An interview with James Redfield


Celestine Prophecy articulates awakening spirituality now happening

James Redfield self-published The Celestine Prophecy in 1992 under the Satori Publishing label. New Leaf, its distributor, said that over 100,000 copies sold by word-of-mouth alone. Warner Books bought rights to the book in 1993 and Publishers Weekly said in its December 6, 1993 issue that $800,000 advances to unknown authors don’t happen every day. In the Spring of 1994 Warner Books released the book in hardcover concurrent with Redfield’s U.S. speaking tour.

A “tsunami” called The Celestine Prophecy swept through this country (and others) in 1993 — one person saying to another, “You’ve got to read this book!”
James Redfield: We are fascinated by its rise seemingly everywhere all at once. Translations have been contracted for 10 countries in 10 languages. I think people see “their message” in the book and embrace it-recognizing their own truths. I am reluctant to become a symbol for that message because I think that one of the ingredients of the “emerging common sense” is that this movement is leaderless-it arises as a swell of the spiritual within people. A new consciousness of community is evolving where everyone is interested in offering their leadership when inspired. We will all learn to let leadership move to another person at the right time, to bring in that particular energy. We can keep ourselves buoyant and healthy in this way.

The book seems to seize the spirit of the times, obviously capturing an archetypal energy of the ’90s.
JR: In the ’60s people felt things could change for the better. But we all realized that the world couldn’t change until we changed ourselves inside and dealt with our family and other issues. The consciousness was “heal ourselves so we can heal the planet.” By the end of the ’70s we could process our past and recognize our inner “hurt child.” The ’80s is what I call the Wild Wild West Medicine Show. It was the sorting out decade. It was faddish to be spiritual. There was negative press surrounding the hoopla. The ’90s are different is that we are saying, “Let’s not talk about it, let’s experience it.” We are now coming to grips with what we’ve hoped to do for that past 25 years. It’s the decade of reform.

There are whole bunches of us who reason with this kind of consciousness. All I’ve done is put into words what all of us are about. We’re now at the archetypal stage of being ready to move from a material to a transcendent world view of culture. I’m only articulating what dwells in the consciousness of a good part of the masses now. That’s why the response. The message resonates with something inside the person.

You talk about nine insights in The Celestine Prophecy. We’re anxiously awaiting the next Insight.
JR: I’m working on a sequel — The Tenth Insight. There will be an Eleventh and Twelfth in the series, also. The Tenth Insight, which should be out in 1995, is about our next step in knowing what is going on in other dimensions and realizing that all institutions are approximations of others planes’ structures. When these shifts — within us and in our culture occur — all institutions will change dramatically as well.

Our children are growing up in a significantly different culture than we did.
JR: The whole socialization process needs to be spiritualized in our minds.

Children need to see this process as spiritual and they are here to learn the world from the adults they are born close to. It is important to communicate to children about what we are going through. We often speak in half truths. We don’t frame the truth or explain our experience in terms they can understand. We need to take time to do this. What has to happen is that more people have to get involved with more children. Focus energy on the child. Children are raising themselves these days in all sorts of strange ways. We need to set up relationships with our friends’ children so that more and more people with children have friendship families and can help them interact more broadly.

This moves us into the idea of community.
JR: We are just beginning to understand the power that can be created in a group — positive power when people are not invested in controlling a group but in participating in a fluid way. We must be open to intentionally building community. Scott Peck (The Road Less Travelled) is good about bringing information about strengthening our community and finding a community. Yes, there is a strong movement about wanting to come together around a piece of land, or building close to each other. There are a lot of difficulties in this because people are just now learning to get along. As people change and grow and shift, communities will evolve. Whatever communities we build must be very, very fluid so people can come in and go out with their changing needs. We see community as a strong movement everywhere we go. Our message is explore the ideas, talk to people who’ve tried it. It is difficult to set up the economics of a spiritual community but it is happening. Find a group of like-minded people to create what you want.

Can you leave us with a word of wisdom?
JR: I do think there is a certain amount of urgency to get clear and to stay full of energy and to stay in a state of love and within the spiritual force of what we call “Cod” because then we can evolve this culture into the proper use of technology. There are enough of “us” now to move in a spiritual direction and we must sustain the vision for that. The future is happening through a kind of contagion and it sustains those visions that will bring about change.

[His wife, Salle, added that many people do not realize how very large this movement is — how deeply and widespread people are trying to live spiritually — and perhaps how little this swell of inner spirituality consciousness is publicized.]

JR: We really don’t even call it a movement. It’s less a movement than an awareness that is emerging everywhere at the same time. In traditional churches you will see this same awareness about how to live spiritually.

In the ’90s, we are all our own gurus, offering truth to each other. My message is that we all have a truth inside of us that we must tell. The synchronicity of life is all about becoming clear, knowing what that truth is, watching and taking advantage of the opportunity to express that truth, and knowing how to present it. Our truths may disagree with others’ truths, but our only obligation is to voice our truth and not become invested in whether anyone is listening. It’s important that we see ourselves as part of this new common sense where trading ideas will help clarity emerge. Stay connected and live your dream.

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Lynn S. La Froth
Lynn S. La Froth served as co-publisher and editor of The Edge from 1992-1996. She is now managing editor and co-publisher of Essential Wellness.


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