In the past few months I’ve developed a respect for Deepak Chopra.
It started when I saw him on a episode of “Iconoclasts” on the Sundance Channel. The format of the show is a two-way interview formatted around the pairing of two people who are big–even pioneering–in their respective field. It always features a movie star or other entertaining artist with a “something else.” In this episode, Chopra was poorly matched with Mike Meyers of Austin Powers fame. Meyers is funny and all, even legendary in some ways, but he ended up looking normal and kind of small compared to Chopra. Chopra, however, came off as more than the self-help/spiritual salesman-turned-millionaire I peged him for.
Then I stumbled upon a post from his blog. I was surprised to see the mix of critical analysis, political analysis, and spiritual application all at the same time. I subscribed to his blog and found that these kinds of posts were rare, but also that he has a certain kind of skill in communicating a very healthy kind of healing humanism to people who are way too hungry for direction and meaning in life. I found him to be genuine, honest, and yet still working in a larger context that almost made him dumb down some of the things he was discussing.
And then, last month, he wrote two posts offering some unequivocal and interesting analyses of the presidential race, one giving advice to Obama and the other railing in on Sarah Palin. The last one had me laughing and nodding my head in agreement. Literally.
His latest is another interesting read. It’s called “Witchcraft in the White House.” It’s a good title, and that’s not even the best part. You can read it here or at the Washington Post as part of a larger discussion on religion and politics.