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Spiritual Surf: “Angels and Demons”, Apple’s Jesus app, JFK’s happiness

Tom Hanks’ “Angels and Demons” vs. the Pope

MICHAEL MATTIS — Is movie star Tom Hanks the post-modern Galileo? He has lived with the Holy Roman Church’s ire since he starred in Dan Brown’s Catholic conspiracy-theory-inspired The Da Vinci Code.

Now things are a wee bit different, as Hanks’ character, super-stud Harvard prof, Robert Langdon, actually attempts to save the Vatican from the mythical Illuminati. We remember that this was a pretty good audio-book on a road trip. Maybe you’ll like the movie.

Apple dis’s Jesus app

Apple claims that its much-vaunted iPhone always has “an app for that.” Want to know where you are? They’ve got an app for that. Want a pizza? They’ve got an app for that. Want to look like Jesus Christ?

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bama smoke

Spiritual Surf: Obama fatigue, ‘General’ Chopra, Dr. Phil’s ratings, and More

Betting against Obama fatigue

By now it’s clear that former President Elect Barack Obama‘s image can sell just about anything, from puppy sweaters to phony commemorative coins. But he can also sell your cause — any cause — as discovered by On its “Yes You Can Challenge” petitions page — where you can create and circulate your own petition electronically — the site boasts a picture and an inspiring quote from the new prez. Piggy-backing an inspiring brand to inspire people is a natural strategy for self-help sites — as long as the brand lasts. Some were already claiming “Obama fatigue” before last year’s election.

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Separated at miraculous birth: Barack Obama and Jesus Christ

Separated at miraculous birth: Barack Obama and Jesus Christ

From deadbeat dads to the middle initial “H”? The Top 10 reasons why Obama and Jesus are, like, almost the same person

SOUL’S CODE When Freud coined the term, transference, he used it to describe the unconscious projection we have about a parent, or some other childhood figure, onto a lover, boss — or, yes, in the media age — a presidential candidate.

Is Barack Obama the Son of Promise, Child of Hope, collective father figure, and redeemer in the eyes of the world of us — as in, the “U.S.”?

We rejoice in his victory by documenting the Top 10 similarities and synchronicities between the president-elect and Jesus the savior:

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Election withdrawal: Bill Maher’s “Religulous” a funny break?

When Republicans look at Bill Maher, they see Lucifer. Democrats see a comic genius. We saw Religulous to escape election withdrawal

BY TERJE FOKSTUEN — As funny as he is, Bill Maher is a cerebral type who lives in his head — at the expense of his heart. He’s missing enough in the soul-department that I almost felt sorry for him as I watched Religulous, his big-screen collaboration with former Seinfeld-writer Larry Charles (now a guerrilla-cinema director, who made his name with Borat).

I say the above with “kid love”, which is Bill’s refrain after punchlines during his stand-up routine on his Friday night HBO series, Real Time With Bill Maher. Yes, I am a fan.

But Bill’s first feature film left me cold. Religulous (rhymes with “ridiculous”)

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Palin, Obama, and Eckhart Tolle

Palin, Obama, and Eckhart Tolle

Did Tolle’s concept of the collective Pain Body drive the election?

BY DAVID RICKEY — September marked the 7th anniversary of what has become known simply as 9/11.

That horrific day flicked a psychic switch for Americans. For most of us, we suddenly had a sense of being a victim, and that completely wiped out any awareness of cause and effect. George Bush’s popularity jumped to over 90%, and the country pulled together under this unified field of “victim” identity.

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Barack Obama, John McCain and the presidential politics of codependence

Barack Obama, John McCain and the presidential politics of codependence

Part 3 of 7 in a Soul’s Code series about codependence

BY DAVID RICKEY and PAUL KAIHLA — In our description of the Stage 1 of codependence we talked about how common it is for people who had childhoods with an abusive, dysfunctional or weak parent to carbon-copy that dynamic in adult relationships — or compensate for it.

As it happens, both of the 2008 presidential candidates fit the mold with their fathers. Barack Obama (in the B&W photo with his mother, step-father and half-sister) never really knew his father, except by myth.

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The True Confession of John Edwards

FATHER DAVID RICKEY — In the public perception, the mighty are just waiting for a fall — and in the public mind the rush to watch the fall is swift.

It is always easier to anticipate, or watch, someone else fall, than to do personal reflection. The public can say: See, they are just like me — or worse.

So, the tabloid-nurtured masses missed the import of John Edwards’ recent true confession: (left, with his wife, Elizabeth, and activist actors Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon). It wasn’t about the affair, it was about his inner awakening:

I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic.

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Barack Obama’s astrology chart: “Grace in a Cracked Vessel”

Barack Obama’s astrology chart: “Grace in a Cracked Vessel”

BY HUNTER REYNOLDS, resident astrologer at California’s celebrated, Harbin Hot Springs, does a reading of the Democratic nominee for president

Choosing a president is embarrassingly similar to courting a mate. In the initial stages, the temptation is to disqualify, or idealize. The astrologer’s job is to help you find the middle path. As passionately supportive as I am of Barak Obama, when I stare at the symbolic map of his psyche and consider his unique blessings and blind spots, I am sobered. He — like all of us — is a cracked vessel.

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Prayer Wall: to Robert Kennedy’s family and an America lonesome for her heroes

Prayer Wall: to Robert Kennedy’s family and an America lonesome for her heroes

BY PAUL KAIHLA —  It was 40 years ago today in the late, great 1968 that Robert Kennedy was martyred by Sirhan Sirhan at LA’s Ambassador Hotel (the venue was demolished in 2005). The man with the unconscious gun was a Palestinian born in Jerusalem who was initially sentenced to death in a California gas chamber, and is now 64. He has spent his adult life in a nasty CA cell.

When the assassin was raised, there was no Israel. Palestine was a creature of the British colonial office.

The Kennedy clan has served as a crucible for some of America’s most noble ideals — and downside projections (adultery, addictions, affairs).

Today we join the prayers at Arlington Cemetery, and for all who were touched by the pain of this loss.

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The Oprah, Obama, and Reverend Wright broken-love triangle

Both Oprah and Obama were members of Reverend Wright’s church. She quit out of careerism, early. Less calculating, Obama hung in until he ran for president

BY PAUL KAIHLA — Whenever I open my mouth about Oprah!, scud missiles rain down upon my space (link to the Led Zep-tune, Kashmir).

Usually, those scuds form their craters during conversations with women who are totally focused on their careers.

Maybe . . . probably, it’s a projection. Do we feel a “missing-ness” in our jobs, yet throw so, so much of our energy into making them so, so good?

What does this have to do with Oprah? She pitches to that careerism that’s alive in each of us, and reflects it. She’s the most successful double-minority, media careerist on earth.

The shadow side of careerism is a sense of missing-ness. Missing this, missing that. Missing that which we really love. Because we’re at work, and selling our precious time for a pay-check. Are the highest highs you’ve ever felt in life produced by your job, an experience at work ? Not bloody likely.

The reason I do not trust Oprah as a trusted source on how to resolve that tension, and instead see her as a self-serving opportunist, was reinforced by this week’s Newsweek.

It shows once again how deeply Oprah is cathected in a self-image that morphs into fame and fortune. Like Barack Obama, she too was a member of Jeremiah Wright’s Chicago church. But unlike Obama, expediency prompted Oprah to cut out after a couple of years — while the future presidential nominee naively hung around for 20.

From Newsweek’s Oprah kiss-up: “Something Wasn’t Wright”:

“Oprah is a businesswoman, first and foremost,” said one longtime friend, who requested anonymity when discussing Winfrey’s personal sentiments. “She’s always been aware that her audience is very mainstream, and doing anything to offend them just wouldn’t be smart.”

It’s natural to take offense, defend Oprah — and have affection for her. You want to be rich and famous? Great! Memo to Oprah: Don’t strike a pose as spiritual, a way of being that — by definition — is aimed at obliterating and undermining the very identifications that holds a mass audience in your thrall.

I follow Oprah’s movements, I respect Oprah — I do not trust Oprah. I trust the women that this site calls The New Female Mystics.

What’s the difference? Spiritual teachers like Byron Katie, Pamela Wilson and Catherine Ingram seem like they have surrendered what Oprah has not — and have little interest in promoting a self-image.

Why isn’t the same deference, fierce loyalty and emotion that Oprah enjoys extended to the likes of Byron Katie, Catherine Ingram and Pamela Wilson ?

They occupy a place of peace and acceptance that media celebrities can only imagine. They have a knowing. They do not have money, or media profile.

Is is that what they have is actually not wanted — and what they do have, really isn’t?

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