Each week, spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra responds to Oprah.com users' questions with enlightening advice to help them live their best lives.
Q: I am wondering: What role does quantum physics play in our own evolution as a species? I have had hints of it, but I can't quite grasp it yet. You seem to be a man of science as much as one of spirituality, and I feel the two are closely related. I feel we are all balls of energy (soul, light, love), and you can't destroy energy, only change its form. How do quantum leaps and quantum physics play into our changing evolution? Can you speak of this in such a way as to make me understand its significance? Thanks so much for your tweets too.
— Trina F., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
It's always refreshing to meet a cosmic thinker. If I may, I'd like to narrow your question down. Instead of tackling all of quantum physics, let's talk about quantum leaps, which are a synonym for transformation. The reason quantum leaps are interesting is that nature uses them all the time. When hydrogen and oxygen bonded into water, two invisible gases took a quantum leap and created something completely unexpected. Oxygen and hydrogen give no hint that they could produce a wet liquid or that this liquid could reform into ice, snow and steam.
Looking at how nature makes quantum leaps, we want to know how to make our own. Human evolution, unlike that of other species, hasn't been entirely automatic or involuntary. We survive not by fighting over food and mates (I'm being deliberately charitable here, since many of us do fight over food and mates, I'm afraid). Human evolve by using their minds. We understand that we are creative, so we harness creativity. We know we are self-conscious, so we look inward. Being capable of reflection, we guide the future using the past and present as vehicles.
All of these ingredients are further complicated by the unconscious, which has a lot to say about who evolves and how far. Timing is critical, and so is the culture you belong to. In other words, we face a mystery when we look at our own evolution, and, happily, human beings thrive on mystery. We like creative leaps better than trudging along the same deeply rutted path. That's my short answer to your question. I have attempted to show how quantum leaps are made in a recent book, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, which is a practical guide to breakthroughs and turning points in everyday life.