Saturday, May 15, 2010

Couldn't have said it better myself, Deepak...

...or, if you don't even know where you need to be, why pay somebody else for the map?

Today I must commend to you a column by, of all people, Deepak Chopra. To me, this column inadvertently highlights one of the core problems with all self-help (even the supposedly genuine type that Chopra describes as
his column moves along): We seldom know which part of ourselves we really want to actualize. Nor do we know whetherhaving actualized the part that seems most urgent and/or appealingwe'll like the result, once we get there.

Now, am I implying that life is hopeless and there's no point to striving for anything? NO. I am implying, or rather stating, that these are journeys that each of us must make on our own
(or perhaps with highly skilled guidance of the type offered by trained mental-health professionalsnot paid cheerleaders or quasi-psychics who traded in their ice-cream stand for a coaching license two months ago). If you can't even (a) know what's in your own heart and mind (which, I submit, you can't; a book I'm currently reading, Stumbling on Happiness, makes this point with delicious wit and insight) or (b) know whether what's in your heart and mind today will still be there tomorrow, then what's the point of bringing in others to help you formulate a life plan? Puzzle it our yourself, for free! Even the best coaching will only help you clarify goals that exist in your conscious mind, this minute...a process that has little or nothing to do with the dominant goals that may emerge from your subconscious mind, a year from now. It's the ultimate existential enigma.

Self-help is of little, well, help in solving this riddle. Here's Chopra's most earnest (impossibly tautological) try: "The best way to wake up is to know who you are, where you're going, and what the future could be." Gee, thanks, Deepak. Brilliant. Never would've thought of that myself....

5 comments:

Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, Steve, sorry I've been "away" for so long. But I've been faithfully reading SHAMblog even though I haven't been participating lately.

To me one of the most revealing passages in the Deep-pocket article you cited was this:

"The enemy of self-help is whatever closes off your consciousness and narrows your vision. Skeptical friends and people around you who are stuck in various ways are no help..."

Notice how he managed to sneak in the idea that skepticism gets in the way of personal growth and progress, and that it is equivalent to being "stuck."

Those darned skeptics.

By the way, did you catch Harry Smith's interview the other day, on CBS' Early Show, with Chopra, Debbie Ford, and Marianne Williamson, who have co-authored a new book about the "shadow self?" I was rolling my eyes over the way Harry seemed to be fawning over them, till Chopra said, "People who live in glass houses should not throw stones." Harry said, "Wow! Let me write that down! I've never heard THAT one before!" -- restoring my hopes that not all TV interviewers are as worshipful of New-Wage luminaries as they sometimes seem.

GodsInfidel said...

Chopra is a mercenary who has used Hindu Relgious and Medical concepts and packaged in them in a way that the secular, passive aggressive media loving drug addled executives of La La land will take on.

If you strip away his rambling of quantum this and spiritual that you actually get a lot of common sense explanations of how to become your own guru and live your own life.

Problem with that concept - as us modern day Hindu's are finding out - is that it would put a lot of these self proclaimed "gurus" out of business.

Talk to God yourself by simply living your life!!! no no no you need my CD/MP3 series then attend my dangerous sweat box seminar in the middle of the desert and don't forget to sign for my free newsletter... "Talk to God... through Digital Radio and The specially created "blessed" by a Guru we just made up" Plastic Fork"

Muppets... the lot of them should be sent to an island ala "Lost" and then see how "self aware" they are when faced with basic survival

Chopra is one of the worst. If you change take out the "h" in his name and replace the "a" with an "I" you get the word "Copri" (pronounced Coo-preee")
which means "Skull" in Indian and used to describe a person who is a "knucklehead".

Dimension Skipper said...

Yesterday's Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal illustrates the typically predicted dystopia vs the much more likely one to come. Sadly, it may well be on the mark.

And today's Wondermark depicts Steve attending a self-help guru's seminar and some of the ensuing hijinx.

:-)

(Sorry, that's all I got, but just thought folks 'round here might get a chuckle or two from'em. _I_ liked'em anyway.)

Steve Salerno said...

DS: That's hilarious. (I could actually see myself saying those things!) Thanks for linking it here.

Anonymous said...

I love you, GodsInfidel, you are funny!

Also love the proliferation of cult and guru examining blogs.