The Celestine Prophecy
“”...(A)s we humans continue to increase our vibration, an amazing thing will begin to happen. Whole groups of people, once they reach a certain level, will suddenly become invisible to those who are still vibrating at a lower level. It will appear to the people on this lower level that the others just disappeared, but the group themselves will feel as though they are still right here – only they will feel lighter.
|—-- James Redfield, The Celestine Prophecy, ch. 9|
The Celestine Prophecy is not, as you might well think, a Robert Ludlum thriller, but a 1993 novel by James Redfield. "Novel", in this case, is used very loosely; its minimal plot and undeveloped characters are simply mouthpieces for the author's opinions. In this instance, they are vague New Age ideas about psychic energy.
The book was originally self-published, and Redfield had 100,000 printed and was selling them out of the trunk of his car when it was picked up by Warner Books. New Agers ate this stuff up in the early 1990s and the book spent 165 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.
Boy meets Girl. Girl informs Boy about the "Insights". These "Insights" instruct you on how to increase your energy level in order to vibrate harder. Harder vibration is supposed to be desirable, although the text suggests it might actually be dangerous. These "Insights" were set down in 600 BCE by Mayans of Central America. In Aramaic, a Middle Eastern language. In Peru.
Boy therefore lights out to Peru, and sets out to learning the Insights, one by one. He encounters a historian who is also interested in the Aramaic Mayan manuscript. He is chased by forces of the Peruvian government and the Roman Catholic Church, because this vibrating business may in fact be hazardous. He learns nine Insights from the Peruvian Mayan manuscript in Aramaic. The manuscript prophesizes some kind of spiritual transformation starting in the 1960s. Our hero returns to the USA. Now obviously a Chosen One, Boy commits to revealing a tenth Insight, thus setting up the inevitable sequel. Each Insight is covered by a chapter, starting with the first. Boy meets Girl is simply the plot's way of introducing the Insight that there are no actual coincidences: every seemingly significant one really means something. And so on through the nine chapters of the book.
The Mayans are responsible for some of the ruins in Peru. The Incas took over from the Mayans after the Mayans managed to vibrate so hard that they vibrated themselves off the earth and into a higher plane.
The nine "insights"
- Coincidences aren't just random; they mean something.
- Historical perspective. This point in human history can best be understood by a revision of the past millennium, dominated by Christianity and materialism.
- Subtle energy. There is an energy, previously undetected by science, that forms the basis of all things.
- Competition for this energy underlies all conflicts.
- Competition for this energy is unnecessary, because there's plenty to go around.
- You can have mystical experiences that enable you to tap into this energy by being filled with a sense of love.
- Childhood traumas block these mystical experiences and turn us into the kind of people that feed on others' energy.
- You can clear yourself of these traumas by abandoning these controlling ways.
- If everybody gets with the program, we can vibrate ourselves off the planet. This is supposed to be a good thing and a worthy goal.
As is typical of such texts, what they're actually programming for is the guilt and shame you will feel after you fail to reform your behavior or vibrate yourself into enlightenment. But if you fail at vibration, imagine what the book implies for the poor Mayans, many of whom are still with us, where they've always been in Central America. At least, the ones who failed at vibration are still here.
While the original book contains nine insights, Redfield has published three sequels. The original book is obviously the best bargain among them, containing nine insights, while the sequels only contain one insight apiece, bringing the total number of insights to twelve. They are:
- 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)
The book was also made into a 2006 motion picture. Redfield has also written God and the Evolving Universe: The Next Step in Personal Evolution (2002), with Sylvia Timbers and Michael Murphy.