Tag Archives: Covid-19

Dabbled in Blood, the Masked Figure

Tuesday’s Short Story, January 25, 2022

The Masque of the Red Death  by Edgar Allan Poe (1842)



This month of January is the anniversary of  Edgar Allan Poe (birth January 19, 1809). What better time to mark our appreciation of this great writer than to read one of his stories?

The Masque of the Red Death is fast 20-minute read for readers who love supernatural and mystery. I think this story has a timeliness during this Covid pandemic when we are all wearing masks and where many of us wish we could run away to our private abbeys to stay safe.

“The “Red Death” had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous.”

Prince Prospero summons his dominions to his castle, an abbey in the far hills. Here the ‘gay society’ is safe to enjoy themselves in the seven rooms of different colors—which have its own mystery. We are at a masked ball with music and dancing, but who arrives? An uninvited mysterious figure. In the seventh room that is draped in black velvet with blood red window panes, our tale goes deep with supernatural, psychological, and horrific elements in grand Poe style. This is soooooo Gothic!

Read the short story at Gutenberg.org



Listen to the audio read by Sir Christopher Lee:


Watch the film created at the University of Technology, Sydney for Media Arts and Production (15 minutes). Sweeping, baroque, and spooky.



Poe wrote in many genres. He was the first to include deep psychological and intuitive horror in his stories. His tales often reflect that the true monster of evil is within each person and what happens when that evil is acted upon. His most famous work is The Raven.





Don’t forget to view the INDEX OF AUTHORS’ TALES above of more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories (some with audio), by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, crime, sci-fi, romance, ‘quiet horror,’ and mainstream fiction.


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Coronavirus, an Infection of Mind, Body, Spirit?

Coronavirus, an Infection of Mind, Body, Spirit?

Monday, December 7, 2020

While I don’t normally review nonfiction books here at Reading Fiction Blog, I am compelled to make an exception this one time. Judith Von Halle’s book The Coronavirus Pandemic, Anthroposophical Perspectives is a read that became for me transformative and inspiring. As I write this today, Covid-19 has spread at the highest rate and speed since it began at the start of 2020. Globally we are at 67 million cases with 1.5 million deaths. In the US, the virus is now the leading cause of death, surpassing heart disease and cancer (282,436 deaths and 14.7+ cases). Below is my review. I hope this opens a window on your understanding of this global event that is devastating human lives all over our planet.



Author Judith Von Halle writes an impressive, and brave, perspective on why the Coronavirus pandemic is happening to us at this time. She addresses the psychological aspects but focuses mostly on spiritual knowledge, spiritual reality, and “spiritual-science.”  The term spiritual-science drew my curiosity. This 100-page book is a monograph that I would often pause in the reading so I could reflect on the somewhat radical ideas. Some readers will find certain insights a bridge too far, as I did at times, but most of it makes convincing sense and offers the reader a unique understanding of Covid-19. Haven’t we all asked, “Why is this happening now? What is really going on here with all this sickness, death, and widespread contagion?” Speculative answers abound out there, but Von Halle points to the world’s present “disposition” as one of the causes. You will find a good deal of Austrian scientist and visionary Rudolph Steiner’s philosophy here. Steiner’s “anthroposophy” is defined a creative educational system that aims to optimize physical and mental well-being. Much of Halle’s book reflects this spiritual-scientific research.

Von Halle asks, What entities stand behind the virus and why is it affecting humans? What measures can we take to prevent it? Most importantly, what does this crisis mean to individuals and the world community? She answers all of these beginning with “There is the individual karma, the karma of a people, and the karma of humanity. In the case of Covid-19 all three are undeniably involved.”  Von Halle instructs that because this is a pandemic event, the karma of humanity is at stake.

“What are the spiritual causes for the origins of the pandemic?”  According to Von Halle’s research, the cause is “materialism, which has spread out over the entire earth, —and especially in humanity’s predominantly materialistic way of thinking.”

She explains this mindset: “Humanity as such has developed a ‘disposition’ for illness by this virus in that it has promoted and cherished materialism in its thinking for the past 150 years …. Today mankind is trapped within a degenerate development, because it does not accept and nurture spiritual life with sufficient dedication.”  The historical perspective on this is fascinating, from Europe’s recent “march of materialism” to back in time to other widespread infections like leprosy, cholera, typhus, anthrax, smallpox, tuberculosis, and the Spanish flu in 1918.

For Covid-19, she includes a description of the medical symptoms and their psychological components (the infection causing rigidity of the lungs that fail to absorb oxygen, which aligns with the fixed and obsessive materialistic thinking). The breathing apparatus grows stiff when “a life of free thinking is no longer possible.”

The second half of the book moves on to the fears and psychological aspects of the pandemic regarding social separation and isolation. She follows this with simple soul exercises targeting “the true, the beautiful, and the good.” Such prayerful thoughts were wonderfully comforting and inspiring for me.

At the end, the question arises, will we be victorious spirits in our world? Or will more pandemics occur to provide another opportunity to focus on our spirituality and develop our souls to achieve in our hearts “the true, the beautiful, and the good.” What is abundantly clear is that if you or family members are struggling with the effects of coronavirus, these 109 pages might bring meaning and purpose to your healing. If you are healthy and stable, this book can shatter the old destructive beliefs and shine a bright light into your life’s purpose in the world. Even if you disagree entirely with Halle’s perspectives and research, you will take away a deeper sense of yourself to your fellow man and the unifying elements of life on this planet. Most of her writing is heartfelt and intelligent and will undoubtedly provoke positive thoughts into the most narrowest of minds about consciousness, self-knowledge, and soul development. The world soul may very well be on a path to spiritual rebirth. Highly recommended.

On Amazon.com

“Revealing unexpected perspectives to the COVID-19 pandemic, Judith von Halle asks urgent and difficult questions and offers shattering insights for humankind’s future development.”

Some Amazon Reviews of Von Halle’s books:

“I find Judith Von Halle to be one of the most credible living authors I’ve encountered, and at the same time she seems to be amongst the least understood (I don’t think this is her fault). Some things take awhile to understand, and understanding the life we’re living seems to take the longest. I am so appreciative of J. Von Halle’s contribution.”

“Love all Judith von Halle’s books. Her insight is truly unique and truthful.”


JUDITH VON HALLE, born in Berlin in 1972, attended school in Germany and the USA and subsequently studied architecture, graduating in 1998. She first encountered anthroposophy in 1997, and began working as a member of staff at Rudolf Steiner House in Berlin, where she also lectured from 2001. In addition she had her own architectural practice. In 2004 she received the stigmata, which transformed her life. Her first book was published in German in 2005, and she now works principally as a lecturer and author. She lives in Berlin with her husband.

Temple Lodge Publishing, U.K.  https://www.templelodge.com/



 Rudolf Steiner

 Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925), read his biography here at Encyclopedia of World Biographies. Steiner remains an imperfectly understood and often controversial figure.


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Filed under Coronavirus, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa

Eckhart Tolle on the 2020 Pandemic, Coronavirus

Good Day to All:

Life these days seems to require more than practical protections to stay healthy and avoid the coronavirus. Eckhart Tolle has suggestions on how to handle the adversity, anxiety, and fear. If you have 20 minutes, listen to Eckhart. At about 12+ minutes into this video, you will find his advice about this pandemic. “What is your state of consciousness?” he asks us.

“Pay even more attention to your state of consciousness than the news.”

Are you ready to awaken to peace and calm? Let every one of us breath into a deeper presence for the good of all mankind.  ( Eckhart Tolle website: https://www.eckharttolle.com/ ) Click below for free video, “Staying Conscious in the Face of Adversity.”



Filed under Coronavirus, Covid-19, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa