The movie that millions of readers on the spiritual path have been waiting for has finally materialized – in its own time, with its own set of synchronicities to guide production to theaters nationwide. The Celestine Prophecy Movie (not an original title, but it tells us what we need to know) opens in March and early April with sneak previews sponsored by spiritual groups, churches, periodicals and others who are anxious to see how such a consciousness-raising novel transfers to the big screen. On April 21, the film premieres in Baltimore, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Phoenix and Denver, and opens nationally thereafter.
The Celestine Prophecy Movie will be presented by Edge Life on the first two Sundays in April. Showtimes are at 5 and 7:30 p.m. on both April 2 and April 9 at the Student Center Theater, University of Minnesota St. Paul campus, 2017 Buford Ave., in St. Paul. The price of admission is $10. Due to great demand, order your tickets in advance! Tickets available Monday through Friday at (763) 433-9291, outside of the Twin Cities toll-free 1 (866) 809-8080. Remaining tickets available, first-come, first-serve, at the theater prior to show time.
In case your copy of The Celestine Prophecy is long removed, after having passed it to friend after friend, the story involves a set of ancient scrolls, known as the Celestine Prophecy, which have been discovered in the rain forests of Peru. The scrolls, containing nine insights, predict a new awakening that redefines human life and provides a glimpse into a completely spiritual culture on earth.
Synchronistically, the main character, John Woodson (portrayed by Matthew Settle), finds himself transported from America to Peru in search of these scrolls. Skeptical, he finds at each fork of the road that someone unexpectedly appears in his life to guide him on this journey to a new awakening. The steps taken by Woodson in the film are meant to reflect each viewer’s own awakened sense of self and the universe in which we live.
"All you have to do is open up a little bit and do a few things," says James Redfield, author of the original book and visionary who led the story into a cinematic reality. "Stay positive when events happen to you and find the silver lining. Give love and energy rather than take it or try to manipulate other people out of theirs. Know that there’s an inspiring level of awareness that can be attained when you realize you’re on a path of destiny. It’s all about finding a certain calling that you came here to this life to accomplish. It’s that simple. It’s a choice one has to make. It’s our natural inclination."
In an interview with Edge Life, Redfield hinted that the film is far from an action-adventure "Indiana Jones" type of thriller with some spiritual nuggets thrown in. In fact, his resistance to such a Hollywood reworking of his book is one reason the film opens a dozen years after the best-selling story first appeared in hardback. The result, he said, is still a big film (in excess of $12 million), but its cinematic pallate is more art-house than pop blockbuster.
"The movie is very arty and very deep, and symbolic, so it’s a kind of a soul journey in which you get the consciousness of the Celestine vision," Redfield said. "You know what I mean? It’s a soul awakening. It’s going to play like an art movie, which is fine with me. After all, a lot of people felt like the book was deep, that it took them a long time to get it all. They had to read it two or three times."
"We purposely made it so it’s not going to be a general release kind of movie. People are going to have to come at it with some thought and with some awakening to really get it. A lot of people will watch it and say, "Well, that was so symbolic, what did that mean?" And, that’s okay. I think that’s just the best way for this sort of movie, about this kind of world view, to be given. If you make it too watered down, then it loses its impact with the people who do get it, and it loses the ground it’s trying to establish as a new way of looking at the world. I’m happy with that part of it, and it will grow into the mainstream as the mainstream tunes into it.
So it actually might play well on DVD with people buying it and watching it more than once.
James Redfield: Yes. We did some testing, letting groups come in and preview the film. These were people who had read the book, some on a general level, and some who got the book at a deeper level than others. But they were all readers.
And they came and watched the film. One-time viewers gave it an 80 percent rating, very good or excellent. But when we brought back one group for a second night to watch it again, all the ratings went way up, because they got things that they didn’t see before – the relationships, the meaning, the symbology. And then they said they thought they needed to see it one more time to really get it fully. (Laughing) It looks like it’s a three-time watching for people who really want to see all the connections and get the deeper sort of meaning. It definitely speaks to the soul, no doubt about that.
Then you have to be happy with how the film was made, because you don’t want people just to see an action film and then never have to see it again.
JR: That’s right. But I wish we would have had $30 million dollars to spend on it. There’re all kinds of ways it could have been enhanced with more money for visual effects and that kind of thing. That’s always true.
But I think making this arty is good for the whole mission. It makes people realize that they’ve got to look closer and get deeper into it to really get all that’s there.
You’ve spent at least 15 years or maybe more living with the Celestine Prophecy philosophy. How would you describe the nugget of wisdom that lies within Celestine?
JR: In a nutshell, it’s an awakening to the fact that the world is designed to be very mysterious and for very mysterious things to happen to us in which our best vision of what we’re here to do can unfold. We have to do our part. We have to step into this, so we have to take advantage of the opportunities. But the vision itself is that, hey, the world is much more miraculous, much more mysterious, in terms of assisting us in becoming aware that we’re here on a spiritual mission – and that we’re here to awaken and help to awaken the world to a greater spiritual consciousness. That’s what it is.
Why has Celestine Prophecy resonated with so many people?
JR: Because it talks about the real experiences of spirituality. You can say, "I believe, I believe in God. I believe there’s a spirituality in the world." But, it can stay at just the level of intuition, "Yeah, this is true. There’s something going on here."
But there’s another step to take, one that we’re taking now in this historical period, and that is to step into the experiences of this, into the mystery unfolding, the magic synchronicities that can happen, a guiding intuition that we can get in touch with, a sense of mission and destiny unfolding that we can get in touch with. That’s new and it crosses every religion. No religion has the dibs on that, because you can believe in any of the religions and still be ready to take that step into the actual experience of the heightened spiritual awareness. What happened with the book was that it focused on the experiences, direct experiences of spiritual connection and spiritual lives. It put into words what people are already sensing they could live and open up to. It just resonated all around the world in every culture and in every alphabet.
Do you plan to take the film worldwide?
JR: Oh, absolutely. It will have to grow organically. Some economies out there make it very difficult to launch a movie, and we’ll have to deal with those barriers as we encounter them.
What does the word "Celestine" mean to you?
JR: Of heaven. The whole idea is that heaven’s right here. It’s in a dimension right here with us that we haven’t opened up to yet. The whole story of evolution for human beings is to open our consciousness more and more until we realize this, that heaven’s right here. Once we evolve to a point to where we can really grasp it fully, we will know that.
What is your relationship with Stephen Simon and his effort to bring awareness to a new genre of film called Spiritual Cinema? And what is your take on the spirituality of cinema today?
JR: All of us want a cinema that’s more spiritual, and he’s just trying to institute that in a way that’s really conscious. I support him totally. In terms of spirituality of cinema today, it’s still a matter of individual filmmakers having the consciousness that they then translate into film. So it’s evolving like everything else.
From your perspective, how have we, as a people, shifted our focus and intention in everyday life since the birth of Celestine Prophecy, the book?
JR: Well, I definitely think that the book helped to create the conversation about real spiritual experience, an actual deeper level of spiritual awareness that we can cultivate. I think we’ve opened up to that, but we’re not fully in it.
We can direct it intuitively, opening up to a mission, seeing that the synchronistic opportunities that come by are about our missions and boldly knowing when to take advantage of these opportunities. That’s a kind of flow we can get into when it’s working right. But it’s hard to maintain. Nobody can fully stay in the flow, where we really know it’s available and we intuit fully the level of spiritual flow of experiences. It’s just that we don’t truly have our sea legs. We don’t live in a culture that supports that. A lot of people talk with each other about it and there’s a discussion going on, but it’s all still sort of materialistic. Life is just kind of ordinary. Let’s think about where we’re going to eat tonight. Let’s think about getting together with our friends.
The spiritual agenda is not quite in that level of cultural activity yet, but that’s what’s next. I’m calling it the twelfth insight. Consciously, what we’re doing now is working to create a culture around this awareness. It may take many, many years. It’s not going to happen overnight.
What do you think about when you explore synchronicity in your mind, about how it works?
JR: When I explored the meaning of synchronicity in The Tenth Insight, I stated that we are understanding synchronistic flow from a higher perspective now. I believe each of us can remember a "Birth Vision" that each of us has before we are born. In other words, before we come, we have a best-case vision of what we want to get done with our lives – what we want to learn and what truth we want to deliver into the world. When a meaningful coincidence happens in our lives that leads us forward in some way, it feels luminous and inspired, or destined to us, because it in some way corresponds to our birth vision. It is what we wanted to happen when we made our wish list before we came. It means we are on the right path.
What are the keys to be in the flow, to make synchronicity open up for you?
JR: There are several keys. The first one is to intuit that kind of life. The second thing is to open up to being a DIVINE being operating in the world. Live a Higher Self level in your life. We have to first wake up and remind ourselves that we want that, otherwise we get lulled back into life’s struggle.
I think everybody who’s in a human body can get lulled back into that at some point or another.
JR: Absolutely. All of us. That’s what I talk about regarding the twelfth insight coming into consciousness. It’s that, the fact that we have to remind ourselves to step up into this consciousness and hold it every day.
Some people will look at what’s going on in the world and say, "Well, there’s all this killing in the name of religion and it looks like things are getting worse, not better." What is your reaction to all of that.
JR: I say it’s a step in spiritual evolution. These people are not fighting over territory much. They’re not fighting over political power, even. They’re fighting over whose religion is best. So in some sense, we have stepped into a more spiritual consciousness. There’s just all this fear and ego still there, fighting over whose spiritual worldview’s the better one. Once we get past that, perhaps the moderates of every religion will take over. I hope that the movie will help that happen.
A vision I have is that if everybody in every religion will focus on the experiences of spirituality, they’ll realize that they’re all the same, no matter what we call ourselves. That’s the next step.
The press asks me this all the time, "Where’s your spiritual evolution, James?"
And I tell them that it’s still happening. There’s a grassroots movement toward a greater spirituality, crossing all religions. It’s not New Age, it’s not Jewish, it’s not Christian. It’s everybody from all these points of view stepping into a more lived spirituality by focusing on the experiences that are involved. If we do that, then we take a step into resolving this conflict.
Now that Celestine Prophecy books have been written, the film has been produced, even the book about the film has been made, what is the next step for you?
JR: Two things: I need to write The Twelfth Insight, which is the next novel. It needs to come out in 2007 at the latest. And, in an effort to help create conscious community around this, we’re going to set up a Celestine Association or Celestine Community that will be web-based, but it will also generate creativity on the local level. It will be a place where people can talk together and amplify the discussion about what level they are actually living this every day. And as we do that, then it will be something that culture will be created around, at a higher level, I believe.
It’s an effort to tie everybody together more consciously and create a Celestine Community that lives by these insights. We have a forum now where people can begin the discussion. Visit www.thecelestineprophecymovie.com/forum/index.php. Look for coming details about the Celestine Association. It will be up and running in the next couple months.
For more information, visit www.celestinevision.com or www.thecelestineprophecymovie.com