Book Review: Power, Freedom and Grace-Deepak Chopra

Power, Freedom and Grace by Deepak Chopra gives you the litany that reconditions your thinking and beliefs so that you can experience lasting happiness.  He says, “By knowing who we are, we no longer interfere with joy.” The foundation of the book is to guide the reader to know themselves.

The book opens with three pivotal questions that push you to get in touch with who you are:

  1. Who am I?
  2. Where did I come from?
  3. Where do I go when I die?

Who am I? – that’s the perpetual question of life.  Somewhere, sometime or other we will ask this question. If you haven’t asked yourself this question yet, become conscious of that fact; there is a reason you haven’t allowed the question, much less the investigation of the question, to surface.  Chopra makes the point in the book that unless the question is scoped deeply, it becomes a barrier to happiness. In other words, until you know who you are you are under the influence of hypnotic superstitious conditioning.

Where did I come from? – another age old inquiry.  Chopra says every person originates from the same source of pure consciousness.  He believes that a deep inculcation of pure consciousness offers the answer. Connection to the source unifies the body and mind with every vibration of nature’s rhythms. Thus, you disavow the superstition of separateness.

Where do I go when I die? – the latent probe of finality.  This question pivots off of the previous two. Once you know who you are and your source, the fear of dying is satisfied. Chopra says,”pure consciousness cannot be destroyed…it is only transformed upon death.

Happiness for a reason is a form of misery-as that reason can change at any time. Chopra wisely offers no remedy to happiness for its own sake-“the key to lasting happiness is to identify with the unchanging essence of your inner self, your source” but instead prompts your own discovery with sage questions.

The answers you accept from your deepest self to this trilogy of questions become, according to Chopra, the key to happiness. The source of power, freedom and grace is the inner-true you.

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The Heart of Grace

ABC News highlighted a high school basketball team as its “Persons of the Week” last year  for their acts of compassionate grace. View the video http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=6926639 to capture the fullness of this post.

My immediate feeling after viewing the video referenced above was What is grace?

Grace is humble acceptance. It is honor, dignity, values, strength, compassion, fearless faith.

My next question was How does grace feel?

To most grace feels soothing, non-competitive, empathetic, solid.

For the members of the rival basketball teams, grace felt like caring.

The Milwaukee Madison Knights high school basketball team’s co-captain, Johnntell Franklin, mother had just died from cancer.  He left her bedside and came to the game played against rivals Dekalb Barbs of Illinois.  Because he was not listed as a player the coach could not put him in to play, even though he recognized how important it was for Johntell to assuage his personal pain, without incurring a technical foul.  He sent Johntell in, but the grace evolves deeper when the Dekalb coach told his top free throw shooter to miss the free throw shots in deference to Johntell’s grief.
These young men felt grace, the whole crowd felt grace, and the coaches taught the permanent message of grace to these young men. Dekalb Coach says, “There are a lot of things much more important than the Xs and Os of basketball.” Knights coach wrote “unheard of sportsmanship and class.”

I recently experienced another act of grace after witnessing an unjust act which would have spun others into anger, harsh words or recrimination. Instead this person acted with grace by accepting the outcome without complaint or finger pointing.  That too is grace – to be so aware that circumstances or outcomes do not make the person.

Let us all act with grace.