A Second Look at Jesus

The Experience of a Christian Mystic

Christian - Non-Fiction
346 Pages
Reviewed on 12/09/2014
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite

A Second Look at Jesus: The Experience of a Christian Mystic by John Evans is the book everyone never knew they needed! Evans takes the reader on a journey through his experiences searching for a true spirituality unburdened by creed or ceremony. From an experience that brought about personal enlightenment at the age of 19, Evans sought inner understanding through Transcendental Meditation, Sufi teachings, the study of Hebrew and ancient Christian practices, and has created a text that reaches to the heart of anyone who is searching for a connection to the universal consciousness. Evans offers a richness of insight by sharing what he has experienced and includes elements of many of the major philosophies and religious practices from around the world, acknowledging God, a Creator, as the source of all spirituality. Through meditation and the use of Sacred Words, Evans explains how all individuals can reach a higher level of spirituality and come closer to a universal peace.

Unlike many books about spiritual growth, A Second Look at Jesus: The Experience of a Christian Mystic by John Evans does not promote any specific doctrine or practice. Instead, it is a conversational text that invites you to share the author’s journey and reach for a deeper level of spirituality on your own. Evans calls upon a breadth of knowledge that combines the best of many different belief systems and distills each philosophy down to its basic elements. An extensive bibliography for further study is included in the text, but an easy-to-read style and a clear summation provide the beginnings for anyone to begin their own spiritual quest.

Mamta Madhavan

A Second Look at Jesus: The Experience of a Christian Mystic by John Evans is about the uplifting journey of the author in search of spiritual truth. The journey leads him into the arms of the Episcopal Church and, through this book, he brings to readers the teachings which prevailed during olden times. The author's personal experiences are inspirational and motivational. He writes from his heart and he takes readers into the deeper dimensions of his experiences. The book opens the door for many readers to achieve more spiritually significant lives. The author's struggle and his spiritual journey make it a fascinating read.

I found the book well written, inspirational and informative. It helps readers delve into their religious beliefs and work on them. The author speaks about his life, his good and bad experiences with honesty, and that makes it easier for readers to connect well with the book. The practical spiritual techniques mentioned are helpful for empowerment and leading an enriching life. The poetic thoughts of the author in between complement and highlight the text.

The author also shares his experiences and insight into the Transcendental Meditation Movement, and his firsthand experiences with spiritual leaders make his sayings and thoughts cogent. His simple and elegant manner of putting across things to readers makes the book relatable and easy to comprehend. It is a book of spiritual unfolding that is thought provoking and it also speaks about the challenges of religion and spirituality. An uplifting book for those who want to take a spiritual journey and enrich their lives.

Suzanne Cowles

A Second Look at Jesus: The Experience of a Christian Mystic by John Evans is an inspirational memoir about his personal journey through spiritual awakening. Following time at divinity school, John discovered the usefulness of meditating on holy words, especially the name of God in Hebrew. Researching the history and time before Jesus, John discovered how restricted the use of the name had become by Jewish priests. Being raised Roman Catholic, John reexamined his own beliefs to incorporate the name into his spiritual practices and learned that Transcendental Meditation practices aligned with his heritage. This led to a new appreciation for Jesus and the church he later inspired. After spending time in India, it is clear that John’s spiritual teachers propelled him to a place of inner peace where he could engage in life with intimacy. Maharishi using prana yama focused each student’s mind to experience rich inner visions, opening a genesis to the creative process. John recounts these easy methods to achieve refined perception of thought. Sacred words such as Abba, Amma and Hayah are seed mantras that can lead to spiritual maturity and sustain an inner experience of Transcendental Awareness. He also expounds on the virtues of the Discovery Prayer and simple breathing practices that promote balance and harmony. Mixed throughout 25 chapters of personal story are lyrical poems, mostly written by the author. Some are incredibly powerful, deep and meaningful to the narrative, especially “The Archer”.

A Second Look at Jesus: The Experience of a Christian Mystic by John Evans explores various religions and determines that many of the Holy Bible’s nuances were literally lost in translation. Rediscovering the power of the original, including the use of the Lord’s name by Jesus, and searching for spiritual truth are consistent with the Episcopal Church for the author. Although anyone from another religious background can follow his logic, the goal of this book is not to preach or to make the facts fit reality; instead John hones a passion for spiritual progress to reach cosmic consciousness.