Who is Jesus? He's three people, says Deepak Chopra

Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:05pm EST
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By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Who is Jesus? According to spiritual guru Deepak Chopra, there are three interpretations.

In his book "The Third Jesus," published this week, Chopra says there is a "sketchy historical figure," a second "abstract theological creation" and a third Jesus with the highest level of enlightenment -- what Chopra calls God-consciousness.

"I want to offer the possibility that Jesus was truly, as he proclaimed, a savior," Chopra wrote. "Not the savior, not the one and only Son of God. Rather Jesus embodied the highest level of enlightenment.

"He spent his brief adult life describing it, teaching it, and passing it on to future generations," he said. "Jesus intended to save the world by showing others the path to God-consciousness."

Chopra, author of more than 50 books and head of the spiritual group Alliance for a New Humanity, describes God-consciousness as "a metaphor for a shift in consciousness that makes Jesus's teachings totally real and vital."

He said he began searching for the third Jesus as a child attending a Catholic Irish missionary school in India after being fascinated by what he described at the "most interesting, romantic, passionate, spiritual story of all time."

"Yet I was struck by the fact that my friends, who were part of the Church, had been indoctrinated into a belief system where guilt was actually a virtue and I couldn't quite come to terms with that," Chopra told Reuters in an interview.

"I said to myself there must be a third Jesus, a state of consciousness that I can actually relate to, and I started to really study the New Testament and the Bible," he said.   Continued...

<p>Self-help author Deepak Chopra arrives for the premiere of her new film "Cinderella Man" at Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles, May 23, 2005. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>