Dialogue with Sir Laurens Van der Post: A Mythic Journey, Part 3

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Held in his home in London, this is a rare and fascinating series of dialogues with one of the giants of the 20th century, the late Sir Laurens Van der Post. You will surely be inspired by his most amazing life. Adventurer, soldier, statesman, writer, storyteller, and philosopher, Van der Post addresses the major issues of our time—and the results are riveting. In this three-part series, you'll hear about his sojourn in the Kalahari Desert after WWII, his friendship with Carl Jung, his time in a Japanese prisoner of war camp, and much more. Two major Hollywood films based on his writings, A Faraway Place and Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, were released in the U.S. Awarded a knighthood (the C.B.E.) in 1981, Sir Laurens died after his 90th birthday, in December, 1996. (hosted by Michael Toms)


The late Sir Laurens Van der Post, CBE was a 20th-century Afrikaner author, farmer, war hero, and political adviser to British heads of government. He was a close friend of C.G. Jung and Prince Charles, and godfather of Prince William. In 1955 the BBC commissioned Van der Post to produce a six-part television documentary series in search of the Bushman of the Kalahari. In 1958 his most famous book was released under the same title as the BBC series: The Lost World of the Kalahari, followed in 1961 by The Heart of the Hunter, derived from 19th-century Bushmen stories by Wilhelm Bleek. There are two movies based on his experiences, Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence and A Far Off Place.

He’s the author of many books including:

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • What are Sir Laurens’ views on China, Asia and “the East”
  • How the collective and the individual dream relate to these changing times
  • What is the emergence of new meaning and hope for the future
  • What are the alchemical aspects of suffering
  • How he handles mountains of correspondence
  • What was his thought-provoking outlook, at age 86, on living and dying
  • How Sir Laurens is described by Jane Bedford, his longtime assistant

Host: Michael Toms       Interview Date: 5/1/1994       Program Number: 2475