The Celestine Prophecy
The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield, the best-selling
metaphysical book of the 1990s, became the premiere statement
of the post-New Age spirituality. Redfield, a former psychological
counselor, had quit his job to search for a new worldview
that would unite all the material he had been absorbing
from his reading in New Age and human potentials books. The
original text was self-published in 1992 and sold several hundred
thousand copies before it was picked up by Warner Books,
who published a hardback edition in 1994. It soon became the
number-one best-selling nonfiction book in America. It remained
on the New York Times best-seller list for three years.
The Celestine Prophecy is a novel (Redfield calls it a parable)
in which the narrator travels to Peru in search of a manuscript
containing nine insights. The fictional setting becomes a simple
tool for presenting these nine insights and discussing them.
The insights begin with an awareness of a spiritual awakening
that is occurring. It appears that a critical mass of people are
coming to understand their life as a spiritual journey. The journey
is marked by the recognition of the mysterious coincidence
happening in our lives. The insights lead to an experiencing
of the universal energy that is available to humans and which
may be accessed through an inner connection.
Following the insights leads to the merging of one’s individual
journey into a common vision of where humankind is going
in the twenty-first century. Eventually, whole groups of individuals
will evolve into higher vibratory states and begin to experience
what the post-New Agers call ascension. The concentration
on this conscious evolution has been made possible by the
technological advances that allow us to drop our almost total
focus on mere material survival.
In a sequel to The Celestine Prophecy, Redfield explored The
Tenth Insight, which set the current spiritual awakening into a
larger historical context. Some humans through history have
sought to implement the spiritual pathway outlined in the nine
insights. As individuals today remember their own past and recover
their understanding of a personal destiny, a further insight
of a common world vision emerges and presents the option
of working together with others of like mind to implement
a new spiritual culture.
The response to The Celestine Prophecy and its sequels has led
to the formation of numerous study groups, and an international
association of people working to implement the tenth insight,
the New Civilization Network. Redfield, in collaboration
with Carol Adrienne, has produced study guides for the more
serious students of the books. Redfield’s books have been
joined by a number of books, many of them the result of channeling,
that propose very similar themes of individual and social
evolution around the idea of ascension.
Redfield, James. The Celestine Prophecy. New York: Warner
Books, 1994.
———. The Celestine Vision: Living the New Spiritual Awareness.
New York: Warner Books, 1997.
———. The Secret of Shambhala: Search for the Eleventh Insight.
New York: Warner Books, 1999.
———. The Tenth Insight. New York: Warner Books, 1996