“With upright heart he tended them, and guided them with skilful hand” – Psalm 78:72
The new book “SUPER BRAIN – Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being” authored by Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi was recently reviewed by Kirkus Reviews , an American book review magazine founded in 1933 by Virginia Kirkus (1893–1980). Kirkus Reviews is published on the first and 15th of each month, giving industry professionals a preview of books prior to their publication. Kirkus reviews over 7,000 titles per year.
The review is as follows: “A mixture of recent research in the neurosciences and spiritual wisdom passed down through generations. With his dozens of best-selling books, Chopra (co-author: War of the Worldviews: Science vs. Spirituality, 2011, etc.) has arguably done more than anyone to bring Eastern spirituality and healing practices to the West. His oeuvre brings to mind an inebriated dart player in a tavern—many attempts go wild, but when he connects, you’re convinced he’s a natural. This book, co-authored with Alzheimer’s Genome Project head Tanzi (Neurology/Harvard Medical School; co-author: Decoding Darkness: The Search for the Genetic Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2001, etc.), continues the trend of laying Eastern thought over Western science. This ‘tag team’ author approach lends credibility to the less scientifically rigorous ideas Chopra has to offer, but with varying degrees of success. The plasticity of the young brain and the rate at which new synapse connections are made in children; the importance of regular physical activity and exercise; the idea that instincts and emotions are integral and necessary to social relations—these scientific propositions, as they’re laid out, won’t strike readers as either controversial or revolutionary. The authors theorize about connections between neuroscience and long-held beliefs about the mind, and many of these connections don’t require a leap of faith to accept as valid hypotheses. The lion’s share of the text, however, consists of platitudes and value judgments about happiness and success that can’t really be held forth as a prescription for the ‘next leap in the human brain’s evolution’. Examples include such statements as, ‘Mind, not the brain, is the origin of consciousness’.”
Twenty years ago when I first began reading Chopra and was indeed exposed to a live weekend workshop with Chopra in New Jersey, I was generally intrigued by his teachings on the power and practice of meditation. One particular concept that he introduced has remained with me since then. He pronounced that the human mind is believed to experience an average of 50 thoughts per minute and that if we were disciplined enough in meditation to slow down the time interval between thoughts, then in the gap between thoughts we would be exposed to a universe of infinite possibilities. Permit me to be bold enough to say this in another way: “if we are disciplined enough to keep on persevering then we are likely to increase our chances of providing a solution to any problem that may be posed”. What a powerful concept!
Unity’s Daily Word for last Saturday points out “The light of God guides my way. God’s guiding light shines unceasingly. In its glow I see unlimited possibilities where I may have assumed only lack. In the radiance of God’s light, my path is clear…The light of God also guides those I care about through their divine gifts of discernment, wisdom and understanding. I relax in the awareness that the light of God invites and encourages all of us into a fuller experience of Spirit and of life. Once self-awareness dawns in you, the questions you can ask about yourself, about how you think and feel, have no limit. Self-aware questions are the keys that make consciousness expand, and when that happens, the possibilities are infinite”.
Two weeks ago I attended the Commonwealth Partnership for Technology Management’s (CPTM) 17th AGM and Think Tanking Dialogue in London. I was a member of CPTM from its inception in 1995 and the annual Dialogue gives one the opportunity to network among colleagues from countries which include Africa, Australia, Canada, Caribbean, Europe, India, Malaysia, Mauritius, the Mediterranean, Seychelles and the US.
It was interesting to reflect on the road that the Smart Partnership philosophy has travelled and the progress it has made driven by the theme “Smart Delivery towards … Limitless Opportunities”. I certainly look forward to the opportunity to dialogue annually on the state of the art teachings to which we are exposed and to embellish them further. There were some reflections placed on 2012 events but the major focus was on the May 2013 Dar es Salaam Smart Partnership Dialogue where “anchoring technology and designing smart approaches for leveraging technology for the benefit of all” will be the theme so that CPTM will be strengthened to further develop the Smart Partnership Movement in the Commonwealth and beyond.
Like in any institution, to ensure its sustainability in the changing world environment one has to strategically review the organisation and take appropriate steps to keep it on track or to take corrective action should it be perceived to be going off track. This action must be taken so as to maintain the interest of all stakeholders and in pursuit of the goal driven by limitless opportunities. I got the impression that after three days we, at least informally and in some corners, were beginning to address the issues of sustainability and stakeholder satisfaction. Now it is up to the management to deliver.