What is The Celestine Prophecy?

My dear friend Liv tells me that in the mid 90s every second person in cafes through Little Collins had James Redfield’s novel, The Celestine Prophecy, in hand. Now, 28 years after its release, the nine key insights that line the plot still illuminate young and old.

This copy was picked up at Elizabeths second hand bookstore in Perth. I had asked specifically for it as it had been recommended for years, and strangely five copies had been dropped in that week. “Yeah, they belonged to an elderly lady who just passed. She was collecting them,” the attendant said loosely. I bought two at $15 and later found one in an op shop for $3.

The Celestine Prophecy: An Adventure (1993) is a first person narrative discussing psychological and spiritual ideas from several ancient teachings and new age spirituality. As the author wades through a difficult period in his own life, he meets various characters in a quest within the luscious density of rain forested Peru.

The narrative is gripping for many reasons but none less the parallel to the way the religious teachings have barred ancient truths and cast culture into myth here on Earth. While the adventure uncovers lost text it also introduces insights that reflect our daily experiences of life, like the awareness of coincidences. That is the simplicity of the first insight, simply to notice, to be observant. Synchronicities are realised as tiny miracles, meaningful coincidences that increase with our attention.

The second insight drops into the history of the past millennium. The meaning of life was promoted by ideas from the Catholic Church, details important for the time but have since resisted the growth of consciousness. Periods like the renaissance and reformation allowed people to see the ‘spiritual design’ of the world, inviting science into view. Without negating the role of the Church, Redfield reveals how humanity could further the meaning of religion by moving from materialism to a posture of service and tending to the garden, so to speak.

Thirdly, beauty in all things. This is a practical teaching about subtle energy. It discusses how animals, plants and ecosystems are in constant relationship with one another. It describes how we unconsciously engage and exchange energy, and invites the reader to see the rich beauty of nature in order to consciously give and receive energy. I felt particularly drawn to this insight as the experience of psilocybin came to mind, and the practice of Qigong.

As the story bounds from one unexpected turn to another, there is a thrill of recognition, pushing one to read on. The barriers are not only the pharisees/priests who want to maintain the old way but also the protagonist’s own mind as he doubts himself and works through embedded patterns. The fourth insight follows this thought about ego, but we will stop there to not spoil the read.

The story continues to pour out teachings along the path of high pursuit by both explorers hoping to protect the Peruvian manuscript and government wishing to destroy it, under instruction by the Church.

I recently heard Jordan B. Peterson note, “Fiction isn’t false.. there are patterns in things, deep patterns, deep recurring patterns. Humanity itself is a recurring pattern it has characteristic shape and great fiction describes the shape of that pattern.” Redfield does a great service to the living ideas of what it means to become self aware, to follow on the path of purpose, to tap into the dynamic energy of life force.

There is a strong emphasis our ability to create a world that is carved with intelligence and beauty in this dialogue. Whether you feel drawn to this notion, or otherwise, it is undoubtable that we are are in a period of awakening, even this pandemic has a powerful message carved into it. We have seen clearly the role of the media in our lives, the disparity of wealth across nations and the division that occurs when we make another wrong through their own experience of right.

If you are seeking a new viewpoint into your own life and to better see the magic all around you, I recommend reading The Celestine Prophecy: an adventure. Write to me for a copy, I’ll send you one of mine: contact@thesensorialtimes.com

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