Life After Death

“A must read for everyone who will die.” That’s how one reviewer describes Deepak Chopra’s “Life After Death.” I ordered the book after seeing Dr. Chopra on The Colbert Report. The title pretty much describes the book which got a fair amount of highlighter (my measure of good non-fiction). Here’s one graf from page 239:

“In spiritual terms the cycle of birth and rebirth is a workshop for making creative leaps of the soul. The natural and the supernatural are not doing different things but are involved in transformation on separate levels. At the moment of death the ingredients of your old body and old identity disappear. Your DNA and everything it created devolve back to their simple component parts. Your memories dissolve back into raw information. None of this raw material is simply recombined to produced a slightly altered person. To produce a new body capable of making new memories, the person who emerges must be new. You do not acquire a new soul, because the soul doesn’t have content. It’s not “you” but the center around which “you” coalesces, time after time. It’s your zero point.”

I’ve never studied or researched reincarnation, but I’ve always had a curiosity about and openess to the idea. In 1988 I wrote:

“As I think about the idea of a past existence, I feel a fondness for this “earlier me”. A sense of gratitude for whatever spiritual progress he was able to achieve. At the same time, I feel a sense of anticipation or expectation for my “next life”. And some responsibility to that future self. I’d like to move him (or her?) along as far as I can on this “cosmic lap.” To move him closer to…a perfect consciousness? Nirvana?”

“Mixed in with all of that is a sense of relief that I don’t have to complete everything in this lifetime. This is not the only shot I’ll get. And this awareness is vital because we all know –consciously or subconsciously– that we won’t “get it all done” in a spiritual sense. We hope (and work) for progress but a single” lifetime seems hopelessly short.”

Upon rereading the full post, I’m struck by how close I got (to Dr. Chopra’s explanation), given my complete ignorance.

I confess I could never stretch my common sense and logic (and faith?) around many of the stories in the Bible. And my recent read of Richard Dawkins’ case for atheism (The God Delusion) didn’t convince me. But I really enjoyed Life After Death and will read more by Dr. Chopra.

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