Posts Tagged Deepak Chopra
Adapted from Why Is God Laughing? by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2008).
This first principle serves as an antidote to fear and sorrow by encouraging you to experience life as joyous. As we begin on the path, joy may come and go in small glimmerings. Yet in the end, laughter will dispel suffering like so much smoke and dust. Suffering is one of illusion’s most convincing aspects, but it is still unreal.
A golden rule applies here: What is true in the material world is false in God’s world, and vice versa. In this case, the material world seems to be dominated by crisis and suffering, and therefore the sanest way to approach life is with worry, anxiety, and defensiveness. But once your consciousness shifts, you realize that life itself couldn’t exist without an underlying creativity, and that this continuous act of creation is in itself an expression of ecstasy. These qualities are the basis of your life, also.
In fact, the lens of materialism gives us the least accurate view of the world, because through it we see consciousness as merely an accidental byproduct of brain chemistry, and the powers of the mind as a myth. To equate the deepest reality with inert atoms colliding with each other in the dead cold of outer space denies all that sustains life and makes it worth living: Beauty, truth, art, love, morality, community, discovery, curiosity, inner growth, and higher consciousness.
What do all these qualities have in common? They depend on intuition. There is no objective proof that love is beautiful, or that the truth can set you free. Rather, you must come to these realizations through your own inner experience. On the spiritual path everything depends on a shift in consciousness; nothing depends on atoms colliding.
What we have, then, is two opposing world views contending for your allegiance. Is it better to be spiritual or materialistic? Is God a mere add-on to physical existence, or at the very root of existence? This isn’t an easy choice to make, because the evidence is seriously out of balance.
Most of us have extensive personal knowledge of the material world, but scant personal knowledge of God. God has a lot of proving to do. He must prove that he’s present and dependable, the same way a rock or a tree is. If we want to claim that God sustains life, he must sustain it as viably as air, water, and food do. In other words, to realize God is no small thing. It may take a lifetime—if you’re lucky.
To begin this journey, commit yourself to the possibility that everything you see around you is far less real than God. You want to see the truth “with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind,” as Jesus says. This is actually a commitment to joy. When you feel momentary happiness, or you want to burst out laughing, or you smile for no apparent reason, you are glimpsing eternal reality. For a fleeting moment the curtain has parted so you can experience something beyond the illusion. In time, these moments of joy will begin to knit together. Instead of the exception, they will become the norm. There is no better way to know that you are growing in God-realization
posted by Deepak Chopra Jun 13, 2011
Being lovable isn’t a superficial quality; it is a quality of spirit. If you can see yourself as spirit, it won’t matter what conditioning has occurred in the past, whether you were fortunate enough to be raised with loving values or so unfortunate that you were discouraged and made to feel ugly and worthless.
In our most inmost being, we are all completely lovable because spirit is love. Beyond what anyone can make you think or feel about yourself, your unconditioned spirit stands, shining with a love nothing can tarnish.
If being lovable really is the secret to attraction, then there is no need for anxious searching, because your own being, which can never be lost, doesn’t have to be found.
The whole futile process of making yourself attractive to others, of constantly waiting for someone else’s response, of desperately comparing yourself with an ideal image can come to an end. The only requirement is a shift in perception, for those who cannot find love perceive themselves as not being lovable.
This is not true, but they make it seem true by linking their perception to a powerful system of beliefs.
What creates romance is the ability to see yourself as lovable.
This shift in perception happens not by changing who you are but by seeing who you are and then shining it forth. If you were able to exhibit the full grandeur of your being, your whole life would be a romance, one long love story dedicated to ecstasy and joy.
Adapted from The Path to Love, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1997).
Since we all take our choices very seriously, adopting this new attitude requires a major shift. Today, you can begin with a simple exercise. Sit down for a few minutes and reassess some of the important choices you’ve made over the years.
Take a piece of paper and make two columns labeled “Good Choice” and “Bad Choice.” Under each column, list at least five choices relating to those moments you consider the most memorable and decisive in your life so far – you’ll probably start with turning points shared by most people, but be sure to include private choices that no one knows about except you.
Once you have your list, think of at least one good thing that came out of the bad choices and one bad thing that came out of the good choices. This is an exercise in breaking down labels, getting more in touch with how flexible reality really is.
If you pay attention, you may be able to see that not one but many good things came from your bad decisions while many bad ones are tangled up in your good decisions.
No single decision you ever made has led in a straight line to where you find yourself now. You peeked down some roads and took a few steps before turning back. You followed some roads that came to a dead end and others that got lost at too many intersections.
Ultimately, all roads are connected to all other roads. So break out of the mindset that your life consists of good and bad choices that set your destiny on an unswerving course. Your life is the product of your awareness. Every choice follows from that, and so does every step of growth.
Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004).
posted by Deepak Chopra Apr 12, 2011
We each have a soul, but because we are each observing from a different place and a different set of experiences, we do not observe the same things in exactly the same ways. The variations in what we observe are based on our minds’ interpretations. Our minds interpret the observation differently.
Interpretation happens at the level of the mind, but it is our individual souls that are conditioned by experience, and through that memory of past experience the soul influences our choices and interpretations in life.
These tiny kernels or seeds of memory build up in the individual soul over a lifetime, and this combination of memory and imagination based on experience is called karma.
Karma accumulates in the personal part of the soul, the wave at the core of our being, and colors it. This personal soul governs the conscience and provides a template for the kind of person each of us will turn out to be. In addition, the actions we take can affect this personal soul, and change our karma, for better or worse.
The universal, nonlocal part of the soul is not touched by our actions, but is connected to a spirit that is pure and unchanging. In fact, the definition of enlightenment is “the recognition that I am an infinite being seeing and seen from, observing and observed from, a particular and localized point of view.”
Whatever else we are, no matter how much of a mess we may have made of our lives, it is always possible to tap into the part of the soul that is universal, the infinite field of pure potential, and change the course of our destiny.
Adapted from The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press).
Ten Steps to Peace Consciousness
(taken from Peace is the Way, by Deepak Chopra)
1. Change doesn’t start on the surface. It’s generated from consciousness. This has been true throughout history. If both Buddhism and Christianity could begin with one person, let us not think in terms of numbers and odds. It may sound grandiose to compare ourselves to great spiritual guides, but we act collectively, as an alliance. Our strength comes from critical mass.
2. We aren’t here to make the world evolve. We are here to evolve as individuals and then to spread that influence. In the wisdom tradition of Vedanta, the stream of evolution is known in Sanskrit as Dharma, from a root verb that means ‘to uphold.’ This gives us a clue how to live: the easiest way for us to grow is to align ourselves with Dharma. We don’t have to struggle to grow–that would be unproductive, in fact. The Dharma has always favored non-violence. If we can bring ourselves to a state of non-violence, and connect with others who are doing the same thing, we have done a huge thing to reinforce Dharma.
3. Societies get into the grip of their own self-created story. It’s helpful to realize that we can choose not to participate in that story. Realize that national and tribal stories are limited, self-serving, based on the past, reinforced by orthodoxy, and therefore opposed to real change. Stories are incredibly persuasive. Wars are fueled by victimization that runs deep, for example. So let us not try to change anyone’s story. Let us only notice and observe ourselves when we buy into it and then let us back away from participating in it.
4. Let us not demand of ourselves that we alone must be the agent of change. In a fire brigade everyone passes along a bucket, but only the last person puts out the fire. None of us know where we stand in line. We may be here simply to pass a bucket; we may be called on to play a major role. In either case, all we can do is think, act, and say. Let us direct our thoughts, words, and actions to peace. That is all we can do. Let the results be what they will be.
5. Let us realize that engagement and detachment aren’t opposite—the more engaged we become, the more detached we will have to be. Otherwise, we will lose ourselves in conflict, obsessiveness, anxiety over the future, and feelings of guilt and inadequacy. Keep in mind that we are pioneers into the unknown, and uncertainty is our ally. When our minds want closure, certainty, and finality, let us remind ourselves that these are fictions. Our joyous moments will come from riding the wave, not asking to get off at the next station.
6. Since most misery is born of failed expectations let us learn to minimize expectations so
that we will feel far less guilt and disappointment.
7. We aren’t here to be good or perfect. We are here as the antennas for signals from the future. We are here to be midwives to something that wants to be born. Good people have preceded us. They solved some problems and created others. As one wise teacher said, “You aren’t here to be as good as possible. You are here to be as real as possible.”
8. I know this sounds difficult, but let us try to be tolerant of intolerance. This is a hard one at times, but if you try the opposite—showing a hard heart against those with hard hearts of their own—all we’ve done is expand the problem. It’s helpful (but often difficult) to remember that everyone is doing the best they can form their own level of consciousness. Trying to talk a terrorist out of his
beliefs is like trying to persuade a lion to be a vegetarian. All we can realistically do is seek openings for higher awareness.
9. Let us resist the lure of dualities. These include us versus them, civilized versus barbarians, good versus evil. The good, civilized people of Europe managed to kill millions of themselves, along with millions of “them.” In reality we are all in the same boat of human conflict and confusion. Sometimes it helps to admit that the doctor is not far from being a patient.
10. Let’s create an atmosphere of peace around ourselves. Imagine that we are like a mother whose children come home crying about fights at school. Would it be her job to soothe their wounds or to arm them for fighting back tomorrow? Simplistic as it may sound, the male principle of aggression can only be healed by the feminine principle of nurturing and love.