The Tenth Insight: Holding the Vision
was given to me by my son-in-law, who knows I enjoy reading spiritual topics. Among the collection of books given, the title and cover attracted my attention, plus the fact that the book is hard-covered. The Tenth Insight: Holding the Vision
As I began delving into this book, I realized that the author was not only writing a piece of fiction, but conveying aspects of Native American culture and metaphysics as well.
About the Author
James Redfield was raised in rural Alabama near Birmingham. While majoring in Sociology at Auburn University, he studied Eastern philosophies and later received a Master's degree in Counseling.
During his 15-year practice as a therapist, he was drawn into the human potential movement and turned to it for theories about intuitions and psychic phenomena to aid adolescent clients.
He began writing in 1989 to share his insights on psychology, philosophy, science, mysticism, ecology, and history, especially as it serves to understand future human potential.
Mr. Redfield keeps residences in both Florida and Alabama along with his wife Salle and his cat.
Redfield, James; The Tenth Insight: Holding the Vision; Warner Books (Time-Warner), New York, NY; 1996 (pp. 236) ISBN 0-446-51908-1
Like the Celestine Prophecy, this sequel is an adventure parable, an attempt to illustrate the ongoing spiritual transformation that is occurring in our time.— James Redfield from Author's Note
The book is sectioned into ten chapters, each averaging 21-22 pages in length. The titles of these chapters are as follows:
- IMAGING THE PATH
- REVIEWING THE JOURNEY
- OVERCOMING THE FEAR
- OPENING TO THE KNOWLEDGE
- A HISTORY OF AWAKENING
- AN INNER HELL
- REMEMBERING THE FUTURE
- HOLDING THE VISION
Setting, Reader Interest, and Rising Action
In about 60 words of past tense, the protagonist walks to an edge of granite and overlooks an Appalachian valley. The author describes the scenery in panoramic style, attracting nature lovers into this story.
The invitation to read more comes with the disappearance of Charlene, a researcher and apparent colleague of the main character. The author asks, ". . . why had she disappeared?"
As the story progresses, the reader learns that part of the lands in the valley where dissonant sounds are being heard may be owned by a corporation conducting dangerous experiments.
John, main character and narrator (first-person "I")
Charlene Billings - John's friend who is a journalist and researcher
Frank Sims - Charlene's office mate
David Lone Eagle - Native American Indian, a direct descendant of the original people indigenous to the Appalachian Valley
Wil - John's friend and colleague who shares paranormal experiences
Dr. John Donald Williams - a deceased physics doctorate whose energy forms the basis of the technology being developed in the valley
Curtis Weber - a technology consultant who bears the burden of halting the experiments in the valley
Maya Ponder - a middle-aged, alternative health care provider who assists patients in healing through their emotions
Sharon -John's former high-school classmate who had overcome some drugs and depression
Feyman - Charlene's acquaintance who secretly conducts experiments in the valley
Joel - a journalist trying to ultimately discover and report Feyman's experiments
Writing Style Sample of James Redfield
The author weaves third dimensional reality into another, more etheric dimension. One example of how he does this can be found on the fourth page, where he writes:
Afterward I had experienced a vivid image of Charlene in my mind, the same image I had perceived in Peru when told of the existence of a Tenth Insight. . . .
A wisp of wind touched my face and I again studied the view below. . . . That had to be the town Charlene had indicated on the map.
Another example occurs on page six where Mr. Redfield writes about the protagonist's meeting with David Lone Eagle:
. .. as we gazed at each other, I saw a clear image in my mind's eye of him in another time. He was younger and dressed in buckskins, sitting in front of a large fire. Streaks of war paint adorned his face. . . .
"Your instincts are good," David said, snapping me from my vision.
What is meant by the "tenth vision?"
The character David adequately explains this "tenth vision" through his dialog on page eight:
The Tenth Insight is about understanding this whole awareness--the perception of mysterious coincidences, the growing spiitual consciousness on Earth, the Ninth Insight disappearances--all from the higher perspective of the other dimension, so that we can understand why this transformation is happening and participate more fully.
As a spiritual student, I understand that we, as human beings, while living on Earth with the rules of physics and concepts of time and space, actually are multidimensional as spiritual beings, free to experience different realities as we choose. Reincarnation is acknowledged as a means of entering and exiting the limitations of the physical experience.
Commentary and Recommendation
In writing classes, we are taught that the first paragraph has to grab the reader's attention and within a few paragraphs that follow, the reader has to be drawn into the story by the presentation of a compelling situation or characterization that entices the reader's curiosity. The author adequately accomplishes this.
While third person voice is generally recommended and used in most fiction writing; this novel is written in first person, which establishes an intimacy for the reader with the protagonist, but limits itself to the narrator's viewpoint which is expanded through descriptive paranormal experiences. Certain new age terms and ideas, such as. feeling, intuition, synchronicity, life review, past life, reincarnation, soul group and related ideas occur in the narration.
Smatterings of scientific and historical facts help provide a kind of reality check for the reader between the paragraphs describing altered states of experience that move the plot forward.
Occasionally the action may seem a little slow with descriptions of nature. The protagonist-narrator, too, may seem a little aloof at times with his observations of spiritual visions. Even though his awareness may be expanded, the reader's experience of other characters are confined to the first-person perspective.
What held my attention was the character of David Lone Wolf and his Native American cultural influence. The idea of a wild animal appearing during John's trek to be messengers or signs was interesting.
The book may prove to be controversial to a Christian fundamentalist, but can be an enjoyable read to someone who loves nature and has a fairly keen interest in spirituality and afterlife. Theological ideas are expressed in layman's modern perspective.
An Interview with Redfield about His Writing (A Sequel)
The closeup of the book's cover was taken on Samsung cell phone camera and edited by the author with Windows Live Photo Gallery.