The Wisdom of Chopra

Thanks to one of Ursa’s facebook friends for this little gem:

“It has been said by some that the thoughts and tweets of Deepak Chopra are indistinguishable from a set of profound sounding words put together in a random order, particularly the tweets tagged with “#cosmisconciousness”. This site aims to test that claim! Each “quote” is generated from a list of words that can be found in Deepak Chopra’s Twitter stream randomly stuck together in a sentence.”

Go to the site and try it for yourself!

It really is quite funny how indistinguishable the randomly generated phrases are from the things he actually says:

“Perception is inherent in cosmic possibilities”;
“Interdependence inspires quantum life”;
“Hidden meaning is serving your own evolution”;
“Freedom heals self-righteous knowledge”.

Random, clever sounding words, mashed together. One of the above is a real Deepak Chopra quote. Can you honestly tell which without Googling them?

  • mikespeir

    OMG! “The quantum infinite” has suffused the Internet!

  • Kodie

    “Cats are llamas.” Deep.

    • Elemenope

      LOL. On the other hand, “The Three Metamorphoses: or how the Spirit became a Camel, the Camel became a Lion, and the Lion became at last a Child” is a real thing, and is *actually* deep in every way that Chopra is not.

  • Kodie

    Is it racist of me to think that if Deepak Chopra was a white guy, nobody would pay attention to anything he says?

    • Custador

      I think it’s probably a fair observation on what middle-class white people give credence to.

    • Elemenope

      Not racist so much as simply recognizing the (somewhat pesky) phenomenon of Orientalism in Western culture: A persistent infatuation with what is perceived to be exotic.

      • vasaroti

        It started off innocently enough with the Victorian translations. As far as I know Alan Watts’ books on zen were the last coherent examples. After him, the deluge of Hare Krishnas, Maharishis, feng shui, I Ching divination, etc.

    • Nick, mostly

      I suggest you ask over at Yo, Is This Racist?
      But in any case, your premise is incorrect. Eckhart Tolle is very much white, and very much as full of himself as is Chopra.

      • http://notsosecretsecretblog.blogspot.com/ abeille

        Is he as big as Chopra though?

        I had to google him. I didn’t know who he was.

  • UrsaMinor

    “The invisible is beyond unbridled sexual energy”.
    Hmm. That pairs well with “Perceptual reality is the continuity of reckless sensations”.

    But I particularly like “Evolution inspires reckless life”.

  • Mike de Fleuriot

    Does anyone really think that Deepacked Chocolate has not been using something similar all these years?

  • Sunny Day

    “Perception is inherent in cosmic possibilities” I’d gamble that this one is a whole quote.

  • http://www.seditiosus.blogspot.com seditiosus

    Honestly? I have no idea which one is the real one.

    • Custador

      I won’t tell you which it is, but I will say that it was (literally) the first Chopra quote I saw when I was looking for one to put in the list. Honestly, there was no searching or effort involved.

    • UrsaMinor

      I have no clue either. They all sound like random word salad to me.

  • EldoonFeeb

    Oh man, I want so much to post this on Facebook, but I have a friend deeply involved with the Chopras and their woo.

    • Dutchhobbit

      Do like the slogan of Nike. “Just do it”

      • UrsaMinor

        She is the Goddess of Victory, after all.

    • Custador

      Your friends should be prepared to accept that you find Chopra’s schtick ridiculous, if they’re really your friends.

      • Kodie

        While I don’t really advertise that I’m an atheist, and can hardly think to use fb for a platform, I get where this is coming from. What kind of ridiculous Chopra stuff do they post? As I said, my sister posts stuff from time to time. It’s kind of nauseating. She thinks she is helping people by sharing with them something that resonated with her. But I think it is unhelpful and, just because I know her so well, simply unsustainable. She is clearly trying so hard to “center” herself. Which she should, if that meant anything. If graphic posters could actually move one to affect their outlook on life by spouting some profoundish quote.

        There will always be critics, no matter what you do. Pay them no mind and keep going. You know what is best for you.

        I had to go back a month to get one. Funny how I thought it was a lot more frequent. While this quote can be productive, it overlooks Dunning-Kruger affect, and anything you want to do is ok, while anything anyone ever gives unsolicited advice is to be ignored. It does make me think. Some people are good at advice and some are bad. Unsolicited advice is usually unwelcome; however, some spitefully ignore unsolicited advice, and some just inhibit themselves out of an externally placed doubt in their abilities. These posters are full of shit then. Good advice and a good advisor may sometimes be wrong. A bad advisor may have someone else’s interests at heart entirely, or tell you what they would do, which is not be true to yourself but true to someone else’s self. Maybe I should shut up so I can keep the rest of this post to write a profitable book.

        • Kodie

          I might add that this poster is also bullshit because I don’t always know what is best for me. My mother is critical but to avoid spite in her direction keeps her mouth shut now. I do stuff and I don’t know why, it seemed like a good idea at the time. When I moved to Rochester, believe it or not, to be with a boy I already knew was going downhill, whom I’d already adamantly refused to move AGAIN for, to the sticks even sticksier than I already was, because of 9/11 and my proximity to NYC and evacuation routes. Nobody could have talked me out of it, but it was the worst. I have to say, you don’t always know what’s best for you. You may be a more astute decision-maker than I am, but believers in this poster because the poster (Chopra) says so, are potentially deluded and on a path to nowhere.

          It wins because it’s vague. It assumes every decision you make for yourself is abundantly productive for you and that you actually do know what you are doing with your life and aren’t a fool.

    • Kodie

      My sister posts garbage from some Chopra-involved site from time to time so I did repost the link “apropos of nothing” but hoping she might take a look at it. If she is offended at least I would not say that I directed it at her and she might even calm the fuck down and believe me. I am speculating a future conversation; more likely she didn’t see it or didn’t click to see what it was or read anything into me posting it. To be fair, it doesn’t overtly invalidate Chopra, it is just a humor site.

  • UrsaMinor

    This whole thing brings to mind the infamous Sokal hoax which ridiculed the postmodernist rejection of science, “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_affair

    • Elemenope

      A classic. Tweaking postmodernist noses is always fun.

      On the other hand, taking the thing more seriously, I think in many important respects Sokal missed the point in his criticism by entirely ignoring the (the less silly, more persistent) postmodernist observations of science and going for the soft underbelly of a relatively obscure journal hungry for things to publish. One of the most fertile of these approaches, following Latour for example, has been in comparing and contrasting science as it is described with science as it is actually practiced by scientists.

      I see in the wiki article that Latour himself is name-checked as one of those so-called silly postmodernists (even though he does not describe himself as such and is far from silly in his observations). It is certainly true that postmodernists tend to go completely off-the-rails with their approaches, becoming infatuated with dissecting discourses and then ignoring the objects and relations those discourses are supposed to be discussing. But, the scientific community in general has been pretty juvenile in response to philosophic criticism, and tend to respond categorically against such points-of-view without bothering to actually check and see if they have a point. I would say especially when one of those criticisms actually draws blood.

      • UrsaMinor

        Here’s another classic swipe at postmodernism, “How To Deconstruct Almost Anything: My Postmodern Adventure”. Not precisely serious, but check it out if you need a chuckle.

        http://www.info.ucl.ac.be/~pvr/decon.html

  • Kristin

    Wow, I couldn’t believe that one of those was actually a real quote, so I googled them, starting with the one I thought was most likely real. Perhaps it’s not so surprising that I ended up googling all 4 of them! But the best part – the first site to come up after the “quantum life” quote, was an article about quantum sex!

  • http://skepticcanary.com Tom Williamson

    I know which one is the real Chopra quote, but then again I know which phrases I put into the random quote generator! :)

    • UrsaMinor

      That’s cheating. :)

  • vasaroti

    Cute, but not quite as much fun as the North Korean insult generator:
    “You half-baked renegade, we will mercilessly crush you with the weapon of singlehearted unity!”
    http://www.nk-news.net/extras/insult_generator.php

  • http://scotteriology.wordpress.com Scott Bailey

    Ursa is so lucky to be FB friends with such an obviously good-looking, intelligent, witty, generous, and humble person! I wonder who it is…

    • UrsaMinor

      And Canadian, too. Truly, I am blessed.

  • Paul

    Just because man has made words to vocalize or transfer ideas doesn’t mean that attaching two words together makes the resultant concept a reality. IE: cosmic consciousness. Quantum life. Hidden meaning.
    Cause if it were so, boys do I ever have one for you.
    Try spiritual life.

  • Random Walker

    The real interesting experiment would be to try and convince Deepak Chopra to actually pick his quotes out of mixed list of his lines and the randomly generated ones. I think even he probably has forgotten half the insipid things he has said, since he is just piecing lines of vocabulary together in much the same fashion as the computer generator is. If he fails to do that beyond chance and there is real justice in the world, it should be the final nail in the coffin for him as an intellectual.

    • UrsaMinor

      If he fails to do that beyond chance and there is real justice in the world, it should be the final nail in the coffin for him as an intellectual.

      So one would hope, but I seriously doubt that it would have any effect whatsoever on his rabid fan base. More likely than not, it will be handwaved away somehow.

  • Raymond

    Is Deepshit&Choppedupatthecore serious? Does he really think he is saying anything meaningful?I’ve seen him in debates with Michael Shermer and Sam Harris where they point out and gave the name to his philosophy as woo woo, to which he didn’t seem to understand how it applied to him. They were very specific in defining his woo woo, where he latches on to the latest scientific terms of the latest research in science, and throws in a mix of religious terms, and wala(sorry can’t remember how to spell it)but what’s amazing is folks actually give him a kind of credibility I wouldn’t give to a pet rock.

  • Steve

    Raymond, the word you were trying to remember how to spell is “voila”

    • Cassandra

      But wala is cute too!

  • dmantis

    Malcolm Gladwell = Deepak Chopra (in long form)

    Atleast Chopra only briefly brushes the outer edge of science before he mixes in his spirtual mumbo-jumbo. He never gets too far into the scientific weeds for people to call bullshit! IMO, it seems stupid but harmless.

    Malcolm Gladwell on the other hand is faaaaar more dangerous. This douchbag actually has some notoriety as a kind of expert. Yet, the asshole has no fucking clue what he’s talking about. That and he’s a shill for corporate.

    I bet they use the same random word generator. Chopra tweets plithy meaningless garbage, whereas Gladwell takes them as chapter titles to his next book.


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