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Deepak Chopra and Intent

Deepak Chopra and Intent

Silence of the Lamb

posted by dchopra

An article in the Washington Post On Faith section in response to their question: Advise John McCain and Barack Obama on the role religion should play in their presidential campaigns.
This will be a short response: I’d advise both candidates the same way. Don’t mention religion a single time in the upcoming campaign. Various reverends and pastors have already embarrassed both McCain and Obama, proving that the clergy is even more fickle than the general public. (The fact that these reverends and pastors throw in their private brand of anti-Semitism, reverse racism, social paranoia, apocalyptic fantasies, and other flavors of kookism is even more embarrassing and offensive.) Courting the Christian right worked for the Republican party because the Democrats largely left the field open. Their distaste for wooing fundamentalists was well-founded and remains well-founded.
Religion is a divisive subject, and the founding fathers were wise to dampen its effect on government. Obama had every right to expect a smooth endorsement from his pastor, whom he regarded as a mentor and a friend, but the Rev. Jeremiah Wright was so dazzled by the limelight — and the scent of political influence — that he grossly overstepped the bounds of the pulpit. On the right, preachers overstep that boundary and regularly get away with it. They shouldn’t. God does not send a signal through any messenger that one candidate is more worthy than another, and anyone who claims to be such a messenger is a fraud. As for Jesus, the Lamb of God is silent on political matters. Take your cue from him, if you need one.
Get a sneak peak of our new venture at http://intent.com
www.intentblog.com
www.deepakchopra.com
http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/deepak_chopra/

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When Illusions Refuse to Die (Part 3)

posted by dchopra

The saddest part about the period of sleepwalking that the U.S. has experienced over the past eight years is that we don’t have to return to the status quo before Bush was elected. History can move forward to the benefit of America, but only if we recognize that some uneasy trends cannot be reversed. The reactionary backlash that allowed the neocon vision to take hold has been disastrous. Since it was based on cherished illusions, there’s a strong chance that the voting public might be seduced by McCain’s promise of “no surrender” and the promotion of old-fashioned nationalism backed up with overwhelming military threat.
Those illusions need to die, and with them another that prevails on the economic front.
5. The illusion that America and the free market are synonymous. Fifty years ago the slogan “What’s good for GM is good for America” was at best a half truth (was it good for women, blacks, and immigrants?), but today, in the guise of the free market, the same shibboleth lives on. Capitalism prevails as a system that once vied, supposedly, with Communism for world dominance, yet its deep flaws remain. Three come to mind. Capitalism discourages equal access to wealth, leading to enormous gaps between rich and poor. The free market lacks a conscience, giving rise to inequalities of education, health care, and job opportunities. Finally, capitalism if unchecked promotes corruption, both economic and political. In the wake of Tom DeLay’s corrupt selling of Congress to the highest bidder, the collapse of Enron, and the untrammeled greed that led to the current subprime mortgage crisis, these flaws should be glaringly obvious. They always existed, and yet the illusion of the free market as a godsend and purveyor of all good things persists.
A wealthy society isn’t automatically a society without a conscience. The free market’s flaws — which are more than its excesses, the usual term for it — can be ameliorated. By promoting socialism and Communism as the twin evils that keep the goodness of free markets from flowing, the right wing deals in sheer illusion. Social planning exists in many countries and many beneficial forms, from successful mass transit in Europe to Brazil’s independence from fossil fuels. The U.S. is addicted to overconsumption and the ethos of unregulated wealth. It’s the robber baron philosophy, with some amendments, all over again. One does not have to claim that the chickens came home to roost in the current economic crunch. In good times and bad society needs to distribute its benefits fairly, to treat every citizen in good conscience, and to promote general well-being, not just the indulgence of the wealthiest.
Under the spell of free market virtue, this country has seen stagnation in benefits, economic and social, even to the middle class, not to mention the poor, whose interests have largely been ignored. Without returning to the welfare state, we need to devise a modified capitalism that encourages humane attitudes over selfish ones. There are many signs that all of the illusions I’ve recounted are weakening, but choices remain open. The best any citizen can do is to promote the new realism that wants to emerge. Reversing history is a toxic dream. Moving ahead is the only option that favors everyone’s well-being in the long run.
Get a sneak peak of our new venture at http://intent.com
www.intentblog.com
www.deepakchopra.com

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Deepak Chopra: Are Sexual and Spiritual Energy the Same?

posted by akornfeld

Tantra believes sexual and spiritual energy are the same because they’re the universe’s creative energy. They can be used for passionate lovemaking or art, poetry, music, and be channeled for transformation and manifestation.

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Faith Quizzes Get an F

posted by Admin

An article in the Washington Post On Faith section in response to their question: At the Saddleback Church Forum, pastor Rick Warren began his interviews with John McCain and Barack Obama by saying: “We believe in separation of church and state, but not faith and politics.” What’s your response to that and to the forum?
For me, the God quiz that Barack Obama endured with barely concealed sweaty palms and that John McCain breezed through with seasoned casualness has no place in American politics. Rick Warren is a feel-good preacher who softened the interrogation and administered no canings, but that’s irrelevant. To claim that “faith and politics” is different — and more acceptable — than “church and state” is semantic sleight of hand. The reason that any contemporary presidential candidate is forced to suffer the indignity of confessing his religious beliefs in public goes back to the Reagan revolution. Pandora’s box was opened by the right wing in 1980, admitting not just inappropriate matters of religion into political life but also making acceptable a range of prejudice, bigotry, and divisiveness that had been banished by an era of liberal social legislation. Reagan, after all, was the president who, if left to his own devices, would have let thousands more AIDS victims die through neglect and lack of funding for basic medical research. The implicit reason, well understood by the right and endorsed by fundamentalists, was that gays deserve what they get if they pursue a lifestyle that doesn’t match right-wing Christian ideology. Minorities, women, immigrants, and progressivism in general were given the same back hand.
The Obama-McCain evening, being a stepchild of conservative beliefs, was stacked against Obama, or any secularist, Democrat or not. Indeed, it was stacked against anyone who understands the basic reason for separating church and state, which is to keep closed the box of religious divisiveness that Reagan sprang open. As a performance, neither candidate displayed either the unvarnished truth or unblemished integrity. The real message that was meant to come across from Obama was “I really am American,” and from McCain was “I’m really right as Reagan.” Viewer’s notes: Dull pandering to the audience from both sides. Lots of mention of Jesus, sin, faith, prayer. McCain came off as more prepared and polished in his responses. He went for Reagan’s easy folksy confidence, catering to the audience’s craving for moral simplicity. His answer to the question “Is there evil and how to deal with it?” was typical: “Yes, there is evil and we will defeat it.” Obama said, roughly, “Yes there is evil, and we can’t hope to defeat it on our own, but we can be soldiers for the Lord to do what we can.”
For McCain, it’s all as simple as what Reaganism carved out almost thirty years ago: Gay marriage is bad, abortion is bad, activist judges are bad. Winning in Iraq is good, getting Osama bin Laden is good, offshore oil drilling is good, and freedom is great. Obama talked about the hard work and sacrifices we need to make in order to overcome energy dependence and academic mediocrity, also the respect we need to accord others on the abortion issue–not quite as stirring as reactionary platitudes.
In short, McCain appealed to our escapist magical morality, Obama appealed to reason and practicalities. That has been the story throughout the campaign. Everyone concedes that Obama’s way is more mature, realistic, and ultimately right. But I doubt that’s enough to cure a case of sweaty palms.
Get a sneak peak of our new venture at http://intent.com
www.intentblog.com
www.deepakchopra.com
http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/deepak_chopra/

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