Deepak Chopra

Do You Suffer From Memory Loss? - Deepak Chopra

Do You Suffer From Memory Loss?

posted by Deepak Chopra Apr 11, 2011 5:01 am

Since its inception as a field of rational scientific study, medicine has accepted the degeneration of brain function in elderly people as a natural occurrence. This deterioration was thoroughly documented with "hard" findings–as we age, our brains shrink, grow lighter, and lose millions of neurons every year.
We have our full complement of neurons by age 2, and by age 30, the number starts to decline. The loss of any single brain cell is permanent, since neurons do not regenerate. On the basis of this well-known fact, brain decline seemed to be scientifically valid; sadly but inevitably, to grow old must lead to memory loss, decreased reasoning ability, impaired intelligence, and related symptoms.
These time-honored assumptions, however, have now been shown to be wrong. Careful study of healthy elderly people – as opposed to the sick, hospitalized ones whom medicine habitually studies–has revealed that 80 percent of healthy Americans, barring psychological distress (such as loneliness, depression, or lack of outside stimulation), suffer no significant memory loss as they age.
The ability to retain new information can decline, which is why old people forget phone numbers, names, and the reason for walking into a room; but the ability to remember past events, called long-term memory, actually improves.
In tests where 70-year-olds were matched with 20-year-olds, the older people performed better than the younger in this area of memory. After they practiced the other kind of memory–called short-term memory–for a few minutes every day, the older group could almost match the younger subjects, who were at their prime of mental functioning.
The secret, as with almost every other "natural" decline in old age, depends on habits of mind, not the circuitry in the nervous system.
Adapted from Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine, by Deepak Chopra (Bantam Books, 1990).

The Nature of Your Soul - Deepak Chopra

The Nature of Your Soul

posted by Deepak Chopra Apr 12, 2011 5:00 am

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).

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