Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment
by Deepak Chopra
HarperOne, 288 pages, $24.95

The problem with the gospels, says Chopra, is that they give us a “static” Jesus”a Jesus who “didn’t have problems” and who “didn’t evolve.” “Jesus,” Chopra complains, “was born divine in Bethlehem and remained that way for the rest of his life.” Worse, millions of people who have worshipped Jesus have done so without being “transformed.” Except for a few saints and such, almost nobody claiming Jesus has ever become “the light of the world.”

“Like Buddha and every other enlightened person, Jesus wanted his followers to become enlightened too,” writes Chopra. Christians have been just such an awful disappointment to Jesus. To help Jesus out”I think Chopra wants to be helpful”he produced this tale of the “lost years” of Jesus, who stumbles his way to “Christhood” largely by, well, discovering Chopra’s Five Steps to Enlightenment, helpfully summarized in an epilogue. These turn out to be little more than Chopra’s version of “Have you accepted Jesus as your personal guide and guru?” Frankly, Anne Rice’s Christ the Lord series is better written, more insightful, and actually downright reverent.