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“What if Jesus wanted his followers—and us—to reach the same unity with God that he had reached? My story is based on the premise that he did. By following the young seeker from Nazareth on his path to Christhood, I’ve laid out a map of enlightenment. It wasn’t necessary to invent the map. Enlightenment has existed in every age. The path from suffering and separation to bliss and unity with God is well marked. I put Jesus on this path because I believe he walked it.”
–Deepak Chopra from
JESUS: A Story of Enlightenment
There are no facts to tell us what happened to the young Jesus during his “lost years” between the Nativity story and the day he appears at the River Jordan, age thirty, to be baptized. I was glad for this mystery, because it allowed me to describe an extraordinary youth who discovers, step by step, that he is the awaited Messiah. This isn’t a fictional biography but a journey into the realm of miracles and, in the end, complete enlightenment.
It’s been a long time — perhaps as far back as Thomas Jefferson — that Americans seriously considered Jesus, not as the Son of God, but as an enlightened teacher. For me, that doesn’t rob him of his sacred stature. It puts sacredness in human terms.
I hope the reader comes away appreciating how enlightenment unfolds from promising beginnings, not full divinity. In an age when Jesus threatens to become the exclusive property of fervent, literal-minded devotees, we have an urgent need to bring him back, not as the savior, but as a savior — one who won his own salvation before promising it to the world.
As he did with his bestselling novel, Buddha, Deepak Chopra brings history to life as he captures the untold transformation of a teenage rebel to a leader of men, and ultimately to the Son of God. In JESUS: A Story of Enlightenment, Chopra, one of the preeminent teachers of spirituality and personal development, has imagined Jesus’s path to enlightenment moving from obscurity to revolutionary, from doubt to miracles, and then beyond as the role of the long-awaited Messiah. Chopra portrays Jesus as never before, detailing the lost years. The Gospels are silent about Jesus’s life from the age of 12 to 30; when he emerged to begin his ministry.
Chopra’s previous book, The Third Jesus, was a non-fiction account that described three different ways of understanding Jesus: the historical, the theological and the spiritual embodiment of God. In JESUS: A Story of Enlightenment, Chopra tells the amazing story of how this spiritual Jesus emerged and why it speaks to all of humanity. By revealing the spiritual evolution of Christ, Chopra provides a fresh and unexpected understanding of a story readers thought they already knew. As Chopra writes, “The Jesus who is left out of the New Testament turns out to be in many ways the most important Jesus for modern times. His aspiration to find salvation vibrates in every heart. If it didn’t, the brief career of a controversial, largely despised rabbi wouldn’t mean much. Yet that obscure rabbi became imbedded forever in myth and symbol." The Jesus that emerges in these pages is, like so many of us, a seeker in search of a calling. With JESUS: A Story of Enlightenment, Chopra has created a classic tale that will forever change the way we understand God and the soul.