Rhonda Byrne in conversation with Deepak Chopra™ discussing the nature of perception and the mind, her discovery of The Secretas well as her new book, The Greatest Secret in which Deepak appears.
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Deepak Chopra – Hello my friends this is Deepak Chopra again and we are going to continue the conversation today with luminaries, influences and authors and today it is my distinct pleasure to welcome the legendary Rhonda Byrne. And everyone knows her author of the amazing bestseller The Secretand now she has a new book and we will learn all about it. So Rhonda in these conversations what we like to do is, I know you’re famous but not everyone knows who you are, just like not everyone knows who I am, so can you give a little introduction, a little bit into your life and how you got to where you are?
Rhonda – Okay so lovely to be here and lovely to meet you Deepak in person. So my life was fairly basic you know, just, for decades actually, and then in 2004 my father died really suddenly and my parents were madly in love with each other, had been from the very first moment they met, and so it was a real shock. So, my mother went into terrible, terrible, grief and I was in grief also and the year that ensued was just everything that could go wrong did go wrong. It was really tough, and I have a television production company at the time we were making some television movies and it was just the toughest year. My health suffered and my relationships suffered, and I got to September 2004 and I received a phone call from my accountant saying you’ve run over budget on these movies you’re making by over 2 million dollars, an amount of money I’d never had in my life. And he said you are going to be broke in 30 days and in fact you’re going to lose everything, your home absolutely everything. And so, of course, I felt powerless with that information, and I hung up the phone, and immediately it rang again, and it was my mother, grief-stricken saying she can’t go on. And she was quite a distance from me at the time and so I talked to her for a while and said to her I’ll be with you in the morning and when I knew that she fine, I hung up and I absolutely collapsed in despair. And all of my life I’d been, fix it, fix it, fit it, I can fix all of these problems, but this was just way beyond what I could fix. And when I look back on that time, I know that what happened was that I completely surrendered because there just seemed to be no way out of the difficulty that I was in. And so, daughter appeared in front of me, my adult daughter she could see that I was upset, and she said… handed me this photocopied paper with a bulldog clip on it and said, read this it will help. And incredibly in the state that I was in I read it. And ninety minutes later my life had changed forever. And I knew that life was not at all the way I thought it was up until that time, in fact I thought it was the opposite to what I had believed it to be. I knew that we were eternal, I knew that we have the ability with our mind to be able to create the life that we wanted to create. That book was The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles written in 1910 and we have that book for free on our website if people want to download it.
Rhonda – Yes it is a very small book and it doesn’t take very long to read. The incredible thing Deepak was when I read that book, I knew things that were not in that book. I knew a lot of things and I thought they were all in the book but when I read the book later on and none of those things I knew after I read it were in the book. I just have this incredible surrender that took place. When I read that book I didn’t tell anybody about what I had realized. I just did solid research for three months non-stop of going back through time and going back through history. Looking for this knowledge wherever I could find it through traditions and religions all of those kinds of things until I got to a place where I absolutely knew for sure that I understood this completely and the power of our mind and thoughts to create the appearance of things in the world. From there I felt that most people in the world didn’t know this. I had looked at my life and realized I had talked and focused about things that I did not want and that many people did the same thing and so I was just determined to find a way to share this with the world and I had a production company and somehow or another and don’t ask me how, I went to my accountant and I said I’ve discovered something incredible and I’m going to make a documentary and take it to the world you just have to keep me alive and afloat until I can do that. I basically put everything I had on the line to create that documentary. We release the documentary we made it and we were practising the principles while making it out and then it was released, and it just took off. Like it swept the world like crazy.
Deepak -Okay I remember that and now you have a new book called The Greatest Secret. Tell us about what’s new about this and how it expands on your previous work?
Rhonda – Well Deepak Chopra is in this book along with many other incredible beings that are in the book. Very special people to me because everybody featured in The Greatest Secret is somebody who has changed my life, in one way or another. It’s really The Greatest Secret is my journey from The Secret to now. For me, it’s the sequel to The Secret if you look at the last chapter or the last chapter, the last two chapters of The Secret I talk about the fact that we are not flesh and bone that we are much more than that and I speak about the presents and awareness actually as well. I feel it continues on from there. The Greatest Secret reveals who we really are and there are many people I’m sure that listen to you and they already know but there are also a lot of people in the world that do not. It also gives practices to help us be who we are consciously, be who we are and live our life from that place. A life that cannot be described with any words and even though I know I’ve been reading Total Meditation which I’ve been loving Deepak and really enjoying the way that you speak in there about the kind of life that we can have when we are living from consciousness or awareness. There are practices in there that I used myself over a period, of a bunch of years, and they are what I found help me the most in terms of dissolving, allowing negative feelings to just be there and I noticed that you talk about that too, not trying to change them and not trying to fix them but there is a lot in the book about not resisting negative feelings. What I do is I welcome those feelings and I noticed you use though that those words as well in your book and so that, if somebody only did that one thing in the book for me then their life would gradually, gradually, change because the negative feelings dissolve, they will become freer, lighter and more, more conscious more aware. So The Greatest Secret is the path to be free of negativity and to live a life as who we really are and a life that is full of happiness.
Deepak – I noticed when you were speaking earlier you said without thoughts we can change what appears in our life and that is a very important distinction. Because thoughts are all magical lies and everything that appears in our life is also a magical lie.
Rhonda – That’s true.
Deepak – Our perceptions are always untruthful. My senses tell me the earth is flat, but no-one believes that anymore. My senses tell me the ground I’m sitting on is stationary, but I know it’s spinning at dizzying speeds is hurtling through space at thousands of miles an hour. My senses tell me that my body is solid and I notice it changing into sensations, images and perceptions, feelings, thoughts and the fact that my body looks like what it looks is a magical lie. Every thought is a magical lie, feelings a little closer to the truth especially when we get very, very, very subtle feelings like empathy, compassion, love, equanimity but I’m curious right now because you mentioned what’s his name, Wattles, Wallace Wattles, and I think he just has one sentence in his book where he talks about the invisible non stuff. Say a little bit about what inspired you with that little one page that you thought what inspired you?
Rhonda – Yes he does talk about that, you’re right. They refer to it as Mind Stuff is what they refer too. That mind stuff you can mould and shape into whatever you want through the focus of that. And so he covers I think visualization in that book a little bit and also gratitude is one of the things that I think affected me the most and I notice a lot of those writers that time, around the early 1900s did refer to mind stuff. It was a phrase that they used this mind stuff that can be moulded into whatever you want. So just through the focus and the attention to it and the visualization of having images in your mind and always it was about that there is no time, so the images had to eliminate time and so if somebody wanted something, they had to imagine themselves with that. So it couldn’t be something that was coming in the future so time was the eliminator but they didn’t explain why time was eliminated and really in so many ways space was eliminated too you know in the way that they wrote but they didn’t talk about the fact that space was eliminated. So the really amazing thing for me was in writing The Secret and then travelling on a journey where I was so dedicated to finding more of the truth to reach the point that I did that I could see why you had to visualize that you had it already and there was no separation between you and what you wanted to have was all because there was no time and space. And then I realized but it’s not even that hard to manifest because it’s only an image you know it’s not this solid real thing all we have to manifest something and it’s solid and it’s in this physical word out there and oh my gosh that’s going to take a lot of work and that’s super, super, difficult but really know it’s just an image that you’re creating that is all it is.
Deepak – Here’s the key, I think I’m very glad you discovered this on your own but in the wisdom of traditions, any sensation, any sensation any perception whether it’s sound or color or shape or taste or smell, any sensation, any perception, any image, any feeling and any thought that you have they’re all entangled. So the sensation and the thought, and the feeling and the image and the perception are entangled and when you talk about solid things, if you look at this thing it appears solid, it’s an object from the physicalists point of view but the perception from the consciousness point of view this is a perception. It’s a human perception and therefore this is actually already in a modified form of myself.
Rhonda – Yes
Deepak – Perception is in fact there is nothing solid in the world anyway.
Rhonda – No
Deepak – It is all made up. Money is made up and is a human construct, Wall Street is made up, banks are made up, nation-states are made up, Greenwich in the meantime is made up. Nation-states are made up, capitalism is made up. It’s all make-believe.
Rhonda – All make-believe.
Deepak – We are fictional characters in a collective and what you are manifesting is part of the dreamscape and that includes your own body and your mind are also part of the dreamscape. So when the old books say everything is mind-stuff of course they mean it’s made of consciousness modifying itself as mind which includes thoughts feelings, images etc. So once you understand the signs you also realize this has been there for ages and in traditional yoga, there are eight limbs to your life, eight limbs the first is Yam and Niyama that’s the first two, rules of social and ethical personal conduct, the third is awareness of body as we do in the yoga practices, the fourth is awareness of breath but these are physical but after that is what you get into is very interesting. Pratyahara which means going inward in the fictional the true self and then three things, Dharana which is focused attention to anything, to an image to a feeling to a thought, focus attention and then Dhayana which is meditation and then Samadhi which is transcendence so once we have the combination of focused awareness and then you also have the flow of meditation which means letting go of the outcome and settling into your true self which has infinite organizing power. Everything is already manifest, past, present and future is already there in timeless now. The key though here to understand for everyone listening to us, the whole thing is part of a dreamscape and your true self is none of that, modified itself into these experiences and the true self is faceless, timeless and doesn’t have a location in space or time and therefore it’s eternal. That is indeed the great secret whichever way should be aware of.
Rhonda – Oh that was so beautifully said. That was absolutely stunning, yes stunning. Really beautiful. I mean the whole kind of set up of everything is just extraordinary. The more that you understand the truth the more a miracle it really, really, is. Is it not? The way that everything appears solid and it appears and there just doesn’t seem to be a flaw in any of it. It’s just seamless this kind appearance of this so-called world that is out here, out there that is separate from us. But the truth.
Deepak – That appears separate but is not.
Rhonda – Yes absolutely, thank you, thank you. And so yes go ahead.
Deepak – It’s just an expression of our own self.
Rhonda – Yes exactly. Yes. For me, the journey has been one of deeper, deeper happiness and joy with every step that I’ve taken, expansiveness, and the most beautiful feeling of expansiveness and freedom. The other thing that I’ve noticed is the weaken of fear. And things that would have made me fearful before, I feel no fear. I can’t remember when I felt fear of something or anything, and so I know through your work Deepak that you have been doing so brilliantly for decades and so I’m kind of the new kid on the block so to speak compared to all the incredible work you have done it is just overwhelming to me to try and reach people that would not normally at all have considered any of this and to try and reach them and touch them to say to them there is a life you can have that is just beyond anything you can ever, ever, imagine.
Rhonda – It has a lot of revelations in it so if somebody came to it and they were thinking there is a world outside of them and if they were thinking they were a separate being and they were born a human being that is born and dies and that everything is real and solid, There are a lot of revelations in there that will just really, really, wow them because none of those things are true. I think without a doubt to be free of anxiety, worry, uncertainty, stress, fear all of those things that can bring people asunder so to be free of suffering this is the only direction you can go in to be free of suffering is to know who you are and to be living from that place. In exchange for anxiety and stress and all of those things is happiness and freedom and a joy that is just with you every day no matter what is happening in the world. Is just to wake up, wake up but not really wake up, but to wake up and just to be filled with joy and a sense of freedom. And just to know that absolutely everything is fine. Everything is fine.
Deepak – I’ve been speaking with Rhonda Byrne who is the author of The Greatest Secret previously the legendary successful documentary and The Secret and the great book. Rhonda, you are reaching a lot of people that I couldn’t reach because you’ve made things understandable at every level so congratulations on that. You know in the tradition that I come from, the wisdom traditions I come from wealth is measured as abundance in every center of awareness. You know everybody heard of the seven Chakra, but these are center of awareness, abundance. The first center of awareness is total security and safety. Second Center abundance is total sensuality and joy sensual experience of existence. Then number three is the center for transformation, total abundance to transform into anything you want. Then to number four heart of abundance, love and compassion and empathy Center number five abundance of creative expression, Center number six abundance of inside intuition creativity heart consciousness and center number 7 infinite abundance so The Science of Getting Rich is of course of material abundance but unless we have all these aspects of abundance we are not truly rich in the true sense of the word and you imply that in your book and you talk about it so I’m grateful you did all that it’s a great book. I’ve seen excerpts, I’ve read the manuscript before, you asked. Let me know what is your website, what is the website should we take?
Deepak- This greatest secret that is no longer a secret.
Rhonda – No ha!
Deepak – Any last words?
Rhonda – I would just urge people to take the step and even borrow from a library or whatever you need to do, borrow from a friend if they’ve got it and ask if you can borrow it, or borrow from a library and just take the step, take the first step toward freedom and beauty and a life with reduced suffering step by step. The suffering reduces, the happiness increases and just take those steps if you can if you feel inspired to do that if you’ve suffered in the last year you know through the global event that is taking place and if you’re struggling right now you don’t have to suffer. The truth is always exquisite and beautiful, and the truth frees you, it fills you and completely frees you. There are the most incredible teachers in this book who are part of it and yes so we just urge anyone to find out who you are and live your life from that place. And then you will know what life is really all about.
Deepak – so more success to you Rhonda and what you just said now is very important. Joy should be the measure of success otherwise it is not success if you don’t have joy.
Rhonda – True, true.
Deepak – Joy is the only measure of success of course along with the progressive realization of worthy goals. The ability to love, have compassion but joy which is always there. Thank you very much.