Spiritual Utopia

Words: Dr Rajgopal NIDAMBOOR

The Celestine Prophecy was sociologist James Redfield’s first book. And, you wouldn’t believe it, thanks to his superb use of words and craft. The testimony? Over ten million copies of Redfield’s maiden effort would have sold in the US alone. What’s more, for a spiritual novel, capitalising on Americans’ search for the sacred, and topping the fiction list — the barometer in the cultural marketplace — is really something.

The Celestine Prophecy is a gripping tale. It begins with the mysterious disappearance of an ancient Peruvian manuscript with its nine key insights: insights which each human being is predicted to grasp sequentially — one insight at a time — as one moves towards a complete spiritual culture on the living planet. You’d call it a spiritual Utopia of sorts, yes: of something that is happening at present in our lives. The build-up is excellent, and full of coincidences, that one has only learned to expect in everyday life without being able to connect patterns, or decipher their spiritual meaning, or intent.

Redfield admits that his book has been inspired by such important works as Carlos Castaneda’s The Teachings of Don Juan, and the famous prophecies of Nostradamus. What’s more, The Celestine Prophecy draws on Baconian logic. Was it not Bacon’s work, The New Atlantis, that pictured, for the first time, a society with science having its proper place as the master of things? Or, Plato, who had earlier told us the old legend of Atlantis, the sunken continent in the Western seas, for Bacon and others to bid fair and identify Columbus’s new America with old Atlantis?  That story also begins with Peru. All the same, Redfield does not give any direct reference to Plato’s Timaeus, or Baconian philosophy, or, for that matter, the ten steps of yogic pranayama. Yet, the fact is he is hypnotised by himself, while carrying on what is essentially a world waiting to be born. 

The Celestine Prophecy signs on with one of the most basic queries of one’s own self: why was one born into a family? Why was one destined to get into the act of leading a particular lifestyle? Why should one need to know oneself fully? This, Redfield explains, with anecdotes, spiritual and adventurous, with each of the nine insights.

The Nine Insights

The first is attuned to coincidences, a personal journey that opens up our life. Real life is replete with such happenings. For example: a telephone call from a close friend, or ‘soul mate.’

The second identifies itself with the nature of the universe: the separation of fact from superstition, the mystery of the universe far beyond the laws of Sir Isaac Newton, or Albert Einstein.

The understanding of the physical world, where human beings learn to perceive what was formerly a clear, also invisible, form of energy makes the next insight. The fourth and the fifth insights reveal the nature of human conflict as being due to a shortage of and a manipulation of this energy. The sixth, seventh and eighth relate themselves to help clear our old, repeated drama and find our true selves, with the intuition of what to do and answer the deep secrets of happiness, and how one can relate to others in a new way to bringing out the best in them, while keeping the mystery element operating, what with the answers emerging.

Redfield unravels the ninth’s essence, thus: “By the middle of the next millennium humans will typically live among 500-year-old trees, gardens. Yet, within easy travel distance of an urban area of incredible technological wizardry. The means of survival, foodstuff, clothing and transportation will all be totally automated at everyone’s disposal. Our needs will be completely met without the exchange of any currency, yet also without overindulgence, or laziness. Guided by their intuitions, everyone will know precisely what to do and when to do it, and will fit harmoniously with the actions of others.” Naturally, some Peruvian clergymen and police were not overjoyed by such great revelations; they wanted the manuscript destroyed before it caused more harm than good to human conscience, and the church.  They dreaded the “transformed understanding of the physical universe.”

The ninth insight also depicts a human world where everyone has slowed down and become alert, more alert, ever vigilant for the next meaningful encounter that comes along. It is apparent that Redfield speaks broadly in terms of all insights integrated into our consciousness — a heightened state of alertness and expectation, and of a destiny that will help increase our energy level, vibrations in the atoms of our bodies with the emergence of a cheap source of energy in the form of fusion, superconductivity and artificial intelligence — the truth of life itself.

The Sequel: Positive Vision

Redfield’s sequel — The Tenth Insight — was just as groundbreaking. He knew only too well that his Celestine success was assured whether, or not, his exciting new image of human life and the positive vision in them, alongside their eternal ambience and vibrancy unveiling every human sensibility — with the full need to knowing oneself.

Put simply, The Celestine Prophecy is a great read. Also, it fits your pocket, and travel, even if it conjures up allegories of taking such propensities, including America’s — or, any other nation’s — new-found ‘celestial’ hype, or hoopla, with a pinch of salt.

The Celestine Prophecy
James Redfield
Grand Central Publishing
pp: 256
Price: [Kindle] ₹86.62

Dr RAJGOPAL NIDAMBOOR, PhD, is a wellness physician-writer-editor, independent researcher, critic, columnist, author and publisher. His published work includes hundreds of newspaper, magazine, web articles, essays, meditations, columns, and critiques on a host of subjects, eight books on natural health, two coffee table tomes and an encyclopaedic treatise on Indian philosophy. He is Chief Wellness Officer, Docco360 — a mobile health application/platform connecting patients with Ayurveda, homeopathic and Unani physicians, and nutrition therapists, among others, from the comfort of their home — and, Editor-in-Chief, ThinkWellness360.

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