Tag Archives: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

School of Life – Always in Session!

Standard

Slide1

This is the first slide of our companion piece on Beliefnet.com to go with our episode called The School of Life.

Listen while you click through the rest of the slides in this slideshow!

The School of Life is Always in Session !

Channeling the Devotion of Fandom

Standard
FB Banner Scholar 6-1When people are fans, they are passionate, devoted, and engaged. It makes fandom the perfect vehicle for riding a wave of devotion to create a more engaged life—one in which passion informs all the choices we make. We welcome author and scholar Tanya R. Cochran, who will tell us how she has channeled her passion for the works of Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams into her career, and as a means to deepen her inner journey. Join us and learn to follow your inspiration!
We so enjoyed our talk with Dr. Tanya Cochran!  We touched the work shown above, but also spent time on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which featured heavily in her dissertation, and the latest controversy surrounding how Black Widow is portrayed in the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie.
If you’re not well-versed in the works of Joss Whedon, check out our companion piece on Beliefnet.com, “The Spirit of the Whedonverse“!
Here are a few excerpts from Tanya’s dissertation:

p 26 – But little has been written and published about finding God where we might least expect — in songs by Eminem, in sitcoms such as The Simpsons (1989 – present), in films such as Crash (2004), or in teen horror/action/science fiction/fantasy/comedy/dramas with campy titles like Buffy the Vampire Slayer .

Detweiler and Taylor { A Matrix of Meanings: Finding God in Pop Culture -November 1, 2003} argue that Jesus himself set the precedence for ‘shaking things up‛…[he] flipped the script on people’s understanding of power, life, and religion’ (8).

And flipping the script is exactly what Detweiler and Taylor intend to do by claiming that ‚God shines through even the most debased pop cultural products‛ (8). I was skeptical of their claims at first, but as I more fully realize what story it is that I find myself in, I take their words more and more to heart. My experience tells me I must.

Pg 27 – No more guilt, only critical curiosity. This whole person sees striking and moving metaphorical connections between the Bible ’s Gospel and Buffy ’s “good news.” This whole person makes meaning for herself that deepens and enriches her religious, spiritual, and academic experience. She hears a universal tune humming through both obvious and obscure texts.

P221 – Mark 9.15: “As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him” (New American Standard Bible). Wonder, a state in which one wants to learn more about something. The people are amazed by this person, curious about him. They want to know more.

I want to know more even as I believe that Jesus, as God, is infinite. And because he is infinite, he cannot be fully known. To know more is to know that knowing never ends. To know is to seek, to wonder about him, to wonder of him.

This seeking, this wondering is a conversation, a dialogue with truth and love embodied. There is no monologue. Monologues lead to guardianships. Dialogues, however, lead to searches, to journeys, to paths of wonder. Years ago when I was swallowed by intellectual crisis and depression, I could have chosen any one of many paths. But if I had chosen any other journey but the journey of wonder, I may not have ended up here at this moment because wonder gives birth to ever – increasing wisdom.

We also talked about our shared love of J.J. Abrams works, which include the much beloved TV series Alias, Lost  and Fringe.

And there is plenty more to talk about!  We’ll have to have Dr. Tanya back!

Spiritual Adventures and Vicarious Thrills

Standard

Listen now from the archives at Unity Online Radio

or download the podcast from iTunes

A spiritual adventure novel by Malayna Dawn

We’re all on a spiritual adventure called “life”, but sometimes we need a book, TV show or movie to show us what our inner landscape can look like. This week, our Pop Conscious gals look at the travels we take through books like Eat Pray Love, The Celestine Prophecy, and Way of the Peaceful Warrior translated to film…and how these books and films inspired Malayna’s spiritual adventure novel, Echoes Across Time. We’ll also explore the deeper lessons of adventure-genre movie franchises like Indiana Jones and The Mummy, and whatever else feels like an adventure at any given time. It all boils down to our own Hero’s Journey!

Indiana Jones:

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)– not Noah’s, but Biblical nonetheless – supernatural + adventure

From http://www.relevantmagazine.com/culture/film/re-evaluating-raiders-lost-ark

“Subtler and more interesting, however, is the ark’s biblically based propensity to protect itself when needed. In a fascinating mixture of judgment and mercy, the film’s finale features God saving Indy and instead of Indy saving the ark. When the Nazis sacrilegiously lift the lid, the wrath of God pours out. The entire party of evildoers is horrifically melted and incinerated, then spectacularly (and rather tidily) disposed of in a celestial pillar of fire.

While such gimmickry never appears in the Old Testament, there are many stories of God protecting the ark from falling into the wrongs hands. In 1 and 2 Samuel, a disrespectful handler is killed, a false god is decapitated, three Philistine towns are inflicted with a deadly plague and, most pertinently to Raiders, 70 Israelites are put to death for peeking under the hood. I’d say “put to death” is a pretty apt description for what happens to the Nazis at the end of Raiders.”

Temple of Doom (1984) – Filmed in Sri Lanka! India’s spiritual heritage, British-Indian reference…Thugee cult and Kali

Last Crusade (1989) – Holy Grail, Arthurian Legend, Joseph Campbell & Hero’s Journey,

Crystal Skull – (2008) – South American –

From National Geographic: “There are perhaps a dozen of these rare crystal skulls in private and public collections. Some are crystal clear, others of smoky or colored quartz. Some are actual human size and of very fine detail, while others are smaller and less refined. All are believed to originate from Mexico and Central America.

Many believe these skulls were carved thousands or even tens of thousands of years ago by an ancient Mesoamerican civilization. Others think they may be relics from the legendary island of Atlantis or proof that extraterrestrials visited the Aztec sometime before the Spanish conquest.

Celestine Prophecy (2006) – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0398842/?ref_=nv_sr_1

An adaptation of James Redfield’s novel about the search for a sacred manuscript in the Peruvian rain forest.

Macchu Pichu

Through a mysterious set of coincidences, he finds himself on an adventure to Peru in search of ancient scrolls, known as the Celestine Prophecy. The prophecy and its nine key insights, predict a new awakening that redefines human life and provides a glimpse into a completely spiritual culture on earth. Resistant at first, skeptical and unsure, John finds that each step he takes, each person he encounters leads him to a new awakening. It is only in this letting go that he finds his destiny and comes to understand the meaning that had escaped him when his adventure began.

Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives
Way of the Peaceful Warrior is based on the story of Dan Millman, a world champion athlete, who journeys into realms of romance and magic, light and darkness, body, mind, and spirit. Guided by a powerful old warrior named Socrates, tempted by an elusive, playful woman named Joy, Dan is led toward a final confrontation that will deliver or destroy him. Join Dan as he learns to live as a peaceful warrior.

Film – Nick Nolte – Peaceful Warrior (2006)

The 4-Minute Peaceful Warrior Workout
Premium on-line course by Dan Millman from Daily Om.com

KEYWORDS: “Prophecy” = spiritual adventure – belief in something that was written about before, fate, a journey, steps to be taken, Divine order revealed (mind-idea-expression)

  • Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
  • The Lego Movie (2014)
  • Left Behind (I) (2014) (The Rapture?)
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003)
  • Smallville (2001–2011)
  • The Matrix (1999)
  • Cloud Atlas (2012)

Lego movie – An ordinary Lego construction worker, thought to be the prophesied ‘Special’, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil tyrant from gluing the Lego universe into eternal stasis.

Left Behind – the rapture refers to the belief that either before, or simultaneously with, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to earth, believers will be raised from the earth to meet him in the air. Rapture = Latin “carrying Off”, Koine Greek “caught up”… First Thessalonians and how it relates to interpretations of various other biblical passages, such as those from Second Thessalonians and the Book of Revelation.

BOOKS: keyword

And Toto, Too:: The Wizard of Oz as a Spiritual Adventure

Do you believe in Dog? And Toto, Too: The Wizard of Oz as a Spiritual Adventure And Toto, Too elevates the familiar and much-loved film, The Wizard of Oz to a higher plane. Nathan G. Castle weaves his own story into the timeless classic with warmth and a delightful sense of humor. At first glance the book’s approach is slightly unconventional and perhaps a touch irreverent, given that the author is a Catholic priest who bravely shares his belief that God loves everybody wildly, extravagantly, beyond belief — and beyond belief systems. In praise of And Toto, Too Scotty McLennan, Dean for Religious Life at Stanford University says, “Father Nathan Castle touches us deeply, right where we are, with a completely unlikely claim — that the tiny, unimpressive dog, Toto from The Wizard of Oz is God on earth — or at least the canine face of God on earth!”

Rev Kristin Powell on Soulstream here on Unity Online Radio did a series about The Wizard of Us: Transformational Lessons from Oz by Jean Houston. Part of why we love Rev. Kristin…

The 13th Disciple: A Spiritual Adventure Hardcover – by Deepak Chopra

When a solid gold reliquary missing from a church in Belgium suddenly resurfaces in America, a young newspaperman begins to investigate the story. At first, it seems like just another case of a treasure stolen during World War II that has resurfaced. But it soon becomes apparent that much more is at stake.

Hidden within the medieval reliquary is a gold box that holds a sacred relic—a single finger bone—from an anonymous saint. Why would the remains of someone unknown to the Church be considered holy? The search for answers leads to a shocking discovery—a dangerous secret known only to a small band of people. If one touches the reliquary, a sacred vision is received—a vision involving a young girl who had a chance encounter with Jesus just before he was crucified.

My choices = Anne Rice books, Anne McCaffrey – being in tune with nature – dragons or crystals. Piers Anthony – Magic in the earth and each of us, express it differently.

Magical Realism – Writers don’t invent new worlds but reveal the magical in this world, as was done by Gabriel García Márquez who wrote the seminal work of the style, One Hundred Years of Solitude.[12] In the binary world of magical realism, the supernatural realm blends with the natural, familiar world.[13]

Vicarious – If something is vicarious, it delivers a feeling or experience from someone else. If your child becomes a big star, you might have a vicarious experience of celebrity.

Vicarious comes from the Latin work vicarius, which means substitute. If you have vicarious enjoyment, you have a second hand thrill. You might get vicarious thrills of adventure by reading your friend’s letters from overseas.

Gotta use some imagination – one of your 12 powers

Second-hand

Tina Turner – What’s love got to do, got to do with it? What’s love but a second hand emotion?

Cousin Violet, Dowager Countess – “I’m too tired for an evening of secondhand emotion.”

Echoes Across Time

Mara is a woman on a mission to follow the unraveling trail of meaning behind her symbolic dreams while trying to save her best friend from self-destruction. Part spiritual adventure, part feminist fairy tale, this modern-day myth takes you through a mystical series of events from America to India, and on to Sri Lanka spanning four generations. Along the way it offers metaphorical explanations for simple mysteries of our lives that make up our identities. From seemingly inexplicable friendships to exotic mixed ancestry, Mara finds the purpose behind it all. Ultimately the tale offers insight into how each of our souls has at least one connection that echoes across time.

Jonas Seaman – Destination Wedding Photographer – a cross-cultural/spiritual adventure. It’s kind of like Carlos Castaneda meets Dora the Explorer. I could especially relate to the character of Mara, because she’s constantly having to surrender herself to the mystery unraveling around her, and to what seems to be the guidance of a higher design. It made me take a look at my own life, as if every seeming random event might have a reason or a meaning, even long layovers in airports. Also, I really like how Malayna Dawn introduces in the story many different cultural and spiritual viewpoints. Throughout the book, the character of Mara seems to keep a keen focus on the similarities of differing cultures and religions, rather than be critical of their differences. That’s so refreshing, and needed in this day and age. Overall a great read. I’d recommend this book to anybody who likes a good, fast paced mystery and archaeological adventure story…