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WGS 2018: Evolve emotionally, or risk extinction, guru warns

Deepak Chopra tells World Government Summit that modern weapons mixed with ‘medieval’ mindset can wipe out humanity

Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News
Deepak Chopra
Gulf News

Dubai: Humanity risks extinction if it continues down the path of modern weapons mixed with “medieval mentality”, warned US author Deepak Chopra during the World Government Summit (WGS) in Dubai on Sunday.

Chopra said today’s hand-held devices, in the wrong hands, can cause widespread death and destruction by disrupting or attacking nuclear facilities, water and power systems, communications and other vital services.

He warned that there was no hope for mankind unless we “transcend our limited identities” and view each other as “citizens of the globe”.

Chopra was speaking during his talk on ‘Hope in Times of Uncertainty’, which ended with a question-and-answer session led by Uhoud Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness and Quality of Life.

Chopra said we stand at a “precarious” moment in history where we need visionary leaders, such as former US president Barack Obama and Mahatma Gandhi, so the next generation can be groomed. He alluded to today’s world “full of tribalism, racism, bigotry, social and economic injustice, ecological devastation, weapons of mass destruction, and cyber warfare”.

“One pessimistic view is that with our modern weapons and tribal, ancient, and medieval-conditioned minds, we are risking extinction,” Chopra said.

He added that all the ills in the world, such as war and corruption, were a result of a projection of our inner selves.

According to Chopra, people must resolve conflict — between themselves and with their inner selves — to achieve salvation.

Following up the pessimistic view, Chopra said: “On the other hand, we can use technology to engender hope and well-being, to create happiness as a global community. But we have to transcend our limited identities, while also keeping them. They have historical, religious and cultural roots.

“We will go to Mars [one day] — are we going to wage wars even in outer space? We need to get identities based on stability and trust and compassion. If we don’t do that, there’s no hope for humanity.”

Returning to the topic of technology in the context of humanity’s advancement, Chopra said: “Technology is neutral and an unstoppable part of our evolution. What we do with it depends on us. If our emotional evolution doesn’t keep up with our technological evolution, then we are indeed doomed. So, this is a moment of crisis but also a moment of hope.”