Redfield, James (1950-)

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Redfield, James (1950-)

James Redfield, the author of the post-New Age spiritual classic The Celestine Prophecy, was born on March 19, 1950, in rural Alabama. He grew up near Birmingham, Alabama, and attended Auburn University, where he majored in sociology. After receiving his bachelor's degree, he continued at Auburn and received a master's degree in counseling. In 1974 he began work as a therapist for abused adolescents. During his college years and subsequent period as a counselor, he became a student of Eastern religions and the human potentials movement. He increasingly turned to theories of psychic phenomena and intuition as resources to assist his clients.

In 1989, Redfield quit his job to write and to synthesize his interests. The results of his initial effort, which included a trip to the New Age sacred sites in Sedona, Arizona, were completed in 1991 as his first book, The Celestine Prophecy. He self-published the book in 1992 and within a year over 100,000 copies had been printed. Eventually Warner Books bought the rights to the title and in 1994 brought out the first hardback edition. The book soon became number one on the New York Times nonfiction best-seller list. It remained on the list for three years, was translated into several languages, and was soon joined by its sequel, The Tenth Insight (1996).

The Celestine Prophecy appeared as it became evident that the vision of a New Age that had so transformed the metaphysical community through the 1980s had died. Many who had identified themselves with the New Age sought new understanding of what had been occurring. Redfield's book appeared to provide that new direction. The Celestine Prophecy described nine insights that Redfield felt were emerging in prominence among those who chose to be aware of them. The insights suggested that since the 1960s people had become more attuned to their intuitive self and the coincidences that filled their life. As a result of the attunement to these insights, a new vision of the transformation of human consciousness would emerge in the next century. The Tenth Insight explored the results of working with these insights.

People not only read The Celestine Prophecy, but study groups formed to work with the insights. For these people, Redfield authored "experiential guides" for both The Celestine Prophecy and The Tenth Insight. He began a newsletter, The Celestine Journal, in 1994 that in 1998 became a monthly Internet newsletter on his website at More recently he continued to develop his perspectives in additional books, The Celestine Vision (1997) and The Secret of Shambhala (1999). He has been aided in his endeavors by his wife, Salle Merrill Redfield, who has authored several related books and who lectures with Redfield on their speaking tours around the world. Beyond supplying material for study of the nine insights, Red-field has done little toward organizing any movement out of the response to his writings. However, some readers of his works have formed the New Civilization Network, a loose association operating primarily through the Internet.


Redfield, James. The Celestine Prophecy. New York: Warner Books, 1994.

. The Celestine Vision: Living the New Spiritual Awareness. New York: Warner Books, 1997.

. The Secret of Shambhala: Search for the Eleventh Insight. New York: Warner Books, 1999.

. The Tenth Insight. New York: Warner Books, 1996.