Live Chat With Dr. Deepak Chopra
On the concepts in his latest book, the human genome, and the afterlife.
: I have heard that God can be proven mathematically.
: Yes. If you define infinity by infinity, what remains is infinity. If you subtract infinity by infinity, what remains is infinity. Therefore, God is the infinite absolute that is measured out as the relative world. And even though the relative world appears to be measurable, it is an illusion, in that it is the absolute appearing to be the relative. This great principle was the source of inspiration to Albert Einstein, who once said, "I want to know the face of God. Everything else is detail."
: Is it tough to get Westerners to understand non-duality? That evil is a part of God?
: It is not easy. By saying simply that evil is a part of God you are likely to turn a lot of people off. In my book "How to Know God," I discuss the seven stages of good and evil. In stage 1, "good" is that which ensures your physical survival; "evil" is that which threatens your physical survival. In stage 2, good is that which satisfies your ego needs, evil is that which threatens your ego needs. In stage 3, good is peace of mind, and evil is inner turbulence. In stage 4, good is understanding and knowingness and intuition, and evil is lack of awareness. In stage 5, good is creativity, and evil is lower consciousness. In stage 6, good is the cosmic force of evolution, evil is the cosmic force of entropy and stagnation. And in stage 7, the non-dual stage, good and evil do not exist, they are contained as potential in the womb of creation.
: If you had to describe a way for moving through the levels of perception of God, what would they be?
: In stage 3, meditation; for stage 4, going into the silence and asking questions. In stage 5, asking how can I create something that never existed before. In stage 6, emulating and modeling the action and behavior of great seers. For stage 7, finding the source within.
: I think I'm stuck in stage 3. How do I get past it?
: Begin to write down on a piece of paper the following questions: Who am I? What do I want? What's my purpose in life? How can I help my fellow human beings? Just write the questions, look at them, then go into silent meditation. God will provide the answers through situations, circumstances, encounters, omens, and other clues.
: What inspires you to write the way you do?
: I just write with great passion something I'm excited by, and then it seems to happen spontaneously. You used the word "inspired." And the word means to be "in spirit." So when you are in spirit, everything happens spontaneously.
: I have been reading your book "How to Know God" all week. It is fascinating and a great gift. Sometimes I dream, perhaps four times a year, of tragic events, such as ships or airplanes crashing. These dreams are different, and I know they will appear in the news within a few days. Why do I only see future sad events?
: This might lead you to a past experience of a tragedy, either in this lifetime or another lifetime. And that karma triggers the actualization of similar information of the submanifest order of being. You should pay attention to all the good things that are happening around you, express appreciation and gratitude for them, and you might start accessing a different domain in being.
: Your seven stages of understanding God would seem to relegate the Old Testament God to stage 1. Has this caused hostility from Christians?
: By and large, no. Moreover, the Old Testament contains all the seven stages, as I mentioned in response to a previous question. Furthermore, the God of stage 1 is also found in Eastern traditions. So God as a dysfunctional parent appears in all religions.
: Why do you think the world is such an evil place? Because so many people have lost God?
: It is the play of opposites. Without darkness, there is no experience of light, and vice versa. Joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, sinner and saint, the sacred and the profane, create the play of opposites which make life a meaningful experience. If you went to a movie and it was all about good people doing good things, you probably would get bored and not sit through it. Our life is a larger version of the same soap opera. We enact these different archetypal scenes and in a particular lifetime it may be our choice to choose a few of these eternal themes in the cosmic soap opera. If you abhor evil, then you should not put too much attention on it, and not be too self-righteous about it. The best way to fight darkness is not really to fight it, but to switch on the light.
: Could you please give examples of people in the 20th and 21st centuries who reached the fifth and higher stages?