Tag Archives: Atman

Deepak Chopra: What Is The Soul?

Do you have a soul? Where is it? What’s it made of? We discuss the “soul” so often in the discourse on mindfulness, but many of us would be hard-pressed to really parse out its meaning. In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak discusses the soul’s relationship to consciousness, and how the two play out in our lives.

The soul is your core consciousness. It is the ground of your being. It has two components. One is called Jiva, which is the personalized soul that recycles through time on a cosmic journey. It is Karma, memory and desire. The conditioned soul is part of an unconditioned soul called Atman, which is part of the universal soul – Brahman. The purpose of the conditioned soul is to create the evolutionary journey to unity consciousness. We do this through being, love, creative expressions and through service. The soul is also the confluence of meaning, context, relationship and archetypal stories. The soul is the source of all our lives. It projects as the mind, the body and the universe of our experiences.

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Creating the Universe

Question:
Can I assume that the world that I’m living in with all the systems and attributes (including me, you and the rest of the people  and material things ) are just an illusion generated from my perception or my consciousness?
Is  all my knowledge also  the result of my consciousness? Does every person has each own set of world their creating? Or basically there is no other person. Actually if there’s   only SOLE consciousness in this universe, it means "you" actually just part of my imagination/perception?
Answer:
The ultimate reality described by the enlightened seers of the Upanishads declared that all-encompassing  Brahman is the truth of existence. Brahman is pure consciousness, pure existence and pure bliss. When we become fully awake to our truth, we know  our essence, or Atman, as that same Brahman. Believing that our real nature is our physical body or our  ego is ignorance or incomplete awareness. That is the illusion that we create of separation  and limitation. That world of ignorance, if you want to call it a world, is unique to each person. But the 3 dimensional world of space and time that we share with everyone else on this planet is a product of the universal creative consciousness of Brahman itself. Insofar as we know ourselves to be one with Brahman, we can say we are participating or co-creating with this cosmic intelligence, but in the common sense of our individual self, it would not be accurate to say that each  ego self creates a physical world around itself through perception.
Love,
Deepak

Purpose of Ego

Question:

What is the purpose of the ego? is it a distraction from our spiritual self, the bad guy or is its existence just necessary to the counterpart of … what?

Answer:

The Indian term for ego in  Sanskrit is ahamkara  and its function  is to give a sense of unity or singularity to human experience—the feeling that experience is happening to some person, not just abstractly in the cosmic mind. It’s like the focal point of a lens that gathers all light and converges it into one point.  Ahamkara is what allows us to say,” I am eating an apple” rather than an applies being eaten.

So the ego performs an essential function. The problem arises when the inner self, or Atman, is not fully awake. In this weakened state, instead of knowing our true status as unlimited, non-local pure consciousness, our sense of identity becomes overshadowed by our external experience. This is object referral instead of self-referral. Our sense of “I” is then defined by our body, our relationships, our possessions, our fears and desires. This unawakened version of the ego does generate distractions and obstacles to spiritual growth just by virtue of this self-perpetuating object referral pattern. The ego in itself is not the villain. Once self-realization occurs, the ego’s misappropriation of identity dissolves and its simple function of providing individuality to experience  will remain even after enlightenment.

Love,

Deepak

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Ego and Soul

Question:

I am right now attending a group discussion sessions in Toronto where we talk about Mind, Body and soul, reincarnation, mindfulness, being attentive etc., In my previous session, someone in the group talked about Soul’s ego. That person told me that our soul has an ego and that we carry it from one birth to the next. I would like to ask you that question – Does a soul have an ego?. To my knowledge, our soul carries only the experience from one incarnation to the next and the ego develops in the physical body and dies with it. Please answer my question, I would be very grateful.

Answer:

Ego is a catch-all term for accumulated desires, conditioning , tendencies and individual traits. In Vedic understanding, the awakened soul is Atman—pure consciousness, unconditioned awareness. The soul in the process of becoming enlightened is called the jiva—individuality that still requires knowledge and experience in physical embodiment. The jiva in between births does not have a ego personality as such, but it still holds unfulfilled desires, needs and tendencies. Perhaps that is what the other person in the group discussion meant by ego.

Love,

Deepak

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Oneness, Bliss and Desire for Enlightenment

Question:

I understand and know that pure consciousness is not dual but One, and that you have to go beyond opposite values to experience oneness. All our emotions have opposites too, so does that mean we must get beyond all  emotions? – and if we go beyond our emotions, doesn’t that just make us indifferent? Does becoming enlightened mean becoming indifferent?

I also know that unconditional love is an expression of pure consciousness, because unconditional love is not an emotion, therefore has no opposite – it’s a way of being, allowing everything and everyone to be what they are – but what about bliss, pure consciousness is suppose to be bliss, but bliss is and emotion that has an opposite value doesn’t it ? My final question is, is there a wrong reason to want to become enlightened? I for one want to try become as enlightened as possible, so I Never have to come back here.
 I suppose these are almost childish questions, but anyway many thanks and much Love.

Answer:

The oneness of pure consciousness is our own true Self. This Atman is described as Sat Chit Ananda- absolute bliss consciousness. Bliss in this context is not an emotion or feeling. As Maharishi used to say, “absolute bliss is not blissful.”  That is simply a relative word that is used to describe the exuberance and effervescence of that state of awareness, even though the experience is non-relative. In and of itself, the Atman is beyond opposites, duality, thoughts, emotions, or desires.

The desire for enlightenment itself doesn’t matter as much as the transformation toward enlightenment that it brings. Even if our initial desires for enlightenment are egoistic or petty, as we move closer to self-knowledge and freedom, our desires change and will start to reflect the more universal and altruistic values that are consciousness is changing into. So it doesn’t matter so much how pure or enlightened  our vision is initially, what matters is that we start where we are and move onward spiritually from there to the next level of knowledge and liberation. From there the process of awakening gains momentum and takes care of itself.

Love,

Deepak

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Transformation of Consciousness

Question:

I wonder about our true self and what it is. Is our true self/the essence of what we are, the same as Atman or is it something that is even beyond Atman?

Since we all are in the process of shifting our awareness from jiva to

Atman, does that mean that both jiva and Atman are different points of

view or two different ways of experiencing what is?

Is it really possible for consciousness to be pure and totally objective?

As soon as there is awareness, isn

Two Souls

Question to Deepak:

In your answer yesterday you wrote: "Pure consciousness is the non-physical source of all material creation, and that is what our soul is." I am really confused. I thought our soul was a compilation of our life’s experiences and memories, and that that was why there is sometimes a need for healing. Could you please explain where I have made a mistake.

Answer from Deepak:

The word

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