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The Secret of Shambhala: In Search of the Eleventh Insight Hardcover – November 1, 1999

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Editorial Reviews Review

Author James Redfield takes readers to the mountains of Tibet in search of the mythical place called Shambhala, otherwise known as Shangri-La. Like his previous bestselling books, Redfield holds the tension between an adventure travel story (in this book, armed Chinese soldiers doggedly pursue him) and divine encounters. Rather than preach his spiritual beliefs, Redfield likes to portray himself as a naive pilgrim, receiving wisdom and insights from the various guides and teachers he meets on his metaphysical journeys.

Shambhala is indeed a paradise, just as it was lovingly portrayed in the famous James Hilton novel Lost Horizon. It is also a spiritual utopia, and Redfield takes great pleasure in pondering the possibilities of living in a culture that is entirely "focused on the life process." Residents explain their lifestyle, which has emerged from a completely spiritual culture, including some rather sensible opinions about technology, parenting, and even genetic testing. Meanwhile, Redfield remains the wide-eyed observer. Those who loved the characters, writing style, and epiphanies in The Celestine Prophecy will not be disappointed with Redfield's latest inspirational portrait of a new world order. --Gail Hudson

From Publishers Weekly

The third book in the Celestine series, this slight fable begins with an appealing spiritual quest, but is soon burdened with Redfield's millennial concerns. Still, readers who made bestsellers of The Celestine Prophecy and The Tenth Insight are not likely to be deterred, especially those who are interested in Eastern wisdom. Instructed by a neighborhood girl to seek a place of total enlightenment, the narrator makes an imaginary journey to Tibet in search of Shambhala (also known as Shangri-La). Under constant threat by Chinese soldiers, he makes a harrowing passage with the help of human and spirit guides, ultimately reaching the kingdom where the secrets of "the eleventh insight" are revealed in stages. Based on the notion that we attract the events in our lives, the 11th insight reveals that prayer in the form of affirmations and positive energy can empower not only individuals, but whole societies. Readers will find value in Redfield's simply stated comments about building energy through nutrition, posture and thought, and refusing to erode one's energy through negative thinking, including hatred, anger and evil. Redfield believes that baby boomers, with their interest in the human potential movement, have the power to fulfill their generational mission (as their parents did with WWII) by using the 11th insight to counter negative social forces, such as lack of community, youth alienation, environmental destruction, terrorism, the power of centralized technology and genetic engineering of all stripes. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; First Edition edition (November 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446523089
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446523080
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Redfield is the New York Times best-selling author of 'The Celestine Prophecy.' In 1995 and 1996 'The Celestine Prophecy' was the #1 American book in the world, and the #1 international bestseller of 1996. This phenomenal novel spent over 3 years on the New York Times best sellers list.

Redfield continued the story with the sequels 'The Tenth Insight: Holding the Vision' and 'The Secret of Shambhala: In Search of the Eleventh Insight.'

The final installment in the Celestine series, 'The Twelfth Insight: The Hour of Decision,' will be released Tuesday, February 15 by Grand Central Publishing.

James Redfield is also the author of the non-fiction title, 'Celestine Vision,' and co-author of 'God and the Evolving Universe.' He co-wrote and co-produced the film version of 'The Celestine Prophecy Movie.'

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Lucius Ringwald on February 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The Celestine Prophecy was a great idea for a way to get spirituality across to the public: a synthesis of the most popular threads of 'New Age' thought that were circulating in the mid-1990s, packaged as a fast-paced action-adventure novel. The underlying metaphysics claimed to embrace all religions, yet also professed to be based on an empirical approach to life.
Sales show that a lot of the sensationalism which surrounded Celestine faded with Redfield's consecutive books. Some of this is just the nature of trends: anyone who has such monumental success with their first publication has little chance of producing a sequel that achieves the same results. On the other hand, there are some factors that could account for this decline in popularity.
In his second book, The Tenth Insight, Redfield compromised part of his original formula by introducing themes like reincarnation and animal omens--subjects that departed from the religious middle ground which initially let many people stay open to his theories. He also told his readers that human beings have abilities which are a good stretch further away from Pop Mysticism than communing with nature or perceiving auras. His third book, The Celestine Vision, was nonfiction, and discussed progressions in science and social thought that Redfield believes are precursors to a major revolution in global consciousness; it did well enough, but didn't come near to his early success.
With the release of The Secret of Shambhala, Redfield returned to the ongoing fictional storyline, continuing where The Tenth Insight left off.
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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Wendy on May 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I really liked The Celestine Prophesy and The Tenth Insight (Redfield's previous books), but this third adventure is the best yet! Redfield may never be a Pulizer prize winner for his often confusing prose (especially in the first book), but his writing is improving rapidly and I was gripped by this adventure from the first chapter.
Redfield's strength is his ability to share spiritual truths within a story, making it much more palatable than boring prose. His main character is a pilgrim, learning these truths as he goes thru a colorful adventure, sort of a spiritual science fiction at times. I find his message resonates deeply within me... and I'd much rather read it in a story format.
I was reading this book during a life challenge and it helped me focus on the energy I could expand to resolve the situation. And it worked. I was reassured over and over, and while my adventure didn't take me thru the mountains of Tibet, it opened new doors of possibility.
Redfield has transcended the mundane once again, splintered barriers, and teaches us new ways to look at life....
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Joseph H Pierre on July 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
By the author of the number one New York Times bestseller, The Celestine Prophecy, this book will appeal to a great many readers, I am quite sure. It is fiction, although many readers will see it as "based on fact." It rather depends upon the reader's own belief system, how they will view the book.

Redfield has used the book as a vehicle to expose his own philosophy, in much the same way as Ayn Rand used Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, but of course their philosophies are different. In fact, one could almost say that they are diametrically opposed to each other. Where Rand was a rationalist, Redfield is, well. . .

To best describe Redfield's premise, and the theme of the story, perhaps it would be best to describe the readers who will probably most enjoy the book: those who will exclaim over its probity and the integrity--nay, saintliness--of the author.

They will look you in the eye fiercely and argue against adding fluorides to water, genetic manipulation of, or adding "chemicals" to, food; or eating "dead" food. They will be vegetarians. They will be certain that large corporations are evil, and that "materialism" is the bane of human existence. They will be persuaded of the positive power of love, and convinced that anger, the lust for power over others, and violence are the ultimate destroyers of civilization.

These are the people who will most enjoy this book, because Redfield is a champion for all of those causes.

The secret of Shambhala (Shangri-La) is the "Power of Prayer." That becomes obvious at once. But, prayer is not simply wishing, or hoping, or idly asking God for a boon. It is a strong expectation.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By peter on November 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As we move into the next century insightful thinking like, "The Secret of Shambhala" will help us all find our way. This book builds on Mr. Redfield's earlier work, and goes even farther, helping one gain perspective on ideas ranging from prayer to nutrition. Not only does this book present us with some incredibly important ideas, but it does so in a clear and well thought out manner. It's a pleasure to read!
I strongly suggest that we all take the time to really ponder the important ideas that are put forth in this book.
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