Based on a novel by British author James Hilton, the book supposed that a peaceful paradisiacal utopia lay beyond the icy cold spaces of the Tibetan mountains. This quest has a dual purpose, first, To find someplace which is unimaginably beautiful and tranquil. Second, to find a place which is safe and secure. While it is quite possible for people to find such a place, one thing remains utterly unattainable…A place that is free of strife, hardship and many social ills.
Mankind, it seems, has been searching diligently for such a place for millennia.
Every time I see photos of a tropical paradise, my first thoughts are perfection, beauty and tranquility. However, there is No place on earth that is absolutely free from man’s destructive desires. This is where the author’s idea of Shangri-la, which translates to “mountain pass” in its oriental vernacular, offers meaning and purpose. Of All the places on this earth, not 1 is without sickness, death, old age, avarice or depression.
Shangri-la was a mythical Himalayan utopia, where there was absolute peace and tranquility. An almost mystical place where old age, sickness, death, greed simply did not exist. How many times have I wished that such a place existed somewhere? Haven’t We All? The novel was adapted into a film by Frank Capra in 1937. The film’s utopian society was little more than a lamasery built high in the mountains of Tibet.
Both the book and the film pose a significant question to society if you could find such a place, What would you do there? Would you really want to find such a place? would you be happy there? It’s funny how people are killing themselves to make it big in the world today. materialism, consumerism, self -centeredness along with quests for power and notoriety. In Hilton’s remote paradise, none of these things mattered. Human communal society was not based on acquisition but just being and learning contentment and enlightenment.
All the people were equal…No 1 person was any better or worse than any other.
Funny, how I can think of California, Hawaii, Florida as such places…and yet They are not. The book , As well as the film ask Does a truly perfect place exist? And If so? Where is it? I’ve asked myself this for many years!
Perhaps this is why meditating and retreats have become so popular? You may go in pursuit of Anything you may wish, but , Peace must be sought and found within
Photographs are Courtesy: James Hilton
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