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Larry King Live Weekend
Deepak Chopra Talks About 'How to Know God'Aired March 18, 2000 - 9:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: He's been called guru to the stars and the poet prophet of alternative medicine -- best-selling author Deepak Chopra is our guest for the full hour. He's next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Great pleasure to have as our special guests tonight for the full program: Deepak Chopra. He's been with us many times. Also nice to have him solo. He's got a new hit book out already the best-seller list called "How to Know God." This is his 25th book. He's the CEO and founder of the Chopra Center for Well-Being. And in 1999, "Time" magazine selected him as one of its 100 icons and heroes of the century.
Before we talk about the book, what are you? You're a doctor, right?
DEEPAK CHOPRA, AUTHOR, "HOW TO KNOW GOD": I'm a medical doctor. I'm an internist.
KING: You're a physician?
CHOPRA: I'm a physician.
KING: You could hang up a shingle tomorrow night and prescribe Aspirin?
CHOPRA: Yes, I have a license to practice medicine in Massachusetts.
KING: When did you go off the different path? When you were going to medical school did you think of this?
CHOPRA: Not really. It's about 20 years now, Larry.
KING: What happened?
CHOPRA: I started feeling like a bit of a legalized drug pusher.
KING: You were practicing medicine?
CHOPRA: I was practicing medicine and was teaching at Boston University School of Medicine. I was an assistant clinical professor.
KING: Originally from India?
CHOPRA: I'm originally from India. Also teaching at Harvard and taught the endocrine (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and practicing diabetes, but I felt that I spent my days writing prescriptions mostly for tranquilizers, and sleeping pills and anti-hypertensers and painkillers, so I started to question what I was doing?
KING: And? Did that lead you to -- did you have a mentor? What did you do with the question?
CHOPRA: I did a lot of reading. I went back to ancient wisdom traditions, particularly in India, but also China, started to examine the healing practices of different cultures, and came to the conclusion that we look at the mechanisms of illness in modern medicine. We don't look at the origins of illness. The origins of illness have to do with how we live our lives, what we do everyday -- eating, breathing, digestion, metabolism, elimination, how we experience the world through the senses, how we think, the inner world of thoughts, feelings.
KING: They're are more and more people believing that now, right, more and more medical people?
CHOPRA: In fact, every medical school almost that I know of has now teaching programs where they at least have some courses in complementary or what they call integrated medicine.
KING: But you don't deny the pharmaceutical industry, you don't deny the benefit of it?
CHOPRA: Absolutely not. I mean, if you broke your leg right now or you had pneumonia, no amount of mediation would help. You'd have to have acute treatment for that.
On the other hand, a number of chronic illnesses, even cancer, heart disease, various types of arthritis, bronchial asthma, these are amenable to other approaches.
KING: So you no longer practice medicine, right?
CHOPRA: I have a center in California where I have a group of doctors who practice who practice one-to-one patient care, and I give workshops to these patients. So I will meet with the patients in a group setting, answer their questions.
KING: You don't have to write prescriptions anymore?
KING: But you can, right? You could write one out as a doctor, you could, right?
KING: And you got known, what, through an early book? CHOPRA: One of my earlier books that was very successful was "Quantum Healing," and then of course "Perfect Health," and then I had "Ageless Body, Timeless Mind," which was an all-time best seller and then "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success."
KING: And you also got well known because a lot of famous people in Hollywood and elsewhere came to see you, right?
CHOPRA: Yes. I mean, the press pays a lot of attention to the celebrity association. It's not what I do most of the time. I'd say 99.99 percent of what I do has nothing do with celebrity.
KING: Why do you not use "Dr.?"
CHOPRA: I use "Dr." when I write a medical, book but I've written fiction. I wrote "The Return of Merlin." Remember, we were together for that? It hit the fiction bestseller list. I've written poetry, done music, so you know, there's no point using the "Dr." label when I'm doing these other things.
KING: And this book does not require the doctor label. So let us discuss its unusual title. "How to Know God," maybe the hardest question of all, right, because you can't prove him?
CHOPRA: Well, can you prove, Larry, that you have emotions? Can you prove that objectively, that you have memories?
KING: I can prove there's electricity. I don't know.
CHOPRA: That you have feelings? That you have emotions? All are experiences that we call subjective, are unprovable. There's no microscope through which I can look at a thought, or a feeling, or an emotion or a desire.
KING: But you could do a lie-detector test, which would show if I'm emotionally lying or not. You could do blood pressure.
CHOPRA: So you prove through circumstantial evidence, right?
KING: No. Strong circumstance.
CHOPRA: So the same thing applies to divine intelligence or infinite intelligence. To say that this universe was created accidentally is like saying a hurricane blew through your junkyard, and after it left, there was a Boeing 747 over there, and it's all accidental.
KING: Do you discredit the whole Big Bang Theory.
CHOPRA: I don't. In fact, that's the basic problem, this war between creationists on side and the evolutionists on the other side. I think evolution is a creative phenomenon in nature, and if you look at evolution, you'll see what are called quantum leaps in creativity, in the evolutionary process itself. Where does our creativity come from? Where does our imagination come from? Inside. Our understanding? (CROSSTALK)
KING: Where does an idea come from?
But if you say it can't be an accident, but you accept Big Bang, that's not an accident.
CHOPRA: Not an accident at all. You know, Big Bang is a singularity where space, time, matter, energy and information all exist as possibilities, and then they come forth from this singularity, which is a point that has no volume and infinite density.
I remember you -- just a few months ago, you were interviewing Stephen Hawking, and I happened to be watching the show, and you asked, "Do you believe in God?" And he said, yes, if by God you mean the laws, the physical laws, that structure the workings of the universe.
In fact, I was so impressed because only a few years ago, I had heard Stephen Hawking saying that "anything spiritual was a progressive decline in woolliness" -- quote, unquote, and now he's talking...
KING: So he's changed?
CHOPRA: He's changed. And you know, he's a mathematician, a physicists, so he looks at the world with his particular lens of mathematics. Those same mathematical laws represent elegance, and beauty, and harmony, and truth, and unity, and ultimately, love. Because what is love? Love is the inseparability of all life everywhere in the cosmos, and today's science is telling us that we are actually inseparably one. If we go beyond appearances, ultimately, we're made up of the same molecules, we share same the same feelings and emotions. And if you go deep, deep, deep inside my being, you'll come to an intelligence that's orchestrating the activity of this mind and this body, but it's also the intelligence that's orchestrating the activity of that mind and that body and everything else that's happening in the universe.
KING: We'll be right back. We've just started with Deepak Chopra, the author of "How to Know God."
Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Deepak Chopra.
You say the human brain is hardwired to know God. Explain that.
CHOPRA: The human brain is the only brain, Larry, that is aware of its awareness, that is conscious that it is conscious. The human brain also is the only brain through which we ask questions, like where did I come from? What am I doing here? Is there any meaning or purpose to my existence? What happens to me after I die? Is there a God? Does God care about me? Do I have a soul? Why do we ask these questions? we must be hardwired to at least ask the questions, right? We're also hardwired to experience humor, which is very different from any other animal. No other animal experiences humor.
KING: Animals don't laugh.
CHOPRA: We're also conscious of our mortality. We're all conscious that we're under death row. The only uncertainty is the method of execution and the length of reprieve.
KING: How about those who say the whole reason for God, the whole beginning, the whole interpretation of the word "God" is death. The fact that we die led us to search for something. If this is all there is, there has to be something after, or else, why not just pick the berries and dance the dances?
CHOPRA: And here's the magic: If you were to be consciously aware of your mortality all the time, which is what the great spiritual masters have said, then you would break through the mask of illusion, confront your soul, and that would be the validation for you of the existence of intelligence, because you're confusing yourself with your body and with your mind, and you have never had a chance to glimpse your soul or your spirit.
KING: But if know you're going to die and you want to live forever, it's a pretty good to say, someone up there is going to help me live forever. I mean, that's a great crutch.
CHOPRA: Yes, but the fact is it's a human question, a human endeavor.
KING: But some people have praised animals for that.
CHOPRA: No, animals don't have free will.
KING: Animals don't pollute. They don't pollute. They kill only for food.
CHOPRA: That's true. That's true. We are a very contradictory species. We are predators. We pollute. We kill each other. In the name of God and religion, we have practiced genocide, and murder, and rape, and ethnic cleansing, enslavement -- all of those things.
KING: What are rapping animals for? They don't do any of that.
CHOPRA: But they also -- animals don't have art, and creativity, and science and the meaningful questions of life. Animals don't understand the meaning of compassion. Animals don't think of the higher things that we do. We're a contradictory species. Jonah South (ph) said we're at a very critical phase in our evolution right now. We can go the way of animals as predators, or we can join hands with the harmonious and interaction of elements and forces that structure the whole universe and recognize that we are actually cocreators of reality.
KING: Isn't it, Deepak, to know God is our desire, frankly put, to live forever? We really want -- we don't want to die.
CHOPRA: But, Larry, we don't want to die, but we confuse ourselves with our bodies and our minds. There's an element here that doesn't die, and it's not to the your personal, physical body or even your personality. The fact is even your personality is a moment by moment fabrication which is based on all the things that you identify with.
KING: How do you know that? How do you know that the spirit lives?
CHOPRA: Through experience. You can get touch with that part of yourself today, Larry, that doesn't die. Even as we speak right now, can you just turn your attention to who is listening to me right now? Can you do that right now? Turn your attention to who is listening.
KING: I can do that.
CHOPRA: Do you feel a presence there.
KING: Yes, but I don't know if I'm imagining the presence, if I'm putting the presence there. You asked me -- you know, don't think about an elephant, you're going to think about an elephant.
CHOPRA: See. those who have practice the spiritual disciplines -- and it's not just one, thousands of people over thousands of years -- those who practice mediation, those who've practiced, like Mother Teresa, the act of love, unconditional love, they say there are four ways of finding God and knowing God: the way of action, which means do things for other people without selfish interest. Do your best and stay detached from the result. That's the way of action. The way of love make love: Make love the most important motivating factor for things that you do. The way of spiritual discipline prayer and mediation: There's a lot of research going on right now in the non- local effects of prayer and mediation.
And finally the scientific or intellectual approach: And today science is actually responsible, I would say, for what is going to be the climatic overthrow of the superstition of materialism, because science is telling us that the essential nature of the material world is that it's not material. The essential nature of the physical world is that it's not physical. The fact those people can watch us right now is because waves of information and energy are going right through these walls, through the traffic on the streets, through human bodies out into outer space. This energy and information is orchestrated by an intelligence into the workings of the cosmos.
KING: We'll ask Deepak in a minute if that intelligence judges us. The book, "How to Know God." The guest, Deepak Chopra. Right back.
KING: We're back with Deepak Chopra, author of "How to Know God," a book about which the Dalai Lama said, "I absolutely agree with Dr. Chopra's view that if we want to change the world, we have to begin by changing ourselves." This is the subject of spirituality with a scientific approach. And the subtitle is "The Soul's Journey into the Mystery of Mysteries."
The Western world would say that this God judges -- you did wrong, you did right, you sinned, you didn't sin, you're going here, you're going there -- do you agree with that?
CHOPRA: No, I don't. The fact is that we are part of a larger web of life, and of course when we damage that web of life, then what happens is we end up damaging our ourselves. If you abuse your body, you will suffer. There's no question about that. And if you abuse the larger web of life of which you're apart. You're a part of the biosphere, the ecosystem.
So in the East, there's a concept called "harima." "Harima" is your unique relationship with the ecosystem, that is the ecological balance. And when you damage that, because the Earth, and the planet and cosmos is your extended body, the trees are your lungs in a sense, and the Earth is your mother, and other beings are part of the inter- (UNINTELLIGIBLE), because we're all inseparably connected, so once we damage that larger web of life in which we are contained, then obviously because we're abusing our larger self, we end up hurting ourselves.
So that's basically where the East differs from West.
KING: But if you steal and are not caught and are not judged, so?
CHOPRA: You can suffer a lot emotionally. You have anguish. You feel guilty. This is the suffering that you cause on yourself. And unless you're a psychopath, in which case you should be treated for it anyway, ultimately, you are suffering. Anguish is suffering, too.
KING: Did -- when did you come, you, Deepak Chopra, to know God? Did you know him in medical school?
CHOPRA: You know, when I was 6 years old, 6 of age, my grandfather suddenly died after taking us out to the movies, and they cremated him the next morning. They brought him up in a little jar with ashes in it.
KING: In India?
CHOPRA: Yes. And threw him into the Ganges, and I started wondering where he had disappeared, and I went to medical school precisely with this idea: Do we have a soul? And if we have a soul, where is it? And of course medical school, the first thing you do is see a corpse. You're supposed to understand life by examining a dead body. It was not until after medical school, when I spent a lot of time with people who are dying. You know, I used to work an in an emergency room, and it's very interesting to see the different ways that people die. Ninety-nine point nine percent of the people who are brought to the emergency room in the throes of a major heart attack or some injury that was going to kill them, you would see panic on their face, you would see that they are terrified, that they didn't want to leave, and yet a sense of hopeless doom would overtake them. And then I've seen other people who die with a beatific expression on their face, in total peace, in total calmness.
What it taught me was that the quality of life determines the quality of death.
KING: How we die. We die as we live?
CHOPRA: We die as we live. And if during life you can get in touch with that part of yourself that doesn't die, and that's -- you see, that's why God has to be an experience. God cannot be a concept. God cannot be an idea. God cannot be some visualization. God has to be the absolute certainty of the immortality of existence. And if you don't have that, then you are going live in fear.
KING: What happens when you die? Do we come back? What do you think?
CHOPRA: Well, the soul goes into a period of incubation. When you go to sleep at night, your thoughts disappear. Your desires disappear. When you wake up in the morning, they're right there, OK. Similarly in death, the soul goes into incubation, it goes into what is called the virtual domain, which is just a field of possibilities. The context, the meanings, the relationships, the archetypal energies incubate, and then the soul takes a creative leap into a new context, a new set of relationships, a new pattern, a new location, in space time, a new body.
KING: So you come back?
CHOPRA: You come back.
KING: I'll ask you in a minute...
CHOPRA: In fact, you don't go anywhere.
KING: OK. I'll ask you in a minute, why don't you know it?
We'll be right back with Deepak Chopra. His extraordinary book is "How to Know God."
This is LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
KING: We are back with Deepak Chopra.
If I live before and I'm in another body but I don't know it, if I don't know, so?
CHOPRA: But you remember, Larry, what you did two weeks ago on Tuesday morning?
CHOPRA: Why not? You don't remember what you did two weeks ago, how are you expected to remember what you did in a previous lifetime?
KING: So what does it mean if I had one or didn't have one if I don't remember it?
CHOPRA: Well, in the interest of expenditure of energy, you only remember the things that you need to remember. So if last Tuesday you were having dinner with your wife, and it was her birthday, and you opened a bottle of champagne and you celebrated, you would remember it. Under hypnosis, under regression, people can remember significant events from former lifetimes. There are studies by Dr. Ian Stevenson in Duke University. He has looked at children who remember previous lifetimes, very clearly can name the street addresses, the names of the people that they knew before, et cetera, et cetera. There's a body of research in India, published research.
So the fact is, that if you take the trouble to remember, you can remember. You have deja vu experience, you know, And those deja vu experiences are incidents that trigger a virtual memory into a natural memory, and what your soul is a bundle of memories.
KING: You say, "The aim of spirituality is to learn to cooperate with God, and most of us have been raise today do the opposite." What do you did you mean?
CHOPRA: Well, God is that part of our awareness, where we experience our universality, where we experience love, where we experience healing, where we experience the world of the magical and the miraculous, but you know, when you think of it, "miracle" comes from the word "mirus" in Latin, which means to be struck with wonder, and the reason you're struck with wonder is you don't understand what happened. Once you understand it, you don't call it a miracle, you call it science. Yesterday's miracles are today's science, and today's miracles will be tomorrow's science.
Today's studies show that when you get in touch with this deeper part of yourself, which is not personal, which is more universal, then extraordinary things start to happen in your body. You know, there was a study in the '80s that said if you watched Mother Theresa on television and you measured the antibodies in your saliva, IGE, they would go up. Watching Mother Teresa heals you, stimulates your immune system, even on TV. Now...
KING: They know that prayer does that.
CHOPRA: Prayer these days, we know that even if people don't know they're being prayed for. Heart attack victims who don't recognize that they've been parade for, they have a much better outcome.
KING: On healing, we don't know why it gives Jones cancer and Smith not, do we?
CHOPRA: We don't know, because it's a very complex thing. It has to do with how we have lived our lives, what we have eaten, our relationships, millions of things.
KING: A baby may have that.
CHOPRA: A baby may have genetic predisposition to a certain...
KING: And even that baby's soul goes on, goes somewhere else.
CHOPRA: That babies soul goes on. And babies are ancient souls. You look into you eyes and you can see that their's an ancient wisdom over there. You're baby shows all kinds of things. There's unlearned responses. And there's a wisdom there, there's an inner-intelligence that mirrors the wisdom of the universe.
KING: Back with Deepak Chopra. That I can't deny. The book is "How to Know God."
We'll be right back.
KING: We're back Deepak Chopra. His new book, "How to Know God," already a bestseller.
You list seven types of responses we should explore: fight or flight, reactive, restful awareness, intuitive, creative, visionary, sacred.
Break them down for me. Fight or flight?
CHOPRA: Fight or flight -- when I perceive a threat, I either run or I fight. It's a primordial survival response that we developed when we were in the forest and ferocious animals would eat us up if we didn't either fight or run.
The reactive response is when my ego is offended. I try and control. I seek approval. I manipulate. There are four types of control drama that people participate in: the nice, the nasty, the indifferent and poor me -- playing the victim.
The third response is the response that Christ calls the peace that passes understanding. Or the Bible in Psalms 44 says, "Be still and know that I am God." It's to be centered in the midst of turbulence, to find that place of silence inside you, and that's through mediation. There is lots of research on that now.
The fourth response is the intuitive response, and this is when you go into that silence and you ask a question. Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened to you. The intuitive response is a contextual, relational, holistic, nourishing, wise, intelligence that you access. You actually eavesdrop on the mind of God. And everybody has intuition. It's a gut feeling. And there's a lot of science now about it.
KING: Sometimes it's wrong.
CHOPRA: Well, sometimes it's wrong when it's a gut feeling that's based on your ego needs. When your gut feeling comes from, what should I do so I can help other people? What should I do so I can experience the feeling of love and compassion and interconnectedness? You will never be wrong about your gut feeling.
KING: What's the creative aspect?
CHOPRA: The creative response is when you create something that never existed before. So, you know, art, science, invention, discovery, but also things like synchronicity, meaningful coincidences, the orchestration of events in your life so you become co-creators with God. The creative response comes when you have an intended outcome, you gather information, you reshuffle information, you go into incubation, and then you have a sudden insight. And if the insight is right, you get inspired. Then you implement it, and you integrate with everything else. That's how all great art and science was discovered.
KING: And visionary?
CHOPRA: Visionary is when you go to a level of awareness where you tap into too your spiritual inheritance, which means you can tap into the consciousness of Christ or Buddha or Lao Tse or Mahatma Gandhi or Mother Teresa. You can look at the world as they would see it, and that's a very non-personal domain of awareness. The inner dialog is no longer me, mine, your inner dialogue is we, us, the absolute. So you don't come from your skin-encapsulated ego as your internal reference point.
KING: And the sacred?
CHOPRA: You go right to the source, and you see the world as a projection of the spirit. And you recognize that the spirit inside you is the same as the spirit inside everything else.
KING: What do you do when you see flooding in Africa, death of children, Holocaust?
CHOPRA: I look at that -- see, there are two forces in the universe that are always competing with each other. One is the force of entropy and decay, the other is the force careful of creativity and evolution. And we participate in the balance of these forces by our collective choices.
When our collective choices damage the biosphere or the ecosystem, then you see havoc in nature. And you say, what does havoc in nature have to do with what's happening in the turbulence in my mind? Well, the fact is that your mind and the information and energy fields of your mind are part of nature's mind. And in the old days, they would say, you're doing bad things. God is punishing you, so he's going to send you an earthquake. But if you look at it, we are not outside nature.
You know, there's a poem by the great Sufi Rumi. He says, "I have lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons, knocking at the door. The door opens. I've been knocking from the inside."
We're not outside nature, Larry. When we have great turbulence in our collective psyche, when we have a collective madness, when we have a collective psychosis, then we create the tyrants. We create the Saddam Husseins, we create the Hitlers, because those are manifestations of our collective madness.
KING: Who created the earthquake or the typhoon?
CHOPRA: There's not not such a thing as who created it. We collectively participate in the creation of everything that happens.
KING: Including the earthquake?
CHOPRA: There are studies that if you have a collective mass of people, a critical mass of people, who meditate and go into silence, then the Earth's turbulence will also settle down, because we are connected to those fields. You know, your animals, cats and dogs, can sense earthquakes before they happen. Why can they do that? Because their mind, their consciousness, and the information and energy fields of the Earth are part of one. You know, we come out of the Earth, we're not separate from the Earth. We're recycled dust.
KING: What do you do when you have doubts? And everyone has doubts...
CHOPRA: When I have...
KING: ... That's a human emotion.
CHOPRA: When I have doubts, I go into my inner stillness, and I say, thy will be done, the Lord is my shepherd, and just let go of my idea of how things should be, trusting that I don't know the big picture. My limited mind can't...
KING: Same when you have illness?
CHOPRA: When I have illness, I...
KING: When you have anger?
CHOPRA: When I have anger -- I'll tell you a thing that anybody can practice, anybody can practice. If you have a certain thing that you want, whatever it is -- you want to get healed, you want a certain desire fulfilled, you want somebody to pay attention to you, you want some degree of success -- have the intention, write it down maybe, then close your eyes. Just let it go. Start repeating mentally a phrase like, thy will be done or the Lord is my shepherd. Let that phrase take you to the stillness and then let go. Relinquish that intention to the larger mind of which you are a part and you may not understand the grand scheme of things.
Many people, thousands of years, have practiced this.
KING: Let it happen.
CHOPRA: Let it happen.
KING: Back with Deepak Chopra. The book is "How to Know God."
Don't go away.
KING: The book also deals with genius, telepathy, past lives -- as we've discussed -- multiple personalities, clairvoyance, we discussed healing.
You believe you can heal yourself?
CHOPRA: I believe that our bodies have pharmacies that have evolved over millions of years of evolutionary time. Your body makes tranquilizers and sleeping pills and immunomodulators and antibodies. You name it, the human body can make it in the right dose.
KING: It also makes cancer and heart disease.
CHOPRA: When there is imbalance, when there is imbalance, you know? And so there is a certain responsibility on that to maintain balance personally, but also collectively.
KING: What is genius?
CHOPRA: Genius is when you, a certain part of your mind, taps into the infinite creative mind, which is in the submanifest order of being. So it doesn't mean a genius is necessarily more spiritual or anything, it's just that one is tuned into one frequency of the creative mind.
KING: Isn't it more use of the percentage of the brain?
CHOPRA: It may not be. There are studies that show that the brain is not necessarily larger or more use, it's just a particular frequency.
KING: I mean, what do we use, 11 percent of our brain?
CHOPRA: We normally use less than 10 percent.
KING: All right, does a genius use 12 percent?
CHOPRA: No, not necessarily, Larry. You know, a mathematical genius has that part of the brain that's activated for mathematics. And maybe otherwise a not-very-ordinary person may not be able to tie their shoes, you know? They may not have any creativity at all, whatsoever. So when we look at genius or child prodigies or musical geniuses or idiot savants, these are clues to the mystery of that infinitely creative mind that we can tap into.
You know, it's like turning CNN is different than turning 101.4 FM. You get different information. Whereas, the infinite mind is the repository of all the information that's necessary to create the world. It's the immeasurable potential of all that was, all that is and all that will be.
KING: Believe in telepathy?
CHOPRA: Absolutely. Telepathy is the simultaneous actualization of information in two nervous systems at the same time. So the same thought occurs. It's not that I send you a thought. The same thought occurs in your mind as it occurs in mine, especially if you're tuned in. If you're intensely in love with someone, for example, if you have a very close relationship, you're bonded, you may get the same idea at the same time.
KING: Soul mates?
CHOPRA: Soul mates are souls that are vibrating at the same frequency and the same degree of evolution in their cosmic journey.
KING: You're saying all is possible?
CHOPRA: I'm saying our soul and spirit is a field of infinite possibilities. Anything the human mind can imagine is possible and more.
KING: How do you explain multiple personalities?
CHOPRA: Well, in a sense we all have multiple personalities. You know, right now the personality you're displaying to me is the one who does the show. But you have the personality of a father, you have the personality of a husband, a lover, et cetera.
KING: They don't drive me nuts. They don't...
CHOPRA: They're all integrated. They're all integrated. Multiple personalities is when the pathology occurs when the integration between these different parts of yourself is lost. So multiple personality is just a lack of integration of these different aspects of yourself.
KING: And is curable when we see it in its severest end?
CHOPRA: It can be curable. It's fascinating that, you know, one personality may have diabetes, and the other personality switches, may have dismennohea (ph) or menstrual cramps, and the third personality may have asthma. And this is a really good proof of the mind-body connection, when one personality has one set of disorders, and another personality has a completely different set of disorders.
KING: And clairvoyance, that sixth sense?
CHOPRA: Clairvoyance is the ability to go into the submanifest order of being. It's like, you know, if you're playing a CD for example and listening only to channel -- to, say, track 11. You know that there's track 13, 14, 15 and 16, but you're not listening to it. But you could switch on and listen to track 15. Clairvoyance is similarly you go to the submanifest order of being, which is your spirit, which has all the tracks laid out already, and you tap into a track that normally is in this material world in the future. But in the submanifest world, it's all there simultaneously.
When you're reading a book, you're reading page 53. The story -- the book also contains the story on page 156, only the quality of your attention is such that you're on 53. Some people have this ability to shift their awareness to different frequencies or domains of that immeasurable potential that contains past, future and present all in one continuum.
KING: Do you think we learn had a lot from identical twins?
CHOPRA: We do learn a lot...
KING: They know when the other is calling when the phone rings?
CHOPRA: Yes, but, see, identical twins have exactly the same DNA.
CHOPRA: OK, they were in the same womb. They got all the same nourishment, and yet even at birth they have different personalities. How do you explain that? The only way you can explain that is when you say they have different souls. So the soul is not in the DNA, just like Shakespeare's not in the ink when you read Shakespeare. The soul uses the DNA to express itself, and each soul is unique, absolutely unique. And you can see that even in identical twins. A pediatrician will tell you that they have different personalities...
KING: Of course.
CHOPRA: ... at the moment of birth.
KING: Where is God?
CHOPRA: There is nowhere where God is not. God is not difficult to find. God is impossible to avoid, because God is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. God is the infinite presence of spirit that orchestrates the fabric of space-time, information, matter and energy. So all it requires is a shift in our perception, a little different quality of perception.
Next time you look at a flower, see that it is also rainbows and sunshine and earth and water and wind and the infinite void and the whole history of creation. Go beyond that and you'll feel the presence of spirit. If you can't find God in a flower, you're not going to find God in a book of religion.
KING: But how do you explain the different beliefs that Christ thought it was Judaism -- or his form of Judaism, Mohammed thought it was another route, he thinks he's it's another route, he believes he's up there.
CHOPRA: But, see, Larry, I think -- I don't think Christ was a Christian, I don't think Buddha was a Buddhist, and I don't think Mohammed was a Mohammedan. These are ideologies and dogmas that came for political reasons afterwards.
KING: Given to them, yes.
CHOPRA: Afterwards. These are very...
KING: Yes, Christ never formed a religion.
CHOPRA: No, he was -- he channeled the absolute through himself. And...
KING: So when he talked about father, what do you think he was meaning?
CHOPRA: He said, I and my father are one, and you and me are one. In that we are inseparably one. And, in fact, if you look at the original Hebrew name of Christ, Jeshua Bar Alaha...
CHOPRA: Yes, Yaweh Bar Alaha, which means, Alaha is the word on Hebrew which says the sacred union, that we are all inseparably part of that eternal conference.
KING: We'll be back with Deepak Chopra, author of "How to Know God." It's his 25th book.
Don't go away.
KING: In how to know God, Deepak, you write about healing the gap between belief and everyday reality. That's an almost daily conflict, isn't it?
KING: To believe something and then have reality -- you know, the car runs over the child.
CHOPRA: Right, and I also believe that if something is real, you don't have to resort to belief. I mean, I don't have to believe in gravity in order to experience gravity. I don't have to believe in electricity in order to see that lightbulb. And nor should I have to believe in God to experience God. I should have the experience, and, as the great wisdom traditions have said, there is a way to have the experience: the way of action, the way of love, the way of service, the way of prayer and meditation, the way of science, the way of science, the way of the intellect, the way of devotion, the way of worship. Practice this, and then you'll recognize that it becomes real for you.
KING: Does it make you optimistic all the time?
CHOPRA: It makes you more real, because you recognize that life is the play of opposites, the sinner and the saint, the divine and the diabolical, the sacred and the profane, the dark night of the soul, the beatitude of paradise. And you become comfortable with that. You don't get caught up in the melodrama and hysteria of every day existence, where we say, I want pleasure but I cannot face pain. That's what leads to our addictive society. You know, our addictive society is a compulsion-based behavior that we have because we are so stuck on instant gratification.
KING: But do you believe -- if a group of farmers go out into a field in a drought and pray for rain, shouldn't they bring umbrellas if they really believe?
CHOPRA: They should. And actually they will bring rain if they do it with detachment, if they can tap into that inner silence, it is possible for us all to be rain makers.
KING: So you -- that's an optimistic belief, right? That's an...
CHOPRA: It's a belief based on the experience of many thousands of years of spiritual navigation and exploration by our ancestors. And we have gotten way from that because we think our ancestors were primitive, that they didn't know -- didn't have any scientific understanding, when, in fact, they more in touch with their spiritual nature.
KING: How about the agnostic. the agnostic who says in the poem "Invictus," "It matters now how straight the gate, how charged with punishment the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul."
CHOPRA: Yes, depends on who you refer to when you use the word "I." If you're referring to your personality, then you're an ego maniac. If you're referring to the spirit, then you're absolutely right, You are the master of your fate.
KING: But that does not enter -- that does not deny God by being the master...
CHOPRA: See, even in your denial, you affirm and validate the existence. Who's denying? Is the brain denying? I'm the user of this brain, I'm not the brain. This is an instrument. Don't confuse me with the instrument that I use. So even when you say, I doubt, then you imply the existence of a doubter. Now find out who that doubter is, and it may be your ticket to freedom.
KING: Do you think -- that same poem says the bludgeonings of chance. How much in life is turning left, turning right?
CHOPRA: If we are totally unaware, if we live as bundles of conditioned reflexes that are constantly being triggered by people and circumstance, than everything is deterministic.
On the other hand, once we start to become aware, once we start to view things from the level of the spirit, we find there are choices at every moment and that, in fact, ultimately there are infinite choices. So you have determinism on this level, freedom on this level, and then there's a whole hierarchy of the play within determinism and freedom in between.
KING: Does this mean that you do not fear death?
CHOPRA: I do not fear the unknown, because I recognize that it is the known that keeps me a prisoner. And, in fact, there is -- the known is an illusion. We live and breathe and move in the unknown, Larry. I could walk out of here five minutes from now, and I don't know what could happen to me. And so start living in the unknown at this moment, and you will not fear death. Because ultimately you will know the unknown. The unknown is ever known to you, if you can free yourself from the past.
KING: Maybe we fear the method of death.
CHOPRA: We do, and that really depends on the quality of our life. You know, the Tibetans have these meditations, Dalai Lama and others, where they take you through the whole process of death before you die so you don't have to fear it anymore.
KING: Back with our remaining moments with Deepak Chopra. His newest: "How to Know God."
I'm Larry King. Don't go away.
KING: We're back with our remaining moments with Deepak Chopra. Can all religions accommodate this theory? Could a devout Catholic read this book and nod his head?
CHOPRA: I don't know about a devout Catholic, but I do know about a devout Christian could nod his head. You know, if you look at the Gnostic Gospels, if you look at the Gospel according to Thomas, if you look at all the Christian literature that existed before that famous meeting in Constantinople in the year 325 by King Constantine, Christ was one of the greatest mystics of all time. He knew everything that has been ever said in the Eastern traditions.
And if you look at the -- if you look at the Old Testament, you know, when Moses asked God, who are you? God said, I am that I am. When Christ in the Gospel of John says, before Abraham was, I am. The very word Abraham comes and is related to the Eastern word brahman, which means "the primordial being." So when you start looking, as paleo-linguistic anthropologists do, at the common roots of the various religions and traditions, you find that it's all universal. Truth has to be universal. It can't be your domain or my domain.
KING: Of course. Are we experiencing a religious awakening here?
CHOPRA: I think we are experiencing a spiritual awakening. You know, I like to think that religion is for those who are afraid of going to hell and spirituality is for those who have already been there.
KING: Do you ever miss practicing medicine? Plain, every-day, "I'll set your arm"?
CHOPRA: I miss the contact between a person and myself, but it's very difficult for me now to decide who I should see and who I shouldn't see. So I gather patients in workshops and in small groups and answer their questions.
KING: Will we cure disease? First you have to define it, I guess. It's not...
CHOPRA: We will cure disease.
KING: It's a hard word to define.
CHOPRA: We will cure disease, but we must recognize that it will not be enough for us to be superb technicians who know everything about the human body and lousy healers who know nothing about the human soul. We will cure diseases very dramatically in the next few years, Larry. In the next -- less than 10 years, you'll be able to replace your heart with a little bit of skin from your mucus membranes, a little bit of cells. The Human Genome Project is around the corner. You'll be able to not only replace any organ in your body, but it will be 20 years younger.
KING: What do we do then when you live to 120?
CHOPRA: We'll have to tackle those social issues. They're big dilemmas that are coming now in the future, as people will live longer, healthier. We need to start revering our elders. We need to see that they have the wisdom of experience, and tomorrow they'll have the biology of youth as well. That's a formidable combination.
KING: So that means you're going to work longer? You're going to have enormous economic consequences.
CHOPRA: I think our social structure -- no, I think the elders could actually contribute to the economy of our future. And we are to have in the future a wisdom-based economy. You know, in the age of the hunter-gatherer, it was weapons of destruction that were the sources of economy. In the age of industry it was minerals, in the age of agriculture it was agricultural products. Today, it's information. What is information? A piece of dust, a silicon chip with some information in it, data in it. Tomorrow, the sources of wealth have to be wisdom-based, those that nurture the ecosystem, the biosphere and our unique and sacred relationship with it.
KING: Do you ever have a desire to go back home?
CHOPRA: I go very frequently. I...
CHOPRA: My nurturing is from my home, you know? Yes, I might, I might. It doesn't matter. We're gypsies here, you know? Every day a different house, each night under the stars. We're here for a short time.
KING: You don't think God favors one country or one people over another?
CHOPRA: I don't think so. In the name of God, we've practiced racism and bigotry and war and prejudice, and it's time we recognized that that's not the way to be sacred.
KING: When Mark Twain was faced with the choice of animals or people, he said, animals.
CHOPRA: I would say all sentient beings. That's what the Buddha would say. That's what his holiness, the Dalai Lama would say.
KING: Thank you, Deepak.
CHOPRA: Thanks, Larry, for having me.
KING: Deepak Chopra, 25 books, CEO and founder of the Chopra Center for Well-Being. In 1999, "Time" magazine selected him as one of its 100 icons and heroes of the century. And his new book is a best seller, "How to Know God."
For Deepak Chopra, yours truly, Larry King, and our entire crew in Los Angeles.
Thanks for joining us and good night.
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