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The cosmic origins of your iPad

SPIRITUAL IQ QUIZ – Your iPad does have a spiritual side. Deep down, all Apple products do. Seriously. Apple isn’t known as a cult company for nothing. The founder, Steve Jobs, used to do TM and LSD. Click on the radio buttons below to test your IQ about your favorite gadget-maker’s spiritual side:

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Why Halo Reach, Grand Theft Auto IV, and Final Fantasy are a religious experience

SPIRITUAL IQ QUIZ — Religions channel the fears and aspirations of our collective unconscious through archetypal images and stories. That’s why the religious enterprise has been so successful for such a long period of time.

And maybe it’s also why video games are the fastest-growing form of modern entertainment.

If you don’t think video games are also spiritual, you simply haven’t played very many. Video games are rooted in the same myths and archetypes that have shaped us for millennia.

The key difference: video games put the audience in the middle of the action, whether that means blasting armies of alien invaders in Halo Reach or fighting with crooks and your own conscience in Grand Theft Auto IV.

So before you put down the genre, pick up a controller. And click on the radio buttons below to test how much you really know about the spiritual side of video games . . .

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Evolution, not revolution, is the solution

Can our brains evolve fast enough to solve the problems that the un-evolved mind has created

BY DAVID RICKEY —Einstein said that the level of consciousness that created a particular problem cannot solve the said problem.

A hot new book by sociobiologist Rebecca Costa, The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking our way out of extinction, illustrates Einstein’s point by documenting how our rate of social and technical change is out-stripping evolution.

Look at the economy: we have developed complex computer programs that can trade stocks in milliseconds. We have developed virtual ways of making money, and created a subculture of the super-rich.

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Barack Obama, the secret Good Samaritan

Flying to Norway to start a new life, Mary Anderson got a helping hand from a stranger: Barack Obama. In her own words . . .

For Barack Obama’s inauguration we call your attention to a little-publicized event in 1988, after the future president left his gig as a community organizer in Chicago and enrolled in Harvard Law School. The unknown Obama delivered a random act of kindness to a complete stranger at a baggage check-in line at Miami’s international airport.

The recipient: a former California girl named Mary Menth Andersen (left, with her husband, holding a letter from Obama). This story first came to light a month before the 2008 U. S. presidential election in Norway’s national newspaper, VG.

It was verified to Soul’s Code by H. Dagfinn Kvale, a long-time Lutheran pastor who knows Andersen.

Click here to read the remarkable back-story of Mary Andersen’s encounter with Barack Obama. In this special to Soul’s Code, Mary celebrates the against-all-odds inauguration of her Good Samaritan from 21 years ago:

GUEST COLUMN: MARY ANDERSEN — On the eve of Barack Obama’s inauguration, as domino arrays of disasters sit on our doorstep, I find myself strangely confident. Can a small act of individual kindness, so long ago, still compel this spirited optimism I feel for everyone?

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Why doesn’t Paris Hilton grow as a person?

She’s pretty American

BY PAUL KAIHLA — In her short, unintentional life, Paris Hilton has performed at least one spiritual good deed: In 2007, after being sentenced to 45 days in jail for . . . whatever, she exited her L.A. home carrying a copy of Eckhart Tolle’s, The Power of Now.

That single act, and famous photo, gave Tolle’s best-selling book of spiritual haiku a second life. It zoomed up Amazon.

The take on Paris among the Soul’s Code community of helping-professionals goes something like this: she’s a harmless person who puts herself out there — but not “in” there — as in, herself. Or what Carl Jung called “the Self,” free of an excessive degree of self-concern.

When she was sentenced, we publicly prayed for Paris’ new inner life — or at least that she’d undergo what another American icon, Dwight Eisenhower, called “an agonizing reappraisal.”

It didn’t work.

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Escape from Hollywood: The Soul’s Code list of 2011 summer movies

Escape from Hollywood: The Soul’s Code list of 2011 summer movies

Spiritual cinema: From the Rolling Stones to religious war, these 5 flicks are enlightened and entertaining.

1. 9th Company, the Russian side of “Charlie Wilson’s War”

Hulu.com, the website where you can play TV and movies for free, finally has a foreign flick worth watching. (Actually, make that any flick).

Hulu just posted 9th Company, “9 Рота” in the original Russian — the first time that a mass American audience has been exposed to the best movie we’ve ever seen from the post-Soviet Union (and in that spirit, it’s a co-production with Finland and the Ukraine).

Yes, the movie does has subtitles. But think of it as the Rus version of Platoon with the nitty-gritty psychological naturalism of Stanley Kubrick’s Natural Born Killers. But it’s actually based on a true story.

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Spiritual Surf: Why is Hangover II the highest-grossing comedy in history?

Spiritual Surf: Why is Hangover II the highest-grossing comedy in history?

Answer: We are as addicted as ever

Starbucks profits: Up 44% in last quarter (CBS)

Flower-power Boomers still drink too much booze: Over 60 (Geffen foundation)

1 in 5 educated geeks still, like, smoke: A creative-class confession (Guardian)

Post-Michael Jackson, we-are-the-world is still hooked on big pharma: $1 trillion (Forbes)

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What is the origin of inspiration and invention?

In the an issue of the New Yorker magazine, Malcolm Gladwell uses Microsoft heavyweight Nathan Myhrvold as a case study for coincident scientific discovery — and I say, a collective consciousness

DAVID RICKEY The ego exists only to function in relationship to the whole system, and the ego functions best when it is consciously aware of itself as part of a larger system.

Inspiration derives from the word, spirit. But it is the latest breakthroughs in science, not necessarily spirituality, that give us the clearest prism for viewing the way inspiration is actually created. Malcolm Gladwell’s profile of Nathan Myhrvold in The New YorkerIn the Air: Who says big ideas are rare?— describes a number of instances where two or more people develop almost identical ideas or inventions pretty much simultaneously.

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Spiritual Surf: Weinergate and Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Spiritual Surf: Weinergate and Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

From the anti-false witness clause in the 10 Commandments to Bill Clinton, lying is as old as our genetic code

Psychologist Abraham Maslow on survival: The Hierarchy of Needs

Born Liars: “How to spot a liar?” (Toronto Globe and Mail)

Online dis-inhibition: Group-think and de-individuation

Not surviving, or winning: Movie star Matt Damon pulls out of June 20 fundraiser for Congressman Weiner (New York Daily News)

Socially (unconscious) media: “When does online fantasy become infidelity?” (Salon.com)

Euro Group prez says it’s his job to lie: “I’m not going to go to confession because of a false denial. God understands more about the financial markets than many who write about them.” – Dr. Jean-Claude Juncker in Der Spiegel

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BosnianWar

Spiritual Surf: Sexual war crime epidemic

There’s no “girl power” in mobs. Men have a history of seeing war, revolution and disasters as foreplay for rape.

War creeps: Who put the “rape” in “rape and pillage?”

Where not to strut: In a mob, safety should trump defiance for the Lara Logans of the world.

Raging stats: Husbands are as bad as soldiers in the Congo.

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