“While languages and cultures bring unique beauty to the world, we, as humankind are more alike than we are different.” GILAH YELIN HIRSCH

Combining science and art, Reading the Landscape is a natural progression following Hirsch’s first film, Cosmography: The Writing of the Universe, and is a magical voyage around the world following the migratory patterns of humankind. We follow five forms identified in nature that are present in alphabets universally, ancient to modern, and show that these forms were chosen ubiquitously as they mirror neurons and neural processes of perception and cognition.

Reading the Landscape was released and first shown in universities and transdisciplinary conferences in Europe and the US in 2018-2019. During the pandemic it is available virtually, and was recently included in a Zoom conference for The Institute for Philosophy and the Arts: Salon on the Spiritually Creative Life.

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Combining science and art, Reading the Landscape is a magical voyage around the world following the migratory patterns of humankind. We follow five forms identified in nature that are present in alphabets universally, ancient to modern, and show that these forms were chosen ubiquitously as they mirror neurons and neural processes of perception and cognition.

Reading the Landscape was first shown in transdisciplinary conferences in Europe and the US in 2018-19. This first public screening celebrated over a hundred adults and children from twenty-eight countries who participated in the film, as well as the numerous individuals, foundations and cultural agencies whose generosity made this film possible.

A few of the many good words about Reading the Landscape:

“Beyond honored to receive this world-unifying lifetime achievement… Thanks for your dedication, perseverance and being true to your heart-wise insights. As I continue to marvel at our species design for and need to play, your contributions through this elegantly produced transformational film will take us a step farther into the evolution of wisdom, language and more. The biblical tower of Babel no longer needs to hold our mythic belief systems about language differences….”

– Stuart Brown MD, Founder of the National Institute for Play

“A terrific, intelligent and fun movie that will appeal to everyone, in every country, culture, background…important, fascinating showing how all humans are fundamentally the same – same brain, same alphabetic forms used universally as neurons reflect shapes appearing in nature…a step toward peace as it can unify friends and foes… should be shown ubiquitously – festivals, TV… great for adults as well as children… special showings in schools, kindergartens should be arranged. Lovely, magical, educational, passionate movie. Truly a tour de force!”

– Nathaniel Gutman, Illusion Pictures

“She’s discovered a back road into the imagination that, unless you have a guide, you ain’t never gonna find this trail…We must constantly look at life in a different way – Gilah’s new film will most certainly empower young people to look at our wondrous world in different, highly creative, new ways.”

– Steve Price, CBS News

“WOW! Utterly compelling film.
In addition to the idea, the premise, the visuals, the graphics, I fell totally in love with the soundtrack. It is superb. In addition to stimulating my neurons by watching your amazing movie I’d be happy to just LISTEN to it over and over and over again.
I’m breathless.”

– Lionel Friedberg, Writer, Director Award winning PBS films

“Gilah, Ellen and I have just watched your amazing film, which played without a hitch on her desktop computer. My apologies for not following through sooner in setting up this doubly enjoyable movie date. We both took it in with ohhs and ahhhs as your visual landscapes conjoined with the signature lines, arcs, x’s, circles referencing the alphabet hills, forests, palaces, houses, trails, ponds, rivers, the oceanic sphere turning and tuning it all together with movement and music, not to mention the beautiful faces of adults and children so quiet in speaking their primal words – Mama, Papa, Brother, Sister, Grandma, etc. And, of course, the animals…**

Together with your singularly conscious visuals, you suggest so much unconscious resonance regarding who we are, where we come from and what we imagine we see.

Ellen and I are in awe of the insight and patience with which you made it all happen. Though in a local sense I was probably “the last” of those you initially sent the film to see it, I hope to be numbered among the many to come who will see and experience its wonders.

Thank you for making this beautiful film.”

– Martin Epstein, Associate Arts Professor, Tisch School of the Arts / NYU

COSMOGRAPHY: The Writing of the Universe


…traces the evolution of a series of interrelated ideas which Gilah Yelin Hirsch has studied over a period of twenty-five years. Lengthy sojourns in wilderness, augmented by world travels, have expanded her vision and the pool of information contributing to a theory on the origin of the alphabet as based in pattern in nature. Hirsch’s multidisciplinary approach spans the realms of art, philosophy, psychology, theology, psychoneuroimmunology, spirituality and global culture.

COSMOGRAPHY explores the relationship of form to emotion – how images are stimulated and how they affect the physiology of the viewer: the nature of perception and cognition – how the human mind makes sense of what it perceives and why; how all alphabets may have stemmed from five patterns in nature which mirror the neurons and neural processes of the perceptual apparatus; and how indigenous cultures utilize these forms in healing techniques because of their power to catalyze a sense of physical and emotional harmony.

Through the vehicles of painting, photography and innovative experimental video effects, the discovery process is brought to life so that the viewer participates experientially in the creative journey of the artist.

The unusual visual qualities of COSMOGRAPHY were developed in collaboration with editor Eric Marin. In addition to his editing of documentary and feature films, he has also directed and edited his own prize-winning documentaries, including Lou Harrison: Cherish, Conserve, Consider, Create.


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“There is always something thrilling when the laser of human intelligence succeeds in focusing itself in such a way that another hidden code of the universe is suddenly uncovered. Hirsch’s discovery teaches us much about the congruence of human consciousness and the natural world, that is to say, the congruence of mind and matter, of natural systems and mental constructs.

Through Hirsch’s extraordinary perception, we experience the world truly as a Moebious strip, continuous ever and always with itself: the mirroring of relational patterns and DNA strands that interact, metabolize and weave alphabets from butterflies’ wings until the life of nature and the nature of life are seen to emerge from the same elemental ideogram, and we are all, as Hirsch says, part of the same substance. The intuitive scope, the imaginative reach, of this video is no less than breathtaking. It is absolutely crucial that we understand its message of oneness and its principle of interconnection so that we experience intimately how things fit together. I see this project as a significant contribution to the new, emerging discipline of deep ecology.”

Suzi Gablik, critic/author of The Reenchantment of Art, and Has Modernism Failed?

“Not only is the artistry fantastic, but her insight is pure genius – the quality people rarely encounter even once in a lifetime.”

Carolyn Myss, author of Anatomy of the Soul