Rupert Spira Podcast: Deepak Chopra
The starting point of this conversation is Rupert’s book Transparent Body, Luminous World: The Tantric Yoga of Sensation and Perception, which Deepak holds in high esteem.
After inviting Rupert to introduce himself to listeners who may not be familiar with him, Deepak then summarises his own journey from neuro-endocrinologist to serious student and exponent of mind/body medicine, while grappling, along with many others, with the so-called ‘hard problem of consciousness’.
Referencing Tagore’s “Parting Words”—“[A]nd thus I am blessed…In this playhouse of infinite forms I have had my play and here have I caught sight of him who is formless”—Deepak describes experiences of ecstatic joy together with the ‘heeby-jeebies of nihilism’, pushing him into doubt and fear about his own identity as a person.
He goes on to ask what is this recycling of constructs, sensations, thoughts and feelings that we end up calling ‘the body-mind’? Where does it all lead to, and what is individuality, or is it just an illusion?
Rupert responds by challenging the prevailing presumption that an organism ‘has consciousness’. He posits that nothing ‘has’ consciousness, but rather consciousness has everything, offering the analogy that our everyday, normal, waking reality is to consciousness as our dream reality is to us.
They end with a discussion of language: we are the only species to have this, but as Rumi says, “God’s language is silence. Everything else is poor translation.” Rupert contends that language is a reflection in the human mind of the primary activity of reality.
He cites “In the beginning was the Word” from the Christian tradition, the Logos in ancient Greek philosophy, and mantra, from the Eastern spiritual traditions. He describes mantra as the ‘first form of the activity of infinite consciousness': primal sound evoking meaning that lies far outside the compass of a human mind. And he says that poetry has a similar function; it can draw us back to the source from which it emanates.
You can listen to this episode on the Rupert Spira Podcast.
If you enjoyed this piece, you can read about a previous conversation between Rupert and Deepak, in which they discuss Being Aware of Being Aware.