Friday, May 18, 2007

Deepak Does Buddha (In The Butt)

File under: The Siddhi of PR

The General Motors of Vedic-based spirituality, Deepak Chopra, has got another product to sell you: a fictionalized account of the life of Gautama Buddha that's chock full of advice to make you happier. Too bad that's already been done (less the more happiness bullshit) – and we're sure much better – by Herman Hesse over 80 years ago. And too bad the only way to be happy, according to Buddha, is to stop wanting to be happy.

It's really just another opportunity for Deepak to pocket your cash in exchange for more facile self-improvement advice. He's done it multiple times across multiple market venues for a good number of years now, recently stepping it up to include major studio motion pictures.

Of course folks will keep on buying it... because everyone wants to be happy. That's the current in hunanity that Chopra has latched onto like a lamprey. And now he's using the memory of one of the world's greatest spiritual figures – most notable for eschewing happiness – as a Trojan horse to get you to buy more happiness advice.

We gotta take the dust of Chopra's feet for that one.

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6 Comments:

At 5/19/2007 9:55 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

This fellow once bragged, "I am the most famous Indian in America!" He can talk a good line of bullshit but it's worth about as much as a skidder in your under drawers!

 
At 5/20/2007 8:06 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

Ah, well, maybe a little scrap of Mr Buddha's teachings will survive passing through Mr Chopra's lens. And maybe there are people who will benefit from it, who would otherwise never be exposed to it.

I mean, if all that survives is the notion that keeping a clear and compassionate mind is a worthy life direction, more effective and efficient than than trying to control the outside situation... damn, that's powerful stuff, and you can grow up in America without ever seeing that idea taken seriously.

Meditation, self-inquiry, putting down "I want"... it'll never be popular or easy to market. Almost always, Buddhism needs to be dipped in chocolate, and only after people get a taste of what's inside are they willing to try practicing.

People who want do hard sitting retreats, or to ponder radical notions like "The entire universe is created by mind alone," won't get their fill from Mr Chopra, but they won't necessarily be dissuaded.

Stuart
http://home.comcast.net/~sresnick2/socalled.htm

 
At 5/21/2007 6:22 PM, Blogger Matthew said...

I agree completely with Stuart. Zero-to-sixty almost never happens for folks, but many transformations occur in 1 mph increments.

 
At 5/22/2007 12:53 PM, Blogger emilio said...

this seems a bit negative to me.

My wife picked up this book and now I'm reading it. It does not feel full of itself.

I saw Deepak on the "Real Time with Bill Mahar" show a few weeks ago. Deepak joked that he was for "profit," spelled it out. He does not take himself as seriously as you do.

 
At 5/23/2007 12:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can you criticize a guy for what he says he is? He clearly said that he wrote this book so that a friend of his can make a movie. Could he outline his intentions any clearer. He is out there to make money, nothing is wrong with that. He is not the only one who is making money off unhappy American suckers.

 
At 4/03/2011 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Guru scene in America is simply a symptom of American laziness and
the stupidity that results from it.

Any sensible person understands the direct correlation between effort and effect. All this Eastern nonsense about not-doing and witnessing merely destroys the incentive that made this Country great.

The Protestant work ethic with all its foibles and psychological baggage will win out every time.

There is no substitute for blood, sweat and tears whether in real life _or_ on the cushion in the Zendo.

At least the true Zen types openly admitted that is is all bulls**t.

These Indian Yoga types are simply a waste of time in their culturing of living death.

Samadhi = Living corpse.

 

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