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Overview

In Deepak Chopra's groundbreaking and imaginative new work, a unique blend of storytelling and teaching, the New York Times bestselling author explores the evolution of God. By capturing the lives of ten historical prophets, saints, mystics, and martyrs who are touched by a divine power, Chopra brings to life the defining moments of our most influential sages, ultimately revealing universal lessons about the true nature of God.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Billed as a "teaching novel," this book uses examples from the lives of mystics of diverse traditions to pose questions about the origins, significance and reach of consciousness. Chopra is the founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, Calif. He has written numerous books (Spiritual Solutions, 2012, etc.) and has had several titles on bestseller lists. Here, Chopra profiles 10 historical figures in an effort to better understand God: Job, Socrates, St. Paul, Shankara, Rumi, Julian of Norwich, Giordano Bruno, Anne Hutchinson, Baal Shem Tov and Rabindranath Tagore. Along the way, Chopra offers his reflections, which occasionally drift into homily. The central question Chopra raises in each "Revealing the Vision" section is: "[W]here did consciousness come from?" Not all of the figures profiled are well-known. Hutchinson, for example, was an early, radical Puritan; Bruno, a heretic, was burned at the stake in Rome in 1600. Of particular interest are the humorous, humble Baal Shem, the brilliant, witty Shankara and the visionary Julian, a man Chopra calls "the most touching figure in this book." This book will appeal to the spiritually minded.
Spirituality and Practice
Blending fictional accounts of ten extraordinary people in history he respects with commentary on their lives and works, Chopra has created a medium for us to ponder the evolution of God.
Maya Angelou
Deepak Chopra, the spiritual sage, has exhibited immense ambition…His attempt to explain God makes my bones shiver. His success in defining that life-long mystery brings tears to my eyes and humbles me in gratitude. He has probed through the ages in order to write a book for the ages.
Huston Smith
“Deepak Chopra has successfully blended ancient Vedanta Philosophy with his unique perspective on modern science to provide a vast audience with solutions that meet many needs for our modern age.”
Arvind Sharma
“The line is usually drawn from God to revelation but by drawing it from revelation to God in this astonishing book, Deepak achieves two startling results.”
Harvey Cox
“Spiritual traditions manifest themselves most clearly in the living human beings who embody them. In this highly readable volume Deepak Chopra has told the engaging stories of a dozen of these exemplary figures. The result is both inspiring and richly enjoyable.”
Leonard Mlodinow
“Through his compelling fictionalization, Deepak Chopra offers an intriguing exposition of the evolution of human theological thought. He should have called the book ‘A Brief History of God’!”
Library Journal
Few writers command as much attention in popular spirituality as the best-selling Chopra (Spiritual Solutions). This title, unusual for him, alternates fiction with reflection, examining the likes of Job, Socrates, Paul, Rumi, Anne Hutchinson, the Baal Shem Tov, and Rabindranath Tagore, scrutinizing their experiences for increasing our understanding of God. This work should be understood not as historical fiction, but as something more like allegory, and it is written with a care and vigor unusual for the often slapdash Chopra. VERDICT Using fictional narrative and the lessons of real lives as teaching tools, Chopra draws touching and intriguing conclusions; a must for Chopra's fans, and an excellent book for the general spiritual reader.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062020680
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/25/2012
  • Pages: 278
  • Sales rank: 558,432

Meet the Author

Deepak Chopra is the founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California, and is acknowledged as one of the master teachers of Eastern philosophy in the Western world. He has written more than fifty-five books and has been a bestselling author for decades, with over a dozen titles on the New York Times bestseller lists, including Buddha and Jesus.

Biography

The practice of holistic and mind-body medicine has long been a controversial subject among medical professionals. Some view it as a healthy and natural alternative to chemical pharmaceuticals. Others see it as a system of placebos and new-age chicanery. No matter where one stands on this issue, there is no denying the influence that mind, body, and spirit practitioner Deepak Chopra has had on the world of medicine.

Chopra's bestselling books on a variety of topics have been translated into 35 languages. His lectures, seminars, and learning materials are immensely popular, as are his television specials for PBS. In addition, he has founded his own medical center called the Chopra Center for Well Being and has won fans amongst celebrities ranging from Prince Charles to Mikhail Gorbachev to Demi Moore to David Lynch. When financier/philanthropist Michael Milken was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he claimed that Chopra's holistic methods shrunk his lymph nodes by 90%.

Chopra's interest in alternative medicine initially grew out of concern for his own health. After moving from India to set up a practice medicine in Boston some 25 years ago, Chopra succumbed to many of the stresses that plague medical professionals. As a result, he guzzled coffee, chain-smoked, and drank heavily. Once he began studying eastern philosophies by way of Krishnamurti and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, he became aware of medical practices outside of the sometimes limited western perspective. This awakening changed his life.

While Chopra is viewed as a major proponent of the role of Eastern philosophies in healing, he does not reject western medicine. In fact, what makes his approach so unique is the way he incorporates the best aspects of western medical research into his theories. This amalgamation of medical philosophies is at the root of self-help volumes like Restful Sleep, Perfect Weight, and Boundless Energy. Elsewhere, Chopra has addressed such diverse issues as reversing the aging process (Ageless Body, Timeless Mind), perfecting personal relationships (The Path to Love), and achieving capitalist goals via Eastern philosophies (The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success).

Chopra has also become concerned with the causes of war and violence and the principles of Eastern religions, especially Buddhism, and his books on these subjects have garnered praise from such major international figures as the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Boutros-Boutros Ghali. Consequently, Chopra continues to play a significant role in world health and world politics in spite of detractors and skeptics. With an immense body of work behind him and more volumes of wisdom sure to follow, he continues to preach the simple philosophy he is certain is the key to understanding ourselves, mentally and physically: "We're not human beings that have occasional spiritual experiences, it's the other way around: we're spiritual beings that have occasional human experiences."

Good To Know

In 1999, Time magazine named Chopra one of the Top 100 Icons and Heroes of the Century.

Chopra's father was a prominent cardiologist and an anglophile who distrusted Indian philosophies and alternative medical practices.

Despite his reputation as a serious-minded intellectual, Chopra describes himself as "playful" and "carefree."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Deepak Chopra M.D.
    2. Hometown:
      La Jolla, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 22, 1946
    2. Place of Birth:
      New Delhi, India
    1. Education:
      All India Institute of Medical Sciences

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

1 Job: "I Am the Lord Thy God" (Biblical Times) 5

2 Socrates: "Know Thyself" (470-399 BCE) 44

3 St. Paul: "I Am the Light of the World" (4 BCE-64 CE) 88

4 Shankara: "Life Is a Dream" (700-750) 124

5 Rumi: "Come with Me, My Beloved" (1207-73) 166

6 Julian of Norwich: "All Shall Be Well" (1342-1416) 207

7 Giordano Bruno: "Everything Is Light" (1548-1600) 243

8 Anne Hutchinson: "Spirit Is Perfect in Every Believer" (1591-1643) 279

9 Baal Shem Tov: "To Live Is to Serve God" (1700-1760) 313

10 Rabindranath Tagore: "I Am the Endless Mystery" (1861-1941) 348

Epilogue: "Are You There?" 393

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