Declarations of Peace:
an interview with James Redfield
by Chris Butterfield
EARTH YNEWS FLASHY Peace summits are being held at an alarming rate throughout the world. The epidemic has reportedly spread to major, longtime battlefields such as Northern Ireland, Israel and Palestine, Peru and Ecuador, North and South Korea, and South Africa. At this rate, the world of hatred, deceit and misused power that we have known for so long may not hold out much longer. Stay tuned for further events...
As it seems, the iceberg is rising. Could it be that a "critical mass" (one of James Redfields favorite expressions) has truly been reached among those humans who vibrate toward survival, as opposed to that group that desires death?
Redfield is the author of the best-selling parable, The Celestine Prophecy, a book that resided on the New York Times best-seller list for 165 weeks (over three years). Redfield has authored seven books in the Prophecy series since his original venture in 1992. The series is predicated on an emerging global renaissance forged from individual divine, synchronistic experiences that point to the core of our meaning on this planet. These events, he says, are leading us to a day when spirit and love overcome the everyday "power struggles" that currently plague us and result in the bloody, hateful conflicts that have persisted through the ages of our existence.
"Were here on this planet to evolve this culture that we find here into a spiritual form," said Redfield, a soft-spoken, thoughtful man whose favorite pastime is wilderness meditation. "The key to my philosophy is that individuals have to find a truth they want to be involved in part of a profession, or part of a group in society that they can work within and extend the truth that that group has...to the cultural reality; helping it move in a direction that takes us more toward the truth of why we live."
Much of Redfields work on arriving at ones own inner truth is based on ideas fostered from his days in college while majoring in sociology and mastering in counseling. Having worked for 15 years as a therapist to abused adolescents, and having developed a rich background on Eastern and Western philosophies and science through his studies in college and abroad, he was later able to aptly synthesize the dichotomies of intuition and logic in his books. Out of this merger, he arrived at his central concepts of interpersonal "power struggles" and personal "control dramas." He based these ideas on the tug and pull of energy that occurs when two humans interact.
"When two people turn their attention to one another, they literally merge energy fields," said Redfield in his 1997-released nonfiction book, The Celestine Vision. "The issue quickly becomes: Who is going to control this accumulated energy? If one can dominate, managing to get the other to defer to his point of view...then this individual has captured both energies as his own. He feels an immediate rush of power, security, self-worth, even euphoria."
In order to end this unhealthy form of exchange, in which the dominated individual "feels off center, anxious, and drained of energy," we must open up to the absolute energies available in the universe, says Redfield. We must have a personal discovery of inner energy imbued with love, intuition, and self worth, thus overcoming our personal control dramas.
This would essentially entail ending or changing an unhealthy and subconscious repetitive motif usually created during adolescence that defines how we deal with others in our environment. In this way, we can learn to maintain a high level of energy without having to dominate or oppress others. In the interview, Redfield went so far as to imply that world conflicts could be, and are being, solved in a similar fashion.
"Thats happened in Northern Ireland. I think theres a genuine sort of consensus finally being reached that this fighting is crazy. Both the British government and the Irish rebels have come to the point where, Lets work it out, for Christs sake. Lets stop this.
"I think its just a general awareness where the site of bloodshed alone is just appalling to them. They just are demanding that the leaders find a solution. But that has to be discovered individually by a majority of the populations involved before it will actually surface in some dramatic event like a peace conference."
To attain this level of harmony in society, peace must be accepted in a trial-and-error process, Redfield said. Through the ages, philosophers and artists have argued their points and brought their creativity before society to be analyzed. Having analyzed the work, society would either accept or reject it. Usually, the latter resulted, but those works that truly resonated with society would develop a group of believers or followers. When this group reached a critical mass, it would be assimilated into the societys concept of reality.
Such is the case with The Celestine Prophecy. A book that has thus far sold over eight million copies worldwide, it essentially crossed the line between esoteric "New Agers" and American culture in general. It struck a chord with both, crystallizing an idea that we were poised to accept after four hundred years of amazing scientific discovery in the West that nevertheless couldnt answer the mystery of existence.
According to Redfield, technology, and the rapid transfer of information that we find ourselves immersed in during the twentieth century, has opened the doorway to a vast reservoir of ancient truths and knowledge that was meant to be released at this exact point in time.
"The good thing about being alive right now is that theres such quick information transfer around the world that the extension of cultural reality is almost instantaneous," Redfield said. "That just makes evolution go faster. Its very fun to see the course of this evolution."
But in truth, many can only see darkness in the world we live in today. The endless news headlines seem to exacerbate the problem by focusing on famine, conflict, and weather patterns rather than the truly great advances made by a world that not too long ago widely supported slavery, witch hunts, and inquisitions. Says Redfield, to overcome our greatest collective fear extinction we must all learn to accept the truth of peace and this new, yet ancient, way of attaining it, bringing it from the underlying strands of the worlds societies and into a collective reality.
"The only way it [conflict] can be solved is individual contact," said Redfield. "The average Palestinian and the average Israeli would have solved that problem decades ago, but whats happening is that politicians get their power from creating a conflict and then saying, Well, you better re-elect me because theres this conflict here, and Im the only one that can handle it for you.
"[Peace] wont happen until theres enough people who live it outwardly and express it very clearly and touch enough people so that it spreads, even into the bastions of terrorism, hatred, and crime.
"If everybody who believes this would really start to live it and tell it, theres already enough people to reach every terrorist in the world. And they would finally say, Well, I was going to blow up a building today, but after talking to you I think Ill go walk in the woods. "
James Redfield will speak on "Living the New Spiritual Awareness" at Seattle Unity Church, Thursday, December 3 at 7:30 p.m. The cost is $15.00 at the door. Tickets can be reserved by calling (206) 622-8475, extension 127 or 120. He will also be appearing at the December 3-5 Whole Life Expo in Portland, Oregon; for ticket information, call (800) 551-EXPO.