Movie Review: American Beauty (1999)

On reflection, testifying to the inner reality

American_Beauty“It was one of those days when it’s a minute away from snowing and there’s this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it. And this bag was, like, dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. And that’s the day I knew there was this entire life behind things, and… this incredibly benevolent force, that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. Video’s a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember… and I need to remember… Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world I feel like I can’t take it, like my heart’s going to cave in.” — Ricky Fitts

This year’s (2008’s) crop of Oscar nominated movies seemed to lack in the way of uplift: the Academy deemed the best movies for 2007 to be 1) No Country for Old Men (winner… but a complete downer, violent, too), 2) There Will Be Blood (Daniel Day Lewis plays a psycho oil baron with a father disorder), 3) Atonement (a love story, but with false accusations of rape), 4) Michael Clayton (depressing indictment of corporate man… and woman), 5) Juno (this is the cheerful one, and it’s about teenage pregnancy!). Continue reading

Book Review: The God Delusion (2006)

by Richard Dawkins
2006, Houghton Mifflin Co., 374 pgs.

DawkinsDawkins is a celebrated evolutionary biologist who, along with Sam Harris (The End of Faith), has emerged as one of the better known proponents of atheism in contemporary literature.  Both books have been New York Times best sellers.

In my own work, New Pilgrim Chronicles, I have likewise argued for the critical need of the species to evolve from faith to reason:

“Faith, as the antithesis of reason, is a barbarous relic that must be discarded if civilization, much less any prospect for freedom, is to emerge.”— from Chapter 5

Dawkins’ main thesis is the natural world and even sentient beings such as ourselves are accounted for by natural explanations. Thus, God is not a requirement for and has a vanishingly small probability of existence. Continue reading

Movie Review: Life of Pi (2012)

Rudyard Kipling meets the Dalai Lama ____ 9/10
by Brian Wright

A remarkable experience, this film by Ang Lee. A significant cinematic achievement on several levels, three that I can think of immediately:

  1. the exploration of faith and spirituality as it develops in a freethinking Indian boy whose father is an advocate of reason
  2. an unusual, gripping adventure story that captures the imagination of young and old alike
  3. a technical marvel integrating spectacular computer-generated imagery (CGI) with live action seamlessly

And to top it all off, perhaps the most important quality lies in the story’s tug on the heartstrings as one puts oneself in the shoes of the protagonist at the end. The emotional scale is huge in this resolution, amplified by the fact that the viewer has been through the wringer of a 200+ day ordeal of survival at sea. Continue reading

Book Review: Living Deliberately (2011)

Bridging self-help, popular, and mystical teachings
by Hrvoje Butkovic
Review by Brian Wright

Living_DeliberatelySeveral months ago, Mr. Butkovic sent me a note stating that he had read my review of the book The Secret on Amazon, and he wondered if I might do the same for his book, Living Deliberately. To which I responded, “Sure, but I would prefer to write a review on my own site, the Coffee Coaster. Hrvoje is I believe a Croatian name (not the easiest name for Americans to pronounce, but he tells me just call him ‘Groovy’), and the author makes his home in South Africa. I inform Hrvoje that in the grand scheme of the cosmos I, too, have recently become interested in the spiritual side of things, having started development on a spiritual philosophy I refer to as FLOW. Continue reading

Brian’s Column: The FLOW Fellowship

Practical spiritual transformation for everyone
by Brian Wright

FLOW Emblem… well, almost everyone. From comments of my friends and a still-growing number of fans of Coffee Coaster commentary and reviews, it seems that the proprietor dwells excessively on the Horrifying Looming Threat. Like a broken record of gloom and doom. Unfortunately, that is the risk any whistleblower faces, especially a general whistleblower on ubiquitous government-cartelocracy evil—like Alex Jones. “Why can’t you just be happy? Quit bringing up that a bunch of psychopaths are ruling the world and intent on putting us all in chains. You sound ungrateful.” In the Coffee Coaster proprietor’s case, however, I am happy to report the principles of a widespread spiritual movement of inner peace, outer peace, and abundance have been discovered… and it’s but a few more months to general distribution. This column is a transcription of my FLOW Fellowship brochure, complete with several worthwhile Weblinks. Continue reading