By: James Redfield
The Celestine Prophecy Book 1
What did I just read? I’m not entirely sure.
The Celestine Prophecy is very thinly veiled as fiction, but what it’s veiling, I’m not so sure. At first, I was assuming Redfield was going to give us a self-help book about living life to the fullest. I was wrong.
This book is all about an unnamed man searching through Peru for an ancient Manuscript. And this Manuscript supposedly holds the key to the evolution of humanity. Yes, the evolution. It’s bizarre.
There’s a hint of Christianity there at the end, but of a sort I’ve never seen. I don’t know if this is supposed to be a religious book or if that’s just a plot device, but it doesn’t work for me.
A lot of this book doesn’t work for me.
Essentially, this Manuscript holds an ambiguous amount of Insights that the main character searches for and finds in turn throughout the book.
(This is great. Redfield apparently didn’t want to spend time developing his plot, so in order to make it easy, the First Insight is that a bunch of coincidences will start to occur in someone’s life. Great. So whenever anything unlikely happens, or whenever Redfield needs something important to happen, just chalk it up to coincidences and the First Insight…)
Now this is where I get confused. I thought these Insights were going to be something we were supposed to apply to our own lives. But very early on, we learn that the big thing with the Manuscript is that humans can see and manipulate an energy source we’ve never previously been able to access.
That’s all great stuff for sci-fi, but I don’t think Redfield intended this book to be sci-fi. Now I haven’t done any research (at all) into what Redfield believes, but the back of the book informs me that he “publishes a monthly newsletter … which chronicles his present experiences and reflections on the spiritual renaissance occurring on our planet today.”
So Redfield actually believes this stuff in his book? And am I supposed to? Or are they metaphors for something else that isn’t necessarily “seeing” energy, but close enough?
I have no idea.
Decide for yourself. Read the book and let me know what you think. Do you buy it? Do you think Redfield is crazy? Do you think we’re supposed to accept The Celestine Prophecy as a self-help book? Am I totally missing the point?
If you liked The Celestine Prophecy, try these:
In The Hand of Dante by Nick Tosches
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Daniel X: Watch the Skies by James Patterson and Ned Rust
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy