three religions

3

The Magi- A series of I made for my illustration final. 

Frankincense is symbolic of a connection to the divine and of spirituality. 

Gold is symbolic of mortal wealth and often royalty .

Myrrh is symbolic of mortality and life after death. Each of the illustrations is related to the symbolism linked with the object.

theguardian.com
Typecast as a terrorist | Riz Ahmed | The Long Read
The Long Read: As my acting career developed, I was no longer cast as a radical Muslim – except at the airport
By Riz Ahmed

[…] The holding pen was filled with 20 slight variations of my own face, all staring at me – kind of like a Bollywood remake of Being John Malkovich. It was a reminder: you are a type, whose face says things before your mouth opens; you are a signifier before you are a person; you are back at stage one.

It makes me so furious when people attack Islam for Muhammad’s marriages and polygamy, and only name A'isha and then go on to describe her as a child bride.

Yet they’re all silent when it comes to how A'isha was able to lead battles, shape politics, and influence the development of Islam after the Prophet died.

They’re all silent when it comes to talking about his twenty-five years of monogamous marriage to Khadija bint Khuwaylid, a woman who was fifteen years older than him, his employer, and the one who proposed.

They’re all silent when it comes to Sawda bint Zam'a, who Muhammad married because she was widowed and had suffered too many hardships to remain unmarried.

They’re all silent when it comes to Hafsa bint Umar, the woman who could recite the Qur'an better than most men and whose memory influenced the version of the Qur'an we have today.

They’re all silent when it comes to Zaynab bint Khuzayama, the woman referred to as “the mother of the poor” because of all her charity work.

They’re all silent when it comes to Umm Salama, the woman Muhammad went to for advice during the Treaty of Hudaybiya, the treaty that allowed Muslims to return to Mecca.

They’re all silent when it comes to Rayhana bint Zayd, an upper class Jewish woman who taught Muhammad the traditions of the Torah.

They’re all silent when it comes to Zaynab bint Jahsh, a tempermental and slightly egotistical woman who was constantly praised by Muhammad’s other wives for her charity work and her religious devotion.

They’re all silent when it comes to Juwayriyya bint al-Harith, the woman who married Muhammad to create a political alliance that would allow one hundred enslaved families to be set free.

They’re all silent when it comes to Safiyya bint Huyyay, a Jewish noble woman whose relationship with Muhammad changed the antisemitism attitude among his followers.

They’re all silent when it comes to Umm Habiba, the woman who converted to Islam despite the protest from her polytheist father and who remained Muslim despite her (at the time) husband converting to Christianity, because she believed in Islam and refused to waive that belief.

They’re all silent when it comes to Maryam al-Cibtiya, the mother of Muhammad’s only son, Ibrahim, named after the ancestor of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, tying all three monotheistic religions together.

They’re all silent when it comes to Maymuna bint al-Harith, the woman from Mecca who proposed to Muhammad and whose marriage reconnected him to Mecca, the city Muslims face when they pray.

It’s really amazing how people can go on and on about how Islam is so misogynistic because of Muhammad’s polygamy and his marriage to A'isha while simultaneously never bothering to learn who these women even are and what amazing things they did to influence Muhammad’s life and Islam itself.

films to watch

so i saw a post listing films in foreign languages and i thought i could expand on the list a little bit but my addition got so massive i decided to move it to a separate post. this list will focus on my target languages and feature a little bit of french as well just to spice it up. 

films are good for several reasons

  • usually quite fun
  • actually challenging if u watch w/o subtitles and the easiest way to achieve immersion in the privacy of your home
  • “productive procrastination”
  • might give u cultural insight as well
  • or encourage you to learn some history!!!!
  • i’m really tired of people watching almodóvar and being like uuuuuuhuuuu look the great spanish director and forgetting that not only are there spanish films not directed by almodóvar but also that spanish is spoken in other countries as well and GUESS WHAT they produce culture

ok here we go!!!!! im really lazy and my computer is agonizingly slow so i can provide no links. if something interests you search for it et voila

WARNING!!!!! long post 

spanish

  • magia salvaje - this is an uber cool colombian film showing largely unexplored areas of colombia which i think is the most beautiful country on earth. it was recommended to me independently by a friend from my spanish class and my colombian pen pal gal. from its website: “magia salvaje es la cinta del mundo natural más ambiciosa realizada en el país (…) [realizada en] 85 locaciones y 20 ecosistemas. (…) un tributo a la belleza de colombia“ tl;dr: cool shit u should watch, it’s available on yt
  • señor ávila - a p good series filmed by the mexican hbo starring tony dalton as an exemplary father and husband that starts working as a paid killer for the mafia, but it’s not all peachy because it affects his personal life and his son gets into some really deep shit. gets a bit grim at times but good nevertheless
  • retrato de un comportamiento animal - really cute indie film made in uruguay. an unlikely couple on a trip to brazil. expect nice landscapes and voseo
  • relatos salvajes - dark humour from argentina, a series of episodes in which people go absolutely bonkers over the most petty shit and also get p violent when you wouldn’t expect them to be. produced by pedro almodóvar if that serves as any recommendation.
  • la historia oficial - another one from argentina. drama. set during the dictatorship and based on true events, follows a family through a period when they would literally tear lil kids from their mothers and drown the parents if they were enemies of the state. watch it
  • juana la loca - spanish historical drama about their queen joan the mad
  • el laberinto del fauno - can we just, omg, ok, i love that film so much. fantasy, set during the civil war in spain. a little girl discovers this world with monsters and other creatures and it’s scary as shit but she goes through these adventures because she cares for her family. watch itttt
  • doce hombres sin piedad - this is the spanish version of the american classic 12 angry men, recorded in 1973. you can watch it on youtube.
  • gran hotel - spanish tv series, historical drama sort of downton abbey style. weird shit is happening in this lovely hotel, what do we do??? apparently available on netflix
  • como agua para chocolate - cute film “about how life used to be in mexico” (imdb) based on the p famous novel by laura esquivel. lovely colours, romantic love and a lot of nice food
  • los diarios de motocicleta - starring gael garcía bernal in an adaptation of che guevara’s memoir in which young che travels the world on his motorbike
  • no - ok this is some amazing shit (oscar nomination holaaaa). it’s a chilean film with gael garcía bernal set in the 1980s. in 1988 pinochet held a referendum in which basically if u said “yes” he stayed as te country’s official and lawful leader and if you said “no”, well, he went. the film is about the campaign that sought to get rid of him
  • talento de barrio - sorry but i couldn’t omit that one. it has daddy yankee in it, period.

italian

  • la dolce vita - please do yourself a favour and watch it
  • la grande bellezza - as above. this is my favourite film of all time. look for the soundtrack on yt and you will know why
  • il bidone - early fellini follows petty thieves in rome
  • il prefetto di ferro - set in the 1920s. giuliano gemma as cesare mori aka the iron prefect who comes to palermo to deal with the gangs. good shit
  • ladri di biciclette - directed by vittorio de sica, set in post-ww2 rome, “a masterpiece of italian neorealism” (wiki). a desperate family needs their bicycle to survive
  • amarcord - comedy/drama, set in the 1930s. coming-of-age. “Fellini skewers Mussolini’s ludicrous posturings … that <<imprisoned Italians in a perpetual adolescence>> by mockig himself and his fellow villagers in comic scenes tha underline their incapacity to adopt genuine moral responsibility or outgrow foolish sexual fantasies” (wiki). won oscar for foreign language.
  • gomorra - tv series based on famed novel by roberto saviano. rival mob clans. good shit
  • il vangelo secondo matteo - “trattando in maniera antidogmatica un argomento di carattere religioso, l’opera fece sensazione e scatenò un aspro confronto intelettuale sulla stampa, proseguendo le non sopite polemiche per le accuse di vilipendio della religione” (wiki). three oscar nominations.
  • una vita violenta - poor kid in rome attempts to transform his life after leaving prison
  • la notte - marcello mastroianni in a study of a deteriorating relationship
  • la nostra terra - cute film which is literally my aesthetic aka people working the land. educated guy from bologna comes down south to start a community and sell organic veg he will grow himself. featuring creepy mafia guy freshly released from prison and sneaky southerners
  • la mafia uccide solo d’estate - drama but also a comedy fresh from palermo. lil boy observes how the mob influences people’s lives
  • il capitale umano - drama. a car accident ties together the lives of two families. people go crazy. great performance by valeria bruni tedeschi
  • il rosso e il blu - follows the lives of three school teachers as they get really involved in the fucked up lives of their students. confusing but oddly satisfying
  • latin lover - fun comedy of how a famed actor dies leaving behind a shitload of lovers, wives and children who all meet for his funeral.

portuguese

  • trash - an AMAZING brazilian film about two favela boys trying to solve a criminal mystery and unearth corruption before an ill-willed police officer gets to them; all thanks to a wallet found in the dumpster they work in. really good cinema with appearances made by rooney mara and martin sheen
  • singularidades de uma rapariga loura - modern portuguese film based on a short stories by eça de queirós. a blooming romance meets an unexpected obstacle. spot on aesthetic and cleverly blended cultural references. directed by manoel de oliveira who is THE MAN, check out his ther shit such as the p recent o convento starring john malkovich and catherine deneuve
  • saneamento básico - p straightforward but fun brazilian comedy in which a small town community will do anything to raise money to fix their sewer system
  • this is embarrassingly short i will make a separate post to expand 

french

  • farinelli - an AMAZING film based very loosely on the life of the most famous castrato singer, farinelli. loooveeeee
  • la religieuse (2013) - a really stuningly made adaptation of denis diderot’s novel about a girl thrown into a convent against her will and desperate to get out who discovers some dark family secrets.
  • tom à la ferme - weird indie canadian film with xavier dolan, a gay man travelling to meet his dead boyfriend’s family and terrorised by said’s boyfriend’s horrible brother. more dark family shit for u
  • yves saint laurent - nice biographical film with pierre niney
  • dans la maison - terrifying and fascinating drama about how one seductive teenager ruins some families. 10/10 would recommend
  • les choristes - really good film about how a music teacher transforms the lives of a class of “difficult” boys. set in the 1940s to spice it up
  • les liaisons dangereuses (1959) - adaptation of laclos’ classic novel, set in the present day. directed by roger vadim.

that’s it - I hope at least one person finds it interesting/helpful!!!

i once promised a crash course in polish thing and i know i’m delaying it horribly but sometime next week i will prepare a similar post about polish films (if u folks are interested, ofc)

The term “Judeo-Christian” is both theologically and historically an oxymoron. And the lumping together of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as “the three major religions” is disrespectful to the numerous other religions, many of which are older and no less “major,” and with which Judaism has more in common than it has with Christianity or Islam. The concept “Judeo-Christian” is purely a Christian myth that is based on the fact that Jesus was of Jewish lineage and that his teachings emanated from the Jewish tradition. While this is true, it was not the Jewishness of Jesus’ teachings that fashioned Christendom or Christian morality, but the venomous anti-Jewish diatribes and self-righteous theological absoluteness that make up the bulk of the New Testament after Jesus’ time. How can Christendom embrace Judaism and call it a partner of any kind when it has, for over 1,500 years, encouraged the random persecution and slaughter of Jews and inspired the genocide of millions of others for their refusal to convert? Judaism, on the other hand, never demanded of others that they convert, not did it consider non-Jews as second class citizens to be exploited, persecuted, and raped. On the contrary, at its core, shamanically and philosophically, Judaism enjoys more in common with the Choctaw and the Dervishes of Shisti Sufism than with either Christianity or Islam. While it may share some scriptural writ with Islam and Christianity, it shares the concept of a compassionate, imminent, non-discriminatory Creator with the first two faiths mentioned. The fact that two or more religions claim their roots in common scriptural literature is a weak foundation for theological synonymity. Ironically, Judaism has been persecuted most predominately by those very religions that trace their roots to the Jewish scriptures, while nonbiblical religions have left Jews to flourish in peace.
—   Rabbi Gershon Winkler

ngl but a big miss for the warrior cats lore in my opinion is like, the concept of alternate religions or even a cult-like group in wc, because really, while religion is a huge part of lore there’s really only…..three religions in this series.

it’s either starclan, the tribe of endless hunting, or no religion at all; the tribe of endless hunting is just a branch of starclan anyways and every character who doesn’t believe in starclan just….doesnt believe in anything at all. cloudtail and mothwing seem to have little to no belief system and the dark forest cats, although they renounced starclan, they’re not really a religion or have any form of belief on their own.

so, here’s some ideas i have cookin’:

  • mothwing has her own personal belief system that sorta mirrors being a wiccan if that makes sense? she believes in nature being the driving force behind most things and has a more natural belief system; she believes in the power of healing through herbs and water and believes that certain things are sacred. she doesn’t believe in starclan and there is no set ‘leader’ of this belief system - other medicine cats and cats from other clans share her beliefs, though, and they do talk about them during gatherings
  • tigerstar probably attempted to construct his own religion in tigerclan tbfh; he wanted a belief system that ruled by his teachings and what he had to say. scarily enough he did have cats who…genuinely believed in what he was saying [darkstripe, blackstar, leopardstar for a time to name a few] and it was a system based off of the idea of “the strongest survive” and the most basic form of the darwin evolution theory, lol. after he died, the concept of this religion was basically abandoned and forbidden.
  • shadowclan’s belief system recently is not…cut and dry as being “starclan is the best” anymore. they’ve been introduced to sooo many forms of alternate religions - starclan, tigerstar’s….thing, darktail’s concept of religion - that now it’s just a huge mass of different beliefs. shadowclan has no set belief system and they are the most diverse in terms of their beliefs.
  • darktail absolutely like, considered himself the leader of his own beliefs and tried to like, assert that and teach that. he genuinely believed in trying to separate from starclan and his beliefs were like, a branch of tigerstar’s system.
  • skyclan does believe in starclan, but not in the same way as the clans - they have ancient skyclan’s ideals of “starclan may be the place we go when we die, but it’s not the higher power of our world.”

JUST some to name a few but yeah the warriors books and the way starclan is presented was so…lazy imo and weird that we’ve never seen like, alternative religions or concepts of like, ‘shunning starclan and a leader tries to make their own religion’ thing

3

Jews, Christians, and Muslims are planning to build a house of worship Berlin - the “House Of One” - that brings a synagogue, a church, and a mosque together under one roof, making it the world’s first house of prayer for three religions. The three separate sections will be linked by a communal room in the center of the building. This will serve as a meeting place, where worshippers and members of the public can come together and learn more about the religions and each other.
It is to be built in "Fischerinsel", on the site where the first church in Berlin, St Peter’s, once stood.

Druidism … 🌲🍃🌲

Nature forms such an important focus of their reverence, that whatever beliefs they hold about Deity, all Druids sense Nature as divine or sacred. Every part of nature is sensed as part of the great web of life, with no one creature or aspect of it having supremacy over any other. 

Druidry’s reverence for Nature encourages us to love the land, the Earth, the stars and the wild. It also encourages a love of peace: Druids were traditionally peace-makers, and still are. Often Druid ceremonies begin with offering peace to each cardinal direction, there is a Druid’s Peace Prayer, and Druids plant Peace Groves. The Druid path also encourages the love of beauty because it cultivates the Bard, the Artist Within, and fosters creativity.

In addition to all these types of love that Druidism fosters, it also recognizes the forming power of the past, and in doing this encourages a love of history and a reverence for the ancestors. The love of trees is fundamental in Druidism too, and as well as studying treelore, Druids today plant trees and sacred groves, and support reforestation programmes. Druids love stones too and build stone circles, collect stones and work with crystals. They love the truth, and seek this in their quest for wisdom and understanding. They love animals, seeing them as sacred, and they study animal lore. They love the body and sexuality believing both to be sacred

This attitude of reverence and respect extends to all creatures, and so many Druids will either be vegetarian or will eat meat, but support compassionate farming and be opposed to factory farming methods. Again, the belief that we should love all creatures is likely to be tempered with a robust realism.

The Otherworld

Although Druids love Nature, and draw inspiration and spiritual nourishment from it, they also believe that the world we see is not the only one that exists. A cornerstone of Druid belief is in the existence of the Otherworld – a realm or realms which exist beyond the reach of the physical senses, but which are nevertheless real.

This Otherworld is seen as the place we travel to when we die. But we can also visit it during our lifetime in dreams, in meditation, under hypnosis, or in ‘journeying’, when in a shamanic trance.

Different Druids will have different views on the nature of this Otherworld, but it is a universally held belief for three reasons. Firstly, all religions or spiritualities hold the view that another reality exists beyond the physical world, rather than agreeing with Materialism, that holds that only matter exists and is real. Secondly, Celtic mythology, which inspires so much of Druidism, is replete with descriptions of this Otherworld. Thirdly, the existence of the Otherworld is implicit in ‘the greatest belief’ of the ancient Druids, since classical writers stated that the Druids believed in a process that has been described as reincarnation or metempsychosis (in which a soul lives in a succession of forms, including both human and animal). In between each life in human or animal form the soul rests in the Otherworld.

For many Druids today the primary position of love and respect towards all creatures extends to include a belief in the idea of causing no harm to any sentient being. This idea is known in eastern traditions as the doctrine of ‘Ahimsa’, or Non-Violence.

What really fucking kills me about that one FB post saying “What’s next a black gay female Muslim Link” is that, in the Zelda universe, the closest equivalent to a bunch of those categories would be a Gerudo Link.

And, I’m like, hells yeah, not just from a representational perspective, but from a narrative and worldbuilding one. Like, we don’t get to see into the Gerudo culture from those who live in it much in he games, but this’d be a cool opportunity to explore it and the gerudo’s relationship wi h Hyrule, any way you look at it it’s a win!

I watch a lot of documentaries. I think they are incredible tools for learning and increasing our awareness of important issues. The power of an interesting documentary is that it can open our minds to new possibilities and deepen our understanding of the world.

On this list of mind expanding documentaries you will find different viewpoints, controversial opinions and even contradictory ideas. Critical thinking is recommended. I’m not a big fan of conspiracy documentaries but I do like films that challenge consensus reality and provoke us to question the everyday ideas, opinions and practices we usually take for granted.

Watching documentaries is one of my favorite methods of self-education. If I find a documentary inspiring, I usually spend more time researching the different ideas and interesting people interviewed in the film. I hope you find these documentaries as enlightening as I did!

[1] Life In The Biosphere

Explore the wonder and interconnectedness of the biosphere through the magic of technology.

Home
How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth
The Magical Forest
Ants: Nature’s Secret Power
Mt. Everest: How It Was Made
Mariana’s Trench: The Deepest Spot On Earth
Natural World: The Andes
Shining Mountains: The Rockies
Grand Canyon: How It Was Made
The Intelligence of Plants

[2] Creativity and Design:Advertisements

Learn about all the amazing things that people create with their imaginations.

Everything Is A Remix
The Creative Brain: How Insight Works
Design: The New Business
PressPausePlay: Art and Creativity in the Digital Age
Infamy: A Graffiti Documentary
Influencers: How Trends and Creativity Become Contagious
RIP: A Remix Manifesto
Design: e² – Sustainable Architecture
The Genius Of Design

[3] The Education Industrial Complex:

The modern school where young minds are moulded into standardized citizens by the state.

The College Conspiracy
Declining by Degrees: Higher Education at Risk
The Forbidden Education
Default: The Student Loan Documentary
College Inc.
Education For A Sustainable Future
Networked Society: The Future of Learning
The Ultimate History Lesson With John Taylor Gatto
The Education System in Communist China
The War On Kids

[4] The Digital Revolution:

The Internet is now the driving force behind change and innovation in the world.

The Age of Big Data
Resonance: Beings of Frequency
Life In A Day
Networked Society: On The Brink
Us Now: Social Media and Mass Collaboration
WikiRebels: The WikiLeaks Story
The Virtual Revolution: The Cost of Free
How Hackers Changed the World

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[5] A New Civilization:

We are at the dawn of a new golden age of human inventiveness.

THRIVE: What On Earth Will It Take?
Zeitgeist III: Moving Forward
Paradise or Oblivion
2012: Time For Change
The Crisis of Civilization
The Collective Evolution II
The Quickening: Awakening As One
2012 Crossing Over: A New Beginning
Collapse
The Awakening

[6] Politics:

Explore the politics of power and control and how it affects your life.

Owned and Operated
UnGrip
The Power Principle
The True Story of Che Guevara
Earth Days
Capitalism Is The Crisis
WikiLeaks: The Secret Life of a Superpower
The Putin System
The War On Democracy
Rise Like Lions: Occupy Wall Street and the Seeds of Revolution

[7] Biographies of Genius:

The biographies of modern geniuses who pushed humanity forward.

Isaac Newton: The Last Magician
The Unlimited Energy of Nikola Tesla
The Missing Secrets Of Nikola Tesla
Richard Feynman: No Ordinary Genius
How Albert Einstein’s Brain Worked
The Extraordinary Genius of Albert Einstein
Leonardo Da Vinci: The Man Who Wanted to Know Everything

[8] War:

War is history’s oldest racket for stealing from the powerless and redistributing resources to the powerful.

Psywar: The Real Battlefield Is Your Mind
The Secret History of 9/11
Robot Armies in the Future
The Never Ending War in Afghanistan
Shadow Company: Mercenaries In The Modern World
Why We Fight
The Fog Of War
The Oil Factor: Behind The War On Terror

[9] Economics:

Learn about the financial system works and how people and societies are enslaved through debt.

The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power
Overdose: The Next Financial Crisis
The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of The World
The One Percent
Quants: The Alchemists of Wall Street
The Last Days Of Lehman Brothers
The Four Horsemen
Inside Job: The Biggest Robbery In Human History
Capitalism A Love Story
Money and Life

[10] Digital Entrepreneurship:

Profiles of the entrepreneurs who used technology to change the world.

The Life Of A Young Entrepreneur
Profile: Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin
Profile: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg
Starting-Up in America
Steve Jobs: One Last Thing
Steve Jobs: The Billion Dollar Hippy
Elon Musk: Risk Takers
The Story of Twitter

[11] Sports:

Watch the inspiring stories of amazing athletes.

Fearless: The Jeb Corliss Story
Carts of Darkness
Usain Bolt: The World’s Fastest Man
Wayne Gretzky: The Life and Times
Mike Tyson: Beyond the Glory
Birdmen
The Legacy Of Michael Jordan
We Ride: The Story of Snowboarding

[12] Technology:

Find out more about the impact of exponential growth and the approaching Singularity.

Ray Kurzweil: The Transcendent Man
How Robots Will Change the World
Human 2.0
Trance-Formation: The Future of Humanity
The Venus Project: Future By Design
Bionics, Transhumanism And The End Of Evolution
The Singularity Is Near
Car Technology Of The Future

[13] Origins of Religion:

Explore the original religious experience of mankind at the dawn of civilization.

Entheogen: Awakening the Divine Within
Manifesting the Mind: Footprints of the Shaman
Ancient Egypt and The Alternative Story of Mankind’s Origins
The Hidden Knowledge of the Supernatural
Re-Awaken: Open Your Heart, Expand Your Mind
Shamans of the Amazon
The Root of All Evil: The God Delusion
Ancient Knowledge
The Naked Truth
Before Babel: In Search of the First Language

[14] Western Religion:

The fascinating history of the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Secret Quest: The Path of the Christian Gnostics
The Secret Gate of Eden
Forbidden Knowledge: Lost Secrets of the Bible
Banned From The Bible: Secrets Of The Apostles
The Road To Armageddon
Muhammad: The Legacy of a Prophet
A Complete History of God
Gnosis: The Untold History of the Bible

[15] Eastern Religion:

Expand your mind by also studying the entirely different religious worldviews of the East.

Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds
The Life Of The Buddha
The Seven Wonders of the Buddhist World
Mysteries of the Cosmic OM: Ancient Vedic Science
Where Science and Buddhism Meet
The Yogis of Tibet
Taj Mahal: Secrets To Blow Your Mind
Light at the Edge of the World: Tibetan Science of the Mind
Myths of Mankind: The Mahabharata
Ayurveda: The Art of Being

[16] Consciousness:

Learn about the basic unity of existence and the miracle of consciousness.

Athene’s Theory of Everything
Theory of Everything: GOD, Devils, Dimensions, Dragons & The Illusion of Reality
The God Within: Physics, Cosmology and Consciousness
5 Gateways: The Five Key Expansions of Consciousness
Return to the Source: Philosophy and The Matrix
The Holographic Universe
DMT: The Spirit Molecule
Kymatica
Neuroplasticity: The Brain That Changes Itself

[17] Mysteries:

Indiana Jones-style explorations into the unsolved mysteries of the past.

Alchemy: Sacred Secrets Revealed
The Day Before Disclosure
The Pyramid Code
The Secret Design of the Egyptian Pyramids
Decoding the Past: Secrets of the Dollar Bill
Origins of the Da Vinci Code
Forbidden Knowledge: Ancient Medical Secrets
Secret Mysteries of America’s Beginnings: The New Atlantis
Secrets in Plain Sight

[18] Mass Culture:

Learn about how our thoughts and opinions are influenced by mass culture.

The Century of the Self
All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace
The Power Of Nightmares
Starsuckers: A Culture Obsessed By Celebrity
Human Resources: Social Engineering in the 20th Century
Obey: The Death of the Liberal Class
Motivational Guru: The Story of Tony Robbins
Bob Marley: Freedom Road
Radiant City

[19] Corporate Media:

Discover how the mass media and advertisers channel our irrational impulses.

Weapons of Mass Deceptions
Secrets of the Superbrands
Orwell Rolls in his Grave
The Esoteric Agenda
Propaganda
The Myth of the Liberal Media: The Propaganda Model of News
Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media
Symbolism in Logos: Subliminal Messages or Ancient Archetypes
Edward Snowden: A Truth Unveiled
Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism

[20] Art and Literature:

Explore the lives of famous artists and how art opens people’s minds.

Cosm: Alex Gray’s Visionary Art
Banksy’s Exit Through The Gift Shop
New Art and the Young Artists Behind It
Salvador Dali: A Master of the Modern Era
The Day Pictures Were Born
Off-Book: Digital Age Creativity
This Is Modern Art

[21] Health:

Explore issues in health, how our bodies work and the incredible power of our brains.

The Human Brain
The Truth About Vitamins
How To Live To 101
America’s Obesity Epidemic
The War On Health
The Beautiful Truth
Food Inc.
The Truth About Food
The Living Matrix

[22] Drugs:

Documentaries on the effect of drugs — legal and illegal — on the body and mind.

The Union: The Business Behind Getting High
The Drugging Of Our Children
How Marijuana Affects Your Health
Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging
Clearing the Smoke: The Science of Cannabis
LSD: The Beyond Within
The War on Drugs: The Prison Industrial Complex
Are Illegal Drugs More Dangerous Than Legal Drugs?
The Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic
Run From The Cure: The Rick Simpson Story

[23] Environment:

Thought-provoking documentaries on the environmental movement and the growing threats to our biosphere.

Earthlings
Blue Gold: World Water Wars
Shift: Beyond the Numbers of the Climate Crisis
All Things Are Connected
The Fight For Amazonia
Flow: For Love Of Water
Here Comes the Sun
The World According To Monsanto
The Story of Stuff

[24] Cosmos:

Expand your mind by exploring our indescribably large and beautiful Cosmos.

The Search for Planets Similar to Earth
Cosmic Journeys : The Largest Black Holes in the Universe
The Mystery of the Milky Way
Fractals: The Hidden Dimension
Into The Universe With Stephen Hawking: The Story of Everything
Pioneer Science: Discovering Deep Space
Carl Sagan’s Cosmos
The Strangest Things In The Universe

[25] Science:

The history of scientific discovery and how scientific instruments expand our perception.

The Complete History of Science
Secret Universe: The Hidden Life of the Cell
Stephen Hawking: A Brief History of Time
Quantum Mechanics: Fabric of the Cosmos
The Light Fantastic
DNA: The Secret of Life
Parallel Universes, Alternative Timelines & Multiverse
What Is The Higgs Boson?
Infinity

[26] Evolution:

The story of our evolution and the emergence of self-aware human beings.

The Origin of Life
Homo Sapiens: The Birth of Humanity
Beyond Me
The Global Brain
Metanoia: A New Vision of Nature
Birth Of A New Humanity
Samsara
Ape Man: Adventures in Human Evolution
The Incredible Human Journey
The Human Family Tree

[27] Psychology and The Brain:

New research is shining a spotlight on how we can improve our brains.

How Smart Can We Get?
The Science of Lust
The Secret You
What Are Dreams?
A Virus Called Fear
Beyond Thought (Awareness Itself)
The Human Brain
Superconscious Mind: How To Double Your Brain’s Performance
How Does Your Memory Work?
Secrets of the Mind

[28] Modern History:

The story of the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the modern world.

History of the World in Two Hours
The Industrial Revolution
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
The French Revolution
Big Sugar
The American Revolution

[29] Pre-Modern History:

The story of the Americas and European history in the pre-modern world.

Socrates, Aristotle and Plato
The Medici: The Most Influencial Family In The World
A History of Celtic Britain
The Crusades: Victory and Defeat
The Vikings: Voyage To America
Copernicus and the Scientific Revolution

[30] Current Events:

Become more informed about current events that are shaping the world.

Syria: The Reckoning
Empire: Putin’s Russia
The New Arms Race
The Killing of Yasser Arafat
Egypt In Crisis
Inside Obama’s Presidency
The Untouchables: How Obama Protected Wall Street
Behind The Rhetoric: The Real Iran
A History of the Middle East since WWII
Climate Wars

[31] Ancient Civilizations:

Fascination explorations into the ancient civilizations of our past.

The Persian Empire : Most Mysterious Civilization in the Ancient World
What The Ancients Did For Us
What the Ancients Knew
Egypt: Beyond the Pyramids
Secrets of the Ancient Empires
Graham Hancock’s Quest For The Lost Civilization
Atlantis: The Lost Continent
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

I hope you enjoy watching some of these mind expanding documentaries! If you have a personal favorite, please share it with everyone in the comments.

Credits: DIY Genius

Some thoughts on Kadena and white privilege.

So I’m going to preface this by saying I am white and I am a lesbian. I am one minority but not another. And because of that, I often see what I’m missing as a gay woman, but don’t see what I have as a white woman. Watching Kat and Adena though, I’ve realized the impact of this. I feel completely represented by Kat and Adena. Their race, while so so so important, doesn’t change their ability to be representation for me, because I connect with them as women and as a woman who likes women. And more significantly, because I already have enough white representation in my world. I don’t need their race to match mine to feel represented in that way. But I can’t imagine how it would feel if I didn’t have that white representation. If I was fighting to see not one, but two (or possibly three if you consider religion) parts of myself represented. This isn’t a story I’ve seen on television before - two women of color in a budding relationship. I’m sure it exists in some form, but I’ve never been on the lookout for it. I never needed to. My privilege as a white woman has given me that advantage. It sucks fighting for gay rep, but fighting for gay non-white rep seems emphatically worse. And I want to hear more about it. I want to start looking for it. I want more stories like Kat and Adena’s. Because if I don’t need the racial representation, then why not find the people who do?

If God existed, he would have been murdered long ago. Man could not have tolerated him; he was an enemy. It is good that he does not exist, so you can go on praying … Just think ….

There is a story, a very ancient story ….

Once God used to live just in the marketplace, but the whole day, even in the night people were knocking on the doors and complaining about everything: “This is not the right kind of world you have created. Why is there so much sickness? If you are the creator, then why do you create bodies which are sick? Why is there old age, and why is there death?”

So people tortured him so much, the old story says, that he called a council of his angels and asked them, “I will either die out of this constant torture, or I will have to commit suicide! Can you tell me what I should do? These people don’t leave me for a single moment and their demands are such that I cannot fulfill them. One woman comes and she says, ‘Tomorrow, remember, no rain because I am trying to dry my wheat.’ And another man says, 'Tomorrow I absolutely need rain because I am sowing my seeds.’ Now what am I to do?

"And there are millions of people shouting and angry because their desire has not been fulfilled, their prayer has not been heard.”

So the angels thought. One angel said, “It is good if you move to Everest, the highest peak of the Himalayas.”

God said, “You don’t know it but I am omniscient, I know everything – past, present, future. Soon there will be a man who will reach to the highest peak of the Himalayas.

And once one man has found me, there will be buses and airplanes, and all kinds of vehicles. And they will make roads and hotels, and again there will be the marketplace.

You don’t understand: it will only be just a little peace for a short time. That won’t do. I will have to change my place again.”

So somebody suggested, “Why don’t you move to the moon?”

He said, “You don’t understand because you don’t know the future – just after Everest they are going to go to the moon. So I will have to change again. Show me something from where I have not to change!”

Then an old angel came close to him and whispered in his ear, “The only place man may never think of is within his own heart. You just sit there …”

He has disappeared from everywhere. Perhaps you can encounter something of divineness in your own being. In your own life you may find something which is godly.

You will not find God as a person, you will find a quality, a fragrance, a presence; a certain air, a certain energy which is not yours, which belongs to the cosmos.

Stendhal is perfectly right: “God’s only excuse is that he does not exist.” That is saving him; otherwise there was no safety, no security.

Friedrich Nietzsche in his, THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA, comes to a point where Zarathustra is coming down from his mountain cave where he has lived many, many years. And he finds on the way an old hermit’s hut, and the hermit is praying to God.

Early in the morning, as the sun is rising, the hermit is praying.

And Zarathustra murmurs to himself, “Is it possible that this old hermit has not heard that God is dead?”

When Zarathustra goes down he tells the crowd, “Have you heard the news that God is dead?” They all start laughing.

They say, “You must be insane. Living in a cave for many, many years alone, has made you a crackpot.”

Nietzsche himself became mad in the last phase of his life, because he declared really good news but he could not manage to find something to replace God. He could not find the celebration of life, he could not find the experience of the living stream within you.

He remained in a vacuum – in a vacuum you are going to be mad.

More people go mad in the West than in the East. More people commit suicide in the West than in the East. More people murder in the West than in the East. It should be otherwise – the East is so poor that people should commit suicide, should go mad … but they don’t. What is happening?

The Western mind has come to know God is not there – an immense vacuum. And man cannot live without meaning, man cannot live without significance, man cannot live without joy. If God is dead, man has become absolutely empty, and man cannot live in emptiness.

He needs juices of life flowing through him. He needs to blossom into beautiful lotuses.

He needs to sing songs, he needs to play music. He needs all the blessings that existence makes available to you.

The Western man is more educated, is more rich, hence his bodily needs are almost fulfilled. He looks at the sky and finds the sky is empty – there is no God. This understanding that there is no God, rather than becoming good news to the Western man has become bad news. He feels accidental, unnecessary – there is no reason why he should be here.

The East knows three religions which don’t have any God – Jainism, Buddhism, Taoism – three religions which are not centered on God. And these three religions seem to be saner than the religions which have come out of Judaism – Judaism, Christianity, Mohammedanism. These three Eastern religions seem to be more sane, because from the very beginning there is no God. So they don’t have to look upward in the sky, they have to look inward. That is the only place where they have to explore for truth.

Prayer is not the way; meditation is the way.

And those who have come to the ultimate experience of meditation – a Gautam Buddha, a Bodhidharma, a Mahakashyapa, a Mahavira, a Lao Tzu, a Chuang Tzu, a Ma Tzu, a Sekito … they all don’t even talk about God. That which does not exist – what is the point even to say that he does not exist? It is simply out of the question to discuss God, to discuss heaven and hell.

Hence I want you to understand that Zen has come as a flowering out of the meeting of Gautam Buddha and Lao Tzu. It is the meeting of Dhamma and Tao. It is a crossbreed of Bodhidharma and Chuang Tzu. These two religions have reached to the highest peak, and they are unorganized religions. Where they have become organized they are dead. For example, in Tibet it became organized, it became dead. In Sri Lanka it became organized, it became dead.

Wherever religion becomes organized it becomes dead because it is immediately a desire for power, a desire to dominate. It becomes politics instead of religion.

Organization destroys the individual, sacrifices the individual, and the individual is the only one who can know the highest peaks of consciousness and the depths of consciousness.

Out of the meeting of Gautam Buddha and Lao Tzu, Zen is born. Zen is neither Buddhism, nor is it Tao; it is both, just as you are both your mother and your father. You are neither – something of your father, something of your mother is flowing in you.

Zen has come to the highest point of expression. It has become almost synonymous with eternal life. Adam and Eve could not eat the fruit of the eternal life, they were expelled from the Garden of Eden. They had only eaten the fruit of knowledge. But Zen gives you the other tree, the tree of eternal life.

God is no where.

Life is now here.

And Zen is the master key to open the doors of the mystery of life.

—  Osho
Essential Taoism: The Great Gods, Part 1

The following Great Deities are listed in the order of importance recognized by Taoist religious communities. First come the Earlier Heaven deities:

T’ai-shang Lao-chun

He is Lao-tzu deified. He is recognized by all Taoists as the patriarch of the Taoist religion. The name T’ai-shang Lao-chun was first used in the Ling-pao scriptures of the third century CE and was quickly adopted by orthodox religious Taoism. T’ai-shang Lao-chun, the highest deity in the Taoist pantheon, is the embodiment of the Tao and the incarnation of the primordial origin, the undifferentiated vapor, and the source of life. Thus, he is sometimes called the Emperor of the Undifferentiated Realm (Hun-yuan Huang-ti).

The Three Pure Ones (San-ch’ing)

They are the three emanations of the T’ai-shang Lao-chun. They are the Celestial Lords of the Three Pure Realms: Jade Pure (Yu-ch’ing), Great Pure (T’ai-ch’ing), and High Pure (Shang-ch’ing). The Jade Pure Realm is the domain of the Celestial Lord of the Ancient Beginning (Yuan-shih T’ien-tsun); the Great Pure Realm is the domain of the Celestial Lord of the Sacred Spirit (Ling-pao T’ien-tsun); the High Pure Realm is the domain of the Celestial Lord of Virtue (Tao-te T’ien-tsun). In the hierarchy of Taoist deities, the Three Pure Ones are the deities next highest to T’ai-shang Lao-chun.

The Three Pure Realms represent three levels of Taoist immortality and enlightenment. The Jade Pure Realm is the Realm of Wu-chi. It is the highest level of immortality, and to rise to this realm is to attain complete union with the Tao. The Great Pure Realm is the next level of immortality. It is the Realm of T’ai-chi, and to rise to this realm is to exist in a state where subject and object are differentiated but are integral parts of the Tao. The third realm, the High Pure, is the Realm of Pa-k’ua, and to attain this level of immortality is to live a long life on earth in harmony with nature and humanity.

The Three Pure Ones have a special meaning for practitioners of internal alchemy. They represent the pristine and original pure state of the three internal energies. All people are endowed with these energies in their mother’s womb. The Jade Pure is original spiritual energy  (shen); the Great Pure is original vital or breath energy (ch’i); and the High Pure is original generative energy (ching). The three pristine energies emerge when the yin and yang energies of the female and male copulate. The goal of internal alchemy is to refine and transform internal energies into the pristine form given to us when we were conceived. 

The Jade Emperor (Yu-ti)

He is the ruler of the celestial realm. Some Taoist sects identify the Jade Emperor as an incarnation of the Celestial Lord of the Great Pure Realm (Ling-pao T’ien-tsun), giving him the titles Great Celestial Lord Jade Emperor (Yu-huang Ta-t’ien-tsun) and High Emperor of the Mysterious Realm of the Sacred Spirit (Hsuan-ling K’ao-shang Ti).

The Jade Emperor is the governor of human destiny. His celestial abode is the star Tzu-wei and he sits there to judge humanity. He grants health, longevity, and prosperity to those who have accumulated good deeds and punishes those who have done unethical deeds by taking away health and longevity.

The Celestial Lord of the Great Beginning (T’ai-i T’ien-tsun)

He is a subordinate of the Jade Emperor. He presides over the realm of the dead. T’ai-i T’ien-tsun is recognized as the deity who taught humanity the ceremonies of the Festival of Chung-yuan (Middle Season, or Festival of the Officer of the Terrestrial Realm). He is the symbol of compassion and his compassion extends to all souls, both living and dead. Thus, his festival is also known as the Festival of All Souls.

The Seven Star Lords of the Northern Bushel

These are deities who live in the seven stars of the Northern Bushel (Big Dipper) constellation. They are subordinates of the Jade Emperor and they carry messages of his verdicts regarding an individual’s destiny.

In Taoist belief, each individual is born under the guardianship of one of the seven stars. This guardian, or birth star, is responsible for the individual’s health and longevity. If a person’s health is good, the guardian star will be bright; if the health is poor, the guardian star will be dim. On the first and fifteenth days of each lunar month and on the first seven days of the ninth lunar month, the deities of the Northern Bushel descend to the mortal realm to proclaim the judgement of the Jade Emperor to humankind. The Seven Star Lords also report to the Jade Emperor the good and bad deeds of those in their charge. Based on the reports, the Jade Emperor will reward or punish, according to the individual merit. Because human health and longevity depend on their reports to the Jade Emperor, the Seven Star Lords of the Northern Bushel are considered to be the masters of health and longevity.

The Seven Star Lords are attended by the Left and Right Guardians. These stars, which are themselves celestial deities, reside in constellations to the left and right of the Northern Bushel. The Seven Star Lords and the Two Guardians are sometimes called the Nine Kings of the Northern Bushel.

For internal alchemists, the stars of the Northern Bushel have a special meaning. In a cosmology in which the North Pole Star represents the unmoving and permanent underlying reality of the Tao, the seven stars of the Northern Bushel represent the moving and changing aspect of the Tao. The Northern Bushel constellation is associated with the element water, and it symbolizes the generative energy in the body. The direction north and the element water being associated with yin, the Northern Bushel constellation therefore also symbolizes the essence of yin energy.

The Southern Bushel Stars

On the other hand, these gods are associated with prosperity. There are six stars in this group and each is accompanied by a young attendant. It is said that the lords of the Southern Bushel are fiery and quick-tempered, and their actions are swift and uncompromising. 

For internal alchemists, the Southern Bushel is associated with the element of fire and the essence of yang energy. The Southern Bushel constellation represents the fire of vital or breath energy of the middle t’an-tien in the region of the solar plexus.

Source: Taoism: An Essential Guide by Eva Wong. 1997. Print. Pgs.147-54.