In this book, Chopra attempts to accomplish two objectives. First, the book is his rebuttal to the attacks from what he describes as Militant Atheists, a group who not only disbelieves the existence of God but also feels compelled to malign and impugn any who do. Secondly, DC makes a reasoned argument for the existence of God, though perhaps not in the embodiment that has held traditional sway.
Rather than try to summarize DC's points, I'll include here some of his most insightful and challenging assertions:
- “I like a metaphor I once heard, that faith is like smelling the sea before you see it.” (p.21)
- “Knowing God consists of many experiences acquired over a lifetime, a slow-motion epiphany, as it were.” (p.22)
- “It’s particularly strange that skeptics mock anyone who explores supernatural phenomena, since one item on the list – seeing beyond surface appearances and trusting what you see – is a hallmark of science. Ghost hunters are doing nothing more or less than physicists hunting for quarks.” (p.70)
- “Faith is personal. It doesn’t need to be justified to someone else. Faith is something you must participate in – you can’t judge it from the outside. Faith is a way of exploring reality, but it doesn’t have to pass scientific testing. Faith looks beyond physical appearances. Faith is about meaning.” (p.73)
- “You are whatever your faith is...the core ideas and beliefs you live by…the sum of your inner conceptions.” (p.84-85)
- “…the most recent theories of the cosmos propose that only 4 percent of the universe is made up of matter and energy that can be measured – the remaining 96 percent consists of so-called dark matter and energy, which are little understood. They cannot be seen, only inferred.” (p.93)
- “It [Science] has brilliantly subdivided nature into tiny packets of knowledge while missing the miraculousness of the whole” (p. 133)
- “God’s love doesn’t pick and choose, so it applies to serial killers, Adolf Hitler, Chairman Mao, and all other monsters in history. It applies to all criminal acts as well as to holy acts. Therefore divine love is more like a natural force field – gravity, for instance – than a human emotion. Such love can’t be expressed in human emotional terms.” (p. 147)
- “The issue isn’t how to think about God but how to experience him directly.” (p. 149)
- “The whole story is told in a single concept: God is realized in the highest state of awareness. Since everyone is aware, God is reachable by all of us.” (p. 159)
- “God is everywhere in the subtle world. The divine doesn’t appear by glimpses, in peak moments with sudden blinding light. The divine is constant; it is we who come and go.” (p. 188)
- “As banal as it sounds, finding God depends on regular practice.” (p. 189)
- “Approval is sweet. Anyone who wants it should avoid writing about God.” (p. 249)
Chopra ALWAYS pushes my thinking. I'll keep letting him do so.