Christ and Jesus, The: The Difference
A deep yet accessible dive into the Universal Christ principle, mysticism, reincarnation, wisdom, other faiths and the human Jesus.
A deep yet accessible dive into the Universal Christ principle, mysticism, reincarnation, wisdom, other faiths and the human Jesus.
Is Jesus the Christ? If so, what does that mean? How can a human person be a Cosmic Principle? Don MacGregor hopes to make Christianity more relevant for the twenty-first century in his reflection into the difference between the Universal or Cosmic Christ principle and the human figure of Jesus of Nazareth. He takes a deep dive into reincarnation, mysticism and the message of transformation that Jesus taught, contrasting that with the transaction that the institutional Church taught. This is the third book in the Wisdom Series, in which the author seeks to reframe Christianity within a larger sphere, that of the Perennial Philosophy.
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This is the third book in the Wisdom Series – this one explores what is traditionally known as the relationship between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith. The overall aim is to reframe Christianity within the larger context of the perennial philosophy, which involves exploring reincarnation in a Christian context, the Cosmic Christ, mysticism, and transformative experience drawing on the author’s own life path as he emerged from a strict evangelical Christianity. He formulates an inspiring personal credo or affirmation of faith (p. 54) whereby Jesus is ‘the son of God, a fully human being who reached the depths of God-consciousness to become fully divine, through the way of self-emptying and compassion’ – a very different vision from the vicarious atonement of dying for our sins. It is refreshing and open in the spirit of such pioneers as Thomas Keating, Bede Griffiths, Matthew Fox and John Main in presenting a Universal Wisdom Presence driven by the divine Force of Love that keeps the spirit flowing through the form. An inspiring and expansive read. ~ David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer Scientific and Medical Network
This is a short book but every page is charged with the energy and enthusiasm of someone who has discovered a new possibility for something that means much to them. At one level it is a book about the Church, and the author’s frustration that it clings to statements of belief such as the Nicene creed that he regards as of their time and that are incomprehensible to people nowadays. The problem that this book deals with is very similar to that which prompted the Nicene creed in the first place namely: how can we equate the Jesus who walked around Nazareth, teaching and healing, with later designations of him as an exalted king who sits at the right hand of God in glory. Nowadays the problem is often set in terms of the Jesus of the Gospels and the Christ or Risen Lord of Paul’s Epistles. Like Paul and the authors of the creed, Don MacGregor seeks a new medium through which to present the issue. What he discovers is theosophy, a way of thinking popular in the early twentieth century which regards Wisdom as (if you like) the common water table that all religions drive wells into. It is argued that this universalist outlook is one that would have been congenial to the earthly Jesus, who grew up in Galilee, described as, “an international hub, a nexus of trade, and with the traders came new ideas, different beliefs, and exposure to mind-broadening concepts, (page 43)” Central to theosophy is the idea that some people become Masters (a technical term) in Wisdom, but also that this happens through a repeated process of reincarnation. A whole chapter is devoted to reincarnation, claiming that Christianity has ignored it for too long, There is much here that traditional theology would take issue with. For example, “we enter ‘eternal life’ as we leave our body and become aware of our eternal nature as soul.” But in a sense, that is the point. (Chapter four on the Universal Cosmic Christ contains much with which mainstream theology would agree). Much of the material in the book is autobiographical, describing the author’s own journey from agnosticism through Evangelicalism to its current place. The challenge is to make people think about what they are saying about their faith when they worship, and that can be no bad thing. One of the promoters of the book quoted at the outset, says “The acid test of any book is not whether the reader agrees with it, but whether it causes him or her to reflect on new questions they had not examined before.” This book will surely do that. John Holdsworth ~ Pobl Dewi, the Diocese of St Davids newspaper, September 2023, https://stdavids.churchinwales.org.uk/en/pobl-dewi-june-2023/challenging-faith/
This is the third in the author’s Wisdom Series with three more planned. Don’s stated target audience is those followers of the teachings of Jesus who are open to a wider theology and philosophy than traditional Church teaching. This certainly is the case as right from the off he begins to introduce a strongly argued case for reincarnation, a concept, maintains the author, that has always been around in spiritual understanding but one that has been largely ignored by Christianity. Traditionally, orthodoxy has said that after this one life comes divine judgement, whereas the Wisdom tradition says the soul incarnates many, many times on its journey. MacGregor believes reincarnation is not anti-Christian, indeed it can add greatly to Christianity. Early in the book the author applies the idea of reincarnation to the person of Jesus, saying that he must have been a “human being of many incarnations, an exalted soul”. So too the rest of us are evolving towards a kind of personalised Christhood – thus we are all proto-Christs in the making. Not all the book, though, is taken up with the question of reincarnation as other sections examine The Flesh and Blood Jesus, The Universal Cosmic Christ, The Mystical Christ and The Christ and other Faiths. Each chapter is followed by questions for reflection which would suit discussion groups plus there are spiritual exercises and suggested further reading and useful websites. There is much here for progressives to mull over, particularly those who thought we already knew all about the important distinction between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith. Recommended reading. ~ Paul Harrington, Progressive Voices - Issue 45
Inclusive of insights on the subject from Alice A. Bailey, Helena Blavatsky and the Tibetan (Djwhal Khul), Rev. Don also includes his own scientific and theological background to springboard the subject to the forefront when required here, for what it does is provide a clear and mightily accessible set of contents that, come the end, could well be an excellent guide for students of the Ageless Wisdom (whether they be newcomers or intermediate beginners). In closing, this is the third in the Wisdom Series, a series which seeks to reach those followers of the teachings of Jesus who are open to a broader theology and philosophy than that of traditional Church teaching. ~ Exclusive Magazine, Review
Open-hearted and open-minded, Don MacGregor’s latest book is an insightful and intelligent exploration of the true nature of Jesus and his relationship with God. The book’s approach is multi-faith in the very best way. It is also courageous as the author is an Anglican priest and dares openly to explore how Jesus can be understood through the perspective of reincarnation and the mystical teachings of other traditions. Highly recommended for anyone seeking a wider and deeper appreciation of Jesus and Christian teachings. ~ William Bloom, educator and author, director of the Spiritual Companions Trust
The Christ and Jesus: the Difference takes the reader on a roller-coaster journey exploring exciting and complex beliefs and concepts surrounding the historical Jesus, the Cosmic and Universal Christ, and Christ consciousness. It invites each one of us to consider where we fit into a constantly evolving and compassionate universe. Profoundly thought-provoking beliefs concerning reincarnation, the law of karma and the office of the Maitreya Christ will invite lively discussion and debate. Don MacGregor encourages us to take another look at the message of empowerment and transformation Jesus brought to our world. ~ Pam Evans MBE, founder of the Peace Mala educational charity, author
With remarkable clarity, Don MacGregor reveals to us the important distinction between The Christ and the historical Jesus. Though traditionally considered to be the same individual, he untangles the two to show that the life of Jesus set the note for the Christian Tradition, whilst evidence of The Christ and the Christ Principle can be found within several religious faiths. This book beautifully highlights how the Perennial Philosophy is foundational to many of the mystical truths of Christianity, and also includes a rich and insightful exploration into the subject of reincarnation, together with the biblical verses that are suggestive of its existence. ~ William Meader, international speaker and author of Shine Forth: The Soul’s Magical Destiny Portland, Oregon, USA
What could be more significant than freeing Jesus of Nazareth from the prison of confining belief created for him by the political and institutional powers of our world? In a well-researched and informative way, Don MacGregor does precisely this in the latest book in his Wisdom Series. What’s more, The Christ and Jesus is filled with the warmth of Don’s own life story. The reader is left to feel greater spiritual intimacy with the Christ Spirit and a greater love and appreciation for a man who brought it so vividly to the world. ~ David Karchere, author of "Becoming a Sun: Emotional and Spiritual Intelligence for a Happy, Fulfilling Life"
Concluding this short, inspiring book, Don MacGregor writes: “It is my belief that in order to survive in the twenty-first century as a credible belief, Christianity has to take on board some of the precepts and understandings of the Ageless Wisdom teachings, especially as the leading edge of science is now putting forward the idea that there is a universal consciousness from which everything stems at a deep level of reality.” Drawing on insights from the Ageless Wisdom texts of people like Alice A. Bailey, Helena Blavatsky and the Tibetan (Djwhal Khul), as well as his own scientific and theological background, Don MacGregor weaves a new Christian narrative beyond the narrow denominational constructs of the past to a liberating and empowering vision of Jesus as the Christ. This ‘multilevel Christ’ represents that ancient oneness known to mystics across the ages. This valuable synthesis of complex ideas is written in a lucid style, proving a timely resource for spiritual seekers in the 21st century. ~ Fr. Diarmuid O’Murchu, social psychologist and R.C. priest, author of Quantum Theology and many other titles.
This work is the fruit of years of deep theological reflection (and personal struggle), yet MacGregor’s clear, accessible style wears the results of scholarship and life experience lightly. It could easily be read in an afternoon: absorbing and understanding its contents could change the course of a lifetime. The book serves two audiences particularly well. For Christians whose minds and hearts are awakening to a broader horizon than the conventional Christological doctrines, it opens a window into wisdom teachings on this subject that have remained to some extent hidden throughout history. These teachings, sometimes called the Perennial Philosophy or the Ageless Wisdom, are in accord with the experiences of the great mystics of all faiths. It is also an excellent primer for students of the Ageless Wisdom who wish to deepen their understanding of the connection between the Christ as an eternal spiritual fact and his historical manifestation in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, and to learn more about the evolution of this idea within Christian doctrine. ~ Dominic Dibble, World Goodwill / Lucis Trust
This is the third in a series that “seeks to reach those followers of the teachings of Jesus who are open to a wider theology and philosophy than that of traditional Church teaching.” Conventional Christians might find it disturbing, but those who are prepared to look outside the box of traditional theology will be stimulated. Don MacGregor starts from a theological debate many have written about, what exactly is the relationship between the Jesus of History and the Christ of Faith? But the new perspective he brings arises from his interest in what he calls “the Perennial or Ageless Wisdom Philosophy, which traces an underlying stream of teaching which is primarily about inner transformation of the human being.” A key theme in expounding that is his evaluation of the notion of reincarnation. I much commend this thought provoking book ~ The Revd Dr Robert Reiss, Canon Emeritus of Westminster, author of “Death, Where is Your Sting”
In The Christ and Jesus, Don MacGregor calls on a lifetime’s study of universal wisdom teachings and profound personal insights to clearly and significantly differentiate between Jesus as a human being and the Christ as the fully embodiment of soul-level divinity. Discerning such Christ consciousness as the highest expression of unitive awareness that we as humans can experience and embody, the book offers a powerfully compelling perception of an evolutionary journey in terms of a soul’s reincarnations through human lifetimes. Showing Jesus as an exemplar of the Christed potential that each of us has, it calls and inspires us to live and love our soul’s fulfilled destiny. ~ Dr Jude Currivan. Cosmologist, author of "The Cosmic Hologram" and forthcoming “Gaia: Her-Story”, and co-founder WholeWorld-View
In this third book in Don MacGregor’s Wisdom Series, the author continues to set out his convictions that our world is diffused with the perennial wisdom common to all religions, whereby the all-pervasive divine energy can be realised as the highest form of consciousness, as seen in Jesus. In this understanding Jesus was one with the cosmic, universal Christ, revealing that divine principle through which the reality of God is seen in our world. MacGregor reinterprets the events of Jesus’s life from birth to death and resurrection as the journey of soul making, upon which all humans are engaged. Jesus reveals a transformational pathway, showing us how, through altruistic unconditional love, we may enter that kingdom of God. Alongside chapters on the mystical Christ and Christ and other faiths, there is also a strong and convinced argument for reincarnation. Overall the book and the series show not only a wealth of reading and argument but a conviction stemming from the author’s personal experiences which he is unafraid to detail. A valuable contribution to a progressive Christian faith. ~ Revd Canon Adrian Alker, Chair, Progressive Christian Network Britain
In this book, Don MacGregor guides us in an exploration into what or who is the Christ. He suggests that the Christ is a state of being which Jesus fully embodied, and which can be realised by everyone including ourselves, who is similarly spiritually evolved. He uses his own journey of spiritual discovery in an open, modest and engaging way to illustrate this material. He encourages us to consider the idea of reincarnation, present in many spiritual traditions, as one way to understand how it might be possible for you and I to realise the state of Christhood. In so doing, Don re-presents the path of “a gradual increase of influence of the soul over the personality” that Jesus the Christ blazed for us to follow, “showing us how to love, how to live, how to be at the highest level”. Don opens us up to the living presence and guidance of the Universal Cosmic Christ, and encourages us in a reflective, contemplative Christian practice which will help us awaken to the presence of the Christ within. This is a short book with a large vision which challenges us to dip beneath the surface into the heart of Christian practice. ~ Jo Parsons, Co-Director of the “School of Christian Mysticism”