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Soul’s Code Celebrity Seekers Quiz – Female Mystics

Soul’s Code has sung the praises of female mystics and spiritual teachers since our inception —  meet our inspirations, Pamela Wilson, Byron Katie, Caroline Myss, Katie Davis, Vaishali Love and Karen McPhee

Test your S-factor, as in, the measure of the soul:

1.  According to transpersonal psych studies, women have an edge when it comes to remembering, understanding and relaying their mystical experiences. Why is that?

A.  Women are smarter than men.
B.  Women have better communication between the left and right sides of the brain.
C.  Men have fewer mystical experiences than women.
D.  Men censor themselves more than women, and will not admit to having mystical experiences.

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Why Byron Katie kicks Oprah’s ass

“I’m a woman without a future — I don’t need one.”

SOUL’S CODE —  We don’t mean that Byron Katie is literally beating up on Oprah. The only reason we make the comparison between the two is that Byron Katie, who is a post-modern mystic, made a rare live appearance in the San Francisco Bay Area the same day that Oprah’s show hyped the movie The Secret and its gospel, the “law of attraction.”

The difference between Oprah and Byron Katie is that Oprah explicitly caters to America’s victim-culture — millions who don’t like their looks, their job, their love-life, their personal history, etc. Oprah pitches a grocery list of prescriptions to fix the personality’s grievances.Byron Katie, on the other hand, offers a radically different way out of pain.

Why would you care? Katie, as she goes by, comes as advertised. We won’t write that she has ‘achieved enlightenment’ — that is, a person who is free of internal conflict — because we can imagine her rejoinder. Katie would turn one of her famous four questions back on us, and ask:

“How would you know? Can you absolutely know that that’s true? Do you have any proof?”

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Winter Rhapsody: a meditation by David Rickey

How to savor lasting impressions of beauty in the present moment

DAVID RICKEY — I am sitting by the window listening to a recording of Le Tombeau de Couperin, by Maurice Ravel, performed by Pascal Rogé. Ravel was one of the great French impressionist composers. The music lends itself to drifting in thought, and. . .well . . .impressions.

I gaze out the window, seeing the bare trees of winter outlined against the flat grey sky. I see the mottled brown crumpled leaves lying dead on the newly green grass. And I see a robin perched on a branch, perhaps looking for a worm to emerge from the cold, damp earth. This season, especially in California, is such a wonderful mixture of color and dullness, life and death.

And it is all good.

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The biography of your senses

Call it non-duality, call it Advaita, call it whatever you want. If the present is all we ever have, why do we feel so lonely?

BY SMADAR DE LANGE — Three top tropes of the New Age are “interconnectedness”, “oneness” and the general notion that ‘reality’ has different ‘levels’, or frames — say, like a video game or the TV series Lost. The buzzwords are sign-posts: they point to a reality that is not ordinarily perceived in the realm of our work-a-day world.

The perennial question, What is reality? — what a concept — dogs us because we humans have always resided on a plane of interconnectedness and non-duality, yet we experience isolation and separateness as facts of life.

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AHA MOMENTS, EPIPHANIES and PEAK EXPERIENCES: The trick to having one is letting your soul’s code have its way

BEING THERE: DAVID RICKEY — I have always thought of “AHA” moments as those times when suddenly we “catch on” to a deeper reality, when we suddenly “get it” – the “it” being a deeper truth, or a clearer insight into “ultimate reality.” These experiences are sometimes caricatured by a light-bulb turning on. Suddenly we see something that had been invisible, or un-graspable before.

On a personal level, the “A-Ha” may be an answer to a problem or question that has been plaguing us; a sudden awareness of a solution or a new perspective that hits us, seemingly from nowhere, or “out of the blue”. From a deeper level, however, “A-Ha” moments, I believe, are breakthroughs in consciousness where an old, more limited, perspective gives way to an expanded awareness of what is really going on, our part in it, and then a summons to change our choices, behaviors, intentions to align better with this new awareness. Spiritual teachers speak of “waking up”, indicating that what came before was a state of “sleep-walking”, behaving and choosing without awareness.

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The Oprah, Obama, and Reverend Wright broken-love triangle

Both Oprah and Obama were members of Reverend Wright’s church. She quit out of careerism, early. Less calculating, Obama hung in until he ran for president

BY PAUL KAIHLA — Whenever I open my mouth about Oprah!, scud missiles rain down upon my space (link to the Led Zep-tune, Kashmir).

Usually, those scuds form their craters during conversations with women who are totally focused on their careers.

Maybe . . . probably, it’s a projection. Do we feel a “missing-ness” in our jobs, yet throw so, so much of our energy into making them so, so good?

What does this have to do with Oprah? She pitches to that careerism that’s alive in each of us, and reflects it. She’s the most successful double-minority, media careerist on earth.

The shadow side of careerism is a sense of missing-ness. Missing this, missing that. Missing that which we really love. Because we’re at work, and selling our precious time for a pay-check. Are the highest highs you’ve ever felt in life produced by your job, an experience at work ? Not bloody likely.

The reason I do not trust Oprah as a trusted source on how to resolve that tension, and instead see her as a self-serving opportunist, was reinforced by this week’s Newsweek.

It shows once again how deeply Oprah is cathected in a self-image that morphs into fame and fortune. Like Barack Obama, she too was a member of Jeremiah Wright’s Chicago church. But unlike Obama, expediency prompted Oprah to cut out after a couple of years — while the future presidential nominee naively hung around for 20.

From Newsweek’s Oprah kiss-up: “Something Wasn’t Wright”:

“Oprah is a businesswoman, first and foremost,” said one longtime friend, who requested anonymity when discussing Winfrey’s personal sentiments. “She’s always been aware that her audience is very mainstream, and doing anything to offend them just wouldn’t be smart.”

It’s natural to take offense, defend Oprah — and have affection for her. You want to be rich and famous? Great! Memo to Oprah: Don’t strike a pose as spiritual, a way of being that — by definition — is aimed at obliterating and undermining the very identifications that holds a mass audience in your thrall.

I follow Oprah’s movements, I respect Oprah — I do not trust Oprah. I trust the women that this site calls The New Female Mystics.

What’s the difference? Spiritual teachers like Byron Katie, Pamela Wilson and Catherine Ingram seem like they have surrendered what Oprah has not — and have little interest in promoting a self-image.

Why isn’t the same deference, fierce loyalty and emotion that Oprah enjoys extended to the likes of Byron Katie, Catherine Ingram and Pamela Wilson ?

They occupy a place of peace and acceptance that media celebrities can only imagine. They have a knowing. They do not have money, or media profile.

Is is that what they have is actually not wanted — and what they do have, really isn’t?

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The New Female Mystics: Post-Modern Gurus

The New Female Mystics: Post-Modern Gurus

A notable exception to the No Logo rule is Byron Katie, who calls her work, well, The Work. But she’s the best example of a self-schooled female mystic. For two years, Katie was so maniacally depressed she rarely got out of bed. A mother of two boys and a teen-aged girl in Bakersfield, CA and an alcoholic, she ended up in a local halfway house.

When Katie awoke one morning to find a cockroach crawling up her foot, she had an out-of-nowhere epiphany. “All my rage, all the thoughts that had been troubling me, my whole world, was gone,” she recalls. “The only thing that existed was awareness. I was seeing without concepts, without thoughts or a story. There was no me. The foot and the cockroach weren’t outside me. There was no outside or inside.”

During the two decades since that halfway-house psychic makeover, Katie, now 63, has drawn audiences in the thousands to lectures and workshops, offering others the same experience. She typically charges no fee. To both experts and lay people alike she appears to live in an elevated psychological state utterly free of internal conflict, akin to a yogi or a lama. Katie herself claims that she does not even see herself as a spiritual person.

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The New Female Mystics: Boot-Strappers

The New Female Mystics: Boot-Strappers

One reason it is hard to codify some of the practices of post-modern mystics in words is because they’re more like signposts that point you toward a mental state that lies precisely beyond words. How-to tips are superceded by a stronger path of transmission at the disposal of Pamela Wilson, Byron Katie and the others: the simple power of their personal presence.

The international followings of these women aren’t built on much else. A Mother Theresa, by comparison, had an honorific in a powerful multi-national organization; these women have no organizations per se. Neither do they bank on an MD’s shingle like self-help gurus Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra (Katie worked as a real estate broker in her previous life, Ingram as a journalist). Mystics by their nature don’t actively seek fame or fortune.

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Addiction: 9 Causes and Cures

Addiction: 9 Causes and Cures

ADDICTS + ARTISTS = THE MOST SPIRITUAL BEINGS

M. Scott Peck, the top trans-personal self-help author of the 1970s, famously called addiction “the sacred disease.” He argued that alcoholics and addicts are often the most inherently spiritual people because they’re seeking to escape the confines of a personal story and tap into something larger than themselves. It’s one reason that addiction shows up so often in artists. Poet Samuel T. Coleridge was a heavy opium user 200 years ago, and 19th-century painter Vincent Van Gogh was an alcoholic who favored absinthe. Throw a dart at a board full of modern music icons from Bob Dylan and Keith Richards to Ray Charles and Johnny Cash — all drug addicts.

The most famous example of a spiritual teacher who was an addict is Byron Katie. A hardcore alcoholic — and mother of two boys and a teen-aged girl in Bakersfield, CA — Katie ended up in a local halfway house. Katie was miraculously cured when she awoke one morning to find a cockroach crawling up her foot, and had an out-of-nowhere epiphany. “All my rage, all the thoughts that had been troubling me, my whole world, was gone,” she recalls. “The only thing that existed was awareness.”

After Katie became a post-modern mystic with an international following, she reflected on the roots of addiction:

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Books: I Need Your Love — is that True?

Books: I Need Your Love — is that True?

Byron Katie goes all Zen in her second book, I Need Your Love — is that True?, published in 2005. Her approach to relationships is to get the reader to break down the sandcastle of his or her own thoughts. Thoughts are something that you create, not something that make you who you are–or at least that’s Katie’s creed. To end suffering, she invites us to out the highly arbitrary source of negative thoughts. No where is it more essential than between intimate partners.

Katie channels Hamlet with her “It is neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so” approach to relationships. Think that you need someone? Then you will.

The solution proffered in the book is based on a set of four ego-eviscerating questions, starting with: “Is that thought I have about my relationship actually true?” And then: “Who or what would I be without the thought?” It’s a great technique for un-spooling loops of self-limiting thought patterns. Powerful

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