A book review of…*
THE FUTURE OF GOD BY DEEPAK CHOPRA**
The concept of God is as varied as there are people to ask of it. Different cultures around the world have articulated the concept of God in ways as varied as polytheistic pantheons, animistic and pantheistic manifestation, and monotheistic dogmas, among many others. To look at the Wikipedia page about God, we see all the myriad historical conceptions of this most supreme existence.
We also see, unfortunately, all the contradictions between cultural perception of the God concept and the tragedies that unfold as a result. In our time, the militant atheist movement, often credited to Richard Dawkins, has become another cultural perception of God: the perception that God does not exist.
Science has the advantage of provability; anything that is a scientific fact can be proven. Faith on the other hand offers no proof, and this is the realm that God falls into. Through the first section of The Future of God, Deepak Chopra takes the reader through a rebuttal of militant atheism, laying a solid case against atheism and for the existence of a greater being.
Perhaps the most important concept introduced in the first part of the book is what Chopra calls “God 2.0”. In the second chapter, the author looks at the God who is made in our image–God 1.0. This God is a projection of our mind and has seven qualities, identified by Chopra, which he is expected to embody. This is the old perception of God, which atheism uses liberally to denounce his existence.
But then Chopra introduces a new idea: God 2.0. This version of God is not a projection of the mind expected to fulfill certain purposes; instead, God 2.0 is reality and being. As the author states in his own words, “God 2.0 […] is the interface between you and infinite consciousness.” It is this God, version 2.0, that Chopra begins to bring to light in the second section of the book.
The second section of the book focuses on building faith. It begins by identifying the zero point of faith: that point in which there is no faith because one believes there can be no God. Chopra connects faith to progress and makes the case that faith is required to believe in one’s self, to trust emotion, to achieve insight, and to see beyond surface appearances and trust what you see, among other things.
In this way, even science takes faith. But the author also points out the hallmarks of bad faith: those things that lead us away from God, rather than toward him. Chopra identifies three primary types of bad faith: blind faith, rank prejudice, and pseudoscience. In the course of reading, it became evident to me that bad faith is that which draws our consciousness away from God and toward the ego.
The subject matter then turns to wisdom, miracles, and divine action. Through a remarkable, albeit lengthly, discussion of these three key ideas, Deepak Chopra successfully ties them back to the point originally postulated in the second chapter by identifying God as pure consciousness. This discussion alone makes the text worth its weight in gold.
The whole book has been structured this way to build up to the third section: knowledge. Pure consciousness exists beyond time and space; it is omnipotent and omnipresent, but most importantly, it is something that can be experienced. To experience something grants the one who has the experience a special first-hand knowledge. In the chapters of this section of the book, Chopra outlines practical ways to experience God and explains how to make the most of those experiences.
It’s interesting to note that none of the suggestions the author makes require years of meditation or constant prayer, elaborate rituals, or even pages of mantras. All it takes is a few minutes of quiet time, some present thinking, and awareness. Chopra identifies three worlds: the material world, where we tend to exist most of the time; the subtle world, where thought takes form; and the transcendent world, which exists as a state of quantum unity.
The final section of the book, over several chapters walks readers through the process of bridging the gap from the material world to the subtle world and then into the transcendent world, where the experience of God becomes real.
Finally, no book on God would be complete without a discussion about evil. Chopra takes the perspective approach to evil, indicating it to be the absence of good. The solution, therefore, is to move closer to God, or to become more conscious (since God is pure consciousness). In the fullness of consciousness, we experience being. Chopra sums up, “God is the place where the mind finds an answer beyond thought. When you see this, no one in the world is an enemy, only a fellow traveler. The door to Being is open to everyone, leaving evil behind at the threshold.”
 Chopra, Deepak. The Future of God. 2014. Harmony Books. New York. Page 18.
 Chopra, Deepak. The Future of God. 2014. Harmony Books. New York. Page 247.
*This post has been written by guest blogger Rob Emslie. The opinions and ideas expressed within it are not necessarily the opinions of this blog owner and should be taken as strictly the opinions of the author of this singular post within the larger blog.
**I received this book through BloggingforBooks.com as a complimentary review copy.