The Celestine Prophecy

Synchronicity

The Celestine Prophecy is a 1993 novel by James Redfield that discusses various psychological and spiritual ideas which are rooted in many ancient Eastern Traditions and New Age spirituality. The main character of the novel undertakes a journey to find and understand a series of nine spiritual insights on an ancient manuscript in Peru. The book is a first-person narrative of the narrator’s spiritual awakening as he goes through a transitional period of his life and begins to notice instances of synchronicity, which is the realization that coincidences may have deep meaning. Redfield has acknowledged that the work of Dr. Eric Berne, the developer of Transactional Analysis, and his 1964 bestseller ‘Games People Play’ as a major influence on his work. Specifically, the ‘games’ which Berne refers in his theories are tools used in an individual’s quest for energetic independence.

The novel has received some criticism, mostly from the literary community, who point out that the plot of the story is not well developed and serves only as a delivery tool for the author’s ideas about spirituality. Redfield has admitted that, even though he considers the book to be a novel, his intention was to write a story in the shape of a parable, a story meant to illustrate a point or teach a lesson. Critics point to Redfield’s heavy usage of subjective validation (a cognitive bias by which a person will consider a piece of information to be correct if it has any personal significance to them) and reification (making something real). Another point of criticism has been directed at the book’s attempt to explain important questions about life and human existence in an overly simplified fashion.

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