Permanent Peace: An Open Letter to Deepak Chopra

Dear Mr. Chopra,

You blocked me on Twitter yesterday, so I don’t know if you’ll ever see this letter. Maybe someone who knows how to contact you will send you a link.

First off, I want to apologize if I offended you or hurt your feelings. That was not my intention.

I actually enjoy what you do. I think you’re bright, perceptive, and funny. I liked looking at your stuff on Twitter.

But I also felt like you sometimes needed to be reminded that there are folks looking at your feed who know a bit more about the things you address than most of your audience. I felt that it was important to take you to task about some things. And, up until now, you’ve been gracious about it. We’ve even had a few brief conversations on Twitter.

I know I probably came off as harsh in my last tweet to you. But, honestly, I tweeted that at you because I think you’re better than you present yourself and I’d like to see you live up to your real potential.

I’m sorry if that sounds patronizing. I just don’t know how else to say it. I know that you are far wealthier and more popular than me. I know Oprah likes you a lot and that none of my books will ever make her list now, since I’ve upset you. I know you’re older, which makes you potentially wiser. I know you’re Indian, which makes you seem more authentic when you talk about Eastern religions than a lowly American of mostly European descent like me. I get that.

It’s just that I also know you are capable of better.

When I say that I know that you’re capable of better I’m thinking specifically of that film you allowed your son to make about you. That was some great stuff! That showed you as a real person. I thought maybe it was a turning point for you.

Sadly, it appears I was mistaken. You seem to have retreated since then, and are back to lying to your audience just to make a buck. That’s really depressing to see. Especially since I’m sure that you’re worth millions by now, and cannot possibly need the money anymore.

The tweet of yours that I reacted to, for which I was blocked, was a little video in which you claimed your fans could achieve “permanent peace” through knowledge that consciousness was the ultimate thing in the universe. Or something like that. You blocked me, so I can’t go back and double-check.

Now, you know that permanent peace is not possible while one is alive. You know that, Mr. Chopra. You do. Wanna know how I know? I know because you are alive and you have some idea what it means to be alive.  

So when you promise your fans that they can find something that you, yourself, know does not exist, you are lying to them. I can only assume you do this because you’ve also discovered that people will pay lots of money to hear someone who they believe to be a “spiritual authority” tell them they can achieve permanent peace, permanent happiness, or permanent anything.

You’re causing a lot of damage, Mr. Chopra. A lot of damage.

Mr. Chopra, you are in a position wherein a whole lot of people take you very seriously. I have an audience numbering in the tens of thousands. Your audience numbers in the millions or tens of millions. That’s a huge amount of people who listen to what you say.

I’m not going to address your main thesis; that consciousness is the foundation of reality itself. That is not true. But I am willing to believe that you sincerely believe it is true. And so, when you say that kind of stuff, I may challenge it (or I did before I was blocked), but I don’t attack it harshly.

It’s when you blatantly and knowingly lie to your audience that I get angry with you. It’s so petty and mean, and you are better than that. It’s also cynically manipulative, and you are better than that too.

I understand the temptation to be all like, fuck it, I’ll just tell ‘em what they want to hear and then go shopping. I sometimes wonder what I’d do in your position. If I could literally make a few thousand dollars right now by tweeting out some bullshit about permanent peace, I cannot say unconditionally that I would not do it. Shit. It’s been hot as heck here in So Cal lately (as you know) and I wouldn’t mind having my own swimming pool to cool off in. If I could get something like that with as little work as it takes you to do so, maybe I’d do it too. I’d like to believe I wouldn’t, but it’s possible that I would. So I totally get it. Life is hard. Even for bazillionaires like you. Any little comfort helps.

I was just hoping my tweets at you would make you more aware that you have a responsibility beyond what ordinary people have. I wanted to encourage you to face up to the tremendous responsibility that comes with your tremendous power. But I guess that was too much.

I’ll miss seeing you on my Twitter feed. But that’s OK. If I want laughs, Donald Trump has still not blocked me in spite of my constant trolling of his tweets (and I’m way nastier to Trump than I’ve ever been to you).

I wish you well!

Your friend,

Brad

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