Doris Lessing Show Podcast: Prisons We Choose To Live Inside, The 1985 CBC Massey Lectures.
If you are not familiar with the late Doris Lessing, here is a bio quote and some links to bios.
Doris Lessing was born in Kermanshah, Persia (present-day Iran), on October 22, 1919. After growing up in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), she moved to England and embarked upon a writing career. Her first novel was published in 1950 and her 1962 novel The Golden Notebook turned her into a feminist role model. The author of more than 55 works spanning fiction, nonfiction, poetry and opera, Lessing became the oldest recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007, at the age of 88. She died in 2013, at age 94.
Along with her son from her second marriage, Lessing then moved to England. She brought a manuscript with her, which became her first published novel: The Grass Is Singing (1950). The book examined the relationship between a white farmer’s wife in Rhodesia and her black house servant.
Lessing would soon produce other notable books with African backdrops, including a series of novels that featured protagonist Martha Quest. Lessing’s prodigious output also contains fantasy and science fiction novels—such as the series Canopus in Argos: Archives—as well as plays, short stories, essays and two autobiographies. She also wrote under the pseudonym Jane Somers. Using a different name permitted Lessing to demonstrate how difficult it was for unknown novelists to gain a foothold in the literary world.
The five science fiction novels in the series, Canopus In Argos: Archives, are the books that we – Jae and me – are recommending for you to read. She wrote 55 books, so this recommendation is useful.
The individual volumes are:
Book 1: Shikasta;
Book 2: The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four and Five;
Book 3: The Sirian Experiments;
Book 4: The Making of the Representative for Planet 8;
Book 5: The Sentimental Agents.
https://bahai-studies.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/14.3-4.Perrakis.pdf }A paper called The Four Levels of Detachment in Doris Lessing’s Shikasta by Phyllis Sternberg Perrakis. Here is a quotation from that paper: “To return to the earlier discussion of how one develops one’s fullest human potential, we can see the reciprocal relationship between the understandings of the intellect and the heart and their fusion in the fire of service. Each stage opens the door to deeper self-knowledge, more intense spiritual susceptibilities, and greater attraction to the Divine, culminating in greater service. And each stage brings new barriers to be overcome, new tests to face. As our own attachment grows, we need to open our – selves to the spiritual possibilities in others, striving to prevent our own limitations from leading us to make misjudgments and become barriers in the spiritual journeys of others. In this dialectic movement between detachment and attachment, between service and inner growth, between teaching and reflection, we will be able to draw closer to God because we will be closer to our truest selves .”
From this quotation, the reader begins to place Ms. Lessing more correctly in the worlds that she lived. When looking at the usual links and sites that the usual search engines will give, you will tend to find discussion of her as a political writer, or feminist, or sociologist or psychologist, and so on; very few mention that she was known as a wise woman and a Sufi. Also, the typical sites will talk about her writing and her status as a writer, but never mention her talks and lectures; only two links to her latest interview were found on Deeper Web results, for example. So we are giving these lectures to you today.
Your own search engine can find links for you, so here are just a few, to begin to learn about her, if you don’t already know: http://thewildreed.blogspot.com/2008/06/in-garden-of-spirituality-doris-lessing.html }The Wild Reed’s series of reflections on spirituality continues with an excerpt from the Doris Lessing-penned preface to the French edition of Idries Shah’s 1985 book, Seeker After Truth: A Handbook.
https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2007/lessing-lecture_en.pdf }her Nobel Prize lecture.
http://ejw.sagepub.com/content/16/1/33.full.pdf }Doris Lessing, Feminism and the Representation of Zimbabwe
European Journal of Women’s Studies February 2009 16: 33-51.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/18/books/doris-lessing-novelist-who-won-2007-nobel-is-dead-at-94.html?_r=0 }Doris Lessing, the uninhibited and outspoken novelist who won the 2007 Nobel Prize for a lifetime of writing that shattered convention, both social and artistic, died on Sunday at her home in London. She was 94. There is a video on this page.
https://newrepublic.com/article/115631/doris-lessing-shikasta-reviewed-ursula-le-guin }Shikasta reviewed by Ursula K. LeGuin.
http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/2537/the-art-of-fiction-no-102-doris-lessing }Doris Lessing, The Art of Fiction No. 102, Interviewed by Thomas Frick.
http://www.dorislessing.org/thethe.html }In 1985 Doris Lessing and Philip Glass collaborated to create an opera based on this book.
http://www.philipglass.com/music/compositions/marraiges_between_zones_3-4-5.php }The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four and Five, An opera in two acts, for orchestra, chorus and soloists (1997). Music by Philip Glass. Libretto by Doris Lessing.
http://www.philipglass.com/music/compositions/making_rep_for_planet_8.php }The Making of the Representative for Planet 8, An opera in three acts for orchestra, small chorus and soloists (1986. Music by Philip Glass. Libretto by Doris Lessing based on her novel.
1. Opening, Lazarus Raised, 1:25.
2. When In The Future They Look Back At Us, 27:06.
3. 1st Intermission, Eye Of The Needle, 2:59.
4. You Are Damned, We Are Saved, 24:52.
5. 2nd Intermission, Asturias, 3:27.
6. Switching Off To See Dallas, 28:29.
7. 3rd Intermission, And Dream Of Sheep, 2:46.
8. Group Minds, 28:49.
9. 4th Intermission, Sarabande in B minor ,BWV 1002, 2:00.
10. Laboratories Of Social Change, 27:11.
11. Closing, Where We Are, 1:31.
12. Resurrecting Ourselves, 0:52.
Total Time 2:32:20.
Note: on the original website, these Lectures are introduced by Mr. Paul Kennedy on CBC Radio (Canada).