Seven Spiritual Laws of Success – A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams (1994) written by Deepak Chopra is a pocket-sized book that preaches the idea that personal success is the outcome of of understanding our basic nature as human beings and how to follow the laws of nature, rather than of hard work, precise plans or a driving ambition.
Chopra provides a guide on how to achieve or practice each spiritual principal on a daily basis.
The author examines and explains the interaction of the Self in the world throughout the book: “We are spiritual beings having occasional human experiences”, not the other way round, and one of the first tasks that we need to complete is to became aware of our higher Self.
The motif of the book is the unity of everything in the universe, including us, humans. By becoming more open to that unity and perfection, we assume more of its power, so we need to understand that the separateness from the world is only an illusion that pits us against the world, making us weaker in the process.
- The Law of Pure Potentiality. The field of pure potentiality is the silent realm from which all things flow, from which “the unmanifest is made manifest”. When we access it, we experience our higher, pure selves, and are able to see the futility and waste of living through the ego. While the ego is based in fear, the higher self exists in loving security: “It is immune to criticism, it is unfearful of any challenge, and it feels beneath no one.” We can access the field of pure potentiality primarily through meditation and silence, but also through the practice of non-judgement and in appreciation of nature.
- The Law of Giving. The more you give, the more you receive, and the author says that it’s because our minds and bodies are in a constant state of giving and receiving with the universe. The more we give, the more we are involved in the circulation of the universe’s energy, and the more of it we will receive back, in the form of love, material things, serendipitous experiences. We are never limited in what we can give because the true nature of man is one of affluence and abundance.
- The Law of “karma” or Cause and Effect. Karma is both action and the consequence of that action: every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind. If we want to create happiness in our lives, we must learn to sow the seeds of happiness. Everything that is happening in our lives right now is a result of the choices we made in the past – only, most of them were made unconsciously, even it’s only a matter of feelings: you can choose to be offended or not by an insult, that’s also a choice. We should work on becoming aware of all of our choices.
- The Law of Least Effort. It is human nature to turn our dreams into reality – with ease. Chopra follows The Vedic principle of economy of effort which says “do less and accomplish more”. He suggests that, when our actions are motivated by love, not the desires of the ego, we generate excess energy that can be used to create anything we want. The first step is to practice acceptance, because we cannot hope to channel the universe’s effortless power if we are fighting against it.
- The Law of Intention and Desire. While a tree is locked into a single purpose, the intelligence of the human nervous system allows us to actually shape the mind and the laws of nature to bring about the achievement of a desire that we have freely imagined. We can do that by using the processes of attention and intention: while attention on something will energize it and make it expand, intention triggers energy and information and “organizes its own fulfillment”. Once the intention is introduced, we can “let the universe handle the details”.
- The Law of Detachment. We must give up our attachment to the realization of our intention before it can manifest, because if we are attached to a specific outcome it will produce fear and insecurity at the possibility of it not happening. When we’re attached to an outcome, we feel we must force solutions onto problems; when we are detached from it, we are free to witness the perfect solutions that spontaneously emerge from chaos.
- The law of “dharma” or Purpose in Life. There’s a reason why we have taken manifestation in physical form – there’s a purpose to fulfill. Each of us first has to discover our higher self or our spiritual self; then we need to express our unique talents, because there’s something that no one in the world does better than us – our own talent; and third is to serve our fellow human beings and to ask ourself the question “How can I help?”
- Summary and Conclusion
I’ve been reading this book for a few weeks. (…) It’s definitely readable, I have just had to read one chapter at a time and let the “laws” sink in one at a time before exploring the next. It shifts the thinking about the universe and our place in it. Rather than approach us as “stardust” or inconsequential, it challenges the individual to see that we are the center of OUR universe and we have to deliberately create what surrounds us and what is inside of us…it’s a chicken/egg kind of thing that takes some philosophical thought to digest. Very fun reading!
I have read this book many times because the words awaken something in my soul that has always been there.
If you believe what Mr. Chopra says then that is all that matters. If you think it is bunk, then that is all that matters as well. The power of ones belief is EVERYTHING. It can change lives, conquer countries, kill millions, or deliver someone from the depths of hell to the gates of heaven. It can also do absolutely nothing–depending on the believer and what is believed.
Despite its source in Vedic philosophy, Chopra’s short masterpiece could with some reason be called the Think and Grow Rich of the 1990s. Chopra’s ‘Field of Pure Potentiality’ and Napoleon Hill’s ‘Infinite Intelligence’, for instance, are quite similar concepts, emphasizing attunement with the non-material realm as the key to worldly success. While Napoleon Hill’s work arose out of the simple American obsession with money, The Seven Spiritual Laws draws from Eastern thought and quantum physics, and the notion that power derives from stillness. Chopra goes beyond money to show us what abundance means.
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