Spiritual Surf: David Carradine’s split soul; Wright on God; celebrating less, crystals buck downturn, and more
Kung Fu and the trappings of transformation
The West Coast new age community embraced actor David Carradine as a kind of icon of east-meets-west mysticism, largely because of his leading role in the 1970s TV show, Kung Fu. He even headlined at the Conscious Life Expo in L.A. in February, 2009 (sponsored in part by Soul’s Code.) Now, days after his death in Bangkok at the beginning of June, journalists have discovered that Carradine was a split soul, viz. this TMZ story about his fetishes and sex-toy shopping sprees. You don’t have to be in Hollywood to get wrapped up in re-branding your personality as “spiritual,” while holding real transformation at bay. Our thoughts for Carradine’s safe voyage to the other side.
Reverend Wright on the evolution of God
In a surprisingly sensitive essay in this week’s Time, Orange County, Calif., mega-church preacher, Robert Wright — the controversial cleric tapped by Obama to lead the sermon at his inauguration — discusses in frank terms the “evolution of God.” Wright writes: all three of the great monotheisms — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — have gone through periods of religious belligerence and spiritual tolerance.
Less is more enjoyable
There are whole magazines devoted to living with less. But, as former Time magazine world affairs correspondent, Pico Iyer, notes in a recent essay in the New York Times, what you really need to live with less is — simply, less. After a month-long stint in a temple in Japan in the 1980s, Iyer took up residence in a tiny flat in Tokyo — where he lives just as simply, almost as monastically, and very, very happily — to this day.
Oprah Winfrey, snake oil salesperson?
Wish away cancer! Get a lunchtime face-lift! Eradicate autism! Turn back the clock! Thin your thighs! Newsweek exposes Oprah’s snake oil. But, hey, we’ve been exposing Oprah’s split personality for months.
Crystals doing well despite downturn
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the city’s annual Crystal Fair at Fort Mason went gangbusters despite the stagnant economy. Granted, $4,400 crystal wands were half-off, but the fair was mightily well-attended. To turn an old phrase, we hope that what’s good for crystal healers is good for America.
Benjamin Disraeli’s desk: a little spiritual materialism
Victorian prime minister of Great Britain, Benjamin Disraeli, was one of history’s memorable seekers. Born a Jew, Disraeli embraced the Anglican faith while never forgetting his Jewish roots. Like a Victorian Obama, he used his mixed heritage to come to power and change the world. His novel, Tancred, became a de facto guide for many seekers. We don’t know for sure if people’s spirits inhabit their belongings after they’re gone but, if you want to find out, Disraeli’s desk will be auctioned June 15, 2009.
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