Is your church plagued by plummeting attendance levels? Is your exorcism business in the red? Are the tea leaves telling you to tighten your belt? Well turn that frown upside down, because this could be the answer to all your prayers. The commercial world has known the secret forever, but the churches and other peddlers of the spirit world are only just catching on.
Sex sells. And the successful spiritual movements of the future will be those who learn to press people’s slightly less metaphysical buttons.
When the 2011 Census figures come out you can bet your tithe they’ll show a continuing trend of mainstream Christian churches losing followers while the Pentecostal churches pick them up. People want more Guy Sebastian, less The Lord Is My Shepherd. More rock, less clothes. More laying on of hands than laying on of hands.
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The Dalai Lama’s most recent tour of Australia is in full swing, and it’s taken a slightly strange direction this time around. While his 2007 tour treated the Dalai Lama as he should be treated - as a spiritual leader who deserves respect - that tour met with a financial loss, and now it’s all about bums on seats.
Promotion, merchandise, and the media circuit. HHDL (as he’s known to his tweeps on Twitter) seems to be in it for the money, and he’s got the Collingwood AFL guernsey from Harry O’Brien to prove it.
The effort to engage a broader audience has strangely tainted his message, and the most our media can manage is to treat the man like he’s a punchline. Considering he’s trying to promote a series of undersold public lectures, he’s got to take what he can get… but is this really the best that we can give him?
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Lord save us from the celebrity lifestyle gurus.
Save us from their nettle mayonnaise and organic cotton t-shirts handmade by Guatemalan nuns and their tips on how they struggle to cope as a working woman on a paltry eight figure salary.
If there’s one person we have to thank for this inundation its Oprah Winfrey who pioneered the faux-everywoman shtick before cannily parlaying it into billion-dollar business.
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Ever since The Beatles took their free-love tour of Rishikesh in 1968 western culture has had a love affair with Indian spirituality; but we’ve never been more confused about the philosophy of its main tenet - to “free” ourselves of inhibitions and let it all hang out.
News reports yesterday announced that the Kama Sutra, the ancient Hindu book on “the art of love” and sexual practice is getting a modern re-write.
And even though it’s author, Indian scholar, A.N.D Haskar claims the new version will be “as close as possible” to the original text, it’s sounds more like a polite, stitched up version of a lifestyle magazine than the guidebook to free love.
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I’m not sure how many readers spend time in the Book of Common Prayer of 1662, but it contains a phrase that came to mind this morning: “in the midst of life we are in death”.
Three deaths made the news yesterday: the King of Pop, the blonde Charlie’s angel, and a Sydney truckdriver.
Michael Jackson seems to have suffered a medication-related heart attack just before his sold-out revival tour; possibly because of it. Farrah Fawcett Majors had been battling cancer for years, and had last rites administered to her yesterday as she prepared for the Beyond.
But the truckie, although in his sixties, was just doing his job, driving along Milperra Rd near Bankstown Airport, when suddenly his life was ended by a bullet he probably didn’t even see coming.
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