- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Harmony; First Edition edition (October 1, 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307338339
- ISBN-13: 978-0307338334
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Customer Reviews: 44 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Metahuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential Hardcover – October 1, 2019
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“Metahuman is a wonderful explanation—and exploration—of the very highest and ultimate potentials that human beings possess, known around the world as Enlightenment, Awakening, the Great Liberation. What is not generally known is the secret revealed at the very heart of the great wisdom traditions—namely, that you already possess this ultimate potential; it is fully and totally present in you, right here and right now. All you have to do is recognize this ever‑present reality. If you would like to know exactly how to do this, Metahuman is a terrific place to begin!” —Ken Wilber, The Integral Vision and The Religion of Tomorrow
“Our world is preoccupied with material progress, yet too often we overlook the miracle of our very existence. In this remarkable book, Deepak Chopra reminds us not to be distracted by the idols of our age but to marvel at the deep truths of being. Metahuman is a handbook to becoming fully alive.” —Arthur C. Brooks, PhD, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School and author of Love Your Enemies
"We might suppose that the vastness of space-time, with its myriad stars and planets, comprises the preexisting stage for a ceaseless drama of life in which we are bit players. In Metahuman, Deepak Chopra persuasively invites us to turn this supposition on its head. We are the authors of space-time; we can wake up to our impressive stagecraft and embrace our true role." —Donald Hoffman, Professor of Cognitive Sciences, University of California, Irvine, author of The Case against Reality
“In Metahuman, Deepak exposes us to a new and exciting reality where we are all infinitely free to create the lives we yearn for. There is no better guide to lead us to this phenomenal way of being.” —Bruce Vaughn, CEO, Dreamscape Immersive and Former Chief Creative Executive at Walt Disney Imagineering
“In his brilliant new book, Deepak Chopra successfully argues that consciousness is the sole creator of self, mind, brain, body and the universe, as we know it. Deepak then teaches us that truly grasping this revolutionary idea will effectively remove the limiting belief systems and negativity that may be holding us back from achieving our maximum human potential. Highly recommended!”—Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi, Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, best-selling co-author of The Healing Self, Super Brain and Super Genes
“This book distills decades of personal practice and breadth of study, and boils it all down to this: we are more than we think, more even than the universe itself, because the universe is only one expression of the fundamental, grounding, metahuman source that emanates, nurtures, and transcends us all. The book reads as though an old, wise friend, away traveling for years, collecting adventures and stories, comes home.” —Neil Theise, MD, Professor of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine
“Metahuman is a brilliant vision of human potential and how we can move beyond the limitations, concepts, and stories created by the mind. If we wake up and drop our usual habits of considering ourselves as finite, localized beings, the potential exists in each one of us to be one with our very true nature, or quoting Huxley, to be one with the Mind at Large.” —Dr. Menas C. Kafatos, New York Times bestselling author and Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor of Computational Physics, Chapman University
“Deepak Chopra’s Metahuman inspires a new spiritual perspective on our life in the Universe. By expanding our view, we can fulfill our hidden potential to become conscious of our infinite scope. Chopra’s journey echoes the sense of awe that astronomers experience when observing outer space through telescopes. His book provides a similar mind-expanding view into our inner space." —Avi Loeb, Chair of Astronomy Department, Harvard University
About the Author
Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP, is a world renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation, the founder of the Chopra Foundation, and cofounder of Jiyo and Chopra Global. TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as "One of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century." Dr. Chopra is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism, a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, Clinical Professor in Medicine at the University of California, San Diego. He hosts the #1 health and wellbeing podcast Deepak Chopra's Infinite Potential and Daily Breath. The World Post and The Huffington Post global internet survey ranked "Chopra #17 influential thinker in the world and #1 in Medicine." In conjunction with his medical achievements, he is recognized as a prolific author of more than 86 books translated into over forty-three languages, with twenty-six New York Times bestsellers.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
We Are Entangled in an Illusion
Somewhere in prehistory Homo sapiens crossed over into virtual reality, when a mind-made simulation became essential in our evolutionary path. The exact era will never be known, or the reason, if any, why one species should acquire such powers and know that it had them. No other creature consciously shapes its future. No other species tells stories and convinces itself that they are true. There are many mysteries in our past. Somehow, following whatever tortuous path, we managed to make our simulation so convincing that we got lost in it.
Although this simulation is very convincing, on a daily basis it breaks down. There are times when life goes out of kilter and the world doesn’t seem real and substantial anymore. Such experiences occur regularly, either to ourselves or to other people. For example, when there’s a sudden death in the family or a catastrophe like a tornado or the house burning down, we may go into shock. With a blank stare we reveal how dislocated our existence suddenly feels, saying things like “This can’t be happening. It’s unreal” or “Nothing matters anymore.”
Normally, this dissociated state will pass, and in time reality feels real again. But some people never return—after a psychotic break, for example, a percentage of mental patients become chronically schizophrenic and have hallucinations, seeing images or hearing voices for the rest of their lives. But the feeling of “This can’t be happening; it’s like a dream” doesn’t have to be triggered by shock. Countless people engage in personal fantasies of fame, wealth, or some other dream that feels totally real to them and drives them all their lives. When someone is suddenly ecstatically happy, for whatever reason, everything can seem surreal, too.
However, the physical world “out there” feels real and substantial a lot more than 99 percent of the time, which is proof enough, one would think, that we aren’t under some kind of spell. But we are. Ironically, there’s now technology that forces a person to confront what is real and what isn’t. When you don a virtual reality (VR) headset, powered by artificial intelligence, the simulation you are plunged into is like a wraparound, three-dimensional movie of such vividness that it overwhelms the senses and causes a dislocation from what we deem as everyday reality. You might find yourself precariously perched on a steel construction girder in midair with the city street many stories below. Your brain, fooled by the visual image, triggers the stress response just as if you were really teetering on the girder. You will feel yourself going off balance in a panic, even though in the room where you are actually standing, your feet are firmly on the ground and you are in no danger of plunging to your death.
The VR illusion is created by visual images, and the same holds true in everyday life. What you see, you believe in. Such trust is misplaced, as every grade-schooler learns when told that the sun doesn’t actually rise in the east and set in the west. Yet when quantum physics tells us that matter isn’t what it appears to be, we continue to cling to the sensations of weight and solidity of hard physical objects as if they were indisputable. Would a bullet be less dangerous if you saw through the illusion? No. The bullet and the entire physical world become the end point of a process that begins in consciousness.
Once you grasp this and fully absorb it, your personal reality becomes much more malleable, because you can go to the source and be part of the creative process. Getting untangled from the virtual-reality simulation isn’t easy. Our personal experience would have to change drastically, but the beauty of it is that we have the potential for change where before we had none or very little. While you cannot turn bullets into cotton balls, to accept that all of reality “out there” is beyond your ability to change isn’t true.
The ground rules of everyday life are much looser than we imagine. Even when a person feels completely immersed in the simulation, there is an escape route. And not just one, but many. This only makes sense. Metareality is more real than any virtual simulation. We should regard glimpses into it as evidence that we can inhabit the meta state all the time. Instead, the entanglements of virtual reality have turned the picture wrong side up. As you read the meta experiences below, you will be tempted to see them as anomalous, freakish, or untrustworthy. Getting real is a process that begins by confronting your misplaced trust in illusions every day.
Let’s consider one of the most basic aspects of virtual reality. Hardly anyone would question that being inside the body is normal, natural, and a true experience. But this certainty runs counter to the phenomenon of out-of-body experiences (OBEs), which have been documented in every culture for centuries. The most widely publicized out-of-body experience is “going into the light,” as reported by patients who have clinically died during emergency medical procedures, especially from heart attacks.
It turns out that expecting to go into the light when we die is misleading, because what happens in near-death experiences is much more individual than anyone thought. The largest study of near-death experiences, which examined 2,060 patients who died under emergency or intensive care, arrived at the conclusion that death isn’t a single event—it is a process. There isn’t simply one final or definitive event. During this process, there are ways to reverse death. In cases where medical professionals were successful at getting the heart, lungs, and brain to come back to normal functioning, about 40 percent of those who died and came back remember that “something happened” when they were flatlined.
This part of the study, which was titled AWARE and was led by British intensive-care doctor Sam Parnia, seems irrefutable. But very quickly the details of “something happened” become controversial. We have to dive into a few details to see what the issues are. Out of the 2,060 patients who died (the study went from 2008 to 2012 and included 33 researchers in 15 hospitals), 104 were resuscitated. The first point to note is that all had actually died. They were not “near death.” Their hearts and lungs had stopped functioning, and within 20 to 30 seconds their brains showed no activity. The decomposition of cells throughout the body actually takes several hours to commence afterward. During the interval between dying and being brought back is when 39 percent reported the memory of being conscious even though their brains had stopped.
Dr. Parnia believes that this is probably just a fraction of those who had such experiences; the rest had their memories erased either by brain inflammation, which occurs for 72 hours after a person is brought back from death, or because of drugs that are administered as part of resuscitation, which also cause memory loss. Of the 101 patients who completed the questionnaire about their experience during death, only 9 percent had an experience compatible with the typical “going into the light” model. The majority of memories were vague and unfocused, sometimes pleasant but sometimes not.
Only 2 percent of those who came back, which means 2 people out of 101, had the experience of full awareness or out-of-body experiences such as looking down from above their bodies watching and listening to the medical team as it was working to revive them. Only one person could accurately narrate what had been happening in the room in such detail that it corresponded to timed events. So what does this one person tell us about dying?
It depends. Skeptics shrug off all such experiences as purely physical, claiming that if we had finer measurements of brain activity, at a very subtle level we’d discover that the brain hadn’t actually died. Dr. Parnia accepts that this might be true. His main focus is on how to achieve better results at resuscitation that might bring back a normal person with no organ damage, particularly brain damage after clinical death. But Dr. Parnia’s personal conclusion is that a person can be fully conscious without brain function, as this one patient was. He points to the basic disagreement, thousands of years ago, between Aristotle and Plato. Aristotle contended that consciousness was a physical phenomenon, Plato that it was nonphysical, residing in a soul that transcends the body.
The AWARE study didn’t confirm either side. Unsurprisingly, skeptics and believers didn’t change their position, or their prejudices. One can say that it’s a significant step to turn death into a process that can be reversed. It’s also significant that awareness during death covers a wide range of experiences, not a one-size-fits-all of going into the light. What I’d like to underscore is that even when you die, you fashion the experience personally. Dr. Parnia found that people’s spiritual interpretation of their death experience coincided with their own faith. They interpreted the light as being Christ, if they were Christians, which was different for Hindus and totally nonspiritual for atheists.
What happens when we die, then, is open to interpretation. The only consensus among those who came back was that death is a comfortable process, not to be feared. Having directly experienced that their fear of death was groundless, these people discovered a different perspective on life. Many if not most concluded that they should lead more selfless lives in service to others.
I think it is useful that the AWARE study validated that “something happens,” but why are we trying to settle the issue of consciousness at the most extreme moment when life and death hang in the balance? It’s like trying to validate gravity by asking survivors of a plane crash about their experience of falling from the sky.
It is the normal, everyday experience of consciousness that needs to be explained, not the extreme states. I’ve debated or conversed with many neuroscientists, and none has been able to answer the simplest questions about consciousness. These include the following:
What is a thought?
How does the electro-chemical activity in a neuron turn into words, sights, and sounds in our heads?
Why is a person’s next thought totally unpredictable?
If someone has a vocabulary of 30,000 words, does this mean that a clump of brain cells knows 30,000 words? If so, in what way are the words being stored? For the word cat, is there a place inside a brain cell that holds the letters c-a-t?
No one can adequately answer any of these questions.
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But the book also has a new message, which is that only by going beyond everyday life (the Greek word "meta" means beyond) can we change what it means to be human. In a sense this is a futurist book like Yuval Harari's "Sapiens" and "Homo Deus." In lots of places, however, Chopra argues against Harari's view, and also Steven Pinker's, which sees a brighter future through rational solutions to our biggest problems. Chopra argues that consciousness is much more than pure abstract reason. If rationality ruled the human mind, we'd have no art, music, love, compassion, intuition, insight, and personal growth. We'd be brain robots ruled by our cerebral cortex.
Chopra is out to recover "whole mind," as Aldous Huxley called higher consciousness. The thesis of "Metahuman" is that we live in a mind-made fiction, a virtual reality we believe in but which is much, much less than "real" reality. There are three parts to what the book sets out to achieve. First, the reader is led to understand that their personal reality is a kind of dream or illusion. Second, the process of waking up is outlined--waking up means getting unstuck from your fake virtual reality. Third is a set of 31 exercises, what the book calls "a month of waking up."
These sections are all uniquely done in Chopra's excellent writing style, and unlike his previous books that I have read, he goes into a lot of the evolutionary history of Homo sapiens while giving it a very different interpretation than Harari or Pinker. Anyone who was intrigued by those authors will be just as intrigued by Chopra's new book. The concepts are big and sometimes challenging to grasp, but if you stick with it, "Metahuman" offers the most complete picture of higher consciousness that Chopra has ever presented.
There is an eye-opening self assessment test and I'm glad to see that the second half of the book is a guide towards achieving the spiritual height and steadiness we are here for. What I find most amazing is that the book is as relevant to someone who has never heard of non-duality as it is for those who are far on the path.
Even if Dr. Chopra has written many books about awakening, nowhere has he been so clear, direct and honest. This book is for the people of today and the challenges we all face, and needs to be read and applied by all who have a sense of urgency regarding the fate of humanity.