This Wednesday, Oct. 22 visit from Deepak Chopra at Clowes Memorial Hall featured a whole lot of stuff you've read about or thought about, but likely never heard summed up so concisely, and yet expansively, in one lecture. Dr. Chopra, author of dozens of books, including the soon to be released “Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment,” held the full house at Clowes spellbound.
Unfamiliar with the man's story, I found his saga fascinating: that of arriving in New York City, virtually penniless, to begin his medical career. His developing interest in endocrinology — then neuroendocrinology; his ultimate path to wed eastern philosophy and religion with western medicine.
MD stands for “Medical Deity” he joked at one point.
From there Chopra delved into the theory that the body IS a mind, that our material body is but a fleeting existence — the body he was using this night in Clowes Hall was not the body he'd had just a few years ago. How we share molecules with each other — and with history.
How we are just electricity and information.
If I were Homer Simpson, I would have been thinking about potato chips at this point.
Chopra shared with us an experience of theophany as he was putting his father's ashes to rest... he shepherded us through the concept of discontinuity, of non-local instantaneous correlations, of quantum leaps and how the observer effect means the universe only exists when a consciousness is looking at it.
Does that mean the tree doesn't make a sound in the forest?
Visualize a stack of books on your bedstand, the works of Jung, of David Bohm, Jonathan Haidt's “Happiness Hypothesis,” works by Fritjof Capra, Pema Chodron and Ram Dass, but also Philip K. Dick's “VALIS,” all swallowed, digested and metabolized in this lecture, spun by a man in red-sparkling spectacle frames that Elton John might roll him for.
Three brief meditation breaks offered the opportunity to let all this information sink in — or provide a little nap time.
Chopra's last ten minutes were hurried, almost perfunctory, but after an hour and 50 minutes of talking you might want to hit the head or find the buffet table yourself. In fact, the good doctor was headed to the Clowes lobby to sign, presumably, a couple of hundred books — and keep the conversation going.
Metaphysical hats off to Richard Brendan, president and founder of event host Journey’s Fire International, to Sister Judian Breitenbach who runs the Sari Asher Namasté Center in La Porte, and to philanthropist Jeremy Efroymson for providing an evening of spiritual and intellectual stuff on which to chew.
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