How to Know God: The Soul's Journey into the Mystery of Mysteries

How to Know God: The Soul's Journey into the Mystery of Mysteries

by Deepak Chopra

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Overview

How to Know God: The Soul's Journey into the Mystery of Mysteries by Deepak Chopra

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780609805237
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 02/28/2001
Edition description: First Paperback Edition
Pages: 319
Sales rank: 463,851
Product dimensions: 5.19(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.67(d)

About the Author

DEEPAK CHOPRA, a member of Oprah's SuperSoul 100, is the author of more than fifty books translated into more than thirty-five languages—including numerous New York Times bestsellers in both the fiction and nonfiction categories. Dr. Chopra is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, adjunct professor at the Kellogg School of Management, and a senior scientist with the Gallup Organization. He is founder and president of the Alliance for a New Humanity. Time magazine heralds Deepak Chopra as one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century and credits him as “the poet–prophet of alternative medicine.”


From the Hardcover edition.

Hometown:

La Jolla, California

Date of Birth:

October 22, 1946

Place of Birth:

New Delhi, India

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.

Table of Contents

1.A Real and Useful God1
2.Mystery of Mysteries27
3.Seven Stages of God40
Stage 1God the Protector51
Stage 2God the Almighty67
Stage 3God of Peace83
Stage 4God the Redeemer101
Stage 5God the Creator118
Stage 6God of Miracles136
Stage 7God of Pure Being--"I Am"158
God Is as We Are180
4.A Manual for Saints190
Spiritual Awakening203
The Mind Field211
5.Strange Powers224
Inspiration and Insight226
Geniuses, Child Prodigies, and Savants230
Memory of Former Lifetimes237
Telepathy and ESP246
Alter Egos (Multiple Personality Syndrome)250
Synchronicity255
Clairvoyance and Prophecy260
6.Contacting God267
A Map of the Soul273
The State of Union288
The Power of Intention298
Endnotes and Further Reading306
Index312

What People are Saying About This

Larry King

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

Dalai Lama

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.

Ken Wilber

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)

Andrew Weil

Andrew Weil, M.D., director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona
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.

Marianne Williamson

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)

Robert Thurman

Robert Thurman, Ph.D., professor of religion, Columbia University
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.

Candace Pert

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)

Interviews

Deepak Chopra on How to Know God

As a child growing up in India I saw signs of spirit all around me—in the faces of near-naked sadhus, or holy men, in the saffron-robed monks who begged for rice in the streets, and in the people rich and poor who thronged the Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh temples. My parents sent me off to be educated by Catholic nuns, who taught me to respect the God of Christianity. At an early age I understood that these expressions of divinity must have something in common, despite their obvious differences. After many years of study I have come to the conclusion that all human beings are actually hardwired to know God. Our brains are structured to make sense of the world around us, and spirit is necessary to our fully understanding that sensory input. The converse is also true: We are limited in our ability to know God by our minds, through which we filter experience.

As I sat down to write my new book, How to Know God, I concluded that there are seven stages of human experience—and therefore of God consciousness—beginning with survival, or "fight or flight," which yields the all-powerful, capricious God of the Old Testament, and ending with unity consciousness, through which we can truly experience God in all things, living and inert. (All of us can access the seventh stage briefly, whereas the truly enlightened, such as Buddha, Christ, and Muhammad, could spend a lifetime there.) While writing this book I became very excited by the notion that these seven sacred responses apply to everyone, regardless of religion. As importantly, they explain how even those who do not subscribe to a religion can have the direct experience of God. Also, once I placed them in the context of the sacred responses, anomalies such as clairvoyance, telepathy, ESP, ecstasy, and genius suddenly made perfect sense, which supported my sense that I was working with a breakthrough concept.

Einstein once said, "I want to know the face of God. Everything else is detail." My goal is to make the face of God available to all of us and with it the power to make miracles in our lives. Encouraging responses from early readers of How to Know God, from the Dalai Lama to Larry King, give me hope that the book may succeed in advancing my goal. I hope you find that to be true.

With love,

Deepak

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How to Know God 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
Old_Sage More than 1 year ago
"How to Know GOD" is one of the first books that I read by Deepak Chopra. The book was a recommended read by someone that I have great respect for. My respect for them remains intact! To me, the subtitle, "The Soul's Journey into the Mystery of Mysteries," is indicative of where you need to be spiritually and mentally in order to fully appreciate the enlightenment that unfolds before you as you proceed from chapter to chapter. You need to be on a "journey" towards discovering the true essence of the purpose for your life. If there is a force that binds the nucleus of an atom together to create "you" and everything in existence, surely there is a purpose for your life. In this book, Dr. Chopra plays the role of "help-mate" by taking his knowledge of religion, quantum physics, and neuroscience to help you on your journey. If you are truly on a journey towards discovering the true essence of the purpose for your life, this book is a "must read." Knowledge is power, reading is fundamental, and life is a journey. Enjoy this book and your journey.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Deepok deals with our world's most important subject--God. He explains that we are all directly connected to God---but that we somehow forget this. He also explains how this connection can be made outside of religion. This is a great book by a man I consider a prophet. He conveys a lot of truths and references many great religions, cultures and teachers---not just one. Mike Sale
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have not completed this book , but is gives the reader many things to ponder and meditate on.Deepak Chopra has a very quite and peaceful way of look at our world and God and how we all fit into the scheme of things.. It quiets my mind and lifts my soul.
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BlueGiantSun More than 1 year ago
After the entire history of man with all of the war and blood shed, the fighting, hate and anger people still want to try to force everyones thinking to be what "their" thinking is. Deepak Chopra doesn't think like the religious schools in that he attempts to give a different view of God. All the talk of Jesus Crist and the Bible are also 'Hear say" because the only real proof of them is someones discription of them. As we know with all religion it is something pushed upon conquered lands by the stronger people, army, nations. This process eliminates the conquered peoples right to believe they did originally... the story of past-the reality of this moment. No matter what you believe It doesn't give you the right to tell me that I can't feel what ever way that I chose to about Deepak Chopra's Material. I think that it is a beautiful undertaking to investigate, use what is helpful and leave the rest. This isn't about forcing you to believe but for those who disagree it is their means of a justifiable soil for even more unrest. He attempts to show another vision to view God, from our minute sight, in all of the granduer that God emcompasses. Naming God is impossible and inffeable. His view is not from a religious standpoint but a personal one paralleled with scientific understanding on a PERSONAL LEVEL. I found it really good in that he stayed with his beliefs and never sounds preechy say like a...Bible. Don't get me wrong I think that ALL HOLY BOOKS have remnants of GOD within them but when those that believe in those specific books try and force/judge the rest of us for not believing what "They" believe is when they do the entire world a dis service. Man has evolved but his thinking is still primitive.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was incredible in showing exactly as the title shows. I picked up the book skeptically seeming the task at hand would be imposible but Deepak Chopra used a wonderful blending of various religious wisdom to show how it can be possible. I've recommended it to everyone who's willing to take the next step.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book. It helped fill in the blanks and revolutionize my thinking. If you seek a deeper truth of man's existence and the reality of a supreme being, this is a great read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Deepak Chopra has taken Fundamentalist Christianity, Eastern Religions of Islam and Buddhism, Science and the modern spiritualism to which many people have been awakening, and made a valiant attempt to tie them all together. As a recent student of religion and spirituality, I found the book helped to crystallize ideas I had forming in my head as well as initiating other discoveries. I found myself at times blown away by the thoughts he evoked. He is a true intellectual who presents a well-rounded view of the deepest mysteries.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With specific reference to this title - How to know God: The Soul's Journey into the Mysteries of Mysteries- In conjunction with the captioned, although I have been able to only glimpse through a prelude synopsis pertaining to this title, I feel a sense of pride to assert the following remarks in this specific context: Although, I do hope that I shall definitely have the opportunity to read this entire book, as an evenet may emerge corresponding to this title. This is certainly a proficiently creative workmanship of intellectual prowess that has been utilized to derive mutual benefit for universal harmony and a better rapport and understanding towards perceiving this most contentious thought about subject of life(s) and life time(s). Need I say more, words cannot narrate the extent of the degree of the considerable amount of enthusiastic perspective that this publishment has evoked. With Best Wishes for many more prospective intellectual titles and sincere best wishes for world peace, good health, happiness and greater understanding all around the world. Thank you for providing this opportunity to interact and share thoughts. Sincerely, Vashi Ramchand Chandiramani chandiramanis@netscape.net vaishnavi@hknet.com,
Guest More than 1 year ago
No one could have written this book except someone from within the "virtual domain," and Dr. Chopra has most certainly given us all the opportunity to merge our religious and spiritual beliefs and questions into a single understanding of God. Years of study alone could not give such joy, such hope, and such promise at a time when so many of us are searching to "find" God. He is truly a great Master here to guide many of us through his spiritual gift of writing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Deepak Chopra is the most amazing author in the world. His mind gives birth to thoughts that one wouldn't even think that the human mind is capable of. If I could go anywhere in this world, it would be inside this man's mind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is truley amazing. It talks about the seven stages in which a peson connects with god. I had realized half way through how much I strayed in my faith. This book is not only for Christians but for anyone who belives in a greater power. I know of four people who have been greatly impacted from this book including a buddist and a hidi friend of mine. This book is sure to inspire and touch the hearts of thousands for generations to come.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i have ten or twelve of chopra's tapes, and i'm obviously a big fan. this was another great work. the man spits them out like brian wilson of the beach boys writes songs. however, in this unabridged version it seems some chapters are given short shrift. i wished there was more detail given to such things as synchronicity. this is the first one of his works that i could actually tell was edited. i probably should read the book also. after five hours of audio he still whets the appitite for more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book opens your heart & soul to the truth of what we are all looking for.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Book explains how our personality types (7) determine our approach to God. Makes sense, however, it seems to me that all personality types should respond to the type of God revealed in Conversations with God and An Encounter With A Prophet. That certain fundamentalists refuse this good news makes this book make more sense to me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My books had been returned to the library the previous day but I decided to tag along with my husband and glance around once again. The first book I saw was Deepak Chopra's latest book 'How to know God: The Soul's Journey into the Mystery of Mysteries'. I have enjoyed a number of his past books and knew it would be interesting,I decided to give it a try and thus began my enchantment with this book. I was intrigued by the concepts he introduced. While I found it a little repetative in some areas, each time it guided me to look at something else a different way. If one is on a true search for a closer relationship with The Spirit, this is the book that can take you there. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone because some people show more of a curiosity rather than a true search. While reading this book and questioning the Hindu aspect, I had occaission to meet a Roman Catholic priest from India who commented on the great spirituality of the Hindu religion. I will no longer LIMIT my search to one church's doctrine, I believe we're all in this together. Thank you Dr. Chopra!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Seven levels of God. Seven Spiritual laws of success. 88 ways to this. 12 ways to that. Seventeen ways to think. 12 stages of the ego. Yikes, it's just too much. It doesn't matter if I'm reading with or without my ego, my spirit, my mind, my heart or my reading glasses. I don't get it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book about both the practice and theory of How to Experience God in your everyday life. The science/theory part explains that there are 7 different types of responses/approaches that we(the human brain)take towards God...from fearful and reactive all the way to mystical unity/oneness with all that is. Chopra's greatness is in making way for All different types of approaches to the experience of God. No one is wrong or right, and it makes it understandable the why and wherefore of so many different religions and approaches to God. It makes it easier to then come to your own practical approach to 'Contacting God!' There are many ways... It helped me to see the all experiences of God in my life with more unity. Seeing that different experiences are all part of the same, yet are based in different approaches/ or stages in my life... Another book which I love - and which has been the most profound book in my life about learning to be in Unity with everything in my life - is 'WORKING ON YOURSELF DOESN'T WORK: A Book About Instantaneous Transformation' by Ariel and Shya Kane. The Kanes are two of the most self-realized people on the planet. Their book and their workshops( I have met them and done several of their workshops) are simply amazing. They help you go directly into the experience of oneness with your life. They are practical entryways into Living in the Now, in the present. They have helped me discover how to be my true self, free of the mind, of past and future, as much as that is possible. Their book, 'WORKING ON YOURSELF DOESN'T WORK' is beyond most self-critical self-help approaches that get lost in the striving of the mind. The Kanes approach is about pure awareness, beyond the mind, and is simply a necessity if you want a PRACTICAL WAY of becoming self-realized, and of coming into touch with the miraculous in your everday life.
Guest More than 1 year ago

This is a well-thought-out book, which recaps much of Hindu thought. To a Westerner, unfamiliar with such schools of thought as Advaita Vedanta, it must seem very new and profound.

Other books available in the West which are equally mind-bending, are The Holographic Universe, by Talbot, and The Road to Damascus, by Pierre. (The latter is less well-known. I first heard about it from one of the reviewers here.)

Although both books agree with each other, and with Chopra and the Hindus to a certain extent, they are perhaps more persuasive.

I recommend How to Know God. It is a very good book.

Guest More than 1 year ago
Although I don't agree with every thing Chopra writes here I do find it very close to my own understanding of God. I am glad that it is written with the unbeliver in mind. All of us go through the stages that Chopra outlines and for myself I find that I travel fluidly from one to another as I increase or fall blind to my understanding of God. Read this regardless of your religion or lack of and have an open mind. You don't have to agree with every statement.