Comparing More’s Utopia and Redfield’s The Celestine Prophecy
Throughout history many visionaries had glimpsed a world of new human culture, yet no way to create such a world had been achieved. Communism had become a tragedy. Sir Thomas More, author of Utopia, and James Redfield, author of The Celestine Prophecy, share many of the same ideas describing a new way of life. Written in 1516, More’s Utopia speaks about visions of a humanistic way of life. Redfield’s The Celestine Prophecy, written almost five centuries later in 1993, reinforces the ideas of the Renaissance. Can this spiritual common sense become the model of the next century?
Utopia achieves great universality by evincing great understanding and sympathy with all men (Surtz, vii). It presents the hope for far better things, sustained by the view that man may shape and mold himself in any chosen form, (viii) thus creating the best earthly state possible. Redfield’s text focuses on nine insights to a spiritual transformation. When all nine insights are understood, an exciting new image of human life, and a positive vision of how we can save this planet, it’s creatures and it’s beauty will be attained (Redfield). According to Redfield, upon reaching the new millennium, human culture will shift as we move toward a completely spiritual culture on earth. In order to understand where we are today, we must take ourselves back to the year 1000 and move through the millennium as we lived through it. Imagine yourself being alive in the year 1000, the Middle Ages. The first thing you must understand is that the reality of this time is being defined by the powerful churchmen of the Christian church (22). Because of their position, these men hold great influence over the minds of the populace (22). Life is about passing a spiritual test. The churchmen explain that God has placed mankind at the center of His universe for one purpose: To win or lose salvation. And this trial you must correctly choose between two opposing forces: the force of God and the lurking temptation of the devil (22-3). We rely on churchmen to interpret the scriptures and to guide us every step of the way. If we follow their instructions, we are assured a rewarding afterlife.
During the 14th and 15th centuries, improprieties on the part of the churchmen were noticed. They were secretly violating their vows of chastity for example, or taking gratuities to look the other way when governmental officials violate scriptural laws (23). These improprieties are alarming because these churchmen hold themselves to be the only connection between yourself and God. They are the only interpreters of the scriptures. Suddenly we are in the midst of a rebellion. A group led by Martin Luther is calling for a complete break from papal Christianity (23). They say the churchmen are corrupt and demand an end to the reign over the minds of the people. New churches were being formed based on the idea that each person should be able...