james redfield

When love first happens, the individuals are giving each other energy unconsciously and both people feel buoyant and elated. That’s the incredible high we call being ‘in love.’ Unfortunately, once they expect this feeling to come from another person, they cut themselves off from the energy in the universe and begin to rely even more on the energy from each other–only now there doesn’t seem to be enough and so they stop giving each other energy and fall back into their dramas in an attempt to control each other and force the other’s energy their way.
—  James Redfield, The Celestine Prophecy
I don’t think that anything happens by coincidence. No one is here by accident. Everyone who crosses our path has a message for us. Otherwise they would have taken another path, or left earlier or later. The fact that these people are here means that they are here for some reason.
—  James Redfield, The Celestine Prophecy

I first read “The Celestine Prophecy” when I was a very young and impressionable preteen when it came out in the nineties.  My dad had picked it up and gave it to me to read so we could talk about spirituality.

“The Celestine Prophecy” tells the story of a man who encounters an old friend who tells him about the recent discovery of a manuscript in Peru, one that contains the secret to spiritual evolution in nine insights.  As he discovers each new step in the spiritual movement, each new insight, he also steps closer to danger, for the Peruvian government will do anything to stop the manuscript from being made public.

I have to say, when I first read it, the book definitely made an impression on me, specifically the first three or four insights. I remember wishing life were that simple, wondering if maybe James Redfield was onto something.

Before I talk about that though, I want to talk about the book itself.  Now that I’m older and have been through it again, I can talk about this book a little more closely. Quite plainly, I didn’t enjoy the writing style one bit. Specifically the way the plot was advanced, and the fact that we as readers have our noses shoved into this spiritual jargon so fast, we don’t even have any idea it’s happening. Until we realize that there isn’t much of a real plot, and even less character development.

That said, the book as a work of fiction (if you ignore perhaps the other messages) is tedious. It holds our hands through the story instead of letting revelations naturally come to the reader.

So the interesting thing is that this book sold millions and millions of copies and spawned three sequels and lots of spiritual groups. Perhaps it hit at the right time, when people were perhaps getting ready for Y2K?  Maybe it just connected with people at the right time. I don’t know.

But, I think some of the beliefs are definitely interesting and worth a look. For instance, the acknowledgement of the movement towards a spiritual evolution. I think this is interesting. Will humanity do it? Can we as a race accomplish this? 

Whether it will start with the noticing of coincidences in everyday life, I don’t know. But maybe Redfield has a point? Often in my own life, I feel like things happen for a reason. If only we knew the answer, or could pay attention to the signs that we’re doing exactly what we should be doing, would we lead better lives?

Other insights, like the fourth–the one about power struggles between people–also have valid applications to life now. The fourth insight talks about the daily struggle between people for power–others seek to dominate in order to better their own position in life, whether consciously or unconsciously. It is only after we learn to recognize which role we play (Redfield lists four basic ones), that we can overcome this and increase our energy towards enlightenment.

Well, I’m not sure about all that, but it sure does make for some interesting inner reflection.

Overall, I like the book for the questions it raises. Not such a great read if you’re going for story, character development, or style. And try to remember that it’s a work of fiction while you’re at it. 

Verdict?

Buy/Borrow & Read/Skim/Skip

- asecretcity

Bir insan diğeri ile konuşurken -ki bu dünyada her gün milyarlarca kez oluyor- iki şeyden biri meydana gelir. Birey bu konuşmanın sonunda ya kendini çok güçlü hisseder veya çok zayıf. Tabii bu aralarındaki çekişmeye bağlıdır.

Biz insanlar her zaman yönlendirici bir tutum takınırız. Karşımızdakinin durumu veya esas konu ne olursa olsun, sohbetten galip çıkabilmek için kendimizi söylenmesi gerekenlere hazırlarız. Her birimiz tartışmadan üstün çıkabilmek için diğerimizi kontrol altında tutabilmenin yollarını ararız. Eğer başarırsak ve bizim görüşlerimiz galip gelirse psikolojik övünç duyarız.

Diğer bir deyişle, biz insanların ustalığımızı sergileyerek birbirimizi kontrol altına almak istememizin sebebi yalnızca dış dünyadaki somut amaçlan ortaya çıkarmak değildir. Psikolojik güce duyduğumuz gereksinimdir. İşte bugün hem bireysel, hem de uluslararası seviyede birçok mantıkdışı anlaşmazlıklara düşmemizin nedeni budur…

- James REDFIELD -

True heroes inhabit a world different from that of Homer’s audience. They use bronze weapons, not iron; they ride into battle on chariots from which they dismount to do their actual fighting; they do not eat fish they are illiterate. No doubt Homer thought–as we think–that the stories he told had a historical basis, and no doubt he intended much of this to reflect the actualities of the past. Often he was wrong about that. It does not much matter; what does matter is that the heroic world should be set apart. In another kind of literary tradition it might have been placed in the future or in the East. The technical features of the Homeric world have the same function as other features we might call poetic or conventional. Thus the heroes talk freely with the gods; they encounter monsters, speaking rivers, and giants; their corpses can be magically transported and protected from decay. A hero, further, never dies of wounds […] Heroes do not make casual remarks; they speak in speeches […] And so forth. All these features combine to establish an epic distance, to remind the audience that the story is not about their world.
—  James Redfield, Nature and Culture in the Iliad: The Tragedy of Hector36-37