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The Real Garden of Eden

   2011    Culture
Can we find the Garden of Eden? Bible scholar Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou thinks so. In the final episode of her series re-examining conventional readings of the Bible, she argues that the Garden of Eden has nothing to do with the origins of humanity, but is rather a story concealing dramatic events about a particular figure in a particular place, two and half thousand years ago. Marshalling compelling evidence from archaeology, Islam and the Bible text itself, she identifies and visits the exact site of Eden. It's a revolutionary theory which challenges some of the most cherished preconceptions about Eden in both Christianity and western culture.
Series: Bible's Buried Secrets

Clash of the Gods: Odysseus I

   2009    History
Homer's The Odyssey ranks amongst the most famous epics ever written. Follow its archetypal hero, Odysseus, as he sets sail on a twenty-year journey to return home from battle to reclaim his wife and kingdom. It's a timeless tale of adventure, filled with mythological beasts, vengeful gods, and enchanting seductresses. But could it have actually happened? Underwater divers have uncovered remains that date back thousands of years and may be a direct link to the story of Odysseus.
Series: Clash of the Gods

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

Ancient Rome: Constantine

   2006    History
This episode tells the story of how the Emperor Constantine brought Christianity to the western world. In AD 312, Rome was in crisis. The empire had been divided into four parts, each with its own emperor who fought one another. Constantine intervened and united Rome, using military might and a new religion - Christianity.
Series: Ancient Rome

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
The Sky at Night
The Sky at Night

   2018    Science
The Life of Mammals
The Life of Mammals

   2002    Nature
U2 Live at the Rose Bowl
U2 Live at the Rose Bowl

   2010    Art
Vietnam in HD
Vietnam in HD

   2011    History
The Private Life of Plants
The Private Life of Plants

   1994    Nature
The Art of Russia
The Art of Russia

   2009    Art
Apocalypse: World War 1
Apocalypse: World War 1

   2014    History