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The spiritual scientist who “invented” paranormal

The success of Paranormal Activity has eclipsed Dr. Charles T. Tart, the psychologist who turned the concept of the paranormal into a new branch of science

BY PAUL KAIHLAParanormal Activity is now the most profitable movie in history ($15,000 to make, it’s earned more than $100 million in box office) but the inventor of the field to which the film owes its name continues to research real cases of the paranormal in relative obscurity and modesty.

In 1969, psychologist Charles Tart coined the term “altered states of consciousness,” and his book of the same name remains a classic in the discipline of paranormal studies.

And around the time that Paramount was preparing its guerrilla marketing campaign for Paranormal, the movie, Tart was releasing The End of Materialism: How Evidence of the Paranormal is Bringing Spirit and Science Together.

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2012: End of days, cosmic messenger or perhaps a higher calling?

“We are flying by the seat of our collective, cosmic pants around a relatively insignificant sun, that is in turn hurtling through the provincial backwaters of a massive galaxy, anchored by a hellishly ravenous black hole.”

GUEST COLUMN: H. C. Hummel — I was raised on a grape ranch in Northern California during the 1950’s in a fundamentalist Christian household. Like thousands of other kids, I went to vacation Bible school during the summer months, where I became well-versed in the doctrine of the Second Coming; that is, the belief that Jesus would literally and physically return, appearing in the sky one day, coming to rescue his followers and establish a thousand-year reign of peace on Earth. In the Christian context, this belief of the Second Coming is deeply-rooted in the biblical books of Daniel and John’s Revelation.

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Spiritual Surf: Vatican and New Moon, Mel Gibson, and Marriage Myths

Vatican takes on New Moon while Pope courts artists; Mel Gibson goes rogue; Marriage myths busted

The Vatican demonstrates full on hate-on for New Moon

We are as (not) shocked as you are to hear that The Vatican condemns New Moon.  The Vatican’s Culture Council leader, Monsignor Franco Perazzolo isn’t down with the film’s “deviant” message to youth, but perhaps it’s all the fit shirtless dudes adorning the flick that really have his knickers in a twist.

Continuing in a cultural “vein”, the Pope met with 250 artists (500 were invited), including singer Andrea Bocelli, on Saturday, November 21st in a cozy little place called the Sistine Chapel.  His message, to encourage artists to inject more spirituality into their work, and in aid of “renew[ing] the Church’s friendship with the world of art.” Suggestion: a starting place may be for The Vatican to get out of the business of movie critic/censor.

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With signs of apocalypse all around us, even Hollywood is obsessed with 2012

Worried about war, depression, global warming and the price of gas? No wonder everyone’s talking about the year 2012

BY VAISHALI, author of You Are What You Love® and Wisdom Rising

Everywhere I go I hear conversations — rumblings about 2012. As I watched the Dow zig-zag across 10,000 and Congress authorize trillions of dollars to rescue us from the financial crisis, the rumblings got louder.

What exactly is 2012, and why all the buzz about it? Google “2012,” and you’ll get a quarter-billion hits. Now, two years in the making, Hollywood’s publicity machine is adding to the uproar with the marketing campaign for Roland Emmerich’s holiday-season disaster blockbuster, 2012.

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Five Minutes of Heaven; a lifetime in hell

Five Minutes of Heaven; a lifetime in hell

An award-winning movie puts fear under observation, terror under surveillance — and reflects both the faces of hate and compassion

BY DANNY KENNY — In Oliver Hirschbiegel’s “Five Minutes of  Heaven”, characters played by Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt deal with universal themes of reconciliation, revenge and forgiveness, set against the backdrop of the Irish conflict.

Through the prism of post-9/11 America, it also examines  pent-up and painful emotions, as well as uncomfortable questions that surround those age-old themes.

This cinematic text offers an insight into the ongoing, daily struggle for sanity and serenity — for those on both sides of the political and/or religious divide — who try to carry on living with themselves after their world has been shattered.

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Soul’s Code Celebrity Seekers Quiz – Movies

Test your knowledge of movies ranging from the transcendental genius of The Last Temptation of Christ to those that just try too hard . . . yes we mean you, The Love Guru

1.  Which composer scored the music for The Mission, the Oscar-winner about conquistador sin and Jesuit redemption that starred Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons?

A.  John Williams
B.  Vangelis
C.  Ennio Morricone
D.  Philip Glass

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Spiritual Surf: TIME on infidelity; The New Yorker on soul, hell, and nuns

When dinosaur media properties fight for life in an industry depression and macro recession, they invade whose turf?

Love, loss, realization, sex and “sin” are some of the life highs and lows that provoke spiritual exploration in the first place, and are among the core themes to which Soul’s Code is devoted.

We are amused when Old Media tries to juice summer newsstands sales by doing what we do best.

TIME’s attempt: “An increasingly fragile construct depending less and less on notions of sacrifice and obligation than on the ephemera of romance and happiness, as defined by and for its adult principals, the intact, two-parent family remains our cultural ideal, but it exists under constant assault.”

Wow, what (an original) concept.  Think Ann Coulter said it first. In 1860.

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“May I Be Frank” finds the Importance of not Being Earnest

A San Francisco-based independent film documents an ex-addict’s journey to his own soul’s code

GUEST COLUMN: DANNY KENNY — Some people are born Frank and some people learn to be Frank, but in the new film “May I be Frank?” no one can ever really be Frank except, well, Frank. Earnest, characterized as someone with a firm, humorless, and sincere belief in the validity of his own opinion is, thankfully, nowhere to be found in this flick. If you are, however, thinking flashy Italian American who does things his own way, you’re on the right track. But this is ultimately a story about a man in search of his voice and a different kind of love, perhaps the most elusive . . . self love.

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Spiritual Surf: Trainspotting, addiction, and Soul’s Code movie picks

In Great Britain, the disaffected, heroin-addicted young men immortalized in Irvine Welsh’s seminal novel, Trainspotting, are now middle-aged. And, it emerged this week, they are dying before their time. (The Guardian)

The high cost of cocaine: For “Clare Shaw . . .  her career, her friends, her husband and even her daughter”.  (UK Daily Mail)

Primed for addiction: A new Northwestern University study smokes out temptation (New Scientist)

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Is it time to give modern pirates a moral break?

How the swashbuckling archetype of pirates-past became today’s image of oceanic terrorists — a spiritual response

GUEST COLUMN: AMY LEASK — We’ve been incredibly spoiled by the likes of Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom.  Thanks to them we’ve become enamored with knee-high leather boots, gold hoop earrings and shoulder-perched parrots.

Very few of us made it through childhood without donning an eye patch and blackening out a tooth or two at Halloween.

Well into our adult years, it’s still acceptable to sport shoes with skulls and crossbones, or joke about being a swashbuckler while downloading songs and movies from the internet.

There’s very little that isn’t cool about being a pirate at least for those of us who’ve never left shore or had to swing a sword.

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