Tuesday 28 December 1999


Pic of the day: The main character of today's entry is this book, Secret of Shambhala. I finished reading it yesterday. Spoilers ahead.

Shambhala spoilers

Well, spoilers ... if you've read any previous books by James Redfield, you are not going to be surprised by Secret of Shambala. It's the same New Age with a slightly christian slant, but this time set in Tibet, as is good and proper for a New Age thingy. It is possible that some NewAgers don't know all of this, for instance if they have not read the New Testament (part of the christian Bible). Basically the book adds some theurgy / white magic to the soup.

Firstly, the "prayer field". I love this expression. Readers of the New Testament may remember that people possessed by unclean spirits reacted to the presence of Jesus or the apostles. I've later heard a missionary claim that men and women of the Spirit walked in a "cylinder of Spirit" - I do not remember the radius but it was at least one kilometer - and spirits within this area would detect their presence even without seeing them.

In Redfields novel (which we know from experience is a thin disguise for preaching his enhanced gospel) you set a prayer field by drawing in divine energy. In order to do this, you better have had some spiritual breakthrough first. (Anyone else thinking of "born again" or "baptized in the Spirit" christians?) For reasons of his own, Redfield considers nature and art sources or channels of divine energy. But since this is a New Age thingy, there is also a section on food.


You may have noticed how NewAgers are often vegans or at least vegetarians, eating mainly salads and stuff like that. Redfield fields a pretty simple explanation (or rationalization) for this: You must eat living food because it vibrates with a higher energy than dead food, not to mention processed food. Diseases and ageing are mainly due to eating dead food, which leaves acid residues in the body, attracting bacteria who think the body is dead and hasten to decompose it.

By luck or design, it so happens that fruit and vegetables (whose cells are still alive) are among the foodstuffs most lacking in today's western diet. So you can hardly go wrong with taking the New Age superstition on faith. But it is worth noticing that our ancestors who lived much closer to nature in terms of food, still were sick a lot and died young. While people now eat tons of processed food with synthetic additives, and normally live till 70 and 80.
(My best bet is that Redfield would explain this with the general evolution of mankind, which is happening really fast now and is lifting each generation to a higher level. He has already used this to explain the steady march of new sports records. In the future, people will run faster and faster until they just think of a place and they are there. Still, I'd be really curious to see how many world record holders are vegans.)

On a more personal note, I think I would have been more friendly towards fruits and vegetable if the vibrating higher energy would extend to the rest of the body instead of just supercharging my intestines. But that's just me.


Back to the prayer field. First you have to fill yourself with spiritual energy, and the symptom of this is your heightened ability to see beauty around you. On higher levels of spiritual influx, you may feel light as if you are lifted by the top of your head. (Optional.) Once charged with spiritual energy, you let it flow out in front of you. It will now interact with whoever it meets there and their own energy fields. Now it's time to set the contents of your prayer field. The content of your prayer field is your expectations. Negative emotions like fear and particularly hate will corrupt and collapse your prayer field, which is a good thing, as people meeting a strong prayer field will tend to act in the way expected of them. So if you expect people to be evil, they are more likely to act that way, but normally hateful people have small fields and so people will not be seriously disturbed until they get really close.

Another point, which christian pietists have harped on for years that I have heard: Don't try to manipulate people with your prayer field. You do not know each person's intended fate. Just try to charge them with spiritual energy ("blessing", my pious friends use to call it) and they will hopefully get closer to their higher destiny all by themselves. If things get really critical, call in the angels for help, but not until you're sure you are aligned with the divine.


That's it, basically. The book may be slightly boring if you are not interested in contemporary religion and parapsychology, but it is not too expensive. And you do want to see what happens when the Chinese military invades the hidden city of Shambhala, don't you?


You can thank my coworker, the Staffman, for getting this diary on time. I had gone to bed early, feeling very tired, and basically decided to fix the diary in the morning. But Staffman called again and again until I woke up and got out of bed to answer some of his home computer questions. If you like to have your online reading ready on time, pray a blessing for him.

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