Overcoming Addiction, The Spiritual Solution, by Deepak Chopra

Does it make sense to talk about a spiritual solution and then define spiritual as mystical? See note at end of review


Deepak Chopra, M.D. sees the addicted individual as one having potential, and one who is just a misguided seeker.  The true object that we are all seeking he tells us is transcendence and he wants to show us how to reach this condition in his book “Overcoming Addiction, The Spiritual Solution.”

He suggests that addiction is manifest in a variety of mood-altering substances and that they can include alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, drugs, and even just food. Traditional approaches in dealing with addiction are negative, instilling fear as a motivator. Chopra guides the reader to replacing addiction with lasting sources of joy and spiritual fulfillment.

The spiritual is explained as being mystical, an advanced sense of self, beyond our normal self and reaching a point where we abandon the self. * (See note at end) To do this we need, according to Chopra, a new medicine: one in which mind, consciousness, meaning and intelligence work together to conquer self. He believes that a person may attain "perfect health".  He further develops this theme in another book, “Ageless Body, Timeless Mind: The Quantum Alternative to Growing Old.”

The ideas in the book are interesting but didn’t really address what the human spirit is, in this reviewer’s opinion.


“If you want to do really important things in life and big things in life, you can’t do anything by yourself. And your best teams are your friends and your siblings.” 

 “Enlightened leadership is spiritual if we understand spirituality not as some kind of religious dogma or ideology but as the domain of awareness where we experience values like truth, goodness, beauty, love and compassion, and also intuition, creativity, insight and focused attention.”

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” 

 “The greatest mystery of existence is existence itself.” 

 “The highest levels of performance come to people who are centered, intuitive, creative, and reflective – people who know to see a problem as an opportunity.” 

“Meditation makes the entire nervous system go into a field of coherence.

Does it make sense to talk about a spiritual solution and then define spiritual as mystical?

Maybe Chopra means what he says when he suggests that the spiritual “can be explained by the mystical” suggesting the spiritual apprehension of knowledge inaccessible to the intellect, may be attained through contemplation and self-surrender? Calling the spirit mystical seems like he is dodging his own issue?

Is he saying the intellect itself is only physical? If we can take what we learn with us into the next life then the intellect needs to be spiritual as well.

Mysticism is a belief that union with, or absorption into the Deity, is possible; but that implies that the spiritual is not already within us as humans?

If our spirits are within us then we can find the solutions buy building on our spirits to overcome weakness.