Deepak Chopra is back on Huffington Post, again, yammering yet more of his cobbled together philosophy of shit, sparkles and foolishness.
Before addressing the importance of spirituality in modern times, we should first define it. Spirituality is the experience of that domain of awareness where we experience our universality. This domain of awareness is a core consciousness that is beyond our mind, intellect, and ego. In religious traditions this core consciousness is referred to as the soul which is part of a collective soul or collective consciousness, which in turn is part of a more universal domain of consciousness referred to in religions as God. When we have even a partial glimpse of this level of awareness we experience joy, insight, intuition, creativity, and freedom of choice. In addition, there is the awakening of love, kindness, compassion, happiness at the success of others, and equanimity. As the turbulence of our mind settles down, our body also begins to heal itself because it also quiets down. The body’s self-repair mechanisms are activated when the mind is at peace because the mind and body are at the deepest level inseparably one.
You have to admire Chopra’s ability cram so much unsupported woo into a single opening paragraph.
“Spirituality is the experience of that domain of awareness where we experience our universality.”
Sounds like he’s been into the LSD. Just look at all the wonderful things that follow from accessing Chopra’s spiritual universality! Joy, insight, intuition, freedom, love, kindness, compassion. The body will even heal itself if you just jack into this mystic force that Deepak defines and for which there is no evidence.
Let’s examine, just for the fun of it, the things Chopra says you will gain:
Joy. I have joy, but it’s an interesting offer. I don’t think anyone would describe their life as a non-stop shower of joy. I’m not walking around with a goofy grin on my face, moved to tears by every puff of breeze. Would anyone reject having MORE joy? Not likely. But joy, like every other thing, follows a sine wave. How would you know you were joyous if there were never a time without it? It is the counterweight of disappointment that gives joy its sweetest flavour. Here Chopra is merely dangling cookies. Who doesn’t want another cookie?
Insight. Well, insight comes from many places, one of which is certainly quiet reflection or meditation. Dreams are another. Random coincidence (Deepak would say there are no such things). Books, movies, strangers, fortune cookies. But the way Chopra presents his argument, he’s not talking about mere insight – a simple flash of understanding. He’s suggesting a deeper, more profound understanding of life, the universe and everything – that very “universality” he suggests we need and must seek.
Intuition. The ability to sense the truth in the absence of conscious evidence. A useful skill to develop if you’re going to accept Chopra’s premises and conclusions. One might hope intuition teams up with insight so that people experience the sudden realization, “Hey! Deepak Chopra is a blithering idiot with loads of warm, fuzzy conjecture strung together with pseudo-science, mysticism and the sincerity of a top-rung grifter.”
Freedom. Oh, meditation, break these bonds of servitude! Freedom from what, Mr. Chopra? Freedom TO what? How does “spirituality” make anyone more free? Another pretty cookie – one everyone agrees is a good thing – without the slightest indication of how this cookie will make me taller, smarter and better looking…much less “freer”.
Love. Love? Freedom? Insight? He’s got a whole bakery of delicious on offer.
Kindness and compassion. These last two I find interesting because they’re different in kind than the rest. Kindness and compassion are two qualities everyone considers they already possess in rather greater quantity than other people. Love, insight, intuition, freedom, joy…those are things of which I want more. Kindness and compassion? Those are things I think other people need. Just a minute – there’s a stray, drenched, hungry kitten at my door. I have to go kick it.
Chopra then asserts that this vaporous spirituality is beyond intellect, mind and ego. Of course, that doesn’t prevent Deepak from completely understanding what it is and telling others all about it. What special powers does this shaman possess that permits him to comprehend that which, by his own definition, must be incomprehensible?
All religions are founded on a deep spiritual experience of unity consciousness where there was complete union between the personal and universal. Unfortunately, many times the followers of religion, instead of understanding the religious experience and seeking it for themselves ended up merely worshiping the founder of the religion. It is more important to fully grasp the teaching of the religion and its basic tenets, that have come from a deeper experience of transcendence. Self-righteous morality is not a means for experiencing higher consciousness. Higher consciousness, spontaneously leads to moral and ethical behavior. However, because spiritual knowledge is powerful, the custodians of organized religion have frequently ended up with destructive behaviors — power mongering, cronyism, control, corruption, and influence peddling. As a result organized religion has frequently become quarrelsome, divisive, and led to conflict. No organized religion has been immune to this unfortunate tendency. So, we have had the crusades and witch-hunts of Christianity, the Jihads of Islam, the violent communal riots instigated by fundamentalist Hindus and the persecution of minorities and ethnic cleansing all in the name of God.
Chopra argues that spirituality is the fundamental quality of all religion, but religion is bad. He lists all the nasty (I would argue inevitable) qualities that result from faith claims, yet insists that such pursuits are something to be engaged. An anti-religious call to religion? Deepak wants worshipers, but he would prefer that you pray over the purchase of his latest book rather than at the alter of traditional gods. Frankly, one might be hard pressed to understand why substituting Deepak’s new age bullshit is an improvement.
Our present times are particularly dangerous because ancient habits combined with modern capacities and technologies of destruction are a devastating combination that can destroy life on our planet.
The End Times are upon us! Fear not! Deepak will lead us to the light!
As we begin to have a more scientific understanding of the transcendent level of our existence and look at the basic tenets of all religions, we find that the spiritual experience is fundamental to all and similar in all. This experience can be had by anyone through the practice of meditation, prayer, contemplative self-inquiry, the expression of love and compassion in action, intellectual inquiry into the deeper meaning of life, and self-less service. With these practices, we begin to realize that consciousness is a field of infinite possibilities; that it is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient and infinitely creative. This experience also leads to unbounded love and compassion. Getting in touch with our deepest self is therefore the utmost importance because it is our connection to the mystery that we call God.
What gibberish! A scientific understanding of the transcendent level of existence? Consciousness is omnipresent, omnipotent (in what sense? Just how in the fuck is consciousness omnipotent?) and omniscient! Well…I guess that explains how Chopra can know all these things that are unknowable. He has meditated himself into omniscience by the very nature of consciousness! What utter horseshit.
Chopra does this all the goddamn time. He just SAYS these things almost as if they were tautological. “Consciousness is omnipotent.”
What the fuck does that even mean? Nothing. It is meaningless pablum that carries with it a vague sense of power – power that might be accessed if only one can follow the lead of this mystical wizard who speaks with such certainty about problems and solutions. The problem is that it’s nothing more than a fairy tale concocted out of fantasy and spouted by an imbecile.
As the Sufi mystic Rumi has said, “You’re not just a drop in the ocean, you’re also the mighty ocean in the drop.” If there is anything that will at this moment heal our wounded planet with its immense problems of social injustice, ecological devastation, extreme economic disparities, war, conflict and terrorism, it is a deeper experiential understanding and knowledge of our own spirit. With this deeper understanding and with an interfaith dialogue that looks at our commonalities rather than our differences, we have the opportunity to solve the problems of the world, address its inequities and heal ourselves. The word, “healing” and the words, holy and whole, all mean the same thing. To be healed is to have the return of the memory of who we really are. When we return to our sacred source, the world will be holy, and it will be healed.
Oh, for fuck sakes! There it is – the Sufi mystic – the unassailable ancient wisdom of the ages transmitted in fortune cookie sized bites.
What can solve our insurmountable problems: injustice, the looming death of the planet, poverty, war, terrorism?
Of course, spirituality is at the root of many of these problems, so Deepak is rather like a quack global homeopath, arguing that “like cures like.”
Return to the sacred source and be healed. So sayeth Deepak The Prophet. Hugs for everyone! Magical unicorns! Our problems will all be solved by the flood of love resulting from everyone meditating.
Stupid fucking crystal pumping hippie bullshit.
Deepak Chopra is an insult to science, to thinking, to understanding. He is nothing more than the Brothers Grimm selling Once Upon A Time stories to people hungry for some sort of power over their fate – an illusion that simply lines Chopra’s pockets with money stolen from the desperate and gullible.