A Legendary Tale Of The Himalayas

Long before the land of Shangri-la was conceived in the 1933 novel, Lost Horizon, written by British author James Hilton who created a story so popular, some argue it began the paperback revolution in the early 1930’s. A tale of a hidden land, a Utopian society of the enlightened that exists to preserve the art, culture and sanity of a planet faced by greed and genocide, conceived during the eighteen year respite between the great war of the Twentieth Century.

A place where harmony is endemic and those that live within its borders understand the nature of solemnity and the search for balancing the emotional and higher nature, a path for those who hear its call, often overlooked or ignored when distracted by the challenges of daily life.

In 1937, Frank Capra produced and directed a film adaptation, a black and white masterpiece, screenplay by Robert Riskin and starring Ronald Coleman and Jane Wyatt. The film’s tone reflected Capra’s darker view of humanity, quite the opposite of what his later films portrayed. Considered a classic, its spiritual message resonates as much today as it did in the last century.

The art direction and set designs, by Stephen Gooson reflected the architecture reminiscent of a Frank Lloyd Wright landscape as if the buildings were carved, perfectly formed in mountain stone conveying complete harmony with nature. A lamasery born from the mastery of an artisan who envisioned the merging of thought and form with simplicity, yet a story also controversial for its socialistic overtones at a time when diverging economic philosophies swept the globe. A paradise that appears credible, without the need for competition or conflict, disease, envy, greed or hunger and where the purpose of existence then as it is now is  for higher pursuits as the soul motivation. A compelling tale although popularized by Hilton is not as original as most thought.

For centuries those of Eastern Traditions near Northern India, Nepal and Tibet spoke of Shambhala in ancient texts of The Zhang Zhung culture, predating Buddhism in Western Tibet. The Bon scriptures called it Olmolungring, a society long rumored to exist where all its inhabitants were enlightened hidden in some valley surrounded by the Himalayas which could only be found if one knows where to look.

Many believe it an idea rather than a location others argue that it is real, and  exists as  the state where individual consciousness understands how to be a conduit for matter and energy,  converging and radiating both levels simultaneously, claiming that only by developing the connection with a higher level than spirit/matter, can the call be heard and the location unveiled by the search of ones soul, motivated by the heart generating curiosity that sparks the flame transmuting the consciousness.

In any case, there is no one who claims to have been there and returned to tell the tale. Even if they had, it would be unwise to reveal it, as finding Shambhala is an individual achievement that begins with introspection enriched by higher inspiration.