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Excerpted from The Book of Secrets by Deepak Chopra. Copyright © 2004 by Deepak Chopra. Excerpted by permission of Random House, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.
 

"The mystery of life doesnít behave that way: Its secrets are revealed immediately if you know where to look."

  Deepak Chopra
The Book of Secrets
, Part 4

Countless clues have come your way, only to be overlooked because they didnít form a clear message. I have met an astonishing number of people whose spiritual beginnings were nothing short of amazing: As children, they may have seen a grandmotherís soul leave at the moment of her death, witnessed beings of light surrounding on a birthday, traveled beyond their physical bodies, or come home from school to see a beloved family member standing in the hallway, even though the person had just died in a terrible auto accident. (One man told me he was a "bubble boy" for the first ten years of his life, journeying in his bubble high over the city and away to unknown lands.) Millions of people -- this is no exaggeration but testimony from public polls -- have seen themselves bathed in a pearlescent white light at times. Or they heard a voice they knew came from God. Or they had invisible guardians in childhood, secret friends who protected them while they slept.

Eventually, it became clear to me that more people have had such experiences -- truly secret voyages into a reality separated from this one by a flimsy veil of disbelief -- than not. Parting the veil means changing your own perception. This is a personal, totally subjective, yet very real shift.

Where would you begin to solve a mystery that is everywhere, yet somehow never forms a whole message? A great sleuth like Sherlock Holmes would start his search from one elementary deduction: Something unknown wants to be known. A mystery that doesnít want to be known will just keep retreating the closer you come to it. The mystery of life doesnít behave that way: Its secrets are revealed immediately if you know where to look. But where is that?

The bodyís wisdom is a good entry point into the hidden dimensions of life, because although completely invisible, the bodyís wisdom is undeniably real -- a fact that medical researchers began to accept in the mid-1980s. The former view was that the brainís capacity for intelligence was unique. But then signs of intelligence began to be discovered in the immune system, and then in the digestive system. In both these systems, special messenger molecules could be observed circulating through every organ, bringing information to and from the brain, but also functioning on their own. A white cell that can distinguish between invading enemy bacteria and harmless pollen is making an intelligent decision, even though it floats in the bloodstream apart from the brain.

Ten years ago, it would have seemed absurd to speak of intestines being intelligent. The lining of the digestive tract was known to possess thousands of nerve endings, but these were just remote outposts of the nervous system -- a way for it to keep in touch with the lowly business of extracting nutrition from food. Now it turns out that the intestines are not so lowly after all. Their scattered nerve cells form a finely tuned system for reacting to outside events -- an upsetting remark at work, the threat of danger, a death in the family. The stomachís reactions are just as reliable as the brainís thoughts, and just as intricate. Your colon, your liver, and your stomach cells also think, only not in the brainís verbal language. What people had been calling a "gut reaction" turned out to be a mere hint of the complex intelligence at work in a hundred thousand billion cells.

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