Deepak Chopra, Leonard Mlodinow & Michael Shermer, share their view
You Are the Universe literally means what it says–each of us is a co-creator of reality extending to the vastest reaches of time and space. This seemingly impossible proposition follows from the current state of science, where outside the public eye, some key mysteries cannot be solved, even though they are the very issues that define reality itself:
There is a photograph of Albert Einstein standing beside the most famous man in the world, who happened to be the great comedian Charlie Chaplin. In 1931, Einstein was touring Los Angeles, and a chance encounter at Universal Studios led to an invitation to attend the premiere of Chaplin’s new movie City Lights. Both men are dressed in tuxedos and smiling broadly. It’s astonishing to think that Einstein was the second-most-famous man in the world.
He didn’t owe his worldwide fame to the fact that everyday people understood his theories of relativity.* Einstein’s theories dwelt in a realm far above everyday life, and that in itself created awe. British philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell wasn’t trained in physics; when Einstein’s ideas were explained to him, he was astounded and burst out, “To think I have spent my life on absolute muck.” (Russell went on to write a brilliant explanation for laymen, The ABC of Relativity.)
In some way relativity had toppled both time and space; the average person could grasp that much. E = mc2 was the most famous equation in history, but what it meant didn’t touch everyday life, either. People went about their daily existence as if none of Einstein’s deep thinking mattered, not in practical terms.
But that assumption has turned out to be wrong….
The year 2015 marked the hundredth anniversary of Einstein’s final version of relativity, known as the General Theory of Relativity, and yet the most radical implications of it haven’t sunk in, not as it concerns what is real and what is illusion. We are all used to accepting relativity in our everyday life, though we don’t use that label. When your toddler draws on the wall with crayons, throws food on the floor, or wets the bed, you are much more likely to be indulgent about his behavior than if your neighbor’s toddler comes to your house and does the same things. We are also used to the mind’s fooling us about what our senses are detecting.
Let’s say you are going to a party and are told in advance that Mr. X, who will be there, is on trial for multiple burglaries in your area. At the party Mr. X comes up to you and casually asks, “Where do you live?” The sounds arriving in your brain through the mechanics of hearing will produce a very different response than if someone else had asked the same question…
Relativity was such a mind-bending theory that in the popular imagination, it seemed to go as far as physics could go. But this was far from the case.
The story of what is real and what isn’t took an uncomfortable turn known as the quantum revolution. This didn’t happen totally independently of Einstein’s work but as an offshoot of E = mc2, which states that the amount of energy inside any bit of matter equals the mass of the object multiplied by the speed of light squared. A huge amount of knowledge is contained in that statement, which applies to phenomena as diverse as black holes and splitting atoms. Yet, in a sense, the most startling aspect of E = mc2 is the equal sign.
“Equal” means “the same as,” and in this case, energy is the same as matter, or mass is equivalent to energy. As far as the five senses are concerned, a sand dune, a eucalyptus tree, and a loaf of bread (matter) are totally unlike a bolt of lightning, a rainbow, and the magnetism that moves a compass needle (energy). But Einstein’s formulation has been proved correct many times over.
The same cannot be said of the trouble that ensued from it. By portraying nature as endlessly transformable, with matter constantly turning into energy, E = mc2 raised the question of how this behavior works…
“Almost 100 years ago the sage Tagore and the scientist Einstein had a brief encounter to discuss the nature of reality. Revisiting their fascinating discourse on how science and spirituality inform each other is long overdue and this new book finally does it! Even if you – like me, prefer Einstein’s world, this book will make you marvel at Tagore’s beautiful human universe as masterfully uncovered by the authors.”
“This is not just another popular science book asking who am I? and why am I here?. This important new book addresses today’s most important scientific questions regarding our very existence. In the end, we can’t help but to be convinced that we live in a participatory universe that we define and synthesize according to the nervous system we enjoy as a species. The result is a riveting and absolutely fascinating literary adventure that will blow your mind wide open!”
“As a teenager, I used to find it rather curious that people regard their thoughts and emotions as integral to whom they are, but their perceptions as something totally beyond themselves. The world we perceive is, after all, part of our mental life just like our thoughts and emotions. In this book, Deepak and Menas take this seemingly innocent idea to cosmic heights, revealing its true force and significance. They do it intelligently, in a scientifically well-informed manner, and with good taste. The result is delightful.”
“An inspiring and insightful work that points out the sterility and inadequacy of the materialist paradigm that unnecessarily pervades modern science.”
“Understanding Cosmos needs innovative perceptions and at times key paradigm moves. Our cosmic perspective changed radically with emergence of Relativity and a Quantum Universe, even as key mysteries remain unsolved in Modern Science. Are we at a critical juncture again towards comprehending the Cosmos? Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos suggest new avenues, in that knowing the Observer resolves the Cosmic Conundrum. The book brings in a fresh breeze of ideas and an enjoyable journey into Self and Universe.”
“I am often asked if Deepak Chopra really believes the many controversial and provocative ideas he espouses in his many writings. Now that I have gotten to know him I can answer unequivocally in the affirmative, and there is no better encapsulation of his scientific worldview than You Are the Universe, which he co-authored with the highly respected physicist Menas Kafatos, my colleague at Chapman University. If you want to understand the worldview in which human consciousness is primary, and how that perspective can be defended through science, this is the book to read. In my own journey to better understand Deepak and his worldview this book was the most enlightening path I took.”
“In You Are The Universe, Deepak Chopra picks up where he left off in War of the Worldviews, only this time, rather than warring with a scientist (me), he joins forces with one. Teaming up with quantum physics expert Menas Kafatos, Chopra takes us on a tour of the universe and humanity’s place in it, exploring both science and spirituality, and how they may inform each other. Although it’s a worldview I do not subscribe to, it was an enjoyable ride.”
“As brain science and Western philosophy remain confounded by consciousness, this book points toward a solution, a deep connection between our minds and the fundamental makeup of the universe.”
“Ready for a broader vision of yourself? Face it! the paradigm of science is changing from the primacy of matter to the primacy of consciousness, what the authors call the primacy of qualia–felt experience. Read the book and find out more about the universe and yourself”.
“The latest masterpiece by Deepak is a joint oeuvre with cosmologist Menas Kafatos. It addresses all the most important questions we can ask of ourselves and of science. Questions like who we are, and why are we here – with the science to back our answers. This is the “new paradigm” we have been talking about!”
“This book discusses an important aspect from neuroscientific point of view i.e mind creates the reality. The authors do not like to distinguish the external reality and internal reality. This is similar to Yigacara Buddhism. However, it raises a very important issue whether any physical theory should include boundary conditions too or boundary conditions are outside the physical theory. This book raises a lot of such fascinating issues which may create an environment of new debate.”
“You are the Universe, brings the usual gracious clarity of all of Deepak Chopra’s writings together with the insights of physicist Menas Kafatos to elucidate the most profound and pressing questions at the frontiers of contemporary science. Weaving Dr. Chopra’s expertise regarding biological systems with Prof. Kafatos’ work in quantum physics, geophysics, and cosmology, they illuminate the realms where all the most successful contemporary sciences come to the edge of what can be explained with the vital lights from their own life times of deep spiritual practice. The result is no clash of competing perspectives, but a rich, synergistic tapestry of great wisdom, beauty, and comfort for our culture. As such, You Are The Universe is their great and generous gift to each of us.”
“In this interesting book, an astrophysicist is uniquely teaming up with a medical doctor. They present a novel, and I dare to say, revolutionary “paradigm” that has to make us all reconsider our ideas about our place in the Universe. It will shake stagnated waters in the short sighted beliefs of many. It will also make us to think and wonder about our real relationship with the Cosmos.”
What Came Before the Big Bang?
Why Does the Universe Fit Together So Perfectly?
Where Did Time Come From?
What Is the Universe Made Of?
Is There Design in the Universe?
Is the Quantum World Linked to Everyday Life?
Do We Live in a Conscious Universe?
How Did Life First Begin?
Does the Brain Create the Mind?
The Power of Personal Reality
Where You Really Came From
Deepak Chopra, Leonard Mlodinow & Michael Shermer, share their view
Leonard Mlodinow is a physicist, best-selling author, & screenwriter. Deepak Chopra,
Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP, Founder of The Chopra Foundation and
When you pre-order You Are The Universe, the new book from Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos, you are eligible to receive Consciousness, Science, and the Nature of Reality – a two-session, online, self-paced program (retail value $34.99) that features a deep and fascinating discussion between Deepak and renowned physicist Menas Kafatos. In this course, Deepak and Menas explore consciousness, science, and the ultimate nature of reality. Their dialogue probes the role that consciousness plays in our perception and understanding of the universe.