Deepak Chopra Explores Conscious Being
Deepak Chopra, founder of the Chopra Foundation and the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, in Carlsbad, California, is a New York Times bestselling author and world-renowned authority in the field of mind-body healing. Regarded by Time Magazine as the “poetprophet of alternative medicine,” he also lectures around the world and hosts Deepak Chopra Radio on BlogTalkRadio.com.
In War of the Worldviews: Science vs. Spirituality, you and physicist Leonard Mlodinow debate humanity’s most fundamental perennial questions. What is the crux of this contention?
Overall, my co-author suggests that the universe operates according to laws of physics, while acknowledging that science does not address why the laws exist or how they arise. I maintain that the laws of nature, as well as mathematics, share the same source as human consciousness.
He further observes that while science often casts doubt on spiritual beliefs and doctrines insofar as they make representations about the physical world, science does not—and can
not—conclude that God is an illusion. While not defending God in religious terms, I maintain that God is a way of understanding some extremely crucial things: the source of existence, the reality beyond space-time and the underlying consciousness and creativity of the universe.
What is your understanding of consciousness?
Consciousness is that which makes possible perception, cognition, emotions, personal relationships, biology, biological function, the environment and its relationship to us, as well as the universe and its relationship to us. Without consciousness, there would be none of this.
Do you feel consciousness and God are one and the same?
Yes, God is infinite consciousness that expresses itself as the universe. We are little bubbles of consciousness in the ocean of consciousness. Outside of space-time, Infinite Consciousness expresses itself and gives birth to every form of individual consciousness—the individual observer and the internal process of observation, as well as the objects, which are also experienced within the observer.
What steps can we take to shift human consciousness?
No social transformation happens in the absence of personal transformation. Therefore, without worrying about other people, the questions to ask yourself are these: Can I be the change that I want to see in the world? What kind of world do I want to live in and how can I become the agent to create that world for myself?
When we are personally practicing the divine attitudes of loving kindness, joy, compassion and equanimity, we are moving out of our limited ego. If we all do this and reach critical mass, it is possible to create a peaceful, just, sustainable and healthy world—but we each have to shift our self to get where we want to go. To make such a radical shift, we must explore the process of waking up, which centers on transcending the maelstrom of everyday thoughts to find the Source of the mind.
How do you define transcendence?
There are many levels of transcendence. The most profound is deep meditation, known to alter brain structure and lead to lasting transformation. Transcendence can also happen through deep contemplation, mindfulness, music, poetry, art in any form, dance, falling in love and selfless service. Whenever you experience any quality of pure consciousness, however fleeting, you have transcended the mundane.
Pure consciousness, which is the unseen, infinite potential from which everything springs, is centered within itself; silent and peaceful, awake, self-organizing, spontaneous, dynamic, blissful, knowing, whole and encompassing. Despite the infinite diversity of the physical world, at a deeper level, only one process is occurring: Wholeness is moving like a single ocean that holds every wave. You experience this quality when your life makes sense and you feel a part of nature; you are at home simply by being alive.
Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings.