Wednesday, September 24, 2003

The Celestine Prophecy

A little while ago Eric C. mentioned to me that I ought to read The Celestine Prophecy, a book I had known vaguely about for a long time and had always figured I should eventually get around to reading. Apropos the subject of the book, it was a Wednesday (Project Read night) and that evening I happened to find three copies of it for sale in the library’s little bookstore. So I got one the and I just finished it tonight.

This was a good book, though I’d have to say that the story-telling of it felt a tad awkward at times. It seemed mostly that there was a lot of message to be conveyed and the story was sort of squeezed in around the corners and suffered a bit as a result. I couldn't help but wonder what someone like Richard Bach would have done with it. (I find it much easier with Illusions, for instance, to experience it as something that is actually happening, or has happened. Perhaps, though, that has to do with the fact that I know it so well that I hardly even have to read it anymore. I can just glance a few pages and have entire scenes in my head at once.)

But still, that being said, I really liked a lot of the concepts. The whole discussion of “energy” seemed sort of uncomfortably New-Agey sometimes (this is just a self-conscious hang-up of mine), but I do feel like I understand and can relate to the idea he’s referring to. I know that the more I focus and try to really be present with the people I interact with, the better the interaction goes, and the more I get distracted or otherwise distance myself, the more the interaction is weakened on both sides. The style of ideal conversation described in chapter 8 particularly resonated well for me. I also like how the whole book is a good exercise in looking at everything in your life as meaningful. That alone is a good thing to keep in mind.

One of my reactions to this book struck mnoticeablycably different than I think it would have been had I read it a few years ago. The talk of “energy” and “spiritual evolution” is all very good, but it’s lacking something. I think I feel more of a need now to see a specific God figure in the picture, something more coherent than the general concept of energy in the universe. Something to provide a frame of reference for the spiritual evolution. All my C.S. Lewis readings were probably a big influence on me in this respect, but also lots of other readings and thought-processes over the last year or so.

Whenever I read books like this I try to take important key points and just file them away in my consciousness somewhere. The idea is to have selections from a large portion of the world’s wisdom in there, from which I can guide and shape my life and personality to whatever extent I can manage it. It's a fairly cluttered place up there in my head, I think, but I hope that at some point it will achieve a good balance and sort itself out nicely.

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