Friday, February 13, 2015

Shirley Maclaine and the Wizard of OZ

Man Behind the Curtain
This post is a punch in the nose to someone who needed it. Many years ago, in a galaxy far, far away, my actor husband and I walked among the dazzling godlings of Hollywood, who were rich beyond dreaming, and famous beyond imagining. In a moment of misguided candor, my husband once shared with a person, whom I had thought of as a friend, some of the details of his horrific childhood, to which our 'Hollywood friend' replied that he must be paying for sins from a past life. When I heard this, I was overwhelmed with the urge to punch that 'Hollywood friend' smack in the nose.

Now I read that Shirley Maclaine has written in her latest book, "The veteran Hollywood actress suggests the six million Jews and millions of others systematically murdered in Hitler’s death camps in the 1940s were ‘balancing their karma’ for crimes committed in past lives."

This Hollywood version of karma, so repellent to the average individual, so appealing to the godlings of Hollywood deserves to be exposed for the self serving fraud that it is.

I recognize now that our 'Hollywood friend' felt guilty, and that he was justifying to his twisted little conscience the great wealth and fame he was enjoying, acquired by sucking up to the rich and powerful in every way he could imagine, and by abandoning anything resembling virtue, any attempt of true artistic endeavor, any satisfying achievement, true love or even the faintest trace of integrity.

The problems of Hollywood godlings are vast, well known, and great fun to read about in the tabloids. The godlings remind me of the Wizard of Oz. They use technology to make themselves and their perceptions, ideas and stories bigger than life. We mere mortals are inspired by those images, like the Cowardly Lion, to have more courage, or the Tin Man, to have a heart, or the Scarecrow, to be smarter than we ever thought we could be.

But the godlings are also influenced by their images and the awe they inspire in the rest of us.They come to believe, in fact, it's almost impossible for them not to believe, that Hollywood godlings are inherently superior, benefiting from past lives so replete with generosity, virtue, godliness, that they actually deserve every last ounce of their pampered luxury. How else to explain their grandiose lifestyles, their fawning public, their power and influence?

Now, unlike Shirley, named after the original cutest Hollywood kid ever to tap dance into our hearts, I have not seen "into the meaning of the cosmos, including the secrets of the ancient civilizations of Atlantis and Lemuria, insights into human genesis, the essence of gender and sexuality, and the true path to higher love." But even if I had, I'd still punch anybody in the nose who was cold hearted and arrogant enough to advocate the self serving doctrine that those around us who are suffering, suffer due to their own sins, and even worse, that it is not incumbent upon us to do everything we can in this life to try to alleviate pain and suffering. Rather, I think it's probably the opposite. Those who are suffering, are suffering due to our sins and omissions. So there! you false godlings and 'Hollywood friends'. Gotcha! 


  1. That last point you made is brilliant! I have to remember that comeback the next time someone uses the concept of karma in this way. If we are all one -- as the same people tend to claim -- then we, as a group, are responsible for the fate of an individual. Not to mention the fact that other people's suffering does hurt us personally. It's not every man for himself.

    And even if some people do choose their hardships before birth, your stance is still highly relevant. Maybe we can support people in *not* choosing any more hardships, and not continuing to believe that hardships are the best spur to evolution.

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    2. Thank you Sheila! You make an even better point that we are all in this together.