Here is an interview with Deepak Chopra by Anderson Cooper of CNN (December 15, 200), coming on the heels of the James Arthur Ray fallout.

Interesting, because Deepak is up there with the (f)Law of Attraction folks; what sets him apart is his education as he is a PhD holder (just goes to show that regulation is not the final screening mechanism).  I have this book of his at home, called The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, where right from the onset he sets out to define “laws.”

Which is fair enough, as I too do that in my upcoming book, Without a Doubt.

In my book, law is defined as one of two things: it is something that can be upheld by an authority (eg civil law), or it is an immutable truth (such as gravity). Now, the (f)Law of Attraction folks like to compare LOA with gravity. Which is about as dumb as it gets. My favourite is hearing some sub-guru say that if you wake up one morning and decide the defy the LOA, then you will live to regret that morning.

Which is borderline retarded, as you cannot DECIDE to defy an immutable law.

So anyway, Deepak sets out to define his concept of laws. Ready?

“[L]et us understand the concept of law. Law is the process by which the unmanifest becomes the manifest; it’s the process by which the observer becomes the observed; it’s the process by which the seer becomes the scenery; it’s the process through which the dreamer manifests the dream.” (Pages 3-4 in the 1993 New World Library hardcover version.)


Then he loops into a deep (metaphysical-like) conversation about the self-curving back into itself, and the perpetuity of motion coming from the field of “potentiality which is purely unmanifest” (p 5), and then feels he has sufficiently defined the meaning of “law” and can now begin discussing the seven spiritual laws of success.

All that just to say it’s like asking one guru if the guru industry should be regulated.

Personally, I don’t think regulation is the answer. People need to know how to recognize spin, and how to separate “blind faith” from fact. Deepak is another spinner of the flawed Law of Attraction, and were the industry regulated, he would still be swimming in that muddy ocean. But amongst fewer fish, which would actually see him and his business in good stead.

Less regulation and more education is my opinion. Get out into the periphery. The real periphery. Not amidst the masses who are all being sold on the spin that they are the upper 5% of the echelon who will succeed (get out your wallets), but those who dare to defy the money makers of the world, those who dare to burn bridges, and risk telling you an unpopular, non-millionaire-manifesting truth.

Breathe, Britt, breathe.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 15th, 2009 at 4:30 pm and is filed under On James Arthur Ray. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 comments so far


Hey Brit,

As you know, I feel that the “self-help” industry, including coaches need licensing & regulation.

Like Real Estate, Insurance, Massage, Financial Planning before them when people are harmed by the actions of an Industry without recourse, it’s time to reel them in.

Seminar Companies & Coaching require no education and have no barrier to entry. SO anyone how can figure out how to order free business cards from Vista Print can be a Coach or Sell Seminars… This is an $11,000,000,000 a year industry that has not self governed itself – now people have died… Time to regulate.

January 2nd, 2010 at 11:08 pm

Hi Terry,

Thanks for commenting. I do know that you advocate licensing and regulating. On the one hand, it has already been done, and those professions are recognized as psychiatrist, psychologists, and social workers (to name a few).

To some degree, you can also become a “certified” coach, sometimes through an educational institute, and other times through the gurus themselves like Byron Katie. But, as you know, it isn’t a professionally sanction certification (ie non-government recognized).

It is my belief that it will eventually become a regulated industry (and I think the James Arthur Ray fiasco is expediting the process). And then it will become a sanctioned money grab, but with other institutions doing the grabbing.

And the gurus will just come up with another name (like “personal growth leader” or “self-development guide”) and continue as is.

It is the persuasive marketing coupled with people’s ignorance and desire for the altruistic blend of instant wealth and instant calm that will continue to wreak this kind of havoc.

Yes, perhaps it is time to regulate. But in my mind, the biggest problem is that this need, this insatiable hunger exists. This hunger is a driving force. (Big parallel here between legalizing — ie regulating — prostitution to eliminate the “pimps” but we all know the johns are the driving force. But I’ll save that for a rainy day…)

January 3rd, 2010 at 8:46 pm

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