Deepak Chopra on Finding Peace and Reinventing the Body - OZY | A Modern Media Company

Deepak Chopra on Finding Peace and Reinventing the Body

Deepak Chopra on Finding Peace and Reinventing the Body

By Pallabi Munsi


Because it all starts with love.

By Pallabi Munsi

Author and alternative medicine advocate Deepak Chopra sat down for a revealing interview with OZY’s CEO and co-founder on the latest episode of The Carlos Watson Show. The following are some of the best cuts, edited and condensed from the full conversation, which you can find on the show’s podcast feed.

‘You Forgive Because You Deserve Peace’

Carlos Watson: What would you want to see in a new Constitution, in a new Bill of Rights, if you had an opportunity to encourage people to hit that pause button and to reimagine what was possible for the country?

Deepak Chopra: A reflective self-inquiry to start with. What do we want as a nation? What do we want? No. 2, who are we as a nation? Because it’s not just one tribe or this ethnicity. Who are we? What do we want? What’s our calling together in this moment? What are we grateful for? Notwithstanding all the problems we have, there’s a lot to be grateful for. You start with those four questions. Who are we? What do we want? What’s our calling? What are we grateful for? …

So, the answers actually give you some kind of sensation, feeling, image, thought. We share that with each other. Then we create a common vision. And we bring in all the experts in every field, the storytellers in particular because facts without a story, nobody listens. You can listen to all the facts about COVID-19 and masks and social distancing, 50 percent of the country doesn’t agree. You could take all the facts about climate change, 47 percent of the country doesn’t agree. So, these are facts, right? So, facts without a story, useless. Facts with a love story in the background, a love story. Love story. Love for an idea. Love for each other. What I call love in action, with empathy, compassion, joy, equanimity and conscious communication. …

We also treat each other with respect. Because if you don’t treat each other with respect, you lose them [in the] first place. You understand that there is a perception of injustice on all sides; otherwise there wouldn’t be a conflict. You also understand that different people have different ideologies. You are ready to forgive and ask for forgiveness. Not because you think the other person deserves forgiveness. I would never forgive somebody for slavery. But right now, it is important to forgive each other, not because we think they deserve forgiveness; because without forgiveness, there’s no peace. You forgive because you deserve peace. …

And we can’t do it alone. We need grassroots movements. And we need the best of technology, the best of expertise, the best of science, the best of humanitarianism, the best of artists. My hip-hop friends have saved so many situations for me in the past. I can give you examples of my friends in Queens in New York, which I call the urban yogis. These are hip-hop artists who are actually engaging in conflict resolution. Their hip-hop music is totally different, but it’s as intoxicating as the violent versions of hip-hop. So, we will see emergence.

‘Spirits to Spirit’

CW: What would have happened to you if you had not discovered transcendental meditation, if you hadn’t kind of hit that fork in the road and begun something new? What do you think would’ve been true of you today?

DC: I have an addictive personality. I would have been some kind of an addict.

CW: You think? What kind of addict do you think you would have been?

DC: Oh, substance abuse. Alcohol, cigarettes, all of that kind of thing. I used to do that, by the way, as an intern. … I channeled my addiction. I moved from what they call spirits to spirit.

On Age and Leadership

CW: What else in your mind is like that today, that 35 years from now, we will finally appreciate that you feel like you’re seeing now?

DC: It’s not an overnight thing. It is a process, but I guarantee you that in the next 10, 15 years, we will see two sciences emerging, more than we have emerged now — one is epigenetics, which is regulating gene activity through lifestyle, and the other is neuroplasticity, how through changing our modes of thinking, feeling, even speaking and behavior, we can change the neural networks of our brain. So imagine you can change gene activity, neural networks, you can reinvent your body, and that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m 74 years old, and I have the biomarkers of somebody who was, I think, in their 30s or 40s.

CW: Does that mean that you think you will still be able to be a runner or a tennis player in your 80s and 90s? 

DC: That’s the idea! I mean, you see marathon runners in their 80s, and you see marathon swimmers in their 80s, and even 90s, you see people doing weight training in their 80s and 90s. That could become the norm. It’s not just though. So I think in the future, we’ll see the wisdom of aging combined with the biology of youth — that would be a perfect combination.

CW: So it’s interesting, one of the conversations I wanted to have with you was on Joe Biden, our president-elect, who is 77, soon to be 78. President Trump, obviously, 74, and there certainly has been a part of me as I’ve talked on this show with Mayor Pete who’s in his 30s, and Stacey Abrams and others, and just wondered, is it a good idea for the United States to have a leader, in such a tumultuous time, who is in their late 70s, even if they’re embracing some of the things that you’re talking about? Do you have any concerns about that?

DC: I have no concern about Joe Biden especially because I also think he is aware enough to know that he can get people like Pete and Kamala Harris and so many others to be part of this team, and ultimate leadership the way we are seeing it in the future is going to be a more distributed leadership, not what we call the spider model. You know, the spider model of leadership is, the spider has one head. We squash it, it’s dead. There’s another model for leadership. It’s called the starfish model. You look at the starfish, it has six limbs. You cut one, it sprouts two more. You cut all six, 36 more.

Sign up for the weekly newsletter!

Related Stories