While some scholars approach the Gospels from an historical point of view, analyzing John in the context of his own personal experience as a follower of Jesus, others focus on John’s roots in ancient Judaism. In this provocative book, Albert LaChance approaches the Gospel of John from the perspective of Eastern mysticism, drawing on indigenous beliefs and ancient global spiritual traditions originating in the Middle East, India, and China. Through this expansive approach, the book attempts to understand John’s Gospel in its richest sense—as a guide to achieving the direct experience of a universal God.
Throughout the book, LaChance returns to the Gospel’s Prologue and uses it as a framework for uncovering Jesus’s message about his own identity as the Son of God and his similarities to ancient Eastern mystics. The author also discusses themes woven throughout the Gospel of John that derive from Eastern religions and other indigenous spiritual practices: individual ego versus the essential self, separation versus union, and the earthly versus the heavenly. This important book delves into the mysteries of Christian understanding to unearth universal truths, defining the very essence of religious and spiritual experience.
About the Author
Albert J. LaChance, Ph.D., LADC, CAS, has written and spoken widely on the subjects of psychology, addiction, spirituality, and ecology. Since 1990, he has run Greenspirit: The Center for Counseling and Consciousness, in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he has counseled individuals, families, and groups, and has consulted organizations regarding interpersonal dynamics. Prior to this, he spent five years working with Thomas Berry at his Riverdale Center for Religious Research. Dr. LaChance is an American Academy certified Addiction Specialist in the areas of sex addiction and chemical dependency. He is a member of the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Counselors, and a licensed addiction counselor in the state of New Hampshire.
A knowledgeable and skilled instructor, Dr. LaChance speaks nationally for Cross Country University, and has taught world religions from the high school to the university level. He has been widely interviewed on television and radio and in newspapers and magazines. Dr. LaChance has contributed to several books and recently authored "The Architecture of the Soul: A Unitive Model of the Human Person "and "Cultural Addiction: The Greenspirit Guide to Recovery," which includes a foreword by Thomas Berry.
Dr. LaChance holds a bachelor's degree in art history and literature from the University of New Hampshire, a master's in psychology and spirituality from Holy Names College, and a doctorate in integral psychology from Union University. He is married and lives with his wife in New Boston, NH. They have two grown daughters.
"Albert LaChance brings to The Way of Christ the intellect of a scholar and the intuition of a mystic. Most importantly, his enlightened perspective presents Jesus as a universal teacher of all peoples and all cultures, ushering in what he himself calls ‘Third Millennium Christianity.’ This book is a must read."
—Craig Bullock, Director, The Assisi Institute, Rochester, New York
"There may be some who think that Dr. LaChance has misunderstood Christianity. Rather, in a brilliant and truly inspired manner, he leads the reader, gently but surely, to the essential spirituality of this great Asian religion. Dr. LaChance helps us see how Jesus, much like the great Indian yogi Sri Aurobindo, heals the division between heaven and earth, the ultimate source of all our suffering. As we read, we come to understand with our hearts what Jesus meant when he told us that we are the ‘light of the world,’ and that it is our purpose, in every moment of our life, to shine that light–to marry heaven and earth, Spirit and Matter. In these tumultuous times, this spiritual marriage is what is most needed to bring peace and justice to our world. Read Dr. LaChance's book and open your heart to this inspired vision of twenty-first century Christianity."
—Don Salmon, PhD, coauthor of Yoga Psychology and the Transformation of
Consciousness: Seeing Through the Eyes of Infinity
"I have been a practicing Hindu for over thirty years. I have been a Christian my entire life. Growing up in Georgia as the son of a Southern Baptist deacon, I never imagined that I would one day follow an ancient ‘heathen’ religion. If I had been able to read Dr. LaChance’s brilliant exegesis of my beloved Gospel of John, I would have immediately seen the essential underlying oneness of the Vedic and Christian traditions. As it was, I discovered this through my own years of study, meditations, and experiences. In my evolving spiritual life, I never for a moment let go of my relationship with Jesus. In fact, my heart has always known that I was following the path of Jesus as I went deeper into the philosophical teachings and practices of Gaudiya Vaishnava Hinduism.
"Albert LaChance’s profound understanding and clear explanation of the teachings of Jesus via St. John are appearing at a most opportune time in the history of the world. For the first time, ordinary people around the globe have access to the full Wisdom Teachings of the world faiths. In his teachings and writing, Albert cuts through the superficial differences of these traditions while illuminating the significant differences. His searing and passionate words look, smell, and taste of truth—especially his explanation of the simultaneous oneness of the soul/world with God, and yet the distinct and celebratory differences of humankind from God resonate with the integrated realizations of the great Vedic acaryas: Sankara, Ramanuja, Madhava, Vallabacarya, and Chaitanya. Albert’s unveiling of John’s gospel reveals the logos of God who descends as Avatar to show the way of love that is at the heart of the teachings of Lord Jesus and Lord Krishna. And I thank him from the depths of my being."
—J. Phillip Jones, MA, LMHC, author of Light on Death: The Spiritual Art of Dying
"Before I was exposed to Dr. LaChance’s profound understanding of the mission and message of Yeshua (Jesus), I had little interest in and even less affection for Christianity. Instead, I oriented my life around what was, for me, the much more accessible and infinitely more practical renaissance of Vedic Science presented by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Since discovering how Dr. LaChance’s unitive vision has rescued the teaching of the Divine man, Yeshua, from the ravages of time and cultural distortion, I have found a new yearning in my heart to grow closer to the wholesome beauty and wisdom of the One who is indeed the Son of God."
—Allen Penrod, MA, Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa
"Dr. LaChance is a rare voice of lucidity within the emerging consciousness of third-millennium Christian mysticism. When viewed through an Eastern lens, traditional Christian doctrine yields forth a living, breathing vision of radical transformation that is as close to what we know of Yeshua's first century Judean Aramaic as anything I have ever encountered."
—Dale Allen Hoffman, director of The Aramaic Healing Circle