: Could you please give examples of people in the 20th and 21st centuries who reached the fifth and higher stages?
: Mr. Chopra, as a student of Western philosophy and Christian mystical tradition, I was wondering if you had any thoughts on the late Thomas Merton? It seems you resonate well with him.
: I do. And as I do with many other Christian mystics, including Tielhard de Chardin.
: We live to amass knowledge created by man, rarely by nature. How can we experience the beauty of nature in our everyday lives?
: Don't make the mistake of divorcing man from nature. Everything we do as humans is an expression of nature coming through the human nervous system because the human nervous system is part of nature. Therefore jet planes, and fax machines, and information highways on the internet, and cell phones, and concrete buildings are also expressions of nature, because humans are expressions of nature. Having said that, we are those expressions of nature that can make choices that disrupt the ecosystem and cause disasters and creativity and the emergence of new properties in nature herself. Therefore, we must constantly be alert. The universe has given us the privilege of being self-conscious, and we are always at a crossroad to make a choice that either destroys or creates imbalance in the biosphere of which we are a part.
: I am in the process of learning about the Buddha and his teachings. I feel as though I have awakened more since I started to research this than I have in my previous 26 years of life. Do you have any suggestions to offer so that I may further myself on this path?
: Read the work of Robert Thurman. He is a professor of Buddhism at Columbia University. Also come to the howtoknowgod.com website, where I have done an interview with him, and you will find a transcript of talks by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and also discussions with other scholars.
: Mr. Chopra, I am terrified of losing my loved ones. How can I get past this fear?
: Just by loving them more and more, and not expecting anything in return. Remember, we are all on death row. The only uncertainty is the method of execution and the length of reprieve. Therefore, treasure every single moment you have together.
: What is your perception on life-after-death theory? Can we really shut down? Or is there more to the inner spirit that is emphasized? beliefnet_deepak_chopra
: There is much more. Once again, for an in-depth discussion, go to "Deepak's Board" on howtoknowgod.com and look under "reincarnation."
: Do you feel the collective is in transition?
: Yes, thanks to websites like Beliefnet.com!
: Mr. Chopra, are you familiar with the work of Joseph Campbell? Did he influence your writing?
: Subconsciously I am sure he did. I think he has made a great contribution into understanding how the mystical domain influences our spiritual inheritance.
: What is the most effective, shortest way to achieve God-consciousness?
: Think about God, talk about God, do godly acts, and love God, and make God the reason for everything you do. You will discover that God is not difficult to find. God is impossible to avoid, because there is nowhere that God is not. God is on this website you are interacting with now. Look carefully! Be attentive. Life-centered present-moment awareness is God. If you can't find God in a rainbow, if you can't find God in a blade of grass, if you can't find God in the eyes of another being or in the smile of a child, you will not discover God in a book of religion.
: Why does God let bad things happen?
: God allows us the freedom to make choices, and our collective choices influence the ecosystem or the biosphere in which we are contained. And when there is a critical mass of choices being made in the conscious energy field that expresses itself as the biosphere a critical mass of inappropriate choices, then evil erupts. And see the previous discussion on good and evil.