MUTE, originally aired 1963
- I don't have anything to say on Islam today. Instead, after
watching an episode of the Twilight Zone last weekend, I've been
thinking about the topic of childhood education. I recently
purchased all 144 episodes of the Twilight Zone, thanks to EBAY, and
this particular episode seems a whole lot more interesting than
homicidal jihadists. In the story, three German families practiced
a method of childhood education that is oddly anthroposophic; odd,
because their method seems straight from the mouth of Rudolph
Steiner. Consequently the children become telepathic.
One family moved to the Pennsylvania wilderness, where they lived a
reclusive life homeschooling their child, a darling, blond, little
girl with soft blue eyes.
But, herein is the problem. The parents die in a house fire, and
the girl becomes an orphan. Because she doesn't speak and seems
emotionally un-responsive, people automatically think she is a mute
or has mental disabilities. The girl is neither. Her parents
simply did not prepare her for the cruel realities of the outside
world, so, when they die, she is in a state of terror, almost mute
with horror, confused and dismayed. Her mind is highly tuned and
not structured to understand the normal progression of modern
language, which actually affects the way people think and feel, and
therefore comprehend reality. Voices sounded garbled and barbaric
because people spoke without "thinking" their words. To her their
words were meaningless, devoid of thought-content: thus
unintelligible. The girl is a savant whose mind has been groomed
through years of discipline to think in a non-verbal manner
conducive to extraordinary thought.
This is the cruel tragedy. To integrate into human society, she
must begin to speak through her mouth. But by speaking verbally
through her mouth, she loses her telepathic abilities. In the end
she sacrifices "the sublime" for the socially acceptable. It is
among the most chilling Twilight Zone episodes.