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Divine Inspiration: The Effect of Spirituality in Acting

The late 1960s were a time of experimentation with social values and leisure pursuits. Though leading British bands such the Beatles could thrive on their musical talent alone, they opted to explore and embrace the benefits of traditional Eastern teaching, particularly through Transcendental Meditation as professed by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of northern India. The band’s creativity and productivity escalated during this point in their career and contributed to the movement against substance abuse and the promotion of Transcendental Meditation into Western audiences. In fact, George Harrison incorporated various aspects of Indian culture into his songwriting and his Hand Made film titles during the late 1970s. His lyrics reflected Hindu principles and were recorded using Indian style instruments. Some of these collaborations appeared during his work with the Beatles but also manifested independently with support of the Hare Krishna movement and an early form of the benefit concert; the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh with Ravi Shankar. Upon his death in 2001, his ashes were spread across the Ganges and Yamuna rivers of India in accordance with Hindu practice. In the same manner, how does an actor’s religious preference permeate into the performance, if not, his private or public life? Some performers to consider: Tom Cruise and his claim that the Church of Scientology helped him overcome dyslexia, Richard Gere practicing Buddhism and his subsequent endorsement of the Dalai Lama, followers of the Kabbalah Centre including notables such as Madonna, Demi Moore, Elizabeth Taylor, and Paris Hilton.

  • This is a very thorough prompt and although I have no depth of knowledge about the artists/creators you mentioned or the theological influence in their work, I would very much be interested in an article about it. – Slaidey 4 years ago
  • This topic is rich and would yield a very interesting read if taken up by the right columnist or writer. It’s really deep enough for a book— not being one of my pet subjects, I wouldn’t have the time, but surely someone does! Try to include people who’ve incorporated religious practice into their self-help books, like Dan Harris’s “10% Happier.” Not necessarily people trying to proselytize, but those offering legitimate advice based upon what practices truly helped them. – Andantemaestroso 4 years ago