Deepak Chopra Interview: Stephen tWitch Boss, Michael Jackson, Suicide Prevention...
In the latest installment of the Allison Interviews podcast, spiritual guru, world renowned activist and bestselling author, Deepak Chopra, shares his theory on Stephen “tWitch’ Boss’ tragic suicide, what he discussed with Michael Jackson during his time counseling the late pop icon, the best advice he has ever received, the benefits of Royal Yoga, and the Chopra Foundation’s Never Alone movement which has helped to prevent thousands of suicides since launching in 2020.
The following are excerpts from the latest episode of the Allison Interviews podcast with host and entertainment journalist, Allison Kugel. The full podcast episode is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify; and on YouTube. *If you use any of the following excerpts, please credit Allison Kugel and the Allison Interviews podcast, and either link to, or embed, this episode.
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On his theory about what may have led to Stephen “tWitch” Boss’ Death (and other tragic celebrity suicides):
“In my experience celebrities particularly in the entertainment business but celebrities of all kinds. We had Anthony Bourdain who died of that as well they actually are actually much more insecure than the ordinary person because they have to live up to the world’s expectations. They are only as good as their last hit and once you become that level of celebrity where you feel everything you do has to be a hit creates chronic anxiety. Every time I’ve worked with or known a celebrity it’s their insecurity that drives them and they have to have one little negative experience to actually drive them to the edge of insanity. I would say that the regular person who is not in the public eye is usually much more secure than a celebrity. So, it’s the other way around. The celebrities need to learn how to be just like regular people.”
On the advice he gave the late Michael Jackson:
“I used to work with people like Michael Jackson [and other celebrities], and I used to encourage them to embrace their insecurity. I would say, ‘The more you embrace your insecurities, the more creative you will be. If you become secure, you lose your creativity.’ Vulnerability, unpredictability, uncertainty, confusion, bewilderment… those are the things that one can use as creativity. If everything was certain and you are totally secure, boy, you would be bored for the rest of your life.”
On whether this advice worked for the late Michael Jackson:
“Yes, until he got addicted to drugs as a result of the insecurities of his physician, who became his drug peddler.”
On the surprising and funny best advice he has ever received:
“’Shut up.’ I told myself that, because when I shut up I’m at peace (laugh). Take time to be silent. In silence, truth is real and not by somebody’s advice. Silence is where the truth lies.”
On his Never Alone initiative to prevent suicide:
Never Alone is an initiative of the Chopra Foundation that was co-founded with an actress named Gabriella Wright, whose sister had died of suicide. We realized that people could be connected to each other by what we call the “4 As”- Attention - deep listening, Affection - deep caring, Appreciation – deep gratitude, and Acceptance – not trying to change anybody, but radical acceptance; accepting everybody as they are. And if we could connect [people] in a global community, we could actually prevent this pandemic [of suicide].” (visit NeverAlone.love for more information)
“The A.I. interface at NeverAlone.love has actually intervened about 6,000 suicidal ideations,” Chopra shares, “and the A.I. is capable of having 20 million conversations simultaneously with people. We are going to take it to Arabic, Persian and to European languages. We are going to create global online and offline communities with three things: selfless service, community and daily spiritual practice.”
“If we can do that,” he continues, “I think we will have a very good chance of tackling this global pandemic which is a tragedy of our times.”
On reality vs. the dream:
“There is no such thing as matter. Matter is a human name for a perceptual activity in human consciousness. This takes a long time to understand, but basically everything that you call reality is a dream; everything. If I asked you what happened in your childhood you would say, ‘It is a dream.’ If I asked you what happened yesterday, it is a dream. If I asked you what happened this morning, it’s a dream. What happens to these words by the time you hear them, they don’t exist. The whole thing is a dream. Ludwig Wittgenstein, the German philosopher said, ‘We are asleep. Our life is a dream, but once in a while we wake up enough to know that we are dreaming.’ So that waking up is the process we call yoga. That is what this book, Living in the Light, is about.”
*Deepak Chopra’s 93rd book, Living in the Light, is out now.
About Journalist and Podcast Host Allison Kugel
Allison Kugel is a veteran entertainment journalist with more than three hundred long form celebrity and newsmaker interviews published and syndicated, worldwide. She is author of the memoir, Journaling Fame: A memoir of a life unhinged and on the record, and host of the new podcast, Allison Interviews, where listeners can tune in to hear the full conversations behind Allison’s print interviews. Watch and embed the entire interview video with Deepak Chopra @YouTube. Listen to the audio podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Follow Allison Kugel on Instagram @theallisonkugel and at AllisonInterviews.com.