! Deepak Chopra and his Work !

Deepak Chopra, New Age Guru--Deepak Chopra, M.D. (from India) was on the 
cover of the 10/20 Newsweek and described as an endocrinologist, educator, 
author, lecturer, Hollywood guru and scribe of the Playboy essay "Does God 
Have Orgasms?" With seven new spiritual laws and plans for a global empire, 
his enterprises bring in about $15 million a year. Newsweek says: "For 
people who rebelled against the inconveniences of mainstream religions-thou 
shalt not-Chopra offers an appealingly well-padded path to nirvana. `They 
say you have to give up everything to be spiritual,' he says, `get away from 
the world, all that junk. I satisfy a spiritual yearning without making 
[people] think they have to worry about God and punishment.'" Deepak Chopra 
M.D.-Interviewed him for AZ ,another Tokyo magazine back in '92 before he 
was Time front cover material. Tremendously eloquent and tremendously 
conceited. Learned from him that New Age heros appear to be great teachers 
but there is a catch..

Barbara Marx Hubbard-Buckie Fuller called her the most informed person on 
the subject of futurism today. He was right. Her book 'The evolutionary 
journey' is oft quoted in Merging Point. She is scientific and spiritual and 
does not carry herself around like Deepak Chopra. Sorry Deepak but you blew it.
The interview was conducted in Portland, Oregon in 1992 and was published in 
Japanese in the Tokyo magazine AZ. The English original will someday be 
resurrected from my archives as it was rather interesting one. I asked him a 
crucial question: " Since our cells constantly die and are replaced all the 
time, at varying speeds in different systems like the vascular, the muscular 
etc then why do diseased cells continue to exist...would you agree that all 
illnes is thus based in MEMORY?" To his credit he answered in the 
affirmative...part of the interview is below.. 

The winning mantra 
http://www.jang.com.pk/thenews/nov2000-daily/06-11-2000/oped/o3.htm Khalid 

He looks like General Noriaga whom the people of Panama called the 
pineapple, though his face is less pitted than that of the Central American 
dictator. However, in terms of good looks it is a toss-up between the two. 

It is hard to imagine any woman swooning over either of them, though what 
can you say about women when it comes to what their magazines call matters 
of the heart! After all, didn't our own Nadaan Nadira fall hook, line and 
sinker for VS Naipaul minutes after setting eyes on him and then actually 
went on to marry him and live in perfidious Albion? Alas!

But this is not about the now-unreachable former Letter-from-Bahawalpur lady 
but this man called Deepak Chopra who, if the Los Angeles Times is to be 
believed, earns a cool $15 million a year and is known in this country 
called the United States of America as the New Age guru. What he sells for 
millions can be had for free in any Indian or Pakistani city if you take a 
walk on the street or simply stand on the roadside looking distracted. Nine 
out of ten, someone will walk up to you and promise to solve your spiritual 
and emotional problems by the casting of a simple spell or the intonation of 
a few magic lines.

Deepak Chopra, who looks like a Punjabi peasant and no doubt is one, sells 
peace of mind to the Americans. He is also a best-selling author whose books 
are a hotch potch of Hindu sadhu lore, pop Vedanta, light transcendental 
meditation, self-help auto-suggestions, fake sufi methodology, post-Freudian 
psychology, voodoo science, a sprinkling of modern medicine and truckloads 
of mumbo jumbo. But they sell and they sell in hundreds of thousands. Though 
one can review a book very well without reading it, I did read one that is 
considered Chopra's most famous work. I sailed through it in less time than 
it takes to toss an omelette (whites only please). It was a compendium of 
miraculous cures, the kind promised from Landi Kotal to Karachi or from 
Amritsar to Ras Kumari by veds, hakims, faqirs, sadhus, yogis and operators 
of facilities called the German Health Centre.

A retired Texas rancher who always complained of migraines was advised to 
seek a cure at the Chopra Centre for Well Being. While his headaches did not 
quite go, he did learn why he was having them. He was told that they were 
the result of a blow on the head he had received in an earlier birth as a 
Roman legionnaire. The Centre is located in La Jolla, a suburb of San Diego 
in California (where else!). The place contains a hybrid spa and a manicured 
clinic. It is the operational base of what one magazine has called the 
world's most successful marketeer of New Age philosophies. It is another 
matter that these philosophies are as old as the hills, their principal 
object being to put as much distance between a fool and his money as possible.

The Centre receives around 3,000 pilgrims every year. Some of them are 
trying to lose weight, others want to get out of a bad marriage or get used 
to a bad marriage, still others are looking for that elusive bird, peace of 
mind, but for whose suspected existence all confidence tricksters would go 
out of business. A popular package is the five-day Vital Energy course which 
costs $2,900 and claims to eliminate fatigue. Also on offer are spa 
treatments, including facials, massages, herbal wraps and Ayrovedic 
medicines. The Chopra massage is not just a massage but something called 
reiki chakra. The soul is soothed first, the shoulders later, as one person 
put it.

Then there is a programme called Creating Health which consists of 
meditation, three vegetarian meals a day (no place this for Lahoris), yoga, 
instructional classes and a brief chat with the Master himself. This costs 
$1,700, but if you have $25,000 and an hour to spare, you can talk to Dr 
Chopra, formerly of New Delhi, and have your ills cured, from that nagging 
headache to those painful corns of the soul. One man who joined a group of 
eight to get a feel of the Chopra treatment for body and soul, later wrote 
that they all had to fill in a form so that their Ayrovedic body type or 
dosha could be established. Each one had to describe his (or her) body 
shape, state whether or not he had a penetrating gaze and confess if he was 
guilty of sarcasm, insomnia, dandruff or flatulence. Answers were provided 
on that basis and they were told what they should eat, what massages they 
were to purchase and what they needed to correct the imbalances in their 
lives, as therein lay the solution to their problems.

Chopra told the pilgrims that to cure an out-of-synch dosha, they had to eat 
certain foods at certain times of the day. Those who could not manage the 
necessary discipline, were told to go to the gift shop called The Store of 
Infinite Possibilities and buy $10 packs of dosha correctors or Chopra's 
personal brand of spices, vitamins and digestive aids. If anyone was in the 
mood for a splurge, there were astrological readings to be had. They were 
told that when they left the Centre, they would walk out with a new model in 
life, having acquired the wherewithal to choose health, be happy and cure 

One of the entrants to a course at the Centre wrote later that the days are 
physically passive. Though we are advised to surround ourselves with nature, 
there is no scheduled exercise, nor even walks on the gorgeous beaches 
around the Centre. Our yoga classes are as mild as can be, with virtually no 
poses that require exertion. The treatments, on the other hand, facials, 
body scrubs, herbal wraps, and 10 types of massage (including an astonishing 
hot-oil-Pizichilli treatment, $210) feel absolutely fantastic (at that 
price, yes). Chopra keeps all bases covered. One of the participants asked 
at the end of the stint if he should give up conventional medicine but was 
advised against it. Instead of dancing around the fire, we have CAT scans, 
said the master.

Now there you have a winning formula. If the mumbo jumbo and the hot-oil 
Pizichilli massage does work, the CAT scan will. Maybe instead of running 
after those hard-to-please grey men at the IMF, we should ask Chopra for the 
right mantra. It might even work.

The art of the spiritual smackdown Deepak Chopra, the high lama of 
litigation, may be a pussycat on TV, but cross him in the courtroom and 
you'll have a tiger on your tail.
- - - - - - - - - - -


By Stephen Lemons

March 7, 2000 | "You know how you find God?" joked New Age guru Deepak 
Chopra in his deep, resonant voice. "Have a lawsuit with Joyce Weaver." 
Chopra was riffing on the title of his recent book "How to Know God" as well 
as making a catty reference to his tangled, five-year legal battle with 
Weaver, a former employee of the now-defunct Sharp Center for Mind-Body 
Medicine in Del Mar, Calif., where Chopra once worked.

The La Jolla-based author has made a name for himself as a spiritual advisor 
to such notables as Demi Moore, Sharon Stone, Michael Jackson and even 
President Clinton. But he's also garnered notoriety through his frequent 
visits to the courtroom.

According to press reports in the London Sunday Times and the San Diego 
Union-Tribune, Chopra's legal woes started back in 1995 when prostitute Judy 
Bangert left a message on the voice mail of one of Chopra's colleagues at 
Sharp, saying that she'd had sex with Chopra.

Weaver, an administrative aide at Sharp, heard the message and taped it. 
Chopra claims Weaver tried to blackmail him with the information. Weaver 
then filed a sexual harassment claim against Chopra, which was later 
dismissed. Ever the lion in the courtroom, Chopra sued Weaver for the 
alleged blackmail, a case he lost unanimously in January before a San Diego 

Undaunted, Chopra vowed to fight on, telling reporters, "Maybe it is my 
karma to dismantle the corruption in the San Diego judicial system." Chopra 
had better luck against the Weekly Standard, the ultra-right-wing rag owned 
by media titan Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. In July 1996, the Weekly Standard 
ran a cover story on the prostitute's tales of expensive sexual liaisons 
with the bestselling author and proponent of alternative medicine.
Chopra, 53, hit the Weekly Standard with a $35 million lawsuit, referring to 
it as "an act of love" meant to lift the magazine to "a higher state of 
awareness." In the end, Bangert retracted her claims of sex with Chopra and 
the Weekly Standard coughed up a $1.6 million settlement, according to 
Chopra, and an abject apology, which the paper printed in June 1997. 

The most recent act in this bizarre legal drama finds Indian-born Chopra 
defending himself against a suit by Weaver that claims retaliation by Chopra 
because of Weaver's original sexual harassment claim and wrongful 
termination from her position at Sharp.

Monday afternoon the San Diego jury returned a unanimous verdict in his 
favor. Just two days earlier, I spoke with Chopra by phone (he was in 
Chicago on a promotional book tour). In a candid conversation sprinkled with 
self-deprecating remarks, he discussed his reputation as a tough-as-nails 
litigant and his charges of venality in the San Diego legal system, among 
other matters.

Will this trial be a fair one for you? 
I do think so, yes. You know, judges have their own interpretations of 
certain things and can influence the jury. But we've got a very eminent 
jurist on this case right now. It's difficult to criticize him really. He 
has an impeccable record, and I think he's very fair. If I lose, I won't be 
able to blame anyone.

What was the problem with your previous experiences with the San Diego 

In any system, but particularly in San Diego, there's a lot of cronyism, 
power-mongering and influence-peddling. Basically, they all hang at the same 
club and do each other favors. 
Ever since I started speaking out about this, I've gotten thousands of 
e-mails, faxes and letters from people who've had the same thing happen to 
them. If you're not a law firm from San Diego, forget it. It's all inside 

Why have you fought such a vigorous legal battle with Ms. Weaver? 
The easy way out, always, is to give in. Somebody blackmails or attacks you, 
give in. But it also puts things out there which are not true. I can't do 
that. I don't know how to surrender to these opportunists who see you in the 
public eye and try to embarrass you so they can make some money. But I've 
learned not to have the sense of personal outrage about it. First of all -- 
it doesn't work. Secondly, it's unhealthy. And thirdly, it brings you down 
to their level. Unfortunately, it costs a lot more money [not to give in], 
but you have to do it.

The San Diego Union-Tribune has reported that this legal battle has cost you 
$1 million, is this true? More than that, actually. I should have just paid 
off. (Laughs) Why do you think Ms. Weaver is suing you? Well, she's already 
made money on this. She sued Sharp, Dr. David Simon [Chopra's colleague at 
Sharp] and me. Sharp and Simon paid her off, because they said it's more 
expensive to litigate. But you see, they're not in the public eye. If I paid 
her off, it would make headlines. Does a lawsuit like this hurt your 

It does. But that's part of life. You can't do anything about it. Now, I 
just want to bring it to a conclusion in a manner that will ultimately 
reveal the truth. It may not, and I may have to say, "OK, I give up." But to 
the extent I can do it, I will.

What was your relationship with Ms. Weaver before all this happened? She 
worked for Sharp. She used to show slides for me in my lectures. My contact 
with her was in the first three months of her employment with Sharp. After 
that, she worked for another year-and-a-half at Sharp. Then there was a 
general layoff at Sharp. Everyone was laid off and she was one of them. 

The art of the spiritual smackdown | page 1, 2 About the Weekly Standard 
article and your lawsuit against them: Why do you think they were going 
after you to begin with?

The Weekly Standard is a conservative, right-wing publication. The editors 
allowed that story to be published despite being told they were going to be 
given [opposing] evidence. But after we sued, they retracted. And they paid 
us $1.6 million. So I made some money there -- and I got the apology.

Are you a Democrat? Yeah. Do you think that was part of it too? Yes. The 
Weekly Standard has constantly attacked anyone who's liberal. And that was 
part of the fact that the editors allowed it to happen. Now after the 
settlement and everything, I have very good relationships with people at 
News Corp. -- at the highest levels. We might even do business together. 
This was something that was not at the highest levels of News Corp. It was 
at the level of the Weekly Standard and down.

Why do conservatives, especially fundamentalist Christians, take offense to 
you? You should probably ask them. But Mr. Pat Robertson has done television 
programs where he's called me Satan. But fundamentalists also fight other 
Christians who are a little more liberal than them. Their whole thing is 
fear-based, anyway. Are you more of a doctor or a spiritual leader? Neither. 

Right now I think of myself as a writer who is sharing his ideas in books, 
lectures and seminars. And there's a big segment of the population who 
relates to these ideas. But I'm never going to take on leadership. I don't 
have the slightest desire. One chapter of your book "The Seven Spiritual 
Laws of Success" deals with the law of karma. How do you think that karmic l 
aw applies here, in this lawsuit?

It's teaching me great lessons. That I should not get upset. That I should 
be more patient and more humble. That I should learn how to go beyond 
emotional turbulence. So I think the laws of karma are working as clues and 
messages of love from some domain, telling me, "Deepak, relax! Take it easy! 
In 50 years we'll all be dead. It won't matter." Your public persona is of a 
gentle, nurturing, spiritual individual, and yet many people regard you as 
quite litigious and a real barracuda in the courtroom. Is there any conflict 

I think your primitive, primordial self emerges when you're attacked 
personally and you know it's a lie. Three days ago when I was in the 
courtroom, Mr. Friesen (Weaver's lawyer) started to distort what I was 
saying. So I looked at the judge, and said, "Your honor, he's trying to 
bully me." And before the judge could say anything, I looked at Friesen and 
I said, "You're a bully. Do you know that, Bully?" (Laughs) And the judge 
says, "Strike it. Strike that!" He didn't want the jurors to hear it.

When someone's distorting your testimony because they want to make a million 
bucks, your survival instincts come out. But generally speaking, I'm not a 
barracuda, not even in court. 

Did you know that there are some journalists who are afraid to write about 
you, for fear of being sued?

If they've written lies, they've been taken to task. Every time someone has 
written an outrageous lie in a malicious manner, they've had to retract it. 
But there has to be malicious intent. Everybody has a right to their 
interpretation, but when somebody willfully and maliciously lies then I 
think they have to retract it because otherwise it goes on your record.

You seem to inspire extreme reactions in people -- they either really admire 
or dislike you. Why is that? I'm successful. (He sighs.) I'm very 
successful. People think I make a lot of money, but they don't realize that 
I spend a lot of money. But it's totally natural that when you're in the 
public eye there are some people who are going to love you and some people 
who are going to hate you. Your image is always going to be defiled, because 
the image is never going to conform to reality.

Can I get a comment from you after the verdict? You can have it now. Either 
way -- if I lose or if I win -- the comment is going to be the same. And 
that is, "Everything is as it should be." We can't control the big picture. 
We can only try. 

salon.com | March 7, 2000 


It's all good: The appeal of Deepak Chopra What pulls people like Michael 
Jackson, Demi Moore and Bill Clinton to this spiritual tycoon? Is it a 
hunger for wonders or lack of sense? 
- - - - - - - - - - - -
By David Beers

May 10, 2001 

I am reading "How To Know God" by Deepak Chopra as I sit in 
Helen's Grill, a greasy spoon near my home in Vancouver, British Columbia. 
Outside the window in the rain, framed within the newspaper vending box, is 
the face of a young, beautiful girl. Next to that face is headline type, big 
and black: "'Amazing' teen killed in Whistler crash." For some reason the 
words reinforce the illusion that the little vinyl and Formica world of 
Helen's Grill is a shared refuge, a place immune to life's random ravages. 
- - - - - - - - - - - -

Deepak Chopra, the spiritual instructor who appears on Larry King and Oprah, 
the alternative healer with the handsome looks of a Hollywood movie star, 
the personal source of inspiration to Michael Jackson, Naomi Judd and Bill 
Clinton, has sold 10 million books.

Here is some of what Chopra, a former endocrinologist in Boston hospitals, 
believes and teaches:

a.. That a person is a field of vibrating energy, information and 
intelligence connected to the entire cosmos; 

a.. That this view is 
substantiated by Ayurvedic medicine of ancient India as well as theories of 
quantum physics; 

a.. That all organs of the body are built up from a specific sequence of 
     vibrations, and that when organs are sick they are vibrating improperly;

a.. That certain herbs and aromas, when applied, can help restore proper 
     vibrations to malfunctioning liver, heart, stomach, etc.; 

a.. That certain gems and crystals can rejuvenate human skin; 

a.. That good thoughts can heal the body and reverse the aging process; 

a.. That people can levitate and that he, while sitting and meditating, has 
     flown a distance of four feet;

a.. That one can know God at seven different levels corresponding to 
physical and psychological reactions in the brain, and that miracles, 
including visits by angels and reincarnated relatives, occur when a person 
leaves the material level of existence and intersects a "transitional" level 
called the "quantum domain";

a.. That anyone following his methods can achieve "unlimited wealth" and a 
"brilliantly blissful life."

Chopra does not believe reports that he once described himself as "just a 
regular guy with the gift of gab." As he told me in a recent conversation, 
"I am just a regular guy. But I don't have the gift of gab. I wish I did." 

When not on the speaking circuit, Deepak Chopra is at work on his 27th book 
and adding to his more than 100 audio, video and CD-ROM titles, while 
presiding over the Chopra Center for Well Being in La Jolla, Calif.

Go to Web sites like Skeptic's Dictionary, The Shameless Mind and 
Quackwatch, and you will find all the ammunition of scientific rationalism 
aimed at Chopra.

He is said to have misconstrued quantum physics. "Deepak Chopra has 
successfully promoted a notion he calls quantum healing, which suggests we 
can cure all our ills by the application of sufficient mental power," writes 
Victor J. Stenger, professor emeritus of physics and astronomy at the 
University of Hawaii, in the Skeptical Inquirer. Many words and diagrams 
later, Stenger concludes that "no compelling argument or evidence requires 
that quantum mechanics plays a central role in human consciousness or 
provides instantaneous, holistic connections across the universe." 

Chopra's sweeping claims for Ayurvedic healing -- a 2,000-year-old tradition
rooted in astrology, demonology and balancing energy through diet and 
exercise -- come under similar assault. "As far as I can tell," writes Stephen 
Barrett, M.D. in Quackwatch, "Chopra has neither published nor personally 
conducted any scientific studies testing whether the methods he promotes 
help people become healthier or live longer." A lot of other credentialed 
scientists take their runs at Chopra's "factual errors" and "absurd ideas."

All of them are wasting their time, because their angle of attack cleanly 
misses the appeal of Chopra today. What pulls people to Chopra is their 
yearning to pull free of scientific rationality, or, more accurately, to 
escape the unenchanted world that two centuries of the Age of Reason has 
bequeathed us.

Theodore Roszak offered an interesting take on this impulse a couple of 
decades ago in an essay for Harper's titled "In Search of the Miraculous." 
He remembers being taught in college in the 1950s that God was dead, killed 
by the scientific revolution. But it didn't take with the wider public, 
where flourishes "highly personal, emotionally electrifying versions of 
Christianity" as well as the sort of New Age mysticism championed by 
Chopra and his ilk.

Roszak sees a great cultural divide. At the top stands "a secular humanist 
establishment devoted to the skeptical, the empirical, the scientifically 
demonstrable" which is out of touch with "a vast popular culture that is 
still deeply entangled with piety, mystery, miracle, the search for personal 

There are two ways to interpret this split, writes Roszak. The first is to 
roll one's eyes, to blame "the hunger for wonders" on "incurable human 
frailty, an incapacity to grow up and grow rational." If so, "sadly one 
would have to conclude that the masses are not yet mature enough to give up 
their infantile fantasies."

But that's not how Roszak reads it. The second view, his own, is to see "the 
psyche at war" with itself. Each of us contains a critical intellect, but 
also "the innate human need for transcendence." Philosophy used to bridge 
the gap, but today's postmodernists have nothing to offer in that vein, 
having made a fetish instead out of "deconstructing" language rather than 
asking the questions of Socrates: What is the good? What is life's purpose?

Roszak argues that when super-rational scientists and academics "scorn and 
scold, debunk and denigrate more fiercely" the longing for wonder within 
each of us, it is "like scolding starving people for eating out of garbage 
cans, while providing them no more wholesome food." Over the phone, Deepak 
Chopra demonstrates his grasp of the opportunity presented. "People have 
always wondered, 'Who am I? Where do I come from?
What is the meaning of existence? Is there a God? Does he care about me? Is 
the Earth just a capricious anomaly in the junkyard of infinity? What the 
heck is going on?'" 

Those indeed are questions that war within our psyches, even as they resist 
the withering skepticism of science as their answer. A further question, 
however, is this. Why do so many people believe the answers provided by 
Deepak Chopra? 
- - - - - - - - - - - -

Part of the answer to that lies outside the window of Helen's Grill, in that 
terrifying haiku of a headline. "'Amazing' teen killed in Whistler crash." 
To read it is to want a reason, and a method of evading whatever cruelness 
kills teenagers who thought they'd kill a day snowboarding, whatever 
cruelness may next touch us.

In his many books, tapes, lectures, product catalogs and appearances, Chopra 
is saying what teenagers, among others, like to say these days: "It's all 
good." He's saying that . . .

No claim of the miraculous, the magical can be ruled out. "Some people 
vibrate at a frequency of consciousness such that that they can see an 
angel; far more can vibrate at a frequency to perceive an automobile," 

Chopra tells me. He explains that nothing is real except consciousness, and 
so whatever your consciousness experiences -- clairvoyance, astral 
projection, channeling, visits by ghosts or aliens -- is real for that 
person. I ask: "So there is no way for anyone else to evaluate whether that 
experience is real?" Chopra answers, "You have no way to evaluate it." You 
need accept no limits, physical or financial. Noting that the title of one 
of his books is "Creating Affluence: Wealth Consciousness in the Field of 
All Possibilities,"

I tell Chopra I was raised by my Catholic mother to curb material longing, 
to remember Christ's teachings about the rich man and the eye of the needle. 
Growing up blue-collar in the Depression era, this teaching no doubt 
afforded her people some comfort. Chopra replies that "wealth is an 
expression of the spirit" and that because those without money always obsess 
about getting it, "the solution is to help everybody have wealth." 

But is there a conflict between desiring wealth, and seeking God? "Why 
should material success be an impediment to spirituality?" he responds. 
"Keep increasing your desires until nothing satisfies you except God.

Wanting material wealth is part of that." Chopra himself has the lifestyle 
and some of the problems of a rich celebrity. He's spent a lot of time in 
court fighting those he claims are out to ruin his good name and extort his 
money. In one case he won a $1.6 million dollar settlement and apology from 
the Weekly Standard magazine, which he says libeled him with a prostitute 
story. More recently, he dropped a lawsuit against a former co-worker he 
claims was trying to blackmail him.

But Chopra is adamant that wealth has not changed him. "If I have the 
ability to create wealth, why would I think about it? Where my wealth comes 
from is inexhaustible. Consciousness is the source of anything, and that 
includes wealth. And consciousness is without limits." 

You -- not nature, God or dumb luck -- determine your fate. 

"Happy thoughts change molecules" is one of Chopra's common declarations.
Happy thoughts can defeat a specific disease like cancer, and they can stop 
the aging process.

"If you can wiggle your toes with a mere flicker of an intention, why can't 
you reset your biological clock?" he has said. "The reason most people can't 
do it is because, first, they never thought of it and secondly they think 
that certain things are easier to do than other things. [But] the same 
principles apply everywhere in the body." You -- and everything else -- 
shall fit together as one. As Chopra teaches, ancient folk medicine need not 
conflict with latest science; they can be melded into a seamless synthesis. 

As can differing dogma: Christ, Buddha, Mohammed, they all had it right in 
their own way. Similarly, a clean and ordered template can be stamped on 
each person's churning emotions and conflicting instincts.

In laying it all out, Chopra makes use of the scientific precision of 
numbers, the ordering of stages, the listing of corresponding physical and 
spiritual traits. The "range of built-in mechanisms" that are "directly 
related to spiritual experience" according to Chopra are:

1. Flight-or-fight response. 
2. Reactive response. 
3. Restful awareness response. 
4. Intuitive response. 
5. Creative response. 
6. Visionary response. 
7. Sacred response.

When mechanisms, traits or stages are listed in "How to Know God" they 
usually add up to seven. And the seventh is always the most pure or complete 
or one with God and the universe. Chopra's message is the bedrock of New 
Age: All the screwed-up mess of life shall be resolved through an ordered 
progression towards harmony.

Spiritual transformation is readily procured. Deepak Chopra is the "regular 
guy" who asks why, if you can wiggle your toes, you can't stop aging, earn 
buckets of money, achieve bliss. At a moment when consumer choice equals 
democratic participation in many people's minds, Chopra's organization has 
innumerable products to sell you, from OptiWoman herbs sold under the 
Ageless Body, Timeless Mind logo, to seminars on "Time-based awareness, 
versus timeless awareness -- the path to immortality." You may purchase 
exactly what Chopra sells to Demi Moore. The secret to his acceptability on 
"Larry King Live," on "Oprah," on U.S. public television pledge nights, is 
that he presents himself not as exotic but as accessible, clean shaven in 
suit and tie.

My mother-in-law finds him "charming." Some academics like to describe and 
analyze public life as a matter of "competing discourses." They mean that 
behind the specifics of what anybody is talking about, whether it be sex, 
free trade or finding God, are the embedded assumptions, fears and desires 
that shape the lines of argument.

As discourses go, Deepak Chopra has either shrewdly crafted or innocently 
arrived at a real winner. His "It's all good" discourse steamrolls over the 
assumption behind competitors like, say, traditional Christianity that 
preaches modesty and acceptance of this difficult world in order to inherit 
the next. Or social justice advocates, who want us to see that wealth is 
distributed unfairly through wile and the brute power of institutions. Or 
Roszak's "secular humanist" rationalists, who would have our fates be 
accidents of evolution.

The tough sell for these discourses, unlike Chopra's, is that they want us 
to bow to limits, accept uncertainty, give up individual power and control, 
to imagine that any real spiritual progress must come through hard choices, 
hard work. Even then, you will never achieve absolute perfection, or 
absolute protection.

"'Amazing' teen killed in Whistler crash." Plain mean. That's how you look 
if you laugh at Chopra's ideas, or any belief system that allows people to 
feel safe within, yet capable of transcending, this world, this life, this 
vinyl and Formica refuge from the rain.

Then again, the more earnestly you contest the message of Deepak Chopra, the 
more you invite a patronizing smile from his believers. You have not made 
the leap yet, you have not opened yourself.

Even among the unconverted, you will likely encounter that admirable spirit 
of tolerance essential to making a pluralistic society go. "Who knows?" you 
will hear. "He may be right."

It's all good now, or it might be, at least. Which means that to grouse 
about the guru is to be out of step with the times. This is the era of the 
libertarian shrug, as well as the therapeutic reluctance to give offense. So 
perfectly does the current mood accommodate and reward the ambition of 
Deepak Chopra, you have to wonder. Maybe we all are but a perfect figment of 
the guy's imagination.

- - - - - - - - - - - - 

About the writer 
David Beers, author of "Blue Sky Dream," is a contributing writer to the 
Vancouver Sun newspaper, where a version of this article appeared.