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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

Among Believers

   2013    History
With optional Hebrew subtitles. The story of medieval Jews struggling to preserve their identity--and sometimes their lives--under the rule of Christianity and Islam. Whether labelled 'Christ-killers' by the Christians or 'dhimmi' (non-Muslim citizens of an Islamic community) by the Muslims, diaspora Jews built new lives and invented new ways of being Jewish in exile in the face of discrimination, blood-libels and persecution interspersed with periods of tolerance, protection and peaceful co-existence. Drawing on some of the documents they left behind, this episode offers a vivid portrait of Jewish bankers, merchants, doctors, poets and artists flourishing in Lincoln, Cordoba, Venice and Cairo and tells the story of their mass expulsion from Spain in 1492.
Series: The Story of the Jews

Clash of the Gods: Odysseus II

   2009    History
In part 2, we take a look at Odysseus, whom Homer made famous in "The Odyssey," including his adventures in light of astronomical and geographical evidence which bases the story on accurate real events.
Series: Clash of the Gods

The Virus of Faith

   2006    Culture
Dawkins opines that the moral framework of religions is warped, and argues against the religious indoctrination of children. He discusses specifically the idea of religion seen as a virus in the sense of a meme. He begins by explaining how a child is genetically programmed to believe without questioning the word of authority figures, especially parents – the evolutionary imperative being that no child would survive by adopting a sceptical attitude towards everything their elders said. But this same imperative, he claims, leaves children open to infection by religion.
Series: The Root of All Evil

Deliver Us From Evil

   2006    Culture
From director Amy Berg: 'Just a year and a half ago, after spending over four years on the same story for CNN and CBS before that, a paedophile priest named Oliver O'Grady decided he would participate in the film I wanted to make. It became Deliver Us From Evil -- the story from inside the sickest mind possible, the secrets that were meant to stay in the private files and crypts of the Roman Catholic Church, and the blind trust in those they perceived as God's messengers that left families with no faith and children with no innocence. After filming for a week and a half, the then defrocked priest mentioned he might need to move to Canada after this film comes public. Seeing the pain, corruption and missed opportunities to provide ministry to those in need was truly a tragic story to watch and the loss was more devastating than I ever imagined. It was so difficult to be so close to such a horror story that in the priest's words "never should have happened.".
The Men Who Built America
The Men Who Built America

   2012    History
Minimalism
Minimalism

   2015    Culture
Myths and Heroes
Myths and Heroes

   2005    History
How the Universe Works Series 8
How the Universe Works Series 8

   2019    Science
Zeitgeist
Zeitgeist

   2007    Culture
How to Grow a Planet
How to Grow a Planet

   2012    Science
The Last Czars
The Last Czars

   2019    History
The Beatles: Get Back
The Beatles: Get Back

   2021    Art