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Of Self-Realization, Bliss, and Wholeness

ELLE sat down with Indian-American author Dr. Deepak Chopra

Deepak Chopra

Some people are born with the blessing of wisdom. Others gain it the hard way; it’s called practicing. Dr. Deepak Chopra, renowned Indian-American author and alternative medicine advocate, sits down with ELLE Egypt and shares his insights into spirituality, holistic healing, and the latest project Park St. Edition. 

Q: What initially inspired you to delve into the realms of spirituality and holistic healing?

A: I’m a medical doctor, I’ve been training in internal medicine and endocrinology and neuroscience so what inspired me was looking at the molecules of emotion in the brain; such as serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and opiates. These are molecules that transfer experience and consciousness into experience in biology.

Q: What advice do you have for individuals who are just beginning their spiritual journey?

A: Watch candid cameras or anything with humor or playfulness and you’ll get in touch with your spirituality.

Q: With the booming trend of holistic wellness, how do we differentiate between professional mentors and fake ones?

A: I think you have to make the decision on your own, whether someone is well credentialed or not. Sometimes, it connects with the basic training whether it’s in medicine or philosophy or religious color but ultimately the decision is what resonates with you.

Q: How do you think technology, particularly advancements in artificial intelligence and virtual reality, will impact spirituality and consciousness exploration?

A: My next book is called Digital Dharma, how to use AI to elevate spiritual intelligence and personal wellbeing. Even with modern AI you can use it as a personal confidant, a research assistant, a health coach and also as a spiritual guide. AI is a large language system that tries to mimic what happens in the brain. AI will never be conscious or have inherent intelligence. It’s basically all the information we have that has been expressed by humans in the fields of philosophy, religion, science or you can say any system of human thought; so AI gives you access to human thought or the system of human thought without having any inherent intelligence or consciousness, it doesn’t feel hungry, it doesn’t have existential dilemmas, does not have thirst or sexual urges but it can help you access those deepest access of yourself.

Q: Can you share a personal experience that profoundly influenced your spiritual beliefs and practices?

A: My personal experience is going beyond the experience of a person. I think in the deeper reality what we call a person is a provisional identity of a non local spiritual identity which is beyond space and time. So the personal experience always has to be transcendence of thought.

Q: How does Dr Deepak Chopra suggest individuals maintain the balance of life?

A: You can maintain balance by having fundamental intentions like a joyful energetic body, loving compassionate heart, clear reflective mind and lightness of being or spirit and then you cultivate everything in your environment, relationships and thinking to experience that through attention, affection, experience, appreciation and gratitude.

Q: What’s a question you’ve longed to get an answer for but never did?

A: I have never experienced a question that doesn’t offer an answer including who am I, what do I want, what’s my purpose, what am i grateful for, what is the meaning of existence. I think people don’t ask these fundamental questions but they’re beginning to do so now.

Q: How important is it to you to live in an environment like Park St. Edition that supports your lifestyle?

A: You’re in an environment that includes your thoughts, feelings, emotions, imaginations, longings and your aspirations. You simply have to ask yourself: What do I want? And whatever answer comes to you in the form of sensation, feelings and thoughts.

Q: Eco conscious living is a construct that has always been a part of ancient societies. How does Dr Deepak Chopra feel now that it’s coming back with projects like Park St Edition?

A: Well projects like ones we’re engaged in, resurrecting the idea that the environment is our extended body and if you put the rabbit in a vacuum it dies, and put a plant in a vacuum it dies put them both together, they thrive. What we call the environment in our extended body. This idea has been present in ancient wisdom traditions. But now it’s becoming much more important because they way we’re currently living is destroying our microbiome, which is most of the genetic information in out body, which is also separating us from our extended body which we call the environment, so if you want a more peaceful, just, sustainable, healthier and joyful world then we have to resurrect the environment as our extended body.

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