The Celestine Prophecy: An Adventure is a 1993 novel by James Redfield that discusses various psychological and spiritual ideas rooted in multiple ancient Eastern traditions and New Age spirituality. The main character undertakes a journey to find and understand a series of nine spiritual insights in an ancient manuscript in Peru. The book is a first-person narrative of the narrator’s spiritual awakening as he goes through a transitional period of his life.
- 3Publishing history, adaptations and sequels
- 4Reception and critique
- 6External links
The book discusses various psychological and spiritual ideas that are rooted in many ancient Eastern traditions, such as how opening to new possibilities can help an individual establish a connection with the Divine. The main character undertakes a journey to find and understand a series of nine spiritual insights in an ancient manuscript in Peru. The book is a first-person narrative of spiritual awakening. The narrator is in a transitional period of his life and begins to notice instances of synchronicity, which is the belief that coincidences have a meaning personal to those who experience them.
The story opens with the male narrator becoming reacquainted with an old female friend, who tells him about the Insights contained in a manuscript dating to 600 BC, which has been only recently translated. After this encounter leaves him curious, he decides to go to Peru. On the airplane, he meets a historian who also happens to be interested in the manuscript.
The historian explains how the world is currently undergoing an enormous shift in consciousness, elaborating on how things had been generally understood until now: 1) at first people believed the world to be governed by the forces of divinity; everything could be explained as an act of a god or gods, 2) with increased knowledge of their world brought about through scientific inquiry, people turned to the men and women of science for an explanation of life and their world, and 3) without a satisfactory answer from science, people instead had them focus on efforts to improve their lives materially and subdue the earth, illustrated by a hyper-focus on economic conditions and fluctuations. What was now occurring, explained the historian, was that the baseness of current conditions was revealing itself in our souls. We had become restless and were now ready for another fundamental shift in thinking that would eventually bring about a better world.
He also learns that powerful figures within the Peruvian government and the Catholic Church are opposed to the dissemination of the Insights. This is dramatically illustrated when police try to arrest and then shoot the historian soon after his arrival. This forces the narrator to live a nomadic lifestyle amongst those wishing to bring news of the manuscript to the public at large.
The narrator then learns the Insights, one by one, often experiencing the Insight before actually reading the text, while being pursued by forces of the Church and the Peruvian government. In the end, he succeeds in learning the first nine Insights and returns to the United States, with a promise of a Tenth Insight soon to be revealed. The Insights are given only through summaries and illustrated by events in the plot. The text of no complete Insight is given, which the narrator claims is for brevity’s sake; he notes that the “partial translation” of the Ninth Insight was 20 typewritten pages in length.
In the novel, the Maya civilization left ruins in Peru where the manuscript was found, whereupon the Incas took up residence in the abandoned Maya cities after the Maya had reached an “energy vibration level” which made them cross a barrier into a completely spiritual reality.
Publishing history, adaptations and sequels
As of May 2005, the book had sold over 5 million copies worldwide, with translations into 34 languages.
A film adaptation was released in 2006.
Redfield expanded the book’s concept into a series, which he completed in three sequels:
- The Tenth Insight: Holding the Vision (1996)
- The Secret of Shambhala: In Search of the Eleventh Insight (1999)
- The Twelfth Insight: The Hour of Decision (2011)
Reception and critique
The book was generally well received by readers and spent 165 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list. The Celestine Prophecy has also received some criticism, mostly from the literary community, who point out that the plot of the story is not well developed and serves only as a delivery tool for the author’s ideas about spirituality. James Redfield has admitted that, even though he considers the book to be a novel, his intention was to write a parable, a story meant to illustrate a point or teach a lesson.
- ^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2013-09-29. Retrieved 2015-05-15.
- ^ Berling, Michael (29 September 2016). “The Celestine Prophecy”. Voices in the Net.
- ^ Prestashop 1.5. “Book Editing Services – Llumina Press”. llumina.com. Archived from the original on 29 September 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- ^ “The Twelfth Insight – About”. thetwelfthinsight.com. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- ^ “Books That Were Originally Self-Published”. google.com. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- ^ The Celestine Prophecy Archived July 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Commentary on The Celestine Prophecy by Tom Butler-Bowdon
- The Celestine Prophecy entry of the Skeptic’s Dictionary