Louis Theroux's Weird Week-ends

In keeping with my new 'How to be Idle' regime I watched Louis Theroux's Weird Week-end TV episode in India, where he went in search of spirituality. Louis so far sits on the fence as far as his own spiritual commitment goes, but he is human and balanced enough to ask perceptive questions. He met gurus whose followers claimed had miraculous powers: 'but is there a danger of making an idol of these powers?' he asked. He met an American devotee named Courtney who was visiting his guru. He had changed his name and his voice pitch. 'When can I talk to the real Courtney?' asked Louis. Louis tried out chants and body and breathing exercises. He queued to receive a hug from Mama Anna who effuses love and said he definitely received something. Then he returned to his usual routines - or to his next filming of a weird week-end.

These are my thoughts: Westerners on mystical trails like this are often emotionally impoverished, and they google in to some bit of a stream of consciousness that gives a temporary boost. I long for them to find their true selves, in relationship to the Eternally Real. This ideal seems beyond reach until we focus on Jesus, and find that through a relationship with him this becomes possible. The Christian idea of 'the resurrection of the body' is really about eternity - we are neither snuffed out nor just absorbed in the endless stream of consciousness - we are eternally our true selves, in the love of God.

Louis, why don't you do a series interviewing people who don't do stunts seek the cameras or revolve their work around devotees because they have this 'eternally real' experience that you seem to think is a good thing? People like Rowan Williams, a Mount Athos Monk, Cairo's 'Mother' of the slum church, and young new monastics for example?

Posted at 00:51am on 8th October 2010
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