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Deepak Chopra and Intent

Deepak Chopra and Intent

The Man Who Changed the World?

posted by dchopra

Wanting to change the world is different from having to. The latter is what’s expected of Barack Obama if he’s elected. The huge crowds he keeps attracting aren’t looking simply for a new leader, or even a reformer to undo the bad things wrought by the Republicans. They are looking for transformation. This isn’t pure fantasy. Sometimes history forces change right before your eyes, and when that happens the road forks. You can tinker with the world as it is or you can remake the world as it should be.
Obama hasn’t given clear signals yet about which road he might take, because the ritual and theater of election campaigns force a candidate to spend a lot of time telling people what they want to hear. The last president who drastically remade the country was FDR, and yet nothing of the sort was expected when he ran in 1932. Roosevelt could have turned into a better Herbert Hoover, rescuing failed banks, restoring trust in government, bringing people back to a sense of hope and safety. Those are all good things, and Obama is poised to repeat them seventy years later. But if he does nothing more, the world won’t change. While he attacked the basic problem of the Great Depression, FDR laid down the template of the modern social welfare state. His actions didn’t immediately create prosperity — far from it — but they expanded opportunities for millions of people, stripped the old elites of their absolute power, and gave Americans their first economic safety net in Social Security.
I would hate to see Obama turn into a better Herbert Hoover. He could, and should, lay down a template for the next fifty years. It’s no secret that we need to repair our image abroad, deal with Islamic extremism in a better way, open up global markets, repair our infrastructure, shift away from fossil fuels, and attack global warming with clear, vigorous policies. For many people, accomplishing those things would be a page-tuner after eight years of reactionary neoconservatism. But they wouldn’t change the world.
What would is the following:
— Get America off a war footing. We’ve been armed for imminent war since 1945.
— Develop an economy that makes a profit on peace. At present, we are dependent on arms and arms dealing.
— Get the rest of the world not to fear us.
— Take the side of the world’s dispossessed people, who only now are seeing the possibility of a decent life in India, China, southeast Asia, and much of Russia.
— Bring humanity and humane conditions to all of Africa.
— Stop dividing the world along ideological lines and religious factions. We need to be a secular leader friendly to all sides.
— Speed up nuclear disarmament until all weapons stockpiles are gone in this generation.
I hope Obama is thinking along these lines, because if he isn’t, the best he can hope for is a prosperous interval, like the Clinton years, while the underlying militarism and religious fractures fester. Two presidents — Lincoln and FDR — heeded history’s call with the utmost foresight, never compromising their vision. The difference here is that we aren’t facing civil war or economic ruin. America has an opportunity to change the world through free choice, by looking at what would be best rather than what has always worked.
Visit www.intent.com to read more from Deepak Chopra and other prominent voices.

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Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment

posted by dchopra

There are no facts to tell us what happened to the young Jesus during his "lost years" between the Nativity story and the day he appears at the River Jordan, age thirty, to be baptized. I was glad for this mystery, because it allowed me to describe an extraordinary youth who discovers, step by step, that he is the awaited Messiah. This isn’t a fictional biography but a journey into the realm of miracles and, in the end, complete enlightenment.

It’s been a long time — perhaps as far back as Thomas Jefferson — that Americans seriously considered Jesus, not as the Son of God, but as an enlightened teacher. For me, that doesn’t rob him of his sacred stature. It puts sacredness in human terms.

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I wrote my book, "Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment" to give readers an appreciation for how enlightenment unfolds from promising beginnings, not full divinity. In an age when Jesus threatens to become the exclusive property of fervent, literal-minded devotees, we have an urgent need to bring him back, not as the savior, but as a savior — one who won his own salvation before promising it to the world.

Warm regards,

Deepak Chopra

 

Pre-Order the book HERE

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Obama’s Loss Traced to Deepak Chopra

posted by dchopra

A friend sent this funny video to me recently. Click on it at the end and you can customize it to your friends’ names to encourage them to vote.

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Will God Stop Voting?

posted by dchopra

An article in the Washington Post On Faith section in response to their question: Is there a religious reason to vote for or against Obama or McCain?
There never will be, and never should be, a religious reason to pick one candidate over another. God hasn’t personally voted in an American election, but he keeps voting by proxy. In an ideal world that would never happen. Supernatural beings aren’t citizens. Omniscient deities don’t make choices (since they already know every outcome in advance). To anyone who holds a serious regard for the Constitution, voting your faith should be a private matter, not a public one. It wouldn’t make me happy to know that a Catholic friend voted for someone solely because he was a Catholic, or that a Jewish friend voted for someone solely because he took a hawkish stand pro Israel, but that’s their right. No public discussion is required.
Yet we have to be realistic. God is going to vote by proxy this year. The real question is where his massive voting bloc is heading, now that the Republican Party has been so thoroughly discredited. Can we hope that religious voting will return to being a private matter? In the past, various noxious movements that were anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic made grabs for political leverage, only to sink back into the miasma. Is something like that about to happen now?
As we all know, part of the right-wing revolution in this country was the consolidation of the religious vote. That, in turn, depended on convincing churchgoers that they should vote their faith in the first place. The very notion of knowing who God backs in the race is laughable, but it became no laughing matter when the schism between red and blue states elevated splinter groups, including hard-line evangelicals, into the driver’s seat. As swing voters, the religious right discovered new and ever more unlikely rationales for seizing power. The basic argument of “God is on our side” was dubious enough, but it was stretched to extreme lengths: God is against Roe v. Wade, God demands that our children pray in school, God condemns homosexuals to hell. It would have been more truthful simply to label themselves as the intolerance faction.
There are some positive trends in this regard, however:
— For every fundamentalist and bigot who believes the smear that Obama is a Muslim, two or three new voters have registered to negate that vote.
— Younger evangelicals have shifted away from hard-line social values, turning toward real-life issues like global warming.
— The reactionary base of the Republican Party is widely seen as behind the times and may be replaced by a new group of policy makers.
— President Bush’s public declarations of faith-based decisions (e.g., God wants him to bring democracy to the Middle East, he doesn’t need to consult his father on foreign policy because he consults a higher father) have been so alarming that previously apathetic citizens paid attention.
— A constant parade of avowedly religious figures abusing their power (Attorney General John Ashcroft) or acting with ridiculous hypocrisy (Sen. Larry Craig, Rep. Mark Foley) has undermined the moral credibility of the religious right.
The general debacle falling on the heads of the right wing will do the most to keep God out of the voting booth. But that will be temporary. As long as we are a divided nation, splinter groups can’t resist the temptation to turn into powerful voting blocs. There’s an urgent need, as Obama recognizes, to heal the fracture lines. The electorate will be healthier if he can undo bitter partisanship, and God can go back to knowing everything but not pulling a lever in the voting booth.
Visit www.intent.com to read more from Deepak Chopra and other prominent voices.

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/deepak_chopra/

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