The Celestine Prophecy.There are only two kinds of people in this world: those who are dumb enough to think there are only two kinds of people in this world, and those who are smart enough to know better. So the saying goes. The fans of The Celestine cel·es·tine
[German Zölestin, from Latin caelestis, celestial; see celestial.] Prophecy, which has enjoyed a lengthy stay on the New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of Times fiction bestseller list this past year, should have known better.
A New Age novel that boldly claims not to be a New Age novel, The Celestine Prophecy is yet another simple, uninsightful, and phony attempt at bridging the gap between science and religion, between gods and humankind. Author James Redfield This article is about the novelist. For the classical scholar and professor, see James M. Redfield.
James Redfield (b. March 19 1950) is an American novelist.
James Redfield was born near Birmingham, Alabama, and studied psychology at Auburn University. , an astrologer, uses the device of an ancient (fictitious) Peruvian manuscript to deliver the secrets of life. Not surprisingly, his revelations turn out to be regurgitations from pop academia. The Celestine Prophecy melds trendy and superficial concepts from psychology, physics, history, and other disciplines into a preposterous unified-spirit theory for the twenty-first century. Being a New Age novel, the plot line and character development are a thinly veiled rendering of the author's own metaphysical and philosophical ponderings on humanity and the universe--musings which are even less profound than the average cyberpunk A futuristic, online delinquent: breaking into computer systems; surviving by high-tech wits. The term comes from science fiction novels such as "Neuromancer" and "Shockwave Rider. sci-fi thriller.
In his spiritual quest for Verb 1. quest for - go in search of or hunt for; "pursue a hobby"
quest after, go after, pursue
look for, search, seek - try to locate or discover, or try to establish the existence of; "The police are searching for clues"; "They are searching for the "Insights," Redfield's protagonist discovers that there are four kinds of people in this world: "intimidators," "interrogators," "aloof" folk, and "poor me" people. We might well ask: what about the "destroyers"? The "existentially nauseated nau·se·at·ed
Affected with nausea. "? And let us not forget the "healthier-than-thou," the "painfully aware," and the "uncertain ones." Anyone can come up with these insipid laundry lists of personality types. Redfield dubs his own types "personal dramas" and claims that everyone fits neatly into one.
Redfield's personal dramas imply that we all have debilitating de·bil·i·tat·ing
Causing a loss of strength or energy.
Weakening, or reducing the strength of.
Mentioned in: Stress Reduction character flaws. His pathological scheme implies that we are all ill and so we all need the remedies of the Celestine prophecy to restore our health. But not only are some of us emotionally and intellectually healthy, thank you very much; one doubts even that Redfield himself believes in the usefulness of his personal dramas. It's easy to see that he is attempting to create a demand for the metaphysical blather he supplies.
Redfield deliberately clouds his picture with vagueness for the sake of a quick write. Admitting the difficulty of applying his murky concepts to real-life situations, Redfield has his own characters preemptively point out, "Life's not that simple." Why, then, does Redfield himself persist with his disingenuous dis·in·gen·u·ous
1. Not straightforward or candid; insincere or calculating: "an ambitious, disingenuous, philistine, and hypocritical operator, who ... exemplified ... "Insights"?
Because they sound good and are easy to digest. For the same reason, he squeezes trendy tidbits TidBITS is an award-winning electronic newsletter and web site dealing primarily with Apple Computer and Macintosh-related topics. Internet publication
TidBITS has been published weekly since April 16, 1990, which makes it one of the longest running Internet publications. of common knowledge out of the histories of modern physics and technology to suit his purpose. Redfield is literate, make no mistake. Reading his book, however, one comes away with the impression either than he's unintentionally misinforming the reader or that he's intentionally holding back information to produce a more palatable, popular result.
The Celestine Prophecy is littered with logical inconsistencies. Redfield uses the time-worn logic of progress to explain and justify his idea of "conscious evolution." It embraces the centuries-old notion that society is moving to a higher plane; in this case, personal growth is described as one's "higher vibration." Yet the book simultaneously denies the logic of progress throughout; the astrologer in Redfield emerges to claim that logic and rationality are inadequate for a life of true fulfillment.
The reader will find other signs of literary guile among the 246 pages. As common-sense notions are transformed into supposed divine wisdom, one detects the unmistakable makings of a bad B-movie. For example, "The Manuscript says we will learn that sudden, spontaneous eye contact is a sign that two people should talk." The manuscript might as well have revealed that a sunrise is a sure sign that a new day is beginning! Redfield's observations are as vague as a horoscope horoscope: see astrology.
Astrological chart showing the positions of the sun, moon, and planets in relation to the signs of the zodiac at a specific time. and as uninsightful as they are unoriginal.
Despite the book's decidedly small scale and scope, Redfield attempts to synthesize To create a whole or complete unit from parts or components. See synthesis. such complex topics as the history of technology since the dawn of the scientific method and the great revelations of twentieth-century physics. He seems to think that technology was born with the scientific method on the day the Middle Ages expired, and he stretches the implications of quantum physics quantum physics
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The branch of physics that uses quantum theory to describe and predict the properties of a physical system.
See quantum mechanics. beyond recognition. Since these brief excursions fail to properly integrate the heavenly and the worldly according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the barest of critical standards, they should make us wonder why Redfield even bothers with his half-hearted attempts at academic rigor rigor /rig·or/ (rig´er) [L.] chill; rigidity.
rigor mor´tis the stiffening of a dead body accompanying depletion of adenosine triphosphate in the muscle fibers. . Of course, by including science and technology in the equation--if only for appearances--Redfield seeks credibility; scientific posturing is supposed to lend authority to one's claims, much as it is meant to do in aspirin or toothpaste commercials.
Of course, it will be easy for fans of the book to refute its critics because some people "just don't get it." Celestine prophets will accuse critics of being bitter, cynical grievance collectors. The novel's ideas are probably harmless; perhaps they're even enjoyable or revealing to some. But the novel is indeed an unoriginal rehashing of the work of many others. For example, anyone who has carefully viewed or read 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE (born 16 December 1917) is a British science-fiction author and inventor, most famous for his novel , and for collaborating with director Stanley Kubrick on the . will see parallels between Redfield's "conscious evolution" and Clarke's chronicle from "The Dawn of Man" to "Beyond the Infinite." A dozen readers will cite a dozen different precursors.
A great irony appears on the last page of Redfield's afterword af·ter·word
See epilogue. , which connects our reality to the author's twenty-first century. If you wish to learn more details about the emerging "spiritual renaissance," you are asked to send $29.95 for a newsletter or $49.95 for an audio tape. (After all, you've just blown $18.00 on the book.) Spirituality aside, Redfield is claiming his stake in the coming utopian technocracy tech·noc·ra·cy
n. pl. tech·noc·ra·cies
A government or social system controlled by technicians, especially scientists and technical experts. . The Celestine Prophecy explains how the national dividend economy will eliminate work as we know it (not to mention welfare!) and how income will be based on information exchange. The manuscript shame-lessly intones, "When people come into our lives at just the right time to give us the answers we need, we should give them money. As more people engage in this spiritual economy, we will begin a real shift into the culture of the next millennium." Redfield's New Age enterprise is a sloppy, perhaps dishonest attempt to secure his place in the burgeoning spirituality market and to make readers feel as if there is a future in giving their money away.
This last-gasp merchandising effort reveals Redfield as the New Age counterpart of the vendors of "unofficial" Rolex and Gucci goods we see so often on city streets; it proves (as if any proof were needed) that there is a market for phony intellectual product, too. Redfield may be more learned than the homeboys hawking fake stuff on the corner, but he is playing the same marketing game: diversify, be flexible, and thrive.
Maybe, after all, there are only three kinds of people in this world: those who are dumb enough to think there are only three kinds of people in this world, those who are smart enough to know better, and those who are cunning enough to profit off the former.