January 2, 2009

Dr. Deepak Chopra advises President Barack Obama: how to achieve Peace. [Alternet]

Introduction via elephant journal dot com editor-in-chief Waylon Lewis.

I’ve had the honor of interviewing Dr. Deepak Chopra twice.

The first time he was hurried and harried, and still managed (without trying) to blow my fixed mind out of the water with his eloquence—up to that point, as an American Buddhist, I’d thought of Dr. Chopra as ‘little more’ than a famous, best-selling self-help author and TV personality. But it turns out he’s more, and less, than the king of mainstream spirituality and wellness—he came off as a fiercely personal, straightforward gentleman who just happens to be a gifted communicator.

The second time I interviewed him, he was warm, gentle—he knew me, now, and he had time to talk—”as much as you want.” His new book, ‘Buddha,’ was just hitting the shelves, and when I asked him what he thought about some in my Buddhist community calling him a “spiritual salesman,” he smiled. “Wouldn’t it be great if we all made money off of producing peace, instead of war?” I smiled too, and shut up.

Just last month, I had the pleasure and honor of meeting and interviewing his daughter, Mallika, at Eco Gift in Los Angeles, where we were both featured speakers. Founder of Intent.com, Mallika is carrying her father’s skill in communicating esoteric wisdom into mainstream practicality into a new generation.

A gifted family, dedicated to peace—I’m grateful to know them a little bit.

The following is a memo to Barack Obama from Dr. Deepak Chopra, via Alternet..

You have been elected by the first anti-war constituency since 1952, when Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected after promising to end the Korean War. But ending a war isn’t the same as bringing peace. America has been on a war footing since the day after Pearl Harbor, 67 years ago. We spend more on our military than the next 16 countries combined. If you have a vision of change that goes to the heart of this country’s deep problems, ending our dependence on war is far more important than ending our dependency on foreign oil.

The most immediate changes are economic. Unless it can make as much money as war, peace doesn’t stand a chance. Since aerospace and military technologies remain the United States’ most destructive export, fostering wars around the world, what steps can we take to reverse that trend and build a peace-based economy?

1. Scale out arms dealing and make it illegal by the year 2020.

2. Write into every defense contract a requirement for a peacetime project.

3. Subsidize conversion of military companies to peaceful uses with tax incentives and direct funding.

4. Convert military bases to housing for the poor.

5. Phase out all foreign military bases.

6. Require military personnel to devote part of their time to rebuilding infrastructure.

7. Call a moratorium on future weapons technologies.

8. Reduce armaments like destroyers and submarines that have no use against terrorism and were intended to defend against a superpower enemy that no longer exists.

9. Fully fund social services and take the balance out of the defense and homeland security budgets.

These are just the beginning. We don’t lack creativity in coping with change. Without a conversion of our present war economy to a peace economy, the high profits of the military-industrial complex ensures that it will never end.

Do these nine steps seem unrealistic or fanciful?...

…read Dr. Deepak Chopra’s conclusion at Alternet.


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