Tag Archives: dogma

Deepak Chopra: Can We Create Peace in Egypt?

If you’ve been following the news in the past few weeks then you’re undoubtedly aware of the troubling political violence erupting in Egypt. In one week, alone, more than 900 people died, prompting EU-affiliated countries to suspend arms sales to the country.

In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak is joined by two young Arab women leaders to discuss the current situation in Egypt and the steps to creating peace and resolving conflict.

Does taking sides, as Deepak says, perpetuate conflict? Or is there ever a line at which we should take one side to help overcome another? Do you believe we can change the world by shifting our own consciousness? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

Thumbnail credit: Mosa’ab Elshamy / Flickr: mosaaberising

Deepak Chopra: Reply to Chris Anderson, TED, and Scientific Dogma (Part 4)

Screen Shot 2013-04-30 at 2.22.39 PMClick here for part 1 of this article.

Part 4 of this letter is in response to the recent letter to all the TEDx organizers, posted by Chris Anderson, the head of TED. The original letter proposed certain “red flag” topics, among them health hoaxes and the medicinal value of food but also the general area of pseudoscience.

Please read the following responses from accredited scientists and others in the consciousness communities, who have their own responses to the issues at hand:

TED asks, “Imagine a speaker arguing, say, that eating five Big Macs a day could prevent Alzheimer’s,” as an example where a science board would feel justified in excluding that topic as a TEDx talk. The claim flies in the face of common sense so no further examination is necessary. Right?

But what if there were scientifically valid experiments published in mainstream, peer-reviewed journals that supported the apparently outrageous assertion? What if the experiments were repeatable and observed in independent laboratories over decades? What if the underlying phenomena were reported outside the laboratory throughout recorded history, and across all cultures, and by a broad range of university scientists and scholars? Would that topic, however challenging it may seem, still be excluded from TED? How many credible challenges are required before the balance tips between knee-jerk exclusion of bold and risky ideas vs. timid and safe pabulum?

This is exactly the situation for a class of consciousness-related phenomena. They are labeled telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and psychokinesis. These phenomena do challenge naive assumptions about the relationship between mind and matter, but there is no rational justification for continuing to exclude this line of research if TED is really interested in promoting genuine science. Empiricism must trump theory, otherwise it’s no longer science that’s being defended. It’s dogma.

Best wishes,

Dean Radin PhD
Co-Editor-in-Chief, Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing
Adjunct Faculty, Department of Psychology, Sonoma State University

Chief Scientist
Institute of Noetic Sciences
625 Second St., Suite 200
Petaluma, CA 94952 USA



The Society for Consciousness Studies Statement:

The Society for Consciousness Studies is disappointed with the recent policy of exclusion by the TED Talks organizers, who have taken it upon themselves to classify several well-known scholars and researchers as “pseudo-scientists” and have removed them from TED Talks. It is our view as an organization of professional scholars and scientists that such a policy amounts to a latter day McCarthyism in which a few influential individuals have taken it upon themselves to decide which ideas and facts are suitable for all of us.

The Society for Consciousness Studies is a strong advocate for freedom to express research findings and scholarly ideas without seeking approval from purveyors of unwritten biases or worldviews, or from the self-appointed keepers of conservative intellectual culture.

Allan Leslie Combs, Ph.D.
Doshi Professor of Consciousness Studies; CIIS
Director: Center for Consciousness Studies, CIIS
President: The Society for Consciousness Studies

I have gone through the lecture of Rupert Sheldrake that is withdrawn by TED and available on YouTube. I am protesting this decision of TED as I feel that the TED movement is one of the historic events in the human civilization, and it is contradictory to the fundamental establishment philosophy of TED to stop the voice that extremely politely seeks the re-evaluation of the morality of the scientific practice. When majority of the scientific principles are assumed ad hoc, only to fit the experimental results with the “hand in tools”, arguing to change the way we look at the practice is not a sin. However, in contrast, trying to stop that voice is unscientific and does not match with the very foundation of science, which stepped ahead only because we made it liberal. The historic TED act to me is in no way different than those who gave poison to Socrates or burnt Bruno alive, if decision makers in TED think that they understand science then they should dare to answer the open question put forth by Rupert Sheldrake.

We have universal constants; if there is a change even at the eighth decimal, the world will be re-designed completely; who wrote that, and how, and what are the factors contribute to that change? We have a five hundred years old science, still we cannot solve a three body problem – two balls are fine, not three or more. Isn’t the science we practice primitive? We all know what games scientists play in quantum chromodynamics to fit the result, patterns have no explanation, magic numbers no explanation, lists are many, but if somebody argues to destroy the blind religious faiths of the scientists, he is non-scientific? I do not understand, on one hand, we have experimental proof that two quantum mechanically entangled particles communicate with 100,000 times the velocity of light, and on the other hand we have faith that nothing can move faster than the velocity of light. We all know that for Nature, there is no classical or quantum – it is a division created by us.

These ridiculous scenarios of science will give birth to a new kind of science. Rupert Sheldrake has started to ask and many people will join him. Whether TED gives him a platform or not, the truth will come out, and the days for the existing science are numbered. It will change. The coin is tossed; and therefore, it is better for TED not to indulge in shameful acts and then later prove itself as the “Scientific Church” that validates the religion of “Scientific Mafias.”

Best Regards,
Anirban Bandyopadhyay
Senior Scientist, National Institute for Materials Science, Japan

Some of the ideas expressed by Rupert Sheldrake may look like pseudoscience indeed, as the talk has some marks of bad science, as described by TED organizers.

For me, the talk looks like a skeptical approach to the actual methodology of science. This raises an important issue: is TED a proper stage for out of the box ideas, or new hypotheses in science? Why does the vision of Rupert Sheldrake have less value than the story of Thandie Newton?

Ovidiu Brazdau, PhD
Research Director, Consciousness Quotient Institute


Since the Scientific Revolution, when empirical discoveries began to undermine religious doctrine, tension grew between those who sought truth through rational inquiry based on observation and those who accepted truths based on the authority of religious dogma. While the liberation of science from religion resulted in tremendous advances in science and technology, it also led to the fragmentation of knowledge and to a science no longer engaged with the big questions: what it means to be human, to be conscious, to be a seeker of meaning amid the vagaries of life.

We believe the time has come for the fragmentation of knowledge we have seen over the last four hundred years to give way to a new paradigm in which science and spirituality reenter into a meaningful dialogue with one another. Spirituality need not be at odds with scientific inquiry — a new kind of integration is possible. What is required for this reintegration is an empirically-responsible spirituality, one that is not beholden to dogma or authority, and a more humanistic non-dogmatic science willing to consider the big questions of life. We would only expect that forward thinking organization such as TED would support and advance this dialogue.

Zaya & Maurizio Benazzo
Founders, Science and Nonduality Conference



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Photo credit: NASA

Does Religion Get in the Way of Your Sex Life?

HF - SexSex and religion tend to have, at best, a tenuous relationship. Both are nearly universal human experiences, so you’d think they would be comfortable with one another by now.

This rarely seems to be the case. Whether it’s persecution for having sex out of wedlock, guilt over using contraception, or harassment over sexual preferesnce, something always seems to get in the way of enjoying equally healthy, happy sexual and spiritual lives.

In the latest episode of “Holy Facts” on The Chopra Well, Gotham Chopra explores the fascinating intersections between sex and spirituality, from virginity to marriage to why atheists have the best sex life.

Does your sex life conflict with your religion? Let us know in the comments section below!

And subscribe to The Chopra Well to stay updated on our latest episodes!

I’m Spiritual Not Religious – Religion, Spirituality & Dogma in the 21 Century

I recently read an article by James Martin, a nationally known Jesuit priest, who spoke to the popular phrase "I’m spiritual, just not religious” and cited that this kind of thinking could mean being religious is about “…abiding by arcane rules and hidebound dogmas.” 

He suggested that people who say they’re spiritual, not religious, might not want to be accountable to a community because “…there’s no one to suggest when you might be off track.”

Does he have a point? 

Many people today want to have a personal connection to God or their higher power, and if they feel they have to go through someone for that relationship, or if they have to envision God in the same form as their religion tells them they should – they will look elsewhere. 

Being accountable to a community doesn’t necessarily mean they will teach you reverence for humanity.  How often have groups of people stood together, with a false sense of morality on their side, purely by the numbers who gathered. 

Guess what? You can be spiritual and religious, you can value each person and treat them with love and compassion – or you can speak about love while demeaning another and feeling righteous about your point of view. You could do that being ‘spiritual’ or ‘religious.’

An individual who has an experience of infinite love is guided by the deepest knowing within to become more selfless, and their desire to be of service to humanity seems to grow exponentially.  I am not referring to those who commit cruel acts ‘in the name of God,’ I am speaking of what occurs when a human being connects with the deepest truth that lies at the core of all religions and within each individual soul.  

Those who have experienced it, whether they are spiritual or religious, always speak of this place of connection in revered terms.  No one needs to ‘correct’ such an individual – the compass that guides his or her action is self-propelled from the source of goodness that arises in the heart.

I’ve have had the good fortune of seeing differences that separate us dissolve, as when two missionaries and a man who studied to be a monk came together to experience their first time in Stillness.

Even though the man who-would-be-monk was worried that this new form of meditation might not be in alignment with his religious values – he decided to come anyway and asked if he could bring two missionaries who he said were driving him a bit wacky as they kept proselytizing – and the last thing he wanted was to change his religion.

At the end of the time in Stillness, one missionary who was 19 years old was moved to share that he felt he had experienced something similar in times he’d spent alone in the woods communing with nature and God.  He also shared that he hoped to be a politician one day because he really wanted to help people.

The other missionary, a Polynesian, was quiet, he shared that he was deeply moved by what he felt even though he barely understood English. When the ‘monk’ translated his words, he was touched as well, as no one was asking another to find God in their way – everyone was sharing himself, heart to heart.

It’s possible. We can release what separates us – concepts – spiritual… religious… likes and dislikes.  If we focus on allowing the source of truth in our heart to bring us together without judgment, without proclamations of who is right and wrong – we will be able to step into a 21st Century we might all envision that is truly inclusive of all.


The Omniverse Project: 10 Principles

In my recent blogtag post, I mentioned that The Omniverse Project is a vehicle I have created to put forth a meaningful contribution. Here, I would like to share with the Intent community an article which previously appeared in issue #2 of The Omniverse Chronicles, and which sheds some light on the philosophy of the Project. See the Omniverse Project website for more information.


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