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Larry King Live

Deepak Chopra Discusses `How to Know God'

Aired May 17, 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: Tonight, Clint Eastwood is ticked, and he's taking his case to Congress. Find out why when he joins us from Washington. And then, he may have written the ultimate how-to book. The topic: knowing God. The guest, Deepak Chopra in Los Angeles. He'll take your calls. They're both next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We begin with our friend Clint Eastwood, who's on deck in Washington. He'll testify tomorrow before the House Judiciary Subcommittee concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act. This act was passed in 1990.

What's the beef, Clint?

CLINT EASTWOOD, ACTOR/DIRECTOR: Well, there's no beef. We happen to like the American Disabilities Act, approve of it a great deal. Congressman Foley from Florida happens to be just introducing an amendment to the act that would allow for a notification period that would allow people to be notified before they have a suit filed against them, because what's happened now is the act has spawned all this small group of attorneys who are going out and going around and suing people and causing them to either go out of business or have to pay tremendous legal fees, and they get credit for everything you do after they do this.

KING: All right, yours is the Mission Ranch Inn, right, in Carmel?

EASTWOOD: The Mission Ranch Inn in Carmel. What happened to me is similar to stories you hear around the country now.

KING: What happened to you?

EASTWOOD: A person came to the Mission Ranch in 19 -- they said a year earlier, and they said they were denied service to a handicapped bathroom. That's when we had handicapped bathrooms. But they said they were denied service, and they said an employee told them there was none. Well, we couldn't find the employee that even remembered the person, and we couldn't find -- and the person couldn't identify the employee. So this person hired a lawyer...

KING: You got hit by the lawsuit cold?

EASTWOOD: So we got hit with a lawsuit cold, with no notification whatsoever. And this is legal at the moment, this hitting with a lawsuit. What Congressman Foley is trying to do is get at least a notification period. Evidently in the ADA Act, a plaintiff cannot claim damages, but the lawyers can get their fees. You can see how this was constructed.

KING: Wow. So you have to find the person first who will bring the case, and then the lawyer -- the lawyer just comes in -- in other words, you don't know anything about it, there's no notification, you just get sued one day?

EASTWOOD: Exactly. And the lawyers they do these cases all the time, and they get a few people, they go around, sometimes the same plaintiff turns up in dozens of cases, and in Florida there's one case where the same plaintiff is in 300 cases. So it just goes on and on and on. And what's happening is this is acting adversely to the disabled, and it's not giving them a break at all, because what we would like to do is strengthen the law actually, by giving this -- in fact, I would just as soon if they would go ahead and allow them to sue for damage, but at least give the notification period on the front. That's the least they could do, is a fairness act.

KING: And what would be the notification time that would apply well to, like, small businesses?

EASTWOOD: Well, Representative Foley is looking at 90 days, which would give somebody 90 days of which could bring it up to conform. Unfortunately, what's happened in a lot of counties -- and Monterey County happens to be a smaller county -- is that you go through the planning commission, you go through the various planning departments, and they don't know, everybody is sort of guessing at it.

The Mission Ranch is a very, very old place. It's been there for many years. And I bought it mainly to preserve it. And so naturally, you have to bring it up to specs. Well, the first thing we did in 1988 is put in handicapped bathrooms and handicapped parking places, et cetera. But that's not good enough for these guys. They just come along and keep lint-picking you to death. The same plaintiff and lawyer did the Heritage House in Mendocino, which is another beautiful old place, and they've done other places. They even came after me in another restaurant I had at one time, but they dropped that one.

KING: Is this a form of kind of reverse ambulance chasing, in a sense?

EASTWOOD: It's not even reverse, it's just -- yes, it's just ambulance chasing, and that's in my opinion anyway. In my opinion it's just a bunch of morally corrupt people going around and sandbagging you, hitting you from..

KING: You could have -- being Clint Eastwood, I'm sure you could have settled this or got together with the person. You could have backed off, right? You could have just let it slide?

EASTWOOD: Well, you can back off and let it slide. The first dealings were with the insurance companies, and insurance companies, they like to settle very early, because then they just pass on the settlement to you, the insurance -- the insured person. That's you and me, and everyone that's watching your show right now. You have high rates all because of this sort of nonsense.

But anyway, in Florida, it's gotten so ridiculous that people -- there's a couple down there, there's a disabled couple, who opened a business only for disabled people, and they got sued. So it's gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. And I just think that somebody's got to do something about it.

Now I've got a trial that comes up in September, and that's also sort of a fixed thing. But what I'm seeing back here in talking to Congressman Foley is an awful lot of small people who can't afford it are getting screwed over by this type of behavior. And a small handful of lawyers are doing it, and the lawyers, in general, don't approve of this. But this small group does it.

KING: It doesn't affect your case, you still have to go to trial? They won't -- can't grandfather this?

EASTWOOD: Well, mine will go to trial, and I can take care of myself. But a lot of people can't afford this. I mean, if it's $2,000, $5,000. In my case, they're asking me for $576,000 to date. That's the fees they want. And so the lawyer decided he couldn't do it by himself, he had to bring in another firm, so you go in there, and you're sitting with a battery of lawyers, and they're running up the fees on you. Well, you know, I'm not going to roll over for that sort of thing.

KING: I know.

EASTWOOD: I've bagged groceries for 30 cents an hour, I've dug ditches -- I've done all this kind of things. I never thought the day would come when I have $500,000 dollars, much less give it to some lawyer.

KING: And to make it clear, you are a full supporter of the Americans with Disabilities Act?

EASTWOOD: Absolutely. Absolutely. We love the Americans with Disabilities Act. Nobody is trying to change that at all. We don't want to weaken it. We'd like to strengthen it, but this provision would be a fairness thing only. This is strictly nonpartisan. It's a fairness deal where the people have to give you 90-days notice, and then if you don't come up to compliance, then you're subject to whatever anybody wants to institute against you.

KING: You get a 90-day notice you don't have a ramp leading up here, or you don't have a parking space, or this bathroom needs work, and you have you 90 days to comply?

EASTWOOD: Exactly.

KING: Do you expect this to pass?

EASTWOOD: Well, I don't know, I'm hoping so. I hope that Congress will do it, because if they don't, there are hundreds of small businesses that are being in jeopardy right now, and they don't get a chance to defend themselves. A lot of them can't afford these legal fees.

KING: Clint, I thank you very much. You'll testify tomorrow. You'll be on "CROSSFIRE" tomorrow night. That should be interesting to watch.

EASTWOOD: I'll be on your station again tomorrow tonight.

Thank you, Larry.

KING: On "CROSSFIRE."

And we'll look for "Space Cowboys" this summer. You come back and bring the whole cast.

EASTWOOD: And congratulations on the coming event.

KING: My man Clint, thank you.

Clint Eastwood. He will testify tomorrow before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Foley Bill to make notification possible in the Americans with Disabilities Act. He has nothing against the act, and he'll be on "CROSSFIRE" tomorrow night.

Deepak Chopra is next.

Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: He is a physician, he is a counselor and he's a best- selling author. The book, his latest, is "How to Know God." When he appeared on this show the first time to discuss this book, it took off at number one. It went to number one in Amazon. It's been a major bestseller ever since, We thought we'd invite him back and take a lot more phone calls than last time. This has become an industry. There's also HowToKnowGod.com. What happens if you hit that?

DEEPAK CHOPRA, AUTHOR, "HOW TO KNOW GOD": You can have a conversation with other people who have read the book, but you can also ask questions and post your problems. And what the Web site does is, what HowToKnowGod.com does is it doesn't give you the answers, but gives you the tools to find the answers within yourself.

KING: Isn't that, frankly, the title, a little arrogant? Who are you to tell me how to know God?

CHOPRA: Well actually, the title comes from an ancient Vidanta text that was written thousands of years ago, and I used that text as the basis for this book. So what I'm doing is I'm expounding on a very ancient wisdom tradition that originally had that title.

KING: "How to Know God?"

CHOPRA: "How to Know God."

KING: What if someone... CHOPRA: Because in the tradition that I'm talking about, which is called Vidanta, to know God is a scientific process. You don't have to believe in God, you don't have to have faith in God, just like, you know, you don't have to believe in gravity to experience gravity, you don't have to believe in electricity to see a light bulb, so do the following things, and you'll have the experience.

KING: But I turn on the light switch to get light, gravity keeps me grounded, et cetera, but if I don't believe in God, why would I even approach the subject of wanting to know him?

CHOPRA: Yes. Obviously, the book is not for everyone.

KING: Not for the pure atheist, who says this is mish-mosh.

CHOPRA: I think if the atheist read the book, they would discover that they have a source of their creativity, of their insight, of their inspiration, of their understanding, of their knowingness, of their decision-making, of their free will, of their ultimate level of creativity, which gives rise to art and science, all mirrors the intelligence that's already inherent in the very fabric of the universe.

KING: All right, give us your definition of God?

CHOPRA: Well, you spell it G-O-D. The generator, the organizer and the deliverer of the universe.

KING: Is it a he?

CHOPRA: It's an intelligence. It's not -- you know, that's the other mistake we make, is we tend to project how we think of ourselves onto divinity. So divinity being infinite, unbounded, eternal, beyond space and time, is not a he or a she, it's a field of intelligence.

KING: Explained that way, it would be beyond understanding, wouldn't it?

CHOPRA: It would take you progressively to increasing levels of understanding until you actually could become intimate, and one with it and experience it within yourself. As Christ has said, "The kingdom of Heaven is inside you."

KING: And what got a physician interested in this?

CHOPRA: What got a physician interested in this...

KING: You are first a doctor?

CHOPRA: Yes, I'm a doctor. I've now seen what physicians call "spontaneous cures," which religious traditions have called miracles. The word "miracle" comes from the Latin word "mirari," which means to be filled with wonder.

KING: Every doctor has seen that, one or two or more, right? CHOPRA: Yes, occasionally something inexplicable. You take two patients, they have the same illness, the same degree of illness, you give them the same treatment, the same doctor, one guy gets healed. There are other factors that we're ignoring, and these factors have to do with spiritual experiences with an understanding of what is happening in the field of consciousness and how's it influencing your body.

KING: You write, "The aim of spirituality is to learn to cooperate with God. Most of us learned to do the opposite." What do you mean?

CHOPRA: Most of us think about God, we think of fear, and you know, we think of a God who rewards, who judges, who is more or less...

KING: The Old Testament got us to think that way -- slay my enemies. Do you believe? Save 10 people.

CHOPRA: But not all of the Old Testament, yes. The Book of Job, yes. In many cases, when you look at the Old Testament, the relationship of God is like the relationship of a child with a dysfunctional parent. You know, you love the parent, but you don't want to tell other people how mean the parent can be, and abusive even. And so you know, parts of the Old Testament represent that, but there are other parts. You know, you read the Psalms, says, "Be still, and know that I am God." Or when Moses asks God, "What's your name?" And God says, "I am that I am."

So if you look at Old Testament or if you look at the New Testament, you'll find more in the Old Testament than the New Testament, all the seven stages that I've described in the book "How to Know God."

KING: Do you completely believe in this force?

CHOPRA: I believe that nature is intelligent, that there is the orchestration of the infinite information and energy in nature, that space-time is structured out of a singularity, that mathematical laws that are very precise govern the workings of the universe, and therefore, I believe in an infinite intelligence that does that. You know, there are 300 million things that each cell in my body is doing. Every cell knows what the other cell is doing. A human body can think thought, play piano, kill toxins, and make a baby at the same time. And once it does that, it tracks the movement of stars. That's infinite intelligence.

KING: Do you believe that death ends it?

CHOPRA: I think death has a creative response of the soul. When the soul can no longer handle the information and energy as a body- mind because of overload through experience, what in the East we call "karmic overload," when the soul goes into incubation, and then it takes a creative leap. And this is something I learned from my friend Ahmad Gusuami (ph), who is a physicist. He says a creative leap is a new pattern, a new paradigm, a new way of organizing information and energy that has nothing to do with the previous pattern. So what many Eastern traditions call reincarnation is actually a creative, quantum nonalgorithmic jump from one pattern of the body...

KING: So what you're saying is that, for the simpletons in us, it doesn't end?

CHOPRA: It doesn't end, because it never began. It's beyond beginnings and endings.

KING: Is this the only universe?

CHOPRA: No. In fact we know from science even as you and I speak right now, there are stars that are exhausting their thermonuclear energy, collapsing into black holes, which are called singularities, and exploding on the other side through wormholes into multiple universe. There are multiple universes.

KING: Steven Hawking said that.

CHOPRA: Absolutely.

KING: We'll be right back with Deepak Chopra. The book is "How to Know God." We'll be taking your phone calls. This is LARRY KING LIVE.

Don Johnson Friday night.

Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We'll be taking your calls shortly for Deepak Chopra. We'll get a lot of calls in tonight. The book is "How to Know God." You can also check in with HowToKnowGod.com.

George Carlin did it as a comedy routine, but I'll ask it seriously. God is the creator. Who created God?

CHOPRA: God being the creator and being absolute is without beginning.

KING: So there was no beginning.

CHOPRA: There was no beginning, because as soon as you conceptualize a beginning, then your immediate question is what's there before the beginning. As soon as you conceptualize an ending, then your immediate dilemma is what's there after the ending? As soon as you conceptualize edges in space, then your immediate dilemma is what's after the outermost edge? So the way physicists come to terms with that...

KING: Big Bang.

CHOPRA: Yes. Well, singularity, which is pure potentiality. Pure potentiality means that it has information, energy, matter and the fabric of space-time in virtual form, which means it exists only as potential, and that's what God is, infinite potential. Where is the thought before you have it. Where is a...

KING: Potential?

CHOPRA: It exists as potential. It's not actually in your brain. Your brain actualizes the thought. Your soul...

KING: Where did it come from?

CHOPRA: It's non-local, it's beyond space-time.

KING: What's the first step toward knowing him, or her or it?

CHOPRA: The first step is the ability to sit down quietly, close your eyes and do nothing and listen to the silence within you. As the Bible says, "Be still and know that I am God," which literally means if you go in the gap within your thoughts, which is the window to your soul, you start to eavesdrop on the cosmic mind.

KING: That's an Eastern concept. But how do you to that when so many things get in the way?

CHOPRA: You just have to sit down and take the time, and if you do it on a regular basis, it becomes very profound. It's a learned ability. I taught my children to do this when they were 4 years of age. And they have been actually extraordinary children because they were grounded and centered from age 4 onwards.

KING: Are some children born with it.

CHOPRA: Some children are born with it, too, yes.

KING: You believe in old souls?

CHOPRA: I believe that every soul is ancient, yes.

KING: You been quoted as saying you don't practice any religion per se, you don't go anywhere on Sunday or Saturday, do you, to worship?

CHOPRA: No. No.

KING: You don't put that down, though?

CHOPRA: No, I don't put that down, but I do look at history of organized religion, and it's the history of murder, and rape, and ethnic cleansing, and war and pillage.

KING: That ain't God's fault.

CHOPRA: that's not God's fault.

KING: The messenger may have failed.

CHOPRA: Well, even the messenger. I don't think Buddha was a Buddhist or Mohammed was a Muslim or Christ was a Christian. They were the real messengers who had real experiences of God, and then, you know, the subsequent generations messed it up, because spirituality is so powerful that the religious leaders basically used it to control people throughout history.

KING: If you know God, are you happier?

CHOPRA: If you know God, you will have the ability to love and have compassion. You have the ability to experience spontaneous joy and spread it to others, you have a sense of meaning and purpose in your life and you have a sense of connection to the creative force of the universe, which expresses itself as your own creativity.

KING: Deepak Chopra is the guest. His runaway bestseller is "How to Know God." We'll be including your phone calls on LARRY KING LIVE.

By the way tomorrow night, Ann Graham Lotz will be with us. She's a preacher, an author and the daughter of Billy Graham.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Deepak Chopra, the caller is from Santa Barbara, California -- hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: I thank you for you. I thank God for you.

My question is, why is the word of God, the 10 Commandments, so thrashed all over the world today?

KING: What do you mean by slashed?

CALLER: Thrashed, abused, ignored?

KING: Why does nobody really follow them.

CHOPRA: Nobody follows anything that they think they must follow in order to avoid punishment or to be rewarded. The motivation for doing ethically correct things has to come from within. And if it comes from within, it will only come when there's a change in your perception of who you think you are and what your connection to God is.

KING: So putting it up in a classroom is meaningless?

CHOPRA: Putting it up in a classroom ultimately is meaningless because it invites rebelliousness.

KING: Don't tell me not to.

CHOPRA: What you need to do is educate children into what is the source of the creativity, into self-improvement. You know, we teach our children everything about the world, and we teach them nothing about themselves. The more you begin to understand the mystery and wonder of who you are, the more automatically you have reverence and feeling of the sacred, and then you are ethically -- you know, ethics is a byproduct of your spiritual development, the expansion of the consciousness.

KING: Look at the Orthodox Jews, who pray 20 hours a day, who do nothing, some, but read the book over and over, the Torah, the search for the meaning of life, and then they go into the '80s and '90s and many don't find it. Why? They're constantly...

CHOPRA: Many don't find it, Larry, but many do find it. There are four ways of finding God, four very clear ways: the way of action, which is whatever you do, have the inner attitude that it's not you, get your ego out of the way. God is doing this. Everything that I do is a divine movement of the eternal. The second is the way of spiritual discipline, which includes study, but more experience, prayer, meditation, contemplation. The third is the way of love -- Mother Teresa. You make every action of yours an act of love. Make love the motivating factor for everything that you do, and you will find God, I guarantee you. You know, there are studies that show if you watch Mother Teresa on television your immune system gets stimulated.

KING: Nelson Mandela was with us last night. Don't even know if he's a believer, but there is something that's obvious.

CHOPRA: Absolutely. Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, they have something of presence that radiated -- and a love that radiated like light radiates from a bonfire.

KING: Where did that come from? We don't know?

CHOPRA: Well, it's because they have gone deep within and gotten in touch with their spirit. And the fourth way is scientific. Today's science is ready to tackle the big question.

KING: Mathematics can find God?

CHOPRA: Absolutely. Today's science looks at what is the source of creation, what is the mechanics of creation? And mathematical laws that structure the workings of the universe, and give us clues as to how the fabric of space-time matter, energy and information is created, is giving us insight into the creative mind of God.

KING: The book is "How to Know God." The guest is Deepak Chopra. Earlier, Clint Eastwood. And we'll take your phone calls, more of them, right after these words.

Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Deepak Chopra. Some more phone calls. We go to Las Vegas. Hello. CALLER: Hello. My question for Deepak is I was wondering what he could recommend as the best way to overcome the fear of dying, which I think is the ultimate fear that everybody has and leads to a lot of problems in our society.

CHOPRA: That's a very good question.

KING: A lot of people believe religion was founded only on that fear.

CHOPRA: Yes. Well, first of all, note that only human beings are aware of their mortality.

KING: Therefore act differently.

CHOPRA: Yes, therefore act differently. Victor Hugo said: "We are all under a death sentence. The only uncertainty is the method of execution and the length of reprieve." But we are all on death row.

And so here it is: Death is the ultimate experience of the unknown, and it's a fear of losing the known. What is the known? It's the prison of your past conditioning.

KING: Well, that's a logical fear.

CHOPRA: Yes, but if you could learn today to let the known go by, detach from the known, and have the ability to step to the unknown in every moment of your life, that would be a beginning.

KING: So you would have no fear of dying in one minute.

CHOPRA: Well, there are traditions, Larry, including the Tibetan Book of the Dead, which actually take you through the process before you die so that you know exactly what to expect. There are meditations that allow you to experience these different states of consciousness.

KING: According to them.

CHOPRA: According to them.

KING: How do they know? Unless you've died, how do you know?

CHOPRA: Well, these days even there's a body of research that shows after near-death experiences and after-death experiences, what they are, are excursions into this nonlocal domain with its archetypes, and you can actually experience the so-called "heavens, hells and purgatories" that the human mind has imagined. And the experiences that the soul has are actually quite consistent with their cultural traditions.

KING: What do you make of these people -- they've been on this show; they write books -- who communicate, who say they communicate with dead people?

CHOPRA: What they communicate with is a form of energy and information that the decode then as that experience.

KING: You don't dismiss it?

CHOPRA: Oh, not at all. I don't dismiss it at all. I don't think -- you know, we have to stop thinking of ourselves as human beings who have occasional spiritual experiences, because we are actually spiritual beings having occasional human experiences. And the reality is we've got to start thinking of ourselves as unbounded spirits that are not necessarily squeezed into the volume of a body in the span of a lifetime.

KING: There's no reason to fear it.

CHOPRA: Absolutely none.

KING: What about if you've done bad things? Are you going to be judged?

CHOPRA: Ultimately, what is going to happen is you are going to have to confront everything that you've done, and at some point balance out your karmic credits and debts. So there is no such thing as somebody who's going to actually punish you. The way it works is that every action generates an equal -- an equal reaction in kind.

KING: When I -- when someone loses their wife, father, will they see them again?

CHOPRA: You know, if you really went through my book you would understand that at a fundamental level we are all the same being in different disguises, and the whole idea that you're a person and an individual is actually based on a false premise. And that false premise...

KING: You mean, we're not individuals?

CHOPRA: No, we are the universe pretending to be individuals.

KING: That's heavy.

Hartford, Connecticut, hello.

CALLER: Hello. Thank you for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: Dr. Chopra, I wanted to say thank you so much for your book. I had gone through a lot of periods, like everyone has -- and I won't give you the whole history -- but at one time thought I must be an atheist because I was rejecting the Judeo-Christian thing because of the morality and the disciplines and the history.

On the other hand, I still believed in everything. And so I heard a phrase, you have to know God, you have to want to know God, and to want to know God you have to want to want to know God. And I found that I think that's true. My question is: Can you be born into one faith, like Christianity, and have it drummed into your head forever, and you try really hard to feel that in your heart and to understand it, but eventually your intellectual difference or whatever with the teachings of the churches get you away from it, and then in your middle life, can you have -- make a connection that is -- is still with a god form, but for you is a devotional form, and it be real?

CHOPRA: Right. Now, you know, I've heard what you said, but do know that Christianity has some real beauty and depth to it as does Buddhism as does Hinduism. Christianity actually gives you a clue to the biggest mysteries of life. Read the Gospel of John, and you'll find there a consistency with everything that's been universally said in other religions as well.

So it's not the religion. It's sometimes how it's drummed into you, what -- how it's interpreted for you.

So I would say to you, pick up any great religious scripture and don't read the commentaries, just read it, and then go within, and let your intuition and let your creativity guide you, and you will very selectively find what you need.

What you need is spiritual discipline and love and the golden rule. Treat others as you would have them treat you.

KING: Everyone who has ever lived lives?

CHOPRA: Everyone who has ever lived lives, but gain, do understand lives as the soul, and the soul is a confluence of meanings, context, memories...

KING: Consciousness?

CHOPRA: ... desires. Consciousness, yes.

KING: It does have consciousness?

CHOPRA: Absolutely. It is consciousness, and matter is its byproduct.

KING: So this is just a carrying?

CHOPRA: This is a vehicle, like you drive a car, your soul drives you through the body. And the nervous system is the way it expresses its creativity, its thoughts, its memories, its desires. The soul is...

KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

CHOPRA: The software of the soul is a collection of experiences, memories and desires.

KING: Look at what we're discovering with DNA. With DNA we're going to take someone born with a propensity for heart disease and change it... CHOPRA: Yes.

KING: ... and make them live longer.

CHOPRA: Right.

KING: Is that defying God?

CHOPRA: No. After all, who's doing it? It's God who's doing it...

KING: God gave us the DNA, right?

CHOPRA: ... through the human nervous system. Yes. And God is doing it through the human nervous system.

You know, I was at a DNA conference, a genome conference with the genome experts, and I said: "You think you're studying the DNA. How do you not know that the DNA is studying you by examining itself through you?" And they had to really pause and think for a moment that we might be actually (UNINTELLIGIBLE) our desire to explore science and study the DNA is already coded in the DNA. So...

(LAUGHTER)

Right?

KING: That's pretty hip. It's -- I got it. I can't explain it, but I get it.

We'll be back with Deepak Chopra and more phone calls after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Deepak Chopra. Oops. Author of "How to Know God." I was hearing myself in an echo. Drove my ear -- my brain. I couldn't see what I was saying.

Dusseldorf, Germany, hello.

CALLER: Yes. Hi, Larry.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: My question actually is, first of all, I want to say I'm an atheist, so all I believe in is myself. And for me the meaning of life just means acting in a righteous way and treating people in a good way. And my question actually is, because you said, Dr. Chopra, that we -- everything we do is a divine movement. And I wanted to ask you, don't you think it would be better if we would just assume full responsibility for our actions and instead of blaming some divine movement for what we are doing, because if you look at the world, the area where religiousness is strong and there is a lot of religion, we see a lot of conflict and war.

CHOPRA: You have a very important point there, you know, because what has happened is we've taken some universal truths, we've institutionalized them, and we have now created wars out of that. You are absolutely right on that score.

You know, I say...

KING: So why don't we just, as he said, count on yourself, you're the master?

CHOPRA: God gave humans the truth, and then the devil came and he said, we'll organize it, we'll call it religion. So I honestly believe that we've had a lot of damage in the name of organized religion.

But I'm also saying if you have that assumption that it's not your ego -- when I said, you know, have this idea that God is doing it, just get your ego out of the way. Don't credit -- take credit for what you're doing and then you find that it opens up the door to creativity, and you spontaneously do right things, because you have this reverence and awe.

KING: So you don't have to -- or do you have to believe?

CHOPRA: You don't have to...

KING: The Invictus -- the Invictus agnostic poem. "Out of the night that covers me..." "I am the captain..." "I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul."

CHOPRA: You know, I think it shows such a lot of arrogance, such a lot arrogance and no humility whatsoever to assume that this multiple universes that are right now exploding and dissolving into singularities and all the workings of nature are accidental. It's like a hurricane blew through your junkyard and it left and now you have a Boeing 747 and it's all accidental. It shows tremendous arrogance, Larry.

KING: Valrico, Florida, hello.

CALLER: Good evening, gentlemen.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: Thank you very much for the subject. I think it's really about time some people heard about the good side of God. It hasn't been mentioned, but the dominion over all things is something that needs to be considered. And balancing the sheet of humanity -- things happen in this world, of course, that all of us look at and shake our head: Hitler. Here in my local vicinity, we have alligators. We lost a little girl to an alligator not too long ago, and people look at that as good and bad. And I would like for the doctor to comment, if he would, on the fact that this is all good, that we tend to get put into positions of making things good and bad and blaming thing, and in the redemption side, the balancing that goes on...

CHOPRA: It's a -- it's a very important -- very important question that you raise.

First of all, you know, eminent theologians have said that God is perfect, but the world is good and not perfect. If it was perfect, it would be God.

You cannot ask God to will the world and at the same time will that it not be the world. There is the absolute and there is the relative. And you have experience because there's contrasts. Without an up, there's no down. Without pleasure, there's no pain. Without darkness, there's no light.

If you're born blind, then even though you exist in darkness you don't know what its meaning is.

KING: But this nature made the alligator that killed the girl?

CHOPRA: Yes, and that's part of the ecosystem. And you know, life feeds upon life.

KING: Yes, but the father of the girl won't accept that and the mother of the girl won't accept that.

CHOPRA: Yes, but at a certain, certain level, Larry, good and evil in the earlier stages, good is survival and evil is that which threatens survival. In the later stages, good is ego, satisfactions, and evil is what threatens that. And as you go to ultimate level, beyond duality, then evil really doesn't exist. There's an understanding that in order to keep the world going there has to be the contrast, otherwise there would be nothing...

KING: There had to be Jews...

CHOPRA: ... for you to experience.

KING: ... or there would be no Christ story.

CHOPRA: Absolutely.

KING: Hamburg, Germany, hello.

CALLER: Yes, hello, and thank you very much, Dr. Chopra, for -- you know, about time, as the caller before said, that somebody shows the good side of God. I think it's wonderful that you're doing that.

And I just want to -- as a believer -- I'm a strong believer in God, no matter what the religion is, and it worries me to see so much secularization and atheism, you know, that people don't realize the wonderful spirit of God. What is your comment on all the atheism in the world?

CHOPRA: I think, you know, the fact that I'm on Larry King, speaking to the world, and reaching critical mass, that is a sign of our times: that through technology, through the Internet, through media we're going to see the climactic overthrow of the superstition and materialism. In fact, even our science today, the fact that you can sit there and listen to me in Germany is based on the idea that the essential nature of this material world is that it's not material, that the essential nature of this physical world is that it's not physical.

KING: You wrote you can have God and a Mercedes, right?

CHOPRA: Well, you can have inner fulfillment and outer fulfillment. In fact, that's how it should be. The fact that we have poverty in the world today is our collective responsibility to do something about that.

KING: But how about materialism?

CHOPRA: I think...

KING: Which the pope condemns.

CHOPRA: Well, again, if it is integrated, if your whole attention -- you know, St. Augustine had a prayer. He said: "Lord, give me continence, give me chastity, but not just now, tomorrow."

(LAUGHTER)

So you know, we have so-called "earlier desires," which have to do with material desires. Abraham Maslow said the desires are survival, safety, love, belongingness, sexuality, self-esteem, and ultimately self-actualization. There is a hierarchy of needs.

If somebody is totally obsessed about money, until they fulfill those desires, they're not going to be able to think of higher things. You know, Oscar Wilde once said: "There's only one category of people who think more about money than the rich. It's the poor. In fact, they can think of nothing else."

(LAUGHTER)

So you know, we need to satisfy material needs, emotional needs, psychological needs, sensual needs, and ultimately divine needs.

KING: Back with more of Deepak Chopra. The book is "How to Know God," and you can also connect HowToKnowGod.com. This is LARRY KING LIVE. Don't to away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: By the way, you can also click into Chopra.com for information like...

CHOPRA: Seminars (UNINTELLIGIBLE) yes.

KING: So there's a HowToKnowGod.com and Chopra.com.

Let's go to Kingston, Rhode Island, hello.

CALLER: Thanks for taking my call.

Mr. Chopra, I contacted breast cancer at the same time Linda McCartney did, and with her millions of dollars I thought she would outlive me. I'm a survivor, she's not, and I'm a God-loving Christian. Can you explain all of this?

CHOPRA: Well, nothing is very simple to explain, but I do know that are now studies in breast cancer, particularly, originally from Stanford, that show that if there's a loving, supporting environment while the patient is getting treatment for cancer, the survival almost doubles. And the study had to be stopped by Stanford because it was felt unethical to not give the control group the same support.

So studies are now suggesting that if you have support systems and actually group support therapies, where you give and exchange loving affection, that it actually alters the way your immune system responds to illness.

KING: As John Kennedy said...

CHOPRA: But nothing is simple.

KING: ... life isn't fair, is it?

CHOPRA: In the ultimate, life is fair. We are too -- we are too...

KING: But in the consciousness of knowing it now, it's certainly not fair? She lived and Linda died.

CHOPRA: We can't explain...

KING: The alligator killed the girl. Another girl didn't die.

CHOPRA: Well, again, we can't explain everything. We are finite minds. If we could see from an infinite perspective, we would say that God's design, God's plans are much grander than we can conceive of.

KING: San Francisco, hello?

CALLER: Hi. I wanted to ask Dr. Chopra what his view on suicide is. Earlier he said that when the soul is overwhelmed it goes into hibernation. We should not be afraid of death.

KING: Therefore, suicide might be logical.

CHOPRA: Well, suicide usually, as we know, occurs when people are psychotically depressed. Suicide is a very big tragedy.

KING: What if you're totally unhappy? Can we make a case that if you're totally unhappy and you know there's something else, give it a shot.

CHOPRA: We know from -- we know, Larry, medical, as medical physicians that people don't commit suicide because they're unhappy or frustrated. They're in a state of psychosis. Also...

KING: But why is it psychosis if there's better something after this.

CHOPRA: Well, there's a stage for everything. You know, you can't take a child and rush them through puberty.

KING: So you're changing -- you're changing the stage.

CHOPRA: Yes. You don't -- you can't take a child, rush them through puberty into adulthood.

KING: But when you commit suicide, you still go into this soul vision, you're still part of the one, right? You're not separated.

CHOPRA: You're not, you're not. And you're in fact, as she said very elegantly, the soul goes into hibernation, into incubation, and then at a certain stage it takes a creative into a new context and...

KING: But you would talk someone out of it? Certainly you would, wouldn't you?

CHOPRA: Absolutely, because, as I said, psychosis is illness and you have to treat it, just like any other illness.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with Deepak Chopra on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE, right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: With Deepak Chopra in our remaining moments.

Wyalusing, Pennsylvania, hello.

CALLER: Good evening. Thank you for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: Dr. Chopra, I love you.

CHOPRA: Thank you.

CALLER: My question is, what is your vision for the future of humanity? Is it upward or have we not learned our lessons from the past: by that I mean war, greed?

CHOPRA: I think the future is great, and it's not because of religion. The future is great because of technology. Technology...

KING: Technology created the bomb.

CHOPRA: Yes, but that's -- no, no, no. Technology didn't create the bomb. We created the bomb. Technology is neutral. What we do with technology depends on our evolution. You can create wonderful things with technology. You can create monstrosities with technology. So technology is actually the way we look at nature and its intelligence.

And today, because we have the Internet and because we have media, it is possible to reach a critical mass of awareness so that for once and for all we get rid of racism, hatred, bigotry, and prejudice. These are the essential diseases of humanity.

KING: And all of them are stupid.

CHOPRA: And all of them are based on a tribal mindset. They are based on the fact that we still think in a tribal way.

And the world is changing. You know, people are watching you in Turkey right now, and people are watching you in Saudi Arabia right now. And as soon as we start doing that, the tribal mind is going to have to change. It's happening. It's happening. It's the natural evolution.

KING: So then one has -- has to be optimistic.

CHOPRA: One has to be, because that's the way to go now. What couldn't be accomplished -- you know, unfortunately, Christ didn't have LARRY KING to talk to the rest of the world. And today, we have -- you know, you go to an ordinary bookstore and you'll find a plethora of work by so many people that is looking at the same thing. And there is a resurgence of spirituality that is going beyond traditional dogma and ideology and schisms.

KING: What do you fear?

CHOPRA: It will take time, though.

KING: What do you fear?

CHOPRA: I fear the dark side of human nature, that we actually suppress it, and by suppressing it we actually accentuate it, and ultimately it bursts out as your Columbine disasters and all this. So I think we need to understand that the essentially the human experience is one of ambiguity, that if we could get in touch with the sinner and the saint, the sacred and the profane in us, and be comfortable with that, we would be less judgmental of others.

You know, Christ said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

And I think we need to all educate ourselves into our ambiguity, our essential nature...

KING: Not easy.

CHOPRA: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of opposites. And once we -- you know, we have to start with children. It's the only way.

KING: Because they are the ones that are most open to it.

CHOPRA: Yes. You know, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), a great Indian poet, said: "Every child that is born is proof that God has not yet given up on humanity." And you're having a child next week, right?

KING: Another one. CHOPRA: God has not given up on...

KING: Chance will have a little brother.

CHOPRA: That's wonderful. Congratulations.

KING: And that's a gift of God.

CHOPRA: That's a gift of the universe, yes.

KING: Didn't earn that, right?

CHOPRA: It's a privilege.

KING: Deepak Chopra. The book is "How to Know God." You can also connect HowToKnowGod.com or Chopra.com.

Tomorrow night, Ann Graham Lotz. She's the daughter of Billy Graham and is a famed preacher in her own rite. Hasn't made many television appearances. She'll be with us tomorrow.

On Friday night, Don Johnson will be aboard, coming back from Vietnam to appear on this program, the popular actor.

Stay tuned now for CNN "NEWSSTAND," which is next.

I'm Larry King. For Deepak Chopra and Clint Eastwood, thanks for joining us. Good night.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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