13th Disciple – A Spiritual Adventure by Deepak Chopra

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Deepak Chopra’s book The 13th Desciple is available at http://bit.ly/Dpak_13th

Every story has a seed, and The 13th Disciple is no exception. Something Jesus says in the Gospel of John has stuck in my head from school days in India, where my teachers for a time were Christian Brothers from Ireland: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” As a boy I was mesmerized by the promise of these words but also baffled by their mystery. Everyone is alive, and some people speak the truth, but how could somebody be the way to God?

This question set me on a lifelong journey. I passed through many phases of doubt, curiosity, belief, and disbelief along the way. I knew that this was a condition that millions of other people found themselves in. Then two years ago I had this idea. Why not tell the story of six people who have totally different views of God, the soul, and the light? Out of the blue all six would be drawn together, even though they were total strangers. They would find themselves to be members of an ancient mystery school known as the school of the thirteenth disciple—whatever that meant. Most of them had never heard that mystery schools have existed for thousands of years—that’s the price we’ve paid for ignoring and suppressing the mysterious depths of everyday life.

Immediately the six characters fell into place, and I hope every reader can identify with one or more of them.

Frank: Secular agnostic. He’s a cynical news reporter who basically wants to write an exposé. A life without mystery is the only thing he’s ever known.

Galen: Angry atheist. He’s a timid nobody who had one chance at a great romance, only to have his beloved die of cancer. He has every reason, he thinks, to hate God.

Jimmy: Devout Catholic. He’s a hospital orderly nobody sees. He does good works out of kindness, humility, and faith. But he wonders if God even notices.

Mare: Seeker. A lovely, unassuming girl in her twenties who hasn’t found her way. It comes as a total surprise that she has a deep soul once it is uncovered.

Lilith: Mystic. Apparently knowing, even cynical, on the surface, she is an older woman who has seen miraculous things and needs to deal with them, even if it costs her dearly.

Meg: The mystery itself. A woman who walked away from everything to enter a convent, only to disappear overnight. She holds the truth that everything else revolves around. Is she enlightened or something even more incomprehensible?

By giving six different angles on “the way, the truth, and the life,” I’ve sent this little band of strangers on a spiritual adventure. It doesn’t take place entirely in their minds or even their souls, and piety has nothing to do with it. They are pulled by a mystic object, a solid gold miniature shrine, into the ancient world of the New Testament. This alone is enough to shake their view of reality.

But the important thing isn’t time travel or visions or whatever is happening to them. The thing that changes each of them forever is getting on the path to the truth. As much as they fight it, welcome it, or plunge in recklessly, they can no longer ignore the magnetic force that the truth exerts. All of this is explained in a non-fiction addition that comes after the story. I think of The 13th Disciple as a “teaching novel,” because expanding on these points lies close to my heart. But first and foremost I’ve told an adventure story where the mystery of everyday life is exposed in all its richness and mystery. Take it any way you will, I hope it’s an enjoyable read that will make you see reality very differently than before. ​


About the Author: 4ster

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