In his latest book, The Future of God, Deepak Chopra asks, Can God be revived in a skeptical age? What would it take to give people a spiritual life more powerful than anything in the past? He tackles these issues with eloquence and insight and proposes that God lies at the source of human awareness. Therefore, any person can find the God within that transforms everyday life.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re thrilled to share a series of spiritual practices from The Future of God. We’ll feature one exercise a week from November 11, 2014 to December 23, 2014. Be sure to come back every Tuesday for the next exercise!]
From The Future of God by Deepak Chopra
Below are seven strategies for processing the subtle world. Each one focuses on a different exercise to make you feel comfortable with your inner world. Be easy with each exercise, repeat them over a period of time, and you will witness a genuine and lasting change in your consciousness.
Day 1: Be Generous of Spirit
Day 2: Be Loving and Lovable
Day 3: Let Go
Day 4: Find Your Fulfillment (below)
Day 5: Enable Your Healing
Day 6: Raise Your Expectations (available on December 16, 2014)
Day 7: Let It Be (available on December 23, 2014)
Day 4: FIND YOUR FULFILLMENT
Old pathway: Routine
New pathway: Satisfaction
Exercise: Today you need to break out of predictable routine. That’s easy to do – too easy, if all we’re talking about is asking for poached eggs instead of scrambled, or turning the channel from Sunday Night Football. Routine is rooted in the brain. It’s a form of survival when it truth it never ran a risk of not surviving. Most people’s lives are established when it comes to the basics of food, shelter, and clothing. The fact that we can take survival for granted, however, doesn’t convince the lower brain. It is constantly trying to shore itself up against famine, aggression, exposure to the elements, and a dangerous environment. Hence the sense of risk, amounting to dread, when people are cut off from their familiar routines.
Your goal today is to learn to expand beyond your brain’s habit of equating new, fresh, and unexpected with alien, threatening, and anxious. Be aware of how you structure your whole day around making yourself feel safe. Protecting yourself is a lower-brain instinct. But remember, the lower brain never evolves; it continues to do what it did millions of years ago. Only your higher brain can evolve, but it won’t if you live behind mental barriers. Break out of the security systems you’ve built around yourself, even for a little while. When you do, what happens? You will walk around feeling insecure, and that’s your actual reality. We are not talking about foolish risk-taking. We are talking about the root of insecurity, which is the belief that the universe would never uphold our existence.
To dispel that deep sense of insecurity, you must go through a process of retraining your brain. Give it room to evolve. The lower brain won’t go away; you need its protective instincts some of the time, although very rarely. Most people are protecting themselves from imagined threats. But if your higher brain dominates, the protective voice will grow smaller and less anxious.
Imagine that you have been dropped unwillingly into the middle of Haiti after its devastating earthquake or into Malaysia after its tsunami. You will probably go into some kind of anxiety or panic. Now imagine that you have voluntarily gone to those disasters to help. You are there for a higher purpose, something deeply meaningful to you, and therefore, the voice of threat is rendered marginal.
Meaning overrides insecurity. That’s the key. So today find something to do that expresses your purpose. Let life support your purpose. Be decisive; know what you are about. If you cannot think of anything that fits the bill, then read a book about someone in real life who inspires you, a potential role model. Absorb yourself in the path that this person took. Now sit back and consider whether you have been given a clue about your path. Clues are always present. It’s part of the dharma, the cosmic force that will uphold anything you intend for a deep level inside yourself.
Excerpted from The Future of God by Deepak Chopra. Copyright © 2014 by Deepak Chopra. Excerpted by permission of Harmony, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.