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. Today is the final 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 7: LET IT BE
Old pathway: Struggling to achieve
New pathway: Using lease effort
Exercise: Today is about learning to let it be. The basics are simple: Intend for a certain outcome, let your intention go, and wait for the result. There is nothing esoteric about these steps. You go through them every time you send an order to your brain, such as wanting to raise your arm. The intention is carried out automatically. You don’t watch to see if your brain will respond the way you ask it to. The feedback loop between intention and result runs smoothly and automatically.
The art of being consists in bringing the same trust and effortlessness to other aspects of your life. The difference is that in the West, people keep events “in here” apart from events “out there.” Claiming that one’s intention can affect an external situation sounds normal in Eastern spiritual traditions, which hold consciousness to be everywhere, both “in here” and “out there.” One worldview is dualistic: the other is unified. But terminology is irrelevant; the proof is in the pudding. Can you have an intention and allow it to manifest without struggling to achieve your goal?
The world’s wisdom traditions say that you can. “Letting it be” means being connected to the same source in pure Being as everything in the cosmos. When this connection is strong, having a desire “in here” leads to a result “out there” automatically, because the underlying unity transcends boundaries and artificial separation. To arrive at the point where you are completely connected is a process, one that takes place through the brain. As in the previous exercises, you only need to become more self-aware.
In practice, what I’m asking you to do is this: Have one intention today, let go of it, and see what happens. If you get the result you want, appreciate the fact that you connected, you tuned in to the mechanism of least effort. “Least effort” is the same as letting your Being do the work. If you don’t get the result you want, shrug it off and try again with a new intention. Many times, however, the result won’t be obvious. You will come close or sense that things worked out approximately as you wished.
This is part of the process, so notice that you came close, and accept the result you received. (Most of the time you will have to do more work to achieve what you wanted, but that’s okay.) In this exercise, there is no failure. Creating a strong connection to your Being is the same as creating a new pathway. You are making progress if any of the following indicators appear:
It takes less effort to get to a result.
You feel less stressed about getting a good outcome.
People begin to cooperate with you more easily.
You sense that everything is going to be all right.
You start to have strokes of luck.
Events mesh together in synchronous fashion.
Results start to appear more quickly.
Creative solutions appear out of nowhere.
None of this is mysticism. Every life already contains synchronous happenings, strokes of luck, and happy coincidences. Instead of accepting that these are accidental or random events, you can now look upon them as a sign that making a connection is very real and possible. Mastering the art of being takes time and self-awareness. But your brain is designed to forge the ultimate pathway to fulfillment, which is effortless.
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.