Msg# 8584 *BULLETIN BOARD* 07/01/88 162200 (Read 0 Times) To ALL Subj SHIRLEY +quot;OUT ON

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Msg#: 8584 *BULLETIN BOARD* 07/01/88 16:22:00 (Read 0 Times) From: MATTHEW DUNHAM To: ALL Subj: SHIRLEY "OUT ON A LIMB" When ˙a made-for-TV movie gets this much hype, ˙I ˙watch it out of curiosity. Ordinarily, I would have tuned in "Murder, She Wrote," but I can't stand to be ignorant on the topic of everyone else's conversation. For ˙some ˙imponderable ˙reason, ˙ABC-TV offered ˙a ˙5-hour pulpit to Shirley MacLaine to display her odyssey from ˙spiritual skeptic ˙to ˙Aquarian ˙"true believer." ˙˙Atlantis, ˙˙the ˙Great Pyramid, ˙trance mediums, astral projection, and telepathic space aliens ˙-- ˙we find them all in "Out on a Limb," ˙along with ˙the logic (such as it is) for their legitimacy. MacLaine ˙begins ˙by ˙telling us it was an ˙affair ˙with ˙a married ˙man ˙which awakened her spiritual ˙hunger. ˙˙A ˙˙friend introduces ˙her to Gerry Stamford (played by Charles ˙Dance), ˙˙a culturally-sensitive ˙but atheistic Socialist with a seat in ˙the British House of Commons. ˙A strange magnetism draws each to the other -- indeed, MacLaine is convinced Stamford is her soul mate. Stamford, ˙however, ˙is tortured and embarrassed by his duplicity and the threat of discovery, ˙but by meeting in Paris, Stockholm, London, ˙˙and ˙various cities around the globe they can ˙minimize this threat. MacLaine ˙soon ˙encounters David Manning (John Heard), ˙˙an "off-and-on" ˙painter who exudes an aura of Eastern spirituality. Manning ˙awakens ˙her to new realities, ˙all the ˙while ˙dropping standard ˙New ˙Age ˙slogans ("I don't ˙believe ˙in ˙accidents ˙-- everything happens just as it should"). Manning is cryptic about his own beliefs and background, constantly remarking things like, "When ˙it's ˙time, ˙˙I'll ˙tell you." ˙Yet ˙MacLaine ˙finds ˙him strangely fascinating. Manning ˙takes ˙her ˙to the Bodhi ˙Tree ˙bookstore ˙in ˙Los Angeles, ˙˙where ˙MacLaine baptizes herself in ˙literature ˙about metaphysics, ˙˙reincarnation, ˙˙and New Age philosophy. ˙˙Later, MacLaine ˙visits ˙a ˙psychic bookstore in London, ˙where ˙a ˙book literally drops itself into her arms, to teach her the wonders of "trance channeling." Shirley ˙is hesitant to accept all this new information ˙so quickly, hardly sure of her own status as a manifestation of God. Yet, ˙David is the one person who, ˙as her "spiritual guide," ˙is destined to help her progress. During an oceanside conversation, David ˙presses ˙her to stand up and assert the ˙presence ˙of ˙the "God-truth" ˙within. ˙After suggesting several affirmations, ˙he selects a powerful one for Shirley: "I am God." Timidly, ˙˙she stands at the Pacific. ˙Stretching out ˙her arms, she mouths the words half-heartedly. "Say it louder." Shirley ˙blusters about this statement being a ˙little ˙too pompous. ˙For him to make her chant those words is -- ˙well, ˙˙it sounds so insufferably arrogant. David's answer cuts to the quick: "See how little you think of yourself?" This deep insight embarrasses MacLaine into holy ˙boldness. Intuitively, ˙she comes to feel he's right. Lifting both arms to the sky, ˙she pumps it out -- ˙"I am God! I am God!" ˙-- ˙as the ocean laps at her feet. Yet, ˙her innate divinity is somehow tied to reincarnation, and it's hard for her to accept. ˙"If reincarnation is true, why isn't it mentioned in the Bible?" she asks. David ˙replies ˙that the emperor Justinian ˙controlled ˙the Second ˙Council of Constantinople, ˙and had reincarnation ˙erased from the Scriptures. ˙Justinian was so high-handed, ˙the Council so corrupt, ˙that even the Pope refused to attend, ˙Manning says. Shirley ˙is mute at David's wealth of knowledge on ecclesiastical history. Most ˙Jewish historians would be surprised to hear ˙that ˙a Christian ˙˙council ˙managed ˙to ˙tamper ˙with ˙their ˙Bible ˙(to Christians, ˙˙the ˙Old Testament). ˙And in the case of ˙the ˙New Testament, ˙there are texts that which predate this sixth century council ˙˙by ˙more ˙than ˙two ˙hundred ˙years. ˙˙˙The ˙˙council, incidentally, ˙˙had no control over the retention any ˙verses ˙of Scripture. ˙˙It ˙was convened to answer questions ˙and ˙denounce heresies relating to the divine and human nature of Christ. MacLaine's feels an increasing conflict between her lover's atheism ˙and ˙her ˙own ˙deepening excursion ˙into ˙the ˙enchanted forest. The tug of curiosity pulls hard from Manning, ˙her books, and new friends who introduce her to "trance channelers." She ˙meets Sture Johanssen and Kevin Ryerson, ˙two ˙mediums who ˙reveal experiences from past lives (played ˙by ˙themselves). (Shirley ˙MacLaine noted on an interview with the Oprah Winfrey's TV ˙talk ˙show that while Ryerson forgot his lines, ˙his ˙"spirit guide" ˙˙memorized ˙all his lines perfectly for each ˙rehearsal.) Ryerson, ˙it turns out, ˙provides a metaphysical explanation ˙for MacLaine's ˙attraction to Stamford, ˙informing her ˙that ˙300,000 years ˙ago they were married in the fabled continent of Atlantis. In ˙that ˙incarnation, ˙˙Stamford ˙was ˙preoccupied ˙with ˙making cultural ˙exchanges with extraterrestrials, ˙leaving no time ˙for MacLaine, Ryerson tells her. Oddly, MacLaine never considers the morality of breaking up a ˙marriage ˙in this life, ˙to continue a relationship which ˙had ended several hundred thousand years ago. Manning ˙eventually persuades MacLaine to accompany him ˙to Peru, ˙˙in ˙search of extraterrestrials and further ˙revelations. Manning says there is a spiritual knowledge she can only learn in Peru. On one of the high and winding roads in Peru, ˙Shirley ˙and David peer down a deep precipice. A bus and several autos lie in twisted ˙silence at the bottom of the crevasse, ˙so deep that ˙no attempt ˙has ˙ever been made to remove the wreckage. ˙˙The ˙ugly remnants of freak, violent death shocks her. She ˙asks ˙Manning ˙if ˙he can explain ˙those ˙deaths, ˙˙if everything ˙happens for a purpose, ˙and if we all create our ˙own reality. David ˙is unmoved by this challenge. ˙He explains that ˙it was time for them to move on to another incarnation. ˙And before you can say, ˙"Jack be nimble," ˙we hear that these tragedies are only an illusion because the victims are "not really dead." In Peru he reveals to her his secret. ˙He is in telepathic contact with an extraterrestrial woman he met eight years ago ˙in Peru. ˙She calls herself "the Mayan" ˙and comes from the Pleiades star ˙system, ˙and has chosen him as a vessel to ˙convey ˙psycho- spiritual truths to one special person. ˙Manning, ˙in turn, ˙˙is commissioned to find this person, who will bring these truths to the ˙world in a book. ˙MacLaine is the person, ˙and what ˙became "Out on a Limb" is the book. Ironically, ˙˙MacLaine, ˙˙who went to Peru ˙to ˙see ˙flying saucers, ˙˙now ˙thinks ˙David is crazy. ˙After she ˙has ˙several bizarre experiences, ˙including an out-of-body episode that takes her beyond the moon, MacLaine is soundly converted. The ˙viewer who is not already predisposed to embrace space aliens or reincarnation is left with a few nagging questions. Although "Out on a Limb" ˙is a propaganda piece, ˙we ˙would expect ˙dialogue with greater maturity than slogans snipped ˙from an ˙est (Erhard Seminars Training) ˙session, ˙such as, ˙˙"We ˙all create our own reality" or "Everybody's got their own truth." I'm ˙not so sure. ˙Everyone may have his own OPINION, ˙but TRUTH should be made of sturdier stuff. ˙The "truth" ˙to Charles Manson ˙is ˙that ˙there is no evil and there is no ˙death. ˙˙The "truth" ˙˙to ˙Sharon Tate and our criminal justice system is ˙the opposite. ˙˙What was true for Hitler is not true for ˙Nuremburg. And ultimately, ˙one truth is justified while the other truth ˙is condemned. MacLaine is stretching a point in appealing to the Bible as justification ˙for reincarnation, ˙trance mediumship, ˙and ˙self- deification. ˙˙It is intellectually dishonest to press ˙historic monotheism ˙into ˙the ˙service of ˙pantheistic ˙philosophy. ˙˙If MacLaine wishes to embrace the idea that we are all God, there is no ˙need ˙to ˙pretend that Judaism or Christianity ˙support ˙this view. True, ˙˙the ˙Bible ˙is widely acknowledged as a ˙source ˙of spiritual ˙truth, ˙˙but its underlying philosophy posits ˙a ˙vast difference ˙between the Creator and the creation. ˙The ˙omission and implicit rejection of reincarnation in the sacred text was is not ˙due to any ecclesiastical tampering by the Christian church, or it would be found in the Jewish text. The Bible's view of the afterlife ˙is ˙simply opposes to theory of transmigration of ˙the soul, ˙˙just ˙as ˙it prohibits people ˙from ˙consulting ˙mediums. MacLaine ˙and her New Age counterparts should be honest enough to admit the basic incompatibility of these views. It is all too easy to dismiss Shirley MacLaine as spiritual eccentric, ˙˙to ˙laugh at her vivid accounts ˙of ˙past-life ˙love affairs and extraterrestrial cultural exchanges. ˙To do so is to underestimate ˙˙the ˙weight ˙of ˙her ˙error. ˙˙These ˙views ˙are proliferating ˙˙in ˙our ˙society ˙at ˙an ˙alarming ˙rate. ˙˙˙The distinction between opinion and truth is blurred, even as are the distinctions between desire and reality, ˙and between Creator and creature. This mini-series began with the words, "Shirley reaches out for the fruit of the tree, and goes out on a limb." ˙Long ago in another ˙Garden ˙a ˙certain pair of humans also ˙reached ˙for ˙an alluring ˙fruit in the promise of becoming deity. ˙The ˙original sin ˙in ˙the Garden is neither entirely past nor ˙easily ˙erased. Our ˙desire ˙for knowledge can be virtuous, ˙yet ˙such ˙knowledge cannot be obtained through dubious means. ˙Denying biblical ˙and historic truth in favor of telepathic visions is perilous. ˙˙Our hunger ˙for ˙God ˙is ˙real, ˙and ˙we ˙should ˙accept ˙no ˙plastic substitutes. source unknown --- QuickBBS v2.01 * Origin: Rock Island (on) Line - Newalla, Ok.- (405)391-9488 (1:147/3)

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