May 08, 2006

Celestine as a spiritual system

May 5, 2006 The Celestine Prophecy Posted by Jay Andrew Allen
I saw The Celestine Prophecy last night with the missus. I haven’t read the book, unfortunately, so I don’t have much to compare it to. My wife, who has read it, said the film was very "light", and didn’t touch on much of the technology and practice covered by James Redfield’s work. Indeed, most of the flick focused on a ludicrous plot line involving the Catholic Church and shady international business interests trying to destroy the long-lost Celestine scrolls, before their "secrets" are spilled to the world. The "secrets"? That we are evolving into energy bodies, and that God is within us.
Let’s get real: if the knowledge of these scrolls were so damn unique, Aurobindo, Huxley, and Wilber would have all been assassinated before their words ever hit the printing press. Hell, even Shakyamuni’s lectures would never have seen daylight.
But the loopiness of the plot shouldn’t invalidate Celestine as a spiritual system. I’ll have to give the book a good read to see if there’s anything new or valuable. The metaphor of "energy", and of "taking" and "giving" energy, only goes so far for me. You can make it a lot less mystical-sounding - and, I suspect, a good deal more permanent - by phrasing the spiritual journey in terms of shedding attachments and transcending ego. There were no references to either concept in the film - no advice on how to recognize grasping behavior and overcome it.
The other problem plagues any spiritual flick: It’s fucking hard to depict a "spiritual awakening" on silver halide. It didn’t help that all Redfield and crew had at their digital disposal was a cheesy energy halo filter. The "awakenings" were too clumsy and on-the-nose to make much of an impact on me. Tags: , , , , , , ,

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