This conversation Deepak Chopra is having with Kyra Phillips of CNN gives a short overview of a topic that Deepak has been writing about and speaking on for many years. I highly recommend Deepak’s book, Life After Death: The Burden of Proof, which explores these ideas more thoroughly and in detail. As a medical doctor, Deepak Chopra has observed death on many occasions in hospitals, emergency rooms, surgeries and hospices, and this gives him a unique perspective by comparing and integrating scientific information with spirituality. One theme that runs through Life After Death: The Burden of Proof – as well as through many of Deepak’s books and videos – is the concept of non-local consciousness, or the idea that our human consciousness cannot be located in one specific portion of the brain, but rather, thoughts and ideas have some potential to reform neuronal synapses when the parts of the brain are stimulated or removed. In this view, human consciousness is working through the brain, not in a specific physical location. I think this idea is becoming more popular, because the comedian Jim Carrey picked up on it, and even tried to describe how the rapid fire comedic stream of consciousness in his own mind is “non-local.”
In Life After Death: The Burden of Proof, Deepak draws on Indian spiritual traditions to describe the afterlife, but he also uses experiences from people who have been clinically dead and come back, or have had some Near Death Experience. These experiences are surprisingly similar in general, yet they vary according to the religious and cultural traditions a person has been raised in . The book is ultimately very optimistic and liberating, and even suggests that our experience in the afterlife may be far more shaped and influenced by our own thinking and conscious awareness that we typically believe. This reminds me of a friend of mine whose brother died of cancer a few years ago, when he (the brother) was only 48. The night that he passed my friend had an amazingly vivid dream, and he saw his brother, sitting at a beautiful table with his grandfather and grandmother and other relatives. My friend’s brother spoke to him in very clear, distinct voice saying, “It’s all up to me.” as he felt the love of all who were present. My friend’ believed his brother was telling him that his brother was shaping or calling forth the experience he was having in creating his afterlife.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who will die (newsflash – this means all of us!!!) because by expanding our awareness and understanding, we can make death a beautiful, miraculous transition. This confirms my own experiences, which I have written about in Dying is Weird: A Journey of Enlightenment – I have to believe that this is the way death is intended to be.