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Essential How to Know God: The Essence of the Soul's Journey into the Mystery of Mysteries [NOOK Book]

Overview

You don't have to believe in God in order to experience God.
--- Deepak Chopra

The celebrated author of Ageless Body, Timeless Mind and The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success has written his most ambitious and important work yet, a runaway international bestseller that has inspired hundreds of thousands of readers to rethink their concept of ...
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Essential How to Know God: The Essence of the Soul's Journey into the Mystery of Mysteries

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Overview

You don't have to believe in God in order to experience God.
--- Deepak Chopra

The celebrated author of Ageless Body, Timeless Mind and The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success has written his most ambitious and important work yet, a runaway international bestseller that has inspired hundreds of thousands of readers to rethink their concept of God.

According to Chopra, the brain is hardwired to know God. The human nervous system has seven biological responses that correspond to seven levels of divine experience. These are shaped not by any one religion (they are shared by all faiths), but by the brain's need to take an infinite, chaotic universe and find meaning in it. How to Know God describes the quest each of us is on, whether we realize it or not. For, as Chopra puts it, "God is our highest instinct to know ourselves." This book makes a dramatic and enduring contribution to that knowledge.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I congratulate Dr. Deepak Chopra for this wonderful book, reaching out to many, many readers, on the subject of spirituality but with a scientific approach."
—The Dalai Lama

"The most important book about God for our times. This book is a magical stairway to ascend to a life-changing experience of the sacred."
—Robert Thurman, Ph.D., professor of religion, Columbia University

"This book, which unfolds the knowledge of God-consciousness, is at once a map of Spirit and a map of your own deepest Self."
—Ken Wilber, author of Integral Psychology

"How to Know God is a profound and accessible exploration of the experience of God, including an understanding of it in biological and scientific terms.
It is both fascinating and uplifting."
—Andrew Weil, M.D., director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona

"One of the best books ever written about a subject that more people think about than anything else."
—-Larry King, host of Larry King Live, CNN

"Deepak Chopra has really done it this time—a brilliant, scholarly yet lyrical synthesis of neuroscience, quantum physics, personal reminiscence, and Eastern, Western, and spiritual thinking."
—Candace Pert, Ph.D., research professor, Georgetown University School of Medicine, and author of Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine

"Just when I think he can't go any deeper, he does. We have in our midst a spiritual genius."
—Marianne Williamson, author of Return to Love

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307408310
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/30/2007
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 699,130
  • File size: 275 KB

Meet the Author

Deepak Chopra has written 24 books, which have been translated into thirty-five languages. He is also the author of more than 30 audio and videotape series, including five critically acclaimed programs on public television. Chopra currently serves as the director for educational programs at The Chopra Center for Well Being in La Jolla, California.

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

Read an Excerpt

From CHAPTER ONE: A Real and Useful God

God has managed the amazing feat of being worshiped and invisible at the same time. Millions of people would describe him as a white-bearded father figure sitting on a throne in the sky, but none could claim to be an eyewitness. Although it doesn't seem possible to offer a single fact about the Almighty that would hold up in a court of law, somehow the vast majority of people believe in God — as many as 96 percent, according to some polls. This reveals a huge gap between belief and what we call everyday reality. We need to heal this gap.

What would the facts be like if we had them? They would be as follows. Everything that we experience as material reality is born in an invisible realm beyond space and time, a realm revealed by science to consist of energy and information. This invisible source of all that exists is not an empty void but the womb of creation itself. Something creates and organizes this energy. It turns the chaos of quantum soup into stars, galaxies, rain forests, human beings, and our own thoughts, emotions, memories, and desires. In the pages that lie ahead we will see that it is not only possible to know this source of existence on an abstract level but to become intimate and at one with it. When this happens, our horizons open to new realities. We will have the experience of God.

After centuries of knowing God through faith, we are now ready to understand divine intelligence directly. In many ways this new knowledge reinforces what spiritual traditions have already promised. God is invisible and yet performs all miracles. He is the source of every impulse of love. Beauty and truth are both children of this God. In the absence of knowing the infinite source of energy and creativity, life's miseries come into being. Getting close to God through a true knowing heals the fear of death, confirms the existence of the soul, and gives ultimate meaning to life.

Our whole notion of reality has actually been topsy-turvy. Instead of God being a vast, imaginary projection, he turns out to be the only thing that is real, and the whole universe, despite its immensity and solidity, is a projection of God's nature. Those astonishing events we call miracles give us clues to the workings of this ineffable intelligence. Consider the following story:

In 1924 an old French villager is walking home. With one eye lost in the Great War and the other severely damaged by mustard gas in the trenches, he can barely see. The setting sun is bright, so the old man is completely unaware of the two youths on bicycles who have wheeled around the corner and are barreling down on him.

At the moment of impact an angel appears. He takes the lead bicycle by its two wheels, lifts it a few feet in the air, and sets it down safely on the grass beside the road. The second bicycle stops short, and the youths become tremendously excited. "There are two! There are two!" one of them shouts, meaning that instead of just the old man alone, two figures are standing in the road. The entire village becomes very worked up, claiming afterward that the youths were drunk or else have made up this fantastic tale. As for the old man, when he is asked about it, he says he doesn't understand the question.
Could we ever come to an answer ourselves? As it happens, the old man was a priest, Pére Jean Lamy, and the appearance of the angel has come down to us through his own testimony before his death. Lamy, who was saintly and beloved, seems to be credited with many instances where God sent angels or other forms of divine aid. Although reluctant to talk about them, his attitude was matter-of-fact and modest. Because of Lamy's religious vocation, it is easy to dismiss this incident as a story for the devout. Skeptics would not be moved.

Yet I am fascinated simply by whether it could have happened, whether we can open the door and allow helpful angels into our reality, along with miracles, visions, prophecy, and ultimately that great outsider, God himself.

We all know that a person can learn about life without religion. If I took a hundred newborn babies and filmed every moment of their lives from beginning to end, it wouldn't be possible to predict that the believers in God will turn out to be happier, wiser, or more successful than the nonbelievers. Yet the video camera cannot record what is happening below the surface. Someone who has experienced God may be looking on the entire world with wonder and joy. Is this experience real? Is it useful to our lives or just a subjective event, full of meaning to the person having it but otherwise no more practical than a dream?

One bald fact stands at the beginning of any search for God. He leaves no footprints in the material world. From the very beginning of religion in the West, it was obvious that God had some kind of presence, known in Hebrew as Shekhinah. Sometimes this word is simply translated as "light" or radiance. Shekhinah formed the halos around angels and the luminous joy in the face of a saint. It was feminine, even though God, as interpreted in the Judeo-Christian tradition, is masculine. The significant fact about Shekhinah was not its gender, however. Since God is infinite, calling the deity He or She is just a human convention. Much more important was the notion that if God has a presence, that means he can be experienced. He can be known. This is a huge point, because in every other way God is understood to be invisible and untouchable. And unless some small part of God touches the material world, he will remain inaccessible forever.

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