Over at Dreamcatcher.com, George Atherton provided the Internet a service by saving a cataloging the Tibetan Book of the Dead from Thomas Coville’s defunct personal site. The illustrated work itself attempts to paint a (digital) picture of the psycho-spiritual levels of the Tibetan afterlife, the Bardo Thodol.
The final level of the Tibetan Bardo Thodol, as envisioned by Thomas Coville.
Coincidentally, this work was highlighted in a brief posting by Rev. Danny Fisher back in 2008 entitled “Holy Bardo, Batman” — that same year, the very same superhero enacted a death sequence as part of Grant Morrison’s Batman R.I.P. storyline where he entered a comatose trance enabled from his secret Tibetan training. (Chronicled by Prof. Jeffrey J. Kripal in his book Mutants and Mystics.)
Rep. Louie Gohmert
In July of 2012, the Huffington Post reported that Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) responded to the Aurora movie theater shootings by stating that “the shootings […] were a result of ‘ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs.'” These comments from The Heritage Foundation’s “Istook Live!” radio show have some ugly implications to them: not only do Batman movies attract primarily Judeo-Christian audiences (hmm, ok…) but that the victims of the shooting were paying the price for attacks on specifically this theology. Link this to the relatively Orientalist nature of the first and third films’ villains (i.e. Ra’s al Ghul), and there’s a growing strain (see previous “By Rao!” posts) of either Islamophobic or non-ecumenical taint artificially attaching itself to Batman’s mythos.
Rao wants to know: Is Batman becoming associated with a particular faith?