transitional states of mind
July 28, 2006 1:55 PM   Subscribe

The Tibetan Book of the Dead: Part One. Part Two. [YouTube videos] [more inside]
posted by nickyskye (20 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Bardo Thodol, "Liberation through Hearing in the Intermediate State," is a guide for the dead and dying and a Tibetan Buddhist metaphor for states of mind.

Tibetan Books of the Dead

Transcending Madness: The Experience of the Six Bardos by Trungpa [online book, cached] [at Amazon]

The Tibetan Book of the Dead
The Great Liberation through Hearing in the Bardo By Francesca Fremantle, Chogyam Trungpa
posted by nickyskye at 1:56 PM on July 28, 2006

I've started reading the TBoTD several times over the years but always lost interest/focus. I feel sort of guilty listening to it on youtube.
posted by shoepal at 2:04 PM on July 28, 2006

Wow, all you have to do is write some horseshit down, and people will decide to believe it? Sign me up!
posted by interrobang at 2:10 PM on July 28, 2006

Wow, all you have to do is write some horseshit down, and people will decide to believe it? Sign me up!

fuck you interrobang.

You both make convincing points - I admit I'm torn.
posted by poweredbybeard at 2:50 PM on July 28, 2006 [1 favorite]

glad you see the symmetry.

thanks for this post nickyskye. sorry for pissing on it, too.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:58 PM on July 28, 2006

the elephant is jewish. who knew?
posted by quonsar at 3:23 PM on July 28, 2006

saulgoodman, No need to apologise to me. On the topic of belief systems I think disagreement is not only par for the course but really important. It would be, possibly, more educational if that disagreement were mutually respectful and rational. But maybe not as entertaining, lol.

shoepal, The Francesca Fremantle version is actually decent reading. The book has been more interesting to me over the years as I've known more people who died, or are in the process of dying. But I've enjoyed it the most as a discussion of being in between.
The word, "Bardo" means intermediate state; most often referring to the period between death and rebirth, however, there are six bardos:
1. Bardo of birth
2. Bardo of dreams
3. Bardo of meditation
4. Bardo of the moment before death
5. Bardo of dharmata or suchness
6. Bardo of becoming

I like the term Bardo as a metaphor for transitional states of mind in the present moment, symbols of form, feeling, perceptions, volition and consciousness.

Though I've Googled I can't find any more info about who made those YouTube videos, about the narrator, nuttin'. If anyone knows more about those videos I'd be interested.

quonsar, You're naughty.
posted by nickyskye at 4:02 PM on July 28, 2006

Those were pretty cool vids. Thanks nickyskye. Another way of putting it, that might be more palatable to some here, is this.
posted by sluglicker at 5:40 PM on July 28, 2006

These two animations seem to be excerpted from part II of "The Tibetan Book of the Dead".

"The second feature, 'The Great Liberation,' is far superior to its counterpart and explains in detail about "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" and its teachings through the death of a young monk and the 49-day journey his soul takes as he travels through the cycle of life and death. The surreal animation by acclaimed international filmmaker Ishu Patel, combined with [Leonard] Cohen's morose narration, creates an absurdly lucid and often frightening atmosphere of transition, which is hard to quantify without the use of psychotropic narcotics. We are taken through a Buddhist's death in a remarkably intimate and moving fashion, paraphrased with teachings from the book." via
posted by sluglicker at 6:09 PM on July 28, 2006

sluglicker, You are the best! Thank you for finding that and for the totally cool, insightful quantum mechanics link.
posted by nickyskye at 6:36 PM on July 28, 2006

posted by sluglicker at 6:58 PM on July 28, 2006

What a load of crap.
posted by luckypozzo at 10:21 PM on July 28, 2006

Thanks, sluglicker. I had a feeling that voice was Cohen. Also, the DVD is available on Netflix.

Now if only the Popol Vuh were read by Cohen and animated.
posted by shoepal at 1:21 AM on July 29, 2006

I get that "pure-light of consciousness" thing when I stand up too fast sometimes. As well as being bipolar, I've got hella low blood pressure. Once I stood up too fast in the middle of a particularly stressful manic episode (my 1st one at age 15), experienced the pure white luminosity of my own basic nature, then stumbled through a beaded curtain, passed out atop my wicker wastepaper basket, and came to maybe 30 seconds later...still manic as shit! I was so pissed off! Gimme lithium and a personal savior any day of the week!
posted by eegphalanges at 7:26 AM on July 29, 2006

Cool find - thanks.

Is that Leonard Cohen doing the narration?
posted by vronsky at 3:09 PM on July 29, 2006

yeah - it is, missed sluglickers post.
posted by vronsky at 3:10 PM on July 29, 2006

MetaFilter: Your favorite eschatology sucks!
posted by Eideteker at 2:31 AM on July 31, 2006

Eideteker, Eschatology refers to final events in the history of the world or the ultimate destiny of human kind but the Tibetan Book of the Dead is more about limbo states of existence or death.
posted by nickyskye at 12:06 PM on July 31, 2006

Eschatology can also refer to a system of beliefs about what happens to one after death. But yes, traditionally it is about the end of all life, not just one. What's another word then for the sense in which I used it?
posted by Eideteker at 2:03 PM on July 31, 2006

MetaFilter: Your favorite belief system sucks? lol
posted by nickyskye at 4:32 PM on July 31, 2006

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