Deepak Chopra is a really well known Indian-American author that was born in 1947, a physician and a public speaker. He is an advocate of alternative medicine and has authored dozens of videos and books. At the moment he is a highly popular figure in holistic health.
Chopra obtained the medical degree in India and then emigrated to USA in 1970. That was when he specialized in the field of endocrinology and eventually became COS at NEMH (New England Memorial Hospital). Then, in the eighties he started to practice TM (transcendental meditation) but he left the movement in 1994 as he founded Chopra Center For Wellbeing.
The work of the author is based on mainstream medicine and Ayurveda medicine, which is a traditional Hindu practice. He always claimed that his practices will extend human lifespan and will treat chronic disease. As expected, such views are criticized by various scientists as they believe the positive results are brought in by a placebo effect.
Deepak Chopra Ideas
There are 4 main ideas that have to be discussed:
Deepak Chopra constantly writes and talks about Vedanta philosophy, the study of consciousness and metaphysics. We can say that he is a philosophical idealist as he argues for consciousness primacy over the matter and for intelligence purpose in nature. According to the author, consciousness is object and subject. He claims that consciousness creates reality and that we are actually thoughts that managed to create physical machines. The most interesting idea here is that consciousness the world.
- Health Care Approach
The health care approach is interesting since the main claim is that the mental state of an individual will directly influence physiology through neurotransmitters like oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine. When you influence one of your body’s elements, the entire body is affected.
Whenever talking about health care, Chopra uses one term: “quantum healing”. The principle was mentioned and defined in the 1989 book, Quantum Healing. Everything is an attempt to wed the Ayurvedic medicine version with physics concepts.
- Aging Ideas
Deepak Chopra will talk about aging as a behavior that you learn. He tells you that you can prevent and slow it. According to his own mentions, he will live way beyond being 100 years old. We will, of course, have to see if that is the case. Chopra did say that aging will be accelerated in the event that a person will be engaged in a cynical mistrust.
Obviously, many see the promotion of having a longer life span as being just false hope that is sold to people. Robert Todd Carroll did claim this publicly and stated that everything is just based on gibberish and imagination combined with mysticism.
- Religion And Spirituality
Chopra looks at the universe as being a “reality sandwich”. The layers involved are:
- quantum energy and matter zone
- virtual zone – located outside of space and time
- material zone
Deepak Chopra wrote a lot about a human being having the brain hardwired in order to know God. He adds that human nervous system functions will mirror the divine experience.
Deepak Chopra Reception
As you surely expected, the work of Deepak Chopra was criticized by some and received with arms wide open by others. Time Magazine in 1999 included the author in the list of the twentieth century’s icons and heroes. In the following year we saw Gorbachev talking about Chopra as being a “lucid and inspired” philosopher. Cosmo Landesman mentioned the fact that Chopra is nowadays a brand, “the David Beckham of personal/spiritual growth.”
By 2014 Chopra wrote 21 New York Times bestsellers, out of 75 books. The 21 books were translated in a total of 35 languages. Paul Offit wrote in 2013 that the business grosses brought in by Chopra reached $20 million per year. This includes the sale of books, herbal supplements, massage oils, videos and courses. If you are interested in his anti-aging products, you should know that the costs can go up to $10,000 per year. The worth of Deepak Chopra is estimated of being at $80 million right now.
There are numerous scientists that constantly criticized the mix of science and spirituality offered by Chopra. The opinion of the medical and scientific communities will always range from damning to dismissive. Criticism also includes the claim that the Chopra approach will lure the sick people away from the treatments that are effective.