radio

The child's entire life is influenced by his ability to listen. Good listening habits make it possible for him to broaden his knowledge, enjoy music, conversation, storytelling, drama; discriminating listening makes it possible for him to select radio and television programs for enjoyment. Critical listening helps him function intelligently in selection of governmental leaders. It is quite possible that the ability to listen effectively may be one of the most valuable tools he can use in his efforts to bring understanding and peace to the world.

Thoughts are indestructible, as real as radio and television waves, as powerful as life, and they are never lost. While it is true that thoughts may come unbidden, you can cast out thoughts that are harmful and substitute good thoughts instead.

There is one type of feeling which is above all important to foster in childhood. Children have naturally an abundant faculty for wonder and reverence. There are so many books, so many radio and television hours, so many encyclopedias and, alas, so many teachers whose aim is to import knowledge quickly and easily without any element of that faculty which the Greeks said was the beginning of philosophy – Wonder. It is strange that an age which has discovered so many marvels in the universe should be so conspicuously lacking in the sense of wonder.

Modern man seems to be afraid of silence. We are conditioned by radio and television on which every minute must be filled with talking, or some kind of sound. We are stimulated by the American philosophy of keeping on the move all the time - busy, busy, busy. This tends to make us shallow. A person's life can be deepened tremendously by periods of silence, used in the constructive ways of meditation and prayer. Great personalities have spent much time in the silence of life.

Today, thanks to technical progress, the radio and television, to which we devote so many of the leisure hours once spent listening to parlor chatter and parlor music, have succeeded in lifting the manufacture of banality out of the sphere of handicraft and placed it in that of a major industry.

We are, without permission but with our tacit approval, the subjects of a giant electrical experiment. Nor is there any end in sight. The density of radio waves around us now is 100 million times the natural level reaching us from the Sun, and by 1990 it will have doubled again. When superconducting cables are introduced, the field strength around power line will be increased by another twenty times. And electric cars and vehicles moved by magnetic levitation will add entirely new sources of electropollution to the stew with which we are already assailed. Meanwhile, the first results of the experiment are starting to come in and there is, it seems, no place to hide.

The dependence upon corporate advertising of the mass media – newspapers, magazines, radio and television – makes them editorially subservient, without in any way being prompted, to points of view known or thought to be favored by the big property owners… The willing subservience shows itself most generally, apart from specific acts of omission or commission, in an easy blandness on the part of the mass media toward serious social problems.

The time that one gains cannot be accumulated in a storehouse; it is contradictory to want to save up existence, which, the fact is, exists only by being spent and there is a good case for showing that airplanes, machines, the telephone, and the radio do not make men of today happier than those of former times.

The biggest breakthrough in the next 50 years will be the discovery of extraterrestrial life. We have been searching for it for 50 years and found nothing. That proves life is rarer than we hoped, but does not prove that the universe is lifeless. We are only now developing the tools to make our searches efficient and far-reaching, as optical and radio detection and data processing move forward.

I need not tell you that the world situation is very serious. That must be apparent to all intelligent people. I think one difficulty is that the problem is one of such enormous complexity that the very mass of facts presented to the public by press and radio make it exceedingly difficult for the man in the street to reach a clear appraisement of the situation. Furthermore, the people of this country are distant from the troubled areas of the earth and it is hard for them to comprehend the plight and consequent reactions of the long-suffering peoples, and the effect of those reactions on their governments in connection with our efforts to promote peace in the world.

TV gives everyone an image, but radio gives birth to a million images in a million brains.

My father hated radio and could not wait for television to be invented so he could hate that too.

The person, who is in tune with the universe, becomes like a radio receiver through which the Voice of the universe is transmitted.

This [the opening of the Vatican City radio station built by Marconi earlier in 1931] was a new demonstration of the harmony between science and religion that each fresh conquest of science ever more luminously confirms, so that one may say that those who speak of the incompatibility of science and religion either make science say that which it never said or make religion say that which it never taught.

Nevertheless, in the face of the undeniable mutability of even inanimate nature, there still rises the enigma of the unexplored microcosm. It seemed, in fact, that, unlike the organic world, inorganic matter was in a certain sense immutable. Its tiniest parts, the chemical atoms, were indeed capable of combining in most diversified manners, but they appeared to be endowed with a privilege of eternal stability and indestructibility, since they emerged unchanged from every chemical synthesis and analysis. A hundred years ago, the elementary particles were still regarded as simple, indivisible, and indestructible. The same idea prevailed regarding the material energy and forces of the cosmos, especially on the basis of the fundamental laws of the conservation of mass and energy. Some natural scientists went so far as to consider themselves authorized to formulate in the name of their science a fantastic monastic philosophy, whose sorry memory is linked up, among others, with the name of Ernst Haeckel. But in the very lifetime of the latter, toward the end of the last century, even this over-simplified conception of the chemical atom was shattered by modern science. The growing knowledge of the periodic system of chemical elements, the discovery of the corpuscular radiations of radio active elements, along with many other similar facts, have demonstrated that the microcosm of the chemical atom, with dimensions as small as ten-millionths of a millimeter, is a theater of continuous mutations, no less than the macrocosm known to all. It was in the sphere of electronics that the character of mutability was first established. From the electronic structure of the atom there emanate radiations of light and heat which are absorbed by outside bodies, corresponding to the energy level of the electronic orbits. In the exterior parts of this sphere there takes place the ionization of the atom and the transformation of energy in the synthesis and analysis of chemical combinations. At that time, however, it was possible to suppose that these chemico-physical transformations provided one last refuge for stability, since they did not reach the very nucleus of the atom, which is the seat of its mass and of the positive electric charge which determine the place of the chemical atom in the natural system of the elements, and where it seemed science had found, so to speak, an example of an absolutely stable and invariable being.

This [the opening of the Vatican City radio station built by Marconi earlier in 1931] was a new demonstration of the harmony between science and religion that each fresh conquest of science ever more luminously confirms, so that one may say that those who speak of the incompatibility of science and religion either make science say that which it never said or make religion say that which it never taught.

It is often pointed out that chemists have failed in their attempts to duplicate the spontaneous origin of life in the laboratory. This fact is used as if it constituted evidence against the theories that those chemists are trying to test. But actually one can argue that we should be worried if it turned out to be very easy for chemists to obtain life spontaneously in the test-tube. This is because chemists' experiments last for years not thousands of millions of years, and because only a handful of chemists, not thousands of millions of chemists, are engaged in doing these experiments. If the spontaneous origin of life turned out to be a probable enough event to have occurred during the few man-decades in which chemists have done their experiments, then life should have arisen many times on Earth, and many times on planets within radio range of Earth.

The level of awe that you get by contemplating the modern scientific view of the universe: deep time (by which I mean geological time), deep space, and what you could call deep complexity, living things... that level of awe is just orders of magnitude greater and more awe-inspiring than the sort of pokey medieval world-view which the church still actually has. I mean, they sort of pay lip-service to the scientific world-view, but if you listen to what they say on Thought For The Day [a religious radio program] and things like that, it is medieval. It's a small world, a small universe, with the sky up there, very little advance since that time. So I yield to nobody in my awe for the universe and for life, but I also have a deep desire to understand it, in terms of what makes it work, what makes it tick, and not to take refuge in spurious non-explanations like I just believe it because I believe it, that sort of thing.

Life consists in learning to live on one’s own, spontaneous, freewheeling: to do this one must recognize what is one’s own—be familiar and at home with oneself. This means basically learning who one is, and learning what one has to offer to the contemporary world, and then learning how to make that offering valid.

Now one of the things we must cast out first of all is fear. Fear narrows the little entrance of our heart. It shrinks up our capacity to love. It freezes up our power to give ourselves. If we were terrified of God as an inexorable judge, we would not confidently await His mercy, or approach Him trustfully in prayer.