The Third Jesus
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.
Named One of the Best Spiritual Books of 2008 by Spirituality & Practice
"[Promotes] 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."
—Spirituality & Practice
"In this book, Deepak Chopra proposes a Copernican revolution in our understanding of Christianity by replacing the theological version of the holy trinity with the triptych of Jesus as possessing a human, an institutional and a mystical dimension. By emphasizing the mystical dimension and identifying Jesus as a spiritual revolutionary, he invites Christianity to perform yet another miracle in his name- that of transforming the world once again."
—Arvind Sharma, Birks Professor of Comparative Religion, Faculty of Religious Studies, McGill University
"The hardest thing to see is what is hidden in plain sight. After 20 centuries of doctrine and dogma we have nearly lost sight of the Jesus who was a wandering teacher of mystical truths. In his imaginative reconstruction of the inner meaning of the gospels, Deepak Chopra reminds us of The Third Jesus, the enlightened master of God-consciousness. It will disturb the minds of the orthodox, and delight the spirits of mystics and progressive Christians."
—Sam Keen, Philosopher and Author, Sightings: Extraordinary Encounters with Ordinary Birds
"An insightful and clarifying glimpse into the life of one of the most radical spiritual teachers the world has known. Chopra gives us the gift of knowing that we may walk in the enlightened footsteps of our brother, Jesus the Christ."
—Michael Bernard Beckwith, founder Agape International Spiritual Center and author of Inspirations of the Heart, 40 Day Mind Fast Soul Feast, A Manifesto of Peace
"In The Third Jesus Deepak Chopra unfolds for us the spirit of Jesus and with a reverence that is at once simple and profound makes his spirit accessible to us in our everyday lives."
—Father Paul Keenan, Host, "As You Think," The Catholic Channel/Sirius 159
“Distinguishing between the historical Jesus and the Christ of Theology and Philosophy developed over 17 centuries Dr. Chopra captures an intriguing vision of a “Third Jesus,” who, while living on Earth, developed a deep relationship with God. Deepak calls this “God-consciousness.” Dr. Chopra brilliantly uses the sayings of Jesus to demonstrate how his basic mission and ethic of love grew out of his God-consciousness. Through Jesus’ own words and spiritual exercises Deepak beautifully elucidates a beginning, middle and unity pathway for growing in deep God-consciousness to anchor our life on earth and our life after death.”
—Rev. Edward J. Ruetz, retired Catholic priest of the Diocese of Fort Wayne/South Bend in Indiana
"Dr. Deepak Chopra's analyses and interpretations of the sayings of Jesus, in the form of "Comment," breathe renewed life into those sayings. Chopra's work brings the teachings of Jesus into sharp focus with a marvelous, modern touch of insight from the vantage of both Eastern and Western thought. With the thought of Jesus's model in hand, Chopra provides the reader with a spiritual path of exercises -- a remarkably renewed practice in search of a higher reality, helping to cause a connection between reader and God. The views Chopra imparts are definitely worth the effort to undertake this enlightening journey of reading and practice."
—Ben Christensen, Ph.D., Prof. Emeritus Dean of the San Diego School of Christian Studies First United Methodist Church of San Diego, CA
"Jesus has now long since escaped the confines of church, Christianity and even 'religions.' Chopra's book thoughtfully presents a Jesus who is paradoxically both closer to the original and more available to post-modern people than the stained glass version. The book is bound to provoke both admiration and condemnation which, come to think of it, the maverick Galilean rabbi also did."
—Harvey Cox, author, When Jesus Came to Harvard, Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard
"Chopra’s book The Third Jesus reminds me of the theological work of one of history’s greatest humanitarians and the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Dr. Albert Schweitzer. Schweitzer wrote extensively about Jesus and challenged much of the prevailing theology regarding Jesus’ life and ideas. Chopra is Schweitzer’s equal in bringing to light a fresh and profound way to experience the teachings of Jesus."
—David T. Ives, Executive Director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute at Quinnipiac University
"In this book a man shaped by the religions of the East introduces the West to a Jesus we have either lost or have never known. That is itself a stunning concept, but Deepak Chopra is a stunning man. He explores what he calls the 'Christ Consciousness,' which can be identified neither with the Jesus of history nor with the Jesus of the creeds, the doctrines and the dogmas of the ecclesiastical institution. This 'Third Jesus' can be seen only when we move into a new human awareness that will carry us beyond tribe, prejudice and even beyond our religious systems. As a Christian, I welcome his insights into my Jesus and his provocative call to me to enter the 'Christ Consciousness' and thus to become more deeply and completely human."
—John Shelby Spong, Retired Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, Author, Jesus for the Non-Religious
"In this intriguing study of the sayings of Jesus, Deepak Chopra gently releases this highly evolved spiritual teacher, light of the world and son of God from the limitations of dogmatic theology. With profound wisdom and clarity Deepak offers the amazing suggestion that the same God-consciousness embodied in the human Jesus is present in all of us individually and collectively. In a spirit of humble knowingness Deepak encourages us to look deep into the mirror of our collective souls and ponder the question Jesus continues to ask “Who do YOU say that I AM ?"
—Sister Judian Breitenbach, Catholic order of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, Founder of the Sari Asher Namaste’ Center in LaPorte, Indiana
"The book makes God accessible to those who find God distant, troublesome, or both. Chopra rescues Jesus from the confusion of the ever multiplying schools of Biblical criticism. The book shows us how to investigate, in a new way, Jesus--the mysterious man with divine awareness. Chopra resolves contradictions in Jesus' sayings, sharpens our understanding of Jesus' teachings, and guides us in the application of Jesus' teachings. Jesus comes into focus. We gain new expectations of what the spiritual life looks like. The book calls even to those who have lost any sense of God. By following the book's practical applications, they, too, may find the universe meaningful instead of indifferent. This is a book to read, re-read, and incorporate into one's life."
—Bonnie Bobzien, MD, Member of board of directors of San Diego School of Christian Studies
"Literate, mainstream Christians will welcome Chopra’s championing before the world, the meaning of their commitment to action, practice, 'ortho-praxis,' following the only absolutely unambiguous demands of Jesus on his followers recorded in the New Testament: serving the poor, loving neighbor and even enemies. It is the most effective response to the Dawkins’ crowd who never even mention the Bishop Robinsons, Martin King, Dietrich Bonhoeffers, Mother Teresas who by their actions, have shown their faith in this Jesus Christ."
—Rustum Roy, Evan Pugh Professor of the Solid State Emeritus, Professor of Science Technology and Society Emeritus, The Pennsylvania State University
“'God created man and woman in His image,'a biblical poet reminds us. Deepak Chopra has returned the compliment. He joins other incisive minds who have reflected on Jesus as 'the true light who enlightens every person' (John 1:9). Jefferson, for example, revered Jesus as 'the first of human Sages.'He looked like Jefferson–dignified, brainy and humorless. Assertive, rabble-rousing Malcolm X told Playboy magazine in 1963 'Christ was a black man.' Was it coincidental that his ebony Jesus bristled at the status quo as he flashed revolutionary rhetoric? Chopra engagingly describes Jesus as looking much like Deepak. Jesus enlightens us, creating a helpful 'path to God-consciousness.' Jesus can’t be contained within stultifying Christian creeds and arid Church traditions that deify him. Yes, he is divine, for Chopra in the sense that he divines a way to Cosmic Consciousness. Here’s energy within that settles us down, excites our passions we look up to capture them and points us back to Jesus, the savant who makes us conscious of the good, the true and the beautiful."
—The Reverend Dr. Jack R. Van Ens, Creative Growth Ministries, Christian dramatist and commentator for the Vail Daily
"The message of Jesus was clear, simple and direct. But within a generation of his passion it was compromised in order to accommodate the widely conflicting views among those who claimed to follow him. In Deepak Chopra’s new book you will find much thought- provoking material related to this compromise which will elucidate many sensitive issues that have perplexed believers for centuries. In contrast to a message originally intended to inspire people to the wonders of a world reborn in God, the emphasis nowadays makes it almost impossible to think of Jesus or even Christianity itself except in terms of the suffering savior who died to appease God’s anger against us. The terrible toll this emphasis has exacted on the message is sensitively treated in a most compelling way in this very valuable new work."
—Miceal Ledwith, L.Ph., L.D., D.D., LL.D, Former President and Professor of Theology, Maynooth University, Served as a Member of the Vatican's International Theological Commission for seventeen years under Pope John Paul II when Cardinal Joseph Alois Ratzinger was President
"A testimony to the inexhaustibility of Jesus; wiseman, social reformer, advocate for the poor and for some, a savior. In this book, Deepak Chopra has given us the mystical Jesus, at one with our deepest consciousness."
—Rev. Patricia E. de Jong, Senior Minister, First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA.
"What happens when an 'outsider' looks at some of the deep teachings of Jesus? Different angles and perspectives are awakened and different questions are asked of the Christ tradition. In this way wisdom flows in two directions, East to West and West to East and we all wake up--which is, after all, the purpose of a man and life like Jesus. This book helps to heal the divorce between East and West, underscoring that there is only one wisdom and that it demands much of all of us no matter what tradition we come from and especially at this perilous time in human and earth history when we are finally realizing we are all in this together and together we will perish or rise."
—Dr. Matthew Fox, Author, One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths; The New Reformation; Original Blessing; The A.W.E. Project: Reinventing Education, Reinventing the Human and more.
"The story of the Third Jesus is based on the science of all the great religions. The knowledge that god dwells within each of us is realized when we enter into Christ consciousness. Its critical that great teachers of faith re-state the obvious in ways that can be digested by the masses. Specifically, that the idea of Nirvana, Samadhi or Christ consciousness is found when we become one with the universe. Deepak is one of those great teachers. His voice reaffirms the science that is the basis of all religions and echoes the truth in the human spirit."
From the Hardcover edition.