UC Observer logo
UCObserver on SoundCloud UCObserver on YouTube UCObserver on Facebook UCObserver on Twitter UCObserver's RSS Feeds

The Third Jesus

Deepak Chopra offers a practical way to achieve “God-consciousness”

By Donna Sinclair

The Third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore
By Deepak Chopra
(Harmony Books ) $28.00

Believe it or not — and those skeptical of doctor, author and spirituality guru Deepak Chopra will not — this is an eminently sensible book. Of the many portraits of Jesus available to us (as revolutionary, as sacrificial lamb, as Messiah), Chopra prefers Jesus as a mystic in perfect union with God.

Chopra comes to this conclusion as an outsider already familiar with the enlightenment of the Buddha and the Vedic sages. For him, Jesus simply fits into the long and multi-faithed tradition of wisdom literature that agrees upon a vision of compassion. And Chopra does a thoroughly competent job of describing Jesus.

Perhaps that’s because growing up in India, the now 61-year-old heard Christian prayers at Catholic school, Vedic chants at home and happily celebrated Muslim or Parsi festivals with his friends. It was a utopian childhood undercut by the hundreds of thousands of Hindus and Muslims who suffered and died in the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.

No surprise, then, that Chopra intensely dislikes right wing theology in any religion. And while some Christians may have trouble with his assertion that Jesus is not uniquely the way to God, most United Church members will find it neither threatening nor earth-shaking.

There are reasons to read this book though. For one thing, it’s fun. His discussion about the “rational” search for the “real” Jesus, for instance, is punctuated with zingers. “There is no way to sort out which part of the [Gospel] story is factual,” he says. “Physics knows everything about water except how to walk on it.” Similarly, the scandals of  “an evangelical preacher who has been hiding secret sins” can teach us all that “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw Scripture.”

Most valuable, though, is Chopra’s practical approach to achieving “God-consciousness” through Jesus’ teachings. A series of meditations, exercises, lists and descriptions comprises the last and most rewarding third of the book. However we may feel about Chopra’s frequent Oprah appearances, Christians of any stripe would benefit from his expert guidance on the inward journey. 

Readers’ advisory: The discussion below is moderated by The UC Observer and facilitated by Intense Debate (ID), an online commentary system. The Observer reserves the right to edit or reject any comment it deems to be inappropriate. Approved comments may be further edited for length, clarity and accuracy, and published in the print edition of the magazine. Please note: readers do not need to sign up with ID to post their comments on ucobserver.org. We require only your user name and e-mail address. Your comments will be posted from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Join the discussion today!
Promotional Image

Editorials

David Wilson%

Observations

by David Wilson

A perfect send-off

Promotional Image

Video

ObserverDocs: My Year of Living Spiritually

by Observer Staff

Anne Bokma left the Dutch Reformed Church as a young adult and eventually became a member of the United Church and then the Unitarian Universalists. Having long explored the "spiritual but not religious" demographic as a writer, she decided to immerse herself in practices — like hiring a soul coach, secular choir-singing and forest bathing — for 12 months to find both enlightenment and entertainment.

Promotional Image

Society

November 2017

Trump country

by David Macfarlane

A northern Alabama county voted almost unanimously for Donald Trump in 2016. One year later, the writer, together with photographer Nigel Dickson, travels there to try to understand why.

Faith

November 2017

Involuntary pilgrim

by David Giuliano

The return of a tumour sets David Giuliano on a path he calls his ‘Camino de Cancer’

Faith

October 2017

A tale of two cancers

by Catherine Gordon

One year after the writer discovered she had breast cancer, her sister in California received the same diagnosis. They both recovered, but their experiences were worlds apart.

Society

November 2017

Trump country

by David Macfarlane

A northern Alabama county voted almost unanimously for Donald Trump in 2016. One year later, the writer, together with photographer Nigel Dickson, travels there to try to understand why.

Faith

November 2017

Involuntary pilgrim

by David Giuliano

The return of a tumour sets David Giuliano on a path he calls his ‘Camino de Cancer’

Faith

November 2017

Grey matter

by Trisha Elliott

Is consciousness just a function of the brain — or something more?

Promotional Image