I am about half way thru the Celestine Prophecy, a book loaned to me by a friend who has recently read it and found it inspiring and helpful. (BTW – Thanks to those who have left comment about ‘inspiring books’)
A few observations:
* As a novel it is crap! It is nothing more than an excuse to preach. I guess it is to the New Age world what the ‘Left Behind’ series is to Christianity (although I haven’t read Left Behind so I am not sure if they are as crappy as this novel.)
* Many who read it will not see it as a novel, but will see it as a guide to life, although there is no question that this is the author’s intent. The nine insights are supposed to be ‘keys to life’ so to speak, only couched in fictional writing.
* There is huge potential to use this book redemptively. It clearly taps into the spiritual desires of people and articulates something they are longing for. If every culture has its ‘Jesus myths’ then perhaps this is a significant one from our culture?…
Stick with me!
For every insight Redfield articulates there is some kind of Christian equivalent or something that the Bible would say to his point of view to either affirm or clarify. Rather than getting too uptight that its a ‘new age’ book and actually ‘contrary’ to the gospel we can actually see pointers to Jesus and gospel truth within it. I think Paul would have a lot of fun with this book!
Check the first five insights:
#1.) Feeling restless? You’re not alone: Everybody’s starting to look for more meaning in life. Start paying closer attention to those seemingly “Chance Coincidences” – strange occurrences that feel like they were meant to happen. They are actually synchronistic events, and following them will start you on your path to spiritual truth.
Is there someone out there?… Refield seems to think there is a bigger picture to life than we have so far acknowledged.
#2.) Observe our culture within its proper historical context. The first half of the past millennium was spent under the thumb of the church; in the second half we became preoccupied with material comfort. Now, at the end of the twentieth century, we’ve exhausted that preoccupation. We’re ready to discover life’s ultimate purpose.
Redfield traces the move from premodernity to modernity and finally to postmodernity quite well – emphasisng that we need to find meaning in the spiritual rather than the material or intellectual. He emphasises the place of experience in determining what is truth – something we need to grapple with as Christians from a modernist background.
#3.) Start to get acquainted with the subtle energy that infuses all things. With practice, you can learn to see the aura around any living being and to project your own energy around it to give it strength.
Could that ‘energy’ be the spirit of God?… Could we give words to describe that ‘energy’ more accurately? Redfield acknowledges a higher power at work even if he is pantheistic.
#4.) An unconscious competition for energy underlies all conflicts. By dominating or manipulating others, we get the extra energy we think we need. Sure, it feels good – but both parties are damaged in the conflict.
#5.) The key to overcoming conflict in the world is the mystical experience, which is available to everyone. To nurture the mystical and build your energy, allow yourself to be filled with a sense of love.
A solution to sin?… It seems that he is suggesting that by tapping into the divine energy we can lose the need for oneupmanship and actually love another properly. He advocates the practice of contemplative spirituality as a means of connecting with the divine. Perhaps we would say that when a person is connected to God they can live the fruit of the spirit and love completely.
So far I can work with all of that…
I am thinking maybe I could develop a course that works with the CP and the Bible together for those who are CP fans and open to exploration. It does risk syncretism, but then isn’t that part of the challenge of a missional context?