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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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sexandlove1

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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Erickson bio

Spiritual Surf: Letterman roasts Tony Robbins over fire-walking wounded

Tony Robbins, Neurolinguistic Programming, Milton Erickson and the physics of walking barefoot over hot coals

Just say, “Ow!”: More than 20 injured at Tony Robbins seminar in Silicon Valley

“I’m invincible, I’m on fire”: Tony Robbins makes David Letterman’s Top Ten list but for the wrong reason

The physics of fire-walking: Escaping injury has nothing to do with mind over matter

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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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The Origin of Species

Spiritual IQ Quiz: Is the ‘genius gene’ good for your health?

From Stephen Hawking to Steve Jobs, big minds have changed your life. The saying goes that theses geniuses are born with a good-luck gene . . . or are they?

SOUL’S CODE — Every parent in America wants their kid to be the next gal or guy who changes the world.

But some of the people who actually did change our lives led extremely painful lives themselves, beyond their controllable lifestyle choices.

So we ask: Would you wish the genius gene upon your kids, or just as well leave that DNA alone?

Click on the radio buttons below to see what the likes of Oprah, Arthur Schopenhauer and Obama share in common — or not:

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