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Eliezer Sobel
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Eliezer Sobel (www.eliezersobel.com) is a writer, musician and teacher. His books include The 99th Monkey: A Spiritual Journalist's Misadventures with Gurus, Messiahs, Sex, Psychedelics and Other Consciousness Raising Experiments (2009), as well as Minyan: Ten Jewish Men in a World That is Heartbroken (2004), which won the Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel, and Wild Heart Dancing (1994). He was also the Publisher and Editor of the Wild Heart Journal, the New Sun magazine, and writes online for Psychology Today and Reality Sandwich. Eliezer has led creativity and meditation retreats around the U.S. and is a certified teacher of The 5 Rhythms™ movement practice developed by Gabrielle Roth.

Entries by Eliezer Sobel

Enlightenment Quiz

(5) Comments | Posted July 15, 2013 | 6:35 PM

With help from Sri Charles Castellananda

Score 1 point for each wrong answer. Add your total number of correct answers to your total number of wrong answers, then divide by the total number of questions. If your result is 1, you are enlightened. If your result is anything else, seek...

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Newtown: A Crisis of Faith

(9) Comments | Posted December 21, 2012 | 10:00 AM

I have a spiritual problem.

Carl Jung believed that most people's psychological issues can only be truly relieved through a spiritual response. The situation we humans find ourselves in is growing more and more difficult if not impossible for us to bear. Post Newtown, I am in a full-on...

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Limbaugh & Hannity Endorse Obama!

(0) Comments | Posted January 18, 2012 | 4:00 PM

My elementary school friends, Melvin Limbaugh and Charley Hannity were always such blowhards. They had an opinion about everything. And they always agreed about everything, which I could never quite understand. For example, Mel always insisted that Jif peanut butter, hands down, was far superior to Skippy. And Charley would...

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Are You a "Real" Writer?

(14) Comments | Posted November 11, 2011 | 4:00 PM

Writers learn early on that there are actually many people out there, incomprehensible as it may seem, who simply do not enjoy reading our work. (We probably wouldn't be very close friends with these Neanderthals, if we met them.) We try not to take it personally, but most of us...

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A Day in the Strife of a Writer

(1) Comments | Posted October 9, 2011 | 11:22 PM

Things I did to prepare to be the guest teacher at a writing class:

Dug up old handouts from the desk drawer in my studio out back where I haven't set foot in months. I look around, notice how disgusting the studio is, the floor covered with dead stinkbugs, and...

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Note to Authors: Your Book Won't Change Your Life

(18) Comments | Posted September 27, 2011 | 3:14 PM

A Hollywood agent called me about 10 years ago, after reading the first chapter of my novel, Minyan, which had been in the works for 10 years before that. "I LOVED Chapter One!!" she shrieked. This could be VERY BIG. You know I'm someone who works on BIG movie projects...

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Losing the Ego: A Conversation with Ram Dass

(3) Comments | Posted May 16, 2011 | 7:00 AM

It was 1997. I was visiting the Neem Karoli Baba ashram in Vrindaban, India, when I learned that my old friend and spiritual teacher, Ram Dass, had had a major, possibly life-threatening stroke. How strange to hear such news in that particular place, which took me over 20 years to...

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What's on Your Bucket List?

(2) Comments | Posted October 11, 2010 | 4:46 PM

I don't usually get headaches. So when I woke up at 4 a.m. for the third consecutive day with a splitting pain in the back of my skull, I drew the logical conclusion: terminal brain tumor. The next obvious step in my thinking was to start my "bucket list," (all...

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Relaxing With God

(7) Comments | Posted September 17, 2010 | 6:20 PM

When Thoreau was on his deathbed, his aunt asked him if he had made his peace with God, and he responded, "I was not aware that we had quarreled." Someone else once (I don't recall the source) said, "The most salient characteristic of an enlightened being is not what one...

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Making a Difference... or Not?

(9) Comments | Posted August 3, 2010 | 5:23 PM

Portions of the following adapted from my memoir, "The 99th Monkey."

I received some really disturbing news a few days ago. But first the back story:

Thirty years ago I was a teacher at a rather unique alternative high school in East Orange, N.J. Located in two adjacent...

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What Really Matters?

(6) Comments | Posted July 6, 2010 | 5:07 PM

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,

The lone and level sands stretch far away.


--Percy Bysshe Shelley

Time is on...

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Generic Love

(12) Comments | Posted June 11, 2010 | 8:14 PM

Some years ago I was having dinner with my girlfriend, Liz; among other items on my plate was a heaping mound of mashed potatoes. When Liz noticed I had finished eating all of my potatoes, she instantly ladled another scoop onto my plate, without asking. She had done this before,...

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YouTube: No More Wasting Time Making Choices!

(1) Comments | Posted June 1, 2010 | 6:11 PM

"We're looking at how to push users into passive-consumption mode, a lean-back experience." -Jamie Davidson, YouTube product manager, reported in the Sunday Times Business section, May 30, 2010.

The article explained YouTube's envy of television, saying that "Although the average user spends 15 minutes a day on YouTube, that's tiny...

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Good News and Bad News... and Woody Allen

(3) Comments | Posted May 20, 2010 | 5:25 PM

First the good news: as Woody Allen so succinctly reminded us the other day in an interview from Cannes, when commenting on aging, "I find it a lousy deal. There's no advantage in getting older. I'm 74 now. You don't get smarter, you don't get wiser, you don't get more...

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Understanding the Placebo Effect

(3) Comments | Posted April 30, 2010 | 11:41 AM

It could be argued that Wikipedia is not the most scholarly or accurate resource for medical information. On the other hand, I am not a physician or a psychologist, so please cut me some slack.

From Wikipedia: "The patient is given an inert pill, told that it may improve...

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Calling Dr. Laura: Old Loves And The Boundaries Of Fidelity

(38) Comments | Posted March 3, 2010 | 11:23 AM

Dr. Laura would disapprove, of that I'm certain. Most likely Dr. Phil would yell at me too. Thankfully, my personal life is not completely dictated by media-based psychology standards, or I'd wind up on Oprah taking the fall for men in mid-life crisis everywhere.

It began innocently. A group of...

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Facebook: Sex on the Brain

(4) Comments | Posted February 17, 2010 | 4:20 PM

There is a blank space at the top of everyone's personal Facebook page that asks the question, "What's on Your Mind?" It's called a "Status Update." People report, often daily, everything from the completely mundane: "Planning to cut my nails later today, God willing," to the deeply personal: "Third round...

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Avatar: Pandora Is in the Eye of the Beholder

(12) Comments | Posted January 25, 2010 | 5:48 PM

Noted spiritual teacher Ram Dass, a former Harvard professor of psychology and early spokesperson for the possible spiritual benefits of using LSD and other psychedelic drugs, tells the following story: He was approached by a professional, scientific group, and asked to comment on various photos, presumably related to drug use....

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Who's The Crazy One: Dealing With Psychiatrists

(4) Comments | Posted January 20, 2010 | 12:55 PM

There was an episode of Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm in which Larry felt it necessary to discontinue therapy as a result of running into his therapist on the beach and seeing him wearing a thong bikini. Not quite as dramatic, last summer my wife and I pulled into the...

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Thinking Inside The Box

(3) Comments | Posted January 8, 2010 | 11:52 AM

With so many creativity experts and corporate wizards constantly pushing everyone to "think outside the box," I want to caution you against throwing the baby out with the bathwater. There's something to be said for keeping your thoughts comfortably confined right within the walls of whichever box you habitually...

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