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Deepak Chopra Explains How Spirituality Can Be Funny
In this refreshing new take on spirituality, bestselling author Deepak Chopra uses a fictional tale of a comedian and his unlikely mentor to show us a path back to hope, joy, and even enlightenment—with a lot of laughter along the way.
Meet Mickey Fellows. A successful L.A. comedian, he’s just a regular guy—with his fair share of fears, egocentricities, and addictions. After his father’s death, Mickey meets a man named Francisco. The two begin an ongoing discussion about the true nature of being. Reluctantly at first, Mickey accepts the stranger’s help and starts to look at those aspects of himself that he has spent a lifetime hiding. Eventually he learns that authentic humor opens him up to the power of spirit, allowing him to finally make real connections with people. Chopra then spells out the lessons of Mickey’s story: ten reasons to be optimistic, even in a challenging world.
Rich with humor and practical advice, Why Is God Laughing? demonstrates without a doubt that there is always a reason to be grateful, that every possibility holds the promise of abundance, and that obstacles are simply opportunities in disguise. Arielle Ford recently spoke with Chopra about this new tale:
Q: Why did you write this book?
A: I wrote this book for all who have a misperception of spirituality. Very frequently people equate spirituality with self righteous morality and they look at it as an extremely serious religious discipline. In my view spirituality is just the opposite. If you are extremely “ serious” (I have never found any humor in any of the worlds religious texts) then that is a sign of self-importance which is, of course, an attribute of the ego which is definitely not spiritual. To be spiritual you must go with the flow of life. An ancient seer from India once said, “the measure of your enlightenment is the degree to which you are comfortable with ambiguity, paradox, contradiction and uncertainty.” That is what humor is. When our soul recognizes the contradictions of life, it laughs.
Q: The book is filled with jokes and one-liners. Where did they come from?
A: I wrote the one-liners and some of the jokes. The rest of the jokes are modifications of ones I’ve heard in the past.
Q: When/where did you learn that fear isn’t real?
A: At a very early age I learned that fear isn’t real. My mother taught me this by explaining to me that all the Gods and Goddesses are inside of you.
Q: Does fear still come up at times?
Q: Is the character of Mickey based on anyone in real life?
A: It is partly based on some of the existential dilemmas of existence my friend Mike Meyers has encountered.
Q: You say laughter is the healthiest response to life. What does that mean?
A: It means that if you can laugh at yourself and see the humor in every situation, no matter how challenging, you will realize that God has bigger plans for you than you can possibly imagine.
Q: Do you believe that in order to reach the state where we are laughing along with God, do we need to experience an ego death?
A: I would say that we need to experience a “near” ego death. If a total ego death happened, you would disappear from this world.
Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books translated into more than 35 languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers, of both fiction and nonfiction. He has a cameo role in the new Mike Meyers film, The Love Guru.