The Third Jesus - Book review by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
The Third Jesus
The Christ We Cannot Ignore
Harmony Books 02/08 Hardcover $24.00
"I believe that Jesus was not only real, but perhaps the most significant person in Western history," writes bestselling author Deepak Chopra in this amazing and thought-provoking book. He identifies three Jesuses: the historical man of flesh and blood who lived more than 2,000 years ago; the figure created by the church and its dogma and doctrines; and the radical mystical teacher who set out to transform the world. The last Jesus is"The Christ We Cannot Ignore"Who lives in"our own awareness at the level of God-consciousness.”Chopra sets out in this ambitious work to explain the implications of this third Jesus who exists beyond time and yet within each of us.
Jesus was very clear about the essentials of the spiritual life and they are in his teachings:
● Meditation — Going within to contact the silent mind.
● Contemplation — Reflecting on the truth.
● Revelation — Receiving spiritual insight.
● Prayer — Asking for higher guidance.
● Grace — Taking God into one's heart.
● Love — Participating in divine love.
● Faith — Believing in a higher reality.
● Salvation — Realizing that you have a place in higher reality.
● Unity — Becoming one with God.
Chopra moves on in"Realizing What Jesus Said"to discuss various verses in the New Testament that reflect the wisdom of this seer, including know thyself, God values you, be humble, know where the heart is, be persistent on the path, and much more. In the most interesting of these passages is Chopra's treatment of Jesus' version of karma:
● Every action leads to a result.
● Good actions have good results, bad actions, bad results.
● Every action is seen and weighed. Nothing can be hidden or kept secret.
● If your actions are good, you will grow spiritually.
● As you grow, your thoughts and wishes will manifest in the material world. Karma operates faster and more consciously.
● God's intention is to make your actions turn out for the best. His ultimate concern is to bring you into the Kingdom, where the soul is freed from the law of Karma.
It is refreshing to see the idea of you will reap what you sow spelled out in this interpretation. It opens the door to more cross-fertilization between Christianity and other world religions. Chopra recognizes the contemporary relevance of Jesus' message:
"The real Jesus is as available today as he ever was, perhaps more so. Instead of relying on faith alone, we can go beyond worship to find a body of teachings consistent with the world's wisdom traditions, a corroboration in Christian terms that higher consciousness is real and open to all.”
In the section on"Taking Jesus as Your Teacher," Chopra presents Jesus as the initiator of a new path of enlightenment that offers personal transformation. His 15 Steps to God-Consciousness include daily exercises based on verses from the New Testament, such as"For my yoke is easy and my burden is light"or"Ask and you will receive.”These are followed by some stimulating meditations on keeping it simple, the process of spiritual growth, why we resist spirit, how the path opens, and the tradition of unity. Chopra ends with an essay"What Would Jesus Do," that salutes him as a person who valued courage, truth-telling, sympathy and tolerance, love and forgiveness.
The Third Jesus is another volume promoting an interspirituality for the twenty-first century that tears down the walls between East and West and reveals how all the world's religions encourage the practice of transformation.
On admiring the religious other
Jesus never himself speaks of himself as God
Thomas purports that Jesus was an exemplar of God
Public life of Jesus
Thoshi Takeuchi: "The truths espoused in Christianity are ...”
Most worthwhile life is spent discovering your spiritual core
The Resurrection of Christ within You
Pope: "Knowledge of God's Son is obtained through the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus' connection with India through the"Wise men from the east"
The Unknown Years of Jesus' Life—Sojourn in India
Jesus through Sikh eyes
Jesus through Hindu eyes
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The Third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore
The fulfillment of eschatological instruction promised by Jesus
An apocalypse (Greek: apokalypsis meaning “an uncovering”) is in religious contexts knowledge or revelation, a disclosure of something hidden, “a vision of heavenly secrets that can make sense of earthly realities.” (Ehrman 2014, 59)
“An apocalypse (Ancient Greek: apokalypsis ... literally meaning "an uncovering") is a disclosure or revelation of great knowledge. In religious and occult concepts, an apocalypse usually discloses something very important that was hidden or provides what Bart Ehrman has termed, "A vision of heavenly secrets that can make sense of earthly realities". Historically, the term has a heavy religious connotation as commonly seen in the prophetic revelations of eschatology obtained through dreams or spiritual visions.” Wikipedia 2021-01-09
Total number of recorded talks 3058: Public Programs 1178, Pujas 651, and other (private conversations) 1249
“The Paraclete will come (15:26; 16:7, 8, 13) as Jesus has come into the world (5:43; 16:28; 18:37)... The Paraclete will take the things of Christ (the things that are mine, ek tou emou) and declare them (16:14-15). Bishop Fison describes the humility of the Spirit, 'The true Holy Spirit of God does not advertise Herself: She effaces Herself and advertises Jesus.' ...
It is by the outgoing activity of the Spirit that the divine life communicates itself in and to the creation. The Spirit is God-in-relations. The Paraclete is the divine self-expression which will be and abide with you, and be in you (14:16-17). The Spirit's work is described in terms of utterance: teach you, didasko (14:26), remind you, hypomimnesko (14:26), testify, martyro (15:26), prove wrong, elencho (16:8), guide into truth, hodego (16:13), speak, laleo (16:13, twice), declare, anangello (16:13, 14, 15). The johannine terms describe verbal actions which intend a response in others who will receive (lambano), see (theoreo), or know (ginosko) the Spirit. Such speech-terms link the Spirit with the divine Word. The Spirit's initiatives imply God's personal engagement with humanity. The Spirit comes to be with others; the teaching Spirit implies a community of learners; forgetful persons need a prompter to remind them; one testifies expecting heed to be paid; one speaks and declares in order to be heard. The articulate Spirit is the correlative of the listening, Spirit-informed community.
The final Paraclete passage closes with a threefold repetition of the verb she will declare (anangello), 16:13-15. The Spirit will declare the things that are to come (v.13), and she will declare what is Christ's (vv. 14, 15). The things of Christ are a message that must be heralded...
The intention of the Spirit of truth is the restoration of an alienated, deceived humanity... The teaching role of the Paraclete tends to be remembered as a major emphasis of the Farewell Discourses, yet only 14:26 says She will teach you all things. (Teaching is, however, implied when 16:13-15 says that the Spirit will guide you into all truth, and will speak and declare.) Franz Mussner remarks that the word used in 14:26, didaskein, "means literally 'teach, instruct,' but in John it nearly always means to reveal.” (Stevick 2011, 292-7)
The Holy Spirit as feminine: Early Christian testimonies and their interpretation,
Johannes van Oort, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Department of Church History and Church Polity, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
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