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Santa Claus: International man of mystery

SPIRITUAL IQ QUIZ — He’s big. He’s hairy. He’s said to tear through the night sky accompanied by magical reindeer. Santa Claus makes a truly weird symbol of conspicuous consumption. Maybe that’s because he’s a figure whose spiritual roots sit deeper than today’s commercial culture.

Santa as we know him today symbolizes holiday cheer, Christian charity, and, yes, maybe more than just a little bit of pagan wildness. Little wonder this mischievous elf has been shunned by Christians, banned by secularists, and viewed with suspicion by purists of all sorts.

As he keeps sliding down the chimney into our culture, click on the radio buttons below to see how much you know about the global poster-boy for Christmas.

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The spiritual life of Siri (as in the new iPhone, not Tom Cruise’s kid)

Siri, is the intelligent agent embedded in the latest iPhone. She will tell you the meaning of life, the universe — and God knows what

SPIRITUAL IQ QUIZ — If she’s in the right mood, Siri, the intelligent agent embedded in the latest iPhone, will tell ask you the meaning of life, the universe, and everything (the answer, of course, is always the number ‘42’).

Will artificial machines do a ‘Terminator: Judgement Day’ on us? Or will our machinery of thought help mankind sustain a harmonic code with the universe?

We better hurry up and figure it out, because Siris shows that machines are becoming inexorably more intuitive. The big question: will they ever become truly spiritual, too? Test your spiritual IQ — and Siri — using the radio buttons below:

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Exclusive book excerpt: David Richo

Exclusive book excerpt: David Richo

According to one of the leading psychotherapists and spiritual authors in the United States, trust is a four-fold path

Adapted from, Daring to Trust: Opening ourselves to Real Love and Intimacy, By DAVID RICHO — A compass is a trusty tool for a journey, and we can see the four directions that trust can take using the symbol of a compass. Draw a diagram to see for yourself.

Place the words “I TRUST” in the center with a circle around it.

In the East position write: “MYSELF”

In the West position, pencil in: “OTHERS”

South: “REALITY,” or “WHATEVER HAPPENS”  — or “HOW LIFE UNFOLDS.”

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The secret spiritual life of Steve Jobs

SOUL’S CODE SPIRITUAL IQ QUIZ — Steve Jobs was a genius with a dark side. He humiliated subordinates in front of others. His management style included  playing mind games on his own people like waking them up in the middle of the night at home to harangue them. He even created an espionage division inside of Apple that would have made famous paranoids like Richard Nixon and his White House ‘plumbers’ wilt with shame.

But this contradictory and relentless man was also possessed by deep spiritual yearnings from a young age. We honor Steve’s spiritual side — and invite you to test your spiritual IQ with the clickable multiple-choice questions below about some facts of Jobs’ life that Apple p.r. rarely publicized. May his soul be sanctified:

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Spiritual Surf: The web 2.0 of self-help is the new, new thing

Spiritual Surf: The web 2.0 of self-help is the new, new thing

From sites like BlissTree to StarYoga, the Soul’s Code category is on fire

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: “Why men say ‘I love you’ for the wrong reasons” (BlissTree.com)

What do Russell Brand, Clint Eastwood and Jerry Seinfeld have in common? A short-list no more: Celebrities who meditate

Silicon Valley goes spiritual: Glam.com launches “Mind Body & Spirit” channel

Rice University, UTSA and University of Minnesota study: Sexual Signaling: Do You Think My Porsche is Sexy? (PsychCentral.com)

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Spiritual Surf: Secrets of the world’s oldest people

Spiritual Surf: Secrets of the world’s oldest people

Why seniors dream in black & white

Why is Alec Baldwin, 53, dating a 27-year-old yoga teacher? It’s a second life (New York Post)

Are Baby Boomers to blame for the debt crisis? Don’t ask them (CNN)

What happened to Obama? ” . . . corrupted by a system that tests the souls even of people of tremendous integrity” (New York Times op-ed)

Old people miss even older people: “In economic turmoil, U.S. needs a leader like Churchill.” (David Gergen)

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When Voodoo becomes Can-do medicine

When Voodoo becomes Can-do medicine

Alternative healing and advanced science continue to converge — and leap-frog ahead of conventional wisdom

BY DAVID RICKEY and RICK LEED — As we evolve, both scientific researchers and esoteric healers have advanced new therapies to treat our bodies and our minds but when we first hear of some of them we make a snap judgement that this sounds too wacky to be legit. We use words like voodoo medicine or magical thinking.

Think back to examples like quinine and willow bark — the former a tribal medicine used by Peruvian Indians, the latter an ‘old wives’ remedy. In the modern age, the first was prescribed by doctors as a treatment for malaria and the second in derivative form as aspirin.

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One of the world’s hottest spiritual teachers shares her prescription for feeling great

Pamela Wilson asks: When you worry, or feel fear, can you say this to the anxious voice in your head? “You are welcome here!”

BY PAUL KAIHLA — Pamela Wilson has many moving parts — part spiritual muse, part Gestalt Therapist and part post-modern mystic, in the sense that she can induct an audience into an expansive state using voice and anchors the same way that the late great Milton Erickson did with patients in hypnosis.

Featured in the Soul’s Code slide show, Female Mystics, Wilson comes as advertised: I and 60 others were moved by the power of her presence the other night in a simple hall in Berkeley, CA. She held an over-educated and highly-experienced audience in her sway, to paraphrase the Rolling Stones.

Wilson is fond of revealing the ways in which the mind acts as a blunt instrument.

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How Sacred Contracts author Caroline Myss guided a Soul’s Code reader

How Sacred Contracts author Caroline Myss guided a Soul’s Code reader

“Before she was famous, a mystical neighbor changed my life”

BY ELLEN FENNER — We all have a moment we can look back on and see divine intervention that we didn’t necessarily recognize at the time. For me it was the day an angel (see photo) sat me down at her kitchen table and fed my starving soul.

In the spring of 1984, I returned home from my second year at college completely dejected. I had lost control of everything I’d ever imagined myself to have any control over. When I decided not to go back the next year, I gave up a full-tuition scholarship and set myself adrift.

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Nelson Mandela’s birthday wish

Nelson Mandela’s birthday wish

Inspire change, and celebrate the Nobel Prize winner’s 93rd, by doing 67  minutes of good deeds today

BY PAUL KAIHLA — July 18 is South Africa’s annual Good Samaritan’s day. This year, Nelson Mandela turned 93. And the tradition here is to donate 67 minutes to helping others in honor of the former freedom fighter’s devotion to human rights and reconciliation.

The number 67 is not a random pick; It represents the number of years that Mandela devoted himself to public service and political struggle — 27 of them incarcerated in South African prisons (1962 to 1990) such as Capetown’s equivalent of Alcatraz, Robben Island, as well as five years as South Africa’s first non-white president (1994 to 1999).

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