If change is elusive for most people, real transformation seems far out of reach. But there have been new findings, ranging from neuroscience to genetics, to support the once-mystical notion that inner transformation is real. I set out to address these findings and pursue their implications in depth -- hence the need for a whole book, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul.
In our quest to grow and change, we all run into obstacles. We meet resistance inside and out. Lasting change proves stubborn. I wanted, therefore, to begin with the most difficult obstacle of all: the body.
The human body is still at the beginning of revealing its potential. At this very minute, someone in a laboratory somewhere is breaking through old concepts about the body's limitations. Yet you and I find ourselves with bodies that wear out, age, grow sick, and disappoint our highest aspirations for freedom and creativity.
Clearly, the body needs to be reinvented. We must throw out every fixed belief about what the body can and cannot do. In their place, I offer five breakthrough ideas that can completely alter how you see your body and what you do with it.
Breakthrough #1 -- Your Physical Body Is an Illusion Breakthrough #2 -- Your Real Body Is Energy Breakthrough #3 -- Awareness Has Magic Breakthrough #4 -- You Can Improve Your Genes Breakthrough #5 -- Time Isn't Your Enemy
Each of these breakthroughs overturns an outmoded belief that turns into a physical limitation. If you think of your body as a physical object, you will cooperate with aging, because what is aging but a physical object wearing out? If you believe that time is your enemy, aging has gained another ally. If you accept that your genes are fixed, they take away your freedom to change.
What these five breakthroughs have in common is this: you can change your body through consciousness, because despite its physical appearance, your body is the product of consciousness to begin with. There is no difference between a thought and a molecule in the brain. Each intention sends signals to every cell in the body, causing the cell to change. Therefore, the most natural way to achieve change is through the power of intention.
The second half of the book's title, Resurrecting the Soul, extends the power of consciousness far beyond the physical. The soul is your spiritual body. It brings nourishment to every cell as surely as nutrients are brought by the blood. Most people believe they have a soul, but they rarely if ever feel connected to it. When you reconnect, a kind of resurrection occurs: you discover that the closer you live to your soul, the better for your body.
Health, anti-aging, a strong sense of self, centeredness, spontaneous right action, the increase of love and compassion -- these are all united at the deepest level of consciousness. Every cell is aware of the state of your soul, and vice versa. One consciousness, constantly moving and evolving, is who you really are.
This conclusion is the most important one I've arrived at after thirty years of teaching people how to unite body, mind, and soul. Union cannot be achieved one piece at a time. Even though most people attack their problems one at a time and have mixed priorities in their lives, the truth is that wholeness is wholeness. People don't feel whole because they have excluded their bodies from the spiritual journey, judging the body to be inferior, defective, ugly, and devoid of intelligence. At the other end of the scale, they have sent the soul into a never-never region above and beyond this world.
So as you reinvent your body, which means accepting it as part of your whole consciousness, the soul must also be brought back into partnership with it. Five soul breakthroughs are needed: Breakthrough #6 -- There's an Easier Way to Live Breakthrough #7 -- Love Awakens the Soul Breakthrough #8 -- Be as Boundless as Your Soul Breakthrough #9 -- The Fruit of Surrender Is Grace Breakthrough #10 -- The Universe Evolves Through You
When you absorb these ten ideas, and follow the practical exercises attached to each, you will turn the process of life in a new direction. Instead of being blocked by obstacles, areas of freedom open up where you never imagined them. I speak personally, because the seed of this book dates back to my first days in medical school. When I used a scalpel to slice beyond the barrier of the skin, I gained scientific knowledge about the body, but at the same time I sacrificed the body's mystery and holiness.
We need to have both. The reason you can reinvent the body rests upon solid new evidence about the brain, genes, and lifestyle changes. Yet those are the windows through which a much greater truth can be seen, which is this. When the flow of life encompasses mind, body, and soul, a person has found the easiest way to live. We must put out of our heads that unity is an exotic, faraway goal reached only by the spiritually gifted.
When you delve into these breakthroughs, your allegiance will shift to wholeness. You won't be fixated on your body, your mind, or your spiritual path. The three will merge, as they must in order to be whole. The reunion is the most joyous experience anyone can have, and happily for all of us, it's also the most natural.
See Deepak Chopra's interview with Bob Schieffer here.