God Is the New Physics

By Deepak Chopra, MD


When spirituality and physics started to be linked, many scientists called it the use of metaphor. It couldn’t literally be true that there was a Tao of Physics that linked quantum mechanics to ancient Chinese philosophy. At best there might be a weak link–God and the new physics–the way one might say God and DNA. With a little imagination, the two could be joined, but there was no possibility that God could intrude into hard science. There might be a gene for faith (so the speculation went), yet physics is couched almost purely in the language of mathematics, and no matter how you cut it, God isn’t numbers.


Why Physics Needs God But God Doesn't Need Physics

IMG_2688By Deepak Chopra, MD

Recently I created a brief storm on Twitter by throwing out questions that physicists can’t answer. Twitter allows you to contact famous physicists directly, and it’s predictable that a handful will become irritated and even riled up if you dare to challenge them. “What happens in physics stays in physics” is their motto, apparently. But I’m on tour for a new book, The Future of God, and for decades, ever since the publication of books like The Tao of Physics and God and the New Physics, it’s become evident that physics can’t escape its meeting with God.   I don’t mean the clash between belief and atheism. What I cover in the book, and what makes some physicists with famous names turn ad hominem and outright abusive, is something else. They are going to need God to solve some fundamental questions about reality. Even more irritating to them, God exposes the current crisis in physics. After promising us that physics will one day have the answer for where the universe came from, what it’s made of, and where human beings belong in the cosmos, today physics may actually be farther away from an answer than ever. Such is the nature of the crisis. (more…)

Why God Makes More Sense than Atheism

by Deepak Chopra, MD


After two centuries of the tug-of-war between science and religion, it’s clear science occupies the dominant position. It has passed the “So what?” test, meaning that science as applied to practical daily life has been immensely more important to modern people than God. This has given atheism, both casual and militant, the upper hand. As much as belief in God has deep human significance, he (or she) doesn’t pass the “So what?” test. If you put a video camera on the shoulders of an atheist and a believer, without knowing which was which, it’s hard to claim that the believer will have a better life because of his belief. Atheism therefore looks like just as good a choice.

I’ve always felt that this lopsided advantage that we automatically give to science, and therefore to atheism, is unfair. In a new book, The Future of God, I turn the tables, proving as best I can that God isn’t just a humane, comforting, or moral choice but the most practical source of well-being. This will certainly come as surprising news to millions of the faithful who have been leading divided lives. Their practical affairs are secular, taking advantage of technological advances, while in their hearts they leave a privileged space for God. Rarely do we hear that God is actually more rational than science and more practical than technology.



How Richard Dawkins Lost His Battle with God

by Deepak Chopra, MD


When he wrote his 2006 best-seller, The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins expected to accomplish two aims that have proved to be remarkable failures. The first aim was social. He wanted to attract a horde of doubters, fence-sitters, and agnostics to gather their courage and join the atheist ranks. This never happened. There has been a quiet, steady decline in church attendance for at least fifty years in the US and Western Europe, and recently a noticeable bump in self-described atheists has occurred. At the same time, around 10% of declared atheists go to church, usually for reasons of community or for their children.



How to Make God Love You

By Deepak Chopra


Although the modern controversy over God centers on the famous headline fromTime magazine, “Is God Dead?” this isn’t really the key question. By definition, God can’t be dead, because “dead” implies that God was alive, and once alive, an immortal being can’t die. Yet defining God as immortal or loving or omnipotent — all the attributes assigned to the deity — solves nothing. We might as well define God as purple. All divine attributes are human projections.

The real issue, then, is how to bring these attributes into the world. If you were taught as a child that God is love, you won’t discover the truth of this teaching until God is love for you.  For me, turning God into a personal experience is the only way for him (or her) to be viable. I lay out the whole argument in a new book, The Future of God.  In this post there’s only room enough to deal with one attribute, love. Does God love you?

A committed atheist will assert that this question has no meaning, since we are talking about a mythical creature. But the vast majority of people are not atheists, and their answer will fall into one of three categories.

I hope that God loves me.

I have faith that God loves me.

I know that God loves me.

To cut through the morass of theology and dogma that surrounds organized religion, I think this template works. If you hope that God loves you, the connection between your life and the reality of God is very tenuous. If you have faith that God loves you, the connection is stronger, but at those times when very bad things happen to you, or to your family and friends, faith is tested by doubt. You have to hold on tight to your assumption that God exists and cares for you. God only becomes totally viable if you know that he loves you, the way you know that fire burns and chocolate tastes nice.

Showing someone how to evolve from hope to faith to knowledge is the whole point of the spiritual path. We are not born knowing God, which isn’t a fatal flaw. Babies aren’t born knowing how to read, either. The brain is completely trainable, and there is no reason that it cannot be trained using the same elements that apply when learning how to read:

— A teacher who already knows what you want to learn.

— Motivation to enter the learning process.

— Lessons that impart what you want to learn.

— Repeated experience as these lessons sink in.

I realize that this course of action sounds cut and dried compared to the inspiration that uplifts us in spiritual life, but the bald fact is that all experience must be processed by the brain, whether it’s an experience of watching television or feeling the presence of your soul. Leaving aside one’s skepticism, the experience of God’s love is real. We have thousands upon thousands of first-hand accounts, enough to motivate us to aspire to the same experience. It’s a matter of filling in all the requirements.

Teacher: If you are serious about entering the spiritual path, you need a teacher who is in a higher state of consciousness, however you want to define it. They have had the experience you want to have. Verifying this can be tricky. Just because someone sets up as a guru or an enlightened being doesn’t mean that they are appropriate teachers. But higher consciousness exists, and it isn’t rare. If you do some sensible investigation, listening to a prospective teacher and talking to their students, you will be able to sort out what feels right. Reading books is a good supplement, because the transmission of spiritual knowledge that comes from the world’s wisdom traditions can be invaluable.

Motivation: “It would be nice if God loved me” isn’t a strong enough motivation. Nor is “I’m so miserable, I need God to love me.” What you are looking for is deeper knowledge about reality. The only lasting motivation comes from actually going beyond everyday reality, which is a known quantity. To reach a deeper level of reality requires you to go inside and find those levels in yourself.  Meditation and other contemplative practices are the time-honored way to go beyond the everyday world of appearances.



Lessons: Once you go inward, you will experience that your mind becomes more centered, calmer, and less overshadowed by thought. But this new found state can be either passive or active. It’s passive if you dip into it, feel better, and then go away. It’s active if you begin to identify this new place as your true self. Then the qualities of deeper reality begin to come to the surface and affect your daily life. Love is one of these qualities. Lessons in love aren’t the same as falling in love. By analogy, let’s say that someone asks you, “Did you notice how many people smile if you look at them and smile first?” It’s likely that you haven’t noticed this, or not recently. You have a choice now to perform an experiment. You can consciously decide to look at people and give them a smile. In the same way, you can test if your consciousness is becoming more loving by doing, saying, and thinking more lovingly.

Repetition: As you test out the experience of being more loving, a feedback loop is being set up in your brain. You are training it to notice something new, and the more it notices, the more sensitive, alert, and perceptive you will become in matters of love. You are on a path known in Sanskrit as Bhakti, the path of devotion. Devotion is entirely about finding love in everything, as a universal quality. Anything universal belongs in the domain of the divine, whether you apply the word God to it or not. It’s enough to know that your experience reveals love in every particle of existence.

I love the devotional poems of Rumi, Kabir, Mirabai, and the other great writers in the Bhakti tradition, but I’m also a realist. To find divine love means coming to grips with reality beyond the emotion of love (or hate) that comes and goes. I must move from hope to faith to knowledge. The journey will take me to unexpected places, some of them difficult to visit. We all harbor memories, beliefs, and old conditioning that block love or even oppose it, that feel bitter and wounded, that want to defend non-love in order not to be hurt again. Yet if love is a universal quality, intrinsic to consciousness itself, no journey is more rewarding. It’s worth the time, effort, and dedication to discover that your true self is love.

Deepak Chopra, MD is the author of more than 80 books with twenty-two New York Times bestsellers including Super Brain, co-authored with Rudi Tanzi, PhD. He serves as the founder of The Chopra Foundation and co-founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing.  The Future of God (Harmony, November 11, 2014)