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Beyond Thinking

   2012    Culture
We live our lives pursuing happiness 'out there' as if it is a commodity. We have become slaves to our own desires and craving. Happiness isn't something that can be pursued or purchased like a cheap suit. This is Maya, illusion, the endless play of form. In the Buddhist tradition, Samsara, or the endless cycle of suffering is perpetuated by the craving of pleasure and aversion to pain. Freud referred to this as the "pleasure principle." Everything we do is an attempt to create pleasure, to gain something that we want, or to push away something that is undesirable that we don't want. Even a simple organism like the paramecium does this. It is called response to stimulus. Unlike a paramecium, humans have more choice. We are free to think, and that is the heart of the problem. It is the thinking about what we want that has gotten out of control. The dilemma of modern society is that we seek to understand the world, not in terms of archaic inner consciousness, but by quantifying and qualifying what we perceive to be the external world by using scientific means and thought. Thinking has only led to more thinking and more questions. We seek to know the innermost forces which create the world and guide its course. But we conceive of this essence as outside of ourselves, not as a living thing, intrinsic to our own nature. It was the famous psychiatrist Carl Jung who said, "one who looks outside dreams, one who looks inside awakes." It is not wrong to desire to be awake, to be happy. What is wrong is to look for happiness outside when it can only be found inside.
Series: Inner Worlds Outer Worlds

Bhutan to the Bay of Bengal

   2004    Culture
In Bhutan, Palin finds himself back in the land of yaks for a last look at the high Himalaya. Trekking to Chomolhari base camp he meets a nomad with a penchant for yak songs before heading down to Paro to witness the Buddhist festival or Tsechu. In a bar in Thimphu, he discusses reincarnation and the pursuit of happiness with Benji and Khendum, two of the king's cousins, and en route to Bangladesh is taken by Benji to see the rare black-neck cranes. On his journey south through Bangladesh, Michael visits the ship-breaking beaches of Chittagong and grid-locked Dhaka. He meets a man who made a fortune in Birmingham in the poultry business, and a woman who lends money only to women. On a 1920s paddle steamer he is serenaded with the words of Bengal's Shakespeare, and he completes his epic Himalayan journey aboard a fishing boat that carries him out into the Bay of Bengal and a westering sun.
Series: Himalaya with Michael Palin

Bigger, Stronger, Faster

   2008    Culture
Americans define themselves in the superlative: we are the biggest, strongest, fastest country in the world. They reward above all else: winning – at sport, at business and at war. Metaphorically is a nation on steroids. Is it any wonder that so many of their heroes are on performance enhancing drugs? A film that unflinchingly explores our win-at-all-cost culture. Bigger, Stronger, Faster is a first-person narrative, including US Congressmen, professional athletes, medical experts and everyday gym rats. When you discover that your heroes have all broken the rules, do you follow the rules, or do you follow your heroes?

Bitter Lake

   2015    Culture
And epic film by Adam Curtis that explains why the big stories that politicians tell us have become so simplified that we can’t really see the world any longer. The narrative goes all over the world, America, Britain, Russia and Saudi Arabia, but the country at the heart of it is Afghanistan. Because Afghanistan is the place that has confronted our politicians with the terrible truth, that they cannot understand what is going on any longer". The coumentary reveals the forces that over the past thirty years rose up and undermined the confidence of politics to understand the world. And it shows the strange, dark role that Saudi Arabia has played in this. But Bitter Lake is also experimental. Curtis has taken the unedited rushes of everything that the BBC has ever shot in Afghanistan - and used them in new and radical ways. He has tried to build a different and more emotional way of depicting what really happened in Afghanistan. A counterpoint to the thin, narrow and increasingly destructive stories told by those in power today.

Boko Haram and Unnatural Selection

   2015    Culture
The terrorist group Boko Haram is responsible for thousands of deaths in Nigeria. Now, the government is determined to drive these militants from the country. But is the hunt for insurgents causing as much harm as it's preventing? Former Navy SEAL and new VICE correspondent Kaj Larsen travels to Nigeria to see what this cat-and-mouse game means for the people caught in the middle of the fight. 'Unnatural Selection': For centuries, scientists have been working to change the genetic traits of plants and animals. Now, the new gene-editing method CRISPR has made that process astonishingly simple - so simple it could easily be used on humans. Isobel Yeung reports from Brazil, Scotland, China and the U.S. on the technological advances that could reshape evolution as we know it.
The Gene Code
The Gene Code

   2011    Science
U2 Live at the Rose Bowl
U2 Live at the Rose Bowl

   2010    Art
Enemies of Reason
Enemies of Reason

      Medicine
Coldplay Live
Coldplay Live

   2012    Art
How to Grow a Planet
How to Grow a Planet

   2012    Science
Through the Wormhole
Through the Wormhole

   2011    Science
Hiroshima
Hiroshima

   2005    History