Light and Union - Deepak Chopra

The Source of Light and Union


posted by Deepak Chopra Feb 21, 2011 5:11 am


Separating illusion from reality doesn't usually happen all at once. What we experience as reality changes in different stages of consciousness. For those who decide to renounce the world completely, it's possible to leap directly toward the goal. But even then there is no guarantee that perception has actually shifted.

A person may enter a monastery because the Church deems that a holy life. But if old perceptions get dragged through the door, the monastery holds the same traps as the material world: Ego.

Jesus wanted his disciples to come into union with God. Any other life was steeped in illusion. Ego keeps that illusion strong because "I, me, and mine" is so rooted in worldly affairs. The most worthwhile life is spent discovering your spiritual core and building your existence on it. If you do that, you will be first in the eyes of God even if you are last in the eyes of the world.

If you can perceive the light within, you will gain its fullness. But if you are blind to it, you will have none. The reality you find yourself in depends on you. The light is God's reality, the dark is the absence of God.

Jesus wanted to share the unity he experienced with God, and therefore he often used the phrase abide in me. The parable of the grapevine elaborates on the point. Jesus declares that being cut off from God is sterile and fruitless. The sap that nourishes the vine and causes it to bear fruit is God, the source of life. By implication, the only life that escapes death is one that connects back to its ultimate source.

Adapted from The Third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2008).





 Is it Free Will?

posted by Deepak Chopra Feb 10, 2011 5:02 am


The question of free will versus determination is huge, of course. In the one reality, every pair of opposites is ultimately an illusion. We've already blurred the division between good and evil and life and death. Is free will going to turn out to be the same as determinism? A lot seems to ride on the answer. Free will is: Independence, Self-determination, Choice, Control over events, Future is open. Determinism is: Dependence on an outside will, Self determined by fate, No control over events, Choices made for you, Future is closed.

These phrases sketch in the common understanding of what's at stake. Everything in the free will list sounds attractive. We all want to be independent; we want to wake up with hope that the future is open and full of endless possibilities. On the other hand, nothing seems attractive in the determination list. Emotionally at least, the prospect of free will has already won the argument.

And at a certain level nobody has to delve any deeper. If you and I are marionettes operated by an invisible puppeteer–call him God, fate, or karma–then the strings he's pulling are also invisible. We have little proof that we aren't making free choices.

There is a reason to delve deeper, however, and it centers on the word Vasana. In Sanskrit, a Vasana is an unconscious cause. It's the software of the psyche, the driving force that makes you do something when you think you're doing it spontaneously.

Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004).





 The Spirit Of Romance
by Deepak Chopra

In our culture we are not taught to see falling in love as a spiritual event, yet for centuries that was the accepted interpretation.

When the question "Where does love come from?" was asked, the universal answer was God. The lives of saints of every religion have demonstrated love in its spiritual dimension; at the same time the humblest person who fell in love also realized he was treading on sacred ground. Over the centuries, particularly in the West, the divine connection was lost.

In spiritual terms falling in love is an opening, an opportunity to step into the timeless and stay there, to learn the ways of spirit and bring them down to earth.

All openings are temporary – this is not a limitation specific to falling in love. The real question is, What should we do with the opening? The highest spiritual qualities – those of truth, faith, trust, and compassion – grow from the tiniest seeds of daily experience. How can we tend this fragile opening of the heart, nurture it until it develops into more substantial stages of growth?

We must examine romance, the first stage in love's journey, as part of a timeless cycle that brings greater and greater knowledge of spiritual reality.

There are four distinct phases of romance: attraction, infatuation, courtship, and intimacy. Although not everyone can expect to experience them exactly the same way, all four naturally emerge once your feeling for someone else go beyond friendship to passionate attachment. These four phases of romance occur in a natural, linear sequence, but at the same time they come full circle.

Although it happens spontaneously, falling in love isn't accidental – there are no accidents in the spiritual life, only patterns we haven't yet recognized.

All love is based on the search for spirit.

Adapted from The Path to Love, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1997).





Seeking Your Own Essence

posted by Deepak Chopra Feb 16, 2011 5:01 am


The soul is the highest form of the self. It doesn't unfold biologically like a child's brain and behavior. But in other respects there's an undeniable similarity: The soul works beneath the surface, and when its work comes to fruition, consciousness shifts.

Children have to participate in their own development, taking an active interest in exploring the world and finding out their own potential. In spiritual terms, the same holds true. The seeker must take an active interest in the soul's unfolding, or the result will be inert.

That's why I find myself reluctant to use the word seeker, because it denies the spontaneity of inner growth while at the same time implying that the goal is outside the self. Seekers seem like hunters on a safari to capture the soul. The spiritual path isn't like that. The goal is within and ever present. Better to say that one is trying to uncover the true essence of the self.

We have all loved at times, felt compassion, and risen to acts of selflessness. We know the difference between being awake and asleep, at least vaguely, and being awake feels better. It produces a better life.

Despite all these glimpses of a higher existence, what we lack is continuity. Episodes come and go without taking us to a final, definitive change. The frog and the prince inhabit the same body. The only way to find consistency is to keep pursuing your own essence.

You must keep in mind that the real you is love, is truth, is God.

Even if you could manage the Herculean task of imitating Jesus every moment of your life, unless you find your essence, the end result would be unreal. Fortunately, imitation isn't necessary. By removing the obstacles and resistances that hide your essence, you reveal yourself to yourself.

Appearances are deceiving because invisible changes are occurring beneath the surface, and when they come to fruition, you will consciously know that something has happened.

Adapted from The Third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2008).




Spiritual Transformation

posted by Deepak Chopra Feb 4, 2011 5:00 am


The choice is to be conscious or not, which brings us to the possibility for transformation. No one disputes the fact that life consists of change. But can a person, simply by altering his or her consciousness, actually bring about a deep transformation and not just another superficial change?

Transformation and change are two different things. The key to true transformation is that nature doesn't move forward in step-by-step movements. It takes quantum leaps all the time, and when it does, old ingredients aren't simply recombined.

Something new appears in creation for the first time, an emergent property. For example, if you examine hydrogen and oxygen, they are light, gaseous, invisible, and dry. It took a transformation for those two elements to combine and create water, and when that happened, an entirely new set of possibilities emerged with it, the most important from our point of view being life itself.

Your body, which is bonding millions of molecules every second, depends on transformation. Breathing and digestion, to mention just two processes, harness transformation.

Food and air aren't just shuffled around, but, rather, undergo the exact chemical bonding needed to keep you alive. The sugar extracted from an orange travels to the brain and fuels a thought. The emergent property in this case is the newness of the thought: No molecules in the history of the universe ever combined to produce that result.

While still remaining who you are, you can bring about a quantum leap in your awareness, and the sign that the leap is real will be some emergent property you never experienced in the past.

Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004).






Create Present Reality

posted by Deepak Chopra Feb 2, 2011 5:03 am


We all have a deep psychological drive to keep pace with the impulse of creation. There are needs that can and should be satisfied in the present…Among these is every human being's central need to express himself – to show himself to the world as he really is – in word, in gesture, in behavior, in every genuine utterance from the baby's cry to the artist's creation.

The key to this inspiring affirmation is that life needs to be satisfying in the present. It is not that easy to define "the present," however. From one perspective the present is the thinnest possible slice of time, the fleeting instant that allows the future to flip-flop into the past.

From the opposite perspective, the present is eternal, because it is ever-renewing, like a river that is never the same twice.

To create paradise could mean nothing more or less than living in the present, enjoying the happiness that is both now and forever – but who can manage that? The boundaries that the human mind lives within are invariably fashioned from the past.

It is yesterday's hurt that I am defending against today, last year's glory I want to relive, a bygone love I want to find again. The boundary-maker who wields such enormous power over us is the intellect, the part of the mind that judges and categorizes our experiences.

The number of questions that arise over the tiniest experience is awe inspiring. Once each decision is made, it gets filed away in memory, to serve as a reference point for future experience.

By endless interpreting the world in bits and pieces, we are losing it at every instant, allowing it to slip through our fingers like sand. To have reality that is whole and thus truly real, one must rise above the intellect, discarding its neat slices of experience. Like day-old bread, they only go stale anyway.

Adapted from Unconditional Life: Discovering the Power to Fulfill Your Dreams, by Deepak Chopra (A Bantam Book, 1991)






You Are In Two Places at Once

posted by Deepak Chopra Feb 3, 2011 5:03 am


Because we are both physical and quantum, human beings live multidimensional lives. At this moment you are in two places at once. One is the visible, sensual world, where your body is subject to all the forces of nature "out there." The wind chaps your skin and the sun burns it; you will freeze to death in winter without shelter; and the assault of germs and viruses makes your cells sick.

But you also occupy the quantum world, where all these things change. If you get into the bathtub, your consciousness doesn't get wet. The limitations of physical life count for much less in the quantum world, and often for nothing. The cold of winter doesn't freeze your memories; the heat of a July night doesn't make you sweat in your dreams.

Put together all the quantum events in your cells and the sum total is your quantum mechanical body, which operates according to its own unseen physiology. Your quantum mechanical body is awareness in motion and is part of the eternal field of awareness that exists at the source of creation.

The intelligence inside us radiates like light, crossing the border between the quantum world and the physical world, unifying the two in a constant subatomic dialogue. Your physical body and your quantum mechanical body can both be called home – they are like parallel universes that you travel between without even thinking about it.

Physical Body: A frozen anatomical sculpture – "I" sees itself as made of cells, tissues, and organs; confined in time and space; driven by biochemical processes (eating, breathing, digestion, etc.)

Quantum Mechanical Body: A river of intelligence constantly renewing itself – "I" sees itself as made of invisible impulses of intelligence; unbounded in time and space; driven by thoughts, feelings, wishes, memories, etc.

Adapted from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1998).

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