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The Third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore Paperback – May 19, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


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."
—Russell Simmons

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

DEEPAK CHOPRA, a member of Oprah's SuperSoul 100, is the author of more than fifty books translated into over thirty-five languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers in both the fiction and non-fiction categories. Chopra’s Wellness Radio
airs weekly on Sirius Satellite Stars, Channel 102, which focuses on the areas of success, love, sexuality and relationships, well-being, and spirituality. He is founder and president of the Alliance for a New Humanity. Time magazine heralds Deepak Chopra as one of the top one hundred heroes and icons of the century and credits him as “the poet-prophet of alternative medicine.”


From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony (May 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307338320
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307338327
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (202 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I could not possibly recommend this book enough. Firstly, it was easy and enjoyable to read which considering the subject and the potential political fallout (see scathing reviews), I'm sure was no simple task. Lesser authors could of easily fallen prey to the temptations of self-defense with pages of endless details or by reverting to emotionalism but to his credit, Dr. Chopra does neither. Instead, he keeps a steady hand as he navigates us through unexplored waters. And just in time I might add. The `one size fits all' Jesus, fed to us by right wing extremists, has been stretched beyond recognition, being used to justify all sorts of atrocities these days. Jesus needs to be extracted from those who have quite wittingly and intentionally kidnapped him for their own motives. - Lest history look back and find that Jesus' poor and sufferable death was the least of his troubles.

The Third Jesus enlightens its readers in several ways. It helps bring our feet back to the earth by reminding us of historical fact - "Historically, 390 AD is early for a surviving scripture, which allows the Nag Hammadi scrolls to lay claim to as much authenticity as various versions of the four gospels; the scrolls are an esoteric jumble." Dr. Chopra's point here not being that the world should unquestionably accept the Nag Hammadi or other Gnostic Gospels but that their historical legitimacy sheds light on how much evidence or lack thereof exists for the traditionally accepted four gospels. It's not a matter of discrediting them; it's a matter of putting them into perspective.

The book of Revelation, perhaps the single most often referenced book, to justify exclusionary interpretations of Jesus' words and world model, has never been historically connected to John.
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Format: Hardcover
The Third Jesus... as Deepak Chopra so beautifully writes, is the Jesus whose teachings we have somehow failed to heed. It is the Jesus who tells us the "Kingdom of Heaven is within" and to "Be Still and know that I am God" which are messages directing us back to ourselves so that we might contemplatively experience God. Jesus tells of the need for unconditional love, non judgment and embodying the innocence of a child to enter into this awareness. One need only read a newspaper to realize how we have failed to understand. Yet throughout history we learn of Saints and Sages who have understood. It is the responsibility of each of us individually to seek that awareness and realize our true potential. Deepak Chopra is simply reminding us.
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Format: Hardcover
For someone like me who grew up without any religious background at all, I find The Third Jesus to be an inspiring blueprint for how to become an evolved person! The book has given me a way that is comfortable and undemanding to begin to learn about Jesus's spiritual lessons in their own right, independent of church dogma. What may be the long-lasting legacy of this book, in fact, is how profoundly it shifts the focus from who Deepak calls the second Jesus, the one developed for Christians, to Jesus as a spiritual teacher, a teacher who can help you evolve your consciousness. The gift of Jesus's lessons are offered, regardless of one's religious affiliation. I especially love the exercises, which take Jesus's teachings, such as "As you sow, so shall you reap," one by one, and offer a way to understand them from your own inner, spiritual perspective.
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Format: Hardcover
Deepak Chopra has done the world a great service. Merging east with west, he's helped us to see that all great teachings are One Great Teaching, merely conveyed in the way they must be to reach the cultures they spring from. The teaching of Christ (if understood "directly" and not through the "interpretations" of generations of those who would tell us what Christ meant) are the teachings of the Vedas or the Buddha or the mystery sects or the esoteric ancient Egyptians/Sumerians, or even, very much, the teachings of certain speakers teaching not through the clouded lens of "religion" but through philosophy. Christ taught in parables. Parables are stories. He used story telling because story telling often comes closer to the heart of things than mere explanation. Because of this, I recommend a great novel you might wish to read if you, like me, are hungry for meaning. The Secret Magdalene: A Novel by Ki Longfellow embodies all that Chopra is saying here, but in story form. It's not Christian, or Jewish, or the sadly vilified New Age (all ages are New Ages because all ages are the Now to those who live them, and all ages borrowed from the past)...it's a gnostic tale of the Magdalene and Jesus. I wonder if Chopra has read it? If not, he should. Mark my words, it will become a classic. Meanwhile Deepak Chopra's work is vital, even sacred, as is any work that brings us closer together.
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Format: Hardcover
First, let me say that I am Asian, and was born and raised as a Buddhist. The reason why I state that is because my review may cause some to accuse me of being a "Christian fundamentalist." Now onto the review. The Third Jesus is a decent book- with the basic premise being, that we all have a God-consciousness, like Jesus himself. In fact, the author, argues that the true teachings of Jesus, was to allow his followers to see and understand that grand idea, but it is the distortion of his teachings by organized Christian faiths, that has robbed the world and Christ's followers of this truth. The idea that we all have the power within ourselves to be God-like, is nothing new. Its a great idea, and one we should all strive towards to be all that we can be.

My problem with this book however, is that Chopra picks and choses the words of Jesus to show us what he thought Jesus meant. He does this to support his argument, and at the same time, criticizes Christianity as misinterpreting Jesus' teachings.

Chopra also takes jabs at organized Christian faiths, telling stories of his Christian/Catholic friends who have lost their faith because of the Molesting Priest scandal as if that is somehow, an official Catholic teaching. Chopra also takes political jabs at the United State's War on Terror instead of "turning the other cheek," as Jesus would have done- something he considers a double standard from "right wing hawks."

I thought this book would have been much more effective if it stayed true to its intent which is to show that we all have the power to become Jesus-like, instead of taking the occasional shots at politics and organized Christianity. A much better book is Thich Nhat Hanh's "Living Buddha, Living Christ."
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