Every life is a book of secrets, ready to be opened. The secret of perfect love is found there, along with the secrets of healing, compassion, faith, and the most elusive one of all: who we really are. We are still mysteries to ourselves, despite the proximity of these answers, and what we most long to know remains lodged deep inside. We all want to know how to find a soul mate, what career would be most fulfilling, how to live a life with meaning, and how to teach our children well. We are looking for a personal breakthrough, a turning point, a revelation that brings with it new meaning. The Book of Secrets--a crystalline distillation of insights and wisdom accumulated over the lifetime of one of the great spiritual thinkers of our time--provides an exquisite new tool for achieving just that. Because answers to the questions at the center of life are counterintuitive, they are often hidden from view, sequestered from our everyday gaze.
Assuring readers that "finding the hidden dimensions in yourself is the only way to fulfill your deepest hunger," bestselling author Chopra shares 15 spiritual secrets for enlightenment. These secrets may sound easy "the world is in you," "what you seek, you already are," "freedom tames the mind" but Chopra offers sophisticated thought to challenge a reader's spiritual status quo. Blending science and spirituality, he shows how the mystery of life can be illustrated by the wisdom and workings of one's body, as "every secret in this book goes back to the existence of an invisible intelligence that operates beneath the visible surface of life." The most important secret is transcending one's egocentric viewpoint and accepting a single, unified reality: "you are not in the world; the world is in you." Each well-written chapter offers a vibrant discussion of these distilled principles, including exercises to help readers apply these secrets to their lives. For example, Chopra focuses a chapter on how death makes life possible: "Only by facing death can you develop real passion for being alive." Chopra recasts death as a way to "imagine yourself into a new form with a new location in space and time." To do this, he suggests exfoliating one's self-image by imagining oneself at various stages of life, past and future: "When you see every earthly vestige of yourself vanish," he concludes, "you realize you will never succeed in extinguishing yourself." This isn't easy enlightenment. Chopra pushes his readers to do hard spiritual work in this thoughtful and thought-provoking book. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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September 26, 2005
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Excerpt from The Book of Secrets by Deepak Chopra
Secret #1: THE MYSTERY OF LIFE IS REAL
THE LIFE YOU KNOW is a thin layer of events covering a deeper reality. In the deeper reality, you are part of every event that is happening now, has ever happened, or ever will happen. In the deeper reality, you know absolutely who you are and what your purpose is. There is no confusion or conflict with any other person on earth. Your purpose in life is to help creation to expand and grow. When you look at yourself, you see only love.
The mystery of life isn't any of these things, however. It's how to bring them to the surface. If someone asked me how to prove that there really is a mystery of life, the simplest proof would be just this enormous separation between deep reality and everyday existence. Ever since you and I were born, we've had a constant stream of clues hinting at another world inside ourselves. Haven't you ever fallen into a moment of wonder Such moments may come in the presence of beautiful music, or at the sight of natural beauty that sends a shiver up your spine. Or you may have looked out of the corner of your eye at something familiar ' morning sunlight, a tree swaying in the wind, the face of someone you love as he or she sleeps ' knowing in that moment that life was more than it appears to be.
Countless clues have come your way, only to be overlooked because they didn't form a clear message. I have met an astonishing number of people whose spiritual beginnings were nothing short of amazing: As children, they may have seen a grandmother's soul leave at the moment of her death, witnessed beings of light surrounding on a birthday, traveled beyond their physical bodies, or come home from school to see a beloved family member standing in the hallway, even though the person had just died in a terrible auto accident. (One man told me he was a "bubble boy" for the first ten years of his life, journeying in his bubble high over the city and away to unknown lands.) Millions of people ' this is no exaggeration but testimony from public polls ' have seen themselves bathed in a pearlescent white light at times. Or they heard a voice they knew came from God. Or they had invisible guardians in childhood, secret friends who protected them while they slept.
Eventually, it became clear to me that more people have had such experiences ' truly secret voyages into a reality separated from this one by a flimsy veil of disbelief ' than not. Parting the veil means changing your own perception. This is a personal, totally subjective, yet very real shift.
Where would you begin to solve a mystery that is everywhere, yet somehow never forms a whole message A great sleuth like Sherlock Holmes would start his search from one elementary deduction: Something unknown wants to be known. A mystery that doesn't want to be known will just keep retreating the closer you come to it. The mystery of life doesn't behave that way: Its secrets are revealed immediately if you know where to look. But where is that
The body's wisdom is a good entry point into the hidden dimensions of life, because although completely invisible, the body's wisdom is undeniably real ' a fact that medical researchers began to accept in the mid-1980s. The former view was that the brain's capacity for intelligence was unique. But then signs of intelligence began to be discovered in the immune system, and then in the digestive system. In both these systems, special messenger molecules could be observed circulating through every organ, bringing information to and from the brain, but also functioning on their own. A white cell that can distinguish between invading enemy bacteria and harmless pollen is making an intelligent decision, even though it floats in the bloodstream apart from the brain.