13 October, 2009

Something I heard on the radio that resonated with me

On his Oct. 13 show, Brian Lehrer asks Deepak Chopra the naturally skeptical question about how the pursuit of enlightenment isn't just solipsistic "navel-gazing," to which Chopra responds:
"Because you see, solipsism is self-centeredness, more or less. Whereas meditation takes you beyond the separate self; it takes you to a trans-personal domain. And ultimately, enlightenment is a state where you don't actually believe in your personal identity at all, because you realize that your personal identity is a transient, impermanent, ephemeral manifestation of a more universal consciousness, and that's the only thing that it is. So it's the antithesis of solipsism." (Deepak Chopra, WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show, 13 Oct. 2009)

The form of Chopra's answer has undeniably achieved a level of cliché familarity. But I nonetheless agree with him, and think that recognizing this difference is probably harder than most people would expect, or is a distinction that some people - despite their entire lives - never even consider.