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Old New Age Stuff

I just finished reading The Celestine Prophecy. Yes, the novel came out ten or twelve years ago. No, altho' I'm something of a slow reader, it did not take me ten years to read it. Three days, off and on. It just felt like ten years -- that book is a slog, let me tell you.

The book was all the rage ten or twelve years ago. Apparently it spent three years on the NY Times best seller list. What's up with that? I mean, while the "nine insights" are somewhat interesting, the story is far from riveting, and even farther from credible. Yet, this is one of those novels -- that is, fiction novels -- which people tend to believe is a true story.

Guys, listen: fiction novels are made up stories. Make believe. Okay?

Anyway, I finally read it. Maybe I'll think about some of the "concepts." Many of them are spelled out more clearly and practically in other works, particularly Claude M. Bristol's 1933 booklet, T.N.T.: It Rocks The Earth. Certain settings seem reminiscent of the Findhorn Garden colony in Scotland. The plotting, such as it is, pretty much follows the formula set out in Shirley MacLaine's Out On A Limb, the low-budget made-for-TV adaptation moreso than her non- fiction autobiography. Techniques for accomplishing the aims of some of Celestine's "insights" are described in Jess Stern's Yoga, Youth, and Reincarnation. If you're looking for a clearer picture (ha!) of auras, try Psychic Discoveries Behind The Iron Curtain.

By the way, what ever happened to Kirlian photography?

Maybe in another ten or fifteen years I'll get around to reading the current fiction novel that people can't separate from fact, The Da Vinci Code. There was this whole "could it be true" documentary on The History Channel several weeks ago. I can't believe I sat through the whole tedious thing, altho' it was valuable in that I learned why Friday the 13th is considered unlucky, and they showed a really cool place that I hope to visit someday. But, rather than spend two hours going through all this tangential historical stuff, why didn't they just, you know, interview the author? I suppose because he'd say, "well, it's just a story. I, like, made it all up," and that'd take all of fifteen seconds, so then they wouldn't have much of a show.

Do you suppose the Da Vinci guy gets a cut from all these TV shows inspired by his books? The Celestine guy created an entire industry out of his book. I gotta admire the guy, he turned what was intially a self-published novel into a venture both interesting and lucrative. Perhaps there is where the real Celestine Prophecy inspiration lies.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jun. 24th, 2005 10:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is my favorite post of yours so far.

The Celestine Prophecy was one in a series of "buy this book because you can be so much better than you are" books I read in the 90's . . . (complete with the workbooks, daytimers, mug and pen set, etc.) At the time I felt like a changed person after reading it, but today I can't remember one single thing about the book. Not one.

The last book in that genre that I bought was The Four Agreements. It's very similar to CP et al but I remember how it dawned on me as I finished the last chapter how totally self-absorbed and disconnected from other people's needs you'd have to be to have success in keeping the Four Agreements, or in following similar lifestyles.

Having said that, I can't deny that when one of these quirky books lands in my lap, often there are just one or two things surprisingly relevant for a certain problem or difficulty at the time . . . have you noticed that? So, I try to keep my mind open for that sort of thing, and remind myself not to feel I have to spend hundreds of dollars . . . are you the same way?

As for the Da Vinci Code . . . that Church of the Three Saints is so cool-looking!

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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