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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

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.

Catholicism The unpredictable rise of Rome

   2011    Culture
Over one billion Christians look to Rome, more than half of all Christians on the planet. But how did a small Jewish sect from the backwoods of 1st-century Palestine, which preached humility and the virtue of poverty, become the established religion of western Europe - wealthy, powerful and expecting unfailing obedience from the faithful? Amongst the surprising revelations, Professor MacCulloch tells how confession was invented by monks on a remote island off the coast of Ireland, and how the Crusades gave Britain the university system. Above all, it is a story of what can be achieved when you have friends in high places.
Series: A History of Christianity

Christ of St John of the Cross by Salvador Dali

       Art
Salvador Dali's strange crucifixion is often called the greatest religious painting of the 20th century. Yet its artist was a notorious blasphemer some of whose work had outraged the Catholic Church. The Christ of St John of the Cross by Salvador Dali is the first of two extraordinary crucifixions painted by Dali in the early 1950s. The painting is based on a 'cosmic dream' Dali is said to have had, in which the nucleus of the atom was a figure of Christ himself.
The painting offers a surrealist view of the crucifixion of Christ, and is based on a drawing by the 16th century Spanish friar Saint John of the Cross. But Dali's vision was somewhat unique, using an unusual artistic perspective in which Christ is seen from above. His Christ of St. John of The Cross was inspired by a weird mix of Spanish mysticism and nuclear physics, with his Christ being modelled by a Hollywood stuntman. It's also a masterpiece of painting technique.
Series: The Private Life of a Masterpiece

Clash of the Gods: Hades

   2009    History
Go behind the veil of the ancient Greek belief in life after death to explore the myth of their most feared god - Hades - and those mortals who tried to cross his path. It is a chilling collection of tales about Hades and the underworld bearing his name, with eerie links to real world curses, ghosts and secret cults.
Series: Clash of the Gods
The Sound and the Fury
The Sound and the Fury

   2013    Art
The Brain with David Eagleman
The Brain with David Eagleman

   2015    Medicine
Space Race
Space Race

   2005    Technology
Wild South America
Wild South America

   2005    Nature
Through the Wormhole Season 8
Through the Wormhole Season 8

   2017    Science
Triumph of Life
Triumph of Life

   2006    Nature
Generation Iron
Generation Iron

   2017    Culture
Ice Age Giants
Ice Age Giants

   2013    Science