#35 Terry Waite
James talks to none other than Terry Waite, CBE, about his book, Solitude.
James talks to none other than Terry Waite, CBE, about his book, Solitude.
Speaker 1:0:09Here we are again, it's episode 35 with Cooper and carry our boys and we delighted that you could join us. My name is Barry Cooper. I live in a place called Florida, which you may have played the scope Disney in. It still shocks in it. It's got lots of Americans and it also, um, one of whom is my wife. I'm also with the very wonderful James Carey who completes this guy factor. It's how are you doing James and where are you?
Speaker 2:0:36I'm in a, I'm in some insights as usual. My home in England, not to be confused with the Somerset that is in South Africa where I had the pleasure of going a few years ago and maybe not for too much longer because I hear the council's threatening to, to build load of things right in your face literally right up to our back fence. 700 houses. Yeah. So yeah, including plans for an amphitheater, which is very exciting. It's about the people of the oval had been crying out for an amphitheater for, for several decades now. And so finding it'd be a great place for you to perfect your live acts and put on antiganey and other rights. Now listen, we've got something of a coup for you this week because I'm my very good friend and colleague who've just been hearing from Mr James. Carey has been interviewing none other than Terry.
Speaker 2:1:23Wait, CBA now if you are, as James and I are, James and I are a, uh, a person of a certain age. You, you will know that name. It'll be, it'll be burned into your memory because Mr. wait was the assistant for the Anglican communion affairs for the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie in the 19 eighties. And as an envoy for the Church of England, he traveled to Lebanon to try to secure the release of four hostages, including the journalist John McCarthy. And he was himself kidnapped and held captive from 1987 to 1991. So he was, it feels like looking back there was a time where he was just never not on the news like he was, it was just, you know, for that whole entire period. Yeah. Um, what was it like speaking to him? Well, it was a big voice. He's got a beautiful voice and a lovely accent and he is, he is every bit as terry waiters, you hope he's going to be when you meet him and therefore when I was given the chance to talk to him via his public, the publicist of his book, I sort of took it because it was a question of essentially, do you want to meet Terry?
Speaker 2:2:33Wait, it's, the answer is yes. And so although he's not really of this theological constituency and we have a little chat about calvinism a bit later, um, which, which you will hear, he's just too good at. He's just too good an opportunity to miss really because we've got a lot to learn from this guy. If you've done four years of solitary confinement and mode and one year of, uh, of, you know, of also being held captive is what he was. I'm not someone and actually I have to say I read, I read his book admittedly pretty fast. I read his book and I really enjoyed it. Um, so, um, yeah, it was very easy to talk to him and also he is, you know, he is, he will, he already is, I'm sure a very, very highly in demand after dinner speaker because he's gotten, he has go anecdotes coming out of his ears as you would imagine because he has been everywhere in the world and as you, as you were introducing him and he would just sort of sending people dislike.
Speaker 2:3:30It made me think, you know, maybe you don't know who Terry White is. Well, if you've been living in a cave for the last five years or whatever, it's like, well that's kind of what happened to him. Right. But, um, I don't, I was, when I interviewed him, I was so determined not to mention it because he must get asked about it, but actually he was the one to mention it, but also the book has obviously been written in his book is about how people cope with solar tubes, partly solitude of their own making. So I was um, so anyway, he brought it up, but it was, it was wrong. It was a remarkable to be able to meet him is that even though it's not a theological book at all and um, you know, so hopefully we. Yeah. Just so I can picture this interview, is he, is he still with beard? Oh, yes. Without beards are lovely. The trademark, trademark beard. Very tall man. And he does. And you can totally imagine him looking like his father who was a policeman, he was saying he would have been an excellent policeman. Excellent. Well, what do you think? Should we get into it? Let's do it. Let's do it
Speaker 3:4:42well, I'm sorry. Wait. Thank you so much for being interviewed for keeper and Carrie have words. It's a real honor. Tend to speak to you. Um, and to talk about your book a solitude. Um, and uh, so as I was reading the book, um, ironically, seeing you flying around the world, meeting people who were in various isolated situations and some of their own making. I'm a, and also reading your actual cv of your life story. It was absolutely exhausting and I didn't know quite yes exactly. So, um, so, and I wonder if, um, you throughout your life and a career, you have so many international friends having lived in so many parts of the world, whether that in itself has possibly increased your need for solitude.
Speaker 4:5:37Well, that's a good point. I never thought of it that way before, but you're quite right. I mean I have traveled to most parts of the world. I was actually brought up in a small village in Russia. My father was a village policemen and you know, you've got to be worth your father was a policeman because you can never get away with anything.
Speaker 2:5:56No, but I
Speaker 4:5:58longed to get beyond the boundaries of that village. And these were the days when, you know, you had no money. We had policemen book paid vapour salaries. I had to work by delivering papers or during market gardening for every penny. And then I saved up for my first bicycle and that gave me an opportunity to last a scape. And then of course in those days it was safe to do hitchhiking. Right. And my first journey hitchhiking was to Vietnam. Wow. When I got to Vienna and I remember getting to Vietnam and thinking, oh, this is such a long way from home, I'd love to go back on the trade. So I went to the station, I counted out my money and I hadn't gotten enough to get rid of the Salzburg track all the way home again. But those were the. Yes, I have to travel the law. Um, I think it's probably more the experience of being in captivity that's given me a renewed interest in, in solitude and in the meaning of it full of stuff.
Speaker 3:7:09Yeah. Because again, because it gets the book is you're acknowledging the fact that you're now sort of processing a lot of that still and seeing how other people have responded to it. Um, but I also, I wonder if, um, uh, the fact that before you were enforced solitude, you did have this astonishing network of, of friends and experiences that, you know, and I wonder if having that network makes solitude for you, desirable and unbearable as well because you know that when you come out of solitude a, there are now everyone is there sort of waiting for you, is it, why is that? Is there anything in that do you think?
Speaker 4:7:49Yeah, well, I suppose so. Um, I mean sort of work I've done has brought me into touch with very many different people. I mean, I go back to looking at those in Uganda when the men cool to close and gentlemen counterpart and you know, I had direct dealings with him trying to help people who've been unjustly due to be released. It was successful in some occasions and not successful now the first African archbishop of Uganda whom I knew very well protested against the atrocities was murdered. Um, and you know, it goes on across the years and there comes a point where you are facing so many difficult situations in life situations where people's lives are on the line. That seems to be an apartment across my life where you just need to retreat for a moment and try and reflect on it. But I've never been very good at that. Right? Man, I've never been. I mean, people always used to say to high, it must get away or your most, you know, go away for a few days and be quiet when I'm going away for a few days. Thousands of thoughts have been buzzing around my head. And um, I learned in captivity that you had to grow into solitude. It wasn't something that just instantly it happened. Do you have to grow into it to the other patient can manage,
Speaker 3:9:16put it in, in this pokey. You talk about when you went to South Africa is fairly remote place and actually by the end of it you're not fascinated that you hadn't really done anything. And it was like put that in
Speaker 4:9:28really. I mean, you will understand this Senora a write to yourself, a comic,
Speaker 5:9:33Roger, I believe that's important do. But um, I put that in deliberate, clear
Speaker 4:9:45cause you know, I wanted people to recognize and realize that something that you can be a hard times are highly frustrating experience and creativity to you think, oh, I've got no a month and I'm going to go away and I'm going to sit down and I'm going to be able to write so they could have been wonderful and you sit there day off today and nothing happens. And that's, that story in the book. I just recorded it as it was and came away from it with, well I didn't think much of the time, but I'm up in later.
Speaker 3:10:18Yes. And sometimes you find that you need those moments of, of just say, one of the reasons I go swimming. Uh, I actually liked swimming. I don't like physical exercise at all generally. Um, but when I'm swimming I can't write anything down. I can't listen to anything else. I can't read anything and I just have to think. And actually your brain starts solving problems or untangling things in a way. And so sometimes it feels frustrating, but actually an awful lot of stuff is going on. Um, so, so maybe there's. So, because you said that after that frustrating time, it actually was quite a fruitful time when he did transpire that you had done some useful thinking.
Speaker 4:11:00Exactly. And again, referring back to those five years spent alone, I mean, I often use the thing, these are totally wasted years, but they're not. Something was happening deep in the subconscious. Things were working, things were moving and of course one stepped up the pace a bit in captivity. But nevertheless, uh, that was the experience of all those years.
Speaker 3:11:25Yeah. Um, some remarkable things in the book because you, you, you, you, you look at people who were, um, who live in very isolated situations in Australia. Um, but then also people who are sort of in solitude of their own making in plain sight when you're talking to spies, which is extraordinary, the variety of people. But the one, the one line that really stepped out as suck for me was when you spoke to Blake and, um, and he says to be a traitor, you have to belong. I never belonged, which I thought was a really interesting and revealing situation that he'd sort of felt like an outsider all of his life and how therefore I wonder whether solar toot, sort of have solitude in belonging sort of fit together and whether that was something that was, that you've been thinking about as well.
Speaker 4:12:21Yeah. Blake showed that. Just to recap a little bit on the story, Blake was sentenced to 42 years in prison. Um, because one of the reasons he was sentenced, it was if he was acting, it was a double h. He was working for the Soviets and workflow. So rich most of his life, um, a, the same time ostensibly working for British intelligence. Yeah. And he was revealed, discovered or stretcher was discovered as a result of a defection of a Polish former who gave away names of one or two people. One of whom was blake was. They finally landed on Blake. He got 42 years in prison. He escaped after six and a half years. The belt bars on the window pretty loose as interesting story that, um, he got through the bars. You've got over the wall and went to Moscow, Moscow. Long Story.
Speaker 5:13:21I have a camper van.
Speaker 4:13:25Yeah, behind the board, you know. And um, I met him in his kgb apartment in Moscow. Well, first of all, we met outside the risk of I hotel, which is just by the walls of the equivalent. And you said you mind if we go to my own. Have a long talk. So no, let's go. So we had a couple of stops on the metro came out and came to this huge kgb blog which was full of retired generals and suppliers and on and Blake had an apartment there
Speaker 5:13:55that in itself sounds like a situation. Comedy block of retired KGB agents in general. Some old metal fence. Wow.
Speaker 4:14:08And he said, you mind if we take a short card? I said, no, let's do it. Believe it or not, he actually went to the bars and
Speaker 5:14:14look through. We got through into. It didn't go around to the main guy. Funny, I said to him as an old habits die hard anyway, the going, going back to it, that
Speaker 4:14:27he, he never belonged because he was brought up by a calvinistic mother whose father was a naturalized a British citizen. He didn't really find that he had any real deep cultural roots anywhere. He was sent to educated, educated in Egypt. And um, when he came to the UK, I mean, this is an excuse, but this is the excuse he used. He never felt really Paul to view Uk. Society was probably in some ways in the intelligence agencies in those days who tended to employ a certain class of people who like, yeah, you'd probably in some ways a bit looked down on, but on the other hand, maybe not, because I remember meeting one of the people from intelligence who met him when he came for interrogation. And I mean, he said to me, well George, oh George, never, never. We ignore the bus. Could believe that he would betray us in that way. Yes. You never know.
Speaker 3:15:32I'm not reminded of that set of. Yes, prime minister. Where they are fucking out by the Sunday is some free. Actually it's called one I believe it's my favorite. It's my favorite show of all time by Jonathan Lynn. Um, and um, but also, uh, by proxy, you are also in an episode of Yes, Prime Minister when they refer to as special envoy who has been sent out to get the hostage released of, um, of a nurse I believe. Something like that. Well, there's a story about that from going back before your time. Probably just spitting image. Remember speeding, Jay? Yes, I do. Yes. I've got the spirit, my spitting image where actually using the puppet. It's, I've got the puppet, the story about that one. The
Speaker 4:16:21scenes in spitting image was the archbishop of Canterbury sitting behind his desk and the I come into the room say entrepreneur, good news. We've released the hostages and he looked up and he said, forget the lament hosted use. What about the duty free?
Speaker 3:16:52At the moment I'm writing a book called the sacred art of joking about how comedy and religion have often gone very well together. But actually, um, the, the picture I have in my mind of you is a, is the picture on a view of you, uh, reunited with Robert Runcie or upload stuff and you are both roaring with laughter and what an extraordinary say. Firstly, I'm insanely curious to know what on earth are you laughing about? Oh, and whether it's repeatable or whether you even remember, but also whether, how, how humor plays a part in terms of solitude coping mean humor as a coping mechanism or Robert, she was
Speaker 4:17:38a great, great. Hubert, you really, even on tv when he went for formal interviews or when do you ever read anything of that nature? You tend to freeze a bit. Yeah, and very good reasons were they. Because you know as well as our, that if you're in a position of importance in the nation, you have to watch your words because they can be turned and twisted. So he was always conscious of the fact that he had to be very careful. You would meet with him privately and he was very funny, wonderful word. And there's a quick story I can tell you about that he used to keep a, when he was bishop Alban's used to keep a pig and he had this big at the bottom of the garden because he's a picture of a soothing animals. Uh, when you came to lamberth, the pig didn't come with him.
Speaker 4:18:29We had no idea where, when they built a great begging factory in the sky and the story came with it. And unfortunately the story leaked out to the United States when I was arranging a visit for him to the United States, you know, we did the usual thing, went to the White House, the National Cathedral, ultimate parishes. And they arranged a visit to a home phone. Well, this was terrible. I mean there were $4,000, which we had to go and inspect. When we came back to lamberth, he was sitting behind his desk in his office one morning with a big pile of letters before and he said, look, he said every one of those letters is about pigs. He said, they want me to write stories and pick pigs. Limericks about pigs. He said, look at this swab, and he gave me a letter and it was someone who was writing a poor guy and Odyssey would I? Would he write a eliminate is I can't do that. I said, come on, let's do it. I'll do it her way. And came up with an archbishop to keep himself calm, kept pings on heart, put your farm, the grumps in the snows of the prize winning bores to episcopal ears. Whereas Bob,
Speaker 3:19:42it was printed.
Speaker 4:19:45It was a sort of path. I mean, there's a book that you published next year by SBC co called travels with the private and that is full of a ridiculous things that happened to here and I and his chaplain when we traveled the world. And that is, that is just a humorous book. Yeah. About the music.
Speaker 3:20:07No, I'm looking forward to reading that. They said that the bit that made me laugh, I'm also, which she points out in the book is when you go to solitude in Utah and Salt Lake City, um, and you, you right? Um, it was so deserted appropriately enough. There was no one around to take a photo of me in solitude as astonishing.
Speaker 4:20:34Resistant to visit the place called solitary. Yeah, absolutely. And I bought, I didn't buy the house. I bought the hat was solitude on her and it subsequently I have worn it, but not yet.
Speaker 3:20:44Oh yes. No, no pictures to shift copies of your book. But uh, but yeah. So, um, so yeah, going back to Blake and belonging, um, as well. Um, and I wonder if it's being part of something. It's something which helps people cope because actually caught a lot of the people that you spoke to. Um, especially Australian farmers in the middle of nowhere. We're not even in the middle of nowhere to sign to the left of the middle of nowhere, um, where they sort of seem to know who they are.
Speaker 4:21:21Well, that's a good point. When you look at the, with the book begins, put it this way, booked begins as I take a journey into the interior gross trailer. If you've ever floated across Australia will know what a foster foster area that is. If you go buy land, I'm in where I first my first stopping point, you go to Alice Springs, which is considered to be reasonably remote, turn left and go 400 miles before you then come to the first habitation, goodness and there you come to chop cold brews, shotgun ferals and Bruce and his wife lived there for years on this trial, which led to a mind somebody down the weather dependent upon very limited passing trade for the living. But then you know, I met with some of the people who've been on the farms are all that live. One lady not been as a child for 10 years and she said, I just love this place.
Speaker 4:22:25I find it so marvelous. Now my own theory about this is as follows, that we began human species. You know, we began by walking the earth without shoes. You know, we will contact with the earth. Next step, you wear shoes. Contact is removed. Next step, you begin to cover the earth with concrete and slowly but surely you lose the idea of being at one with the whole environment, one with the whole of creation and somehow where you can it, you know, we, we, we now, recklessly, and in our world today, go ahead and cover the earth with concrete and have so little regard for natural species. You know, we'll destroy the forest for palm oil and destroy natural habitations what we've, uh, failing to realize that we are part of a greater ecological system. Uh, and you know this in that, those people in that sense, in that took part of Australia still we're very much connected with the land, with the seasons and way become disconnected with the earth. You treat the earth as a, just as a commodity rather than fact. Having this holistic understanding. And I think it's very important to have that holistic and it's disappearing. I mean, you and I will use ipads. We would use electronic media will be. We're using it all the time in our communications, but in fact it is no substitute for the actual meeting. The actual sharing together. And that's something which I think we need to be aware of of recovery.
Speaker 3:24:09I agree. And it's also interesting now that they're substituting for actual meeting. This lady didn't even do that. Now I'm thinking of lad for Terry didn't have a telephone for 13 years. That's right. Yeah. There's no substitute for meeting in person or just not even eating person. Right.
Speaker 4:24:27What do you mean she walked in touch with, with the environment? It wasn't touch with her children. She was a, you know, at this relationship with her husband who was frequently are way far flung parts of the, of the, um, of the farm. But I'm a good, that's an extreme example, but she does point to the fact that, uh, that relationship with your environment is a, is an important thing. It's an important part of, of being able to enjoy fully life itself, of which solitude is part.
Speaker 3:25:07I loved it when he writes. I longed for the company of others but cannot bear it when it is offered. Um, in terms of when you're sort of feeling it a low moment, it did remind me a little bit that feels like a version of the Groucho Marx quite, which is I don't want to be a member of a club that will have me as a mentor, but um, but yeah, yours is, uh, yours is rather than more episodes a solitude in particular. Um, but I wonder if it's, if it is possible to bear that solitude. Um, if you, if you know who you are and I therefore I wonder if in our current age and also age of identity politics where people want to ascribe I'm this sort of person and that sort of person I am, I'm a Democrat or I'm a, I'm trying to gender, I'm a or whatever it is, but people need to assist in one sense that rather protesting too much about who they are because they don't actually know. And whether you're able to cope with solitude only really if you, if you do know who you are. Well, I think,
Speaker 4:26:08I think going back home that we do live in an age where we tend to categorize and pigeon hole a bit too much and put people into boxes and part of the reason for that I suppose is for our own security. If we can fix somebody in a certain position, then okay, we can relate to them. But if it's something wide we're more ambiguous. It's probably a little more difficult for us. But, um, I think that one of the ways in which you do get into solitude is through the route of self knowledge. And that's a difficult journey because anybody who takes that inner journey will discover the conflicting sides of character positive. The negative which are in all of us. And the danger of course when you come across the negative is that you can be consumed by it and fall into deep depression when you just, when you find out things about yourself that you're not as shy and not particularly proud of or things that you've done in the past, which you regret.
Speaker 4:27:08If you wallow in that. It's so easy to become depressed. Which is why they often, you know, in, in making self analysis, it is far better to be able to do that in the company of other people actually. But I had no option myself when in years of captivity I had to do it alone and I reminded myself that I was just like any other human being, you know, we're all made that way and somehow try and find this degree of integration that's inner harmony. Um, and part of that for me was by writing, by I have the belief that good language, like good music has the capacity to breathe harmony into the soul. And um, that's why I wrote in my head in those years, I remember the music that I'd heard in those years somehow try and create a sense of greater in the harmony and balance. It's a long process, difficult process.
Speaker 3:28:02It is. And say, well, let's, let's just go all the way back then briefly because you're the son of a placement and I'm sure many of you have sat. He didn't, a cracking policemen, um, because you've obviously got the height phrase. But if I didn't, if I didn't know who you are, I would assume that you are a detective, chief inspector, um, just because you just have this,
Speaker 4:28:25it might've been a chief constantly,
Speaker 3:28:27but it feels like the metropolitan police was there for the data. But in terms of your Christian faith and it'd just be interesting to know a little bit about how I've, I've read that the Christian faith was not really part of your upbringing necessarily, but something that you discovered for yourself. Would that be a fair? No,
Speaker 4:28:51no, not necessarily. I was always from the very earliest days. I mean I can go back to the age of three when I remember I got my first Sunday school prize and I can still remember the book and I've still got the book. It was the three little kittens. Absolutely nothing to do with Sunday school, with church or anything. I can still remember that guess because I do remember sitting with my parents and the pure being called out and to the, from to receive it. A three. Oh, four. It must be about four I think. And I remember saying to myself, when you, when you go and received this price, you must be smart and you must bring your arms like a soldier. And I remember the laughter and the Church has popped up. The hot up. They all swinging my arms like a soldier. But, um, I was brought up as I joined the choir and I've always been fond of music.
Speaker 4:29:46And the great thing about that was, although I never remember anything about any of the sermons I heard, I did in fact learn through constant repetition, the psalms, the services of the church. They somehow became a part of me, although I didn't know. So years later when I was away from all books and all papers, I had that recollection and I could say to myself, for instance, the old prayers of the church like light, not darkness. We Beseech Thee, oh Lord. And by that great mercy defenders, small the perils and dangers of this night, a very simple prayer that has great meaning when you're in the dark, but as also harmony and rhythm of language as a poetry of language. And um, that's where I'm grateful for the regular use of language in worship because, uh, you have something that goes deep, penetrates within and is there for you to use when you need to.
Speaker 3:30:54Yeah, I think I say I think that's a failing of my own theological tradition and evangelicals can be rather dull in the use of language and we tend to worry about liturgy because it feels like religion. And
Speaker 4:31:10you could, if you can see literature, literature as an enactment almost as a drama. Yeah. Now where that, that's a lot of that has been lost in the church. It's still preserved within the Orthodox church, the Orthodox liturgical service. Of course, there's a great drama. It's a presentation that's representative of, of historical facts and it's put on the New York participant in that drama. Um, whereas, uh, when you, when you lose that, will you not saying it's valid but it's different.
Speaker 3:31:46Yeah. And he began to become aware of it as you, as you get older as well. And there were still phones at words that I can remember the liturgical. And sometimes you get this thing where I can't remember the context of it, but, uh, when you, uh, when you discovered that something that you'd always thought was a wonderful part of the Bible, you will then discover with Shakespeare all along. I thought that was one of the songs. No, no, no. That was macbeth. Who, who knew? Um, but, um, but so we've gone from that to, um, to I, I understand they're leaning towards being a quaker and in way that's, I guess that speaks to the intro introspection. It's feels like a negative side.
Speaker 4:32:33Just on the one hand, I'm still an Anglican, but I became member of the Society of friends, the quakers or some years ago. And it does represent the two sides because I'm from a one side, the Anglican Church for me, as never in my whole experience, allowed enough time within the context of formal worship for the quiet and silent reflection. Now the quakers on the other hand, it not anybody who's listening to this who's never been to a quaker, but it simply means that you sit together.
Speaker 3:33:11Some of them don't. It's just strange noise. Strange conditioning unit or something on the other side, but anyway, we can plow anyway. The, um,
Speaker 4:33:22the, in a quaker meeting, the, the participants sit in a circle. There was no formal leader, um, and you speak only if you feel you have something worthwhile to say. Now sometimes you sit there, the whole meeting, we'll go for an hour, sometimes a one or two people who speak. There are occasions where nobody speaks to the whole, uh, for the whole hour. But one of the great things about that is that surprisingly enough, it is enormously refreshing your, that there's no external influence on, you know, that together with other people and when people speak, they do often speak something that really does touch you in your inner being and your inner thoughts. And um, I think it's an ideal balance for me between that which is totally absent or more almost completely absent within Anglican worship. Yes. And it fulfills a need, which I think we were talking about earlier, which we have, which everybody has for that quiet reflective space. No, those pools of silence. As someone once said that we all need. And for me, it's invaluable. Yeah.
Speaker 3:34:36There are a case, everyone you that they often. It does says a silence may be kept. It's always optional. And on the occasions when it is capped, it's never kept for very long as they said no, but it's in the. But in the old day, I
Speaker 4:34:52can go back. I mean I'm picking a long time ago now, you went into an Anglican church service and before the service started required with no talking people besides blood. But today you go in and everybody's greeting each other and chatting around, jumping around and there isn't that silence. Now it's gone. It's a different age now. I'm not saying it's necessarily wrong, not made passing moral judgment. I'm saying it's different. Different alarms saying also, look for me, I appreciate the opportunity for the silence because silence can be creative and this modern age does not allow for it very much. You know, you listen, every moment on the radio or tv must be filled with the old days. If I go criticize a little bit, the radio, you know, in the old days you'd have the program, then you'd have a continuity announcer who would in gently lead you from one program into another. What you get today, pushing another program immediately, far too many, far too many. I beg you to take the next one and you saying you're exhausted by it. And that's modern society. You can't look around without being hit in the face with an advertisement. And where do you find these pools of silence and where do you find that within? You know, if you're constantly bombarded. Very, very difficult for people.
Speaker 3:36:23I found that for myself in terms of. I listened to a lot of audio, um, on my, on my phone and I used to do a lot of podcasts and radio programs, but I have recently found myself sometimes just thinking, just switch it all off. Just switch it off. Just do the washing up in silence and just enjoy the choir too. And because you don't know what you're thinking over what you'll reflect on or um, and uh, yeah, this, this always on generation, you know, and when you were speaking earlier about how, you know, people only stand up in a quaker quaker meeting to say something that needs to be said. I mean, imagine if social media people only said things that needed to be said. I think twitter would be very, very quiet and it's, it's, I sort of, it's sort of starting to repel me now rather than being something that I have to endure. It's now something that I'm actively. Yeah,
Speaker 4:37:13social media has that tendency to move towards aggression. Attack moves to be somehow reflecting very often the negative side of people. And that's devastating for people who are on the receiving end of that. You know, young people who have been bullied by social media or on social media has really destroyed their confidence. And in some cases lead to suicide. You know, there's that tendency or that it should. It's not a bad thing in itself. It's got a good thing in itself. But again, you've got to take into account human nature and human nature tends to be moved towards aggression at times and destruction of people. And that's something I, I, I do not appreciate it. You know, I would like to see a society where there was a little more understanding, a little more compassion for people and people who get into difficulties for people who have troubles. Yeah. Um, that, uh, is, uh, pieces of fragile and bet of two souls in harmony pieces and embrace that protects and heals pieces of reconciling, of opposites. Piece is rooted in love with lies in the heart, waiting to be nourished, blossom, and flourish until it embraces the world. Maybe we know the harmony of peace. May We sing the harmony of peace until in the last days we arrested the piece as a poem. I wrote in a book called out of the silence, which is a collection of poems. And I'm a narrative.
Speaker 3:38:59When you say, um, your, uh, your friends, blake is very insightful, um, uh, in yet so flawed in other ways. Um, he does say pop down to me in his defense of communism. He says, you can't build a system with imperfect people. You can't build a, you know, it's, I thought that was really interesting how he still yet clung onto this idea that maybe people will change and everything will be different.
Speaker 4:39:29I don't think comes from ms dot his religious background. But what is more interesting for me with Blake, if you spotted that his defense, religious defense of why he behaved as extraordinary, quite extraordinary. He was brought up as a calvinist, strict calvinist by a Dutch mother. Um, and he was brought up, rightly or wrongly to believe whatever will be will be, you know, it's all in the hands of God. Everything is for a day and everything is pre planned. So when I put it to him and I said, no, look, I said, you have spent your life. Uh, I believe you are an ideological convert. You spend your life working for the state or the Communist system around the world and you've seen it collapse. You're living in a place where it's collapsed completely where their ideology has proved to be, um, in a sense, deeply flawed. How would you interpret that? And he said, I had no option. He said it was planned for me, you know, and going back to his calvinistic belief, now that's a psychological defense and I think it's, it's wrong because I mean he is abdicating their from personal responsibility. We all have, if I have with those ones saying that means a tremendous amount to me, so don't, I'm not sure it's a scriptural say, but it's based on
Speaker 4:40:59But we are cocreators with God, right? That we have a responsibility for ourselves, for this world. It's not just going to come from above and happen to us and suddenly with a flash, we're going to be boom, whatever we are cocreators we make this world or we break it for the moment. We're doing enormous damage and we have done right across the centuries.
Speaker 3:41:23Interesting. I mean, I lost, listens to this show, what would happen? He described themselves as calvinist, but he's not a um, and as I would to, but, but he's espousing actually is not a calvinist cancer. And
Speaker 5:41:34he's describing fatalism. Well, I'm glad you were glad you made. It gets muddled. I think Calvin would be horrified, horrified by, but that's how he shows you how people will use. Yeah,
Speaker 4:41:52I mean from different perspectives that will use religion in a variety of ways to suit their own purposes. And he's used calvinism to sutures on purpose to justify himself misused it. Definitely. You're quite right. Others have done it from different. Yeah.
Speaker 3:42:09In justification of his, his actual religion, which was communism because he believed against all evidence and reason that they come in and state could work and he's, he's witnessed the collapse of all of them in his lifetime or
Speaker 5:42:22nice. Most of them. Ideally, wouldn't it be remarkable really if we did have the degree of, of sharing the show, how is in their ideology, but it doesn't work out.
Speaker 3:42:37So just to finish then it will be really helpful. One of my great heroes was also suspicious of Calvinism, which is gk Chesterton, um, uh, but, uh, I'm wondering, so for him, orthodoxy in books out that I could, I never tire of reading. Um, I wonder if there are any books for you which were a very significant influence on you because our listeners are very much readers and also any books that you never tire of as you were speaking about receiving your pro. You're the prize. It's a church. I was thinking Bertie Worcester would hang onto one thing that at school he won a prize for scripture and. Okay.
Speaker 5:43:13So I don't know if you're a PG woodhouse fan, but yeah, very hard not to be, isn't it? You can't fail the series currently. We repeated on them on the BBC sound for extra bridge series of the Worcester. Well worth listening. I listened to the mall. You can listen to them several times, but if there's one book, Yes, there is one book.
Speaker 4:43:43Um, and that is a war and peace I think, uh, now I've not only read war and peace a couple of times, but also seeing the DVD, the beep, the first BBC DVD of war and peace in about 19 fifties. Okay, brilliant. And then there's the Russian version, right? Which was a Russian subtitles, which is a marvelous, marvelous representation. But there you've got such a marvelous story of humanity of, of struggling to find identity and it's a book you can read time and time again. Yeah,
Speaker 5:44:27I can tell you that
Speaker 4:44:32when I was in captivity, I thought to myself, if only I could have the choice of books, I wouldn't mind spending a couple of years myself, you know, but I didn't, I didn't get the choice. They didn't throw you out. I got books eventually, but I never got. I never got to the time to be priest as well. Wouldn't they talk your way through? But we'll run pieces. Uh, is a great note. I'd recommend anybody get hold of the DVD in particularly the first one. BBC One or the Russian version. Yeah. I tried to say I gave up halfway through the book and now have the adaptation. There was a baby step is the latest one. I didn't see that. It sounds like if you, if you love the book, I, I'm not sure that you'll want to watch. I think those first two versions are in fact very, very accurate representation of the board.
Speaker 4:45:25And it's interesting. But also Dostoevsky, I mean, I love to, yeah, because don't ask his characterization of, uh, of human beings and the difficulty to human beings get into. He's a remarkable writer. It feels like a resurgence in lots of people are mentioning Dostoyevsky books in a way that I sort of learned I think 10 years ago. I just keep hearing people meeting. Please take some strangers and brothers by CP snow now. That's a, those books and there will be published. It's about 1950. CP Snow wrote about the two cultures. Science and they aren't very interesting. He wrote this. I'm all series of novels about a character called Louis Elliot and Tracy's Louis Louis Elliott's character career through several volumes and it's just a wonderful portrayal of life in England at that period of that time. And the third is prior to the war, during the war and after the war.
Speaker 4:46:25And it's accurate narrative of those years with fictional characters playing a role in, through that narrative. It's not a book now that's widely read, but it's something that I think a lot of people would enjoy. Again, strangers and brothers, CP snow, what we should put links to all days, nights, and, and I've ever listened to. She's probably hungry for some you need to do, to do more reading, but actually, again, that's slightly cheating, isn't it because you're stimulating yourself. Whereas actually that reflection is something that we easily miss out on. We continue to distract ourselves even when we're alone, I suppose. Um, but I have to say I really enjoyed reading solid chase and I'm looking forward to reading it again, slightly slower because I had to read it more quickly as a here, but the variety of people you're speaking to is extraordinary. One of the final wants is meeting with the matron of the hospice and um, she accompanied something like 17 or 1800 people on that last journey out of mortal life.
Speaker 4:47:36Um, and that journey, which we all take a, you know, one solitary journey we have to take and she becomes that very movingly and she also speaks of our hospices need not in any way at all, not places of glue. Somehow the recognition that death is a natural process and that we all will experience it and let me just give you, I think it's might be appropriate just to pull the for the. Again, I'm quoting from the book out to the silence and it's a little epitaph which might be an appropriate way to finish. Do not forget me when I'm old. Do not forget that we loved with a passion that took us away from this world, lost in each other, last in a realm where in giving we received more than we could ever hope for. Do not forget me when I've departed this life or in your heart for we should be together and death will not part. There lies, you know the central message of the Christian faith in the respective of what position we take evangelical, Catholic or whatever the central point is, love God and your neighbor as yourself.
Speaker 1:49:03Thank you very much indeed for being on Keith and Karen. Thank you necessarily. Wow, fascinating. Fascinating. I was saying to you on by text afterwards, I was really glad that you. You picked up on the calvinism thing because it is something which I know his is it, his mother was a, was a calvinist or his father. I remember reading somewhere, but he is, there. Is, there is that thing where calvinism can so easily be, um, I don't think he was doing this, but I think it can so easily be caricature. So I'm glad that you sort of clarified that.
Speaker 2:49:44Yeah, exactly. And he would know that cow. Even even people who don't like calvinism, like, um, like a gelatin would sort of know that it isn't actually fatalism. Um, and it's, it's not, um, you know, we don't have a mechanical university has been predetermined in quite that way. Um, but yeah, I always find this a, once you start denying predestination and Providence, then it just causes way, way more problems than it solved. But that is a discussion for a whole other podcast that I fully don't intend to have for quite some time to come. But let's just shelve that one. Yeah, we should, we should sell them as an expert on that who can sort of sell predestination just to make sure that
Speaker 1:50:28we think we should. But that was a fascinating interview. I'm really glad you go. The Chelsea does either. It's cool. Thanks for listening in everybody, as is our once. We're now going to ask you please to get in touch with us. We love it when you get in touch with us. They have been doing that. We love to hear emails. It's coopering carry@Gmail.com. And I've James' arrival Pantser, most likely. I'm pretty good at doing that. And then we didn't get that many. So why don't you support. So we, yeah, we jump on them with all of the uh, startled for us. Have an angry lion on a gazelle in the Serengeti and uh, we, we've also got a twitter, the twits yeah. And that's at Cooper. And, and again you can feel free to direct abuse and slash or comments that way. Yeah. Um, and there's another one, isn't there, some other social areas. Another one, I remember the name of it, but it's a bit, it's on there. There's an f and a we dare not speak its name were there for all to see. So I do stop by and of course the website, the lovely website, cooper and carry.com. Uh, do, do, do, join us there. Anyway, listen, it's been lovely story James. Likewise, and we'll hope to speak to you again soon. Everybody. Sure? Yes.
Speaker 6:51:46Hello? Okay. Mimi. Mimi. Mimi.