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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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Life is a Terminal Illness

Life is a Terminal Illness

In Japan, a death toll approaching 10,000; tens of thousands of fatal US car crashes every year; more than 100 million babies born in the world every year

BY DAVID RICKEY — A snippet of one of Dylan Thomas‘s great poems has been popping into my mind a fair amount recently:

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees 
is my destroyer.

To me it’s about the “life force” that will also eventually bring about my end. In some spiritualities, like Hinduism, there is a “god” for both creation and destruction (Brahma and Shiva). I prefer to think of it as one force.

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Serenity in a blizzard

Serenity in a blizzard

How I survived a near-death road trip with my hillbilly Zen Master

BY AUGUST TURAK – I was 21 years old. And for the first and only time in my life, I was sure I was about to die. I was in the passenger seat of my 1963 day-glo green Ford Econoline van with a bubble-shaped skylight on the roof and a madman behind the wheel – a West Virginia hillbilly who happened to be my Zen Master. We had been on our way out West when he’d gotten news that his son was in trouble back in Wheeling, and now he was barreling home with me in tow to do what he could.

The trip had started out two days before on an almost comical note. On a cold dark morning at 5:30, his usual starting time, I was coming up his front steps to pick him up. My van was parked across the street and according to his careful instructions, was full of enough tools, extra tires, and spare parts to rebuild it on the fly if necessary. And because of the Arab oil embargo that year, it was stocked with fifteen gallons of spare gasoline in three five-gallon cans.

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How Reiki brought revelations and connected me to my spirit guides

After surviving thyroid cancer, Reiki revealed a deeper dimension to my life

ANONYMOUS — Throughout my life, I’ve received many messages from the Spirit World and, as a child, had a spontaneous out-of-body experience. But there is one specific spiritual event in my adulthood that has profoundly changed my life.

Many years ago, I had cancer, which started in my thyroid and quickly spread to my esophagus and vocal cords. I had two surgeries and nine months of radiation, followed by another year of recovery for me to regain my full strength.

To this day, I have a scar across my throat that looks like a smile. But I  have grown to love that scar because, to me, it represents life.

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Remembrance of war past

A Vietnam vet’s journey from a “19 year old hippy kid” to a life coach

GUEST COLUMN: OSCAR TRUITT — When I was drafted into the army in 1969, I was a 19 year-old hippy kid who believed in the concepts of peace and brotherly love.  When I went to Vietnam, I had the idea that I would never shoot my weapon at anyone.

But the first time out in the field, the guy walking behind me was hit by sniper fire.  Everyone started shooting. I did too — to protect him, and the others.

Firing a weapon became an act of group consciousness, not individualism. It was not done from selfishness, but from a concept of brotherly love that I had thought I believed in, but had never understood until that moment.  I discovered that I didn’t know what I believed in, and didn’t know who I was.

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Why science can’t tell us if there’s life after death

Why science can’t tell us if there’s life after death

Scientists at the Human Consciousness Project are studying what happens when we die. It’s not as bad as you might expect

BY DAVID RICKEY — When Time magazine wants to engage with its readers, they do articles like, “What Happens When We Die? Their take:

A fellow at New York’s Weill Cornell Medical Center, Dr. Sam Parnia … and his colleagues at the Human Consciousness Project announced their first major undertaking: a 3-year exploration of the biology behind “out-of-body” experiences.

The Soul’s Code take:  please don’t ignore the spirit.

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How I deal with the pain of separation and saying goodbye

A doctor of life coaching for women discovers the art of letting go

GUEST COLUMN: DR. JEANINE AUSTIN — Part of my job as the Department Head of Social Services when I worked for a skilled nursing facility was to have regular client contact. One morning, I stopped by to see how Mr. and Mrs. Carol (not their real names) were doing.

As soon as I stepped in the room I felt I was entering into a combat zone.  The couple was sparring loudly about which television program they were going to watch:  People’s Court or Sally Jesse Raphael.

Not five seconds into the debate,  I watched in horror as a cup of hot tea, launched by Mr. Carol, flew past my head, only narrowly missing Mrs. Carol, his bride of more than 60 years.

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You thought you only had one type of karma?

Reincarnation is dictated by a code called karma, and it comes in four different types not “one size fits all”

GUEST COLUMN: ALAN ANNAND — Woody Allen famously joked, “I believe in karma and reincarnation, because nothing else explains how I could get so far behind in just one life.”

But seriously folks, a full half the world’s population believes in reincarnation, which obliges us to be reborn again and again, working on our soul’s multiple-life lessons, like some poor kid who can’t get his college degree until he passes Ethics and Morality 101.

Karma and reincarnation are linked.

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Courteney Cox in Cougar Town

Spiritual Surf: Amazing Race Karma, Arthur Koestler, Courtney Cox

The cosmic side of Courtney Cox; B.F. Skinner and Arthur Koestler redux; Does ABC’s Amazing Race have any grace?

“Amazing Race” had its 2009 premier this week. And so you say, So?!

It just happens to have a lot of spirituality. When a show clones the Victorian-era, global-village meme of Around the World in 80 Days, it’s hard to avoid.

Guess the most common word uttered on this smash-hit reality TV series:


Karma is routinely invoked by on-camera competitors who explain and complain about the good, the bad, and the ugly consequences that go down during the journey.

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The Kennedys and the Jacksons: Two families in search of peace

Superstar clans that have lived with trauma and scandal look to bury the past in very different ways.

BY PAUL KAIHLA — Grief is a very private affair. But this week, it’s going very public for the loved ones of Michael Jackson and Ted Kennedy. May they rest in peace —  and for the rest of us, may we share the Dalai Lama’s brand of guidance and comfort.

The loss of a loved one is a shock to your system. It’s useful to remind yourself that you’re in trauma. A being who took up a Grand Canyon worth of space in your psyche is gone. The vacuum their loss has left leaves you confused – and reeling. So do drugs, alcohol, addictions, affairs and other escapes. You don’t need any more momentum in that direction.

You’ll keep asking yourself, “What do I do now?” Don’t even try to answer that question. You can’t.

9 Ways to deal with loss

Read the Soul’s Code slideshow: 9 WAYS TO DEAL WITH LOSS

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