On suffering: Is it really worth the trouble?

On suffering: Is it really worth the trouble?


Oprah and Lady Gaga may be today’s spiritual role models for self-actualization but our devotion to suffering remains a national faith.

BY JOHN PTACEK – Why did a tsunami flood Japan? Why can’t politicians tell the truth? Why did it have to rain on my wedding day?

If humans really had power, CEOs would be immune to cancer, holy men wouldn’t sin and Michael Jackson would still be alive. But we don’t call the shots.

Reality baffles us.  We question it every day and keep waiting for people to be good, for governments to be just, for life to be fair.


Karen Black lead image

My hundred years of solitude



A mother’s death, a search for a soulmate and a spiritual journey made this year an epic reckoning

BY KAREN BLACK — By this age, I had hoped to have . . . call it a supportive partner. Call it a soul-mate. Call it whatever you want.

Yet, here I am: single, never married, holding my mother’s hands, whose tips are numb from chemo.

I never planned to do this part of life alone.


We vote every day, psychologically-speaking

We vote every day, psychologically-speaking


The Eckhart Tolle of Europe asks us a question: Why don’t we really like change?

BY TONY SAMARA — We each have an ego. And that busy ego plugs into, let’s call it, control systems.

Yes, we do have what the enlightenment philosophers called free will but we seem to make this choice every day. It’s an unconscious choice.

Control systems compromise the free aspect of ourselves. They always want things to be the same way — in the words of the 1980′s band the Talking Heads sang — the same as it ever was.


Sonny

How your pet shares your emotions


Secrets of a real-life horse whisperer

BY JENNIFER SCALIA  — If we conduct a collective check-in on how we relate to animals, some of Hollywood is a barometer. Birds, as in Hitchcock’s 1963 film with Tippi Hedren, may be feared. Rats (Willard) and snakes (Samuel Jackson) are to be loathed.

But horses, from Gladiator to Westerns to the Horse Whisperer, deserve our love.

I had never learned to ride a horse before doing healing work with this species that bred movie stars but I saw the Robert Redford movie and loved the book by Nicholas Evans — one of the few I could actually get myself to read back then.


A Day in the Life of...

For the month March: Ramana Maharshi( 1879 - 1950).

Take God for your spouse and friend and walk with Him continually, and you will not sin, will learn to love, and the things you must do will work out prosperously for you
~Saint Teresa of Avila, El Castillo Interior (The Interior Castle), 1577
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7 things to do while you’re on Soul’s Code

7 things to do while you’re on Soul’s Code


What are we about? A 20-second tour . . .

1. PEAK EXPERIENCES

Have you ever had a peak experience? Read honest, life-altering accounts under our category, Peak Experiences.

The term was coined by one of the founders of humanistic psychology, Abraham Maslow. Peak Experiences are aspirational stories about natural highs: (Paul Kaihla on the shaman origins of the sauna), first-person breakthroughs (Jennifer Scalia on her greatest love, ever), and psychotherapist David Rickey on his Aha! Moment that took him a lifetime.


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What is the most spiritual city in the U.S.A.?


Most of the gurus on Soul’s Code say that spirituality cannot be measured. But an economist would reply with two words: Ojai, California

BY PAUL KAIHLA — Ojai, CA is to spirituality what Silicon Valley is to technology. Due east and a 40-minute hop inland from Santa Barbara, Ojai has more mind-body spas per capita than anywhere else in the U.S. — probably, the world.

How does Ojai pull that kind of rank? For one thing, it’s got a tiny population: 8,000 souls. For another, Ojai was the North American base of the great Indian mystic, J. Krishnamurti. He underwent one of the most famous enlightenments in history at Ojai in 1922.


David Rickey at Land’s End

When you are paralyzed into in-action


How to put the dynamic of hope into action. You have the same DNA as Gandhi, Václav Havel and Goenawan Mohamad

DAVID RICKEY — Hope is a great four-letter word, but it gets lost in the shuffle of our lives if it isn’t bonded with action.

Václav Havel, the first President of the Czech Republic, said ‘Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out’.

It is this certainty that allows — even emboldens us — to take action.

We have all faced survival uncertainty since the Great American Recession of 2008, and that uncertainty — can, and has — paralyzed some of us into in-action.


In to Africa

In to Africa


Our evolutionary origins lie in Africa. We share 98% of our DNA with chimps. A peak experience and political story about a chimp in Africa.

BY G. PASCAL ZACHARY — There’s a collective code that asks Christians to be their brother’s keeper.  Buddhists go a step deeper, and embrace a first principle that we are not distinct entities at all but plot-points along a continuum of being called consciousness.

Well, I’m Jewish. And I’m a secular one at that. So a code that I go to is Darwin’s intersection with DNA.


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When sex and love are not one and the same


A heart-breaking work of staggering honesty: Sins of My Faith. In this Soul’s Code exclusive, a woman who lost her innocence to incest explains why she did not “out” her abuser

BY MARINA GIULLIANI: It’s commonly understood that incest refers to “sexual acts between close relatives”, but I know from first-hand experience that incest is a heinous act that no dictionary definition could possibly prepare you for.

Fondled by a respected member of our family, from the time I was much too young to know what havoc the guilt of sexual pleasure would bestow on my future, I lost my innocence to incest.

At one time I would have agreed with those who claim that rape is a far more serious abuse than touching. But now that I’ve put all the pieces together, it’s apparent that my subconscious made no such distinction.


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To die for

To die for


Will Baby Boomers choose to expire in hospitals and nursing homes? Or will they take matters into their own hands?

BY DAVID RICKEY —  Would you prefer to die on purpose — or with purpose?

Late, great writers like Arthur Koestler (Darkness at Noon), Ernest Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls) and counter-culture figure Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) were larger than life.

Yet they each took their own lives — rather than let the life coded into their respective DNA take its course.

The most timely example: Tony Scott (above, center), a Hollywood producer and director who jumped off an 18-storey L.A. bridge that he’d once scouted as a location for a movie.

The Baby Boomers are the biggest generation in American history, the most vain-glorious generation — and also the most afraid of pain, if Prozac and painkiller prescriptions are any indication.


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Blake Lively in Savages

Spiritual Surf: “Flight” and 5 other titles that are giving addiction a buzz



From Denzel Washington’s contender for an Oscar to the Scientology allegory, The Master, Hollywood’s biggest box office is hooked to addicts

The Master

Joaquin Phoenix plays a sex addict and violent drunk who seeks salvation from a guru who is part-Werner Erhard and part-Ron Hubbard. Director Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, There Will Be Blood) screened the film for the world’s most famous Scientologist, Tom Cruise.

Boardwalk Empire

America’s oldest addiction juiced every clan from the Kennedys and the Seagrams to iconic U.S. Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, according to HBO’s flagship series.


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Five movies with both “Soul” and “Code”

Five movies with both “Soul” and “Code”


We knew that we had a winning combination when we created Soul’s Code. How Hollywood is using the same words

BY SOUL’S CODE In the spirit of Jungian synchronicity, are movie studios now mimicing our meme? Hundreds of millions have been invested in these feature films, and the producers branded them by using either the word “Soul” or “Code” in the titles — and on the cinema marquee:


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Barack and Michelle Obama

Spiritual IQ Quiz: 9 questions about President Barack Obama’s inner life


What does the 44th President, his family and friends really believe in — that is, beyond politics?

BY SOUL’S CODE — Barack Obama is the personification of this site’s meme, “spiritual but not religious.”

On matter’s of faith, it’s what makes it so easy for pundits to spin his story from both the fundamentalist right and the agnostic left.

Exhibit: A documentary released during the 2012 presidential election cycle, 2016: Obama’s America (links to free streaming here), suggested that our 44th president is an anti-Christian, anti-colonialist.

From the left: Liberal comedian and million-dollar Obama donor, Bill Maher, routinely says he hopes the prez is lying when he espouses his Christian credentials.

Test your spiritual knowledge about our president by clicking on the multiple-choice answers below:


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9 Aha! Moments that blow Oprah off the Screen



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