Deepak Chopra: Your First Kiss Lives On

The renowned doctor talks about what happens after death and why everything--even your first kiss--has an afterlife.

In his 45th and most recent book, mind-body pioneer Deepak Chopra explores what's on the other side of the veil that separates life and death. Beliefnet editor Laura Sheahen recently talked to Chopra about what will happen to him after he dies, how it is that people can talk to their pets with their minds, and how every moment in your life has a lingering karma that will show up on the "Akashic record" of your soul.


 What do you believe will happen to you the moment you die?

What Will Happen When I Die
I think I will enter a realm of pure consciousness, and I am hoping that my death will be as conscious as my life. And at that moment, I will be able to make the choices that I want about where I want to evolve and how I want to evolve as I make them now.

What sort of choices do you think there might be in the afterlife? What would you hope for?

More creativity, more insight, more understanding from relationship, more evolution, a period of incubation, and then a choice of whether I want to make this journey again.

So you do have the choice about coming back to a human life?

Right.

There's a poem by Billy Collins that says everyone gets the afterlife they believe in.

Yeah, I totally believe that.

The subtitle of your book is "The Burden of Proof," and you spend a long time in the book talking about near-death experiences. What, to you, is the strongest proof that we continue to exist after death?

There are many. One is near-death experience, and the second are the stories that are recounted by children who've experienced reincarnation--they recall accurately previous lifetimes and the episodes and incidents can be corroborated. The third are the conscious death experiences of the bardo Tibetan rituals. And fourth is afterlife experiments where, through mediums, contact is made with a disembodied consciousness. The conversation many times accurately reflects what's happening in the person who's suffered the loss.

Then there are the theoretical constructs that come to us from information theory and from the understanding that consciousness is the ground of being. Research from those who explore consciousness say it does not have a location. Being non local, it cannot be created or destroyed.

Your book says “your first kiss has an afterlife.” That it's not just a memory that would die when your brain cells disintegrate in the grave.

On the Afterlife
of Memory
It's a poetic way of expressing that all memories exist non locally as possibility waves until they're actualized in the brain. What did you have for dinner last night?

A salad.

As you're thinking of that salad, you can simply imagine the taste and see yourself where you were having the salad, right?

Yes--

If I went inside your brain, I wouldn't find any neurons or synaptic networks that would code for that. Until I asked you that question, those memories did not exist in your brain. Now, as soon as I asked you the question, the possibility waves from past experiences localized as space-time events in your brain.

Where do we go after we die? Same place where that salad was before I asked you the question.

Obviously you talk about karma because that's pretty crucial to the whole idea of reincarnation. Do you find karma scary, encouraging or something else?

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Interview by Laura Sheahen
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