Life is a series of ferments which may be reversed. When we stir up a sponge for bread we put in a little yeast and a little flour for it to work upon. All night long the yeast particles are busy separating the solid wheat particles and filling them with yeast-life. In the morning the entire mass is beautifully “light.”
Everywhere in creation life and light are synonymous terms. Even the “lightness” of bread sponge is its aliveness.
Now, what do you do with a light sponge? You use it to leaven a loaf. You stir it down, and stir in more flour, and knead and knead it until there is a big, solid loaf—within which is the germ of life. Again the yeast-life works, until the whole mass is “light” again—until all that wheat flour you worked in has been separated and made light or alive. Perhaps you repeat the process several times, before you finally kill your bread by baking it.
If you let your dough rise too long, you know what happens —it gets “too light”; the yeasty principle has nothing more to work upon; the loaf is now all yeast; it begins to get sour, and then bitter; it grows porous, gaseous; its surface becomes wrinkled and its once round, smooth cheek falls in; it shrivels; and in due time, if let alone, it will dry up and blow away.
Good, live dough is not the result of a fermentation, but of a series of fermentations, each arrested at the proper moment, and more flour added.
Human life is like unto it. The human being who works and works on one line becomes sour and wrinkled. In order to make good human beings they should be allowed to work on one line until they are full of lightness, of the joy of life. Then there should be kneading down and a new beginning.
Now, this is all in your mind. Fermentation is a mental process. The “ferments or enzymes” are the life or mind principles drawn, not from air or water or carbon, but through them. They are “spirit,” love, life. The “wheat flour” consists in the facts which are worked into your mind, and upon which your soul-stuff works, digesting, assimilating it. The same identical process takes place in a loaf of bread that takes place in your mind. All is life. ALL IS MIND.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Mildred Mann was active in the New Thought Movement and taught metaphysics in New York City . She founded the Society of Religious Pragmatism , which was later reorganized as the Society of Pragmatic Mysticism in Vermont . Her book Become What You Believe remains influential among non-denominational New Thought practitioners and adherents.
When I see stars
Flung so magnificently into space
Each crystal one in its appointed place,
My heart leaps high
My troubles lose their spell. These sentinels of night
Do not at random trace their span! Each is a part of universal plan. When I see stars
I know that all is well,
For if some power
Can hold a billion stars in place,
And at the same time, make the marble
That molds a statue's face,
Or knows the secrets in the bricks That makes this building tall,
That same power can also hold me, too
And guide my every step — and all I do.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Brer Rabbit meets a Tar Baby
S. E. Schlosser
Well now, that rascal Brer Fox hated Brer Rabbit on account of he was always cutting capers and bossing everyone around. So Brer Fox decided to capture and kill Brer Rabbit if it was the last thing he ever did! He thought and he thought until he came up with a plan. He would make a tar baby! Brer Fox went and got some tar and he mixed it with some turpentine and he sculpted it into the figure of a cute little baby. Then he stuck a hat on the Tar Baby and sat her in the middle of the road.
Brer Fox hid himself in the bushes near the road and he waited and waited for Brer Rabbit to come along. At long last, he heard someone whistling and chuckling to himself, and he knew that Brer Rabbit was coming up over the hill. As he reached the top, Brer Rabbit spotted the cute little Tar Baby. Brer Rabbit was surprised. He stopped and stared at this strange creature. He had never seen anything like it before!
"Good Morning," said Brer Rabbit, doffing his hat. "Nice weather we're having."
The Tar Baby said nothing. Brer Fox laid low and grinned an evil grin.
Brer Rabbit tried again. "And how are you feeling this fine day?"
The Tar Baby, she said nothing. Brer Fox grinned an evil grin and lay low in the bushes.
Brer Rabbit frowned. This strange creature was not very polite. It was beginning to make him mad.
"Ahem!" said Brer Rabbit loudly, wondering if the Tar Baby were deaf. "I said 'HOW ARE YOU THIS MORNING?"
The Tar Baby said nothing. Brer Fox curled up into a ball to hide his laugher. His plan was working perfectly!
"Are you deaf or just rude?" demanded Brer Rabbit, losing his temper. "I can't stand folks that are stuck up! You take off that hat and say 'Howdy-do' or I'm going to give you such a lickin'!"
The Tar Baby just sat in the middle of the road looking as cute as a button and saying nothing at all. Brer Fox rolled over and over under the bushes, fit to bust because he didn't dare laugh out loud.
"I'll learn ya!" Brer Rabbit yelled. He took a swing at the cute little Tar Baby and his paw got stuck in the tar.
"Lemme go or I'll hit you again," shouted Brer Rabbit. The Tar Baby, she said nothing.
"Fine! Be that way," said Brer Rabbit, swinging at the Tar Baby with his free paw. Now both his paws were stuck in the tar, and Brer Fox danced with glee behind the bushes.
"I'm gonna kick the stuffin' out of you," Brer Rabbit said and pounced on the Tar Baby with both feet. They sank deep into the Tar Baby. Brer Rabbit was so furious he head-butted the cute little creature until he was completely covered with tar and unable to move.
Brer Fox leapt out of the bushes and strolled over to Brer Rabbit. "Well, well, what have we here?" he asked, grinning an evil grin.
Brer Rabbit gulped. He was stuck fast. He did some fast thinking while Brer Fox rolled about on the road, laughing himself sick over Brer Rabbit's dilemma.
"I've got you this time, Brer Rabbit," said Brer Fox, jumping up and shaking off the dust. "You've sassed me for the very last time. Now I wonder what I should do with you?"
Brer Rabbit's eyes got very large. "Oh please Brer Fox, whatever you do, please don't throw me into the briar patch."
"Maybe I should roast you over a fire and eat you," mused Brer Fox. "No, that's too much trouble. Maybe I'll hang you instead."
"Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please," said Brer Rabbit. "Only please, Brer Fox, please don't throw me into the briar patch."
"If I'm going to hang you, I'll need some string," said Brer Fox. "And I don't have any string handy. But the stream's not far away, so maybe I'll drown you instead."
"Drown me! Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please," said Brer Rabbit. "Only please, Brer Fox, please don't throw me into the briar patch."
"The briar patch, eh?" said Brer Fox. "What a wonderful idea! You'll be torn into little pieces!"
Grabbing up the tar-covered rabbit, Brer Fox swung him around and around and then flung him head over heels into the briar patch. Brer Rabbit let out such a scream as he fell that all of Brer Fox's fur stood straight up. Brer Rabbit fell into the briar bushes with a crash and a mighty thump. Then there was silence.
Brer Fox cocked one ear toward the briar patch, listening for whimpers of pain. But he heard nothing. Brer Fox cocked the other ear toward the briar patch, listening for Brer Rabbit's death rattle. He heard nothing.
Then Brer Fox heard someone calling his name. He turned around and looked up the hill. Brer Rabbit was sitting on a log combing the tar out of his fur with a wood chip and looking smug.
"I was bred and born in the briar patch, Brer Fox," he called. "Born and bred in the briar patch."
And Brer Rabbit skipped away as merry as a cricket while Brer Fox ground his teeth in rage and went home.