Having already read many authors who teach non-dual philosophy, I thought it was about time I sampled Deepak Chopra. This short book is basically non-dualism and its implications presented to the reader in the form of fifteen secrets (which is basically a fancy way of saying fifteen chapters). There aren’t really fifteen special things you need to learn and then you’re awakened, but I guess Chopra likes to be overly dramatic. These secrets are:
- The Mystery of Life Is Real
- The World Is in You
- Four Paths Lead to Unity
- What You Seek, You Already Are
- The Cause of Suffering Is Unreality
- Freedom Tames the Mind
- Every Life Is Spiritual
- Evil Is Not Your Enemy
- You Live in Multidimensions
- Death Makes Life Possible
- The Universe Thinks Through You
- There Is No Time But Now
- You Are Truly Free When You Are Not a Person
- The Meaning of Life Is Everything
- Everything Is Pure Essence
The problem with having already worked my way through non-dual philosophy is that I’m now finding that I have very little to learn from books on the subject. But that’s hardly a criticism of this book. If I had discovered this one several years ago, I think it would have been an eye-opener. As it stands, I’m already familiar with much of the material, so this really becomes an exerise in revision. The highlight of the book was an insightful section dealing with Jung’s idea of the “shadow” – coping with one’s own personal dark side.
My main criticism of the book is that it tends to get too caught up becoming a self-help manual, and some of the advice struck me as verbose, convoluted, and lacking in genuine insight.
Chopra, who hails from India, brings an interested balance of science and Eastern philosophy to the table. It’s mostly good material, but for me personally, I felt he wasn’t really saying anything new, and it’s unlikely I’ll read another of his books. Still, The Book of Secrets serves as a useful primer for the newcomer to esoteric thinking.