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Deepak Chopra Interview
Aired August 17, 2007 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GLENN BECK, HOST (voice-over): He`s known around the world for revolutionizing the connection between mind, body and spirit.
DEEPAK CHOPRA, AUTHOR: Thank you.
BECK: With 49 books translated into 35 different languages, selling 20 million copies, he integrates the best of western medical traditions with the wisdom of the east.
CHOPRA: The Nile River represents the cycle of life.
BECK: A doctor, a writer, and a larger than life spirit. We have the man behind the miracles. Deepak Chopra joins me now for a full hour of honest questions.
BECK: Hello, America. And welcome.
Merging the traditions of east and west has become uniquely American as apple pie, and nobody has done it more gracefully than author and teacher Deepak Chopra, and he`s our guest for the full hour.
Welcome, sir. How are you?
CHOPRA: Thank you. It`s a privilege.
BECK: I understand you -- you walked here. You lived here in New York, part time.
CHOPRA: I spent a little time. I`m doing a little work with the United Nations and also the Gallup organization.
BECK: The United Nations in New York. How`s your spirit?
CHOPRA: It`s good.
BECK: So tell me, well, first of all, let me -- do you have a business card on you?
CHOPRA: No, I don`t have a watch. I don`t have a business card.
BECK: What would be on your business card? When somebody says, if they don`t know you, they say, "What do you do for a living?" What would you say?
CHOPRA: I would say I`m a field of infinite possibilities, because as soon as you define somebody you limit them.
BECK: So in other words, they would say, "Oh, you`re a philosopher?"
CHOPRA: They would say he`s singing a song and some people only listen to it. You know, there`s a poem by the Sufi (ph) poet, Dramir (ph), who says, "I want to sing like birds sing, not worrying who listens and what they think." So I`m just singing my song.
BECK: You were a doctor. You were a teacher at Harvard? Right?
CHOPRA: I taught for a bit at Harvard. I still actually do a course once a year for the update in internal medicine there. I taught at Boston University School of Medicine, taught at the university...
BECK: What was your realm, your expertise?
CHOPRA: First, it was internal medicine, but then it endocrinology, and then neuroendocrinology, which is the study of brain chemicals. And I realized when I was doing that as a young fellow that there were molecules in our brain as a result of emotions in our mind.
So suddenly, I saw the connection between what we call consciousness, the realm that`s so abstract, and our biology. So wherever a thought goes, the molecule follows.
BECK: So a lot of people will tell you -- this is so odd, because usually doctors go the other way. They`ll say they become scientists and then they`ll go the other way and they`ll deny God. You`ve -- you`ve gone the other direction, where medical -- many medical people will tell you that God is just chemistry. Do you believe that?
CHOPRA: I think God or infinite mind or consciousness or the mystery that we call God -- because, you know, God is still a mystery. We create God in our image, depending on our culture, on our religion, ethnic background, geographical location.
But God is a mystery, but God is infinite intelligence that orchestrates the information, the energy, and every activity in the universe, including the objects of the universe. That includes you and me.
And just like people who are listening to us or watching us on their television sets will not find you and me in their television box, they`ll only find a bunch of wires. Just like that, no scientist will be able to find intelligence or infinite mind or even you, the person that we call Glenn, in this physical body.
So do we have a soul? Does God exist? What happens to us after we die? What`s the meaning and purpose of our existence? Where did we come from? Where are we going? These are questions that have been asked for thousands of years, and of course they are the origins of all our religions.
But today for the first time, I think, there`s a scientific insight into the nature of consciousness, which still remains a mystery. Where do our thoughts come from? Where does insight come from? Inspiration? Choice? Free will? Create activity? Love, compassion? Imagination? These are the things that make us human.
And, you know, these are not the neural networks of our brain. They are -- our brain localizes a non-local infinite consciousness and then gives a channel to express itself through our biology.
But just like your radio and your television set, it does not create the program; it only localizes the program, you know. Somebody could have a TV set on the moon if they were there. Tune into the right frequency and they`d see Glenn there. But Glenn is not...
BECK: Glenn`s usually on the moon.
Let me ask you -- let me ask you this. You are -- you`re an optimist. I love -- I love your attitude. Let me tell you a little bit about the hour that I think you`re kind of in for.
A friend of mine went on vacation last week. He came back and he said, "Glenn, I got you the perfect gift." He said, "I saw this on a store when I was on vacation, and it screamed you. I had to get it."
And I said, "What is it?"
(displays "World End" T-shirt)
"World`s End". With everything that is going on in the world, how does the average person stay positive, connected with everything that`s going on in the world, and yet stay positive?
CHOPRA: See, Glenn, I`m not saying you should stay positive. I say that you should be a realist, but you should also look at chaos, uncertainty, and the proliferation of all that`s happening out there, whether you believe in global warming or not -- and I saw your program with Joe Kennedy. You two guys were quite combative...
BECK: You mean Robert Kennedy?
BECK: He doesn`t want to hear anything I had to say.
CHOPRA: But in any case, whether you -- you look at the world out there, you say there is climate change, there is the Iraq war, there is war on -- war on terrorism in the world. There are natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina. Fifty percent of the world is living on less than $2 a day. At least 20 percent lives on less than $1 a day. There is social injustice in many parts of the world. It`s a mess.
CHOPRA: So one interpretation could be that God or nature or the infinite intelligence that created us could be saying, you know, the human experiment was interesting. It didn`t work. Let`s move on, and you know, if we disappeared from this planet, it wouldn`t make a bit of a difference to God or to that consciousness or to the universe.
BECK: Do you believe that?
CHOPRA: I believe that we are in a moment of choice. We have modern capacities, you know. We have amazing capacities right now. We have, you know, unlocked the secrets of the atom. We can make nuclear bombs. We`re capable of biological warfare. We can cause the extinction of species. We risk our own extinction, and mostly continue (ph) in the name of God.
So these are the capacities, and we still have ancient, tribal minds.
CHOPRA: So to combine that, that`s devastating.
BECK: I`m going to -- I`m going to wrap here. When we come back, I want you to answer this question, though. Do you believe that God is dispassionate on us?
Back in a second.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHOPRA: Here I am with all my qualities. People see me, hear me. They believe in my existence. Yet, my reality is paper thin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHOPRA: Where do we find God? God is to be found in the light, the beauty of the desert rock is solid light. An impulse of love is sweet life. The firing of a neuron in my brain is an instant flash of invisible light.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: We`re back with teacher and author Deepak Chopra.
And you were just talking about love. And you -- you asked the question a minute ago if, you know, we destroy ourselves, does it matter to God? The answer to me is, yes. He gives us free choice. He allows us to have all the power of God and all the power of the universe, to access it, but I think he does care. Do you think he`s dispassionate?
CHOPRA: See, you`re calling him a he. It could be a she.
BECK: The infinite mind. To use your language.
CHOPRA: OK. All creation is through contrast. You cannot have creation unless -- and all experiences are contrast. There`s light and there`s darkness. There`s so-called good and evil. There`s the sinner and the saint, the divine and the diabolical, the sacred and the profane.
CHOPRA: And these impulses are part of our soul, you know. Every human being has the capacity to be diabolical. So, as far as I`m concerned, that`s the price we pay for free will.
And so God or the infinite mind gives us this choice. We`re the only species that is capable of this. Other species are incapable of it. So they`re part of the ecosystem. Every other animal is living in a deterministic universe and therefore is incapable of self-destruction.
So I believe that God, in infinite love, infinite compassion, infinite intelligence, infinite creativity, infinite imagination, anything that can be created (ph). But being infinite, it includes maximum diversity. So even that which we call profane, even that which we call diabolical is a different face of the same divine intelligence. The devil is just the divine feeling ill.
BECK: Let me -- I want to get to your book, because you`ve written a new book on Buddha, and you`re writing another one on Jesus that I want to talk about. But let me just, I mean -- I just -- I want to understand some of the basics of you and your perspective. Meditation, you came from TM, right?
BECK: Yes. I got to tell you, meditation is 90 percent of, "Crap, I`m supposed to be meditating," in my own head. How -- what is meditation like -- I`m riddled with ADD. How do you get to a point to where you can quiet it enough, to where you are just there and it doesn`t end in sleep?
CHOPRA: Well, if you`re exhausted, if you haven`t had enough sleep the night before, it will obviously end in sleep.
BECK: Most people are.
CHOPRA: You know, I mean, you want to spend a little time with me, I`ll be happy to teach you meditation, but meditation is the natural ability of the mind to go to its source.
So, you know, between every two thoughts that you have, any two thoughts that you have, there`s a little space. And today, some scientists who discover or are talking about consciousness, they`re saying what`s in the space, you know, between our thoughts?
And what they`re finding is that the space is a field of possibilities, infinite possibilities, a super-position of infinite possibilities. It is also a field where everything is correlated with everything else.
You know, right now your body is doing 100 million things multiplied by 100 million things, you know. We have more cells in our body than all the stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Each cell is doing over a million things per second, and every cell tracks what the other cell is doing.
How did the human body think thoughts, kill germs, remove toxins and make a baby all at the same time? There has to be some intelligence, and that intelligence is in the space between our thoughts.
So meditation is a way of eavesdropping on the mind that is literally running the whole universe at the same and saying, getting in touch with your soul. You know, in the Bible, don`t they say what good does it do a mind to gain the whole world and to lose your soul?
BECK: Right. So is this -- is this perhaps what we`re feeling now as we try to fill our space with noise from the radio, noise from television, cars, fame, fortune, whatever it is we`re filling our life with? Is that - - is that why we separate ourselves from God?
CHOPRA: Yes. Our separation from God is a rift in our collective soul, which in the end is responsible for all the chaos that is happening in the world. It`s a projection of our collective consciousness.
If we could get in touch with this place, we would see we`re inseparably connected. There is no -- this is the space of spontaneous love, compassion, shared suffering. In that shared suffering is the birth of compassion, in which is the birth of love, which is the possibility of healing.
So love is not just -- just a sentiment or an emotion. Love is the ultimate truth of the heart of creation.
BECK: It`s weird. I -- without getting into details, for the first time this year somebody really hurt me deeply. Somebody said something that hurt me deeply, and I wasn`t angry with them. I felt bad for them. For the very first time, that was my reaction.
And it crushed me how I thought they don`t see how much we`re alike. They don`t see how much we have in common.
Buddha reached the point of enlightenment at 35. I`m 43. How much longer do I have to wait? I mean, it`s so hard to get to the baby steps.
CHOPRA: See, no, Glenn, it`s a matter of what our priorities are. We live in a society where we`ve been made certain promises. One promise is that if you have enough money, you`ll be happy. The second promise is if you have enough technology, you`ll be happy. The third promise is if you have enough weapons, you`ll be secure. Well, we`re not secure, we`re not happy and we`re not healthy.
CHOPRA: And the reason is that all these things come from within ourselves. They`re, you know -- the kingdom of heaven is inside you.
CHOPRA: And you have to go to that part of yourself which has the creativity to give you fulfillment.
Now, if you look at society, extremely poor, including Cuba, by the way -- I went to Cuba recently -- I saw the people in the streets who are happy. You know. Their grandchildren and grandparents were playing chess on the street. Lovers were walking hand in hand in the park, and the street minstrels were playing poetry and music.
And I asked my host, I said, "How come you guys are so happy?"
They said, "We don`t have anything to buy, so we focus on relationships."
And it suddenly occurred to me that the happiest societies in the world are relationship-oriented, and not consumer-oriented. And you know, we have a word in our language where we refer to human beings as consumers. It`s an ugly word to call somebody who has the imagination and the capacity for poetry and art and music and connection with the divine, to call them a consumer? That`s where we are at this moment in our evolution.
BECK: It is -- it`s the love of money; it is the love of consumption. I think -- I think a lot of people take the idea of spirituality and say that you can`t be rich...
CHOPRA: No, no.
BECK: And that`s not -- how much are you pulling down a year?
CHOPRA: It`s not the love of money. It`s the attachment. It`s the clinging. It`s the clinging; it`s the grasping, not the money itself.
BECK: Right. You can have the money. It`s the -- but it doesn`t mean anything.
CHOPRA: That`s what Oscar Wilde said. He said there`s only one category of people who think more about money than the rich. It`s the poor. And at times they can think of nothing else. If you think that money may not bring you happiness, but poverty will certainly bring you misery.
BECK: I read a great story in the "Wall Street Journal" today. And it was about the corn farmers in the Midwest and how they are right now going through a huge boom because of ethanol and everything else. Corn farms are starting to make a lot of money.
And people are going into the stores, and they are buying the same truck that they had before. They just need a new truck, but they want the same one and they want the same color.
That out in the heartland, the price of a diamond ring for an engagement ring is -- or for your engagement ring is -- I can`t remember the percentage, but it`s significantly less than it is elsewhere.
And they were saying that the people in the Midwest, the farmers, just are not connected with that kind of stuff. And I wonder, "Gee, I wonder if that`s why the Midwest or the heartland generally seems happier than the coasts."
CHOPRA: I think they`re more fulfilled because they`re more family- oriented. They have a connection perhaps with nature more than others. They have more family values. They`re not bombarded constantly by, you know, by buy this and do this, and they`re not looking at others to see how they should feel.
You know, most of people -- most of us feel they are totally dependent on the opinion of others to actually feel what we feel.
BECK: OK. Back in a second. I want to talk about this new book, "Buddha", Deepak Chopra. Back in a second.
BECK: Deepak Chopra, my guest tonight. He`s written nearly 50 books. In his latest he turns -- he turns a real story into fiction, one of the greatest spiritual stories of all time. It is titled, "Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment".
I don`t mean to be offensive. The only thing I know about Buddha is I call my daughter who is just about 2, Buddha, because she`s got a little Buddha belly, and I think he`s the guy that makes Richard Gere wear the beads. That`s all I know.
CHOPRA: Well, Buddha lived. He was a real man. He lived 2,500 years ago. He was born as a prince to a royal family. His name was Siddhartha, which means, in the original Pali language, it means "one whose wishes will always come true."
And he was told by the -- his father, who was an emperor, was told that this boy could become a monk. You know, this is part of his astrological chart or prophecy or something.
So, of course, the father was mortified. He said, "I don`t want my son to become a monk. I want him to be the emperor of the land. So what can I do to prevent that from happening?"
And the courtier said, "Surround him by pleasure. OK. So never let him see suffering." And have only young people around him. When he was a teenager, the father actually created a pleasure palace for him so he could be initiated into the sexual arts and this and that. He learned archery, astronomy, wrestling, martial arts.
And then one day due to a series of circumstances, he had fallen in love with a young girl who was part of the pleasure palace, actually a child prostitute in this version of the story. And she was murdered and raped by somebody who disliked this young prince. And so he said, "Where is she?"
And somebody said, "She`s stolen your emerald and run away."
So he didn`t want to believe that, but he went outside the city walls, and for the first time in his life he saw old age, decrepitude, disease and death and a corpse. And he asked his best friend who was a stable boy, he said, "Does that happen to everyone?"
And his friend said, "Yes."
He said, "Will it happen to me? Will I get old? Will I die?"
He said, "You will."
BECK: How old is he?
CHOPRA: He`s 14, 15.
BECK: This is the real story or this is the...
CHOPRA: This is the real story, yes. The only things I imagined were what was perhaps happening in his imagination.
BECK: OK. So this book is -- well, it`s nonfiction. It`s the real story. It`s based in history. But you...
CHOPRA: Yes. So he`s 14, 15. His existential doldrums begin. He wants to know, what is the meaning of suffering? Why do people have to suffer?
And through a series of, you know, self-awareness techniques, because they doesn`t look to God or religious dogma. He comes -- you know, to me he`s very attractive, because he`s the first physician.
First, he makes the diagnosis: the human condition contains suffering. Now, a lot of people say he said human suffering is the only reality. He didn`t say that. He said human -- the human condition contains suffering.
Then he says there are causes for suffering, and he identifies them: not knowing the true nature of existence, of divinity, identifying with your ego, being attached to that which isn`t permanent, the fear of death.
BECK: OK. More in a second. Right back with Deepak Chopra.
BECK: He`s a writer, lecturer, teacher, and one of the leading spiritual thinkers in the country. Back with Deepak Chopra. We were talking about his new book, "Buddha: The Story of Enlightenment."
Did he ever sit under the tree?
CHOPRA: Yes, he did. That was the final episode, but, you know, it`s the final episode. It`s like a fruit that takes a long time to ripen, and then it falls suddenly. So under the tree, suddenly he had the insights that there is suffering, there are causes for suffering, there`s a way out, and the way out is to get in touch with the ground of your being.
BECK: He`s not a Christ figure.
BECK: He`s more of a Socrates.
CHOPRA: Yes, he`s more of a Socrates. In fact, when he was dying, his disciples asked him, they said, "Are you a messiah? Are you a messiah? Are you a deity? Are you god? Are you whatever?" He said, "No." And then they said, "So who are you?" He said, "I`m awake." And the word to be awake is the exact meaning of the word "Buddha." Buddha means somebody who`s aware of the meanings, the context, the relationships of existence and, in that awareness, has the creative insight as to what the solutions are to our problems.
BECK: What do you believe the percentage is of people who are awake?
CHOPRA: I think, throughout history, there have been people who are awake, and those that we indeed call the messiahs and prophets were fully awake and that they had gone beyond their personal consciousness, and they were, in fact, in touch with the intelligence that orchestrates the universe.
BECK: Are you awake?
CHOPRA: I think it`s a quest that I have. I have glimpses of awakening.
BECK: So maybe a fairer question would be, what is the percentage of people who have glimpses of awakeness time? How many people do you suppose -- I saw an amazing poll -- I know you do work with Gallup -- I saw an amazing poll yesterday, and it was on -- it was on threats from abroad. And 21 percent of the American people said, "I don`t even think about things like that."
What is the percentage of people that just don`t even -- they just don`t want to think about stuff like this, because they`re afraid of where it might take them? And I mean spirituality. I`m amazed on how many people live their life every day because they`re afraid that there`s nothing inside, so they don`t explore.
CHOPRA: Yes. See, as a doctor, as a physician that once used to work in the emergency room, and suddenly somebody would have a heart attack or be diagnosed with a fatal illness, and they had very little time to think or even get in touch with the reality of the diagnosis -- a heart attack massive, and they`re dying -- and they will very quickly go through the stages of denial first. Then they would get extremely angry. Then they would become extremely anxious and frustrated. And then they would resign, and then they would die in helpless despair.
And, you know, if they had a little bit of time, that whole thing would have turned into a creative opportunity. And, you know, unfortunately, for many people, crisis is the moment when they want to start to wake up and get in touch, but we shouldn`t have to have a crisis.
BECK: But -- OK. Then help me out on this. I am a pivot point person. I`m an alcoholic, recovering. I can tell you exactly where I was the moment I said, "Enough." I can tell you exactly what led up and the moment that led me to enlighten my own kind of enlightenment.
CHOPRA: You`re lucky, Glenn, and a lot of people are like who, who have to go through that experience, they`re in the depths of despair, and then they come out and they reach...
BECK: But what causes someone to change when you`re happy? I mean, go try to teach somebody about a different kind of philosophy in a rich neighborhood. Most people won`t do it, because why should I change anything? I`m happy. I`m complete. I`m whatever.
CHOPRA: You know, there was a story of Schopenhauer, who went to India, Schopenhauer, the German philosopher, and he met an old monk, a swami, and he looked miserable. He said, "You know, you look miserable. What`s the problem?" He says, "For 40 years, I`ve kind of contemplated on the origins of life, and I`ve asked myself, where does thought come from? And I don`t have an answer."
And so, you know, Schopenhauer went down the river, and he met a fisherwoman who`s playing with her grandchildren. She seemed to be the happiest person in the world. And he asked this woman, he said, "Have you ever concerned yourself with the origins of life and where thought comes from?" And she didn`t know what he was asking about, and she was the happiest person in the world.
So he went back to this other person, the monk, and he said, "You should be ashamed of yourself, you know? You spent 40 years trying to figure it out, you haven`t figured it out, you`re miserable, and this woman, she`s just the happiest person in the world." And the man said, "There`s happiness out of ignorance and there`s happiness out of knowledge and enlightenment. I don`t want that kind of happiness; I want the happiness that comes from awakening."
BECK: But to be awakened, don`t you need something that pushes you? Because that`s a painful place to go, to wake -- to truly wake up, you have to not be afraid of what the answer is. You have to be willing to accept the answer no matter what it is. You have to let go for the universal mind to be able to take over.
CHOPRA: But what happened with me -- I`ll tell you also, I mean, I was a heavy drinking person. I would get smashed on weekends as an intern...
BECK: I don`t why. It just seems so peaceful. Doesn`t it sound peaceful when he says, "And I would get smashed"?
CHOPRA: All for me, right now, almost another lifetime. I used to smoke a couple packs of cigarettes a day. And yet when I looked at my patients, I would say, "Here are two patients. They`re seeing the same doctor. They`re getting the same medication. They have the same disease. They have completely different outcomes. Something is going on in this person that I need to know."
You know, so it was actually the experiences of my patients and what I learned from them that kind of tripped me into this connection between the body, mind and spirit. And then, of course, my own research was in the area of brain chemistry, and I saw suddenly it all came together.
So I would say that I, too, in many ways, had a crisis both in my own life and in seeing the suffering of my patients that gave me a certain insight into, you know, what`s the nature of healing? And the word "healing" suddenly it struck me, the word healing, the word holy, the word wholeness, the word health, they`re all the same word. Healing is the return of the memory of wholeness; it`s a spiritual experience.
BECK: My father taught me -- ever since I was kid, he used to always say, what are the two most powerful words in the language? "And I don`t know, Dad." And he would always say, "I am." You know? "I am."
CHOPRA: That`s beautiful. You know, Christ says, "Before Abraham was, I am." Or when, you know...
CHOPRA: ... Moses...
BECK: I am that I am who sent me. And it is that same kind of grabbing into the universal engine, if you will.
CHOPRA: See, this goes back to the first question you asked me. How do you define yourself? I think now we know the answer: I am. Not I am Glenn, I am Deepak. I am. It`s the fact that I`m in existence where there are possibilities.
BECK: How would you explain to people -- because I am a -- part of the reason I so believe in the roots of our country and our Constitution is because it is based on: You. You do it. Just clear everything out. God gave you rights; God gave you abilities. Clear everything out. And you do it, make your own way, succeed or fail on your side.
When I tell people, you can be whatever -- all you have to do is believe it, and then do the things that will take you there, so many people say, "No, that`s not true." How would you explain the power of the individual and the power of the mind?
CHOPRA: I would say to a person, take just five, ten minutes every day, close your eyes, put your attention on your heart, and ask yourself some...
BECK: This is where I`m like talking to myself, thinking, "I`m hungry."
CHOPRA: Five minutes, OK? Ask yourself just a few questions: Who am I? What do I want? What`s my purpose? What are my unique talents? How do I express them? What`s the meaning and purpose of my existence? How do I make a difference? What are the qualities I express in a good relationship?
Just ask those questions. You don`t need to have the answers. Remember, ask and you shall receive, OK? So you ask the questions, live the questions, and, by God, you`ll move into the answers.
BECK: Back with Deepak Chopra in just a second.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHOPRA: Fortunately, the most solid, reliable things in existence are taken of God`s mystery. If you believe in the rock, you`re automatically believing in God.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: I was on my uncle`s farm last week, and we were walking. He`s been a farmer his whole life. And we were walking. And he stopped, and he looked up at the birds, and he said, "Wrong time for these birds." Tell me about Care2.
CHOPRA: Care2.com is a Web side, a global community, and I`m on the board of advisers and a spokesman for it. And what we`re doing is we have 8 million members right now, and we`re inviting everyone to come to this site and share their passion for anything in the world, whether it`s whales, or dolphins, or saving the rainforest. And then we get corporate sponsors to help you fulfill your intention.
So you don`t even have to spend any money; you just have to show that you care, you want to make a difference in this world, that you care, you have compassion, you have a particular idea. And we will help you create that global community for caring.
BECK: So it is an environmental...
CHOPRA: Yes, but environment in a very broad sense, in that, yes, you know, we have the schism, me and the environment. Well, the air is my breath; the trees are my lungs; the Earth is my body; the rivers and water are my circulation. Those trees are also my lungs. If they didn`t breathe, I wouldn`t breathe. So, you know, we have to make that perceptual shift where we see that we have a personal body and a universal body and they`re both equally ours.
BECK: See, I have to tell you, what I find refreshing in that message is that it doesn`t seem to be...
BECK: ... condemning.
CHOPRA: Yes, well, I think most activism is anti-something. So you have angry peace activists, which is a paradox.
BECK: Right, because I`m so frustrated, as a guy who`s generally a conservative, I care about the planet as much as anybody else does.
CHOPRA: Of course you care. I think we`re at a stage in our evolution where we have to get away from angry, reactive, strident activism, and say we have enough collective creativity, enough collective intent, enough collective imagination and intelligence to look at these problems and come up with a more compassionate, humane, creative way of...
BECK: So how do we -- let`s talk in a bigger sense then. How do we - - because I`ve had guests on this program who I disagree with -- I happen to believe in global warming. I happen to believe -- my uncle, who`s been a farmer his whole life, he knows.
CHOPRA: He knows.
BECK: And the plants in his farm know. Something is going on. We might disagree on how to fix it, if we can fix it, who`s causing it, what`s causing it, et cetera, et cetera, but we all love the planet. And I`ve had people who I vehemently disagree with on this program, and we`ll get off the air, and we`ll talk and be surprised on how much we do agree on.
And we always, before they walk out of the studio, say, "Help me find a way to bridge the gap between the people who are to the left of you, who are screaming, and to the right of me, who are screaming, because we all agree on the same thing. We`re just disagreeing on this one thing." And it seems to all be about power. So how do we break that down?
CHOPRA: Glenn, there is a lot of good data on how we break that down. And the first thing is to, you know, have a moment to say any extreme polar position is only going to aggravate the conflict and the conversation. Leave a little room for ambiguity; leave a little room for uncertainty. And in that uncertainty, there are creative processes that will emerge.
If you want to start a conversation, let`s agree to talk with respect. Let`s agree that both sides of any conflict are recognized or feel injustice. Let`s leave room for forgiveness; let`s refrain from belligerence. Let`s use the principles of emotional intelligence. Let`s recognize each other`s values.
Let`s not try all the time to prove each other wrong. Let`s recognize that ideology and religion always come in the way, so let`s keep that out of the conversation, whether we are left or right or whatever, and let`s recognize that there`s fear amongst all of us. When we do that -- and we`ve done that, by the way, Alliance for a New Humanity is a foundation that I`m a president of...
BECK: Which is what, exactly?
CHOPRA: It`s creating global communities all over the world which are looking for creative solutions, whether it`s to war or terrorism or to poverty. And we say that, if you want to find a creative solution, first of all, get together. Discuss the problem. Find alternatives. Don`t be angry. Make a difference yourself. Be the change you want to see in the world.
BECK: This sounds great, but it requires one thing: the other side to be that way, too. Is there anybody that isn`t allowed in that tent? Would you have sat down with -- would you have sat down continually and said, "This is the solution," to sit down with Adolf Hitler?
CHOPRA: Well, Adolf Hitler was a long way in the making. You know, there were 20, 30 years that went by, and he emerged in as the expression of a collective consciousness that was behaving psychotically. So I think...
BECK: Sure. But, I mean, it`s 1939. I happen to believe -- I believe we`re in 1939 all over again.
CHOPRA: All over again, but here`s some very interesting insight I should share with you. You have a small cancer, you can take it out. You can remove it surgically, can give it chemotherapy, get rid of it. But when it becomes systemic, it becomes very difficult. And when you treat it even with chemotherapy, you cause inflammation in the body, and then the cancer cells recruit the normal cells to join them. It`s very interesting. So...
BECK: During the treatment?
CHOPRA: During the treatment. And they become even more aggressive, so there`s now a movement in cancer therapy by some cutting-edge scientists who`re saying, instead of being so aggressive in killing the cancer cells, let`s try and calm down the inflammation so the cancer is not so aggressive and it can be low-grade.
And so the same thing, you know, when we very vehemently attack the killers, then the collateral damage which we cause, which is the inflammation -- some innocent person dies -- then that person`s relatives and that person gets recruited by the terrorists to join them.
So I think, you know, one of the things we did with Gallup is we surveyed approximately 600 million Muslims across the world. And to our surprise, you know, in 10 countries, we found that over 95 percent, or at least close to 95 percent are actually not at all extremists. They admire the United States and the West. They think we have be entrepreneurial and creative skills, and we need to really recruit them on our side, with economic partnerships, with partnerships of conversation...
BECK: You know what? We were talking about this off the air, though, just a second ago. Fear rules the world.
CHOPRA: Fear rules the world.
BECK: And I can`t tell you how many times I have said on the air, maybe 10 percent, that`s the accepted number, is extremist.
CHOPRA: According to our Gallup survey, it`s less than 6 percent.
BECK: OK, so less than 6 percent. I`m willing to accept that number. But that 6 percent is causing fear in the 94 percent. And that 94 percent, that`s the way they rule, is trying to get them to be afraid to stand up.
CHOPRA: Let`s harness the collective creativity and the creativity of the other 94 percent, by actually speaking to them, asking them for help, and exposing our vulnerability. You see, one of the things that gets you help is if you`re willing to be vulnerable. But when you`re 100 percent sure you`re doing the right thing and that it`s us versus them, then you cause the inflammation, and the inflammation helps the radicals recruit the moderates.
BECK: Rapid fire when we come back, lightning round with Deepak Chopra.
BECK: Back with spiritual author and teacher Deepak Chopra. And I`ve got a lightning round. These are the deepest questions ever, and you have one sentence you can answer them. Are you ready?
BECK: Here we go. Is there one true God?
BECK: What happens after you die?
CHOPRA: We upgrade or downgrade the illusion. The upgrade is called heaven; the downgrade is called Hell. Or we can recycle.
BECK: Who`s going to get custody of the kids with K-Fed and Britney?
CHOPRA: I don`t know.
BECK: I don`t know. Good. Are we in control of our own destiny, or is there predestination?
CHOPRA: There`s both. If we are ignorant and we are a bundle of conditioned reflexes and deterministic, if you`re enlightened, there`s infinite choices.
BECK: Can the mind heal the body?
CHOPRA: Yes, very much so. Consciousness can heal the body.
BECK: Is medicine part of that?
CHOPRA: Yes, because medicine offers us technology to fix physical things and consciousness offers a holistic approach. So we are no longer superb technicians who know everything about the human body, but great healers who know the human being is a body, mind and spirit.
BECK: Why do bad things happen to good people?
CHOPRA: Don`t really know. It`s the mystery of karma.
BECK: What is the meaning of life?
CHOPRA: The meaning of life is to harmonize the elements and forces within us with the elements and forces of the cosmos and join the ecstatic impulse of the universe for creativity.
BECK: Holy cow. I didn`t even follow -- riddled with ADD, I didn`t even follow that. Why is there so much cynicism when it comes to matters of faith?
CHOPRA: Because people look for material answers in the materialistic world, when the most powerful things are invisible, your love, your compassion, your insight, your creativity. We can`t find it on the level of matter, and yet people are hypnotized by the superstition of materialism.
BECK: What`s next for you?
CHOPRA: Infinite possibilities. I`m writing a book on Jesus. It`s called "The Third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore."
BECK: The beginning and the end seem awfully familiar tonight. Thank you very much.
CHOPRA: Thank you very much.
BECK: Thanks to our guest, Deepak Chopra. You can find out more about him at DeepakChopra.com. From New York, good night, America.