‘Call My Agent!’ Star Laure Calamy on Taking on a Darker Role in Venice Film ‘The Origin of Evil’ 

Venice film ‘The Origin of Evil’ marks a departure for ‘Call My Agent!’ star Laure Calamy, who has never had such a dark role.

Best-known for her role as Noemie in the hit French series “Call My Agent!,” Laure Calamy has emerged in recent years as one of France’s biggest stars and most versatile actors. After a busy career in theater and many notable supporting roles, she finally got a shot at leading roles, and kudos have followed, for Caroline Vignal’s romantic comedy “My Donkey, My Lover and I,” which was part of Cannes’ Official Selection and earned her a Cesar award, and Eric Gravel’s social drama “A Plein Temps,” for which she won best actress at Venice in the Horizons section.

Calamy is now on a roll and she’s shown that she can play anything. [ . . . ]

Continue at VARIETY: ‘Call My Agent!’ Star Laure Calamy on Taking on a Darker Role in Venice Film ‘The Origin of Evil’ – Variety

The Problem with Christianity in a Nutshell

By Carl McColman

We all know that so many people today prefer to remain spiritually independent, intentional about cultivating their interior life but unencumbered by affiliation to a faith community. In other words: “spiritual but not religious.”

We know that this annoys some religious people, while others seem to roll with it. Even though I remain engaged with Christianity-as-religion, I also try to understand and appreciate the perspectives of those who say “no thank you” to institutional religion.

Yesterday morning, this insight came to me, and if you identify yourself as spiritually independent, I’d love to hear from you to see if this resonates with your experience of spirituality and religion. I’m speaking specifically about Christianity, since that is the religion (and spiritual tradition) I know best. I’ll leave it to others to reflect on how other religions come across to the spiritually independent.

Here’s the thought that occurred to me:

You know what’s wrong with Christianity? It’s like learning that someone truly beautiful and wonderful has fallen in love with you  — but all of your mutual friends keep busy telling you how you must act or behave or what you must do in order to be “worthy” of that love. All their advice, instructions, demands, etc. create such a din that it’s easy to forget that this was all about love to begin with.

I suppose it’s human nature. We want to give each other advice. We want to “help” each other out. Even those with the best of intentions often end of creating a worse mess because our attempts to shape each other’s actions end up coming across as controlling rather than liberating.

Christianity is a religion, and I believe at its heart, religion is simply a complex story about what it means to be human.

The story of Christianity is the story of a Divine Creator God who is Love, and who loves us, and essential that love is how God wants us to love one another — something we fail at spectacularly, pretty much all the time. So this God-of-Love has encouraged us to become, ourselves, embodiments of Love — in other words, to become saints, and prophets, and theologians, and mystics, and pastors, and preachers, and priests — all with the same end in mind: to love each other, serve each other, and help each other to respond more fully to the God-who-is-Love.

But ironically, even all these spiritual masters end up, often as not, making things worse rather than better.

Eventually, this Loving God becomes human to live and die as one of us, showing us the way to live and to love. This inspires an entirely new type of spiritual community, which of course leads to more saints, mystics, and so forth. Generation after generation, we keep telling each other the story, and countless people become inspired to embrace a fully mystical life, a life of union with this Divine Lover. But others just get caught up in the rules and the regulations.

As we approach the two thousandth anniversary of the death and resurrection of Jesus, for so many people it feels like the “story” has become so caught up in the “rules” that its mystical heart has been all but lost.

I, for one, remain plugged in to Christianity as a community because for me it’s the way I keep working on the “love your neighbors” bit. But I also understand that “love your neighbors” has to extend beyond any visible institution. Meanwhile, I try to be sympathetic to those who have been hurt by the institution, or rejected by it, ignored by it, or even just bored to death by it. Sometimes, leaving a situation that is death-dealing rather than life-giving is itself a profoundly prophetic act.

I hope that those who feel called to engage with the adventure of mystical Christianity, whether functioning inside or outside of Christianity-as-a-religion, can find ways to understand that, in the eyes of Love, we all remain one. So let’s act like it.

Hmmm, did I myself just indulge in that tendency to tell other people what to do? I’m afraid so. Forgive me. Maybe it can’t be helped. So, facing the irony of this-is-what-Christians-do, allow me to try again: I hope that everyone whose eyes encounters these words, myself included, will simply take some time today and every day to embrace the Divine Love that is already present in all our hearts. Embrace that Love, and listen to Love’s call to you. Truly find the voice of Love, deep radical self-giving Love, and it will not lead you astray.

Source: The Problem with Christianity in a Nutshell – Anamchara: Carl McColman

On Human Nothingness and Extinction, continued – Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox

To meditate on one’s own mortality is not always an easy thing to do—but it is very necessary in order to live life fully and gratefully.  To meditate on our own species’ possible extinction is even harder to do—but probably even more necessary.

It is not an easy meditation to undertake.  But it may reap dividends.  I used to tell my students to add one year to your age and then meditate on that year, the time that preceded your existence, the time before you were born–when you were nothing.  Meditate on your pre-existence when you were not yet.

Meister Eckhart urges us to return to our “unborn selves” to recover our freedom when we were not yet and that we can do this by way of meditation and letting go.

One meditation on our extinction would be to project ahead to a time when humans are no longer on the earth.  That time will come eventually.  What can it tell us about how to live now, while we are still here and thereby prolong our time as a species?

Even if we stumble through our current crises by hook or by crook, still there will come a time eventually we know when the earth will no longer be hospitable to the animals, plants and biosphere that makes our living possible.  Five or six billion years from now and our earth will be turned to a crisp by the sun we are told.

So some might say, “well, whether we last a billion years or five billion or a million years or just a few hundred years, what’s the difference?  What’s it all about anyway?”

All those questions are worth considering in a meditation on the future nothingness of our species.  Can we look back and ask, “Might we have done things differently?  How might we have responded to the teachings of a Jesus or Buddha or Isaiah or Mohammad or Black Elk differently?  More generously?  With greater gratitude for our existence after 13.8 billion years of gestation on the part of the universe?”

Might compassion, for example, which all the spiritual traditions we have inherited urge us to practice, have been woven more deeply into the fabric of our communities and cultures, our education, law, science,  business, economics, politics, media and religion?  What if we had lived lives more committed to compassion and to justice?  How would human cultures evolved if that were the case?  Might we have prolonged the lifetime of our species?

Source: On Human Nothingness and Extinction, continued – Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox

Recommended Reading

Passion for Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart

Matthew Fox’s comprehensive translation of Meister Eckhart’s sermons is a meeting of true prophets across centuries, resulting in a spirituality for the new millennium. The holiness of creation, the divine life in each person and the divine power of our creativity, our call to do justice and practice compassion–these are among Eckhart’s themes, brilliantly interpreted and explained for today’s reader.
“The most important book on mysticism in 500 years.”  — Madonna Kolbenschlag, author of Kissing Sleeping Beauty Goodbye.  

A Spirituality Named Compassion: Uniting Mystical Awareness with Social Justice

In A Spirituality Named Compassion, Matthew Fox delivers a profound exploration of the meaning and practice of compassion. Establishing a spirituality for the future that promises personal, social, and global healing, Fox marries mysticism with social justice, leading the way toward a gentler and more ecological spirituality and an acceptance of our interdependence which is the substratum of all compassionate activity. “Well worth our deepest consideration…Puts compassion into its proper focus after centuries of neglect.” –The Catholic Register