thumbnail of 9 Ultimate Questions; 8
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
The following program was originally released in 1969. Now I know ultimate questions a series of explorative talks adding contemporary perspective to the vast legacy of world philosophies with Dr. John Leo bald now with the eighth of nine ultimate questions. Here is Dr. Theo bald. What is peace throughout recorded time has always been unrest in the heart of the individual and unrest in the world. And now both have intensified. We could begin by thinking in silence about whether a piece of hot and well a piece of the same or different. You know we could be opinionated in a relatively detached way about our other six questions. But that's just impossible with us one which bears upon all of us with terrible seriousness. Whether we mean peace of heart which is another name for personal happiness or world peace. Now there is another name for survival. Sometimes it
seems as if life has been designed simulated to knock us off our base no matter what. Life is quite good at this. You're a junior in college having mostly fooled around in high school and as a freshman in college getting by having a little fun mostly wondering what it was all about. Occasionally I was a pretty good TV show or a movie or a girl. I was about it. Although there was always a vague sense that you weren't getting anywhere. Then the first semester of your junior year. There was a history assignment that started you going all the meaninglessness. Suddenly achieve meaning you couldn't read enough I think enough. But that was the draft waiting. Everything led to a gap. What peace could there be for you now. You could plead conscientious objection on grounds that lied about your real views you could cross the Canadian border and never come back. Or you could just go to the nearest recruiting station and from that a
boot camp to be asked is that the way to salute an officer instead of being asked what was the effect of the War of the states on American literature. In moments of leisure you might plan a way of getting out of it. But is there really a good honest way as you see I'm not trying to paint soothing pictures of what happens to our peace. Here's another one. You are a person of some eminence in public affairs say ever since you first came out for office your mind has been torn between serving the cause and what you believed and preserving your precious image. You can just remember when the drive behind your career was mostly pure idealism but the time soon came when the swing of public opinion polls told you rather than mistakenly that if you did not wish to be spattered with abuse and take a beating at the polls you would do well at least to soften your staff and all better still reverse it. Well you chose to go with the crowd. One success led to another to you and the other top of the heap. All the while
you ride under the turmoil in public that did that you felt had cost you your precious integrity and you secretly longed for a little peace and quiet but peace would be a good name for what you never found. Just when everyone was saying that you were certain to become governor of the state your doctor said you had such a severe case of hypertension that it meant retirement from public life. Or else you chose to make a virtue of necessity bought a house in the mountains and told auto friends you were going to write. But politics had gradually the atrophied Joe capacity for constructive thought. And you were tormented by the realisation that your best efforts were nothing but generally that's the hoped for chapters of your analysis of the real causes of inflation. First became letters to the local press and then dwindled to a pained silence. But the hypertension didn't Lyndall it mounted and made you so a couple. That even your best friend stayed away. The electric
unrest dwindled to a grey on rest. Now you have two hypothetical case histories so to speak of individual and social disquiet out of what could very easily be 2000. Sometimes it would almost seem that to invent authentic sounding outward circumstances of mental suffering is to be an imagined tiff about how suffering works. Very few suicides for example present good apparent reasons for suicide and without having to invoke such extremes as suicide or a nervous breakdown. There are numbers of people increasing numbers who undergo depression almost to have a bath for no reason that they are able to sign. Fear can haunt the most secure hate the most popular. The nameless wait can press down on the sunniest afternoon under the pressures imposed by the 20th century is set and no one is safe is being precious for which
evolution after all didn't prepare either the bodily or the mental system. How many of the smiling faces of your friends really show the truth of the mind mind has mountains cliffs of fight for share. No man found them and. Hold them cheap May who hung there not as long as our small deodorants deal with that state already. You notice that neither of our two hypothetical case histories. Resorted to the tranquilizer or the psycho therapist those two tarting totems of our age. Tranquilizers especially are acquiring a formidable record but drawing a bead on a specific malaise all these pills have quite a spectrum now. You name your misery and the doc will zero in right on it. You will feel instantly about it and how can I stand it will continue to be sued for as long as you have the pill handy but what then.
The evidence for the psychosomatic character of all disease admitted they accumulates all the time so that more and more I weigh 5 perils of heartaches and attack headaches on the counselors couch. But still we have to decide whether body or spirit comes first they can both be proud to each other by comes first I mean comes closer to the heart of reality which is a fragment of the other which is left over when the ground covered by the other is completed. This is a question which in one form or another we have been posing in all these tall and old ways and whether the ostensible question has been what is man what is love. What is death or what is God. We found that we could not ask any of them and we certainly cannot ask what is matter or what is the body without first asking what is the self. I mean never could I ask this question without distinguishing between the personal ego and the self which objectifies that ego as a personality with a body and a history in time.
Now the tranquilizer was never intended to be anything but a device to facilitate a docile treaty with the imperfect ego trade popularly known as learning how to live with yourself. Psychoanalysis would say that its object went a little bit further than that namely to render the patient capable of accommodating himself not only to the stresses of his ego but also to the minimum demands of society. Both these objectives bypass the real question the tranquilizer bypasses what sort of self it is that one is being expected to live along with. Whilst they sat around. This begs the question of whether the society we worry about is worth making all these concessions to anyway. This is heresy of course as these matters are regarded to run the risk of being a troll anti-social is already to have contracted the sickness as we call it which we are to be cured. Yet if it is sick to question the group values what protection can there
be from either blunt or subtle gangsta dumm of the Spirit. Culminating in the dictatorship of the unexamined proletariat or the Brotherhood of the red blooded majority both currently under heavy attack from our youth. How many of us can look inside ourselves today without observing fear of non-conformity with that majority a kudus which as we all know also takes subtle as well as gross forms. Those in revote may be more interested for example in the appearance and mannerisms of revote its group prestige even its just inclination for soap and water. Then in what is to be accomplished by the vote itself thus assisting in the establishment of the anti-cult which after having been given little time in which to flaunt its credentials and segregate its comical values may become as we well know every bit as parochial and chauvinist stick as the tribal majority against which it is
overreacting. Nevertheless. If we were forced to decide which was the more truly law abiding let alone just Madison Avenue or Haight Ashbury the correct answer might come as something of a surprise. Certainly if the question were to be whether Madison Avenue or Haight Ashbury offered less threat to their own peace of mind and to the peace of the world it would have to be the hippies who constitute in some way is the same sort of social underground as the first century Christians viz a viz their Roman masters for the Romans treated the Christian nuisance also as a conclave of unwashed subversives best ignored until their independence began to be a little inconvenient to the reigning Emperor. It's the current fashion to view these dissenting dropouts as a transient mode of perverse eccentricity like. Albert Jensen troubadours or willing do the dishes. I believe that this view will be as wide an
underestimate of the hip is as it was at the Sufi dish is. These much discussed people may not be that clear either as to their own intention or their potential. But if they seem to be fancy then nonetheless deep down I'm convinced this is going to make them influential. However uninfluential they may look right now it questions to a member of a pretty shabby and prestigious. But they lasted because of conviction. The opportunists and war mongers the proud and the loaded Dean's rise to the top. But then they sink like lead. Only a conviction lasts when for the first time that God had chosen the foolish things of this world to make the wise guys look silly the shibboleths upon expediency respectability. They have a bogus spend all right. The smiling pasta costs pushed from behind only look good sometimes not even that. Two things are clear. Hip
is I'm not happy about the means and ends most characteristic of our society and they're looking for peace. Both peace of mind and world peace. Once more let's ask as we did before why should the Union force a station of was be so your OWN of the soul and yet why is it practically impossible to find any time or climb in the past there has been peace for more than a single generation at the most at the most. A national search extends to brute barbarism. No matter how far back you go you will always find distaste for war especially about women. The Greek word is in the Iliad a constantly You need to go home not to mention those who wait to light the beacon fires that will hail there to. The Trojans Meanwhile just want to be left alone. This is most of 3000 years ago yet the Trojan War dragged on year after year with nothing to prevent the Greeks from getting into
their ships and sailing home with the first favorable breeze. The plights of China is red with wreck all the human Homa of recruits deliberately maiming themselves in order to evade the Emperor's draft of lives eating out their hides year after year for loved ones that never come back or else when I'm back on speak obliquity old in body or mind or both. Sometimes I think humanity itself. Is crippled in mind by all this. My own childhood in England. Was witness to the unfathomable anguish of Will War One. Which destroyed a flower of England's manhood not to speak of France Germany Italy Russia Austria Australia a Holocaust from which it could be said that the strength of England never did recover and for what. In order that this war to end war should ensure replay was cited change scenario the same crackpot Gossett as 20 years later and remembers as a child seeing those few veterans who survived the blood and
mud of Flanders sobbing at the recollection of its obscenities the horrors of finished retrospect in a calendar parenthesis August 1914 to them by 1918 not to those soldiers. Who were there did not receive the death they often prayed for. We're looking forward to an endless hell that wouldn't go if the rest of their lives. Can you wonder that the strongest album would break down and cry at the memory of that most of us prospect. And yet they had to buy the same slaughter again. And now we're doing our level best to bite yet again and of form to make the last two look like Duck Soup ghettoes corps with wraps the is fixation of us it is by smog escalates our Arts and Sciences languish. And yet we choose we choose to draw down on ourselves the brass horizon of war and throw away the key. Why do we do it. What do what do we give in this green room for. I mean when a psychological phenomenon has the stubborn survival value of
this totally profitless killing that must be some reason for it. Why are bottomless contempt for the rash folly of those who would disarm. I mean who really believes our own stories to ourselves about disarming inviting war. Did the upshot show the homicides have gone dead to be so foolish. Or again an earlier question of Is man a killer by nature. That kind of the gentlemen of the bus who says excuse me when you tread on his foot. The little sister who cries when you use insect exterminate on the ants. They used to. I'm conscious endemic mirrored rose in a thin disguise don't give us that. Even if we're asked to shift our gaze from these gentle exhibits. To the boy next door were dismembered grasshoppers and is now scattering napalm. Can you really credit some subliminal connection with a built in killing instinct. Either eccentric or racial nonsense. And the experiments with the
grasshopper was just that experiments message little boy curiosity like panda games in a bar and the later massacre of the innocents was done miserably or at worst obliviously at Harrod's command. Implicit in the eye and discipline which he's helpless to resist. Only kooks would try it. We've already produced the hypothesis the corporate man is just complete this something else again from individual men but this conclusion also stands up with difficulty under the scrutiny to which we subjected it. And I realize that the precise relationship between individual and group responsibility is still an unresolved thing. Tribal compulsion of the area from edge to edge and from country to country. The Hellenes is good as time and the O Testament Israelites both felt the family to be such a close physical unity that the father sons were literally visited upon the children alone that the father's father's guilt was shed by the
children's children. This obsession together with all the consequences of the felt responsibility to wreak family retribution. We claim to have abandoned except perhaps insisted in the less accessible regions of the Appalachians where to its fading the family has given place to the tribe the tribe to the nation. And now ole baffled fury of the bigots we're witnessing a vast slow shift of royalty from nation to ideology to a common market to League of Nations the United Nations. But we we have to understand that the shift is still in process and very often complete. Can it be complete in time to save us that's the question. In the greater part of the world the nation still comes first in the two did just dictatorships of Germany under National Socialist Party and the USSR was a monolithic equivalence of nation and ideology imposed by brute
force. One of these giants succumbed for a while to the other. And now in the Chinese Republic a third such is arising and undergoing convulsions of a sort still somewhat mystifying but at any rate. Pointing towards a struggle to be ideologically true to that revolution and at the same time capable of inheriting a future which sooner or later at the present rate will eventually involve them. In explosive relations with the rest of the world. And these great states have been willing to go to any lengths to impress and impose a conception of the sacredness of a highly cohesive idea of social on economic organization even at the expense of all serious thought about the nature of reality of man as men or if they think they can pardon the expression of the soul. The United States on the other hand. In its short history as a nation has mostly emphasized individual ism has it not. The American pioneer may have tricked an account of them but he dug in as an individual
run show or chutzpah in his searches came late and was huge rather rootless of the American city was not in its origin a fortress but a convenient nucleus for economic expansion and exploitation. Unlike the OTA States the national survival of the USA has never been in question unless some politicians are trying to tell us to know when for the first time in its history we are seeing an attempt not yet successful. To impose the idea of a conflict at the other end of the world as essential to our national security. Not that the record in this country has been much softer than elsewhere in the world I'm not proud treatment of the original in ages but the set list was generally so ruthless as not to bear looking into. In many parts you know the red man was hunted with or without bounty like an animal. And it's instructive to say the least. That the only American settlers who encountered no hostility whatever from the Indians were the Quakers who fought back on principle from
all aggressive acts against them. This of course was long before the lines of nationalism hadan for us. There is some evidence that with the growth of nationalism in the New World and with it once again the old night may have national insecurity. The USA has already begun to suppress or control the individual viewpoint of its citizens with an enforced draft forcible suppression of protest meetings public discrediting all dissent didn't do and of their own as as subversive etc.. As for the Quaker as if they undertake to convey medical supplies to the enemy now. They are shall we say not viewed as patriots. All these symptoms of nationalism could be used as providing further support for the view that no aggregation of men can sustain the incentive to the cohesiveness which will enable it to survive without the threat of conflict with other groups that the continuance of war is the natural expression of the corporate
energy needed for survival of the group. Do you believe this. Do you really believe that. And if this is so then war and killing could be viewed as a key to the growth of human aggregates from famine to tribe to city state to kingdom to empire to Republic. And it would be it would be delusive to hope for peace. Until we had achieved in sober fact not just in the point stream the parliament to ban the Federation of the world. In fact until such time it would be merely quixotic for a nation to let down its guard is this what we think. If it is we ought to say so as some do. And to abandon all pretense to the contrary. If it is then militarism is the logical philosophy and statecraft of fear is the only sensible state crowd. But it sure does not mix with the teaching of the Buddha. All Daoud or Confucius or Christ those divine individuals who in various parts of the world we have passionately profess to follow. But is this true have been on the record of the great peacemakers. Taoism and Confucianism
have for the time being lapsed as active faiths it's Christianity which. Together with Islam and Judaism continues to maintain in the teeth of its teachings. And unswerving record of bloody mindedness. None of the Christian nations involved in the two world wars of this century have advanced the slightest difficulty in enlisting Christ in support of their cause even when this meant that so does of Christ were praying for the death and mutilation of soldiers of Christ through at the moment the increased body count for which prayers are rising. Is a Buddhist thought is rather than those of fellow Christians. But there's nothing to assure us that tomorrow it might not be Christians again for whose obliteration we pray the nearest approach that our own country has come to being seriously wounded was in the civil war. It was 700000 fell at the hands of fellow Christians and fellow countrymen. Both sides praying hard I'm sure. Some may be asking what could be gained by resurrecting these rather sanguinary in congruity. I want
to ask welcome to gain by drawing a discreet curtain over them so long as it is our intention. However hidden from ourselves to sanctify again the same appalling in congruity has we've seen how hypocrisy it was the vice which Jesus most disliked. It came up at the slightest doubt that he would say either lay down your arms or stop saying Lord Lord. It's not the number of the deodorants to a creed that must be increased. It's their working thoughts that have to be either purified or called by some other name. If there are these powerful private corporations and national stablish mints whose existence depends on building for war in the 100 billion dollar industry which little by little I can flood smog we've come to take for granted. Then let's not dress up this devotion to our own destruction as devices for defending freedom. The first step for godsake is to call things what they are notwithstanding the code distasteful words that call things what they are. Thus drawing attention to our own fever. If the ceremony of innocence has been drowned in blood if the best spec or conviction
and the worst stuff full of passionate intensity then by all means let's have a second coming but not did God one that is just more of the same. One thinks of Byron way back called the normalcy askant of a degraded crew of conspirators. Well here is the same crew conspiring still made the second coming any way lay a knife to the root of all that. What is the root of the trouble it is that we have lost the sow from which springs from which springs peace we shall never get anywhere with leagues of nations federations of this Commonwealth so that so long as there is hate pride and fear we can sit down and reason together till the coast come home. If by then the Aryan cows are left. Waiting for the Chinese to learn to love the Russians or the Arabs about Israel. But if we don't want a negro living next door we might as well spare the mouthings. There's no real difference between passively acquiesce in your misery and actively seeking to dominate
others either by dollar off both arise from the fixation that one individual may be superior to another individual which in its turn gives rise to the fixation that One Nation is superior to another nation. This is the idea which is our person and the prisoner must never pardon has. The hidden prerequisite of this ugly complacency is really fear Of course it's a commonplace of psychology that insecurity overreacts with the assumption of superiority. Whence arises the susceptibility to insult followed as night follows day by the trigger swagger that we assume by proxy in our favorite televised Westerns. When an African literally booted the small Mahatma Gandhi off the section of the train was the whites only. Gandhi's instant reaction was one of intense anxiety over the insult that his assailant inflicted not upon the visitor from India but upon himself the white
Puerto kicked him. There you have one small individual with a heart at peace with itself who without a shot fired went on to liberate a nation of 400 millions or quit isn't it. Especially in view of the difficulty now being experienced by the most stupendous firepower that the earth has ever seen and subjugating a diminutive state with a less than unanimous will to unite freedom from fear comes from getting rid of the belief that we are many distinct individuals who must protect their pride and possessions and seeing instead the Paroo shop. India's word for the divine Mind which we all share. The vision of this self. Is a peace which posset the understanding of those who have never been able to say it doesn't matter what happens to me. I'm all right when we can say that. Then suddenly the self is not in jail anymore. That restlessness about its safety which arose from danger to its sense of separate superiority gives way to restlessness about the misery of helpless little people
far away and this restlessness rests on what Confucius the no desert Patton's translation calls the I'm wobbling pivot this restlessness is rooted in peace. It is the invulnerable restlessness which of love and God's peace in our time. I say suddenly this happens to the self. It can and does happen suddenly to any one's self but alas that doesn't mean the war. The reason why the prospects of peace in our time is so dim and slow is that you don't don't change the heart by changing society. It has to be the other way around. It's only a change of heart. That can change the status quo. If you believe in original sin that is that the heart can never really change. Why then it's curtains for the human race. I don't. I go along with Shelly. If when to comes Can Spring be far behind. If the heart is incurably evil. Well I just read history hopelessly wrong that's all. By what strategy is the heart must change the wrongs to our next and
last question What then should we do. Those strategies can only blossom from a deep active concern with what is right and what is wrong. The nation that stops caring what is right is dead and that can only be victorious if armed with the central stillness which derives from the absolute self within a lawsuit on Tata and Nostra podgy in that self lies peace. You have heard the eighth of nine intimate questions What is peace in the night the ultimate question Doctor the A-bomb project into the future nine ultimate questions was produced in the facilities of telecommunications and film. San Diego State College originally released in 1969. The program you've just heard is from the program library of National Public Radio.
9 Ultimate Questions
Episode Number
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-c53f2z3p).
No description available
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-29-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:30:00?
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “9 Ultimate Questions; 8,” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 25, 2024,
MLA: “9 Ultimate Questions; 8.” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 25, 2024. <>.
APA: 9 Ultimate Questions; 8. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from