Who is Jesus Christ? In The Third Jesus, bestselling author and spiritual leader Deepak Chopra provides an answer to this question that is both a challenge to current systems of belief and a fresh perspective on what Jesus can teach us all, regardless of our religious background. There is not one Jesus, Chopra explains, but three.
First, there is the historical Jesus, the man who lived more than two thousand years ago and whose teachings are the foundation of Christian theology and thought. Next there is Jesus the Son of God, who has come to embody an institutional religion with specific dogma, a priesthood, and devout believers. And finally, there is the third Jesus, the cosmic Christ, the spiritual guide whose teaching embraces all humanity, not just the church built in his name. He speaks to the individual who wants to find God as a personal experience.
When we take Jesus literally, we are faced with the impossible. How can we truly “love thy neighbor as thyself”? But when we see the exhortations of Jesus as invitations to join him on a higher spiritual plane, his words suddenly make sense. In this way Jesus can be seen for the universal teacher he truly is–someone whose teachings can embrace and be embraced by all of us.
The Third Jesus
This is one of those books that too many people will judge based upon their preconceived notions and biases. There is nothing quite so dangerous as an intellectual or a faith bigot. The difference is that one is wrong and the other is damning. Chopra writes an account that all of those who follow Jesus as an Action Hero can appreciate. Chopra writes an account that all of those that follow Christ as a religion founder can fear. The stronger criticism that I have for this book is that Chopra falls prey to some of the same influences that he seeks to counteract. Any search for clear perspective on Jesus must be rooted in the Aramaic and not in the Greek.
My Kinda Cup O'Tea!
I was hungry for religious discourse! How rewarded do I feel for picking this up. I grew up Irish-Catholic and ended up Spiritually Independent. I appreciate a kid from India going to a Catholic school run by Irish priests in the tradition of St. Columba & Collumkill. I grew up in a Polish-Catholic parochial school then an all boys trade high school run by the Salesians of St. John Bosco. Ironic though, we never learned a lick of Latin post Vatican II but iDigress...
Jesus is a great topic...I absolutely love Chopra's thesis statement that Christians living Christ's teachings is almost impossible due to basic human nature. Being Christ-like really does demand transcendence & a little Enlightenment. Personally I had to abandon my "faith & church" to eventually learn "Tat Tvam Asi" on my Tao in order to really "grok" Jesus. And I thought I already knew him from growing up with him! Huzzah! And Slainte!!!
The Third Jesus
If you appreciate Deepak you will enjoy his opinions on this subject. This book might not be a favorite of conservative Christains, I am sure those with a more open mind on the subject won't be too scandalized. Deepak has an insightful mind and delightful humor that works well on a subject that can get sooo heavy.