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The life of Buddha

   2003    History
Life of the Buddha is a major new landmark documentary following Buddha on his journey from the lap of luxury to the verge of starvation and final enlightenment. Shot on location in Nepal and India, Life of the Buddha uses dramatic computer-generated images and recent archaeological discoveries to piece together this remarkable story.

Awake The life of Yogananda

   2014    Culture
An unconventional biography about an Indian Swami who brought yoga and meditation to the West in the 1920s. This feature documentary explores the life and teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, who authored the spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi, which has sold millions of copies worldwide and is a go-to book for seekers, philosophers and yoga enthusiasts today. It was the only book that Steve Jobs had on his iPad, and he arranged to give away 800 copies of it to the dignitaries who attended his memorial service. It was also a point of entry into Eastern mysticism for George Harrison, Russell Simmons and countless yogis. By personalizing his own quest for enlightenment and sharing his struggles along the path, Yogananda made ancient teachings accessible to a modern audience, attracting many followers and ultimately helping millions of seekers today to turn their attention inwards, bucking the temptations of the material world in pursuit of self-realization.

A Leap of Faith

   2013    History
With optional Hebrew subtitles. This episode explores how the spread of the Enlightenment brought ghetto walls around Europe crashing down and allowed Jews to join the wider fabric of modern life in Europe in unprecedented ways. This Jewish renaissance saw Giacomo Meyerbeer and Felix Mendelssohn to establish the enduring tradition for Jewish musical prodigies. However the integration of Jewish talent into the mainstream of European culture and commerce eventually stirred up ancient prejudice, expressed in the new fashion of Romantic nationalism and the pseudo-science of anti-semitism.
Series: The Story of the Jews

The Buddha

   2010    History
After 400 BC, a new philosophy was born in South east Asia, generated from the ideas of Buddha, a mysterious Prince from India who gained enlightenment while he sat under a large, shapely fig tree. He remains one of the most legendary and influential of all religious progenitors, but what of his actual life? In this biographical documentary, director David Grubin tells the historical tale of Gautama Buddha (563-483 BC), from his initial enlightenment through his death around the age of 80. In the process, Grubin makes an unusual point: that Gautama never once claimed to be God or God's emissary, but instead sought to find a way to bring peace and alleviation from suffering to others in a cruel and often insane world. In telling this story, Grubin combines a number of elements including original animations, testimony by contemporary Buddhists such as the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, glimpses of sculptures and paintings that help tell Gautama's story, and much more. Narrated by Richard Gere

The Future of Work

   2019    Technology
A.I. can be used in many ways that are very beneficial for society. But the current use of A.I. isn't necessarily aligned with the goals of building a better society, unfortunately. But, but we could change that. A.I. will be viewed as an age of enlightenment. Our children and their children will see A.I. as serendipity, that A.I. is here to liberate us from having to do routine jobs, and push us to do what we love, and push us to think what it means to be human. But what if humans mishandle this new power?
Series: In the Age of AI

Chapter 4: Mescaline

   2022    Medicine
The last episode explores Mescaline, the psychoactive molecule in San Pedro and peyote cacti, a sacred medicine that Native Americans have had to fight for the right to use. At the Indigenous practices there's always an elder, someone who knows the territory very well, who's presiding. There's usually a group, a community is involved, There's always an intention, a purpose to what you're doing, and you're treating it as sacred, in order to achieve altered states of consciousness, which contribute to worship in various ways, or celebration or healing.
But maybe all this is not so new to Western culture after all. In the old Greek histories of Eleusis, people who were initiated there got the drink, the kykeon, and then they had the illumination. The precise recipe is a mystery, but we know that the kykeon was a psychoactive brew that was used at the Eleusinian mysteries, a sacred annual ritual of enlightenment practiced by some of the world's greatest minds including Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. So why did this ritual come to an end more than 1,000 years ago? Was the possibility of illumination or achieving a higher consciousness considered threatening to the powers that be? Have the drug wars been merely an extension of that fear?
Psychedelics has a major part in how we can heal as a community, how we can heal as a city, and how we can heal as a country. The current renaissance of psychedelics could not come at a better time as the world confronts a crisis in mental health. But psychedelics have much to offer. The psychedelic experience changes the mind in ways that will help scientists better understand how it works. All these altered states allow us to probe what is the greatest mystery in all of nature. The emergence from mere matter of something as miraculous as consciousness. But an even bigger question is whether psychedelics might help us address the environmental crisis of how we think about our place in nature. One of the greatest gifts of psychedelics is how they reanimate the natural world, allowing us to perceive the subject, the spirit of all species, not just our own. And to feel a deeper sense of interconnectedness with nature.
Series: How to Change Your Mind
Planet Earth

Planet Earth

2007  Nature
Heavens Gate

Heavens Gate

2020  Culture
History of the World

History of the World

2012  History
Bronze Age

Bronze Age

2016  History
Dirty Money

Dirty Money

2018  Culture