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One Pair of Eyes

One Pair of Eyes

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One Pair of Eyes

Transcript of One Pair of Eyes: Dreamwalkers

Idries Shah

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A transcript of the documentary 'One Pair of Eyes: Dreamwalkers' presented by Idries Shah, 19th Dec 1970, on UK BBC Television.

First edition: 8 April, 2007 Fixed typos: 13 November, 2008 Dedicated to the Sufi Idries Shah and to the wonderful friends I've met at the yahoo! groups caravansarai and friends of fidelity, and through the web site sarmouni.dyndns.org. Thank you for being here.

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One Pair of Eyes: Dreamwalkers
[Shah is sitting in a circle of children at kindergarten. His daughter Saira is by his side. The children are discussing toy animals they've made, including an elephant, a flesheating dinosaur and a leaf-eating dinosaur.] SHAH: Shall I tell you a story about animals? Well now, listen very carefully. NARRATION: This isn't just a children's story. There's much more to it than that. The story originates in the 13th century and is really what this programme is all about. SHAH: Once upon a time there was a lion who lived in a forest, And he got very thirsty, so he thought he'd have a drink of water. So he went through the forest and he found a pool of water and he looked in it and in it he saw, as he thought, another lion looking back out of the water. Why was that? SAIRA: Because it was him. SHAH: Yes, but he didn't know, because he was rather a silly lion. So he said 'Arrrr' which means 'get out of the water because I want a drink.' He said that to the other lion. But it wasn't another lion at all, so it couldn't get out. SAIRA: Did the other lion say 'Arrrr'? SHAH: The other lion didn't say anything. SAIRA: It was a flection. SHAH: Yes, it was a reflection. So all the other animals in the forest gathered round and they started to laugh at the

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lion because they could all see what it was. And the giraffe laughed and the elephant laughed and even the butterfly laughed. SAIRA: 'Eh he-heh he-heh-heh'. SHAH: A little laugh like that. Suddenly the lion got so thirsty he said to himself 'I don't care who's in that water: I'm going to have a drink.' So he put his head down into it and he found there wasn't another lion there at all and he had a lovely cool drink of water. And that's how the lion learnt something that we can all learn: that you shouldn't be afraid of something which you don't understand. You must find out what it is, you see. [A crowd of commuters are coming toward the camera, walking as if in a dream.] SHAH NARRATING: There is an old saying: 'Man is asleep. Must he die before he wakes up?' I want to show you some examples of the things I feel keep us all dreamwalking. [Shah is behind a desk in a study. In front of him is a typewriter] SHAH: We all think of ourselves as logical people: people who are capable of changing our minds, for instance, if we get superior information, more information which tells us that our former beliefs or prejudices were untrue. Doctor Ward Edwards of the University of Michigan Engineering Psychology Laboratory has disproved this in a most alarming manner. He has shown that 1/3 of people are not able to change their minds once they have made them up on the basis of inaccurate information, even if accurate information is subsequently given to them.

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[SHAH is sitting interviewing a boy who's nearly five. He shows the boy several objects and pictures and asks for their names. When the boy comes to a picture of an elephant, he calls it 'an ephelant'. Shah picks him up on the mispronunciation and he attempts to correct his mispronunciation. His expression suggests that he realizes himself that the pronunciation is wrong.] SHAH [narrating]: At the moment, this little boy still uses wrongly-learnt names for one or two objects. He agrees that they are wrong and that it is illogical to persist. Eventually he will put it right. But adults lose the honesty and vitality of children and often settle into lives full of contradictions. SHAH [behind desk]: I had an interesting example of this not so long ago. I was listening to the Jimmy Saville Show on radio. Jimmy Saville asked his audience whether there was anybody who objected to the presence of immigrants in this country, and if so, why? And a lady stood up and said 'I do.' Jimmy Saville said 'Why?' and she said: 'Because they're going to crowd us out. There are going to be more and more of them and there won't be any room for all of us.' So Jimmy Saville said 'Does anybody have anything to say to that?' and another man stood up and said 'I have the figures here: emigration from this country is much greater than immigration. And we are likely to be less people here rather than more.' So Jimmy Saville said to the lady: 'What have you got to say to that?' And she said 'I don't believe it'. . . . NARRATION: Too often we are unaware of the way we disregard inconvenient information. Too often are quite unconscious of the true origins of our behaviour. SHAH [standing beside a row of second-hand cars, wearing a pair of shades]: Labels can very often be more effective than reason. There's a story in this [news]paper about it. People often make decisions, decisions which will cost

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them money, on the basis of irrational evidence. The Ford motor company carried out an experiment in which they got a bunch of hard-bitten Ford Motor dealers and they asked them to make an offer for a used car. The highest offer they got was £150 [sterling]. Then the Ford people put a couple of labels under the bonnet and they sprayed the upholstery with the smell of fresh leather. And they called the dealers in again. And this time the car was snapped up for £230 [sterling]: £80 for the smell of leather and a couple of labels of not very great value. The moral is that many of our decisions are triggered off by stimuli by things like labels. These stimuli make us do things which we haven't thought out at all. NARRATION: We are all conditioned and mostly we're unaware of the way in which we've been trained to react. [A small girl is seen running innocently through the gardens at Langton Green with someone following her, accompanied by uplifting, melodious music] NARRATION: It looks like a game of Hide and Seek, doesn't it? Now watch the same scene with different music. [The clip is re-run with tense, sinister music and it looks more like something out of a Hammer Horror movie]. NARRATION: Most of our assessments are made unconsciously. Pat Williams, South African writer. . . . PAT WILLIAMS [sitting on a swing in the garden, with a cigarette in her hand]: It was a great shock to me to discover that I could be, in fact, conditioned without knowing that I could be. And to conditioned in such a way that what my real feelings were were absolutely the opposite to what I had thought they were, my opinion about what I thought. I was brought up in South Africa where one is conditioned from the cradle into having a certain attitude

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toward black people. One sees them round one as inferior people, one is told that they are and the whole organisation of the society makes it quite clear that these people are different and less than white people. Now, it seemed to me very young that this was ridiculous and I grew up to be somebody who thought they had no colour prejudice at all. And in line with that thought I took an awful lot of political and social risks. I know, for example, that I had been noticed quite often by the police and had a file, which is a risk, though not a big one. I took stances and said things and wrote things which were in line with my not having any colour prejudice at all. And what's more, I broke the law and had black friends. But it was all in the framework of an idea that I thought this law was bad, but I never examined myself to see if I really felt that way. I kept it right out of awareness. Then one day I left South Africa - and this is the interesting bit - I went to a country where there was no colour prejudice. There was no framework to hold me so that I could have my opinion opposite. I went into a shoe shop to buy a pair of shoes and a black man served me. Now this was the first contact in my whole life - and by then I was twenty four - which was a non-racial contact which had nothing to do with me deciding this was going to happen. And as that man came and fitted the shoe on my foot I felt my whole body begin to shake because this was a free contact. And I had to force myself to see what I had been hiding from myself before, which was in fact that I was conditioned not in a place that I could easily get at, which was in my opinions in my head but in my very body. And until I acknowledged that - and it was a painful acknowledgement - I couldn't begin to try to exorcise it from myself. WILLIAM SARGANT [speaking to Shah on settee]: The people who can be got at are the normal people.

One Pair of Eyes: Dreamwalkers SHAH: Yes, yes.

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SARGANT: You are normal because you do accept an awful lot of -???- of the people amongst which you live. NARRATION: Doctor William Sargant is Head of Psychological Medicine at St Thomas' Hospital. He is well known for his special study of conditioning and unconscious brainwashing. SARGANT: I have no doubt at all that suppose Hitler had conquered England and Hitler had then run all the public schools and all the secondary education that perhaps 70% of the new generation in England could have been brought up with Hitlerite viewpoints. But although the normal people are get-at-able there are always in the population a group of people who are either mad, near-mad or what we call obsessive who can't be got at by these techniques. SHAH: So we have an interesting situation of paradox really? SARGANT: Yes, but it is these people who are not going to accept the group indoctrination who are going to make the great advances. I mean Newton had to go on believing for many years against all-comers that gravity was not God, so to speak - although he was prepared to admit that gravity might be God - but that gravity moved at g + 32. And he said in this respect that he wished to point out that if God was involved, God moved in g + 32. But you see he was one of those extraordinary people who really was a crackpot. His great interest was prophesies in the Book of Daniel, the significance of the seven-headed beast and that sort of thing and he would spend sixteen hours a day in his rooms at Trinity going over and over this

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Biblical prophecy. Now he looked on gravity as a mere sort of sideline. The point I want to make is that a person can have quite mad ideas in one field and can make a big discovery in another field. And this idea that you have to put all your research money onto very sane, normal, balanced people. . . You're going to get no results at all, because a sane, normal and balanced person mostly believes what the group already believes. NARRATION: It's not that we'd all become Isaac Newtons if we were less conformist, but we must surely come to realize that our desire to co-operate and our fear of being thought inadequate in trying circumstances very often prevent us from seeing reality. [Shah is sitting on a park bench interviewing a woman]: SHAH [to woman]: We have two statements here: one was made by a child of below average IQ, one by a child with an above average IQ. And the first statement (below average) is 'Children have a nice time because adults have to deal with all the hard things, having to deal with naughty children going to bed' and the above average IQ child says 'Maybe guinea-pigs play hide and seek but we don't know?' SHAH: [seen asking his daughter Saira these questions earlier]: Do they play? Do guinea-pigs play games?' SAIRA: I don't know. Maybe guinea-pigs play hide and seek but we don't know. SHAH NARRATING: Now in fact both of these sets of statements came from my daughter Saira. They's been divided quite arbitrarily and the object of our experiment was to see if anyone would say that there was insufficient

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evidence to go on, or even to admit that they weren't personally qualified to judge IQ differences. SHAH [to Saira earlier]: And why do people have mummies and daddies? SAIRA: Well. . . people wouldn't be there if they didn't have mummies and daddies. SHAH [to woman on park bench]: 'People wouldn't be there if they didn't have mummies and daddies'; 'People get bored if they don't play games.' Now, what do you think about those two statements? Can you see the difference in their intelligence from their statements? And why do you think there is a difference? WOMAN: Well, 'Children wouldn't be there if they didn't have mummies and daddies' is something rather brilliant, because the child is probably is thinking of being looked after by parents. SHAH: That's the above average? WOMAN: That's the above average, yes. Well, I suppose a child gets bored with all work, school work, and they like their games and feel better for them. A below average child. . . Well, I should think they're rather naughty and don't think about things a great deal. They just think what a fine time they're giving their parents. SHAH: I see. And can you see that in the two? WOMAN: Yes, yes, yes. SHAH: It's quite clear? WOMAN: Yes.

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MAN [presented with the same statements]: Well, the first child, of course, is obviously a bit mixed up and thinks grown ups have a nice time and then thirty seconds later talks of 'naughty children going to bed.' And the second child obviously understand the importance of mothers and fathers and not being bored and maybe has got a guineapig, I don't know. SHAH: And attitudes. That's the understanding. How about the attitudes towards things of the children with the two different IQs? MAN: Well, I suppose this first child associates things with grown-ups always having a good time and naughty children seems an unhappy sort of situation. SHAH: So you're saying this child is less happy than the other? MAN: I would have thought so, just reading that, yes. And obviously the second child immediately associates his own being here with having a mother and father, and being kept happy, not bored, playing games. SECOND MAN [presented with the children's statements]: Well, it seems to me it's too sophisticated. SHAH: I see. Well, perhaps the test showed a difference between the two? SECOND MAN: It does: a marked difference. But, who made the test? And how? SHAH: I see. So there is undoubtedly a difference, but the basis might be wrong? SECOND MAN: Yes, unless you know who was making the test. . . .

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NARRATION: If we are awake to the reality of conditioning, we need not be disadvantaged by it. [Shah is walking from his home down the street. He meets an acquaintance and passes the time of day] SHAH: Hello, how are you? ACQUAINTANCE: How are you? SHAH: Well, not too good, you know. Well, I've had bronchitis. . . . SHAH [back behind desk]: Rituals. Most people think of rituals as something connected with religion or something bad. They use the terms ritual and ritualistic to mean something, as we say, pejorative - something that they don't like very much. But ritual is increasingly coming to be understood as something which we all need in our life. In fact we all practise ritual almost all the time: rituals of greeting; rituals of buying and selling. [Shah goes to the post office and passes the time of day with the postmistress]. POSTMISTRESS: Good afternoon, Mr Shah. How are you? SHAH: Good afternoon. How are you? POSTMISTRESS: Very well, thank you. And how are you? SHAH [narrating] The form of words which we use when we meet people or when we say goodbye, even the meals we have together - the whole family once a week or something like that - these have a ritualistic quality. Ritual is something which helps us to structure our lives.

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SHAH [to post mistress]: I've had a bit of bronchitis, you know, the last couple of weeks. POSTMISTRESS: Have you? I'm sorry to hear that. I didn't know. SHAH: Pretty awful. POSTMISTRESS: Yes. A miserable thing to have, especially with the nice weather. SHAH: Leaves you so weak, you know. POSTMISTRESS: Yes. SHAH: How are you getting on with the new dining thing? POSTMISTRESS: Oh, very well. SHAH: Are people learning to use the . . . POSTMISTRESS: One or two of the old age pensioners are finding it difficult to master, but it's very much nicer, I think. SHAH: Oh, yes. I think it's easier. POSTMISTRESS: And much quicker. SHAH: Saves time, yes. Um. SHAH: Can you tell me the air mail - that's really why I came in - the air mail to America. Have they changed lately? POSTMISTRESS: No, they're still the same. ---o---

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SHAH [talking to comedy sketch artist Marty Feldman. Both have cigarettes in their hand]: We've been talking about ritual. I'm sure people are going to gain the impression one is against ritual and it's got to be got rid of. FELDMAN: I don't think it's got to be got rid of. My father was an orthodox Jew. He used to love watching ceremonies in Westminster Abbey and things like that on television which have a kind of aesthetic value; it has a kind of intrinsic beauty like opera has, but nobody believes that opera is really what life is about, you know. It also provides a kind of common ground. But we mustn't be used by ritual we must understand what it is. . . SHAH: . . . And take just as much as we need and no more. Take it or leave it. FELDMAN: That's right. [Shots of horse guards parade and wedding ritual; chancellor holding up his red briefcase in Downing Street; funeral procession; Christening; striking a bottle of champagne against the side of a ship being launched]. FELDMAN: There's very evident ritual in let's say the comic form. You know, [Charlie] Chaplin- the small man defying authority. It's a ritual viewers want to observe. Chaplin goes through it for them. [Buster] Keeton went through it for them. They observe it vicariously. [Comedy sketch with vicar sitting at a desk, hands pointed in prayer, smiling benignly. He brings out a bottle of whiskey and a soft-porn magazine and thumbs his nose at authority.] FELDMAN: A lot of comedy I do is kind of like anarchy by proxy. You know, if I kick a policeman up the arse in a sketch, I'm doing it on behalf of a lot of people who'd like to kick a policeman up the arse.

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SHAH: So, in a sense, they've had that experience, by identifying with it, and they know what it's like? FELDMAN: Yes. I think it's true of a lot of comedy, that almost inevitably various comics work against authority figures; violently against authority figures. They're doing this really on behalf of the audience. Whether they're doing this subconsciously or consciously is irrelevant. The audience wants to do those things. They want to throw bricks through windows, it wants to shout and scream and tear its clothes of, and you're doing it for them. [In the comedy sketch, the drunken priest is set on by his peers]. SHAH: Does the audience want to do that to release emotion, because the forms of release of emotion are not available? FELDMAN: Yes, yes. I think this is really true. I think the current skinhead [gang] phenomena is because people have no other forms of release for these kind of pent-up feelings of violence, you know. One doesn't approve it, but one understands it. [Scene from soccer match, heavy police presence, trouble at match, skinhead on train singing rowdy songs, broken windows on train]. NARRATION: If violence is the result of pent-up feelings, then we have to learn to identify those feelings in ourselves and in others before they reach flash-point. Above all, we have to have to give one-another more attention. [Man walking through park with head down waving stick, people laid out in park, sleeping rough, other people, women and children relaxing and sunbathing in park].

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Attention, the need for it, the need to give it and receive it, is a sort of nutrition. People crave attention, as we know. We all know people who want attention desperately badly. Children call out in the night for a glass of water when they don't really want a glass of water, they very often want attention, they want reassurance. But the basic thing is attention. SHAH [back at desk]: People may say, well animals attract attention or avoid attention or give one-other attention. . . [Scene of primate grooming its young]. SHAH: . . . as for instance you can see monkeys grooming one-another - it's called grooming - and so they may say well, after all, this attention is just a lower-level sort of activity. Yes it is: a lower-level activity like your heart beating - just a pump - but without it, you'd die. An animal is at the mercy of what attention he can get and what attention he can't get. We don't have to be. You can make it a matter of your own experiment, your own experience, that very often if you find a person who is very excitable, who keeps on about something and you give him or her a lot of attention, you'll find that his views will become a lot less pronounced. He may become much calmer, a more interesting person. He may learn to give you attention, too. And this is the basis of civilization. Not just culture, not cultivated behaviour, but civilisation. It's that important. ---o--[More people walking through the city as if in a dream]. [Shots of news and weather reports on TV screens and various radios at home, and of car radios and newspaper stands in town, people buying and reading newspapers. The

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scenes depict the plethora of information with which we are daily bombarded, which suffuses our society]. NARRATION: Information which actually tells us striking facts about our own behaviour pours out from everywhere. But how much of a newspaper, for example, do we retain? [Shah interviews various people who can remember little more than the headlines of what they've heard on the news or read in their daily newspaper, despite the fact there were major stories breaking that day]. MAN IN STREET: …It's all lies, though, isn't it…. NARRATION: We remember what touches us, what we recognise as interesting. [Picture of a head containing a box full of simple shapes such as a square block, a triangle, a circle, a crescent, a star. When an external symbol matches one of the pre-arranged shapes, there is recognition. When a shape or new snakelike 'waveform' is not recognised, it does not register: it slips through the 'net' of pre-arranged, known shapes]. NARRATION: We are looking for the familiar. We are poorly equipped even to recognise the new, let alone to use it. By and large, the new information passes straight through us to end up perhaps like this: [Scene of vast quantities of pulped paper and bales of waste paper at a mill]. NARRATION: Will our society go down in history as one that wasted all its knowledge? Now let's talk about learning. [Shah picks up one of his cats and walks through the garden with it in his arms].

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SHAH: Now, some very interesting research has been done on cats. You know how difficult cats are to teach and to train anything? Well, it's been discovered that if you get some cats and train them how do something, and then you get some other cats, and have these second lot of cats watch the first lot performing their tricks, or whatever they are, the second lot of cats will learn simply by watching. Now this has such far-reaching consequences that all the commonly-accepted theories of learning and how the brain works in collecting information may have to be revised. It is quite possible that we may discover that by simply watching people do things we can learn. NARRATION: Which casts doubt on a widespread belief that you can only learn from personal experience. This experiment verifies something about human education which has been known and applied in the East for thousands of years and was applied in the West during the Middle Ages: the master has his apprentices; they learn from watching him and from being in his presence. [Picture of the front cover of a book on Mulla Nasrudin. The book is opened to reveal Nasrudin sitting on his donkey, facing the wrong way]. NARRATION: Another traditional means of passing on the fruit of experience is a highly advanced form of story with many levels of understanding. Hundreds of them are about Mulla Nasrudin, a sort of Oriental Everyman. A[n animated] film of him is in the making by Richard Williams. Here, Nasrudin is hauled before the king, accused of heresy: Courtier: He has admitted going around saying 'Such wise men as these are ignorant, irresolute and confused.' King: Nasrudin, you may speak first.

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Nasrudin: May I ask the learned ones a question? King: Proceed. Nasrudin: Oh wise men, what is bread? Wise man: Bread? Stupid question. King: Go on. Wise men, in succession (1): Bread is a substance which is for the purpose of nourishing people. It is in fact a food. (2): Bread is a compound of flour and water mixed at a certain ratio and subjected to a certain heat. (3): It is a blessing which descends as manna from the heavens. It is a gift from God, notwithstanding man's iniquity and undeserving state. (4): Bread is a substance from which man draws nutriment. (5): Throughout the ages, servants and sages have sought the answer to this question. But still, it has to be admitted that nobody really knows. Nasrudin: Your Majesty: how can you trust these men. Is it not strange that they cannot agree on the nature of something they eat every day, yet are unanimous that I am a heretic? NARRATION: Richard Williams has been living with Nasrudin for five years. WILLIAMS: With me, I just found them brain breakers. I was going around heavily about it, then I kind of just started to like them. I found that they'd pop up like people here and you'd say 'That's like….' 'Oh, good heavens….' And you'd quote the punch-line which relates to a situation

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[in your own life] and gradually you'd like it more and more. Whereas at first you'd say 'Mulla Nasrudin? Whatever's that?' And then [later] you don't get rid of it you don't wear it out. SHAH: That's the extraordinary thing about it [Nasrudin stories] it has durability. It doesn't wear out. Why not? Normally people get fed up with jokes and wisecracks. WILLIAMS: And everybody says, you know, five years you've been working on this thing. Surely, surely you can't stand it: the same thing every day. I say 'Never!' I get worn out on a one month job - commercial job, or something but not on Nasrudin. SHAH: It is very, very strange. [Shot of cover of The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin by Idries Shah]. SHAH [narrating]: The Nasrudin tales which I have published have proved their worth in ways in which few scientists would have imagined. Doctor John Ermisch specialised in choosing certain types of inventive brain for the American Rand Corporation. This is the original Think Tank, pioneering new ways of thought to solve industrial, commercial and social problems. He made a textbook out of the Nasrudin stories. ERMISCH: The one which pops most readily into mind is the one I remember where Nasrudin is looking outside his house for something. Someone asks what he's looking for and he says his key. They ask if he lost it there and he says no, he lost it inside the house, but there's more light outside, so it's better to look there. That's one I tend to feel has a fair amount of significance, since there are many people: some are professional researchers, some just laymen, who tend to seek instantly

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for the solution to a problem in the area which they're most familiar with. I think this story points out the error of such ways. [Shots of a room with a line drawn diagonally across the floor. A subject must reach a key on the floor in the centre of the room without stepping over the line in the corner of the room.]. SHAH: You're trapped in this room. There's a locked door behind you. You're not allowed to go beyond this line. The key to this door is there [in the centre of the room] and you have these two short sticks. How are you going to get that key without touching the floor, to get yourself out? [The subject, a woman, makes a valiant effort, but finds that the sticks are too short to quite reach the key]. SHAH [narrating]: In time she may realize that she can tie the two sticks together with her clothing or with the string supporting the picture on the wall, a picture she hasn't noticed. But in a real life situation, is she going to notice her own interests in time? ERMISCH: During the years which I spent at the Rand Corporation, I always that the most valid thing that its people had contributed to the field of research was the socalled inter-disciplinary approach. That is: don't rule anything out when you're trying to solve a problem, because you never know in which discipline, in which area, the solution may lie. [Back in the garden, Shah sets a test. On a table is a large round bowl and three short sticks. The problem is how to balance a glass of water over the bowl. The test subject fails and so Shah shows him how it's done: by having the three sticks pointing toward the centre of the bowl and interwoven so that they support each other where they

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meet. It's also interesting that yet again, the subject is smoking, quite unconscious of the cigarette in his mouth]. SHAH: It's simple when you know how. SHAH [sitting cross-legged on the lawn with a pile of seventeen beans before him]: Confined thinking can even be dangerous. Dangerous because even though it may be logical, it may prevent you from knowing what a problem is, and it may also prevent you from knowing how to solve a problem once presented to you. I'll tell you a story: once upon a time there was an old man who didn't want his children, his three sons, to fall permanent victims to confined thinking, so when he drew up his will, he deliberately left a herd of seventeen camels to these three boys with the instructions that the first son should have one half of all these seventeen camels, the second son should have one third of the total of seventeen camels, and the third son should have one ninth. Now, of course, when he died and these seventeen camels were paraded in front of these young men, they discovered that they couldn't that they couldn't do a thing about it, because two doesn't go into seventeen, three doesn't go into seventeen and nine doesn't go into seventeen. So they wondered whether they could sell the camels, but that would have infringed the terms of the will. They thought if they cut the camels up, that would not only violate their father's intentions, but it wouldn't be nice for the camels either. And thus they had only one thing to do and that was to find a wise man who could advise them. After a lot of difficulty, they finally located a wise man and he looked at the problem and instead of trying to divide anything at all, he said 'I shall add one camel of my own to this herd. . .' [Shah adds one bean to the seventeen already there].

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SHAH: 'Now we may proceed to discharge the terms of your father's will.' I have here beans to illustrate the herd of camels. The wise man said one half of all the camels go to the first son. . . [Shah sets 18/2 = 9 camels aside]. One third of the herd goes to the second son. . . [Shah sets 18/3 = 6 camels aside]. And the third son was entitled to one ninth. . . [Shah sets 18/9 = 2 camels aside]. Making a total of seventeen and leaving one camel, which happened to be the wise man's camel. So he took it back and returned it to his flock, having satisfied the terms of the old man's will and having taught his sons something which the father had intended from the beginning. [Shots of dreamwalking people]. NARRATION: At times in our lives we've all felt that life is rich in possibilities. But in our everyday life we make elaborate preparations for misfortune. A MAN IN THE STREET: I consider basically as far as I'm concerned I'm a pessimist. And anything that which goes on from there is obviously better. INTERVIEWER: Is that your philosophy of life? MAN IN STREET: Well yes, if one is an optimist and one continually gets banged down, keeps getting banged on the nose, if you like, so if one accepts the worst, anything on top of that is pure bonus.

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MAN IN STREET #2: I'm always an optimist about everything, even when everything is going wrong, I tend to be forcibly cheerful, I suppose, because even if things are going wrong for a while, they're always going to improve in the end. WOMAN IN STREET: I tend to fear the worst, you know, and hope for the best. INTERVIEWER: To fear the worst: is this some kind of insurance against the worst happening? WOMAN IN STREET: Yes, it is slightly. I don't like to hope for the best, because I feel I'll be so disappointed if it doesn't come. You know what I mean? INTERVIEWER: Does it work, or do you feel it works? WOMAN IN STREET: Yes. I think I feel it works, yes. [More dreamwalkers in the street; breaking the four minute mile] NARRATION: Man can further his own evolution by breaking psychological limitations. For years and years and years and years, the four minute mile could not be achieved in running. Then somebody ran it in four minutes. How many people have run it since? SHAH [sitting in window]: Lots and lots of people. Did those people not exist? Was there no such physiology? Was their nutrition faulty? Or - have they transcended their limitations because they know it can be done, or because they think it might be done? What fascinates me about the Western world is that notionally and theoretically, limitations are there to be broken but in fact we get this constant accretion of pessimism which effectively prevents evolution in this form going ahead.

One Pair of Eyes: Dreamwalkers [More dreamwalkers]

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NARRATION: Man is asleep. Must he die before he wakes up? ---o--Photography: Ian Hilton Sound: Bob Roberts, David Brumber Film Editor: David Martin Producer: David Wheeler Directed by: Michael Rabiger.

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