Book Review: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra

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This is a book review of “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” by Deepak Chopra. This is a good book for spiritual searchers, and perhaps especially for those who are drawn to Eastern-inspired texts.

KEYWORDS: Abraham-Hicks, book review, Deepak Chopra, dharma, karma, Law of Attraction, Law of Karma, Law of Dharma, past lifetimes, Seth, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.

PART 1: THE BOOK

In this book review I will be reviewing my old copy of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, by Deepak Chopra (click image to enlarge):

Figure 1. Front and back covers of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra (Amber-Allen and New World Library, 1994).

This is the Amber-Allen / New World Library hardcover edition of this title, and it says on the copyright page that it was originally published in 1994.

Three other versions of this book are also available: a paperback edition, a Kindle edition, and an Audiobook edition.

About the Book

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams is a book made for those who are interested in becoming better at getting what they want.

It is not a university textbook in any shape or form, but rather a very practically-oriented book that is made for those of you who want to, as the text on the back cover says, achieve success “in all areas of your life”.

The Parts of the Book

The book is divided into three main parts: the front matter (10 pages); the core text (111 pages); and the additional pages at the end (6 pages). So all in all, 127 pages.

The front matter consists of some title and copyright pages, and a short passage from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (4.4.5). Then comes a one-page Contents, after which there are two pages of acknowledgements.

The main part of the book is divided into 9 parts: First, an Introduction (pp. 1-5), then the 7 chapters with the seven spiritual laws (pp. 7-103), and then, lastly, the Summary and Conclusion (pp. 105-111)

At the back we find a one-page About the Author, and three pages of information about other material by Chopra (books, audio, and video). On the last page there is some contact info for the publisher Amber Allen / New World Library.

The are no illustrations, photographs, or diagrams of any kind in this book. There is also no index in this book.

The Seven Laws

The seven “laws” that Deepak Chopra defines are the following, as I have understood them:

1. The Law of Pure Potentiality. In our spirit essence we are pure consciousness, pure potentiality, pure knowledge, invincibility, etc. And we can access that power by “the daily practice of silence, meditation, and non-judgement” (p. 13).

2. The Law of Giving. “The more you give, the more you receive” (p. 29).

3. The Law of “Karma” or Cause and Effect. “[E]very action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind” (p. 39).

4. The Law of Least Effort. “Least effort is expended when your actions are motivated by love” (p. 55).

5. The Law of Intention and Desire. Intent and desire are powerful manifestation tools.

6. The Law of Detachment. To succeed manifesting, you have to give up your attachment to the result (i.e. the future manifestation).

7. The Law of “Dharma” or Purpose in Life. By using your unique talent “to serve your fellow human beings” (p. 98), you will “have access to unlimited abundance” (p. 99).

About Deepak Chopra

According to the text on dust jacket’s back cover flap, Deepak Chopra is a bestselling author of many books, such as Quantum Healing, Unconditional Life, and Ageless Body, Timeless Mind.

His style of presentation, according to that same text, can be described as follows: “His groundbreaking lectures and books blend physics and philosophy, the practical and the spiritual, venerable Eastern wisdom and cutting-edge Western science with dynamic results”.

PART 2: THE REVIEW

Physical Format

My copy of the 1994 edition is approximately 5 x 7.5 inches (13 x 19 cm). And it’s approximately 0.50 inches (1.2 cm) thick.

This format is, for me, perfect. It is small enough to put in a bag and read on the train or the bus. And because the limited number of pages, it is also overall pretty light.

However, since I have the hardcover edition, with its thick cardboard covers, it adds to the weight. For those who are concerned with better portability and ease of use (lighter to hold, while reading), the paperback edition might be a better fit.

Note that it nowadays also is available in a Kindle version, as well as in a audio format.

Paper, Printing, and Binding Quality

The paper quality is very good. According to the copyright page, this edition is produced using “alk. paper”. This means that the type of paper being used has an alkaline pH (i.e. “acid free” paper), in order to “survive” longer.

As far as the printing and binding goes, there are no complaints. The text is crisp and clear, and the binding still holds perfectly, even after more than ten years of usage.

Layout, Design, and Typography

I think the design of this book is very nice. The typeface is very readable and aesthetically pleasurable to look at. The leading is quite “airy”, and the whole text is very easy to read.

Basic Content

The basic content is, I think, good. The “selling text” on the covers works: I think this book almost succeeds in delivering what a potential buyer would buy it for, after having read the text on the covers. So its “promise-to-delivery” ratio is good, say 80%.

The reason I only give it 80% is this. Although there is a lot of information about (some version of) the Law of Attraction in this book, it is doubtful that the average reader will be able to manifest those things that they really want to manifest (money, cars, and houses, etc.) as a direct result of merely applying the methods suggested in this book.

The rules and processes are, in my opinion, too general, and are not detailed enough to guide the user in “real time”.

What I could see, there are no processes that really describe how the reader, in detail, and in different situations, can navigate one’s mind around various problems and obstacles, in order to maintain/increase one’s positivity and optimism and happiness.

For that reason, I think it is best to categorize this book as a more general introduction to the Law of Attraction, and not a very accurate one at that.

Writing Style

The book is very nicely written. The style is simple and very readable.

Moreover, the text is not in any way pretentious or “complicated”: it is clearly written for an audience of “ordinary people”. And that seems to fit perfectly with the practical nature of this “self-help” type of book.

A good feature of this book is that each chapter starts with a dedicated page on its own. And on that page the “Law” that is described in that chapter is presented in a reasonably concise way.

The Laws

Many of the “Laws” described in this book touch upon aspects that are mentioned in the Seth books and in the Abraham-Hicks books.

And considering that the Seth books have been around since the 1970s, and the Abraham-Hicks recordings since 1986, it would not be very far-fetched to think that the Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, published in 1994, would have used some of the ideas therein (but I could not find any such references in his book).

So it is not a great surprise to see, then, in the front matter of Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul (1994 edition; orig. edition: 1972), that Deepak Chopra, M.D. says: “The Seth books present an alternate map of reality with a new diagram of the psyche . . . useful to all explorers of consciousness”.

Whether Chopra actually used any of the Seth or Abraham-Hicks material for his own Seven Laws book, or not, is unimportant. The important thing is that Chopra got many things right in his book (if we compare with the information that is provided in the many books by Seth and Abraham-Hicks).

But there are, still, a few things to talk about regarding some of the “Laws”. The two most problematic ones, in my view, are “The Law of Karma” and the “The Law of Dharma”.

The Law of Karma

Let’s start with the Law of Karma. So Chopra’s idea is that “Every action generates a force energy that returns to us in like kind”. But my objection is that, according to Abraham-Hicks, it is not our action that is the cause of our future state of affairs; rather, it is our thought vibration (i.e our “point of attraction”).

For people act for different reasons and in different moods. So two people offering a similar action do not produce a comparable “result” unless their (complex) reasons for acting and the mood they are in are very similar.

In other words, it is one’s internal thought world (one’s intentions, meaning, reasons, beliefs, morality, and expectations, etc.) that the universe is listening to. And it is that totality of vibration (the “point of attraction”) that is then “boomeranged back” by the Law of Attraction.

So when Abraham-Hicks once brought up the subject matter of karma in one of their live workshops (in a mood of uncomplicating the whole concept of karma, and supposedly steering away from the idea of “action”) they said simply (Workshop, 16 Nov 2019; my square brackets):

“There is this vibrational basis [i.e. your “point of attraction”] from which you attract. Let’s just call it karma.”

Another of Chopra’s points is about “past karma” and about statements such as “pay your karmic debts” (p. 45). First, it is unclear if Chopra is including karma from past lives. So that could have been clearer. But he probably does, since his book uses so many quotes from Indian texts.

Now the “standard” Indian philosophical idea of karma typically includes that human beings can have “past karma” from previous lives, and that that then influences their current lives in negative ways. So if, say, they are born in a bad family, that’s just “bad karma”.

But Abraham-Hicks clearly points out that “past life karma” does not exist (Workshop, 16 Nov 2019):

“Are you attracting from past lifetimes? No, because you don’t have a vibrational frequency about your past lifetimes.”

So, according to Abraham-Hicks, each time we return to Source, we leave all worries, all problems, all false beliefs, all negative experiences behind. Then, we “start from scratch” when we return to Earth in our next life. Thus, there is no “past karma” from previous lives.

The Law of Dharma

As stated above, Chopra thinks that by using your unique talent “to serve your fellow human beings” (p. 98), you will “have access to unlimited abundance” (p. 99).

I think this sounds unappealing. One reason why this doesn’t appeal to me is the idea of using my unique talent. But perhaps I am uninterested in using my particular talent. I may be an extremely unique and super-competent player of classical piano, but I just don’t like it very much. I much rather play my Fender Stratocaster instead, however imperfectly. Why? Because it’s much more fun.

The second reason why the Law of Dharma is so unappealing is that Chopra is focused on the idea is that one’s talent should not go wasted, but be the method by which one serves humanity.

This certainly sounds noble and politically correct. But it also sounds boring. And it also seems to fit badly with Abraham-Hicks’s version of our purpose of life (and for me, there is no greater authority on the Law of Attraction philosophy than Abraham-Hicks and Seth).

For according to them, we are not here to “save the world” (whether on a grand scale, or on a smaller scale) or anything like that. Our only “purpose” is to discover new personal desires and personal preferences and then manifesting as much joy and happiness as possible.

Usefulness

I think this book can be useful. But I think it is primarily for two types of audiences.

The first category of people who might benefit from this book are those who know nothing, or very little, about the Law of Attraction. For such people, this book might serve as a general introduction. And, if interested in knowing more, the reader can then go on to the “real” textbooks of Law of Attraction, namely the Seth and Abraham-Hicks books.

The second category of people who might benefit from this book are those who are interested in Indian culture and philosophy. For those readers (for example yoga teachers and their students), their main aim may not be to manifest cars or condos, but rather to pick up one or two philosophical points.

RATINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success is a good book. It is very nicely produced, and it is well written. And I think it serves well as a general, introductory book for people who are interested in the Law of Attraction and manifestation.

Chris Bocay

EDITION DETAILS

Title: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams
Author: Deepak Chopra
Publisher: Amber-Allen Publishing and New World Library
Year (stated on copyright page): “1994”
Edition: First (in terms of main content inside)
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: x + 118
ISBN-10 (a): 1-878424-11-4
ISBN-10 (b): 1878424114
ISBN-13 (a): 978-1878424112
ISBN-13 (b): 9781878424112

Links to This Edition

REFERENCES

  • Hicks, Esther (2019), Abraham-Hicks Workshop, Sat 16 Nov 2019, San Antonio, TX. [Link to CD]
  • Roberts, Jane (1994), Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul. San Rafael, CA: Amber-Allen Publishing; and Novato, CA: New World Library. [Link to book]

Copyright © 2022 by Chris Bocay. All rights reserved.

First published: Wed 16 Feb 2022
Last revised: Wed 21 Sep 2022

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