I hope that my decision to draw from the life and lessons of the man Jesus of Nazareth in the exploration and development of the ideas in this book will not suggest to anyone that he is alone a source of teachings in and of Truth. As I have tried to indicate numerous times, all of the world’s great teachers and disciplines have pointed in the same direction, and every seeker, as he or she develops his or her own approach toward an understanding of the universe, would do well to feel free to look to each of them. There is available a wealth of guidance in various forms, and we would err grievously were we not to make full use of it. From time to time, some will make sense and fit your needs, and some will not. You should make your choices accordingly. But do not ever let anyone else reach that determination for you. You are your own best teacher, and every true teacher will teach you that.
Regarding a more academic point, there may be among us some students of the New Testament who will want to point our that scholars believe that much, if not all, of the Gospels material as we have it now was written long after the physical death of Jesus, and that indeed its inclusion in the Bible in preference, say, to other accounts of his life also available, may have been based on factors and decisions less concerned with historical or religious accuracy than with other social, political, and related matters. Also, we know that what is now the Bible has been transcribed and translated numerous times, and there is no way of determining how many changes, additions, or omissions the original text may have suffered over the years. Finally, one might suggest that even if these objections are not valid, it still seems unlikely that any reporter, whoever it may actually have been who wrote these accounts for us, could remember so well so many of the man’s actual words and the order and circumstances of their delivery.
For my part, I am not sure just how relevant any of that is, except from an historian’s point of view. I would suggest that what is important to us is whether or not the lessons can be applied to our own search for Truth. Their source is less significant than their effect, and none but we can determine that, and only for ourselves. Our concern, then, ought to be more about the direction in which they take us on our way home and less in how they happened to come to us along it.
There is only one Truth. Whoever speaks it, however he or she words it and acts it out, if we genuinely seek to see it, we will, and that is all that matters.
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