It's The Questions Not The Answers That Make Life Exciting with Jonathan Stedall

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Sometimes it is from the mouths of babes that we receive a clue to our life's work. This was certainly true for Stedall, when his seven-year-old son asked him, "Where on earth is heaven?" Stedall says, "I can't remember how I answered it, but I certainly remembered his formulation, and what lays behind that question interested me for very much longer." As a filmmaker, Stedall has worked with people from all walks of life, including scientists, artists and poets. He has found it quite exciting to come at that question from many different angles and perspectives. He says, "I've found that very helpful, rather than looking for one particular guru, one answer as it were. I mean these things are great mysteries finally. But I don't think that means we just close the door and say, 'Oh, we can't know.' " (hosted by Michael Toms)


Jonathan Stedall joined the BBC as a producer in 1963, where he then worked for twenty-seven years. His earlier career had included stage managing in repertory theatre; work in the cutting-rooms at Pinewood Studios, and as floor manager, and then director in commercial television. His documentary In the Need of Special Care about the Camphill School in Scotland for children with special needs won a British Film Academy Award. It was typical of the gentle and sensitive style of film-making that has won him so much praise over the years.

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Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How a serious illness can be a wakeup call
  • What is the "Gift of forgetfulness"
  • Why we don't trust our inner knowing
  • Who are the "awakeners" and how do they affect our lives
  • How we are inching towards a more compassionate society
  • How gurus can have an almost paralyzing affect on their followers which is not their intention
Host: Michael Toms     Interview Date: 9/16/2010     Program Number: 3380