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July 23, 2008 6:34 AM   Subscribe

The Comic Bardo Thodol, or: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Tibetan Book of the Dead but were afraid to not read in a streamlined comic context. [via mefi projects]
posted by cortex (23 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, that's about the most coherent explaination of the karma business I've ever got. Do you start the cycle over if you get stuck in one of the alternate worlds and die again?
posted by Phalene at 6:52 AM on July 23, 2008


I'll come back to this later.
posted by Abiezer at 6:53 AM on July 23, 2008 [6 favorites]


Yeah! Yeah, yeah! That's it! I've read the Tibetan Book of the Dead two or three times and this beautifully done piece of work rings true. Great job. Great link.

Fucking smoky light. Fucking demons. I hate those guys.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 6:56 AM on July 23, 2008


That was awesome. Thanks!
posted by Floach at 7:07 AM on July 23, 2008


Come to think of it, I did a three-page comic version of the Book of the Dead myself, back in the 80's, using funny animals. Angels, demons, sex, rebirth -- not as coherent as this. It was published in Dr. Wirtham's Comics and Stories after seeing the light of day in the funny-animal comix apa Rowrbrazzle. I ought to scan the thing in, one of these days.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 7:08 AM on July 23, 2008


I'm hoping the next step will be someone writing the book up in SCUMM.

Ooh, or maybe Inform:
Moment of death
You are floating in an open plane, west of a clear light emanating
from nothingness.
There is a mailbox here.

> examine mailbox
The mailbox is only an illusion.

> reject light
You see another, different clear light.

> reject light
Which light do you reject?

> the second one
I don't see any one here.

> reject second light
I don't see any second light here.

> fuck you
That's a karma paddlin'.

> reject another, different clear light.
In your foolishness, you doom yourself to the Chonyid Bardo.

posted by cortex at 7:45 AM on July 23, 2008 [28 favorites]


Tibetan Book of the Dead to some, typical Friday-night-out to others... six of one, half-a dozen of the other...

This was great. Thanks.
posted by Graygorey at 7:48 AM on July 23, 2008


Just noticed this on Projects and decided it was totally postable; then discovered that Cortex had already totally posted it.

Great stuff. Looking forward to the Comic Koran. Or perhaps, better not. I'm sure the Dalai Lama would endorse the Comic Bardo Thodol, however.
posted by beagle at 8:05 AM on July 23, 2008


Good stuff. Thanks.
posted by tkolar at 8:14 AM on July 23, 2008


This is really great. Thanks a lot.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 8:40 AM on July 23, 2008


Reminiscent of Patrick Farley's e-sheep.com. Neat!
posted by Eideteker at 8:41 AM on July 23, 2008


This is great. I am a little confused though - on Day 1 in the Choynid Bardo (the Vairocana), it appears that having bad Karma/being stricken with fear leads to a life in the Deva-Loka? What am I missing?
posted by never used baby shoes at 8:51 AM on July 23, 2008


This is great. I am a little confused though - on Day 1 in the Choynid Bardo (the Vairocana), it appears that having bad Karma/being stricken with fear leads to a life in the Deva-Loka? What am I missing?
Remember that's part of the benevolent hallucinations--that part of the betweenlife is the good part of the trip. So it's "fear and terror" in the good sense. Think of more Western terms like "God-fearing", or for a more secular bent, a spectacular sunset causing awe (root of awful, of course) and trembling. Various poets talking about terrible beauty. So it's awful, but attractive--thus, that's your exit! Whereas if you don't really respond (enh, it's just a sunset, I've seen plenty of those!), it's another light for you.

Clearly I need to pay more attention to Projects; I would've missed this if it hadn't been posted. I approach the blue light!
posted by Drastic at 9:01 AM on July 23, 2008


Loved it loved it loved it.
posted by ikahime at 9:10 AM on July 23, 2008


This has inspired me to finally go read the real thing. I've been wondering for a couple of weeks now, how do you pronounce Akshobhya? Is it Ak-sho-bee-ya, Ak-sho-bye-ya, or Ak-sho-bya?
posted by paradoxflow at 9:45 AM on July 23, 2008


Whee!

you doom yourself to the Chonyid Bardo

I thought that's where all the good stuff happened - psychedelic visions, heightened sensations, general arousal. Oh, I see. We want liberation from all that. Grooovy.

I love how the easiest path to liberation is the best. "See that light? Do you get it? ... Cool, we're outta here."
posted by mrgrimm at 10:01 AM on July 23, 2008


I thought that's where all the good stuff happened

I'm pretty sure the guys at Infocom were just trying to sex up the narrative arc a bit.
posted by cortex at 10:02 AM on July 23, 2008


Wait, Zod is the second deity?
posted by blue_beetle at 10:09 AM on July 23, 2008


Thanks, Drastic. I am enlightened. My problem with the whole process would be my ADD tendencies.

@blue-beetle - well, he had to do something with his time after Superman 2.
posted by never used baby shoes at 10:20 AM on July 23, 2008


This is brilliant! Thanks!
posted by homunculus at 10:44 AM on July 23, 2008


I appreciate any version of the afterlife inhabited by the Spice Girls. Awesome!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:27 PM on July 23, 2008


Wait - is Ratnasambhava really....Nigella Lawson?!??
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:29 PM on July 23, 2008


Good work! If you'd like further examples of comics made from photographs, that style is called fumetti.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:00 AM on July 28, 2008


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