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drbubb

The Search for Shangrila... Images & Concepts

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(this thread will be moved after a period of seasoning here)

 

JUST FOR FUN,

I thought I'd play around a bit with this concept... Shangri-la

 

It was meant to be a mythical place of peace, and prosperity created somewhere in the mountains of himalaya, away from the rat race and competition of urban society. There was a tv programme about people who went off to look for Shangrila, by following the pathways of those who wrote about it. Most famous of them was James Hilton, whose book called "Lost Horizons" inspired a 1930's film, and other art.

 

Some locations, with touches of natural beauty have named themselves "Shangrila" or "Shambala" in an attenpt to cash in on this attractive myth. But I remain convinced that the real Sangrila lies within us- it has not yet been built. But that does not mean we should not try to build it sometime in the future.

 

The real Shangrila, if it coems into being, will be built from those internal\ images that we hold of it, and its bedrocks, like mountain foundations, will be those values that many feel are missing in our modern society.

 

So please join me, in the hunt for images of Shangrila, and for a discussion of th values that such a place would aim to incorporate.

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Our starting point in this Journey, is to look backwards, at what was in Hilton's book...

 

Will the real Shangri-la please stand up? For years people have been trying to find Shangri-la. Where is Shangri-la? What is Shangri-la? And, most importantly, why does Shangri-la exist...or does it?

 

James Hilton coined the word Shangri-la in his book Lost Horizon. Perhaps the name came from Shamba-la, the Tibetan word for "paradise." Also perhaps, some think, the name came from the word sem kyi ni hda, meaning "heart's sun moon." "La" also means "pass" or "steep path" in Tibetan.

 

00avs9.gif

 

So where is this Shangri-la? According to Hilton's telling of the story:

 

10 am, a group of four diplomats leave Baskul, India in an Indian cabin-machine plane to escape an insurgency. Hours later, they realize that they have been hi-jacked. One passenger, Conway, realizes: "the flight had progressed far beyond the western range of the Himalaya towards the less known heights of the Kuen-Lun."

 

Early in the morning, the next day, they crash in the high mountains. A dying pilot, their hi-jacker, says that they must find the Lamisary of Shangri-la to survive the inhospitable climate.

 

186801278_8689f3da76.jpg

 

At Shangri-la, the four westerners find a very different world: "a separate culture might flourish here without contamination from the outside world."

 

Mr. Mallonson, a twenty-something newly-crashed in this new world is anxious to leave: "we want to return to civilization as soon as possible."

 

A lama answers: "are you so very certain that you are away from it?"

 

The lama continues: "you will not find Shangri-la marked on any map."

 

-continues, entry#12:

http://www.travelpod.com/print-travel-blog...here./tpod.html

 

shangrila1.jpg

. . .

where is Shangri-la? Bhutan has its Shangri-la. India has its Shangri-la. Nepal has its Shangri-la. And now China has its Shangri-la. China was late to the game, recently picking its Shangri-la here in Zhongdian, Dequin Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.

 

But as the lama said: "you will not find Shangri-la marked on any map."

 

So why are all these countries picking a Shangri-la? And, for the record, it's not just a few countries: resorts, islands, bars, hotels, you name it, are called Shangri-la. You guessed it--tourism dollars. Since China has picked it's Shangri-la about eight years ago, tourism has increased tenfold here in the region, also known as Shambala.

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BEFORE LOOKING at images, which can be overpowering,

 

Let's consider some of the values and realities that we would expect to find in Shangri-la.

 

Values:

+ Close to nature and in harmony with it

+ Balanced and sustainable living

+ "Everything in moderation, even moderation."

+ Healthy citizens, with little disease arising from excessive smoking and drinking

 

Other Realities

+ Mountains and lots of Water, maybe waterfalls,

+ Renewable energy used, but not wasted

+ Few or no cars

+ Few pubs / maybe more tea bars than pubs

+ Little concrete, with lots of green growing plants

 

...what have i missed...??

= = = = =

 

READY for the images?

Start here maybe, a Google search:

http://images.google.com/images?svnum=10&a...G=Search+Images

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IMAGES OF SHANGRI-LA

(i find these strangely relaxing- is it because of the visionary qualities found by the painter or the photographer?)

1/

Shangri-La.jpg

2/

lijiang%20black%20dragon%20pond.jpg

"Personally, I found Lijiang and its surrounding area more of a Shangri-la than Zhongdian. Every time I stepped out of the hotel and saw the huge snow-capped mountain that hovers behind the city, I felt a thrill, a longing to hold onto the moment because it was simply so spectacularly beautiful. Old Lijiang, like much of Dali, has been over-commercialized, with every square inch devoted to tourist shops of one kind or another. But still it managed to enchant with beautiful sites like the pond pictured above."

@: http://www.pekingduck.org/archives/2005_03.php

3/

zhongdian%20temple2-thumb.JPG

"The Shangri-La cottage industry continues to blossom in the Yunnan village of Zhongdian, nestled amid the foothills along the border with Tibet. This poor, dusty town was lucky enough a few years ago to win the official name of Shangri-La, a marketer's dream, considering the continuous fascination of this magical name. Signs throughout the city refer to it is "Xiang ge li la" (or, somewhat less frequently, "Xiang ba la"). As the taxi drove us into town and we saw the broken street pavement and dingy buildings and wild pigs and yaks and chickens walking the streets, my first thought was, "So this is Shangri-la?"

 

Don't get me wrong. Zhongdian is charming, and I am absolutely thrilled that I went there. It was one of the great highlights of this trip, and I will never forget it, the yak butter tea and boiled yak dinner and Tibetan cuisine, the incredible snow-capped mountains and the hard-working, kind people. I would recommend that every visitor to China try to make the trip to Zhongdian. We drove there from Lijiang, and the ride was utterly breathtaking (especially our stop at Tiger Leaping Gorge, which I'll write about later). Of all the strange stops of this trip, Zhongdian was the strangest, and also one of the most rewarding.

 

Zhongdian is many things. Shangri-La, however, it is not. Obviously there is no such place as the Shangri-La described by Hilton (and even in the book, we are left wondering whether it was all imagined by the hero as he lay freezing in the cold after a plane crash). I see Shangri-La as a wishful fantasy of young people seduced by visions of the good Dalai Lama and a serene and blissful Tibet, a place that never, ever existed, but that Westerners like to superimpose on reality, desperately wanting to believe that there is something better, more meaningful than our Western culture. I saw two types of Westerners in Zhongdian: young hippie-types, and older Bohemian types (the kinds who dress unconventionally and smoke a lot of cigarettes, the 60-year-olds who don't mind staying in youth hostels and who carry the Lonely Planet guidebook with them).

 

I was very happy to find at my hotel a book by China hand Laurence J. Brahm titled Searching for Shangri-La. It delves into this phenomenon of man's obsession with finding Shangri-La in great detail, and looks at several of the places in the region that have been said to actually be "the real Shangri-La" (including Zhongdian). Most of all I enjoyed the chapter in which Brahm interviews rock musician Kaiser Kuo, who has many very wise, very thought-provoking observations on why Westerners continue to search for a Shangri-La that doesn't exist, and how this search is affecting the way in which China is marketing itself."

@: http://www.pekingduck.org/archives/2005_03.php

 

::/

Use as metaphor and figure of speech

Shangri-la is often used in a similar context to which "Garden of Eden" might be used, to represent a perfect paradise that exists hidden from modern man. It can sometimes be used as an analogy for a life-long quest or something elusive that is much sought. For a man who spends his life obsessively looking for a cure to a disease, such a cure could be said to be that man's "Shangri-La". It also might be used to represent perfection that is sought by man in the form of love, happiness, or Utopian ideals. It may be used in this context alongside other mythical and famous examples of somewhat similar metaphors such as The Holy Grail, El Dorado, The Fountain of Youth, and to an extent "white whale" (referring to the white whale chased by the obsessed Captain Ahab in the book Moby-Dick).

@: http://www.answers.com/topic/shangri-la

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LOST HORIZON - the 1937 Film

 

Movie Type: Romantic Fantasy

Themes: Redemption, Lost Worlds, Dropping Out

Director: Frank Capra

Main Cast: Ronald Colman, Edward Everett Horton, H.B. Warner, Jane Wyatt, Sam Jaffe, John Howard, Margo

 

Plot

It took British author James Hilton six weeks to write his visionary novel Lost Horizon. It took director Frank Capra two years-and half of his home studio Columbia's annual budget-to bring it to the screen. After a lengthy preamble, inviting audiences to imagine their own ideas of Utopia, the film opens on a chaotic scene at a Chinese airfield. As hordes of bandits approach, hundreds of refugees scramble to board the last plane out. Only five people make it: Mildly disenchanted Far Eastern diplomat Robert Conway (Ronald Colman), his hotheaded younger brother George (John Howard), embezzler Barnard (Thomas Mitchell), dithery fossil expert Lovett (Edward Everett Horton) and consumptive prostitute Gloria Stone (Isabel Jewell). As the plane flies off towards the Himalayas, Robert realizes that he and his fellow passengers are heading in the wrong direction. They are, in fact, being kidnapped-but why? And where to?

 

hilton.jpglost_horizon01.jpg

 

The plane crash-lands in the snowy Tibetan interior.

 

lost_horizon04.jpg

 

The pilot is killed, but the passengers are safe. By and by, a strange caravan approaches, led by an enigmatic Chinese named Chang (H. B. Warner). Joining the caravan, Conway and his party are led through a treacherous mountain pass and into a land of temperate weather and dazzling beauty.

 

xwp_pf_estate.jpg

 

This is Shangri-La, the idyllic lamasery presided over by the aged, wizened High Lama (Sam Jaffe). In this fertile valley, people are not encumbered by such exigencies as crime, dictators and hatred; instead, everyone is devoted to the pursuit of wisdom and self-improvement-and best of all, the aging process has been slowed to a walk, allowing people to live well past the two-century mark. Though he still does not know why he was brought here, Conway is quicker to adapt to Shangri-La than his wary fellow passengers. He even falls in love with Sondra (Jane Wyatt), an attractive, intelligent young woman.

 

lost_horizon03.jpg

 

Finally granted an audience with the High Lama, Conway discovers that the old man is actually Father Perrault, the Belgian missionary who founded Shangri-La-over two hundred years earlier.

 

lost_horizon02.jpg

 

Dying, the High Lama has selected Conway, whose idealism and even-handedness is world famous, to succeed him-and hopefully spread the "love thy neighbor" edict of Shangri-La to the rest of the war-torn world. Conway is willing to assume leadership, but younger brother George, his mind poisoned by spiteful Shangri-La resident Maria (Margo), insists upon escaping to the outside world. The older Conway warns that, despite her youthful appearance, Maria is well past sixty and will surely perish once she leaves Shangri-La; but Maria retorts that the high lama is insane, and that everything he has told Conway is a lie. Disillusioned, Conway agrees to leave with Jack and Maria. The trek back to civilization is a grueling one, especially for Maria, who-true to Conway's prediction-shrivels from age and dies. Appalled that he has been misled, George kills himself.

 

lost_horizon05.jpg

 

Weeks later, and amnesiac Conway stumbles into a Tibetan mission, where he is rescued and brought back to England. When his memory is restored, however, Conway runs back to Shangri-La, and into the arms of Sondra. When Lost Horizon was shown to preview audiences, it ran nearly three hours-and it was a disaster.

 

In his autobiography, Capra claims to have rescued his pet project by merely burning the first two reels and opening the film with the evacuation scene; In fact, while Capra did remove the film's "flashback" framework, he made most of his cuts in the body of the picture. The release length of Lost Horizon was 132 minutes, pared down to 119 when it when into general distribution. When it was reissued in the 1940s and 1950s, it was rather clumsily pared down to anywhere from 95 to 100 minutes. Only in the mid-1980s was Lost Horizon restored to its original length, with stills used to illustrate certain scenes for which only the soundtrack existed. While not the enormous hit Capra and Columbia had hoped it would be, Lost Horizon was popular enough to allow the name "Shangri-La" enter the household-word category. In 1973, producer Ross Hunter felt the urge to inflict a wretched musical remake onto an unsuspecting public. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

 

@: http://www.answers.com/topic/lost-horizon-film

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Laurence J. Brahm : Searching for Shangri-La

 

519S6KMV9RL._AA240_.jpg

 

It delves into this phenomenon of man's obsession with finding Shangri-La in great detail, and looks at several of the places in the region that have been said to actually be "the real Shangri-La" (including Zhongdian). Most of all I enjoyed the chapter in which Brahm interviews rock musician Kaiser Kuo, who has many very wise, very thought-provoking observations on why Westerners continue to search for a Shangri-La that doesn't exist, and how this search is affecting the way in which China is marketing itself. (Kaiser doesn't use those exact words, but that's the message I got.) He observes:

 

# #

"Clearly it is just an attempt to milk this new age trend for whatever it is worth, to grab middle aged people who are looking for more meaning in life. Yet, it's an illusion. Maybe it's not even that. It's a kind of vulnerability which has made them accept without a real reflection mystic east philosophy while rejecting traditions handed on to them by their parents."

# #

 

I've had some spirited (but always cordial) disagreements with Kaiser, but in this instance he is right on, and brilliant. It never ceases to amaze me to see how eager some Americans are to embrace any idea that goes against what they associate with commercialized Western culture. Thus the urge to explore traditional Chinese medicine and accupuncture (both of which I believe in, by the way), and to fall for the illusion of a real Shangri-La, to believe that it is something they can stumble onto in the hills of Tibet. Where I disagree a bit with Kaiser is his reference to this as a middle-age phenomenon. I think it's especially prevalent among the young, especially the college-aged who are easily seduced by New Age promises that they can "change their lives" if only they take ginseng and read Buddhist poetry. I want to believe that most middle-agers (like me) know full well that Shangri-La can only be attained within oneself, and never by arriving at a specific place. And even then, it will be far from perfect.

 

@: http://www.pekingduck.org/

 

Book:

http://www.amazon.com/Searching-Shangri-Be...1649&sr=1-1

 

# # #

A DVD too:

SEARCHING FOR SHANGRI-LA: AN ATERNATIVE PHILOSOPHY TRAVELOGUE (DVD) - SKU:SESHDVD

 

Author Laurence J. Brahm joins forces with China’s most alternative director, Yang Tao, and Mongolian composer San Bao to seek out Shangri-la through the most environmentally sound regions left in the world, Tibet, Qinghai and Yunnan. The beautifully bound 3 DVD set is a companion series to the book of the same title.

 

# # #

new book:

Shambhala: The Road Less Travelled in Western Tibet

 

by Brahm, Laurence J. ... Price: US$15.63 (S$25.00*)

Format: Paperback, 181 pages

Published: 2006, Singapore, 1st Edition

 

About This Book

In a shop in Lhasa, Laurence Brahm stumbles upon an ancient Buddhist sutra, Shambhala Sutra. His purchase of this ancient sutra sets him off on a journey in search of the mythical Shambhala, known to the rest of the world as "Shangri-La". In this illustrated account of his journey, Brahm uses the sutra as a guide as he ventures into some of the most remote places in Tibet. There he meets monks, living Buddhas, nomads, and a Bodhisattva in disguise, who point out to him how they thought the road to Shambhala should be followed. Finally, the road leads him to Tashilumbo Monastery, where the Eleventh Panchen Lama resides and it here that the Shambhala Sutra calls home.

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About the Author : Laurence Brahm

 

oct7_china_2.jpg

Laurence J Brahm is a lawyer and political economist by profession. He has spent over two decades advising multinational corporations regarding their investments in China, and negotiating on their behalf. He is a pioneer of culturally sustainable heritage restoration in Beijing, having helped conserve historic neighborhoods and sections of the Great Wall. Author of numerous books on China and Asia, Brahm writes a weekly column in Hong Kong's 'South China Morning Post'. He is viewed by many as a barometer of China s economic and political environment. Since 2002, Brahm has devoted most of his time to producing and directing a series of film features and documentaries featuring Tibet. During this time, he wrote a series of travelogues which includes 'Searching for Shangri-la', 'Road to Shambhala', and 'New Age Sutra'.

 

In 2005, he established the Shambhala Foundation. Shambhala Foundation promotes ethnic diversity and supports culturally sustainable development models that include monastery restoration, construction of schools, developing medical clinics, as well as entrepreneurial training in the Tibetan regions of western China.

 

Website : http://www.shambhala-ngo.org/

 

"Capital accumulation and conspicuous consumption do not assure human happiness. By eroding indigenous cultural values they often destroy it. Economic development should improve the quality of life, not undermine it."

 

"Shambhala Foundation supports local artisans by commissioning them to make products for the hotel and spa and giving them a prime retail outlet to sell their wares. This will help sustain their craft and their art as it is getting increasingly difficult to be profitable due to a lack of marketing opportunities. The crafts are handmade and thus only a small amount can be made at any one time. The Foundation buys the products with ongoing orders so that they can continue their traditional work and not have to switch to other jobs to secure an income. Store profits are then used both to reinvest in more products and also are given to the Foundation humanitarian projects. As the micro-ventures grow, we hope the artisans will pass their skills on to a new generation, keeping alive traditional handicrafts in an ever modernizing environment."

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ABOUT VALUES in Hilton's book:

 

"Lost Horizon is not, of course, an adventure novel. It is more cerebral than that. The monks at Shangri-La believe in a philosophy which is a mix of Christianity as brought to the valley by the eighteenth century French priest Perrault (also the name of the French fabulist who compiled fairy tales such as "Sleeping Beauty") and the Buddhism which existed before Perrault's arrival. The motto of these monks could best be summed up as "Everything in moderation, even moderation."

 

The valley of Shangri-la is a peaceful place, taking from the world around it, but remaining aloof from all the negative actions of that world. Although idyllic, it is not the paradise of the Bible, nor of any Western philosophy, invoking instead much that is Eastern. The dichotomy between the world outside the valley and the society which Hilton envisioned is brought into even starker contrast by today's knowledge that a war much worse than the one Conway fought in, would engulf many regions of the world less than a decade after Hilton wrote the book. Hilton foresaw another great war and mentions it as a vague prophecy in the book.

 

One very telling moment comes when Miss Brinklow decides to attempt to understand the religious beliefs of the valley's residents. Chang, the lama-in-training assigned to be their tour guide, explains that the lamas "devote themselves. . . to contemplation and to the pursuit of wisdom." "But that isn't doing anything," Brinklow complains, expressing a Western viewpoint. Chang calmly agrees, "Then, madam, they do nothing." Chang does not attempt to argue with Brinklow nor sway her to his point of view in any way. When she announces her intention of converting the monastery's followers, the lama's neither stand in her way nor help, they merely allow her to do as she will."

 

...more: http://www.sfsite.com/~silverag/hilton.html

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Or you could ignore all that and embrace existentialism (which is what Structuralists and people who describe stock markets in terms of fear and greed are doing anyway.)

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Or you could ignore all that and embrance existentialism (which is what people who describe stock markets in terms of fear and greed are doing anyway.)

 

Or is it "capitallism" they are embracing?,

With the study of fear and greed just a means to extract a profit?

 

In the end, people need a reason for their money-seeking behaviour, and more money is not sufficient reason at some stage in the process. Capitalist China is at an early stage of development, and it will eventually want to rediscover its spiritual heritage. But I wonder if the heritage that some Westerners seek in their search for Shangri-La is a heritage that never truly existed.

 

Laurence Brahm has dived deeply into these waters, and it would be interesting to see what answers he

has come up with in his books and his DVD.

 

For me, I have a very practical application in mind, very close to where i live, but i am seeking to understand

this internal longings that drove the Searching for Shangrila (and Shambala) on the part of travelers,

artists, writers, and film makers.

 

The answer is not on the maps at the end of the road, it is in the art and the journey they took.

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IMAGES OF SHAMBALA

 

shambala2.gif

 

IMG_1103.jpg

 

mountains are almost always part of this vision

way_to_shambala.jpg

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Or is it "capitallism" they are embracing?,

With the study of fear and greed just a means to extract a profit?

 

In the end, people need a reason for their money-seeking behaviour, and more money is not sufficient reason at some stage in the process. Capitalist China is at an early stage of development, and it will eventually want to rediscover its spiritual heritage. But I wonder if the heritage that some Westerners seek in their search for Shangri-La is a heritage that never truly existed.

 

Laurence Brahm has dived deeply into these waters, and it would be interesting to see what answers he

has come up with in his books and his DVD.

 

For me, I have a very practical application in mind, very close to where i live, but i am seeking to understand

this internal longings that drove the Searching for Shangrila (and Shambala) on the part of travelers,

artists, writers, and film makers.

 

The answer is not on the maps at the end of the road, it is in the art and the journey they took.

 

That sounds fairly Existentialist to me: finding your own meanig in the world. It does not have to be Communist (just like someone who analyses stock markets using Marxist Kondraief waves need not be Communist). :)

 

EDIT: When I typed the above, I had not read the other Shangrila thread, so sorry if I sound a bit random.

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That sounds fairly Existentialist to me: finding your own meanig in the world. It does not have to be Communist (just like someone who analyses stock markets using Marxist Kondraief waves need not be Communist). :)

 

 

OK. I would agree with that:

"Existentialists" find their own reasons for existing, rather than merely adopting what those around them believe.

 

Here's another way of putting it...

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Maybe a state of mind more than an actual location.

 

Some folks Shangri-La may be a sink council estate if that's where their family, friends and community are.

 

TLM

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OK. I would agree with that:

"Existentialists" find their own reasons for existing, rather than merely adopting what those around them believe.

 

Here's another way of putting it...

 

Exactly. I would go to try to justify it in terms of Quantum Theory and Philosophy of Mind (I studied the latter as part of my degree), but it is mind-bendingly complex and rather speculative.

 

I find GHPC and HPC so compelling for existential reasons (probably). Magpie, Sisyphus and the guy with the Edvard Munch Scream avatar are probably Existentialists. Dostoevsky was probably a proto-Existentialist (see the reading list thread). The reason people worry about house prices is Existential Angst (probably). Keynesian and Austrian Economics could probably be justified on Existential grounds (probably both can be), and monetarism is probably disproven on Existential grounds. Microeconomics and efficient market theories are probably a cause of Existentialist Bad Faith. I do not know how probably because of recursive probability.

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Maybe a state of mind more than an actual location.

 

Some folks Shangri-La may be a sink council estate if that's where their family, friends and community are.

 

TLM

 

That first image of Shambala that DrBubb posted certainly look about like a sink estate to me. I can't imagine living there would be very relaxing. :)

Guess it all comes down to your own perceptions.

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That first image of Shambala that DrBubb posted certainly look about like a sink estate to me. I can't imagine living there would be very relaxing. :P

Guess it all comes down to your own perceptions.

 

that image was based on the Potala Palace, i reckon

121-potala-side.jpg

 

what makes it liveable, even thrilling, is the grandeur of the nearby Himalayas.

 

Can you have true Shangrila/Shambala without mountains nearby? Perhaps not

 

- -

 

"Nestled in the Himalayas, Tibet is a large land mass, but has a small population. However it has a huge amount of interest. The Lhasa the capitol of Tibet is most famous for the Potala Place (the highest castle in the world) along with The Jokhang Monastery. The Drepung monastery is the biggest in Tibet, the Drepung monastery to the Tibetan people is the centre on the universe, it is a very important place with lots pilgrims making pilgrimages to visit it. The most faithful pilgrims walk 3 steps and bow in the direction of the Drepung temple, get up and walk another 3 steps and the cycle repeats until they reach the Drepung temple itself, many of these journeys taking years to complete."

@: http://www.daveoasis.com/tibet_tour.htm

 

- -

Guess it all comes down to your own perceptions.

True, savo.

 

I find it puzzling, that these images, which are magnificent and breath-taking for me, have so far only managed to inspire a brief conversation on the nature of existentialism. It comes down to those "own perceptions", i suppose

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BEFORE LOOKING at images, which can be overpowering,

 

Let's consider some of the values and realities that we would expect to find in Shangri-la.

 

 

 

 

+ Few pubs / maybe more tea bars than pubs

 

 

Start here maybe, a Google search:

http://images.google.com/images?svnum=10&a...G=Search+Images

 

I am really enjoying this thread.

 

BUT:

 

I think the Pub is one of the greatest institutions in the world. It is essential that Shangri La has many more of these than tea bars, which, in my experience, tend to get boring after a half hour or so.

 

How may wonderful conversations have you had in pubs?

 

How many wonderful inventions have been conveived? How many plots have been hatched? How many ideas have been had? From Shakespeare's writing to the American constitution the pub has been the setting for many great works of the inspired and free thinking.

 

The pub, not the wine bar or similar crap pseudo imitation, is the refuge of the free-thinking and revolutionary.

 

You can contemplate man's existence while attempting to meditate in an uncomfortable lotus position on a stone floor. Or you can have a heated discussion in front of a fiery hearth with ale and roast pork. I know which i'd rather do.

 

I propse a pub in Shangri La called ... The Shangri La

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I think the Pub is one of the greatest institutions in the world. It is essential that Shangri La has many more of these than tea bars, which, in my experience, tend to get boring after a half hour or so.

 

I am not anti-pub.

However, i have recently visited Kunming (which is in Yunnan province, a place where many have gone to start a search for shangrila.) There are no pubs there (as far as I could see), but there were many teahouses, which tended to be full of people chatting and enjoying themselves, but without the alcoholic fuel.

 

TeaHouse249.jpg

 

Maybe the new Shangrila does need pubs, but it it had them, they may come without the violence, and even serve a bit of tea along with the Newcastle Brown.

 

aaafc3.jpg

Click here: http://www.bartellonline.com/chinapic.php?i=39600

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MILK? Want some with that tea? Do be careful !

====

 

Many Chinese doubt food scandals will end

 

BEIJING — When Charles Shao started spending millions of dollars in 2004 to build a Chinese dairy farm that meets international quality standards, "everyone thought we were fools," he says.

"Now they say, you were right to take such care. Send me your milk!" says Shao, an American and CEO of Huaxia Dairy Farm, an hour's drive from Beijing.

 

For the past month, China's government and dairy industry have struggled to contain the spread of tainted milk products, from Australia to South America. The government vowed this week to overhaul China's "chaotic" dairy industry. Premier Wen Jiabao apologized to the victims and promised "never again."

 

But similar crises will happen again, predict Shao and other experts in China's massive food-processing business.

 

Wu Yongning, deputy director of the government's National Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety, says, "For now, farmers won't dare to put additives into milk. But after some time, if the government effort slackens, some farmers will feel the pressure of rising costs and falling profits. The chances of making fake products increase. There will be more food-safety problems after this."

. . .

"We have not learned enough lessons from the melamine problems last year," says Luo Yunbo, a food scientist at the Chinese Agricultural University. "We need to toughen the inspection system and standards, and also raise the moral standards of businessmen."

 

That's a tall order, says Laurence Brahm, a political economist and resident of China for 25 years. China "has gone from socialism to extremist capitalism, in which money is absolutely supreme and there is no other value. Everybody takes shortcuts to squeeze costs, and the (consumer) is the one who ultimately suffers."

 

He points to recent food-safety scandals. In 2004, fake Chinese-made baby formula that contained minimal nutrition caused at least 12 deaths and malnutrition for hundreds of infants. Other incidents in the past three years include cooked duck eggs colored with industrial red dye, vegetables with harmful pesticide residue, fish with dangerous pharmaceuticals, and vegetables and fruit injected with hormones.

 

"Each time, there is a knee-jerk reaction, but this is a fundamental, systemic problem where there is no transparency, and the bureaucracy is so entangled that it breeds corruption," Brahm says.

. . .

chinamilkx.jpg

 

At the Huaxia Dairy outside Beijing, CEO Shao hopes the crisis leads to stricter standards in China's dairy industry.

 

In September, he shipped in 2,800 cows from Australia, as the company seeks to become China's largest raw milk provider and the first to be certified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He has invested $22 million and says it will earn a 25% net profit this year.

 

The government's pledge to beef up supervision "won't change anything, because milk companies are not in control of the whole production process," Shao says. "There are big food-safety problems in China. There are a lot of laws that are not enforceable … but those issues are why we are here."

 

/see: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/f...chinamilk_N.htm

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As Larry Brahm has pointed out - the pursuit of profit has reached a dangerous extreme:

 

Raise the moral standards of businessmen."

 

That's a tall order, says Laurence Brahm, a political economist and resident of China for 25 years. China "has gone from socialism to extremist capitalism, in which money is absolutely supreme and there is no other value. Everybody takes shortcuts to squeeze costs, and the (consumer) is the one who ultimately suffers."

 

BUT DIDNT WE SEE exactly the same thing on Wall Street ??

The quants and spin-merchants in the Investment Banks, created toxic bonds, and packaged them as triple-A

- - -

 

The Values of Shangrila are something to be remembered (and regained?) where possible:

================

 

Values:

+ Close to nature and in harmony with it

+ Balanced and sustainable living

+ "Everything in moderation, even moderation."

+ Healthy citizens, with little disease arising from excessive smoking and drinking

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Thank you for resurrecting this thread. Since GEI has a very excellent musical element to it:

 

During my 6 years in London on ground zero of the mortgage credit bubble, I always used to sing this song to myself, maybe one of my favorite songs ever, the Kinks' "Shangri-La". It's never failed to move me for 30 years.

 

In the ensuing bubble burst it seems to show itself even more prescient.

 

http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=06oipehWqUg

 

Especially echoing in my head from 2001 - 2007 when I was in London:

 

"The little man who gets the train

Got a mortgage hanging over his head

But hes too scared to complain

'cause he's conditioned that way

 

Time goes by and he pays off his debts

Got a tv set and a radio

For seven shillings a week

Shangri-la"

 

It says it all to me

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Thank you for resurrecting this thread. Since GEI has a very excellent musical element to it:

 

During my 6 years in London on ground zero of the mortgage credit bubble, I always used to sing this song to myself, maybe one of my favorite songs ever, the Kinks' "Shangri-La". It's never failed to move me for 30 years.

 

In the ensuing bubble burst it seems to show itself even more prescient.

 

http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=06oipehWqUg

 

Especially echoing in my head from 2001 - 2007 when I was in London:

 

"The little man who gets the train

Got a mortgage hanging over his head

But hes too scared to complain

'cause he's conditioned that way

 

Time goes by and he pays off his debts

Got a tv set and a radio

For seven shillings a week

Shangri-la"

 

It says it all to me

 

 

WOW!!! WOW!!!!

 

First time I have ever seen or heard that....

 

I am now in deep thought...

 

WOW!!

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Taking the values of Tibet, etc to the first world...

 

Chasing Buddha” The film is a documentary written and directed by Amiel Courtin-Wilson, and

produced in Australia, 1999, Go Group. It is the story of a former Catholic feminist, Robina, who

has been a Buddhist nun for twenty years and who visits Kentucky State Penitentiary to counsel

death row inmates about the path to enlightenment, thus revealing her own search for inner peace.

The film, shown at Sundance Film Festival and the Tibetan International Film Festival (2001),

received the “Best Documentary, Dendy Awards,” Australian Film Festival, 2000.

 

For further Information, http://www.jcmedia.com.au

 

= 2/

Mair, Victor H. Tao Te Ching: The Classic Book of Integrity and The Way (NY: Bantam Books, 1990)

Mair’s translation of this ancient Chinese classic is based on the discovery of silk manuscripts

That are several centuries older than ones previously used for English renditions. The four part

“Afterward” contains thoughtful reflections on the Chinese oral tradition and linguistic meanings.

Victor Mair has long been with the Department of Asian and MidEast Studies, University of

Pennsylvania.

 

= 3/

Teasdale, Wayne. The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World’s Religions

(New World Library, 1999; ISBN 1577311027) “In his book…Br. Wayne Teasdale identifies

common elements in all of the great religious traditions that would lead use to a deeper and richer

global spirituality. They are: moral capacity and commitment; deep non-violence; a sense of

spiritual solidarity with others, including other species and the earth; a spiritual practice and

comprehensive self-knowledge; simplicity of lifestyle; selfless service; prophetic action. What I

most like about this list is that it makes explicit the connection between the spiritual and the

ethical.”

 

 

MORE, such links: http://www.cobbandassociates.com/pdf/2004_srl.PDF

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