“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.