Kundalini Splendor

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Deepak Chopra 

Deepak Chopra

Recently I heard Deepak Chopra speak at a book signing, and again tonight on the local PBS station.

At the first presentation, he was introducing his latest volume in a series on Jesus. But the truth is, his talk did not really have much to say about Jesus. But what he did talk about was quite fascinating.

First, he explained that the universe itself consists of nothing but space. The solidity of matter is an illusion, for between the electrons which make up the atoms is nothing at all but pure emptiness. Of course, this is not new information, but it was good to hear it affirmed again, especially since some may not be familiar with it.

This emptiness is, I think, what underlies the "maya" (world of appearance) the Eastern religions speak of. It is the essential reality behind all manifestations, the truth beyond all seeming.

Then he turned to the question of the relationship between the brain and the mind. Now, for some decades the "reductionists" in the field of psychology have insisted that there is in fact no such thing as "consciousness," but only a brain, where certain electrical and chemical events occur. Deepak pointed out that even when you peer inside the brain (with various types of scans) you never can see what the subject is seeing. If she is thinking of a flower, you do not see a flower. If she is thinking of a lit candle, you do not see a candle. Rather you see a series of electrical impulses imprinted on the photo or film. You cannot determine from that what the subject was thinking about.

His point is that consciousness simply exists beyond the realm of scientific investigation. It is not, as the researchers insist, an “epiphenomenon” (by product) of the brain, but is rather a reality in itself, not amenable to any sort of "proof" or scientific verification, although each one of us knows full well that we are conscious at every moment of our waking lives--and we trust when we are sleeping or dreaming as well. Indeed, if we were not conscious we would not be reading this now, since we would not be aware of anything at all.

Thus Deepak, himself from the realm of science (he was long a respected doctor), demonstrated that there is in fact one vast consciousness, which is in fact the seer and the seen, the knower and the known. We ourselves are extensions and expressions of that reality, allowing it to see and know itself through our own senses and awareness.
He also pointed out that religion should not be confused with spirituality. Religion is the rigid formulation of original insights into dogma. Spirituality is the actual experiencing of these truths in personal experience.

For Deepak, enlightenment is the perception and experience of these fundamentals in the fullest sense, and Jesus was an enlightened being. He knew that "the kingdom of God is within you," not confined to a church or a creed or a hierarchy.

When we undergo radical kundalini awakening, we are sometimes permitted glimpses of this enlightened state. We know, as the vast unknown sweeps through our bodies, that something beyond ourselves is producing this moment. It commands awe and respect. It is nothing we can make happen or control. It is both beyond us and yet most profoundly ourselves. It is the ultimate consciousness, of which we are a part.
(Image taken from the Chopra Center website)

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