Tips for Dealing with Negativity

there is a lot of negative stuff out there these days, much generated by the overall atmosphere of fear that is being put forth in the media, so here are a few suggestions from Deepak Chopra on how to tackle this energy:


Deepak Chopra: Dealing With Negativity

August 17, 2015 

Deepak Chopra: Dealing With Negativity

by Deepak Chopra

There are a number of different techniques to deal with negativity. It takes time before you find the right response to suit a specific situation. The more patient you are with yourself, the better. One day you may need tears, the next day it’s a matter of patiently waiting or talking to your inner self. Here are some methods of dealing with negativity to add to your repertoire:

Patient waiting. Notice your negative reaction and watch it for a moment. Be attentive to your feelings as they are, without judging or forcing them to change. This response is quiet, but it isn’t passive. You are removing the shock value of the moment, softening the feeling so that you don’t act on it impulsively or push it away. You are letting it dissipate naturally, at its own pace. You are also practicing detachment.

Talk out the problem. Any negative experience in the mind is part of yourself. It’s neither alien nor evil. Try talking to your fear or hostility. Ask to know what it means. Find out why it chose to show itself at this particular moment.

Ask the underlying energy to leave. Not all negativity wants to stick around. We are all aware of passing moods and sudden flashes of emotion that soon subside. Ask the negative energy to leave, but first give it a chance to say what it has to say.

Summon help and assistance. Your mind has countless levels. At higher levels, you possess much more control and authority than you realize. Learning to trust in aspects of your higher self that you can’t see is important. Ask for help in removing unwanted negative energy. Some people address their angels and guides; others pray to God; still others make a request to the higher self directly. Depending on your own beliefs, don’t hesitate to say that you are feeling overwhelmed and need help.

Physical responses. Turn to the wisdom of the body. Although the mind always wants to rush in and take charge, life is a cooperative venture between mind and body. As some body workers like to say, there are issues in the tissues. So let your body do what it wants in order to release the grip of a negative experience. This can be physical, or even toning, which means humming or singing at certain pitch and then letting the body carry the tone up or down.


On the Chakras

What Everyone Needs To Know About Their Chakras

May 6, 2015

What Everyone Needs To Know About Their Chakras  in5d in 5d

by Deepak Chopra

Each of the seven chakras are governed by spiritual laws, principles of consciousness that we can use to cultivate greater harmony, happiness, and well-being in our lives and in the world.

The First Center: The Root Chakra

The root chakra, known in Sanskrit as muladhara, is located at the base of the spine. It governs your most basic survival needs. When this chakra is clear and energy flows through it freely, we feel secure and confident that we can easily fulfill our needs. However, blockage in this area can cause us to feel anxious and worried.

The spiritual Law of Karma governs the first energy center. On the physical plane, every action you perform results in a corresponding reaction. To maximize the possibility that your actions generate evolutionary reactions, you can use your body as a choice determining instrument.

Consider the possibilities in front of you and listen to signals from your body. These sensations generating from the root chakra are either comfortable or uncomfortable. Your body evaluates every possible decision in terms of its likelihood to meet your needs for safety or increase the level of threat you experience. The first chakra, which connects you with the earth, provides essential information as to the potential nourishment or toxicity that is available to you as a result of the actions you are taking.

The Second Center: Creativity Chakra

The creativity chakra, called svadhishtana, is associated with creativity in all its expressions. Located in the area of your sexual organs, the energy of this center can be used for biological reproduction. When channeled into higher energy centers, it fuels the creative force that enables you to paint a beautiful picture, build a business, or create a life of love and abundance.

The Law of Least Effort is lively in the second chakra. When your vital energy is flowing through your center of creativity, you co-create your life. The solution to every problem is rarely on the level of the problem. Rather, it comes from a deeper domain of creativity. Creativity is the process of taking the same raw material and creating different contexts and relationships between the components.

For example, when a composer creates a new piece of music, he is using the same notes in a new relationship with one another other, resulting in the emergence of something that did not exist before. The second chakra utilizes the raw material of the root chakra to create the world anew each day.

The Third Center: Energy Chakra

The energy chakra, manipura, is localized in your solar plexus. It’s the seat of your power in the world. When this center is open and flowing, you are capable of translating your intentions and desires into manifestation. When it is blocked, you feel frustrated and ineffectual.

The Law of Intention and Desire governs the third chakra. The seeds of intentions and desires reside in your personal soul. Nourishing the seeds you wish to germinate with your attention will lead to their full expression. It is important to be clear about your intentions so you are not surprised when they bear fruit.

The process of manifesting your desires is to first bring them into consciousness, followed by expanding your awareness through meditation, and finally releasing your intentions and detaching from the outcome. You can control your actions, however you cannot control the fruit of your actions. Keep your life energy flowing freely through your third chakra and the light and heat of your intentions will radiate on the world.

The Fourth Center: Heart Chakra

The heart chakra represents the unifying energy of love and compassion. Known as anahata, it is located at the center of the chest. The heart chakra is dedicated to overcoming separation and division. When the heart center is blocked, there is a sense of alienation from others. When the heart center is open and flowing, you feel connected at a deep level to all beings in your life.

The Law of Giving and Receiving governs the heart chakra. Love can take many different forms at different stages of life. The love of child for her mother is different than a mother’s love for her child. A friend’s love is different than that of a passionate lover or the love of a student for his teacher. However so, the common thread in each of these expressions of love is the impulse to unify—to overcome separation. This is the nature of the heart.

Every act of giving is simultaneously an act of receiving. Each time you welcome a gift into your life, you are providing the opportunity for someone to give. Just as a healthy physical heart receives blood from the periphery which it then oxygenates and pumps back out, your emotional heart stays healthy by receiving and giving love in all its forms.

The Fifth Center: Expression Chakra

The throat chakra, called visshuddha in Sanskrit, is the center of expression. When the fifth chakra is open and flowing, you have the confidence that you are capable of communicating your needs. When the fifth chakra is obstructed, a person will often feel that they are not being heard. In order to feel alive and empowered, it’s important that this energy center is clear. Blockages in this area are often associated with thyroid problems or chronic neck pain.

The Law of Detachment governs the throat chakra. An open fifth chakra enables you to express your truth without concern for censors or critics. This does not mean you say things that are intentionally hurtful or insensitive. On the contrary, people with open centers of communication are skillful in expressing their needs in ways that are life supporting. Anxiety over how people will react to your views does not arise when energy is flowing freely through the chakra of expression.

The Law of Detachment reminds you that you can choose your words and actions, but you cannot control the response to your words and action. When your intentions are clear, and your heart is open, you will spontaneously demonstrate right speech trusting that the universe will handle the details.

The Sixth Center: Intuition Chakra

The intuition chakra, known in Sanskrit as ajna, is located in the forehead. It is the center of insight and intuition. When this center is open, you have a deep sense of connection to your inner voice, and feel guided in your choices. When blocked, there is a sense of self-doubt and distrust. The opening of this chakra is usually associated with a clear sense of connection to ones dharma, or purpose in life.

The Law of Dharma or Cause and Effect governs the sixth chakra. You have within you a wise voice guiding you to express the highest aspects of your nature. Listen to this still inner voice, which is guiding you to manifest your full potential. Quiet the internal turbulence that is filled with the voices of others so you can identify the sound of your own soul. It has only one desire—for you to remember your essential nature as a spark of the divine.

The Seventh Center: Consciousness Chakra

The consciousness chakra, known as dahaswara, is visualized as a lotus flower at the crown of the head. When the lotus unfolds its petals, the memory of wholeness is restored. Remember that your essential nature is unbounded, and that you are spirit in disguise as a person. This is the full expression of yoga – the unification of being with action, of universality with individuality.

The Law of Pure Potentiality governs the seventh chakra. When your roots are receiving nourishment from the earth in the first chakra, your creative juices are flowing in the second, your intentions are empowered in the third, your heart is open and exchanging love with those around you in the fourth, you are spontaneously expressing your highest self in the fifth, you are in touch with your inner voice in the sixth, only then, does energy move into the crown chakra and you remember your essential nature as infinite and unbounded. The thousand-petaled lotus flower unfolds and you know yourself as a spiritual being temporarily localized to a body and mind.

The Yoga of Meditation The Upanishads tell us, “As great as the infinite space beyond is the space within the lotus of the heart.” From the time of your birth, you have been called to explore the world outside of you. Meditation is the exploration of your inner world. Yoga encourages you to be as familiar with your inner world of thoughts, feelings, memories, desires, and imagination as you are with the outer world. When you can move through both the inner and outer domains of life with freedom and joy, you fulfill the highest purpose of yoga.

Deepak Chopra, M.D. co-founded the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in 1996 with the late Dr. David Simon, who co-wrote this article and the book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga. You can learn more by visiting the Chopra Center’s resource page.


Deepak Chopra on Synchronicity

Synchronicity, Evolution, & Your Genes (Part 1)

By Deepak Chopra, MD.

Over the past decade, the hunt for genetic connections with behavior as intensified. For any experience, there must be a physical activity in the brain—otherwise, the experience has no basis. Using this irrefutable assumption, researchers have looked for the seat of anger, criminal behavior, gender identification, the sense of self, and many other aspects of human nature. This includes spirituality. Where is God in the brain? To many neuroscientists, that’s not only a valid question but the only one worth asking, insofar as spiritual experiences have any reality.

Now we are hearing about “God in the genes,” as genetics overtakes neuroscience for the top spot in explaining the roots of human experience. Where the brain operates only in the present, genetics peers deep into the past. A geneticist would want to know what evolutionary advantage early humans got from being spiritual—in the broadest sense of the word—that led to a better chance to survive. This whole line of inquiry, whether we’re taking about the brain or our genes, makes sense if you are a materialist. But it runs the danger of saying that spirituality is only about the physical side of the experience, as if music could never be discussed except by looking at pianos and radios, the physical side of delivering the musical experience.

The materialist explanation is filled with philosophical flaws, but instead of focusing on that, it’s more productive to ask how the brain and genes relate to spiritual experience. The physical side must be accounted for, without making it the whole story. To explore a new kind of explanation that embraces both the physical and non-physical, let’s examine an experience that most people have had. Without experiencing God, angels, the soul, or other traditionally religious things, almost everyone has had at least one or two inexplicable coincidences in their lives.


Synchronicity is the commonly used term for a meaningful coincidence, such as thinking someone’s name and having that person telephone a few seconds later, or opening a book at random and finding the answer to a problem you’ve been wrestling with. Synchronicity doesn’t feel random, which is how it is differentiated from coincidences that have no meaning but happen by chance. The spiritual link involves how to explain a meaningful coincidence. When someone is rescued through a string of chance events, did God intervene? If a car is stranded by the side of the road and a stranger appears out of nowhere to offer help, is God answering a need or a prayer? Events without causes lead to all kinds of unusual explanations.

The term synchronicity was coined by the eminent Swiss psychologist Carl Jung for a phenomenon he experienced with clients in psychotherapy. He first publically discussed synchronicity in a short essay describing synchronicity as an “acausal connecting principle”. By using the word acausal he is pointing to the non-local nature of synchronicity. Non-locality is one of the major principles in quantum physics. Non-locality refers to behavior between particles that doesn’t need a specific cause or location in spacetime. Hitting a billiard ball with a cue entails both a cause and a location. The location is the point where the tip of the cue strikes the ball. The force of the strike is the cause that moves the ball.

But in the quantum domain there is a mystery known as action at a distance, where two particles react to each other instantaneously, even though they can be separated by light years. The action occurs without regard for distance or the limitation of the speed of light. Action at a distance has been popularly explained as “You tickle the universe here, and it laughs over there.” Two particles that mirror each other’s behavior are said to be entangled, although the mechanism behind action at a distance is unknown. Entanglement fits the mathematical model underlying quantum mechanics, and that is what counts when physics is arriving at reliable, precise calculations.

In the everyday world, however, non-locality is about people, not particles. It’s part of human experience to have a meaningful coincidence happen that feels too profound—or too spooky—to feel random. A strict materialist would dismiss such feelings as unreliable and subjective, but “meaningful” isn’t simply subjective. Finding meaning in our lives, from any source, is essential. So how can we fit synchronicity into a broader context?

The key is to connect inner and outer, because synchronicity is about an event “out there” that has sudden meaning “in here.” To make the connection, nine principles apply to genuinely synchronous coincidences.

1. Synchronicity is a conspiracy of improbabilities. The entangled events break the boundaries of statistical probability).

2. The improbable events conspiring to create the synchronistic event are acausally related to each other. (Buddhist traditions call this interdependent co-arising. This is the equivalent of non-local correlation.)

3. Synchronistic events are orchestrated in the non-local domain.

4. As we become aware of synchronistic events, we move to higher or more expanded states of consciousness.

5. Synchronistic events are actually the result of an intention, which organizes the needed outcome. (The intention may have been introduced consciously or unconsciously.)

6. Synchronistic events vary in importance. They can seem incidental or can change the course of a person’s life.

7. Synchronistic events affect our emotions the way random coincidences don’t. A synchronous event creates the experience of emotional fulfillment and joy.

8. Synchronistic events allow us to discover the meaning and purpose of our life.

9. Synchronistic events are personal. In effect they are messages from our non-local self.

Taken together, these principles enable us to receive clues about the essential unity of two realities that seem to be separate: the inner world of thoughts, feelings, memories, fantasies, desires, and intentions, and the outer world of spacetime events.  The inner and outer are the same field, one non-dual consciousness that simultaneously creates both the subjective world and the objective world.

Therefore, synchronicity isn’t simply a passing anomaly that can be shrugged off. Something crucial is happening. In the next post we’ll discuss the implications of that something as it applies to everyday life.


Deepak CHopra on Forgiving Yourself

Deepak Chopra: The One True Key To Forgiving Yourself


By Deepak Chopra

The spiritual leader and author of What Are You Hungry For? The Chopra Solution to Permanent Weight Loss, Well-Being, and Lightness of Soul examines how we can find self-acceptance.

Somehow, even in a culture that values forgiveness, guilt isn’t so easy to erase. If you have done something you are deeply ashamed of or guilty about, your feelings lie somewhere on the following scale: I did a terrible thing; I have a terrible secret; Someone made me feel that I am a terrible person; or, I am a terrible person.

These statements are mixed together in our psyche, and getting them straight is the key to forgiving yourself. Doing a bad thing is not the same as being a bad person. Imagine a small child who is caught taking cookies from the cookie jar, and her mother scolds her. If the child is young enough, she can’t separate “I did a bad thing” from “I am bad.” And since the one who is making her feel guilty is her mother, the guilt that results comes with absolute authority. (This is one reason some psychologists claim that the gods and goddesses are actually stand-ins for our parents — they make us feel small, weak and vulnerable by comparison.)

As an adult, let’s say you do something that by your standards is a guilty action. You cheated on your income tax or on your spouse; you faked a job resume or got a good friend into trouble. You can’t forgive yourself by simply putting the bad action in proportion and moving on.

So what to do? The most effective ways to rid yourself of guilt are the following:

1. Confess to an authority figure and ask for their forgiveness.
2. Perform an act of atonement.
3. Pray for divine forgiveness.
4. Perform a ritual of contrition and appeasement.

It’s often pointed out how psychologically effective the Catholic confessional proves to be (all four approaches to erasing guilt are included). But the effectiveness of these steps diminishes if you don’t have deep faith. Even if you have no religious faith at all, the key to forgiving yourself remains the same: You must believe that you have been forgiven.

In most cases, living with guilt is far worse than going to the person you have wronged, confessing your misdeed and asking to be forgiven. Even if they say no, you have brought your guilty secret to light, and that’s a major step.

Some people are so ashamed that they can’t bring themselves to tell anyone their secret. The result is the worst kind of guilt, that festers inside with no chance for relief. If you feel that you have this kind of deep guilt, you must still find a way to believe that you are forgiven. You may have to take baby steps to get there. For example:

1. Write a letter confessing your secret. Include every detail. Take your time to make sure that you have left nothing out. When you are certain that the letter is complete, perform a ritual where you burn the letter or consign it to the sea — anything that will totally obliterate it. As you do this, say, “I put my guilt behind me. Now it belongs to God (or the universe).” Repeat this ritual several times, as needed. You may not completely absolve yourself, but you will be bringing your guilt to the light, which is the only place where healing psychological scars can occur.

2. Put your misdeed on someone else’s shoulders, imagining that the guilt isn’t yours. Now sit in judgment. Write out in detail what punishment this person deserves, and at the same time include reasons for mercy. Consider the balance between punishment and forgiveness. Most guilty people will be much more lenient on someone else than on themselves. This exercise gives you a perspective on your guilty feelings.

3. Adopt a mantra that you say to yourself the moment that a guilty memory or feeling arises. The following phrases are particularly effective: “I’m not that person anymore;” or “My attention belongs in the present;” or “I am not here to suffer anymore.” Choose the appropriate phrase and repeat it, without fail, every time you feel guilty. In this way, you are not only telling yourself the truth, for you aren’t the person anymore who committed a past misdeed, but you are also giving your brain a new, more positive input. This will help to wean it off the old wiring that keeps messaging guilt long after guilt is deserved.

No matter how big or small your guilty secret, no matter if your guilt is nagging or crushing, the goal is always the same. Do whatever it takes until you truly believe that you have been forgiven.


Deepak Chopra on Reality

Deepak Chopra

Co-author, ‘Brotherhood: Dharma, Destiny, and The American Dream’; Founder, The Chopra Foundation

Can Reality Set Us Free? The Puzzle of Complementarity

by Deepak Chopra, M.D., FACP, P. Murali Doraiswamy, MBBS, FRCP, Professor of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Neil Theise, MD, Professor, Pathology and Medicine, (Division of Digestive Diseases) Beth Israel Medical Center — Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, Menas C. Kafatos, Ph.D., Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor in Computational Physics, Chapman University

We promised at the outset to explain the nature of reality by going to its very heart. To all appearances reality is dual. The objective world exists “out there” to be measured, but its existence is known only through subjective experience, which is “in here.”  Both worlds need each other, and to be trapped in only one is unsatisfactory. The world turns into a dream only if you are conscious of your inner feelings, moods, sensations, and images. Yet if you rely only upon the physical world, you may wind up with meaningless data that don’t provide any link to what is truly important in everyday life. This point is easy enough to see, but joining the two worlds into wholeness isn’t easy.

Indeed, the task is so difficult that science proceeds as if it can exclude the mysterious, unreliable world “in here,” preferring measures of reality that can be reduced to quantifiable numbers.  As a result, all of us have become used to balancing two versions of reality, and we do it almost without thinking. A summer day can be 90 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a fact, or it can be warm, which is a sensation. The two are not synonymous. “Warm” is a purely subjective statement, and it has no correlation to the thermometer. (After a subzero winter in Antarctica, 32 degrees F. feels warm, whereas compared to the inside of a volcano, 90 degrees F. is cool.)

Is there a way to join these two halves of reality?  Most people aren’t concerned with such a question, but we posit that wholeness — seeing reality exactly for what it is — would set the human mind, and human life itself, free. The cosmos is a cold prison measured as meaningless data extracted from random events. To be human is to crave meaning, and yet intellectual honesty compels us not to accept easy answers. It is too easy, for example, to say that God created the universe, and since God loves us, the universe is our loving home. Such answers once sufficed, but four hundred years of scientific theories and data to back them up have swamped us.  Overwhelmed by facts about the world “out there,” it is a struggle to give the world “in here” the validity it deserves.

Our trek to wholeness, as outlined in the first two posts, involves the quantum principle of complementarity, whose purpose is to make some of Nature’s seeming paradoxes compatible. (Please refer to the previous posts to see how this repair job on duality works.) Essentially, complementarity holds that opposites need each other — they cannot be complete in themselves without the other “half”. The classic example is the opposition of particle and wave, which look and act totally different but which are the inescapable reality of quanta.  Complementarity is critical because it asserts that there is only one reality, and no matter how much it shifts its shape as we look from different perspectives, all the angles from which reality can be seen must ultimately fit together. This is comparable to all the tourist photos taken of the Grand Canyon. No matter how many there are, what time of day or night when they were taken, and irrespective of the million aspects of the canyon that were chosen, the whole collection of photos can’t depict different Grand Canyons — there is only one in the first place.

Unfortunately, things aren’t this simple when we substitute “reality” for “Grand Canyon,” because from the perspective of “in here” there is no proof that the external world exists independently of conscious awareness. At the same time, using only scientific data gathered “out there,” there is no proof of the subjective world, either. An MRI scan can show the brain centers for pain lighting up, yet if you ask someone “How much does your arthritis hurt today?” only their subjective report is valid.  Even consciousness itself is only inferred by watching the brain light up.  A brain scan is actually a very complicated version of those cartoons where a light bulb goes off when somebody, usually an egghead professor, has a bright idea. The light bulb can’t tell you what the bright idea actually is, and neither can an MRI.

Thus in order to see reality as a whole, we have to ask something incredibly basic: Why did creation split into subject and object in the first place? They are so wildly incompatible that this split has dogged and troubled humankind for centuries. Couldn’t God or the multiverse or random chance have come up with something much simpler, a reality that holds together properly? It doesn’t seem all that much to ask.

The two worlds “in here” and “out there” are either split for a reason or it just happened that way.  If it just happened that way, fine.  Science will go on, and so will subjective experience, and the two will uneasily meet somewhere in the brain. But if “in here” and “out there” are split for a reason, that’s a new story.  There have been many versions of the story so far. In many cultures, there was once a Golden Age that was innocent, pure, and untroubled (in other words, whole) while now we live in a fallen age, and our separation from God or the gods has resulted in a fragmented world.  Good is forced to come to terms with its opposite, evil, and therefore a reality of light and darkness envelops us. Needless, to say, such a story has not been satisfactory in a rational, scientific age.  It persists as myth and religion, which billions of people still prefer to science.

We come closer to a rational story via complementarity, because when complementarity holds that opposites have a hidden unity at the limit of observation (revealed through mathematics), a complete view of quantum physics is satisfied.  An opposite pair light wave and particle arise from the same source, and even if this source is beyond the five senses, lying in some invisible virtual domain, quantum mechanics can link the opposites and thus make every measurement turn out right.  By extension, can we say the same about “in here” and “out there”? Do they spring from a common source?

Our answer is yes, and we point to the only source that could unite them, which is consciousness. The universal model for any experience needs three parts, commonly called the observer, the observed, and the process of observation. “Newton saw an apple” fits this model, as does “the collapse of the wave function produces a particle.”  In the first case, the observer is named — Newton. In the second, the observer is implied. A great many physicists would balk, however, claiming that the collapse of the wave function doesn’t need an observer. It can happen even with automated experiments that carry out observations of the quantum system. It’s an objective event that occurs trillions of times throughout the cosmos, like countless other events (colliding hydrogen atoms, exploding stars, protons getting sucked into black holes) that came along before observers ever existed.

But this argument, which seems so common-sensical, is fallacious.  The principle of complementarity tells us that “in here” and “out there” aren’t just compatible; they are necessary to each other, intertwined aspects of the whole. You can’t have one without the other.  Grasping this fact is hard. Classical Western science, from the ancient Greeks through Newton and beyond, was based on atoms, molecules, and other physical “stuff” that exists on its own.  But just as there cannot be particles without waves; “out there” needs consciousness, “in here.” This is a participatory universe, and leaving the participant out cannot be valid. In a fundamental sense, the universe is human, because we aren’t just isolated observers like kids pressing their noses to the window of a bakery shop. The three-part model needs all three parts: observer, observed, and process of observation.

Many thinkers have tried to wriggle out of this apparent trap, but without success.  Our position is that their denial serves only to keep the human mind encaged, creating further and further problems for our collective and individual selves. We entitled this series of posts “Can Reality Set Us Free?” to underscore that by its very nature, the human mind is not limited, not even by its own short-sighted concepts. Boundaries and edges, the things that separate one thing from another, are always conceptual, manmade.  Where does your body stop?  From the everyday level of scale, your boundary is your skin.  From the atomic level of scale you and the planet are linked — every atom in your body comes from water, earth, and air taken in from the planet.  From this perspective, human beings don’t liver on the planet, we are the planet. Reality itself is a seamless flowing process where all phenomena are linked.  There are no actual boundaries.

Likewise, what we call an event constitutes another manmade boundary. The universe is constantly bubbling at the quantum level. Where we live, this bubbling looks linear as event A leads to event B, what we call A causes B. However, at finer levels of bubbling, time emerges, which means that below that level, getting very near the source, the bubbles aren’t occurring in the realm of time.

But the most liberating boundary that anyone can break free of is the one that encircles the mind, like a fence around a corral, so that there is “my” mind and “your” mind (like two different horses inside the corral), and using a bigger fence, the “human” mind, which is so self-enclosed that outside the corral there is “no” mind.   Several of the quantum pioneers, such as Planck and Schrödinger, had enough clarity to see that this boundary, too, is manmade.  There is only one consciousness, in fact, and it must be basic to creation.

Reality, then, is boundless, immeasurable, and conscious. It cannot be otherwise if the three-part model and complementarity are correct, which has been demonstrated over and over.  This is more than finicky wrangling among philosophers. The tracks of consciousness are apparent throughout creation, and what is more, when they appear, these tracks link up in analogous ways. It’s our position that the self-organizing nature of the universe is the most fundamental manifestation of consciousness (for more on these themes, see video by co-author Neil Theise.

In biology, it is undeniable that living things organize themselves, using DNA as the basic template. Adult horses create baby horses; horse livers create new liver cells; each cell sustains the process of eating, breathing, excreting, dividing, and so on. This self-organization depends on interacting with the environment using feedback loops that constantly promote survival. Being adaptable to their surroundings, horses can survive high in Montana or below sea level in Death Valley.  A horse can run or stand still. It can be pregnant or not. These are massive changes of state, but the horse’s body adapts, all the way from the cellular to the molecular level. If a condition arises that makes adaptation impossible, such as a total absence of drinking water, the animal dies. It is quite astonishing how self-organization and feedback loops maintain balance at every level from biomolecules up through each cell, tissue, and organ to create the entire body.

The crucial factor here is allowing for order while keeping randomness in check. At every level of Nature there is always a limited degree of randomness when an orderly structure, from the atom to a full-gown Arabian stallion, interacts with its surroundings.  Too much and there is no self-organization, just disorder.  Too little, and the self-organization can’t change pattern to adapt when the environment changes.  In other words, if a horse had only a fixed slow heartbeat, it couldn’t run, and if its heart raced uncontrollably, it would drop dead.  But in a defined zone of “quenched disorder,” creative adaptations can take place, bubbling into existence and disappearing if adaptation is not required.

If we scrutinize a horse at various levels, we see atoms, molecules, cells, tissues, organs, and finally the complete creature. But so far as Nature is concerned, there is only endless adaptation as one level retains its own integrity while meshing into the next level.  Complementarity in biology is thus the relationship between each of these levels. Choosing one perspective excludes all others at the time of observation. Choose to look at the body at the everyday level, and you can’t see the cells.  Go down to the molecular level, and cells vanish from view.  But it is the sum of all these levels that are your body.

This dynamic stream of cooperation is the modern equivalent of the religious notion of the Great Chain of Being.  That notion held that God seamlessly united every level of creation. In non-religious terms, we say that complex systems have organized themselves and then merge into even greater degrees of complexity. The fact that increasingly denser amounts of information can be so elegantly ordered from complex molecules to the human brain implies a mind that pervades the universe. It exists as never-ending feedback loops that provide balance, growth, and adaptability.

With this scheme in mind, it is possible to arrive at a meaningful universe.  The attributes that we call human, actually pervade creation. Besides self-organization, there is evolution and unexpected creative leaps.  We possess them because we are of the universe, not because we are particularly special and separate within the universe.

Our viewpoint isn’t likely to be persuasive to scientists who restrict themselves to reductionism, which by its nature examines only isolated segments of complex systems. But it’s one thing to study the function of the kidney or lung and quite another to claim that the rest of the body doesn’t count.  The part cannot make a greater claim to reality than the whole. We live in fortunate times. The separate researches of countless scientists have arrived at such a sophisticated level that the interaction of complex systems has given rise to theories of complexity, and on the horizon there looms a General Theory of Complexity.  We don’t know if that’s the name such a theory will take. What we do know is that the desire to know the whole of reality isn’t just a human quirk or poetic fancy.  That there is only one reality is undeniable. We can choose to remain selective, approaching reality as boxes within boxes. Or we can set ourselves free by throwing out boxes, boundaries, and limitations of all sorts.

As the uniting factor that sets us free, “consciousness” is a term that is repugnant to many scientists — mostly from an older generation — and mysterious to all.  But that doesn’t excuse blindness and neglect.  Reality keeps doing its thing, totally conscious of us while we keep evolving to become more conscious of it.  That’s been the story for many centuries.  Evolution isn’t going to stop; our hope is that it can be sped up, for the good of all.


Deepak Chopra on Staying Healthy —Part 1

Deepak Chopra: Part 1 -The Real Secret to Staying Healthy for Life

Deepaknew    If you want to stay healthy for life, you need to take care of yourself. That’s the conventional wisdom. It’s a frequent guilty reminder when we look in the mirror and realize that we aren’t in the best shape. “I’ve got to start taking better care of myself.”


But the real secret to lifelong good health is actually the opposite: Let your body take care of you. I’m not being contrary. The human body consists of hundreds of billions of cells that function perfectly, and if we were single-celled creatures, immortality would be normal. An amoeba or blue-green algae keeps on living indefinitely by constantly dividing in two to produce the next generation of cells. Absent death from external circumstances, such as being eaten or drying up in the sun, one-celled organisms exist in a state of perpetual well-being.

Instead of being disadvantaged by having many cells instead of one, the human body has made tremendous evolutionary leaps. Our cells have perfected special functions for each organ and tissue. They’ve learned to cooperate with one another by staying in constant communication. An immune system keeps watch on threats from the outside world, and if an injury or disease occurs, the healing system rushes in to repair it.

Modern medicine, for all its advances, knows less than 10 percent of what your body knows instinctively. Humbling as it is to realize, a doctor doesn’t heal his patients. He facilitates the body’s healing system, adding whatever is lacking when self-healing falters. By the same logic, everything you and I do to take care of our bodies is actually just an adjunct to letting our bodies take care of us. Our active role is quite secondary. Yet there is no doubt that it is vital.

What makes it vital is the brain and nervous system. They send a constant stream of messages to the rest of the body, creating a feedback loop of information. One side of the feedback loop runs automatically. The other side supports free will and choice, which means that what you decide to do with your life enters the body’s feedback loop, gets communicated to every cell, and has repercussions. If you ran your body entirely on its automatic processes, you’d be in a coma. As long as you are awake and alive, making choices, you are adding to the feedback loop.

This picture is simple but not simplistic. Despite the incredible complexity of the brain and nervous system, it forms an information highway teeming with messages, and these are either positive (enhancing your health and well-being) or negative (injurious to health and well-being). Your body will take care of you for life if you maximize the one and minimize the other. I doubt that anyone would seriously disagree with that proposition, but then we reach a fork in the road. Modern medicine looks at the body’s feedback loop almost entirely in physical terms. The subjective world of thoughts, feelings, hopes, wishes, and dreams is discounted. If that world intrudes, as it does in depression, for example, the conventional solution is still physical — take an antidepressant.

The other road is holistic, which doesn’t deny the physical but refuses to discount the subjective world. The body doesn’t recognize that there is a fork in the road. A chemical signal sent from the brain fits into a receptor site in the outer membrane of the cell wall. The entire feedback loop runs on that mechanism, and as far as the cell is concerned, there is no difference between a message that began as an emotion or mood and one that began as growth hormone or estrogen. Your body couldn’t survive a single day without being holistic.

Fixating on the physicalist approach, modern medicine has constructed a map to health that puts almost the whole emphasis on physical measures. Exercise is physical, obviously, but so is proper nutrition. Although we take it for granted, sanitation is a physical measure that has probably done more to increase human life span than any kind of drug or surgery. Avoiding toxins is physical, and beyond not smoking and overusing alcohol, there is a growing awareness that environmental toxins we take for granted because our exposure is minuscule may still have harmful effects. (These include pesticides, herbicides, and hormones that are routinely introduced into the food chain.)

But if you adhered rigorously to the entire physical side, as beneficial as the results might be, you are not really letting your body take care of you. You are basically minimizing risks. A risk-free life is far from being a healthy life. To begin with, the very word “risk” implies worry, and people who worry about every bite of food, sip of water, the air they breathe, the gym sessions they have missed, and the minutiae of vitamin doses, are not sending positive signals to their cells. A stressful day sends constant negative messaging to the feedback loop, and popping a vitamin pill or choosing whole wheat bread instead of white bread does close to zero to change that.

To let your body take care of you, two things are vital:

1. Create a matrix for a positive lifestyle. You can’t make positive choices for the rest of your life without an environment that makes those choices easy, natural, and enjoyable.

2. Create the best inner environment for your brain. The brain processes every experience you have, and it must function well in order for the real controller of your life — the mind — to make its best intentions known.


Deepak Chopra on The Brain & Consciousness

  • Deepak Chopra

Author, ‘War of the Worldviews’; Founder, The Chopra Foundation

A New Era for the Brain — Guiding Your Own Evolution

Posted: 03/ 1/2012 8:20 am
 One of the great abilities of the human brain is to boost itself into a higher function. No one can explain how this happens. By the time early humans discovered fire and simple tools like the wheel and lever, our brains were already the most complex structure in the universe. We then proceeded to use this structure in unprecedented ways. Somewhere in our DNA was the potential for higher mathematics, for example, even though Homo sapiens existed for 200,000 years without tapping that capacity.

The reason that we are able to accomplish huge, never-ending leaps needs to be solved. If it can, then a new era will open up for the brain. The key is not materialistic, to my mind. One needs to begin, in fact, by turning away from the brain, whose intricate workings have mesmerized researchers for three decades, ever since the development of feasible brain scans. Such advances are fascinating, but we run the risk of sitting around a radio as it plays Mozart, staring at how the transistors work while imagining that we are uncovering the secrets of music.

Once you stop staring at the brain and start exploring the music it plays — i.e., the richness of human thoughts, feelings, images and sensations — a simple truth emerges. There is something more complex in the cosmos than the human brain: the process that makes the brain work. This process involves consciousness. It is our mind that is using the brain, not the other way around. (I would argue that the brain is a creation of the mind, a physical projection of consciousness. But that argument can be set aside for another day.) If we could understand the process that underlies the entire brain, instead of focusing in reductionist fashion on bits and pieces of brain function, doors would suddenly be flung open.

Let me suggest a beginning.

What we already know are a few fundamentals that apply to everything happening in the brain. Some functions are already confirmed by brain scans; others arise from deduction, working form observed facts to larger principles.

1. The process always involves feedback loops.

2. These feedback loops are intelligent.

3. The dynamics of the brain go in and out of balance but always favor overall balance, known as homeostasis.

4. We use our brains to evolve and develop, guided by our intentions.

5. Self-reflection pushes us forward into unknown territory.

6. Many diverse areas of the brain are coordinated simultaneously.

7. We have the capacity to monitor many levels of awareness, even though our focus is generally confined to one level (i.e., waking, sleeping, and dreaming).

8. All the qualities of the known world, such as sight, sounds, textures, and tastes, are created mysteriously by the interaction of mind and brain.

9. Mind is the origin of consciousness, not the brain.

10. Only consciousness can understand consciousness. There is no mechanical explanation that suffices, working from facts about the brain.

This list bridges two worlds, biology and philosophy. Biology is great at explaining physical processes but totally inadequate to tell us about the meaning and purpose of our subjective experience. Philosophy delves deeply into meaning but has made only tentative forays into the brain. Both worlds are needed to understand ourselves. Otherwise, we fall into the biological fallacy, which holds that humans are controlled by their brains, or the philosophical fallacy, which treats experience devoid of its physiological connection. Leaving aside countless arguments between various theories of mind and brain, the goal is clear: We want to use our brains, not have them use us.

I’d like to expand on the practical uses of the 10 principles listed above — they would be merely intriguing if they remained abstractions but incredibly practical if they lead to the next phase of human evolution. That phase involves using the brain better, something that human beings excel at. We are driven to greater creativity, complexity, imaginative leaps and unknown horizons. “Better” doesn’t mean more efficiently, the way technology improves a computer. In fact, by giving technicalities over to machines, we left more room for using our brains outside technology. In a world where every sort of calculation is done automatically, at the push of a button or the stroke of a keypad, assigning the brain a more evolved role poses the hugest challenge.

In the following posts I’ll suggest a new synthesis that takes the most basic aspects of brain function — feedback, self-reflection, homeostasis and multi-dimensional consciousness — to show that the era of higher brain function has arrived, awaiting only how you and I choose to participate.


Deepak Chopra on Spirituality in the World

Author, ‘War of the Worldviews’; Founder, The Chopra Foundation

Possibly a New World (Part 2)

Posted: 1/11/12 08:45 AM ET

It’s a well-worn truth that the modern world is built upon science and technology. But this truth doesn’t dominate everyday life as much as one might think. Science is materialistic, and it explains the world through objective data. People lead their lives, at least partly, apart from materialism. The spiritual side of life exists and always has, which defies objective data. So does art, which isn’t mystical, not to mention emotions, intuition, morality and much else that makes life worth living.

Most of the time we are satisfied with this kind of catch-as-catch-can dualism. One of the easiest precepts from Jesus to follow is “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and render unto God what is God’s.” If you substitute “science” or “materialism” for Caesar, everyone does exactly that, compartmentalizing personal and spiritual experience in a separate box from iPads, microwaves and space shuttles.

The problem is that a compartmentalized life feels inadequate, which is why a public debate has been ongoing for 200 years about whether God or science is the ultimate master of reality. The answer matters. If you plump for God then miracles, mysticism, the soul and invisible forces have a chance to be real. If you plump for science instead, then physical existence can be completely trusted and the rational mind will in time solve all apparent mysteries. In either case, dualism no longer pinches; some kind of non-dualism wins the day.

In my posts, articles and books I’ve argued that science can expand to include miracles and mysticism. There is no need to deny the miraculous if everything is a miracle. There is no mystery surrounding mysticism if we look into the subtle essence of the human mind. More importantly, a non-dual world based on consciousness would be a better world. The fact is that science won’t reach answers to every riddle, so plumping for materialism is an empty gesture — even a hoax — when it comes to explaining a broad range of issues:

  • What is a thought? Who is thinking?
  • What connects body and mind?
  • Where does meaning come from?
  • Why and how does the body heal itself?

These questions seem so abstract, not to mention so huge, that everyday life seems content to pass the by, and materialists are content to call them metaphysics, putting them high on a shelf to gather philosophical dust. But I’d argue that no questions are more relevant to my life and yours, once we reduce them to the personal scale.

  • Why do I have the thoughts I have? Where are they taking me?
  • Can my mind change my body in positive ways when it comes to disease and aging?
  • What does my life really mean?
  • Can I make a difference in how my body heals?

One could add many other important issues to the list, but all would have one thing in common: until you understand the mind, you haven’t truly understood reality. Life comes to us as experience. This is true of driving a car, raising a child, catching a cold or building a super collider in order to detect subatomic particles. Experience is how we participate in the universe. The super collider isn’t set aside in some objective space, even though data tries to be objective. Every moment in every scientist’s life is a subjective experience. It consists of sensations, thoughts, feelings and images.

You can claim, as non-dual materialists do, that the subjective side taints the objective and should be considered an unreliable guide to truth. But to say this makes two mistakes, and they are whoppers. The first mistake is that the mind cannot be located in the material world. Primitive peoples, as we like to call them, believed that spirits inhabited physical objects, a perspective known as animism. Trees contained tree spirits, the sky was the home of rain gods, and little demons lurked all around. Yet when it says that mind exists in the brain, neuroscience is committing the same fallacy. The brain is made up of atoms and molecules. It is a thing, like a tree, and to say that the mind is only the brain means that you have attributed consciousness to atoms and molecules. No one has ever explained how mind suddenly arises in blood sugar when that sugar crosses the blood-brain barrier. It is simply assumed.

The second mistake, intimately connected to the first, is that observers can stand apart from what they observe. Instead of being a participatory universe, science asserts that outside reality is separate from us; we are like children with our noses pressed to a bake shop window, staring through the glass but never going inside. This view reduces experience to data and then goes further by saying that data is superior to experience. This cannot remotely be true. The data about your body, such as blood pressure, heart rate, hormone levels, etc., is essentially the same as the data from Buddha, Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci and Picasso. It seems obvious that when you throw out all the factors that make these individuals unique, you have thrown out something pretty essential — the very meaning and purpose of life.

I’ve argued that a new world is being born in which nothing needs to be thrown out, and such a world can only be based on experience. Experience covers billions of people leading different lives, but one element is always present: consciousness. Thoughts and actions occur in consciousness. This is so obvious that it feels a bit meaningless, like saying that all marine life occurs in the sea. But the world’s wisdom traditions exist to open our eyes, seeing beyond the obvious to something incredibly important: If you delve into consciousness, you will find the essence of existence, meaning it purpose, direction and goal. You will know deeply and fully who you are, and when that unfolds, you will know what reality is.

Non-dual consciousness doesn’t celebrate subjectivity over objectivity. To do that is simply to take the mistakes of materialism and turn them on their heads. Non-dual systems all make the same claim: “Everything is made of X.” Science says that everything is made of matter and energy. Non-dual consciousness says that everything is made of mind. An alien landing on Earth in a spaceship, lacking bias either way, could easily see why these two worldviews consider the other preposterous. To say that everything is matter and energy is preposterous when you are trying to get at the mind and subjective experience. Non-dual consciousness is preposterous when you are trying to figure out where stars and galaxies come from. In other words, the physical seems secure in making its claims on us, while the mental seems just as secure when telling the story of inner life.

The great challenge is to decide which preposterous claim is, believe it or not, actually true. For thousands of years human beings had no difficulty believing that Creation was happening in the mind of God; the spiritual origin of the universe was certain. Today, people have no trouble believing that tiny physical things called atoms and molecules will reveal why we fall in love, create art and have thoughts in our heads. I’m not defending an ancient bias as opposed to a modern one. Rather, there has been an evolution, bringing us to the point where we can go beyond crude animism, whether of the spiritual or materialistic kind, at last seeing how consciousness works in the whole scheme of reality.

We can explain the galaxies and personal experience at the same time by finding the same origin for each. If nature goes to the same place — an invisible workshop beyond time and space — to create a supernova, a rose, human love and our craving for God, then non-duality solves everything. My position is that non-duality must be based in consciousness, since it is inescapable that the only reality we know comes through experience. Without a doubt we live in a participatory universe, and the sooner we surrender the delusion that data is superior to experience, the closer we will come to transforming the world.


Deepak Chopra on The ‘Occupy’ Movement

Deepak Chopra

Author, ‘War of the Worldviews’; Founder, The Chopra Foundation

 The ‘Occupy’ Movement: Turning Anger Into Awareness
Posted: 10/6/11 09:16 AM ET
If you haven’t found yourself caught up in the Occupy movement yet, the best place is in the thick of the action. I went down to Wall Street one night to see for myself. Like many people, if not all, the outcome of the financial crash still rankled. No one can watch the TV coverage of the Occupy America sit-ins and marches without sharing in some kind of frustration and anger.

When you get down there, though, you feel something else. Unlike the Tea Party, the Occupiers are young and idealistic, repeating a time-honored coming of age phase that is being acted out in public. Anyone who has lived through the sixties can stand aside and predict what will happen, because it has happened so often before. Ideals become lost in confusion, cynicism, and hard clashes with authority and other reactionary forces.

But let’s not make such predictions. If Occupy America turns anger into awareness, we might get something like a Tea Party for the left. Or even better, a reform movement that marches for an ideal that succeeds. If the Tea Party represents the ornery, “I’m mad as hell, and I won’t put up with it anymore” side of America, the Occupiers represent the side that says, “This country stands for justice and equality.”

Despite the media coverage of mass arrests, despite the Times‘s finger-wagging that the movement is often muddled and misinformed, none of that is the point. The point is justice. Unlike the anti-war movement of fifty years ago, now we have a President who believes in justice and equality. It’s fashionable to bash President Obama right now, but he has had to make choices between bad and worse, facing an intractable downturn and an opposition that leaves him no breathing room.

If Occupy America can channel its anger into awareness, the next step is to ask, “What is our goal?” When I was down among the demonstrators, I led a meditation on that question, and it seemed to calm down the people around me, which demonstrates, I think, that the whole Occupy movement is about angry idealists, not just people who feel screwed by Wall St., although that is the spark and the point of injustice that somehow must be faced.

Pragmatists claim that one outcome — a heavily regulated financial sector — will never happen. The banks were bailed out three years ago, and once they felt strong, they lobbied with all their might to insure that no meaningful regulation would be passed. that is outrageous, of course, and so is the immorality of how Wall St., having caused the crash, continues to take ungodly risks, but now with a government guarantee that they won’t fail, no matter how reckless their behavior. Right now Wall St. is the pure culture of money at its most selfish, greedy, and anti-social. If you aren’t angry about that, you aren’t breathing.

We stand at a pivotal moment when anger can continue to fester and feed upon itself — if that’s what you want, the Tea Party is ready to welcome you with open arms. Or anger can rebuild the system that caused all the problems. Occupy America is pure democracy against pure power, because nobody should have any illusion about who holds all the aces. I can’t predict where the movement will go; perhaps it will fizzle out tomorrow with a resigned sigh.

But I do know that truth must be spoken to power. Eventually, all change starts there, by ignoring the odds and the threat of punishment, by standing up and saying “I accuse you of injustice.” This action must be taken over and over again, and if the people speaking truth to power have right on their side and not just a boiling stew pot of rage, things will change. There’s no reason why an Arab spring can’t turn into an American autumn.