Book Review: "The Third Jesus"by Deepak Chopra
"Chopra explained that"Jesus' vision was so breathtaking that it inspired new religion, but without the lens of higher consciousness, these teachings seem to be mere fantasy, a distant hope that will be fulfilled, if ever, only in heaven.
"Christians want to feel that their religion is unique, which is certainly achieved by claiming the one and only son of God. But by the same token, they risk being left out of the great human project, which began centuries before Christ and continues to this day. This is the project of transcending the physical world to reach the realm of the soul."- Che'
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Book Review: "The Third Jesus"by Deepak Chopra, M.D.
Without any doubt, this is an important read for anyone on the spiritual path—-beginner to more seasoned seeker! It also is a must read for those on the path looking for answers about the"Ways"of the path, as circuitously as it unfolds in our lives.
I don't know why it took me so long to get around to reading Chopra's Third Jesus. Let's just say that I thought it would be just another"book"that Chopra wrote to keep him busy in his spare time. Far from it! And... I should have known better!
After reading the Third Jesus, I am now convinced beyond doubt about the true integrity of people like Chopra and Wayne Dyer. Not that I ever doubted them, but come on, how many"books"do you have in you!? Chopra has written 50, and Dyer has 30 books.
Now that I'm finished"Third Jesus," but still using it as a"companion"on most days and am also making my way slowly, day by day, through Dyer's"Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao," I easily can say that Chopra and Dyer have many more books left in them. I'm glad! Chopra's"Third Jesus" is a gift!
Chopra undertakes a very careful study of Jesus' words and actions and translates them for us in the Third Jesus. What I especially like about this book is that Chopra does not assume all his readers are at the same level of spiritual development. More importantly, he does acknowledge a path or spiritual"unfolding"process, and that some uncover more about their essence before others. As a matter of fact, Chopra takes pains in continuously stating," depending on your spiritual awareness or where you are on the spiritual path!"
God Consciousness, Chopra knows, is not something people come to easily. Throughout this book, he takes a very compassionate approach to those who are not even aware of God"consciousness," yet he appeals to those who are seasoned on their journey.
The last chapter of Third Jesus," Where the Soul Never Dies," will be especially appealing to the more seasoned seekers and those who have awakened to more and more of their divine essence. In this chapter Chopra talks about how movement and God Consciousness can be measured. This is a huge offering!
Acknowledging that God Consciousness is next to impossible to quantify, Chopra tries to slay this dragon by offering a simulated situation where people would push a red button to indicate when they were in God Consciousness awareness: those having little or no awareness would have little contact with the red button; those who have a deeper awareness and know when they are in the Presence would have more frequent connections...until those who are in"Total Presence Consciousness"Would keep their hands continuously on the red button.
"At a certain point, wholeness prevails. There is no more going in and out of God, coming to God and moving away. The experience of God turns into a constant for one reason alone: "I"And"God"become one and the same."
But let's step back to the beginning of the book.
Here, Chopra explains that there are three concepts of Jesus: the historical Jesus, who is the rabbi; the second Jesus, who was built up by the theologians and who shifts"With the tide of human affairs," and the third Jesus: the one who taught his followers how to"reach God-consciousness."
This Third Jesus is the one Chopra likes most, and with this third persona, he believes that Jesus was truly," as he proclaimed, a savior. Not the savior, not the one and only Son of God. Rather, Jesus embodied the highest form of enlightenment."
Chopra proclaims about this Third Jesus," Jesus intended to save the world by showing others the path to God consciousness!"
He evens states that the New Testament interpretation of Jesus by orthodox Christianity is a misinterpretation of Jesus by followers who wrote this section decades after he walked the earth. The idea of the"Second Coming," he states," has been especially destructive to Jesus' intentions, because it postpones what needs to happen now. The Third Coming—-finding God consciousness through your own efforts—-happens in the present."
And he sets out to demonstrate it.
In the first section, Chopra lays out Jesus, the rabbi, pointing out early on that"God-consciousness"does not solely belong to Christians through Jesus' message."Consciousness is universal, and if there is such a thing as God consciousness, no one can be excluded from it."
Stating that Jesus said," You are the light of the world," Chopra then lays out the teachings of Jesus in nine areas: meditation, contemplation, revelation, prayer, grace, love, faith, salvation, and unity.
In meditation, Chopra explains that Jesus' constant reference to the light meant that"light exists inside everyone. When we go inside to find out who we are, we encounter the light and God at the same time."For each section, Chopra continues to explain how the"light"that you are connects to God and all living creatures.
He continues to explain each, even as he offers ways in which we can enhance each of the nine areas in our own lives, explaining it from what he saw as Jesus' perspective.
As the rabbi, Jesus' intention was to lead everyone to their own"heaven."Chopra delineates three ways: the path of devotion, based on prayer, constant worship and love of Christ; the path of service, based on charity, altruism and humility; and the path of contemplation, the way of the monastic, reclusive and impoverished.
In Part Two, The Gospel of Enlightenment, Chopra, who as a youngster in India, attended Catholic school, shows his absorption of the Scriptures. Under 10 subject headings, Chopra literally takes many well-known pieces of scripture under the microscope.
But before beginning the examinations, Chopra explained that"Jesus' vision was so breathtaking that it inspired new religion, but without the lens of higher consciousness, these teachings seem to be mere fantasy, a distant hope that will be fulfilled, if ever, only in heaven.
"Christians want to feel that their religion is unique, which is certainly achieved by claiming the one and only son of God. But by the same token, they risk being left out of the great human project, which began centuries before Christ and continues to this day. This is the project of transcending the physical world to reach the realm of the soul."
He then launched into the 10 sections:Love and Grace, Faith, Revelation and Redemption, Jesus and the Self, Meditation, Contemplation, Prayer, Karma—-reaping and sowing, The World as Illusion and Unity.
Each section has extensive biblical references and their interpretations, based on Chopra's view of this second Jesus...but through"spiritual and universal eyes," not merely through the eyes of Theology. Being ever respectful to the three Jesus paths, Chopra also in this section, offers readers a way to utilize each of the nine ways, outlined in Section One, they can uncover Jesus' lessons for themselves. Once you get past this section, you'll have a full and thorough understanding of many key biblical passages and Jesus' intended message.
Part Three, Taking Jesus as Your Teacher, is the place for serious seekers on the path and the one you'll want to use as a DAILY companion on your journey. Here, Chopra offers 15 steps to God Consciousness with Lessons and Exercises, using Jesus' teachings:
1.The kingdom of heaven is within you.
2. Be in the world but not of it.
3. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
4. Ask and you will receive
5. Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
6. Be still and know that I am God.
7. As you sow, so shall you reap.
8. Resist not evil.
9. In my father's house are many mansions.
10. You must be born from above.
11. You are the light of the world.
12. So do not worry about tomorrow.
13. Abide in me, as I abide in you.
14. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am among them.
15. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul.
The last two chapters are pure rewards for the spiritual seeker, as here Chopra validates your process in"How The Path Opens," enabling you to know with confidence that you have not been hallucinating about any of your internal experiences or the guidance you've received.
"Where the Soul Never Dies"helps seekers fully understand Jesus' message of Unity (impersonal, powerful, deathless, all knowing, creative and loving) and how"The Father and I are One"manifests in our lives.
At the end of Third Jesus, you want to find Chopra and give him a huge HUG! You want to say," thank you so much for clarifying every step. Thank you for finally sharing the truth with us about Jesus, his messages, his intentions and love for us."
Thank you, Deepak Chopra!
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