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"The Seven Spiritual
Laws of Success"

By Deepak Chopra

Copyright © 1994 by Deepak Chopra

Co-Published by Amber Allen Publishing and New World Library

ISBN 1-878424-11-4

Reviewed by Michael Kisor

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success is a wonderful little book. It is not about religion, as some might infer from its title, but it does draw from the same cosmic fountainhead of truth and spirituality which is the source for most religions of the world. It contains the distilled wisdom from many cultures, yet its aura has an Eastern glow. While it cannot be said that Chopra originated the ideas espoused by this book, his contribution in presenting them is undeniable.

This book is easy to read, but don't be mislead by its small size: it has much to offer. When i first read this book, i felt as though there was nothing in it which was really new to me. At first i felt ever so clever and smug for being aware of these concepts already. But as i read, i realized there was more to this little book than meets the eye; i was learning, and seeing things i had overlooked before! Chopra had so masterfully packaged and presented his material that it caused me to see it in a completely different light. I knew then that this was a book that i would want to keep handy and re-read every once in a while. I know that each time i read it, i'll learn something. This is partly due to the quality of the writing, the nature of the subject matter, and the fact that i'll have had more life experiences by then. This book is small enough that its size will not discourage me from reading it again and again. And it is such a joy to read that i'm sure i will read it again and again.

I am often asked: "What do you think of Deepak Chopra?" I have found that this is often a loaded question, for many people feel that he has become too "commercial." The implication, of course, is that this somehow taints his message or makes him a hypocrite. To be truthful, i too have had these very same nagging doubts about Chopra -- and there are a couple passages of this book which seem out of character with the overall high spiritual message of the book. But i have come to this conclusion: What matters most is the message, not the purity of the messenger. And this book has some very valuable messages for everyone who reads it. There is no denying that Chopra has a gift in presenting this kind of material, whether in person, on tape, or through books. That, combined with Chopra's personal charisma and charm, are a formula for commercial success. I don't think that we should begrudge nor criticize Chopra for being commercially successful. We must also consider the fact that Chopra's commercial success expands the number of people able to benefit from his message. And i wonder if the passages in this book which seemed incongruous to me (there weren't many) might not be Chopra's attempt to reach out to those whose goals are more materialistic? Tainted or not, there is no denying the truth which is contained in the book, and its value is in no way diminished.

This book really does reach a wide audience, for it speaks to the universal human need to understand the cosmos and our place in it. In that regard The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success is an important work. The concepts presented in this book are a cornerstone of Quanta-Gaia -- which itself is the quest to better understand the cosmos and our role in it.

Here's an excerpt from The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. Chopra is expanding on one of the seven laws presented in the book. Bear in mind that Chopra uses the word "law" in the same sense as one refers to a "law of nature." It does not refer to an edict:
There are three components to the Law of Least Effort -- three things you can do to put this principle of "do less and accomplish more" into action. The first component is acceptance. Acceptance simply means that you make a commitment: "Today I will accept people, situations, circumstances, and events as they occur." This means I will know that this moment is as it should be, because the whole universe is as it should be. This moment -- the one you're experiencing right now -- is the culmination of all the moments you have experienced in the past. This moment is as it is because the entire universe is as it is.

When you struggle against this moment, you're actually struggling against the entire universe. Instead, you can make the decision that today you will not struggle against the whole universe by struggling against this moment. This means that your acceptance of this moment is total and complete. You accept things as they are, not as you wish they were in this moment. This is important to understand. You can wish for things in the future to be different, but in this moment you have to accept things as they are.

When you feel frustrated or upset by a person or a situation, remember that you are not reacting to the person or the situation, but to your feelings about the person or the situation. These are your feelings, and your feelings are not someone else's fault. When you recognize and understand this completely, you are ready to take responsibility for how you feel and to change it. And if you can accept things as they are, you are ready to take responsibility for your situation and for all the events you see as problems.

This leads us to the second component of the Law of Least Effort: responsibility. What does responsibility mean? Responsibility means not blaming anyone or anything for your situation, including yourself. Having accepted this circumstance, this event, this problem, responsibility then means the ability to have a creative response to the situation as it is now. All problems contain the seeds of opportunity, and this awareness allows you to take the moment and transform it to a better situation or thing.

Once you do this, every so-called upsetting situation will become an opportunity for the creation of something new and beautiful, and every so-called tormentor or tyrant will become your teacher. Reality is an interpretation. And if you choose to interpret reality in this way, you will have many teachers around you, and many opportunities to evolve.

Whenever confronted by a tyrant, tormentor, teacher, friend, or foe (they all mean the same thing) remind yourself, "This moment is as it should be." Whatever relationships you have attracted in your life at this moment are precisely the ones you need in your life at this moment. There is a hidden meaning behind all events, and this hidden meaning is serving your own evolution.

The third component of the Law of Least Effort is defenselessness, which means that your awareness is established in defenselessness, and you have relinquished the need to convince or persuade others of your point of view. If you observe people around you, you'll see that they spend ninety-nine percent of their time defending their points of view. If you just relinquish the need to defend your point of view, you will in that relinquishment, gain access to enormous amounts of energy that have been previously wasted.

When you become defensive, blame others, and do not accept and surrender to the moment, your life meets resistance. Any time you encounter resistance, recognize that if you force the situation, the resistance will only increase. You don't want to stand rigid like a tall oak that cracks and collapses in the storm. Instead, you want to be flexible, like a reed that bends with the storm and survives.

Completely desist from defending your point of view. When you have no point to defend, you do not allow the birth of an argument. If you do this consistently -- if you stop fighting and resisting -- you will fully experience the present, which is a gift. Someone once told me, "The past is history, the future is a mystery, and this moment is a gift. That is why this moment is called 'the present'."

If you embrace the present and become one with it, and merge with it, you will experience a fire, a glow, a sparkle of ecstasy throbbing in every living sentient being. As you begin to experience this exultation of spirit in everything that is alive, as you become intimate with it, joy will be born within you, and you will drop the terrible burdens and encumbrances of defensiveness, resentment, and hurtfulness. Only then will you become lighthearted, carefree, joyous, and free.

In this joyful, simple freedom, you will know without any doubt in your heart that what you want is available to you whenever you want it, because your want will be from the level of happiness, not from the level of anxiety or fear. You do not need to justify; simply declare your intent to yourself, and you will experience fulfillment, delight, joy, freedom, and autonomy in every moment of your life.

Make a commitment to follow the path of no resistance. This is the path through which nature's intelligence unfolds spontaneously, without friction or effort. When you have the exquisite combination of acceptance, responsibility, and defenselessness, you will experience life flowing with effortless ease.

When you remain open to all points of view -- not rigidly attached to only one -- your dreams and desires will flow with nature's desires. Then you can release your intentions, without attachment, and just wait for the appropriate season for your desires to blossom into reality. You can be sure that when the season is right, your desires will manifest. This is the Law of Least Effort.

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