The Chicago Ideas Curiosity Series got off to an enlightening and thought-provoking start as Deepak Chopra took the stage to explore the mind-body connection and the unlimitedness of consciousness. Throughout his fascinating Talk, he shared statistics and facts that turned how we see the world around us on our its head. Read on to find out five things Dr. Chopra shared that blew our minds.
We share most of our DNA with all of Earth’s creatures
Shocking fact number 1? We share 60 percent of the same genes with a banana, 70 percent with a fruit fly, 80 percent with a mouse, and a whopping 98.6 with a chimpanzee. As you ponder this statistic, ask yourself what that means in terms of your connection to the world around you.
“Your body is a verb, it’s not a noun.”
Our bodies are made up of molecules, and molecules are always moving. Therefore, your body hasn’t stopped since it was conceived. Even more amazing than the fact that we’re a mass of molecules all interacting together (with some bacteria thrown in for help) is that fact that these atoms have been around since the beginning of time. Radioactive isotope studies have show that at any given moment, you have 1 million atoms in your body that were once in the body of Jesus Christ, Michelangelo or anyone, really. By doing things like yoga and meditation, you can reconnect to your always-moving body.
Emotions are how we interpret our experiences
If you’re like most people, you can get confused or overwhelmed by your emotions. Dr. Chopra stresses that “emotions are the complex phenomena that come from the interpretation and play of what we call experiences.” In other words, when we feel something, our brains are simply working through an experience. Emotions like longing, desire, memory and intuition are internal experiences. Allow yourself to have these experiences just as you would any other experience!
“We are one speck of dust”
There are 2 trillion galaxies in the universe and 700 sextillion stars. “Does anyone know how to write that?” Dr. Chopra joked. “I don’t!” (We did the math; it looks like this: 700,000,000,000,000,000,000,000). If that makes you feel alone amongst the vastness of the universe, don’t forget how much of your atoms are shared with others. Dr. Chopra challenges us to try to find “the self” that remembers the history of the universe. What gifts do the atoms inside you hold?
Anger and fear are symptoms you can overcome
Dr. Chopra believes that “fear is the number one epidemic in the world.” People are fearful because they don’t feel connected and supported. Meanwhile, anger is often just the remembrance of fear in the past. Try to replace these negative emotions with feelings like love, compassion, kindness and wonder. Try getting out and meeting new people or learn how you can make earlier setbacks fuel for the future.