vision quest…


Lost Horizon

Lost Horizon by James Hilton - 1933.

James Hilton coined the term “Shangri-La” in his 1933 utopian fantasy Lost Horizon.

Lesson / Koan : Take a walk  “Forest Bathing” or “Shinrin-yoku,” to refresh mind & body.

Hilton’s novel invented a synonym for an idyllic escape from stress and real life, a visionary nirvana or remote haven free of the turmoil that besets human life.  In the mythical Himalayan utopia, the people who live at Shangri-La are almost immortal, only very slowly aging in appearance.  The secret of long life is the medicinal tangatse berry.

Is there a real Shangri-La?

Finding Shangri-La, 2007.

American explorers Adrian (Ted ) Vaill and Peter Klika researched the 1933 James Hilton book “Lost Horizon” and the 1937 Frank Capra film by the same name.  The explorers uncovered clues as to Shangri-La’s actual location deep in the mountains of Eastern Tibet.  Vaill and Klika visited the Muli area of southern Sichuan Province in 1999, and revealed that the Muli monastery in this remote region was the model for James Hilton’s Shangri-La.  Hilton learned about Muli from articles on this area in several National Geographic Magazine articles in the late 1920s and early 1930s written by Austrian-American explorer Joseph Rock ( see note below ).  Adrian (Ted ) Vaill completed a film based on their research, “Finding Shangri-La“, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007. ( watch trailer for “Finding Shangri-La” at bottom of post. )

BTW,

China has recently allowed a town in Eastern Tibet, Zhongdian, to rename itself “Shangri-La” to capitalize on the tourist interest in this subject. This town has nothing to do with the “Shangri-La” reflected in James Hilton’s novel.

NOTE :

Joseph Rock was cherished for his eccentricities, as well as his knowledge of botany. Rock always travelled with a complete set of silverware, which was laid out for him at mealtimes. He also travelled with a rubber bathtub, which he filled with hot water so that he could enjoy that most European of luxuries: a good soak in the bath.

&

United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, being considerably fond of Hilton’s novel, named the presidential retreat, now known as Camp David, “Shangri-La” in 1942.

File:1937LostHorizonPoster.jpg

1937 - Lost Horizon movie poster.

 

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