Rider (Random House) 2005
Reviewed by Marian Van Eyk McCain
In Peace is the Way, Deepak Chopra speaks of the choice that contemporary people face concerning religion. Not religion per se, but religion in the ossified, tradition-encrusted form in which it appears to so many people today.
The religious impulse in all of us remains alive and well. But it is becoming increasingly clear that if religion is to have any meaning for us in this twenty-first century we are going to have to re-shape it into something more relevant and more compatible with today’s science. We have to a large extent outgrown the old forms. New forms are slowly emerging, even as those with a vested interest in maintaining the old forms struggle to defend them.
So, says Deepak, we can either: “1. Keep on defending traditional religion to the last ditch, no matter how much it contradicts reason, or 2. Urge religion to evolve so that it gains the kind of relevance that science cannot defeat.”
Deepak writes: “Although it may seem that religious people have chosen the first alternative in overwhelming numbers, I think appearances are deceiving. People of spiritual intent have been finding new ways to think about God; they have looked to quantum physics to explain reality in such a way that miracles and the existence of the soul are even more credible than they were in traditional religion. Spirit has returned, not as blind obedience to a canon, but as a personal exploration of consciousness. ….. God is con¬sciousness. If your mind feels conflicted, or guilty, or schizoid, there is no other way to view God than through those lenses. If your mind is organized, coherent, and clear, there is no other way to view God than through those lenses. You cannot escape one basic fact: at any given stage of personal evolution, you are seeing reality as yourself. The biblical story of how God created man in his own image isn’t complete until we realize that man returned the favor by creating God in his image, too……
As evolution proceeds, God changes. The level of consciousness that makes God a sup¬porter of war and a source of fear shifts, to be replaced by a peaceful and loving God. That God is only sustainable, however, if your awareness has shifted to support it. This is one of the laws that govern spirituality. As you evolve, so will the divine. The way of peace depends on bringing that truth to life, step by step.”
As always, some very sound spiritual advice from the indefatigable Deepak.