Deepak Chopra and Intent

Deepak Chopra and Intent

How to Approach Religion: Laugh and Laugh Again

posted by dchopra

An article in the Washington Post On Faith Section in response to their question about the controversy over the movie the Love Guru.
The inability of some religious people to laugh at themselves betrays, I think, a great deal of insecurity. What if God was a two-year-old toddler and you were his mother? You’d spend your day keeping close watch and only find calm when your child was taking a nap. But God isn’t two years old, and he /she doesn’t need taking care of. I wish religious people took the analogy seriously, because they are constantly rushing in to protect God, screaming in outrage when he /she is surely laughing. God may very well see the universe as a divine comedy. Every exploding nova could be an explosion of laughter. Nobody knows. But when we look around us, Nature is at play. Every wild animal — at least when young — spends its day playing, apparently in innocent delight. A tiger cub and a human infant have that in common. The difference is that the tiger grows up in peace with its ferocity. Humans grow up to find themselves burdened with guilt, shame, and anxiety.
To relieve these afflictions, we turn to religion but also to comedy. “The Love Guru” is a ridiculous farce, and it has offended some Hindus, but I’d wager it will do more good for people than a week’s worth of sermons. (Personal disclosure: I am lampooned in the movie much more than Hinduism. You might catch me at a screening. I’m the man in the aisle seat laughing loudly.) In an age obsessed with triviality, a silly, light-hearted comedy arouses controversy while religion keeps fostering an unending litany of war, intolerance, and violence.
For all these reasons, more comedies should cross the line between vulgar lampoon and reckless disrespect. Let’s catch God with his pants down — or more especially those who peddle faith in God so self-righteously. Christianity has been mocked in Monty Python’s “Life of Bryan,” Judaism in Adam Sandler’s “Don’t Mess with the Zohan,” and Islam (very mildly) in Albert Brooks’ “Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World.” Let’s look for comedy in the whole world. As for the Hindu fundamentalists who are shocked by “The Love Guru,” let them remember Lila. She is a goddess whose play — and playfulness — runs the activity of the universe. The last time I looked, Lila was a Hindu goddess. That must have escaped the minds of true believers who condemn what they should be enjoying. In the end, comedy equals laughter and religion equals solemnity. You choose.
www.intentblog.com
www.deepakchopra.com
http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/deepak_chopra/

Deepak Chopra: ‘My Yoke Is Easy and My Burden Is Light’

posted by dchopra

I think what Jesus was saying with this verse is that the power of intention can orchestrate its own fulfillment. It’s being talked about today as the Law of Attraction. But if you’re connected to the creative power inside you, which is also the creative power behind all the intelligent activity of the universe, then your burden is light and you have access to insight, imagination, and creativity and the spontaneous fulfillment of desire through synchronicity.

Deepak Chopra: God is Laughing

posted by dchopra

In a world of so much suffering, how could God be laughing? One answer is that “ha-ha” is just like “ah-ha!”–”I get it.” My two giggling special guests help me out in this.

A New World or No World? (Part 1)

posted by dchopra

Societies never act in totally predictable ways. In response to the global economic crisis of the mid-Seventies, induced by OPEC tripling the price of oil overnight, every country was put to the test. Energy policies proposed by Jimmy Carter, which rested on the notion of consumer restraint (e.g., turning the thermostat down in the White House to 68 degrees), were unpopular, demoralizing, and ultimately a flop. But England, France, the Soviet Union and others adopted widely differing energy policies that were equally a flop.
Today OPEC is enormously stronger than thirty years ago. Thomas Friedman of the NY Times calls the Arab oil producers “petro-dictators.” With unrestrained speculation driving oil prices skyward, Saudi Arabia alone possesses more wealth in its oil reserves than all the stock and bond markets in the world combined — and that was calculated with oil at $100 a barrel. In addition, by silent collusion the Saudis and the American oil companies started keeping more of their income as pure profits while no longer planning adequately for new oil fields. As a result, even if OPEC decided to undertake new drilling today, the first drop wouldn’t enter the pipeline for a decade.
This looks like the making of a global crisis lasting for the foreseeable future, intensified by the sudden and dramatic demand for oil from India and China. No extra production and ever- growing demand means that $200 a barrel oil will arrive soon and stay there (absent unexpected changes like switching to ethanol on a massive scale, as Brazil has done, or radically new car engines that get 60 miles to the gallon). The shock to the American economy has been swift and highly threatening, but the psychological impact is equally severe. Americans are used to being rich and stable. We accept without question that this country deserves to bestride the world as the British did before 1900.
So far, during the disastrous years of the Bush administration, no energy policy has existed, and all the toughest problems were kicked down the road willy-nilly. Denial has lulled the public into thinking that global warming, overpopulation, pandemic disease, and the end of cheap energy would somehow solve themselves. This attitude, based on the right-wing worship of the free market, made the country’s recent economic woes more shocking psychologically. Now the consensus among global analysts is as follows:
1. Severe swings in the economic outlook for America cannot be avoided.
2. Continuing to do nothing would be disastrous on all fronts. Yet no general agreement on what to do has been found.
Divisive politics still trumps intelligent reform.
3. Arab oil producers are absorbing undreamt of profits so fast that its effects cannot be dealt with either by them or their customers.
4. The political will barely exists to cope with emerging problems, much less the radical policies that would solve
those problems.
5. Escalating oil prices threaten the world with food shortages and widespread outrage against OPEC, creating the
conditions for global rebellion and, at worst, an attack on the Middle East to seize their oil fields.
6. Worldwide inflation has begun and could spiral out of control.
7. As China and India rise, the U.S. will slowly but surely become less relevant as a dominant economy. We are already highly dependent on foreign lenders and hugely in debt.
What, then, the future?
We find ourselves at a fork in the road. One way leads to a new world, one being born with frightening convulsions but eventually benefiting every economy. This is the way of globalization. The other way is the road to protectionism, tariffs, anti-immigration, and the shutdown of alliances. This is the way of nationalism. One way is optimistic and evolutionary, the other is pessimistic and reactionary. One way looks outward to the world at large, the other looks outward and puts national security ahead of every other interest. To date, the general U.S. response has tended toward the latter. Nationalism, including toxic xenophobia, is the province of the right wing, which blocks all things progressive and stigmatizes anyone who opposes them.
Until two or three years ago, hesitating at the crossroads was excusable. Suddenly the dam broke with the collapse of the U.S. housing market and the irrational rise in oil speculation. Decisions must be made in a matter of months, not years (the only historical parallel is the first hundred days of the New Deal in 1933 and the immediate postwar era when Stalin invaded Eastern Europe). Therefore, one needs to look carefully at the forces that will drive us to choose one road or the other. In particular, how can we gain enough confidence, will, and optimism to create a new world instead of collapsing into no world that we would ever recognize today?
(To be cont.)
www.intentblog.com
www.deepakchopra.com

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