Wednesday, October 18th 2017

Spiritual Surf: Leno’s Oprah confessional, John Edwards’ New Age love connection, Jude Law, Baptists, burqas, Groundhog Day, Candlemas

Jay Leno walks Oprah’s Stations of the Cross

The Washington Post‘s TV columnist, Lisa de Moraes, has a psycho-spiritual essay about Jay Leno’s appearance on the final Oprah Winfrey Show of January, 2010. Moraes’ brilliant metaphor for how celebs rehabilitate a tarnished public image by seeking on-air absolution from “the Queen of the Confessional”: the Stations of the Cross, a ritual associated with Lent and penitence.

The WaPo columnist also works in a quickie psycho-analysis of Winfrey’s narcissism: Oprah interview with Leno manages to be all about . . . Oprah

Andrew Young’s tell-all book, The Politician, exposes Rielle Hunter as a spiritual materialist

edwardsMaybe the most public figure in need of Oprah’s blessings is 2008 Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards. His closest personal aide for nine years, Andrew Young, has now revealed the full extent of Edwards’ psychological ‘splitting off” — essentially, how the former North Carolina senator compartmentalized his life into separate realities that ultimately collided.

Most fascinating is the account of Rielle Hunter, who secretly gave birth to her and Edwards’ daughter during the 2008 Democratic primaries, that Young and his wife shared on ABC’s 20/20.

Rielle objected to some of her luxury accommodations paid for with hush money because their energy didn’t feel right, believed she was pregnant with a “golden child” destined to be a world savior and displayed a stunning sense of entitlement.

Is she a wounded but well-meaning person who has wrapped herself in a New Age skin? We’ve seen this movie before: the ego remains as unstoppable as ever, but reinvented with a new brand.

judelaw1Jude Law mourns for Adonis

Oprah isn’t the only public figure full of themselves. In a recent interview for a German magazine, Jude Law compared himself and Robert Pattison, of Twilight fame, to the ancient Greek god Adonis. Semitic in origin, Adonis was a divine heartthrob with other worldly beauty, and, of course, a favorite of the goddess of love, Aphrodite. Law’s self compliment sounds more like the ancient Greek myth of Narcissus, where a beautiful youth falls in love with this own reflection in a pool of water. Is this narcissism?

haitichildren2Baptists save Haitians . . . almost

Ten US Baptists were arrested last weekend by Haitian police for illegally transporting children from Haiti to the neighboring nation of the Dominican Republic. According to news reports the Baptists involved claimed that they were trying to relocate these children to a safe environment, and the surviving parents of some of the children gave their consent for the move. While the motives appear noble, a disregard for Haiti’s law ruined the Baptist group’s plans.

burqa1Burqa ban put to the vote

France’s National Assembly is set to vote on a resolution banning veils or buraqs in France. While head scarves will be allowed for Muslim women, any clothing covering the entire face — with the exception of the eyes — would be illegal. Political commentators see France walking a fine line between its enlightenment principles and trying to accommodate freedom of religious expression, on the one hand, and promoting cultural assimilation on the other. At least one Parisian imam supports the burqa ban, arguing that full veils are culturally acceptable in countries like Saudi Arabia, but not France.

groundhog11Groundhog Day as winter divination

Groundhog Day is celebrated this week, though the media portrayal only scratches the surface of an elaborate tradition. Groundhog Day in the US harkens back to German traditions, replete with midwinter festivities, special social clubs, and interpreting animal behavior for weather predictions. There appears to be a human need for holding festive celebrations in what is otherwise a cold and dreary time of year, not to mention determining what the future will hold.


candlemasCandlemas and weather forecast

This week the Christian holy day of Candlemas coincides with Groundhog Day in more ways than one. While the day commemorates the presentation of Jesus to the high priest of the Temple that once stood in Jerusalem, there is also a tradition of “interpreting” the weather on this particular day. Traditionally Christians would process with lit candles or light candles at home in rememberance of Jesus’ being “the light of the world”. Also, the faithful would keep a close eye on the skies: if there was rain, then winter would be short; if clear, winter would last even longer.

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