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Timeless Mind- A Chat With Dr. Deepak Chopra

Chitra Parayath

He has been described as "a personable, charismatic man of handsome mien and beguiling voice who has mastered the rhetoric of enhancement."

Dr. Deepak Chopra was invited to be a keynote speaker at the recently concluded TiEcon 2003, the largest conference of entrepreneurs in the North East organized by TiEBoston. Scientist and theologian, Dr. Chopra is one of the leading authorities on alternative medicine and healing.

Chopra’s wit and dexterity with words are legendary, in his keynote address, he put a smile on everyone’s face moments after taking over the mike. “ I said to Oprah that if she were married to me she’d be called Oprah Chopra” he joked, adding “ Oprah wasn’t very amused though.” Within minutes, he had the audience eating right out of his hands. Recalling his early days at the New Jersey Hospital where he interned, he told of his experiences with self-deprecating humor, eliciting frequent bouts of applause.

He spoke eloquently of the imprisonment of conditioning and the boundaries that are created as a consequence. He guided his audience through the physiology of perception - arbitrary, and limited not only by time but by the five senses. "We perceive less than one billionth of what is actually occurring, and what you perceive is that which reinforces original beliefs. The human body, for example, is perceived to be an anatomical structure fixed in space and time, but seen through the eyes of a physicist, the human body is null and void." Action, memory and desire are "the software of the soul" - "without karma, there is no memory; without memory, there is no desire; without desire, there is no action."

Dr Chopra said that every thought causes a shift in the whole field of reality. Information, he insisted, cannot be created or destroyed, only rearranged. Thus, every possible piece of knowledge can be accessed in the mind, regardless of time and space Any aspect of reality can be changed at the quantum level by shifting its information and energy, he said. The technology to create such shifts is in the mind. Dr. Chopra maintained that 'for every thought there is a corresponding molecule. If you have happy thoughts, then you have happy molecules.'

The attendees lapped it all up, some of the stuff makes much sense, the rest sounded, to this reporter, suspiciously like spiritual mumbo jumbo.

Has he given up critical thinking in favor of ancient dogma, I wondered as I prepared to meet him. “15 minutes is all he has”, mouthed the press coordinator to me.
Bullshit meter on high alert. I caught up with the charismatic spiritual guru. While we warm up for the interview I ask him about his stint here in MA and am intrigued when we realize that my brother and Dr.Chopra worked at the same hospital under the same physician. After some more exchange of pleasantries, we plunge right into the interview.

Chitra : You have emerged as one of the world's leading proponents of this innovative combination of Eastern and Western healing, do you define yourself as a scientist or as a spiritual leader?

Dr. Chopra : A scientist looks at the laws of nature, laws that represent the mind of God. Science and spirituality have the same components. When scientists realize these laws, they are filled with awe and respect for the mystery and magic of the infinite world. It is like understanding truth. I do not think of myself as a spiritual leader.

Chitra : Do you see yourself as a timeless deathless entity?
Dr. Chopra : The body is the end product of intelligence and how that intelligence shapes your reality will shape the reality of the body. The body is a field of ideas and it is a field of interpretations and when you change your experience of your own identity to a spiritual being, the body expresses the physical manifestation of that spiritual reality.

Chitra : Would you call yourself a religious man or a spiritual man?
Dr. Chopra : Religions are based on the experience of process and fears, it is based in ignorance. Spirituality is the domain of awareness, for every experience is of a universal nature and therefore of truth. The minor differences in religions come about because of cultural and geographical differences. People have died for the sake of religion . Spirituality is a domain of awareness in which we experience universality. Religion is for the insecure among us.

Chitra : We know that you are a very busy man, where do you find the energy and time to do so much?
Dr. Chopra : I feel that I'm having a wonderful time. I don't look upon any of this as work. It's a source of great joy and happiness for me. Most of my writing I do in planes, when I have plenty of time, in fact I have two books coming out next year. If we put our mind to it, we can find time in even the busiest of schedules to achieve everything that we want to achieve.
The body is a field of ideas and it is a field of interpretations and when you change your experience of your own identity to a spiritual being, the body expresses the physical manifestation of that spiritual reality.

Chitra : What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs who work hard, day and night, to make a success of themselves, of their business?
Dr. Chopra : Leadership is the key word here.” I am lecturing that at business schools, at the Kellogg Business School and I'm also offering it to politicians and heads of state from different parts of the world. A leader represents the symbolic soul of a community in which he or she lives. Leadership has to be based on spirituality.

We conclude the interview as Dr. Chopra is ushered out by aides.

Dr Chopra, the son of a New Delhi cardiologist, was born in 1947, after graduating from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in 1968, he interned at a New Jersey hospital. He trained for several more years at the Lahey Clinic and the University of Virginia Hospital and became board-certified in internal medicine and endocrinology. He also developed a thriving practice and became chief of staff at New England Memorial Hospital.

Chopra realized in his medical practice that there was potential in western medicine for the establishment of a new life-giving paradigm, one that encompassed the fundamental principle that perfect health is more than just the absence of disease. He began to envision a medical system based upon the premise that health is a lively state of balance and integration of body, mind and spirit. He is widely credited with melding modern theories of quantum physics with the timeless wisdom of ancient cultures. In 1992, he served on the National Institutes of Health Ad Hoc Panel on Alternative Medicine. Dr. Chopra discovered practical and achievable skills that enable people to take control of their lives, remain more robust and youthful as they age, and access the body's unlimited natural pharmacy-the keys to perfect health and total well-being.

Chopra is the author of more than 35 books and more than 100 audio, video and CD-ROM titles, he has been published on every continent, and in dozens of languages. His newest book, " Golf for Enlightenment - The Seven Lessons for the Golf Game" is out Spring 2003. Twenty million copies of Deepak's books have been sold in English alone, and his best-sellers include How to Know God: The Soul's Journey into the Mystery of Mysteries, Perfect Health; Ageless Body, Timeless Mind; The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Grow Younger, Live Longer: 10 Steps to Reverse Aging, and The Path to Love. Chopra has published numerous books focusing on health issues that include Grow Younger, Live Longer: 10 Steps to Reverse Aging, The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook: Forty Natural Prescriptions for Perfect Health; Perfect Weight: Restful Sleep; Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind / Body Medicine and Creating Health. Popular audio books and CD-ROMS include Magical Mind, Magical Body; The Higher Self; Journey to the Boundless; and The Wisdom Within. Many know him from his regular work with PBS, which included Body, Mind and Soul: The Mystery and The Magic, one of the most highly viewed and successful fund-raisers in the history of the network; and The Way of the Wizard, Alchemy and The Crystal.

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