Tag Archives: mythology
384px-Hobbit_cover

The spiritual side of The Hobbit, Hollywood’s hottest property

Spiritual IQ Quiz The Hobbit sits at the intersection of Hollywood and high geekery.

It’s hard to imagine a topic any more obscure than the ancient languages and elaborate invented mythologies of author J.R.R. Tolkien’s universe.

After the improbable success of Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, however, it’s hard to imagine a hotter Hollywood property — if anything Tolkien’s The Hobbit is a much more cinematic tale than his Rings epic.

The entertainment and gossip rags are abuzz with every piece of news connected to the two-part film production. This week’s development: actor Elijah Wood has agreed to reprise his role as Frodo.

There’s another strand running through this cultural event, however. Tolkien had a deep spiritual life, and his tales are a rich expression of it. Take this quiz to find out how much you know about the spiritual world Tolkien created, a world that will very soon generate yet another Hollywood blockbuster.

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Angela Brown “tu lips”

The search for the magical Other

A Jungian psychologist’s take on Eros and Valentine’s Day

BY PAUL KAIHLA — This is the one day of the year in our secular society where a celibate Catholic gets top-billing, marquee treatment. There were probably three saints called Valentine, one of whom history says is entombed in Rome’s catacombs.

But the origin of Valentine’s Day is in a medieval social custom, so it’s not like a long, lost high-holy-day has been hijacked by capitalist consumerism.

The custom marks the first day of spring mating season, so let’s hand over the mike to psychologist James Hollis for his take on how we modern humans channel that energy — eros, in Greek mythology:

Eros is dynamic and shape-shifting . . . always going somewhere, seeking to connect, to fill in, to transcend. Just as nature, we are told, abhors a vacuum, so our psyche is terrified by emptiness. Seeking to fill that emptiness, we all too often fill it with ourselves. Wheresoever space opens, into that hole flies projection . . . Eros substitutes as it seeks the Cosmic Other in the frail vessel of the Beloved.

Illustration, “tu lip,” courtesy of Angela Brown

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abdul-wali-muse

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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300: A lesson in leadership

300: A lesson in leadership

The subliminal message of a Hollywood CGI popcorn movie about the Battle of Thermopylae: George Bush II and Dick Cheney do not walk the talk, in terms of personal sacrifice

300 | Originally uploaded by Ghostdiver.

BY BRIAN CAULFIELD — How hungry are Americans for inspired leadership? To the point that Time Warner has made a movie about a 2500-year old Greek king who fought to the death with his soldiers. It’s the No. 1 movie in America as of this weekend. Unreal.

Imagine George W. Bush or Dick Cheney donning combat gear and personally leading our troops to war. Against impossible odds. And not for oil.

These are two men who have rarely sacrificed a thing in their lives — except for the lives of others. The truly heroic warrior is a figure who has the courage to fight but the cunning to win while avoiding battle.

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