Ursi's Eso Garden
Your Competent Esoteric Guide
Wednesday, 23. April 2008
Bloodline - The Movie
In an explosive new documentary, called Bloodline, British filmmaker Bruce Burgess chronicles his two-year investigation into claims Jesus Christ did not die on the cross, but fled to France with his wife Mary Magdalene and their children.
Burgess' findings, documented in Bloodline, have led the filmmaker to believe the "mummified" bodies of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and their children - together with treasures that prove the family's identity - are buried beneath the rural French town Rennes-le-Chateau, where a priest, called Berenger Sauniere, discovered secret documents while renovating his country church in 1891.
The discovery was immediately seized by Vatican officials, and Sauniere was financially rewarded for his co-operation.
But Burgess believes the priest left clues behind in the Rennes-le-Chateau church, so anyone investigating the bloodline myth could use his pointers.
The filmmaker stumbled upon "stolen" parchments that he believes include Sauniere's clues, and joined forces with a team of bloodline enthusiasts to follow riddles and clues dotted all around Rennes-le-Chateau in an effort to find the site of Jesus' final resting place.
More Infos and Videos: Bloodline - The Movie - Official Website.
See also the Rennes-le-Chateau Research website with a large number of video clips from the upcoming documentary.
They give a good feel for the movie, with excerpts of interviews with key players and researchers, as well as visits to locations of interest.
And don't miss the archive for the Documents ...
Sunday, 20. April 2008
Decoding the Past - Mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle
Since the 15th century, the Bermuda Triangle has mysteriously vanished an untold number of ships, planes and lives with three more known incidents in 2004.
Also known as the Devil's Triangle, it is a triangular area in the Atlantic Ocean bound roughly at its points by Miami, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico.
Depending on to whom one speaks, the size of the triangle varies from 500,000 miles to three times that size. It has inspired fear and speculation of evil forces, monsters, magnetic fields and even UFOs.
The History Channel explores new theories about one of the most enduring mysteries in the world, using today's scientific knowledge and investigative techniques. Computer graphics, highly stylized recreations, and underwater cameras will dramatically visualize the accidents as well as investigate the possible causes and explanations.
On-camera interviews with both skeptics and believers will help lay out the facts and opinions of the cases. Can the latest science available today finally lay to rest the mysteries of the Triangle?
History Channel, 2005
Duration: 90 minutes
The Bermuda Triangle - another video by BBC and links.
Sunday, 13. April 2008
Was there really, 12,000 years ago, a fabulous city whose people had already evolved all the trappings of civilisation - sophisticated culture and society, writing, astronomy, religion, monument-building - while everyone else was still living in the Stone Age?
Ever since Plato first alluded to the mysterious city of Atlantis, destroyed in a terrible flood, the notion of an ancient, lost civilisation has been a compelling myth. The idea was revived in the 19th century to explain the tantalising similarities amongst different far-flung ancient cultures that had no connection with each other - why did so many ancient peoples build pyramids? Why did they write in hieroglyphs? Why was their understanding of astronomy and religion apparently so similar? The popular explanation was that Atlantis was the common source for all civilisation, that after their homeland was destroyed in a catastrophic flood, 12,000 years ago, the survivors of this super-race then travelled the world, spreading their knowledge to all. But if this theory is right, the whole of human history will have to be rewritten.
Jacqueline Smith's film explores whether this popular, yet controversial idea could be true. It examines the mysterious similarities between ancient cultures, and traces the fascinating scientific evidence that shows why the theory of Atlantis has been rejected by mainstream science.
Although it was broadcasted on BBC Two on October 1999, it's a memorable documentary!
Duration: 45 minutes
You may also like to read the transcript (opens in a new window).
For related entries please use the search function on the left.
Friday, 11. April 2008
‘Breakthrough’ at Stonehenge Dig
Archaeologists carrying out an excavation at Stonehenge say they have broken through to a layer that may finally explain why the site was built.
The team has reached sockets that once held bluestones - smaller stones, most now missing or uprooted, which formed the site's original structure.
The researchers believe that the bluestones could reveal that Stonehenge was once a place of healing.
The dig is the first to take place at Stonehenge for more than 40 years.
The team now needs to extract organic material from these holes to date when the stones first arrived.
Professor Tim Darvill, of Bournemouth University, who is leading the work with Professor Geoff Wainwright, president of the Society of Antiquaries, said: "The first week has gone really well. We have broken through to these key features.
"It is a slow process but at the moment everything is going exactly to plan."
The two-week excavation is being funded by the BBC and filmed for a special Timewatch programme to be broadcast in the autumn.
Professors Darvill and Wainwright say that finding out more about the history of the bluestones could be key to solving the mystery of why the 4,500-year-old landmark was erected.
They believe that the bluestones, which were transported 250km (150 miles) from the Preseli Hills in Wales to the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, were brought to the site because the ancient people believed they had healing properties.
Professor Geoffrey Wainwright said the site could have been a "Neolithic Lourdes".
The giant sarsen "goal posts", which came from about 20km (12 miles) away, were thought to have arrived much later.
As well as reaching the bluestone sockets, the archaeologists have also unearthed a whole host of other finds as they have peeled back the layers of the 2.5m-by-3.5m (8.2ft-by-11.5ft) trench.
These include a beaker pottery fragment, Roman ceramics and ancient stone hammers.
As I said in that earlier post:
BBC Timewatch will follow the progress of the Stonehenge dig. Catch daily text and video reports on the programme's website! Follow the dig with Timewatch!
Sunday, 06. April 2008
Tibetan Energy Yoga
What if you could get the body-energizing benefits of yoga and the supreme calm of meditation training - all in one daily practice? With Tibetan Energy Yoga, you can. For centuries, the spiritual masters of Tibet have used these exercises to sustain and invigorate themselves in the arduous Himalayan mountains.
Lama Surya Das demonstrates eight of the most effective energy yoga practices from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, including bum-chen, soaring garuda, 3-fold skybreath, bep-chung, and lion's roar. These exercises work by balancing the "lunar and solar energies" -- the two vital currents of the body that regulate all aspects of wellbeing. Surya Das explains that we all have solar (male) and lunar (female) energies within ourselves that can be directed toward cleansing and grounding our spiritual being.
Each of the eight exercises has three phases: the first stage is called filing up (or inhaling deeply), the second is holding (or meditating), and the third is grounding (or releasing).
Lama Surya Das is one of the foremost Western Buddhist meditation teachers and scholars, one of the main interpreters of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. He leads viewers on a quick and exhilarating 30-minute workout to boost the body's vital energies, fine-tune the mind, and elevate the spirits.
Duration: 41 minutes
You may also like:
Dzogchen Foundation by Lama Surya Das, Spiritual Director.
Lama Surya Das' Personal Website.
Columns and articles by Lama Surya Das on Beliefnet.
Video: The Colbert Report - Lama Surya Das.
Friday, 04. April 2008
Excavation starts at Stonehenge
The two-week dig will try to establish, once and for all, some precise dating for the creation of the monument.
It is also targeting the significance of the smaller bluestones that stand inside the giant sarsen pillars.
Researchers believe these rocks, brought all the way from Wales, hold the secret to the real purpose of Stonehenge as a place of healing.
The excavation at the 4,500-year-old UK landmark is being funded by the BBC. The work will be filmed for a special Timewatch programme to be broadcast in the autumn.
The researchers leading the project are two of the UK's leading Stonehenge experts - Professor Tim Darvill, of the University of Bournemouth, and Professor Geoff Wainwright, of the Society of Antiquaries.
They are convinced that the dominating feature on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire was akin to a "Neolithic Lourdes" - a place where people went on a pilgrimage to get cured.
Some of the evidence supporting this theory comes from the dead, they say.
A significant proportion of the newly discovered Neolithic remains show clear signs of skeletal trauma. Some had undergone operations to the skull, or had walked with a limp, or had broken bones.
Modern techniques have established that many of these people had clearly travelled huge distances to get to south-west England, suggesting they were seeking supernatural help for their ills.
But Darvill and Wainwright have also traced the bluestones - the stones in the centre of Stonehenge - to the exact spot they came from in the Preseli hills, 250km away in the far west of Wales.
Neolithic inscriptions found at this location indicate the ancient people there believed the stones to be magical and for the local waters to have healing properties.
Darvill and Wainwright hope the dig will demonstrate such beliefs also lay behind the creation of Stonehenge, by showing that the make-up of the original floor of the sacred circle at the monument is dominated by bluestone chippings that were purposely placed there.
The dig will also provide a more precise dating of the Double Bluestone Circle, the first stone circle that was erected at Stonehenge.
The original setting for this circle is no longer visible. The bluestones seen by visitors today are later re-erections.
Archaeologists tried to date the first circle in the 1990s and estimated that it was put up at around 2,550BC; but a more precise dating has not been possible.
Principally, this is because materials removed in earlier excavations were poorly recorded and cannot be attributed with any certainty to specific features and deposits.
The 3.5m by 2.5m trench that will be excavated in the new effort will aim to retrieve fragments of the original bluestone pillars that can be properly dated.
The BBC-funded excavation goes ahead with the full support of English Heritage, which manages the site for the nation.
"Theories about Stonehenge are cheap; proof is precious," commented BBC Timewatch editor, John Farren.
"I'm delighted that Timewatch, the BBC's flagship history programme, is able to offer the possibility for some hard scientific proof to further our knowledge of the dating of Stonehenge and to bolster this remarkable new theory.
"It's taken us 18 months' hard work to get all the elements for the dig in place."
Professor Wainwright added: "This small excavation of a bluestone is the culmination of six years of research which Tim and I have conducted in the Preseli Hills of North Pembrokeshire and which has shed new light on the eternal question as to why Stonehenge was built.
"The excavation will date the arrival of the bluestones following their 250km journey from Preseli to Salisbury Plain and contribute to our definition of the society which undertook such an ambitious project. We will be able to say not only why but when the first stone monument was built."
Dr Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, commented: "Very occasionally, we have the opportunity to find out something new archeologically - we are at that moment now.
"We believe that this dig has a chance of genuinely unlocking part of the mystery of Stonehenge."
BBC Timewatch will follow the progress of the Stonehenge dig over the course of the next two weeks. Catch daily text and video reports on the programme's website! Follow the dig with Timewatch!
A BBC Two documentary will be broadcast in the autumn and will detail the findings of the investigation.
Thursday, 03. April 2008
Kick Ass Miracles - Healing and Health
Martial arts expert Chris Crudelli takes a spritual journey to explore different faiths, and discover how their followers can perform amazing physical and mental feats.
In this episode Chris looks at the miraculous ways people maintain their health and heal the sick.
In India he finds a novel cure for stomach ailments used in Hatha yoga which involves swallowing 10 metres of bandage. While in Hong Kong he tries the gall bladder of a live snake which is supposed to prolong life - though probably not for the snake.
In Thailand he meets a monk who blows healing breaths across his injured wrist with surprising results, and a 74-year-old woman offers him magical breast milk to make him more charming. Huh!
Premiered on BBC-3, 2006
Duration: 28 minutes
Monday, 31. March 2008
Yoga Today: Internet TV Yoga Courses
If you want to try yoga but don't want to buy a video or join a class, Yoga Today's videos could be just what you're looking for.
This down-to-earth approach to yoga training makes the class more authentic and accessible to viewers, allowing them to improve their practice from the comfort of their own homes, hotel rooms or anywhere they see fit. Courses will be filmed outdoors in spectacular Teton settings or, when weather does not permit, indoors in a state-of-the-art yoga studio.
Yoga Today: Internet TV Yoga Courses
Experience Yoga in a great new way! 7 days a week, 365 days per year, keeping your workouts fresh and energizing. Unfortuantely there is no archive for older videos. Therefore I encourage you to visit this site regularly.
Sunday, 30. March 2008
Lost Ark of the Covenant
One of the holiest relics on earth, the Ark of the Covenant is the symbol of the agreement of faith made between God and the Israelites. The Ark is said to contain the tablets of the Ten Commandments, an object of immense power - capable of laying waste armies, of killing those who dared touch it in a flash of sparks, and guaranteed victory to those who carried it before them into battle. Over the centuries it has remained an object of great mystery, inspiring books, feature films and infinite questions.
But how could such an important artifact disappear without a trace? Did it ever really exist? And if it did exist, where is it today? Ethiopian Jews claim to have it, while rabbis claim the real Ark is still in a secret room under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Biblical scholar and modern-day relic hunter Mike Sanders, journeys to find the elusive ancient ark. He aims to shed new light on the Ark of the Covenant and perhaps finally unravel the truth behind one of the greatest biblical mysteries of all.
I think it's an excellent summary of various theories of what happened to the fabled Ark of the Covenant. Both the photography and narration are very good. Especially recommended for those who like Biblical mysteries. Just one theory about the ark - but interesting and thought provoking.
Duration: 46 minutes.
Here is an Expedition Photo Album by Mike Sanders, who has gained notoriety with his Bible Mysteries programs. Also with more information about the Ark of the Covenant. (As I said - just one theory!)
Funny! The Ark of the Covenant by The Brick Testament.
See also Ark of the Covenant at Wiki.
Thursday, 27. March 2008
The Illuminated Chakras
Anodea Judith has dedicated her life to teaching about the chakras, the subtle energy centers in the body. In this award-winning animated video, she takes you on a journey through the chakras, where you spend time experiencing the function, the feeling, and the essence of each of the 7 primary chakras. However, the manner in which this is all presented is not only informative, but also beautiful! Anodea's style of narration is pleasing to the ear, the music of Robin Silver nicely supports the narration, and the 3-D Animation Graphics of Alex Wayne are simply great!
Enjoy this multi-sensory journey into the transformational beauty of the inner world. Follow the path of Kundalini-Shakti, the mystical serpent, who drives the vital force that awakens consciousness within each chakra. Experience the elemental reality of each chakra, as earth, water, fire, air, sound, light, and transcendent consciousness.
Duration: 28 minutes
Anodea Judith, Ph.D. is an American author, therapist, public speaker and expert on the Chakra system, bodymind (body/mind integration), somatic therapy, and Yoga. Judith is best known as the author of 'Wheels of Life: A User's Guide to the Chakra System'. Visit her online home: Sacred Centers.
Sunday, 23. March 2008
After six years of unprecedented research, host Simcha Jacobovici and a team of renowned archeologists, Egyptologists, geologists, and theologians shed revelatory new light on the Exodus and the era's ruling Egyptian Dynasty. Their new theory pushes events hundreds of years earlier than previously thought, allowing age-old stories to sparkle with new perspectives and startling historical import.
Using elaborate, state-of-the-art CGI, 'Exodus Decoded' offers a stunning virtual account of stories like the birth of Moses, the ten plagues, and the parting of the Red Sea, revealing once and for all the difference between acts of Nature and the hand of God. Executive produced by James Cameron (who appears on camera) and Simcha Jacobovici (who also hosts), the viewer follows Jacobovici to Egypt, Greece and Israel, on an investigative archaeological journey that pieces together a puzzle of tantalizing clues.
Duration: 93 minutes.
Sunday, 16. March 2008
The Blue Buddha - Lost Secrets of Tibetan Medicine
Twelve hundred years ago the people of Tibet developed a comprehensive medical system. They understood how the mind affects the body. They knew subtle ways of changing the body's chemistry with medicines made from plants and minerals. They blessed their medicines in lengthy rituals. And they encoded this knowledge in a series of elaborate paintings called thangkas.
'Blue Buddha: Lost Secrets of Tibetan Medicine' traces the odyssey of traditional Tibetan medicine from it's roots in ancient Tibet, to a worldwide interest in it's traditional medical wisdom. We meet several leading physicians in India, as the program introduces us to the basic concepts of this ancient system of healing. We also trace the fate of the 77 thangkas that comprise the Atlas of Tibetan Medicine, the great mnemonic device that encodes the entire system of healing. From the snows of Siberia and the Himalayas to the vital culture of Tibet in exile, in Dharamsala, India, this is a stunning look at where Tibetan medicine has come from.
'Blue Buddha: Lost Secrets of Tibetan Medicine' focuses on the life of a Buddhist monk and a doctor who practices traditional Tibetan medicine in Siberia. It hasn't always been easy. At times he's been hounded by the KGB and forbidden to leave the country. Through it all he's kept his faith in the power of Buddhist medicine. This documentary follows Tuvan Lama, in his role as vital member of this remote community, as he treats his patients, conducts traditional rituals and passes on this vast medical heritage to the next generation.
Just as Buddhism informs the rituals of this community, Tuvan Lama believes Buddhism and Tibetan Medicine go together, as they are inseparable. He believes one has to know the foundation of Buddhism in order to understand the foundations of the medicine. To his mind, it needs to be understood with the body, the mind, and the soul." -- CBC
Duration: 45 minutes.
You may also like:
'Blue Buddha' director Aerlyn Weissman gives her perspective on Tibetan medicine and how it has influenced her personally: Interview by CBC.
Tibetan Medicine: Resources
Medicine Buddha: Resources
Traditional Tibetan Healing
Dharmapala Thangka Centre
Related Entry: Tibetan Medicine - Tibetische Medizin
Sunday, 09. March 2008
Nubia, the Forgotten Kingdom
In the hot desert sands of northern Africa, a powerful kingdom thrived for thousands of years. This was Nubia, a golden kingdom nourished by the Nile. Now, after centuries of neglect, world-renowned archaeologists Julie Anderson and Salah Ahmed have discovered a 2,000-year-old Nubian city, Dangeil, in the Sudan, buried beneath mounds of red brick rubble. From the magnificent pyramids of Meroe, to the massive temple to the god Amun, to a famous one-eyed warrior queen and her dazzling cache of golden jewels, to the mighty Nubian kings who conquered all of Egypt, it's finally time for Nubia to give up its secrets. The team makes a surprising discovery that could solve the mystery ...
The documentary, narrated by Keith David an d directed by Amy Bucher, describes Nubia, a kingdom south of Egypt, with a similar religion and evolution.
Duration: 53 minutes.
Wednesday, 05. March 2008
Who Are You, Madame Blavatsky?
Elena Petrovna Gan, July 30 - July 31, 1831, better known as Helena Blavatsky - Russian: Елена Блаватская - or Madame Blavatsky, born Helena von Hahn, was a founder of the Theosophical Society in New York, 1875. She left humanity a voluminous number of writings, of which the theosophical standard work 'The Secret Doctrine' is the most well known.
Henry Olcott, Blavatsky, Hartmann and others -- click it for a larger view
History of the Theosophical Society
Organized in New York City in 1875, the Society's principal founders were Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, the first Russian woman to be naturalized as an American citizen, and Henry Steel Olcott, a prominent lawyer and journalist who became the first President of the Society. Madame Blavatsky was a Russian of noble birth, whose mother was a social novelist and whose grandmother was an accomplished amateur scientist. As a young woman, she traveled all over the world in search of wisdom about the nature of life and the reason for human existence. Eventually, Blavatsky brought the spiritual wisdoms of the East and of ancient Western mysteries to the modern West, where they were virtually unknown. Her writings became the first exposition of modern Theosophy.
Colonel Olcott was a veteran of the Civil War, during which he had been a special investigator into corruption in the armed services and after which he was a member of the commission appointed to investigate the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. He was also an internationally renowned agricultural authority. Olcott related the timeless wisdom of Theosophy to the cultures of both East and West, applied it to everyday life, and built the Society into an international organization.
Associated with these two were William Quan Judge, a young New York attorney, and a number of other individuals interested in the philosophy expounded by Madame Blavatsky. The latter included General Abner Doubleday, the legendary founder of baseball, and later the inventor Thomas Alva Edison.
Here is a video of the history of the Theosophical Society in America. Narrated by Paul Meier, this documentary celebrates 125 years of Theosophy in America. Rare film footage and photos!
In 1879, the principal founders, Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott, moved to India, where the Society spread rapidly. In 1882, they established the Society's international headquarters in Adyar, a suburb of Madras (currently Chennai), where it has since remained. They also visited Sri Lanka, where Olcott was so active in promoting social welfare among oppressed Buddhists that even now he is a national hero of that land. Today the Society has members in almost 70 countries around the world.
The administrative center of the Section in the United States (called "Olcott" in honor of the President-Founder) is located in Wheaton, Illinois, USA: Theosophical Society in America.
The Theosophical Society - International Headquarters – Pasadena, California.
The Theosophical Society - International Headquarters - Adyar, India.
Theosophical Movement FAQ
AnandGholap - Most Important Books Online on Theosophy.
Articles and Books by Helena Blavatsky and other Theosophists
800 + Theosophical On-line Documents.
Who Are You, Madame Blavatsky?
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was the first person to state that all world religions are from the same source. In the Victorian Age, this statement was heresy.
Critically acclaimed and appearing regularly on Russian television, "Who Are You, Madame Blavatsky?" was produced to vindicate the name and reputation of Helena Blavatsky for the Russian public. Because her writings were in English and censored by the Communist Party, this 1991 production is an important historical work - the first Russian film on her life.
Madame Blavatsky, her sister, cousin and her enemy, Mr. Soloviov - who smeared her name and reputation after her death - are brought to life by great Russian actors in a modern-day confrontation.The award-winning actress Irina Muraviova portrays Blavatsky with an uncanny resemblance to her in both appearance and spirit.
Filming took place in the house where Blavatsky was born as well as in India and a Mongolian Buddhist Monastery where areas and activities seldom witnessed by foreigners were filmed live.
Official Site: Who Are You, Madame Blavatsky?
A film by Karine Dilanyan (49 minutes)
The Esoteric World of Madame Blavatsky by the Theosophical Society in America.
Blavatsky Study Center - Extensive material on the life, writings & teachings of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.
Alternative Link: Blavatsky Study Center.
Articles and Quotes by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.
Sunday, 02. March 2008
In Search of Myths and Heroes: King Arthur
'In Search of Myths and Heroes' was a four-part PBS series with historian and author Michael Wood. He embarks on a set of "on the ground" adventures in search of the world's most famous myths: the Queen of Sheba, King Arthur, Shangri-La, and Jason and the Golden Fleece. The series examines not only why legends were created but how they have been used -- both politically and culturally -- over the years, and why we still need them today.
'King Arthur' was the the fourth episode of his series. In the last episode of this series, Michael Wood explores the greatest British myth: the tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
Travelling round the Celtic world from Cornwall to Wales, Brittany, Ireland and Scotland, Michael uncovers the extraordinary story of how a shadowy Welsh freedom fighter -a Dark Age Che Guevara- became a medieval superman, and finally the model of a Christian hero.
On the way we discover the real stories behind the Round Table, Excalibur, and the Holy Grail itself, the unattainable, mystical cup of Christ which has inspired poets novelists and film makers from the Middle Ages right down to Indiana Jones, Monty Python and the Da Vinci Code .
-- Maya Vision International, Michael Wood's production company.
Duration: 59 minutes.
In Search of Myths and Heroes: Jason And The Golden Fleece
In Search of Myths and Heroes: Shangri-La
In Search of Myths and Heroes: The Queen Of Sheba
You may also like:
Explore Four Powerful Myths: In Search of Myths and Heroes by PBS.