Back then, we would meet up and discuss the various insights and how we could apply them to our own personalities, our past and our present lives, and it is so interesting now, to see how much of this learning I adopted and incorporated into my own life, even though the book seems to have a religious message and I am a life long agnostic.
I highly encourage people to read the novel, or listen to it as an audio book (particularly good to relax with at the end of the day). Allow me to share some of my notes and observations, all these years on.
What causes the bliss and euphoria of love to end, to suddenly turn into conflict?
This is explained in "The Celestine Prophecy" as addiction to another person and ventures into Jungian territory (and even Freudian) for those of you who follow their teachings...
When love first happens, the two individuals are giving each other energy unconsciously and both people feel buoyant and elated. That's the incredible high, we all call being in love.... They cut themselves off from others, from the universe and seek to gain all their energy from one person, which is unsustainable, and eventually each stops giving so much energy and reverts to old psycho dramas to seek to control the other, forcing the lover's energy their way. At this point the relationship degenerates into the usual power struggle. The problem starts in our early family life, because most of us were not given enough positive energy, attention from adults, none of us were able to complete an important psychological process, we weren't able to integrate our opposite sexual side, and the reason we can become addicted to someone of the opposite sex, is that we are yet to access this opposite sex energy ourselves. We mistakenly think the only way of having the opposite sex energy we crave, is to possess someone sexually and keeping them close to us physically (as a child might with their opposite sex parent). The problem is, most parents are competing with their own children for energy, within a family, because we are looking for this opposite sex energy externally, in another human being, rather than finding it within ourselves.
Make any sense?
So it also talks about the way, when we're perhaps younger, and we fall in love we're looking for someone else to be our "other half" to "complete us" is a phrase we often hear, and relationships like this, where the individuals are perhaps quite needy, are destined to fail, unless one person is prepared to submit to the other and let them dominate the relationship and decisions. It can never be a mature mutual relationship, if we don't feel complete ourselves, if we haven't yet learned to love ourselves and value who and what we are.
Often, you find a couple where one person is shy and the other very confident, one is exceptionally attractive and the other very plain, one academic and the other not so intellectually bright. It is sometimes thought that these opposites attract in a very natural and positive way, but in fact, each individual is seeking to compensate for their lack of attractiveness or lack of confidence and so on, by bonding with someone who has qualities they wish they themselves possessed. And it never really works, this idea of someone completing us, because you ultimately have two halves of a person making up one whole and that whole has two heads... two egos,.. eventually they start pulling in opposite directions, in their desire to gain and maintain energy.
And so often people get romantically involved without first building a solid foundation of a strong platonic friendship. This is needed because it is the only way a couple can build a deeper level of trust. Going to bed with someone before you have established this level of trust tends to result in nervousness (unless you're drunk) because you're naked, physically and emotionally, and you don't know this person well enough really to be that intimate with them, you have no idea really if they will turn around and laugh at you. Often there is embarrassment in these sexual encounters. If you feel embarrassed when you're in bed with someone, it's far too soon and any relationship is highly unlikely to last.
Link to James Redfield's Celestine Vision site.
You can buy "The Celestine Prophecy" here.