My partner and I just finished reading this book together. It’s the first book that we started and finished together, as we took turns popcorn reading to each other in the evenings like we were back in third grade. It reminded me just how comforting it is to have someone read to you! My Dad used to read to help me fall asleep every night and I realized I miss that. But it was hard for me to fall asleep reading this book, as it was packed with meaningful insights.
In The Celestine Prophecy book review you’re about to read, I’ve outlined my understanding of the first six of the nine insights offered by the book’s author, James Redfield. You’ll have to check out the whole book for yourself if you want to learn the last three insights. But I think that’s only fair. You can only get so much out of ‘cliff-notes’ anyhow. I hope you enjoy this book review of The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield!
A Brief on The Celestine Prophecy
The majority of this book is set in the jungles and mountains of Peru. That is where the ancient manuscript has been discovered. And it’s where some of the church leaders in Peru, along with help from the Peruvian government, are working hard to keep the insights contained in the manuscript from reaching the public sphere.
Our main character, through an almost-unbelievable series of coincidences, finds his way to Peru early in the book and embarks on a quest to uncover the first eight insights. He also meets a companion who is determined to discover a previously unread Ninth Insight.
You’ll learn about the insights right along with the main character and be surprised by how quickly and fluidly his path begins to flow as he comes to understand them more and more. It is my hope that your path will also begin to flow more smoothly and effortlessly as you understand the insights and begin to incorporate them into your life! So, without further delay, let’s cover the first six insights.
The First Insight
Becoming Conscious of Coincidences
Have you ever heard of the idea that “there’s no such thing as coincidence?” Well, that’s the general idea of the First Insight. We have to start recognizing the coincidences in our lives. That might be the fact that we were just thinking about grabbing dinner in town when our partner suggests, “Hey, maybe we should go out to eat tonight?”
That could be running into someone you haven’t seen in years at the grocery store. It might look like getting a flat tire early on in a road trip and having to stop into a restaurant that we would have otherwise flown right past. You might find it coincidental that you’ve been hoping and wishing to make more money and your company’s CEO just announced that the company will be selling and everyone will be laid off.
Some coincidences might be viewed positively or negatively in the short-term. But they will all offer some opportunity to learn, grow, and, ultimately, continue down the path we are destined to walk. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this book suggests we all have a unique pre-determined destiny, it does suggest that there’s a larger reason for our existence. And paying attention to the coincidences in our lives is the first step towards finding and understanding that reason.
The Second Insight
Opening Our Awareness to a Longer Historical Perspective
The Second Insight deals with placing our lives in a longer historical perspective. How long have homo sapiens walked the Earth? And what has been happening throughout that very long period of history?
These are the two central questions leading us to a deeper understanding of the Second Insight. Humans have walked the Earth much longer than 2019 years. You’re probably well aware of this already. Human existence predates modern religion, large-scale agriculture, our current ideas of the traditional family unit, countless ingenious inventions, multiple World Wars, and much more.
Our ancient ancestors lived in ways very different from the ways we live in today, in our modern societies. This is not a question of better or worse. It’s not an argument that we are worse than they were or better than they were. Those terms are subjective. And they are not of interest to the central idea of why it’s important to put our existence into a longer historical perspective.
The major idea offered by the author in the Second Insight is that we are part of an ongoing evolution of life on this planet. It has been going on long before we took this human form and it will continue when we change forms again. But while we are here we are part of that evolution, whether we’re conscious of it or not. And if we can become conscious of it, especially if a critical mass of people become conscious of it, then we can start tapping into our greater potential as a species.
The Third Insight
Perceiving An “Invisible Type of Energy”
Our main character’s process of understanding the Third Insight unfolds during his brief time visiting a wilderness lodge in the mountains. The lodge has become a sort of research center for scientists interested in studying the manuscript and its insights. While at the lodge, our main character is challenged to broaden his sensory perception in order to see an “invisible type of energy.”
He learns that scientists at the lodge are experimenting with how humans can “give” energy to certain plants. To his surprise, the plants that are given more energy grow larger, more healthily, and produce more than their counterparts that are neglected. How does this idea relate to your life? Are there areas of your life that you “give” energy to and others that you neglect? And how would you say those areas compared to one another in terms of their health?
The basic premise of the Third Insight is that all living things on this planet have an invisible energy field. And these energy fields directly (and sometimes indirectly) impact one another. We can give energy to plants and trees around us. And we can receive energy from our natural environment as well.
You’ve probably experienced something like this in the past, even if you didn’t recognize it at the time. Maybe you were feeling low on energy until you got out and went for a walk or run. Maybe you had a terrible day until you went out and met some friends for dinner. Possibly you’ve experienced this in the opposite manner too. You had a great day until your partner came home and dumped a plate of worries, doubts, fears, and concerns on YOUR plate.
Whichever way you’ve experienced it, you know first hand that the energy of others and the energy of your environment have an impact on your energy. And now you’re beginning to realize that your energy has an impact on others and on your environment as well. The good news is that you can learn to control your energy!
The Fourth Insight
Understanding How Humans Compete for This Energy
Diving deeper on this idea of sharing energy, the Fourth Insight suggests that humans will not learn to evolve more consciously until we are aware of how we compete for energy. In the simplest terms, we can literally suck the energy out of others, or have energy taken from us. Most of us have probably also experienced this, whether we could feel it at the moment or not.
Humans compete for energy by exercising some degree of control or influence over others. Call it manipulation. Call it the quest for power. Call it trying to outwit others. Whatever you call it, the book argues that a struggle for power underlies so much of human interaction. In most cases, this underlying competition is unconscious. One or both parties have no idea it is happening.
We just know that we sometimes feel less energetic after we’ve been around someone. And sometimes it’s the other way around. We feel more energized after being around a specific person, but how often do we stop and think about how they might feel after our interaction?
There is a level of “psychological violence,” the Fourth Insight argues, present in our world today and few of us are tuned into. And this psychological violence is usually precipitated by the need to outwit others and have our viewpoint “prevail.” These viewpoints are usually in relation to some goal in the external world that we’re trying to achieve.
Can you think of any examples of this in your life? I can think about many interactions I had on social media when I was in my early-20s and still convinced that I might change people’s minds through that platform. I witnessed crude comments, disgusting indifference, and downright racism. And why?
The Fourth Insight argues that actions taken from a need to control and dominate each other are responsible for much of the seemingly irrational conflict we experience in the world. These actions occur billions of times every day, and while many people are looking at them from the systemic level, few are examining the course of these conflicts at the level of individual consciousness.
Like many forms of struggle or addiction, the first step to overcoming this need to control and dominate is simply becoming aware of it. Once we do that, we can begin to break free from this cycle of irrational conflict and start paying attention to other energy sources at our disposal, rather than continuing to compete for “mere human energy”.
The Fifth Insight
Connecting With An Ever-Present Energy Source
So what are these other energy sources we can pull from? Where do we get our energy if not from other people? Where do you receive the majority of YOUR energy? From your dog? From your food?
The Fifth Insight argues that, along with getting health energy from our food (more on that in a second), we can pull energy from the environment around us in a much healthier manner than we currently know how to pull energy from other humans. Slowing down and appreciating the beauty in our natural surroundings is the first step to connecting with an ever-present energy source.
This is the basic idea behind meditation, wilderness retreats, and long walks on the beach at sunset. It’s the reason why so many folks, when on their death beds and asked if they have any regrets, answer that they wish they’d seen more sunrises and sunsets. Recognizing the beauty all around you literally gives you energy! And it’s another reason why I personally believe that humans weren’t meant to live in completely man-made landscapes.
In the chapter discussing the Fifth Insight, our main character has a mystical experience after he narrowly escapes death by scrambling up a rocky mountain and confusing the soldiers in pursuit. He winds up on a mountaintop around sunset and he is mystified by the beauty surrounding him. He becomes deeply aware of the evolution of life on this planet and his place in that progression.
While he might not realize the complete significance of the experience at the time, it is his first step towards a larger knowledge of the Fifth Insight and our innate ability to connect with an ever-present energy source without depleting the energy of others.
The Sixth Insight
Working Through Our Control Dramas
The Sixth Insight is personal. And it hits home. It dives into more specifics on how we seek to control and influence others. It speculates that we all have some form of control drama that we utilize when we’re uncomfortable, anxious, or we feel under attack. The four basic dramas outlined in the insight are The Intimidator, The Interrogator, The Aloof, and The Poor Me.
The book argues that we all fall into one of these categories. And that our personal control drama has a lot to do with how we were nurtured as children. This is because our parents also had control dramas and they either passed their control drama down to us or caused us to take on an opposing control drama as a result. An Intimidator creates a Poor Me or another Intimidator. The reverse holds true. An Interrogator creates an Aloof and vice versa.
What do these control dramas mean? The book argues that we are all competing for energy. But each person has their own way of doing it, which is their control drama. The spectrum of roles described above can be thought of from aggressive to passive methods of controlling and manipulating others.
Intimidators use fear to manipulate others. Interrogators use knowledge to undermine others into giving up their energy. The Aloof person pretends not to care in order to try to preserve their own energy. And the Poor Me attempts to gain the sympathy of others in order to garner their attention and gather energy from that attention. There are many other subtleties within those roles, of course, but that is a basic breakdown. It is also important to note that individuals can, at times, utilize more than one of these control dramas to manipulate energy.
The next time you are part of a conflict or you feel uncomfortable or anxious interacting with someone else, use that opportunity to pay close attention to how you act and react. This will tell you a lot about your control drama. Then, begin to think about how conflicts or uncertainties tended to unfold when you were growing up. This will help you uncover where your control drama came from.
The point of this internal exercise is not to make you upset or angry at your parents, co-workers, friends, or colleagues for the way they act. It is simply to make you aware of this idea of control dramas. People can change. You can change. Once you become aware of your predominant control drama, you can begin to change it so that you’re not unconsciously giving your energy away or stealing energy from others.
Read The Celestine Prophecy
If You Want to Learn The Last Three Insights!
Now that is, indeed, a lot to unpack. And the first six insights will only get you about halfway through the book. As you go, the insights build on one another, which means they become a bit more complex and interesting to unpack. Don’t be fooled, however!
Each insight builds on previous insights. There’s no get-rich-quick solution where you can skip to page 150 and suddenly be ready to Engage The Flow. A deeper understanding of the first six insights is ABSOLUTELY necessary before you can move on to the 7th, 8th, and 9th insights.
If, for some reason, the number nine as a final count of insights doesn’t sit well with you, have no fear! This book is part of a larger series that eventually makes its way to The Twelfth Insight. But once again, I’d be hesitant to skip ahead!
I highly recommend The Celestine Prophecy if you’re at all interested in evolving consciousness, human evolution, making the world a better place, learning to control your own energy, or gaining guidance on how we humans can more compassionately interact with each other.
The final three insights deal with how humans can healthily give and receive this ever-present energy once we’re aware of it and how this collection of insights will change the world we live in. It’s still a lot to unpack, even with the breakdown I’ve provided above. And we all have to move through the insights on our good time. I suppose the author’s approach suggests that we each come to the insights when the timing is right for us.
So if you’re reading this, remember that you are now conscious of the coincidences in YOUR life! Maybe it’s not just an insignificant article that just “happened” to cross your path today. Maybe this is the coincidence you’ve been waiting for. Maybe this is your sign that you’re ready to dive deeper into these topics and come away with a different outlook on life and your place/role in it.
I very much appreciate the time you’ve taken to read this review and I hope you’ve found it insightful (ha!). If you’re interested in this book, the best place to get it is on Amazon. Additionally, if any of these ideas really resonated with you, I’d be honored and humbled if you leave a comment below so we can keep talking through the insights. That is, after all, the whole idea of humans consciously evolving TOGETHER!
About Ballister Writing
As a published writer who aspires to create more works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry in the years ahead, I’m constantly in search of new ideas that help me hone my writing skills and get thoughts on paper. But I also recognize the importance of writing like there’s no one watching (or like no one is ever going to read it). This process helps us get our sincerest thoughts out there and to remain passionate about writing as a hobby.
Please leave a comment below if you are inspired, perplexed, saddened, or angered by any of the stories presented above. I welcome any and all comments and will do my best to respond hastily. I’d also encourage you to share this with others if you found it particularly insightful or helpful. Be sure to tag @ballisterwriting on Facebook or Instagram if you do!
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Find YOUR Insights!