Thursday, 4 August 2016

Deepak Chopra

Deepak Chopra is a qualified medical doctor and until the early 1980s was the chief of staff at New England memorial hospital. For reasons known only to him he underwent a 'moment of clarity' and became drawn to Eastern mysticism and Ayurvedic medicine and in 1985 became director of the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Centre in Massachusetts. Subsequently Chopra has become a great exponent of ancient 'Indian medicine' and has interwoven his own interpretation of quantum states into the fabric of human health. Thus, according to Chopra, health is readily explained in terms of the all pervading connection between the quantum world, consciousness and the transcendent, whatever that may mean.

As is so typical of the many peddlers of alternative forms of 'medicine', Chopra is the master of interspersing scientific concepts and jargon with Eastern mystic mumbojumbo (not mugumbo). The bastardised offspring of this unlikely union is a strange beast indeed. Listen to Chopra as he confidently flits from quantum mechanics to esoteric nonsense and back again with breathtaking ease. Although keen to evoke quantum concepts, Chopra has clearly no idea of what he is talking about. This should come as no surprise as he has never attended a single undergraduate class in physics in his life. I've included a video of Chopra espousing his mantra to an audience while being mauled by the sceptic Sam Harris. Few in the audience seem convinced. Undoubtedly Chropra has the gift of glib incoherence stated with the conviction of a man with a healthy bank balance - nonsense stated with conviction is still nonsense.

Like so many 'New Age' gurus, Chopra derides Western society for its hedonism, decadence and materialism, but has no problem in partaking in First World affluence as his 2.5 million dollar home and nice shiny Jaguar will attest. For all his spirituality he seems fully grounded in this material world and charges US$25,000 for a lecture and makes millions peddling his potions, nostrums and 'educational’ materials from his website.

Ayurvedic medicine has indeed an ancient pedigree and originated in India 3,000 years ago. And it is true that New Age folk are fanatical about antique doctrines especially if it has an Eastern patina (om). They seem to forget that antiquity is no assurance of verity and that the ancients were fully capable of preaching complete and utter bollocks as much as their modern counterparts. How does Ayurvedic medicine stand up to its modern Western equivalent? Here are a few statistics: India ranks 81st and the US 24th in the overall level of health, according to the World Health Organisation. The decadent and unenlightened West must be getting something right, after all. Perhaps in his more lucid moments, Dr Chopra would agree. 



  1. Gullible westerners seeking "enlightenment" have lots of money and little sense - easy targets for such "experts".

    A pertinent anagram of Chopra is Oh crap!

  2. Or you could have: Crap head poke.