Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sex Sells: Why Americans love Witchcraft


  • October is "Monster Month" on Wisdom Quarterly

LYRICS TO BUDDHA'S DELIGHT: "I'm starting to believe, boy, that this is meant to be, boy, 'cause I believe in karma. Boy, do you believe in karma? So forget about your past life, 'cause this could be our last life. We're going to reach nirvana, boy, we're going to reach nirvana! Like sitting meditation, you give me elevation. Can you take me higher? Wonder, can you take me [even] higher. I want a revelation and sweet salvation and the eternal fire. Show me the eternal fire. Each time you put your lips to mine, it's like a taste of Buddha's delight! I see the gates of paradise. You're a taste of Buddha's delight. Tell me all your fantasies tonight. And I will make them happen, 'cause I'm not satisfied if I don't get my Buddha's delight!"

"Buddha's Delight" (featured on the soundtrack to "Music and Lyrics" Atlantic Records) utilizes sacred Buddhist imagery in an American "sex sells" marketing campaign. Why? -- all to make another dull and draining Drew Barrymore movie.

Those sacred Buddhist images have been replaced with clips from the popular television series "Charmed" (The WB). The original mock music video, featuring Haley Bennett, was deemed too prurient for Wisdom Quarterly (by a narrow margin of editorial votes). But if you must see it, look below.*

A mock Wiccan ceremony conducted for educational purposes in Latin America. These girls almost certainly do not get The WB (NIMBY: "not in my backyard").

Images of Hollywood-style magical powers, relationship issues, and the lives of pretty urban witches all conspire to explain our fascination with witchcraft, the supernatural, Harry Potter, vampire sagas, mystery and mysticism.

Now that Druidry is a recognized religion in Britain, it will not be long before more girls are out in their backyards enacting unprofitable rites and rituals (silabata), casting spells, and conjuring dangerous entities, which sadly do in fact exist like a hidden plague distorting the human experience.


So the reason we love witchcraft (and the supernatural) is because we have a simplistic and idealized notion of magic. It answers all our prayers. Or at least we think it answers the thing we most frequently pray for -- satisfaction of desires. Because craving is at the root of all our suffering, we think satisfaction-of-craving is the solution.

But the solution is not endlessly trying to satisfy all the desires that arise life after life, which leads to utter misery. The solution is much better. It is the ultimate: It is realizing the end of craving and therefore the complete and utter extinction of all suffering.

*WARNING: obscene, offensive material not suitable for Buddhists or anyone under 65!

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