the deep end. "That was the time the
        community said he was crazy," remembered Elizabeth
        Abell.

        The fact that Lincoln broke down after Rutledge's
        death, of course, doesn't necessarily mean that her
        death produced his breakdown. This is an important
        point, because from the very earliest writings on
        Lincoln, his relationship with Ann Rutledge has been
        controversial. Questions about whether he loved her
        and whether they were engaged have been debated
        fiercely, and still are. The myths and countermyths
        about this young woman played a big role in the early
        historiography of Lincoln -- and, amazingly, played a
        large role in pushing Lincoln's melancholy to the
        margins of history. More on this in the Afterword, but
        for now the essential point is that leading scholars
        have long said that what we think about Lincoln's
        first breakdown must hinge on what we think about his
        relationship with Ann Rutledge. If his love for her is
        a myth, this thinking goes, then the breakdown must be
        a myth, too.

        In fact, in the eyes of the New Salem villagers,
        questions of a love affair followed hard and
        irrefutable knowledge of an emotional collapse. As the
        original accounts make clear, his breakdown was
        impossible to miss. Nearly everyone in the community
        who gave testimony spoke of it, remembering its
        contours even decades later. Lincoln, after all, had
        become immensely popular, loved by young ruffians and
        old families alike. Now, all of a sudden he was openly
        moping and threatening to kill himself. Why? people
        asked. What accounted for the great change?

        It was in an attempt to answer this question that
        people turned to his relationship with Rutledge. He
        had obviously been upset by her illness. And after her
        funeral he had fallen off an emotional cliff. "The
        effect upon Mr Lincoln's mind was terrible," said
        Ann's brother, Robert Rutledge. "He became plunged in
        despair, and many of his friends feared that reason
        would desert her throne. His extraordinary emotions
        were regarded as strong evidence of the existence of
        the tenderest relations between himself and the
        deceased." Notice the careful progression from fact
        (Lincoln's breakdown after Ann's death) to inference
        (they must have been tenderly involved). James Short,
        who was the Rutledges' neighbor, came to a similar
        conclusion. "I did not know of any engagement or
        tender passages between Mr L and Miss R at the time,"
        Short said. "But after her death . . . he seemed to be
        so much affected and grieved so hardly that I then
        supposed there must have been something of the kind."
        Because Lincoln "grieved so hardly" and became
        "plunged in despair," it seemed reasonable to his
        friends that there must have been some proximate
        cause.

        In fact, major depression, in people who are
        vulnerable to it, can be set off by all manner of
        circumstances. What would appear to a non-depressed
        person to be an ordinary or insignificant stimulus can
        through a depressive's eyes look rather profound.
        "It's not the large things that send a man to the
        madhouse, "Charles Bukowski has written. "No, it's the
        continuing series of small tragedies . . . a shoelace
        that snaps, with no time left." In this light, it is
        worth noting that, according to reminiscences, the
        pivotal moment for Lincoln wasn't Rutledge's death but
        the dismal weather that followed. After the death,
        wrote John Hill, the son of Lincoln's friend Samuel
        Hill, "Lincoln bore up under it very well until some
        days afterwards a heavy rain fell, which unnerved him
        and -- (the balance you know)." The intonation here
        suggests an understanding among Lincoln's friends that
        there was something precarious about him, and that --
        like Bukowski's shoelace -- a factor as ordinary as
        poor weather could send him reeling. As we will see,
        cold temperatures would contribute to Lincoln's second
        breakdown. Lincoln himself would write that "exposure
        to bad weather" had proved by his experience "to be
        verry severe on defective nerves."

        For whatever reason, or combination of reasons, in the
        late summer of 1835 Lincoln's depression was pushed
        out into the open. After several weeks of worrisome
        behavior -- talking about suicide, wandering alone in
        the woods with his gun -- an older couple in the area
        took him into their home. Bowling Green, a large,
        merry man who was the justice of the peace -- and who
        became, other villagers said, a kind of second father
        to Lincoln -- and his wife, Nancy, took care of
        Lincoln for one or two weeks. When he had improved
        somewhat, they let him go, but he was, Mrs. Green
        said, "quite melancholy for months."




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      • Mike helsher
        ... Sweet stuff Dottie thanks, A few years ago I did a course called the Destiny of Abraham Lincoln http://www.onlinehumanities.com/courses/100.html Abraham
        Message 3 of 4 , Aug 21, 2006
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          --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, dottie zold
          <dottie_z@...> wrote:
          >
          > Well, I thought to copy a bit from the link below.
          > Closer to the bottom is the Sophia experience I am
          > speaking about regarding this young ladies death.
          >
          > In looking at the greatness of the man and the timing
          > thereof so close to the incoming birth of Rudolf
          > Steiner it just seems to me that we are dealing with
          > something really specific on a spiritual front that
          > has not been looked at. It seems to me that this is
          > one of the primary important moments that define the
          > spirit of a man who pulls himself from no education to
          > an extraordinary effort of one's own self education
          > that I am not sure exists anywhere as incredible as it
          > does in the life of this man Abraham Lincoln. It's
          > almost as if life dared him to keep going. That
          > sensitive spirit within him seemed just dared to keep
          > going against all odds. And it seems that it was
          > something extraordinary that kept him together.

          >
          > It's funny too looking at the pictorial book I have
          > where one can see a picture of him in 1861 and then
          > one four years later and it is clear we are looking at
          > death before it happens. The forces are at their end.
          >
          > I bought the book because I was struck by one of the
          > pictures there in that is a direct picture of someone
          > living today. I am struck by the thought of what
          > Abraham Lincoln's next step in a reincarnated life
          > would be. It leads me to wonder who he was in a past
          > life as well. I do not believe the greatness of this
          > man has been surpassed by any of history. His great
          > love for his fellow man and his willingness to take a
          > stand for love seems unsurpassed in all that I have
          > read of him and others.

          Sweet stuff Dottie thanks,

          A few years ago I did a course called "the Destiny of Abraham
          Lincoln"

          http://www.onlinehumanities.com/courses/100.html

          "Abraham Lincoln belongs to the very best that the United States has
          contributed to the furtherance of Humankind. What sort of man was
          required to heal the split in the national soul caused by the
          institutionalization of slavery in our Constitution? How can
          Lincoln's life be instructive in your own life? How does the crisis
          he faced relate to the world today? Lincoln was influenced by the
          life of Washington, the Bible and Shakespeare. What have been great
          influences on your life? Have you had experiences in your own life
          that you could describe as "predestined?" Do you know what Lincoln
          meant by his "Friend down inside' of himself?" The course has no pre-
          requisites except the ability to think and write in English. Anyone
          interested in history and wisdom will benefit a great deal from this
          course."


          To me it is an unorthodox example of some kind of Divine order,
          stepping into human history at a crucial moment

          I was struck by the dream that he had had, just prior to his
          assasination, and his uncustomary "good bye" remark, to a close
          friend just before heading off to the theater.

          Also, a study of the character of John wilks Booth, in comparison to
          that of Abe is quite tell-taling, I think, for those who have
          curiosity as to introspection.

          I remember being glued to his Biography more so than any other story
          that I had ever read, and moved even more deeply by the fact that it
          was (more or less) a true story - The Heart of the American Souls
          biograhpy. And it had nothing really to do with Harvard or Yale.

          "We must disenthrall ourselves."

          Mike

          PS. watch this trailer if you haven't seen the movie yet
          http://www.csathemovie.com/index2.html
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