Just finished reading Deepak Chopra’s, Jesus, A Story of Enlightenment and found it illuminating. Chopra imagines the details we don’t know about Jesus’ journey, his path to enlightenment, and gives rich context to the deeper, not-so-literal, universal messages in that journey.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the Reader’s Guide in the back, which stands on its own as a spiritual essay for our time. A favorite passage on Optimism:
Be positive in your expectations. This doesn’t have to be merely a mood, and it shouldn’t lapse into fantasy. Just be aware that at the soul level the seeds of fruition exist in infinite number. Bad seeds, on the other hand, come from the past, engendered by memory. We remember being hurt and disappointed, and by remaining attached to those bad memories, we keep repeating them. The past plants bad seeds; the mind feeds them with fear and anger.
Optimism focuses on the good seeds. Thus they given encouragement to sprout. Strictly speaking, I’m not referring to positive thinking. In positive thinking all negative outcomes must be wrenched around until something good comes out of them. In actuality, bad seeds yield bad fruit. But once you face a result that is painful or disappointing, step away from it and focus on the seed of the next situation, which can be a good one. Nobody is perfect at this. We all sprout bad seeds along with the good. However, with an attitude of optimism, you remind yourself to favor the good, and that shift in attention has a powerful influence.