Book: ‘The Kind Diet’

Book: ‘The Kind Diet’

Jun 25

In The Kind Diet, actress, activist, and committed conservationist Alicia Silverstone shares the insights that encouraged her to swear off meat and dairy forever, and outlines the spectacular benefits of adopting a plant-based diet, from effortless weight loss to clear skin, off-the-chart energy, and smooth digestion. She explains how meat, fish, milk, and cheese — the very foods we’ve been taught to regard as the cornerstone of good nutrition — are actually the culprits behind escalating rates of disease and the cause of dire, potentially permanent damage to our ecology…

Movie: ‘Oranges and Sunshine’

Movie: ‘Oranges and Sunshine’

Jun 14

How could more than 130,000 children be shipped from Britain to Australia and other Commonwealth countries, often without their parents’ knowledge, and the world not know about it? This was the question British social worker Margaret Humphreys began to ask in 1986, when an Australian woman arrived unannounced at her workplace and asked for help in finding her lost family…

Germany’s Great Church Sell-Off

Germany’s Great Church Sell-Off

Feb 15

Dwindling church attendance and dire financial straits are forcing the Catholic and Protestant Churches in Germany to sell off church buildings en masse. Some are demolished, while others are turned into restaurants or indoor rock climbing centers…

40 Years Later, The True Scale of U.S. Atrocities in Vietnam (Updated)

40 Years Later, The True Scale of U.S. Atrocities in Vietnam (Updated)

Jan 29

On March 16, 1968, between 347 and 504 unarmed Vietnamese civilians were gunned down by members of the U.S. Army in what became known as the My Lai Massacre. The U.S. government has maintained that atrocities like this were isolated incidents in the conflict. Nick Turse says otherwise. In his new book, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam, Turse argues that the intentional killing of civilians was quite common in a war that claimed 2 million civilian lives, with 5.3 million civilians wounded and 11 million refugees.

Mary Breastfeeding Jesus: Christmas’ Missing Icon

Mary Breastfeeding Jesus: Christmas’ Missing Icon

Dec 12

With all the familiar scenes associated with the holy family today — creches and church pageants, postage stamps and holiday cards — we are missing an obvious element of the mother-child connection that modern Christians are apparently happy to do without: a breast-feeding infant. Jesus certainly wasn’t a bottle baby. So what happened to Mary’s breasts? It’s a centuries-old story, but one that has a relatively brief answer: namely, the rise of the printing press in 15th-century Europe…

New Movie: ‘Hellbound?’ (Updated)

New Movie: ‘Hellbound?’ (Updated)

Sep 26

Horrific depictions of hell have gripped humanity for centuries. And rightly so. Throughout history, people of all faiths have agonized over why God allows so much evil in the world. Their only comfort has been the hope that somehow, someday, God will make things right. Evildoers may get away with murder in this life. But in the life to come, there’ll be hell to pay. But the traditional view of hell also presents us with a dilemma: Of course we all want to see the scales of justice balanced. But if God is our pure, all-loving Creator, can he really allow (presumably) billions of people to suffer in hell for eternity? Evil is evil, but doesn’t the traditional view of hell tip the scales too far the other way? To many people, it seems like we can have a good God or we can have the traditional view of hell, but we can’t have both… Hellbound? is a feature-length documentary that asks why we are so bound to the idea of hell and what our view of hell reveals about how we perceive God, the Bible and, ultimately, ourselves…

Ancient Papyrus Fragment Suggests Jesus Was Married

Ancient Papyrus Fragment Suggests Jesus Was Married

Sep 20

A historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School has identified a scrap of papyrus that she says was written in Coptic in the fourth century and contains a phrase never seen in any piece of Scripture: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …’ ” The faded papyrus fragment is smaller than a business card, with eight lines on one side, in black ink legible under a magnifying glass. Just below the line about Jesus having a wife, the papyrus includes a second provocative clause that purportedly says, “she will be able to be my disciple.”

What If Jesus Had Been A Republican?

What If Jesus Had Been A Republican?

Aug 28

1. When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at his home. 2. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. 3. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. 5. When Jesus saw this he grew angry, “Why did you wreck my roof? Do you have any idea how much that cost to install? Do you know how many tables and chairs I had to make in my carpentry shop to pay for that roof? The reeds alone cost five talents. I had them carted in from Bethany.” 6. The disciples had never seen Jesus so angry about his possessions…

Book: ‘Meeting The Shadow’

Book: ‘Meeting The Shadow’

Jun 07

Editors Connie Zweig and Jeremiah Abrams deserve congratulations for constructing this remarkable collection of illuminating looks at the hitherto inscrutable human “shadow.” This substantial volume brings together extremely diverse perspectives on this eternally timely topic, citing brief but pithy passages from luminaries like Carl Jung, James Hillman, M.L. von Franz, John Sanford; Harville Hendrix, Marsha Sinetar, Larry Dossey, W.Brugh Joy; M.Scott Peck, Rollo May, Ernest Becker, Sam Keen, Robert Jay Lifton; Ken Wilber, Robert Bly, Joseph Campbell and John Bradshaw. There is much distilled wisdom in these pages, organized in a meaningful, coherent, even entertaining fashion — with intelligent commentary by the editors, who scatter lovely little nuggets from Rilke, Nietzsche, Rumi, Shakespeare, Lao-Tzu, Blake, Dante and others throughout. Some reviewers have called this highly readable book the “I Ching” of the shadow, and for good reason: readers, even those new to the notion of the “shadow,” can pick it up, open to practically any page, and discover something valuable and essential to understanding themselves and others more deeply and more compassionately….

Jesus of Siberia (Sergey Anatolyevitch Torop)

Jesus of Siberia (Sergey Anatolyevitch Torop)

May 29

Sergey Anatolyevitch Torop, born January 14, 1961 in Krasnodar, Russian, is known by his followers as Vissarion, or Jesus of Siberia. He founded and heads a religious movement known as the Church of the Last Testament with its head church in the Siberian Taiga in the Minusinsk Depression east of Abakan, in the southern Siberia Kuraginsk district of Krasnoyarsk territory. He has around 4,000 followers (called Vissarionites) in around thirty villages in the immediate vicinity of his base at Sun City and approximately 10,000 followers around the world. Vissarion claims to be a reincarnation of Jesus. He teaches reincarnation, veganism, and the impending end of the world, or at least of civilization as we know it…

New Book: ‘Brain Wars’ on NDEs

New Book: ‘Brain Wars’ on NDEs

Apr 25

In Brain Wars, Dr. Beauregard delivers a paradigm-shifting examination of the role of the brain and mind. Filled with engaging, surprising, and cutting-edge scientific accounts, this eye-opening book makes the increasingly indisputable case that our immaterial minds influence what happens in our brains, our bodies, and even beyond our bodies. Examining the hard science behind “unexplained” phenomena such as the placebo effect, self-healing, brain control, meditation, hypnosis, and near-death and mystical experiences, Dr. Beauregard reveals the mind’s capabilities and explores new answers to age-old mind-body questions…

Michael Murphy: The Future Of The Human Body

Michael Murphy: The Future Of The Human Body

Feb 28

Jeffrey Mishlove interviews Michael Murphy. Murphy is the founder of Esalen Institute and the author of numerous books including Jacob Atabet, Golf in the Kingdom, The End of Ordinary History, and The Future of the Body: Explorations into the Further Evolution of Human Nature…

The Myth Of The Eight-Hour Sleep

The Myth Of The Eight-Hour Sleep

Feb 22

We often worry about lying awake in the middle of the night — but it could be good for you. A growing body of evidence from both science and history suggests that the eight-hour sleep may be unnatural. In the early 1990s, psychiatrist Thomas Wehr conducted an experiment in which a group of people were plunged into darkness for 14 hours every day for a month. It took some time for their sleep to regulate but by the fourth week the subjects settled into a very distinct sleeping pattern. They slept first for four hours, then woke for one or two hours before falling into a second four-hour sleep…

As Interest In Exorcism Rises, So Do Questions

As Interest In Exorcism Rises, So Do Questions

Oct 17

Dormant for centuries at a time, exorcism tends to awaken when the church confronts significant crises. Pope John Paul II, who is rumored to have performed several exorcisms, frequently warned Catholics that Satan is very real and very dangerous. In a similar vein, Pope Benedict XVI praised a group of Italian exorcists in 2005, encouraging them to pursue their “important ministry.” In the latter half of John Paul’s papacy, the number of official exorcists in the United States ballooned from 1 to 19. The number has grown to about 30 under Benedict…

The Dark Side of Carlos Castaneda

The Dark Side of Carlos Castaneda

Jul 31

Deemed by Time magazine the “Godfather of the New Age,” Castaneda was the literary embodiment of the Woodstock era. His 12 books, supposedly based on meetings with a mysterious Indian shaman, don Juan, made the author, a graduate student in anthropology, a worldwide celebrity. Admirers included John Lennon, William Burroughs, Federico Fellini and Jim Morrison. Under don Juan’s tutelage, Castaneda took peyote, talked to coyotes, turned into a crow, and learned how to fly. All this took place in what don Juan called “a separate reality.” Castaneda, who died in 1998, was, from 1971 to 1982, one of the best-selling nonfiction authors in the country. During his lifetime, his books sold at least 10 million copies. The books’ status as serious anthropology went almost unchallenged for five years. Skepticism increased in 1972 after Joyce Carol Oates, in a letter to the New York Times, expressed bewilderment that a reviewer had accepted Castaneda’s books as nonfiction. The next year, Time published a cover story revealing that Castaneda had lied extensively about his past. Over the next decade, several researchers, most prominently Richard de Mille, son of the legendary director, worked tirelessly to demonstrate that Castaneda’s work was a hoax…

Jesus & Mary Of Kingaroy, Australia

Jesus & Mary Of Kingaroy, Australia

May 19

A couple who claim they are Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene have set up base in Queensland’s Bible Belt and are drawing in disciples from across the country. The pair, real names Alan John Miller and Mary Suzanne Luck, operate from rural Wilkesdale, near Kingaroy, where they claim to have been joined by 30-40 followers…

Are These Two Of The Nails Used To Crucify Jesus?

Are These Two Of The Nails Used To Crucify Jesus?

Apr 12

These are the two nails used to crucify Jesus, an investigator has claimed after they were discovered in a 2,000-year-old tomb in Jerusalem. The tiny relics, which are around two inches long, were first found in 1990 in an ancient Jerusalem grave said to belong to Caiaphas — the Jewish high priest who sent Jesus to the cross. In a new documentary, The Nails Of The Cross, Simcha Jacobovici claims that he tracked down the nails to the laboratory in Tel Aviv of an anthropologist who is an expert on ancient bones…

Who Wrote The Bible & Why It Matters

Who Wrote The Bible & Why It Matters

Mar 27

Apart from the most rabid fundamentalists among us, nearly everyone admits that the Bible might contain errors — a faulty creation story here, a historical mistake there, a contradiction or two in some other place. But is it possible that the problem is worse than that — that the Bible actually contains lies? Most people wouldn’t put it that way, since the Bible is, after all, sacred Scripture for millions on our planet. But good Christian scholars of the Bible, including the top Protestant and Catholic scholars of America, will tell you that the Bible is full of lies, even if they refuse to use the term. And here is the truth: Many of the books of the New Testament were written by people who lied about their identity, claiming to be a famous apostle — Peter, Paul or James — knowing full well they were someone else. In modern parlance, that is a lie, and a book written by someone who lies about his identity is a forgery.

Vatican Opens Dialogue With Atheists

Vatican Opens Dialogue With Atheists

Mar 27

A new Vatican initiative to promote dialogue between believers and atheists debuted with a two-day event on Thursday and Friday (March 24-25) in Paris. The initiative, called “Courtyard of the Gentiles,” takes its name from a section of the ancient Temple of Jerusalem accessible to non-Jews, which Benedict has used as a metaphor for dialogue between Catholics and non-believers…

Jesuits Settle U.S. Abuse Claims for $166 Million

Jesuits Settle U.S. Abuse Claims for $166 Million

Mar 26

Jesuits in the northwestern U.S. have agreed to pay $166.1 million to hundreds of American Indians and Alaska Natives who were abused at the Catholic order’s schools around the region. The settlement also asks the order to provide a written apology to the victims and to share documents with them such as their personal medical records…

Broadway Musical: ‘The Book Of Mormon’

Broadway Musical: ‘The Book Of Mormon’

Mar 22

It’s sprinkled with jokes about Mormons discriminating against black people and repressed gay longings, but the creators of a new musical about Mormons say it won’t attract the sort of religious controversy they are famous for. One of the most anticipated musicals this Broadway season, “The Book of Mormon,” satirizes the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, sexualizes the ritual of baptism and has plenty of politically incorrect jokes…

How To Help The Earthquake & Tsunami Survivors In Japan

How To Help The Earthquake & Tsunami Survivors In Japan

Mar 13

Japan has experienced a horrific earthquake and tsunami, with thousands of deaths reported so far, tremendous property damage, and a developing crisis at the country’s nuclear plants. Japan needs and has asked for help. Aid groups have sprung into action and need your support. Here is a list of organizations to which you can donate…

In Defense of Promiscuity; In Defense Of Chastity

In Defense of Promiscuity; In Defense Of Chastity

Feb 23

Is sexual attraction driven primarily by the need to wield or submit to power? Or is it primarily a force of nature, hormones, and genetics? Or past life connections and karma? Or a subconscious effort to recreate and heal childhood wounds? Or projection — we are physically, sexually, emotionally, mentally attracted to others according to how much we have disowned our own light and darkness and projected it onto them? Or…? In yet another attempt to understand the dynamics of this primal force, I have included three articles. The first two are written by Jun Po Denis Kelly who founded the Buddhist Hollow Bones Order. The third article is by Emily Ann Baratta, who is a former Peace Corps volunteer, a practicing Roman Catholic, and a teaching assistant at OneTaste San Francisco. While all three articles are addressed to an integrally-informed audience, I’m sure all of you will catch their drift — and find them interesting…

Video: Martin Luther King “I Have A Dream” Speech

Video: Martin Luther King “I Have A Dream” Speech

Jan 17

“I Have a Dream” is the popular name given to the public speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., in which he called for racial equality and an end to discrimination. King’s delivery of the speech on August 28, 1963, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement. Delivered to over 200,000 civil rights supporters, the speech is often considered to be one of the greatest and most notable speeches in human history and was ranked the top American speech of the 20th century by a 1999 poll of scholars of public address. According to U.S. Representative John Lewis, who also spoke that day as the President of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, “Dr. King had the power, the ability, and the capacity to transform those steps on the Lincoln Memorial into a monumental area that will forever be recognized. By speaking the way he did, he educated, he inspired, he informed not just the people there, but people throughout America and unborn generations.”…