Answers to Test: Deepak vs Erwin

Were you able to tell the difference between the words of Nobel Prize winner Erwin Schrödinger and those of Deepak Chopra? 🙂

If you have not yet seen the video, click on the link below to watch it first!

Deepak Chopra vs Erwin Schrödinger – New Age Mumbo Jumbo or Profound Philosophical Ponderings??

So… as promised, here are the answers to the test!

Answers to Deepak Chopra vs Erwin Schrodinger Test


"You – and all other conscious beings as such – are all in all. Hence this life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of the entire existence, but is in a certain sense the whole."

~ Erwin Schrödinger, "My View of the World"


"At the core of existence, consciousness operates with no separation of observer, observed, and the process of observation. They come as a three-in-one package. The fallacy all along was to assume that the observer could be erased from the picture. He can’t."

~ Deepak Chopra, "Which is Real, the Moon or God?", Huffington Post


"A moderately satisfying picture of the world has only been reached at the high price of taking ourselves out of the picture, stepping back into the role of a non-concerned observer. […] The material world has only been constructed at the price of taking the self, that is, mind, out of it."

~ Erwin Schrödinger, "Mind and Matter; The Principle of Objectivation"


"The unconscious reactive mind has very little strength or power. Regarding the overall philosophical question of free will – I don’t think the dichotomy of free will or determinism accurately captures the essence of our experience of reality."

~ Deepak Chopra, answering a question on desires and free will: Where do our desires come from, and do we get to choose what our likes and dislikes are?


"Living matter, while not eluding the laws of physics as established up to date, is likely to involve other laws of physics."

~ Erwin Schrödinger, "What is Life?; Order , Disorder and Entropy"


"I — I in the widest meaning of the word, that is to say, every conscious mind that has ever said or felt 'I' — am the person, if any, who controls the 'motion of the atoms' according to the Laws of Nature."

~ Erwin Schrödinger, "Mind and Matter; On Determinism and Free Will"


“Mathematics expresses values that reflect the cosmos, including orderliness, balance, harmony, logic, and abstract beauty."

~ Deepak Chopra, post on Twitter, 14 May 2011


"Consciousness is the meeting place between perception and reality."

~ Deepak Chopra, "The Science of Miracles: Perception Versus Reality"


"Consciousness is a singular of which the plural is unknown. There is only one thing and that which seems to be a plurality is merely a series of different aspects of this one thing, produced by a deception (the Indian Maya)."

~ Erwin Schrödinger, "Mind and Matter; On Determinism and Free Will"


"Once we ask, 'Who am I?' it becomes evident that 'reality as given' doesn't suffice. […] The prejudice that science holds against all subjectivity is the result of Maya-based thinking. Having placed its trust in 'reality as given', science overlooks the self-evident fact that nothing can be experienced without consciousness."

~ Deepak Chopra, "Hidden Truths: Going Beyond Common-Sense Reality (Part 3)", Huffington Post


"Although I think that life may be the result of an accident, I do not think that of consciousness. Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else."

~ Erwin Schrödinger, as quoted in The Observer, Jan 1931


"Consciousness is fundamental. The world exists only in consciousness."

~ Deepak Chopra, post on Twitter, 28 April 2012


"There is obviously only one alternative, namely the unification of minds or consciousness. Their multiplicity is only apparent, in truth there is only one mind."

~ Erwin Schrödinger, "Mind and Matter; The Arithmetical Paradox: The Oneness of Mind"


"You can throw yourself flat on the ground, stretched out upon Mother Earth, with certain conviction that you are one with her and she with you… For eternally and always there is only now, one and the same now; the present is the only thing that has no end."

~ Erwin Schrödinger, "My View of the World"


"Thoughts, feelings, memories, perceptions, sensations. […] They are the sum total of everything that we call reality."

~ Deepak Chopra, "What is Our True Identity? Ask Deepak Chopra!"


"Situations seem to happen to people, but in reality, they unfold from deeper karmic causes. The universe unfolds to itself, bringing to bear any cause that needs to be included."

~ Deepak Chopra, "The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life"


"The world is a construct of our sensations, perceptions, memories. It is convenient to regard it as existing objectively on its own. But it certainly does not become manifest by its mere existence."

~ Erwin Schrödinger, "Mind and Matter; The Physical Basis of Consciousness"


"The multiplicity is only apparent. […] The mystical experience of the union with God regularly leads to this view, unless strong prejudices stand in the way."

~ Erwin Schrödinger, as quoted in "The Eye of Shiva: Eastern Mysticism and Science" (1981) by Amaury de Riencourt


"Nirvana is a state of pure blissful knowledge… It has nothing to do with the individual. The ego or its separation is an illusion. Indeed in a certain sense two "I"'s are identical namely when one disregards all special contents — their Karma."

~ Erwin Schrödinger, Writings of July 1918, quoted in "A Life of Erwin Schrödinger" (1994) by Walter Moore


"Each of us has the indisputable impression that the sum total of his own experience and memory forms a unit, quite distinct from that of any other person. He refers to it as 'I'. What is this 'I’? If you analyse it closely you will, I think, find that it is just a little bit more than a collection of single data (experiences and memories), namely the canvas upon which they are collected."

~ Erwin Schrödinger, "Mind and Matter; On Determinism and Free Will"


"The brain operates in time and space, having linear thoughts that are the endpoint of a selective filtering process. So whatever is outside time and space is inconceivable – unfiltered reality would probably blow the brain's circuits, or simply be blanked out."

~ Deepak Chopra, "Hidden Truths: Going Beyond Common-Sense Reality (Part 3)", Huffington Post


" 'I' usually refers to someone inside your skin, but it cannot be located the way the brain, liver, and heart can be located. […] So assuming that 'I' is inside your body is just that – an assumption – not provable as fact."

~ Deepak Chopra, "A Better Answer to “Who Am I?”, Huffington Post


"We have got used to localising the conscious personality inside a person's head […] It is very difficult for us to take stock of the fact that the localisation of the personality, of the conscious mind, inside the body is only symbolic, just an aid for practical use."

~ Erwin Schrödinger, "Mind and Matter; The Principle of Objectivation"


"You cannot find the location of the one who decides to move your arm. You can find in the brain the execution of the command, but not the one who decides to move the arm."

~ Deepak Chopra, public lecture "Who Are You?"


"There is no sight or sound 'out there' in the world […] no touch or taste, no beauty or ugliness, no sensation of light or objects. All these things are created in subjectivity, which is to say, they exist only in consciousness."

~ Deepak Chopra, "Why the Paranormal is Normal", Huffington Post


"Colour and sound, hot and cold are our immediate sensations; small wonder that they are lacking in a world model from which we have removed our own mental person. […] The sensation of colour cannot be accounted for by the physicist’s objective picture of light-waves."

~ Erwin Schrödinger, "Mind and Matter; The Principle of Objectivation" and "Mind and Matter; The Mystery of the Sensual Qualities"


"No self is of itself alone. It has a long chain of intellectual ancestors. The "I" is chained to ancestry by many factors … This is not mere allegory, but an eternal memory."

~ Erwin Schrödinger, Writings of July 1918, quoted in "A Life of Erwin Schrödinger" (1994) by Walter Moore


"The observing mind is not a physical system […] Sensations and thoughts do not belong to the 'world of energy'."

~ Erwin Schrödinger, "Nature and the Greeks". Also in "Mind and Matter; The Principle of Objectivation"


"Subject and object are only one. The barrier between them cannot be said to have broken down as a result of recent experience in the physical sciences, for this barrier does not exist."

~ Erwin Schrödinger, "Mind and Matter; The Principle of Objectivation"


"Memory creates the illusion of continuity. Both you and the universe are born anew every moment."

~ Deepak Chopra, posted on Twitter, 14 Oct 2013


"The scientific picture of the real world around me is deficient. It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously."

~ Erwin Schrödinger, "Nature and the Greeks"


"Science filters out and discards a huge portion of human experience – almost everything one would classify as subjective. Its model of external reality, the cornerstone of Newtonian physics, is as selective as the model which shapes a religious or metaphysical reality. […] Classical science does of course offer huge successes in our interactions with the objects around us and is built on methods that are repeatable. But still, these methods do not give us the full reality, only filtered representations of reality."

~ Deepak Chopra, "Hidden Truths: Going Beyond Common-Sense Reality (Part 3)", Huffington Post


"No personal god can form part of a world model that has only become accessible at the cost of removing everything personal from it. We know, when God is experienced, this is an event as real as an immediate sense perception or as one’s own personality. Like them he must be missing in the space-time picture."

~ Erwin Schrödinger , "Mind and Matter; The Arithmetical Paradox: The Oneness of Mind"


I made the test very tricky on purpose. The goal was to highlight our prejudices and pre-conceptions. To expose them for what they are. I once came across a website called Wisdom of Chopra: Random Deepak Chopra Quote Generator. The idea being that all the stuff that comes out of Deepak's mouth is nonsense, and can be easily replicated by a machine – it is quite funny actually. I am not a fan of Chopra, but me being me, I decided to challenge that view! This is the whole point of my channel: to push boundaries so we can see things from another perspective. And so these two videos were born!

The main idea behind the test was not really to compare these two minds (some people have complained to me… "But HOW dare you compare these two???") but to challenge the view that Chopra's ideas are "woo-woo" or "New-Age mumbo jumbo" and – equally importantly – to make Schrödinger's philosophical ponderings more available to the general public (most people do not really know anything about him other than Schrödinger's cat!).

Chopra holds a very similar metaphysical view to that of Schrödinger's (oneness of mind, consciousness being fundamental, etc). While Schrödinger's philosophical writings / views are often praised, those of Chopra are usually mocked and ridiculed. We don't like the messenger, so we discredit not only the messenger but also their message as well… Basically, when we hold certain prejudices and pre-conceptions, we simply refuse to listen. Human nature, I guess…! Yes, the diamond-encrusted guru can be quite sloppy and, yes, he tends to insert the word "quantum" in the most inappropriate places… Not to mention that his attitude of "certainty" can be quite off-putting. But if one can get past those issues, there is knowledge to be gained I think.

In a nutshell, there are more similarities than differences when one analyses Deepak's and Erwin's philosophical world views (comes as no surprise, since they both derive many of their ideas from Vedic teachings). Also, their musings on qualia, free will, determinism, mind and matter are pretty much on the same plane… In addition, they also have very similar views when it comes to philosophy of science (in particular, their views on what the scope of science is, etc).

Ultimately, I wanted to prompt people to think by themselves, to think carefully about the content of the message without associating it to a particular messenger. It's about highlighting our prejudices and pre-conceptions and challenging them, I guess. And if I have achieved none of that,…, well, at the very least I hope I entertained you and made you smile a little bit! Hopefully you enjoyed the art and the impressions! 😉


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2 comments on “Answers to Test: Deepak vs Erwin
  1. Hi, Dolors. I thought it might be better to write a longer response on your web page instead of the youtube page.

    I did listen to B. Allen Wallace’s talk that you linked to. It was interesting, although IMO not as interesting as your videos. I actually have his book, the “Taboo of Subjectivity”, and tried to read it about 10 years ago. While I found much that was informative, I finally realized that he was arguing for an idealistic view of the world which denied the ontological reality of an external world. While considering this option for some time, I find that I can’t buy it. The external world seems all too real to this former physics student. I realize there has to be more than this, but denying the fundamental existence of matter, and events which are completely beyond my ability to influence, is not a live option for me.

    Hence the dualism which I alluded to in one of my responses. I can’t find “dualism” in the index of Wallace’s book. It appears to be fashionable in philosophical discussion to thing that reality must be able to be described by a single principle, either mind or matter. But why not both? The prejudice against dualism seems to be based entirely on faith, and is pursued in various realms with single-minded intensity which makes my mind reel. And it is not all that successful all of the time. True, magnetism and electricity were dramatically unified as electromagnetism. I understand that three of the fundamental forces were unified early in the Universe. But unification of the electroweak force and gravity does not seem to be going so well. Some have faith that this is just a matter of time and effort, but it is also ontologically possible that this will never be possible. In realms other than science, it seems to be the interaction of opposites that leads to interesting experience. Isn’t this the message communicated by the black-and-white of yin and yang?

    I agree with Wallace that research based on introspection can be crucial in understanding the world in which we find ourselves. I read an interesting book by Sam Harris where I was surprised by all of the experiences of this sort that he sought out. Perhaps some people have a level of skill in this endeavor that I do not. If they can communicate in words something of their experiences, I would be interested in reading them. In Harris’ case, not all of his experience seemed to be effable.

    At my age of 70 years, I am unwilling to devote a significant fraction of my remaining life to developing these skills. If we are to believe some statements by Schroedinger and Chopra that “experience is all”, and that we live in a continual present, then I will seek after experiences that I am more confident will be rewarding, like music, gardening, and friendship. Which is not to say that I think others are wasting their time trying to explore their minds by introspective practice. And I remain curious about the nature of the world in which I find myself, which is why I enjoy your very thoughtful videos and why I am writing this on your website.

  2. I find it sad that there are not many people out there with the courtesy and tolerance (patience, perhaps?) that Anthony Verbalis displays in his thoughtful comment. Perhaps he has come closer to the realisation of meditation and its benefits than he thinks. He seems to be a calm, tranquil sort who is filled with the desire to fill the rest of his life with living rather than merely a bare existence that one is barely aware of on a moment to moment basis. 

    I wish him well in his efforts to follow his passions even if he does think meditation might not be his thing. I think that he's been doing it all along on some level without even realising it.

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