Deepak Chopra’s Theory of Consciousness
Deepak Chopra’s Theory of Consciousness
“Nothing is as vicious as fighting for a lost cause,” Deepak Chopra says in the prologue of his book A New Reader of Science and Spirituality. The book covers the discussions and exchanges between science and religion without necessarily being about either, and does a fantastic job in untangling some of the must subtle problems that neither discipline has been able to solve. Both religion and science have tried to crack the fundamental mysteries of existence—such as the beginning of the universe, human intelligence and nature’s basic forces. Science shows us how life came to be, but faith wants to know why.
Chopra dares to ask what these big questions can actually offer us. “You and I live our lives without asking these questions. We can be philosophically curious and have enough free time to think about this,” Chopra says. “But science and spirituality are two ivory towers that will not be able to satisfy the practical needs of our lives until they choose to come down to earth.” Though its true that science comes down to earth in the form of technology (which is very practical), and faith in the form of comfort (which is very important), both fall short in one thing: consciousness.
“The practicality of consciousness seems remote compared with technology,” the author adds. “What do you prefer? To become illuminated or have an iPad?” In modern life the question is almost rhetorical, even though what we really want as human beings are all of those things that come straight from consciousness: love, happiness, freedom from fear, and a vision of the future. This is achievable as long as we have a healthy, open, alert and expansive consciousness. But we can lose it when our consciousness is saturated, constipated, confused or uprooted.
Chopra’s book isn’t merely a self-help book, nor does it fall into one of the many traps of many new-age works. Chopra’s premise is primordial and simple: to live a conscious life. He doesn’t pretend to promote or condemn skepticism; he hopes to encourage a practical theory of consciousness that can complement—not substitute—science and religion.
A New Reader of Science and Religion looks at the most subtle workings of nature to teach just one thing: “The future is with whomever deepens consciousness.” We should all have a constant reminder (like a ribbon tied around our wrist, or a tattoo on our arm) to return to the present moment. This book may be that reminder. If it’s able to do that, then its accomplishment is unquantifiable. As Chopra writes: “To be alive is inconceivable without consciousness.”
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