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Five movies with both “Soul” and “Code”

Five movies with both “Soul” and “Code”

We knew that we had a winning combination when we created Soul’s Code. How Hollywood is using the same words

BY SOUL’S CODE In the spirit of Jungian synchronicity, are movie studios now mimicing our meme? Hundreds of millions have been invested in these feature films, and the producers branded them by using either the word “Soul” or “Code” in the titles — and on the cinema marquee:

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Why ABC’s “reality show” The Bachelor is so un-real

Why ABC’s “reality show” The Bachelor is so un-real


Dating in America — an analysis of our collective consciousness from a couples counselor

BY DAVID RICKEY — As the 2010 season of The Bachelor nears its March 1 finale, curiosity about what Americans think dating is really about got the best of me. I am a psychotherapist and spiritual teacher, and hardly an avid watcher of Reality TV, so this posed a bit of a challenge.

My personal routine is getting up at about 5 a.m, and meditating. My day is then an exploration. I seek to heal, contemplate texts in preparation for sermons, which are a form of teaching, and generally try to stay aware.

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How Oprah fixed my mom

How Oprah fixed my mom

Is it possible that the TV icon somehow succeeded where God and psychotherapy had failed?

BY TIPPI STRACHAN — I don’t watch Oprah. I have no real justification for this, but whether it’s her mega-sprayed hair or the adoring throngs of “go-girl” women in her audience, the show brings a lump of bile in my gut.

How do I know? It’s always on whenever I visit my mom. The same mom who raised us to watch minimal TV now quotes Oprah like the Bible, and brings her up in every conversation. But I put up with this because — and I genuinely believe it to be true — Oprah fixed my mom.

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Why doesn’t Paris Hilton grow as a person?

She’s pretty American

BY PAUL KAIHLA — In her short, unintentional life, Paris Hilton has performed at least one spiritual good deed: In 2007, after being sentenced to 45 days in jail for . . . whatever, she exited her L.A. home carrying a copy of Eckhart Tolle’s, The Power of Now.

That single act, and famous photo, gave Tolle’s best-selling book of spiritual haiku a second life. It zoomed up Amazon.

The take on Paris among the Soul’s Code community of helping-professionals goes something like this: she’s a harmless person who puts herself out there — but not “in” there — as in, herself. Or what Carl Jung called “the Self,” free of an excessive degree of self-concern.

When she was sentenced, we publicly prayed for Paris’ new inner life — or at least that she’d undergo what another American icon, Dwight Eisenhower, called “an agonizing reappraisal.”

It didn’t work.

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Escape from Hollywood: The Soul’s Code list of 2011 summer movies

Escape from Hollywood: The Soul’s Code list of 2011 summer movies

Spiritual cinema: From the Rolling Stones to religious war, these 5 flicks are enlightened and entertaining.

1. 9th Company, the Russian side of “Charlie Wilson’s War”

Hulu.com, the website where you can play TV and movies for free, finally has a foreign flick worth watching. (Actually, make that any flick).

Hulu just posted 9th Company, “9 Рота” in the original Russian — the first time that a mass American audience has been exposed to the best movie we’ve ever seen from the post-Soviet Union (and in that spirit, it’s a co-production with Finland and the Ukraine).

Yes, the movie does has subtitles. But think of it as the Rus version of Platoon with the nitty-gritty psychological naturalism of Stanley Kubrick’s Natural Born Killers. But it’s actually based on a true story.

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What will replace LOST? Why the ABC series was the only show on TV that had a religious following

The gospel of LOST: Steeped in mystical memes and Einstein’s deconstruction of time, here are 12 reasons that LOST was the most “enlightened” show on TV

BY PAUL KAIHLA — In the 2011 liturgical calendar of American TV, what have we got? Jersey Shore ?! Millionaire Matchmaker? They make Sarah Palin look seriously spiritual. And they strip all shame from the vapid Lloyd Braun-Marc Cherry content called Desperate Housewives. Also an ABC product.

In this 2011 season of Lent, we still long for LOST. Why bring up religious matters?

LOST was a religious experience. Here are 12 reasons why:

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Decoding America’s favorite psychopath, Showtime’s Dexter

The sub-text of the award-winning cable TV series has a lot to say about a society that bred Enron, Dick Cheney and Real Housewives

MICHELLE MORRA-CARLISLE: “Sociopaths can’t feel psychic pain but they can feel physical pain,” says narrator Dexter as on-screen Dexter plucks a hair – with gusto – from the head of a likely serial rapist and killer. It’s for a routine DNA test but the viewer, along with Dexter, feels pleasure when the bad guy says, “Ow!”

The bad guy somehow is not Dexter Morgan, hence the mastery of this Showcase series now in its fifth season. A man with an irrepressible urge to kill, Dexter (played by Michael C. Hall) is not an antagonist for the hero to catch. He is the hero.

From Enron and Wall Street graft to the White House — both occupants on the inside like Dick Cheney and crashers from the outside like the reality-show Salahis — psychopathic behavior in the world around us seems to be at a collective high. Dexter serves as a sympathetic benchmark for the mental miasma in our midst.

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A psychotherapist diagnoses Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab, Season 3

Does the Vh1 reality series do anything for un-famous addicts, or is it just voyeurism?

The cast of Celeb Rehab 3

BY DAVID RICKEY — One only has to watch the intake interviews for Celebrity Rehab, the reality show on the VH1 cable channel hosted by Pasadena-based Dr. Drew Pinsky, to see that cast members like Dennis Rodman, Tom Sizemore and Heidi Fleiss have more issues going on than just addiction, either to drugs and alcohol, or certain patterns of behavior. (Exhibit: country singer Cindy McCready, who was addicted to an abusive boyfriend).

This points, then, to the major drawback of Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab — and rehab in general.

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Mad Men’s Don Draper and depression in America

In 2010 America, we all live in a world that is 90 % mad: The most fascinating show on TV’s sly commentary on our current mental health

BY PAUL KAIHLA —  On October 1, 2010, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a survey of the most recent data on depression — and the results were, well, depressing. One in ten Americans suffered from that mental illness as the economy careened into the current recession.

But what surprised many researchers, especially at pioneering psych departments like that at Stanford University, is that the statistic was not higher. According to Stanford neuro-psych Viveka Ramel, about half of us in North America will suffer from a clinical disorder of some kind during our lifetime — and for a fifth of us, that diagnosis will be depression.

A brilliant reflection of our current economic and spiritual health, and how those macro forces course through our personal psycho-dynamics, is on display this fall on the AMC cable channel series, Mad Men. The show’s writers — some of the same people who brought you the hit HBO show, The Sopranos — frame their mise-en-scene in the emerging New York megapolitan of the 1960′s, riven by characters who are careerists on Madison Avenue.

Casting this story in the past gives us just enough comfort-zone to look at ourselves in our present-tense, and make no mistake: Mad Men is a commentary on *our* anxious, over-politicized and publicized times.

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