An Ancient Magical Prayer by Deepak ChopraI tend to like Deepak Chopras work. I dont always end up at the same conclusions that he does, but appreciate the way that he works. However, I think Chopra was out of his depth when it came to the subject matter of this work. Both contributors speak very matter-of-fact about an area of study that is anything-but. I understand the need to speak at a simpler level when addressing a general audience, but the academically responsible way to do so when it comes to topics as complex as this is to at least acknowledge that you about to present a perspective that you find compelling, but that there are other reasonable perspectives as well. Dont attempt to present it as THE final (almost secret) perspective. This will result with an audience that feels a false level of education and understanding about the topic at hand.
Part of my education includes church history from a variety of perspectives and both contributors here are operating way outside of the mainstream scholarly perspective in regards to the events that they discuss (mainstream liberal, moderate, and conservative, both religious and nonreligious). The responsible and respectful (both to the audience and scholars that disagree with the presented perspective) norm when presenting such views is to point out that they are not the mainstream consensus, and apologize for not being able to give various other perspectives a fair representation because of obvious time constraints. This did not happen, and other (non-specified) views were passively dismissed light-handedly.
It always gives me pause when anyone approaching the historical Jesus topic has the revelation that, lo and behold, Jesus had the very same views they have (and I legitimately mean anyone -- from Deepak, to Christians, to nonreligious, etc). I always consider whether confirmation bias is at play when this occurs. If there was a historical Jesus, his culture and worldview was so distant from ours that we must take great care when it could appear that we are simply projecting our own worldview onto him. This certainly applies when people try to see Jesus as a blond haired, blue eyed American (Deepaks excellent example), but it also applies when Deepak sees Jesus as a man primarily attempting to teach unity consciousness, just like Deepak does.
Im not necessarily saying that one cant end up with the same view about the historical Jesus as Deepak. What Im saying is that I urge caution when it seems that someone may be uncritically colonizing figures from other traditions into ones own. This is always a complex task, and in the very small amount of information contained in Deepaks presentation on this topic there is not one mention of exceptions to his conclusions, or the difficulty of making matter-of-fact statements about this topic.
Its simply unambiguously presented as, You may have heard it this way, but Im here to tell you that here is THE way that it truly is. I find that troubling, and eerily similar to the kind of narrow confidence that the conservative religious world I came from exhibited.
An Ancient Magical Prayer: Insights from the Dead Sea Scrolls (Dialogues at the Chopra Center)
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again.
With an OverDrive account, you can save your favorite libraries for at-a-glance information about availability. Find out more about OverDrive accounts. On this enlightening audio program, Gregg Braden and Deepak Chopra explore the similarities between three seemingly different philosophies: quantum physics, Vedanta, and Judeo-Christian teachings revealed by the Dead Sea Scrolls. New here? We use this information to create a better experience for all users. Please review the types of cookies we use below.
See a Problem?