Saturday, December 11, 2004

Deepak Chopra's 7 Spiritual Laws and the Bible

A friend of mine had recieved a box of children's books from a co-worker some weeks ago. Many of the books were ones I had as a child and brought back good memories, and some were new and interesting and I read them, even though they were children's books. I am not too big for children's books! All books have something to say, and even if they don't say it well there is something to be learned in that, if nothing else.
In the bottom of this box of what was purportedly children's books, was a slim volume from Deepak Chopra titled "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success". Now I had heard of Chopra before but wrote his stuff off as hopelessly New Age.
Having just had a weekend where I was feeling a bit disoriented as a Christian and not having anything better to do I picked up the book. Just a few months earlier, I had read Abraham-Hicks material- for readers familiar with Abraham-Hicks I will liken it to a bludgeon, while Chopra's 7 Laws are a sharp samurai's sword.
The gist of both teachings is this- you create through intent and desire while remaining detached from the result. Chopra's 7 Laws clearly explain the how and the why; as I read it Bible verses popped to mind, backing up whole portions of his text.
This is a problem for the Christian. The mechanism is not so much a challenge to Christianity's concept of God. The universal applicability is the challenge. If it is true that through introducing impulses of intent through meditation the fabric of the universe can be made to bring into being that which we desire, what benefit is there to being a Christian, and especially of what benefit is Christian prayer beyond a mere cloak for introducing impulses of intent?
It is possible that the "fabric of the universe" being tapped through meditation is merely a personal integrative field that transmits messages between the spirit, soul, and body. Intent through meditation not aligns the field generally, but aligns the field in such a way as to cause to produce the specified intent even if we are not consciously reaching for it. This alignment of the personal integrative field also exhibits a magnetism (possibly through the creation of a more favorable aura) that draws others to our cause thereby providing further assist to the achievement of our intent.
None of this is inherently anti-Christian. As a matter of fact, I would argue for the existance of such an integrative field based on the fact that if our spirit, soul, and body had no means of intrinsic communication, we would not be able to function normally. Of course the tri-partite nature of man is definately a Christian idea.
Additionally, Chopra's discussion of the divinity within is a metaphor for the spirit of man. Unleashing the divinity of man through self referral is simply putting our spirits in control, rather than our emotions or physical drives. This too is a very Christian idea, putting the body and carnal mind under subjection. To clarify, self referral is taking our worth from ourselves. Object referral is taking our worth from something external. Most people live in the mode of object referral which is why we have to stroke egos and play politics with insecure people. Again, the primacy of self referral is a tremendously Christian idea as Paul tells us not to compare ourselves with others.
Chopra's discussion of detachment is probably the most profound and Biblical chapter in the entire book. I was astounded by the lessons of faith I could draw from this teaching. In a nutshell, detachment is about having intent and desire without being attached to the result. In other words, you want something, but if it never happens you are OK with that. The reason and basis for this is rooted in the acceptance of the present, not by the fact you can't change it, but because the present is exactly how things were supposed to be. Dear Christian, how much clearer can you make faith in God to be? This is a perfect discussion of the interplay of spiritual forces at work in faith. It is also a perfect blend of the ideas of God's soveriegnty and our will.
Chopra also discusses the concepts of karma (reaping what you sow) and dharma (a life's calling), both of which are intimately Christian. He provides several methods for dealing with bad karma (reaping your wild oats) and how to find your life's calling.
These are all truly spiritual laws. If we believe that it rains on the just and the unjust, then we realize that physical laws are fully applicable to every man to be used for his benefit or ignored to his detriment. The same goes with emotions. I also would say, the same goes for the spiritual. There are spiritual laws that affect every man and woman, which may be used for his or her benefit, and it does not matter if you believe in God or not.
So we are back to the question of, why is Christianity special? The reason is, that while spiritual laws can be utilized by anyone in the temporal world, we cannot affect the eternal. Our temporal lives create, as if by carbon copy, an eternal karma which will not be due until we enter the eternal realm. In addition, there exists an eternal mind with eternal wisdom who is God, who we cannot touch through our temporal abilities. On the flip side, He cannot touch us either. Would that we could be one with this eternal God and bring His power and presence to bear in our lives and to the world, and to have His aid in dealing with our eternal karma.
Christianity is true because Christ bridges this gap.
The lesson for the Christian is that God made us integrated beings and that while we may touch the eternal through Christ, there exist some spiritual laws that are in effect in this temporal world which we must master. Our benefit is that once we master these, they can become a conduit for eternal power, wisdom, and purpose, rather than the mere fulfilling of our own desires. God retains control over the spiritual laws just as he does the physical ones. The eternal God also offers assistance in carrying out these laws.

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