This is the excerpt of Deepak Chopra’s epiphany from my book, Epiphany, that was the catalyst that set him on his renowned trajectory of studying and practicing medicine in a whole new way, leading him to become one of the first people to bring the mind, body, spirit connection into the mainstream conversation. The interview is short, sweet, and to the point — oh-so-very Deepak! (In fact, I think this was THE shortest interview I’ve ever done!) I always use this epiphany as an example of a simple, interior shift that completely changes a person’s perspective and direction, resulting in a major and positive Ripple Effect out in the world.
Behind-the-Scenes Peek of the Interview
When Deepak and I spoke for the first time, we were on the air live when he interviewed me on his radio show about this book and the Epiphany project. Later we met in person when he worked with my production team in New York on one of his stellar iPhone apps. He kindly squeezed me into his incredibly crammed schedule early one morning for a phone interview. Our conversation was so brief, I have to admit I was worried. But when I started reading the transcript, I realized it was totally clear, and he had just practiced exactly what he teaches by connecting with and expressing the basic, true essence of his experience. It was a great lesson and example for me, being the extremely wordy sort that I am.
In 1980 I was practicing medicine in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a habit of mine to take a walk after meditation. One day, at about ten o’clock in the morning, I was taking my morning walk in the Fenway Park area, pondering why some of my patients were healing and others weren’t.
Suddenly it hit me: People have the power to heal themselves.
I had been observing over my years of practice the rare patients who had done so, who had recovered from their illnesses, and it occurred to me at this moment that there was a common factor— they moved from a place of fear to a place of extreme joy and what I would call the intoxication of love. It hit me that they all had the same kind of shift in consciousness. You know, it sounds simplistic when I say it, but actually the shift is very profound and deep. For forty years people had been studying the effects of stress. But nobody had actually studied the biology of joy or love. So it occurred to me that that’s where we need to move.
After this initial realization, several epiphanies which I consider part of this overriding epiphany occurred. One part of it that was very important for me was that there was the return of the memory of wholeness. The words whole, health, and holy are the same word. Health, healing, wholeness, holy.
My entire practice and life focus changed after this realization that a shift in consciousness can cause a shift in biology.
I started researching it, and I started writing and speaking about it. My whole life is now about establishing a scientific basis for consciousness influencing biology, and it all goes back to this original epiphany and this original premise.