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Thinking collectively for a better world

Deepak Chopra, through his latest book Metahuman, encourages people to bring about a universal change by conducting an inquiry into human nature.

Deepak Rikhye | New Delhi |

Deepak Chopra, an Indian-American doctor, is a holistic health specialist and new age guru, and practices alternative medicine. A resident of Manhattan, New York, Chopra says that he utilises Sundays for walking, meditation and thinking about life and its experiences. He spends his time to “reset” without obligations. He advises people that their pursuit must be loved with focus and without compulsions.

Chopra is 72 years old and lives with his wife Rita, who is 70. Their home has sterilised surroundings and among other facilities, they even have “vitamin filtered showers” with filtered air and water. He happily affirms that he has no medical issues whatsoever, but is conscious of the next phase in life: “When you get to a certain age, your next chapter is going to be death.” This interprets some urgency in him to communicate and share his wisdom of a good life and good health.

His latest and 90th book is called Metahuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential. Chopra uses the Greek word “meta” in the title of his book to interpret the feeling of “beyond” which evokes awareness. Through awareness, humans can pursue infinite possibilities. However, we must initially be aware of ourselves because our make-up comprises of the mind, body and universe.

This combination deals with thinking and creativity. For example, technology is the evolution of human consciousness and is an irreversible phenomenon. Although we are the creators of technology, our minds must not make us slaves of our creations. The “brainbody-universe” must be aware of any disturbances that may have arisen due to our technology or creations.

Over 20 million copies of Chopra’s books have been sold so far. In fact, Time magazine describes Chopra as one of the top 100 icons of the world. Time also wrote that Chopra has written more than one book for every year of the ongoing 73 years of his life.

His latest venture enables us to collectively think beyond our natural capacities towards the infinite potential that we can have by connecting within the depths of ourselves. He advises us to embrace self awareness through our consciousness and create a vibrant world. He says, “Success comes when people act together; failure tends to happen alone.” He writes about “constructs” or factors that influence humanity, like wealth or trying to emulate a successful person or enterprise. He explains that this craving is not signaled from the brain; it is in fact the self, viewing matters from a higher perspective. Chopra highlights the potential, which collective minds can achieve. Today, he says that factors like climate change, extinction of species, food being processed and poisoned with chemicals, “mechanised” debt due to farmers investing in machines and depending less on manual cultivation — because manual work takes longer and is expensive, nuclear weapons and hacking appear to be bringing on our own extinction. But, no one is rationalising or taking steps to resolve this nightmare.

Chopra’s theory highlights how collective thinking can work wonders. It also emphasises his advice on self-awareness. Indeed, we are reassured by Chopra that we have the technology to reverse this trend, but do we have the collective will? Humans depend on one another; remember John Donne’s advice: “No man is an island.”

Is it not possible for us to transform the world by creating a more sustainable, healthier and happier life? He asks us to question our inner selves and inquire: “Who am I? What do I want from my life? What is my purpose?” He states that “contemplative inquiry” through thinking and sharing thoughts will gradually bring about a change.

He speaks of the world’s leaders with disappointment because they are manipulating people for their own interests. They, too, need to explore their inner selves and thus be refreshed with dynamic ideas. The entire gamut is “mind made” and his book is a passionate testament which affirms that meta-reality is omnipresent and constant: it represents everything from roses, the sky, tables and chairs, all of which are a part of the universe. In fact the reality is real, it is not elusive. All these components of the universe influence our mind and self. This realisation enables us to move beyond our limitations created by the mind, through habits. It is a synthesis of science and holistic insights.

In the Upanishads, the human mind is like two birds on a branch. One is eating the fruit, while the other lovingly looks on. You need to go beyond fear and imbibe the value of love like the two birds and find a harmonious existence with everyone and care for each other.

Consciousness is in us every minute of our lives and governs our actions. Chopra asks us not to take our consciousness for granted.