On a warm afternoon, not long ago, I found myself near an Indian restaurant where the air was perfumed with exotic aromas. I love Indian dishes but as few of my friends do, I often find myself eating alone. Lunch on that day was no exception.
After ordering a curry, I waited for my meal by browsing through one of those free health magazines I find in organic grocery stores. This issue touted the benefits of yoga, for which i needed no convincing, and promoted endless lists of food supplements. At the center of the publication I found a short interview with Deepak Chopra. One of the questions was, “What is your understanding of consciousness?”
Consciousness is that which makes possible perception, cognition, emotions, personal relationships, biology, biological function, the environment and its relationship to us as well as the universe and its relationship to us. (“Wise Words” by Linda Sechrist, Natural Awakenings, 1/2012 pg. 35)
I am a great admirer of Deepak Chopra and own a few of his books, but I found his remark empty. What are words like “perception,” “cognition” and “emotions” but aspects of consciousness the way “rouge,” scarlet,” or “crimson” are aspects of the color red. Reciting synonyms fails to answer the question. Of course who can answer it?
Sometimes it is better to answer a profundity with silence.