Laurens van der Post (1906 - 1996) was a South African cultural anthropologist, statesman, and author of twenty-six books. He once wrote: "The spirit of man is nomad. His blood bedouin, and love is the aboriginal tracker on the faded desert spoor of his lost self; and so I came to live my life not by conscious plan or prearranged design but as someone following the flight of a bird."
In Hasten Slowly, Mickey Lemle presents an extraordinarily spiritual and enlightening interview with Laurens van der Post, a large soul who talks about his childhood in South Africa, his struggles against apartheid, his travels to Japan, his experiences in a POW camp during World War II, and his search for the Kalahari bushmen which resulted in the documentary film The Lost World of the Kalahari.
While imprisoned by the Japanese in Java for three and one-half years, he and another man started a university to help keep up the spirits of their fellow prisoners. In 1957 he searched out the Kalahari bushmen, by then only a small group facing extinction. He reveals his deep respect for their stories, their knowledge and closeness to the natural world, and their quest for truth.
Hasten Slowly concludes with van der Post's own lucid summation of what matters most in life: "Meaning transfigures all; and once what you are living and what you are doing has for you meaning, it is irrelevant whether you are happy or unhappy. You are content. You're not alone in your spirit. You belong."
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