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The Egyptian Book of the Dead

History Channel, no date

We see mummies, the Egyptian Afterlife, the journey of the soul, plenty of very nice re-enactments, experts, and - of course - "The Book of the Dead", which in this case happens to be the scroll of Ani. However, this mainly is the story of the famous Egyptologist E.A. Wallis Budge. Who seems to have been a bit of an entrepreneur and whose former reputation seems to have suffered a little on account of present day views regarding the ownership of archaeological treasures.

It makes me sad to see that the core bussiness of organised religion has hardly changed at all. For those ancient Egyptians already knew how to turn promises of eternal life into money. All in all this is a nice film and certainly worth watching. But do we learn anything new about the contents of the Book of the Dead ? Not really. If that is what you want you'll be better off buying a couple of good books on the subject.

History's Mysteries

The History Channel, no date

8 Discs covering various subjects.

   DVD 3 - "Stonehenge"

LEGENDS OF THE CELTS - Legends of King Arthur

Eagle Rock Entertainment, 2003

Part of a 3 DVD box-set. The films are in English with an option to switch on Dutch subtitlles. Further details to follow.

LEGENDS OF THE CELTS - Legends of the Irish

Eagle Rock Entertainment, 2003

Part of a 3 DVD box-set. Further details to follow.

LEGENDS OF THE CELTS - Legends of the Scots

Eagle Rock Entertainment, 2003

Part of a 3 DVD box-set. Further details to follow.

Mysterious Forces Beyond

Orion Channel, 2004

This double DVD features six more items:

   Episode 1 - "Heaven and Beyond - Angels"

Angels are messengers from God and a reality to some. "A marketing trick", according to one skeptic. Nice pictures. There is a therapist who uses angels to help her patients. The priests and scientists do not agree. I am not surprised.

   Episode 2 - "Heaven and Beyond - Miracles"

Plenty of miraculous things for us to wonder about. Visions of the Virgin Mary, Saints, bleeding statues, weeping statues, stigmata, Lourdes, Fatima, even America where the Blessed Virgin created a tiny puddle of muddy water which is now a place of worship that attracts many pilgrims. Need I go on ?

   Episode 3 - "Heaven and Beyond - The Power of Dreams"

In ancient times dreams were considered to be messages from the Gods. Modern psychiatrists may have different ideas. Skeptics explain away prophetic dreams as coincidence. And there is serious looking research to see if dreams are telepathic messages. "Dreams are very personal." someone says. I quite agree. Let's keep it that way.

   Episode 4 - "Death & Paranormal - Reunions with the Dead"

Seeing dead people is a common experience. Are they visions, hallucinations, or are they for real ? Dr. Moody appears to have developed his "psychomanteum" where people who want to contact their dead relatives can gaze into a black mirror. Many years ago, I made a rather nice looking black mirror myself, which seemed to be working just fine. Hey, why pay money to a "psychomanteist" if there is DIY ? Some people use crystal balls. I use one made out of black onyx, which works just as well. Like someone in this episode says: "We see what we want to see". And then continues: "We know how the brain can fool itself." My feelings exactly.

   Episode 5 - "Death & Paranormal - Reincarnation"

The Egyptians built a cult around it and so did the Bhudists. And other cultures and religions. But there is no scientific evidence for it. Someone did investigate the relation between birth defects and wounds from a (supposed) previous life. There is past life regression therapy where some people discover - surprise, surprise - that they were famous historical persons in their previous lives. Oh yeah, I bet they were. Why be some low-life if you could have been the Emperor Napoleon himself ? What was it this guy said in the previous episode: "We see what we want to see". And "We know how the brain can fool itself."

   Episode 6 - "Death & Paranormal - A Journey to the Other Side"

All about near death experiences. Are they dreams ? Hallucinations ? A wife-beater has a heart attack and sees the Light at the end of the tunnel, meets Jesus and becomes a priest. Fortunately there is Dr. Beyerstein who seems to have both feet on the ground. I quote: "I don't think it's a good idea to mix science with religion." Quite ! And here is another one: "As far as I know there is no evidence at all that anyone has ever come back from brain death." Dr. Beyerstein, you are my hero !


The Tibetan Book of the Dead

ABC Distribution, no date

I guess it must have been about 45 years ago that I first read the Tibetan Book of the Dead. And I was stunned to find that so many of the images described in the book were quite similar to the dreams that I dreamt in those days. But let us not waste time reminiscing. On to the documentary ! So what have we got ? We are promised Leonard Cohen. As a presenter ? Doing the voice-over ? Please don't let him sing !

FURTHER INFORMATION TO FOLLOW.

2012 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last update May 2012
Obviously all the rights to the images are the property of their rightful owners.

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