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You Are the Universe: Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why It Matters Hardcover – February 7, 2017
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"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." –Dimitar Sasselov, Professor of Astronomy, Harvard University, author of The Life of Super-Earths: How the Hunt for Alien Worlds and Artificial Cells will Revolutionize Life on Our Planet
"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!" —Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi, Joseph. P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology Harvard Medical School Vice-Chair, Neurology; Director, Genetics and Aging Research Unit Massachusetts General Hospital
"An inspiring and insightful work that points out the sterility and inadequacy of the materialist paradigm that unnecessarily pervades modern science." —Ruth E. Kastner, Ph.D, author of Understanding Our Unseen Reality: Solving Quantum Riddles
"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." —Leonard Mlodinow, PhD, author of The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Your Life, and The Grand Design (with Stephen Hawking)
"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" —Stuart Hameroff, MD Director and Co-founder, Center for Consciousness Studies Professor Emeritus, Department of Anesthesiology Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology University of Arizona
“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.” —Michael Shermer, PhD, Publisher Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist Scientific American, Presidential Fellow Chapman University, author of The Moral Arc, The Believing Brain, and Why People Believe Weird Things
"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." —Amit Goswami, Ph.D., Theoretical Quantum Physicist, author of The Everything Answer Book and Quantum Economics
"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." —Dr. Pankaj S. Joshi, Senior Professor, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Theoretical Physicist and Cosmologist, Mumbai
"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." —Bernardo Kastrup, Ph.D., author of Why Materialism Is Baloney, Brief Peeks Beyond and More Than Allegory.
“You are the Universe could have been spelled Youniverse for not only are ‘you’ in the universe ‘you’ are at the start of it all. Chopra and Kafatos have put together a well-written and, as far as any scientist today knows, a completely accurate exploration of how the mystery of subjective consciousness provides the basis for material reality as it is presently understood. I highly recommend this for those who are curiously alive.” —Fred Alan Wolf, Ph.D. aka Dr. Quantum® Theoretical Physicist, author of The Spiritual Universe, National Book award-winning Taking the Quantum Leap, Time-loops and Space-twists, and many other books.
“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!” —Ervin Laszlo, author of What is Reality; The New Map of Cosmos and Consciousness
“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” —Kanaris Tsinganos, Director & President of the Governing Board National Observatory of Athens, Professor, Section of Astrophysics, Astronomy & Mechanics Department of Physics, University of Athens (Greece)
“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 lot of such fascinating issues which may create an environment of new debate.” —Sisir Roy, T.V. Raman Pai Chair, National Institute of Advanced Studies, IISC Campus, Bangalore and (Former) Professor, Physics and Applied Mathematics Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, India.
“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.” —Neil Theise, MD, Professor of Pathology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
About the Author
DEEPAK CHOPRA MD, FACP, founder of The Chopra Foundation and co-founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing and Jiyo, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation, and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego, Researcher, Neurology and Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. The World Post and The Huffington Post global internet survey ranked Chopra #17 influential thinker in the world and #1 in Medicine. Chopra is the author of more than 85 books translated into over 43 languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as "one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century.”
MENAS KAFATOS is The Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor of Computational Physics at Chapman University, author of more than 320 refereed articles and fifteen books. He received his B.A. in Physics from Cornell University in 1967 and his Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1972. He is the Founding Dean of the Schmid College of Science and Technology at Chapman University, serving as dean in 2009-2012. He directs the Center of Excellence in Earth Systems Modeling and Observations.
Top customer reviews
Mainstream physicists might reject or ridicule the concept that our thoughts influence the cosmos, which is the main theme of this book, but the book was written with physics professor Menas Kafatos, so the science is solid. You Are the Universe means what its title says. The reality we inhabit is shaped by our own experience, and if there is such a thing as another reality apart from our raw experience, we will never know it. And what would it even mean to say reality can be independent of experience? Such a radical thesis puts the physics establishment on notice, using its own methods. The book outlines the key mysteries that physics hasn't solved, such as what came before the big bang, which is like asking what happened before the beginning of time. Chopra and Kafatos are bold enough to broach forbidden and politically incorrect questions like whether there is design of the universe (while strictly distancing themselves from any religious view, especially Intelligent Design).
What surprised me is how deep the unsolved mysteries go and how credible a human universe actually is. In the tradition of quantum physics, as the authors point out, physical reality was radically revised, and some of the pioneers of quantum physics seriously doubted the things we take for granted about existence--matter, energy, space, and time--are even remotely like what our common-sense ideas of them are. Solid physical objects, for example, turn into clouds of energy at the quantum level before dissolving into probability waves and finally vanishing into the quantum void. The fact that the universe was born out of nothing--the quantum vacuum--opens the way for describing the pre-created state in many ways.
Chopra and Kafatos touch on some of the current theories in physics as well. They point out that modern physics theories provide descriptions that are based on arcane mathematics, such as superstring theory, and which have almost zero empirical evidence to prove the case one way or the other. The same holds true for the fashionable multiverse theory, which theorizes trillions of alternate universes that will never be seen or measured. The authors argue that the pre-created state of existence is consciousness, the source of not only everything physical but everything mental as well. While the idea of a conscious universe may not be new, even among some highly-respected cosmologists, but I don’t believe the case has been made anywhere else so thoroughly and so closely directed at personal transformation.
Despite the presence of Chopra's name, this isn't a spiritual book. It is highly readable pop science that exposes the hidden presumptions behind subject-object based knowledge, so that the role and presence of consciousness is recognized for what it is. The authors conclude with a plea for a new paradigm based on this reality that can save the planet and open the door to the next step in human evolution. Higher consciousness won't become widespread, they say, until we absorb a deep yet simple truth. Everything in creation is an activity in consciousness, and we humans sit at the center of a universe tailored to our awareness. We are thus co-creators of our own reality, at this very moment. It's an inspiring and an empowering message, that feels more relevant and urgent than ever.
I read a one star review for this book that related it to the same snake oil Deepak has been preaching for 40 years. My question, how did snake oil work? How does the placebo work? Where is the mathematical equation for the effect of the mind on the cells in the body? And if the mind can effect cells that are inside the body why wouldn't it have the same effect on things "outside" the body? Thank God (as the expression goes or in this case the Universe) that we do have the observer effect in quantum mechanics. Maybe the greatest breakthrough in science - along with this book!
I am impressed by how this book was written in a way that makes the insights accessible to scientists and laymen alike, and which returns science to its true purpose, the evolution and well-being of mankind and all life. I have read many books by Dr. Chopra (alas, none by Dr. Kafatos), but this book has brought me new insights in a new language. It has made it possible to envision a world where science, in its own way, expresses the same wisdom that has been communicated by sages everywhere, laying a new foundation for more life-affirming structures in our societies.