January 24, 2011
I walked out of the airport and jumped into a car, heading for the first meeting with my publisher since the Twelfth Insight had been turned in – and I was feeling mildly anxious. The novel had already been set for publication (February 15, 2011) and they seemed to like the book very much. Still they had questions, and who could blame them?
For one thing, it had been a long time since I had published a new novel, and they wanted to know why it had taken so long.
"Give us a little perspective here," someone had asked me earlier. "The last time we had heard from you, you were slugging your way though LA with the Celestine Prophecy Movie. Did you really call Hollywood, Sodom and Gomorrah?" I had, of course, but it was in the heat of the moment.
Anyway, as I rode along in the New York traffic, I realized the issue over why I had taken so long was the easiest to handle. I could use my stock answer of, "I'm not making this stuff up."
The first three books in the Celestine Series – The Celestine Prophecy, The Tenth Insight, and The Secret of Shambhala -- were as much spiritual commentaries as novels. And as such, they were based on real phenomena, what I have called "insights," that I felt were arising in human consciousness as shifts in awareness and understanding. I called them insights because that's how we experience them: as elevations of clarity about our spiritual nature. And over the years, they had been affirmed by millions of people.
In the first three novels I had pointed to eleven of these Insights, and had been waiting all this time, as were others, on what I was sure would be a culminating Twelfth. Yet, understandably, I had to be patient until events and experience corroborated the new insight. I had to see it before I could write about it.
While I waited, the only thing I knew for sure was that the Twelfth would build naturally on the insights that had occurred previously. That's how we know they are really shifts in consciousness. We recognize the upswing in spiritual clarity immediately.
For instance, the previous two insights that have happened, the Tenth and Eleventh, are instructive. The Tenth grew out of the discovery that spirituality was more than just an abstract decision to believe in God or not. (After which most tended to return to the same practical approach to life they'd used before the decision had been reached.)
However, the Tenth Insight confirmed that a step existed beyond mere belief, where one could knock on the door even more and be granted entry into a whole new world of spirituality that energized ordinary life. It was a world of Intuition and Synchronicity and memories of something our soul wanted to do in this life. In other words, it was a prevailing intuition that we come from a heavenly place to this Earth with a mission in our minds that is ours alone, and it's always something we can do to make the world better.
Thus, with the Tenth Insight came a certainty that the Afterlife existed as a real place, where souls weren't sitting on clouds with harps, but were actively pushing forward a plan of destiny for our Earthly culture. That was when interest in Angels and Near Death Experiences exploded in popularity, yielding a flood of books and movies on the subject.
Of course, the occurrence of the Tenth Insight quickly precipitated an Eleventh revelation: namely, that if we all had something important to do here, then the key issue was how exactly were we to get it done. What was the secret of the fulfilled life? The Eleventh addressed that issue -- at least in part. We participate by allowing ourselves to be Synchronistically led toward it. To get it done, we had to use certain spiritual principles -- principles that concerned "prayer," "attraction," and a power called "faith" that no religion or philosophy had yet described with sufficient clarity.
I was convinced even then that the full picture of how to actualize our dreams in this regard was what the Twelfth Insight would bring to us. But there was no way to force it. We would have to wait for the clarity. Maybe we even had to be tested for a while, and let the purely secular approach to life blow up a bit in a financial meltdown of greed and corruption before we could really take seriously the mysterious keys to life.
Suddenly, as my thoughts rolled on, the car in which I was riding swerved slightly and I realized the driver was staring at me in the rear view mirror.
"We are approaching your publisher's building," the driver said. "And I was wondering about your new book. What is it about exactly? How does it fit into all the crazy stuff that's happening right now?"
"Are you reading my mind?" I asked, chuckling.
I just looked at him for a moment, knowing immediately that his interruption had created a moment of Synchronicity. This was another question the publisher's people were sure to have, and it was good one. How did this book, indeed, fit into the cynical flatness that seemed to be the tenor of the world right now?
Then the answer began to pour out of me. The Twelfth Insight is building on the need we all have to alter what looks like a rapid decline in human culture. Long-standing wars and political tensions didn't seem to be getting any better. Worse, those tensions, in all likelihood, appeared to be sliding toward an inevitable nuclear confrontation.
Just as problematic is the state of individual human relations, with everyday social encounters seemingly degrading to the level of a 24-hour Jerry Springer show. Most disgusting is politics. We had just suffered a double whammy when, after years of extreme greed and unsound economics, we were promised something more enlightened, and transparent, only to watch in horror as politics, especially in the US, degraded into an even worse display of back room shenanigans, corrupt payoffs, and a battle of lies.
Even in the face of tragic shooting of a US Congresswomen, the political left and right could only play the propaganda card, seeking even then to get a political edge -- not because they thought their statements were the truth, but because they figured no one would notice they were untrue.
The driver's face was serious in the rear-view mirror as I tried to explain my theory that the level of inauthenticity, psychological manipulation, and transparent corruption has reached a tipping point. There is a unity emerging among a more idealistic center among us, a unity forged out of a shared abhorrence for the lack of integrity and civility.
And just as the lack of integrity is often rationalized by the belief that such behavior is okay because the universe is disordered and meaningless anyway, this growing, unified reaction is based on the perception that the opposite is actually the case -- that there is a spiritual dynamic at work in the Universe, one that can be proved to oneself, and thus aligned with.
It is a sentiment that flows from the majority opinion that "what goes around, comes around," and "you reap what you sow," and from the idea that exists in some form in every religious tradition that, if one is honorable over little, one is given much.
What's more, the honoring and sharing of one's best truth, presented as directly as possible, seems to be the first key to unlocking the miraculous potential in the universe. Life is strange. It's almost as if the whole world has had to try the uncivil, manipulative way for a time -- just to prove to ourselves how nasty things could get -- before we could earnestly commit to the other side of the equation. In the end, living honestly is what triggers the laws of attraction, the power of prayer, and a life full of Synchronistic help.
The car jolted suddenly to a halt in front of the publisher's building and the driver smiled, apparently satisfied with my impromptu answer.
"Good luck," he said.
"Thanks for the practice time," I replied.
Inside, I sat around the table with all the publisher's staff, and discussed the same ideas, only we looked at the book from an even higher perspective, framing the unity against corruption and the emergence of a new spiritual sensibility as a world-wide phenomenon, a kind of "authentic spirituality" emerging from the best of the world"s spiritual knowledge -- yet respectful of the rich diversity of religious tradition.
"I think what the book needs," my publisher said at one point, nodding her head, "is a Countdown, where for a while before publication, you write something each week about the book to make your case, maybe even release a snippet of the first chapter."
Later, on the way out, someone else said, "You should make these articles off the cuff, just a day in the life of James Redfield -- you know, what you're really up to in your life."
His smile was contagious.
I thought for a moment about what such an honest, bare-bones screed might look like, then instantly remembered all the thoughts that had poured out of me on the trip across town, in part thanks to my driver.
"Okay," I said. "I can do that. After all, it's the first step into the Twelfth Insight.”
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