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In God we trust? A new decade for building trust

MSNBC has a five-year-old running poll asking whether the slogan “In God We Trust” should be removed from American currency. A better question for this new decade is, “which” God do we trust?

BY DAVID RICKEY — You’ve probably seen the sign over the cash register at a country diner:

In God We Trust – All Others, CASH

That line occurred to me when I received an email a few years ago about an MSNBC poll asking whether we should have “In God We Trust” on our money. The email said:

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Spiritual Surf: Vatican Realty, Clowns in Space, Kabbalistic Revival, BibleSticks, Obama & Gay Rights

Vatican City: For Sale?

In a recently posted video comedian Sarah Silverman proposed a solution to world hunger: the Pope could sell Vatican City and give the profits to the less fortunate.  Silverman’s idea echoes Morris West’s fictional Ukranian Pope in Shoes of the Fisherman (1963), who had an uncanny Eastern European resemblance to a later pope, John Paul II, whose election to the papacy occured 31 years ago this week (October 16, 1978).


No Clowning Around With Mother Earth

If, in Kierkegaard’s parable, a theater clown’s warning of a backstage fire was met with laughs by the audience, then maybe a clown’s warning is better delivered from space.  Guy Laliberte, founder of Cirque de Soleil, will be the first clown in space to proclaim a heavenly warning to a planet in peril.  The message: preserve water resources on Earth.  Like a sacred Hopi clown yelling from a pueblo rooftop, Mr. Laliberte has made his ecological message known.

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Five Minutes of Heaven; a lifetime in hell

Five Minutes of Heaven; a lifetime in hell

An award-winning movie puts fear under observation, terror under surveillance — and reflects both the faces of hate and compassion

BY DANNY KENNY — In Oliver Hirschbiegel’s “Five Minutes of  Heaven”, characters played by Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt deal with universal themes of reconciliation, revenge and forgiveness, set against the backdrop of the Irish conflict.

Through the prism of post-9/11 America, it also examines  pent-up and painful emotions, as well as uncomfortable questions that surround those age-old themes.

This cinematic text offers an insight into the ongoing, daily struggle for sanity and serenity — for those on both sides of the political and/or religious divide — who try to carry on living with themselves after their world has been shattered.

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Spiritual Surf: Sukkot, Letterman, Dalai Lama, World Council of Churches, Tantric Sex


Freedom from slavery celebrated

Jews around the world are celebrating the Feast of Booths, or Sukkot, commemorating the Hebrews’ freedom from slavery and sojourn through the Sinai desert. Always considered relevant, this holy day generates meditations on ecology, mysticism, and helping the homeless.

A day after the annual Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, David Letterman was ironically forced by events beyond his control into offering a comical confession about affairs with female staff and blackmail.  Much like the Yom Kippur liturgy of confessing one’s sins in public. Letterman bared his soul, strongly reminiscent of the Yom Kippur confession of “unchastity”, or literally “shameful nakedness” (think of the “naked” Noah in the Bible–it is the same word).

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Health Care Reform? Let’s Re-form Consciousness

The solution to today’s most popular problem: Improved spiritual care will improve health care

BY DAVID RICKEY — The long ranging and raging debate over Health Care Reform reveals a more fundamental problem: human beings, even in the more educated and “enlightened” countries, may not be ready for the next major shift in spiritual evolution.

The questions asked on all sides — “How much will it cost me? Will I lose my freedom to choose? Will I get the care I need when I need it?” — demonstrate how we remain caught up in ego-centric concerns.

Only a few seem to be asking, “How can all people share in the benefits of medical care?”

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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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Spiritual Surf: Kennedys, the new anti-atheists, spiritual brain power, and Tweeting God


As The Vatican, the American Public and Republican Christians remain divided on Ted Kennedy’s “State of Grace” and “very Catholic Funeral”, US scholars debate new ways to communicate with, or ex-communicate, God. Soul’s Code highlights the great divide!

Where Americans disagree: “Kennedy funeral rings with hope, Twitter with vitriol”

Edward Moore Kennedy wrote to the Pope: “I’ve never failed to believe”

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A Kennedy death that offers a healing opportunity

Despite his transgressions,  Edward Kennedy was a model of grace and forgiveness. His legacy outshone Chappaquidick and the shadows cast by assassins Lee Harvey Oswald and Sirhan Sirhan

BY PAUL KAIHLA — In our anxious world the news of a Kennedy death has an archetypal effect: shock and awe, a collective “pain body” experience. John F, ’63; Robert F. K. in LA in ’68, by the first post-war Arab terrorist in America.

But this time, there was no “Kennedy curse.”

Let’s celebrate that Teddy, who ran for president like his brothers, died of natural causes — not an assassin’s bullet or bomb. Let the mainstream media call him an American icon. Or conflicted whatever.

Soul’s Code calls him a person who took a leap of faith. He didn’t retreat into wealth, like Jackie. He didn’t become Jackie’s lover, like Bobbie. He cathected in not only his uncle-role with his family and tribe, but in a larger role with our global village. He worked his (energetic) anatomy 0ff to change the world:

Family man, related: Most American men somehow, find some way, to be at odds with their mothers. Please find an instance in a book, or in a newspaper, or a YouTube rip where Ted ever said a single negative word about his mother.

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Lockerbie bomber: live and let die

An Episcopal priest and pagan witch see eye-to-eye on karma, the power of forgiveness and Scotland’s controversial release of the Pan Am 103 convict

DANNY KENNY and DAVID RICKEY — When Pan Am flight 103 was ripped from the skies on December 21st, 1988, it shocked the world and tore a remote tiny Scottish community apart. This horrific act of terror killed 270 people, including eleven in Lockerbie, as large sections of the plane fell in and around the town.

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Is it time to give modern pirates a moral break?

How the swashbuckling archetype of pirates-past became today’s image of oceanic terrorists — a spiritual response

GUEST COLUMN: AMY LEASK — We’ve been incredibly spoiled by the likes of Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom.  Thanks to them we’ve become enamored with knee-high leather boots, gold hoop earrings and shoulder-perched parrots.

Very few of us made it through childhood without donning an eye patch and blackening out a tooth or two at Halloween.

Well into our adult years, it’s still acceptable to sport shoes with skulls and crossbones, or joke about being a swashbuckler while downloading songs and movies from the internet.

There’s very little that isn’t cool about being a pirate at least for those of us who’ve never left shore or had to swing a sword.

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