Deepak Chopra received his medical degree from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, and completed his internship at Muhlenberg Hospital in Plainfield, New Jersey. He served as chief of staff at Boston Regional Medical Center before establishing the Chopra Center. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and adjunct professor at Kellogg School of Management. He is the founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, a worldrenowned authority in the field of mind-body healing, and a best-selling author of over 42 books, published in more than eighty-five language.
Gary Ruelas (GR): Dr. Chopra, you are going to be speaking at the Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference this December sponsored by the Milton H. Erickson Foundation. Dr. Erickson was a pioneer in the field of mental health with his belief in the fundamental principles of the body and mind and the use of the person’s internal resources to help individuals overcome their difficulties. You have described your work in a similar vein. I’m just wondering whether or not you could elaborate on how you view the body and mind?
Deepak Chopra (DC): First of all, you know this is an artificial distinction, the body and the mind. Also the body and the environment are artificial distinctions. It’s all one process – the environment, the body, and the mind is one process, and that process is a process in consciousness. Your thoughts occur in your consciousness and you experience your body in your consciousness and you experience the world in your consciousness. It is important to understand that these are differentiated expressions. The body, the world, and the mind are differentiated expressions of one consciousness. I think the future of our understanding of human behavior, of social interactions and well-being has to be based on a more scientific understanding of our consciousness. What is our consciousness? What is consciousness? Where does it reside? And the more we learn about consciousness the more we also begin to understand that consciousness is a transcendent realm. It does not exist in space-time. In fact, space-time is also an experience in consciousness. Consciousness is a field of possibilities; consciousness proliferates in uncertainty; consciousness constantly takes leaps of creativity; and consciousness harnesses the power of intention; of insight, of inspiration, of creativity, of choice making. So we have to stop these distinctions – body and mind, biological organism and environment. It’s one process and the process is all in consciousness. Our future evolution depends on the evolution of our consciousness. How can we go beyond these primitive responses that we have – reactive responses, fight-flight responses – to how we can be a watchful observer of our body and mind, the watchful observer of our relationships, the watchful observer of our environment. And then how can we go beyond that into the intuitive response, into the creative response, into what is called the “visionary” response, and ultimately into the sacred response, which is to get in touch with the source of all creation, the mystery that people call God.
I think there is an over-reliance on pharmacology, and an over-reliance on imaging, which is actually distracting because no amount of brain imaging actually tells you anything about consciousness.
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