So, I’ve been reading quite a bit of Deepak Chopra, who is a spirituality enthusiast. As I read more, his books seem to be increasingly similar. I don’t think that’s a bad thing necessarily. They are easy reads and certainly urge you towards a place of peace. Here’s my break down for each of the three books:
The Third Jesus:
I read this one first, after seeing it at the library. The subtitle seemed to hint at urgency (“the Christ we cannot ignore”) and I was intrigued.
I was raised Catholic and still consider myself to be so, but I have always found there to be a sort of gap in Catholicism regarding the application of Jesus’s message. I know it’s easy to villanize people who say they believe and act like jerks, but moreover I prefer a slightly more eastern interpretation of Jesus’s message, which Chopra provides. I feel that what Jesus was claiming was a little more abstract than he was letting on, and that his message was limited by those who interpreted it. I also think Paul can be a bit much, but that’s a completely different matter. Now, I’ve been told that really, this interpretation of Jesus isn’t all that un-Catholic, but that too is a different matter. I liked this book for how much it uses text, history, and a worldly viewpoint to give its message.
I almost didn’t check out this book once I saw that it was a novel imagining the life of Buddha, which just seemed corny to me. In The Third Jesus a lot of connections were made between Jesus, who I knew a lot about, and Buddha, who I knew nothing about. I concluded that an imagining of his life would still be informative, and a good place to start. I am glad I read it, even as a work of fiction, because I know the basic story and message of Buddha. Maybe it’s just because I am reading this from Chopra’s perspective, but it is a very similar message of love.
The Path to Love:
I suppose his emphasis on love makes this book very sensible for him to write. Seeing as the “love” part has never been an issue for me, this has been my least favorite of the three. In a fundamental way I agree with Chopra’s perspective of love, which makes reading the book feel a bit redundant. I am not sure I will finish reading it, but he did say some very precise things I have been trying to explain to my husband vaguely for years, so I may have him read it. I suppose I should have chose it for our next book…
Chopra’s style can be a bit flowery and transcendental, so if that is not your thing his books may see sort of corny and generic to you, almost like parody. Even though my skeptical side sees this, I also find the language calming and peaceful, radiating a sense of evenness. Surely, that’s how reading about love affects me: I mellow out and feel undisturbed by the waves of time, constantly in motion. I feel abstract and concrete at the same time. That is how I felt about The Third Jesus and certainly Buddha (since it was less about citation and more about sensation) I would rate those both as GET. But The Path to Love I would say CONSIDER, especially if you feel you don’t have love.
Overall, Chopra is a prolific author with a definite style and perspective. I find that alone worthwhile despite the message.
Reviews may continue to be written in this style, where the title indicates whether you should Avoid, Consider, or Get the item being reviewed. The first two books I borrowed from the library, the third one I bought in the clearance section of half price books for $2.