cover image How to Know God: The Soul's Journey Into the Mystery of Mysteries

How to Know God: The Soul's Journey Into the Mystery of Mysteries

Deepak Chopra. Harmony Books, $24 (336pp) ISBN 978-0-609-60078-8

Prolific author Chopra (The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Creating Health, etc.) explores the different ways people apprehend God. Chopra contends that there are seven responses to God and that ""the brain cannot register a deity outside the list of seven responses."" Chopra's seven include: fight or flight (a God who can save us from danger), reactive (a rule-giving God), restful awareness (a God who brings tranquility out of chaos), intuitive (a good and forgiving God), creative (God as Creator), visionary (God as exalted) and sacred (God as the source of everything). Different personalities envision God differently, says Chopra; a go-getter determined to shape his own destiny will imagine a creative God, whereas someone who feels she is just barely getting through the day will have the stage-one ""fight or flight"" response, envisioning a God who can rescue her. For Chopra, these seven ascending stages are normative; someone who has reached stage seven is more in tune with God than someone stuck at stage one. (Readers from law-based religions may feel dismayed that Chopra so devalues their ""stage two"" conception of God.) To help spiritual pilgrims reach the seventh stage, Chopra recommends that they see themselves and others ""in the light,"" forgive themselves when they err and seek out the sacred and the unknown. Like most theories that claim to be all-encompassing, Chopra's scheme is often reductive, but this will nonetheless be a worthwhile addition to the spiritual seeker's library. (Feb.)