Stephen Dare interviews Dr. Deepak Chopra on the origins of Ayur Vedic Medicine, Epigenetics, Maharishi University and the future of the United States Check out this fascinating conversation after the jump!
Dr. Chopra is the originator of the American Ayur Vedic movement, a medical and alternative medicine school of thought based on ancient eastern Vedic Texts, Buddhism and other ancient source texts. I first heard of Dr. Chopra whilst in Muncie Indiana, doing business with a western style MD who was also an Ayur Vedic practitioner. The Dr. had been involved with Maharishi University, the university which is the home of the center for the study of Ayur Vedic medicine.
He will be speaking at University of North Florida on the subject of his new book SuperGenes, mainly on the concepts and the emerging science of epigenetics. Of special interest for Dr. Chopra is the idea that lifetime experiences can be profound enough to change the expression of your genetic materially so fundamentally that the change is then passed on to your offspring---obviously implying that your life experiences will genetically alter generations of children after you. A somewhat heady concept, mindful of the christian moral idea that the sins of the father transmit to his sons.
Chopra's take on it is a further entanglement of mind and body, destiny and choice.
During the interview I mentioned that several theoretical physicist seem to have real antipathy with his work and his ideas, and Dr. Chopra referenced his ongoing debate with Brian Cox, the English Cosmologist (and former indie band rocker), including a link to one of his responses on huffington post
I was reminded recently that we live in a Catch-22 Universe. What makes it a Catch-22 is that no one is qualified to penetrate the mystery of the cosmos without skill in advanced mathematics, and yet those who have this skill are so tied to numbers that they see reality no other way. Clearly the universe isn't a set of equations. It's the all-embracing reality that gave rise to human life. This obvious fact makes many physicists very uncomfortable.
In the last post I challenged Brian Cox, the author of Human Universe--a book, ironically enough, that rejects the concept of a human universe--to confront the current crisis in physics. For many non-scientists, this crisis only came to light thanks to an op-ed last June in the New York Times. But in the profession, especially among physicists who deal in cosmology, the crisis is well known. Cox, a physics professor at the University of Manchester and a popular science presenter on the BBC, didn't accept my challenge. Yet his book makes no mention of any real sense of crisis. To him, as to all the most orthodox physicists, every answer will be revealed as long as the public continues to trust in the current state of affairs.
This is far from true. Cosmologists as a group are well aware that a Theory of Everything--a final, neat formulation that will mathematically explain how the fundamental forces in Nature are related--is further away than ever. Some of the most basic questions have also become more, not less, mysterious, such as Where did the universe come from? What is it made of? What existed before the Big Bang? How did consciousness arise in the cosmos?
That last question is probably the most ridiculous and frustrating example of how the Catch-22 works. There is a suspicion going back at least forty years that the universe is too perfect to take at face value. Everything seems designed, almost from the first instant of creation, to construct a cosmos that would pave the way for human beings. Cox acknowledges this, but he doesn't come to terms with the total improbability that a random universe could evolve into a state where DNA arose and from DNA the infinite complexity of the human brain.
This is one reason, and a big one, why physics is in a crisis. A random universe is messy, filled with zillions of events, from colliding atoms to colliding galaxies, that splat everywhere like paint splattering when thrown against a wall. But the human universe--the one that is such a perfect fit for Homo sapiens--is the opposite of random. It is like the ultimate in a fine-tuned instrument created to reach a foregone conclusion.
Cox communicated with me on Twitter, chiding me for not reading the answer he has devised for reconciling the messy universe with the perfect universe. ...
Also, Chopra has been involved in a heady debate about the nature of identity, perception and reality itself for more than a decade.
In a series of articles co authored with Berkley University physicist Henry Stapp who was an associate of Werner Heisenberg (one of the fathers of Quantum Physics) he addresses a fundamental issue Worth a read:
Is A mind element needed to interpret quantum mechanics?
Chopra's debates with the scientific community (with both supporters and skeptics of his theories) provide some pretty poignant and thought provoking insights into the nature of reality, responsibility, and well being. Whether or not you agree with him, or if you think he's bonkers, his engagement on multiple arenas of thought are absolutely worthwhile and leave the listener (and participants) better informed and provoked to thought.
To find out more about Chopra, here are a few links.
Join Deepak at the University of North Florida on March 17th for an I Am Genie Wishes Fulfilled event as he creates a roadmap for "higher health," based on the latest findings in both mainstream and alternative medicine
Are we in the midst of a major paradigm shift in science?
Is there an ultimate reality?
Does consciousness conceive, govern, construct and become the physical universe?
Is the universe becoming self aware in the human nervous system?
Is the next stage of human development conscious evolution?
Do we have the ability to influence the future evolution of the cosmos?
How does our understanding of consciousness as pure potentiality enhance our capacity for intuition, creativity, conscious choice making, healing, and the awakening of dormant potentials such as non local communication and non local sensory experience?
How does our understanding of consciousness also enhance our capacity for total well being (physical, emotional, spiritual, social, community, financial and ecological)?
Deepak will address these questions as well as practical ways to experience higher consciousness, transformation and healing.
Deepak ChopraA is the author of more seventy books translated into over thirty-five languages, including twenty-one New York Times bestsellers in both the fiction and nonfiction categories. Deepak is the Founder of The Chopra Foundation, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing, and serves as an Adjunct Professor at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School, Columbia University. Time magazine has described Dr. Chopra as one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century and credits him as "the poet-prophet of alternative medicine."
Gold Circle Tickets: Includes a 1-hour reception at the event venue with Deepak 6:00 - 7:00p.m. (Doors Open At 5:30)
Other Ticket Levels: Doors open 7:00; event starts promptly at 7:30 p.m.
Accessible Tickets: Are available, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with accessible requirements.
Seating: Gold Circle tickets will be best seats in the house, Silver will fill the remainder of the floor and Bronze will be in the balcony. Seats are first come, first serve in your section.
The Genie Story Genie Reality Series
Over the past 6 years, Joshua Dawson and Ingrid Thornhill have travelled across North America celebrating life one wish grant at a time. Granting hundreds of wishes to inspirational people in need, we're excited to be headed back to Jacksonville very soon.
Most recently they filmed a pilot for an inspirational wish granting series called "The Experience Genie." Having just won New Producer to Watch at Cannes they are poised to show the world what can be accomplished with the power of love.
See Genie in action here:
The Genie in Action