Editor's Choice

What I found in the story (of Jesus) was an incredibly revolutionary figure

Resurrecting Jesus by Adyashanti
"Like many people, my sense of who Jesus was was primarily informed by the prevailing culture. The Jesus that I knew was really the Jesus I saw on TV and in movies, the Jesus depicted from the pulpit, and later the Jesus that I found when I studied the mystics, which was a mystical Jesus. These were the faces of Jesus that I had gotten to know through the first thirty-five years of my life. It may look strange, but even through all my study of the Christian mystics. I had never actually sat down and read the four Gospels. I never really read through the biblical story of Jesus. And when I did, I was amazed, even stunned by what I found." Adyashanti


"Jesus said, 'I have cast fire upon the world,
and see, I am guarding it until it blazes.' GOSPEL OF THOMAS

Now let's fast-forward a dozen years. My Zen teacher had at this point asked me to teach, and I began sharing the dharma—giving talks, having retreats, following the trajectory of a contemporary spiritual teacher. I have never felt like it was my aim as a teacher to spread Buddhism, and in fact my teacher didn't even ask me to try to do that. What attracted me to spirituality at the very beginning-the question, "What is enlightenment?"-is what I'm primarily interested in as a teacher and what I'm there to awaken in the hearts and minds of the people who come to be with me.

In the course of my teaching, I discovered that whenever I talk about the Jesus story, it tends to resonate with people. That's not surprising, because the Western mind has been dominated by Christianity for more than two thousand years, so whether you're Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, or even atheist, you can't help but be impacted by this story. This fact alone makes the story worthy of re-examining, and in doing so, we might find that the Jesus we've been told about is very different from the Jesus in the Gospels. That's what I hope to investigate.

Reading the Good News

Like many people, my sense of who Jesus was was primarily informed by the prevailing culture. The Jesus that I knew was really the Jesus I saw on TV and in movies, the Jesus depicted from the pulpit, and later the Jesus that I found when I studied the mystics, which was a mystical Jesus. These were the faces of Jesus that I had gotten to know through the first thirty-five years of my life. It may look strange, but even through all my study of the Christian mystics. I had never actually sat down and read the four Gospels. I never really read through the biblical story of Jesus. And when I did, I was amazed, even stunned by what I found.

The Jesus that I found in the Gospels wasn't like the Jesus that I had absorbed through my culture or even the Jesus brought to life by the mystics. What I found in the story was an incredibly revolutionary figure, someone who broke down barriers and lines of separation, whether in the culture at large, in the political arena, or in the religion that he was brought up in. when I read the Gospels, something in me deeply connected with Jesus the revolutionary mystic, the one who is actually courageous enough to move through life guided and inspired by the dynamic of his spiritual essence. Seeing Jesus through the lens of the spiritual revolutionary is powerfully transformative; if we can embody that spirit within ourselves, we can begin to break down the internal walls that separate ourselves from each other, from the world, and from our own divinity."

Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic
Adyashanti, Sounds True, 2014, pp. 15-17

Resurrecting Jesus
Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic

"The story of Jesus has not waned in its power to change lives. Yet today, even though the majority of us grew up in a culture suffused by the mythos of Jesus, many of us feel disconnected from the essence and vitality of his teachings. With Resurrecting Jesus, Adyashanti invites us to rediscover the life and teachings of Jesus as a direct path to what may be the most radical of transformations: spiritual awakening.

Jesus crossed all of the boundary lines that separated the people of his time because he viewed the world from the perspective of what unites us, not what divides us. In Resurrecting Jesus, Adyashanti asks us to consider the man known as Jesus as an exemplar of the realized state and a model of enlightened engagement with the world. He examines the story of Jesus from his birth to the Resurrection to reveal how the central events in Jesus' life parallel the stages of awakening that we may be called to experience ourselves. Adyashanti then illuminates five central archetypes of the Jesus story—Peter, John, Mary Magdalene, Judas, and Pontius Pilate—and the key insights they hold about the way we may relate to the spiritual impulse within.

'When the eternal and the human meet,' writes Adyashanti, 'that's where love is born—not through escaping our humanity or trying to disappear into transcendence, but through finding that place where they come into union.' Resurrecting Jesus is a book for realizing this union in your own life, from one moment to the next, with heart and mind wide open to the mystery that lives inside us all."

Web (December 23, 2014)

Amazon.com Customer Reviews

Review of Resurrecting Jesus
By Gina Lake on April 8, 2014

"I really enjoyed this book. I listened to it on audiobook. As a teacher myself and lover of Jesus, I was fascinated to hear what Adyashanti, a truly wonderful and clear nondual teacher, had to say about Jesus and his life. Adyashanti beautifully and eloquently explained the metaphorical meaning of the Jesus story and how Jesus's life symbolized the journey of awakening and enlightenment. Throughout the book, Adya deftly wove his understanding of Jesus's teachings and the Jesus story with what Adya himself has been teaching these many years, tying the teachings of Christ with present-day nondual teachings, as only someone like Adya could do. I was impressed with Adya's knowledge of the gospels and, most of all, with the love he has for Jesus and the Christian mystics. Adya's own heart was very apparent in this book. If you are interested in this subject, you will not be disappointed. Adya was courageous in tackling this subject, but his interest in Jesus has obviously been lifelong and passionate enough to make him just the right instrument for it."

A fresh, new look at Jesus, the revolutionary mystic
By Yana E. Murphy on May 17, 2014

"'Resurrecting Jesus' is not, and may never be, sanctioned by the RC Church. It is, however, a deep look at 'the Jesus story' from an American (Californian!) Zen practitioner who is himself, by all indications, 'awakened'.

Adyashanti describes the awakened state as something completely within reach for each of us. He sees Jesus as both human and divine (awakened) whose divinity took root during his baptism by John, the one who lived 'on the fringe of society.'

What I found refreshing as the story itself is how Adyashanti weaves us into it, suggesting that 'until we pour ourselves into the story, until we become the story in ourselves, in our blood, flesh, and bones, it doesn't fully come alive.' At the end, he looks at five main characters/archetypes, besides Jesus, who exemplify personalities and 'the spiritual impulse' that we can relate to: Peter, John, Judas, Pontius Pilate, and Mary Magdalene.

'Life is this simple: we are living in a world
that is absolutely transparent and the divine
is shining through it all the time. This is not
just a nice story or a fable, it is true.'
Thomas Merton

The same is true for this book."

I recommend to those who are seeking truth, not religious dogma. By Sally S. on July 22, 2014

"I found the book to be an awakening experience. I was brought up with religious dogma as the center of my life. I was continually questioning the teachings of the church and even as a child challenged the interpretations. I have read the bible from front to back more than once seeking truth. But it never aligned with my core being when I used the church's interpretations. After reading Resurrecting Jesus and studying other religions I am free of the dogma and feel comfortable with my own understanding and belief in what this life is all about."

Web (December 22, 2014)

"There is something new and startling in both his person and his teaching that defies the categories provided by the world and culture in which he lived."

A Hard Saying: The Gospel and Culture
"A Christian view of culture and human history, which are intimately linked, looks to creation and the role of a creating God. At the center of the life and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth stand his convictions about the reigning presence of God as creator and Sovereign. This is most evident in his teaching through the parables of the kingdom.

The Parables and the Kingdom

The notion of God as sovereign over the whole of creation, and especially in the divine role at the center of God's human creation, was found in the Old Testament (see, for example, Pss 22:28; 45:6; 103:19; 145:11-13; Dan 4:3, 34; 1 Chr 17:14; 29:11). The creator God made all things perfectly (see especially Gen 1:1-2:4). As creator, however, YHWH also saves, judges, and loves a people with whom he has forged a covenant. Thus the Old Testament notion of God as Sovereign also carried with it the idea of an end-time, a 'day of the Lord' that would spell the end of human history and the final manifestation of God's rule (see, for example, Isa 2:2-4, 24-27; 24:21-23, 32:22; 52:7-10; Micah 2:12-13; 4:1-7; Obadiah 21, Zechariah 9-14).

Jesus uses the term to refer to a future decisive intervention of God into the affairs of men and women, where the false values of the world would be reversed and the values of God established (see, for example, Matt 5:3-12//Luke 6:20-23). He used the traditional symbols, such as the 'messianic banquet,' to express this idea (see especially Matt 8:11; the same symbolism may be behind John 2:1-11). He also spoke of a final blessed state into which the redeemed would 'enter,' which they would 'inherit' or 'receive' at some point in the future (se, for example, Mark 9:47; 10:14-15, 23-25; Matt 5:20; 7:21; 21:31). Such a usage can be explained in terms of Israel's idea of God as sovereign, and especially in terms of the apocalyptic use of the expression 'Kingdom of God' which, although rare, is to be found in the Judaism of the time of Jesus. Such background, however, cannot explain the person and teaching of Jesus. There is something new and startling in both his person and his teaching that defies the categories provided by the world and culture in which he lived. It is clearest in all its radical nature in Jesus' insistence that in his person and activity God's decisive intervention was already present: 'But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the Kingdom of God has come to you (Luke 11:20//Matt 12:28.' While there are other isolated sayings of Jesus that are similarly significant in this regard (see especially Matt 11:12-14 and Luke 17:20-21), contemporary parable study is showing with increasing clarity that in Jesus of Nazareth the ways of God were being reestablished."

A Hard Saying: The Gospel and Culture
Francis J. Moloney, Michael Glazier (July 1, 2001) p. 186-7

"The Raising of Lazarus" by Eduard von Gebhardt, from 1896. Credit Corbis, via Getty Images
"Consider that Jesus was incarnated in a human body. He was a child in need of care and protection. He was a carpenter, a craftsman who worked creatively with his hands. His first miracle was at the wedding in Cana, where he transformed water into wine. There was joy and purpose to be found in the commonplace. The Incarnation also bestowed worth on people considered contemptible, unessential and valueless — "the least of these," as Jesus put it.

Indeed, one of the indictments of him by the religious authorities of his day was that he was a "friend of sinners." Jesus' love was "undiscriminating and inclusive," according to the writer Garry Wills, "not gradated and exclusive." He spent most of his time with those who were forsaken, poor, powerless and considered unclean. In a patriarchal society, Jesus gave women an honored place. He not only associated with them, but they were among his disciples, the object of his public praise, the first people he spoke to after his resurrection.

The most intense confrontations Jesus had weren't with those with loose morals but with religious leaders, the upholders of the "holiness code" whom he called out for their arrogance, hypocrisy and lack of mercy. In the Temple courts, Jesus told the chief priests, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you." In the words of Professor Wills, "He walks through social barriers and taboos as if they were cobwebs.""

New York Times, 24 December 2016

The Great Adi Shakti Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
The Paraclete Shri Mataji
"Whatever it is, we have to know also that the Bible is not completely representing Christ, as it has happened with every book. So, there are problems and, as in every religion, people have gone astray from their right path and are spoiling the name of the people who have been divine and who started those religions. Also, is happened in the Christian nations. Just the opposite of what Christ has said, they're doing.

For us, one has to realize that hecame on this Earth to open our Agnya chakra, which is a very difficult thing. Sahasrara is not difficult as Agnya. Agnya chakra is a very constricted chakra on which he resides. And he has said, "You have to forgive yourself and forgive others." This is the mantra of the Agnya chakra."

The Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Christmas Puja, Ganapatipule, India—December 27, 1994

"Before we start, the celebrations of the birth of Christ, we have to little bit review what we have done after His Birth, so that we understand where do we stand in relation to Him. For he was the Son of a Virgin so that even the slightest blot on His name should not be created. Because he was to do the greatest job, of creating for us Agnya awareness, which would help us to suck in all our sins, all our conditionings, and all our egos. And the great personality was created for such a great work within ourselves. But unfortunately, we have spoilt both these institutions within us to such an extent that it is the most difficult task to give realization to Christians...

We have to be clean. We have to be resurrected. We are resurrected people. Christ has resurrected us. But you have to think how much he has to work for us. The more you try to be in unison with negativity, we harm him more, we torture him more, we trouble him more. The one who was born in the manger in the most difficult circumstances, where everybody requires comfort, who from the very beginning went through hazardous life till His death. His birth itself, you can see, was in a cow shed. None of you are born in a cow shed. And while the Christians are so particular about comforts, most surprising is, why Christ was born in a cow shed? In a very, very cold night Christ was born. Nothing much to cover; sparkling beauty it was.

Now we have to keep him within ourselves comfortably. We are not going to give him that manger in our Agnya Chakra. Manger of thoughts and a crown of thought-that we are not going to give Him. We are going to make him comfortable by not accepting negativity as a sympathy. You have to be kind towards your auspiciousness and holiness so that Christ enjoys His stay there in your Agnya. That we do not torture him by our useless ideas, uncomfortable behaviours, inauspicious appearances and unholy acceptance of wrong ideas. Try to respect Him; there he stands. Try to make him very comfortable. I wish I could do that, but he resides in everybody's Agnya Chakra. If he was only in my Agnya, I would have given him the greatest comforts, but he wants to be manifested in every body's Agnya.

So I have to request you as a Mother to look after him, give him a nice cradle, give him a comfortable time, because he is born to give you your resurrection. He has taken up such a great responsibility to suck all your conditioning and to suck all your ego, but that does not mean that you put stones on top of it. It's like, sometimes I find the conditioning of some of the people in the West is so great, that a big mountain is failing on this little child. And sometimes I find a big a bad breath. Horrible breath of ego, it stinks, blowing like a big wind towards the Agnya, horrible stink coming out of this terrible type of a ego. Absolutely not the way to treat the King of Kings who is born within you. You are so respected that Christ is born within your Agnya, but you must respect your Agnya Chakra.

Your attention should be in the Centre so that no wobbliness-imagine put a child-like they say, a child is to put on the wings. So this Agnya Chakra is to be kept very clean, healthy and holy. The attention should be holy. The attention outside is still not very holy, should be detached attention. If you start seeing through your Agnya it should project a power of holiness, so that anybody who looks at your eyes should know that serenity is flowing from these eyes, and not lust and greed and aggression. All this we can achieve because we have got Christ within our Agnya. Accept him there. He is born, yet to grow. I am sure Sahaja Yogis will understand the importance of the Agnya Chakra."

The Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Christmas Eve Talk, Pune, India—December 24, 1982

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