Chopra will be discussing his new book “Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul” at the event co-presented by the university’s Center for Spirituality and Healing. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Northrop. A book signing will follow the lecture.
Chopra recently spoke with the Downtown Journal about the themes in his new book. Here are interview highlights:
DTJ: What is the forgotten miracle you reference in the introduction?
Chopra: The forgotten miracle is that the body is an expression of all of our spirit. The real mistake that we’ve made is that we think of our bodies like a mechanical structure, like a machine, when in fact it is a perfect example of the supreme intelligence of the universe. Just think about it — the human body has 100 trillion cells, which is more than all the stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Each cell performs 100,000 activities every second, and every cell instantly correlates, harmonizes, synchronizes its activity with all the other cells. How does the human body think thoughts, play a piano, kill germs, remove toxins, make a baby all at once? And while you do that your body can also track the movement of stars and planets because your body’s biological rhythms are the symphony of the whole universe. That’s the miracle. When we forget the miracle — and treat the body like a machine — we move from the sacred to the profane.
What is the best way to get control of our thoughts so we can change for the better?
The best way is not to do it forcefully or with contrived positive thinking. To pretend to be positive all the time is so unnatural, if anything it’s stressful. The only way you can change your thinking is to go to the level of your soul, which is a place of a stillness. When we have the experience of stillness you go beyond your separate self and you connect with all of life. By definition our soul is our connection to all life. And over there the thoughts are spontaneously those of love and kindness and compassion and joy and creativity and insight and intuition and inspiration and choice-making. … If you go past the mind — get in touch with the spirit and the soul — it all happens spontaneously.
How do we do that when there is so much noise and chatter? How can you get to the place?
In the book I talk about transcending meditation, I talk about reflection, contemplative mediation. I also talk about internal practices to enhance the experience of love when you do that you spontaneously get to that place. Also there’s the four kinds of yoga — the yoga of reflection, meditation and contemplation; the yoga of love; the yoga of creative expression; and the yoga of relationship and service.
How can we change our relationship with time?
First of all recognize that time is a very abstract experience in our own consciousness. There is no such thing as time out there. You can experience time in your own consciousness. The quality of your internal dialogue reflects your relationship with time. If you’re the kind of person who says ‘I’m strapped for time. I’m running out of time.’ Then your biological clock will speed up. You’ll have a faster heart rate, higher blood pressure, stress hormones go up. That experience results in a higher incidence of heart attacks and cancer. … All peak experiences are timeless experiences. … When you change the quality of your attention to the timeless in the midst of the time bound you move from the ego to your soul, and you change your relationship to time.