Doctor of the body is positively inspiring as medic of the mind


The Age (Australia), March 22, 1999
By Darrin Farrant

You know it is not a regular interview when your subject wonders whether it is even taking place.

But Dr. Deepak Chopra, physician, best-selling author and inspirationalist to celebrities and the masses, just smiles and looks serene when he says "the very fact that you and I exist is a perpetual surprise to me".

Unsettling observations come quickly and easily to Dr. Chopra, a one-man industry of positive living and spiritual health.

Or, as he puts it on his website (, "a world leader in establishing a new life-giving paradigm that has revolutionised common wisdom about the crucial connection between mind, body, spirit and healing".

Dr. Chopra was in Melbourne yesterday, along with three other speakers, to address a sell-out crowd of 5,000 people at the Sports and Entertainment Centre on the topic of "metaphysical mastery".

He is also in Australia to promote a new CD, A Gift of Love, which has been produced by the New York-based Australian composer-musician Adam Plack.

The CD features celebrities such as Madonna, Goldie Hawn and Demi Moore - all good pals of Dr. Chopra, apparently - reading the works of the 13th-century Persian poet Jalaleddin Rumi to a backdrop of music composed by Plack.

It's already selling well in the US, thanks to the popularity of Dr. Chopra, who has tapped in to growing Western disenchantment with conventional religion and mainstream medicine.

"Western theology has created a god who is a dead white male up in the clouds who is totally judgmental and angry ... Most intelligent people don't buy into that any more. There is a subtle shift in awareness among people that all reality is subjective."

He is also sceptical of Western medicine, saying that while it is "excellent for acute illness or saving lives, it does not alleviate real suffering".

Most doctors concentrate on the body only instead of the soul as well. Accepting alternative medical practices into the mainstream would lead to a massive reduction in drugs prescribed to patients - most of which do not work.

Not surprisingly, these views do not please many doctors and other critics, who accuse him of selling a brand of mystic mumbo-jumbo.

Dr. Chopra's reaction? "I wanted to kill them, but then I thought what a waste of time and energy," he says, looking serene again.

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