An Excerpt from Jesus through Jewish Eyes: Rabbis and Scholars Engage an Ancient Brother in a New Conversation compiled and edited by Beatrice Bruteau

In a salutary collection of essays by Jewish rabbis, scholars, and laypersons, edited by Bernice Bruteau, Rami M. Shapiro challenges us to see Jesus afresh. Here is an excerpt on the spiritual practice of unity as incarnated in Jesus.

"Jesus said to the Jews of his time:

" 'Listen to me! You are splitting your world into warring camps: holy and unholy, tax payer and tax collector, scholar and sinner, men and women, Jew and Samaritan. All this division only perpetuates fear and your sense of separation from God. I have realized the I AM that each of us is, and I no longer live in a world of competing camps. I am not bound by the divisions of custom that narrow our concerns to petty purity rather than transcendent holiness. My way is the way of unity, the way God intended the world to be. Look to me only to see reflected the nature of your True Self. Do not mistake the mirror for the image it reflects. I am not what you see. What you see in me is I AM. Look deeply into yourselves and see the I AM that you are. Realize this as your True Self and the Light you will see will illumine the unity of all in God.

" 'There is a level of Reality beyond self and ego. It is the kingdom of heaven and it is within you. To reach it you need not go anywhere or follow anyone. All you need is to do as I have done: put down the illusion of ego; recognize that the self you imagine yourself to be is nothing but a pasting together of fleeting images, thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Stand back from these and this self fades, revealing the One Self who manifests as all selves: God the Father who is in each of us, even as each of us is in Him. Do not follow me, follow my example. Do not see me as God, see the God Who is me.

" 'I AM is the Way — walk It!

" 'I AM is the Truth — realize It!

" 'I AM is Life — live It!

" 'And in this way shall you manifest the kingdom of God within and without.' "